Posts Tagged ‘local’

Connecticut Open House Day {2016}

Monday, June 13th, 2016

We went to Gillette Castle a few years ago for Open House Day, because although the castle is really neat and you *could* spend a lot of time walking around and looking at everything, it’s hard to do with kids. We decided to go back again this year, because I love doing things for free so there’s no preesure to spend a long time there if the children aren’t into it. I guess this year they were as into it as you expect children to be, although Linc was only into it if someone was carrying him.

There are also a lot of great hiking trails all around the castle that used to be part of Mr. Gillette’s miniature train system, but it started to rain and we didn’t get very far. I was also wearing a 30 lb toddler on my back and 20 lbs of pregnant on my front (don’t ask how that happens when my husband is carrying zero pounds of children) so I was happy to keep our hike short.

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Evan was running and fell and scraped up his knee. Caroline was rolling down a hill and rolled right into a rock. They are obviously having a WONDERFUL TIME.

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Despite the fact that we look very along in these photos there were definitely a lot of people out enjoying the free admission day. Please feel free to admire my talent for keeping them out of the pictures.

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Best Weekend of the Year 2014

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

They changed the name of Taste of Mystic to Mystic Eats, but besides that it’s the same weekend we’ve had for 3 years now. And it was just as delicious and fun now as it always is. (For reference: Post from 2012, Post from 2013. I am once again really please with how my photography has really improved. This year’s photos are in focus!)

Greek Food Festival:

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Ledyard Fair (free rides Saturday 9-10 am! Every year!):

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Taste of Italy:

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Mystic Eats:

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Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Did lots of things. Am tired. Kids are tired. Zzzzzzzzzz.


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Trip #1 to the grocery store. We did buy cookies. We forgot a turkey.

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Visiting their lobster friends. That’s what they call them. I don’t have the heart to explain those aren’t the same lobsters as last week.


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It was freezing on the pier but the sun (and all the happiness) warmed my cold heart.

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My TV babysitter earned her paycheck this week.

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Go buy this book. HILARIOUS.


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Real street fashion: scuffed boots and yoga pants.

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Evan loves his Duplos and Caroline loves creepy naked dolls

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I don’t know how she doesn’t have nightmares.


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They put extra ginger in the pumpkin pie <3

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Making pies is exhausting.


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It’s sparkling cider.

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Instead of shopping, we visited our favorite places.

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She met Santa.

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Hot cocoa and a lollipop = best day ever

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Watching the town tree lighting


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They FINALLY built a playground at the zoo!

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Those are yesterday’s lollipops they brought to the parade

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Our local parade is adorable, if not very fancy.

Considering it was only 30 degrees all week, we spent a TON of time outside. My kids don’t care. They were born in New England*. Today Caroline took off her jacket and her hoodie and ran around in just a shirt.  But despite the temps we had a really great week.

Now I am throwing myself FULL FORCE into Caroline’s birthday party. Luckily “princess” isn’t the most original theme, so just grabbing pink or sparkly or sparkly pink stuff is pretty easy. I just need to get my house in order so I can start putting things up before I buy yet another princess tent and realize I don’t have anywhere to put FOUR of them. Tomorrow I’m going to let her pick out the ugliest, most ridiculous princess cake we can find to order from ShopRite. I’m so excited.

*This logic fails since I was born in Massachusetts and I’m freezing.

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The Best Weekend Of The Year

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

I think I mentioned this is the best weekend to live in Eastern Connecticut a time or two hundred in the past couple weeks. Last year we were in South Carolina so we missed it (although I wouldn’t exactly say I was missing it, Bob). This year, E had to work all weekend but I was DETERMINED to do ALL THE THINGS with the kids. I’ve spent the summer learning to drag them both around plan fun outings with two kids on my own and this was sort of like the Olympics of solo-parenting. Three food festivals plus a town fair – and for the record, I only cheated on my diet a tiny bit.

The kids did a GREAT job the whole time. There were zero tantrums and only minor threats needed for cooperation. Evan did a ton of walking so I could use the stroller as a single (although I still got stopped at least once every 15 minutes to talk about my City Select) which was like a vacation for my arm muscles after pushing it as a double for 20 months. I feel sort of really actually completely terrible that we had so much fun while my husband toiled away at a job that’s driving him crazy. I know it hurts him that he’s missing so much. But I keep telling myself it’s not the kid’s fault that Daddy has to work so much and they shouldn’t be punished. I don’t even want them to REALIZE their grown ups are stressed and tired and miserable. All they should worry about is how they’re going to have room for ice cream AND funnel cake for breakfast.

Another breakthrough from this weekend: I threw out all my shame regarding hauling my giant camera around and acting like I had a press pass allowing me to shoot whatever the heck I wanted. Which means I took an epic number of photos. I’ll try to keep this post down to a semi-reasonable number but I’m going to add a break after a couple so the page isn’t INSANELY long. And be sure to check Facebook for the whole album – I mean, if you’re interested in gingers and food porn and New Englandy stuff.


Norwich Greek Food Festival 2012

I gave the bread to the kids and ate the insides. Go paleo!

Norwich Greek Food Festival 2012

They both got COVERED in powdered sugar eating cookies

Norwich Greek Food Festival 2012

Norwich Greek Food Festival 2012

We walked home across the Chelsea Parade (it’s a big empty square of grass where the militia used to muster) and the light was SO PERFECT.


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Down On The Farm

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Yesterday I did my duty as a good half-hearted urban hippie and joined a CSA.

Actually, I’m just too lazy to grow any vegetables myself. Besides, the only things I’m good at are tomatoes and cilantro and man cannot live on salsa alone.

That’s garlic. I think it will definitely improve my salsa.

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. You pay a one time fee to buy a share or a half share of the crop and then you get to pick up an assortment of vegetables, fruit, herbs, flowers, eggs, meat, and other goodies either every week or every other week. The idea is you get to know where you food comes from and who is growing it. It’s part of the locavore movement and something I am really excited to participate in.

Our CSA is called Town Farm Organic and is owned by an incredibly nice couple named Amanda and Dylan. It’s only their second season offering shares so they’re still working out the details – which is good, because we get to help make some of the decisions, like bi-weekly vs weekly pick ups or whether or not we’re interested in things like garbanzo beans (answer: yes. hummus. enough said). They don’t have chickens (yet) or any meat (yet) but they are part of the very active community of local farmers in our area and can either recommend or trade for almost anything we could possibly want.

Amanda and Dylan are also VERY tolerant of 2-year-olds exploring their farm.

I wrote them a check on the spot for a half share.*  As part of the membership, I’m encouraged to help out during the planting or the harvest. They even said we could bring the kids and let them participate, since they really believe in teaching kids where food comes from – and they don’t mean the grocery store.

Do I sound like a crazy person and/or some sort of snobbish foodie yet? Because I’m trying to.

The herb garden is planted in the foundation of an old dairy barn. Did I mention the farm was built in the 1700’s and has a super fascinating history? I know that doesn’t make the vegetables any more delicious (OR DOES IT?) but I absolutely love old houses and all the stories that come with them.

1950’s Ford tractor the farmers actually still use. Now THAT’S sustainable agriculture.

Mischievous toddler is mischievous. Also, he totally has an orange slice in his front pocket. He saved it all morning and ate it when we got home.

Dylan and Amanda were so excited about all their plants it was hard for us not to get excited too. We told the kids these were baby peppers and they loved it. Our friend Amelia wanted to kiss them, because that’s what you do with babies (DID YOU JUST DIE OF CUTENESS?) Evan was fascinated and did a great job looking with his eyes and not with his hands (whoa, major dad flashback).

My only real concern is that I am not awesome at cooking and serving veggies. I know that makes joining a CSA seem sort of silly, but my hope is that once I have all these vegetables in my house I will be FORCED to use them or lose them. They’ve got 37 types of veggies planned (plus flowers and herbs and possibly berries) so I’m really going to be stretching to find recipes that my family will eat. And by my family I 1000000% mean E. I can probably bribe the toddler into trying stuff but my husband is cheeseburger and pizza kind of guy. I may end up buying one of those “hide the veggies in the cupcakes!” kind of cookbooks.

That’s Caroline’s excited face. She knows that there is some AWESOME homemade baby food coming her way once we start getting our shares.

*In case you were curious, a half share cost $225. I figure that’s pretty much the deal of the decade, especially because everything will be organic. I spent at least that much on produce in 4 or 5 weeks of grocery shopping and the growing season is much longer than that.

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