Jeremy Sewall's Tips for Holiday Cooking + The Perfect Christmas Gift For the Foodie In Your Life

#thenewenglandkitchen #HFTHBoston


A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending Wayfair and Boston Bloggers Home For The Holidays event in Boston. The whole day was amazing, comprised of a key note session with Christiane Lemieux and Heather Armstrong (, as well as a banner session with my bestie Lindsey (who had a huge hand in plannning the whole event,) a crafting session with Kate (Domestikated Life,) and a holiday strategy session with Alison (Long Distance Loving.)All of the sessions were inspiring and practical, but the one that did the most to banish my mild holiday anxiety was the session on holiday cooking and entertaining, led by Chef Jeremy Sewell of Boston's Island Creek Oyseter Bar, Lineage, and the new Row 34.

If you know me than you know that I love to cook and entertain. This year we are hosting Thanksgiving for fifteen friends though, and I have been feeling just a hint of trepidation. I have always helped out at Thanksgiving, but never have I cooked a turkey alone or overseen the whole operation...and there is just a bit of pressure associated with the whole ordeal! As soon as Jeremy started speaking, though, I knew that he was the one to emulate as I prepared for our Thanksgiving feast--He was approachable and down to earth, and placed an emphasis on fresh and local ingrediants. (Not mention he is one of Boston's best chefs, and has overseen his fair share of holiday meals...) No sweat, just a plan. Any other holiday hosting newbies out there? Read on for my favorite tid bits of advice from Jeremy's session.

 Chef Jeremy Sewall's Tips for Holiday cooking:

  • Keep it simple: Don't do anything that stresses you out, like something you have never cooked before, or something that you know is tough.
  • Use the microwave to your advantage! The micro is a great place to warm up sauces and gravy, melt chocolate, or reheat that desperately needed cup of coffee ten minutes before your guests arrive.
  • Get as much done ahead as you can: Ie. Roast veggies for crudite. ("Who really eats raw celery anymore?", make sides and pies.
  • Find a place that does a couple things really well, like pies or fresh bread, and let them do those for you.
  • Practice: We have run out of time for Thanksgiving, but there is still time before Christmas! Why not try out a few dishes that look yummy so that you can have them totally down pact by the time the holiday rolls around?
  • Read your recipes thoroughly.
  • On timing: Cook Turkey early in the morning so that is it done an hour ahead (at least-- you can always throw it back in to warm it up.)
  • Be savvy with your appetizers: Throw together plates of amazing cheese, bread, jam, and other appetizers that you don't have to manage.

Finally, Jeremy's Turkey tip: Brine, and then brush w/butter using a bundle of fresh thyme as a brush!

Jeremy just published his first cookbook, The New England Kitchen, and it is available for purchase now! I grabbed one for both myself and my parents, and we love it. All of the recipes are classic New England fare, elevated by Jeremy's signature style, with an emphasis on seasonal cooking. I already made the apple cider donuts and they were to die for...A New England Kitchen would make a perfect Christmas or Thanksgiving hostess gift for the foodie in your life, and I made it so easy for you...just click the picture at the beginning of this post and purchase today!



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Anatomy of a Cozy Guest Room

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8a | 8b | 8c

Do you have people to stay often? When we first came to Pensacola we were so excited to find a two bedroom apartment that we loved so that we could have an office space that also doubled as a guest room. Since we moved, in we have loved having frequent house guests. Our guest room also serves as my office, and occasionally John's command center, so I have tried to make it extra cozy for our guests so that it still feels like their bedroom when they come. Because we love to entertain, and often our friends just end up staying over, I make sure the guest room is always stocked with the essentials:

1. A cute "Welcome Sign": Ours has a short message that includes our wifi network and password. This was actually John's genius idea-- he is brilliant. 

2. Bedside Reading Material: Just in case someone can't sleep or just wants to read before bed. I have a magazine rack on my desk and there is usually a book or two on the bureau. ( By the way...right now I am completely in love with Darling.) 

3. A Yummy Candle: Because who doesn't love a nice candle?

4. Cheery Art: Wall decor adds so much personality to a room and really brings it together, making it feel more "homey." We have decorated our guest room with some fun vintage ski posters of Johns, as well as my inspiration wall. I am loving that watercolor painting for a nice pop of color though, especially if you have white walls. 

5. Pretty and Clean Bedding: There is nothing like clean sheets and a nicely made bed with a pretty duvet or quilt to climb into at the end of a rockin' day. I am in love with the pretty ruffle on Anthro's blue and white version!

6. Plush Towels: These blue towels could really punch up a bathroom and add a nice bit of color. I always try to lay out fresh towels on our guests beds before they arrive. Personally, it is little touches like that that make me feel like an honored guest when I visit people, which is exactly how we want our friends to feel. 

7. An Extra Blanket: We keep an extra blanket in our guest room closet in case someone gets cold (not likely down here) but it also double as a cozy cuddle up when watching movies or TV.

8. Nice Bathroom Staples: I try to keep our second shower stocked with lovely smelling body wash, shampoo, and conditioner just in case someone forgets! I also keep nice soap by the sink, and a new tooth brush in the drawer. Having nice products that smell good feels so luxurious after travel. World Market has some awesome body products at a great price point.

What are some things you like to do to make your guests feel extra special?

Happy hosting!



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A Gorgeous Spring Chicago Wedding: Scott and Sarah

Happy Monday! Our friends Scott and Sarah moved to Pensy a few months ago after their May wedding in Chicago. After I saw their wedding video I asked Sarah if I could share it with you all because it was beautiful and SO fun. Seriously, their wedding was gorgeous and I love love love everything about it, from the bridesmaids dresses, to the coral and "vintage berry" color scheme, to the watercolored save the dates, to the plethora of peonies. If we had had a Spring wedding I like to think it would have been very similar to this one 

Having gotten to know Sarah and Scott over the past few months, it was so special to see how their love for each other as well as the silly parts of their relationship really shine through in their video. They are the coolest/cutest. (Side note: Their video was done by a good friend with no professional videography experience. He killed it right?!)

 I asked Sarah if she wouldn't mind sharing a little bit about her inspiration and the planning process for anyone who may be planning a wedding, or just likes to read about wedding things...

(All photos by the talented Amelia of Amelia Ann Photography)

The Pink

Never in her life did Sarah think that she would have a pink wedding and that her husband would be ok with it! But, when it came around to her wedding to Scott, she felt that the color scheme fit the season of life they were in. They wanted their wedding to be elegant and yet still young, fun and, especially, whimsical. She also really wanted to make sure that the colors that she chose worked florally, which was evident in the lovely assortment of peonies, garden roses, ranunculas and greens that can be seen throughout the wedding. 

Favorite Parts of the Planning Process

Sarah loved working and collaborating with all of her vendors. She felt that they truly took on and imbued her vision into every part of the wedding, and as a creative herself, she cherished getting to know and work with such talented people. (For a full list of Sarah and Scott's vendors see the list at the end of this post.) Also, she mentioned that she loved being able to use certain DIY aspects to spend time with some of her favorite people. For example, a few days before the wedding her mom, aunt, sister, grandma, and best friends all hung out and helped her put the favors together. (Each guest had a strawberry champagne macaron waiting for them at their table...yum!) Sarah's family is also super into fitness, so the morning of the wedding the whole family and wedding party ran a 5K together, complete with matching t-shirts saying "Love runs in the family." Adorable.

Sarah brought in a little aviation by creating a seating chart using watercolor dip-dyed paper airplanes!

Sarah brought in a little aviation by creating a seating chart using watercolor dip-dyed paper airplanes!

Hardest Part of the Planning Process

When asked about what the hardest part of planning was, Sarah shared that Scott was away at OCS for the majority of the process, and had little to zero ability to communicate. Therefore, Sarah had to make a lot of the decisions by herself, without any input from Scott. Sarah and I both agreed that while so much emphasis is put on "The Bride" and her big day, it truly was both of their big day, and it was emotionally trying not being able to make decisions together. Not to mention, wedding planning can be so fun and it is something that naturally you want to share with your partner. Sarah was super grateful for the input and support of her friends and family during this time. She would also email Scott updates at OCS that, when he got internet, she hoped were entertaining for him to read and distracted him for a moment from the rigor of his training.  She made a point to save some of the more fun decisions till closer to the wedding so that she could bring Scott into the process. These included their food tastings and a final walk through with every vendor so that Scott could really feel like he knew how everything was going to look and feel the day of. 

Biggest Piece Of Advice in Planning a Wedding

 Sarah had some awesome advice for anyone planning a wedding: have little events where your wedding party, family, and guests can meet and hang out before the actual wedding, and where you can spend quality time with them. This will not only make the wedding itself more comfortable and fun for everyone, but will also take the pressure off of the Bride and Groom to catch up with each and every one of their guests on the day of the  wedding as it won't be the first time they have seen most of their guests in a while. Classic examples of this are traditional events such as showers, engagement parties, bachelor and bachelorette parties. Some non-traditional ideas include  inviting people from both the groom's and the brides's life who don't know each other yet over to your house for a casual get together, a night out on the town, or if you are bad-ass like Scott and Sarah--a 5K! 

(I cannot echo this advice enough. John and I had quite a few mingling events before our wedding, from beautiful parties that people threw for us to a bunch of my college friends and his guy friends all meeting up in DC for a couple of nights out. Our friends and family had so many chances to meet and get to know each other that during the actual wedding it was such a joy to see them all together having the time of their lives together as friends in their own right who now hang out and keep in touch!)

The Navy

 Sarah had never actually seen Scott in his formal Navy whites before she saw him at the end of the aisle! Even better-- Scott had just graduated from OCS just before the wedding and they didn't really have a lot of time to talk about Navy traditions, so Scott completely surprised Sarah with their sword detail! I love that even though Sarah did the majority of the planning while Scott was away, he still got to sneak in such a beautiful and symbolic Navy tradition in light of them embarking into not only marriage, but also life in the Navy. Not to mention--he completely swept his beautiful bride off her feet in the process. Bravo! 

The Real Deal

Sarah and Scott had such a gorgeous wedding, but what is even more wonderful is the real joy and love that resonates from their pictures and video. I loved hearing about the moment that Sarah, on her father's arm,  turned and looked down the aisle at Scott and it felt as though everything clicked into place. She shared how she thought to herself "That is the face. That is the face that was meant to wait for me at the end of this aisle." She had spent years of her life, like many people, wondering who would be waiting for her there-- and there he was. She shared that although much of the day was a bit of a blur, she remembers the ceremony in clear focus. She felt as though it was just her and Scott, standing before the Lord, taking vows to love each other as He had first loved them. Amen. 

Sarah thank you so much for sharing about your lovely wedding! I so loved hearing all about it, and love even more witnessing your marriage and how you two are living out the promises you made to each other that day. 




Flowers: Alicia Kiewitt (find her at Fleur)

Dress: Ultimate Bride


Food and Cake: La Cuisine Catering

Makeup: Beth Follert

Venue: Columbus Park Refectory (Park District of Chicago)

Photography: Amelia Ann Photography

Videography: Chris Erdos

Favors: Vanille Patisserie

Bridesmaids Dresses: J. Crew

Bridesmaids Robes: SilkandMore shop via Etsy


P.S. Wondering what song Sarah and her bridesmaids are jamming out to in their to-die-for robes while they are getting ready? Firework by Katy Perry. Girls after my own heart. 

Parasocial Relationships: How Fictional Characters Become Our Friends

The cast of  One Tree Hill

The cast of One Tree Hill

The people you see in the photo above? Those are my friends from high school. We grew up together. 

Just kidding.

Sort of. 

While Lucas, Peyton, Haley, and Nathan are not actually real people, but rather fictional characters from the soapy hit series (and my all time fave), One Tree Hill, it does actually feel like we grew up together. I have so many memories watching marathons of One Tree Hill with my best friend Emily when home from boarding school, and watching it in real time on a big screen at school with my dorm mates. I remember clearly watching the series finale during my first year at Mary Wash, and feeling my heart hurt a little when Sophia Bush tweeted a picture after shooting her last scene, complete with the hashtag #goodnightbrookedavis. Sob. Even now, I re-watch episodes all the time when I just want something to watch, and I even crave it when I need something to veg on. Overall, I have watched the complete series multiple times, and especially when watching the high school episodes, it feels as though I am just hanging out with old friends. It is comforting and nostalgic, and some may find it ridiculous, but One Tree Hill is one of my things, and I will not be ashamed. 

The truth is, I know that I am not alone in feeling attached to fictional characters. Did you cry when Friends ended? Do you wish you could spend an evening picking Olivia Pope's brain, while snacking on popcorn and drinking red wine out of those luscious wine glasses she has? Have you ever experience the blow of seeing George Martin mercilessly kill your favorite character off Game of Thrones?  Does hearing "I Don't Wanna Wait" throw you straight back into your adolescence? Do you remember the first time you met Harry, Ron, and Hermione? Whose side are you on--Gale or Peeta's? 

According to this article from Darling Magazine, there is a name for this type of relationship: parasocial. Parasocial relationships can extend even further than just fictional characters, in fact often we experience the same feelings of "closeness" with the actors and actresses who play them on screen, or are our favorite reality TV-personalities. The article goes into the positive and negative effects that parasocial relationships can have on us, and how through them we open ourselves up to influences just like real relationships. Definitely worth a read and a thought. 

Who are your best fictional or celebrity friends?

Happy Wednesday!



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{Marriage} Months Four & Five

Me, Hope, and JR. Fredericksburg 2014 | Photo: Lindsey Bachelder

Me, Hope, and JR. Fredericksburg 2014 | Photo: Lindsey Bachelder

Its May 28th, which means that John and I have been married for five whole months! Seeing as I skipped our four month update, I thought I would just combine our four and five month updates for the loyal few who actually care to read our silly news. Here is what has been going on in the past few months amidst our wedded bliss....

Firsts: I graduated from college and John went primal and took down two wild hogs.  

Favorite Meals: Mixed green salads w/ rotisserie chix, avocado, feta, red onion, and carrots ; Shakshura 

Favorite Words: certificate, primary, tomato (John has some huge heirlooms growing, they are his babies), phone muster, lemon tree (my baby), floods, graduation

Favorite Snacks: Nothing new here. See previous updates.

Favorite TV Shows: Game of Thrones, New Girl

Favorite Game: Settlers. Duh.

Currently Reading: Over the past couple months I re-read (devoured) the Green Rider series by Kristen Britain. I adore the series, and the newest book, Mirror Sight,  came out in the beginning of May. Different, but very good. If you have a weak spot for medieval fantasy like I do than you should definitely give this series a shot. I have loved it for years. John has been using his time off to study EPs (emergency procedures) but has also picked up Liar's Poker by Michael Lewis.

Gallivants: Since John has been in between phases of flight school, we have been lucky enough to do some wonderful gallivanting together in the past two months. We attended our first wedding as Mr. and Mrs. Richey, in Connecticut. We then headed up to Vermont for a lovely few days before heading down to Fredericksburg, Va for my graduation from the University of Mary Washington. Along the way we stopped in Kinderhook, NY to have lunch with John's favorite cousin's on his dad's side. We also made a pit stop in Peapack, NJ to spend a night with my Aunt and Uncle, which was so lovely.

Theres nothing like your best friends. | Photos: D. Whitty 

Theres nothing like your best friends. | Photos: D. Whitty 

Obligatory Graduation Procession Selfie

Obligatory Graduation Procession Selfie

We had the most wonderful time in Fred, and it was so special to be with some of our best friends as well as family, and to celebrate the end of my undergrad career. One of the best parts? My godmother, Hope, and my best friend Lindsey (her daughter) surprised me in Fredericksburg! It meant the world to have them at my graduation, and also to introduce them to a place that is so close to my heart. 

From Fredericksburg we headed up to DC for our little Goddaughter Callie's baptism and first birthday party. We spent the most lovely day in Arlington celebrating Callie, and hanging with some of our favorite cousins and friends. Unfortunately, John had to head home to Pensy after that, but I headed to Front Royal, Virginia, to spend a few days on the Shenandoah River with my best friends from college.

Front Royal, Shenandoah River Valley, VA 2014 | Photo: Author

Front Royal, Shenandoah River Valley, VA 2014 | Photo: Author

We had an absolute blast on the river, and it was a wonderful way to fully wrap up the last few years of our lives, as well as celebrate a new phase. On the way home I got stuck in Miami for two and a half days, which was a bummer, but over all, we both felt so blessed to have been able to take such a fun trip and squeeze in so many of our loved ones.

Pecans, Albany GA 2014 | Photo: Author

Pecans, Albany GA 2014 | Photo: Author

Finally, we spent this past weekend with my other godmother, Libby, in Albany, GA. We had the best time eating some crazy good mexican, grilling out at the cabin by the lake, fishing, collecting fresh chicken eggs, walking through beautiful pecan groves, biking, watching Flynn own his stripes among Libby's doggies, spending a day on Lake Blackshear, and (for John) hog hunting. We also spent a lot of the day on Sunday at Sherwood Baptist church, where we got the opportunity to hear some amazing sermons, meet some incredible people, catch up with some Sherwood friends, and worship together. All in all, we drove away from the long weekend feeling so refreshed and spiritually nourished, so much so that we are heading back up on Friday! 

Flynn and Buster, Albany, GA 2014 | Photos: Author

Flynn and Buster, Albany, GA 2014 | Photos: Author

Meanwhile in Pensacola: As I mentioned before, John has been in between phases of flight school for the majority of the past few months, which after the grind of API has been so wonderful. He has been able to relax and do some fun stuff around the house, including planting and tending the aforementioned tomato plants (his pride and joy), as well as have some serious bro-time with Flynn. Meanwhile, I started and finished an editing certificate program, in between working at Bluetique, which is the best. Also, my parents came to visit for Easter! It was so fun to see them and introduce them to our life here. After they left we had a peaceful few weeks until the wild floods. You can read that story here. We also checked out the Pensacola Bay Brewery, discovered Fort Pickens, went to a few Wahoos games, and celebrated John's birthday! 

George Laurence Richey, Born May 26, 2014

George Laurence Richey, Born May 26, 2014

Finally, we welcomed our new niece, Sophie, and our new nephew, George, into the world! George was only born two days ago, and we already love him to the moon. 

It is crazy to think that this next month will be our sixth month of marriage (half a year!). It is truly flying by, and we are continuing to grow together each day. The adventure never ends, and John starts Primary next Monday, which marks the beginning of a new phase of flight school, and at the rate we are going, a new phase of Navy life. 

Lastly, thank you so much for stopping by the blog. I know you all have incredible and crazy lives, and it means the world that you take the time to see what is going on in this little corner of the universe called The Gallivant. 

Happy Gallivanting!



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Mr. and Mrs. Richey | Photo: Haley Keating

Mr. and Mrs. Richey | Photo: Haley Keating

{Gallivant} New England Road Trip

The most gorgeous flowers from the wedding. Adore the blushing pink theme. 

The most gorgeous flowers from the wedding. Adore the blushing pink theme. 

Happy Cinco de Mayo Everyone! It is a seriously happy Monday for us, as we woke up this morning in Vermont--one of our most favorite places in the whole world. We will be up here for a few days staying at the Richey's ski house in Stratton doing a little hiking, vegging, visiting, and resting/recovering from having the time of our lives at the most wonderful wedding on Saturday night. Currently John is getting a leg up on me in that department, as he is still in bed and watching Game of Thrones. 

This is officially the second of four legs of our trip, spread out over 11 days. On Saturday morning we flew to Newark and rented a car to drive out to Greenwich, CT for #Campbellsondeck aka our friends Louisa and Alex's wedding. Before the wedding we met up with our brother and sister-in-law, Drake and Sarah, as well as their adorable son Draper. We were so grateful for the effort they made to come out of the city for the afternoon and see us, especially as Sarah is about to pop with their second baby. We love them so much, and always have the best time together.

The wedding itself was such a special time for a few different reasons. Firstly, Louisa and I have known each other for pretty much our entire lives, as our family's have been great friends forever. Over the years we have grown independently as believers and together as friends and sisters, and seeing her get married to her wonderful (now) husband Alex was such a treat. John has also known Louisa and her family since he was in middle school, from living near each other in CT and doing FOCUS together, which is a fun mutual connection. Another special element was that we got to tear it up on the dance floor with my mom and dad, as well as my Godmother and her husband, and spend the day together with them and the Bride's family on Sunday. 

First Cherry Blossoms we have seen all Spring!

First Cherry Blossoms we have seen all Spring!

When you marry someone who comes from a different state and went to different schools it isn't often that you are at a social function or scenario where you both have friends from your separate worlds as well as mutual friends. This wedding though, for John and I, was one of those rare occasions. It was so so much fun meeting people from John's childhood as well as some of my parents' friends, seeing old camp friends that I hadn't seen in a million years, and getting to catch up with some of our dear mutual friends as we celebrated Alex and Louisa and witnessed together and shared in their joy. They are a beautiful couple, united in their love for Christ and each other. 

The bride and groom having their first dance...

The bride and groom having their first dance...

My Mama and I lovin' on the father of the Bride on Sunday afternoon.

My Mama and I lovin' on the father of the Bride on Sunday afternoon.

It was such a treat, to be with so many loved ones and old friends and catch up on everyone's life, meet new babies, dance the night away on dance floor with the Bride and Groom, go to church all together the next day, and spend a lovely afternoon basking in the glory that is New England spring (I have missed that), while rehashing the night before. It was the most lovely 24 hours, and we were so grateful to be included in the festivities of our dear friends. Louisa and Alex-Thank you! We cannot wait to hear all about your incredible honeymoon and get a date on the calendar for you to come down from ATL and hit the beach with us in Pensacola!!

As for our big trip, we used the wedding as an excuse for John to take leave and for us to try and see as many of our special people and places in a week and a half as we could. We are, quite literally, gallivanting all over New England and the East Coast. Vermont has always been one of my favorite places, and for John it is his other home,  so we were thrilled to take a few days up here. On Wednesday we are heading to Hudson, NY to have lunch with John's cousins, and then driving down to Far Hills, New Jersey, to spend a night with my Aunt and Uncle in one of my dearest places and where my Dad grew up. From there we head to Fredericksburg for my graduation (!) and ensuing festivities with all of my best friends from college. Then, on Sunday, we head into DC for the baptism of our little God Daughter, Callie, and to spend some time with her parents, Katey and Erik, who we adore. John flies out Monday, but I am going to hang around VA for a few more days and head to the river with some friends. All in all, an epic trip with so many things to look forward to in the next few days. We feel so blessed to have been able to make it all happen, and I hope to have some updates on here along the way. 

Taken right outside the church, immediately after the service--watching the Kentucky Derby in the parking lot! That is my mom in the green shawl...avid horsewoman she is...

Taken right outside the church, immediately after the service--watching the Kentucky Derby in the parking lot! That is my mom in the green shawl...avid horsewoman she is...

As always, thank you so much for checking in and reading. I know you all have wonderfully rich and busy lives, and I so appreciate you taking the time to come hang out in the little corner of the web that is The Gallivant. 



P.S. Happy Birthday to my littlest sister I never had, Gaylan! Love you cute girl!

P.S.S. P.S. Like what you are reading? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the left-hand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or, you can follow me on Bloglovin. Also, follow along with The Gallivant on instagram and pinterest! And Twitter!