May: jaunty red bandanas, Mother-Boy tatts and feeling like a domestic goddess when making whipped cream from scratch, which is one of the easiest things to do, like ever. I celebrate the smallest kitchen wins, thank you very much.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Sometimes parenting is like going into battle. Good thing I have so many olive drab coats.
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.
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:
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...
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!
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.
Until next time, NYC!
FoxSea was invited to be part of a lovely rosé themed event at The FIND, along with a few other fab collaborators.
Photanical brought the gorgeous roses and greenery, setting up an instant photo booth so friends could leave with a sparkly framed photo of themselves. Eden & Ruth are incredibly talented, creative and beautiful souls and if they're involved in an event, you know it's going to be great.
Cap'n Cork provided us all with tastings of rosé, aka #SummerWater. My favorite of the four they presented was Gérard Bertrand Cote des Roses, which is also elegantly packaged in a rose shaped bottle, and with a glass cork.
Cassie Beer, of Rosalind & The Way, sang her beautiful songs, treating us all to an acoustic set and giving the party an extra special vibe.
The FIND team really knows how to throw a party, and the hors d'oeuvres were tasty and perfectly pink. They gave each attendee an adorable keychain and take home glass flute. I adore The FIND and their sister store The Trove. *I'm involved professionally with both stores but I'd happily shop and attend all their events even if I wasn't. Just want to be clear here.
For my part, I set up a FoxSea Skin Herbal Facial Steam Bar, where guests could choose from 8 organic dried herbs, mixing them into their own custom blend for at home facial steams. I provided pink pens and rose stickers so they could name and decorate their bags. I also featured my Rose Gold Gilded Universal Oil and made a limited edition Rose Facial Mist just for the occasion. I just might add the mist to the regular lineup...
Take a spin through the party below, and enjoy all the beautiful images taken by the wonderful Grace Harman.
I love these last two pictures of my hands, and here's why: Right before leaving for the event, I remembered this rose ring my sister made for me AGES ago - like 10 or so years! She made it out of light pink paper adorned with little gold dots. I don't think I'd actually worn it before; I guess I'd been waiting for this precise event. It was perfect. #shescrafty
Finally, this last picture made me giggle. I like a drink - and I had my fare share of rosé (probably more than) during the party. Clearly, I didn't let my glass get too far away from me at any point in the evening. I never do.
Thank you to the splendid collaborators and all the rosé lovers who attended!
One year for Christmas, my beloved grandfather gave me the complete collection of Winnie the Pooh, narrated by the amazing Carol Channing, on cassette tapes. They were bright white, which made them even more special, for some reason. I listened to them non stop, falling in love with the stories, as well as Ms. Channing's gorgeously raspy voice. I recently purchased a pretty yellow (faux) leather bound book of the stories for my youngest, and we've been reading one chapter every night.
Concurrently, I discovered Mike's Hot Honey and have been drizzling it on everything. The chili infused honey is fab on cheese and crackers, whipped into a vinaigrette for salads, on top of grapefruit supremes and even on top of pizza and avocado toast. The gorgeous, amber color is so rich and beautiful, the velvety texture luxurious, and the flavor decadent.
Clare Vivier's Miel handbag reminds me of something Marie Antoinette might have carried while pretending to be a poor (but really chic) farm girl at her Petite Trianon...
And because every obsession of mine always translates into some sort of beauty product or DIY treatment, I've been using honey to soothe blemishes. Because it's antimicrobial, it can help to clear up and banish pernicious pimples. I apply the honey to each blemish with a q-tip, leaving it on for 20 - 30 minutes, while I mask the rest of my face. #multimasking
So, all this to say, I'm having a honey moment.
I was lucky enough to be a test-subject for a super sweet, super talented photographer, Ruth Yaro, who wanted to sharpen her portrait skills in her home studio. I don't generally enjoy images of myself but I jumped at the chance to be photographed by Ruth. Her work always has such a beautiful, ethereal quality to it. I can't say I was shocked the images of me were good (because Ruth is so good), I just didn't know what seeing them would evoke in me.
Ruth managed to capture what I really look like (albeit a bit cooler): a lady who is consistently mistaken for someone who is either angry, annoyed, shy or snobby. That last one really gets to me, because I don't feel I'm that way at all, though I do admit to being annoyed quite often. I've gone through life lifting up my eyebrows to reduce the bitchiness of my resting face, sometimes forcing my big smile to put others at ease. My sister has had the same issue and through the years we'd discussed our problem often, well before "resting bitch face" had been coined. We used to worry about it a lot. But you know what? This is my face, this is what it looks like, and what it will generally look like for the rest of my life. And if I'm actually pissed off, you'll know it.
Ruth also captured who I am, in very simple terms, right now: a lady in the last year of her 30's, back to being a blonde, minus a gallbladder, and in love with, and loved by, FIVE Fox boys (one husband, two sons and two pups). Now, I realize you can't tell all that from the images but I can, which is why they've become so special to me. This is what I look like as a wife and mother, firmly set in some ways, TBD in others. Further, with my usual suspects of pink tones, pearl jewelry and fur accents visible, these images also show the essence of my sartorial style: I like basics and neutrals but with pretty, luxe embellishments and accessories.
Finally, the seated image of me calls to mind the chic sensibility of my maternal grandmother, an opinion echoed by my step-mother. Seeing it myself is one thing, being validated, unprompted, by someone else who knew her is quite another. My Nan Nan was an elegant lady from birth to death, someone admired for her grace and good manners, someone who also loved the color pink, pearls, and (real) fur accents. She was immensely influential in my life, and while I would never dare to say I hold a candle to her elegance, I'm grateful to have some of her DNA. I would benefit by putting that to use more often...
As I approach my 40th birthday (in a few months, thank you), these images remind me of who I wish to be: someone who values less, but better. Quality over quantity in all things... possessions, friends, food, dates on my calendar, and so on. I may never take another picture as lovely as these two. I'm okay with that. I feel these perfectly captured the best version of me at midlife, and in the future, I want my children, and their children, to look at these images and see the person they knew and loved. #goals
This Fall threw me for a loop.
I made multiple trips to Massachusetts to help manage a family health issue. These trips were stressful in some ways but in others, quite pleasant. I made sure to find at least one reason to smile each day I was there. From multiple visits to my favorite cafe to taking hundreds of pictures of the beach, I just love being on the Cape, no matter the reason, no matter the season.
I came home for a few days between Massachusetts trips to take part in Middle Waves Music Festival and it was the exact right decision. The fun and excitement (and long hours on my feet) made for a perfect distraction.
Once my Massachusetts trips were done, I had my own health issue that forced me into the hospital for a handful of days. I'm doing just fine and recovering well from a trio of minor surgeries. I lost a week of work but no matter... I left the hospital with a new perspective, one that I hope will guide me toward a more peaceful future.
I want less. Less physical stuff, less body mass, less on my calendar.
While I'm a consumer and love beauty products, clothing and accessories, and feathering our family nest, I'm going to buy less, but up the quality with things that will last. My plan is to only buy pieces I truly love and which fill a specific need (or worthy want). I'm also going to be getting rid of a ton of things I've been holding on to for far too long. It's time to purge...
I need to move my body more, plain and simple. While I'd love to shed a few pounds, my goal is to be more healthy, to get my muscles moving, and my brain. I've signed up for a month of semi-private Pilates classes to help me jump start.
I love hanging with my friends and I don't want less of them - but I do need to be more mindful about how I spend my time. I've been learning to say no to professional opportunities but I'm going to get more aggressive in this area.
I want more. More time with my little family, more physical activity (that will help with the whole less body mass thing), more cheese (that might just negate the physical activity), more experiences, more laughter (and I already get a lot of that, but I want even more).
As I head into the holidays, I plan to celebrate the hell out of the season by embracing these goals. More family, more movement, more laughter, more cheese...
I'm in makeover mode right now, but for my life. The push-pull of modern life can be a pain but I feel like I'm finally figuring things out. I've been reading about the routines of successful women and have noticed a common theme: badass bitches wake up early. So, my latest challenge is to start waking up well before I need to.
I'm going to rise before the sun so I can have time to meditate, make myself some tea, then sit at my computer to get some work done before all the emails start rolling in. I might even make a hot breakfast for my kids!
Mornings at Chez Fox tend to be a little hectic. Making lunches, searching for coats and shoes, brushing teeth and getting out the door on time is a universal struggle. Surely waking up earlier will help reduce that, right? We shall see...
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.