“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

IMG_3704aAn open letter to my Big, Emilie:

Large! Congrats on your graduation! (Cum Laude, what a smartypants!) I am so incredibly proud of you, not only for graduating, but for being the person that you are. You are the most kind, generous and loving person that I have ever met. Thank you for welcoming me to KD with open arms and loving me unconditionally since day one.

It’s been a rough year, and I definitely could not have done it without you. Thank you for being by my side (or across the street) for the highest highs and lowest lows. We traveled across the country together, from New York to Connecticut to California and had our fair share of local adventures around Boston. My favorite memories in college all have you in it and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Sure, I was upset when I found out you were graduating a year early. And the closer we got, the more and more I dreaded your graduation day. But, I’m not afraid anymore. You’ve taught me so much, and because of that, I know I’ll be able to do this whole college thing without you by my side. While you’re no longer across the street from me, you’ll always be a text/phone call/FaceTime away, and God knows I will not hesitate to harass contact you.

I love you, Big. You are my mentor, role model, guardian angel, protector, best friend, and soulmate. You are loyal, kind, generous, compassionate, genuine, empathetic, loving–the list could become a novel. No one can or will ever replace you. As you go your own way, remember I am your biggest supporter and your number one fan. I will ALWAYS be here for you through anything and everything life throws at us. We are in this together. Big and little, we’ll always be.

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Coffee For Days

The other day, I found this website that calculates how much money you’ve ever spent on Uber. I made the mistake of calculating my total and cried. Thank God it can’t calculate how much I spend on coffee. In this case, I’m gonna say ignorance is bliss. 

With that said, I’m a huge coffee person. I still believe that Taylor Swift says “Starbucks lovers” in Blank Space. Between cold brew, lattes, macchiatos, Americanos, and good ‘ol brewed coffee, I will take any and all of the above. With finals rolling around and the beautiful weather Boston’s been having, I’ve been inspired to venture out of the Starbucks in the library and check out the cafes in the city. Here’s the low-down.

Pavement Coffee My absolute favorite coffee shop. Ever. They have a location on campus (BU Central) and on Newbury. I have been to both, and they are equally amazing. The Spanish latte is my favorite, and on a hot day, I’ll get an iced vanilla latte with almond milk. I haven’t tried the sandwiches because they’re a tad expensive, but I’ve heard great things. However, I tried the bagels and it’s safe to say that they rival true New York bagels!  Also: they offer an hour of free wifi, which makes it a great study spot.

Thinking Cup Definitely a cute and cozy shop. They also have multiple locations: one on Newbury, one by Boston Common, and one in the North End. Although the Newbury location is convenient, I highly recommend making the extra trek to the Common or North End. It’s a lot less crowded and a better atmosphere. Thinking Cup makes all of their syrups in-house, so definitely give their flavored lattes a shot! (lol, did anyone catch that pun?) They brew Stumptown Coffee, which is based out of Brooklyn, NY. Best coffee I’ve ever tasted, so maybe get a bag of beans to go. As for food, you really can’t go wrong. I’ve had the Barcelona sandwich, macarons, and several different pastries — all were great. My only problem was their bagel, which did not compare to Pavement at all.

Bottom Line: Both are great spots, it just depends on what you want. If you’re in a time crunch, I recommend Pavement because they work fast and there’s always room (or a space opens up) to sit for a quick bite. On a leisurely day, take the time to go to Thinking Cup. Between the house-made goods and interior decor, it’s a great experience.

Happy Monday Tuesday (I had a bad case of the Sundays and forgot to schedule this), and to all my college students out there, good luck with finals!

xo, FMB

The Boston Marathon

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 10.32.15 PMLiving in Boston this year has definitely been a challenge for me. As a native Californian who is used to 50-80 degree weather, 108 inches of snow really put a damper on my attitude towards the city. To be honest, I even considered transferring for a little bit.

But yesterday was Patriots’ Day, also known as Marathon Monday. It’s one day every year that Boston comes together to support thousands of marathon runners who are running for hundreds of different causes. In recent years, it has also become a day to celebrate the resiliency and strength of this city. I don’t know why, but something about Marathon Monday gets to me every year (I hate running). Last year, I volunteered at Mile 25, handing water to the runners. This year, I guess I got into the spirit and ran down Boylston from Newbury Street to the finish line (on the sidewalks, of course)! Watching the wheelchair contestants, military, elite and recreational runners cross that blue and yellow finish line gave me chills, and experiencing Boston’s love and community made me feel #BostonStrong.

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 10.26.10 PMMy big, my little and I got together at 8am on a Monday to power up with brunch before the marathon.

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 10.49.32 PMI wanted to proudly show off the Filipino flag, but the wind just would not agree with me. 

xo, FMB

A Blue Surprise

blue4Tee: Forever 21 | Pants: J.Crew (on sale!) | Blazer: H&M | Flats: Payless | Necklace: Bauble Bar | Watch: Michael Kors | Bracelet: Trend Tribe | Hair: Camille Albane Salon

After months of contemplating, I decided that my hair needed a spring refresh — and more than just a haircut. I had never colored my hair before, so a subtle balayage was a big deal. To top that, I’ve been going to the same stylist in California for seven years (Hi, Phuong!), so finding a stylist in Boston was another big step for me. I saw reviews for Drew at Camille Albane and decided to take the risk. Two hours later, I was so happy with the results! It makes me feel so *~edgy~*

xo, FMB


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Live Colorfully

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Ever since I was in middle school, I had always been taught to record everything in a planner — important dates, tests, homework, etc. Even with Google Calendar, iCal, and every app that exists, I still prefer physically writing things down, crossing things out, and checking off lists. Call me old-fashioned, but it’s just what works for me.

This Kate Spade agenda has to be my favorite planner to date. It has a calendar for each month as well as a space for each week where you can write the day’s activities. For me, the calendar is a huge plus, because I live on deadlines and love seeing things big-picture. Additionally, each month comes with a nice Kate Spade-esque quote or advice on how to “Live colorfully.”

Food Obsessions: Noosa Yoghurt

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Photo Courtesy of Amateur Gastronomer 

Anyone that knows me knows that I love food. Anyone that knows me well knows that I’m also the laziest person when it comes to preparing food. Living in an off-campus apartment in college with no dining plan, I usually reach for the easiest and quickest food options. Greek yogurt is one of my favorite options because it comes in a ton of flavors, fills me up quickly, and is relatively cheap.

Enter: Noosa yoghurt, my newest obsession. It’s an Australian yogurt made in Colorado, and it tastes absolutely delicious.

So, it’s not Greek yogurt? Apparently the Australians made Greek-style yogurt and infuse it with honey in the process, resulting in a sweeter tang and velvety texture. It has the same amount of protein as Greek yogurt though!

Favorite flavors? I haven’t tried one that I haven’t liked! I’ve tried lemon, strawberry rhubarb, and blueberry. Noosa has 13 flavors, so I still have a long way to go!

Where can I buy it? Whole Foods usually carries Noosa, but I would check and call first (I may or may not have traveled 45 minutes to find out that they didn’t have it). Costco actually has a special 12 4oz-pack for $13, which is a total steal! The pack includes Lemon, Strawberry Rhubarb, and Blueberry.

Have you tried Noosa? Do you have a weird food obsession too? Let me know in the comments!

xo, FMB

Spring Break Adventures: Indian Springs Spa, Calistoga

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 12.37.47 AMTop: Marshall’s | Shorts: J. Crew | Sandals (not pictured): Target

(Written while back in Boston, begging for warmth and procrastinating on homework)

Here’s to remembering sunnier, happier days, such as the one spent in Calistoga. While on spring break, my friends wanted to visit Wine Country. With only one of them being 21, I figured a spa would be a fun way to spend the day in addition to seeing all the gorgeous vineyards.

My friends and I drove up to Indian Springs in Calistoga for mud baths and pool time. We all had pretty mixed opinions, so I’ll go through the highlights.

Mud Baths: 

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 1.30.45 AMDefinitely an interesting experience. The mud is a lot more dense than you’d expect. It’s actually so dense that you don’t really sink into it. You lay over the mud, and then the spa attendant layers piles of mud on top of you. You can also opt to get some mud on your face (to be honest, I regret opting out of that…the effects of the mud bath reminded me of a Glam Glow mask).

PSA: mud gets everywhere (all crevices included).

The Pool

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 12.31.44 AMWhile not all of us loved the mud baths, we all loved the pool. The main pool is a huge pool that goes from 2 ft to 8 ft deep and is heated to 92 degrees. The spa also provides free pool loungers and noodles, which we all loved (I fell asleep on one).

Buddha Pond

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 12.33.09 AMThis was probably one of our favorite parts of Indian Springs. It’s a relaxing pond hidden behind the spa area. With lush greenery, bridges, statues and art, it was a perfect backdrop for an impromptu photoshoot. There was also a fireplace and lounging area where they had free almonds and orange slices.

BOTTOM LINE

We all enjoyed the day spa experience. For just the mud bath process, I thought the prices were a little steep. But because of the service and all day access to the rest of Indian Springs’ amenities, I would say pricing is reasonable and competitive to the rest of Calistoga/Napa Valley. While I enjoyed the mud bath, I don’t think I would do it again. Next time, I would probably try one of the massages.

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xo, FMB