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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

Sometimes I find our options for restaurants in suburbia limited, we do like The Local every once in a while, even if it is a little on the pricier side. I am a fan of the bowls on their menu, my latest craving is the spicy Hong Kong noodles, but without the spice (yup, spice whimp here). Mixed Asian vegetables, crushed peanuts and for an extra $8 you can add on some grilled shrimp. The crispy sesame chicken is a close second with grilled avocado and crunchy veggies. My husband loves the crispy chicken sandwich that comes with buttermilk battered chicken, house bread and butter pickles, Vermont cheddar, and smoked chili mayo on a brioche roll.

My kiddos love the option of snacks for $3, you can get veggies with ranch, apples and peanut butter, warm potato chips, or a cup of tomato soup. I love that these are out of the box options. For $8 you can have your choice of cheese flatbread, chicken fingers, grilled chicken, fish sticks, cheeseburger, grilled cheese, pasta and pomodoro or Mac and cheese. All the mains come with a side of fries or veggies.

I think I always forget that they are open for brunch both days on the weekend from 10am – 2pm. They are also open for brunch on Monday holidays. And here is the kicker, all brunch mains come with your choice of a mimosa or Bloody Mary.

The Local

400 Boston Post Road, Wayland, MA

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You know when a bunch of food bloggers go out to dinner together, the spread is going to be epic. After an event in Cambridge, Kim, Leah, Fiona and I went out for an all you can eat hot pot dinner at Shabu and Mein. Side note, they also have an all you can eat buffet for lunch from 11am- 4pm for $35.95. So you pick your soup base and then you pick everything you want to add in, from meat to dumplings, veggies and noodles. Not in the mood for hot pot, no worries, they have bento boxes, ramen and small plates also available.

I love hot pot, it’s such a social way to have a meal. Have you ever done hot pot?

Shabu and Mein

148 1st Street, Cambridge, MA

Open Sunday – Thursday 11am – 9:45pm

Friday – Saturday 11am – 10:45pm

Shabu & Mein Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Belmont has so many cute shops to discover. I stopped in to A Chocolate Dream to pick up some gifts and was pleasantly surprised by their selection. The cute little shop on Leonard street has been in business for over 20 years. Can’t make it to Belmont, don’t worry, they ship.

What I thought was a great idea is that they post birthday parties for children 4 years and older. Something different than your average birthday party. You can do things like decorate cookies, make candy necklaces, make candy sushi, or even go on a fun filled scavenger hunt. Parties are 90 minutes long and you can customize your party of choose from one of their packages.

A Chocolate Dream

68 Leonard Street, Belmont, MA

Parking is limited – on street at meters.

Other fun ideas for birthday parties:

Whimsy – Arts and Crafts

Acton Bowladrome – Bowling

Panera – Bakers in Training Class

Kidcasso – Art

Playtown Express – Bounce houses/Gym

Trombetta’s Farm – Indoor mini golf

Duck Soup – Cooking Classes

Roller Kingdom – Roller skating

Barn Babies – Traveling petting zoo

Chocolate Therapy – Chocolate birthday parties

Curious Creatures – Traveling live animal parties

Game Truck Party – mobile video game parties

Honey Pot Hill Orchards – Pick your own fruit parties


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We love Island Creek Oyster Bar, but sometimes trying to find time to get into the city can be a bit hard. Burlington is really starting to blow up on the restaurant scene – a lot of really great options.

I love a good biscuit, and next to Sweet Cheeks, ICOB makes one of my all time favorites. The buttermilk biscuit says it’s big enough to share, but trust me, you want to have one all to yourself. I may have been known from time to time to get one or two to go just so I can enjoy them at home. Just remember, if you are heating them up at home, never, never, never warm them up in the microwave…

I tried the lobster roe noodles for the first time ($34) and it was so decadent. Grilled lobster, braised short rib, oyster mushroom with impossibly thin pasta that just melts in your mouth. Top with a generous amount of pecorino cheese and you will be full before you even make it halfway through the dish.

Service has always been excellent, the ambiance is city chic, and there is plenty of parking in the attached lot.

ICOB Burlington

300 District Avenue, Burlington, MA


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When my dad turned 75, we threw him a fun party – mostly NY themed, because that’s where he’s from. He’s not much of a sweets person, so we made him a bagel ‘cake’ with his favorite bagels from Cafe Bagel. You can’t have a NY party without some good deli items, so we used Fox Point Pickling Company‘s dill carrots, garlic dill pickles and spice market beans. A little glitz was in order, so we picked up these cute battery operated letter lights from Michael’s (because who doesn’t want to see their name in lights!) We filled mason jars with some favorites – coffee beans, gold spray painted coffee beans (because…well, it has to be a little glam, right?), Swedish fish and gum balls.

We did catering from Mameleh’s: all kinds of knishes, latkes, deli meat to pile up and make oh so high sandwiches, rugelach, black and white cookies and so much more.

My mom always makes pistachio cakes for my dad, so we made one for his birthday. Plain and simple, and yes, green inside, but a family favorite.

And we made some fun cookies (find recipe here) just to round everything out.


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For my son’s 2nd birthday, we went with a safari theme. My good friend made him this adorable cake, complete with elephant, giraffe, monkey and lion.

Here’s a closer look at the top of the cake.

And that cute little party lion on the side!

I don’t even want to tell you how many leaves I cut out for this party – some to line the banister and then others to cover the sliding glass doors to make it look more like a jungle. I just found the printable online and cut them out after the kids went to bed while watching tv.

I found these cute Pillowfort animal head wall decor pieces that I attached to the slider with suction cups. You can grab them up at Target, but I also found them for much less at TJ Maxx and Home Goods.

I always do their age spelled out in wooded letters. Normally I do spray adhesive with scrap book paper, but this year I tried washi tape and loved the way they came out. Party favors were boxes of animal crackers and seating assignments were little gold animals with name tags tied around their neck. I found these in the dollar section at target, but you could certainly do them yourself with animals you might have laying around the house – all you need is a can of gold spray paint!

Lions, and Tigers, and Bears, oh my!

Pillowfort Animal Head wall decor:

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My kids have really been into dinosaurs these days. When my daughter turned 2, we threw her a dinosaur themed party. My mom makes the kids cookies with their age on them every year. Just a simple sugar cookie recipe with Betty Crocker vanilla icing and sprinkles.

I bought the Caspari “partysaurus” plates and napkins on super clearance at the Paper Source (always check the clearance wall for good buys) but another secret place I love to go to is China Fair in Newton. Such cute things at a fraction of the price, and added bonus, it isn’t Party City! (Am I the only one who dreads that place?)

We did three cakes this year: one Ben and Jerry’s ice cream cake (bottom left), one cake from AJ Cakes (right, second down) for her family party, and my friend made her the cake shown below. I made the T-Rex on the top of the ice cream cake – I bought a Kid Made Modern paper dinosaur from Target and painted it green. I cut out a little party hat and attached a fun shiny pom pom to add a little glam and attached with tape. There were three brontosaurus’ on the table that were painted in the same color to tie everything in.

I made a lot of salad-y kinds of things for the party, since making a full meal is challenging for so many people. I loved a peach, prosciutto and mozzarella salad (hold off on adding the balsamic until right before serving or leave on side for guests to add on themselves). I also made a corn, feta, tomato and scallion salad that was a big hit (bottom right)

How adorable is this cake? I love the little dinosaur on top!

A little bit of a different angle – vanilla cake with vanilla butter cream.

Caspari plates and napkins:

China Fair:

AJ Cakes:

Target Kid Made Modern Dinosaur:

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With our family get togethers, I find that while it might be nice to have a home cooked meal, it’s also nice to be able to spend time with your guests, instead of being banished in the kitchen. It’s hard to think of things that everyone would like, but really, everyone in my family can agree on BBQ.

Really though, I just love the biscuits and honey butter from Sweet Cheeks!

Everyone left with a full belly. Pulled chicken, brisket, pulled pork, a farm salad, Mac and cheese, and some ribs! I’m literally salivating as I’m looking at these pictures!

Are you drooling yet? You can get all of this delivered to your house with Caviar. Now that the Red Sox season is over, head over to Fenway and try some of those biscuits and honey butter if you haven’t already.

Sweet Cheeks

1381 Boylston Street, Boston, MA

MON – FRI 11:30 – 5PM

MON – THURS 5-10PM | FRI  5-11PM
SAT 11:30AM – 11PM | SUN 11:30AM – 10PM

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Thought that this week I would share some fun birthday party ideas that we did for the kids. For my son’s first birthday we did a fish theme. Everyone had fun fish hats to wear that we picked up inexpensively from Party City and we had pool toys bouncing around the living room. I bought pre cut wooden letters and customized them with scrapbook paper (just use spray adhesive and cut out openings with an exact knife).

Seating makers and party favors were little fish bowls (bought at Michael’s) filled with goldfish (which is perfect if you have any kiddos with peanut allergies). Cut out circles of scrapbook paper and stuck them on craft sticks to stand up in the bowls.

My good friend made the cake, a little hombre on the side – vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream.

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After eating lunch over at West Street Tavern, we went back around the corner to check out a bakery I had passed on the drive in. It appeared to be a new spot, but we found out when we went in, that they have been open for about a year. Still new to us! We tried out their honey cake which was just the right amount of sweetness and bought a few other things while we were there. How delicious does that caramel cake look? They also have fresh basked breads, macaroons, and tasty croissants.

Prelude Bakery

140R Adams Street, Newton, MA

MON. WED. THURS. FRI 8am-6pm. SAT. 8am-2pm. SUN 8am-2pm. TUES closed

prelude bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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