Elevated Living: A is for Amber Budd Atelier

I met Amber Budd in the craziest of ways here in Boston, that in truth- would need to be a post of on it’s own! We were both new to Boston, and starting new jobs, not having the slightest of clues where life would take us. That being said, my namesake has not only moved on from Boston, but moved on with her career by opening: Amber Budd Atelier in Burnsville, Minnesota.

I’ll never forget the first time she taught me how to do “Smokey Eyes.” The best part is, it was with neutral toned colors, to highlight and accentuate for ‘Elevating The Everyday.’ I wasn’t one for much makeup, or the time I thought it took to look all fashionable and put together; but Amber Budd made it simple. She spoke my language and translated make up into ways that even I could understand.

She showed me what brushes to use and why, and the importance of blending. Even more, the importance of the best tools you have- your hands and yourself! To only do what feels natural, and use as little or as much as you wanted. Depending, of course, on how dramatic your inner Diva was feeling that day.

I think of her now that I’ve “mastered” liquid eyeliner. (I use “mastered” lightly, as I’ve finally figured out how to match the straight even line on BOTH eyelids- Hallelujah!) And I enjoy sharing the fact that I’ve found “my red lipstick,” which as she proclaims is the “Holy Grail.” And she’s right.

Amber Budd is truly an artist. Her joy is contagious as she shares what is not only a passion, but a gift as well. It’s a privilege and an honor to see her grow and learn as she hones her craft. Her light shining brighter as she shares it with the world; but never overpowering her signature make up brush strokes, a solid defined eye, and lips that pop. Just one of the many ways, to Elevate Your Everyday!

Keep up with Amber and All Things Made Up by Amber here: http://www.amberbudd.com/   @AmbersAllMadeUp on #Twitter @AmberBudd on #Instagram  https://www.facebook.com/amberbuddatelier on #Facebook

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate Your Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber

Facebook: Elevated Living   Twitter: @DivAmber   Instagram: @DivAmber

 

Elevated Living: “Things Are Looking Up” for Berkshire Brewing Co.

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Things Are Looking Up!

“Things are looking up!” is an understatement for Berkshire Brewing Company, who will be celebrating 20 years this September. On February 1st 1994 Chris Lalli and Gary Bogoff broke ground and began renovation on an old cigar factory in Deerfield, MA; transforming it into what would be a, “cutting edge microbrewery.” Eventually, with on site expansion and distribution reaching beyond Massachusetts to much of New England, BBC graduated from microbrewery to regional brewery status. Known for their flagship, Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale, BBC now brews nine flavors year-round, as well as seven seasonal ales and lagers. Regardless of expansion, they stay true to their local roots, home brew ingenuity, and continue to be an avid supporter of local farmers and partners in Deerfield, MA and beyond.

Berkshire Brewing Company uses locally grown hops among other supplies in their unfiltered, unpasteurized beer; which also contains no chemical additives or preservatives.

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Local hops

In addition, they continue to, “support local,” by providing already processed grain for animal feed to farmers, where it would otherwise be thrown away. Furthermore, there are even select collaborations such as the Berkshire Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale. The infamous blend, using four Bourbon Barrels hand selected by Julio’s Liquor Store staff in Westborough, MA, brewed exclusively for Julio’s Liquor Store.

Their openness to ideas and collaborations is something they’ll be bringing to Hyper-Local Brewfest 2014 with two very distinct flavors.  Dean’s Beans Coffee House Porter is made with organic coffee extract from Dean’s Beans in New Salem, MA. Dean Cycon, CEO, travels the world to find and produce coffees that are organic, fair trade, and kosher. Using the cold press process for this extract, there are five gallons of coffee extract for every 250 gallons of porter. (This would make for a great adult ice cream float; or a wonderful marinade for some ribs!)

Speaking of food, BBC will also be delighting with their Raspberry Barley Wine Style Ale, formerly known as “Raspberry Strong Ale.” Continuing in the ‘strong style,’ packing a punch of 9% ABV, this ale changes a bit each year, varying upon the produce of season. Using locally grown raspberries from Deerfield, MA, purchased and frozen when ripe, until thawed for brewing in January. Spending about two-and-a-half to three weeks in the fermenter, they use one pound of raspberries per pound of beer. Perfectly complemented by the malt barley, it’s a subtle hint of summer in your bottle.

A celebratory year, it’s apparent the, “No Hype- Just Good Beer,” motto translates to the employees and a typical day at the brewery. “We get up every morning, with a passion to make good beer. We’re an honest company, precise to historical styles and processes; where quality and customer service come first.”

What makes it all happen!

Where the magic happens!

This rings true to the founders quote, “It’s all about the beer, but the beer is nothing without the people.” Cheers to 20 years- and many more- of taking these local ideas to a whole other level; in our bottles and beyond.

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate Your Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber

Facebook: Elevated Living   Twitter: @DivAmber   Instagram: @DivAmber

Elevated Living: Joos Day 6 (11.23.13)

Day 6: Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

Today was uneventful. I’ve never been so thankful for that. I’ve entered into a wonderfully developed routine, of ease and simplicity, grounded and sustained in my very own “Om” and relaxation. I will live in this place forever!

Woke up to blog, drink my warm lemon water and get ready for the day. I started off with “Vitality” chia for breakfast. My stomach had been upset the last day or two, so I upped my intake of water to maintain my hydration, and continue it’s, ‘self-clean,’ if you will. I think I’m fighting whatever is going around, and Joos is The General in this war. Thankfully, we’re winning. Or, it could be my body getting rid of more than just the day to day, but hardcore muck I’ve accumulated over the days, months, and years prior to this cleanse.

I’ve never felt this light?! Fresh, and clean, on the inside! Yes, I have lost a few pounds, and it’s exciting. It wasn’t a goal, but an unexpected side effect. Not just for vanity’s sake, but on a health tip that my body is letting go of what it doesn’t need. A lesson that I am sure my body is telling me to carry on into other ways of my life 🙂

Furthermore, I’ve developed long term habits and knowledge to maintain this style. Do I plan to be vegan for life? Probably not. But who knows. I know foods and such that I craved just days ago, I have no desire for. Things I thought I needed, are now questions of, ‘where does this come from?’ and ‘how will this actually benefit me?’

My snacking has stopped. Yes, you read that right! A grazer for life, I give my body a break between meals now. Aware and alert, and in becoming so, I’m more conscious of things that I say and do. Less reactive, and more intentional. I’ve shifted priorities, and perspectives, taking time and giving time to myself in quiet ways.

Lunch was another delicious meal of spinach, pinto beans, mushrooms, carrots, avocado and all kinds of goodness. Smaller now, which isn’t too surprising. I was always the one that would have an appetizer for a meal, or only finish half of my entree and take the rest home. They sure are healthier meals now though!

I brought my “Antioxidant” Joos for dinner to the Faneuil Hall tree lighting. Part of me wishes I had taken a cup of my new “Le Digestif” tea from at David’s Tea to keep me warm, as it was colder than I anticipated. However, having dinner on the go, while taking in the twinkling lights was quite festive and wonderful. I loved being outdoors, drinking in the excitement of the holidays around me, while drinking in the goodness of Joos on the inside.

Leaving before the actual tree lighting, as it was just too cold and crowded for my taste, I went back home feeling festive, and alive, and thankful; and it was more than any holiday gift could aspire to be.

Joos Day 6: Tree Lighting

 

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate Your Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber

Facebook: Elevated Living   Twitter: @DivAmber   Instagram: @DivAmber

Elevated Living: Joos Day 5 (Friday 11.22.13)

Day 5: Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Today was the perfect day with my Joos cleanse. I woke up feeling rested, even though I had interrupted sleep as I was on-call. I didn’t feel hungry, and my morning “pre-breakfast warm-lemon-water” was the perfect temperature. Then I read the email for Joos Day 5 focusing on the “What” and “How” of the cleanse.

“2. The HOW to eat: That requires waiting approximately 4 hours in between meals so that, simply put, your metabolism works more efficiently. We do not emphasize this on the shorter Reboot programs, but if you feel like you’re getting the hang of this, you may want to give it a try. Typically, though, the HOW is more challenging than the WHAT.”
Whoops! I have been grazing all throughout the past 4 days, so thought I’d give it a try today, Friday, Day 5, to curb my snacking. I started off with “Antioxidant” with chia for breakfast. I drank it in a reasonable time around 9:30am-10am. I think my focus and determination was on my side today, as I didn’t even feel hungry until around 11:45am. At this point I had more than 1/3 of my daily water requirement and was sipping on “Joos Elixir Pinapple.”
With no snacking at all, I made myself a vegetable and protein rich lunch, around 1:30pm/2pm. I tried my new black bean soup by Dr. McDougall’s. Unreal!!! Another ‘where-has-this-been-all-my-life’ moment?! Oh- I know, probably hidden somewhere under the vegan and/or gluten free stereotype.
 Dr. M Soup Front Dr. M Soup Back

Thank God for the freedom to go beyond ideas and images of what being vegan is and means; to just simply enjoy good healthy food. I’m not trying to downplay any doctrine here. I’m just stating that I know there’s much, that even a daring and open person like myself, has avoided in context of labeling. Alas, here I was, slightly unaware this world of goodness, richness and bounty! I say slightly, because I’ve explored areas of vegetarianism, but never Vegan until this cleanse in June and now.

Keeping up with my water intake, I had a side of spinach, onions and mushrooms sauteed in seasoned oil, and kiwi for dessert. Without even feigning snacks this afternoon, by my “Citrus” Joos dinner I had consumed more than my suggested daily amount of H2O. Being the weekend, and in relaxation mode, I consumed even more in my spa like evening, having the apartment to myself.

Candles lit, “Cafe Del Mar” playing on my Pandora “Yoga Station” I am just so there. That wonderful place we all strive to reach that seems outside of ourselves and our grasp. The positive vibrations we are all too distracted to hear. So please, do yourselves a favor over this weekend. Make the time, to take the time, to find this place. Invest in yourself. Be aware of not only what you put inside of your body, but what –and whom– you surround yourself with. Ask yourself; in what ways can you enhance, and ‘Elevate,’ your environment? It could be as simple as buying a scented candle, drinking more water, or taking 10 mins out of your day for quiet, private, YOU time. That, my friends, is Elevated Living.

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate Your Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber

Facebook: Elevated Living   Twitter: @DivAmber   Instagram: @DivAmber

Elevated Living: A Roseway By Any Other Name

I hope everyone is ending their week on a high note!
Enjoy a fun story that has
Elevated Living coming full circle
and learn what our “icon” is all about 🙂

A year ago I kicked off Elevated Living with a small but fun “$1 Oyster Crawl.” I wanted to remind people, there are ways to enjoy yourself in any economy.  That just because you need to dine out on a budget, doesn’t mean you can’t dine out. That although you can’t afford a vacation, you can still enjoy the unexplored all around you.

People need to come together and enjoy the gathering of friends;
to simply connect and support each other at the same time.

One fine “Elevated Day” August 2012 I snapped this shot of a boat on my way to Boston Harbor Islands.

Elevated Living

The Roseway

On the walk home last night, while ‘Elevating My Day’ at Free Thursday Nights at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), we came upon the photographed boat docking and closing for the evening. While speaking with a representative, I learned that this National Historic Landmark schooner is the called, “‘The Roseway,’ a nonprofit organization providing educational programs and public sails to adults and students worldwide with the World Ocean School.”

Here I’ve chosen this photograph, as an icon, to represent what I felt that day; relaxed, stress free, sailing through life in a cool summer breeze, pure elation. Whether it’s professional organizational tips, health advice, or frugal foodie finds; Elevated Living was created to give sources of information and creative ways to “Elevate Your Everyday.” To help others feel that sense of elation I felt.  Now it means even more that this is what they do at World Ocean School, primarily focusing on educating and informing underserved youth, empowering them with education and elation, those who wouldn’t often have this opportunity to set sail.

To make the circle complete (as would only be appropriate) The Roseway holds, “Sunset Sails and Beer Tastings.” I mean come on- was this meant to be or WHAT!?! “Do Good and Have Fun Doing It,” tickets for the Sunset Sails are $50 for about 2 hours with beer tastings, passed appetizers and sunset on the water. Better yet, half of your ticket is tax-deductible, helping to support the inspirational programs of World Ocean School.  I’ll be heading out on Thursday August 1st, 2013 for the Harpoon Brewery tasting, with friends, food and fun on the horizon.

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Tuesday, August 13th is the Elevated Living Annual Tour.
I’ll be showing you my version of Happy Hour in Boston, aka Frugal Foodie Finds
with good food, great prices, amazing company and awesome times.
Let me know you’re coming by buying tickets here: http://elevatedliving.eventbrite.com/

If you can’t attend any of these events, please continue to find ways to Elevate Your Day, whatever and however that may be. Let those you care about know they are loved. Hold the door open for someone. Drink a nice cold beer, or share wine with friends (non-alcoholic beverages count too :). Donate clothes, or other items, and realize how fortunate you are.

Just remember, only accept the madness only as a welter of opportunities to Elevate Your Everyday. Continue to treat yourself well and make life easy on yourself. It’s ripple effect on others will be both gratifying and magnifying.

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate Your Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber

Facebook: Elevated Living   Twitter: @DivAmber   Instagram: @DivAmber

Elevated Living: Attitude of Gratitude

Approaching a friends door recently, I was amazed that they have yet to take down their #Christmas wreath. I must admit; it is in excellent condition and still brings a smile to my face, as the holiday season is a great time of year. The holidays bring out the best (in most!) and are a wonderful time of gathering around the dinner table with family and friends. Ah yes, the dinner table. The root of it all.

To be #thankful to fill not only our plates, but our bellies. To perhaps raise a glass to all that we’ve been given. Unfortunately around the holidays, I find that stress gets in the way through the day to day activities. A time where many forget to relax, savor, and enjoy.

Add in the financial pressure and stress, and the sudden treats with friends and family become, annoyances to endure and debts to repay.  Alas, I’m here to remind you that treating yourself, and one another, in the holiday spirit does not have to break the bank! It should also extend well past through the holidays- to be honest- year round!

Restaurant Week is one of those ways to, “Elevate the Everyday,” twice a year. Going through photos of my four (4) dinners dined during Restaurant Week Summer 2012, I’m reminding myself- and YOU- to give ‘holiday style’- throughout 2013 and beyond. #Boston #Restaurant week is fast approaching beginning March 17th-22nd & March 24th-29th.*

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Feel free to revisit my #RestaurantWeek #Boston tips #blog for some great information. Speaking of #tips please see the attached photos for Restaurant Week tipping etiquette!

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Also enjoy this website Boston Restaurant Week as an excellent resource on who, what, where and when. (*Some restaurants are extending their RW menus on the Saturday March 23rd.) imgres

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate The Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber