Valentine’s day was over three weeks ago.  Did you by chance receive some beautiful and fragrant roses then that now look more like this?  Do you wonder if there’s anything that dried roses are good for other than the trash can?

The above is what mine look like.  However, I was hesitant to throw then away.  After all, I think roses are expensive (around $1/each when they’re “on sale”), but Dave surprised me with two dozen this year.  It would nice to keep them around longer.  They don’t lose their beauty when they are dried.  I’ve experimented with turning some of them into potpourri and others into an art display.

Continue reading

Tonight, Dave and I attended our first Neighborhood Night at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the last one in the series of three offered this year.  We had a blast, sipping mocktails, making our own tea, partaking in a scavenger hunt, working on a giant puzzle depicting a piece of artwork in the museum, and listening to live music.  And all of this was free!  The following is an overview of the activities that were available and I go over some of the activities we participated in more detail below.

IMG_2243 IMG_2245


Tea Making

We were each given a tea satchel and could stuff it with a mix of herbs including catnip, lemon balm, skullcap, lavender, and chamomile.  Both Dave and I stuffed ours with chamomile, lavender, and lemon balm since weren’t adventurous enough to try the others.  It was the first making tea for both of us, so it was already an adventure!  Here’s our tea sachets.  We even named ours — Dave’s Delight and Sharon’s Soother.


When we went home, we used our satchels to make tea.

Our homemade tea bags steeping in boiling water.

Our homemade tea bags steeping in boiling water.


And here’s our ready-to-drink teas.  Dave’s Delight is a bit darker.  It contains more lemon balm, while Sharon’s Soother has more chamomile.


Dave’s Delight on the left and Sharon’s Soother on the right.

This was by far my favorite activity.  In fact, I’m sipping on some Sharon’s Soother as I write right now!


Scavenger Hunt

This activity is geared towards children (or the young at heart like us!).  We each rolled a dice to determine which animal we had to hunt for around the museum.  I was assigned the bull and Dave was assigned the lion.  Here’s the list of each animal we needed to find.


Some of the items were more difficult to find that we thought, especially the Mexican tiles.  Admittedly, some kids shouting that they had found their animal actually keyed us in to where the tiles with our animals were.  However, we found all the items and here’s a collage of our photographic evidence!


We received stickers of each of animals as a prize!



We were able to try a choice of three mocktails made from botanicals.  Dave and I both tried the Blueberry Mojito.  The cold drinks were just what we needed after walking to the museum on a hot day like today.  I took away one of the recipes they had available.  Here it is, if anyone wants to give it a try.


Overall, this was a great evening event that was family-friendly, with activities for all ages.  It’s events like these that make me glad we live in Boston.