SLIDER

Dinner Review- The Top of the Hub!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

       

        I mentioned before that I was going to start giving you reviews on all of the restaurants I go to (and trust me, I go to a lot...). There is just something about going out to eat, the ambiance, good conversation to match a good cocktail, the (hopefully) amazing food... decorated so attractively on the plate that you can't resist the urge to snap a few Instagram photos- that I enjoy far too much. I grew up in a family where we went out to eat often, and those memories are surrounded with good friends, loud laughter and good eats... so i've forever related going out to eat with happiness. Even when things got difficult, I remember distinctively when things with the kidney transplant, Ashley's death, lung transplants, got difficult, our first instinct was to go out to eat to talk about the issues at hand! It is just my families go to.
        
      And no, it doesn't mean you have to grub on unhealthy foods every time, I like to think I eat relatively healthy, so with moderation in mind- go OUT TO EAT when you get the chance! Especially if you live in a city, go explore and find some hole in the wall places, a lot of the time those are the best! Plus, there is every genre of food you could ever imagine when it comes to city restaurants... seriously! I've walked by some interesting cuisines I had never heard of prior, and ended up walking in and tasting some amazing things! 

         This most recent out to eat excursion wasn't to a hole in the wall restaurant, no, it was to one of the most well known restaurants in Boston- The Top of the Hub.
I felt like a bad Bostonian since I had yet to ever eat at this Boston staple! I had heard people rave about the view, of course... I mean it is on the 52nd floor of the Prudential center, which to date, is the 2nd tallest building in Boston... so yes, the view was absolutely breath taking to say the least. Before I get into that, I need to make note of the hospitality of the staff and all the people who work to make The Top of the Hub as successful as it is... they were so accommodating, and just plain wonderful... I can't stress enough how much they enhanced my experience dining there. They even gave me some SkyWalk tickets to give to my readers (read more about that at the end!

          I took my mother with me to dine here, I knew that just like me she had wanted to go here for awhile, so when the opportunity presented itself- I knew she would be excited! Our reservation was at 7:30, we got there around 7:15 and were greeted with a smile by the two gentlemen standing behind the host desk! I gave him my name, and was told our table was about to be cleared if we just wanted to sit on the couches in a little area near the bar. I love that they have this area for people with reservations- usually restaurants just have you standing awkwardly near the entrance waiting for your seat. My mom and I decided to grab a cocktail while we waited- I usually go with a gin and soda water, but for blogging purposes I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and taste their Strawberry Basil Lemonade (Plymouth gin, basil, strawberry puree, and lemon..) I loved it.. it wasn't too sweet, just perfect... plus, in my opinion, you can never go wrong with gin! Mom didn't venture out, she got a gin and tonic.. but we sat there enjoying our drinks on the comfy couches, looking at the fabulous view! 


 Shortly after we got our drinks, the manager, Ted, came over to bring us to our seats... He took both of our drinks and walked us over to a perfect table in the lounge, right by the window! Again, it was breath taking.... and it was also right near where the band was set up.. so we were excited about that! We enjoy sitting in the lounge area of most restaurants as opposed to the dining area, it always tends to be more fun- plus, I was with my mom, had it been a date I think the dining area would have been more appealing. 


     After browsing the menu, we decided to start with two appetizers.. the Tartar of yellowfin tuna (avocado, cilantro and pickled ginger) my mom and I like to think that we are tartar  connoisseurs, its our go to at most restaurants... and to quote my mom, "this is one of the best tartars I have tasted..." so I think that gives an indication on how much we liked it. It was perfectly textured, and the whole thing didn't just fall apart once you dug into it- the chip on the top went along great as well, and of course I inhaled the seaweed salad, which had the perfect crunch! They also had a sliver of this spicy mayo on the plate that was a wonderful addition. I definitely recommend this dish! But, our FAVORITE dish of the night was, hands down, the Brie and Walnuts baked with dried fruit compote (artisan double cream, and aged fig sauce..) I am still dreaming about this deliciousness. The compote was soaked into the bread it was laying on, making it the perfect amount of sweet to go along with the brie... I mean, I could possibly live off of this stuff.. 


       We shared our main courses, we got the baby spinach salad (roasted walnuts, goat cheese, port wine reduction, lemon vinaigrette...) and I added grilled shrimp onto it! I love shrimp, and you can never go wrong with goat cheese (unless you are a lactose intolerant... than you can go wrong) the dressing was fabulous! And then the George's Bank Haddock "Rockefeller" (gruyere, Swiss Cheese, Spinach Herb Crumbs), the fish was cooked to perfection, you could tell how fresh it was. We recommend both of these! 


        And then the band started to play right as we finished our meals, and so we sat back, enjoyed the view and listened to some great music! I cannot wait to go back- I recommend everyone go! It is a perfect place for a romantic date as well... so maybe if I ever get a boyfriend he can take me here... yeah right. 




      The wonderful people at The Top of the Hub also were generous enough to give my readers tickets to the skywalk! So you can comment under here, or go like the status on my Facebook page talking about this post, Facebook.com/breatheeasywithme (make sure to like the page too), to be entered in the giveaway! I will pick a winner to win two tickets to see the beautiful views at the top of the pru! Hope you enjoyed the review, and if you dine at the Top of the Hub let me know what you think!

#SumUpOfSummer

Monday, August 18, 2014


     Since fall is right around the corner... I know, I can't believe it either! I was looking through all of my photo albums, and as I was reminiscing, I came up with a new tag idea-  Sum up of Summer... all it pretty much is, is a quick summary (with pictures, of course, because no post is fun without pictures..) of all the best moments of my Summer! I loved doing this post because it allowed me to look back at some of the best memories I made with my family and friends, it is so important to take time to do these things, it reminds you of the little things you should be grateful for! I tagged a few people at the end- but even if I didn't tag you- feel free to do it... and hashtag it with #SumUpOfSummer so I can see yours! I don't know too many people in the blogger community so this is a great way for me to meet new people! Also, once you've done the tag, make sure to tag 5 more people! 




My first memory of Summer was going out for one of my best friends birthdays! She got a table at Whiskey Saigon, and I had a blast with her and all of her college friends! 


The next memory was from my roommate/bestfriends, graduation from BU! This was so much fun since all of my friends who had since moved to NY, all came back to Boston! 


The next are just some random snapshots of activities I did with friends/family... including nights out in Boston, Red Sox games, dinner in Newbury port, family gatherings, my first experience at the farmers market (where my love affair started)... etc!


My first trip to the beach! We packed up some Sangria, and headed to Plum Island! 


I ate out ALOT. Again, I will be doing a review some great restaurants in the near future, so stay tuned!


I spent a lot of time in New York... for both work and pleasure... okay, maybe a little more pleasure... Hey, most of my best friends live there now! I always have a blast whenever I go! We go to rooftops, great dinners, and the nightlife is insane... oh and don't forget, bottomless brunches



I got to go see Zac Brown Band at Fenway thanks to my best friends awesome boyfriend! It was awesome- besides some girl ripping the hair out of my head (long story)


I was asked to do a photo-shoot with the hand bag company, Angela and Roi! They stand for such great causes... so it was an honor! And after you do the shoot- you are able to write a personal letter to someone to show support of their cause! 


The 4th of July in Chatham (which I did a whole post about, here) with my best friends- this was one of my greatest Summer memories! 




Moving to the financial district was a big moment... I guess ;)



House warming get together!

(excuse the middle finger)

And then going out with my mom and her college friends that were in town! We went to Stella's (seriously amazing food), and then went to a bar in the South End! 



This Summer has been a great one, but I can't wait to see what fall has to bring!
I tag: 
Semirah @ Sound Of Charm
Emily @ Empressionism
Emily @ Shell Chicd
Eliza @ Eliza Loo
Rachel @ Sweet Tea and Sass

And also, ANYONE else!




MacK Reacts.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

      




    Now that I am living in the heart of the city with no car (hello separation anxiety), I have come to enjoy walking.. (really I was forced to enjoy it since I have no other choice) I attempt to walk at least 4 miles a day… not only because it is good for me (and because I have no car so I have too…can you tell I miss my car?), but also because I love being able to explore the city. There are so many things I have yet to see, and with all this excessive walking, I have been able to find some awesome gems around me that I would not have found otherwise. So I thought I could dedicate some posts to some good restaurants/stores/coffee shops I have found as a result of my exploring, that I believe, deserve to be shared.
      Side note: I also have to dedicate a whole entire post to the best truffle fries in Boston…Mai and I have become quite the experts when it comes to truffle fries, we make it a point to order them at every restaurant we go to… (yes a salad, dressing on the side…. oh and the biggest order of truffle fries you have…moderation people) we just love them that much! She is currently in the South of France so I am having withdrawals and will have to wait for her return to get my palate back on track. 





     So for today, I am talking about coffee. I absolutely love finding smaller coffee shops, they are such hidden treasures as the big chain businesses like Starbucks and Dunkins take up every street corner in the city. But once you sip on that homemade coffee, all the bigger chain coffee is put to shame…and you probably won’t be going back to your old habits. 
    The first one I actually heard about from a friend… and then when I saw saw it as I was walking down Newbury street, I had to stop in! It is called Wired Puppy. Now my coffee preference is probably different than yours- I like my iced coffee with some bizarre/ sweet flavor… you know, strawberry shortcake extravaganza, or something weird like that.. so my taste may only relate to some people.. but after checking out the yelp reviews- it seems that there is something for everyone (even the true coffee connoisseur!) I also checked out their website and saw that they won best coffee shop in Boston in 2010.. so they must be doing something right. The original, and only other shop is in provincetown, and it has won Cape Cod Magazine's Best of Cape Cod and Islands for 7 years running (2007-2013).

So they have a long board near the counter with all the flavors you can put into your coffee- I mean everything from peanut butter, to toffee crunch, to almond… the list goes on and on! I got a shot of banana and coconut last time! Very good. My friend ally (I have to give her credit or she’ll kill me) told me about the mix of peanut butter and dark chocolate- it literally tastes like reeces puffs! SO GOOD, that is a must try! I can't wait to try all sorts of different combinations. From my apartment, it is a 2.66 mile walk, and then back is another 2.66 miles... I would only make that walk for good coffee... so trust me, go try it! It is also all organic direct for those of you who are into that. 
         The next place I went to... which I went for the first time yesterday, is called Flat Black Coffee Company.. which is a Boston based business that "offers twenty single-origin coffees from around the world. Micro-roasting ensures that your beans, brewed cup, or espresso beverage contain the richest flavors of origin. Taste how beautiful the world of coffee can be." Obviously stole it from the website since I know little about the business itself- but what I can say is that I thoroughly enjoyed my iced coffee (I got the coconut mocha flavored, seriously delicious!) and my friend got the honey bun, and loved it just as much as I loved mine! The best part- this one is directly across from my apartment, which could potentially turn into a bad thing... all well. I can't wait to try more- people on the reviews were raving about the flat white and espresso, so that'll be my next try! 
         So have you guys tried any coffees from these places? If so, what did you think... and if you have any places you'd like to recommend, please do! 


Let go.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

        





       I have a tendency to hold onto things, relationships, anything with sentimental value, regardless if it is bad for me. I always have so much hope that change will come and things will get better if I give it just one more go, eventually that, 'one more go...' turns into ten more, and I just keep putting myself through misery because I am filled with too much hope for my own good. I am starting to realize that some things, some people, some relationships, they are never going to get better, they are toxic for my being. It's a hard thing to grasp, at some point that very thing that played an important factor in my life and was exactly what I needed, is now hurting me more than anything else. But I needed/ need to learn that once that chapter has ended, shut the damn book
      I had a reality check recently… and my mind began racing with a million thoughts, thoughts of anger, confusion, despair... so I of course raced to my notebook to write down this jumbled mess going on in my mind. I can't give advice as to how to handle these situations, a situation where you need to let go of a relationship (and no, this isn't only referring to romantic relationships, this can be friendships, family etc…) that has no hope left, I wish I had a step by step guide… but I don't. This is more of a ramble of what I need to do for myself, and maybe someone else has can find guidance with what I scribble down on this piece of paper…bare with me if this looses any form of sense at some points.
      You are going to need strength… and I promise you can find that strength even in the darkest of hours. Using that strength, you need to make moves that allow you to close that chapter and move on, things like deleting that individual from your social media/your phone… anything you have to do to begin cutting ties. It's going to hurt, its going to sting, and you are going to sit there wondering "should I? What if they come back around? What if they change….?" Stop with those thoughts, if the relationship has reached a point where it has only become a burden, you need to step away, you need to accept that its over. I can relate to that feeling all too well, that feeling of being caught between what was and all that must be, you feel lost, confused, but holding on is only deferring your happiness. So stop reaching out, stop replying, just stop… this is where your strength will shine through. I get that its scary, and far from easy, but staying involved in something because of a fear of missing out on what could be, or reminiscing on what was… is far beneath what you deserve. You deserve respect, you deserve only people who will bring out the joy in your life, and not the polar opposite on a consistent basis.
       After the above has been done, and you have cut ties, the pain is going to sink in. Your mind is going to begin to race, memories, questions, they will begin to weigh you down…you will fear laying down at night because of the thoughts that will consume your mind...but you need not lose sight of why you did what you did. You must not blind yourself from the reality of the situation, allowing yourself to fall back into that emotionally draining pattern you had grown all to accustomed too. Let the mind race, there is no preventing it, but find an outlet that makes it more bare able…reach out to a friend, to a family member, write, scream… whatever you need to do to release the emotions that seem to be filling your insides at that moment, do it. Cry, cry and cry some more, its a cliche thing to say, but just do it… because if you hold it back now, it will come out later down the road, and it will be much worse. You are dealing with loosing someone who played an important role in your life, it is important for you to realize that you are not weak for feeling this way, you need to stop blaming yourself, you are only human.
      Eventually the pain will lessen... I promise...eventually you will be doing something as random as the laundry, and all of a sudden you'll think to yourself "oh wow, I went a day without thinking of them…" and it will hit you, its become easier. Everyday it will begin to get easier, and everyday you'll realize a little more that you made the right decision.
      Remember not to spew your hatred or anger towards this person, they may be toxic without even knowing it, their intentions may have been innocent the entire time, but that doesn't mean you should look past how they make you feel. For your own peace of mind… you need to do whats best for you, and accept that their scene is over for the role they played in your life.

My thoughts.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014






This is a rambling post on my own thoughts and opinions in regards to mental illness...


        I don't want to use this post to sit here and rave about how talented Robin Williams was, I don't want to sit here and act like he was my favorite actor in the world, and I certainly don't want to sit here talking up a storm like I knew him personally- because none of that would be true. I know that if someone I loved had committed suicide, it would frustrate me to no end to see so many people care for the moment. I don't mean to be harsh, of course everyone deals with traumatic events their own ways- totally understandable, what I mean when I say it would frustrate me is that I know this sense of caring will disappear within a week or two...the word depression and mental illness will again, be swept under the rug, and only the talks of Robin Williams humor and talent will be spoken about (which these are things that he should be remembered for but...) his suicide also needs to be used as a wake up call... mental illness is real. Mental illness is no more controllable than a physical illness, like Cystic Fibrosis, if you don't get help for it. 
        Had Robin threatened suicide before, or if any person for that matter threatened suicide publicly, most people would coin them as wanting attention. Or, in Robins instance, if he had come out to state his thoughts in more depth, society would have slapped a label of shame onto him, doubting his career... "how sad, he was so funny..." Because apparently his mental disease would take away from all the amazing things he has done and was capable of doing? Don't get me wrong, before I understood the severity of mental illness- I too coined threats like that as attention craving. I get it, you look at a celebrity like Robin Williams, someone you think has it all, and you assume their life is perfect. You assume that they have the money, the friends, hell his own WIKI page crashed the night of his death because so many people were in utter shock, twitter feeds blowing up with tweets of condolences... yet he still felt alone, all of these things didn't change his mental state. That is like seeing someone with Cystic Fibrosis have all the money and friends in the world, and then expecting them to be cured because, well.. they have it all, right? No, that sounds absolutely absurd MacKenzie, but then why do we expect that with a disease of the mind? This disease isn't a choice, and if seeing all the people who loved him, and seeing all the money and talent he had, doesn't prove that to you- then our world needs to do a whole lot better at educating its people. No one would choose to feel so trapped and dark, that they think the only option is to end their own life. 
       don’t post about how sad Robin William’s death makes you and then turn around and call suicide a cowardly act. Instead,realize how dark and low someone can get if they even contemplate taking their own life. Reach out to a friend or a family member if you feel they have a problem... Don't pass judgement, and don't only show you care once it reaches a point of no return. You can help. I can help. Ive seen mental illness first hand, I use to pass judgement and found it hard to understand, I just wanted whoever it was to 'get over it and fix themselves,' but I've worked on educating myself... and everyone needs to do the same.  Every 40 seconds, someone tries to kill themselvesEvery 18 minutes, one of them SUCCEEDS.
      If you are someone reading this feeling alone and trapped, reach out for help. Talk to a friend, family member, call a hotline.. or send me a message. I am here to listen. Things can get better, you can be helped. 


Sundays Inspirations.

Sunday, August 10, 2014


             I like to spend my Sundays finding inspiration in the smaller things...because, well… because it is Sunday and it is so easy for me to become negative about life…dramatic, I know. (How did Friday go by so quickly? WHAT did I even do on Saturday?! And wait, how far away is Friday!?) You know… those kinds of thoughts. So I woke up, jumped out of bed (lol, no I took my sweet time) showered, and headed out the door. It was a beautiful day and I was determined to defer my mind down a more positive/happy path! So here are some of the things that made my Sunday a happy one.
  

                                         


I have become obsessed with Diners, Drive Ins and Dives- Although Guy is incredibly annoying and drives me crazy half the time, I still love seeing all the delicious foods they are cooking up.

  This view I see every morning, it doesn’t get old.


                                      This shirt, I made it! I love the back.


                                  Oh, and these shoes- a Marshall's steal!


Boston Public Garden which needs no explanation, it is absolutely beautiful and can change your mood in a second flat.


I thought this was cool, there is a Walgreens right in the financial district (right where Barnes and Noble use to be) and it’s their flagship store? Whatever that may mean…and they have an entire juice bar! I got the ‘Wicked Good’ it is Kale, Spinach, Celery, Carrot and Apple! It was good- even if it doesn't look so good. 



So these were some of the things that made my Sunday a little more bearable! Let me know what things you do on Sunday to make the transition into the week a little better.