When did you start your blog? January 2008
Where are you both from? We both grew up in Andover, Massachusetts. It’s about 20 minutes north of Boston.
How long have you two been friends? We knew of each other in first grade but were in the same second grade class, where we “officially” became friends. We sat at the same table, which was called the Blue Diamonds
Are you still friends with other people from your hometown? Yes, actually the majority of our friends are people we know from grade school in Andover. People always tell us that it’s rare for a group of girls to stay friends for so long. We like to think we’re very lucky!
Are you roommates? Nope. Although everyone seems to think we are, we both live in separate apartments within walking distance from each other.
Why did you decide to start a blog? We wanted to show people that cooking, decorating, and living your best life doesn’t have to be complicated, expensive, or a big chore. It’s fun to entertain and surround yourself with the people you love, with good food and good wine, of course.
What do you both do for work? Chels is a graphic designer and designs mostly wedding invitations and stationery. Sues is a freelance writer and social media marketing specialist.
How do you decide what products to review on your blog? We only review products we absolutely love. We figure there’s enough negativity in the world these days, so why contribute to it? We want our blog to be as positive and uplifting as possible. A place where our readers can feel good and find products, services, and recipes that will make their lives better. We receive countless numbers of emails each week to review products or attend events, but we sift through them all and decide which ones our readers would benefit from learning about and which best suit our lifestyles. Companies often ask to send us products to sample but we make it clear to them that we’ll only write a post about it if we are in love with it. We don’t do giveaways on our blog for products we haven’t used ourselves. Most everyone loves free things but it doesn’t mean anything if we’re not staying true to who we are and what our readers deserve.
How tall are you both? Chels is 5’10.5″ and Sues is 5’3″.
How do you both stay thin while eating out so much, attending all these events, and entertaining? We get this question all the time. We both have similar views on food. We love it. All of it. And because we love it, we think it’s only right that we eat whatever we want and just discipline ourselves. If we have an all day eating event to attend and are sampling all kinds of rich and delicious foods, we know not to pig out the next day. To us, it’s also all about moderation, portion control, and being smart. And a fast metabolism doesn’t hurt either.
What kind of cameras do you have? We both recently made the splurge and own Canon Rebels (T1i and T2i). We made the upgrade after shooting with Nikon P90s for a while that the company gave us. And before that we were using your standard point and shoots (Sony Cybershot and Nikon CoolPix), which are still nice to have just to toss our bags if we don’t want to bring out the DSLRs. If you’re just starting to blog and learning the ropes, don’t feel like you need to spend a ton of money on a camera right away. Our point and shoots definitely worked well but after 3 years of blogging we felt it would be a good investment to purchase DSLRs. P.S. When we first started blogging, Sues was using her camera phone (and no, it wasn’t an iPhone).
What is your advice for starting a successful blog? First, we encourage you not to start blogging for free products or to make money. Do it because your heart is in it and what you’re sharing with the world is something you’re extremely passionate about. Be unique. Be yourself. Don’t conform to what other bloggers are doing. There are so many blogs out there now and a lot are very similar. Don’t be afraid to be true to yourself and use your own voice.
Do you respond to reader emails? We try our best to respond to every email we receive in a timely manner, whether it be from a company or a reader. Sometimes it takes a little bit of time to think of a quality response or we’re tied up with other projects, but we’ll eventually get back to you if you write us.
Have you ever met or seen Martha Stewart? We were invited by one of her production assistants to attend her blogger show back in September of 2008. She’s definitely our idol so it was an unbelievable experience and her studio is breathtakingly gorgeous in person. You can read about our trip here, here, and the wrap-up post here.
What are your favorite spots in Boston? This could wind up being a long list but here are a few. For a fun night out with the girls and for a good excuse to dress up a little we like Alibi at the Liberty Hotel and MiniBar. For a chill Summer night we like drinks on the roofdeck at the Rattlesnake (get the cornbread and say hi to Chef Poe for us!). For a cold and rainy weekend night we like the coziness and unpretentiousness at The Washington Square Tavern. For Sunday brunch, The Fireplace in Brookline never disappoints. For great Mexican, the bold and creative flavors at Dorado in Coolidge Corner will most definitely hit the spot. For perfect Italian and pizzas that are easy to share amongst friends, nebo by the Boston Garden will knock your socks off, just be sure to make a reservation if it’s a game night. The owners of nebo are wonderful, check out our post when they cooked lunch for us! Antonios in Beacon Hill is another favorite of ours with their perfect prices, delicious Italian homemade food, and generous portions. Turner Fisheries serves a mean cup of New England Clam Chowder. Then the usual, more “sceney” places that are good for tasty food and people watching Stephanie’s on Newbury and Sonsie. Email us if you have specific questions!