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9 Ways You Could Mess Up This Tax Season

by Alexandra Zega

provided by, Marlys Harris

T.S. Eliot may have been right about April being the "cruellest month." After all, that's when you have to file your tax return. But the torture starts in February when all those W-2s and 1099s pour in your mailbox and you realize that ahead lies misery.

Burying your head in a pillow and trying to forget, while appealing, is not the best strategy, however. If you don't pay attention, you could easily step into gooey, gloppy tax miasmas that wind up costing you money and/or winning you unwanted notice from the IRS. So here are some common mistakes you might make and what to do about them.

1. Taking a refund anticipation loan. A RAL is a short-term predatory loan in the amount of your tax refund, minus any tax preparation fees and interest. The rates, depending on the lender and the amount, are sky-high. According to the Consumer Federation of America, one bank this season will charge $61.22 for a RAL of $1,500, which translates to an APR of 149 percent. RALs are harder to find this year, thanks to action by government agencies, and H&R Block will no longer be offering them. Instead it is marketing a variation called "the refund anticipation check." In this case, a bank opens a temporary account into which the IRS deposits your refund. The bank then either pays you with a check or via a prepaid card. The bank charges $30 for the account, and the tax preparer may lard on more fees.

To avoid: RALs and RACs are not only costly but also totally unnecessary. The IRS these days typically shoots out refunds within two weeks to taxpayers who file electronically and ask for direct deposit. Taxpayers can also save time by having the refund dispatched automatically to a pre-existing payroll card or to a prepaid card they open. (Just watch out for fees!) For advice in choosing a prepaid card, check out the National Consumer Law Center's tip sheet.

2. Getting a big refund. You may think you're hot stuff because the government is going to pay you a big wad of cash. But a fat refund simply says that you are having too much withheld from your paycheck with the result that you are giving the government an interest-free loan. Some people say that they over-withhold because they like the forced savings, but seriously, you're better off contributing any excess tax during the year to a 401(k) — where it will earn interest — or using it to pay off your credit cards — which will save you interest.

To avoid: It may be too late to do anything this year, buy to make sure that your withholding is not too big and not too small, use this IRS calculator for 2011.

3. Not paying attention to your 1099s and other proof of income. If you're like me, you toss these things into a file folder and look at them on maybe April 12. Big mistake. I've learned from hard experience that banks, employers and others who provide the forms make errors. The payer has to send you the form no later than January 31 and has until February 28 to file the document with the IRS. That gives you as long as a month to correct any errors.

To avoid: Check right the forms immediately. If you spot errors and the payer hasn't yet sent the form to the IRS, s/he can simply tear up the messed up 1099 and issue a new one.

4. Not itemizing. When calculating your taxes, you can elect to take the standard deduction ($11.400 for married couples filing jointly and $5,700 for single people for 2010) or itemize deductions. An admittedly ancient GAO study found that about 510,000 households overpaid on their taxes by failing to itemize, even though they qualified for the most common deductions, for example, home mortgage interest and property taxes.

To avoid: Using tax prep software programs that query you about deductions should keep you from becoming one of the half million over-payers. Conversely, that generous standard deduction may be large enough so that you won't have to endure the headache of itemizing.

5. Forgetting about the oldster deduction. The federal government gives you a little tax help if you've managed to last beyond your working years and don't itemize. If you're over 65 and single, you can add $1,400 to the standard deduction, or $1,100 each for you and your spouse if you're married filing jointly. A married couple, both over 65, can get a total standard deduction of $13,600: $11,400 plus $1,100 for each spouse.

To avoid: If you're like Nora Ephron, author of "I Remember Nothing," you're in big trouble. Again, tax prep software will prompt you to take the extra deduction.

6. Failing to deduct non-cash donations to charity — even though doing so is a big pain in the neck. This deduction (only available to those who itemize) is close to my heart since I moved this year and wound up donating about 2,500 pounds of clothing and household goods. When you give, you usually get a receipt that says "3 bags full" or somesuch. If you gave more than $500 worth last year, however, that will not be enough documentation to satisfy the IRS. You will have to struggle through Section A of Form 8283 Non Cash Charitable Contributions, which requires you to list every item's fair market value, when you got it and what you paid.

To avoid: You can't really sidestep this form, but does the IRS really want to know that you bought one dress at Nordstrom's, one at Macy's and another at JC Penney? (And, as Nora would point out, who remembers?) I plan to write in "department stores" and guess the approximate dates. The Salvation Army provides a valuation guide to help determine the market value of most items you're likely to give. BTW, you may not deduct more than 50 percent of your adjusted gross income in any one year — but you can carry over any excess to the following year.

7. Forgetting to deduct old refinancing points. If you refinanced your mortgage this year, you can deduct the points over the lifetime of the loan. If you have a 30-year mortgage and you paid $3,000 in points, you can write off one-thirtieth or $100 this year. Of course, if you refinanced in June, you only get six months' worth or $50. That's nothing to celebrate, but if you refinanced previously, let's say on January 1, 2008 (just to keep things simple), you can deduct the value of the points you hadn't yet taken — about 28 years' worth — in the year of a new refinancing.

To avoid: Put aside the papers documenting your old points in the front of your tax file.

8. Being too chicken to take the home office deduction. For years, you've been hearing warnings that this is a red flag for auditors. Not so. If you qualify, you can subtract a significant chunk from your tax bill. If you don't qualify, you'll get in trouble.

To avoid: Follow the rules. First, the office has to be your principal place of business, and it must be used exclusively for that purpose, not for playing video games, watching reruns of "I Love Lucy" on Hulu or doing homework. And, you cannot deduct more than your business income. Let's say your office is 100 square feet and your house is 2000 square feet. You can then deduct as business expenses 5 percent of your utilities, insurance, homeowner association fees, repairs, cleaning and maintenance. On top of all that, you can take off 5 percent of your mortgage interest and property taxes. (Using those deductions as business expenses rather than as personal itemized deductions reduces self-employment income, which in turn lowers your Social Security taxes.) You also get a depreciation deduction, for the wear and tear on your office over a set time, usually 39 years. It's a complicated calculation so you'll have to consult IRS Publication 534, but here's a rough idea of how it works: You take the fair market value of your home minus the land. Say it's $250,000; then figure out the amount of the property used for business, in this case 5 percent or $12,500. Divide that by 39, and you get a depreciation deduction of $320. Deductions for depreciation do come back to bite you when you sell your house, however. You will have to pay a capital gains tax on the total amount of depreciation deductions you took, assuming you sold at a profit. Right now, you wouldn't pay much — 15 percent — but capital gains tax rates are due to sunset in two years.

9. Throwing yourself into the arms of a "professional." Just over half of all taxpayers have their returns prepared by a supposed professional preparer. But commercial services, whether provided by Uncle Morty, H&R Block or a high-powered CPA, are often less than fabulous. When GAO investigators went undercover to have returns done by commercial preparers, they found that the results were often incorrect. And IRS data show that 56 percent of professionally prepared returns showed significant errors, compared with 47 percent of those done by the taxpayer. You have no guarantee of quality, because only California and Oregon require tax preparers to take a test. What's more, once you are a customer of a big-chain preparer or even a neighborhood accountant, you become a target for sales pitches — for RALs and RACs as well as fee-laden insurance policies and retirement plans.

To avoid: If you are a wage earner who takes the most common deductions (home mortgage interest, property taxes, charitable donations and state taxes) and credits (child care, for example), you probably will do better simply to buy a software program to help you complete your return.

10 dirty fruits and veggies

by Alexandra Zega
Getty Images 

 Getty Images

Are the fruits and vegetables you buy clean enough to eat?

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) studied 100,000 produce pesticide reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to create a list of 49 of the dirtiest and cleanest produce.

So before you hit the grocery store, see how some of your favorite fruits and veggies measured up.

Did one of your favorites make the list? Don't worry, the EWG recommends purchasing organic or locally grown varieties, which can lower pesticide intake by 80% versus conventionally grown produce.

This stalky vegetable tops the dirty list. Research showed that a single celery stalk had 13 pesticides, while, on the whole, celery contained as many as 67 pesticides.

Chemicals fester on this vegetable as it has no protective skin and its stems cup inward, making it difficult to wash the entire surface of the stalk. It’s not easy to find locally grown celery, so if you like this crunchy veggie, go organic.

Peaches are laced with 67 different chemicals, placing it second on the list of most contaminated fruits and vegetables. They have soft fuzzy skin, a delicate structure, and high susceptibility to most pests, causing them to sprayed more frequently.

This red, juicy fruit has a soft, seedy skin, allowing easier absorption of pesticides. Research showed that strawberries contained 53 pesticides. Try to buy strawberries at a local farmer’s market for a sweet dessert.

Apples are high-maintenance fruit, needing many pesticides to stave off mold, pests, and diseases. The EWG found 47 different kinds of pesticides on apples, and while produce washes can help remove some of the residue, they’re not 100% effective.

Blueberries (domestic)
These antioxidant-rich berries have a thin layer of skin that allows chemicals to more easily contaminate the fruit. Domestic blueberries were loaded with 13 pesticides on a single sample, according to the EWG. Imported blueberries also made the list at No. 14 for the dirtiest produce.

Sweet bell pepper
This crunchy, yet thin-skinned, vegetable is highly susceptible to pesticides. According to the EWG, sweet bell peppers showed traces of 63 types of pesticides. While some pesticides can be washed away, many still remain.

Spinach, kale, collard greens
These leafy green vegetables are on the list, with spinach loaded with 45 different kinds of pesticides and kale 57.

In 2006, Dole recalled bagged baby spinach after multiple E. coli illnesses associated with the vegetable made their way across the country.

Grapes (imported)
These tiny fruit have extremely thin skins, allowing for easy absorption of pesticides. And think twice before buying imported wine. The grapes that go into the wine could be coming from vineyards that use too many pesticides.

Have you ever indulged in a potato skin at your favorite restaurant? You might want to think twice before eating the skin. This spud was highly laced with pesticides—36, according to the EWG—that are needed to prevent pests and diseases.

Cherries, like blueberries, strawberries, and peaches, have a thin coating of skin—often not enough to protect the fruit from harmful pesticides.

Research showed cherries grown in the U.S. had three times the amount of pesticides as imported cherries. Because cherries contain ellagic acid, an antioxidant that neutralizes carcinogens, it’s worthwhile to buy organic or seek imported ones.
(C) by, Ashley Macha

6 Costs You Should Always Negotiate

by Alexandra Zega

provided by

Most consumers think haggling is only appropriate when buying tchotkes at a street fair or facing off against a used-car dealer. But why not negotiate the cost of medical procedures? Or a new Sub-Zero refrigerator? If you're not paying less than sticker price for these and other goods and services, you're leaving money -- and often lots of it -- on the table. "Everything is negotiable," says Stuart Diamond, adjunct professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business and author of "Getting More: How to Negotiate to Achieve Your Goals in the Real World." "All you have to do is ask."

With that philosophy in mind, follow these tips to negotiate the best possible deal on 6 common fees and expenses:

1. Credit Card Rates

• Why they are negotiable: Now that most of the dust has settled following the big credit card reform act, card companies are competing fiercely again for new customers. Issuers sent out 1.2 billion credit card offers in the third quarter of 2010 -- more than three times the number sent during the same period in 2009. "Use the competition to your advantage," says Ira Rheingold, executive director for the National Association of Consumer Advocates. "Don't jump at the first offer. You should argue for the best rate."

• Who to talk to: Call the 800 number associated with a new card offer (or the number on the back of a current card) and talk to the customer service rep. If the rep can't -- or won't -- adjust the rate, ask to speak with a manager.

• What to say: "I've gotten several credit card offers with lower rates. Tell me what you can do to beat those offers."

• Possible savings: How much you're able to lower your interest rate will depend on your credit and payment history, as well as your credit score. In a study conducted by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group several years ago, more than half of consumers who asked for lower rates got them, with their average APR dropping from 16 percent to 10.47 percent.

2. Mortgage and Refinancing Rates and Fees

• Why they are negotiable: "Mortgage lending has gotten difficult, which means that a lender will work hard to make a deal," says Rheingold. And that's particularly true for consumers with credit scores of at least 750.

• Who to talk to: Mortgage brokers or lenders at banks and credit unions.

• What to say: Get several estimates in writing and ask, "Here's the best deal I can get. Can you beat it?"

• Possible savings: In addition to offering better rates, lenders might reduce certain fees or even waive them altogether. To negotiate the lowest out-of-pocket costs, ask for discounts on all upfront fees, including application and origination fees. According to the Federal Trade Commission's website, comparing and negotiating mortgage fees can result in thousands of dollars of savings.

3. Home Improvements

• Why they are negotiable: "Business is slow and that means contractors are willing to haggle over their prices," says Greg Daugherty, executive editor of Consumer Reports. Plus, the prices of many common home building materials are down as much as 35 percent from their peak in the mid-2000s.

• Who to talk to: The contractor.

• What to say: "What are the options for less expensive materials? And what discounts can you offer me on labor?"

• Possible savings: Up to 20 percent of the cost of the project, according to a new survey by Angie's List, a website that publishes surveys and consumer reviews of service businesses. Of the home improvement contractors who were surveyed in 2010, 80 percent were willing to drop their prices to get a job (compared with 43 percent in 2008). And more than half of the contractors surveyed said they were willing to lower prices by 10 percent, with nearly 25 percent willing to drop their fees up to 20 percent.

4. Home Appliances and Electronics

• Why they are negotiable: Store managers understand that a discounted deal done today is often better than a potential deal in the future (and definitely better than no deal at all). One trick is to go first thing in the morning or just before the store closes when there are fewer customers. "A manager will hesitate to offer a discount if he thinks he'll have to make the same deal with all of the customers who overhear the negotiation," says Consumer Reports' Daugherty.

• Who to talk to: A store's manager or assistant manager.

• What to say: "I like this model. If you can give me a discount and free delivery, I'll buy it today."

• Possible savings: Profit margins are generally fairly thin on appliances and electronics, so getting 10 percent off is a reasonable goal, particularly if you can also get them to throw in free delivery and installation. Consumer Reports found that three-quarters of shoppers were able to negotiate a better deal on major appliances, with an average savings of $100 per appliance.

5. Cars

• Why it's negotiable: Car dealerships are one of the few places where price negotiations are not only acceptable, they're expected, notes Philip Reed, senior consumer advice editor for car-buying site But instead of trying to negotiate your purchase price down from the MSRP (the sticker price), as you might for other items, ask to see the invoice price (the price the dealer paid for the car) and work your way up from there. You can look up dealer invoice prices for free on Web sites like,, and

• Who to talk to: Sales staff.

• What to say: "Another dealership has given me a better price on the same model. Tell me how you can beat their offer."

• Possible savings: It's possible to save more than $1,000 on a new car by negotiating smartly, according to Reed. And you'll net even higher savings by also negotiating the value of your trade-in, as well as financing terms and the cost of extended warranties.

6. Medical Bills

• Why they're negotiable: Patients usually assume that the cost for various medical procedures and tests are set in stone, but often they're not. And with health care companies shifting more out-of-pocket costs onto consumers, asking for potential discounts is essential, particularly since there's often a huge variance in costs among providers, says Angie's List spokeswoman Cheryl Reed. In Washington D.C., for example, the price for an MRI of the right knee ranges from $400 to $1,501, according to a recent report. You can look up average prices in your area for various procedures at Healthcare Blue Book.

• Who to talk to: The billing administrator.

• What to say: "This is a significant expense for me. Is there a discount for paying upfront or in cash? What other kinds of discounts might be available?"

• Possible savings: Fifty percent or more. An Angie's List poll found that 74 percent of respondents who negotiated their medical bills were successful, often paying less than half of the original cost.

(c) Jodi Helmer, CBS Money Watch

Stay in the Loop about everything Newburyport

by Alexandra Zega



february 2011
{ what to do ·  where to eat ·  where to stay ·  where to shop }

what to do  events & shows

6th Annual Merrimack River Eagle Festival
Saturday, February 12

Come to the Eagle Festival for a full day of fun indoor and outdoor activities, and learn more about these magnificent birds and the habitat they share with us. Festival features include: Eagle-spotting locations along the lower Merrimack with on-site interpreters, Bus tours guided by expert birders starting in downtown Newburyport, Live raptor demonstrations at Newburyport’s City Hall, and Children’s nature activities & live bird demonstrations at Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats and the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters.

Click here for the schedule of events!

Every ticket has the chance to win BIG!
First Prize - $10,000 
Second Prize - $2,500
(4) Third Prizes - $1,000 each
(7) Fourth Prizes - $500 each
(5) Fifth Prizes - $200 each

Odds are 28 to 1 that you will be a winner!! Chances this good don't come along every day. Go in on a $100 ticket with your friends, family or coworkers. 

Click here to learn more about all cash prizes, where to purchase tickets, and the BIG WIN, BIG PARTY on March 24 when the winning tickets will be drawn!

Greater Newburyport Restaurant Week
Sunday - Thursday, March 20 - 24. 

For five nights only,  participating restaurants in Newburyport, Salisbury and Amesbury will be offering special three-course prix fixe dinner menus, priced at either $20 or $30. A full listing of participating restaurants and their menu offerings will be in the March LOOP, so stay tuned!!

The Firehouse Center for the Arts

CELEBRATING 20 YEARS! As we begin a new season of music, dance, theater, film, and art, we invite you to be part of the magic at the Firehouse Center for the Arts.

Upcoming Shows:
Feb 12-13 • Love Letters
Feb 18 • Catie Curtis
Feb 26 • The Pleasant Valley Social Club
Mar 3 • Riding Bikes with the Dutch
Mar 5 • Mardi Gras
Mar 8 • An Evening of Spirit
Mar 12 • Red Tail Hawk
Mar 13 • New England Light Opera

The Firehouse Center for the Arts Market Square, Newburyport

You can find even more events at 
our online calendar events, Click Here!


what to do  activities

Newburyport Whale Watch

It’s not too early to start thinking about next summer. Prime summer dates book up fast! Contact us today to plan your company outing or special event. For more information and reservations, please call or visit our website below.

Newburyport Whale Watch  
54 Merrimac Street, Newburyport


Bob Lobster

On the way to and from Plum Island. Open Thursday thru Sunday, 9:30 am to 7:30 pm thru April; then open 7 days. A traditional New England dine-in-the-rough serving delicious fried seafood, homemade chowders, lobster dinners, crab cakes, ice cream and more. Voted best lobster roll and best fish market! Situated along the Merrimack River, five minutes east of downtown Newburyport; credit cards accepted; children’s menu available; BYOB.

Bob Lobster 49 Plum Island Turnpike, Newbury (Plum Island)

David's Tavern on Brown Square

Located in the historic Garrison Inn boutique hotel, David’s Tavern serves creative cuisine in a casual atmosphere. Our dinner menu features fresh seafood, pastas, steaks, salads and pizzas. David’s also serves a beautiful and tasty Sunday brunch featuring, but not limited to, fruit and baked goods, breakfast meats, Caesar salad, eggs any style, seafood and warm veggies. We have expanded our brunch hours and freshened the price, now just $11.95. Our ever popular Kid’s Room is open Tuesday – Saturday for kids 18 mo. and older. Serving dinner nightly at 5pm and Sunday brunch from 9am-2pm.

David's Tavern  11 Brown Square, Newburyport 

The Grog Restaurant

For 40 years, The Grog has been Newburyport’s place to meet and enjoy. As we continue to mark this anniversary, we maintain our tradition of presenting the best food, refreshment & entertainment.

Entrain returns to The Grog on February 5th; our 3rd Comedy Showcase ‘Robin’s Nest of Comedy’ is scheduled Upstairs on February 24th ; and Parker Wheeler celebrates Black History Month at Sunday night’s Blues Party.

Valentine’s Day will feature a special menu with Upstairs reservations and our local craft brewery of the month will be Cody Brewing from Amesbury. We hope to see you soon!

The Grog Restaurant 13 Middle Street, Newburyport

Michael's Harborside 

Take shelter from the February freeze and to enjoy our Bottomless Fish and Chips for only $12 all day, every day! Served with fries, coleslaw, and tartar sauce, this all-you-can-eat seafood favorite is just the way to warm up your winter. For just $6, pair with our new Beer Flight of Ipswich Ale, Blue Moon, Sam Adams Seasonal, and Harpoon Raspberry served in four flight glasses. The perfect pairing at an unbeatable price makes February at Michael’s a month you don’t want to miss! 

Come to Michael’s for a romantic Valentine’s Day with the special person in your life! Friday through Monday, February 11-14, we will offer a specially prepared 3-course Dinner and Bottle of Wine to enjoy while you look out on the beautiful winter waterfront. 
Looking to host a dinner, buffet, or a cocktail celebration, while enjoying the breathtaking water view? Michael’s is the perfect place for your winter gathering! Call us for more information, or visit us online! 

Michael's Harborside  One Tournament Wharf, Newburyport

Oregano Pizzeria & Ristorante 

On February 8th, Oregano will hold a 4-course dinner with wine to benefit Pennies for Poverty from 6-9pm. The cost is $60 per person.

Come one come all and support the Newburyport PTO events at Oregano Pizzeria. On February 7th the event will be for the NOCK PTO which is an all- day event but the fun part will be from 4-9pm in the evening when the teachers will wait on the customers! On March 2, 9, and 16th the events will be for the Bresnahan, George W. Brown and Molin PTO's - again an all- day event with teachers waiting on tables from 4-9 pm. 20% from proceeds will be donated to the PTO!!

Oregano Pizzeria & Ristorante  16 Pleasant Street, Newburyport

Plum Island Grille 

Romantic Island Getaway on Valentines Weekend, February 11 - 14! Cozy up by the fire with your sweetheart and treat yourselves to: Chocolate Strawberry Champagne-tini, Warm Brie & Red Cherry Compote, Pan Roasted Filet & Lobster Tail.  Select from our full À La Carte menu or Valentines Weekend specials.

Live Music on Thursday, February 10 from 6:30-9:30PM featuring Liz Frame with kicker Lynne Taylor. A perfect blend of rootsy, rockin’ righteous music!

Plum Island Grille  Sunset Blvd., Newbury

The  Port Tavern

The Port Tavern function room is now available upstairs. It’s ideal for private dinners, meetings, showers, rehearsal dinners, birthdays or other special occasions. It is handicap accessible too.

For sit down dinner the room holds 30-35 or standing room for 50. The room also has audio/video for small company presentations. There is a private bar and the décor is warm and inviting.

The Port Tavern 84 State Street, Newburyport

Ristorante  Molise

It's February - let's celebrate Love! Enjoy our Special Valentines Week menu, especially for lovers and friends. Join us at Molise from Feb. 8 though Valentines Day, Monday Feb. 14. 

Drop by for our new Family Style Meal Specials, for parties of 2 or more, Tuesdays -Fridays, for 18-20 pp. 
3 courses, plus a Free glass of house wine. Molise’s authentic regional Italian cuisine is even more enticing this year! Savor grass-fed beef, organic chicken, fresh homemade pastas, imported natural Italian Sodas, and a new international Wine selection. All lovingly prepared with heart and passion for our rich culture. 

Ristorante Molise  
1 Market Square, Amesbury 978-388-4844 and 464 Main Street, Wakefield 781-245-9169

Ten Center Street Restaurant & Pub 

Introducing Newburyport’s only Sunday Jazz Brunch from 11am-3pm every Sunday! Our colorful “Create Your Own” Omelet Bar allows you to choose from a fine and fancy or simple and savory selection of fillings. Create your Ultimate Bloody Mary, enjoy $5 Mimosas, or try one of Harley’s Winter Dishes like Kobe Meatloaf, Crispy Fried Chicken, or Stout Braised Lamb Shank. Available Sunday through Thursday, pair them with one of our featured wines by Frei Brothers of Sonoma Valley. The brunch becomes a perfect ten when the smooth solo Jazz sounds arranged by Phil McGowan begin at noon! Also enjoy the Phil McGowan Jazz Quartet every Wednesday night from 7-10pm.

If you need a spot for that special celebration or gathering, book the cozy and intimate Garden Room. For more information, or to book an event, contact Stacy Kelley at or call 978-462-6652 ext. 16.

Ten Center Street Restaurant & Pub  10 Center Street, Newburyport


Country Garden Inn & Spa

Valentine’s Special – book any room/suite for your sweetheart and receive a long stem red rose during the Valentine’s Day Weekend 2/11 thru 2/14.  Book online or give us a call!

Country Garden Inn & Spa  
101 Main Street (Route 1A), Rowley

Garrison Inn

Saint Valentine’s Special: Penthouse Suite Special rate of $210 all February! Two stories, one-bedroom suite, located on the 4th floor of the hotel, offers guests an exceptional residential experience. Features separate living room, with cathedral ceiling, wood-burning fireplace, generous sized sitting area with love seat, flat screen HDTV, Wi-Fi, exquisite micro-fiber bathrobes, telephone, umbrella, private full bathroom with rain fall shower head & BVLGARI bathroom amenities. A grand staircase leads to a second floor featuring a king bedroom with plush natural down & feather bedding with fine cotton linens & additional seating area. Gourmet hot breakfast and access to Pool & Fitness Center. Approximately 606 square feet.

Garrison Inn   11 Brown Square, Newburyport

Market Street Inn

Brrrrr! Worries about the winter? Let US pay your heating bills! And your electric, cable and Wi-Fi bills as well!

Market Street Inn furnished apartments - all utilities included, all the time. Downtown Newburyport!

$49 a day* for corporate and vacation rentals.
*Minimum stay 10 days.

Market Street Inn   22 Market Street, Newburyport


where to shop retail & services


Brass Lyon

Exciting news from the Brass Lyon - we are expanding into a new location! We have signed on with the BLACKLION in Charlotte, NC. Preparations are under way - we have painted and prepped the spaces and deliveries of new product start arriving beginning 2/1. Our Grand Opening will be March 1st. We are very excited for this new venture. Please tell your friends and family that live in the Charlotte, NC area, to stop in!

February special at the Brass Lyon - Newburyport: February is our annual President's Month Chelsea Clock Promotion. We are offering 20% off all in-stock Chelsea Clocks/Tide Clocks and Barometers. Featured item is the new Carbon Fiber Tide Clock. All Chelsea items can be viewed on the Chelsea website:


Brass Lyon 36 Market Square, Newburyport

John Farley Clothiers

Final Markdowns Taken -  up to 50% OFF! Sweaters, sport shirts, trousers, sport coats, suits, ties and virtually all Winter good must go to make room for Spring arrivals. Don't miss this opportunity to get great deals on top names like Jack Victor, Joseph Abboud, Kroon, Scott Barber, Alex Cannon, Swiss Army and many more! 

John Farley Clothiers  
31 Water Street, The Atkinson Building, Newburyport. 

Life is good

Spread good vibes with the ones you love this Valentine’s Day! Our Valentine’s collection features classic crusher tees, cozy pajamas and accessories adorned with festive prints and graphics reminding us all that love truly does make the world go round.

Life is good is open Monday through Thursday from 10am-5pm, Friday and Saturdays from 10am-6pm and on Sundays from 12pm-6pm

Life is good 8 State Street, Newburyport

Pawsitively Best Friends

You take great care of your pets, right? You feed them, exercise them, give them love and attention, take them to the vet - but do you brush their teeth? Most people don't, but everyone should. In Dogfancy Magazine, Milinda Lommer, DVM, says, “Periodontal disease is the most common health problem in dogs. Pet owners may think of it as just ‘dog breath’ when really, their dog has a disease.” Research shows that bacteria associated with poor dental hygiene can reduce your pet’s lifespan for up to 3 years.

February is "National Pet Dental Health Month" and in recognition of this, we have a full supply of pet dental health products in stock. We are open 7 days, so visit us at 16 State Street or online! Your pets are always welcome in the store with you.

Pawsitively Best Friends   16 State Street, Newburyport

Spa Paradiso and Salon

Couples Romance Weekend! Just a short distance away and yet the most wonderful 48-hours you will spend together all year. The two of you will be welcomed in one of the Garrison Inn’s finest rooms with complimentary breakfast. Saturday come directly across to the beautiful Spa Paradiso and Salon for your 60-minute couples massage including refreshments, spa /sports manicures plus choose either one hair-wash and style or make-up session. Enjoy dinner at any number of local restaurants within walking distance. Sunday enjoy another complimentary breakfast and wander around historic Newburyport, MA. Call today to book, this offer is limited. 978-462-5530. Click here for pricing and details. 

Spa Paradiso and Salon 18 Titcomb Street, Newburyport

The Tannery Marketplace

Remember your valentine! The Tannery Marketplace has got you covered. Stop by to pick something up for your sweetie from any one of our fabulous shops and businesses. 

Can't decide? How about some 
Tannery Bucks

The Tannery Marketplace   
50 Water Street, Newburyport

Valerie's Gallery

With Valentine’s Day approaching, remember that Goldsmith Jim Conley is working with us here on Saturdays between 10:00am -1:00pm (and available for appointments during the week). For many years Jim has been a trusted name for quality jewelry throughout the Newburyport area and we are pleased to have an ever-growing selection of his work in our store. 

Valerie's Gallery 26 State Street, Newburyport

Walsingham Gallery

A fresh new year is inspiring fresh new works from our Walsingham artists! On view: New Works by:  Gribin, Noonis, Neubauer, Poirier, Bolster, Tinney and more.

A balanced blend of the past, present and future, our Gallery offers an evolving collection created by living artists whose work reflect contemporary thoughts and imagery. We would be pleased to arrange private showings or previews and the Gallery can be reserved for parties, social events or business functions. Please inquire about our on-site art and design services. 

Hours: Mon. 10-5pm, Tues. & Weds. by appointment, Thurs.-Sat. 10-6pm, Sun. 12-5pm

The Walsingham Gallery  47 Merrimac Street, Newburyport


The Top 6 Calorie-Burning Workouts

by Alexandra Zega


While there is no secret formula for losing weight (It all comes down to simple math: You must burn more calories than you consume), there are smarter, faster ways to achieve your goals. The following  six workouts are proven to be the most heart-pumping, sweat-producing, and consequently most efficient calorie-burning and weight-loss-inducing exercises out there. Do one, or a combination of many, regularly, and watch the weight fall off.

1.    Kickboxing: 800 calories per hour

Kickboxing offers a great full-body workout because it requires you to use every major muscle group and includes interval training. Your heart rate will soar and stabilize several times throughout the class, which is optimal for weight loss. 24 Hour Fitness clubs report that attendees of their Turbo Kick classes can burn up to 800 calories in one hour-long class.

2.    Biking: 700 calories per hour
You can burn up to 700 calories at your average cycling class or take to the road on your own to enjoy fresh air to boot! Just make sure you keep a pace of about 14 to 16 miles per hour to reach the 700-calorie goal.

3.    Zumba: 500 or more calories per hour
Who knew an hour of dancing could produce such results?! Because this Latin-inspired dance workout uses the principles of interval training and resistance exercise, the workout will boost your metabolism considerably, according to  However, like any fitness regimen, the number of calories burned varies from person to person depending on weight, sex, current fitness level, and how a hard a person works out. Still the massive weight loss and toning benefits of hip-swishing and shimmying make this dance workout one of the most popular today.

4.    Jumping Rope: 780 calories per hour
Only got ten minutes? You can still squeeze in cardio with this highly effective activity, which can have you burning 130 calories every ten minutes (or 780 calories per hour). According to, you’d have to run an eight-minute mile to burn as many calories as jumping rope for the same amount of time, making it a good choice for someone who is starting a fitness regime and may not have the endurance to maintain a fast running speed for an extended period of time. If you have limited space and time, jumping rope is the most efficient way to see results. In addition, the high-impact nature of this workout means you’ll add bone mass, increasing your bone health, according to 24 Hour Fitness Club's Website and, while you lose fat.

5.    Aerobic Step Classes: 600 calories per hour
Aerobic step classes are high-intensity and high-impact, meaning you’ll burn fat and calories. The number of calories burned depends on how high the step is, but using just a six-inch platform can allow you to burn up to 600 calories in one hour-long class.

6. Running: 650 calories per hour
According to WebMD's calorie calculator, a 145-pound person who maintains a 10-minute mile for one hour can burn up to 650 calories. However, running consistently for an hour can be challenging if it isn't a part of your current exercise regimen. You can work up to this goal and increase your cardiovascular fitness by adding walking intervals throughout your workout. For instance, run for three minutes and then walk briskly for one minute. This practice will increase your endurance, lower your heart-rate recovery time, and burn fat.

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