Thursday, October 31, 2013

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!



Here is a Halloween song to make your day so much better. Especially for you 30 Rock fans. Spooky Scary!


- Cameron

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Daily Read: Meg Biram



Gals, hope you're ready for this!  I wanted to feature someone who seems to be a woman who just does it all.  The pictures above brief you on the mere start to her overflowing resume.  I found Meg's blog over a year ago, and since then, she has definitely continued to amaze me over time.  Although you could spend a whole day viewing Meg's various branches of ingenuity, my favorite feature of hers is her GSD series (I'll let you figure out what the acronym stands for).  As much as I enjoy home tours within the blogosphere, Meg takes things a few steps further.  You really feel as though you know the subject and how their keys to productivity by the end of the feature, as well as seeing how they live in their personal environment.  You get to learn about which technology the subject prefers, which apps help aid their success as well as individual businesses of all kinds.  This is such an untapped resource!  Are you seeing why Meg is an entrepreneurial genius yet?


Along with series that spark your own creativity, Meg and fellow blogger Victoria recently launched the b bar, a one-stop shop for bloggers looking to learn more about this niche on the internet.  It is the perfect business to offer for all of those "how-to's" even we were wondering when we first launched.  This is not the only place for you to take some of Meg's genius home with you, though... she has a personal shop with stellar one-of-a-kind pieces.  Earlier this year, I snagged a t-shirt she designed, and I cannot rave about it enough.  It is one of those items that inspires you with each wear.

One last boast, she co-founded the online gift magazine, To & From, my single-favorite gift guide source online last year!  Can't wait for Holiday 2013's to go live!


Alright, enough from my end.  It's time for you to visit Meg's website and explore!  There is so much to see!


- Meredith

photo credits  // all courtesy of megbiram.com

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Defending Jacob: Discussion Questions

Assistant District Attorney Andy Barber is blindsided when his teenage son, Jacob, is charged with murder. Jacob insists he is innocent, and Andy believes him. But as the trial intensifies, damning facts and shocking revelations surface.

1. How would you have handled this situation if you were Andy? Would you make the same choices he made?

2. Before and during the trial, how would you have handled the situation if you were Laurie? Do you feel she made strong choices as a mother and wife?

3. Is Andy a good father?

4. Is Jacob a product of his upbringing? Did his environment make him violent or is it the "murder gene" that made him lack sensitivity?

5. Bullying is a huge topic these days. Do you feel the book written to address the topic as an issue in schools or do you think it was just an element that helped form Jacob's story? How large of a role do you think bullying played in Jacob's behavior?

6. How much of a factor did Jacob's age play into your sympathies (or lack thereof) for him? Would it have made a difference if he was 17 or 9?

7. Do you think Neal Logiudice and Andy Barber act ethically during the trial?

8. If you were on the jury during the trial, what piece of evidence would you have found the most damaging against Jacob?

9. How would you have voted, is Jacob guilty or not guilty?

10. If Jacob hadn't been accused, how do you think his life would have turned out?

11. As Bostonians, how much did you think about the fact that the plot was set in the nearby town Newton? Did it weigh in on any of your decisions or judgements about the characters and their actions?

- Suzanne

Monday, October 28, 2013

Week of October 28

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Can you believe its already the end of October? The JUGs gals are already searching pinterest for some good Thanksgiving recipes! EEEEEK! Anyway, here is the breakdown of everything you need to know this week. (Besides the world series - all I have to say about that is GET BEARD!)

S P O O K T A C U L A R

Its Halloween on Thursday! To be honest, I'm not super motivated about dressing up this year. Although, I think it would be pretty awesome (not to mention easy) to dress up as Coach Bill Belichick. For those who haven't quite decided on a costume yet either, here are some important things to keep in mind. There are Halloween parties going on all across the city, but a serious suggestion from 5 years of downtown Boston Halloween experience: sign up for something ahead of time - otherwise the lines can be brutal. And, if you are diehard into Halloween, and haven't ever spent the holiday in Salem, you have to go. It is a must-do experience. 

C A R E E R  G A L S

Tonight is the first annual New England Women in Energy and the Environment Autumn Extravaganza which should be a blast. It is a networking event for gals of all ages in that field (and its....OPEN BAR!) Tickets are available here - or at the door. There are also quite a few tech events going on this week for you computer gals.

F A L L  B A C K

Don't forget to change your alarm on Sunday - its Daylight Savings! If the time change is making you feel weird, this amazing video is sure to make you feel even weirder. On another note, its time to finish William Landay's Defending Jacob because we'll be kicking off November with a new book club book (Monuments Men)

Have a great week and GO SOX!

- Cameron


Sunday, October 27, 2013

True Confession: Must-Haves at Trader Joe's



I'll preface this with my complete ownership of a lack of cooking.  Once I tried Trader Joe's classic hummus, there was no turning back.  When paired with their savory thins, I have a "meal" for under $5.00.  Boom.  There is my dinner for the night, every now and again.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

Let's Get Beard: World Series 2013


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There is little in life I love more than October baseball.  This is obviously heightened when (and if) we're in the World Series.  Anddddd, WHAT. A YEAR. it has been for our Red Sox.  As Bostonians, the Sox put us through a lot with their historical roller coaster-like track record.  However, championship successes in 2004 and 2007 reminded us that although we tend to lose "hahd," we win "hahd," too!  Any true Sox fan is not lackluster, and this year has especially been one to believe!  One could argue that the ever-so-handsome manager John Farrell or solid acquisitions of rookies Bogaerts and Victorino have been driving forces to this year's turnaround.  Albeit two true factors, sports fans must remember that, in the game of baseball, along with talent comes superstition.

If you're just tuning into watching games now, our team has looked quite different than in year's past.  This can be traced back to spring training, with players following suit of Jonny Gomes' facial hair.  We saw more beards being grown throughout the 2013 season, which coincided with victories leading to an ALCS clench last Saturday night.  These beards are now famous, leading to some pretty great marketing items for the team, as can be seen below.  (Side note: worlds colliding here, as a serious fan of the show Workaholics who coined the lifestyle phrase, "Let's get weird," I'm convinced Boston has appropriately adopted this mantra.)

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Be sure to cheer on Boston this weekend as games Saturday-Monday are in St. Louis with Wednesday/Thursday returning home to Fenway.  There's no doubt this video will help keep your spirits up during the away games...




... GO SOX! #GETBEARD

- Meredith

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Surviving the Commuter Rail

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I recently took a job in the suburbs which means commuting by the dreaded commuter rail. I'm three weeks in, and I have to say, once you get the hang of it, the commuter rail is a snap. Here is my gal's guide to traveling by train:

1. Download the MBTA app. While other train schedule apps like Embark are helpful for T riders, when taking the commuter rail, nothing can substitute for the real thing. The app is KEY because you can buy your ticket on your phone which saves time and money. 

2. Check alerts. Once you have the MBTA app, check for alerts on your commuter rail line about an hour before taking the train. This is a HUGE time saver. If you know ahead of time that your train is 15 mins late, you can use that precious time to hit dunks, or send a few snapchats to your gal pals rather than stand at a creepy train station for an unnecessary amount of time.

3. Pick a two-seater spot that faces forward. I am very prone to motion sicknesses, and though the train rides are often smoother than the average green line adventure, it is still very helpful to face forward. Sitting in a two seater reduces the likeliness that you'll have to sit next to a smelly stranger with ineffective headphones.

4. Speaking of headphones, BRING SOME. Even if you plan to read or snooze, having a pair of headphones nearby can come in handy, especially if a pack of gossipy teeny-boppers decide to sit behind you. Learning the latest ways underage kids score beer is really not what I feel like listening to after a long exhausting day at work. (Wow, I sound old, but you know you agree!)

5. Breath deeply. Yoga and meditation skills can help reduce anxiety when your train is running late, or the smelly dude sits next to you, or if the teeny boppers start singing Bieber. Just breath. You will survive. You've dealt with worse.

Voila! No more hell on wheels!

- Cameron

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Daily Read: The Selby


On my last Monday Morning Coffee Break post I mentioned I love seeing how celebrities live, and it's true. It's not that I want to see them in midst of chaos Kardashian style, it's more that I want to see their true style, their real inner character and how it is reflected in their living spaces. 

Photographer Todd Selby has done an excellent job at capturing the true essence of some of today's top artists and designers (cough cough Kate Spade and Jonathan Adler) by successfully welcoming himself into their homes for his blog, The Selby. His list of "blog guests" also include some "lesser known" or "up and coming" names, many of whom you will be thankful to discover. His site has become so popular that it has evolved into a who's who of artists and allowed for him to publish two books, The Selby and The Edible Selby, both of which I own and love to flip through at a regular basis. 

Below are a few photos of Selby's intimate look into the homes of Kate Spade, Karen Walker, and Natalie Wood to give you a little taste of what you'll find on his site...







My favorite part about The Selby? The handwritten interview portion. Where do you think we got that idea for our Who's That Gal series? :)

- Suzanne
photos courtesy of The Selby






Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Local Gem: Follain

some images courtesy of Boston Eco & Jute Marketing

On Thursday I attended a night of eco beauty hosted by Follain, a new all natural healthy skin care shop in the south end.  Follain recently opened and I've been meaning to check it out for a while, so the eco beauty event was the perfect excuse to finally see what Follain is all about!  Let me tell you, I am OBSESSED! The products are highly curated, non-toxic, locally made cosmetics and toiletries. Plus, the event was a blast, bringing together women from Silent Spring Institute, Sustainable Business Network, Urbanity Dance Studio, The Compact for Safe Cosmetics, Practically Green, and more. We nibbled on bites from Root while discussing toxins found in traditional body washes and lotions. We also had fun sampling Follain's products; I ended up purchasing an aluminum free deodorant. If your beauty routine needs a revamp, I highly suggest checking out Follain, trust me, you'll fall in love. 

- Cameron

Monday, October 21, 2013

Week of October 21st


just us gals boston

We're excited to share some fresh-as-ever content with you this week, gals!  I'm enjoying some time off in Charleston, SC, and what.a.place. it is!  Soaking in every minute of southern sunshine, some of which you may have caught on instagram!  Never fear, here are some updates for your week in Boston (or wherever you'r reading from!):


E N T E R T A I N M E N T
A little birdie told me that the Halloween episode of Pretty Little Liars airs this Tuesday.  Once again, they have viewers hooked!

Danny Zuko is in town filming!  Have you spotted him?!


L I F E S T Y L E
As a serious fan of Bravo's Million Dollar Decorators, I was supremely disappointed that the season did not include a reveal of LiLo's LA abode.  However, all is forgiven!  Check out the details by the fabulously hilarious character Kathryn Ireland here.

I discovered this site last year, but if you haven't seen these hotties (source for photo above...Hiiii Silas!), do not hesitate to click.  Satire + New England men with style add up to the perfect tumblr account.  So much more relatable in the fall/winter when flannel wear-ability is at its peak!


L O C A L
Following the tragic bombings here this past April, our city has exhibited strength, resilience and pride more than ever before.  I read that there is an anthology to be released about the terrorist attacks.  This is expected to, say the least, be full of passion of all kinds.

If you had doubts about the Seaport becoming the Hub's newest city "center," you were wrong.  Development is full speed ahead.  Looks like connectivity to the Seaport District is improving, too, as the Herald reports a new ferry to service the area.  A $3.00 ride in lieu of a cab to/from Eastie or Charlestown?  Sounds good to me!

The Back Bay's newest restaurant, Harry's, opened on Friday.  The design was by Weymouth native Tanya Natik (anyone else remember her from Knock First?!), and it looks prettayyy swanky!

Do you still need ideas for what to dress as for Halloween?  These local spots have you covered for supplies.  Quick poll: are you celebrating this weekend?  Or next weekend since the holiday falls on a Thursday?  Is there anything wrong with both?!  What/Who will you be dressing as?


S H O U T O U T
One of the JUGs own is running the DC marathon this weekend, and we send her all of our well wishes to crush it!  We know she'll be running for Boston!  Good luck, ZoĆ«!


Have a great week!

- Meredith

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Topsfield Fair Photo Roundup


Who doesn't love a good county fair? Luckily for the JUGs, one of the best agricultural fairs in the country takes place in nearby Topsfield, MA every October. From the world's biggest pumpkin and award winning flowers, to deepfried cheesecake and lumberjack competitions - the fair truly has something for everyone. (Plus, lets be honest, it has some GREAT people watching).








Friday, October 18, 2013

Planning for 2014: Agendas

clockwise from top: Lilly (mini) // May Books // Lilly (jumbo) // Graphic Image // Erin Condren // Kate Spade

I know, I know, there is no need to jump ahead to 2014.  I still can't believe how fast the summer sped by, and that we are well into the fall.  The shift of seasons has me evaluating changes I want to make.  I believe that changing something starts with a concrete plan, which got me thinking about agendas and how I am in the market for something new!

As our loyal readers might remember from the archives, I have featured the planner I currently use.  Since I change bags often, I do not always carry it on me, and am constantly trying to coordinate a written record of plans that I jot in my phone for convenience.  I would go with a May Designs planner again, they're thin, simple and colorful.  Although, I like to switch it up and want something with a bit more substance.  For 2012 I used one by Erin Condren which is amazing, but is better fit for those with busier days than the average 20-something and is just too heavy duty for my needs.  I just cannot decide (although I don't think spending over $30 is necessary...)!

These options above range the spectrum of price and style, and I feel the need to purchase it in the near future so I start the new year off right.  What do you think?  It is a real Goldilocks-type situation.  #firstworldproblems.  At any rate, please spill!  Do you have a favorite you'd recommend?

- Meredith

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Daily Read: Apartment Therapy's Small Spaces



Apartment Therapy was one of the first blogs I discovered, and 5 years later, it continues to be an amazing and inspiring resource for all things home and lifestyle. As you can imagine, I particularly enjoy their "Green Living" column, but more often than not, I find myself browsing the "Small Spaces" articles. Small Spaces is a must-read for all city gals (especially you in Beacon Hill and the North End with tiny apartments!) It has so many tips for making your tiny apartment seem Elle Decor-worthy. At the rate the housing market is going and my paychecks are coming, I won't be buying a house anytime soon, so its important to keep my apartment modern and fresh. Here are some of my fav. Small Spaces posts:

- One Minute Tip: Five Style Tricks to Open Up Your Small Space

- How to Work in a Small Home without Going Insane

- Mark's Shanghai Style - Small Cool Contest

- 5 Tips for Living without a Washer/Dryer

- Storage Solutions for Apartment Kitchens

- 10 No-Fail Decor Tricks for Small Spaces


Is Apartment Therapy one of your daily reads? If so, what is your favorite column?

- Cameron

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Gal Gab: Off to Charleston!

As much as I love city living, there is nothing better than the occasional break.  A true confession of mine is that I am awful at taking taking time off from work.  However, a close friend of mine just got a new job, and asked if I wanted to go away.  It took me less than one second to consider a celebratory trip, it was just a matter of where we would go!

We decided on Charleston, SC, and leave this weekend!  We have both wanted to explore this city that I've heard is full of southern hospitality.  Have you been to Charleston?  What are some "must-sees?"  I think I've covered some, but would appreciate your recommendations!  Aside from shopping and watering holes on King Street I've read up on, here are a few items on the agenda:
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Later, ya'll (too soon?)!

- Meredith

Monday, October 14, 2013

Week of October 14th


Happy Monday Gals! Hopefully all of you are sleeping in or out enjoying some sort of an adventure - not sitting at your desk like me!

Here's what you need to know for when you are ready to settle back into the week in Boston...

M U S I C   &   E N T E R T A I N M E N T 
Last week Selena Gomez was in town, this week we have Gemini Club at Church and Citizen Cope at the Wilbur Theater on Wednesday, Joey Bada$$ at the Paradise and Cold War Kids (personal fav band to see live) at House of Blues on Friday and Franz Ferdinand at the Orpheum Theater on Sunday. 

I would also like to give people a special heads up that Ginuwine (yes...) will be playing October 26th in Revere if anyone is feeling like getting their 90's boner jams on. 


H A L L O W E E N
It's October 14th, do you have your costume ready yet? Just whatever you do, please don't be Miley Cyrus from the VMA's. For helpful ideas on how to execute costumes, from crazy hair and makeup to quick pun costumes check Refinery29 and Real Simple. Hautelook has a sale until Tuesday on some essential American Apparel Halloween items to build almost any costume and lastly, Boston.com has a solid list of popular costume ideas for Halloween '13. 

Also, please take time to admire BuzzFeed's 32 Parents Who Nailed it on Halloween.


H U B I T A T S
Miranda Kerr is so hot and her house is so cool, dammit! If you do nothing else today, you have got to check out these amazing shots of her Manhattan pad on The Coveteur. Hey, at least with a decent dose of jealousy we get some really great photo shoot styling ideas!

Would you die to stay in a celeb's house? Airbnb teamed up with Lake Bell, Molly Sims, James Franco and more to design a few small pop-up listings around LA, how cool is that? Check out how Lake Bell and Molly Sims tackled their small spaces on Elle Decor's slideshow.  

Nate Berkus' Target line...LOVE. I have my eyes on this, this, and both of these.

And to segway from some small Target purchases, the Charles Street Meeting House apartment dropped it's tag and still has no buyer...who wants to buy it for me for Christmas?! Anyone?? We could do some really fun design projects...

Have a great week everyone! Get out there and enjoy the nice weather while it lasts! 


- Suzanne

Saturday, October 12, 2013

JUGs get BeStyled

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Last Saturday, we took the T to Chestnut Hill to glam up for the afternoon thanks to BeStyled, the area's newest local blow bar chain.  Nothing beats getting pampered following a great lunch JUGs meeting at one of my favorite nearby spots, The Cottage.

The genius behind BeStyled is Nick Penna, owner of the Salon Capri chain.  The BeStyled branch of his business is incredibly accessible for city gals with their locations in Chestnut Hill, Wellesley and Lynnfield.  AND, we heard the best news while at the shampoo station, they're coming to Boston!

Check out how glamorous we looked afterward, it's no wonder the traffic cop gave us a second look when we passed!

via JUGs instagram
Thank you, BeStyled!

- Meredith

Friday, October 11, 2013

Love It or Hate It No. 5

I've seen a lot of stores still showing shorts even though summer lines have long since departed. Making shorts work in the colder weather requires tights, and probably a pretty thick pair... could you get behind that? I think I could...if I was in dire need of a new outfit. Though dubious I am tempted to try these shorts from Zara...or maybe another faux leather pair...but for now I think I'm gonna play it safe on this one and say shorts belong in the summer, for me personally. What about you?

PS - Yes I am aware KM looks terrible in that photo. I thought it would help you decide without any biases!

- Suzanne

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fair Trade Finds for Fall

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1 Green Mountain Coffee Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Coffee Grounds  /  2 Stone + Cloth Ipad Case / 3 Harper Chukka Boots / 4 Sweetriot Chocolates / 5 Orpha Scarf / 6 Fair Indigo Socks

Fun fact: October is Fair Trade Month, so this is the perfect time to reassess your shopping methods. Sure, all gals want practical, beautiful items, but how often do we stop to think about where these items come from and who is making them? The six items above are pretty things that you can also feel good about buying. Each was handmade by artisans that will be paid fairly for their work. Purchasing items at a fair cost means you'll be stabilizing fragile economies across the globe. So, go ahead, shop!!! 

p.s. how amazing are those boots?! I am obsessed.

- Cameron