Cambridge Restaurants | Alden & Harlow

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alden and harlow review

Alden & Harlow is among the few top restaurants in the Cambridge / Boston area that I’ve been to in the past year. I’ve been waiting to go with my friend Alison for a long time, and we were not disappointed. Actually, we were big fans of the place because we’ve always loved French-American cuisine. Something about butter and classic American dishes wins over our appetite every single time. We made dinner reservations for a party of five, which took some coordination, but it was well-worth it.

The menu is well-portioned, thoughtful, and creative. Our waiter told us to order our food like we’d order tapas, which is perfect because I am a big fan of sharable plates.

It didn’t take us very long to begin ordering. We glanced through the menu and traded our thoughts and opinions and ordered everything that looked appetizing.

We started with drinks and I ordered the French Press,  an unusual alcoholic drink consisting of overproof bourbon, smoked cocoa nibs, coffee beans, and absinthe.

We ordered the soft polenta with goat butter, smoked mushrooms, and pickled sour cherrie, the smoked pork belly with carrot and cashew tahini, the braised chicken thighs with buttermilk and pork fat biscuits, and the famous secret burger. Lastly, for dessert we had buttermilk lemon pound cake with torched blackberry compote and almond whip.

Our table, stomachs, and expectations were happily satisfied. What an amazing restaurant for a great location. I’d highly recommend going to Alden & Harlow with a few friends or on a date with your special someone.

Find Alden & Harlow online:
Website | http://aldenharlow.com
Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/AldenAndHarlow
Twitter | https://twitter.com/AldenHarlow
Instagram | https://instagram.com/aldenharlow

cambridge massachusetts print



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jill rosenwald ny now
jill rosenwald ny now

Jill Rosenwald and I had the fortune of being studio-mates for years. Here is Jill’s packing list for the summer NY NOW trade show in NYC going on this week. Block Shop wrap /Rag + Bone white jeans / India Hicks Duchess of Windsor bag, an Allen Wrench Tool (those Ikea shelves don’t make themselves) / J.Crew baubles / Natori Feathers bra (the best bra in the entire world) / Deva Curl styling foam / a pile of New Yorkers / and of course… LOTS of her beautiful, hand painted pots.


jen’s running diary part deux

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In the last two months I’ve done/learned a few things about running.

– It’s amazing how fast your body acclimates to running. When I first started I could only run a minute before I needed to walk. Now I can run for 6 minutes at a time.

mizuno wave rider 11

My new BRIGHT running sneakers. For someone who wears mostly black… this is a big change.

– I am a weakling and everything is connected. I went to see an orthopedist about my knocked-knees. She sent me to a (great) physical therapist. They have had me doing lots of exercises to strengthen my hips, low and behold my knees have straightened out. This has plagued me since childhood and I’ve always been self-conscious about it, I can’t tell you how happy I am now. However I need to work on my calf strength to stop the ankle aches and my hamstrings to stop the inner knee aches. The progress has been quick and I can’t wait until my legs are even stronger.

malibu beach dorchester

My route through Malibu Beach in Dorchester

– A mile is both far, and not so far. When I first started running I thought that a mile was an terribly long way to go. Once I started using my FitBit ChargeHR and its app I realized that a mile wasn’t crazy at all. At first it took me 16 minutes to run/walk a mile. Now I’ve gotten down to 12.5 mins and I generally do 2 miles. My short-term goal is to get down to a 10 min mile so I can do a 5k in 30 mins. From our house in Savin Hill to the end of Mailbu Beach and back is almost 3 miles, that is my new route.

– My Target workout wear is hot. I need vented/wicking capris badly. I’m terribly overwhelmed by all the choices., if anyone has any recommendations please leave a comment!

marathon sports boston

Marathon Sports outfitted me in the perfect sneakers. It made such a difference in my running.

– Marathon Sports… the hype is real. I went to the Boylston Street store, near the Boston Marathon finish line. They watched me walk and I explained my knocked knees/tight IT Bands. They picked 3 pairs of shoes, I chose my favorite and they let me run out side to try them out. I ended up getting the Mizuno® Wave Inspire 11 – they are really supportive and cushy.

I signed up for my first 5k in October. I was nervous about it taking me forever to finish it, but now I’m looking forward to it as the first one of many! As always leave any running / stretching / ect… tips for me! ~ JHill


SKETCHY PHOTOS: new instagram posts

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SKETCH-PHOTOS-HEADERFor a while I’ve been at a loss as to what to post on our Instagram account. The pressure to randomly find a beautiful image during your busy day… or the interruption of an awesome experience by the thought “I should be Instagraming this!”.  Exhausting. After listening to Ashley McKinney and Courtney Perkins talk about how they use Instagram for their photography, I did some brainstorming and decided to start using it as a “mini imaginary vacation porthole”. Imaginary vacations are the basis for my entire business after all.

I talked what the photos would be with my studio-mate Julia. We talked about the contrast between my graphic patterns and my hand-drawn/painted sketches. I remembered pinning the below images ages ago because I loved that same kind of contrast.

Everyday I’ve been posting a photo of one of my maps with a handmade background. The text talks about what we love about the place, an upcoming event there, what you should do there… Then I tag local photographers, designers, artists, restaurants ect… to check out. It can be your 5 minute mini-vacation into another world.

If you are on Instagram join us at @jhilldesign. Here are a few of my favorite Instagram accounts: subwaybookreview, drawberston, and blairz.

best boston coffee shops
rhode island map print



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Whenever we begin an imaginary vacation somewhere we always start with researching the basics. Here is our Singapore cheat sheet – everything you should know when you start to plan a voyage to this far off land, be it real or a daydream. (Plus we love an excuse to design an infographic with a chicken.)SINGAPORE MAP PRINT


Running with Steffany Rubel

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You’ve run A LOT of races. Which was your favorite? Which was the most trying? 
When I started racing in 2012 I fell in love with a local Pittsburgh race called The Liberty Mile. It is a one mile race downtown on a Friday night and it is so much fun. They have a variety of heats so you can run your heat and then watch some of the fastest milers in the country compete. It is amazing. A close second is the Columbus Marathon. It is a beautiful course for a fantastic cause. The people behind the Columbus Marathon are very helpful with any questions you may have and run a great social media page.
My most trying race was the 2015 Rock n Roll New Orleans Marathon. I was diagnosed with a stress fracture in my right foot 10 weeks before the race. I was not allowed to do anything for over a month. I was so determined to run that race that I trained hard for five weeks. The race itself was a bust and it may have been over an hour slower than my worse marathon time, but I did it.

What are your gear suggestions for new runners?
Take your time and find your perfect shoes. You can sabotage yourself before you take your first step by not being in the correct shoe. Do not think you have to be in a specific brand/style at first. Go to a local running store and get fitted, you will thank me later!

What do you love about being a part of the Oiselle Volée?
I joined the Oiselle team in hopes to connect with some amazing and inspiring women. My teammate range from everyday runners like me, to professionals. We know we are strong together and motivate each other every day. Even if I cannot run a race, I am out there cheering on my teammates and they do the same. We celebrate victories and are there for each other during the rough points. I have become such good friends with some of these ladies, and I am so happy I made the decision to join the team!

Where are your favorite places in Pittsburgh to run?
I love running out at North Park. There is a five mile loop of rolling hills around a lake. It is beautiful and peaceful. There are a ton of local races out there too, so I feel like I have an advantage! I also really love running on the River Trail in downtown. You run by some bridges and rivers, along with professional sports stadiums. Plus, it might be the only flat area in town!

*Want to be featured in our “On the Run” series? Just leave a comment below and we will be in touch!


How to hang a poster gallery wall

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how to hang a poster gallery wall

Our City Maps are now large and in charge in a BIG 18″ x 24″ size. Perfect time for a lesson in hanging a large poster gallery wall!

things you will need for a gallery wall
how to hang a poster gallery wall

First gather your supplies: a level, a tape measure, monkey hooks (available at home depot and amazon),  a pencil, a ladder and our How to Hang PDF.

how to hang a poster gallery wall
First take some measurements. You need to know the width and height of the wall as well as the width and height or your framed piece. Write these measurements down on our PDF.

how to hang a poster gallery wall

Divide your wall width in half. This is the horizontal center point of your middle piece. Make a little pencil mark and write the measurement down on your diagram.

Next determine how high you want the bottom row to be. We experimented and decided to have the bottom row of prints vertically centered at 57″. Use the tape measure and level to mark the the hole for the monkey hook that will hang the middle piece on the bottom row.

how to hang a gallery poster wall

From there follow our diagram pdf and mark the monkey hook holes for the five other frames. The trickiest part for us was marking the holes for the top row. Only one person can be on the ladder and it was tricky to use the tape measurer, a level and a pencil. Be careful up there!

Next poke your monkey hook into each marked spot, and slip it through each hole. It was my first time using these and they were really easy to use, highly recommended!

Finally hang all your pieces on the monkey hooks and adjust as needed. Voila… a poster gallery wall!

how to hang a gallery wall


3 Fantastic Boston Coffee Shops

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  1. Barrington Coffee | 303 Newbury Street |  The Barrington Coffee Shop is one of my favorite coffee shops. The interior has Danish design inspirations especially between the doorway and the front counter. The light brown wooden floors and the large windows provide an open and freeing environment. The staff all wear identical, denim blue shirts, and they are easy to spot in the shop. With the Boston summer the ice coffee and cold brews are some of the few perfect ways to start the morning. Barrington Coffee Shop also has plenty of room outside on their patio.
  2. Pavement Coffeeshop | 1096 Boylston St | Pavement was one of my favorite coffee shops in college. It definitely has the hip, college feel, but it also attracts the intellectual and creative type. The music never too loud or obnoxious. Be warned though they put a limit to how long you can use their wi-fi (I think it’s about 1 hour). Their brunches can also be expensive. All in all, Pavement is an excellent place to study and drink coffee.
  3. iYo Cafe | 234 Elm St | Not many people know about this Davis Square coffee shop. The shop is one of the secret gems in Davis Square because they serve froyo, brunch, and coffee. There is plenty of seating and space inside, and they have put a lot of attention into the ambiance of the shop. They’ve even included a small fireplace. I can imagine that this shop is the perfect winter studying getaway. Froyo in the summer and hot chocolate in the winter!


Running with Lucie Wicker

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on-the-run-lucie-wickerlucie wicker photography
Boston-based fitness lifestyle and activewear photographer, Lucie Wicker, talks to us about running and what she’s working on this summer. Below are photos from her “Why I Run” photo series, portraits of people who ran the 2014 Boston Marathon.

lucie wicker photography

Tell us a about yourself and how you started running.

“I started running in high school when I joined the track team in ninth grade. I started as a sprinter and wound up in middle distance. I ran off and on in the years following high school before starting up again more seriously in my late twenties. I started with the occasional 5k and then moved up to 10ks. This year I’m doing my first triathlon and the Falmouth Road Race which is a 7 miler.”

lucie wicker photography

What tips you have for a new runner?
It’s helpful to have a goal – a mile, 5k, 10k, half marathon, etc – and a plan. It’s easy to get discouraged or bored with running if you don’t have something you’re working towards. There are a lot of plans you can find online for free or ones you can pay for and they will give you different running workouts throughout the weeks leading up to your event.

lucie wicker photography
What do you do for exercise in the humid New England summer? How about the 8ft of snow last winter?
I’m not a very intrepid winter runner although I’ll go out if it’s safe and the sidewalks are shoveled. The hardcore runners I know have had to learn to love treadmills. As for the summer, if you can run in the pre-dawn hours or in the late evening, it’s not so bad temperature-wise . If that’s not an option, I’d suggest biking and of course swimming! When I was training for my tri, I rediscovered these forms of exercise I hadn’t done regularly since I was a kid and I now I love them! Remember, new runners – cross training is important (crucial!) to build strength and avoid injury. And don’t forget yoga – deep stretching and strength building goes hand-in-hand with running.

What’s new with your photography?
I’m looking forward to some test shoots planned for this summer, getting outside and creating new work for my portfolio and prospective clients. I also have an event at the end of July we’re calling a summer pop-up photo shoot at the Arnold Arboretum where people sign up for mini photo sessions in a gorgeous setting (details on our website!). Runners welcome :)

luciewicker.com / twitter @lucie_photo / instagram luciephoto / facebook
*Want to be featured in our “On the Run” series? Just leave a comment below and we will be in touch!



JHill plus Every Mother Counts

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Every Mother Counts jhill design plus EMCI’m thrilled to announce our first collection of Marathon Maps for a charity team!
We’ve created a collection of Marathon Maps for runners who race in support of the charity Every Mother Counts (EMC). Each map includes the EMC logo and 5% from the sales of the collection will be donated to Every Mother Counts to fund their grants portfolio which brings essential maternal healthcare to mothers-in-need. 
JHill Design Marathon Maps for Every Mother Counts
I first discovered EMC through Christine Lemieux’s, (Dwell Studio and Wayfair), Instagram account. I was absorbed in her documentation of a trip to Haiti. I worked in Haiti for Aid to Artisians shortly before the earthquake and Christine went to many of the places I did. She also wrote about the charity Every Mother Counts in her posts. I clicked over and saw that it was founded by model and four time marathoner Christy Turlington Burns. I’ve always admired Christy, from the George Michaels’ Freedom! video to her yoga book to her charity work. I was really interested in seeing what her charity was about.

EMC and their board member’s documentation of their work to support maternal health in other countries is beyond inspiring. Every Mother Counts is dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother. They support programs in Haiti, Uganda, Malawi, India, Tanzania and the United States that address three critical barriers to maternal health care: lack of education, transportation and supplies. To learn more about Every Mother Counts work, visit www.everymothercounts.org.


Every Mother Counts
I have first hand experience in knowing how crazy and scary being pregnant and giving birth is. I had a very rough pregnancy with my (now 4 yr old) son, Charley. I was fortunate to have access to fantastic doctors and amazing health insurance. Charley was born underweight at just 5 lbs, but thrived through the help of all our practitioners. 
Chicago Marathon Poster for Every Mother Counts
Every mother (and child) deserves the same support and care that I had during my pregnancy and delivery. I’m thrilled to be supporting Every Mother Counts. 5% of all sales from JHill’s EMC Marathon Map collection will be donated back to EMC. 100% of the proceeds received from any products sold benefiting Every Mother Counts will help fund programs that improve access to critical maternal health care. Make Every Purchase Count. Follow EMC’s Instagram account, watch their mission here, shop our EMC Marathon Maps here and shop other brands that support EMC.


Bleeding Colors

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bleeding watercolors
Beautiful bleeding color always seems simple. My own watercolor trials have proven it the opposite. You need to be patient enough to let the medium do it’s own thing, something the graphic designer in me can hardly handle. Each time I paint it is a lesson in releasing control. Here are some beautiful examples that have been sitting in my pinterest inspiration board for too long.

from top right:  tide business card Bland Designs // photographic paintings by Matt Waples // textile design student Rachael Selina // textile designer Ayelet // artist Claire des Jardins // artist Anna Badur


FINE brunching in Brooklyn, New York

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BROOKLYN-BRUNCHBrooklyn curates a beautiful gallery of food, commerce, and community. I can readily appreciate, and find something to admire in the borough unlike the overwhelming visual barrage that is sometimes Manhattan.

Browsing in Williamsburg, I was drawn to the coffee and brunch because of the cold brews, eggs benedict, hash browns, and pancakes. Actually, I find brunch enjoyable because the menu is so simple and basic. The ingredients mostly consists of eggs and fruit. Speaking of which, my good friend Hannah is always pushing me to eat out for brunch. I find myself agreeing with her because, admittedly, brunch is so good.

The view from Hannah’s apartment in Long Island City

Recently, Hannah gave me a tour of some of Long Island City’s and Brooklyn’s finest brunch places. I so dislike tours, but Hannah used to work for the food and beverage section at the Hilton Hotel in New York City. To put it simply, she is always on the prowl for new food places, and she’s fearless when it comes to exploring the city. We started with donuts at Moe’s Dough. The place is your typical donut shop with the exception that the Moe’s Dough is so incredibly fresh and authentic. Their flavors are intense and simple. On similar note, it’s also probably worth mentioning that Dough has some of the finest donuts around.

doughnuts in brooklynDelicious and fresh @MoesDoughs

The real star brunch place is Five Leaves in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Hannah loves the place, and the dishes are both affordable and memorable. They have a small coffee express line at the corner of their restaurant for those who simply want coffee. The lines are long but that’s expected. You’ll also find the crowd is an eclectic group ranging between young and old. Speaking of which, I find most tables filled with local attendees and out-of-town friends. It makes for a nice atmosphere that buzzes with friends laughing and talking.

brooklyn brunchfrom papermag @fiveleavesNY

brooklyn brunchAvocado toast @fiveleavesNY

brooklyn brunchRicotta pancakes @fiveleavesNY

 Another one of Hannah’s favorite brunch places is actually nearby her apartment in Long Island City. Cafe Henri is famous for their eggs benedict. The hollandaise is spread nicely on top of their eggs, and the yolk flows out quickly to bring the whole meal together. The eggs benedict is most often the centerpiece of the conversation, and everyone somehow manages to fall in love with brunch afterwards. brooklyn brunchEggs Benedict @cafe_henri

Many thanks to the greatest friend and food tour guide, Hannah. You can follow her on Instagram at hannahshin4.



patterned Running leggings vol 1

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patterned running leggings
I have an addiction to patterned running leggings. Send help.

(clockwise from the top left) legging #1 by nike, legging #2, legging #3 by nike, legging #4, legging #5 by nike, legging #6



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I’m all for a great graphic tee, specifically when it is typography heavy. I would rock any of these Women’s World Cup t-shirts for tonights USA v Germany semi-final game.

Wildfang Women's Soccer T-shirtWildfang “The Squad” T-shirt calls out “Hey-Oh & Pinoe & Wambach & The Kid”. Also, kickass models. $48 here.

usa world cup tee shirt

Never anything wrong with a vintage-eque type soccer tee. Via Soccertees.com

good game i hate you tee shirt

I’m sure we can all relate to this sentiment on and off the field. via Thuglifeshirts.com

Didi Women's shirt


Love this typography team tee from Didi, I hope they reprint it.

USA USA USA! (ps. I was disappointed by the lack of well designed women’s soccer posters out there, we’ve got to rectify this.)



Nashville’s coffee shop greatest hits

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Where to get coffee in nashville
My friend Diana manages to achieve a coffee lifestyle some of us might dream about. You can often find her with an open notebook, paper, and a warm cup of coffee somewhere near her teaching job in Nashville, Tennessee. I wrote to Diana asking what were her top coffee shops in Nashville. She wrote, “COFFEE. That is definitely something I’ve learned to appreciate now that I’ve lived in Nashville for awhile.” Following is Diana’s detailed list of great coffee shops in Nashville. A big thanks to her for this!


1. Barista Parlor, Golden Sound — location: The Gulch (wifi, yes). Actually the second Barista Parlor in Nashville, but it has better natural lighting than the original, which in my eyes makes it superior. Barista Parlor is all about atmosphere (see: hipster grunge, but less grunge-tastic in The Gulch location) and true coffee appreciation. The selection of coffee is limited, but every choice is phenomenal. Additionally, Barista Parlor serves fantastic biscuits, homemade pop-tarts, and macarons. Also, the best part about Barista Parlor is that it attracts a lot of creative individuals. There’s a certain je ne sai quois that buzzes in the air. I adore it.


2. CREMA — location: downtown (wifi, yes). CREMA is fantastic, because it roasts its own coffee and feels cozy. I love the location, because it’s not in a specific neighborhood. The clientele is not as hip as Barista Parlor, but it’s a great place to study, read, and grade. CREMA also offers coffee classes. I fully plan on participating in some classes this semester. The food at CREMA is also really tasty. I don’t know how Nashville coffee shops do it, but they manage to make brunch foods okay for the entire day.

3. J&J’s — location: midtown (wifi, yes). J&J’s was my favorite café to study in college. It’s close to Vanderbilt’s campus, so it draws in a lot of college students and intellectual grad students. The interior hosts funky mixed up furniture, exposed brick walls, and an eclectic little grocery store (filled with international snacks). J&J’s is the home of two of my favorite coffee drinks in Nashville: The Keeker’s Koffler (earl grey vanilla latte) and The Rousseau & Bourke (two shots of EARTH SHATTERING espresso and a scoop of ice cream). I go whenever I’m feeling nostalgic. Also, I love going early Saturday or Sunday morning, because there aren’t many people, but the owner is there, so he plays classy classical music tunes. On sunny mornings, the light filters in just so, and it just feels right. Nashville-Coffee-shop-blogs_06

4. Edgehill Cafe — location: Edgehill (wifi, yes). Edgehill Café has great coffee, but the best part about it is probably the food. It’s always fresh and yummy. Nashville tends to serve larger portions, so it’s more food than what a person can generally consume. I like the iced tea that Edgehill serves and it’s a great location, because there are a variety of seating options (stools/window benches, tables, cozy couches). There’s a wall of windows along one side, so again, fantastic lighting. As you can probably tell by now, I’m a fan of well-lit cafés.
@edgehillcafe Nashville-Coffee-shop-blogs_07

5. Frothy Monkey — location: 12 South (wifi, shaky). Frothy Monkey is located in 12 South, which is an already gentrified neighborhood in Nashville. It’s cute and hip, filled with little boutiques like Cadeau, White’s Mercantile, and of course… JENI’S ice cream. Frothy Monkey is a popular cafe, so there are always a lot of people walking in and out. On weekends, it’s filled with hip, young parents and their babies getting together for brunch. On weekdays, it’s filled with college students and creative types. Still kind of hip, but more of a friendly, southern vibe. I really enjoy their vanilla lattes. Something about them feel cozy.

nashville tennesee poster