Fashion Friday: Stitch Fix # 8

25 May

Happy Friday! I could not be more excited for this weekend as we have a lot of fun stuff planned, including the Jason Aldean concert this evening. I took today off so I have a nice and relaxing four day weekend too! Before I get too relaxed, I wanted to share my recent Stitch Fix box that I received last Friday. I asked my stylist, Carolyn, for some key pieces for summer, such as a maxi dress, pastel colored shorts and I also pinned a bunch of new pieces on my Pinterest board. Carolyn delivered just as incredibly as she did last time, if not even better!

Here is an explanation in case you haven’t heard of Stitch Fix before: Stitch Fix is an online personal styling service. You pay a $20 styling fee up front and then you fill out an extensive styling profile which is sent over to a stylist who picks out five items (clothing, jewelry, scarves, accessories, and now SHOES!) which fit the personalized profile you have filled out. The items are sent to you and you try them on, with three days to decide on what you want. If you decide to keep anything, the $20 styling fee goes toward your purchase. If you purchase all five items, then you receive 25% off your entire order!

Stitch fix box 8 box

Stitch fix box 8 pile

Item # 1: Tinsel – Naiya Scallop Denim Short ($38 – Size 4)

I told Carolyn that I love anything with a scallop detail and I’m obsessed with her choice of these shorts. I am definitely in need of some new shorts for summer since I just did a major clean-out of my summer clothing. These are also pretty high-waisted, which I like and they are very comfy too. I paired them with a top from Old Navy that I purchased last summer but they are a light enough color that they would match with pretty much anything.

stitch fix box 8 scallop shorts 1

stitch fix box 8 scallop shorts 2

Verdict: Keeper! The price point is great and they will definitely be worn a lot this summer. 

Item # 2: Collective Concepts Eayers Embroidered Cold Shoulder Top ($58 – Size Small)

I am in LOVE with this top. I asked for a cold shoulder top and this is one of the best ones that I have ever worn. It is perfect for Memorial Day weekend. The material is thicker and it just feels like excellent quality.

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Stitch fix box 8 cold shoulder 2

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Verdict: Keeper! I think this one is obvious. I can’t wait to wear it!

Item # 3: Daniel Rainn Vivienne Floral Print Sleeveless Blouse – ($58 – Size Small Petite)

This was an item that I pinned on my Pinterest board a while ago and I’m so happy that Carolyn saw it! It has an attached tank top underneath which I’m not the biggest fan of but I love the bright floral print and the light, flowy material.

stitch fix box 8 floral

stitch fix box 8 floral 2

Stitch fix box 8 floral 3

Verdict: Keeper! It is just as cute as it looked online and I knew before trying it on that I wanted to buy it. 

Item # 4: Daniel Rainn Quin Split Back Keyhole Knit Top ($58 – Size Small) 

This top has all of the amazing details that I always look for when I’m out shopping. I love the embroidery and the fun split back. The material is very stretchy and forgiving too.

stitch fix box 8 purple top 3

stitch fix box 8 purple top 2

Verdict: Keeper! The price point is a bit high but the details make it worth it to me. 

Item # 5: Market & Spruce Blanca 2fer Maxi Dress ($78 – Size Small) 

I saved the best (and most expensive) item for last. I had pinned a couple of dresses from Market and Spruce that were this exact style. I honestly screamed when I opened the box and saw this dress. Maxi dresses are my absolute favorite and you guys, the BACK on this one, oh my goodness. We are going on a cruise in July and this will be perfect for that. It is so comfortable and I feel great wearing it.

stitch fix box 8 maxi

stitch fix box 8 maxi 2

stitch fix box 8 maxi 3

Verdict: Keeper! I mean really? Was this even a question? Totally, 100% worth it for this one. 

So Carolyn absolutely killed it again with this box and I’m keeping 5/5 items. I’m finding that the pieces I’m getting in my Stitch Fix boxes have become the staple items in my closet. The higher quality of the clothing alone makes it completely worth it. I probably won’t do another box again until the fall since we have a lot of travel and weddings coming up but I’m already looking forward to it because Carolyn totally gets me and my style.

If you guys want to try out Stitch Fix, please use this link  and definitely let me know what you think!

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

 

 

 

 

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Cinco de Mayo with El Pollo Guapo & Ripe Craft Juice

23 May

Happy hump day! The weekend is so close, I can feel it! I just want some sunshine and a glass of Rose in my hand and I will be one happy camper. This week is a bit crazy as we have two softball games (I co-manage a team in the men’s league where Dan plays) and the upcoming holiday weekend.

I wanted to finally share my recap of the fabulous blogger event that I attended at El Pollo Guapo on Cinco de Mayo. It was perfection. I mean honestly, the BEST chicken and tasty margs, what could be better? It was a small group which I loved because we were able to all sit together outside at one of their picnic tables outside and chat.

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Jen from The Brunching Blonde. Oh yes, the sombreros were out in full force 😉

I have definitely mentioned El Pollo Guapo on the blog before and it is truly one of our favorite restaurants. We have been fans of their food since the owners, Roy and Heather Riedl started their food truck, Mercado (which I KNOW I have mentioned before too) and we basically stalked them at various farmer’s markets around the state because their food is that incredible. Also, I must mention that Roy and Heather are just two of the best humans ever.

They serve some pretty darn handsome (#handsomeAF) rotisserie chicken in the form of rice bowls, lettuce bowls (not salads, these are much more than a salad), tacos, and burritos with all kinds of sides and sauces that will rock your world (garlic lime aioli, I’m looking at you).

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I chose the Span-ish Chop bowl which is my number one favorite item on the menu. They also served us some smashed avocado and chips which were amazing.

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No filter needed for this beauty.

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We also enjoyed some fantastic margaritas from Ripe Craft Juice served in mason jars because YES. The margaritas were strong (Kat, I love you) and so fresh. That is what I adore about Ripe, they produce a quality product that is so incredibly fresh, you would think that someone had just squeezed the limes right in front of you. I will most definitely be enjoying experimenting with the different Ripe mixes for cocktails this summer.

El pollo guapo 1

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It was a great event and wonderful to connect with some of my favorite local bloggers. I look forward to sharing more of these events with you guys soon as I think there are a lot of fun ones planned for summer!

Note: All food and drinks were provided at no cost. As always, all opinions are my own.

Bistro on Main – Manchester, CT

9 May

Happy Wednesday! I hope you’re all having a fantastic week. I’m loving the abundant sunshine and warm weather we have been having.

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a blogger event at Bistro on Main in Manchester, CT. Now, my intentions were to relaunch the blog with a new look much sooner than now (and it’s still not done) but I’m having some domain-related issues so I’m sticking with the old look for now.

Bistro on Main is such an amazing concept as a restaurant and I’m so grateful that I was able to hear their story. They are owned and operated by the Manchester Area Conference of Churches and they aim to provide excellent food (which they do!) and support those who may not always have the support from the rest of society. They employ and train those who may have been unemployed, homeless, or dealing with any other type of obstacle that may prevent them from working.

They employ those who graduate from their MACCchefs program and offer transitional employment with most going on to other jobs in the restaurant industry after a year or so at Bistro on Main. The entire idea is one that immediately made me feel passionate and just listening to chef Ben Dubow speak about how strongly he feels for this cause made me feel even more passionate.

The food itself follows a French bistro theme, using many local ingredients, which is something I think we all can appreciate. Ripe Bar Juice also provided the amazing mixers for the cocktails, and the maitre’d Mary Quinn was a master mixologist.

This was only my second visit to a French restaurant and I was so excited to try all kinds of new dishes, which I most definitely did because I felt like they were going to have to roll me out of there by the end of the night!

I think that food speaks better in pictures than in words so, shall we?

Bistro on Main 1

Mary’s twist on a cosmo – so good!

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Bistro on Main 3

Because cheese, always. 

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Braised beef slider with french onion crema. Absurdly delicious. 

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MONTMARTRE FROMAGE GRILLE – Grilled cheese with three types of cheese and apples. SO good.

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TRIOS PETITS CANARDS MAC ET FROMAGE – Three Little Ducks Mac & Cheese. One of my favorite items that we tried. 

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COQ AU RIESLING – Chef Ben’s spin on Coq Au Vin served over a carrot parsnip mash which was TO DIE FOR. 

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Another fabulous Ripe cocktail made with their Bajan Punch and coconut rum.

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SAUMON – This is Chef Ben’s spring salmon dish and it was incredible, especially the spring pea puree surrounding the salmon

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TOAST AUX CHAMPIGNONS – Mushroom toast. This was my favorite, hands down. Give me truffle anything and I’m in love. 

As you can probably tell, Bistro on Main is just amazing, from the people to the food and everything in between. I have already promised Dan that I will bring him for dinner so he can experience this one of a kind restaurant.

Have you ever tried French food? 

Which item featured here would you love to try?

Note: All food and drinks were provided at no cost. As always, all opinions are my own.

 

 

Local Favorites: Alvarium Beer Co.

12 Apr

Happy almost Friday! I hope you’re all having a great week! I’m looking forward to some warm weather this weekend (finally!) and I plan to spend as much time as possible outside. Today I wanted to share a little bit about one of our favorite local breweries and the amazing experience that we have had with them. I want to note that this post is not sponsored in any way and I just wanted to love on one of our new favorite local spots.

This past Tuesday was Dan’s 28th birthday so last weekend, we went with a few of our friends to Alvarium Beer Co. to enjoy some beer and celebrate. We had first visited Alvarium back in December, on New Year’s Eve actually, and Dan was immediately obsessed. He decided a week or so later that he wanted to celebrate his birthday there so I slowly started planning a small, low-key gathering.

Alvarium allows you to bring in your own food, and they often have food trucks on site on the weekends too, as they did this past Saturday. We love that they have both options, bring your own and food trucks as well, as it makes it easy to visit for a planned or spontaneous trip.

Alvarium 7

The only food pic I managed to take. #foodbloggerfail

On one of our previous visits, they mentioned to us that you can reserve tables or the small couch area that they have, so I contacted them a few days prior to reserve a table for us to mingle around. They were so helpful and accommodating and also offered an additional table for the food that I was planning on bringing. This helped alleviate any stress that I had about not being able to get enough space for mingling and food.

Alvarium 2

The brewery itself is large and very open, with all kinds of neat details paying homage to the city of New Britain. Although the space itself is pretty large, they do not want to focus on mass production, but rather bringing the community together to enjoy some amazing craft beer.

Alvarium 1

The bar top is gorgeous and it is definitely one of the first things that you notice when you walk in. It is very obvious upon first sight that a lot of hard work and planning went into building this place.

Alvarium 4

They have all kinds of fun games scattered around the brewery, including life-size Jenga and a huge shelf of board games. They also have a patio which we are very much looking forward to visiting when the weather warms up.

Alvarium 3

And how is the beer, you ask? I can honestly say that I have not tried a bad beer during any of our visits. My favorite from this past weekend was Clown Parade, which is a New England style double IPA. I love juicy IPAs and this one definitely fit the bill.

Alvarium 6

This picture is from our first visit in December. 

If you’re local, this place is a must visit and again, I can’t say enough about the incredible hospitality and customer service they provide, which is honestly a rarity these days.

Alvarium 5

Alavrium is open Thursday and Friday 4-10pm, Saturday 12-10pm, and Sunday 12-7pm. They do flights, pints, and growler fills. They are located at 365 John Downey Drive, Suite B in New Britain, CT.

Friday Faves & Weekend Excitement

16 Feb

Happy Friday!!! I’m super excited for this weekend as we have lots of exciting plans 🙂 Tonight we are having our belated Valentine’s day dinner at Max Fish. We haven’t been there for dinner in forever. Gimme all the seafood!

Tomorrow we are having our annual “wine day” with our friends Robbie and Jenna. Once a year, around Valentine’s Day, we head out to Litchfield county to our favorite wineries with lots of yummy snacks packed and it is always a great time. Can’t wait!

Today I figured I would share a few of my recent favorite things (ahem, more like obsessions). Beware, they are random and all over the place but that’s just how I’m feeling today 😉

Favorite leggings: Zella Live In High Waist Leggings. These leggings are definitely a splurge item unless you find them on sale like I did, but they are so worth it. I love them for working out and also just lounging around the house. They are so comfy and the best material I have ever worn for leggings.

Zella Leggings

Favorite mascara: Too Faced Better Than Sex. Why are mascara names always so funny?! Anyways, this mascara has been my fave for a while now. It doesn’t clump and it adds so much volume and length. Although, I recently received a sample of this new mascara from Benefit in my Birch Box so I’m excited to try it!

mascara ecard

Favorite “Alexa” feature: Five minute plank workout. Like I said, so random. But I’ve been wanting to strengthen my core and I was playing around with the Alexa app for our Amazon Echo Dot and I found this five minute plank workout. It incorporates a straight arm plank, elbow plank, one legged plank, and side planks. I have been doing it every night, usually after bootcamp, and I am already noticing a difference.

Favorite recent local food: Acai bowls from Liquid Nirvana. I’ve featured these on the blog before (the picture below is an old one) but lately I have developed a routine of Saturday morning bootcamp at Mission followed by an acai bowl from Liquid Nirvana. These bowls taste amazing after a sweaty workout and they fill me up for a while.

Acai Bowl

That’s all I have for today! I hope you all have a fun and safe weekend 🙂

Fashion Friday: Stitch Fix # 7

2 Feb

Happy Friday! I took today off to get some errands done and deep clean the house a bit, something I feel like I haven’t done since before Christmas. Before I get moving on all of that, I wanted to share my most recent Stitch Fix box with you guys. It has been a long while (well over a year!) since I’ve ordered one and I felt like I needed some new pieces in my closet as we transition from winter to spring so I decided to do it! I asked my stylist Carolyn for a mix of clothes that would work well for both winter and early spring with some casual and some a little bit more fancy for going out.

Here is an explanation in case you haven’t heard of Stitch Fix before: Stitch Fix is an online personal styling service. You pay a $20 styling fee up front and then you fill out an extensive styling profile which is sent over to a stylist who picks out five items (clothing, jewelry, scarves, accessories, and now SHOES!) which fit the personalized profile you have filled out. The items are sent to you and you try them on, with three days to decide on what you want. If you decide to keep anything, the $20 styling fee goes toward your purchase. If you purchase all five items, then you receive 25% off your entire order! (Note: This time I also had a $50 Stitch Fix gift card that I purchased with a visa gift card that I received for Christmas).

Stitch fix box 7

Stitch fix box 7 2

Item # 1 and 2: Liverpool Elizabeth Super Skinny Jean ($78 – Size 4) and Honey Punch Rivington Textured Open Cardigan ($64 – Size Small): 

As you will see, I’m wearing the jeans with every top I received in this fix which was awesome because they are super versatile and they are honestly more like jeggings which is what I wear the majority of the time anyways (closer to leggings = happiness). I’m obsessed with cardigans and this one was perfect and so cozy. I can definitely dress it up a bit with the jeans and some booties or pair it with some leggings for a cozy night in.

Stitch Fix box 7 sweater

Verdict: Keepers! The jeggings were a no-brainer and comfort is key so both were a definite yes.

Item # 3: Truly Poppy Gina Scalloped Sleeve Blouse ($58 – Size Small): 

When I saw this top, I literally exclaimed “this stylist just gets me!”. The color navy, scallops, and a party in the back?! (I know Jenna is laughing right now in agreement). This top is perfect for a Friday night out or just to wear every single day because I love it that much 😉

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Stitch Fix box 7 scallop 2

Verdict: Keeper! Not much needs to be said other this shirt is just the best.

Item # 4: Nine Britton Skylee Knit Dress ($34 – Size Small) 

In her note to me, my stylist Carolyn said she looked at my Pinterest board for inspiration and picked this dress. I am obsessed with swing style dresses. Although I already own a few, they are long-sleeved and this one is perfect for both winter (with tights and booties) or spring (no tights and a jean jacket). It’s also a great price for a dress too!

Stitch fix box 7 dress

Verdict: Keeper! I love the versatility and options that I have with this dress.

Item # 5: Collective Concepts Kim Gigi Neckline Top ($54 – Size Small)

I was pretty undecided about this top when I first tried it on. While I love the choker neckline, the fit wasn’t the greatest and I typically like my flowy tops to be a bit longer. After I looked at the photos of it on, it definitely grew on me and again I’m loving that neckline. It’s one of those items I would never pick for myself but I’m kind of glad that Carolyn did.

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Verdict: Keeper! Since I was already planning on keeping all of the other items, it made sense to keep this top with the 25% discount and it does bring me out of my comfort zone a bit.

Carolyn did an incredible job with this fix and it was definitely the best one yet! This is the first box where I kept all five items. It ended up being such a great deal with the 25% discount, my styling fee reimbursement, and my $50 gift card. I’m so happy with this fix and I can’t wait to do my next one (in a month or two?).
Which one is your favorite?

If you decide to sign up for your first Stitch Fix, use this link!

WIAW: January Eats

31 Jan

Happy Wednesday! Today I’m sharing a photo dump of all of the delicious meals I have been enjoying throughout the month of January while I have been “sugar free”. I’m linking the recipes for some of the meals in the captions. (Note: As I said in my last post, I really wasn’t insanely restrictive and I definitely allowed certain foods with a gram or two of sugar per serving just for sanity’s sake).

Sugar free 1

Our lunches looks mainly like this: chicken tossed with buffalo sauce, brown rice, veggies, and half a sweet potato. We cooked the chicken and rice in our brand new Instant Pot!

Sugar free 2

Mexican food (ie. tacos and nachos) were a big deal for us. These ones were fish tacos. YUM!

Sugar free 3

Another lunch: same chicken, veggie, sweet potato combo with some raw veggies and string cheese on the side. 

Sugar free 4

I had never really liked oatmeal in the past but I’m loving it now. I’ve been having it every day for breakfast, topped with low sugar peanut butter, cinnamon, and whatever fruit is on sale. 

Sugar free 5

Chicken chili on a snowy day. I made sure none of the canned tomatoes had any added sugar (some of them actually do!)

Sugar free 6

I’m pretty sure the high temperature on this day was like -5 degrees so pho was the only thing I wanted in my life. 

sugar free 9

A take on Cait Plus Ate’s bacon brussels egg bowl topped with kale pesto from Pinch of Yum. Random but delicious!

sugar free 10

Another breakfast of oatmeal topped with fruit 

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A Span-Ish Chop Bowl from one of our favorite places ever, El Pollo Guapo. If you’re local and you haven’t been, you need to go now!

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Doesn’t everyone need to snack while cooking dinner? Cukes, ranch, crunchmaster crackers, and cheese. And red wine, because winter. 

sugar free 13

Pinch of Yum’s healthy baked pesto rigatoni made with whole wheat pasta. Her kale pesto is everything you guys. I may make this for lunches next week!

sugar free 14

Breakfast for dinner. YES.

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A fantastic meal from Outback enjoyed compliments of a Christmas gift card. #winning

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Brown rice tuna & avocado roll

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A fantastic sesame cauliflower bowl with brown rice made by our wonderful friend Shannon and a sugar free cucumber cocktail made by Robbie 🙂

Phew, that was a lot! Thanks for reading (or, viewing?) Stay tuned on Friday for a Stitch Fix post 🙂