A relaxing getaway | Daniel Rust House | Coventry, CT

A relaxing getaway | Daniel Rust House | Coventry, CT

When you walk into the front door of the Daniel Rust House, there is a sign that reads: “Enter As Strangers Leave As Friends.” After spending a night in the beautiful bed and breakfast, that statement could not be more true.

Over the weekend, Ian and I took a one-night trip to the Daniel Rush House in Coventry, Connecticut. We received this overnight stay as a wedding present, and we were looking forward to celebrating my birthday weekend by taking a step back into history and relaxing for an evening.

The Daniel Rust House was built in 1731 and served as a tavern called the “Bird in Hand” from 1800 to 1832. The purpose was, and remains to this day, to be a cozy place to get away from life’s troubles and rewind.

IMG_7636There is so much charm in this place—a fire glowing in every hearth, beautiful antiques and paintings, and not to mention so much history! The owners, Germaine and Cathy, are so knowledgeable about the home’s history and did not hesitate in giving us a tour when we arrived. They helped us feel comfortable and were aware of my love for history and historical homes the minute we walked in. We learned that the house was a safe house on the Underground Railroad. Each room had its own story—it was incredible!

 

The house has a few common rooms including the cooking hearth, the Stone Room where you can read a book in front of the cozy fire, the dining room, a garden and patio, and gorgeous grounds to explore. We stayed in the Anna White Room—the mistress’s room adorned with a gorgeous canopy queen bed, comfy chairs for reading, a fireplace, and a giant bathroom equipped with a jacuzzi tub. We were ready to relax! After a delicious dinner at Nu Nu’s Bistro in Colchester (go!), we made our way back to the bed and breakfast, enjoyed some drinks, and fell asleep to the calming wood cracking in the fire.

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The next morning we headed downstairs to breakfast cooked by Germaine and Cathy. It was absolutely delicious! They are extremely attentive hosts and we thoroughly enjoyed sitting in the dining room; it was like stepping back in time. We felt so comfortable and at home!

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After breakfast, we went for a short walk and toured the grounds. It was a chilly morning, but it was a great way to explore and look at the apple orchards and around the property. When we were checking out, we hugged Cathy and Germaine goodbye. This is something that one would not expect when leaving a hotel or any other type of inn, but it was welcomed by us without any question. Even though we knew them for one night, we felt like guests in their home (which is true; they live in the house). We truly entered as strangers but parted as friends!

If you are in the area, or traveling through Connecticut, I highly recommend the Daniel Rust House.

The Mangiones take on Philadelphia!

Hey all! Ian and I are headed to Philadelphia tomorrow for a fun-packed weekend! We are ready to take in the sights, eat some delicious Philly cheesesteaks, and dive into some U.S. history! We have never been to Philadelphia before, so we are excited to explore a new city, and are open to suggestions/tips.  I enjoyed sharing our adventures in Montréal, and I think a lot of readers found it enjoyable to read, so I hope you can also take some time to read about our trip this weekend!

Happy November!

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Ways to experience hygge this fall

Ways to experience hygge this fall

I discovered the magic of “hygge” a year ago when I stumbled across the book, The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living” by Meik Wiking. I remembered reading how the Dutch are the happiest people in the world, and I always wondered how. The answer: “hygge” (pronounced hoo-gah), a Danish word acknowledging a feeling or moment that gives you complete happiness. One can experience hygge alone or with friends; the only condition to experiencing hygge is that you are able to enjoy and recognize living in the present.

Some buzzwords that surround hygge are “cozy,” “comfort,” and “charm.” These are three elements that I take pride in when choosing my hygge. Wiking writes: “Hygge is the sensation you get when you’re cuddled up on a sofa, in cozy socks under a soft throw, during a storm. It’s that feeling when you’re sharing comfort food and easy conversation with loved ones at a candlelit table. It is the warmth of morning light shining just right on a crisp blue-sky day.” To “do” hygge is to you create simple rituals without much effort; you make your personal life an art form.

Fall has arrived—the perfect season to try out some hygge practices. Hygge is not just restricted to the colder months, but for someone like me who loves bundling up in blankets with a cup of hot chocolate, this is when I experience the most hygge. Here are some fall activities for you to try to bring some hygge into your life:

Light some fall-scented candles
Candles are already so calming and peaceful, so why not light a Pumpkin Spiced Chai Latte candle and get the full fall effect?

Read a book
As an avid reader, sitting in my comfy chair with a steaming mug of tea or coffee and a great book is ultimate hygge. Since it’s Halloween season, try picking up a horror/spooky book to get you in the Halloween spirit!

Layer up!
Three of the best things about fall: sweaters, scarves, and boots. I love bundling up with scarves and jackets and dressing for cool weather. Did I mention flannels?!

Buy some fall decorations—or make your own!
When the first leaf hits the ground in September, I make a mad dash to the nearest craft store and load up on fall decor. I love crafting; it’s such a fun way to unwind, relax, and spark some creativity! Here’s an example of one of my fall decor pieces this year. I went to my local craft store and bought these pumpkins and leaves, and created my own chalkboard sign:

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Road Trip!
Get in your car with a friend or two and take a drive to a cool town or place and explore. Go to a trendy coffee shop or a museum; or go to a park and take in the views! Everything is beautiful this time of year—get out there and enjoy it!

Have a movie night
Invite a friend over and have a movie night or watch a movie on your own. This time of year, I love to sit on my couch after a long day with a warm blanket and watch Halloween movies—especially classics like “Halloweentown” and “Hocus Pocus!”

Go on a walk/hike through the autumn leaves
Head outside and enjoy the sweet, crisp autumn air. Going for walks gives me the chance to slow down and enjoy the beautiful foliage—and I love hearing the *crunch* of fallen leaves under my feet!

Pick your own apples/pumpkins—and get to baking!
Make your way to a local pick-your-own farm and grab a hot apple cider, some warm fritters, and pick your own pumpkins or apples. Then…make a dessert when you get home! A fall dessert favorite in our home is warm apple crisp with vanilla ice cream on top. Yum!

 

What do you like to do in the fall? How do you “hygge?”

 

 

 

Arts Café: Montréal

The Arts Café is a very hip and cozy restaurant on Fairmount Avenue in Montréal, Canada. We came across the café on a rainy morning when I spotted rows of books and strings of rustic light bulbs in the windows. I have what we call a “Kass-radar” for bookshops, and when I first saw the books and lights, I was intrigued. However, when I saw that there was a cappuccino machine, I saw myself making a beeline for the shop.

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When I opened the door, I was not disappointed. I was greeted with a rush of warm, sweet air filled with the smell of coffee and pastries. It reminded me of a real-life replica of Professor Trelawney’s classroom!

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Feeling serendipitous, my husband and I sat down and ordered our drinks and looked at the menu. The menu had a variety of choices from a classic breakfast of eggs, toast, russet potato, salad and a choice of meat to Eggs Benedict and french toast. We went for the breakfast sandwich and classic breakfast.

The food was excellent, and the staff were very kind and attentive. What I liked the most about Arts Café was the atmosphere. Inside, there were tables to sit at, but also bars with stools. And, the books. There were books around the café from Jane Eyre to a biography on Salvador Dali. Along with bookshelves, the café had beautiful hanging plants and intriguing wall art. The café felt homey, and there were a few people reading books, doing work, or writing on their laptops with coffee and tea mugs at their tables. The entire café was very relaxed, and it seems as if there are guests who stay there most of the day. We never felt rushed to leave.

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If you ever visit Montréal, take time to stop at the Arts Café for a warm beverage and delicious breakfast that won’t disappoint!