The Fourth of July has always been one of my very favorite holidays. It's smack dab in the middle of summer (actually more of a kick off to summer here in New England), and it just has an overall happy vibe. Andrew and I actually met this very week 14 years ago, so I suppose I'm extra sentimental about it.
As a little girl, my New England-bred parents (who had been transplanted to Tennessee right around the time I was born), packed up our suburban every summer and drove up the eastern seaboard (sometimes with a boat in tow, sometimes with a dog, and always with four kids with far too much energy for a 22 hour drive) to escape the oppressive southern summers. We instead replaced them with magical New England ones.
Last fall, when we were out shoot for Nantucket Looms Holiday, I had the privilege of staying at The Roberts Collection along with Erin while we were on the island and we fell in love. It's location is just perfect for the days when we are running around like crazy, but even better when we get to stop and enjoy the island for a bit.
I love all seasons, I really do, but summer in New England is something to really appreciate. Maybe it's because we wait so long for it. Maybe it's because the weather is just perfection. Maybe it's because everyone just seems like they are in the happiest of moods. Whatever it is, I try to soak it up in every capacity and spend as much time outdoors as possible.
Summertime in Newport is pure magic. Sailboats, sunshine, and the sea - it just doesn't get better. We are lucky enough to live just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the gorgeous city by the sea, so the number of times we are asked for our must-dos in that pretty little place is countless. Well, thanks to Erin McGinn's picture perfect images I'll now have all my answers in one sweet spot.
Around March 30th, Andrew and I both channeled our inner Verruca Salt and declared we needed warmth and we needed it now! It sounds dramatic, but if you've ever experienced a spring like the one we are currently having in New England, you would understand the primal need to get to the sun. I just wanted a few days of warmth in a place with a little character before my brain exploded. Ok, now that is a tad dramatic, but it's precisely how I felt. Don't judge.
Spring cocktails are happiness in a glass. There is absolutely nothing like the first sip of a yummy cocktail on the patio after a long winter, and I have just the recipe for such a special occasion. Now, it's important to know, whenever I plan on serving a cocktail I make sure it only has a few ingredients - because who wants to sit in the kitchen mixing all night while your friends are enjoying themselves on your dream cocktail + patio evening? Well this little bubbly sipper is so easy you could do it in your sleep (or after a few perhaps), but they are fun and festive enough to make the evening feel special. Tip: the elderberry maple syrup from Runamok Maple is what really makes this spritzer shine.
Ok, uncle. I need spring. I'm pretty sure I break right around this week every single year. It's like clockwork. At the end of March, I want spring. And I want it now. Very Verruca Salt of me. But I think it's just human nature to start craving life again. I want to see buds on the trees. I want flowers in my garden. I want my allergies to flair (ok, not so much that). I want sunshine on my chest. I want afternoon spent lounging on the patio with the pups. Just the little things, nothing huge.
It never fails. The minute February rolls around I start to crave some serious vitamin D like nobody's business. Yes, even me, the certified snow queen needs an escape to the warm weather in the depths of winter. I just like to remember what it feels like to wear flip flops again, to not have ten layers on at all times and to twirl around in a dress again. It's really the little things.
So here is my dilemma in life; I love things to look beautiful, but I hate being inefficient. For instance, I would love to have an amazing cocktail at every gathering, but I know for a fact I would be miserable trying to make them all evening. So I've learned a few go-tos that seem impressive, but really anyone could knock them out in a few mere minutes before the party begins. These are so easy in fact, they don't even need a recipe.