Friday, October 31, 2014

St. Andrews...A Weekend in New Brunswick

We were fortunate to visit New Brunswick for the long Columbus Day weekend, and on our way home, we stopped in St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, a National Historical District, just under 20 miles from the Canadian-United States border.

St. Andrews, founded in the late 1700s as a loyalist town and shipbuilding center, has a charming downtown, punctuated with nautical shops, quirky boutiques, and places to sit and people watch.

A lovely inn, Canada's oldest summer hotel, sits in the middle of the main street.

St. Andrews is the home of the Algonquin Resort and prestigious 18-hole golf course. 

The picturesque seaside Veteran's Memorial. 

Whale watching is also a popular activity here, drawing on a rich nautical tradition. 

Like all cute towns, they had a lovely coffee shop, where I had the tastiest maple scone and hot apple cider. 

And then we I stopped to ham it up for a couple of fun photos.

Have you ever been to St. Andrews-by-the-Sea or anywhere in the Maritime Provinces of Canada? Where are your favorite spots?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Rodrigo y Gabriela... Midweek Date Night in Boston

I love Pandora. It is usually streaming in the background of just about everything that I do. 

I have favorite channels for different activities, and I have found so many artists that are now part of my iTunes library an have become new favorites. 

Rodrigo y Gabriela are an example of a new favorite, and when I found out through Goldstar's discounted ticket program that they were coming to Boston, I knew we would go. 

Rodrigo y Gabriela are guitarists from Mexico who, heavily influenced by rock bands, such as Metallica, became famous as street buskers on the streets of Dublin. 

Their energy and talent are unmatched. 

Their music has been featured in the films Shrek and Puss and Boots, as well as in the pilot for Breaking Bad, and even Monday Night Football

So after a late start and heavy traffic, we finally made it. 

The centrally located Orpheum Theatre is practically across the street 
from the Boston Common's Park Street station...easy in and easy out.

The show opened with Norwegian guitarist, Øystein Greni, who is the singer and lead guitar player of the Norwegian rock and roll band BigBang, who joined Rodrigo y Gabriela on the 5-week American part of their tour. 

It was a great set, and he set the stage for what was to come. 

And Rodrigo y Gabriela did not disappoint. Diverting from a typical set list, they took requests and shared stories with the enthusiastic audience who seemed to know and love every song. 

Rodrigo y Gabriela, on stage with Øystein Greni

We left smiling and energized. It was a fun night in town to hear amazing live music. If you have the chance, check out Rodrigo y Gabriela on Pandora or wherever you find your music. You are in for a treat. 

A clip of "Diablo Rojo" from Late Night with David Letterman

Have you found any new favorites through Pandora or another streaming music service? Please share. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Cíes Islands...islands of the gods

Spain has beautiful beaches, no doubt. And this summer, we had the opportunity to visit the beach that The Guardian called The Most Beautiful Beach in the World and what the Romans called, islands of the gods.

The Cìes Islands are part of the Vigo estuary; an archipelago of three islands; a 40-minute ferry ride from the cities of Vigo, Baiona, or Cangas in Pontevedra, in southern Galicia. 

If you're leaving from Vigo, park at the mall. There are plenty of spaces and it's reasonably priced and adjacent to the dock. 

The flag of Spain and of Galicia

Rodas Beach, called Caribbean Beach, on Monteagudo, was named the most beautiful in 2007, for its white sand and crystal clear, turquoise blue water. 

There are no hotels on the island, but you can camp. There are no trash cans either; everything you bring in, you must bring out. And there is no electricity on the island. 

There are a visitors' center, a small market and two restaurants for tourists. You can kayak and swim, but you cannot do anything to disrupt the island ecosystem. 

As a nature preserve, any activities that threaten the ecosystem are prohibited. From what we could tell, people camp and sunbathe. They swim and walk around the's a giant campground. 

It is beautiful. The seagulls like it, for sure. The world's largest colony of seagulls live here...reportedly over 40,000. There are other birds too, but seagulls are the dominant species. 

Who can blame them? The Cíes Islands, and specifically Rodas Beach, are lovely. 

Where is your favorite beach? What is your idea of the most beautiful beach in the world? 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Stitch first box revealed

I'm not a good shopper. I don't like it. I don't like trying on clothes. I look at the mannequins to help plan outfits. 

So when I first heard about Stitch Fix, I was curiously optimistic. I decided that I would give this subscription service three months and see what happened. 

Stitch Fix is a service in which members complete style profiles and, for $20, a stylist chooses five pieces to send on pre-determined delivery schedules. You can take the $20 off whatever you decide to keep.

I filled out my profile and excitedly awaited my first box.

Everything was neatly folded and white washed in tissue paper and Stitch Fix logo stickers. 

Tucked inside was a personalized note from my stylist and suggestions for integrating the selected pieces into my existing wardrobe (as well as with each other).

Interestingly, my stylist's name is also Kelly.

Piece #1...An Echo infinity scarf. 


I own far too many scarves, but this one was so soft and neutral, it was a no-brainer. 

Pieces #2 & #3... a Morrie medium-wash boyfriend jean jacket and Christi diagonal striped maxi skirt. 


Ordinarily these would be keepers, but the lines on the skirt are awful for my bottom-heavy pear shape. And the jean jacket, although cute, had shreds on the back like I had been in a fight with a werwolf. 

And, I already have a cute jean jacket.

Piece #4...a Lenor button-down, pintuck detail tank


This was too similar to something I already have in my summer wardrobe. And, with winter coming, it just is not practical right now. Who wants to wait until next summer?

Piece #5...Eames black gathered waist, short-sleeved shirt

Status: KEPT

Sorry for the partial photo....SO not a fashion blogger. 

What I loved about this was how it fell on my shoulders, which you cannot tell from this picture. And I loved the gathering at the waist. 

And my husband loved it. A win-win. I wore it on our weekend getaway to New Brunswick over the Columbus Day weekend. 

Stitch Fix includes a USPS postage-paid envelope for you to return your unwanted items within three days. 

You check out online and take your $20 styling fee off whatever you choose. If you keep all five pieces, you get a 25% discount. 

It wasn't a bad first box. At the very least, I am hoping I end up with a few pieces I may not have chosen for myself. 

I'm looking forward to my next Fix. 

Are you a Stitch Fix subscriber? And if not, do you have a monthly subscription service that you love? It's such a hot industry right now. Why didn't I think of that?