I Do

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Wedding season is certainly upon us! And from all the Facebook updates, it looks like all of you have been to quite a few weddings. Hope you have been enjoying yourselves. To help ease some wedding time stresses, I thought it might be fun to post some of my favorite go-to wedding gifts.

– My dear friend’s Macey and Cam celebrated their third anniversary this past May. After a beautiful wedding down in Vero Beach, the happy couple jetted off to Greece. Macey and Cam are lovers of the arts and thus I knew this customizable print by JP-based artist would be a treasure! I included not on their wedding date, but the hotel they stayed in while on Mykonos and one of their favorite memories.

– My sweet college friend Kate found love back in her home state of Minnesota with Kerry and had one of the best wedding weekends in Steamboat, Colorado. Kate is a romantic, just like me, so I knew these Simon Pearce candlesticks would be put to good use in their home.

– My big brother Todd is marrying his best friend Kirah this November in Maine and I am so excited for a family affair. Both Todd and Kirah love to cook so I am thinking of filling this recipe box with some of our family favorites, along with some island inspired recipes. This would equally be a wonderful shower gift!

And, on a side note, I finally found that little black dress to say “I Do” to for all these weddings. Success!

Now here’s to the happy couple(s)!

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In the Kitchen

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Apples. One of my all-time favorite fall foods. But want to know something a bit weird, I’m not an apple pie kind of gal. Instead, I like me an apple cake. While scouring Pinterest (my addiction) for inspiration for my sister’s 30th birthday dessert bar, I came across the below recipe. And aren’t I glad I did. The simplicity of this recipe coupled with the rave reviews have made this a staple in my fall recipe repertoire. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Apple Cake
– 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/4 tsp cinnamon
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 1/2 cup granulated sugar
– 1 3/4 sticks of butter (7/8 cups), melted
– 2 large eggs (room temperature)
– 1/2 cup plain yogurt (I use 2.5% greek yogurt)
– 2 apples (peeled, cored and thinly sliced) *I prefer Braeburn apples
– zest of 1 lemon
– 1/3 cup granulated sugar for topping

Yield – 1 8-inch cake

Directions
1. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Butter 8-inch circular cake pan.
2. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon and salt.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle, beat the 1/2 cup of sugar with the melted butter until it has lightened.
4. Add in one egg at a time and combine completely.
5. Reduce the speed and add in flour and yogurt in alternate batches, beginning and ending with the flour.
6. Fold in by hand the apples and lemon zest and pour into 8-inch round cake pan.
7. Sprinkle over top the 1/3 cup of sugar.
8. Bake cake for 50-60 minutes, until tester comes out clean.
9. Let cool completely before devouring!

Fall Fashion

Happy second day of fall! Is this your favorite time of year too? With each change of season, I have a good/bad little habit… I clean my closet. And this weekend I realized that I need to add a few new items to my fall mix and thus I created a little wish list.

– As I have confessed before, I just have a thing for a beautiful white top and this one is sheer perfection.
– Sadly, my fall clothing budget will not allow me to purchase a pair of black leather pants so am hoping these will do the trick!
– I love, love, LOVE cozy sweaters! This one and this one need to be mine.
– My army green pants have seen better days so I think it’s time to invest in a new pair.
– Every closet needs a Chanel inspired jacket.
– Hands down, the best tall boot on the market. I have them in brown and think the black need to make their way into my closet!
– And because really, who doesn’t need a new purse? This one will be lovely with my new “leather” pants.

What are you lusting after this fall? Do share.

To H

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I realize I didn’t make a formal introduction of the sweet little girl I was wishing happy birthday to a few weeks back. Forgive me. Her name is Henrietta. She is my god-daughter; is blessed with two of the greatest people I know for parents; and is the big sister to sweet little A. I thought it might be fun to share with her some lessons I have learned along the way. The first… take notice!

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My sweet H –

I simply can’t believe you turned three a few weeks ago. I still remember making the trip down to Collingswood to meet you when you were just a few weeks old. I knew instantly we had a special bond and I am so honored to call you my god-daughter.

First and foremost, I must say, I am writing these words simply as a point of reference for you. Now that I am in my thirties (not quite sure how this has happened) I realize that I wish I had been told similar things in my younger days. Not that I regret anything but I think points of view are always good to have and to hear. As your Mommy may have told you, I have been through quite a few changes these past few years. Last year, I decided to leave my steady life in Boston for Nantucket. I call it “my pause on life.” I wanted and needed some quite time to listen to that inner voice of mine (first lesson – listen to yours too) and you know what I have come to realize, the things I loved to do as a little girl are exactly what I am doing right now. Writing. It is something I did all the time as a child. Poems, short stories, our neighborhood paper. I loved to write. And somehow, along the way I lost that.

So my sweet H – my first lesson for you is this: take notice. If you find yourself doing something and loving every minute of it, maybe just maybe that is your calling.

Until next time, know that I think of you often and can’t wait to hear all about your vintage car birthday party this weekend. So sad to miss it.

Love you to the moon and back, my dear!
Auntie May

Remembrance

The world changed that day. 12 years ago. I was just three weeks away from moving to Boston and so hopeful for that next chapter of my life to begin. I had spent the summer working at an island law firm in the hopes that it would help me land that big city job. I remember the first phone call that morning. Andy R. The high-intensity NY businessman who was not only selling an island home but purchasing one the next day. “A plane has crashed into the World Trade Center. I can see the smoke from New Jersey.” I hung up the phone confused. How could this be? I had been on the observation deck years earlier. I was told that on a clear day you could see the curvature of the earth.

We were unable to access the Internet at the time as the network was congested (hard to believe, I know). And then, the second call letting us know what was going on. An attack. Thinking about it now it is still difficult to comprehend the magnitude. My innocence was lost that day. But in the days that followed, my faith in human kind ignited. In the end, love will conquer all. We must love our neighbors, our partners, our friends, our adversaries and most of all, ourselves. Remember this!

I stumbled upon this poem earlier. The beauty of the written word is so powerful. Holding you all close to my heart this evening!

Bright blue September skies
Hold all of the promises of tomorrow
And all of the memories of the past
September has a language of its own
One that I am not sure I understand most years
Where fall means stand up and hurt means
Hold on and hold still and hold up
September brings clear night stars
Which invite me to swallow the failures of before
And the regret of unfinished and to taste the sweet
Big Dipper full of the human experience
All good and bad and ugly and utterly elusive
No matter how much it hurts
When the hydrangeas start to go by
It’s time to soothe my heart again
To empty it of the pain of loss
And to keep the good and feel in my soul
That we never forget love and it all stays
All of it, every last little coffee date or hand in hand
We get to keep it, and add to it
What a precious privilege that is,
To know beyond certainty
That all of the days of my life
No matter what
I am the one
Who gets to keep your love.

Source: http://darlingmagazine.org/blue-september/