Loving It, Leaving It

June 30, 2017
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! 

Boston During the Day | Series

June 28, 2017
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? 

Summer Shades for less

June 26, 2017
Happy Monday friends! I'm so excited for this coming week and weekend - we have family coming for the 4th of July & I'm crossing my fingers that the weather will be as perfect as it was this past weekend.  Between BBQs, pool parties & summer in the city - I think each weekend is going to fly by which is slightly scary, but I know that just means we pack so much excitement in for those few days a week! I've been trying to add to my sunglasses collection without breaking the bank and thought I'd share a few styles that I have either already purchased or are currently on their way to my house right now! Also, I'm pretty tough on my shades, throwing them around in my purse and what not, so I tend to only buy one classic pair every few years which makes these "trendier" ones perfect as less expensive options. 

Baby Shower Gift Guide

June 21, 2017
It seems that wedding season has been replaced by baby season! So many of my friends are expecting and that means baby shower time! I love sticking to the registry for gifts, but adding a few personal touches along with something fun, different and maybe even a little something for the new mom! 

Best Brunches in Boston | Series

June 19, 2017
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Happy Monday friends!! Hope you had a great weekend! Ours was quite productive, but pretty laid back. We got a few things done around the house, managed to squeeze in a birthday party for a friends daughter & even made it to the movies!! I must have a thing for series blog posts because I'm starting a new one today! Having "Boston" in the name of my blog leads a lot of people to email about recommendations which I love giving - but I wanted to expand that into a series and break it out into different topics - first up, brunch!! We have so many great restaurants that have incredible brunches, but I'm sticking to the ones that I know and love!! Whether you like Eggs Benedict, loaded french toast or a great breakfast burrito - these are all pretty amazing! Warning...reading this post may induce hunger pains and drooling!

5 Summer Reads

June 14, 2017
Whether you have plans for a summer vacation or parking it by the water - I've got a few reads that you'll want to have with you!! Unlike last month's recently read post, I enjoyed every single one of the books that I've recently read and think they would be perfect for summer! 
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Weekending | Weddings & Bike Rides

June 12, 2017
Happy Monday friends!! We finally had two nice days worth of weather so you know that means everyone, myself included, spent as much time outside as possible!! Between Friday night relaxing, wedding coordination & Sunday Funday - it felt like this weekend was only a few hours long!
Sam Edelman Espadrilles (30% off right now)

New Series | Loving It, Leaving It

June 09, 2017
Happy Friday friends! I wanted to start a new series on the blog calling, Loving It, Leaving It. It originated from a conversation I had with a friend this week - she asked if something was #BianaApproved. Made me laugh, but also gave me this idea - so here's a few things that I'm loving & a few things I will be leaving - i.e. not repurchasing! 

Father's Day Gift Guide

June 07, 2017
My dad takes impeccable care of his belongings, so much so that it makes it really hard to buy gifts for him because he will keep a pair of sunglasses for years before wanting or needing another pair. Meanwhile, my mom, sister & I will all have at least 6 different pairs to rotate! Must be a man thing because Gary is the same way! I called my dad the other day and asked him what he wanted for Father's Day and his response was a new printer - progress made! That was until I found out he had been using the printer that I left behind after I graduated college - 8 years ago...that had been used for 4 years before he ever got it- talk about a great return on investment! 
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Weekending | Day Dates

June 05, 2017
Happy Monday friends!! Coming off a productive and fun weekend, I'm so ready for this week ahead! I've realized that as much as I love going out with friends & G at night, I really like getting the most out of the day and just relaxing on the couch at night - especially if it means that I'll be up early and getting the most out of our Saturday & Sunday! We went into the weekend with zero plans and somehow ended up having two really fun day dates! 

Friday Favorites

June 02, 2017
Hello friends! I know that my posting has been a bit all over the place and I'm doing my best to commit to a set routine during the week, but as we all know life happens, especially as summer nears and weeknights / weekends start to fill up! I'm still in a bit of shock as to how it's already June! If these first 6 months are any indication of the next 6 months, then life is not going to slow down! It's been a while since I've linked up with Amanda, so let's start out June with some favorites!