April 26, 2016

Spring Break in Florida 2016

Universal Orlando Resort: March 16 – 19

Spring break – those words have changed meaning for me over the years. Back in my college days spring break meant trips to Florida, drinking beer, tanning on the beach, and trying not to get into trouble. Now spring break involves my brother and my nieces and a trip to Orlando. We’ve visited Disney as a family on two previous occasions: spring break 2012 and Thanksgiving 2013. I wrote a post about the Epcot visit. https://lifestyleofafashionista.com/2013/12/07/saturday-street-style-epcot/

The 2012 spring break visit we stayed at the Disney Polynesian Resort and visited the Disney Park. This past spring break we stayed at the Cabana Bay Resort and visited the Universal Orlando Resort. I was super excited to visit this park. I’d been to the other Orlando parks several times. Universal Orlando’s biggest attraction is the Harry Potter rides and area. I’ve read all of the books and seen the movies so I was looking forward to this part of the park. I didn’t know much about the park. I knew there were rides based on movies and thought there might be a Jaws ride. The park has changed over the years and the Jaws ride is long gone along with the Back to the Future ride. I love both of those movies so I was a little bummed about that change but it is good that the park keeps its rides up to date.

If you are thinking about taking a trip to Universal Studios, read this post to help you plan your trip. We visited the park over 3 days.

Accommodations:

We stayed at the Cabana Bay resort. We checked in on Wednesday afternoon. We had a small suite with 2 beds and a pull out sofa. There was also a small kitchenette. The hotel had a fifties vibe and décor theme.

Some of the benefits of this resort included:

  • Early Park Admission† to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, one hour before the theme park opens (valid theme park admission required)
  • Complimentary shuttle buses and walking paths to both Universal Orlando® theme parks and Universal CityWalk®

There are several Universal hotels with different benefits. Here is the link to compare the resorts: https://www.universalorlando.com/Hotels/Hotel-Guest-Benefits.aspx

After unpacking, my niece Molly and I went to find the lazy river. This resort is quite large. There was a pool outside our room but it wasn’t near the lazy river. The lazy river was on the other side of the resort. We found it after a long walk then realized you need to buy tubes to float in the river.  We purchased our tubes and took a couple of laps around the river. We wanted the rest of our group to join us so we called the room and told them to meet us. Once we had the group together we did a few more laps around. The sun was starting to set and it was dinner time so we decided to call it a day. We went back to the room, showered and then found a place for dinner.

There are a few dining options in this resort. We chose Bayliner Diner, a buffet restaurant. You pick up a tray, decide on a cuisine or make a salad in the salad bar. You can buy wine and beer and of course a kit to make s’mores. We had a nice dinner then made our s’mores at one of the fire pits.

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After our dessert we went to the game room. You purchase a game card to use in all of the games then earn tickets at each game. Your tickets are stored on the card. At the end of your playing time you turn in your tickets for prizes. My nieces walked away with some sweet loot including matchbox cars, army soldiers, and other fun toys.

Thursday morning we got up early to catch the first shuttle to the park. Thankfully there is a Starbucks in the resort where we grabbed coffee and breakfast.

Navigating the Park

Day 1: Thursday

Outfit: dress and Adidas white high top sneakers, with a Le tote cross body bag. I also had some shamrock temporary tattoos on because it was St. Patrick’s day.

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My brother found an app with a recommended park agenda we were going to follow. We got to the park for our 8 AM early admission. Not all rides are available for early admission so a plan was important. The app recommended going to the Despicable Me Minion ride first because the wait time for this ride gets long later in the day. We were first in line for the ride. It was an enjoyable ride. We had 3D glasses and went on an adventure with the Despicable Me characters.

Our next stop was The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley. There are two Harry Potter areas in the park.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Diagon Alley™, at Universal Orlando® Resort. Dine at the Leaky Cauldron™, shop at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, and get ready for an adventure on the multi-dimensional thrill ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™. Plus, travel to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Hogsmeade™ on the Hogwarts™ Express*.

Because of our stop at the Minion ride, the wait time for the Escape from Gringotts ride was 60 mins. I put my bag in a locker and then met the group in line. Most rides don’t allow bags but do have lockers near the ride to store your bag. It is free to use for about an hour a half.

The line weaved through the bank where you see some gringotts hard at work. This is an impressive area.

Right before you get on the ride you watch a short movie with the background story for the ride. This is another 3D ride with an elaborate Harry Potter adventure.

After the ride we walked around Diagon Alley. As a fan of the books and movies, this was a fun experience. You literally walk through stores that are in the book.

We participated in a wand choosing ceremony at one of the shops. If you want to purchase a wand, I recommend getting one that can perform magic in the Harry Potter areas.

After shopping, the group split up. My brother and niece Isabella went to the Rip Ride Rockit while Molly and I did more shopping and walked around the park. Molly and I aren’t into the more extreme rides.

We met for lunch at Bumblebee Man’s Taco truck in Springfield. After lunch we walked around Springfield then went on the Simpson’s ride.

The other rides we went on Thursday included Men in Black Alien Attack and The Mummy’s Revenge. Both were fun adventures.

That evening we dined again at Bayliner diner, made more s’mores and went to bed early.

Day 2: Friday

Outfit: Gap boyfriend jeans, Adidas top, and Adidas white high top sneakers, with a Le tote cross body bag. We all brought a change of clothes to use after we went on the water rides. I changed into shorts and changed my wet socks. We should have packed a small towel but we all eventually dried off.

I purchased these Adidas high tops before the trip and I was super happy with how they felt. They were very comfortable, I had no blisters, etc after walking over 40,000 steps over the two days.

Friday we decided to change our plan. We walked to the park at 7 AM. Two of us waited in the line by the gate, the other two went to Starbucks. When the gates opened we went right to the Gringotts ride and there was no wait. The wait was so short by the time I put my bag in the locker, I lost the rest of the group!

Our next stop was the Island of Adventure. We wanted to take the Hogwarts Express to that part of the park. We got in line and waited for the ride to open. The Hogwarts Express is just like taking a ride on the train with Harry and friends to Hogwarts.

Our first stop in the other part of the park was to the other Harry Potter ride: Harry Potter and the forbidden journey. I checked my bag and we waited in line for about 40 minutes. This line weaved through a castle and other Hogwarts areas. This ride differed from the other Harry Potter ride because your feet dangle as your car moves through the adventure. It was fun!

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We all went on the flight of the hippogrift, a small roller coaster ride. Then Dave and Izzy went on the dueling dragons ride while Molly and I did some shopping. Molly got an interactive wand and performed some magic before we met up with the rest of the group.

We had lunch at thunder falls terrace near the Jurrasic Park ride. This is a great choice if you are a meat lover! The portions are quite large.

Our next stop was the water rides. We put our stuff into a locker including a change of clothes. Then we went on Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges. You get into a giant round raft and float under several waterfalls. You will get wet! The group split again so Dave and Izzy could go on Dudley Do Rights Ripsaw Falls.

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We all headed to the Jurassic Park River Adventure in our wet clothes because this was another wet ride. The wait was long for this ride but the ride was fun.

We changed clothes after this ride and walked around the superhero area. We went on the Spiderman ride and did some more shopping.

We also visited the Dr. Seuss area and rode the train ride.

We also had some fun in Toon Lagoon!

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We decided to eat dinner in the Citywalk area. We ate at the Red Oven Pizza Bakery. We had the best service at this restaurant. You place your order at a counter but there are plenty of servers that will get you drink refills, etc. Note: the pizzas should be shared. We each ordered our own and had tons of leftovers.

Day 3: Saturday

Outfit: Jurassic Park t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers.

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I left for Boston early Saturday morning but my brother and nieces visited the park one more time before their afternoon flight.

The airport was busy and I found myself waiting in a long line again! Thankfully, the line moved quickly and I made it to my gate with time to spare.

Summary:

We had three jam packed days with lots of walking, waiting in lines, going on rides, and shopping. Like I said earlier, a different spring break. We were quite tired at the end of each day, if you have more time I would visit the park over several days and take advantage of the amenities at the hotel as well. Of course, the more time you spend, the more money you will spend. Plan your trip according to your budget and available time.

I had a lot fun and would recommend a visit to this park with family or friends. If you have small kids there is a kid swap area so everyone can ride the adult rides. You can also go without kids. There are fast passes available but you have to buy them at about $90/day per person. We didn’t think it was worth that price. Some of the resorts include them in your hotel package.

I would recommend downloading the Universal Orlando app before you go. The app has a map of the resort, list of rides, and restaurants and a list of wait times for the rides. I only used the app on Friday and it was helpful to see the wait times. There is free wifi in the park if you sign in with Comcast xfinity.

Here are some links:

Homepage: https://www.universalorlando.com/Theme-Parks/World-Class-Theme-Parks.aspx

Planning your trip: https://www.universalorlando.com/Resort-Information/Vacation-Planning.aspx

Special Deals: https://www.universalorlando.com/Theme-Park-Tickets/Hot-Deals.aspx

Dining: https://www.universalorlando.com/Restaurants/Universal-Studios-Florida-Dining.aspx

 

 

March 12, 2016

Vega Vitality

Blogger event:

February 21, 2016

Vega Vitality

551 Boylston Street, 4th Floor

http://vegavitality.com/

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As a member of the Boston Blogger Facebook group I often come along an invitation to a local event. Lisa Jean-Francois posted about an event at Vega Vitality. I’m in the process of added to and changing the format of my blog so this event piqued my interest.

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Lisa and I

I arrived at the event just as everyone in the group was introducing themselves. Two of the women are the co-founders, Stephanie Moore and Ashley Hilmes.

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Stephanie is a doctor and Ashley is a registered nurse. Read their bios for more information.

http://vegavitality.com/team/dr-stephanie-moore/

http://vegavitality.com/team/ashley-hilmes/

Also at this event: the yoga instructor, Pilates instructor, eyelash expert, Reiki expert, and one other service provider. I met with four out of the five.

There was a very nice spread of food and drinks for the attendees. I had some prosecco, cheese and crackers, fruit, and a macaroon. I mingled a little with the other bloggers, walked around to check out the rooms, and talked with some of the service providers.

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We were given a nice swag bag at the end of the event.

This group has a really nice set up. There is a comfortable waiting area with artwork created by co-founder Ashley. All of the room had a very comfortable feel.

The two front rooms facing Copley Square are used for yoga and Pilates. The back rooms are for the other services.

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Katelyn Foley is the Pilates instructor. She has been an instructor for several years. She provides private lessons. Katelyn Foley Pilates https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011081916771&fref=ts

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Hallie Dumont is the yoga instructor. She conducts small group classes, individual, and duet yoga sessions. The duet session is for couples, friends, co-workers, etc. These are some of her favorite classes to teach. She like to see how couples and friends interact as they practice yoga together.

“I specialize in pre and postnatal yoga as well as couple yoga (this is by far my favorite to work with friends, husbands and wives, etc.) it’s so special to me to be a part of an intimate relationship. Throughout the sessions my duet clients are sharing, competing, but are generally at their most vulnerable because there is nothing-no place that they have to be but with me. And in that space and that hour session, it is time for them to connect with their body, mind and spouse (or friend). I’m there to facilitate and teach but I get to observe these relationships and that fulfills me.”

Here is a link to her website:  http://www.yogabyhallie.com/costs-and-sign-up.html

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Tara is the Reiki expert and healer. She helps promote balance in the body. Here is a link to the benefits of Reiki services: http://vegavitality.com/services/reiki-therapy/

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Cherise is the lash expert. She provides lash extensions. She had her own studio for more than eight years before she joined Vega Vitality. The lash extensions last for several weeks. Many of her clients use her services for special events but she also said she has clients who prefer the look of the extensions and keep them as part of their daily look. Extensions make your eyes pop and can help you look younger. You do have come in for replacements about once a month. Elite Lash studio: http://www.elitelashstudio.com/ and social media @elitelashstudio

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Ashley is a wellness director who provides the following services: Skin consultations, botox, dermal fillers, medical grade skin peels, facials, anti-aging treatments using microneedling and platelet rich plasma, Kybella, hair restoration for the scalp using microneedling and platelet rich plasma.

Dr. Stephanie Moore: Functional Medicine: Functional Medicine is a new way of practicing medicine, which emphasizes treatment of the root cause of disease rather than masking symptoms with pharmaceuticals.  It is a return to thoughtful, personalized medicine, which takes the entire patient into consideration and allows for patient and doctor to develop a trusting relationship in order to devise a treatment plan as a team.  Over the past 30+ years, medicine has become increasingly rushed, doctors are forced to shorten visits and they barely know the patients they are treating.  Functional medicine is a kind of “slow medicine” in which time, care and good medicine prevail. Both patients and doctors benefit from this shift to a more common sense approach, which emphasizes preventive care and optimal health.  Some refer to this type of medicine as Wholistic, Holistic, Alternative, Eastern, but this is not exactly correct.  Many alternative or Eastern medical approaches that have proven efficacy are employed in Functional Medicine, and many functional medicine providers do recommend herbs, supplements, acupuncture & meditation as medical therapies.  Functional Medicine is more of a bridge between the world of traditional Western Medicine, recent medical discoveries (eg. medical genomics) and the ancient wisdom of Eastern Medicine.

Pricing is available upon request. All practitioners can be contacted via info@vegavitality.com

Stephanie said they are hoping to marry beauty and wellness with their services.

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February 27, 2016

Saturday Street Style: NYC

Saturday Street Style NYC

When: Saturday January 30, 2016

Where: New York, New York

One of the things I love about living in Boston is that I can easily travel to New Jersey to visit my family. I always enjoy visiting my family, we have a lot of fun traditions.Here are some posts I’ve written about NYC and family visits: NYC theater Fashion Week , NYC marathon, and a family celebration weekend. 

My cousin Daniel’s birthday is in February so I traveled to NJ for the weekend to celebrate. On Saturday we went into New York City to see a show.

Going into the weekend I didn’t know we were going to a show. The tickets were purchased last minute. So when I packed for the weekend I brought mostly casual clothes thinking we weren’t going into the city. At the last minute I decided to pack a plaid dress and tights just in case. I’m glad I did! The only problem was the shoes I packed. I brought Uggs and a pair of tan boots. My dress was a dark plaid and I had black tights. I wasn’t sure if that would go with light boots and I didn’t want to wear my Uggs into the city. I could have worn jeans but I like to dress up a little when we go to a Broadway show. I tried on the dress with tights and tan boots and was happy with the result. It is nice to try a different look and break traditional thoughts about outfit pairings.

Here is the outfit:

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The dress is from ASOS, tights from Primark, and the boots are Nine West.

We had a really nice trip into the city. We had lunch (with delicious Bloody Marys) at the Mariott Hotel, and saw King Charles III during the last weekend of the show. It was a very interesting and thought-provoking show about the royal family. I thought the actors all performed really well and looked like the family members they portrayed.

Here are some pictures from the day:

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The above picture is of the actor who portrayed Prince William chatting with a fan after the show.

October 19, 2015

Summer Weddings and Using Rent the Runway

Summer is officially over, the temperatures are drastically dropped in some areas and the leaves are changing colors. Just because the summer is over it doesn’t mean you can’t start thinking about next summer!

Summertime means warmer temperatures, kids home from school, trips to the beach, dining outside, and of course weddings. Once you graduate college and/or reach a certain age, the wedding invitations start rolling in. Do they ever stop? No but they do slowdown in number. I’ve attended several weddings since I graduated college and I enjoy a summer wedding.

Why get married in the summer? Choosing your wedding date is a difficult decision and a number of factors are involved: the weather, the venue, the guests, the personal preferences of the bride and groom to name just a few. Summer weather is probably one of the most compelling reasons to get married in the summer. My cousin Stacey got married Fourth of July weekend giving the guests a fun fireworks show at the reception. If you choose a beach destination, your guest can make the event part of a fun summer trip. If you are worried about high summer temperatures, you can choose an August or early September date.You and your future spouse should make your decision based on what works best for you. I found a great article to help you decide on a date:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/10/wedding-date-planning-_n_4746723.html

Do you have a wedding to attend and have no idea what to wear? No problem!

You can peruse the stores and look for a great deal or you can try borrowing a dress. If you don’t have a friend or relative in your size with a fantastic closet, I found a great solution.

This past summer I attended a wedding in NJ and I used Rent the Runway https://www.renttherunway.com/ for my dress. My cousin told me she used the site to find a dress for a retirement party. She said she received tons of compliments on her choice so I decided I had to give Rent the Runway a try. I choose this Halston Heritage dress.

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I am a big fan of the Halston Heritage label, the pieces fit my style. I also added mystery bling to my order. A stylist chose a jewelry item for me. This is the piece I received:

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They sent me this picture in my email with my shipping information so I was able to match my own jewelry with this piece. I loved both pieces very much. I received tons of compliments and the dress was super comfortable.

Here I am with my cousin Russell and then my cousin Alyssa:

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The first time you visit Rent the Runway, sign up for the emails and you will receive a coupon for your first rental.

Here is how it works:

1. Choose from thousands of designer clothes and accessories.

2.Try new styles and trends for any occasion.

3. Mail everything back for free via UPS. We handle the dry cleaning.

You have the item for three days. My event was Saturday so I had it delivered on Thursday leaving time for a replacement item if necessary.

You can order two sizes of your dress and a backup style for $32.50. They will also send you a backup if something is wrong with your order. This is their fit guarantee:

If none of the dresses in your order fit, we can either ship you a different option in time for your event or give you a Rent the Runway credit.

You can shop by event category: black tie wedding or cocktail wedding, gala, etc. You can rent dresses, jewelry, bags,etc. The bride to be can also choose a piece or two if you want to save some money and not have to worry about where to store your wedding dress. Prices range from $35 to around $300. There are some luxury designers available but most items are reasonably priced. Want to shop the Rent the Runway collection in person? They have stores in New York City, Chicago, DC and Las Vegas.

My dress was $100, I added mystery bling for $15 with my $25 coupon my total was $107. I will definitely use this site for my next event. I’m done with having several out dated cocktail dresses in my closet.

Rent the Runway is also offering a monthly service, called unlimited for $99. Here’s how it works:

MEMBERSHIP HIGHLIGHTS

Add any of our designer pieces to your queue

Choose 3 pieces to start, and keep them for as long as you want

When you’re ready, exchange 1, 2 or 3 of the items for something new

Free shipping both ways, all items are insured and we handle the dry cleaning

Billing is monthly but you can cancel anytime

There is a wait list right now for this subscription.

September 15, 2015

I’ve been a bad blogger

Saturday 9/5/15

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If you are still reading my blog, thank you! I have been a bad blogger this year. Here is a quick history of my blog: I started my blog in 2011 and it was a sad little blog that started to get better in 2012. In April 2013 I attended a fun Boston Blogger event that inspired me to blog twice a week. Yes, at one time during 2013 I was posting twice a week! A post on Tuesday covering trends and a Saturday post covering things I’ve done. In 2014 my posts were still coming along but not quite as much as 2013. It was still a decent year for the blog. So, what happened this year? I’m not sure. I’ve attended some great blogger events and classes and really wanted to update the blog but now I realize the last post I wrote was in January. Ugh! I’m not a blogger that gets paid for my posts, yet. So there wasn’t any financial incentive to write and my daily job has also kept me busy. I’m sorry if you’ve missed my posts, I do miss writing them. I guess now that it is back to school time and almost fall, it is a good time to get the posts going again.

Here are some upcoming posts I have planned:

  • Summer weddings and using Rent the Runway
  • Fall trends
  • Shopping deals during your birthday month
  • My first triathlon

I’m still working on creating a blog schedule and maybe even a newsletter. Stay tuned and thank you again for reading!

I have been active on social media this year. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Vine @LSofFashionista. I also have a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lifestyleofafashionista

January 31, 2015

Assembly Row Event

Assembly Row Event

October 11, 2014

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In October I had the pleasure of attending an event in Somerville’s Assembly Row. I’ve shopped nearby this development many times at Home Depot, Christmas Tree Shop, Kmart, Staples, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and at Sports Authority. I knew the area well but didn’t know much about Assembly Row. Here is some information about the development:

Assembly row consists of more than 30 storefronts including nationally branded outlet shops, sit-down restaurants and cafes, 12-screen AMC Assembly Row 12 and IMAX, a six-acre waterfront park complete with bike lanes and an amphitheater and the only LEGOLAND Discovery Center in New England. This shopping and dining area is a short car ride from Boston and is now assessable from the MBTA Orange Line.

http://www.assemblyrow.com/

Here is an article with more details about this development: http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2014/11/21/what-is-assembly-row-somerville/

The event took place at AVA Somerville, the lobby of an apartment complex in the heart of the development.  The area I walked into was filled with products from the surrounding stores.

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I sipped on champagne and snacked on cheese and crackers while admiring the jewelry.

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I was able to catch up with some of my favorite Boston bloggers.

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We were able to take a tour of an apartment and the common areas for residents.

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I loved this apartment, the layout was fun and it was filled with useful amenities.

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Back at the event, Aricia and Cibelene stylists from Shift your Style were taking measurements and making clothing style recommendations to people in attendance. http://timetoshiftyourstyle.com/

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After our tour and style sessions we did some shopping at the Banana Republic Factory Outlet. Some of us found a few stylish items to purchase.

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I am a big fan of outlet shopping because I am a fan of finding good deals on clothing. Some items are created specifically for the outlets, some are very similar to items you find in the retail stores but there are many nice items for decent prices at these stores.

Since the event, I have gone back and shopped at the Nike outlet for some sports bras. I’m happy that these outlet stores are so close to the city and I will be returning to this shopping area again. I would still like to visit: the movie theater, the Legoland store, and the many other retailers that I missed.

I would also like to check out the dining options in the Row, especially American Fresh Brewhouse a brewery and restaurant.http://www.assemblyrow.com/#eat

Planning a visit to this shopping area? You can drive (parking is free) or take the T: Assembly Station on the MBTA Orange Line in now open! Make it here in just three stops from Downtown Boston. View the MBTA subway map here.

Planning on going out to watch the super bowl this weekend? Papagayo has a good deal for you:

http://papagayorestaurants.com/somerville/

We are inviting all our guests to come into any of our Papagayo restaurants to watch the big game on February 1st, 2015. If the New England Patriot’s beat the Seattle Seahawks, (which they will) all of your food will be free! If by chance, the game goes the other way, your food will be 50% off.

October 20, 2014

Saturday Street Style: Blogger Fun and Boston Ballet

Saturday Street Style: Blogger fun and Boston Ballet

When: Saturday May 31, 2014

Where: Boston, MA

I love the Boston blogging community. I have met some great people at different events all around the city. One of my favorite Boston bloggers is Georgina creator of http://notesonlifestylebygeorgina.com/ Georgina was super nice from the moment I met her at a blogging event in April 2013. This past May we decided that we needed to have a girls’ night out/Saturday brunch.

We started the fun Friday night with fellow blogger Francesca www.brandcheerleader.com at Bricco. We had cocktails and some dinner. After dinner we met up with Francesca’s roommate at Society on High. I had fun, it was nice to have a girls’ night out.

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The next day, after taking waterfront blogger pictures we had brunch/lunch at Bostonia Public House on State Street. We had both wanted to check out this fairly new restaurant. We started our lunch with Bloody Marys of course and the sesame glazed chicken wings. I ordered the burger and Georgina ordered the lobster roll. We both enjoyed our lunch and our waiter Dominic was super friendly.

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After lunch we got a tour of the restaurant. I love the décor and vibe of this restaurant. Here is Georgina’s more detailed post on this restaurant: http://notesonlifestylebygeorgina.com/2014/06/best-new-boston-eatery-bostonia-public.html

As we walked back to my place we perused the tents of the open air market that happens every Saturday on the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

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Later that evening I met up with another friend. She has season tickets for the Boston Ballet and she invites me to at least one performance every year. This year we saw Jewels. Before the show we had a delicious dinner at Artisan Bistro located in the Ritz. This is one of my favorite pre show restaurants. I had the mushroom flatbread and she had the chicken dish.

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We both enjoyed the show. I love going to the Boston ballet. The dancers are very talented and I’m always impressed with the costumes. Of course the jeweled costumes were especially nice.

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On our way out I took a picture of this edgy and cool outfit that seemed quite appropriate for the ballet.

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October 19, 2014

Saturday Street Style: Memorial Day Weekend

Saturday Street Style: Memorial Day Weekend

When: May 24, 2014

Where: Boston, MA

I am a runner, not a fast runner but a runner none the less. I do enjoy it as a way to stay in shape and I like participating in running events around Boston. One of my favorite Boston organized runs is the Run to Remember which takes place during Memorial Day weekend. There are two runs, a five-mile and a half marathon. I’ve run the five-mile race a few times and the half several times. My NJ family members come into town to run and my brother also visits from Texas. Not all family members participate in the run but we all participate in fun family events.

This past year on Saturday some of the group started the fun events with a lunch at Salty Dog located by Quincy Market. I like this seafood spot, it is casual and serves up some delicious seafood dishes. There are tables outside and inside (the inside tables are downstairs in the Quincy Market building.) I had a Bloody Mary, some mussels, and a blackened fish sandwich with fries.

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After lunch we walked around the area with my brother and his friend who had never been to Boston. I like walking around with visiting friends and family because I can become a tourist for the day (or weekend). Speaking of tourist attractions we went inside the Faneuil hall building. If you have never been to Boston, there is an area commonly referred to as Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market filled with shops, restaurants, a food market and this historic building. The actual hall is a spot with many famous historical people (presidents, etc) spoke to large crowds and gathered to plot some historical events. We listened to a park ranger talk about these famous people and events.

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Once the rest of the crowd arrived, we went out for carb loading at a local Italian restaurant, Riccardo’s. I had a nice pasta dish and a few glasses of red wine.

Sunday’s run went well. We had nice weather and I was happy with my pace.

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After the runners showered, we went out to brunch at Granary Tavern. That evening we had a nice dinner in after enjoying cocktails on the roof deck while listening to music from the Boston Calling concert.

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On Monday we took the T ferry from the aquarium to Charlestown and toured the Constitution Museum. Our last event of the weekend was brunch at Pier 6.

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October 19, 2014

Saturday Street Style: New York City Theater

Saturday Street Style: New York City Theater

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When: Saturday May 10, 2014

Where: New York City

Living in Boston, I can visit New York fairly easily. It is a four to five-hour car trip or train ride. For this particular road trip I drove and listened to Andy Cohen’s book on CD from the Boston Public library. I strongly recommend this book, Andy had me laughing a lot as he read his stories.

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I have family in New Jersey so I often visit my family and New York City. I love visiting NYC, I always have fun. This particular Saturday visits is one of my favorites.

I made plans with my theater club group (created on this Saturday) to see two plays in one day. We bought tickets for Of Mice and Men and Heathers. Before the first show we had a nice lunch at a restaurant down the street.

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James Franco and Chris O’Dowd were just two of the big names associated with Of Mice and Men. I think I read the book back in high school, I knew it was going to be a sad story but I forgot a lot of the details. This was a fantastic show, I was extremely impressed by all of the performances, especially James Franco and Chris O’Dowd. James Franco was George and Chris O’Dowd was his not quite with it friend Lenny. I’m a big fan of musicals but sometimes I see a different kind of play that highlights quality acting. Of Mice and Men is one of those plays. Leighton Meester was also good as Curley’s wife.

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After the show my cousin and I lined up with the crowd hoping to get some autographs. Most actors will sign your Playbill after a show. The crowd was quite large because most (young) people were waiting for James Franco to come out. As we were waiting, some staff members managing the crowd said to turn around and get ready to take a selfie with James. They said James Franco will walk right into your shot. Alyssa and I waited in the appropriate position, James came by, signed my Playbill, and walked into this shot with my cousin and I. We couldn’t believe it!

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We had time between shows so we ate at Brickyard. I had a delicious cheese burger and a glass of wine. I found this restaurant on Open Table and was pleasantly surprised with the food and ambiance.

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Our second show was Heathers, an off-Broadway musical. The theater was located in a large building with a small front entrance but the inside of the building was spacious and we walked down several levels to get to the theater. Before the show when we were hanging out we saw another famous actor. We saw Lea DeLaria “Big Boo” from Orange is the New Black. I can get a little flustered around celebrities but I managed to say hello to her, compliment her on her performance, and ask for a picture. She was very nice and agreed to pose with us.

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After our celebrity encounter I bought a glass of bubbly and we ventured to our seats. We had great seats, we were really close to the stage. We were not allowed to take pictures in this theater. I wasn’t sure what to expect when we purchased these tickets. I love the movie Heathers, I’ve seen it many times. Christian Slater is one of my celebrity crushes. I wondered how they can make this dark comedy into a musical. Well, I was pleasantly surprised by the show. I loved the cheesy 80s costumes, and the actors who played Veronica, Heather, Heather, Heather, and JD did a great job embracing the traits of the characters in the movie. The story was slightly adjusted but quite enjoyable. The musical numbers were my favorite, including I love my dead gay son.

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After the show we had cocktails at The Palm, a short walk from the theater. I spotted one more celebrity, drawn on the wall!

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August 1, 2014

Saturday Street Style: Kentucky Derby

Saturday Street Style: the Kentucky Derby

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When: May 3, 2014

Where: Wakefield, MA

One of my friends hosts a fabulous Kentucky Derby party every year. She and her husband go all out with napkins, cups, and banners. There is plenty of good food to eat and her husband makes a delicious mint julep.

Everyone was dressed in their Derby outfits. Most women had on their fancy hats, I choose to wear my fascinator.

This year I placed my first online bet on a horse named wicked strong. Unfortunately he didn’t come close to winning. Betting on horses is a bit confusing, I don’t know if I will place another bet. I think I’ll stick to putting money into a pot and picking a random horse number. If your number comes in, you win the pot.

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