March 2014 - B Loved Boston

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Monday Musings

Happy Monday!! Before I get into the weekend can we talk about "My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding"???
TLC had a marathon on Sunday and you just can't stop watching…you get sucked in!! Honestly, I'm fine with their traditions and everything else they believe in…but the one thing I can't get over are their wedding dresses (if you can even call them that). These are just blinged out monstrosities…yikes! 

I'm a huge fan of Trader Joe's and I made some of my favorite purchases this weekend! I plan on doing a full Trader Joe's favorite post, but this time around I got some goodies:
1// Organic Tomato Soup 
2// Pita Crackers (these are so good!)
3// Vegetable Fried Rice
4// Think Thin bars 
4// I like getting banana's at TJ's because they are so cheap at .19/each
5// Vanilla & Blueberries mini yogurt cups  

I'm a huge fan of doing my own gel/shellac manicure. I'll treat myself if I have an event to go to but for regular manicures and in between maintenance I can handle it on my own. Target has a great nail section and I got a steal of a deal this weekend. I needed refills on the base and top coats and was able to get this for $3.76!!! It's sold at Ulta for $30.00 so to say I was happy would be an understatement! 

Speaking of nails - does anyone have a good system for organizing? I have a  lot of polishes and currently keep them color coordinated in zip lock bags…not cutting it anymore. This is sort of what I thought of doing! 

In keeping with the randomness that is this post…tomorrow is the start of a new month & that means another challenge! Anyone up for trying this 30 day Ab & Squat challenge with me?

Apologies for this being somewhat all over the place but I'll leave you with the biggest to-do we crossed off our weekend list…purchasing tickets to Europe! 
We're headed to London & Paris in July…let the planning begin! 

Hope you all have a wonderful Monday! 

xo,
Biana






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It's Friday!!

Deliriously happy it's Friday!! I'm really looking forward to a relaxing weekend and finally getting our taxes done...slackers over here!! Filling it out as a married couple for the first time ain't no joke!! Onto the 5 things of this week!!



Muchness is a new site that scour's the web finding designer clothing on sale - it's basically an online warehouse of every sale!! The inventory updates every day and most of the luxury items are 70% off!! They officially launch in one month but if you sign up here you may be granted early access!! This site is a bargain hunters dream!! 

I made it official and got myself a Facebook page this week!! I would love it if you would stop by and check me out!! Still figuring all of this stuff out...baby steps!! 

Have you seen this Sarah Jessica Parker video yet? SJP answered 73 questions in her home for Vogue and she is seriously endearing and down to earth...I so would love to be her friend!! Her response to "heels or flats" is hilarious! 

I made Katie's BBQ Chicken Taquitos on Monday and they were a huge success!! Do yourselves a favor and stop by her blog for the recipe!! I took her advice to use the rotisserie chicken and it makes this a super easy weeknight meal!! 

I really can't thank you all enough for all the wonderful encouragement on Wednesday!! I am so happy to be contributing to Wedding Party's Blog for the next 5 months…and maybe more if they still like me!! If you missed the post check it out here

Hope you all have a wonderful & relaxing weekend! 

xo,
Biana

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG  


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In The Know

The conversation starts out innocently enough with your co-workers or a friend, "Did you hear what's going on with {insert current event}??? This question alone is enough to make you break out into a cold sweat!! You know bits & pieces but are you confident?? Will the response you give be your final answer?!

Our generation is seriously informed - breaking news hits twitter before the national stations can pick it up!! Gone are the days of reading an actual news paper - I mean that news is so yesterday (kidding...)!  As young professionals or even just humans, it's our responsibility to have an opinion, to know what's going on and to be well informed!! So the question remains - how do you get your information?

For me it's really a combination of a lot of different things!
If you take anything away from this post - please sign up for the Skimm!! You get an email daily that breaks down all the current events into layman's terms. I read this as soon as my alarm goes off and sometimes it's things I've heard the day before, but most of the time it's pertinent information to help me stay informed. The topics range from issues with the government to who is winning in the NCAA tournament! This little email will change your day! 

While getting ready for work I watch the Today Show, which sometimes is news worthy, but other times it's just a glorified E!News program. Since I work behind a computer all day - I try to check the news as much as possible and visit  CNN a few times a day.

I peruse online media as well and check out the headlines to each of the papers & read the ones that sound interesting to me. Luckily I am able to view the online version of The Wall Street Journal through a work subscription, but most of their articles are open to be read. The NY Times & Boston.com (locally) are great sources of information to me as well. 

Probably my favorite way to get the news...is through Facebook & Twitter...sad but true!! Just yesterday there was a 9 Alarm Fire in the Back Bay (where a lot of my friends live) and I found out through Twitter!! Like it or not - this is the fastest and probably easiest way to get the news now! 

April 10th The Mindy Project is back!! 

How do you like to get your news? 

xo,
Biana

P.S. Did you see my post on Wedding Party's blog yesterday?! 

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Exciting News

Hello hello!!Today I am over at Wedding Party sharing my thoughts on the perfect shoe for your wedding day! Stop by & share your thoughts...please!! 

Follow the link here: Say I do to Shoes! 



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Reforming You | The Studio Empower

I'm so excited to share today's post with you all because when you are sore from a workout three days after the fact - you know your body was craving it and you just did something real good!! Not to mention you want to share it with all your friends - so they can feel the burn!!

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to try a new-to-me workout at The Studio Empower, located in Newton, MA. This is not your run of the mill Pilates class and was created by Sebastian Lagree when he saw that his clients were heading to get more cardio after Pilates classes. So what does the Megaformer do and why should you be excited about it?
From the Lagree Fitness website: 
"Simply put, is the most innovative and aggressive approach to full body conditioning. Moving effectively out of the borders of conditioned stimulus, this workout integrates the key elements of resistance and counter-resistance in a sequence that allows for periods of zero gravity at peak muscle contraction. The composition of this method is significant in that it encourages maximum exertion while allowing for low risk of injury. The Megaformer™ workout strengthens the body, tones and elongates the muscles, improves endurance, jump-starts the metabolism, burns fat, increases flexibility and postural alignment, and restores the body’s natural balance. The client, at conclusion, is left with a lithe and powerful body, resistant to the everyday stresses of work and life."

Upon entering the studio there isn't much of a seating/waiting area - so I'd say arrive about 5-10 minutes before your class. Ashley was the instructor I had and she was great!! The classes are really intimate (almost private sessions) and you feel like they actually pay close attention to your form and abilities. Within the first minute you are sweating, your heart rate is increasing and you are feeling it in your muscles. As Ashley explained to me, when we workout we want to go hard and fast in order to feel like we're working out hard - but in these classes it's recommended you take your time and really feel your body working each movement (she explained counting to four to complete the move is best). 
The machines look incredibly intimidating but coming from someone that has the balance of a toddler learning to walk - you can totally handle it! The class lasts a total of 45 minutes and it flies by all too quickly!! All the instructors are different and incorporate weights, a stability bar or resistance from the machines into a high intensity routine. Similar to Barre classes, you should wear socks with grips on them so that your feet really stick to the machines. 
I'll be honest - my legs and arms felt like jello after the class. I am sore, but in the best way possible - like you know you had a totally amazing workout! Here is a quick intro video...while it does show how the machines works - it doesn't really convey the intensity of the workout! 

Full studio shot

For my Boston area friends, The Studio Empower is located conveniently off the Green Line D and is literally steps from the Newton Center station. If you own a car - there is ample parking around the studio.
The Studio Empower is offering all Bloved Boston Readers $20 off any $100 purchase!! Code: Bloved20
*Terms: new client only; applies to regularly priced pachages of $100 or more. Cannot be combined with other discounts/or contracts. 
For non-Boston residents, have no fear, these types of workouts & studios are popping up all over the country - just make sure that the class is offered on a Megaformer (telltale sign it's the right class) and is using the Largee Fitness method. 
If results are what you're looking for, look no further than Jennifer Aniston, Brooke Burke & Sofia Vergara...they can be found frequenting the West Hollywood Studio! 

For information regarding pricing/specials please visit: The Studio Empower
*I took a complimentary class from Studio Empower, but all opinions are my own!

If you had the chance, would you try this workout? How do you train?

xo,
Biana




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Weekending

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend! I'm not going to lie - mine was pretty amazing!!
I mentioned Friday we'd be going to see Flashdance and I hadn't seen the movie in it's entirety ever, so wasn't really sure what to expect!! The cast was fantastic and they most certainly took artistic liberties with the plot, but I found it to be way more enjoyable than the movie (we decided to watch the original on Saturday night). The dancing and singing - unreal!! If this happens to travel to your city - your husband or boyfriend won't be against seeing it…lets just say not much was left to the imagination! 

 My Saturday morning had a little something to do with this...
Full review to come tomorrow - but I will say I've never been so sore after a workout in my entire life!! 
We watched Paranoia on Netflix and it was really really good!! I remember seeing previews for this last summer - but apparently it didn't do that well in the theaters. Not really sure why because the plot and cast were all fantastic!! Highly recommend!!

As you have all read in great length (haha) Sunday was our one year wedding anniversary!! We celebrated with a fantastic meal, our cake & champs!! 


We had dinner at Atlantic Fish Company


It was both of our first times eating there and it was beyond delicious!! I had the lobster ravioli and believe me - not one piece was left!! They were so nice and brought out some creme brûlée for us to enjoy!!
After dinner we came home, dove into the cake & watched our wedding video!!! Just as good as we remembered!! Perfect end to an amazing day!!


xo,
Biana






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Five on Friday

This weeks theme was "Back to Life, Back to Reality" Not sure if anyone else remember's Soul to Soul's song - but not to worry, here it is!! 
Now since that's out of the way here are 5 things that made this week perfecto!!

ONE//
I entered the lottery for this 5-Miler last week (lottery because everyone and their mom in Boston wants to run this race) and actually got in!!! 5 miles might not be daunting to some- but I'm NOT a runner...so let's see how this one goes! At least I get to check a goal off my list! Best Part: The Harpoon Brewery hosts the part after the race with food, drinks and live entertainment!! 

TWO//
I've had a crazy fascination with Washi Tape for quite some time, but could never really find uses for it. I think I'm more creative than I actually am! Enter HGTV and their photo gallery of fun and practical uses!! Might be stopping at Paper Source on the way home to grab some of these! 

THREE//
Have you heard of the brand Frankie Rose? It's a cosmetics company that was created by make-up artists to provide long lasting wear for us ladies! What I found to be the most interesting is that their palettes cost less than Urban Decay's but (don't tell anyone) have better & more color options! 

FOUR//
Gary and I are seeing Flashdance the musical tonight & I'll be honest and say I never really saw the movie and only know the main song!! But I have really high hopes & who doesn't love dinner and a show?!

FIVE//
If you're not watching Suits yet - you are missing out!! You can catch the previous two seasons on Netflix and current season is on USA Thursday nights at 9:00 PM. You won't regret getting hooked on this show! 

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!!

xo,
Biana

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Wedding Wednesday | The Details

This is the final installment of my Wedding Wednesday recaps…thank you so much for following along! There's a highlight reel at the end of the post!! 

Our wedding - as for so many couples - was a labor of love!! You put so much thought, effort and let's not even talk about the money that goes into this one day - but at the end of it all, totally worth it!! I was hands on with everything for our wedding. I (at times Gary) chose everything down to the vases that the matches were stored in and seeing our vision come together the day of was worth all the late night stressing and over analyzing! Below are some of the details from our wedding.

Escort Cards
These were a lot of fun to create. I bought the cards from Michael's and used the template provided on  my computer. You'll notice in the corner there is a little image...that is the brainchild of Gary! He was able to find little cows, fish and carrot sticks (for the vegetarians) since the staff needed to know what each person was having. Our guests chose their entree's on their RSVP card and we all know you forget what you order- so this was our way of helping them remember and making sure the staff knew the correct dinner to bring out!  

Table Cards
We also DIY'ed our table cards. Since we both live in Boston but the wedding was in Florida we wanted to share a little bit of the city with our family and friends. So instead of having table numbers - we chose to name each table for some our favorite spots in Boston. Not sure if you're noticing a pattern, but my husband is very savvy with computer programs (PhotoShop) and was able to whip up these custom "Entering" signs that we had printed on hard stock cream colored paper purchased from Paper Source. 

Menu Cards
I searched high and low for the perfect menu card that would not break the bank. I chose to use a design from Exclusively Weddings. These turned out so perfect!! Some people say that menu cards aren't worth the money since no one will keep them - but to me it added another element of elegance to our wedding. Side note: Almost everything that was ordered I didn't see until the week of the wedding because it was shipped to my parents house...talk about stress! Thankfully we had FaceTime and my mom showed me everything! 

Custom Matches, Wedding Favor & Napkins
I may have gone overboard, but there were little things I wanted to give our guests. I chose to have custom matches and candles for each guest to take home. I think this is perhaps a little outdated in the sense that not many people still do wedding favors for guests, but it's one of those things we knew we'd have. Quite honestly, I over ordered for each and we use our candles and matches all the time!! Matches were ordered through For Your Party. The napkins were ordered from The Knot - I found they had the best deal and was able to have enough for cocktail hour and at the two bars we had set up…even had enough left over to take home!

I did not wear the shoes with the crystals during the day…just used the stickers for this picture! I purchased Gary's cufflinks from Sarah Chloe

Flowers
We went with all white flowers. I wanted the color pop to come from the table cloths and the details. 

Cake Pops from rehearsal dinner & cake 
My friend put me in touch with a fabulous baker in Jacksonville that was able to make cake pops for our rehearsal dinner and I had the labels shipped directly to her business.  
The cake was my baby and I wanted it to be off center but classic…I ordered the crystals from amazon and the baker at the resort put it all together based off two photos I sent her. 

Here is a link to our highlight reel - if a picture is worth 1,000 words, then a video must be worth 1,000,0000!  Please excuse the final 4 seconds where I'm clearly in my own world dancing with my new hubby!!

Tips for the bride or groom!
1. Give each guest/couple a number that corresponds to the number your wrote on the back of their RSVP card - will make your life so much easier as there are a lot of people who don't know the correct way to respond back! "you're coming - great…who are you?! can't read your handwriting!"
2. If you're doing assigned seating (each guest is at a certain table but not necessarily a seat) then ask your venue to send you a blue print of their space with tables set up (if its a hotel, resort or banquet hall they definitely have this handy) - go to staples and blow it up to the size you feel you can work with and go from there - so much easier to visualize where the dance floor is, the bar, and where you can put your guests.
3. If you choose to have calligraphy for any part of your wedding - try craigslist first...you'll often find a cheaper price than going with the stores! Just make sure to check their work prior to hiring them!

For those of you that have read/scrolled and repeatedly commented with such wonderful words to my wedding posts- Thank you!! It's been so much fun reliving the day and I seriously can't believe that this Sunday will mark one year of marriage!! 

Photo Credit (all photos): Gwen Tundermann

xo,
Biana
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