Chocolate Bird Nests


I have this ever-clever friend who made these adorable treats the other night for our Garden Club meeting. She shared with me how you make them:

All you need are the large shredded wheat biscuits, crumbled (I would say 6-8 per pound, you just need to decide how brown you want them), and 2 pounds of chocolate (ie chocolate chips are great).

You melt the chocolate in a double-boiler over med high heat until all just melted, then pour carefully into bowl of shredded wheat (already broken up biscuits). Wait for chocolate to cool (less than a minute) and prepare to get your hands dirty (food-safe gloves recommended)!

Just mix together until it is very, very thick.

Using parchment paper to line the inside of whatever shape you want your nests to be in (cupcake tin, bowl–your choice!), take a large scoop and place on the parchment paper in that container.

You will then press the mixture up against the sides and down against the bottom until it is in desired shape–may need to add more to thicken walls of nest.

Let harden by leaving at room temp, or to speed up, put on cookie sheet and stick in the fridge for an hour or two.

When done, carefully peel of parchment paper, and you have your yummy chocolate nest!!!

Great College Graduate Gift Idea!!


My friend’s husband just wrote this fantastic book-great to give any recent college graduate.You can purchase it on Amazon. Here are some of the topics David covers:

Only about 50% of today’s college graduates are working in jobs that require a college degree. How do you make sure your college investment pays off?

Can you imagine landing a great job after college? To succeed in today’s tough job market you must know what works—and what doesn’t.

Learn from 30 recent college graduates who overcame obstacles to start careers they’re proud of. This book gives students, new grads, and their parents:

–Inspiration. What will it feel like when your job search is successful?
–Practical action steps. Each chapter is loaded with tactics you can apply immediately. Beat Applicant Tracking Systems, learn shortcuts to building a job search network, and nail your next Skype interview.
–Access to critical resources: Save hours of searching. Everything you need to jump-start and sustain a successful job search is right here.

San Gimignano Marble Eggs


When we lived in Zurich years ago, I took a trip to the Tuscany region of Italy with a friend-between us we had 7 children! We dragged them to San Gimignano to buy the marbled eggs that I cherish every Easter.

Well worth the visit for more than the eggs,here is a brief history:

San Gimignano is a small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena, Tuscany, north-central Italy. Known as the Town of Fine Towers, San Gimignano is famous for its medieval architecture, unique in the preservation of about a dozen of its tower houses which, with its hilltop setting and encircling walls form “an unforgettable skyline”. Within the walls, the well-preserved buildings include notable examples of both Romanesque and Gothic architecture, with outstanding examples of secular buildings as well as churches. The Palazzo Comunale, the Collegiate Church and Church of Sant’ Agostino contain frescos, including cycles dating from the 14th and 15th centuries. The “Historic Centre of San Gimignano”, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town also is known for the white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, produced from the ancient variety of Vernaccia grape which is grown on the sandstone hillsides of the area.

Painted Blown Easter Eggs


I have a friend that just moved from Concord. Every year she had a “workshop” to make painted blown eggs. All of us would TRY to make them as nice as hers and NEVER succeeded-she was an incredible artist and so creative.We are going to miss her so much.These are all her eggs…..

Here are some instructions should you want to try:

It all starts with a blown egg — that is, an egg shell with all the gooey insides removed. Although you may never aspire to spend time decorating eggs as an art form, blown eggs are good at helping you preserve any hard work you or your family creates for Easter. Perhaps you’ll want to do just a few so that you can create keepsake ornaments to mark your child’s decorating skills and talent as each year progresses.

Grab some eggs, a straight pin, and bowl and follow these instructions:

Starting at the narrow end of the egg, gently pierce a hole through the shell and membrane with a straight pin.

If you want to dye the egg, be sure to keep the raw egg intact, dye it first, and then blow out the contents. Otherwise, you’ll have floating eggs on dye (nothing like bobbing for eggshells in dye!).

Turn the egg over and pierce a hole through the shell and membrane with a straight pin in the center of the bottom of the egg. Use the pin to gently start removing more bits of the shell and membrane to make a hole approximately 1/16-inch in diameter. Pierce the yolk.

Pressing your lips to the top of the egg, blow the insides of the raw egg out of the bottom of the egg into a bowl.

Try not to touch the raw egg.

Rinse the inside and outside of the shell with a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water.

Use paints, stamps, colored tissue paper, or whatever you desire to decorate your freshly blown egg.

Blowing an egg means that a raw egg is blown from the insides of the shell. Although this craft has been done for centuries, don’t get careless when handling raw eggs. Be safe to avoid illness.

If you can, blow eggs safely by investing in an egg blowing kit, or at the very least buy an ear syringe used for irrigating and cleaning ears. (You can find them at any drug or discount store.) Use the ear bulb to blow air into the egg, removing the insides, instead of placing the egg to your lips. You can also use the bulb to squirt a vinegar and water cleaning solution inside the egg to clean and remove any remains. Take care to wash your hands thoroughly with an antibacterial soap after removing the insides of the egg.

Holiday House Tour,Part Two


This house was decorated by Chad Michael Peters-he did a wonderful job. It felt very warm,festive and charming. More on Chad and some of his ideas tomorrow…….

Double Tree!


Here is a neat idea that one of my friends sent me. She has two girls and they each get to decorate a tree with antique heirloom ornaments that mean a lot to them. As you can see they are on either side of the fireplace-very pretty!!

Let’s Support Those Sox!

We sell this wonderful lamp at Concord Lamp and Shade in Concord MA. At night it turns into a “night game”-all of the lines and lights turn bright white. The names of the  Red Sox players are on the shirts of the fans watching the game. The balls that make the base are regulation balls and the base is made of ash  ( like a baseball bat.) Great gift for fans!!

Ideas for Beds-Summer House

Here are some ideas for summer sleeping!

The first is a bunk bed,made by the builder for a house on the Vineyard. What I loved was the rungs on the side to scramble up to the top bunk. I thought it was all very nicely done.

The second example is a set of twin beds on these big red wheels. This is so clever-the beds can be moved around easily to create a double bed or two singles. Great idea for the many visitors with different needs that arrive in the summertime!