Thursday, August 28, 2014

Where to Eat in Boston: Max Brenner

I'm introducing a new series today! Now that I’m in in Beantown most of the time, I thought it would be fun to talk about some of the fun activities in Boston. I’m calling this “See, Eat, Do,” and will be talking about the sites to see, what to eat, and what to do in Boston. I’m hoping that this will be helpful for anyone interested in visiting Boston – whether it’s a day or a week – and also for other people living here who may not know where to start in enjoying this awesome city.

family activities in Boston


Today, I’m talking about my trip to Max Brenner, located on Boylston St. It’s known as one of the best chocolate companies, which is right up my alley. A week or so ago, one of my cousins was in town, so we (my mom, sister, and I) took him there for lunch.

restaurants in Boston


My only complaint is that it was not very allergen friendly. I can’t eat gluten, dairy, or hydrogenated oils, and I really struggled to find something that I could eat on their menu. They had a few salads, but most of them I would have to take off so many ingredients that it would just become lettuce and the odd tomato. I ended up going with a burger (without the bun or waffle fries), and it was delicious. I just had it with lettuce and tomato, but it was one of the best burgers that I’ve ever had.

My sister had a salad on top of a waffle. The presentation was pretty impressive, as you can see below. It had cheese, chickpeas, quinoa, and tomato, and she really enjoyed it.

restaurants in Boston


My cousin ordered a cheese pizza, and between him and my mom, they finished it easily.

restaurants in Boston


Everyone was satisfied with their lunches and so full that we opted out of dessert. I do want to return some time to try and find out if they really do have the best chocolate. I mean, it’s my duty to all of you, right? If I have to eat some of their chocolate to find out if you have to stop by when you’re visiting Boston, then I’ll do it for you.

Overall, my family and I loved our meal there. My only issue was that there weren’t many options to accommodate me, but unless you have those intense dietary restrictions, it would be great to add to your list of family activities to do in Boston.

Just so you know, I was not compensated in any way for this post. If I ever am in any way for these posts in the future, I will absolutely let you know.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Free Downloadables + Giveaway

Happy Tuesday! In my quest for a more organized life - specifically, a more organized blog life - I have put together a blog binder to keep all my information, statistics, plans, goals, to-do lists, and more in one place. I got a lot of pages for it just off of Pinterest or Google, but I was not loving a lot of the calendar options. They tended to not have enough space for me to actually write anything in them!

Free blog printables


First up - September 2014 calendar. There is enough space for you to write your post ideas and your goals for the month.

September 2014 calendar printable


I have it in 3 color combinations - blue and green, pink and green, and pink and cyan. Download for free!

Next up - for all you bloggers out there, I have a week calendar with reminders to write, proofread, make an image, schedule (if you do that), and promote it. AND there's space for you to add notes on your goals for the week, what's coming up, and reminders to yourself. Don't want to print off one of these each week? Print off one (or four for the month), put it inside a page protector, and write on it using a whiteboard marker.

Right now, I only have it in one color combination. If you would like other color options, let me know, and I may offer others in the future! Get in blue and green here.

Printable Weekly Calendar

Finally - I have a 2 week calendar with the same daily reminders as the one above. I also have this is just one color combination, and I have the same suggestion here as I do with the other one: print off one or two of these, put 'em in page protectors, and write on them with white board marker. Saves a lot of paper!

Get it here in blue and green.

Printable 2 Week Blogger Calendar





Dara : The Southern Thing // Melany : Melany's GuyDlines  // Kelly : Sparkles and Shoes 
Logan : Logan Can  // Jess : The Fly Away American  //  Kelly : Six One Six  
 Becca : Becoming Adorrable  //  Jess : Being Mrs. Beer  // Jackie : Our Nashville Life 
 Kate :  Kate the (Almost) Great  // Heather : When You're Making Plans //  Helene : Helene in Between




Monday, August 25, 2014

August Favorites

August has been a HUGE month for me. I moved away from Nashville - where I've lived since starting at Vanderbilt in August of 2009 - moved back home, and have fully started hoping to get my health back under control. So here is what I've been loving this past (crazy) month!

August Favorites


Music

Taylor Swift - Shake It Off



Say what you will about the music video, but this is a super fun and catchy song. I can't wait for the rest of the album!


Reading


I've mentioned time and time again how much I love the Outlander series. I'm currently rereading the 7th book, and hoping to get the 8th one when it comes out in paperback (because I'm definitely not spending $35 on the hardback, as much as I love the series.)

Grad School Websites

Yes, I am applying to grad school. So I'm reading and reading and reading websites and information, so much so that my head is starting to spin.


Ash lives "to experience every day as an adventure by blogging about the grits of life." 


 Jenn shares with you her crazy dog lady tendencies, her shopping problem, what she's wearing, and her hopes, dreams, and… stuff.


Wearing


I have this great pair from last year that I wear all the time! They look cute, and like I put in more effort than I did. Be sure to snag a pair in the end of summer sale!


I'm going to be giving a full review later this week, so I won't say more other than a) they're really comfortable and b) I got them for free to review, just FYI.


Look good, feel good, fit well, and all the jazz. Love them! 


Watching

Outlander

Criminal Minds

Big Brother 16

World Without End - miniseries available on Netflix, historical fiction

Emma Approved - YouTube modern retelling of Jane Austen's Emma. And the actors who play Emma and Alex are dating in real life. It's just glorious.



Saturday, August 23, 2014

Kate the (Almost) Great: YouTube Edition

As you may or may not know, I've recently started making YouTube videos as another way to express myself creatively. Subscribe to find out when I publish them, and/or watch my most recent videos below. Have a great weekend!

An Overview of My Channel



I Quit! A Vlog of the Quitting Process



Get Ready With Me



Why Do We Need Awareness



Piper Doesn't Hate Me! Vlogging My First Week In Boston




Friday, August 22, 2014

101 in 1001 Update

Back in January, I started a 101 in 1001 list. It's a list of 101 things I want to accomplish in 1001 days. Since my life plan drastically changed due to my health, I went through and changed some items that were specific to Nashville/living in Tennessee. Today I have that changed list, as well as an update on what I've accomplished!

101 in 1001


Start Date: January 2, 2014
End Date: October 4, 2016

1. Finish book #2

2. Publish book #2

3. Get a literary agent

4. Read 101 books
I'll be keeping track of this with Goodreads. Check out my 101 in 1001 bookshelf!
(6/101)

5. Throw a dinner party

6. Make Thanksgiving dinner from scratch

7. Invest in a classic handbag

8. Go to yoga class at least once a week for 3 months

9. Take a trip just for fun

10. Go to a brand new city in the US

11. Meet 5 blogging friends in person
(1/5)

12. Proper closet edit

13. Go one month without any frivolous spending

14. Go to church every week for 6 months

15. Go to 5 concerts (symphony doesn't count)
(1/5)

16. Go to the symphony 3 times

17. Get a dentist and go twice a year
(dentist - check.)

18. Get an optometrist and go once a year
(optometrist - check. one visit - check.)

19. Take all of my medications when I'm supposed to take them every day for a month

20. Get a DSLR camera

21. Get Photoshop

22. Learn how to use Photoshop

22. Organize my photos and back them up

23. Get an editor 

24. Make 10 recipes off of My Whole Food Life
(4/10)

25. Get a pet

26. Buy a car

27. Save up enough money to buy said car without taking out a loan

28. See a Broadway musical (on tour or not)

29. Find out my blood type

30. Find a rheumatologist in Nashville who I like

31. Finish setting up/decorating my apartment

32. Try 3 new foods

33. Get to the point where remission is able to be discussed as a possibility

34. Inspire other young people living with arthritis to stand up for themselves

35. Have 1 student tell me I made a positive difference in their life

36. See 5 more Audrey Hepburn films

37. Go to 5 art museums

38. Go to 5 other museums

39. Order a print of the cover of Aureole and have it framed

40. Meet someone famous

41. Get into graduate school

42. Create anti-inflammatory versions of my great-grandmother's famous cookies

43. Complete my first year of teaching

44. Have a picnic by a lake

45. Travel to 5 more states

46. Publish one outfit post a month for a year
(8/12)

47. Take a painting class

48. Go to 3 Red Sox games at Fenway Park
(1/3)

49. Go to 3 hockey games

50. Go to a Pats game

51. Buy a pair of riding boots

52. Have an outfit post pinned by someone other than me

53. Take my sister out for a day of fun, paid for entirely by me

54. Have 100 people buy book #2

55. Throw out or donate everything I own but don't use

56. Buy 3 pairs of heels comfortable enough for me to wear them to work

57. Publish my favorite homemade frosting recipe

58. Get 1,000 views a day on posts

59. Volunteer 5 times

60. Stick entirely to the proper anti-inflammatory diet for 1 week

61. Reach 2,000 followers on Bloglovin

62. Write an honest and open post about relationships

63. Drive the motorboat around the lake

64. Go kayaking

65. Participate in an Arthritis Walk or Jingle Bell Walk

66. Improve my health enough so that I can go back to work

67. Get a proper pair of Bean boots (not just the duck boots I already have)

68. Buy a brand new Lilly Pulitzer dress

69. Go to a wedding

70. Make apple crisp

71. Create and host a giveaway on the blog

72. Be able to do the crow pose in yoga

73. Go to the ballet

74. Participate in a book club

75. Participate in the Delta Gamma alumnae group

76. Give $5 to charity for every task on this list I don't complete by 10/4/2016

77. Go to confession once a year

78. Choose a signature meal

79. Perfect my signature meal

80. Get a cable box for my TV

81. Make a photobook of my Maymester in London

82. Take out my viola again

83. Play my viola for someone

84. Send thank you notes within 1 week of receiving the gift/cause for the note

85. Vlog

86. Go to a state fair

87. Find a red wine that I like

88. Give something tangible up for Lent

89. Send someone flowers

90. Vote in a Massachusetts election

91. Get my Massachusetts driver's license

92. Pay for someone else's Starbucks order

93. Spend quality time with each of my younger cousins
(1/7)

94. Go to a psychic

95. Put my personal mission statement somewhere I see it regularly

96. Go 1 week only talking about my pain when someone asks about it/brings it up

97. Zero balance on my credit card each month for 6 months

98. Host a link-up

99. Go out for brunch with friends once a month for 6 months

100. Journal every day for a month

101. Finish all of these items!


Thursday, August 21, 2014

1 Suitcase, 2 Weeks

Some magazines have a section where they show you 30 days worth of outfits with a limited number of pieces, but I've always felt a little skeptical of making that happen. Then I moved, and only had a limited number of clothes with me. One part of this is careful packing. Before I went on a 3-week trip back in June, I explained how to pack for that time. Today I'm showing how to take that handful of clothing items and arrange them for 2 weeks.

Travel Fashion Tips


When I moved back to Boston, I only took one suitcase with me on the flight and the rest went in the moving truck. (Mega thanks to my dad and his friend for packing some of my stuff, loading all of it, driving 24.5 hours from Nashville to our house in Maine, and unloading it! You're both the best and it literally couldn't have happened without you.) This suitcase needed to last me about 2 weeks.

I needed to plan for temperatures from 65-85, feeling warmer or hotter depending on the rain or sun. In these outfit pictures, I left out the ad-ons and accessories for the most part. I mostly want to give you an idea of how you could work items like this into 13 different outfits. The key, as I explained in my post about packing for a 3-week trip, is picking out neutral pieces and building off of them.


Travel Fashion Tips



Want an idea of where I got similar items?



Add-ons (some pictured): light cardigan, heavier cardigan, hoodie


Accessories (not pictured): light scarf

What are your fashion tips for traveling? I'd love to hear them!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

60 Blog Post Ideas

I'm bringing you some more blog post ideas today! I enjoy coming up with these because it helps me on those days when I don't know what to post, either. I hope these can help you!

60 blog post ideas

General Blog Post Ideas


1. If your life was a TV show, what kind of show would it be/what would the format be? Reality, docudrama, crime, etc.
2. How do you describe your sense of style?
3. What are your favorite items of clothing and why?
4. Do you have any family traditions? What are they?
5. Imagine that you are a celebrity. What does your average day look like?
6. Pick something you're good at. Why are you good at that?
7. Favorite TV show and why
8. Favorite movie and why
9. Favorite musical act and why
10. Current favorite anything (beauty product, website, blog, etc.)

11. Why do you use the blogging platform that you do?
12. Reality shows - yay or nay?
13. Coffee or tea? Why?
14. Write a letter to your younger or future self
15. What's your favorite food? Why?
16. Write about the weirdest things about you
17. What are you most proud of?
18. What is your favorite season? Why?
19. If you were to do anything other than what your current job is, what would it be?

Winter and Spring Blog Post ideas


20. New Year's resolutions
21. What do you think about the groundhog's predictions this year?
22. What's your best Valentine's Day memory?
23. Do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day? Why or why not? If yes, how?
24. Ever been to Mardis Gras?
25. If you celebrate Lent, what are you giving up and why?
26. What are your plans for spring break? OR Tell us about your favorite spring break.
27. How do you feel about April Fool's Day?
28. Best April Fool's Day pranks?
29. If you celebrate Easter, explain how you do and what it means to you.
30. If you celebrate Passover, explain how you do and what it means to you.

Summer Blog Post Ideas


31. Any graduations in your future? What for (or who for if they aren't yours)?
32. What's your best birthday memory?
33. What does your ideal birthday look like?
34. How do you usually celebrate your birthday?
35. Plans for summer
36. Create a summer bucket list
37. If you celebrate the Fourth of July, how do you celebrate it?
38. If you created a summer bucket list, post updates
39. What do you like most about the summer? The least?
40. Talk about your school years - what was good? Bad?

Fall and Winter Blog Post Ideas


41. Explain your organizational process
42. Review the pilots of some of the new TV shows
43. Every fall, there is a lot of pumpkin everywhere. Are you a fan of it? Why or why not?
44. Looking back, what were some of your best or worst Halloween costumes?
45. What are your Halloween plans?
46. What are you thankful for this year?
47. What are your Thanksgiving traditions?
48. What holidays do you celebrate in December? What do they mean to you?
49. Ideal gift list (if money weren't an issue)
50. More realistic gift list

Winter and Holiday Blog Post Ideas


51. What holiday traditions are important to you?
52. Share some of your best holiday memories
53. Outfit guide for the holidays
54. Best holiday recipe (for ANY holiday)
55. What you pack for a holiday trip
56. Favorite memory from the previous year
57. What you have accomplished in the previous year
58. What lessons you have learned in the previous year
59. Highs and lows of the past year
60. How you have changed in the previous year


PLUS

If you are a blogger and would like me - a certified English teacher who majored in secondary education and English and is a grammar expert - to edit any of your pages, I added a special editing service to my store just for you. I will edit 3 pages or posts (up to 1000 words total) for just $5. You can order this through my Passionfruit store or you can email me directly at katemitchelltheauthor@gmail.com to discuss details. 

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