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

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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!

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.

Fresh Eats: Spicy Cauliflower & Carrot Soup

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It’s soup season! Okay, every season is soup season (I especially love chilled soups in the summer), but fall and winter is PEAK soup season. There’s nothing like cozying up and tucking in to a great crock of soup.

I’m forever scanning Pinterest and Instagram for new soup ideas and recently came across this one for my husband to make. It comes from @anna.culina in Baden, Switzerland, whose feed looks amazing. Screen shots of ingredients and instructions are below, as well as linked to her original post, simply because I really didn’t feel like typing it all out.

Please share with me all your favorite soup recipes (for Ryan to make, and for me to eat)!

Dig Yourself

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Authentic is a word that’s thrown around a lot, and for good reason. As I age, I understand its meaning, and its weight, more and more. It’s said there are no original ideas, and since we’re all influenced by many factors on the daily, sometimes it’s hard to know if yours is truly yours.

I believe while one singular idea may not be original, the way that idea is applied, married with other ideas, carried out by a single person, can transform it into an original. I’m not the first person who loves nautical style, as well as mermaids, rainbows, narwhals and unicorns, has a large (and growing) adidas collection, embraces a bold lip color, loves pink, always wears sunglasses and invests in handbags and lucite costume jewelry, but perhaps the way I blend all those things makes the mix uniquely me.

I’m not a fan of straight up copying - at all. I don’t like it when someone blatantly bites my style, and I go to great lengths not to bite anyone else’s. I’ve returned unworn/unused items when I see them elsewhere in my circles or too many times around town. There are, of course, exceptions, but those pieces are in the minority.

I’m particularly annoyed by the cookie-cutter vibes happening among style bloggers on Instagram. I am not a style blogger, but I follow a ton of them, and am now unfollowing them, one by one. I’m bored by the same shots over and over - it’s not inspiring or interesting. Now, I am guilty of some of these things, too. I recently posted a doormat pic, complete with pumpkins! How basic. Please shout at me if this becomes the norm. But more and more, I want to see unique people, dressed uniquely, doing unique things, making unique things, in unique places. I want to see a unique point of view, and something a bit more real. I’m bored with the fashion blogger template of Louis Vuitton bag + coffee combo. It’s played. Don’t even get me started on the smokey eye and full face of makeup all day, erryday. The Kim K standard of beauty is so distasteful to me. But I think I’m getting off track here…

I’m a long time Bob Dylan fan, and bought his children’s book, Forever Young, for my firstborn as soon as it came out. We read it a lot back then, but after a few years without cracking the spine, it’s back in our regular rotation. The book takes Dylan’s legendary lyrics and couples them with charming illustrations that encourage kids to know themselves, love themselves and to be courageous and strong in the face of adversity. Good lessons. That Bob Dylan is pretty wise - I think he’s going places.

One of my favorite messages from Dylan, shown on one of the many placards in his iconic video for Subterranean Homesick Blues, and included in the charming illustrations by Paul Rogers for Forever Young, is Dig Yourself. Yes, indeed. Revel in what makes you you. Love you. Be you. I am uniquely me. You are uniquely you. Let’s keep it that way.

DIG YOURSELF.

A Bushel & A Peck

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Yeah, we went apple picking. I’m not sure I have the bandwidth to wax poetically about the event. I don’t do such things often, but when I do it’s more likely to be about the ocean. Or the soft leather of a high quality handbag. I’ve had a lot of shit going on this week, while my husband’s been out of town, so I’m just tapped, you know? While I just don’t have the words at this moment (one might ask why I’m choosing to blog about it now, in that case) I do have some pictures of our very basic betch apple picking outing. And those are worth about a thousand each, as they say, so in lieu of six thousand words, here are six pix. You’re welcome.

Freelance Nomad

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My day to day is very loosey goosey — I’m always on the go, biting off WIFI wherever I can in between meetings and school drop offs/pick ups. Sometimes I write early in the day, sometimes late in the night, and sometimes, not at all. I’ve gone days pretending my deadlines don’t exist (sorry, EIC) while other days, I eschew showers, proper meals and interactions with adult humans in service to my work. It’s challenging but it’s also quite lovely to be my own boss. I live in joggers, take donut and reading breaks whenever I feel like it, and enjoy the luxury of writing about my favorite things. I am so fortunate to exist professionally outside the walls of a cubicle, outside the rigid M - F, 9 - 5 template. I’m hashtag blessed to be a freelance nomad.

Live a little be a gypsy, get around
Get your feet up off the ground
Live a little, get around
— Paul McCartney, Uncle Albert

Calm Yourself

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There are plenty of things that rile me up these days. When I literally can’t even, I have a few resources I rely on, so I’m sharing here just in case you need them too.

I used to call The Calm Center Hotline, which tickled me because it actually existed, but it’s no longer a thing, sadly.

I’m obsessed with my Sleep Pillow app and use it to create a soothing environment at bedtime as well as when I’m feeling the need throughout the day.

There’s almost nothing as soothing as a lovely cup of tea. Even better is using all the best accoutrements possible to really get lost in the ritual of the whole experience, which is something I really love. I have two favorite teas, one of which is widely available, including here.

If I really need to zone out, I game. I love putting pencil to paper and playing a few games of sudoku (if I’m really feeling anxious, I stick to the easy level). I also love to play Tetris on my old school Game Boy, spider solitaire on my iPhone or Luxor 2 on our XBox360.

And, at the risk of being too sales-y, I often rely on an awesome bath to soothe my mind, body and soul. This is another activity where I really dig the ritual, which is one of the reasons why I make bath and body products (ahem, #GetFoxSea). A candle, ambient sounds from the Sleep Pillow app, a cushy bath pillow and a big ass mound of FoxSea Sea Soak calms me right down.

Wishing you peace of mind, mates.

Summer's Last Hurrah

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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 jump ahead. 

Labor Day weekend was a blur of cocktails with coworkers (I use the term loosely), a fr-amily 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:

Sunday #LDW starts with my best recipe: Creamy yellow tomato gazpacho, otherwise known as the golden elixir. You make it the way you make any other gazpacho: throw yellow tomatoes (4-5 regular tomatoes, seeded) plus one chopped yellow pepper and half of a seedless cucumber into a food processor and purée until smooth. Now, where my gazpacho differs is I then add one chopped onion and two cloves of garlic that have been sautéed to golden in 3T olive oil and 1T sugar. Add softened carmelized onion mixture to processor along with 3 T white wine vinegar, the juice of one orange, 3/4 c heavy cream and salt and pepper. I use this divine “pepper perfection” by coastal goods. Garnish with ripe avocado chunks. It’s SO DELICIOUS if I do say so myself.
— Elin HIlderbrand on Instagram

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... 

Cape-ing

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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! 

FoxSea: Eye Eye, Captain

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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!