Four Days in Boston

3.16.2017





I had been wanting to visit Boston for years, and since my cousin Natasha - who has been at Boston University for the past year and a half - is graduating and leaving the city this May, I knew I didn't want to waste anymore time before visiting and having her as my guide. 
My sister and I flew up to meet her at the beginning of the month, and we couldn't have asked for a better person to show us around this beautiful city and introduce us to some of the best food in the area (I returned from this trip 3 lbs. heavier). The highlight of my visit? I finally witnessed snow fall for the first time at 24 years of age (I had seen snow before, but I had never seen it physically snow. Childhood dream come true: check). 

Looking back, the only thing I would have done differently was pack my professional camera. Alas, a picture is better than no picture, right?! Here's a look - through my iPhone 6 camera lens - at our perfect (albeit freezing) four-day stay in Boston: 



IT. HAPPENED.

Shopping on Newbury Street. We totally lucked out with the weather … it was this beautiful our entire trip. (Not pictured: ice cold wind whipping our faces) 





The brunch menu at Met Back Bay ruined all other brunch menus for me. Yes, that's a cheeseburger slider in my Bloody Mary.



After some incredible biscuits with honey butter and avocado toast, we were ready for the main event: the pork stuffed hash brown and nutella stuffed french toast with caramelized bananas and salted caramel syrup 




Walk through Boston Public Gardens and Boston Common





Obvious Floridians




We forced Natasha to be a tourist in her own town and take us to Cheers in Beacon Hill


An evening walk around Harvard University 


Gorgeous hallway in The Fairmont Copley Plaza, where I enjoyed the best dirty martini
I've ever had at their OAK Long Bar + Kitchen


Kicked off Day 3 with a delicious breakfast at Tatte Bakery & Cafe in Beacon Hill
From left to right: pistachio croissant (to die for), ricotta & jam tartine, latte, breakfast sandwich and almond croissant
 


#EatTheYolks

Another gorgeous day for long walks around the city 


The cutest nautical corner near Boston Harbor 

Macaroons, chocolate-covered strawberries and a cannolli at Modern Pastry in the 
North End 


Beers with a view of Fenway Park 


Blackbird Donuts to increase our calorie intake 

 Dinner and drinks at gorgeous Yvonne's  (the low-quality Snapchat photos to follow do not do these dishes and drinks justice ... they were all beautiful and delicious).


To start: Crispy tater cubes
Not pictured: the "1975," a smooth cocktail made with Ketel One, St. Germain, lemon, lavender and bubbles 


Apple cheddar fritters and steak tartare toast


Chicken and quinoa meatballs and the Espresso Martini (Ketel One, Kahlua, vanilla and espresso)


A bathroom (er, photo) break 


Sisterly love

Kicked off our last day with Italian beer and pasta at Eataly


View from Top of the Hub, where we enjoyed drinks with a view of Boston, 52 floors above ground







#SnapandSave


Inside beautiful Boston Public Library








Ending a perfect four-day stay with an evening walk through Newbury Street to Boston Public Gardens 














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A Month in the Life

3.08.2017

What I'm most excited about this month: childhood stories come to life, spring trends, St. Patrick's Day and more. 

I'm still finding it difficult to wrap my mind around the fact that it's already March. People always say that time goes by faster as you get older, and unfortunately, they aren't kidding. I mean, wasn't Halloween just yesterday?

Ever since I was a kid, I've always been a bit anxious about time - how fast it goes by, whether or not I'm making the most of it ... you get the picture. Growing up, my family always made sure to have something to look forward to every month, whether it was a vacation, a holiday, or even a new movie we couldn't wait to see. That helped me a lot, and after going through a bit of a rut last year, I decided to revisit that strategy by getting some things on my calendar to get me excited for the time ahead. While we should always make it a point to live in the present, there's a ton of research proving that making plans and giving yourself things to look forward to makes you happier, and, in turn, healthier (basically, having a good time is literally what the doctor ordered).

That being said, I decided to create this series that shares some of the things I'm looking the most forward to every month. I hope it gives you some ideas and that you feel welcome to share the things you're most excited about, too!

P.S. I kicked off the month with a trip to Boston, complete with some incredible food, drinks and scenery. Stay tuned for a post about my visit later this week. 


Tale as Old as Time 

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Since I first heard that Beauty and the Beast was being adapted for a live-action film, I couldn't contain my excitement. Belle was my favorite Princess (and Halloween costume) when I was a little girl, and is there really anyone better than Emma Watson to bring your favorite childhood princess to life? Didn't think so. If the film trailer or John Legend/Ariana Grande remake of the theme song hasn't drowned you in emotions yet, maybe this live performance by 90 year-old Angela Lansbury (the original Mrs. Potts) will. 

… on the topic of strong princesses from my childhood… 

Journey to the Past

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I'd be lying if I said I didn't shed some nostalgic tears when I first heard that Anastasia was going to be adapted for Broadway. Ironically, my mom and I were having a conversation about how the film would make an amazing Broadway show just days before the announcement was made. The show debuts in New York City this month, and even if I don't get to see it for another month or two, I plan on going all out once I do - meaning I'll be wearing a dress and jewelry inspired by the film. If you haven't already, check out this video of Christy Altomare (the soon-to-be Anastasia) singing Journey to the Past, and try not to shriek with excitement. 

... while we're talking about strong female leads ... 

The Woman Who Helped Save Hundreds of Jews from Nazi Hands

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When I first watched the trailer for The Zookeeper's Wife, I was completely mesmerized and heartbroken. If the trailer was any indication, this film about a Polish couple that hides hundreds of Jews in their zoo during the Holocaust - ultimately saving them from Nazi execution - is sure to be a massive hit that will draw tears, stir up conversation about a family I sadly didn't know existed, and send Jessica Chastain soaring at the next Academy Awards (you heard it here first). But really, try not to get goosebumps when you watch the trailer. I was so moved after seeing it that I went straight to Barnes & Noble to purchase the book, which I plan to read before the film comes out on March 30.  

... speaking of stories that make us cry ... 

This Is Me, Telling You to Grab Tissues Before the Season Finale of This Is Us 

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The season finale of the hit NBC Series This Is Us premieres next Tuesday, and truthfully, I am not emotionally prepared - especially after Mandy Moore's comment about the final episode. Unless you live under a rock, you've seen this show making headlines for its unexpected twists, real-life issues, and beautiful, wonderful and flawed family, the Pearson's, a family I can't help but consider myself a part of. It's the show America needed after a rough past year, and honestly, I don't know what I'm going to do on Tuesday nights without it. If you're looking for a new show to watch and haven't seen this one, start it now. You'll laugh, smile, cry, get angry, and probably start to call your family more often. Just make sure you have a glass of wine handy to help you cope with all of the emotions.  

... since I brought up drinking ... 

All Green Everything 

St. Patrick's Day is, and always has been, one of my favorite holidays. When we were kids, my mom would wake my sister and I up telling us the leprechauns were in our house, and she'd "prove" it by showing us that our milk and all of the water in our toilet bowls were green (oh, the magic of food coloring). I used to get so excited thinking these tiny green guys were roaming around our house in the middle of the night. Now, I'm even more excited to get decked out in head-to-toe green and celebrate the holiday drinking Guinness with my closest friends at a nearby pub. This year, you can find me at the Mighty St. Patrick's Festival at my favorite pub, Raglan Road. They'll have live Irish bands, Irish dancers, traditional Irish dishes and beer - lots of beer. P.S. This month, I'll finally be posting about my trip to Ireland, which I took last August. Better late than never?  

... now, about burning off those beer calories ... 

The Friends Who Sweat Together, Stay Together 

My friend Jess got me hooked on Cyclebar, a top-notch spin studio that just so happens to be on my drive home from work. I'm proud to say that, last month, I completed their 10-10-10 challenge - you take 10 classes within 21 days and get another 10 classes free - so I'm looking forward to taking my free 10 classes this month and working toward reaching my goal weight and improving my overall health. The instructors are all awesome, and the classes are the perfect combination of fun and challenging. Plus, it helps to work out with your best friend, especially when spring's warm weather is right around the corner. Bikini bods, here we come! 

... while we're talking about a new season ... 


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March is the start of spring, and what better way to welcome a new season than by breaking out the season's best trends? From blush pink slides and sky blue everything to frayed and distressed denim and bell sleeved tops, I've never been more ready to pack up my winter wardrobe and refresh my closet with warm weather staples. 

... speaking of things I'll be spending my money on ... 

Bloggers and Target: A Love Story 

Target has partnered with several bloggers over the past few years, but this is a partnership I'm especially excited about. I read a lot of blogs, but I've always loved Brit + Co for its unique approach to learning. Jess and I recently took one of their many online classes and we were really happy with our experience, so I was really excited to hear that they're partnering with Target to create adorable DIY kits you can purchase in stores and online! My favorites? The wood burned cutting board and hanging planter. Best part? When you purchase a DIY kit, you receive a gift card for a free online class.

What are you looking most forward to this month? 
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