5 Things I Learned on My Boston Apartment Hunt: How I Found Granite in a Hopeless Place

In reality, this post could also be titled “Apartment Hunting: the real reason CMQ hasn’t posted since mid-March.” So, dear readers (who at this point may only include my mom and several family friends because I’ve really lost all semblance of normal post scheduling…) I’d like to heartily apologize for not being more capable of maintaining a blog while hunting for an apartment.

As it turns out, real estate searches in Boston are no joke. They’re even less of a joke if you’re like me and are: a) extremely picky, b) highly unlikely to just settle, and c) apparently looking way before your preferred rental date. With that in mind, my four months of psychotically trolling Zillow and having 4+ realtors in my “Recently Called” list at any given time has led me to a few helpful lessons that might also be valuable to you, should this journey be one you’re about to embark on yourself. If you’re happily settled into a permanent home or apartment, my insight might not be as useful, but I encourage you to read on and allow yourself a congratulatory pat on the back for being out of the deep, dark forest that is the current rental market.

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Current Cover Love

I’ve expounded at length in the past about my love for a good cover song, and over the past few months this cover by Birdy and the original by The Naked and Famous have been on frequent rotation.

This is a great example of a cover being a different tone than the original, thus making the same lyrics and notes appropriate for different occasions. One of the many reasons I think having a good selection of covers on hand is worthwhile. Read my past post about my case for covers here if you’re curious, and have a fabulous weekend!

Geek Chic | Scoring the Seat

In my ongoing quest to become an increasingly good gift giver, I’ve had to branch out and realize the beauty of experiential gifts. Obviously, I’m as much of a clothes/decor gal as the next so I highly enjoy receiving new duds for special occasions, but my lovely beau much prefers to be gifted with things like concerts…”experiences,” if you will. If this sounds like someone in your life who is lucky enough to be on your list of birthday gift recipients, then the website/app you’re looking for is Seatgeek.

Seatgeek homepage


Seatgeek is essentially pretty simple – it’s a website where you look up an event and it searches high and low over the interwebs to bring you tickets to said event. What’s cool about it though is that it evaluates both price and location of the seats, ranking everything in terms of the deal you’re receiving. So, for example, the top of the list might not show all the cheapest tickets, but it will show you the best bang for your buck.

Additionally, it ranks ebay among the sites it searches – never would have thought to go there for tickets to an event, but have been pleasantly surprised by how nice the experience was!

Most recently, I used Seatgeek to procure Red Sox tickets for Opening Day weekend. In the past, I’ve found it helpful for concerts both ones where I was looking to save or ones where I was looking to splurge. If you’re a concert junkie or an avid sports fan, it’s definitely worth a download!

Bach in the Bath

Powder Blue Bathroomimage via

Fun fact about me: when I was little, I used to be afraid in the shower because I’d watched some scary TV show where a slime monster would invade people’s homes through their pipes. I was always scared that when I closed my eyes to shampoo, the creepy thing would come out of the drain and attack me. Normal, right? My irrational fear happened to compete with how much I enjoy baths and showers – like every other normal human I know, I can’t get enough of the water, the warmth and the deliciously scented products that are a part of the bathing process. I’d take three a day if I wasn’t concerned about my skin being adequately moisturized. My solution back in the day to my Goosebumps-induced issue was, naturally, to bring my little tape player into the bathroom and listen to a Pocahontas book on tape. Not only was I not scared anymore, but I found myself especially capable of pretending to be a Native American princess hanging out under a casual waterfall. You know, if waterfalls ever were located in the upstairs bathroom of my house in Rhode Island.

Sadly, my “Just Around the Riverbend” themed-shower days have passed, but it still holds true that I like listening to music as I rinse and repeat. Generally, the radio in my shower has always been set to my favorite car radio stations (shoutout to 92PRO-FM), but this past month I made a small alteration that has been a huge game changer to my morning routine. I find myself feeling more calm, joyful, and invigorated when I start my day…and if you know me you know another fun fact about me is that I am not a morning person.  Thus, those are not words I would usually use to describe my feelings before 10 am. So, what’s my nifty trick? Continue reading

Folk on Folk

Lucky little me, the concert Derek got me for my birthday and the concert I got him for Christmas fell on back to back weekends! Last Friday, I was treated to the styling sounds of Brett Dennen, who I first saw in 2007 when he opened for John Mayer and whose music always puts a smile on my face. Dennen’s opener, Foy Vance, was a wonderful little surprise – his beautiful voice is definitely worth checking out. With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, he’s especially relevant too, being from Ireland. This Saturday, we will be seeing the Avett Brothers at the TD Garden with Old Crow Medicine Show as the opener – they’re DTR’s favorite band and I’m pumped about the seats I was able to secure.

With all this music in mind, here’s a little playlist for your Friday sampling some of my favorite tunes by all the aforementioned artists. Enjoy!