A Simple Thanksgiving Table


After all of my planning and good intention about decorations, and centerpieces, and name tags, it came down to four simple candles arranged by my little guy, great food and my wonderful family.  That’s all that really matters, isn’t it?

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your day was as blessed as mine was!

Love,  Michele


~Just a Few of My Favorite Houzz Thanksgiving Ideas

Gosh I love Houzz.  It is just so much fun to sit with a snack or cup of coffee for a few minutes and look over all of the ideas. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I like to make it special so I usually make place cards and decorate the table with a little twist. I need some inspiration this year so I spent a few minutes looking around Houzz.com this morning.  I could post a thousand photos, but here are my favorites so far:

This first arrangement is just classic and pretty. I like the way the textures of the runner and ribbon accent the shapes of the pine cones.

Beautiful pinecones and textures again, but with a little bit of glam…

I don’t have a mantel but I  have a server that I could decorate like this.

Simple and restful… I love it!

And a different take on the idea,pumpkins that were painted white.  The “white” centerpieces really allow the food to shine.

Candles and acorns…

More white (white seems to be all the rage this year) embedded with upholstery tacks…

And finally, mason jars, candles, greenery and a nice natural wood base…

At the moment I may use white pumpkins, pine cones,mason jars, candles and some greens, with some asparagus foliage for color.

I’ll keep you posted!

Love, Michele

Salem’s Fourth of July in 130 Seconds

Yes, I’m always raving about the wonderful fireworks that we have here in Salem but do I ever get a photo of them? No way!  I try, but I’m just not there yet. So here’s a great video of our 4th of July celebration as it unfolds. If you look closely your sure to see Michael and the kids walking on the wharf 😉 .  Next post will be about gardening, I promise!    Enjoy!  Michele

My Mother’s Day Gifts

We have a busy weekend here. Today’s the dance recital, which means lots of work and lots of fun! This is our ninth or tenth year of dancing, actually I should say this is “my daughter’s ninth or tenth year of dancing”  but it doesn’t really work that way. As a dance mom, it’s my project too, and now my youngest child has joined in so we spend more time at dance then ever. I believe that dance is a wonderful way for my girls to develop skills in many areas. They love to dance and we love to cheer them on.

When I let Winnie out this morning I was greeted by this view. It was rainy and overcast but all I could see were the flowers.IMG_1266

Of course I was drawn right out there and I had to keep looking. Tomorrow will be garden day for me but I’ve been so busy with rehearsals and running people places that I haven’t been down to the garden in a couple of days. I’m always surprised by the changes when I’m absent for a little while.

The rhubarb is in flower already.IMG_1277 Shallots are peeking out.IMG_1275 My daughter decorated the fence for her birthday party. I think the lights are staying here, I love them! This perennial border is starting to come together this year.IMG_1274 We need some more rain to fill up the pond so that the kids can use the canoe, and I need to make that fence with the dogwood twigs.IMG_1272

There’s always bleeding hearts and spirea for Mother’s Day, along with the flowering cherry in the background.IMG_1269

Dancing and flowers…what better gifts are there?

A perfect Mother’s Day weekend to me!

Happy Mother’s Day!


Happy Easter! It’s Time To Plant The Pansies

Usually I’ve planted some pansies by Easter, but this year between the late snows and our crazy schedule I almost didn’t make it.

This morning I managed to pick them up at the garden center, just in time.

Be not afraid!

Their very hardy and they’ll be just fine!


Every March when I put them out people roll their eyes and tell me that they won’t make it, but they do…


Give this pot a week or two and it will fill in with a mass of happy little pansy faces.

You can even eat the flowers if you’d like to!

Have I mentioned that spring is here?

Happy Easter!



Terrariums, the White House and Santa!

Today is catch up day for me. I’m trying to house clean before we start the holiday baking and cooking, and before the Grandmas start arriving next weekend. I just handed the bulk of my Christmas cards to the mailman. I have pulled pork in the crock pot, and I really, really need to fold and put away a ton (literally) of laundry! If I can do these few things, all will be well with the world… It’s coming along, that’s all I can say. Of course, over coffee this morning I did a little bit of blog reading and wanted to share a few of my favorites with you.

First off, Amy-Sue at a Healthy Life for Me blogged about how to make these adorable terrarium ornaments. They would make a wonderful gift, but I can also see them hanging in the windows of our new office.   Here’s the link  for you to check out.

Then I thoroughly enjoyed this post  that my friend Eunice at Living and Lovin had re-blogged from a new-to-me  blog called The Garden Diaries. It describes the blogger’s adventures as a volunteer decorator at the White House last year. “Decorating the White House for Christmas” has now been added to my bucket list. What a great story and wonderful  photos!

Lastly, I loved this post shared by my dear friend Joy at Diary of a Crazed Housewife.

Joy is fortunate to be related to Santa and she shares that privilege with special children in her life… very, very cute!

So, that was my early morning reading… I hope it makes you smile 🙂

 I’m off to dust, vacuum, fold and take kids places and I have two hours and twenty seven minutes before the little kids get off of the bus!

Enjoy Everything!


The Cake Boss!!

Last night my oldest daughter and I enjoyed a fun evening at Buddy Valestro’s live holiday show in Lowell, Massachusetts.   Also known as the Cake Boss on TLC, Buddy was just as fun and engaging in person as he is on TV. He told lots of stories about his family and the bakery, decorated cakes for the holidays and really engaged the audience with chances to participate.  This was the first show on his tour so they were fine tuning some of the technical aspects and had some video difficulty.  Buddy just rolled with it as best he could and it added to the fun. I’m sure he’ll have all of that worked out asap!

Here are some photos, taken with Michael’s point and shoot camera… not perfect, but you’ll get a sense of our experience..

Buddy’s hands are always in motion, just like on tv…

His little boy, Buddy Junior was with him.  He zipped around the stage all night, what a cutie!!

Helping Dad answer a question.

The set (is that the correct word for the stage?) felt like we were right in Hoboken, NJ.

There was a big screen so that we could see the details and tons of audience participation… these kids were cute!

It was a great mother/daughter night out with my favorite baker.. If you enjoy baking and the Cake Boss show, go see Buddy if he’s in a city near you. You won’t be disappointed!

A Little Thanksgiving Garden Update

In the midst of the cooking and cleaning and prep I managed to get out to the garden this morning, and to take some photos, and to do a little blog post! Yay!!  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. For me it’s about giving thanks, real, true thanks, from deep within. I love preparing the food and spending a quiet day with family and friends.

This morning I harvested the last of the carrots. When we grow carrots I always try to save some for Thanksgiving dinner. There were more there than I thought, we will enjoy these for a few weeks..
There’s still some mesclun… this is so resilient, it’s amazing…

And there’s still sage. I picked a nice handful for the turkey.

And rosemary and thyme… for the turkey, stuffing and dinner rolls..

And of course there’s still plenty of chickens… they look pretty happy that this isn’t their holiday,  ;

I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Lots of love,  Michele

Halloween Saturday in Salem–A Smile for You!

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Yesterday I promised that I’d post photos that would make you smile today and here they are! Salem was packed full of people having fun last night.  Here’s a little bit of what we saw… Enjoy!

Pumpkins Pumpkins Everywhere!

It started with these two pumpkins that we grew…

then a few more were added to the landscape in the front yard…and onto the front porch…

Some of those came from our Columbus Day trip to Russell Orchards..

All of our kids were with us that day, nothing else makes me happier!

This sign ended up in the front porch planter this year..So, we now have this…Then the older girls went to youth group and came home with these amazing creations!And my oldest daughter baked a cake with fondant pumpkins…

That looked like this 🙂 It was four layers, with chocolate mousse filling…seriously…

We really have a lot of pumpkins.

Do your pumpkins multiply like ours do?

Just wondering…