Last weekend was one of my proudest moments while running Boston Bloggers with Alison. We worked with the creative and passionate team at Wayfair to host a full-day conference for local bloggers to kick off the holiday season. It was an amazing group  of ladies (over 100 bloggers came from all over Massachusetts and Rhode Island!), and we had so much fun. There were great speakers, DIY sessions (one of which was hosted by me!), awesome blogging tips, including a session about SEO from the expert team at Wayfair and conversation with Alison that asked us “why are we blogging in the first place?” A special shout out to Third Eye Chic Studio for sharing these photographs with me — I was so busy leading my DIY session that I didn’t have time to take any pictures — a few of my favorites from the day are below, and if you’re interested in checking out more, visit the hashtag #HFTHboston on twitter and instagram.
Wayfair Wayfair 2I was setting up for my DIY session and just caught a few minutes of the keynote opening session with Heather Armstrong of Dooce and Christiane Lemieux of Dwell Studio, but what I heard blew me away — these are some amazingly inspirational women that have followed their dreams and made it big. We were so very grateful to both of them for joining the event and sharing their expertise with us (and so thankful that the Wayfair team brought them to the event!).

Wayfair 3

The absolutely charming and talented Abby Larson of Style Me Pretty hosted a tabletop styling session using products from all of the Wayfair brands; it was so great to meet her and her team in person and see them in action — they were  truly talented and the results of the tabletop styling were gorgeous!

Wayfair 8Wayfair 9As a huge fan of Island Creek Oyster Bar, I fan-girl-ed out meeting Chef Jeremy Sewall. Chef Jeremy brought the group through his tips for planning holiday meals. I really loved that it had such a local focus on seafood and ingredients that you can find from New England. I learned so much about seafood (did you know that longer antennas on lobsters indicate they’re fresher? And that all of the lobster from ICOB and Row 34 come from Jeremy’s cousins in Maine?). It was also really enlightening to hear him talk about the process of writing his new cookbook: The New England Kitchen — which I snagged a signed copy of at the end of the event!Wayfair 10

Wayfair 11
My session was all about getting crafty — the Wayfair team and I worked to create five different DIY gift tags that represented the five major Wayfair brands. It was great getting to demonstrate the DIY ideas and create with the bloggers, but for me the best part was that the groups got to network and chat with each other while working on their projects. I got to catch up with some old blogging friends and finally put a few real-life faces to blog names with new friends too. Wayfair 4Wayfair 7Wayfair 5Wayfair 6We ended the day with an amazing cocktail hour and yankee swap that Wayfair generously organized with dozens upon dozens of amazing gifts from their sites. It was a little bit like the Oprah Christmas Special (you get a gift! you get a gift!) and everyone got to swap, cheers, mingle, and enjoy themselves after a long day of getting into the holiday spirit. Wayfair 13Wayfair 1Wayfair 12Interested in reading some more recaps from the event? These fabulous bloggers have shared their pictures and impressions of the event too:

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).

081114BHDN-7081114BHDN-49081114BHDN-3081114BHDN-6081114BHDN-1081114BHDN-41081114BHDN-4081114BHDN-45081114BHDN-23All images via Katie Noble Photography

 

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!
Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 presetphoto 1

The Handle Bar offered this class complimentary to members of Boston Bloggers, all opinions are my own. 

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!

20140402-074317.jpg

20140402-074328.jpg

20140402-074339.jpg

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!

photo 5photo 4photo 3photo 1

Last night we had an awesome time with the Boston Bloggers group at the cutest South End shop — Farm & Fable. Abby, the owner of the shop, hosted a handful of us for some prosecco sipping, snacking, and late night shopping of her vintage cookbooks and artisan kitchenwares.  After we mix and mingled for a bit, we headed down to the awesome test kitchen space below the store to learn all about mulling wines, and then we all dug in to bowls of coriander, anise, and cinnamon to mix up our own little mulling spice kits to take home! I love a warm mulled cider during the winter, but Abby opened my eyes to something I’ve never tried before: mulled white wine. She mixed hers with a pear brandy and there were a few sweet pear pieces filled with the spiced mixture at the bottom of my cup — I’m ready to try that recipe at home!

DSC_0002 Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 presetphoto 5Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

I shared my brie and jam pinwheel bites last week from my friend Elizabeth‘s blogger holiday party, and realized I hadn’t yet shared the cocktail recipe we used for the event (brie and pastry dough are delicious, but they’re nothing without a tasty cocktail to wash them down with!). Elizabeth decorated stemless wine glasses with metallic gold dots that looked like sparkly little bubbles, so of course we had to fill them with something bubbly! We added to each glass about an ounce each of pomegranate juice and Grand Marnier signature collection liquor (it’s raspberry and peach flavored, holy yum.), and then filled the rest of the glasses with champagne — and of course, gave them a swirl with a tinsel-topped drink stirrer. I didn’t have a name picked out for this concoction just yet, and one of my fellow bloggers said, I think you should call it the Blogger Bellini! I’ll cheers to that.

Blogger Bellini 1 Blogger Bellini 2 Blogger Bellini 3

Last night the gracious ladies of BeStyled, a blow dry bar in Chestnut Hill, invited a group of us from Boston Bloggers to have an evening of pampering — and what better way to shake off a mid-week slump than with blow-outs, make up styling, champagne and blogger chatter, right? I love going to get my hair done, and my stylist Kelly did such a great job of giving me some volume and movement.  I feel so relaxed when I’m getting it washed and dried, and it’s even more fun to do it with a group of girlfriends — we took over the salon and had a blast!

Untitled-1Processed with VSCOcamCapture 3Capture 2cap

Note: BeStyled gifted all of us free blow outs at their salon. All opinions are my own. 

Earlier this week I worked with my buddy Alison to throw our summer Boston Bloggers meet up at The Sinclair in Harvard Square. I absolutely adore these events because I finally get to put faces to the Boston blogs I love to read. The party went off without a hitch thanks to the fabulous staff at The Sinclair (if you haven’t been yet, go check it out — they have delicious food, crafty cocktails, and a really amazing roof deck). We also added a few extra special touches to this event to introduce our new instagram and twitter accounts for the group — check them out if you’re a local blogger!

b3b4b2b1

Last night I worked with my partner in crime Alison to organize a very fun Boston Bloggers meet up at Scampo in the Liberty Hotel. It was such a fun night getting to meet new bloggers and catch up with others. Plus we had the pleasure of sampling the amazing food there; I practically stalked the waiter to get more of the truffled gnocchi bites they were passing around, the sausage stuffed bacon-wrapped dates were another favorite. The desserts were phenomenal too: mini banana pies, decadent brownies, and vanilla bean ice cream on pastries with berries. Are you drooling yet? I can’t wait to go back!

Boston Bloggers