Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fabulous Gift Idea

I was reading some of my old Romantic Homes magazines and I came across an idea to share with you. If you keep your old Romantic Homes, check out the June 2005 issue. I've used this idea a few times and I received accolades for my creativity!

You can create an easy hostess gift with just three items. You will need a tea towel or linen towel, a bouquet of flowers, and some pretty ribbon. Wrap the flowers in the towel and tie it with the ribbon.

Here's another variation. You can use a men's necktie and add pearls for a sophisticated look.

I usually have tea towels on hand to give as gifts. Sometimes I give the tea towel bouquets as hostess gifts. I gave one when I was invited to a BBQ. The hostess always has plenty of food on hand so I thought it would be better to bring flowers
than food.

If you use a printed towel, keep the flowers simple.

I think I'll use this one as a hostess gift at Thanksgiving. Some autumnal flowers
will look lovely in this towel.

I also like to use some humorous towels for my bouquets. I think this one might apply to me!

I know this one definitely applies to me!

If any of you make a bouquet, let me know I'd love to see how it turns out.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Vacation Day in Rockport

Last Thursday, I took a vacation day from work and my sister and I went to Rockport. Even a day trip can feel like a mini vacation when you are relaxing by the ocean. I took so many photos I decided to make mosaics so my post wouldn't be too long.

The day started out very dreary, but, there was still beauty all around us.

A while later, the fog lifted and the sky was still overcast, but, we didn't mind- just look at the vibrant colors of the flowers.

We started out at the Bean and Leaf Cafe. There's a porch at the back of the cafe
and as we sipped our coffee and tea we watched the ocean. Some people read the morning paper or just relaxed.

I happened upon La Provence and of course I had to go in and check it out. I bought some colorful dishtowels and I plan to make them into kitchen curtains.

We went to our favorite place for lunch, Brackett's Oceanview. The view from the large picture window is spectacular. We had fried shrimp rolls and they were delicious. The room that leads to the dining room is so pretty. It is furnished with antiques, even the restroom is elegantly decorated.

I loved the little shop called Sycamore Hollow. Their merchandise displays were so interesting. I could have blown my budget in that one store if I'd had more time. Luckily we had to get back to the parking meter before we got a ticket. Actually that's happened to me before so we were mindful of the time.

The last stop was Helmut's Strudel Shop. Normally, we sit on the deck and enjoy a hot apple strudel but my sister needed to be back home in the early afternoon so we took it to go. I did take a photo from the deck so you could experience the view.

We took a five hour mini vacation and we enjoyed every minute of it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fabulous finds at The Stock Exchange

As promised, I am sharing my finds from The Stock Exchange, a consignment shop in Manchester, Massachusetts.

Earlier this year I bought some vintage or vintage looking suitcases and I've been on the hunt for a luggage rack as a base for them. I planned to stack the suitcases and possibly use them for a bedside nightstand. At The Stock Exchange, I found exactly what I was looking for. Here's the aerial view of my fabulous luggage rack.

Here's the side view. Don't you love it? I am going to think I am always on vacation!

And here it is with the suitcases on top. I just threw the flowers in there for some color. I think it will be quite the conversation piece when it's transformed into a nightstand.

I couldn't resist this little mirror.

I hit the jackpot with these linens. The napkins on top were a separate purchase but the rest was sold as a lot.

I put one of the linens under this frame for a bit of contrast. And yes that photo was purchased from Sara @ Sadie Olive.

More of the linens. Each one was prettier than the next.

Even the box was a great find. I just love the pastel colors.

I can't wait to go back there. There was so much to look at I'm sure I missed something!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Daytripper Yeah!

I had a vacation day last week so I decided to take a daytrip to Manchester and Beverly.

Once I arrived I was greeted by a pretty little town with charming shops and restaurants. These flowers were outside Calais Restaurant.

A friend told me about this store, The Stock Exchange. They sell vintage and consignment items. What did I find there? That's a separate post, but, here's a hint, it was real good!

Here's one of their window displays.

The nice man who was painting this building said I could take photos. This building is known as Seaside No. 1. It was built in 1885 to house a steam pump.

Here's one of the steam pumps.

And another one.

Since 1970, this building has been under the care of the Manchester Historical Society.

I visited the Nantucket Chocolatier and picked up some jimmies made from chocolate shavings. These chocolate scallops looked good too!

This windowbox was too cute! I just had to snap a photo.

Next stop, Beverly. I visited Sweetwater and Company. There was so much to see. I think I spent over an hour there. Lots of great stuff.

Some Sailor Valentines. I thought these were only sold on Nantucket Island!

Lots of starfish, scallop shells, and a pretty garland.

More goodies to look through. Love the shiny silver.

More beachy themed gifts. You know I walked away with some of those mini candles with scents like White Sand and Sea Breeze.

I also picked up some Mermaid cupcake toppers and liners. Guess I'll be bringing cupcakes to the next cookout.

As for my fabulous finds from the Stock Exchange, you'll just have to wait til my
next post!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

My Cats went to Paris !!

My cats really didn't go to Paris which is a good thing because I would have been insanely jealous. I haven't been to Paris since 1983! It was so long ago that TWA was still in business. Hmm, time to go back, don't you think?

Anyway, back to the point of this post, I decided to purchase one of Carol Gillott's Send your Pet to Paris watercolors. Of course, I had her feature my two sweeties, Molly and Oscar. She asked that I send her photos of the two cats and she did the rest. The photos should be good photos of the pets and, well, go to her website,, and read about it.

Here's a closeup of the kits. Don't they look great? I couldn't be happier with the finished product. Now I need to find a frame to do it justice! I'm on the hunt.

Also, I have drawn the winner of my blog giveaway, Stefanie of Rose Petals and Rust won the gems of the sea giveaway. Stefanie, please email me your info so I can send
your goodies to you.

Today is warm and sunny here in New England, I put the air conditioning on for the first time since I moved into the condo. Thankfully it works.

I hope you all stay cool this weekend!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Favorite Quote

"Taking Joy in Life is a Woman's Best Cosmetic" - Rosalind Russell

Looking forward to my next vacation day!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Second Monday of the Month Blog Giveaway

Cindy at My Romantic Home
is hosting a giveaway party so I thought I would participate this month. Each blogger who participates has their own giveaway and Cindy also has a giveaway.

Leave a comment on this post anytime up until July 17th and I will draw my giveaway winner on the 18th.

I love living in New England - most days. We finally got some sun so I guess Mother Nature has not canceled Summer as I originally suspected. Anyway, my giveaway is all about Summer and the Sea. To the winner goes the following:

small glass bottle filled with "gems of the sea"
Crabtree and Evelyn's Nantucket Briar scented bath soap
6 linen "sailboat" cocktail napkins (1 blue, 1 green, 2 yellow, 2 purple)
1 gel refresher, Sea Salt fragrance by Illuminations

Now take a peek at Cindy's blog to see what she's giving away.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Just hanging out with the Kits

It's a beautiful Saturday morning. Peaceful, on the warm side but with a cool breeze. The sun has been out for two straight days!

I opened one window in the kitchen. Oscar discovered it first. One cat, one open window.

Then Molly noticed the window. One open window, two cats. Is she bowing at his feet?

She wants the window to herself. She wants him OUT!

She may act non-chalant but she wants him gone from that window.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Breakfast at Wimbledon

Last Sunday, I hosted my annual Wimbledon Breakfast party. Every July, I have my friends and family over to watch the Wimbledon Gentlemen's Final and to eat a hearty breakfast.

As you all know, Roger Federer won his sixth Wimbledon title. He beat American Andy Roddick on the 4th of July weekend. That's just wrong!

We started the morning with crackers, cheese, and fruit. Cranberry cinnamon goat cheese, baby swiss, and English wensleydale with rosemary and sea salt crackers, English biscuits, and petit toasts.

My sister'a teapot from Harrod's was filled with Harrod's No 42 tea (Earl Grey).

A purple and green bouquet reflected the colors of Wimbledon. The tea rack held more selections for the guests should they tire of Harrod's No. 42.

Molly got distracted by something outside the window.

Oscar got tired of watching the long match. He wanted to play his own games.

Andy Roddick gave it his all.

But Roger Federer had all the graceful moves and he persevered.

Evidently, Molly and Oscar had a little difference of opinion.

Ww had baked french toast, frittata, fruit salad, scones with lemon curd, strawberry jan and mock devonshire cream. This fruit tart was just one of the dessert selections. Everyone made something for the party.

I served Starbucks coffee to finish off breakfast.

In the end, heartbroken Andy was gracious. He pushed Roger to the limit but like all true champions Roger found a way to win. It was quite the match and a jolly good time for the spectators, especially those watching from home.


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