Tag Archives: cupcakes

Nichole’s Family Picks of the Weekend 11/29 + 11/30

Pick #1

So, I’m cheating here a bit with this post because my 1st pick is actually a few weeks from now.  Originally, I was going to post about the Parent/Child Cupcake making class that is taking place at Eurostoves on Saturday 11/29, BUT it is sold out….which made me think that some things I may want to recommend in the future may need to be written about ahead of time so that interested readers don’t get shut out!  I’ll try to keep that in mind.

You’re in luck, however, because the “Parent/Child Cupcake Crazy” is also being offered on December 26th.  So book now….and turn it into a great little gift to put under the tree!  A fantastic little date day for you and yours (or a niece, nephew, grandchild, etc) all wrapped up with a bow.  Annnnd, no need for the recipient of your awesome gift to be patient, because just when the Christmas buzz is about to wear off, you get to hop in the car and keep the fun going!

Check out Eurostoves here

Pick #2

If I’m to be honest, I haven’t been here yet, but I’ve been meaning to go and this weekend’s Annual Holiday Bazaar in the “magical shop in the forest” sounds pretty perfect to me.  I love the sound of the nature-inspired gifts, but strolling through craft tables can get boring for kids, let’s be honest.  The Center for Wildlife in Cape Neddick, Maine, (just over an hour away….so not too bad!) eliminates that by giving the kiddos an opportunity to meet the owl, hawk, falcon, and more who call the center home! And, this weekend’s events will also include winter book readings.

“Environmental Fairy Tales Come Alive! We will have readings of “A Christmas Owl” and “A Winter Solstice Celebration” at 1pm and 2pm. Gather under our educational pavilion, enjoy hot cocoa and cider, listen to these great tales, and meet some of the animals from the book!”

Stop for some lunch and hot cocoa in Newburyport on the way home to break up the drive and you’ve made a whole day of it!

Check out the Center for Wildlife here!

Pick #3

One of our favorite holiday traditions!!  For the record, traditions are really important to my little family unit.  Because I say so.  Kidding.  In all seriousness, creating traditions and being sure to do them each year so that our boys would hopefully learn to love and cherish them, was really important to me.  So, we have several traditions that we don’t mess with….and hopefully never will.  One of those is cutting down our Christmas Tree.  In November of 2010, the Bertolon family opened the Beverly Tree Farm.  Since then, countless families have marked their calendars to make the annual pilgrimage to their gorgeous property to find the one.  The one perfect tree that speaks to them!

We have gone every year since.  I’m not going to lie, the trees could easily be considered expensive. However, you’re not just paying for a tree.  You’re paying for hot cider, cocoa, homemade Christmas cookies, a roaring fire, and an incredibly kind and friendly family run business.  You’re paying for holiday memories in the making.  When they first opened it was possible to tag the tree of your dreams and then go back and get it later. When that was an option, we got two times the tradition for the price of one!  We would go, find our tree, decorate it at the farm, have some holiday yummies, sit by the fire, and then head home….Christmas carols blaring! Then, we’d head back the following week, search for our masterpiece, and cut her down. We’d eat some more yummies, sit by the fire for a bit longer, strap it onto the car….and head home once again.

Tagging it for later pick-up is no longer an option.  One of the reasons for that is that the tree farm is so phenomenal that they now sell out of trees in just two short weekends.  They open the day after Thanksgiving and stay open just this weekend and next weekend.  That’s it.  Still, even without the tagging, it is totally worth it.

A very important fact to know is that the Bertolon family uses proceeds to cover operating costs and then gives every other penny to charity.  A couple of years ago a large recipient was Hospice of the North Shore….last year, they were able to give $25,000 to Direct Relief to assist Philippine victims recovering from Super Typhoon Haiyan.  In all, over the past few years, they have given an incredibly $85,000 to selected charities.  This year’s charity is The Cabot….as in The Cabot Performing Arts Center in Beverly.

So, be sure to check out the Beverly Tree Farm here!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Miss Zoe Rocks Our Vegan Cupcake World

Today the photos.  Tomorrow the video where you will find out if “vegan” cupcakes can compete with traditional cupcakes in our official taste test featuring who else but the human garbage disposal otherwise known as Ed Collard.

Check out Zoe’s blog here-




Crazy Cairns Part II

I had the lab over to the house for a going away party for my best chemist going off to grad school. Teach them some chemistry and they run off …
Picked up a bag of bugs at the dock and they looked so nice I went to get my iPhone since I forgot my real camera. I didn’t notice that someone had slipped a kielbasa into the mix.

You really need to keep an eye on these people. So after they left at sunset I had to go for a walk as maybe I had a few too many cupcakes and got seven cairns going in the failing light. The nice tall round one was still up from two weeks ago. No wind in the forecast so these seven might hang out. Or Halibut2 might add some more.

If I did not get rid of these cupcakes I would have eaten the last four so I went to the harbormaster meeting in Rockport (every Thursday night at 7PM) and tried to bribe Rosemary and Scott into moving me up on the mooring list. Not much luck on that one but they likely succumbed to the creamy frosting right after I left.

Scott did give me ID stickers for my kayaks. I follow the Coast Guard on Twitter and it seems like half their time is spent trying to find out where the empty kayak came from. It may have just blown off a dock but they have to treat it as a lost kayaker. But if every kayak had a name and cell phone number inside the hull on an easily recognizable sticker the problem would vanish.