This book will change your life!

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 Jacket & Bag: Zara / Shirt: DKNYC / Pants: Gap / Earrings: unknown (similar) / Shoes: Tory Burch

Last week Doug and I went with some friends to see Book of Mormon at the Boston Opera House. After dinner at Parish Cafe and a fun walk through the Public Gardens we found ourselves at the theater laughing hysterically throughout the entire show. Although a bit crude, it was the best show I have ever seen and I highly recommend grabbing some tickets before they leave at the end of the month! Here is a sneak peek of the opening act, performed at the Tony Awards in 2012:

Hello!

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Firenze

Our final destination in Italy is one of my favorites — Florence! I just found this city to be so amazing and a mix of fashion and business in a wonderful historical setting. The food was fantastic, the wine was even more amazing, and the sights were phenomenal. On this particular trip we had tickets to every possible museum, except for the Uffizi, which is where Botticelli’s Birth of Venus painting resides. I waited four hours in line to see my beloved Venus, and it was totally worth it! Here are some snaps from that trip:

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Searching for the leather shop Bottega Fiorentina

Rooftop view from my hotel

Rooftop view from my hotel

Ponte Vecchio

The Ponte Vecchio is lined with jewelry, art, and souvenir shops, but previously had been occupied by butcher shops!

It was quite a climb to the top of the Duomo, but so worth it!

It was quite a climb to the top of the Duomo, but so worth it!

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This David is a replica, but you can see the real one inside the Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze

Where will we be going next week? Check back for next week’s #TBT trip to find out… Adiós!

Crêpes

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The other night neither of us really wanted to cook. But, of course, we still needed to eat! We came to the compromise of making some quick and easy crêpes together with a simple recipe from AllRecipes.com.  Here are the ingredients:

1 cup of flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of water
1/4 tsp of salt
2 tbsp of melted butter
Toppings of your choice (we like caramel, strawberries and Nutella!)

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First, mix together the flour and the eggs and then slowly add in the milk and water. Then add the salt and melted butter and beat with a whisk until smooth. Heat up your griddle (ours is a cast iron Lodge griddle) over medium high heat and lightly oil it with Pam or another canola oil spray. Using a measuring cup, scoop about 1/4 cup of the batter out and onto the middle of the pan. Lift and til the pan so that the batter spreads out and covers the entire surface.  Let it cook for about 1-2 minutes, loosen with a silicone spatula (like one of these Oxo spatulas) and flip the crêpe over gently. Add your favorite toppings, wrap up, and enjoy!

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You really can put anything in your crêpes — for a heartier, savory version (crêpes salées), you can use scrambled/fried eggs (œfs), spinach (épinard), cheese (fromage), and ham (jambon).

Bon appétit!

Atomic!

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Doug and I have been counting down the days until the opening of the new Atomic Cafe, in Newburyport. Sharing its space with a little bookshop, Atomic is a new kind of cafe… serving coffee, tea, salads, and sandwiches during the day, and then a selection of wine, beer and small plates in the evening. There aren’t many cafes around like this, and it reminds me of the Adam Gopnik presentation I attended a few weeks ago at the Peabody Essex Museum on French cafe culture — alcohol + coffee = the beginnings of the modern restaurant. And they have wi-fi. Perfect place for this modern girl, of course.

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Atomic really is the friendliest place in town (and this is the cutest t-shirt!) We love to stop in and chat with the cafe manager and owner Mike Vien, and his awesome staff. And they were so nice to let me run around taking pictures in their face for this post!

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We stopped in during our impromptu pub and cafe crawl last weekend. I’ve had my eye on their sharing plates, like this one with hummus, veggies and pita bread. Next time, I’m going to try the charcuterie plate.

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The boys were thrilled with the beer selection. Chimay, Allagash, and local Newburyport ales, just to name a few! Their wine list didn’t disappoint either!

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I love their mugs — so nice to have a cafe where you can drink out of real mugs and eat off real plates. Its the little things!  Stop by Atomic Cafe in Newburyport, Beverly, or Marblehead and tell them Christine sent you!

PS – Thanks to Doug to helping me with some of these photos!

La Vie Boheme at Peabody Essex Museum

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Last Thursday I headed to the Peabody Essex Museum for one of their monthly parties — this month’s was La Vie Bohème, an homage to French café culture. I had a wonderful time touring the museum (my first time at PEM) and especially enjoyed their Impressionist exhibit, Impressionists on the Water, and the presentation by author, Adam Gopnik.

One of my favorite things that Gopnik talked about was the French café and the impact of having an intimate, yet public place where you could order both alcohol and caffeine (coffee/tea). This is what started the modern day restaurant! Gopnik noted that there aren’t many other situations in life where you can be in an intimate setting with someone, yet still in public. And the wine during dinner gives you a “tunnel vision” of sorts, which is terrible for things like driving, but perfect for an intimate date setting, where you’re more inclined to be focused directly on your date!

And to have the presence of both alcohol and caffeine (which apparently are opposites and according to Gopnik they cancel themselves out) makes the French café trump the British restaurants, which segregate their drinks by pubs and tea rooms.

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Adding to the ambiance of the night was live music by French singer Marine Futin.  A Brooklyn resident, Futin’s smooth, jazzy voice was the perfect choice for creating a café atmosphere in the PEM’s large atrium. Be on the look out — her debut album is coming soon!