Tried and Approved


Left to Right: Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser, Herbivore Lapis Oil, Avene Clenance Expert Moisturizer, BareMineral Complexion Rescue, Supergoop Defense Setting Mist

Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser ~ Every time I’m in a Sephora, I stand by the Tata Harper section longing to try the products but they’re so expensive. After taking a Follain online quiz and hearing Ingrid Nielsen’s review of this product, I sampled this cleanser and then went back as soon as it was finished to buy the smaller size. Now I’m almost out of that and will be going back to get the full size. It is so good! Great night time cleanser to exfoliate the day off of your skin. It’s a gentle exfoliant and can be used everyday. If you have oily but sensitive skin, I highly recommend it.

Herbivore Lapis Oil ~ I have wanted to try this product forever! However, it’s expensive so I couldn’t justify paying the full price if I didn’t know if it would work. So when I opened my first Birchbox, I screamed when I saw a really great sized sample of this product. After one use at night and waking up with beautiful skin, I went to Sephora that day to get the full-size. It’s a face oil for acne-prone skin, and you only need 5 drops to cover face and neck. I wake up feeling so moisturized but not oily which is refreshing. Sometimes I’ll put this over Glossier Priming Moisturizer Rich for extra hydration, and it has never broken me out.

Avene Cleanance Expert ~ This is a product I got a sample of from Birchbox and didn’t know what to expect but after falling out of love with my moisturizer, I wanted to try it out. It is exactly what I need. The tiny sample lasted me a week because you just need a pea sized amount for your face. The formula is so light and smells fresh. It leave me with a matte finish but is an incredible primer for makeup products. I bought the full-size on Amazon, and I’m thrilled with the product.

BareMinerals Complexion Rescue ~ Last summer (or maybe the summer before), my best friend tried to get me to use a Bare Minerals foundation and I did the whole Sephora skin ID, and let’s just say it ended horribly. The makeup was WAY too yellow for my skin and the product pilled and I invested too much money when I threw it out a month later. So I sort of had a bad experience with the product but then I saw a review of this product from my favorite YouTuber, and I was intrigued. So when I was in a Sephora, I just started playing with the samples. It is essentially a tinted moisturizer with the texture of mouse. It’s incredible and the best part is can be applied with your fingers which I love because I hate using brushes. I’m the shade 4.5, and I got that by going to the store and trying it out on my own skin rather than help from a sales associate after my last experience. I’ve been using it for over a month, and I like it but sometimes it’s too full coverage for me since I don’t love a lot of makeup on my skin.

Supergoop Defense Mist ~ I love this product! It smells so light and refreshing. It doesn’t feel heavy on my skin and leaves a nice finish. I don’t wear waterproof mascara so I have to put it on after because I learned the hard way it’ll get my mascara everywhere. It’s really easy to reapply throughout the day. Probably my favorite face sunscreen I’ve had.

Not pictured: Aesop Parsley Seed Cleanser and Aesop B and Tea Toner ~ I’m so disappointed about these products because I had to return both of them. My skin responded so poorly to both products. I was using them together but then began using them separately and the symptoms (stinging, redness, rash on my forehead) just didn’t go away. I was so disappointed because when the associate tried the products on me in the store I loved how they felt. Unfortunately it just didn’t work for me. My friend came over and used it one night, and she had no problems using it.


I love podcasts!

podcast block

photos via: NPR, Limetown, RadioLab

I have really loved the past couple of months at my summer internship. However, a lot of the work I’m doing gets very repetitive which while I do find soothing, my short attention span doesn’t quite agree. But I have cured my desire to get distracted at work with the greatest solution: podcasts! I have tried out a bunch and have definitely found some of my favorites which I am going to share with you today!

  • Invisibilia: I listened to my first three episodes in a row, and I became ADDICTED. The best podcast of them all. It’s SO interesting and I feel like I am learning so much with every episode. The second season just started. Can I please get an internship with these ladies?!
  • This American Life: This is like the gold standard of podcasts. Ira Glass does such wonderful work. The stories about ordinary people with extraordinary tales to tell ALWAYS brighten my day.
  • Dear Sugar Radio: This podcasts put all advice columns to shame. If you are a fan of Cheryl Strayed already, how are you not already listening to this podcast?! She and Steve Almond are a dream team.
  • Serial: This highly talked about podcast is the one that really got me into podcasts. Sarah Koenig is awesome and someone I deeply admire for the work that she is doing in the radio journalism field. I am so glad she is telling these stories that need to be told!
  • Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!: So this podcast was my savior for all my journalism classes. I love that this is a fun, informative way of staying up to date on the latest news.
  • Limetown: So imagine Serial and the X-Files had a baby… it is this podcast. The first season was AWESOME and literally gave me chills every episode. I cannot give this podcast enough compliments.
  • Modern Love: Every week, actors and actresses have started reading essays published in the Modern Love column of the New York Times. They are beautiful, occasionally heartbreaking, but ultimately enlightening.
  • Radiolab: I am addicted. The storytelling on this show is incredible. Their mini-series More Perfect was just released too, and it makes me stop in my tracks whenever I’m listening. You cannot miss this!
  • The Moth: I love storytelling and the Moth gets the best storytellers. These stories will make you laugh and cry in the same breath. I am dying to attend a live recording.

And for fans of the Bachelor/Bachelorette:

  • Here To Make Friends: Listen to this podcast! Emma and Claire are the funniest and talk about the good, bad, ugly and sexist when it comes to all things Bachelor. It feels like such a good cleanse listening to this show after watching the actual show that is typically filled with plenty of cringeworthy moments. (I’m actually listening to it as I post this!)

An Ode to the Sticky Buns at Flour Bakery


I can’t believe how delicious these sticky buns are.

For months I’d been seeing articles raving about these sticky buns, but I never understood the hype until last weekend when I got to experience one for myself.

Toasted pecans, gooey caramel and chewy, buttery dough. The sticky buns are so popular that new batches are constantly being made so you’re almost guaranteed to get one that is fresh from the oven. Flour Bakery is seriously legit.

(Also, the sticky buns pair very well with their Green Moroccan Mint Iced Tea if you ask me 😉 )

Here and There: Parent’s Weekend!

This past weekend was very exciting because it was Parents’ Weekend at Emerson. This meant a weekend well spent with my parents and free of the dining hall! We had lots of great meals so let’s get started…

On Friday we had lunch at Union Oyster House which is the oldest continuously running restaurant in the United States. The atmosphere is very fun with the restaurant decorated wall-to-wall in Boston paraphernalia.

Below is the clam chowder and corn bread that I enjoyed.


Cornbread and Clam Chowder at Union Oyster House

Later that night, we had dinner at La Summa since it was a quick walk from where my parents were staying. My mom and I both got the Pappardelle e Melanzane which is fresh wide noodle pasta gently tossed with thin pieces of eggplant, lightly flavored with basil and garlic in Marinara sauce.


Pappardelle e Melanzane from La Summa

This dish was so delicious. I love eggplant parmesan, but I wanted something lighter that night, and this dish was perfect. It has all of the same flavors with the piles of fresh pasta and tender eggplant in a creamy marinara sauce but much simpler and arguably more flavorful.


So yummy!

On Saturday morning we went over to the South End to try The Beehive. This restaurant was such an awesome discovery. The food was delicious and the service was so welcoming and friendly.

I ordered the crisp salmon cakes with poached eggs and hollandaise.


Crisp Salmon Cakes, Poached Egg, Hollandaise Sauce from The Beehive

I love that this dish was served with a side salad because the salmon cakes were quite hearty with potato mixed in so you didn’t miss the carbs which generally come with brunch dishes. The hollandaise was just right and the eggs were poached just how I like them. The salad had a nice, light balsamic dressing on it to round out the dish. I would highly recommend this if you like eggs benedict but want to try something new!


And finally, I went back to The Thinking Cup with my mom later that day so I could taste test their Vanilla Ginger Latte.

The Vanilla Ginger Latte was much better than the Cinnamon Honey Latte I reviewed in my last Here and There post. The cinnamon in the last latte clashed with the bitterness in the espresso, but the vanilla ginger latte was the perfect amount of sweetness with a little zing from the ginger.


Also, we each got a Salted Caramel Blondie which was so good. It was caramely and crumbly but also had a surprisingly rich buttery flavor which was just delicious. It really complimented the latte well.

That is all for this week! A huge thank you to my parents who treated me very well this weekend! You are welcome any weekend in Boston 😉

Until next time. Xx

Here and There

So today, I have a bunch of mini reviews of some recently enjoyed things from my first month in Boston. Here we go!

My Thai Vegan Cafe is around the corner from campus and is consistently rated one of the best vegetarian restaurants in Boston.

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I ordered the Curry Vermicelli Plus which was stir-fried vermicelli with spicy yellow curry, coconut sauce, bean sprouts, onions, scallions, and carrot strips plus a combined mix of veggie-chicken and veggie-beef, veggie-shrimp, tofu and gluten. served with fresh bean sprouts, ground peanuts, lime slice and our own sweet-and-sour sauce.

My dish was very good, however, I expected it to be like a Singapore Noodle-style dish, but it wasn’t. Instead it was more like a yellow thai curry, which still tasted great, but it was more decadent than I really wanted that night. Luckily the garnish of bean sprouts added a nice fresh and crunchy element to the dish to balance out the creaminess. Other highlights from the meal included trying their various selections of veggie “meats”  and the homemade mango bubble tea made with coconut milk. The latter was great. I’m still undecided on the veggie “meats”, but I plan to go back and try more dishes because I was definitely intrigued.

Next! I finally got to go to Sweetgreen! Sweetgreen is a chain of salad restaurants from D.C. to NYC to Boston that focus on serving the freshest, local ingredients. I love-love-loved this place.

I ordered the Wild Child grain bowl which has organic wild rice + organic baby spinach, cilantro, peppers, raw beets, shredded cabbage, carrots, raw seeds, avocado, miso sesame ginger dressing. I also added their roasted tofu for some protein.

I ordered right off the menu and got the Wild Child grain bowl which was one of my favorite salads I’ve ever had. I also added their roasted tofu for some protein (even though without it, the salad would be plenty filling). I loved Sweetgreen because of how easy and customizable they make salads. When you are in the mood for a salad, sometimes it’s hard to find a place where you feel like you’re actually eating fresh vegetables and not just dressing and toppings. At Sweetgreen, there is a huge emphasis on eating the freshest vegetables in the tastiest ways. I wish these places were all over the place because I’m all about healthy and affordable fast food places.

And now onto the Boston Public Market! There was so much to try there, and I know I’ll definitely be back to try more vendors (so keep an eye out for more posts when I do), but on a recent visit I tried two of the most intriguing vendors.

First was the Red Apple Farm which I was definitely inclined towards visiting since it’s apple picking season, but I haven’t been able to go! However, below you can see that I’m not missing out on the best part of apple picking – cider donuts!


The finished product…

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The donuts were great and not mention only a $1 a piece! However, the warm cider (not pictured) cost $4 which is a little too expensive for my taste and wasn’t nearly as spiced as I’d like it to be.

Then after walking around for a bit, I went to Bon Me to get a bahn mi! It was delicious and the awkwardly angled photo below does not do it justice.

The sandwich comes on a crusty but soft french roll and has pickled carrots and daikon, cucumber, cilantro, red onion, housemade spicy mayo, and pork pate. You can pick a filling for the sandwich, and I chose the Chinese BBQ pork which was great and not like the sticky, bright red pork you expect from most Chinese restaurants. The pork was really flavorful and tender. Some of the pork pieces were a little too fatty for my taste, but it was only one or two pieces so it didn’t detract from the sandwich too much. The sandwich was huge and only cost $6.96 with tax. Totally affordable and absolutely delicious.

And finally… The Thinking Cup! This little coffee place is a little nook on campus known for serving the highly acclaimed Stumptown Coffee Roasters coffee as well as their amazing grilled cheeses. I haven’t been able to try one of their grilled cheeses yet, but I did get to try their Honey Cinnamon latte.

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Honey Cinnamon Latte at the Thinking Cup

I am not a coffee drinker, but there are times when I need that little burst of caffeine so when that comes I always lean towards lattes over coffee. I was excited to try a latte at The Thinking Cup because if you like adding a flavoring (like I do) than you can choose from some of their homemade syrups. I opted for the honey cinnamon syrup. Overall, the latte was quite good however, it was quite dark for my liking, and I found that the cinnamon in the syrup only emphasized the bitterness. I probably won’t get this again, but I’d love to try some of the other flavorings for their lattes (especially the vanilla ginger one!) plus I need to try one of their highly recommended grilled cheeses!

Thank you for reading! Until next time! Xx