Category Archives: Family

Happy 65th Wedding Anniversary!

Can you imagine–sixty five years–truly an inspiration!

June 24th was my mother and father-in-laws 65th wedding anniversary. We’ve been celebrating all week and last night we had a beautiful dinner at Duckworth’s, our family’s go-to place for special occasions (and every other excuse to head to dinner there). Dinner was beautiful in every way, from the exquisite entrees, appetizers, and desserts to the outstanding service provided by Dan and Colleen. Thank you Duckworth Family for making our family’s celebration wonderfully memorable.

Cornelius Hauck Steve Marvin ©Kim Smith 2015Here we are in Cincinnati on May 5th this past spring celebrating my father-in-laws NINETIETH birthday. He and his best friend Steve Marvin, also 90, have been friends since they were babies.

Cornelius Hauck ©Kim Smith 2015Note the cake decorated with a train scene. My father-in-law has been passionate about trains since he was a toddler, to the extent that he and his friend Bob Richardson founded the Colorado Railroad Museum, which is located in Golden Colorado.

41.2828 N, 70.0994 W…. also Known as Nantucket

I’m not going to lie, I get asked each June why we pick up and leave Rockport as soon as school gets out to travel to Nantucket.  If you know me, you know that I’m a huge cheerleader for Cape Ann….or as we’ve come to call it amongst our group of friends “God’s Country.”  I LOVE Gloucester and Rockport.  I look forward to long, lazy summers more than anyone.  That having been said, there is something just unbelievably perfect about kicking off our summer on the island of Nantucket.  If you’ve traveled there, you may know what I’m talking about.  While there are certainly some similarities between Rockport and Nantucket….there is something undeniably quintessential, pristine, and just “right” about our little week at 41.2828 N, 70.0994 W.

As we finish stripping linens, emptying the refrigerators, scanning the yard for toys and sporting goods…and prepare to head out to the 12:00 ferry back to the mainland, I can’t help but be sad…but, yet really excited about 11 more weeks of eternal summer back in 01966.

I thought that some of you may enjoy a peek inside our week….

Nichole’s Picks 6/27 + 6/28

So, this post seems a bit silly because, after all, it is St. Peter’s Fiesta all weekend long!

And, while I’m out of town until late on Friday and am feeling bad about not being able to contribute much to the AMAZING GMG Fiesta coverage, the least I can do with my “weekend picks post” is to tell you to get your butts down there!

Pick #1   Fiesta

Read the full schedule of events HERE


Pick #2

Strawberry Festival at Russell Orchards

Read all about it HERE

Strawberry Festival June 27th and 28th!
Festival hours are 11-4 both days.

Festivities include:
  • Strawberry Picking* (more info)(evenmore info)
  • Hayrides (Free with picking)
  • Pony Rides ($5/ride; 11:30-3:30)
  • Face Painting (11-4)
  • Wine Tasting ($5/glass; 11-5:30)
  • Live Cooking Demos (11-4)
  • Live Music: Daisy Nell and Capt. Stan and the Crabgrass Band on Saturday from 12:30-3:30;
  • Old Cold Tater on Sunday from 12:30-3:30.
  • “Buskers Row”: Young musicians showcase (11:30 & 3:30)
  • Fresh strawberry shortcakes with real whipped cream!
  • Strawberry donut poppers and loads more strawberry goodies made from scratch in our farm bakery.
General admission is free; costs apply to certain activities.
*Picking will be open as long as supplies last. Check status before coming to pick!

Pick #3 Red Sox “Out of the Park” Game Day

Head to Boston Commons to watch the Red Sox game on the big screen.

Read all about it HERE

Watching a Red Sox game at Fenway Park is a quintessential Boston experience, on par with swan-boat rides and checking to see if someone moved your space saver. But not everyone can make it to America’s oldest ballpark. To remedy this, the Highland Street Foundation—masterminds behindFree Fun Fridays—are bringing the Fenway Park experience to the Boston Common for all to enjoy, free of charge.

On June 28, “Out of the Park” will erect a giant television screen at the corner of Charles and Beacon Streets, just in time for the Boston’s 1:10 p.m. away game against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Highland Street Foundation is partnering with the Red Sox to bring all the Fenway fixtures to the Common, including Wally the Green Monster, hot dog vendors, the Hot Tamales Brass Band, balloon artists, face-painters, and caricaturists.

For a complete listing of family friendly activities visit our friends at North Shore Kid

‎Meg & Joe @ 525 Magnolia, Last Wednesday of the Month, starting today, 6/24!!!!!

megan joeMegan McKenzie and Joe Wilkins team up for a night of acoustic covers performing a vast variety of hits from Aretha Franklin to Tom Petty! They’ll be performing every last Wednesday of the month throughout the summer, so mark your calendars! *6/24, 7/29, 8/26 *

Megan performs with a number of local projects including The Megan McKenzie Band, Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket and SAFETY, to name a few. And Joestays busy with multiple projects as well including the Joe Wilkins Band,Poppa Cigar and Funk du Jour. They found time in there busy schedules to collaborate their talents and bring you a fun, laid back show, presenting a more intimate side of these funky rock n’ rollers!

Magnolia 525 Tavern offers a full bar with unique beers on draft as well as special house cocktails. You can quench your thirst and appease your appetite for good ole’ American fare such as steak tips or pizza, including Gluten Free options.

Photos Courtesy of KM Photograpyhy (Kimberly Marchand )and John Andrews (Social Palates)




Magnolia 525 Tavern
12 Lexington Ave,

Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930


What Ever Happened to Penny Candy?

Remember when Penny Candy actually used to cost a penny…or maybe 5 cents?  Not so much anymore.

I have such fond memories of going to a legit penny candy store in the Whistle Stop Mall in Rockport with my grandparents when I was little.  Little UFOs with tiny little candies inside that were made out of what can only be described as thin edible styrofoam, delicate candy cigarettes painted red at the end, swedish fish (of course), licorice, and tons of other choices.

Flash forward more than 35 years and I’m reliving the dream by unleashing Thatcher and Finn in the Las Vegas of penny candy….and, much like Vegas, nothing really cost a penny.

Tucked away all hidden in the back of a pretty excellent surf and watersports shop called Force 5 in Nantucket is a little room, maybe 10 ft x 10 ft, filled to the brim with candy of all types and flavors.

To say the boys look forward to doing their little supermarket sweep through the bins, buckets, and shelves is a major understatement.  With some minor parameters in place, we usually make the pilgrimage to Force 5 on our first full day on the island each June.  The boys then get to slowly work their way through their candy loot during the rest of our stay….and well into our summer vacation.

My favorite thing by far about this little cavity creator is the incredibly polite young man who seems to always be working when we visit.  Well, him and the Bit-O-Honeys. He couldn’t be nicer…and counts all of the candy in his head…occasionally reverting to the use of a calculator when combining siblings’ orders.

The not-so-penny-candy store is a huge hit amongst the kiddos…and even a bigger hit to the wallets.  I kid you not that Thatcher’s little red basket totaled close to $40 and Finn’s was just under $30!  While fairly ridiculous to lay down that kind of cash on candy, as with most things we do, it is waaaay more about the tradition.

The obligatory annual photo on the front steps tells the tale of a great little group of kids who are growing up together while celebrating some pretty fantastic traditions and creating memories to last a lifetime (and maybe some cavities).

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A Few Snapshots of LIV AND MATT’S WEDDING WEEKEND! #lobstercovewedding

With family visiting through the end of this week, and Liv and Matt here until Tuesday, I haven’t had a spare moment to look through the few photos I managed to take. I’ll post those within the next day or so. And the fabulously talented Esther Mathieu was our wedding photographer–I cannot wait to see her photos!! When things settle down I plan to make a list of all the local businesses who helped make Matt and Liv’s wedding simply magical. If you are on Instagram type in the hashtag #lobstercovewedding to see lots more snapshots.


Craig Kimberley Photo

Congrats @livviiiiii & @copymatt !!! #lobstercovewedding #annisquam #vwbus #vwcamper #asterb

A photo posted by Esther Mathieu (@esthermathieu) on

I am the most lucky to stand next to this lob on her wedding day. #lobstercovewedding #woaner

A photo posted by Laurel Beede (@laurelanneb) on

@kfoley41 Lookin All Pretty @copymatt & @livviiiiii Wedding #lobstercovewedding

A photo posted by Joey C (@captjoe06) on

Silly @KFOLEY41 #lobstercovewedding

A photo posted by Joey C (@captjoe06) on


Nichole’s Picks 6/20 + 6/21

So many fabulous options for this weekend!  I’m a bit jealous that I’ll be out of town….kind of.

Pick #1  Connor’s Farm Strawberry Festival

Read all about it HERE

Saturday, June 20, 2015 – 9am to 6pm (Rain date Sunday, June 21, 2015)

$7.95 Admission per Person, 2 and under are free.

(A Portion of the Proceeds Benefit Jimmy Fund Clinic at Dana Farber)

Note: Everyone must pay the $7.95 fee for entrance to pick your own and all festivities

Activities Included with $7.95 admission: Live Music, Jumping Pillow, Farm Animals, Hayrides, Cow Train, Grain Train, Duck Races, Pedal Carts & more!

Additional charge for: Food, Our Famous Strawberry Shortcake, BBQ Food, Pick Your Own Strawberries, Pony Rides, Strawberries Dipped in Chocolate and Face Painting.


Pick #2  Cape Ann PMC

Read all about it HERE

Welcome to our Second Annual Cape Ann Kids PMC Ride!
Join in and help us make it even more memorable than our first!!
We welcome kids from all over the North Shore, especially Manchester, Essex, Rockport and of course Gloucester to get together for fun and the ultimate goal – raising funds for the Jimmy Fund to battle cancer. Every child who wants to ride is welcome to ride!
  • O’Maley Middle School, 32 Cherry St. Gloucester, MA
  • Saturday, June 20, 2015
  • 9am to noon
  • Ages 2 – 15
  • Registration Fee: $15.00
  • Required fundraising minimum: $25 per child
    (Minimum due on day of ride)
  • PMC Heavy Hitter: $250+/PMC Breakaway Fundraiser: $700+
  • Email contact: Pat Morris


Pick #3  Arts Fest Beverly

Check it out HERE

Saturday, June 20th, 2015

10am-4pm on Cabot Street – Rain or Shine

Arts Fest Beverly is a free outdoor festival that’s fun for the whole family – including over 100 juried fine artists and crafters, music and entertainment, kids’ activities, art-on-the-spot creations and local fresh food.


Pick #4  Strawberry Festival at Marini Farm, Ipswich


Pick #5  Hot Dog Safari 2015, Lansdowne Street

The 25th annual Phantom Gourmet Hot Dog Safari will take place on Saturday, June 20, 2015 at Lansdowne Street next to Fenway Park. The Safari is an all-you-can-eat hot dog event, with other foods available, and provides a lot of kid-friendly family entertainment. Beverages are not included in the entrance price. Proceeds from the Hot Dog Safari benefit the Joey Fund which is helping to find a cure for cystic fibrosis. Tickets are $10 in advance online, or $20 at the event if not sold out.

PLEASE go HERE to read much more about this excellent event!  Tons of fun with great vendors, entertainment, and kids’ events too!  Not to mention 150,000 hot dogs.  All for a great cause!


For a more comprehensive list of family activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid

Nichole’s Picks 6/13 + 6/14

With the nice weather here the possibilities are endless.

Here are just a few options….other than an awesome day at the beach, long hike, or boat ride.

Pick #1 

The Boston Dragon Boat Festival

The 36th Annual Boston Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival will be held on June 14, 2015.  Come see races and cultural performances. Admission is free!

Performances. Arts and crafts demonstrations. Tasty Asian foods.  Join us for North America’s longest running Dragon Boat Festival!

Check out the entire schedule HERE


Pick #2

The Strawberry Festival at Mile Marker One

Not to miss!  A great, very local way to spend part of your day on Saturday!

Mile Marker One does a great job with these festivals and we always have a blast.



Pick #3

The Topsfield Strawberry Festival 


Pick #4

Rise and Shine:  Little Farmers Lend a Hand. Appleton Farms, Ipswich

Click Link above to preregister!

Join us for a morning of farm fun. Have you ever collected warm eggs from the chicken coop? Or seen how fast pigs will run for their morning helping of veggie scraps? This Saturday morning program introduces families to our working farm.

You’ll meet our calves, goats, and pigs when you help with the morning chores (don’t worry, we will go easy on you!), followed by fun and games in the grassy Stone Paddock. We learn as we go and take advantage of whatever lesson the day has to offer. We conclude our farm adventure with a seasonal story in our Carriage Barn.

Weather: This program runs in rain or shine. If it rains, we will swap out our games with a farm craft in the barn but please dress appropriately as there is always an outdoor component. In the event of lighting, we cancel.

Bring a picnic lunch or stop by our Dairy Store to grab some goodies and spend your day on the farm. We have picnic tables, bathrooms, water, and plenty of stroller friendly walking paths for you to enjoy.

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For a more comprehensive list of family activities visit our friends at North Shore Kid

Do the Hula

If you ask my boys, Summer = Lobsters + Shaved Ice

“Shaved Ice?” you may ask.  Fair enough.  If you haven’t had one recently you are missing out.  I don’t care how old you are!  My boys are addicted to Hula Moon’s shaved ice…and, I can’t lie, while I usually stand outside on the street corner with the dog while they run in with little fists full of one dollar bills, sometimes I get one too.  Hard to resist!

And, while I honestly can’t tell you yet first hand, I’ve heard that many items on their actual menu are pretty delicious too….and they have a fantastic view out their back window.

Hula Moon can be found at 27 Mt. Pleasant Street in Rockport.  Stop on by, for sure!

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Nichole’s Picks 6/6 and 6/7

Pick #1   Salem Arts Festival

For three days each June, this FREE family-friendly festival transforms downtown Salem, MA, into an opportunity for the arts community to showcase their talents.  Now in its seventh year, the festival boasts attendance numbers in the thousands and celebrates all the arts: painting, photography, sculpture, dance, music, writing, film, new media, performance, theatre, poetry, culinary, and more!

Read all about the event HERE and check out a full calendar of events

Pick #2  See the Whales

The whales have recently returned from their winter vacation and are hungry!  Spring trips offer great opportunities to see the whales feeding….which, if you’ve never had the chance to witness it,  is not to be missed!!

Check out Cape Ann Whale Watch HERE

and even snag a GROUPON HERE

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Pick #3  Myopia Polo

The new season of Sunday Polo Matches kicks off this weekend.  It is a really a great way to spend an afternoon.  Get there when the gates open (1:30, I believe) get field side parking, spread out a great picnic, and let the kiddos see the horses being cared for and getting ready.

Check out Myopia Polo HERE for more information!

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For a more comprehensive list of family activities please visit our friends at North Shore Kid

The Cape Ann Contra Dance spring schedule continues on Friday, May 29, at the Magnolia Library Community Center, 1 Lexington Street, Magnolia, MA.

cape ann contra dance



Today at 7:30pm

Magnolia Library and Community Center

The Cape Ann Contra Dance spring schedule continues on Friday, May 29, at the Magnolia Library Community Center, 1 Lexington Street, Magnolia, MA.

The dancing starts at 7:30 PM. No experience is necessary. All dances are taught. Dancers of all ages are welcome; attendees range from eight years to 80 plus years! Everyone has a great time listening and dancing to the live music provided by the Cape Ann Contra Band and Friends.

There is a requested donation of $10 per dancer, dancers younger than 16 are free.

This event is supported in part by a grant from the Gloucester Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. The Cape Ann Contra Dances are organized and produced by Folk Life Studio.

Drinking water is available. Please bring water bottles to reduce the use of paper cups. Other non-alcoholic drinks and finger food snacks are welcomed to share during the break.

For more information, contact

Find us at

Nichole’s Picks 5/30 and 5/31

Pick #1  Draft Horse Plow Day and Vintage Baseball at the Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm, Newbury

While I’ve never been here for this particular event, we’ve enjoyed other days at Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm.  I should add that the Ipswich Ale Tapmobile will be there too.

Read all about it HERE

Sunday, May 31, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm, 5 Little’s Lane, Newbury, Mass.

Free to Historic New England members, $6 nonmembers, $4 children

Draft mules participate in plowing demonstrations as part of this twentieth annual event and enjoy games of 1860s baseball. Learn how horses are harnessed, hitched, and cared for. Watch the shearing of our resident sheep, and see how the wool is washed, carded, and spun into yarn. Enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides, farm animals, blacksmithing demonstrations, children’s crafts and games. Listen to traditional New England music or watch the teams of the Essex Base Ball Association, the Newburyport Clamdiggers, Georgetown Samosets, Portsmouth Rockinghams, Lynn Live Oaks, and Lowell Base Ball Nine, play baseball using 1860s rules. At these fun, historically accurate games, players pitch underhand, a ball bounced once and caught is an out, and no gloves are allowed. Snacks, baseballs, and cards are available for purchase. Grass field seating: bring blankets and lawn chairs, no reserved seating.

Please call 978-462-2634 for more information. Purchase tickets now

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Pick #2  Millbrook Meadow Duck Race, Rockport

Saturday, May 30th at 11:00!

GMG’s own Paul Morrison and his RD will be there…head on down and cheer them on!

For the record, while the Duck Race is sure to be fun, Millbrook Meadow is always a gorgeous place to spend the day!  Located right across from Front Beach, the park has recently had a beautiful and extensive overhaul.  It is truly one of the town’s treasures!

Read more about Millbrook Meadow HERE


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Pick #3   Touch-a-Truck and ChowderFest

What child doesn’t want to get up-close and personal with some super cool trucks, ambulances, fire trucks, ATVs, motorcycles, and more?

Head on over to O’Malley Innovation Middle School on Saturday, May 30th to check out the cool vehicles and eat some delicious chowder….all to benefit the Fishtown Horribles Parade.

Tickets for Touch-a-Truck or Chowderfest are $5 (with a max amount of $20 per family)

Tickets for Touch-a-Truck AND Chowderfest are $8 each (family max of $30)

For a more comprehensive list of family activities, check out our friends at North Shore Kid

The Hosts with the Mosts

Craig Kimberley grilling ©Kim smith 2015Not only is GMG’s Craig Kimberley a superb videographer, editor, and cameraman, in case you haven’t noticed on these pages, he’s also the most amazing master of the grill. Yesterday we were treated to his superlative steak tips, barbeque ribs, and pulled pork. Thank you Joan, Hannah, and Craig for the wonderful gifts of friendship, fun, and fantastic food. Happy Summer Yet to Come!

Joan Hannah, Craig Kimberley ©kim Smith 2015Joan, Hannah, and Craig Kimberley

Craig, Barry, Joey, James ©Kim Smith 2015Craig, Barry, Joey, and James

Little, Big Boy….or Big, Little Boy?

So, Thatcher turned 8 yesterday.  And, lucky you, since I haven’t done one of those l.o.n.g parenting-is-crazy type blog posts for a while…I’m due.

This birthday has hit me.  I’m not sure why.  It isn’t a biggie as far as birthdays go.  It isn’t an “oh my goodness, my baby is already old enough for Kindergarten!”, or an “I can’t believe my baby is now double digits!”, or a “how is it possible that my baby is officially an adult!”.  It is none of those.  It is just 8.  But, as with much of parenting, I was blindsided.  I was completely surprised at how sad…well, not really sad….maybe nostalgic….I was.

I should say, for the record, that I’m totally ok with my boys growing up and I’m kind of loving this age. All the more reason that I was surprised by being upset.  I loved the baby stage and thought my boys were tremendously excellent during the toddler and preschool ages, but I have to admit that I have enjoyed watching them grow into full-fledged boys now that they’re both elementary school age even more.   I was incredibly happy that I honestly felt “done” (not in a holy crap, shoot me, I’m done kind of way, for the record….but a two kids works for me, I don’t have the slightest itch for a third kind of way).  I did a victory dance and end zone celebration when they got out of diapers (both right at 2 1/2 thank goodness), when they were finally able to buckle and unbuckle their own car seats (AMEN), and when they switched from tubbies to showers.  I have also been absolutely smitten by the fact that I can travel light.  By “travel” I’m not speaking about actual vacations…..just your everyday trip the store, beach, or even restaurants!  No more packing 800 snacks and 1,000 activities to keep the boys quiet and well behaved.  It is now seriously as easy as “Brush your teeth and get in the car.”  AND…as if that isn’t cool enough…they’re even helpful sometimes.  Mind blown.  They now unpack their lunch boxes and backpacks after school, fill their own water bottles EVERY time before leaving the house, feed the dog, take care of the rabbit, fill the bird feeders (kind of), and water the plants.  Shot, score!  I am also totally enjoying the fact that we enjoy the same music (for the most part), like some of the same shows (watching The Voice and Amazing Race together has been pretty cool), and the same sports.  While the Bruins have held their interest for years already, this is the first year that they’ve really enjoyed watching the Red Sox on TV.  Thatcher can tell you the starting line-up, the pitching rotation, and some of the more interesting stats. Yeah, me!!

So, it has been good.  It has been easy.  It has been fun. We’re in a pretty awesome place. We’ve started to enjoy each other on a slightly different level.  I’m not explaining it well…but, it is no longer us entertaining them…it is us experiencing things together….and with A LOT of great conversations.  They’ve developed senses of humor that aren’t just super cute like when they were little, but are actually funny….like, for real.  So, why so teary?  I still don’t know.

It started to hit me when I went birthday shopping.  I was looking for something in the sporting goods section of a large toy store.  As I walked from the front left corner of the store to the back right corner of the store, it occurred to me that Thatcher had outgrown every single isle in the entire store other than the sporting goods.  I thought that simple fact would be cause for a happy dance, but instead I felt a tiny pang….a little bit of a loss.  Oddly enough, I don’t even like shopping in those large toy stores anyway….so why care that he’d outgrown it?  And then, all day yesterday, as if aware that he was suddenly older on a different level….Thatcher acted like he was 15 all day long.  We were kind of riding the fence between little kid and bigger kid for the last year or so and I feel like, all of a sudden, he not only hurdled the fence, but then ran so far away from it that I can’t even see the darn fence in his wake.  Like, when (although not my proudest moment) he asked if we had arranged for the Patriot cheerleaders to bring out his birthday cake at dinner.  What?

So, my first little guy is now a big guy.  He had his choice of how to spend his day yesterday and, in typical Thatcher fashion, his choices summed up his love of life as he knows it.  He knew right away….with zero hesitation…that he wanted to catch minnows, go to the beach, definitely NOT skip hockey, eat some sushi, and maybe grab an ice cream on the way home.  Who could say “no” to that?  So, he opened his presents (over a plate of fried dough and bacon), we packed for the beach, he caught hundreds of minnows with Finn and a couple of his best buds,  raced home for quick showers, played 90 minutes of hockey, hit the Studio for some sushi and a Chocolate Torte with fresh Raspberry Coulis…and a candle, and then headed home for bed.  The only thing we didn’t fit in was the ice cream on the way home.  No room in the birthday boy’s belly.  Maybe tomorrow.

After we said our last “Happy Birthdays” and “Goodnights” I heard him rustling around in his bed.  When I asked what he was doing he said, “I can’t find Hospital Bear.”  Hospital Bear is a little stuffed animal that we put next to Thatcher as soon as he was born….and whom he has slept with every night since.  We found the little guy under the blankets and as I walked out of the room I heard him say, “Happy Birthday, Hospital Bear.”  Maybe he isn’t all grown-up after all.  Maybe that fence is just a little bit back in sight.


Thatcher and “Hospital Bear”

Who's 8?  This Guy!

Who’s 8? This Guy!



Birthday Wish

Birthday Wish

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