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My Boston Trip: Shopping Fun, Dressing Room Snaps & Thrifting Treasures

9 Jul

Before I went to Boston I received all sorts of great tips on where I should go, what I should see and what I should eat. And yeah. I didn’t really do any of that.

Instead, I sat in my hotel at my conference from 8am – 5pm and then walked back up to my room and sat in front of my laptop and worked on midterms from 6pm – midnight. Then, did it all over again. And again.

It wasn’t what I WANTED to do in Boston. But it was what I HAD to do… to get my midterms done. I just got my midterm grades back and at least the time was well spent… I got a 90% on one and a 99% on the other! Heck yeah!

I did have a little bit of time the day I flew in (Tuesday afternoon), in between midterms (Thursday night for an hour) and before I flew out (Friday afternoon). And I found some awesome deals… so let’s check them out!

I landed in Boston on Tuesday morning and wanted to enjoy the daylight before handcuffing myself to my laptop, so I decided to walk to one of the consignment shops on my list.

Boomerangs Consignment Shop (1407 Washington Street, Boston, MA). This was a small little shop with super nice people working there. There were some really high-end brands and the prices were relatively reasonable for consignment. I tried on a few items, but didn’t end up taking anything home with me.

On my walk back from the consignment shop, I saw a cute little store called Gifted (2 Dartmouth Street, Boston, MA). This store had all sorts of unique and cool stuff with handmade items by over 90 US artists. I spent lots of time just wandering around the two level store touching everything. I ended up buying a super cute salt and pepper shaker (I’ve somehow accidentally started a collection…) and two engraved bracelets:

The “Mama Bear” and “Actually, I Can” bracelets were exactly what I needed to power through my midterms! I’ve been wearing both bracelets every day since I bought them… I love them so much!

On Thursday, I saw that there was a consignment store only a couple blocks away from my hotel. So, after my conference ended at 5pm, I ran out to do a quick look before they closed at 6pm.

Castanet Consignment Shop (175 Newbury Street, Boston, MA). HOLY CRACKERS, this shop was amazing! The only drawback is that the majority of the clothing was very tiny sizes. They had tons of amazing brands, cocktail dresses, shoes, scarves. You name it!

I almost slobbered on this pair of sparkly Jimmy Choo heels. And then, I turned around and ran right into a whole table of Manolo Blahnik sandals. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

The prices were also pretty darn good… so I kind of wish more stuff fit me! I did find a few items to try on though, a romper that totally fooled me into thinking it was a dress, a blazer and an amazing scarf. They had some great dressing rooms too, so I did snap a few photos.

I didn’t buy this one, but it made me laugh. I totally thought it was a dress… and then this happened. As someone pointed out on Instagram, I got “romped!”

Bird & Knoll Cinque Terre/Bella Boats Scarf, $49

When I picked this scarf up, I knew nothing about the brand. I just knew it was huge, beautiful and incredibly soft. The consignment shop had it originally marked at $78 and on sale for $49, so I did a quick google to make sure it wasn’t actually some cheapo brand and pulled the trigger to buy it.

When I got back to my room, I did a little research. Bird & Knoll is an Australian brand of cashmere and silk printed luxury scarves for women. I found this exact scarf on their blog from June 2015 and it was called the Cinque Terre/Bella Boats scarf and it has an image of the Cinque Terra (located between Florence and Geona in Italy).

Based on other similar scarves on their website, I’m going to assume that the one I purchased is also 20% cashmere, 80% model and made in Italy. The cost on their website is $335 AUD, which equals about $250 in US dollars.

Didier Parakian blazer, $35

I wasn’t familiar with this brand at all either. I liked the look of this blazer and it looked about my size, but the tag said 44… which is either French sizing for a US size 12 or Italian sizing for a US size 8. Since it fits my shoulders well, I’m guessing it is French sizing. It was difficult to find information on this brand, but I did find this website and it appears that the clothing are made in Italy, but the brand started in France and has “the exotic tastes of the Armenian culture combined with the chromatic sensitivity of Mediterranean cities and the elegance of the French style.”

Yeah, so I don’t think I’m the only one confused about the brand…

Anywho. This blazer was originally tagged at $44, but it was marked down to $35. My best guess at an original price would be $344 based on what came up on Lyst when I searched the brand.

After I left, I stopped by a nearby Anthropologie because they had a ‘sale on sale’ going on.

Anthropologie Adelina Embroidered Blouse, $52

I should be ashamed about the amount of clothing I took into the dressing room at Anthropologie. The location I visited in Boston had a HUGE sale section… and everyone on sale was an extra 25% off. I have no idea how I narrowed it down to buying only one item. I can say, that this shirt is the kind of special-fantastic-unicorn shirt that I love. It makes me feel so pretty and it looks adorable with jeans. And I love it SO MUCH. And there are pompoms on the trim. POMPOMS! Original price at Anthropologie was $118 and it was marked down to $69.95 and then down to $52 (find it here).

After my two stops I headed back to the hotel to do some more work and eat some dinner. On Friday, my conference ended at noon, so I packed everything up and decided to go… THRIFTING!

I only had time to make one thrifting stop, so I decided to go to a somewhat nearby Goodwill (1010 Harrison Ave. Boston, MA). It was a nice day, so I decided to walk the 1.5 miles there. However, by time I was done thrifting all afternoon I grabbed an Uber back!

This Goodwill was absolutely huge. Just going through the dress racks (that lined the entire back and side of the store) was exhausting. My arms were actually sore from pushing back dress after dress! I mainly concentrated my time on the dresses, tops, and skirts. Each category had their own area, but nothing was divided by size… so it was a free-for-all. There were only a couple dressing room stalls and people were hogging them, so I basically tried everything on over my clothes and hoped for the best.

After HOURS of digging through everything, I found 4 winning items:

Joie Silk Dress, $5

I found an almost identical Joie silk dress online and it retailed for $368. This one has a fun pattern, fabric covered buttons at the bust, and a drawstring waist. It was also marked as a dress ($8), but the lady decided it looked more like a tunic, so she charged me just $5 for a shirt! I’m thinking I might wear this one either over a pair of skinny work trousers, or paired with black tights and booties in the fall. I think this one might be the score of the day!

Boden Jersey Dress, $8

I actually own this dress in a purple print and love it, so when I saw this blue version for just $8 I knew I had to snap it up! This one is actually a size larger than the one I have, but the fit is fine on me. I love it so much and wore it to work already last week!

Eileen Fisher dress, $8

This one is a bit of a risk, as it has a weird floppy pocket on one side. I don’t know. I thought it looked kinda interesting. Similar Eileen Fisher dresses go for around $200, so I figured I’d give this one a try for $8. It did smell SO BAD of mothballs when I bought it… but two rounds in the washing machine and it’s smelling great now.

Talbots cardigan, $5.50

I really like the mixed stripes and ¾ sleeves on this cardigan. It’s perfect for work or weekends. I didn’t realize when I bought it that it has 10% wool though… so I’ll have to pack this one away until winter or I’ll sweat to death.

All-in-all, I spent about $27 to thrift 4 items with a total retail value around $778!!

So yeah, I had some great Boston shopping luck! Which item is your favorite?


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Traveling Fun: Share your Boston Tips!

11 Jun

I’m being sent out for a work conference at the end of the month, which isn’t really much of a hardship. I feel like quite the grown up when I fly off on a plane all by myself with just my carry-on and no husband or kiddo. Then, I get a fancy hotel room ALL to myself for a few days. I can eat room service in bed while watching whatever I want on the television… which is basically like some kind of heaven. I also like stuffing my brain with work-related knowledge and exploring a new city. So, I can’t wait for this month’s trip to Boston!

Source: Google Maps


I’ll be staying at the Boston Marriott Copley Place and won’t have a car, so I’ll be walking or use Uber to get around. I’d like to eat a lobster roll. And do some shopping/thrifting. My sister recommended Quincy Market and Mike’s Pastry. I may visit the Boston Public library because it’s quite close to my hotel. My friend recommended that I do some shopping on Newbury Street. I’m not really stuck on any plans though…

I have some free time on Tuesday and also on Friday afternoon, so I’m open to ideas!

What are your Boston recommendations?

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Our 3rd Year in a Row Visiting Great Wolf Lodge

2 Apr

I’ve talked about Great Wolf Lodge before, with our first visit here for Jack’s 4th birthday and then a follow up visit for Jack’s 5th birthday. We were going to skip it this year, because we had a kid birthday party for Jack, but then they were running a really good special and I decided to jump on it.

What can I say… the winter was long and I really like having something fun to look forward to!

We usually would visit from Friday to Saturday because the pricing is better, but by using a ‘Book Early and Save’ deal, we were able to get a Saturday to Sunday reservation for less than usual. We drove there on Saturday morning, checked in, took a few ‘howl’ photos, and went to the water park for a few hours of fun.

We got dinner late (and it was truly awful with terrible service) at a nearby Red, Hot and Blue and then went straight to bed. On Sunday morning we went to our favorite pancake house for breakfast. If you are in the area, we highly recommend the Astronomical Pancake House for breakfast. It’s all the goodness of a diner, but much more clean!

And LOOK at these amazing waffles that I ate:

😍 #allthefruit

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After stuffing ourselves full of coffee and food, we put our bathing suits back on. Because that’s what you want to do for some total body confidence…

Anywhoo, we spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon at the water park. Even after 3 years it was so much fun! Jack loves the Fort Mackenzie tree house area with water spewing around everywhere and interactive water toys to play with. We all loved the water slides, especially Water Canyon Run where the three of us hurtled down a dark tube while screaming at the top of our lungs. When we were done, we threw on some comfy clothes for the ride home and took one more quick photo on the way out…

All in all, it was a great weekend and really helped get rid of some of that winter funk we were feeling!

{If you’ve never been to a Great Wolf Lodge, you may be interested in the Q&A I did at the end of my previous post.}

Do you have someplace you return to again and again? For us it’s usually Ocean City, but now I’m adding Great Wolf Lodge to that list!

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Shopping Small in Philly

11 Dec

Much like my NYC trip the previous week, I had a quickie overnight trip to Philadelphia last week. Once my train got in to Philly, I had a few hours to kill before my evening event, so I did a bit of walking around. In quick succession, my friend and I visited the Redding Terminal Market, the Dilworth Park Winter Garden at City Hall and the Christmas Village at Love Park. I love handmade items, so these winter villages were exactly what I LOVE about visiting different cities!

I ended up buying a few items for Christmas gifts… and a couple treats for myself too. Let’s check them out!

{Much, like my NYC post I did include links when I could find them. These are NOT sponsored links. I just really love what I purchased so I thought I’d make it easy for you if you want to shop for yourself.}

Bopbe handmade earrings

I basically never change my earrings out, so when I saw these pretty handmade earrings I was planning to leave them behind. They kept calling my name though and I ended up buying them. Look at them… they are so beautiful! How could I resist? I found the Bopbe shop on Etsy but they are currently closed while they have their booth at the Dilworth Park Winter Garden. So many of their items were gorgeous though, so if you like the earrings be sure to check back in the new year! I think I’m going to give these to my husband to wrap up for Christmas…

La Vie en Rose bracelet

I know, I know… I obviously have an obsession with bracelets. I couldn’t resist trying this one on. Then – as you know – once you see how beautiful it is on your arm, you can’t leave without it! As for the inscription, “La Vie en Rose” is a jazz song from the 1940’s. The idea of having a rosy outlook on life, or seeing the world through rose glasses turns into looking at everything through the haze of being in love. For me, I see it as keeping a positive outlook on everything. Here is a link to the exact bracelet I bought with your choice of inscriptions. 

Felt and Wool Angels

How adorable are these little felt angels? I bought one for my tree and one for a gift. Felt n Wool exports handcrafted felt products from Nepal and they had everything from scarves to slippers to ornaments. I read this on their Facebook page and thought it was really cool: “Our products are made in both a worker and eco-friendly process. Felt is not woven; instead the wool fibers are placed in warm soapy water and rolled under pressure to entangle the fibers. No electricity is used and there is little waste. Most of the workers are women who get their kids off to school, sit together chatting with friends and making our products – earning wages about the same as office workers – and finishing work in time to greet the kids from school.You can find their page here.

JoeyFiveCents necklace

This one is a gift, so if you are a sister of mine… LOOK AWAY! This initial necklace was made using original vintage paper from a Palmer Handwriting practice guide book from the 1930’s and 1940’s. The vintage paper has been sealed and coated with resin and then accented with a tiny vintage pearl bead flourish. My sister is engaged, so I purchased the letter of what will be her new last name!

Crisp & Co Pickles

You know if they have samples of food, I’m going to try some…right? Crisp & Co had a super yummy assortment of award-winning artisan pickles to sample and my favorites were the Sweet Ginger Pickles and the Savory Pickled Mushrooms. I bought one of each for my dad, and then one of the Ginger Pickles for my husband. Here’s their website.

I would have loved to do a little Philly thrifting while I was there, but I ran out of time! I’m just glad that I finally got a start on my Christmas list!

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