Finds: "Finding Silver Pennies" booth at the Duxbury Antiques Show



Do you guys know Danielle from "Finding Silver Pennies"? (or maybe you spotted her in the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens?!) She's a super sweet mom of 2 boys, a pro at painting furniture and hosts a DIY link up party every Sunday. She lives a few towns up from me along the coast here in Ma, but we had never met...until this past weekend:) She was exhibiting at the 33rd Annual Duxbury Antique Spring Show and I headed there on Saturday to see what I could find, show some support, and hopefully get a chance to talk to her in person. And I totally behaved like the dorky blog stalker that I am:) Chatted her ear off for like ever and she was so nice and helpful with lots of painting tips and advice. Thank you, Danielle!!!

{Danielle - on the right - and I...ugh, I look terrible here. Oh well, whatdya going to do?!}
Danielle shared a booth with very nice Dan from Gentleman and Daughter Antiques and their space was so lovely (definitely the best staged one at the show).The combination of his antique treasures with her painted pieces and nautical finds and crafts was really pretty...and perfect for imagining how one or more of their wares might look if you brought it home.

{isn't the color combination on this painted writing desk that Danielle did beautiful? I love the stencil too. Such a wonderful surprise when you open it up!}
I went home from the show with one of Danielle's hand-made driftwood sailboats. Isn't it so sweet? I almost went for that one in the background with the blue and white canvasy sail, but then I couldn't resist the smallest one with the red and white butchers twine and little map bunting. (I have a thing for maps if you didn't least, Paul is always asking me "What's with you and maps?") I bought it thinking I would put it in Ian's nursery, but now I have it sitting on my entertainment center/bookcase where I can look at it all the time:)

While I was there, I also kinda fell in love with one of Danielle's pieces of painted furniture! I didn't go expecting to get anything big, but I couldn't help thinking about this Grantham dresser all the way home in the car and over the next few days. Isn't it gorgeous? Danielle used Miss Mustard Seed's French Enamel milk paint on the drawers and sides and sanded and stained the top in Minwax's Dark Walnut. This blue is such an awesome color in person, people! Here's Danielle's write up of the process she went through on this bad boy:)

Check out the original brass lion head pulls! So cool. Well, I pretty much convinced Paul that we needed this dresser...tons of storage!!...and so I just emailed Danielle to tell her I would like to buy him!!! Yay! I'm going to put him in the foyer in place of the Crate and Barrel wood and glass bookshelf we have had there since we moved in. (I'll move that upstairs where it can be more useful for actually holding books and other things.)

The only other things I wanted but didn't pull the trigger on were from a booth down the aisle, All Prints and Maps (from Essex, Ma.). I can't help it, I'm a sucker for anything paper-related that's old:) First I saw these super sweet vintage fairy illustrations that Maura would have loved:

But what I really wanted to do was take a bunch of these hand-colored wood engraving botanical prints (from a book published in 1597!!!) and run home and hang them up everywhere! (They were really nicely framed too...with a double mat in green and pretty gold molding.) Oh well, I'm going to have to save them for another time. The woman working the booth there, who owns the store with her husband, said that Main Street/Rt. 133 in Essex is a little mecca of antique shops (over 30 within walking distance of each other). Hmmm...maybe I'm going to have to hit that up sometime this summer!? Anyone ever been there?

So, what do you think about my new dresser?! I'm so excited! Can't wait to get it home. Thank you again, Danielle!!

Ps. Go here for Danielle's post about the highlights of the Duxbury show (and more pics).

Guest Collaborator: Throwing a Kids' Easter Party



Hi! How are you guys? Hope you had a great weekend:)

Going to try something a little different today here on the old blog...handing the mic over to my new friend Sophie Miller of! We have something in common...we both like throwing parties:) Oh yeah, and we're both done with winter and ready for spring!! Bring it on! I'm so ready that I actually already have my Easter mantel up (pretty much looks almost the same as last year) and that is saying a lot...its still like a month away and I'm usually way behind on this sort of thing. But enough patting myself on the back, let's get to it. Sophie's here today to talk about hosting an Easter party for the kids. She's got ideas for everything - the invites, food, activities, favors. So fun! Thanks so much for joining us, Sophie!


Easter is the time of year that feels like a series of new things to be excited about. Partially this comes from spring finally arriving and winter starting to fade in the rearview mirror, but the other part is about getting together and spending time with family on Easter Sunday. While your plans for the weekend might be set in stone based on family tradition, implementing another event on Easter weekend could be another way to spread extra joy around. Why not throw an Easter-themed party for your kids on Friday the 18th? It’s a great way to start off what will be a great weekend for everyone, and you’ll be dubbed as the ‘coolest parent ever’ – at least for a few hours. Here are some party ideas!

Invitation Extravaganza

For those into DIY and spending time crafting, coloring, cutting, and caring, making Easter-themed party invitation cards can be a fun little way to make use of the day. One relatively simple idea is to cut out cardstock paper into the shape of an egg. I generally go with light blue, yellow, light purple, light pink, light green and similar colors when choosing invitation card color. Decorate the card as you like with stickers, borders, and various designs. List all the party information on the reverse of the card, complete with party date, time, location/address, contact information, and any additional information you feel necessary.  

{or use these pre-cut cardstock egg shapes from Paper Source...pack of 20 for $8.50}

Dessert Delights 
It’s no secret that kids love sweets. With that being said we can still be health-conscious and make sure that the little ones don’t consume an excess of sugar. This is for long-term and short-term benefit. The long term is that these sweets don’t contribute to unhealthy habits. The short term benefit is that 30 minutes from now you don’t have a wild house of young devils fuelled by sugar highs and making messes throughout the house! Anyway here are some ideas that shouldn’t be too sweets-packed but still a yummy treat that all will enjoy:

  • Chocolate-dipped strawberries 
  •  Easter-themed sugar cookies
  • Glazed cupcakes
  • Dipped marshmallow pops
  • JELL-O eggs with vanilla frosting dabble
For some other Easter favorites, check out some of these delectable treats on the Betty Crocker website.
{Easter nest cookies from Betty Crocker}

What is an Easter party without some egg coloring? This can be the set-up event for the Easter egg hunt or for other games (egg toss perhaps?) later in the party. Depending on the number of kids attending the party will dictate how many eggs to buy and boil before the party begins. Just set the boiled eggs away in the refrigerator, and allow each kid to decorate and color 3 eggs. Set up an open table with all egg coloring and decorating supplies laid out. Don’t forget to cover the table with paper towels or disposable table cloth, because there will likely be some spills and messes made.


Party favors aren’t a big necessity since the kids should be taking home their three boiled eggs, but if you do feel the need to send the kids home with something extra, I remember PEP as my go-to. Pencils, erasers, and Peeps (the little marshmallow bird treats). Send them home with these in addition to their eggs and they will be happy little campers!

An Easter-themed kids’ party is a sure-fire way to bring kids, parents, and your community together to celebrate the onset of real spring weather (when it’s actually warm, not 40 degrees with rain). Since April 20th is still a little while away yet, start planning your Easter party now so all the preparation work will simply be following a bullet list on a sheet of paper. If you’ve got other ideas for an Easter party, go ahead and comment in the section below where we can collaborate together!


Awesome, Sophie! Thank you again for sharing all this with us. I know I personally have thought it would be so fun to have more exciting and unique play dates with Maura (and Ian) and their friends, but then I get stressed about all the details and how to get it all done in advance and tend to just go back to the same old thing (whoever is coming over grabs coffee and donuts on the way)! I'm definitely inspired now to go for it and really create some wonderful memories with my little ones. 

What about you guys? Any cool Easter kid ideas? Do you tend to get crazy with themed play dates or are you boring like me?

My Birthday Trip to London



My birthday was at the end of February and I spent it in myself...visiting my sister who has lived there for the last 3.5 years! It was an amazing trip!!! One of the coolest parts was that the whole thing was a surprise Christmas gift from Paul. On Christmas morning, I opened up one of his "presents", which was a bunch of pieces of paper all folded up. It took me a few tries of reading it to realize that it was a printed itinerary of a round trip flight to and from London. That's when I started crying because I was so shocked, happy, and grateful! So I spent 6 days (1 on each end traveling and 4 full days there) in London while Paul (and my parents and his parents and various other relatives) stayed home with Maura and Ian!! It is an awesome city and I really needed the me time to just relax and recharge. Best gift ever:)

Here's some, ok a lot, of photos from the trip. My sister and her (British) boyfriend just bought a row house south of the Thames, a victorian terrace over a hundred years old. I'll have pics for you in another upcoming post, so exciting!

{relaxing breakfast at "brew"}

{the Eye...various views}


{Big Ben/Houses of Parliament...various views}

{Westminster Abbey}
{buds poking through along the Flower Walk in Kensington Gardens, Albert Memorial in the background}

{Duck Island Cottage, St. James's Park}
{Pelicans in St. James's Park}
{view of Buckingham Palace and Queen Victoria Memorial from the Birdcage Walk, St. James's Park}
{Buckingham Palace gate}
{guards at Buckingham Palace...timing never worked out for me to see the changing}

{Changing of the Guards at Horse Guards Parade}
{St. Paul's Cathedral}

{in London I discovered cider! especially like the flavored ones}

{cool old sign inspiration at Borough Market}
{tried my first macaroon and liked it!}
{chalkboards were everywhere over there}
{the Tower Bridge}
{the guards at Stable Yard Road}
{so pretty the way the sunlight hit the side of this church}
{my sister's old stomping grounds...the Churchill Arms}
{stopping in for a quick tart at Jamie Oliver's Recipease}

{old, brass signs and fun, graphic pillows at Portabello Road)
{front gate detail at Kensington Palace...sadly we did not get a glimpse of Kate and William and little George!}
{back gate at the Sunken Garden Pond...Kensington Palace}
Such a beautiful city with so much to see and do! Can't wait to go back. Thanks for having me, Laura and Charlie:)

Converting our Family Room to a Playroom: Part II



So the process of turning our family room into a playroom continues. As you saw in Part I, we moved the tv into our adjacent living room and painted that newly blank whole wall in magnetic and chalkboard paint. I will say, we are thoroughly enjoying being able to color on the wall and it has definitely helped Maura with writing her letters..she has come so far with that skill in the last month!!

Next I needed to get a new rug since the one we had in here was a bit too traditional for the look I was going for, plus I wanted to move it into the new family room where the tv is now. I was stuck for a little while on which rug to go with it...I wanted something relatively reasonable and practical so I wouldn't be concerned about the kids spilling/spitting up on it, etc., something graphic but with not a ton of color so that the toys would do the "popping" and something fairly soft (cotton/synthetic not wool) for all the sitting and obviously playing we'll be doing here. I had considered some indoor/outdoor rugs from Overstock, but then got an email from West Elm the other day about their rug sale and threw caution to the wind and went for the Graduated Striped Cotton Dhurrie in Feather Gray. In typical me fashion, I got impatient to just move on already, tired of rug hunting, saw that I could get the 8 x 10 for $160 (plus a $25 delivery surcharge) and pulled the trigger. So glad I did! Finally one of my spontaneous decisions paid off:)

Don't mind the rest of the room...we still have half our family room furniture in here that has yet to be moved out and no toy storage yet, so stuff is just all over the place. But I'm loving the rug!!! The colors are even better than in the WE product shots. Two darker shades of gray for the outside set of stripes and then a lovely blueish-greenish-grayish color for the inside stripes.

I love how it looks with the chalkboard wall and can't wait to hang up my huge vintage wall map which I know will look great with these colors too. I've come to realize that I just really like black and white and in this case, with one girl and one boy, it works for us as a gender neutral room.

Next up is storage. We're hoping to head to Ikea this weekend to get some Expedit shelves. Have a good one!!

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