OAK Long Bar + Kitchen in Back Bay

A few weeks ago (okay, maybe it was like a month ago, oops), I went out to a fabulous brunch with Blog and Tweet Boston. It was held at the OAK Long Bar + Kitchen which is located at the Fairmont Copley Plaza. I saw a few familiar faces in the crowd, (Jess from Little Miss Runshine, Jen from The Boston Bachelorette, and Kerrie from Urban Foodie Finds) but I also had the pleasure of meeting a few new bloggers in the Boston area! (Some mentionables are Erin from Gibble Me This, and Jill from Endorphins Are For Skinny Girls). We had some hilarious conversations involving garlic-y and onion-y smelling hands and putting them in people’s mouths–errrr, you had to be there. ūüėÄ Now on to the brunch!

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As you can see, it is a very swanky place that has very cozy accommodations. I sat on a couch and I actually liked that you had the option of sharing seats and making it a bit more intimate if you wanted.

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As you can see from the menu, there were some amazing options. I think we tried most of the items on it, and although it was a very hard choice, I opted for the Oak Burger, obviously paired with a Bloody Mary (you can’t spell brunch without Bloody Mary, amirite? — well actually you can but, details). I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

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The burger was great (there is no such thing as a bad burger in my opinion), but it didn’t blow me away. And I’m a sucker for fries so overall it was a very filling meal (full Stacey = happy Stacey).

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I love me some eggs benedict – one of the options I was considering.

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The smoked salmon and cavier flatbread that we got for the table to share – delicious!

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Chocolate Hazelnut French Toast – I definitely had to try a few bites of this. It was insanely delicious but I would probably not have been able to eat even half of it if I had ordered it myself (I’m a savory girl!)

But the winner in my eyes:

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Um, home-baked bread made in a cast iron skillet? Yes please! Everything tastes better when cooked and served in a cast iron skillet, fact. (Kind of like mason jars)

This was an amazing and super fun experience with my blogger gals and I would recommend this place if you’re celebrating something extra special.

OAK Long Bar + Kitchen is located at 138 Saint James Avenue in Boston, MA. Call (617) 585-7222 for reservations. They serve Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, and even Late Night.

[Disclaimer: The brunch was complimentary and provided by OAK Long Bar + Kitchen and Blog and Tweet Boston but all opinions expressed here are my own.]

Now excuse me while I go spend the rest of my weekend in my PJs watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix. There are some pros to being sick I guess!

Hi there everybody. I am sitting in my apartment on a lovely/lazy Sunday morning (and procrastinating studying for my upcoming exam), and thought I’d share with you all my wonderful experience of a Core Fusion Barre class at Exhale, followed by delicious apps at Aragosta Bistro. I was super excited to finally try a class at Exhale because not only had I heard about it from other fitness instructors who take classes, it is a nationwide chain. I had even recently read that “Girls” star Allison Williams uses it to help keep her toned physique. So when Blog and Tweet Boston presented the opportunity for such a great event, I jumped at the chance! I saw some familiar faces, including Jen, Kerrie, and Lucie, not to mention I met a bunch of lovely girls who blog about Boston too! The blogging world is such a neat community and every person I’ve ever encountered through a blog meet-up has been nothing but the nicest, and chillest people out there. Birds of a feather, amirite? But I digress, here are some pictures of the event.

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First – the workout. Now I am a very active person. I work out at least 2-3 times a week on the regularly and really like to vary up my workouts. Whether that be from CrossFit, to yoga, to pilates, to spin. I have tried a few barre classes before and I always know how challenging they are for me. Give me Olympic weightlifting with heavy weights any day over holding a chair/squat position and moving up and down in inch increments! Our instructor Meg was extremely cheerful and thorough, making sure to work every. single. body part and muscle. I was extremely proud to get through the arm sequence in the beginning, but once we got to the bar for legs and glute-work, my quads were burning and screaming barely halfway through! As with most workouts, form and alignment was key to get the most out of the tiny movements, although it does help some if you are flexible (which I am not), but I believe that if someone regularly attended this class – it would help improve their flexibility a ton! There is definitely a mind-body connection component to these sort of workouts vs. an intense workout like CrossFit. Afterwards, we all received an amazing gift bag filled with coupons, a tank, and tea (I love tea!!). My legs were shaking like crazy and we all slowly walked down a flight of stairs to head down to the restaurant, but not before we stopped to pose for a group photo!
Image¬†(I’m holding up the goodie bag we received)
At Aragosta, we received platefuls upon platefuls of wonderful apps and even a refreshing “Exhale Deep Cleanse Cocktail” (of which I had 2 glasses ūüėČ – it consisted of Hendricks gin (yum!), lime juice, simple syrup, aloe vera, and zest of cucumber with a slice of cucumber thrown in for garnish (see pic)
ImageUmm – delish!! And so simple too!
The food was amazing and there were gluten-free options for some of the gluten-free girls too. So accommodating! The restaurant staff all knew the Exhale girls and it seems like such a great relationship that both companies benefit from. As for the food – I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
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This was an amazing event and I cannot thank all the companies involved enough! It was a beautiful day to venture out into Battery Wharf (I had never been) – and it is such a cute, lovely area! I’ll definitely have to check out some more Exhale classes (but probably the one in Back Bay as it is much closer to me), and head over to Aragosta one day to experience their afternoon tea time event, tres chic! For more information and if you want to experience the Barre to Bar event for yourself (offered every day from Monday-Friday – insane!), call¬†617-603-3100 or go online to¬†Exhale Spa – Battery Wharf. Thanks Sam and Meg from Exhale, Aragosta, and Blog and Tweet Boston!

Barre to Bar with Blog and Tweet Boston (Say that 5 times fast)

October It Is.

*Smh*. Oh the shame. I will be the first to admit how terrible I am at this blogging thing. Empty promises of how I’ll “update this thing regularly”. Similar to the promise I make to myself every time that I will also keep up with doing my laundry on a regular basis. But we all know how that goes…

So to speech catch up on things, here is a simple list of what went on over the summer to now:

Finished 2nd year of dental school (it was a crazy one), moved to my amazing 1-bedroom apartment out in the Back Bay/Fens area, started 3rd year of dental school, lost my phone, ended my Crossfit membership, was told I might have to move out of my said amazing apartment within 3 months time (it was a false alarm, thank goodness), and got my wisdom teeth pulled yesterday.

From reading the list, you may think there is more bad news then good but I assure you that everything is still great and I am the happiest I’ve ever been. I try not to let the “bad” things get me too down because honestly most things are beyond our control and there’s no sense in being dragged down by it all. You have to try and understand it, accept it, and/or see things from a different view. “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” I live and die by that quote.

But I digress. I lost my phone so although I had some amazing photos from some events I’ve attended over the past 2 months, I must “steal” them all from my dear friend Jil from over at big city, lil kitchen.

Seasons 52:

Seasons 52 is a “fresh grill and wine bar”. Their menu changes with the seasons and they offer about 150 different wines on the menu (my kind of place). They have 32 locations around the country, and the first one in Massachusetts opened in Burlington. Jil and I drove out there together and I honestly had no idea what to expect but upon walking up to the front entrance, it was already a great first impression.

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It was an incredibly big space with a dark, home-y interior.

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Once we received a tour, the amazing food and wine presentation started. The chef came out and told us a little bit about each of the plates and¬†world-class Master Sommelier, George Miliotes went over each one of the wines we sampled. He knew his stuff and I loved his stories of how he came to business with some of the wineries that provided the wine we tried. He has to travel all over the world and spend hours and days trying all different kinds of wine. Rough life… (aka my dream job).

All their meals are very light and healthy. Every single item on the menu is under 450 calories (aside from the filet mignon, which is 475). They use no butter and no fryers, which was very relieving to me as someone who enjoys eating as clean as possible when i can. Here are some pictures of the food (which do not do them any justice, and my mouth is watering just thinking about them!)

Image Amazing flat bread (their signature). Image Lump crap with their own take on pico de gallo

Image Cedar plank roasted Salmon (yummm)

Image Goat cheese ravioli (I die).

Image Filet and quail (so good!)

There you have it. The mouth-watering collection of some of Seasons 52’s best appetizers and entrees. (Not pictured, a stacked tower of their mini indulgences aka desserts).

I’m usually not a huge fan of chain restaurants, but I actually really like what Seasons 52 is about. They want to give people light, healthy options but not skimp on the taste or flavor, not to mention that they are seasonal (which is not commonly found with big chain restaurants). The restaurant seems a bit fancy for a once-a-week family dinner, but it seems very fitting for a dinner after a special occasion (graduation, birthdays, etc.). I highly recommend the place.

Odyssey Sunday Champagne & Chocolate Brunch Cruise:

In September, I also got to go on an amazing booze and brunch cruise with fellow Boston bloggers + my friend Jairo. The event was sponsored by Blog and Tweet Boston, a local group of…bloggers and tweeters. It was the most absolutely picture-perfect, not a cloud in the sky, sunny and warm kind of day for a cruise.

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Among the bloggers were Jil, Rachel, and Jen. It was great to experience this with old friends and new! There was actually a wedding party on board as well, but there were enough floors and spaces so we didn’t crash their party. I headed straight for the bar as soon as I got on (hey, it was open bar!). Once we all finally settled in to our table, we all toasted with some prosecco!

Image We were a fun group!

Image¬†(Jil’s plate, as I was phone-less)

The brunch buffet was fantastic. They had every breakfast option, as well as your typical lunch fare with salads and pasta. As per usual, I got a bit of EVERYTHING and got 3 plate-fulls of food. No shame people. Afterwards, we all hung up on the top roof deck and drank, laughed, and took in amazing views of Boston and the Boston harbor islands (which I need to make a trip out to sometime next summer!)

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They had taken photos of us before we boarded and after we docked and I saw this cute little picture, I had to get it! It represents such a happy time and memory for me, one that I will cherish and I didn’t mind paying for it since everything was complimentary.

Whew! That’s “all” for now, folks. I cannot say nor promise when I’ll be back, but hopefully, it’ll be a lot sooner than another 5 months…

A big thank you to Seasons 52, Blog and Tweet Boston, and Odyssey Cruises for providing the complimentary tickets, foods, wines, and other beverages. Although I received everything gratuitously in exchange for a blog post, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Once again, all pictures (except the last one), were provided by Jil over at big city, lil kitchen. Go follow her immediately!

I’m Sorry! (Bar 10 with Blog and Tweet Boston)

You guys,

I know, I know. I am actually TERRIBLE at doing this blog thing. I want to be better and I always swear that I will be when I go to awesome events, but you know how life gets. Anyways, here is the first of hopefully a couple of posts within the next week or so!

So, I attended an absolutely spectacular event with Blog and Tweet Boston held at Bar 10 Westin Copley Place. They just opened up their place for brunch, and invited a bunch of bloggers to come try it out and they did not disappoint!

I’ll just put in a bunch of pictures and let them do the talking. Warning: you will drool!

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A Bloody Maria – made with tequila in honor of it being almost Cinco de Mayo.

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What I ordered: a crab cakes egg benedict. It was sooo good!!! Those fries were deadly.

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Omg, that steak was to die for.

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Their breakfast burger – with avocado somewhere underneath there. Yum!!! I’m a sucker for all things avocado.

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The piece de resistance. A hash brown. But no, this is no ordinary hash brown. It is heaven sent. The most perfectly tender on the inside, crispy on the outside hash brown I’ve ever eaten.

They were super accommodating and way too generous with the food and drinks they offered us. Everybody walked out of there stuffed and there were lots of leftovers too!

So next time you are in the Back Bay area in Boston on a weekend, DO stop by here for brunch. It’s a must!!!

It’s been a minute.

Hello all! Sorry for the lapse in blog posts. I have been going 100 mph non-stop it feels like! I finished my hardest semester of dental school with 10 finals in 1.5 weeks, then shipped down to New Jersey where I spent a hectic 3 days catching up with family and friends. Then, for the piece de resistance. I flew down to Costa Rica for official spring break! I actually left and arrived there on Marathon Monday and as soon as I landed and turned on my phone, I immediately received messages of concern, which put me into concerned and panicked mode as I had no idea what was going on and why people were asking me if I were okay. I immediately rushed to a computer and sat in front of it with mixed feelings of guilt, disgust, and distress. I felt so far away from my home, yet it was still so close to me and my heart. For days leading up to Marathon Monday, I kept repeating how I wished I was in Boston for it, but  everything happens for a reason, and luckily I was the farthest I could be from Boston and safe. 

Prior to finals and even during it, I was able to partake in several Blog and Tweet Boston events! One was a UFX Blogger Class at Boston Sports Clubs. It was referred to as comparable to a “Crossfit” style class and was mainly involved with high intensity interval circuits. I am very familiar with this type of workout thanks to ZuzkaLight and CrossFit so I was excited to take a class and compare and contrast all 3. The two trainers stressed the importance of form and it did almost feel like they were sort of criticizing CrossFit or other methods similar to this style by saying how they focus on form and not doing a million repetitions of a movement. Now I know CrossFit has received some criticism, but from my own personal experience they stress nothing but form as well, especially at Reebok Crossfit Back Bay. I think it all depends on the trainers because there can be bad trainers at good gyms, and good trainers at bad gyms, and every other combo in between. For example, I tried another Crossfit box when I was home in New Jersey and although they went over form in the beginning, the one coach couldn’t keep track of everybody once the workout started, and some people’s forms for the power clean was off. It was painful to watch but it also made me very, VERY appreciative of the great box I go to here in Boston. It is honestly a very high quality box and absolutely worth the money.¬†

Anyhoo, we did a nice warm-up, and then there were a set of about 6 different exercises, and we rotated through all of them with a little rest in between, and we repeated the entire circuit 3 times. We had to count the total number of reps we were doing, but I messed up and forgot to halve my reps for a couple of the moves for the first 2 rounds. It is SO difficult for me to keep count when I’m working out. Typical Stacey. Here are some pics!

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Or a lotta pics.

But it was a lot of fun and I got a great workout in! It was a great relief from studying and keeping up with my fitness schedule because I put my CrossFit account on hold due to finals and spring break. 

Another event that I decided to join on a whim was the Blog and Tweet Group Run. I decided to run down Commonwealth to Mass Ave. and meet up with the group, and while I was proud of my decision, I quickly realized how cold and freezing it was. My little pullover from Athleta was just not enough to keep the freezing wind out! Brrrrr. I joined the group and we went for a quick mile run over to the hatch shell. Once we got there, there were so many great surprises in store for us! First, a quick stretch by Kendall Covitz from On An Inhale. Then Kendall and @trainerceleste talked about the Wellness by the Water retreat which I will be attending! 

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Notice how everybody on the left look freezing and the two on the right were cozy with their warm, thick jackets. I was quite envious!

And then the goodies came. Oh yes, lots and lots of goodies. 

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Can we just stop for a minute and stand in awe of how much free goodies we received?! Two bag-fulls worth actually! I was stunned but that could actually have been the numbness I was feeling throughout my entire body from the cold… @ElizabethEats brought all the Vega goodness and some amazinggggg peanut butter protein balls. The tea and other goodies were from the last Wellness by the Water retreat. I was glad to help them out and take these off their hands! ūüėõ

Overall, I am glad I made the last minute decisions to attend these two events, as I desperately needed a break to clear my head from all the studying I’ve been doing. These two events were well worth it though, especially the Group Run where I got so many free goodies. I love free things!