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

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)!

Get FoxSea

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I hate asking people for money, but I really want you to #GetFoxSea. 

FoxSea Skin is natural, organic beauty products that are effective and luxurious. I make each batch right before delivering it to stores, meaning the ingredients are fresh. For now, FoxSea is has a small, tight radius in Northeast Indiana. Would I like to widen that radius? You betcha. For now, FoxSea products can be purchased at a handful of boutiques, who also ship, by the way…

Please support my small side hustle by shopping FoxSea skin at The Find, The Trove, Idlehour Boutique and Salon Renew, all small, women owned businesses themselves!

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.

Top Brass

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Brass accents (brassents? braccents?) are nothing new, of course, but the thoroughly design-y pieces on offer at the moment are trés chic and modern, instead of 80's cheesy, which is how I used to think of brass (remember those awful, cheap, bright brass chandeliers that were everywhere way back when? Ugh).

I love the warmth brass adds to a room, and it's looks spectacular contrasted with cool greys, which is what we Foxes always paint our walls (favorite combo = grey walls + brass accents + tons of houseplants). Go small with a decorative object displayed with books or a slim floor lamp next to a reading chair, or go big with a hammered brass drum coffee table and corresponding side tables in the living room. Even better, go really big and put it all in one room.  

 

Shop these badass brass picks (and way more) at everyone's fav-o-rite store, Target!

Get FoxSea & Get Glowing!

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I'm a pretty terrible salesperson but I do wholeheartedly believe in the products I make. Behold a sales pitch below, with product recs from other skincare lines, because including them makes me feel better about tooting my own horn so blatantly. 

Transitional weather is here, which means it's time to make some tweaks to your skincare regime. Keep that summer glow going with the right mix of healthy beauty oils.

* As the temps start to dip (they'll dip eventually, right?), switch from gel or foaming cleansers to a cream or oil variety. FoxSea Universal Oil can be used as a cleansing oil, or try Burt's Bees Facial Cleansing Oil, which gently removes the dirt and makeup of the day without stripping skin bare.

* The eye area is among the most delicate, and wacky weather can parch the area quickly. An oil serum can do a deep dive to help combat the fine lines and wrinkles that can age a face in a snap. Eye Eye, Captain is my personal fave, but Little Barn Apothecary makes an excellent version, available here.

* A nighttime facial oil is a must for waking up with glowing skin, and is the perfect last layer in an evening regime, because it helps to seal in what was applied before. FoxSea Eternal Oil is an ultra nourishing option, thanks to a super group, if you will, of natural oils known for soothing and moisturizing. 

Okay, that wasn't so bad, I guess...

 

GO BUY SOME FOXSEA!

New Classics

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When discussing style, much emphasis is put on the classics, and for good reason. These commonly revered classics never go out of style, can always be relied on to look polished and elegant. They're a safe bet.

The problem with classics, is that sometimes they get boring. Or we get bored with them. The best way to combat that is to freshen up your classics, both old and new. Revive well-loved pieces with new lining, new buttons, an updated hem, yada yada yada. Replacing classics, when necessary, means you can replace them with pieces that feature updated details. They're still classics, but with a twist. Everything is better with a twist, in my opinion.

If these classics aren't your classics, that's cool. Not everyone is a blazer person, you know? My own blazer game is in need of an update, what with my large cans. I like to wear open front blazers and jackets, preferably without even the option of buttons because they always pull and make me look sloppy. 

I have also had one helluva time finding the perfect camel coat for my body, as evidenced by the 4 unworn, unloved coats hanging in my hall coat closet that probably should just be donated already... So perhaps I'm not a camel coat person. TBD.

I've rounded up a few classics with a twist, courtesy of Boden.

@ me with your favorite classics, twist or no twist, on Twitter. And if you’re busty like me and have any blazer recs, hit. me. up. with your suggestions or complaints. #miserylovescompany

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... 

Summer Dressing

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I felt I could go two ways with this post. The title came first, sometime in July, so I noodled on whether or not I wanted to write about salad dressing (a favorite topic) or summer appropriate clothes. But now I've decided I don't want to write about either. I want to write about fall style...

The issue with summer dressing is that everything is so breezy, spare, light, which I do love. But there comes a point every summer when I'm tired of all the exposed skin and the casual feel of summer weight styles. Tanks tops, shorts, beach dresses, caftans + basket bags and sandals become a little...meh, while the sweaters and booties of autumn feel so...substantial.

The problem is there's no clear indication of when the cooler temps will arrive and stay. Just because Memorial Day passes, doesn't mean the weather cooperates. The calendar and weather don't always play well together. <-- that's catchy. Did I make that up? I feel like I did.

So, it's time to get resourceful with the lightweight items that are now boring by blending in some exciting fall pieces to get through the seasonal transition. Here's how I'm doing it this time around the sun.

* Accessories are usually where I focus first. I'm still in love with my Clare V ballet perforated attaché but it does feel very spring-summer with its pink and yellow tassel + light striped strap (that feels very early 80's tennis club to me, which I love). Until I'm ready to move into my fall handbag (a very dreamy suede number) I'm subbing in a navy leather tassel and navy/red crossbody strap that will give the pink hue a bit more heft.

* No matter the season, I dress in pretty neutral textures, patterns and tones and rely on accessories, especially jewelry, to take any ensemble further. The bright, colorful bracelet stacks and flirty earrings get toned down a smidge for more classic, timeless pieces that feel too formal in the summer months. 

* I love a good sweater-shorts combo. It feels so cozy and reminds me of the cool nights that follow sunny days on Cape Cod. I update my denim shorts by switching out t shirts and sandals with light sweaters and booties. And by now, after months of sandals, slides and flips, my feet are in need of a major rejuvenating pedicure, so I appreciate being able to cover them up. 

* My breezy, floaty dresses still get worn (both because I do love them + they're the perfect thing to pop on during the lingering humid days that make me sweat like a hockey player), but I accessorize them differently. The straw panama hats get benched so the floppy felt hats can get in on the action. And again, booties instead of sandals give me that dose of autumn I want while still letting me be comfy in the heat.

* The lightweight, sleeveless shirts I wore all summer with shorts now get pared with denim and ballet flats. Instead of toting around a summer weight scarf/wrap for chilly air conditioned spaces, I hang a light military inspired jacket over my shoulders.

* I switch up my lipstick colors + nail polishes to reflect my autumn craving mood, which is literally the easiest way to bring a fall vibe while it's still blazing hot. Bright or frosty pinks and purples (and other pastels) make way for nude and red pouts and black, dark ruby or chocolate brown nails. Texture matters here, too. By Memorial Day's end, I'm usually over shiny lip glosses and want more matte finishes for my lipstick. And my beach proof glitter toenail polish can't be chiseled off fast enough. All this said, I often embrace "counter programming" when it comes to nail and lip colors. I like the unexpectedness of black nails in the heat of summer and a bright pink pucker in the dead of winter. Though now you might be expecting me to do that. Which kind of ruins this practice for me. Should I leave these sentences in? Might as well... Who cares, right? Is anyone reading this? Is this thing on? Hahahahahaha. I'm fine. Everything's fine.

Happy Memorial Day and cheers to all the fall sweaters patiently waiting to be worn!

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!