Found

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Sweet readers… I can’t tell you how excited I am to share this week’s found item and what just may be my favorite book of all time. Love x Style x Life by the effortlessly chic Garance Dore. If you aren’t familiar with Garance, you should be. I’ll admit, I didn’t know who she was until her collaboration with Rifle Paper. But since that fateful introduction, Garance has become a woman I admire from afar. When I learned of her book, I pre-ordered right away. From reading her blog, I knew her writing would speak to me. And you know what, it most certainly does. Below is a brief excerpt from the introduction:

We want love. We want to feel beautiful. We want to be good friends, good partners, good sisters, good daughters. We want to know how to never buy the wrong pair of shoes again. {Sorry to inform you, but you will keep making shoe mistakes until the day you die. So celebrate being alive right now!} We want to feel fulfilled by the work we do, whatever that work may be. Most of all, we want to find our place in this work.

It reads like my manifesto! I had the pleasure of meeting Garance last night at her Boston book signing. Now I’ve been to many a book signing but never one where I received flowers for attending and the author graciously offered me a seat next to her to have a chat. What a night and honor!

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Good News

Rifle Paper

It is a good day indeed.Two of my favorite companies have joined creative forces. The collaboration of Rifle Paper and Paperless Post is a match made in heaven.Take a look at the collection. So many amazing choices! And did you know, you can now buy actual paper through Paperless Post. Can’t believe I missed that!

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Photo Credit: Paperless Post and Rifle Paper

Design Crush

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Have you all heard of Amber Lewis? If not, I suggest you open up your Instagram account and begin following her immediately!

I stumbled upon Amber’s blog a few years back and became and instant fan. Fast forward just a few years and it seems like everywhere you turn, Amber is receiving well-deserved kudos for her interiors. Known for her laid-back, California cool aesthetic, Amber launched an online shoppe about a year ago {her pillow selection is insane}. As you can imagine, the e-store was an overwhelming success {most of the items sold out within hours} and thus when the opportunity came along for a brick and mortar, Amber jumped at the opportunity. Located in Old Town, Calabasas {yes, the land of the Kardashians}, Amber’s store is on the top of my list of reasons to get myself back out to Cali.

Here is just one vignette of a dreamy couch.

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And look at that wall of pillows.

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Amber… thank you for the endless inspiration!

*Image credit: All photos from Amber Interiors

Found

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I have a confession to make… I think about planning weekend getaways at least once a day. And on Fridays, this obsession is even greater as a weekend is upon us. And so today I thought I’d share my favorite travel guides and this week’s found item, Wildsam Field Guides, which The Wall Street Journal claims are “for the tireless seekers of the authentic.” Guess that’s me!

K and I bought our first Field Guide for our trip to Austin last fall and read it cover to cover {and sadly left in our rental car}. What I love about these guides is not only the design {perfect size to fit in your tote}, but the content includes a mix of prose and personalities, historical tidbits and local interviews. With each page, you feel like you are getting insider advice from a dear friend as these guides tell the true stories of a specific place.

Guides are currently available for Nashville, Austin, Detroit, San Francisco, New Orleans and Brooklyn. Word on the street is that a Charleston guide will be released later this fall. Planning a getaway to any of these fine locals, I highly recommend picking one of these up. Not only are they are wonderful resource, but the collection makes a beautiful little vignette on a bookshelf!

And wondering where the name WildSam came from? Go to your bookshelf and refer to Steinbeck’s East of Eden. The world was peopled with wonders.

Enjoy this weekend, dear friends!

Book Club

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Happy first day of October, sweet readers!

With colder evenings upon us, now is the time to find a good read to curl up with along with some warm apple cider. Sounds perfect, right? Well, if you are looking for a book recommendation, I have one for you. I just finished All the Light We Cannot See for book club and let me tell you, it was amazing. I don’t think I have read a more moving novel since Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth. 

This novel tells the story of Marie-Laure LeBlanc,the blind daughter of widowed master locksmith at the Museum of Natural History in Paris and Werner Pfennig, an orphan who comes to age in the town of Zollverein. His passion for science and gift of radio mechanics earns him a place at a training school for the Nazi military elite. The timing is 1940-1944 and each chapter weaves the story of these two characters and their eventual meeting in Saint-Malo, France near the end of the war.

And the writing is superb. Author Anthony Doerr just has a way with words “Time is a slippery thing; lose hold of it once, and its string might sail out of your hands forever.” This will be a book you won’t be able to put down as each chapter brings a new level of suspense. I promise!

Next on my night stand… Mindy Kaling’s Why Not Me.

Found

Sugar Paper

With my vacation around the corner, I decided to move up this week’s found item{s} post. I have long been a fan of Sugar Paper and was thrilled to learn they recently launched a new website. Don’t you just love the clean design and soft color palette?

Here are just a few of my favorite found items from their new site:

Enjoy the rest of your day, friends!

Found

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My move back to Boston last summer was quite easy as I had very few things. You see, when I end a chapter, I tend to purge and thus beginning a new chapter means sourcing many new things. As one who loves to entertain, I knew finding the perfect dinner set would take a little time. Luckily it didn’t take as long as expected thanks to Crate and Barrel’s Hue Collection… this week’s found item.

Created by London-based designer Aaron Probyn, this contemporary porcelain collection is hand-glazed in seven soft, soothing hues. Since Ina Garten always told me {on her show, of course} to use a white dinner plate to allow the food takes center stage, I opted for a classic white dinner plate but added color with the light grey salad plate and blush bowl. I just love the mix-and-match nature of this collection. And the price point, you can’t go wrong!

Just take a look at the color options.

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Looking to add a little color to your dinner table? I can’t say enough about this week’s found item. I hope you all enjoy this last week of August enjoying good food, family and friends. I’ll see you on Monday!

My {Boston}

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To close out Boston week, I wanted to end on a high note and share My Boston. All of my very favorite things in this little city of mine. Enjoy!

All Things Food

Coffee Shop – Simon’s {simply the best latte}

Donuts – Union Square Donuts {the strawberry glaze changed my life}

Brunch – Mistral {no better place to spend a Sunday afternoon on a chilly winter’s day}

Sandwich – Cutty’s {the ham pimento is my go-to}

Food Truck – Bon Me {it’s all good}

Bar Scene – Brick + Mortar {signature cocktail = sister mary}

Pizza – A4 and Dirty Water Dough {a tie}

Sushi – Douzo {you must try the back bay roll}

Indian – Punjabi Dhaba {no frills are needed when the food is this good}

Italian – Giulia {the best pasta you’ll ever have stateside}

Oyster Bar – Neptune Oyster {food + decor makes this a gem not to be missed}

Tacos – Loco Taqueria {fried zucchini taco is where it’s at}

BBQ – Sweet Cheeks Q {top chef alum Tiffani Faison makes the best biscuit and bbq sauces hands down}

Date Night Spot – Sarma {just go and you will see why}

Guilty Pleasures

Movie Theatre – Kendall Square Cinema {i won’t confess how many movies i’ve seen here}

Mani/Pedi – MiniLuxe {with multiple locations throughout the city, this is the place for a little pampering}

Waxing – Bella Sante {the only place I go for these services}

Spa/Facial – Spa at The Mandarin {an indulgence but well worth it}

Boston Musts

A morning stroll through the newly opened Boston Public Market

An afternoon at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

A sunset Boston Harbor Cruise

A ride on the Swan Boats

Enjoy my favorite view of Boston… Grab a Hubway in Harvard Square and bike along Memorial Drive to Boston. The prettiest view of all!

Shops {in Boston}

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At least once a day I daydream about owning a little shop and wonder what the layout will be? Which items will line my shelves? And will people actually come in? I have romanticized life as a shop girl. Perhaps this is due to my long retail history. In any event, I believe I have a discerning eye for a shop done right. And the good news… several in Boston are doing it right and thus I want to share with you my favorite shops in Boston. Similar to my previous two posts on Boston, I thought it easiest to divide by neighborhood.

One thing to note: if you are visiting Boston and looking for more mainstream shops {J.Crew, Ann Taylor, Anthropolgie, etc.} just head to Copley Square and Newbury Street. You will find anything and everything there.

Beacon Hill

Charles Street is one of the most charming streets in Boston (next to Marlborough Street in my humble opinion) and is lined with some of the cutest shops. My favorites include:

Wish –  Oh how I wish my closet looked like Wish, filled with Joie, DVF, Milly and Ella Moss basics.

Holiday – When looking for that piece I won’t find anywhere else, I stop on in to Holiday. The sales people are always super helpful and their affordable jewelry is a go-to for last minute gifts.

Good – A well curated shop of jewelry, handbags, linens, pottery and books. They are also my source for the Rebecca Atwood candles, my go-to hostess gift.

December Thieves – The owner of this shop was recently named by Boston magazine as the best shopkeeper in the city. Kuddos to Lana, whose locations in Beacon Hill and the South End are filled with curiosities, wears and whimsical jewelry. A shop not to be missed in Boston, for sure!

South End

Many would say that the South End is the heart of Boston, home to wonderful restaurants, cafe and unique shops. Lucky for me, our apartment is around the corner and thus I frequent these shops often!

Farm & Fable – An epicurean’s dream. Cookbooks, vintage cocktail glasses, Farmhouse Pottery from Vermont, oyster knives, and tea towel galore… My sweet friend Abby certainly has it all in her beautiful store on the corner of Shawmut and Milford Street.

Twelve Chairs – Just like I want my closet to look like Wish, I want my home to resemble Twelve Chairs. Housing both a retail space and design studio, their second floor location on Tremont should not be missed. From throw pillows to vintage lamps and artwork, there is always somethings to discover at Twelve Chairs.

Hudson Boston – My go-to shop for interior inspiration and wedding gifts.

Olives & Grace – “A curtsy to the makers” is what this little shop is all about. Handcrafted items and locally sourced food products, Olives & Grace is my go-to spot for that friend who has everything. It’s no wonder they were named as the best gift shop by Boston magazine. I’m a huge fan of the Boston coasters.

SAULT New England – This is my girl’s favorite shop in all of Boston.

Brookline

Just a short T-ride from downtown Boston on the Green Line is Coolidge Corner. My first “neighborhood” in Boston (technically I lived up the road in Washington Square but spent a great deal of time in CC) and one that I return to again and again.

Brookline Booksmith – Hands down my favorite bookstore. They now have a used section in their basement and offer a wonderful selection of discounted titles.

Mint Julep – A charming neighborhood spot featuring a wonderful selection of jeans and cute “going out” tops at a good price point.

North End

For a neighborhood typically known for food, the North End has a few shops not to be missed.

Shake the Tree – An eclectic shop featuring clothing, jewelry, housewares and accessories. It’s my local Anthropologie!

In-jean-ius & Twilight – In-jean-ius started with a simple mission: to help women find the perfect jean for their body type. It was only a matter of time till then expanded their offerings with Twilight, a store inspired by that magical time between day and night.

Cambridge/Somerville

And last but not least, my favorite shops across the river.

Pod – This tiny boutique resembles home to me. A beautiful collection of found objects for both the home and you. I’m in-love with their offering of Kerry Cassill pillowcases at the moment.

Loyal Supply Co. – Nestled in the heart of Union Square, Loyal Supply Co. is a design firm, retailer, and distributor of goods for the home, office, and studio, who lives by the motto “Supplies for Life.” I get more compliments on my key chain from them than anything else I carry.

Tune in tomorrow for My Boston list. Until then, have a wonderful Wednesday!

Bakeries {in Boston}

Boston Bakeries

I have always had a soft spot in my heart for bakeries. Anytime I’m planning a trip to a new place, I do my research to find the best local bakeries. Not only do I have a sweet tooth, but there is just something about a bakery/cafe vibe that captures me. With that, I thought I would share my favorite bakeries in Boston on this #tasytuesday.

We will start in Boston proper and go by neighborhood…

Tatte in Beacon Hill – Located on the corner of Charles and Mount Vernon Street, this is Tatte’s fifth and newest location in Boston {and my personal favorite as it is a short walk from my apartment}. Breakfast is served daily till 11:30 am and favorites include the avocado tartine and the shakshuka, a traditional north african dish. For lunch, the grilled halloumi salad is where it’s at. Tatte’s attention to details make it an instagramers heaven. Just take a look at their feed. And good news, most of their locations have plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.

Flour Bakery + Cafe in Back Bay, South End & Fort Point – Flour Bakery is what dreams are made of. Seriously. A trip to Boston isn’t complete without a visit to one of Joanne Chang’s delightful Flour locations. And good news, they offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. Favorites include their blueberry muffin, vegan chocolate cupcake, smoked turkey sandwich and greek salad. And to quench your thirst, they create a seasonal spritzer and specialty drink. This summer, their lemon-lime aid has been keeping me hydrated. Flour’s Back Bay location has plenty of seating and is also across the street from the Frieda Garcia park so great for kids too.

Canto 6 in Jamaica Plain – This rustic french bakery is the bee’s knees and has a loyal following of JP neighbors. And while it will take a little maneuvering to get to from downtown (Orange line outbound to Forrest Hills, get off at Green Street and walk two blocks towards Washington Street), I promise it is worth the trip. Their seasonal scones are some of the best and their sandwiches are the perfect accompaniment for a walk in the nearby Arboretum. Seating is limited.

Clear Flour Bread in Brookline – Specializing in classic french and italian breads, Clear Flour Bread is my go-to for you guessed it, bread. And while they offer some pastries {a delicious chocolate chip cookie}, there is no seating.

Cambridge Bakeries

Now, let’s cross the Charles…

Hi-Rise Bread Company in Harvard Square & Huron Village – I have my brother Travis to thank for introducing my to Hi-Rise. Similar to Flour, they have an impressive offering of pastries and mouth-watering sandwiches. Sometimes when I need an afternoon pick-me-up, I travel over to their Harvard Square location for a latte and a piece of their sinful vanilla bean loaf cake. It’s so good it was featured in former NYT food critic Amanda Hesser’s book Cooking for Mr. Latte. Their Huron Village location also has an impressive wine offering.

Sofra Bakery + Cafe in Cambridge/Watertown – Sofra is unlike any cafe experience in Boston with influences of Greek, Turkish and Lebanese delights in both decor and offerings. Their meze bar offerings are incredible (beet tzaziki is my favorite) and their chocolate earthquake cookies are just about the best thing I’ve even tried. Seating and parking are limited so I suggest going later in the day after the morning and lunch hour rush.

Forge Bakery in Union Square – When I’m craving a breakfast sandwich, I venture to Forge Bakery. Their simple egg sandwich on a homemade english muffin with avocado and sriracha hits the spot every single time. And in colder months, they make one of the most delicious hot chocolates I’ve ever tasted. Good news… plenty of seating and parking at Forge.

Bagelsaurus in Porter Square – I still remember the first taste of my very first NY bagel. Fifteen years later, no bagel could ever compare. That was until I discovered Bagelsaurus. Owner Mary Ting Hyatt’s bagels are simply the best and her offerings of bagel sandwiches are off-the-charts delicious. Might I suggest the t-rex? Bacon, almond butter, and banana. So good! I suggest greeting the staff at opening (7 am weekdays; 8 am weekends) as they sell-out quickly.

Loyal Nine Cafe in East Cambridge – The newest addition to the bakery scene, Loyal Nine Cafe has the most limited menu but one that is well worth the trip. Their coffee and lattes are served in pottery hand-made by the owner and their breakfast pastries (typically 3-5 to choose from) are delicious. We had the cinnamon roll Sunday morning and were quite happy. There is plenty of seating both indoor and out and since Loyal Nine is relatively new to the bakery scene in Boston, the pace is calm and perfect for a relaxing morning and/or afternoon.

Be sure to follow along with me on Instagram as I go #outandaboutwithmay in Boston and check back tomorrow as I share my favorite shops in this beautiful city of mine!