The Debrief...Tahilla Gatherings #1 and Katharine Hepburn

Third Act Quest and Tahilla Gatherings

Wherever women gather together, 
failure is impossible.

Well, we did it! After all this time, thinking, talking and planning, we kicked off our first official Tahilla Gathering. The first event was in partnership with my talented friend, Diana Place, founder of  Third Act Quest. Diana guides women who are interested in pursuing their passions and purpose in the "third act" of their lives.

The road to Tahilla...

On Friday afternoon, ten women drove into Tahilla Farm to begin a three day journey exploring their "third act" that proved to be unforgettable for us all! For me, it was meeting several blogging readers for the first time. I was so excited to see their names on Diana's guest list. They read about the event in one of my earlier  blog  posts and via my Instagram posts. I felt like I was greeting an old friend with each and every one...and a few of us go back quite a ways.

My intention with Tahilla Gatherings has been to offer an "experience" on our property, Tahilla Farm, to nurture creative souls. Our gatherings draw like minds, ready to explore, shape and create the thoughts that stir within. Much like I do on my blog...only now, I can take it one step further.

On this occasion, I was the behind the scenes Mastermind and Diana was the women behind the Third Act Quest. What does a behind the scenes Mastermind do? I ensured everyone was well fed, hydrated, relaxed and entertained when the workshops were on pause (and during too). I think I had the best job of all!

My first challenge was to ensure I could comfortably sit ten people in our Gathering Room. It was tight but I did it. There is always a question of the magic number when having events, in this case, everyone felt ten was the right number. The circle was well connected for talking and sharing.

The Gathering Room in the Carriage House

I had three overnight house guests for the weekend and ten guests by day. The local Inns and Airbnb rentals took care of the rest. We all met for breakfast and coffee in our kitchen bright and early for plenty of museli, fruit, yogurt, coffee, tea, juice and a selection of yummy baked goods from our local bakery, Baker's Station. Lunches and dinners were prepared by a caterer, Caroline's Fine Foods and set up buffet style for all but one dinner on Saturday night. On that occasion we were served restaurant style...which I adored!

My task for all the meals was to set the table and serving station for food and drinks. This was the fun part as I sorted through my tablecloths, plates, platters, glassware and flower arrangements.

On Saturday I took everyone along the Tahilla Farm Trail for a silent poetry walk. I collected and posted all my favorite poems and verses and ones that readers sent along as well. Our intention was to walk quietly (no speaking), enjoy the poetry along the trail and forage for a few mementos to take away from the trail, as a reminder of the experience. I have to admit I didn't think I could go without speaking...but I did and I felt incredibly relaxed at journey's end.

For those of you who count steps...I can put the event in this perspective. I averaged 18,000 steps on two of the three days and 11,000 on the last day...and I enjoyed every step.

Thank You Miss Christine and Miss Claire!!

I love surprises and when my daughters surprised me with this sign on the eve of my first event, I was truly touched. They had a friend, Kyla, of Millertime Design handcraft a Tahilla Gatherings sign for me. I placed it on the bench next to our front door...the perfect spot to welcome guests.

Women working together seemed to be the theme behind the scenes as well as during the event. Some of you may recall my post on the local floral workshop I attended a few months back with Mary Potter O'Neill of Billies and Tilly. She was the first person I thought of when it came time to place an order for flower arrangements. I can always expect the unexpected in her arrangements which is what I love about her creations.

Flowers by Mary of Billies and Tilly

I could lie and tell you that I am superwoman and cooked all the meals for the event but I am not and never will be! Diana and I had the good fortune to work with Caroline's Fine Foods of Bedford, New Hampshire. Event Manager, Christina Sullivan and Chef AJ Orf were on hand to prepare and serve delicious meal after delicious meal. 

Yum and more Yum from Caroline's Fine Food

I loved sharing our tables, inside and out, with the Tahilla Gatherings guests. We had dinner in the Keeping Room, lunch on the sun-porch and on the last rainy day, family style around our kitchen table. I think we would all agree that pre-dinner cocktails around a blazing firebowl with a few delicious charcuterie platters was a favorite.
Working on my fire building skills...about ready for that
Girl Scout badge now! 

We were in divine chocolate heaven all weekend with
wonderful samples from chocolatier extraordinaire and friend
Susan Mazzone of Ava Marie

Chocolates from  Ava Marie.

The weather was perfect
for our day exploring the trails around Tahilla Farm. 

I posted poems and verses on trees 
along our trail before guests arrived.

I had a spot in mind for each and every one. 

It truly was a magical journey...

You might ask where Katherine Hepburn 
fit into the weekend?

Enduring Style: Katharine Hepburn 

When one of our guests, another Jeanne, was asked how she came to be at a Tahilla Gathering event 
she mentioned it was because of Katharine Hepburn. Many years ago, Jeanne did a google search for Katharine Hepburn and those gorgeous pants she would wear. Jeanne's search led her to me and one of my blogs at the time, C J Style Notes. When I stopped publishing CJ Style, she moved over to Collage of Life and the rest is history. Interestingly, there were two other women in the gathering who were big Katharine Hepburn fans. One grew up in the town where Katharine Hepburn lived and the other, has been a life long admirer, attending any public event she might appear in. My connection to Katharine Hepburn began with my father. He was a big admirier, so much so, that he wanted me to follow in her footsteps and attend  her alma mater, Bryn Mawr College   

Katharine Hepburn's presence was felt throughout the weekend...I loved that! 

Channeling Wide Trousers and Katharine Hepburn Style

Today is Tuesday...after saying goodbye to everyone on Sunday, I was sort of in a fog all day Monday. That feeling when you spend months preparing for an event and then that rush of adrenaline just before and during and then the stupor that happens the day after when you wonder what just happened. The first thing I did this morning (Tuesday) was to book a long pedicure and foot massage ...because I think I deserve it!  After that, I put back the "creative" mess in my studio that I had hidden away for our guests. It feels good to be in my mess again and writing to you. It certainly has been a while. Since I last wrote, I have been to Hong Kong and Australia and back again to get ready for our Tahilla Gathering. It's been a whirlwind!

Third Act Quest workshop around the firebowl

I am excited to get down to business now that we have one event down and more on the drawing boards for 2020. I am off to a Masterclass in Boston next month to work through the logistics and from will be fun!

Tahilla Gatherings mailing list...
If you would like to be on the mailing list for future events, please write to me

I would be delighted to add you!

If you would like to learn more about Third Act Quest and their upcoming 2020 RETREATS and travel experiences, click HERE.

I have been enjoying "The 12 Gifts of Your Third Act" in the form of a complimentary 12-month email subscription. You can sign up HERE.

A few shopping bits and pieces..

Our guests asked about a few items on the table and around the house. I said I would add them to my next blog post. Here you go....

I found these great Helena Henna linen napkins at Crate and Barrel. They are generous in size and super soft...I love them!

I spent days fretting over the right bowl for our Tuscan Kale, White Bean and Sausage Stew for our Friday night family style meal. Knowing it would be a hearty serving, I wanted just the right bowl. Thankfully, I found them at Pier 1 Imports. Check them out here. BTW..the stew was delicious!

Living a rural life can leave you with a very short list of places to shop. Anyone else seem to end up at HomeGoods a lot?  They have been a lifesaver when I need to buy glassware in bulk. If ever you are in need...check it out.

One of our guests and I share a love for My Stylish French Box and the many treasures that are contained in them. It was fun to talk shop with another fan. The candle I burned throughout the weekend has become my signature Tahilla Gathering scent. I wrote about it here. The November box orders are due to close soon...I highly recommend this box for either yourself or as a gift. I love when it arrives on our doorstep! If interested, you can order here

On the table above, next to the flower arrangement is the William Sonoma Glow Goblet. It is my go to water glass for all occasions.

People asked about the soap and hand cream I had around the sinks in the bathrooms and kitchen. I have mentioned them of my favorites, Aesops Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash and Hand Balm I also had Aesops Geranium Leaf Body Wash and Body Balm  I buy them as a duet. Together or apart, they make great gifts. I always have Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm in my is a lifesaver on long flights too. The scent is so uplifting!

October sunrise...Tahilla Farm

saving the best for last.

Jeanne (of Katharine Hepburn fame)
shared this poem with us as we closed the weekend.

Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life -

What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?

William Edgar Stafford

Thank you Jeanne!

Wishing everyone a wonderful day!

Jeanne xx


  1. Jeanne, I'm in awe! What a weekend, what a story (Katharine H. + Jeanne!!) & what a setting. I think you have found your ultimate passion - sharing, networking, and your love of reading & home. I wish I could conjure up the most divine description of what this weekend must have been like, but is that possible? I have mentally transported myself there with you ladies right by that magnifient fire, cocktail in hand and laughter filling the air. XXX

    1. I would love to have you join us one day Deb! xxx

  2. Ditto what my pal said above. I am in complete awe of everything you do. I can't imagine how delightful the weekend was. I wish I were a fly on the wall!!

    1. Having you and Deb come together would be a dream come true for me Cindy..a decorators gathering!

  3. What a wonderful read. It sounds like you all had heaps of fun. Autumn is such a perfect time for these types of gatherings. It's always a pleasure to share your wonderful world. Tagilla looks gorgeous in all seasons.

    1. Thank you Lorna...I think it really glows in Autumn. :))

  4. Congratulations on the success of the first gathering!
    I am glad there was such beautiful weather.

  5. Jeanne the weekend sounds magical! It has been a joy to watch Tahalia Gatherings grow from a idea to an actual event. I am sure that everyone left your beautiful farm refreshed and inspired to change their world. I would like to be on the mailing list!


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