• Boston,  Cooking,  Gifts

    Follow the Honey // Cambridge

    Let’s not bring up the shiver-inducing qualms about buying honey from generic brands. Where is this from? Who made it? What did the bees actually pollenate? Sure guys, we definitely believe you and your marketing department of plastic bears.

    This is a timely topic in the season of colds too—the healing properties of raw honey. Thus I bring you: a brief tour of Follow the Honey in Harvard Square!

    Every time I visit the shop there seems to be a new young maven of health behind the counter. Where does one find these women of honey passion? They look at you with wise eyes, nod eagerly at your questions, offer you samples of nearly everything you might want to try, and bring up tendrils of conversation you never would have thought of. Beeswax as ear plugs? Sure. Try some honey made from killer bees? Why not! Beeswax candles ionize your air? Sounds delicious.

    Here’s another thing about a shop like this: when you mull over your options, read labels, flip through books written by the beekeepers, examine expensive choices and cheap ones—-when you are deep in the heart of Honey Temple, whatever you bring home, whatever it is, you will cherish it. Friends will come over and you will peer in your cupboards and say, “oh, would you like some honey?” or you might try to trick them into tea instead of coffee so you can plop some inside the mug. It will be that prize possession in your pantry.

    My favorite thing is the Honey on Tap. I am one of those who dreams about small Italian villages where we bring our tins to be filled with olive oil from the local barrel, or we recycle our our wine carafes and refill them weekly. Thus, the idea of an enormous keg of honey, changing seasonally and always local, is perfect. The first time you buy a pound of honey from them, it is $18.60. Bring the jar back, it’s $16.50. Relishing in between? Priceless.

    On your next visit to Harvard Square, stop in! And if your schedule is a bit footloose  definitely sign up for their newsletter, they’re always hosting fun activities.


  • Gifts,  Good design

    Behind the Scenes at Pounding Mill Press

    Don’t mind the survey, it will be up all week in order to cull the Erstwhile readers who are erstwhile, ok?

    Thank you so much to the 30+ of you who jumped right in yesterday! I’ve already learned so much, seriously.

    I love an artist who shows the behind-the-scenes work. It must be the wannabe baker in me; I really like to know how things look along the way. So I loved seeing this photo on Pounding Mill Press’s tumblr:

    It’s the invite-in-progress for a wedding, showing the library where the couple got engaged. I mean, really.

    I love Ming’s work because each design always has a story behind it, or a reason the design developed the way it did. It’s a one-woman show (plus, she has a day job!) and I imagine she has thoughtful interviews with her clients, gets lots of personal details, and then develops something totally unique to them. Amazing.

    Like this one: a burger themed announcement suite because the parents had nicknamed their baby Whopper, Jr.

    all this and much more, over at Pounding Mill Press. (also, lots of photos on their facebook page)

  • Gifts

    Start with the Underwear Drawer

    Super savvy pop-culture blogger Monkey See once tweeted this caramel of wisdom:

    Perhaps as evidenced by the enthusiastic 93 retweets, this is a very convincing argument for maturity. How many of us have undergarments as old as our high school diploma? How about those persistent ones we frown at every time we open that shiftless and chaotic drawer?

    I don’t have much advice for the men in this area, although, like all many men necessities (undershirts, socks, white keds), it does seem that you guys can stumble into any old big box store and find some well made undies in classic designs.

    For us girls, my remarkably picky friends say you can’t go wrong with the soft lace and festively colored options of Hanky Panky. And the effusive reviews, coupled with a personal tip from a friend, say this little lacy bralette at Urban Outfitters is cozy and looks great in just the right places.