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Old Glory & Gingham

DSC07193 Since my last post, a very comfortable June sailed into July on a hot slick of humidity. We escaped the brunt of it last week in a marvelous little Cape house and on a handful of fantastic beaches - one on the bay side, one planted firmly at the easternmost point of Cape Cod, braced at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, and finally in Provincetown proper. It was probably our Cape Coddiest vacation yet, with lobsters the hue of Stila's Tesoro, body surfing, wishful shark sightings, big family meals and games, historical points of interest visits and treks to the lake down the road. Dreamy stuff.

We left yesterday (quite reluctantly, even with a tropical storm hurtling toward us) just in time to escape that patriotic party crasher Hurricane Arthur, and barely made it to the banks of the Charles River for the Boston Pops fireworks show last night. Phew! Happy 3rd of 4th of July, then?

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Now I'm not the world's most patriotic gal (and considering the current war on women that is quite the understatement), but I do love a good theme outfit. Why not throw on a good old red gingham ruffled Americana frock with a glittery, star-spangled twist on the Statue of Liberty crown? Even if she might've gone whole hog and worn red (or blue?) glitter heels instead of the conservative nude wedge route, I feel Dolly would be proud.

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When I say we barely made it to the fireworks, I mean barely. We were a group of seven and driving and parking would have been madness and really expensive, so we crammed into an Uber SUV and got dropped off as close to the barricades and blocked-off streets as we could. We stopped just before the Mass Ave bridge, spread our blanket out on the lawn a few feet away from the river, and just as we settled onto it the first firework went soaring overhead. We were so close that we could see the great big flashes from where they were launched off the barge on the water. Some crazy dude on a floatie for a tiny child braved 'that dirty water' and floated away, followed by his equally crazy girlfriend on a shark floatie (which promptly capsized) in her bikini. The crowds were tame and polite and didn't feel very crowded at all, and a couple of youths raising money for school cooled us off with bottled water and happily took our photo.

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The finale was awesome but felt a little rushed, which it turned out to be, and almost as soon as they ended one of us spied a flash in the distance and wondered if it was lightning. Worried that it might be, we decided to hightail it to the nearest hotel lobby, and with every step we took the lightning strikes came down faster and closer, thunder rumbling. We had no idea whatsoever that police were evacuating crowds to seek emergency shelter on the Boston side of the river!

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Just as we stepped under the hotel's awning, one final crack split the sky open, we heard people screaming nearby and it started to absolutely pour. A few seconds later dozens of already-drenched people started to stream toward the hotel, most of them laughing and giddy (it was insanely hot out), a few brave souls stopping to just reach for the heavens and let it happen. The bellman rushed out with a massive stack of fluffy white hand towels, issuing them to grateful guests. I checked Uber obsessively as the pricing surged to 4.0x and the storm raged on, but we just sat and waited awhile and eventually got home safe and dry and utterly exhausted.

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Since we had such a great big week with a grandiose finale, and with rain forecast for the entire day, we're having a much-needed day of restful vacation. World Cup is on, the A/C is on, the daiquiris are made, and if our patio umbrella hadn't smashed a hole in our dining room window while we were away last night, we'd open that sucker up over the grill and BBQ in the rain. 'MURRICA! Plan B! There's a sickening Hobby Lobby x Supreme Court joke in there somewhere! Hope everyone has a great (and safe) 4th out there today!

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Gingham Seersucker Dress (here's a cute one in black, and a few under $40) - Tulle | Star Crown Headband - J. Crew (similar here) | Nude Patent Wedges - BCBG Generation

Here are some fireworks from last night!

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XOXO,

FFAF

Blue Crush

DSC07407 Stuart! This blazer + our California flag combo makes me giggle because THE CALIFORNIANS.

As you may know, Southern California is a wildly different planet from the California I grew up in (for more on that, just ask Julie Goldman), but happens to be the California where my wife was raised, although she doesn't share the same allegiance to hers as I have to mine.

In fact, she doesn't really have an allegiance to any place, not really, and while I generally find her amusing and intriguing, lately this bit is especially so. (Plus, it makes me feel a heady little mix of vague envy and needless, low-grade anxiety.)

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I read an essay of sorts this morning that a friend posted about saying goodbye to New Orleans, and it made me wonder about the human impulse to create metaphors for cities as lovers. Heaven knows I'm guilty of it, and the concept certainly lends itself more to some places than others, but I've been thinking a lot about the idea of home, where the romanticized version intersects with reality, a person's expectations and how one's childhood home informs those expectations much later in life.

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The author wrote I fear I'm utterly unfit for life anywhere else and I've been struggling with that, too. I cherish the soft, dreamy pliancy that comes with spending the first 30+ years of my life in California, but I also haven't got a feeble bone in my body and never wanted to be the kind of girl who couldn't leave home. It turns out being the kind of girl who can is a lot harder than it looks.

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Shark Prep

On that note, I'm headed west to recharge and get inspired at A-Camp in 10 days! I can't wait to see familiar faces and meet lots of new ones atop Mt. Feelings, to breathe in fresh mountain air at gloriously high altitudes and get up to all kinds of nonsense in what is forecast to be splendid weather with a few hundred other cabin queers, including a wedding!

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But first, Mother's Day is Sunday! It might be a beach day here, so I've got my fingers crossed. This morning M asked me if I wanted a seaside brunch, and my reply was a sleepy "Sandy pancakes, please!"

A big old Happy Mother's Day to any moms out there, and hugs to everyone who has a tough time with it this year.

‘Pixie’ Pant in Leather Tuxedo Stripe – Hudson | Thin Sweater – UO | Prep School Blazer - Thrifted | 'Kristen' Penny Loafers in Wine Suede – Dana Davis | 'Shark Attack' Necklace - Nasty Gal | ‘Kieko’ Nail Polish – Zoya

Ciao, kittens!

XOXO, FFAF

Post-Christmas Blues

P2930332 It's a late White Christmas! As I type this there's fresh snow falling and even though it's the day after, I'm wearing a green skirt, red cashmere sweater and an ivory scarf twirled around my neck while I sit beside the still-twinkling Christmas tree, because I'm just not ready to let it go. My daughter (who turned sixteen years old on Christmas Eve - happy birthday to her!) just said that I look like Mrs. Claus. Oh, dear.

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One more day! Just one last little day before I change tack and look to the new year in 2014, that's all I ask. Please don't debunk this.

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On a more serious note, I truly hope you each spent the day just exactly the way you wanted. We slept in late, never once took our PJs off, lounged fireside/around the tree opening presents and playing records and baking cookies and snacking and chatting with the folks back home and stayed warm and cozy and it was wonderful. 

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While I was on the receiving end of many lovely gifts (quite notably a Crosley record player that I've been dragging with me from room to room, relentlessly playing The Supremes' Merry Christmas album), it's never quite about that, is it, and I was just glad we were all together, safe and sound and happy.

I know you want need to know all about this little black beauty, because it's adorable! Well, one or two dear pals had pointed it out to me awhile back ("Jonesey, you NEED this!") and it was sold out, and I had a huge femme temper tantrum, but then Sonny at Qwear came to the rescue and found it someplace they still had some in stock, and I scooped one up and all was well in the world, except now I can't remember where it's from and there's no trace of it in my Gmail archives and I feel super duper lame about that. *shakes fist*

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The blazer is an older one from H&M, the buckled green skirt (same one I've got on today, and I wore it to the Head of the Charles Regatta as well) is a neoprene dream from Asos, and my riding boots are from Gilt. The pretty blue statement necklace is from Lou Lou on Newbury St., and the indigo denim shirt is Madewell. I just love this blue and green together.

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Today marks the last of my three-part series on holiday dressing over at Autostraddle, so don't miss out on that - the final post is all about going back to black on New Year's Eve. I'd love to hear what your plans are and what you'll be wearing for New Year's! We're staying local - an indulgent dinner at our favorite French bistro, followed by a small but festive gathering at home with our closest friends.

I haven't decided what to wear yet, but I'll be puttin' on the Ritz for sure!

XOXO, FFAF

Boots with the Fir

4-P2910197 Before Allandale Farm there was Half Moon Bay and our beloved Delancey Street lots. Part of the fun of a big move is starting traditions anew, and heading to the farm on Thanksgiving weekend is definitely one of ours. They have a fantastic crew, awesome selection of trees and holiday swag (including tons of actual swags), delicious hot cider and a fire pit to warm up beside with the fam. We didn't quite have to bundle up as much as last year, though.

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Look at this impressive damn winter wonderland! And yes, it smells like heaven. I just did laps inside of this greenhouse, huffing the air like a deranged person. And now our house smells just like it, thanks to the tree, a few wreaths and a centerpiece for the nutcracker buffet.

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This super comfy outfit = Asos denim, a Vince sweater coat, my old H&M L.O.G.G. scarf and Juicy Couture weatherproof boots. You'll get to see the super cute cheetah blouse underneath some other time. M's got her Dockers Slim Fit Alpha khakis on with a few layers of sweaters under a corduroy barn coat she found new at Crossroads in Rockridge on our trip back home, J.D. Fisk boots and a Goorin Bros. cadet.

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We picked out these baby trees to flank our front door while we waited for our big fir tree to get all wrapped up and strapped in for the ride home. They're so wee and adorable! We almost bought one of those massive wreaths to decorate and hang from the Juliet balcony, but after I almost broke my neck and actually broke a six-foot antique balcony window hanging lights from it last year, M put her foot down. And she's scared of heights, so there's no way she's doing and there's no way I'm letting the petite get involved, so…bah humbug!

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Speaking of home stuff, it looks like we'll be moving into our own guest room for a little while in 2014!

When we started house hunting last year, one thing that became obvious right away was that the grandiose en suite master baths we were used to in California were NOT A THING here. A lot of Cape Cods, Colonials and Victorians had a single full bath, powder rooms off the kitchen on the first floor and quite often really useless full baths down in the basements, even when the basements weren't entirely finished! Though we lucked out with two full baths at our house, we knew we'd have to factor in the cost of creating an en suite bath that met our (admittedly spoiled Californian) needs.

This morning we officially kicked off the project with our contractor during a three-hour meeting and the handing over of a big fat check. It's exciting and a little terrifying, but we're thrilled to finally get it off the ground since putting it off way back in April. We've watched enough HGTV to know that an 1882 New England Victorian might have its own plans for our budget and we may not get everything on our wish list, but it's off to a good start and we're taking the lead on nearly everything that comes after the rough finishing. (Translation: A LOT of shopping and deal-hunting, and probably a decent amount of hands-on work.) By mid-January we should be done with the design process, and construction can begin as soon as February!

We've never done anything like this before, so it'll be an adventure, I'm sure. Wish us luck!

XOXO, FFAF

Lady of the House

1-P2900745 I mentioned it in the last post, but the morning of Thanksgiving we were so busy after sleeping in 'til 11am and then realizing we had an oven crisis to deal with on top of everything else that I really had no idea what the heck I was going to wear. I had a vague idea of throwing on a bright red and maroon silk thing from French Connection, but winter static cling got the best of me and it wasn't like the usual tricks would do on the beautiful fabric.

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Onto the next silk thing! Maybe it's the weight of it, maybe it's the lining, but it was easy, flattering and I could just grab the Anthropologie earrings on my vanity and call it a day, no static harshing my mellow. It was perfect, and with that out of the way I could afford to spend 30 minutes painstakingly curling my hair while waiting for our guests to arrive. As it should be!

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Dramatic bar cart situation.

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Squishing the Gun because TRADITIONS. Also we need a circular rug for the dining room. I want something with lots of color. This one is fun and bold but was a stop-gap Ikea purchase over the summer and has seen better days.

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Ratty cowboy boots because no one could see them anyway! If anyone has any ideas about getting paint of leather, pray tell. It'd be nice if these could be made…a little less ratty. (Even though I have my eyeballs on this super rad and foolish pair from Sam Edelman.)

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Look at that half-carved bird in the background! We finally had to cry uncle with turkey leftovers tonight, and grabbed a pizza from our local artisan pizza joint. Last night I made a huge batch of turkey gumbo and it was delicious, and will make a fine meal when we're ready to defrost it and serve it over a fresh pot of rice and warm cornbread. Maybe in 2014!

XOXO, FFAF

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