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Wednesday, December 7, 2011


These December evenings, where there's no need at all for electricity,
illuminate so clearly amidst the soft candlelight and patter of rain
that my cats are really angels sent down to me from heaven.

How is everyone's December going so far?
Mine's been going pretty well;
wrapping up my first semester at graduate school,
keeping busy at work, and savoring every moment
I have to enjoy the season and all its magic!

Of course, looking at all these twinkling lights, and breathing
in that wonderfully tangy scent of evergreen, invariably causes
me to close my eyes and imagine I'm sitting in my own dreamy
little New England cape... but alas, I eventually reopen them
and I'm back in my New York apartment... but no fear!
I have Christmas Hope that one day I'll open my eyes, 
and the vision will not change... I'll be Home, at last.
Just how I always imagined it ♥

For those of who, like myself, yearn for a taste of
New England (if not daily) particularly during this time of year,
I thought I'd share with you a couple of special events going
on in the region that are sure to quench your thirst -
that is, if you're fortunate enough to either live
in the area or have the ability to travel there!

November 26th - December 27th
(Mystic, CT)

"Step back  in time to Christmas Eve, 1876!"
Be guided on a theatrical tour throughout the historic village,
and get swept away by the bustle of activity and merry making
 common in Victorian-era New England! Be wary of grumpy old
resident, Mr. Hyde, though- he's known to be a bit of a Scrooge!

December 9th - 11th
(Kennebunkport, ME)

Voted the #2 Christmas Town in America by HGTV, 
Kennebunkport unquestionably knows how to kick off 
the Holiday season with a bang! The Christmas Prelude is 
an annual event featuring various Christmas activities with
a heap of New England charm, such as: Santa's arrival on
none other than a lobster boat, craft shows, historic
tours, lobster bakes, and much, much more!

December 17th and 19th
(Boston, MA)

Behold the true magic and meaning of Christmas at Trinity Church
with an unforgettable musical performance from the Trinity Church Choir.
 Traditional hymns to be sung include, "O Come All Ye Faithful," "Candlelight Carol," 
"Carol of the Bells," in addition to 16 others, all amidst a candlelit setting within this
beautiful structure, named "one of the 10 greatest public buildings in the country."

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P.S. ~
Would anyone like to receive a Christmas card in 
the mail from me this month? If so, please shoot
me an e-mail with your information, and I'd be
happy to send some holiday cheer your way!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Wishing all my followers and friends just that

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Glimpses of October and Marie's Trip to Boston!

Afternoon, everyone!
As promised, today I'm going to share with you
some glimpses of this past October, and top it
off with the conclusion of Marie's epic New
England Excursion to Massachusetts!

But first, can you tell me...
Are these houses in New England 
or New York?

... convinced they're from New England?
Guess again!
I took these photographs during a drive out east on Long Island, and 
nearly drove off the road! Here on the island, we have many old 
houses, but very rarely does one see such distinctive New England
architecture. It was safe to say I certainly got my NE fix that day!


My room...

Pumpkin picking...

Sleepy Hollow...

Lola's 13th Birthday...


Halloween evening...
The most magical, most lovely time of year...
I miss it already ♥


And now, without any further ado,
Marie's Trip to Boston!

Day Nine
"We went back to Boston the same way we came: by bus. Our hotel was now the beautiful Clarendon Square Inn, a really nice townhouse in Boston’s South End.
We pretty much just put our bags in the room and then started to explore Boston. We took a short walk to the Prudential Center where we had a late lunch/early dinner at Legal Sea Foods. Then we jumped on a Duck Tour bus as an introduction to the city. It was a really fun and informative tour."

Day 10
"We spent a full day on the Freedom Trail; it was really interesting! In the evening, we visited the Museum of Fine Arts and newly opened Art of the Americas Wing. It was a really nice connection to what we had seen during the Freedom Trail."

Day 11
"We started the day with a walk to Copley Square and visited Trinity Church and the Boston Public Library; both beautiful buildings. Later in the morning, we visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, a great museum- I highly recommend it! We went back to the Paramount Restaurant in Beacon Hill for lunch; BLTs and iced tea. We then had a stroll around the shops at Charles St and went to Isabelle’s Curly Cakes for dessert. I had a Boston Cream Cupcake. Yummy!"

Day 12
"We packed our bags for the last time this trip. We then went on the T to Harvard Square and had a guided tour of Harvard Yard. We all agreed that this trip had been at least one week too short. We have lots of reasons to come back to New England, and I’m pretty sure we will!"

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Well, I hope you enjoyed taking a virtual tour
of Marie's trip to Massachusetts!
I want to thank her for letting me share her experiences
with you all, and perhaps they might inspire YOU to take
a New England Excursion of your very own someday...! ♥

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Marie's Trip to Cape Cod!

Good evening, everyone... and
Happy November!
Soon, we'll all be basking in the aroma
of bubbling autumn spices emanating from
our kitchens... it's Thanksgiving-time again!

I'll try to show you guys in my next post some
of my Halloween adventures (including a short
video of my outdoor decorations on Halloween 
night!) but tonight, I'd like to share with you more
of Marie's wonderful trip... this part, in Cape Cod!

Day Six
"Our time on Nantucket sadly came to an end (for this time), and we caught the morning ferry back to Hyannis. After arriving on the Cape, we took a cab to the airport and picked up our rental car. We then drove to Sandwich, to The 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, inspired by I Heart New England! There we met my pen friend of 38 years (!) that I hadn’t seen for the last 16 years! She and her husband had driven all the way from Minnesota to spend three days with us on Cape Cod! What joy!
We had managed to get afternoon tickets to Eden Hand Arts and we just about got there in time to buy our Screwball bracelets and get them fitted. We haven’t taken them off yet!...

Back in Sandwich, we went on the Sandwich Boardwalk for a beautiful evening walk on the beach overlooking Cape Cod Bay."

 Day Seven
Beach in Chatham

"The next day we drove up to Provincetown on Route 6. We visited and climbed the stairs to the top of the Pilgrim Monument from where we had a beautiful view of the land.
We then drove to Chatham where we took a walk around town and to the beautiful beach and the Chatham Light."

Day Eight

"On our last day together with our friends, we went to Plimoth Plantation to find out more about the Pilgrims. It was really interesting, both the Wampanoag Homesite, and the 17th-Century English Village."

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Stay tuned for the final part of Marie's trip...
Boston, here we come!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Marie's Trip to Nantucket!

© Susan Branch

Hello, everyone ♥
How's your October going?
Mine's been going pretty well, with the exception
of my trip to New Hampshire... I never ended 
up going :( Due to personal reasons, it just wasn't
the best time. It's unfortunate, since this is the second
year in a row that these plans were thwarted, but the
Hancock Inn has been in operation for over 200 years,
so I don't think it's going anywhere anytime soon.
There's always next year (...try, try again)!

In other news, I have a little Halloween treat for all of you!
I may not have any new experiences or pictures from a dreamy
New England getaway, but a very special follower and friend of
mine just so happens to, and asked me to share them with you!

Marie and her lovely family, inspired by my own trip
last year to Cape Cod and Nantucket (I was so flattered to hear that!),
traveled all the way from Gothenburg, Sweden to Boston, Massachusetts this 
past July to see the city, the island of Nantucket, and Cape Cod, with their own eyes...

Day One
Acorn Street, Beacon Hill

"We arrived in Boston in the afternoon and checked in to our Back Bay Hotel. As we wanted to adjust to the time difference (6 hours) as quickly as possible, we went for a walk trying to forget that it was already late in the evening according to our inner clocks. We walked through the beautiful Public Garden with the Boston ducklings and the Swan Boats and around the pretty streets of Beacon Hill. We had dinner at The Paramount on Charles St."

Day Two

"After a good night’s sleep and breakfast at the hotel, we took a cab to South Station Bus Terminal. From there, we took the bus to Hyannis and then the Hy-Line High Speed Ferry (M/V Grey Lady) to Nantucket.
We arrived in the late afternoon and walked the few blocks to our hotel, The Union Street Inn, completely enchanted with Nantucket! We unpacked and indulged ourselves in having homemade cookies and iced tea in the garden (a treat that was repeated every afternoon). Later on, we went for a walk in town and had dinner in the The Brotherhood of Thieves' beer garden."

Day Three

"After a delicious breakfast, we went on a self-guided walk to explore the streets of Nantucket town. We climbed the tower of the First Congregational Church, and had lunch at The Even Keel Café...

In the afternoon, we went to the open house re-opening of the ‘Greater Light’ historic house, and to the interesting Whaling Museum. In the evening, we went for a lovely walk to the Brant Point Lighthouse. We had dinner at Cap’n Tobey’s Chowder House- had my first clam chowder!"

Weather vane at the Whaling Museum

Day Four

"We had breakfast in the gardenm and then went on a ‘Gail’s Tour’ in a van around the island which gave us lots of good information and a good overview of Nantucket. We had lunch, crab cakes, at Sayle’s Seafood. From there, we went on to the Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum which was really interesting. Later, we went for a guided tour at ‘the oldest house’ and did some ‘Nantucket red’ clothes shopping. Dinner at The Brotherhood of Thieves again, this time indoors. Had my first lobster roll, which was delicious. Browsed at Nantucket Bookworks afterwards; I really liked that bookstore!" 

Day Five

"A really hot day! We caught the shuttle bus to Siasconset. First, we walked the streets with the pretty little houses and gardens- I just loved the roses! Then we went on the Bluff Walk; through the outskirts of the gardens belonging to the big houses (mansions) at the edge to the beach...

We had a sandwich lunch at Claudette’s, and then went down to the beach. In the afternoon, we caught the shuttle bus back and the rest of the family relaxed in the hotel garden while I went to check out the shops. In the early evening, we caught the shuttle bus to Jetties Beach and had dinner at The Jetties; lobster pasta...

We walked all the way back and had our dessert at The Juice Bar
I chose Coffee and Crantucket flavoured ice cream." 

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... Enjoying Marie's New England excursion?...

Stay tuned for Part Two:
Marie's Trip to Cape Cod! 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


October is here!

Jack O'Lanterns, woodsmoke, corn mazes, haunted
houses, pumpkin spice, rustling leaves, candlelight,
caramel apples, scary movies, bonfires, spooky 
stories, flannel shirts, candy corn, ghosts and
goblins, foliage, festivals, hayrides...
Oh, my!

Easily, this is my most favorite time of year,
and in my personal opinion, the most beautiful
season in New England of all! What do you think?

I'm so looking forward to being in New Hampshire
in a couple of weeks (also, let's not forget the pit-stop
I'm determined on taking to Deerfield, Massachusetts! ♥)
There's nothing I love more than autumn in New England.
I'll never, ever forget the first time I experienced it up-close
in Marblehead, Massachusetts. It literally took my breath away.

See what I mean?!

It's been a couple of years since then,
and I am positively ecstatic to witness this beauty again,
this time in another wonderful New England state!

In other October news,
whoOoOo (in my best owl impersonation) would like to
receive a Halloween card in the mail from me this month?
If you do, please send me an e-mail with your address!

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That's all for now! I leave all you ghouls with
this charming excerpt written by Gladys Taber:

© Susan Branch

"Today I laid in a good supply of orange-and-black jelly beans and candy corn, together with small boxes of raisins and little bags of peanuts. Before we know it, 
All Hallow's Eve will be here.
When our children were small, Halloween at our house was strictly a family affair. It was a time for funny masks-- nothing very scary-- and homemade costumes. The door-to-door trekking was brief, and a parent always hovered in the background as the small ghosts and pint-sized clowns made their rounds. Connie and Barbara used to argue. 'It's my turn to be the witch this year.' 'No, it's mine. You did it last year.' David quietly stuck to being a tramp. I think they dirty-face part appealed to him. We had plenty of cider, of course, and a bowl of apples to bob for and a big plate of freshly made doughnuts. And in the front window, a cheerful pumpkin face with a rather lopsided grin.
Now I am glad to see that the grandchildren are growing up in the same tradition. My own branch of the family is here this Halloween. The jack-o'-lantern is finished and Connie is drying pumpkin seeds for the bird feeder. Curt sprawls flat on the floor with a borrowed sewing machine. He learned to sew in his bachelor days and now he is stitching some strips of sheeting for Alice, who plans to be the Ghost of Stillmeadow. Small Anne is propped nearby, watching with fascination. The dogs have been shut out temporarily and they whuff curiously where it is quiet. They will all reappear later in the evening, when the children have finally been tucked in and the grown-ups have settled down in front of the fire to watch the last embers and wait for the Halloween candles to burn out softly."

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Autumn is Here!

Never mind this humidity we've been having up north,
Autumn is officially here to stay!
I just finished decorating the inside of my house, had
my first cup of local apple cider of the season, and 
am patiently anticipating all the wonderful activities
awaiting me in these upcoming weeks... exciting!

 I don't know about you, but one of my favorite ways
to kick off the month of October is, to put it bluntly,

And I got just the recipes to share with all of you,
courtesy of the one and only, Susan Branch

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My "Halloween cat," Lola (born on Oct. 28th, with the coloring to prove it!) 

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