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November 22, 2013

31 Days of New
A month ago today I vowed to try something new every day in January. Despite my complete disbelief in New Year’s resolutions, I created a list of must-tries (from sea urchin to spinning) and set out to check them off, one by one.

Now here I am, the day before my set end date – plenty of “new” under my belt – feeling, well, completely unprepared to let go of this little adventure I’ve just begun. But before I bring on the sap – behold, a look at my final week:

I turned off my phone for a day – and detoxed from Facebook, too. Going Facebook-free was easy, but phone-free? For lack of a better word, it was strangely lonely. (A sign to try a phone detox more often, I think.)

I gave blood. And failed. So, to clarify, I attempted to give blood. Halfway through the donation, I got lightheaded and the technician (a Josh Hartnett clone with a fondness for Twilight one-liners) told me I would need to stop. The blood I had given wasn’t enough to be deemed useful. It was a (disappointing) testament to the fact that – as valiant as our efforts are – we all have limits.

I vowed to eat clean. In other words: only simple, whole ingredients that grandma can recognize. As part of this, I tried satsuma, a kind of citrus fruit (thanks, Whole Foods), and learned how to seed a pomegranate.

I wrote my name in Elvish. Yes, a stretch, but amazing what you can learn on the Internet these days. (Try it, then go ahead: indulge in Second Breakfast.)

I did Paint Nite, which is, basically, a wine-fueled group painting class. My lack of artistic ability has never been so apparent, so I’ve taken the liberty to instead show off my friend’s skills, above.

I ate dinner at a restaurant alone. Okay, okay, I holed up at my favorite little Chinatown enclave and got my Bibimbap fix, book in hand. A far cry from going solo with white tablecloths, but… baby steps.

Now, where to from here? Not back to my pre-January rut, that’s for sure. The simple act of choosing the new (no matter how small) over the comfortable has been seriously invigorating. I’ve learned to push myself out of my comfort zone, to make every day count.

So I’ve gone ahead and made another vow: I vow to shake up my year. And I urge you to try it, too. Nay, not 365 Days of New (which I can imagine would be quite fund-depleting), but one new experience a week until the ball drops and 2014 is upon us.

Skydiving? Bring it.

By Joanna Berliner, Editor

We’d love to hear about your New Year’s Resolution. Fill us in in the comments below or tweet us @ruelala

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January 30, 2013

31 Days of New

It’s crazy how comfortable we are in our everyday norm. The simple two-week changeup from my work/gym/dinner routine (peppered by a three-day cleanse and bout of the flu, mind you) has left me asking myself in earnest – do I really have to try something new today? Can’t I just cuddle up at home and watch a new TV show?

So I’ve consoled myself: trying something new doesn’t have to mean scaling a mountain, blindfolded (you know, since that was totally on my “try something new every day in January” list…). It can be as simple as wearing a bold new lipstick. Or sating flu symptoms with a first attempt at home-brewed loose-leaf tea. Or setting my alarm an hour early to see the sunrise on my walk to work. (Check, check, and check.)

Below, peep some highs – and lows – from Week Two:

Sea Urchin. Mixed with heirloom egg at Inman’s new (and totally worth visiting) Puritan & Co., this unusual little sea creature honestly didn’t taste like much of anything. It tasted runny. It tasted like texture. But it looked like a trip to the Maldives – right down to the driftwood serving board.

Coffee Detox. I said no to coffee – for three days. Actually, I did a “smoothie cleanse,” three days of drinking concoctions of kale, flax, cayenne, spinach, berries, and the like – all whipped up and primed to banish supposed toxins (read: bloody Marys) in the system of yours truly. Overall impression: drinking only smoothies for three days? Easy. Giving up coffee? So. Expletive. Hard.

Brow Threading.
 Using simple cotton thread and an age-old technique, my stalwart Newbury Street thread master cleaned my brows up in under five minutes. The fleeting feeling of a bajillion imaginary pinpricks aside, they’ve seriously never looked better.

Bone Marrow. On a random Sunday evening at Back Bay’s The Salty Pig, I did the unthinkable – I asked the waiter to bring me absolutely anything weird, chef’s choice. The surprise? Tiny melt-in-your-mouth nuggets of deep-fried bone marrow. (Bonus: they were gratis!)

High Tea. High Tea at BOND in The Langham hotel – a three-course affair of crustless sandwiches, sweets, and, of course, tea – was so much less Samantha the American Girl than I’d hoped. Where are the petits fours? Flowery china teacups? Next overindulgent girls’ afternoon, I vote brunch.

By Joanna Berliner, Editor 

Have a suggestion for something new I should try in January? Share it in the comments below or tweet us @ruelala

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January 16, 2013

31 Days of New

Call me anti-January, but I’m typically not one for New Year’s resolutions. The fact that we’re expected to turn over a new leaf on January 1 – a day when many of us wake to a dreadful, post-bubbly hangover – has always felt a touch ironic. Yet this year, after a particularly hectic 2012, the thought of a resolution suddenly felt right. So I resolved – not for some sort of vague, broad-stroked goal (“eat healthy, save money”) – but to start small, with January.

This January, I will try something new every day. Thirty-one days of new.

Here’s a peek at week one:

Try a new food: Farro
With every intention of trying sea urchin or some gelatinous, gag-inducing organ on January 1, I instead began safely: an ancient grain found not in the back corners of Chinatown but front and center at my little subterranean Trader Joe’s. Its barley-like consistency paired (perhaps too perfectly) with my “kitchen sink” method of cooking – take some sort of grain, add anything and everything in fridge, consume.

Try a new gym: Sports Club/LA
Nothing against my tried-and-true gym (promise), I jumped at the chance to try Boston’s luxest of the luxe – for free. Tucked above the glitzy Ritz, Sport Club/LA’s two pristine floors of cardio, class space, squash courts, and more was like stepping into another world filled with Lululemon-clad superhumans. Lavender-scented towels enticed post-elliptical, but I have to say – I’ll take my come-as-you-are gym any day, thank you very much.

Try a new restaurant (in a new part of town): Posto in Davis Square & Tangierino in Charlestown
Trying new restaurants is one of my very favorite things to do, so I felt a little guilty putting it on my list. But in a new part of town? Totally counts. The squash pizza at Posto – heaped with roasted veggies and sage and baked to the perfect char in a woodfired oven – and the belly dancers (and anise-studded rolls) at Tangierino were most definitely worth the extended T ride.

Try a new fitness class: The Bar Method
I’ve been meaning to try barre for months, but frankly, it intimidated me. So when my friend mentioned she was taking a morning class, I took it as my cue to tag along. Fast forward through an hour of “Joanna, tuck your seat, point your toes, extend your leg…” I left hurting – and glowing – then immediately went home to book a class for the next morning.

The rest of the week, the “new” continued. I wore a leather tee to work – paired with fur. I drank 100 ounces of water in one day. I signed up for editing classes. I tried Duk Gook – Korean rice cake soup. I whipped up an insane green smoothie – and drank the whole thing. And now, eight days into it, I feel surprisingly rejuvenated – but also quite aware that I have just barely left my comfort zone.

Goal for the week ahead? Kick this resolution up a notch.

By Joanna Berliner, Editor

Trying something new for the New Year? Share it in the comments below, or tweet us at @ruelala.

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January 9, 2013

Oh, January – you bring so much promise of self-improvement. After those past failed resolutions (go to the gym five days a week! get more sleep! stick to that splurge-free budget!), I’ve decided to tackle something a bit more fun in 2013: style. Sure, the new year brings plenty of new trends, but I’ve got my sights on something a little more personal. You see, I’m totally stuck in my wardrobe ways. But same old, same old no more – here are five ways I am updating my closet in preparation for a year of style adventures (and beyond).

Fashion Resolutions

Continue reading “Fashionable Resolutions for a Brand New Year” »

January 7, 2013


We’re determined to make 2013 the best year yet, so in honor of the New Year (and our new resolutions), here’s a roundup of Pinboards that will keep us inspired and motivated all year long.

1. We love Skinnytaste’s Pinboard of recipes that make our favorite foods just a little bit healthier.

2. These running tips and guides from SHAPE magazine will have us sticking to our get-fit resolutions – easily.

3. An abundance of winter-outfit ideas will keep us inspired all season (even when it’s 20 below).

4. This year, we resolve to wear more prints.

5. No more excuses: 2013 will be our year to get crafty. Bring on those DIYs!

Can’t get enough Pinterest inspiration? Check out past boards that caught our eye.  

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January 1, 2013


With the biggest party of the year on the horizon, perfecting that dance floor–ready look ahead of time is of utmost importance. Thanks to our Ellen Tracy Boutique, this one’s covered (right down to the shiny flats for an easy shoe change).

The Party-Perfect New Year's Look


Our Ellen Tracy Boutique opens Sunday, December 23, at 11AM ET.

By Brianna Lapolla, Staff Writer

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December 23, 2012