One thing is for certain this year: our celebrations and holiday look quite a bit different. I’m hopeful though that this slower season will still elicit tons of joy, new traditions, and the making of memories we’ll have for years to come. As we kick off the holidays, I’m taking a more purposeful approach to how I entertain, cook, gift and celebrate – with a huge focus on shopping small and local. Which is why I’m super excited to announce a big project I’ve been working on – a #shopsmall virtual holiday pop-up with my friends at UpNext. I’ve partnered with UpNext and eight of my favorite small batch brands to create a holiday gift guide that features curated and limited-edition products for gifting and entertaining. I’m sharing a little bit more about each brand in today’s post, there’s a little something for everyone in this small batch collection! read more

It’s been quite a few weeks since my last download, so I have lots to share! Kicking off the new season with some fun recipes, a few mini book reviews from my reading list, a guilt-free educational kid’s iPad game we have been loving, and lots of affordable (and cozy) fall style finds — scroll down to read more!  read more

If you’ve been following along with me this year you’ve heard me share my love of Little Leaf Farms! I’ve been lucky to partner with the brand on tons of recipe content this year using their fresh, crunchy lettuce that is grown right here in Massachusetts. I rave about the tasty produce, but another reason I’ve long admired the brand is that they put sustainability at the forefront of each container of lettuce they grow and sell. I had the opportunity to visit Little Leaf Farm’s greenhouses last week to tour their facility and chat with CEO Paul Sellew all about sustainability and how their lettuce gets from seed to store. read more

Over the last few years I made a commitment to myself to get back into a groove of reading more regularly. I was stuck in a bad cycle of ending my days with mindless TV and endless instagram scrolling, so I set a goal to start reading every night instead. It was a huge shift and now has become a part of my routine that I look forward to daily — a great motivator to turn off my phone, get lost in a good book, and power down my brain. I ended each year with a massive review of all of the books I read (see 2018’s list and 2019’s list) and this year I thought I’d do something a little bit different. I’m sharing a running list of my mini book reviews as I go, because 2020 just calls for escaping into a story more than years past, you know? Scroll down for my list and reviews, and let’s see if 2020 is the year I finally beat my reading list goal!  read more

As we gear up for the 4th of July this weekend, I’ve been thinking about my summer bucket list. It’s usually full of travel plans and weekend getaways, but with this year all about being closer to home I’ve been thinking about all of the special things we can do right in our own backyard. I expanded our garden and love checking in daily on how our green beans are climbing. We’ve already had a lobster bake (get the recipe in my cookbook!), made popsicles, rode bikes to the ice cream shop, and eaten tons of al fresco dinners. The bucket list looks different this year, but it’s making me truly appreciate how lucky we are to love where we live and have this time at home together. I think it’s going to be a summer to remember! Sharing more of what I’ve been to, new recipes, reading recommendations and more below: read more

I took Jane last week to the Franklin Park Zoo for one of our first official activity outings since March, and she kept saying to me “Mom this is a REALLY fun day.” I totally agree – it was a really fun time, and it’s amazing what a tiny slice of “normal” can do for your outlook these days. Zoo New England has officially reopened both their locations with tons of health and safety measures in place, and I was so impressed with whole experience.
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My journey to “clean beauty” was not a drastic moment of change — I didn’t dump out my makeup bag one day and replace every single item at once. It looked more like a long and winding road, because to start, I never really considered myself much of a beauty person at all. Up until recently I’d had nearly the exact same makeup routine since high school, and my skincare routine was almost non-existent (more on that later). I’ve also never been into the clean-eating trends (oh boy, you can keep your kale, I looove myself a bag of Cheetos every once in a while). But here I am, sharing how I started to educate myself about what was in the beauty products I was using, began to make small changes and swaps in my makeup and skincare, and ultimately got on board with a brand I have been using since — Beautycounter. read more

As we enter week 8 of being at home, I’m starting to feel like we’re hitting our stride and finding some new routines that make this not-so-normal situation feel a little more normal. The weather is starting to feel like spring and that is helping a LOT — getting fresh air and playing in the yard was a major mood-lifter this weekend. And there have been lots of silver-linings too, like finally having time to work on big house projects (I have some great before and after posts coming soon) and tackling my stack of to-be-read books. I’m finding it’s a delicate balance of keeping busy and cutting ourselves some slack these days. I’ve got some timely updates in this week’s download with Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day on the calendar, plus lots of reading list reviews, garden plans, and some kids stuff — scroll down to read more!  read more

One of the things that has me in total awe lately is seeing how resilient and adapted small brands have been during these uncertain times. I’ve had the opportunity to partner with my friends at UpNext in the past on amazing in-person retail experiences, but since we’re all hunkered down at home right now I’m so excited that they asked me to help host their first ever virtual pop-up event with a collective of New England based brands.  read more

I woke up this morning and realized I had no idea what day of the week it was. Is it the weekend? Is it a school day? It’s all blending together. We are doing our best to maintain some level of normalcy around here, and one of the things that helps with that is keeping Jane busy. On nice days, we’ve been going for long nature walks by the beach, exploring trails, and going through our fair share of sidewalk chalk. On the cold and rainy days (ugh, there’s been a lot of those!) I’ve been trying to fill the morning with a creative project. I thought it would be helpful to share a few of the easy, toddler-friendly craft ideas that have worked for us.  read more