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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Savory Summer Salad

I’ve never been able to make a salad as good as the ones at Panera Bread, which always taste fresh with the perfect dressing to couple with their leafy greens. Whenever I see a deliciously photographed salad on a food blog and I try to make it myself, it never tastes as good as it appears. I’m always left disappointed with an unsatisfied stomach.

That was until I came across this delicious summer salad from Pinch of Yum. It looked divine, using all of summer’s fresh ingredients and a simple balsamic vinegar dressing – there was no way I could mess it up. After a grand total of 20 minutes preparing the salad dressing, grilled chicken, and the remaining ingredients, I dove in for my first bite and was finally satisfied. This balsamic watermelon chicken salad is the perfect summer salad to enjoy al fresco!

IMG_3060A great mix of refreshing flavors blended into the perfect summer salad!

What are some of your favorite summer recipes? Share in the comments section below!

 

Books On My Radar

I love to read, but lately I have been having trouble really getting into a good book. It seems like it takes me 150 pages to finally dive into a book these days, and by then I’ve lost interest. So I decided to make a list of some books that have been on my radar that I think I will actually be able to indulge myself in. Nothing beats a great summer read by the pool or beachside. What are some of your summer reads?

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1.) The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

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2.) The Vacationers by Emma Straub

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3.) Looking for Alaska by John Green

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4.) Friendship by Emily Gould

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5.) A Short Guide to a Happy Life by Anna Quindlen

Be sure to check out these great links I’ve stumbled upon this week, too:

1.) Nothing beats some southern comfort food – this article hits the spot.

2.) Love this article on how Late Night TV needs to step up and get some women!

3.) This is so true!

4.) I’ve got to make these for breakfast, ASAP!

Spiced Up Shrimp Tacos

Mexican food is something I crave on a regular basis – there’s no better way to end a long day than with a cup of queso shared with friends and an ice cold margarita, especially in the summer heat! This past weekend, I was definitely feeling the craving come on and knew I would have to find an easy way to satisfy it. Being from Florida, I’m also a huge seafood fanatic, therefore when I came across this recipe for shrimp tacos with cilantro-lime sour cream, I knew it was the best of both worlds.

It’s a super easy, no mess recipe that can be fixed up quickly on even the busiest of nights. It took me about 30 minutes maximum from start to finish.

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The blend of spices mixed in with the shrimp glaze made the dish turn out top notch!

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The sliced avocado and cilantro-lime sour cream made this dish refreshing for a summer meal.

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Serve with a margarita on the rocks and you have yourself a meal!

What’s your favorite go-to Mexican dish?

Oceanside

I’ve been away from home a little under 2 months now and I’m already missing the salt water sea breeze on a summer afternoon.

Growing up in Naples, FL summer days were spent camped out on the beach until the afternoon thunderstorms rolled in, forcing you to finally seek refuge inside. I miss those careless days spent splashing around in the ocean with friends or just indulging in a good book for endless hours oceanside. While surfing through Pinterest and seeing all the new swimsuit styles I became nostalgic, lusting for my past summers spent with my toes in the sand.

I’ve got my fingers crossed to make it down to the Cape eventually this summer to finally satisfy my beach craving. Until then, I’ll have to make a list of all the fashionable beach finds I want to test out this summer and let that suffice!

beach hatsLove these DIY beach hats from Stephanie Sterjovski’s blog!

*EXCLUSIVE* **NO WEB** Lupita Nyong'o shows off her Bikini Body in Hawaii  **USA ONLY** *MUST CALL FOR PRICING*

Scalloped bathing suits are in this summer, love this look on Lupita!

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Mara Hoffman‘s bathing suits always have the most unique/colorful prints for some fun in the sun.

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Olivia Palermo rocking a chic cover-up.

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I’m a huge fan of this new bathing suit style – I just don’t know if I have the guts to try it!

What are some of your favorite beachside fashion staples?

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!