Hello and Then Some » A lifestyle blog

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There’s something about January that feels like a fresh start. 2014 was one for the books (planned a wedding, married my best friend, had an amazing honeymoon) but I’m excited for the clean slate of 2015. Of course I’m making resolutions this year- the usual suspects (though I can happily report I have faithfully kept up with my 3x a week gym training as part of my 2014 resolutions) and some new ones as well.

One thing I really want to tackle this year and especially feeling motivated right now is to simplify and pair down my possessions. My friends can attest to the fact that my apartment is PACKED to the gills with stuff – they know not to open the bedroom door or any closets if they get invited over and to overt their eyes if they pop by unannounced 🙂 Running a business from home, all those entertaining pieces from the wedding, clothes! (those that I like wearing, the ones I hope to wear again some day, all my seasonal stuff and then those I need to say goodbye to) – I have a lot of things and I’m grateful to have them but I need to weed down to the best of the best.

One area that has absolutely exploded the past few years is my sewing supplies and stash – what once was a part of a shelf, became a bookcase, became multiple bookcases and piles and boxes and bags. And don’t get me wrong, I love it all (well most of it, working on destashing the things that no longer make my heart go pitter-patter) but I need to make a change or I’ll be buried in fabric shortly. Notice I said fabric and not quilts… I have a ‘starteritis’ issue I think a lot of creatives end up with. I have SO MANY ideas, so many sketches and plans and piles that I have a case of creative ADD.

Some things I know… my favorite part of a project is often the planning- deciding on a pattern or creating one, selecting fabrics, cutting little pieces from my scrap bins etc. and once that part if over sometimes I’m left with a bit of a fizzle and into the WIP pile it goes. So one of my sewing specific goals this year is to finish more projects. Tackle that WIP pile and at least have some completed tops 🙂 In 2014 I did make quite a few quilts completely but all were gifts – I want to make a nice big quilt this year for ME. Ironically one of my favorite parts about any craft is the organization of the supplies – special boxes, labels and cubbies that house my supplies and keep them in order. The problem of course is when my supplies overrun my allotted space! Since we’re in our place for the foreseeable future I need to pair down my stuff to fit more comfortably. That being said here are my 2015 Sewing Resolutions…

1. Finish More. Work on that WIP pile (and then my WIP bins can be filled with new and fun projects!)

2. Stash Bust. Sew from my stash as much as possible (to be honest, I already do this most of the time – I don’t usually buy fabric for a specific project, I usually just buy it because I like it- oops! The key here is more fabric out than in.)

3. Purchase Less. Weigh fabric purchases carefully and see what I’m actually using (I need me some Doe, Follie and some of the new Cotton + Steel though!)

4. Stretch. Tackle a project I wouldn’t have dreamed about sewing a few years ago – curves, y seams or the like – something to show off my sewing skills and how they have improved.

5. Savor. Enjoy the process of quilting- blog and take pictures along the way, not just the results.

6. Selfish Sewing. Make a nice big quilt for ME and snuggle under it on the couch.


On my ‘someday’ list is still figuring out FMQ – at this point though I’m not sure I want to give it a whirl – straight or organic line quilting is much more my style.

Birthday in Boston


I had a seriously fun birthday couple of days with my friends and family. I had been wanting to go checkout the Boston Harbor Islands for at least 5 years- but I had never really looked into getting there. When I was deciding what to do for my birthday and it was supposed to be great weather I knew I had to be outside!  It was a simple 20 minute ferry ride over to Spectacle Island on a Boston Harbor Cruise boat – we sat up top and the ferry ride to and from may have been the highlight of my day- I just love the feeling of open air and the wind in my hair. SO FREE. Ever afraid of crowds I made my besties take a ferry on the early side for a Saturday morning so we could get there before lunchtime. We disembarked at Spectacle Island and took a short walk uphill to the South Summit. I pushed Jack in the stroller (you know you’re getting old when there are babies at your birthday party)! We staked out a great spot overlooking the water with a gazebo and a picnic table and lots of space around us. If I had known how much space we would have had I would have brought some lawn games! We spent the day playing cards against humanity and feasting on picnic fare – cheese and crackers, fruit, brownies, and croissant sandwiches. I couldn’t resist a bit of day drinking and toted along some mason jars with spiked blueberry mint fresh squeezed lemonade. The weather was amazing and the clouds looked like cotton candy.

That night we checked out the newest spot in Union Square – Brass Union. We had a great spot at the corner of the bar in the lounge area – Chris got to try out the shuffleboard table and a bunch of friends met us out for cocktails. A few of us tried some of the small plates – I had the grass-fed burger with cabot cheddar and onion jam (yum!) and Chris had the Choripan which was kind of like a hot dog. The highlight was the hand cut fries and Bernaise sauce – everyone knows the way to my heart is a good fry! I had a couple million proseccos.

And on Monday my actual birthday I met my Mum up in Concord, NH – somewhere in between where we both live. We had a lovely mexican lunch (also on the favorite foods shortlist are chips and guacamole) and then hit up the outlets for a bit of shopping. That night Chris took me out to Posto and we had the most fabulous goat cheese bruschettea. I ordered a cocktail called “Vespa” and I most recreate it immediately – Cucumber Vodka, Basil, Lime and Prosecco – so refreshing! And I got spoiled with birthday treats from family and friends – I’m one lucky birthday girl- officially in the 29 club and this year is going to be a great one!



Well I certainly got in my exercise last week (which paid off on the scale today, yippee!). Thursday I had the opportunity to try out a spin class at The Handle Bar Fenway when the owner Jess so graciously hosted the Boston Bloggers. Now, I had tried out a spinning class or two a few years ago for a group ex class at another gym – but they certainly did not focus on spinning exclusively. First off, the studio is adorable – bright and modern which sets a great tone for your workout. The classroom itself is pretty dark when you’re spinning so you don’t have to worry about anyone seeing how sweaty you are which is always a bonus! I was a little nervous when I saw there were special shoes to use on the spin bikes but I actually came to really like that – I felt much more secure on the bike all clipped in.

Most of our group were newbies so Jess went over the basics – hand positions and terminology as well as some of the choreography moves we’d later be adding to our workout. The music selection was great (especially the throwback Desirae song, I so respect that) and Jess’ energy level was very motivating (and yet slightly irksome – how does she have so much energy when I’m over here dying?? haha)

I was so surprised when 3/4 of the way through class we took out a weighted bar and did some arm movements while on the bike – what a great way to make it a total body workout! The only downside to spinning for me is the actual pain in my ass the next day – ouch I felt bruised from the seat! Next time I’ll be rocking my padded shorts with pride 🙂 All in all it was a great workout, definitely sweaty, and I’m so glad I gave spinning another chance. I’m sure I’ll be back for a class or two before September!



pure barre socks

Back from my 1st Pure Barre class and wow, that was a challenge! I first heard about Pure Barre about a year ago from one of my friends who was going religiously before her wedding. I don’t have a studio right near me so I didn’t think much of it again. Fast forward to the Boston Bloggers Spring Meet & Greet at Highball Lounge last month. Jodi was there selling raffle tickets to support the MS Challenge Walk. Kate was manning the door so she asked me to buy some tickets for her (and naturally avoid all the exercise prizes). I spotted the Pure Barre bag and decided to buy a few tickets to support a great cause… and then I won!

Now, I wasn’t in tip top form today as I had a training session at GISFW yesterday and did a spin class at The Handle Bar Fenway last night (another post to come on that!). So I was a little hobbley to start off with. My first impression of the studio was great – when I called to setup my account the girl on the phone was super friendly and helpful. I love that I can schedule the classes online/in app- very handy especially as my schedule changes frequently. When I walked in today the studio lobby is adorable and the girls at the front desk were really nice. I put on the special grippy socks, tossed my stuff in a locker, and gathered my ball and weights.

The class started with a warm up – I’m glad I wasn’t in the front since I didn’t know the routine and had to look at the other girls to figure stuff out. So far so good. Then we got to the 90 second plank! Spoiler Alert- I can’t do that yet. I can barely do 35 seconds at the gym (and when I started I could only do like 10 seconds so I’m pretty proud of those 35!). My favorite part was working on thighs at the bar – I could really feel it and they aren’t kidding about the shake! My least favorite part was the abs – mostly because I couldn’t hold the positions. I’m relatively new to a more active lifestyle and basics like pushups and sit-ups are still a challenge for me. So combining core work with tucking and lifting your leg up an inch down and inch was really hard. Of course, I wasn’t expecting this to be easy! Overall the class was really challenging, but not heavy breathing cardio type of challenging. Basically my muscles just felt like they could give out at any second. Lots of pulsing and micro movements on the verge of a permanent charlie horse… but in a good way? Tough to explain. My instructor Angela was really helpful and came over several times to adjust me and help me into the correct positions – so nice to feel like she had my back at my first class. The good news is the 55 minute class went by really quick! 

Afterwards I hit up the Starbucks downstairs (negating any calorie burn but hey its Friday) and there was a nice girl from class that said by your 3rd time it gets easier so thats comforting. Only time will tell to see if there will be any physical changes- hopefully combining Pure Barre a couple times a week with my regular training and cardio will have me seeing some results by July- gotta fit into that shower dress I have picked out from Rent the Runway!



Just 110 days til the BIG DAY (but who’s counting??) so I’m starting to get my butt in gear with wedding details. Our wedding colors are in the coral/blush palette (different shades of J Crew dresses for each of the girls!) along with gold. First up envelope liners. Now, I’m admittedly obsessed with gold these days, and my first thought was gold polka dot liners for the invites. I did a ton of research and realized they weren’t really in the budget and I’d rather spend that money on something that won’t be tossed away. I looked over a bunch of the precut liners online but didn’t find anything I loved. One day browsing the clearance rack at Target I spotted this adorable polka dot kraft gift wrap and knew it would be perfect. I also picked up those gold scissors – Nate Berkus for Target- because they went so well I needed them, no?


envelope liner supplies


I was debating between envelope colors but I settled on the Luxe Blush envelopes from Paper Source for the invites, and for the response cards we’ll be doing the Papaya color with no liner. The liners were easy peasy to cut out with the envelope liner template set from Paper Source. I recruited my mum to help me trace and cut the liners and it went pretty fast with two of us working. I’m starting assembly this week – the directions on the templates say you should use paper clips to hold the liner in place inside the envelope before you add the adhesive but I found I didn’t need to do that.

Envelope Liner DIY

1. Trace liner template onto wrong side of desired paper and cut out

2. Insert liner into envelope

3. Fold envelope flap down over the liner and run a bone folder over the edge to leave a crease on the liner

4. Flip only the envelope flap up and run a line of adhesive tape just inside the glue of the envelope

5. Fold back down to seal


DIY envelope liners Envelope_liners002 Envelope_liners004 Envelope_liners005 Envelope_liners006 Envelope_liners007 Envelope_liners008



Easy, affordable, just a little time investment – these little details are what I love most about this planning process. Now I’ve got to focus on designing the invites so these envelopes don’t end up empty!