Friday, July 31, 2015

The Month in Review: JULY (Food & Drink PART 2)

Some more delicious foodie photos from my vacation in the US...
(If you missed Part 1, you can check it out HERE.)

Morning Date Smoothie

While I was home, I made a point to try out some new recipes, one of them being this Morning Date Smoothie with dates, frozen banana, almond milk, cinnamon & vanilla extract. It was delicious, and I will definitely be making this again come summer in Argentina.

A tradition in my family has always been to eat pizzas on Friday night, whether we order out or make pizza at home. More recently, my parents have gotten into cooking their homemade pizzas outside on the grill. The weather was pretty much perfect the entire time I as in New Jersey and it felt so good to be able to cook & eat outside.

I accompanied my grilled pizza with this prosecco. I dislike drinking white wine, but I love prosecco, cava and champagne!

While I was in the US, I had to do a little research...burger research, that is. Since my husband couldn't come on this trip with me (he's gotta hold down the burger bar), I checked out Five Guys and Shake Shack for him and reported back. I thought the burger at Five Guys was really good, and the burger at Shake Shack was a disappointment for me. Either way, my husband's burgers blow these out of the water, but I may just be biased. ;-)

One day while I was home, I had to bring a coat to the dry cleaners. It was around lunch time, I was hungry and fortunately there are a few restaurants next to the dry cleaners: a Chinese restaurant, a pizza place and a Greek restaurant. I can't believe I had never tried the Greek restaurant before since I love that kind of food! I even got my Mom to try falafel for the first time and she loved it! Out of everything I took away that day, the falafel and the eggplant were the stars of the show.

It was my Mom's birthday during my stay, so I asked her what kind of cake she wanted me to bake. We decided on a Hummingbird Cake, which has bananas, pineapple, & pecans inside the cake and toasted coconut covering the cream cheese frosting on the outside. It was SO good, and luckily for us, the cake lasted an entire week!

For my Mom's birthday, we went out for dinner at a restaurant called Mistral in Princeton, NJ. This is the dinner that I deemed "THE BEST DINNER I HAVE HAD IN A LONG TIME." I was seriously blown away by how delicious every single plate was!

Fanny Bay Oysters w/ rhubarb mignonette

Sweet Potato Pancake w/ Japanese BBQ, katsuobushi & scallion.

Buttermilk Fried Avocado Salad w/ green goddess, slow roasted tomato & cured eggs.

Cornmeal Bucatini w/ shrimp sausage, bacon, scallion & poached egg.

Burlesque w/ pueblo viejo tequila, pineapple, lime, ginger, amaretto & duo of bitters.

The next night we headed back to Princeton to go to one of my favorite restaurants: Blue Point Grill. Fresh seafood is hard to come by in Buenos Aires, so whenever I go to the United States I go on seafood overload and eat seafood whenever and wherever I can!

I love all seafood, but oysters are always such a special treat. In this selection we travelled down the West Coast and back up the East Coast! My favorites were the Kumamoto oysters from California. 

And as if I hadn't already indulged enough, I had to stop by the frozen yogurt joint, 16 Handles, in town. I made myself a trio yogurt cup with flavors Coconut Castaway, Birthday Cake and Graham Cracker. I topped it off with my favorites icing-dipped animal crackers, raspberry marmalade filled dark chocolate cups, and the classic ice cream topping staple: rainbow sprinkles.

Then I would make up for eating an extra large cup of frozen yogurt by making something fresh & healthy at home. This is a green bean side dish (sauteed with shallots & walnuts and topped with lemon juice & parsley) I made alongside some honey mustard baked chicken. :-D

Fennel-Roasted Chicken and Winter Squash with Endive-Apple Salad

While it seems like I really set up shop in the kitchen, I did allow others to use the kitchen every once in a while. ;-) My Mom made this amazing roast chicken & salad dish by Curtis Stone. I love anything that combines chicken and salad, and this recipe is the ultimate, upgraded version of your typical chicken and salad dish. 

This concludes my food journey through the month of July in the US! 
What yummy recipes have your tried/what good restaurants have you gone to lately?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Month in Review: JULY (Food & Drink: PART 1)

Hellloooo! I'm back from the longest blogging hiatus I've taken in a while. As it turned out, it was much needed.

A few days ago I returned from an extended vacation in the US, spending time with my family and visiting friends. It was such a wonderfully relaxing vacation where I made sure to keep my computer time to a minimum, and I have to say, it felt really refreshing!

My husband surprised me with a smartphone shortly before going on vacation (I resisted for years, but him coming home one day with a new smartphone in hand made it easier for me to crack haha), so I made sure to take PLENTY of pictures while I was away and updated my Instagram quite frequently. For those of you who don't follow me on Instagram (it's never too late to join the party!), I thought I'd share those photos on here as well as some other photos I took while on vacation.

I'm going to break this "The Month in Review" post into three parts: The first two posts will be strictly about food & drink, since that is what I spent most of my vacation doing, and the third post will be a miscellaneous post.
Hope you enjoy!

My first "meal" upon arriving in the US:
Dunkin' Donuts @ Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport

I arrived in the US just before the 4th of July, so I didn't waste any time in whipping up some festive treats...

The evolution of a beautiful batch of cookies:




We spent 4th of July weekend with family in New Hampshire and we made even more patriotic goodies!

I was VERY proud of my "firework" cupcake.

My aunt made these awesome tricolor cupcakes!

Also, in New Hampshire, I FINALLY accomplished my mission of eating a LOBSTER ROLL. 
(I've been dreaming about trying a lobster roll for years, but for some reason the stars never aligned... UNTIL NOW.)

ANOTHER FIRST for me in New Hampshire was MAKING & EATING S'MORES! 
Was I not living before I visited New Hampshire? Well, as they say in that state, "Live Free or Die"!

My first s'more...
and thinking about more!

After returning back to NJ, I spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen. 
There was a "salad phase" that lasted about a week, and consisted of...

Fruit Salad

The Most Luscious Chicken Salad You Will Ever Eat

Macaroni Salad
(with a special unexpected ingredient that makes the world of a difference!)

During my stay, I also indulged in my long-time, favorite food pastime: EATING CUPCAKES.


PEANUT BUTTER CUP CUPCAKE from Crumbs Bake Shop...
 Because I miss having the option of eating PEANUT BUTTER & CHOCOLATE TOGETHER.

I think that's enough to make you drool for now. ;-)
Installment #2 of "The Month in Review: JULY (Food & Drink) to come this weekend!

What have you been up to during the month of July??

Monday, June 15, 2015

Winter Style Inspiration w/ Style by Deb

Today's post is a collaboration with my fellow blogging friend, Style by Deb! Deb is a fashion blogger from Salta, Argentina. Deb and I "met" about a year ago, and have been virtual friends ever since! We share many of the same interests... one of them being a love for animals, another being a passion for fashion! In Argentina, winter is just around the corner (see you next week!), so we thought we'd each share our favorite trend for the upcoming season! If your style is girly, with a dash of edge & boho, you'll love Deb's blog! Check out her winter style inspiration post, HERE!

Now, what did I choose as my favorite trend for the season? The color camel. All things camel. Not that the color camel is anything new, but these days is just seems to be better than ever! I find the color to be so chic, classy & timeless. I'm honestly still in shock about this, as I used to hate the color camel! It just goes to show how our tastes change over time, and our style is always evolving. Now I just can't get enough of the color! It's funny because a few years ago I was in urgent need of a winter coat and I really wanted to buy one in white, but as there weren't any left in my size, I was "forced" to purchase one in camel, and I was pissed (haha). With my change of heart, I will proudly be re-debuting my camel coat this winter! :-)


Hoy les presento un post de inspiración de estilo invierno que estoy haciendo en colaboración con una compañera blogger, Style by Deb. Deb es un fashion blogger de Salta, Argentina y nos conocimos por el mundo de blogging. La verdad que me alegro el dia cuando ella escribió un comentario por primera vez en mi blog. Otra blogger que vive en Argentina y nos encantan las mismas cosas! Compartimos algunos pasiones, uno es el amor por los animales, pero ademas de eso, amamos al mundo de la moda. Decidimos elegir, cada una, su favorito estilo de invierno para compartir con Ustedes! Pueden ver el post de Deb AQUI!

La verdad es que no puedo creer lo que elegi como mi estilo favorito, y ahora los explico porque....
Como Argentina es dos temporadas detrás del Estados Unidos, empece a elegir mis trends favoritos para invierno hace seis meses. El trend que comparto hoy es algo que me sorprendió: el color camel. Este es un color que siempre estaba, pero nunca le di mucha bola. La verdad es que no me gusto para nada! Es chistoso ver como cambia nuestro estilo propio con los años. Ahora veo al color como algo atemporal, chic, y classy. El abrigo del color camel que compre hace años por necesidad (queria el abrigo en blanco pero no quedo en mi talle así que como necesitaba un abrigo urgente, compre en color camel y quede disatisfecha jaja), va a hacer su nuevo estreno este invierno. ;-)

My 10 favorite ways to incorporate camel into your look:

A camel sweater...

A camel blazer...

A pair of camel pants...

A camel blanket cape...

A camel skirt & a camel bag...

Layered camel...

A pair of camel boots...

A camel dress...

What do you think of the camel trend? What's your favorite way to wear the color camel?

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Current Haircare Regimen

I know I promised this updated haircare regimen post a few weeks ago, but as the saying goes, promises are made to be broken, right? Or is it rules are made to be broken? Anyway, please forgive me! I hope you can discover some new & interesting haircare products in this post, and also learn which products I'm currently using that aren't worth spending your money on!

Let's start with the basics...

For as long as I can remember, I've always kept at least two different shampoos in my shower. I like to alternate depending on how my hair is "feeling" that day. It's also better not to let your hair get used to one shampoo because then it can leave it looking dull, almost as if your hair becomes immune to the shampoo's benefits.

What I'm using now: The Basics

L'OREAL EverPure Sulfate-Free Moisture Shampoo - Love me some sulfate-free shampoo. I try to use sulfate-free shampoos as much as I can, and I think my hair is appreciative of that. This shampoo has more of a creamy consistency and is targeted at helping out dried locks. I really like this shampoo for my hair, which tends to be on the drier side, and the rosemary-mint scent is an added bonus! I also bought the conditioner to go with it, but have since used it all up. I don't plan on repurchasing the conditioner though. I prefer my conditioners to be super thick and hydrating, and the EverPure Moisture Conditioner was just a bit too light for my liking, which is why I went through the bottle so quickly. I felt like I had to use A LOT of product to get the result (smooth, soft hair) I was looking for.

Dove Hair Therapy Oleo Nutricion Conditioner - How much do I love thee? Let me count the ways...
1.) This conditioner is super thick and creamy leaving your hair looking LUSCIOUS. Every time I use this conditioner I notice the drastic difference in my hair. And, even though it is super moisturizing, it does not weigh my hair down or leave it looking greasy.
2.) The scent.....oh, the scent! This conditioner smells beautiful AND the scent actually lingers in your hair for quite a while (perfect for those who only like to wash their hair a couple of times a me)!
3.) This is my second bottle of this conditioner (I took a bit of a hiatus in between bottles). I plan to take another break when I am done with this one, giving my hair just enough time to miss it and go running back for more, figuratively speaking of course. I don't run and neither does my hair.
One last thing to note: I have used the shampoo. I did love it, BUT it's not sulfate-free. Needless to say, I'm having a moral dilemma about repurchasing it even though it was amazing.

Klorane Shampooing a la chamomille (In the US you might know it as "Shampoo with Chamomile") - Whenever I use Klorane products I feel fancy. Not only are they imported, they are imported from France. Need I say more? I must also add that Klorane products go for about half the price in Argentina than they sell for in the United States. Finally, I've found something that is cheaper in this country and I'm going to shout it from the mountain tops! As for this particular formula of shampoo....I'm not the biggest fan. I have used other Klorane products before that I have preferred. Not to say that this is a bad shampoo, I mean it cleans my hair and leaves it looking nice, but it doesn't "illuminate" my blonde tones as it claims to do. Although, do chamomile shampoos ever work for blonde hair? I feel like the formula is just not as effective as those violet shampoos formulated for blondes. I'm sure you can guess what my next shampoo purchase will be.....a violet shampoo. Anyone have any stellar recommendations for me?!

Klorane Apres-shampooing creme a la chamomille - The conditioner that goes along with the Klorane Chamomile shampoo. I have the same feelings about this conditioner as I do for the L'Oreal EverPure Moisture Conditioner: Not thick & creamy enough. I don't feel that this conditioner gives my hair the moisture it needs, and I will not be repurchasing. I did, however, see a Klorane Hair Mask with Desert Date in the window of the pharmacy the other day that looks very promising.

What I'm using now: Special Treatments

Bumble and bumble Mending Mask - Keeping a hair mask in your shower is essential. Your hair deserves a treat once a week, but this mask is not it. :-(
I first purchased this mask years ago. Honestly, I can't remember if I liked it or not, which is probably why I bought it again. I was in the market for a hair mask, had a gift certificate to Sephora and decided that a high-end hair mask was what I needed. While this mask does have that thick & creamy consistency that I like, it really does not quench my hair! It's almost as if the mask is so thick that it doesn't absorb into the hair. Honestly, I don't know what it is, but I'm not a fan. Right now I'm just focused on using up the tube so I can go and buy a hair mask that is hopefully better (and a little bit cheaper would be nice, too!)

Weleda Revitalizing Hair Tonic - I've used similar potions in the past that are supposed to stimulate the scalp, add volume and strengthen your hair, and I seem to get on well with them! An all natural haircare product made with rosemary oil, this tonic leaves your scalp & hair feeling fresh. I do find that these hair & scalp treatments can leave your scalp feeling a bit dry, but at the same time that means you can go longer in between hair washings because your scalp doesn't get greasy! Weleda is another brand imported from France (they also make some of their products in Switzerland and Germany) that is also cheaper in Argentina than it is in the US. Winning! My only complaint about this product is that I wish it came in a spray bottle. The way the bottle is contstructed now, a lot of product tends to comes out at once, usually more than I want or need, making me go through the bottle pretty quickly.

The Body Shop Moringa Beautifying Oil- This was an "airport anxiety" purchase. I always go shopping, guilt-free, while I am waiting at the airport. Basically, I go shopping for medicinal purposes. This oil can be used on the hair, face or body. I choose to use the oil on my hair, massaging it into the ends after a take a shower. The scent is strong, but beautiful. I always feel extra feminine when I use this floral oil in my hair. This is a great alternative to using the very expensive Morrocan Oil on your hair.  $14.00 USD vs $43.00 USD . I'll take the Moringa Beautifying Oil anyday!

What are you currently using to care for your hair?