Boston Wine Expo 2016 Review

Last weekend I attended the 2016 Boston Wine Expo. Held on President’s Day weekend for the past 25 years, the Boston Wine Expo is the wine tasting event of the year for serious wine drinkers. After a great first experience with my boyfriend at the 2015 Boston Wine Expo, I was excited to attend the Silver 25th Anniversary this year.

The Expo took place on both Saturday and Sunday at the Seaport World Trade Center. We opted to go to the Grand Tasting which featured over 1,800 wines from 200 wineries. The Grand Tasting was held on Sunday, which was also Valentine’s Day. After a filling breakfast at home complete with Valentine’s chocolate, my boyfriend and I headed out to the Seaport in sub-zero temperatures. For some reason the weather gods seem to frown on the Expo—it fell on the coldest two days this year and during a blizzard last year.

boston wine expo 2016

Immediately upon entering the Expo, I noticed that the rows were wider and the tables were more spaced out. The 2015 Expo was very crowded, both due to it’s popularity and ticket trades on account of the blizzard. It was nice  to see that the organizers took this into consideration.  The increased spacing made it much easier to walk around  without the fear of bumping into someone and spilling wine.

We worked our way up and down the rows, sipping everything under the sun. When attending tasting events, I try to focus on new-to-me brands. There were several that stood out to me this year, including Brooklyn Oenology’s Broken Land, Bodegas Taron’s 2014 Rosado, and nearly every Vinho Verde offered. I also enjoyed new favorites from some of my go-to’s including the Magic Door Cabernet Sauvignon by 90+ Cellars.

A sucker for photo booth fun, my boyfriend and I had a blast at the Infiniti gif-producing photo booth stationed between their beautiful cars.

boston wine expo 2016

There were a number of small businesses at the Expo this year, many of which were food or snacks which allowed me to graze while I sipped my wine. My favorite was McCrea’s Candies, a local Boston company with the best caramels ever. While all of the flavors are delicious, the Black Lava Sea Salt Caramel is to die for!

mccreas candies boston wine expo 2016

Wine wasn’t the only alcohol at the event—Jonathan Pogash, aka The Cocktail Guru, was in attendance with some tasty cocktails too!

the cocktail guru

Although the Boston Wine Expo is huge, it’s inevitable that you’ll run into someone you know and low and behold, I ran into my blogger friend Jodi at the event.

boston wine expo 2016

On our final round, my boyfriend and I found the Troublemaker Wine kissing booth, a delightfully fun addition to the Expo!

boston wine expo 2016 troublemaker

Once again, the Boston Wine Expo stands as the perfect Valentine’s Day event in Boston. What better way to celebrate the day than drinking wine with the one you love? See you again next year!

Beer Summit Harvest Fest: Beer Fest in Boston

Boston is no stranger to craft beer and craft beer festivals. Home to brewing legends and the closest major city to famed New England breweries, in Boston you’re never more than a stone’s throw away from great beer. Boston is also a neighborhood city with a unique community feel which, when it comes to beer, is embodied by Beer Summit.

beer fest boston

Beer Summit hosts beer fests in Boston with the mission of bringing together the best beer, hearty food, and live music to Boston beer lovers. I had the opportunity to attend Beer Summit’s 6th annual Harvest Fest in November at the Castle at Park Plaza. Curated by founders Mike Munnelly, Conor Brennan and Shawn Rich, Beer Summit’s Harvest Fest hosted some of the most celebrated and talked about breweries in the country. The event boasted three sessions on November 20th and 21st featuring 56 different breweries, and over 200 beers.

beer summit boston beer fest castle

Photo by Fest Pics

Carb-loaded and adorned with pretzel necklaces, my boyfriend and I enjoyed the Saturday evening session of Harvest Fest.  I had attended Beer Summit’s Winter Jubilee in 2014 but this was my first time at the November event. While 60 breweries in one place sounds like a lot, Harvest Fest was surprisingly easy to navigate thanks to the spacious floor plan and set up.

beer fest boston beer summit harvest fest

I enjoyed tasting the beers from some of my favorite local breweries like Backlash Beer and Two Roads, non-local favorites like Anderson Valley Brewing Company, and new-to-me brews from the craft beer curating 3 Beards Beer Company. A big supporter of drinking local, I was pleased to read 50 percent of the breweries in attendance were local breweries from Massachusetts and New England.

We stayed until the end of the night, tasting our way through the breweries, dancing to tunes from the two-man band CHOPVILLE, and snacking on the newly-launched and delicious Kalahari Biltong, a seasoned dried beef from South Africa.

boston beer fest mugs

If you’re looking for an affordable and easy to navigate beer fest in Boston, check out Beer Summit. The next event, Winter Jubilee, takes place in January so keep an eye out for tickets to go on sale at www.beersummit.com.

Note: Tickets to Harvest Fest were provided courtesy of Beer Summit, but all opinions and love of beer are my own. 

Kickstarting Holiday Fitness with Flywheel Back Bay

The past few months have been super busy. I haven’t been as active as I’d like to be and believe it or not, all of the travel and food and Thursday night Shake Shack has caught up with me. Feeling sluggish and lazy, I was excited to hear that Blog and Tweet Boston, a local blogger group, was having a sponsored event at Flywheel in Back Bay. Usually I’m more comfortable attending blogger meetups with a fellow blog friend, but over the weekend I attended the #BlogandFLY event solo and am so happy I went!

For those not in the know, Flywheel Sports in Back Bay offers both Flywheel stadium cycling classes and Flybarre barre classes. I had been to one Flywheel class previously and was impressed with the of the class. As a former Spinning instructor, I’m a purist when it comes to cycling classes, opting out of those known for incorporating calisthenics and other dangerous-to-me moves on the bike. Although Flywheel’s cycling class has an arm workout component to the routine, I found it to be a safe class that offers a great workout.

flywheel back bay boston

Our #BlogandFLY class was taught by Catie Macken, an instructor whose teaching style I love! Catie taught the one other Flywheel class I had taken in July and her yoga-inspired class enabled me to clear my mind and focus on having a great workout.

The best and worst thing about Flywheel is the data reporting. Each bike is equipped with an on-bike computer “tech-pack” that registers your resistance (Torq), RPMs, and power that you can opt to have posted on a Leaderboard during class. I say that it’s the worst because as someone who doesn’t cycle often, the computer can be discouraging or distracting when you’re pushing hard during class only to discover that you’re moving at a snail’s pace. For people like me who get psyched out by knowing their speed or the duration of a workout, I recommend ignoring it except for when the instructor gives you a torque number to adjust.

The data however is also the best part about Flywheel because even if you opt out of posting your power on the Leaderboard and ignore it during class, all of the stats are recorded in your Flywheel account. Data geeks like me will delight in seeing and tracking their progress and PRs online.

flywheel boston cycling data

After our awesome ride was over, we enjoyed salads from sweetgreen, the delicious locally-sourced organic food destination that’s opening up at The Shops in the Prudential Center in Boston.

sweetgreen salad

Thanks Flywheel Sports and sweetgreen for an awesome #BlogandFLY!

Why I’m Not a Fashion Blogger

Alternative titles for this post: 
The Story Behind the Sequins
I Never Wear Sequins
This Blog is a Farce

The other day a friend brought it to my attention that I don’t wear sequins. He found this confusing in light of the name of this blog. And he’s right. I don’t wear sequins. Well, not anymore. Actually, really never. Here’s the story…

I started this blog a couple of years ago as a fashion blog. Slightly humorous considering my aversion to high heels and anything super trendy but it was a spin off of a dating blog. In said dating blog, I posted some outfits and a bunch of people stroked my ego and told me that I was super fashionable. Naturally, I wanted to bestow my wardrobe wisdom upon the less color coordinated. And so, I started this little blog, Sassy in Sequins, because I’m a witty thing that really wanted to make sequins work.

I bought a quasi-fancy camera, tripod, and bluetooth shutter and spent too much time getting dressed and snapping pictures of myself under the judging eyes of my neighbors. But try as I did, bubble necklaces and nonchalant poses just look forced. And my outfits weren’t even that great.

Case in point.
summer outfit white pants
The “pose and pray” (that I look skinny) thing worked for a few months until the novelty wore off. I started seeing a trend in my pictures– the best ones were the pictures where I looked relaxed, usually the by-product of laughing at my own ridiculousness and making a funny face. I quickly came to terms with the fact that I wasn’t going to be a Pinterest celebrity. I also wasn’t comfortable enough to keep taking pictures of myself in broad daylight. Save for silly selfies, I’m just not cut out for self photography.
pencil skirt business casual
Obviously I kept blogging. But instead of taking pictures of outfits, I wrote about the goings on of my life, travel, and stories about accidentally almost killing myself. Apparently that was not enough to distract smart folk from catching on to the fact that I’m a farce who writes a blog with a title that only half describes herself.
So there you have it, the deficiency behind the name of my blog and why I’m not a fashion blogger.