Valentines Day, Shmalentines Day: Fun things to do this Valentines Day weekend!

Valentines Day, Shmalentines Day: Fun things to do this Valentines Day weekend!

I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe Valentines Day is right around the corner. It seems like New Years just happened! Time is flying by!

I have been searching the local scene for fun and interesting things to do this Valentines Day; single or taken, these adventures and things will sure make your day a special one!

Now I am not one for big expensive teddy bears and overpriced roses. To me, love is something that does not need to be shown on a day that society demands it to be. For me the special unexpected surprises mean 10000 times more then a crappy box of chocolates would on Valentine’s day. Those early morning coffee and breakfast in bed surprises, or late night ice cream, or spontaneous driving adventures, or a fresh bundle of flowers left on my night stand- those small things are the ones that mean the most.

Now- don’t get me wrong, don’t make the excuse to be a shut in this weekend (or do because it will literally be zero, yes 0 degrees this weekend)- But there are super fun, local,  and exciting things to do this Valentines weekend worth mentioning! If you want to brave the cold- look into my fabulous Valentines day/weekend Ideas below!

1.) The Get Mortified Live Show in Cambridge MA.

“Witness a night of adults telling stories about their lives by sharing their most mortifying childhood artifacts (diaries, letters, lyrics, poems, home movies)… in front of total strangers”

Human connection is the bonding experience that we all need! That is why Post Secret does so well- we all want to feel connected. What a great way to spend “Singles Awareness Day” then with other people who want to tell their mortifying stories! Go alone, or with a partner or friend and you will surely have a some laughs!

Get Mortified tickets here

2.) Paint Nite!

Never been to a Paint Nite? Single on Valentines Day and wanting to meet some other single ladies? This is the perfect place for you! Wine, dine and get artsy! Easy and fun painting instructions, and no experience needed! Just a fun night out! You even get to take home your masterpiece, and treasure it for always!! Fun paintings and locations to choose from all Valentines Day Weekend! Hurry- these tickets sell out quickly!

Paint Nite Tickets Here!

3.) Single Date Night “Netflix and Chill Style”

Who says you can’t “Netflix and Chill” by yourself! I don’t know about you, but a big bottle of wine and some alcoholic ice cream is a night to look forward too- that and Netflix! A new line of Alcoholic Ice Cream, called Tipsy Scoop is now available at your local Daddy’s Dairy!

If Daddy’s Dairy wasn’t already awesome enough with its 3 locations (Stoughton, Brockton and Randolph MA) and their offerings of over 200 soft serve flavors, now they have this amazing Adult Made Ice Cream! Flavor shown below is Strawberry Chocolate Martini Kisses- pair that up with a box of chocolates and a bottle of “Fridays Brand” Mudslide and you’re in business! Who says you can’t spoil yourself on Valentines Day! Treating yourself to a lovely romantic night is just what the doctor ordered!

Have a Hubby? There is plenty of this alcoholic ice cream to share! Just don’t fight over the remote!

More ice cream

4.) Naked at the Art Museum Scavenger Hunt

What a lovely night at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston MA! This is not an episode of “Dating Naked”- Actually this is a version of Watson Adventure’s scavenger hunt! Risqué works of art and nude statues are on the scavenger list! Discover this amazing museum with a friend, or you significant other for a lovely and fun night at the museum!

$40, Friday, February 13, 6:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, February 14 and 15, 1 p.m., Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston, watsonadventures.com.

5.) Boston Wine School

Love and Chocolate? I think Yes! Explore chocolate and wine pairings, and dinner at this local Boston Wine School! A Saturday night event is perfect. I mean what’s more perfect then chocolate and wine anyway? Take your friends or your significant other- chocolate and wine- hell yes!

When:  Saturday, February 13, 6:30pm-9:30pm Boston Wine School, 1354 

Get your tickets here

6.) How to be Single- The Movie!

A movie is never out of style on Valentines Day, or any Friday night for that matter! Grab your girl friends and get ready for a belly full of laughs with this comedy hitting this screens today! Rebel Wilson is a total rock star- not just as a body positive advocate who recently launched a plus size clothing line with Torrid, but is a fabulous actress and hilarious to watch! You won’t want to miss this movie! Check your local movie theatre for listings!

Get your Braintree MA tickets here!- This AMC theatre has RECLINING/assigned Seating! Very very comfortable, and you don’t have to rush to try to get seats! Honestly there is no other way to go to the movies!

Just a few local ideas of how to spend this Valentines Day weekend! Whatever you do, stay warm and have fun! Speaking of the cold weather, did you know I am currently working on an exclusive plus size fashion jacket line? Get in the know! Sign up today! www.rose-riot.com

Stay Classy my friends!

-A

 

 

Sickness Essentials

Well its that time of year again- sickness spreads through my cube farm like the plague and everyone around you has an opinion about your sickness. Do this, do that, don’t do this, don’t do that.. etc. Regardless, whether you work in a cube farm like me, or just also get sick during the winter time, I made a list of some of me essential items I need when I am sick!

First on my list is a pair of warm and fuzzy slippers! Now you probably shouldn’t wear slippers to work, but I do. Part of it is because they are warm and snuggly, partly because my slippers happen to also look like snow boots, and partly because I just want to. Granted I can only wear them on days its nice outside, IE no snow or ice. Other than that one snow storm, which melted pretty quick, the walk ways have been pretty clear and dry- allowing for slippers!

slippers

My next thing on my list is tissues! Not just tissues, but Kleenex cool touch OR Scotties! It makes my nose feel so good! Scotties are extra soft, and Kleenex makes my nose feel cool! Needless to say, in sick season, and 2 sinus infections later, I have gone through easily 8 boxes all by myself. I couldn’t get through these colds without a crazy amount of tissues! Now that I am thinking about it, I wonder if they made more sustainable issue. I mean I could use a hankie, but I hate the feeling and idea of blowing my nose or sneezing into the same sticky and gross hankie. But maybe someone could come up with an idea where we have recycled issues or something of that nature? Hmm..

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Speaking of running noses, my nose also gets all dried out and cracked- I end up looking like Rudolph the red nose rain deer! I always have a tiny bottle of Vaseline in my pocket! Its about the size of a quarter. It’s right in my make up bag and is a life saver- well lip saver!

What else I also have in my pocket, is some Carmex! Ever since it started getting cold out, my lips dry out! The one of the worst things about having a cold is waking up and having your lip split right up the middle! Ugh I hate winter colds!

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Another item I couldn’t live without- and this is even without a cold, is Vanilla Chai tea! When I was in college I went through a phase where I didn’t want to drink coffee- I call it a phase because now I am back to drinking coffee on  daily basis. But my roommate introduced me to this Vanilla Chai tea!- She even told me to add in a little honey and a drop of Vanilla Almond Milk, and you’re in business! And it was delicious! Now I keep a box of Vanilla Chai tea on my desk in the cube farm- it helps my get through the afternoon- and it especially helps me get through my sick days at work.

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What are your sickness essentials? I drink lots and lots of tea, but that’s because I don’t like soup! Stew sometimes I like, but not soup- I am not a fan of broth. I need things in the soup- like stew things- but I wont eat/drink just a bowl of broth. Yuck!

I am also a huge fan of hot chocolate! Ever since Dunkin Donuts started carrying flavored hot chocolate- uh I can’t get enough! My favorite is the Smore’s! Now I can’t stop at Dunkin every day- because I am basically broke, but every once in a while is nice! Sometimes I even get a dunkaccino- which is perfect, because its a blend of coffee and hot chocolate! What more could you want! In the winter I tend to drink more hot beverages then cold. Though I am a classic New Englander who will drink Ice Coffee in the winter. Don’t judge me. I also prefer Starbucks over Dunkin, If I am being completely honest. But ever since they removed most of the Starbucks from my area, leaving me only 1 completely out of the way to my 9-5, I tend to drink my favorite Starbucks coffee on the weekends. I guess I will live.

It seems the east coast has survived snowmagedon- towards Baltimore got over 40 inches! That’s 3 feet! CRAZY! Well our 8 inches of snow in here in Boston is almost gone- keep bringing on those 40 and 50 degree winter day. Well, regardless if we have a real winter or not- stay warm and healthy my friends!

Did you know I am launching a plus size jacket line- that will be perfect for next winter! Check it out and be in the know! www.rose-riot.com

-A

© Copyright Rose Riot 2016- All rights reserved.

Oh, Hello Winter!

Hello again!

And welcome back to the Koker Chronicles!

Well it finally snowed outside! Below is a picture of a tree in my back yard last night. Granted we only got about 2-3inches of snow- thank god! I was in no mood to shovel last night! But it was a beautiful snow- the kind of snow that has large snowflakes! My dog- baby beagle named Bailey- had a great time! He loves the snow! Last winter,- the record breaking 110″ inches of snow Boston got, amounted to over 7 feet at the end of my drive way!

We were outside shoveling yet another two feet- yes FEET of snow- and all of a sudden, here comes Bailey- he walked right over my fence and right into my driveway! I was so grateful we were outside, or else he could have run away! But we got him and ushered him back into the yard. But then I had to dig a path way between the fence and the back yard. There was so much snow between my drive way and the back yard it created a snow mountain that he just climbed right over!!

winter tree 1.13.16

Luckily there has been no shoveling quite yet, well maybe a little the other week, but that doesn’t count- it was mostly ice! Here is a picture from my car windshield of all the little snow flakes! You can actually see the little flakes! I love images like these! This is the beautiful part of winter. One of my favorites was like last night, when the tree branches get covered in snow and it sticks! It just looks so peaceful.

snowflakes

Winter is only beginning- we have until about early April before we can even hope for true spring! Luckily I am all set and have my winter coat, ear wrap and boots!- And a windshield scraper!

You know what I am currently obsessed with? This ear warmed reversible head band from Torrid!! I got this a few months ago in their new Braintree, MA (South Shore Plaza) store. Unfortunately I cannot find it currently online, but they might still be around in store! Go check it out! Personally I like wearing the black background side on the outside- but I think its really cool that it is reversible!

reversible ear headband

Luckily we really haven’t had a winter- up here in Boston/New England. I know the rest of the country has had crazy weather!! I saw all the flooding and storms! And that huge tornado down in Texas a few weeks ago! It was only a mile from where I was born! CRAZY!

We barely snuck out of a blizzard the other day- it was 60 degrees! in January! We got pouring rain- and it easily would have been at least a foot or more of snow! We got by on that one! But we have at least minimal 12 weeks before winter is a passing memory! I recently went through my photos- since Facebook now has a memories section that pops up in my feed- not sure if this is a good thing or bad. But anyway- I stumbled upon a picture of my puppy next to the icicle that was on my house- this time last year, that was his size!

bailey and ice

I am not sure how we survived that winter! It is certainty one for the records! Hoping and praying we don’t see that amount of snow!

At least I have a winter coat to get me through the winter! Did you know that I am launching a Plus Size Jacket Line next fall? Sign up here and gets all the deets!

http://www.rose-riot.com

Stay Classy!

-A

© Copyright Rose Riot 2016

It all begins with a sketch..

Hello! Welcome to the Koker Chronicles! I renamed my blog- as this is the beginning of my journey- my chronicles if you will. (And my last name is Koker, so it just kina fit). I want to take you into my world of fashion design and the makings of a made in the USA, Plus Size Fashion Brand and Company. Here I will show you my behind the scenes of what it is to really launch a brand and make it work, and of what it takes to get there.

As the title of my blog post today states, it all begins with a sketch. When I first went to fashion design school (Mount Ida College in Newton, MA), I always started with a sketch first. I always had this vision in my head of what I wanted to create- I could see it. My sketching skills weren’t the best- but that was what fashion school was for- honing and perfecting my skills and learning new techniques to justify the visions in my head and realize them on paper.

I have always loved jackets- there was something about them that made me feel strong, and powerful and chic. In fashion school I would make one of my favorite tailored jackets- it was an ivory jacket with forest green contrast cuffs, collar, and buttons. God I loved that coat. I wished that I had made it in MY size. My model was beautiful, and a size 8. The jacket fit her perfectly.

1Ivory Coat 2009

 See it pictured above. Its a lovely jacket and I did spend a lot of time on it. But it got me thinking- why couldn’t I have this jacket in MY size? So, I started sketching..
sketch 2
This jacket would translate just fine into a size range that is plus size (14-28). I might even change the colors. Now that I think of it, I believe the original design was intended to be black and white, or white and black, but due to time constraints of college and deadlines, I ended up going for this ivory and forest green combo.
I love sketching. Its one of my favorite parts of the design process. I think one of the hardest things for me to accept was how the design process changes over time through development. Sometimes what looks good on paper doesn’t actually look good in 3D, or vice versa. Sometimes the fabric you find just doesn’t want to be molded into the design you envision. The hardest part of design for me was letting the design transform into what It needed to be; not being so stuck on your initial design. Sometimes the transformation was even better than what you expected- that’s the fun of it.
sketch 1
Keep an eye out for more sketches!
Did you know I am launching a Plus Size Jacket Line that will be manufactured right here in the USA? Sign up here www.rose-riot.com and be the first to know!
Stay Classy!
-A
© Copyright Rose Riot 2016

Fashion Friday!

HI again and welcome back!

This week I am beginning a series called “Fashion Friday’s” where I will be posting images of my outfit of the week! Friday is obviously the best day of the week- every other week its pay day! Who doesn’t love getting paid? I know I do!

Every Friday I will choose the best outfit I wore that week, and tell you all about it! Because let’s face it, I know I don’t have it all together every day of the week. I do try, but its just not my reality.

This outfit was actually made by me!- Amanda Koker! Yay! That’s my favorite part of being a fashion designer, its finally being able to make clothing in my size. During college all the samples that I made were usually between a size 4-8. Which was fine, I didn’t mind because I was learning, and I needed to start somewhere. But now that I have these skills, I want to be able to apply them to myself and to others!

me2

When I saw this fabric, I just fell in love! This fabric came out of NYC and it is the softest fabric in the world. Its Viscose Jersey and it drapes incredibly well. I had first made this garment for Boston Fashion Week! Its technically from the new Spring 2016 Line! I will be posting a video from that fashion show soon! Stay tuned for that post! I went ahead and made this version as I realized that not all women feel comfortable in a bodycon (hip hugging) dress.

Body Con dresses do look good on a lot of different women- below is a picture of my fabulous model Nina rocking it at the Boston Ice Loft! The Ice Loft was such a cool place to hold a fashion show and photoshoot! (More pictures to come from that! Stay Tuned!)

Photo: Dan Minicucci
Photo: Dan Minicucci

 

Both dresses are now available for sale! Check it out here! I also have a 25% off coupon going on right now! Use code: HOLIDAY25 at check out!

I must say this is one of my favorite dresses! It was so comfortable to wear all day, and it never clung. Its really gratifying to finally be able to wear the clothing I design. Fashion is for everyone, and now I finally feel more apart of it! Yay! Wishing you a very happy Fashion Friday!

Have a great weekend!

-Amanda

© Copyright Rose Riot 2016

 

Finally Fall.. Feels like Winter!

Hey! I don’t know about you but today was the first time I had frost on my car windows! Thank goodness I left my amazing windshield defroster in my car! And it was just 60 the other day! That is New England for you!

I don’t know about you- but my driveway is just covered in leaves and acorns. Literally it looks like an acorn massacre has occurred, there are so many acorns covering my driveway. Now they are all squished and broken, and if the squirrels don’t get them soon, its going to be there own damn fault if they starve this winter!

What is your favorite part of fall or winter? I am not a fan of the cold, but I do love wearing boots and hats. Scarves are also a nice accessory. I wore my first scarf and hat today, because it was 29 degrees outside when I left for work this morning!

pink winter hat

I love winter hats. The bigger the “foof” on top, the better. My favorite hat of the moment is this pink one pictured above. Below is two more pictures of me in hats. I usually go for the winter hats. But I did try on this floppy pink hat in Macys. I didn’t end up buying it, but I did have to try it on.

Amanda in Hat 2

Let me know what your favorite winter accessory is! Make a comment below!

You know what I also love are winter jackets! I am launching a jacket line next fall made exclusively in plus sizes, in the United States. Go to www.rose-riot.com to sign up for behind the scenes news, & coupons!

Stay warm!

-A

© Copyright Rose Riot 2016

This is HALLOWEEN…..

First off, I hope everyone had an awesome Halloween! For the first time in what feels like forever, Halloween night fell on a weekend night! The Saturday was the perfect time for Halloween; parents didn’t have to deal with work, kids didn’t have to deal with school; and average people like you and me could have a drink or two and not have to worry so much about going to work with a hangover! #Truth

I am not a procrastinator as much as I literally am out of time, all the time. If I could have 40hrs in day, that would be great. The night before Halloween, I decided I was going to DIY my costume, and paint a sweater I bought from Saver’s. My idea was to do a skeleton type costume, but sort of day of the dead-esc but not crazy. I haven’t painted in a long time, and I forgot how therapeutic it could be.

Below are pictures of my finished sweater. I googled a photo of “skeleton chest” to use as reference and did the best I could. I didn’t want to go for a stark white bone structure- I thought it would look to gimmicky.

Skeleton Painting Sweater

I did end up liking the end product. I also had bought skeleton hand gloves to finish off my outfit. I also dug through my most recent fashion show bag of accessories and easily found all things Halloweenish. It was great- one of the bonuses of loving roses, skulls and things all year round! Needless to say, I found a bunch of rose hair pieces in both black and red. I wanted to look day of the dead ish- and the hair pieces ended up being perfect! Its hard to see the hair pieces from the picture below- but you get a better idea of what the completed sweater looked like. Also I pulled out skeleton earrings and a red necklace to finish the look.

Amanda Skeleton

I am no make up artist- and thank god I bought red make up from the wedding I had recently attended (I wore a red ASK Fashion dress to my boyfriends, cousins, wedding). So I had deep red lipstick and dark pink blush, and red eye shadow to finish the look. Its not obvious but I wore my black sweat pants too! Had to be comfortable for a night of getting together with the best friends a girl could ask for.

Pictured below is my good friend Maria- who did way more skull make up than I did, and boy she did look amazing! That is one of the best parts of going to a Halloween party with your closest friends- you all are nerdy enough to dress up and have a great time! It was a good reminder to just relax and have some fun.

Amanda and Maria Halloween

I think that’s one of the hardest things to do today- is de-connect and relax. I decided once I arrived at the party- that there would be no fashion business after I walked through that door; that night I was going to relax, hang out, have a glass of wine, and enjoy myself!

Halloween is one of my most favorite times of year! Yet it came and went so quick! (Just like everything else seems to be doing lately!- Like where did the time go?!?)

If its not enough to feel so connected and rushed, I felt like I have had no time to recover post-Halloween. I mean that in the sense, that literally on November 1st we are being shoved Peppermint Latte’s and Christmas Music! As if it wasn’t bad enough that the second “Back to School” was over- we were already seeing Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas- jeezz! I mean I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see New Years things, any day now! I feel like saying.. Stop Rushing Me! Lol.

I am not going to lie- I am not disappointed that I can now order my favorite drink of the entire year- Gingerbread Latte from Starbucks- (the BEST!). But, it is a bit much, a bit too soon! I feel like people need to relax, and take some time to enjoy themselves and the people they surround themselves with. Sometimes I feel we forget what is really important- we get so busy, so consumed with our lives, we forget to stop and look around every once in a while. As Ferris Bueller once said “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”. I feel like, if you take away anything from this post- it will be to stop and look around the try to enjoy and appreciate life. This is something I am constantly reminding myself; as a business women, fashion entrepreneur, and overall busy person working 3 jobs- that I have to stop every once and a while and relax, take in my surroundings, enjoy my life, hang out with my friends and family and have some fun, and try acting like I am 25 for once! (not 25 going on 45!)

What were you for Halloween?! I would love to know! Comment below!

One last note- I will leave you with one of my favorite cover songs, from one of my favorite movies, from one of my favorite singers! It gets me into that Halloween mood!- Sally’s Song by Ame Lee of Evanescence. Take a Listen! Its Amy Lee from Evanescence, singing a song from the movie- the NightMare Before Christmas. Love that movie!

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to sign up on my mailing list and stay up to date on all things- ASK! Stay Fabulous my friends!

Don’t forget to sign up on our mailing list Here!

white skull head prop

Stay Happy and Classy my friends!

-A

© Copyright Rose Riot 2016