Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

As 2013 draws to a close, I wanted to wish each of you a blessed & Happy New Year!

2013 was filled with incredible memories for me:

  • I graduated Undergraduate and Graduate School in ONE DAY 
  • I traveled cross country with D in his Mazda for a grand total of 9,000 miles
  • I took a summer off to go to the beach
  • I found a job in my field, which I am so fortunate to have!
  • I moved into my first real girl apartment with a good friend
  • I paid my first bill
  • I celebrated my Golden Birthday! I am so happy to be 24 (It's my lucky #)

On a sad note, I was also witness to the Boston Marathon Bombing, as I volunteered at the finish line that day. Also, my loving and beautiful dog, Lily, passed away earlier this year.

I am so grateful that my incredible memories far outshine the painful memories of this year. I hope the same for you!

My New Year's Resolutions for this year will be to continue to cross items off of my 101 in 1001 list. Also, I plan to rid myself of people who I secretly despise in my life. I wish to surround myself with people who are going to lift me higher to reaching my goals and dreams.

If you are having trouble coming up with a resolution, take a look a the links below.

20 Things to Let Go of Before the New Year

25 New Year's Resolutions Everyone Should Follow

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Necessary Nine

Happy Monday! I hope your weekend was as relaxing as mine. I spent the weekend getting caught up on Breaking Bad. It's getting so good! I'll be sad when it's over. I'm starting to think that Walter White is a real person.

Any who, I was inspired to write this latest blog post by a lovely couple who are getting married in May! They haven't shared a registry yet, so I am jumping on this opportunity to suggest a few things that they should register for!

Typical registries for weddings are at Macy's, Bed Bath & Beyond, Crate & Barrel, William and Sonoma, Pottery Barn, and Pier One. I perused a few of the mentioned sites above, and here my necessary nine of what couples should register for:




I love Le Creuset. The cookware has a lifetime warrantee. I love the kelly green color.

Oxo designs are so well thought of. From cheese graters, to measuring cups, I want it all!

Food looks best on white. No cream. No off-white. No exceptions.

Again Oxo. Everyone needs fresh sea salt and pepper.

Good knives are literally life savers in the kitchen when cutting and chopping.

Glass is greener than plastic. I love the colored tops of these containers.

I love glassware for every day drinks. Goblets make drinking water more fun.

8. Blender
For smoothies in the summer and pureed soups in the winter.

I like the juice catcher along the edges of this cutting board.

Are you registering for an occasion coming up in 2014? What are your necessary items?

Friday, December 27, 2013

Have a Great Weekend

It's certainly the most wonderful (and busy) time of year! Christmas is over and done with. I spent the day in New Hampshire with my family. Unfortunately, I only had Wednesday off from work. I am looking forward to relaxing this weekend and finally seeing some friends of mine who I haven't seen in weeks! How I've missed you!

NO post-Christmas shopping for me. However, that doesn't stop be from perusing around online. There are some fabulous sales going on...

I discovered Joe Fresh last weekend when I went to NYC. The whole store was 40% off. Amazeballs. I purchased this cashmere sweater in lilac. I am also eyeing this blouse.

O my... Piperlime is 50% off sale items until Dec. 27th using the code EXTRA. I love this champagne blouse. And this silk top's back is to dieee for!

And this dress is on sale for just under $100. Find it here.
Happy Shopping
&
Have a great weekend!

**Update** The blue dress pictured above is no longer available; however, the black option is on sale for $42!!!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Only The Good Die Young

12 years ago today, my family and I lost a very dear person in our lives--my Uncle George. Thinking of you today. Your spirit is never forgotten.

xoxo

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you and your family! 


Love, 
The Jodoin Family
xoxo

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The F Word

Hey everyone, another guest post from Adriana!

What does a feminist look like?

A lesbian, who doesn’t shave her armpits, and screams about how “men suck!”…right?

Wrong, actually. I am a feminist. And yes, sometimes I prefer to shower every couple of days and shaving is usually a tremendous success for me, but my hygiene routine has nothing to do with my beliefs on gender equality. In my opinion, feminism has received a bad name in the media. Instead of “feminism” being a word describing determination, strength, courage, and equality, it has become a word to describe bitchiness, loudness, annoyance, and a joke.

The real definition of feminism is the desire for the complete equality of men and women. That’s it. No gimmicks. No men hating. Just equality! Not so extreme, right?

Although this stress-free definition is the true meaning of feminism, women and men seem afraid to label themselves as it because of the stereotypes. Well, I’ve decided that my life will be best served if I stand up for what’s important to me and to society. If I, a relatively “normal” person, can identify as a feminist, then hopefully others won’t be so afraid to join the cause.

You might be wondering… “What is there to fight for? Aren’t we equal? Hey, we have voting rights!” True, my friends. But there is still a lot of ground we need to cover. And in my opinion, it’s the small things that individual people have the power to change! For example, if you’re a woman…Do you ever feel worried about walking alone at night because you’re wearing a short skirt? Do you casually omit your opinions in front of guys out of fear of rejection? Do you hear “feminine” terms used as derogatory insults for men? Do you feel as though your worth is your body, in the eyes of men and the media? These are small examples that I’ve noticed from my life. All I want is to feel safe, respected, and validated as a person.

I want to embrace the term “feminism” to shatter the glass ceiling for women in all domains of life. Women and men should be able to pursue whatever brings them happiness. Although women face critiques in the public and private spheres often, men also have a role to fulfill: a tough, autonomous, “masculine” demeanor. If men represent any kind of emotional competence, automatically they will be considered homosexual. The small boxes of masculinity and femininity create unhappiness because they are unattainable standards. I try to use my knowledge of feminism to promote acceptance of all behaviors of men and women, without the strict guidelines of masculinity and femininity.

Summary on how to use our gender knowledge:
  • Accept the behaviors and activities of men and women (ex. Little boys learning ballet, fuck yeah! Adult women taking control of their sexuality, rock on!)
  • Feminism is the desire for the complete equality of men and women! (Promote this accurate definition. If you’re interested in learning more, the links below are awesome and interesting resources!)
  • Do you. Don’t let gender restrictions control your life. Act the way you feel and eventually the dichotomous gender boundaries will start to blur, and society will begin to accept all forms of identity expression.
Peace & Love,
Adriana

Some interesting videos and websites:



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Gift Guide for the Camper/Hiker

I enjoy camping and hiking very much. This hobby of mine was brought about in the later years of high school. I often camped and hiked with my best friend, R. Since I began seriously hiking and camping more in college, I've accrued some pretty awesome gear along the way. My favorite stores to shop for all the necessities are EMS and REI. I also shop at Target for the smaller things.

The following is a gear checklist which I take with me when camping & hiking:

Kelty is a good brand, and they have a lifetime warrantee that you can't go wrong with.

I have this one, and I love it. I sleep warmly even in 32 degree temps.

If you are going to purchase a sleeping pad, I recommend the brand NEMO.

This Therm-a-Rest Compressible pillow was mine and D's best friend on our road trip. We not only used it for sleeping each night, but we sat on it, put it on our lower backs for support, or used it as a napping pillow on those 6-hour car rides. It's the small things in life...
D has this lantern, and we take it on all of our camping trips. Trust me; it's worth the $50!

You need a head lamp. Only having a lantern will NOT do. A head lamp leaves you hand-free. When you aren't using it, you can always wear it around your neck as a necklace...

This size is perfect for day hikes. It's important to find a day pack with chest and waist straps for added back support. If it has a bladder compartment, it's even better.

Get the 3 Liter bladder. You will wish you did on those longer hikes and hot days. D and I have a 3L bladder each, and we've gone through all 6L a few times.

It's a must have for wood chopping and protection.

Those are the essentials. My checklist also includes camping chairs, clothing, boots, fire wood, water/food, first aid kit, tarp, & rope. I will make sure to do a future post on my favorite campgrounds and hikes.

I hope this was helpful! Camping and hiking is a great way to exercise and enjoy nature with friends & family! See what fun times you could have too...













Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Invest in Positive Friendships

Hey everyone, another guest post from Adriana!

You could call me a true optimist. During good or bad situations, I always believe that the Universe planned my life to happen that way. Even in a downright awful circumstance, I think the situation can be manipulated once I change my cognitions about it.

However, there are days when people are sucking the life out of me. All I want to do is cry, verbally abuse them on Facebook, or leave an angry voicemail to get my point across. I get frustrated; I try to cope; and, sometimes, I forget the skills to overcome this negativity.

But then, clarity strikes. I see the negative people as they are: Negative. Never changing. Soul-sucking. Fucking horrible. I realize that their pessimism is exactly why I got rid of them in the first place.

In middle school and high school, it is acceptable to keep friends who serve you no purpose. They may be gossipers, arrogant, self-absorbed, or ignorant, but you keep them around anyways. Worst of all, you never stand up to them. You let them bully others and even yourself. You begin to believe their bullshit banter and you leave your opinions in the dust because of fear. The fear of rejection. But, as you age, you realize, “WHY AM I FRIENDS WITH ASSHOLES?”

Great question, right? Why do we settle for shitty friends? Guess what! We don’t have to. There is a choice involved. As Oprah once said, “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” Let’s dedicate our time to those who bring us support, love, and acceptance. It’s important to be surrounded by those who celebrate your achievements as though they are rejoicing their own. Mumford & Sons has a song, “Awake My Soul,” which lyrics say: “And where you invest your love, you invest your life.” So, let’s invest our love wisely. Get rid of the negative people.

But if you don’t trust me, trust Miley when she says...
“Forget the haters, 'cause somebody loves ya.”
Peace & Love,
Adriana

Monday, December 16, 2013

Sweater Dress Finds

Happy Monday everyone!

Last week's intention didn't go so great, to be honest. I probably drank only 4-6 cups of water a day. My water bottle's straw also broke, so overall, I need to keep working on hydration.

This week's intention will be to finish Christmas shopping for my friends & family.
Coincidently, I'm looking to buy my parents a water bottle each. I also need to buy D a gift (we'll leave that a surprise!). Finally, I need another small gift for my older sister. I may consult my list of what to buy for girls.

Adriana asked me what I want for Christmas, and I didn't know at first. But, I spent the weekend with my friend, and she was wearing the cutest sweater dress with tights, and an idea came to me... a sweater dress! Below are the options that I've sent to Adriana for myself. Which is your favorite? [Numbers are links below.]

1 :: 2 :: 3 :: 4 :: 5 :: 6 [only $20!!!] :: 7 :: 8

Have a great week! Only 9 more days til Christmas!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Making Peace With Yourself Post Breakup

Hey everyone, another guest post from my sister, Adriana!

I don’t know about you, but my transition into college wasn’t as smooth as I had expected. I had recently broke up with my boyfriend of 2.5 years, left my hometown in New Hampshire and my best friends, and moved to Boston to start a new life (Cue the song Boston by Augustana!). I thought this new adventure would be pretty easy. I have an outgoing personality, so I figured I would make a huge friend group within weeks that resembled my crazy friends from back home. Well, I did make a bunch of new friends with all different perspectives and personalities but not necessarily the group of partygoers and heart-to-heart seekers as I pride myself to be. However, these people, thankfully, were my sanity during a rough period of my life at 18-years-old during a sort-of quarter-life-crisis.

To hide my semi-depressive emotions and newly found anxieties, I jumped right into psychology classes, a program to teach underprivileged preschoolers, and a student group that my sister was involved with. These activities kept me incredibly busy, so my mind didn’t have time to process or care about my unhappiness in Boston. On the weekends, I would avoid my pain by getting so drunk and trying to find cute guys to get my mind off of my ex. This usually would result in shitty pizza (Go BHOP!) and vomiting the next morning. Casual, casual times.

After two years of venting sessions, tears, drunken calls, and an on-again/off-again relationship, I finally realized that my high school relationship was just that: a high school relationship that should stay in high school. It was April of my sophomore year of college and the bad vibes and stress of my previous relationship were finally in the fucking past. But, something was still lingering in my mind. Anxiety and occasional bits of depression. It’s strange…when you’re going through a break-up, all of your behaviors are directed to your happiness and recovery. I would go to the gym all the time, download new music, read intriguing books, and make time for friends. However, once you’re over the relationship, those self-loving behaviors go out the window. That’s exactly what happened the spring of my sophomore year. I wasn’t proactive about my happiness anymore. I was dormant. Additionally, my unhappiness translated in to my social life. I didn’t want to meet new people or go to parties. I was content with spending time with the same old people and doing the same old things. To make it worse, I went home to New Hampshire all the time to hide the fact that I hated my social life in Boston.

After spending a significant amount of time with my best friends from New Hampshire, I learned some critical lessons. Be who you are. Be crazy. Be weird. Be smart. Be philosophical. Be fucking you. If people can’t hang with your fantastic qualities, fucking PEACE! It’s strange, I know my personality is sometimes larger than life…and I always felt like I had to underplay it. I was worried I was too much to handle. But whooooo cares?! Here are some quotes that I re-blogged on my tumblr page that have really reflected my consciousness recently:

"There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” - Nelson Mandela 

"There are times when you don’t know yourself. There are times when you don’t want to know yourself. There are times when you want to be what you have never allowed yourself to be before." - Aidan Chambers

"Stop being tormented by everyone else’s reaction to you." - Joyce Meyer

"Self belief does not necessarily ensure success, but self disbelief assuredly spawns failure." -Albert Bandura

"There is no beauty without some strangeness." Edgar Allan Poe 

"One of the greatest journeys in life is overcoming insecurity and learning to truly not give a shit." - J.A. Konrath


“If you cannot find a group whose consciousness matches your own, be the source of one. Others of like consciousness will be drawn to you.”  -Neale Donald Walsch


In this last quote from Neale Donald Walsch, I have taken his advice. I have become a person who is true to myself. Eventually, I will find a group of people that reflect my consciousness. Luckily, I already have some fantastic friends who do! In 2011, I embarked unknowingly in to a philosophical journey that led my soul back to they way it felt when I was 12. I’m that crazy kid again, just trying to generate some laughs and save the world through psychology. Who knew it would take a heartbreak, a change of scenery, and some philosophical lessons to get my soul back to its comfort zone. Thank God.

Peace & Love,
Adriana

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Gift Guide for Her

I hope you enjoyed the Christmas gift guide for the boys. As promised, here is the gift guide for the ladies in your life. I have some pretty sweet women in mine: my mom, sisters, and close girlfriends. I usually get my sisters exactly what they ask for. My mom, on the other hand, is usually tricky to buy for. She doesn't come right out and say what she wants. This year, I'm getting her some earrings from Lia Sophia and a water bottle that she can take to work and out on errands. If you are also having trouble on what to get a lady in your life, I think there could be at least one item in my gift guide for her!
[orange text is a link]


Vest :: iPhone Case :: Coconut Oil :: Hempz Lotion :: Candle :: EOS Egg


1. Boots Adriana is asking for these beauties. Perfect for walks up and down Newbury &
    Boylston in the winter.
2. Sunglasses Adriana also is asking for these. I'm in search of a new pair myself. Any
    suggestions for my oval-shaped face?
3. Watch I asked for a watch. Watches are trendy these days; however, mine will be very
    practical for work.
4. PJs Thermal PJs in cute patterns. Adorable.
5. Panties Love the lace trimmed cheekies. Thin enough to not notice through pants.
6. Makeup Just got a Sephora gift card from my girlfriend. This eyeshadow compact is
    perfect for everyday wear.
7. Vest Love these J.Crew vests! One for everyone in the family!
8. iPhone Case For all of you who need a nice case for your phone.
    Kate Spade has adorable patterns!
9. Coconut Oil I know many girls who use coconut oil as their everyday lotion.
10. Hempz Lotion What's better on just shaven legs? NOTHING (except maybe coconut 
      oil)!
11. Candle This scent is amazing.
12. EOS Egg Girls are swearing by this chapstick these days. I have yet to try.
      I'm more of a Burt's Bees kinda girl.

Happy shopping! What's on your wish list this year? 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Setting Intentions

Happy Monday y'all!

Hope your weekend was fun-filled and fabulous. Onto another work week, and the countdown to the holidays continues. I find it hard to believe that 2013 is slowly coming to an end. It seems like just a few weeks ago that I graduated with my Masters and D and I went on our epic road trip.

Seeing that the year is almost over, it's time to start think about New Years resolutions. I know it's cliche to set New Years resolutions, but I'm a fan. It keeps me focused and driven to accomplish something outside of work. As you may know, I already keep a list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. I'll admit, I haven't been the best about updating my list. This will soon change...

From now on, every Monday, I plan to jot down a weekly intention. This intention, big or small, will be a goal that I wish to accomplish by the end of the week. I came interested in the idea of setting a weekly intention during a recent yoga class. Our yoga instructor had us set an intention to accomplish by the end of the class. Mine was to not give up during those intense poses and keep focused on my breath. Seems easy, but I worked hard to accomplish that intention.

I ask you to set a weekly intention with me. I always found that if I had someone holding me accountable for my goals that I was more likely to follow through with them.

My intention this week is to drink 8 glasses of water each day.

A beautiful sunset to get your week off to a good start.
Good luck setting your intention and resolutions! I'm excited to share my Christmas gift guide for the ladies tomorrow! Did you see the men gift guide?

Friday, December 6, 2013

Have a Nice Weekend

This weekend is filled with fun! Tonight my friends and I are headed to Rhode Island to wish my good friends, R and V, a tearful goodbye. They are moving back to Mississippi after three years of living in Rhode Island.

R & V: I'm gunna miss you so much! I always looked forward to our crazy, camping adventures. I will never forget my first experience at Bonnaroo with you either. Our future is bright with many more memories to come! See you in May at your wedding! xoxo
"Who the hell parked in our parking spot."

R, D, me, & V at my Golden Birthday
On Saturday, D and I are headed to his company's end of the year/holiday party. I'm a wee bit nervous to meet his coworkers and bosses. It should be a fun time though! Let the holiday parties begin!

Check out these posts that you may have missed over the weekend:

Christmas Gift Guide for Him

Beauty and the Bees

Whole Body Cleanse

Have a good one!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Santorini





I think I've found heaven on Earth. The beach, colors, and architecture. Wow!
Anyone ever been to Santorini? Adriana is going to Greece this summer! I'm excited to hear about her trip when it's over. I see a Europe trip happening for me in the next few years.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas Gift Guide for Him

Why are guys so hard to shop for when it comes to Christmas? Luckily, I have one male that I shop for in my family, my one and only daddy. My boyfriend and I don't usually exchange gifts; however, a few girlfriends of mine were asking me recently what they should buy their significant others. Whether you are shopping for your dad, brother, boyfriend, or grandfather, I think there could be at least one item in my gift guide for him!
[orange text is a link]

Massage :: Book :: Power Washer ::  PJs

1. Wallet Most of the men in my life carry a trifold. Are you a bifold or a trifold kinda guy?
2. Sunglasses Sexy aviators.
3. Power washer- For all those men who love outdoor work (ahem, my sweetheart)
4. Shirt- These shirts are the BEST. Non-iron. Fitted. Amazing.
5. Framed photo- Frame a photo of you two. Love the dark wood.
6. Massage for one (or two)- This spa is a favorite of mine, located in Manchester, NH
7. Good book- My dad loves the James Patterson series
8. Moleskin notebook- Pocket sized. You never know when you need to create a
    shopping list or just doodle. These notebooks are great for everyone.
9. PJ pants- For him, but secretly for you to wear at his place

Look out for a gift guide for the ladies next week! Happy shopping!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas Cards Through the Years

Wow! Thank you so much for the positive feedback from Adriana's posts (here, here, and here). She has more posts written, which I will post in the near future, so keep coming back for more! Keeping with the sister theme...

As Christmas approaches, my family and I begin to think about what picture we will use in our annual Christmas card. The picture always includes my sisters and me, and sometimes my dad makes an appearance. It's hard to choose which picture will be the winner because my sisters and I want to make sure that each of us looks presentable. 

Adriana and I rummaged through the photo books and found some old Christmas card photos that we've used.... o the gems! Take a look below.

1997 in Jamaica 
2001 in Aruba

Dad makes an appearance in 2002!

2004? 

2009
On Martha's Vineyard in 2011

Last year hiking
Do you have a Christmas card tradition? 
Let the games begin on trying to find this year's photo!

PS Don't miss tomorrow's post...a Christmas gift guide for the boys!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Adriana's December Playlist

Hey everyone! Happy Monday! Enjoy another guest post from Adriana!

I am obsessed with finding music, old and new, that hits an emotional hot spot. Here are some songs that I’ve been listening to recently which have sparked my interest. I hope that one song will be unfamiliar to you and could possibly connect with you somehow. Shout-out to my friends who showed me these songs in the first place! Enjoy J

Adriana’s December Playlist 


Romantic Power Ballad: Lay Me Down by Sam Smith
Instrumental Jam: Ocean by John Butler
I Still Love You Song: Video Games by Lana Del Ray
Feelin’ Funky: Funky Tonight by John Butler Trio
Perseverance Song: Hold On by Alabama Shakes
I Moved On Song: Lesson Learned by Alicia Keys feat. John Mayer
Let’s Drunk-Dance Song: Latch by Disclosure feat. Sam Smith
I Love You Song: Love On Top by Beyonce
Casual Rock: Revelry by Kings of Leon
Sleepy Time Jazz: What Am I To You by Norah Jones
Kick-Ass Girl Jam: Another Girl by Wild Belle
Work-Out Song: Wild For The Night by ASAP Rocky feat. Skrillex & Birdy Nam Nam
Best 90’s Flashback Song: Wannabe by The Spice Girls
Current fav. John Mayer Song: On The Way Home by John Mayer
You’re Drunk & You See Your Ex: Hurricane Drunk by Florence + the Machine


Peace & Love,
Adriana

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Attract What You Expect

Hey everyone, another guest post from my sister, Adriana!

“Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.” –Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde, you wise, wise man. This quote particularly stuck with me while reflecting on my recent love life (or lack of)! People, you know what I’m talking about…the trials and tribulations of an undefined relationship. Here are some of my downfalls while in an ambiguous relationship:

I can honestly say that I’ve chased love which literally provided me with nothing. Any sight of a charismatic man, and I lose my shit. I forget the fantastic qualities that I bring to the table, and I focus in on his impeccable character and never failing charm. To make it all worse, I chase them. I put in the effort and forgive way too easily. It was only until talking with my great friend, Joe, that I realized these facts.

I think it’s time for myself and all women to realize who the fuck we are and install some standards. We are bitchin’ ass women. We don’t need to settle for one-night stands, lame texts, or mediocre feelings. Demand dates! Or demand what you need!

Also, it’s important to remember why you’re awesome and reflect those feelings in all of your interactions. Every person has a fabulous personality trait they can exhibit. Once you're brave enough to show others, they will mimic your confidence and the positive reinforcement will keep on flowing!

Not only have I realized what I deserve in a romantic relationship, but I am more confident in these exchanges. What’s the point in dating someone if you can’t be your crazy-ass self? If there is a guy who can keep up, then that’s freaking fabulous. If not, you have your hilarious-self and awesome group of friends to keep you entertained!

To summarize: You’re awesome. Don’t chase. Be yourself. Life is amazing, regardless.

One last quote to really nail the fucking point home: "Attract what you expect. Reflect what you desire. Become what you respect. Mirror what you admire."-Anonymous

Peace & Love,
Adriana

Some interesting links:

Friday, November 29, 2013

Beauty and the Bees

My dad is a bee keeper and often shares the benefits of eating honey and getting stung by bees. You may not know that when a bee stings, it releases venom. Your skin reacts to the venom as an irritation. Accordingly, your skin increases circulation and stimulates production of collagen and elastin, which plump and firm fine lines.*

So my dad recently emailed me this article, and it sparked my interest in using bee products for health benefits. To summarize, the article suggests that bee venom could cure Lyme Disease in some people. Amazing. I wanted to share some bee health products with you that are out there. Some I already use, and others I'm interested in trying. [links are in orange]

1. Burt's Bees

Who hasn't heard of Burt's Bees? I love, love, love their chapstick. It's 100% natural and leaves my lips silky smooth. I also use their cuticle cream on my fingernails and toenails when doing at-home manis/pedis.

2. Bee Healthy Farms

I came across their body cream. It contains organic propolis, a bee product found in hives. It has many health benefits, including fighting inflammation and allergies. The cream also contains honey and shea butter. 

3. Beepharm Apitherapy

Frederique Keller, a bee expert, was featured on Dr. Oz a few years ago and told the audience of a facial mask and night cream. Both products contain bee venom. Currently, she is having a holiday sale where you can get both products for $60. I am definitely considering ordering, knowing the great benefits of bee venom for my skin.

Also, honey itself also has some pretty amazing benefits when eaten. First of all, it's a natural sweetener. My mom substitutes some of the granulated sugar from her apple pie recipe and adds my dad's honey. DELISH! Honey is also a natural cough suppressant. Feeling like you're developing a sore throat? Brew some organic green tea and add a tablespoon of honey or eat the honey on its own. The honey will instantly coat your throat, reliving some of your symptoms. Finally, honey is a natural source of carbohydrates, which is the body's primary source of fuel. Add honey over plain Cheerios or toast in the morning, and you'll be energized for the rest of your day!

It's important to buy honey that has contains NO high fructose corn syrup. Buy only organic or raw honey. It's even better to buy from local apiaries. Always read labels.

Be aware that honey should NOT be fed to infants under one year old.

Do you currently use any bee products in your beauty regime or add honey to your meals? I'd love to hear feedback.

*Info courtesy of Dr. Oz

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I am thankful for my supportive family and loving friends. I hope you eat your hearts out and spend time with the people you love.

One Thanksgiving tradition that my sisters and I always do is shop on Black Friday. We head to the good 'ol Mall of NH to shop the sales. After living in Boston for the past five years, I'm realizing how pathetic the Mall of NH is. I may forego the mall madness this year and shop online. The following are online sales from my favorite stores/sites...

DSW

Free Shoe Lover Tote with purchase
I'm eyeing these.

J.Crew

Use code HOLIDAY to get 30% off your purchase
I'm eyeing these.

Ann Taylor

Use code ANNTHANKS to get 50% off your purchase
I'm eyeing this.


Happy shopping!!!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Golden Birthday Drinks

As I've posted about here and here, my Golden Birthday celebration is this weekend! I'm so excited to celebrate this milestone with friends and family. Tonight my roommate and boyfriend are hosting a cocktail hour or two at my apartment, and then my friends and I are headed out to a bar called The Living Room. I'm happy to try out a new place to add to my repertoire of Boston bars.

During the cocktail party, I requested that we only serve drinks that are GOLD! Below are a few recipes that I found on Pinterest... I hope to try out one or two of them tonight!
[Recipes can be found by clicking on each drink title.}



Tequila, Ginger Ale, & Lime (recipe below)
This is one of my favorite drinks!

Recipe:
Fill a glass with ice
Pour in 2 shots of gold tequila (I love 1800)
Fill the rest of the glass with ginger ale
Squeeze in a wedge of lime juice

Please drink responsibly ;)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Birthday Countdown

If any of you know me really well, you will know that I LOVE BIRTHDAYS! It doesn't even have to be my birthday, and I will jump up and down with excitement to plan and/or attend. The best birthday planning that I did was for my boyfriend's 22nd birthday two years ago. At the time, I was living on campus at Northeastern. For all those folks who don't know NU protocol, you are only allowed to have three guests at a time in your dorm room. My friend, R, was an RA; however, and she let me have about 20 people in my tiny dorm room. Luckily, my dorm room was a suit. I had plans to make dinner with my boyfriend that night at my place. Little did he know that me and 20 of his closet friends would be there to celebrate with champagne and cupcakes. It was the best surprise! So much fun!


SURPRISE!
I can't wait to celebrate my birthday with close friends and family this weekend! Look for a future post on how to plan a Golden Birthday!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Friday is Friendsgiving! I'm so excited for good food, drinks, and friends. My friend, K, is attempting to roast a turkey and stuffing for the first time... Ekk! I'm glad that I don't have that task. Although I wouldn't consider myself an inexperienced cook, I wanted to make sure to bring something that is easy and simple to make for a lot of people. Thus, my garlic mashed potatoes.


Garlic Mashed Potatoes
3 lbs of russet potatoes
1 stick of salted, room-temperature butter
1/4 cup of heavy cream (roughly)
2 cloves of crushed garlic
Handful of kosher salt...no I'm not kidding
Diced chives for garnish (optional)

Peel and dice potatoes into equal size pieces. Add potatoes, handful of kosher salt, and crushed garlic to large stock pot. Add enough water to just cover potatoes. Heat to high and boil potatoes until you can pierce them easily with a fork. Drain water and add potatoes back into the stock pot. Add heavy cream and butter. Use a hand beater on medium until you have beautifully whipped, garlic mashed potatoes. Garnish with diced chives or anything else you prefer to add a pop of color. Serve in a large [red] ceramic bowl. ENJOY!

(Photo credit: http://blog.seasonwithspice.com)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Risotto, Prosciutto, and Bricco, O My!

Wow what a fun weekend! I had friends (R and V) come and stay with me in Boston for the weekend. I learned how to play Spades, and I think I may be slightly addicted...

My boyfriend and I along with my friends who visited, who happen to be engaged, went out to the North End on Saturday night to Bricco. DELICIOUS! I had their risotto special, and D had the pork chop special. I highly recommend anyone dining in the North End to check out Bricco. Their bread is made in-house, so on Sunday afternoon after R and V left, D and I hopped on the T and went back to Bricco to take home some of their delicious bread. We got 2 loaves of a prosciutto and cheese bread along with an Italian baguette. Yum.

R & V ordered: veal ravioli with truffle butter sauce & braised beef in drum pasta
Thanks for a fabulous weekend, friends! 
Here are a few things that I'm looking forward to this week:

1. Game night! My friends and I get together almost every Thursday and play games, such as Anomia, Things, and Wits and Wagers. We may drink more than we play ;)

2. Friend Thanksgiving! My good friends from college are hosting Friend Thanksgiving. I told them that I would make garlic mashed potatoes. Recipe to follow later this week...

3. My golden birthday! My 24th birthday on Nov. 24 is right around the corner. My roommate is hosting a cocktail party at our apartment. The theme is black and gold. My roommate shopped for decor at Michael's this past weekend, and she won't show me anything she bought! I can't wait for the surprise! Gold everything... especially drinks! Gold drink recipes to share on the blog also later this week...

Photo Credit: My fabulous friend, V. xoxo

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Meet Annie!



Annie and her sister, Maggie
Check out my friend's dog, Annie! My friend, G, got Annie for graduating college! His parents loved the idea of getting a dog so much that they got another puppy from the litter, Maggie. Annie lives at my apartment on most weekends, which is awesome. (My roommate is G's girlfriend.)

We go on walks to the South End to get brunch, and she runs around my apartment like a mad woman chasing her various toys. I'll be posting more about Miss Annie in the future... How cute?!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Dumb phone vs. Smartphone

Check out this video that my friend C posted on my FB wall...

I get questions related to why I do NOT have a smartphone on the reg. A few years ago, I definitely couldn't afford a smartphone since I was still in college and could barely buy groceries, but now that I am a working girl making a nice salary, the thought has crossed my mind to switch over to the dark side. I'll be honest, I am proud that I have lasted this long without one.

To aid in my decision making as to whether I should get one sooner rather than later, I thought that a pro/con list was necessary...

PRO      CON
I won't get lost driving anymore     Monthy payment
I would have a camera at my fingertips     Time sucker
I can group message my friends     Takes away from living in the moment
Instant information     Battery would die really fast
CANDY CRUSH (both a pro and a con)    

I would love to hold off as long as possible before getting a smartphone. Decision: I'll wait until my current phone shits the bed until I get a smartphone. Look for a future post on which smartphone I should get! For now, I will look forward to living in the moment and not being distracted by a phone!

Do you have a dumb phone? What's your decision on why you have one?

This article poses the question if you would date a guy WITHOUT a smartphone... Wow, thank goodness I'm taken or else I may be the slightest bit worried that no one would want to date me because I don't have a smart phone. Not. ARE YOU SERIOUS?!