Purse Organization Tins


Isn’t the idea of organization so great? Putting it into practice can be a little tricky though. I’m always on the hunt for life changing organizational systems that work seamlessly into my existing routines. I love having an organized purse. I just wish the organization would last longer than a couple days! I think part of the reason why we all have a hard time keeping our bags clean is just because we are so very kind to the environment and refuse to litter, right?? Sometimes the purse just has to be a trash receptacle.

These metal slide top tins have proven to be majorly handy over the last few months. Every time I’m near a Black Ink store in Boston or Cambridge I grab a little handful of them. There are probably about a zillion uses for them and they are less than $2 each (I think the tiny ones are like $.97). I really like these for my purses because they are sturdy, compact, and give the look and feel of a customized kit. I have some filled with tiny crafting pieces, fake eyelashes that I think are so cool, but I never use, and pretty much anything that I want to throw in my purse. Acquiring a label maker made these little guys so much cuter too. For my purse, I keep one tin for mints and gum, one for hair ties and bobby pins, and one for makeup touchup supplies. It’s so nice to not have all these things rolling around in the bottom of my bag! It also makes switching bags a piece of cake. If I’m going out for a quick meal, I can just grab the gum tin or if I’m going to be out all day I can make sure I have it all. So convenient! What are some of your favorite organization tips?


Just a few items that might help to freshen up if needed. And it all fit so nicely in one tin!


I did not intend to be all Kate Spade or primary color themed here – it just happens to be what I was using at the time!


Such a perfect fit!


Flashback Friday – Rome


I’ve been thinking about doing some flashback posts for a while now. Every time I go in to choose which photos I want to edit and post next, I see my albums of travel photos and think what a shame it is that I can’t post them as new. Well, first of all, I don’t know why I convinced myself that I can’t post old things because I get behind on my photos so much around here! But, also these flashback/throwback posts have become all the rage – I finally get to be one of the cool kids. Most of my flashbacks, at least for now, are probably going to be from my post-college trip to Europe. I was beyond excited for this because not only could I relax for a while about finding a grown up job, but also because my months of hard work trying to get my fellowship proposal approved actually paid off. I think I remember the day that I thought I didn’t win the fellowship more clearly than the day I found out that I did! I had just returned home for a school break, but it was hard to relax. I was obsessively checking my email and at times felt sick to my stomach waiting. Eventually I forced myself to accept the fact that I wasn’t chosen. I was actually certain that it was over for weeks before one of my grad student friends said, ‘oh, you didn’t hear? They postponed the decision because some people wanted more time.’ Are you kidding me?? OMG I can’t even explain the feelings that I felt in that moment. Anyway, turned out that the kind dude who finally informed me of this was my fellow, fellowship winner! Pretty awesome! This was one of the most exciting times in my life. I felt so excited, accomplished, and nervous to be leaving my friends behind and eventually traveling all alone.

Ok, I swear my future travel posts won’t be this long now that the backstory/reminiscing is (kind of) behind us. I really just wanted to share a few of my favorite pictures from that summer, starting with Rome, which was actually my last stop. Some of my favorite pictures from the whole trip were from Rome, so I thought it would be a good place to start. I was getting really drained at this point and itching to be back where I could speak to people fluently and not have to eat most of my meals alone! I even got sick towards the end of the week. Being sick made me really thankful that I had such an awesome hotel. I honestly couldn’t believe it when I saw my room because it was so cheap (I may have just gotten lucky)! And quiet and spotless and the staff was really friendly and I believe they had free breakfast too. So, if you’re ever in Rome, I would highly recommend the Hotel Romance! Yeah, I felt weird booking a hotel with romance in the name, but I saw a few other solo travelers there too! Ok, I’m going on and on again. Here are a few of my unedited Rome photos from the summer of 2010!

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Colosseum cat : (

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I only took a few photos of myself! Some proof that I was there. My sunglasses look like 3D glasses here…I hope it’s just the angle.


Cute, right??


Denver – Manneken Frites


I was so excited to try Manneken Frites when I was home last week and we just barely squeezed it in. My mom and sister tried it a while ago and knew that it was just my thing. Mostly because they had poutine, which I have mentioned at least a couple of times on this blog. Love it! Unfortunately, poutine has been removed from the menu, possibly temporarily. Shucks! I wasn’t too disappointed though because I was mostly interested in trying a few of their many, many sauces. We ordered a double with three sauces: buffalo blue cheese, sauce andalouse (green pepper + onion), and chipotle mayo. My mom and sister already knew that the chipotle mayo was a must and they were right. The other two were great and all mixed well, but maybe we should have been a little more creative with our choices! The server mentioned that we somehow ended up with every orange sauce they offer. Oops! Didn’t even think of that. Honestly, it was nearly impossible to choose three sauces. They all sound really good.

These are the restaurants that I love trying. And whenever I have dreamed up imaginary restaurant ideas it always uses the same concept of doing one thing really well and offering lots of cool choices and varieties. I’ve mentioned how indecisive I am – I always appreciate having the option to choose more than one thing! Manneken Frites is a really fun place to go sample with friends. They also have hot dogs and beer if you want a more substantial meal. By the way, if you’re in Boston, Saus has a very similar menu and their poutine is really good! They also have waffles and ice cream, but I’ve only tried the poutine. I’ll have to go back soon and take some pics!

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Boston – Food Truck Throwdown!


I had been looking forward to the Boston vs NYC Food Truck Throwdown all week. I love food trucks all the time, but especially when there are a whole bunch in one spot! Sidenote: I also really love food courts. I can totally relate to the Gilmore Girls episode where Rory and Lorelai introduce Emily to the food court with a sampling of every type of cuisine available. I’ve also always wanted to compile my own food court smorgasbord. I am quite indecisive though, so it’s kind of odd that I enjoy the variety so much.

I thought the trucks might be serving smaller, sample sized portions, but everyone seemed to have their regular menu. I went in with the intention of trying NYC food since I see a lot of the Boston trucks around all the time. That didn’t happen, but I’m really happy with what we tried! Paul was standing in line at an NYC truck while I scoped out other menus again. I kept passing Penny Packer’s and couldn’t deny the amazing smell hovering over their area. I had never seen their truck before, they had a fairly short line, and their specialty, the Porchetta sandwich, was only $5 so I hopped in and grabbed one. They were cranking those sandwiches out – they got it down! Paul was still in line and said he just read on a forum that the Porchetta is a must-try and the place he was waiting on had only ok reviews. So in less than 5 minutes he had a Porchetta in his hands too.  This sandwich was AMAZING! Delicious, juicy, flavorful pork with a layer of crispy skin, plus a fruity relish (with whole cherries!) and a toasty, but soft bun. Whew, that mouthful. It was like, the perfect sandwich. I can’t believe it was only $5 because I was stuffed. Now, I had imagined that I would sample lots of stuff at the event, but I was so full! We decided to leave and come back for dinner, but that didn’t happen either. Oops! Even though we didn’t take full advantage of all the trucks, I think we made a good decision. I don’t know who won/what awards were voted on, but as we were leaving Penny Packer’s I heard one of the judges on stage say it was the best Porchetta he had ever had. Score!

Update: They won best Boston AND best overall!! I knew we picked well. Nuchas was the NYC truck that I wanted to try because I love empanadas – wish we had because they won best NYC! Shucks.


Sunday in Boston


Yesterday was such a beautiful day! We were on our way  to the Arnold Arboretum, but got distracted by a big crowd, music, and news trucks at Copley Square. We headed over and saw that all the signs, flowers, and toys left for the bombing victims had been collected there. The place was packed with people writing messages, snapping photos, and just taking everything in. Each time I’ve been in the area of the marathon has been emotional. From seeing the closed down street being investigated, to seeing the bombing sites and boarded up windows for the first time, and now this collection of mementos – it’s very surreal. Today, the tulips were blooming, people were singing, dogs were playing, and strangers were uniting. It’s tough to see these memorials, but also comforting to be around people leaving behind so many positive messages. I had my camera handy since I thought we would be hanging at the arboretum. Hopefully we will go there soon! Although the tulips were so beautiful, that I didn’t mind skipping it for today. The sun and shadows made them look like a painting – it was crazy. No edits on the tulip photos below, and they looked just as cool in person. I couldn’t narrow the photos down, so there are lots! Hope you enjoy.

Oh, and one other thing about today. We were on CNN! Haha. They were all over Copley Square. We stood with a crowd of people by the CNN station so that our families back home could see us. I think only my sister caught it in time. Who knows, maybe some of you saw me and just didn’t know it! : )

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Eats of the Day :: Manhattan Sausage


I’ve done an Eats of the Week post every Sunday since I started this blog. Well, silly me, I already shared most of my eats in separate posts this week. Today I don’t have a collection of photos from the week, but I couldn’t break the streak, so I’m cheating a little. These are my eats of the day instead. (Pretend I remembered to take a picture of my Dunkin Donuts bagel this morning.)

We spent today in Manhattan, KS eating and spending some time with family. We always go to a place called Hibachi Hut when we’re in town. It’s a place that my parents ate at when they went to school here and we’ve all grown to love. I feel like my posts lately have gradually been revealing 1) my love for sausage and 2) my state jumping history. I lived in the south as a toddler (LA, GA) and have held on to my Cajun eating habits ever since. It’s always a treat to eat red beans and rice with homemade sausage when we visit. For dinner we went to Famous Dave’s. I had never been to one. Everyone was telling me that the one in Manhattan is much better than the one closer to our home. Once again, I had sausage. I didn’t even think twice about it, but I would justify it by saying that one was Cajun and one was BBQ. Totally acceptable, right? The side of jalapeno Mac & Cheese was awesome! I am super stuffed now and debating making a trip to the hotel fitness center…




Instagram Travels :: A Night in Kansas City


Today has been a long, tiring, fun, filling day. I woke up at 5:45 this morning to start my trip from Boston to O’hare and finally Kansas City. I grew up mostly in KC before moving to Colorado before high school, so I have lots of great memories and family here! The boys came to go to a basketball game and the girls came to shop and eat cupcakes on the plaza. We started the afternoon together with what else? Ribs! We were all starving. Then we shopped and anxiously awaited the beautiful plaza lights to come on. Some years growing up we drove to the big city for a slice of cheesecake as big as our heads and a ride on the Cinderella horse drawn carriages. I was so happy to see they were still there and with glittery hooves this time! I am so ready to go to bed now. Off to spend some time with more family and sports tomorrow in Manhattan!


:: the Cinderella carriages!! ::


:: First stop Houston’s. Dad’s prime rib looked pretty good! ::


:: this guys was cool. He decorated his bagpipes for Christmas! ::


:: all of the lights ::


:: Loot from Cupcakes a la Mode. A hit! ::


:: I picked amaretto sweetie. I love almond anything ::

Instagram Travels

:: This town can turn anything into art! Found this beautiful toilet inside of an antique shop ::

These Instagram pictures are pretty really old, but I still love looking at them! Towards the beginning of the summer my family took a weekend trip to Salida, Colorado and then hit Manitou Springs on the drive back home. Both towns were super cute and artsy. We basically spent the whole time wandering through tons of fun antique shops and art galleries. I am quite shocked that I have NO food pics to share in this post. I am usually a pretty diligent restaurant instagramer. I assure you, we had some really tasty meals that weekend – yes, I still remember! In fact, my brother and I still reminisce about some amazing crab cakes that we both ate for Sunday brunch.

:: chillin in the hotel and showing off a hat that I found in one of the antique shops ::

:: building art/mother nature’s art ::

Apple Picking at Home

:: I wish my nails always matched my food. (Revlon’s Raven Red if you’re interested!) ::

Last weekend I made a trip home to Colorado to surprise my dad for his birthday. The weather and scenery were as beautiful as ever. I’ve really been wanting to go apple picking out here in New England, but a lack of car has kind of prevented that from happening. We have had a little apple tree in the backyard at home since we moved in, but this is the first year that the apples have been so big and red! I remember picking a bunch two years ago and trying to make apple juice, but they were just too mealy. I was so happy to see all these pretty apples that were actually good enough to eat off the tree.

:: Love the mountains in the background! ::

:: Whooops ::

:: Aw puppy break! Please let me come up. ::

:: Some of the prize apples ::

:: Oh yeah, so stylish ::

:: So fun and mesmerizing! ::