Review · Travel

Siena & Sloped Streets (Day 7)

Imagine, if we were in Siena now we could be witnessing the famous Palio horse races in Il Campo, the huge central plaza as it happens in July and August. Italian Flag However we’d probably also be on the verge of a heat stroke since it’s even too hot in New England. Notice how all of the jockeys in the photo below aren’t even using saddles for their race horses! How Medieval! Also it’s worth noting that the races have several animal rights related controversies. The last of our optional tours was also the furthest away at 2 hours each way from Montecatini with traffic. It’s a beautifully preserved medieval city strategically located in 3 hills, giving the city its infamous sloped streets. The fewest people signed up for this optional tour and Johnny even said he might not have enough people to run the tour. I’m glad we did, but really it left me wanting more at the end of the day! (We barely spent 6 hours in Siena.)

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AP Photo/Paolo Lazzeroni

 

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Affiliate · Beauty · Brand · Money Saving · Product · Review · Subscription

Fab Fit Fun Review & Summer 2017!

Confession: I used to have 6 subscription boxes/services*, but I’ve whittled it down to just Fab Fit Fun (FFF) now! They are only seasonal so that also helps cut down on the clutter of items and cost of monthly subscriptions. I’ve been hooked since Fall 2015!

Most likely if you’re a female on Facebook or Instagram, you have seen the aggressive targeted advertisements for this subscription box. Celebrities and Lifestyle Gurus have endorsed this box. There’s a huge following and people watch others unbox their goodies since they have a few variations. (Plus it’s fun to see reactions!) After reading Annie’s review post on her blog, Managing Money as a Millennial I also wanted to share my experience as well! (I was just so impatient to actually take photos before ripping through all the pretty packaging for Spring 2017. Oops!)

TRY OUT FABFITFUN & use code FAB10 for $10 off first box.
(Yes this an affiliate link and I will get get $15 Credit if you sign up!)

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Guest Author · Movie · Review

Why “The Mask” Still Holds Up

Who else over 25 years old remembers this movie? Everyone? Why? Why are there still video essays (check out Nostalgia Critic’s discussion by the way) over 20 years later?

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Besides all the people that went to see it of course.

 

Don’t get me wrong, this is a good movie, I still watch it from time to time and laugh, but why does it have staying power? It didn’t push any boundaries of film making, have an emotional shock that scarred us for life, or even one scene that is consistently on top 10 lists. Most people would say it’s because of Jim Carey’s performance, but at this point I’d say it’s aged far better than any of his other films (yes, including The Truman Show).

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Business · Review · Wedding · Yelp

Kristin Griffin Photography

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I’m the winner!

Before we decided on the wedding details, I knew that I wanted to prioritize the photos! Now that all the festivities are done, we still have those memories captured to look back on – one of the happiest days of my life! Confession: In my younger years, I used to stalk this Wedding Photographer/Blogger Duo for what I thought were the dreamiest and most dynamic photos before turning into a cynical Anti-Bride. Alas, they are in Texas! Plus after reading their reviews online, I noticed they were very good at curating what photos end up on the blog. It was not consistent with the quality they delivered to all clients! Are you ready for the longest review and probably more details than you will ever need? I’ll be noting all the things I would have done differently, perhaps this will help you with your experience.

We decided to choose Kristin Griffin Photography (KPG) after my unexpected fortuity at the Chestnut Hill Bridal Show. I received an e-mail from the mall’s Marketing Administrator informing me I had won the Photography Package raffle back in October 2015! (Yes this is even longer than we’ve coordinated with Raffael’s!) Thanks to my squad for entering me into everything using my wedding e-mail to spare me from the spam. However, if you’re starting out with no leads it’s overwhelming to have hundreds of photographers and having to compare packages. Many photographers won’t list their investment prices online so you have to contact them directly to find out. I found a helpful article on SnapKnot about what factors to consider when choosing your photographer. I admit, my husband and I are by no means photogenic or athletic. (Confession: I make him re-take photos numerous times to his chagrin for events haha. He also never likes how his smile looks in most photos.)

 

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Guest Author · Movie · Review

Wonder Woman, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love a DCEU Movie

FINALLY! WE FINALLY GOT AN OUTRIGHT GOOD DCEU MOVIE!

Sorry, I’ve been waiting to say that since right after Man of Steel came out. It “only” took 4 years and 3 previous movies which ranged from kind-of good to an embarassment, but Wonder Woman is the first DCEU movie where my biggest complaints are more nitpicks than actual problems. Why Wonder Woman had to wait over 70 years to get a big-budget live action movie is….a topic I’m going to purposefully avoid for this post and focus on the movie itself.

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But they really thought they had to make this before a Wonder Woman movie?

The plot is that Princess Diana  grows up on the magically isolated island of Themiscyra and is raised by the Amazons, a warrior tribe made up of only women, who have been cut off from the world since the Greek gods were destroyed by Ares. One day an American pilot named Steve Trevor crashes on the island and tells the Amazons about how he has been fighting in World War I. Diana leaves with him to hunt Ares and end the suffering of those affected by the war.

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Guest Author · Review · Travel

Vino Infinito – Cinque Terre & Vineyard (Day 6)

Along Italy’s coastline are 5 charming villages collectively known as Cinque Terre in the Ligurian region of Italy. Here one can enjoy being cut off from the outside world and get a real sense of a small town. Reaching these villages is difficult by car, as a result we were only able to visit the 3 of the 5 villages. It’s also worth noting that this location is one of the many in Italy that are part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. They do have a highly connected railway system that we took at the end of the day.

 

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Hanna holding the map, this is only half of it!

On the way we saw breathtaking views of both the coastline and hillside vineyards necessitated by the terrain in the area. Our tour guide Johnny told us about the difficult  process of making wines in these areas! We decided we needed to try their signature wine!

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Beginning of the “Mamma Mia” views by Bus

We started our day trip in the Province of La Spezia and arrived at the first town, Manarola, by bus and walked down the only road in the town (residential alleys no withstanding), enjoying the view of the older but well-maintained buildings. We had lots of great views of the bay and the rock formations along the shore, which are apparently a popular swimming location as we saw people swimming out to the rocks to climb onto them.

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Business · Review · Wedding · Yelp

Raffael’s Walpole – Packages & Timeline

The long awaited venue review! One of the most important decisions during the wedding planning process boils down to the location. My husband and I chose Raffael’s Walpole location, which has a lovely Gazebo for outdoor ceremonies. All of the photos on WeddingWire show the Hingham location, which we’ve also been to for lunch a couple of times (Greenside Grille). Hingham location has more of a country club with a golf course as a backdrop vibe. It’s worth noting that it’s slightly cheaper, but not as renovated. If you want to test your wedding etiquette knowledge, take this ridiculously detailed quiz. I only got 21/35 correct. I’ve also included testimonies from my friends about the location from the guest perspective.

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Moment of Fame!

If you had asked me for a rating right after the wedding I would have given them 4/5; the extra half star is for their responsiveness AFTER the wedding when I contacted the since one of their sub-vendors (Judy’s, check my review for that too) provided the wrong floral arrangements! I was not too impressed with their responsiveness leading up to the 2nd deposit payment, especially with the lack of communication for the big “Tasting” event that they provide 1-2 seasons before the big day. More on that later. However, I cannot deny that the big selling point of booking this venue is that their packages include so many items! All we needed was a DJ, Photographer, and Officiant for the on-site ceremony. We also used the lovely Bridal Suite for the “Getting Ready” photos and to secure the personal items as it’s passcode protected.

If you want the full timeline I’ve updated the original series post! Also more miscellaneous photos on Yelp from the Tastings Event!

Raffael’s Wedding Timeline
  • February 13, 2016 – Visit Raffael’s to meet with Tina about package options and put down Deposit #1
  • October 28, 2016 – Deposit #2 Due
  • November 3, 2016 – Raffael’s Tastings
  • November 8, 2016 – Picking out stationary, linens and cocktail napkins
  • January 8, 2017 – Konditor Meister Cake Tasting #1 & Bridal Dress Roundup part 2
  • January 14, 2017 – Judy’s Flowers Florist Consultation
  • February 11, 2017 – Konditor Meister Cake Finalizing
  • April 16, 2017 – Headcount / Meal chart finalized
  • April 25, 2017 – Remainder balance/deposit due
  • April 27, 2017 – Rehearsal & Dinner
  • April 30, 2017 – Wedding Day!

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