Boston Summer Concert Series

One of my favorite things about summer, other than having an excuse to eat ice cream, is summer concerts. There’s nothing better than relaxing outside in nice weather listening to live music. I’m lucky that I’m dating someone who also loves live music and was able to take full advantage of summer concerts with him. This summer we attended 8 concerts and still have one more to go. Here’s the wrap up.

Country 102.5 Street Party

The summer concert series started out cold and wet in May at Country 102.5’s Street Party outside of the House of Blues by Fenway Park. The weather was iffy from the get go but we decided to chance it and meet up with my friend Kate to enjoy some country music. Caitlin joined us on the crowded Landsdowne Street and we all managed to enjoy a few songs just before the skies opened up and Kate and Caitlin took their party to Eastern Standard.

country street party boston landsdowne

My boyfriend and I decided to make the most of the day and, with the help of some gut-warming beverages, enjoyed singing and dancing in the rain. I was happy that I had brought along my trusty rain jacket and camo hat to complete my country concert hillbilly look.

AWOLNATION

A stark contrast to country, we attended the AWOLNATION show inside the House of Blues in June. My Electronica for Studying Pandora station first introduced me to the band over the winter, so I was super happy to  learn that my boyfriend was also a fan and even happier to get the chance to see them live in Boston.

awolnation run concert tour house of blues boston

Not fans of being grown ups, we dressed in our Millennial concert finest—cutoffs, jeans, graphic tees, and Converse sneakers. The show was great, with opening acts from Parade of Lights and Family of the Year. I was previously unfamiliar with both bands but have since downloaded some of the tunes.

rock concert outfit awolnation

Imagine Dragons

Another indoor concert, we headed to the TD Garden in Boston to see the Imagine Dragons Smoke and Mirrors Tour. Imagine Dragons is one of those bands whose music you hear but never know who sings it. I found myself singing along to songs that I didn’t even know I knew.

imagine dragons concert boston garden

We had floor tickets at the Garden which were amazing! It’s a great experience to be so close to the stage at a show, especially in such a large venue.

Outside the Box – Kasey Musgraves & Guster

Outside the Box Boston is a free 6 day summer arts festival on the Boston Common. Ted Cutler, the philanthropic visionary behind the event teamed up with local sponsors to put on the shows. If you don’t live in a city where some rich guy wants you to enjoy the arts outside in the summer, you should move to Boston because this event is awesome!

I had heard of Outside the Box last year but was unable to attend any events. I had almost forgotten about it when I saw Instagram posts about Kacey Musgraves on a Friday night. Within 10 minutes, I was out the door, boyfriend and picnic blanket in tow. We met up with friends to watch the show sponsored by Country 201.5, the only country station in Boston. Kacey Musgraves played a great set, including my beloved “Mama’s Broken Heart”.

outside the box boston kacey musgraves

Guster, a Boston-born jam band of the 90s and early 2000s, also played as part of Outside the Box. A fan since high school, I jumped at the chance to see them live. I planned a double date picnic with my friend and her then-fiancé-now-husband and we enjoyed a night of Upper Crust Pizza and music. It was a surreal experience for me to be time-traveled back to high school in Pennsylvania while sitting in a park in Boston.  As usual, we had an awesome time being weird while people pretended not to know us.

outside the box concert boston

If you weren’t able to check out Outside the Box the past two years, put a calendar reminder in for July 2016 so that you don’t miss it next summer.

Darius Rucker

Keeping with the momentum of outdoor events, my boyfriend snagged last minute tickets to see Darius Rucker’s Southern Style Tour at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA. Darius Rucker was the perfect first country concert experience for him…Kacey Musgraves in a park and a rained-out street party didn’t really count.

country concert outfit

New England country lovers came out of the woodwork for the concert.  There were cowboy hats and girls in boots and songs about homegrown love. Darius played some of his famous Hootie and the Blowfish songs from the 90s that we sang and danced along to before realizing that having attended high school in the 90s, we were part of the oldest cohort of concert attendees and left early to beat the traffic to go home and sip tea.

Australian Pink Floyd Show

Flipping the switch, we found ourselves to be some of the youngest hippies at the Australian Pink Floyd Show at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion in Boston in August. I had never been to a Pink Floyd anything and this cover band was certainly an experience. We had floor seats at the outdoor venue which put us inside of the light show action.

australian pink floyd show

I took the opportunity to indulge on stadium nachos covered in cheese and chili which, if I have to make a ruling, is the best way to enjoy a concert.

Counting Crows

Rounding up the second to last of our summer concerts was Country Crows and Citizen Cope also at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion. For concert outfit consistency, we attended the 90s throwback concert in our grungiest baggy pants. Feeling the need to outdo our previous concert outfits, we pulled out all the stops—I rocked a belly shirt and choker, my ringer tee-clad boyfriend pushed a hoop earring through his cartilage piercing, and we took pictures to send to our pearl-clutching moms.

90s grunge style

We probably looked like fools to the normally dressed people at the show, but we were loving every moment of reliving the 90s and dancing to songs that we hadn’t heard in years.

We’ve got one more concert to wrap up the season. Look for a post on Little Big Town after tonight’s show!

Lovesac Event at the Liberty Hotel

Last week I had the opportunity to lounge on couches and drink cocktails with friends and other fabulous people. While I sometimes drink on my couch with people who I would consider pretty great, I’m talking about an event sponsored by Lovesac at Boston’s Liberty Hotel.

lovesac event liberty hotel

Lovesac is  furniture company like no other, bringing the beanbag chair to another level with their pillow-like Sacs and revolutionizing the sectional with their line of Sactionals. My blogger bestie Caitlin and I joined fellow bloggers Elissa and Liz (pictured below) and others for a night of chatting and lounging and picture taking with Lovesac founder Shawn Nelson. Shawn’s a dad of 4 who invented the nearly indestructible Lovesac, Sactional, and the Footsac. All attendees of the event went home with a Footsac, which is pretty much the most comfortable blanket in the world with a pocket for your feet!

lovesac boston sactional event

I had seen the Sacs before but was blown away by the Sactional couches. Boasting a wide variety of colors and styles, the Sactionals can be arranged and rearranged in nearly any permutation that you can imagine. They’re also good for jumping, if you have kids or enjoy acting like a 5 year old.

lovesac sactionalLovesac sponsored the event to create a buzz about their partnership with Gentle Giant Moving Company for Boston’s Annual Moving Day of September 1st. That’s today, so if you’re moving, mention your struggle on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook using #MovingDayLove and you could win big!

Attendance at this event and the Footsac I went home with were compliments of Lovesac, but all opinions and couch love are my own. 

Boston Eats and Newport Mansions With My Mom

Recently my mom came to Boston for the weekend. While she loves Boston, this was somehow the first time she visited since I moved back here over 2 years ago thanks to my frequent trips back to New Jersey to see the rest of the family.

My boyfriend was out of town visiting his family in LA, so my mom stayed with me in our apartment. I’m not sure about you, but I love having my mom stay with me and for her it was like a mini vacation.

My mom got here on Friday and we had one of those beautiful Boston summer weekends, where the humidity breaks for just a few days, and everything is awesome. We spent 3 full days eating and walking, which is pretty much the best way to live life.

Creatures of habit, we often dine at old favorites but I was determined to use Mom’s visit as an excuse to do new things, starting with Bostonia Public House. We met Caitlin for dinner, as no girls’ weekend is complete without my blogger partner in crime! My “I don’t drink” mother had a sangria which she loooooved while Caitlin and I sipped on cocktails—a perfect Manhattan for Caitlin and a Bostonia Sour for me. The three of us split the cheese plate and warm lump crap dip both of which were amazing. My mom and Caitlin both got the crab-encrusted cod for entrées while I nommed on the meatball appetizer until I was too full to move.

bostonia sour bostonia public house restaurant boston

On Saturday I introduced my mom to my favorite greasy spoon breakfast joint, Pour House, and The Salty Pig. Dedicated to the love of pig parts, The Salty Pig is an awesome restaurant across from the Back Bay Train Station on the edge of the South End. While their charcuterie is out of this world, we opted to split two pizzas, as Mom was taking a break from her low-carb lifestyle. Go big or go home!

pizza salty pig restaurant back bay boston

Later in the weekend we lunched at Russell House Tavern, another new-to-Mom restaurant across the river in Cambridge’s Harvard Square. Having only dined there for brunch once before, I was impressed with their lunch options. I ordered the chicken sandwich which was completely upstaged by their amazing Caesar Salad. My mom was blown away by the burger, which for $13 is possibly the most affordable burger in Boston at a restaurant (not including my beloved Shake Shack of course).

russell house tavern restaurant cambridge harvard square

Newport, Rhode Island

On Saturday I took my mom to Newport, Rhode Island. I had been to Newport only once before; my mom had never been. We went to see the famed mansions, opting for the opulent Breakers Mansion of the Vanderbilt Family. The audio tour, included in the price of admission, provided an informative background on the history of the house and the Vanderbilts.

breakers vanderbilt mansion newport rhode island

We ate at the Black Pearl, where we split their famous clam chowder, garlic butter mussels, and baked cod casserole, before proceeding to stop into every little shop in town. The last stop we made before heading back to Boston for the night was to Kilwin’s for fudge—their salted caramel fudge is to die for!

black pearl clam chowder newport

mussels black pearl newport

 

It was great to spend a weekend in Boston and Newport with my mom and show her around. I can’t wait for her next trip!

Girls’ Night Out at Foxwoods Resort Casino

Last weekend I had the opportunity to have a girls’ night out with my blogger bestie, Caitlin, at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut.  Foxwoods hosted us for the evening with dinner at The Scorpion Bar and tickets to see the famed Vegas male revue show, Thunder From Down Under. The evening came at the perfect time in the summer when Boston is filled with tourists and the temperatures exceed 90 degrees. Our evening at Foxwoods was a fun-filled reprieve from the hustle and bustle of city life.

We drove down to Connecticut after work with just enough time to check into the Hilltop Inn & Suites (the luxury rooms at Foxwoods were a bit out of our budget), throw on some heels, and hop on the free shuttle to Foxwoods. Although we could have spent the evening at Foxwoods and driven back to Boston, Caitlin and I opted to spend the night near the casino so that we could enjoy our night more—and enjoy we did!

The Scorpion Bar

Caitlin and I started our girls’ night out at The Scorpion Bar at Foxwoods, a tequila cantina. It was National Tequila Day and I took full advantage of the holiday, choosing one of over 100 tequilas available at the restaurant.

No strangers to delicious Mexican style food, Caitlin and I started off with the standard but delicious tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole. We each ordered an entrée—”Hot” Barbacoa Tacos for me and the Mexican Chopped Salad with steak for Caitlin. The tacos were tender and full of rich spicy flavor. Caitlin extolled the flavors of her salad and although I trust her judgment of food, I just can’t get on board with lettuce. We split a side of the tasty yucca fries that were the perfect accompaniment to our entrées. For the price, the portions at The Scorpion Bar are huge, making it the perfect pre-show dinner spot.

hot barbacoa tacos scorpion bar foxwoods

Thunder From Down Under

Tickets to Thunder From Down Under were waiting for us at will call where we noticed women lining up for the general admission show over an hour before curtain. If you want to get front row seats, it’s a good idea to get there early but, as we experienced, almost every seat in the house had a chance to see the show up close and personal.

Caitlin and I opted to walk around the beautiful Foxwoods instead of waiting in line, scoping out David Burke Prime and High Rollers before grabbing some Manhattans at Cedars Restaurant. The bartenders were super friendly, talking and laughing with us as we excitedly talked about our expectations of the show. Neither of us had seen a male revue show, let alone one touring from Vegas, and we were giddy in anticipation.

cocktails cedars foxwoods

Thunder From Down Under was performed at the intimate Fox Theater. The house was nearly packed with bachelorettes, birthday girls, and excited women when Caitlin and I arrived. We happened upon Dayna, the Theater Manager and Entertainment Coordinator, who ushered us into reserved seats (thank you Foxwoods!) in the center section of the theater. Although any seats in the venue would have given us a prime view,  these seats were incredible!

fox theater foxwoods

As far as the show goes, it was an experience that I won’t soon be forgetting! The men of Thunder From Down Under can dance and move like none other (except perhaps Channing Tatum). They were gorgeous, with chiseled abs and tanned skin, and knew how to work a crowd. If you’re going to see Thunder From Down Under and want to get your hands on a hunk, make sure to snag an aisle seat. The performers use the whole theater, running up and down the aisles to dance for audience members seated further back.

Dylan, the Master of Ceremonies, was hilarious and kept the audience on their toes. An interactive experience, some audience members were picked to come up on stage to participate. Having had a participatory experience with a male dancer at a sorority event in college, I was not one of the throngs of screaming women vying to get up on stage. Those who did end up in the spotlight seemed to love it!

thunder from down under foxwoods

After the show the audience had the chance to take pictures with Thunder From Down Under. The line was long so Caitlin and I opted to go dancing at The Scorpion Bar. The DJ was pumping great beats and we laughed and danced until the bar closed.

If you’re looking for a bachelorette, birthday, divorce party, or just a fun girls’ night out, I would highly recommend going to Foxwoods Resort Casino for a night of awesome entertainment. Thank you to Foxwoods for a great night!

Tickets to the show and part of dinner mentioned in this post were provided free of charge by Foxwoods Resort Casino.

Summer in Boston So Far…

I’ve been telling myself for over a month that I was going to update my blog…and then life happened. More like, then summer happened. It’s crazy how time flies by in the summer. Summers in Boston are always busy—a combination of nice weather and a lack of college students makes it easier to do things. But this summer seems especially busy, likely because people are doing everything in their power to make up for a snowed-in winter.

So, where have I been and what have I been doing? The summer started with my boyfriend moving back to Boston from Los Angeles, which was pretty much the best thing ever. He moved in with me because we’re crazy, or crazy in love, and that’s what crazy people do.

Jamaica Vacation

We went to Jamaica, where we spent 5 too short but glorious days at Couples Negril stuffing ourselves with food and booze, laying on the beach, snorkeling, bearing it all on the nude beach (whatttt?!), getting couples massages, and taking selfies with the under appreciated but super useful selfie stick. The resort was great and the grounds were beautiful. Neither of us had ever been to Jamaica. which made it a memorable first vacation together.

couples negril jamaica

couples negril jamaica

Gratuitous kissing shot but it’s my blog so I do what I want!

Friendiversary

Speaking of firsts, in June my blogger sister-from-another-mister, Caitlin, and I celebrated our first “friendiversary”. We met last year at the Boston State of Innovation convention, held at the Westin Boston Waterfront. I was networking for a new job in tech and she was pouring wine for her company and we hit it off immediately. We celebrated one year of friendship, bringing our antics back to the Westin for celebratory cocktails.

friendiversary

Top photo last year, bottom photo this year. Photo Credit: Cait Plus Ate

90+ Cellars Rosé Cruise

Speaking of Caitlin, in June I spent an awesome day with her and her mom (and about 200 other people) on the 90+ Cellars Rosé Cruise in Boston. The weather was iffy leading up to the weekend but the day of the event could not have been more perfect. I had a blast sipping Rosé and found a new favorite, Earthshaker Rosé de Pinot Noir. Try it, trust me, it’s a perfect dry Rosé for those of us who love pink wine but hate the super sweet stuff.

90+ cellars rose cruise boston

earthshaker wines rose de pinot noir

Shag Boston

Exciting to no one but me, I added some sombré highlights to my hair for the summer at Shag Boston. My hair is incredibly difficult to work with because I’m allergic to hair dye and I had colored my hair at home with henna—a lethal combination for a stylist. My allergy causes my skin to burn so I can only get dye on my hair, not my scalp, hence the sombré. The henna that I used for some color a year ago is a natural permanent dye that can turn green or blue or yellow when dyed over. My stylist Kristie Chirgwin is a master at her art and gave me this natural awesome look. She’s amazing!

christie chirgwin shag boston

 

The rest of my summer has been full of food and concerts and weekend trips that I will write about in other posts. Until then, enjoy your summer!