away for the weekend: March 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012

fabulous finds in newfane

Ever since settling into Away, I’ve been on a quest for this book:

I think I may love picture books more now than I did as a child...Written by Vermont artist Stephen Huneck, this is one of a series of picture books about a black labrador named Sally. Have I mentioned yet that I love labrador retreivers? Well, if you know me, you know that I do. The very minute our weekdays ease up a bit, we'll be applying for a rescue lab. But, as our lifestyle doesn’t allow for a dog right now, I find enjoyment in things like this. (Okay, lame, I know)
Last Sunday on our way home, I asked Greg to make a stop in Newfane at the Newfane Country Store. As another aside,  Newfane is definitely worth a stop just for the sake of a picture. It has one of the most photographed commons in Vermont (I stopped to take these photos last winter when there was actually some snow).

Newfane, Vermont

Newfane, Vermont

This country store is great fun (probably even more so if you happen to be with someone who actually enjoys shopping). Funny though – Greg never leaves here empty-handed.

Newfane Country Store

Sooooooo, to make a long story short – not only did I find the book I’ve been hunting through bookstores for, but we also found these fabulous maps! You may remember that we’re map nuts, and I just bought a cartography shower curtain for our bathroom. I sense a theme here (and I’m really not a theme sort of gal). Are these not perfect?

 and - just for fun...

Thanks for dropping in!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

needed - bathroom update

I’m not sure why, but I am fixated on redoing (as in redecorating – not renovating) this bathroom. I think it all started when I found this shower curtain on the Pottery Barn website

PB Cartography Shower Curtain

Greg and I are both map nuts, so you can imagine how perfect it is – AND – it was on sale - (joy!)

Or, maybe it’s just that sometimes I feel as though I'm living in someone else's house - and the bathroom should be a fairly easy place to start - right?

Whatever the case, this bathroom is getting an update!

I love red, so this shower curtain will probably be moved to one of the other bathrooms (which I would also like to update a bit).

I really need something on this window. Greg laughs and tells me that there is nothing outside other than bear.
I don’t care; privacy please.

I really don’t like this vanity. It was a popular style 20 years ago, but now it’s (really really) dated. Replacing it is not happening right now, though, so I’ll have to work with it. Can a laminate cabinet be painted? And what should I do about this mirror and light fixture?

 I think this is turning into a little more than a gallon of paint and some new towels...

I’d like to keep the room light and work with the cream and greenish-gray of the shower curtain.  It's hard to tell in these photos, but the fixtures are almond - not white - sigh...

 I love the look of these bathrooms.

Shingle style home in Hanover NH traditional bathroom

I'm hopelessly color-challenged.

 - and I’m still not sure I even have the right colors…

I guess I have some painting to do. I’ll let you know how it all comes out.

Thanks for dropping in!

Monday, March 26, 2012

coming home

This weather has been so strange. Usually, March is my least favorite month of all. The long month of cold, gray dampness tends to give me a case of S.A.D. Not so this year. And yet, I was still surprised to come home Sunday afternoon to this.

It turns out that one of the unexpected pleasures of taking off for the weekend is coming home again.

Thanks for dropping in!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

decorating away

Okay - so here's the scoop. When we bought Away, all the furniture was included. Nice - huh? This allows me to splurge focus on adding my own style.

Now here's my problem - I don't know quite what my own style is. I mean, I have such eclectic taste. And I kind of know what I like, but... I'd kind of like to bring in touches of a slightly more rustic-cabin feel.

We are very fortunate that we share similar taste with the previous owners and that they took such great care of their home. I hesitate to call these “before” photos. I think you’ll understand why.

I love the inside space and I even like that it's all white - except I don't really like that it's all white.


living room

The sofa, love seat, and chair are somewhat worn and dated. They are fairly high on our list for replacement (whatever that will mean).

living room fireplace

Is is possible to add a mantle? We're not sure about the television, either. This is the best room for it for now - maybe a different cabinet?

living room - another view

I'm not sure about window treatments. I don't want to cover the windows, but there may be opportunity to add a little warmth and style here.

dining area

The table and chairs are likely to stay for the foreseeable future. They are more “cottage” than “cabin”, but they work for now.

master bedroom

master bedroom

I love this room. It needs a bedframe, and I’ve already bought replacement bedding. (It's funny what you don't notice while snapping photos - what is that pillow doing in the middle of the bed?)

guest bedroom

guest bedrrom

This is one of two guest rooms. They are both similar, but this one is a little larger.

Do you see what I mean? The space flows nicely, but maybe it's a little...??

My first instinct is to add more color – but then I realize that I actually love neutrals and shades of white. Maybe a warmer white?

And yes, I know that I neglected to show the kitchen. It needs all new cabinets and countertops, and as I recently went through a kitchen remodel in our Boston home, this is one project I'll have to save for another day year.

I welcome ideas for warming the space up a bit - giving it more of a cabin-in-the-mountains feel while retaining the awesome contemporary openness. Only one rule – no painting the wood trim!

I've been adding pictures of rooms that inspire me on my Pinterest boards and will also share ideas that I particularly like in a later post.

Thanks for dropping in!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

welcome spring

I love to read. I don’t pretend to be a literary critic – or even have great literary taste, for that matter - and I’m really not into poetry all that much. But – I love to read and bookstores are my hang-out of choice.

This past weekend I was in one of my favorite independent book stores, Misty Valley Books, located in Chester, Vermont (more on Chester another time).

As I was browsing, a picture book caught my attention. This Robert Frost poem was illustrated with folk art by Grandma Moses. I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

A Prayer in Spring

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.

Robert Frost

With that, I wish you all a very happy first day of Spring

Thanks for dropping in!

Monday, March 19, 2012

it's maple season!!

Lucky me, I moved in just in time for mud maple season!! We really can’t get enough maple here and for good reason – I'm discovering that just about everything tastes better with maple - pancakes, waffles, cookies, bacon, sausage, cheese, ice cream…. Yum! If your syrup bottle features someone's "Aunt" or a rustic cabin - and I won’t mention any brands here - please, please, please put the bottle down and run to your nearest market for a bottle of REAL maple syrup. Believe me; you’ll thank me for this one!!

We were fortunate to have another beautiful weekend in Vermont. Sunday morning after enjoying some sunshine on my deck and diligently organizing my Pinterest boards, we went on a quest for a Farmer's Market that didn't actually exist. I know - it did seem strange that there would be a farmer's market in March - but I was hopeful - and all was not lost. It was a beautiful day to be out exploring, and I enjoyed running across these sugarhouses. I think I might need a bumper sticker on the back of my car that states:


Poor Greg, but I do really think he's getting used to me asking him to pull over.

Next weekend, the Vermont Maple Organization hosts it annual Maple Open House Weekend at sugarhouses across the state. I’m not sure how the unseasonably warm weather will affect things, but I’m looking forward to checking it out.

To get into the maple spirit, I made some Maple Oatmeal Muffins. If you like sweet cake-like muffins, these are NOT for you. Made with whole wheat flour, rolled oats, non-fat yogurt, maple syrup and walnuts; these muffins are dense, chewy, and just slightly sweet – healthy, right? Dummy me, I forgot to bring the recipe home. So if you’re interested, check back next week.

And – since I really do love maple, I created a Pinterest board to celebrate the season. It’s a work in progress, so please stay tuned. I’m thinking Maple-Mustard Grilled salmon is on the menu for this week.

Thanks for dropping in!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

moving in

So - as might be expected - our first weekend at Away was a whole lot of cleaning, unpacking, and waiting around for various installs. Sigh.

Somewhat unexpected was the discovery that we might not be able to get a television hook up here. Huh?  I don't quite get the details, so possibly this will get ironed out. Fortunately, we don't go away to watch television - no stress here.

We did manage to get out and explore a little, though. I have a fascination with farms that I can't quite explain, but Greg is getting used to having me ask him to pull over.

We wound up in a little town called Wallingford. Sorry - this photo does not do the town justice.

Wallingford, Vermont
Wallingford, like many Vermont towns, is worthy of an afternoon stroll. It has a quaint downtown area with a variety of shops and antiques that were fun to poke into. The purpose of our trip last Saturday was this great light fixture I found online ( It's made by Hubbardton Forge (in Vermont).

This would be PERFECT in my dining area.

Soooo - because it was a beautiful day, and because I needed to see it in person, and because I enjoy talking with shopkeepers, and because I just plain needed to explore a little bit.... we drove to the showroom. Fantastic!! Greg (not an enthusiastic shopper) was entralled with the old stone building while I walked around visualizing the many beautiful light fixtures in my new home. Unfortunately, the building was undergoing renovation and the front was covered in scaffolding - so, no pictures this time. But I suspect I'll be back...

Not only is this fixture even more beautiful in real life, but I think we may have found the perfect bedframe at a little furniture shop down the street. We haven't bought either - yet. Even so, I'll call the day a success!

Next weekend, weather permitting, I hope to explore a sugar shack or two It's maple season in Vermont!

Thanks for dropping in!

Monday, March 12, 2012

away for the weekend

We finally did it! After months of contemplation and weeks of searching, we have crossed the t's, dotted the i's (signed our lives away - again) and bought our Vermont getaway.

Although I originally envisioned buying a cabin in need of much TLC - for Greg, this one was love at first sight.

I won't be discarding all the great inspiration I  found on Pinterest and the many great blogs (many of which are listed in my "fun reads" links). I'll be needing these to add some character and turn this into our home Away.

So - our friends ask us - why a Vermont getaway? For us, that is an easy question to answer.
Only a short drive from home, Away is worlds from the hustle and bustle of Boston - ahhhh Heaven - and
I love, love, love the mountains. I love the clean smell of mountain air. I love their quiet stillness. I love that everything is slower in the mountains.

There are so many outdoorsy activities as well as festivals, shops, studios, and restaurants to explore!
Oh yeah, and don’t tell Greg, but I even like the fact that we get lousy internet reception. Scrabble and popcorn, anyone?
Soon I'll share the indoor tour of Away - but for now...

Thanks for dropping in!