Hourglass Boston


The other day while casually scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook, I came across an article from the Boston Globe featuring a pop-up shop event happening soon. I am a person who loves the concept of a pop-up event, but also someone who almost never hears about one in time to visit. This time around though, the event found ME. Hourglass Boston, described on the site as a concept store that is both a boutique and content studio, was started by Project Runway winner, Erin Robertson, and product designer, Nicole Fichera. As explained to me by a nice gentleman in trendy glasses, Hourglass is meant to not only be a retail space but one for Boston artists and creatives to come in and use as their own studio with props, photo backgrounds, and helpful workshops. Hourglass is meant to inspire. And honestly, the moment I walked into the store (just a short walk from Kenmore), I couldn't help BUT feel inspired.


This studio is very millennial-forward, designed specifically to be featured on Instagram. I was tentative at first to take pictures, conditioned by the many times employees in other stores have insisted that pictures were strictly prohibited. But at Hourglass, photos are not only allowed but encouraged. Fun and kitschy props can be found everywhere, and there's even a spectacularly hot pink backdrop for photo shoots. 


Since this is also a retail space for both Erin and Nicole's creations, let's take a moment to talk about it. Neither Erin nor Nicole are afraid to work with color; it's absolutely everywhere. Erin's wild, vibrant, fun, and lively clothing design style meshes perfectly with the quirkiness and whimsy of Nicole's chic upcycled pieces. Speaking of Erin and Nicole, both women were around, greeting everyone warmly, explaining their vision for Hourglass and how it came to be, and taking fan pictures in front of their pieces. While everyone was encouraged to try on clothes, there was absolutely no pressure to buy.


Hourglass is a store that sells items celebrating the bubbliness of life. From oversized ruffled crop tops to flowers made of sequins, to geometric, neon-colored plastic earrings, and upcycled porcelain teacups with profanities written on them as colorful as the floral pattern surrounding them, everything featured at Hourglass, while not always conventionally practical, is meant to remind you to incorporate a little fun in your life. My only gripe with the store, and it's a little one, is that I never found anything small but tangible to buy like a postcard or even a small $5 or $10 canvas tote with the Hourglass logo to carry around. Pop-up shops by nature are fleeting, so it would've been cool to have little pieces of memorabilia to keep.

Since I'd just come from admiring the "French Pastels" and "Cassanova's Europe" exhibits at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, I was in the perfect head-space to appreciate Hourglass for exactly what it is: an expression of artistry. Erin and Nicole are both artists first, and sellers second. We are part of the Maker Generation, and Hourglass is the perfect product of that. 


Hourglass Boston is open now through late September 2018 at 1327 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02115, Wednesday-Sunday 11am-7pm.

Homemade Oreos

oreo5 I've been missing Boston lately. More specifically, I've been missing my local eateries; and there were many. I miss reading about new restaurants opening, and just hopping on the train, hopping in line, and experiencing something first-hand instead of reading about it later. And when I get into a mood like this, I turn to my cookbooks, for they always know how to cheer a girl up. Do you know what also cheers a girl up? Chocolate. Chocolate cookies. Buttercream frosting. Buttercream frosting sandwiched between two chocolate cookies. Oreos. I'm talking about Oreos.

The first time I ever visited Flour Bakery I was amazed by the selection of truly beautiful foods. How could they fit so much loveliness into such limited space? But more importantly, I was amazed by the sheer unpretentiousness of what Flour had to offer. Some of the biggest bakeries in the city try to dazzle you with sophisticated names, bright lights, fancy decorations, and anything else they can think of to draw you in. Don't get me wrong, I like to be dazzled by complicated creations as much as the next food lover, but sometimes I want a no-frills, just great taste, bakery experience. And while Flour did have cases filled to the brim with impressive pastries and sandwiches, it also stayed true to the neighborhood bakery feel with classic cakes and cookies that I grew up eating. I loved that Flour could take a childhood classic, like an Oreo, and make it completely rustic and completely their own. It was that sort of approachability to the classics that made me come back every time.

So, on days when that feeling of missing something just won't go away, I have to slip on the apron, and make it at home. Oreos, here we come.

oreos 1I think the only thing that I was truly worried about when making these cookies was rolling up the dough. I'd never done slice-and-bake cookies before, and perhaps this was unnecessary, but I felt that the task might be a little daunting. What if I didn't roll the log into a smooth enough shape? What if, when I went to slice them, I would slice too thinly or too thickly? What if, in an especially clumsy state, I went to cut the log and the whole thing went rolling to the floor? Two out of three scenarios actually happened. I'll let you guess which ones.

oreo2In all honesty, I probably shouldn't have been so nervous. Though it wasn't the smoothest log that it could've been, it still had a nice shape, and I was able to get great cookies out of it. Yes, I did slice a few too thinly, and also a few slightly thicker than the rest, but the trick is to make sure every cookie has a mate. These are sandwich cookies after all! And as good as these cookies taste on their own, trust me, you'll want that buttercream frosting on every single one. No buttercream shall go to waste!


It's almost scary how good these cookies are. They're partially crunchy, partially fudgey, partially creamy, and wholly delicious. And also sooo unbelievably tasty paired with a nice glass of whole milk. They're a little too big for dunking in the average-sized glass, but you can always break them up into pieces should the need for dunking arise.

Boy, am I going to miss these cookies when they're gone.


What You'll Need:

For the Cookies:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

For the Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened and at room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • dash of kosher salt


In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and granulated sugar until well combined. Next, whisk in the vanilla extract and melted chocolate. Add the egg and whisk until well combined.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda until well combined. With a wooden spoon, slowly add the flour mixture into the bowl with the chocolate mixture. As you’re mixing, the dough might seem to get a little tougher to work with; don’t worry, that’s normal. Once it comes together, it should have a play dough-like consistency. Let the dough rest at room temperature for one hour to firm up.

Cut out a 15-inch sheet of either parchment or wax paper (I used wax paper), and carefully transfer the dough onto it. With your hands, roughly shape the dough into a log about 10 inches long. Place the log on the end of the sheet of wax or parchment paper, and roll the paper around the log. With the paper fully around the log, roll it into a smoother log shape. (I cut into an old paper towel roll, and used that to roll the log into a smoother shape.) Refrigerate for at least two hours, or overnight.) It may lose its shape while resting in the fridge, so make sure to check on it once in a while and take it out for a re-roll.

When it’s time to bake:

With a rack positioned in the center of the oven, heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. (Depending on how many cookies you slice, you may end up lining several baking sheets.)

Take your log out of the refrigerator, and let sit for a a minute or two to soften a little bit. Cut the log into 1/4 inch thick slices. (It should be noted that I tried to do this, and only managed to slice 1/4 inch slices some of the time. If you end up in the same boat as I was remember this: just try to keep your slices evenly sized, whatever you do.)

Place your slices about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet, as they tend to spread a little bit while baking.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cookies are firm to the touch. Make sure to keep a close eye on them, and after about 17 minutes, gently poke them in the middle to see if they’re firm. As soon as they’re firm to the touch, take them out of the oven. (Determining how long to keep them in will depend on your oven. For me, they weren’t firm until they’d been in for 21 minutes, so make sure to test your cookies for yourself!)

Let your cookies rest on the baking sheet(s) until they’ve come to room temperature. (It’s important that your cookies have cooled properly. If they’re too warm, the delicious buttercream will melt and slide right off of them. No one wants that.)

While your cookies are cooling, let’s make the filling!

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), beat the butter on low until it’s completely smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla, and beat on low until the mixture is smooth and well combined. Next, add the milk and a dash of kosher salt, and beat until smooth. (Should have a putty-like consistency.)

Scoop about a tablespoon’s worth of filling onto the bottom side of one cookie. Top it with another cookie, bottom side down. CAREFULLY press the cookies together, allowing the filling to spread evenly toward the edges. Repeat until all the sandwich cookies have been made.

*Store in an air-tight container to retain freshness.*


SOURCE: Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe 

Loretta's Last Call, Y'all

photo 1 Wednesday I went out with my old pal Melyssa, who I've known since pretty much the beginning of Sophomore year. She's the person I turn to when I want to check out a new restaurant, so when she sent me an article announcing the opening of a new Southern eatery in Fenway, I was beyond stoked! I had yet to find an authentic Country experience in Boston, and I'd all but given up hope. Enter: Loretta's Last Call, the only place in Boston that tempted me to pull on my cowboy boots in 90 degree weather.

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The whole restaurant is a tribute to Honky-Tonk, right down to the giant jukebox with Country classics, and the hundreds of records and pictures on the walls. There's even a stage all lit up for live music. We picked a night where there was no fellow in a ten gallon hat serenading us with a twang, but it just gives us an excuse to come back!

I was impressed with the menu even before we got there.  Along with mouth-watering dishes, the drink menu was off the charts! If you're a fan of whiskey, Loretta's is your place. But Melyssa  and I were in the mood for a good cocktail, and after much deliberation, we decided on The Dogwood: grapefruit juice, moonshine, elderflower liqueur, and garnished with a lemon. And of course it wouldn't be appropriate for a good home country restaurant to not serve their specialty drinks in Mason Jars! The Dogwood was perfect, refreshing, and exactly what you need on a hot summer's evening.

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Now, let's get down to the food. No one makes good Southern food better than my grandmothers, let's just be honest. They're the reason I believe in whole milk and butter in everything that I make. But since my Grammy and Grandmama both reside in Nashville, Loretta's is where I'll be going when I need a good buttermilk fried chicken fix.  Generally, Melyssa and I are big chatterboxes, but once our food was served, all you could hear was the music. It was crispy, it was a little spicy, the meat so tender, and utterly satisfying. And I have to say, I'm very impressed. I can be a bit critical when it comes to food I grew up with, so I don't give my compliments lightly. Out of all the Southern establishments I've patronized in Boston, I'm only wiling to make the trek to Fenway from now on. And if you're in the mood for some good biscuits, might I suggest the Fried Buttermilk Biscuits with Maple Butter for dessert? Share it with a friend. You won't regret it.

One thing I would like to note very quickly though: once our food was taken away, it really seemed like they were trying to hurry us out, even though the restaurant was pretty empty. Sure, there was a home Red Sox game that day, but it wasn't over yet, so there was no rush from hungry baseball fans. We came to relax and take it all in, so in the future, let us sit for a bit, eh? We paid, and we liked it there!

Now, if you'll excuse me, talking about the South for so long has made me miss Nashville, and so I'm going to go cry in a corner listening to some Patsy Cline for a while.


How was your weekend??

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Let's Go on a Trip

I'm off to New York for the Fourth of July Weekend, and to say I'm excited would be...like the grossest understatement in the history of understatements. Five (almost six!) years in Boston, and I have not once ventured to NYCGoing to The Big Apple used to be the big trip of the summer for my family, but the last time I stepped foot in that beautiful city was all the way back in 2004. Needless to say, I am long overdue. Here are some of the things I'd like to bring with me for the big adventure! Screen Shot 2014-06-29 at 8.14.20 PM

Merona Stripe Weekender Duffle Handbag // River Island Ora Sunglasses // Revlon ColorBurst Lacquer Balm in "Provocative" // San Diego Hat Company Striped Sun Hat // Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel // Cath Kidston Set of 2 Provence Rose Travel Laundry Bags


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Cupcakes and a Movie

photo I had my first Cakeology experience downtown and I have to say: DELICIOUS. Not only do they have beautiful full-size treats, but mini cupcakes as well. I tried two, and I WILL BE BACK.


Also, finally, FINALLY saw Belle after reading about it in Entertainment Weekly for a few months now! Go see it if you love period pieces (and you know I do.)


Here's the trailer:



Happy Thursday!

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Time for Key Lime (Pie)

This is late. This is CRAZY late. But better late than never, right? RIGHT!? DSCN0634

For my work chum's birthday I've been saying for months that I would make him a key lime pie, because he will eat anything citrusy. So I finally did.


Graham cracker crusts are the easiest crusts to make in the whole wide world.  A little butter, some sugar, a little baking, and you're in business.

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And making the filling is even easier! Like shockingly easy. Like I thought I had done something wrong, it was so easy. And what I like about the recipe I found is, you use every part of the lime. Fresh lime juice. Check. Lemon zest. Extra check. It gave it more of kick, and I think my chums really liked it.



Graham Cracker Crust

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs 3 tablespoons sugar 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Key Lime Filling

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk 4 large egg yolks Zest of 1 large lime 1/2 cup lime juice, from 5 limes

 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter with a fork. Mix until graham cracker crumbs are moist. Press mixture into a 9 inch pie plate or dish. Pat down the bottom and sides. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

While the crust is baking, prepare filling. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks. Whisk until well combined. Add in the lime zest, and lime juice. Whisk well. Set mixture aside. It will thicken up as it sits.

When the pie crust has cooled to slightly warm or room temperature, pour the lime filling over the pie crust. Bake for 15-17 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack. When cool, chill the pie in the refrigerator. The filling will set up as it cools. Chill for at least one hour before serving.

Serve cold.


SOURCE: Two Peas and Their Pod


Happy Friday!

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Birthday Weekend in Pictures!

Birthdays are great when you can spend them with friends! photo

Something I don't do very often is get very, very dressed up. And I never wear heels. It's not that I can't walk in them, it's that Boston has more cobblestone streets than I'd like to count, and walking on those, with heels that could break your ankles, is not a good time. But if you can't dress up on your birthday, when can you?

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FINALLY I can cross the Tip Tap Room off of my list of places to visit! If you've never been, you must go for the huge selections of beers on tap (Get it? Tip TAP Room) alone! Go for the beer, stay for the pleasantly unusual menu. Antelope Meat Loaf? Okay!

We ended up choosing the classic Steak Tips, and a special for the night: Korean Style Ribs with Kimchi! Loved it. There was a time when I would turn down any spicy food, but now that I'm older and more mature (Kind of. Not really.) I've learned to welcome all of the flavors into my life.


After dinner we went dancing at West End Johnnies on Portland Street, then hobbled home, vowing to never wear heels again.

Until next year, I guess.


Happy Wednesday!

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Address Me as "Your Majesty"

I'm the Birthday Princess! Today was such a simple, such a LOVELY day.

You know how people say that as they get older, they don't really care about doing it big for birthdays anymore? All they really care about is being with the ones they love? I get that. For some reason, there's all this pressure to have a good time on your birthday, making it incredible, and that's too much to live up to. I'd rather be close to the ones that I cherish, eat some good comfort food, then eat again. And take lots of pictures. So that's what I did. I took pictures, ate, laughed, ate, took more pictures, went in search of more food. And it was the best birthday yet.

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I feel like Gourmet Dumpling House is one of Boston's best kept secrets. Tucked away in the heart of Chinatown, you'll pass by a lot of delicious options before you find this place. But there's a reason that the line runs out the door most nights. I can say without a doubt that those are the best dumplings in Boston. HANDS DOWN. And I have had many, many dumplings. I don't know what they do, but they do it well. It has been a staple dinner place in my friend group for many years, and those I take there know how sacred it is. And don't you dare leave until you've had an order of scallion pancakes. Good gracious, now I want some.

I also brought a disposable camera that I picked up from the pharmacy. I miss the days of using film, so I'm trying to get myself back into it. So far so good. Anna was kind enough to put up with me taking "artistic" shots from the crosswalk.

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I know I'm so late to the macaron trend, but I can't believe how much one of these can change my entire day. We went in search of the Cameo Macaron truck and found it parked by Prudential. I memorized the walk because I think I'll be making it rather often this summer. We ate our cookies by the water and waxed nostalgic about how much we've grown and changed in seven years. She's graduating and going home soon, so being with her today made this  birthday so much better.

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What am I going to do without my beautiful best friend? Ah well, we'll manage. We always do.


It's my birthday, and I'm drinking a mini bottle of Pink Moscato bubbly. This is the life.


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Lilac Sunday at the Arboretum!

Okay, let me start this off by saying that I didn't actually get any pictures of the lilacs... BUT, I did get a sunburn! Yeah!

Honestly, I head out to the Arboretum every single chance I get, but this Sunday was ESPECIALLY special because in addition to it being Lilac Sunday (a celebration of some sweet smellin' floret), it was also a special edition of the New England Food Truck Festival! Where there is food truck, you will find Sydney.


The "Hub" Burger from Boston's Baddest Burgers, with provolone cheese and special garlic aioli.


Ahem...So...A couple things:

1. We waited for an hour and half for food because the lines were BEYOND anything I've ever seen. Beyond.

2. The lines were so long that the trucks actually ran out of food!

3. I saw more dogs than you can ever imagine, and it took absolutely everything I had not to burst out of line every other minute to scratch each one under the chin.

4. Next time around, a little organization will go a long way.

The entirety of Boston will crowd an area if there is even the hint of a possibility that food will be prepared then distributed from a truck. It's a fact. I know this because I am right there with everyone else throwing my money into someone's hands and telling them I'll take one of everything. When you mix a mob of hungry people pushing strollers and obsessively reapplying sunscreen with a fleet of massive mobile resturants both hogging up walking paths that are quite wide, but not wide enough, you're spelling trouble. And though my arms now bear resemblance to our little lobster friends from standing in one spot for a little too long, today and today only, I got to have my picnic at the Arnold Arboretum. And I will cherish the memory, as well as the heap of macarons I brought home.

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Here are few macaroon flavors that I'd like to introduce you to:

-Rose Petal

-Honey Lavender

-Earl Grey

-Creme Brûlée.


Oh yeah.  And we got those babies first, after only waiting in a five minute line. Why couldn't they have all been like that? You rock, Cameo Macaron!


We had fun. Do I think the Arboretum maybe wasn't a good choice for this kind of event? Kind of.  But you just can't beat beautiful days like today, and what better way to celebrate a clear blue sky than with piles of food?





Happy Mother's Day, my babies.

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Lunching at The Trade Lounge

We talked about owl bodily functions, we talked about state laws when it comes to deer on the side of the road, we talked about beer, and we talked about Anthony Bourdain. My work chums are simply the best. photo

Let me ask you a very, very important question: HAVE you been to the Trade Lounge?

If the answer is "no," put down what you're eating, and make reservations THIS INSTANT.

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Go to Trade Lounge.


That is all.


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