Bookmarked: A Homemade Life

A Homemade Life | Bookmarked on Frock Files

A few Saturdays ago, I kicked off a new Saturday morning ritual: a sweaty workout at Studio Poise and a quick trip to Whole Foods afterward. My friend Maggie lives in the same neighborhood, and on that first Saturday, I headed to her house afterward with an armful of peonies. You know that you’re really friends with someone when you can show up soaked with sweat and bare faced.

A Homemade Life | Bookmarked on Frock FilesMaggie lives in a charming century-old house which she and her husband have transformed into a warm, inviting home. I love sitting in her expansive kitchen. Maybe it’s because that’s where the magic happens, as Maggie works on Eat Boutique and her cookbook. But more likely, it’s because Maggie is the kind of hostess who knows exactly how to make you feel like you’ve been part of her home all along. It helps that her husband brews an incredible cup of Japanese quick cold brew coffee.

As I was leaving, Maggie slipped A Homemade Life off of her overflowing built-in bookshelves (because what makes a home feel more like a home than that?) and pressed it into my hands. The author, Molly Wizenberg, is the creator of a blog called Orangette. The book was the perfect companion to a perfect morning, as the short chapters bring together Molly’s fond family memories with the recipes that accompany them.

It made me think more about the way we’re eating, and the memories we’re creating around our food. It also made me think about the idea of home and how tied it is to these little moments. Sitting together talking about our plans and disappointments and hopes and goals. Feeling like you could spend the whole day just that way. Finding things to love about the place you already live in.

It’s a lovely summer read. (Although I can imagine re-reading it by the fire with a steaming mug of cocoa this winter.)

What are you reading this summer?

Original photo credit couldn’t be tracked down, however this image was pinned from A Gentle Woman.

14 Days of Love Giveaway | Eat Boutique

14 Days of Love Giveaway from Eat Boutique from Joy Uyeno on Vimeo.

Happy Valentine’s Week, friends! If you haven’t heard by now, I’ve teamed up with thirteen other incredible bloggers and each of us are hosting a giveaway each day up to Valentine’s Day. We’re calling the series 14 Days of Love — and the giveaways are pretty fabulous. You can follow along each day by liking the 14 Days of Love Facebook page.

Today it’s my turn, and I’m working with Eat Boutique to give away a custom foodie care package worth $185! Eat Boutique originally started as a respected food blog, but once owner Maggie Battista began putting together care packages featuring gourmet food from small batch vendors, they were so in-demand that she opened a shop. Today, the shop is thriving and Maggie is well-known for her spectacular local events. She’s even signed on with a publisher to pen a cookbook! All this couldn’t have happened to a nicer person, either. Maggie is a total bright light.

And for Frock Files, she’s put together a very special care package filled with all of her favorite things! While you can buy all kinds of care packages at Eat Boutique, and every item in this package is available a la cart in the shop, this specific package is the Maggie Special, created just for you. Everything I’ve tasted from the boutique has been mouthwatering and delightful. (My favorite are the Fixx Chocolates with praline crisp with passion fruit pate de fruits, which are pretty much two bites of heaven.) You’re in for a treat. Scroll down and leave a comment to enter the giveaway!

Since the video moves so quickly, here are all the items in this care package:

Evy Tea Green Tea Fig Pomegranate // Empire Mayonnaise Co. White Truffle // Sofra Rose Petal Jam // Simple and Crisp Pear Fruit Crisps // Fixx Chocolates: Andy’s Bar // Didi Davis Rose Sugar // Treat Bake Shop Spiced Pecans // EHChocolatier French Hot Chocolate // Morris Kitchen Syrups Grenadine // Boncora Biscotti

Here are all of the giveaways we’re hosting this month. I wish I could enter them all! So do it for me, will ya?

Feb. 1 Oleander and Palm – $100 Land of Nod card (closed)
Feb. 2  Design Improvised – $100 Hayneedle ecard (closed)
Feb. 3 Sarah Hearts – $150 Wayfair gift card (closed)
Feb. 4 Bunny and Dolly – Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag and baby book (closed)
Feb. 5 Poppy Haus – $100 gift certificate to Kidecals (closed)
Feb. 6 A Golden Afternoon – $150 gift certificate to Tea Collection (closed)
Feb. 7 Lulu the Baker – Umba Products valued at $100 (closed)
Feb. 8 The Flair Exchange – $100 Tiny Prints gift card
Feb. 9 Melissa Creates – $100 prize package from Sassy Steals
Feb. 10 Frock Files – Eat Boutique gift basket valued at $185
Feb. 11 Hello Lidy – $100 West Elm gift card
Feb. 12 Living on Love – $75 Minted gift card
Feb. 13 Jade and Fern – $50 Home Depot gift card and a handmade valentine
Feb. 14 Squirrelly Minds – Omiyage gift box valued at $100

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Alt Summit Recap: Don’t Forget

Alt Summit | Don't Forget

Although it’s hard to believe, the sequin filled whirlwind of Altitude Summit is over! The trip was a day longer than expected, since Delta generously bumped me up to an earlier flight to avoid the impending snow storm. My friend Maggie and I boarded a plane together on Tuesday and spent that luxurious limbo day napping, getting pampered at the spa, and eating delicious food. The extra day also gave me the opportunity to head out to dinner with another friend, Erin, who whisked me to a fabulous sushi restaurant called Takashi. Who knew that sushi in the middle of the country could be so fresh?

Then it was Wednesday, and the hotel really began filling up. For someone who typically spends her days in yoga pants, and for whom blow drying is an effort, the sudden influx of impeccably dressed women in high heels and perfect coifs was hugely impressive. I was lucky enough to room with Mere, who is of the loveliest people you could hope to meet, and we breathed a sigh of relief as we headed to the spa to hand our locks over to the professionals. We emerged an hour later with Alt-appropriate ‘dos.

After that, it was like getting on a steep, twisting slide filled with chatter and balloons. People kept asking what my goals were at this year’s conference, and my answer was always the same: to see my friends. While last year was all about soaking in the knowledge, this year was more about strengthening connections and collaborating. And I’m happy to report that both were fulfilled.

There will be plenty of roundups for you to read this week, but I just wanted to leave you with my one big takeaway: never forget who you are and where you started.

The people I most admired at this year’s conference were a mixture of new acquaintances and established friendships. All of them are humble people who recognize that their success is the result of many stars aligning — hard work, passion, and talent, yes, but also luck, and sometimes even a whole bunch of failure. And that it could all go as easily as it came. There’s no sense of entitlement, just genuine hope and the understanding that you need to roll with the punches if you ever hope to survive.

As the year goes on, I’ll look back at these people as models for the kind of person I’d like to become.

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All photos except the first were taken by the tremendously talented Justin Hackworth.

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