A cheeseboard is the perfect thing to help kick-off a party. As a diversified work of art, it’s not only a collection of tasty nibbles for wine pairings, but also serves as a wonderful icebreaker! My dream cheeseboard components: Cheese At least 3 please, but honestly, the more the merrier! A variety of hard, semi-hard,…

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May the joy you feel as you relish the goodies, decorate every nook and corner of your home, and enjoy the get-togethers with friends and family continue throughout the new year! Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas! Love, Nora    

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Christmas in Connecticut would not be Christmas without a trip into New York City. Having lived in Fairfield County for most of my life, I’ve been grateful for it’s proximity, about a 75 minute drive, to the Big Apple. My perfect day in midtown consists of lots of walking, window-shopping, a show and a fabulous…

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My dear friend Dana and I, love serving wines from local vineyards. For Dana it’s wines from New Hampshire and Maine, and for me, it’s Connecticut and New York. Local wines from small wineries add a personal note to any get-together, and they make wonderful gifts too. Our favorites this holiday: Dana’s choice: Bartlett Wild…

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When my new Instagram friend Jessica, reached out to me to participate in this fun holiday design challenge on Instagram, I wasn’t sure what to expect. So when the theme for our first week turned out to be Hot Cocoa Bars, I knew this was going to be fun! If you are on Instagram, be…

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It’s amazing what you can do with just a few leftover sprigs of greenery that’ve been tied up with pretty ribbon. A little bit of green can bring a lot of holiday cheer when tucked into unexpected places. Even my vintage straw bag gets into the holiday spirit when dressed with a stray sprig of…

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Every year, I deck out my chandeliers for Christmas with big boughs of freshly cut balsam. Armed with my trusty Felco pruning shears, I head out to the back woods and snip just a couple of branches. Once I’ve finished draping the greenery, and have tucked in a few battery powered ‘Stargazer’ lights from Terrain,…

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As Christmas approaches, we here in Newtown, Connecticut, must sadly pause today to acknowledge the heartbreaking events that took place 3 years ago in our backyard: the tragedy that has become known worldwide as “Sandy Hook.” Grieving is a process, not an event. Everyone heals at their own pace, in their own way. And with resilient…

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When I’m developing a theme, I always keep an eye out for inspiration in unexpected places and things. It not only keeps me focused, but also provides a cohesive end result that is both familiar and beautiful. Here are some of my favorites from the new NMCH Holiday Issue, which can be found in its…

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A simple idea, that’s so easy to do! In keeping with the ocean/Nantucket theme, think of sea salt. I have a pair of very large rosemary plants that are always in need of a trim, and when simply combined with flaky sea salt, voila! A rosemary flavored sea salt that’s a wonderful seasoning to keep…

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In keeping with the Nantucket themed Christmas at Connecticut Country House this year, we created beautiful nautical gift tags. Inspired by 19th c. engravings rendered in a wonderfully inky indigo, this assortment of tags are proportioned to work on the largest to the tiniest of gifts. These downloadable gift tags, designed exclusively by and for…

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Fireplace mantels are one of the best spots to decorate for the holidays. The hearth, the heart of the home, is the perfect focal point of any country house. This year, I decked out the dining room mantel with freshly cut boughs of hemlock and white pine, loosely entwined with small white globe lights from…

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I love the fun you can have with dessert plates. Not just for presenting sweets, these little guys are the perfect size for serving up savory sandwiches or pre-dinner nibbles. The charming form of these star plates lend a happy vibe whether simply stacked on a buffet, or as a whimsical touch to a layered…

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‘Tis the season for entertaining. Whether you’re going somewhere, or hosting, this wonderful recipe from my friend Dana Shwartz, featured in our Holiday 2014 issue – https://noramurphycountryhouse.com/magazine/holiday-2014/ – is absolutely delicious! Thank you for sharing this party favorite Dana! Love, Nora Dana’s Rosemary Roasted Party Pecans Ingredients: 2 cups whole pecans 2 tablespoons honey 1…

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I love the relaxed attitude and generous size of these kitchen towels! I pulled together a collection of crisp, striped kitchen towels (from Homegoods) to substitute for the expected cloth napkin. If you can’t find as many of one kind as you need, don’t be afraid to mix it up. Something so simple really makes a…

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Black Friday came and went as I stayed home, cozied up with family. I sailed through Small Business Saturday and survived Cyber Monday without a trace of a blister on my index finger. I’m keeping it real and I’m focusing on what truly matters to me during the magical month of December. For a limited…

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