Summer afternoon at the Arnold Arboretum

Arnold Arboretum Boston MA

One of the perks of summer Fridays in the city is heading out on a sunny afternoon to the Arnold Arboretum. Located in the Jamaica Plain part of Boston, the Arnold Arboretum is 280+ acres of a beautiful park, venue, and research center located right off the Arborway with plenty of parking. My work friend's boyfriend works there and he was kind enough to give us a tour last Friday afternoon. Having never been before, despite leaving just a few miles away, I was excited to explore!

This pond was one of our first stops. It was so tranquil and located near the rose garden with pink, white and yellow roses - sadly many were past bloom (it being July and all!) so will need to go back.
Arnold Arboretum Boston MA
Arnold Arboretum Boston MA

A very cool spot we visited was the Bonsai Collection. Some of the bonsais have been alive since the late 1800s! I learned that someone comes down from Maine once a month to tend to the bonsais. Since I can't keep a succulent alive, this is very impressive! :)
Arnold Arboretum Boston MA

So many different flowers and so much green...💚
Arnold Arboretum Boston MA
Arnold Arboretum Boston MA
Arnold Arboretum Boston MA

My favorite plants were the albizia julibrissin aka mimosa tree and the smoke tree. The mimosa tree had a very fruity smell and the colors were stunning!
Arnold Arboretum Boston MA

The smoke tree had a spookiness to it and the texture was so unique. I loved the muted, pastel colors.
Arnold Arboretum Boston MA
Arnold Arboretum Boston MA

We ended our tour visiting the highest point in the Arboretum, Peters Hill, named after a former Boston mayor. Such a beautiful, panoramic view of Boston.
Arnold Arboretum Boston MA

I want visit the Arnold Arboretum this fall and next spring to see all the changing plants + flowers. Lilac season in May is the most popular time at the Arboretum - they have many events throughout the year too!

All photos by me. This is not sponsored or produced in partnership with the Arnold Arboretum - just wanted to share! :)


24 hours in Athens, Greece

Athens Acropolis at night
Kicking off some posts about our trip to Greece last month, today I am sharing our 24 hours in Athens. Being an art history major, I knew we had to spend a day to visit the Acropolis of Athens and see the Parthenon.

Athens, Greece

We took an overnight direct flight Thursday night into Friday Boston to Rome, then a quick 2 hour flight from Rome to Athens. Arriving around dinnertime in Athens, we quickly headed to the hotel to check in and get ready for our first night in Greece.

Seeing as we only had a short time in Athens, we stayed at the base of the Acropolis at the Athens Gate Hotel to maximize our time exploring the area + conveniently be able to walk everywhere for the 24 hours we were there.

The Athens Gate Hotel's main attraction is the rooftop restaurant and bar with 360 views of the city. In one direction you see the Parthenon, lit up at night. In another you see the Temple of Zeus, and keep looking around to glimpse blue water in the distance.

The night we arrived, we grabbed drinks on the rooftop to see the Acropolis and city lit up at night.

For dinner, we walked the streets of Plaka behind the hotel and found a spot to eat outside then bar hopped.
Athens, Greece Plaka neighborhood

The next day we had a rooftop breakfast at the Athens Gate Hotel then set off to explore the Plaka neighborhood.
Athens Gate Hotel breakfast
Athens Gate Hotel rooftop breakfast Acropolis view
Athens Gate Hotel rooftop bar in Athens Greece

Taking in the streets, colorful storefronts, and graffiti, you could spend hours wandering around!
Athens, Greece Plaka neighborhood
Plaka neighborhood Athens Greece
Athens, Greece Plaka neighborhood
Plaka neighborhood alley Athens Greece

It was surprised to see so much graffiti across the city - some it of better and more beautiful than others, like below!
Athens, Greece Plaka neighborhood graffiti
Athens, Greece Plaka neighborhood graffiti
Athens, Greece Plaka neighborhood graffiti
Athens Greece Plaka neighborhood

We had a late morning Greek yogurt snack where you pick your toppings (yum!) before meeting our walking tour guide to visit the Acropolis.
Fresko greek yogurt Athens Greece

Our guide was very knowledge sharing the history of the Acropolis of Athens and the city.  After a steep climb, we made it to the top - taking in those beautiful 360 views!
Theatre of Dionysus Athens Greece
Acropolis, Athens Greece
Walking up to the Acropolis, Athens Greece
Acropolis, Athens Greece
Erechtheion Acropolis Athens Greece
Parthenon Acropolis Athens Greece

After our tour, we had a delicious al fresco lunch (this Greek salad was so fresh and delicious! #allthefeta ) then headed back to the hotel to go to the airport.
Greek salad lunch al fresco, Athens Greece

While we didn't have time to visit, I've heard great things about the Acropolis Museum. Next time!

Thanks, Athens, and now - off to Mykonos!

PS: Highly recommend these comfortable walking shoe flats from Frye! I have them in 2 colors.

all photos by me.


Lower East Side NYC Ice Cream Crawl

Lower East Side NYC Ice Cream Crawl

#eatingfortheInsta takes on new meaning with an ice cream crawl on the Lower East Side in New York City.  My friends and I took the afternoon to taste and photograph the most delicious and inventive ice cream treats in New York City.

We picked 5 locations that were within a 2 mile walking distance on the Lower East Side. Off we went...!

Stop #1 Ice & Vice
Ice & Vice is known for small batch, unique flavors, that rotate per season, and ice cream pies. It's the perfect kick off for the ice cream crawl. Pictured below: breakfast club ice cream (brown butter banana ice cream with candied bacon waffle pieces) in a birthday cake cone topped with detention ice cream pie (malted vanilla ice cream, marshmallow fruity pebble crust)The cone tasted JUST like funfetti cake and the ice cream flavor combo was salty sweet.
Ice & Vice Lower East Side NYC Ice Cream

Stop #2 Stax Ice Cream
Stax Ice Cream's claim to fame is the cremella or donut ice cream sandwich. You can create your own choosing your donut "sandwich" and ice cream flavor with toppings or pick from their signature cremellas. Pictured below: on the left fruity pebbles cremella (fruity pebbles ice cream topped with sprinkles and matcha drizzile in a glazed donut) and on the right s'more please cremella (s'mores ice cream topped with brownie bites, graham cracker dust and nutella drizzle in a chocolate glazed donut). Talk about a perfect bite!
Stax Ice Cream cremella ice cream donut sandwich NYC

Stop #3 Wowfulls
Keeping with the ice cream mashup, Wowfulls combines a freshly made waffle (in a chosen flavor) with ice cream and toppings. Make your own or choose their tried and true combinations. Pictured below: limited edition pineapple express collaboration featuring pineapple soft serve in a waffle topped with tropical fruit and a mini umbrella! The combination transported me back to Hawaii and the waffle was so light and tasty.
Wowfulls ice cream waffle cone NYC

Stop #4 BingBox Snow Cream
BingBox offers a modern interpretation of the traditional shaved ice with 8 unique combinations of ice cream, shaved ice and toppings which they call snow cream. Pictured below: mango snow cream (mango soft serve with shaved ice topped with lychee, granola and matcha drizzle). It's hard to describe the texture of the creamy shaved ice; it is so refreshing, light and tasty. We also got soft serve peach ice cream topped with chocolate chips served in a waffle cone with matcha Pocky (first photo).
BingBox Snow Cream ice cream shaved ice NYC

Stop #5 10Below Ice Cream
10Below Ice Cream serves Thai hand-rolled ice cream created right in front of you. Time-lapse video is below! They have 12 different flavor combinations. Pictured below: cookie monster (vanilla ice cream with Oreo cookies). The experience of watching them create the rolled ice cream was so fun and it was the perfect tasty end to our ice cream crawl!
10Below Thai hand rolled ice cream NYC

Looking forward to trying more inventive ice cream treats around NYC!

All photos by me and my friend.


The Bostonian's guide to a royal wedding viewing party

Royal Wedding viewing party fascinator and London tea kettle
My mom and I got up early to watch Prince William and Kate's wedding 7 years ago and its a great memory. We got scones and sat in our PJ's, ohhing and ahhing over Kate's dress and watching a fairy tale.

In just a few weeks on May 19th, I am looking forward to repeating this tradition with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's royal wedding. Here's the Bostonian's guide to a royal wedding viewing party:

Buy a fascinator: There are hat stores in Boston that sell fascinators! Head to Marie Galvin Fine Millinery in the South End or Salmagundi in the North End or Jamaica Plain for special pieces. Above is a fascinator I bought for a friend's royal wedding themed bridal shower 7 years ago that I will wear on May 19th!

Get some scones: Flour Bakery, with several locations in Boston + Cambridge, makes amazing scones, so pick up a half a dozen before the sell out! Or, be more adventurous and make your own with their cookbook.

Purchase your tea cup + saucer set: Find a unique tea cup and saucer set at an antique shop like Cambridge Antique Market or the South End Antique Mall. Bonus points for matching kettle. Don't forget the tea!

Decorate!: I love shops like Neatly Nested Design & Decor, Hudson, and Shake the Tree that are sure to have pretty decor pieces for your at home viewing party.

Set your alarm for 6am on May 19th to be all ready for the nuptials! The wedding will start around 7am EST or noon in London. Can't wait!

PS: If you are a looking to show up dressed to impress and to celebrate the royal wedding, my company, Boston Weddings, will be hosting a royal wedding viewing party with and at the Fairmont Copley Plaza. Check out the details here and below!

First photo by me.


Fenway Park Jim Beam Dugout Suite Experience

Red Sox Fenway Park Jim Beam Dugout Suite
This past Sunday, my company had access to the Red Sox's new Jim Beam Dugout Suite at Fenway Park. #workperks We were the 3rd group to experience this new luxury suite that is "dug out" right next to the Red Sox dugout and the photographers section. The view on the field was unlike anything I have ever experienced at a sporting event!

The full Jim Beam Dugout Suite experience starts with on-field access to watch batting practice and continues with a tour of Fenway Park. Our guides were very friendly and knowledgeable, taking us through the history of the park while visiting the Green Monster seats and up to the new Samuel Adams deck.
On field at Fenway Park
 Fenway Park

Included in the suite experience is lunch + drinks at the Royal Rooters Club then we were escorted down to the dugout for the first pitch.
lunch at Fenway Park

The suite is outfitted with seats (capacity is 25 people) looking right on to the field with unique access + view of the players.
View from Jim Beam Dugout Suite Red Sox Fenway Park

It's all you can drink with beer, wine, + Jim Beam canned drinks (which as a non-whiskey drinker, I actually really liked). Classic baseball snacks - Cracker Jacks, peanuts, + cotton candy - are all you can eat as well!

We got some great views of the players in their dugout - hi, Pedroia and Price!
Red Sox Fenway Park Jim Beam Dugout Suite

At one point the first base coaches for both teams came over and were talking to us! Here is the Rays coach.
Red Sox Fenway Park Jim Beam Dugout Suite

One of our guides let us try on his World Series rings - wow, wow!
Boston Red Sox World Series Rings

Thanks, Red Sox, for hosting us for an amazing experience checking out the new Jim Beam Dugout Suite + go Sox!
Red Sox Fenway Park Jim Beam Dugout Suite

PS: See more photos here.

All photos by me.