My Wish List

My Wish List

Truth be told, I’m difficult to shop for. When I need something, I buy it for myself and I tend to have an eye for {not sure how to write this without sounding bad} expensive things. As the Turkish man in the markets told me, while trying to select a suzani in my price range, “you have very expensive taste lady.” It’s true. And I feel gauche asking for expensive things. I think that’s why I much prefer gifting. But, to help a few who have asked, here are a few items I’ve had my eyes on.

We are down to 32 days till the big day! How is your holiday shopping coming along?

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Holiday Gift Guide – For the Stocking

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And as promised, my final holiday gift guide for the week: items for the stockings hung by the fire with care.

Have a wonderful weekend, sweet readers!

Holiday Gift Guide – For the Little Ones

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Happy Friday, y’all! I ran into a bit of a technical difficulty yesterday so today you are getting two gift guides. The first includes gift ideas for the little ones. Enjoy!

  • The Cartographer. My nephew Tucker is all about U.S. history, presidents and state trivia. We have had many a conversation around which states I have traveled to. This map from Land of Nod will keep him entertained for hours and help him track my travels. My favorite part is all the removable landmarks and state capital names.
  •  The Conductor. My nephew Casey is still in-love with all things Thomas. Fortunately, PBS has a wonderful assortment of Thomas gifts. I’m leaning towards the personalized nightlight and backpack, as Casey starts Kindergarten next fall.
  • The Builder{s}. My nephews Oliver and Simon live in Maine so I don’t get to visit with them as much as I would like. But when I do, I think we will have hours of fun with this block set!
  • The Star.  Anyone who has seen me lately knows I’m a little obsessed with my little niece Emma. I can’t get enough of her. This year, I am giving her this star chair, which matches the shape of the chairs I gave her brother on their second Christmas’.
  • The Scholar{s}. My goddaughter Henrietta loves a good book. A few of my favorites this year that I’ll be gifting include: The Day the Crayons Came Home, Dragons Love Tacos, Rosie Revere, Engineer, and Babar and Father Christmas.
  • The Sweet One. Our next door neighbor’s daughter loves blowing bubbles. We may just leave this set on the back porch for her!

 

Holiday Gift Guide – For the Gents

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Happy Wednesday and welcome to Day 2 of my holiday gift guides. As promised, today’s list is focused on all things for the men we love.

  • The Mixologist. My brother Travis knows how to make a mean cocktail. To help with his efforts, I thought this 10-in-1 bar tool would come in mighty handy.
  • The Foodie. My brother Todd, on the other hand, knows how to make some killer BBQ. His pulled pork turned this vegetarian right around. This grilling bundle will be under the tree for him.
  • The Student. My brother Connor is completing his studies and so I thought the best gift for him would be a gift card to his favorite restaurant so he could have a date night with his lady. While I shy away from gift cards, sometimes they come in handy to those with limited funds. I did give him this set a few years back. I attribute it to helping him find his lady!
  • The Techie. While I don’t really have a brother who fits this category, I’m sure many of you do and I think this leather cord organizer might just be the perfect gift for the techie in your life. Come to think about it, this would be the perfect gift for my stepfather who is brilliant but sometimes a bit scattered.
  • The Minimalist. I have never known my father to carry a wallet. He typically has his card and money in a neat fold held together by an elastic. After all these years, I finally found the gift to help him upgrade.
  • The Metro. A piece of art and bottle opener? This gift might just make it onto my list.
  • The Workaholic. Working in the legal field for 10+ years, I’ve encountered many a workaholic. Should you have one of these in your life, I think this essential kit is a great gift to help them stay organized and perhaps be able to wrap up their day a bit sooner to get home to you.

I hope this list has provided some help for gift ideas for those crazy men in your life. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing gift ideas for the little people. What fun I’ve had pulling together ideas. Can’t wait to share!

Holiday Gift Guide – For the Ladies

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Happy Tuesday, sweet readers! I’m excited to share the first of my holiday gift guides. First up, gift ideas for the ladies in your life. I hope this list inspires you. And remember, only 38 days till Christmas Day!

  • The Creative. My little sister Michelle, who I introduced to you all here, is certainly the creative in our family. For Christmas, I was thinking of either doing this amazing Mindful Art subscription or this incredible weaving kit.
  • The Gardner. My older sister Megan has the most incredible green thumb. I think this beautiful hanging vase would be a welcome addition to her plant collection.
  • The Mom/Homebody. My sister Marie is a busy lady with 3 little ones and a high school senior and thus I typically find her something for the house. This year, we started an annual apple picking trip with her family so when I saw these picking baskets, I knew I had found her gift. I may just need to get one for me too! This mistletoe gift box would be a lovely gift for a homebody you know too.
  • The Wanderer. Technically that’s me in my family but I have several friends who fall into this category. I’m in-love with this beach blanket that I found this past weekend at the Remodelista market. Perfect to pack for a warm winter escape.
  • The Explorer. Several of my friends will be hitting the trails this winter and this turban headband is sure to keep them warm.
  • The Entertainer. I love sourcing gifts for the entertainer. These bright tea towels would be a welcome addition to any home and I’m obsessed with this cocktail gift box, curated by Simone LeBlanc, gift giver to the stars {she really is}.
 So there you have it. My gifts for the ladies in your life. Tomorrow, please visit again as I share gift ideas for the men in your life. Can’t wait!

 

Thoughts

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Friends, I had hoped to kick off the week with my holiday gift guides but in all honesty, it just didn’t seem right with the events of Friday night in my beloved city of Paris. In the past, I have turned to writing to work out emotions I have over events I can’t quite seem to comprehend. In this instance, though, the words are hard to find. I don’t understand why we continue to hurt each other and ourselves. I don’t understand the hatred we have for those who don’t think like us. I don’t understand how one who witnessed the horrific events of Friday night moves on. I guess, though, that is all we can do. Move on. Do better. Love harder and deeper and listen more. My religion teaches me to be compassionate to those who are different. To extend a hand of friendship. To open my heart and home to those in need. I will continue to do so and I hope you will to. Hatred and violence is not the answer.

Image Credit: Pinterest 

Join

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A few weeks back, I volunteered at the Kendall Square EatUp. In addition to my time, I purchased a raffle box to give to this worthy organization. To my surprise, I won a yearly membership to Dinner Lab. I like to pride myself on being in-the-know about the Boston food scene but somehow, this one escaped me. Dinner Lab is a fascinating concept, which started in New Orleans. The founding team wanted to introduce their hometown to diverse cuisine and bring people together around the dinner table. Membership entitles you to an invite-only dinner, in a unique space (not a restaurant) by chefs who come from some of the world’s best restaurants. Pretty cool, right?

I received my first invite this week for a dinner on December 4th, which sadly I can’t make as we will be en route to NYC for the weekend. Take a look at the chef details below. Looks like I will be missing quite a night.

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I am hopeful the next invite isn’t too far off. I should note that Dinner Lab is available in cities across the country. Traveling for work or planning a weekend getaway, sign up for your destination to find out if a Dinner Lab is available. A worthy culinary experience to join. Happy eating!

Habit

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Friends, I have yet another confession to make. I’m obsessed with Pinterest. I might go as far as to say that pinning is my cardio! Waiting in line for my latte, stuck in the car at a red light, and even before falling asleep {note: break this habit} I’m scrolling through pictures of places to go, things to bake, books to read. I’ve done quite of bit of work as of late organizing categories and getting my page in tip-top-shape. Take a look and let me know what you think. And if you have any suggestions for edits and/or people to follow, please share!

Tuesday Travel

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Tuesday travels. One of my favorite blog posts to write. This week, I am excited to share the itinerary from our recent weekend escape to Vermont. My girl had a big birthday last week and to celebrate I stole her away for a northern getaway. Did you know that Vermonters claim to have six seasons? Fall, twig, winter, mud, spring, and summer. Who knew?! Although the foliage was past it peaks, my girl and I managed to have a terrific little getaway in the Green Mountain State!

Stay

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I am a huge fan of Lark Hotels, a group of hotels in iconic New England locations {and soon expanding to Napa and Nashville} that focus on a sense of place and a bit of fun. Each location is designed by principal and head designer Rachel Reider, who was recently honored as one of the “5 under 40 designers” to watch. When I saw pictures of the newly opened Field Guide in Stowe, I knew this was the place to stay. Just look at our room above… updated cabin chic. We stayed in a King Suite in the Trail House, set apart from the main hotel. Our room had a fire place, deck, soaking tub and one of the most comfortable beds we’ve ever slept in. And the best part, breakfast was delivered to our door each morning. I can guarantee this will be a place we stay for years to come.

Do

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Have I mentioned my girl is a huge craft beer fan? If you are in the know about craft beer, then you know Vermont is the place to go. And while there are several notable breweries in the area, my girl’s favorite is Hill Farmstead Brewery. Saturday morning, after enjoying our delicious breakfast delivery, we drove northeast for about 45 minutes to Greensboro. With luck on our side, we arrived a little before 11 am and joined about 20 fellow beer enthusiasts to wait for the 12 noon opening. And you know what? They decided to open early. We were fifth in-line to have our growlers filled {I won’t share how many we bought} and then enjoyed a tasting. I sipped on Works of Love, part of their philosophical series, which is a hoppy blonde ale brewed with Earl Grey tea and quite delicious. Heading to Vermont, I highly recommend a visit to this beautiful and popular spot.

We always joke that my girl loves breweries and I love bakeries so of course we had to check out a local Vermont bakery. My pick Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury. Their sign claims they have “world-famous donuts” and I am here to confirm they most certainly do. I typically prefer mine with cinnamon sugar but they do a plain cake donut that is perfection.

Vermont is known for idyllic country roads and covered bridges. Before leaving Stowe on Sunday, we visited Emily’s Bridge, highlighted in this picture. For a full list of covered bridges in the state, check out this link.

Eat

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Since I knew we were going to be doing our fair share of drinking over the weekend, I wanted to make sure we started the trip with a good meal in us. After a bit of research, I decided to make our Friday dinner reservation at Hen of the Wood. This restaurant has one goal: to provide a true Vermont dining experience that showcases the vibrant foods of the state. What a dining experience we had. Perfection! If you are planning a trip to Vermont, I encourage you to get online and book now.

A few other spots not to miss:

Doc Ponds – sister restaurant to Hen of the Woods. They have a fantastic beer menu and delicious bites. A far more casual spot with the same attention to food and service.

The Bench – a stone’s throw from the Field Guide, this lively restaurant has a terrific menu of comfort food. Saturday night, we shared the pizza and a yummy spinach salad but the real star of our meal was the s’mores featuring a homemade marshmallow in a cast iron skillet with graham crackers and chocolate. Sinfully good.

Harvest Market – a two-minute drive from Field Guide, this was our morning coffee spot.

Prohibition Pig – located in neighboring Waterbury, Prohibition Pig is the place to go for lunch and/or dinner. Be prepared to wait. Fortunately we were able to grab two seats at the bar for a late lunch on Saturday post brewery. Burgers, mac and cheese, duck fat fries. Food to help cure a beer buzz!

And last but not least, should you find yourself in Woodstock, I highly recommend Worthy Kitchen. We stopped here for a late lunch on Sunday to break up the trip home. I told our waiter we may just drive north for their food. It really is that good!

While we didn’t have much time for shopping, might I suggest a quick stop in to the Stowe Mercantile to pick up some maple syrup, penny candy and snap a photo in the vintage Stowe mountain gondola.

All in all, a perfect weekend getaway. I think my girl would agree!

Time

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2016 is 53 days away! Are you ready? For me, the easiest way to come to terms with the passing of another year is to buy myself a beautiful new calendar. Last year, it was this Linda and Harriett beauty. Lucky for you, I’ve done a bit of research and today wanted to share my picks for 2016 calendars. Take a look:

With only 53 days till the New Year, I guess that means we have 45 days till Christmas. Thankfully, my shopping has commenced and I’ll be sharing my gift guides with all of you next week. Do let me know if you have a specific person you need ideas for. I love, love, LOVE finding the perfect gift!