Visiting New England in October!

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I guess I’ll just start off with the truth.

We almost moved to Boston this summer. Or I should say, we almost moved back to Boston this summer. There was a job opportunity that we were seriously considering, and during that time, I was chatting with Everett & Daxton all about New England. Well, we ended up staying put because another (better) job kept Stevie working right here in Georgia, which was a relief because we have so much family here, but after sharing with my boys so much about Boston, I thought we ought to take a trip. And what better time to visit than autumn in New England??

I’m going to break this post up into a few so that I can share about where we ate, what we did, and most importantly (to the boys!) - where we played. Because we played a LOT. I will do a separate follow-up post about traveling with our two boys this time around - please let me know in the comments section if you have specific questions!


Downtown Boston

This shot cracked me up because it was COMPLETELY candid and they all looked so pensive.

This shot cracked me up because it was COMPLETELY candid and they all looked so pensive.

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Color like POW.

Color like POW.

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I love this statue. She’s representing the angels who worship at God’s throne.


Beacon Hill, Massachusetts

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Are you seeing the streets lined with gold? Goshhhh.

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Just casually posing on the quaint cobblestoned alley. LIKE ALL BLOGGERS DO. Sometimes we’re a little bit ridiculous.

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Outfit Details


Loft Top (half off right now!), Madewell Jeans, Banana Republic Scarf (similar), Franco Sarto Flats, RAW Bronzing Studio Tan, (my leather jacket was purchased overseas, similar styles here and here)

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My little sweetheart.

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I never want to forget them like this. Everett is wearing this top and these pants, Dax is wearing this top and these pants.

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Leaf confetti.

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Not the tour we were on but I wanted to get a shot of how the truck goes into the water! So cool!

I think this is our only family photo of the trip but gosh, isn’t Daxton just the sweetest? That child is growing up.

I think this is our only family photo of the trip but gosh, isn’t Daxton just the sweetest? That child is growing up.

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What We Did.
We walked the historical Freedom Trail (if you go without kids, I HIGHLY encourage doing The Freedom Trail Run - it’s a 5k tour of the Freedom Trail and ends with a ferry ride back to where you started! SO efficient and helps you squeeze in a workout while you’re traveling!) We wandered the Boston Public Garden and the Boston Common, which are two of the most amazing public spaces you will find in Boston (I’ve previously overshared the Public Garden here and here).

We also found several amazing playgrounds, one in Beacon Hill called the Myrtle Street Playground, where we played with the kids for a few hours one perfect morning. The golden leaves kept falling around us like confetti and the air was cool and I just thought, “This is it. A perfect moment that I don’t want to forget.” Whatever those golden trees are, I need to plant one here in Georgia. We also played at the Esplanade, on the Charles Bank Playground along the river, and this was the perfect way for the boys to get out wiggles when they were sitting in the stroller for too long.

We also took a Duck Tour in the afternoon, which Everett was really excited about, because (all you boy mamas, listen in!), the tour truck transforms into a boat and goes into the Charles River. Yes. My boys were losing their minds a little, because at any mention of “transformer”, they are shook.

We took the boys to the Curious George toy store in Harvard Square and let them each pick out a toy. It’s kind of a fun thing we’ve started to do - minimizing the toys we buy at home but letting them choose something to play with when we travel. I think it helps them create a special memory reminder of our trip AND gives them a little something to play with on those long travel days where extra patience (and distraction!) is sometimes needed. Our one rule is that the toy must be small enough to be packable! And by the way, they picked out some of these Green Toys and we are loving them!

Where We Ate.
Call me boring, but we did a lot of Starbucks on this trip. My boys are carb monsters and tear through the muffins and bagels like its their job. I like having a few things I can count on them actually eating, so we did a lot of Starbucks in the AM. My order is a grande Americano and the Bacon, Egg & Gouda breakfast sandwich - it’s so good! We also packed the boys apple sauce pouches, snacks and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day, which really helped them feel comfortable (because they eat a lot of this at home!) However, Stevie and I didn’t hold back! We loved our juices and smoothies at The Juicery, dinner at our favorite restaurant in Harvard Square called Grafton Street, and a must-have yogurt at Berryline. Yum.

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This trip was such a blast and we did so much on each day! I’ll share in a separate post about hanging out in Charlestown, where we ate the BEST brunch and cannolis, and why we took an impromptu trip to Maine for the day ;)

Ladies in the Snow

Ladies Weekend.

You can't deny the power of a girls weekend. It's the circled dates on the calendar that you look forward to for months. It's the light at the end of a frazzled holiday season. It's the relief, due in part to that glass of wine, but mostly due to just having those heartfelt girls near to you. You can see the warmth in their eyes, hear the music in their laughter, feel their sweet empathy and let go of all worries. You don't have to talk about work. Who wants to talk about that? You can just laugh. Let loose. Be free. For those 48 hours, it's all about fun... probably with a few tears thrown in there for good measure. I mean, we are women, right??

I had some of my best girl friends in town this past weekend, and... well, they just wowed my socks off. Mostly with their wit. But also with their humility, perspective, grace and vulnerability. These girls. They are the lifeline, the lively, the lifers. Isn't it wonderful to know who will be by your side forever? These treasured women flew in from all corners of the earth - Mobile, Al., West Palm, Fl. and NICARAGUA - all to stay in my tiny abode here in New York. What blessed souls. I'm sure they returned home with a new-found appreciation for space. Though I already miss them, I am most thankful for our times together. It's the best Christmas gift. I hope everyone has friends like these.

We traipsed all over this town, even in the midst of the heavy snow that fell upon us all day on Saturday. Hence the wet socks and the necessary trip into Urban Outfitters to buy more. All photos are taken by these sweet ladies: Natalie at Fresh Life Findings, Alex at The Wonder List and Erica at This Side Photo.

// It was Santacon in West Village // The big tree in Midtown //

// Cafe Lalo (remember this from You Got Mail?) //

// Cafe Lalo treats //

// Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree (really tricky to capture) // Radio City Music Hall //

// On the stoop of Kathleen Kelly's apartment (We might have a slight You Got Mail obsession, yes.) //

// Art on my windowsill. //

These girls just made this cold weather a little bit sunnier. I hope you're having a wonderful week, counting down to Christmas!

Sunday Gratitude

The nicest thing happened today.

I woke up this fine Sunday morning to a phone call from my husband. He left early to help with church set up, so he was out of the house before I even stirred. Our church is a quick walk from our building (I like to tease that we are very convenient Christians), so even though it's not too far, the early hour mixed with the cold makes it quite the morning sacrifice. Ok I lied. It would be a sacrifice to me, but he actually likes helping out. Imagine that. He is clearly the better one between the two of us. So, like I was saying, he called me this morning and I figured it was because he left something or needed something or something. Shame on me. He was calling to ask if he could bring me Starbucks. You did not misread. Starbucks for my morning. Coffee for me. Heaven's elixir for turning bitter mornings into better mornings. How NICE is that?! He said he had a short break from setting up, so he would walk over with coffee. He came gallantly up the steps of our apartment building, toting the beloved caffeine wonder (and blueberry muffin!) with honor. Ok maybe I was still half-asleep. But he seemed like such a stallion.

I LOVE presents and thoughtful acts of kindness. I just love them. And this morning, my kindhearted husband surprised me in the most special way. It may just be coffee, but it was coffee for me. I am so thankful for his thoughtfulness. I have to brag on him. Sometimes love is hard, sometimes love is awful, but sometimes it is sacred and special and laced with the darkest roast Starbucks has to offer. I think I have a praise report for the morning service. Haaa just kidding. I don't talk in church. I just doodle.

In all seriousness, I have much to be grateful for on this blustery cold day. What's your Sunday Gratitude? Cherish it.

Eat. Drink. Thank.

Thanksgiving came in extraordinary fashion this year. This was a year of many firsts: NOT being in Atlanta, not being with family, and not sitting back and chit chatting while someone else does all the cooking. Instead, my husband and I stayed in Cambridge, celebrated this holiday with dear friends and I cooked my tail off. And you know what? We kind of loved it.

Tangent: My husband’s name is Steven – he wanted me to mention him by name… I think he was getting paranoid that I kept referring to him as “my husband” as if I were trying to protect his anonymity on purpose. We are in the age of Facebook and drones; none of us are anonymous anymore. Anywho, he answers to Steven. Or Stevie. Or Shmoopsy-poo. Just kidding. He won’t let me call him weird names. It’s a real bummer.

Well I digress. I started Thanksgiving Day off right, with a cup of Starbuck’s Christmas Blend while watching the Macy’s Day Parade. That part of the morning did not last long. Once Stevie turned on football there was little else in the world that mattered to him. The crazy part is that I loved the cooking storm I created, mostly because it was storm-free! It was such a peaceful, fun and creative process for me. I (proudly) cooked the following:

Stuffing

Sweet Potato Soufflé (the first batch was chronicled here)

Roasted Vegetables

Cranberry Sauce

Pretzel Jell-O Salad

Pumpkin Pie

I was a regular Betty Crocker (I would like to think of myself as Giada, but I don’t look that hot while I cook.) We packed up the food and drove 3 minutes down the road to dear Troy and Carrie’s place (they are officially our Cambridge family.) They hosted a crowd of 10, and the 4 of us were the only Americans. AND we were the only ones who have ever celebrated Thanksgiving. The rest of the crowd was from Malaysia, Germany and Brazil. It was so interesting being with amazing people from all over the world and coming together to celebrate this holiday of gratitude. Troy and Carrie set a gorgeous table of fanciness AND they cooked the turkey (it was ridiculously impressive.) The four of us ended the night curling up on our couch enjoying mugs of rum apple cider (my own little concoction!)

Photo Credit: The Gorgeous Stevie Hale

Weekend Takeaway

Though it was truly bittersweet missing out on family traditions, it was a merry time indeed. As I think forward to next year, I know that we will be living in a different state (location unknown), potentially celebrating with different people in a new way, so this was a nice way to commemorate our time here in Cambridge. This Thanksgiving was cozy, warm and marked by lots of sleep. Much to be thankful for.