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Designer looks for less | Save vs Splurge

I think we can all agree that designer items are a nice to have, but not necessarily in the budget, read - super expensive! The summer sunnies for less post was pretty well received so I thought I'd do another round with some shoes & purses (my favorite)! If it's a pair of jeans or a closet staple then I certainly don't mind paying a little more to have it for a long time, but when it comes to trendier pieces where I like the design, but don't want to spend a fortune for something that might not be "in style" in a year! 

I can't even get over how similar some of these pieces are! When I was putting the collage together I had a hard time figuring out which one was which at first glance!

  • I've really gotten into loafers and I love how clean it looks with a pair of skinny jeans. Gucci loafers come in at $650 vs a save option for $24! Of course it is slightly different with a pointed toe vs. rounded and the save option isn't real leather, but it's pretty close at first glance! I also really like these pink ones for $26 - actually ordered them so I hope they fit! 
  • If there was a shoe that I was seriously considering splurging on it would be these Gucci mules but at $795 I think I'll pass and opt for these metallic ones for $37!  I really hope they get restocked in my size in black because I know I'd get a ton of wear out of them! 
  • I had the hardest time telling the difference between these wedge espadrilles - if it wasn't in the correct column I don't think you'd be able to tell either! Biggest difference - price! One is $37 and one is $160
  • Scrolled through Instagram lately?! If so then you've probably seen the Cult Gaia bag because to be honest the price point isn't as high as other designer bags at $228, but this is definitely a trendier item and I'm not 100% sure how things don't fall out, but I found a dupe on Amazon for $63!
  • The Chole "Faye" handbag has been around for a couple of years now, but the price is STEEP and I'm not sure it's a forever bag for me so when I saw this almost identical dupe in a pretty grey I was pretty excited. I read the reviews and it says that the suede catches color pretty easily - so it would be smart to safe guard it like you would with suede shoes. 

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If you see me sporting any of the above, then you know it's the "save" option😂! What do you normally opt to splurge on vs. save? 
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7 Date Ideas in the City | Series

What to do in boston, date ideas for boston, blovedboston
Happy Monday friends! Another wonderful summer weekend gone by way too fast, but I think we're being rewarded with amazing weather! This weekend gave me a great idea for the next part of my "Boston Series" with date ideas in the city! These are great if you live around Boston or if you're visiting for a weekend and looking for something fun to do with your significant other! Two previous series posts are Boston During the Day and Best Brunch Spots in Boston!
What to do in boston, date ideas for boston,bloved boston
Picnic in the Park || This one's easy! Get a pizza, pick up your favorite sandwich or you could even pick up sushi to go (my favorite) and eat it at the park! I really should get a picnic basket and try to make it a little bit more festive! My favorite parks for this are the public garden & anywhere on the esplanade! 
What to do in boston, date ideas for boston, bloved boston
South End Chocolate Tour || A couple years ago Gary & I took this tour and had the best afternoon walking and tasting chocolate from restaurants and stores in the South End. I did a full review that you could read here, but if you're a fan of chocolate and want to see one of the best neighborhoods in the city, then this is a fun afternoon! 
What to do in boston, date ideas for boston, bloved boston
Boston Wine Tour || Similar to the chocolate walking tour, we did a walking tour with City Wine Tours and had the best time in a smaller group setting. At the time there were only a couple of neighborhoods to choose from, but now they have so many other possibilities. We went with the Back Bay & were excited to learn that each stop had a little food for us to sample as well - probably smart you'd want to carb load us before sending us to the next stop! 
Paddle Boats on the Charles || If it's a nice day, the paddle boats are so much fun!! Pack some water because it's a workout!! Funny story for this little date that Gary planned - we were both pretty excited to get out there in the paddles and then I realized we had to paddle back - let's just say it took twice as long and poor Gary had more of a workout than he was expecting! 

Castle Island & the Beach || Since Boston is on the coast, we are surrounded by water, so when you want to head for the beach you can actually venture to South Boston's Castle Island which is a great little day date escape. Just keep in mind, it's a city beach so it's rocky! 

Blue Man Group || This show is worldwide now, but there is a set theater here in Boston where they perform and this is such a fun date night idea! Located in the theater district you could always have a dinner before the show! Fun tip - you can get reduced tickets for the day of the show at a couple of ticket booths in the city - one is in Faneuil Hall and the other is right next to the Boston Public Library, just go early in the day so that you can get tickets! 
Red Sox Game || So baseball is not even close to my favorite sport, but I'm always up for a date to Fenway Park! You don't even have to spent a ton on the tickets to get a good view, but you must get one of the Fenway Franks - they are specially made only for Fenway Park!

Gary and I are always up for exploring, so I'm interested to know what you favorite thing to do on a date where you live? What about when you're on vacation? 
 
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5 Shows You Should Watch This Summer

Happy Friday friends!! It was a pretty uneventful week around these parts - no events and nothing after work - so I finally feel caught up on life and shows!! I'm a huge fan of TV - it's the way I unwind and recharge and I've been doing a bit of that these last few weeks! I've already talked about Younger (it's on TV Land) a few times on the blog before - if you aren't watching, you really should be, it's hilarious and probably one of the best half hours on TV right now!! Here are some of my top picks for shows you should watch (and binge) on this summer!
 

Ballers (HBO) 

A friend of Gary's told him to watch Ballers and I'm so glad he did because we literally flew through the first two season's in one weekend #noshame. When a show is just a half hour, it's so easy to watch and fly through episodes! I think we picked the perfect time to get into this because the new season is premiering on July 23! If you liked The Rock before this show, then you'll love him after watching it. I was never a fan of Entourage and even though it's the same producers and even at times a similar premise, Ballers is so much better! Warning - it's a bit crude, but hey, it's HBO. 

VEEP (HBO)

We are so late to the party on this one!! VEEP is hilarious - there was actually a point this week when we watched an episode and I was crying from laughing so hard! It's so good and I can definitely understand why Julia Louis-Dreyfus has won so many awards for her portrayal of Vice President Selina Meyer. The characters in this show are incredibly funny - the delivery of the one liners in on par with the best SNL sketches! 

Bold Type (FreeForm)

Bold Type just premiered this past Tuesday on FreeForm and I'm hooked. It was a two hour premier and a show that I know I'll be watching all season (and hopefully for many more). It's a little bit how to lose a guy in 10 days - I swear there were actual sentences that were both in the movie and this show. It also has a little bit of a Devil Wears Prada vibe without the terrible boss! I am enthralled in these types of shows because they provide the best kind of entertainment. This little story has a little something to do with how the characters in the show might feel, I was walking to work on Thursday and this girl tripped on the sidewalk and fell - she quickly got up. She laughed it off and said something to the effect of - still learning to walk to work in these heels! I laughed and said - the trick is to wear flats to work and switch into your high heels at work! I remembered being that girl walking to work in my high heels and stumbling when a nice girl told me the exact same thing  - full circle friends! 

The OA (Netflix)

Normally if it has a supernatural, sci-fi tilt to it, I'm not into. BUT when so many people were saying how amazing The OA was, I decided to give it a try and Gary was so happy because he's totally into that sort of stuff. We were hooked within the first 10 minutes. Each episode is a commitment, the length varies from an hour to close to two hours - so you're in it to win it! What's amazing is the woman who is co-creator / writer on the show is also the main character Prairie. The first season is all about her return home after vanishing seven years ago - she has new abilities & recruits 5 very different people to help her with a secret mission. The minute you think you know what's happening, there will be a huge twist! Plain and simple, this show was amazing and it's been renewed for another season. 

Odd Mom Out (Bravo)

I've been watching Odd Mom Out since it came out a couple years ago. Jill Kargman the show creator and also the main "star" of Odd Mom Out has this incredible ability to take the most outrageous Upper East Side, New York Mom moments and make them relatable in a humorous way. I think the girl who plays her sister-in-law Brooke is such a standout character- she's just ludicrous, but her delivery is perfection! As much as this show is random, there is somewhat of a plot each season. 
Those are my picks for 5 shows you should watch this summer. What are you watching? 
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Amazon Prime Day | What's in My Cart

I think at this point we are all sort of Amazon obsessed! Two day shipping and literally everything under the sun - I know I'm not the only that has "I'll check amazon" as one of my daily sayings! I wish I was kidding when I said that we get at least three amazon deliveries a week, but it's true and I know that we all appreciate the ease of shopping on there! It could be the most random thing in the world and they carry it. We have these special high efficiency light bulbs that the developer of our condo used and the only place that sells them at a decent price is Amazon!! Since the prime day sale is currently happening, which I know a lot of people were disappointed with last year...I wanted to give you a glimpse into my shopping cart - some items are part of the prime day sale and other's are just things we would get any way! 
Amazon purchases, top purchases to make from amazon
Packing Cubes || I have wanted to get packing cubes for the longest time - especially after seeing one of my friends incredible packing job using them! We have a trip in a few months and I am challenging myself to only bring a rolling carrying on - these will help! 
Bento Lunch Boxes || We have been meal prepping work lunches for a couple months now and our tupperware just isn't cutting it anymore! These make it easier to keep everything in it's own spot and I don't have to think about portion control! 
Arlo Camera System || This is all Gary! He's done his research on camera systems and really likes that these are wireless and have magnetic mounting!
Clean / Dirty Dishes || We actually already have this magnet and love it! It's so simple, but if you've ever asked are the dishes clean / dirty - then you need this! 
Coffee Table Books || I've read through the three coffee table books that we have so I'm ready to add another to the table and preferably one with a little bit of color! 
Essential Oils || I have a very simple diffuser that came with a couple starter oils, but I'm almost out and looking to up my essential oil game! The deal is actually incredible even without prime day - you get 6 oils with a value of $80 for only $15! 
Sojos Sunnies || Sunnies are one of the things that I purchase most often from Amazon - shared a few of my favorite in this post and I have these sunnies in rose gold already and really want a silver pair! 
What are your favorite things to buy on Amazon? Are you going to shop during Prime Day?
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Best High End Mascara's

Hello and happy Monday friends! We enjoyed a little bit of everything this weekend - from a nice dinner at home (thank you Trader Joe's) to Escape the Room Boston with 8 of our friends to a leisurely Sunday strolling through the city - it was a perfect weekend! It was a lot of fun, but I didn't take as many photos as I would have liked so I thought I would change it up today and share my favorite high end mascara's!  I've blogged about lashes before and how I fake the false lashes look, but I wanted to share my favorite high end mascaras that help achieve those full lashes! 
givency, mascara, designer mascara, high end mascara, lancome makeup, marc jacobs makeup, too faced mascara
Givenchy Noir Interdit ($29) || Winner for having the most unique wand ever! The wand bends to a 90 degree angle and get's those hard to reach lashes towards the inner corner of your eyes. I will say this is a bit of a "wet" mascara so careful not to sneeze or you'll have a black eye to deal with, but all things considered, this is a great lengthening mascara!

Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir ($26) || I think they named this mascara right by having "velvet" in the name! It's such a smooth mascara, but my only gripe is that you do need extra strength remover to get it all off your lashes and eyes - or else hello raccoon eyes! It has a similar wand to another mascara on the list, but gives you volume all on it's own, without the need of a lash primer! 

Monsieur Big Lancome ($25) || This is the newest mascara that I was sent from Influenster for testing and oh my gosh is it good! It's not yet available in stores, but I think it's going to be a big hit! It comes in a bigger tube with a really thick wand - if you aren't a fan of wet mascara's then you might not like this one, but it doesn't flake and doesn't leave your eye lashes looking clumpy! You get incredible lift, volume and length - a power mascara that does it all! 

DiorShow ($28.50) || DiorShow will always have a special place in my heart because I used it on my wedding day! Oh the volume you get with this mascara - it's one of, if not the best out there. Thick wand, nice consistency to the mascara that doesn't flake and doesn't give you spider like eyes  - it's one of my all time favorites! I find that I get the best volume with this mascara - it basically reaches my eyebrows! 

Better Than Sex  ($23) || I don't think this cult favorite needs any explanation, but similar to DiorShow this mascara packs a punch! I think the wand just might be my favorite because it goes from wide to thin back to wide and you are able to pick up all of your lashes in one swoop! I usually opt for the travel size in this because it's my favorite mascara to keep on hand at all times! 

Lancome Definicils ($27.50) || This mascara reminds me of my mom and sister which is probably why it's one of my favorites. It's one of the best lengthening mascara's out there in my opinion - I usually pair this with a bolder mascara when I need more lift in my lashes. If your lashes have a natural curl to them then I think this is the mascara to use / try because it will automatically lift them and bring out that natural curl. 
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There you have it - my favorite high end mascara's! I think a fun trick / strategy with lashes is to always use lash primer (this is the one I'm currently using) and then use one coat of a lengthening mascara and one coat of a volumizing mascara to get the double whammy! What's your favorite higher end mascara?
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Snapshots from the Weekend | Newport and Boston

There is something quite amazing about starting the work week on a Wednesday!! We had the absolute best time this weekend with family and friends! From a quick day trip to Newport to exploring Boston, it was wonderful!! I almost feel like I need a few two-a-days at the gym this week to work off all the good food we ate, but we walked miles upon miles so maybe that helped offset things! Warning - photo overload ahead! 
Castle Hill Inn Newport
Castle Hill Inn Newport

Lobster Roll, Newport places to eat, where to eat in Newport, Rhode Island
where to eat in newport, rhode island, what to do in newport
Castle Hill Inn Newport
Saturday we made the quick drive to Newport, RI since my cousin and his wife had never been. For lunch we decided on Castle Hill Inn and enjoying their beautiful lawn that overlooks the water. Of course I had the lobster roll which was promptly devoured! We spent a couple hours eating and enjoying the views and may or may not have spotted Taylor Swift's house across the way! We met up with Tom & Jackie along the cliff walk, stumbled upon a wedding at The Breakers & made our way down to the wharf for dinner.  

My sister invited us all over for a family BBQ - any day we can escape to this oasis is a good day! Our other cousins from out of state were also visiting so it really was a full fledged family day! We had the best time with the kids in the pool, playing some lawn games - the girls crushed the boys in ladder toss - and ate our weight in burgers and hot dogs!! 


Monday was the new Sunday Fun-Day!! I love being able to show off Boston's best spots - especially when the weather is fantastic!! The Lawn on D & Envoy Hotel's Roofdeck Bar were two new spots that have opened since the last time Ross & Kathy visited. We played some epic games of Jenga & then followed it up with my first ever Frozé from Eataly
We capped off the festive weekend with friends enjoying more food and some skyline views!! This was probably one of the most fun 4th's we've had in a long time and we've already started planning the next one!! I'd like to also take a minute and say how excited I am that the color I got this weekend was not due to any filters on instagram - for once I didn't burn! How was your holiday weekend? Link up below to share! 
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Still Weekending

Happy Monday friends! Hope you all had a great weekend! Our weekend is still going strong and we're hosting my cousin and his wife for a couple more days!! Hope you have a great 4th of July friends!! 

Loving It, Leaving It

Happy Friday friends! I'm working from home today and looking forward to the long weekend ahead with my family in town, hosting my cousin and his wife & a possible day trip to Newport!! We'll just pretend that June didn't breeze on by because it's just scary how fast we're into Summer now! A couple weeks ago I shared my first Loving It, Leaving it post & I'm back with round 2 today. 

Loving It ||

Portable Power Bank || I don't think I've ever mentioned this power bank on the blog before, but I know I talked about it on instastories. This is a miracle machine! I call it a machine because it's pretty big, but not that heavy. I chose to go with the rose gold because it matches my phone and computer (#weirdlikethat)! This is an incredible charger - I've been able to charge my ipad mini, phone, Gary's phone and my computer from one full charge off this power bank! This is normally a $100 power bank, but on Amazon it's sold for $19.99 --> that's a crazy good deal! I carry it with me everywhere - it super slim so it actually fits in my Pochette Mettis. It's one of my favorite tech purchases this year! 
Beautycounter Charcoal Cleansing Bar || Kate from Tafetta & Tulips sent me a few items from the Beautycounter line and the one I was most excited about was the Charcoal Cleansing bar. I had never used anything like it and wanted to see what all the hype was all about! I love charcoal masks, so I was hoping I'd like this cleansing bar as well. It didn't feel drying on my face or skin like other bar soaps can and it left my skin feeling super smooth. I will say that I thought it would do a really good job of acting as a makeup remover, but I found myself having to wash my face prior to using the cleansing bar to really have glowing skin.
Ashely G Planner || Oh man, I'm a sucker for a planner! As much as I love larger planners they just aren't as conducive to hauling them around at all time. I scooped up this Ashley G Planner from Target last week (with stickers, might I add) and I love how compact it is. Plenty of space to write things down and I don't have to wait until August to start using it! It started this past Monday (26th) and goes until next June! For $5.99 it's a great deal and I know I wont be mad at myself when I undoubtedly switch to another planner early next year 😂 Also, there's a few fun patterns to choose from! 
TRESemme Recovery Mask || Since getting balayage in March I've wanted to make sure that my hair stays healthy. I didn't want the ends to go dry from the color / chemicals so I decided to try a mask. I've been using this one for the last few months and really love how my hair feels after. I use it twice a week and what's more is that it's an in shower mask - so you don't have to wait 15 minutes with your hair up / not in the shower then hop back in the shower to wash it off. 

Leaving It ||

Into the Water || I was anticipating this new book from Paula Hawkins for so long and sadly I was incredibly disappointed - so much so that I couldn't even finish reading it. There were 6 (possibly more) point of views and it was incredibly difficult to keep track of everything going on. I'm sure that I will attempt to read it later this year, but it's certainly not a beach read!  

Hope you all have a happy and safe holiday weekend! 
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Boston During the Day | Series

I get at least 5 emails a week from people planning a visit to Boston and asking what I recommend they do, so what better than a post on that topic?! The second post in the "Boston Series" is all about the fun things to do in Boston during the day. There's a good mix of activities that are free and other things that you have to pay for, but they are all fun! Boston has a little bit of everything - from history to culture to sports we've got something for everyone!! 

Local Gems 

Things to do in Boston
Boston Public Library || While every major city has a pretty great library, I like to think of ours as part museum, part restaurant and then of course the library. You can enjoy lunch or tea in the cafe portion of the BPL, but my favorite part of the library is the courtyard - it's a little slice of Europe in the center of the city! They do offer public tours of the rooms which would be a fun way to spend an hour - especially if the weather isn't as nice. 
Things to do in Boston
Charles Street || Hands down my favorite street in Boston!! It's reminiscent of London with little shops and restaurants lining the street - it's also home to one of the most photographed streets in America - Acorn Street! 

Boston Public Market || This indoor, year-round market place is home to lots of local vendors - from fresh pasta to artisan cheeses to my personal favorite - apple cider donuts - you won't leave hungry! This is a great place to stop for lunch if you are indecisive on what to eat! Taste test it all! 

North End || You simply can't come to Boston and not visit the North End, which we like to think of as the "Italian" district of Boston! Practically every weekend in the Summer there is some sort of festival and the streets are always bustling with locals! One of my favorite things about strolling through the North End is the older Italian men that sit outside the cafe's, drink their espresso's and play chess - it truly feels like Italy! The Old North Church and Paul Revere's house are all in the North End as well! I'm not sharing any of my favorite dining spots in this post - so you'll have to come back for that! 
Things to do in Boston
SOWA Open Market || The market is open every Saturday and Sunday from April - October and I personally like to go on Sunday's. It's grown so much over the last few years - there's even an entire lot dedicated to food trucks! Local vendors set up shop and you can get some really great unique gifts! Last year we took our friends here and they ended up purchasing a piece of art work to take back to their house! 
Charles River, Things to do in Boston
Hubway Bikes along The Esplanade || Some people really enjoy seeing a city via bike - I've just recently become this person 😂 One of the best places to bike is along the Charles River Esplanade. You could even pack a little picnic and set up shop on one of the docks along the esplanade and enjoy all the little sailboats as they go by! 

Be A Tourist 

Things to do in Boston

Public Garden & Boston Common Parks || You can't and wont be able to miss our two most famous parks! I personally love the Public Garden in the Spring and Summer because all the flowers are in bloom and you can even take a little tour around the pond in a swan boat...yes it's a tourist trap, but for a few dollars it's fun! 

Freedom Trail || If you're a history buff, you don't want to miss out on the freedom trail walk - you can also do it yourself without a guide, but then you'll have to figure out the history on your own! You can also use the Free Tours by Foot to do the trail on your own. 
Tour of Fenway Park || Even if you aren't a Red Sox fan, touring one of the oldest baseball fields in the United States is beyond cool!! If you have the chance to watch a game, do it and don't forget to get a hot dog because they are specially made for Fenway Park!! It actually took me 7 years of living in the city to tour Fenway Park and it was a tour well worth the money! 

Boston Duck Tours || This is hands down the best way to see the entire city and learn a little history as well. It's touristy, but I've done it at least three times with people that have visited and I always have a great time! You even get a ride in the Charles River! 

New England Aquarium || The Aquarium isn't necessarily something I'd do if I was visiting a city sans kids, but if you are traveling with your family then this is a great activity. There are plenty of exhibits and an IMAX theater as well. 
Things to do in Boston
Museums || Being a metropolitan city, there are a lot of museums to visit in Boston if that is something you like to do! My personal favorite is the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. There is an incredible courtyard that you could spend an entire day enjoying! Other favorites include the Museum of Fine Art and The Museum of Science - the planetarium is my favorite! 

Harvard || I suggest skipping the formal tours and walking around the grounds of Harvard yourself! It's a public campus and you can walk around as you'd like! The area around Harvard is really cute and there are a few nice restaurants and shops to enjoy! And no, there are no cahhhs parked in the Hahhvahhhd Yahd...please tell me you all read that line with a Boston accent :)  

Newbury Street || You can't and shouldn't come to Boston and not walk down Newbury Street! It's our shopping heaven! From local stores to high end designer's - these 8 blocks of shopping and eating are not to be missed! 

There's plenty more to do in Boston, but these just happen to be some of my favorite things!! Some other posts in the series coming up include: breweries (we have quite a few), what to do at night, and favorite dinner spots!

I think you can tell that I'm pretty in love with this city and still get to explore as a tourist pretty frequently - but I especially love when friends and family come to visit because I get to share all my favorites with them! Have you ever been to Boston? Is it on your travel bucket list? 
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