Lavender Sachets

If you need a special gift...birthday, thank you, hostess...there are a few sets of lavender sachets left in the shop. Each is made from vintage and new linens and lace snippets. Fabulous tucked into your luggage for traveling...or as a sweet bon voyage gift for a friend! Click here to see!



Who's Watching This?


Who's watching this tomorrow night? It's happening at our house...with scones with jam and cream and tea. Yum! Can't wait!

Currently Reading


When I was trying to decide which books I should read this year, I determined to read and educate myself in at least one field of which I knew absolutely nothing. Last year I met a man who introduced himself as an economist. My instant thought was...oh gosh! An economist. I know absolutely nothing about this field. What DO I ask him about his job?

That's not good. But, truth be told, I did manage to graduate from college without a single course in economics. I am educated...just not in economics. So, this seemed the book to read. I decided to whiz through it over the course of two weeks, because I thought it would be dull. But the reverse is true, and I'm finding it quite enlightening. 

What are you reading this summer?

Fun with Family After the Wedding

Four days after the wedding, our friends departed from our own personal B&B, and my family moved in. Here's a glimpse at the fun we had with them...

We toured the John F. Kennedy Library & Museum in Boston, which is a fascinating survey of his life and presidency. I loved seeing some of Jacqueline Kennedy's clothing on display!



The following day, while I spent some time with my Mom and Dad, everyone else went to the lake for a day of fun! Felicity and Walter were able to go too. And photo credits to Walter for capturing these great moments.





Then everyone convened back at our house for a cookout in the fire pit that evening. At least that was the plan. But then, about 10 minutes before the spit-roasted pork tenderloin was completely cooked, the rain began.


Monday brought us another day at the lake...paddleboarding, kayaking, and picnicking.



Living in history-rich New England means that there is no shortage of fabulous historical sites to explore when guests come to visit. I always love visiting Plimoth Plantation...New England where it all began! And being descendants of the Allertons makes it just that much more special.





And we stopped at Ziggy's for ice cream on this very hot and humid day. Ice cream makes everything better!


The next two days were spent exploring Boston. SO many fond memories, it's hard to choose just the highlights...bits of the Freedom Trail, lots of chocolate, the Boston Public Library's grandeur, an abundance of art, and just enough craziness to make it super memorable.




Things are getting weird here, and a couple of people are about to burst into song! Nuts!





I hope you are all having a splendid summer too...making happy memories with your family!

Chicken Shawarma Salad


Knowing that, after the wedding, we would be having a lot of family and friends staying with us and touring about, I tried to come up with some healthy lunch alternatives to packing sandwiches on the go. I thought about those salads in jars. Never had one. And how DOES one really eat it? Apparently, you do still have to dump them out onto a plate, which was fine. But it seemed like a simpler solution could be found. And what sort of salad(s) did I want to make?

First, I quickly ditched the jar idea. Then my mind hopped to packing them in Chinese take-out boxes, but my local source didn't have any of a reasonable size for an entree-size salad. Then I found these great, leak-proof, cardboard boxes (available from Amazon here...not getting paid for this, just want you to be able to find them, if you want them). They were PERFECT! Just the right size. And I used Jell-O shot cups with lids (sourced locally) to contain the dressing. Now that all the necessary storage pieces were decided upon, it was time to brainstorm salad recipes and try some out.

Hands-down my FAVORITE is Chicken Shawarma Salad. The inspiration for it, and the chicken portion of the recipe came from here. But I didn't want a wrap, I wanted a salad, so I deconstructed it and altered things quite a bit. Simple. Fresh. Delicious. Enjoy!


CHICKEN SHAWARMA SALAD

1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Marinade:
1/4 c. olive oil
2 1/2 T. fresh lemon juice
2 T. plain yogurt
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 t. cumin
1 1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1 t. salt
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. turmeric

Couscous:
1 c. pearl couscous
1 1/2 c. water
2 T. olive oil
1 T. white wine vinegar
salt and pepper

salad greens (field greens, OR red and green leaf)
chopped cucumber
jar of roasted red bell pepper strips
shredded carrot (I just peel mine in big ribbons with a vegetable peeler)
heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
red onion, thinly sliced
feta cheese crumbles
roasted red pepper hummus
lemon wedges
a creamy, bottled, Greek salad dressing (I used the Food Network Kitchen's Feta Herb Dressing)

Rinse chicken breasts and place in a Ziploc bag. Mix all marinade ingredients. Pour over chicken breasts, seal bag, and let marinate several hours or overnight. 
Grill chicken. Cool slightly. Cube chicken. (Can be frozen ahead and thawed for salad assembly, if you so desire.)

For couscous:
Bring water to a boil. Add couscous, reduce heat to simmer. Cover with lid and simmer 8-10 mins. When all water is evaporated, turn off heat and allow to cool. Dress with olive oil and vinegar, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to assemble salads, giving a good stir when ready.

Assemble all salads by placing several big handfuls of salad greens on a plate or in a to-go box, and top with all the other ingredients. Serve with a wedge of lemon and dressing. (Don't forget the lemon, as it just brightens up the whole salad without adding any lemon taste!)

Makes about 6 salads.

Note: If you pack this in the cardboard take-out boxes, as we did for a crowd, they will take up quite a bit of space in a cooler. We got around the necessity of taking a huge color, by simply taking three small coolers when we packed lunch for 13 people.

Looking Ahead to Christmas

It may only be the beginning of August, but it's time to focus on Christmas for my shop. Yesterday, I worked on creating a new Christmas stocking...cheery, red gingham!


None of them are lined yet, nor do they have hangers, because I'm still playing with the design. How about a cuff?


I like this idea, because it coordinates so nicely with my best-selling Christmas stocking (view it here). What do you think? Keep it simple with no cuff? Or add the cuff?


Touring with Family and Friends

Starting three days before the wedding and continuing for eleven days after, we had family and/or friends staying with us. And we had a long list of fun things to do with them. The first three days looked something like this...

The day after the wedding, we toured beautiful mid-coast Maine, one of my favorite places in all of New England. I adore the endless shades of blue, the sun glinting off the water, the rolling hills, the lighthouses, and more! We marveled at the views, explored two lighthouses, enjoyed a ploughman's lunch, shopped at L.L. Bean's flagship store, and had a relaxing dinner out.






The next day, some of us went to the Brimfield Antique Show, which was dreadfully hot and humid! We were grateful for some of Del's watermelon lemonade by the end of the day. We each bought at least one thing, and some of us...ahem...more than one.



And on the third day after the wedding, we headed back up to Maine to sail for 2 hours aboard the Schooner Surprise. I had never sailed before, so it was a completely new experience for me. Loved it! Absolutely my favorite day of the two weeks!







Sharing a healthy and delicious lunch we ate aboard in my next posting!

The Wedding!

I'm so thrilled to share with you some pictures from Max and Rose's wedding! It was a beautiful day, and I think it was just exactly what they hoped it would be! Praises be to God for their union!


The weather leading up to the wedding had been oppressively hot and humid, but that all disappeared the day before the wedding. And the day of the wedding was a lovely day of blue skies with puffy white clouds, about 77 degrees, and a whooshing wind blowing off the lake and refreshing us all. Just PERFECT!

The ceremony and reception were held at a camp in Maine on the edge of a lake. A winding, woodland path led to the ceremony site.


I snapped just a few photos with my phone throughout the day, but left the ceremony pictures entirely to the professional, so I'm thankful for this one shared by a friend. All the grandkids were part of the wedding party...the girls as trainbearers. Rose was radiant! They repeated vows that they had written themselves.


Then it was on to the celebration!


Prior to the events of the day, I had time to photograph the reception site thoroughly. It was held in the camp lodge (c. 1887)...a fabulously historic building made of thick beams and dominated by a stone fireplace. If you look closely, you can see the massive, old canoe tucked up into the beams. The building had a porch which wrapped around two sides of it, with a view to the dock and lake.






The newlyweds, both dog lovers, were thrilled to greet a friends' dog who came for the wedding!


The dog, the dock, the lovely breeze...all helped to give this wedding such a relaxing feeling that made the day one that all enjoyed and will long remember.


And a mischievous aunt that teaches you tricks helps to keep things fun too!



Our dear friends from California, who were such a help to us in hosting the rehearsal dinner. Couldn't have done it without them!


Rose's can-do attitude is always coupled with skill, and she impresses me so with her ability to do anything she sets her hand to, including making the naked wedding cake!



First dance! So proud of and delighted in these two! "He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord." - Proverbs 18:22.


And in a sparkler send-off, they were off on their honeymoon!


No sooner had the newlyweds departed, then that lake water became just too enticing for Colette and friends, and the dog joined in the fun too!



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