Monthly Archives: July 2011

What to do locally this weekend…7/29-7/31

My picks of what to do in the Champlain Valley area this weekend…

Friday, July 29

Bright Eyes (opener: The Mountain Goats)
Doors open 6pm, 7pm show
@ Shelburne Museum
$34 advance, $38 day of show
Blend of blues & folk music

Dropkick Murphys
Doors open at 7pm, 7:30pm show
@ Midway Lawn at Champlain Valley Expo
$33 advance, $38 day of show
I saw these guys a number of years ago & boy do they put on a great show!  Their music is hard to explain- a blend of rock & metal, with an Irish soul.  

Saturday, July 30

Yoga on the Mountain
@ Mt. Philo State Park in Charlotte
$35 suggested donation

Green Mountain Draft House Field Day
@ Shelburne Farms in Shelburne
$5-8 admission fee
Demonstrations, wagon rides & more.

Ben & Jerry’s Outdoor Movie Festival
Movie: Yogi Bear
@ Ben & Jerry’s Factory in Waterbury
Watch a movie & eat some ice cream…yum!

Weekend Events:

Deerfield Valley Blueberry Festival
@ Various locations throughout Wilmington, Whitingham & Dover
Parade, music & pick-your-own blueberries

Champlain Valley Folk Festival
Friday- Sunday
@ Waterfront Park in Burlington
3 days of workshops, music & dancing.
$15-30 per day or 3 day pass $60

Festival of the Islands
@Various locations in the five island towns
Meander through VT Rt 2 & Rt 129 through the islands (all happenings on these roads) and visit craft fairs, farmers’ markets, galleries, music, farm stands, yard sales, wine tastings & more!
Email for a map:

Taste of Stowe Arts Festival
@ Topnotch Field, Topnotch Resort in Stowe
Booths of numerous exhibitors of crafts & art.


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Filed under Things to do....locally in VT!, Travel

Decorating Tips…Tweaking what you already have

This article in the Wall Street Journal is fabulous.  I suggest anyone who is bored with their current decor to read this article:

Introducing ‘the refresh’: Minimally invasive décor tweaks that give interiors a major lift

Not only does this article have some fun before and after photos (my favorite!!), but it has some great tips, too:

“Take everything out of the room, then assess,” said Amy Lau, a New York designer… “You accumulate tons of stuff. Take it all out, then layer it back in, and clean it up.”

Matthew Patrick Smyth put it this way: “Purge. Things from trips, gifts, what the kids bring home. You lose perspective. ‘Do I need this in my life?’ The answer is ‘No.’ Look at the place cold, as though you were showing up for a party. Think ‘thrift shop.'”

Tracey Pruzan advised focusing on the signature pieces, and letting them dictate what happens next, because “it’s hard to know what to change” when you start.

Reupholster.  This can bring an old piece back to life!

 “Color is the cheapest thing you can do,” Mario Buatta said. “Color changes the point of view of a room.” He once talked a client out of replacing all her furniture. “The walls went from yellow to dark green and the furniture came to life again.”

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Filed under Decorating & Organizing Ideas

Fun MIY Frozen Treats Friday

It’s hot.  I hope that you have air conditioning.  If you don’t… I hope that you are at least in front of a fan or by a large body of water.  Please stay hydrated.  Sometimes when it’s really hot, we just aren’t really that hungry, but it’s important to have at least a little something in your tummy (especially on a hot day)…

Here are some (frozen) ideas for some treats to help cool you down:

Frozen Fruit Pops

Frozen Fruit Cups by Taste of Home

Photo by Gailanng on

Banana “Ice Cream” by

Lemon Frozen Yogurt with Raspberries by Dessert First

Frozen Grapes…surprisingly good!!

Mango Lassi Pops by Jaimem on The Family Kitchen

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Filed under Fun with Fruit Friday, Recipes: Appetizers, Recipes: Desserts

Fun Find…Amazing website share!

At the risk of losing some readers… I just have to share an amazing website I was told about by a friend!

The website is called Pinterest.
According to the website, it is “a place to catalog things you love.”  

I love this website!!  It is almost like it’s for the blogger who doesn’t want to write,  just share images & findings.

I’d suggest you go into the “popular” board and check out all the different pages-DIY, Places to go, Lovely Bedrooms, Crafty, Beautiful Spaces, Tasty Treats and Words to Live By are just some of the fun boards to choose from!


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Filed under Crafting, Decorating & Organizing Ideas, Fun Finds

Food & Wine’s Weird Food Festivals Around the World

Food & Wine recently posted the “World’s Weirdest Food Festivals” and boy, some of these festivals ARE weird!

Chinchilla Melon Festival

Tossing tuna, eating bugs, rolling big things of cheese down a hill or waterskiing on watermelon…Looks like a delicious(?) time!

Here is the link to the article: Food & Wine

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Fun with Fruit Friday… Avocado Mango Pear Smoothie

Avocado Mango Pear Smoothie: I have been drinking these delicious smoothies for about a year now from Patra Cafe on Center St in Burlington, VT.  Fresh, refreshing & full of nutrients**!  The smoothie is $4.75 for a 12 oz cup & highly recommended.

The cafe now also serves food, but I’ve only been there for tea and smoothies.  I got a muffin there once, about a year ago, and it wasn’t very good.  Hopefully their food has gotten better, but I’d really just recommend you go there for their yummy smoothies (other flavors than avocado pear available) or wide selection of tea offerings.  They also sell loose-leaf tea you can take home.

Food offerings: granola, oatmeal, grilled paninis & soups
Beverage offerings: tea, coffee, juice, smoothies & bubble tea! 

The ambiance is simple & comfortable.  It’s a quiet place to read, sip your tea or catch up with an old friend.  Also great for people watching… Burlington is known for its characters…Live music & open mic nights occasionally, too.


Patra Cafe
9 Center St
Burlington, VT


If you aren’t in the Burlington, VT area & want to make a Avocado Mango Pear Smoothie at home, here’s how (not the Patra Cafe recipe, but looks close):  

1/2 avocado
1 pear, chopped up
1/2 cup frozen mango, chopped up
1/2 cup water
4 ice cubes (amt may vary per how big your ice cubes are or how thick you like it…)
1 tablespoon honey (optional)

Put all the ingredients in a blender & blend until smooth.  Yum!

**”Avocados are high in fat (the good kind) and contain the fat-soluble vitamin E. Avocados are an excellent source of certain antioxidants that help slow aging and prevent certain cancers and heart disease. They are high in folate which also helps protect your heart and guard against stroke. Studies have shown that avocados can lower cholesterol, guard against eye disease, help fight oral cancer, prevent breast cancer and has been shown to inhibit prostate cancer.” (Russell, Tracy: Incredible Smoothies)

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Filed under Fun with Fruit Friday, Restaurants

Recipes… Parmesan risotto, asparagus, chicken & walnuts

This recipe is very similar to my post on 7/12/11, except I changed a couple of the ingredients- fiddleheads are no longer in season & I was curious what flavor walnuts might add.

Ingredients (4-6 servings):  1 clove garlic, approx 1/2 cup walnuts, a chunk of parmesan cheese, 2 chicken breasts, box of parmesan risotto, chicken broth, 1/2 onion, butter & asparagus

Directions (about 30-35 minutes):

Follow directions on the box on how to make the parmesan risotto.  I change the water requirement to 1/2 chicken broth & 1 1/4 cups water, but that’s just a recommendation for added flavoring.  I also typically add a little parmesan cheese, too.

Wash, trim, cut and steam your asparagus.

Dice 1/2 an onion, put into pan with a little butter.

Wash, chop & your chicken.
Add the chicken to the onion in a little chicken broth and butter, add a clove of garlic and some herbs to taste.

Put on low and cover the chicken for a couple minutes, until cooked through.

Put the walnuts in a bag and crush them into pieces with a mallet or anything hard in your kitchen!

Toss the walnuts in a pan with some butter & lightly toast.
NOTE: You can also toast them in the oven for a few minutes at 350 for better flavor… 

Add the cooked chicken & onions to the (fully cooked) parmesan risotto, mix.

Mix in the toasted walnuts & asparagus.

Grate a little fresh parmesan on top & serve hot.  A great side or main dish!

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Filed under Recipes: Main Dishes