Monday, December 12, 2011

Shop: Local....Fellow Granite Staters and Birthday Wrap-up

Shopping Among Neighbors and Friends

Hello out there.  It's Monday, the sun is shining and there's only 13 days left until Christmas.  Say what? Honestly, I really haven't even started. I like living on the edge. Wink wink.

I am all about handmade, vintage and local this year.  I think it just means more......with handmade comes the knowledge that your gift is unique and was made with love and care; with vintage comes the benefit of recycling and reusing something old, going green in the easiest way, and continuing the story of a piece and the life it's already lived; and shopping local will directly support your neighbors and friends (many of whom are shop owners and employees) and also boosts by the local economy.

Here's a shop:local selection from fellow Granite Staters.  If you have a blog yourself, I challenge you to promote holiday gifts from people near you.  

1. picture perfect snowy doorway by shadetree photography
2. burlap and lace pillow by sew determined
3. bicycle part bracelet via winterwoman designs
4. a rainbow of origami stars via susiesboxes
5. alphabet quilt by djwquilts

6. pretty lingerie and professional bra fittings via top drawer boutique
7. beaded bookmark via lmgdesigns
8. Grow Love archival art print by me- Pamela Bates- available at Bates Mercantile Co.

9. boat note cards via the shop up north
If you live in NH, Maine or Massachusetts and would like to be considered for the next Shop: Local feature this week, comment below.

If you have a blog of your own, I challenge you to do a feature this week on the great gifts available in your local area. If you're a 'shopper' (and who isn't), please consider taking care of at least a portion of your list at local businesses.

Fit For a King

Gar's birthday was a day packed with good stuff.

As I mentioned the other day, all he requested was a nice roast dinner so we started the day at McKinnon's meat shop. We picked up one serious pork crown rib roast (which could have fed an army as you'll see in a sec). 

Then we continued North to Portsmouth.

It was brisk, but the sky was sparkling blue. North Church was shining.

There is always lots to see in Portsmouth. South Church looked pretty too.

There were big giant wreaths on the door.

I had to stop taking pictures though, as Gar had one thing on his mind. Ri Ra.

 Ri Ra is a great Irish pub in Portsmouth (among other places) with good food, a decent pint (not easy to come by) and a super nice staff. Yesterday, Jane and Michael, both from Ireland waited on us and chatted when they had a sec.  Jane told us a great story about the coast guard party that was in the previous night. She said 'There were 7 Santies and a Pope. I don't know what was up with the Pope. Maybe he didn't get the Santie memo.'  Personally, I think it's nice that the Pope took time out to attend the Christmas party. By the way, that's not a spelling error on Santa....'Santie' is an Irish thing. Well, certainly a Dublin thing.

We got our usual table. Yay. It gives me such a great view of the dome and the whole place, which is in an old, beautiful bank.  The dome has the New Hampshire state seal in the center.

It's quite gorgeous.

A pint and the Irish paper. Garman was a happy clam.

I had my usual pot of tea, followed by a darn good bloody mary served to me by Michael (who in the end, won out over Jane and waited on our table). 

I'm not kidding. They have a good bloody mary, so does the 401 Tavern in Hampton just in case you're in the area looking for one.  Yesterday's had 3 big honkin' olives. Deliciously briny. 

We both went with the usual because it's just ridiculous.  The fish and chips.  It's like an entire fillet. 

There was no possible way either one of us could finish this.  I don't even think the picture truly captures this dish's massivity. (Like that? Just made up a new word.)

We both took more than half of our meals home. Can you say lunch?

When we got home, Gar's family was calling one after the other to wish him happy birthday. Then the neighborhoodlums stopped by to have a celebratory beer and watch a little of the Patriot's football game.

I prepped the roast. Gar had to help me tie this puppy up due to it's shear massivity (sorry, couldn't resist).  Yup. More leftovers. 

I will not make excuse for my husband's serving of mashed potatoes on his plate.

He is a Dubliner after all. 

In case you're wondering, neither one of us had a hope of finishing the meal on this plate either. It was truly a crown rib roast fit for a king. Well, at least the king for the day.

Moonset Meadows

It was a full moon kind of weekend. It was big and bright and this morning's moonset was no exception.

Just a quick reminder, if you have an online shop and haven't joined the current link party, there is still time. And stop back on Wednesday when our next one begins.

In the meantime, I'd like to know what you all did over the weekend. Did you spend the weekend getting ready for the holidays? Did you shop? Did you decorate? Did you put your tree up? Tell all.

Have one heck of a Monday in your corner of the world and thanks for being here. It means a lot.


  1. What beautiful photos, both stimulating to the creative senses and the tummy! :)
    Thank you for featuring my Etsy shop as well.
    There are many talented artisans living in NH!
    Happy Holidays,

  2. Ri Ra is now on my list of places to try in NH. Sounds like a great place to remind us of Dublin! Thanks for adding my new Etsy shop to your shop local collection!
    All the best,

  3. I'm super stoked about my shopping this year because it's more convenient than ever. I like to shop local, handmade, vintage, upcycled, small business, etc...and wouldn't you know it! They are having a festival right here where I live in the club house. We're walking with the kids and starting/finishing it all up in our own neighborhood.

  4. Gorgeous pics! The food made me want to just reach into my screen and grab it!
    Thanks for featuring my burlap pillow from my Etsy shop! It's nice to see so many local artists!!

  5. kathy, you must do a day on the coast and pop into ri ra. gar is especially picky about his pints of guinness as at least 3 generations of his family worked there. he usually gets a good pint there. and well, what can i say about the fish and chips?

    Courtney Jo.......i LOVE that they're having a festival right in the club house where you live.....VERY cool. btw, i need some more obsure heliotrope soap! mine's down to a nub. will be by later to order.

    karen, LOVE that burlap pillow. and isn't it great to see NH represented on etsy?

  6. Looks like a positively wonderful and yummy day. Love new words like massitivity!

  7. Oh hello! Fish and Chips! My favourite!

  8. Oh. my. God. I LOVE Portsmouth and love to visit and wander downtown. We've never been to Ri Ra but that fish and chips makes me want to jump in the car for a drive!

    Love how you've highlighted local shops. I may have to give that a try on the blog! Thanks for the idea!!

  9. Hi Pamela,

    I'm actually a last minute Xmas person too! lol This past weekend, we JUST put up our tree and lights. Although, only lights INSIDE the front window, because when we moved into our fixer this past summer, we didn't realize until recently that there are NO outdoor electrical outlets...not even in the garage!!! Can you believe that?!?!? We have so much updating to do in this home! lol But that still didn't stop us from trying to decorate. :) Looks like you had an eventful weekend - thanks for sharing! :) And I haven't gone Xmas shopping either...I kind of loathe the mall and all the crazy shoppers and prefer homemade items too!

    Hugs & Happy Holidays,

  10. Oh Sarah, it was a yummy day. My mother said last night 'I can't believe you ate that fish and then had the crown rib.' I had to remind her, we didn't even come near to finishing either and they were 7 hours apart. :)

    Cari-Jane, like the guinness we're pretty fussy about our fish and chips #1 because we live on the seacoast and #2 because my grampy's brother had a chipper in England and I have the batter recipe which is spot on.

    Kristen, Portsmouth is as wonderful as always. We do enjoy a little jaunt around town. Always lots to see.

    Jessie, what a bummer about the outlets. But I will confess, we don't even have our outside lights on yet. I may get to it this afternoon, we'll see how time goes today. That said, my neighbor said...'well, I could see your tree from your window' so at least that is something.

    As far as gifts go.........go handmade, go vintage green or go local!! have a great day ladies.


You comments make my day. Thanks for taking the time to visit Mercantile Muse and for commenting. I really appreciate it. ~Pam

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