Fathers Day!

Here it comes, that favorite day for Dads! I know that some people don't like to make a big deal out of these days, claiming it's just a day made up for retailers to make more money... but I say No-ho! It's a complete excuse to have a bunch of fun and make a really surprising, creative and fun day for Dads. My husband says he doesn't want anything, just a card and doesn't want to do anything, just go out to dinner, I say B - O - R - I - N - G.

Castle Hill in is a great place to enjoy Fathers Day!

We like to make this day a special crazy mix of everything I can think of all rolled into one. A morning of singing and Swedish pancakes or my mom's famous Waffles (see recipes here: pancakes or waffles), then we have our cards or gifts (we always make a bunch of stuff). Then we try to find something my husband would never like to do - say, play tennis or anything active, or maybe we will do something he really wants to do like go to a museum? and then the classic take him out to dinner, somewhere he has never been but me and the kids have researched just for fun! This year we are taking him to Castle Hill Inn. It's our favorite place in Rhode Island for special events, the open lawn, amazing food and terrific cocktails make it a perfect place for Fathers Day!

Here are some good gift ideas:

I just found this at my favorite store in Venice Beach, CA - Tortoise General Store - they have these gorgeous gardners cubes - they call them SOLA CUBE - one tiny universe at a time I can't think of anything more beautiful and Dad-like. I mean you can go for the tie, razor, book but this is collectible and so sweet.

After a brief stroll through the Tortoise General Store website I also came upon this... but really there are so many cute ideas for Fathers Day here... This mug with a wood handle, made with Hakusan Porcelain Hakusan Porcelain dates back to 1779 or 1958 as its current company. The town of Hasami, in Nagasaki-ken is known for its ceramic houses and Hakusan is the most prolific. visit their website here.

Lucky Fish Unisex Heal Our Planet Tshirt

Lucky Fish Protect the Elephants Tshirt

We have these lucky fish Tshirts which come in Unisex which is to say pretty much mens sizes (probably not the x-small haha) 100% organic cotton with great messages - Heal the Earth and Protect the Elephants! go to our Lucky Fish page and find them on our website.

Or what about a suite of wonderful - beautiful objects (also darts useful!) from Fredricks & Mae on our website! horse hair key chains, darts, and how about an elegant duster! or for that father who is always worrying... a gorgeous set of worry beads!

For that traveling dad.. what could be better than an amazing travel ket from Grown Alchemist. Their products are organic ingredients and using enhanced technologies to make your skin radiant and delightful.  This is a great little intro kit for only $69 from Grown Alchemist
Or the guys from Juniper Ridge put together this really extensive kit filled with many fun things for any father to try! The scents are completely natural and woodsy - no long lasting perfumes just natural oils, from wild pants these are GREAT!

I love this bag from Dries Van Notten... what a great chic gift to make any dad show-off with style! I found it at Mohawk General Store (where incidentally you can find anything great for fathers day gifts!)

So go get-em tiger... and have a great fathers day!!

see all our FAthers Day blogs here for some more good ideas (I found some great things to do just by re-reading these :)


Visit Rhode Island!

Rhode Island home for rent at dusk

A friend is renting their beautiful home in Rhode Island. I get a lot of people asking me where to stay if they come to Rhode Island, I wish I could have everyone stay with US! (What a dream that would be...) There are many homes that show up on the various home rental websites, but I know this area pretty well and I would say that most of these places are rustic and not always in a good way. This home however will have you singing to the Rhode Island tune of fun, beach, surf and sand!

link to more information on VRBO here

home from the large backyard

This is such a beautiful and cozy and private home in Rhode Island that is available for rent, you will be able to bike to the beach, hang out at home, play in the nearby stream - and have the time of your life! It's a very casual and relaxed setting, close to some of the best surf spots New England has to offer. But the home lies on a quiet and secluded property.

outside deck

cozy living room

the perfect summer kitchen!
The house has four bedrooms, 3 with queen sized beds and 1 kids room with bunk bed. Sleeps 6 adults and 2 children. The master bedroom has walk-in closet and opens onto a large second story deck. Three baths, one outdoor shower. The ground floor deck is an expansive 900 square feet. Fully furnished inside and out. Mid-century furniture. Fully equipped, high-end kitchen. European windows and sliding doors. Working fireplace.

well appointed bedrooms
This is your chance to come and visit Rhode Island! and if you do stop by and say HI!

Here is the link


Travel :: Trip to Thomas Jeffersons - Monticello

During our kids April school vacation we didn't really have any plans, I didn't want them to just hang around at home and wanted to find something for them to look forward to during their week off. We've been to Washington DC a few times (you can see one of our trips here), so I wanted to try to do something more planned and structured and DC is just far away enough that it's a good car trip - but not crazy. So while this was a good place to keep as our home base for our three day trip - we didn't do much here but eat, sleep and a quick car-sightseeing tour ("oh look! there's the Washington Monument", "quick over there... Lincoln memorial...") as we pulled out of town.

Our main attraction was to see Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, I had read so much about it and I knew of his fantastic garden and I knew this was a perfect time to go with all of the tree's in bloom and it was.. the drive is about 2.5 hours from DC to Monticello, pretty stop-and-go through small towns which was really nice - instead of freeways. We were going slow enough to look at all the blooms, the farms and to take it easy and stop when we wanted to take a break.

We arrived in the morning at about 10 when they opened, which I think was a good idea. It was a weekday, our Spring break falls at the end of April so we usually miss any crowds, which is lucky. However if you wanted to take a tour of his home, which is a guided tour, they were already quoting 3pm, but we were only interested in the Garden Tour, which is open to anyone who is touring Monticello. When you arrive there is a 15 minute movie about TJ that will make anyone an instant fan and knowledgeable enough to have a few facts in your mind while touring.

First of all I have to say that Thomas Jefferson was one of my favorite presidents. I love to learn whatever I can about him so this was really a treat for me, I was just dragging the kids along - haha they loved it too! We had a fantastic time and there is just enough to make it interesting and not overwhelming. The garden tour was filled with just the sort of facts that I love to know... like this one, TJ espoused that if you plant a thimble of salad seeds every Monday you will always have the perfect amount. He always planted two rows of 'food' in his garden and then a row of something bitter to keep the bugs away. He was crazy about Kale, he knew that the ginkgo trees were beneficial for the soil and was always resist drought. He planted China berry trees at the perimeter of his property, these berries are a natural insect repellant, he has a ring of these trees that surround the communal area of his property. I think we were lucky to have the kind of tour guide that I love - she was filled with interesting facts about Thomas Jefferson and all of his gardening and architectural know-how.

In the middle of the garden stands a 'observatory' just at the edge of the hill and overlooking the entire valley. It's not only a gorgeous look out, but when you stand in the middle of the open-air room you can feel the stillness of the energy - it's amazing! TJ was obsessed about being the first to harvest the bounty of his garden, so much so that he built a micro-climate on the side of the hill so that he could plant early reaping the benefits before some had even planted! (they spent three years digging out the side of the mountaintop so that there would be a perfect spot for his garden). Most beautiful is the fact that he kept detailed drawings and notes on all of his plantings so that Monticello stands today almost exactly as it was when he lived there almost two hundred years ago.

I will never forget this visit and it leaves me wanting to know more! I bought seeds from his garden which they sell in the visitors gift shop.

plan your vacation by visiting the website www.monticello.org