Concerts Galore

The summertime is the perfect time of year to attend outdoor concerts with friends and family. Of course, it always depends on the weather, but thankfully this summer the rain has held out for the few concerts I’ve attended (and even if it does rain, who doesn’t love dancing carelessly in the pouring rain to LIVE music?!).

I always have an ongoing bucket list of bands and artists I want to see in concert and this summer I was lucky enough to cross two BIG ones off my list.

In July, I made a weekend trip to New York City to see Beyonce & Jay Z’s On the Run Tour at the Metlife Stadium with one of my good friends from home. I was a big fan of Destiny’s Child growing up and loved all of Beyonce’s top hits when she spun off her solo career. But what I was most excited about for this tour was watching her and her back-up dancers rock out on stage. Even though I was about a mile from the stage, Beyonce and her dancers put so much energy into amplifying every single move and shimmy that the distance between myself and the stage didn’t even matter.

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 Queen B herself  (not many of my pictures came out all that well).

Just last weekend, two of my good friends from school came up to visit Boston and also to see One Direction’s Where We Are Tour at Gillette Stadium (yes I am 23 years old and I saw One Direction, no shame). Even though we may have been the oldest ones in attendance (besides the parents chaperoning their crazy tweens), it was such a fun night and the weather was PERFECT. We may or may not have tried tracking down the fab five the following day in Boston…

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I just had to get a close up of Harry Styles on the jumbo-tron.

IMG_5173They had some pretty cool fireworks to go along with their top hits.

Summer isn’t over just yet! I still have one more concert to attend once I head home, which is the Kings of Leon Mechanical Bull Tour. I’m ready to add some rock ‘n roll into the concert mix!

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Scrumptious Blueberry Muffins

Nothing beats dessert for breakfast, am I right? Pastries, muffins, and any breakfast food with the slightest bit of chocolate in it is one of my biggest weaknesses. I love waking up knowing I can have a warm croissant or fresh muffin to go with my daily cup of coffee.

This weekend my parents are in town visiting and I wanted to make something easy for us to take on the road for breakfast as I’m sure we’ll be doing lots of sightseeing and fun activities throughout Boston. I’ve made these blueberry muffins in the past, courtesy of one of my favorite blogs, Cupcakes and Cashmere and they were a huge hit so I thought, why not make them again!

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The recipe itself is from Ina Garten and makes plenty of batter for at least 16 scrumptious muffins. I like to add streusel on top of mine so I used a basic brown sugar streusel topping, which can be found here.

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Be sure to put the streusel on top of the batter before placing the muffins in the oven for a crisp topping.

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I alternated between using a regular sized muffin pan and a mini muffin pan for those who wanted a bite-size portion to go with their breakfast.

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Bon appétit!

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Summer At Last

This past weekend, June 21st to be exact, marked the OFFICIAL start to summer, which up here in Boston means the temperature is finally warm enough to break out your denim cutoffs and spaghetti straps. I finally feel at home in my new place and the weather has helped make the patio my go-to resting spot after a long day at work. I even have my eno hammock hung up for spontaneous outdoor napping sprees.

On Saturday morning I was lucky enough to make the trek back down South for one of my high school friend’s wedding in Spartanburg, SC. It felt so good to be back in the land of the South where everyone says “Hello”, “Good morning/afternoon/evening”, as they pass you by whether they know you or not. It was a much needed relief after walking the crowded city streets fearing an elbow to the face up here (no offense, Boston – but it HURTS!).

The best thing about the South: the good ‘ole comfort food. Luckily, Spartanburg isn’t too far from Downtown Greenville (which I guess is now my old stomping ground). My friend Alisha and I ventured into DT G-Vegas for a much needed southern-cooked brunch on Sunday morning to fuel up before the wedding at my favorite biscuit spot: Tupelo Honey Cafe.

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Rather than bread and butter before a meal, you get warm biscuits and homemade jam!

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 My b-fast of choice is clearly eggs benedict these days – but this one is special – served over a biscuit instead of the traditional english muffin.

As 6 PM rolled around, Alisha and I got all dolled up and ready to watch the first of our friends walk down the aisle. Katelin was such a beautiful bride and the venue was spectacular! The ceremony was outside in the bright setting sun and the reception occurred inside an old brick building with vintage features throughout. Dinner was served, toasts were made, and memories were created on the dance floor. It was a great night spent with even greater friends celebrating the lovely new couple, Zac & Katelin!

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 All of the “Barron Girls” with the GORGEOUS bride.

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 The newlywed’s first dance.

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 The funnest photo booth – spent way too much time in it!

 Cheers to a lovely couple with a life full of many joyful years together!

Monday Musings

This past weekend was everything I needed – from a rainy night in spent catching up on this year’s hottest movies, to exploring Harvard Square with new friends, and still managing to try a new recipe in between it all. My body and mind still aren’t used to these 40 hour work weeks, therefore by the time Friday afternoon rolls around, I’m feeling like a walking zombie in need of a serious espresso shot.

After a good night’s rest, on Saturday morning I ventured back into the city, or more particularily into Cambridge, to meet up with some new friends for a late morning full of the infamous, “brunching”. Last summer in NYC, I didn’t really get a chance to fully experience the whole “brunch scene” all the New Yorkers would rave about. But if it’s anything like the mouth-watering meal I experienced at Grafton Street in Harvard Square, I sure have been missing out all this time.

photo-5I am salivating just thinking about how good this meal was!

There’s no way to do brunch without a mimosa/bloody mary in hand, so when I saw they had a “Summer Mimosa” on the menu, that was my go-to (it really did taste like summer!). The cocktail itself was enough to keep me coming back, but the food, oh man the food, SO GOOD. I ordered the Avocado Benedict, which was your traditional eggs benedict dish, but instead of bacon (I know, I know, who in their right mind would pass up bacon?) they serve it with slices of fresh avocado. If you’re ever in the area, I urge you to brunch it here.

Before saying goodbye and parting from my friends, on our way to our T stop we just so happened to pass right by a J.P Lick’s, which is Boston’s famous ice cream parlor. So of course we decided to pop in and celebrate the sunshine coming back out to play with none other than ice cream. I opted for a scoop of the peanut butter cookies ‘n cream and a scoop of the chocolate chocolate chip (when I said I really liked chocolate, I wasn’t lying). It was worth every last lick!

imageThis hit the spot.

If only the weekend could last just a little bit longer. I’m sure we’re all experiencing a case of the oh-so-dreadful Monday’s, so to keep you going I wanted to share some of my favorite links with you:

1.) For all you Florida Crackers out there, this map is spot on!

2.) Every thing about this lip synch battle is great, from Emma’s mad skills to her posh outfit.

3.) The most delicious lemonade recipe for an afternoon porch session.

4.) This makes me miss my summer days spent roaming NYC.

5.) These photos will make you think twice about humanity – love this!

6.) I watched this video a couple of weeks ago and have been trying to live by it ever since.

7.) This is a great interview for all of my fellow recent grads out there kickstarting their careers.

8.) Loving this new Kate Spade bag.

Have a great week!

Adventures at SoWa Sundays

Whenever I arrive in a new town or city, I find the best way to explore and discover a new place is by foot. I’ve been in the Boston area for a little over a week now and lucky for me, the weather has been beautiful so far (minus one rainy day or two, but I was at work all day, so no biggie). I took it upon myself to “master” the T this weekend from the nearest station to my home into Downtown. Minus the crazy highways up here (I find myself cringing every time I merge onto one), all ran smoothly as I made my way from the suburbs into Boston Common.

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A scenic view of the Massachusetts State House from the center of Boston Common.

I’m a HUGE food truck fan (or connoisseur as I like to say) and first discovered them while going to school in Greenville, SC. In fact, I loved them so much I even devoted a semester-long project to them for my Digital Communications class (find my sub-par Youtube video on them here). There were only a few food truck options in Greenville, but I loved reading articles in the paper about the “food truck revolution” taking place across the nation. Needless to say, whenever I relocate to a new city the first thing I research is the food and restaurant scene.

Hence, here in Boston I discovered SoWa Sundays (SoWa = the cultural district south of Washington Street), which has a Food Truck Court where 25+ food trucks convene every Sunday (May – October) rain or shine to serve delicious plates to Bostonians and visitors alike. On my walk there, I happened upon a farmer’s market, a craft goods market, and a vintage/antique market. It was like a dream come true – handmade earrings, homemade candles, vintage magazine covers and clothing galore. Plus, how could I forget the fresh, local produce (I’m a huge proponent of the local food movement).

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Entrance into the Vintage Market.

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Hunting for treasure.

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They even had a vintage telephone booth from London!

It took a lot of willpower not to buy everything I saw…but of course I couldn’t leave empty-handed. I managed to find a baking book from a San Francisco pastry shop – I’ll be sure to attempt the recipes and share them with you all. I also had to manage not to eat any of the freshly baked goods on display at the Farmer’s Market as I had to save my appetite for the abundance of food truck options awaiting me. Which leads me to the best part of my adventure: the Food Truck Court.

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This was too good to be true! (I’m quite the cookie monster myself).

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Batch, redefining the “ice cream truck”.

I came hungry and left happy. My favorites were the Rosemary Lemonade (I’ve got to find an at-home recipe for this – very refreshing for hot summer days) and the Korean Pork Bulgogi Slider from the Dining Car. The food truck owners had their whole family onboard helping them prepare the food for the 20+ people waiting in line, wide-eyed and hungry. Definitely worth the wait!

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The Korean Pork Bulgogi Slider -yum! (Notice I couldn’t wait to take a bite before snapping a photo).

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Just a few of the many satisfied customers.

Of course I couldn’t leave without some dessert, which is where The Cookie Monstah came to the rescue. Anyone who knows me well enough, knows cookies are my weakness. I bought a freshly baked M&M cookie, but they’re famous for their cookie ice cream sandwiches (I’ll be back for one, don’t you worry!). After the long, hot walk back to Boston Common, it was the perfect treat while taking in the afternoon in the park.

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As the Cookie Monster would say, “Me want cookie!”

All in all, it was a Sunday well spent!