Prep For Summer

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Those of you in the Boston area know there is nothing quite like grabbing brunch on Newbury Street on a nice warm day. The doors are open, windows up and birds chirping. It’s pure bliss. In fact, the only thing better than a late afternoon brunch is following it up with a little shopping!

This weekend I am excited to enjoy one of my favorite streets in the city to support a few of my favorite local business by heading to the ‘Prep’ For Summer Pop-up Shop – and to grab a little brunch of course!

You heard right, although it feels like Spring has only just sprung, six New England brands want to help you “prep” for summer. Category 5 Boat ShoesBeacon & BrewsterCape Cod Shoe SupplyHarding-LaneYork Design Company and Dock & Harbor will be opening up their Newbury Street doors for a limited time to to offer customers a first look at their new summer products. Customers will get the opportunity to try-on and purchase new products, as well as interact with the owners of the awesome local brands.

The preppy pop-up will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today through Monday, April 28 at 301 Newbury Street. Prices will range from $10 to $140, plus, today college students will receive 10 percent off any purchase with a valid school ID.

So lace up those boat shoes and head down to Newbury Street! Need a little added incentive? This weekend you can shop for a cause as 10 percent of sales will go toward The One Fund. Hope to see you there!

Paleo Pointers: Tips for Paleo Easter

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I’m sure by now you’ve seen the chocolate bunnies out in full force. Along with the jelly beans, peeps and chocolate eggs, with just about every filling imaginable, Easter is one of the biggest the sugar soaked holidays, coming in close second to Halloween. That kind of temptation can be hard to aviod, especially for the little ones. So it is up to you to make healthy choices to keep you on track and out of the Easter candy.

But how do you navigate all of those fabulous Easter traditions without sub-coming to sugary treats? I’m here to help!

The Easter Basket

When I was younger, waking up to find my basket on Easter morning was a thrill close to finding presents under the Christmas tree. The biggest difference? By 10 am on Easter morning I would have eaten more sugar and chocolate than one should consume in a week.

Just because you set out baskets for your children on Easter, doesn’t mean they need to be filled to the brim with Easter candy. After all, who said that Easter baskets had to be filled with sugary snacks?  Why not mix things up and give the kids something to do or play with. No need to waste money on trinkets that will float around the house for a few weeks and inevitably be tossed in the junk drawer or landfill, instead pick out a few things.

A few ideas include:

  • A book – whether it’s the latest mystery novel or a comic, you can never go wrong with a fun age appropriate book
  • A journal or coloring book – bring out a little creativity with a special journal, sketch pad or coloring book
  • A swimsuit or bucket and shovel – summer is right around the corner, get them excited with a new swimsuit or bucket they can use at the beach.
  • Small toys – no need to go overboard, but a matchbox car or polly pocket (are those still around) would have won the Easter bunny major points in my house
  • Stickers – a personal favorite, my grandma always used to include fun scrap-booking accessories like stickers and markers in my Easter basket
  • A kite – or other active toys are a great idea to get kids outside and moving, think jump ropes, balls, bats, Frisbees, bubbles and even sidewalk chalk!  
  • Puzzles – fun for the whole family
  • Jewelry – a cute pair of studs or a dainty necklace is a small, but thoughtful gift

If you still want to add something sweet, some great ideas include dark chocolates, crystallized ginger, packages of nuts, dried fruits, and other candies with natural ingredients.

The Egg Hunt

I distinctly remember the time I climbed the tree in my grandmother’s backyard to retrieve the golden egg hidden high up in the branches. I was thrilled, not only because I beat the boys, but because I got an entire over-sized chocolate egg to myself!

Instead of filling the Easter eggs with chocolate and candy, find smaller trinkets of varying value to stuff inside of the eggs. Some ideas include a few coins or bills, legos, small pieces of jewelry, a piece of dark chocolate or a movie ticket. Or, better yet, fill each egg with the pieces to a puzzle so that when all of the eggs are collected the family can enjoy putting the pieces together!

If you want to skip filling the eggs all together, why not decorate some plastic eggs as a family the week before and hide those instead?

Easter Dinner

A big Easter dinner has been a tradition in my family for as long as I can remember. We would all gather together around a long table piled high with turkey, mashed potatoes, corn and biscuits – not very paleo huh?

Well with just a few small tweaks and a little extra planning, turning this “traditional” Easter dinner into a paleo feast that everyone will enjoy can be pretty easy. Gather around a large bird, my personal favorite is a mushroom butter roasted turkey, and then pile on the vegetables, I opt for mashed cauliflower and oven roasted broccoli. Round out the meal with grain free rolls and finish with a sweet treat like this raw cashew cheesecake.

And because I truly believe Easter is not complete with out at least two “Reeses” Easter eggs, here are some of my favorite copycat recipes:

Not Your Average Easter Egg

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Decorating Easter eggs has been a tradition in my family for as long as I can remember. Even when I left for college I would come home Easter weekend and sit with my little brother dipping hard boiled eggs into the murky water to die them different colors. We would save the “ugly egg” for last and combine all the colors into one large bowl, daring each other to eat the icky brown egg. When I moved into my own apartment, I decided to up my game a bit from the traditional PAAS kits (although they now come in a much bigger selection than I remember) but I never gave up this little tradition that remind me so much of my child hood.

Luckily, with .50 acrylic paint, my luxe Easter eggs cost no more than the traditional PAAS version. This year I decided to add a little glam to the otherwise pale, pastel color theme that is so often associated with Easter but using metallic paint. so on trend, right?

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All you need to achieve this look is acrylic craft paint in the colors of your choice, brushes and a few blown eggs.

Using a bit of metallic paint adds elegant touch that is sure to stand out in your Easter display.

How are you decorating your Easter eggs this year?

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Feeling Blue

DSC_0020 Top (Madewell), Bottoms (Madewell), Bag (Phillip Lim for Target), Shoes (ASOS), Sunglasses (Forever 21similar), Necklace (J. Crew Factory), Watch (Michael Kors), Earrings (Chloe + Isabel)

Finding pieces that easily transition from season to season is important as the weather starts to get warmer. So when I found this bright blue silk top at Madewell for 30% off it was a no brainer. It works well with leggings and heels for a night out but can easily be paired with white shorts and a side satchel for warm spring days. How would you style it?
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Curating the Perfect Jewelry Box

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Cushion Cut Cocktail Ring, Brilliant Crystal Ring, Honeycomb RingSunset on the Seine StudsBrilliant Crystal Studs, Organic Pave Disc Earrings

Your jewelry, much like your fashion choices, says a lot about your personal style. Curating the perfect jewelry box takes time and with the right eye can be an investment for years to come. There are a few pieces that I feel deserve a place in every jewelry box, but choosing the pieces that speak  to you is most important. Only buy what you truly love because otherwise you won’t end up wearing them.

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Jardins Du Trocadero Ring, Pave North South RingSunset on the Seine Cluster RingCushion Cut Cocktail Ring (1)Cushion Cut Cocktail Ring (2)

Having a variety of rings is the perfect way to add a bit of sparkle and personality to an otherwise simple outfit. Not only can a ring provide the perfect compliment to the rest of your jewelry, but a cocktail ring is the perfect standout pieces if you decide to wear one bold piece of jewelry. Be sure to curate a jewelry box full of rings in different sizes, shapes and colors.
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Shoreside Long Pendant Necklace, Shoreside Collage Toggle BraceletShoreside Vintage Cocktail Ring, Classic Pearl Stud EarringsTake Flight Charm, Classic Pearl Convertible Necklace

Finding a balance between trendy and classic pieces is just as important in your jewelry box, as it is in your closet. Every woman should own a few staple pieces, like a strand of pearls and a diamond earrings, but it is just as important to find some statement makers as well. A bold bracelet or cocktail ring can do just that. When you are first building your collection, don’t invest too much until you establish which pieces you wear most. Even though pearls are a classic, there’s not reason to buy the real thing if they sit in the back of your jewelry box. BfKwD_KCEAAI62w

Crystal Square Stud EarringsClassic Pearl Stud EarringsMorningtide Stud Earrings, Teeny Tortoise Stud Earrings

Statement earrings may be having a moment, but simple studs aren’t going anywhere. You can’t go wrong with a pair of classic pearls or something a bit more fun and quirky.  Stock up on a variety of these beauties. No need to spend a lot, you can find the perfect studs, like those above, under $50.
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Pave North South Ring, Art Deco Starburst Earrings, Framed + Faceted Honeycomb RingHoneycomb RingSunset on the Seine StudsPave Hexagon Stud EarringsSunset on the Seine Cluster Ring, Baguette + Stone Stackable Duo RingBrilliant Crystal BraceletPave North South Ring, Retro Glam Square-Cut Crystal BraceletClassic Pearl Convertible Necklace

Whether it’s a hint of sparkle on a classic pearl bracelet, or a diamond incrusted bracelet, every woman deserves a little icing. There is no such thing as too much sparkle in my book, but finding a balance in your pieces is key. Find those standout pieces that are unique and offer something special to your jewelry box.

How to Get Longer, Healthier Hair

Hair Care

Moroccanoil Treatment I Wide Tooth Comb I Wen

Finding the perfect hair regiment is often a result of trial and error. Not to mention a lot of wasted money on expensive shampoos and products that leave your hair looking less than desirable.

Recently it seems like everyone is finding that at the end of the day, less is more. And while I don’t completely abstain from washing my hair, I don’t advocate for washing it everyday. Instead I use a  cleansing conditioner, in place of shampoo and conditioner, about two times a week. My other go tos include a wide tooth comb and a little hair oil.

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Wen - Not only does this cleansing conditioner smell amazing, but it leaves my hair feeling strong and healthy while keeping hair’s natural oils intact. And added bonus, it’s safe to use on color treated hair.

Wide Tooth Comb – To helps keep my lock detangled and manageable, I reach for a wide tooth comb. It also minimizes breakage!

Moroccanoil Treatment - I’ve written about my love for Moroccanoil before and year later I can tell you my love for this beauty find hasn’t faltered. Just add a little to the ends of your hair when it’s wet to keep you hair looking shiny and smooth, or to help tame flyaways when styling.

Paleo Pot Roast Stew

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Life gets busy, especially during the week. Between work, the gym and all of those little things in between, cooking is probably the last thing on your mind. Am I right?

What if you could come home to a delicious meal (that doesn’t come in a brown takeout bag) without having to use one pot or pan? Two words – slow cooker!

This past week was particularly hectic and I new I would have no motivation to cook a healthy meal when I got home from a late crossfit session, so I planned a little in advance and prepped my meals in the slow cooker before leaving for work each morning. Other than chopping a few vegetables, there was virtually no prep and I came home to a warm, home cooked meal every night.

This pot roast stew was particularly delicious and can easily be made from whatever meat and vegetables you have on hand. Don’t have stew meat lying around? Chicken or pork would be a delicious alternative. Did your carrots go bad? Just chop up some celery instead!

Paleo Pot Roast Stew

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb stew meat (diced)
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 3 carrots (diced)
  • 1 sweet potato (diced)
  • 1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Splash of apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

Directions:

  1. Add the diced vegetables and stew meat to the slow cooker.
  2. Add basil, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar, chicken stock and can of tomatoes (with liquid).
  3. Mix well and set on high for 5 hours (or on low for 8 hours).

Polk-a-Dot

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Shirt (Madewell), Skirt (Francesca’s Collection, similar here and here), Bag (J. Crew Factory), Sandals (Zara), Sunglasses (similar), Earrings (Chloe + Isabel), Bracelets (Chloe + Isabel), Ring (Chloe + Isabel)

After another sunny weekend, I am resolved to say that Spring is finally here stay. So of course I took things to the extreme with a pretty polka dot skirt and sandals sans stockings. Go big or go home, right?

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Interior Inspiration

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Not everything works out as planned, and I am learning that, unfortunately, it is just part of life. You can’t control everything and instead of focusing on the things I can’t control, I am much happier when I focus on the things that I can.

When J and I moved into our apartment last fall, I was thrilled and thought we’d be staying here for a while. Unfortunately our living situation is not ideal and we decided that we will not be renewing out lease. This decision, a long with a number of related incidents, brought with it a great amount of stress. But instead of focusing on the negative of having to move AGAIN, we decided to take this as an opportunity to find our dream apartment– or at least our dream apartment that’s within our budget. We were extremely lucky and in a series of serendipitous events found a lovely apartment in our favorite neighborhood in the city.

Now with the impending move never far from thought, I have been looking for decoration inspiration everywhere. Here are a few interiors that I have been particularly drawn to. It looks like I’m gravitating to clean lines and neutral palates with a pop of color.

What interiors are you drawn to?

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