Archive for September, 2015

Fashion Apps 2015 – Our Favorite Apps to Try Now

With the dawn of online shopping and mobile app development, on-the-go fashion apps put wardrobe planning, sale alerts, and trend tracking at your fingertips. Some apps also add a social element, allowing you to follow local fashionistas and friends for outfit ideas and style advice. The seamless union of shopping, style finding, and social communication make the modern fashion app a dynamic and useful lifestyle tool. Here are some of the best fashion apps to try.


1.) Shop It To Me

Consider this app the helpful shopping fairy you always dreamed of. Select your favorite brands and products in your size to receive alerts when those items drop below normal price. You can also check out the app’s “Trending” tab to see what items are about the fly off the shelves!

screen322x572ShopItToMe - Best Fashion Apps


2.) Cloth

Cloth is a virtual catalog of your outfits, style inspiration, and tricky fashion troubleshooting. You can view trending outfits, follow your favorite bloggers, and push your own looks to the web. Search local fashion trends in any city, on any given day (and any weather!) for travel planning or daily inspiration.

Cloth1 Cloth -  - Best Fashion Apps


3.) StyleKick

For the avid fashionista, StyleKick unites blogger-style photos with quick shopping guides. The app learns your tastes as you favorite items and follow users, then it recommends looks (and pieces) that you’ll love. A simple, user-friendly interface and elegant design will kick your fashion hunt into overdrive.

StyleKick -  - Best Fashion Apps


4.) Pose

A favorite of designer Rachel Zoe, Pose allows users to upload daily outfit photos with a charming caption and tag the items they’re wearing. As the ultimate social fashion app, users can like, follow, and shop all in one place. Use as a sharing platform or style inspiration tool by connecting with celebs, bloggers, and fashionistas across the globe.

Pose Pose -  - Best Fashion Apps


5.) The Hunt

Like your most fashionable friend, The Hunt delivers a fail-proof feed of fashion advice, outfit ideas, and fabulous finds. Post your photos for feedback from the fashionista community, find trending items, and vote on the best outfits from fellow users. Start a “hunt” by posting an image of an outfit you love, and the style community will help you find where to buy those items!

TheHunt TheHunt -  - Best Fashion Apps


6.) Keep Shopping

Enhance your one-the-go shopping routine by saving your favorite clothing, home decor, and accessories. If you’re not ready to purchase, your saved items will be kept in an elegant item showcase for later. Search trending items and follow users with great taste. All of your saved items will be tracked for price drops and you’ll be notified next time they go on sale!

KeepShopping1 KeepShopping -  - Best Fashion Apps


7.) Polyvore

As the ultimate stop for style ideas, outfit inspiration, and shopping links, Polyvore is a serious resource for the modern fashionista. Users post helpful styling collages to help your envision how to wear your favorite pieces or plan for new wardrobe additions. Create your own fashion collages and share with others, or find trending collections for new style ideas!

Polyvore1 Polyvore -  - Best Fashion Apps


8.) Snapette

InStyle describes the appeal of Snapette perfectly as “part Instagram, part Pinterest, all awesome!” Use this app to photgraph and tag local shopping finds, search and compare prices on your favorite items, or peruse the top finds from the street to the web. Easily track your favorite stores and brands for discount alerts and new products!

Snapette - Best Fashion Apps

Which are some of the best fashion apps you’ve used? Comment and let us know!

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Halloween Costumes 2015 – Five Easy & Cute Outfit Ideas

It’s already the end of September and Halloween is just around the corner. It’s means it’s time to start planning this year’s Halloween costumes! Whether you’re headed to a costume party or handing out candy to the neighborhood ghouls, the perfect outfit will help make your night fun, spooky, and festive. Here are some cute outfit ideas for dressing up in your annual Halloween costume. Halloween outfits can be easy to put together i.e. a spooky hat on a black dress or a mask in a red one is all you need to get into the festive mood.

Halloween Costume #1: Toil and Trouble

An old-time classic gets a fashionable update with this youthful take on the Halloween witch. With spider web pumps, a full skirt, and a talisman necklace, this look is straight out of Sorceress Vogue and contains a few style items that can mesh seamlessly into your everyday wardrobe. The laced-up witch’s hat and black lipstick add a thematic and creepy vibe.

Halloween Costumes - Outfit Ideas for a Spooky Night

T-Shirt | Necklace | Hat | Lipstick | Skirt | Shoes

Halloween Costume #2: Cat and Mouse

As a playful twist on the traditional black cat outfit, this look incorporates a leopard printed pencil skirt and matching crop top, as well as a black fur jacket and fun kitty ears. Cat paw heels add a fun element to the costume, but can easily be switched for neutral heels. A mouse-themed clutch or accessory helps tie the look together and solidify the kitty-cat theme.

Leopard print Halloween Outfit

Top | Skirt | Headband | Necklace | Fur Jacket | Shoes | Purse

Halloween Costume #3: Goddess of Grapes

As a low-key alternative, this playful and unique look can be assembled with a few purple items and some purple balloons. This outfit can be adapted to use items you may already have in your closet, including the maxi dress (or two-piece purple outfit) and jewelry. Simply attach purple balloons to your outfit in an arrangement similar to a bunch of grapes, and your outfit is ready! For bonus points, add a grape leaf clutch or other thematic accessory.

Cute Halloween Outfit - Pretty in Purple

Earrings | Dress | Bangle Bracelet | Pearl Bracelet | Shoes | Leaf Clutch

Halloween Costume #4: Skin and Bones

For a healthy dose of blood and gore, this edgy anatomical outfit has everything a Halloween enthusiast could want. From the pun-worthy tank top to the skeleton tights, this look unites humor and horror for the ultimate knock-out costume. The spiked bib necklace, spine heels, and faux-blood iPhone case help turn up the heat on this fabulous collection of Halloween wearables.

Spooky Halloween Costume Idea

Tank Top | Lipstick | iPhone 6 Case | Leggings | Necklace | Shoes

Halloween Costume #5: Party Parrot

Part masquerade-goer, part avian, this fun and fancy costume unites bird-like qualities with high-class living. A red lace party dress, feathered mask, and black wings provide the perfect color composition, while the golden claw necklace and beaded feather clutch continue the theme. This look could also be transformed easily into a “black swan” look by opting for all-black items. Either way, this Halloween outfit is sure to entice.

Halloween Masquerade Party Outfit

Mask | Dress | Clutch | Necklace | Wings | Shoes

For more outfit ideas, follow us on pinterest.

Like these halloween outfits? Which one’s your favorite? 

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Enjoy 25% off during DVF Friends & Family Sale

DVF Top Picks

Don’t you just love a Friends & Family Sale?! As soon as I see those four words, I am instantly inspired to treat myself. What better time to snag that fabulous bag you’ve had your eye on! Pictured above are some of my favorite DVF accessories, all available online at Use promo code FRIENDS25 for an additional 25% off your purchase.

If you are an Ebates member, you can also earn 2.5% cash back on your purchase! If you’re not familiar with Ebates, here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up {here} – it’s FREE (no hidden fees and no strings attached).
  2. Look up your favorite stores on Ebates (there are over 1,700, and counting!).
  3. Start shopping!  Ebates will tell you the percentage of cash back you will receive from your purchase based on the store.
  4. You will receive a “big fat check” every three months.
  5. Share Ebates with all of your friends and receive a “tell-a-friend” bonus (more cash back!) 

The weekly emails from Ebates summarize which stores are having sales, online coupons or double cash back, which is the perfect excuse to do a little shopping on your lunch break.  Before I buy anything online, I always check Ebates first so I can make money while spending money.  You’ll thank me after you receive your first check!

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Two Deeply Personal Stories from This Week

“At unexpected points in life, everyone gets waylaid by the colossal force of recollection.”
Mary Karr, The Art of Memoir

Every day, millions of people share their most intimate thoughts, stories, and memories on a site — and the results can be powerful. Here are two pieces I read this week and (highly!) recommend:

“Seven Years Old, Stealth, and Scared”

Those who follow our Editors’ Picks on Freshly Pressed may recognize the work of gendermom, the blog of Marlo Mack (a pseudonym) who is navigating life in the United States as the mother of a transgender daughter, “M.” Her latest post is honest, brave, and heartbreaking, about her daughter’s nervousness in going back to school, and how a mother balances the desire to protect her child from cruelty while not making her feel she must be “stealth”:

I have been so focused on helping her maintain her privacy, on telling her, again and again, that only SHE gets to decide who “knows,” that I think I’ve made her afraid. I wanted her to feel like she was in control. And I wanted to protect her from people who are cruel. But somewhere along the line, things went sideways.

School starts tomorrow. And yesterday, out of the blue, my seven-year-old said, “Mama, I want to go to a school with only transgender kids.”

“Thanks for Reading”

Israel Gutierrez is a reporter for ESPN who last week publicly shared his story of coming out, prior to his September 12 wedding:

“Starting in my early teens until somewhere in my late 20s, I’d blow out my birthday candles with the same wish: ‘Please don’t let me be gay.’”

Gutierrez has been out to friends and family for more than six years, but personal testimonials like his can serve as comfort and inspiration for others:

“More than anything, I just want to tell my story. It’s probably going to feel like too much information to some of you. But it’s the best way I know to explain what life can be like for conflicted, confused gay men and women everywhere.”

Everyone has a story to share, and we’re looking forward to reading more. For additional inspiration, check out some of our posts on memoir writing and personal reflection, or browse the personal essay tag in the Reader.

Filed under: Admin Bar, Community,, Writing
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New Theme: Sapor

Today, I’ve got a great new theme for you called Sapor.


Sapor is a minimal theme that lets you showcase your passion, whether it’s cooking or gardening or healthy living. Whatever you enjoy, Sapor allows you to easily share that passion. This theme lets your content shine and adapts effortlessly to any device you view it on.

I designed this theme with food blogging in mind, though it works for many different types of blogs. Sapor comes packed with features, including a site logo, social menu, custom header, custom background, and an optional sidebar. You can also select from among several free color palettes, which are included in this theme.

Get to know Sapor in the Theme Showcase, or give it a spin by activating it from your dashboard.

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Engineering Happiness in Brazil: WordCamp Rio de Janeiro and beyond

Karen Arnold and Erica Varlese work on the Happiness Hiring team at Automattic, where they hire new Happiness Engineers who support users on and Automattic products. They met with the Brazilian WordPress community last week and wanted to share their experiences.

On August 29th, 2015, we traveled to Brazil to attend WordCamp Rio de Janeiro and meet the Brazilian WordPress community. At Automattic, the company behind, we’re working on localizing our support to those who speak Brazilian Portuguese. Since both of us are part of our Happiness Hiring team, which focuses on hiring new support engineers, or “Happiness Engineers,” we decided to travel to the WordPress community in Brazil to share our new Happiness Engineer (BR-PT) role and talk about our experience with support.

Jetpack booth

Jetpack booth

At WordCamp Rio de Janeiro, we gave a talk on “Engineering happiness: bridging the gap between developers and customers.” Our talk, which will be translated to include subtitles, focused on tips and tricks from our experience on how to get into the right support mindset and how to use support to create loyal customers. The audience was wonderfully responsive and we had the opportunity to chat with many WordCamp attendees about their thoughts on support, Happiness Engineering, and how education is a part of their day-to-day work with WordPress.

We weren’t the only Automatticians at WordCamp Rio. Miguel Lezama joined us to talk about Jetpack, and the recently launched, at our booth. Additionally, Claudio Sanches, from the WooThemes team, was part of a panel on “Mercado de Trabalho do WordPress — Brasil e Mundo.

Claudio’s panel

Claudio’s panel

After the WordCamp, we got the chance to cowork at a startup incubator, Espaço NAVE, which is part of Universidade Estácio de Sá. Here, students compete to share their startup and product ideas over the course of a semester. We gave our talk to the community at Espaço NAVE, focusing on the importance of support for all products and companies, not just WordPress.

Espaço NAVE

Espaço NAVE

Later in the week, we traveled to São Paulo to meet with the local tech community, including Marco Gomes, the founder of boo-box, and WordPress community members. At the São Paulo WordPress meetup, we saw the incredible community dynamic in action as members shared thoughts and ideas on new topics and talks to cover throughout the year. Anyssa Ferreira gave an excellent talk on women working with WordPress in the Brazilian community before allowing us to take the stage to chat about support and localization.

Our trip to Brazil was packed with tons of productive and fascinating conversations. We were welcomed by an incredibly warm and dynamic community. We’re excited to see the ongoing results of our conversations around localized support, women and children in WordPress, and the WordPress community in South America as a whole.

Are you fluent in Brazilian Portuguese and English and love supporting users? If so, you might be a great fit for our Happiness Engineer (BR-PT) role. We’re also hiring dozens of other roles globally! Join our team!

Filed under: Events, Hiring, International, WordCamp
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Madewell debuts Our 2nd Story + Exclusive Invitation

Madewell GT Event

Join us for the debut of Our 2nd Story, an upstairs concept space with exciting thing (shop-in-shops, events, etc.) happening year-round. ECome by for exclusive styles from The Cambridge Satchel Company, free live monogramming and our entire collection of bags (which you won’t find in any other store).
Thursday, September 17th / 7-9pm
1237 Wisconson Ave. / Washington DC
#madewellxcsc – @madewell1937 

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5 Outfits to Rock at Your Next 80s Theme Party

The 80s were a golden era of individuality, marked by voluminous hairstyle, wild color patterns, and plenty of spandex. A number of eighties trends hold a special place in our hearts and occasionally resurface in playful and unexpected ways (fanny packs, acid wash denim, high top sneakers). One major platform for 80s fashion is the dawn of the theme party, where retro brights and bold styling have taken center stage once again. If you’re stressing out about what to wear to an 80’s theme party, have no fear! Check out these top five fun looks that harken back to a brighter time.


#1: Teenage Heartthrob

This youthful assortment of colors, metallics, and textures will keep your party look current and fresh. The simple tank top, gold nugget earrings, and acid wash denim cutoff shorts add a touch of modernity, and could easily be worn again. A pair of high-top Chuck Taylors also references past styles while remaining timeless—especially in such a delightful shade of blue. Toss in a heart shaped necklace, neon lipstick, and a neon detail clutch, and you’re ready to rock and roll.

What To Wear To An 80s Party

Necklace | Clutch | Shoes | Tank Top | Shorts | Earrings | Lipstick

#2: Barbie Glam 

As an homage to the trendy feminine style of Barbie, this look fuses neon brights with metallic accessories. A pair of gold earrings matched perfectly with the gold clam shell clutch while neon hair ties, yellow pumps, and fluorescent nail polish make this outfit perfectly party-ready. A cropped top with its uneven hemline contrasts the refined girly nature of the voluminous chiffon skirt. Last but not least, a reliable bottle of hairspray will get your hairstyle exactly where it needs to be.

What To Wear To An Eighties Party

Earrings | Shoes | Top | Skirt | Nail Polish | Hair Ties | Clutch | Hairspray

#3: Street Beat Queen

Part modern, part retro, this look contains a number of items that could easily be re-worn. Why spend money on a costume you may never wear again, when these perfectly put-together items accomplish the 80s vibe just as well? You may even have a number of these items already, such as the loose cropped sweater or brightly colored clutch. Pair with a chunky gold necklace, a pair of grunge-style boots, and a few complimentary brights, and you’re perfectly 80s!

Outfits for an 80's party

Sweater | Necklace | Earrings | Nail Polish | Clutch | Boots

#4: Fangirl Glam

If you lived through the 80s, you probably remember that loveable application of over-the-top animal prints, rainbow palettes, and cartoon critters made famous by Lisa Frank. This outfit pays homage to that delightfully kitschy trend, using a bright animal print clutch, pink pumps, a graphic tee, and neon skinny jeans. Matching pink bangles, a bright shade of lipstick, and horseshoe earrings help pull the look together.

Lisa Frank - Eighties Outfit

T-Shirt | Clutch | Shoes | Earrings | Lipstick | Bracelet | Skinny Jeans

#5: Dance Party USA

If you’re ready to dance the night away 80s style, there’s no better outfit. The lavender spandex dress, tights, and bright yellow pumps are made instantly 80s with the addition of some bright pink legwarmers. Add a matching pink clutch—complete with disco ball zipper pull—glitter nail polish, and some bright green studs. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to electric slide the night away.

What To Wear To An 80s Dance Party

Dress | Tights | Shoes | Leg Warmers | Clutch | Earrings | Nail Polish | Mascara

We hope these outfits gave you some idea of how to rock your next 80s themed party. If there’s no such thing on your calendar, maybe it’s time you organized the retro theme party of the year!

For more outfit ideas, follow us on Pinterest or our Polyvore page where we post all our outfits.

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On the Run: Blogging the European Refugee Crisis

People all over the world were horrified last week when they saw the picture of a dead Syrian child, Aylan Kurdi, being picked up from the beach in Turkey. His family’s attempt to escape the brutal civil war in their country had ended in tragedy.

From Calais to Kos to Lampedusa, the blogging community has been following the refugee crisis in Europe — as well as the conflicts that feed it — as it rapidly escalated over the past two years, and especially this past summer. Here are some of the most powerful voices we’ve come across weighing in on this massive humanitarian disaster.

A Letter from One Mother to Another

In a post full of tragic irony, a writer contrasts the plight of a refugee mother with the sanctimonious complaints of a mother who’s safe at home with her kids:

Dear Irresponsible Migrant Mother,

What exactly were you thinking when you woke your children in the dead of the night, picking up the baby still asleep? Don’t you know how important it is for children to get enough sleep?


That baby you’re holding needs to be warm and comfortable, cocooned and safe, like a tiny bud, waiting to bloom in the morning. Those toddlers won’t be able to walk the miles you want them to in the black night in worn out shoes without a good night’s sleep.

A Dispatch from a Syrian Refugee Camp

Lionel Beehner visited the Zaatari refugee camp, in Jordan, back in 2013. He described the chaotic scene he’d encountered there in vivid detail, and his dispatch is even more haunting today, seeing that the plight of Syrian refugees has grown dramatically worse in the past two years.

Photo by Lionel Beehner.

Photo by Lionel Beehner.

Heading Off into the Refugee Tragedy in the Med

Ali Criado-Perez is a registered nurse who has worked with Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders since 2007. She recently took off for a rescue mission in Malta, one of the Mediterranean islands that sees the highest numbers of refugee boats off its shores. Here are some of her words on the eve of her departure:

I don’t know exactly what lies ahead of me. I hope I’m prepared, physically and mentally, for this trip. I’ve done a fairly arduous sea-safety training, which entailed me leaping from a height into water, dressed in a survival suit, and clambering into a wobbly life-raft. But I don’t think anything — not even seeing people dying miserably from Ebola — can prepare one for finding 52 people dead in the hold from asphyxiation, as my colleagues did recently.

Quartz: Borders

Quartz, an online business magazine, has put the spotlight on the refugee crisis in its Borders “Obsession” (a collection of related stories). It’s a place where interested readers can find the latest coverage of the news, including some of the more offbeat stories that might get buried in more traditional media outlets — like this one, on an Egyptian billionaire who proposed to buy a Mediterranean island on which to welcome refugees.

Writers for Calais Refugees

Moved by horrific scenes of chaos and dispair in the French coastal town of Calais — a gateway to Britain — a group of writers joined forces to share their poems in solidarity with asylum seekers. Here is an excerpt from Nina Simon’s poem, “Refuge”:

On an airless summer evening
I sit in the garden
remembering how
we came with nothing
but the clothes we wore

to an unfamiliar address
scrawled on well-thumbed paper
dreaming of safety,
a city paved in freedom.

On Encouragement

When you talk about “encouraging more of them to come”, you have no idea what you are talking about.

In Sweden, British expat Helen Jones makes the case for the #refugeeswelcome movement, calling on Europeans to educate themselves on the causes behind the influx of refugees into the continent, and to find practical solutions to lessen the suffering of those who keep arriving.

Calais Migrant Solidarity

Temporary refugee housing in Calais, 2014 (Photo by Gustav Pursche / Calais Migrant Solidarity)

Makeshift refugee housing in Calais, 2014 (Photo by Gustav Pursche / Calais Migrant Solidarity)

This site is run by activists who support the cause of refugees in Calais. It’s used, among other things, to document the hardships suffered by those still stuck in the no man’s land that the city’s refugee camps have become, including their mistreatment by local officials and police.

Calais: In the Warm Embrace

Europe is itself made of transplants, migrants, and refugees — this is a point powerfully made by scholar and writer Claire Squires in her essay, where she recounts the history of her family (her mother’s side had settled in France to escape political turmoil in Algeria), as well as her childhood memories from visits to Calais, currently one of the epicenters of Europe’s refugee crisis.

Escape to Freedom: Bringing a Syrian Family to Safety

Russell Chapman, a freelance photographer and writer, recently helped a family of Syrian refugees to safety, accompanying them from Greece through Macedonia, Serbia, and Hungary into Western Europe. Read his post for an unfiltered, ground-level account of the harrowing trip through Europe’s eastern refugee corridor.

If you’ve read a powerful take on the crisis by another blogger, please share it with us in a comment.

Filed under: Community,, Writing
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A Niche of Their Own: Five Sites to Check Out Today

The blogging community is huge and diverse, with thousands of smaller clusters of sites built around shared interests, causes, and passions. It might seem daunting at first — like walking into a party where everyone already seems to know each other — but there are a number of ways to ease your entry into the community, from participating in a blogging event (or even starting your own) to taking one of our free blogging courses.

As the bloggers we feature here demonstrate, there’s another way to find your place in the big, wide world of blogging: zoom in on one thing you enjoy doing, then do it consistently, and well. From parenting to cooking to illustration, these bloggers found their niche and their audience by developing a hook — something unique about their posts that makes you want to visit them again and again.

Zounds, Alack, and By My Troth

There are thousands of humor blogs out there, at least as many illustration blogs, and a respectable number of sites devoted to William Shakespeare’s work. Ben Sawyer, the illustrator behind Zounds, Alack, and By My Troth, made his witty web comic a cross of all three, distilling the Bard’s work — sonnets, scenes, entire plays — into well-executed, smart panels.

From Henri IV retold to the tune of Semisonic’s “Closing Time” to Othello explained in five easy steps, Sawyer’s comics (and commentary) make you look at Shakespeare’s corpus in a fresh way — not an easy feat when it comes to the most studied English-language author of all time.

Read an Interview

Every Monday, readers can expect a fresh, wide-ranging interview conducted by Johan, the blogger who runs Read an Interview.

The interviews span a wide range of topics, and feature an eclectic gallery of subjects — from a police canine trainer to a designer of figure skating costumes. Regardless of who he engages in conversation, Johan’s curiosity, patience, and respect for his interviewees is evident everywhere on his site.

Things We Like

Who doesn’t love lists? Author Jessica Gross came up with a neat idea: a site dedicated exclusively to lists of things people like (you can send her yours, too — she accepts submissions).

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 3.36.08 AM

A list by blogger Lindsay James

Succinct and digestible, these lists, full of quirks and offbeat details, give a surprisingly good glimpse into each list maker’s psyche.

My Least Favorite Child Today

The web is full of wonderful parenting blogs, covering a wide spectrum of topics and writing styles. Stephen Hurley‘s dad blog, My Least Favorite Child Today, belongs firmly in the humorous end of that spectrum, with hilarious posts on the shenanigans of his young twin boys. (How hilarious? His irreverent post titles — like “He’s Not Teething. He’s Just An Asshole” or “Breaking: My Sons Have Perfect Weiners!!!” might give you a hint.)

Beyond the great writing, the blog also has a great hook: each post ends with a (mostly fabricated) rating of the twins, letting the readers track the always-changing state of Stephen’s affections. (If you care to know, Charles and Arthur are currently tied at 36 days each as least favorite child.)

Cooking in the Archives

If you’re a history buff, a baking fanatic, or any cross of the two, you’re bound to love Cooking in the Archives, a site where two literary scholars, Alyssa Connell and Marisa Nicosia, make their way through the outré (and often surprisingly appetizing) recipes found in early-modern cookbooks.

Eighteenth-century beer cakes, recreated.

Eighteenth-century beer cakes, recreated.

Full of fascinating commentary, lovely images of old books, and honest reviews of the results of their cooking, Marisa and Alyssa’s site is a niche blog that appeals both to fellow ancient-cookery geeks and to the wide, uninitiated public (so much so that it’s been featured on CNN, the Washington Post, and elsewhere).

Does your blog have a unique hook? Let us know in the comments.

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