Places

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The High Line… have you heard of it? It just happens to be one of my favorite places in NYC. J. Crew… I am most certain you have heard of it. Well, today they are selling High Line inspired fashions to benefit this amazing elevated park. Take a look and support a great place and cause. The watercolor tee might just be on its way to me!

Movie Monday

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There are a handful of movies I can watch again and again – Pretty in Pink, The Holiday, Away We Go, Kissing Jessica Stein and now I have a new one to add… The Way, Way Back.

While in Boston yesterday, I decided to indulge in one of my favorite Sunday afternoon city activities. That’s right, an afternoon movie at Kendall Square Theatre. And aren’t I glad I did. This film, featuring some of my favorite actors (Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Amanda Peet, Maya Rudolph and Allison Janey) tells the story of Duncan (played by Liam James), who is just trying to find his way after his parents divorce, a feeling many of us can relate to, I’m sure.

The setting for the movie is a small Cape Cod town, Wareham to be precise. While I could go on and on about the expert script written by Jim Rash and Nat Faxon, the heart-wrenching relationship between mother and son, and the introduction of one of the funniest characters written in quite some time, Owen (played by Sam Rockwell), I will just say, you must go see this film. And as an added bonus, the soundtrack is brilliant and features one of my old favorites, Edie Brickell. Take a listen.

The Way, Way Back has my vote for best movie of the summer, hands down!

In the Kitchen

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Philadelphia is not only home to the cheese steak, the Liberty Bell and my sweet god-daughter H but also the location of one of my favorite bakeries, Metropolitan. After college, my dear friend C moved to Philly to attend vet school at Penn and lived across the street from Metropolitan in Rittenhouse Square. After nearly ten years, our love affair has stood the test of time.

During a recent overnight to the city of brotherly love, I was introduced to their chocolate stout cake. As soon as I returned to the island, I checked their cookbook that sweet H’s mom gave me as a birthday gift (love you, S) but to my disappointment they decided not to share their secret. Thus began my search for the perfect recipe. Lucky for me, the food enthusiasts at Smitten Kitchen are always willing to share!

Chocolate Stout Cake
– 1 cup stout (Guinness)
– 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (room temperature)
– 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– 2 cups sugar
– 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
– 3/4 tsp. salt
– 2 lg. eggs (room temperature)
– 2/3 cup sour cream

Ganache
– 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
– 6 Tbs. heavy cream
– 3/4 tsp. instant coffee/espresso

Directions
1. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Grease bundt pan.
2. Cream butter and sugar with electric mixer. Add in 1 egg at a time.
3. In separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
4. In a liquid measuring cup, combine 1 cup of stout and sour cream and gently whisk.
5. Slowly combine flour mixture and stout mixture to butter mixture, starting and ending with flour mixture.
6. Pour batter into bundt pan and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes, until a cake knife comes out clean.
7. Let cake cool completely.
8. For ganache, use a double broiler and slowly whisk chocolate chips, cream and instant coffee until chocolate has completely melted. The ganache should be smooth and have a beautiful sheen to it. Spoon over cooled cake.

This cake rivals my Mom’s devil food’s chocolate cake, which she has made for the last twenty years; not too sweet, not too dense, an absolute perfect harmony of flavors. If you are craving a little chocolate, please make this cake. It’s perfection in my book!

What A View

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I was remiss in including a visit to the Maria Mitchell Observatory on my list of Island Must Do’s. It only took me three decades but I finally made a visit last week. And what a time it was. Not only did I see the surface of the moon, and vega but I also got to see Saturn, rings and all. How amazing is that?

One of the many fascinating things about this little island is the rich female history we have. Maria Mitchell, the first female astronomer, was born on Nantucket in August 1818. At the age of 14, she became the first female librarian at The Atheneum, discovered a comet in 1847 from the windows at the Pacific National Bank, became the first appointed professor at Vassar College in 1865 and was an advocate for ending slavery throughout her life, which led her to convert from a quaker to a unitarian. What a woman!

Moments

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I was transported back to one of the greatest days of my life while indulging in the latest edition of Lonny Magazine over the weekend. Lonny is my go-to source for design, fashion and gift giving inspiration. This month, I was beyond excited to read their feature on photographer Mirabelle Marden, whose family home is not only stunning but is in one of the most magical places I have been blessed to visit.

I spent a day on the island of Hydra, Greece last November with a dear friend. We hadn’t planned on visiting any of the Greek islands but with a day to spare, we thought, why not. We boarded a fast ferry, something this island girl is quite familiar with, and were off.

Although it was November, we decided to pack our swimsuits just in-case. After exploring the shops and speaking with a few locals, we made our way to a restaurant about a 20 minute walk from the center of town but boasting fantastic views. Twenty minutes into our walk with no restaurant in site, we discovered a little beach and decided to take the plunge. Although the beach itself was quite rocky, the water was breathtaking. Below is one of my favorite photos from the day.
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We never did find the restaurant so we decided to head back to town to make sure we made our ferry, The Flying Dolphin, back to Athens. With little time to spare, we grabbed a spot at an outdoor bar and enjoyed a late bite. And while my mythos beer and greek pizza were satisfying, my favorite part of the dining experience was the brief statement on the menu:

We are lovers of the beautiful, yet we remain simple in our tastes, and we cultivate the mind without being lazy. Poverty is no disgrace for us; the true disgrace is in doing nothing to avoid it. We alone regard a man who takes no interest in public affairs, not only as indifferent but as a useless character. We alone do good to others not upon a calculation of interest, but in the confidence of freedom and in a generous spirit.

A great outlook on life if you ask me. Hydra… can’t wait to be back in your beauty again!

Daily Reads

My blogroll runs pretty deep I must say (sadly I haven’t figured out how to add these to my blog just yet) and thus I thought I would share some of my favorites with all of you. Give them a looksie. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

A Piece of Toast
A Cup of Jo
Elements of Style
Note to Self
The Neo-traditionalist
Sequins & Stripes
Smitten Kitchen

What are some of your favorite reads? Would love to check them out myself!

Dance All Night


Have I told you all about my brother, Travis. Not only is he one of the nicest guys you will meet (with perhaps the smallest waist in the family), he is the fearless leader behind Miss Fairchild, one of the hippest bands out of Boston. And lucky for me and any of you on island time, they are playing at The Box tonight. Can’t wait to dance all night!

If I don’t see you on the dance floor tonight please promise me you will give them a listen. A little Prince vibe, mixed with some JT and Sly and the Family Stone, Miss Fairchild provides music that will pick you up when ever you are feeling a little down. So very proud of you, Travis!

Friendship

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Friends, you overwhelm me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your kind words concerning yesterday’s post. I don’t think I could be where I am today without you so please remember that!