Sumaira Flower

Sumaira Flower

December 30, 2013

2014 New Year's Resolutions...

I’ve never been one to set New Year's resolutions because I always thought it was silly but I’ve always been one who regretted not having made any by the end of the year….

Everyone I’ve been talking to keeps saying “2014 is MY year” which made me start to think perhaps it’s my year too.

Before you know it, I compiled a list of attainable goals and habits. I want to share these with everyone so that I’m held accountable...

Category 1: Health & Wellness

1. Lose 20 pounds and keep it off

2. Convert back to Pescatarianism

3. Go to the gym & dance



Category 2: Finances

4. Bring lunch to work & cook dinner during the week (eat out on weekends only)

5. Go to CVS only when I actually need something (no more frivolous spending!)

6. Shop less and cool it with the online shopping

7. Use Uber less and ride the T more



Category 3: Travel (#8)

1. Harry Potter World

2. Puerto Rico

3. Spain

4. Dubai
   

Category 4: Career

9. “High Rise”- Film the pilot by Spring 2014

10. Improv

And lastly... become a Real Housewife. Just kidding!!! Kind of… ;)


There you have it. If you are a friend of mine and ever witness me violating these goals, you have my permission to punish me or make me feel guilty!

Wishing you all a year filled with good health, wealth, love and happiness.

December 15, 2013

Row 34, Fort Point



Friday night, I had the pleasure of visiting the newly opened Row 34 in the evolving Waterfront district. 

Row 34 is the latest hotspot brought to you by restauranteur and hospitality mastermind, Garrett Harker and company (owners of Eastern Standard, Island Creek Oyster Bar, The Hawthorne). 

Naturally, one would have high expectations of Row 34 given that Harker's other locations have become Boston landmarks. The verdict? Expectations were completely surpassed and how!


Let me start by saying Row 34 is absolutely BEAUTIFUL. The space is huge and filled perfectly. The high ceilings offer a very loft-y, New York feeling. The Sheffields (interior-design power couple) have done it again - the decor is flawless! Check out their work www.sheffieldinteriors.com 

The menu satiates every seafood lover's appetite. Fresh oysters, succulent crab cakes, Pinot Grigio all served out of an open kitchen - what more could one ask for?

Row 34 is a fabulous place for wining, dining, and mingling. Legal Harborside is going to have some stiff competition with the opening of Row. The quality of service is not even comparable.

I highly recommend checking out Row 34, especially if you LOVE oysters like I do - you will not be disappointed! 

Ciao! xoxo

PS: If you're driving, park at the Stilling Street Garage around the corner - Row will validate for you!



Theme Song: Flutter by Bonobo

December 09, 2013

Gyu-Kaku, Brookline

On this nasty, snowy, rainy day, my lovely coworker and I decided we wanted to PIG OUT on Asian food. Lucky for us, there's an awesome Japanese BBQ place across the street from our office. 

Gyu-Kaku opened earlier this summer and is honestly the best thing that happened to Beacon Street in Brookline after Whole Foods.  


The menu is phenomenal! You can eat anything from edamame, to cooking your own steak, to my absolute favorite Bibimbap! Try saying that, it's too much fun :) Who doesn't love interactive eating! But the best part about Gyu-Kaku is that everything is SO cheap. We ate shrimp dumplings, skirt steak, sauteed peppers, kimchee, bimbimbap, spicy ramen, and green tea ice all for $35! You can't beat that. 


If you are looking to eat a lot of great Asian food with a fun atmosphere, please go to Gyu-Kaku. I have no complaints. My only regret is that I didn't order the banana caramel dessert ... YUM! Ciao!

October 17, 2013

HAPPY 3RD BIRTHDAY!

Today marks the 3rd birthday of Flower: The Converted Bostonian!

Thank you for reading my posts and supporting my madness ;)

The internet is a beautiful thing! 
(So is the 1st amendment since I have no filter when it comes to expressing my opinions!)

Three years have gone by super fast alright! 

Peace and love. XO Sumaira


October 11, 2013

Rifrullo Cafe, Brookline Village


And this whole time, I thought living near gated mansions on hills was a cool thing... but, I found something that totally trumped that! Rifrullo Cafe open its doors just a few blocks from my new place - lucky me!

Rifrullo is an intimate European-influenced cafe with a breathtaking atmosphere and distinctive menu. As soon as I walked in, I was in complete bewilderment of how beautiful and cohesive everything was. The details, oh the details are so lovely! The bookshelf made out of an injured couch. The fresh vegetables and fruits in baskets posing on the mantle. The flowers and greenery hiding behind pastries. You need to see for yourself to understand why I was in such awe. I felt like I was in Europe. Sigh :) (the interior designer, Allison Johnson, did an impeccable job!) 

I ordered curried squash and mushroom shiitake. I am such a sucker for curry (definitely the brown thing LOL) and this was DELICIOUS. I also took some duck confit home alongside a huge loaf of bread made from scratch and gifted to me by the owner herself, Colleen Suhanosky. I can't wait to try everything on their menu - I am sure it won't take too long to do that! ;)

I am so excited to live within walking distance from Rifrullo. I think this little gem is going to serve many purposes - get your espresso in the morning, do work on  your laptop on a Sunday afternoon, and a romantic date on a Friday night! I highly  recommend Rifrullo. It's so perfect!

PS. The 2nd best part about Rifrullo is that they play all the music that I love so much - Hotel Costes, Stephane Pompougnac, Gotan Project - the best of the best! 



Theme Song: Queremos Paz by Gotan Project

October 06, 2013

Empire, Seaport District


Last night, my friends and I ventured off to Empire in the Seaport Area. 

I'm on the fence about this place. I like the place itself but the crowd, not so much. To be completely honest, there was a bit of a "trashy" presence last night as one of my friends best described it. If I were going to Empire for strictly mingling purposes, I probably wouldn't have had as much fun as I did. Thankfully, I was with a large group of good folks :)

This place is HUGE... well at least the dining areas are. The bar/lounge however is a little too small to accommodate the amount of people that want to party there.

What's good? The location is faboosh. The music was amazing. The decor is noteworthy. (I'm a sucker for Asian-influenced interior design) Drinks are delicious but very expensive although all the places in that area are relatively pricey.

In short, Empire is a skankier, more yellow version of Red Lantern; it's got potential but there's a lot of room for improvement. Would I go back? Sure but more interested in going back for dinner... ciao! xoxo


P.S. How amazing is Work B*tch?

September 25, 2013

Forum Part II, Back Bay


Forum, which was significantly affected by the horrific events that took place on April 15, 2013, reopened its doors to Bostonian residents. I went to Forum last Friday for a birthday party and couldn’t help but feel somewhat emotional. However, this resilient city has put that in the past and is happy to be normal again.
Forum is just as, if not more, amazing as it was before it shut down. The ambiance was beaming, the service was fantastic, drinks were delicious, and most importantly, the crowd was in great spirits!
This post is dedicated to all the victims and their families of the nightmarish Boston Bombings. Though a somber post, I am happy that Forum is open for business once again. Ciao xoxo

September 13, 2013

El Centro, Brookline Village




So I recently moved to Brookline Village which proves to be cuter and cuter with every passing day. The neighborhood has so much charm, great people, and cozy little restaurants.
 
 
On Wednesday night, my coworker and I were craving after work drinks, so we headed over to El Centro located in the heart of Brookline Village on Harvard Street.
 

El Centro is a beautifully decorated Mexican restaurant with a mouthwatering menu. The d├ęcor in this cute little spot is noteworthy… especially the bathroom! Frida Kahlo is plastered on the walls, Brookliners are drinking spicy sangrias while eating cornmeal made from scratch! The menu is also appropriately priced – not too expensive, not to cheap.
 
 
I would say my favorite part of this restaurant was learning that the owner is from my native country Bangladesh! Rabi is a successful yet humble owner of 2 Best of Boston Mexican restaurants (the primary location is in the South End) – thanks for the flan buddy!
 
 
Check out El Centro if you are craving Mexican food and a beautiful ambiance! I anticipate that this will be a frequent go-to for me ;) xoxo

August 16, 2013

On an aside: The Perks of Being a Single Lady


I was chit-chatting with my sister about relationships and before you know it, we came up with an extensive list of why it's so wonderful being single! This one is for my single ladies... 
*Fair warning: Some of them are gross but true!*

1.You don’t have to share anything [ especially closet space! ]

2. You can fart in your sleep with no worries!

3. You can watch The Notebook [or any sad romantic film] an infinite amount of times and cry hysterically... and continue to do so 20 minutes after the credits started rolling. (A boyfriend would be like, "Girl, chill, you need a Zoloft")

4. You can grow out your leg hair for warmth in the winter

5. You can burp as loud as you want without someone telling you that that was "unwomanly"

        6. You can watch TV while eating ice cream for hours and no one will judge you.

7. You don’t have to deal with a boyfriend leaving the toilet seat up

8. A boyfriend would shave and brush his teeth and not remember to wash down the remains in the sink

9. A boyfriend would yell at you for shopping all day online or in real life - what a nuisance.


10. You can watch Sex and the City over and over and over and over again.


11. A boyfriend won’t share the same enthusiasm with you when you’re trying to be fashion forward (i.e. harem pants)

12. You don’t have to go hiking or watch sports just to impress someone.

13. You can wear Lush masks around the house without frightening anyone.

14. You can sing and dance around the house like you’re Beyonce.

15. You can pretend you’re the host of a cooking show while you're cooking.

16. Your schedule revolves only around yourself.

17. You can flirt with whomever you want without feeling guilty.


18. You can gossip on the phone about Lilo, Amanda Bynes, and the Kardashians as if you know them personally.** my personal favorite**

19. You can spend all your money on yourself.

20. You can read Vogue magazine in a British accent.

21. You can shamelessly live vicariously through the Kardashians every Sunday night.

22. You can take a ton of selfies and determine after the 50th shot which angle makes you look most like Halle Berry.

23. You can screw with guys on Match.com, Zoosk, PlentyofFish, OKCupid, eHarmony, ChristianMingle, jdate, shaadi.com, chemistry.com, muslimsingles, the list goes on...

24. FREEDOM! :D


This post was written in all good fun so I hope you enjoyed it and can relate to one or some of the beauties of being single lady!

August 02, 2013

The Port Hunter, Edgartown


One of the greatest things about living in Boston is that there are so many places you could visit without much travel.
 
If you feel like skiing, just drive up to Vermont. If you feel like fishing, just go to Maine. If you feel like hunting, go to New Hampshire. If you feel like having the ultimate New England island vacation, take the ferry to Martha's Vineyard. And that is exactly what I did this past weekend.
 
I visited Marth'as Vineyard for the first time ever. It was more beautiful and quaint than I expected it to be. Beautiful homes, clean beaches, bike riders everywhere, and fabulous restaurants. What more could one ask for?
 
One restaurant I dined at during my stay that stood out was The Port Hunter. In short, the Port Hunter was huge, had AMAZING food, and a great vibe. It wasn't too expensive (like the rest of the island) and you get A+ service. Last but not least, the owners are complete sweethearts. It's very endearing to watch them personally make sure that all of their patrons are happy and well taken care of.
 
If you happen to be in Edgartown and are craving oysters, burgers, fries and more, eat at the Port Hunter!
 

RENT THE RUNWAY


For my golden birthday this year, I knew I wanted to wear something completely diva-licious. However, dressing like the ultimate diva ain't cheap.

My colleague was telling me about this website called 'Rent the Runway' (RTR) which allows fashionistas on a budget to wear dresses they've only dreamed of wearing. I checked out the website and was amazed at how many dresses I'd seen celebrities wearing that I now had the chance to rent at a low cost.
I decided to do it. I rented a saucy, red Herve Leger dress. I've always wanted to wear an HL number but could never wrap my head around paying $1,500 for a dress that I would probably wear once and get a stomach ache from (because of how tight they are!)

RTR was the most ideal plan for my event. I received the dress (and a 2nd size for free incase the other didn't fit) the day before my party with a bunch of girly samples from various vendors. The dresses arrived neatly in garment bags, looking completely new.

On Monday, after my hangover finally passed, I packed the dresses back with the shipping label provided by RTR and bid farewell to my short but sweet relationship with the HL dress.

I didn't have to break the bank and I felt like a celebrity. What a win/win situation! This is a perfect scenario for when you have 6 weddings in one summer. And let's be real girls, do you actually wear your fancy-schmancy dresses more than once? Don't lie to yourself. This is a brilliant concept. With their user-friendly website and exceptional prices, you'll have a designer dress at your door in no time!
Check out the amazing collection at Rent the Runway! www.renttherunway.com
PS. A golden birthday is when you turn the age of the date you were born on. For example, you're turning 19 on January 19th.

July 13, 2013

Tia's Boston, Waterfront


A few weekends ago, I paid my first and last visit to Tia's located in the Waterfront district of Boston. 


Let me break the scene down for you in the simplest way possible. If you're in your 20's, Caucasian, and still transitioning out of "college mode", you're at Tia's on a Saturday night. Needless to say, I stuck out like a sore thumb at Tia's. 

I was so overwhelmed with how many people were there and how sticky the floors were. My heels kept sticking to the floors with every step. EUGH! You could barely walk in the place without the risk of getting a drink spilled on you. 

Tia's was filled with former frat guys looking to "get it in" if ya know what I mean...Not my scene. I didn't last more than hour at Tia's. I envy those who are my age and can still tolerate the nastiness of some of these places. Oh well. Tia's gets a YIKES! from me...

PS. Any place that serves me Pinot Grigio in a plastic cup automatically gets a thumbs down!

Mission Cantina, Brookline

Once upon a time, there was a bar across the street from my office called Beacon Street Tavern [BST]. BST had great food but a mediocre social scene, so when it shut down with signs saying a new place was coming, one couldn't help but be excited for an improvement in the neighborhood. 


Two months later, Mission Cantina opens. 

Mission Cantina is a Mexican restaurant that was supposed to be an upgrade from BST. 

First of all, it's almost the same place except with tacky furniture, less lighting, and overpriced nachos. 

Secondly, the service is AWFUL. None of the staff seems to know what's up and I CANNOT believe you have to pay for stale chips. 

The only good thing about Mission so far is the beautiful new bar. This is an improvement from BST. 

Mission Cantina built up high expectations and delivered a huge disappointment. I found out yesterday that it's owned by the same people as BST and employs the same staff. Why the change? Was it necessary? In retrospect, not at all! I took BST for granted :(

I hope they make some serious improvements. For now, I'm heading to the Audobon after work. 

June 08, 2013

Fuel, Brighton

I've lived in Brighton for 3 years and sadly, I've never taken the time to explore my own neighborhood. Silly  mistake. During the past couple of weeks, my neighbor and I have been trekking around the hood learning that Brighton is actually full of charm and hidden gems. 


On this lovely Saturday afternoon, I am "working" in a gasoline-themed coffee shop known as Fuel. Seven-month old Fuel is located on Chestnut Hill Ave in Brighton. 

The coffee is bold and fresh. The decor is cohesive with the name. The ambiance is quiet and studious. Everyone is working feverishly on their laptops appearing so motivated. This place makes me want to go to grad school. 


I hope Fuel is able to maintain its charm and doesn't become too pretentious once more people discover it. I will definitely come back here to pretend like I'm doing work or if I want to surround myself around ambitious people. 

Check it out! XOXO



May 07, 2013

Barcelona Wine Bar, Washington Square


Barcelona is the best thing that could have happened to Brookline. Barcelona is Brookline's Sonsie multiplied by 1,000! 


I have been walking past Barcelona to and from work for several months now and wondered how this place had no signage but maintained to attract people every night of the week! There is no other place in Brookline that is that busy Sunday through Saturday. It's amazing and it's perfect :)

On Sunday night, I finally got around to going to Barcelona. The vibes, the music, the people - everything was so upbeat! Food was fantastic. Service was phenomenal (especially Raffy!)

Barcelona is grandiose. Barcelona is quality. Barcelona is sexy. It's a GREAT date place. Won't be shocked if I become a regular here ;) I'll definitely have to take one of the cooking classes they offer. Check it out people. XOXO


Theme Song: Domingo by Gotan Project

April 28, 2013

Cinquecento, South End


Yesterday, I had the pleasure of brunch-ing at the somewhat new restaurant Cinquecento located in the trendy SOWA neighborhood. 


Not knowing what to expect from the menu and being on a "serious" diet, I was excited to see what Cinquecento had to offer!

Of course, I started with an extra spicy delicious Bloody Mary... what is brunch without one of these? For a starter, my friend and I shared a kale salad. Now let's get one thing straight, I HATE salad. Don't ever eat it voluntarily. But my friend highly recommended this one so I tried it. OMG it was AMAZING! First of all, my newfound love for kale is unstoppable and the lemon vinaigrette and truffle honey was a fabulous touch.

For our main course, we both got poached eggs on truffled polenta. Writing about this is making my mouth water. It was light but totally satisfying. Perfectly portioned though if someone offered me more, I'd eat it up in a heartbeat :)


I have to commend the interior decorators of Cinquecento. It boasts a very modern, urban style without being too pretentious. I don't expect anything less than an Aquitaine restaurant. The location is awesome but that goes without saying. Service was fantastic. Food was superb. Can't wait for the patio to open up. 


Though only 4 months old, I'm confident this restaurant will make its mark as a must-go-to in the South End neighborhood.... Ciao!!

April 10, 2013

LASIK Surgery @ Boston Laser


Soooo ... I had LASIK surgery yesterday! I have been wearing glasses since middle school and though my prescription wasn't awful - it was annoying enough for me to want LASIK. 

I documented my entire experience so you all could see how easy and wonderful it is - I was dancing seconds after my surgery was over! ;) Less than 24 hours later, I am seeing better than 20/20!

What an amazing feeling. 



I'm not blogging about Boston Laser because this is my place of employment but because I truly believe we change people's lives (like my own) on a daily basis!

Check it out! PS... I don't normally slur when I talk, I just took Valium for the 1st time LOL. Ciao bellas! 

March 03, 2013

Back Bay Social Club


There are two instances in my life when I've been tossed around like a rag doll in public (and in private), The first was January 2011 when I happened to be in the way of a guido vs guido brawl at Royale. The second was last night when I also happened to be in the way of a fight while innocently eating my rice and beans...







This was my second visit to the Back Bay Social Club. My first experience wasn't positive but I was willing to give it a second chance. I was so excited to go out last night - it had been a month and a half since I last raged. I wore my new DVF safari kaftan and felt like a jungle woman ready to paint the town red...

First, I HATE waiting in a line outside to have dinner.
Second, what an odd mix of people.
Third, GREAT hospitality... NOT. (with the exception of our server)

Most importantly... I got trampled over in a bar fight which started with 2 guys and ended with like 5. Ok, whatever I got pushed into a table by a few grown ass men. I am more upset about how management handled the situation.


A suited up young man came up to me and asked "can I get you something?" I replied, "I'm sorry, I'm a little shaken up. Where are your bouncers?" He replied, "they're around." Me, "okay well that was weird." He says, "yeah, sorry this doesn't really happen here. Can I get you another drink?" Me, "fine." 

It's not what he said, it's how he said it - like way too bro-ey if ya know what I mean. I don't want to pull this card but I work in customer service too and I know that regardless of who's fault it is, you always do and say what you need to to satisfy your customer ESPECIALLY since my table was spending more money than anyone else in that restaurant. 


Anyway, everything else was ok besides the fight and its aftermath but because I was so annoyed with this bro, I am giving this place a thumbs DOWN! Sorry BBSC but I'm not sorry!

PS Your lower level smells like a dirty rag. 

Ciao bellas! xoxo


February 04, 2013

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (and other concerns) by Mindy Kaling


I'd be lying if I said I was a reader - a book reader that is. Sure, I read things on the internet all day long, but reading a book has never been my thing - unless it's a Chelsea Handler sort of book filled with shameless accounts of one-night stands. I do however appreciate the ambience of libraries and the smell of old books.


Within the past three months, about 9 or 10 people told me I reminded them of Mindy Kaling. Now, for those of you who do not know who she is, Mindy Kaling is most notably known for her character of Kelly Kapoor on "The Office". She was also a writer for the show and now has an NBC prime time sitcom titled "The Mindy Project" - which premiered in the Fall hence why all these comparisons started happening recently. 

Anyway, the first time I heard that I reminded someone of her, I was instantly insulted. I immediately thought that they were saying I was annoying and flighty like Kelly Kapoor. After the 8th comparison, I decided to take matters into my own hands and watch the show myself. 

I got hooked after 3 free episodes on Hulu. Watching the show made me understand the comparisons - and now I can say I am flattered. ;) The show intrigued me enough to Google Mindy and I learned that she recently published a book. 



"Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (and other concerns)" is brilliantly hilarious. I finished the book in 1 day; this is an accomplishment for me. The book gives readers a VIP tour of the craziness that happens in the writer's room of "The Office" to all the shenanigans that occur on set. She shares funny stories of childhood, her struggling days, and her new life in Los Angeles which shape who she is today. 


Her success story is so empowering to women, South East Asians, and thicker girls. I love Mindy because she's brown (LOL), totally relatable, funny, smart, we both love pink, and doesn't care about being a size 8 in Hollywood. I would say Mindy is kind of a role model now (although if you truly care about me, don't ever let me get to a size 8). 

This is a MUST read. I highly recommend putting this on your reading list if you have one. You'll get a lot of great chuckles. Until next time, ciao! ;)

PS. Ms. Kaling grew up in Cambridge and spent a lot of her life in Boston - perhaps this is why I especially enjoyed her stories of awkward yet hysterical adolescence.  

January 02, 2013

Uber - Everyone's Private Driver


The first time I took an "Uber" car, I was in Chicago. I thought it was exclusive to Chicago and boy do I wish I didn't know that it wasn't! Not because it's a bad service, but because this is the only way I now want to travel around the city! Ugh, #divaproblems. 

Anyway, jokes aside, let me share with you all how amazing Uber is (if you don't already know.) 

Uber is a brilliant car service that sends a town car to you at the tap of a finger. The app is super easy and user friendly. Once you tap where your pick up location is, you are instantly notified of who is coming to get you and approximately how far they are. 

There are many great things about Uber:
1. You get picked up in a town car.
2. It's not that expensive compared to overpriced Boston taxis.
3. Everything is already paid for.
4. You don't have to worry about tipping (it's already taken into account).
5. The drivers are always so nice.
6. You feel like a superstar.
7. You don't get called a "SEE YOU NEXT TUESDAY" for wanting to pay with a credit card - yes, this actually happened with a Boston taxi cab driver. 
8. The seats have butt warmers.


I am hooked on Uber. Especially on those late, freezing winter nights in the city and I can't find a cab for the life of me. 

If you haven't tried Uber yet, I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend! It's the easiest and most fabulous way to get around! xoxo... 

PS. Speaking of car services, Zip Car (another brilliant city-living idea) just got bought by AVIS for $500 million dollars! CHA-CHING!