Tag Archives: lifestyle

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!

Luxury at Home

28 Oct

Sometimes you have to indulge in the little things that make you feel like a million bucks. These are the things that turn your house into a home. I work hard for my money and I deserve a little wiggle room for play. So do you! Here are some of the things I won’t skimp on. I deserve the best in my own home.

Chandeliers

They immediately makes a room into a statement of your space. It’s like jewelry for the home. Under chandelier lighting anyone looks like a movie star. They create an ambiance of relaxation. The sparkles make me feel more feminine, glamorous, and luxurious; everything you want to feel in your own home when you are relaxing or you’re hosting a party and having fun…and peaking of having fun…

Home Bar

I love entertaining, so having a bar area in my house is very important to me. You want your guest to feel welcome, and like they don’t need to go anywhere else to have a good time. Keep all your utensils, shakers, glasses, bottles and garnishes neatly organized in a beautiful and functional bar or table. Keep it stocked all the time because you never know when there will be an impromptu time for celebration.

Drapery

It dresses up any room and also gives it softness for the harsh lines of the walls and furniture. Pulled back, they allow the sun to shine though and dress up your windows like a lush scarf. Closed, the window treatments give you more privacy and create a feeling of an exclusive nook just for you. Choose fabrics like silk, organza, velvet or linen allowing the textures to speak to you. Decide what feelings you want your room to evoke and go for it.

Throws

They need to be in luxury fabrics that are both warm and soft. I keep them on my sofa and at the foot of my bed, so no matter what room of the house I am at I’m always warm in the winter time. They are also a great decoration piece if you contrast the color with your furniture. It looks effortless, casual, and homey. Choose soft to the touch fabrics like cashmere or fur.

Soaps & Salts

I like to keep natural, hand-made, organic soaps and salts to give my bathroom a feeling of a five-star resort spa. When you need to unwind after a long day at work, just soak up in a bath with aromatic salts or shower with the aromatic soaps to feel recharged and refreshed. My bathroom ends up smelling really good and I feel soft and clean, pure bliss! Also, If you have company staying overnight you can make their bathroom experience all the more fancy with white towels, a fresh new bar of soap and a little sea salt bag. I like Mario Russo’s products because they have a rustic, exclusive look to them. Trés chic!

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!

10 Rules to Live and Love By

15 Oct

I read these rules on Oprah.com and I cliffsnote-it all up for you to enjoy as well. I know Fun Fridays are supposed to be fun, but I thought that this inspirational piece can also be a fun thing to try. Well, at least for me because these rules resonate with the truth and spirit I want to live by.

1. Love. See life through a lens of love rather than fear.

2. Forgive. Be willing to forgive yourself and your partner, and to make amends when necessary. This is not an excuse for staying in a dysfunctional situation, but an opportunity to see innocence. Once we do that we gain freedom to move on from being stuck in the same place.

3. Relax. Relaxing when times get tough allows you to roll with the punches. Say to yourself “this too shall pass”.

4. Be self-aware. Recognize your impulse to create distance rather than intimacy and get back on track. Observe who you are and what you do within the context of a relationship.

5. Pray. When you don’t know how to handle a problem, pray and meditate. Surrender decisions to the Spirit.

6. Respect. Honor your partner’s path and allow them the space to find their own way. If you try to help where help is not requested, you are signaling your lack of believe in your partner. Give yourself a rest in overseeing you partner’s personal business. We are all in this path of realization and expansion together, each of us is unique in our lesson to be learned.

7. Learn. The moment we think we have it all figured out is the moment things will come crashing down around us. Keep up your personal growth, immerse yourself in learning, you will always have new skills and interests to apply to a relationship, and thus the relationship will always feel fresh and relevant.

8. Be Passionate. Follow the path of your own creativity. Engage in your passions and you will radiate passionate energy, and thus maintain the interest of your own partner and so having your own sense of fulfillment.

9. Stay present. Life does not exist in future predictions or past grievances; all we have for sure is right here and right now.

10. Be grateful. Gratitude is like a seed you plant; it grows more as it is watered and nourished. The acknowledgement of good will can forth more of the same.

Ten-Rules-to-Live-and-Love-By&

P90X – Office Edition

4 Oct

Today I’m starting P90X with my co-workers. No we’re not having sweat sessions at the office, that’s gross. We will each individually do the videos at home and share our results every week around the water cooler. Primarily we are doing this to serve as each other’s motivation and to keep each other on check.
It’s not the first time that we have engaged in some kind of physical activity competition in my office. Two years ago we had our own version of The Biggest Loser in which I won, twice! I lost 25 lbs. in total back then, but as of today I’ve gained most of it back 😦
I’m one of those people that once I get into it I can do it. My problem has always been motivation. That’s definitely something I have to work on my own, but for now I’ll use my co-workers’ support in order to achieve my fitness goals.
So here is to a whole month working hard to lose a few extra pounds, hopefully the lovehandles too, and to try to gain enough motivation and confidence to be able to continue on my own.