Above: a typical painted New England style house that look so pretty at this time of year.
Just back from a wonderful trip to New York for Thanksgiving with family and a surprise party for my cousin, Bill. We stayed with Bill and his family at their beautiful home in Pawling, upstate New York. Lights were twinkling around the pretty painted New England style houses as we drove upstate from the airport and arrived at dinner time in time for a glass of chilled champagne and a traditional Thanksgiving feast complete with turkey, all the trimmings and our first ever pumpkin pie. Enjoying fine food and wine in the company of Bill and Elizabeth is one of our very favourite things. Why can't every Thursday be like that?
Bill's wife, Elizabeth, and I spent a very happy afternoon in the incredibly friendly town of Pawling, choosing the most amazing cakes from the fabulous McKinney and Doyle as well as trying on sparkly vintage jewellery at the antiques centre. I could barely contain myself when I discovered the most wonderful haul of vintage American christmas decorations from the 40s and 50s on the stall run by Elizabeth's lovely friend, Barrie.
Several bags of exquisite glass baubles and a family group of old snow-tipped brush Christmas trees later, I decided I couldn't really justify the vintage Christmas tray as well... I didn't notice Elizabeth giving Barrie instructions to wrap it up for me as a surprise to take home. Of course the tray is now a treasured possession (see above) and will be unpacked every Christmas and remind me always of Elizabeth and our wonderful trip.
Above: The wonderful McKinney and Doyle in Pawling has a bakery on one side and great restaurant on the other. Worth a trip for the wonderful smell of home baking alone. Oh, and the best scallops I've ever tasted...
Saturday night was party night (Mad Men theme) and it was utterly fabulous. I got to wear the beautiful vintage stole my friend Sam gave me last year and even got to grips with false eye lashes! It was so wonderful to catch up on over 15 years with my cousin Laurie and his wife, Cathy, who had flown in from Vancouver. Such fun to reminisce about our great Auntie Nancy and her wonderful Liverpool turn of phrase. Laurie's tales of being bought a seriously cool watch brought back just what an expert the old lady was at taking you out shopping for those treats that your mum and dad would never agree were a priority... That's how I ended up with dangerously high-heeled boots with shiny spurs on the back that I really could not walk even a single step in, but which earned me such respect from the girls at school.
Above: download free Martha Stewart templates for cards, labels and gift lists etc and get crafty New England style.
I bought a Martha Stewart Living magazine at the airport for the flight home and barely looked up until we were a good two thirds of the way over the Atlantic. Best find were free to download templates for cards, tags and labels (see link above).