Friday, November 30, 2012

Gettin' In The Swing & Freeform Friday

Holiday Open House

Last night Exeter, the next town over and where I worked at the Chamber many moons ago, held Holiday Open House and Festival of Trees.  It's a night when the downtown is invaded by people who want to meet Santa who holds court in the gazebo in front of the old Town Hall building and Festival of Trees inside.  It's a mob scene, but a good kind of mob scene. Every one's there to get in the holiday spirit, the lights down Water Street are lit, stores show off their holiday window displays are open for shoppers, and there's lot of milling about. It's can be quite magical. A wonderful way to mark the season.

I headed over with my sister Dianne. Sister in law Kelly ventured with us at the last minute. It was full throttle hustle and bustle of the season-  lights, people, and cars....oh my.

Just as expected, it was a mob scene with tons of people lined up to see Santa.

Now, can you see what I mean?

We met my friend Carey (aka Martha of the infamous Champagne Ladies/Bookclub) and her daugther Laine....two of my best gals.

Then we went our merry ways.  Now Laine and Martha were smart and checked out Festival of Trees right away. The three of us however, got distracted.  Blame it on all the lovely things the shops had in them.

We popped into a store that was new to me, Reminisce, but that had been open since February. Obviously, I missed that.  As I told Kathy the owner, I'm sure to be back. Her shop was packed with a whole lot of wonderful.

Everywhere you turned, more fantastic things too oogle. Kathy had lots of local artists represented. Yay for local art! She also had lots of lovely vintage in the mix.

You see that nest on the wall, to the left of the pretty mirror?  It was painted by a local artist (whose name is escaping me unfortunately). Instead of trying to hide a crack in the wall, Kathy had this artist make the most of it by painting the very sweet bird's nest and eggs....there's a swallow on the other side of the mirror if you look close.

Reminisce was a feast for the eyes.

Di and Kel obviously found something they had to look at a little closer.

Vintage textiles, mixed media art, crystal, vintage fashion. What a lovely shop.

Lo and behold, while we were there, Martha and Laine made their way through the door and did a little shopping.

Since they didn't know I was taking this shot, I decided the next one I took, they would know about.

Two of my best gals.

Kathy the owner was busy greeting shoppers.  Genuinely welcoming everyone to her store and having earnest conversations about her products and the artists that are represented in Reminisce. Not quite the same kind of 'greeting' you get at Walmart.

Thanks to Kathy for the sweetest little handmade ginger bread men ever (I'll show you them in another post for sure---itty bitty, eency weency and oh so cute).

Then we were off and away down the street in and out of stores and before you knew it, it was time to head back up the street to my friend Kath's (aka soy goddess and another one of the Champagne Ladies) restuarant, Blue Moon Evolution. They were holding a booth for us, so we could sit and enjoy a cocktail and some fresh, local fare.

Problem with the timing was, we didn't have enough. We got so caught up in the shopping, that we never went in to see Festival of Trees. What a shame. It's always so beautiful.

However, luckily, Blue Moon made up for it.

Kath was doing duty as hostess.

Ah, sit down in a booth in one of my favorite spots and have a Rosalita served to me....yes please. We shared fish cakes, salad, a cheese board and the charcuterie board.  All of the meats on the charcuterie board are house made by Chef Ted McCormick. It's ever changing, as is the cheese board.

Last night I fell in love. I know, I know....I have Gar. Not to worry.

I fell in love with a new cheese. Bonne bouche. It might be my new all time favorite and it's made right in Vermont. Heavenly.  I told Kath she needs to bring some to Book Club/Champagne Ladies Christmas, which so happens to be tomorrow night at Pearl's (the last of our little group). 

We had a great night and it's always nice to give some holiday business to the locals. 

Have you attended any special events like Holiday Open House yet? What tradition do you have to get into the Christmas mood?

Freeform Friday

Talking about getting into the mood, I'm about to put on my first Christmas album of the recording of Judy Garland's award winning Christmas Special. LOVE it. Love her with Liza, with Lorna, with Mel Torme and Jack Jones.  Enjoy.  Click here if you're reading by email.

Have a great day.

Ciao for now,


  1. I see tons of things that I would love to have!!Wishng you a lovely weekend lady! Xo, Ashley

  2. That looks like a lot of fun. We just went to two Christmas events last weekend, one Sat and one Sun. I'll blog about both of them this week. The first was super crowded, as these things usually are, but I did find a gift for my mom and one for me. :)
    I love the bird's nest painted over the crack!


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