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In August of 2011 Hurricane Irene leveled the Connecticut shore and devastated our cottage.  Apparently it was a blessing in disguise that we hadn’t thus far worked on the house, because the house was literally sitting in the Long Island Sound.  Once we rung all the water out, we were left with, well, not much.  We had no choice but to completely tear out the first floor interior... More
It turns out that buying the house was the easy part.  Everything became so much more complicated at that point.  Our mission was to keep the integrity of the house intact.  It’s a 1901 summer cottage, that at one point, had no electricity or indoor plumbing. Of course, it had been wired and piped before it came into our lives – ditto for the unfortunate 1970’s addition to the... More
When you’ve found the perfect house and you’ve fallen in love, but it’s set in a location you’d like to change, it’s hard not to wish that you could simply blink your eyes and move it.  We had that experience with our beautiful house in Connecticut’s Litchfield County.  It was on a lake, and as much as John (Speredakos) and I tried to convince ourselves that any body of water would do,... More
Like you, I have a suitcase in rip-stop fabric, with four spinny wheels to save my back and handy zippered mesh pockets. A marvel of product design, it’s light as helium to hoist up into the overhead compartment, and it does everything but print out my boarding pass 24 hours ahead of my flight. The only thing to distinguish it on the carousel from endless iterations is the tacky red yarn I... More
The secret to Sarabath Levine's success is trusting her gut. Literally. In her mail-order business for her jams and baked goods, her nine restaurants in the U.S. and one in Japan, as well as Sarabeth's Bakery, chef Sarabeth, aka The Goddess of Bakedom, doesn't serve anything she doesn't love to eat herself. Sarabeth Levine Portrait by Alexandra Kuhn Her penchant for following... More
If there is a prettier word than “twilight,” I don’t know what it is. The word carries with it mystery and delicacy. Maybe it’s because transitional periods are among nature’s loveliest: night to morning, bud to bloom, girl to woman. So I was taken by the title The Twilight Garden by Lia Leendertz (Ball Publishing, 2011), subtitled “ Creating a garden that... More
We think these shoes from TOMS and Shabby Chic are just the thing for a spring fling, whether it's stepping out in the flats to the Farmer's Market or wearing the wedges to a garden wedding. They're the result of a collaboration between the two companies (TOMS a maker of classic shoes and eyewear; Shabby Chic, a maker of vintage-inspired home furnishings) to create two types of... More
For recipes for Game Day (and for Mardi Gras not far behind on February 12), who better to turn to than New Orleans native and cookbook author Kit Wohl, author of a New Orleans cookbook series? (She lives on the parade route, and just sent us a note about how much she's enjoying the crowds, the cheering, and the general silliness of the city this week).   Cookbook Author Kit Wohl Kit... More
Like many bibliophiles, I indulge in a perverse snobbery where books everybody else is reading are concerned: I wait to read it when the buzz has died down. So I only recently took up Dominique Browning’s wonderful 2010 book, Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas, and Found Happiness. Any woman of a certain age could identify with Browning's musings, like this one: "I... More
Beautiful saturated colors, arresting fabrics, and a style that blends California dreamin' with European sensibility characterize the rooms in the new book Kathryn M. Ireland Timeless Interiors (Gibbs-Smith, 2012).   (All of the photographs shown here are by Tim Beddow from Kathryn M. Ireland Timeless Interiors by Kathryn Ireland, reprint permission by Gibbs Smith Publisher).... More