Monthly Archives: August 2012

Olives & Grace

A little over a year ago, I met a really wonderful woman named Sofi Madison.  She was a client at the salon and, at the time, was working on a innovative corporate gifting idea that focused on local artisans and handcrafted, thoughtful goods.  I’ll be honest, when Sofi was telling me about her vision, I fell a little bit in love.  It’s like she was speaking to my soul and I knew she was onto something good.  Well, Sofi just opened a beautiful store on the corner of Tremont and Pembroke in Boston’s South End called Olives & Grace.

The next time you need a housewarming present, a thank you gift, or a special treat for yourself, please visit Olives & Grace.  People like Sofi and stores like O&G change communities, impact the lives of the artisans they work with, and are truly wonderful places that deserve truly wonderful customers such as yourself.  So visit.  And then tell me all about it, because I’m dying to hear more details!

p.s. She sells Lemon and Sea Salt Popcorn by Quinn Popcorn, an organic (and super cool) microwave popcorn company based in Massachusetts, and I think that sounds like eating heaven.  For realz.
p.p.s. Visit O&G on Facebook, too.

(photo via Olives & Grace)

Olives and Grace is located at 81 Pembroke Street and is open Tuesday- Sunday from noon- 8 pm. 

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, August 28
I know I said I wasn’t going to do any more boring TWM posts, but you guys, I am boring, so you’re just going to have to hang in there as we go down this sad and lonely journey.
Let’s begin:
I’m just going to come on out and say it: I hate waking up in the morning.  Well, wait.  That’s not entirely true.  If I have something to do (work, meet a friend, an appointment, etc.), I enjoy waking up.  But if you give me an opportunity to sleep in, I will take that opportunity every. single. time.
 There was so much green in this window, it was overwhelming!
High brow, low brow.
 The worst part about working from home is having to keep up with washing the staggering number of dishes that pile up next to the sink throughout the day.  Coffee mugs, tea mugs, water glasses, toast plates, more toast plates for when you realize your first serving of toast just wasn’t enough, random cutlery, cheese graters, etc.  Alas, prune fingers for meeee!
I love honey.  I love things that are produced locally.  I love this honey.
Got groceries.  Filled my fruit bowl.
That ‘Z’ depresses me.
Le sigh…
The view from my window.  Sometimes I worry that if there’s a fire I’ll have to jump into those bushes, which would hurt a lot a lot a lot.  I hope there’s never a fire.  If there is a fire, I’ll just wrap myself in my duvet before I jump into the bushes. That should protect me from some of the twigs, right?
When I went to Italy last year, a client graciously lent me the book- which is not to be confused with the atrocious movie starring Diane Lane that is based on the book- Under The Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes.  I’m just now getting around to reading it and wanted to pass along a word of warning to anyone who follows in my literary footsteps: you will need to drink wine whilst reading this book.  It’s like Pavlovian Wino-ism, and I can’t even look at the book without wanting to uncork a bottle, put my feet up, and eat figs that grow along the terrace whilst drinking a glass of red… except I don’t have a terrace, but whatever.  If you read this book, make sure food and drink are close at hand!  I’m serious.
 David made me dinner.  Again.  He’s too good to me.  
I don’t can’t wear heels as often as I used to.  This is mostly due to how much walking my villiage-life requires of me and is tragic because I only own two pairs of socially acceptable flats.  This is also tragic because my little feet miss my beautiful heels.  To combat my high heel withdrawal, I sometimes wear heels around the house.
Last night, I put on these beauties and strut down to the gas station to buy some ginger biscuits.  Then I came home.  It was glamorous!
This is the point in the evening where everything just kinda fell apart…
You see, David and I started watching Breaking Bad last week and we’ve accidentally become Breaking Bad junkies.  Like, we just can’t get enough.  It’s a problem.
But hopefully not a problem for long seeing as we’re blowing through seasons faster than Elton John blows through money and are optimistic that we’ll have this little ‘problem’ out of our system by next week. 
Anyway, that was my super exciting Tusday.  Don’t die of jealousy, okay.

Just Call Me Mary Poppins, or Whatever

One of my clients (and, after years of working together, dear dear friends) is executing a major re-branding this week, complete with a move to a new location.  I am proud of this client, I am invested in this client, and I am excited for their new beginning, so it is killing me that I’m not there to help them coordinate the inevitable challenges that are presenting themselves in person.  Dealing with lackadaisical phone and internet companies, untimely inspectors, and last-minute workmen whilst organizing a staff and still maintaining great customer service is a challenge, people!  And that’s just a fraction of what goes down when you undergo something big big big like this.

If I could fly in for a couple days to help arrange things, field media calls and make sure everything is running correctly, and then open my umbrella and whisk myself black to England to resume my hands-off work, I would do it in a heartbeat.  The place will be spectacular no matter what (for realz), but I still wish I could get down and dirty in helping with the finishing touches.

Alas, I am here.  :(


p.s. If I ever were to pull a Mary Poppins, I would definitely choose an umbrella by Two Penny Blue.  This Ms. Starlet Umbrella, featured above, suits me quite well, I think…

Candlelit Birthdays & Fabulous Friends

I was going through some photos and happened upon these, taken at a candlelit dinner to celebrate our dear friend Coco‘s birthday just a few days before we moved.  These pictures make my heart ache for my friends in the states, for lavish dinner parties and impromptu photo shoots.  I miss the hustle of the city and the nights we spent together- our conversation fueled by laughter and cocktails- that always ended with big hugs and promises to see each other soon soon soon.

This time, it’s not soon enough.

I miss you, friends.  So so much.  xx

Sunshine and Sunnies

Things here are sunny, both figuratively and literally, and they’re getting sunnier all the time. 
I can’t stop jamming out to these mixes by Chris Baio today.   I stumbled upon them on The Fox Is Black and they’re perfect getting-it-done music.  They also remind me of being in the lounge at the Clift in San Francisco (or any of the Morgan’s Hotel Group hotels, for that matter) and because I like feeling like I’m on vacation, I find this ambiance reinforcement to be mighty fine indeed.
Just a note: I will not be doing a Tuesday with Moi  today/tomorrow because I am working from home all day today and cannot bear the idea of subjecting you to another reel of photos of my apartment/cat/Bernadette.  However, once I figure out the rest of my week, I will schedule one for Thursday or Friday. 

Picnics & Punting

We had some of our favorite friends visiting from Boston this past weekend, so we decided to take them to Cambridge for a day of picnicking and punting!  The sun was hot, the River Cam was beautifully cool, and we all had a fantastic time sipping wine and enjoying the ever-changing view along the bank.  It was a perfect way to spend a warm afternoon and we enjoyed it tremendously! 

Summer Soup

I usually wait until the weather is stifling to make gazpacho, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s never going to be stifling here in the UK, so I put on a sweater and made this yesterday.  Please note that I use the word ‘recipe’ lightly because making this soup is basically as easy as making toast and if you like chopping, you’re going to loooove it.  Unless you hate tomatoes, in which case you’re going to hate it.  For realz.

Okay.  What you really need to know is that you can add anything to this soup.  Do you want some chopped basil in there?  Go for it!  How about some fresh green beans?  SUPER!  Or maybe you want to garnish with some pine nuts or sesame seeds… Do it!  You guys, this is the easiest most fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants recipe on planet earth and I very much encourage you to play with it.

Also: I usually add half a cup (not, like, a measuring cup, but half a cup of whatever cup I have closest to me) of water to this, too.  When I used to have homemade chili oil on hand (working on it….), I used to drizzle that on top and forget the Tabasco entirely.  It was yumtastic!  Actually, it still is yumtastic!  Oh, and make sure you chill this baby.  Like, cold.  And add some salt and pepper to taste, too (duh).

And then, ENJOY!

The Good News

The Redcoat is employed again! 

Yay, we won’t have to move into a cardboard box and live off rodents that we trap and cook over bin-fires! YAYAYAY!  No, but seriously, we’re really excited.  And instead of being a super stressed evil stepmother who is hypersensitive and irritable, I’m going to start trying to be a really chill evil stepmother, one who is hospitable, friendly and open.  Maybe I’ll start baking cookies and wearing kitten heels…  Who knows!

With David working, I’ll have a lot more alone-time so I’ll be able to crank up my music and be weird and creative without interruption, which is great.  David hasn’t worked in nine months (oh my gosh, I can’t believe it’s been that long) and we’ll probably go through some separation anxiety after being together all. the. time. for that space of time, but we’re thrilled to be weening off each other and moving on with our lives.  And I really have to say, David worked his ass off* to get this job.  To get any job!  His job-hunt was a full-time position and I’m so proud of his determination and hard work.  Together, we’ll be able to grow roots and build a future here.  So we’re really excited.  So excited!  Finally.

Okay, that’s all.  BYE. 

*Not literally.  He still has an ass.  It’s cute. 

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, August 14
I know I complain about my Hobbit town a lot, but it really isn’t super terrible.  I mean, there are some treasures to be found amongst the chain stores and blah boutiques.  One such treasure is a patisserie called La Roche.  The space itself is bright and elegant, with a long marble counter and a beautiful crystal chandelier.  While the pastries are delicious, my real weakness is their beautiful rye bread.  I’m obsessed.
I bought this book on a trip to London last year and, after arriving stateside, completely forgot about it.  I’ve recently picked it up again and am really enjoying Davis’ short sketches and stories.
They’re crisp and unexpected, which I like a lot.
Okay- I’ve been meaning to post this for ages: You guys, when I was unpacking boxes after the move I found this top.  I did not purchase this top and had never seen it before pulling it out of a box.  It’s from ASOS, is a size large, and appears to be warn loved.  Is this top your top?  Do you want it back? How did I end up with it? SO MYSTERIOUS!
David and I ran some errands in town and walked up a street I’d never noticed before.
It was cute, I guess.
We stopped for cappuccino and a sandwich at an Italian deli on the High Street.  We sat at a cafe table on the sidewalk and watched all the geriatrics walk by.  I really like old people and there are a lot of them in my town.  Old people on bikes, old people walking slower than snails, old people having lunch, old people holding hands, old people waiting for the bus… They’re everywhere! 
I like to buy my flowers from a little stand next to the train station. They only take cash, so David and I dug deep in our pockets and were pleased to find we had enough for these pretty gladiolus.
They remind me of storks and I think they’re elegant.
Le Chat is in love with this exhibitionist black cat who gyrates below our window.  Le Chat would very much like the chance to go outside and play with this black cat but I forbid it, which makes her whine incessantly and give me desperate looks like this one.
I made some stationery.
Then I started a letter.
But my letter writing was interrupted by a Skype marathon with one of my dearest friends and then with my mother.  Letters are great, but I’m still super thankful for Skype.
Ladies, do yourself a favor and marry a guy who can cook.
Unless you really like cooking, in which case, do yourself a favor and marry a guy who likes to do dishes.
Don’t let the long sleeves fool you, yesterday was actually kinda warm.
To celebrate, we drank a dry rosé.
(There’s always something to celebrate…)
The Redcoat and I used to play Scrabble all the time.  We’d play at bars, on picnics, on planes, at home, etc.  When he got an iPhone, he started playing Words With Friends with everyone he’s ever met and stopped playing real Scrabble with me.
Last night, he suggested we play a real game of Scrabble.
It was so fun!
Until I lost and became grumpy.
But I’m never mad for long and in the end I forgave him for beating me winning.
We finished our wine and went to sleep, or whatever.

As always, thank you for reading!