Christmas, Holidays, Travels, Uncategorized

Miss Poppy: Friends, House Hunting and Advent

Welcome to a new edition of The Adventures of My Traveling Totes!  This time we are spotlighting our large totes, so you will see only my Miss Poppy.  Miss Poppy is usually stuffed full, as she holds everything without complaining and gets heavy enough to be carried by Mr. Fun, which of course she loves.  Above you can see her full of goodies our Traveling Tribe exchanged.  Seven of us finally had the chance to get together in NYC!  Two others were missing but thought of, and two more have since joined, but it was a very special day, with a clear October sky and perfect weather.

By happy chance it was also my birthday, 🙂 and although I forgot to bring my tiara the girls had a crown waiting for me when we met for brunch at the Russian Tea Room.

One of the best parts of the day was the fact that they accidently gifted me with a year off my age!  Definitely not returning that gift!!  We explored the secret upstairs of the RTR where this strange, glowing bear stands in the middle of the room.  Quite unusual!  You can see Debbie, Sarah, Emily, Linda P. and Patti.  Katie had already scooted off to the theater and I was taking photos.

It’s only a few blocks down 57th street from the RTR to the MacKenzie–Childs flagship store, and we felt like celebrities as we strolled along with our matching totes.  Once inside the store our totes blended in with the decor.

Mr. Fun joined us, and Miss Poppy and I pointed out to him all the goodies that Santa should be thinking about,

then we went upstairs and feasted on cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery!  I ate my entire cupcake (and frosting!) and I think Sarah ate hers too!

While we were brunching Mr. Fun had apparently been shopping too, and when Miss Poppy and I returned home we found birthday packages waiting for us, one in my favorite shade of blue.  🙂

It was such a special day, finally getting to meet these wonderful, caring, funny and creative women who all met because of a Tote.


After all the fun in NYC I put Miss Poppy to work carrying real estate listing and maps.  We don’t really know where we are going next.  Mr. Fun wants to go here:

That’s the Old Man of the Mountains of New Hampshire.  I can’t deny that we enjoyed the views as we visited potential spots.

But then there’s this Cod.  As in Cape.

So hard to find something good on the Cape, but … there was this lot.

There’s Miss Poppy resting while I hiked down a bit to see the views of the marsh (!! 🙂 !!)  And you can see Mr. Fun indicating where the house would start.

I took this video, standing in one spot and going around in a circle.  You won’t see it on any award shows but it gives you an idea of the space.  You might get dizzy, and you can see where I tripped a bit.  click on the red words (I promise it’s not something bad 🙂 )

cape cod lot

Miss Poppy and I cast our votes for this spot, but Mr Fun says that doesn’t count as two votes.  Hmmm.  We shall see.


And now, it’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!  The sad thing about having your children grow up and get married is that they have another family who loves them just as much as you do and wants them around on the holidays, and when that family is caring and sweet and fun it’s impossible to be mad about it.  This year Charlotte and her hubby Chris will be with her delightful in-laws.  So I wanted to do something very special for their Advent calendars, with tiny gifts for each day of December, and of course, as is my usual way, I got a little carried away and the packages became bigger and the wrappings more elaborate.

I used sparkly number stickers and white tags,

wrapped everything in festive papers and ribbon,

and on the reverse side of each tag I wrote the name of a Christmas Carol that coordinates with the gift.  I told them that they must sing the Carol before opening the gift.  Will they?  Yes, I think they will!

I was collecting all the packages in my dining room on the sideboard (on my MacKenzie–Childs server!)

but as I was also hosting Thanksgiving dinner I had to stash them somewhere safe.  I had intended to use a festive box, but I couldn’t find the right one.  When I spied Miss Poppy hanging on my doorknob one day I knew she would happily hold all the packages.

And this inspired me to search for Paper Totes!

Of course I had to make two, one for Charlotte and Chris and one for Will, so two Totes traveled to Boston, both full of some Advent fun!


Miss Rosie is pouting because she does not like to be ignored, so if you would like to make her happy please visit my Traveling Tote Shopping Adventures from last year, here, or my Traveling Tote ‘Twas the Month Before Christmas Adventures, here.

And if you would like to join a wonderful group of women you need to find yourself a Tote and throw all seriousness to the wind.  Our group is equal parts crazy, creative, adventurous and supportive.  Please be sure to visit the Tote Tribe and don’t miss the giveaway!

Patti     Sarah     Emily     Linda P.     Debbie     Katie     Jacqueline     Rita     Jenna

Today Miss Poppy, Mr. Fun and I are traveling to Longwood Gardens to see the festive Christmas displays, then off to Washington DC for a few days to visit with friends and explore the holiday decorations around the city.  I’ll be taking pictures to share for our next Tales.  Maybe we will know where we are headed next!  All ideas are welcome!  

Thank you for all your comments and emails — I treasure every one!!


… oh — just in case you want to cast your vote with Miss Poppy and me for our next destination, there will be guest rooms  🙂 …

Linda and Miss Poppy  🙂












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16 thoughts on “Miss Poppy: Friends, House Hunting and Advent

  1. Happy Belated Birthday Linda! I loved your crown and the photos that Sarah shared of your birthday celebration with the Traveling Toters that could join the trip to NYC. I hope Mr. Fun was taking good notes for Santa! Your advent calendar gifts are adorably wrapped and no doubt creatively and thoughtfully packaged since they were coordinated with a Christmas Carol in mind.
    I had trouble getting your video to load but I’ll happily cast my vote with you & Miss Poppy for the Cape. 🙂 have Longwood Gardens envy, enjoy your trip and the holiday decorations!

  2. I will definitely cast my vote, along with Miss Luna C’s and Miss Charley C is even coming out to vote on the Cape! What a terrific recap of the fall adventures, Linda. And your Advent packages are so filled with love in what it took to assemble each and every one, I can only imagine the love energy your kids will enjoy while singing (!) and opening each and every one. So, so sweet! (And SO organized!).
    Enjoy your holidays. It sounds as though 2018 will be a very busy year for you, with lots of decisions. Miss Poppy will likely be carrying lots of samples around in the coming months. 😉

  3. THE CAPE!!!!!!!!!! I am 30 minutes away. I would be so happy if you moved there Linda. Besides it’s a lot warmer than NH. I love all the pics, especially the one of you and Sarah and those yummy cupcakes. Hope you have a wonderful weekend getaway. Keep me posted on your house hunting! I’m so glad I got to meet you in person, sweet Linda and share your special day with you. Again,my vote is THE CAPE!!

  4. Linda, your post was exciting with news you are contemplating building a house on the Cape. I enjoyed your NYC tour with all the MC girls! What a delightful birthday celebration. Great pictures of all of you.
    I am so impressed with your advent gifts to your children. Your creativity and love put into each gift and it’s wrapping is amazing. That took some time and effort!
    I’m scrolling back up to view your video.
    Enjoy December with all the joys of the season. I loved hanging the Radko Church ornament I received from you in your giveaway last year on my tree. Many blessings to you.

  5. YES, buy the lot…..then when I come to the Cape a few times a year we (and our totes) can play!! Love your advent gift idea – very clever. It’s hard sharing our kids with another family isn’t it? But it all seems to work out in the end. You reminded me of the day the “Old Man” crashed down and fell to the ground. We used to visit him quite often as kids! Have a great holiday and happy travels!

  6. Happy Belated Birthday! I am dying to hear about your cruise on the QEII! That brunch sounded like it was so much fun. And Linda P. here on the East Coast! Wow. Hmmmm casting a vote between MA and NH. I am not a cold weather girl at all, even though I am born and raised in NY. What about ME? lol

  7. I am so sorry to have missed your grand birthday celebration Linda! I have my beautiful Fearless charm attached to my tote, and it is always right by my side- how exciting to be planning the next adventure of your life, and building or buying a new home….your advent calendar is amazing! I do one every year for my 2 grandsons, with little numbered bags to open everyday, but yours puts mine to shame! Here it is Dec 1 and I haven’t done the first bag, yikes, it will be a busy day! I thought about you all every second during the NYC fun, and loved every detail from Emily a few weeks ago. I loved your kind sweet words about sharing your children with other families that love them too, so nice! Have a very Merry December!

  8. Oh I am certainly casting my vote with you! So fun to celebrate your birthday with you and I would love to see what was in the little blue box:) It is so much fun looking at real estate and building. Look forward to following your progress as you proceed with your building plans. Have a great weekend where ever you are!

  9. Guest rooms!!! Yes, my vote is definitely YES! Seriously, you already know how I love the Cape, and if you build there, it just gives me yet another reason to love this amazing spot.
    I adore your idea of the Advent gifts. I also admire your gift of organization. It takes a lot of planning to get together that many fun ideas and creatively wrap them. Of course, it doesn’t surprise me that you can do all of this!!!
    I’m still savoring the incredible experience of meeting all our Traveling Tote friends in NYC. I hope it will happen again and that everyone can join in the fun. Feeling very fortunate!!!
    Merry, Merry! I know it won’t be the same without your daughter and son-in-law, but you have a beautiful attitude.

  10. Well I think Mr. Fun wins the Cuteness Award…..he did some power shopping! I love that! I love all the advent goodness…today is the day! Everything is wrapped so prettily!

    Y’all were treated like queens at the store. The refreshments look fantastic, and I love your cute Birthday crown!

    I’m happy to be in your group, and I was so happy that the Countess de Monet arrived today in the mail. We shall begin our adventures tomorrow!


  11. How much fun to share the adventures of the traveling tote. You gals do seem to have so much fun which makes me want to join right in. Enjoy your visit to Longwood as I’m betting it’s quite lovely all decked out for the holidays.

  12. So happy to be involved in this fabulous group! I just adore Mr. Fun’s name! I think that would apply to my hubby! I will have to nickname his Mr. Party as when he walked in and saw all of the Whoville decor he told me three parties he wanted to have and I said, “Slow down!! You are going to kill me!”
    I just adore the crown and the best present ever – to take a year off your age – I am asking for that this year so I can celebrate the big 60 again and again and again!
    What a lovely advent calendar and I loved how you put it – that they are loved so much by the other family too! Sometimes hard to share and the other kids seem to have the hardest time sharing and I get put in the middle!
    Miss Poppy is so adorable and I love that she has friends of other sizes – she is so lucky! Thanks for letting me travel along.

  13. Guest rooms!!! Yes! How sweet of you to offer. You know Mr. Mountain Breaths and I will visit. Joe is retiring in June and is ready to travel. What a great idea of the Advent gifts. When you have a chance, please text me some of the items you chose. I am looking for ideas for stocking stuffers for three sons and daughter-in-law.

    I have such fond memories of the fun experience of meeting all our Traveling Tote friends in NYC. I hope it will happen again (maybe Paris LOL) and that everyone can join in the fun. You ladies are the best!

    Wishing you and Al a very merry December!

  14. Linda, so nice to meet you and I look forward to a good time with you traveling tote ladies. Such pretty pictures and I love all the totes lined up together. So cute! The Advent Gifts are so cute! Have a great rest of the week.

  15. Linda, I am so excited for you that your future may be on the Cape! I loved reading your traveling adventures with Miss Poppy…NYC is always a good idea. Your advent gifts are a great idea and so festive!

  16. Your days seem to be filled with fun these days. Let the laundry wait some more while you and Mr. Fun decide where your next home will be. Whatever you choose, I know it will be lovely. Love your clever tote advent bags, your children must have enjoyed opening everyone of them. I look forward to seeing where your adventures take you next year and wish you all the best.

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