November 2, 2016

I've Moved!

Hi friends,

Sorry for the hiatus, but I've been working on my new website! It's still a work in progress, but something I'm very proud of. I'm moving a lot of content over and also creating new content as well, so take a peek.


October 3, 2016

September 2016 Instagram Roundup

Hands down, the Kanye West concert was the best performance I have ever seen // Wishing I was on the Cape, but I was preparing for school // My last, first day of school // Beacon Hill doors are the best

Madewell has the best fall pieces // Homework date for one // More Madewell looks // The cutest plant pop-up at Tatte

Thankful for my event date // Relaxing over the best breakfast at Dig Inn // Sharing my new favorite tights from Hanes // Sweat sesh at CorePower Yoga

September 7, 2016

August 2016 Instagram Roundup

Obsessed would be an understatement for how I feel about my adidas // Peaceful beach day in Hyannis with my sister and my mom // My stunning sister Gabrielle and I // Good vibes all around at Recycle Studio

Red Sox versus Yankees game with my best friend Sam // Spending the day at the Rooftop at Revere Hotel, you must go if you haven't // Happy in Post Office Square with my friends // Reminiscing on last summer's trip to London with my sister

Delicious avocado toast at South End Buttery // Sunflowers at the Copley Square Farmer's Market // Celebrating the end of summer with vojitos and mezze trios at the Rooftop at Revere // Sorry for all the food photos this month, but Jugos has the best pitaya bowls

August 15, 2016

Vegan Grocery Essentials

I get asked a ton about what I eat, because for some reason, there is an assumption that vegetarians/dairy-free people don't eat real food. To clarify, I'm not completely vegan, and don't limit myself from eating store-bought items that have dairy (eggs, milk) cooked into them. However, I completely avoid eating outright dairy (cheese, cheesecake, cream-filled anything, milk, ice cream, etc) and meat (all kinds + seafood). Eating out is a treat, because most options at non vegan-friendly restaurants are things I already make at home for myself, so when I do go out, I make a point to eat somewhere with things that are fun for me to eat.

For now, this lifestyle (not a diet, this is a lifestyle) works for me. Yes, it may change one day; yes, I have lost weight; and yes, I am genuinely happy eating these things. This isn't all due to what I eat, it's about so much more than that. I practice yoga, take spin classes, run, or do other cardio at least 3-4 days per week, drink plenty of water, limit my caffeine and alcohol intake, and most importantly, take care of myself.

Here are some of the staples I always have on hand in my refrigerator and pantry that I build my meals around each week. I do 90% of my shopping at Trader Joe's and about 10% at Whole Foods. You can't beat the prices at Trader Joe's especially for produce, ($0.19 per banana, $0.99 per avocado), and while Whole Foods is much more expensive, they do have a great selection of vegan friendly treats (dairy-alternatives, desserts, etc).

Pesto: Most store-bought pesto’s contain pecorino cheese, so I love that if I’m feeling too lazy to make my own, I can get this Sauces ‘n Love vegan pesto! I love how fresh pesto is on zucchini noodles or a bowl of pasta with simple veggies.

Hummus: I love hummus with a little kick of something extra, whether it is Siracha, spices, or garlic. It’s an easy on the go snack with carrots and seeded crisps!

Sorbet: Dairy-free ice cream is great, but is usually a treat since it tends to be more expensive, so sorbet is always a must, especially in the summer!

Butter: I love this Earth Balance whipped variety because it spreads or melts faster than their original. You really can't tell this isn't butter (no pun intended).

Cold Brew Coffee with Almond Milk: Califa Farms makes the best cold brew coffee with almond milk! While I'm partial to their XX Espresso and Mocha flavors, all are equally amazing.

Almond Milk: I definitely prefer almond over soy milk and this vanilla one from Trader Joe's is the best! I mostly use it in my smoothies, but also with cereal or coffee.

Yogurt: My dad is the biggest yogurt fan I've ever met, and I've always been a huge yogurt hater, until I tried this. It's a great dessert option, or to be used in overnight oats and topped with fresh fruit!

Berries: I have never been a huge fruit eater, but clearly, I have changed my ways. Starting my day with something fresh like strawberries & banana on toast slathered with almond butter is so refreshing and delicious. I also freeze my own strawberries (cheaper & tastes way fresher!) for smoothies.

Avocados: Wow. I don't know how I haven't been eating avocados my whole life because they are by far the biggest staple in my diet and something I eat almost every day. If I could eat one thing forever, 99% sure it would be avocado toast. Here's my go-to: 1/2 avocado smashed onto 2 slices of toasted ezekiel bread, top with a dash of salt & pepper, a sprinkle of chia seeds, and chopped baby tomatoes. So good.

Bananas: As mentioned above, I have never been a huge fruit eater, and while I don't eat a ton of fruit alone, I love using them to jazz up my food. I freeze my own bananas for smoothies, top oatmeal with bananas & agave nectar, add them to chocolate chip pancakes, or use them on a breakfast toast.

Zucchini: Fried or roasted, I love zucchini and squash of all shapes, sizes, and colors. A little olive oil and garlic powder thrown on top and popped in the oven for 15 minutes does the trick.

Salad Mix: Salad can be so boring, so I love throwing in a variety of veggies and grains to make it hearty, filling, colorful, and delicious.

Cereal: If I don't have enough time (or to be honest, the energy) to make a "real" breakfast, this is my go-to cereal.

Quinoa: I love cous cous, quinoa, and brown rice, and I use them in a couple of different ways throughout the week. In salads, as a base for a veggie bowl, or for stir-fry (rice is best). 

Ezekiel Bread: My roommate from last summer Danielle introduced me to this bread, way before I decided to go dairy free or vegetarian, and I haven’t looked back since! Ezekiel bread is flourless and made from sprouted grains, so it’s heartier and healthier than your average whole grain. It toasts to the perfect crisp, so it’s fantastic to pile things on for breakfast toasts.

Chia Seeds: Super high in fiber are the tiniest seeds that I love in anything. Overnight oats, smoothies, in homemade chia pudding, or on avocado toast are a few ways I use this nutrient-packed superfoods.

Veggie Burgers: I'm not super partial to any type of veggie burger because I almost only use them mashed up in a pasta or zucchini noodle bowl with veggies. If I'm out to eat and they offer a veggie burger, I gravitate towards that because they tend to taste more like the real deal, although I think that's a mental thing.

Almond Butter: I was never a fan of your average peanut butter, but I can get down with almond butter (do we see a trend of almond products here?). There are tons of brands that make amazing almond butters, and usually I go with what's at Trader Joes, but I could do any kind. 

Granola Bars: I always have tons of granola bars in my pantry at any given time from a variety of brands in a variety of flavors! A few of my favorites are Lara Bars (pretty much all the flavors), RXBars (Coconut Chocolate & Blueberry), and GoMacro Bars (Prolonged Power & Protein Pleasure). Lara Bars are fantastic for a quick snack, and I like the RXBars and GoMacro bars as an after workout snack because they're high in protein. 

Almonds: Like granola bars, I almost always have almonds on me, because I never know when I'll get hungry!

Any alternatives to meat or dairy that are your tried and true favorites? I'd love to try them out! 

July 27, 2016

July 2016 Favorites

Disclaimer: I felt like I completely pigeon-holed myself into my previous format of these posts, so I'm switching it up. Would love to know your thoughts!

MDSolarSciences SPF 50 Mineral Beauty Balm: We recently started carrying this in the boutique at exhale, but Sephora also just began carrying them. This is super lightweight and is perfect for summer because the last thing I want is to layer moisturizer, primer, SPF, and a BB cream or tinted moisturizer. This is super lightweight and provides a light layer of color with the slightest bit of reflecting properties to give you a great glow. Especially if you often forget to put SPF on under your makeup, this is awesome! 

Glossier Cherry Balm Dot Com: Per the recommendation of my friend Jill who used the Coconut Balm Dot Com consistently while we were in France, I knew I needed to try them out. I ordered their Trio of Cherry, Mint and Rose, and this is definitely my favorite and most used of the three so far. You can build the color up a bit or leave it on the sheerer side, it smells and feels amazing. What other Glossier products should I try?

Marc Jacobs Glow Slick Glistening Illuminator: I was super late to the highlighter trend, but this one makes me glad I held off, because it's amazing. It's super easy to swipe onto your cheekbones and isn't overly chunky or glittery. Thanks so much to Influenster for this! 

L'eau de Cassis L'Espirit du Sud Parfum: I bought this in France during a day trip to Cassis (photos from that day here and here) and I'm so happy I did! I knew I wanted to get a perfume during my trip, but something a little more unique than something I could buy at Sephora here (you can order this scent & more online!). Everytime I spray it, it brings me back to that perfect beach day, which included beach drinking, a boat trip around the Calanques, and sorbet. Le sigh.

Gilly & Tarley: Game of Thrones anyone? I'm a huge fan of naming intimate objects (mostly bags & plants), which I'm completely aware is weird. But really, I love these two. My succulent is from Whole Foods and my cactus is from Niche in the South End.

What have you been loving this month? Would love to hear your favorites!

July 25, 2016

Her Campus Her Conference 2016

This weekend was the 5th Annual Her Conference, presented by Her Campus and my third conference, see 2014 and 2015.

Held again at Convene in the Seaport district, this years line-up of keynotes and panelists was without a doubt their best yet. i.e. Rebecca Minkoff, Andi Dorfman, Joyce Chang, Vanessa K. De Luca, Nastia Liukin, and Samantha Power.
 Dress: Mango // Shoes: Target

One of the best things about Her Conference each year is the amount of girls I get to meet in real life that I've met virtually, whether they're from the InfluenceHer Collective or another chapter!

Juicy Couture's #TrackisBack celebrations with popsicles and prosecco

The panels are consistently spot on with amazing speakers in a variety of stages in their careers, in many different fields. They had more choices and speakers than ever this year, and there was something for everyone!

Shopping party with Rebecca Minkoff

It was back to reality after the conference wrapped on Sunday and I headed back to Boston. Another truly amazing weekend in the books!


July 18, 2016

Beauty Buzz: Natural Skincare

Essentially, I am a vegan. The only thing holding me back is eating eggs, (they're an awesome source of protein post-workout), but otherwise, I eat an almost strictly plant-based diet. A post on what I've been eating and how I've been working out lately is in the works, but for now, let's stick to skincare.

A new friend asked me recently about my new minimalist makeup and skincare routines (again, post coming soon!), but questioned why if I eat so healthy I use products with harsher chemicals. That night, I couldn't help but think to myself, if I'm putting balanced nutrients that are naturally derived into my body, shouldn't I do the same for my skin?

I can't justify getting rid of the embarrassingly large stash of skincare and beauty products I currently have, but I have a growing list of products to start adding and incorporating once these finish up, and here are some that I've heard great things about.

Do you have any recommendations for brands in other categories? Hair, beauty, or others? I'd love for you to send them my way to be featured in an upcoming post!

July 13, 2016

Soft Summer Waves with SASSOON Salon

As you probably know, I've been working with SASSOON for the past few months and my hair is truly better because of it!

Have you been to the Lawn on D yet? So fun in the summer with friends!

Briana Davis, my stylist is the sweetest ever. I always look forward to my bi-weekly blowouts and cuts with her because we always have a great time chatting and catching up, especially because I was away for 5 weeks, my hair and I missed her!

Dress: Aritzia (so comfy, and on sale right now!) // Shoes: Sperry

We never even have to discuss what I want her to do with my hair anymore, because she knows I always go for the same waves that for the life of me I can't recreate at home. After a good wash from one of the salon assistants, Bri starts her magic with a blowdryer before giving me the perfect waves with a straightener. I think my problem at home is the tools, and I could definitely stand for an upgrade to my blowdryer and straightener, but then again, she works magic for a reason! Typically, I go in for a blow-out at the end of the week, since I don't usually have time to workout on the weekends, and my look lasts well past the end of the weekend.

What are some other fun outdoor activities on your summer bucket list?

I love my long locks, but I think it's time for a summer change, right? Bri and I have been discussing a change, because with the humidity in Boston, I just can't deal with how heavy my hair feels despite the layers. I haven't had "short" hair since I was 12 (almost 10 years!), so we'll see how short I can comfortably cut it. 

If you can't make it into a salon to have your hair styled to perfection, no fear! I'm running a giveaway on my Instagram for a product pack from SASSOON Salons, filled with tons of fun hair goodies that they use in the salon on me. Whoever wins will be all set for fab hair all summer long for sure! Enter now through July 20th for your chance to win!

July 11, 2016

Products I've Used Up #16

This is absolutely one of my favorite series that I try to get up every two months or so. Lately, I've been trying harder than usual to use up as many products as I can before purchasing anything else. I have a massive stash of beauty products that I often spread amongst my friends, and yet, the "collection" continues to grow. I'm putting a stop to it, and unless I'm absolutely out of something and have no alternative backups, it's not getting purchased.

For now, here's what I've used up lately:

July 6, 2016

My Trip to France 2016

Bonjour! Very sorry for the longer than expected blog hiatus, but between getting back to work, starting a new internship, and lots of summer fun, blogging has taken a bit of a back-burner position over the past month since I've been home.

Hands down, I had the best 5 weeks of my entire life. I don't regret a single choice I made, place I saw, or penny I spent the entire time I was in France. (Then again, if I did, you would be completely in the right to call me crazy.)

My time started in Aix-en-Provence, the most charming town that I grew to call home over the first 3 weeks of my time in France. My mornings were spent studying, afternoons exploring, and evenings powering through exhaustion to go out.

Weekend trips took us to an assortment of cities and towns, big and small. We enjoyed star-sightings in Cannes for the film festival (Blake Lively!), sailing around the Calanques in Cassis, and the Sunday markets in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue.

It truly amazed me how quickly I adapted to French culture and how much of the French I studied for 5 years during high school came back to me just listening to it every day. Obviously, I was studying in school so a lot did come back because of my class, but learning how to speak in a conversational manner is crucial to getting by.

By the end of my three weeks, it was time to head out on my own, my first time making a big trip by myself! I spent the first four days of my two week holiday in Nice, a beautiful Mediterranean town that was perfect for lazy beach days after three weeks of non-stop activity.

My Airbnb was fantastic, and right by the Port, and a fast walk to the beach and shopping. It was a little strange to walk around by myself everywhere after living in a homestay and studying with fellow students , but after the first day, I adjusted to the silence.

A three day stay in Monaco was next, a place I've dreamed of visiting ever since the first time I was told about Grace Kelly, so being from Philadelphia, this was especially exciting for me.Following Grace's trail around the city, and staying right near the casino made for an exciting few days, despite sweltering heat.

My mom was in Monaco when she was 21 with her best friend who has since passed away, making this a bittersweet visit, reflecting on what my mom and Gina experienced together.

Paris. How do I even begin to explain how I feel about Paris? Words really can't describe how it was to spend a week alone in Paris. This is something I had dreamed of doing for as long as I can remember, and the fact that I got to experience Paris for the first time by myself was unbelievable. Everything was so exciting, fresh, and new, and what I dreamed of and 100 times more. After a miserable day of traveling thanks to a day-of canceled train and an overpriced flight, I made it, exhausted but intact.

Needless to say, I cried. Especially when I saw the Eiffel Tower for the first time through foggy skies thanks to floods that left the Seine rushing loud & proud for a majority of my trip. I ended up experiencing great weather the entire time, with not a drop of rain while I was in Paris, and I'd like to think that the skies cleared for me.

I took a day trip to Versailles, another place I had only dreamed of, and boy was it better than what I dreamed. The gilded gold, stunning fabrics and design left me speechless, and as I sat in the garden eating an overpriced salad, I couldn't believe that I was experiencing this.

If you can, travel alone. I've had three very different travel experiences in my life so far (Israel on birthright with 40 strangers in 2014, London with my sister in 2015), and I can't wait for what's to come in the future!

May 5, 2016

Off to France!

I am so excited to announce something that I have been hinting at for several months now, I'm heading to France! I've been dreaming of this time since I was a little girl and I can't believe all my daydreams of being Madeline are coming true (sorta).

First, I'll be spending three weeks in Aix-en-Provence on a program through school. I'll be studying and staying with a family during this time and traveling to Cassis, Marseille, and other small cities around Provence. 

Next, I'm spending four days traveling to Nice, Monaco, and Cannes for a little more action in the South of France. Can we talk about how my other dream of being a West Philadelphia girl turned princess will be realized while I'm in Monaco (again, sorta). 

Then, the grand finale of my time in France will be spent in none other than Paris, where I'll spend ten days! I know these two weeks of travel by myself are going to absolutely fly by, but I'm so excited to soak up what the city has to offer during my time there.

I seriously could not be more excited for the five weeks to come, be sure to follow along with me on Twitter and Instagram while I'm there!


May 1, 2016

Beauty Sales Week of May 1st

  • Korean Beauty: DAENG GI MEO RI Herbal Hair Care, ProSonic Cleansing Brush System (Sales begin 8am PT 5/1)
  • Royale USA Hair Tools Up to 90% Off (Sales begin 4pm PT 5/1)
  • Mirai Facial Cleansing Brush, Treat Beauty Natural & Organic Skin Care (Sales begin 8am PT 5/6)
  • Jolie Femme 24K Skin Care, truDERMA Dietary Supplements (Sales begin 8am PT 5/7)

  • Treat Your Skin feat. Elemis (Sale begins 9am PT 5/5)

  • SK-II Skincare (Sale begins 11am ET 5/7)

April 30, 2016

Link Love: April 24-30

6 Ways to Work Smarter, Not Harder [Levo League]

12 Coachella Looks That Beat the Heat in Style [New York Times]

20 Experiences You Should Have Before You Turn 30 [My Domaine]

How Jenna Lyons Wears Gingham [Design Darling]

How To Stop Feeling So Stressed, According to Science [Refinery 29]

My Zero-Waste Week: How I Cut Down on Food Packaging When Eating (or Taking) Out [The Kitchn]

What - and Who - Are Meal Delivery Services Good For? [Food 52]

April 26, 2016

Tech Talk: Wellcoin

Wellcoin has become my latest obsession, and let me tell you why. Wellcoin is the first app to offer health-related digital currency, where you can exchange healthy living choices for gifts, discounts, and gift cards. Based in Boston [woohoo!] with an operational center in New York City, all in-person redemption occurs in these cities until more national partners are added, hopefully in the near future.

The app is completely free to download and use, and it's so simple to start earning your way towards a Whole Foods gift card, discounts on headphones, and more! Here it is broken down:

-Make a healthy living choice, i.e. healthy lunch, sleeping 7+ hours per night, buying healthy groceries
-Log what you did with a photo
-Added coins for adding your location and sharing to your social media channels
-Earn coins instantly, plus the community will verify your activity for added coins
-Once you rack up enough coins, redeem away!

Yup, it's that easy! It's a part of my everyday routine to log almost whatever I'm doing to earn my coins, I currently have enough that I've racked up over the past month for $20 to spend at my local Whole Foods.

April 24, 2016

Beauty Sales Week of April 24th

  • La Prairie (Sale begins Noon ET 4/27)
  • Terre Mère Cosmetics and Skincare (Sale begins Noon ET 4/29)

  • Mirenesse Australia, Tiziana Terenzi Luxury Fragrance & Candles (Sales begin 8am PT 4/27)
  • NuMe Style Hair Tools, Tweezerman (Sales begin 8am PT 4/28)
  • CONTEXT Skin Care, truewhite whitening system (Sales begin 8am PT 4/29)
  • D'OR 24K Luxury Skin Care, LightStim LED Light Therapy (Sales begin 8am PT 4/30)

  • NuFACE (Sale begins 9am PT 4/27)
  • L'Occitane (Sale begins 9am PT 4/28)

  • Clarisonic & More: Our Kind of Face Time (Sale begins 11am ET 4/29)
  • Luxe Fragrances feat. L'Artisan Parfumeur (Sale begins 11am ET 4/30)

April 23, 2016

Link Love: April 17-23

8 Superfoods For Better Sleep [The Zoe Report]

73 Questions With Taylor Swift [Vogue]

Don't Wait for Door to Open [Tory Burch - LinkedIn]

Spring Fruit Sangria [Cupcakes & Cashmere]

Southern Charm's Patricia Altschul Guide to Etiquette [Town & Country]

The Brief: Get Ready To See a Woman on the $20 Bill [Levo League]

The Nightly Routines of 14 Successful Women [My Domaine]

April 21, 2016

Think About Your Eyes

This post was sponsored by Think About Your Eyes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received compensation as a thank you for my review.

Just as I'm working hard towards nourishing, caring and strengthening my body with a vegetarian and dairy-free diet, and working out multiple times a week, there are things I definitely take for granted, like my eyesight that should not be forgotten. Just like any other muscle, your eyes need regular care to maintain maximum performance. Eye problems can be detected when they're most treatable, in their early stages by getting an annual eye exam.

Promoting the benefits of eye health is a national public awareness campaign, Think About Your Eyes, which encourages comprehensive annual eye exams. Recently, members of Life Time Fitness were surveyed by the Think About Your Eyes team, and it was found that some gym-goers tend to neglect their eye health, despite leading generally health-conscious lifestyles.

In the same study, Think About Your Eyes found that 33% of surveyed members are not getting annual eye exams, but get good marks when it comes to sleep, physicals, and exercise. Unfortunately, I feel like I totally fall within this category, because as someone who gets 7+ hours of sleep almost every night, eats a mostly plant based diet, and works out at least 4-5 times per week, I haven't had an eye exam in longer than I would like to admit. I also fall within the category, as I've said, of working out to strengthen my muscles every day, but it's definitely time that I focus on muscles other than those in my legs and core.

Continuing on that, I make my bed every single morning. It's the first thing I do before a few stretches and sun salutations and start my day. Even if I'm in a huge rush, I always make my bed, along with 2/3 people surveyed, which is the same amount of people that get an annual eye exam, but I am not one of them.
I am nearsighted, so I do wear my prescription glasses when I'm driving, at the movies, or if I can't see something on a board in class. It's no excuse, but I haven't gotten an eye exam since well before I came to college, probably when I was in high school and realized I was having a hard time seeing in class. 

Visit the Think About Your Eyes professional eye care locator to find a doctor near you and schedule an appointment.

April 19, 2016

Review: Blue Apron

I recently ordered a Blue Apron voucher on Gilt City after a great experience with Purple Carrot last month and was excited to give it a try! I was however disappointed to find that despite my ordering a vegetarian meal plan, most of them were dairy heavy, and thankfully I was able to make adjustments to this weeks plan to stick with my vegetarian and dairy-free lifestyle. 

Falafel with Pea Shoot Salad

I didn't end up making the pea shoot side salad, but this was definitely my favorite dish to make and eat! I have loved falafel since visiting Israel two years ago, and have always wanted to make my own. The preparation process and cooking was super easy, and I simply substituted a dairy-free Greek yogurt alternative for the tzatziki. 

Asparagus and Arugula Pesto Pizza

This pizza was so good and I can definitely see myself making this on my own again, especially because the pesto was so good! I did put the ricotta on the pizza for presentations sake, but took it right off after this photo, and held off on the mozzarella all together. I almost wish it had been a whole wheat dough instead of regular, but it was still great!

Fresh Fettuccine with Porcini Mushroom Bolognese

I've always loved fresh pasta, and when I can get it, I prefer it to regular pasta. Again, I wish it had been whole wheat or whole grain, but this was still very good. I really miss doing fun things with my pasta dishes, and this proved that you can do alternatives to meat without buying 'meat alternatives'.