#FreshLookFriday: A Falmouth Staycation

When my Mom & I found out my father-in-law and husband were painting the bathroom as part of a full remodel we’re doing, we were OVER THE MOON excited! Just one little problem: this 8 months pregnant lady isn’t supposed to be around fumes, and my Mom gets severe headaches from just a whiff of primer. While we’re not big on traveling right now, we knew staying in the house wasn’t an option (and honestly, after a year of staying home, we could totally use the break to get out!). Luckily, we were able to find a safe way to enjoy a little Mommy & me staycation just down the road that allowed us to play tourists for the weekend.

We chose to stay at Inn On The Square in Falmouth, a cute little place downtown we’d never tried! After spraying & scrubbing the ever-loving-crap out of the room & dragging in our own sheets and pillows like crazy people, we spent Friday night getting settled, ordering takeout & binge watching episodes of our new favorite show, Good Girls, on Netflix.

On Saturday morning, we woke up ready to grab some coffee & explore. We went down to Menahaunt Beach to enjoy our coffee and have a nice walk breathing in some fresh, salty ocean air. While there might have been a slight chill in the air, the view can’t be beat!

Feeling like we wanted to continue exploring, we took a ride down to Spohr Gardens. While I hadn’t been there in ages, going there with my Mom brought back some really amazing memories. As a little girl, she and I used to go there all the time for an afternoon and to enjoy their well-known Daffodil Days! Dressing up & soaking in all the fresh air and natural beauty one of Falmouth’s hidden gems has to offer was always a treat, and though it may not have been daffodil season just yet, it still brought us just as much joy when we returned. I actually have a picture of me as a little girl among the flowers…it’s crazy to think of how young I was when my mother took me then vs. now about to give birth to a baby of my own (still wearing pink though, of course!)

All that walking worked up quite an appetite (especially for me with the little bean jumping around in my belly!), so we opted for pickup from one of our favorite restaurants: Le Bon Jour! I opted for Le Puy, a power bowl that is packed with nutrients. With ingredients like avocado, beets, lentils, and apple, I topped it with some grilled chicken for a little extra protein and modified to sub their apple cider vinaigrette dressing. It hit the spot as a great guilt-free meal that we enjoyed while supporting a local restaurant. It’s a win-win every time!

Digging into Le Puy (with a grilled chicken upgrade),
my favorite dish from Le Bon Jour in Falmouth!

While we chose to snuggle back in with more tv for the evening since it’s easy to get worn out quick when you’re making another human, the next day we woke up well rested & ready to explore again. Checkout at Inn on the Square is at 11, so we slept in, got our things together and grabbed some breakfast to enjoy by the water again. This time, we took our coffee to the Woods Hole Waterfront Park, which this time of year is usually very quiet. Taking in the view and a stroll on the beach, we continued for another walk down Main Street.

This was a bittersweet walk: growing up, my Dad had worked for years at the Marine Biological Laboratory and just retired this year. I’d also gone to preschool at the Woods Hole Child Center, and have spent a ton of time over the years at places like Captain Kidd, the Landfall, Coffee O (which used to be Pie In The Sky!) and made countless trips rushing to the ferry when my husband was living on Martha’s Vineyard. Woods Hole has always had a special place in my heart for those reasons, but also because I just plain have a natural draw to its small-town seaside charm that makes for a perfect gateway to Martha’s Vineyard. Yet strolling past all of the boarded-up businesses that still had Christmas decorations in the window was a heartbreaking reminder of why we’ve continued to be so cautious during this time, and both Mom & I were grateful in that moment to know that there is hope for a (somewhat!) normal future soon.

Overall, it was an INCREDIBLE staycation weekend! It’s funny how different local places you go all the time can feel once you put on a “vacation” mindset. These were places we’d drive past all the time, roads we’d take daily and that we’ve spent our lives calling home. All we had to do was give ourselves permission to enjoy them, and we DID!

Charity Blog

Evenings With Emmalyn: Episode 9

Thanks for watching Evenings With Emmalyn, a show dedicated to sharing good news and positive vibes featuring “The Positive 5” by motivational speaker JT of JT’s Chronicles, and a new #FreshLookFriday segment every week dedicated to ways you can bring those good vibes into your own home. If you like watching good news, please like this video & subscribe to this channel to stay up to date with the latest happy stories! New episodes every Sunday at 6pm.


#FreshLookFriday: Style Your Own Beach Picnic!

With all of this gorgeous weather, it’s nearly impossible to fight the urge to get outside and enjoy the sunshine! Finding safe, fun summer activities is on all of our minds right now, and earlier this week I found one that I just HAD to share that is not only safe, it makes for some seriously awesome Instagram pictures, too. Grab your favorite beach blanket-we’re going to go have a picnic on the beach!

Step one is making sure you scope out an isolated area to adhere to social distancing rules. My mom and I wanted to have a mother-daughter picnic, so we went to a local private beach where we knew we’d have enough space to spread out without inconveniencing anyone else. Once you have your location, you can start thinking of how you’re going to style your picnic!

The theme we chose since our picnic would be seaside is..yup, you guessed it, nautical! We wanted to go with a very teal & beachy vibe, and luckily there are so many decor sales going on right now that this was easy and fairly inexpensive to accomplish. While everyone’s look can be completely different, here’s what we used to get that light and airy beachside vibe:

1- Classic White Blanket This one is on sale for $16 on Amazon!

2- Aqua Cotton Round Placemat Check out Pier1’s MASSIVE sale right now!

3- Starfish Plates Ours came from Christmas Tree Shop, which should be opening up soon, but you can find others like them if you prefer to shop from home in the link!

4- White Buffet Napkin Sale These are on a crazy sale right now at Pier 1 (and honestly, who doesn’t need a good set of white napkins on hand?!)

5- Coral Napkin Rings I can’t even tell you how obsessed with these I am, and they ALSO happen to be on a super sale!

6- Starfish Water Glasses I had originally found mine at Christmas Tree Shop, but there’s a nearly identical replica right now at Bed Bath & Beyond.

Charity Blog

Mermaids on Cape Cod: How A Cape Cod Artist Is Using Her Talent To Help Feed Fellow Residents

CAPE COD, MA- With all of the heartwarming stories coming to the forefront these days, it’s not rare for me to tear up a time or two at hearing how so many local heroes are stepping up to help their neighbors. It is, however, rare for me to do so several times in just one call. That’s what happened when I spoke with Shari, “Chief Executive Mermaid” behind Mermaids on Cape Cod. Getting to know Shari over the years as we bumped into each other at local festivals, the “Mermaid Truck” gal always had the cutest setup of all the vendors. Her mobile truck, set up so anyone could hop on and shop great local outfits, jewelry and accessories always had me leaving with something!

Mermaids on Cape Cod Founder & Chief Executive Mermaid, Shari.

Yet in talking with her this week, I saw another side of Shari I had never seen before. Instead of being her laughing, contagiously bubbly self, she was heartbroken for her fellow artists and fiercely determined to make waves of change. “In March, I was at the Boston Flower Show and they were closing it and packing up due to the virus. They had said they weren’t going to close, but turnout was so low and things were just starting to happen, so they had to. Everybody was crying and having a tough time, and that’s not usually what the vibe is there. It was very dark and sad, and I couldn’t fathom what this would be like,” she explained. “The woman next to me looked at all her stuff and realized she didn’t have another event to go for four months, and all of her creations that she’d worked so hard on were perishable. We looked at each other and said, ‘What are we going to do?’ and I said, ‘I’m going to figure this out.’

After going home and racking her brain of how she could help those that just lost their entire livelihood all night, Shari said she remembers seeing the sun rise the next morning was suddenly inspired. “I saw sunrise with the trees and just said to myself, ‘I need to rise up.’ I started drawing rough waves, the sun rising up, the waves rising up, and realized in this distressing time we need to create some joy and rise up together.” After watching many of the funds created for such smaller local artists going to larger corporations, Shari knew what she had to do. “I’m going to raise some money. And it’s not going to be for big companies or big organizations.”

Quickly, Shari began reaching out to local organizations to guide her in her mission and fellow artists responded. “Steve at Cape Cod Textile, he came in and said, ‘Let me design something and if you sell them, I’ll just give them to you so all the money can go where it needs to.’ The Cape Cod design was him.” Pointing to a long sleeve shirt and sweatshirt in our Zoom call (which she’d tied together to hold hands and I’m not crying, you’re crying), she explained that the 15 stars on the flag design were placed to represent each of the towns on Cape Cod where in each, local artists reside. How have the sales been?

“I’ve cried a lot in gratitude,” Shari admits. “We’re shipping 500 pieces a week, which is stressful as well as keeping my business afloat working till 10-11pm at night and waking up at 7am. But with every package, I say thank you to the customer and thank you to God.” The humble artists refuses to take most of the credit, however. “This is from our community, your community, not us. The money is just from them,” she explains of how the funds from each purchase go directly towards local food banks in Sandwich & along the South Shore. “$500 keeps the food pantry alive for the community. If you give them $1, they can go to the Boston Food Bank and get 20 cans of corns to stock the shelves here. So far, we donated $1000.”

Want to help be part of the effort and grab some custom-made Rise Up swag yourself? Visit the Mermaids on Cape Cod website at https://www.mermaidsoncapecod.com/ and check out Shari’s full video interview below.