Sunday, October 11, 2015

A Saturday Country Drive + Apple Picking

This weekend was glorious!  I was so thankful for an early soccer game on Saturday (Our weekends have been full of soccer and football lately. Maybe too full.), leaving the whole day open for a family outing.  While I loathe any sort of road trip, a long drive in the country on a perfect autumn day is a different story.  A sun dappled landscape in shades of wheat, gold and rust, dotted with old barns, the occasional church steeple and white fenced farms of grazing horses and cows.  It's like spending the day inside a painting and I love it, even better when spent with my boys.  We put away our phones, turned up the country music, packed a yummy picnic and headed east to Karnes Orchard, a picturesque apple orchard, for the afternoon.  This orchard has been in the same family since 1876, yet went through a period of dormancy in the 90s and reopened in 2013 - amazing.  You can read the history here.  There are no hayrides or gift shops or really anything other than apple trees as far as you can see and the best fresh cider.  There is something so enjoyable about sharing an authentic farm experience, free from lots of added fan fair, with my family. It was just what I needed to feel in the fall spirit and I'm grateful I captured some of it on film.

^^Picnic prep...Baguettes with bacon, extra sharp cheddar, apples and arugula for lunch. Along with homemade brownies, a big bag of Cape Cod chips and bottles of water.^^

^^Andrew is as tall as me. Can't believe it. ^^

^^ New favorite apple - cross between a red delicious and a honeycrisp.^^

^^ Rotten apples make great baseballs ^^

We brought home some of their cider too and I made my second batch of apple cider donuts this week.  I'm still tinkering with a couple recipes.  I will be sure to share when (if?) I feel like I perfect it.  I have a feeling cider donuts are just better fried, so that's my next attempt.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Inspiration | A Connecticut Country Home

Do you ever feel like there is too much home design inspiration out there?  Is that even possible?  Well, I do.  Sometimes there are just too many pretty images competing for my attention via instagram, pinterest, blogs and magazines.  Occasionally, I need to step back in order to reground my sense of style, to hone in on my own aesthetic and what I truly love and want in a home.  That's where Nora Murphy comes in...    Her online magazine featuring her own home and others in  New England is a design highlight each season that I anticipate like few others.  I devour each issue (how I wish they were in print!) and I'm reminded of the elements I most appreciate and desire in my own home.  Bookcases piled high with books, neutral and warm colors, lots of old house charm, collections with meaning, farmhouse style antiques, a home that is lived in and enjoyed, not overly styled, a place that exudes warmth and comfort above everything else.  It is difficult to put in words, so I will let pictures do the talking.  (All the images in this post are from Nora Murphy's website, used with permission)

Nora lives in a charming, antique Connecticut saltbox, that she long admired before it was hers.  Nora is an interior designer who's prior work experience was at Ralph Lauren and then as an executive at Ethan Allen.  Of course, the New England connection was what first grabbed my attention.  If you've read my blog for any length of time you know my love for classic New England living and architecture, but what keeps me coming back is the way she captures life in her home.  I'm most drawn to homes with soul, the kind that comes from years of collecting art and antiques, homes that reveal a little about the inhabitants and the memories acquired over their lives.  My favorite shots are those that show bits of her son's artwork (he's in his freshman year of college now), collections of sea shells, saved handwritten notes, and her seasonal inspiration boards.  While her home is beautiful, you can see it is lived in and enjoyed, not overly perfect or too styled.

Despite the plethora of inspiration out there, homes like this one are hard to come by these days.   Makes me anticipate each issue of her magazine even more.

^^This was the first image I ever saw of Nora's home and it sent me on a search to find out more.  She has since painted her dining room white, which feels fresh and cozy at the same time.  You can see the new images and colors in her latest issue.^^

^^Another beautiful home featured in the Autumn 2015 issue.^^

^^A friend's kitchen featured this month.^^

^^Another local home.  Colonial perfection but edited so beautifully that it still feels current.^^

The holiday issue will be out next.  Another favorite that I can't wait to see!  Get comfy and set aside a couple hours of your weekend to sink into all the back issue.  I return all the time and love them just as much as I did the first time I saw them.  Please publish a book Nora!  Thank you for letting me share your gorgeous home on my blog.  Such an inspiration and one I can't get enough of!