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 (Dooce.com), 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!

Cheers!

Emily

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Life Lately: An Update on All Fronts

Scottish Sunrise | St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland | The Gallivant

Happy Wednesday Everyone! The past few weeks have been pretty wild, and I never had a chance to post our Month 11 Marriage update so I thought that I would just give a few quick life updates today. I write a lot about things we are doingbut I also love to share occasionally about how we are doing because I feel that that is more authentic and authenticity is of the utmost importance here. This post is a little bit of both :-)

Life lately:

John soloed and started the Aerobatics portion of Primary, which he has been loving. Typically once students complete their solos they gain "cred" with their instructors, and the rapport is a little more relaxed. Aero is fast paced, (he will hopefully solo on Friday, only a week after his last solo) but John has been enjoying flying everyday and learning the maneuvers. Check out this and this for a better idea of the type of stuff he has been working on.  (Total adrenaline junkie..)

He also flew his first night flight on Monday night, which he said was nerve wracking and awesome all at once.  While he was flying I had a movie night with some girlfriends (Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason-never gets old..) and when I got home I looked up into the sky and was  amazed that one of those tiny moving lights could be my husband. Wild. It's sort of hard to explain, but when I listen to him talk about flying ie. actually being able to fly a plane I feel so awestruck at the fact that that is what he does everyday when he goes to work. It's hard to articulate, and that is just one of the many reasons I am proud of John, but it  reminds me of what a blessing it is to be married to a man that I so strongly admire. 

Our best friends moved away, and it is tough. Our friends Haley and Travis moved to Kingsville, Texas, last Friday, where Travis will start advanced training for Jets. While we are so excited for them as he moves forward in his career, we were also so sad to see them go. They were like family to us, and we will miss them so much. I have lived in a few different  places over the past decade, (Boarding school, Scotland, Massachusetts, Virginia) and said my fair share of goodbyes. Leaving Fredericksburg (My college town) and all of the incredible friends I made there was probably one of the hardest transitions I have made so far, but I would say that this goodbye was a close second. In many ways it seems like a milestone in our Navy career, because this was the just the first of many times that we will say goodbye to sweet friends that we have made in the places the Navy sends us, whether because they are moving or because we are moving. So begins the process of finding the balance between letting myself be a little sad and the "get used to it" attitude. The truth I will cling to is that just because we don't know exactly how long people will be in our immediate lives there is no excuse not to pursue deep and meaningful friendships.  The good news is that we have so many amazing friends still here with us in Pensy, so I know that we won't be lonely, and Haley and Trav are just a road trip away. 

One sweet outcome of Haley and Trav's move is that I have been so reminded of God's faithfulness over the past week. As I have thought back over the 11 months we spent together here in Pensacola, John and Travis supporting each other through flight school, Haley and I supporting each other as we learned to support our husbands, and all of us traversing new marriages together-- I realized that their friendship was the answer to a prayer that I, as well as many other people, prayed for months leading up to our move to Pensacola. Because of them, John and I know more of His goodness and His provision,  and are assured that He does hear our prayers and delights in answering them. We are nearing the part of Flight school where many of our friends will select and move away, (unless they get Helos) and I am so grateful for this perspective now, at the beginning. This is one the harder parts of Navy life, but I am comforted by the fact that we do not live our lives at the whim of the Navy, but rather in the hands of the Almighty. 

Finally, I started a new job (sort of)! For a few months now I have been baking homemade pound cakes and muffins for a boutique bed and breakfast in downtown Pensacola, The Lee House. I was filling in at the front desk occasionally for them, but I  just started working there consistently two days a week. It has been a blast, and I adore the awesome team I work with. I have a little bit of hospitality experience from my summer spent interning with FOCUS, but I am excited to learn way more about the industry. Lee House also hosts the most beautiful weddings and events, so I am pumped to get a little peek into the Events industry as well! I have been training there these past few weeks, so that plus my normal work hours at Bluetique along with baking and writing at home have kept me pretty busy the past few days, but I am loving every second of it. 

What's new with you?! Anything cool that you have been experiencing or learning about? I would love to hear!

xoxo,

Emily

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Guest Post: 9 Best Gifts for New Moms or Moms-to-be

John and I were so thrilled to welcome not one but two beautiful new babies into our family earlier this year--our niece Sophie and nephew George. Many of our friends and family are starting their own families right now, and while we aren't quite there yet (someday!), we love learning and watching all of the amazing parents in our lives.  I am a big gift-giver and I love the idea of spoiling moms-to-be, especially at points in their pregnancies when they may not be feeling their best or quite themselves, or after they have had the baby and are exhausted and in need of a little extra lovin. I enlisted the help of my lovely (and super savvy) sister-in-law, Sarah, to put together a list of presents for moms-to-be as well as new moms. I love the list she came up with, especially because many of these things I wouldn't know to think of myself! Hopefully this list is helpful for any of you who are in the same boat. Sarah and her husband Drake (John's brother) live in Manhattan with their two gorgeous boys, Draper and George.

 

Having been a first time mom and now a mom of two boys, I've seen the gamut of baby presents and, fortunately, have had some wonderful friends who know what they are doing when it comes to making a mom feel special. Here are some of my favorite "off the grid" gifts for pregnant friends and new moms. (This comes with the caveat: when in doubt, just get them something from their registry! Especially first time moms; sometimes the most boring basic gifts are the things they really need and will use all the time.)

For Pregnant Moms:

1. A Fun Day Out: This was one of my favorite days of my second pregnancy! Two of my best friends planned a day that started with brunch and ended with tea and pastries (with a mani/pedi/massage in between) in a fun neighborhood that I rarely visited since having Draper. They made sure Drake could do daddy day care with Draper and whisked me off for a few hours of girl time. It was refreshing and relaxing to have everything taken care of and to have the time to really catch up before life got crazy with a newborn. 

2. Gift Certificates: Gift certificates for pedicures or a prenatal massage are wonderful. It gets hard to paint your toes towards the end! 

3. Fun New Makeup: It's always fun to get a sparkly little something new for your makeup bag! I know it seems like a specific and personal gift but there are some great highlighters out there that work wonders for tired eyes at 39 weeks (and will work double duty in the months following!). My favorites are Sephora's Jumbo Liner in white and Benefit's High Beam. A dot of either smudged in the inner corner of your eye adds hours to your night's sleep. 

Sarah 2.jpg

For Moms Post-Baby:

4. A Nice Water Bottle or To-go Coffee Mug: Nursing moms are always thirsty and having a compact and functional water bottle to throw in your diaper bag makes a huge difference. Note: If you weren't a coffee drinker before having kids, chances are you'll become one after. Having a readily available to-go mug means you'll be out the door and somewhat-functioning faster. My favorites are this water bottle and this mug with the cafe cap.

5. Gift Cards for Services that Make Life Easier: Normal everyday things like cleaning, eating, and getting out of the house suddenly become mind-bogglingly overwhelming with a new baby. My favorite gift certificates: housecleaning (in NYC Wizards of Home is my favorite), Uber the car service app (if you use the code "family" in the promotion code area the car comes with a toddler carseat, brilliant!), www.diapers.com, and Nature Box

6. Meal Delivery: Likewise, set up a meal delivery calendar for friends to bring meals. Not having to worry about making dinner AND getting to see friends without leaving the apartment was lifesaving after both boys. In fact, we really looked forward to it when I was pregnant with George! We use Meal Me In, but there are lots of options. 

7. Milestone Cards: Especially for the second (or third or fourth!) time mom who might not be looking when her baby rolls over for the first time. These adorable cards make documenting fun and easy! 

8. Babysitting: Offer to babysit and follow up by setting a date. Sometimes it takes a while to get up the courage to leave your baby with someone you don't know, so having a good friend babysit who you know well (and who won't judge you for your neurotic texts checking in every 15 minutes) can help ease you into leaving your child at home. Just make sure to follow up so she knows you mean it!

9. Stationery and a Pack of Stamps: New moms often have to write a lot of thank notes and having fun stationery (with mom's or baby's name or initials) makes it more exciting. Just make sure it comes with a note excusing them from writing YOU a thank you note! 

(Bonus!) For a new baby: 

1. Wubbanubs: These things are life savers! And so cute. Draper never took a pacifier but George does and these little guys make such a difference. 

2. Nice But Not Too Nice Clothes: Some of my favorite gifts for the boys have been cute, cozy and well made rompers that are a little more expensive than I'd buy myself, but not so nice that they sit in a drawer unworn. KissyKissy and Petit Bateau are recent favorites. Also, anything monogrammed.

3. A Big Soft Blanket: My mom gave us a beautiful cotton quilted blanket when I was pregnant with Draper and it's the backdrop for almost all of our photos of him for the first few months. We've used it for all kind of things since. Kind of like this one from Serena and Lily. Similarly, a picnic blanket folds up easily and is waterproof on one side making picnics and outdoor tummy time a piece of cake!

4. Books: A great gift for apartment or small space dwellers. They don't take up space and you can never have enough bedtime story options. Especially fun are personal favorites from your childhood. 

5. Monogrammed Tote bags: With zipper and long handles. A friend sent us one of these for Draper and I use it ALL the time! For overnight trips, as a diaper bag, for school. The long handles and zipper are key to making sure you can carry it comfortably on your shoulder or over a carrier, and to keep it from dumping out in the bottom of your stroller. 

6. Gifts for Siblings: Preferably something that they can play with alone and doesn't make loud noises: puzzles, Brio train tracks, an tch-a-sketch, Tegu blocks, baby doll and stroller. And my FAVORITE Big Brother t-shirt.

xoxo,

Sarah

Sarah 3+.jpg

Sarah thank you SO much for this helpful list! Any moms out there have any ideas to add? Please feel free to add them in the comments! 

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, feel free to check out my instagram and pinterest.

 

Tour Through Blogland

Happy Monday! Today I am excited to be participating in a little Tour Through Blogland, thanks to my friend Chaney. If this is your first time visiting The Gallivant than welcome and thanks for reading! This is how this post works: First I will introduce Chaney, then I will tell you a little bit about myself, and then I am going to introduce two of my favorite bloggers that I am excited for you to check out!

Chaney, from May Richer Fuller Be:

May Richer Fuller Be collage.jpg

First up, I want to introduce you guys to my friend Chaney, from May Richer Fuller Be! Chaney and I have known each other for a long time via FOCUS, a ministry we have both been involved in forever. I have always really looked up with her, so when I heard that she had started a blog I was so excited to follow along! Chaney focuses primarily on DIY in MRFB, and her projects are super cool and inspiring. I highlighted a couple of my favorites above--her DIY upholstered headboard, and her "sew it yourself" dog bed. It seems like Chaney comes up with a new and creative way to elevate her (always so pretty and cozy) home both ingeniusly and affordably every week! I also love that she writes a lot about organization, and always take notes from those posts. 

Chaney and her wonderful husband Charlie, as well as their adorable dog Jackson, recently moved to Philly from DC. If you are into interior design and DIY I would definitely bookmark MRFB, especially because I smell a lot of great projects coming up given the recent move! To read a bit more about Chaney, head over to her blogtour post here. 

About Me

My husband, John and I got married in December of 2013, and I moved down to Pensacola (where John has been completing Navy Aviation School) shortly after. One thing that has always defined out relationship is our mutual curiosity about the world and love for adventure. I started my blog seven months ago, partially to document our marriage and adventures together, but also because I had realized that there were not many young Navy wives blogging about their experiences living in Pensacola. I have been an active reader in the blog community all through college, and am a writer, so I figured that I may as well attempt to fill a little bit of the void by starting my own blog! One of my hopes for The Gallivant is that other people in the Navy community will read it and realize that life in Pensacola (and wherever we go next) is exciting, and that there are so many neat things to do and get involved in. I also love travel, food, design, art, and entertaining, and adventuring--so I was excited to include those in the blog as well.  I am personally drawn towards the lifestyle niche, so it felt natural that the Gallivant evolved into a lifestyle blog with an emphasis on travel and 'gallivanting.' 

Aside from blogging, I currently work as a freelance writer and editor. I also work part-time at the cutest boutique in Pensacola, and am working on a novel! The more I evolve professionally, the more I identify and am drawn towards the Creative community. I love having multiple projects, and having my hands in a few different things (Sometimes to a fault--I am a chronic over-scheduler.) I believe I was formed by a Creator, won by His son, and when I am creating with my hands (across all sort of mediums--art, words, food, dirt) I feel near to Him. 

What am I working on right now?

Right now I have a massive to-do list that I am slowly chipping away at. In terms of bigger things I am editing a client's novel, wrapping up some work for a local magazine, and researching graphic design as well as social media. I am also working on some fun upcoming posts for the Gallivant, including a home-tour (I said it....automatic accountability. Now I have to do it!) a yummy smoothie recipe, and a recap of the incredible day trip we took yesterday to Seaside and Watercolor. 

How does my work differ from others in this genre?

In the past few years blogging as an industry has really taken off, and as of now it seems like there are hundreds of blogs out there. One of the reasons that I have always loved reading blogs (you can see a list of some of my favorites here and here) is that I feel as though it has expanded my realm of experience and perspective beyond just what is going on in my own bubble of friends and loved ones. Blogging gives people the opportunity to connect around the world. I love that when John and I think about where we could be moving next, I can look up bloggers in San Diego or Virginia Beach, and immediately get an authentic sense of what it is like to live in those places. 

All this being said, it is so easy when blogging (and on any social media outlet really) to stick to the nice and pretty things, and not write about the harder or messy parts of life. This, in turn, can result in a lot of unhealthy comparison. While I love to write about incredible travel experiences, yummy food, beautiful design inspiration, and generally upbeat things--I also am committed to authenticity and transparency, and trying my best to share with my readers what we are learning when things are not quite as easy and pretty. We are young and married, just starting our careers, and meanwhile life is really happening around us. Real life, where money is sometimes tight, tests are failed, fights happen, people get sick, and some days are just discouraging--because our world is broken.  Despite this, I believe firmly in a God who came to redeem this world, and that we will have trouble in this world, but that we will learn from it and be closer to Him--and that makes the hard stuff worth sharing. 

Why do I write/create?

Being able to write and having the capacity and desire to create are gifts that I have been given, and being able to exercise them brings me so much joy! I feel like my mind space expands so much when I am being creative, and I have learned over time that carving out time for that is so important in order for me to feel healthy and balanced. Also, it is SO fun to connect with other people who share similar passions. 

How does my writing/creative process work

Hmmm. Great question. I am still learning what my creative process looks like, and I love reading how other people's works in order to gain inspiration. Recently, I have found that writing out a strict hour by hour schedule as well as a to-do list every evening for the next day really helps me relax when I quit for the day and keeps my mind from spinning. Because I am always juggling a few different projects, growing in discipline and learning what organization techniques work for me has been super important in establishing work flow. I also find that taking breaks to be creative really help me recharge and re-establish focus when I get back to work. Recently I have been practicing hand-lettering for a few minutes when I want a break from writing. My inspiration board is now covered in (very amateur) quotes and verses that are giving me life at that moment. 

Ok so thats me--now a little bit about two of my fave bloggers!

Lindsey from Mac & Marlborough:

M & M Collage.jpg

I mention Linz all the time over here (because she is my oldest and one of my best friends) but have you guys checked out her blog, Mac & Marlborough yet?! Lindsey started her blog a few months before me, and it has been so awesome to grow our blogs together and trade tips and tricks along the way. (Aka Im constantly asking her questions and she is constantly giving me the best advice.) Mac & Marlborough, named after the street Lindsey and her fiancé Josh live on in Boston and their puggle Mac, is an awesome DIY blog with a little bit of lifestyle thrown in. Some of my favorite posts include the how-to for those sweet elephant bookends, as well as the homemade margarita flower popsicles, and anything they are making with reclaimed wood.  I also love reading about Josh and Lu's adventures around Boston--they go on the best unique dates, and are always inspiring John and I to think out of the box. 

Lindsey is in the new stages of planning her wedding, so heres hoping for some fun wedding posts in the future! Congratulations you two little diy-ing love birds! 

Kimmie from Kimberly Florence:

Kimberly Florence.jpg

Kimmie and I became dear friends in college,  and I had the privilege of watching Kim run after her dream of being a professional photographer and launch her business, Kimberly Florence Photography. She is seriously talented, and I love reading her blog posts as much for her gorgeous photos as for the wisdom she shares. Not only does Kimmie share posts about her recent weddings and various engagement and portrait shoots, but she also writes a lot about starting your own business, entrepreneurship, work flow, branding, and always keeping Jesus at the center. Kimmie also writes lovely reflections on whats going on in her life as well as her wedding planning process as she prepares to wed her handsome Andrew in March! Kimmie is a huge inspiration to me, and I have learned so much from watching her grow as a creative and professional. 

If you love beautiful images, lyrical writing, and learning about how other young professionals are achieving their dreams than this is the blog for you! Don't waste a second-- ahead and add Kimberly Florence to your blog roll right now. 

 

Thanks for reading, friends! I hope you are excited to discover some neat new blogs--I just know that you will love and be inspired by them as much as I am. 

xoxo,

Emily




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!

xoxo

Emily

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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!

xoxo

Emily

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Mr. and Mrs. Richey | Photo: Haley Keating

Mr. and Mrs. Richey | Photo: Haley Keating

{Pensacola Do} Weekend + Links

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What did you guys get up to this weekend?! I finally made it home friday evening and just laid low with the Hubs as I was still feeling pretty crummy. Yesterday I worked and then met John and some friends across the park at the Pensacola Bay Brewery! The weather was so lovely, the perfect evening to sit outside and catch up with friends over a drink. From there we all headed to Dharma Blue for a delicious dinner, and then home to watch Captain Phillips. Not a bad saturday night for having just been laid so low by a serious cold..

Reunited with this beaut, and it was the best. 

Reunited with this beaut, and it was the best. 

After church today we ran by Fresh Market to pick up a yummy picnic of rotisserie chicken, heirloom tomatoes, feta, and a few crusty baguettes to sandwich all that deliciousness, and then headed to the beach at Fort Pickens for the afternoon! Seriously, today was one of those great salty days, the days I dream of in the dark of winter, the days that leave you toasted and mellow but satisfied after being by the sea. Some days it is so hard to feel content in the moment, but not today. 

Happy girl on the beach

Happy girl on the beach

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Here are some links for everyone who isn't quite ready for the weekend to end or would enjoy a few more minutes of escapism. 

  • We all know English and Spanish are the most commonly spoken languages in the US, but this map shows which languages come in third in every state...it's pretty interesting. Texas- Vietnamese? Who knew..
  • She has done it again! My seriously talented bestie Lindsey's DIY rug was featured on Wayfair this week! How cool is that?! I am itching to read her tutorial on Mac & Marlborough and make one for our screened in porch after we refinish the furniture. 
  • Our wonderful wedding photographer, Leah Haydock, was featured on ShotKit last week! If you are at all an aspiring photog or even just a novice constantly trying to pick up tips and tricks (like me), ShotKick is a cool site that profiles photographers from all the around the world, and what they keep in their bags. 
  • I love love LOVE having fresh flowers in the house, and am working on my arranging techniques. This tutorial looks fabulous, I can't wait to try my hand at it!
  • I just discovered the Hemsley + Hemsley blog this week and let me tell you--these girls rock.  I want to make every. single. recipe. Everything just looks so yummy and fresh, exactly what I have been craving lately.

Happy Sunday Everyone!

Peace be with you,

Emily

{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. 

xoxo,

Emily

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!

Anatomy of a Casual Get Together

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One of my favorite parts of getting married, and subsequently shacking up, has been entertaining in our home. Whether for dinner, or to celebrate a birthday, game night, or just hanging out, it is such a joy to have our friends in our apartment. John and I decided early on that we wanted to have the kind of home where our door is always open and we are ready to receive our friends at a moments notice, striving to always make them feel welcomed, cherished, and comfortable. We have been so blessed to have the space we have, and we want to share it. This means that often we invite people over spontaneously, and with little notice. I love impulsive and casual get togethers, but they don't leave me enough time to cook an elaborate meal or clean the house thoroughly. Because of this, I have established a little routine that I can manage with just 10 minutes notice, in order to pull the apartment together and set a fun and relaxed vibe. The anatomy of a casual get-together, if you will. 

1. I love candle light, especially opposed to harsh over head lights. At night I love to shut off our over head lights in our living room, turn on our lamps, and light tons of pretty gold votive candles we have both on our coffee table and our mantle, as well as lovely scented one on the bar. 

2. Good background music is an essential in our house. We cast Pandora to our TV with our Chromecast, which we love, but my parents also have a Jambox back home in Boston and it rocks. I try to have the candles lit and the music playing first so that at the very least our friends walk into that if they come early.

3. Who doesn't love something to munch on? To me, snacks are essential. I am a complete sucker for a good cheese plate, like the one I made for this birthday party, but when I only have 5 seconds to figure out a snack I just put out a bowl of pistachios. When time allows, I also like to mix it up with this recipe.

4. I may not have time to clean the bathroom or vacuum, but at the very least--I always fluff the pillows. I know, such a random and anal habit, but there is just something about a nicely fluffed up couch with fluffed pillows that looks so inviting and spiffy. Seriously, It can take a room from slightly messy and forgotten to comfy yet pulled together in split seconds. Trust me on that. 

5. Beverages, duh. This is both the final touch of the prepping and the opening act of a well-mannered hostess or host. If I know our guests might like an alcoholic beverage I have a bottle of wine open and ready to go, the bar organized, or beers in the fridge. If I know they would rather not drink alcohol, I take stock of what juice/soda we have so that I am ready to offer it as soon as we have hugged hello. 

And that is it! Obviously, sometimes I fail at even this small routine, but those are the moments when I realize that we love our friends and they love us, and no matter what our house looks like it is just fun to be together. 

xoxo

Emily

P.S. Like what you are reading and want to keep up with all of our latest gallivants? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the lefthand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or you can follow me on Bloglovin

 

 

Handwritten Notes

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My friend Allison told me last spring that she wants to become one of those people who sends lovely cards to their friends and family to mark special occasions or events, and when she said that I realized that I did to! My mom also gave me this lovely little book, which have been motivating me to take more time to for handwritten notes.  So, my New Years resolutions this year was to write a letter a week to someone I care about, and I am finally getting started this week. 

Not only are notes classy, but in this day and age of technology and email, taking the time to sit down and write a note to someone with a pen in your hand says wonders about how much you actually care or appreciate that person. And of course, who doesn't love to receive mail? I know I do! I have a beautiful blue box where I keep all of the wonderful notes and mail from my friends and family that have moved me and made me feel loved over the years. I also have all of the letters that John has written me since we first started dating, tied up in a lovely bundle with navy ribbon, that I keep in my bedside drawer. I think they are so romantic...

What about you? Do you like to write letters? Flynn and I are off to pop my most recent note into the mail, but here is some inspiration if you feel inclined to write a letter after reading this post. Pretty stationary also makes a lovely gift! 

xoxo,

Emily