Sunday, April 23, 2017

White Chunky Lace Up Sweater: Transitioning to Spring

*Note: This is a sponsored post which contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase any of these super cute items I will get a teeny tiny commission. All opinions are my own. Photos by Icy Li Photography.

White-Chunky-Lace-Up-Sweater
Lace-Up Sweater: c/o BB Styled Boutique (similar here, here, here and here)

Transitioning between seasons can be tough, especially in tricky New England weather. This Spring in Boston has been a roller coaster of degrees (and thus emotions)! We've been see-sawing between blue ruffle spring dresses and cashmere sweaters. I'm excited for the weather to warm up on a more permanent basis, but in the mean time I'm not complaining about sweater weather when I have cute items like this to cozy up in! 

I've been looking for the perfect chunky lace-up sweater for a while since lace-up detailing is one of the big spring trends this season, so I'm clearly smitten with this piece from BB Styled Boutique! The design of this one is very casual-comfy chic (my fave), and I was really drawn to the sleeve details - they're super unique and add a subtle edge to the piece.

White-Chunky-Lace-Up-Sweater
Faux Leather Jacket: c/o BB Styled Boutique (similar herehere, here and here)

Speaking of edge, how perfect is this soft faux leather jacket? I love how it looks paired with the lace up sweater and ankle boots! 


White-Chunky-Lace-Up-Sweater


Between this chunky lace-up sweater and soft faux leather jacket from BB Styled Boutique, I'll have all the cozy layers I need to get me through the transition to Spring - all while looking stylish in the process! 


Comment Challenge: How do you transition to Spring?

Shop this outfit:



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  
Share:

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Local's Guide to San Francisco + Plaid Layers at Twin Peaks

*Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase any of these super cute items I will get a teeny tiny commission. All opinions are my own. Photography by Richard Park and Jenn Alexander.

locals-guide-to-san-francisco-fashion-blogger-plaid-layers
(Shop this outfit at the bottom of the post)
If you've read practically any post on my blog, you know that I'm a proud San Francisco native, and also a proud Bostonian (two amazing cities, but that's a post for another time). These pictures were snapped on my recent visit to SF over the holidays, where it was mostly rainy and foggy with one miraculous day that was in the 60's and sunny - and even more miraculous that it was the one day we had scheduled to take pictures! 

There are a lot of misconceptions about the city by the bay, so I thought I'd put together a quick local's guide to San Francisco. This isn't meant to be a comprehensive list, just some advice off the top of my head that I usually give to those heading there permanently or on vacation.  

locals-guide-to-san-francisco-fashion-blogger-plaid-layers

#1 - Don't Call it San Fran

I am practically writing this entire post for this point alone, that's how important it is! No one from the city calls it Frisco or San Fran - these are nicknames from people who are not familiar with the city on a local level, and it's a red flag to locals that you are from far, far away. It's kind of like a weird uncle or family friend who shows up every few years with a new nickname for you, and you're like "um no one who knows me calls me that, and you haven't visited in forever!" Acceptable names include San Francisco, SF, and the city.

locals-guide-to-san-francisco-fashion-blogger-plaid-layers
Boots: Aldo (similar here)

#2 - It's Not A Beach Town

Some people think of SF as a sunny beach town since it's in California, but that couldn't be further from the truth. That's more like SoCal (southern California), and SF is in NorCal (northern California). SoCal is what most of the world thinks of when they think of California - LA, Hollywood, San Diego, Laguna Beach, etc. There it's warm 90% of the year, with sunshine, beach communities, and flip flops. SF can be sunny on random days, but it's usually more like 40/50/60 degrees year-round and often foggy depending on the neighborhood (more on that later). Don't get me wrong though, between the views, architecture, and the surrounding water it's one of the most beautiful cities in the world (especially on those rare sunny days)!

locals-guide-to-san-francisco-fashion-blogger-plaid-layers

#3 - Each Neighborhood Has Its Own Micro-Climate
It's important to dress in layers at all times because you never know when you'll need to adjust to changing temperatures throughout the day, depending on the neighborhood you're in. Here are a few examples of the usual micro-climates in SF neighborhoods:

Sunny & warm: The Mission, Lower Haight, Castro, Marina, Noe Valley, Mission Bay 

Foggy & chilly: The Sunset, Richmond, Presidio, Upper Haight, Twin Peaks, Downtown 

(Disclaimer: the weather in SF does not adhere to any rules; these are just general guidelines.)

locals-guide-to-san-francisco-fashion-blogger-plaid-layers

#4 - Go Where the Locals Go

So many people know SF for its tourist attractions: Alamo Square (the Full House houses), Pier 39, Alcatraz, fancy restaurants downtown, etc. These are all fun experiences, but there's so much more to see in the local neighborhoods. Some examples are below:

  • Indoor Trampoline Park (including dodgeball) at House of Air in the Presidio - I used to work here and I can vouch that it's a great workout, very fun, and the staff is amazing. Just remember - no double bouncing!
  • Mexican Food - San Francisco (and California in general) has really amazing Mexican food. Try El Faralito, Nopalito, Nick's Crispy Tacos, or Tacolicious to start. 
  • Clarion Alley - SF's alley of epic murals in the charming heart of the Mission district (tons of great local restaurants around here too).
  • Dolores Park - Especially on a sunny day, this park is filled with locals and great views of the city.
  • Corona Heights - near Twin Peaks, with great views of the Bay. 
  • Take the N Judah all the way to Ocean Beach, and eat / sip at Java Beach Cafe (it's still a great beach even if it's a foggy day).
  • Academy of Sciences Nightlife - see the museum after hours!

Also be sure to dine at new restaurants, explore AT&T park, get educated at museums, and enjoy the scenery while urban-hiking the hills of various neighborhoods (but research which neighborhoods to avoid, see #5 below). 

locals-guide-to-san-francisco-fashion-blogger-plaid-layers

#5 - Be Safe
  
Just like there are micro-climates in different neighborhoods, there are some places you want to avoid (like the Tenderloin, Bayview / Hunter's Point, and Western Addition), as they are less safe. There are also a lot of homeless people in the city. They are harmless for the most part, but a general rule of thumb is to keep your distance and avoid eye contact when possible. Do your research so you know which spots to avoid, and don't walk around alone with your phone out, especially at night. 

locals-guide-to-san-francisco-fashion-blogger-plaid-layers

#6 - Rules of the Road

There is no jaywalking in San Francisco, or the West Coast in general as far as I know. Here you will see people patiently waiting for the light to change even if you can see all the way down to Ocean Beach with no cars in sight. This was the biggest thing I had to get used to when moving to Boston. It felt so weird to just walk against the light, but now when I go back to SF it feels so weird to wait for the light if there are no cars around! I've had friends get tickets for hundreds of dollars for a single jaywalking ticket downtown. 

locals-guide-to-san-francisco-fashion-blogger-plaid-layers

#7 - The Bay and Beyond

There's a lot of magic outside city limits, too. Head across the Golden Gate Bridge to the Muir Woods Redwoods Park, swim at Stinson Beach, visit UC Berkeley across the Bay Bridge, and go hiking in the sunny East Bay.

Hope you enjoyed this quick local's guide to San Francisco. Feel free to leave me any questions in the comments below! 

Comment Challenge: Do you have any questions for me about travelling to San Francisco?

Shop this post below:

Share:

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Blue Ruffle Cold Shoulder Dress + Exciting Announcement!

*Note: This is a sponsored post which contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase any of these super cute items I will get a teeny tiny commission. All opinions are my own. Photos by Icy Li Photography.

Blue-Ruffle-Cold-Shoulder-Dress
Dress: Nordstrom (less than $50!) | Block Heel Sandals: c/o Rialto | Watch: c/o Timex

I'll get into the story of this adorable dress soon, I promise, but first I have to share some really exciting news with you all! I just launched my very first T-shirt line with Proven Collection and I'm so proud of it! It's a graphic tee which comes in 3 styles and colors, and says "#NoFilter When Hangry"! I know we can all relate to that one, and it's pretty much my life motto. Click here to check out the new line and let me know what you think!

When I first moved to Boston a few years ago, I was so smitten by the winters (I know, I know, but hear me out!). The snow was mysterious, sparkling and fun to crunch around in. Out came new clothes, different foods, and fun activities. 

The summers won me over in their own way. Going to UCLA, I loved having warm weather year-round, but it's even more enjoyable when you just came out of a ~6 month winter! 

This year, there wasn't much winter snow which is the funnest part of the season for me. So I'm beyond ready for spring and summer to get here, and it's really trying! We've had a few random days of 70-80 degrees, followed by colder rainy days. 

My Insta friends know I'm being retail-hopeful (yes I'm coining that phrase here and now) by shopping for spring and summer dresses, like this adorable blue ruffle cold shoulder dress I found online at Nordstrom (less than $50)! 

I got so many compliments on this dress, which I think is due to the fact that it has so many cute trends rolled into one (from the fun ruffles, to the button-up collar and cold-shoulder detailing), and also that it truly embodies the warm weather months. It's light in fabric and color, and manages to pull off both a chic and casual vibe at the same time. See this dress and my top spring dresses for 2017 linked at the bottom of the post! 

Blue-Ruffle-Cold-Shoulder-Dress

Blue-Ruffle-Cold-Shoulder-Dress

Also can we just talk about these ridiculously cute lace-up sandals from Rialto for a second? They're also block heels, so they are super comfortable which I'm all about. They'll be on major repeat this season! They were actually originally sent in the wrong size, and I tried to exchange them, but the company is so cool because their policy is to have you donate them to a woman's shelter if they don't fit, and they'll simply send you your new size free of charge. I've never heard of a company doing this, love how they give back!

Blue-Ruffle-Cold-Shoulder-Dress

Blue-Ruffle-Cold-Shoulder-Dress

Blue-Ruffle-Cold-Shoulder-Dress
Dress: Nordstrom (less than $50!) | Block Heel Sandals: c/o Rialto | Watch: c/o Timex



Comment Challenge: What's your favorite season and why?

Shop this post & see top spring dresses below!






Share:

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Sweetgreen x Toro Launch Party

Sweetgreen-Toro-bowl-Launch-Party

When I first started blogging years ago, I had literally no idea about any of the perks of the blogging world. Now, one of the funnest parts for me is all of the fun local events to go to, trying the newest foods and meeting people I look up to. 

Sweetgreen-Toro-bowl-Launch-Party

On Monday I got to attend the Sweetgreen x Toro Bowl launch party at the South End's Ink Block location. It was packed with media, Ink Block residents and Boston's biggest Sweetgreen fans - oh, and also Ken Oringer of Toro, Coppa, Uni, and Little Donkey! He's a celebrity chef from Boston to San Francisco, so it's no wonder that this is Sweetgreen's first collaboration in Boston. Read on to see what we thought of the Toro Bowl!

Sweetgreen-Toro-bowl-Launch-Party

Those who follow me on IG will recognize many of these fun event shots from my IG Story!

Sweetgreen-Toro-bowl-Launch-Party

The Toro Bowl in all its glory, with both quinoa and kale so you get the best of both super healthy worlds, hot chickpeas, roasted potatoes (SO good), corn / tomatoes / jalapenos, local radishes, basil, feta, lemon squeeze, Sweetgreen hot sauce and charred jalapeno yogurt dressing. 

This bowl has everything a good salad needs - tons of healthy ingredients, local produce, bright & fresh flavors, and hearty bites to fill you up. As you probably surmised from the ingredient list, there's a kick to this one! I'm usually a baby about spicy foods, but this one is mild and just gives it added interesting flavors.

Sweetgreen-Toro-bowl-Launch-Party

Casually hanging out with Ken, nbd. 

Sweetgreen-Toro-bowl-Launch-Party

Sweetgreen-Toro-bowl-Launch-Party

We got to take home some samples of the delicious hot sauce!

Sweetgreen-Toro-bowl-Launch-Party

Sweetgreen-Toro-bowl-Launch-Party

Sweetgreen-Toro-bowl-Launch-Party

Sweetgreen-Toro-bowl-Launch-Party

I love Sweetgreen's fresh & healthy salads, and collaborations like this make them even more exciting. They even change ingredients every season so you can try different flavors throughout the year. If you're in Boston and haven't tried the Toro Bowl yet I highly recommend it!

Comment Challenge: Have you been to a Sweetgreen? What did you think?

Share:

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Date Ideas at University Station

*Note: This post is sponsored by University Station. All opinions are my own. 

date-ideas-university-station-miniluxe-188-mens-salon-not-your-average-joes

I teamed up with Elissa from Style Wire and Anthony from The Next Gentleman to bring you some fun date ideas from University Station just outside of Boston! Aside from the great shopping here (who else loves Nordstrom Rack and Wegman's??), there are pampering salons for both men and women, as well as delicious meals to chow down on. Read on for details!

For Her: MiniLuxe


date-ideas-university-station-miniluxe-188-mens-salon-not-your-average-joes

Believe it or not, this was my first time at MiniLuxe and I was impressed with it on many levels. Perhaps my favorite aspect was the fact that each employee I spoke with vouched for it as a great company to work with, and they have been employed there since this location opened in October of 2015. 

date-ideas-university-station-miniluxe-188-mens-salon-not-your-average-joes

I got my brows done by Carla, who is an expert in her field and knew to use hard wax on my sensitive skin. She then added cream to reduce any redness and swelling, which went down in 10-15 minutes. I'm loving my new brows! 


Next, I got a shiny new mani for spring! Right off the bat I was impressed, because here the first step is for both me and the esthetician to put on hand sanitizer to reduce the risk of any infection in the salon. Like any reputable salon, they also have individual nail tool packets which are opened for the first time for each new client. The file and buffer are *mini* (name drop!), and they even give you a little baggy to take them with you since they are one-time use anyway and would just get thrown away.

date-ideas-university-station-miniluxe-188-mens-salon-not-your-average-joes

These Dazzle Dry polishes last for up to two weeks and they air dry in just 5-7 minutes! That's crazy fast which is good for me, since I'm impatient and tend to putter around and mess up my nails before they dry.

date-ideas-university-station-miniluxe-188-mens-salon-not-your-average-joes

date-ideas-university-station-miniluxe-188-mens-salon-not-your-average-joes

date-ideas-university-station-miniluxe-188-mens-salon-not-your-average-joes

date-ideas-university-station-miniluxe-188-mens-salon-not-your-average-joes

For Him: 18|8 Men's Salon

date-ideas-university-station-miniluxe-188-mens-salon-not-your-average-joes

Meanwhile, the boys were getting their hair done next door at 18|8 Men's Salon. Walking in, you can tell right away that this is a man cave. The aesthetics are darker, and each station has a lazy boy chair and is blocked off for privacy.  

Here there are way more options than a barber shop, from hair cuts to facials and executive head and neck massages. I learned that the skill set for men's vs women's hair is completely different, which is why if a guy goes to a women's salon they might come out looking funny. At 18|8 they are specially trained for men's hair so it comes out looking a lot better (I can vouch for that after seeing Nick's haircut)! 

It's also very cool that each employee is certified by Eyes on Cancer, which means that they are trained to spot the warning signs of melanoma on the head and neck where clients may have a hard time spotting it. 

date-ideas-university-station-miniluxe-188-mens-salon-not-your-average-joes

date-ideas-university-station-miniluxe-188-mens-salon-not-your-average-joes

date-ideas-university-station-miniluxe-188-mens-salon-not-your-average-joes

date-ideas-university-station-miniluxe-188-mens-salon-not-your-average-joes

date-ideas-university-station-miniluxe-188-mens-salon-not-your-average-joes

date-ideas-university-station-miniluxe-188-mens-salon-not-your-average-joes

Not Your Average Joe's


date-ideas-university-station-miniluxe-188-mens-salon-not-your-average-joes

Next, we headed just across the street to dinner at Not Your Average Joe's for fruity drinks and a wide variety of dishes to choose from (including a gluten-free menu). Pro tip: try the watermelon lemonade!

date-ideas-university-station-miniluxe-188-mens-salon-not-your-average-joes

Forever giving extra points for gluten free bread.

date-ideas-university-station-miniluxe-188-mens-salon-not-your-average-joes

Apps: Thai chicken lettuce wraps (messy but so worth it, love their fresh flavors), ahi tuna wontons, and dumplings.

date-ideas-university-station-miniluxe-188-mens-salon-not-your-average-joes

date-ideas-university-station-miniluxe-188-mens-salon-not-your-average-joes


Gluten-free version of the ahi tuna appetizer. So delicious and pretty to boot!

date-ideas-university-station-miniluxe-188-mens-salon-not-your-average-joes

date-ideas-university-station-miniluxe-188-mens-salon-not-your-average-joes

This gluten free harvest mac n cheese was a bowl of creamy deliciousness, and look at those portions! It came with smoked mozzarella and pepperjack cheese sauce, with roasted butternut squash, roasted mushrooms, pulled chicken, spinach and cavatappi pasta. It was more like a cheesy pasta than your typical mac  n cheese noodles - think gourmet mac n cheese. This is the epitome of comfort food and a food coma plate for sure!

date-ideas-university-station-miniluxe-188-mens-salon-not-your-average-joes

Here is the non-gluten-free version of the mac n cheese. Yum!

date-ideas-university-station-miniluxe-188-mens-salon-not-your-average-joes

The molasses braised pork shank was so tender it fell right off the bone, served over smoked gouda white-corn polenta with a tart apple relish. Yum!

date-ideas-university-station-miniluxe-188-mens-salon-not-your-average-joes

Balsamic-glazed salmon with jasmine rice pilaf, green beans and garlic mashed potatoes. 

date-ideas-university-station-miniluxe-188-mens-salon-not-your-average-joes

Scallops are quickly becoming one of my favorite seafoods. I love how they're so generous with their portions at NYAJ - they decided to offer a ton of scallops on a plate or none at all, which I appreciate (since we went to a restaurant in Newburyport the other day which only gave 4 little scallops on their scallop dish)! This Rosemary skewered scallop plate comes with New Bedford all-natural scallops, pan seared and served over a succotash of Israeli couscous, grilled corn, bacon and tomatoes with an orange-chipotle glaze. The colorful dish presentation makes it extra appetizing!

From nail and beauty salons, to men's hair and skincare, University Station in Westwood, MA is such a cute place for a day date (or double date). Be sure to check it out and let me know your thoughts!

Comment Challenge: What's your idea of the perfect date?
Share:
© Chow Down USA | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Developed by pipdig