Meet Lauren, one of my favorite people and someone I’m lucky to call my friend for the past 10+ years. She’s a Charlestown resident and a graphic designer by day, working with some pretty major clients, in fact – you’ve probably seen her work at least once today! Lauren is also recently engaged and if she looks familiar, you may have seen her Rock Love Photo Shoot with Lauren Wells and Cambria Grace last fall. We got together to talk all things wedding while we strolled through Charlestown with fresh pressed juice in hand. Lauren’s look was the perfect, easy Sunday get up. Casual stripes, a perfect balance of neutrals with just a touch of sparkle in each ear. Even better, most of the pieces are on major sale right now, get it while it’s hot.
Capwell+ Co. COASTAL ALLURE EAR CRAWLERS – $32
Kate Spade Bayleigh Sunnies – $101 (Down from $145)
Marc by Marc Jacobs Amy Goldtone Watch - $175 (PLUS 30% off during Friends & Family!)
Lou & Grey Haze Stripe Sweatshirt – now $44 (PLUS 40% off during Friends & Family event!)
Marc by Marc Jacobs New Q Percy Crossbody – $198 (PLUS 30% off during Saks’ Friends & Family event!)
AG Ankle Legging Jeans - $224
Tory Burch Reva Flats – $225 (PLUS 30% off during Saks’ Friends & Family event!)
Alongside Fabulous Frocks & Bespoke Boston Weddings, yours truly will be showing off the latest in bridal styles. Join us for a night of bridal fashion while mix and mingling with shop owner, Amanda and Biana and Jackie who just launched their wedding planning business!
I had a chance to chat with Biana and get the scoop on her and Jackie’s (whom she hit it off with, while working at the same firm) new adventure:
What is your career path thus far? Why wedding planning?
Both of our career paths have been as far from wedding planning as possible, but we’ve had the most important elements in each of our jobs for the makings of a great wedding planner. We’re efficient, communicative and most importantly, on your side to be your best contact when planning your event. We both found the process of wedding planning to be fun, but there were a lot of questions along the way that we wish we would have had guidance with in planning our own weddings. We decided to start our business to help couples navigate those questions and connect them with vendors that are also on their side. Your wedding day is one of the best days of your life and to be part of that day with a couple is truly an honor.
Whats the most special thing about planning someones big day?
The most amazing thing about planning someone’s big day is seeing their vision come to life! All the details, the months of planning and the endless lists that were created all boil down to a few hours and how it all comes together. The moments right after “I Do” are the best because there is this calmness that takes over the couple and they really let loose and have fun at their reception!
Any advice for brides to be when it comes to planning?
Let people help you. Your mom, sister, friends, groom or wedding planner – don’t take on every single task yourself because you will end up stressing yourself out!
Hope to see you there!
What’s more fun than being treated to champagne while you take in a brand new watch collection by Tiffany & Co.?! I can’t think of anything, not one thing. Last week I was invited to preview Tiffany and Co.’s newest release, the The Tiffany CT60, inspired by founder Charles Lewis Tiffany, who coined the phrase, “New York Minute”—a special ode to the city where he first opened his doors to a new world of style.
The collection thoughtfully plays homage to the New York Minute, infused with the energy—60 seconds of pure possibility. Inspired by a Tiffany & Co. gold watch given to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945, the collection represents a seamless transition from historic to modern Tiffany design. Every watch in this collection is powered by movements of the finest Swiss pedigree.
The watches for men and women range in size, metals and diamond bezeled options. I personally gravitated toward the 34M Gray soleil dial (as shown in photos 3 & 4 above) with gold poudré numerals, with one diamond per second encasing the face, for a nice sparkly finish.
The collection changes pace with the Tiffany East West. The timepiece literally turns the rules of watchmaking on its side, with a rectangular shape crisply defined in stainless steel and a black, white or blue dial. Beyond the fashion statement you’ll make with the shape of the watch, the blue alligator strap and soleil face really brings trend to life (as shown in photos 6 and 7).
The Tiffany CT60 collection starts at $4,250 and Tiffany East West starts at $3,500 both available at Tiffany & Co. locations worldwide. In Boston, shop Tiffany & Co. on Newbury Street and at Copley Place.
Which is your fave?
At long last, Boston-Based M.Gemi is here to bring us shoe lovers the best of the best, hand crafted right from Italy (where shoe dreams are made). About a month ago there were friends and family teases sent out from the brand, causing a stir of whispers amongst the most fashionable in the area. The wait is over.
M.Gemi carefully selects styles with freshness – from a unique twist on a trend like colorblocking, to unexpected materials like “under glass” leather. Their close relationships with factories allow them to react quickly to what they see and fall in love with and bring those styles directly to us! Their collaborative design team includes Italian and American talent, and “modellistas” who work in their artisanal factories and know the most beautiful lines and leathers.
Every Monday M.Gemi will release all new gorgeous styles, available only until the small batches are sold through, so if you like something make sure to jump on it, or else you might find yourself with a case of non-buyers regret. Because each pair is hand crafted by the finest artisans in Italy, there are a limited amount produced per style, per week. Don’t worry though, shipping and returns are complimentary, so if for some odd reason you don’t like them when you get them home, you can send them right on back.
Here are my current favorites:
The Fiero – $248
The Brava – $248
The Poetica – $178
Which are you adding to your shopping bag?
Forty years ago, Elizabeth Grady opened it’s skin care salon on Boston’s fashionable Newbury Street with a goal of mainstreaming time-tested European skincare methods of deep cleaning, anti-ageing, facial and massage treatments. The company has taken dramatic steps to improve the quality and consistency of treatments by designing a rigorous training program for aestheticians, requiring months of classes and instruction in skin care, nutrition, endocrine and skeletal systems, cosmetic chemistry and aesthetics theory.
To celebrate their 40th anniversary, I welcomed the chance to get reacquainted with the brand by visiting their Saugus location for a service. I opted for a Micro Clean, a microdermabrasion paired with a signature facial. This was my first microdermabrasion, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but was delighted with the results. My esthetician, Kelly, made me feel very comfortable before the service even started, taking time to explain the process and assuring me that my comfort level was her top priority. The brand new system that the spa uses, refines and restores your skins youthful vitality and beauty without harsh chemicals, lasers or surgery. Utilizing a fine mist of all natural sodium bicarbonate crystals to abrade the top layers of skin, the tool passes the crystals over the surface of the skin and then removes them to achieve a “buffing out” of the superficial skin irregularities. In addition to removing dead skin cells, the procedure stimulates the production of a new layer of skin cells and collagen. This part of of the service lasted about 15 minutes, with two passes over my face, and one more pass just on my specific problem areas. I’m not going to lie, it felt like sand paper against the skin, but not in a way that made me want to cry, more like a way that I knew it was really working and that I’d be sure to see results. Here’s my makeup free (judgement free zone here people) before & after:
The facial following the microdermabrasion is definitely the way to go, adding an extra layer of relaxing to the overall eperience. The massage is usually my favorite part of any facial, but at Elizabeth Grady, they integrate a red light therapy to further help soothe the skin, and it felt amazing.
After just one microdermabrasion treatment my skin felt new. It’s weird to explain, but all of the dead weight felt like it was lifted and removed. My skin felt soft and my problem areas (read: wrinkles that I hate to admit I have) were smoothed and less noticeable. My skin was a tiny bit red, it looked like I had seen the sun a tiny bit too long, but that went away over the next day. To get the best results, EG recommends six sessions, once per week, over six weeks. AND, right now they are offering a series of six sessions for just $59 per session, and your seventh session is on them.
Today, The Elizabeth Grady Company has 30 locations in the Northeast. Elizabeth Grady spas offer a wide variety of treatments like the Non-Surgical Facial, the intensive Re-Hydration Facial, the skin-saving Custom Airbrush Tan and the stress-relieving Hot Stone Massage.
V-Neck Drape Dress – $77
Kate Spade Saturday, I’m so sad to see you go. You were such a fun and distinct brand. I’m going to try to scoop up as much as I can as the final days dwindle down. Right now everything on the site is 60% off, plus free shipping and returns. Use code: FINAL60. Get it while it lasts!
Enjoy the sale ladies!
Rocksbox is the premiere destination to borrow jewelry before you buy. For a monthly fee, Rocksbox Insiders receive a highly curated box of designer jewelry with the option to borrow, buy or swap at any time. Featuring 30+ amazing designers including Kendra Scott, House of Harlow, Gorjana, and Loren Hope, the options are unlimited, literally (you can get as many boxes per month that you can wear!).
Use code ShaunaGallagherXOXO to get your first month free, no strings attached.
The saying, “easy does it!” reminds me of a few things. First, my dad, telling me this growing up and even now as an always-busy, probably-over-doing-it all the time young adult. Secondly, how easy some things can be now, once discovered. Cue Just Add Cooking, a local (Dorchester-based) company, who delivers wholesome “meal kits” full of fresh, pre-measured, and high quality ingredients that are carefully packed and delivered right to your home.
Recently moving in with my boyfriend, and me being a very picky semi-vegan (I wish I could quit cheese), with a newish job and lots of afterwork activities, we were falling into a huge food rut. He’s a meat eater, but I get grossed out by cooking meat, so we compromise and have only a handful of recipes we ate on a rotating weekly basis, until neither of us wanted to see any of our go-to recipes for a very long time.
Just Add Cooking was a perfect solution for our busy, new life. During the week you can see available menu options, both meat friendly and meat free, select what you’d like and schedule your delivery. We had ours arrive on a Sunday afternoon, actually while I was at yoga. Everything was carefully packed and items that needed to be kept cold, were. We selected three veggie meals that we wouldn’t normally dare cook, or even have the ingredients to do so without paroozing Whole Foods for a few hours to find! The ingredients were carefully labeled and measured out for each recipe. I absolutely adored that all of the locally sourced ingredients were specially labeled, such a nice touch! The box, very thoughtfully suggested which recipe to cook first, to make sure we kept the freshness factor in mind. Each recipe was so clearly laid out, that even a wanna-be chef like me who considers making zoodles with my spiralizer a gourmet meal, could whip up each in around a half hour.
From a convenience factor, without sacrificing quality, freshness or healthy eating, Just Add Cooking was a major win for me. Being a very picky eater, it was interesting to see how the options changed each week, but I found that making modifications was easy when their wasn’t a perfect fit and it challenged me to try and discover some new meals that I wouldn’t have normally thought I could cook, or enjoy!
Use code REFGSFY for $20 off your first order when you sign up!
If you’re anything like me, being snowed in what seems like every other day this month, meant lots of wine and lots of carbs, yoga pants but no gym. I found myself on-demanding work outs, and laughing as I tried to get through them. It couldn’t be a more perfect time for a new, high intensity work out to arrive in Boston and kick our carb filled you-know-whats.
FlyBarre, an unparalleled total body sculpting experience, opens today at Flywheel’s Boston flagship studio. The high-energy, full-body workout blends the best of light weight training, dance and core strengthening exercises to systematically target each muscle group through a sequence of focused movements, or “pulses.” With an emphasis on arm, abdominal, thigh and seat regions, FlyBarre quickly reshapes the body to create lean, strong and elongated muscles.
FlyBarre Boston will offer both 45 and 60-minute sessions that are choreographed to contemporary playlists, curated by best-in-class instructors. The Boston studio is equipped with showers, lockers with electronic charging ports, a water filtration system and full amenities. Every FlyBarre session comes with complimentary towel service.
Location: Prudential Center, 800 Boylston Street
For class times visit: www.flywheelsports.com/boston
Hope to see you there!
(Photo credit: Flywheel Sports)
Beth Briggs is a local artist who’s debuting her fashion illustrations at Neatly Nested, this Wednesday night, February 18th. I had a chance to catch up with her before the event, here’s what you need to know:
+ Tell us a little bit more about your illustrations before you launched your blog and Etsy shop?
I graduated from Wellesley College in 1986 with a BA in Art History/Studio Art and it was my dream at that time to move to NYC and become a Fashion Illustrator – it was really all I ever wanted to be! Unfortunately, the timing was terrible, with the rise and height of the “Supermodel” phenomenon and fashion photography, as a result the fashion illustration market all but dried up! Instead, I focused on fashion design, and sewed for myself and my daughters when they were young. I became interested in illustrating again, more recently, when I began creating custom bridal portraits for friends and co-workers. I thought it would be fun to create a fashion illustration to give as Christmas presents in 2012 and the response was encouraging so I opened my Etsy shop!
+ Why do you think 50 was such a pivotal year for you to bring light to your illustrations in this digital way?
Turning 50 for me has been very liberating. My kids are grown up (for the most part) and I have the flexibility of taking some vocational and personal risks. Besides, 50 is the new 35!
I had always avoided social media until a year ago when I enrolled in Marie Forleo’s B-School as a bday present to myself (an 8 week online course which helps “big-hearted creatives” build their brand). I learned all about the importance of an online presence. I am a very private person so posting has been a stretch for me but it has been critical in building my business. Instagram has been especially effective in terms of sharing my illustrations and connecting with a supportive audience. I also follow a host of other illustrators, bloggers and artists on IG – it’s awesome.
+ Speaking of those artists you follow, there has been a boom in artists exposing their work via social media and a new light shown on illustration. Who do you draw inspiration from?
I love Katie Rodgers of Paper Fashion, she has been a huge influence on my desire to pursue a career in fashion illustration, as I have followed her from Reebok to the height of her success in NYC and believe she has almost single handedly reignited the interest in the unique art of fashion illustration.
+ How does your work differ and stand out from artists like that?
I don’t believe in the spirit of competition when it comes to art. There is room for everyone and it is completely subjective. Having said that, I think of myself as an artist first, a fashion illustrator second. One could say that my work differs because my illustrations tend to be less stylistic and more realistic in nature, ie., my models are rarely based on a typical fashion croquis (traditionally 9 heads long). I’ve created my own croquis, that I use as a base, which is a regular person with slightly elongated legs. I like feminine curves and I like color!
+ In a year since launching your blog – what is the coolest (or maybe a few things!) that have happened since?
I was featured in Artful Blogging Magazine this month! That kind of recognition is so meaningful, I’ve worked hard on making my blog an inspiring, visually appealing, fun place to visit.
Another cool thing is the friendships I’ve developed with other bloggers and illustrators- for someone who was reluctant to explore social media it has been a really nice way to meet some really inspiring people from literally all over the world!
+ How to you balance your passion, family and 9-5 responsibilities?
My kids are pretty much grown up so I have a lot more time than I used to! One daughter is living and working in Boston, the other is a senior at NYU and my son (who has autism) is a residential student at the Riverview School on the Cape.
The single most important thing I do to keep everything in balance is to take care of my health at all costs. I turn off my cell phone and get eight hours sleep every night no matter what, start every day with a four mile run and consume as much dark chocolate as my little heart desires every afternoon at about 4pm! All kidding aside, I invest in my emotional, spiritual and physical health before anything else then life just falls into balance.
+ Tell us about your relationship with Neatly Nested Decor? What made you want to get involved with this particular shop and sell your work offline?
I was introduced to Danielle (the owned of Neatly Nested Decor) by my boyfriend’s daughter, Katie McConnell Larkin. I believe she was shopping there around Thanksgiving and she suggested Danielle look at my website. (Thanks, Katie!) I was delighted to visit this beautiful shop and learn about their collaboration with local artists and “makers”. I totally get what Danielle and her team are about and I am so honored that they are giving me this opportunity! Neatly Nested is the perfect home for my prints and custom illustration service.
Neatly Nested is the only retailer in Boston that carries my prints currently.
+ What is so great about live sketching? Do you connect with her during the sketch? (During the launch party, Beth will be sketching a select few event-attendees!)
It is my passion to capture the unique style and beauty of every woman I come across. I love sketching “real women” and my series of “Fashion Stories” which you can find on my blog, was created with that spirit in mind. When I sketch I am telling a story. I’m celebrating your style, unique features and doing my best to create a one of a kind original work of art – a keepsake – something you can’t get just anywhere! It’s probably like being a makeup artist or hairstylist – I want to make you feel beautiful – I love the whole process! I can spend hours illustrating street fashions or red carpet images on Pinterest – but I’d much rather do it in person while you tell me your story.
Catch Beth this Wednesday at Neatly Nested and maybe you’ll get to have your very own illustration done on site! The above lipstick and wellies prints will be available for purchase on site. In addition to Beth’s fashion illustration work, she is available for custom bridal work. For details, visit her site: www.bethbriggs.com.