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Aaaaand…we’re back! After a week of vacation with my family on Martha’s Vineyard, we returned to Virginia late on Friday night. We loved our getaway, but I’m always SO happy to come home to our mountains and corn fields (even if it’s BLAZING hot here right now)!


Let’s back up and fill you in our vacation, though…

Last Sunday was our first full day on the island and we made the most of it. We were at my parents’ beach house with my brother and his family as well, so these 6 cousins kept each other very busy (and very happy)! Here are a few of our favorite snapshots from the day…

Morning trip to the playground


Flowers in Edgartown


Afternoon at the Beach












Cocktail Hour on the Deck


and lobster and avocado rolls for dinner!


Someone couldn’t wait to dig in…


Monday was July 4th, so we made a trip to my favorite farm stand,





and then spent the rest of the morning playing at the beach. Gorgeous day!



Casey was obsessed with collecting seaweed?!


Late afternoon the kids were dressed in their 4th of July gear for a group photo,


and we headed into Edgartown for the annual parade. So cute, and so small-town Americana!




 Casey took his “candy collecting” job VERY seriously!



 We made it home in time for cocktails…


and dinner on the deck!


Grilled Hamburgers and Hotdogs + Mom’s Potato Salad + Watermelon + Baked Beans AND Angel Food Cake + Red and Blue Berries and Whipped Cream for dessert (not pictured)! Perfect American cookout!


Tuesday morning was rainy and gray so we stayed inside and played with toys, did some artwork, and the older boys played a beach version of BINGO with my mom.


The sun came out around lunchtime, so we spent another sunny afternoon on the beach,


before returning home for cocktails on the deck while the kids played. Dinner (unpictured) was “Surf and Turf” grilled steak and grilled shrimp with fries and Caesar salad…plus my mom’s brownies and ice cream for dessert. Another winner!


We made an early trip to the beach on Wednesday morning,



before my brother and his family headed to the airport in the afternoon to catch their flight back to Florida. There were plenty of tears shed on that departure. ?

In the evening Keith and I had a date night near the harbor in Edgartown while my parents stayed home with the boys.


We had reservations at a relatively new restaurant called Rockfish, which turned out to be AMAZING. Great service, delicious food, and SUCH a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours!


We started with His & Hers Cocktails:

Margarita (His) and Sparkling Rose (Hers!)


and shared an ENORMOUS plate of fried oysters. Some of the best we’ve ever had!


We also had the Greek Salad with Grilled Pita and the Pan-Seared Halibut. Let’s just say that we left there with very full (and very happy) bellies.



Sitting by the big window on Water Street made for some great people watching, too. ?

I grabbed a decaf coffee before heading home to crash. Who knew vacation could be so tiring?!


On Thursday morning Keith and the boys wanted to go clamming in the Bay.






I’m not as excited about raking through stinky mud in search of shellfish, so I stayed on the shore and watched (and took photos) from the beach, while also squeezing in this Beach Towel Workout — no equipment necessary!

Beach Towel Workout

I should also mention that I drank A LOT of this Polar flavored seltzer over the course of the week. What do I need to do to get this stuff to be sold in the south?! It’s so darn good, and they have about a zillion delicious flavors…like this Mango Berry,


Blueberry Lemonade, and the Watermelon Margarita that I’m currently sipping on as I type!


After clamming on Thursday morning, my dad and I made a trip to the Book Den to look through the used books. They have so many unique options to choose from (many of which are specific to the Island) and I left with a handful of cookbooks for new inspiration!


We stopped at Morning Glory Farm again for some fresh fruits and veggies (plus blueberry muffins) before heading home for lunch.


We then took the kids into Oak Bluffs for a ride on the Flying Horses Carousel,


and giant ice cream waffle cones at Mad Martha’s. The definition of SUMMER!

These boys were all business and wouldn’t even look up for a photo…


Keith grilled his freshly-harvested clams for appetizers,




and dinner (unpictured but devoured) was some delicious grilled halibut, grilled salmon, sourdough bread, and salad. A lighter option after a lot of ice cream earlier that afternoon!

Friday was our last morning on the island, and it turned out to be overcast and cool. Instead of the planned trip to the beach, I went for a run…


and met up with these guys at the playground.




After lunch it was time to head to the airport to catch our first flight home.


It was a really long day of travel, but the boys were excellent and everything went as smoothly as it could have…especially because the little one slept through the entire second flight. Vacation wore him out!


We woke up yesterday morning to hot and humid Central Virginia weather, and a mile-long to-do list! I was happy to see that I received some fun mail while I was gone, though. First — a new case for my phone. Given how much I use my phone (and how much I drop it), a sturdier and more protective case was in order. And of course, it has to be bright summery colors!

This thing is virtually indestructible (which is good, because I don’t think my phone can survive another crack)!


I also got this new canning book, which I can’t wait to dive into. None of our hard work in the garden will go to waste!


Speaking of our garden, Casey was thrilled to come home and find that his plants had seriously taken off while we were gone. He harvested 4 zucchini, some summer squash, a few cucumbers, and some tomatoes. I have an herb garden that’s out of control too, so I’m adding pesto to my must-make list. Any other ideas? I need to take advantage of all of these fresh herbs!!!


Spencer plucked a cucumber on his own and ate it immediately for snack (dipped in hummus).


One of my first missions on Saturday morning was a trip to the farmer’s market to restock our very bare kitchen. The peaches are here, and I have a sweet recipe coming to the blog as soon as I can find the time to make it (hint — it involves ice cream)!


My shopping haul was big this week. I brought home:

  • 3 quarts of peaches (both white and orange)
  • Kale
  • Black raspberries (the last of the season)
  • Cantaloupe
  • Chicken breasts
  • Eggs
  • Eggplant
  • Banana peppers
  • Onions
  • Green peppers
  • Salad greens
  • Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
  • Carrots
  • Cherry tomatoes


How can you resist these colors?!


After the farmer’s market, Spence and I headed to the grocery store for the rest of our weekly necessities. But first…CAFFEINE. I was seriously dragging after our late night of travel…


I fed everyone lunch and then before tackling the massive task of laundry and unpacking, I did a quick 20-minute strength workout from this DVD in the living room while supervising the kids’ play. They ended up trying to lift dumbbells with me (of course)! ?


Our evening entertainment was QUITE exciting for the boys. Even though it was incredibly hot outside, and even though we were all still recovering from our trip, we couldn’t miss the annual summer Tractor Pull here in Madison.


Never been to a tractor pull? You can see all of the fun details in this post from a couple of years ago (before Spence was even born). It’s funny to see how the kids have grown up since then!



A serious discussion


Popsicles with a friend from school


And now it’s Sunday morning and I’m trying to figure out how the heck I’m going to get back into the swing of our normal routine. I’m totally discombobulated and need some time to continue unpacking and sorting through the aftermath of our vacation. Wish me luck, and have a great week!


Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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  1. Robyn @ Simply Fresh Dinners says:

    You had a super busy and fun vacation, Blair! Loved your photos of the kids and especially all the cousins. We have a family reunion every summer at a campground on Lake Huron and we loved it as kids and now the next generation of kids love it. So important to be close to all your cousins!
    Loved the market too – beautiful!

    1. Blair says:

      Family memories are absolutely the best, Robyn! We had a great time and I’m pretty sure that we came home more exhausted than when we left. I wouldn’t call it a “vacation,” but it was definitely an adventure! 🙂

  2. Terri says:

    Always enjoy your family post. Such a very sweet family.

    1. Blair says:

      Thank you so much, Terri! 🙂

  3. Erin says:

    Hi there! When I have an overload of fresh herbs, I mince it up and put about a tablespoon of that into each container of an ice cube tray. I add water and freeze. Voila! I have been ice cubes to add to soups or sauces later on.

    1. Blair says:

      Love that idea, Erin! I think I’m going to try some mint/lime ice cubes today!!! They would be great in ice water this summer, and my mint is out of control. Thanks so much!