What Our Visitors Are Saying

I’m caught off guard by all that Easton’s Nook is–a haven, a studio, a garden, a sanctuary. I never expected some writing space in New Jersey to be so restorative, so comforting, so just-what-I-needed. Easton’s Nook is the place I go to when my work has been gestating too long and I know I need to face labor and delivery–but can’t bear to face it alone. It’s where I go when I’m yearning to write in solidarity, when my writer-self is depleted and in need of nourishment. Easton’s Nook seems to have a life force of its own that it breathes into all who inhabit it, no matter the duration of their stay–generously offering inspiration, affirmation, grounding, healing, courage. I’m ever-grateful for this special place, this caring birthing place of sorts, this powerful place of reflection, connection, labor, renewal. Easton’s Nook is truly a magical place that embraces you and fills you (back) up with just what you need to rise and shine and get it done.

– Natalie Cook, Ph.D., CD, March 2022

I cannot overstate how healing, magical, and sacred Easton’s Nook is. I went for the first time in 2017 looking to carve out space to finish a significant piece of writing, but what I found was a kindship with Nadine and Jacquie that I now know is characteristic of the space and most who visit. It is nice to have a place to go to for regular writing, but what keeps me coming back to the Nook is the love, care, and intentionality that is cultivated in every aspect of the experience (and omg, the food. THE FOOD!). I write. And I also meet myself over and over again. The Nook is where I go when I need to stop ruminating and running from a task or decision or from rest itself because I know when I arrive, I will be held. As much as I try (and as much as Nadine allows!), there are not enough ways for me to show gratitude for Easton’s Nook. But I have home training, so at the very least, I will never stop saying thank you for the vision and love.

– Ashanté M. Reese, Ph.D., March 2022

Hooked at the Nook!
I got hooked at the Nook!
Hooked by Nadine’s scrumptious, delicious, healthy and yummy Caribbean inspired cuisine where presentation and taste harmonize!
Hooked by Jacquie’s affirmation and gentle reminders of self-care and ongoing support to keep on writing!
Hooked by G, L, M, M & N’s laughter, encouragement and positive writing vibes and energy!
Hooked by Branch Brook Park where I walked with the birds and spoke to the squirrels!
Do you want to rediscover the joy and passion for your writing, art or activism while being fed with body, spirit, mind and soul?
Then you’ve got to get hooked at Easton Nook!

– Soley Anakaona, Ph.D. (aka C.A.), July 2018

Easton’s Nook is one of kind! My weekend writing retreat with four other colleagues was amazing! I felt that Jacquie and Nadine were very welcoming, and did everything possible to create a warm and inviting ambiance that stimulates creativity and productivity. There are plenty of spaces from which to choose the perfect spot to work, and an atmosphere of peace of mind permeates the house. Snacks were always available, and when we needed coffee or tea it was prepared fresh at a moment’s notice. I have to say that the meals were the highlight of my stay at Easton’s Nook. Nadine prepared healthy and delicious gourmet quality meals with fresh ingredients. I especially enjoyed the Caribbean chicken with plantains and Jamaican style rice. Her cooking is truly exceptional! After meals, my colleagues and I often went for a walk and we were pleasantly surprised to see how close the park was. All in all it was a very productive stay, and I left feeling restored and ready for a fruitful summer. I will definitely be returning to Easton’s Nook.

– Ramona Neunuebel, June 2017

“My weekend at Easton’s Nook was a productive, peaceful, and restorative time. I felt immediately welcome and at ease as soon as I crossed the threshhold. The house itself has such a nurturing energy, you have to experience it to believe it. I stayed in the room with the Adinkra symbol for prosperity on the desk–and amazingly my primary writing goal for the weekend was to write a grant proposal! My bed and silk sheets were luxurious and comfortable; the food was amazing; the neighborhood and the park are just gorgeous; and all the cozy, comfortable, beautiful spaces for writing and drawing inspiration were perfect. I will be back many, many, more times, and I plan to organize retreats for various groups of colleagues and friends, from fellow academic mamas, to my writing group, to co-authors. Thank you for creating Easton’s Nook!”

– Fabienne Doucet, Ph.D., November 2015

“The attention to detail in every NOOK and cranny makes this space sure to have a place for every creative soul. The ethos of the house’s namesake indwells every part of the place as you feel warm and accepted. A great space for reflection, connection, inspiration. I’m blessed to have labored and been affirmed at Easton’s Nook.”

– Tamarie A. Macon, Ph.D., November 2015

“Never having been to a writer’s retreat before this experience, I did not know what to expect. But what I received has definitely set the bar very high for me. Easton’s Nook has an aura that just wraps you into her arms right away. The beautiful colors in the house, the awestriking paintings (painted by Dr. Jacqueline Mattis herself), the plants, the careful and loving way in which the furniture is arranged, and the natural light streaming in through all corners in the house inspire restfulness and creativity. The smells in the kitchen, the easy laughter of wonderful Nadine Mattis, the bewitching taste of her delicious food, as well as the calm and quiet of the house all inspired words and ideas to flow and find space on the page. A check-in with my fellow writers and their presence in the house to also quickly bounce ideas with was such a community building experience. I could not have asked for a more perfect writing time.”

– Sukhmani Singh, Ph.D., November 2015

“The writing retreat was the needed space and community I needed to think and reflect. The hosts created an environment of comfort, warmth and love that made it easy to write. Easton’s Nook feels like home. I was returning from a busy trip and was able to relax, take my shoes off and work alongside writers doing important work. I plan to return and offer this lovely space as a possibility to friends and colleagues.”

– David Ragland, Ph.D., November 2015

“It was such a wonderful experience. Your home is both elegant and homey and from the beginning you and Nadine made me feel comfortable and supported. I liked all the different nooks in which to write and I definitely was more productive in the space. I submitted both applications I was working on and the retreat contributed to a less stressful week than I would have had otherwise. Finally, the food was amazing! The whole experience just reminded me of how privileged I am to be a writer and to be part of such a supportive group as the writing group. I am already looking forward to coming back to Easton’s Nook in the future.”

– Fatima Varner, Ph.D., November 2015

“I scheduled our writing retreat as one of many things on my to-do list. I was not expecting it to be the most amazing and important few days in the book-writing process. The entire experience was transformative, and it is clear that Jacquie and Nadine were intentional about every detail to make it so. I am grateful for the ‘come-as you are’ vibe of Easton’s Nook, as we each were able to focus on our goal with welcomed guidance and great conversations. Aside from the wonderful women with whom I traveled, the “two fierce, fearsomely loving sisters” are the reasons Easton’s Nook is so unique. You truly witness each of their talents! Thank you for creating this space, experience, and moment that meant more to me than you will ever know.”

– Manoucheka Celeste, March 2016