Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Recap: Blog Better Boston

This past Saturday was a new and unforgettable experience for the three of us.  Over a month ago, we purchased tickets to a style summit entitled "Blog Better Boston," and had no idea what to expect.  The event was hosted at the Boston.com headquarters and could not have been better organized.  The three of us were split into different groups, yet were able to soak in the same inspirational information from various workshops throughout the day.  Here were some of the main takeaways:

Session A: Media Kit Creation by Tieka
  • Your media kit should contain all of your stats
  • You don't need to be "big" number-wise to stand out! Appeal is all about fit!
Session B: Fashion Photography by Hunt's Photography
  • Basics (posing techniques, use of color settings, etc) to best highlight your subject
We then laughed over lunch with some fabulous ladies...

Bonus Session 1: Finding your Voice through Instagram, by Smita
  • Ten (secret) tips for shooting your subject
  • Treat your photos as you would with an actual camera
Bonus Session 2: How to Create Partnerships with Brands, by Kristen
  • Use your media kit as your calling card
  • Master the "pitching process"
Session C: Simple Design Elements to Enhance Your Blog, by Alison
  • Suggestions for free font tools
  • Be sure you're selling YOU
Session D: Developing a Content Calendar, by Julie
  • Defining balance vs. fit
  • Set time aside to nurture other passions and remain inspired

The entire day was informative, interactive, and was extremely helpful as our introduction into the Boston blogging community.  This truly hit home, since solidifying Boston's voice in the blogging world is part our our mission statement.  Even speakers from out-of-state confirmed that Boston is a diamond in the rough with regard to this tight-knit clan.  We could have guessed based on the kindness of those we met in person!  

Some of our new gal pals you have to check out include: Alana, Amanda, Amy, Christina, Emily, Georgina, and Kelsey, just to name a few! Words cannot express the creativity and personality that overwhelmed the entire summit in the best way possible.  We can't wait to spend more time with them at future Boston Blogger Meet-Ups!

This day truly got us inspired for another first, a very {BIG} venture and goal of any blogger, ALT Summit!  More on that to come!  For now, we're pinching ourselves!

- Meredith

Monday, April 29, 2013

Latest Obessions: April 29th

This weekend was gorgeous wasn't it? I spent Saturday attending an amazing blogger conference (more to come on this tomorrow) and all day Sunday walking around my hood, Beacon Hill, lusting over some of the Boston's most amazing real estate. 

There are many things I am currently (and probably always) adding to my wish list, but a spacious and light filled pre-war house is my all time number one. 

Unfortunately, this is by no means practical for me at this time, or probably ever, so let's just move on shall we? Aside from luxury living here are a few of my other latest obsessions that I wanted to share with you...

1. No further words are needed to explain why I love this Beacon Hill house, just go see for yourself. 

2. Need something to make you smile at work? These pencils should do the trick. 

3. This past Thursday I checked out Saloon for the first time and I think it might be my new favorite spot in Davis Square. Bonus: they have pretty letterpress business cards!

 4. While sprucing up the apartment this weekend I decided I'm in need of a decor change. I'm thinking this photo by Meghan Brosnan would be amazing over my bed. 

5. Julie from Orchid Grey wore these Kelsi Dagger heels at the Blog Better Boston event and I had a serious crush on them. 

6. Did you guys see my instagram of my ombre nails from my miniluxe mani? Amazing right? The teal color is called 'Lucky Luxe,' go pick it up! 

7. How many of you checked out the J.Crew outlet this weekend for their 50% sale? If you missed it they are still offering 30% off on the factory site

8. Rihanna "Stay" is my latest "walking around" jam.

9. Leave it to Phaidon to put out another quality bookshelf / coffee table book. I'll be obsessed with Where Chef's Eat till they publish another well designed book for me and other typography lovers to geek out to.

- Suzanne

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday's True Confession: I was 22 when I had my first mani

I love nail polish. There is nothing that subtly spices up an outfit quite like the perfect nail color. But, in the Boston area, manicures are not cheap. Since I own an ungodly amount of nail polish, I never felt the need to pay someone $30 to do something that I could do decently at home on my own. So, it wasn't until I was 22 years old that I had my first professional manicure. In the salon, I admitted to my friends that I had never had one before and their jaws hit the floor. But, hey, no regrets - manicures are nice - but eh, I still prefer to do my nails at home. (Pedicures are a different story....but we'll save that for another day).


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Cuisine, Curbside


Whether you're on a lunch break downtown, taking a Saturday stroll along the Greenway or at the SoWa Market, you will most likely smell something delicious as you approach a beacon of light, begging for you to come closer.  It's not a mirage, it's... a food truck.  A few years ago, Boston caught onto the food truck trend and was an immediate hit.  This is a fantastic way for local restaurant owners and budding entrepreneurs alike to exhibit their creations, commonly at a bottom-dollar cost to you!

Food trucks have become so popular that there is now a lottery for various desired locations our city has to offer.  This year, they're branching out to Charlestown and East Boston!  Be sure to check out The Globe's complete guide for 2013, right here!  Are you partial to those who have a brick-and-mortar counterpart, like Roxy's? Let us know your favorite! 

- Meredith

Friday, April 26, 2013

Home Run Outfits: What to wear to Fenway

It's Red Sox season! Whether you're joining the other die hard fans at Fenway or just partaking in the festivities around the stadium, we feel "what are you going to wear to the game?" is a very common question amongst us gals, don't you think?

For most, the obvious outfit is throwing on your official team member t-shirt and worn in Red Sox hat, but what happens when you just don't feel like wearing your most commonly used gym t-shirt and need an outfit that transitions for multiple events throughout the day?

For Red Sox outfits I like to dress comfortable and casual (no one likes the overdressed girl at the stadium), always peppering in the team colors to show support. Some staple game day clothing items in my closet are: jeans (white or denim), low sneaks or sandals, a casual tee and an anorak or light long sleeve. What's your go to game day outfit?

Safari Jacket  //  Boyfriend Jeans  //  Chucks  //  Chambray Shirt  //  White Skinny Jeans  //  Toms  //  Striped T  //  Jorts   //  Sandals

- Suzanne

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Recap: Young Women in Digital Marketing & Mingling


Earlier this week the three of us JUGs co-authors, and another network-savvy friend of ours went to the Young Women in Digital Marketing & Mingling Event in the Back Bay. It felt good to be out in the Back Bay neighborhood supporting businesses that lost revenue during last week’s tragedy. We gathered at Sonise on Newbury St. and sipped on cocktails and snacked on candy (candy bar courtesy of Eventbrite!).  After some casual networking, the hostesses introduced themselves:

Melanie Cohn, Digital Account Manager - GY&K Antler, @socialmel, I Love Love

Nicole Troelstrup, Online marketing & PR, @sidneycolie, The Content Cookbook

Next, three guest speakers spoke to the group about successful marketing campaigns - and how to publicize an event with a very small budget. In particular, the JUGs were intrigued by the guerilla marketing tactics - I mean chalk spray paint graffiti sounds awesome! All three speakers spoke of the power of twitter as a free advertising tool. They each used twitter to gain support for different types of successful initiatives in the Boston area. It was inspiring to hear stories of local social media campaigns that really worked.
The night's speakers included:

Sara Steele-Rogers: Boston Community + Marketing Manager, Eventbrite. @BriteBoston

Becky Brackett: Marketing Associate, Boston Center For Adult Education. @becky_brackett

Elizabeth Dobrska: Marketing & Creative Coordinator, Animal Rescue League of Boston. @dobrska

It was great to meet other Boston based bloggers and young women interested in the field of online marketing. We made some great connections and are looking forward to the next Young Women in Digital meetup!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Local Gem: SOWA Open Market


The South End neighborhood of Boston is one of my favorite areas throughout the city.  Quaint cobblestone streets are lined with trees and drool-worthy brownstone buildings, a facade for which Boston can easily be recognized by outsiders.  The South End has had increased exposure in the past few years, becoming one of the main go-to areas for some of the best restaurants the city has to offer!

The JUGs plan to head to the South End area for our field trip to Bully Boy Distillery in the near future, but I wanted to feature another draw to the neighborhood, the SOWA Market.  This year marks the 10th year of the Boston-original outdoor market.  SOWA got its name from its location, south of Washington Street.  Running every Sunday from May to October, the market brings a new definition to Sunday Funday!  You can fuel up at one of the many food trucks before shopping from local artisans, farmers, and vintage items.  This event is a seamless way to buy local and support budding designers!

Last year, I picked up a vintage map of my Boston neighborhood, something I plan to keep forever.  Who knows the kind of gems you may find!?  You'll only know if you check it out!  If you have been, feel free to comment with your favorite SOWA experience!

- Meredith

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Independent Film Festival Boston

This week I am very much looking forward to stepping out for some light(er) entertainment at the Independent Film Festival Boston which starts tomorrow night with, The Spectacular Now, staring Miles Teller (Footlose) and Shailene Woodley (The Descendents and The Secret Life of the American Teenager).

The IFFB will be running from April 24th to the 30th showing a total of 99 films at the Somerville Theatre in Davis Square, the Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square, the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline, and new venues UMass Boston and Theatre 1 in Boston. Special events also include Q&A sessions, panel discussions, visiting filmmakers and other parties. Added bonus, Casey Affleck (newly appointed Creative Advisor) will be in attendance at certain special events!

Though there are so many I want to see, here are my personal festival picks so far:

Starring: Steve Carrel, Liam James, Toni Collette, Nat Faxon

The Way, Way Back follows a 14 year old boy on a hellish turned uplifting and hilarious summer vacation with his mom and her new boyfriend. Within seconds the trailer had me laughing with its hilarious cast which, aside from Steve Carrel, includes: Nat Faxon, Liam James, Maya Rudolph, Allison Janney, Amanda Peet and Toni Collette. It premiers at the IFFB on Thursday at 7:45 at the Somerville Theater and I will surely be in attendance  (how could I have said no to two of my favorite Boston born comedians, Nat and Steve?)

The Elders

While independent film festivals offer a wide array of star studded low budget comedies and dramas, it is important to take advantage of the full selection of other films and documentaries that wouldn't otherwise be availble to you in a regular box office line up.

For my "I'm going to go see something I normally wouldn't," I chose The Elders, a feature-length documentary, that interviews four elders (a poet, a fiddle player, a marine, and a teacher) on their most important life lessons. I hope it will be appropriately enlightening, especially after last weeks world events.

For the full list of movies and reviews check out the IFFB Site here and their facebook page here.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day


Feel like being extra compassionate this Earth Day? Check out these awesome Boston-based green resources:

For green living tips: Groovy Green Livin

For green fashionistas: Magnifeco

For green networking: Boston Green Drinks

For a little bit of everything: Boston Green Blog

There are so many great ways to get involved and reduce your environmental impact. The easiest way to start is by doing a little web surfing!

- Cameron

Sunday, April 21, 2013

True Confession: You Bought it, Where?!

my last day with Jamal, circa 2005
Ever since I started working at the age of 13, I knew that my savings would be going toward my first car.  Between the many hours at jobs A, B and C worked up until age 16, I had reached my goal.  After scouring many resources (local dealerships, newspaper, Craigslist, etc.), I was set on a search tool that I believed (and was endorsed by my parents) would lead me to my first vehicle: eBay.  After many weeks of research, I found it.  A Jeep Cherokee, sold by someone in Kingston, MA, luckily allowing the buyer to test drive before the sale was final.  My dad and I headed to the south shore to further investigate.  It was love at fist sight.

"Jamal the Jeep" and I had some great times together.  eBay proved to be a resource many may overlook!

Saturday, April 20, 2013


I know we've been obnoxiously active on twitter (especially over the past 48 hours) but wow, was it one emotional week. Words cannot express our gratitude for the outpouring of support we have received from our personal families and friends. What may have been the most moving part was the support the entire Boston community received from all areas of the world, and from some of the most unexpected places (The Yankees). And then and that support kept coming. In multiple ways this week has just been surreal. 

For all of these actions we are truly grateful and urge everyone to continue to show support for those affected by Monday's and Thursday's tragedies. There are many ways to do this whether it is expressing your condolences through the memorials, writing letters of support to the victims, participating as a runner in an upcoming fundraiser, or contributing to one of the many charities to aid with the medical bills. Note of discretion: please be careful when making monetary donations and be sure to confirm that the charity your are donating to is not a fraud.

Thank you to everyone.

- Suzanne

1  //  2  //  3  //  4

Friday, April 19, 2013

Night at the Museum: Omni Theater

As a Boston-area kid, I grew up going to the Museum of Science at least once a year. But, as a twenty-something, I realized that somehow it had been about 10 years since I last saw a show at the Mugar Omni Theater! So on Wednesday, a group of gal-friends and I went to see "The Last Reef." In the midst of the Boston Marathon Tragedy investigation, the museum was eerily empty, but it felt good to be out with friends supporting such a great Boston institution.

The Last Reef was fantastic! It featured some truly breathtaking images of the Bikini coral reefs and the odd creatures that live there (our favorites were the sea slugs...so cool!). After learning some fun facts about reef creatures, the movie highlighted some of the major threats to the future of the world's coral reefs - but no worries, it ended with an uplifting message. The best part, Omni tickets are about the same price as a regular movie theater!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Daily Read, vol. 1: "Dear Friend," blog

As newcomers to the blogging world, we are constantly noticing how broad the blogging world truly is, within Boston and beyond!  In speaking with a few friends who have been incredibly supportive on what us JUGs have presented thus far who may not have been too familiar with the blogging world prior to our launch, we want to introduce you to some of our favorites!  We will be highlighting some of our permanently-bookmarked blogs and the person behind them to you so you, too, can add them to your "daily reads."

First up...

via Anna's artsy Instagram!
Anna, or as her readers know her best, "AEB," is a native of Syracuse, NY, and has lived in the Boston area since graduating from college.  {dear friend} blog is a taste of Anna's artful point of view of things she loves: her family, friends, hobbies, travel and more.  She even has her own Etsy shop so you can take a piece of New England's varied landscapes home with you!  My favorite part of {dear friend} blog is the natural balance between the digital and that with a personal touch.  This spans from her handwritten photo captions and notes to her sweet and sincere reflections on past travels.

via Anna's artsy Instagram!

If you haven't already, bookmark {dear friend} for one of the best viewpoints of Boston, and, your newest daily read!  Pssst...We had the pleasure of working with Anna on a project this past weekend that we will be sharing soon, so stay tuned!

What is your favorite part of {dear friend} blog?  Any suggestions for our next "daily read" feature?  Be sure to comment below!

- Meredith

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Mint Party

This weekend, join Boston's young professionals at the Mint Party at TRADE. TRADE, named Boston’s Best New Restaurant of 2012 by Boston Magazine and the Improper Bostonian, is a natural, open and lively space in a groundbreaking LEED Gold property. The event will feature Boston’s own DJ Deja, spinning today’s biggest hits in her signature creative style.

Come enjoy a breathtaking space, good company and delicious food from TRADE as we celebrate Boston’s efforts in becoming a green leader. Sponsor the Mint Party and join NGE for a special VIP reception in TRADE’s private room with fellow sponsors, NGE’s Board of Directors and some of Boston’s most renowned restaurateurs.

NGE’s Mint Party is Boston’s premier green energy event. Help us celebrate the re-launch of NGE and begin a tradition of celebrating sustainability in Boston for years to come. Click here to purchase tickets.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Our thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by yesterday's events.

Monday, April 15, 2013

...and They're Off!

Today marks the 117th year of the annual Boston Marathon, run (no pun intended) by the Boston Athletic Association (BAA).  It is the oldest marathon in the world and one of the most exciting events throughout the year for our city.  Most have the day off in observance of Patriot's Day.  In fact, close to 500,000 people are out to cheer on incredible athletes lucky enough to obtain a coveted spot in this 26.2 mile race.  That makes up about 80% of Boston's population!  Never fear, the route that starts in Hopkinton and ends on Boylston Street in Back Bay offers plenty of options for you to watch. 


Be sure to get a spot early so you have view of those running, whether it be for the amazing feat of the completion itself, running for a charitable cause, or the inspirational Team Hoyt (now in their 31st year!).  This year the weather is cooperating (last year was over 90 degrees!), so let us know where you will be and if you know someone running so the JUGs can cheer them on!

- Meredith

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday's True Confession

I wear padded bikinis. Because I have to.

I mean what else can I say? It's not the worst problem in the world, but it is definitely not the best feeling when a wave hits you and the padding folds over. I'm sure some of you know what I'm talking about. 

For my best fitting suits I often turn to J.Crew and Victoria's Secret as they seem to offer the largest selection of cute suits with removable pads. And just our luck, J.Crew is offering 25% off all swim until tonight! 


Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Guys You Will Meet on Tinder

Sure, the dating app Tinder is a lot of fun. In fact, that is mostly all it is (haven't heard of anyone meeting their husband or wife on Tinder just yet, have you?!) More than anything, Tinder shows that guys simply don't know what gals want. A guy that posts a semi-nude photo of himself? Nope. Someone that lies about their age? Def not. A guy missing is high school hay days? No thanks. And does standing next to a hot celeb make you hot? Sorry....no.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Autism Awareness Month

Happy Friday!

We’ve got some great news! Now through June 1st we’ll be hosting an online trunk show with Stella & Dot! We love their accessories and think you will too.

Added bonus, this month is Autism Awareness month and Stella & Dot has partnered with the HollyRod Foundation promising to donate 20% of the proceeds from the Autism Awareness Collection to the foundation. As strong believers of giving back we are very grateful to be connected with an amazing opportunity to raise some money for the cause, so please feel free to pass the link on to friends and family!

PS - now is also a great time to grab some cute and thoughtful gifts for upcoming graduations and Mother’s Day!

- Suzanne

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Recap: Culture & Communications Workshop with Verily Magazine

Last weekend JUGs co-author, Meredith, and I went to the Women’s Evolving Contribution to Communication workshop at the Bayridge Residence hosted by Kara Eschbach of Verily Magazine. Young women came from all around the Boston area to discuss how women are portrayed in common visual media. The discussion was one of frustration with popular media outlets - we are sick of seeing anorexic models, the term “plus size”, and people telling us that we can “have it all” - WE KNOW! Our conclusion: what it means to “have it all” is very different from person to person. We are tired of hearing what it “all” should be - we want to create our own versions of “it all”. We can have it all by becoming the best, most honest versions of ourselves, and, of course, by being conscious consumers of media.

Kara Eschbach, Editor-In-Chief, Verily Magazine

As an alternative to traditional magazines, Verily Magazine gives women what they really want to read - real looking people, stories with unique perspectives, and wholesome beauty & fashion spreads. We love the idea of Verily as a new modern voice for women, and we can’t wait to see their upcoming issues. I highly suggest checking out the free teaser issue - it is awesome!

- Cameron

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Play if You Dare!

base photo via
Does your gaggle of gals need a new game to spice up your next get together?  Look. No. Further.  Cards Against Humanity is THE party game.  In reading up on its history, it was developed and released a few years ago by some admittedly awkward dudes in the Chicago area and has been a hit ever since. 

I first played with cousins during a get together this past winter.  After a few short rounds of hysterically perverse phrases, I was instantly hooked and decided I had to own this game.  Panic was about to set in when I saw that the game was sold out online, until noting the option to download a pdf and print a homemade set.  The timing could not have been more perfect, as I was about to head north for a JUGs (après) ski weekend with a large group and wanted to bring some entertainment.  Needless to say, this game is quite the icebreaker.  Card combinations continue to be endless with the creators releasing extension packs (*adds to shopping cart*).
base photo via
Be sure to brush up on your pop culture, current events and maybe try a few practice rounds in their lab before playing... you don't want to admit to "never have I ever" [heard of this].  The game is just $25, with optional extension packs for $10 each you'll surely need soon after sifting through the first 500 cards with your revelrous group! 

We'd love to hear a (clean) recap of your CAH playing experience!

- Meredith

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

JUGs Approved: Outdoor Bars

Whew! It's finally getting nice out and last weekend I officially kicked off outdoor bar season! Want to participate in all the fun? Check out our personal list of JUGs approved outdoor bars. Can't wait to see you out there!

Patio Bars:

200 Atlantic Ave  

57 Canal St  

215 Charles Street

955 Boylston St

80 Atlantic Ave

Roof Deck Bars:

146 Seaport Blvd

150 Northern Ave

270 Northern Ave 

21 Broad St.

Ristorante Fioré
250 Hanover St

384 Boylston St

1265 Boylston St

Am I missing any? Share your favorite spot with us! 

- Suzanne

Monday, April 8, 2013

Happy Opening Day!


Bostonians are still trying to forget about last year's dismal baseball season.  The Red Sox are notoriously known for being the underdog, but the 2012 team and management put us over the edge.  As a city with a strong fan base and many championships won in recent years, a new season, new players and staff bring hope to lovers of the game.

It was recently announced that Fenway is offering promotions for all games in the month of April, starting with our home opener against Baltimore this afternoon.  For the first time since 2004, the Red Sox will also bring back 12-ounce domestic draft beer for $5 (compared to the usual $8.50+).  That should get you inside the doors of Fenway even in the breezy spring weather!

The JUGs often attend games, and we're hoping that tickets stay somewhat affordable this year.  A baseball game is the perfect group activity to break up the work week, too!  Start brushing up on "Sweet Caroline," and we'll see you at the "pahk!"

- Meredith

Sunday, April 7, 2013

True Confession: I wear size q tights

In Boston, you can’t get away with bear-legging it all winter, so we all wear tights. Tights are annoying: they are uncomfortable, they aren’t warm, and worst of all, they get runs. And lets be honest, the clear nail polish trick is really only a temporary fix.

My solution: I buy size Q tights. They are a bit looser so your legs don't feel like they're in a sausage casing. They have a little more give, so they don't rip as easily. Plus, they are super cheap at CVS!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Character Spotlight: Anne Grandyn from Rules of Civility

Not how you pictured Anne Grandyn? Tell us how you imagined her! Which actress do you think would portray her best?

- Suzanne

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

Friday, April 5, 2013

It's Baaack! Boston Bacon & Beer Festival

Bacon.  Beer.  What more could you want?!  The fourth annual Boston Bacon and Beer Festival is returning next month at the House of Blues in Fenway.  I attended this event in 2011 and enjoyed every minute of it.  Sadly, I was out of town last year when it hit the HoB venue, so I've been planning to go this year for more sodium and hops-filled sampling fun.  In 2011, I almost had to resort to craigslist for an entry ticket but lucked out with the website sales.  This year, even as a returning guest with access to presale information (released yesterday morning), I was unable to get a single ticket and presale sold out.  Although I'll try again this morning, competition is FIERCE for this event entry.

Admittedly, the drama with ticket sales is legitimate.  The festival is hosted by EatBoston, a local outfit piloted by a few area connoisseurs and bacon/beer lovers.  The Bacon and Beer festival successfully operates with thanks to local vendors who offer their samples of either bacon dishes (e.g., chocolate covered bacon), home-brewed draft from a local brewery, or a combination of the two.  They also tend to offer promotions if you visit the restaurant at a later date.  There really is no better way to spend your Saturday afternoon and the fact that your ticket proceeds go to two amazing charities, it is a philanthropic afternoon as well.
Our fingers are crossed that all three of us get to experience the B&B festival this year!  Tell us, what is your favorite bacon or beer-flavored dish?!  Would you attend this event?

Tickets go on sale on the event page, here.

- Meredith

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Want an Eco-chic career? Get a Mentor!

Do you have or want a career in the energy sector? environmental policy? green business? If so there is an open mentorship opportunity with New England Women in Energy and the Environment. The program is perfect for Boston women at any stage of their career that want to share their experiences and gain a new perspective. It is a great opportunity, I mean, according to Forbes, mentorships "kick ass."To participate in the program, simply fill out this brief survey and you’ll be matched with a group of women that best suit your interests and mentorship needs.

So cute! I never thought to wear a green blazer, but this one is great. (knit blazer)

Since I am interested in spreading the message of sustainability through green living (via my pet project Boston Green Blog), I signed up for the NEWIEE mentorship program. I am excited to get to know our city’s green professionals across all sectors and stages of life. I hope to share some of my mentee/mentor experiences on JUGs as the program begins.

- Cameron


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Local Gem: Bully Boy Distillery

Ever since a friend recommended I try her Marker's on the rocks a few years back, I was sold.  At first taste, whiskey can seem like it is all bite, but there is really much more to the flavor.  Its creation is quite an in-depth process from the distillery to your local watering hole. 

Kentucky (Maker's Mark), Tennessee (Jack Daniels) and Cork, Ireland (Jameson) are no longer the only venues to visit in order to see how whiskey was made.  As of a few years ago, brothers Will and Dave Willis from Sherborn, MA changed this.  The two were in the corporate world and decided to leave that for what was right under their noses, with contents from a former speak easy in the basement of their fourth-generation farmhome.  Their great-grandfather (student at Harvard, roommate of Teddy Roosevelt, causal...) had created a vault of local craft liquors during the time of prohibition.  In recently dusting off the historic collection, the brothers knew that they had to reintroduce this into the 21st century.  Within the vault, they discovered a plaque with the words: “Bully Boy: A willing and patient Family instructor. March 17, 1926.” The name belonged to a draft horse on the farm in the 1920s, which they believed to be homage to President Roosevelt, who coined the term “bully” to be used in a positive light.  Think it's a coincidence that the plaque is dated for one of the biggest drinking holidays around??
Dave and Will oversee each step of the distilling process in their small-batch distillery in Roxbury, MA.  This includes copper distilling, vaporizing, boiling, barreling, and everything in between.  In the final stages of production, the brothers label each bottle by hand, at 150 bottles per batch!  It is clear that the guys focus on quality over quantity.  They keep it local in obtaining ingredients from within New England as well as selling to Boston-area restaurants such as Eastern Standard, Island Creek Oyster Bar (both in Fenway/Kenmore) and Toro (South End).  They also list local retailers on their website so you can fill your liquor cabinet with this local staple.

The Willis brothers open the distillery doors M-F for tours, and request that you call ahead.  Without question, it sounds like we have the perfect location for our next JUGs field trip!  I will most definitely be trying the white whiskey!

- Meredith

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Craigslist Hidden Treasures: Headboards Under $60

Already checked Spring cleaning off your list but still looking for something else to spruce up your room? Why not try a mini and affordable makeover for your bed! This week's Craigslist finds are two headboards that I came across and both are priced under $60. 

Yes, you may be questioning quality, as you should with any item found on Craigslist, but with a little elbow grease they could be a great temporary fix to re-vamp your bedroom until you are ready to invest more money into your living spaces.
- Suzanne
1 // 2 // 3 // 4

Monday, April 1, 2013

Book Club: Discussion Questions for Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

Our book for this month is Amor Towles’ novel Rules of Civility. Here are some basic questions to get a book club discussion going (I mean, lets try not to gossip the whole time).

1. We are around the same age as the main character, Katey. Did you find her relatable even though her story takes place 75 years ago?

2. Popular literature, movies, and TV often delve into the topic of a character climbing the social strata (think Pride & Prejudice, Downton Abbey, Revenge, heck - even the Real Housewives). Do you think there really is such a strong distinction between classes in today’s society? Why is this such a popular theme?

3. Would you have felt differently if the entire story wasn’t a flashback? I mean, we knew from the start that her husband wasn’t going to be any of the men in the main part of the story.

4. The story features very strong female characters, yet it was written by a man. Do you think the book would have been different if it was written by a woman?

5. Tinker. What's the deal? What is the motive behind his actions? Are they well thought out?

6. Eve tells Katey, “I like it just fine on this side of the windshield.” Which side are you living on? Have you ever experienced such a watershed moment in your life?