travel series no. 3: sarah's guide to martha's vineyard!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Good morning!  Today we have Sarah to tell us a little bit about her home... Martha's Vineyard!  Thanks so much Sarah!

I’m Sarah - a hungry mom of two young boys (Dylan, 3 and Gray, 8 months), home cook, and recipe developer. I live with my family on Martha’s Vineyard which has its pluses (there is no Target) and minuses (there is no Target!). After being a summer kid for 30 years my husband and I took the plunge and moved here full time two years ago. The island’s community, natural beauty, and charm is contagious. My blog, Two Blue Lemons, documents the meals from our kitchen and general Martha’s Vineyard adventures. I am the co-author of Little Bites: 100 Healthy, Kid-Friendly Snacks being published by Roost Books in July 2015.

And now, some of Sarah's favorite things about living in Martha's Vineyard.

1. Cinema Circus 
I love the handcrafted costumes, local food offerings, and creative circus put on by Ringmaster, Rory the Lion, Ellie the Elephant and the entire crew of Cinema Circus.  These amazing afternoons are made up of filmmaking, film watching, circus shows, face painting and more.  It is a child’s dream and a parent’s (because it’s free!). 
 2. Long Point Wildlife Refuge 
The Vineyard has a strict town beach sticker policy during the high season which can be frustrating but Long Point doesn’t require a sticker, which I love.  You have the best of both worlds at Long Point – miles of ocean beach, perfect for body surfing and boogie boarding, as well as fresh water ponds for easy swimming and kid friendly fun.  When you visit, make sure to go early as the parking lot fills up fast but if you’re willing to walk down the beach you’ll always have plenty of space. 
Click to read more!!

i want a time out.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

parker gets them, why can't i have one?  i mean, i would kill for a time out.  i would kill for a nap.  i will give you one million dollars if you tell me, "bridget.  go take a nap."  and the child, he just protests such things.  the other day's gestational diabetes test is probably the closest to a time out i've had in awhile.  almost a spa day if i'd arrived donning a white fluffy robe and the office had hiked the heat up just a smidgen more.  i considered the robe, anyway.  

it ain't right.

let's move on.  the past few days have been rough.  some anxiety (the middle of the night kind which is always so much bigger at the time than it is in the light of morning.  crazy nighttime mind tricks.), some cold (so much nose-blowing and sneezing, which then leads me to this confession on facebook), so much toddler tantruming (we really need to dive into this in a future blog post), so much teenage drama (we won't probably dive into this but goodness gracious me), financial stress, our pets heads are falling off...

put it all together and what do you get?  am i about to break into down down baby?  is this the early 90s?  are you still with me?

it's clear, even as i write, that i am in dire need of a good night's sleep.  i'm beginning to make very little sense and as i sit here my pile of tissues is growing around me such that i may actually be trapped by it soon.  but, what was the point of all of this?  i guess it's something like this if a neat wrap-up is necessary: we're all in this together.  everyone's got their shitty days and mine was today (yesterday).  

how was yours?  tell me something good.  or bad.  i'll take either.

Soup or weather, weather or soup.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I feel like all I can talk about these days is soup or the weather, the weather or soup.  I sit down here and details about the smell of sautéing onions and garlic or the sweater I need to wrap myself up in every morning flow forth but not much else.  It's that time of year.  Not quite hibernation but we're getting there, so we need to pull our resources, stock up on some fatty meats and beans, and hunker down.  I want bay leaf wreaths on every door, I sort of want to paint my bathroom black, and I definitely want to make more chili.  I light a candle every morning and it remains flickering throughout the day, unless I go out.  It's a spicy fall smell.  I'm playing Phil Keaggy on Pandora which takes me through a lot of great guitar; you should check it out.  I think about dinner at 3 pm and actually look forward to making my way from couch to kitchen to start it.  The opening of cans, the sizzling of meat, the dicing of onions.  It's methodical and makes this place feel more like home.  I have little energy for much, but for cooking a hot meal these days?  Endless, it seems.  I stack the bowls, place them on the table, and ladle huge spoonfuls of black bean soup into each one while we sit around the table.  The other night it was a triple batch and we have leftovers.  We plopped scoops of sour cream and sprinkled grated cheese in ours.  We're keeping our windows wide open while we sleep and the room is chilly in the morning.  Our duvet gets put to use.  Even doing the laundry feels less chore-like and more keeping-home like these days.  I can't wait to pick out some pumpkins, maybe some mums, and place them on my stoop.  Should I let Parker take some paint to them?  Should we draw some black jack-o-lantern faces instead?  Which color mums?  I'm looking forward to seeing a fall stoop at my own house and others, looking forward to walking the aisles at the farm determining which pumpkins will make it home.  We went for a six mile bike ride the other night to catch the sunset down this farm road.  I think fall delivers the greatest sunsets, in this area anyway.  I want a good recipe for crockpot apple sauce and I want to drink hot cider and eat cider donuts too.  I waver on whether a day of 90 degrees would be welcome or not.  

To encourage the feelings of coziness in your own home, might I suggest: this throw // this cd // this pullover // this soup // these mugs (for the cider) // these slippers // this blog post (which totally inspired mine) // + finally, the pumpkin candle of your choosing (or, if you're me, whichever one smells best from your local Marshall's)

Yes, that should do it.

no more waistbands.

Monday, September 15, 2014

{dress: c/o shabby apple}
{shoes: (old) target}

i'm to the point in pregnancy where i want to rip all pants off of my body unless they have a soft and very stretchy elastic waist by 4:30 or 5 pm.  seriously.  if you happen to stop by after those hours, expect to see me in sweats of some sort.  the other day i was cooking and couldn't step away from the stove but the PANTS HAD TO COME OFF.  i begged steve to grab my sweats and, right there in the kitchen, had to do a quick switch.  i threw the jeans down in digust!  they landed in a rumpled heap on the kitchen floor.  the waistbands!  i cannot abide them!  so, this dress came right in time.  it's sort of perfect for fall (that rusty color!), and... best of all... no waistband.  

now what i'll be wearing for the next 10+ weeks is beyond me.  this won't really do once the snow falls.

Cucumber Tomato Panini.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

So I talked about how, during the summer, I feel totally uninspired in the kitchen.  Well, when it comes to lunch, I feel uninspired one hundred percent of the time.  Months September, October, November, straight on through till August.  Repeat for another year.  It's just, I wake up and it's go-time with breakfast.  Then I know I'm going to have to deliver something come dinner so lunch ends up being like... apples and peanut butter (if I'm having a particularly healthy day) or like Trader Joe's cookies with a handful of almonds to cancel those out if I'm being particularly lazy.  Or, as was the case last week, a bag of popcorn and a glass of lemonade.  Who wants to legitimately cook three meals a day?  You?  Are you also a crazy person?  (Note: I'm not always cooking breakfast, sometimes it's just cereal, but a lot of the times it's yogurt pancakes or an egg scramble of some sort.  I love eggs in the morning.)

But then, but then, I went out on a lunch date.  And, I decided to order this cucumber sandwich on a whim.  I'm often a chicken-salad-wrap-or-sandwich-when-out-to-lunch kinda gal but not this time!  I strayed from my normal course and am so glad I did.  This sandwich was so good.  There are times--and it's definitely not all the time, I'd estimate six times a year--when I enjoy a meal so much that I wake up thinking about it, and that continues straight on through the day.  I told you it's six times a year so you'd know I'm not just falling in love willy-nilly with every meal that is placed in front of me.  This makes me more legitimate, you see?

So, this sandwich was really good and I took stock of everything in it and was like, "I can do that."  And so I did.  It tasted exactly the same.  Now I bestow unto you this magical recipe so you can make it in the comfort of your own home as well.  You're welcome.

But, for the record, apples and peanut butter and/or a handful of cookies is still easier.

Cucumber Tomato Panini
(enough to make one sandwich)

two slices of bread--a ciabatta, French, whatever you prefer, really
a few slices of cucumber (I sliced diagonally so they'd be bigger slices)
a few slices of tomato
a handful of sprouts
two slices of muenster cheese
a smearing of mayo
a decent amount of honey mustard

Put it all together, cheese towards the outside of both sides so it's closest to the heat and can melt and hold ingredients together.  And... enjoy.  Then, tell me what you think.

Note: I used a pan and a flat lid to press it down and trap some of the heat.  A panini press would work great too.  Just be sure to butter/mayo/olive oil the outside.

Eight things that are very important.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

1. Parker and I went to the Trader Joe's that HAS THE TINY CARTS the other day.  Aside from him taking down a few small kids, it was GREAT.  No really, no kids were harmed in the pushing-of-the-cart and he takes it so seriously.  Like, he was 3 going on 15 and nary a tantrum was in sight.  At Marshall's yesterday, however, different story...

2. Sentimental posts about kids going back to school, move aside for a moment.  The lack of fighting (that always seems to take place when I'm well within earshot and I know they do this on purpose) has been a welcome respite.  Take, for instance, the spat (one of the ten million) they had late August that began like this: [with lots of sass in her voice] "William, whyyyyy do you bother eating outside if you're just going to eat in the shade?"

Well.  Where does one begin.  And what on earth is the purpose of the sun-umbrella industry then.  Why even wear a hat, people?!

3. Parker was up a lot last night with a cold.  It felt a little like the newborn days.  Which, I realized over my coffee, were coming upon me quickly and in the dead of winter.  Not even the dead of winter, actually, but like just before the dead.  Give me strength.

4. The other day Steve was all, "Your birthday's coming up, we'll have to do something special."  (Because, it's my thirtieth.)  I was feeling momentarily gracious and said, "Ohhh, don't worry about it."  Lying through my teeth.  He knew it.  Let's be serious: I want this and fifteen other really expensive things.  And fine, a big party too.  But no one can drink since I can't.

5. There are some ridiculously awesome travel instagrams that are sort of killing me.  My to-visit list is infinitely long already.  I should delete them off my instagram roll but they're just too effing beautiful, I can't.  The latest favorite.

6. This post of Blythe's about her latest obsessh (like obsession, and, not to worry, I just slapped myself for doing that) was really funny.  Also, I met her at the Hundred Event and she's really cool.  If she lived on the East Coast I could see us doing a playground meet up or something is all I'm saying.

7. Boy names.  We haven't picked one.  I've got my sister texting me ones (that are mostly too cool for Steve to latch onto.  I mean, do keep in mind the fairly tradition names he's got going so far), and I haven't yet dived (dove?  doven?  diven?  I know those last two aren't right.) into the Baby Names book (probably won't) but I'm asking for suggestions over here so lend me your hand (name) would you?

8. What are your go-to fall recipes?  I'll take what you got.  The dutch oven hasn't moved from the stovetop (it's like the most beautiful--and heavy--thing I own so I don't actually care) since last week and will probably be stationed there through March so if it's a dutch oven recipe, bonus points.

A good hectic.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The sun was coming into the house so nicely the other day.  I'm still observing these things about this new place: where the best morning light is, where the dust settles, how to angle the chairs, where this plant should go.  It's like every day holds a bit of discovery, if I move slow enough to notice it.  I'm moving fairly slow these days, so I'm noticing.

The mornings start early.  Kids are out the door, peanut butter toast and cereal consumed, shoes tied, by 7:00 am at the latest.  Maybe even 6:57.  When winter hits and it's still dark at that hour, it'll be a less welcome departure time, I'm sure.  I'm finding myself more excited to get into the kitchen.  I've gotten the dutch oven out twice this week.  Once for a sweet potato soup, and the other for a corn chowder.  I need to share that corn chowder recipe soon.  It starts with sizzling bacon and it ends with a generous splash of cream.  You can't go wrong.

We're diving head first into this school year.  Sports, practices, field trips, getting kids here and there.  It feels hectic but a good hectic if that makes sense.  They are genuinely enjoying themselves in their new schools, they've already had friends over.  We're feeling a sense of community here and, I don't want to jinx anything, but we're really happy.  Come winter, I imagine the place will feel tight--less time outdoors, our downsizing will be more obvious.  But right now, we're enjoying it.

William's nursing his first cold, and only three days into the school year!  He's been playing hard, eating too much sugar (perhaps my most often repeated mantra: "You're eating too much sugar!"), and not getting enough sleep, so it's to be expected.  It's hard to drop summer and get right into the habits school requires.  Attacking it head first with vitamins and water and essential oils, and he'll be back to normal.

We watched Bears the other night and it was so sweet.  I'd suggest it for your own family movie night (but thank you for the suggestions you gave on Facebook!).  There's nothing scary about it--no animal massacres like Planet Earth sometimes shows--and Parker loved it as did the rest of us.  Lately when we're sitting down to a show or movie, William rubs my feet.  He's really nice.

The baby has just started hiccuping which is so sweet.  This season in our life has been so busy, I'm just starting to really dive into this pregnancy.  The other day I had a mental wake-up call: "You are pregnant.  You will miss this when it's gone."  It's so true.  I'm being more intentional, from here on out.  I find my hand draped across my stomach all the time, I audibly say, "Awww" at the little kicks he gives me while I wonder if that last kick was a heel or a hand.  I've now grasped that a tiny, squishy, precious baby that is mine comes at the end of all of this (Delayed, yes.  Is that just how it is the second, third, or fourth time around??).  With that, I'm getting so excited.  I'm getting so excited for the newborn smell, for him to be placed on me for the first time, to meet my son.  I'm not sure I could ever get enough of those moments.

Things are good here.  How are they there?

for the (slight) change in temperature.

Monday, September 8, 2014

i'm sorry, i'm sorry!  but hear me out: the high all week long is 70 degrees.  like seven zero.  that makes the mornings mid-fifty and your coffee and cream that much more pleasant.  (please make mine the color of a paper bag. learned that that was indeed the perfect color of a cup of coffee as a little girl who would get my dad coffee at the social hour after church.  i loved being asked to get him his coffee, especially when he said sweetly, "the color of a paper bag" so i knew just how much half-and-half to add.  steve and i have adopted that as our own mantra.)  these nights, i'm climbing under the covers at night and that's because they're actually a necessity, i'm putting fleece footie pjs on parker (i'll admit--we might be a bit early for this one, but he saw them and begged).  i'm making tea and draping a throw blanket over me while i watch a show with steve before bed.  i haven't yet worn a beanie (though, i remember well the first beanie of the season last year) but am i sort of looking forward to one?  yes.  in large part because who needs to do anything with their hair when they throw one of those on?!  i'm making playdates to go apple-picking and thinking about my first apple cider donut of the season.  and, involuntarily (it just happens!), i'm checking out the latest scarves and beanies of the season. would you look at that scarf up there?  the colors are perfect and it's so loooong.  and those clogs... i love them.  and this hat?  in taupe?  or charcoal?  perfect.

i'm not ready but i am.  i know what comes after fall.  and i know that season (that shall not be named) is very, very, very, very, very, very long in the new england region.  so i'm not ready, but (in a whisper) i'm a little ready.

And they're off.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

I walked the kids to school today.  I told them they could walk ten paces ahead of me, or twenty if need be, and that'd be okay.  Parker didn't heckle them from the stroller, and I didn't heckle them either (mostly because I was too out of breath from hoofin' it with a belly and a stroller and, if we're being honest, being plain old out of shape) but I had to be a part of the morning somehow.  It's not the same as last year.  They're not going to familiar places, and I needed to see them enter the doors of their new schools.  Watch their backs as they leave me until threeish, or so.  And if my witnessing had to be half a block away as I watched their new shoes hit the pavement, so be it.

Though, they did walk with me and even let me give them hugs as I saw them off.  

We started the morning at about 6:58 at my sister's house where I grabbed a bagel, some coffee-to-go, and a few pictures.  Since we haven't entirely found "our crew" yet, it was nice to walk with cousins who've got the lay of the land.  William, as we neared the high school, went one way and we continued on up the road to take the rest of the kids to their school.  As Lindsey was about to depart, a girl pulled up having just moved from Colorado and who is going into the same grade as her.  Serendipitous.

As I watched buses trail about the town and people on foot take pictures out front, kids hair styled just so, backpacks on snug, I got emotional and, if I let myself, I'd have cried.  I didn't, I didn't!  But as my nephews got on one bus and it drove away, I saw one young boy looking out his window and I thought, "There's somebody's whole world, whole heart, right there in that seat."  It sounds corny but first days of school make me corny, and weepy.  It's hard letting your kids go.  Even when they're coming back a few hours later.  Because it's one step closer to the inevitable.  College, marriage.  Those phases that they don't return home from few hours later.  It is what it is.  I won't wax poetically here, but I could!

This summer was a good one and we managed to shuffle some fun things into all the cracks we could fill.  Beach days and boat days and, not so fast, it's not over yet.  I'm not totally buying the pumpkin-scented-flavored-everything just yet.  There's some more good weather to be had, some more flip flops to be worn, some more sand to wash off our feet.

But school's in session and with it another year.  And so it goes.

thai chicken salad.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The other day I could not, so help me God, come up with what to cook for dinner.  It was also unbearably hot and I am also lethargic basically all day long until about 7 pm so that doesn't help matters.  (William would say here, "Someone call the Wambulance.")  Seriously though, I'm sitting here writing this post, it's 10 pm, and I've got energy for days.  All day long though?  Zilch, zero, nada.  My morning cup of coffee is juuuuuuust now beginning to do its trick.

So, I dove into my cookbooks and this one is really a simple one, an easy one to just flip open and be inspired by, with every single recipe having its own beautiful picture (I like my cookbooks to be picture books as well, I really do).  There's not a bunch of nonsense in it and I like that.  It was the chosen one for the evening, so be it!  

Like I said, it was hot as Hades outside.  Who can cook when it's that hot?  This one didn't come with too much cooking.  And it was salad, and, if you're anything like me, the thought of pasta when you're already lethargic makes you want to fall asleep right then and there before the pasta even hits your lips.  I couldn't do it.  Though it be easy, pasta was not, could not be on the menu.  Thai chicken salad to the rescue!  

It's good and fresh and different and if the peanut flavors of Thai are your thing, then so will this be.  Oh!  And cilantro which I sort of go crazy for (but apparently tastes like soap to some of you?).  I skipped the edamame and the cayenne pepper because I can.  Steve and I loved it while William, Lindsey, and Parker were a little, "huh?" at the peanut flavor.  I really like Thai, however, but apparently haven't passed that trait on to them, or I just haven't made them cultured enough.  On it.  Thai every night for the next two weeks!    

So, here's the recipe in case you're in the biggest end-of-the-summer slump like I am.  Give me your latest and greatest too.  I'm dying over here.

Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing
adapted from The Family Flavor
serves 4-5 as a main dish
(I've tweaked it a little bit from the book, as I always do)

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced or shredded
2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
1/2 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed (I skipped this)
1 cucumber, diced
1/2 cup chopped peanuts (unsalted)

1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 T granulated sugar (I used a little less)
2 T olive oil
2 T honey 
2 T rice vinegar
1 T soy sauce
1 1/2 t kosher salt
1/4 t cayenne pepper (I skipped this)

Cook your chicken however you prefer!  Combine dressing ingredients, whisk well, set aside.  In a large bowl combine everything else, and toss it all together.  Drizzle your dressing on top and toss.  Serve and enjoy!

our labor day.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

the sun was just coming through the clouds when we got there!  
yawns.  part of the deal.
click to

happy labor day weekend!

Friday, August 29, 2014

this picture was taken a mere few minutes ago when i rolled out of bed at the ripe hour of... 8:30 am.  thank you to steve who scooped parker out of bed at 6:30 while i continued sleeping.  i had friends over last night and was up till midnight which, for me, might as well have been an all-nighter these days.

this weekend i have two photography shoots scheduled, and have been updating my facebook, ig (this one is a bit slower--ig needs to realize just how lazy its users are and having an easy switch over from one account to the other.  or at least, how lazy i am), and website.  that was not one, not two, but three plugs for myself, so self-promotion hour is officially over, i promise.  

i think steve and i might also go on a date!  our last was... i actually can't remember!

i went to old navy yesterday, a few back to school things, a few returns, only to discover that they're having a big labor day sale this weekend.  dumb.  but, there were a few things that i did not get that i was really into.  so, this weekend perhaps.  this sweater was one of them.  and william needs jeans in the worst way.  so, so tall.

i bought a new plant yesterday.  after a failed attempt at developing a relationship with a palm from ikea (everyone says they're hardy and easy and this is my second failed attempt with a palm so you're all lying through your teeth), i decided to say goodbye to her and go with a philodendron selloum.  there were beautiful big ones for $25 at the nursery i went to, so i named her, and brought her home.  i'm optimistic.  i think she is too.  and upon googling the care of them when i was home, i found this, and thought it was a good sign.  and how pretty do the cut branches look by themselves in a vase?  really pretty.  i answered my own question.

do you have any plans this weekend?  hope it's a good one!


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