New Year, New Me

…No, seriously guys… this one time in 2016 I sat across from my brother at Shake Shack eating pineapple and a green smoothie that I brought from home…new. me. 

It’s day 27 of 2016 and, I don’t mean to brag, but I’ve made a pretty huge dent in my lengthy list of reasonable resolutions. At last year’s end I was feeling pretty worn out. It had been a long year. A lot of shit went down, especially during the last four months or so. For one reason or another, I kind of lost sight of myself, and I was counting on 2016 to put some much needed pep in my step.

I’ve been thinking a lot about order and organization, purpose, passion and general health and wellness. I’m going to bed earlier and waking up earlier and I’m dropping my gym membership because it doesn’t make me happy. Hitting the treadmill felt like a chore and on the 2 or 3 days of the week that I didn’t get to lace up my sneaks, I was feeling really, unreasonably guilty and down on myself. (So now I’m spinning, as is a bit the bullet and purchased a package at Velo-City in a basement studio off Boylston Street in Back Bay and it’s AWESOME). I’ve made a promise to myself to read the 6 books I purchased at Target in 2015, I’m listening to Podcasts and I finally downloaded 25. I’m also making time to eat breakfast and I’m living by the “one minute rule”; if a task takes less than one minute to complete, do it now.  No more clothes draped over desk chair with their hangers left behind in the closet, no more morning coffee cups in the sink, clean dishes in the drying rack, winter coats thrown across the love seat in the living room. I’m telling you, It’s life changing. I’m off dating apps, because they’re ridiculous and I’m one click away from booking a solo trip to California this spring.

2016 is My Year and it’s off to a pretty great start.

A few things not listed above; knitting, hand-lettering and floral arranging! I’ve picked up three new hobbies in 2016 and have met some pretty incredible ladies who are following their dreams and kicking some serious ass along the way. I’m sharing their stories right here over the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

More soon…XO

TGI(blog it)F(orward)

…to put it simply, TGIF: Blog It Forward Edition.

‘Tis the season for gift giving and gift getting and splurging a little on things that sparkle. But let’s not forget, ’tis also the season to give back to those who need it most, whether it’s your bff or a stranger in the Dunkin’ line. Today I’m challenging you to spread the #FriYAY joy, any way that you can think of…BEACUSE my friends Elizabeth and Alex have challenged me to #BlogItForward.

This month, Wayfair will donate $50 to Habitat for Humanity for every blog that proudly displays the official #BlogItForward badge (look right!).

Get Inspired. Spread Kindness. Make a difference. {you can read more & grab a badge for your blog here}

Need some ideas for nice stuff to do that will no doubt make people smile?

How To Change The World and also, 20 Things We Should Say More Often should do the trick.

Anyway, here’s what I’m doing to spread holiday cheer…I wish it was something grand and extraordinary, but really, it’s quite simple.

I’m listing to JB’s Under The Mistletoe album during my morning commute, at full volume without head phones. You’re welcome, everyone on the Green line.

This month and beyond, I’m making a conscious effort to say “hello” and “thank you” each and every time I board or depart an MBTA train.

For those unfamiliar, the Boston public transportation system gets a LOT of flack, and (sometimes) rightfully so. The MBTA had a pretty rough winter (but didn’t we all?) and it’s about 1,000 years old with little to zero updates since it’s original creation. It’s far from speedy and, I mean, just look at this map…

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It’s very confusing (at least I think so) and may not always be timely, but it also gets me where I need to go on a daily basis and for that, I’m very thankful.

Side Note: I’m not very timely ever, so who am I to judge punctuality??

So let’s be sure to remember that each and every train is operated by real people with real lives and real stories and real good days and real bad days, even when you’re cold and it’s raining and T just doesn’t seem to be coming…ever…all of that is still true.

And this is important because a vast majority of Bostonians, especially “millennials” like myself, relay heavily, if not entirely, on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to get from Point A to Point B, or should I say, from The Green Line to The Silver Line.

So I take back what I said earlier. This is pretty simple, that’s true, but I also think it’s pretty grand and maybe even a little extraordinary, purely because of how infrequently it happens. A smile can go a long way and a friendly “good morning” or “thank you” can turn a persons day around; whether that person has been operating a train since 6AM, pouring your coffee, or just passing you by.

Between now and December 31st, I’m challenging my foodie friends Amanda (who’s been busy doing all kinds of good in the restaurant biz. this month), and my dear friend Janelle to #BlogItForward. Write a little ditty about something you did this holiday season to spread joy or give back, stamp the Wayfair badge on it and hit publish. It’s really quite simple.

As for the rest of you, get out there and do something awesome today! You don’t have to write about it, but you can help too.

Happy Friday, friends!

 

TGIFriYAY 

TGIF, pals!  It’s my favorite season for lists of links I love (aka Annie’s Christmas Wish List), so I’m back this week giving you just that; a list of links I love. I’m a little late this morning so hope you haven’t had too much coffee just yet. But if you haven’t (or you have) fill up your cup (again) and click around. As they say, there are plenty of hours in the day to be wasted (jk).

There’s a ton of cool things going on lately guys! Here’s a few of them that I think you shouldn’t miss:

  • I’m still dreaming about Eat Boutique Holiday Market and the gorgeous décor and the sweet people I met there and the food I ate and the stuff I discovered and the popcorn courtesy of Loyal Supply Co. and that chocolate from Apotheker’s Kitchen and….just go see for yourself. I think my eyes might be permanently heart-shaped after my first visit. Open every day until December 20th.
  • My friend Amanda does some pretty cool things always, but especially this week. She’s sharing some serious holiday love over on her site, Prim + Propah. If you like the holidays and awesome people, you’ll like this.
  • This week during #AnniesDayOff, I wandered around Harvard Square and discovered an Anthropologie I’ve never been in before, which is kind of like going on an exotic vacation. (click the link, there’s a sale!)
    • On second thought, I walked around A LOT during #AnniesDayOff. From Newbury St. to South Station to Park Street, Faneuil Hall, Harvard Square, Beacon Hill, Back Bay to Fenway Park. Yes, in that order. Yes, I have looked at map before. Here’s a question for you; do you know how tiny this city is!?
    • Walked passed Wahlburgers in Fenway right around dinner time, locked eyes with Marky Mark, took two more steps passed the entrance then turned right around and walked right inside. I can’t say no to those eyes and what if he was flipping burgers that night!? He wasn’t. But I listened to a podcast staring Joy the Baker and enjoyed some pretty tasty sweet potato tots. Sorry Wahlbergs, you can do a lot of great things, like make girls everywhere swoon, but maybe making burgers isn’t one of them. Not great.
  • Speaking of Joy the Baker, she IS great and she also takes the scaries out of Sundays and that’s a pretty impressive feat.
  • Summer Sitters has officially launched in Boston! Alas, I can return to spending nights and weekends in strangers homes, listening intently to sleeping children’s’ quiet snores, from a beautiful Chatham Bars Inn bungalow brown stone overlooking Chatham Bay Newbury Street. Seriously though, check them out. I promise if I’m your sitter I won’t eat ALL the ice cream in your freezer.
  • Shop The Street (aka me) just launched their 2015 Gift Guide (aka that obnoxious photo shoot that I staged, solo in a conference room for 4 days, that probably could have used a bit more supervision). You might remember from my snaps, you also might not watch my snaps and I don’t blame you. Either way, it’s pretty cool and it’s online for the whole world to see. (If you click no other link here, please click this one!)
  • Tiger Mama. That is all.
  • Just for fun: anyone know what my dad might like for Christmas? Or my brothers for that matter? Please reply in the comments below.
  • A not so cool thing: Chipotle (in my hood, no less).
  • Can anyone convince my mom to wrap these baby’s up under the tree for me? Probably not.
  • Oh! Oh! This is important! This new Essie Gel Top Coat business is LEGIT! This coming from girl who only paints her nails on the way out the door and/or before crawling into bed. I’m going on day 4, no chips, no smudges.
  • I’m hoping to get to Eastham this weekend but it’s not looking too promising. Headed that way? Or just looking for something fun to do? The Chatham Stroll is this weekend and my friends at Chatham Thread Works are ready for ya with extended hours, really amazing blanket scarves, great bags and the best sugar cookies you’ll have this season (or ever) and it can all be monogrammed! Except for the cookies.

A lot of stuff today guys, I hope you click around! Have a really awesome weeeeeeeekend!

XOA

TGIFriYAY: #AnniesDayOff Edition

Flash Back Friday: pulled this one out from the draft archives, figured it wasn’t doing anyone any good there…it’s mostly photos of things no longer relevant (flip flops, neon blooms, over sized ice cream cones…) but do keep in mind, we’re only 7 short months away from the return of summer!!!


 

Happy, HAPPY FriYAY, my friends! It’s great to be back providing you all with a little light reading to accompany your Friday morning Cup(s) of Joe. Much to my surprise, I’ve recently come to realize that curating a “list of links that I love” to share with all of you is the least original idea there ever was. Turns out, there’s tons of credible people doing this already, so for today I’m leaving that one to the pros (Literally, Everything and JUGs, are doing it pretty darn well) and will instead…wait for it…show you some photos of food and landscapes and #ootd’s that I haven’t yet posted on Instagram, part of a little something I like to call #AnniesDayOff.

ICYMI: #ShopTheStreet hosted it’s very first Sidewalk Sale last weekend; a summertime event that was virtually impossible to oversee from my beach chair on Nauset Light Beach. Because of this, I spent my very first summer weekend in Beantown and was blessed with a random little day off (a beautifully sunny and perfectly warm one, at that), smack dab in the middle of the week.

I left Brookline bright and early and headed inbound towards Park Street on a crowded Green Line train stuffed with brief cases and pencil skirts. A newbie to the Boston Food Truck scene, I incorrectly navigated my way to what I thought was the location of the Clover Food Lab Food Truck, but found in it’s place a sparse, truck-less patio along the perimeter of The Common. Save that for another day…

Spent the morning blogging on the patio of Caffe Nero, an Italian coffee bar in the Theater District with very cool light fixtures and lots of old books, before heading towards Boston Public Market (!!!) for donuts, ice cream, lunch and fresh blooms. Strolled from Harbor Walk to Beacon Hill and back towards Fanieul Hall, checking out public art installations, catching up with friends, and making a very sticky, black raspberry mess all for the sake of one measly insta’ (that I never even posted).

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, so I’ll let these next few shots do most of the talking:

First up, scenes from Boston Public Market; a foodie’s heaven and the closest I’m getting to Reading Terminal Market (add soft pretzels and killer roast pork and I’ll probably be a bit more approving).

Followed by a special highlight of my most recent obsession: drawstring shorts with no buttons, no zippers, great pockets and great prints, the summertime version of Party Pants, similar found (on sale!) here and here.

Next up, a Bon Me food truck lunch, a walk down to the harbor with my monogrammed Chatham Threadworks tote in hand, Crecent Ridge Ice Cream and a very cool public art installation.

The were flowers and fresh air, dear friends and good food; all around a pretty good day off.

 

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BAGELS.

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Bagels have taken over my life; nine enormous, larger-than-life, bagels. So for those following along on Snapchat and Instagram, and for those with a general love for bagels and perhaps an appreciation for art, here’s the story:

It’s Friday night at 8:20PM and I’m sitting on my couch in a zombie-like state. I just got home from the office, which happens to double as a 40-tenant shopping destination unlike any other. I’m drinking tequila on the rocks, ’cause it’s been that kind of a week.

Let’s rewind:

It’s a Thursday night in July. I’ve just finished packing up my weekender for another sweet escape to Eastham. I’m ready for bed and I’m scrolling Instagram, the 2015 equivalent to reading before bed. My feed is made up of the usual square framed snapshots; picture perfect beach-scapes, adorably embarrassing throwbacks, and summery scenes from the bar. I stop at a photo of 5 enormous bagels, stacked high into the New York City skyline. I screenshot the image immediately, even before reading the caption that accompanies it. I send a quick email, subject line: “Public Art Inspo”. I need these bagels. Boston needs these bagels. The Street needs these bagels.

A lot happens at ShopTheStreet between then and now. We discuss the possibility of giving this lovable public art installation a home in Boston at length, we dream up a crazy idea to create a space for temporarily housing local brands and businesses, we address a lot of roof leaks, pay a lot of electricity bills, host a few dozen events, prepare for the arrival of three new additions to our existing mix of retailers, attend a lot of meetings and eat A LOT of bagels.

Our pop-up project dream becomes a reality. It’s first occupant? A Boston-based, New-York-Style bagel shop. Soon after, our enormous public art dreams become a reality, as well.

Which brings us back to a Thursday in November, Bagel Day, and the nine enormous, larger-than-life bagels that have taken over my life.

Somewhere in NYC, five Brooklyn hipsters hit snooze on a 5AM alarm clock. Eventually they roll out of bed, loosely lace up their Chucks and shrug into their flannels. Nine enormous bagels wait in a moving truck, each one individually protected by blankets of bubble wrap and styrofoam padding. They’re on the road by 6AM, expected in Boston before noon.

Somewhere in Connecticut, the moving truck breaks down. Nine enormous, larger-than-life bagels wait to be transferred into a new truck and five Brooklyn hipsters give us an update we don’t want to believe is true.

Somewhere in Massachusetts, The Street Team less-than-patiently awaits the bagels arrival; something equivalent to the Pope’s visit to Philly (to be clear, that’s a highly exaggerated comparison, I know).

Four hours behind schedule, with a threat of rain in the very near future, the nine enormous bagels and their five Brooklyn hipster installers arrive at The Street unscathed.

The bagels are unloaded and unwrapped and it takes a great deal of self-restraint to stop myself from tearing through the bubble wrap like a kid on Christmas Day. Instead, I stand back and let the five Brooklyn hipsters do their thing, while I do mine:

Bagel by bagel, we watched this 15-foot sculpture come to life, eventually forming an unusual and artful vase for a single budding tulip, emerging from the bagels center.

The installation process was complex and beautiful, choreographed in a way that seemed effortless, an art form in and of itself. These five Brooklyn hipsters, the same crew responsible for fabricating the nine enormous bagels, were pros. Through rain showers and cold New England temps, they held smiles through the entire process; this tiny detail, perhaps my favorite part.

Click through the following images below and watch the first sculpture take shape:

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Everything by Hanna Liden, is a public art installation that hit The Street on a Thursday in November. It made its first-ever debut along the Hudson River Parkway in July of 2015, amongst the hustle and bustle of a New York City summer. The three-part installation features two stacks of enormous, larger-than-life bagels and one single bagel that sits independently on its own. Why? Why not. Meant to represent the eternal cycle of city life, the bagel, an everyday object, is transformed by Hanna Liden into a thought-provoking, beautiful and one-a-kind art form, loved by all.

It’s been a long week. A big, long, exciting week. And so, here I am on a Friday night, in a zombie-like state, sipping tequila on the rocks, telling the story of nine enormous, larger-than-life bagels that made their way to Chestnut Hill and in doing so, simultaneously took over my life and brought me great joy.