Friday, May 22, 2015

Ah, the weekend!

Time to catch up on much needed sleep, connect with friends. explore some new places and spend time with my favorite veteran, my Dad.

I will post soon about a daytrip to a place I have never blogged about. It's been years since I've visited this seaport in New England and I am looking forward to it!

Can anyone guess where I will visit on my daytrip?  There may be a prize involved.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Shoot and Style- an Edible Flower event

I saw a post on the Boston Bloggers Facebook page for an Edible Flower event. A shoot and style workshop from 9-12 on Saturday morning. Right away I knew I wanted to go. This was right up my alley. But then I talked myself out of it.

The location was the South End of Boston, a very trendy neighborhood. In my mind, I imagined there would be all those young, beautiful, fashion and beauty bloggers in attendance. I wouldn't fit in, I would be old enough to be their mother, I am not a successful blogger. What a pity party, right?

Well, I sucked it up and went to the event and I am so glad I did. I had such a great time.

We enjoyed rose scones and lavender lemonade mimosas and had a little meet and greet.

We learned how to set a beautiful tablescape using flowers and props. A professional photographer gave us tips on photography and styling  Each attendee was given time to photograph the tablescape.

The event was held at a gift shop called Olives and Grace. The storefront is simply gorgeous.
Well, I was right.  Those who attended the workshop were young and beautiful and there were beauty bloggers there. Despite our age difference, I was conversing with many of them. After all, we had a common interest in blogging, photography, styling and flowers.

Betty Liu, a wedding photographer and blogger at Le Jus d'Orange, told us to use a foot stool and to shoot over the table for our best shots.

Meg Dubina, blogger at Bread + Barrow, gave us tips on styling the table. She was also Betty's hand model as she held the tray of scones.

I think Meg has a future as a hand model don't you? She got quite the workout holding perfectly still for several minutes.

Sofi, owner of Olives and Grace, tried her hand at modeling too. She was wearing lavender nail polish so of course she made the perfect model for the shoot. I just love the joy on her face.

Luckily, the weather cooperated. It was the most perfect day for an outside event.

We were told it is a good idea to use cutting boards if you don't have a rustic table.

Later, we photographed ice cream made with edible flowers. How did they get that ice cream to melt so perfectly?

Oh my, strawberry hibiscus and cardamom rose ice cream. We also had white chocolate lavender ice cream.

Thank you Chloe from Scoopsies. I tasted two of the three flavors and they were phenomenal.

I read on Meg's blog that there will be more collaborations with Betty. I can't wait to see what they come up with!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Guest Blogging- Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism was recently looking for guest bloggers for their blog on the Mass Vacation website. I thought it might be fun to share my knowledge of cool things to do so I submitted my name and blog.

A rep from their PR agency emailed back and forth with me. I thought it would be fun to blog about some of the historic events in the area. He preferred a post that was not time sensitive so the Old North Church Lantern Lighting was not an option.

We decided I should write a post about Rockport. This was a great choice for me as I adore the town and I go there several times a year. Yes, I will show all the would be tourists the best of Rockport. I will take them with me to the strudel shop with the fantastic oceanside deck in the back of the building.

I will show them all the cool boutiques on Bearskin Neck and Main Street.  On the day I was in Rockport Eight Bells had recycled plastic chandeliers in their window. I visited many shops on my visit.

Anyway, here's the link to the Mass Vacation blog. My post went live on April 28th. Please click over to the blog and read some other posts too. Perhaps you will want to plan a trip here too.

As for me, I am already planning a daytrip for my next assignment, I will be guest blogging about a day in historic Concord.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Old North Church Boston- The Lantern Lighting Ceremony

Well hello. It's me the absentee blogger. I am so sorry for the lack of blog posts lately. The good news is I have been keeping busy with some really fun events and I will take you along with me through my posts. So there is lots to talk about in the next few weeks.

Tonight I am posting about an event I attended last weekend, the Old North Church Lantern Lighting Ceremony. If you have walked the Freedom Trail in Boston you inevitably passed by the Old North Church.

Prior to the ceremony, we spied reenacters who would later ride by the church. Surely you recognize Paul Revere and William Dawes. They saw the two lanterns in the belfry of the Old North Church and rode through Middlesex towns shouting the warning, "The British are coming!"

Single pew seats were quite expensive so my sister, our friend Debbi and I opted for the balcony seats. We had a nice overall view.

Also, we had a wonderful view of the 1st Michigan Colonial Fife and Drum Corps. The beating of the drum was music to my ears and went right through my body, building the excitement of what was to come.

 Minutemen from various towns processed in the church.

The church is stunning and it is overwhelming to me to think of the history associated with it. The bells were rung before the ceremony. Just beautiful!

Such a spectacular organ, and we were sitting very close to it. I really enjoyed my vantage point.

The Old North Chamber Choir sang a number of songs including America and America the Beautiful. It was so poignant.

Our new Mayor of Boston, Marty Walsh, was the keynote speaker. The poem Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was read. I had to memorize it for school perhaps you did too.
The two lanterns were lit and hung in the steeple.

When we exited the church, a crowd had formed on Salem Street and surrounding streets in the North End.

We saw the two lanterns hanging in the steeple and then Paul Revere rode by on his horse. I guess he saw the lanterns too.

The North End of Boston has no less than 6o restaurants lining it's streets. We walked around the area on our way back to the subway at North Station. We found a nice little café and had a caffeination break. This is my sister's hot chocolate.

I could not pass up the chocolate mousse cake. The North End cafes are known for wonderful coffees and desserts. Parking is difficult as many of the streets are narrow and one way. It is so much nicer if you take the subway in as we did.
We decided to take a particular route back to the subway so we could see the Zakim bridge illuminated. I wanted to snap a photo. It is illuminated with many colors of light so it changes from blue to red to purple to yellow.
And the skyline was as fantastic as always as we approached our North Station subway stop.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

It's all about the music

Last week I celebrated St. Patrick's Day a couple of times. On Saturday, I went to an event at the Chelmsford Center for the Arts. We were entertained by the world famous Carmel Quinn.  Carmel is beautiful, talented and humorous. I loved her stories of Ireland, her family and her career. Her voice is exquisite.

We enjoyed tea and sweets and charming company. Carmel agreed to pose with us and we were thrilled.

The following Friday night my sister's friend Diane gave a house concert.  Diane is the leader of The Colonial Singers of the Lexington Historical Society and my sister is a member. The Colonial Singers recently recorded a CD with funds from a Kickstarter campaign.

Diane also sang songs from Ireland and some from Scotland too. She told some stories that had me crying from laughing so hard.

At intermission, we enjoyed Irish soda bread and Kerry Gold butter and cookies. Tea and scones with lemon curd and my sister's mock Devonshire cream rounded out the menu.

Back for a second set and Diane played the guitar and the dulcimer. Outside it was snowy and cold but inside we had a roaring fire and a room filled with music.

Diane's home is lovely and the addition of little Stellina made it just perfect. Stellina was so comfortable with the crowd she even stretched out right in front of the fireplace. I did get to pet her a little bit as she greeted everyone in the room.

It was a wonderful week. Did you celebrate St. Patrick's Day?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Crepe party in Georgetown

Usually I like to stay home on Saturday nights. I like to relax and catch up on my reading, my television watching and then of course, there's the kitties. Yes, I am getting very boring in my old age.

Last Saturday, my sister hired her friend Jolie to prepare dinner for a group of friends. Dinner at Jolie's? I told my sister I was crashing the event! And I was glad I did because Jolie creates magic!

The dinner party was a Christmas present from my sister to her friends. My sister picked the menu and Jolie opened her home to guests and also prepared the meal.  As you can see from the photos, Jolie's home is warm and cozy and artistically decorated.

The dining room took my breath away. The room was surrounded by soft candlelight and the wall color added warmth to the scene. The décor, a clever mix of antiques and treasures from travels around the world. A cozy spot just begging me to enter and enjoy the pleasures of a fine meal with my favorite people. Jolie created all of this herself. She is such a friend to my sister and now to me too!

An amazing salad of chickpeas, greens, couscous, and other yummy ingredients was the first course. The dressing was delicious too. Of course it was homemade. All I know is it had yogurt in it and tumeric and it was perfect on the salad.

Croissants worthy of any French patisserie were served. Again, they were Jolie's creation.

Paul and Deb were giddy with excitement for the next course. Which was ...

Shrimp and scallop crepes with a white sauce. Maybe that sauce had the yogurt in it. I am not sure. The crepes and sauce were so delicious.  I wanted more than one but I knew dessert was coming so I refrained from having the second crepe. 
I have had Jolie's cream puffs before and they are to die for! She says they are so easy to make.  Yeah, right. Not for me.

We enjoyed wine and tea and French Roast coffee. The wine glasses were from Sweden, a favorite travel spot for Jolie. She loves flea marketing there and visiting her many Swedish friends.

Here is the piece de resistance! Chocolate mousse in a gorgeous dish. I ate the chocolate mousse but the cream puffs went home with me. Yes, Jolie provides doggie bags.
I just had to show you the magnificent built-in to the right in the photo. I would love to have a built-in at my condo. Jolie's house is very old with so much charm in every room.
One last photo of the evening. I wanted to show the beautiful beams on the ceiling.
So there you have it. One spectacular Winter's night in New England. I'll never forget it!


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