In The Community

Preferred Professionals | Movers

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What it takes to make a strong impression: from holidays to house-hunting

What do homemade cookies and real estate have in common?

More than just the fact that they both need a kitchen…

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While reflecting on the holiday season, expert Cambridge agent & local baker, Laura Palumbo-Hanson, does not hesitate when extracting a show-stopping recipe from her mental Rolodex.

Like a repetitive jingle in her ear, after trying the savory-sweet morsels, friends, family members, colleagues and clients ask her, could you kindly send over your secret recipe!  

Laura does not worry about the outcome of the baking reenactment from her shared cookie-making-plan, although she knows that the lengthy list of ingredients may scare readers away from crafting a batch themselves. So, she reminds them to brave the storm of a multi-step process and believe in the trialed system! Their hesitation reminds her of a picture painted by some of her clients in the real estate space, carefully hanging up pieces of caution tape around a lengthy list of plans and procedures outlined for the best results in buying or selling a home.

But, that’s the beauty of a carefully curated achievement, Laura says, speaking to both baking and real estate transactional experiences.  Sometimes you need to look past the tedious list of to-dos advised by the expert in order to indulge in your highly satisfying end result.

After all, there is a reason why most people settle into the kitchen of their newly purchased hidden gem without the advice or cookie sheet fueled by the store-bought Pillsbury doughboy. The shortcuts may be tempting, but trusting in the process while producing from scratch will always create a more custom and delicious treat.


  • 1 1/2 cup flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup softened unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries
  • 3/4 cup good quality (Ghirardelli) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup English toffee bits (Heath Bits ‘O Brickle Toffee bits), NOT w/ milk chocolate
  • 3/4 cup toasted chopped pecan
  • Preheat oven 350*
  • In medium bowl, sift flour, salt, and soda together
  • Set aside In medium bowl stir together oats, cherries, choc.chips, toffee bits, and pecans
  • Using an electric mixer, in a large bowl, combine butter and sugars until light and fluffy, add egg and vanilla mixing until fully incorporated.
  • Gradually blend in flour.
  • Stir oat mixture into batter.
  • Place heaping tablespoon 2” apart on a greased cookie sheet.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes.
  • Allow to “rest” on cookie sheet ~ 1 minute, transfer to cooling rack.

Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Learn more about Laura Palumbo-Hanson’s real estate experience!

Read about Laura’s favored acorn squash recipe.

Nancy Roth Testimonials

“We hit the jackpot with Nancy! A dear friend referred us to Nancy, saying she is the absolute best at what she does. As first-time buyers, Nancy helped us navigate the process, and choose a home that we loved for six years. She warmly welcomed us to Charlestown, became a trusted advisor, and when we were ready to move, Nancy was indispensable. She paid attention to every detail, offering guidance on upgrades and staging that helped our condo sell for far above asking price. Nancy’s knowledge of the market was impressive, and her honest and straightforward approach gave us confidence that we were making smart investments along the way. She makes quick and informed decisions, cares about her clients, and works incredibly hard. It was an absolute pleasure working with Nancy. We adore her – both personally and professionally! If you’re buying or selling, you’re in the very best hands with Nancy.”

– Sam and Liz F., June 2017 Read more

Community Events: Gibson Sothbey’s International Realty Participates in the 33rd Annual Mayfair

Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty was pleased to sponsor at The Harvard Square Business Association’s 33rd Annual Mayfair.

Gibson Sothbey’s International Realty had a tent on Brattle Street, a prime location in Harvard Square! During Mayfair  Harvard Square is closed off to cars for the annual spring time tradition. There were several stages with live music, craft vendors, artists, local businesses, food, and a beer garden.

Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty was also pleased to sponsor a square at Cambridge Rotary Club’s  “Chalk on the Walk.” Church Street was closed for the day and was dedicated to “Chalk on the Walk”. The artist representing the firm, Lizi Brown, brought to life one of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty’s exclusive listings, 20 Cottage Street.

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Community Events: Home Sweet Home – Open House Day Tomorrow!

This Saturday, nine beautifully kempt and historically rich mansions will be open to the public for a unique, celebratory event put on by the The Trustees of Reservations, a local nonprofit conservation organization.

The Trustees want to provide you with your very own “key for the day,” in order to “experience all the beauty, history, art, collections and stories contained within each home as well as the exquisitely designed gardens and stunning natural landscapes that surround them.” The organization will be offering guided tours and talks, as well as unguided tours and rare opportunities for visitors to explore freely.

Whether you plan to spend your weekend in western mass. by Stockbridge, or north of Boston by Ipswich, there is a historic home sure to excite the inner architecture aficionado in you. Celebrating their 125th anniversary, The Trustees are an incredible wealth of preserved beauty as well as history in our community, and this event will surely highlight this fact.

Be sure to check out their website for all of the event details.

Community News: 87th Annual Tour of the Hidden Gardens of Beacon Hill

DSC_0048On Thursday, May 19th, Beacon Hill Garden Club will be hosting its 87th Annual Tour of the Hidden Gardens of Beacon Hill.

A prominent member of The Garden Club of America, Beacon Hill Garden Club is a local organization dedicated to urban gardening, specifically in the beautiful Beacon Hill area which surrounds its home base on Charles Street. Every year, a tour of the charming streets and private gardens is put on by the club and its members, with proceeds feeding back into urban gardening initiatives in Boston. Read more

Leaving the World a Better Place

Last week, Larry Rideout gave a speech on Woburn Common. The CEO and Co-Owner of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty was asked to kick-off a citywide series of events to raise awareness for Cancer research. “In 2013, I lost two brothers to two different Cancers,” Rideout told the crowd. “The care and compassion they received was beyond reproach. The medicine and treatments they received were cutting edge. All of this was possible because of the research and development that we all help fund through efforts like these.”

In attendance were Mayor, the City Council, and dozens of citizens of Woburn. The city will be decorated with purple lights in the coming weeks in honor of Cancer Awareness. Rideout encouraged all to participate or donate to the Relay for Life that will be happening in Woburn on May 21st and 22nd. It will raise money for the American Cancer Society. As of the writing of this post, over $40,000 had been raised.

This weekend, Rideout and his daughter Nicole, also hosted an event in South Boston. They, along with dozens of family and friends, raised money for Caring for a Cure. Founded in 2011 by the hematology/oncology nurses at Massachusetts General Hospital, Caring for the Cure aims to increase research, resources and awareness in order to improve the journey of patients and families with cancer.

“Our goal in life is to leave our children better off than we were,” Rideout told the crowd on Woburn Common. “So by extension it should be our desire to leave our world in a better place as well. Let’s start tonight by working together to eliminate this dreadful disease.”

Community News: Off the Eaten Path Tour

cannolisIf you enjoy great food and lots of it, then the Off the Eaten Path tour is for you. Saturday, January 9th, this three hour tour will take you through some of the best Italian restaurants around.

The tour includes everything from gelato, cannoli, and arancini to cheese and cured meats, homemade pasta, and a wine tasting! You will be able to eat at the birthplace of Sicilian Pizza in America and get food demos on how to make fresh pasta and artisan bread. Along with enjoying all of that amazing food, you also get to learn about the North Ends rich history. The tour begins and ends in North Square. To learn even more about the tour and to purchase and reserve your ticket, click Off the Eaten Path.

Community News: Beacon Hill Photo Tour

DSC_0100Beacon Hill boasts some of the most picturesque, elegant, and beautiful streets in Boston. Additionally, it is considered one of the most photographed areas around. Pictures of the architecture, gorgeous cobblestone and brick sidewalks are just a few of the things that draw people to the area. This Saturday, December 12th, PhotoWalks is giving people the chance to not only tour this historical neighborhood of Beacon Hill but also learn how to take amazing pictures as well.

This tour begins at Shaw Memorial and takes you through the 19th Century English-inspired neighborhood where your tour guide will provide intriguing commentary and help individuals learn how to capture the riveting scenery through a camera lens. Any age and skill level is welcome to join this photo tour and with the reservation, a ‘PhotoWalks Guide to Creative Photography’ e-booklet is included which will offer valuable information on ways to expand anyone’s photography skills.

To get an authentic look into one of the oldest neighborhoods in not only Boston but in the US, reserve your spot on the Beacon Hill Photo Tour and soak in the rich history and architectural beauty of Beacon Hill through your own lens.

For more information visit Photowalks or the Boston Calendar.