Connecticut, Day Trip, Support Local, Woodbury

    Woodbury, CT 4.29.17

    The worst thing that can happen at the beginning of your vacation is discovering a store like, Soulbury.  My family knows me well enough that when they learn about fun, new shops they need to tell me right away.  This was one I couldn’t bear to sit on too long once my aunt sent me their Facebook page, especially with gorgeous warm weather last week.  My loyal adventure buddy, Coors was ready at a moments notice and we were on our way to Woodbury, Connecticut.

    Every time I am in Woodbury or hear it mentioned, I automatically hear Taylor Doosey’s (from Gilmore Girls) voice in my head saying, “Our neighbors, in Woodbury….” and laugh.  Woodbury is the quintessential New England town, filled with historic colonial homes and small shops with Revolutionary War monuments sprinkled throughout.  Main Street it one of its biggest attractions as it is lined with antique shops the moment you enter town.  Antiques can be found in barns on people’s properties, in traditional storefronts, and at the local flea market.  There is no shortage of places to shop for a piece of history.  Be prepared for sticker shock because these antique dealers are the real thing.  I’m talking about a $10,000 clock kind of sticker shock.

    When your arrive at Soulbury, you quickly realize it is the complete opposite of what is going on around it.  Everything is bright and new and fresh.  The front is filled with old tables and cabinets covered in different types of succulents, herbs, and cacti and old vintage boxes and signs are re-purposed into planters and storage containers.  In the main room you’re greeted by a rainbow of colors all in the forms of local crafted goods the spread from wall to wall.  Coors and I spent our time meticulously combing over everything.  There was jewelry, candles, soaps, essential oils, fairy garden, and so so much more.  Knowing this was only the first day of vacation and that I had Salem the next day I had to restrain myself, but I know I’ll be back in the next week or two.

    After our shopping we decided to drive until we found something to eat.  We didn’t have to travel long before we ended up at The Olive Tree.  On this gorgeous Saturday night we lucked out and had the patio all to ourselves for our early bird dinner.  They had a great selection of local beers and their fresh pita bread was incredible.  Enjoying a beer and scallops (my favorite!) outside with a cool breeze was the perfect ending to our trip and cemented my dream of one day owning a colonial in a town not unlike this one.

    I’m not kidding when I say I’m going back soon!  When are you planning your visit?  What local shops do you love to frequent?

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    Day Trip, Salem, Travel, Weekend

    Salem 4.30.17

    I have been absolutely exhausted since Easter.  All I could do was envision my week long vacation and how I would do absolutely nothing but nap.  Aside from our Chicago trip at the end of my time off I tried to keep my schedule wide open.  Somehow, everyday began to fill with spontaneous day trips to some of my favorite places and I can’t really complain about that.  Vacation didn’t have as many naps as I was counting on, but I am feeling totally renewed and ready for warm weather and to plan more trips.

    I’m starting a little out of order, but I couldn’t sit on my Salem picture any longer!  We planned our visit on what was supposed to be a partly sunny Sunday, so of course it poured as soon as we approached the city.  Luckily, it cleared up long enough to get some amazing shots of Spring in Massachusetts and ended with a thunder storm while I brought my friend to the Derby Warf Lighthouse for her first time.  While it was a quick trip it was perfect for restocking some of my favorite teas and candles and wandering the cobblestone street with barely any other tourists.  Hopefully, I visit this city enough that one day I won’t be considered a tourist myself.

    When we finally got there and ran through the rain we decided to head indoors and eat first.  So, I finally got to try Life Alive, Salem’s organic uber healthy cafe.  The food and smoothies did not disappoint.  Whenever I get a smoothie with coconut oil it can sometimes taste like I’m drinking sun tan lotion, but they have the recipe perfected.  My tropical mango coconut drink lightened my mood along with the weather outside.  Since this trip was more of a chance to wander with nothing planned we visited Stickworks (it was supposed to be taken down March 31, but it’s still there!) and the Witch House which was surrounded by gorgeous blooming trees.  Then we went to our favorite stores: Haus Witch, Coven’s Cottage, and every other jewelry store in town.  A quick drive had us exploring a new area, Salem Willows,  a more residential area that provided a lot of house goals.  Before we left we visited Derby Warf and that’s when the skies opened up and the thunder rolled in.

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    Beer, Connecticut, Weekend

    Kinsmen Brewing

    Kinsmen Brewing in Milldale (part of Southington) finally opened over the weekend in a gorgeous old, brick building near where I grew up.  Obviously, I had to stop in to see the progress and to taste test.  The brewery is located along the Rails to Trails, one of my favorite walking paths, that I’ve posted about earlier.  Obviously, I am a strong proponent for beer after physical activity, so their location is perfect.  The walking path right outside their doors leads you into downtown Plantsville and Southington’s evolving restaurant row.

    While not completely finished, the inside of the brewery is breathtaking.  Huge, vaulted ceilings filled with skylights and exposed brick walls provide my preferred brewery atmosphere.  Eventually there will be tables and bars, but leaning against the make-shift tables of reclaimed wood while admiring their gigantic fireplace was a fun experience.  The owners’ passion is apparent and to be able to get in before everything is complete, trying the new brews and meeting neighbors, speaks to Connecticut’s growing beer and small business culture.  If your build it, your neighbors will support it.

    On tap they had four beers:  21.3 American IPA,  Bowl Cut DIPA, Clark Brother’s Porter, and the Roast American Coffee Stout.  In the picture below I provided the menu with descriptions of each.  My brother, Noah, and I tried them all, in order to give a fair review, of course.  I really have a hard time picking a favorite.  While I’m normally an IPA person, the hint of blueberry in the porter was refreshing and my brother and I fought over who got to finish.

    A huge thank you to Kinsmen.  Not only was the beer incredible, but they restored an building that sat empty for so long.  I’m so excited to see how the brewery continues to progress, I plan on being here a lot.

    Sneak peek in side the new AM Fitness next door to the brewery.  Beer after physical activity, I’m telling you…

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    Connecticut, museum, Weekend

    Hill-Stead Museum’s Rooms in Bloom

    This past weekend friend, Coors, and I visited the Hill-Stead Museum for their Rooms in Bloom event.  The entire property was decorated with floral arrangements from local designers while you walked through on a self-guided  tour.  In each room there were volunteers ready to discuss the Pope family, the original owners, and their amazing art collection.  This was my first time visiting and I instantly fell in love with the house and surrounding landscape.

    I discovered my new feminist icon on this trip.  Theodate Pope Riddle came to Farmington in the 1880’s to attend Miss Porter’s, which was then a two year finishing school. After her schooling was complete, Theodate traveled for a year in Europe with her parents and defied norms of the era by moving permanently to Farmington, upon her return to America, and redesigned an old farm house.  Her parents, Alfred and Ada then moved to Connecticut as well and Theodate designed her second house, Hill-Stead.

    Later on, she became fascinated with psychical research, amassing a large collection of interesting books I got to see in the Pope’s beautiful library.  Obviously, the library was my favorite room.  Theodate did not marry until her 50’s and then fostered children while continuing to travel the world.  I could go on all day about Theodate, I did buy her biography, but you should visit the Hill-Stead yourself and talk to the volunteers.

    The last thing I wanted to mention is the artwork.  The house is filled with artwork Alfred collected during their European travels.  Theodate donated the property after her death with the stipulation that no artwork would ever leave the walls.  These pieces include original works by Monet, Degas, and Whistler just to name a few.  Pictures cannot do justice, standing inches away from a Degas literally gives you goosebumps.

    While we weren’t allowed to take photographs of the inside, Coors and I braved the snow and explored the yards around the house.  If we ever get spring weather I’ll be returning to explore the site’s trails and hopefully see the sheep I heard so much about.  The grounds are absolutely breathtaking.  Of course afterwards, we HAD TO make the trip to Blue Plate Kitchen, located twenty minutes away in West Hartford.  Their s’mores pancakes and fresh squeezed juice were just what we needed after running around in the snow.

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    Connecticut, Travel, Weekend

    Spring Menu at Fresh Salt in Old Saybrook

    This weekend, the Saybrook Point Inn invited me to attend a dinner at their restaurant, Fresh Salt, showcasing their new Spring menu.  Not only did PK and I get to experience their amazing food, we were also graciously offered a room for the night.  Coming out of this long winter a weekend getaway on the Connecticut coast line in gorgeous Old Saybrook was just what we needed.  When we arrived and got settled, our room was so cozy and had such picturesque views of the marina that it was hard to tear ourselves away.

    The night was filled with delicious food and meeting my fellow Connecticut Bloggers, many of whom have previously stayed at Saybrook Point and have experienced Fresh Salt’s past menus.  They came back for a reason.  The food was absolutely incredible.  Normally a beer person, I stepped outside my comfort zone and had not one, but two of their champagne citrus punches.  The fresh lime in the cocktail was so refreshing I almost forgot that I had been standing in a field while it snowed earlier that same day.

    PK and I started with the traditional calamari and colossal shrimp for appetizers.  Fresh Salt’s service was excellent and our food and drinks were brought out so quickly we didn’t even have time to touch the bread basket.  The theme of our night seemed to be changing things up because while I’m normally the seafood addict and PK opts for beef or veal, I ended up ordering the osso buco and PK the swordfish.  The meat literally melted off of the bone and the sauce drizzled across the mashed potatoes and veggies made this picky eater clean the plate of brussel sprouts and cherry tomatoes.  I had to recruit PK to help me finish, neither of us expecting we would have room for dessert.  We were wrong.  I managed to enjoy the tiramisu cheesecake while PK enjoyed the dairy-free coconut sorbet with peach syrup.  As you can imagine we all but had to be rolled out.  Towards the end of our meal head chef Gese Rodriguez and general manager John Lombardo came out to ask about our experience and greeted us with firm handshakes even Hank Hill would be proud of.  I wish it was acceptable to give them a hug, but I shook their hands and repeatedly thanked them for the best meal I’ve had as long as I can remember.

    We slept like angels on a cloud and started the next morning out on the porch staring out at the lighthouse and marina, with actual gorgeous spring weather.  Before we headed back to Queens we wandered over to the docks and to gaze at the perfect New England coastal architecture that are the Saybrook Point guest houses.  If my future house is not a colonial with a widow’s walk, I’ve failed.

    I think I’ve written enough about how much I enjoyed my stay, but I also feel like there aren’t enough words explain what a perfect weekend we had at the Saybrook Point Inn.  Next time I’ll need to remember my swimsuit so I can take advantage of Sanno, their onsite spa.  Enjoy the pictures and scroll down for the official press release from Fresh Salt on their Spring menu and how you can contact them to to experience the quintessential New England coastal inn for yourself.

    Throughout midday, guests can start their meal with a selection of fresh spring salads including theThree Bean Salad with Butter Bean, Edamame Bean, Garbanzo Bean, Spring Lettuce, Pickled Red Onion, and Passion Fruit Vinaigrette ($13.95) or the Boston Lettuce-Trevisano Salad with Pickled Kumquat, Roasted Cherry Tomato Toasted Walnut, Goat Cheese, and Port Wine Vinaigrette ($13.95). Guests may also savor a variety of sandwiches served with house-made Kettle Chips including: Croque-Madame with Honey Ham, Mustard, Fontina, and Fried Egg on Sourdough Bread ($14.95) and Smoked Duck Panini with Manchego Cheese, Membrillo, Duck Breast, and Arugula on a Ciabatta Roll ($18.95). And for a hearty meal, guests will savor Fresh Salt specialties such as Seafood Risotto with Mussel, Scallop, Monkfish, Sweep Pea, Mushroom, Cherry Tomato, and Lemon-Parmesan Sauce ($20.95), Cajun Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Purée, Pickled Red Onion, Radish, Cotija Cheese, Roasted Red Pepper, Shaved Lettuce, Corn Tortilla, and Sriracha Mayonnaise ($22.95), and Open-faced Poached Salmon with Bacon, Kalamata Olive Tapenade, Baby Arugula, Pickled Onion, and Sour Dough Bread ($19.95).


    For dinner, guests will begin with several delicious spring dishes including Broccoli-Avocado-Pistachio Soup ($7.95/$10.95), Burrata-Prosciutto Purses with Prosciutto-wrapped Burrata, Caramelized Fig, Melon Gazpacho, and Muscatel Glace ($15.95), and Veal-stuffed Shells Pasta with Braised Veal, Ricotta Cheese, Mozzarella, and Roasted-Tomato Puree ($15.95). And for the main course, guests will choose from a divine selection of fresh seafood including Pan-roasted Cod Loin with Crispy Potato, Little Neck Clams, and Sweet Pea-Leek Velouté ($29.95), Roasted Swordfish Loin with Quinoa, Barley, Spinach, and Passion Fruit-Ginger Sauce ($32.95), Pan-seared Black Pearl Scottish Salmon with Roasted Cherry Tomato-Sweet Pea Fregola Sarda ($29.95), and Bacon-wrapped Monkfish with Sugar Pea Risotto and Red Cabbage Coulis ($29.95). 


    In addition, guests will enjoy Fresh Salt’s house-made pasta and vegan entrees including Garganelli Carbonarawith Pancetta, Sweet Pea, Spring Squash, Shiitake Mushroom, Parmesan-broth Sauce, and Poached Egg ($28.95),Cauliflower Steak with pan-roasted Cauliflower, Ratatouille Sauce, and Sautéed Escarole ($27.95), Rotelle Pastawith Pine Nuts, Fava Bean, Radicchio, Roasted Cauliflower, Pecorino Cheese, and White Wine Sauce ($27.95).


    Fresh Salt is more than just a restaurant; it is a place to enjoy another’s company and experience the breathtaking views of the Long Island Sound – quietly intertwined with the Connecticut River. The venue’s fresh ingredients and vibrant tastes are available daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And if guests are searching for an intimate evening, Fresh Salt offers light bites and handcrafted cocktails made to perfectly enhance an evening away. Reservations are recommended, and may be made by calling 860-395-2000.

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    Weekly Motivation

    The first weekend of Spring has been a quiet one.  PK and I visited family and like always missed a turn or two, no GPS can accurately navigate New Jersey.  Two margaritas and a beer later, I’m still in bed.  Next weekend, however, that’s a different story.  There is so much going on that I actually don’t know where I’ll end up!

    One. New Britain’s Museum After Dark

    Music, beer, and art?  I’ve missed so many previous Museum After Dark events that I don’t want to pass up another opportunity!  Neither should you!

    Two. Hill-Stead Museum’s Rooms in Bloom

    This event was included in my Spring Bucket List because after this long winter I’m ready for color and warmth.  I think attending this event is a definite.

    Three. Two Road’s Alpha Female IPA

    Not an actual event, but still super cool.  Two Roads had their female employees create their own IPA for the tasting room.  Hoping there will be some still left next weekend!  Proceeds benefit the Pink Boots Society.

    Four. Kent Falls Reopens

    Keeping with the beer theme, Kent Falls will be reopening the farm to the public in two weekends from now.  I’m just posting about it now because I’m that excited.  PK and I are planning on spending the day in beautiful Kent, Connecticut hopefully sans snow like my last trip here.

    Five. The Collinsville Film Festival

    My love of Collinsville is no secret.  If I even win the lottery I will buy a house here in the downtown, historic section.  Unfortunately the one event I don’t think I’ll be able to make it to is their annual film festival.  Where is Hermione’s time turner when you need it?

    What are you looking forward to this week?

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    Connecticut, Day Trip, Life, Travel

    The Spring Bucket List

    One.  Plants

    Not exactly sure I’m ready for the allergies, but I’m ready for the greenery of spring.  Next weekend I’ll be at the Rooms in Bloom event at The Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington.  For nature and flower lovers there is also The Arboretum at Connecticut College to visit and The Dogwood Festival in Fairfield.

    Two. Duck Races

    I love duck races, they were some of my favorite days as a child and now I get to relive the glory, but with a beer in my hand.  Last year I went Pawcatuck River Duck Races which takes place on the border of Connecticut and Rhode Island.  I got the opportunity to wander through Westerly and discover a new bookstore and pretzel place.

    Three.  The Robin Hood Festival

    I’m not sure what took me so long to attend The Connecticut Renaissance Faire, but better late than never.  I attended the Robin Hood Festival that takes place in the spring last year and never wanted to leave.


    Four. Hiking

    Over the winter I’ve been on a few trails, but cold can’t compare to the smell of warm spring air.  The CT Visit website actually has a list of great hike suggestions.  I do tend to hike the same trails so I use the tourism website and Instagram to discover new great places to explore.

    Five. Beer

    PK and I are looking forward to beer garden season!  It’s no secret how much I love the Connecticut beer scene, but I’m getting even more excited because two new breweries are opening up super close to me.  Kinsmen Brewing in Plantsville and New Park Brewing in West Hartford will be within walking distance of family or a very short Lyft ride away.

    Six. Brooklyn

    It’s not just hipsters.  I’ve definitely made Brooklyn jokes, but there is a lot to discover here.  I got a travel guide and everything, but I’m still overwhelmed with where to start.  Suggestions welcome!


    Seven.  New England

    I am a creature of habit.  I find something, I like it, I stick with it.  Once the warmer weather is here I will be making a conscience effort to visit more New England towns other than Connecticut and Salem.  Deerfield, MA and Portland, ME have been on my radar for awhile now, it’s probably time to check them off the to-do list.

    Eight.  Kayaking

    I absolutely cannot wait to get back out on the water.  Preferably, water I can see into and isn’t murky.  I am determined to find a good launch spot in Mystic and to explore White Memorial Conservancy.

    I’m sure there’s a lot more I’m forgetting to post, but I’m seriously ready for the warmer weather, and I’m a cold weather person.  Tomorrow it’s going to be 14 degrees, it’s definitely a day that will make me happy I get to work from home.

    What are you looking forward to doing this spring?

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    March TBR List

    It is halfway through March, but I thought I’d share this month’s to be read list.  I’ve fallen a little behind on my 2017 goal, but I’m hoping to play catch up in the next week or two.  I’m also still attempting to give technology a break at least an hour before bed to read, it’s tough.  Currently, I’m reading Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton and I’m loving it.  It’s completely different than anything I’ve read lately and I’m left thinking about it for hours after putting it down.  The story is so good that it gives me actual anxiety, in a good way.  I feel incredibly connected to the characters and want to give them all a hug.

    As for the books on deck after Midnight, when I stacked my books up I noticed that five out of the six were authored by women.  While normally I don’t pay attention to whether the author is male or female, after reading this article posted on International Women’s Day last week I was pretty proud of my little pile.

    I have a feeling most of these books will end up on the April TBR list, but it is what it is.

    One. Arcadia by Iain Pears

    Two. History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

    Three. The Muse by Jessie Burton

    Four. The Trap by Melanie Raabe

    Five. Witches of America by Alex Mar

    Six. Lady Cop Makes Trouble by Amy Stewart

    What are you reading?

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    Connecticut, Day Trip, Life, New York, Travel

    My Favorite Things (Currently)

    Recent adventures have led to a few new finds….

    One.  Succulents

    It’s somehow still alive.  Found this little fella at the Brooklyn Flea.  The man who owns the succulent table was one of the nicest vendors we met that day.  He took time to explain his process and how to properly care for succulents.  I hung on every word, but somehow managed to lose a stem/leaf here and there.  I’m not sure if it’s my black thumb or a curious little kitten.  Either way, I’m fighting the good fight and love my little succulent.

    Two. Owl Crate

    I have followed Owl Crate on Instagram for quite awhile and finally took the plunge.  I loved everything about the February box and I’m impatiently waiting for the March box to arrive.  This month’s theme will be Sailors, Ships, and Seas and I cant wait to find out what the book will be.  I finished February’s book, Caraval, and need to discuss it with someone.  If you’ve read it, let’s talk.

    Three. Frost Beard Studio

    Another Instagram account I’ve followed for quite some time is Frost Beard Studio.  They produce book themed soy candles and I want them all.  Winterfell seemed like a seasonally appropriate candle and I needed my fix since Game of Thrones is making me wait a few months longer than normal for the next season.  Tomorrow I will be placing an order for The Shire and Old Books.  They offer a Bibliophile rewards program and I’m thinking I should probably sign up for that.

    Fun fact, there was also a mini Frost Beard candle in the February Owl Crate and it smelled so good, if you closed your eyes you would think you were at a country fair smelling popcorn.

    Four. Claudia Pearson

    Another Brooklyn Flea find was the Claudia Pearson booth.  I loved every product there.  I picked up this 2016 calendar because the illustrations are so beautiful.  I’m looking into different Pinterest projects to make my own reusable calendar.  Ideas welcome!

    Five.  Fodor’s Guide to Brooklyn

    As you may have read from my Out of Hibernation post I’ve been slowly starting to explore this borough.  In Claudia Pearson’s booth at the flea they sold this book because…. she illustrated it!  It’s a great guide filled with tips from locals and describes each neighborhood in detail.

    Fun fact, Claudia Pearson is everywhere apparently.  While at Target I picked up a few prints from artists they work with, my favorite print was Claudia’s and I didn’t even realize till I got home!

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    Connecticut, Day Trip, Friends, Life, Mystic, Washington Depot, Weekend

    Out of Hibernation

    We’ve been thinking spring thoughts over here.  Don’t get me wrong, I love winter and I love snow, but like most New Englanders, I’m getting seasonal ADD.  I’m ready for the next one.  We had one glorious week of sixty degree weather at the end of February, but it was more a tease more than anything else.

    Right at the end of the nice weather PK and I went to Mohegan Sun for the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience.  He got me the tickets for Christmas because he gets me.  We decided to treat each other and split for a hotel room at the casino.  The rooms are not affordable.  Convenient and great views, yes, but not affordable.

    The concert was incredible.  Ramin Djawadi, composer/conductor, deserves any award ever where there is a category he can be eligible for.  Seeing the music performed live while your favorite scenes played on giant screens and castle turrets was probably one of the greatest moments of my life, not a joke.  Ramin played a lot of the instruments himself and uses local choruses and orchestras to perform with himself and a few select instrumentalists and singer that travel on tour with him.

    At the beginning of the concert they played the opening theme while a montage of every character from the show played.  Sansa, Arya, and Daenerys (Khaleesi and true Queen of the Seven Kingdoms), rightfully, received the loudest applause and cheering.  I hope they decide to do this every year because we will be there with bells on and beer down our shirts because people love elbowing me and ruining my brand new shirts.  Hence my buttoned up sweater catastrophe below.

    If you’re within twenty minutes of Mystic, you go to Mystic.  The morning after our concert I convinced PK to make the trip for breakfast.  It’s been so long since our last time at Kitchen Little that we needed to take advantage of the opportunity.  Of course, this was the first cold day after the sixty degree week and being cold on the water is never too fun.  I actually had hot coffee from Vault like a normal human.

    Hartford has finally been making it’s way into my schedule.  I keep saying I want to visit, but have never found the time.  Thankfully, I have friends willing to take field trips with me, especially when beer is involved.  Twice now we’ve made the pilgrimage to The Wadsworth Antheneum and Hog River Brewing.  The first time I did a quick tour of the museum followed by beers, burgers, and live music at Hog River on a Thursday.  The next time we hit Hog River first for beers before a concert by We Banjo 3 at the Wadsworth.  There are a lot of events coming up in Hartford I’m very excited for that I’ll be sharing on here soon.  The Wadsworth offers free admission during some week days so take advantage!

    Like Hartford, Brooklyn has been on my to-do list for quite some time.  During the nice weather we actually made it down for the indoor Brooklyn Flea.  I’m actually mad I’ve waited so long to go and can’t wait for the outdoor festival starting in April.  The antique vendors and food vendors are spot on, everything you could hope for at an event like this.  All the vendors were incredibly nice as well, we had enlightening conversations with more than a few of them.

    A friend and myself also stopped by the Oddities Flea Market, a one time event, this past weekend and were a tad disappointed.  There were some really cool vendors and merchandise but there were so many people we could barely make it to any tables.  One of my biggest gripes with New York is that, while there are so many fun and interesting things to do, there are too many people at them.  The indoor flea wasn’t too bad first thing in the morning when they opened, so that will be my strategy for anything else I do in Brooklyn.

    Regardless of the weather or season, I will always be outside.  I’m trying to find new trails that I feel comfortable with on my own.  I recently hiked Sessions Woods in Bristol.  I hear about a lot of bear sightings in these woods, but when I went there were so many other people on the trail I felt I could out run a few of them should a bear wake up early and hungry from their hibernation.

    The Connecticut Forest and Parks Association recently had a volunteer orientation that I attended.  Now more than ever we need to protect our natural resources.  I’m excited for the new opportunity to meet more outdoors lovers and discover new trails.

    To round out our little catch up post, Coors and I went to Washington Depot, CT.  The town Stars Hollow, home of the Gilmore Girls, is based on.  We bought way too many books and enjoyed beer and burgers by the fire at the GW Tavern.  Dressed in a million layers we also braved the 20 degree weather for a hike at Steep Rock Preserve.  Regardless of the freezing temperatures, that hike is always worth the trip.

    Many more upcoming adventures I can’t wait to share with you.  I know my last post I went on about having more time to blog, but I decided to take a month and enjoy life at a slower pace recently and I love that decision.  I feel like a new person with fresh ideas and more excitement than ever at some upcoming possibilitie

    How are you preparing to end the long hibernation of winter?

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    Weekly Motivation

    Weekly Motivation

    I guess this is more midweek motivation at this point, but I’m going to need it.  As usual, I’m in full hibernation mode for this time of year.  My daily uniform is flannel pajamas and fuzzy socks while wrapped in a blanket with a space heater pointed directly at me.  I’m so thankful I now work from home and don’t have to face the cold.  That being said I do eventually have to be in office and tomorrow is one of those days.  I am literally heartbroken at the idea of getting up early to shower and put on makeup.

    To make it through the day, and the rest of the week, here are some things that will be motivating me…

    One.  Two Roads Winter Classic

    Coming up this Saturday is the 2nd annual Two Roads Winter Classic.  This picture is from when we attended last year for the first Winter Classic and the release of their Esspressway Stout.  PK and I are doing a mini vacation this weekend and Two Roads may or may not make an appearance in our schedule.

    Two. Game of Throne Live Concert Experience

    The seventh season is months away and the sixth book is a myth, but the concert is coming.  For Christmas PK got us tickets for the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience at Mohegan Sun.  The tax gods also smiled down on us this year and we even sprang for a hotel room at the casino!

    Three.  Go, Cubs, go!

    This week PK and I will begin finalizing our Chicago trip.  Being a New Yorker, PK said he just wants to go to a Yankees game for his 30th birthday.  Well, they just so happen to be playing the World Series Champs on his birthday, and I just so happen to have family in Chicago.  Chicago won’t be the only Midwest city on my itinerary for that vacation, stay tuned!

    Four.  Daily Harvest

    Working from home is good and bad.  Good because I get to stay inside and not deal with people.  Bad because I get to stay inside and not deal with people.  When I am faced with going outside or talking with a fellow human being it’s just awful.  The worst place of all is grocery stores.  Even when I have a list, the moment I get inside the doors of Whole Foods all bests are off the table.  I immediately become disoriented in a sea of people a foot taller than me, pushing me about.  I usually leave with two bags of ingredients that don’t make a cohesive meal of any form and spend my entire paycheck.

    This year I’m embracing new ideas and I love monthly subscriptions so I’m giving Daily Harvest a shot.  I really have been trying to eat healthier and plan my meals but I’m always busy and my produce spoils so fast.  I’m hoping that the preportioned cups will make my daily schedule a little easier.  I’ll review once I give it a shot.

    Five. Silicon Valley Returns

    I’m not sure why more people don’t watch and talk about this show.  I haven’t laughed out loud by myself at a show since 30 Rock was on air.  I binged through the first three seasons twice before I made PK watch with me.  Now both of us are impatiently waiting for season 4’s premier.  The teaser just came out this weekend and I cannot wait to have Other Jared back in my life.  Watch the show to get how funny the previous sentence was.

    What motivating you this week?

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    Beer, Connecticut, Weekend

    A Two Rhodes Birthday Party

    One step forward, two steps back.  Is that how the saying goes?  That’s what it felt like for me this weekend.  Thursday night I had some free time and decided to do my taxed to get the out of the way.  For the first year, I think ever, I only had one W-2 to enter and it was glorious.  Aside from a few other forms and my license number it was a quick and painless (please don’t audit me) task this year.  Did I mention they needed my license number?

    With my license sitting on my desk I rode down to NY to be with PK Friday night so we could drive together to our friend Coor’s birthday the following day at Two Roads Brewing (Two Rhodes above for Coor’s fitting last name.)  I had already forgotten everything else important in Connecticut and stressed until we walked out the door towards my car, ready for a drink.  Wait.  Did I put my license back in my wallet?  No.  No, I didn’t.

    Frantically, I called the brewery and was sent to voicemail each time because they weren’t open yet.  PK and my other friends assured me it would be okay, my brother sent a picture of the front and back of my license and I had been there so many times I have plenty of photographic evidence to prove I’ve drank there before.  None of that mattered.  When we arrived newly “No one under 21 allowed in building” signs were plastered everywhere and the bouncer didn’t find my story cute.  So I drove 45 minutes to my apartment and then 45 minutes back.  When it’s your best friend’s birthday you do what you have to do.

    Initial frustration aside, we had a great time.  My favorite part of the Connecticut beer scene is how friendly and inviting most people are.  We quickly became friends with the older couples at the table next to us, bonding over napkins, and invited others to join our table to help us eat all the food we brought.  I need to make a mental note to always make two trays of buffalo chicken dip, I never learn my lesson.

    To end the day we made a surprise visit to Brewport in Bridgeport.  I’m sorry if I offend you, but I hate pizza.  I’ve had enough pizza between college and having a chef for a father (he didn’t want to come home and cook) to last me a lifetime.  That being said, the pizza at Brewport was sooooo good!  They brew their own beer, Blood Orange was my favorite, and have plenty of local beer on tap as well.  Not too many picture of Brewport below because we plan on going back soon.

    Life has been a little crazy lately, not even the normal kind, but this week I’ll be back to posting more regularly.

    How was your weekend?  Anyone else been to Brewport yet?

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    Book Review: The Nest

    At night I try to stay away from all electronic screens and devote at least an hour to reading before bed.  Some nights I lose track of time and accidentally read 200 pages.  Whoops!  This ritual at night is something I wish I had started doing for myself much sooner.  I’m finally catching up on my book wish list, but for every one that comes off, about five more are added.  The Nest had been on my “to-read” list for quite some time.  It’s one of those books that you buy and wonder why it took you so long to commit.  The fact that Amy Poehler gave it a rave review sealed the deal for me.  The latest reviews on Good Reads weren’t exactly glowing, but once I started the book I couldn’t put it down.

    The Plum children are all impatiently waiting for their youngest sister to turn forty, because when she does their father’s trust fund (The Nest as they refer to it) will become available to them.  While their father only intended them to inherit a small amount of money the market grew the trust exponentially.  Months before their payout, oldest child Leo gets himself into some trouble and the only way to bail him out and save the family reputation is draining The Nest.  The other three Plum children, Jack, Beatrice and Melody, are left wondering if Leo will return the favor and replace what his little fiasco has cost them all.

    Over the years the Plum children have drifted apart and led separate lives, but the one thing that has brought them together is getting Leo to agree to pay them back.  Jack and Melody, especially, have come to depend on The Nest to solve their financial difficulties.  Melody has a house in Westchester she desperately wants to keep and two twin daughters ready to go off to college.  Jack has been supplementing his sinking antique business in a way his partner would be horrified by should he find out.  Beatrice, more financially stable, just wants to finish her long awaited second novel and needs Leo’s blessings.

    Leo tells his siblings that he intends to pay them back and just needs to settle some business, but remains tight lipped on exactly what these plans are.  Fresh out of rehab, Leo finds himself asking his old flame, Stephanie, if he can live with her while he gets back on his feet and she agrees on the simple conditions of no drugs and no sex.  He manages the first part fine.  Leo is hard at work to integrate himself back into the literary world he left behind years ago.  Will he be accepted back in?  Can he repay his siblings in time?

    I loved this book from start to finish; the characters can be selfish and horrible at times but you remain invested in their stories and want to see them come out okay on the other side.  The chapters that don’t revolve around the Plum children were actually some of my favorites, seeing how their actions affected those around them and how those affected learned to move on.  As someone who comes from a family with plenty of crazy characters I was able to connect with those who had to deal with the Plum children’s antics.  On the other hand I was also able to connect with all of the Plum children and sympathize with their difficulties, even the self inflicted ones.  The conclusion of the novel did not leave everyone with the picture perfect life they had envisioned for themselves, but as the reader I thought it was perfect.


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    Design, Life

    Current Favorite Interior Design Instagram Feeds

    I’m much better at keeping up with Instagram than the blog world at times, but there are so many wonderful feeds out there I don’t want to miss anything!  After a day of work I’m not always up to reading long posts or books right away so looking at pictures is a great alternative and provides tons of inspiration.  There are days I need a little inspiration to kick start my own projects and there are a few accounts that always do the trick.

    Here currently, are my favorite interior design Instagram feeds that inspire me:

    1// Adrien Rabago

    2// Anna Burke Interiors

    3// Becki Owens

    1// CFK Interiors

    2// Kate Smith Interiors

    3// Mary Douglas Drysdale

    1// The Mountain Homesteader

    2// Rustopia

    3// Wills Casa

    Do you have any interior designers you love to follow on social media?

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    Book Review: The Magicians

    Let’s be real, if I had a dollar for every time I read that some series was the next/new Harry Potter I would have someone else writing my blog posts for me at this point.  So of course, The Magicians is marketed as Harry for the adult generation.  While full of magic and very dark nothing will ever compare to the boy who lived.  Annoying Harry comparison aside, I loved the book.  The characters felt real, filled with flaws and hardly any of the hero qualities you’re used to.  In fact, the characters are straight up assholes and if they were real and you went the Brakebills (their magical school in upstate New York) with Quentin, Alice, Janet, and Elliot, you would loathe them.  However, I think what attracts me to the characters is how you can see a little of yourself, the not great parts, in each of them.

    Quentin, the book’s main character, is a pessimistic Brooklynite who deals with life by not dealing with it at all and escaping into his favorite childhood book series, Fillory.  His friends and family worry about his odd book habit and his unwillingness to cope with the real world.  Quentin is incredibly smart and gifted at math, but cannot fathom how real life will ever be enjoyable.  He wishes he could escape through the back of a grandfather clock into a magical world just like the Chatwin children in the Fillory books.  After a comedy of errors, Quentin finds himself pushing through bushes in Brooklyn only to walk onto the campus of, Brakebills, a school for the magically adept.

    The best part of the story, and why I appreciate it so much, is that magic is not fun or easy or happy.  It is hard, methodical work that takes years of practice.  Characters include alcoholics, the self-involved, cheats, and liars, but you are wrapped up in all of their antics because magic, you learn, can only be harnessed by those who understand hurt and pain.  Don’t get me wrong, the characters have wonderful qualities as well, but their emotional sides are what allow them to do what they do.  Magic also comes at a cost, as they all learn quickly.  Why ever work again if you can empty any ATM?  With endless wealth and the ability to travel the world with ease, what real world magic is left to enjoy?

    After finishing the book my immediate response was to give it a five star rating on GoodReads.  It has its problems, but it’s the first book in awhile that I literally tore through and felt emotionally connected to the story and its characters.  The fact that it is completely different than the television series and I had no idea what would happen gave it an extra edge. I’ll be taking a magical interlude to read some other books, but I won’t be waiting too long to read the second and third installments of the trilogy.

    What are you reading?  Are you watching The Magicians?

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    Connecticut, Design

    Let’s Get Cozy

    Here in New England we’ve all but entered into complete hibernation mode.  It’s the time of year between New Years and spring when we retreat to our bedrooms and nap away the short, cold days and prep for the ever unpredictable Nor’easters.  Personally, I love this time of year.  I love cuddling up in blankets with a cup of tea and good book with a record on.  It’s safe to say that SAD (seasonal affective disorder) has never been a worry for me, but I can understand how my summer-loving friends get antsy to see the sun again.  I’ve always struggled to find a way to convey my feelings about the restorative winter season, but the Dutch have taken care of that for me.

    If you read other blogs or have been to a bookstore lately you may have seen this word come up quite frequently: hygge.  Pronounced [hoo ga], it’s more a state of mind but also loosely translates to “cozy” and “warm.”  The hygge lifestyle encourages you to create a sanctuary that allows to you feel happy and embrace simple, everyday life.  A quick Pinterest search will yield all the hygge inspiration you could ever need, so pin away!

    So how do I hygge?

    1. I love bright bedding to contrast against the dark walls and having plenty of nearby storage so I can work from bed on the coldest days.// 2. Stacks of books, especially design coffee table books, are placed all around my living and bed room.// 3. Fabric garlands are easy to make and can be changed out season to season.// 4. One of my favorite places to go for design pieces and inspiration is Antiques on the FarmingtonKimberly Kelleher always has amazing pieces there.// 5. I picked up some new red toille winter bedding and loaded my bed with pillows to get comfortable when I read.//6.  A great stress reliever and creative activity is restaging my bookshelves with every season, I love incorporating items like real leaves to bring the outdoors in and displaying nick-knacks from recent travels.// 7.  The self-care station is next to my bed, complete with seasonal scented candles, lotion, and sample size perfumes.  My favorite tiny luxury is a spritz of perfume before bed.// 8. Music also helps to create a relaxed environment.// 9. My  desk space complete with wall hanging to try and warm up the cold walls of this old house.

    When I help others design their space I’m all about clean minimalist spaces.  My personal style is just that: personal.  My dark, quiet room is my happy place where I can get work done or lay back and read for hours.

    If you still haven’t quite gotten the concept of hygge yet, you could always visit Douglas Elliman Florida and get your sunshine fix.

    How do you get cozy in the winter?

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    Books, Connecticut, Thoughts

    Book Review: Slade House

    Short and predictable, but a good story to get me back into my reading habit, Slade House by David Mitchell is my first book of 2017.  A young autistic boy with his pill-popping mother, a newly divorced police officer, a group of paranormal investigating college students.  Every nine years on October 11th an outsider finds themselves wandering down Slade Alley where a mysterious iron door appears.  Once they pass through the door and set their sights on the large Victorian mansion and its gardens they’re never seen again.

    The chapters are set at a nine year interval and follow a first person point of view.  The book ends up reading more as a collection of short stories that end similarly.  Stephen King aside, this was my first foray into horror fiction and I’m definitely not disappointed or put off from the genre.  Slade House is actually a follow-up to Mitchell’s earlier book The Bones Clocks, with similar characters and mythology.  Honestly, I enjoyed the Slade House enough to put The Bone Clocks on  my to-read list.  I probably won’t get to it anytime soon since my to-read list is that long.  Overall, I rated the book 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.  The book was just the right length and creepy, but not scary.  I think I would have enjoyed a little more horror as that’s what the book is marketed as.

    My goal this year is 50 books and I’m now one down!  Right now I’m reading The Magicians…and The Trees for the Woods… and In the Company of Women.  I mean, why not stress myself out and three books at a time?

    What are you reading?

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    Connecticut, Life, Thoughts

    2017 Resolution-y Things

    After ringing in the new year, instead of jumping on the “New Year, new me” train I took the first two weeks of 2017 “off.”  I relaxed, I read, I took little day trips.  Most importantly, I thought about what I wanted to accomplish this year.  Yes, 2016 was a drag for the most part, but a lot of amazing things happened too.  I could stay complacent with everything, but I’m ready for more.   So, instead of a resolution list I grabbed a beer and started to brainstorm my 2017 goals.  These goals aren’t a check sheet, they’re things that will constantly be developing and growing the more I work at them.  So what exactly am I talking about?

    I want to volunteer more.  When I was in college my university put a lot of emphasis on giving back to our local community.  It was a fulfilling experience that I realized shouldn’t be for credit or a resume, you should want to help.  So, I finally filled out my application and joined the Connecticut Forest and Parks Association as a volunteer.  Since moving back home, the state parks and nature trails have been my haven.  What better way to say thank you than maintaining and caring for the nature that has given me so much?

    I’m going to read more.  I’ve always been a book nerd and when exploring new towns I always make a point of visiting the local bookseller.  Tuesdays on the blog will now be book reviews, so at least we know I’m reading one book a week.  I downloaded the GoodReads app and actually use it too.  You should follow me on there and recommend me books!

    I want to experience more and spend less.  I am the knick-knack queen.  My room is overflowing with crap and I don’t need any more.  This past year I realized how much fun I have taking day trips even when I don’t have any money to spend.  Grabbing a coffee and wandering around a new town is a low-cost but rewarding experience.  PK and I also love Groupon deals for breweries and restaurants.

    This year I’m going to continue practicing self care and meditation.  One of the best things I did for myself last year was setting up my meditation corner and spending my evenings with a mug of tea for deep contemplation. Call me a woo-woo (spiritual?) but lighting incense and meditating during the full/new moons proved to be incredibly trans formative moments in my life and a great way to handle anxiety and stress.

    My biggest goal, and the one that will be a constant work in progress, is to work for myself.  Currently, I have a job that I absolutely love and can see myself staying at for a very, very long time.  However, through my travels, blogging, and meeting so many new, motivated entrepreneurs I’ve been encouraged to pursue my own dream.  That dream?  To be an interior designer.  So, get ready for more design and room tours!

    What are your goals for this year?

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    Weekly Motivation

    Weekly Motivation

    photo via


    One Coffee.

    I just can’t quit you (coffee).  Now a coffee detox is definitely off the table because Rebel Dog Coffee Co. is opening soon in Plainville!

    Two. Happy Hour

    Cinder and Salt are hosting a Store Re-Design and End of Season sale Happy Hour on the 20th at their Middletown location.  I’m so excited to finally visit this store!  Cinder and Salt are also hosting a a Grand Reopening of their pop-up shop in Canton on February 1st.  I might just have to attend this event too.

    photo via

    Three. Hall of Magic

    If you don’t follow my Instagram stories, which you should be, I’m currently reading the book The Magicians.  Season One popped up on Netflix and I binged it in two days.  I like it so much that I ran out and bought the first book in the trilogy.  In anticipation for season two, which premiers on January 25th, they opened The Hall of Magic in NYC.  Oh, and best part?  It’s free!

    photo via

    Four.  A Wrinkle in Time

    Everything about this.  Ava Duvernay directing.  No other words necessary.

    photo via

    Five. The Chocolate Expo at Maritime Aquarium

    What’s better than visiting the aquarium?  A chocolate festival that takes place in the aquarium.


    What’s motivating you this week?


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    Connecticut, Life, Weekend

    Surviving the Holidays

    Yesterday I was in the shower and experienced a minor existential crisis.  I could not for the life of me remember if I was 26 or 27.  I can’t even tell you what got me started down this dark path of indecision, but when I got out I realted my dilemma to my mother.  She assured me I was 27, allowing me to move on with my night.  This moment, however, sums up my holidays perfectly.

    Right before Christmas my granny was hospitalized, she’s all good now, but not getting to spend the day with her was an odd experience.  PK and I had a great holiday season overall, but something just felt off the whole time.  One of us was always sick and with the three day weekends and year coming to an end it was hard to focus and do more than what was expected.

    Traditionally, instead of getting each other presents my brothers, PK and I go out of lunch after the holidays and relive the crazy family moments from the past week.  This year my cousin, Mads, and brother’s girlfriend tagged along.  We got to finally try Tavern 42 in Plantsville and it was better than we could have hoped for.  I’m glad another beer bar went up in this location, Southington/Plantsville’s restaurant row is shaping up to become a great bar hopping evening in the making.  This lunch was a great way to round out the year and definitely brightened spirits.

    Every other year our New York friends rent out a bar on Long Island.  We’ve reached the age where doing something every year isn’t so appealing, but every other year is doable.  In the past we’ve had a host that checks ID’s and hand out wrist bracelets and monitors our section.  This year the riff raff on the non-party side waited in the wings and tried to enter and take advantage of our buffet and open bar.  Most we could fight back, but the woman who danced by in her glittery dress and the tiny biker with long hair dancing with a skull decorated tap he pulled from the wall were given what they wanted.  Who even knows what you could catch if they got mad and bit.  Picking my battles in 2017 more wisely and started with these two.  Freaks aside we still had a good time, there isn’t much better than beers with friends.

    I’m not particularly a “New Year, New Me” person but when Mindy Kaling reposted this Vanity Fair image I immediately became ready to kick this years ass and actually took some concrete steps to make this one of the best years ever.  It will be the best year ever, there is no other choice.  I can’t wait to talk about some of the things I have in the pipelines in a blog post later this week.

    How were your holidays?  What are you looking forward to this year?

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    Connecticut, Mystic, Weekend

    Christmas in Mystic

    Almost every month I’ve found myself in Mystic recently and I’m not complaining.  The holiday season makes this little town that much more magical.  Coors and I met up for a stroll through the village for some last minute gifts then grabbed dinner at our favorite restaurant, The Daniel Packer Inne.  I can’t believe that we are only a few days away from Christmas.  I’m not anywhere near finished with shopping and I have a whole lot of baking and travel ahead of me in the next few days.  While I love the holidays it always feels like a rush and that I never get to enjoy all the fun things going on.  Getting a chance to stroll through the village and hang out with a good friend was a nice break.

    This year we were finally able to get tickets to Mystic Seaport’s Lantern Light Tour before they sold out thanks to Coors’s mom.  We had such a great time at the Halloween Tour that I’ve been looking forward to the Christmas one since.  Our tour was late, but we lucked out getting the best guide, Fritz.  It was a night filled with horse drawn carriage rides, climbing aboard hundred year old vessels, homemade gingerbread cookies and dancing to fiddles with a “prince” and giant mice.  Once you get past the entrance to the seaport village phone/cameras are prohibited.  Let me say that even if I could share pictures or went on and on writing nothing could do justice to the amount of fun and magic experienced that night.

    Hope you’re all enjoying the holidays as much as I am!  What holiday activities have you been doing?  Any good day trip suggestions?

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    Connecticut, Wedding, Weekend

    The Weekend Rewind: Engagement Pictures

    I’ll be honest, we’ve still made zero progress with wedding planning.  Whenever we’re asked any questions PK and I will answer, “Oh, ya know, it’s gonna be in 2018.”  We keep saying 2018 as if it isn’t looming closer everyday.  All we’ve really discussed and agreed upon at this time is the wedding will be somewhere in Connecticut and it will involve beer.  That’s enough for now in my opinion.

    The one thing I was excited to plan and schedule was our engagement pictures because it would just be the two of us and a photographer.  Obviously our first thought was having the photos taken in Mystic, but that would have been too easy and I’m pretty sure our family is getting sick of us talking about how much we love it there.  I did look into several locations before realizing it might be time to revisit a childhood favorite.  My uncles live in East Haddam and I have always been in love with this little town and it’s historic Victorian-era buildings. The Goodspeed Opera House stands overlooking the majestic Connecticut River and the Essex Steam Train can be heard in the distance.  Most importantly located here, Gillette Castle.

    Since we’d be taking our pictures at a “castle” I wanted to incorporate Game of Thrones or Harry Potter somewhere in there.  I had props all picked out, but we ended up not using any of them.  Our photographer was so incredible and had us take so many pictures in different locations all over the park grounds that there was no need for props whatsoever.  Speaking of Game of Thrones, there was actually another couple there taking their engagement photos and they were dressed up as Game of Thrones characters!  A wedding party that was also there was smart enough to ask them for pictures.  I was so in awe of our surrounding and this couples dedication that I couldn’t even think to ask them.  Oh, and our photographer?  Jennifer Cardinal.  She’s amazing and was so much fun to work with.  I follow her on Instagram and she was at the top of my list when we started inquiring around.  Jennifer even quick edited and sent us a picture that night while PK and I were at dinner not even two hours later.

    We decided to celebrate afterwards at Eli Cannon’s since we had to drive through Middletown to get back to my place.  The building are straight out of the 50’s which added to the holiday ambiance, downtown was picturesque with lit-up snow flakes on every light pole and a decked out gazebo and tree in the little town square.  If Eli’s was closer we would be there all the time.  The last two times we’ve gone it’s been down pouring or freezing cold.  I’m really looking forward to the day it’s finally nice enough to enjoy a drink outside and walk through the neighborhoods.

    Hope you all had a great weekend, enjoy some sneak peaks of our weekend adventure!


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    Weekly Motivation

    Weekly Motivation

    One. A Wes Anderson Christmas

    No explanation needed.

    Two. Cardinals

    Cardinals mean a lot to both sides of my family.  This article from Design Mom explains their significance so well.

    Three. Oh, Joy For Target

    I absolutely adore the Oh, Joy blog and creator, Joy Cho’s sense of style.  Her line at Target is her blog come alive and it takes a lot of self control to not purchase all of her pieces when I’m there.  Let’s be real, it takes a lot of self control to not buy everything at Target.  I actually stumbled on her behind the scenes video on the behind the scenes creative process for her Target products and thought you might enjoy!

    Four. Natural Room Sprays

    Hello Glow has a lot of great natural DIY’s and tutorials.  This week they wrote a great article on 3 Mood-Boosting Room Sprays to Help Beat the Winter Blues.  So simple, yet so elegant if you really go all out on packaging.  Now I’m rethinking everyone’s Christmas gifts!

    Five. Makers Markets and Small Business Pop-up Shops

    It is the most wonderful time of the year, to support you local makers!  I haven’t made it to enough by far, but Connecticut has had quite a few craft fairs and makers markets so far this season.  While I may not be able to get there in person, Instagram has provided plenty of coverage and has helped me discover a few locals I need to visit ASAP.

    Cinder and Salt from Middletown (pop-up shop in Canton!)

    The Village Herbalist in Kent


    BBA Bracelets

    Woodward Paper Co. from Windsor

    Heart Stone Gallery

    North Detail from Avon

    What’s motivating you this week?

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