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Friday Favorites | Long Weekend Ahead

Happy Friday friends! What a week!! Between going to NYC for a quick overnight trip on Monday night, Valentine's Day on Tuesday & an event on Thursday it's been a fun one and we're not stopping for the weekend!! It's Gary's birthday on Sunday and I plan on taking that extra day off on Monday to spoil him!! Linking up with Amanda to share some favorites from the week! 

Bubbly Brunch ||



This past Sunday, Tess & I headed over to the Hyatt Regency Boston downtown to enjoy their Bridal Brunch Preview. We were greeted with mimosas, pastries & the most decadent brunch set up in their Adrienne Salon which opens up beautifully into their grand ballroom. The Adrienne Salon is one of the only oval rooms in the city! It was a fun afternoon with fellow wedding planners & Boston bloggers! I'm still thinking about the sour cream pancakes with real bourbon glaze syrup! 

Barry's Bootcamp ||

On a whim, Jackie and I decided to go to Barry's Bootcamp together this past Sunday. Side note, Sunday we had some of the worst weather this year and yet I managed to do more that day than any other weekend day!! Anyway, the workout was insane - in the best way possible. We were in the full body class as opposed to the targeted classes like arms, abs, chest. The intensity level on their classes is at a 15 on a scale of 1 to 10! Gary had taken a few classes and mentioned starting on the floor would be best since you wouldn't wind yourself after going hard on the treadmill. Every rave review of this place is true - I burned 500 calories in an hour and was still sore 3 days later!! It's expensive so not something I'll be doing weekly, but I'd love to take at least 2 classes a month! 

Shake Shack Limited Offering ||

Gary and I got to check out Shake Shack's limited time BBQ menu featuring the BBQ Shackmeister Burger, BBQ Chick'n and Shack & BBQ Bacon Cheese Fries - are you hungry yet! We left incredibly stuffed & now you know why I have to burn 500 calories in a workout!! 😂

Back Packs ||


I'm seriously crushing on back packs and I can't decide which one I want!! Which one would you choose? 

Link Love ||

What do you guys have planned for the weekend? Hope it's amazing! 
main image 

Recently Read

what to read, books to read, 2017 must read books
Last month I shared six must read books and I'm back again with some more great reads and two I wish I would have steered clear of! These are quickly becoming my favorite posts to put together - mostly because I love finding out what everyone else is reading!!  

Recommended Reads 


The Matchmaker || I can count the number of times a book has actually made me cry - this would be #2! I didn't just cry, I started sobbing, on the train, on my way home! It was such an emotionally charged book and you could just feel what the main character was going through. Was the entire book that emotional - the answer is no, but if you are a fan of love stories & believe in true love then this is a great read. Elin Hilderbrand has a way with words - that woman knows what she is doing as a writer and I'm hooked on her novels! 

Here's to Us || Reading this right after The Matchmaker probably wasn't a good move on my part because I kept comparing the story and even some of the characters that were in previous books of Elin's were mentioned in this book which was kind of cool. This book is about three women, that were all married to the same man - not at the same time - and make their way back to Nantucket to say goodbye to him & the house they all once called home. Deacon Thorpe is a wild, charming & unpredictable celebrity chef & I loved that she included amazing recipes throughout the book. She also weaved each of his relationships in with the present so nicely, but with all that being said - it wasn't my favorite book of hers. It was still a solid beach read, but not my first pick if you've never read one of Elin's books. 

The Couple Next Door || I had waited to read this book for what felt like a year. I was split down the middle, while I didn't love it, I also didn't hate it. I don't think it's nearly as riveting as other thriller's - I don't even know if you can categorize this book as a thriller. A couple goes over to their neighbor's house and leaves their infant baby alone in their house next door. Both Anne & Marco check on the baby every half hour until they come home, later than anticipated & in shock to find out that their daughter Cora has been kidnapped. I will admit that I was a little shocked with both the outcome & the ending of the book. It wasn't a terrible read, but not nearly as riveting as others like the woman in cabin 10 or any book by Mary Kubica

I've got your number || This book has been on my reading list for years and for some reason I just didn't get the chance to read it until recently!! In true Sophia Kinsella fashion (she also wrote the Shopaholic books) it's cute and sharp with fun back and forth dialogue between the characters. The premise of the book is that Poppy loses her phone & engagement ring during a night out and happens to find a phone that was thrown away that belongs to Sam's former PA - so she begs and pleads to use the phone until she can sort things out & promises that she will forward all emails and important things to him. What develops is a witty texting back and forth & of course meet-ups, but what about her fiance?! It's a cute read if you're looking for something light and fluffy --> sounds like I'm describing a pancake! 

The hating game || Sometimes you read books because they'll make you smile and forget about other nonsense! This was exactly that type of book, predictable, but cute! Lucy & Joshua are forced to work together after both of their publishing companies merge. Not only do they both loathe one another, but they like to play games with each other to see just how far they can push the person before the threat of "HR" comes out!! Both up for the same promotion, their hating game starts to turn into more of a dating game.

MEH 

Three Wishes || In a word, this book was "meh" - to expand on that - this book was seriously all over the place. It was so hard to follow and keep all the names straight. The abridged version - three triplets - Cat, Gemma & Lyn are 33 years old and each have their own issues. They fight like crazy & love like crazy & truth be told I found this book to be a little manic. There were two Liane Moriarty books that I liked & two that I haven't - this is one that I didn't like. The book starts with the sister's celebrating their 34th birthday and then backtracks through the year. 

Don't bother 

Sweetbitter || In my honest opinion, this book was pretty terrible. It was a hard read, with too much going on & trying to weave too much restaurant jargon into every single page. The only thing I liked  (and that's being generous) about this book was the relationship between the main character and the "bad boy" and even then it was such an ugly romance that I couldn't stand reading about it. It's about a 22 year old girl who moves to NYC for some reason, not necessarily "to make it" but almost because she has no where else to go. She happens to find an opening at a restaurant not even as a server, but as a back waiter & from there the relationships take off. There was weird characterization & too much drug use and honestly it was so hard to follow, I felt myself just reading to finish not really comprehending the words on the page. 

Not necessarily my favorite month of reads, but you might remember that I highly recommended It Ends With Us in one of my Friday favorite posts because I couldn't wait to share it with you all, that was most definitely my favorite read this year so far! What have you been reading lately?

Warm weather on my mind

Happy Monday friends!! After a weekend full of cold temps & on and off snow, I have warm weather on my mind!! I want nothing more than to leave the heavy coat behind & put on some super cute sandals - actually at this point, I'd take a denim jacket as long as it meant that winter was over. I spent some time this weekend starting to think about my packing list for California & came up with a few Spring Wants! 
What to buy in the spring, nordstrom spring must haves


Slip on sneakers || I actually already bought these in blush! I think they are the perfect "sneaker" to wear in the spring while running errands or in my case sight seeing and walking miles in new cities! 

Block Heels || Everyone is going nuts over colored block heels & thankfully Target has nailed the trendy shoe - because these are under $30 & are currently on their way to me!! 

Nylon Backpack || Handsfree is my motto for the trip! I love that this backpack is nylon because it'll be collapsable in my luggage and it can be dressed up or down depending on where we're going that day! 

Body-Con Tank Dress || Speaking of multi-purposed, this dress can be worn with heels for a night out or with the slip on sneakers for some exploring - add a denim jacket and I'm good to go! Bonus is that it will save precious luggage space! 

One-piece bathing suit || Last year I bought my first one piece bathing suit and I'm all about them now! I don't plan on doing a ton of lounging by the pool, but two of our hotels have some serious resort status so I'll need to at least check it out!! 

Hat & Sunnies || I'm so excited that we'll be driving up the Pacific Coast Highway in a convertible - actually I think Gary is more excited than me - so a hat will absolutely be needed to keep the hair in place and at bay!! The aviators that I've had for years unfortunately broke, but I love these rose gold sunnies & add on the dainty bracelets from the new BB x Target collaboration! 

SHOP THE POST


What's on your spring wish list? How was your weekend? Link up below to share it with us! 

Five Fun Valentine's Date Ideas

Hello from snowy Boston friends! I didn't hate having a snow day yesterday - something about getting to work from home makes me super productive! Since Valentine's Day is on a Tuesday this year I figured a lot of people would be celebrating this weekend or keeping it a bit more low key so I thought it would be fun to share a few date ideas that you could enjoy! 
Get these Love Icon gummies from Anthropologie 

1. Brunch instead of dinner

Going out to dinner on Valentine's Day is such a nightmare - overpriced meals & nothing romantic with tons of people around you. A couple of years ago Gary and I decided to forgo the usual dinner for a super fun brunch and it was so much more enjoyable!! You get to enjoy a leisurely brunch with a few cocktails if you'd like. If you're looking for a few great brunch spots in Boston I highly recommend Bostonia Public House and Brownestone. 

2. Make dinner at home

Another tradition we have is making something fancy for dinner on Valentine's Day and cooking together. Even though it's on a Tuesday this year, we'll still be making something together, keeping the TV off & just talking! 

3. A little game night 

If you (and when I say you, I mean your significant other) have a gaming console like a PlayStation or xbox - download a few games that you can play without having to leave the house. Maybe it's a little corny, but you could put wagers on the games - winner get's to choose the next movie! We have fruit ninja & bowling which believe it or not are both really fun and great workouts!! You'll wake up the next morning really confused why your arms are sore! 

4.  DIY the gift  

I'm a huge Newlyweds fan - you remember the show with Nick Lachey & Jessica Simpson right? Well I love the episode where they institute a $20 maximum spending challenge for a valentine's day DIY. Gary and I actually don't gift each other anything for valentine's day and haven't since we've been married - I love the idea of making my own card or even trying to get creative with what I can make for him with a $20 limit! 

5. Bar Crawl, but make it romantic 

We actually did a version of this with South End Wine Tour and had a blast! What you could do is revisit all the restaurants / bars that you've been to during your relationship. For instance if I were planning ours I'd start with Clery's where we had our first date, Met Bar where we celebrated our engagement, we'd make a stop at Top of the Hub where we celebrated my 25th birthday right before we got married, and finish the night off at The Palm where we celebrated Gary finishing his master's! 

What do you have planned for Valentine's Day - do you celebrate or do you keep it low key? Hope you have a great weekend! 

HydraFacial Review

Do you know that "beautified" filter on Snapchat that basically smooths out all of your imperfections & makes your skin look flawless? Well that's exactly how my skin looked after my first HydraFacial from Elite Aesthetics MD.  When the team reached out to me to come in and experience their "leave it to the experts" facial - I couldn't say yes fast enough. I wanted to share my experience & my thoughts on facials in general. 
MedSpa in Boston, Elite Aesthetics

The Team & Environment ||

MedSpa Boston, Elite Aesthetics
Since we don't own a car, anytime I venture out of the city I wonder if it's accessible by train or will I have to get a zipcar/uber. Thankfully Elites' office is located just outside of the city in Needham with a commuter line stop across the street from their office! Once inside you're greeted by the chicest reception area complete with a chandelier and chairs that I wish I had in my own home. Actually each and every one of their rooms has stylish touches that I wouldn't mind in my office / bedroom! 
MedSpa Boston, Elite Aesthetics
Having never been to a MedSpa before I didn't know what to expect. My biggest concern was that it would feel like a doctor's office - cold and sterile, which couldn't have been further from what I was experiencing. A four person team, led by Dr. Joelle Lieman makes up Elite Aesthetics and my aesthetician, Nicole, walked me through the entire process of my HyrdaFacial before starting so that she didn't have to stop me at each step. I loved that I was able to relax during the facial & it was just as relaxing as a massage!  

The HydraFacial ||

I wish I was the person that got facials on the regular, but unfortunately I feel like I never have the time. After this HydraFacial that will likely be changing! The facials I have had in the past have left my face red, blotchy & very sensitive after the fact - that was not at all what I experienced with the HydraFacial. It was a four step process which includes an exfoliation, extraction, cleansing & hydration. So it uses a "vortex fusion" technology that gently pulls / tugs at the skin on your face. Each of the steps have a different setting with different "sucking" pressure - it doesn't hurt at all. It sort of felt like a dog licking your cheek, but not quite as messy! 

My facial was a combination of the deluxe HydraFacial & leave it up to the experts. Nicole added in a brightening sheet mask, which apparently I have been applying wrong on my own! It helps that I was actually laying down while the sheet mask was on, unlike at home where I'm likely doing dishes, folding laundry or writing a blog post #JustKeepingItReal! For a little over an hour I was relaxed & rejuvenated  - never once feeling rushed! 

Overall Thoughts ||

I walked out of their office with absolutely no makeup and a fresh face that looked like I had been drinking gallons of water & was super well rested - both of which I assure you were not true! I kept wanting to touch my face because of the glow! Nicole mentioned that my makeup would look almost airbrushed that night because of how clean & rejuvenated my face was after the facial - she was right. I usually wear CC Cream plus a pressed powder, but on Saturday night I only used the CC Cream! 

I'm so happy that I was able to meet Nicole & experience a HydraFacial. I'll definitely be keeping up with these facials as events come up and to give my skin the rejuvenation that it deserves! Taking care of my skin is a priority as I enter the next decade of my life - keeping my skin fresh & those fine lines at bay is at the top of my list! 

What do you think of facials? Have you ever tried a HydraFacial?

I received a complimentary facial from Elite Aesthetics in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.