Brass accents (brassents? braccents?) are nothing new, of course, but the thoroughly design-y pieces on offer at the moment are trés chic and modern, instead of 80's cheesy, which is how I used to think of brass (remember those awful, cheap, bright brass chandeliers that were everywhere way back when? Ugh).
I love the warmth brass adds to a room, and it's looks spectacular contrasted with cool greys, which is what we Foxes always paint our walls (favorite combo = grey walls + brass accents + tons of houseplants). Go small with a decorative object displayed with books or a slim floor lamp next to a reading chair, or go big with a hammered brass drum coffee table and corresponding side tables in the living room. Even better, go really big and put it all in one room.
Shop these badass brass picks (and way more) at everyone's fav-o-rite store Target!
I'm a pretty terrible salesperson but I do wholeheartedly believe in the products I make. Behold a sales pitch below, with product recs from other skincare lines, because including them makes me feel better about tooting my own horn so blatantly.
Transitional weather is here, which means it's time to make some tweaks to your skincare regime. Keep that summer glow going with the right mix of healthy beauty oils.
* As the temps start to dip (they'll dip eventually, right?), switch from gel or foaming cleansers to a cream or oil variety. FoxSea Universal Oil can be used as a cleansing oil, or try Burt's Bees Facial Cleansing Oil, which gently removes the dirt and makeup of the day without stripping skin bare.
* The eye area is among the most delicate, and wacky weather can parch the area quickly. An oil serum can do a deep dive to help combat the fine lines and wrinkles that can age a face in a snap. Eye Eye, Captain is my personal fave, but Little Barn Apothecary makes an excellent version, available here.
* A nighttime facial oil is a must for waking up with glowing skin, and is the perfect last layer in an evening regime, because it helps to seal in what was applied before. FoxSea Eternal Oil is an ultra nourishing option, thanks to a super group, if you will, of natural oils known for soothing and moisturizing.
Okay, that wasn't so bad, I guess...
I don't know why but I'm totally fine with saying goodbye to summer this year. Perhaps it's the sweltering heat, the unbearable swarms of mosquitoes that seem to be particularly vicious this season or the suede handbag I've been waiting to use since May. Fall fashion is a totally acceptable reason for wishing to jumping ahead.
Labor Day weekend was a blur of cocktails with coworkers, a framily cookout, a lively soccer tournament under a blazing hot sun and forest bathing + a few helpings of apple pie. By Sunday's end, we Foxes were exhausted and wanted a light, refreshing dinner, followed by a couple of episodes of our current fave show, The Curse of Oak Island (all four of us are obsessed).
As luck would have it, while scrolling through Instagram Sunday morning, I'd flagged the recipe for a creamy yellow gazpacho, posted by author Elin Hilderbrand (I started following her this summer after reading one of her Nantucket-based books for the first time). On our way back from visiting three Acres Land Trust sites, we stopped for the supplies and I quickly got to work blending the chilled soup. The recipe Hilderbrand provided was a little loosey-goosey but it provided a great foundation. While I was able to use a few yellow toms, I had to rely on red camparis for the bulk of it. I also added a bit more white wine vinegar and omitted the onion, because onions are hideous and vile weeds, but I followed the rest of her instructions to a T. Next time, I might do a little more augmenting, such as leaving some chunks instead of totally pureeing the mix, adding some fresh herbs, and so on and so forth.. Below are Hilderbrand's exact instructions:
It was SO DELICIOUS, just as she exclaimed in her caption, and I will totally be adding this to our warm weather repertoire. Ooh! A little dollop of sour cream (poor girl's créme fraîche) might be nice for garnish, along with cubed avocado and chopped tomatoes. Next time...
I felt I could go two ways with this post. The title came first, sometime in July, so I noodled on whether or not I wanted to write about salad dressing (a favorite topic) or summer appropriate clothes. But now I've decided I don't want to write about either. I want to write about fall style...
The issue with summer dressing is that everything is so breezy, spare, light, which I do love. But there comes a point every summer when I'm tired of all the exposed skin and the casual feel of summer weight styles. Tanks tops, shorts, beach dresses, caftans + basket bags and sandals become a little...meh, while the sweaters and booties of autumn feel so...substantial.
The problem is there's no clear indication of when the cooler temps will arrive and stay. Just because Memorial Day passes, doesn't mean the weather cooperates. The calendar and weather don't always play well together. <-- that's catchy. Did I make that up? I feel like I did.
So, it's time to get resourceful with the lightweight items that are now boring by blending in some exciting fall pieces to get through the seasonal transition. Here's how I'm doing it this time around the sun.
* Accessories are usually where I focus first. I'm still in love with my Clare V ballet perforated attaché but it does feel very spring-summer with its pink and yellow tassel + light striped strap (that feels very early 80's tennis club to me, which I love). Until I'm ready to move into my fall handbag (a very dreamy suede number) I'm subbing in a navy leather tassel and navy/red crossbody strap that will give the pink hue a bit more heft.
* No matter the season, I dress in pretty neutral textures, patterns and tones and rely on accessories, especially jewelry, to take any ensemble further. The bright, colorful bracelet stacks and flirty earrings get toned down a smidge for more classic, timeless pieces that feel too formal in the summer months.
* I love a good sweater-shorts combo. It feels so cozy and reminds me of the cool nights that follow sunny days on Cape Cod. I update my denim shorts by switching out t shirts and sandals with light sweaters and booties. And by now, after months of sandals, slides and flips, my feet are in need of a major rejuvenating pedicure, so I appreciate being able to cover them up.
* My breezy, floaty dresses still get worn (both because I do love them + they're the perfect thing to pop on during the lingering humid days that make me sweat like a hockey player), but I accessorize them differently. The straw panama hats get benched so the floppy felt hats can get in on the action. And again, booties instead of sandals give me that dose of autumn I want while still letting me be comfy in the heat.
* The lightweight, sleeveless shirts I wore all summer with shorts now get pared with denim and ballet flats. Instead of toting around a summer weight scarf/wrap for chilly air conditioned spaces, I hang a light military inspired jacket over my shoulders.
* I switch up my lipstick colors + nail polishes to reflect my autumn craving mood, which is literally the easiest way to bring a fall vibe while it's still blazing hot. Bright or frosty pinks and purples (and other pastels) make way for nude and red pouts and black, dark ruby or chocolate brown nails. Texture matters here, too. By Memorial Day's end, I'm usually over shiny lip glosses and want more matte finishes for my lipstick. And my beach proof glitter toenail polish can't be chiseled off fast enough. All this said, I often embrace "counter programming" when it comes to nail and lip colors. I like the unexpectedness of black nails in the heat of summer and a bright pink pucker in the dead of winter. Though now you might be expecting me to do that. Which kind of ruins this practice for me. Should I leave these sentences in? Might as well... Who cares, right? Is anyone reading this? Is this thing on? Hahahahahaha. I'm fine. Everything's fine.
Happy Memorial Day and cheers to all the fall sweaters patiently waiting to be worn!
A brief glimpse at my 40th summer on Cape Cod with my family...
Road tripping with new t shirts and Cape Cod mood rings, culminating with brunch at Cafe Chew as soon as we're over the bridge.
The Fox boys lived their best beach lives, splashing around at low tide, learning how to skim board, painting their toes with glitter polish and eating plenty of sweet treats. The one thing they did not like was our annual Lobster Night. Said PCF through tears, over and over again, "those lobsters didn't deserve to die!"
I tend to chronicle vacations by the foods we consume, but I think that's pretty normal, right? Afternoon tea at The Dunbar, date night at Pain d'Avignon, almond croissants at Happy Fish, homemade lobster rolls, Scott Cakes in P Town and CBD infused iced coffee were some of the delicious highlights this summer, and most summers. Though, the CBD coffee was certainly new and wonderful!
I spend much of my time on Cape Cod snapping pictures that will sustain me year round. Beach pix and selfies plus snaps of my favorite spaces and souvenirs make me happy when I'm landlocked and dreaming of the sea.
Sea you later, Cape Cod!
Then I'll haste to wed a sailor and send him off to sea
For a life of independence is the pleasant life for me
But every now and then I should like to see his face
As it always seems to me to bean with manly grace
But when he says goodbye my love, I'm off across the sea
First I cry for his departure then I laugh because I'm free
A striped one-piece suit is always a good idea. Even if one has a bikini bod, a good one-piece is indispensable for more active days at the beach and water-based family get togethers (solid coverage and security is key in certain crowds).
Side note: I have nothing but love for anyone who chooses to wear a bikini in any scenario - you do you. Personally, after 20 years (cringe) of barely working out + two babies, you'd have to pay me a million dollars to walk onto the beach in a two piece. But perhaps that won't always be the case. Perhaps when I'm 50, I'll do it for free. But I want to make it clear that no matter your body or age, if you want to wear a two-piece, go for it!
99.9% of my beach apparel and accessories are nautically inspired, so when I think swimsuit, I think stripes, I think navy + white + red (or any combo thereof). These modern takes on a classic nautical look will work this summer and beyond, and each has a little detail or two that make them stand out from a sea of boring basics.
I'm so excited to announce FoxSea Skin's latest launch: Eye Eye, Captain! Formulated with a blend of healthy, natural oils, this serum helps keep fine lines and wrinkles at bay. While it's suitable for morning and evening, play around with how much you apply, and how long you let it sink it, prior to applying makeup. I spend many of my days makeup free, and drenched in FoxSea oils, so I have zero issues applying it in the morning. I also dab a little into my brows and on the tips of my lashes, since the castor oil in the formula can encourage hair growth (I over waxed my brows in the 90's). As always, when dealing with the eye area, be gentle, don't tug and take care not to get the product in your eyes. #safetyfirst
I haven't launched a new product in a while so I wanted Eye Eye, Captain to get a little fanfare before hitting the shelves. I threw a teeny private party to help fete the slim vial of skincare gold, and it was so lovely to get the product into the hands of other creative women I admire. Owning a small business that focuses on small batch, handmade goods is no joke, and support from the maker community (both local and at large) means so much to me.
Take a peek through the evening and then order what's sure to be your next beauty crush (fingers and toes crossed) online from The FIND!
Thank you to everyone who helped me celebrate Eye Eye, Captain.
You float my boat!
I am obsessed with lemons. I've been eating them raw, much to my dentist's dismay, since childhood. From beauty products, home accessories and jaunty ensembles, and so many recipes, the mighty lemon makes everything brighter (treats scurvy, too). Here's how I'm getting zesty this summer.
My summer playbook this year is quite long, so I'm sharing just three of my summer 2018 goals. I still have a few things to tackle from last year's list (such as my Nan's gazpacho), and I'm still on my quest to make the perfect jalapeño marg. But, while I like to set goals and be organized, I'm also 100% into decelerating with my family each summer, so I'm not going to be too hard on myself if I don't cross all my goals off the list. But the three below? They'll be tackled in no time (like, this week), which will give me a real sense of (false?) accomplishment. I'm okay with that. It's summer, get off my back.
Harvest my backyard garden.
I've been snacking on my baby tomatoes, but fresh pesto from my own basil is at the top of my list, since it's so damn hard to find large bundles of basil at the grocery store.
New FoxSea Launch
I'm so excited about Eye Eye, Captain, an under eye oil serum that helps keep fine lines and wrinkles at bay! I hope everyone loves it as much as EYE do. #badumching
I always say swimming in the Atlantic is like a breath mint for my soul. I'm fairly certain I came up with that on my own, but I could be wrong. Anyway, the cool, crisp waters shock my system, in such a good way, resetting me, giving me a fresh new perspective just when I need it, that I find myself craving that feeling all year long, when I'm far away from the ocean.
In this moment right now, I need a little reset. I went into my 40th birthday feeling fantastic, really loved and appreciated, and at peace with my current path. It's crazy though that in just a few days, that feeling has been replaced by something less welcome - doubt and wariness. I'd take a chilly dip in the ocean in a heartbeat right now.
Though I do post a lot, I don't often actually pour my heart out online. While I'm not likely to start doing so, I do feel compelled to vent a little bit...
And then I didn't.
A couple of weeks have passed since I wrote all of the above. I'm revisiting this now, remembering how I felt when I wrote it, and feeling quite relieved those feelings have dissipated. I'm coming off a lovely weekend, re-energized and re-inspired, so perhaps that's why I'm feeling great. But is this just a band aid? Or was the wariness just fleeting? I seem to think I'm a generally happy person, though my face doesn't always express that, apparently.
In the next couple of weeks, I'll be balls to the wall (is there a more femme version of this saying?) busy with my own personal tasks, kids camps and serving as their chauffeur to and fro, work assignments and just f^ck!ng living my life, before heading east for our annual pilgrimage to Cape Cod, so I'm guessing my feelings will mostly be a blend of frenzy and excitement.
Then, while on Cape, I'll be so gotdamn happy, literally chilling my bones in the ocean, so that'll be great. But what comes after? Sadness because I'll be heading back west, but anticipation for this year's Middle Waves music festival? Who the hell knows... We're all just guessing at what comes next, right?
What was even the point of this post? Venting, I guess. That, and really wanting to submerge myself in icy cold waters.
I love a drink (understatement). I rotate favorites around all the time, and am currently really into vodka + soda with lemon again. But since a post about vodka + soda doesn't strike me as being all that interesting, I decided to write about a few of my other current faves (I always have a lot of 'em).
I had my first Monaco at an outdoor cafe in France, and really loved how wonderfully special it felt (France tends to do that to a girl). The recipe is simply a blend of lemonade and beer + a few dashes of grenadine, but I've had a hard time with the right mix and the exact right beer. I found this recipe on Saveur.com and it's pretty damn close to what I remember (though, I will not be making my own pomegranate syrup. A bottle of Rose's grenadine works for me):
Pour 1 1/2 ounces of grenadine and 2 ounces of lemonade into an ice-filled shaker, shake, then strain into a chilled beer glass. Top with 6 ounces of pale lager, such as Stella Artois.
Rosé All Day
I love a glass of rosé on a hot ass day. Sometimes I even put ice chips in the glass (gasp)! I love Dark Horse's rosé but I'm also obsessed with Whispering Angel, White Girl and Gerard Bertrand Cote des Roses, which is beautifully packaged, making it a wonderful hostess gift.
I like to pair rosé (and other dry, white wines) with fresh, light salads, fruit and cheese plates, a lobster roll or my husband's chicken salad. Click here for pairing ideas and recipes from Kitchn.
Cheers to Beer!
I don't drink beer very often these days but when I do, I like a light, crisp one. Last year was the summer of Sea Quench by Dogfish Head (I still adore it, and plan to drink it heavily on the beach). This spring, I was introduced to Bubbles Rosé Ale by Rhinegeist, in Cincinnati, Oh. It's "made with apple, peach and cranberry, for additional pink hue, tartness and juicy fruitiness." This crisp and bright cider will be a crowd pleaser at any summer shindig, I promise.
Ever since my first taste of "tequila drink" in March (one of the signature cocktails featured at One Big Holiday in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic), I've been chasing that refreshing, spicy elixir! My husband and I still can't quite figure out the ingredients so we've been taste testing margaritas every chance we get. #research Pictured at left is The Bedford's version, which was super delicious and extremely close to what we had in the DR. Unfortunately, the Bedford in is Brooklyn. Rather, it's unfortunate that I'm not in Brooklyn...
In the last few years, I've been really warming to whiskey. I learned of Jefferson's Ocean from my cousin and became enchanted with the "aged at sea" story (the sea is indeed magical, friends). I bought our first bottle as a gift for my husband. He liked it at first drop but was a little dismayed that I liked it too. It quickly became our yes, the kids are in bed, time for a nightcap drink this winter (he takes it neat, I take it with a giant sphere of ice). We just re-upped with another bottle and it's just as delightful in the summer months, too
I'm all about the accessories for any category of life, and especially so when said accessories can be personalized! #monogramEVERYTHING I'm a longtime fan of Steele Canvas Basket (we used to be neighbors in Chelsea, Massachusetts) so when I was ordering our household's latest rolling laundry basket, I saw their ice crusher bag with mallet. I knew I had to have it and while we actually haven't used it yet, it looks fab on the bar cart. Sadly, I see they don't currently offer it on their site. But they have plenty of other cool things. Shop 'em!
I'd love to hear about your favorite drinks for the season, and any cool cocktail accessories you adore. Drop me a line?
Last September, I won a lottery for the chance to purchase four tickets to see Hamilton in New York at face value (!!!), ahead of the general public. We picked a random date in June and excitedly anticipated our trip for months. In the few weeks leading up to our date at Richard Rogers theatre, my husband discovered he needed to be in NYC for the two days prior to our trip, so we switched some things around and got a very full five days in the Big Apple. Behold, photographic evidence below...
We arrived in New York super early on Wednesday, so we had plenty of time to check in to our first hotel (we stayed in three hotels during the trip and it's a long, boring story) and get to know our temporary neighborhood.
We snagged excellent coffee and a tasty breakfast of a hazelnut croissant and avocado toast (we went splitsies-halvsies) at Blue Bottle, then took in the sights of the World Trade Center area. We visited Ground Zero just a few months after the 9/11 attacks (we were in college back then) and I remember how dusty everything was, and how the silence was almost deafening. There were crowds and crowds of people looking at the wreckage but no one was saying a word. I recall ducking in to Century 21 just so we could hear the sound of people talking again. Seeing the area cleaned up, fully functioning (even though some construction is still going on), along with the striking and sobering memorial, was so moving.
Ryan had biznaz to take care of so I walked around on my own (the Irish Hunger Memorial is so pretty), got a fun manicure and enjoyed a nice long, boozy lunch. It's fun to date yourself sometimes.
When Ryan and I reunited, we dined on sushi at Nobu and spent a little too much coin on craft cocktails.
We woke up super early for a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, something I'd always wanted to do, but which was never convenient during any of my previous NYC trips. The temperature was perfectly crisp and the views were amazing. I wonder if people who commute over the bridge each day take it for granted?
I enjoyed a blowout at Dry Bar while Ryan was in his final meetings. There is nothing as wonderful as having a great hair day.
Once Ryan was officially done with work, we set out for lunch at Ladurée, a heavenly visit to Clare Vivier and 12 miles of walking to all the major sneaker head shops (KITH, Extra Butter and Alife, saving Flight Club for the next day).
We then checked into our second hotel in Midtown. After putting my legs up a wall for a smidge, we ventured out for some street pizza (Joe's - if it's good enough for J. Lo, it's good enough for me) and to see the riot of neon colors at Times Square - again, something I'd never experienced during any of my trips to NYC.
We woke up early to sneak in a quiet breakfast together before my brother and his wife arrived. We walked through Central Park, took pictures at Strawberry Fields then had some cocktails at Tavern on the Green, toasting to the start of our kid-free weekend!
We walked so many miles, we felt we totally deserved a treat from Georgetown Cupcakes while shopping in SOHO, before checking in to our third and final hotel.
*Not pictured: Our surprisingly delicious lunch at a Mexican restaurant somewhere along Church Street. I wish I'd snapped a picture or at least written down the name so I could visit it again some day. #regrets
The day finally arrived! This was the day we'd see Hamilton.
After listening to the soundtrack for over 2 1/2 years, I couldn't contain my excitement. I took my time getting ready after breakfast, treating myself to multiple masks and resting my tired, sore feet.
We arrived early, had time to take all the pictures we wanted and grab lunch before our matinée show. From the moment I heard the line, "My name is Alexander Hamilton", I had tears streaming down my face until well after the show ended. I recommend jumping through any and all hoops to see this show. It's amazing... Amazing.
After the show, we made our way to Momofuku for dinner, then to Milk Bar a few blocks away for dessert. It was all splendidly delicious (OMG - CRACK PIE). This day was one for the record books. #perfect
For our final day, we had one more coffee at our neighborhood Blue Bottle (it is so good, and I think I like creamer in my cold brew now), before heading to Brooklyn for brunch at a friend's restaurant.
The face I'm making is not my best, but I'm told I make it a lot... Something to work on, I guess.
We drank and dined at The Bedford on Bedford in Williamsburg. I highly recommend eating (and drinking) there whenever you can.
Pictured from left: watermelon & feta salad, risotto balls, the legendary mac'n cheese burger, pulled pork hash, chicken & waffles and truffle egg toast. So damn good.
After brunch, we strolled for a smidge before heading to the airport. I love the sights, sounds and (most of the) smells of busy city streets.