Monthly Archives: February 2012

Inspired By: Jay Parkinson, MD + MPH

This photo has almost nothing to do with this post, except that Jay Parkinson would totally approve of my farm-fresh tomatoes that I once upon a time (summer) bought at the Copley Square Farmers Market.  Yum!

There is so much more to the internet than sycophantic fashion blogs about Miu Miu booties, lipstick color-wheels, and hoarded images of immaculate homes that none of us will ever own.  You guys, there are actually people out there who are making a difference in our livelihoods, our life cycles, and our life span.  People like Jay Parkinson, MD + MPH.  Jay is a doctor living in NYC who is creatively rethinking the health care industry, educating millions of readers through his blog, and impacts people using modern tools like the internet (and most you of thought doctors didn’t even know how to type, didn’t you…). 

If you’ve heard of him, great!  If you haven’t, do yourself a favor and check him out. When he’s not debunking pharma-backed medical studies or designing new platforms that allow doctors to communicate with their patients in ways that actually matter, he’s inspiring his readers to live a more healthy life, and he does it in a really relatable, exciting way.  Like, I constantly want to high-five him, and before reading his blog I couldn’t have cared less about health care.

Wait, let me amend that last statement: I cared a lot about health care.  For a long time now, I’ve been of the opinion that the entire health care system many of us put up with (and pay a lot of money to put up with) is a disgusting, money-hungry, faceless industry that serves corporations, not people.  It wasn’t until stumbling upon Jay Parkinson that I felt some kind of hope about my future health care- because, to be real, my perfect health record isn’t going to last forever (why yes bartender, I’ll have another Manhattan, please!)… 

I especially love Parkinson’s tone.  Though he harps on certain unhealthful practices on his blog (being too sedentary, smoking, etc.) he is never preachy.  I especially love that he doesn’t trap himself in the land of black and white/right and wrong.  For instance, this is his definition of health:
Healthy, happy living is about eating well; being active; having close relationships; enjoying sex; taking pride in what you do for a living; optimizing your environment; and moderating sabotage.
That’s about the closest definition of health I can write.” 

When I say that for the last three days I have done nothing internet-related besides read his writing, I am only partially lying.  This man is so genuine, imaginative, optimistic and captivating!  I want him to be my doctor, I want him to be my friend, and I want more doctors to be just like him.  In fact, I’d like to see more people in all industries be more like him!  I’m excited to see how young Jay Parkinson, MD will change our world.  Let’s all agree to help change this world to be a more beautiful place along with him.  One, two, three, GO!

Coco @ The Clarke Cooke House

Sunday was an arrestingly gorgeous day.  The sun was out, the air was crisp and we thought it a perfect day to drive to Newport to visit our favorite seaside restaurant, The Clarke Cooke House. Our dear friends Coco & Tobi piled in the car with us, and together we enjoyed a long afternoon sipping cocktails in the sun.

The Clarke Cooke House has a number of different spots to settle in for a nibble and a drink, but David and I always choose to sit in their wharf-level bar and bistro, the Candy Store.  In the summer, they open the windows to Bannister’s Wharf and it’s the next best thing to dining on an actual boat.  The food is delicious, the ambiance is positively delightful and the drinks are made well.  If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it.  A detail about the Candy Store that I particularly love is that it’s  only open until sundown.  After they close the downstairs bar, guests are welcome to move upstairs to the Bistro.  How sweet and old-timey is that?

I wanted to share some pictures I took of Coco in the Candy Store.  She was wearing a lovely silk cardigan by Barneys buyer turned fashion designer, Wayne, and a pair of Rag & Bone jodhpurs that I’ve been eying for myself for weeks (they go with everything).  Coco is an amazing friend and I’m so pleased to have her (and Tobi) in my life.  I will miss them enormously upon our departure and will remember afternoons like this with them forever.

Burns Supper in Boston

On Saturday night, our friend Janeen hosted the 2nd Annual Burns Supper in Boston.  David (and a few others) wore the traditional dress, but most of us made do with whatever plaid we had lying around and used the occasion as yet another excuse to drink Scotch and mingle with friends.  David, being a co-founder of the event as well as the most Scottish person among our friends, gave the Address To A Haggis* in a v. convincing Scottish accent.  None of us really knew what he was talking about, but it sounded convincing and he looked damn good doing it.

Many thanks to everyone who came out to the party and an enormous thank you to the lovely Janeen who opened her home to a whole bunch of kilt-wearing weirdos for the night!  Xoxo one and all! 

*Yes, many people enjoyed the haggis.  No, I was not one of them.

Oooooh goodie- the weekend!

Today was a crazy day at the Avanti Beauty Factory.  We seem to be skipping the slow season completely this year and we had the salon operating at maximum capacity for much of the day.  After standing in heels for many many many hours, my little feet are tired and my eyes are sleepy, but I’m determined to get out and enjoy this weekend!  I hope you have a good time, too.


Breckenridge Distillery @ Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar

On Wednesday night (before our Tasty Burger incident…), we visited our friends over at Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar.  They were hosting some folks from Breckenridge Distillery for an evening of cocktails featuring their spirits. 

David and I drank delicious Manhattans with Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey.  The high-rye whiskey was smooth and contained a hint of vanilla that lingered on the tongue and warmed the belly.  The folks at Breckenridge really seem to love what they do, and they put a lot of thought and hard work into each of their spirits.  I’d never had their Bourbon Whiskey before, but I’ll certainly be having it again.

Later in the evening, we asked John (one of our favorite bartenders) to break out the tumblers so we could enjoy a glass of whiskey on the rocks.  He happily obliged.  (And when we say rocks, we mean one giant ice sphere- a slow-melting orb of ice that perfectly cools a sipping spirit and looks positively gorgeous in a glass.)

And that, my friends, is how you make a ice sphere!  Be careful not to chip a tooth…

Many thanks to Breckenridge Distillery for making such a fine spirit and thank you to Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar for being awesome, as always.

Inspired By: It’s Lonely in the Modern World

I realized when taking these photos that Slum Castle (the manor in which I reside) seems to have eaten my tripod.  I searched high and low, in suitcases and cupboards, but could not find my tripod.  Ergo, I apologize for the wonkiness of the pictures.  I also used really inconsistent light, but that is neither here nor there.

Now that I’m finished with the disclaimers, let me tell you more about what’s inspiring me today!  My BFFL, David, has a flat in a Narnia-sounding town south-east of London named Tunbridge Wells (Royal Tunbridge Wells, if you’re feeling fancy, which I am).  One of his two sons (which you will learn about in a later posts, I’m sure) lives in said flat, which is a two bed, two bath, sunny-ish space.  The square footage and layout isn’t terrible, but the place could use some finishing touches and I am very much looking forward to fixing up the flat (there are some missing doorknobs, to say the least), painting everything, and then getting the hell out of there.

To give you some insight into my future life, I will confess to having no idea what I’m going to be doing with myself after I move to the UK.  Obviously, I intend on gaining some kind of [v. v. lucrative] employment, but if we’re able, I’d like to take two months off to acclimate to my new surroundings upon landing in the foreign land.  A v. v. important part of my acclimation process will be transforming his son’s [/our] bachelor pad into a livable space (no offense, Ben, if you’re reading this!).  To gain inspiration for this endeavor, I have turned to the design guide It’s Lonely in the Modern World written by Molly Jane Quinn and illustrated by Jenna Talbott, aka the founders of Unhappy Hipsters

Before the FALALAFABULOUS holiday season, a dear friend and I went to a book signing party at Twelve Chairs for the launch of the book (the ladies behind it were Boston-based at the time of its conception).  While the book is tongue-and-cheek, it’s still a really fun read for anyone with a modern aesthetic and a love for modernist decorating.  It’s a mixture of sage advice and snarky commentary, which I lovelovelove.  My favorite part of the entire book is on page 34 when they’re writing about “The Kitchen Checklist” and dismiss the usefulness of the pantry by saying, “What is this, the Depression?” Ha!  Though it’s not a super tool for modern living, it is a fun read and I recommend it (it’s also a great gift.  I recommend gifting it in addendum to the Design Sponge book).

I really can’t wait to move to the UK and DIY the shit out of the flat.  And yes, I’ll be documenting my every improvement (and every improvement failure).  Stay tuned….