Friday, February 24, 2017

Love Yourself: 4 Step Face Edition

*This post was created in collaboration with Follain

Aaaah February, the month of Valentine's Day and all the love that swirls around it. I, personally, love Valentine's Day. I eat up the hearts and chocolate and roses, mostly because I love to give little gifts to those that mean the most to me. This year, with a two month old at home, it was all I could do to buy a couple of super sweet books and candy for the toddler and some craft beers for my husband t be like "hey you guys, I love you!". I didn't expect anything for me, I just wanted to make sure that I was showing my affection any way possible. I take care of myself, in the very least, with my facial skincare routine, even on the days when I think I won't have the time. Since I've started having regular facials, the advice I was given was specifically for working on any discoloration, sloughing off any dead skin and keeping it bright- so far these four steps have worked for me and I make sure that I give my face a little love, every single day. Even if I can hear a toddler tantrum-ing or an infant crying, I leave it to my husband while I finish my business because it's important to take time to yourself, even if it's just a few moments.

I don't exfoliate while washing my face everyday, it's more like 2-3 times a week but it's an important piece of my skincare regimen. You can find an every day exfoliator if that's what your skin requires but for me, it's not something that I need to do with every face wash. It's important to exfoliate to get rid of the dead skin cells, clear clogged pores and is a part of the process of keeping your skin balanced. EXFOLIATE: $ Derma e Microdermabrasion Scrub, $$ Vered Le Chocolat Citrus Foaming Face Scrub$$$ Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser

Using a toner was not a normal part of my skincare process until I got a "talking to" from my facialist about the importance of keeping the ph balance of your skin in check. If you're using a toner every day, your skin will be more hydrated and any inflammation can be quelled. There are a lot of great toners on the market and a lot of which are very affordable. I'll also sometimes use a skin hydrator (my fave is Josh Rosebrook's Hydration Accelorator) if I need a little skin boost during the day. Spritz Spritz! TONER: $ SW Basics Toner$$ KPS Essentials Probiotic Toner$$ Vered Herb-Infused Toner, $$$ Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence

There are still people that I talk to who are afraid to use an oil or serum on their skin. I have to keep myself from jumping up and down screaming "but it helps so much"! A great oil or serum can be an integral part of your skincare routine, bringing antioxidants and skin purifying elements, not to mention a great scent depending on which product you choose. I use my face oil in between my toner and my cream. I allow time for the oil to absorb and then apply my moisturizer. OIL/SERUM: $ Khaki's Bomb Balm Day Renewal Serum$$ Bottega Organica Nourish Face Oil $$$ RMS Beauty Beauty Oil$$$$ Vitner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum

You can call your moisturizer the frosting on the cake; I do! A good cream can provide not just moisture but protection against sun damage and the elements. I personally like my daily moisturizer to improve elasticity and promote healing, not just hydration but you'd need to find the right fit for your skin. MOISTURIZER/CREAM: $ OSEA Atmosphere Protection Cream$$ Alkaitis Organic Day Creme, $$$ Tammy Fender Antioxidant Creme$$$$ Goop Revitalizing Day Moisturizer

At the end of everyday, I wash my face and apply a night cream (something heavier than what I use in the morning) and let my skin soak up the goodness. I firmly believe that if you implement a thoughtful skincare routine, you'll not only see results but you'll also be taking care of yourself, something that is important for your physical and emotional well being. Ideally, I'd love to have hours to myself every day but as long as I'm able to take care of my skin, I feel positively about the attention that I was able to give myself.

What do you do to love yourself? It can be anything... skincare, yoga, taking walks... just make sure you are taking a little time for yourself, to recharge and take care!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Pop-Up Makery at The Street

I love to craft and learn new skills, you probably know that already. Being local to some wonderful lady makers has made learning those new skills easy peasy so you can imagine my excitement when I learned that the folks at The Street Chestnut Hill are taking their pop up space and bringing in the makers! The Pop-Up Makery, an event-driven space devoted to interactive classes and workshops, led by six of Boston’s most creative and locally grown brands: Alice’s Table, The Paint Bar, The Third Piece, Sip & Script, Niche and Artists for Humanity. Students will learn to master new skills, create beautiful works of art, or perfect existing talents through drop-in sessions and classes that cater to all levels. The Pop-Up Makery is open from February 24, 2017 through March 26, 2017 at 49 Boylston Street Chestnut Hill MA. From lessons in flower arranging to knitting to calligraphy to painting to cartooning, classes at The Pop-Up Makery include the following. Several classes are kid-friendly and each class welcomes all levels. I am thinking that I will need to sign up for a Niche terrarium class since I've already done multiple sessions with Alice's Table, The Third Piece and just recently took part in a Sip and Script evening!

Floral Arrangements with Alice’s Table: Learn how to make beautiful floral arrangements with this lifestyle brand that empowers women to live the joyous life. Class includes an apron, vase and all florals.; Instagram: @alicestable

Painting with The Paint Bar: Pairing paint brushes with social soirees, The Paint Bar brings out the artist in everyone with step-by-step instruction for all ages. Classes will range from those suited for adults to mommy and me to kid-friendly fun. All include a canvas, acrylic paint, brushes, easels, and apron.; Instagram: @thepaintbar

Calligraphy with Sip & Script: Learn hand lettering and modern calligraphy with two of Boston’s top calligraphers. Each class includes a calligraphy kit, writing material and note cards, plus instruction and demonstration.; Instagram: @sipandscript

Knitting with The Third Piece: Learn beginner knitting techniques from this innovative fashion brand creating luxury, hand-made knitwear. Instruction will include how to cast on, knit stitch and cast off, and students will leave with the makings of their very first scarf. All materials are included.; Instagram: @thethirdpiece

Toon Night with Artists for Humanity:  
Boston’s award-winning youth arts nonprofit (AFH) and mobile comic workshop, Toon Nite, join forces for a fun-filled, creative evening. Learn how to draw your own cartoons and comics in this workshop for both extreme beginners and accomplished artists.; Instagram: @afhboston and @toonnite

Build Your Own Terrarium with Niche: Award-winning urban garden supply, Niche teaches students about super trendy plants and how to create a terrarium using a selection of mini tropicals or succulents, complete with figurines, funky rocks and other awesome terrarium accessories. The class includes one terrarium, plants and materials.; Instagram: @nicheboston

The calendar for The Pop-Up Makery is below!

Friday, February 24, 2017  
Learn to Knit with The Third Piece

Tuesday, February 28, 2017  
Intro to Calligraphy with Sip + Script

Wednesday, March 1, 2017  

Learn to Knit with The Third Piece

Thursday, March 2, 2017  
Delightful Daisy with Alice’s Table
Saturday, March 4, 2017  
Learn to Paint the Boston Common Walk with The Paint Bar

Thursday, March 9, 2017 from 6:30-8 pm
Learn to Knit with The Third Piece

Friday, March 10, 2017
Toon Night with Artists for Humanity

Saturday, March 11, 2017  
Mommy & Me Class with The Paint Bar
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Build Your Own Terrarium! with Niche

Sunday, March 12, 2017  
Intro to Calligraphy with Sip + Script

Tuesday, March 14, 2017  
Sunflowers at The Street with Alice’s Table

Thursday, March 16, 2017
Intermediate-level Calligraphy & Hand-Lettering with Sip + Script
Sunday, March 19, 2017 
Kid-Friendly Fun; Mermaid Painting with The Paint Bar

Wednesday, March 22, 2017  
Specialty Watercolor Workshop with The Paint Bar 

Thursday March 23, 2017  
Learn to Knit with The Third Piece

Friday, March 24, 2017
Build Your Own Terrarium! The Airplants Addition with Niche

Saturday, March 25, 2017 
Intro to Calligraphy with Sip + Script

Which classes will I see you at?

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Shoes with Soul

I love shoes, that should come as no surprise. I have long since thrown out my husband's silly rule of getting rid of two pairs for every new pair I want to bring in. I am just far more conscious about what I'm bringing in an who I support. I love brands that have great people working for them and also support great organizations. I love brands that use recycled materials and also want to be a part of important conversations. Whatever it is that resonates with you, if you do a little research, there are shoes that you can feel good about bringing into your home and adding to your collections. Here are some of my recent faves!

Rothy's Why I love them: They've created a go to shoe made from recycled fibers with low waste, low impact materials, hand assembled for high quality and durability. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Common Ground Why I love them: Common Ground is a shoe company whose mission is to find a path for progress on important social issues through empathy and authentic, constructive conversations between real people, reinforcing the message that people, just like two feet, must work together to make progress. Follow Common Ground on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Indosole Why I love them: They re-purpose indestructible tires into the soles of some of the most durable footwear around. Want less tires in the landfill and comfy shoes on your feet, then these are for you! I totally want to be one of their "Good Humans".  Follow Indosole on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

White Mountain Shoes Why I love them: Besides being local to New England (out of Lisbon NH), this portfolio of brands prides themselves in their integrity, quality and loyalty. There are employees who have been with the brand since it's inception in 1979 and to this day they are one of the biggest employers in Lisbon, NH. They've partnered with the National Breast Cancer Foundation, which I love! Follow White Mountain Shoes and their brands on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Sseko Designs Why I love them: Sseko Designs is a fashion brand based in Uganda. Sseko began as a way to generate income for high potential, talented young women to continue on to university. And it is working! Every woman who has graduated from Sseko is currently pursuing her college degree or has graduated from university and is on her way to making our world a more beautiful place. Follow Sseko Designs on Twitter and Facebook.

Do you have any favorite shoe brands that you believe in? Please share!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Bring on the Brunch: Lincoln Tavern Boston

Since I'm on maternity leave, a brunch on a Friday morning is not completely out of the question people, so when I was invited by Lincoln Tavern to try their Brunch Test Kitchen menu, I grabbed my baby and was like "bring on the brunch!" I love food, that's no secret and the brunch test menu is like inventive and creative, delicious and drool-worthy... and that's just the alcohol. 😂 I'll give you the play by play because, I mean, don't you want to live vicariously through my dining adventures?

I was like Gina (our super sweet and attentive server), Gina get this Mama some coffee. Everyone "don't you want a mimosa?" nope, give me the coffee. I knew I would have two cups, because I was living large! Nothing is wrong with mimosas, actually quite the contrary... but when you're still not getting tons of sleep (read: infant), mimosas early in the day will make you tired. Coffee came and the coffee was good!

I did take a picture of Christy's Brunch Punch because it looked truly tasty/refreshing/satisfying/all of those types of adjectives. She enjoyed it and recommends it in the future (makes mental note). Some of the other girls (hi Annie, Robin, Leah, Kim and Kim!) partook in the bubbly and all the individual juices that they brought out for mix your own mimosas. It was widely a hit.

Then the food, the glorious food, started making it's way to our table. Nutter Butter type parfaits, fancy hot pockets, calamari, Fruity Pebble pancakes and the deliciousness goes on. The table enjoyed photographing our food, blogger style and then sharing everything tasty with one another. While everything that I had was delicious, hands down, my favorite thing on the Brunch Test Kitchen menu was the Smoked Salmon Pizza: house smoked salmon, everything spiced crust, Boursin cheese, baked egg, shaved red onions and capers... literally this was my everything and more. I cannot recommend it enough. I hope that Lincoln Tavern adds this to their permanent brunch menu because this woman can't stop thinking about getting her next salmon pizza fix.

All in all, this was a fantastic, affordable meal. I'm told that the restaurant is family friendly though the area does get louder and more adult as the day goes on so if you're bringing the kids, I'd recommend hitting the brunch early (they do have highchairs and boosters). The food is great and you can take my word for it.

Lincoln Tavern is located at 425 W Broadway, South Boston, MA 02127