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2016: New Year, Same Me. But better. You can purchase this print here.

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In Defense of Black Friday

TheBostonTeaParty_ThePru_BlackFriday

The Prudential Center – Boston, MA

To be clear, I’m not here to defend violent consumerism or the exploitation of workers. But it’s been hard for me to stomach some of the harsh blanket assumptions I’ve seen floating around…

First, I’m going to ask those of you not shopping on Black Friday to stop (publicly) patting yourselves on the back.

Stop it.

Right now.

Just don’t. 

Calm the f&#% down, because here is the reality for a lot of people:

Some of us are on fixed budgets.

Not the “I’m going to try to go to Dunks instead of Starbucks because $7 for a latte is stupid as hell” budget, but an actual down to the penny budget.

A lot of these shoppers work. A lot. They strategically plan their shopping to coincide with their time off and the best deals available.

A lot of these shoppers have children – that is to say, they want to give their kids an awesome Christmas (whatever that means to them), even on a fixed budget. If this means fighting the crowds for that one good deal, so be it.

Of course we can’t forget about the workers. Over worked, underpaid staff that are giving up time with their families to be there and help the budget conscious parent find their deal.

Some of them choose to be there, others are forced. The point is, don’t be an asshole. Don’t make people who may already be stressing about this day feel worse by going on and on about how great you are for not going out.

When’s the last time you looked a cashier in the eye, asked them how their day was, and genuinely was interested in their answer?

Thought so.

So I’m here to say to the majority of Black Friday shoppers (not the handful of awful viral video shoppers) – I hope you had a safe and successful trip out.

To retail workers: thank you for all the time and effort you put into the past two days. I’m sorry you had to work a holiday, but I appreciate your smile and hospitality when all you wanted to do was go home and sleep.

To the rest of you who will insist on telling me you’re a saint for not going out on Black Friday: don’t be surprised if I don’t ask twice for you to move out of my way…

…you know, when you’re out in DROVES every day from now until Christmas…

I walk through the Pru as a part of my 4-hour commute, and y’all add another 15-25 mins to that trip because you were too good to go out on Black Friday…

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#ThrowDemElbows #Caution

The Truth About Blogging

I have put off writing this for a couple of months now but I think it’s time I stop living in denial.

I’d like to thank Malika Bowling, who heads up the Association of Food Bloggers (and is quite the impressive writer herself) for a recent article she wrote and shared on LinkedIn. You can find it here.

Between the questions from my readers and that article (which I adored), I’ve finally felt compelled to address the truth about blogging.

Here it is: we have other shit going on too.

I don’t mean we have two dinners and a cocktail hour in one night. I mean we have OTHER THINGS going on. Business things. Personal things. Stuff. And Things. These blogs are a labor of love. And boy, I don’t know one blogger who would tell you it’s not a labor.

Many of the food or lifestyle bloggers you love are working a 9-5 and then they’re working a 5-9 and sometimes a 9-12. They have side businesses, they freelance, they sit through horrendous corporate meetings so that they have the ability to do what they love. They also have husbands, wives, children, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, good dates, bad dates, commutes, etc.

There are very few food bloggers who have been able to accomplish living solely off their website. I know a few who have succeeded at this. I admire them. I actually sort of idolize them. (One day! *shakes fist*)

I haven’t been posting as frequently as I used to. Period.

The consistency at which I have been updating content has been completely off balance since my move back to Rhode Island. Many of you know me on a personal level and know why I moved. For those of you who don’t know the story the abridged version is this: I was in a dangerous situation that forced me to finally accept that moving was my best option for survival.

I didn’t do it alone.

Around 30 or so people helped me get back here. Their generosity is still something I struggle with every day. By struggle I mean that I think about it constantly and I think about the way in which I can prove to them that their help wasn’t wasted, that I am making the best out of the opportunity they helped me obtain. Just thinking about it moves me to tears. Without help from family, friends and strangers I don’t know where I’d be today.

So with that always in the back of my mind and with the encouragement of my family and friends I have started fresh. Started from nothing. The funds that were raised to get me home lasted me a month. I am bound and determine to break back into my field of work (the art/non-profit sector for those of you who don’t know). To do this I have taken on two jobs in Boston. That’s a two hour commute each way. There’s also the “me” part. I can work 10 jobs, but if I’m not addressing the issues that brought me back to Rhode Island, I’m not doing anyone any good. I’m putting in the work to get back on track, to make those of you who have supported me the past six (plus) months proud. I’m happy to be working this hard. It feels good. It feels right. But it’s been coming at the expense of my two babies – and some of you have noticed.

I cannot consistently produce quality content for Good Eats: Mundial and The Boston Tea Party on the current schedule I have. So I have three options:

  • Shut down the websites
  • Keep posting often, even if the quality of the content is ‘meh’
  • Minimize posting and only allow the best quality work to go up

I’m going with option three. There’s no way I’m going to stop writing.

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The creation of Good Eats: Mundial especially holds such a special place in my heart. That’s why I will not throw up content for the sake of content. I can’t do that to myself and I won’t do that to all of you.

So you may notice that my entries are a bit sparse, but I’m here. I’m hustling to get back on track so that both Good Eats: Mundial and The Boston Tea Party are bringing you the best possible quality pictures, interviews and articles out there.

Be patient with me. I’ll be back in full swing soon enough.

With much love and appreciation,

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Resources:
The Hotline
Feminist Majority Foundation

Lush.

Well, October is here folks. Crisp, 50* days, leaves changing colors, pumpkin spice lattes and apple picking and…

…just kidding! It’s 78* and you wore your new vest and now you’re melting…

…and now it’s 50* again…

Welcome to New England. 

Without fail I end up super sick this time of the year. In fact, as I type this I’m sort of hunched over wrapped in a hundred blankets while my family runs around gushing over how beautiful it is outside. Heathens.

Lush to the rescue. I ordered four items online to help combat this endless cold. I’ll be reviewing the effectiveness of these items in the next week or so. What do you think? Have you used these items before?

Let The Good Times Roll – $12.95

A luxuriously soft and sweetly-scented cleanser, Let The Good Times Roll has quickly become a huge fan favorite. Maize flour, corn meal and a dash of cinnamon powder gently exfoliate and leave you with a vibrant glow, and lightly hydrating corn oil helps skin to retain its moisture and elasticity. With its rich butter-caramel fragrance and velvety texture, no wonder this one is so popular!

A luxuriously soft and sweetly-scented cleanser, Let The Good Times Roll has quickly become a huge fan favorite. Maize flour, corn meal and a dash of cinnamon powder gently exfoliate and leave you with a vibrant glow, and lightly hydrating corn oil helps skin to retain its moisture and elasticity. With its rich butter-caramel fragrance and velvety texture, no wonder this one is so popular!

Butterball (Bath Bomb) – $4.95

Our vanilla-scented Bath Bomb is anything but boring when you lay back into a cozy white blanket of creamy, buttery froth. This little fizzer is the ultimate in comfort with chunks of creamy cocoa butter; it’s fantastic for rehydrating dry skin. Baths can dry your skin if they’re too hot, so if you’re in need of a long, lingering bath pop one of these gorgeous beauties into the tub for a vanilla custard soak to lull you into a deep relaxed state – and leave with sweeter, softer skin.

Our vanilla-scented Bath Bomb is anything but boring when you lay back into a cozy white blanket of creamy, buttery froth. This little fizzer is the ultimate in comfort with chunks of creamy cocoa butter; it’s fantastic for rehydrating dry skin. Baths can dry your skin if they’re too hot, so if you’re in need of a long, lingering bath pop one of these gorgeous beauties into the tub for a vanilla custard soak to lull you into a deep relaxed state – and leave with sweeter, softer skin.

Lord of Misrule (Bath Bomb) – $6.95

TheBostonTeaParty_Lush_LordOfMisrule

Inspired by the ruler of the Pagan Feast of Fools, Lord of Misrule brings mischievous revelry to the tub with a spicy herbal blend of patchouli and black pepper oil. As it slowly froths in the water, hypnotic swirling silver luster is released and the deep green exterior soon gives way to a rich, wine-colored center. Just like at the Feast of Fools, when the wine begins flowing, the revelry really begins! Popping candies fizz and crackle, creating a world of magic and mischief right before your eyes.

Dream Steam – $2.95

Our steamer tab is inspired by our Dream Cream body lotion, one of our best-selling products, worldwide. It's so beloved because it contains all of the most calming ingredients to soothe troubled skin. LUSH Co-Founder Mark took those ingredients and put them into this steamy tab to help anyone who suffers from sensitive skin. Rose absolute calms redness, tea tree oil cleanses and the lavender and chamomile oil blend makes skin and minds feel at peace.

Our steamer tab is inspired by our Dream Cream body lotion, one of our best-selling products, worldwide. It’s so beloved because it contains all of the most calming ingredients to soothe troubled skin. LUSH Co-Founder Mark took those ingredients and put them into this steamy tab to help anyone who suffers from sensitive skin. Rose absolute calms redness, tea tree oil cleanses and the lavender and chamomile oil blend makes skin and minds feel at peace.

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#OOTD

Eddie Izzard

Eddie Izzard is just about one of the greatest comedians…ever. Chelsea and I ventured to Providence to watch him perform live and we were not disappointed. The man is brilliant in every way, shape and form.

While I was waiting for Chelsea to arrive I started to take #selfies because yes. Also before you get on my case about how awful selfies are just STFU and click here.

So I thought why not do my first #OOTD post. I think my outfit was pretty classic. After all, with the fierceness Eddie brings to the stage, I didn’t want to even try to compete. If you’re not familiar with his style…

Yes, he had his nails done last night. They were so great.

Yes, he had his nails done last night. They were so great.

Anyways, here we go:

#Selfie grid for the win.

#Selfie grid for the win.

The upper left hand square is my Daniela Moda bag. It was a gift from my parents after a trip they took to Italy. It’s beautiful leather but what I love most about it is its unique shape. You can actually find a lot of her bags online, and although the prices are in Euros they’re extremely reasonable. You can find some of her bags here or search her name on Etsy and Ebay.

The upper right hand corner has a few things going on:

  • Jeans are from LOFT – an amazing steal on the clearance rack for only $20
  • Flats are from Target and a ridiculous bargain at $22. Lucky you though, you can find them online for only $17 – check it out here. 

The bottom left hand corner is my face. You can’t buy that. That’s all natural, Portuguese and Sicilian genetics at work. In all seriousness though here’s the break down in pictures.

I'm Passioned: A52 (MAC Cosmetics)

I’m Passioned: A52 (MAC Cosmetics)

An awesome TJ Maxx find. Only $20!

An awesome TJ Maxx find. Only $20!

Eyeliner - L'orél Carbon Black Linear Intense Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner Mascara - Neutrogena Healthy Lengths

Eyeliner – L’orél Carbon Black Linear Intense Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner
Mascara – Neutrogena Healthy Lengths

These awesome earrings were actually a gift from Chelsea's Mom!

These awesome earrings were actually a gift from Chelsea’s Mom!

Last but not least, bottom left…this bracelet was a gift from my Dad after a trip to Dubai. I love it. It’s covered in frogs, flowers, stones and dragonflies. It’s so unique and just played up all the black and gold tones in my outfit.

Bracelent from Dubai.

Bracelent from Dubai.

So there we have it. Let us know what you thought of my look. Not my face. I can’t do much about that.

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Ingredients for the Perfect New England Summah Party

There’s a simplicity that can be found in New England summers that I have yet to find anywhere else. So here are the ingredients you’ll need for the perfect New England summer gathering:

Locally sourced seafood.

For this occasion we visited Castigliego’s. Located in Somerset, Massachusetts this market has been selling fresh fish for over 35 years. We simply boiled our lobsters and then placed them on the table.

Locally sourced lobsters.

Locally sourced lobsters.

Quick but satisfying sides.

There are so many farms in the area that it’s easy to grab locally grown/raised items for your sides. The corn and the eggs on the potato salad were both local.

Grilled chicken was also included, because really – what’s a BBQ without chicken? All you need after that is a macaroni and potato salad. No need to go crazy.

No need to get fancy, just place it all out and let your guests serve themselves.

No need to get fancy, just place it all out and let your guests serve themselves.

Simple doesn't mean boring.

Simple doesn’t mean boring.

Beer. Lots of beer.

I mean that’s a no brainer, but I love that I get to fill my cooler with Sam Adams Porch Rocker. Oh Sam Adams, you’re such a fox.

I'd like to serenade this bottle of beer.

I’d like to serenade this bottle of beer.

A body of water.

Anything. A pool. The ocean. A lake. A river. No actual summer party in New England takes place far from a body of water. Besides, without a body of water where are we supposed to dump the tea?!

There's a pool behind the beer.

There’s a pool behind the beer.

Things that go up in flames.

It’s pretty unusual to show up at a summer party and not see something set on fire. Whether it’s a fancy fire pit on someone’s patio, a clearing in the woods or a pit in the sand at the beach, we can’t help ourselves. It’s the revolutionaries in us, I guess.

What can I say, it's the Girl Scout in me.

What can I say, it’s the Girl Scout in me.

#TheBostonTeaParty  #NewEnglandSummah

#TheBostonTeaParty
#NewEnglandSummah

So there you have it. The ingredients for a perfect New England Summah Party. Share your wicked sweet party pictures with us and we’ll share them with our audience! Use the #TheBostonTeaParty or #NewEnglandSummah.

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