Monday, July 31, 2017

Cheers, Old Sport!

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” 
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Ah, one of my favorite quotes! And the very first movie I watched with my own Gatsby. So it should be no surprise I wanted to share this upcoming event with my readers. For the fifth year in a row, you can travel back in time to the era of flapper dresses and swing dancing, thanks to the Roaring Twenties Lawn Party on Castle Hill at Crane Estate!

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This shindig takes place August 5th and 6th in beautiful and historic Ipswich, MA. Attendees are encouraged to don their best 20s apparel, enjoy a picnic on the grounds, and participate in the various activities put together by the estate's Trustees of Reservations and Mike Hibarger, Vice president of Boston Swing Central. The first year, the event drew 1,200 guests; last year’s party brought 3,200 and sold out. Due to this overwhelming interest, 2017 will be the first year the event becomes a 2-day affair.

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The full schedule of events is posted online but I'll give you the rundown. DJ Legs Magoo, aka Miranda Lank, who spins for Boston’s swing dancers, will play music all weekend long. Bands Tamar Korn & A Kornucopia, Cassidy & The Orleans Kids, and Baby Soda Jazz Band with Tamar Korn will perform, as will dance groups Boston Lindy Bomb Squad, Divine Providence, Boston Lindy Hop, Eight Thirty ACT, Just for Kicks, and The Riff. Inspired guests can also take swing lessons and participate in a Charleston dance contest.

Party-goers can bring their own picnics, pre-order them from Ferreira Foods, or choose from the seafood, roast beef, salads, Cuban food, nuts, popcorn, candy, and ice cream at food trucks and food tents on the grounds. Expect Empanada Dada, Kelly’s Roast Beef Catering, Mandy’s, Q’s Nuts, Ferreira Foods, and White Farms Homemade Ice Cream, as well as vendors selling vintage apparel. Just don’t forget lawn chairs, picnic blankets and some bug spray!

Drinks from Ipswich Ale Brewery, Mill River Winery, and Far from the Tree Cider will be sold in a roped-off area, fittingly dubbed the Bootlegger’s Garden; a nod to the age of prohibition. And lastly, attendees can step inside the 1920s mansion for tours throughout the day and check out the vintage cars that will be on display across the property all night long. What a fun way to celebrate such an eventful time in history!

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Tickets to the event cost $40 for general admission and $32 for students, seniors, and Trustees members. Children ages 10 and under are free. Tickets must be purchased in advance and will not be sold at the door. Parking is available on-site for $10 per car. Additional information can be found on the Roaring Twenties Lawn Party event page.

Pip pip cheerio, cheers to you old sport! Join the fun and devour the details of a Gatsby-good time this weekend at the Roaring Twenties Lawn Party!

Monday Mashups: Dreamland Wax Museum - Now Open!

Want to get up close and personal with your favorite celebs? Right here, in the city of Boston? Get those selfie sticks ready! Dreamland Wax Museum is set to open today in downtown Boston!

Dreamland has been turning heads for weeks now, as curious onlookers near City Hall Plaza have gawked at the lifelike figures of Katy Perry, Queen Elizabeth, and President Trump staring out the window of the museum’s home at 1 Washington St. The museum plans to set itself apart from Madame Tussauds and similar venues by allowing visitors to interact with the figures rather than viewing them behind a velvet rope or panes of glass. How can they offer this added feature? They have a full-time artist in-house that will touch up the figurines' hair and makeup every day!

The soon-to-be tourist must-see is owned by Dreamz Entertainment, a Brazilian company that runs more than 35 museums in Central and South America. Dreamland will be the company’s first U.S. venture. Thanks to its long and storied history, Boston is the perfect location to launch the incredible wax display; especially since the museum is steps away from the Freedom Trail, right next to Faneuil Hall.

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The museum already features several famous Bostonians in wax, including Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Ray Bourque, Bobby Orr, Paul Pierce, and even Boston Pops director Arthur Fiedler, but plans to add more. As the museum gets up and running, it will bring in other local celebrities to have their measurements taken so their wax likenesses can be added to the collection, a process that takes four to six months. We wonder who will be next!

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Dreamland has also partnered with Cueseum, an app company that designs interactive mobile experiences for museums. Using the app, as you walk past the wax figure of Abraham Lincoln, for example, you’ll hear facts about the 16th president read by a voice actor impersonating Lincoln. We can't wait to use Cueseum to hear about our fellow Bostonians! Join us this week at Dreamland and devour the details of some laughs and celeb selfies!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Tale of Two Brews

On our most recent exploration of beers, we've come across two with very distinct ingredients we had to share. And no, it's not an interesting fruit or even an unheard of spice. It's way more surprising than that and both unique ingredients come from the sea. Just what could they be? Read on to find out!

Night Shift Brewing

Night Shift Brewing was founded in 2012 by a trio of friends with a shared passion for homebrewing. Through culinary inspiration and determined innovation, they aim to create memorable craft beers that offer a wide array of unique, complex flavors. The friends began homebrewing in a Somerville, MA kitchen in 2007, starting with a 5-gallon "boil kettle," a Gatorade cooler "mash tun," and some basic starter recipes. Over time, they refined their process, enhanced their recipes, upgraded their equipment, and were soon homebrewing well past midnight 2-3 times per week. They called themselves "Night Shift Brewing" - desk workers by day, homebrewers by night.

By 2009, Night Shift was sampling their own brews against every commercially available style, brand, and region possible. They realized that while not everyone makes truly great, memorable beer, anyone could make it with enough dedication, passion, and knowledge. In 2010, the friends started writing a business plan to begin their own nanobrewery. By 2011, they had raised a small amount of capital and began building a 3,000 sq. ft. 3.5BBL brewery in Everett, MA. On Saturday, March 31, 2012, they opened their doors for the very first time.

Night Shift spent two years growing into (and then out of) their first Everett location. With increasing demand and production, they finally made the move and in May of 2014, they opened the doors to their current 30,000 sq. ft. space. They now work with a 20BBL brewing system, a field of 20BBL, 40BBL, and 60BBL fermenters, and a growing collection of oak barrels. On a daily basis, Night Shift welcomes guests into their 2500 sq. ft. Taproom so that they can share their beers, their space, and their story. With no surprise, Night Shift's products are currently self-distributed to a group of retail and restaurant partners in MA and are making way into nearby states as we speak.

There's little more we have to say to show just how creative Night Shift is...but we will! It's time to talk about their specialty brew, highlighting an ingredient from the sea. Can you guess what that is? Crassostreas virginicas. What? Simply speaking--oysters! Their Harborside beer is a Gose-style sour ale brewed with coriander and oysters from Island Creek Oysters. How incredible is that? And trust us, it is tasty! We recommend stopping by their brewery today for a sample.


Next up, Oxbow!

Oxbow is an American farmhouse brewery specializing in traditional Belgian-style ales with contemporary American influence. They brew small batches of beer in a renovated barn in rural Newcastle, Maine. Their beers can be found in fine bars and restaurants throughout Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC. The Oxbow tasting room is located at 274 Jones Woods Road, Newcastle, Maine and is currently open 5 days a week on Wednesdays through Sundays from 12-7pm. Oxbow Blending & Bottling tasting room is located at 49 Washington Avenue, Portland, Maine and is open 7 days a week, Sunday through Thursday, 12-9pm, and Friday & Saturday, 12-11pm.

Now what could possibly be the second ingredient from the sea Oxbow is brewing with? The Homarus americanus. The what now? The good ol' Maine lobster! Meet the Saison Dell'Aragosta; a Gose-inspired seaside saison brewed with live Maine lobsters and sea salt. A specialty brew made in collaboration with Birrificio del Ducato of Parma, Italy. Saison Dell’Aragosta shows some serious effervescence in the glass, with hundreds of tiny bubbles racing to form a sea-foamy head. Oxbow uses words like “floral,” “fruity,” and “citrusy” to describe how the beer smells. And we've heard it tastes salty and tart, like squirting a lemon onto your fresh seafood! At 4.5 percent ABV, it’s unequivocally refreshing. We can't wait to get our claws on this brew!

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If you're searching for a summer beer to accompany the taste of the salty sea, look no further. Both Night Shift and Oxbow got you covered! Devour the details of the tale of these two brews and enjoy the hints of these surprising ingredients before beach season ends!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Wedding Wednesdays: Say 'I Do' with Tattoos

Happy Wedding Wednesday! We've covered tattoos a few times now--from couples that get inked on their ring fingers signifying their commitment to having henna as part of a wedding ceremony--but nothing quite like this. You've heard of the "Wedding Singer" but have you heard of the "Wedding Tattooer"? You will now!

Tattoo artist Robert Fiore (featured in the video above) wants to make yout wedding day ink-credible for couples and their guests. Making memories that, truly, last a lifetime! Fiore, the owner of Red Lotus Tattoo in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, has been a professional tattoo artist for 20 years. Over the last year, he has ventured into the world of weddings by offering tattoos at the reception and other wedding-related events.

It all started when one of Fiore’s relatives, who he has tattooed a number of times over the years, was planning a wedding. Fiore half-jokingly suggested he should tattoo him and his bride during the cocktail hour. The couple agreed, so Fiore brought his sterile setup to the wedding venue and inked the newlyweds’ initials on their ring fingers. Word got out, especially when their wedding photos went public on social media, and Fiore was flooded with inquiries. He knew he'd stumbled onto something glorious!

Fiore has done six wedding events since with 20 more booked over the next two years. Amazing! And if you're dying to know exactly how it all works, well, Fiore and the bride and groom collaborate on design concepts to create a tattoo menu for guests to choose from with options that are generally minimalist in nature. The couple can choose more involved designs for their own tats, but that usually requires a separate session the day after the wedding.

Some couples opt to offer tattooing during cocktail hour only, some offer it during the entire reception and others choose the bachelor and bachelorette parties instead. And every person who decides to get inked is required to sign a waiver. And the cost? Pricing for The Wedding Tattooer starts at $500 and varies depending on the number of guests, the amount of design prep and travel required.

At a recent wedding, Fiore even tattooed a bride’s grandparents, neither of whom had any tattoos up until that point. How awesome is that? The Wedding Tattooer brings a truly unique experience to tattooed couples that are looking for special ways to show their love for each other and their love for tattoos on their big day. For more information about Fiore and to potentially book your wedding with him, visit his website. A wedding may be temporary but tats last forever! Devour the details of an inked up wedding and make your love permanent with the help of the Wedding Tattooer!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A Saucy Spin on Shortcake

We know, we know, it's summer and it's a lot easier to stay away from the sweet treats in this heat but trust us, this dessert is too good to pass up! A true comfort food, this saucy spin on shortcake is the perfect way to end an outdoor barbecue. Strawberries and blueberries soaked in amaretto accompany a fluffy vanilla bean biscuit making one unbelievable bite! Check out the recipe and dish out this dessert to your family and friends before summer ends.

Vanilla Bean Shortcake Sliders
Makes about 12 cakes
  • 2 cups chopped strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries
  • 1/2 cup amaretto liqueur
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste
  • Fresh mint for garnish
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

A few hours before making the cakes, place the berries in a bowl and add liqueur. Stir to combine, then let sit at room temperature, stirring every half hour or so.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and soda, and whisk until combined. Using a fork, pastry blender or your hands, add butter pieces to the flour and mix until coarse little crumbles remain. Mix egg and milk together, then pour in and stir with a spoon until just combined, not over mixing. Add in vanilla bean paste. Use your hands if needed to bring the dough together.

Use a 1/3 cup measure to drop batter onto a nonstick baking sheet, or press dough on a sheet of parchment paper or cutting board into a 1-inch thick slab, then using a biscuit cutter to shape the dough into rounds. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown. Let cool completely.

Once cool, slice cakes in half and fill with mascarpone whipped cream and berries.

Mascarpone Whipped Cream
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 2-3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extact
In the bowl of your electric mixer (fitted with a whisk attachment), add heavy cream and mascarpone. Beat on medium high speed until peaks form, about 4-5 minutes. Toss in sugar and vanilla, mixing until just combined. Serve immediately!

Definitely one dessert we want to devour! Get a little buzz and sugar rush with this saucy spin on shortcake and end your summer day the best way--sweet!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Monday Mashups: Add to Your Summer Events with Pool Floats

With summer in full swing, floats are a necessity at any pool party. And we're not talking about those standard inflatable tubes you remember from your childhood. You've seen them in celebrity Instagrams and even on some magazine covers. We're talking about those trendy products resembling unicorns, golden swans, monarch butterflies, and even yachts. Here's a look at high-end pool floats that can be used at your events this summer—and ways some recent functions have incorporated them already!

Perrier Flavor Studio

Perrier Flavor Studio

Perrier celebrated its many flavors—including the new strawberry and watermelon varieties—with a weeklong pop-up experience that came to an event space in New York’s SoHo neighborhood from July 12 to 16. The event featured a branded bubble ball pit in the Perrier colors, as well as props that included fruit-theme pool floats such as watermelons, strawberries, and oranges. A fabulous use of these fun inflatables!

‘Toronto Life’ Doughnut Festival

‘Toronto Life’ Doughnut Festival

At Toronto Life’s inaugural Doughnut Festival, which took place in June at Dufferin Mall, doughnut pool floats were used as ceiling decor. Definitely an eye-catching element. If only all doughnuts were life-size!

BuzzFeed Presents: Glitter Bomb

BuzzFeed Presents: Glitter Bomb

At BuzzFeed’s annual Pride party, which took place in June at Villain in Brooklyn, colorful photo ops incorporated a variety of pool floats, including this one that was designed to look like a castle. We love how these pool floats add a playfulness to any event space!

Got Yacht?

Funboy’s Yacht

For a float that pulls double duty, this yacht-inspired float is exactly what you need with a daybed for two, two drink holders, and a front cooler. Perfect for in and out of the pool!

Inflatable Floating Cup Holders

GoFloats Inflatable Palm Island Drink Holder

Be on island time with these inflatables! Keep your drink afloat in any body of water with these awesome cup holders. With so many different designs, you can definitely find the right set to match your event decor!

Make s plash at your summer events with these fun inflatables and devour the details of your decor and theme with these fantastic floats!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Spend a Brew-tiful Weekend in Boston

What a weekend we have ahead of us! The sun will be shining and the rain will hold off long enough to spend sometime out and about in the city. No plans yet? Don't worry--we've got that covered. Have a brew-tiful weekend in Boston at these upcoming events!

Thursday, July 20
Samuel Adams Brisket and Brews
Despite its size, Sam Adams has never forgotten its craft beer roots! That's why later today the company will be hosting a party honoring the American Homebrewers Association (AHA). The AHA is a not-for-profit organization based in Boulder, CO, dedicated to promoting the community of homebrewers and empowering homebrewers to make the best beer in the world. AHA members get in for free, but anyone can attend to talk about the brewing process with Samuel Adams brewers and explore the rarely seen Nano Brewery where the company creates its new beers. Tickets include five beer samples and a full-course brisket meal from Northeast Café. Can't go wrong with substituting your Thursday night dinner plans for a tour and full-course of brisket at Sam Adams brewery!


Friday, July 21
City Tap House Celebrates “Belgian National Day”
On July 21, the patio at City Tap will be set to bring guests the best in distinguished yard games. In addition to pouring over a dozen brews from Allagash to honor Belgian brews, the kitchen will dish out some traditional Belgian favorites with City Tap twists such as Ham, Gruyere & Endive Croquettes with fried parsley and Belgian mustard ($12); a Farmer's Board spread with fromage from the Belgian Trappist beer-and-cheese Chimay Abbey, boudin blanc sausage, apple compote, cornichons, bister mustard and rustic bread ($15); and, Moules Frites in a flavorful broth of Belgian ale, leeks, garlic and butter with fries and andalouse sauce ($16). For those who loves to eat breakfast anytime, there are Belgian Waffles with fresh fruit, Nutella and whipped cream ($10). Don't miss this feast! Head to City Tap this Friday and celebrate like a Belgian on their national holiday!

Public House USA

Saturday, July 22
Dorchester Brewing Anniversary Bash
Dorchester Brewing is going all out for its one-year anniversary on Saturday, even securing a one-day permit from the city to double its capacity so no one will be left hanging. Double the space, double the fun. (Thanks for thinking of all of us DBco!) The brewery will hand out free giveaways throughout the day, host a trio of live music performances, and debut a new beer to mark the occasion. On the food side of things, the brewery will have pretzels, a pig roast, food trucks, and birthday cupcakes. You won't want to miss this all day bash!

It's time to step away from your Netflix-binge and head into the city to celebrate summer! Join us at these upcoming events and devour the details of a brew-tiful weekend in Boston!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wedding Wednesdays: How To Get a Marriage License

Sometimes in the excitement of all that wedding planning, you forget about actually solidifying your union by applying for your marriage license! Make sure it's official by checking this off your list. Sure it's paperwork but it's still exciting! Here's everything you need to know before heading to the marriage bureau.

So where do you even start? The Internet will likely be your best bet! Most, if not all, states have a government website with ample information on what materials and documents are required and the office's contact information. Check out this helpful website on US marriage laws to find out about the policies in your area.

Once you know in which municipality (city, district and county) your nuptials will take place, you'll need to locate where to obtain the license. It might be city hall, the city or town clerk's office, or the marriage license bureau in the county where you plan to say 'I do'. For example, in Connecticut, marriage licenses are issued by the municipal clerk's office in the town where you'll be married, whereas in Iowa, couples may apply at any county registrar or recorder's office. In some states, like New Jersey, you can simply download a marriage license brochure and the license itself to be filled out by you and your spouse-to-be.

Bride signing marriage license

Other than the physical paperwork, it's important to be cautious of timing. Some states require a several-day waiting period between granting the license and your nuptials taking place. Definitely make sure you're ahead of the game if this is the case! Also, most marriage licenses are only valid for a window of time—anywhere between 10 days and a year—during which you must have the ceremony, sign the license (together with your officiant) and file for a certified license and marriage certificate. Good to know!

Requirements do vary by state, but they all basically just want to confirm the basics: that you have proper identification, that you're not currently married to anyone else (if you previously were, you need proper divorce or widowhood papers) and that you're of legal age to marry. A good checklist of necessities includes:
  • Birth certificates
  • Parental consent if underage (usually under 18); you may also need court consent in this case
  • Photo identification (driver's license, state ID card, passport or birth certificate)
  • Social Security number
  • Proof of citizenship and/or residence
  • Divorce decree if divorced
  • Death certificate if widowed
With all of this general information in mind, we've listed the specific marriage license process for Massachusetts below. Read on to find what you'll need!

  • Fee charged; varies by town or city and required at time of application
  • Waiting period: three days
  • Issued by city or town clerk's office
  • Valid for 60 days
  • Click here for general information and here for a clerk's offices by city and town.
Don't forget to add this crucial piece to your wedding planning checklist! Do the research and devour the details of your marriage license before heading down the aisle!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Summer at Scampo

Scampo, the stunning first floor restaurant in Boston’s Liberty Hotel, is a culinary destination created by legendary chef Lydia Shire and The Lyons Group. Italian for “escape,” Scampo is providing city dwellers with an urban oasis of culinary art laced in delicious flavors, personal touches and treasures from the sea. Shire’s reputation for defying tradition translates into Italian-inspired cuisine unrestrained by borders, drawing on flavors from the Mediterranean and Middle East. Known for having one of the most dynamic menus in Boston, Shire is debuting 25 new creations at Scampo that encapsulate the boldest and brightest flavors of summertime.

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The contemporary space features shiny copper lamps, a glowing orange bar and stools overlooking a mozzarella bar, setting the stage for house-made breads baked in a tandoori oven, pastas that surpass red sauce norms and entrées that turn simple ingredients into extraordinary experiences. An approachable wine list complements the food with ready-to-drink varietals from mostly small Italian and American producers. Now let's dive into the new menu!

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From the signature mozzarella bar, there is a trio of newcomers: Mozzarella with Prosciutto on grilled watermelon steak ($29); Mozzarella with Beef Sirloin Carpaccio with peppery red watercress and petit cracked black pepper arancini ($22); and, Burrata on olive oil-fried chestnut polenta with broiled Frog Hollow Farm’s organic peaches ($22).

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In the “Handmade Breads” category, there is Crisped Lebanese Pita Bread with whipped white bean and anchovy, sumac and pistachio oil finished with grated, cured egg yolk ($15) and on the pizza side, there is a new Tiny Meatballs Pizza with jowl bacon, candele sauce and gremolata ($20) as well as a White Pizza with truffle cheese, sherried chanterelle and fig preserve ($25).

New “Handmade Pasta e Risotti” offerings include the Delicate Three-Cheese Lasagna, a deconstructed creation filled with robiola cheese and topped with zucchini blossoms and truffle honey ($21); Sweet Potato Agnolotti with crisped pork belly and caramel ‘pulled’ roasted hazelnuts ($19/29); Beet Pappardelle with blue poppy seeds, white baby beets and black summer truffles ($18/28); and, Butter ‘Toasted’ Acquerello Risotto, from Piedmont, with summer’s soft shell lobster and ‘silver queen’ corn ($28).

To accompany this summer menu, Scampo also provides an outdoor patio that seats 60 for brunch, lunch and dinner. Enjoy the warmer weather with a taste of Shire's seasonal menu and a side of sunshine! Make your reservation today and devour the details of dining out in Boston at Scampo located in the historic Liberty Hotel!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Monday Mashups: A Better Breakfast

Would you rather indulge on a Monday morning? Have a tasty treat that will take you through the work week? Consider a smoothie as a breakfast supplement! These blended concoctions are a healthy alternative that will fill you right up. Check out our five favorites and treat yourself to a better breakfast!

Banana Kale Pineapple Smoothie

Banana Kale Pineapple Smoothie — the BEST, most delicious green smoothie! Packed with protein, it keeps you full, so it’s great for weightloss or detox. Easy, healthy, and even kids love it! Recipe at | @wellplated

2 cups lightly packed chopped kale leaves, stems removed
3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or any milk you like)
1 frozen medium banana, cut into chunks
1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup frozen pineapple pieces
2 tablespoons peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
1 to 3 teaspoons honey, to taste

Place all ingredients (kale, almond milk, banana, yogurt, pineapple, peanut butter, and honey) in a blender in the order listed. Blend until smooth. Add more milk as needed to reach desired consistency. Enjoy immediately!

Blueberry Avocado Smoothie

This super creamy blueberry avocado smoothie is packed with protein, healthy fats, vitamins and antioxidants. Gluten-free and easily made vegan, it makes a healthy and delicious breakfast or snack |

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 cup baby spinach
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 ripe avocado
2 to 3 tsp. maple syrup

Place all ingredients into any standard blender in the order listed and blend until smooth. Transfer to a glass, top with any additional toppings of choice, and enjoy immediately!

Mighty Mango Protein Smoothie

Mighty Mango Protein Smoothie

3/4 cup almond milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/3 frozen banana
1 cup frozen mango slices or chunks
2 to 3 chunks frozen pineapple
Dash of ground ginger powder

Note: This smoothie yields the best consistency if blended in stages. In a high-powdered blender, add almond milk, ground ginger, and protein powder and blend until combined. Add in frozen banana, frozen mango and frozen pineapple chunks; blend well and serve immediately.

Strawberry Coconut Protein Smoothie

Strawberry Coconut Protein Smoothie |

1 scoop strawberry protein powder
1 cup fresh strawberries fresh or frozen
1/2 frozen banana
8 oz. unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup coconut flakes

Place protein powder, strawberries, banana, and coconut milk into a blender and blend on high until smooth. If smoothie is too thick for your taste, add some water and blend. Add flaked coconut and blend on high for about 15 seconds or until fully incorporated. Serve immediately garnished with extra flaked coconut, if desired.

Vanilla Oat Protein Smoothie

This smoothie is packed with healthy fat, carbs and protein and will keep you full and energized for hours!

1 cup almond milk
1 tbsp. almond butter
1 frozen banana
2 tbsp. vanilla protein
1/4 cup oats
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of pink sea salt

Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into a glass and enjoy immediately.

What a way to start your day! Devour the details of a better breakfast and indulge every day of the week. Cheers!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

National Ice Cream Day

You scream, I scream, we all scream, for ice cream! In 1984, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed July as National Ice Cream Month and established National Ice Cream Day as the third Sunday in the month of July. One could say, President Reagan really had a sweet tooth! This year, National Ice Cream Day falls on Sunday, July 16 and we couldn't be more thrilled to chill out this weekend with some tasty treats at these events honoring your frozen favorites! (Caution: brain freezes may occur.)

WGBH Funfest: A Day of Ice Cream and Music
July 16 marks National Ice Cream Day, but local PBS channel WGBH will celebrate a day early by hosting an all-you-can-eat ice cream bonanza featuring sweet treats from a number of local creameries. Kids will love the face painting, inflatable rides, and a chance to interact with beloved PBS characters. However, this event is open to all ages, so set your inner-child free! Funfest runs from 10AM to 4PM and admission is just $10!

Image result for wgbh funfest

SoWa Ice Cream Scooptacular
Head to SoWa Open Market’s second annual Ice Cream Scooptacular. The market will have $6 sundaes made with ingredients from many small markets and local vendors. Eat ice cream from Honeycomb Creamery, with toppings from Yummy Mummy Brownies, Top Shelf Cookies, Q’s Nuts, Doves and Figs, Chrissy’s Crumble Wicked Good No-Grain-Ola, Giacomo’s Gourmet Granola LLC, and fresh fruit from The Herb Lyceum. SoWa's Scooptacular is open both Saturday and Sunday 10AM to 4PM. Enjoy your favorite frozen treat while perusing the many artisanal products on display and have yourself a day!

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Ice Cream Sundays at Bar Boulud
This French bistro, usually known for its charcuterie and expansive wine cellar, will join in the Ice Cream Day festivities with its “Back Bay Sundaes.” Available now through the rest of the summer, three decadent options starting at $13 dollars will be offered as well as a trio tasting for $15. We recommend trying the sweet treat dubbed 'Magically Delicious', a dessert dedicated to bringing the kid out in you with toasted oat cereal ice cream and Lucky Charms. Yum!

Ice Cream

Get your frozen fix this weekend and devour the details of National Ice Cream Day on Sunday, July 16! Don't just stop there, celebrate these sweet treats all month long just as President Reagan intended. The more ice cream the merrier!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Wedding Wednesdays: Earlymoon Before You Honeymoon

Sometimes when you're so caught up in planning a wedding, you forget to spend time together. There can become a real disconnect between the bride and groom. If this is the case, take a moment to step back, enjoy the process and spend quality time together. Consider opting for an Earlymoon!

Road trip honeymoon

What's an Earlymoon? Many couples sneak in a getaway before their nuptials, either in lieu of or in addition to a traditional honeymoon (newlyweds Pippa Middleton and James Matthews reportedly vacationed in St. Barths before their wedding). It’s the perfect chance to take a break from wedding prep and be together before you’re officially married. Catch up on sleep, get some vitamin D, have a mini adventure and enjoy all the date nights you deserve!

This doesn't have to be some budget busting trip. If your family has a summer home or cabin in the woods, ask if you can spend sometime alone there for a little weekend retreat! Whether you book a two-night stay at a bed-and-breakfast one town over, head to a day spa or maybe even jet to the Caribbean, your trip can be as low-key or luxe as your schedule and budget allow. It’s all about reconnecting as a couple, doing something you love and pressing the pause button on vendor check-ins, seating charts and centerpiece samples; at least for a little while!

Curtain Bluff, Antigua      This all-inclusive luxury resort located between two beautiful beaches makes enjoying your honeymoon easy with all activities and meals included in one rate.      Don’t miss:  The weekly wine tasting classes featuring one of finest wine collections in the Caribbean with over 25,000 bottles.

Most importantly before you go, make sure you have a few key wedding tasks checked off and any remaining ones on your radar—nothing’s worse than returning from a trip with an overwhelming to-do list. Plan your vacation so it falls at a good time in your wedding planning process. Confirm and book your big vendors and leave a trusted family or wedding party member to be your vendor point person while you’re away. You can always think of it as extra motivation! For instance, if you schedule an Earlymoon for eight weeks before your wedding, it’ll incentivize you to get everything done in time for your trip.

This great escape will remind you of all of the wonderful reasons why you're planning a wedding in the first place. Take some time together and devour the details of an Earlymoon before you say 'I do' and jet off to your honeymoon!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Throwback Tuesday: Taco Bell Cantina

Hey readers! You might remember our post highlighting Taco Bell's efforts to grow their lifestyle brand including the grand opening of their Cantina on the Las Vegas Strip. Their aim is to drive people inside by getting rid of the drive-thru and installing digital signage and a range of alcoholic slushie taps. The menu includes shareable tapas-style nachos, quesadillas, and even chicken fingers. There's an exhibition kitchen where you can watch the chefs prepare your Nachos BellGrande and the retail store that sells branded shirts, bikinis, rings, and towels.

You may be wondering why we're talking about this again. Well the other day, we were perusing Facebook and came across a video of a couple tying the knot at the Vegas Cantina. What a way to drive people inside, am I right? Check it out!

Taco Bell enthusiasts Dan Ryckert and Bianca Monda tied the knot at Taco Bell and were treated to a reception filled with Twisted Freezes and Cheesy Gordita Crunches! Having a wedding at the restaurant is simple: with your wedding license in hand, you simply walk up to the counter, order a wedding right off the menu and within four hours, an ordained officiant will meet you at the altar. Amazing!

Taco Bell wedding's offer a cheaper alternative to traditional weddings, which on average can cost $31,123. The restaurant's $600 wedding package includes:
  • A private reception area inside the restaurant for 15 of your closest family and friends
  • Custom merchandise like sauce packet garter and bow tie, “Just Married” t-shirts for the bride and groom, Taco Bell branded champagne flutes, a Taco 12 Pack filled with tacos and a Cinnabon Delights cake for dessert
  • A Sauce Packet bouquet for the bride
Taco Bell said weddings will be open to the public in Las Vegas later on this summer. We can't wait to see the number of weddings ordered up! Show your love for one another coupled with your love for Taco Bell by tying the knot at the Cantina and devour the details of one outrageously awesome Las Vegas wedding!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Dive In! To Fun at the New England Aquarium

The New England Aquarium is a global leader in ocean exploration and marine conservation. With more than 1.3 million visitors a year, the Aquarium is one of the premier visitor attractions in Boston and a major public education resource for the region. They are a catalyst for global change through public engagement, commitment to marine animal conservation, leadership in education, innovative scientific research, and effective advocacy for vital and vibrant oceans.

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As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Aquarium relies on the generous support of individuals like you to help them do everything from keeping the lights lit and their amazing animals fed to advancing their many critical research and conservation efforts both locally and around the globe. To continue this effort, the Aquarium offers different levels of membership for folks out there that want to protect marine life and save our oceans!

As a member you have access to 35,000 marine animals, 70 awe-inspiring exhibits, and exclusive events all year. But that is just the beginning.

ALL Members Enjoy:
  • FREE express Aquarium admission for a full year*
  • FREE subscription to blue, their member magazine, and SeaMail, their member e-newsletter
  • DISCOUNTED Aquarium admission for additional guests (10%)*
  • FREE members-only Dive In! open houses, throughout the year
  • EXCLUSIVE invitations to their Fish, Fun, and Fright Halloween party, and adults-only evenings Fin & Tonic and That’s A-Moray
  • DISCOUNTS on dining and gift shop purchases (10%)
  • DISCOUNTED parking at several nearby facilities (check local parking options)
  • DISCOUNTED Aquarium Whale Watch tickets (16%)*
  • DISCOUNTS on educational programs, summer camps, and birthday parties
  • DISCOUNTS on Animal Encounters and Behind-the-Scenes Tours (10%)
  • WAIVED handling fees
  • EXCLUSIVE opportunity to join the New England Aquarium Dive Club
  • And more!
Or Enhance Your Experience with PREMIUM Benefits:
  • EXCLUSIVE September Sundays early morning Aquarium hours
  • INVITATION to their year-end Holiday Breakfast
  • SAVE MORE on Behind-the-Scenes Tours (50%)
  • PRIORITY registration for ticketed member events
One Member-only event coming up this Wednesday, July 12th, dubbed the Dive In! open house, showcases information on different marine life. This week, the open house highlights shark education and awareness. Members of The Gills Club, an education initiative of the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, will be onsite to share their knowledge and help others be “Smart About Sharks.” The Gills will have hands-on learning activities for families to take part in and discover how to age sharks, tag them, and make size estimates from aerial photographs. The event runs from 6:30-9:00PM. Check out the Aquarium website for more information.

Image result for new england aquarium

Members can round out the evening with a treat from the cash snack bar and take home a memento of your evening with an extra discount in the Gift Shop. This is a free, members-only evening. No reservations are required, but admission is strictly limited to the number of admissions permitted with your membership level. Just as with Aquarium admission, children under 3 are admitted free and do not count toward your guest total. The size of your party must not exceed the number of admissions covered by your membership, which must be valid on the date of the event. Benefits are nontransferable, and someone from the member household must be present for the group to be admitted.

Consider becoming a member and joining your favorite marine life Wednesday to enjoy a cool evening visiting with all their exciting exhibits, chatting with Aquarium educators, and having your burning questions about the Giant Ocean Tank answered by divers while they’re submerged! Don't miss your chance to Dive In! to some fun at the New England Aquarium and devour the details of protecting marine life and saving our ocean!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Boston Pizza Festival

In case you were unaware, Boston has some incredible pizza places, both old and new, from the North End to the South End and beyond. To celebrate Boston’s commitment to quality slices, more than 30 vendors will gather at City Hall Plaza this weekend for the first-ever Boston Pizza Festival. Along with pizza vendors like Regina Pizzeria, Babbo Pizzeria & Enoteca, and Oath Craft Pizza, the 2-day festival will feature live music, pizza-making demonstrations, and acrobatic pizza-tossing showcases.

Channel your inner Barstool El Pres and make your own opinions of Boston's best pizza!

One bite--everyone knows the rules (including this adorable older woman)! General admission to the festival is $15. If you splurge for the VIP package, it'll cost you $50 but includes one hour early admission, access to VIP seating at pizza seminars, free sample sizes for first hour and VIP gift bag, access to VIP area with private bar. Attendees can try a slice for $2 or buy a whole pie for $6. A beer or glass of wine to wash it down will also cost you $6 but these prices are much more reasonable than treating yourself at a Sox or Pats game.

Boston Pizza Festival

Don't miss this opportunity to try all the pizza Boston has to offer! Devour the details of a slice or a whole pie and have some fun at the first-ever Boston Pizza Festival. Mangia Mangia!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Free Fridays Treat by Highland Street

The Highland Street Foundation is committed to addressing the most pressing needs and concerns for children and families in Massachusetts and California. They provide access and opportunities in education, housing, mentorship, health care, environment, and the arts. Established in 1989 by David J. McGrath, Jr., the Foundation has contributed more than $170 million to hundreds of remarkable non-profit organizations and continues to grow their community involvement. Their largest initiative recognized across New England is the Free Fun Fridays program that happens each summer.

Free Fun Fridays offer visitors no-cost admission to many of the most treasured cultural venues in Massachusetts. This program was created to increase access and enrichment opportunities for children and families throughout New England during the summer months. Every Friday, from the end of June through the end of August, multiple sites are open for free. The Highland Street Foundation reaches out to schools, veterans groups, libraries, seniors centers, and many other community organizations to ensure that everyone knows that they are also welcome!

Image result for highland street foundation free fun fridays

Since 2009, Free Fun Fridays has drawn more than 900,000 visitors to venues throughout the Commonwealth. The program has grown to include participating venues in every corner of the state, helping them open their doors for free to the community. Here are the places you can visit for free this Friday, July 7th!

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
New England Historic Genealogical Society
Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Amelia Park Children’s Museum
Falmouth Museums on the Green
Pilgrim Hall Museum
Children’s Museum in Easton
The Hall at Patriot Place

Don't miss out on the fun! Check out the 2017 schedule and devour the details of Free Fridays all summer long!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Wedding Wednesdays: Six Sensational Hair Accessories for Your Wedding Day

You've got the shoes, the dress and the jewels but still feel incomplete. What's that last finishing touch you need? Consider adding a hair accessory! These sparkly numbers are known to give a major upgrade to any given hairstyle, not to mention they serve multiple purposes. Check out six of our favorites and complete your overall wedding look with these sensational hair accessories!

Gold & Crystal Baby's Breath

35 Wedding Hair Accessory Ideas for Every Kind of Bride | Brides

For a softer look, this elegant hair clip will make your hair sparkle!

Ethereal Goddess

35 Wedding Hair Accessory Ideas for Every Kind of Bride | Brides

Add a whimsical floral-inspired crown to bring out your inner goddess.

Queen of the Daisies

35 Wedding Hair Accessory Ideas for Every Kind of Bride | Brides

Highlight your floral arrangements with a matching headband!

Somewhere Over the Rainbow-inspired Crown

35 Wedding Hair Accessory Ideas for Every Kind of Bride | Brides

Already picked out your ruby red slippers? This rainbow-shaped crown is the perfect compliment!

Bollywood Glam

35 Wedding Hair Accessory Ideas for Every Kind of Bride | Brides

This ornate hair piece is a showstopper sure to add some serious glam to any wedding ensemble.

Vintage Jewels

35 Wedding Hair Accessory Ideas for Every Kind of Bride | Brides

Just like the old Hollywood classics, dazzle your guests with this stunning vintage hair piece!

Each one of these six sensational hair accessories can be purchased online by going to and visiting the corresponding sites. Consider adding one of these sparkly numbers to your wedding ensemble and devour the details of upgrading your hairstyle to complete your overall swoon-worthy look! You'll be happy you did!