Who Do You Give Thanks With?

I am so intrigued by holiday traditions. While so many of the typical customs string from family to family {raise your hand if you are having turkey tomorrow!} there are also fascinating and intricate things that vary. They reveal such a tender side to family life. Fun fact: A couple we know always travels to a different city during the holiday and eats one of the typical Thanksgiving staples for lunch. Once they ate turkey sandwiches in San Francisco and another time they had curry pumpkin soup in Delhi. Nifty.

When the sir and I were dating and living in Florida we always traveled to see our families in Pennsylvania {either his in Philadelphia or mine in Pittsburgh} for the Thanksgiving holiday. Once we had CJ, we prefered to create a more intimate and slow-paced tradition and opted to skip traveling and stay at home in the city since we usually travel for Christmas. We would cook and drink wine all day and then get our Christmas tree at night. I loved it. This year we decided to rent a house on the beach in Florida with my parents, grandmother, brother and sister-in-law. So I guess our tradition varies. 

But the turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie and football are always steady and the same.

I'm curious, sweet readers, who do you usually celebrate Thanksgiving with? Where? What do you eat?

P.S. If you are still looking for a dish to saddle up to the supper table with tomorrow this shepherd-less pie or this roasted butternut squash with feta looks delish! Or, hello, pumpkin creme brulee!

{Photo via Once Wed}


And Then There Was A Sunset

Bonjour from the beach, lovies! We arrived early Saturday morning after a 3am cab ride, 3 hour plane ride and 3 nearly lost suitcases. Whew.

I spent many summers on Anna Maria Island in Florida when I was growing up so I'm so excited to share this place with CJ. We've snorkeled to the sand bar for sand dollars, checked out the parrots at the local gift shop and walked to the pier for ice cream cones for breakfast, so we are off to a grand start. 

And the sunsets.

We have a dance party until the sun pops over the horizon every night.


Tropical Thanksgiving 2012 is well underway.

I'm curious, what is your favorite beach? I'd love to hear!


Friday Photo: No. 59

Happy weekend, sweet friends. A few months ago we decided to rent a beach house with my family for the Thanksgiving holiday, so we are retreating to a tiny island in the sea called Anna Maria off the coast of Florida. We plan on eating our turkey off of frisbees in our bathing suits. Not really. And the sir and I plan on taking a walk every day at dusk to watch the sun melt like a drippy egg yolk. Really. Have an adventurous one!

+ The New York Times has a Thanksgiving help line. Genius.

+ Everyone needs a coat-igan, no?

+ I'll be baking these for our tropical Thanksgiving feast.

+ I want to do this for somebody special.

+ I've added about 213 new places to visit thanks to Airbnb's new neighborhood guides.

+ Such an intriguing article about Tory Burch.

+ This polish is so pitch perfect for the holidays.

+ I laughed for an hour when I saw these. Gag gift?

+ I want to jazz up my cutlery.

+ These holiday cards are pretty spiffy.

+ I've gone and fallen in love with a kitchen product.

+ Do a little good. This calendar raises funds for Hurricane Sandy relief.

{Photo via BiCoastal Blue}


Cranberry Apple Tea

So, the upshot of this whole post? A perfectly sweet and crisp recipe for a fall drink. 

But, first.

Last week CJ and I sidestepped off of Fifth Avenue and took a walk to the Central Park's Conservatory Waters. We had already been on the 5 train, switched to the 6 train, sat through a doctor's appointment and walked a handful of city blocks, half of which my hands were full carrying a little boy whose knees "were too heavy to walk anymore." My feet were throbbing from it all, too. {Truth: I was also breaking in a new pair of oxfords. Ouch!} I debated just doing the whole Central Park thing another day. 


It's fall.

In Central Park.

Another day and it could be winter.

And we don't get uptown often.

So we ducked in and walked along the path, especially slow, on account of our heavy knees and uncooperating oxfords. 

We saw the usual hot dog vendors, the perfect skyline of the Plaza seemingly painted behind the trees, the artists asking to draw our picture, the tourists staring at maps instead of losing themselves in one of NYC's gems.

You know what we didn't see?

The blaze of red, yellow and orange of leaves on fire with fall. Sure, we spotted a few leaves speckled with brown and softer greens that were, maybe, if you winced your eyes tight enough, faintly yellow. But nothing looked intentional, purposeful. We heard a saxophonist play Sinatra over and over. Central Park was hitting the same note, too. Green. Everywhere. Where was the power of the season?

And our knees were heavy and our feet hurt.

Back onto the sidewalk, back on the 6 train and then the 5. And then home.

But before home, a stop at my favorite coffee shop. The barista was new. He had a toothy smile and wore a beat-up grey beanie and he was well versed in all the fall fixings. Pumpkin spice lattes, hot cider, hot chocolate, dashes of nutmeg on your drink.

There it was. Fall. 71 blocks downtown and right in my face. Or mouth.

Iced coffee with soy, to go.

The toothy-grinned barista in his beanie looked like I had committed a cardinal rule against the whole fall season by idolizing a drink that isn't steamy or foamy or filled with a pumpkin patch. Or maybe I was just grumpy because the blistered feet and the heavy kid and the wobbly knees.

Iced coffee with soy, to go.

For the final few blocks home, the light was soft like honey. The brutal sun of summer had melted away. Leaves rattled along the ground like whispers for cableknit sweaters. The air was fresh and biting, nipping at the impending arrival of winter. It was unabashedly fall. Maybe without the crimson leaves or the cinnamon drinks.

But, fall, nonetheless. 

And you know what? We'll make it uptown again and so will the bright leaves, buttered in all the shades of the season.

And in the meantime, the upshot, a little fall drink that isn't warm or filled with pumpkins.

Cranberry + Apple Tea

eight cups of water

four tea bags

a handful of cranberries

two apples, sliced

a few glugs of agave syrup, or 1/4 of a cup of raw brown sugar

Boil the eight cups of water in a pot on the stove. Reduce to simmering and add the tea bags and fruit. Let it all mull together for 15 minutes or so. Stir in a little agave syrup or sugar to sweeten it up. Pour into a pitcher over ice. Or not. Warm is good, too.

P.S. Pumpkins, we still love you.


Friday Photo: No. 58

Hip, hip for the weekend! We are going on a steam train ride through the Hudson River Valley that drops you off in a giant pumpkin patch hidden where two mountains meet. We're excited to drink hot apple cider on the train and wear wooly sweaters. I'm hoping the leaves are on fire with color right now and the air will be crisp enough you can hear it crinkle. What are you up to this weekend, friends?

+ This year in review is awesome!

+ It's cozy-up-and-read weather. Here are some great suggestions.

+ What a happy home for your rings.

+ Just drinking with Hemingway. No biggie.

+ The human body as a subway map.

+ Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. You're welcome.

+ How to host a pumpkin carving party.

+ And while we are talking pumpkins...hello, gorgeous!

+ This strongman costume makes my heart hurt it's so cute.

+ Oh, yep. Wishlisted.

+ Pretty, tiny braids.

{Photo credit: unknown}