Archive for September, 2016

es2Spending your summer vacation at an old New England seaport like Wellfleet, you can’t help but think about a nautical theme for any event you may plan while you are there – or when you return home to the Kansas prairie to remember the sea. That’s where the fine folks at Party Swizzle come in.

As fine purveyors of party supplies, Party Swizzle also offers tips on how to decorate for parties – including their ideas for, mmmm, a fun nautical themed party – the perfect theme for your end of summer party.

About Party Swizzle’s Decorating Ideas For A Nautical Party: “Anything related to seamen, navigation, and operating ships is appropriate for a nautical-themed event.  A nautical theme is the perfect setting for a spiffy cocktail party and makes an excellent backdrop for a bon voyage or farewell tribute. Combine or choose one of 3 distinctive nautical styles: Rustic includes natural and ye olde seaman items, such as weathered wood, lanterns, buoys, and fisherman accessories; Refined is a breezy and casual style featuring crisp, clean lines and bold colors, include white-painted wood, sailboats, flags, and related items; Traditional embraces sturdy and durable elements of ocean travel and motor-yachts, use ship navigational items, dark polished wood and brass, such as a captain’s wheel, lighthouses, and anchors.”

You better get going – autumn arrives on Thursday!

Find all the party solutions from Party Swizzle here.

es1So, as in years past, while everyone else is ending their summer, I am in full vacation mode as I just returned from my traditional late-season visit to the charming seaside village that is Wellfleet on Cape Cod.

One of the ways you know you are in Wellfleet is when you are greeted by two beach stores –across the street from each other. These stores look identical but are actually competitors – each trying to out-do the other by promoting how many fun inflatable beach floats they offer. Their buildings are covered with giant inflatable lobsters, starfish, and all manner of things. Every year when we pass through this gauntlet of summer excess, we say we should buy one of those things to serve as a mascot for the week. Well, we never do.

However, the fine folks at Sydney-based Sunny Life offer a nice collection of fun inflatables, like this very cool “Moby Dick” – which would look great floating off of the Cape Cod National Seashore.

About the inflatable Moby Dick from Sunny Life: “Sunny Life guarantees that your summer won’t suck – it’ll blow! Have a whale of a time with Moby Dick. Designed for lounging, with handles for stability.  Made from durable PVC and includes a puncture kit just in case – summer is blowing up!”

And because winter is ending Down Under, you know that Sunny Life will be keeping summer going for some time to come.

Check out all the inflatables from Sunny Life here.

See everything Sunny Life has to keep your summer going here.

FF: The Glass Mist Sprayer from Potted

ff3I like the Glass Mist Sprayer I found from the fine folks at Potted – it will look as good sitting on your plant shelf as any of your fine succulents.

About the Glass Mist Sprayer from Potted:

“Available in blue, green, and clear glass, these misters are perfect for providing a gentle shower for humidity loving terrariums, ferns, and orchids. It’s the perfect addition for quick and easy watering at home.”

Find the Glass Mist Sprayer from Potted here.

See all the great garden-related products from Potter here.

FF: The Dachshund Boot Scraper from Birch Lane

ff4The only thing cuter than the Dachshund Boot Scraper I found from the fine folks at Birch Lane is, well, a real life Dachshund.

About the Dachshund Boot Scraper from Birch Lane:

“Crafted from cast iron, this distinguished dachshund is at the ready to help keep boots — and your home — clean of snow and debris.”

Find all the great items offered by Birch Lane here.

capOK, well, I am going to finally admit it: I adore the Wish Capsules I found from the fine folks at Tops Malibu. The idea is simple: “Write a single wish on the paper in the capsule and carry it with you wherever you go until your wish comes true.”

About the Wish Capsules from Tops Malibu: “Mail in a letter, hide anywhere – in a shoe, drawer, lunch box or in a pocket. Inspired by vials worn by carrier pigeons to relay secret messages, these metal capsules have a paper scroll hidden inside. In a tiny way they infuse intrigue, mystery, allure & romance to any occasion or simply just because. Fill a Wish Capsule with a special notes from the heart, remind yourself of hopes, dreams and wishes, creating exciting scavenger hunts, & more. 

I like the vintage-inspire letterpress set of wish capsules.

I think we’re going to need a bigger capsule!

Find the Wish Capsules from Tops Malibu here.

modI have been fortunate to know some really cool rescue dogs who have become the best pets ever – in some cases just because they were rescued. Such are the stories that make up the wonderful book My Old Dog – Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts by  Laura Coffey and Lori Fusaro.

About My Old Dog – Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts by Laura Coffey and Lori Fusaro: “’No Dog Should Die Alone’ was the attention-grabbing — and heart-stirring — headline of journalist Laura T. Coffey’s TODAY show website story about photographer Lori Fusaro’s work with senior shelter pets. While generally calm, easy, and already house-trained, these animals often represent the highest-risk population at shelters. With gorgeous, joyful photographs and sweet, funny, true tales of ‘old dogs learning new tricks,’ Coffey and Fusaro show that adopting a senior can be even more rewarding than choosing a younger dog. You’ll meet endearing elders like Marnie, the irresistible shih tzu who has posed for selfies with Tina Fey, James Franco, and Betty White; Remy, a soulful nine-year-old dog adopted by elderly nuns; George Clooney’s cocker spaniel, Einstein; Susie, the funny little senior dog who got adopted by ‘Humans of New York’ creator Brandon Stanton and ‘Susie’s Senior Dogs’ founder Erin Stanton; and Bretagne, the last known surviving search dog from Ground Zero. They may be slower moving and a tad less exuberant than puppies, but these pooches prove that adopting a senior brings immeasurable joy, earnest devotion, and unconditional love.”

The stories in this book are heartwarming and a testament of the power we all hold – and that is to save a creature who can’t save themselves.  And that is doing God’s work on earth.

My Old Dog – Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts by Laura Coffey and Lori Fusaro is available from Amazon and other fine book retailers.

Have you heard people use the expression “you drink like a fish”? Well, now you can at least drink FROM a fish – with this really cool Fish Flask I found from the fine folks at Dots & Loops.

About the Fish Flask from Dots & Loops:

“Is that a fish in your pocket or are you just carrying secret liquor? This stainless steel flask holds 4 oz & measures 8.25 x 2.5″.”


Find the Fish Flask from Dots & Loops here.

See all the cool products available from Dots & Loops here.

cg2OK, call off the hounds. The call for updates on how well my container garden is progressing this season has been deafening. So here it is. My garden has done quite well. There has been a lot of growth and everything seems green and healthy – although my yield has been modest. Yield of actual produce has been a challenge over the years, mostly because I only plant one or two of any one thing which leads to not much of any one thing. That said, I am quite proud of my little garden.

cg3 cg4

Today I picked a couple of nice cucumbers, squash, and a few different kinds of peppers – including this little guy on the right – the perfect bell pepper – grown from seed in my little garden.

I also snipped some basil, which I used on a pizza I made for dinner and it was yummy.


www.13.9I am enjoying my traditional late summer vacation to Wellfleet on Cape Cod. While I am away collecting great find to share with you, I am featuring a few of my past posts about this great spot. From my 2013 visit…


One of the many glories of vacationing in Wellfleet is the fact that this charming seaside hamlet is home to several wonderful art galleries.

As you know from many of my past posts here, I love art and discovering new artists. So every year I look forward to exploring the many galleries in Wellfleet to see what’s new and to make a purchase or two.

My two favorite galleries in Wellfleet are the Left Bank Gallery and the Blue Heron Gallery. In the past I discovered some great artists thanks to these galleries.

It was at the Blue Heron Gallery where I first saw the work of Greg Stones and fell in love with his whimsical take on zombies, sock monkeys and aliens – you just have to see it. I bought an original painting of Mr. Stones’ at the Blue Heron and have purchased a few more prints from him and followed his progress over the years.

Meanwhile, at the Left Bank Gallery, I first fell in love with artist Carol Aust and can’t wait to see her new works they are displaying this season.

I love this recent work of Ms. Aust titled “Running Past Shipwreck”:


Find a directory of Wellfleet Galleries on the website of the Wellfleet Chamber of Commerce here.

Find a Wellfleet gallery map here.

wffmI am enjoying my traditional late summer vacation to Wellfleet on Cape Cod. While I am away collecting great finds to share with you, I am featuring a few of my past posts about this great spot. From my 2013 visit…


A few years ago on our Wellfleet vacation, we were challenged to source a complete dinner from what was available at the Provincetown Farmers’ Market. This challenge was great fun and we ended up with a nice memory and an even better dinner which I posted about at the time.

Since then, it has become somewhat of a tradition for us to try to put together at least one meal from what we can find at the local markets while on vacation. I think today will be the day as Wednesday is the day of the Wellfleet Farmer’s Market.

You never know what you are going to find at a local market, so we shall see what in store for us.

Meanwhile, should we need a little extra help completing our meal, we can always rely on Hatch’s Seafood Market, which is quite literally right outside our rented house in Wellfleet Center.

In addition to fresh seafood, Hatch’s offers produce – local as well as fruits and vegetables – from more exotic locales, and many other treats to help complete a meal.

Hatch’s Seafood Market as seen through the window of our rental home in Wellfleet:


See more about Wellfleet’s Wednesday Farmer’s Market here.

Find Hatch’s Seafood Market in Wellfleet here.

WFOI am enjoying my traditional late summer vacation to Wellfleet on Cape Cod. While I am away collecting great finds to share with you, I am featuring a few of my past posts about this great spot. From my 2013 visit…


Often when I mention Wellfleet to people, if they know of it they often ask if I like oysters. The answer to that question is no, unfortunately. But people ask because Wellfleet is world famous for its oysters.

About Wellfleet Oysters (from the fine folks of the Wellfleet Oyster Festival): “Wellfleet oysters have been considered some of the world’s best for generations. The Wellfleet oyster is an eastern oyster, crassostrea virginica by species, the same kind of oyster that grows in Long Island Sound, as far south as the Chesapeake Bay, and up into Canada’s Maritime Provinces in the north. In the beginning of the 1800s, Wellfleet’s native oyster population was nearly depleted. Aquaculture, as we know it today, began as Wellfleetians imported young oysters from points south, flavored and fattened them in local estuaries, then harvested them for sale in the lucrative Boston market. Although people may not agree on which oysters are best, they do agree a real difference exists among oysters grown in different locations. If Blue Points, Chesapeakes, Cotuits, Malpeques, Wellfleets, and other types of oysters along the United States’ eastern shores are all genetically the same, why do oyster connoisseurs from around the world extol the virtues of the Wellfleet oyster? Wellfleet oysters tend to be long and strong-shelled. Experienced tasters know that they are plump and clean with a distinctively good balance of creamy sweetness and brine.”

Oysters are such a big deal in Wellfleet that the town holds an annual Oyster Festival every fall. This year, the Wellfleet Oyster Festival will be held October 19 -20.

Learn more about the Wellfleet Oyster Festival here.

OYPSpeaking of oysters, as I have been scouting antique stores and auction galleries in recent times, I have become acquainted with oyster plates, which are apparently quite collectible. I was interested learning more about oyster plates – some of which are quite ornate – so I did a little research.

The Kilmarnock Antique Gallery is a great source for information on oyster plates. Kilmarnock Antique Gallery of Kilmarnock, VA is the home of the self-proclaimed “Oyster Plate Lady” and they offer a great collection of oyster plates. Just a quick look at their online collection of oyster plates will allow you to see the great variety of plates out there and why they are so collectible.

Meanwhile, Paris-based offers everything you ever wanted to know about oyster plates and offers and impressive gallery and museum of oyster plates from all around the world.