Friday, August 8, 2014

Boston Summer Bucket List

It feels like summer is already drawing to a close here in Boston. The days are still warm, but the nights are getting deliciously chilly—I love pulling out the extra blankets and sleeping with the windows open. We've done a lot of traveling over the last few months, but some of our the best times have happened right here in town. Boston is pretty spectacular in the summer.

Here are a few of my favorite things I did this summer in Boston; if you hurry, you can do them, too!
  1. Shakespeare on the Common. Pack a picnic, bring a blanket, and watch a wacky rendition of Twelfth Night under the stars.
  2. Eating al fresco. The Red House (dollar oysters!) and Sweet Cheeks Q are a couple of the places I've fallen for.
  3. Red Sox game. No explanation needed.
  4. Hiking. I love that you can drive just a few minutes from the city and you're practically in the wilderness. Our new favorite is the Noanet Woodlands because we can bring the pup.
  5. Harborwalk Sounds at the ICA. Boston's contemporary art museum is free on Thursday nights, plus they have concerts by the water as the sun sets.
  6. Ice cream from JP Lick's
And some things still on my list:
  1. Swimming! There are tons of pools in the area ranging from posh rooftops to laid-back neighborhood pools. I wrote an article about it here.
  2. Concerts at the Hatch Shell. They cancelled the last one we tried to attend. Luckily there are a few more this season.
  3. Beach day in Revere. Love this photo essay (with sound!) about the city's beach.
  4. Whale watch. Because I'm sad I still haven't seen a whale.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Finkelstein's Center's awkwardly adorable creatures

Is it weird for an adult to want to buy stuffed animals? Not if they're as cute as Michelle Jewell's "Finks." I recently interviewed the artist for Charleston magazine. My favorite quote:
"No one questions the amount of stuffed sloths you own when you’re a toy maker. If I quit, I would just be weird again."
Read the story here and check out her Etsy shop here.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Fridays for a Freelancer

The meaning of the word "Friday" has changed so much for me since I started freelancing full-time. There's still an excitement for the weekend, but there's not an overwhelming relief that the week is over.

I'm working harder than ever to make this life work, but I can honestly say that every day is pretty darn good. I wake up early now, without a trace of dread. I make coffee, take my dog to the park, work out, and then head up to my sunny office with some breakfast. I'm still learning to work at my own pace, even if it's not 9–5 (though it's really hard to shake off those 9–5 habits).

My only regret is that I didn't take this leap years ago.

Monday, July 14, 2014


In honor of Bastille Day, let's indulge our finest French fantasies, shall we?

Itinerary ideas from Design Love Fest.
A sweet Paris video that deserves re-sharing.
Dressing like a French girl.
Photos from two days in Paris years ago.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Travel Diary: Barcelona

The last time Todd and I visited Barcelona, we spent less than 18 hours in the city, stayed in a crappy hostel, and decided we didn't like it. We gave it another chance, and I'm so glad we did. By the time we were done with our short visit, we were making fantasy plans to move there.

We stayed in El Raval, an up-and-coming neighborhood a few minutes from Las Ramblas. The apartment we rented had an awesome view of the street below; it made us feel like residents of the neighborhood. (Note that all of these photos were taken on my iPhone, because I got tired of carrying my camera around.)

We were tired from our early flight, so we decided to just sit for awhile and take in the scenery at Plaza Real. Our past trips have been all about go-go-go, but this time I think we really perfected the art of relaxing, watching, and soaking up the atmosphere. We may not have seen quite so many sites, but I think we enjoyed our time more and got a better sense of the city.

Everything I read about Barcelona said we had to go to La Boqueria, a massive food market that's apparently as popular with locals as tourists. It ended up being one of my favorite parts of the trip. There was every kind of food imaginable, from delicate chocolates to neon-colored fresh fruit juices to seafood so fresh it was still moving. And then there were the churros y chocolate, which easily ranked as one of my top three food moments of all time.

Our feet were aching terribly from the previous day's hike, so we did something we've never done before: We purchased a bus tour. We decided on a double-decker, hop-on-hop-off option, and it allowed us to see the far-flung sites we couldn't have fit in on foot: Olympic Park (above), Gaudi's buildings, and the beach, for example. Todd may or may not have lost his ticket after eating lunch on the beach, but luckily we'd already seen most of what we wanted to see, so we just took the metro back to our apartment before heading out for more tapas and sangria (sensing a theme?) in Barri Gotic.

Barcelona, you might be the most delicious place I've ever been.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bottled Cocktails: Three Places in Boston to Find Them

I find myself writing about cocktails a lot lately and drinking none of them, since I'm on a semi-strict post-vacation diet. It's a bit torturous, really.

Anyway, this is my first contribution to GM's Drive the District blog. It's all about bottled cocktails, a trend that's catching on in Boston ever-so-slowly. Read it here.