Break This Rule

White denim is an absolute wardrobe essential, so I plan to keep it in heavy rotation even after the calendar turns over this Labor Day weekend.  Who made up this ridiculous rule anyway?  While everyone agrees that white is the epitome of summer chic, it is too often neglected throughout the cooler months.  Pair your favorite white jeans with short boots, button downs, blazers and leather jackets in the fall, then throw them on with a black cashmere turtleneck (another wardrobe must) and a navy, grey, or black peacoat throughout winter.  Just remember to avoid the slushy puddles!

Two of my favorites, Rich & Skinny’s Legacy Skinny:

and Hudson’s Collin Flap Pocket Skinny:

are on sale at Shopbop.  Grab them before they are gone!

fall cravings

fall craving - leather leggings

Cream cable knit sweater

Isabel Marant smock top

Valentino studded sandals

Isabel Marant earrings

Silk shawl

The Casual Kennedys

I couldn’t help dreaming thinking about my girlhood crush while vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard last week.  Growing up, most girls were crazy over actors and rock stars, but it was John Kennedy Jr. who did it for me.  President Kennedy was equally swoon worthy, and his manner of casual, timeless dress is still pure perfection.  The men of today would be well served to adopt his off-duty style.

A Fishing Story

As we walked to the end of the creaky dock on Menemsha Harbor where Captain Tom Langman moors his no-frills Boston Whaler, I knew in my gut he was the man to take our family fishing. Weathered by years in the sun and covered with markings of boat grease and struggles with fish, I could see he’d spent a good portion of his life on the water.  He greeted us warmly and held out his hand to help us aboard, and after quick introductions asked what we wanted from our afternoon.  Our focus was definitely on a good catch, we said, but we also wanted a tour of the Vineyard and its surrounding waters from his perspective.

Sensing she was the most intrepid fisherman on the boat, he warmed to my daughter immediately.  And what endeared me to him most was that he never – despite her slight stature and young age – questioned her capability.  When the fishing rod belt was too big for her tiny waist, he didn’t balk at knotting it to fit her and letting her give it a go.

His instincts were dead on as she reeled in, with a bit of assistance, one of the biggest fish of the day.

Another thrill was my first catch of the day – a gorgeous, perfectly sized sea bass:

Maddeningly, a bluefish tore away its bottom half before I could get it in the boat! Needless to say, I didn’t feel guilty about this:

I hope he was the one who ruined my sea bass!

After reeling in more than we could possibly eat, Captain Tom cruised around the neighboring islands, docking on Cuttyhunk for a brief excursion.

He took us back by way of Buzzards Bay as we shared stories in the afternoon sun, dropping a line in the water from time to time.

Cruising into Menemsha Harbor, Tom suggested we offer our catch to one of the best restaurants up-island in exchange for dinner preparation for our family (we hauled in almost 30 pounds of fish, after all!).

In a truly unforgettable moment, we traipsed into the restaurant inn with windblown hair and salty sea skin, three giant fish in tow.  Not only did the chef agree, he seemed genuinely pleased and excited.  Grinning from ear to ear, we returned to our cottage for long showers and a rest.

From the oysters with creme fraiche:

to our bluefish stuffed with lemon and fennel, grilled and served family style with out of this world sides:

we delighted in not only the best meal of our trip but also the knowledge that the diners around us were being served the fish we caught.

This post is dedicated to my grandfather, Bob Fletcher, who would have been 97 years old today.  He taught me everything I know about fishing and much of what I value in life.

all photos via the aesthete and the dilettante

Perfectly Weathered in Menemsha

The beauty of Martha’s Vineyard undeniably exists among its sailboat-dotted seascapes, windswept grasses, and breathtaking sunsets. And while I’ve fallen hard for all of the above, it’s the quiet beauty whispering from the shores and shingles that has my heart completely.

all photos via the aesthete and the dilettante

Sea Fever

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

Sea Fever by John Masefield (1878-1967)

When I was a child, rather than read or tell stories at bedtime, my father would recite poems he had committed to memory.  John Masefield’s Sea Fever was always my favorite and it still resonates today.  Nothing makes me feel more fulfilled than being near the water, so I am giddy with anticipation as I pack and prepare for our trip to Martha’s Vineyard.  This vacation will be agenda-free and as laid back as they come.  Shouldn’t that be the only kind?

Image via pinterest

Farmers Market Friday: Peach and Blackberry Shortcakes

It seems it’s been forever since I’ve had time to mess around in the kitchen and I’ve really been missing it.  Luckily today is wide open so I am spending it doing what I love most.  My morning was spent at the farmers market where I found beautiful little patty pan squash, succulent peaches, and blackberries as big as my palm.  On the way home I stopped at the market for tuna steaks and new potatoes, and after taking time to skim through recipes, the menu has come together and now I am ready to play!

I’m making Grilled Tuna with Basil Pesto (using basil from my tiny garden, which happens to be the ONLY thing the squirrels haven’t eaten),

Patty Pan Squash Sauteed in Herb Butter, simple mixed greens, grilled new potatoes with garlic, and for dessert these summery Peach and Blackberry Shortcakes with Blackberry Cream.  All enjoyed with a crisp glass of Sauvignon Blanc, of course!

I wish you a weekend filled with the things you love most!

Image 4 via the food network, all others via me