7.19.2016

Salem Witch Trials | Elizabeth Howe, July 19, 1692


Today marks the 324th anniversary of the execution of my direct ancestor, my 9th great-grandmother, Elizabeth Howe. She was hanged on July 19, 1692 for the crime of witchcraft along side Rebecca Nurse - her sister-in-law, Sarah Good, Sarah Wildes, and Susanna Martin. Of course, none of these women were guilty of the crimes they were accused of, and the legacy of what was done to these women and men still haunts us today. And Elizabeth Howe's legacy, in particular, is something I hold close to my heart. I am of her flesh, after all.

Kan.del in Salem, Massachusetts (one of my favorite shops of all time) has created a series of Salem Witch Craft candles, each honoring individual victims. I have many of these candles, and was thrilled when they came out with the Elizabeth Howe candle.


Each of these candles comes with their own image on the front, picked to represent each victim, and the story of each individual is on the back.


Elizabeth Howe, at the time of the 1692 witch hysteria, was living in Topfield, Massachusetts, in an area known as Ipswich Farms. She was the mother to six children and the wife of a man who had become blind around the age of 50. Due to her husband's sudden disability, Elizabeth took charge of managing the farm. She took on responsibly that was beyond the limits of what was acceptable for her gender in a Puritan society. She was the boss of home and farm, and she made almost all of the decisions. I believe this was one of the main reasons she became an object of accusation. She had also been accused of witchcraft by a neighbor in 1682. This also made her vulernable to additional accusations, like so many others.

As the boss, for all intents and purposes, of the family farm, most of the first accusations made against her were the bewitching of neighbors' horses and other farm animals. This is the reason I display the candle in my family room, which was historically an extension of the horse barn on our property. This farm, boss lady belongs in an environment that reminds me, every day, of her strength, hard work, and accomplishments. She dealt with hard things and took charge. Society may not have been ready for her then, but she is an inspiration to me now. So, on this day that marks the taking of an innocent and strong woman, I burn my Elizabeth Howe candle in her honor.

A horse stands nearby to represent this farm boss!

Thanks so much for this special treasure, honoring an amazing woman, Kan.del! It has meant so much to me, especially on this day.


7.14.2016

Winvian Farm | Litchfield Hills, Connecticut

The main house at Winvian Farm, built in 1775

Located in the foothills of the Berkshires, in the unspoiled northwest of Connecticut, are the Litchfield Hills. This charming, quiet, yet vibrant area of Connecticut has taken special care to preserve its history, while including unique and modern shopping and dining opportunities. The shops you'll find here are generally one-of-a-kind and will usually be housed in beautifully renovated, old buildings and homes. It is the best of both worlds - the historic and the uniquely new.

Fabulous dining in downtown Litchfield, Connecticut

Litchfield, Connecticut is the home to the first law school in the nation.


Litchfield home, built in 1773




Signature white house with black trim you'll find all over Litchfield


The Litchfield Hills are known for their scenic, rolling farmland, lush forests, and abundance of carefully preserved, colonial homes. This scenery has been a draw for many from New York City and other urban centers, seeking a quiet second home, or even a main residence, in an utterly charming environment. Many families have stayed for generations, and there's little reason to wonder why. This is a community very involved and invested in its past and future.

Years ago, I lived just outside of the Litchfield Hills, and when I was looking for a day surrounded in old, New England charm, I escaped to Connecticut's northwest. One of my favorite stops was West Cornwall, a tiny town along the Housatonic River, set against Litchfield's signature green hills. There are so many charming towns to explore in the Litchfield Hills.

West Cornwall covered bridge

West Cornwall, Connecticut

In Morris, Connecticut, one of those charming, rural Litchfield towns, you'll find Winvian Farm, a luxury resort and spa, with a restaurant that serves a delicious, 5-star cuisine. The resort is built around the 1775, colonial home of Dr. Seth Bird. A suite inside the home may be reserved, or one of 18 individual, private cottages on the 113-acre property.

In front of Winvian Farm's historic home

Our cottage, called Industry. Each cottage has its own unique theme and architecture.

Morning coffee on our porch

The tree house cottage

On the Winvian Farm grounds




The Winvian Farm gardens, where many ingredients are grown for the restaurant.

Each cottage comes with a set of its own bikes.

Dress: Anthropologie | Bracelets: c/o Sisco + Berluti | Shoes: Nine West


Winvian Farm feels like a true escape, a cottage getaway tucked into the woods where you never have to leave the property to experience luxury, relaxation, dining, or adventure. After a day of biking and exploring the grounds, we were treated to one of the most sumptuous meals I've ever consumed. Prepared with local ingredients, including from the resort's own garden, it was a true delight to relax with a martini and course after course of expertly prepared dishes. All this while being serenaded by the frogs just outside the restaurant window. And, after indulging in a 5-star cuisine, I ended the day with a glass of wine and a bath by the fire. Truly perfect.



The casual, yet luxurious, atmosphere of Winvian Farm had me wishing I could stay a week, but, alas, I had to get home. Departing was made less painful by the picturesque scenery of the Litchfield Hills I got to meander through on my way home.

On Winvian Farm's exquisite grounds

St. Bridget Church c.1883, Sharon, Connecticut




Thank you, Winvian Farm for the amazing stay! It was truly one of the most unique resort experiences I've ever had the pleasure to experience. I found Winvian Farm to be the ideal way to experience the hidden gem that is the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut.

7.02.2016

Cocktail | 4th of July


For this holiday weekend's cocktail I came up with a little something I call Independence Sparkler.

Ingredients:
3 oz Hynotiq liqueur
3 oz coconut rum
2 oz lime juice
2 oz triple sec
chopped, frozen strawberries
approx 1 oz sparkling wine

Directions:
Pour hynotiq liqueur, coconut rum, lime juice, and triple sec into ice-filled shaker and shake well. Pour into chilled glass. Pour desired amount of sparkling wine. Add handful of frozen strawberries, and enjoy!

Happy 4th of July weekend! Cheers!

6.24.2016

Captain Jefferds Inn | Kennebunkport, Maine


In a charming, historic Kennebunkport neighborhood, filled with former sea captains' stately homes and mansions, resides one of the prettiest inns I've ever seen, The Captain Jefferds Inn. Built in 1804, the innkeepers, Erik and Sarah Lindblom, have managed to capture and maintain the welcoming nostalgia of an old, coastal New England home.

The parlor desk


The inn's dining room

In the dining room


The beautiful, federal style inn

Situated in the historic district, one of Captain Jefferds Inn's many benefits includes an easy walk or bike ride to Dock Square and all the shopping and dining offered in downtown Kennebunkport. When you want to be in the middle of it all, it doesn't get better than this.

Bikes at Captain Jefferds Inn for guests

At Dock Square

Captain Jefferds is near all the great shopping



It's not only the proximity to all the action of downtown Kennebunkport that makes Captain Jefferds Inn the ideal location, but also the historic neighborhood in which it resides. The historic district is the perfect place to take a leisurely stroll, and be truly immersed in Kennebunkport's history though the old captains' homes and beautifully maintained colonials and federals. One of the the most charming neighborhoods in New England.





Beautiful Captain Jefferds Inn


Captain Jefferds Inn is part of the prestigious and always reliable Distinctive Inns of New England, and it's obvious why. If you want to surround yourself in a stunning piece of Kennebunkport's history, while being close to the charming Kennebunkport village center, Captain Jefferds Inn is the perfect place to stay. 

Thank you Captain Jefferds Inn for the wonderful stay! And thank you for being the friendliest innkeepers I've ever met! Such a pleasure. (And thank you Cape Arundel Inn for an amazing dinner. Post on that to come!)