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

beach

Low Tide Logo

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I’ve been drawing on the low tide flats of East Sandwich beach on Cape Cod my whole life. It used to be my own name in various types, mermaids, that funky S that everyone learns to draw at some point, the names of crushes and my childhood dog, Sparky. Then came the FoxSea logo and hashtag, the names of my boys, and shadow drawings of their cute beach bods. This year, I created my own personal monogram and I’m really fucking jazzed about it. Time to get it professionally drawn and digitized and then emblazon it on literally everything I own. Maybe it’s even time for a new tattoo…?

Various drafts:

Final draft (ish):

Get a load of my beach pencil! I brought that piece of driftwood back with me…

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.

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.

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! 

Suit Yourself

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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. 

One Big Holiday

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For my husband's 40th, we celebrated by traveling to the Dominican Republic for My Morning Jacket's One Big Holiday music festival. We went with another couple and had the best time relaxing in the sun, sand and surf by day then singing along with some favorite bands by night.

A selection of photos of our #OBH shenanigans follows...

Up at the @$$ crack of dawn to head south. I'm really just including these photos because the pink in my hair washed out VERY quickly, and these are almost all the pix of those lovely pink strands.

What could be better than back to back concerts in paradise? My Morning Jacket, Portugal. The Man, Sylvan Esso, Moon Taxi, Spoon, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, J. Roddy Walston, Preservation Hall Jazz Band (and more) did not disappoint. 

At check in, we were greeted by "tequila drink", a concoction of tequila, pineapple, lime and jalapeños, and something else, I'm sure. It was so delicious, they really should have given it a more creative name. We spent all week looking for that drink again, finally finding it at the thatched roof hut where we grabbed our hollowed out pineapples (you'll meet my pineapple in a second). Tequila drink out of a pineapple while sitting beachside was per.fec.tion. My husband and I will work all summer to replicate this drink. We will succeed, and I will share the recipe here.

Beach, please.

Beach, please forgive us. We humans need to do better.

I made friends with a pineapple! Every drink tastes better when consumed from a hollowed out, juicy pineapple (there might be a few exceptions to this, actually). Still, it was festive AF.

I brought some FoxSea products with me to use, then repurposed my soaking stones corked vial to bring back some of the DR's soft, soft sand.

The breakfasts were the stuff of dreams: a plethora of cheeses, fresh fruit, nuts and carbs, sweet carbs. Multiple drinks, too. Not pictured: the morning I triple fisted with a mimosa, a bloody mary and iced coffee. *Side note: I know Mary should be capitalized but I don't like the way it looks as part of bloody mary. It's my blog, I do what I want.

I always prefer savory to sweet, but oy vey, the dessert bar on the festival plaza every night was wonderful (especially after consuming unlimited dranks into the wee hours of the morning). 

The resort had 12 (?) pools for us to choose from, and we hit at least half of them, because swim up bars. #poolparty

I don't have many pictures of the music (I do have some vids but I'll spare you those), because we were too busy enjoying the music. We listened while in hammocks, enjoying cocktails from our cozy concert couch (we coined that term to describe the wonderful outdoor furniture ringing the festival plaza) and in the middle of all the chaos up front by the stage.

Perhaps I take too many pictures of my feet... ?

Here are my knees, though.

My narcissism is showing. #selfielove

And the reason for the trip: Mr. Ryan Fox. He's the greatest.

We had such a blast, it took me a few days to removed my concert/resort bracelets. #armfestival

Soak Up the Sun

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I enjoy the cold and snow - I grew up in a skating rink, after all. But as winter recedes and the darling buds of spring start to pop up through the ground, I'm excited to welcome warmer temps and sunnier skies. My fantastic husband and I turn 40 this year and to celebrate we're headed way south for some much needed beach time at My Morning Jacket’s music festival, One Big Holiday in the Dominican Republic.

My parched winter skin and hair are craving a healthy dose of humidity and my toes are ready to  hit the sand. We've been planning this trip for months and I started packing a few weeks ago (!!!), because I really love that process. Here are some of the essentials I've packed for our holiday in the sun:

  • Tons of sunscreen options. I’m waaay into anything and everything from SuperGoop. Also, a sun visor and a beach hat, because options.

  • Minimal makeup, with an emphasis on lipstick, and plenty of FoxSea, both for using and for photographing. #alwaysbepromoting

  • All my favorite beach caftans (many double as dresses) + two J.Crew bathing suits, which I will live in.

  • I’m keeping my jewelry fun, bright and inexpensive and packing three pairs of sunnies - again options.

  • Slides are my go-to, almost year round, so a pair of cute pink adidas slides will work for beach, pool and beyond. I’ll travel in my fav-o-rite sneaks of the moment, my pink Inikis.

  • And everything goes into my new Patagonia Black Hole duffle, which is comfy on my back and fits into the overhead compartment. I’m a solid member of the no checked baggage club.

Bon voyage!

Sea Sick

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While FoxSea Skin is a small operation, we're passionate about donating a portion of each year's sales to organizations fighting for our oceans. Our waters are becoming increasingly contaminated, which affects our seafood and the fishing industry. Coastlines are seeing more and more pollution. Climate change is causing the temperature of the oceans to rise, resulting in damage to coral reefs and wetlands, as well as extreme weather, which negatively affects tourism. And this is just a small portion of the damage being done.

MAKING WAVES

This year, FoxSea Skin is happy to donate funds to Oceana, an international organization focused on the health of the world's oceans. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., Oceana is the largest international conservation and advocacy organization focused on protecting and restoring the world's oceans. The organization is committed to fighting the affects of industrial fishing and pollution with clear policy changes in support of marine life. 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Be aware of what you throw away and work tirelessly to reduce, reuse and recycle what you can. One way to make a seemingly small contribution is to stop using plastic straws, which are polluting our oceans. Opt for reusable metal straws or biodegradable paper straws instead. Another is to refuse to use plastic bags. There are so many lovely reusable shopping bags and totes these days so there's no excuse here. My personal favorite is by Baggu

In addition to supporting businesses which give back to causes important to you, those same causes benefit the most from your direct donations and support. Get involved, make regular donations of time and money and spread the word for your favorite cause. One small ripple can makes waves...

Fair Winds and Following Seas

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The little details in and around my beloved Fairwinds, are some of the most treasured of my Cape Cod experience each year. The antique door latches, the weathered shingles and worn boards of the boardwalk, the collections of rocks and other beach treasures that assemble around the house, the muted colors of each corner, the salty sand in our front yard that acts as a blank canvas, wiped clean after each high tide, these are the small bits of loveliness I keep in my mind all year long. 

May you have fair winds and following seas.
— traditional nautical blessing

Cape So Hard 2017

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Each year's Cape trip involves old favorites, new discoveries, treasured traditions and new ones made. We chase tides, splashing in the ocean as much as possible. We do our best to make a dent in the local lobster population, and set lofty ice cream goals. Temporary tattoos on a rainy day and a fresh batch of boogie boards delighted the littles, while finding the best Boston Fruit Slices made me downright giddy. A Cape League baseball game is always a good time for all, as are jaunts to Provincetown, as well as mini adventures to previously undiscovered locales. Our first ever trip to the Wellfleet Drive-In Theater was a hit and will definitely be added to our yearly list of must-do's. Whew!


Day Trip to Boston

We lived in Boston for a decade and have lots of favorites to check in on each year, though we can never get to them all in one day. Since BDF was born in Boston, we also strive to keep old memories fresh and make new ones with him, so he never feels like a stranger in the city of his birth. 


One of the most delightful new discoveries was the Happy Fish Bakery in Yarmouth, where the atmosphere is simple and chic, the fresh baked bread is the stuff of dreams and the almond croissants are heavenly. Early morning trips to Happy Fish (before the bread sells out) are now mandatory going forward. Shout out to my sister in law for showing ME something new on Cape Cod.


Leaving is always full of anguish, my own treasured childhood memories now intertwined with my offspring's. Our only relief is knowing we'll be back, ready to make ever more memories and discoveries. We love you Cape Cod!

Navigating Sunscreen

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I have a love-hate relationship with sunscreen, which I feel is not unique to me. It's incredibly important to protect your delicate skin from the damaging and harmful rays of the sun. But it's such a pain in the ass. The sheer number of options is dizzying and it's hard to know what to choose. Cream vs. stick vs. spray. Physical block vs. chemical block. Ugh. But I now know wearing sunscreen is a MUST.

I used to roast myself on the beach with cooking oil, for crying out loud. I "splurged" one year and bought myself a gorgeous, bronze bottle of Hawaiian Tropic dark tanning oil. Sigh... If I could go back in time and slap myself in the face (with the proper SPF), I would. Nothing will age skin faster than sun exposure. To keep skin youthful and clear of sun spots, it's vital to wear SPF. Beyond that, tanning can lead to skin cancer, especially for those with fair skin, which can be deadly.

In my late twenties, I had three pre-cancerous spots removed from my skin, two of which I could trace back to a particularly bad sunburn ON TOP of an already bad sunburn. Go figure. Now, I'm the chick on the beach covered in rash guards, Zinka nose coat and a giant floppy hat. My kids groan when I force them into their rash guards but I refuse to expose their sweet, peachy, perfect skin to those rays. They can thank me later.

I've tried tons of sunscreen formulas and options, with less than stellar results. This is why I was thrilled to read a round up of top rated sunscreens, tested and compiled by the fab Reviews.com. Check out their very thorough research then snap up a few bottles to protect the skin you're in!

Photo courtesy of Reviews.com

Tropi-cool!

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My island vibes tend to skew more Nantucket than Maui but every now and then, I like a jaunty palm print or a juicy pineapple accessory. These are my picks for adding a little tropical vibe to Summer.

At Home

At the Beach

On Your Bod


fresh eats

Bring tropical tastes into the kitchen, while you're at it. These are the recipes I'm most looking forward to trying this season.

* Jala-piña, courtesy of Food & Wine - I like my cocktails with a kick.

* Sweet & Spicy Pineapple Skewers - I'll be nixing that onion, though. #vileweed

* Pineapple Cucumber Salad - Oooh, #FreshEats, indeed!


Get the sun kissed glow of an island girl for face & body.


If there’s a heaven for me, I’m sure it has a beach attached to it.
— Jimmy Buffett

Make Waves

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You never really know what’s coming. A small wave, or maybe a big one. All you can really do is hope that when it comes, you can surf over it, instead of drown in its monstrosity.
— Alysha Speer

Bridge Traffic

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When I spy the first hint of the Sagamore Bridge over the treetops, my entire body starts to relax. This lovely bridge takes me over the Cape Cod Canal and delivers me to my happy place. No matter how many cars are jammed in front of the car, I know my beloved Fairwinds is close...

The beach is a great place to relieve the soul-crushing stress you build up in the traffic going to the beach.
— Anonymous