Category Archives: Boston

28th Birthday Celebrations

As usual, this year I felt like I celebrated my birthday (I turned 28 on March 22nd) for at least week. From get-togethers with friends, to a day off from work, I had a blast.

I decided to switch things up (from the usual, Highball) and do my “friend birthday party” at Capo Restaurant in Southie. I fell in love with Capo’s new downstairs Supper Club lounge during my first visit, and knew right then and there that it would be the perfect spot for a birthday gathering.

Obviously I wanted to look my best, so I enlisted the help of the ladies at Best Dressed, the dress rental shop that dressed me for New Year’s Eve. Once again, they picked something off the rack I never would have tried on my own. But I went into the Charlestown location hoping to find a jumpsuit, and find one I did. (Full disclosure: I received 50% off my rental in exchange for showing Best Dressed so much-deserved love on this blog and on social media.)

I also got my hair done at Hairo, my favorite blow dry spot in Boston. This discreet place is located conveniently on Newbury Street, and does a great job every time, for just $35.

Capo’s Supper Club has been extremely popular, with a line forming almost as soon as the doors open each night. But I was able to reserve a couch, and provide a list of friends for the doorman so they wouldn’t have to wait in line either. We listened to an awesome live band, and around 11pm a DJ took over. I don’t know who he was, but the music he played was probably some of the best mix I’ve heard out in awhile. It had been forever since I had a night out dancing and we all had a blast.

I took the day of my actual birthday off, but not for the “fun” reasons you’d think. My license expired, and I wanted to go to the RMV to get a new license on a weekday, to avoid the crowds. I made a good decision, because I was in and out of the Watertown RMV in fifteen minutes, if you can believe it.

I did manage to get to a spin class at B/SPOKE, which was great. I’ve been going there frequently since leaving ClassPass to join FitReserve (more to come on that in a later post) and knew it’d be the perfect birthday workout. I also treated myself to my favorite salad from B.Good, the Harvest Kale Salad with kale, beets, squash, chickpeas, Brussels sprouts, and Manchego cheese.

That night we went to Eastern Standard to sit at the bar, and I treated myself to their salmon, lentils, and white asparagus. I rarely order seafood out lately because it’s expensive, but this was worth the splurge! Our bartender, Diego, also helped me pick out a reasonably priced bottle of sparkling wine that fit my palate perfectly. Kaitlin even stopped by for a mocktail and to say hi! It was a typical magical Eastern Standard evening and I wouldn’t have wanted to spend my actual birthday anywhere else.

But the celebrating wasn’t over yet, because the day after my birthday, the Fairmont Copley Hotel hosted a Bollinger Champagne pop-up. I’m a huge fan of the stuff, so you can imagine that I was over the moon excited to attend, especially when I walked in and was greeted with the sight of a champagne gun.

I spent most of the event hanging out with Jeff, Matt of Simko Says, his boyfriend Dave, and power-blogging couple Dan of The Food in My Beard and Georgina of A Noted Life. This group knows how to have a good time!

The other perspective of the photo above this one, captured by Dan.

We spent our evening sipping on bubbly (the sparkling rose seemed to be the favorite) and munching on snacks like cheese, charcuterie, and miniature tacos. I couldn’t think of a more fitting conclusion to the celebrating of my 28th birthday. If you want to get the scoop on other fabulous events at the Fairmont Copley, join their email list. (Signup is located at the bottom of their website.)

Do you typically celebrate your birthday for a day? A week? A month? (No judgement here, clearly.)

January Recap

I can’t believe it’s already February! I (mostly) have let blogging get away from me so far in 2017, so I decided to write a post recapping what I’ve been up to so far this year (aka in January). It’s honestly not anything different than what you might expect, but what can I say, I’m fairly predictable. Let’s go.

Cooking

I’ve continued to experiment in the kitchen with fun recipes that both Jeff and I can enjoy. I used this recipe to make some super easy meatball sliders, and made my best round of calzones yet – one buffalo chicken and one Hawaiian. I also made some of the “usual suspects”, like taco salad and tater tot trash dip (on Jeff’s birthday).

Capo’s New Lounge

I already was a fan of Capo in Southie, but last Thursday I had the chance to attend a media event for their new lounge, and I have to say it may be the coolest space I’ve ever seen in Boston!

Picture your grandpa or uncle’s old wood-paneled basement, and you’ll be able to picture Capo’s lounge. The walls are decorated with kitschy decor like taxidermy animals and light-up booze signs. Corners with couches and coffee tables make visitors feel like they are actually hanging out in someone’s home.

Photo Credit: Mike Diskin

Photo Credit: Mike Diskin

Photo Credit: Mike Diskin

Photo Credit: Mike Diskin

And best of all, Capo does not ruin the vibe of this lounge with a DJ. Instead they bring in live music like brass bands, which fits the atmosphere perfectly.

Photo Credit: Mike Diskin

Did I mention the cocktails are fantastic, and that eating in the restaurant upstairs gets you easier access to the lounge downstairs? I know what my game plan is for the upcoming weekends!

#VibeWithATribe

I have been visiting Recycle Studio through ClassPass for awhile now, but was still excited to attend RPR‘s #VibeWithATribe blogger event at the studio this past Saturday. A group of bloggers took a spin class taught by one of my favorite Recycle instructors, John. We followed up our good sweat with bubbles courtesy of Champy and snacks/juice from Pressed.

I received a pretty awesome Recycle gift bag, which has become my new gym bag! Inside were lots of goodies including a gift card from local Boston fitness brand Crane & Lion. I’ve already used it to order a pair of leggings and can’t wait to try them out!

The bag I received (photo courtesy of @Recycle_Studio on Instagram).

The leggings I ordered! They’re on sale right now, FYI.

ClassPass Debate

Speaking of ClassPass, I’m still not sure what I want to do fitness-wise after my next cycle with them ends. Right now I’m getting 20 classes per month for $120, which is a great deal and pretty much the amount of classes I’d want to use in a month. But I’m only getting 20 classes to “ease” me into their new structure of 10 classes per month for $120, which I definitely can’t stick with. I’d need to buy a membership elsewhere to supplement that! Right now a few options I’m looking into are FitReserve, a similar platform to ClassPass that could offer me 20 classes a month (yay!) but at an increased price of $185/month (boo…but still a good deal when you look at price per class). Or if I want to keep my monthly fitness fees the same, I could join Turnstyle for $120/month and get unlimited access to spin and bootcamp classes. The only issue with that is, I really like how platforms like ClassPass and FitReserve give me location flexibility. Turnstyle has a few locations but none of them are as convenient for me as some of the studios on ClassPass/FitReserve, like Charlestown Cycling Club. My head is spinning just as I type this…what’s a class-addicted girl to do?

Wine

I wanted to give a shout-out to a Prosecco I recently discovered. I usually don’t drink Prosecco because it’s too sweet for my palate, but my parents gave me a bottle awhile back and I found it in the fridge this week. I decided to open it when I made our calzones because it would pair well with the spicy buffalo chicken, and was pleasantly surprised by how dry it tasted! Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a champagne girl through and through, but this $10 bottle of Prosecco is more in my price range.

Food, going out, fitness classes, and wine. Yup, I’m pretty sure that this is all standard stuff. Still it was a good January overall (with temps that weren’t TOO frigid – yay!) and I’m excited to see what February brings!

What was the best part of your January?

Any recommendations for what I should do after I leave ClassPass? Has anyone tried FitReserve?

Any recommendations for another cheap, dry sparkling wine?

A Best Dressed New Year

I received a complimentary dress rental in exchange for an honest blog post about my experience. All opinions are my own. Read to the end for a special discount!

I started thinking about New Year’s Eve a few months before December 31st, because Jeff and I made our New Year’s plans pretty early on, the second we found out the Timberfakes (Boston’s Justin Timberlake cover band) were going to be playing the Middle East in Cambridge. We did the same thing last year, and knew it was a solid way to spend the last night of the year.

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Recent Boston Eats

It’s been awhile since I shared some of the good food I’ve experienced here in Boston, so I figured I’d comb through my camera roll and highlight anything I found in there that was taken recently. In my eyes, if I took a picture then the food must have been good (the exception, of course, being if the lighting was awful…in that case, no photographs are taken).

Bar Mezzana: Pasta

If you haven’t tried Bar Mezzana yet, drop what you are doing and go there now. You don’t even have to read the rest of this post; I’m confident the experience you end up having will tell you why I’m recommending it. The restaurant is located in the South End’s luxury Ink Block apartment complex and focuses on pastas, raw seafood, fresh crusty bread topped with all varieties of spreads, and prosciutto with house mozz. LOTS of house mozz.

barmezzana

I personally cannot stay away from the pastas. I’ve sampled three so far and can’t wait to return for more. I’d recommend all of those three: orecchiette with sausage and fennel, paccheri with lobster, and another variety with rabbit that looks like it’s off the menu now (darn). For dessert, go for an espresso martini. Bar Mezzana’s bar staff is super knowledgeable and this espresso martini is probably the best I’ve ever had.

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Exploring Plum Island With Maven

I received my Drive Maven experience as well as some of the food in this post free of charge, but opinions of my experiences are 100% my own.

Jeff and I had a great time during our recent trip to Blue Inn in Plum Island, MA. That was thanks in part to our mode of transportation, a red 2016 Cadillac ATS from Maven. Maven is a car-sharing service, similar to ZipCar, that is offered in Boston, LA , Chicago, and other large cities. But the biggest – and best – difference from ZipCar is that, for a limited time, Maven is free to join! Once I heard about that major benefit, I was completely on board when the company offered us a car to take on our weekend getaway.

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Maven has nine different vehicle pickup locations in Boston, and we picked the one closest to our Charlestown apartment, the Government Center parking garage. The Maven app actually serves as the keys to your car. Once next to our Cadillac, I was able to use my phone to unlock the vehicle. Jeff also downloaded the app onto his phone and, signed in under my account, had access to unlock and lock the car as well. Which worked out well, since I usually (always) ask him to drive.

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Cooking Classes at Tavern Road

Though I received this experience free of charge, all opinions are my own.

Though I haven’t been writing too much lately thanks to an issue with my comments (they all disappeared and I’m not sure where they went…has this ever happened to anyone else?), that doesn’t mean I haven’t had anything to write about. I’ve got a few upcoming posts planned, sharing both fun events I’ve been to and some cool stuff I’ve got coming up. This post falls into the former category. Last month, I got the chance to try one of Tavern Road’s new cooking classes with my friends Matt, Georgina, and Jeannie. Not a bad way to spend a Tuesday night!

Tavern Road is located in Boston’s Fort Point, between the Seaport and Southie. The food, drink, and decor of the restaurant mirror the creativity and innovation often found in the neighborhood (there seems to be public art around every corner). The bar program, headed up by Insta-celeb Tenzin Samdo, is a go-to of mine for both funky and classic cocktails. Chef Louis DiBiccari’s menu of “street food” is mostly small-plates, influenced by global cuisine while composed of an impressive amount of local ingredients. Personal favorites include the burger, anything involving bluefish pate, and all of the tacos.

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Though Tavern Road has hosted wine and guest chef dinners for awhile now, Chef Louis recently started teaching these weekly cooking classes with a focus on using ingredients purchased from the farmers market as recently as that afternoon. Each Tuesday at 6:30PM, students gather for hands-on learning – and eating. And let’s be honest, if there’s eating involved, I’m very likely to say, “I’m in!” So, I did.

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My New Neighborhood ClassPass Workouts

Starting a new job and moving to a new neighborhood in June meant a change to my workout routine! Thankfully ClassPass (click that link to get $30 off your first month, and full disclosure, I get $30 off too) has options all over Boston, so the service I use has stayed the same, but the classes I pick have now mostly changed from those I used to attend. Since I live in Charlestown and work in the North End, I’m mostly attending workouts in those two areas of the city.

Exhale Battery Wharf

I’ve been to the Exhale in Back Bay before, but had never gone to the Battery Wharf location until I moved. I actually prefer it over Back Bay! No need to take an elevator to the locker room, and the entire studio feels more sleek and zen to me…maybe because it’s on the second floor and I can’t see shadows walking by when I’m in barre. The 7:05 AM morning classes have been really convenient, especially since Exhale offers the nicest locker rooms I’ve ever been in, complete with provided robes and shower flip flops (it’s SO great not to pack those). I’ve tried regular Core Fusion Barre, Cardio + Barre (half an hour of cardio followed by half an hour of barre…loved this), Extreme (this was set up with five bootcamp stations), and Yoga. It will always be hard for me to get through a normal hour long barre or yoga class without getting antsy, but the Cardio Barre and Extreme classes both fly by, despite them being the same length. I’ve also yet to have a bad instructor at any Exhale location – always a plus.

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Image from Exhale on Instagram

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Move, Work, Run

All three words in the title of this post could describe the same activity. After all, running involves moving, and is a lot of work. But at the start of June I had a few different big events happen in my life, and though it’s now almost August, I felt like I should write about them. Plus, I haven’t blogged in awhile and it’s getting a bit (slash REALLY) embarrassing.

Capture

As previously mentioned, Jeff and I moved in together, to a new apartment in Charlestown! It’s certainly a whole lot better than my last place in Allston (though I did love it there and it was a great starter apartment). We have a roof deck, washer/dryer, garbage disposal, dishwasher…it’s a whole new world! And it’s been nice to get some new decor like a sleeper sofa, fun dishware, and new sheets. There’s still a lot more to be done (does anyone know of a good place to get mounted deer heads on the cheap?) but it’s just been wonderful to get all that time back that we were spending commuting back and forth between each other’s places.

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Favorite ClassPass Workouts

I want to preface this post by acknowledging the fact that I was recently quoted in an article about the ClassPass price hike in Boston, otherwise known as “ClassPassGate”. My quote was “this is definitely a tipping point”. But the price doesn’t go up until June, so I have still been enjoying ClassPass as an excellent way to motivate me to not only get somwhere to workout, but have high quality workouts once I’m there. And admittedly, I’m considering staying on because of the amount of studios in my new neighborhood (Charlestown). And, because my mom brought up a valid point: “You know Caitlin, if you stayed in one more night per week, you could afford the new higher price.” Goddammit. She’s right.

But anyway, I wanted to recap my favorite studios/classes, because I feel like I’ve been using ClassPass as a mix of trying new workouts and visiting those that I already knew I liked. So I want to share those that I’ve liked best!

Vixen Army @ BFX Studio

Say what? So this is one of the classes that I never would have tried without ClassPass. The name caught my eye, and after reading the description (“cardio dance fitness program that incorporates choreography from different genres of dance including Hip Hop, Jazz Funk, House and Street styles inspired by live concert performances and videos from chart topping artists”), I had to try it out. I went by myself and left the class thinking two things: “That was fun!” and “I wish I had come to this class with some girlfriends.”

Photo courtesy of our instructor!

Thankfully my friends Jeannie and Allie were 100% willing to give it a shot, and we now have ourselves a Monday night tradition. I would call Vixen Army “Zumba but with twerking”. The songs are familiar and so catchy. The dances are quite easy to learn and follow. And the instructor, Melissa Jurado, is so positive and encouraging! Each class starts with everyone repeating after her, saying affirmations like “I will not judge myself or anyone else in this room” and “Damn I look good for a Monday night”. Yes, it’s cheesy. But it’s also fun and a great workout.

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Pub Run with True Runner

This post is sponsored by Vocalpoint and True Runner. All opinions are my own.

I was recently invited by True Runner, an athletic retailer in The Shoppes at Chestnut Hill, to participate in one of their community running events. The second I heard the words “Pub Run”, I was interested. A workout followed by pizza and beer has my name written all over it!

True Runner was kind enough to send me some cool socks and a really comfy tech tee for the run! But obviously I also needed a bottom component so I headed to the Chestnut Hill store to browse for just that.

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