Appetizers of My Christmas Party Past


I can still taste my mother’s delicious appetizers she would make year after year. It all started back when my Nana would hold her famous Christmas Eve parties. This was before I was born. Tables were packed with food, drinks flowed, people laughed and danced to Christmas music all dolled up in their party best! The party wouldn’t stop until the wee hours of the morning. I can picture my grandparents full of happiness and.. well, adult beverages.

Times changed, grandchildren were born and Nana and Bubba’s Christmas Eve parties became mellow, yet just as fun! One of my happiest childhood memories is going to their house on Christmas eve, sitting around the living room, listening to Christmas music, exchanging gifts and simply being together.


When I was young, my mother would throw a Christmas party in early December for extended family we rarely saw, but once they stepped inside, it felt like we had never been apart. As the years passed, the guest list became shorter, life became busy, and eventually the annual extended family Christmas party came to an end. I can still remember the feeling of our warm inviting home dazzled up for the season. It’s one of those magical feelings that will always live inside of you. Karen Carpenter’s voice filled the living room with joy, Christmas scented Yankee candles softly flickered, and the scent of home cooking coming from the kitchen made mouths water.

The kitchen island was packed full of Christmas party food, but the following are my top five favorites:






Do you have any family favorite recipes? Please share! I’d love to know what they are!

Happy cooking!


Kristina Signature 2

Hiking New Hampshire


“Hiking is a bit like life:

The journey only requires you to put one foot in front of the other …again and again and again. And if you allow yourself opportunity to be present throughout the entirety of the trek, you will witness beauty every step of the way, not just at the summit.” -Unknown


Sometimes fresh air and crispy leaves are all you need!

Kristina Signature 2

The Inn at Jackson

IMG_3352editMy husband and I celebrated our five year wedding anniversary by staying overnight at the Inn at Jackson. My parents watched our daughter (who we missed to much, bought things for and talked about constantly!) and we drove about two hours north to beautiful Jackson, New Hampshire. The leaves were bright oranges and yellows- but that’s for another post! This post is dedicated to our lovely stay at the bed and breakfast which sits high on a mountain overlooking trees of oranges and yellows and – You know, it’s difficult to not go on and on about New Hampshire’s gorgeous foliage! IMG_3335edit

Some history of the b&b: The Inn at Jackson was built in 1902 as the summer home of Kate Corrine Baldwin of Brooklyn, NY and of Baldwin piano family fame on land purchased from her friend Katerine Wormeley. For a number of years prior to the purchase, Baldwin had been a regular guest at Wentworth Hall in the village, during which time she befriended Wormeley, another Summer Jackson resident. *IMG_3336edit

The inn transferred ownership on 3/31/05 from the previous owners of 22 years, Bob Bowman and Lori Tradewell, to Don and Joyce Bilger, formerly of Pennsylvania. The Bilgers renovated the property in May of 2005 and the result is what you see today. The Inn at Jackson is the last original Stanford White structure remaining in Jackson, NH.*


The “Harry Potter” closet across from our room.


We stayed in the Horace Greenley room, which was the brightest and sunniest suite in the inn.


Breakfast was delicious, the rooms were clean and comfortable, and the company was warm and inviting. We enjoyed our stay at the Inn. We hope to visit again!

Do you have a favorite bed and breakfast? Please share! I’d love to know!

Kristina Signature 2




Return of the Pumpkin People

Each October the Pumpkin People return to Jackson, New Hampshire! Area businesses create pumpkin characters based on popular culture, literature, and seasonal themes. Pumpkin People are displayed near stores, golf courses, hotels and bed and breakfasts. Almost everywhere you turn, there’s a pumpkin person waiting to have its picture taken. These are a few of my favorites from my trip up north.

Pumpkin couple in front of Flossie’s General Store
Trolls at the Inn at Jackson
Santa at the Christmas Farm Inn & Spa


Three men in a tub!


Eagle Mountain House & Golf Club
Harry Potter at the Red Fox Bar & Grille


Linus: “Each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere. He’s gotta pick this one. He’s got to. I don’t see how a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this one. You can look around and there’s not a sign of hypocrisy. Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see.”


Kristina Signature 2

On my honor, I will try…




Roaming around antique stores and coffee shops is one of my favorite pastimes. In a way I feel like they are both very similar. Nostalgia and treasures are lurking around every corner in antique shops. Antique shops carry items that hold lifetimes of memories. Coffee shops, on the other hand, are full of love, laughter and the divine smell of fresh brewed liquid of the Gods.  (More to come regarding coffee..)

Downtown Concord is home to Concord Antique’s Gallery.


I used to be a Girl Scout and have happy memories of that time in my life. When I spotted this gorgeous green handbook, I could help but to flip though to see what was inside.


To my surprise, it was filled out and still had a certificate of membership card tucked in the front cover!


I styled the book a few ways in the living room, but ultimately chose to keep it alongside a few nature books in the bathroom. I’m loving the book’s front cover design and colors.


Items like this one adds history and magic to a home. Have you ever come across any antique store finds you couldn’t pass up?


Kristina Signature 2




Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella On a Rainy Day


Capital Plaza is decorated with over 200 colorful umbrellas! Owner Steve Duprey was inspired by the Umbrella Sky Project in Portugal and recreated it in Concord, New Hampshire.



See the two umbrellas holding each other’s handles? So sweet! Relationship goals!! 🙂


I’m loving these brilliant colors. They have brightened my day and have inspired me to look up more! 🙂 I hope everyone smiles today. (Even if it’s forced! You will feel better. I promise.)

Kristina Signature 2

The Elms

June 23, 2016


Rhode Island is an ultimate New England summertime destination for sure! The mansions in Newport are breathtaking to say the least! The Elms is one of nine mansions in Newport, which was Mr. and Mrs. Edward Berwin’s “summer cottage”.

IMG_0666Yes. Summer cottage. Edward Berwind hired architect Horace Trumbauer to design and model his Bellevue Avenue summer residence after the mid-18th century French chateau d’Asnieres (c.1750) outside Paris. The Elms measures 60,000 square feet and contains 48 rooms.


It has been designated a National Historic Landmark and today is open to the public.




The Elms was completed in 1901 at a cost of $1.4 million.


These are some of the lovely statues that are scattered around the grounds.


Lovely, and spooky!


I attended the Servant Life Tour, which I would recommend, yet only if one has seen the regular mansion tour. The Servant Life Tour does not show off the magnificent rooms: the living rooms, sitting rooms, ball rooms, etc. Instead, the tour starts at the four-story marble back staircase which goes up to the third floor where about 40 staff lived.


In the middle of the hallway is one of the house’s three “annunciators,” a wall box that could be rung from 29 different places in the house. It moved a little labeled flag telling servants where to go. A cow, jingle and tea bell indicated specific rooms.

Pictured below is a portion of the glass floor.


The servants’ quarters opens onto a roof deck where the mansion’s 10-acre grounds can be seen, along with Newport Harbor.


The tour heads back down the stairs and into the basement kitchens, laundry rooms, boiler room ice making room, and coal cellar.


There is a railroad track in the cellar that travels through a tunnel leading to the street where coal was delivered.


The Servant Life Tour was exciting, unique and full of interesting behind-the-scenes stories. Take a trip back in time at the Elms, then head over to Flo’s for fresh seafood and spirits! See ya there!

Kristina Signature 2