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!

American Craft Beer Fest Boston 2015

Last night was the night that all beer geeks in Boston have been waiting for – American Craft Beer Fest. As it’s known by it’s cult followers and hashtag users, ACBF is the East Coast’s largest craft beer fest. Put on by Beer Advocate and Harpoon Brewery, the fest boasts over 640 beers on draft from 140+ breweries and draws over 15,000 beer drinkers. It’s basically the Super Bowl of beers and it was awesome.

american craft beer fest 2015 boston

Although I had been to beer fests in the past, this was my first time at American Craft Beer Fest.  I knew it was going to be a great night of delicious beers so I prepared accordingly for the occasion by hydrating during the day. My boyfriend and I made the standard pretzel necklaces to snack on in between tastings. This proved to be a good move, not only in terms of palate cleansing, but it also kept us from having to wait in the long line for food.

beer fest pretzel necklaces

Usually a proponent for drinking local, I employed the opposite approach at ACBF and sought out breweries from out West. With over 140 breweries, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to hit them all so I filtered the options based on availability in Massachusetts and the selection of beers being poured.

My short list of breweries included almost 30 “must visit” booths. I knew with all of the excitement and crowds it would be a challenge to ensure that I hit every spot, so I did the most sensible thing I could think of and customized the ACBF Map with my short list. My helpful boyfriend helped navigate and checked each brewery off as we sampled.

american craft beer fest map

Public WIFI wasn’t available, or at least the password wasn’t written anywhere, which put my Untappd obsessed self into a tizzy. Thankfully this didn’t last long, as I quickly realized that the event program included an alphabetized list of breweries with each beer they were pouring and a box to rate the beers. Crisis avoided.

american craft beer fest beer list program

Best Beers of the American Craft Beer Fest

The beers were great! There was an unsurprisingly strong presence of West Coast IPAs for hop heads to sink their nose into, enough Stouts and Porters to transport you back to those cold winter days, and a surprising showing of Sour, Gose, and Wild Ales to make your mouth water. I love IPAs but I tried to steer clear of the hoppy pissing contest to preserve my taste buds. There’s nothing worse than a numb mouth at a beer fest.

I go to beer fests to try new beers but often I find myself trying the same types of beer. The sheer number of beers and breweries at ACBF enabled me to go further outside the comfort zone of my palate. My standout beers of the night were a pleasant surprise to me and included:

21st Amendment: Down to Earth (Session IPA), Anderson Valley: The Kimmie, The Yink & The Holy Gose (Gose), Anderson Valley: Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrel Stout (Stout), Bear Republic: Tartare (Berliner Weissbier), Boulevard: Ginger-Lemon Radler (Fruit), Founders: Mosiac Promise (American IPA), Four Quarters: Misery (Sour), North Coast: Puck (Saison), Rogue: Fresh Roast (Brown Ale), Shilling: Poppy Moonship (Gose), Southern Tier: Choklat Oranj (Imperial Stout), Stone: Cali-Belgique (Belgian IPA)Unita: 22nd Crooked Line Birthday Suit (Wild Ale), Victory: Sour Monkey (Wild Ale)

Disappointments

I was unimpressed by Fiddlehead, which was sad considering the accolades I had heard. I want to tell myself it was because I tried their Wild Ales at the end of the night but I was blown away by Schilling Beer Co.’s Poppy Moonship right after.

Although there were more than enough breweries to enjoy, I was really annoyed to find that Fort Collins Brewing Co. didn’t show up! It was on my short list of breweries to try, so I was pissed to walk up to their booth and find it empty. I hope they made a showing for the Saturday show so that others don’t share in my disappointment.

Another disappointment of the night, and likely everyone else’s favorite part, was the line for Lawson’s Finest Liquids. Spanning almost the entire width of the beer fest, it was obviously American Craft Beer Fest’s most popular brewery. I wish I had the patience to wait in line or the forethought to go to their booth first, but I don’t and I didn’t and my ACBF experience did not include Lawson’s.

I was also a little bummed at the t-shirt selection but we can’t have everything. All in all, Beer Advocate’s American Craft Beer Fest was an awesome craft beer experience and everything I wanted it to be.  If you get the chance, definitely get tickets to the next ACBF—I can’t wait for next year!

Ink Block Boston Launch Party

If you live in Boston and haven’t heard of Ink Block by now, you might be living under a rock. Ink Block Boston, the newest in Boston’s series of luxury apartment buildings and condos, celebrated its opening last week with an epic launch party that I was lucky enough to attend.

The evening soirée was held on the beautiful second story pool deck of the Ink Block Boston’s South End apartments. The Launch Party, hosted by Boston Common Magazine, Ketel One Vodka, KP Strategies, and The Event Society, was incredible. The pool deck was filled with Boston elite, from Dirty Water TV personality Sophia Goulet to Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg…as well as my blogger bestie Caitlin, myself, and my boyfriend – Boston’s newest transplant from LA.

Drinks were flowing with spring martinis from Ketel One, 90+ Cellars newest rosé (that company is everywhere!), and hard cider from Cider Creek. Lobster rolls and sliders from Stephi’s on Tremont and Blackbird Doughnuts kept attendees warm on the cool night. The illuminated pool and music from Opyn Mynd featuring YouTube violinist sensation and Boston-native Rhett Price set a great mood for mingling on deck long after the sun had set on the beautiful day.

ink block boston launch party

Photo Courtesy: Cait Plus Ate

The Ink Block Boston launch party was a fabulous evening full of friends, great music, television appearances, and drinks by the pool. If you’re in the neighborhood or looking for an awesome place to live, check out Ink Block Boston, and remember to invite me to your pool party.

Wine Riot Boston

The past few weekends have been busy and, with Spring in full swing, are about to get a whole lot busier. I still have to post about my trip to visit El Boyfriendo in LA, but first let me tell you about Wine Riot.

Wine Riot, the epic wine event by Second Glass, came to Boston last weekend. The 3 session, 2-day event took place at the Castle at Park Plaza. Having never been to Wine Riot before, I was anticipating the long booth lines and over-crowded bathrooms that dominated my experience at the venue for a beer festival. Whether Wine Riot draws people with stronger bladder control or it was just better organized, I was pleasantly surprised not to have to wait at booths or bathrooms. In fact, Wine Riot was unlike any event at the Castle at Park Plaza.

wine riot boston castle

From Coachella-style cloth wristbands to the Bubbly Bar and photo booth, Wine Riot left little to be desired.  A seasoned veteran of booze fests, I prioritized non-wine activities before getting into the thick of tasting, knowing the that wine would always  be there but the other activities would fill up. I made a rookie mistake by not eating dinner before arriving, so before anything else, I made a beeline for food.

Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, a Boston favorite, was serving up their legendary grilled cheese sandwiches. Somehow this was my first Roxy’s experience – it was nothing short of amazing. The crunchy, buttery, cheesy goodness was delicious and everything I could have wished for and more! I got the original sandwich but another option with bacon and avocado was available. As much as I love bacon and avocado, for some reason the combination of the two has never spoken to me.

roxy's grilled cheese bostonAfter getting some sustenance in my belly I linked up with my good friend Caitlin who was working the 90+ Cellars table and hit up the photo booth before it got too crowded. Is there anything more fun than a photo booth at a wine fest? No, the answer is no. We snapped some quick silly pics, highlighting my love of shopping (and drinking) local.

wine riot photobooth After the grilled cheesin’ and picture taking, I managed to do what I went for and tasted some vino. Aside from the deliciously refreshing Boston-based 90+ Cellars Lot 50 Prosecco, my favorite wines of the night included Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir, and Gerard Bertrand Cote des Roses. How could you not love a wine whose bottle looks like a rose?

Speaking of pretty things, Wine Riot amped up the fun with a temporary tattoo stand. Caitlin and I got fancy with some gold flash tattoos that resembled bracelets and rings – nothing says classy wine drinking like fake gold tattoos, am I right?

wine riot flash tattoos

They say tattoos are addictive and if that night was any indication, it is certainly the truth. After my fast foray into flash tattoos, I went a little crazy and got just about every available temporary tattoo on my arm. I aimed high and by the end of the night had as close to a half sleeve of temporary tattoos as possible. The tattoos complimented the Sex, Wine, and Rock n Roll tank top I purchased at the event.

sex wine rock n roll

Tattoos aside, the night was a blast. There was a laid back fun vibe that I wasn’t expecting from a wine event which I found to be a welcome relief. It’s comforting to attend a wine event where you don’t feel uncomfortable not being an expert. The venue was great and suited for couples and friends as well as groups, as evidenced by the multiple bachelorette parties I saw on Friday night.

Two thumbs up for Wine Riot! While the event is over in Boston for now, if history repeats itself, there should be another event in the Fall.

How to stop your worlds from colliding (with special guest: George Costanza)

Special thanks to Liz Theresa for taking over my blog while I’m in LA today.

Every weekday morning at around 7:45am, I pour a cup of coffee and watch one hour of television before I check my phone or open my inbox.

This factoid shocks my friends and fellow entrepreneurs. They’re reaction is all, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

The truth is that they got time, but AIN’T NOBODY MAKIN’ THE TIME. I make my morning ritual a PRIORITY because it is key for helping me maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Work-life balance is a term that gets thrown about a lot to the point where now, I feel like it’s lost most of its meaning and sense of urgency. Being a personal brand, I have to make a very concerted effort to keep the Liz Theresa the online world sees separate from real-life Liz.

In the wise words of George Costanza, “Ah, you have no idea of the magnitude of this
thing. If she is allowed to infiltrate this world, then George Costanza as you know him, Ceases to Exist! You see, right now, I have Relationship George, but there is also Independent George. That’s the George you know, the George you grew up with — Movie George, Coffee shop George, Liar George, Bawdy George… If Relationship George walks through this door, he will Kill Independent George! A George, divided against itself, Cannot Stand!”

george costanza divided

In other words, the Work version of You is actually capable of murdering the You of your personal life. Brutal, right?

To protect Personal You from Work You, you have to make sure you invest your time accordingly. If you are a workaholic, you may not have seen the Personal You in a while. The Personal You is probably bummed out and sleeping most of the time. Here are some ways you can keep your worlds from colliding.

  1. Create your own morning ritual.

    Everybody does something. What will chill you out? What requires almost no stress? For me, it’s coffee and Netflix. What is it for you?

  2. Say yes to a social event at least once per week.

    This will also help Personal You. And a work event is not a social event. The goal is that you are spending time doing things purely for fun, no inhibitions.

  3. Treat yo’self.

    Treating yourself can be doing little things (like grabbing Starbucks) or big things (like planning a European vacation). Just make sure to be doing something for you. It’s OK to be a little selfish and indulge every once in a while. Heck, it is GOOD for you.

Think work-life balance doesn’t matter? Wanna say something? Leave it in the comments.

liz theresa blogLIZ THERESA is an online business expert who helps women launch and build online businesses they love. When she isn’t designing logos, building websites, writing brilliant copy, or giving awesome advice to good-looking entrepreneurs, she likes to play video games, drink really good red wine, and hang out with her friends on trivia night. Liz hails from Boston and is a proud US Air Force wife.

For more LOLs and business anecdotes, sign up to get updates from her at www.LizTheresa.com. When you do, you’ll also get a free gift since she’s a relatively nice person.