Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Gift Closet

Am I the only crazy one in the universe with a gift closet? Actually right now I would have to term it a gift shelf. What is a gift shelf? It's a place where you store all those goodies you buy throughout the year. They're meant to be gifts for others but sometimes you like them so much you keep them for yourself! (Click to enlarge any of the photos).

So I thought I'd give you a peek into my gift closet, I mean shelf. Look at these soaps. I bought them at the Festival By The Lake a few weeks ago. They're from Grace Farm Organics and they smell great. Also look how pretty they are, each fragrance has a different carving. Of course, the fleur de lis is mine even though the scent is rather manly and called Northern Gentleman. The other scents I have are lemongrass and rainforest.

I found these at my favorite store, Nesting. They are little journals with blank pages adorned with pretty ribbons, vintage photos, and sayings. I keep a little journal in my purse most days. I like to write down restaurant and store recommendations, new websites, etc.

I found these sweet embroidered linens at Thoreauly Antiques in Concord. The lady on the towel looks like she should be in the movie Emma.

I got the sailboat linen napkins at the same antique shop. Such pretty pastels. Perhaps a future blog giveaway?

I love the line of bath products by Thymes. These bath salts are from the discontinued fragrance of Green Tea. I also got the body wash but I think it's
going to stay with me.

Another antique store find was this hand tatted lace hankie. Love these colors and I had to buy it. It's going to make one of my friends happy.

Tealights from Colonial Candle in their Pink Peony Fragrance. It really smells like peonies.

Lavender sachets picked up at the local Home Goods.

I also bought the jar candle version of the Pink Peony scent and another called Lime Grove which I must confess I broke into the other night. It has a nice clean scent. Perfect for the kitchen.

As you can see I am fully stocked for any occasion. If I need a hostess gift or a
birthday gift I am all set. Now, if I could just keep myself from raiding the shelf!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Bounty of the Winchester Farmer's Market

This morning I decided to pay a visit to the Winchester Farmer's Market. Wow, they had some great stuff!

Look at what I bought! Edible flowers with salad greens. I am told the little blue flowers taste like radishes. Some baby swiss cheese from Boggy Meadow Farm. At the Cocoa Express booth, I bought cranberry oat scones and apple crisp muffins.

Although a little out of focus, these strawberries still look yummy, don't they?

I forgot about the lemon zucchini bread also from Cocoa Express. This is going in the freezer until next weekend when my friends come over for my annual Wimbeldon Breakfast. More about that in a future post.

As you can see, I had a wonderful time at the Farmer's Market. The sun was actually shinig this morning. We've had 21 straight days of rain so it was a welcome sight!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Reminiscing - Hidden Pond Cottages

I've decided to try something new and post photos from the past few years. When I do a post like this one, I'll call it Reminiscing. Some of the photos might be from my pre-blog or early blog days. I was just learning to upload photos back then!

Today's post is about a birthday gift I received from my friend Kim. In June of last year, Kim took me to Kennebunkport and Biddeford Pool, Maine. We went to a house tour of the Cottages at Hidden Pond and then we had a late lunch in Biddeford Pool.

Talk about a sleeping porch! Don't you love this bed?

Such a pretty setting. If you rent one of these cottages, you can have a personal

This bedroom was so dreamy. I love the color combination.

Isn't this a clever towel rack? Love it!

Don't you want to rent one of these?

I would sit here all day, sipping lemonade or ice tea with a good summer read.

Here's the view from the place where we had lunch.

We sat at one of these tables and enjoyed the ocean view. I had the most delicious shrimp roll I ever tasted and the parmesan fries were yummy too!

The fog was starting to roll in at Biddeford Pool. I had to quickly snap this photo before darkness settled in. The end to a perfect day.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Oscar's Anniversary

One year ago today I rescued Oscar. At the time he was living in the parking lot of my old apartment building. When my landlord wouldn't let me take him in the building, I knew it was time to move. Some say Oscar is the reason I bought my condo. I just think it gave me the push I needed to make a move. I wasn't happy where I was living anyway.

As you can see, Oscar is healthy and happy and loving life as an indoor kitty!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

New Lamp

Remember the money I got from my Dad for my birthday? Well I used it to buy this lamp. I think it's amazing! The colors are simply gorgeous. I am going to put it in the middle window of my living room. A place of honor since it has the wow factor I'm looking for. Now of course, I really have to get going on the window treatments. Any and all ideas would be appreciated.

Here's a closer look at the colors of the lamp.

As with any new item that comes into the home, Molly must inspect it and approve it.
I think she likes it!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Birthday Gifts

This year I decided to tell everyone exactly what they could get me for my birthday. My sister said jokingly that I've become bossy. At least I think she was joking! She's probably right but I thought it was a good idea. And I made it easy on everyone.

My mom had a stroke five years ago and she can't go shopping. She is very interested in making sure we still get our presents from her and I think she likes to have some say in what she gives us. So my dad agreed that she could give me an outfit from my favorite clothing store, J Jill. I looked through the catalog and already knew what I wanted when I brought my mother the catalog and asked her to pick out a pair of pants and a shirt for me. Not only did she pick out the exact items I wanted she even got the colors right! Amazing! The top photo shows the shirt, a linen pullover in the color called Aegean.

The white denim pants are the pants she chose for me. Again exactly what I wanted. My mom may be physically challenged but her mind is sharp as a tack! She knows my fashion taste.

My friend Debbi wanted in on the action too. So she told me to pick out a jersey from the catalog and she gave me a shirt like the one in the photo above.

I told my sister I wanted to take a walking photo tour of Beacon Hill. Basically you buy a ticket for a 90 minute walking tour of the Beacon Hill section of Boston.
You see secret gardens, the architectural details of the homes, etc. The tour is for amateur photographers and you get tips for improving your photography. I have to book the tour for some day when I can take a day off from work. So that's my sister's gift to me.

Ny dad gave me money. I'll probably use it to buy some curtains for the condo.

As for my friends Mary and Don, I told them I wanted manual labor from them. I needed Don to act as handyman for me. So he hung this picture and another one like it in my dining room. Sorry for the poor image.

I've had this keyrack for a really long time and I never put it up. Now it's hung in my kitchen in the perfect spot. No more keys thrown on the counter. And the amber doorknob is now beautifully illuminated by the under cabinet light.

I had this poster framed and Don hung it for me last weekend. It's in the hallway between the kitchen and dining room. In case dinner is a disaster I am reminded to keep calm and carry on.

This wire rack will hold canisters of tea when it's mounted on the wall. I already have one tea rack in the kitchen but this one was on clearance at Home Goods and it needed to go home with me.

As you can see, I had a very nice birthday. My friends and family are the best and they gave me some wonderful gifts!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Birthday Girl

Yes, I'm the Birthday Girl. Today's my birthday. Last year, I had one of those birthdays with a zero in it so it was a big deal. This year, anti-climactic. Oscar
knows how old I am and he's laughing!

Speaking of Oscar, he was supposed to help with the blog post but he got a little too comfortabe on the sofa and the next thing you know....

He was very sleepy and then it was off to catnapland.

I took the day off from work just because I did not want to work on my birthday!! I went to Concord, one of my favorite places, and I did a little shopping and eating. Thoreauly Antiques had some nice things and I'll show what I bought in another post.

Late in the afternoon, I discovered a new place, the Market Cafe in Concord Center. I love the decor. Aren't the coffee cup tiles cute?

The chalkboard menus listed New England Favorites. After ordering at the counter you are given a number to take to your table and then they deliver your food to you.

The coffee on your honor sign caught my eye but I decided on lemonade.

Look at that caffeination station. Isn't it cool? I have a caffeination station
ar home too but no quite like that.

Lots of cookies to choose from but it's my birthday and I want cake.

I'll have to post the birthday presents later this week. Since it's my birthday I think I'll take a cat nap too!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Festival By The Lake

Saturday was a picture perfect day. The weather was warm and sunny, so I decided to spend some time outdoors. I planned to visit both the Winchester Farmer's Market and the Festival By The Lake in Wakefield. I ended up with just enough time to do one activity so I chose the Festival By The Lake. It is a once a year event whereas the Farmer's Market will be there next weekend.

Canopies spotted the lawn by the lake. The area was packed as it is when there is a fireworks event. Perhaps the fabulous weather contributed to the crowds. There were hot dog and lemonade vendors, sausage and slush carts, and of course, kettle corn! Kid's activities were very well attended. Everyone was out walking their dogs or taking their babies in a stroller. It was a real family friendly atmosphere.

I went for the sunshine and the shopping! I took photos of my favorite booths. These designs under glass caught my eye. Little starfish and leaves under glass made lovely designs on candleholders, picture frames, and coasters.

These rockin recycled popcorn bowls are the coolest! They're made from old records.
Remember vunyl records? I loved looking at all the old record labels. This one caught my eye because it was a Beatles record.

Maybe you prefer James Taylor or Prince. They do custom work too. Check out their
website at www.methuenyogamat.com .

These bracelets were quite nice. There were lots of jewelry artisans.

I just thought this display was cute.

And so was this one. The vendor name was Memories in Glass. Loved the beachy scene.

Nancy of Designs by Nancy was very accomodating and let me take several photos of her beautiful handpainted glassware. Contact her at nancypaints@msn.com

Isn't her work lovely?

Such vibrant colors!

This pitcher could easily have gone home with me, if I had more room in my bag.

I did buy something from this vendor but that's for another post.

The folks at Old Quarry Farm of Haverhill, MA were so nice. I took a few photos of their space. They had wonderful containers for their flowers and plants.

What a great color on this tub!

Windows by Lisa had interesting pieces. I found a few pieces I wanted but without a measuring tape I wasn't sure if they would work in the condo. I did get a small lavender arrangement in a wire cone for my bathroom.

This photo cracks me up! I was trying not to get in the photo but forgot about the other people around me.

I bought some organic soaps from a man from Quebec. Ooh la la! I loved his French accent. I am keeping them as future gifts and will show you them in a future post.
They are beautiful to look at and they smell heavenly.

I hope you enjoyed your trip to the Festival By The Lake. There was something for everyone!


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