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In vino veritas

Spring has finally arrived!  My birthday is at the end of March and I cannot remember it being this cold this late in the year ever.  Thankfully, the emergence of some really nice weather in New England, was timed perfectly with my first Mommy night away.

When I met Justin, I didn’t realize that he came with a pretty impressive friend circle.  Luckily, I’ve become close with his girlfriends from college and for the second year in a row, I’ve been invited to join them on their yearly girl’s weekend.  Last year we went to the Norwich Inn and Spa.  I was pretty pregnant, so my fun was limited to a pregnancy massage and a nap.  This year, since no one was expecting, we headed to Long Island, New York to check out their wine trail.

The best way (and most fun) way to get from Connecticut to Long Island is by ferry.

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Who doesn’t love taking a boat?

We were booked for one night at the Cliffside Resort, a beautiful condo complex overlooking the Long Island Sound.  I pulled out google maps to see what part of Connecticut I was looking at from our room and it is directly across from Old Saybrook (former home of Katherine Hepburn).  The brightly colored Adirondack chairs on the lawn must be a lovely spot to watch the sunset, cocktail in hand during the summer time.

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Early April is still the off-season, so we had the place almost exclusively to ourselves.  We can be a bit loud, so this was not a bad thing.

We didn’t spend much time in our hotel room before we headed off to hit the wine trail.  My favorite stop by far was Sparkling Pointe.  They only make sparkling wines.  Yum!

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The ambiance was perfect too.  Perhaps too perfect, because I came home wanting to repaint our entire house the same lovely gray they had on their walls.  I also came home coveting the Michael Kors gold watch, but that is a story for another day.

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Just one of the amazing perks of the weekend was getting to spend time with the amazing, Robyn of A Modest Life.

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If you are in the Boston area and looking for a stylist/personal shopper, you could not possibly do better.  After all the wineries, we had a stopover on the beach for a sunset cocktail, some rock picking and an impromptu photo shoot.

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The next morning came faster than a mommy looking to catch up on oft missed sleep would have wanted, but I was ready to hit the road bright and early, so bright and early in fact, that I managed to catch the sunrise over the water.

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All in all, it was the perfect getaway with the perfect group!

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-Kate

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You know how you should never tempt fate without knocking wood?   Saying that I thought we were just about done with the dining room, well, that was just silly on my part.   From here on out, I will accept that the house is always evolving and changing with us.

So, when last we spoke, Justin and I were lovingly debating whether the back wall in the dinning room needed anything else.

I smugly said no.  I was wrong.

Joann Fabrics was having an excellent sale this past weekend and I was there picking up fabric for a side project I will soon be sharing with you.  Justin and Audrey came with me and when I let Justin out of my sight for a few minutes, he came back with a literal arm load of picture frames, all 1/2 off.  That man of mine sure can spot a bargain!

 

So much for the bead and batten board.  I have to say though, I think I like this better.

-Kate

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To signify the end of a really challenging year for us, Justin and I debated wildly over where we could go to celebrate New Years.   We decided to take the Orient Point Ferry from New London, Connecticut over to Long Island.

We packed up the car with our two fuzzy friends, Piper and Neuman and some snacks!  They are both great in the car and did well with ferry ride (in full disclosure, we left Neum in the car with a bone and took Piper up into the passenger area).

If you are in Connecticut/NYC/NJ, you must go check out the Long Island wine trail.  We tried so many delicious wines and met a ton of really great people.  It was the perfect way to spend New Years Eve.  While we were celebrating the potential of a new year, we got some great news from our friends Jessica and Michael, who had just welcomed their beautiful baby daughter, Leah, into the world.  The day really couldn’t have been any better.

If you are an iPhone owner, I spent the day playing with my new lenses, from Photojojo (fish eye, telephoto and macro mostly). They attach right to the back of your phone with a magnetic ring.  $50 for three.  I’d say it is worth it.  Plus they give you a small plastic dinosaur.

We had a lot of fun going from vineyard to vineyard.  I love this shot of Justin.  This was at Lenz vineyard, which also had some of the best staff.  Great people.  What are you waiting for?  Just go!

 

Happy New Years!

-Kate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In the most exciting news of the week, I harvested my first edible container garden item. Without setting myself up for naughty google search traffic, it was a cucumber and it was delicious. Everything else is growing like crazy too. All in all, I would definitely recommend trying container gardening and next year I would probably take a crack at some other vegetables.

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-Kate

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I have a complicated relationship with New Haven, Connecticut.  It has been my home and place of employment for more years than polite to admit.  The last year has seen a huge uptick in violence, such that for the first time in my own memory, the city makes me nervous.  I know that if I let that feeling win, then I am relinquishing something that I truly love and I truly love this place.  

This summer, I want to remind myself, and those of you local readers about what makes New Haven so damn great.  This week, I’ve been thinking a lot about legacy and what we leave behind.  In that vein, I decided I wanted to capture the buildings (and architects) who felt so strongly about their work that their legacy remains visible.  I don’t know what you could call this exactly, but I am totally captivated by the named buildings of New Haven.   For right now, I’m going to collect the pictures and then i’d like to fill in the back story.  Maybe we could do this together… I’m not finished by a long shot gathering images and am looking forward to collecting them all. 

One thing that struck me as I was walking around on my photohunt was how many of these buildings were only partially occupied or seemingly not occupied at all.  Such amazing spaces going unused?  That seems like such a waste. 

-Kate

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My favorite iPhone photography apps

I remember so clearly when I got my first SLR camera.  It was for high school photography.  I have always loved taking pictures.  I loved the quiet of the dark room at school, watching the images I captured coming to life in the pans of foul smelling liquid.  There is a quote from Lost In Translation, where the character Charlotte is talking to Bill Murray’s character and she says, “I tried taking pictures, but they were so mediocre. I guess every girl goes through a photography phase. You know, horses… taking pictures of your feet. ”  I peaked in high school in terms of photography in the form of a third place ribbon in school’s photography contest.  It was a picture of a carnation, sitting on the worn planks of my parents’ front porch.

Lately I’ve been taking advantage of all of the wonderful photography apps available on the iPhone.

The Iris App has been my go to editing app for a few weeks now.  It has some amazing filters.

I like taking the images that are half good and running them through Iris to see what another filter could produce.

Instagram is hands down one of the best free photography apps available.  Apart from sharing your images with others (I have 5 followers), it also has some great filters and the new tilt-shift option.  Tilt shift, in completely unscientific Kate terms is where you blur out portions of the picture and it makes the focal point look small.

I haven’t had a chance to really master Pano yet but it creates panoramic photographs.  I’m sure at some point in the near future I’ll be throwing some of those up here.  In the meantime, what photography apps do you use?

-Kate

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