vintage revival: TOAST

April 19th, 2014

toast revival 1



recently, james and i were in new jersey visiting my parents. we were all meandering our way through countless vintage shops, in search for vintage odds and ends for our reception centerpieces. it was in one of these shops, that i stumbled upon this perfect little brunch addition. a TOAST server. visions of grandeur danced in my head as i daydreamed of having this little piece strategically placed on our dining room table. my own problem – it was filthy! cobwebs, rust, dirt, grime. you name it. but it was just too good to pass up. so i snagged it for a whole $10 and vowed that i would restore it to working condition. 

fast forward to yesterday, my first day of april vacation. i made it a plan to tackle my new little treasure and spruce it up a bit. before beginning, i knew i wanted to clean it up in the most natural way possible. no chemicals. so i did some research and found that i could make it squeaky clean with just the use of lemon juice & baking soda. knowing i had those in our kitchen, i set to work. 


baking soda lemon


baking soda & lemon juice



things i needed:

juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp baking soda
1 cheap (soft) toothbrush
gentle dish soap
warm water
lots of paper towels 

step 1: i juiced the lemon into a small bowl – removing any stray seeds. 

step 2: i then gradually added the baking soda to the lemon juice. this caused a fun bubbly/fizzy reaction. 

step 3: i stirred until a soft paste is created.

step 4: then i took a paper towel and removed any grime i could before adding the paste.

step 5: next i took the toothbrush and a little paste and started cleaning. i worked one letter at a time, and slowly cleaned in one direction. this process took about an hour to do because of all the crevices. in between letter i would use a paper towel and my finger to really get after some tough spots!

step 6: once i sufficiently had gotten most of the grime i could off with the toothbrush and the paste, i made a warm water bath with dish soap and any extra baking soda/lemon juice i had. 

step 7: i put the piece in the water for about a minute and then removed it. i used the now rinsed toothbrush to brush away any left over grime or paste. 

step 8: i rinsed with cold water under the faucet quickly. and then dried the TOAST server.

step 9: ta da!


toast final collage



now, i’m definitely not an expert. this just worked for me. i was nervous about using water because i wasn’t sure if it would cause more rust. so i tried to keep it limited! but otherwise – i’m thrilled with the end result.

time to have a brunch! who is coming?


cheers x



hello gorgeous [macaronerie]

April 18th, 2014


my life is utterly complete, as i type this blog post.  

not just because i have the most dashing fiancé. or, the most fabulous girl friends. but because i am enjoying delicious macarons that i was able to snag right out my front door. that’s right ladies and gents, macarons are coming to southie. and tonight, we got a sneak peek!


miam miam macaronerie 2


miam miam macaronerie, is a new company that is making its way into the ever flourishing neighborhood of south boston. if you’re as much of a macaron lover as we are, you’ll agree that this is basically the best news… ever. it feels like boston is seriously lacking in these delicate french sweets. i’ve tried a few around the city but nothing met my high expectations. except for tonight! finally- an easter miracle!

below is a quick snapshot of their menu. so far, james and i are both head over heels for the vanilla bean & salted caramel. but then again, we have 10 more!


miam miam macaronerie
via miam miam macaronerie


 miam miam macaronerie doesn’t have a store front just yet (it’s in the works). but not to fret. you can order your macarons online and have them delivered to you! how perfect is that? think about it… you come home from a long day of work, and there waiting for you, is a small box containing a dozen delicate macarons. and then, you’re basically forced to enjoy them with champagne and a good movie. what a life! or, say you need some for a larger celebration.. maybe like a wedding. in burlington, vt. in october. you’ll just HAVE to place a larger order so you can share the delight with all you friends & family! 


macaron collage


we are so excited to welcome miam miam macaronerie into the great neighborhood of southie.
we can’t wait to venture into their shop and try out more of their delicious french treats!


cheers x




Beer review: Wormtown Brewing Co. Be Hoppy

April 1st, 2014

be hoppy 1


A quick glance at the can of this beer will tell you much of what you need to know about it: it is going to be hoppy and it will make you smile. What more can you ask for? Wormtown Brewing Co. based in Worcester, MA has succeeded in making an exceptional IPA…hoppy and piney in the vein of West Coast versions while incredibly smooth and drinkable.

I introduced this beer to Ali’s cousin Erik when he visited a couple weeks ago and he loved this beer. It is just his misfortune that he lives down in Delaware and does not have the easy access to Be Hoppy that am fortunate enough to have. This is on my list of must-try Massachusetts beers…it really is that good. And just look at the can – just by looking at it you know Wormtown Brewing loves brewing beer.


be hoppy 2


-appearance: I mentioned I absolutely love the can, but let’s get to the actual liquid. Poured into a glass, the beer is a slightly hazy, straw/orange color that is accompanied by a two-finger white head of foam that sticks around for a bit. Lots of lacing is the head disappears.

-smell: hops. Fresh, ripe, piney, citrusy. Aromas of grapefruit, pineapple, and tangerine mixed with the dank/resinous pine smell. You do get the smell of the malt and baked bread/biscuit, but this is all about the hops. It smells fantastic.  

-taste: incredibly balanced and highly drinkable. It starts with the piney hop flavor and soon transforms into the citrus/tropical flavors and malt sweetness. The beer tastes juicy and is very hoppy and has some bitterness to it, but the magic word for this beer is “balanced”. Everything plays together so well and really leaves a great taste in the mouth.

-overall: I personally think that this beer holds its own against many of the great IPAs that I have tried. The beer drinks much lighter and easier than its 6.5% ABV would suggest, and the flavor that is packed into each sip is something special. This beer has quickly become one of my “go-to” beers and one that I insist out-of-towners try before leaving Boston.    


be hoppy 3





the [unrefined] sweet life