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Simple Citrus Marmalade (& Friday Links)

If you happen to have neighbors who share their winter citrus bounty, consider yourself lucky—and consider using some of it to make some marmalade. A few years back, we happened to have enough Kumquats on our trees to try it with the small, tart fruits and used a basic 1:1 fruit to sugar ratio so as not to hide the brilliant flavor of the citrus. It turned out delicious! It’s also an easy one for children to help with—who can eat it up alongside a reading of Paddington. Find the recipe for Kumquat Marmalade here, but this could be easily adapted to any citrus, adjusting the sugar depending on the sweetness of the variety.

Any fun plans for the weekend? We’re gearing up for our first season of little league, attending some birthday parties, and going out to a crab feed with friends. I have some home-improvement projects on my mind, too, so it’s a good time to stay close.

Here are some links of note to start it off… 

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Happy Valentine’s Day! How do we all celebrate?

Most real romance is small and mundane, happening in unscheduled, quiet moments. Still, I never shy away from a chance to celebrate a holiday—and, in this case, have no qualms about exchanging love notes or pouring a glass of champagne to toast to those we cherish.

It just so happens that this year, the kids and I are on our own. I’m thinking poke bowls for dinner and candy from their classroom exchange for dessert, and maybe a movie together before I indulge in a favorite—either some Meg Ryan classic or Pride & Predjudice. (By the way, any good recommendations for kids on Valentine’s Day?) I’m sorry that Aron can’t join us, of course, but I’m also completely fine with this plan.

That said, I am familiar with how busted expectations for a certain kind of Valentine’s day can get to anyone. Usually I consider myself very low-key about it, but all bets were off the year Skyler was born. Valentine’s Day fell just 10 days after we’d brought her home from the hospital, and I was so shocked, as I sat down with our newborn at my breast, that Aron hadn’t planned anything special at all that I burst into tears. (There may also have been some hormones involved.)

Since then, I think we’ve been more careful to be clear about expectations. So I’m always curious to hear about others’ expectations when it comes to this particular day. How are real women around me celebrating? And how would they like to be?

We reached out to some of our friends—women between the ages of 25 and 55, mostly mothers—to ask:
“What will you be doing on Valentine’s Day?” And “What do you wish you were doing?”

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5 Things: A Local’s Guide to Newport, Rhode Island

In “5 Things,” we ask some of our favorite insiders in cities all over the world to share insider travel tips on where to eat, shop, stay, and play in their neighborhoods (plus, what to pack to make the adventure complete). Today, Caitlin Mandel of Our Natural Heritage shares how Newport, Rhode Island, is more than just beautiful old homes; the natural beauty of the area is sure to captivate any visitor!

5 Things: Newport, Rhode Island
by Caitlin Mandel

Newport, Rhode Island is best known as a summer resort for some of America’s wealthiest families. But while Newport may be known as a playground for the rich, its delights are available to everyone. In fact, it was a band of religious outcasts that first negotiated with the native people to settle the area in the early 1600s, and the region has also served as an escape for artists, revolutionaries, theologians, writers, educators, and scientists.

I grew up in the area, and still find myself heading to Newport anytime I want a little escape. There is a strong tourist presence in summer, so if you aren’t up for dealing with crowds, September and October are a lovely shoulder season with more affordable hotel rates. Whatever time of year you visit, there are many wonderful ways to experience the unique character of the City by the Sea.

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