Filtering by Category: LOVERBIRDS

Antiquing for Apples

01-P2890509 Allow me to explain. This year, instead of going ye olde family friendly route, we decided to mix the wholesome autumn business of apple picking with the pleasure of wine tasting at Nashoba Valley Winery.

Plus, we've heard good things about the skiing in the area come winter, and it was a good way to peek at the terrain a bit. Spoiler alert: The peak is 422' - that counts as NO elevation in our snotty Lake Tahoe book, and I'm scared to death of Vermont skiing - so cold! Still, the winery is really beautiful, especially with all of the fall colors ablaze, and the orchards boast a smartly curated selection of antique apples in addition to the standard selection. You can read more about all that here if you're interested. So fancy!


The tomboys directing some apple traffic. 


We arrived a bit early and sent the petite and her pal off to explore the corn maze while we hung back in the tasting room. (The night before we all piled up at our friends' house for a viewing of Children of the Corn - the original! - and as a result the kiddo was NO WAY gonna go anywhere near the maze, but we sent them off regardless. It's what parents do!) You honestly can't beat $5 for 5 tastings, plus a lovely souvenir glass.

The Gravenstein and Dry Blueberry wines were pleasant and the service was fantastic, but as far as wines go...well, overall it's no Alexander Valley. Lesson learned! Next time we'll go back to Honey Pot Hill, and just bring our own hooch. Their cider is out of this world, anyway.


Once our pals showed up we all regrouped and set out to find a few pecks' worth of apples. We were determined to find Northern Spy, Ben Davis and Golden Russet apples in particular. I'm going to make a nice apple crisp and I'm not sure what else, but they'll be put to good use.



I wore this kind of ridiculously inappropriate outfit accidentally on purpose. I distinctly remembered being too warm last year, so I kept the layers light and pulled on these studded ankle boots with nice high heels. The sun was plentiful and quite warm but whenever the breeze kicked up, it'd send a shiver through me. Oh, well. What are fabulous and impractical femme getups if not a perfect excuse to ensure a handsome butch looks after your every move? Très exactement! 



Apparently taking inspiration from the fruit of the vines, I chose this long, merlot-colored crocheted tank from The Rack, thrown on over Zara leggings with a Zara belt and topped with a Free People sweater in a nice, grape-y shade. The boots are Trouve, the bag is Kate Spade, and the necklace is from JewelMint. I've got my trusty Ray-Ban Clubmasters on as well.





We took this group photo of our footwear. Sebago boots for M, Ugg boots for Fancy, and some well-loved Doc stompers (from France!) in an excellent oxblood for Kelly Alice. It's one of my favorites from the whole day!


I found this perfect little bird's nest in one of the apple trees in the orchard! It was empty.


And then I found Kelly Alice employing very strange methods for apple picking, indeed.





After the apple picking, we bought some snacks and a bottle of Gravenstein from the winery and sat out on their beautiful patio nibbling and sipping and people watching and live music listening. It's so pleasant and dog-friendly and queer-friendly there, and a really great way to spend the afternoon, apples or no apples. They're having this cutie pie Bluegrass + Brews festival this weekend, locals who haven't yet done their apple picking or just want to enjoy a Sunday outdoors before it gets too chilly should check it out!

Next up, a bike ride to the Head of the Charles Regatta and an equestrian edition of FFAF. Stay tuned, dear readers!



Merrily, Merrily

01-IMG_1168 So the story goes, three months or so after we first met, we went to a white party together and I ended up staying with M overnight. Wearing the same dainty and very short white getup the next morning, I spontaneously proposed a day date rowing on Lake Chabot, walk of shame clothes and all. M agreed, and so I rowed her all around this little lake, and the odd breeze may or may not have lifted my hem on high once or twice during the excursion.

Rowing is rigorous activity, you know, and it was just a wee little dinghy, not like the one I'm in above.



Long story short, it was a good date. A very good date.


Having already been on a camping trip with a group of her friends and to one of her college buddy's weddings, the following week M threatened to take me to her high school reunion, suggested that we pretend to be married to avoid nosy questions, and a few short weeks later we were planning a whirlwind trip to Barcelona. We never did make it to that reunion.


Two months after Barcelona we'd move in together to a lovely lakeside flat built in the 1920s (mischievously referred to as our "Hill Manor" days), two months after that she said she loved me, and perhaps five or six months after that we at long last, and much to our friends' collective relief, admitted we were officially In A Relationship. The rest, of course, is history.


So a beautiful afternoon spent rowing on a lake close by seemed the perfect thing to do for our anniversary last weekend. And it really was perfect!


We packed a picnic basket to the brim with goodies and set out in a very nice rowboat. A super nice gentleman told us to paddle through two tunnels to get to a big, open part of the lake with a beach on one side and lots of little coves to explore on the other, and after a few hours and the sun sinking to the west, we still didn't want to leave! So much fun.


This is a fascinating vintage necklace I was given a few years ago. I like that it kind of gets lost in the pattern of the Duro Olowu shell and cardigan I have on, but it would be stunning against a nice dark solid background as well. Up above I'm wearing my druzy stingray ring by Lauren Wolf (visit her boutique, Esqueleto, in Oakland if you can - or online here), and JewelMint and Madewell bracelets. I managed not to dunk my trusty Clubmasters into the lake!

My skirt is Asos and the peep-toes are Elie Tahari.

M is wearing a shirt by Gant, Dockers khakis and Sebago boots. The Ray-Bans are prescription aviators I got her awhile back.



Hope everyone's having a great weekend - last of the summer! Our half-cord of kiln-dried firewood arrived today, and I'm finally feeling all ready and excited for fall. Just in time!


PS. Unbelievably, these photos were all taken with the iPhone, because I forgot the camera in the car! They came out pretty darn good if you ask me.

Cape Ann

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Welcome back to Singing Beach, a historic, beautiful Cape Ann beach and home of the Eaglehead, some kind of rock thing I can't be bothered with at present. It really is a pristine, deliciously sandy beach, not very crowded and with sand that "sings," but boy is it expensive! $25 to park and $6 per person just to grace it with your presence. All beaches have parking fees here (I think $12 per vehicle is about average), but every now and then it's worth it to fork up the dough. We brought our trusty lobster rolls and some classic reading material. (My recent issues of Garden & Gun are out of the shot but no less worthy.)



I decided to go a little nuts and mix my striped, high-waisted Anthropologie bikini bottoms with a mysterious, but vintage, I think, bikini top impulse buy at Cocoa Beach a few years ago. I love the sparkly gold trim and think the white is nice against my sun-kissed skin. The vintage bamboo sunglasses came with as well, hair tied back with a baby blue silk scarf from Bobby From Boston, and my Kate Spade Idiom charm necklace.

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It was our first time trying out Italian Ice at the beach! It's so good. Just as good as ice cream in the hot hot heat, especially if you're craving something fruity and tart. They'll mix up the flavors for you - mine was half mango, half lemon and divine. Look, I can't speak to Southern California beaches, but hand to God the one thing New England beaches have on Northern California's are the amazing snack shacks. This one had house-made hummus and fancy sandwiches with fresh mozzarella and whatnot! (And junk food because damn it, we can't all be perfect all the time.)

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While I did indeed rock my bright Kensie wedges at the beach, I kept a pair of casual canvas slippers in my Everlane tote in case I needed a more practical option. Cushe was nice enough to send over this pair of their Moroccan-inspired Hellyer, and I like that they have the look and feel of an espadrille upper with a honeycomb grip sole. They come in nine different color combinations and run a hair big and in whole sizes, so if you snag a pair keep that in mind!




What would a trip to the beach be without loverbird shenanigans!? Why, no trip at all. Here's my birthday boy M in her H&M striped tee and a pair of tortoise folding sunglasses that came in her latest Men's Birchbox and happen to suit her perfectly. Today she turned 36 years old! She's very upset that she hasn't got any grey hairs yet, and is convinced it's somehow due to her very high lemon intake (which she can neither give up nor compromise).



So bright these shades are really just for show, apparently. The sun is at its most brutal around 3PM here!

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I had had had to have this beach towel when I first saw it on RueLaLa. Pretty ladies under beach umbrellas! A fun California reference! LEATHER! Plus, it's enormous. You can get your own here for under $30.


One last shot of the beach...that's it for now, but a big hang in there for my fellow East Coasters suffering through this crazy heat wave and my drenched West Coasters. I think our modest above-ground wading pool is getting set up ASAP.


Derby Day

P2750752 ...and they're off! 

I love the Kentucky Derby. Obviously, it's the horses. Perhaps one day in this lifetime I will actually attend the derby, but in the meantime the handful of times I've been to the races back home at Golden Gate Fields will have to do. (Dollar Day, anyone!?) Plus, there's always The Jumper Classic, which I have to get to this July  since I just missed it last year.



Anyway, we were invited to a derby day party, of course we said yes, and the mad dash for outfit planning began. I had a strapless, gorgeous vintage Milly dress all picked out. The print is leafy and oversized, just lime green and chalky chocolate-brown against a soft white background. As it turns out lime green hats and fascinators are rather difficult to find (and yes, I looked through every green hat on Etsy and eBay), and most brown ones are oriented toward cooler weather.

Still, I had bookmarked a ton of very outlandish and very expensive options I was going to attempt to DIY on the cheap, especially since a brand new Michael's has opened up nearby. The one above from Hats by Cressida in London, for example, is $280, which I suppose is reasonable for actually attending the derby as a one-time splurge, but for an annual house party, as fabulous as it was? Negatory.

It's still a freaking incredible hat, though, isn't it? One day!




Where was I? Oh, right. The hat. My hat. Clearly, I ended up with an altogether different dress and hat, because you know what I learned? You don't match the hat to the dress, my friends, you match the dress to the hat.

That's what happened when I saw this hat at Bobby from Boston, and tried it on. It was amazing and meant to be and - BONUS TIME - so reasonably priced.



And out came this ancient Libertine for Target dress in its smartly draped black crepe, with its perfect little cream collar and belt. I knew it would suit the hat nicely with its vintage shape and feel. I could have gone with a more classic shoe, but I can't get enough of these B. Makowsky suede platform sandals, and I knew the wedge heel would make it comfortable for traipsing all around Jamaica Plain, where our pre-parties and party-parties and after-parties all were.



Oh! And I found this lovely crane rhinestone crane pin loaded with lots of black, cream and gold at a Newbury St. boutique called Lou Lou, and snapped it up even though I wasn't sure if it would end up on me or the hat or a corsage or what. I chose me, and couldn't pass up layering on the oversized pearl and black lace necklace, either.


The enamel bracelet is from Betsey Johnson, the perfect and very sweet perforated gloves are from SoWa Vintage Market, and y'all recognize that cutie pie Madewell bag by now, I think. There was a vintage shawl I dyed myself with black tea from stark white to a nice, vintage-looking cream, but it's not here.


M looked very dapper, don't you think? I take zero credit for her outfit, she came downstairs as I was curling my hair and I was very impressed! She paired an H&M blazer, vintage sweater vest, and Banana Republic shirt with a pair of Express trousers and Asos brogues. I believe the hat is actually from our trip to Puerto Rico, and that was back in 2008. Before she proposed, even! Good heavens.



It was a great day with plentiful sunshine, lots of good food, bottomless mint juleps and wonderful company. The races were exciting and muddy and over in a flash, but we had some casual, friendly bets going amongst the group and a winner amongst our pals! M & I spent the morning learning all about the horses and going over our favorites. Such a good time.

Can't wait to do it all over again next year!



The Good Fight

Aja & Miriam Wedding Announcement - Opt 8

Most of you know that this week is a monumental one in the fight for marriage equality in our country, and have followed along today in the arguments made on Prop 8. You'll probably be tuned in tomorrow when the Supreme Court hears arguments on DOMA, and you likely understand that we won't hear results of the rulings until June of this year.

You can read the article I was quoted in yesterday here, and the short essay of sorts from which it was pulled is posted below in full if you'd like to read it. Helpful informational links can be found down at the end if you need any of those!

It's interesting how both Supreme Court arguments this week can feel so different to one legally married lesbian. It's safe to say we'll be glued to what's happening.

My wife and I tied the knot back in San Francisco in 2008, and while we're "safe" in terms of having gotten our nuptials in under the gun then, I think we both feel very attached to the outcome this week. It's been a battle that's lasted as long as our marriage, and that's sobering - and also nothing compared to the fact that couples much older, and together for much longer than we've been, are still being denied this basic right back home. (We've since found greener pastures in Massachusetts, where we enjoy a legally recognized marriage, superior schools, and prime affordable real estate.)

The path doggedly traversed by Proposition 8 has been long and ugly. Following and fighting has, at times, felt like a kind of emotional abuse. You invest time and energy and money where you can, you hope — you triumph, even — and then just as you start to get up and dust yourself off, you get kicked down again. It's been brutal, it really has. There hasn't been a single time when a step forward hasn't meant setbacks as well, so this week is obviously crucial. The buck's gonna stop here.

The optimist in me feels very strong and positive where Prop 8 is concerned, however. We've handily won at every legal juncture so far, and our side's been unstoppable, breathlessly so. The likely wait through June is going to be agonizing for many. Our hearts and happiness, our rights are off the table until someone decides if and when they're back on the table. That's dehumanizing, and it's shameful. It affects all of us. "Better late than never" will never feel as good as it surely must come June.

As for DOMA, there have been times when it's felt like this week would never come. When you're married for five years and every tax season means confronting your inequality neatly itemized in black and white, feeling that sucker punch of how your life, your kids, are impacted by the financial aspect alone that year, that's really hard. It's a feeling of anguish and powerlessness that doesn't compute when you've done all you can, like my wife and I have, going above and beyond to be good, hardworking people, to raise a spectacular kid, to follow the rules. Federally you don't exist, and it's a very real way of lessening someone's fair shot at the American dream.

It's bone-chilling to consider our future here if DOMA is upheld, but it's easy enough to see that the odds are slightly in our favor. I've had to distance myself from thinking about this week as tossing a Supreme Court coin that'll land on the right or wrong side of history, and see it more as two closely related orders of business being handled concurrently. The former is too emotional and large to process.

If you'd like a quick recap of this week's activity, try this flowchart. If you'd like to listen to or read today's oral arguments, here are those links as well: LISTEN | READ.

In love + solidarity,