I love Fall fashion as much as the next girl, but I tend to put off new clothing purchases until that first super chilly Autumn day when I realize none of my jeans from last season fit me and my old coat has a coffee stain on it that I never got dry-cleaned out. Well, that first extra-chilly morning arrived this week in Boston, and just like that, I’m on the hunt for some closet updates to get me through the season! On my radar: a crisp new quilted barn coat, cozy Parisian-chic striped tees, and a fresh pair of skinny jeans to tuck into boots! joules Fall

Quilted Jacket | Parisian Stripe Tee | Skinny Jeans | Wellies | Satchel Bag | Pearl Earrings | Bracelet
Please note: I have received compensation for partnering with Joules on this post, all opinions are my own.

One of the things I love about Boston is the amazing food scene we have here — I get a little burst of pride opening up Bon Appetit magazine and seeing some of my favorite local spots getting more and more shout outs these days. One of the restauranteurs that is synonymous with the Boston foodie scene is Ming Tsai. I’m excited to be joining Ming at his launch party for Season 12 of his cooking show at Blue Dragon on October 21, and you could join me too! The fine folks at Breville are giving away 2 tickets to the event, as well as a signed copy of Ming Tsai’s cookbook. To enter just head over to Instagram and follow @breville and @domestikblog, and then find their post about the party and comment, tagging a friend you would bring. Good luck!

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My cellphone has been alerting me that I’m just about at the max for storage space, which is a little bit how my brain has been feeling the past few weeks. I hate the glorification of ‘busy’ — so no complaints here about having a lot of stuff going on. It’s more that I have been on the go so much the past few weeks that I’ve slipped a little behind on things like cleaning my apartment and writing blog posts.  I spent this weekend (the first one home in a while!), unpacking bags, catching up on projects, and finally uploading a few of those phone photos here for a little update…

I got to experience my very first NY Fashion Week this year — including pampering and mimosas at DryBar, and then partying it up with my sister at the Reward Style blogger party. I have to admit, I was embarrassingly excited about getting the invite to the event. I’ve been blogging for over 5 years, and like I’m sure many others do, I never feel like I’m really ‘legit’ — the comparison game is inevitable, as hard as I try to avoid it! I always tend to worry that I’m not big enough, or have enough followers, or wonder if I’ll ever feel like a ‘real’ blogger — silly, right? But going to that event and rubbing elbows with people who I know are ‘legit’ gave me a little boost of confidence, and we could all use a little of that! My sister and I walked over to Lincoln Center after the party and snapped some selfies — a little pinch-me moment as we realized some childhood daydreams as grown-ups.

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Another big event that took me away from home for a few days up to Vermont was my best friend’s wedding! I joined the bride-to-be a few days prior to the wedding up in her hometown to help a fellow bridesmaid-slash-florist with flower prep for the big day.  It is such a nice feeling to be surrounded by your best girlfriends, rolling up your sleeves and getting to use your hands to make something beautiful — I learned so much about flowers over the course of the weekend and so much fun doing it. The wedding was gorgeous and filled with so many perfect little details that only someone as talented as my friend Taz could come up with. Oh and I got to give my first ever wedding speech — great news, I didn’t trip, fall, or drop the microphone — success! IMG_4078.JPGIMG_4130.JPG

Somewhere in between all of that traveling and celebrating, I’ve also been working on some content collaborations that I’ll be able to share here soon, as well as prepping for my upcoming DIY Recipe Box class at Farm & Fable in the South End (there are still a few seats left if you’d like to join! More information here: http://farmandfable.com/collections/classes)IMG_4340.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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I’m so excited to have been interviewed by the folks at Occasions Magazine recently, hop on over there and read all about my entertaining style, tips, and inspiration!

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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 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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