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Being a Boston food and travel blogger as well as  a publicist/social media consultant has always been an interesting combo for me. It’s definitely helped me to grow my circle of blogger friends and contacts, allowed me to stay in the loop on local media and events, and it’s helped me craft how I want to interact with (and how I DON’T want to interact) other bloggers.

It’s always fun when the two come together in one place, and on Monday that’s exactly what happened. A bunch of Boston bloggers came together at the Olive Connection Brookline ( client of mine since summer 2015) to taste Nautical Gin cocktails and an array of wines that a colleague of mine works with.

Olive Connection Brookline

The event was a casual get-together that allowed bloggers to check out the beautiful gift items that the Olive Connection has for the holidays and to mingle in a festive setting. It was fun!

cheese and charcuterie

Olive Connection is a beautiful store offering so many different artisan food items like charcuterie, pastas, sauces, coffee, tea, and of course olives, olive oil, and vinegar,

rainbow pasta gift  

pasta and sauce They put out a delicious spread of snacks that featured ingredients from the store such as bruschetta, shrimp with amazing artisan cocktail sauce, crudite with a beet horseradish dip, and more.

holiday food spread

And my favorite, brownies made with their blood orange olive oil.

blood orange olive oil brownies

Nautical Gin was on hand with their beautiful bottles of craft American gin, making their signature Gimlet cocktail as well as a festive Gin and Jam cocktail made with local Doves and Figs jam.

For the cocktail recipe, visit the Nautical Gin Instagram page.

 

gin and jam Nautical Gin cocktail

Nautical Gin makes a great holiday gift! Find it in a store near you: http://www.nauticalgin.com/where-to-buy.html

 

Nautical Gin cocktails

All of the wines we tasted were delicious and perfect for holiday entertaining.

Don Melchor

Trivento Golden Reserve

Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem

Peter Zemmer Pinot Noir

St Urbans-Hof Wiltinger

Ferraton Pere et Fils Samorens White

Peter Zemmer Pinot Grigio

Trivento Amado Sur Torrontes

Gran Reserva Serie Riberas Sauvignon Blanc

Grazing on small bites, cocktails, and sips of wine while mingling with really interesting and fun bloggers was a wonderful way to spend a chilly December evening!

Thank you to all of the Boston bloggers who attended and to our hosts the Olive Connection, the wineries, and of course Nautical Gin for the cocktail gin-spiration.

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There are so many intersections where my work and blogging meet that it’s hard not to blog about work events all the time. To celebrate the re-launch of the newly renovated Royal Sonesta Boston, we recently held a small media reception that included tastes of each our the hotel’s food and beverage outlets as well as a peek into new meeting space and bites from the banquet menu.

The event was a fun one to plan, especially since I have gotten to know so much of Boston’s blogging community in all of my blogging years. And still there are so many Boston bloggers for me to meet!

We had a really fun group for the event, which kicked off in the hotel’s brand new waterfront meeting space. The views of the Charles and Boston skyline are some of the best available, and the mini crudités and cheese plates were a big hit.

After having small bites and wine with introductions, we moved on for a tour of the hotel lobby to our next stop, ArtBar.

cheese plates and crudite

apple turnip soup

ArtBar offers seasonal cuisine and craft cocktails, and we sampled their Apple Turnip Soup and Duck Liver Pate on Crostini, along with cocktails from the fall cocktail menu.

ArtBar Cocktails  crostini with duck liver From there we moved on to the soon-to-be-opened cocktail lounge, Motif. I love hotel cocktail lounges, and this one will be chic and comfortable with an old fashioned martini cart for tableside cocktails.

martini cart

Our next stop was the well-known and loved Restaurant dante. You may have seen Chef Dante on top Chef recently. The restaurant serves some pretty amazing pastas and other Italian fare, we and we enjoyed some samples of their famous arancini and meatballs along with a delicious white wine.

restaurant dante

Our final stop of the night was the Royal Sonesta’s brand new coffee and pastry shop, Studio, where we had cider cake pops, brownies, biscotti, and coffee. I think we were all full at that point!

apple cider cake pops

It was so fun being able to share the beautiful place I work with some bloggers I knew and others I was so happy to meet. We have so many things going on at the hotel, from holiday specials to holiday party promotions to packages and the ability to earn rewards points. It’s a topic I love talking about, so if you would like more information, feel free to ask!

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I didn’t really stop to reflect on my five (!) year blog anniversary when it passed this June. Life and work are busy, and it is boat season after all! Summer tends to consume most free time; behind a computer is not where anyone wants to be during this season!

It was Friday night when I was looking for a photo of a friend’s dog, a beautiful, soulful animal who won’t be with us much longer, when I dove into my laptop’s photo archive back to 2009 and started reliving the journey in photos.

We bloggers, whipping our cameras and phones out at all possible occasions (um, like the other day while our broken down boat was being towed) can surely be a nuisance to our loved ones who just want to eat dinner, but the recorded life history that results is pretty amazing.

Being able to recall a five year snapshot in photos was a fun journey to see how much I have learned and grown and done. Just for fun, I thought I would share some favorite photos and posts and memories. I would love to hear yours! Feel free to share posts or memories in the comments. And thank you for reading today or yesterday or five years ago.

There was that time I up and quit my publishing job with nothing to fall back on, headed off to California, had pneumonia, and got a new nephew, all within a month. If you ever get the chance, definitely visit Moss Beach Distillery. California is pure magic, I tell you.

Half Moon Bay

There have been many (but not enough) trips to visit family in Ireland, and a very moving trip to Northern Ireland. Belfast and Derry were places that have stayed with me through the years.

Belfast Mural

There have also been three marathons, two Boston Marathons and one New York. Running has, at times, been a defining activity in my life, and while I am out of shape now, those finish lines will always be with me.

Verrazano Bridge, NYC Marathon start

Blogging has brought me many close friends and fun blogger dinners and trips, but one of my favorite years brought three blogger friends’ weddings within a few weeks! Here’s a recap of Megan’s wedding. Each wedding was a different reflection of the amazing couple being celebrated, and it was so sweet to be able to grow so close to them and to be part of their special days.

wedding lights

There is so much more I could share from those five years of photos, but I will leave it at this for now. I laughed and cried over the gains and losses and changes that have taken place. There has been lots of wine and lots of dreaming of places near and far, but mostly it has been about the people and animals who have been blessings in my life. At the risk of sounding trite and cheesy, life is good, and I am one lucky lady!

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