Barbour Dog

My Barbour Argon jacket, which I picked up at an amazing going out of business sale on the cape, is a jacket that I wear pretty much all spring and fall. I love the olive waxed cotton and when I saw that they made them for dogs, I of course snagged one for my four legged companion, Mizpah. Sadly, the medium was too small around her deep chest, and the large was too big. My hopes dashed, I put my dream of being preppy matchy matchy with my dog on the shelf.

A couple weeks ago, a Barbour loving coworker (her coat collection is enviable to say the least) gave me the quilted version of the dog jacket because her dog outgrew it. I put it on the pup, did some strap adjusting, and it was a perfect fit! We took it out for a spin at the trails down the road from my house, which is sadly where she got attacked on Friday so not sure how much we will be going there in the future, but the jacket has been trail approved. This is the one that she has Barbour Quilted Dog Coat but its only available in small and medium on that site. Not sure where this jacket would be in stock. Orvis would be my usual suspect to carry this but they have some other version of the Barbour quilted dog coat without the cute corduroy collar.

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Now, Mizpah has other coats. My husband was actually quite pleased we ended up with this jacket for free because she does have other coats….and I have really been trying to see his argument that a dog doesn’t need multiple coats….but this was free so yay! Her other coats are from Ruffwear, there’s this one and this one.

New problem though…I have a waxed cotton coat, and now I want a quilted coat to match her. First world problems huh? Here are some posts I have written about Barbour in the past, actually I think a trip to the Milford Clearance Center might be in order soon!

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Liebster Award, Courtesy of An Historian About Town

Good morning!! I hope that you all had lovely Christmas weekends! I am currently relaxing on this warm but wet morning in New England watching the pup. Mizpah was attacked by another dog this past Friday at one of our favorite off leash areas and had to get 4 stitches for a bite on her left hindquarters. My parents are here from Florida, and my mother’s side of the family was here on Friday night soooo I mean, timing couldn’t be better for emergency vet care right? Poor baby. She is doing really well, its just hard keeping her from her stitches. She wants to lick, and groom, and probably pull those foreign strings right out.

Anyways, Jessica from An Historian About Town nominated me for a Liebster Award!!! I am so flattered and grateful to have her as a follower and as a blog to read and get inspiration from. Jessica is a fellow ballet, dog, and fashion lover. She is so good about consistently posting on her blog, I love her travel posts!

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Rules:

• Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you.
• Answer the 11 questions that the blogger gave to you.
• Nominate at least 5, but no more than 11 bloggers who you think deserve the award.
• Tell those bloggers you nominated them!
• Create 11 original questions for the next nominees to answer.

Questions:

1. What animals would your patronus be?

My patronus would probably be either a dalmatian like my beloved Mizpah or a horse. I am a huge Harry Potter fan and I can definitely see a horse patronus sort of rearing and stomping a dementor 🙂

2. How do you feel about ketchup?

I am really not a huge ketchup fan! I like mustard on hot dogs, and honey mustard on my french fries. I think its the saltiness of ketchup that gets me.

3. If you could only watch one tv show for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Hmmmmm this is tough. I am into the last season of Gilmore Girls before the new Year in the Life one and I have really loved the show. I started with season 1 back in the spring and have been slowly chipping away. It’s so good! As of right now, I think Gilmore Girls would be it.

4. What is the number one quality you look for in a friend?

I think I look for a good listener more than anything else. At this point in my life, good conversation is a big part of my friendships. Maybe back in college, friendships were about having people to go out with, go to the dining hall with, being on the same sports team or in the same sorority. Now my friends are the people that I send life updates to in email chains that seem to end too soon, or friends that I see for dinner or lunch where the actual lunch or dinner is second to catching up, much to the chagrin of our waitress.

5. What is the first blog you remember reading?

Back in the fall of 2012, I was in the midst of a divorce from my first husband who I was married to for 2 years. Feeling lost, alone, and like Mizpah and I would be on our own forever, I got an iPhone. I wanted to be able to FaceTime my sister and mother, but of course I ended up finding apps like instagram! The first people that I followed that weren’t friends were Kiel James Patrick and his crew. The first blog I ever saw was Sarah Vicker’s Classy Girls Wear Pearls. It is a beautiful blog full of great outfits and New England locations. It sort of inspired me to get out there and take care of myself even though I was in such a dark place.

6. What was the last book that you read and what did you think of it?

I am in the middle of reading The Eighty Dollar Champion by Elizabetts Letts right now and it is so good!

7. Do you believe in the power of Netflixing for a day?

Sooooo if you read my answer to #3, then you know my answer to this one is yes! Thankfully though with Mizpah kicking around, I do end up pausing to take her for walks. Netflixing for a day can be very relaxing, but a little physical activity interspersed between episodes can be good too!

8. If you could volunteer with any organisation, which would it be?

When I first started riding back in 2007, I volunteered with some horse rescues. It was really humbling and rewarding work. I would love to get back into volunteering at a horse rescue around my new home here in southern NH.

9. Favourite emoji?

I do a lot of the smiley face with the heart eyes haha so I guess thats probably my favorite!

10. If you could change one thing about your blog, what would it be and why?

That’s a tough question because depending on the day I feel like there are loads of things I would change about my blog! One thing that might be nice to change is the background of the site itself. Currently I just have the photo ribbon up at the top of the page but nothing in the background as your scroll down.

11. What do you want your blog to accomplish in 2017?

A goal that I have for my blog is to try posting 1-2 times a week. In other words, try not to skip a week on the blog. We’ll see!

Blogs that I would like to Nominate!

Questions for you to answer:

  1. What made you start your blog?
  2. What camera do you currently use/what is your dream camera?
  3. If you could only wear one brand for the rest of your life, what brand would it be and why?
  4. What are some of your goals for your blog for 2017?
  5. What is one blog that has inspired you?
  6. If you could travel to anywhere on the planet for a vacation, where would you go and why?
  7. Tea or coffee? Both? Why?
  8. What is one food that you would struggle to give up?
  9. If you won the lottery what three things would you use your money towards first?
  10. What’s a strength that you see in a friend or significant other that you wish to cultivate more in yourself?
  11. What is one charity or cause that is important to you and why?

Thanks again to Jessica for this nomination! An unexpected benefit of blogging has definitely been finding other great blogs, and An Historian About Town is one of them!

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Evening at The Nutcracker

Boston Ballet‘s Nutcracker has been a holiday tradition for me for a long long time. One of my first memories is actually of being sick sitting on a booster seat for The Nutcracker at the Wang in Boston, the former home of the Boston Ballet. My mother says I was 5 and slept through much of the ballet. The Nutcracker is magical. The story of a Nutcracker who comes to life on Christmas Eve and a journey to a magical wintery palace….the costumes, the music, the sets…all in the beautiful Boston Opera House.

This year I went with a few girlfriends and we met up at Teatro Restaurant beforehand. I can’t recommend the food there enough. I got linguine with shrimp and it was delicious. It definitely made up for not getting a goodie at the Boston Common Coffee Co, which is my usual pre ballet ritual. Boston Common was beautifully lit up which really set the scene for the winter magic of the ballet.

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The Boston Opera House was all decked out with Christmas trees and other greenery. We grabbed champagne and Nutcracker gingerbread cookies and head in for the show. One of my former section mates was playing bassoon in the pit orchestra so I went to say hi during intermission. We hadn’t seen each other since I was in 9th grade!! Crazy…oh and thanks Facebook haha!

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It was a Tuesday night show, so I will admit, the ballet seemed a little skeleton crew-ish? The Nutcracker Prince had to also fill in for the Snow King so the Nutcracker Prince was missing from the last scene when Clara bids adieu to the palace. The dew drop was also missing? Kinda weird, but it was still a great show. I guess its just something to remember for next year.

The Nutcracker has always been a part of my Christmas season. I haven’t been in a while, but I also love the Holiday at the Pops by the Boston Pops Orchestra. What are your holiday traditions??

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Christmas Wish List 2016 Edition

I can’t believe that Christmas is coming up this weekend!!! This year has been full of big changes for me- getting married, moving to NH, buying a house, new job…my husband and I decided that really the best thing we could get each other would be a weekend away full of winter fun and relaxation! We will be spending a weekend later this winter up at The Eagle Mountain House in Jackson NH. Its one of the big old hotels in the White Mountains and I can’t wait to stay there.

When it comes to the other people in my life asking for ideas for Christmas presents, here are some of the items on my list! I try to think about people’s budgets when I come up with lists for the family. A bunch of items in the $30-50 range is nice because it gives people some flexibility with their budget. If their budget is $30-50, well perfect, if they are looking spend more like the gift is from multiple people, they can double up and do a couple gifts. Of course I think that time and conversation are the best gifts from family, but I also get the frustration trying to come up with gift ideas, and a well thought list can really help your family out!

  1. First up! A winter hat from LLBean! The Katahdin Pom Hat in midnight at $29.95. Many social media influencers were given the more colorful version of this hat, but I really like the classic navy and white of this one. fullsizerender-8
  2. Next, I am in love with this snow globe sweater from Talbots! Its currently on sale from $89.50 down to $53.70. fullsizerender-9
  3. This past summer I got so much use out of my Harding Lane mountain needlepoint hat. I decided I could use some more hats for this coming summer so here a few that I told my elves about!
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    Harding Lane @ $35
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    Port Royal Outfitters @ $20

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    Smathers and Branson @ $30
  4. I love my KJP bracelets. I realized this past year that a color combination that I could really use is blue and white. Here is one called Mackarel Cove at $40.00. KJP has really blossomed into so much more than just a bracelet company. I love this pearl necklace too! Maybe a birthday present? fullsizerender-11What are some things on your wish list this year? I truly love all the holiday blog posts, keep em coming everyone!

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The Festival of Trees in Wolfeboro NH

Wolfeboro NH is one of the adorable New England towns on Lake Winnepesaukee. It is the home of Mitt Romney, Brewster Academy (boarding school made up of whitewashed colonial homes and a seriously amazing boathouse right on the lake), many antique stores, quaint shops, and the Wright Museum. The Wright Museum exhibits a great collection of WWII memorabilia, and around this time of year, over 60 decorated Christmas trees!!! The Christmas trees are decorated by various organizations in the area as part of the Wolfeboro Festival of Trees.

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The charities benefitting from donations to have a tree and donations from patrons are going to the Child Advocacy Center of Carroll County and the Global Awareness Local Action this year. Different charities are chosen every year to be the recipients of funds raised. There were holiday cookie platters, punch, and live music for wandering around checking out all the different trees. My husband’s two favorite trees were both fishing themed, and my favorite trees were decorate with metallic hydrangeas and model boats!

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Tree made of fishing rods, decorated with lures and bobbers!
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Ice fishing themed tree!
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The silver and gold hydrangeas, oh my goodness, it was beautiful!
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This tree had so many perfect model boats! The boat museum in Wolfeboro will be showcasing Fred Clausen’s extensive model boat collection. Some of them had the cutest details.

So now of course I need to go to the NH Boat Museum in Wolfeboro! We walked around the  town dock area of Wolfeboro, and checked out a great used book store called Eyes of the Owl. We grabbed a couple old hiking books…Trails and Summits of New England….Vacation Tramps of New England….and Lucy Crawford’s History of the White Mountains. I can’t wait to start reading them! The book store was literally a one bay garage with books and records stacked from the floor to the ceiling. It was perfect.

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Beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee
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The Town Docks in Wolfeboro
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Out on the dock with the Brewster Academy’s Pinckney Boathouse up on the horizon!

I am wearing my LLBean Signature fisherman sweater, LLBean fair isle hat/mittens from last year, and my new favorite Tory Burch boots. I love this LLBean sweater and I have been wearing my new boots nonstop since they came. The sweater is cotton which is heavy and warm, but not itchy.

Alright folks, back to Gilmore Girls. I am just into season 6 on Netflix, and honestly I have no idea how I lived so long without this show. I started watching this past spring and have been chugging along in anticipation of the new season!!

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Christmas Lights on the Nubble Lighthouse

Maine is home to many lighthouses; 65 to be exact. Maine along with being called Vacationland is also called the Lighthouse State! The closest Maine lighthouse to me is in York Maine on Cape Neddick. The lighthouse is on Nubble Island with a house and a couple other buildings. The lighthouse was built in 1879 and became automated in 1987.  I believe the official name for the lighthouse is the Cape Neddick Light, but many call it the Nubble Light. The Sohier Park has a gift shop and parking area so you can see the island. You can see the cable contraption to send packages from the park over to the island. It’s a pretty cool spot to visit.

The official lighting for the Nubble was the weekend after Thanksgiving. They had carolers and cookies and Santa; its quite an event. The lights will be on from dusk to midnight until New Year’s Eve. I went the weekend after to see it so I could have a little privacy with the Nubble. Here she is.

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Oh and if seeing a lighthouse in Maine light up for Christmas isn’t enough, on the way in and out of the park, you can see this lovely lobster trap tree!

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Snowy hike up Mt. Liberty & Mt. Flume

It may not technically be winter, but it seems no one has discussed this with the White Mountains of New Hampshire. They are already quite white! This past weekend we headed up the Liberty Spring Trail to Mt. Liberty and then over to Mt. Flume and back. You can do a loop going up the Flume Slide Trail to Flume over to Liberty and then down the Liberty Spring Trail but at this time of year, the slide is a slippery treacherous mess.

We left Mizpah at home because it was a seven hour hike, 10 miles, which is just too much for Mizpah in the cold and snow. On the ridge between the peaks, we used snowshoes, and then descending from Mt. Liberty, we wore microspikes. It was beautiful up there- the snow and the rime ice were so pretty. It almost looks like another planet up there.

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Rime ice on the rocks in the cloud on Mt. Liberty
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Those are trees on the slope there, trees frozen in ice from precipitation and freezing fog.
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On top of Mt. Flume, the clouds finally parted!
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The evergreens are magical covered in snow
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Up on Mt. Liberty the second time looking back at Mt. Flume
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Looking out to Mt. Lincoln from Mt. Liberty. This might be my favorite shot of the day….all the snow covered evergreens.

The last time I did Liberty and Flume was September of 2014 and it was wet and foggy. I was so happy to see some views this time. Liberty and Flume are a part of the Franconia Ridge which is probably some of the most picturesque mountains in the Whites.

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Tree Lighting Evening in Portsmouth NH

One of the best things about my new home in New Hampshire is our proximity to Portsmouth!! Portsmouth is on the water, but not really the ocean. Its on the Piscataqua River which is an estuary to the Atlantic. There are “the decks”, which is what we call the restaurants that overlook the river, and then Market Square, and Strawberry Banke. Market Square is sort of the hub of walking in Portsmouth, and the Strawberry Banke is this area that preserved all the historic homes there. There is a museum and tours and such there. Then there is Prescott Park which sadly doesn’t allow dogs, but is a nice place to look out at the water.

The tree lighting takes place every year right in Market Square, followed by the annual illuminated holiday parade. The many holiday activities throughout the month are called “Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth” The Strawberry Banke is decorated with carolers and horse drawn carriages and ice skating. In the evening, they put on all their Christmas lights and their tours are called “candlelight strolls“.

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Beautiful Christmas Tree, and yes bottom left corner is an LLBean hat haha
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It was definitely a night for the down jacket!
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All of the light posts in the city have illuminated wreaths with bows, love it.

I loved everything about this night. The tree was great, not as big as the Boston tree, but great. This was the first holiday parade I had ever been to, and I haven’t seen that many lights since the Disney parade. The marching bands even had lights on their instruments.

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There were a bunch of illuminated and decorated antique VW’s. I loved this pickup truck, so cool! Think it would fit under the tree?
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The Grinch and Cindy Lou Who!
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Yep, a Christmas train with a hot tub car. Definitely a fan favorite!
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Santa! I know him! This was the end of the parade, the kids went wild!

We walked around the perimeter of the Strawberry Banke to check it out, and decided that we are going to do the candlelight stroll next year!!

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The ice skating rink, Christmas tree, and crowd around the fire pit at the Strawberry Banke- so festive

It was cooooold out standing to watch the parade. We got hot cocoa at Starbucks after to warm up walking around. Breaking New Grounds is my favorite spot to get a hot drink in Market Sq but sadly the line was out the door! This is a tradition that I hope to go to every year! I need a better camera to take pictures at night huh? That WOULD certainly fit under the tree ❤

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Black Friday Mt. Tecumseh Hike

A tradition that my husband and I started a couple years back was going hiking on Black Friday after Thanksgiving instead of going shopping. Last year REI even did a campaign for heading outdoors on Black Friday called #optoutside. They gave all of their employees a paid day off and the stores closed to all them to go out and enjoy nature with families and friends instead of in crazy lines at stores.

Sadly this year Jon had to work, but Mizpah and I hit the trails and did a little girls hike. This was my third time doing Mt. Tecumseh. It is a great 4000 footer because its so short, just took me three hours. We had to be back in the afternoon to go out with Jon’s family that night so I had to pick a quick mountain!

Usually the views from Mt. Tecumseh are lovely. Here are the views from an outlook over one of the Waterville Valley Ski trails and a view from the summit. These pics are from September 2015.

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View from outlook on Mt. Tecumseh trail, not sure which trail this is at Waterville Valley?
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View from the summit. The summit for this one is small, just a cairn up there and some views!

The weather on Friday was drastically different. Driving up, it was rainy and sleety, and just past exit 19 on 93 there was snow on the ground and trees. The hike was literally in a foggy cloud the whole way. It wasn’t raining or snowing but my jacket and pack were soaked just because the air was soggy and wet. The snow on the trails was beautiful. It was definitely fresh because literally only one person had been on the trails that morning on the snow. There were no views, it’s just white. Honestly it was almost a little disorienting.

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No views at the outlook on the ski trail, huge difference huh?
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Snowy white summit!

I wore my waterproof Marmot pants which are dead now….I put another hole in them slipping down a snow covered rock. My Marmot shell jacket is still awesomely waterproof and my pack held up with the moisture. Mizpah had her Ruffwear jacket on too which was good and kept her dry and warm!

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Its a winter wonderland in the White Mountains!
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One of the best hiking dogs you will ever meet ❤

Noone would say the conditions were optimal, but it was still a nice hike. I bare-booted the whole way up, and then threw my microspikes on for the trek down so I could go a little faster. The only thing I purchased during the holiday sales was actually a pair of Tory Burch boots. They were on sale from almost $500 to $208! I have been needing a new pair of black boots and I think these will fit the bill nicely 🙂 I know I am a little late, but I do hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family! Anyone snag anything good during the sales??

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