Sunday, April 2, 2017

Date Ideas at University Station

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

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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


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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. 

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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.

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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.

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For Him: 18|8 Men's Salon

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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. 

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Not Your Average Joe's


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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!

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Forever giving extra points for gluten free bread.

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

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

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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!

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

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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!

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

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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!

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