Thursday, April 28, 2016

Three of the Top Coziest Inns in the U.S. Right Here in New England

Choosing the right hotel for a weekend getaway can be daunting. There are so many places to stay and a variety of amenities offered. And even now with Airbnb, the offerings are truly endless. But may we suggest three quality dwellings right here in New England, that we are sure you'll want to extend your stay at. These humble abodes were recognized in Travel and Leisure as part of the top 10 Coziest Places to Stay in America and we are lucky to have them practically in our backyard; No. 3, Chanler at Cliff Walk in Newport; No. 7, Camden Harbour Inn in Camden, Maine; and No. 9, Castle Hill Inn in Newport.

No 3. Chanler at Cliff Walk — Newport, Rhode Island

The Chanler is a 19th century mansion originally built by New York Congressman, John Winthrop Chanler. It is the only hotel located on Newport's famed Cliff Walk, and one of the most historic hotels in New England, surrounded by acres of manicured gardens and overlooks the sparkling waters of the Atlantic and pristine sands of Easton's Beach. The Chanler has twenty elegantly furnished rooms, each designed around a particular historical period or decorative theme. Breathtaking vies and pure solitude. Average nightly rate ranges from $355-755+. If you have a taste for old world elegance, this cozy spot is for you!

No. 7 Camden Harbour Inn — Camden, Maine

The Camden Harbour Inn offers an unmatched combination of opulent suites, picturesque views, indulgent amenities, and expertly crafted cuisine served at their world-class fine dining restaurant. Perched on a hilltop, Camden Harbour Inn is surrounded by expansive views of the bustling village, sparkling harbor, evergreen islands, and lush mountains. Dutch owners Raymond Brunyanszki and Oscar Verest have mixed the exciting history of the inn with a lively atmosphere, contemporary European elegance, and odes to their home country of the Netherlands. The outcome? An intimate oasis of luxury and perfection set in the natural beauty of New England. Average nightly rate ranges from $215-895+. We love how this inn hasn't gone completely nautical being on the harbor; making it more welcoming to those who want a modern stay.

No. 9 Castle Hill Inn — Newport, Rhode Island

As Newport began to grow into a prominent seaport, the wealthy built great architectural tributes to the life of leisure: multiple-roomed mansions called “cottages”. Castle Hill was built during this time as a gracious, shingle-style song of a house in 1874 by marine biologist and naturalist Alexander Agassiz of Harvard University. Today’s Inn was his original summer home. During World War II, the Mansion housed Naval officers while functioning as an impromptu base. How cool is that? After the war, the Inn became a summer hotel, hosting Hollywood royalty from time to time, including Grace Kelly while filming High Society in the 1950s. Eventually, all accommodations were winterized, making Castle Hill a year-round retreat for those who sought its beauty, grace, and solitude. Today, Castle Hill continues to carry on its storied legacy while ever elevating its guest experience. Average nightly rate ranges from $485-845+. This historical abode hits home with us and we are sure you would appreciate a stay here too!

Enjoy your stay at any one of these cozy inns and devour the details of a relaxing weekend getaway!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wedding Wednesdays: Get Ready to Wed with Five of Our Favorite Netflix Movies

If you have anytime at all during your wedding planning to relax...we highly recommend a night in on the couch with your beau! Catching up on TV shows might be an option but might we suggest something else? Nothing will get you more prepared for your big day than watching some of the most memorable cinematic wedding moments in history. With that being said, here are five of our favorite movies available on Netflix that will have you ready to wed in no time!

1. The Princess Bride (1987)

Starring: Robin Wright, Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin and Wallace Shawn

Why You'll Love It: This one's a downright classic: a hilarious, tender, romantic and all-around feel-good film. It's a rom-com and fairy tale adventure rolled into one, with a spectacular cast of characters. And nothing beats the fabulous wedding tiaras. This movie has us all channeling our inner princess at the altar!

2. Shakespeare in Love (1998)

Starring: Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes and Judi Dench

Why You'll Love It: It's the fictional story of William Shakespeare's love affair with a high-society woman who's promised to another man (my how far we've come from this day and age). Meant to have inspired Romeo and Juliet, this flick full of Elizabethan costumes, love poems and breathless melodrama will make you squeeze your beau a little tighter! Shakespeare was right, love knows nothing of rank or river bank!

3. Serendipity (2001)

Starring: John Cusack, Kate Beckinsale and Jeremy Piven

Why You'll Love It: Because every movie John Cusack is in is a blessing. This movie is sweetly funny and uber-romantic. It's all about fate, second chances and finding your soul mate. Fall in love with your significant other all over again when watching this rom-com!

4. My Best Friend's Wedding (1997)

Starring: Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney and Cameron Diaz

Why You'll Love It: Nothing but beautiful drama. When a woman's long-time friend says he's engaged, she realizes she loves him herself...and sets out to get him, with only days before the wedding. Shocking and exciting, this movie is a rollercoaster of emotions. Be sure to have a box of tissues ready!

5. The Proposal (2009)

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds and Mary Steenburgen

Why You'll Love It: A pushy boss (Sandra Bullock) forces her young assistant (Ryan Reynolds) to marry her in order to keep her Visa status in the U.S. and avoid deportation to Canada. But this all turns into something greater than they could have even imagined. A true love story unfolds and our heart skipped some beats while watching!

Devour the details of a relaxing night in that will surely have you ready to wed and let us know what your favorite flick is! Don't forget the popcorn!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

10 Types of Lemonade in Honor of Queen Bey

*Sips lemonade*. Point taken Queen Bey! Another album in the books for Yoncé; and this one is notably the most epic as it dropped with an hour long special HBO visual prelude. Media outlets and the Beyhive are speculating that Beyoncé's new album Lemonade tells the tale of her emotional struggle with hubby Jay-Z and confirms the rumors of him stepping out on her (flashback to Bey's sister Solange's physical attack on Hova in an elevator in 2014). But it has yet to be confirmed.

So in the meantime, we'll all be over here sipping on these ten Beyoncé-inspired types of lemonade in honor of the Queen herself. Cheers to you Bey!

Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade

Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade

Because what can't some bourbon fix? Get the recipe here.

Spiked Blueberry Lemonade

Spiked Blueberry Lemonade

We recommend soaking the blueberries in vodka the night before you make the lemonade for an extra buzz. Get this recipe here!

Boozy Frozen Peach Lemonade

Boozy Peach Lemonade

Cold, like Beyoncé's heart. Get the recipe here!

Vodka Strawberry Lemonade

Vodka Strawberry Lemonade

Because nothing accompanies strawberries quite like vodka. Get this recipe here!

Honey Ginger Lemonade

Honey Ginger Lemonade

Made especially for the Beyhive. #Honey, you shouldn't have! Get the recipe here.

Boozy Watermelon Rosemary Lemonade

Boozy Watermelon Rosemary Lemonade

I've been dranking, watermelon. Get drunk in love with this recipe!

Passion Tea Lemonade

Passion Tea Lemonade Cocktail

*Sips tea...and lemonade*. A must have. Get this recipe here!

Spicy Cajun Lemonade with Tobasco

Spicy Cajun Lemonade With Tabasco and Pimm's

I got hot sauce in my bag...and my glass. Get the recipe here.

Classic Shandy (Beer and Lemonade)

Classic Shandy (Beer + Lemonade)

Two things that just work together. Get the recipe here!

Lavender Lemonade

Lavender-Thyme Lemonade (Add Gin)

Smells as good as it looks. Get a taste for this recipe here!

Buzz into spring and summer with these boozy drinks and join us in *sipping lemonade* as we patiently wait for Yoncé to devour the details of the meaning behind this album!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday Mashups: Maximize Your Spin

Keeping up with your fitness and being healthy is even bigger now than ever before. There are a zillion niche markets since there are so many variations of workouts nowadays. We enjoy boxing and yoga ourselves--both strengthening and relaxing! But we have many friends out there that love, love, love spinning. It is an intense workout but the results are worth it. You may have heard of places like SoulCycle and Flywheel, especially since each have their own celebrity following, that are evolving the spinning world. Well, there's new competition on the horizon by an already well-established company that you would never guess to open a spin studio...Imax.

That's right, Imax is looking to supersize the boutique fitness business as it opens an immersive indoor spin studio in New York City. Never mind the small LCD screen on your local gym's exercise bikes. The IMAXShift studio, launching in a warehouse directly under the Brooklyn Bridge on April 28 to target fitness fanatics, will have tiered rows of stationary bicycles facing a wall-to-wall screen filled with beat-based visuals and pumped-up tunes in a darkened room. Probably a similar experience to Coachella if you were able to party there the last two weekends!

Instructors will lead riders through a dynamic workout with choreographed songs and video running parallel with the frenzied spinning. The imagery could take you anywhere. You could be flying above an ocean, soaring over the coast of Hawaii, you might be in outer space or the far-reaches of the galaxy. This initiative is to help those spinning get out of their heads and solely focus on the screen and not so much their aches and pains! With these Zen-inspired visuals and music, spinners will get to pedaling for performance.

IMAXShift will be priced at $34 a class, with the price coming down as you buy packages of classes. Not bad for something so intense! The visual experience in fitness training is a natural for consumers already used to viewing screens of all sizes so nothing to be nervous about. With this pilot test in Brooklyn, IMAXShift can prove a profitable business where fitness fiends sign up for $34 classes, and return again and again for more pay-per-day spinning sessions. The concept is promising and will likely grow to other areas of the U.S., including California. Once licensed, we expect it will even grow worldwide.

So if you're looking for that push, that new experience that will take your workout to the next level, IMAXShift may be exactly what you need. Devour the details and spin your own journey at your next class!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Celebrate Mom with a Beautiful Brunch

Mother's Day is on its way! Don't let your love for mom go unnoticed. Celebrate her beautiful soul the best way possible: with brunch! From baked eggs to bellinis, your mom will appreciate your efforts in recognizing her on this special day!

Peach Raspberry Rosé Bellini Cocktails

This cocktail is perfect for Easter or Mother's Day brunch

Puree (makes about 1 ½ cups):
2 cups sliced peeled fresh or frozen peaches (defrosted if frozen)
1 cup fresh raspberries, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon rosewater or orange blossom water (optional)

1 chilled (750 ml) bottle rose sparkling wine
Rose petals, for garnish (optional)

Get the directions to make these dazzling drinks here!

Asparagus Ricotta Baked Eggs with Mint-Basil Puree

Easter brunch made easy

Puree (makes about ½ cup):
2 cups fresh mint leaves, plus a few more for garnish
2 cups fresh basil leaves, plus a few more for garnish
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
kosher salt

Baked eggs:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium leek, dark green part trimmed
1 bunch pencil-thin asparagus, rough ends trimmed
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
4 large eggs
crumbled feta cheese
extra virgin olive oil

Get the directions to make this delicious dish here!

Smashed Berry and Lavender Almond Whipped Ricotta Toasts

Mouth-watering smashed berry   ricotta toasts from Salt

For the topping:
1/4 cup raw whole almonds
1 tablespoon raw sesame seeds or flax seeds
1/4 teaspoon dried lavender
1/8 teaspoon poppy seeds
pinch sea salt, plus more for garnish

For the berries:
1/2 pint (about 6 ounces) raspberries, plus a few for garnish
8 ounces strawberries, hulled, quartered and sliced
1 to 2 tablespoons honey or coconut sugar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

For the ricotta:
1 cup ricotta cheese
zest of 1 lemon, plus more for garnish
1 to 2 tablespoons honey, plus more for garnish
8 (1/2-inch) slices multigrain bread, toasted

Indulge in this recipe here!

Prosciutto Wrapped Figs

Wrap prosciutto around blackberries and figs for a tasty appetizer.

8 figs
1 packet prosciutto
sea salt

A simple dish that packs a ton of flavor. Your mom will love this recipe!

Chicken, Apple, Sweet Potato, and Brussels Sprouts Skillet

Chicken Apple Sweet Potato Skillet with Bacon and Brussels Sprouts. An easy, healthy one-pan dinner! #recipe:

1 lb Chicken breasts, boneless skinless

3 cups Brussels sprouts
4 cloves Garlic
2 Granny smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 Onion, medium
1 Sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 8 ounces), medium
2 tsp Thyme, fresh

Canned Goods:
1 cup Chicken stock, reduced-sodium

Baking & Spices:
1/2 tsp Black pepper
1 tsp Cinnamon, ground
1 tsp Kosher salt
Oils & Vinegars
1 tbsp Olive oil

Sweet and savory, get this tasty recipe here!

Devour the details of a beautiful brunch your mom will never forget. To all the moms out there, you're very loved! Cheers to you and a special cheers to my mom!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wedding Wednesdays: For the Tech Savvy Bride and Groom

My boyfriend has been on a total drone kick lately. Every time we're in a Target or Wal-Mart with a large electronics apartment, he is perusing for one of these high-flying contraptions. We don't have a real use for one which is probably why he hasn't dished out the cash for it yet but I feel like it might be a near future purchase especially after he reads this post! You may not consider a drone as a necessity to a wedding but if you want to capture the most spectacular photos and videos of the entire day, this is an incredible way to do so. Get the drone know-how and learn more about aerial photography before you decide on incorporating these machines into your big day!

Drone wedding photography, aerial ceremony shot

Safety First
Safety is the most important thing to keep in mind if you plan to hire a drone. Drones are essentially mini-helicopters with cameras, so if the drone operator isn't a properly trained professional, you risk having any number of accidents on your hands (none of which you would ever want, but especially not on your wedding day). Make sure you take the time to research each drone company and even ask for references to confirm their previous wedding experiences.

Planning and Professionalism Required
If the drone pilot doesn't have an established safety plan, insurance, extensive knowledge of how to operate the vehicle or close coordination with the venue managers, wedding photographers and the couple, this exciting feature can be turned into a great risk to the wedding party. Make sure your ground photographer collaborates with the drone flyer, then sit down with them and go over their plans. Everyone should be on the same page to ensure safety and excellent photos.

Get Drone Insurance
Every drone operator needs personal property and liability insurance for commercial UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle). That way, if something or someone gets hit (which is extremely rare, but still), the operator is covered and the damaged object will be repaired. Always take the maximum safety precautions when it comes to a risk factor such as this!

The New Way to Capture Memories
Hiring a pro drone pilot to shoot your wedding is a no-brainer. This new trend gives a whole new perspective to wedding day photography. You want to make sure that the photos come out the best they can; drones elevate your normal, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to a memory that will never ever be forgotten. Worth the risk? We think so!

Take Advantage of Your Venue
Drone shots can capture dynamic, illustrative videos and images that display the scope and scenic context of your event. Are you tying the knot on a mountainside, vast valley or other stunning location? Beachfronts or even backyards, imagine looking through your wedding album on your 20th anniversary and having a sweeping aerial snapshot of your venue. There's nothing else like this!

Impossible Made Possible
Since drones are so versatile, you'll be able to get creative with your wedding shots. One option is to gather your guests on the outdoor space to spell out words or organize them in other fun ways. Drones can capture emotional moments that wouldn't have been possible to get from the ground. For example, a bride and her father hiding on one side of the venue while the groom waits to see her at the altar—all in one shot. Another example of some of the best drone photo opps is a couple's ceremony exit, surrounded by the sprawling landscape/cityscape and friends and family celebrating. The contrast between the intimacy of those moments and the epic grandeur of the location makes these shots so spectacular.

Minding the Elements
Drones are pretty tough, but they're still electronic devices, so that means no flying in heavy rain or crazy winds (over 25 miles per hour). The good news is that cold weather won't deter them. Drones have insulated batteries and generate their own heat so they're fine outside in the cooler temps but your guests might not be!

Outside Is Best
Drone pilots can fly vehicles inside, but it's much more risky, so proceed with caution. We highly recommend keeping this high-flying machine outdoors! If you're having an outdoor wedding and you're not thinking about using a drone, you should. Especially if it's on a piece of family property where it's timeless, beautiful and special. Or if you're doing a wedding on a boat, for example, how else are you going to get a shot unless you have something of this nature involved? Capture that moment and relive the grandeur of your wedding day for years to come!

No Close-Ups
Drones should always augment and never interfere, so definitely stay away from close-ups. Not only is it very unsafe, but it's also obnoxious, intrusive and loud. These clunky things will for sure be in your guests way. If you'd hoped to capture your vows with a drone camera, it's not possible, there's no audio from the drone. What you can do is film the walk and the couple meeting the officiant at the altar, and then land the vehicle. You still get the shot you need without interrupting anything. This will also help your guests hear the ceremony without being distracted by the contraption in the air.

Two companies with experienced drone pilots we recommend checking out are Atmosphere Aerial and Propellerheads. Atmosphere Aerial packages range from $500 to $3,500. Propellerheads offers services with a day rate, with raw, unedited footage at $2,500 (including a full assembly team: cinematographer, pilot and technician). Both provide their services individually or in collaboration with your hired, ground-based wedding photographer. Quite an amazing feature to incorporate into your wedding day. Get full coverage and devour the details of your entire wedding from way up above with the help of some drones!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Top 10 Outdoor Places to Visit in Boston Provided by Foursquare

Being from Boston and having visited many of these places throughout our lives, we can stand behind these top 10 rated outdoor places to visit in Boston based on Foursquare check-ins.
With the help of Foursquare, you can discover new places using recommendations from a community you trust. To come up with these rankings, Foursquare used a proprietary algorithm that utilizes three factors:

Visit Popularity — how popular a place is
Tip Sentiment — whether someone using the app describes a place using positive or negative language
Explicit Ratings — whether someone gives the place a like, dislike, or neutral rating using the app

From the scenic Esplanade views to the new Shawmut fixture at the Rose Kennedy Greenway, these are the best outdoor areas to visit this spring and summer.

10. Christopher Columbus Park, rating: 9.05

9. Copley Square, rating: 9.19

8. Charles River, rating: 9.26

7. Harvard Square, rating: 9.27

6. The Freedom Trail, rating: 9.29

5. Castle Island, rating: 9.33

4. The Rose Kennedy Greenway, rating: 9.52

3. The Esplanade, rating: 9.55

2. Boston Common, rating: 9.57

1. Boston Public Garden, rating: 9.63

Devour the details of the top 10 rated best outdoor places to visit in Boston this spring and summer! Leave it to Foursquare to track a community you can trust. They can always ensure a good time and special site to see!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Monday Mashups: Ticketmaster and Facebook Official Collab

Big news on the horizon! Ticketmaster will start selling event tickets directly on Facebook by the end of April, joining the growing number of companies placing core parts of their businesses inside the social giant’s evolving media platform. Ticketmaster and large companies alike with online commerce outfits and web publishers, are willing to go direct-through-Facebook since they see their customers spending less time on websites and more within a handful of mobile apps, with Facebook often the top destination. No surprise there! By putting the ability to buy tickets directly within Facebook, Ticketmaster hopes that they’re going to provide a more seamless purchase experience and sell more tickets.

The amount of time the top mobile apps command from those who use them is staggering. 84% of all time spent in non-native apps on mobile devices is spent within just five apps, according to Forrester. This positions Facebook as a channel for all types of business to reach their customers and audiences on an even greater basis. To date, Facebook’s willingness to bring other businesses inside has largely been limited to its main app. The main Facebook app hosts publisher content via its quick-loading Instant Articles product and the potential for online shops built into ‘pages.’ Now, with Ticketmaster, it is extending its reach to event ticketing as well. A win-win for this collab!

When someone purchases a Ticketmaster ticket on Facebook, the social network will collect a standard affiliate fee from Ticketmaster. Also, while Ticketmaster purchases occur on Facebook, tickets must be “claimed” via Ticketmaster’s website and app. To start, the buy-on-Facebook option will be limited to a select group of general admission events. But we will look for that to expand should the initial phase go as well as expected. We are truly excited to see how this partnership grows!

Read more about this awesome collab and watch out for Ticketmaster as they devour the details and take Facebook by storm!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Glamp Like A Champ

Want the perfect weekend getaway with your closest girlfriends? Looking for a destination for a couples retreat? Or maybe a really out-there work team building site? We've got just the place in mind. Moab Under Canvas located near the entrance to Arches and Canyon Lands National Park in Utah is the place to be. It has got to be one of the most unique venues we've seen in a long time. Moab is on 40 acres of pristine land, just 7 miles from downtown Moab, with breathtaking views of the La Sal Mountains and no one else in sight. Arches National Park is also just a few miles south with nothing else in between, making for a true getaway experience!

Free People recently organized a two-day retreat here where guests disconnected from technology and were encouraged to talk and focus on their surroundings. They were able go on diverse hikes and appreciate time away from their busy day-to-day lives. They found that Moab Under Canvas is isolated yet practical enough to balance adventure with commodities. A perfect venue to put your phone away and get acquainted with.

We are focusing on this Free People retreat in particular because the pictures from this getaway are beyond gorgeous. Their retreat took place during a balmy summer night but the color palette in shades of brown with pops of deep sunset orange, the shared meals on rustic wood platters, the dried floral arrangements and effervescence of the guests energy piercing through the photos, emits a strong holiday harvest party vibe that makes for an epic time! When we look at their photos, the slogan "this could be you" stands out in our mind. See for yourself!
Moab Under Canvas
Moab Under Canvas
As Drake would say "what a time, to be alive". Experiences like this are totally on the rise and will only grow in the next couple of years. But--back to Moab. The Moab Under Canvas property is meant to integrate with the natural landscape, so you can fully enjoy the outdoors but sleep in comfort. Moab provides an unparalleled breathtaking backdrop to any event, so much so you might not even need decorations. Every night they also light a firepit for guests to enjoy the night sky and swap stories from their day. Sometimes DIY s'mores even make an appearance (count us in)! And don't worry, you're not hurting the environment by staying here. Moab partnered with Leave No Trace, an organization that teaches people how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly, to minimize their impact on the lands that their tents and tipis touch, from setup to breakdown every year. Amazing!

Live out your next adventure with the help of Moab Under Canvas and devour the details of any of your upcoming events!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Wedding Wednesdays: Standout Reception Sensations

Bon appetit! The tastier the eats, the sooner your guests will be on their feet. Our recommendation is to not be afraid to throw in a reception curveball! From farm-to-table to the perfect match, we're all about these cuisines. Consider adding our standout sensations to your menu!
Farm Favorites

Beet and Goat Cheese Appetizer

Source ingredients from your wedding locale and make them the focal point of your food setup. Working with small farmers, you might come across a lot of seasonal ingredients. Keep in mind, only some of these or other options may work for your expected wedding date. And remember beets are a treat (just look how beautiful that pop of purple is)!

Local Love

Seafood Raw Bar Cocktail Hour Food

If you want to highlight the regional cuisine of where you both come from or maybe where you met, there are so many options to do so. For instance, if Louisiana and crawdaddies pull at your heartstrings, a seafood boil might be the perfect menu option. Your guests will love the fact that you're sharing this personal moment with them.

Better Together

Tacos and Margaritas in Mini Patron Bottles

Because nothing goes better with tacos than tequila. We can attest to that! Favorite dishes shrunk down to bite-size tapas accompanied by small sips will delight your guests during cocktail hour. Some other miniature pairing ideas to consider: sliders with mini mugs of craft beers, grilled cheese finger sandwiches with Bloody Mary shooters, and tuna tartare cones with sake cups. Sometimes big flavors come in small packages!

Perfect Presentation

Ring for champagne bell

Want something quite interactive that your family and friends will love? Have a “press for champagne" framed doorbell sign that guests can ring to request a waiter to hand them a glass of bubbly. Talk about service! Bring us the bubbly!

Opposites Attract

Olive Oil and Saffron Ice Cream...quite the combination. We can't say no to this tasty treat! Perfectly refreshing for a summer wedding but has a bite that will warm you up on those chilly fall days. Your guests will really swoon with a spoon of this ice cream!

Make your menu standout with these sensations and devour the details of your wedding reception!