12.05.2016

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

 I promised gift ideas by the armful, and here they are!

I am adoring the options available at Shutterfly this holiday season! 
I have been able to set a preppy, rustic themed table that appeals to both men and women, young and old! (ok,and us middle-aged folk too ;)


The cutting boards and cheese boards are exquisite! Thick wood, smoothed around the edges…and personalized with words that have meaning to you or your family and friends!


The tartan wine bags are the perfect way to say thanks to your hostess. I adore the embroidered thread color choices…. I chose to stick with the holiday theme for my personalizations. 


Personalized wine glasses just scream YOU ARE LOVED to your guests. Choose a meaningful word or name…or perhaps a silly phrase. I thought "friend" was an ideal choice to allow my guests to feel welcomed into our home.


These flasks are so preppy chic! They are the PERFECT take away for your guests! Fill them with a little holiday toddy to be enjoyed by the fire once they arrive back home. Can you say man cave?


I think the garden stones are one of my favorite gifts this holiday season. The personalization choices vary from remembrances of a loved one to a welcoming garden message. 


Don't worry about summer being months away! The gardeners on your list are already planning their 2017 gardens, and will certainly find a mossy nook amidst their succulents to tuck the stones away safely for now!


Oh and the throw pillows….cushy, cozy, and personalized with your meaningful word or photo!! The holidays in our house are all about family and friends gathering for good food and laughter. These pillows are a fun hostess gift, or great for a new home.  They also look lovely on dining chairs or in a cozy reading corner.The possibilities are endless!



Whatever you need this holiday season, Shutterfly is there to make it a bit more personal with keepsake gifts to hand down for generations to come.

Right now Shutterfly is offering an amazing discounted promotion! Hurry over while the sale lasts!


I have been compensated for this post as a Shutterfly Influencer. 
 

11.29.2016

Gift Ideas { Part I }

Well the pumpkin pie has been eaten, and I have started Decking the Halls, and making lists, (and checking them twice.) The cooler weather came blowing in just in time, the comforting aroma of
 wood fires filling the chilly afternoons. Thoughts of Christmas shopping and caroling, and cozy homes filled with family, good food, and laughter swirl through my head, 
and I cannot help but start to plan.

  

 This week I will be sharing a few of my favorite gift ideas. Something for everyone on your list!
 I am shopping for two teenagers this year. I'm not sure when that happened!


 

I am LOVING these monogrammed bags from Shutterfly. They are HUGE, have  nice long straps, are made from a heavyweight canvas, AND can be personalized. I love the inside zippered pocket for stashing a phone or a bit of cash.

 

These bags are so versatile... sleepovers...sports practice...a weekend away. They would be perfect for a day at the beach, or to hold your boots and ski pants for a day sledding or skiing. As a teacher, I would carry my school books and papers back and forth to school...it's a perfect size! I'm already thinking it will be our go-to bag for carrying and delivering Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve. (Don't be jealous Santa...ask Mrs. Claus for one!)


I love the versatility of the large canvas totes, but I also adore the chicness and variety of the monograms.
 (Many thread colors are available!)


So start to make your list...and don't forget to check back throughout the week!

 
I'll help you pick out goodies that will be cherished for years to come. 

Current Shutterfly promotion: use code CYBER25 to receive  an additional 25% off of the SALE prices.WOW! This is huge!

{I have received goods from Shutterfly for blogging purposes}

11.09.2016

Transition


It has been an amazing fall.  
The colors and textures and variations fill the sky with a glow even on cloudy days.




It sort of snuck up on me. It always does. One day I am in the garden when the birds awaken, bare arms loving the warmth of the sun's first summer rays... 


...tending and coddling and encouraging...


...and the next minute I am looking out the window at a frost encrusted field...barely there light shimmering in between the crimson grasses, prisms of a season past echoing across the hillside.




But that's ok! It is life. It is purpose. It is allowing one's self to accept change and to move on gracefully.




It's about regarding what was with honor, and about believing in what will be.


 It's not always without a tinge of regret.




But instead of shedding a tear or word of complaint, 
I choose to use the moments...layer upon layer of LIFE...

 ...to mold and shape my future. How grateful I am to have this opportunity.

10.08.2016

31 Days of Flowers - Day 8 { Lavender }

 { Lavender }


I first started growing Lavender about 17 years ago. I had a huge lavender garden with approximately 20 plants. Over the years, they produced and abundance of gorgeous tall, fragrant flowers. I harvested the lavender early in July and would hang the stems to dry as bouquets,(or for stripping the fragrant buds for sachets). 




The plants grew VERY large, perhaps 4-5 feet across! Over the years, the stems grew thick and woody. The once beautiful lavender garden still produced in abundance, but was no longer attractive. 



We planted about 20 young lavender plants, anticipating that within a few years the grand dames of the garden would be gone. The young lavender plants succumbed to a series of deep freezes and record snowfalls. The grand dames continued to produce :)

Only just a few weeks ago, after many years of mixed emotions, did I clip the thick stems and dig the deep roots of these old lavender plants. 

They had served us well. They gave us their beauty, and we share it with many.

I am a sentimental gardener, and must admit I was a bit teary as I pulled these plants out. 
Seventeen years, (the same age as my son),  is a long time to tend and coddle and harvest. It is hard to give up something you have cared for so deeply.

I am planning a new garden where the lavender garden once stood. It will be enclosed with a repurposed white picket fence from another part of our yard. It will have cut flowers, and lavender, and will share its beauty with the world.

It will whisper on the wind about its predecessors, nodding to the spot where they once stood and embracing you with the glory of nature's bounty. 



I purchased my original lavender plants at Cape Cod Lavender Farm. They have a broad variety of lavenders.  We live in Coastal Massachusetts, and CCLF knows exactly how to match up lavenders for your growing conditions.

I grew in a very sandy soil. The lavender obviously loved it! 

My favorite varieties are Provence, Grosso, and Hidcote.



10.07.2016

31 Days of Flowers - Day 7 {Gladiolus}

 Gladiolus

A few year ago I bought about 50 Gladioli on sale in mid-summer. They flowered right before frost, putting on a spectacular display. After their leaves died back, I gathered all of the corms and stored them for the winter.


A good friend and co-worker told me that she leaves her Gladioli in the ground all winter, and that they are beautiful. Hmmm. Not have to pull up all of the corms? Ok! I'll try it next year. And I did. And she was right!


Only they weren't just beautiful. They were spectacular. They were twice the height and blossom size of the previous season. And the corms had multiplied, giving us a more extensive garden filled with early -late July color. They hung on without any rain, producing full stalks of the most delicate looking, yet sturdy flowers.


I pick the Gladioli when the bottom few flowers are opening. The other flowers will follow suit within a few days. 


My Dad loved Glads.


I just know I would proudly share a big, colorful bouquet with him, 


knowing that he would appreciate every detail of these old-fashioned beauties.

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