Monday, June 8, 2015

Home is Where the Inn Is

Unavoidably the first question people ask me when talking about innkeeping is "oh but it's so much work isn't it?". My answer to them is always "yes, but I'm doing what I love". It's true, innkeeping is a lot of work, but no different from jobs of every profession. There isn't a profession around that doesn't require hard work if you want to be successful. The key is to do what you love and are passionate about. I know for many that is not the case. I feel so fortunate that I get to do what comes natural to me....creating a home. I have always been a nester. My world has always been centered around my home and my family. It just seems fitting that now that my children are grown I still have those cozy beds awaiting a weary head looking for comfort. I'm thrilled when people tell me this is their home away from home. I know that as an innkeeper I offer my guests a place to relax and breathe. Here you will not find formal. Instead, every corner lends itself to putting your feet up and taking in the peaceful surroundings. I know that my guests feel safe and well-cared for. Although this is an old house that has its quirks, it is definitely a home that was meant to have a screen door banging whether it's the front door or an upstairs porch. It's meant to have gardens loaded with perennials and well loved chairs to sit on. For the brief time that you are here, you are home. That is what I try to do here, and it sure doesn't feel much like work.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A New Addition to the Inn

Well, I never thought it would happen, but my barn is finally empty (well, almost). I had my Vintage Market/Garage Sale last weekend and sold just about everything. Of course, I made the prices extremely affordable and just kept my goal in mind. I set out to empty that building and by gosh, that is what I did. I gave things away, too. It was time to purge and begin anew. Now we begin phase two, which is repairing and sprucing up the building to get it ready for my plans. My mind has been alive with ideas as I've scoured through magazines and Pinterest. I am on a very small budget, but we all know that doesn't stop the creativity, but rather brings it out. Once it is all ready inside, I will furnish it and accessorize it. Hopefully by Memorial Day Weekend and the official start of the season here at the shore, I will be ready to open the doors of my new addition....THE BARN AT THE NATHANIEL MORRIS INN. This will be a gathering place for my guests for early morning coffee as well as afternoon refreshments. All the details have not been nailed down yet, but I am very excited about the possibilities. And did I mention that most things in the barn including the mugs you drink from will be for sale? You Betcha!!!!
What the barn looked like before the sale, and a small sampling of what you will find for sale....can't wait....let the fun begin!!!! Keeping Inn touch......

Friday, March 13, 2015

A Great Potato Recipe

Today in honor of St. Patrick's Day which is in a few days obviously, I would like to share with you a very versatile recipe which I have been making quite often. I originally found it on noblepig.com, which is a lovely winery in Oregon. I tweaked it just a bit in that their recipe calls for Rosemary. I use whatever fresh herbs I have on hand and I also use a little garlic...... HERB ROASTED POTATOES New potatoes....the smaller the better fresh ground pepper kosher salt olive oil apple cider vinegar fresh herbs, finely chopped garlic powder I did not put amounts for the ingredients above, because you can make as little or as many as you want. Use your own judgement on quantities of herbs and spices, etc. according to the amount of potatoes...basically, season to taste. If the potatoes are small, you won't have to cut them. Otherwise cut into a little larger than bite size. Put in boiling salted water and boil until tender, but not too much. Drain and put on well greased baking sheet. Press down lightly with a potato masher on each one. Brush with olive oil generously and sprinkle with the salt and pepper, herbs and garlic. Bake at 425 about 25 minutes or until crispy. Take out of oven and brush with cider vinegar....as much or little as you wish. These are great because you can use them for dinner or breakfast. I like to serve them as a side with omelets. Enjoy! Keeping inn touch.....

Sunday, March 1, 2015

March

The sign of relief around here and in most of the USA is almost audible from near and far. It's March....February is a memory and a not so good one, either. What a beating we have taken this winter, haven't we? I'm so glad we closed the inn for a couple of months and quite frankly will probably stay closed for a couple more weeks because March can be a sneaky month. Yes the sun is definitely warmer and feels so great in your car or on your face while walking. But it can throw a few punches, too as we all know. And I won't even mention those snow storms we've occasionally had in April. Having an inn in a town that is mostly focused on the beach is pretty tricky, too. I love this time of year because the anticipation begins. The planning begins. The repairs begin. I do enjoy the down time but by now I am bored and anxious to get on with it. Sometimes I wish we were busy all year but in all honesty, it's nice to get a break also. Every spring there is a new beginning for all of us. But for an innkeeper in a shore town there is that extra element of excitement in the air and around this old house. What will I change this year. What will I improve on. What room needs to be revamped. Also, who will come back this year and what new guests will cross our path. As I've indicated before, I have big plans for my barn which I am not yet ready to share. I will also be having my Spring Vintage Market in June. So hello March....I'm ready for you! Keeping inn touch......

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Dreaming of Spring Markets.......

Starting to envision myself on the hunt. It's been a while what with the holidays and the cold weather. I have managed to pick up a few things here and there like the above chairs and the hanging planter. The chairs are so sturdy and beautifully carved and are for sale currently here at the Inn. I am not yet ready to part with the planter as I just got the succulents recently at Terrain and the mason jar lamp has been in a few spots here and there around the house. I put them together the other day in the planter and hung in my kitchen....made me happy. So they will stay for now. I have a barn full of similar things as well as a treasure trove of old boxes, galvanized stuff, tables, wire baskets....well you get the idea. Have signed up to do my first flea in April and I will be having my Vintage Market here in May.
Lots to look forward to in the coming months. The barn is getting a re-do. More on that coming up. There will be many vintage finds in there for sale. Will keep you up to date and inn touch.....

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Madame Savitsky

Many people ask how I came up with the names of the rooms at the Inn. We have the Nantucket Suite which is somewhat obvious...a beachy, cottagy feel prevails there. Then there's Sara's Hideaway, Kathleen's Boudoir and Eileen's Garden Cottage....all named for our three daughters. And last but certainly not least is Madame Savitsky's Parlor. This name comes with a little history....pertaining to me, and as it turns out it really does have an interesting history. I will get to the latter after I explain how I came up with the name. Quite a few years ago while at an estate sale in Mendham, NJ I came across a trunk. It was marked five dollars. It wasn't particularly special at first glance just really a box with no markings. Until I looked closer....the label was a shipping label and was addressed to Countess Madame Savitsky. Well of course at that point I had to buy it and my imagination ran wild with who this person was. It was before the days of computers, however, so I really never thought to look her up as it is so easy to do now. I brought it home and put it in a place of honor in what was our first home. I always thought that if I ever had a shop I would call it "Madame Savitsy's Trunk". So that is my history with the Countess and hence the name of one of the rooms here at the Inn. Fast forward to about 20 years later. The other day I answered the phone to a gentlemen wishing to make a reservation in Madame Savitsky's Parlor. I took all his information, we chatted a bit and then he asked...."tell me....how did you come up with the names for your rooms, particularly the one I'm going to stay in?". I gave him the story. His answer to me was, "well I know all about her and she actually was pretty well known in the early 1900's". Well, you could've knocked me over....what are the chances at this point in my life of ever hearing those words? I don't even have the trunk anymore, as in one of our moves it got lost somehow. Her story goes like this.....She was well known for having a Salon in Paris. She entertained many authors including Ezra Pound and James Joyce. She actually translated in French Joyce's novel "Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man". She apparently spent time at Franklin Farms Estate in Mendham which is how I acquired the trunk. Life is amazing isn't it? How our lives are intertwined often without us ever knowing it. And I am almost certain that Madame Savitsky's spirit is up there somewhere in that room! Keeping Inn touch.....

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

So Many Plans

This is the time of year that my wheels start turning. Lots of downtime to look over magazines, decorating books and visiting my favorite shops and discovering new ones. As everyone knows, this can be dangerous because of all the inspiration out there. This is the time of year when I start making lists and of course those lists entail money and that's when my husband wants to lock me in the closet. That being said, a girl can dream can't she???? My latest dream involves my barn. That building just keeps calling to me. I will still be having my vintage markets out of there. But after a trip to Terrain recently and a few conversations with some friends, the ideas started forming. That is all I'll say for now. I have a very small budget to work with, but if it works out it will be awesome. It will make you want to come to the Jersey Shore and stay here....and if it doesn't work out you should still come to the Jersey shore and stay here...... Check back for updates......
Keeping Inn Touch......
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