Meet Our Newest Contributor: Noelani Zervas
We are thrilled to welcome Noelani Zervas to The Boston Day Book team. We’ve been friends with Noelani for a while now, and have always admired her style, friendly demeanor, and blog, Mon Petit Chou Chou. As a mother to daughter, Daphne, Noelani will be sharing kid-friendly activities like creative play dates and dining spots, plus where to shop for cute clothing for both mom and child. Welcome, Noelani!
To introduce Noelani to The Boston Day Book community, we opted to have a little informal interview. Enjoy!
How would you describe yourself in a few words?
Decisive. Capricious. Type-A. Mother. Aspiring zen-master.
12 hours in Boston – what do you do?
Brunch at Mistral, hands down #1 in Boston. Double tour of the MFA Boston and Isabella Stuart Gardner Museums. Must see all Sargent’s work between the two. Light lunch/snack at Flour Bakery. If it’s a Sunday, hit SOWA. Good for food trucking, vintage hunting, and general people watching. Stop into a few South End shops like Viola Lovely, Hudson, Flock, Formaggio, M.Flynn, Patch NYC, Farm and Fable, Olives & Grace to name a few. Pre-dinner drinks at Oak Bar, stroll Copley, the Boston Public Library, and then hop across town for dinner at Menton. One of the best meals I have ever had. Cap the eve with more drinks at Drink, and a walk around the Seaport along the waterfront.
What do you consider to be Boston’s best kept secret?
Busch Reisinger Museum in Cambridge. Well, all the Harvard art museums are outstanding but this one always has my heart. Home to an enormous collection of medieval plaster casts it was also where I wanted to have my wedding. Alas, I married into a Greek family and they exceeded the guest max count for the space on their side alone.
Tell us a little bit about your blog, Mon Petit Chou Chou!
It’s a lifestyle site- equal parts fashion, interior inspiration, local shopping & events, and of course, food. All my interests rolled into one, so it is really constantly changing.
Mon Petit Chou Chou is a French phrase that always stuck with me from high school French. Likely rarely used in every day conversational French, but a fabulous term they teach to all 9th graders. ‘Zoot Alors! Je t’aime mon petit chou chou!’ It’s a term of endearment, like calling someone honey, or sweetie (directly translates as ‘my little cabbage’). I just love those foreign phrases and idioms that don’t quite translate perfectly. I applied it pretty generally to everything I love for the site.
Has life with a toddler in tow changed your city experience? How so?
Life with a toddler has changed everything! I know it’s cliche to say, but for the better. You have to plan your outings around places that are stroller accessible or kid-friendly. Places you can get in and out of around nap times. Restaurants that can hustle you through quickly and spots where they can run around while you lunch – and then you need to hunt out all the cool spots for kids clothes and gear. I’ve been really pleasantly surprised by all the independent, local spaces that cater to the littles: Hatched, Tadpole, Magpie, and Mulberry Road to name a few.
What are your favorite kid-friendly activities / places around Boston?
There are great resources for kids to play inside and craft in classes, especially necessary this winter. Mama and Me in Jamaica Plain has mom and baby yoga, pilates, open play, and we love Galoop in Brookline. I have had a lot of fun with some stroller tours at the MFA. They are surprisingly cool about the kids. They welcomed snacks, strollers, and the odd alarm going off all with ease!
In a few words, can you please tell us your favorite:
Restaurant: Local spot, Steel & Rye. Special occasion, Menton or Craigie on Main. Dying to try: Townsman.
Cafe/bakery: The Plate in Milton, Flour Bakery, and have you tried those English muffins from Stone & Skillet? Wow.
Place to walk and enjoy a beautiful day: Boston Common
Place to shop: Viola Lovely, Covet & Lou, SOWA, Brimfield, Skinner Auctions
Place to visit when you want to “get away from it all”: St. John