Fall Has Its Merits

September 3, 2013 § Leave a comment

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As we were driving back to the city this morning, I was feeling a twinge of Summer is Over Sadness. Until I remembered that fall has quite a bit to recommend itself. For starters, there is the fashion. Whether cuddled up in cozy sweaters, busting out my favorite capes and jackets or wearing something insanely pretty and glamorous — but impossible for real winter weather — this is the time of year to let it rip.

Concerts, plays and art openings are happening everywhere, restaurants are bustling and it finally gets a little more quiet by the beach for when it is needed.

And then there are the pumpkins…have I mentioned that pumpkins are one of the things in life that makes silly happy? I have no idea why, but when I spy the first ones popping up, I get full-on giddy. As such, I always take the Children in My Life pumpkin picking. They are an excellent cover, and tend to be extremely adorable bopping through the patch. They also are totally into “more” as a concept, which ensures that our wagon is nice and full and totally guilt free.

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Fall is also grape harvest season for all that wine I like to drink! And it tends to be the time of year that some equally Wine Friendly companions of ours hit the vineyards to find things to squirrel away for the perfect occasion. Last year, we went to Sonoma for said trip and it was, among other things, a very nice way to spend a few days in the fall…

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As you can imagine, I didn’t miss summer at all in these surroundings. And the food and wine that went along with it made it even better…

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My new crush vineyard: Williams Selyem. A must if you are in Sonoma.

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And fall is the perfect time to not only drink a few reds, but also to eat slightly more hearty food. Let’s just say that I enjoyed the chicken and waffles here very much. Very much. As well as the food at both Barndiva (sorry for the blurry photo) and Zazu Restaurant & Farm, which was a little meat-centric…hence the twinkle light pig, I think.

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See, fall is fun and filling!

And then there are still the Farmer’s Markets. Now, they might not be in their full glory come November, but they do keep chugging along, which allows you to prepare all manner of cozy fall meals.

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For the record, these are from a stand in Sonoma, so, you know, they still have zucchini blossoms. In New York, not so much. But my favorite one by the beach stays open until December 1st. So, I am In Produce until almost the end of the year.

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And you can wear a cute sweater cape when you are out shopping!

So, bottom line: fall is fabulous! Enjoy the season. I plan to.

xx

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

One Last Hurrah…

August 29, 2013 § 2 Comments

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Oh my goodness! How did it get to be the beginning of Labor Day Weekend? (AKA: The End of Summer.) I know that it was busy, but really, this one went way too fast. Thankfully, I think we made the most of it, especially over these last couple of weeks. So, before we start thinking about fall and Fashion Week and All That Work We Need to Do, some last bits of summer, which in my book is at its best by the beach…

One of my favorite things about the season is the flowers — I know, this is not new information. And I especially love these particular roses when they greet me each day…

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The Village Improvement Society’s Annual Geranium Planting (I am not kidding about this, even though it sounds very Star’s Hollow) makes dog walks* a little bit more inviting in the morning, when I pretty much don’t want to be walking at all.

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Also making dog walks and other activities more enjoyable is our town itself, which I find to be quite charming. Pierre’s is our year-round spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and the best fries around), and the library next door is very high on the Adorable Factor, as is their library card, of which I am a proud holder. (But I am pretty sure I owe them a late fee for a Mary McCarthy biography. I feel bad about that…I really do. But somehow, I still haven’t made it back in to pay it. I think it is shame that is keeping me away.)

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And then there is the beach. I don’t think there is a better place to take a nap than on a beach. And nap I did this summer. Quite a bit. This was my typical view when I woke up from one of said naps…

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Unless I was opted for the shade of our beach camp…

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And sometimes, after napping, walking would happen. I know, everyone says it, but that is because it is true: A walk on the beach clears the mind, lifts the spirits and sometimes gives you ideas for interior design projects. (OK, that last part is probably just me.)

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(And this shell below has me thinking of all sorts of masculine colors for our kitchen project….but that is for another post.)

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Then there is eating. One of my favorite things to do. Ina always talks about them, but this place really is yummy…

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As is Navy Beach, which has been GOOP-ed, but I like to think that I knew about it first…

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If only they were a little more forthcoming about the availability of tables outside…

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Not that I am complaining. Well, actually, I am. Seriously, that was just a few of the open tables outside. Grrr.

Anyway, one thing I could never complain about is Mr. H’s annual Birthday Dinner with our dearest friends. As always, this was one was excellent — and included doughnuts from Dough!

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Naturally, this kind of eating requires a little more movement than just rolling over on my beach towel. So, I did attempt a jog or two and either I hallucinated it, or there is an amazing cobweb in this photo that I cannot see. If you can, I am very happy for you.

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And just in case you were concerned, A+O also had a very restful summer, including lots of time on the down cushions of our sofa. This does not please me, but they are so darn cute that I let it slide…

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And this year, we had an extra fun treat in the form of a fantastic sail on the most lovely boat…

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I am not a sailor, but I think this one is pretty “yar”. (Watch The Philadelphia Story, please.)

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So, even though I hate to see it go, I think that we did summer quite well this year, and hope you did same. And don’t forget to savor this long weekend — whatever your plans may be. I will probably still be napping and eating, if only for the sake of consistency.

xx

* In all fairness, Mr. H performs this duty far more frequently than I do. But, I am the one on teeth brushing and managing their schedules. Yes, they have schedules because parts of my life are ridiculous.

(Photos: Some Cozy Night and Mr. H)

For the “YAY!!!” Files…

July 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

Was feeling a little moody this evening and decided to listen to “Seventh Tree” by one of my favorite musical duos, Goldfrapp. Aside from the fantastic music, in my book Alison Goldfrapp is one of the coolest women on the planet. I want to be her sometimes. Or at least dress like her. Check out the link and tell me I’m not alone on this one:  http://goldfrapp.com/photos/

Then it occurred to me that they hadn’t released an album in forever, so I decided to see if they had plans on getting around to that anytime soon. Thankfully, they are. “Tales of Us” will be released in September, which will be a fabulous way to mellow into fall. Yay!

xx

In Full Swing

June 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

Today is Father’s Day and I am playing host. Thankfully, the weather decided to play ball and I am just about finished with all the prep for a lunch of  lobster rolls, corn salad, greens and blueberry pie. (And wine…always wine.) In the meantime, I could not help but notice that summer is really here and getting into full swing…

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Let’s hope this is the beginning of a wonderful — and much needed — summer to come!

xx

(Photo: Some Cozy Night and the dishes are from Heath Ceramics (http://www.heathceramics.com/?p=63). Such lovely things!!)

Summer Firsts

June 1, 2013 § Leave a comment

I thought I’d pace myself on England posts and take a moment to note that summer is finally here and so far, it has been delightful…

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I came out last night to find that this year’s cutting garden was planted! So today I snipped a few buds that were more than ready to hit the stage. I know I post a LOT of flowers here, but I just love them and they make me happy. (I hope they make you happy, too.)

Also making me very happy this weekend is our herb garden (that also contains lettuces and small tomatoes). Mr. H and I planted it in the rain a few weeks ago and it is already taking off. And this evening we’ll be having our first summer salad containing only Mr. & Mrs. H greens*…

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Along with some of our first tomatoes that must be eaten by us before the birds get to them…

firsttomatoesandstrawberriesAnd yes, we are trying those teeny strawberries again (they just grew back and I didn’t have the heart to tear them out), and so far, they are actually tasty!

Also worth noting is that last weekend we enjoyed our first  grilled summer steaks and hamburgers, with beef from our favorite butcher in Brooklyn: Fleisher’s

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Originally located in Kingston, New York, their second location opened about two years ago and what can I say?  All their meats are fantastically delicious and “happy”. (And it is a touch easier to pop into this place than store 60 pounds of beef from a share once a year.) Even their ground chicken is tasty. Yay.

And that is all I have for today. I think we are off to a good start!

xx

* I am not a hero, so we buy plants and lettuce plugs every year from The Green Thumb, which is a bit of an institution and one of the best places out by the beach for organic produce.

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

Mr. & Mrs. H’s UK Adventure: Part I

May 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

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The beginning seems like a very good place to start sharing some of the highlights of our recent trip to England. We basically covered the countryside in the west and south. Our goal was to see as many manor houses and gardens as we could in twelve days. And with the help of the the U.K.’s National Trust (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk), the Lonely Planet Guide to England and my own research about some of the more famous houses between the wars, we came up with a rather excellent mix of grand, eccentric and simply lovely places to visit.

After arriving at the airport, we drove out to Bath, where we stayed while touring that part of the country. While the narrow, twisty streets of this beautiful old Roman city made the Car Thing a little treacherous, one cannot help but appreciate how beautiful it is…

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Unfortunately, we didn’t get a ton of time in the city itself. However, we did find this excellent lunch spot for our first non-airborne meal of the trip:

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If memory serves, this is one of the places we found through the Slow Food U.K. site (http://www.slowfood.org.uk) and it does have an emphasis on local and sustainable food — which didn’t rule out proper English fare, including fish & chips, ploughman’s lunch, shepherd’s pie and pints. I kind of loved the spare entry and table up front, and the bar has just what every woman wants in a good one: bag hooks…

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I opted for wine and a delicious sandwich…with chips (fries, really…I had the difference explained to me…chips are bigger). Mr. H went for a shepherd’s pie with his wine. It was exactly what we needed after two hours of driving and time zone adjustment…

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Also much needed was a post-lunch nap in the sun-filled room (yes, we were in England) at our hotel. To get to it, we had the good fortune to cross this garden every day…

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After the bustle of the city streets and the slight chaos of getting around those first few days, this was the perfect hideaway to begin and end each day. Especially when breakfast was served here…

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And Tea here…

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Which included one of the most delicious New Things I’ve Eaten: The Bath Bun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_bun). They are those sugar covered buns in front of the scones and I could have eaten a mountain of them. Yum!

And I think that is all I have today, especially since I totally want one of those buns now, which means I should see about getting dinner together before I run out and eat a pile of donuts. (Which I think I’ll call Beach Buns from now on.)

Next up: Kingston Lacy, Dryham Park and maybe Cliveden.

xx

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

The Last Tea

May 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Very English weather today, but armed with hats, wellies and a map, we set out on a five mile walk around this beautiful estate, Gravetye. There was rain. There was mud. We may have taken a wrong turn or two, but we made it back quite pleased with ourselves.

Given the rather challenging terrain — many hills, rocks, and stiles (more on these later) — I came to believe that we were entitled to two treats for our efforts. First, we hit the pub…

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I didn’t care that it was all fried. It was just what I required, including my Half Pint. However, that Half Pint along with the walk made me a touch sleepy and an Epic Nap ensued. But my body is now fully on English Time, and I woke up just a few minutes before 4, just in time for Treat Number Two, tea…

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Served by a nice fire…

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The perfect ending to a rather perfect — and filling — day. Now it is upstairs to pack, and down to our last dinner of this wonderful trip.

More to come.

xx

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

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