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A Guide to Boston’s 2012 Holiday Strolls in Beacon Hill, Davis Square, North End, and South End

Tattoo these dates to your forehead:

December 12, 2012 from 4-8 pm. South End Holiday Stroll

December 7, 2012 from 7-11 pm. North End's Boun Natale Holiday Stroll

December 6, 2012 from 6 pm-midnight. Davis Square's Midnight Madness Holiday Stroll

December 6, 2012 from 6-9 pm. Beacon Hill's Holiday Stroll

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M. Flynn Tapered Metal Necklace Giveaway

Sisters and founders Megan and Moria of M. Flynn are kicking off the holidays with their brand new Tapered Metal jewelry collection. Comprised of statement necklaces and dangly earrings, the line adds the right amount of dressy to every holiday outfit (from button downs to sweaters and cocktail dresses) and also makes a pretty sweet gift to put under the tree/bush/pillow/younameit.

Each piece is slightly different, with metals like hematite and gold/silver fill, and some with pops of color from semi-precious stones like adventurine, turquoise, and lapis. You know what else is great about this line? It’s symmetrical. And no one can argue with the beauty of symmetry. No one.

M. Flynn Tapered Metal Collection necklaces

I wore this piece on my Boston Holiday shoot last week, and thought it brought just the right amount of added bling to an already-blingy blazer:

M. Flynn Tapered Metal Collection hematite necklace

Photo: Sara Winchester

And so, because it’s the season for giving and all, the ladies at M. Flynn are giving away the exact hematite necklace I wore!

Here’s How To Enter:

1. First, “Like” both Spreedia’s Facebook Page and M Flynn’s Facebook Page.

2. Then, we want to hear what you picture the necklace with! Leave a comment below letting us know how you’d rock it.

3. Bonus! For an additional entry, share this giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter, and let us know in your comment below.

Original retail: $125

Measurements: 21″/adjustable

Dates: This giveaway runs November 23-30. One winner will be selected at random and announced December 1.

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to winner Katerina D.!

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Boston Holiday Shoot 2

Boston Holiday Shoot and Local Love

Last week I participated in a holiday photo shoot featuring five Boston bloggers, self-styled with clothing from local boutiques. I was asked to think “holiday,” which for me just means a dressier version of my daily routine: something feminine, something masculine, and fun little details. I called upon some of my favorite shops: Vira, Flock, M Flynn, and E Scott Originals. ‘Tis the season for smoking jackets and smokey eyes, I think:

Marc Hall Design studio shoot featuring Jeffrey Lyle Salon hair styling, Sarra makeup, Vira boutique clothing, Flock Boston clothing, 11th Moon Laguna Beach shoes, and Sarah Winchester photography.

Marc Hall Design studio shoot featuring Jeffrey Lyle Salon hair styling, Sarra makeup, Vira boutique clothing, Flock Boston clothing, 11th Moon Laguna Beach shoes, and Sarah Winchester photography.

Marc Hall Design studio shoot featuring Jeffrey Lyle Salon hair styling, Sarra makeup, Vira boutique clothing, Flock Boston clothing, 11th Moon Laguna Beach shoes, and Sarah Winchester photography.

First look: Avni top and Blu Pepper blazer from Vira, Line & Dot leather patch pants from Flock, and Vena Cava velvet shoes from 11th Moon (a boutique I found a few weeks ago in Laguna Beach, CA)

Marc Hall Design studio shoot featuring Jeffrey Lyle Salon hair styling, Sarra makeup, Vira boutique clothing, Flock Boston clothing, 11th Moon Laguna Beach shoes, and Sarah Winchester photography.

Marc Hall Design studio shoot featuring Jeffrey Lyle Salon hair styling, Sarra makeup, Vira boutique clothing, Flock Boston clothing, 11th Moon Laguna Beach shoes, and Sarah Winchester photography.

Second look: Silk blazer and One Hundred button down shirt from Vira, and hematite necklace from M. Flynn’s new Tapered Metal collection

Let’s talk about the incredible beauty team we had on hand. Working with these people means working with Boston’s best (they have the plaques to prove it).

Hair: I usually wear my hair up, but that’s mostly because I don’t have the patience, talent, or tools to amplify such a fine, flat coif. Luckily we had the appropriate instruments and attitude that day to make big things happen. Tim Robishaw of Jeffrey Lyle Salon (also the man behind my hair color) proved once again that wavy, luscious, voluminous grass is, in fact, greener.

Makeup: I’m not sure if my dramatic smokey eye was a decision based on style, or based on my need to have Lauren Genatossio of Sarra touch my face for as long as possible. Probably a little of both. But probably more the latter. She’s the hand behind my eyebrows (no waxing, ever) and the voice behind my daily makeup routine. If she’s not touching your head before a big event, you should get that head checked.

As mentioned, I worked with some awesome Boston bloggers on this including Lani of Mon Petit Chou Chou, Renata of Scorpion Disco, Kristen of Boston Fashionista, and Sean of Boston Mo. We each had a different take, so head over to their blogs for more shots and more details!

Photoshoot Credits:

Hair: Tim Robishaw of Jeffrey Lyle Salon
Makeup: Lauren Genatossio of Sarra
Photography: Sarah Winchester
Location: Marc Hall Design Studio

Not quite as good as bloopers, but here are some behind-the-scenes shots of the crew for your voyeuristic pleasure:

Instagram behind-the-scenes collage from Jeffrey Lyle Salon, Sarra Boston, Sarah Winchester, Marc Hall Studio shoot

I’d love to hear about your holiday look! Do you have a favorite wardrobe piece this year, or a go-to hair/makeup style? Oh, and be sure to get your butts back here on Friday (especially if you like that M. Flynn necklace I’m wearing)…

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Artistry Pop Up Jewelry Store Opens in Boston

Just in time for gift-giving and merrymaking, five local jewelry designers (Laura Jaklitsch, Lauren Passenti, Sophie Hughes, Jennifer Chin, Chihiro Makio) and one painter (Beth Dacey) have teamed up to open a small shop in Boston’s South End. The pop-up store Artistry is open through Dec. 24, and offers a selection of the artists’ creations with materials ranging from horse hair to urethane and oxidized silver, all at an upscale price point ($100-$1,000). Put your money toward something special and one-of-a-kind this year—Tiffany’s will manage just fine without you.

Laura Jaklitsch, Sophie Hughes, and Jennifer Chin jewelry

From left: Ring by Laura Jaklitsch; bangles by Sophie Hughes; necklaces by Jennifer Chin.

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Woodland Creatures

Woodland creatures are specifically found in forests, but their presence is officially felt all over the place. In nature these animals would kill the shit out of each other, but how adorable is it to see them getting along for the sake of my layout? I’m totally twitterpated.

Woodland creatures home decor, jewelry, handbag

1. Owl salt & pepper shakers, $25 at Abodeon; 2. Orla Kieley Fox Print Iris Bag, $222 at Mint Julep; 3. Bear candle set, $45 at Patch NYC; 4. Alkemie Wolf Cuff, $190 at Flock; 5. Paper Mache Bunny, $110 at Patch NYC; 6. Thomas Paul Chirp Pillow, $80 at Shake the Tree; 7. Sadek Woodland dishes, $14 at Shake the Tree.

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8 Boston Shops with the Best Candles

I may’ve missed the boat on this, but hurricane Sandra Dee just got me thinking about candles. A lot of stores in Boston carry them, but there are a few whose selections definitely stick out. Whether they’re for a party gift, your bathroom, or lighting your way through a power outage because someone forgot to buy batteries for the flashlight, these candles really deliver.

In no particular order:

Living room, bathroom, and kitchen candles at Lekker

1. Individual Room Scents at Lekker:

Lekker’s got the home thing down pat. This means they’ve got the “Kitchen Candle,” “Dining Room Candle,” “Living Room Candle,” “Lake House Candle,” “Master Bathroom Candle,” and perhaps the most seasonally appropriate, the “Family Room Candle,” a blend of Cortland and McIntosh apples.

1317 Washington St. (see on map)
Boston, MA 02118
Price Point: $-$$$$

2. Mandles at Sault:

Mandles (man-candles). Not to be confused with mandals (man-sandals). Sault has a fine selection of Beekman candles made from pure beeswax and essential oils. Go for the Autumn candle—it’s rugged and woodsy. The glass and wood packaging can even be recycled into a bud vase once you’re done using it.

577 Tremont St. (see on map)
Boston, MA 02118
Price Point: $-$$

3. Tea Scents at Acquire:

A small splurge, but well worth it. Their collection of Aquiesse candles are perfect for burning right before guests come over. Ditch yo’ Febreeze. My favorite is the Mandarin Tea Candle.

61 Salem St. (see on map)
Boston, MA 02113
Price Point: $-$$

4. The Good and the Odd at Aunt Sadie’s:

The queen bee of candles. The scents will smack you in the face the moment you enter the shop. Aunt Sadie’s candles are hand-poured into cans in VT and come in silly scents like Tobacco, Mom, and Bacon, with classics like Tree-In-A-Can, Pumpkin, and Clementine Vanilla.

Aunt Sadie’s and Gracie Finn
18 Union Park St. (see on map)
Boston, MA 02118
Price Point: $

5. Candles Meet Art at Patch NYC:

Go for their signature scents that are a collaboration with The Soap and Paper Factory. They come in two sizes and 12 scents (my favorite is the Pipe Candle: Vanilla, bourbon, cognac, tobacco and patchouli). These are huge crowd pleasers, and I’ve used them as stocking stuffers. Patch also carries some bear candles that are too cute to burn.

Patch NYC
46 Waltham St. (see on map)
Boston, MA 02118
Price Point: $-$$$$

6. Everlasting Flames at Blackstone’s:

Blackstone’s has a set of trick candles that are going to sell out if they haven’t already! From not-that-afar (I’m talking like 4 feet away) they flicker exactly like a real candle, and smell exactly like a real candle (cinnamon, I believe), project a realistic light, but the flame is a big fat phony. They’re genius.

46 Charles St. (see on map)
Boston, MA 02114
Price Point: $

7. Tubs of Wax at Magpie:

Nothing too fancy, but this is where you’ll score the scorpion bowl of candles. Three wicks per candle, maybe four? They’re massive, and could probably last you straight through a week-long power outage.

416 Highland Ave. (see on map)
Somerville, MA 02144
Price Point: $

8. Designer Votives at Louis Boston:

Fancy candles, which means they make great house-warming gifts. They have the French classic Diptyque’s Jasmin Candles in a variety of scents. Also available: a designer candle by Jason Wu, natch.

Louis Boston
60 Northern Ave. (see on map)
Boston, MA 02210
Price Point: $$-$$$$
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What’s Nu Opens in Davis Square

With the colder months on our heels, flea markets are dropping like flies. It’s time to start thinking about where the heck we’ll discover a bunch of local designers! Thankfully, What’s Nü is new-that’s-what to Davis Square. The shop just opened last week, and is located on Holland Street right near Dave’s Fresh Pasta (in the old Suneri space).

Former Suneri employee Lena Gorczyca recently claimed the space with the hopes of showcasing local designers along with her own contemporary line, AlenA. With an emphasis on eco-friendly and American-made, and a de-emphasis on polyester, What’s Nü hits upon clothing, bags, jewelry, and accessories for women (with a growing men’s section).

Ask Lena to take you around the shop, where she’ll go designer by designer. There’s jewelry from recycled t-shirts by TeePearls (Catherine Maldonado of Medford, MA) and neckties with vespa and umbrella prints by Jegman (Jason Eli Glover of Somerville, MA), along with a single locked glass case of “expensive” jewelry. I admit, when Lena said that word (with a genuine, if bashful smile), unlocked the glass case for me, and I saw price tags at $45-$200, it warmed my soul. About 70% of the shop is under $100.

I was particularly drawn to the reclaimed cashmere sweaters (v-neck, crewneck, and cardigan) by Re-Awakened and grabbed one with an embroidered fox on it for myself ($68). I couldn’t help but think my new purchase would go for $268 at Anthropologie. ‘Cause it would.

What's Nü Davis Square

Clothing rack of independent designers at What's Nu

Independent designer leather bags at What's Nu

Window display and clothing rack at What's Nu

Note to local independent designers: If you’re interested in having your pieces displayed at What’s Nü, fill out their application form! They’d love to hear from you.

What’s Nu
67 Holland St. (see on map)
Somerville, MA 02144
Price Point: $-$$
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Will Leather Goods Event at Uniform

The Oregon-based Will Leather Goods just debuted their new Oaxacan textile line, and Uniform in Boston is now carrying Will Leather Goods, so it’s only right that the two join together, add a little rum, and host an event. Tomorrow head to Tremont St. from 1-6 pm to view an extended collection (wax coated backpacks, travel kits, and flight bags), have a drink, and receive a “token of appreciation” from the makers of Will.

Will Leather Goods Oaxaca Duffle BagWill Leather Goods Oaxaca Laptop Case

Will Leather Goods Oaxaca Messenger BagWill Leather Goods Oaxaca Backpack

Will Leather Goods’ Oaxacan line

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