Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Out of curiosity I clicked on one of my Google ads and this was what came up. The house is gorgeous in its simplicity, and not your typical beach cottage at all. There are multiple buildings, including a guest house with two bedrooms, and the Master Suite (check out the bathroom, I could fit my whole bathroom in just the shower area) is connected to the main house via a breezeway (that must be fun in the winter). I wonder if there is a helipad to make that commute to Boston a bit easier. Oh, and it is only $3.6 million!
Monday, May 26, 2008
In addition to the vineyard, tasting room, and wine bar, they have a retail shop where they sell so much more than just their (fantastic, award-winning) wine. Jams, sauces, cheeses, crackers, tea, candles, home goods, dishes, art, etc etc. Hilary (one of the owners) and Kathleen (the manager) have a wonderful eye for product trends and a keen sense of merchandising. Their attention to detail is fantastic, and they often incorporate flowers from the gardens surrounding the barn into their retail displays.
Imagine the heart palpitations that I had when I walked in and saw this little display:
Room Service Home. The salt and pepper shakers are adorable, and I did buy two of the copper bird votive holders (a tealight sits in the wire "nest").
This is my new favorite plant, a perennial that they are displaying like a house plant next to this antique lamp, Oxalis "Iron Cross". It looks like giant shamrocks with burgundy centers.
Upstairs in the anteroom of the wine bar is this lovely display of teas, incense, napkins, coasters and picnic-ware. Check out that silk umbrella!
Wouldn't an ice-cold mint julep taste great out of this thermos at your next picnic?
Sweet little owls on these Japanese tea cups.
More handmade pottery tea sets, tea tins and another great thermos. Lovely.
If you ever find yourself in the Northwest corner of Connecticut, I do recommend putting Hopkins on your list of places to visit. And if it is during one of their festivals, look for me at the back register.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Dear Coldplay, Jack Johnson, Fiona Apple, Eric Clapton, Jamie Cullum and Duran Duran:
I'm sorry, but you have to go. I'm afraid I can't listen to you anymore. It seems that since I subscribe to Cottage Living, I'm supposed to like country music. I know there was that time in the early 90s when I said I would leave my husband for Garth Brooks, but I was young, and I thought he was cute. And then he went and left his wife for Trisha Yearwood, and, well, you can't trust a man like that, can you.
I like the cottage aesthetic, and the idea of living in a small space vs a McMansion. I guess that means I am supposed to want to see what the country stars' houses look like. I'm sure that they all live in cottages, not mansions at all. And I'm sure going "backstage" with them is going to be very realistic and not staged, and they'll show their little craft area on the tour bus and where they like to hang out with their dog and the organic farmers market that they stop at whenever they're in town. I'm sure none of them have a small army of personal trainers, chefs, hairdressers, masseuses (masseusi?), voice coaches, interior designers, assistants, managers and psychics to help them get through the trials of daily living. In their cottage.
ps - I have nothing against country music, and in fact could sing you most of Patsy Cline's catalog, although not as well as she could. I just don't get what is the connection between "cottage" and "country music".
Monday, May 19, 2008
2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):
3) Snacks I enjoy:
4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
5) Places I have lived:
6) Who I'm tagging:
Friday, May 16, 2008
You have to remember I came of age in the 80s -- people, I was there when MTV launched. I went to my friend Kim's house every day after school (she had cable, we didn't) to watch MTV for hours. Duran Duran, Adam Ant, Flock of Seagulls, The Clash, Men At Work, Cyndi Lauper, Pat Benetar and of course Michael Jackson, back before he became a weirdo. But Duran Duran was the best. They were cute, they had cool videos and they had great hair.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Dear readers, are your local tourist spots schizophrenic as well? Please pipe in.
Monday, May 12, 2008
I am very grateful that when I travel for work, I get to stay in hip 4- and 5-star hotels. They are stylish and modern and functional, but sometimes their manufactured newness bores me. I am fortunate, though, to have a cousin who owns a charming B&B on the bay side of Cape Cod. For this visit -- a three-day post-Chicago recovery + Mother's Day getaway with my parents and sister -- she's tucked me in to the pretty pink and white room pictured above, with a lovely white iron bedframe, wide-board floors that creak and slant in all the right places and -- one of my favorite luxuries -- a clawfoot tub in the bathroom. It is the epitome of "girly" and I love it.
This morning I walked down the road to the used book store, later I will venture to the interiors shop across the street, and then my mom and plan to go for tea at the little restaurant up the road. I believe this evening's entertainment includes a private performance of "living-room ballet" by my cousin's five-year old daughter (whom I have plans to kidnap and take home with me, but that's a story for another posting).
Thursday, May 8, 2008
The Hard Rock franchise takes Rock 'n' Roll very seriously. Every hotel floor is named for different band or musician, with iconic photos engraved on 8 foot x 8 foot metal plates and glass cases with signed costumes or instruments (or both) in every elevator lobby. This visit I'm staying on the "Chicago" floor, with one of their old autographed (and heavily scarred) pianos and a trombone in a glass case by the elevator. Ever since I checked in (two days ago), their early hit ("Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?") has been running through my head. Over. And over. And over. Even after I sang a few lyrics of "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" for the fab assistant Kelly when she said "I'm on the Annie Lennox floor, who is she?", I'm still stuck with "twenty-five or -six to foooouuurrrr...."
Anyway, the real reason for this post was to show off the sweet little guitars embroidered on the pillow cases. I am a sucker for details, and this is the type of little touch that sets a hotel apart from the rest.
Tell the truth now, how many of you know have either of those songs running through your head? And how impressed are you with yourself that you remember most of the lyrics?
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
I'm in Chicago for a conference my company produces, and found time to play tourist this afternoon. My fab assistant Kelly and I had lunch in Millennium Park, where we sat outside (80 degrees!) and enjoyed the view of these trees blooming in front of the Crown Fountain and the lovely old buildings on Michigan Avenue (some date from the Chicago World's Fair days - any other fans of Devil in the White City out there?). I have no idea who these people in my photo are, but note the top of the recycling bin in the bottom of the photo. Next to it is a garbage can. We sat there for over an hour, and everyone who made a deposit sorted their trash. Just goes to show you, if you make it easy for people, they will willingly recycle!
Saturday, May 3, 2008
My BFF will call me crazy for buying yet another purse (hey, cut me a break, I haven't bought one in two months, and I didn't have any in yellow), but I saw this today and felt it was the perfect cure for a gray day. Plus it will fit perfectly inside the carry-on bag that I tell the TSA is my "purse" when I go to Chicago next week. You can't tell from this photo, but the leather has a nice glaze to it, hence the name Glazy Days. I feel better already.