to simple pleasures

to think sometimes the little things in life are some of lives simplest pleasures ~ just found this fabulous sea urchin sponge holder at Casual Interiors made by a maine potter. She offers a whole line a fabulous sea urchin pottery. Plates, cups, mugs bowls, and more.  The shop offers many home decor & accents pieces.  If you looking for a shop that sources as local as possible to fill your home with unique items…this is the stop! seaurchin

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to valentine’s

One day of the year is a silly to say I love you…my cuzzin is correct you should say “I love you” year road not just one day, which is what we aim to do. I will admit it was lovely to have these beautiful orchids and heart shaped roses appear this fine day! Thanks to the lovely local florist in Jackson nh. The Dutch bloomenwinkel does a lovely job with all their flowers,






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to a lovely dinner

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a pop by the Littleton Coop for the ingredients of dinner.  we always seem to make a nice pit stop and ponder over all the fabulous Cheese!

we managed to find some lovely chicken from Misty Knoll Farm, and we had stopped at the butcher last week and picked up some fabulous flank steak we popped in the freezer for a couple of days.  The Butcher….Bisson’s Meat Market in Topsham, Maine.

And for dessert……….German Chocolate Cake and lemon bars from Vintage Baking Company

belly’s are full after such a spectacular meal paired with lovely wines,

our favorite the Qupe syrah!

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June 28, 2013 · 2:13 pm

to changes


seems like the last year has gone by too fast!  we have been so busy with life that we have let our little blog pass by.  we have been eating drinking traveling & being merry!  hope to share more soon!  You can see some images of our travel’s on Tara’s photo site

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to local lamb

From ~ Second Helpings of Roast Chicken

By Simon Hopkinson (another fabulous book Roast Chicken and Other Stories)

Publisher: Hyperion Books


Spiced Lamb Meatballs with Peas

Serves 4

4 small onions, peeled and finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

4 tbsp vegetable oil

1 2/3 lb ground lamb shoulder

2 tsp coriander seeds

and 1 tbsp cumin sees, dry roasted in a frying pan

until fragrant, then ground with a pestle and mortar or coffee grinder

2 tsp ground turmeric

1 tbsp garam masala

½ tsp chili powder

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp chopped fresh mint

1 egg, beaten


4 tbsp butter

½ stick cinnamon

4 cloves

4 ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped

12 oz frozen peas

2/3 cup of plain yogurt

juice of 1 lemon or lime

a dozen or so mint leaves, coarsely chopped

serve with

plain boiled rice or boiled potatoes

Fry the onions and garlic in the oil until golden brown.  Cool on a plate.  Mix into the ground lamb together with the spices, salt, mint, and egg.   Form into balls the size of a walnut, roll in flour, and fry in the butter in a roomy, shallow pan until golden brown all over.  Put in the cinnamon and cloves and fry for a minute or so together with the meatballs.  Now tip in the tomatoes and peas, allow them to collapse somewhat and excude their juices, and stir in the yogurt.  Cook the meatballs for a further 20 minutes.  Finally, add the lemon or lime juice, mint, and a little more salt if necessary.  Serve right away with some plain boiled rice, boiled potatoes, or if you prefer, nothing at all.

If you are interested I would recommend supporting your local bookshop with a purchase! I’m a fan of Rabelais just moved from Portland to Biddeford, Maine…all food & wine books!

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now what I did…

I used some fabulous ground lamb from a local farm Peaselee’s.  Ok so I am not the best at following recipes.  I use them as a guide.  This way I never have the same meal….and I can never remember exactly how much of what I put into the pan!

How I changed this a little bit.  Well I usually use olive oil, so on autopilot that is what I grabbed, but realized, so the oil was a split ½ olive oil and ½ vegetable oil.

The spice mixture… I may have been a bit heavy handed on the Chili, I also added a little crushed dried peppers…and I thought that fresh ground nutmeg would be a nice addition to the mix.

I forgot that my onions and garlic were cooling, so they missed the meatball boat…I just stirred them in later with the tomatoes.  I had some tomatoes that I had canned with a friend over the summer (always more fun to can with a pal), and some fresh snow peas.  Added the cinnamon, lacking cloves I decided to add more nutmeg.  I used about a whole nutmeg between the spice mixture and adding to the pan.  I had some yogurt to use up, but next time I think I might try coconut milk.  Enjoy!

Info to Peaslee’s Farm.  They are known more for their potatoes, however they have great beef, lamb, and pork!

(802) 328-4415  Business (voice)

(802) 328-3534  Business (fax)

PO Box 12 Guildhall, VT 05905

Contact(s):Barbara Peaslee-Smith


Days/Hours:Farm stand open June-Oct. Call for tour info.

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to ‘dumptiques’

I listened in on a lovely chat called #designtv this week.  #Designtv  is a lifestyle chat held Thursday at 5pm EST on Twitter, co-founded and co-hosted by

Jonathan Legate, and Amy Beth Cupp Dragoo of ABCDDesigns.

All fabulous inspirational people who get together and chat it up!

Chatting about what can be repurposed and mixed into your home made me think about a recent trip to the dump.

First I had to convince the dog, that he should ride in the back seat, and not the truck.

Then I saw a fabulous turquoise blue stool, and thought no I shouldn’t, yes I should, and no I shouldn’t. I left it behind, and went back the next day the landfill was open…and it was gone.  I was sad that I left it behind, but so glad that someone took it home.  I really didn’t need the stool, I just hate to see perfectly useful items thrown out!  In the #designtv chat, Pandora de Balthazar tweeted in reference to recycling, reusing, and re-purposing, “@PandoraLuxLinen: the more who do, the fewer who go without! “

Such a lovely comment provoking thought about our everyday actions.

I then started thinking about some of the dumps that I have been too.  One of the most interesting, ‘Dumptique’ of West Tisbury Massachusetts.  This is a first come first serve actual shop, where everything is free.  If I remember correctly there is a donation box.  The idea is basic, there is something that you no longer want in your life, but is in good shape…no need to throw it out, purge it from your life, pass along to a local dump that allows exchanges, or find a local church or thrift shop, or woman’s shelter.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

can i decoupage the waste bin? or a stacked table out of the rusting old rims...or should they be a color from Benjamin Moore's new Colorstories pallette?

Sad to say all I have to share are the ‘trash’ photos, as I tried not to bring anything home.  I hope it will encourage you to look at things differently while you are out and about shopping for the perfect find!

When you find that special find, be creative with your usage you can always alter the item to suit your needs!

My challenge to you, next time you put something in your trash can, wonder if it really should be going into the trash bin, the recycling bin, or the repurposing bin

….or might someone else be able to make good use?

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to green skies

The chances of seeing the Northern Lights in Northern New England are slim.  This week there is a chance that is as long as the clouds go away.

The Northern Lights aka Aurora Borealis are the result of physics and chemistry.

Particles in between the earth and the sun form a sheet, which is illuminated dependent upon the gases that are present in the earth’s upper atmosphere.

Oxygen is said to result in green or brownish – red aurora where as Nitrogen results in blue or red sky.

Years ago I was blessed with a view of the northern lights.  This was truly one of the most spectacular sights of my life.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the clouds disappear and I can sneak a peak tonight!  Then maybe I can share some images.

Until my next sighting here is the best detailed description I could find on the phenomenon that includes some images that are so amazing they are surreal.

The site speaks more about Aurora Australis otherwise known as

the southern lights.

 t0 learn–-auroras-explained/

 to view

While searching for information on the Northern Lights, I can across this amazing Naturalist/ Tour Guide/ Photographer Samuel Blanc.

To view his incredible work & read his fabulous blog

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to a vote

@Tara Hartnett

that’s right it’s the New Hampshire 2012 primary, and Rich’s first opportunity to vote as a United States Citizen!  After becoming a citizen over the summer, the first item on the agenda was register to vote.  An opportunity to vote is something that is remarkable.  No matter what your beliefs, you have a chance to voice your opinion.

I would like to vote for the candidate that is going to clean up all of their signs on the side of the road first, respect my wish to be on the do not call list, and clearly respect others including their competition for the race.

I decided not to vote for Mitt Romney since he was the first republican candidate to start the degrading of other candidates.  Certainly my biggest pet peeve through the political races is amount of energy that each campaign spends on degrading the others.  The amount of money that goes into each of these campaigns seems like money that could be spent in a much better way.  I have never been able to understand why when it comes down to voting day I am always unclear on who to vote for, but have a better idea who had an affair, who skipped school in junior high, and what famous person supports each candidate.  I would much rather walk into voting day with a clear vision of what each candidate thinks it takes to represent the United States of America, how they think they can accomplish this, who their crew is going to be, and what they have done in the past that will make me believe they can accomplish this.

 All that being said, I am still proud to be able to vote if I choose to.

And yes I am tempted.

Vermin Supreme 2012 Presidential Candidate

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to relaxing

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a week at Manior Hovey in North Hatley, Canada cured our need to relax.  A southern businessman originally built the Inn at the turn of the century.  He modeled the project after George Washington’s Mount Vernon home.  The Inn overlooks Lake Massawippi and the township of North Hatley.  Our days tended to start with breakfast, turn to a nap, maybe a bath, lunch, a nap, a stroll by the lake, a game of backgammon by the fire, dinner, and back to bed! We managed to leave the property twice in the week, once to grab a couple of snacks at the proper local grocer, Lebaron J B Ltd Grocery and the next time we decided we should take a venture.  The marvelous cheese cart at Manior Hovey inspired the venture.  We decided to select from those that were the most local to the area.  Typically I stray away from the blue ones, but after the description from our server I was sold.  The Bleu Benedict was spectacular, and warranted a trip to the Abbey of Saint-Benoit-du-lac where the monks of the Abbey make the cheese.   We managed to make the Abbey just in time to hear the Gregorian chant, so moving that I had tears in my eyes.

One of our rituals while traveling is to find a piece of artwork from a local artist, to build a collection of art that reminds us of our special voyage.  In the dining room of Manior Hovey there is a piece of work hanging over the fire.  We were both taken by the piece, and once we found out the artist was a local artist that also works on the property, we knew a piece of hers would be a very special addition to our collection.  The Artist, Lydia Malinowski, her work is displayed through out the Inn.

Returning to Manior Hovey to more spectacular food!  The staff was exceptional, the property is just amazing, and the location, just over the Canadian border approximately 4 hours from Boston, and 2 hours from Montreal.   Between the two of us we managed to sample just about everything on the menu for the week, and were presented with a special Quebec lamb dish for our final evening!  While most of the week we kept to ourselves and truly enjoyed ‘our’ time, towards the end of the week we did meet a lovely couple and exchanged some nice conversations in front of the fire in the library.

A beautiful trip we will cherish for years to come!

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to nourishing your body

About six months ago I was introduced to a marvelous woman, Pandora de Balthazar, who prides on her creation of a sleep system to help care for your body.  Pandora & her lovely team encourage visitors to try the system of pillows made of Hungarian down in various densities.  The system was created to rejuvenate & support your body whether reading in bed, relaxing, or sleeping.

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After my first encounter with the sleep system I became a believer.  At the time I could not afford to purchase the sleep system, but knew I wanted to save to purchase something that my body would benefit from on a daily basis.  If you think about the amount of time you spend on your pillows, investing in the right system is certainly logical.  In addition to the sleep system, Pandora has one of the largest collections of antique linens in the world.  She encourages you to put the linens on your bed, and use them daily rather than store them in a closet, the air is good for them.  Pandora spends her time traveling to share these beautiful linens, and bed system with others.

In September I attended #Brimfield Tweet-up at Brimfield’s Antique Show.   #Brimfield Tweet-Up was put together by Gretchen Aubuchon of Gretchen Aubuchon Designs and Cynthia Bogart of The Daily Basics, and sponsored by Aubuchon Hardware, Benjamin Moore Paints, GE Monogram, Company C, Pandora de Balthazar, and media sponsors Traditional Home and Better Homes and Gardens.  The group consists of amazing designers, collectors, all around beautiful people that enjoy surrounding themselves with unique special finds that enrich lives and pride themselves on sharing with others!

who says that you can't be comfortable while you work hard?

I was fortunate enough to be able to procure a nurturing sleep system for our bed while at Brimfield & I look forward to continue to build my linen collection over the years! After six weeks of sleeping in our luxurious new bed, Rich & I have both been more aware of how poorly we were sleeping before, and how thankful we are to be able to rest & relax so peacefully now!  Thank you Pandora, we are forever grateful!

If you would like to try Pandora’s sleep system, or browse her marvelous linen collection you can find her at the following shows:

High Point Market October 22nd – 27th.  High Point, North Carolina.

Kemah Antique Show– Antiques by the Bay Kemah, Texas November 3rd – 6th

Shreveport – Bossier City Opera Guild Bossier City, LA November 17th – 19th

Austin Jr. League Show – Christmas Affair Austin, Texas November 17th – 20th

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Filed under bedding, inspiration, linens, repurpose, sleep system, treasure, Uncategorized