Sweet & Salty Showers of Happiness

Last weekend I gave a sneak peek of the sweet stuff we served at the bridal shower that my dear friend was hosting for her adorable soon-to-be daughter-in-law.

Smores Bowl of Popcorn

Since I love me a good shower of any kind, I volunteered to assist with the food and decorations. This was planned as a small shower with a few special guests, since the bride-to-be originally hails from Maryland, and another shower had already been held in her honor back home. The decision was made to host this shower as a “wine-tasting party” at a great little gourmet shop in Sandwich

Shower The Brown Jugcalled The Brown Jug.

Shower Brown Jug Sign

Purveyors of fine beverages, and adjacent to a gourmet food shop, the wine shop has a charming, rustic feel, with floor to ceiling crates and shelves filled with wines and craft beers,

Shower Brown Jug Tables

chunky, aged butcher block tables and sweet little café sets in the front windows. Along with some vintage enamelware overflowing with colorful garden flowers (these cut glass vases were filled with sand and seashells, borrowed, ah-hem, from the dunes of Cape Cod…)

Shower Flowers and Candles

and the inspired nautical decorations,

Smores Bags on Table

it made for a fun and relaxed party setting. And how can you not be in a party mood anyway, surrounded by great food

Shower Cheese Board

and hundreds of bottles of wine, just waiting to be opened and tasted?!  BTW, do you happen to recognize those gorgeous chevron striped table runners?

Shower Favors and Flowers

I don’t know what it is about chevron, but it’s just so appealing, and blends with a variety of styles and colors, including Caribbean Blue (St. John wedding), Baby Girl Pink (Wakefield baby shower) and Nautical Navy (on Ol’ Cape Cod). Those runners have certainly been around the block-thanks Lindsey-I owe you!!  The shop’s manager pulled out all the stop(pers) to make this shower a memorable occasion for the guests and guest of honor alike. Along with the gorgeous cheese, meat and fruit board that the shop had provided (with cheeses I had never even heard of, but boy were they delicious!),

Shower Cheese Board Closeup

we also put together a few scrumptious bites for the guests.

Shower Brown Jug Food Platters

Included on the menu were homemade bruschetta, chicken and grape croissant sandwiches, stuffed spinach cheese bread and of course, the various wines and Prosecco chosen by the sommelier,

Shower Brown Jug Wine Assortment

just for this very special occasion. Finished off with our “life-changing” Sea Salt Caramel Dark Chocolate Cupcakes, and S’Mores Popcorn,

Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt Cupcakes

the shower was deemed a sweet success! It was truly a magical evening, with family and friends coming together with this loving young couple to celebrate their upcoming nuptials, and to shower the new bride with gifts and love.

Shower Gift Table

And isn’t that what a shower is supposed to be about? Here’s hoping someone showers a little love on you today! Susan

I Shutter To Think…

          …what would’ve happened if Coach and I hadn’t wandered down to Cape Cod last summer and found some old shutters on the side of the road. Seriously! On a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon, we were driving down the Old King’s Highway, or Rte 6A, for some antique shopping and ocean viewing. All of a sudden we spotted some old, weathered, beautiful pastel shutters on the side of the road. patio map So Coach pulls over and tells me to get out and grab them! Which I did, but only after looking at all of the surrounding homes to ensure that a strong wind hadn’t just blown them off and the owners were set to retrieve them.

Old House

All clear! So I threw them in the CRV and off we went, but not very far before I noticed the strong oceany, mildew, rotten seaweedy kind of smell emanating from the back seat. Yuck! But we brought them home, along with some others that a shopkeeper gave us-yup, it was just that kind of day. So I soaked them in bleach, mildew remover, sanded them, washed them again, then laid them out in the sun for weeks. As the summer wore on, the stench slowly dissipated as I anxiously awaited the opportunity to use them in some special project. Fast forward to last weekend’s patio table project. We had scooped this topless table at a yard sale, realizing that I would have to create a new top for it.     patio table

My first thought was to use this old rain barrel- the staves were old and beautifully weathered, and unlike the shutter slats, were smell-free.

Antique Barrel

However, after spending hours deconstructing it, I discovered that 1. old barrel wood is really brittle and 2.old barrel staves are curved, which makes for a precarious perch for a cup of coffee.

Old Barrel Staves

The Plan B inspiration hit me at 4:30 am- the cleaned, pastel shutter slats would be perfect! So here’s my how-to:

1. Cut out a round piece of pressure treated plywood for the base in the size you want for the table top.

patio plywood

2. Arrange the slats in a pleasing “patchwork quilt” style pattern.

patio pattern

3. Glue, then nail the slats to the top of the plywood circle. I used this little sharpshooter- it shoots tiny little brads that are almost invisible.

patio sharpshooter

4. Flip the top over, then using a jigsaw, trim all of the excess wood away to create a perfect round. Well, not exactly perfect. I’m working on my sawing skills : ). Then flip it back over and

patio jigsaw

sand the top and the edges until smooth and even. Stain the bottom and sides.

patio top cut

6. Finish sides with black spray painted hanging strapping stuff with little black tacks.

patio tacks

Patio set strapping

I had High Heat paint so that’s what I used, but unless you are planning on using this as a fire pit, I think regular Krylon will do the trick.

patio black strapping

7. Spray the entire surface with matte clear acrylic finish. Allow to dry, then finish with a coat of Annie Sloan Soft Wax on top and sides, both the wood and the metal. Place on your patio for all to admire and enjoy!

Patio Set finished

OR

9. Set it up in your booth for the Vintage Thymes Monthly Market coming this weekend! This one’s for sale : )

patio booth

So see, if we had never wandered to the Cape that day, I never would have scooped those shutters and created this beautiful table and chairs and offered it to you! Now, does anyone need a box of cut up antique barrel staves? Happy wandering Wednesday everyone! Susan

Old Cape Cod

“If you’re fond of sand dunes, and salty air, quaint little villages, here and there, You’re sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod”- so the song goes.

We are fortunate to live only a little more than an hour’s drive away from our National Seashore, and equally as fortunate to have children who generously gifted us a weekend away at the Chatham Bars Inn. For those of you who have never ventured over the bridge to “The Cape”, Chatham is the quintessential Cape Cod town. Picture a quaint little village sitting on the ocean’s edge, cedar-clad homes and shake shingle roofs, the village lighthouse with it’s beacon lighting the way home for incoming sailors.Winter on the cape is calm and quiet, devoid of the thousands of tourists who flock there in the summer months to take advantage of miles of sandy shores and magnificent beaches. This time of year, solitude reigns, and while walking the beach with a few hardy souls, you may encounter a seagull or two, or the occasional pawprint in the sand, but this is the best time to enjoy all the beauty that the cape has to offer without fighting the crowds.

The perfect place for a weekend getaway, the Chatham Bars Inn has a long and storied history. Construction of the inn began in 1912, when wealthy Bostonian Charles Hardy purchased several parcels of waterfront land, with the intent of building a hunting lodge. Over the years, the inn has undergone additions, renovations and refurbishings, and what stands today is a spectacular historic resort with buildings scattered over 25 acres, all facing the Atlantic Seaboard.

Now this is not going to be a Hotels.com or Tripadvisor.com review, but I will tell you that the service was impeccible, the room was lovely, breakfast was delectable and the main inn was breathtakingly, simply elegant. Not lavish and overdone, our room was so “Country Pretty”- white trim, soft blue accents, heavenly plush bed and a view of the ocean. A perfect place to unwind and reconnect before heading home for another work week.

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