Couture/It’s Yours: Leather & Tweed

couture-its-yours-leather-and-tweedTop Left / Bottom LeftTop Right* / Bottom Right

I know the term is usually “Leather & Lace,” but let’s just go with it.  Leather & tweed moto jackets and blazers are around every corner right now.  They’re the perfect piece to complete that “punk-chic” look eeeveryone is hoping to attain this fall.  I think a leather jacket is a great investment piece, but leather detailing isn’t necessarily worth paying up for—though I am obsessed with the blazer in this post.  Instead, consider faux or vegan leather.  These alternatives are much more affordable, so it won’t be the end of the world when the harried lady next to you on the T spills her pumpkin spice latte all over everyone within a 5 foot radius (no, leather is not exactly dry-cleanable).

*Top right image is from, where the Rebecca Taylor jacket has since sold out.

Lots o’ Links

how to make heart paperclips

(this actually works, I made them at my desk)

Okay, actually not that many.  But here are some things that I read/thought about this week that you might want to check out too!

Mix Fest!  Because who doesn’t want to see BSB for free?

Thrillist put together a list of secret menu items from around Boston…including a 2.5-foot-long burrito from Anna’s.  Challenge accepted.

An interesting perspective from the girlfriend of a hockey fan…while I don’t see how anybody couldn’t get into hockey, I appreciate her honesty.

Anybody else guilty of some of these?  Oops.

Target’s collaborating with 3.1 Philip Lim…in stores this Sunday.  The bag I featured in this post costs a whopping $950, but I’m hoping I can snag a collab bag for much cheaper! (read this guide on how to crush the collaboration)

A very useful, veggie-cooking cheat sheet.

Update: I had to include this Onion piece, because it made me chuckle…(also because I have felt this hilarious feeling before)

Send-Off Scones

Eating Well
 published a scone recipe more than 10 years ago that my mom has always used when baking the scrumptious confections.  They’re absolutely delicious, relatively healthy, and just happen to be a favorite of one of my childhood friends who is heading off to England to get her MFA.  So naturally, we had to bring them to a little send-off breakfast that we shared over Labor Day weekend.  We modify the recipe slightly, but only to make things easier (who has whole wheat pastry flour lying around the house?).

3 Tbsp. butter
1 1/4 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cup flour (if you have whole wheat pastry flour do half that, half regular)
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup raisins
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup low-fat yogurt
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1) Preheat oven to 425 F
2) Heat the butter in a small saucepan over low heat until it begins to brown, about 2 min. Be careful not to burn it!  Skim any foam off the top and pour the butter into a small bowl.
3) Stir together oats, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
4) Add the raisins to your dry mix, and make a well in the center of the bow.
5) Combine the butter, egg, yogurt, and oil in another bowl, then add them to the dry ingredients (only stir until everything has just moistened)
6) Lightly flour a cutting board or clean counter and gently knead the dough a couple of times, making it into a ball.
7) Gently press your dough ball into an 8-inch circle and cut it into wedges
8) Place each wedge onto a lightly oiled baking sheet, and bake for 10-12 minutes (just until firm to the touch, you don’t want to dry them out!)
9) Let them cool before serving of course!

Scone Dough
Scone Wheel

Cool Weather Closet

fall fancies1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12/13/14/15/16

My ideal fall shopping list consists of pieces that I can mix and match with one another for a multitude of chilly-weather outfits.  My top 5 items are new black jeans, a multicolored satchel, black leather booties with a chunk heel, a boucle blazer, and a new pair of black flats with a slight point to the toe.  Though I do have my eye on the above ankle strap pumps, a slim-fit white silk blouse, and a chic sweatshirt.  Also on the list are fun smoking flats, a chunky sweater, some leather or hardware detailing, colorful jewels, and an oxblood pencil skirt.  I tried to put together a bunch of both casual and more formal fall fancies so that I can mix and match for work or play!  Versatility is key when putting together your ultimate, very expensive and hypothetical, closet—obviously.

Food Truck Fridays: Biryani Park

I’m back with another installment of Food Truck Fridays, my sporadic Friday series about meals on wheels around the Bean.  Up this time around: Biryani Park, an Indo-Lankan food truck with an enormous menu.  The food was tasty, if a little spicy for my liking (I’m a huge wimp and can’t do spicy food).  A huge plus was the Mango Lassi, one of my favorite treats.  Kelsee had the Chicken Biryani (spicy baked chicken and rice with raita) and I had the Chicken String Hopper (curried chicken and vegetables cooked with red rice noodles).  Definitely worth a visit, especially if you like spicy dishes!
Mango Lassi
Kels w Biryani
Chicken String Hopper Biryani
Chicken Biryani

Homemade Hangover Remedy

Ginger Apple Seltzer

Labor day has come and gone, and so many of us kissed summer goodbye with one last wild weekend.  And the hangover that followed.  Be prepared for your first weekend back in the city by making sure you have the ingredients for a quick hangover fix.  Not only is this beverage tasty and easy to make in your foggy state, but it’ll kick your hangover’s ass.  No need for mimosa’s and bloody’s…because we know they only hold off the inevitable.  This ginger-carbonation combination soothes your stomach while rehydrating you.  And adding either mint or apple slices makes your drink extra refreshing.  Ginger also has an added bonus of reducing inflammation, so this sparkling beverage has you covered whether you have a tension headache from a long night of not sleeping, or are just plain dehydrated.

Fresh ginger (peeled and sliced)
Apple slices OR a few mint sprigs
Seltzer water

1) Peel and slice your ginger (you need about 3 thin ginger slices per glass)
2) Rinse and slice your apple (or rinse off your mint)
3) Pour yourself a glass of seltzer and drop your ingredients in
4) Let it sit for 30 seconds or so, then sip away!

Note: If you want to have this all prepped and ready the night before you go out, use a pitcher of flat water and add a handful of ginger slices.  The ginger effervesces when it hits the water, and ultimately reduces some of the carbonation from the seltzer, so leaving it overnight would likely result in your beverage going completely flat.

MaterialsChopped IngredientsFizzingFinal Product



As someone who eats peanut butter in one way or another every day at breakfast, the concept of Peanuts4Peanuts strikes me as an awesome way to regularly (and easily!) do my part to help those who are less fortunate.  Haven’t heard of the organization?  Perhaps that’s because it’s an awesome start-up that recently launched here in Boston!  Co-Founders Lizzie Faust and Kendra Wilkins have started Peanuts4Peanuts to combat chronic malnutrition in Haiti.  It works just like the name suggests…You buy a jar of peanut butter here in the US, and a dose of medicinal peanut butter is given to a child in Haiti.  Peanuts for peanuts.  The concept sounds simple, but getting a start-up off the ground isn’t.  Lizzie and Kendra need our help getting their operation up and running.  Here’s what you need to know:

What is Peanuts4Peanuts, in a nutshell? (pun intended, sorry I had to)
L&K: Peanuts4Peanuts is a Boston-based start-up that helps to treat malnourished children in Haiti through a sustainable economic model built around the concept of selling peanut butter. We use U.S. grown peanuts and produce our peanut butter in a facility right outside of Boston.  For every jar we sell, a dose of micronutrient fortified peanut butter will be provided to a malnourished child in Haiti. We all love peanut butter! But now, with Peanuts4Peanuts, there’s more to love!
What stage are you currently at in the process of developing the organization?
L&K: We are in discussions with potential partners in Haiti who will help us distribute the peanut butter. Our manufacturer is all set to produce the Peanuts4Peanuts peanut butter once we give them the green light. And we have stores lined up in the South End excited to sell our product! All we need is the initial capital to get this moving!
Why Haiti? 
L: I have done economic analyses for Partners in Health and Gheskio HIV/TB Clinic, non-profit organizations that are based in Haiti. Last fall, I went to Haiti and was introduced to medicinal peanut butter. Medicinal peanut butter has really revolutionized the way children are treated for malnutrition because it doesn’t require water, a scarce resource in most developing countries. Over 80,000 children die from malnutrition in Haiti each year, but with proper treatment, this number could be zero.
What kind of impact can Peanuts4Peanuts have in Haiti?
L&K: If left untreated, chronic malnutrition can have a serious impact on the country as a whole, because it results in increased risk of contracting HIV, low school attendance, and decreased productivity. Peanuts4Peanuts will not only help to directly treat these children, but through the employment of Haitian farmers and factory employees, we will be generating income to help reduce poverty and food insecurity across the country.
What can we all do to help?
L&K: Spread the word!  Check out our IndieGoGo campaign and LIKE us on Facebook. If we reach $10,000 by the end of the week, one of our Facebook fans will win a FREE Peanuts4Peanuts t-shirt or tank! 
Is there anything else we should know?
L: Kendra and I were recently accepted to an entrepreneurship program in Silicon Valley. We’ll be heading to California for 7 weeks this fall to work on Peanuts4Peanuts. We are doing everything we can to make sure this company is a success and we can’t thank our backers and Facebook fans enough for all the support!

Their fundraising deadline on IndieGoGo is September 13, and they only receive funding if they reach their goals.  So hop over and help them (and really malnourished kids in Haiti) out!

DIY Doloris Petunia

I discovered Doloris Petunia while reading Cupcakes & Cashmere.  The particularly sparkly statement necklaces featured on C&C are inspirational, but a little too over the top for me.  Not to mention pricey.  But they did prompt me to visit her site, where I found some fun pieces featuring colorful, matte stones.  But again, a bit too much going on, at way too high of a price point. So I decided it would be fun to DIY some jewelry a la Doloris Petunia (Tom Binns also makes some pretty awesome stuff that has a similar feel).

1) Nail polish (here, and here)
2) Tooth Picks
3) Earrings (like these, or these, or just do an Etsy search for “rhinestone drop earrings”)

Nail Polish SelectionChoosing ColorsI tested out a couple of color palettes on a piece of poster board to see which I liked best.
Mid-PaintDip a toothpick into your first color of polish and dab it onto a rhinestone.  I did a bigger dot of paint on top that I then spread to the edges using the tip of the toothpick.  Splurge and use a new toothpick per color, per earring for precision’s sake.  There are no photos of me actually painting.  Sorry but I only have two hands.
Finished product!Final product! Let them dry for a half hour or so before wearing.

Let’s NOT grab a drink…

the beautiful Boston skyline

the beautiful Boston skyline

That title sounds weird, I know.  But it’s a serious goal I’ve started setting for myself.  With ever-changing, ever-busy schedules, it can be pretty tough to find a free minute to spend with friends.  And when we do find free minutes, the default is to grab a drink at a local bar.  Now, don’t get me wrong, that can be an absolute blast.  But it can also be expensive and pretty unhealthy.  I’m no Miss Fitness (I can easily eat an entire party-sized bag of Cape Cod Salt & Vinegar chips in one sitting), but between cocktails with coworkers and boozy weekends, I sometimes like my dates with girlfriends to be alcohol free.

SO, if you just so happen to agree with me and live in the Boston area, here are a couple of activities I’m hoping to take part in during the next month:

St. Anthony’s feast is this weekend in the North End!  Not healthy, but still fun.
Boston has an interesting Street Seats art exhibit going on now in the Fort Point Channel.
Have you seen the Cool Globes yet?
Boston Ballet’s FREE Night of Stars is Sept. 21.  I’m so excited to go see ballet outdoors!
DIY projects can be intimidating but Darby Smart makes it easy, fun, and cheap (does anybody else accidentally spend hundreds of dollars at Micheal’s buying supplies?).
FREE pilates/yoga/bootcamp classes at Normal B. Leventhal Park in P.O. Square (financial district)!

Boston Bloggers Summer Soiree

I attended the Boston Bloggers Summer Soiree at the Sinclair in Cambridge last night, and it was an absolute BLAST.  There was a great mix of veterans and newcomers and I had a fantastic time chatting blogs and life with such an awesome group.  Unfortunately I had so much fun at my first Boston Bloggers event that I neglected to take any pictures.  Whoops.

our program for the night

our program for the night

I had initially planned on wearing white jeans with these woven booties, as the weather has been chilly in Boston.  But of course a late August heat wave is hitting the city, so I decided to take full advantage and wear a fun summer outfit (subtext: I panicked about my outfit before deciding and ultimately left my room looking like a pack of 6th graders had just used it to get ready for a middle school dance).

Top, Skirt (H&M-old, similar), Necklace, Earrings (Vintage, similar, similar), Bracelets, Watch, Ring (loulou Boutique)

Top (in black), Skirt-old H&M (similar), Necklace, Earrings-vintage (similar, similar), Bracelets (bought at Crush), Watch, Ring-loulou

shoes-old Enzo Angiolini (similar), nail polish

shoes-old Enzo Angiolini (similar), Bikini So Teeny Polish

I arrived only a few minutes late, and met a fellow blogger on my way in the door (and she was wearing a shirt that she had made…so cool)!  The rest of the night was full of meeting new people and putting faces to a few Boston blogs that I already read.  I had a moscow mule, obviously.  And the Sinclair made some tasty apps for us all to gorge nibble on.  All in all the soiree was definitely a success…thanks to Kate and Alison for hosting!

Here are some of the fun blogs I learned about last night: Forever and a Recipe, Like So Pretty, Pam Sahota, Books and Liquor, Gluten Free Boston Girl, My Sunday Dress, Alone with a Cupcake, Another Clean Slate, Hogger & Co, A Drink with a Stranger