Saturday, April 20, 2013

Top 5 Pins: Spring Fashion

I've been a pinning fiend lately, and have been browsing Pinterest almost daily to help me pick out my daily outfits.  Here's my top 5 favorite fashion pins for Spring looks right now.  Enjoy!

Preppy Pink Dress:

Aqua, Grey & Gold Chain:

Sperrys! (I desperately need new gold ones):

Pastel Pleated Skirt:

White Tassel Loafers:

Friday, April 19, 2013

Dawn Patrol

Lately on Fridays I've been getting up with the birds of Boston for Friday morning Spin! class with Elise at Healthworks.  There is no better way to kick off the weekend than with a brisk walk through Copley and an awesome workout that wraps up by 7AM.  Dawn Patrol, in full force!  Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sunday Funday at Coppa - South End

It's a rare weekend that the hubs and I have no plans on the books and then actually feel like going out anyway.  Last Sunday that's exactly what happened, so we decided to go on a little Sunday Funday adventure.  It turned out to be a different type of fun than we were going for, but I'll share that story in a minute.  First, the good food stuff.

Coppa is on Shawmut Ave in the South End and has Italian 'tapas.'  Some of our friends had gone and raved, so we thought it would be a fun spot for an early dinner.  We arrived around 4PM, and ended up getting drinks and splitting a flatbread.  Jake had a "Man-Tini" which came deconstructed, so he got to pour his preferred parts of champagne and orange juice into a manly mug.

I just had a glass of my favorite wine, Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc.  We split the Parma Pizza; tomato, mozzarella, arugula and Proscuitto di Parma.  It was delicious, and I loved that there was so much arugula on top.  You can never have too much of that!  It was pretty small, but a great size for sharing a snack.

We enjoyed our snack and wrapped things up in about an hour.  Not bad!  Now, the funny/ironic/not-funny-at-the-time story of our Sunday Funday adventure...

4PM - arrive at Coppa and find it shockingly packed.  Host tells us we made it for the end of brunch, and walks us to two seats at a tiny bar near the restrooms and kitchen.  She tells us we had great window seats, but really I got a window seat and Jake's face was about 10" away from a brick wall.  Kind of funny and we laughed it off.

4:05PM - we consider leaving because we were in the mood for dinner, but decide to at least have a snack and a drink to figure out our next steps.

5:00PM - we pay and head out, pleased with the food and ready for a walk over to the North End.

5:45PM - Arrive at Bricco, one of our North End favorites.  Shockingly NOT packed at prime dinner time on a Sunday.  Host has about 10 empty tables to seat us at, chooses one that is NO JOKE 2" away from another table that has six older folks sitting at it, having a nice family dinner. It was as if we were late joining the family party.  

5:50PM - Now I'm aggravated b/c all I want is a nice dinner and this is two bad seats in a row.  Frustrated that despite the lack of people filling the restaurant, the host found it appropriate to sit us at a family party, I tell Jake that I want to leave.

5:51PM - Our waiter sees us getting up, and says "If this menu isn't what you were looking for, we have a great pizza shop across the street." 

5:52PM - Now smoke is blowing out of my ears and daggers are shooting out of my eyes and I respond "We love this menu.  We don't love being sat with a family that is not ours when there are 10 other empty tables the host could have picked."  Waiter:  "You can sit at a different table...." Me: "Nope, we're leaving. Thanks."  (not my best moment but we were ready to spend some cash on a nice meal, what the heck!  And the insulting menu comment really ticked me off.)

6:00PM - We stroll into Bacco down the street figuring that you can't go wrong there.  We get a decent table, waiter comes up immediately for a drink and app order, woohoo!

6:10PM - Our bruschetta arrives, delicious, we're happy.

6:30PM - Bruschetta is long gone.  Waiter is too.

6:45PM - We wave down the waiter, frustrated yet again, and ask for our check.  He happily gives it to us.  No, you're not missing anything, we were never offered dinner.  Grrrrrreat. 

7:00PM - We stroll into Bova's.  Bova's saves the day with Jake's favorite cinnamon stick, my favorite chocolate covered cannoli, and both of our favorites, a mini lobster tail.  Sweets cure all.

7:10PM - Walking toward home down Salem Street, Lulu's is open.  (I. LOVE. Lulus. So much so that we named our cat after it. Anyway.)  Pop in and get a carrot cake cupcake for me, peanut butter for Jake.  Pure bliss has returned.

So that, my sweets, is the recap of our Sunday Funday.  Not fun the whole time, but a good story at least.  Have you ever had any similar days!?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

L.A. Burdick Chocolate - Back Bay

Today I am so excited to share one of my recent finds in Back Bay - the L.A. Burdick Chocolate shop on Clarendon Street!  I've walked by this place a million times and always thought it was a weird little tourist stop or something (no reason to think that, it was just in my head)...I was completely wrong, this place is exceptional.  If you're local, you may recognize the unique facade that differentiates this little shop from pretty much everything else in the neighborhood.

Famous for premium confections and bonbons, one of the signature items at L.A. Burdick are their little chocolate mice; they don't use molds to make these!  I will definitely be back to purchase a box of mice as my next hostess gift, they are just too cute.

The shop isn't too big, which keeps the inside cozy and cafe-like.  There are aisles of chocolate goods to buy, as well as a small dining section with tables to sit and enjoy a coffee and a snack at.   I would definitely choose this spot for an afternoon of reading over Starbucks! 

We had just come from brunch at the Met on Newbury Street (which was also great, by the way!), so didn't have much room to taste lots of sweets, but we did get a little range of tastes by trying a Mocha, a Caramel Latte and three French Macarons in Raspberry, Coffee and Peach. 

The macarons were great, tasted just as we would have expected them to and I couldn't help but admire the perfect "feet" on all of them.  The caramel latte was phenomenal, I think because they use a house-made caramel that was so buttery and delicious.  The real winner, though, was the mocha.  Jake requested a milk chocolate mocha (you can choose milk, dark, or white chocolate), and we both were absolutely blown away.  It was like drinking pure liquid chocolate with a hint of espresso.  It was much closer to a hot chocolate than a typical mocha coffee drink, but we were certainly not disappointed.  This is the official description of the mocha:  Milk chocolate mixed with steamed milk and poured into a double shot of espresso, finished with a foam and grated spice ball. 

One of the best parts of the shop is the variety of chocolate goods you can purchase, in addition to the typical truffles you would expect.  They had everything from chocolate powder, chocolate bars and chips, to cocoa pods and chocolate cigars.  I was in awe and was very serious when I said I will be going here for my next hostess gift!

We were both very happy with our little stop in to L.A. Burdick, and will be back soon!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Paint Nite at Clery's

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a Paint Nite event at Clery's with two of my coworkers, and I thought I'd share some snaps of my process with you.

Lindsay, Stephanie and I with our finished works of art
If you haven't been to a Paint Nite, it's a pretty cool evening out with friends.  You arrive at the bar (they have locations all over the city, and in the 'burbs, too), pick a seat in front of a blank canvas, and the artist of the night walks you through a series of steps to create a specific painting. You can follow exactly, or put your own spin on it.  This time, I put my own spin on it.  Here's how our painting went:

PS - Paint Nite did not ask me to blog about this, I just wanted to share my progression photos. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Chevron Baby Quilt - Pinterest Success!

Months ago, I pinned this quilt to my "Crafts to Try" board on Pinterest:

This is the quilt from Pinterest; not mine!

Now that my close friend Jamie is expecting her first baby mid-May, I had a good reason to try and make it!  This baby girl will be my first "niece," and I couldn't be more excited to welcome her into the world.  Excited to make something extra special,  I dug out the ol' sewing machine, took a trip to JoAnn Fabrics and found an easy tutorial online for making a super cute, not-too-girly chevron baby quilt.  I chose a neutral gold-coated muslin and a pretty darker khaki and white flower patterned fabric for the top, and a cute pink polka dot fabric for the back. 

After some serious cutting and pressing, I pieced together the quilt top.

Trimmed off the edges...

Quilted the top to the pretty light pink polka dot backing piece, with a thin batting between them, and then bound the edges...

And voila!  My first quilt in four years was complete, and didn't come out half bad!  I was proud of the sharp corners on the chevron pattern, less proud of the not-even-close-to-perfect binding job.  I hope that my little niece loves it and has lots of cozy naps cuddled up in it!

My finished product!
Annnnnd on a related note, Jamie had the most amazing baby shower.  Here are a few snaps!  All of the amazing food was prepared by her sister who works in the restaurant business in Los Angeles, and the theme of 'peas in a pod' was carried throughout the whole party beautifully by her husband's family.  She's a very lucky girl!

In the bottom right, those are little shooters of homemade tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches - my favorite!

The adorable cake!

Not the best shot, but this is Jamie opening up the pretty afghan that my mom crocheted for her. 

Centerpiece; I was crazy about this flower!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

New Favorite Soup

Hello Sweets!

On this sunny Saturday morning in Boston, I wanted to share my new favorite soup with you all.  It's Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup.

I found the recipe on one of my favorite blogs for healthy food,  I love crockpot recipes that I can put together on the weekends, stick the freezer, and then whip out for a mid-week meal when I know I'll be coming home late.  

This recipe does take a little bit of preparation, and is a bit more involved than just dumping a bunch of stuff in a crock pot....but, just a little bit, and it's worth it.  The end result is SO flavorful and packed with veggies which keeps it very light.  One serving (1.5 cups with a sprinkle of cheese) is only 261 calories.  The bowl above is about a 3/4 cup serving, so I don't feel bad having two bowls knowing the calories are so low!

I didn't tweak the recipe at all, so I will send you over to Skinnytaste for the original.  Just wanted to share so if you're looking for something new to try for dinner this week, this will be on your list.  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Checking in!

I'm sorry for the lack of posts this month! March has been filled with adventures to New Hampshire and Canada, birthday parties, long days at work and serious sessions at the gym. I've been going like crazy with no time to sit down and update the blog but I have some great stuff to catch up on. Stay tuned!

Ps, here's a picture of Jake and I in Quebec City a couple weeks ago, we went up for the Red Bull Crashed Ice race, so fun!!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

NYC Weekend Recap

Last weekend I had the pleasure of visiting NYC for a girls weekend with my college friends.  We had an awesome few days of eating, drinking and checking out the city!  Here's a photo recap of some of the highlights.

Saturday brunch at Tom Colicchio's Craft Bar.

Breakfast cocktails - Kristen and I had the "Dallas," which was tequila, grapefruit juice and sparkling white wine. 
My brunch - spagetti squash, roasted tomato and gorgonzola tart with a balsamic-glazed salad. 

We shared dessert; pineapple upside down cake with coconut ice cream!  
Inside Craft Bar
 Then we did some strolling..
Flat Iron building looking grey and dreary 
Kristen picking out some vino
Shameless "I LOVE NY" selfie, hahaha

Afternoon drinks at ABV in the Upper East Side
Interesting fixtures / industrial decor inside

Delicious Milk Stout
Kristen and Ang
Our fabulous hosts for the weekend, Amy and Zach!
Kappa Sisters
 Saturday dinner at Top Chef Angelo Sosa's Anejo...the Carne Asada tacos are a must-try, they were amazing!!
Kristen looking fierce
Amy & I
Angela and Kristen showing some Angelo Sosa love
Blurry group shot outside
 Saturday night bar hopping...
Angela and a big pig

Me showing some ExxonMobil love (this is the account I work on at my agency) 

Sunday morning
Picking up some real NY bagels to take home to the hubbies.
Delicious chocolate croissant; brunch appetizer at Marche du Sud, an excellent French restaurant that Angela's cousin owns . 

Waiting for the bus home

First in line!

Best seats on the bus!