Monday, May 19, 2014


Brimfield. Another year. I can't even tell you at this point how many times I've been. The trips have blended into one another. And the stuff! It all starts to look the same, but yet I keep going back. Why? The crowds are manageable, the weather cool and comfortable and there is an endless and wild amount of things to look at and poke through. Plus it's just fun to be outside for the day walking about. 

Arriving is always a bit overwhelming and at some point you just have to dig right in. My husband is better at this than I am. I tend to circle the field we're in and then go back and try to focus in on something. At first, if it wasn't a collection of artfully displayed items, then forget it. There was no focus. It was a serious case of sensory overload. Ha! 

But eventually I find my groove, something catches my eye and I fall into a rhythm all my own. At this point I start to wander off with purpose. Eyeing this and that.

Although there is a good part of the day where I'm still unsure of why I came and if there is anything I even really want.

Some things call my name, but with no real desire to own it. Just to glance at it for a while, touch it, and take lots of pictures. The guy selling these Union Jack chairs got a little chuckle out of my snapping photos of these from every angle. That's truly where a big part of the joy is. Just being. Creating a little bit of art among art...

...and drooling over some of the same things year after year. Tents like this always draw me in. It's a guaranteed stop. 

And then I ask, 'Honey, can you make me one of these?' The poor man! These clocks are there every year and are so overpriced ($5k and it's brand new and the quality is so so), but I look anyway. The right one, will come across my path, at the right time. I've learned there is no hurry. 

By the end of the day I was loopy, laughing and plum tired. This Superman tricked me three times -- each time out of the corner of my eye I thought he was real. When we drive away, I can't help but think who buys all these bizarre things, not to mention the person who drives around the country trying to sell them. Oh, the wonders of Brimfield.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sweet May Days

May is the sweetest month. Filled to the brim with goodness. It also happens to be my birthday month, which helps. The past few days have been overflowing with moments of deep contentment. 

The loveliest cards have come by hand and mail, bringing tears to my eyes. There's a small stack of books that I am treasuring and enjoying alongside freshly brewed tea and homemade hazelnut spread (with all raw ingredients to boot). 

And don't even get me started on all the blooms. I am obsessed. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday's Quote

'Handmade things have energy. 
I want to touch them, 
absorb what's fresh about them.' 


Monday, May 5, 2014

A Tale of Three Bunnies

There's nothing like being startled first thing on a lazy Sunday morning by your husband banging on the outside of the window. I was relieved to see he was in one piece and not bleeding, but then was equally startled to see bunnies hopping around every which way. Said husband, accidentally disturbed a nest. After rebuilding the nest, settling in three out of the five bunnies that couldn't be out hopped, we anxiously awaited dusk and their mama to return. She came, but never entered the nest to feed them. 

After a call to the bunny hotline [yes, they have such a thing], a sleepless night and a 6am nest check, these furry babies needed some attention in the form of food. We scooped them up, brought them in and nursed them with droppers of pedialyte - per the experts. 

We are simply not people who in a situation like this, let Mother Nature take it's course. And it's in moments like these I am reminded that our souls are meant to for one another. But I digress.  

This is when the the tale of three bunnies turned into planes, trains and automobiles. As luck would have it, the rehab lady was in town, next door to where I work!!!!! These little guys were packed back up with a hot water bottle in their box and went in the car, the bus, up 28 flights in the elevator and lived under my desk [and through the fire alarm going off - of all days] before we headed back down to meet the rehab lady in the building next door. 

We even managed to charm three security guys and two state troopers [and by charm I mean I teared up, held them tight and wouldn't let anyone touch my box of bunnies - yes we were a sight] into letting us into the building without them being sent through the X-Ray conveyor belt. All this only to find out the rehab lady, in preparing for her expo for the day, forgot the formula she promised to bring [insert the mother of all sighs]. 

My nerves, patience and strength were tested in many ways today, but it was probably nothing compared to what my furry babies - for a day - went through. I was determined to give them a fighting chance. And in case you are wondering, the rehab lady made an agreeable plan on how to care for them at which point I reluctantly let them go off into the world. Walking away, my heart broke and my inner five year old burst into tears. Let's just say the security guys didn't make eye contact after that.  

Moral of the story? I promise there is one. When you moms out there talk about wearing your hearts on your sleeve or chest when you have a baby, I can now ever so slightly understand what this is like. It takes a brave, beautiful soul to lovingly raise a child. 

A happy, albeit early, Mother's Day to all you moms out there. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday's Quote

'The earth laughs in flowers.' Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happy May 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Herb Love

Last spring into summer I developed a deep pull towards herbs and their gentle, but powerful healing properties. With this pull came a lot of reading and researching - the fascination ran deep, and still does. 

After soaking up a pile of herb books, serious daydreams of owning a small farm comprised of chickens and herbs started. My poor husband. I'm sure I made him nervous once or twice about quitting the old day job to go into farming. After all, he's had to pull the car over on more than one occasion so I can drool over a gentleman's farm. 

In the midst of all this daydreaming, fate pulled me towards 'Love Potion # 9.' Between my love of herbs and the name and description of this product, it had basically had me at hello. But the goodness didn't stop there. Lauren, the owner of Good Fight Herb Co., and herbalist, is so down to earth, knowledgeable, local and looking for volunteers to help out on the farm. 

And that's exactly how I spent this past Friday. Volunteering, learning, working and soaking in all the herb goodness. I was so excited to go, posting my Friday quote here completely slipped my mind. So instead, I'll leave you with a little Love Potion # 9 to start the week off right. 

'Use this potion to love and support keep your heart open and protected, your spirit held and supported, and your boundaries clear and healthy.' 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Italian Easter Pastries

A couple of years ago I posted about our family's Easter tradition of making Italian Easter pastries or as we call them, Cadulas. It's an old family recipe that my great grandmother brought with her from Sicily when she came to Ellis Island all those years ago. Each year for Easter she would give everyone a Cadula with a little candy and a crisp dollar billed rolled up with some ribbon. It was better, and still is, than any Easter basket. 

It's a tradition that was passed down, but without a formal recipe, since she made them with a little of this and little of that. My mom and some others have been able to develop a recipe that's very similar to my great grandmothers and I'd like to share it with you. 

Growing up we never knew of any of families with this tradition (and I still don't), but this past week I've received multiple requests for the recipe through Lavender Nest and Pinterest with similar stories of grandmothers and great grandmothers from the same region of Italy making these pastries with a little of this and a little of that and no actual recipe to follow. 

It has been wonderful to connect with other women who share this Good Friday tradition or as we call it 'Cadula Day' baking for the family. I never imagined there would be a demand for the recipe and it was an exciting conversation to have with my mom that there are families like us with similar traditions. Without further ado, here is the recipe. 

Cadula Recipe
Italian Easter Baskets

25 boiled and colored eggs (approx)
2-2.5 Cups Milk
3 Cups Shortening
6 Eggs
14 Cups Flour
Dash to 1/2 Tsp. Salt
5 Tsp. Baking Powder
2 Cups Sugar
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
Jelly Beans
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
1-2 Tsp. Vanilla

Warm the milk and shortening together. Beat the eggs and set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Work in eggs. Add semi-cooled milk to mixture and mix well until you can work it with your hands to elastic consistency. Place dough in plastic bag to retain moisture.

To form baskets:
Use dough to make a "meatball" - approximately 1" in diameter. Flatten slightly and place boiled, colored egg in center pressing down. Next roll out two pencil-sized strips long enough to extend from bottom of one side, over the egg to the bottom of the other side forming a cross on top of the egg; pinch ends to base. Next roll out another pencil sized strip long enough to completely encircle the egg at the base, pinching together the ends.

Next, roll out a finger sized strip of dough - approximately 18" long. Fold in half and twist into a loose braid approximately 8" long. Attach one of the twist end under the base of the egg, form a "basket handle" leaving a minimum of 1" space between the handle and the egg and attach the loose end to the back of the base.

Place pastries baskets on a cookie sheet and bake for approximately 20 minutes at 325-350 degrees. Add 2-3 jelly beans to each pastry when they come out of the oven.

When cooled, brush with confectioner's icing (recipe below) and let dry.

½ Cup Milk
Powdered sugar
Vanilla extract (optional)

Pour milk in a small bowl. Keep adding 1-2 teaspoons of powdered sugar to the mixture and whisking until it reaches a semi-runny consistency. Add vanilla extract for extra flavor if desired.