Free Coffee Today @ Coffee Break Cafe!

coffee break cafe turns 24

Happy 24th Birthday Coffee Break Cafe! On Instagram yesterday, I saw that today, Tuesday, March 3rd, Coffee Break Cafe will be giving out free small coffees, iced or hot, all day until closing.

What a generous way to celebrate their birthday! You can get free coffee at all four locationsWollaston, Quincy Center, Milton and Hyde Park. The locations have different closing times, but they are all open until the early evening, so you still have a lot of time to stop by.

Since it’s also Super Tuesday, many of you here in Massachusetts are out voting and breaking up your usual routines. So while you’re out, treat yourself and grab a free coffee! ☕

 

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Image Credit: Coffee Break on Instagram

Saturdays in the Park: Win a Monstera Plant!

*Updated* The winner of the Monstera plant is Leslie Larocca! Congratulations!

Monstera Deliciosa plant in pot.
Photo by Mike Marquez on Unsplash

If you’ve got a green thumb and you’re really into plants, you might be familiar with Monstera Mondays on Instagram. Plant parents with Monstera deliciosa plants celebrate the beauty of these plants by taking pictures and sharing them with the #monsteramonday hashtag.

A Monstera in its full glory is a joy to behold. Many of us would like one of these plants, but they are not easy to find. Your average store doesn’t stock them, so it takes some effort to find one to bring home.

If you live in the Boston or South Shore area near Quincy, you might be about to get lucky. This coming Saturday, August 3rd, I will be holding a free (in person) raffle for you to win your very own Monstera plant!

Since the first plant swap that I held a few weeks ago with the Wollaston Hill Neighborhood Association was so fun and well received, I decided to have another one. This will be the last of the Saturdays in the Park events for the summer, so I decided to take things up a notch.

I contacted Fruit Center Marketplace, a specialty grocery store with locations in Milton and Hingham, that I wrote about five years ago, and asked if they would be willing to donate a plant for a giveaway.

Since the Milton location is practically around the corner from the Wollaston section of Quincy, I’ve visited several times to buy items for myself and others.

Fruit Center Marketplace has an eclectic mix of gourmet foods and treatsice cream, wine, craft beers, flowers, plants, gift baskets and more. During the summer, so many of us are visiting friends and family at home for gatherings, and would like to bring something special as a thank you for our hosts. You can definitely find something here!

Being much more than your typical grocery story, Fruit Center Marketplace is planning to start stocking Monstera plants on a regular basis in the near future! No further need to wander around aimlessly looking for them!

Since they are generous and have access to Monstera plants, they are donating a Monstera plant for the raffle. Yay!

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Plant Swap

The plant swap is being held from 12pm – 2pm on Beale Street in Wollaston at Safford Park with the Wollaston Hill Neighborhood Association.

If you want to participate in the plant swap, bring your potted plants, non-potted but rooted plants, and cuttings. Please label what you bring to help others identify the plants. Indoor plants and outdoor plants are all welcome!

At the last plant swap, people dropped off more plants than they took. So you may be able to take many plants home, because I cannot bring them all home with me!

Raffle

If you’d like a chance at winning a Monstera plant for free, stop by the plant swap table this Saturday, August 3rd to enter.

You don’t have to participate in the plant swap to enter.

It’s free to enter.

Only one entry per person.

Write your name, the city or town where you live, and phone number on a piece of paper and put it in the jar.

At around 1:45 pm, one name will be drawn at random and chosen as the winner. The name will be announced at that time.

In order to win, you either must be on the premises to bring the plant home or live in Quincy. If you leave before 1:45pm and live in Quincy, I will bring it to your home after contacting you by phone and making arrangements. Or you can come back for it before 2pm. I will not be able to bring the plant to anyone living outside of Quincy, so if you leave and your name is called, another name will be drawn.

None of my family or friends are eligible to enter. And obviously not me. Sorry! It wouldn’t be fair or look good if we won.

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Hope to see many of you on Saturday!

Al Fresco Dining at Novara Restaurant in Milton

Views of outdoor seating at Novara restaurant.

Didn’t make it to Italy this summer? Neither did I. But while dining at Novara Restaurant recently, it felt like I was transported to Italy for a mini-vacation.

I took another mini-vacation in July when I was in Connecticut for a couple of days to see Maxwell in concert. The concert ticket price included Maxwell’s new CD blackSUMMERS’night, but you had to get it later via mail.

My friend received our CDs and asked if she should send mine or if we should get together. Get together of course! I suggested dinner at Novara and we enjoyed a wonderful summer night dining al fresco.

Starting off, the service was great. Full disclosure*, I was invited to visit Novara. However, I have been invited to visit other restaurants over the years and been shocked by less than stellar service and disorganization. Thankfully Novara’s staff was friendly, professional and organized.

My friend and I were both pleased with the delicious bread. Our cocktails were tasty, refreshing and strong.

Bread basket at Novara restaurant.

Cocktails at Novara restaurant.

Novara is the sister restaurant of Abby Park, which I wrote about on Craving Boston. It was a very warm evening, but we did get a quick rain storm out of the blue.

Because the tables have umbrellas over them, it wasn’t even a problem. A perfect summer night.

Entrees and dessert at Novara restaurant.

For my meal, I had the Special, which was lobster gnocci. So good! My friend had zucchini parmesan. She loved hers too!

Like its sister restaurant, Novara has a wonderful menu. I love Italian food, so I basically wanted to eat everything. I noticed people picking up food to go, so the take-out menu is a great option as well. Of course I had dessert. The chocolate mousse was the perfect ending to my meal.

I definitely recommend Novara and will return. Having a good restaurant so close to home makes eating out easier. Parking was not a problem and it’s often an issue in Boston.

Logo for Dine out Boston aka Restaurant Week Boston.

Restaurant Week, now called Dine Out Boston, is coming up in just a few days. Even though Novara is located in Milton, they have joined in as well.

You have two opportunities (August 14 -19 & August 21 – 26) to participate. If you want to start adding restaurants to your list, start with Novara!

 

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Disclosure* Thank you to Novara for the  complimentary dinner for two!

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Is He Back? The Modern Day Milkman.

milkman in milk truckJust before arriving at work one day last week, I saw this milk truck from Thatcher Farm. With a modern day milkman.

It wasn’t until editing this picture that I noticed he had been looking my way. I was too busy with my phone and he must have been wondering why I was taking a picture. I’ve heard of their farm before and learned that they have a dairy delivery service in the Boston area. Pretty cool.

My parents and their contemporaries talk about the milkman, the rag man and others who delivered or picked up items to and from homes on a regular basis when they were young. Sometimes in a cart with a horse.

Most people don’t have their milk delivered anymore. Many like me don’t drink dairy milk. Usually it’s almond milk, but I drink coconut milk, hemp milk and other milks sometimes too. Not that I’m against dairy. I eat cheese and yogurt all the time. I love ice cream and eggnog as well.

Getting a dairy delivery fresh from the farm seems to happen a lot more nowadays. A recent CNBC article says the milkman may be returning to modern day life. But it looks like he is already here.