Tuesday, February 28, 2017

T3 Micro SinglePass Luxe Hair Tools

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

T3-Micro-SinglePass-Luxe-Hair-Tools

It isn't often I come across hair tools that change my daily routine. Why fix what isn't broken, right? However, I gave the T3 Micro SinglePass Luxe straightener and Featherweight Luxe 2i blow dryer a try for a few reasons, including the fact that so many fellow influencers are raving about them on Instagram, and because their white / rose gold design is too pretty to resist! Now, they've completely replaced my hair routine. Read on to see why!

T3-Micro-SinglePass-Luxe-Hair-Tools

As someone with naturally wavy Irish locks, I love how the SinglePass Luxe straightens my hair with a single glide. I imagine it must be healthier for your hair since you're putting heat on it for the shortest possible amount of time, instead of going over and over the same section until it's finally straight. This one makes it straight with a single pass (hence the name)! I really appreciate how soft my hair feels after styling it too - you can really tell how it's on the healthy side for your hair since other tools can leave your hair feeling damaged after heat styling, but this one leaves it feeling baby soft.

T3-Micro-SinglePass-Luxe-Hair-Tools

The T3 Micro SinglePass Luxe comes with 2 styling clips like they have at the salon, so you can clip up the top half of your hair like a pro while you straighten the bottom layer which makes all of the difference. You can also make it slightly wavy at the end if you twist it a bit (see the below shot on the left-hand side).

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T3-Micro-SinglePass-Luxe-Hair-Tools

I'm seriously head over heels with the Featherweight Luxe 2i blow dryer, guys. It does a great job of smoothing out my hair without any other styling when I'm in a hurry. I use a bigger round brush than the one that comes with the blow drier, but can notice a huge difference in my hair with this blow drier! It's honestly so much softer, glossier, and less frizzy thanks to the ionic technology, plus it dries my hair way quicker!

T3-Micro-SinglePass-Luxe-Hair-Tools

I can definitely see why these won Allure's best of beauty award for hair tools! I'm now obsessed with the T3 Micro hair tools and use them solely as my new hair routine! I cannot wait to try out their curling wand next.

Comment Challenge: Have you tried the T3 Micro hair tools?

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Monday, February 27, 2017

Il Molo Boston: Brunch in the North End

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

il-molo-boston

Brunch is my favorite meal. It's always a fun, leisurely time and takes place on the weekend, and I love adventuring to new brunch spots. We recently visited Il Molo in the North End (the historical, Italian neighborhood in Boston) and had so much fun! Read on to see why.

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Started off with a Ferrari mimosa while looking over the brunch menu. True to Boston and especially the North End, there are plenty of seafood options here. How cute is the interior? There's a bar in the front room, as well as a dining room with a fireplace in the next room. Definitely enough seating for large groups, which is nice and can be hard to find in the North End.

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il-molo-boston

How fun is this seafood tower! With oysters, clams, and jumbo shrimp on the bottom and crudo on top, this is great for 2-4 people to share.

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Can you guess what's in this cocktail? It was so unique and interesting, with egg whites, bacon and thyme. A savory cocktail for the record books!

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I love how bright and modern they made the restaurant. You can't even tell that it's subterranean!

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Another one of my favorite parts of Il Molo is that locals go here. You hear the real Boston accents come out, they ask about each others families and it seems like everyone knows everyone. It's a really genuine local feel.

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Branzino and lobster benedict (my fave brunch)! I got it gluten-free so it came over potatoes rather than an English muffin. They're generous with their lobster portions. I think my plate had 6 lobster claws in it, and the eggs were perfectly runny. 

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From the unique cocktails and delicious menu, to friendly waitstaff and local feel, Il Molo is a great brunch spot. I can't wait to go back!


Comment Challenge: What's your new favorite brunch spot?
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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

by CHLOE Grand Opening in Boston's Seaport District

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Best gluten-free cookie I've ever had!

Coconuts and swings and gluten free things. We stopped in to by CHLOE's West Village location last summer while visiting NYC. I remember loving the swings in the window, and hoped that their Boston Seaport location would have the same swings. Spoiler alert: THEY DO! Along with real, fresh coconuts, amazingly delicious and healthy bites (think plenty of vegan and gluten-free options), and fresh, bright ambiance. I was lucky enough to go to the grand opening and snap some shots so you can all get excited about this spot, which opens in two days on 2/23 at 107 Seaport Blvd!

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by-chloe-boston

They hack open these coconuts (just $5!!) so you can enjoy the super healthy and natural coconut water and coconut meat, while casually swinging on a chair and generally loving life. 

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by-chloe-boston

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They offer the most delish gluten-free mac & cheese with cashew-based cheese so it's vegan. I know it sounds odd but it's actually SO GOOD! 

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On the left: Spicy Thai Salad which was so refreshing and not too spicy.

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For some reason my sweet potato fries look like some alien plant here but they were normal scrumptious fries! 

The space is large and great to bring groups for lunch and dinner. The staff was incredibly attentive, accommodating and friendly. We also got to meet the owner, Samantha who is so nice. Looking forward to seeing the Fenway opening around May too! 

Comment Challenge: Have you ever visited a by CHLOE?
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Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Peach Box Review + How to De-Stress in 2017

*Note: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting those who support Chow Down USA! Outfit & watch photos by Icy Li Photography.
the-peach-box-review-how-to-destress

It's now mid-February and the new year is in full swing! Many new years resolutions that I saw included a focus on de-stressing in 2017, which is always a good idea! Keeping calm and carrying on are good for you mentally and physically, which in turn supports all other areas of your life. Read on to see my go-to stress relievers!

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(See outfit details on my Valentine's Day post!)

1. Treat Yourself

Parks and Rec fans, you already know what I'm talking about! Tom and Donna had it right when they set aside a full day each year to reward themselves for working hard. Treating yourself can mean different things to different people, but the main goal is clear: go above and beyond to give yourself something that makes you happy. 

I'm a big fan of retail therapy. Sometimes I'll splurge on pretty pieces like this watch and bangle combo from The Peach Box (you may have seen the short video I posted about it on Insta)! Just looking at these shiny accessories gives me a little pep in my step throughout the day. The Peach Box is based in Australia and offers the most gorgeous, sleek and glamorous pieces! I love the gold mesh strap (a second blush leather band comes as a complimentary alternative), and the large, clear watch face. The Roman numeral bangle is also on heavy rotation in my closet and goes with absolutely everything. Use code chowdownusa for 15% off!

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2. Make A To-Do List

Sometimes it feels like there are so many to-do's, be it for work, blogging, or general life errands. It helps me to write them all down in my planner and on color-coded post-it list pads. Once it's out of my head and all organized, I feel a sense of relief as I can formulate a game plan to prioritize and tackle the lists. 

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3. Laugh

I can't stress this one enough - it is the best medicine, after all. Whether it's watching your favorite comedian on tv or getting together with a group of friends for a game night, do whatever you can to let yourself laugh. Psychologically, even just smiling if you're stressed will send your brain the message that you're happy, tricking your mind into de-stressing! So you can imagine what genuine laughter can do. This weekend for example I went to see Louis C.K. perform stand-up on his last show of the tour, which was hilarious!

4. Exercise

Exercise releases endorphins which make you happy and relieves stress. Find a routine you like and stick to it. I'm a big fan of yoga, dance, snowboarding, swimming and kayaking. 

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5. Take News and Social Media Breaks


This is a rough year for politics to say the least. While it's important to stay up-to-date on the world around you, it's ok to take sanity breaks now and then. The same goes for social media, which is a great source of inspiration but can also be an exhausting show of everyone's highlight reel and take up huge amounts of time. It's ok to take a break every now and then to recharge.

6. Write in a Gratitude Journal

I know this one sounds extra cheesy, but studies have shown that gratitude is one of the most stress-relieving emotions. It forces you to focus on the positive and realize all of the great things in your life, instead of focusing on all of the things that need to get done.

Comment Challenge: What are your best tips for de-stressing in 2017?

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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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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Blaze Pizza Review

Blaze-Pizza-Boston-Review-Fenway

I've always been a pizza fiend. In fact, this was one of the toughest parts about going gluten free about a year ago - getting my pizza fix! You may have seen my past post on Oath Craft Pizza, which I love since they provide gluten free crust. Blaze Pizza just opened up in the Fenway neighborhood, and they ALSO offer gluten-free pizza crust! Now I just feel spoiled. 

They kind of are the Chipotle of pizza, where you can go down the line and choose which super fresh cheese, meats, and other toppings you'd like. They also offer side salads (which I haven't tried yet, because pizza, but I'm sure they're great). It's all high-quality ingredients and delicious every time. I always get chicken, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and extra spinach (so I can tell myself there's vitamins in there). 

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Blaze-Pizza-Boston-Review-Fenway

Blaze-Pizza-Boston-Review-Fenway

Blaze-Pizza-Boston-Review-Fenway

Blaze-Pizza-Boston-Review-Fenway

Blaze-Pizza-Boston-Review-Fenway

I'm definitely a fan. From their wide range of fresh toppings, to friendly staff and gluten free crust options, Blaze is doing it right in my book. Love their retro to-go boxes too! Blaze is a pretty big chain, so if you have one near you then I definitely recommend trying it out!

Comment Challenge: What's the best pizza you've ever had?
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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Red Lace Dress in the Snow for Valentine's Day

*Note: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting those who support Chow Down USA! Photos by Icy Li Photography.
red-lace-dress
Red Lace Dress: c/o Bailey Blue Dress ($44 and 40% off with code Valentine40) & similar here and here | Coat: old (similar here from Target for $15) | Polka Dot tights: Forever 21 (sold out but similar here from Anne Taylor) | Stud Boots: c/o Naot

Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and whether or not you're a fan of the holiday it's always fun to have an excuse to dress up and do something fun! If the weather is good (we've had a few blizzards hit Boston recently as you can see by all of the snow), we will be headed to a nice dinner at a spot in Cambridge we've been wanting to check out for a while - so stay tuned for that foodie post! 

I have been looking for the perfect red lace dress for the holiday and found it in this fun number by Blue Bailey Dress (only $44 and get 40% off until valentine's day with code Valentine40). If that brand sounds familiar it may be because they also made the stunning burgundy lace maxi I featured in my last outfit post by the Golden Gate Bridge!

I love the double layer of this sweetheart dress - opaque red on the bottom with red lace on top. It gives it a romantic feel while keeping it modest. The back also has incredible lace-up detailing which I'm the biggest fan of!

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Saddle Bag: Target (Similar here and here)
I got this fun bag from Target as part of my Secret Santa gift exchange with my friends this year. We have been doing Secret Santa since middle school and it's still going strong! I think this year took the cake for my presents so far - I got this bag, a white saddle bag, and socks with PIZZA on them (one of my favorite foods ever)! That will be tough to top. I've been wearing this bag everywhere lately since it's so handy, sleek, and goes with everything. 

red-lace-dress
Polka Dot tights: Forever 21 (sold out but similar here from Anne Taylor)

I love these polka dot tights! They bring a fun, carefree vibe to any outfit, which is much needed on a snow day like the ones we've been getting. You may remember these NAOT shoes from my trip to NYC and my NYE Resolution post. They're waterproof, super warm, and have memory foam in the sole so they're so comfortable too.

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red-lace-dress

red-lace-dress

Didn't I tell you the lace up back detail was perfect? I'm a sucker for an interesting back design on everything from dresses to sweaters! This number is so perfect for a Valentine's date night, Galentine's brunch or just a fun day out in the snow! Don't forget to use code Valentine40 for 40% off of your order!

Comment Challenge: What are your plans for Valentine's or Galentine's Day?
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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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Boston Map Poster by Modern Map Art

*Note: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting those who support Chow Down USA! 
Boston-Map-Poster-Modern-Map-Art
Boston Map Poster c/o Modern Map Art
Who else loves to decorate? I always see the most gorgeous interior design inspo while scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest, but I'm still learning how to put it into practice in my own living space! 

We have a studio, so for me it's all about doing what we can with a cute, smaller space. Even though we moved in over a year ago, the only major thing we put up on the walls were a large Audrey Hepburn canvas from Ikea (which I refuse to part with), and a Boston skyline canvas I painted at a Paint Nite a couple years back. I've been on the lookout for a good piece to put over the couch and finally found this gorgeous Boston map poster which you can order from Modern Map Art! I got the poster frame from Target for around $11 which really pulls it together as a focal point for the room (thanks for that idea Molly!). 

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Boston-Map-Poster-Modern-Map-Art

Boston-Map-Poster-Modern-Map-Art

Modern Map Art creates these stunning high-quality prints for tons of major cities (over 600 of them, so yours is probably on there!), countries, ski maps, fun watercolor skyline prints, and even map pillows and phone cases! I love their attention to detail - look at those side streets and how every nuance is included. 

I especially love how these maps can be a great way of keeping memories or places you've lived or visited close to you. Did you spend a summer in Vienna? Went to college in NYC? There's a map for all of your memories, and it's such a chic way to display them and create a talking point / excuse to tell all of your wanderlust travel stories!

They have such a great selection of locations, sizes and colors, any of which would make such a perfect gift for a friend or family member who has everything, someone who just moved into a new home, or for those friends who have exceptional local pride! 

Comment Challenge: What location would you choose to frame in your home?

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Saturday, February 11, 2017

Pagu Boston Review: Japanese Tapas

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

pagu-boston-review-japanese-tapas

I didn't think there was room for my love of tapas to grow until I dined at Pagu. A melding of Spanish-style small plates with Japanese delicacies, this Cambridge spot is an exciting place to chow down. Chef Tracy Chang of O Ya and Guchi Midnight Ramen opened her own venue and named it after the Pug breed of man's best friend (pagu means pug in Japanese). She spent time at the 3-Michelin starred Martin Berasategui in Spain so she has plenty of inspiration to draw on for the Spanish plates. Read on to see the unique and scrumptious dishes we dined on!

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pagu-boston-review-japanese-tapas

Pagu is a large venue, great for groups and special events yet intimate ambiance for any date night as well. Walking in, you'll find a bar on your left, chefs counter at the back, and plenty of tables and common dining space to the right. We sat at the chef's table and got to witness the excitement and bustle of the kitchen.

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pagu-boston-review-japanese-tapas

pagu-boston-review-japanese-tapas

Loved the tea presentation - see the subtle pug?

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pagu-boston-review-japanese-tapas

pagu-boston-review-japanese-tapas

 Kampachi sashimi with aged shoyu, garlic, lime, and thai chili. Crudo and sashimi plates are always my favorite since they're incredibly fresh, and this was no exception. I'm not good with spicy things so don't worry, this one had a slight kick but isn't too strong. 

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The Jamon Iberico de Bellota is a must-try plate! It's a 36 month aged acorn-fed Spanish ham that melts in your mouth. I'm not even the biggest ham fan, but I couldn't stop thinking about this dish even days after! 

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I almost always order kale salad when I see it on the menu, and I love to compare them. This one is so unique it sets itself apart from the rest. with roasted red bell peppers, marcona almonds and avocado, it's a lovely smooth take on a kale salad - and so packed with those healthy omega-3s!

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I want this for breakfast every day. The Tortilla Espanola is made with corn tortillas so it's gluten free, with organic eggs, potatoes, and arbequina. It's the ultimate comfort food!

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Always impressed by restaurants that have gluten-free options! This Uni Miso Mazemen has Maine uni, shiro miso, and nori with gluten free noodles. Uni is always such a funny texture for me, but I still love trying it. The noodles and sauce here were buttery perfection. 

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pagu-boston-review-japanese-tapas

How cool are these black squid ink oyster baos?? With norioli, shiso, fried oysters and purple cabbage, they may not be gluten-free but they look too cool for school. 

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For dessert, I went with the Black Sesame Tofu which came in such a neat presentation. With hojicha syrup, tofu foam, and sesame tuille this dish was a frenzy of earthy flavors and fun textures, from light, bubbly foam to smooth syrup.

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When the waitress asked us which plate was our favorite, we ended up listing almost every plate. Including this actual plate with an adorable pug face on it. I definitely recommend Pagu for anyone in the Boston area. If you like Spanish tapas, Japanese food, and cool ambiance, you'll love it here. Our waitress was the nicest and Chef Tracy Chang even came over a couple times to say hello! It's such a unique dining experience and very well-executed. They even give you complimentary mandarin oranges to take home as you're leaving, so fun! 

Comment Challenge: Would you try Japanese Tapas?

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