It’s here, it’s here, it’s finally here! My absolute terrible ability to keep secrets has been crushing me while keeping this project under wraps — I’m so excited to finally be able to share the brand new home for Domestikatedlife online! I worked with the amazing talented team of Erin and Melissa, and they helped bring my vision to life. A few of things that I’m super excited about (and that hopefully help my readers as well!) are lots of new navigation elements. Now you can dig into posts by topic, whether you’re searching for the perfect recipe or looking for entertaining inspiration. There’s also a whole new section that collects all of my posts about events and things to do and see in Boston in one place. I’ll also be pulling some of my favorite seasonal posts out of the archives and featuring them in my ‘editors picks’ section at the bottom of the page. I’m still working out a few kinks, but check back soon for lots of new content, and another big announcement coming soon (hint, hint!).Homepage

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. 

Radio silence here usually means things are happening elsewhere for me, and for the past two weeks a lot has been happening. I left my job working on the social media team for Liberty Mutual Insurance — it’s telling that as I write that, it’s actually the first time I’ve ever talked about my ‘day job’ on this site. It was truly sad to leave my amazing, smart, funny, caring co-workers (tears were shed, people! Real tears!). When I’ve been telling people about this departure, the first question I get is “wow, are you blogging full-time now?”  Nope! For the first time in my life I actually think I’m doing something better than the prospect of blogging full-time — I found a new job that totally aligns with my passions and excites me so much I have been springing out of bed in the morning (a true novelty for a morning-monster like myself). I joined the team at Ellie Kai, an amazing women’s fashion brand that creates made-to-order dresses and clothing in powerful, bold prints. I have my first two weeks on the job under my belt and it’s been an awesome experience and a great learning process. I’m going to be working from home part-time, and traveling down to Cape Cod a few days a week to work out of their corporate offices. Driving (quite far!) to work has been a totally new experience, as has working from home for this social  butterfly (please someone stop me if I start talking to my cat). I’ve already had so much fun in just a few short days though — including popping over to Nantucket to help set up one of the summer showrooms. Spending the day working from the wharf in Nantucket was all I needed to experience to know I had hit the jackpot.   The very best part of this new role is that I have been feeling really well-balanced — just being able to talk about my job here and on social media feels pretty freeing, and I think the role will offer me a lot more opportunities to cross-pollinate my passions at work with what I love doing here on my site — I feel so very lucky! So that’s that — except to see some more behind-the-scenes over on my Instagram account soon! 

This past weekend I was delighted to partner with one of my favorite brands — Madewell — for a fun spring shopping event. I became a Madewell convert the day I walked into their Natick store and was completely deflated that I couldn’t find denim that fit my body anywhere. One of the lovely stylists helped me try on their denim line until I found not one, but two! perfect pairs of denim; now every pair of jeans in my closet is from Madewell now. While everyone shopped they sipped on mimosas and a rosemary infused lemonade I mixed up. EAT Boutique was also on site hosting a pop-up shop with spring treats, and Maggie of Eat Boutique made some pretty tasty tomato tarts from her new cookbook: Food Gift Love for everyone to enjoy — it was a fun little fete to cap of the weekend!

I don’t know about you guys, but this Boston winter is kicking my butt. The snow is overwhelming, the commuting has been a nightmare, and I have been soothing my winter-blues with a heck of a lot of couch-time and junk-food. More than anything, I’ve been feeling a little … well the best word I can think of is: Meh. Uninspired, unmotivated, and overall just … Meh. So I thought I’d put together a list of ideas for how we can all stay sane and a little more chic during this insane winter weather. Please do share you ideas with me too!
Snowpocolypse Chic
1) Don’t be one of those suckers stocking up on bread and milk. Hit the speciality food store and get your artisan marshmallows (I love Apotheker’s), macarons, chutney and cheeses. If you’re going to be stuck inside, you want to have quality rations. 2) Go ahead, do it — call yourself an Uber. Sure, it’s surge pricing — but there’s nothing chic about the MBTA this winter. 3) Order that Hudson Bay wool throw you’ve been eyeing for years, consider it an investment in your snuggling game. 4) Wine. Do it. Buy the whole case, you know you’ve already drank as many bottles this winter hiding from the storms. 5) Host a shoveling soiree and go dig out some elderly neighbors — there’s nothing more chic than being a good samaritan! Bonus: it’s a great work out to burn off all that wine. 6) Get out there and support the small businesses that are hurting from having to close during the storms. The great news is that you’ll be one of the brave folks to go out in the cold to try that impossible-to-get-a-reservation-at-restaurant, finally easy to get a seat at the chicest spots in the city. 7) Just dress the part — bean boots and fleece lined wellies are now acceptable attire at 99% of occasions. My advice? Invest in some cute boot socks in case you have to pop them off to change shoes! And don’t forget a sassy pom-pom hat and smart mittens. 8) You’ve probably already reached the end of your Netflix binge-watching queue, so start to dig into some classic old-school movies. 9) Consider this snow-bound winter a great excuse to start that resolution to read more this year, you’ve got plenty of time on the couch to start chipping away at your reading list. 10) No shame in channeling your energy to start thinking about, praying for, even begging a bit for spring. It’s got to come sometime!

The 30 before 30 list! Now that I’m officially a lady of her thirties, I’m looking back on the list I wrote over two years ago of thirty things I want to accomplish before I kicked off this new decade. It’s crazy to think what has changed in that time. I married my best friend, I changed jobs, I traveled to some pretty amazing places and had more fun writing this blog and planning events than I really ever dreamed possible. I think a lot of those great moments were supported in part by this list because I put a pen to paper and made a plan for the things I wanted to do, see, feel, and be. So I feel I owe this little list a bit of my attention and recap where I’ve been (26 completed!) and where I’m headed next (4 that I’m still making happen!). Some of them were silly, some of them were thoughtful, and some of them were big stuff! Let’s start-off with the ones I completed:

  1. Buy a ‘grown up’ piece of furniture. What were the requirements for it ‘grown-up?’ …. basically just a single piece of furniture that wasn’t a hand-me-down or Craigslist score. I’m proud to say that Mike and I invested in a brand new couch  that greatly improved our living space — I love it! Another piece we added to our collection was a hot pink bar cart, more on that later in the list…
  2. Read 10 books. I definitely completed this task by the hitting the numbers but looking back I realize my goal was to read more consistently and I’m not sure I did that. I read most of these books in short bursts around vacations and really lost my rhythm for reading consistently on my commute and at night before bed. Note to self: Making it a 2015 goal to read at least one book a month and already quite the stack to work through (recommendations are welcome!)
  3. Host a dinner party. When I wrote this list, throwing a dinner party felt daunting because our apartment is pretty tiny. But a small apartment makes a great space for a small dinner party, and I made an effort to invite friends over in smaller batches when entertaining for a sit-down dinner. I also hosted some bigger events at home — like our annual New Year’s Eve celebrations and a baby shower for my blogger bestieav-baby-shower-4
  4. Hang a gallery wall. Why does that darn Domino Magazine always make this look so easy? Spoiler alert: It’s not. I think I added this to my list because it forced me to be intentional about what kind of things I wanted to surround myself with in our home. I just completed this recently after collecting the perfect pieces for my gallery wall over the past two years, and I’m so happy with how it turned out (see a picture on instagram!)
  5. Learn calligraphy. Done and done! I took an awesome calligraphy class with Lettering by Liz. The class was great and it gave me a huge appreciation for those that have the talent. I’m not sure it’s something I have the time to practice consistently but I’m really happy I tried it out.
  6. Catch up on the most ‘classic’ movies. I feel like I can mark this one off the list — I finally saw Casablanca, caught up on my Hitchcock movies, and even watched National Lampoon’s Summer Vacation (I know, how had I never seen that before?!). I do have one big movie on the list I didn’t get to — Gone with the Wind — so I’m keeping that in my back pocket for a snow-day this winter when I have a free 4-hours.
  7. Grow something from a seed. I think that a few of my friends laughed when I added this to me list — for all of my domestic-prowess in the kitchen and with a glue-gun, I fail hard at gardening. A black thumb is not even a strong-enough term for my lack of skills but last summer I hit the hardware store and picked out my seeds and set out to grow something (ANYTHING!) from a seed. The tomatoes died and the peppers never even sprouted but I did get some chives and basil to pop out of the dirt for a few weeks. The chives were the only thing that semi-lived all summer (I assume this means they are technically some kind of a weed?), but I did it!
  8. Go to more concerts. I love love love live music, but time and budgets always seem to get in  the way of grabbing concert tickets. I tried to plan out some big shows I knew I would remember forever (Jay Z and Beyonce were epic!). I was lucky to have a few impromptu concert experiences too — last-minute tickets to a Counting Crows show that we scored online the day of the show, and a weather-related detour on our road-trip Honeymoon itinerary lead to a surprise visit to Red Rocks where we were able to see the Alabama Shakes and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (which I can say was one of the most fun concerts and tailgating experiences ever). Note to self: this makes you really happy, do more of this. Screenshot 2015-01-14 20.36.16
  9. Get my 401ks in order. This was a pain-in-the-butt, but man did it make me feel like a grown-up to finally figure it all out, merge accounts from previous jobs, and sit down and talk with my husband about how we can save for our future. So not fun, but I’m lucky to have a smart guy like Mike in my life to help figure it all out.  
  10. Pay off (at least one of) my student loans. Ugh, this was another not-so-fun-one on the list — the pain of signing over bonus-checks and blogger-dollars to chip away at that looming stack of student loan bills. I’d like to say I felt really accomplished when I paid off one of my student loans, but the truth is I just started to think about the remaining ones that are left. I just tell myself that it was all worth it when I think of meeting my best friends and husband at college — they’re certainly worth every single penny (oh and I guess the education was pretty good too, ha!).
  11. Take a cooking class. I killed two birds with one stone here and took a cooking class where I learned to macarons from scratch. Ever think to yourself, why are these tiny little airy desserts so darn expensive? Because they are a pain in the butt to make! The best part of the class was taking it with my sister and her friend — baking is better with buddies!
  12. Bake macarons from scratch. See above! I took the class and even made them at home on my own afterwards (and thanks to my sister for gifting me all of the fancy tools to do so!). One batch came out terribly, another was pretty good — practice makes perfect. Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset
  13. Enjoy a long stroll through an art museum. In my mind I had a trip to NYC planned for this item on the list, and planned to hop from museum to museum.  But every time I make a visit down to see my family in NY we usually get distracted by eating and shopping, oops! I did have a great afternoon at the MFA with my dear friend Taz where we took in the Mario Testino exhibit and relived our days of taking art history classes in the museum halls during college. Note to self: make  that NYC trip happen! You’ve never even been to the Guggenheim!  Who are you?
  14. Find and stock a bar cart for the apartment. My bar cart quest was always focused on a shiny brass vintage bar cart that I had hoped to find when antiquing with my mom. I never did find that vintage bar cart, but a brand new bar cart fell into my lap when I won an instagram contest held by Society Social. And just like that, my  hot pink bar cart found its way into our kitchen and has been fully stocked ever since. To say I adore this piece of furniture is an understatement.
  15. Visit Nantucket for the day. I guess somewhere around my 28th year on this planet I realized I hadn’t been to Nantucket — which is basically blasphemy for a preppy New England gal like myself. I added this to my list and brought it up with friends at dinner one night over the summer and we made an impromptu decision right there at the table to make a trip to the island the very next morning. I jokingly refer to this as the “best day of my life” — because it was perfect (see below for notes on my actual best day ever).  It was spontaneous, it was gorgeous day with perfect summer weather, and it was filled with music and drinks and great seafood and my very best friends. It was one of those days where I had to pinch myself to believe it had all worked out so perfectly and been so very fun. Note to self: you’re due for another trip and a cold Cisco Brewery beer this summer. 
  16. Get wedding photos published in a magazine. I will admit, this was a lofty goal to put on here, but I had confidence that with the hard work and heart (and amazing wedding vendors!) put into creating a unique experience for our friends and family at our wedding that we’d end up with a magazine-worthy affair. I’m so grateful that Bliss Celebrations felt the same way — it was such an honor to get to relive the best day of my life when I opened up their magazine.capture22
  17. Chop hair off for Locks for Love. I really wanted to do this knowing that my mom had gone through the struggle of losing her hair when she had skin cancer. While it can be a little scary to do that giant-chop, it is extremely gratifying to know that it’s going to make an impact on someone who is going through that struggle — it’s more than just hair, it’s your self-confidence. Having seen cancer impact other amazing women in my life, it seems like such a small, simple thing to do to help. I’ll definitely do it again when my hair gets long enough.
  18. Go on a fabulous picnic. This item gets a funny little short story about my picnic #fail.  As we have no backyard in our city apartment, I conjured up a grand plan last summer to cook a big picnic meal for my friends and cart the food, dishes, table decor, and drinks around the block to our neighborhood park. There is a big picnic table and a bocce court at this park and it is always empty — I’ve never seen anyone use it! I packed up several tote bags and boxes to bring my supplies and my husband walked ahead of me to bring the first box over before our friends arrived — only to find a massive children’s birthday party that had taken over every.single.picnic.table in the park. So we didn’t get our park-picnic, but we did eat the meal picnic-style squished onto our tiny apartment balcony with all of our friends, that counts, right? (Also, we did finally get a real picnic in later that summer).
  19. Go to a movie in the park. Our neighborhood hosts an outdoor movie series every summer, and each year I make it a point to print out the schedule, note the dates on my calendar, and make it a point to go to the showings. I finally made it to a showing on the very last week of the series this summer (we watched Mystic Pizza, I mean, how cute?). It was so much fun and I instantly regretted not going every single week. Note to self: try again this summer, clear your schedule, and do this more often with you girlfriends! 
  20. Bake an amazing birthday cake for someone. Guys, I baked my own donuts and put them on a birthday cake. If a donut-covered birthday cake doesn’t warrant a big giant check mark next to this item on the list, I don’t know what
  21. Establish a gym routine that works. Holy moly I hate working out sooooo much. Shedding for the wedding kicked my butt into high gear and I really did establish a routine for the very first time in my life that involved me going to the gym more routinely. I hired a trainer to help me out and it was totally worth the investment — she taught me how to exercise properly — something I never really knew how to do before (I was a card-carrying indoor kid when I was growing up). I also owe my newfound interest in being healthy to my very dedicated husband that started his own very regimented routine of working out every.single.morning. and eating well — he has rubbed off on me (a little bit) and I really appreciate that.  Note to self: keep this up, you’re in your thirties now, health matters! 
  22. Send someone a surprise in the mail. I would argue the person who most often is the recipient of surprise mail is my little sister, because I know like me she really appreciates a good surprise treat. I took it one step further over the holidays this year and sent a little note and some confetti poppers as a New Year’s wish to several of my close friends and inspiring creatives that I’ve been lucky to meet through instagram and this blog over the past year. It feels so good to send a little unexpected cheer someones way. Note to self: keep this up, you’re in your thirties now, unexpected cheer matters! 
  23. Learn to shuck oysters. This just seemed like something a New England girl should know how to do, right? I love to eat oysters so very much, so I should know how to open them! If you’re going to learn, it might as well be from the best. I was super lucky to get invited to tour the Island Creek Oyster Farm in Duxbury, MA (I mean,  these guys are like the rock stars of oysters) and learned all about oyster farming and how to shuck ’em. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
  24. Get a blog feature in a magazine. I get all kinds of warm and fuzzy thinking that this goal was achieved, because it seemed so far off and unrealistic when I first wrote it down. But this little ‘ol blog graced the pages of Family Circle Magazine, Ladies Home Journal, The Boston Globe, and Mingle Magazine.
  25. Collaborate with a national brand. That same prideful feeling falls right into #25 on this list too when I think about how much of a stretch it felt like when I first wrote this list that I would get to work on events with some of my favorite brands like West Elm, Wayfair, and Jonathan Adler.
  26. Establish Domestikatedlife as an LLC. A real life company, can you believe it? I put this on the list because I wanted to this blog to a place where I could grow it into a business and hopefully someday a full-time career. Big steps can make things feel a little scary, but I know it’s the right step in the direction I want to be headed. Fist bump! westelm34

Now, let’s talk about those pesky four items that I just didn’t quite yet finish:

  1. Ride a horse. This is silly.  It was a childhood dream to learn to ride a horse and now that I’m a grown up and can do what I want, I should do it, right? Why didn’t I work on this one? One: I was a little scared! I’m super clumsy and uncoordinated — risk of falling down is a real thing for me every day. Two: I got too busy and didn’t prioritize it as something to do for myself. I’m adding this one to my next list and hope to tackle it in the spring (friends who ride horses, bring me with you! Make me stick to it!)
  2. See a movie by myself. Oh gosh this one is silly too. I’m so freaked out by the idea of doing something social while alone (confessional moment: I never ate alone in the cafeteria through all of my college years — and high school too! — I would wait and wait and wait for someone to go with me before I would go in alone. I just prefer being around people!).  I plan to mark this one off my list in the next few weeks though. I’m currently reading Wild and can’t wait to see the movie, so I’m going to be brave and see it by myself in the theaters once I finish the book.
  3. Organize blog with categories & write a new about page. I’m working on it! I started to make some small updates here and there but I’ve just outgrown this design and site layout. So a full blog redesign is in my future and these updates will be part of it — I’m so darn excited to get started on it and feel like it’s going to bring things here to the next level.
  4. Open a shop. Speaking of the next level, this was always my ‘stage 2’ goal for the blog — to open an online shop that featured entertaining goods that I would design and sell and use in my content here on the site. Time is a pain in the butt, man. There’s just not enough of it! With a full-time job, planning events and managing the community for Boston Bloggers, and creating content here for the blog — this idea just hasn’t been given the energy to get off the ground yet. But hey, there’s always next year!

If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading my 3000 word essay about a little bit of everything from the last few years since I first thought up this list. It feels really good to look back and reflect on accomplishments and good memories — it has energized me for what is coming next. Thirties, you ain’t looking’ so bad. Bring it on.

I kicked off my birthday weekend with a feel-good hair freshening at SalonCapri on Newbury Street. This airy spot was the perfect place for a little bit of relaxation and pampering (I was obsessed with the fact that the hair-washing chairs had built-in massagers!) Owner and Lead Stylist, Nicholas Penna, cut my hair and gave me a fresh new look while I quizzed him on all of his expert tips for keeping my salon-look going long after I left his chair.
I love the feeling of getting a fresh haircut and leaving the salon with perfect hair — any advice for how to keep the ‘just-left-the-salon’ look going after you leave? 

NP: Right before you leave the salon, don’t be afraid to ask for a little bit of hairspray to keep your new cut in place. Hairspray gets a bad reputation for making your hair look stiff, but there are products now that will give you hold without weighing you down. Dry shampoo is a great way to extend the life your blow-out the day after you leave the salon, but it also help later in the day after the cut to add some volume back into your hair. And remember that your hair is going to change — it’ll look different the second day but with a little restyling it can be a whole new look.
I can never seem to recreate a salon-level blow-out at home! What are some common mistakes that people make? 

NP: Spend some time blow-drying your hair, I think people sometimes forget that at the salon you have a professionally trainer stylist blow-drying your hair for around 30-minutes to get your hair to look great, most people only spend 5-10 minutes blow-drying at home. So take your time, and use some of the techniques that the you see in the salon: use clips and section off your hair, and focus on  smaller sections.
Do you have any advice for ladies coming into the salon and how they can get the look they want? 

NP: Bring pictures! I think sometimes people are afraid to bring pictures because they think a stylist will be offended, or they think they don’t have the type of hair that’s photographed in the image. But a good stylist will be able to use the pictures as a springboard to interpret the best style for you and translate the look to your hair type.
You look out on one of the most fashionable and bustling sections of Newbury Street, any trends you’re seeing on the streets of Boston? 

NP: We’ve been seeing a lot of fur-trimmed winter coats with this cold weather! Winter is in full force and it can really do a number on your hair. There is nothing better than a good professional moisturizing treatment for your hair to real condition it and keep it in great health during this rough Boston weather.

Thanks so much for having me to the salon and teaching me your ways Nicholas!

Please note: I received a complimentary hair cut from SalonCapri, all opinions and interview questions are my own. 

Thoughtful_2015Oh resolutions, how I love/hate you. In past years I’ve gone all-out with resolutions and usually fall a little bit short in living up to them. Last year I had just one simple resolution: be better at keeping in touch with my family, particularly my grandparents. I think I did a fairly good job with that one, this blog, email and social media helped me a lot with that goal (and if you’re reading — Hi Gram!). This year I heard a piece of advice about picking a ‘word of the year’ to embody how you want to live your next 365 days as a more productive way to set goals than the typical bulleted list of tactical resolutions people make. Thinking about some of the things I wanted to achieve this year I found one word that ties all of my intentions for 2015 together… my word of the year is thoughtful. And now for a bulleted, tactical list of how I plan to be more thoughtful in 2015 (hey, Type-A or bust, right?):

  • I’d like to be a bit more thoughtful with my words. I can actually name more instances than I care to admit in the last few months where I have really put my foot in my mouth. I hate that feeling in my stomach that happens a few moments after leaving a conversation when I wonder if what I said was too harsh or maybe a bit too sassy or perhaps more honest than people were bargaining for? I do think speaking your mind and being honest is a good quality but I hope this year I can pause even a few milliseconds before I blurt out my thoughts and make sure they’re a bit more kind and valuable. (Full disclosure: this will be quite a challenge for me, I’ve been a big-mouth for almost 30 years now.)
  • I hope to be more thoughtful with how I spend my time. I have no intention of hosting a pity party here but 2014 was BUSY for me. I have a great job that I enjoy, and I also have a side-hustle here with this blog that I adore, and I also love investing time and energy into the Boston Bloggers community. I’ve juggled all of these fairly well in the past, but I am guilty of two things that I think I could get better at to make my time more productive. One: I love to mark the easy stuff off my to-do-list which means the weekly blog posts always get published before any BIG IDEA projects get my time. Two: I multi-task and get distracted very easily. No excuses here, I think this is something a lot of people I know are struggling with… you take a quick break to scroll through instagram and then all of a sudden you’ve wasted 30 minutes, or you look up from your computer and suddenly get sucked into a terrible TV show that you wished you hadn’t wasted your time on. So, I’m going to be more thoughtful in 2015 about (attempting to) focus on the task at hand and be more thoughtful about prioritizing projects/events/BIG-ideas that worthy of my time. (And hey, I’m already working on this! I just tried really hard not to check Facebook mid-writing this post!)
  • I would like to be more thoughtful about how I spend my money. What is it about the beginning of year that makes you look around your home and say — how did all of this crap get in here? Here is my problem: I love a good dig into the dollar-bin at Target, I love an extra 40% off sale at J.Crew and gosh I love a useless vintage knick-knack.  These things tend to result in: spending money on things I don’t need, followed by things I don’t need cluttering my apartment, and then ending in me feeling stressed about money and not having enough space. This isn’t something I think I’ll fix entirely in 2015 but I’d at least like to implement the same practice with my words that I do with my purchases… just a short pause before I hit ‘order’ or pull out my wallet to ask — do I really need this? Do I have a place for this? Is this something that is of high-quality or supports a great local-business? I hope being a bit more thoughtful about what I’m spending my money on will help me save (space and dollars!) in the long run.
  • I’d also like to be a bit more thoughtful about where I place my energy. Isn’t it just so easy to let jealousy or negativity or frustration slip into your daily life? I know I have gotten much better about focusing my energy on good-vibes and pushing out some of the bad — but it’s a work in-progress. So in 2015 I’d like to continue to be thoughtful about where I spend my energy. If looking at someone’s instagram pictures of an amazing vacation makes me a little jealous, I hope I can take a break from the iPhone and focus my energy on something that betters me. If I get frustrated at work with a situation that’s out of my control, I hope I can focus on my gratitude for having employment that allows me the time to pursue these awesome side projects. If I feel negativity creeping in for not yet reaching certain goals with this blog or playing the comparison game with others that have achieved something I want, I hope I can focus on all of the great things that I’ve already accomplished and let that fuel some positive energy to get me where I want to go. Easier said than done, right?

It’s easy to feel all jazzed and energized in January about these resolutions. Writing them out here always makes me feel more accountable and to help keep that feeling going I’m going to pop a couple of random reminders in my calendar throughout the year with a link to this post and I’m also going to print out this illustration of the definitions of thoughtful to keep these all top of mind.

I owe a very big thanks to Posh & Prep for hand-lettering my ‘word of the year’ into this lovely print, and an extra special thanks for her allowing me to share it with you! Happy New Year!

Download your own copy of the print here. 

Well guys, I’m certainly foodie and the party planner of my family — but I’m certainly not the fashionable one. I leave that job to my stylish sister Mara, and I’m super excited to announce that she’ll be joining the DomestiKatedLife team and contributing a monthly style column with tips and ideas for looking your best! To kick it off, she’s rounding up some last-minute accessory additions for the perfect New Year’s Eve look: 

‘Tis the season to sparkle! With New Years Eve just around the corner (how did that happen so fast?), here a few ideas for accessories you can add to dress up a little black dress that’s already hanging in your closet (or consider buying a new one — this Old Navy version is under $20!). One accessory not pictured: copious amounts of champagne—cheers!

New Years Eve Outfit

Party Time HeadbandBaubleBar EarringsPop Fizz Clink BangleClutchKate Spade Heels | Little Black Dress

This weekend I made it a point to go check out the Eat Boutique Holiday Pop-Up Shop in Fenway, in an effort to keep my shop-local spirit alive!  The pop-up shop is run by the lovely Maggie Battista and the whole space is beyond darling — I gasped a little bit when I saw the gorgeous lettering on the windows right outside the shop. They’re fully stocked with delicious artisan food gifts — everything from cookbooks to simple syrups, tasty jams and baking mixes, and even some fun party supplies from The Flair Exchange and Knot & Bow.  I was lucky enough to stop in while Apotheker’s Kitchen was doing a tasting of their honey-sweetened chocolate covered marshmallows and had to bring home a few to add to my obligatory tree-trimming hot cocoa! The Pop-Up will be open Thursdays though Sundays until the 21st, so be sure to go check it out (and don’t forget to take a look at the jam-packed line-up of special events each day so you can join in on some tastings and demonstrations!).IMG_5447.JPGIMG_5451.JPGIMG_5450.JPGIMG_5453.JPGIMG_5449.JPGIMG_5448.JPG