The 70% off Clearance Sale is ON at Cracker Barrel!

The Cracker Barrel on Rt 9 is having their annual 70% off sale in their oh so cute store (WHO are the buyers for this place? Geniuses!).

This lamp was $49.99 and is $15.99 in the sale. Last year I found a sock monkey rocking horse in the sale. And the sock monkey collection has only grown since then, if you are a sock monkey junkie.

Plus the other country stuff in the store, like this sign for the garage.

Hand Designed Fabric at Reservoir and Wood

When I asked Erin Murphy, owner of Reservoir and Wood on the east end of Main Street, where she found her fabric for her own line {em} Reservoir, she said simply, "I design it."

Dream!! This sequence piece here is of fabric Erin designed. She does find fabric elsewhere from her secret sources, but what we have here is an amazing local designer.

Second Saturday Jewelry Sale at CherryBomb PopUp Shop: "The Fellowship of the Bling" (Spotlight!)

This Second Saturday, December 14, 2013, from 10am to 9pm,  "The Fellowship of the Bling" is happening at the CherryBomb PopUp Shop at 201 Main Street, usually known as Zora Dora in the summer. "The Fellowship of the Bling" is a store-wide sale where you can save 5% on all jewelry marked $30 or more. Each necklace, earring, ring and other bling is handcrafted by an artist in Beacon, so you will be gifting something very special and unique. And this bling comes in many forms - metal, fabric, pearls, stones. And even Barbie boobs. Stop in the shop and see if you can find them! Once you pick the perfect piece, ask for the Katie James jewelry pouch! That's what I'm selling there ;)

Featured artists include Kit Burk-Smith, Martha P. Huphreys,
and Caiming Chung, who are talented metalsmiths and gifted at sculpting
and designing wearable pieces of art.

Kit Burk-Smith Jewelry is featured in the wooden tray, and Caiming Cheung and
Martha P. Humphreys are featured in the secret book box above.

Vibrant artist Goldy Safirstein is the bead artist here, paired with
Margaux Lange's one of a kind jewelry sculptures.

Shop these artists at CherryBomb and save on holiday shipping costs!
Being local, you can buy direct instead of on the designer's websites.

Fabric jewelry is hot, and these leather earrings are one of a
kind and perfect for the funky kitten on your list.

This post is a Spotlight! article.

Beacon Flair Necklaces and Charms at Echo

Looking for Beacon NY paraphernalia? Walk right into Echo Boutique on the east end of Main Street, and at the sales counter are these funky little Beacon charms! I may get one for my mother who loves Beacon.

Karen, founder of Echo, had so many requests for Beacon postcards and other flair, that she called up the San Francisco based designer kathy lo rocks, who specializes in making custom keepsakes and city charms, to order a custom collection just for Beacon NY fans. The necklace you see here in this picture says "Beacon NY exit 11" - a popular phrase for flair collectors! In the necklace next to the circular one in the picture, it's a square with Beacon's area code, 845, in big red numbers.  Other styles are available at Echo, so stop in!

Cherry Bomb, Beacon's Most Awesome Holiday Pop-Up Shop is Back!

Walking to BJ's to pick up a lunch of fried chicken, Mac and cheese and cake, I passed Zora Dora's, which had its shop door open. Now, in the Fall this unusual because Zora Dora's sells popsicles and is usually closed. But if its door is open that means only one thing...Cherry Bomb! (and here is their Facebook page) The holiday pop-up shop of awesome is going to be open this year to offer shoppers unique and beautifully made artisanal gifts from local designers. And this year, bakers too.

What you see here is the requirement sheet for selling your stuff in this pop-up shop. I'll be posting it on the site later, but get ready. Shopping is coming...

Beacon Halloween Festivities 2013

Being a newbie in Beacon, I was unaware of all of the festivities that go on here the weekend before Halloween. That's how last year found us at the The Roundhouse eating a kid-friendly lunch with friends, while every kid but my own were dressed in costume and trick-or-treating at stores on Main Street, just days before the actual night of real trick-or-treating.

When those friends asked me this year "What is going on this weekend in Beacon for Halloween?" I stared at the computer screen blankly. I didn't know! But I do now. A quick grocery run at Keyfoods exposed me to a full schedule printed on the front page of the Beacon Free Press! Hurrah! So for any of you looking online for 2013, here's what's in store, courtesy of the tireless organizers of the official movement, "A Very Beacon Halloween" (go see their Facebook page).

NOTE: As for the actual night of Halloween Trick or Treating, I'm seeking confirmation on those hours, but in the past, little kids have started at 5pm, and older kids come out until about 8pm.

FRIDAY, October 25, 2013

Pumpkin Hunt along Main Street at designated participating stores (free)
Starts at the Beacon Creamery 445 Main Street maps available there that day

Pumpkin Glow with a performance by the Rivertown Kids
Carved Pumpkin Contest winners ceremony near the Visitors Center on 9D and Main Street

Dinema Theatre (dinner and free movie) at the Cup and Saucer Restaurant 165 Main Street

SATURDAY, October 26, 2013
Children's Story time and music at Echo 380 Main Street

Ghost and Cemetery Walks on Main Street (free)

Halloween Movies at the Beacon Theater 445 Main Street

Guess who's Coming to Dinner/ Group Reading at the Cup and Saucer Restaurant 165 Main Street

Howland Cultural Center an Evening with Edgar Allen Poe

Max's on Main Annual Halloween Costume Party 246 Main

Rocky Horror Picture Show Beacon Theater 445 Main St

SUNDAY, October 27, 2013
Line up for Hocus Pocus Parade at The Visitor's Center on 9D and Main St.

Hocus Pocus Parade down Main Street from 9D to the Roundhouse (free)
followed by trick or treating at designated participating stores displaying orange and black balloons.

2:00pm line up for the 8th Annual Howl-a-Ween Costume Contest for dogs
Registration $8- free treat bag for all registered dogs

Backroom Gallery antique handmade Halloween gift wrapping exhibit (free)
475 Main Street

THURSDAY, October 31, 2013
Trick or Treat! Still waiting on word and a website update from City Hall as to official Trick or Treating hours, but generally, 5-8pm is a safe bet.

Kids and Toddler Craft Classes at Howland Public Library

Kids, Toddlers and Infant Classes at Howland Public Library
This summer, the kids classes at the Howland Public Library have been so great! We took a mini break from daycare, so I wanted to keep somewhat of a schedule, and involve a craft or project at least once a week (I'd love to say once a day, but lets be realistic here, Katie...we have laundry to fold, grass seed to sow, and work to squeeze in).

On Monday morning of my first week without daycare, we did meet some other shell shocked parents at the library whose kids were usually in school, and now needed an activity. That's where we heard about the Infant class on Tuesdays. Then on Wednesdays we did have on the calendar to attend the Toddler class, which involves a craft, like this blue rainbow fish you see here. The craft matches the story that the amazingly crafty librarian, Ginny Figlia, reads to us. Then on Fridays, there is the Dive Into Reading class that also involves a series of themed books, dancing, and a project in the big back room! This week it was ants.

And then of course, are the free DVD rentals after the class that we can quickly browse, that help get me through a newsletter production, website analysis, article outline, or other worky work.

So as a great childcare alternative or enhancement (for those of you with sitters who can take the kids in your place), the library has been a dependable hit this summer.

Calamari (and bacon rolled scallops) Have Arrived in Beacon at Culture Cafe Bar

For those NYCers who are used to a fresh, crispy, Asian flared calamari, your wish has come true in Beacon. Culture, on Main Street's West End, is serving calamari on its menu with two sauces: a sweet and spicy yet creamy red sauce, or a bold and jolting ginger sauce. Omg, the calamari hit the spot on a hot, muggy Tuesday evening with a glass of dry yet crisp white wine.

And the scallops. Usually these are a gamble on the menu because they leave you wanting more of them. This night, we had three jumbo scallops wrapped in bacon, drenched in some kind of wonderful something sauce with blue cheese, raisins and fennel, and oh my goodness was it good. Be sure to ask for a side of bread to dip into the scallop sauce because you won't want to waste one drip.

Not pictured here is the cold glass of crisp white wine I enjoyed, while my friend enjoyed a Dogfish beer.  All enjoyed on Culture's back patio. Perfection.

In Case You Were a Ball-er...(Basketball Player)

The Universe just sealed the deal on me entering this 2 on 2 basketball tournament in Memorial Park August 17th to benefit cancer.

I'd just been wishing to myself that there was an intermural basketball league in Beacon (I suppose I could play with people at All Sports courts). So I think that I'm going to enter this basketball event with my husband, and I have no idea what will happen next. I haven't played in over a decade! Time to practice in the driveway...

Nutella Banana Pancakes at Culture

Watch out West End of Main Street...there's a new coffee house in town, with a full breakfast menu. And lunch menu, and dinner menu. But I'm here for my morning coffee (which I just upgraded to a vanilla latte), to which I added an order of banana Nutella pancakes, because I'm working on a class plan for tomorrow's SEO class I'm teaching for Tin Shingle, and I'm worth it.

To tempt you with lunch consider this:

Camarone Press:
Grilled Poblano peppers...avocado...queso...fresco cream onion...tomato

To tempt you with dinner:
Roasted Scottish Salmon...Brown sugar peppered bacon Gorgonzola gratinee...Celery root herbed goat cheese purée.

And to tempt you with my just arrived to my seat in their quite back patio garden, and the latte smells heavenly and I feel like I'm back in Tuscany.

Mary Kelly's Restaurant and Bar

Mary Kelly's Restaurant and Bar is the Irish pub you've been looking for in Beacon. Located on Rt. 9 just past the bridge going over I-84, Mary Kelly's is a comfortable night of relaxing for couples and families. Take your pick of deep, circular booths or sit at the bar or dining tables. Even more of a reason to come here for date night is that you can start dinner at 9pm, as they are open until 11pm! We love their cheesecake, which is imported from Brooklyn-based Juniors. And if you drink too many pints, Mary Kelly's will call you a cab - on the house.

Mary Kelly's Restaurant and Bar has a beautiful room upstairs for events and parties. Also call them to learn about their catering menu and options!


Rainy Days Need Tulip Headbands from Phea Jean

Rain rain...I'm glad you're here, but geeez, don't you make for a dreary day! What's my motto for a dreary day? Especially if you work from a home office and need to have your game-brain on to kick butt with good ideas?

"Looking good is feeling good."

This tulip headband is from the adorable shop on the East End of Main Street, The Tailored Mermaid when I stumbled down its rabbit hole a few weeks ago. It's designed by one of the designers they carry, phea jean.

What else is an outfit pick-me-up? A glossy green plastic cuff bracelet and Jag jeans from Echo, and a green pair of pumps from Aerosoles because they have a peep toe and are sooo comfortable. But, I need to get me some shoes from Lauren and Riley, also on the East End, because she has a collection that Betsy Johnson would swoon for!