Friday, May 31, 2013

Local Gem: Christopher Columbus Park

Now that summer is finally here, I try to be outside as much as possible (with my SPF 50+ of course). Since I live in the North End, the most convenient outdoor space is Christopher Columbus Park (on the waterfront next to Tia’s). Christopher Columbus Park is a gorgeous spot! Located just steps away from the Aquarium T stop, it is the perfect place to watch boats leaving the harbor, grab a drink at Tia’s, or set out a blanket for a picnic. Or, since the park has wifi, this just might be the world’s most perfect spot to “work from home.”

Gals having a book club picnic at the park.

And I am definitely looking forward to the Sunday night outdoor movie series at the park. The movie list isn’t out yet - but I will keep you gals posted!

My one pet peeve about this park: the Christopher Columbus statue is tiny!!! It is super awkward looking. Oh well, it gives the spot some character I guess.

- Cameron

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Milly + BR collaboration

Milly, what is known to be a pretty preppy brand in the fashion world, has teamed up with another prep staple, Banana Republic.  The Milly brand launched in 2001 and has a very beachy vibe that has introduced new pops of color into BR's summer 2013 collection.  I had always heard of Milly, but the brand honestly didn't catch my eye until they partnered with Sperry this year.  Similarly, Banana has been no stranger to collaborations (Trina Turk in 2011, Issa London coming August 2013), and the partnership allows for smaller brands, like Milly, to produce on a larger scale for the masses.

It is clear that Michelle and BR's Simon Kneen (Creative Director & Executive VP of Design) compliment each other.  You can read their Q&A here.

Here are my picks from the line: the colorblock dress, elephant short and wicker clutch
images via
Since I am currently on the hunt for some summer dresses, this colorblock one caught my eye.  Although this line is more affordable than Milly direct, the price point seems high for the dress and clutch.  I anticipate these pieces going quickly, so maybe I should make a move!? 

What are your thoughts on the Milly collection for Banana Republic?  Yay or nay?

- Meredith

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Who's That Gal Vol. 2

Hi Asha! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some interview questions from JUGs today! You must be very busy these days as you are a fashion blogger, editor-in-chief of your own magazine, Tosser Magazine, and a fashion designer for your own label Asha Isabella US. How do you do it all? How do these three jobs influence each other?

I basically just consider myself a storyteller with different medium. I also write and publish fiction under a different name (random bit there). Unfortunately, I’ve been neglecting my blogging lately but I never considered myself a fashion blogger. It was more of a personal journey for me - I just shared photos with interesting people I met, behind the scenes things with the magazine and the collection, and a DIY post here and there.

Anywho... to actually answer your question... it is very important for me to manage my time extremely well. It can be very overbearing to figure out which priorities are the most important and not overwhelming myself with tasks so i get to the point where i don’t get anything done. Especially because we’re at that point where I am doing a lot on the business side. That’s actually been my biggest challenge lately and now I have someone that helps me with my time management. They’re not in this crazy jumbled up mind of mine so I figure out the millions of things i need done within a day and when all of the deadlines are and they literally put me on a schedule. It’s brand new, we’ll see how it works.

And all of my jobs are influenced by whatever world I’m living in within my dreams. I do think there are very close similarities between Tosser and the clothing line but its all about energy and what message... or impression we leave. Both of them are very edgy and just so reflective of my style. I like to be a bit loud, a bit daring and that is what my goals are with the both of them. And in terms of the business side, I like to market us in the same manner. It really says something when you’re holding Tosser Magazine or wearing an AI garment or even reading my writing. It’s really all about me bringing you into the world of my dreams. And that’s just what I love about all of it. It’s a really interesting place there.

We noticed that your fashion line and magazine are both very bold, not shying away from addressing cultural topics and pushing people past their comfort levels. Is there any style of fashion statement that you would say is too bold for you?

No, I don’t think there are any boundaries on how bold I can be. It is really about whatever runs through my mind whenever I decide to dress or when I’m pitched a person to interview, etc. I really think it’s important for people to identify what their individual styles are and just do whatever they want. And in terms of writing asking the questions your reader really wants the answer to.

I also don’t dress for other people, I dress for my mood so I’m never concerned with what anyone else will think of my ensemble. I mean... I’m not going to walk around with meat on my body (I don’t consume meat anyway) but if I want a purple bob and a dress inspired by Zenon, Girl of the 21st Century, I’m sure as hell going to do it. And that’s just what my personal style is. I think some people have the impression me or my friends work hard at grabbing the attention of others. No, we don’t. I’ll roll out of bed to go grab a grapefruit from Wholefoods at 7am and I’ll just grab the closest thing to me... the closest thing to me might be a mod dress and a pair of 5 inch heels. It’s just what I have. It’s just what’s in my closet. So, I’m never dressing over the top for the sake of dressing over the top. I fall in love with pieces that are very reflective of my inner self and my thoughts, inspirations, etc and when I end up putting them all together they tend to just make a statement.

And, I promise to shut up about this but as a publication I think it’s very important to push boundaries culturally. We’re getting more into this and as Tosser develops you’ll see it a lot more. But we represent a community of people that live and think outside of the box so we need to be the publication that shares that sentiment.

We love upfrontness of Tosser’s voice. What is your goal for Tosser and how do you aim to make it stand out from other fashion magazines?

The goal for Tosser is to really relate to the community we’re targeting. We do pay very close to our tone and make sure the voice of the magazine sounds the same throughout, also in our daily content and blog. I personally like reading content that feels a little conversational and that can make me laugh ever so often. You know, how you feel when speaking with a person that says exactly what’s on their mind. Tosser wants to be your cool friend next door - with great forward-thinking style, knows the best events, always has some type of cool project going on, and is always introducing you to someone interesting. We characterize Tosser as such so when we’re writing that character is in mind. I also tend to mix my interests. I didn’t go to school for journalism (went for writing & literature and economics with a focus in corporate finance - way too loaded of a major) so when I write I tend to just write exactly how I would want to read it. Example - I wrote the cover story on June Haynes, the senior VP of retail at Valentino for the second issue and I wrote it like a short story. I just found it more interesting.

In terms of standing out from other magazines... you can buy and afford everything within our page. We focus a lot on e commerce so everything in our spreads or on our style pages is something you can scan our magazine and purchase. We don’t just want you fantasizing about these styles... we want you to be able to get them.

Tosser features “cultural influencers” and your premier issue for Tosser featured Project Runway’s season 9 winner Anya Ayoung-Chee. We’re curious, what’s in store for the next magazine?

For the next issue - our cover story is about June Haynes and how she came from a developing country at the age of 11, already very set in her cultural ways and how she navigated her life in the US to become the senior VP of retail at Valentino. She’s also just such an inspiring person to talk to. So, a lot of this issue is about people that have come to some form of success and figuring out what kind of person it takes to get there. June mentions she never doubted herself because of how spiritual she is and just always felt like she was on a path. We also talk to the young London “it-girl” Nyane Leboja who is 5’2 and has been in incredible modeling campaigns, has a massive following, is recognized on the street, she’s been featured on Asos and Nylon Magazine. She just started a clothing line, she’s kicking off her music career - signed to a great label, never went to university and she is building a brand for herself... all at the ripe age of 19. Once again we have our “keep on your radar” feature. I actually had the opportunity to meet a lot of them this time and was just so inspired. We have an interview with the shoe buyer at Karmaloop, and a bunch more.

In terms of editorial - we did something a little Warhol inspired and some inspired by Lords of Dogtown, which had to be my favorite shoot for the entire issue. Especially because we shot on the beach in the dead of winter.

Do you have any fashion pet peeves?

Absolutely. I get a little frustrated with the overuse of “fashion” to the point where it’s becoming a little discredited. People will throw a couple of  sequins on a t-shirt and call themselves a fashion designer. Or someone will say they love fashion and know nothing about the industry and have no opinions on what their personal styles are. I think you should know at least one designer before making that claim. Or... anything. Absolutely anything. Saying you love Kohls and wearing a t-shirt and sweatpants everyday but not being able to name even one designer - mainstream or up and coming... you don’t love fashion.

I also hate when people don’t really respect the fashion industry, as if it is not one of the most culturally and economically influential industries. We learn so much about everything from history to the economic status of our country through the decades based on the clothing they wear. It’s also another art form and I think, more so in the States, it’s not entirely respected as such by the majority of the population. I was speaking with a friend from Spain a couple months back and he remembers sitting in bars  with couture shows on the tele screens. But we live in a place that takes chasing a ball and pounding each other into the ground more seriously than an industry that also raises billions in revenue and influences our daily lives. And I don’t think it’s just fashion honestly. People just don’t value the arts enough here. If someone were to tell someone they were an artist as a career choice people  automatically think they’re unsuccessful. We really can’t survive without it. I mean, picture a world with no art.

Fashion must have? Favorite outfit? (see drawing below)

Err, right now. Black & gold and slinky heels. I can’t promise I’d say the same next week.

We have to ask. Boston often gets rated as one of the worst dressed cities in America (which we personally hate), how do you feel about that? Is there any particular reason why your businesses are headquartered in Boston?

Oh my goodness... that damn GQ article. I mean, people are so narrow-minded. We live in the largest college town in the country.. (world?). So, if you are an outsider looking in you are absolutely only going to see students. Most in their runners or school gear - sweatshirts and such. There are a lot of “bro dudes” going to bars but that is only a part of our city. I fell into the art scene in Boston when I came here and over the past few years I’ve even watched the fashion scene develop as Bostonians passionate about style emerge.

The unfortunate thing here in Boston is that the main fashion scene in Boston is dominated by conservatives and the truly creative and out-of-the-box thinkers are “underground.” That’s what the point of The Boston Bazaar is... to bring all of these creatives from word-of-mouth to being the completely fuel and focus of our publications. I think being fashionable is about far more than being able to afford Celine or Louboutins and if you are not really involved in the - let’s call it the “style scene” - here then you either see sweaty college kids or wealthy “fashion-branded” people... then lurking about are the rest of the individuals being style stalked by plenty of magazines and newspapers in actual fashion capitals.

I like Boston and we’re not going anywhere. We have felt resistance from the fashion community here because we don’t do things the exact same way. Having a million dollars and a humdrum collection doesn’t peek our fancy (unless you’re advertising... don’t be silly now). We also don’t care to cover the same exact “fashion” scene that our major publications cover (Globe, metro, etc), we want the “Tosser Community.”

There’s just so many incredible trendy people being overlooked here. I also really think blogging is changing the way people think about style in Boston as well. The blogging commuity is huge and I feel like we’re all apart of the same movement - making sure the style of our city is truly represented by those who do it best.

Most stylish neighborhood in Boston?

I want to say Back Bay because yes, there are always stylish people hanging around but if you really want unique, expressive styles... the type of style i would want to put in a magazine trot on over to Allston. It’s almost cheeky and it’s great. You’ll always see someone you just want to snap a photo of.

Favorite place to shop in Boston?  

I love thrifting. I consider myself a nostalgist so I got ape-shit if I can find an awesome piece from the past. I love it all from the gross grungy places to the really cute vintage shops. I’m such a fan of refurbishing something and turning a fugly 80s dress into something really cool. In terms of normal stores - I don’t have any favorites. I’m going to put things together for my style no matter where I shop... whether I’m at Saks or Walmart for goodness sakes... is there a walmart in Boston? Well, you get the point.

What advice would you give to someone starting their own business?  Advice for those entering the field of fashion?

Get the right people. They need to understand your concept and become excited about it. You should also find people that can represent the target you're going after. And be creative - unless you’re coming in heavily financed you’ll need some creativity. Don’t involve yourself with anyone that cannot come up with a creative way to promote your company. Yes, it takes money to make money but don’t rely on that because you’re too lazy to come up with a creative idea.

If you’re going into fashion know the damn industry. Know the influencers, know a bit of its history, have an understanding of how it all works, but really learn to express yourself and your style.

What cures a bad/stressed mood for you?

My mommy. Haha, but yoga usually puts me in a good place. I am a spiritual person so I’ll pray, drink a cup of tea (or glass (bottle...just kidding) of wine depending on the hour). I listen to a lot of Bach, Sinatra, Lana Del Ray. And I also think people would be happier if they just danced really hard for about two minutes each day. So sometimes i’ll blast some ridiculous song and jump around... then back to business.

Looking ahead, what do you see next for Bostonians and/or Boston fashion?

I think you’ll see a lot more people wanting to stay in Boston versus heading out the moment they get their diploma and going to New York, LA or London. There is a lot more going on with the fashion community than there was a few years ago. There are a lot more people starting projects and hosting events so there is much more to do... a lot more to get dressed up for. And I think people are getting more expressive in their style rather than just wearing designer labels and feeling special because they do. I see so many more trendy people on the street than I used to and it’s small but that’s exciting. I used to always hear people say things like “I don’t need to get dressed up, it’s Boston.” Are you kidding me? Well, guess what, now Tosser is on the streets with cameras so yes, you do.

{ photos by: Ginny Anderson }

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Book Club: Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

1 / 2 / 3
SPOILER ALERT: Loving Frank has a twist ending, so if you haven't finished reading the book, do not read the rest of this post!
1. Did you find Mamah relatable? Were her flaws forgivable?
2. Mamah considered herself part of the Women's Movement. Do you agree? Did she practice what she preached?
3. Were Mamah and Frank good parents? Could they have made different choices given the constraints of their time?
4. Do you think Mamah would have made different decisions if her story took place today?
5. How did Ellen Key's role in Mamah's life evolve?
6. Could the murders have been prevented? Were they racially motivated or a freak act by an insane man?
7. What letter grade would you give Loving Frank?

- Cameron

Monday, May 27, 2013

Week of May 27th


Happy Monday!  So, the nicest weather all weekend hits us today... typical New England, right?  After an amazing reunion with study abroad friends for a night in NYC, I'm hoping to embrace and seize the day with some to-dos and hopefully catching some rays and finishing (cough, starting, cough) this month's book club read before Thursday's meeting! 

Is it seriously almost June?! In looking to the week ahead...

Okay, WHAT is going on here?  What do you think of this handsome man's new look?  Let's hope it's for an upcoming role...

G E E K I N G  O U T
Animal Planet has aired a special on mermaids and features recent additional footage that supports speculation that mermaids are real, yet authorities are keeping it hush-hush.  As one of my nicknames is "Mermaid," (to be clear, it's related to my name*, not an obsession) I'll be DVRing this purely due to curiosity. 

I didn't hit too many sales this weekend, but am continuing to peruse online.  The three of us are somewhat stressing over what the eff to wear to ALT Summit next month.  I'm thinking a dress since it's easy for day > night.  Maybe a summer graphic?  More on that process in the coming weeks!

We're in the east finals.  The Bruins won their series versus the Rangers this past weekend, and Pittsburgh is next! Dates to be announced.

- Meredith

*(Truth: I just purchased this tank for the summer!  This site has so many funny options to chose from... NSFW though.)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend Must-Haves

Summer is here! Time to pack a bag and hit the shore. Here are my essential items for hitting up New England's legendary beaches:

1. A cute straw beach bag. I snagged an awesome one from Old Navy last year (a real $ saver).

2. Warby Parker sunglasses. Hoping to snag a pair of Everett Gimlet Tortoise shades from the new Newbury St. showroom.

3. Eos organic lip balm.

4. A good book. The JUGs book club is reading Life of Pi for June!

5. A comfy coverup that is cute enough to grab drinks in after the sun sets. I love this JOSA Tulum cover.

6. Jonathan Adler beach towels. 'Nuff said.

7. Its so annoying when girls don't go in the water for fear of ruining their hair. Let loose! Then tame the damage with a wet brush (recommended by JUGs' favorite stylist, J, of Roffi Salon)

8. I never go anywhere in the summer months without sunscreen. Right now I am loving Super Goop which is non toxic and contains vitamin E for extra protection.

Have fun this weekend Gals!

- Cameron

Friday, May 24, 2013

Gal Gab: The CapeFLYER

original railroad line ad

Gals, this may just be THE year for less stress in starting your weekend on the Cape, Vineyard or Nantucket.  For the first time in over two decades, public train service is resuming from Boston to Cape Cod.  The CapeFLYER service starts up again today, just in time for the long-awaited kickoff weekend of the summer.  For a mere $35 for a round-trip ticket from South Station to Hyannis (you can then grab a shuttle to the island ferries from there), you will be able to avoid traffic on the often dreaded two-lane highways to your weekend destination.

original map

The weekend-only train is just about two hours long and helps to diminish our carbon footprint.  This is especially true since you can buy your ticket on the MBTA app, something you should do well in advance.  Aside from enjoying your weekends faster, you can bring your bicycle, have a few beers on the way down/up and even use Wi-Fi!  What is not to like for us city dwellers?! 

What do you think, did the MBTA do the right thing in rolling this out?  What will be your destination via the CapeFLYER?  Be sure to check out their schedule and other information here.

- Meredith

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Featured Artist

In honor of this month's book club read, Loving Frank by Nancy Horan, I decided to dedicate a post to the work of the late great architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. The images above are from a house designed in 1950 but due to funding was not completed till 2007, years after Wright's death. 

Built on a private island on Lake Mahopac out of mahogany, lake stone and cement, the house reflects his signature style of blending living spaces with their surrounding nature.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Gals Behind Just Us Gals: Part 3

Hi, I’m Cameron, the third co-author of Just Us Gals Boston. After graduating from St. Lawrence University in 2009, I moved back to Boston to pursue a career in environmental policy. My passion for sustainability inspired me to start Boston Green Blog in 2010. I use BGB to foster awareness for the green movement in the city, and it has helped me build many meaningful connections both on and offline. I am a member of New England Women in Energy and the Environment (NEWIEE) and New Generation Energy’s Young & Green. I am also a green living blogger for Merida Meridian and StyleBoston.

 However, sustainability is not my only interest, and I am excited to be a co-author of JUGs to explore my love of books, art, and local events. I enjoy exploring Boston’s cultural offerings and I’m sure you’ll find that many of my posts are recaps of events, museum exhibits, as well as reviews of my favorite restaurants, bars, and Boston-based businesses. As the self-proclaimed “nerd” of the group, I am glad to work with Suzanne and Meredith (some of my most stylish friends) to bring the best of the city to Boston gals through JUGs!

A little more about me: I love action/mystery movies, baked mac n cheese, and south asian architecture. I love swimming but have a fear of fish. My signature style is a short jersey dress, a scarf, and dangly earrings. I’m pretty goofy and love collecting lame jokes. Knock, knock....!

Favorite spot in your neighborhood: The Mirabella Pool in the North End. I look forward to its opening all year!

Favorite thing about Boston: The community, you know, that small-town camaraderie.

T or Taxi? The T! I get wicked carsick in cabs.

Polka dots or stripes? floral prints please!

Coffee or Tea: Iced coffee all year round.

Running or Yoga: Yoga

Gold or silver: Gold

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Transforming Tresses: Ladies Night at Roffi

For years, I was always afraid of using a curling iron due to fear of a) burning myself and b) my hair looking more like Shirley Temple and less like Jennifer Lawrence with her beachy waves.  Well, the JUGs are fortunate enough to have a friend who is a hair stylist in the city.  I was first introduced to J at Roffi last year when I wanted a change from my neighborhood salon and to understand why my friends were bragging about their coveted go-to girl for their new look.  Like most clients (I think), I asked question upon question about styling.  I did not want to resort to braiding wet hair before bed as a curling "technique" and wanted to learn how to do a blowout the right way rather than resorting to paying someone to do it for me (although I'm no stranger to this, if the event is fitting).

At my most recent appointment with J this spring, she volunteered an idea of having a "Ladies Night" at the Newbury Street salon.  She suggested our intimate group bring tools from home that they want to learn how to correctly use, and the night would be an open forum to experiment with different looks and trends.  This is something that was definitely overdue for me.  The invite went out almost immediately, and in the weeks that followed, the countdown began.  We went to the salon last Tuesday night and took over. 

We had the entire top floor of the salon to ourselves, popped some prosecco and were off.  The fact that all of us had different hair types and colors was a complete accident, but made great examples for styles J showed us.

The first tutorial was a fishtail braid, which a lot of us know now how to do!  This is great for a workout style or roll-out-of-bed Friday morning that makes you look polished!

Next, it was time for an updo.  This is perfect for a summer wedding, night out, or even great for the "day after" (since you should really just wash your hair 2-3x/week)!  Here are the steps:

Step 1: Before...
Step 2: Part hair to the side, leaving one piece from the front out to curl (later twirls around back section).
Step 3: Put rest of hair in low ponytail and made a hole in the middle to put the ponytail through (flashback to the topsy tail! #90skids).
Step 4: Division out ponytail into three even sections.
Step 5: Twist each section (alternate between clockwise and counterclockwise directions) and hold each so they stay twisted.
Step 6: Bobby pin twisted pieces into the original ponytail opening from step 3.  Lightly pull hair out so it's somewhat relaxed looking and not too tight to your head.
Step 7: Continue until pieces are randomly placed yet pinned enough that they won't move.  Take the curled section from the front/step 2 and pin that over the entire back section so your create a French twist.
Step 8: ...After!

J's tips for curling:
  • First try curling when the iron is cold
  • Once you're ready, separate hair by creating two (more if you have thicker hair) front/side sections and one back section
  • Start in the middle (1" iron used) to get heat exposure, and move down the hair before curling up to the base of the head
  • Follow the barrel of the curl when wrapping hair around the iron, but curl away from the face
  • Once curls are done, put your head back, shake out so they loosen
  • Lock in for the day/event with "light hold" hair spray

Other tips from J:
  • Dry shampoo is your friend!  Great for use on days in between washes.  Be sure to spray a can's-length away from your head.
  • Getting the wetness out of hair before blow drying is key.  Make sure hair is 75% dry before even starting, and section off according to where your part is. Be sure to start with sections on the bottom and in the back, working your way toward front/top of hair.

J is totally a natural teacher and we all left feeling prettier than when we walked in.  I, personally, cannot wait to have another tutorial night soon.  Thanks, again, J!

- Meredith

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Week of May 19th

flowers  //  office

Just five days till the long weekend, JUGS! Thank goodness. Now let's make the week count, shall we? Here are the JUGS approved news and links for the week of May 19th:

S H O P P I N G:
Bring on the holiday sales! J.Crew and Factory are both having 20-30% off sales just in time to pick up any last minute outfits needed for your Memorial Day celebrations. I have yet to receive an email for Shopbop or Piperlime, but rest assured they'll be arriving soon.

In case you missed Brimfield last week (yes, I missed it for the second time due to work and a dead car battery), Apartment Therapy has a great round up on other interior decor sales going on online. Till July we'll just have to live vicariously through Erin's post on the amazing event.

Lastly a Warby Parker showroom opened up on Newbury Street last week (finally). Personally I'm uber excited to get some new specs, as soon as I can decide between these and these.

G I V E A W A Y S:
Our gal Kelsey is giving away the opportunity to receive a free blow-out by BeStyled. To enter visit her blog and like their facebook page here. Winners will be announced Thursday.

E N T E R T A I N M E N T:
While I generally don't approve of Kanye's behavior, whoever works for him does have some pretty badass marketing ideas. Did you hear about how he debuted his new album by projecting his songs / face on buildings all around the world, guerrilla style? Check it out here.

Devastated that all your tv shows are wrapping up? Luckily for us Dexter's final season premiers June 30th. Check the trailer here.

W E E K E N D:
Who's leaving the city on Friday? Be sure to check traffic reports as everyone and their mother will be hitting route 3 South towards the Cape and the Islands.

For those of you sticking around Boston, there's still plenty to do this weekend. CBS Boston has a list of celebrations dedicated to the men and women that serve our country and I'm sure there will be many more local parades in your area.

Looking for some big crowds? The Red Sox will be home playing The Indians and The Phillies and don't forget the two day music festival Boston Calling. VIP Passes are still available and be sure to check craigslist for any available tickets.

Just want to relax? Unfortunately the North End pool does not open till summer officially starts at the end of the school year, but there's always Southie Beach! Not looking to take a dip? Sit by the water at  Louis' new waterfront bar Sam's and then stroll over to the ICA to see the Barry McGee show, it is so fantastic.

M O S T   I M P O R T A N T L Y
Arrested Development comes out this weekend!!

- Suzanne

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday's True Confession

True confession: I like corned beef hash from a can. I know what you're thinking (see Kevin McAllister's expression above). But, there is nothing quite like two fried eggs and a side of corned beef hash from a can on a lazy Sunday morning. Of course, fresh cooked hash is good too: I highly suggest trying the Hen House Hash at Met Bar on your next brunch outing. Nom, nom, nom!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Duvet Disaster

1-3; 4

I've decided it's time for a new duvet to brighten up my room.  I currently have a white one, but it is too high maintenance.  Above are a few styles I like.  Help me pick!

- Meredith

Friday, May 17, 2013

Love It or Hate It No. 1

Sam Edelman  //  DVF  //  Aldo

We've been noticing a lot of lucite heels popping up in stores and on the blogs, but while they look great on models prancing down a city sidewalk, would you yourself wear them? I'm personally drawn to the DVF ones, but I'm not sure a Boston bar crowd would agree. What do you think, would I be mistaken for a hooker? Is Boston ready for them?

- Suzanne

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Event: EarthFest!

When: Saturday, May 18, 2013 from 11am to 5pm

Where: The Hatch Shell

Why: Earth Fest, hosted by radio 92.9 and Whole Foods, is always a fun and FREE outdoor summer concert. This year, the lineup includes: Vertical Horizon, Cracker, Fastball, Gentlemen Hall, and Camper Van Beethoven. In addition to the free concert, green vendors will be setting up booths all along the esplanade with free samples! Its a great way to get outside and support local sustainable companies.

- Cameron

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Gals Behind Just Us Gals: Part 2

As promised, we are continuing our co-author introductions!  You've already met Suzanne.  Next up...

Hi!  I’m Meredith!  As a girl who always had a plan, I’m loving life after going somewhat astray from the original path I set for myself.  I majored in psychology at Quinnipiac University and graduated in 2008.  After college, I took a year off for continuing education classes in working toward a degree in speech-language pathology.  A third of my way through the program I learned that although I loved aspects of being a clinician, I had a change of heart about the field.  I returned to the world of property management, for a locally-owned company I worked for during college recesses, and have since climbed the ranks.

Professionally, I am working toward learning more within the domain of real estate.  I manage and lease a luxury residential building close to the city, a job that allows me to meet the many types of people in and around Boston.  Since I obtained my sales license, I sold a condo last year and hope to do more of that in the near future!  I’m currently helping a friend “flip” properties, which is an amazing learning experience.  I will take any opportunity to snoop at a property... I love seeing the variety of homes out there and an insider's view to how Boston is continuously growing!

Outside of work, I have an admiration for home decor, love attending Sox games, shopping on Boston’s tree-lined streets and unwinding with a Jamo and ginger.  Travel is a true passion of mine, and I want to make sure I do more of that this year!

Words cannot express how thrilled I am to put my daily obsession with reading drool-worthy blogs from gals in other cities into (hopefully) the same thing for our readers!  Co-authoring with friends like Cameron and Suzanne makes this experience much more than the fun hobby I expected before we launched.  On Just Us Gals, you’ll find me posting about some of my interests such as fashion, interior design, music, organization and, of course, real estate.

Favorite spot in your neighborhood: Harborwalk (by day), Four Winds (by night)

Favorite thing about Boston: Its character.  This city is a true brotherhood.  From “townies” in various parts of the city to the city’s architecture (historic charm inside and out of buildings, and even our skyline), to our loyalty in every sense of the word, I love it all!

T or Taxi? Walking or T

Polka dots or stripes? Stripes

Coffee or Tea: Coffee

Running or Yoga: Yoga

Gold or silver: A mix! Mostly prefer gold, though.

(Other) Favorite city: London

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

New York Post: Googamooga

We're starting the week of with a New York Post from our friend and guest blogger Natalie Sawyer, an avid concert goer of New York City. For two years she has been encouraging me to attend The Great GoogaMooga and unfortunately I cannot go, yet again. But as the event is so popular for many reasons, we felt the need to share the event in case any of you Boston gals are lucky enough to make attendee list next weekend. So without further adieu, here's Natalie's expert advice...

The Straight Facts:
When: May 17, 18 & 19
Where: Prospect Park, Brooklyn

The Bands:  
Friday-Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Flaming Lips and The Darkness

Saturday- Matt & Kim, Jovanotti, Father John Misty, Sharon Van Etten and Lee Fields & The Expressions

Sunday- Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings, De La Soul, Cults, The Soul Rebels and Delicate Steve 

As you can see, the first day has an amazing, not to be missed, lineup with the The Darkness, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Flaming LipsSaturday and Sunday are equally as great with some lesser known bands. Side note - I saw Father John Misty in Brooklyn last fall, see pictures below, and he is AMAZING live. He's soulful and a real QT, I highly recommend seeing him. I'm specifically going Saturday to do so. 

Extra Activities: 
While you wait to catch these acts, you can explore all the food and drink vendors. There are a ton of different and delicious options from Big Gay Ice Cream, Melt Bakery to Roberta's Pizza (recently featured on Girls if you want to relive Marnie and Charlie's date on the finale of Season 2.) Food and drink are broken up by type with areas devoted to pizza, hamburgers and pig (called Hamageddon). There are also areas beer and wine spots as well along with tastings of each. If Hamageddon or beer tasting hasn't gotten you excited, there is an area called Cafe GoogaMooga devoted to creating a food literature festival within the festival. It will have a coffeehouse style vibe with readings, round tables, interviews and book signings. 

And a closing word of encouragement:
I went last year for the GoogaMooga's first year and it was great. The weather was perfect and it was very well done with unique displays and setup. Although it opens at 11am on the weekend days, there is no real rush unless you want to beat the lines for food. The website advises bringing water and I would agree-it got very hot last year with few shady areas to get away from the heat. It will also save you a few bucks on water at the venue. Make sure you dress not only for weather but for hipster coolness as well, remember you ARE in Brooklyn. Lastly, make sure you bring some SPF or tanning oil, whichever your skin needs, to prevent a burn or build a tan.  

Last year the event was clearly still working out some kinks with crowd control and cell service but the website says they have fixed these things from last year, adding more vendors, entrance locations and temporary cell towers. Check out the website for more info on tickets and the event along with some pictures from last year. Hope to see you there and have fun!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Saturday's Stella & Dot Trunk Show

This past Saturday we had ourselves a little shopping party with Stella & Dot! The weather wasn't as sunny as we had hoped but everyone was still in high spirits and ready to get their shop on for some last minute Mother's Day gifts and Spring essentials. 

We sipped fancy cocktails and some not so fancy beers (cheap beers remind us of college) and caught up with friends. We also had an extra treat as Cameron's mom came to lead a little craft session and taught us how to make pretty cards for our mammas!

Popular items from the trunk show were simple chain necklaces like this On the Mark necklace, cocktail rings, the Secret Garden Cuff, all the tote bags, and this lovely new emerald necklace.

Party favors included nail polish, some JUGS treats and our Spring Calendar to keep you up to date on all of the JUGS approved events for May. Click here to download your own copy!

Oh and if you're wondering how I made those fun pom pom decorations check out this tutorial here.

Hope you all had as great a weekend!

- Suzanne

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sunday's True Confession

1 // 2
Everyone has their own fears due to an event from their past, or just stemming from an irrational reason.  Mine is somewhat common, BIRDS.  I have never liked birds, especially as a domestic pet (more on that in an upcoming confession), but this fear did not fully develop until a movie recommendation by my dad for a sleepover I had with a friend in the 5th grade.  Since it was such a "classic," we rented Alfred Hickcock's "The Birds."  The movie is from the 60s and depicts a small California town is suddenly attacked by swarms of birds for a few days, for no apparent reason.  I mean, COME ON.  This is scary!

This fear was especially tough to face in Venice, Italy while studying abroad that semester.  Piazza del Marco is known for the copious amount of pigeons that "beg" from tourists.  As a city girl, birds are not always around, but I still flinch when birds of any kind (sea gull, pigeon, finch) swoops closer than I'd like.  As in, visibly scouring and verbally wincing if they're too close for comfort... which is most of the time.  Ugh, WHY must they fly so closely to humans when they have plenty of sky to utilize?!

Sunday's True Confession

True confession: I like corned beef hash from a can. I know what you're thinking, (see Kevin McAllister's expression above) but there is nothing in the world like two fried eggs and some canned hash on a Sunday morning. Its gross, its unhealthy, its meat (I eat a mostly vegetarian diet these days) but it is delicious. I only purchase a can once every six months or so, and save it for an extra-hungover or bad-weather brunch. Home made hash is good too, but not quite as salty and mushy as my canned favorite. The best fresh-made hash I've ever had was the California Hen House Hash at Met Bar in the Back Bay. I highly suggest doing your next brunch there - delish! 

1 / 2

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy Saturday

H A P P Y   S A T U R D A Y ! 

Today we're partying. Here are some of the pics that inspired our party decor:

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 

Not able to make it to our Stella & Dot trunk show? Shop online here and snag some great last minute gifts for Mom!

Planning a party of your own? Check out more of our party decor ideas on our Pinterest.

Friday, May 10, 2013

JUGs in the Kitchen: Brown Buttered Brussels Sprouts

This is one of the easiest and most delicious recipes of all time (well, as far as vegetables are concerned). It is the perfect side dish for just about any meal. The brown sugar really mellows the bitterness of the brussels sprouts, so even people that claim to hate brussels sprouts are bound to be pleasantly surprised.

Prep time: 10 mins; cook time: 20 mins

- package of fresh brussels sprouts
- 2 tablespoons butter
-2 tablespoons brown sugar

First, preheat the oven to 350. Then, clean and half the brussels sprouts into manageable bite sized pieces and put into a small greased cooking dish.

Next, cut the 2 tablespoons of butter into 5-10 small chunks and place on top of brussels sprouts. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top.

cook for 25 minutes. Before turning off the oven, test the brussels sprouts with a fork to ensure they are tender. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, and serve!

- Cameron