It's Almost Turkey Day!

Hello lovely friends,

What a difference a day makes, just two days ago it was 65F and sunny. This morning... although it's early, there is a winter chill in the air. At 19F I bundled up to walk the puppy and am now enjoying a double espresso latte while dreaming of snow.

From Thanksgiving to New Years, and all the holiday's in between... are you ready for the holiday season to begin? I'm diving in, head first.

Yesterday I attended a Julmaknad (Swedish Christmas Market) with a good friend.  We shopped, enjoyed a mug of glogg with traditional food, and Christmas songs with the presentation of St Lucia. Odd for this event to happen before Thanksgiving but a lovely way to begin the season.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, we bought a small turkey over the weekend.  We will make a few favorite dishes before going to a 'Friendsgiving' celebration, which will be good fun.  Turkey Trot in the morning, mimosa's, a lazy day followed by a meal with friends.

Right after Thanksgiving, we are hosting Christmas socials... two weekends in a row.  With no overlap in guests I'm going to use the same theme:  Winter Chalet.

Dinner Party for Forty
Flannel & Wine - a gals night in while the World Traveler is... traveling. :)

This means we get to decorate the house and listen to Christmas music starting this week. Soon after these events our son will be home! 

I have discovered so many books that I can't wait to read, and hope to close out the year with a few strong book selections.

Late December I will post my top ten list for the year. In the meantime, join me over on Goodreads to see what I'm reading or find your next book.

Do you have any book recommendations? I'm looking for a good book to sink into while I wait for Secrets of Worry Dolls publication day (Dec 1).

Safe travels and Happy Thanksgiving.
~ with love and gratitude, Mari

My favorite things 2016

Friends and Family,

With Oprah publishing her list of favorite things a few days ago, I thought it might be fun to share 'my favorite things' with you. It's been a rough week, and we all deserve some pampering.

This list below is made up of items like my favorite coffee to a new facial product that I recently bought at Whole Foods. Many of you know Anna Karenina is one of my favorite books,and don't get me started on Sabon (love).

I have created a board on Pinterest called My Favorite Things 2016 : all but two items cost less than $30 and make for great gifts, perfect for pairing into the perfect gift.

Travel: An Italian Holiday

Hello friends,

I'm excited to share a spontaneous holiday with you today. A favorite trip of mine, from a few years ago. 

The World Traveler had to be in Sorrento for an unexpected work conference, providing a good reason for me to join him.  With just two weeks notice, this is one of our most memorable holiday's. Here are a few of the highlights and fun stories from our Italian holiday.

Getting There
We flew from NYC to Frankfurt to Naples with a few colleagues.  After clearing customs and gathering our luggage, our driver told us he could not drive us to Sorrento.  The union was on strike for the day, and blocking the road.

Travel: A Swiss Getaway

Hello everyone!

I'm back from another extended holiday in Switzerland, and boy did I have a wonderful time exploring new places.

Look closely at this photo - can you see the small lighthouse, with a bench, at the end of the pier? One morning I was sitting on the bench to watch the sunrise over the mountain top and was startled by a naked woman.  She stood up to dress after taking a swim in the lake. I'm not sure who was surprised more, me or the lady swimmer.  When I started walking back I passed the woman, in a sundress, sitting on a blanket, smoking, and talking with a friend.

With temperatures ten degrees (f) warmer than usual, in September, locals were enjoying every minute, swimming in the lakes, fountains, sitting in the sun, BBQ's at sunset, and more.  Even I jumped into the lake for a swim! Sorry to disappoint... I stepped out of dry clean only shorts but left everything else on :). 

Introducing Phoebe

Meet Phoebe. I call her zen puppy because she's so laid back and lovable.

She weighed just nine pounds in this photograph.

Joining our family
A week after returning from our July holiday in Boulder, the World Traveler sent me this email:

I found a nine week old puppy on Craig's List. Do you want to call the breeder and see if she's still available for adoption?

It was 3PM when I received his email. By 6PM I had driven almost two hours, to Woodstock NY, and was holding this sweet puppy for the first time.

Summer Vacation

Hello friends,

{Pinch me - I have been to Boulder two times in the last eight weeks} My visit in May was for a women's retreat/board meeting.  This visit was an amazing long weekend in Colorado, with my husband and friends. I hope my travel hangover lasts for weeks. 

We have been visiting Boulder, in July, for almost a decade.  Bill plays in a golf tournament while I hike, spend time with friends, and enjoy a break from technology.  Over the five day visit, we see little of each other yet the energy from tournament activities and daily adventures make up for time apart.  It's a bit of a boondoggle!