Archive for December, 2010

How One New England Couple Makes a Difference With Potato Chips

December 31, 2010

All Things New England is back again with their Friday guest post. See how one couple takes advantage of the snack-food industry to help raise money to cure microcephaly. Oh, and Happy New Year’s Eve!

A white screen stares back at me as I struggle to find the words for this next story. It’s long overdue and I’m stuck, overwhelmed by my own emotion. I remember Kelly, a little girl I used to babysit for. She had the sweetest giggle and was the Queen of Silly. If I let myself, I can still see her, rolling around on the floor with her legs up in the air, laughing uncontrollably. We spent many afternoons together reading stories, eating popcorn and just making each other laugh. I was very close to her and her family. We were a big part of each others lives.  However, sadly, Kelly was plagued with numerous and very serious medical problems. We lost Kelly when she was only 10. I was a teen in turmoil  trying to make sense of a world that, to me, was already off kilter. Seeing Kelly’s  bright smile in a portrait placed  atop her little casket forever changed my life. I learned that life isn’t fair and that some very terrible things can happen to some very good people. I learned that sickness and death have no mercy, not even for children. Words like this seem unproductive, but, in my world, it’s the harsh reality of an unfair truth. That having been said, I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for people afflicted by disease, their families and caretakers whose lives are affected on a daily basis by disease and illness. It takes a lot of courage and strength to just keep on keeping on…to find joy and happiness in life’s little wonders and in the smallest of accomplishments. Perhaps this is why I was drawn to Rick Jewell and his daughter, Rylee.

Rick Jewell is a food broker from Longmeadow, Massachusetts. He is the father of two beautiful children, Ryan, 6 and Rylee, 4. He and his wife, Jennifer, have been married for over 8 years and, together they are conquering life’s challenges with purpose, dedication, love and commitment. Their youngest child, Rylee, was born with microcephaly which is a neurological disorder that causes the brain to stop developing properly. As a result, the head and brain grow smaller than average. There is no cure for microcephaly and the symptoms and severity of this condition vary from case to case making it hard for doctors to treat and even harder for researchers to understand. Microcephaly affects nearly 2.5% of the entire population with 25,000 cases in the United States each year. Rick laments, “Unfortunately, and what people do not realize is that Rylee is not going to experience life normally like many of us. Can you image every day struggling to use a feeding tube, breathe, and stay healthy. Or not be able to walk, talk, go to high school/college, have a job…” Rick comments. “We have come to terms with those facts and appreciate every moment with her. ”

Read the rest of this post over at All Things New England here


Fast Apps For New Year’s Eve

December 30, 2010

If you’ve been cooking and celebrating and hosting throughout the holiday season, you may be rethinking your plan to host a New Year’s Eve party this year. Putting together a party can be a LOT of work, and maybe it’s the last thing you need as 2010 comes to a close. But we have a way to make it quick and easy for you to put together a New Year’s Eve party that is pure class all the way. So put a couple of bottles of champagne on ice and get ready for an easy New Year’s Eve party–we’ve even provided the shopping list!

Cheese Platter with Baked Brie

You’ll Need

  • Three different types of cheese (we suggest: a cheddar, a blue or goat cheese, and a smoked cheese like gouda)
  • A wheel of brie
  • Pastry dough (find it in the freezer section>
  • A couple kinds of crackers

Arranging a cheese platter is easy, but what makes this one extra festive is the baked brie, which is a cinch to make. Get your cheeses to room temperature and arrange them artfully on a plate with crackers and garnish like grapes or cranberries. Meanwhile, heat your oven to 350 degrees and grab your brie and pastry dough.

Thaw the dough so it’s workable but still cold (usually takes about 10 minutes) and roll it out nice and thin so that it will cover the entire wheel of brie like wrapping paper. Then, cut the rind off the top of the brie. You can add preserves or nuts on top if you’re feeling fancy, but if not simply lay the pastry dough over the brie and join it up on the bottom so the whole wheel is covered.

Put it in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until the pastry dough is cooked. Then take it out and let it cool for a minute before transferring it to your cheese platter (or else you could have an exploding brie on your hands! Voila, an extra special cheese platter!

Asparagus Wrapped in Proscuitto

You’ll Need

  • Asparagus
  • Prosciutto di Parma (half a slice per asparagus spear)
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Toothpicks

Heat your oven to 400 degrees. While it’s preheating, chop the dry ends off the asparagus and spread them on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast the asparagus in the oven for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it–you want it to be bright green and the cooking time varies based on the size of the spears.

Cut your prosciutto slices in half, and wrap half a slice around each spear. Secure with a toothpick and arrange on a plate. When you are done setting them up, drizzle a bit of good olive oil on them for presentation.

Assorted Calzones

You’ll Need

  • Pizza dough (one for each calzone)
  • Cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Whatever stuffings you want (pepperoni, mushrooms, spinach, peppers, etc.)
  • Italian seasoning

Calzone doesn’t necessarily sound like the most elegant of apps, but when you slice it thin and serve it, it’s not only a pretty appetizer, but also a great hunger satisfier for any guests who haven’t eaten dinner. Plus, you can make it ahead and reheat it when the party starts.

Preheat your oven to 425. Start by flouring and rolling out the dough in a long oval. Down the center, sprinkle plenty of cheese and whatever topping you want. My suggestions are spinach and mushroom, pepperoni, or the classic Italian meat calzone, with lots of different salty cured meats from the deli, but you can also do buffalo chicken, roasted red peppers, or whatever you have in the fridge. All meat should be precooked before being put in the calzone.

Sprinkle Italian seasoning or any combination of garlic powder, basil, oregano, and parsley that you have in the cabinet over the toppings. Then, close the calzone by taking either side and pinching the two sides together in the middle, and flipping the ends up so you get what looks, in size and shape, like a long French loaf. Brush the top with olive oil.

Cook the calzone for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. The cooking time depends on how thick your crust is, so keep an eye on it!

Supplemented with a few appetizers from the frozen section at Trader Joe’s and a baked good or two brought by your guest, this quick and simple app menu will make your New Year’s Eve party a stress-free event. Plus, no one will leave hungry! Happy party planning!

Vacation Essentials

December 29, 2010

I’m not really one for packing light, since for me, vacation is all about feeling comfortable and having everything at my fingertips to experience the utmost convenience. Why “everything” includes pairs of jeans I haven’t worn in years and board games I know I won’t play, I can’t really explain. But, on the cusp of a relaxing long weekend away, I’ve started to assemble some stuff for packing, and have compiled a list of the major essentials:

1) Starbucks Via Instant Coffee. I never thought I’d be saying this, but this coffee giant’s instant product ain’t half bad. The packets are soluble in hot or cold water, or even milk, and they don’t taste bad. One of the perks of being an employee is I don’t have to shell out the near $1 a cup, either, but I still think they’re worth it. When I wake up in the morning, especially staying with family who aren’t big coffee drinkers or out in the woods away from certain modern conveniences, I just plain need caffeine. Plus, the packaging is simple and sleek. You can find it in classic blends Colombia and Italian Roast, and it’s also flavored (and fake-sugary) now too. The Christmas Blend via was a big hit in my house this year, too.

2) A water bottle. No matter where you’re staying, it’s nice to have your own vessel to drink out of. Plus, if you’re headed somewhere remote or with questionable drinking water, you’re set with 16-24 ounces of the stuff you brought.

3) A good book or magazine. Whether you’re off to spend time with friends, family, or a significant other, it never hurts to have some ‘me’ time. Also, if you haven’t picked up something in print for a while(a.k.a, you’ve spent too much time staring at that laptop screen), pack some paper! It’s quite a refreshing feeling to hold a physical entity that’s not a laptop or Kindle. (Ideally, you’re unplugged on vacation anyway.)

4) Your cell phone charger. Say what you want, but being completely unplugged will just stress you out. Opt to check mobile email or not, but having the option is nice. Plus, if your blackberry dies while you’re in the woods running from a grizzly bear, you’ll be pissed you didn’t charge it the night before. Turn the phone off if you like, but be prepared for emergencies by bringing that connection to the outside world with you.

5) Slippers. I can’t stress these enough during cold vacation months. They’re like the winter equivalent of a bathing suit. You need to be comfortable, and what’s an extra coupla inches in that over-full suitcase anyway?

Did I forget anything crucial? Let me know!
Safe Travels,

NYE: Your Excuse To Dress Up

December 28, 2010

New Year’s Eve is just around the corner folks. Yup, believe it or not it’s just THREE days away. As the minutes creep up to the big day, I’m sure many questions are going through your head. What am I going to do? How should I style my hair? What do I possibly wear? Then you look in your closet only to see last year’s dress and some rundown trousers. Suddenly, you’re in panic mode. Nothing to wear…on New Year’s Eve? That’s just not going to fly. After all, NYE is the one night you have an excuse to go all out…to get away with too many sparkles or too big hair. Don’t worry, you aren’t stuck wearing last year’s dress; CoupMe’s got you covered so you can ring in 2011 in style.

For the Dude (or the Nice Girlfriend): You are in luck this year! You aren’t doomed to wear those nasty ripped jeans or suit you’ve had for ten years. This year, you can fake the glam by renting a tux from Delux Tux. And with today’s fabulous CoupMe deal, you can get half off your next rental (just $59 instead of $125)! Pretty sweet, huh? Even better, you’ll have 150 styles to choose from, and rentals are good for a whole five days in case you need to sport your tux at a few different parties. Not to mention Delux Tux is the sole provider for the New England Patriots for the past 8 years. Sold? Click here to buy now. They have locations in both Walpole and East Central Street in Franklin. 

For the Ladies: Unfortunately, we don’t have a fabulous dress deal for you, but we do have some tips so you’ll turn heads and look like a ’10’ come New Year’s Eve. Rule Number 1: You can never go wrong with a Little Black Dress, both sophisticated and sexy. Browse through some of these beautiful dresses from Express to get you thinking…most are on sale for 50% off now! If you aren’t looking to spend a lot of money, ask your roommates if you can borrow one of theirs. What’s old to them is 100% new to you, and no one will even know you borrowed it! As for shoes, go as daring (think super high stilettos) or conservative (pretty flats) as you’d like. The most important thing is comfort. No one wants to be walking down the streets of Boston at 2 a.m. in pain, unless you have a date nice enough to carry you! Snazz up your outfit with pretty jewelry and fun accessories like ribbon or a headband in your hair.

What are you planning to wear this New Year’s Eve? Are you laying low or going out to a snazzy party? 

It’s All About the Family

December 27, 2010

Spending time with the family can be joyful, hilarious, and sometimes just plain chaotic, especially around the holidays. But with these last few weeks of “family things” from holiday gatherings to phone calls and good news (my uncle just got engaged), I’ve especially realized how important family is. After all, there is nothing quite like family to bring you back to your roots.

But why only make the holiday season all about the family? Family should be something you celebrate every day of the year. With CoupMe’s quick tips, you’ll find activities to do with that crazy family of yours all winter long. Enjoy!

1. Hit Up The Theater: There are tons of great shows to hit up in Boston and beyond right now. If you still can’t face the fact that the holidays are over, it’s still not too late to see the Nutcracker, the perfect seasonal ballet. It plays in Boston until December 31, so be sure to snag your tickets fast. Other popular must-see performances include Jersey Boys and Mary Poppins. Hitting up the theater is great to do with the whole family, as both children and parents can enjoy the shows!

2. Go Hibachi Style! There’s nothing quite as entertaining and tasty as Japanese hibachi-style dining. Bring the whole family for a great time and lots of laughs. If you’ve never been, these types of restaurants cook the food right in front of your eyes, usually with a hilarious chef entertaining you and the family along the way. Be sure to bring your appetite, as hibachi isn’t for the measly eaters. Then load up on steak, chicken, shrimp, veggies, rice and maybe even a little sake! Check out Fuji Steak House in Needham, MA for a delicious hibachi experience today!

3. Lace Up Your Skates: Bring out your inner child and take the entire family ice skating! Rinks are now open all over Boston, whether you’re closer to Community Ice Skating in Kendall Square or Frog Pond in the Boston Common. After you’ve had your fair share of skating ‘n’ music, cozy up with some hot cocoa at a local cafe. Now that’s the perfect winter day with the fam.

4. Hit the Slopes: With the one to two feet of snow New England just got, the mountains up North are in beautiful condition for skiing. Take your little ones for their first ski trip (throw them in a lesson for the day so you can enjoy yourself as well) or if your kids are older take a weekend trip away with the entire family! Lots of ski resorts offer fabulous deals around this time of year, so keep your eye out. If you’re heading up to New Hampshire, check out this site for discounts and coupons. Have fun & stay warm!

5. Host a Dinner Party: No one says you can’t simply stay inside in the toasty heat when the weather gets frightful. But it’s much more fun to stay inside with family and friends. Host a potluck dinner or family gathering – each guest can bring a yummy dish or drink to share with everyone. It’ll be nice to chat and catch up over homemade eats and good music as you watch the snow fall outside.

What are some fun activities you like doing with your family in the winter?

‘Tis the Season…to Catch Up on Movies

December 24, 2010

So after you’ve gotten together with the family and had your epic-ly satisfying meal together on either Christmas Eve or Christmas itself (or both!), the question then remains: what to do now? Well, with award season upcoming, why not check out a movie?

Many will flock to the theatres over the next couple days and see some of the no-brain comedies that just came out (hello, Little Fockers); however, there’s been a great run of movie releases lately, most of which I’ve seen and thought highly of. Most recently, I saw The Fighter, which, believe it or not, makes for a great movie past just adult males. With terrific performances throughout, and tons of Boston accents, your $10 admission will be rewarded. Before that, I caught a sneak peek of True Grit, the latest release from the Coen Brothers, which is a remake of the 1969 John Wayne classic. While I’m not a huge fan of Westerns (save for The Searchers and High Noon), this film blew me away. While it’s tough to fill Wayne’s shoes (the role won him his only Oscar for Best Actor), Jeff Bridges shines and steals the film as the main character, Rooster Cogburn. Highly recommend this one – great performances from the rest of the cast as well, including Matt Damon and newcomer Hailee Steinfeld.

Other great films to check out include Black Swan and 127 Hours, which both have received considerable acclaim and will be major players in the Academy Awards come February. As will The King’s Speech, which features one of the more intriguing plots (the training of King George VI of Britain to be a orator) and performances (Colin Firth as George and Geoffrey Rush as his teacher). If getting to the theatre poses too tough a challenge, I highly recommend you rent Winter’s Bone or The Town to watch, if you haven’t seen either already. Like the aforementioned films, these two will also receive a lot of love come award time. Winter’s Bone does for the Ozarks what Fargo did for North Dakota and The Town, as many around here know, depicts the lovely town of Charlestown as gang heaven – but does so in a slightly artful way. Also availble On Demand is The Kids Are All Right, a great dramedy depicts a modern, liberal, dysfunctional family that attempts to deal with change. I loved every minute of the film and again, the performances (Annette Benning and Julianne Moore as the lesbian matriarchs) were outstanding.

If none of these movies float your boat, the Celtics, having won 14 straight games, take on the Orlando Magic on Saturday, which could be an early preview of a playoff series come May and June.

So hopefully these suggestions will help you plan out an enjoyable couple nights away from most of civilization. So Merry Christmas everyone and Happy Holidays to all!

~ Seth, CoupMe

2011: Resolved

December 23, 2010

It’s almost here. The dreaded last week of the new year, where you have to pull out that list of New Year’s resolutions you made back in 2009 and see how you did. You have to write a new list. Probably, you have to rewrite your list for this year, which was rewritten from last year, the year before, etc. Seriously, how many times are you going to resolve to lose some weight, travel more, be less cluttered?

At one point in my life, I got so sick of not keeping up my New Year’s resolutions that I just stopped making them altogether. One less thing to worry about–it’s not like I needed the cold harsh reality of January to remind me that I should be hitting the gym five times a week. But everyone needs a fresh start, and New Year’s is as good a time as any. If there are some things that are bugging you, next week is the week to start thinking about how to change them, just in time to ring in 2011 (probably while not working out, eating Chinese food, and imbibing adult beverages–all of which top the no-no’s that people put on their New Year’s Resolution Lists every year.

But the problem with New Year’s Resolutions is that a year seems so big, you feel like you have forever to make them stick. Lose 25 pounds? Damn, that’s a lot. But it’s only TWO pounds a month if you take it over the course of the year. Screw up till March? It’s OK, you’ve got PLENTY of time to make it up. Did you want to see the grandparents more? Spend a little extra time with your friends this year and stop working so much? It’s easy to shun our resolutions for a couple of months in the beginning of the year when they’re so amorphous, and then it’s June, October, November and we’re realizing that we never got around to any of them.

So if you are so brave as to make some New Year’s Resolutions for 2011, CoupMe’s got some suggestions for you. No, we’re not going to tell you how to achieve them–you know how to do that. We’re going to let you in on some secrets to setting them, and setting yourself up for success.

Resolution #1: Give Credit Where Credit is Due: Seriously, before you touch pen to paper on your to-do list, write up a “done it” list. Maybe this list doesn’t match last year’s resolution list, and maybe there are a couple of items that overlap. Life doesn’t always go according to plan, but chances are that you’re coming out of this year with something accomplished. OK, so you didn’t train for that half-marathon you thought you’d run, but it’s because you were so busy at work after you got a huge promotion? Give yourself a few minutes to write down what you did RIGHT this year before you start thinking about what you’d like to achieve in the next.

Resolution #2: Get Organized: This is on my list every year. I spend the week before New Year’s cleaning out my email inbox and going through piles of junk mail. On January 1, my life is organized into neat compartments. By January 31, my inbox is a monster again. This year, don’t just clean up, create a system. Take advantage of post-Christmas sales next week and buy up some cute baskets to sort your papers. Create labels and folders in your email account–and stick to them. Resolve to have a plan to stay organized, and you will.

Resolution #3: Lose Weight/Work Out More/Eat Healthier: Whatever your pick of these slim-down resolutions, you’re not alone. Health probably tops the list of New Year’s Resolutions, which means one of your family members, coworkers or friends most likely is making the same one. Use this to your advantage. Don’t resolve to work out more, resolve to take Spin once a week with your sister, or get together once a week with friends to cook a new healthy recipe. Resolve to be accountable for someone else for your eating and exercise habits, and don’t worry so much about the number on the scale.

Resolution #4: Travel More: Despite the dreams of Paris and Australia and Japan in your head, please do not write this one down. Instead, make a definite decision about how you’re going to do it. Before the new year rolls around, book plane tickets. Mark dates on your calendar and put a destination in. Whether you’re going a state over or hopping the pond, you need definite plans that won’t break the bank and will allow you to go where you want to go. Really not sure what you want to do? Pick a date and a monetary goal, and on that day, check out travel deals to pick the best one. Book it immediately.

Resolution #5: Spend More Time with Family Members/Friends/Significant Other: You’ve made it through 2010, and like most of us, you’re probably burnt out on the holiday season and the challenges of getting through another year. There are so many demands on our time, and sometimes spending time with the people most important to us is the first thing to go. But if you just resolve to “spend more time,” you’re going to find a million ways around it. Instead, come up with regular plans or new traditions that are manageable (Every week? Once a month?), put them on your calendar, and stick to them.

So in 2011, resolve to be a little bit more concrete about your resolutions. Make plans and stick to them. Avoid making big resolutions that you’ll be able to put off for the first eight months of the year. And please, don’t make a resolution that will make you miserable or doesn’t make any sense for your life. The point of a New Year’s Resolution is to make you a better–not totally different–person. Happy Holidays and good luck making resolutions next week!

Entertaining? A Fresh, Fried Holiday Recipe

December 22, 2010

So, I guess it might be a bit late to suggest my favorite holiday shopping destinations, or remind you how to take it easy and arm yourself against that pestering fall cold. That said, you may very well be entertaining over the next few weeks, and I thought you might be interest in a one of my favorite holiday treats– consider this a classic with a twist.

We can try as we might to stay healthy, but with resolutions to hit the gym come January 1 and the promise of hiding underneath large fluffy sweaters until Spring pokes its head, I’m offering up some tasty treats more in the spirit of holiday goodness than healthy eats.

One of my absolute favorite fall flavors is pumpkin. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin beer, and even the scent of pumpkin candles (see: Yankee Candle, I think) get me psyched for fall. If you’re in the mood for a fun take on a food with your favorite gourd, try these delectably sinful pumpkin cream cheese wontons. You’ll need:

  • 2 cans (15 oz each) of pumpkin pie filling
  • 2 tablespoons each of nutmeg and cinnamon
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • additional spices to taste: allspice, cloves, etc
  • 1 container of cream cheese(whipped works well)
  • 2 packs of wonton wrappers (found near the refrigerated vegetable section of your neighborhood grocery store)
  • vegetable or corn oil

Combine the pie filling, spies, eggs, and sugar in a large bowl, mixing on low. (If you don’t fear salmonella, taste the mixture and add spices accordingly). Lay out wonton wrappers on a large flat space. Spoon about 4 teaspoons of the pumpkin mix into the middle of the wonton. Add about .5 teaspoons of cream cheese alongside. Fold the wontons into a triangular shape, leaving excess dough to fold over and insure there are no openings. (Wetting your fingers with a drop of tap water can work well to glue the wontons shut). Repeat until all wontons are filled.

Heat a large frying pan of oil about 3″ thick with the veggie or corn oil, maintaining on low heat, or use a deep fryer set to 350 degrees. Cook the wontons about 6 minutes, until browned on both sides.
Blot with a paper towel, let cool, and enjoy!

Bon Appétit,

What to do on NYE?

December 21, 2010

Every year at this time, all my friends go into panic mode. No, not because of  last minute Christmas shopping or the fact that there are still a zillion cookies to bake for the party tomorrow. That’s a whole ‘nother story. Rather, it’s the fact that New Years Eve is just ten days away, and we don’t have the slightest idea what we’re doing. I’m sure many of you are in the same boat. Do we throw together a last-minute party? Do we buy that fancy, expensive Little Black Dress? Do we stay in and watch the ball drop? Do we hit up all the bars in Boston and dance the night away until sunrise? So many options, so little time! Don’t worry, friends. CoupMe is here to help you make up your mind this New Year’s Eve, and hopefully give you a night to remember as well.

If you’re in the mood for a good party: Luckily CoupMe’s got this one taken care of for you. For the small price of $12.50 (that’s like three coffees), you’ll get full admission to the Rock ‘N’ Roll Heaven New Year’s Eve Bash at Middle Eastern in Central Square. Half-price tickets include a $1,000 live band Karaoke contest, champagne toast, door prizes, and lots of fun with your friends! 

If you’re in the mood to lay low: One year, I didn’t really feel like going out (shocking, I know), so I decided to do First Night in Boston with my sister and a good friend. We spent the day sampling food and hot drinks, looking at Light Sculptures in Copley and hitting up all the best shows in Hynes Convention Center. After a day of packed fun, we head home for some wine, snacks and of course: to watch the ball drop. Even though it was a pretty relaxing night, it was one of my most memorable New Year’s Eve to date. 

If you are an expert planner: Are you the kind of person who’s always making “to do” lists, or who your friends always go to for the plans? Why not put your skills to use and throw your own party then? Make a guest list of all your favorites, then craft up fun invitations to send out (even if it’s just online through evite. Next comes decorations (iParty, anyone?), party favors and the absolute perfect outfit to impress your guests in. Then concoct some signature appetizers and cocktails, and you should be good to go. You can always make it BYOB or have people bring their favorite dish to take a little stress off your shoulders. Throw on some good music and the party will be one to remember, indeed! 

If you’re craving something unique: Forget all the usual NYE activities, and do something different for a change. Take a mini trip to New Hampshire with the family, and then hit the slopes the next day. Or maybe head to NYC to grab a hotel and catch a broadway show the next day. Options are endless when you use your creative juice!

Allston’s Alternative Bar Scene: The Perfect Cold Weather Solution

December 20, 2010

When the weather gets cold, Boston books it to the bars. Nothing beats a few beers with some good friends on a chilly, snowy evening. But when you’ve lived in the Boston area your entire life, the bar scene can get a little blasé…to say the least. Luckily, our feature neighborhood today, that is Allston, brings a little more oomph back into the typical nightlife with its artsy, hip bars and venues. Here’s a few of CoupMe’s top picks. Enjoy and stay warm!

Silhouette Lounge: Located right off Harvard Ave, this has been a neighborhood favorite for some time. It’s been raved about on Yelp for its cheap beer, free popcorn, darts and jukebox. If you’re looking to unwind with some friends and have a great time in a unique atmosphere, this is the place for you!

Sheesha Lounge: Hookah lovers pay attention ’cause Sheesha is where it’s at. With a trendy yet comfortable ambiance, you’re sure to have a pleasant night here. With nearly 20 hookah flavors, including Rainbow Sherbert and Chocolate, there’s something for everyone. So grab some friends and head over to the Sheesha Lounge for a cozy, laid back evening.

Great Scott: Now this place literally has it all- yes live music, a fabulous beer selection and a fun crowd. Head over to this hipster venue when you’re looking to catch a late show or simply make some new friends. Simply put, you’ll never be bored at Great Scott!

White Horse Tavern: Oh, White Horse. You’ll never fail to have a good night at this neighborhood favorite. When the weather’s nice you can cozy up on their outdoor patio (space heaters galore) and if that fails, their indoor bar area is one of the largest around. Whether you’re a wallflower or a dance machine, White Horse has it all. Oh, and they also have free STUMP Trivia on Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights, which is an absolute blast every single time.

Tavern in the Square: This is Allston’s newest kid on the block, but it’s already becoming a crowd favorite. Maybe it’s their delicious food or rotating draught beer list– Winter in New England beer sampler, anyone? Or maybe it’s their unbeatable game-day atmosphere; think upscale pub food mixed with big screen TVs and rowdy fans. Hit up this Allston newbie soon to see what the fuss is all about!