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Charting the style of daily life...with the mouth of a sailor.

S E A G L A S S

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I love to search for beach treasures, but I must say that I’m not really passionate about sea glass. I can appreciate the beauty of the finds of my sea glass loving family members and friends, but I’ve just never been all that excited about looking for it. That said, my dear cousin Holly (technically my first cousin once removed) sent me a beautiful quote about sea glass (really about aging, tbh):

This luminous piece was found by my sister on our East Sandwich beach.

I want to age like sea glass. Smoothed by tides, but not broken. I want my hard edges to soften. I want to ride the waves and go with the flow. I want to catch a wave and let it carry me to where I belong. I want to be picked up and held gently by those who delight in my well earned patina and appreciate the changes I went through to achieve that beauty. I want to enjoy the journey and always remember that if you give the ocean something breakable it will turn it into something beautiful. I want to age like sea glass.
— Bernadette Noll

Gorgeous words and sentiment, right? The above is merely an excerpt of Noll’s original writing, so read the full piece here.

I might keep my eyes peeled for a glimmer of sea glass when I walk the beach collecting rocks and shells, but even if I never find a piece, the real treasure will be keeping this lovely passage fresh in my mind for the rest of my life.

The Mother Lode

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If your mom is anything like me, she wants something gorgeous and beachy for Mother’s Day. I’ve rounded up a few coastal-inspired goodies from Saks OFF 5th that would be perfect gifts for the nauti mamas out there. I’m told there are many of us…

Saks OFF 5th is offering an extra 25% off gifts for mom, including wallets & cases, silk scarves, fragrances, straw bags, sleepwear and FIFTH CITY Beauty, up to 60% off handbags and 70% off Effy Fine Jewelry. These offers run May 1st - May 12th. Some exclusions apply.

Shop Saks OFF 5th for your mama, yourself or both here.

Fresh Eats: Summah Salad

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I’m a simple girl. I like simple food. And I like to eat the same foods over and over again. This dish is one that I could eat every night, and it can be switched up a little each time, which is just wild enough for me.

Despite the name, we make it whenever we damn well please, but it IS particularly great when it’s hot outside and the tomatoes are in their peak season, and especially so if you pick your tomatoes from your backyard like I do.

Behold, the Fox Fam Summah Salad:

The Foundation: Chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, fresh mozzarella, chunks of avocado, and canned mandarin oranges with just a smidge of the juice from the can. Add a dash of salt & pepper, the juice of two lemons + zest and some really fab EVOO.

Optional mix ins: Apples, garbanzo beans, shelled edamame, blanched and cut green beans, diced carrots, fresh parsley or basil.

Whatever mix you end up with can be served as is, or spooned over your lettuce of choice - like Boston lettuce, because that’s the best lettuce evah.

We typically serve this with fresh bread and buttah. Heaven!

Dreaming of the Sea

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Thoughts of being at the beach, floating in the ocean, eating lobster rolls, showering outside and twirling on the low tide flats spin around and around in my head every day. This is partly why I created FoxSea - to transform my love of all things nautical into my work, thereby ensuring the beach, and everything that goes with it, stays fresh in my mind at all times. The fact FoxSea has resonated with others is such a thrill for me, and I want to continue to share the products and the brand, so others can feel like they’re at the beach too - whether on a cold winter’s morning in Duluth or a spring day spent inside a classroom in Ohio.

Last month, I put together a little package of FoxSea goodies and left it in downtown Fort Wayne for someone to find. It was so fun to dream of who might find the package (and hopefully fall in love with the products) that I plan to do many more. I might even drop a few during my various travels, to spread the good word, as they say.

We’re not all lucky enough to live near a coastline, but we can all pretend to be for a moment with a fresh and healthy scent, skin nourishing oils and the cutest little anchor adorned bottle.

S L O W beauty

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I saw one of my fave skincare brands, Rodin Olio Lusso, post recently about the concept of slow beauty and it resonated with me so completely, so deeply. First off, I’ve loved and been inspired by Linda Rodin and her range of oils since she launched the brand in 2007 (as an EA to a beauty/style CEO, I was lucky enough to be exposed to Rodin, as well as receive some samples, in the brand’s infancy). Linda’s approach to beauty is chic and simple, and an oil based beauty routine has become central to my personal care habits, as well as my whole life, as founder of my own teensy oil (and salt) based skincare brand. While Linda herself is no longer involved in Rodin (the brand was purchased by Estee Lauder), her elevated, streamlined skincare range is still inspiring me.

So, #slowbeauty. What does that mean? In trying to answer this question for myself, I went down a bit of a rabbit hole, reading about the Slow Movement in general, flipping back through Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner, then stumbling into the Business of Fashion podcast episode about Ayurveda - something I plan to explore further, forever and ever. As far as I can tell, the idea of slow beauty in particular came from the founder of nail care line, Spa Ritual, Shel Pink (yes, that’s her real, and kickass, name). She defines the slow beauty movement as being “a story of sustainable self-love and self-care.”

Fab. Go on…

The Slow Beauty movement is the antithesis of the fast-paced world of the beauty industry that sells us quick fixes, immediate results and invasive options.  This outdated perspective has us racing against time, and fighting against aging.  The Slow Beauty philosophy, a balance between expansiveness and restriction - a middle way, explores the big ideas of growing young, the spiritualization of beauty, and practicing a renewed feminism, reframing our ideas and ideals about beauty.
— Shel Pink

Love it.

So, for me personally, this also jives with my less is more approach to beauty. And to be honest, I’m trying to apply that philosophy to every aspect of my life. I want less and less as I get older (except handbags - I want all of those). But to stick with the beauty/personal care category, here’s what’s rattling around in my head. First off, “less is more” is right in line with the lazy aspect of my personality. I could never have an intense face of makeup on a daily basis - I just don’t want to do the work AND it’s not the aesthetic I enjoy for myself. I’m also intensely afraid of needles and cannot imagine a time when I’d opt for injections, fillers or cosmetic surgery, so I’ll always choose prevention over intervention. My goal is to age gracefully and naturally, with toxin-free products that make me feel luxurious - it’s a nice bonus that I can make my own.

I also really enjoy rituals, so taking the time to care for my skin is almost a form of therapy, rather than a slap dash removal of dirt and makeup. Oil cleansing, followed by rolling serums into the skin, applying creams with light massage, inhaling beautiful essential oils, and being kind to myself in the form of positive thoughts, rather than tearing myself down for not being thin, poreless and perfect, are all things I strive to accomplish during my morning and evening skincare routines.

I think slowing down makes everything feel a little more intentional, more special. I’m worth slowing down for, and if the process of doing so is inspired by my slow beauty skincare routine, wonderful.

Thoughts about slow beauty? Please share with me!

Behind the Scenes

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I was going to write Behind the SEAnes up there but then thought that might be too cute. Anyway — last weekend I got together with a fantastic photog + two (and a half) models, all willing to help me get a portfolio of profesh FoxSea photos together. I’ll start using the jaw droppingly beautiful images very soon, but in the meantime, here’s a peek behind the scenes of our fun little photo shoot.

Part of the lineup of products, accessories and nautical decor accents. My yellow Gloucesterman in drag made it into quite a few shots - which I LURVE.

I’m beyond thrilled to have worked with these ladies (and that baby gent) to bring a new dimension to FoxSea’s digital presence. I feel lucky to know so many creative ladies who are up for collaboration! Hashtag blessed. #GetFoxSea

Here's Some Stuff I Ate in February

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I like to eat. I’m not a foodie, because I’m pretty sure foodies must love onions and be way more adventurous than my tastebuds allow. Also, we hate the word foodie now, right?

Steak & eggs brunch by Bird + Cleaver. Use of emoji by me. I’m immature. #playwithyourfood

Fresh colorful foods spark joy!

From left to right: Bird + Cleaver, Core Life Eatery, Proximo and Mr. F @ Chez Fox.

Also sparking joy is a healthy sprinkle of umami powder on pretty much any savory dish. Yum-O!

Vegan pop-tart @ Bird + Cleaver. I love everything they do PLUS they are gracious about my general onion hating.

Ew. I’ll spare mentioning the resto because I don’t want to hurt their feelings. But this menu item, as well as what I actually ordered, was so barf-tastic. Most of the breakfast places in my city leave much to be desired. #beefvolcano

76 Hours in Chicago (and then back again)

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We Foxes love city time, so we plan semi-regular trips to Chicago. We skipped our traditional in between Thanksgiving and Christmas visit, so we went in January instead, during an accurately predicted blizzard, in fact. We weren’t scurred. And it actually paid off, as we had the city virtually to ourselves! ‘Twas fun.

I’ve been wanting to stop at the Albanese Candy Factory for years, and this time we finally did it. They make the best gummy candies in the world. And a truth about me is that I cannot resist a good Boston fruit slice. As we pull onto Lake Shore Drive, we always play a song of the same name by Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah. It’s very jaunty and puts us in a festive “yay we’re in Chicago” mood. And now for my fave pic of our stay: a traditional f^ck off to the Trump tower. I love that my five year old knows to do it, and that my ten year old knows to snap a picture of it. We are the resistance.

We are major fans of The Ambassador, because it’s gorgeous, the staff is awesome and we just feel so comfy there. While I always stayed at The Drake with my family (still love you, boo), The Ambassador has become our little Fox family’s #1.

It was cold and snowy and slushy, so when we came back home from adventuring, the crisp yet cozy all white everything refuge of The Ambassador was so comforting, and tres chic, dahlink. As I was flipping through my camera roll from the trip, I realized the majority of my pictures were taken inside the hotel. I just adore it, truly.

If I ever hit some sort of jackpot, I’ll take a permanent suite there, thank you very much.

Strike that last sentence. I’ll snag No. 5 right across the street, but hang out in the lobby, eat some of my meals and grab my morning coffee at The Ambassador. How f^ck!ng cute is that entrance? And the fact that it’s number F I V E seals the deal. In love.

I didn’t take as many food pix as I normally do, but that’s probably because I was too busy eating all the amazing food we had. Our first dinner was at Ramen San and everything was perfect. We did brunch at Le Pain Quotidien one day, then Beatrix the next - both were just perfect for us with kids in tow. Dinner on Saturday was at La Scarola, and we really enjoyed the old school Italian vibe, as well as the Negronis + Shirley Temples. We grabbed coffee at The Wormhole (so fun and funky) on Milwaukee after hitting up the adidas store, as we’re known to do. If there was one great unifier for our family of four, it’s our undying passion for adidas. #yakyak

Rando shenanigans. Those are the best kind, really.

We like to think we’re really good at packing and traveling light, however our cart was loaded with too many bags (though I’ve seen much worse). I was impressed it all fit in the boot of Ryan’s little Prius. *There I go pretending to be British again.

We said see ya laterz to Chicago as late as we possibly could…

…but not before giving one more middle finger to Trump’s midwestern sh!thole. Like son, like mother?


A N D T H E N . . .

I ended up being whisked back to Chicago a couple days later to attend StyleMax, quite unexpectedly but not unpleasantly so.

Lots of randomness here, but I need to move on to another project so I gotta wrap this sh!t up, and how. Love the art deco elevator doors, and anything gold, really, snapped some things I want, some things I ate, and so on and so forth.

I tried on two styles of the blue light blocking glasses from Quay, and I gotta say, I’m going to need a pair of these. It’s a legit work expense, no? *I like to end sentences that way as much as possible. Makes me come across as the teensiest bit French, yes?

The clear highlight of my StyleMax weekend was a trip to Goddess and the Baker (thanks, Liz), for they make a gold glitter latte that’ll burn your eyes out with its unimaginable sparkly-ness. IT. IS. MAGICAL. Everything else was fab too (food, atmosphere) but DRINKING GOLD GLITTER IS THE DEFINITION OF ME LIVING MY BEST LIFE.

Yes, I absolutely went back to visit my pal The Ambassador (I was so close, I had to). Had brekkie, got some coffee to go + a cool felt baseball cap (haven’t worn it yet). I love merch. #shopportunity

And just for the hell of it, this is what I looked like on the way home, with that damn uncooperative bandana. Some days I just can’t get this one to play ball.

~FIN~

Fresh Eats: Avgolemono Soup

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I’ve been on a lifelong quest to perfect my own version of a favorite dish, avgolemono soup. I had my first taste of Greek food at a skating competish in Wyandotte, Michigan in the early 80’s, and instantly fell in love, because lemons + feta = perfection. I’ve attempted the cuisine’s signature soup for YEARS with a modicum of success, always trying new versions that are tasty as well as easy, because I’m no Julia Child. My latest attempt was pretty damn good, courtesy of a simple version found on Epicurious, as well as the addition of one preserved lemon, previously made by my husband, which I chopped up and threw in at the very end.

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From Epicurious (with my notes in italics):

YIELD: Makes 4 servings TOTAL TIME: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

4 cups chicken broth (I used organic)

1/4 cup uncooked orzo, rice or pastina (I used whole grain brown rice)

salt and pepper to taste (I waited until the very end for this, because preserved lemons are very salty)

3 eggs (I used organic eggs)

3 tablespoons lemon juice (I used organic lemons and ended up doing 4 tablespoons but could have done even 5 or 6, because L E M O N S are the best)

PREPARATION

In a large saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Add the orzo/rice/pastina and cook until tender but still al dente, about 7 minutes (20 if using rice). Season with salt and pepper (again, I did this at the end) and reduce heat to low and simmer.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and lemon juice until smooth. Ladle about 1 cup of hot broth into the egg/lemon mixture, then whisk to combine. Add the mixture back to the simmering saucepan and stir until the soup becomes opaque and thickens as the eggs cook, 1 to 2 minutes. Here is where I added the chopped preserved lemons, adding lots of pepper and then a smidge of salt. I also think I could have added 4 more cups of chicken broth at the end, to make it a bit thinner. Also, adding cooked and shredded chicken to this soup makes it more of a meal. In the future, I’ll also add chopped fresh oregano.

If you try this, let me know what you think, and if you feel anything needs to be altered. Also, if you have a different recipe for avgolemono that you love, send it my way! I don’t ever think I’ll stop trying new versions…

A Holiday Wish

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My most sincere apologies to Steve Martin…

If I had one wish that I could wish this holiday season, it would be for all the children to join hands and sing together in the spirit of harmony and peace. If I had two wishes I could make this holiday season, the first would be for all the children of the world to join hands and sing in the spirit of harmony and peace. And the second would be for 30 million dollars a month to be given to me, tax-free in a Swiss bank account. You know, if I had three wishes I could make this holiday season, the first, of course, would be for all the children of the world to get together and sing, the second would be for the 30 million dollars every month to me, and the third would be to have Cindy Crawford’s body, but in the 90’s, like when she was filming that exercise video with Radu. But then I’d pair that bod with the face of Linda Evangelista. And if I had four wishes that I could make this holiday season, the first would be the crap about the kids definitely, the second would be for the 30 million, the third would be for the 90’s supermodel looks, and the fourth would be to have an Hermes Birkin bag made especially for me. Wait a minute, maybe the 90’s supermodel thing should be the first wish, because it could all go boom tomorrow, then what do you got, y'know? No, no, the kids, the kids singing would be great, that would be nice. But wait a minute, who am I kidding? They're not going to be able to get all those kids together. I mean, the logistics of the thing is impossible, more trouble than it's worth! So -- we reorganize! Here we go. First, I want my 90’s supermodel looks. We go with that. Second, the money. No, we go with the money first, then the supermodel thing. And then the kids. Oh wait, oh jeez, I forgot about revenge against all the betches who’ve crossed me! Okay, I need revenge against the betches, they should lose their wifi signal and any decent coffee shop within proximity to their homes forever. That would be my fourth wish. And, of course, my fifth wish would be for all the children of the world to join hands and sing together in the spirit of harmony and peace.

Thank you everybody and Happy Holidays!

Gone FoxSea-ing

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I’ve been a busy maker over here these last few weeks…

I started playing around with some looks for an event promo, and really enjoyed the freshness of the crisp and bold color. Perhaps I’ll take it further and do a bit of a makeover one of these days.

With a larger than normal slate of orders and upcoming events, I needed to produce bigger batches of product. My husband is such a gem, and he helped me tackle the labeling - which is not fun.

I’ve been lacking a little in the swag department, so I whipped up some new pins (#SaltyLady) and made some business card samples, so I could share Universal Oil with potential new fans. Fingers crossed…

My Herbal Lip Balm is back, because it’s that chapped lip time of year everyone loves so much. It always surprises me how much people ask for this product, which I initially started offering as a promotional item.

I was asked to create something for a local company’s holiday client appreciation gifts, so I bottled Universal Oil in a small rollerball for the first time then decided to add it to my regular stock offerings! #FoxSeaOnTheGo

I love a good bath, as does my smallest human. I really dig the ritual of a nice bath, so I teamed up with a local candle maker to help me create the first ever FoxSea bath candle. This first batch isn’t exactly what I want (not a reflection of my candle partner, but my own issues) but it’s got tons of potential! Stay tuned…

This summer I decelerated, both with FoxSea ish + my freelance writing, which is the great part about being freelance. However, it took me a bit to get back up to speed and I’m not sure I can sustain another deceleration. This busy last quarter of 2018 has reenergized me and I’m excited to keep up the pace!

Whew!

Face Palm

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I know I’m always going on and on about using clean skincare, and I do so because there are so many compelling reasons why it’s important. I believe simple, clean, minimal skincare is best, and if you can incorporate freshly made products into your routine, even better! Reading labels is key to knowing what you’re absorbing through your skin as well as ingesting from your packaged foods. I’m getting in your face today about discontinuing the use of palm oil.

Currently, it’s used in so many consumer products, and its popularity is killing the orangutans. Palm oil is found in approximately half of the products found in grocery stores, like frozen foods and margarine as well as personal care products like soaps, candles, cosmetics and household cleaners. And it’s not always easy to see it written on the label, because there are so many alternative names for the ingredient:

Read more about the issue from the experts, because I’m definitely not one of them:

The Effects of Palm Oil

Palm Oil Producers Wiping Out Orangutans

Sir Richard Branson: The Race to Save One of the World’s Most Pristine Ecosystems

Simple and clean living is great for you AND the sweet orangutans, who don’t have a voice in this fight or their future. It will take even more effort in reading labels, and we’re bound to slip up here and there, but if palm oil products start becoming less popular, an alternative will be found. Money talks, as we all know too well.

48 Hours in The Mitten

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I’d never explored Northern Michigan, and kept seeing all these amazing pictures and posts from the area. So I packed up my family for two days and made the 5 hour trek north. It’s safe to say we fell instantly in love.

We arrived late on Friday night so we got up and out early so we could have maximum exploration time. Our first stop was for coffee, of course, and we landed at Blue Boat in Leland. The cappuccinos were perfect and the kids loved their cherry steamers - with sprinkles!

We stopped into a few shops and explored Leland’s Fishtown but it was WINDY AF so we sat down for a second breakfast, so we could get some protein into the boys and strategize our next moves. My second breakfast was a club soda + a damn fine cup of tomato carrot bisque in an unassuming, cash-only diner called Early Bird (can’t link to it, because they don’t have a website) that my husband totally judged by its outward appearance.

I’m amazed by how much Northern Michigan looks like the East Coast, and I kept closing my eyes, listening to the waves crash and could SWEAR I was on Cape. But there was a distinct lack of salt in the air…

The Leland home we stayed in was so charming, and the same was true for its environs. The mass of yellow leaves, both on the many, many trees and the ground, was spectacularly beautiful. I love looking through family homes, see how they personalize a space, how their chattles, collections and all the other stuff of life mixes with the decor, transforming the rooms into a tangible scrapbook of sorts. This is especially true inside well loved vacation homes, where the best version of the family is presented (generally speaking of course, and only because the stresses of daily life aren’t typically in play while on vacation). This particular home had piles of heart shaped rocks, no doubt collected over the many years, as well as beautiful driftwood scattered on the dining table as a centerpiece, and as accents elsewhere.

Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor was really cute and charming, though a little tourist trap-y, but that’s ok, and to be expected. Michigan’s cherry scene is something, apparently. We tasted a few delicious things and left with a sixer of cherry lambic and a cherry pie to eat back at the house.

We explored the various towns like Sutton’s Bay, Glen Arbor, Northport, in addition to Leland, and were thrilled to find accessible beaches and harbors in all of them. We spent a long time on a beach within Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park, where the boys drew in the sand and enjoyed a rock throwing competish, while I tried to put them all in my pockets. Naturally, Ryan was snapping away with his DSLR.

Michigan is all about promoting their waters as “unsalted” and free of sharks. I’m cool with no sharks, but I love my salt, so I brought my own. #BYOS #GetFoxSea #ABP #AlwaysBePromoting

Cold and windy November was so lovely and delightful, I’m not sure we’d be able to handle the charms of the warm, in-season months!

So yeah, as cliché as it may be, we’re pretty smitten with the mitten…

So That Was October 2018

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I love autumn, even though something dramatic happens with my family every October. This one was no different (I’ll spare the details), but I managed to have plenty of high points mixed with the low, and without my full prescription of Xanax, no less!

From left to right, top to bottom: Finally hung my French Paper Co. posters, with binder clips because let’s face it, I was never going to get around to framing them. | “Faux-ritos” at Bird & Cleaver. | I just really love my adidas NMDs. | Made a couple of special request XL Uni Oils! | I cherish any and all Cape beach pix sent my way from a beloved neighbor. | My favorite ramen. | Felt cute at the time. | The f^ck!ng Beastie Boys released their amazing book, making my month! Year! Life!

HALLOWEEN!

BDF made it easy on us this year, choosing a costume we could easily order. PCF did not. Many hours were spent making/assembling the Daft Punk costumes. But the helmets are now on permanent display at Chez Fox, which we’re all pretty excited about.

One more thing: This October marked one year since the gallbladder surgery I didn’t think I’d see the other side of, so I’m feeling pretty good this Fall, thankyouverymuch.

One Woman Army

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Daddy, the Colonel, insisted I ride side-saddle. He said it was the only way for a lady to ride, so graceful. Silly of him. Nobody rides side-saddle now, but it’s the only way I know. Just kidding. Those are lines from Auntie Mame. My father indeed was a Colonel in the Army, however I never called him Daddy and I don’t know how to ride a horse.

What my father did teach me was an appreciation for the armed services. He knew from an early age he wanted to be career military and started his Army development in a youth program when he was 14. Some people are just really compelled to serve. There’s a lot more I could share about his impressive military career, however the point of all this is much more fluffy: I really like camo prints. And olive drab.

I can spend hours (and do) in Army/Navy surplus stores. I have loads of authentic garb and regalia plus many commercial pieces, mostly from J. Crew. I don’t ever need camo to “come back in style” because I just never let it go, trends be damned. And I know I’m not alone. There are always plenty of options from major retailers, designers and brands.

The trick is making camo pieces feel more fresh and interesting than last season, so I’m loving this slightly muted camo print by James Perse. It helps that James Perse and the like make softer versions than the United States Armed Forces, who care not for comfort but durability. This jacket can be worn so many ways (dress it up! dress it down! yada yada yada, you know the drill) and I’m forever a fan of sweats (pants, shirts, you name it).

Then there’s this soft as hell sweatshirt in a color they’re calling Artillery Pigment, which is quite creative, I think. I wonder how many different ways people have tried to make the color Olive Drab sound less D R A B?


I think it goes without saying, though if it did, I wouldn’t feel compelled to SAY IT NOW: One piece of camo goes a looooong way, so do not ever wear more than one camo print ANYTHING at one time. I know they say there are no rules in fashion, but I’d argue that point on the subject of camo alone. It’s important to also shy away from trying to look too authentic in store bought military gear. Stolen valor is really insulting, and wearing camo looks more like a costume when overdone. Aaaaand one more point: My father always felt the need to approve the patches and pins I’d randomly pick out from surplus stores, because he said something could be offensive in its use or placement. If you don’t have a member of the military to consult, the best thing to do is talk with the staff at the surplus store for guidance before making a purchase of pins, patches and other embellishments.


There’s this song that I love (and love to sing), that perfectly captures for me what motherhood feels like.

Never knew what I was signing up for
Knew it was hard but not this hardcore
Never gonna stop, never gonna give up on you
No matter what I do

Wanna give you everything I never had
Love you and teach you good from bad
Never gonna stop, never gonna give up on you
No matter what I do

What I do, I do for you the best I can
Build a life for you with my own two hands
Never gonna stop, never gonna give up on you
No matter what I do

Here I am baby, I’m your one woman army
I’d fight for you, I’ll die, I’ll be your protector
Here I am baby, I’m your one woman army
No matter what may come, I won’t surrender
— Kate Earl

Sometimes parenting is like going into battle. Good thing I have so many olive drab coats.