The Longfellow’s Wayside Inn

All houses wherein men have lived and died
Are haunted houses. Through the open doors
The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,
With feet that make no sound upon the floors …

(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

This is without a doubt my favorite inn. It’s located in Sudbury, MA, and is the oldest operating inn in the United States. Originally known as Howe’s Tavern, this quaint inn was made famous when Henry Wadsworth Longfellow employed it as the setting for his book of poetry, “Tales of a Wayside Inn” in 1863. This charming inn has everything you could possibly want: a full restaurant, an old tavern, historically appointed guest rooms (especially rooms 9 & 10), picturesque function and dining rooms, an outdoor canopy tent, museum exhibits, beautiful gardens, a gristmill, and walking trails. And the best part? For those who have a fascination with the spirit world, it’s considered to be haunted by the beautiful Jerusha Howe (wayside inn ghost real or imagined). She was known as “the belle of Sudbury” and she was famous for her musical and artistic skills. It’s reported that she owned the first piano in town and regularly played for visitors. Today, some guests claim they have heard ghostly tunes played in the middle of the night…

Here is her famous piano

This is the entrance and staircase when you first step into the inn and to the right is the old tavern pictured below.

The tavern actually dates back to 1707 and is part of the original home of David and Hepzibah Howe.

One of the famous drinks in the tavern is the coow woow, considered to be America’s first cocktail which consists of ginger brandy and rum. It’s one very strong drink!

The breakfast room where full sumptuous breakfasts are served

Here is our room and it was very comfortable with this king-sized bed.

These are some of the many dining areas.

I just love these old worn wood floors
The staircase to the left with the “Private for Guests Only” leads rooms 9 & 10 (room 9 was Jerusha Howe’s room)

My husband and I had a chance to stay overnight in room 9 four years ago. We had to reserve it months in advance due to its popularity. I did not experience anything but my husband, a no-nonsense firefighter, was awakened in the middle of the night by a sweet delicate fragrance. He woke me up and asked me if I could smell the perfumed fragrance, and I could not smell it. The fact that it was strong enough to wake him up speaks to the fact that it was not his imagination. He swears that he was not making it up and I believe him. I later found an article online that stated Jerusha makes herself known to men through her citrus perfume.

There is an odd and unique custom that has developed over the years at the inn which is referred to as the Secret Drawer Society. Little notes, usually reporting on any ghost encounters (or no encounter) are stuffed into little cracks, crevices, and drawers all throughout the room. Some of the notes go back decades. Often guests will spend hours searching the room and reading the secret testimonies of those who have come before. Here is a picture of some of the notes stuffed in this ceiling beam.

Here is an old chest full of notes left by guests over the years.

The inn has 10 beautiful guests rooms and this hallway reminds me of the Stanley Hotel. What do you think?

This delicious breakfast is complimentary at the inn with an overnight stay. The omelet was to die for…

I highly recommend the Longfellow’s Wayside Inn. This post was a brief reprieve from fashion. I hope you stay healthy and safe.

Animal print is timeless

I have always loved animal print, especially leopard and I have some of it in my wardrobe. This year, however, it seems that I see it everywhere and as a result, I have inevitably acquired more! It’s a timeless classic with a touch of chic. This skirt is by Ann Taylor and the top is by Calvin Klein. I love the top’s graceful cowl neckline. You have seen these shoes before–they are leather pumps by Array and the heel height is just two inches so they can be worn comfortably all day long.

I love this asymmetrical skirt below by Michael Kors as it flows so easily. The black cardigan is by Premise and I think the zipper pockets that are slanted vertically at just the right angle provide a slimming effect. You can wear any color in the rainbow with animal print but I chose this vibrant red top which is sleeveless, stretchy and wrinkle resistant–great for packing (by Chico’s Travelers).

Mabel is partial to animal print, too (ha!). She just got back from the groomers here and she looks very proud of her hair and nails. Stay healthy everyone!

How To Wear Pale Pink Pumps

This may be part 1 as there are so many ways to wear pale pink pumps and I have only just begun. The heels I am wearing are by Jenn Ardor and they have a 2.4 inch kitten heel. I read several reviews on Amazon before buying them which precipitated my purchase. Truth be told, it was love at first sight. They are extremely comfortable to wear and true to size–I highly recommend them if you are looking for ankle-strap pumps with a manageable heel height and comfort combined. They are vegan leather.

My black skirt with white polka dots is by Rachel Zoe (TJ Maxx) and the material is polyester and spandex; machine washable. I love the feminine bounce of this skirt! Romance meets boho is the style theme of my top. I love the bell sleeves and delicate sheer material of this blouse. It has a built-in camisole top so that you cannot see through it. The design is by Elena Baldi and is a silk blend and hand washable.

I have the skirt paired with my black Tahari top that has a graceful cowl neckline. The material of this top is so incredibly soft to touch and stretchy. I wish I could find it in more colors as I absolutely love it. The fabric is 94% micromodal (which is very breathable) and 6% spandex.

I was a little hesitant to post this picture as I wasn’t sure if the pink top was the best color to wear with this pencil skirt (by Talbots); however, I think it works due to the variety of colors in my skirt which includes, pink, red, orange and green. However, I think that a warmer pink (salmon) would be perfect with this skirt.

These pumps can easily be worn with jeans. My observant coworker noted that she liked how the length of my jeans ended right above the ankle strap of the shoes. And she’s right!

This year my lupines were extremely prolific and took over my entire garden which isn’t a bad thing. They just popped up everywhere like sensuous little flowering buds out of control.

The lupine is named after “Lupus,” which is the latin word for wolf. And speaking of wolf, here is our sweet wolf Mabel who is loving her new play yard.

I want to continue with the subject of pale pink pumps as I am loving my new heels. In the meantime, I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe during these Covid times.

How to Wear a Striped Dress Part 2

20200525_155145I have been on a striped dress kick and this is a continuation of my previous post here. This dress was so long that I had to take up the hem by four inches so that I would not trip on it. Now I am wondering if it looks too short for its style; however, you can see my pumps with this length. The material of this Liz Claiborne dress is 95% polyester and 5% spandex and I love the drape and flow of it.

One of my favorite styling pieces to wear with a maxi dress is the denim jacket. It makes for a great transition outfit before the heat of summer arrives, and the jacket adds a casual, chic look.

My leather pumps are by Array. They have a comfortable 2 inch kitten heel. I also have a blue shrug that goes perfectly with this dress and is lightweight and can be worn during the summer. I will have to show the dress to you wearing the shrug. This sleeveless dress is cool even on a very hot day when worn alone and with summer sandals.

This is a fun dress by LuLaRoe. It is a sheath-style dress and the material is 59% Rayon 38% Polyester 3% Spandex. It’s stretchy and very comfortable.

I like my lighter-colored denim jacket with this dress as I think it looks more summery. As a general rule, it is thought that lighter shades of denim draw attention to the body and darker denim creates a slimming effect. So at the risk of looking less than slim, I still prefer the lighter denim with this dress.

But I prefer the darker denim with this dress below.

Mabel loves her new play yard by the way. But you certainly couldn’t tell by her smile here.

How to Wear a Striped Dress

20200419_194733I have always been told that vertical stripes can make our body look slimmer and horizontal ones can widen our body. There is controversy about the size of the stripes in that narrow stripes pull in our waist more versus wider stripes. And that narrow black stripes on a white background are thought to be most flattering. I have broken every one of those rules in my colorful striped dress and have offset it with a solid color denim jacket. What do you think? Is it okay to break the rules once in a while?20200419_194325


20200419020849_IMG_3542The dress that I am wearing is by Calvin Klein and is super soft and stretchy. My shoes are by Patrizia and they have a cushioned insole–they are so comfy. My bracelet is something that I made with my coworkers last year and I love the colors. Here is it up close:20190709080516_IMG_1661I have more striped dresses to show you in my next post. And Mabel says hi. We have a surprise for her coming soon in the form of an outside fenced-in play yard!20200420_151252.

All Dressed Up and No Place to Go

“A Lady red—amid the Hill
Her annual secret keeps!
A Lady white, within the Field
In placid Lily sleeps!” (Emily Dickinson)
20200323_101351I did some extensive traveling last weekend from my back door to this nearby bench in my yard.
When you think of red, do you associate it with love, romance, and passion? If you love wearing red, it might indicate that you are energetic, strong-willed, passionate; and a touch aggressive and outspoken. It may also reveal that you enjoy living life to its fullest and perhaps that you secretly like to indulge in a bit of risk-taking at times.
Red, the color of blood and fire, radiance and strength. This dress makes me feel powerful and energetic.20200323_10123220200323_101021Did you know that solid colors can be more slimming? That piqued my interest especially after letting a few pounds sneak up on me over the winter. Having one solid color on your top and bottom creates a vertical line, which is great for adding height to your body and slimming your figure. Also, there is something about the color red that soaks up the light in a flattering way.20200323_101548I love this military-inspired trench coat with silver hardware (by Michael Kors). This is the perfect lightweight coat for in-between seasons.20200323_101444


20200322_174845The material of this faux-wrap dress contains 95% polyester and 5% spandex (Women’s Laundry by Design). This makes my third faux-wrap style dress that I now own, and this one was thrifted for $19.99 (originally $138).20200327_171102
Mabel is all hunkered down and is providing us with much needed pet therapy during this difficult time.  Stay safe friends!

Full Worm Moon

Hello Friends,
I am taking a little fashion intermission as I am waiting for a new dress to arrive. In the meantime, I wanted to share some moon pictures that I captured on March 9. They call this the “Full Worm Moon.”20200315_164959The March full moon is known as the worm moon because it coincides with the time of year when earthworms begin to emerge from the thawing ground. 20200308175731_IMG_3129
20200315_164935This is a brief post. My next post will hopefully make it in time for the spring equinox which is early this year and falls on Thursday, March 19. This is earlier than it’s been in over a century. I hope everyone is staying healthy and happy and I promise the dress will be worth the wait…20200308174631_IMG_3108

“Silent Haunches”

the fog 3
20200229_091836I love the “Fog” poem by Carl Sandburg who describes the fog so simply and powerfully through a metaphorical cat. Aubrey is sitting looking not over the harbor but at me and with hairy eyeballs I might add. She is mysterious, unpredictable, and even a little scary just like that fog slowly and quietly creeping in.  (Thank you, Dan, for sharing this poem with me.)
The Fog poem gave me clarity of mind for the following opposite sunny days. I am wearing a classic wool cashmere, camel-brown dress coat by Marvin Richards. This coat will probably be in my closet forever.20200217_152115
20200217_153623A glimpse of Crotched Mountain peeking through the trees.20200218_145557



20200223_201742This is what I typically wear on weekends. You have seen this navy checkered shirt before and distressed jeans. But these burgundy Lucky Brand booties are new and were thrifted for $20.00.Mabel Feb 23 2020 (1)Mabel turns one on Monday, March 2. We are throwing her a surprise party—shhh. She thinks she’s still a puppy…an 85 pound one.

Our “Web of Life”

“We are all such fragile creatures in a web of life we will never understand.” (Dan Dagenais)
My post is straying from its usual fashion theme in an effort to stop and contemplate on the meaning of life. The above quote (by my creative brother) about the “web of life” got me thinking about the meaning of that expression. Therefore, I set out to visit my favorite secret spot this past weekend, to search for answers on that subject.The sun was shining brightly and it looked to be a superb day to capture some stunning views from this mountain top location. I believe that nature speaks to us revealing life’s wonder and mystery. 20200208_153558Humans are fragile yet enduring; delicate yet strong.20200208_142357We exist for a purpose greater than ourselves.20200208_142211We are living, breathing, desiring and feeling organisms.20200208_142331Embrace the simplicity that exists within nature.20200208_153006To reveal life’s deeper meaning.20200208_153528And truth through its beauty.20200208_152711The web of life.20200208_142811
20200208_142713My beige skirt and black cardigan blend nicely with the winter landscape.20200208_195237My wool pencil skirt is by J. Crew and cardigan is by Cherokee.20200208_194916
20200203_220812Mabel’s colors match the winter scenery:  black, brown and white. With that thought, Mabel just told me she wants to check out the snow and eat some slushies, an authentic wintertime treat. Enjoy the rest of your week!
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