Monday, September 22, 2014

The Weekend Report

I needed a more creative name for my weekend recaps.  "The Weekend Report" is a working slash pending name.  I keep getting that song, "The Morning Report" from The Lion King stuck in my head though. You know you remember it children of the 90s! 


Friday was the best kind of wardrobe weather - cool enough to rock my new vest and warm enough to break out the silver Sperrys.  Bag:  The Whipping Post  Jeans:  Paige Denim (found at Bloomingdale's Outlet) Sperrys:  Pewter Metallic Vest:  J.Crew Factory



Enjoyed a Pumpking Beer (I like Shipyard Pumpkinhead better, FYI) at The Publick House.  No beer is complete without accompanying coaster poetry!





Sunday was my first trip to SoWa all season.  SoWa Sundays is my happy place - a mix of creative and incredibly inspiring artist booths and local produce and gourmet food vendors.  I do tend to get that market anxiety though, that "OMG  - I will never see a skyline of Boston made out of vintage wallpaper ever again and need to buy this stat" moment.  But this trip I did a lot more browsing than buying. I picked up the above Roasted Garlic Salt from Soluna Garden Farm.  This chemical free, organic salt is super flavorful and it a great topper to pasta or roasted veggies.




Listened to some fanstastic jazz at Movimiento.




Then I grabbed an apple and brie crepe from The Paris Creperie food truck (they also have a cute cafe in Coolidge Corner Brookline) for the road.  Of course I forgot to snap a pic but trust me when I tell you that this place is on my top ten fav places to dine in Boston.  Pair your crepe with a frozen Nutella hot chocolate and thank me later :)


Monday, September 8, 2014

Weekend

Friday 


The before and after!  I had a good two inches chopped off my hair on Friday. It was way past the time that I had to accept that I am not someone that can grown long hair. I went an entire YEAR without cutting my hair and it barley reached my shoulders. I even tried that (too expensive) Ovation Cell Therapy.  It didn't work. So now I'm rocking a bob and I'm pretty happy with it!

Saturday 

Even though it was 90 degrees in Boston on Saturday, it still couldn't take me away from getting a Pumpkin Coffee! Love at first sip for sure. 

I scored some AMAZING deals at TJ Maxx.  1 shirt, 1 super comfy Roxy sweater (from the Juniors section!), 2 pairs of shoes (including gold studded Michael Kors flats), and a leather bound notebook all at a pretty deep discount.  If you are in the Boston area, the TJs in Newton is my favorite.  It has the best selection! 

Sunday 

aka Sunday Funday Brunchday.  My Aunt Mary Ann and I traveled down to Providence to visit my cousin, Brook, who just started at my alma mater Providence College.  I wanted to take Brook to my favorite section of Providence, the East Side  We had brunch at my favorite little hot spot, The Duck and Bunny.  They are known for their super creative crepes.  I had The Dougie Boy, which is smoked salmon, capers, and creme fresh.  They were amazing.  We then split two cupcakes three ways (the Pumpkin and Peanut Butter).  A pretty perfect brunch in my opinion. 



Friday, September 5, 2014

Book Review: Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand


I started "Summerland" immediately after finishing "The Matchmaker," both by Elin Hilderbrand.  Not reading any reviews on "Summerland," I made my assumption of the book based on the cover artwork.  I though "oh great, a fab love story!"  Um no.  I couldn't even tell you who that couple is on the front cover - that's how far off the story was from what was shown.

The story is basically about the island of Nantucket mourning the death of one of their own.  And because the book is from the town's perspective, the reader is introduced to a multitude of characters, almost too many where it is hard to follow along.  I love character development in a novel and I personally think that is hard to achieve when there are a laundry list of characters.

Net net, I didn't love the book.  I couldn't get over that cover!  Maybe it is because I'm in marketing, but I just think that is bad advertising.  I couldn't move past it so it made for a poor read on my end.  I am not giving up on Hilderbrand though!  I think I'll start her books from the beginning and work my way through.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What I'm Falling For This Fall

(cheesiest title ever award!)  I digress...

My favorite season is upon, friends! I couldn't be happier. Like majority of New Englanders, I adore the Fall. I think it is in our DNA - we just cherish the crisp air, leaves crunchy under our feet, apple picking, and eating slash drinking anything pumpkin related. In my world, it also means rotating to my favorite fall-isms.  Yep, that's a word in the land of Lauren! 

Here's what I'm currently falling for:

Apples!  Red Delicious to be exact. Apples have made it back into my daily rotation. I live off of blueberries and strawberries in the summer. Once Labor Day roles around, I'm all about the apples. I usually go apply picking at the end of September and stalk up.  


Whipping Post Messenger Bag  
 This is hands down my all time favorite tote and is perfect for fall. It literally fits my entire life, including my laptop, water bottles, lunch, and 20,000 loyalty cards I've acquired over the years. It is made with vintage leather and gets better with age.  My bag is over a year old and looks better than ever.  



Spartina 449 Snap Wallet   
My coworker brought this to a happy hour instead of a bag and I couldn't believe it was a wallet and not a clutch.  This wallet has so many pockets and compartments.  I've take my coworker's cue and just brought the wallet instead of a handbag when going out to dinner.  

Candles
I retire my candles during the summer. Last night (even though it was like 80 at 9PM in Boston!) I broke out my inspirational candle my hippie sister gave me. This candle is all about bringing more love into your life.  And who doesn't need that?  Light away!

Trader Joe's Well Rested Tea
Nothing is better in the fall than cozy-ing (yep, Lauren land word!) up with a cup of tea.  I love drinking Trader Joe's Well Rested Tea after dinner. It places me in a very calm state of mind with a combination of chamomile and lemon grass flavors. And yes, I do love Jim Halpert. If there were more Jims the world would be a better place! 














Monday, September 1, 2014

Weekend

Friday:



On Friday afternoon, I visited my friend who just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.  I brought dinner (tip: always always bring your friends dinner who just had a baby - I've been told on several occasions that dinner is the best gift you can give new parents) and Sophie the Giraffe for her baby.  My friend themed her baby's nursery with a travel theme so I thought that a giraffe that was born in Paris would fit right in.  

Saturday




I headed up to Vermont on Saturday to visit my parents.  We picked up a pie (apple blueberry to be specific) at Killdeer Farm in Norwich and headed over to my favorite place King Arthur Flour.  I picked up apple cinnamon pancake mix and an all natural blueberry jam.  I was also psyched to finally find a sustainable sandwich bag!  

Sunday




I went on a hike with my sister, Allison, brother-in-law, Kyle, and niece-pup, Lily.  We hiked Mt. Tom in Woodstock.  It was raining a bit but since the mountain was covered in tress we were completely protected.  We hiked the Faulkner Trail that we found to be a bit challenging for us beginners.  It gets pretty steep and rocky towards the top.  The views were beautiful at the top, however.  I definitely had one of those "I get why people hike" moments.

Monday



Did anyone hit up any Labor Day sales?  I went to Merrimack Premium Outlets on a mission to pick up the navy blue puffer vest from JCrew Outlet.  I've been eyeing it for a while and can't wait to incorporate it into my favorite season's wardrobe!  Tip:  be sure to ask stores if they offer any special discounts.  Most have military, teacher, and student discounts - you just have to show an ID!



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Put Your Best Face Forward

I have been blessed with pretty good skin.  Yes, I have the occasional breakout but I've been pretty lucky in the skin department.  With that being said, I think skin health is half hereditary and half self care.  I was 15 when I started wearing makeup.  My grandmother, who at 93, still has the most amazing skin ever, took me to the Clinique counter for  a day of beauty.  It was there that I learned how to apply makeup, and most importantly, take care of my skin.  I am so thankful for that day as it set a foundation for my healthy and happy skin routine. 

I've evolved from the Clinique 3-step skin care (even though I still use a couple products!) to a rotation of different brands.  The older I get (ahem hi 31), the more I realize I should invest in some solid products.  Here's what I'm currently loving on the skincare front

From left to right starting from the top: 

Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask:  I use this mask every Sunday night before I go to bed.  It goes on as a gel and does not dry out, which I love as you have to keep it on for a good 20 minutes.  The results are amazing.  It minimizes pores and takes that dull look out of your skin, leaving this amazing glow.  A little will go a long way! Also, it is 100% natural and non-toxic, and she's a VT girl so win win.

Hope in a Jar Moisturizer:  I received this as a Christmas gift and really like it a lot.  I love the whole quote-happy premise of Philosophy and love all of their scented perfumes, lotions, and shower gels.   This is my first time using their skincare line and I give it a A+.  Lightweight and skin rejuvenating, it also leaves a nice healthy glow. 

Clinique Acne Solutions Clearing Gel:  This is a sample that I've had for a while.  This gel is a great for spot treatment and works pretty quick to fade acne. 

Clinique All About Eyes Serum:  This gel immediately depuffs eyes and reduces under eye circles significantly. 

H2O Plus Eye Makeup Remover:  I wear eye shadow and mascara every day and always find it hard to remove.  H2O Plus feels super gentle but does the job of removing my dark mascara. 

Philosophy Purity Made Simple Facial Cleanser:  My favorite part of this cleanser is that is so gentle and non-drying.  I can't stand cleansers that make my skin feel super tight.  It is non-harsh, love.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Weekend

Friday 



 I visited my parents in Vermont this weekend.  We took a day trip with my twin nine year old cousins to Santa's Village in Jefferson, NH.  The last time I visited Santa's Village was about 25 years ago, where I remember about 5 rides.  A lot has changed - but more on that in a minute.  Our morning started with a stop at Polly's Pancake Parlor in Sugar Hill.  This place is known for their epic pancakes and incredible views of the New Hampshire mountains. 

The pancakes are made to order right in front of the guests.  I recommend the Polly's Panwich which is an egg, cheese, and green apple slices sandwich between two pancakes. 

OK, on to Santa's Village.  The park is definitely worth the trip.  It is Dinsey-esque in that we  were transported to a Christmastown once we walked in with the Christmas music playing and elves wandering the property.  It definitely gears towards kids on the younger end - I think my twin nine year old cousins would like it probably for one more year before thinking they were too cool for it.  But this big kid loved it!  I am not one for fast rides so I was able to go on the roller coaster and log ride without passing out (oh, it has happened friends).  


We had a blast going from ride to ride, eating amusement park food (soft pretzels & build your own gingerbread man for the win) and feeding Santa's reindeer.  

Saturday


It was a gorgeous day on Saturday in Vermont.  We walked down to the local lake and attempted to fly fish.  

 
 Happy Hour was spent out on the deck admiring the birds feeding time at the bird feeder.  That is how one relaxes in Vermont!

Sunday


I headed back to Boston early on Sunday and spotted this hot air balloon on my way out of town. 

I was in desperate need of a new blazer.  I headed to Zara as I find their blazers to be comfortable, non-restricting, and structured.  I bought this one that will definitely carry me through fall. 
Rest of outfit:  top:  Gap Outlet (old), jeans: Paige (Bloomingdale Outlet), necklace: Tiffany & Co., bracelet: Cape Cod, & my everyday FitBit