Bridal Shower at Gov. Rolland Spaulding Estate

This past Saturday, my mother and future mother-in-law hosted my bridal shower at the Rolland Spaulding Estate, now a part of the Governors Inn Hotel. There were 27 ladies in attendance, and we had the best afternoon. The estate and inn were built back in 1920. Brothers Huntley and Rolland Spaulding lived in the two buildings and both of them were governors of NH! The Spaulding children actually grew up in Townsend MA, went to Lawrence Academy in Groton and then Philips Exeter Academy in NH when they moved up to NH. Their father, Jonas, and their uncle Waldo started Spaulding Brothers in Townsend, a leatherboard manufacturing mill. They expanded into millwork in Rochester NH making fiberboard and thats where the estate and inn are!

We had a fabulous luncheon, bridal shower bingo, so many amazing gifts, and then read through some wedding advice. Some of the gifts included a Kitchen Aid Mixer (so excited) and a Ninja blender (also so excited). Jon and I are so blessed to have such generous family and friends. For the occasion I wore a cerise cashmere & merino crew neck sweater  for $36 (I think its down to $34 now!) and an older Lilly Pulitzer crab embroidered skirt that I got from Ebay for $36 with navy tights and riding boots. The Lilly skirt is white label….but its not “The Lilly”, so its probably from the early 2000s, not exactly vintage, but its one of my favorites 🙂

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One of my lovely bridesmaids Alex, also in her Lilly 🙂
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I loved the rich green upholstery of this chair with the carpets. It was a great occasion to wear my J Crew Factory bracelets! I love them but usually feel they are too dressy for everyday life.
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Can you believe my future MIL made this cake? Talented lady, and it was delicious too!!!
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Beautiful centerpieces
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Fireplace in the parlor room #fireplacegoals
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Loved all the fox hunting prints in the estate

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View out the windows of the oval dining room where the food was set up. They do weddings out on this lawn in nicer weather….the snow is just about gone!
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Oval dining room where our food was set up
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There are guest rooms in the inn and the estate. Presidential candidates and dignitaries traveling through NH often stay here because of the historical significance of the property and its founders.
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Walking out to the sun porch.
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Sunning out on the sunporch
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With the other half out on the sun porch after he lugged all our gifts out 🙂

Jon and I actually went to a wedding at the Governors Inn Hotel this past summer, and I fell in love with the place. Now I have a whole new set of memories at the property which makes it so special.

I hope that you all had a great weekend! It was so nice today in the 50s here in MA, what do we think? Is it officially spring or do we think winter will have one big storm left??

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Weekend Recap: Polo, trails, & sushi

Friday night, I had an awesome jumping lesson with Dutch, a very forward horse. We rocked around a course of gates and cross rails at the canter which is a huge step up for me. It was so fun. I still have a lot to work on though, more bend at the hip over the jump, better release of the reins on the horse’s mouth, and we have to get better at picking up the right lead to the next jump.

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Saturday morning I went back to Stage Hill Polo for another lesson. We played a little 2 on 2 scrimmage, and it was so fun. My teammate Lydia got a goal, and I got a goal…..and then I sadly got a goal for the other team. I was trying to hit it back away from the goal, but my own backswing hit it in the goal. Steve told me this happens all the time hahaha. This is it for me though, I will maybe go back in the spring/summer to play some more polo. Stage Hill Polo does take part in a winter arena league that  I was invited to play in but I have three afternoons of class this spring so its just not going to work out right now. I am going to be lucky to get a practice ride in on a day that I don’t have class at my own barn. This is Salsa even though I actually got to ride Jet, one of Steve Rudolph’s horses. Most of these horses are heading down to Palm Beach for the winter this week- lucky huh?

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Saturday afternoon I took the pup for a trail run, a nice 4 miler, and it was just beautiful out. Then Saturday evening, the fiancé and I headed out with a couple friends for all you can eat sushi up in Nashua NH. It…was…amazing. I love good sushi and we definitely got our money’s worth. My favorites are the spicy tuna roll, spider maki with the fried soft-shell crab, and any of those specialty rolls with the crab meat on top. I had a nice light Sapporo with my delicious sushi while a couple others shared a scorpion bowl- doesn’t taste like alcohol at all, super dangerous 🙂

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Mizpah out on the trail
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Don’t shoot the dalmatian! #notadeer
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So much sushi….arm party from KJP and Charming Charlie’s 🙂

Sunday was a rainy & cold day here in Massachusetts. We made bacon and eggs for breakfast and then later on made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with walnuts, so good!!!

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I have a very short work week this week- just Monday & Tuesday. I am so looking forward to seeing friends & family for Thanksgiving. What kind of trouble did you all get up to this past weekend? Anyone have any good black Friday sales they are planning to hit up? I will be opting outside Friday with REI hiking with family and the pup, but I might have to take a peak at some online sales 😉

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Engagement Photo Shoot

Today, I have the day off for Veteran’s Day. My father is a veteran of the Vietnam War, both of my grandfather’s were in WWII…and on my father’s side, we have fought in every conflict on American soil and overseas for America. My father’s family has been here since 1635 though, so thats pretty common in families that have been kicking around America that long. My dad is now the treasurer for his 82nd Airborne Association club down in FL, and my mom is pretty active in the Daughters of the American Revolution too, so they were both busy today. My dad has been in a golf tournament this week that ended today, and my mom served lunch at a Veteran’s Day assembly. I’m sure wherever I end up settling down with a family will be where I join the DAR. I feel very proud of my family’s military heritage.

It’s been raining here in Massachusetts today, so I have been catching up on laundry, reading (working on Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll), food shopping….I know, so glamorous. The peace and quiet of today has given me a chance to look over my fiancé, Jon, and I’s photos from this past weekend. Our photographer for our wedding offers a complementary photo shoot beforehand. I don’t really think of it as an engagement shoot so much because we have been engaged since August, but I guess thats the best thing to call it!

I was thinking about wearing this adorable gray J. Crew factory fair isle sweater, but when I put it on over my white button down, it just looked boxy!! I made a game time decision to wear my navy Woolover cashmere/cotton blend sweater instead. I wore a very simple outfit, but it was very “me” I think. Jon wore one of his many plaid flannel shirts; pretty much his uniform in the colder months, he’s too cute. The location was dog friendly, which was awesome because it meant Mizpah, our dalmatian, got to be a part of the photos. It was a cold and windy day, but I think our photographer did a great job getting some nice shots!

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These photos brightened my day. I love the one of us in our crew jackets from behind. Jon and I began as friends & teammates at WPI so many years ago. I could have never predicted that we would be here, so happy and getting married in the spring. Life is funny.

Hope you all had a peaceful Veteran’s Day and had a moment to just appreciate the sacrifices service men, women, animals, and their families have made to keep Americans safe.

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Prep Craze: The Fair Isle Sweater

It has been very warm in Massachusetts this week, but the cold will come. My winter uniform is a sweater over a button down….I wear all the combinations I own until the weather warms up. There is so much variety in sweaters….cable knit, crew neck, fisherman, v-neck, honeycomb, aran, argyle, intarsia, wool, cotton, merino, cashmere……I could go on and on. Today though, we talk about the fair isle sweater.

Fair isle is actually a knitting technique from the Fair Isle of Scotland. The designs that we know as being fair isle are supposed to be in rows that go around the sweater circularly, no more than two colors per row, and really no more than five colors per sweater. There are rules about how many stitches the patterned rows can be too. All that being said, we can probably assume that not all sweaters that we call fair isle are actually fair isle. Popularity of this knitting technique started back in the 1920s when the Prince of Wales, later to be Edward VIII, wore fair isle tank tops.

Here he is in a fair isle v-neck. I love it, this was actually a portrait of him with his dog that was used for this advertisement….the media…even then.

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Anyway, I have jumped on the bandwagon as affordably as I could. Here are my two sweaters from Old Navy, both older…..the navy one on the right is probably not a true fair isle because the stitching is more just around the neck, like a yoke design I guess.

Fair Isle Style Sweaters from Old Navy
Fair Isle Style Sweaters from Old Navy

Currently, I can’t recommend any fair isle sweaters from Old Navy. What they have right now under fair isle looks more like just geometric shapes…..not the classic fair isle. And then here are my two fair isle sweaters from J. Crew factory. The one of the left is old, the one on the right is current. Its on sale too, $34.50. Its very soft, we will see how it holds up.

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So where else can we find deals on fair isle? There are always a few from Vineyard Vines. I remember the photos of Sarah Vickers, Macy Medema, and Devon Mackenzie from the KJP crew all wearing c/o Vineyard Vines fair isle sweaters a few years ago. It was lovely, but those sweaters are hitting you at ~$140 and upwards? The sweaters are really nice looking, but a little pricey for me.

Here it is, I think its from a couple years ago…its kinda preppy perfection with the scenery, vest, Barbour, bean boots, and Hunters.  Fair isle has always been a winter trend, but I remember around this time it became a really hot trend for the preppy crowd.

Devon, Sarah, and Macy in their beautiful fair isle sweaters, C/O

Woolrich has some nice looking ones Mohair Fair Isle Sweaters at $99. I am concerned though because reviews for some of their other motif sweaters have been negative, and there are no reviews on these yet…

Woolovers has a nice crew neck sweater in lambswool, all different colors, and I can speak to the excellent quality of these sweaters: Fair Isle Sweater and these ring in at $48 plus shipping from England haha. The only thing that stinks is returning sweaters to England is expensive, so pay attention to reviews and sizing info. Here is my favorite.

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Talbots always has some nice fair isle options…although they too have some that they are labeling as fair isle even though its just some zig zags and diamonds….here’s my two faves together actually! The one on the left I know is actually a dress but its here for $119 and the sweater on the right is here for $89. Great thing about Talbots though is they have awesome end of the season sales, so get one their email list and wait if those prices are still too high.

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Here is one from Brooks Brothers. The color combination is not for me, but $88 is not a terrible price for a sweater from them. Its kinda a weird one though because the pattern is only on the front and the elbow patches? They have another one for $148….which puts it in the same category as the Vineyard Vines sweaters…..beautiful, but not realistic for me…and probably many of us right now.

And lastly, LLBean….this sweater from the LLBean Signature collection is on my Christmas/birthday list. I love the colors, and I am sure that the merino is very soft. Its $94…..which is out of my price range, but…its a wish list item, something I wouldn’t buy for myself. We can dream right?

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Another amazing place to check out would be Etsy. There are sooooo many vintage sweaters on there from LLBean, Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, and others. You have to be careful because some of the Etsy stores don’t accept refunds and sizing has changed over the years but there are some real gems if you have the time to look. Then when people ask where you got it….you can say, oh, its vintage.

My fiancé and I are doing an engagement photo shoot this weekend….which of those J Crew sweaters should I wear? Looking for opinions! Its an outdoor shoot….so there’s either the cream sweater with navy and orange stitching OR the gray with navy, mint, and white stitching….lemme know what you think!!

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Down the Cape: Wellfleet Oysterfest 2015

I love Cape Cod and get down there every chance I can get! During the summer, I wouldn’t really ever do a day trip because of the traffic, so I am super fortunate to have some friends with houses down there. In October though? No traffic. Saturday we breezed on into Dennis, and carpooled with friends over to Wellfleet. We were really lucky and got a free parking spot with this view……

View from our parking spot #capecodlove
View from our parking spot #capecodlove

….and then we caught a shuttle to the action!! It was warm for October on Saturday, high 50s and sunny. I wore my J Crew Factory navy vest, a Woolovers cashmere/merino cable sweater, and a button down with jeans and sperrys. My best friend wore a cream Irish knit sweater and an Emily Bond Barbour jacket. It has a beautiful equestrian scene like wallpaper on the lining. Her friend got it in the UK for really cheap, some girls have all the luck 😉 She also wore her Dubarry Galways in walnut. This two outfits basically encompass what everyone wore to this!! It was really funny, so many quilted vests and Barbours.

Cheesin in front of Winslows
Cheesin in front of Winslows

This festival is put together every year by SPAT, an organization that promotes sustainable enjoyment of Wellfleet’s aquaculture. There were definitely some craft/jewelry tents there, but for many of us, it was all about the food and drink! We had clam chowder, lobster bisque, fried dough, french fries for food…..and then we had beer, wine, and hard root beer from the alcohol tent. There was seafood, sausages with peppers, pulled pork, chewers and bisques, lobster rolls….just everything. OH and there were oysters ha. The line for oysters was kinda crazy so unfortunately we filled up on other stuff while we were waiting for it to die down, oops! We did get oysters later at Chapins though, one of my faves in Dennis. It was so dead there compared to the summer, it was like being in a different restaurant ha.

The whole day there was an oyster shucking tournament going on up on a stage set up, some really fast shuckers!!! It was such a fun day, but very crowded. You have to go in there with the mindset that finding people is hard, waiting in lines in a given, and you will more than once turn around and start talking to someone who isn’t friend because the crowd is nuts haha.

All in all, it was an amazing day! They don’t allow dogs at the festival, so we left around 6 to get home to Mizpah and get ready for the Head of the Charles on Sunday. I would have loved to have stayed over the night, I am sure the crowd at the Woodshed was crazy!!

We definitely spent some dollars on food and beers, but it wasn’t too bad. Tickets for entry to the festival are $5 which goes to SPAT, and then we got free parking. Gas of course has to figure in, but we drive just as far to go hike for a day as we did to get to the cape and back, so its not crazy for us at all. Tomorrow I will post about my lovely but cold Sunday at the HOCR!!! Made it through Monday everyone, woo!

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