I got to kick the week off at a really fun event with some of my favorite Boston blogger ladies. My friends Julie and Meg run a calligraphy pop-up class called Sip & Script and hosted a session at the most darling home and gift shop in Southie, Neatly Nested. The concept is right up my alley, they get a bunch of friends together, pop some bubbly and pour some cocktails, and teach you the basics of calligraphy. Crafting and cocktails? Yes, please. Speaking of cocktails, they tapped me to craft up a recipe for the signature drink for the night — we enjoyed my spiked and sparkling lemonade and it was a hit. We were refilling glasses and talking about how it’s “sneaky” spiked — you can get the recipe in the images below if you want to mix one up yourself! read more

I’ve hinted a bit at this news on my Instagram stories, but haven’t officially shared my life-update on the blog here: I’m officially self-employed! After 8 long years of running this blog late nights after work, filling my weekends with content projects, and taking many of my vacation days to attend events and photo-shoots, I’ve finally made the jump and decided to make this blog my full-time job! It’s probably the most exciting and terrifying decision I’ve made in a long time. I have had quite a few “oh my gosh it’s finally happening!” moments, and an equal number of, “oh.my.gosh, is this really happening?” moments too. read more

Last week I was sitting down at my computer to do some last minute planning for my vintage treasure hunting trip to Brimfield and I realized there aren’t many resources online for folks that haven’t been before and want to know what to expect. I remember the first time I went and I had no idea where to park, where to shop, or what it would be like. So I thought I would share a few of my tips for future Brimfield attendees, as well as some photos from my antiquing at the July show! IMG_3931 read more

We’re calling this the ‘summer of boats’ — I kicked off the summer with a tour of Newport harbor, have enjoyed some lovely ferry rides, and this past weekend myself and ten of my best friends used Vimbly to book tickets on the Adirondack III to sail around the Boston Harbor for an afternoon. We were celebrating a very special birthday for my friend Taz, complete with a boat-side cheese plate, mini-cupcakes, and champagne for our ride. It could not have been a more perfect day, or more gorgeous weather, and we even got the best seats on the boat — it felt like our own little private excursion since we all got to sit together in the separate back area of the boat. Our harbor ride reminded me of two things: 1) gosh I love have a cocktail while out on the water, what’s better than that? and 2) we have a lot of fun when we decide to use our weekends to try something new and break out of our normal routines. So, here’s to more fun weekend activities that break the mold (and thanks Vimbly for giving me the opportunity to realize that!). Now, where are we boating to next? 




Please note: Vimbly offered me a complimentary chance to use their site and try out their service. All opinions and images are my own. 

From the time that  I first heard about Farm and Fable’s Cookbook Book Club,  I was sold — what is better than hanging out with a group of friends and chatting about cookbooks? Oh right, eating the recipes from them! I finally was able to join one of the meet-ups this weekend and it was a ton of fun. This month the book was Huckleberry, the new cookbook from the famed Santa Monica bakery. While I love cooking, I’m actually not the most skilled baker (sticking to proportions and instructions can be tough for me, I always want to add more butter, oops!), so I ended up picking one of the more savory recipes from the book, a tomato goat cheese cobbler. It was really tasty, and so were the 10 other recipes that book club attendees made. My favorite? The chocolate banana bread bundt cake — holy yum. I loved getting to hear their experiences with the recipes and even got a few new tips and tricks to use next time! IMG_5217.JPGIMG_5226.JPGIMG_5227.JPGIMG_5234.JPG

A few weeks back I surprised my husband with a brewing session at Hopsters in Newton for his birthday. I wouldn’t consider myself a big beer drinker, but ended up having so much fun just going through the whole process of brewing and bottling it. We picked a recipe (crystal wheat beer) and the brewers at Hopsters helped us measure our ingredients and work through the brewing process. Then we went back after the beer fermented for a few weeks and got to bottle it — which I found to be the best part (look at those American flag caps!). You can even design your own label, and my husband came up with a very clever name — don’t you think?IMG_3497.JPGIMG_3512.JPGIMG_3513.JPGIMG_3514.JPG

 

 

Boston Bloggers had the pleasure of hosting a preview of the Fall bridal collection at BHLDN in the Chestnut Hill Anthropologie this month. Even with our wedding already behind us, I can still appreciate the gorgeous dress selection at the BHLDN boutique — the good news is that the bridesmaid dresses, shoes, and accessories are all still in my sights to wear as a wedding guest! And the decor items are just so cute, they’re perfect for parties and the home too. The Anthropologie team pulled out all of the stops for our group — sweet treats, Mumm Napa champagne, gorgeous florals by Ladies of Foret, and darling little paper flowers in gold leaf vases for guests to take home at the end of the night! (A special thanks to Katie Noble Photography, who captured images of the event shown here).

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Last weekend I had the amazing opportunity to visit Island Creek Oyster Farm down in Duxbury, MA. My husband is a big fan of oysters and got me into them a few years ago too — now we’re both oyster-obsessed and love checking out new varieties whenever see them pop up on the menu at local restaurants (we’ve even done some at-home-shucking too!). No matter how many we try though, we always come back to Island Creek’s as our favorites. After being invite to visit the OysterPlex and meet the folks that run ICO, I’m even more committed to my favorite oysters now. ICO Farm 5ICO Farm 14ICO Farm 6Chris and his team took us through the history of building the ICO OysterPlex and brand, and showed us how they cultivate and farm the oysters from ‘seed’ to harvest. It all started on the shore where we saw the greenhouses where the team grows their algae to feed the oysters at the seed stage. From there, we followed the seeds through their life cycle and ended up out in two boats on the water where they grow  in trays in Duxbury Bay until they’re ready to harvest.

ICO Farm 8ICO Farm 1ICO Farm 1120140725-102216-37336811.jpgICO Farm 9Duxbury Bay is absolutely gorgeous. After visiting the oyster trays out in the water, we stopped at the ICO float out in the water where they process and sort the harvest each day and enjoyed some of the oysters that had just been plucked out of the water — doesn’t get much fresher than that! A few beers and glasses of rosé wine were enjoyed with the oyster-feast as we met Skip Bennett, founder of Island Creek. My favorite anecdote from the day was hearing about how Skip drove into Boston one day to try to offload a surplus of oysters to local chefs. He showed up at the back door of East Coast Grill in Cambridge with his pick-up truck and his oyster haul. East Coast Grill was the first place to buy wholesale oysters from Island Creek, and the rest was history!ICO Farm 1020140725-102215-37335876.jpg20140725-102217-37337668.jpgICO Farm 4ICO Farm 2

It felt like a once in a lifetime experience to get to visit the oyster farm where some of our very favorite seafood treats come from. I also learned so much from Island Creek team about oysters, (did you know it only takes 18 months to grow a full size oyster shell?! I thought it took years upon years!), the benefit of aquaculture and oysters to the environment, and the great things that ICO does to give back to the community with their foundation. Thanks so much to Skip, Chris, and the rest of the Island Creek team for such an awesome day

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I tried spinning once before a few years ago and it was not for me — I vowed never to go back. But last week The Handle Bar hosted our Boston Bloggers group for spinning class and I decided to give it a second chance. Jess, the lovely owner of the studio, totally changed my mind. First off –I’m a sucker for design and the studio is the kind of place you actually want to work out in — bright cheery yellow walls and adorable details like the neighborhood specific logos. Before we got started, the staff were hands-on helping everyone get set up so they felt comfortable on the bikes and with the terminology they’d be using during the ride. When it was time to start the lights dimmed down super low — which I loved! (Yay for not having to worry about looking like a sweaty mess!). I think the best part was that the music was perfectly synced up to the movements of the ride, and  the time flew by with the variety of exercises you did while on the bike. So overall, I think they converted me! Thanks to Jess and the Handle Bar Fenway for hosting our group!
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The Handle Bar offered this class complimentary to members of Boston Bloggers, all opinions are my own. 

Last week I finally got a chance to try the new Harvard Square hot spot, Alden & Harlow, with my blogging buddy Elizabeth. I have been dying to try this place after seeing their plates pop up in my instagram feed since they opened. You know that anticipation you have when you really want to try something new? I had that waiting for this reservation to pop up on my calendar, and I have to tell you something: it completely exceed my exceptions. I’m still thinking about every bite I had a week later!

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We started with the onion dip and homemade chips; onion dip is kind of a weakness for me — I could eat buckets of it — and this passed the test for some of tastiest I’ve ever had. One of my other favorites from the night was the butternut squash salad, topped with currants, pecorino, hazelnuts,  and brown butter — I mean, this completely changed my perspective on vegetables — I can actually say that I crave vegetables after eating that.

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The pickled corn pancakes with a maple glaze and grilled shishito peppers was another dish that I have major food memories about now, it was such a unique combination of flavors, something I would never think of! We also tried the grilled carrots, charred broccoli and squash hummus, and the slow roasted beef neck over parsnip puree, all of which were phenomenal. Oh and the cocktails! The cocktails were delightfully refreshing, I tried one with vodka, honeyed kumquats, cinnamon and lemon — holy yum.  I absolutely can not wait to go back, and if you haven’t been yet, get yourself a reservation and prepare to be amazed! 

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