Thursday, June 30, 2011

She Sells Sea Shells

Wow even writing the title makes my tongue get tied!

This week I was at the beach and three adorable little girls came up to me to see if I had an interest in purchasing some sea shells.  When I asked the girl holding the bucket of shells how much she was selling them for she replied "one dollar."  "Wow one dollar, don't you think that's a bit much?"  , after all the beach was laden with sea shells; "No" she said she thought the price was perfect for the treasures that she had found. Not wanting to offend her high priced shells I told her that I'd gladly buy the entire bucket if I had brought my wallet down to the seashore, she said that I could have one for free. Isn't that just about the cutest thing? 

Her two friends also had a job , one of the girls let me know of a lemonade stand that they were going to have just outside the beach opening, specifically on the right hand side not the left , but we shouldn't come between 4:00 pm  because they would be getting their lemonade supplies. The other little girl just looked as cute as could be as she sat and buried the sand around her feet. Adorable.

If I had my purse with me I would have given the girls a dollar, not because the shells were worth it, but because the spirit in which they were presented was priceless. They were quite the entrepreneurs. I love summer days, it brings out the creative.

As they left me with my free sea shell I decided to collect a few more so that I could make another easy summer craft. Here's what I came up with, sea shell garland. It's easy, fun to create, and looks so summery hung anywhere.

1. Collect sea shells with holes

2. For the string I used dental floss. I measured the length that I wanted and left about a foot extra so that I could tie each shell.

3. I strung each shell and tied it as shown above. Be sure to leave a bit extra at each end for hanging. 

* Once you are done you can put the string over your shoulder so that the garland doesn't get tangled up on itself.*

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer Craft & Reading

Two of my favorite things to collect when I walk the beach are sea glass and driftwood. Since it was raining, again, I took out my sea glass collection and thought I'd make an easy summer craft  that is fun for adults and children alike, a sea glass charm. 

3 steps and you're done:

1. Find a piece of sea glass

2. Cut a piece of wire ( I used approximately 10" of 26 gauge)

3. Wrap the wire around the glass, be sure to make a little loop at the top so that you can put it on a chain or rope

4. Place your sea glass charm on a chain, rope, or leather cord, and you have a piece of jewelry for any summer outfit.

To continue this sea glass theme I thought I'd share a book that I enjoyed reading a few years ago. Anita Shreve's  "Sea Glass". 

Publisher Comments:

It is a house on the beach. Honora doesn't mind renting — despite its age and all its flaws, the old house is the perfect place for a new marriage. She and Sexton throw themselves into fixing it up, just as they throw themselves into their new life together. Each morning, Honora collects sea glass washed up on the shore, each piece carrying a different story in its muted hues.

Sexton finds a way to buy the house, but his timing is perfectly wrong. The economy takes a sickening crash, and as financial pressures mount, Honora begins to see how little she knows this man she has married — and to realize just how threatening the world outside her front door can be.

Like those translucent shards that Honora finds on the beach, Sea Glass is layered with the textures, colors, and voices of another time. There is Vivian, an irreverent Boston socialite who becomes Honora's closest friend even as she rejects every form of convention. McDermott, a man who works in a nearby mill, presses Honora's deepest notions of trust — even as he embroils her in a dangerous dispute. And there's Francis, a boy whose openness becomes the bond that holds these people together as their world is flying apart.

Sea Glass is an unforgettable story of trust and betrayal, marriage and attraction, from one of the most persuasive, farseeing, and deeply engaging writers of our time.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Schedule

I'm officially on my summer schedule. YEAH! 
That means that I will be busy making stops so that I can share my discoveries with you; so instead of posting Monday thru Friday  I will  only post on Tuesday and Thursday. Everyone needs a break and since our New England summers are way to short we have to enjoy them while we can.

In the meantime if you want me to make a particular stop? Let me know.

If you want to see a little more of this or a little more of that? I welcome your input.

Rockport, MA

Friday, June 24, 2011

Grand Central Station

It’s Friday, the children are out of school, and summer has begun what more could a woman need? A little laugh, after all it is Funny Friday!
Someone sent me this video this week; I liked it because of the Schwartz in it (that’s my last name). I also liked it because it shows the irony of how one man’s stop for directions saved another man’s job. Although it’s probably not a true story things like this actually do happen, a stop can change the trajectory of ones life.

This weekend take a moment to make a stop; you never know, you may change someone’s life. Have a great one!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gorilla Glue Can't Fix Everything

My friend just purchased her first home…congrats K… Although there are many stressful things that come with owing your own home, closing costs, mortgage, breakdowns, and ultimately the lack of the extra funds that once graced your pockets, there are many things that are exciting too, for instance pulling out small appliances, and furniture that one has been saving for the “right time”. As you know I adore antiques, so when my friend pulled out a pair of dusty old tiger maple chairs in need of some TLC I was on whatever road trip they took me for.


We hopped in the car and drove to Gary Thomas’s workshop in Beverly, MA. In meeting Gary I quickly understood his passion for antiques and his expertise in bringing them back to life. It takes tremendous time and patience to work with antiques. A broken leg isn’t something that a bottle of Gorilla Glue can take care of; the process of healing can take months.  Here is the magic that he worked on K’s tiger maple chairs. Aren’t they gorgeous!

If you enjoy the North Shore and Diners in specific, you may want to check out Gary’s book Diners Of The North Shore.  The photos that he collected are wonderful, and give you a “taste” of life back in the day. Enjoy!

Need something refreshed? Here’s Gary’s Contact Information:
Gary Thomas
Thomas Brothers

13 Opal Street
Beverly, MA 01915-2424

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Can You Spare One Jay?

Happy Summer!
During this time of year you can see a lot of classics with their tops silly I mean vintage automobiles. If I had money to burn I'd probably spend it all on them. I adore them. Among one of my favorites is the Porsche 356 Convertible. I found this one on one of my stops, it's the perfect model, color and year, the price...not so perfect.

I think that Jay Leno and I share this same passion; only differenc is that he can actually purchase them. Leno's collection occupies three football-field size warehouses. His first vehicle was a 1934 Ford pickup, but now his multi-million-dollar collection includes several Stanley Steamers, Lamborghinis, Bughattis, Bentleys, Jaguars, Deusenbergs, just to name a few. 

So Jay, can you spare one? I promise I'd take perfect care of your baby.

While celebrating Father's Day this past weekend I saw this little beauty basking in the sun. It's a Corvette, I'd say 1959. Sweet!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Twas The Night Before...

....The end of the school year and all through the house not a creature was stirring not even a mouse;  that is except  Mwah!
Why?, because I'm a procrastinator. Every year I find myself the night before the end of the school year preparing the teacher's thank you gifts. I'll be the one knocking at the store door right at 9pm to see if anyone will feel sorry for me and open the door; and then I 'll get home with my goodies and need to wrap them, and of course make a card or two too. There's just not enough time.

Although I'm not a master of managing time, I am a master at summer time. First order of business, frequent stops at the ice cream shop, second plenty of time running through the waves and squishing my toes into the sand. It's really a pretty simple schedule to keep, I think I will manage my time well......ooops I forgot to factor in some time to work. Oh well you can't be a master at everything !

Well, I've got to run, time is flying, two cards down and a couple more to go. Happy End of The School Year!

Monday, June 20, 2011

It Must Be That Dirty Water

I did it, I wasn't sure if I would, but I did!
I joined the masses and went into Boston this past weekend to celebrate the Bruin's winning of The Stanley Cup. I wasn't sure if I wanted to go, but felt since my crazy Canadian cousins made the effort to drive ten hours a half an hour train ride was peanuts. At first my biggest fear was the crowds. The city was estimating hundred of thousands of fans. I've seen these sort of events on television before and sometimes the people get CRAZY!

At 7:00 am we headed into the city for the 11:00 am parade. I couldn't believe how many people were waiting for the train. I had never seen the station this packed, not even during the regular work week. By 8 am we were lining the streets near the TD Garden only 10 feet away from where the players would be going by. Even though there were thousands of people on every side of me  oddly enough I never felt constrained or threatened. The crowd was extremely well behaved. 

Slightly after 11 am the magic began. The crowd roared, music blared, and black and gold confetti filled the air. I've never witnessed such a scene. It was unbelievable!

After searching out a couple of places to eat we landed at Patty O's, an Irish pub in Boston, just minutes before it became packed. Lucky us. As we walked back to catch the train we heard some police sirens and much to our surprise the boats were on their way back and we were able to catch another glimpse of the players. 

Finally the gates to the TD Garden opened and the players made their exit. That's when the Boston Bruin's team captain Zdeno Chara came out of the gate riding his bike, literally 5 feet away from us. Next Patrice Bergeron walked out of the gate on foot allowing cheering fans to come close to him. Crazy, right?!

What a day! After 39 years the The Stanley Cup is back in Boston. Like I said whether you are a fan or not you can't help but be a fan.

It must be that Dirty Water.....Boston You're My Home!

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Stanley Cup & Super Stars

It's been a couple crazy days around here, first super star sightings, and then the Stanley Cup. This isn't a Stop Along The Way, this is The Stop!
The funny thing is that regardless if you are a fan of particular movie star or not, you can't help but find yourself amongst the crowd waiting for an autograph. It's just human nature, we as people don't want to miss out, we don't want to be left out of the fun. The same is true for sports. Regardless if you are a die hard fan or not, somehow you become the biggest fan when a team wins The Stanley Cup! We just can't help it, it's human nature. I'll admit it, I didn't watch all of the hockey games, I didn't buy a T'shirt, I didn't even host a game 7 party, but what I did do is jump on the bandwagon of the biggest fan parade. I'll tell you who didn't jump on the bandwagon because they were already on the wagon, my crazy Canadian cousins. Die hard Bruins fans and yup you guessed it they're coming to experience the Bruin's victory parade. They're a funny crew & I can't wait to see them, I may even find myself in the middle of the crowd chanting Tim Horton, Tim Horton.....oh sorry that's a Canadian donut shop...what I meant to say is Tim Thomas.

Have a great weekend. Thanks for coming along with me this week.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Ok, so picture this scene, I'm driving to my mom's house in Peabody, as I do several days a week when all of a sudden I see several police cars and hundreds of people gathering.  I of course stopped to see what was happening thinking that it may be an accident; luckily it wasn't. It was A MOVIE!!!! Yup you heard me, Adam Sandler was filming his new movie I Hate You Dad literally a stone's throw from my mother's house. I could hardly believe it. I immediately parked my car at my mom's house and walked over to the set. It's not that I'm the kind of star struck person that chases movie stars it's just exciting that this was happening in my childhood neighborhood. How could I resist?
Parking permit for the movie

We were able to catch a glimpse of Adam Sandler, Vanilla Ice, and Todd Briges as they filmed on Collins Street, in Peabody. It was amazing to see how they transformed a small quaint side street into a ghetto complete with graffiti and vandalized cars.

Condo complex transformed into a ghetto (photo courtesy of Jeannie Cunha)

I was told they were hiding out at the CLC, which happens to be a club that my lovely Goddaughter and childhood friend are on the committee of so I dialed them up to get the inside scoop. Here is my friend Jeannie Cunha with Vanilla Ice & Todd Briges. She told me that they were so down to earth. Vanilla Ice sat down at the piano and played Imagine. Can you image that? What fun. Adam Sandler signed autographs and took pictures with his fans. What a delightful Star Studded Stop Along The Way this was! 
Todd Briges, Jeannie Cunha,Vanilla Ice (photo courtesy of Jeannie)
Adam Sandler's Autograph
My hubbie with Vanilla Ice

I Hate You Dad is due to release in 2012 and is about a disagreeable father who moves in with his son before he's about to get married. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Want To Quit Your Day Job

Remember yesterday how I was telling you about my boredom, blah blah blah?, well, funny how things work because today I received an email from Daily Candy and guess what? They want our ideas. They are having a contest that will take our small ideas and make them into the Big Idea that we know they can be. What do we have to loose? Nothing but our day job!

Illustration from Daily Candy
Do you have an idea that you think is a winner? If so maybe you want take a chance and submit it to Daily Candy's Start Small, Go Big contest. Hey who knows maybe you'll win. ....or maybe I will ;-)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Writing's On The Wall

I’m bored, and anyone that knows me knows that is not a good thing. When I get bored I create a new challenge for myself. I start to look around a room to see what can be altered or reinvented. I start to browse the streets to see what product there is a need for. 

It never stops just at the idea. Depending on how long I feel bored I start to sketch the new product,create a logo for it, and then write a business plan.... that's when it stops, at the financial section of the business plan because, well, I don’t have a cool million to invest, and I know that in about a week’s time the passion that I have for the product will diminish and I will be on to something new. I have about six products and business plans written. I think that there are potentially two winners in the bunch. 
Photo: Idea Paint

My boredom reminded me of a product that I found along my way. Idea Paint. Idea Paint is a paint that gives you the ability to transform smooth surfaces into  borderless, durable dry-erase canvases. The possibilities are endless. 

This product was founded by John Goscha and Co- founded by Morgan Newman in 2002 while they were students at Babson College. In an article with British Airways/Face To Face Morgen Newman describes how IdeaPaint was started:

Photo: Idea Paint
“The company was literally started in a college dorm room, when friends of mine and I were brainstorming and ran out of places to write down our ideas. We thought: 'wouldn't it be great to be able to turn any surface into a giant whiteboard?' Long story short: we created IdeaPaint which lets you do just that in homes, offices and schools."

How about you? What do you do when you get bored? Create? Destroy? Exercise? Change Jobs? Read? Let me know I'd love to know because writing business plans is quite boring.

Monday, June 13, 2011

STOP, There's A Turtle

I really enjoy walking, at lunch I typically go for a short walk, and on the weekends I enjoy finding new places to discover. I've been wanting to try a new bike path that opened up in Peabody. From the road it appeared to be a hidden little jewel. Today since it was gorgeous out, and since I had about an hour to burn before I had to run to the dreaded mall, I thought I'd check it out.

Located in Peabody, MA, Independence Greenway is a  4.6 mile multi-use trail, which officially opened in the fall of 2009. The name is the winning entry of Higgins Middle School eighth-grader Caitlin Truesdale in the contest to name the new bike path. The trail follows the abandoned Boston and Maine railroad and connects over 465 acres of publicly owned open space.

I left the buzzing and beeping of the main road; and entered into a magnificent path surrounded by trees, wildflowers, and an array of little creatures chirping. I followed the road down to the old railroad connection and then I decided to turn around. All of a sudden I heard a sound that made me stop. I looked over and there it was, a turtle in the middle of a patch of grass and white daisies. And the bugger was pretty big. I'd say at least 20" long. What a delightful discovery.

If you'd like to learn more, walk, or discover additional paths in Massachusetts visit

Friday, June 10, 2011

Cute & Cuddly

Growing up we always had animals running around. Rabbits were one of my favorites. The best was when one was abandoned by its mother, we would take the little bunny, which resembled a baby mouse, and we would nurse it to health. Sometimes they would live, and we would keep them in our care until they were big enough to be placed back into a cage of their own. They'd stay around for a while until one day they weren't there anymore. As a child I didn't quite understand where they went.

The other day I stopped by my dad's house. He was really happy to share a surprise that he had with us. One of his bunnies had just had babies. There were six in total. My little lovely, being an animal lover couldn't  wait to pick them up. They were so cute and cuddly.

It reminded me of a story that I had read in Spiegel  of a German rabbit breeder that was in talks with North Korea about supplying giant bunnies to feed the people of North Korea. Apparently each of these bunnies was about the size of a dog and could feed up to twelve people. That's amazing. Now if only my sister's and I knew that there was a market for such a bunny we would have held on to our little bunny patients for a bit longer. 

Photo: Courtesy of Spiegel Online
Here's our dog Oreo having fun with one of the little bunnies. Nobody was hurt, and fun was had by all.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Preserve Your Traditions

Last Saturday morning we gathered at Peabody's City Hall to raise the Portuguese flag alongside of the American Flag in preparation for June 10th, Portuguese Day (Dia de Portugal). As the flag was going up and the choir began to sing the Portuguese anthem I remembered growing up in Peabody. Our traditions, amazing cuisine, festivals, music, and weekends immersed in our culture, brought us together and connected us. As the flag went up I was really proud to be a part of the Portuguese community. 

June 10th is an International day to recognize the significant contributions that Portuguese-Americans have made to the betterment of the City of Peabody and to the United States of America. It also represents the greatness of the Portuguese community through the celebration of Portugal's greatest poet Luis de Camoes who became the symbol of Portuguese immigrants of the United States.

Although I no longer live in Peabody I'm still very well connected to the city, and I hope to always seek to preserve and promote the traditions and heritage of the Portuguese-American descendants living in the City of Peabody.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Stop And Smell The Peonies

We've all heard the saying "Stop And Smell the Roses" but nobody ever tells us to stop and smell the peonies. I wonder why? Maybe it's because they are so fragrant all on their own that they make you instantly stop? I'm not sure, but today as I was in my garden I stopped along the way to smell my peonies. 

The peony was named after Paeon, a student of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing. When Asclepius became jealous of his pupil; Zeus saved Paeon from the wrath of Asclepius by turning him into the peony flower. 

When we moved in to our home we were gifted with several flowers, the peony was one of them. Although I'm not a gardener by any stretch of the imagination I have tried by trial and error to see where the flourish the best. I moved them from the back of the house to the side of the house and now they have found their home in the front. They must like where they are because this year they are really blooming. I have five peony bushes carrying a variety of white, pink and hot pink flowers. They have exquisite large blossoms, and their fragrance is heavenly.

My mom always told me that you should give the first fruits if your labor and gift them to someone. Today I will visit my mom and give her the first fruits of my peony bush labor. Here are what they look like.

Are the fruits of your labor not blooming? They may be the result of any of these factors:

Planting too deeply
Immature plants
Excess nitrogen
Inadequate sunlight
Phosphorus and/or potassium deficiency
Insect or disease problems
Competition from roots of nearby plants
Late freezes

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Calling All Curls

My hair has two lengths, short and shorter. This past weekend I visited my cousin, who is in my opinion a fabulous hair stylist. She cut my hair in the shorter version of the short, my summer look. Although people think that short hair is easy, it really isn't. I can't just roll out of bed and put it up in  a ponytail. I have to wet it down and style it. Kind of a pain, but that's the reality of short hair. 

Here's my cousin Brenda
Apparently curly hair isn't  easy to manage either. It requires a lot of time, the right cut, and the right products in order to look good. While I was getting my hair cut my cousin, who has gorgeous curly hair told me that she had just become Ouidad certified. I had heard of this technique before and everyone that has gotten their hair cut using this technique swears by it. Ouidad ( pronounced Weedad), is an internationally recognized stylist. In 1984, as the pioneer of the curly hair industry, she opened the first salon in the country to cater exclusively to curly hair. She trademarked cutting and styling techniques and a line of products that cater to curly and wavy haired people. 

Here's the good news!! During the entire month of June my cousin Brenda is offering all curly haired people a free Ouidad haircut. Yup you got it. Free! Oh, did I mention that this type of haircut is well over $100.  All you have to do is call and schedule an appointment with her. Isn't that fabulous?! You can thank me later. Here's her information:

Brenda Terra
Salon Vero - An AVEDA Salon
One Central Street Middleton, MA 978-750-4004

On a total side note, this salon has many yummy spa services if you want to treat yourself, and if you want the best eyebrow wax you must visit Rose. She's obsessed with plucking every unwanted hair out, leaving you with flawless eyebrows. Ouch and Ooh La La all wrapped up in one!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Buzz Off

This past weekend  I went to Home Depot to pick up a few items that I needed to complete some of my "to do's". I felt like a traitor since my mom owns a small hardware store, but because Home Depot was closer and I knew had everything that I needed I decided to go there. As soon as I rounded the corner I knew I was doomed. The parking lot was packed, people were spinning their carriages from one isle to another, and little orange aprons bounced around like ping pong balls. 

I just needed a few things so I got out my list, got my game face on, and went for it. Since my little lovely was in tow I made sure that the importance of strategy was understood.....paint department first, that way they can make our color while we pick up our vegetables and plants for our garden. Knowing that the checkout line was jam packed I made sure that we had everything we needed so that we wouldn't have to get out of line. Have you ever been in the midst of huge chaos and just started grabbing for things? That's kind of how I was. I think it's a 

psychological thing. For instance make sure you have everything even if you might not need it because you definitely "do not" want to come back to this zoo anytime soon. So that's how it was. I grabbed a product that I wasn't quite sure I needed. OFF!® Clip-On Mosquito Repellent. 

I live in a buggy area, especially this time of year so I figured worse case scenario if it doesn't work I'm out $10. I have nothing to gain by what I'm about to tell you, OFF!® Clip-On Mosquito Repellent is not a sponsor of mine so this is only what I experienced, but the darn thing worked. One of my "to do's" was to paint the tree house. Tree + Mosquitoes = Missery. Nope!, not with this product, I simply clipped it to my pants and painted all afternoon. Not one mosquito bite. I kid you not! 

Now I will also say this, there are quite a few precautions on the product but I've tested it for you, and am still alive. Just don't lick it, rub it on your skin, or do anything totally crazy like that and I'm sure you'll be fine- or grow an extra pair of bug eyes :-)