Last week I had a pinch-me-is-this-real-life moment when I got the opportunity to interview the impeccable taste-maker and designer extraordinaire Jonathan Adler before his new store opening in Chestnut Hill. He was absolutely charming and kind and funny, and I may have tried to hug him about five times during our meeting because I genuinely want to be his BFF. Check out the pictures of the gorgeous new store (taken by my actual BFF who was there to make sure I didn’t totally embarrass myself), plus my interview with Jonathan where he dishes on his entertaining style, favorite hostess gifts, and awesome advice for young business owners:

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K: Tell me about the new store, what makes this Chestnut Hill location special?

JA: Our other local store, Newbury Street, is like a jewel box, but this is big, there’s room to breathe in here. It just has the feeling of a place you want to hang out in, and it’s great to be able to do that here.

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K: Tell me about your entertaining style, what’s your secret?

JA: The key is super-duper casual, very laid back entertaining. Keep it casual and everyone will have fun. Plus some mini-champagne bottles never hurt, those always get the party started.

K: Any tips for at-home entertainers?

JA: I always serve myself first. It makes people feel relaxed and at home; plus I get cranky if I’m hungry, so it’s better for everyone if I’m fed.

K: I can relate to that!  Any particular party theme you’re known for throwing?

JA: I did a huge clambake last year and that was so fun — it goes back to the casual, laid back entertaining vibe. The key is  to mix it up, mix it up with your themes, with your tableware, mix and match, and have fun with it.

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K: One of my favorite parts about this new store is the Gift Bar right when you walk in — it is brimming with gift ideas for every occasion. Do you have a favorite gift to give from the collection?

JA: The Muse shakers are a favorite, they’re great because you have a set for everyone: Mr & Mr, Mrs & Mrs, or Mr & Mrs, and they go with everything.

K: Being in the business of creating beautiful giftwares, I can imagine you bring a stellar hostess gift when visiting friends — what are your go-to hostess gifts?

JA: I love to bring candles, coasters, pottery… the Muse candle is one of my go-to gifts. And one of the best host gifts I’ve received is a good book; it’s so thoughtful and leaves a great memory when you bring a book.

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K: It took a lot of entrepreneurial spirit to get to where your brand is today; what advice do you have for young entrepreneurs starting out today?

JA: The best advice I can give is: Never ask anyone for advice, and never listen to the advice that people give you. If I had listened to the advice of others when I first starting out, I would have never gotten here. I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing had I followed the advice I received. Just politely say to those who offer it:  ‘thank you for offering your advice,’ — and then don’t take it. Trust your gut.

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All photos via Bring to Light Photography

 

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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Last night Boston Bloggers hosted an event at Saloon, a cozy speakeasy-style bar, located in Davis Square.  The folks at Saloon invited us in for a Whiskey 101 tasting, and it was such a fun (educational!) experience. Our expert for the evening, Manny, was so knowledgeable, and it was a treat to hear him tell stories about each of the distilleries and histories of the brands. I learned a ton, including the different types of whiskey (we tasted four kinds: Bourbon, Rye, Irish Whiskey, and Scotch), fun facts about some of the regional differences (did you know that Irish Whiskey is spelled with an “e” and Scottish Whisky is spelled without one? Americans spell it both ways, because we do what we want).  I know I’ll be a little more adventurous, and knowledgeable, next time I’m picking a whiskey cocktail off the menu!

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Well this was one of those “oh-em-gee” moments! It was beyond surreal to open up the pages of a magazine and find our happy little wedding celebration in print. The lovely folks at Bliss Celebrations magazine shared our wedding pictures in their ‘curated color’ section, featuring the color palettes and inspiration behind the big day. It makes me so happy to see these pictures and know that the day came together exactly like the vision I had when I bought my kelly green wedding shoes that inspired it all. And I’m not going to lie, I brim with pride thinking they might help another bride find some inspiration for her wedding day too. Thanks to Bliss Celebrations for including us!

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This weekend zoomed by, partially because I had a packed weekend full of parties and to-do-lists! On Saturday I went to a baby shower for one of my girlfriends, and it was beyond darling. My dear friend Taz was the hostess with the mostest and made an amazing layered blue ombre cake topped with bunting made from her gigantic fabric collection! I found myself hanging out near the mimosa bar, which was so darn cute and delightfully tasty (and lead to a solid post-shower afternoon nap before I headed out to my next party!)

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Last week we had our latest Boston Bloggers event at the Sweet bakery. Sweet had a handful of bloggers over for a whole night of cupcake tasting. So, yes, in case you were wondering, it was awesome. We heard from Sweet’s lovely founder and learned all about how the bakery got started, and how it’s evolved over the years. And then we dug-in and taste-tested lots of their classic flavors (like, oh boy, some of the most delicious carrot cake and cream cheese frosting I’ve ever had!), and a few of their new and seasonal flavors — like Guinness butter-cream for St Patty’s day (yum). I think one of the biggest surprises was tasting their gluten-free cupcakes, I had no idea I was eating a gluten-free cupcake until someone told me — they were some of my favorites from the whole event! Thanks to Sweet for hosting us, and letting me fulfill my fantasy of an all-you-can-eat cupcake feast!

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It was my Mom’s birthday last week, so my sister and schemed all week and surprised her on Saturday by coming home and making her a tasty birthday dinner. I’m kind of terrible at secrets, so to pull this off I basically had to avoid my Mom’s phone calls for 3 days — but it was worth it, she was super surprised and we had so much fun celebrating. I love  getting to set the table at my parent’s house too — my Mom has quite the collection of dishes and linens and accessories, so picked out the very a Spring-y of combination of place settings to match the cheery daffodils she had growing on the kitchen counter. And of course no birthday celebration is complete without  sweets — my sister brought a big box of Baked by Melissa cupcakes and I ate them by the handful!

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Did you hear? This little ‘ol blog turned 5 and we’re celebrating! To share the celebratory spirit, I decided we need to host a little giveaway and have rounded up some of my favorite things, including lots of little festive details to have a party yourself! To enter to win, visit my new Domestikatedlife Facebook page and give it a ‘like’ — then leave a comment below telling me your favorite item from the giveaway! More entry details below:

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Here’s what you can win:

Polka Dot Pencils | Mrs Lilien’s Cocktail Swatchbook | Sea Salt Soap | Rifle Paper Co Notebooks | Confetti Wands | Party Candles | Hair Ties | Striped Straws | Sweet Sticky Notes | Dotted Pink Matches

Giveaway Details:

  • To enter to win, LIKE the Domestikatedlife Facebook page, and leave a comment below telling me your favorite item from the giveaway.
  • For an extra entry follow @domestikateblog on Instagram and leave another comment below.
  • This giveaway will end at 5:00 PM EST on Friday, March 7th and is open to US residents only.
  • Please note, this giveaway is not sponsored or affiliated with any of the brands featured.

A few weeks ago, someone asked me how long I had been blogging. I had to think about it for a second, part of me thought “gosh, forever?” — I can barely remember a time when this site wasn’t part of my daily routine. At the same time, there are days when I open up a new blog post and I feel like it’s the first time I’ve ever started writing. So when I got home after that conversation I looked up my very first blog post and realized it was actually 5 years ago on  that very day that I had started writing. Five years! That’s half a decade! I’ve been thinking about this ol’ blog quite a bit after that realization, and like any good blogger, thought I’d share a few of those thoughts with my readers. In those past 5 years I’ve written over 1,000 posts, and those posts all grouped together have given me more than I could have ever bargained for.

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One of the very best parts of this blog has been the people I’ve met along the way.  I’ve gotten to be part of a rich community of creatives online; people I’ve only known through blog comments and tweets have become friends in real life that I meet up with when traveling to other cities. I’ve been so lucky to have developed relationships with tons of sweet, supportive local bloggers through the Boston Bloggers group that I run with Alison, and feel like I’m always exploring my city and doing fun new things with these inspiring women. In fact, I’ve become such good friends with some of them that I don’t even call them my “blogger friends” any more!  ADSC_0001

This site has also brought me amazing opportunities. If you told me 5 years ago, when I closed my eyes, terrified to hit publish on that very first post, that I would end up working with brands and bloggers I idolize, and would have my work featured in magazines and some of my favorite online publications, I would have laughed (and knowing me, probably rolled my eyes). I’ve also learned so much about social media from working in the blogging community and I honestly don’t think I’d be where I am in my career today if this blog hadn’t existed. And gosh this blog has brought me a lot of adventures too; from getting to visit Martha Stewart headquarters, to little weekend inspiration excursions, I’ve consistently used this site as an excuse to explore and have fun.

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More than anything, this blog has been an amazing journey of finding my passions and getting to look back at how they’ve evolved. When I first started posting I was toying around with the idea of going back to school for interior design, I was design-crazy and remember reading blogs like Apartment Therapy and Making it Lovely and obsessing over fixing up my first post-college apartment. As my interests evolved, this blog evolved alongside with them. I love looking back at old posts now and seeing the trends and style and ideas I was drawn to at a particular moment in time. Five years, 3 apartments, 3 jobs, a wedding,  and 1,000 posts later I feel like it’s a reflection of me more than ever before. ADSC_0015

So! Thank you for reading along with me, whether it’s just been the last few weeks, or since the beginning (in the beginning it was pretty much just my family and my girlfriends– so an extra special thanks to you!). It’s been a lovely ride — and here’s to another 5 more years!

Now, I’m done with my mushy, emotional blubbering  and onto the important stuff — check back tomorrow for a fun giveaway to keep the celebration going!)

Sources: Sparklers | Matches | Confetti Wands