Meatballs with Marinara, Cheddar and Bacon (Keto)

By kayla
At Mar 05, 2018

Meatball Ingredients (yields 12 meatballs)

  • 1 lbs grass-feed ground beef
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried onion flakes
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt, or to preference
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, or to preference

Marinara Sauce (yields about 1 cup)

  • 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes (no sugar added) – tomato juice drained
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt (add more if necessary)

Meatball Toppings

  • 1 cup marinara sauce (recipe above, or any sugar free store bought marinara)
  • 4 slices bacon, or to preference, coarsely chopped
  • 4-8 oz cheddar cheese (shredded or block)

Directions / Guidance

  1. Gather spices and ingredients.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
  3. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  4. In a large bowl, add all meatball ingredients and mix (by hand) to combined. Mixture should be saturated but not soupy.
  5. Form into twelve roughly 2″ meatballs and place on baking sheet about 2” apart. Note your balls may be a bit goopy, that is OK, just compact them the best you can – these meatballs are forgiving and will turn out amazing!
  6. Bake meatballs at 350 degrees (F) for 18 minutes.
  7. While the meatballs are cooking, start making the bacon (according to pack instructions, optional), cut up the cheddar cheese into 12 slices (skip if using shredded) then make the marinara sauce.
  8. In a small sauce pan, add all marinara ingredients and mix to combined. Warm up on low ntil meatballs are ready, stirring occasionally and careful not to burn the bottom.
  9. When the meatballs are done, put a slice of cheddar cheese on each meatball and turn the oven to broil. Broil the cheesy meatballs for 3-4 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  10. Remove from oven.
  11. Use a spatula to put meatballs (plus cheesy fat bath) on plate, then top with marinara (approx. ~ 1 tbsp) and optional bacon.

Grocery List for This Recipe

  • 1 lbs grass-feed ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes (no sugar added) OR or any sugar free store bought marinara
  • (Optional) bacon
  • 4-8 oz cheddar cheese (shredded or block)

Adapted/Inspiration From: I Breathe I’m Hungry


Garlic & Herb Dressing (Keto)

By kayla
At Mar 03, 2018

Garlic Herb Mixture

Measure out and mix together ingredients – makes about 4 tbsp (1/4 cup); store in air-tight container. Caking make occur but that’s OK, just scrape it up. Mixture yields ~ 1/4 cup of seasoning, 8 servings for Garlic & Herb Dressing. 

  • 3 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 3 tsp. ground mustard
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. dried minced onion

Garlic Herb Dressing

Mix ingredients below in dressing container; pour on salad. 

  • 1/2 tbsp. Herb Mixture (above)
  • 1/4 c. white vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. water
  • 1/2 c. oil (like EVOO)

Faneuil Hall Tree Lighting

By kayla
At Nov 29, 2017

Tonight I visited Faneuil Hall for the annual tree lighting ceremony. This was my first time so I’m excited to check it off my bucket list!

What goes on during the ceremony ? WBZ-TV News aired the half-hour event live; I hope I was on TV! This year the show featured holiday entertainment – a choir singing, blue man group performing, and Mayor Marty Walsh flipping the switch to light up the 83-ft tree. To be honest, it was difficult to hear the live performances in the crowd and I couldn’t hear the news anchors at all (I assume the sound quality was better on TV). A crowd had formed around the tree by 6 pm but I didn’t join until closer to 7 and I think I had a good view – check out some pictures below! Overall it was nice to be a part of something special in the city and soak up the holiday spirit!

Click here for more information about what’s happening this holiday season around Faneuil Hall. One of the things I hope to check out is Blink!, a high-tech light and sound display featuring thousands of LED lights at night. Interested in visiting Boston this winter but don’t want to just get caught in the cold? I’d love to help you plan a fun trip, let’s chat!

Before the tree was lit…

This 12-ton Norwegian Spruce tree is 85 years old and came all the way from Long Island, New York. But don’t worry, this tree is a Red Sox fan!!!

The crowd around the tree at the ceremony – listening to the choir sing.

….and the tree all lit up!

This tree is the largest holiday tree in New England! It’s also bigger than the one in NYC’s Rockefeller Center which is normally only 75 ft! How ya like them apples?



Featured Invitations

By kayla
At Nov 18, 2017

House Warming Party

My good friends from college bought a house together over the summer! As sad as it was to watch them move out of the city, I am super excited for their next adventure. They’ve been working really hard to get their new home in shape to finally have company over. When they were planning their house-warming BBQ, they gave me a call to make sure they weren’t forgetting any details before they started inviting guests. I passed along a few tips about food and such, then offered to make them a flyer. This would help to make communicating details about the event easier amidst all the chaos of a new home. They had mention all their labor reminded them of the HGTV Show, Fixer Upper. I used this comparison to design the custom invitation you see below.

Spring Break Reunion 

Having graduated a few years ago, staying in touch with friends is only getting tougher! We all miss each other so much and it’s easiest to catch up with everyone all at one time. After surveying a group of over a dozen, I found the best date and time for us all to reunite in Boston. We knew we wanted to do something to remind us of our senior-year Spring Break trip to Panama City Beach (PCB). Short a few white sand beaches and public drinking laws, I decided that meeting at Lawn on D would be a great compromise. With the location and time set, I designed the invitation flyer below with pictures from our actual trip to PCB. Everyone loved to reminisce over the memories.

Independence Day Party

My friend Devin has one of the best views of Boston from his apartment that I’ve ever seen. When I found out he was thinking about hosting a 4th of July Party, I drafted the flyer below for him. To my delight, he loved it! Especially the funny comments I added in like, “GTFO I have work tomorrow.” Devin sent this holiday party flyer to all his friends and it helped to make the event a huge success.

Girl’s Slumber Party

When my fiance is travelling for work, I like to optimize on girl time! I decided to throw an adult version of a slumber party – complete with nail painting, gossip and classic chick-flicks! To convey all the potential fun we could have without gross boys around (ew, cooties!), I made this flyer and invited about a dozen friends to come over and hang out for the night. We had a lot of fun but I went way overboard on all the food!  





By kayla
At Nov 16, 2017

Custom Modern Invitations and Flyers I have designed over the years.



(1) Image quality reduced to provide better download speeds. For questions concerning quality, please see my FAQ page or reach out to me via e-mail.

(2) All client info is confidential; all names and personaladdresses have be changed to protect customer identity.


Best Apps to Download before Visiting Boston

By kayla
At Nov 16, 2017

A list of Mobile Apps I recommend you download and explore before traveling to Boston. All FREE (some in-app purchases).


  1. ParkBoston use to pay parking meters (save those quarters!)
  2. Boston PayTix if you don’t use App #1…use this to easily pay your tickets
  3. TransitBOS best for planning bus trips
  4. ProximiT best for planning T rides 
  5. SpotHero find and buy parking spots near where you are
  6. Uber connects you with a personal driver 

Touring & Dining

  1. BHI (Boston Harbor Islands) for exploring the city islands
  2. NPS – Boston (National Park Service) for exploring the city, planning tours
  3. OpenTable meal reservation app
  4. TripBucket – Boston trip planning and touring information 



After Work Bowling Party

By kayla
At Oct 05, 2017

On a Friday night after work, a dozen of us met up at Jillian’s & Lucky Strike Lanes by Fenway to start the weekend right. Two lanes for two hours, free shoes for 20 friends, apps and a server. We had a blast and there were plenty of laughs to spare. After bowling we went to Lansdowne next door and it was lit after the Red Sox game let out. Heads up: they had a five-dollar cover started at 9 PM though, we made it just in time! Lansdowne also is a good bet for a live-band if your in the Fenway area on the weekend.

Everyone who came had a great time and really appreciate the bars list on the side of the custom invitation I designed for the event. This helped the crew decide where to migrate too after bowling was finished. The custom flyer is included below along with some photos from the event. Wish you had this much fun with your friends?  And great pictures to show it off? Want to plan a night out in Boston? I’d love to help!

Note how you can see the historic Fenway Park in the background – it’s right around the corner from Jillian’s Lucky Strike.

Pro Tip: Make sure your guests know where to park before driving to the event, especially on the night of a Red Sox Game! This is something I can help with if you’d like.

After bowling, we went to Lansdowne Pub.

Fun fact: The Lansdowne kitchen serves until 1 AM from Sunday-Thursday.

Here is the custom modern invitation I designed for the event. All guests were texted this high-quality informational flyer and the event was a huge success! We all agreed we would do it again. Like the look of this invitation? Check some of my other unique flyers in my Invitation Portfolio. Interested in using a similar invitation for your next event? Let’s chat! Shoot me an e-mail at


Late Summer Adventure!

By kayla
At Sep 02, 2017

I spent this morning planning out some late summer (early autumn!) adventures. My mom gifted me a wine tasting and cheese platter for 10 people at Hardwick Winery. Since this is almost a two hour trek from Boston (the greater greater Boston area if you will), I decided to plan a whole day around the tasting in order to make it more worth-while.

After a little research I decided to start at a local orchard, Meadowbrook Farm, for some apple picking and cider donuts. Yum! Then a quick 2-mile hike at Wachusett Mountain. Finally, we’ll end the scenic day at Hardwick Winery.

I texted this event flyer (below) to all my invitees. The invitation has details such as times, addresses, and maps! See my portfolio for other examples of my custom modern invitations.

Look for a review of how this event went later in the Fall! Want to plan a similar event? Let’s talk! Click here to go to my Contact page.


My Birthday Party

By kayla
At Aug 27, 2017

This year I decided I wanted nothing more than to go to a classy club for my birthday. We’re talking men have to wear pants and nice shoes, women in their favorite dresses, and everyone is dancing!! Since I live in the city, I hosted a cocktail party  at my apartment then we all Ubered over to the club. Here are some details about my “Kayla’s Night Out” and how I hosted this Birthday Soiree!

First, I had to find a club. There are dozens all over Boston, all with their own rules for VIP service. For example, not all tables allow the same number of people. Additionally, table minimums vary from $350-$700+ and sometimes include waiving the cover charge, sometimes they only waive it for part of your party. Another benefit some clubs offer to their VIP guests is line privileges – this means you can show up at any time and cut the line. I hope to make a checklist soon of questions to ask when booking a club – comment if you think this would be useful! After calling around, I decided that Cure Lounge would be the best fit for me and the group of friends I was inviting.

Once I decided on a club, I had to get make a plan for the party. When should people come over? How much food should I have? Is there space for everyone to park? So many questions to answer! After some fun time spent planning how I’d like my special night to go, I was ready to tell my friends! Based on my conversation with the club promoter, I knew I could invite 10-12 people. I designed one of my Custom Modern Invitations to share all the details of the party with my guests. Being able to text a picture-invitation to all my friends made it easy to get the information out in less than two minutes! In reference to the song “Scholarships” by Future, I made this invitation:

Cocktail & Food Menu:

  • Prosecco Soaked Sugar-Coated Grapes. Recipe from Delish, here. To be honest, I wouldn’t recommend these though, they didn’t really soak up the bubbly!
  • Fruit Salad. Just whatever was on sale at the supermarket – strawberries, pineapple, blueberries, etc.
  • Blended Watermelon and Vodka Coolers. These were a HUGE success! Not a drop left! Recipe from Jennifer Meyering, here.
  • Birthday Cake Flavored, Frosting-Rimmed Shots. I made modifications to a recipe on Tbsp, here.

After looking at my food and beverage list, I decided to make my theme green and pink – like a watermelon. Why pick a theme? When your food and decor all match, it just makes the whole event feel cohesive and run smoother. It’s also nice on the eyes for you guests and it’s fun to pull together! Finally, nice decorations are the difference between a cheap college “pre-game” party and being an adult. Besides you won’t break the bank, I was able to get everything I needed between my local party store and a department store for less than $55.

Decorations Shopping List:

  • 1 lg. Birthday helium balloon
  • 2 sm. balloons (in green for my theme!)
  • 2 Streamer rolls, 1 pink & 1 green
  • 1 Green plastic table cloth
  • 2 sm. pink plastic bowls
  • Package of pink-handled forks
  • Pink plates
  • 1 set of pink Birthday napkins
  • Pink and white paper straws
  • Green candles

Those are the basics of how I planned out my birthday party this year. It was a huge success, from the watermelon coolers, to getting low on the dance floor, even to the late-night dumplings we got in Chinatown at the end of the night! To help you imagine how it all came together, I have included pictures below from the portion of the evening I hosted at my apartment. A lot of time and effort went into making my party fun and memorable for all who attended. Are you planning a birthday party? Don’t have time to make all these plans? Whether you plan to go out in Boston or not, I would enjoy to work with you to make your birthday special! Click here to contact me about working together on your next party.


(Left) Prosecco grapes. (Right) Fruit Salad.

Watermelon coolers. See the green at the bottom of the cup? That’s sour apple liqueur.

Cupcake flavored shots, rimmed with pink-vanilla frosting and sprinkles.



Memorial Day Weekend

By kayla
At May 30, 2017

I started Memorial Day weekend a little early when we went out on Thursday night for the Celtics semi-finals game (yes.. I did had work Friday, sadly).

Thursday night – dinner & drinks at Lincoln in Southie for the Celtics playoff game.

Friday night – stayed in and watched Troy.

Saturday morning – made blueberry pancakes with this recipe and caught up with a good friend.

Saturday day – walked the Freedom trail from start to finish!

Saturday night – made Moroccan red lentil soup and hosted a pre-game. Went out to Scholars in the financial district and stayed til close! Came home, made fried egg sandwiches and played super smash bros.

Sunday morning – nursed hangovers and edited photos.

Sunday day – met friends in Southie for a couple cocktails in their flat then headed to Lawn on D for some fresh air, live music and brews.

Sunday night – dinner at Monument in Charlestown. Walked to the North End for an espresso martini at Trattoria Il Panino then waited in line for my first EVER Mike’s Pastry: a Florentine cannoli.

(Memorial Day) Monday morning – tidied the apartment and made Deviled Eggs for the first time with this recipe from Pinch my Salt.

Monday afternoon – had friends down from NH; went to Pier 6 then toured the USS Constitution Museum and historic ship. Had biers at Blackmoor Bar + Kitchen.

Monday night – reflected on weekend, planned for week. Leftovers and Netflix.


City Tap House

By kayla
At May 06, 2017

The first time I heard of city tap was a Friday night among friend’s. Eager for a new local spot, I quickly looked up their menu. While I’d call their menu American, it definitely leans more toward American with a twist, like trout sliders and miso glazed salmon. So on a whim, I didn’t feel it was reliable enough to pick for dinner. And the name “City Tap” just reminded me of a leaky public bathroom for some reason.

A couple months later, I focused on an Instagram post about the Harpoon Brewery Alumni Tap Takeover – ten breweries of Harpoon Alumni would be represented at City Tap. First off, I thought this was a really cool gathering of so many delicious local brewers. Second, I didn’t realize how many of the beers I loved were inspired by people who used to work at Harpoon! Ah, Boston, stealing my heart with every home-made craft brew!

So I threw my prior hesitations and public bathroom distaste out the window and drove over to Fort Point; I parked on Summer Street and walked to City Tap (make sure you use the staircases on A Street and Congress if you do this). I walked in and it felt like another Fort Point bar – the big windows of Tavern Road, the wood-panel walls of Chalet, the dim lights of Drink. But it is bigger than all three of those venues, but not as big as Farm House, if that helps you picture it. The venue wrapped in wood and ironwork save of one large 1950s-esque, black-and-white, mural beside the dining room and the three giant TVs behind the bar. Chalkboards sprinkle the walls displaying quotes, event ads, and daily specials. The wood tables and chairs mirror the wood paneling and is complimented by a blacksmith and barn-house décor incorporating pieces such as antique Edison light bulbs and small shrubbery.

I thought it was pretty busy for a rainy Monday after the dinner rush. The bar was full end-to-end and a lot of people were gathered by standing tables in the back, but there were tables open in the dining room area. The atmosphere was casual and inclusive.

Finding a seat at the community table, I ordered a flight of (left to right) Castle Island’s Jetty Sour, Dorchester’s Staple Saison, Exhibit A’s Cat’s Meow and Cambridge Brewing Co.’s Sargent Pepper ($22 with tip).

The community table is my favorite part about City Tap. I know, this sounds cheesy like we’re all going to sit around and break bread over our friendship or something but this ‘community table’ is really just like a high-top extension of the bar that a couple waitresses come around and serve. It seats at least a dozen people comfortably and the idea of being at the bar without having to elbow my way in for a beer or awkwardly avoiding eye contact with the bartender is awesome. The community table also makes this bar good for groups.

While I was soaking up the seen (and the brews), I had some cool conversations with a few people gathered around the community table; definitely shaping up to be a welcoming place, even if you’re alone. While I didn’t dine myself, the patrons who I talked with had no problem sharing that the food was good…but a bit over-priced for what you get. This is important because its remarks like this that I feel differentiate bars from gastropubs.  In my opinion, if the foods exotic but not that great and you feel like you’re paying too much, that definitely doesn’t warrant the elevated title of “gastropub.” But that’s just me and City Tap Boston is still new so head Chef AJ Beaulieu still has time to step it up.

As mentioned in my quick-look review of City Tap, this bar is going to be best enjoyed by people working in or visiting the Fort Point area or Seaport district for the day – reliable for a lunch with coworkers or crushing a few craft beers after the days out. Good for sports – but not big games, not enough TVs on enough walls. I wouldn’t go for bunch until its good enough that word of mouth prompts me to go. There is also a large outdoor patio that I look forward to enjoying at this Spring weather heats up!

Breweries represented at City Tap for the Harpoon Alumni included: Dorchester Brewing, Exhibit A Brewery, Blue Hills Brewery, Castle Island Brewing, Barrel House Z, Mystic Brewery, Mayflower Brew, Cambridge Brewing Co., Berkshire Brewing Co., Winter Hill Brewing Company, and of course, Harpoon Brewery.

The alumni gather for a Harpoon alma mater cheers!


Dining room area of City Tap. My apologies to the lady in red who I clearly caught off-guard!


A view from one end of the community table; bar in background.