Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Favorites-Fashion edition: the Sail Loft

Today's Friday Favorites features the Sail Loft, a clothing boutique that provides a unique blend of technical sailing outerwear, preppy outfitting, and women's boutique fashion. In other words, there is definitely something for everyone to chose from. I have included a few of my favorite looks below. But first, I want to introduce you to Rob Noe and Peter Mugford, the owners of this incredible store.

How the Sail Loft Set Sail...

"Like" the Sail Loft on Facebook
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Highschool friends, Robert Noe and Peter (PJ) Mugford began selling a variety of novelty t-shirts to college students in 2007. PJ and I went to Union College together, where he was synonymous for selling t-shirts out of his backpack. Whether by offering "Rack Em" tees to nearby students in the cafe, or pacing on the phone with a client outside the library, PJ was always quite the entrepreneur. Quickly, he and Robert, who had also been actively selling tshirts as a freshman at UMass Lowell, had received so much recognition for their tshirts that they launched "Rack 'Em Tees", an online store in order to their orders across the nation. Soon Rob and PJ's business began to pick up serious momentum and by the following year, PJ and Rob received an offer to buy out their "Rack Em" online business. Rather than sell the company and live comfortably like many sophomores in college may have done, PJ and Rob accepted the offer and instantly moved on to their next project, Custom Universe. Custom Universe began as an online store that offered high-end, Patagonia jackets and sweatshirts, embroidered with college logos.  The school apparel became a huge hit in college bookstores across the nation.

With the success of Custom U, PJ and Rob allocated the funds necessary to open an apparel store for men called the Sail Loft in 2011 in the heart of Nantucket. Two summers later, they opened Her Sail Loft, a women's apparel store, next-door.

Sail Loft Nantucket
4 Southwater St.
Nantucket, MA

Anchoring on the Main Land

In December 2013, Rob and PJ took the Sail Loft to the mainlands, opening a third location in Chestnut Hill Square.  The new boutique combines the best of the two Nantucket originals  (The Sail Loft and Her Sail Loft).  Sail Loft  Chestnut Hill features timeless, nautical and contemporary styles with a true New England twist. Designers featured in the store include Tory Burch, Trina Turk, Rory, Beca, Ellie Kai, Joie, Mara Hoffman, DVF, Ted Baker, VInce, Rebecca Taylor, and Persol among others. For the men, Sail Loft Chestnut Hill offers traditional Sail Loft original apparel, as well as the popular men brands Harding Lane, Collared Greens, Kiel James Patrick, among others. 

Sail Loft Chestnut Hill
200 Boylston Street
Chestnut Hill, MA

Shopping Spree

Last Monday, Jackie and I went over to the new Sail Loft location in Chestnut Hill Square. As someone who is not a huge fan of preppy clothing, I was delightfully surprised to find many, many options that I fell in love with. Each time I made my way back to the dressing room, I found yet another option that I just had to grab. Below are just a few of my favorite looks, as well as a pretty big deal the boys are currently running...

 Special Promo!

For every $500 spent, receive a FREE pair of Tory Burch Sunglasses.
Redeem promo code at counter: promoSLTB14.

Those are just a few of the outfits that I loved while browsing the Sail Loft racks but I highly, highly encourage you all to head on over and see the store for yourself. Chestnut Hill Square is a great location with lots to do. You can stop in for a spin class at Soul Cycle, grab a latte at Starbucks, dine at Seasons 52, shop at Sail Loft, and end with some Red Mango ice cream. 

Thanks PJ and Rob for letting me raid your store! I also want to thank their manager Calista who is the sweetest person in the world and was so helpful with putting together outfits and accessorizing. 

And now for your daily dose of inspiration, inspired by PJ and Rob...
Owners Rob Noe & PJ Mugford
Hummock Pond, Nantucket MA
September 2013
Finally, its important to me to give a huge shoutout to my bestie, hairdresser, stylist, and makeup artist Jackie Angelos who took the photos and helped me to stay focused, despite wanting to try on the entire store. On this particular day, we actually did another photoshoot for the mobile app Boutiquey so Jackie had to endure a very long day of shooting. If you live in the South-Boston area, I encourage you to visit her at LA Express in Stoughton, where she is an incredible hair dresser. 

Create a fashionable Friday everyone!

*To Contact Jackie Angelos: Message her on Style Seat or Facebook
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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Thrifty Thursdays: Healthy Superbowl Snack Savers

What's more thrifty then staying home for the Superbowl and hosting a little party yourself? You will most certainly save on money- an 18 pack of bud-light bottles cost $14.99 at the local liquor store, while 1 bottle at the local bar costs $4. (That's a difference of $3.17  per bottle!) On top of that, you save a heck of a lot on calories when you eat at home. With dining out, it is difficult to determine exactly what you are consuming since there are many high-sodium and artificial ingredients that go into many restaurant dishes. As a result, restaurant dishes have a much higher level of fat & calories then those made at home. 

So today, I am going to show you some healthy Superbowl snacks that you can buy right at your local grocery store, as well as some of my favorite healthy Game-Day recipes to make at home.

Game Day Grocery Store List

Homemade Appetizers:

 Red Pepper & Bacon Sweet Potato Skins (from the Undressed Skeleton

Healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip Stuffed Peppers (from Fight the Inner Foodie)

Homemade Spreads

Healthy 6-Layer Dip Recipe (from Women's Health Magazine)

Homemade Dessert 

Skinny Fudge Brownies with Butterscotch Drizzle (from Back for Seconds Blog)

I hope that I have made your Superbowl snacking, a little thriftier & healthier for you. And while I am sad that the Pats aren't in it, I am looking forward to the Super Bowl commercials, like this Budweiser commercial that will be aired on game-day that will absolutely melt your heart...

Create a Thrifty Thursday everyone! Below is your daily dose of inspiration.

Photo Courtesy of: Dan Phakos

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Wordless Wednesdays: All Hail Queen B

Mrs Carter Tour at TD Garden
Boston, MA, December 2013
Photo Courtesy of: Tory Stone
Today is a Grammy edition of Wordless Wednesday with a picture of Beyonce from her Mrs. Carter tour-stop in Boston last month. She clearly worked it like always.
"Giving up on your goal because of one setback
is like slashing your other 3 tires
because you got a flat"
Create a beautiful Wednesday everyone!

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Tone it Tuesdays: a Heart-Pumping, Energizing Workout to Battle that Winter Slump

On this last edition of January's Tone it Tuesday series, Jenna Klane of the Training Fix has graciously shared with us a video from yesterday's workout to inspire us to get moving!

"A winter Monday is a day needed for movement.  There is not much to do around here when its 15 degrees out and after sitting around most of the weekend I needed to move this morning. Not every workout needs to be filled with high intensity, and super heavy weight loads.  I think getting strong is empowering, and extremely healthy as we age, but to be honest some days I don’t have it in me.  This doesn’t mean you can’t get a great sweat in. Just moving around for 30-60 minutes a day can do wonders for your mood and energy during the cold winter months.  Today I pulled out a few of my favorite exercise tools ( kettlebell, vipr, and sandbag) and put together a quick full body circuit that gave me a nice sweat and actually gave me some energy instead of draining me of all my energy.  What I like about this workout is its working in different planes of motion so its challenging my body in a very different way compared to when I just lift heavier weights.  Different stabilizers are forced to activate which equals more muscles recruitment, as well as a nice shock to the nervous system.  This shock on the nervous system is what gives you that little extra boost of energy.  Give this a try and let us know what you think."

Workout Video Link

Thank you Jenna for the motivation! Lately with life's business, I have put off doing any form of squats and so to get motivated once again, I have created the 30 day Squat challenge below : 

As Jenna said, moving around each day gives us the energy to survive the cold, winter months and feel good about ourselves.  January's "Tone it Tuesday" series has been a wonderful way to keep us motivated to do so, and I hope that these past few Tuesday monthly series, in general, have served as motivation for practicing a healthy lifestyle.

  In November, Creatively Lu was launched and the  November series of Thankful Tuesdays began. Then in December, we ran the series- Take Out Tuesdays which featured healthy tips when dining out. Finally, in January we have run the series- Tone it Tuesdays featuring Jenna Klane, who has  shared her 3 essential moves for mastering the booty,  her tips for healthy snacking-before, during, and after your workout, as well as the energizing workout today.

Rather than, continuously change out the Tuesday themes each month I am excited to announce that I have created 4 Tuesday series that will continue every month. Here is the Tuesday calendar from now on:

  • On-Trend Tuesdays: a look at the hottest trends for that month

  • Tacky Tuesdays: Here we will hold an intervention for the trends that just don't quite make the cut.
  • Tranquil Tuesdays: Tips for creating inner peace.

and finally.......

  • Tone it Tuesdays featuring Jenna Klane

Yup, that's right Jenna will continue to provide her tips for staying healthy!  And these Tuesdays will be featured over on the new website:

So keep an eye out for Jenna's February edition of Tone it Tuesdays over on in a few weeks! Below is your daily dose of inspiration, inspired by my friend Kelly who committed to living a healthy lifestyle over the summer and has successfully lost over 40 lbs during her journey.

Kelly Lennon with her motivational/workout coach, 3 year old nephew, Colin.
The Lennon Household, Fall 2013.
Create a toned Tuesday everyone!

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Make It Mondays: Heather's Chicken Curry

Printer-Friendly Recipe

Today's Make it Mondays is by Heather Rose, Creatively Lu's new weekly contributor. Heather has provided us with her delicious take on an Indian Chicken curry recipe, with a recipe to make your own Naan to follow:

Inspiration for dinner can come from anywhere. This dish was a result of movie night with my husband. We were watching Life of Pi (excellent movie may I add) and I saw Pi and his family eating curry with Naan. I literally started drooling thinking about the amazing Indian food I had back in college after my late night accounting classes. 

When my friend first suggested it, I was pretty skeptical. I'm a meat and potatoes kind of gal. I didn't even know what curry was before college. But after my first bite I was hooked. Nothing beats a delicious curry with some yummy Naan. Unfortunately, now that I'm out of the city -- Indian restaurants are hard to come by. Or they just don't have that savory & spicy quality as those authentic restaurant served so well.

And so I decided to make my own take on the Indian classic! I've tried many recipes and I'm telling you - this one is GOOD. Give it a try, I promise you will not be disappointed. Forewarning - this curry is pretty spicy - you can turn down the heat by decreasing the amount of cayenne or add more if you think it's not spicy enough. Remember it's always easy to add more to a dish -- once it's in, there's no taking it out! 

Needed: 2 lbs chicken tenders or breast, 2 teaspoons salt,1/2 cup oil, 1 1/2 cups chopped onion, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root, 1 tablespoon garam masala, 1 tablespoon curry powder, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon ground turmeric, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon water, 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes, 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 teaspoon salt,1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Heat olive oil in large skillet and season chicken with salt. When oil is hot - cook chicken until outsides are browned. Aprox 2-3 minutes each side. When chicken is browned drain it on paper towels and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium-high; in the same pan add the diced onion, garlic, and ginger to the oil remaining in the skillet and cook and stir until the onion turns translucent, about 8 minutes. Stir the curry powder, cumin, turmeric, coriander, cayenne, and 1 tablespoon of water into the onion mixture. 

Mix the tomatoes, yogurt, 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, and 1 teaspoon salt into the mixture. Return the chicken breast to the skillet along with any juices on the plate. Pour 1/2 cup water into the mixture; bring to a boil, turning the chicken to coat with the sauce. Sprinkle the garam masala and 1 tablespoon cilantro over the chicken.Cover the skillet and simmer for 20-30 mins until chicken is is full cooked. 

I chose to serve the Chicken Curry with Naan and rice. I love using a delicious piece of Naan to scoop up the savory chicken.  The combination of the sweet, warm bread with spicy chicken brings me back to those late night dinners in Boston.

And while you can serve the Chicken Curry alongside some store-bought Naan, I have included a homemade Naan recipe that I swear by. After all, there is nothing better than the homemade version: 

Printer-Friendly Recipe
Needed: 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast,1 cup warm water,1/4 cup  white sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, 1 egg (beaten),2 teaspoons salt, 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons minced garlic (optional),1/4 cup butter (melted)

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. 

Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.

Punch down dough, and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat.

At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. 
Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.

Thank you Heather for a very delicious, and equally creative, edition of Make it Mondays! And now for your daily dose of inspiration. 

Create a delicious Monday everyone! 

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