Category Archives: Local

November 21, 2016

Denim Recycling: Do Well with Madewell

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denim recycling with madewell champagne thursday boston style fashion blogger

Wearing Madewell, buying Madewell, and somehow I miraculously did not spill coffee all over myself once second after this was snapped.

denim recycling with madewell champagne thursday boston style fashion blogger

How awesome is this embroidery?!

denim recycling with madewell champagne thursday boston style fashion blogger

Ft. Lonesome hard at work

denim recycling with madewell champagne thursday boston style fashion blogger

My gal pals Bethany (left) and Gabby (right)

denim recycling with madewell champagne thursday boston style fashion blogger

Jordan, the awesome lady behind these great Madewell events

There are a lot of brands I like, but Madewell continues to knock it out of the park. Their chic and understated offerings are the backbone of my closet. They have killer designer collaborations. My local Madewell has killer pop-up events with amazing local brands.

They also hit a home run in one of my soft-spot categories: recycling. Do you know that you can insulate a house with denim? It takes 500 to 1,000 pairs of old jeans to insulate They’ve partnered with Blue Jeans Go Green™ to recycle your denim.

It’s super easy.

Step one: Find jeans your don’t wear/don’t want anymore.

Step two: Bring them to Madewell. They take care of sending them to Blue Jeans Go Green™.

Step three: Get $20 off the purchase of a new pair of jeans.


The hardest part is remembering to grab the old jeans as you leave your place. It took me a few trips out the door before I remembered my bag of denim, but I have faith in you. There isn’t an expiration date on this program, so don’t worry about missing it if you forget it the first time. (Read about the program and find a participating location here.)

These pictures are from Madewell’s fall denim tour, which featured custom embroidery by Fort Lonesome. Thank you to Gabby, for these awesome pictures!

January 30, 2016

Flower Power at Alice’s Table

alice's table chestnut hill floral pop up champagne thursday boston blooger lifestyle

This past Tuesday, I joined a small group of bloggers to check out a new pop-up shop at The Street in Chestnut Hill. The pop-up is Alice’s Table, a flower shop with a twist. They offer flowers by the stem, arrangement deliveries, and (my favorite) floral arranging classes.

We met the owner, Alice, and went through how to make a pretty pink and white arrangement. Alice gave us tips on how to select the best roses, how to keep hydrangeas perky, and how the temperature of the water affects the behavior of the bloom. continue reading

November 11, 2015

You Should Know: Xtend Barre

xtend barre studio class boston workout

I, admittedly, do not love to exercise. Let me clarify. I do not love to exercise if it remotely resembles anything that you would do in gym class.

However, add any kind of dance element and I am ALL ABOUT IT.

I occasionally attend a drop-in dance class, and whenever I need some serious body toning, you can find me at the nearest barre classes. There are an abundance of barre options in Boston, and I was intrigued when I heard that Xtend was coming to the neighborhood.

There are independent Xtend Barre studios all over the country, but the Newbury Street location is the first in Massachusetts. Owner Amanda Cort fell in love with the workout when living in Australia, and thanks to her newly-opened studio, us Mass-aletes can fall in love with it too.

If you’ve never been to a barre class before, it’s a low-impact workout centered around small, isometric movements designed to tone and sculpt your body. Don’t let the size of the movement fool you into thinking that it’s a small-sized workout. You are gonna feel that burn.

What sets Xtend Barre apart from the other barre classes is the inclusion of more dance elements as well as more cardio. Ten minutes in to the class, I had a nice sweat going on. We did a ton of plies, lunges, and planks. I didn’t find the rhythm of the moves too intuitive, and it kept me very focused on what was going on. Later in the class, I was so focused on the particular position (a twisted squat position) that I forgot to breathe and got really light-headed. I took a quick break to equalize, and the instructor Dannea came over to check on me. She was an awesome instructor- very friendly and bubbly, yet definitely had her eye on us and made adjustments when necessary.

While I only tried the signature Xtend Barre class, the studio also offers a variety of other classes including Xtend Suspend (which uses the TRX), Babies on Board, a post-natal Mommy and Me class, and yoga.

Thank you to Amanda for inviting me to the studio to try out a class! If you’re interested in trying out Xtend Barre, there are a ton of different access options (including two weeks of unlimited classes for $49- which is an incredible deal for new members!).

xtend barre studio class boston workout

Fabulous Boston bloggers with out instructor Dannea (in blue leggings) after class

Studio details:

Location: 338 Newbury St., 2nd Floor, Boston, Massachusetts, 02115

Check out the class schedule here.


Instagram: @xtendbarrenewbury


May 26, 2015

You Should Know: Trademark Tarts

Trademark Tarts dessert Justin Burke-Samson pastry chef prep

If you like things that taste good, you need to know about Justin Burke-Samson and his company, Trademark Tarts.

Justin stormed onto the culinary scene last year with his homemade poptarts. He, and friend Stephanie Cmar, partnered for a series of pop-ups featuring their baked goods. Their events were immediately popular, and would frequently sell out in under an hour.

When that series wrapped in the fall, everyone was asking what was next? For starters, Justin is expanding his offerings beyond his homemade tarts to incorporate a variety of baked goods, and most recently, savory items too

The pop-up scene is where Justin feels most at home, and his latest venture is sticking to these roots. His newest series of events is called Modern Gramma. It’s inspired by his late Gramma Carole, and the flavors of classic American recipes she prepared for him. He’s breathing new life into these flavors, and redefining the southern classics.

Doug and I attended his preview event, and got the first taste of what Modern Gramma is all about!

Troy Boston rooftop lounge

Troy Boston

We joined Justin at Troy Boston, a new apartment building in the South End. Very sleek and stylish space, if I do say so myself.

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On the menu for the night: An interpretation of a s’mores with an RC Cola reduction, a melon ball salad with grilled zest cake and sour cream semifreddo, and my favorite, an Ambrosia Church Cake.

Trademark Tarts dessert Justin Burke-Samson pastry chef prep

Plating the pina colada pastry cream. I could have swam in this- it was amazing.

Trademark Tarts dessert Justin Burke-Samson pastry chef

The final Ambrosia Church Cake presentation

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Trademark Tarts reinvented s'mores dessert

He’s expanding the menu in an upcoming brunch event to include savory items. If you want in on the action, grab your tickets here. Don’t wait though; there aren’t too many left! The menu sounds great. The menu includes Maple Bacon Poptart (bourbon maple bacon jam, maple glaze), Cinnamon French Toast Salad (cinnamon toast croutons, pomegranate, bacon bits, maple vinaigrette), and California Egg in a Basket (avocado, pico de gallo, hasselback home fries) and more.

Follow Justin on Twitter and Instagram to see what he’s cooking and where’s he’ll be popping up next.

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December 22, 2014

You Should Know: Olives & Grace

Whenever someone asks for gift ideas, my first question is “Have you checked out Olives & Grace yet?”

To say that Olives & Grace is a gift shop doesn’t do this place justice. Owned and run by the gorgeous and charismatic Sofi Madison, the small shop is filled with a well-curated collection of artisan goods and products (a lot of them are shelf-stable edibles).

Olives & Grace shop in Boston South End

Whether you’ve barely begun your shopping or need some last minute gift-additions, definitely check this place out. They even make fancy gift boxes, perfect for bringing to a host(ess)!

Olives & Grace shop in Boston South End

Some awesome things you will find at Olives & Grace:


– Apotheker’s: Sweetened goodies that you won’t feel bad indulging in (ie- no refined sugar, soy, dairy, or artificial anything). This husband-and-wife duo makes raw honey sweetened chocolate and marshmallows, using honey from third generation beekeepers- free of chemicals and antibiotics. Their flavors are really tasty: a spicy triple pepper dark chocolate bar; a cherry and almond chocolate bar; maple and toasted pecan mallows. Do you know that you can make hot chocolate with half a bar of their chocolate, stirred into a mug of hot milk or water? No more icky powered stuff!


The Ripe Stuff: Cold press juices, perfect for starting off the year on a good note (especially after all of the holiday indulgences). They have seasonal cleanses, which use and highlight seasonal produce. As often as possible, they use local and/or organic produce. The Ripe Stuff delivers in the Boston area, and all of the juices are made the day it’s delivered.


Ajiri Tea: Black tea, in a variety of flavors, and coffee. This is a super feel-good company that you can’t help but want to support. The tea is produced in Kenya, at Nyansiongo Tea Factory, a cooperative owned by local small-scale farmers. The boxes labels are handmade by Kenyan women, as well as paper beads on the inside of the box. Ajiri Tea also has its own foundation that is focused on supporting Kenyan children; using 100% of the net profits it receives from sales of tea, the foundation pays education-related costs for orphans in western Kenya. It’s clear that the founder of Ajiri Tea, Sara Holby, loves Kenya and is providing long-term, sustainable opportunities to the Kenyan community.

Some things you will NOT find at Olives & Grace: A lack of passion, creativity, or a deep knowledge of the product and makers.

If your experience is anything like mine, you’ll leave inspired and with a bag full of goodies.

Move your feet to Olives & Grace to finish (or to start!) your shopping.

Olives & Grace shop in Boston South End

623 Tremont Street, Boston, MA // Monday-Sunday 10:00-7:00 pm //

(Embarrassingly, I had never been to the shop until this summer, when I was invited to a Meet the Makers event. Thanks for hosting me, Sofi!)

Images 1, 2, and 6 are c/o Olives & Grace