Time to Get Back into Cooking!

The crazy summer season is over and it’s starting to feel like Fall here in the Northeast.  I know it is officially still summer (and I know my California sisters are probably still in their shorts and sun dresses) but I’m excited about sweaters, boots and getting back into cooking! Here are the recipes on my “Must Try List”:

Grilled Summer Squash & Peach Salad:  I’ve got to try this one soon because summer produce isn’t going to last forever!  I love the idea of adding fruit to the dinner plate.  It’s so fancy but not complicated.
backtocooking1Roasted Beet, Goat Cheese & Honey Drizzle Tart: How colorful, pretty and different!  And beets are just so delicious!  Sides are sometimes so uninspiring and this is a good way to change it up!! backtocooking2Flank Steak: Mrs. Lilien writes one of my most favorite blogs – her graphics are fab.  Doesn’t she make this recipe look so easy!  Asian inspired dishes are not really a go to for me – mostly because I feel like you have to buy so many ingredients.  But this looks worth a try! backtocooking3 Honey Chipotle Chicken Bowls:  Looks like a good combination of sweet, spicy, fresh & healthy to me!!   backtocooking4 Spicy Thai Curry Noodle Soup: Like I said, I’m trying to incorporate more Asian inspired dishes into my rotation.  This one will be delicious to try on a chilly Fall night! backtocooking5Skillet Lasagna: There is always a pasta on my “Must Try List”.  This is a “one skillet” recipe which means less clean up for Steve!!  And it says it takes less than an hour to make!  I’ve gotta try this to believe it!
backtocooking6 Raspberry Friands:  When we lived in Australia, the after school ritual was to go have afternoon tea!  All dressed in our school uniforms, Patty would pick us up and we would go to one of the many cute cafes in town.  Our little snack of choice was usually a friand!  They are like a little muffins but they are made with almond meal which makes it a little denser.  I don’t ever see them here in the US  so these will be fun to try! backtocooking7Nutella Stuffed Brown Butter Sea Salt Cookie:  Just the name speaks for itself! backtocooking8

Is anyone else hungry??  I’ll keep you posted on how they all turn out!!

In Front of the Ivy: Fall Color Trend – Blush!

It’s time for another “In Front of the Ivy”!!  My new blog series where I share some of my favorite things from Milly & Grace! Remember my inaugural post?  My Favorite Summer Color Combo: Blue & White?  Well, now let’s switch gears to Pre Fall.  The color that I am seeing everywhere is Blush!  Now, it’s no secret that blush is one of my favorite colors.  But don’t worry, just because I’m partial to pink does not mean that I’m steering you in the wrong direction.  Even Ralph Lauren’s Fall Collection is all about blush!!

Rebecca Taylor’s blush floral printed silk top is perfect to wear on it’s own now while it’s still warm or under a blazer once it starts to cool down.IvyBlush1Rose gold jewelry is the perfect way to pull blush into your fall outfits.  Our Shashi layering bracelets and our best selling Gillian Julius tube bracelets are pieces that you can dress up or down! IvyBlush2Sometimes you just gotta believe! Shy by Sydney Evens makes these dainty everyday necklaces with a charming reminder.  As seen on the Nantucket blACKbook! Other available words: love, breathe, dream, yolo, xoxo, mrs! 

Rebecca Taylor (she really nailed the blush this season) combined blush & rose gold in this sweater!BlushIvy6

Bring blush into your home with this leather pillow & blush votives!
IvyBlush4 IvyBlush5Remember to stay hydrated!  A good way to do this is to always have a cute water bottle on hand.  Get yours hereIvyBlush7Off to Carlisle’s yoga class I go!!
IvyBlush8Thanks for hanging out In Front of the Ivy! Until next time!

*Note: My sisters are obviously back in LA and so Patty stood in to take the pictures.  Isn’t she the bomb??!!  Patty, what would I do without you??!!

Mind Shift

377734663_022So I had a mole on my belly button. The dermatologist said that I should probably have it removed. He wasn’t too concerned but he thought it was the weirdest mole on my body so we shouldn’t take any risks. However, it was in such an odd location that he felt better having a plastic surgeon remove it to minimize scaring. I was down with that. So yesterday, I traveled to Boston to Brigham & Women’s hospital to have it removed. No biggie. I jumped on a Cape Air flight, got to Boston early enough to go to Starbucks and bop around the shops on Newbury Street. Priorities. Then off to B&W for my appointment I go. All was smooth sailing until I walked into the procedure room.

It wasn’t like the tricked out operation rooms I’ve seen on Grey’s Anatomy – it was a trimmed down version but nevertheless, it got my nerves going and my blood pressure up. I was asked to lie down on the table. I did and I immediately started to cry. Yes, I was a little nervous. The only surgical procedure that I have had done was lasik so I really didn’t know what to expect. But while looking at the nurses with their masks and at those big surgical lights above me, reality hit me and a wave of emotions came over me and I kind of didn’t know how to handle it. I just kept crying. The doctor and nurses kept asking me if I was ok and I was. I really was ok about this minor procedure that was about to happen. The mole was the size of a mini chocolate chip. Come on Emily, get it together! But what I blurted out was… I’m really fine, I’m just thinking about all of the people who have to lie here with something really serious. I just can’t imagine how they find the strength.

It was in that moment that I had a mind shift. One that will change the way that I think forever. I can’t even really put it into words but I do know that at the root of it all is compassion. Looking up at those surgical lights my heart went out to everyone in that big hospital and all over the world who are also looking up at those lights but are going through things I can’t even begin to relate to. I kept thinking about everyone who I passed on my way to the office and wondering what they might going through. And here I was seeing a plastic surgeon because I was worried about scarring. Perspective. I’ve had some things on my mind lately and well, I decided to just let them go.

On top of all that, when I got home, Ivy murdered a baby bunny in the back yard. It was an emotional day. Queue up the cocktail shaker.

*This post is dedicated to my cousin Kelsey. She has had open heart surgery, her spine fused and a kidney transplant. Just last week, she started her freshmen year of college. Kels, I’m so impressed by your strength. To the Pleasanton Otts, you all rock. Work hard and play hard sweetie pie! Love you.

** And also to my Grandad Ott who died from melanoma.  We miss you everyday.