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10/30/15

87. weekend to-do's


li:
  1. witchy weekend reading. i just picked up my copy of the witches: salem, 1692 and i can't wait to dig in to this historically significant and seasonally appropriate story. in the capable hands of biographer stacy schiff, the witches recounts the events beginning in 1692 salem that would eventually lead to the infamous witch trials.
  2. poses and plants. my two very wise and inspiring friends, jenn falk and steph zabel are teaming up for a yoga and herbalism workshop that will focus on strengthening the immune system as we enter the colder seasons. the workshop will take place at bow street yoga in union square on saturday.
  3. a day with the dutch masters. currently on exhibit at the mfa is class distinctions: dutch painting in the age of rembrandt and vermeer - an unprecedented collection of 75 works by over a dozen dutch masters. the show represents and contrasts all levels of 17th century dutch society and includes pieces by rembrandt, vermeer, jan steen, pieter de hooch, gerard ter borch and gabriel metsu.
  4. apple everything. i went a little overboard while apple picking last weekend and we have way too many apples for our little 2-person household. looks like i will be using apples in both savory and sweet preparations for days to come...

liz:
  1. local beer night. night shift brewery has announced the return of their delicious creation, the mainer weisse and i can't wait to get my hands on it. this sour ale boasts flavors of maine blueberries and cinnamon sticks. while it is pricey at $14 a bottle, all the beers on tap are fantastic and the trip there is well worth it.
  2. bluth it up. this year, riverbar is hosting an arrested development themed party on halloween night. there's always money in the banana stand and saturday night it comes in the form of house-made coconut rum cocktails. amazing arrested development puns and delicious drinks all night? yes, please.
  3. pumpkin everything. while li is loading up on apple recipes this weekend, i'm still on my pumpkin kick. this pumpkin muffin recipe is one my favorite fall time staples. the muffins make for an easy morning breakfast during the week and the batter is simple to make. add some trader joe's chocolate chunks to appease your sweet tooth if you're anything like me.


10/28/15

86. caring for your cold weather essentials


we're strong believers in forgoing fast fashion by investing in timeless, quality pieces. if you're like us, a big part of preparing for chilly weather is pulling out your trusted sweaters and boots. regular care and upkeep are important in making sure your favorite garments stay beautiful for seasons to come. here are some ways that you can give these hard-working wardrobe items some extra tlc:


sweaters
there is nothing cozier than your favorite sweater. but well-worn can quickly turn to worn-out when you don't take the proper steps to care for your seasonal knits.

-if your sweaters have been stored away since spring, you will want to air them out by hanging in the fresh air for a few hours. go a step further by misting them with a lightly-scented linen water. you can prolong the life of your sweaters by washing every four wears and repeating this step to keep them fresh.

-gently remove any lint that has accumulated with a lint brush, we suggest investing in a reusable one - burstenhaus redecker makes a lovely version. if you have pilling that can't be removed with a brush, you will want to gently go over them with a sweater stone or a razor.

-storing your sweaters on hangers (or even just regular wear) can cause them to stretch out. to get them back in shape, mist with water and put them in the dryer on high heat until completely dry. the more you saturate the sweater with water, the more shrinkage you can expect.


-be sure you are storing your sweaters in a way that isn't causing future damage. never hang your sweater, always fold or roll them. store with red cedar blocks to ward off moths.





boots
boots are your best bet for keeping you warm and dry as the weather changes. to best way to ensure that they continue to keep your feet protected is with a regular routine of cleansing, conditioning and protecting. otter wax's leather care kit has all the items you need.



-gently cleanse with saddle soap to prepare the leather and remove salt and stains. use a damp cloth or brush to work up a lather and apply to the boots in circular motion. once clean, allow to dry completely.

-follow with a leather salve to re-hydrate and add a layer of protection. work the salve in with a rag until a soft shine begins to appear.

-a good leather oil is the best way to condition and add immediate shine. apply with a brush until thos boots look like new!

-be sure to store your boots upright. a shoeform, or bunched up newpaper inserted into the boot will help them to keep their form.






these cold weather essentials will take care of you throughout the next few months. isn't it worth taking the time to make sure that they are properly cared for as well? all of the items in this story were purchased from our friends at boston general store, they can be purchased online or at their brand new brick and mortar shop in coolidge corner.


10/23/15

85. weekend to-do's




li:
  1. brookline brick and mortar. boston general store's new coolidge corner outpost is officially open for business! i'm so happy to be able to pop in whenever i like for april's beautifully curated selection of goods (and to visit the shop's adorable mascot, olive).
  2. rookie of the year. tavi gevinson started writing and editing her blog style rookie back in 2008 (she was 12). since 2011, rookie has become a seriously influential source of pop culture and feminist discussion for young women. they've even published 4 hard copy "yearbooks". the fourth yearbook was released this week and tavi will be appearing with it at the brattle theater on sunday afternoon. i'm excited to hear some tips and wisdom from a blogging veteran.
  3. mahler in motion. the boston ballet recently debuted third symphony of gustav mahler: a ballet by john neumeier. this piece, choreographed to the composer's longest symphony, has been described as a work of genius. sounds like an epic date night awaits...
  4. on repeat. this.

liz:
  1. brunch time. beat brasserie in harvard square has been hopping since it opened in 2013. there is consistently a line out the door during the evening hours and the bar area is packed. while i like the night time atmosphere, i'm looking forward to checking out their brunch time environment. also, they carry sophia's greek yogurt which i am slightly obsessed with. anywhere i can get my hands on this treat is a good place for brunch in my book!
  2. strutting at the sinclair. english rock band, the struts are coming to the sinclair this weekend. lead singer luke spiller has a freddy mercury-esque way about him that is sure to be entertaining. can't wait to dance my butt off.
  3. closet clean out. now that we are well into fall, i am taking time to reevaluate my fall/winter wardrobe. back in march, i pared down and streamlined my spring/summer items after our post on the concept of the french 5 basic wardrobe. now i'm looking forward to getting an edited winter closet in order.



10/20/15

84. fall teas, featuring equal exchange


the autumn chill is taking over and with it comes the opportunity to create warming rituals. there is nothing more enticing on a brisk day than a perfect cup of tea. from the sound of the kettle to the warmth of the mug between your hands, it soothes every sense. one of our favorite purveyors of fine teas, equal exchange, is introducing three new blends - just in time to make fall extra cozy!


organic rooibos chai is naturally caffeine free and combines the rich, earthy and vanilla notes of rooibos with an invigorating blend of spices from sri lanka

organic ginger tea is made with 100% pure ginger and is naturally caffeine free. it is sweet and rich in flavor with a warming, peppery ginger finish. drink to sooth, de-stress or re-energize mind and body alike.

organic green tea with ginger offers the best of both worlds by combing the floral, toasted rice and oceanic flavor notes of green tea with a warming ginger kick.

we are so proud to support companies like equal exchange who provide fantastic products and source them in a manner that empowers their growers and respects the environment. the tea is grown by democratic small-scale farmer co-operatives who own their own land. equal exchange pays a price that represents the real value of the tea (which is well above the inequitable market value). and all of their farmer-partners care for the environment through organic farming and biodiversity.


in honor of the season, and these wonderful tea blends, we created a sweet and slightly tart toddy recipe - any of the new fall teas would work beautifully, but we choose to use the ginger tea for that added kick of spice. it's the perfect thing to warm up to after picking apples or raking leaves.


apple-ginger hot toddy
(serves 2)
2 equal exchange organic ginger tea bags
6 oz. local, organic apple cider
6 oz. water
2 shots bourbon
drizzle of local honey
apple slices to garnish



heat the cider and water in a small pot on the stovetop. steep tea bags in the cider for 5 minutes, then remove. drizzle mugs with honey and add one shot each of bourbon. pour infused cider into each mug. garnish with an apple slice and get comfy!









10/16/15

83. weekend to-do's



li:
  1. climb for ice cream. the maker of one of our favorite sweet treats (and this week's profile subject), the galley ice cream, will be at brooklyn boulders in somerville tonight from 4-10. get a workout in, reward yourself with some delicious ice cream - sounds like the perfect way to kickoff the weekend...
  2. epic ep release. our friends, ghost box orchestra will be celebrating the release of their brand new ep by performing tonight at the middle east upstairs. can't wait to hear the new songs!
  3. support accessories with a social impact. nisolo is one of my favorite places to find beautiful, ethically-produced shoes. they recently launched a kickstarter to expand their line to jewelry. these beautiful pieces will be handmade by artisans in kenya, providing support to both their business and community.

liz:
  1. maize time. connors farm in danvers has one the largest and most intricate corn mazes in the area. i've been on a roll with the fall time activities and this is sure to satisfy my need for apple cider donuts and all things autumnal. not to mention it will help me walk off the delicious treats.
  2. the all american kitchen & bar. it has been a little over a year since the rosebud diner reopened after major renovations and a menu overhaul. i am finally making my way there this weekend for some smoked chicken wings and fried pickle wedges with kimchi mayo. oh, and the blueberry crumble pie has my name on it too!
  3. pumpkin painting. while i'm at the farm, i'll be picking out the perfect pumpkin to paint this weekend. i've got a graphic design in mind that will fit my dining table perfectly.

10/15/15

82. profile: the galley ice cream



ice cream is one of our all-time favorite indulgences. all the better when that ice cream is made locally, in small batches by talented (and incredibly nice) people. this is exactly the type of product that kelly williamson, founder of the galley ice cream makes. the galley started as a passion project based out of her cambridge apartment (with it's eponymous galley kitchen). her delicious and inventive creations quickly found a fan-base, allowing kelly to pursue her dream full-time. we were so happy to sit down with kelly to chat about inspiration and entrepreneurship - and to sample a variety of her incredible flavors!

what are some unexpected everyday sources of inspiration?
inspirations come from everywhere - talking to customers, seeing fresh ingredients at a farmer's market, the changing seasons, memories from a vacation, or sometimes they just pop into my brain randomly. one night i watched a documentary at 2am featuring various chefs from around the world and one made this amazing pie that's a british classic called "banoffee pie" and i thought 'wow that'd make an amazing ice cream' so i wrote it down and tested it the next day. you'll actually see it on our fall menu!


what is your favorite time of day to create?
i've morphed from a morning person into a night owl. being in the kitchen alone with my thoughts at night is the ideal time for me to get in the zone and get my hands dirty.


favorite or most inspirational place:
the charles river. i live on it and on sundays when it's closed off i can take a nice long quiet stroll and go crazy with brainstorming. i usually bring my phone so i can jot down ideas.


has food and cooking always been a part of your life?
yes! i loved being in the kitchen as a kid, i had my own stash of cookbooks and took after school cooking classes. and now as an adult i love any excuse to eat or be in the kitchen whether it's classes, a supper club, or whipping up something special for dinner. i feel absolute joy and satisfaction being in the kitchen and creating something with my own hands.


when did you figure out that ice cream was your calling?
around the time i realized i started keeping a journal of ice cream flavor ideas and recipes. i figured i really enjoyed this new hobby of mine, but then realized it was a passion when i knew i put a lot of hard work into it, but it didn't feel like work. i kept coming back to it and ideas kept flowing.


you've made the brave leap from a corporate position to starting your own business. can you describe some of the joys and challenges that you've encountered?
my initial challenge while launching the business in its first season was to manage that, but also work full time at a day job. i was working 9-5 and then going to the kitchen 7-1 every day and it wore me out very quickly! i wasn't seeing friends and i wasn't sleeping or eating properly. but now that i am able to focus solely on the galley, i've never been happier. life has balanced itself out and this growing little business has my full attention!


your flavor combinations are always so delicious and original. any great a-ha moments when coming up with them? do customers ever offer requests or suggestions?
i have two a-ha moments that stick out in my mind. once when testing out tahini in ice cream as a nutty flavor rather than going with the obvious peanut butter. i mixed in some caramel and chocolate chips and it knocked my socks off. the other was actually just the other day when i tested out a new technique of toasting milk powder, which is an ingredient in my ice cream. it's just plain old dried milk, but when you toast it in a pan 'til golden and then mix it in, it gives the custard this beautiful dulce de leche flavor. i remember being nervous to try it and just said "wow!". and yes, customers are always offering suggestions and feedback. it's super helpful and i love engaging with them to see what makes them tick. ice cream is a very personal thing after all!

how do you see the galley growing and evolving?
we've grown so much in the past 5 months that i can't even imagine the things we will do next year. i'm so excited! we have built some really great friendships and partnerships with local businesses and markets that i hope to have a stronger presence locally next year. we are also working on our wholesale license so that we can have pints in specialty markets or my dream, to be featured on a restaurant menu. at some point i would love an ice cream shop too! i've already got the decor and layout set up in my mind...


what is the best piece of creative advice you've ever been given?
i think the best general piece of advice i've been given is to be confident and have fun. it's certainly easy to get caught up in the "what ifs".


what is the best piece of creative advice you have to give?
don't overthink things and trust your gut instinct. i have to remind myself to do this on a daily basis!

you can find kelly and her delicious ice cream at a number of local events. they also deliver, making it beyond easy to treat yourself!



10/9/15

81. weekend to-do's




li:
  1. listen to a legend. pioneering writer, artist and musician, patti smith, will be at the back bay events center on saturday to discuss her new book m train. i am beyond thrilled to be attending such a special event.
  2. honk! if you love fall. the honk! festival, an annual celebration of expression that highlights street bands, artists and dancers, takes place this weekend. you can find festivities throughout boston, cambridge and somerville. always a great way to celebrate the season.
  3. october for the taking. they may have only debuted their first issue last month, but take magazine has already become a favorite of mine. i love their exploration of modern new enlgand culture and can't wait to read the october issue cover to cover.
  4. dive in. joanna newsom recently announced a tour to support her eagerly awaited new album divers. she'll be performing at the orpheum on sunday, december 6th. tickets go on sale today!

liz:
  1. head upstate. the leaves are just beginning to change color in upstate new york and i'm spending this weekend with family and foliage in rochester. looking forward to getting some hiking in and making a trip out to letchworth state park.
  2. shop local. the rochester public market hosts many independent local businesses including coffee shops, florists, farm stands, specialty food shops, and more. this weekend, they're also holding a community garage sale and flea market! hoping to snag a few vintage finds and some pumpkin butter for a campfire treat (see below).
  3. one last hoorah. we are big on campfires in my family and since no fire is complete without smores, i've found an autumn inspired version that includes my favorite ingredient, pumpkin. slather some sweet pumpkin butter on a crunchy graham cracker and top with a toasty marshmallow for the ultimate fall campfire experience.

10/6/15

80. travelogue: snæfellsnes peninsula, iceland


iceland is one of my all-time favorite places that i've visited. i couldn't wait to go back and introduce my husband andy to this special island. this time around, we were lucky enough to explore the breathtaking snæfellsnes peninsula. surrounded by glaciers, mountains, cliffs and fjords, every place we went felt like an illustration out of a fantasy novel. here is a small taste of some of the most memorable of those places:

possibly the most beautiful hotel we've ever stayed at. located in a secluded spot on the western part of the peninsula, everything about this place is utterly dreamy. you'll find stunning views of the sea as well as lava fields (and the wild sheep that roam through them). there is also a fairytale-worthy chapel on the premises, making budir a popular wedding destination.

this truly magical place on the southern coast of the peninsula is believed to be one of the seven chakras (energy centers) of the world. one cannot help but feel this energy when standing on the black sand beach looking out at the sea. the beach is covered with black stones that have been shaped smooth by wind and waves - when wet, they shine like glass.

leir 7 makes beautiful ceramic pieces working exclusively with native icelandic clay. founder sigríður erla guðmundsdóttir uses her vast knowledge of this clay to create the pieces sold out of her stykkishólmur studio. we highly recommend stopping by for something uniquely icelandic.

also located in the town of stykkishólmur, this cozy, harborside restaurant is the perfect end to a day of exploring. romantic lighting, lovely decor and amazing seafood make this place truly special. be sure to stay for one of their delicious desserts!

extra credit:

not technically located on the snæfellsnes, but we couldn't do a post about iceland without recommending a stop here after your flight. the lagoon's relaxing and healing geothermal hot springs are the perfect way to get acquainted with the new time zone and surroundings.

-li