Archive | Favorite Things RSS feed for this section

The Yummy Things I Like to Eat around the Holidays

10 Nov

Shopping, decorating, partying, eating, all these activities surely represent the holiday season for most of us. We do it year in and year out, but for me there are certain foods I just have to eat, to either get me in the festive mood, to remind me of holidays past and to share with family and friends creating traditions.

Pumkin pie.

Hello?! Thanksgiving anyone? Without this dessert it doesn’t really feel like the holidays have arrived, hehe. I incorporated this tradition when I moved from the Caribbean to the northeastern part of US. First time I had this I found the taste very strange, but grew to love it and associate it with happy memories. I love to eat it plain or with whipped cream. It reminds me of football, chilly, crisp air and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.

Sugar cookies.

Mentioning this treat is more about the activity of baking than the actual taste, but of course, we end up eating the whole batch in one sitting anyway. I love making them and sharing the baking process with my family and/or friends. We decorate them in Christmassy themes, and every year I try to buy new cookie cutters to add to my collection. It’s so much fun and makes for wonderful memories to reminisce on!

Apple cider donuts and hot apple cider.
I picked up this tradition when my boyfriend at the time moved to Vermont a few years ago. I used to drive up there twice a month and would love to stop by Cold Hollow Cider Mill on route 100 and get my fix. It just warms you right up, and reminds me of simpler times.

Sea grapes.

You may not be familiar with this since it’s more of a Caribbean/Dominican tradition. We only really eat grapes and apples around Christmas holiday. We serve the fruit together with the Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve dinners. The native sea grapes in DR are a rich, dark, purple color, almost black. They have seeds in them and they are the size of small golf balls. Having 12 sea grapes at the stroke of midnight in New Year’s Eve is supposed to symbolize good luck for the New Year.

Gumdrops. Another Dominican tradition that can never be left out during the holidays is gumdrops. The colorful sugary treat is synonymous with Christmas celebrations. If you visit any house during this time of year you could be sure you will find a bowl full of gumdrops somewhere in the house for anyone to enjoy. Over the years, I’ve grown out of the overwhelming sweet taste and the sticky, chewy texture but I love to have at least a couple of the red ones (me favorite) because they remind me of Christmas lights.

What are YOUR favorite holiday treats?

Advertisements

Travel Tips

3 Nov


I really enjoy travelling, experiencing different environments, customs, people, and seeing things for the first time around all corners of our wonderful planet. One thing I don’t like so much? The actual “travelling”. You know… the airports, airplanes, packing, and security check-ins, basically all of those things we have to do in order for us to be able to get to our destination. Having collected my fare share of frequent flyer miles, I have a few tricks I want to share with you and maybe this will make your next trip experience more enjoyable.
Dress comfortably. I like to wear jeans, or leggings, and slip on flats, or sandals. This is a good idea, not only so you can sit on those uncomfortable airplane seats for long flights but also to be able to pass through security without any issues. Depending on the weather in my destination, of course, think of shoes you can remove and put back on easily without having to waste too much time.
Get cozy. Airplanes get cold 30,000 feet off the ground so I try to be prepared by bringing my own “blanket.” I carry with me a scarf made up of a soft, warm material to keep warm on the plane. Also, I bring ankle sox just in case my feet get cold. I choose ankle sox because they can be rolled up into a small ball and I can place them in my purse without taking up too much space.

Easy access. At the airport you will be showing your identification, passport, ticket, etc. at many checkpoints throughout. I don’t want to be digging in my purse every time, risking that something important may fall off in the process. You don’t want to be juggling around your ID’s, purse, carry-on, suitcase, and cell in your hands, it’s just too much. I use a passport cover to store my passport, ID, and ticket. It’s all neatly organized and it’s only one thing to store away or take out of my bag. Simple.

Be colorful. Watching the conveyer belt go around carrying a sea of black bags inspired me to be bold and different. I want my bag to stand out so even if I’m across the way of the baggage claim area I can still spot my luggage coming down. Anything but black is good, really. If you can’t afford to change your current black luggage try a colorful tag, it’ll do the trick as well.

Ready for anything. I always carry with me inside my purse gum, and travel versions of these items; hand lotion, hand sanitizer, Dramamine, tissue paper and eye drops. I’ve learned from past experiences that airport stores, although convenient, are very expensive. I choose to have these things with me and not have to worry if anything ever happens. Make sure you do too, wouldn’t want you to miss your flight because you’re standing in line at a gift shop or newsstand.

Attention Shoppers!

3 Nov

Halloween is over so it only means one thing. The holiday season is upon us. One of my favorite things to do is to go through Neiman Marcus’ The Christmas Book catalog and take my pick at the gifts that call my attention and wish to get every year. This also includes the oh so extravagant, and over-the-top expensive fantasy gifts. A girl can dream, can’t I? I definitely recommend you take a look at the book. If you don’t get the catalog delivered you can flip through it online.
Without further ado, here is a list of the goodies that I’m so including in my Dear Santa’s letter. Hehe!

Aquatalia mink-cuffed boots $795. They are waterproof, have a cute, stylish, wedge and they come in expresso and black. You can match it with any outfit this winter.

Gucci Vintage Boston bowler bag $990.00
It has the same style as a LV Speedy which I love. Gucci is one of my favorite design labels so this would be a very nice addition to my handbag collection. I specially like the vitage green and red stripe right down the middle. Very festive!

Juicy Couture ballet flats $195.00
These flats are super cute! I love wearing heels, but sometimes it gets to be too much at the office. Having trendy, comfortable shoes to switch it up is a must.
Byte By Teso suede and fur vest $2,750.00 Fur vests are in this season and this trend looks good and is practical for those cool fall days and nights.
Michael Kors cashmere coat $2,795.00
This coat is the perfect glamorous look to walk around in a snowy night. Very sex and the city. I wanted a white coat for a while now and this is the perfect one!

Edible Gingerbread Playhouse by Dylan’s Candy Bar $15,000.00
I love making gingerbread houses for the holidays. They are a really entertaining way to pass the time and they’re fun to eat too! So why not indulge on this house and eat your way out of it!

Candy Corn and a Side of Gore

28 Oct

In honor of Halloween this weekend I wanted to talk about the thing I like to do during the month of October to get in the mood for all hollows eve. I usually get in the festivity mood by watching horror flicks. For instance, this year I started with Nightmare on Elm Street (2010). Although I am an avid movie buff, horror is probably at the bottom of my favorite genre list, if not dead last. However, nothing says to me Halloween like cozying up on my couch with tons of candy, popcorn, soda, chips and scary movies such as these.

The Shining (1980) – Knowing that you’re all alone with no contact with the outside world and your husband turned into a deranged killer? Movie magic! This movie has many memorable cinematic scenes and lines that makes for an instant horror classic. I love Jack Nicholson’s performance. He is so good is frightening.

Halloween (1978) – I like that fact that is low budget independent film. Some cool trivia about this movie? It was filmed in the spring in southern California so in order to portray fall in Illinois the crew had to hand-paint leaves in autumn colors and reuse them over and over for different locations. Also, the director considered the hiring of Jamie Lee Curtis as the ultimate tribute to Alfred Hitchcock who had given her mother, Janet Leigh, legendary status in Psycho.

Psycho (1960) – Creepy is definitely the word I would use to describe this film. A grown man living alone with the corpse of his dead mother is enough of a twist to send chills down your spine. The main character suffers from a really bad case of multiple personality disorder in which he takes on the role of his mother to murder those that “she” believes stand in the way of their mother-son relationship.

Sleepy Hollow (1999) – alright, so this isn’t technically horror but I’ve loved the headless horseman story since I was very little. I like this version with Johnny Depp because I like how he develops characters and also like how Tim Burton direction is visually rewarding and adds to the eerie, mystical feel of the film.

The Exorcist (1973) – This movie is terrifying. Period. Scary movies involving children always creeps me out, but this one takes the cake. The demonic manifestations on Linda Blair’s character are nightmare inducing. You can’t watch this film alone.

A Night in Salem

26 Oct

It was a unusually warm and foggy night, perfect to walk around Salem, Massachusetts with all the Halloween activites that are going on for Haunted Happenings. Last night I went out with my friends from California. I barely get to see them so I was extremely excited to share and spend some time with them. She and her husband along with two other local friends joined me at this kitschy Thai restaurant called Bangkok Paradise downtown. The atmosphere was very relaxed. Because of the season, the restaurant had all kinds of Halloween decorations which added to our festive mood. There was a jazz band playing in the background and some of the regulars were singing kareoke to their favorite tunes. One of them sang Ella Fitzgerald’s I Got You Under My Skin, classic!

For appetizers we had edamame, of course, and chicken satay with peanut sauce. I always used to open the pod with my hands and pop the soy bean in my mouth, but my friend suggested a a better way. Just put the pod in your mouth and squeeze the beans out. That way you get the salt from the pod to season the bean. Very tasty.

For entrée we had pad thai, and sushi rolls. The pad thai was extremely saucy and delicious. I had never tried this dish before, but my girlfriend told me that of all the pad thai’s she’s had this one was on the good side of her scale. I believe I may be coming back here for some more Thai food in the near future.
The sushi was ok, nothing expectacular. I hadn’t had sushi in a while though, mostly because not many of my friends enjoy it as much as I do, so if I’m craving it that means I have to fly solo. I think sushi is a dish meant to be shared so it’s not that fun to get it by myself.

We talked about everything and nothing for a couple of hours over martinis and scotch. We made plans for me to visit California real soon given that I haven’t been back since their wedding. All in all, I had a great night with friends breaking from the norm of my routine in one of the funnest cities in October. I totally recommend you check it out before November first gets here. Cheers to good company!

Hello world!

19 Aug

This is my first official post on my new blog. I’m very excited! So many things to say, don’t really know where to start! I guess I could begin by explaining the reasons why I’ve chosen to do this now. It’s funny how I’ve been “blogging” for years but never really published one sigle word. Yes, I’m one of those girls that has volumes of personal diaries and journals under her bed. I’ve been writing diaries since I got my very first one when I was nine years old. That little book was my best friend for many months. I loved that diary. It was so glamorous with its gilded pages, and like a really good bff, kept all my deepest secrets.

Fastforward twenty years and I noticed how I don’t really write much anymore. Once I realized this, I made a point to start writing again. Not because I have all these juicy secrets dying to come out and share with my latest journal, but because I miss the craft of weaving words together. Also, because I find that once I write things down they make more sense to me. I want to simplify and clarify the thoughts, questions, and insecurites I have about my life, my journey, and the meaning of why I am here.