Monday, March 30, 2015

Adorable Athan's Bakery


Picture this: The front of the bakery has a large selection of brightly-colored and sweet-smelling baked goods waiting to be plucked up; and the back contains a quaint cafe and sitting area where locals come to read, work, or laugh together. There's nothing better than a great neighborhood bakery, and Athan's is the perfect example! I just have to share their ridiculously delicious baked goods with you all, because I know you'll appreciate them!

I almost bought the giant tart cake you see above, partly because I love fruit tart and partly because it was so pretty. But luckily they had adorable mini fruit tarts so I noshed on one of those instead (see below).




One day, after some urban hiking (what we call walking around the city), we stopped in at Athan's for some green tea and delish bites. I got a couple baklavas - my absolute favorite dessert! It's a flaky pastry filled with honey and nuts, what's better than that? I also picked up some chocolate chip cookies and a chocolate praline cookie. 


It's great to just sit and relax with your sweets in the back of the bakery. No matter what you get here, from a fruit tart to a baklava, it'll never disappoint. You can really tell that every single piece is made with love, and to me that's a sign of a great bakery! 

Comment Challenge: What's your favorite bakery item?

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Faux Fur for Spring

faux fur jacket 2015

Well guys, it's finally here! Despite the snow on the ground and chill in the air, spring has officially sprung! And when I think of spring, I think of cute soft bunnies, pastel colors, and an overall feeling of contentment. 

That's why when I found this impossibly soft, pastel pink/cream coat from Forever 21 that made me super cozy and happy, I knew it was meant to be. After all, it's still chilly in Boston and a little faux fur keeps you looking stylish and comfy! 

faux fur jacket 2015

faux fur jacket 2015

faux fur jacket 2015

faux fur jacket 2015

faux fur jacket 2015

faux fur jacket 2015

faux fur jacket 2015

faux fur jacket 2015
Coat: Forever 21 | Tee: Victoria's Secret | Jeans: H&M | Heels: Target | Necklace: Lou Lou Boutique | Earrings: Express | Ring: Wild Feather 

Did I mention this cozy coat was my birthday present to myself? As my favorites on Parks & Recreation say, it's important to treat yo self every now and then!

Comment Challenge: What does spring remind you of? Does it feel like spring where you are? 

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sweetgreen and Daydreams

sweetgreen boston

With Spring finally here, it's time to bust out the cool, fresh salads! My go-to salad spot here in Boston has got to be Sweetgreen, hands down. Some of you may even remember my previous post on their delicious salad bowls from last year. 

sweetgreen boston

After nerding out for a day at PaxEast (the funnest video game scene in Boston!), we stopped by Sweetgreen to reboot. This time around we ordered the Harvest Bowl, which comes with organic wild rice, shredded kale, apples, sweet potatoes, toasted almonds, local goat cheese, roasted chicken, and balsamic vinaigrette. I'm not a fan of the crumbly cheeses, so I swapped out the goat cheese for some juicy tomatoes! 

I was super excited about this salad, but it turned out to be a little too earthy for me (with the kale and sweet potato). I tend to like really bright, light flavors in my salads. It was still super fresh and tasty though!

sweetgreen boston

When you eat healthy you get to splurge a little, right? We found the cutest game store that had this cookie scented pillow. It ACTUALLY smelled just like fresh baked cookies! I almost bought it, but decided that it would just make me crave cookies 24/7. 

Comment Challenge: What salad ingredients are your favorite?

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spring into RocksBox with A Free Month of Jewelry!

Necklace: Three Disc Necklace by Gorjana | Bracelet: Mixed Crystals Five Times Black Leather Wrap Bracelet by Nakamol | Earrings: Gold Double Drop Earrings by Anuja Tolia
It's that time again! The birds are chirping, the snow is melting, and most importantly I have my newest monthly shipment of high-end jewelry in my mailbox! 

This month, Rocksbox really outdid itself. Once again I completely fell in love with one of the pieces - can you guess which one?

Special: Get a totally FREE month of Rocksbox for yourself with code CHELSEAXOXO2! Sign up here. (US only)

Rocksbox Review March 2015

My favorite piece this month is this impossibly chic and subtle Three Disc Necklace by Gorjana! This twinkling layered daydream goes with literally EVERYTHING and I rarely leave home without it. Needless to say, I chose to keep this one for myself. After all, I've been looking for the perfect layered necklace for a while and it IS my birthday week (this is how I justify things)! 

Rocksbox Review March 2015

Rocksbox Review March 2015

I also really liked these Gold Double Drop Earrings by Anuja Tolia. They're subtle but unique enough to take notice. I love how the top portion is filled in and the bottom ring is not - it gives it a really interesting dynamic.

Rocksbox Review March 2015

To be honest, I wasn't crazy about this Mixed Crystals Five Times Black Leather Wrap Bracelet by Nakamol, which is funny because the previous wrap bracelet I received from an older Rocksbox is now a staple in my jewelry wardrobe (and made by the same company)! I liked how the other one was metal and shiny. This version is much more bohemian and just not my style, which is probably a good thing so I don't buy everything they send me!

I am forever obsessed with Rocksbox. Each month is like opening a treasure chest of glittering gold pieces to strut around in. It really makes you feel like a princess! I can't wait to see what next month will bring! 

Don't forget to Sign up here for your FREE month of Rocksbox with code CHELSEAXOXO2! Can't wait to see the sparkling treasures you all get! (US only)

Comment Challenge: Have you tried Rocksbox yet? 
What do you think of this months' pieces?

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*Note: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting those who support Chow Down USA!
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Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Top Chef Brunch at Regal Beagle

Regal Beagle

Some of you may recall that I've reviewed brunch at Regal Beagle before. It's a cute neighborhood joint that now warrants another review, since its head chef was on the most recent season of Top Chef in Boston! I decided to go back to see if anything was different. Read on to see what I discovered!

Regal Beagle

In my previous review, I ordered the French Toast with bananas foster and a side of bacon. I've heard that it's good to make sure you have some protein in the morning since it's correlated with dopamine and makes you happy, thus the side of bacon! This time, though, the bacon wasn't necessary. 

Their French Toast now comes with a poached egg in the middle!! Not only does this combine my two favorite brunch items (french toast and eggs benny), but the egg provides that morning protein that is so crucial to starting your day off right. I love that this is an option. 

Regal Beagle

The only drawback is that the french toast has gotten much smaller! Maybe that's to make up for the egg in it, but it was too small for brunch. And I'm a small person! So I ordered this side of fruit which was delicious but I felt should have come with the meal anyway. See how they both fit on the plate, with a ton of room to spare! It was really delicious and I love the menu options, but the portions could have been bigger.

Regal Beagle

Because I know you all like the runny egg pictures! Yum.

Comment Challenge: What's your idea of a healthy brunch?

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Lucky St. Patricks Day Necklace from The Shopping Bag

the shopping bag

Happy Monday all! Hope you had a great weekend - maybe even some Saint Patrick's Day fun?? Since my birthday is right around this time and I'm super proud to be 1/4 Irish, St. Patty's Day is always one of my favorite holidays! It almost feels like the parades and festivities are for me! 

This year, I teamed up with The Shopping Bag to share the fun with you all! I'm rocking this amazing Sutton Bib Necklace with all the gorgeous colors of the Emerald Isle! And here's a special gift just for you all: Use code LUCKY by March 17th (tomorrow) at 11:59pm to get 17% off site-wide from The Shopping Bag! They have a seriously cute collection - from jewelry to dresses to coats and shoes - so be sure to check them out asap!

the shopping bag

I seriously love the bold statement of the Sutton Bib Necklace. The aquamarine, navy and gold really represent St. Patrick's Day and sparkle in the light! The back of the necklace is felt so it's not cold to the touch. This one is definitely a head-turner!

the shopping bag

the shopping bag

the shopping bag

the shopping bag


the shopping bag
Necklace: The Shopping Bag | Top: Macy's | Jeans: H&M | Heels: Target 
the shopping bag

As a bonus treat, The Shopping Bag sent a little golden surprise of Baileys in with the bib necklace! I love little touches like this - they make all the difference! They even provided their favorite Bailey recipes for you to try!

Comment Challenge: What did you do for St. Patrick's Day?

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*Note: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting those who support Chow Down USA!
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Sunday, March 15, 2015

How To Grow Your Blog On Twitter

how to grow your blog on twitter


Hello dear readers! As many of you know, I started a Chow Down Blogging Tips section a while back, including a List of Top Twitter Chats and SEO Tips for Bloggers. Since I'm super active on Twitter, I realized how silly it was that I don't have a post on growing your blog through Twitter yet! So here it is! I don't claim to be an expert on the subject, but these are some tips that I've found help me grow my following and drive more traffic to my blog. 

How To Grow Your Blog On Twitter

1. Twitter Chats

This isn't just a plug for #USBloggerChat, I swear (Thursdays 8pm EST oknowi'mdone)! But honestly, blog twitter chats are a MAJOR source of new followers not just to your twitter account but to your blog itself. Chats are generally 1 hour long, and you always get to chat with a ton of fellow tweeters who are interested in your passion - blogging! At the end of each chat there's a designated time to swap blog links. Don't just give out your link, though. Ask for everyone else's link, and really make a connection! If you love their blog, let them know. They're bound to check out yours in return.

2. Publish Blog Posts

This may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how many twitter accounts I see that are just retweeting others, or tweeting random things all day. Make sure you're publishing your own posts as well! Don't just rely on the automated publishing that Bloglovin does, either. 

Take the time to think of a witty caption (follow big bloggers for ideas), add an image from the post, use hashtags, and tag any brands or restaurants that may be mentioned in your post. The more you get retweeted, the more exposure your posts get! 

I generally publish my posts 1-3 times the day they go live, and about once a week for a couple weeks after that. Give them a chance to shine! 

3. Timing Your Posts

Make sure your blog posts are published at the optimal times - early in the morning, at lunch, and at night. I've read that early morning posts are most effective on Mondays (because people are procrastinating), and Fridays (because people are tapped out for the weekend), and that lunch posts are most effective on Wednesdays. Try different times and see what works best for your audience!

4. Get More Retweets

Did you know there are Twitter accounts designated just for retweeting your posts? Definitely utilize this by tagging them in your posts, so they reach a larger audience. My favorites are @FemaleBloggerRT and @Lovingblogs - see a full list of my favorite Twitter RT accounts here! 

5. Use Hashtags

Don't be shy! Hashtags are another way to let a huge audience find your posts. There are specific tags for different blog niches #bbloggers (beauty), #fbloggers (fashion), #lbloggers (lifestyle), and even local tags like #NYCBloggers. I just learned a new one - #sundayblogshare, which is pretty self-explanatory. 

6. Promote Your Bloglovin

Utilize Twitter to promote your Bloglovin profile! After all, Bloglovin accounts for a lot of blog traffic. The more followers you have there, the more traffic you'll see! 

7. Interact With Others

If you want people to see your work, you have to care about theirs. Get into the habit of commenting on and retweeting what other bloggers are tweeting, and soon they'll be interacting with you too! There are so many cool bloggers out there, so you may as well take advantage of Twitter's interactive platform to meet them! Likewise, if someone comments on something you've tweeted, don't ignore it (or even just "favorite" it). Take this as an opportunity to chat a bit and get to know them! Maybe you have something in common. 

8. Guest Post

What does guest posting have to do with Twitter, you ask? Well, if the blog you're posting for has a lot of followers (or even just different followers than you), this will increase your exposure when they publish the post! Just make sure they credit you properly.

9. Schedule Blog Posts with Buffer
You can't be posting to Twitter manually all day, but you CAN schedule out your posts into the future and while you sleep! I used to only use Hootsuite for scheduling Twitter posts, until I realized Buffer actually allows your images to show up with your scheduled posts! Hootsuite only posts them as image links, so it's not as effective at drawing attention to your post. I saw a marked increase in twitter engagement and clicks through to my blog when I switched to Buffer.

So there you have it! Those are my top tips for growing your blog on Twitter. Hope you find them useful, and be sure to check out this handy guide for taking amazing photos with an iPhone camera!

Comment Challenge: What do you think of these tips? Do you have a major Twitter trick not listed?


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Friday, March 13, 2015

Neptune Oyster House

Neptune Oyster House

Neptune: The Roman God of the Sea, Ariel's dad, and now the infamous oyster house in Boston's North End. This venue is tiny, quaint, and runs at it's own pace - like everything else in the North End. They're known especially for their wide and super fresh selection of oysters, as well as their mouthwatering, epic lobster rolls. 

Neptune Oyster House

Casually cracking open some oyster shells by the window, no big deal. The average wait here is about 2 hours, and they don't take reservations. But the line is still always out the door, even in negative winter temperatures!

Neptune Oyster House

After waiting outside, which was indeed over a couple hours, we all happily moved into the warm room and ordered four lobster rolls immediately. Unfortunately we were sat by the door which is always in use, and thus brings in freezing winds. Half of the small restaurant dined with their jackets on. Luckily, the plates came out warm, as did the buttered buns filled with fresh lobster and tons of fries with a side of ketchup.

Neptune Oyster House

As you can see, the Neptune lobster roll lives up to the massive hype. They generously pile in the lobster, more than any other lobster roll I've seen - and I've seen quite a few lobster rolls since moving to Boston! You really get your bang for your buck here, and the lobster itself is incredibly fresh and delicious.


Neptune Oyster House

We put in an order for oysters at the same time as our lobster rolls, but the oysters actually came out last. I'm used to getting oysters first as an appetizer, so I wonder what happened there - maybe they put extra care into their oyster process? Either way, they were delicious and we definitely had a wide selection to choose from.

Despite the wait, and even the cold, Neptune Oyster House is a must-try venue. Their oyster selection and gigantic lobster rolls are too good to pass up! 

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Thinking of Spring at Batterypark Bar & Lounge

Batterypark Restaurant

As we slowly make the transition from winter to spring here in Boston, certain adjustments must be made. The winds are still freezing, and the snow makes the morning commutes absolutely crazy! To compensate, we may require more comforts and warmth than usual. 

This is where Batterypark Restaurant comes in. I've met here with friends a couple times, and I always go straight for the same amazing comfort food dish: Lobster Mac & Cheese, which comes with brie, cheddar, and Swiss cheeses, Maine lobster meat and crumb topping, and drizzled with caramel popcorn! It's seriously amazing and I wish more restaurants served it. I would never have thought to add popcorn to lobster macaroni, but the subtle sweetness actually meshes really well with the creamy pasta. The funny thing is, they're kind of stingy with the popcorn and generous with the lobster! 

Batterypark Restaurant

Above is their epic Stuffed Portabella Mushroom Sandwich, which comes with portabella mushroom, red pepper, fresh mozzarella, basil aioli, and sweet potato fries (here the fries are substituted with a mixed greens salad). This is definitely the healthier option, and equally delicious from what I hear.

Batterypark Restaurant

My current goal is to stay focused until spring!

Batterypark Restaurant

So we can go from this (man made ice cave on the sidewalk)...

Batterypark Restaurant

...To this happy, adorable swimming sea otter in the sunshine! This is how I'm picturing spring and summer to be. Totally not unreal expectations. This is also my current wallpaper on my phone btw!

So hang in there, because the snow is melting, the birds are chirping, and there's always lobster mac & cheese in the mean time!

Comment Challenge: What are you looking forward to this spring?

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Monday, March 9, 2015

So Soft! So Olivia Boutique Leggings

So Olivia Boutique

"What good is the warmth of summer, 
without the cold winter to give it sweetness?"
- John Steinbeck

We've had a super snowy winter here in Boston - over 9 feet! If that quote holds true, we're due for the sweetest summer ever!! In the meantime, though, it's important to stay cozy (and stylish obviously)! 

I've been searching for the perfect pair of printed leggings for a while now, so when I saw these adorable black & white reindeer leggings from So Olivia Boutique I honestly fell in love with them! They have tons of other patterns too and it was tough to choose a favorite, but I decided to go with these since they're black & white and will go with more outfits. 

I REALLY wish I could explain how incredibly soft these leggings are! Not only are they adorable, but they feel amazing - it's like petting a baby lamb, on a cloud, while eating cotton candy. Yeah, it's that soft!

So Olivia Boutique

So Olivia Boutique

So Olivia Boutique

So Olivia Boutique


So Olivia Boutique

Leggings: So Olivia Boutique | Boots: Justfab | Jacket: H&M (super old) | Skirt: Old | Top: H&M | Layer Necklace: Rocksbox

Though there's still tons of snow on the ground, the sun is shining and the birds are adorably chirping all over the place. You can tell that spring is just around the corner! Until then, I'm just going to wear these ultra-soft leggings every single day if that's okay with everyone.

For more So Olivia fashions, see how I styled two of their darling jackets

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*Note: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting those who support Chow Down USA!
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