My boyfriend & I traveled to New York City for a "mini-getaway" to celebrate our two year anniversary. I truly believe in taking the time to celebrate special moments & accomplishments in any relationship and the city—with its romantic spots, amazing energy, & glam residents—provided the perfect background to do just that. It is so easy for both of us to get swept away in the day to day grind, that it felt good to turn off the phones for a weekend & really celebrate our relationship and growth as a couple.
We stayed at the fabulous Kimpton hotel, The Muse
, which was located in Times Square, right in the center of all the action. It was so exhilarating to walk out of the hotel main doors & be immersed in the city life. Rob & the hotel schemed and made the visit extra special by sending red roses, strawberries, & a bottle of wine up to the room to help us celebrate the occasion (ah romance!). One of my favorite features of the hotel was a free wine hour—complete with DJ, in the posh hotel lobby, which gave us a chance to chat with other guests and have a cocktail to start off our trip on the right note.
We spent the majority of our trip engaging in pretty standard city activities: eating, shopping, and exploring the city. We only made one reservation for Saturday night dinner, but the rest of the trip was spent simply wandering the city & enjoying each other's company. Our "special" dinner was at Colicchio & Sons
in Chelsea, and the team there went above and beyond to help us celebrate. Rob & I left with happy taste-buds, and a muffin in hand for breakfast the next morning.
From the hospitality and décor of the hotel...to the endless food options...and, overall energy of the city...I couldn't have asked for a better weekend away. Take me back!
xo Kristen T.
Having grown up boating—and residing by the water in a quaint, Connecticut town—I've always been a HUGE fan of the nautical
and the shoreline's relaxed way of life. And, while most companies try to project their commercial versions of clothing for the "seafaring"—only one company, in my mind, truly embodies it: Vineyard Vines
. To me, this preppy-meets-classic brand doesn't just loyally sell great
clothing...it celebrates a lifestyle—most aptly living up to their tagline, "Every Day Should Feel This Good."
From well-constructed cardigans and soft tees to their trademark canvas totes with patterned embellishments—there is a casual elegance behind the New England-based clothier...and an abounding "all at sea" atmosphere in each store. With a counter-space that resembles the aft of a boat, green and red channel markers lighting the store's entry way and endearing store management—shopping Vineyard Vines is truly an unprecedented experience for first time buyers.
Most recently I paid a visit to their Boylston Street location for their Customer Appreciation event. That feeling I get perusing their displays and shopping their latest fashions never seems to subside. Soft cashmere scarves...playful pajama pants...whale-embellished mittens...and bright colored sweaters are just a few of the things that immediately grabbed my attention. Whether you're shopping for family or for that best friend—the varying price-points, versatility of their clothes and craftsmanship behind their line of products makes it a must-stop-shop for the holidays.
I left there not only with a plethora of pictures for my blog...but, also with a mental Christmas list for all the loved ones in my family. And, Santa, if you're reading this: I want the Whale Fade three-in-one makeup bag in Holly! Please and thank you!
xo Kristin K.
A seasonal display at the VV store in the Prudential Center
May all your pajama pants be merry & bright!
Enamel bangles & cashmere sweaters...these are a few of my favorite things!
Get plenty of holiday kisses under your mistletoe tie
Put a little whale in your life: Whale earmuffs...whale mittens...whale rain boots...
VV staff smile near their festive display & while donning this Season's newest VV fashions
Coral, navy & kelly green
For the men in your life—a cashmere, cable-knit sweater
Be sure to stop by VV for your holiday shopping & tell them that Beauty & the Bean sent ya'!
Since I was a little girl, I've always had a penchant for the sparkly and the decorative. Pretty Pretty Princess
was my all-time favorite activity and I wouldn't be satisfied unless I was donned in all the jewelry by game's end.
Now, in my late 20's, I've most recently discovered that this adolescent propensity has never really subsided. This profound theory, of course, stemming from my inability to suppress my child-like enthusiasm after being invited to April Soderstrom's Jewelry
Trunk Show. Held at the hauntingly beautiful Liberty Hotel
's Presidential Suite, I took the elevator to the 16th floor where I was immediately greeted by April and a room full of her stunning creations.
April, a former Miss Massachusetts USA Contestant, is as beautiful as she is talented. Her Boston-based jewelry line—from the androgynous, Dojo leather wrap bracelets in feminine hues
...to her ornately beaded Maya Loom Scarf necklace
that took her 25 hours to complete using a loom—leave you breathless. And, it beckoned that
perpetual 8-year-old inside to want to wear everything in sight.
The night was polished and posh—attracting Boston socialites, stunning pageant contestants and supportive onlookers alike—all with the intent to buy while imbibing in The Liberty
irresistible sangria. The ambiance was set to good music and a panoramic view of Boston—serving as the perfect backdrop to April's one-of-a kind jewelry stations. On one wall, April displayed her stacked, cluster bracelets
—made from materials like African turquoise, yellow opal and Bostwana Agate gemstones. On the other wall, April proudly displayed her earthy Santana Row statement pendants
which were most recently featured in PEOPLE Style Watch
. Made from striking tiger-eye and circled by rhinestone chain, this line of neck candy is a versatile investment since each piece can be worn from day to night. I circled the room trying on large brass cuffs adorned in Swarovski
crystals to her very popular Featherweight Earring collection
, working my way over to the holy grail of all creations: the Sparta Necklace
. Made with turquoise and vintage brass—its romantic masculinity makes it equal parts fashion as it does art. While all of her "heavier pendants" and collar necklaces seem to marry an abundance of materials, April has somehow mastered the ability to make them lightweight while also backing them with suede so they are comfortable against bare skin.
As the evening came to a close, women and men left with their Soderstrom purchases and I left with a feeling of divine inspiration.
April Soderstrom puts a great deal of heart into everything she does. And, it is with that careful attention to detail that not only made the execution of this 'trunk show' a flawless (and, memorable) one...but it also is what separates her jewelry line from the rest. I look forward to watching her continued success unveil itself as we head into the new year.
To shop April Soderstrom Jewelry, be sure to click here!
xo Kristin K.
The entry into the Liberty Presidential Suite
Beaded stretch bracelets in exquisite shades flood the display table
Lacey Wilson Bates (L) & April Soderstrom (R) donning one of her stunning necklaces
Pageant friends gathered to shop & take in the breathtaking views from the rooftop patio
Statement necklaces & the Santana Row collection
April's close friends & biggest supporters smile for the camera
Dear Santa, I want one of each please!
A customer purchases this brilliant piece stacked with jasper stone, brass, gold basket weave, and a faceted stone evil eye bead
These Featherweight Earrings were recently a top seller on Joyous.com!
Laura of "Boston Beauty Blog" (L), Lisa with Studio Eleven (C) & Antonia (R) pose for a group shot
April Soderstrom gift boxes line the trays
This turquoise beauty is comprised of merely 1,000 carats of stone & is backed by full suede so it is comfortable as it is stunning
The elegant & oh so gorgeous Lacey Wilson Bates modeling the Sparta collar; perfection
Last Friday, Beauty & the Bean got dolled up and took to Copley Square all in the spirit of celebrating Beauty
with our favorite store: Neiman Marcus.
I was elated to help co-host Neiman's "Project Beauty" event where I even had the opportunity to share my love for their Beauty Department as the evening's opening-speaker. With a camera in one hand and champagne in the other, I intrepidly sought out to capture every moment of this incredible evening. Women from all over Boston gathered around a pop-up runway that cut through the luxury store's glamorous third floor shoe department. Hors d'oeuvre trays were passed...prosecco with a cute pucker garnish were clasped...all as onlookers "ohh" and "ahh-ed" at this Season's hottest beauty trends—as presented by La Mer, Chanel and Trish McEvoy.
La Mer started off the show showcasing their hydrating blend of skincare cream and serums.
The legendary Crème de la Mer
hosts unique formulas with the "power to soothe sensitivities, heal dryness and restore radiance for younger-looking skin." It is the perfect line to start trying now to ward off the harsh side effects of Boston's brutally dry winter weather. Trish McEvoy
followed—showing the audience how their makeup line is not only versatile in rich, beautiful color but also for travel. All of the products are designed to fit into three sizes of makeup planners. For someone who is equal parts "always on the go" and OCD-organizer...I got a little "over-excited." Let's just say this is No. 1 on my Christmas Wish List.Chanel
closed out the show showcasing Winter's hottest trend: Flawless skin with dark plum lips and eyes. The bold colors gave off a sultry look perfect for a night out on Newbury Street.
After the show, gatherers took to the second floor where makeup trials and consultations ran rampant—each guest leaving with a fresh new look and a bag full of samples.
At the head of the runway—where after I finished my introductory statement, I turned to thank the very talented Beauty Team
Team La Mer
Classic Chanel Scents in a bottle (or, box)
Team Trish McEvoy
The Trish McEvoy System
Winter 2013 colors as modeled by Chanel
The La Mer collection
Nora for NeuLash & my gracious friend/stand-in model—Nikki
Chanel. Chanel. Chanel.
A festive display of holiday cheer & customer satisfaction as beauty teams apply their newest skin care & Winter collections
Dear Santa. I want these.
Thank you Neiman's for such an awesome experience!
xo Kristin K.
After bringing home a couple pounds of Macoun apples from my apple-picking excursion at Lyman Orchards
, I decided it was a must that I make a homemade apple recipe. I browsed through many recipes online and settled on a simple dessert: Apple Crisp. I really wanted to make a dish where the star of the recipe was the fresh-picked apples and it just so happened that Apple Crisp is one of my all time favorite fruit desserts!
I found the original recipe at Fine Cooking.com
and then made a minor adjustment based on what I had in my cabinets—using oats instead of nuts. Below is the updated recipe and pictures of the baking process. The recipe was so simple to make and everyone raved about the end result! Yum!
xo Kristen T.PS: Don't forget the vanilla ice cream!
I feel blessed to have attended Game 2 of the World Series. And, I feel a huge amount of pride saying I was there, in Fenway, when the Sox won the Series title at home (for the first time since 1918).
But as incredible as that all was, nothing compared to standing on the corner of Hereford & Boylston Streets, this past weekend, and baring witness to the crowds of people who came from all over to celebrate this great city; a true testament to what it means to be Boston Strong.
With the leaves turning and the temperatures slowly dropping, I have been reaching for my new favorite cold weather accessory–"the faux turban.” The stylish headwrap serves the same function as a pair of earmuffs, but is less bulky and a little more appropriate to wear before the heavy winter snow begins.
I found my bejeweled black turban at No Rest for Bridget
on Newbury Street and the “under $20” accessory has already gotten lots of use. I wore mine paired with black leggings, ballet flats and a quilted jacket; which made for the perfect Fall Funday outfit. I spent the day apple picking, pumpkin hunting and taking in the foliage—all while staying cozy & comfortable!
Here are some of my other favorite faux turban styles:
xo Kristen T.
Stripes are a must in every woman's wardrobe. They can be dressed up or dressed down. They can be worn year round. And, they are the perfect way to add a little something to a bland outfit. Here are my favorite ways to wear stripes around Boston.
xo Kristin K.
I live in 800 square feet of pint-sized brownstone bliss. And, while I'm sometimes consumed by my own thoughts as I begrudgingly gripe about my teeny closet, or my lack of kitchen space, I quickly am reminded (as I peer up at the Prudential Center from my living room), that "I'm in Boston, dammit." And, "This is cool." Still, as someone who loves to decorate for the holidays, the limited space can pose as a major challenge. In the past, I tried my hand at hauling in Seasonal decorations into our cramped apartment. But, this just ultimately led to our living quarters feeling cluttered...a displeased fiancé...an outburst of stress-hives...and, an inevitable Battle Royale which kicked my Seasonal excitement to the curb come trash Monday.
This Fall, I took a different approach. In the spirit of Autumn's simple beauty, I made it my mission to enhance not detract from our space. A crackling pumpkin candle burns in the evening; natural wood coasters—a recent wedding favor—now adorn our serving tray; fresh mini-pumpkins and golden blossoms bring in color and texture; while the subtle application of owls accent my living room sideboard. All in all, I've come to realize that a little can make a big impact—without compromising your peace of mind or living conditions. Check out the finished product below.