109. weekend to-dos

  1. david and brian and philip. mit is hosting an orchestral tribute to david bowie tonight. this performance will be the boston premier of philip glass symphonies no.1 "low" and no. 4 "heroes". both works were inspired by david bowie and brian eno's collaboration on the "berlin triology" of low, heroes and lodger. should be a truly memorable way to honor a genius collaboration. all proceeds will benefit the mit cancer research fund.
  2. frida. the mfa recently acquired it's first painting by frida kahlo. dos mujers (salvadora y herminia) was painted in 1928 and depicts two women who were maids in kahlo's mother's household. the painting is on view now through march 1st.
  3. rhianna. rhianna dropped her eagerly awaited album anti yesterday. dance party at my house.
  1. wilco. after all these years, i am finally getting to see them live at the orpheum as part of their two night stint here in boston.
  2. winter relax. amie lytle of the corner studio in medford is now offering thai massage. this type of massage combines acupressure and assisted yoga poses to relax and heal the body.
  3. winter walk. going to take advantage of the beautiful and unseasonably warm weather we are having here in boston by exploring the city with my camera. i haven't gotten a photo walk in for quite some time. stay tuned for pictures!


108. natural cleaning

january is always a great time for fresh starts - and what could be fresher than a clean house? sadly, the harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrances used in most commercial cleaning products might be polluting your space as much as cleaning it. a simple and cost effective solution is to make your own household cleaning products. it's easier than you may think. simply stock up on these basic natural ingredients and mix and match:
baking soda
white vinegar
cream of tartar
castile soap
essential oils

here are some of our favorite recipes to get you started:

all purpose cleaner
2 cups white vinegar
lemon peels

fill an airtight container with white vinegar. place the peels from several lemons in the vinegar. cover and allow to steep for a week or so. strain the vinegar into a spray bottle.

scouring scrub
1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup salt
several drops of essential oil (lavender or lemon work great)

pour ingredients into a jar. cover and shake to mix them together. to use, wet the surface, sprinkle the powder on and allow to sit for a few minutes. scrub with a brush or cloth until clean, then rinse with water.

floor cleaner
2 tablespoons castile soap
1 gallon water
several drops of essential oil

mix all ingredients in a bucket. mop and dry.

grout cleaner
cream of tartar
lemon juice

mix ingredients together to form a paste. use a brush to scrub between tiles until stains are removed. rinse with water.

now that your home is safely squeaky clean, simmer some aromatics on the stovetop for a natural and effective air freshener. this classic recipe is used by williams sonoma to make their stores extra inviting:

air freshener (inspired by williams sonoma's recipe)
4 sprigs of rosemary
1 sliced lemon
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

place all ingredients in a pot filled with water. bring to a boil. reduce heat to simmer and allow the scent to fill the room.


107. weekend to-do's

  1. relax and retreat. a friend and i are headed to the kripalu center for yoga & health for a weekend-long seminar with instructor faith hunter. i'm so excited to spend an introspective weekend in stockbridge, ma while focusing on wellness and deepening my practice.
  2. get a leg up. outdoor voices makes my favorite leggings - and i plan to wear them all weekend at my retreat. the pair that i'm loving the most are from a collaboration they did with another great company, of a kind.

  1. cozy up. spending the weekend keeping warm with tea and honey i recently purchased from farmhouse pottery. i have a little obsession with their pieces and fell in love with their honey kit at christmas!
  2. support live music. good friends quarterly are in town from new york city this weekend for their cd release show at the lily pad tonight. can't wait to hear their new music. if you can't make it tonight, they have a kitchen sessions show on saturday afternoon too!


106. digestifs

our food + wine contributor, kimberly scott is back with her first post of the year. she has some wonderful and unique suggestions for digestif liqueurs (especially helpful after a holiday season abundant with rich foods):

we have passed through the season of overindulgence. no matter your faith or lack thereof, treats abounded and what seemed like a never-ending smorgasbord of delights appeared day after day. whether it was dinners out and about with friends, lengthy meals with family, or the binging on food-related gifts after the season, you need to digest now, literally. here are some libations to seek out with company or solitarily, to sooth the stomach and the soul. now is a season to recharge.

cardamaro - amaro - piedmont, italy
i've become a fan of this smooth expression of the flavors of cardoon, a member of the sunflower family. you may of heard of cynar, the fiercely bitter amaro distilled with artichokes. this is a milder, more caramel covered flavor profile. but through the rounded edges you get a refreshing kiss of bitterness in the finish and a deeply vegetal nature in the background.

braulio - amaro - vaultelina, italy
perhaps you've braved the experience of fernet branca. whether you adored or hated the deep and piney expanses of it's taste, braulio deserves a try. i set it on the same spectrum of flavor, but more voluptuous, sweeter and warmer while still being restorative. a great friend to have in the wintertime to warm you up.

capellano barolo chinato - vino aromatizzato - piedmont, italy
a rare and beautiful treat, the recipe is secret and the result is quite luxurious. this is effectively aromatized wine that was originally destined to become the noble wine of barolo. instead, it met a mixture of herbs laid down in the 19th century by dr. giuseppe capellano, an italian pharmacist. it reminds me of a chilled mulled wine, but dry and a bit bitter. this elixir is one of those things that, if you visited another world, they would pour for you if they liked you.

chartreuse vep green - liqueur - grenoble, france
chartreuse is almost a household name, definitely a bar-hold name, so you may have had it as part of a mixture, or even straight up quickly thrown back as a shot. but vep is another animal all together-standing for 'vieillissement exceptionnellement prolonge' or extended exceptional aging. originally made by monks, the hundred and thirty plants in its secret recipe lends the signature color.
so no wonder it is an intensely herbaceous liqueur. with the extra age in oak casks it becomes a deep and formidable friend on a cold night. at one hundred and eight proof, it is not to be trifled with. fiery and stomach settling, savor this slowly, allowing it to offer up new flavors in it's long finish. ask your local quality liquor store for availability; they may special order it for you if they don't keep it in stock.

you can find the first three i featured at the lovely puritan & co. in inman square. they have an extensive amaro and digestif list, and would love to help you discover them all. swing by for just a drink at the bar, or try their restorative effects after a full meal. 

many thanks to puritan & co. for allowing us to photograph their gorgeous space. it's truly one of our favorite spots in cambridge.


105. weekend to-do's

  1. a second chance to watch a beautiful film. i missed out on getting tickets to the sold-out screenings of the assassin when it came to cambridge back in october. lucky for me, the brattle theater is bringing it back for an encore. i'm so excited to see this latest offering by famed taiwanese director hou hsiao-hsien (this film earned him the award for best director at the cannes film festival).
  2. warm up. there is nothing more satisfying on a cold day than a steaming bowl of ramen. yume wo katare in porter square is legendary for having the best ramen in the cambridge/boston area. the lines can be long - but always well worth the wait!
  3. comic crush. i recently purchased both volumes of the comic series low for andy. however, the cover art was so irresistibly beautiful that i had to take a peek - and now i'm hooked. this stunning post-apocalyptic tale of an undersea city promises to keep me enthralled all weekend.
  1. it's show time. i'll be playing a show at great scott tonight with my band parks. bowery boston has put together a solid bill including other local bands, eternals and air traffic controller. and, we'll be playing an extra special cover that i can't wait to sing!
  2. dance time. i'll be supporting a good friend as she participates in the 11th season of danceworks boston. over 190 dancers will be performing original choreographed pieces featuring a mix of dance styles from lyrical, jazz, tap, all the way to hip hop. can't wait to cheer her on.
  3. winter time, hike time. in an effort to keep moving, i'm going to get some trail time in at the blue hills reservation in canton. and, while it's not snowing yet, they do have a ski area once it's starts coming down.


104. january reading

reading more is a resolution that seems to show up on our list every year. taking some quiet time to oneself to read a good book can quickly fall behind in priorities when flashier, more immediate things are constantly competing for our attention. one way we intend on following through with our reading goals is by creating monthly reading lists. we hope that by sharing our picks with you, it will inspire you to frequent your local bookstore a little more often as well:


americanah by chimamanda ngozi adichie
if this book is anywhere near as wonderful as adichie's half of a yellow sun, i am in for something truly special. the fact that it won the national book critic's circle award for fiction and has been included in multiple top 10 lists only reinforces the idea that this story of love and identity is a must-read.

i had the pleasure of meeting the author and hearing her discuss the very personal inspiration behind her debut novel. this is a decades-spanning story of a family and how cultural and generational divides inform their relationships when confronted with tragedy.

fates and furies by lauren groff
named "best book of 2015" by numerous publications and websites, this book is an examination of love and partnership. divided into two parts, it provides multiple perspectives on 24 years of a marriage.


in an effort to pay respect to one of the most influential musicians of the 20th & 21st century, i will be starting out my reading list with this biography on david bowie. buckley chronicles bowie's career, his tours, his creative experiments, the arguments, split-ups and covers his impact on pop culture as we know it.

the rocks by peter nichols
this love story starts out with a mystery and works backwards in time to slowly reveal the reasons behind the characters' break-up and the 60 year silence between them despite living on the same island.

modern romance by aziz ansari
in this exploration of the trials of dating in the modern world, ansari looks at the difficulties associated with all of our technological devices and gives advice on the ever confusing etiquette of text-dating. after watching his recent series, masters of none on netflix, i can't wait to get my hands on this book.


103. weekend to-do's


  1. funny business. david cross is launching his first stand-up comedy tour in 6 years. he'll be making a boston stop at the wilbur theater in march. tickets go on sale today and i can't wait to get my seats for what promises to be a fun night!
  2. kitchen classics. one of my resolutions for 2016 is to start a sunday dinner tradition at my house. spending one day a week to take a little extra time and care and prepare a classic dish for family and friends. this rich coq au vin recipe sounds like the perfect winter indulgence.
  3. light bright. having a smaller window of daylight hours can be tough this time of year, especially when you are trying to get out of bed in the morning. this philips wake-up light has made a huge difference for me. not only does the lamp mimic a sunrise, but you can replace your jarring alarm with the gentle chirping of birds. good morning, indeed.


  1. skate into the new year. now that it is finally cold enough to feel like winter, i'm lacing up ice skates and getting out on the frog pond. there's nothing better than a cup of hot chocolate, some music and a little time on the ice to warm up a winter weekend.
  2. still life slow down. one of my favorite lifestyle photographers, christina greve, is challenging photographers to slow down and take time to reflect on the details of their surroundings with a single photo each week. this week's photo reflection assignment asks for one photo showing the "nuanced textures of life". stay tuned to see what i come up with!
  3. brass cocktails. i'm going to grab myself an "expert level" cocktail at brass union and play some board games tonight. the tenacious tea has my name written all over it. this will be followed by whatever delicious beer they have on tap from my favorite local brewery, night shift brewing.


102: january playlist

hello 2016! we're welcoming the new year by sharing a list of our favorite workout jams. think of it as a way to get a jump start on some of those resolutions: