A Bushel and a Peck

July 16, 2013

The Grand Opening party for The Savvy Hen in Boulder, Colorado was fabulous.  The store was constantly swarmed with people, kids were dancing to the bluegrass band, Hen Scratch, and the food was delicious.  I could not be more proud of my brother and more importantly my sister-in-law, who is really the vision and mastermind of this all.

The shop and grand opening.

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My darling sister-in-law, Melissa.

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My brother.

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The chicken coop at their home.  Cutest thing I think I have ever seen.  Friday night my daughter met the chickens, played with their 8 month old golden retriever puppy and had a dinner of fresh eggs straight from the coop.  No need to tell a bedtime story that night.  We just relived our amazing day.  Boulder is truly one special place.

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The Bee’s Knees

April 24, 2013

The urban Fort Point neighborhood in which my studio is located just keeps getting cooler and cooler.  When I found studio space here a few years ago there was virtually nothing down here.  Just a bunch of old warehouse buildings.  Now we seem to be getting one hip restaurant after another.  When I popped into newest kid on the block Bee’s Knee’s Supply Company, I went into visual stimulation overload.  I love love love the chic rustic look.  I love all the products and fancy sandwiches.  While it is not your cheep neighborhood deli, it is a gourmet wonderland pulling from the foodie shops of Napa.  I couldn’t help but return with my camera.

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Eek!  They even carry my friend’s wine!!!!

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Rabbit Food

March 14, 2013

With all my Spring cleaning motivation (still in the planning phase:) has come a health initiative too.  Now, as a family, we don’t eat poorly.  I do love me some Tostito chips and those Cadbury chocolate mini eggs this time of year are my kryptonite, but for the most part we eat pretty healthy.  (Mostly gluten-free/Paleo due to me finding out I was intolerant about 6 years ago.)   But there is always room for improvement and don’t we all get in those dinner ruts preparing the same 4-5 dishes each week.  And after the long snowy winter we have had, we needed a change up.  That is when I decided to look to Boston Organics, a produce service delivering organic, mostly local, seasonal produce.  A friend in my building recommended the service and what an idea!  You can customize your order as much or as little as you like and have weekly or every other week delivery.  We went with the 1/2 fruit- 1/2 veggie box for $29 a week.  I wanted to have some surprises to help challenge and change up what we regularly eat, but I also put some things on our “no-list,” like beets and mushrooms (have never been my favorites.)  And I had to have some “must haves” every week like bananas.  Hello, I have a one year old.  Bananas are like our go to food.  Oh and you can also do some grocery add ons.  I did eggs and tomato paste.

Yesterday afternoon I opened up our delivery box to this:

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Full disclosure, I had to check on the front of the box twice to figure out what those big yellow things were…they are carrots.:)

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Inspired by my delivery, last night I copped up the onions and used the tomato paste to make a Paleo meat loaf recipe I found here.  Note: I used turkey instead of beef because I had it in the freezer and I did not add any honey as the recipe suggested.  We don’t like our meat loaf that sweet.  I also made a salad with the red lettuce and pea shoots.  Another disclosure, I had to look up online what to do with the pea shoots…just chop and add to salad.  Easy enough.  And aparently they have more vitamin C than blueberries, more folic acid than bean sprouts, and more vitamin A than tomatoes.  Yay us!

Instagram pic I shared with to world last night as I was feeling very pleased with myself.  Haha

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I’ll keep you posted on the rest.  I think I will try my hand at some kale chips this weekend, and a potato salad made with some greek yogurt.

Florence – turista style

November 7, 2011

Just a bit more on my Florence getaway.

What we did, where we ate, and just how much gelato did I consume?  I cannot answer all of these, and will not answer the gelato question (somewhere between slightly shameful and consuming my body weight amounts), but here are some more photos and a small sampling of the sights we saw and places we ate.

Carousel in the Piazza della Repubblica, Santo Spirito, view of Duomo from Palazzo Vecchio

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Inside Palazzo Vecchio

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My old art supply store: Zecchi, and a vintage shop on Via San Gallo, featuring your quintessential American clothes.

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The famous pharmacy, Farmaceutica de Santa Maria Novella, dating from 1612.  They still sell an entire line of perfumes, creams, herbs, teas…practically anything.

They even have a line for pets.  I just adore the logo in the shape of a cat.

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Dinning, wine shops, etc.

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CIRO AND SONS

I found out about this place while searching for restaurants who offered gluten free pasta options.  From the looks of the outside we almost changed our dinner plans.  As my husband said, it looks like one of those places with pictures on the menu and it’s located, right near San Lorenzo, had me worried it was a tourist trap.  Once inside it was much more charming.  Nice design, and not your traditional tratoria, but it still had the kitschy charm of family photos on the wall and the family running the joint.  Oh, and most importantly, the food was great.  I got to have pasta, bread and the most delicious nutella crepes for desert, all gluten free.

via del giglio 28r  Florence, Italy

t. +39 055 289694

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Del Fagioli

Great lunch spot if you are in the Santa Croce area.  It felt very authentic (no English translations on the menu here) and is run by two brothers.  It seems like a popular lunch place for locals as we sway many a Italian business men enjoying lunch there complete with a glass of red wine.  Why can’t we adopt the whole drinking wine at lunch?

Corso dei Tintori
50122 Florence, Italy
t. +39 055 244285

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Enoteca Pontevecchio 

Located right near Santa Croce and Del Fagioli we found this delightful wine shop recommended to us by my aunt.  (Don’t worry this prego lady only tasted.)  The owners, Tony and Laura Sasa are wonderful and have shipping back to the states all set up.

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Ora d’aria Ristorante

I read about this in the New York Times and Frank Bruni loved this place.  It is definitely one of those “dining” experiences, and while we enjoyed it (it was okay) what was more fun was the little “show” that occurred while we were there.  The kitchen is on full display to the diners, behind a wall of floor to ceiling sliding glass doors.  Cool, right…well wait.  Another pair of American dinners were seated slightly after us, right in front of the glass.  The scene played out like this:

Man and woman exclaim what foodies they are.

Man and woman order many courses and much wine.

Pasta course arrives, woman does not like it.

Woman sends it back.

Waiter walks into kitchen with rejected dish and has to tell chef

Not pleased with the critique the chef looks through the glass as if he wants to murder the woman.

A silent ballet continues with the chef shooting death looks at the woman, and she pretending to be oblivious to the chef’s glares, feet away with only a glass door between them.

In short, go for the dinner and stay for the show.  Open view kitchens are fun for many reasons. :)

Via dei Georgofili 11 R Firenze

tel +39 055 2001699

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We stayed at the JK Place located in the Piazza Santa Maria Novella.  The hotel is a pet among the design world and I can see why.  Impeccable decorated, in a chic but non stuffy way, this small hotel is a dream.  The service is wonderful and the food is fabulous.  Our room was ready when we arrived with no sleep and jet lagged (I think my baby discovered kicking on the transatlantic flight and thought it would be fun to practice a Zumba routine the entire time), and after a long day of walking. the common areas were a welcome oasis from the bustling streets of Florence.

It is difficult to visit Florence and not get caught up in a Chevy Chase style European vacation sprint to see all the greatest hits.  There is so much art and history there that you feel if you don’t try to see it all, you are not taking advantage of all the city has to offer.  I can definitely get in my art history major nerd mode, but I was determined to take it slow and really enjoy it.  Plus I wanted my hubby to love the city as much as I do, not feel like he was on some death march of Italian art history.  I think he did. :)  It was a wonderful little “baby-moon.”

So after my wonderful Friday night with Eleanor from Shopping the Closet and her daughter Ryan the hubs and I decided to skip all the Bruins Stanely Cup parade madness (over 1 millllllllion people were supposedly there, ugh) and pop up to beautiful, peaceful Maine.  My sister, another Georgia girl who married a New Englander,  has lived in Maine for almost 13 years.  I feel so lucky to have her so close by now, and so lucky that she lives in such a beautiful place.

Saturday started out a little overcast, developed into a crazy quick thunderstorm complete with golf ball size hail, and then turned into the most beautiful evening.  We had a delicious dinner at Havana South and then walked around the Old Port.  The Old Port is just that, Portland, Maine’s old colonial, shipping port.  The old warehouses and cobble stone streets are teaming with some of the best restaurants on the east coast, as Portland had become quite the foodie town.  I have found the majority of the restaurants in Portland use as much local food as they can find, even printing from which farms and farmers the food is grown/raised.

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Sunday was the most glorious Maine day.  We tooled around on their little boat hopping around to the islands in Casco Bay.  Reading on the beach, antique shopping in tiny island antique shops, eating ice cream and hamburgers…am I 8 or 80?  A bit of both I think.

Rejuvenation Station

June 20, 2011

For some reason my schedule has seemed more jam packed than normal and I was looking forward to this weekend more than a 20-something adjusting her first job in the real world.  Especially because I knew the weekend included meeting one of my favorite blogger friends Shopping the Closet and a little trip to Maine.

I “met” (and by met I mean found in the blog-o world) Eleanor from Shopping the Closet about a year and a half ago via our mutual love of Cape Elizabeth, Maine and an Atlantis Home link.  Ever since then I have adored following her daily fashion posts and personal style.  As someone who much prefers to be behind the camera instead of in front of one, I admire and envy Eleanor’s bravery and constantly creative style.  Not to mention Eleanor works her butt off in the fashion world, has a beautiful home, husband, two children and a super cool, former punk rocker life.  Basically she rocks all around.  It was a such a fun pleasure for me to finally get to meet her in person, as she and her daughter carved off a little family vacation time in Boston to have dinner with me.

I had to show off my adopted city and opted to make reservations and the brand new, fancy-schmancy restaurant, Red Lantern.  The decor and atmosphere came highly recommended by my studio mate Erin Gates, and it did not disappoint.

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Gorgeous atmosphere and gorgeous filet.  (I was too busy chatting and eating to take more decor photos but believe me, it is perfection.)

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Ryan attempting to eat the massive beef and veggies dish.

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Street Style shots on Newbury with Eleanor and her darling daughter, Ryan

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Ryan, tried out my big SLR with some impressive results.  Do I spy a future photographer?

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It is always so strange to “meet” someone you kinda already know via the blog world, but I have found it so interesting and so wonderful, especially with Eleanor and her daughter.  The blog world and the wonderful, creative people out there never ceases to amaze me.

Tomorrow…weekend rejuvenation…Maine edition.

Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar

January 24, 2011

Mexican fiesta!

Saturday night my husband and I had a much needed date night.  We decided to check out the new Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar in the back bay of Boston.  I have been complaining since I moved that there are no good Mexican restaurants in Boston, and I have been waiting excitedly since I saw a “coming soon” sign outside their storefront.  The restaurant is also located in the building where my husband has a condo in which we are planning on renovating this May and moving back, so to say I had great hopes for Lolita is a bit of an understatement.  (Lord knows I need weekly doses of queso and tacos.)  Thankfully Lolita did not disappoint.  The food was fabulous, the margaritas delicious, and the service wonderful.  I cannot say enough good things.

Margarita with a splash of grapefruit juice…yummy!

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They did a great job creating a fun, sexy atmosphere, without a bit of pretentiousness or too cool for school attitude.  (Note: we did eat at like 6pm and it did get packed by the time we finished, so definitely make reservations if going on a Friday or Saturday.)

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Sexy red roses and rustic iron work

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Amazing desserts

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Complementary tattoos and cotton candy with pop rocks at the end of the meal!  How fun is that?!?!

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Lolita has absolutely made out go to list of restaurants.  I am already dreaming of their pulled pork tacos with salsa verde.

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