I pull the fluffy, multicolored patchwork duvet cover off of the moss green pillows and imagine how much sweeter my dreams would be if I were snuggled comfortably in that antique brass display bed, clad in a whimsical cream-and-pink striped nightgown. Before I drift off to sleep, I page through Barbara Ireland’s 36 Hours: 125 Weekends in Europe, and plan an overseas getaway with my adoring, slightly scruffy boyfriend.
I wake in the morning and sip my French pressed coffee from a monogrammed ceramic mug, as I gaze out of my brownstone window at the bustling city block below. After a shower, where I try out my new cedar wood-scented goat’s milk soap, I slide open the bedroom closet to reveal a collection of dresses, sweaters, a-line skirts and flowing blouses — all in jewel tones and organized by color. It’s pretty brisk today, so I select a plum shift dress and goldenrod cardigan, accessorizing with a gray scarf, silver charm bracelet and feather drop earrings. I lace up my ankle boots and take one last glance in the mirror, slathering some rosebud salve on my lips and throwing a soft chestnut leather satchel over one shoulder.
The farmers market is abuzz this morning, and the delicious smells of fresh fruit and flowers mingle in the air with just-popped kettle corn and hazelnut lattes. I pull a piece of stationery — replete with printed pastel birds — out of my bag and survey the list for tonight’s dinner party. A baguette to slice and spread thick with truffle butter, organic mushrooms for the ragout that will accompany the beef tenderloin, and five Granny Smiths for apple crisp a la mode. Once all of the ingredients are purchased, they go straight into the basket of my vintage bike and along for the ride to a nearby park. I nestle under a shady oak, and spend the next few hours journaling in my Moleskine.
Upon my return home, I discover that my boyfriend has already started preparing dinner, and he gets up from the tufted teal settee to greet me. I inhale deeply, trying to identify each savory spice. While the beef is roasting, I uncork a bottle of Pinot Noir and pour two glasses. We slice apples into a copper pot as I pore over the crisp recipe, dog-eared in my gluten-free dessert cookbook. We share a brief, impromptu slow dance in the kitchen when Paolo Nutini’s “Loving You” begins playing from my laptop, before we’re interrupted by the familiar beep of the timer.
The crisp is in the oven and our farmhouse table is set with hand-painted dishes, antique flatware and paisley cloth napkins. It’s just about time to change into my lace cocktail dress, break in my slingback heels, and apply some lipstick. I’m in a muted mauve mood tonight.
I slide off the sweater and dress, pull on my t-shirt and button up my jeans. “Thanks,” I say, handing the garments back to the fitting room attendant, “but I need a little more time to think about this.”