Gentle Reminders

Yes!
Friends, I must ask for your forgiveness. I had big plans to write a thoughtful post this evening after work but in all honesty, today was a very long day. The island is abuzz and there are people everywhere. Some nice. Some not so nice. My patience was tested today… several times. I stumbled upon this photo from one of my favorite shelter publications, Lonny, and thought I would share it with all of you. Simple and so spot on and exactly the reminder I need this evening. The Sister Parish fabric gets me every time too!

Wishing you and yours a wonderful weekend!

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Ladies (and gents)… I have some very exciting news. My dear friends over at Milly & Grace launched their on-line store today. Emily Ott Hollister, owner and just about the sweetest girl I’ve met, opened her delightful shop four years ago in a charming, ivy covered building just off Main Street. Emily was well-versed in the retail scene on Nantucket, having worked in a few retail landmarks, so she knew exactly what this little island was missing and what we island girls needed. Her shop is filled with feminine and vintage inspired pieces for your closet and home.

Here are just a few of my picks from their new site:

– No surprise here I am sure (I’m a boho girl through and through), I’m in-love with this Joie top. Great piece for summer that will transition nicely into fall with jeans and tall camel boots.
– LBD… I say LBR. It is my personal belief that a black ruana should be a staple in every woman’s closet.
– My go-to summer cocktail (I will share my recipe soon, I promise) will be even more refreshing in these glasses.
This is by far one of my favorite gifts to give. A cloth bag that can be used for groceries, as a beach bag, or for an overnight trip.

Well done Milly & Grace team… so excited to see what happens next for you!

Confession

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As I have already confessed… I have a slight shopping problem and perhaps an affinity towards over-thinking things but my absolute downfall concerns all things sweet. I love bakeries. I travel for bakeries. I live for bakeries (you get the point). And the place that began my love affair was Flour Bakery.

I was first introduced to Flour during a 2002 Chronicle show, I think, when their brownie was featured. I begged my boyfriend at the time to venture with me to Washington Street in the South End, before Washington Street was the place to be, to partake in this sweet treat. And what a treat. I don’t think there was a week that went by while living in Boston that I didn’t make at least one trip to Flour.

Saying goodbye to Boston was hard but saving goodbye to Flour was heartbreaking. Last week, I was able to spend some quality time at their Fort Point location. A good soul feeding. And the best part, their second cookbook was available to purchase. Yeah! This thing of beauty has found a home in my rather large collection. Can’t wait to start baking.

You may be wondering what my sweet of choice is. I will gladly share. While I still love their brownie, I have moved on to their vegan chocolate cupcakes (no icing… just cake… exactly how I like it). If you haven’t been to Flour, I beg you, go. There are now four locations in Boston so you have no excuse. Report back too. Love hearing what people love!

Oh and Joanne Chang, owner and baker extraordinaire, even beat out Bobby Flay with her sticky buns. Check it out here.

Summer Bucket List

While reading Emily’s blog yesterday, I was inspired to make my own list of summer to-do’s. Can’t believe I haven’t done some of these. Must remedy this situation ASAP.

1. Pick strawberries at Bartlett’s Farm.
2. Complete the Sconset/Polpis bike loop.
3. Go deep-sea fishing.
4. After a night of dancing at The Box, finally experience the phosphorescence.
5. Day trip to Coatue.
6. Day trip to Tuckernuck.
7. Take a surf lesson from ACK Surf.
8. Schedule an art class at the Artists Association.
9. Host a killer BBQ in my parents’ backyard, complete with yard games.
10. Master making beach plum jam.

My Beach Bag Essentials

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I think summer is officially here. Seriously, these past two days have been near perfection. Sadly, I have been stuck in doors working. But I have been up at night dreaming about what to pack in my beach bag for that first day off. Only 12 more days (yes, I have a countdown… don’t judge).

First and foremost, I need a new beach bag. I am loving this one from Feed. And the best part, the proceeds will provide 50 meals to children in India. You can’t go wrong.

Next on the list, a beach cover-up. Everything LemLem does is just… well, perfection. The birabiro dress will soon be mine.

One must always take preventive measures when it comes to the sun so I will surely be bringing this baseball cap with me and applying my favorite sunscreen (smells like summer in a bottle) liberally. And of course, I couldn’t live without my Sugar Lip Balm with SPF 15.

I have a confession to make… I still buy books. Yes, actual books. No Kindle for this lady. My first beach read is the new Khaled Hosseini And the Mountains Echoed. Fingers crossed that its as good as The Kite Runner. What a story!

Coconut water (chocolate flavor, of course), a plum, dark chocolate, and some BBQ chips might just make their way into my bag as well.

And last but not least, my kadima set. Have loved this game since I was like 5 and will surely love it till I’m 85!

So Damn Lucky

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I remember the first time I heard Dave… it was the summer of 1995 and I was working at The Nantucket Bake Shop. Some of my fellow counter hands were a bit older (I may have had a crush on the one from Johns Hopkins) and they were obsessed with the “Under the Table and Dreaming” album, which ignited mine. I could have listed to Ants Marching a thousand times that summer. I am told they played a show or two at The Muse but sadly I was a tad young for admission. Fast forward nearly 20 years, and this past Sunday I finally was able to see this band, that was part of so many memories, live. First love, first break-up, true love, summer parties, college parties… so many milestones can be summed up with a lyric from a DMB song.

And what a show it was! I’ve always said Dave would be my celebrity “free pass” and after seeing him with that guitar, I am even more adamant about that sentiment. Boyd Tinsley on the violin might be a close second. I thought it would be fun to put together my favorite Dave songs for all of you.

– #41
– You and Me
– Stay or Leave
– Crash into Me
– Grey Street
– The Idea of You
– If Only
– Jimmy Thing
– Lover Lay Down
– One Sweet World
– Say Goodbye
– Crush
– Stay (Wasting Time)
– Steady as We Go
– Typical Situation
– Warehouse
– The Christmas Song
– So Damn Lucky

Any that I’ve missed? Can’t wait to see what the band does next!

PS – I know the poster is from last year’s show at The Comcast Center but had the hardest time trying to find the 2013 version.

Escape

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One of the best parts of living on an island is the ever so needed escape. I remember when I was a little girl, the first stop after disembarking from the slow boat, no matter the time, was always McDonald’s. Fortunately, my taste buds have matured (Pain D’Avignon is my new guilty pleasure) but that sheer excitement of entering “America” as we locals like to say, is a feeling I have enjoyed experiencing again.

This past weekend, I made a much needed escape to Boston. Saturday night, I ventured to Washington Square and the newly opened Barcelona Wine Bar and Restaurant. Even though I lived in Boston for over a decade, I resided in only three neighborhoods and Washington Square will always have a place in my heart as my first ‘hood. Plus, my dinner companion traveled with me to Barcelona, Spain last spring, where I solidified the ever so big decision to return to my native roots. Two important places coming together in an evening… funny how fate brings things together for us. I digress…

From the moment I saw the packed patio and booming bar, I knew I was in for a treat. The space is chic, rustic and eludes an oh-so sexy vibe. And the food, simply divine. We started with sangria, of course. I opted for the sangria flora, featuring rose, St. Germain, and fresh fruit, which might just be my new summer cocktail! We then moved onto a tasting of jamon serrano, manchego and valdeon, the most amazing blue cheese I think I have ever tasted. And then the real fun started… plate after plate of little delicacies… spicy eggplant caponata, beef empanadas with a red pepper sauce, mussels al diablo and grilled broccolini. A sinful amount of food, perhaps but well worth the fast I will need to do this week.

I highly suggest adding Barcelona Wine Bar to your list of must’s in Boston. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Island Living – My Favorite Island Day

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Sorry for the late post my dear friends but I have been struggling with how to convey my favorite island day to you. This little island has so much to offer. And then it just struck me… my “aha! moment”. The best island days are those surrounded by wonderful friends and delicious food. I am just returning home from such an evening and let me tell you, I am feeling truly blessed.

Life is about the spontaneous moments and decisions we make. Always saying “yes” to an invitation. Living in the moment. Granted, a night at The Chicken Box listening to Green Line Inbound will always leave this girl with a smile on her face but really, what makes island living so great is just the pure act of living. Not forced, not contrived, just being. And the best part, this is exactly why I came home a year ago. To live. To make mistakes. To be.

So there it is, my favorite island day. May you be blessed with great friends, great food, and a little sunshine this summer!

And, for all you on island time, I will see you at The Box in an hour or so 😉

Island Living – New & Noteworthy

For a small little New England town, things certainly do change quickly around here. Each season, there is always a lineup of new places to open on the scene, which makes strolling through town oh so fun. Below are just a few places causing a bit of buzz. Check them out and let me know what you think!

– One of the best parts about moving home has been connecting with like-minded folk and Elise Gura could certainly be my soul sister. A former private chef, florist and all-around cool girl, Elise opened an eclectic little shop on Old South Wharf called Space (just love the name). Almost officially a month old, her “space” features an impressive collection of antiques (the boat drawings are mint), amazing pottery from Brooklyn, Sesame Letterpress notebooks and cards (I die for their products), tea towels from StudioPatro, among other amazing finds. If you are looking for that piece you won’t find anywhere else, head on down to Space and say hi to Elise.

– The most anticipated opening of the 2013 season isn’t a restaurant or boutique but rather the new Hummock Pond Road bike path. Learn all about it here. Now you can safely walk or ride your bike to the farm, the brewery and Cisco beach. Well done, town of Nantucket!

– As I may have mentioned in May’s Must Eats, I am a huge fan of American Seasons and therefore am quite excited to report that owners Michael and Orla LaScola will be opening The Proprietors in the former DeMarco’s space at 9 India Street. The name comes from a reference to the first European land-owners on Nantucket, who divided the island up into shares. I walked by this afternoon on my lunch break and it looks like they will be opening their doors any day now. The one big change I could see through the windows was the expansion of the bar. Know where I will be heading for a cocktail soon enough!

– Although this little shop opened in 2010, I think some of you may have missed it as its tucked back in the Centre Street Meeting House. Ambrosia features an impressive selection of organic spices, handmade chocolates, local honey, and unique kitchen items. If I’m looking for a hostess gift or a present for that hard-to-shop-for friend, you will most certainly find something simply fantastic at Ambrosia.