Wednesday, April 22, 2015

El Centro Dos Pt. Dos

el centro dos in brookline

When I was little, we would go to Mexico almost every summer. Now that I'm older, I seriously miss it - the warm beaches, blue sky, and amazing food! Mexican food isn't really Boston's forte when it comes to cuisine. New England-ers are more about their seafood and lobster rolls (which are delicious). But there are a few really great Mexican restaurants, and El Centro Dos in Brookine is one of them. 

el centro dos in brookline

el centro dos in brookline

I ordered the Chicken Enchiladas with salsa verde, which was pretty phenomenal and super filling. No skimping on any ingredients or sauces here!

el centro dos in brookline

This dish consisted of pork in a salsa verde sauce with orange rice. Orange rice is always my favorite!

el centro dos in brookline

I love how El Centro Dos is about more than just the food. They really put in effort to give the feel of Mexico in their entire restaurant. It's a very cozy atmosphere, filled with great artwork, a little bar in the back, and the cutest bathroom I've ever seen, seriously. There's even potpourri along the sink and even more artwork to gaze at. I definitely recommend a meal here, whether for a romantic date night, or a casual night with friends or family.

Comment Challenge: Is there any food that gives you that great nastalgic feeling?

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Barcelona Wine Bar Pt. III

barcelona wine bar

Oh Barcelona, why can't I quit you? You may have noticed that I keep reviewing Barcelona Wine Bar (brunch and dinner), and that's simply because it's amazing. Barcelona is a tapas restaurant (meaning lots of little meals) with the best service I've ever encountered, and some of the best plates too. That's the perfect combination if you ask me. 


barcelona wine bar

We started off the night with one of my favorite tapas of all time (and Barcelona does them best) - Jamon and Chicken Croquettes! These little fried bites are filled with warm, gooey cheese, chicken and ham. They're unbeatable comfort food, and I always want to eat 50 of them.


barcelona wine bar

To offset the fried croquettes, we got a healthy, light plate next: Hamachi Crudo. This raw fish was sprinkled with lovage, orange, and jalapeno. Each bite had such a burst of bright flavor, it was so refreshing! Wish I could have this plate every day.


barcelona wine bar

For our entree we ordered the Mariscos Paella. How can you resist a skillet full of goodness like this? It comes with squid, prawns, clams, and mussels. So tasty and not too heavy.

barcelona wine bar

We finished with these AMAZING Spanish churros and warm chocolate dipping sauce. Even writing about these is making me want to go back for more!


Comment Challenge: Have you ever been to a tapas restaurant? What was your experience like there?

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Barcelona Wine Bar Brookline on Urbanspoon
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Friday, April 17, 2015

Your Ultimate List of Linkups for Bloggers!

list of linkups for bloggers

So I recently got into the crazy world of blogger link-ups. For those of you who don't know, a linkup is where one blog will allow tons of other blogs to link to their blog post that day. You simply submit the URL of the post you'd like to link, and choose an image from your post to display. 

In the end, it looks like a long list of images from different bloggers. You are also expected to link to the linkup at the bottom of your blog post. The idea is for everyone to find new blogs and expand their reader base! It also helps your domain authority to have quality blogs linking to your blog in this way.

I quickly realized that there were SO MANY linkups to keep track of, and if I wanted a nice ordered list, maybe you would too! So similar to my Twitter Chat post, here is a list of the linkups I've found, sorted by the day of the week they usually post their linkup. 

List of Linkups for Bloggers


Monday



Tuesday

Wednesday



Thursday

Friday
These are the linkups I've found so far. Definitely let me know if I missed any! One note is that the linkup blog images go in chronological order, so it's best to get your link up there early in the morning if possible.

Don't forget to check out my post on easy SEO tips for bloggers and top RT accounts to grow your followers on Twitter!

Comment Challenge: Have you ever participated in a linkup? What did you think?


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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Tatte Bakery

tatte bakery


I have a thing with bakeries. They're just always so cute with their pastries and french art and local scene. I had to share with you my newest bakery discovery: Tatte Bakery!


tatte bakery

I love how they just put half a pear on this tart! It's almost too cute to eat! Almost.


tatte bakery


tatte bakery

These are the biggest biscottis I've ever seen! This picture doesn't do them justice. 


tatte bakery

I ordered the breakfast sandwich, which came with fried eggs, bacon and cheese on sourdough. It was so scrumptious! The egg was just the right amount of runny, and the sandwich was super filling even though it doesn't look too big here. 

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Barcelona in Boston: Desigual & A Linkup!

 

How many of you watch America's Next Top Model? Remember the young model Chantelle Brown-Young who had vitiligo? She got voted off last year, but already landed a modeling job as the face of Barcelona-based clothing company Desigual. 

I got so excited when I went home to San Francisco for the holidays and saw posters of her campaign EVERYWHERE. We stopped into the Desigual store in Union Square and it was so fun - bright colors and bold patterns everywhere! It's great to see a company taking fashion risks.

I was blown away when they approached me to review some of their items, and I can't wait to share them with you all!


First of all, can we just talk about this coat for a second? The detail and patterning is ridonculous. The material is super thick, the lining is silk, and you can really tell it's high quality. 


I love the spiral, floral design and how it fades from blue to white to blue again. The big white buttons and centered vertical pockets pull the piece together. I feel so fancy in this jacket!


Necklace: c/o Perry Street by Rocksbox | Rings: H&M, Shop Jami 



I'm obsessed with this sleek black leather purse. It has like 7 pockets, the interior is this amazing red, and even a matching black and red tassel on the side. Like the jacket, this purse has amazing detail, from spiraling florals to gold rivets. The strap is adjustable, so I can wear it over one shoulder or cross-body. It's hard to find a purse that can fit everything and still looks stylish! 




I chose this skirt for it's combination of style and comfort, with a touch of personality. Desigual is so good at incorporating personality into their items! The skirt is made with an incredibly soft leather material, embroidered with a subtle floral design and a classy silver logo. I really love the comfortable fit, and how it makes for an effortlessly casual chic look.


Desigual
Jacket, Purse, Skirt: c/o Desigual | Necklace: c/o Perry Street by Rocksbox | Heels: JustFab | Tights: Target | Top: Gap, Inc.

It's hard to see in the picture, but the back of the jacket has a gold Desigual logo. I love the intricate patterning on the back too. So there you have it! This jacket, skirt, and purse are my newest outfit staples as we slowly transition from winter to spring here in Boston (see how there's no snow here)!

Today I'm excited to announce that I'm co-hosting the Styled-Up linkup with A Touch of Tartan (it runs every Monday), so be sure to join the linkup below! A Touch of Tartan is a great Scotland-based blog written by Laura McCallum. It's a lifestyle blog that focuses on fashion, beauty, home and food. 



Comment Challenge: What do you feel about companies that take fashion risks?

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Friday, April 10, 2015

Fashion in Bloom: A Boston Fashion Blogger Event at CS Galleria!

Boston Fashion Blogger Event

Blogging is hard work. From coordinating outfits and photoshoots, to writing a consistent stream of quality blog posts, to promotion and engagement on social media, it's not for the faint of heart. But any blogger will tell you it comes with plenty of perks - like blogger events! 

CambridgeSide Galleria really spoiled us last week with their Fashion in Bloom spring event! The inspiration behind the event was a spin on a spring garden party, including tons of adorable fresh flowers, delicious bites, giveaways, and pampering! It's perfect for us here in Boston since it's technically spring but still kind of feels like winter. This event really let us take a mini staycation and imagine spring is here.



Boston Fashion Blogger Event

Boston Fashion Blogger EventBoston Fashion Blogger Event
These were my favorite spring fashions of the night. I'm just obsessed with anything from Francesca's, like the flowy maxi dress above, and the Macy's setup with the summer dress and the bicycle was too darling! 

Boston Fashion Blogger Event

And then comes the pampering! We got our brows, eyes, and lips done by Sephora, moisturizer by Shiseido, and hair styles from Dellaria Salon! 

Boston Fashion Blogger Event
Necklace by Perrystreet c/o Rocksbox | Top by Gap, Inc.

Perfect opportunity to wear one of those "I woke up like this" shirts! 

Boston Fashion Blogger EventBoston Fashion Blogger Event
You can't go wrong with Segura Viudas champagne, fresh flowers, and strawberry garden salads! Not to mention I'm such a sucker for adorable paper straws like this cute polka dot one.

Boston Fashion Blogger Event

Posing with some of my fave bloggers! The blogging community in Boston is so supportive, fun, and inspiring. I feel super lucky to be in such a great city for bloggers! CambridgeSide Galleria did an amazing job making us feel pampered and ready for spring.

Boston Fashion Blogger Event

Comment Challenge: Have you attended a blogger event or meetup? What was it like?
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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Root of All Miso

root restaurant boston

What is it about spring that reminds me to eat healthier? Maybe it's the warmer weather that allows for a cooler plate. Whatever the reason, we popped into a super healthy shop in Allston named Root to get our veggie fix. Read on to see how it went!

root restaurant boston

Right off the bat, we were warned that they were busy and it would take 20-25 minutes for our bowls to be ready. In the meantime I ordered this Green Juice, which included cucumber, lime, green apple, and kale. It was delicious because the green apples made it a little sweet!

root restaurant boston

For lunch, I went with the Macro Bowl, filled with golden quinoa, sauteed kale, pickled carrot, chickpeas, and avocado. The bowl was served with two sauces: a citrus miso dressing which I really enjoyed, and a gochu jang aioli. 

The bowl was really great, but the citrus miso dressing was super tiny and didn't last throughout the whole plate. Without it, the quinoa and chickpeas were a tad dry to eat on their own. I went to ask for a bit more dressing and they charged 80 cents for it! I thought that was ridiculous considering we had to wait 25 minutes for our bowls in the first place, and the amount of dressing was so small to begin with. Not spectacular customer service, but definitely a good source of natural, healthy plates. 

root restaurant boston

Did I mention this day was super nice and sunny? It was still cold and windy, but look at that blue sky. Definitely a sign of spring to come!

Comment Challenge: What's your go-to healthy meal?


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Root on Urbanspoon 
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Monday, April 6, 2015

Prancing in Peplum

the shopping bag peplum dress

Look at all that snow! Can you believe it's April?? This year has been a slow transition from winter to spring here in Boston, but a girl can only wear parkas and scarves for so long! That's why I was thrilled when The Shopping Bag sent me this super adorable Teal Peplum Dress from their SS15 collection!

After months of wearing black, brown, and burgundy, I think we all could use a pop of color to get us in the swing of spring. I love the bright, teal shade of this dress and its incredible subtle detailing that's reminiscent of spring florals. I paired it with a lighter jean jacket and some sunnies to give it a casual daytime look, but this dress is definitely stylish enough for a night on the town too. I'm actually obsessed with the peplum style - it's so flattering for petite figures!

the shopping bag peplum dress

the shopping bag peplum dress

the shopping bag peplum dress

the shopping bag peplum dress

the shopping bag peplum dress
Dress: The Shopping Bag | Jacket: Target | Leggings: Target | Boots: Bearpaw | Earrings: Lou Lou Boutique 

You may remember my previous post on this super glam statement necklace from The Shopping Bag! Can you tell how much of a fan I am of them? 

Most importantly, they put their customers first and are a dream to work with! They're always so professional and their items are really high quality, not to mention the fact that they sell everything from clothes to home decor to beauty products. 

Be sure to use the discount code CHOWDOWNUSA for 25% off your order at The Shopping Bag! Can't wait to see what you all get!

Comment Challenge: What's your go-to spring outfit this year?

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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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