Wednesday, August 31, 2016

August Fashion + Food Roundup

Is it just me, or did this summer go by in the blink of an eye? I can't believe labor day is right around the corner, and our flight home to San Francisco is in just two days! In case you missed it, here's a roundup of restaurant reviews, style posts, and blogger tips I posted in August - enjoy!




boston fashion blog



boston fashion blog



boston fashion blog


boston fashion blog


boston fashion blog


boston fashion blog


boston fashion blog


boston fashion blog


boston fashion blog

Comment Challenge: We're jetting off to SF in two days, I'll be sure to keep you all posted! What are your labor day / September plans?

Shop these looks below!



Linking up with: More Pieces of MeBeauty by Miss LStyle NudgePink Sole, B Loved BostonTrend Spin LinkupStyle SessionsTurning HeadsMama and MoreShopping My ClosetThe Mummy ChroniclesThe Pleated PoppyMy Girlish WhimsChic Street StylePumps and PushupsStylin In St LouisThursday Fashion Files + Curly Crafty MomMix Match FashionEast Coast ChicPosh Classy MomTwo Peas in a BlogMyriad MusingsHappiness at MidlifeBeing Zhenya Style Diary by OsySydney Fashion HunterMs. Chanda, Meet at the Barre  
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Monday, August 29, 2016

10 Reasons Accessories are Underrated

10 Reasons Accessories are Underrated
Bag: c/o Anna Nova | Watch: Christian Paul c/o 101 Watch | Top: Target (similar here, here, and here) | Shorts: Target (Similar here, here and here) | Lace-Up Heels: Steve Madden | Necklace: c/o Wild Juniper
*Note: This is a sponsored post. Thanks for supporting those who support Chow Down USA!
Photography by Icy Li Photography - definitely recommend her for anyone in the Boston area!

In the fashion show of life, the lead actors are usually dresses, shoes, tops and bottoms (and coats in the cooler months, naturally). Accessories such as handbags, watches, and jewelry tend to have the connotation of supporting actors. I've recently come to the realization that these supporting pieces are highly underrated, and I'm listing my top 10 reasons below!

1. Accessories can revive an outfit. You can wear the same top, bottoms, and shoes multiple times, but if you switch up the jewelry, watches, and handbags you can transform it into a variety of different outfits.

2. They can give you energy. Ever heard of retail therapy? Just as a new piece can transform an outfit, it can transform your mood. This doesn't mean you have to go on a shopping spree every day, week, or even month, but it means that picking up a new piece every now and then can give you an extra bounce in your step when you wear it!


3. Accessories give you options. No one wants to be pigeon-holed! Having a choice of bags, watches, and jewelry gives you control over something when you start your day. How amazing is the sleek design and print on this Anna Nova handbag? Definitely a go-to piece for fall! 


4. They can be useful! I'm taking a 6.5 hour flight to San Francisco this week, and all phones must be turned off as per regulations! So having a watch is actually practical for me to keep track of how long we've been in the air and what time it is. The pretty marble face and rose gold frame on this Christian Paul c/o 101 Watch Store means it's on major repeat until pretty much the end of time! 

10 Reasons Accessories are Underrated

5. They give you something to do with your hands. Instead of being on your phone 24/7 (guilty!), a long tassel necklace for example is a great tactile accessory to play around with. I love the beading and especially the soft leather tassel on this one!

10 Reasons Accessories are Underrated

6. They can prompt spring cleaning (any time of the year). Switching out handbags means going through all the stuff that's made it's way into my bags. I get to throw out old receipts and find missing items like my fitbit charger and hair ties!


7. They boost your creativity. Accessorizing is an art form, people! Colors, textures, and balance all come in to play and it's a good creative outlet for our busy days. Loving the scallop detail on the back of this bag!

10 Reasons Accessories are Underrated

8. Accessories make you unique. Sure, you can show up to a party in the same H&M dress as the next girl, but what will set you apart? What's the chance you'll both be wearing the same watch, bracelets, and bags as each other? Not too high! Show off your individuality with pieces that are all your own.


10 Reasons Accessories are Underrated


9. Accessories can be good for your brain function. Ok, hear me out here. Studies have shown that switching up your routine even a tiny bit - like brushing your teeth with you non-dominant hand or taking a new route to work in the morning - actually creates new neural connections in your brain! Essentially it wakes up your mind because it's learning something new, which is always a good thing. When you're getting creative in the morning, picking out new combinations of accessories is always a new experience and gets your mind going!

10. They can tell a story / be an ice breaker. When you're at a party, or even in the elevator with a co-worker or neighbor, they may comment on your earrings, watch, or bag. Maybe those earrings spark a story about how they were passed down from your grandmother, or how that watch is part of your new marble obsession and Selena Gomez has the very same one (true story)!


As you've probably guessed, my current accessories of choice include this gorgeous Bondi Marble 43mm watch by Christian Paul watches, which is sold by the amazing 101 Watch Store. I'm beyond smitten with it's large marble face and rose gold frame. They have so many high quality and chic watches, it's hard to choose a favorite!

Speaking of favorites, can we just talk about this "Love at Sunset" Anna Nova handbag? Anna Nova has been a major bag company in Australia for the past 11 years, and it's now making it's debut in the U.S.! The color of this handbag is beyond perfect for fall, and the quality is really impressive. I especially love the print on the side of the bag (the interior is a gorgeous print too), and the scallop detailing on the back and sides is so darling! 

Comment Challenge: What's your favorite accessory at the moment?

Shop this post and more fun accessories below!



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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Abigail's Kendall Square Review

Abigail's Kendall Square Review

Some of you may remember a while back when we went to Boston Chops to send off some friends that were moving away. Well, one of them recently moved back to Boston for grad school, happy days! We met up in Cambridge and actually tried to go to a lobster joint first, but it was pouring that day and it turned out that they only had outdoor seating. Luckily Cambridge has a plenty of good restaurants, and before long we came across Abigail's in Kendall Square which turned out to be perfect!

Abigail's Kendall Square Review

Island Creek oysters - so fresh!

Abigail's Kendall Square Review

I ordered the salmon, which came with sauteed baby spinach and a heaping portion of mushrooms. I actually don't like mushrooms - this was a great lesson in reading the menu carefully - but the rest of the plate was delicious!

Abigail's Kendall Square Review

The special of the day was this pasta dish with clams. It looked so delish, I was super jealous! Times like this I wish every restaurant had a gluten free pasta option!

Abigail's Kendall Square Review

They did, however, have a fabulous gluten-free, super rich, chocolate cake! So that definitely made up for it. Though a bit on the pricey side, Abigail's definitely hit the important notes for me when it comes to dining: Good food, friendly service, and gluten free options!  

Comment Challenge: What's a splurge you've made recently, food-wise, fashion-wise, or otherwise?

See recent Boston restaurant reviews:
Tatte Bakery
Barking Crab
Sol Azteca

Abigail's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Friday, August 26, 2016

How to Make a Media Kit for Bloggers

How to Make a Media Kit for Bloggers

Blogging is highly monetizable these days. From sponsored blog posts, social media ads and site banners, you can make a decent amount from brands with a blogger / marketing budget. It's not uncommon for these brands to ask you for a media kit when discussing a possible collaboration. 

So whether you're reaching out to brands or they're finding you, it's important to be prepared with a media kit so you look professional and get the rates you deserve! Be sure to include the following in your media kit.

How to Make a Media Kit for Bloggers

How to Make a Media Kit for Bloggers

Clear, high-resolution images which show off your work
Such as outfits of the day for a fashion blogger, delicious recipes if you're a food blogger, scenic views for a travel focus, and beauty images for beauty bloggers.

Bio / Introduction
Briefly introduce yourself and your blog. Include anything that sets you apart - Do you speak multiple languages? Hire professional photographers? Have highly engaged readers? You can also include your target market here. This is important because brands want to make sure you're both targeting the same niche. 

Blog / Social Stats 
Now's not the time to be modest! Play up your social media followers, blog stats, and list previous brands you've worked with. 

Pricing
Offer pricing for everything from social posts, to blog posts, to banner ads and contextual links on your site. You can also include a disclaimer that says you are open to discuss these prices, but it's good to start from somewhere.

Get started with a FREE media kit template below, or contact me at chowdownusa@gmail.com if you'd like me to create one for you!


More Blogger Tips & Tricks
If you found this post helpful, be sure to check out my other blog tips:
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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Blue Paisley Dress

Blue Paisley Dress
Dress: c/o SheIn | Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington | Heels: Steve Madden | Clutch: Fossil (Similar from Macy's and Kate Spade)

*Note: This is a sponsored post. Thanks for supporting those who support Chow Down USA!

Prints have been huge this year - from florals, to windowpane, to baroque. My favorite, though, has got to be paisley! Paisley patterns always remind me of this fabulous comforter my mom had while I was growing up, filled with countless colors forever twisting and turning. It's like a dreamy work of art! 

So naturally when I saw this white and blue paisley dress from SheIn (just $18.69!!), I had to have it. It's been on major repeat ever since, and I get tons of compliments on it! It's incredibly comfortable, with a lot of give in the material, plus it has pockets which is always a fave feature of mine! 

P.S. Look familiar? You may remember this paisley dress from my hair straightener post not too long ago. Hence why my hair is perfectly silky straight at this shoot!

Blue Paisley Dress
Dress: c/o SheIn | Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington | Heels: Steve Madden | Clutch: Fossil (Similar from Macy's and Kate Spade)
Blue Paisley Dress
Dress: c/o SheIn | Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington 

Blue Paisley Dress
Dress: c/o SheIn | Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington | Heels: Steve Madden | Clutch: Fossil (Similar from Macy's and Kate Spade)

Blue Paisley Dress
Dress: c/o SheIn | Heels: Steve Madden | Clutch: Fossil (Similar from Macy's and Kate Spade)

Blue Paisley Dress
Dress: c/o SheIn | Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington | Heels: Steve Madden | Clutch: Fossil (Similar from Macy's and Kate Spade)

I'm forever obsessed with these Steve Madden block heels. I'm honestly such a baby about heels of any kind, I just like to be comfortable! Once I got the Steve Madden lace-up block heels, they were so comfortable I immediately went online to get a similar pair in black, and I'm so glad I did! I could wear these all day, and just want to get them in pretty much every color - one day!

Comment Challenge: What's your favorite print this season?

Shop this post below!





Linking up with: More Pieces of MeBeauty by Miss LStyle NudgePink Sole, B Loved BostonTrend Spin LinkupStyle SessionsTurning HeadsMama and MoreShopping My ClosetThe Mummy ChroniclesThe Pleated PoppyMy Girlish WhimsChic Street StylePumps and PushupsStylin In St LouisThursday Fashion Files + Curly Crafty MomMix Match FashionEast Coast ChicPosh Classy MomTwo Peas in a BlogMyriad MusingsHappiness at MidlifeBeing Zhenya Style Diary by OsySydney Fashion HunterMs. Chanda, Meet at the Barre  
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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Krisp Floral Midi Dress

Krisp Floral Midi Dress
Dress: c/o Krisp | Heels: Steve Madden 

 *Note: This is a sponsored post. Thanks for supporting those who support Chow Down USA!
  
It's no secret that prints are big this season, from paisley to florals. I'm not sure what it is, but I'm especially loving this dreamy floral midi dress from Krisp. Could it be the pleated top or the fun ruffles? Maybe it's the empire waist that flatters every body type, or the hi-low hem that allows each breeze to turn into a perfect flurry of floral. 

This piece is perfect for a late summer wedding, a night on the town, or just frolicking though nature on the weekends. It's one of those dresses that makes you instantly feel glam and fairy-like, and who doesn't want that? It's currently on sale for 50% off and also comes in a cool blue shade!

Krisp Floral Midi Dress
Dress: c/o Krisp | Heels: Steve Madden | Clutch: Fossil (Similar from Kate Spade)

Krisp Floral Midi Dress
Dress: c/o Krisp | Clutch: Fossil (Similar from Kate Spade)
Details: My dad gave me this Na Hoku necklace years ago, and I love it so much that I still wear it multiple times a week! Na Hoku are Hawaiian jewelers, which has a special place in my heart because I danced Hula and Tahitian for years (fun fact - even performed at a half-time show for the 49ers)! I also just rediscovered this swan ring, which is from a boutique back in San Francisco.

Krisp Floral Midi Dress
Dress: c/o Krisp | Heels: Steve Madden | Clutch: Fossil (Similar from Kate Spade)

Krisp Floral Midi Dress
Dress: c/o Krisp | Heels: Steve Madden 

I can't believe it's almost September! Where has the year gone? We're heading home to San Francisco in a couple of weeks, which I'm so excited about (though I've grown to hate flying over the years). It will be great to see my dad and friends back home! I'll be sure to keep you posted on our SF adventures of course!
Comment Challenge: Do you have any travel plans for the rest of the summer or fall? 

Shop this post below!

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Irresistible Me Hair Straightener Review

irresistible me hair straightener review

*Note: This is a sponsored post. Thanks for supporting those who support Chow Down USA!

As you all know, I'm more of a food and fashion blogger, but sometimes certain beauty products come along that are just too good not to share! 

First and foremost, this diamond hair straightener c/o Irresistible Me has absolutely saved my hair in this Boston summer heat and humidity! The ceramic plates on this hot iron are literally coated in crushed diamond particles and tourmaline. This super glam coating actually protects your hair and allows it to retain it's healthy natural oils, color, and moisture. Especially in heat and humidity, this is crucial to keeping your hair shiny and frizz-free! See before and after pics below.

The Moroccan Magic lip balms you see above are my new obsessions. If my lips get even the tiniest bit chapped or dry, I instinctively start biting them, which is obviously not good for them (or cute)! These lip balms are made with organic argan oil, which means they actually re-hydrate your lips every time you use them! They also come with amazing flavors like the above pictured Rose and Eucalyptus. Plus, they're made locally here in the Boston area! 

Finally, I've been crushing on Ogx hair products lately. They just have products for literally every hair type and any style you're looking for, they smell great, and the packaging is so eye-catching! Above are the weightless oil & lifting tonic, which hydrates your hair without weighing it down, surf paste to give you perfect beachy texture, and argan oil in-shower oil to give your locks extra hydration!

irresistible me hair straightener review

Before: My wavy hair which does not do well in heat and humidity!

irresistible me hair straightener review

After straightening with the Irresistible Me hair straightener: Super smooth, straight hair with no frizz! This is without even blow-drying it straight first, which means less heat and damage on my hair.

irresistible me hair straightener review
Dress: c/o SheIn | Hair Straightener: c/o Irresistible Me
Yes, it actually stands up to the 90 degree Boston summer heat, which is over 100 degrees with humidity in these pictures!

irresistible me hair straightener review
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington | Dress: c/o SheIn | Hair Straightener: c/o Irresistible Me

P.S. There are just 2 days left to use code CHOWDOWNUSA for 15% off of these Swedish Daniel Wellington watches! They're perfect for back-to-school gifts or just to treat yourself!

Comment Challenge: What are your go-to beauty products for summer?

Shop this post below!


Linking up with: More Pieces of MeBeauty by Miss LStyle NudgePink Sole, B Loved BostonTrend Spin LinkupStyle SessionsTurning HeadsMama and MoreShopping My ClosetThe Mummy ChroniclesThe Pleated PoppyMy Girlish WhimsChic Street StylePumps and PushupsStylin In St LouisThursday Fashion Files + Curly Crafty MomMix Match FashionEast Coast ChicPosh Classy MomTwo Peas in a BlogMyriad MusingsHappiness at MidlifeBeing Zhenya Style Diary by OsySydney Fashion HunterMs. Chanda, Meet at the Barre  
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