Salem Travel Guide

It's no secret that October is prime time for visiting Salem, Mass. The city is full of history, art, and incredible local food. Salem is the perfect day-long getaway from Boston because it is a quick 20 minute train ride away and the best sites are all an easy walking distance from the station.

what to do

Peabody Essex Museum

The PEM is truly a gem of the North Shore. They have an extensive collection of fine art from around the globe and they also host some incredible traveling exhibits. PEM is one of our favorite places to take guests from out-of-town (especially during the holidays or school breaks when the MFA might be too crowded). Our favorite exhibit is the Yin Yu Tang house - an entire historic Chinese home rebuilt inside the museum. A tour of the house is like traveling back in time and halfway around the world at once!

Salem Witch Museum

OK, this museum is a bit cheesy, okay, maybe A LOT cheesy, but it is still the best way to hear about the Salem Witch Trials and what really happened across the north shore in 1692. Though tickets are a bit pricey for what the show really offers, the ticket does come with a bunch of coupons to other museums and restaurants in the area, so you end up getting your money's worth afterall! (True confession: this museum used to creep the hell out of me when I was a kid! Great halloweeny activity). 

Notch Brewery

Looking for a way to wind down after an afternoon of museum-hopping? Head to Notch Brewery. The large open space is great for groups, especially in good weather when folks are free to enjoy the outdoor seating along the canal. There are also fun pub games like skee ball and delicious soft pretzels.

Where to EAT

Red's Sandwich Shop

Red's is our fav for casual diner-style grub. A visit to Red's is a great way to escape the sometimes touristy vibe of Salem and enjoy some local flavors. The prices are great for day-trippers on a budget with wraps and sandwiches from $4.50 - $8.50 and local seafood entrees for under $20....not bad at all!

Sea Level

There is nothing not to love about Sea Level; they have great local food, creative cocktails and an amazing beer list, plus  the restaurant has a great view of the water. We highly suggest the fried clams for a classic seafood appetizer and for you adventurous types, try the lobster quesadilla or the chowder fries. Yes, chowder fries are a poutine-like invention of crispy, thick-cut fries, covered in house-made clam chowder, cheese, chives and a few littlenecks in there for good measure. The dish sounds absurd, and it is, but it is also delish and a must-try (but be pace yourself, it is really rich and the portion is hugeeee).

Protect Your Sh*t: The Easiest + Cheapest Way to Get Renter's Insurance

Do you have renter's insurance? Obviously it is smart to have, but if you're like us, you've probably already had too much legalese mumbo jumbo from health, dental and auto insurers to want to deal with renter's insurance. But yikes, after living in downtown Boston for seven years, we've heard enough stories of fires and break-ins to last a lifetime, so it's time to get real and protect our sh*t. 

Luckily, there is a simple way to get renter's insurance (and many other types of insurance) without out getting too complicated. YourPoncho is a new Massachusetts-based business that is making the insurance buying process simple while also finding you the most affordable, trustworthy coverage. 

I just used YourPoncho to get renter's insurance for the first time and it only took about 10-15 mins of computer time total and my coverage started within a couple days of my application! No joke, all I had to do was fill out a brief online application on YourPoncho's website - basic questions about how much coverage I wanted and what type of building I live in - and YourPoncho later e-mailed me with a few coverage options that fit my needs (including the most affordable option and an option that provided a few thousand dollars more in coverage for an only slightly increased monthly price). 

When all was said and done, I was able to get a package that fit my needs for $14.30 per month. Not a bad price to pay for protection on all my worldly belongings!!!  And, yes, its a big relief to check this one off the to-do list after seven years!

This post was sponsored by YourPoncho - but note that JUGs only accept sponsorships from mission-aligned brands that meet our core values of compassion + fulfillment. 

The Week of October 17th

Around Boston

Stressed? Looking for a better work-life balance? Learn How to Manage Stress in Your WorkLife with Motus and expert, Nell Daly this Thursday from 6-9 pm.

Join SheStarts Networking this Friday morning for some breakfast and networking with women entrepreneurs, supporters and friends.

Looking to do a fall hike? Check out these 7 hikes near Boston.

Around L.A.

Join Design by Kadie and BossLadies for Branding for BossLadies at the Mar Vista Art Depot Sunday, 11/6. Get your tickets before the event sells out!

Might be living at The Last Bookstore this week. Check out their lineup for this week's events: California's Deadliest Women (10/18), An Evening with Horror Screenwriters (10/19), and SoCal Ghosts & Where to Find Them (10/21)

One of our favorite female comedians, Jenny Slate, is performing next Monday (10/24) at the Largo. 

Career & Finance

5 things rich people don't say about money. Some good advice in here!

A tip for the next girlboss - choose your investor like you choose your spouse. 

Future moms - how to take maternity leave without going broke.

Health & Beauty

Nutritionist-approved tricks for a healthier Halloween.

I am drooling over these new winter salad ideas!

Style & Decor

A must-read about the realest girlboss around, Michelle Obama.

LOVING that Zady and Emma Watson have paired up! 

Looking to spruce your place up before hunkering down for colder weather? Here's 35 pieces under $200.

3.1 Phillip Lim’s new campaign is all about the "Lady Boss"


Creating a Personal Spending Plan

Thanks to Brookline's Society of Grownups over the last few years, us JUGs have seriously gotten our finances in check!  

I was able to attend a session for bloggers last week on creating a spending plan, something that is crucial to staying on track.  The strategies discussed were led by the attendees, mostly because a spending plan is created in a way so that spending matters to you.

Some key factors in creating a spending plan, is to remember that your "wants" are important, too!  As you are solidifying what you want to purchase (and "wants" should be factored in to keep you more on track), you gain a better understanding of your priorities.

It is important to be intentional with how you categorize your spending.  SoG suggested three buckets in which to place funds:

  1. Needs (50% distribution): the "essentials:" rent, loans, credit card payments, utilities, T pass, even coffee (!)
  2. Priorities (30%): best use for the future, long-term debt deleverage; savings account(s)
  3. Wants (20%): what brings you happiness; spend remainder after action is taken on goals

I loved the concept shared of "save, then spend," really the inverse of what most assume you should do, in pay your rent and expenses first, and then save.  SoG advises the opposite, and it's just a modern-day model that we want to adopt.  


In reflecting on spending habits, it is crucial to ask yourself the question of "Are you getting in your own way?" Consider what starts as an innocent trip to Target, you go in for paper goods, gift wrap and some Windex; coming out with $400 of stuff you didn't even know you "need."  Things like this are a reminder to be mindful, not mindless.  When shopping, have intention, and distract yourself so you're not just aimlessly wandering and grabbing at items.  

Another tip I really valued is to create a nickname for various savings accounts.  This mirrors having intention in spending, and if you have to take from an account, it's a bigger hit to borrow from your "house down payment" fund, rather than just "savings account."  The bottom line is cash is cash, and without a label to your money, you're more likely to spend without intention.

We all crave that bonus at work, too, but don't plan to spend until you have the money.  Have a plan in place before you get paid.  That way, you can continually maintain spending balance.

A great takeaway from the class was to constantly revisit your money.  Check in as your financial plan changes so that it evolves with you.  It needs to change as often as your priorities, wants, compensation structure does since it is a value system unique to you!

SoG recently made some changes, so the best way to find them is through their website.  This is a destination for online classes, financial calculators and ongoing advice from the SoG blog.  Feel free to share your personal spending/saving techniques in the comments section!


This post is sponsored by Society of Grownups, a Brookline-based company offering classes, events, and financial advice to help navigate being a grownup and encourage conversations about money, happiness, adventure, and personal values. Check out their classes and more here.

Venice Beach Travel Guide

Just one week shy of my one-year anniversary of my move to Venice, I felt it was finally time (and allowed) to write a travel guide to my new "home town." I've spent the last year getting situated and exploring, and while there's always more to discover in this funky beach town, I am excited to share some tips as a new resident. 

So, if you are planning a visit to Venice Beach for a day, a weekend or a week, here are my top suggestions:

Where To Stay


Live like a local and stay at an AirBnB. Venice is known as one of AirBnB's top destinations and we've got plenty of funky and stylish housing options on the site to prove it. 

Hotel Erwin

Go for a well-rated hotel. Hotel Erwin is the best bet I've heard so far (there are some very seedy ones near the beach so beware). Situated on the boardwalk, Hotel Erwin is right in the action and has a very popular roof top bar that boasts views of the beach, boardwalk and mountains. 

Shutters on the Beach

Go big with Shutters on the Beach. This waterfront spot has a charming East Coast flair and is my dream staycation location. Technically located in Santa Monica, it's on the boardwalk just to the right of Venice Beach. It has top notch dining and a beautiful pool.

What to Do

Visit Venice Beach

Spend a day at the beach! Watch the local surfers, check out some lifeguards, and admire the coastal views that extend all the way up to Malibu on a clear day. Try your hand at surfing with Aloha Brothers Surf Lessons or join in on a volleyball game. 

Stroll or Bike the Boardwalk

There's so much to see on the boardwalk that you can't come to Venice and not experience it. Walk past mural-covered buildings, street vendors, performers, and enjoy some of the most unique people watching you've seen in a while. On most days it's packed with locals, tourists, skateboarders, rollerbladers, dogs and more. Grab a beer at Venice Ale House's outdoor patio to take in the scenery as you listen to a local street band. From there make your way to muscle beach, the infamous skate park or the Venice Canals. Note if you want to rent a bike, there are plenty of vendors up and down the boardwalk.

Shop on Abbott Kinney

A stroll on Abbot Kinney is a must! It's Venice's main shopping drag and is lined with boutiques for all tastes. My go-to shops are Burro, Negarin, and The Piece Collective. Keep your head up as you walk - the chances are high you might catch a celebrity out and about. If you want to continue shopping and go a little "off path," Lincoln and Rose Avenue are other popular streets (my favorite store, The General Store, is on Lincoln).

Explore Neighboring Attractions

Brave the traffic and hop in an uber! L.A. has so much to offer and if you have time it's worth venturing out to another neighborhood like Echo Park or Koreatown. Head downtown to the LACMA, MOCA or The Broad. Drive up the Pacific Coastal Highway to Topanga Canyon or Malibu for a quick hike / beach many options!

Where to Eat & Drink

Breakfast / Brunch

Venice has no shortage of delicious dining spots that will make you say "this is so L.A." My personal favorite brunch spots are The Butchers Daughter - they have the most amazing house made Bloody Mary, and Flake. Flake is a "fast food" option and is always hopping till it closes at 3 pm. Try and grab a seat at one of their tables or take your meal to go.


For lunch, you can keep it quick with a smoothie from a local food truck on Abbot or The Butcher's Daughter. Other great options are the artisanal bakery, Gjusta, or the go-to vegan spot, Cafe Gratitude. The line at Gjusta is a major pain at peak times, so keep that in mind.


After a day of exploring, keep it chill. I love a restaurant that's a little less "in the scene" and has an easy (affordable) menu. On most weekends I can pretty much guarantee that I will be at Clutch (cali-mex) or Superba (California-fare) because their plates are so delicious and both have huge, dog-friendly patios. Runner up - Hama Sushi, but their menu is a bit more pricey and they most definitely require that's a little less "chill" in my book.

Enjoy your stay in Venice!


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Images: AirBnB Airstream, AirBnB Bungalow, Shutters on the Beach, Venice Beach Boardwalk, General Store, The Butcher's DaughterGjusta, Superba