Monday, August 25, 2014

:: the F word ::

The F word is FRIZZ. And in my world, it's practically as bad as the real F word. There is nothing worse than fixing your hair and then leaving the house and having it balloon into a ball of cotton candy as soon as it hits the atmosphere. Frustrating. And so unattractive.

So when this lovely ceramic straight iron arrived from Lionesse Beauty Bar, I couldn't wait to try it on this Brillo pad I keep on the top of my head. Here it is air-dried out of the shower:

And here it 20 minutes later (only 20 minutes, people!!):

Impressive, no? And I can tell you that I went to watch the Little League World Series and grab dinner downtown on Saturday, and it STAYED LIKE THIS AFTER LEAVING THE HOUSE. Amazing.

Here's the great frizz tamer herself:

A little bit about her:

-She has a 100% ONYX ceramic heat plate, 1.25 " wide, which makes her easy to get right into my frizzy roots, and only requires one, maybe two strokes so I'm done in a flash.

-She has variable temperature control (unlike my old one which was just an off/on switch)

-Negative ion technology is what eliminates the frizz and static and adds SHINE (that and this serum, which not only works, but smells divine)

-A 1.5m cord makes maneuvering her around my bathroom a breeze

-Dual voltage! I look like a hot mess every time I leave the country because I'm afraid of plugging in my good hot irons with a converter. No worries here!

-She didn't burn me. This is a problem I've had in the past, unfortunately. I'm either clumsy or the irons I've been using are just plain dangerous. Either way, the design of this ceramic straightener left me safe and sound.

So I'm basically on my way to a frizz free life. Bring it, Mother Nature.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

:: a curtsy to olives & grace ::

You know those little things that you give as gifts that make people think you're the most thoughtful gift giver ever? Olives & Grace is full of them. And the best part is that the makers really love whatever it is they're making, whether it be chocolate or tea or pencils or soap.

This sweet little shop recently moved from another spot in the South End into its current location at 623 Tremont Street. The white walls and rustic wood floors make it such an inviting space to take a look at all the wares. Batch numbers and hand sewn labels are an indicator of how unique these items are and how they're all truly little labors of love!

Here's my haul from last week's blogger party:

Peanut almond butter from Big Spoon Roasters (used last night to make the delicious paleo almond butter cup recipe found here); Ajiri Tea (more on them in a sec); McCrea's Rosemary Truffle Sea Salt (addiction); and Q's Nuts.

If this makes it seem like we're only talking food here, we're not--it's just that I'm usually only talking food. Olives & Grace also has a lot of other great gift ideas like books, prints, candles and soap. They will even create gift boxes (with items you've chosen from the shop or ask for a curated box!) so you can seem totally amazing and together when you gift.

But one of my favorite discoveries of the evening was Ajiri Tea. The word "ajiri" means "to employ" in Swahili, which is the national language of Kenya. Their goal is to create employment for women in western Kenya, and to educate orphans in their communities. By selling the tea, they're creating a sustainable cycle of community employment and education. And I can help while also fueling my caffeine addiction? Perfect.

Oh, and if you want some locally made, bee sweetened chocolate and marshmallows? Apothekers Kitchen has you covered.

I dare you to leave this shop empty handed. Can't be done, folks.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

:: 5wits : we got out alive! ::

If you're not up for driving to Orlando this weekend but still want a little bit of a theme park experience (and maybe throw in some all-you-can-eat wings at CBS Scene while you're at it), head to 5 Wits. I remember seeing their sign way back when they were located down near Fenway and just never stopped in. Maybe because I didn't have kids. Well folks, I still don't have kids and we had TONS OF FUN anyway.

Basically, it's a live-action, hour long adventure that has you solving puzzles to get out of the mess you're in. Our mess was being stuck in a diving bell 20,000 leagues under the sea and being attacked by a giant squid. It all started out as a lovely little visit to the Jules Verne museum and downward spiraled from there. The props and special effects were great and our guide was really patient with us on some of the puzzles.

It's so fun to use that other part of your brain sometimes, and trust me, I was USING my brain to solve these puzzles. And anyone who knows me knows I get very motion sick...but I was 20 thousand leagues down and felt fine...amazing. 

They also have a whole different experience called Espionage, where you get to save the entire world. I figured I'd start small and just save our submarine. 

While this is definitely a spot to have a pre-teen birthday party, it's also a great spot for a night out without kids. They even have kid-free nights, which you can learn about here. There was one kid on our adventure and she was actually kind of useful, but it's nice to have the option. 

Up next? Cracking safes and hacking computers in Espionage. Why sit at home and watch a movie about it when you can actually DO it!?
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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

:: surfset on a roofdeck, hello august! ::

Surfset seems to be one of those things that everyone has heard of but not too many people have actually tried. I finally got on a board last week and I can tell you that it's a hard and wobbly workout, but so, SO fun.

It's an idea that is seriously straight out of Shark Tank, and uses a custom-made surfboard on an unstable surface. The result is a ton of exercises (many of which can be easily modified to the "surfer") that work the core simultaneously with each muscle group. And since I'm someone who gets bored with workouts pretty quickly, it's a great way to add something a little different and challenging into my normal yoga/pilates/spinning routine.

And if trying to keep myself upright on a surfboard wasn't hard enough, we had our lesson on the rooftop at the Revere Hotel. I'm calling extra calorie burn for the distraction. It was warm and windy and clear out, and I mentally saved the sights and the smells and the breeze as this summer slowly starts to creep into autumn (*weep*).

Astrid was our splendid instructor and we talked posture and food and Boston and LA and Ayurveda, and we took photos and WE DIDN'T FALL OFF THE SURFBOARD. Success all around.

There are still some classes left on the rooftop this summer! Slots (only 5 per class) are available for $25 and classes are held on Thursdays from 6:30-7:30pm and Saturdays from 10:30-11:30am. Click here for more info!

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