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ARIES SIGNATURE COCKTAIL

12 Apr

Astrology is pretty popular right now, one could argue that it has been for some time, however it’s popularity is now spreading into less traditional aspects of life, such as makeup and jewellery. Signature drinks are also popping right now and I happen to be a big fan of them and this is why I decided to concoct zodiac themed cocktails beginning with the first sign of the zodiac: ARIES.

Here are a few things to note about this sign:

ARIES

Aries runs from March 20th- April 21st

Aries is the first of twelve Sun signs in the Zodiac

Aries, along with Leo and Sagittarius is a fire sign

The symbol of Aries is a ram and it is ruled by Mars

Persons born under Aries are described as energetic, creative and independent. Others might describe Aries as being stubborn, arrogant and lacking discipline…( it’s all about balance I suppose)

Which ever way you look at it , Aries brings to mind fire and passion. These are the traits I used as inspo for this spicy whiskey sour cocktail.

ARIES Cocktail:

WHAT YOU NEED;

1 shot Fireball whiskey

1 shot Cherry liqueur

1 tbsp lemon juice

1tsp granulated sugar

Ginger beer(for more heat) or Ginger ale

Maraschino cherries soaked in brown rum.

WHAT TO DO;

Add maraschino cherries to brown rum and soak overnight (longer if preferred)

Mix lemon juice and granulated sugar together, dissolving sugar.

Pour whiskey and liqueur into glass, top up with ginger ale/ ginger beer, add lemon juice/sugar mixture and garnish with rum soaked cherries.

FIVE SMALL LEATHER GOODS YOU NEED

13 Mar

A little less than two years ago I made a post stating the five types of bags you need . Today I discuss five SLG’s (small leather goods) as they are referred to in the luxury community that if you have will round out your bags and accessories collection. As always, this is by no means an exhaustive list, just a guide to help you pick your smaller goods. Also, this is my opinion and something I consider a staple you may not ever see the need for or vice versa and that’s okay.

So, first matter of business: “What IS an SLG exactly?” Well, as the name states it is a small leather good and that means anything that is not considered a handbag or luggage; items that are usually smaller than those . Secondly, let’s address the elephant in the room: NO, a “small leather good” doesn’t need to be made of actual leather. It can be made of vegan leather, coated canvas and numerous other fabrics so if you don’t want to use animal based products or can’t fit leather items into your budget right now you can still form your SLG collection.

The last thing I want to mention is something you’ll notice in the pics I’ve used. Everything has colour (primarily pink). Now I am 110% a black bag kind of girl because it goes with everything but I feel that with these smaller items you can really explore colour and patterns even if your larger pieces are more neutral.

So, let’s begin:

  1. COIN PURSE


Coin Pouch by FOSSIL $38 US

A coin purse is perfect for holding small but bulky things that jingle: coins (of course), keys and small cosmetic items like lip balm.

2. CARD HOLDER



Fleming Stud Slim Card Case by Tory Burch in Shell Pink $138 US

This is an absolute MUST for me. A card case holds all those cards we seem to have these days but because its so slim it can fit into even the smallest of bags. I often use a card case instead of a wallet whenever I’m on vacation carrying around smaller bags.

3. POUCH

Stella Logo Pouch in pink by Stella McCartney $365

A pouch, sometimes called a toiletry pouch or clutch is something I consider a cross over item because of it’s versatility. One of these bad girls can be used as an evening bag one day then filled up with cosmetic items and tossed into your handbag the following morning. I have also been known to use pouches as pencil cases or to pack small clothing items when traveling.

FUN FACT: Stella McCartney (design brand whose pouch is featured here) is a Vegetarian brand using Alter-Nappa and Polyurethane to produce their leather like items

4. WALLET

Le Foulonne zip around wallet by Longchamp in pink $295US

I’m sure I don’t need to explain why you need a wallet, lol, but for clarity purposes; a wallet is your home base for smaller accessory pieces. You keep your bills, some coins and all your cards there for everyday use.

5. WRISTLET

Clutch Wristlet by Coach in Fuschia and Pewter $195US

For me, a wristlet is that final piece of the SLG puzzle. I think every single use of a wristlet can be interchanged with one of the other pieces already listed: you can keep cards in it, small cosmetic items, keys etc. But that’s just it, it can be a bit of a work horse serving multiple purposes plus the added benefit of being compact and able to be hooked around the wrist for a true hands free experience.

So those are the SLGs or small accessories I think you need in your collection. Which pieces do you already have and is there anything different you would have chosen?

Thanks for reading an have an awesome day!

Pack with Me: Travel Makeup

27 Feb


Time to go! I’m recently did a bit of travel and I decided to share the makeup I packed. For me, travel is always a challenge to myself to be as minimalist as I can be since I try to travel as lightly as possible.

This means that when packing makeup for travel there are a few things I keep in mind:


One of everything– or as close to that as possible: This means I try to select an eyeshadow palette, blush and lip colours that are versatile enough to work with all my looks for that trip.

Double duty: Dual ended brushes, split pan products, products that can perform different tasks e.g eyeshadow and highlighter.

Pint sized: This is a perfect opportunity to whip out your minis, it saves on space and they will be safe for carry on.




Here are the products as shown:

Complexion:

Fenty Beauty Pro-Filter Foundation (430)

Maybeline Fit-Me loose setting powder in deep.

Eyes:

mini Benefit Gimme brow+ Volumising Gel in Deep(no.6)

Essence Lash  princess false lash effect mascara- truly one of the best affordable mascara on the market (10/10) would recommend.

Essence liquid liner in black,

Essence eye kohl.

Urban Decay Born to Run Eye shadow palette- This palette has a great mix of neutrals, colours, warm and cool tones, mattes and shimmers without being overwhelming (10/10 would recommend)

Face:

Elf Blush quad in dark.

Milani bronzer.

Fenty Beauty kilowatt freestyle duo in Ginger Binge and Moscow Mule.

Lips:

Freakshow lip balm (it gives an INTENSE tingle)

Milani color statement lipstick in Blushing beauty.

Pat McGrath Labs lust matte trance lipstick in Elson

Setting:

Nyx Matte finish setting spray

Fenty Beauty pressed setting powder.

Tools:

Brushes: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dual ended brushes, Real Techniques Blush rush, Milani face brush, colour switch.

Sponge: Flower Beauty blending sponge.

Thanks for reading and have an awesome day!

Nude Lipsticks

27 May

“I just LOVE a nude lip colour” says every beauty blogger ever! I, myself always shied away from nude lipsticks for a LONG time. I just felt pale pinks and peaches would never flatter my deep skin tone.

How wrong I was, nudes can suit any and every skin tone, you just need to find the one that works for you and pair it with the right lip liner.

Nude in the past was associated with lighter flesh tones of persons of European descent. That has been challenged in recent years and now the term nude has evolved to mean neutral. Neutrals in fashion are colours that accent any other shade on the colour wheel. In makeup it means a similar thing. A good neutral lip colour will accent any eye/blush look as well as any outfit making owning the right nude lip colours a must.

This is my little collection of nudes and each one serves a different purpose.

 

The Nude Nude

 

This is BLS17/Pops Explosiv by NYX. It is a pinky beige shade and I usually use it in the centre of my lips to add some dimension. This is NYX’s buttery formula so it is smooth and glides on nicely with moderate staying power.

 

The Pink Nude

This is Plumrose by Milani in the creamy formula. It has that rosy blush that warms up a neutral and makes your lips look alive.

 

The Dark nude

This is Maltshake in Sephora’s lipstories cream formula and it is beautiful. It’s a cocoa infused neutral shade perfect for us with deeper skin tones or any skin tone for that matter. It isn’t quite brown and it isn’t maroon , it’s right in the middle.

 

The Cool Toned nude

This is rose femme by Milani in its cream formula. This is a cooler toned almost grey nude.

 

The Spicy nude

This deep cinnamon pink is liquid lip colour LIPL12/Exotic by NYX. It is pigmented and really dries down. I find it works best when blended with a darker liner.

 

The pale nude

Who knew Burt’s Bees made makeup? I didn’t before I first came across this lip crayon (they make way more than lip crayons now btw). This is a very light, pale nude perfect for someone with a fair skin tone but also a perfect centre colour for any skin tone.

 

The Perfect nude

I received this mini lipstick by Marc Jacobs in Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang as my free birthday gift from Sephora. This was the first nude I believe I owned, I would never have even considered this colour had it not been handed to me but I’m glad I got it.

This is a neutral toned dusty pepper pink and it is positively perfect! It matches my deep skin and it can match any skin tone. It is smooth and has good lasting power.

Those are my nude recommendations. Any other type of nudes you would recommend?

Thanks for reading and have an awesome day!

A Few Spring Things

29 Apr

Hello and Happy Spring (even though I live in a Tropical climate where our only seasons are rainy and dry). Here are a few things I have been and continue to enjoy as we mark time until glorious summer!

MAKEUP

Pretty Birdie by Pretty Vulgar

Pretty birdie palette

This brand launched on Sephora.com sometime last year. I remember it initially got a bit of buzz then everyone , myself included seemed to forget about them. Fast forward to March this year when I saw this brand in store.

I was immediately drawn to this palette with its mixture of bold mattes(Nevermore and Snitch) and muted jewel tone shimmers(Wing it, Brilliant and Jealous). The formula is smooth and easy to blend and allows for many different spring appropriate looks!

Life`s a Festival by Too Faced

Life’s a festival palette

Are you sick and tired of unicorns and mermaids yet? I`m not! But I understand why some people might be. If you fall into that group I implore you to look past the ~ unicorn-ISM ~ and the somewhat silly packaging because this palette is solid.

It`s definitely meant for creating more fun, festival inspired looks with a few brightly coloured matte shades(Dessert Vibes and Young and Free), a lot of beautiful shimmers and some popping duo-chromes (Artist pass and Mystic Rain). If you can still get your (unicorn) hoofs on this one, definitely give it a try!

EATS

Starbucks Instant Refresher and Bobo`s bar

Starbucks Refresher

I am an obligate coffee drinker. I say obligate because I need the caffeine to get me going in the morning but I wouldn’t consider myself a coffee lover by any means. However, I`m always looking for something different and I recently found this. This is a hibiscus and berry flavoured drink with just a touch of caffeine. Enough to get your mornings going with a fruity/floral refreshing taste.

Bobo Bar

I discovered Bobo bars a few months ago in my quest to find breakfast on the go that didn`t contain gluten (I have some gluten intolerance) This company began as a mother daughter home baking endeavor and their bars come in a multitude of flavours from peanut butter to orange cranberry. They taste great warmed up for a few seconds in the microwave and go along great with tea, coffee (or starbucks hibiscus berry refresher)

BODY

Lip Mask

Lip mask by Lifestyle Products

They are making masks for everything these days: face, eyes, hands and lips! And to be honest, they don’t make a real difference one way or another , but they can give some temporary relief and improvements and they’re fun !

This brand is called Lifestyle products and they have a few different ?flavours ?scents such as shea butter and coconut. Your lips feel hydrated and soft after use.

Body Spray

BBW Rose Quartz body mist

Bath and Body Works is always out there looking for new ways to separate me from my hard earned money. One of their latest (successful) attempts is their new New Age , mineral inspired line. This is quite interesting as most minerals (rocks) don’t actually have any associated odours.The three scents are Rose Quartz, Aquamarine and Moonstone and they are available in shower gels, lotions and body mists. They all have more mild, clean scents with rose quartz having a soft rose water type of scent.

HOME

Candle

BBW Avocado Coconut 3 wick Candle

I love me some candles especially BBW candles. This particular style they have brought out features a more squat but wider shaped candle (stated to be the same amount as the regular shaped ones) and many of the scents are more natural inspired. This one, combines avocado and coconut, a rather unlikely pairing which gives a creamy, rich smell.

Thanks for letting me share some of the things I currently like and have an awesome day!

Cheap Trend: Tassels and Pom Poms

8 May

Tassels hand pom Poms have long adorned clothing and accessories.  From the ends of strings on a peasant blouse to decorating the perimeter of bohemian style cushions. For the past three springs and summers  tassels and pom poms have been out  in full force, dotting otherwise mundane items with dots and splashes of colour and texture. I actually thought this trend was winding down but look and behold it continues to be ever present from runway to the racks of fast fashion stores.

Tassels bangles by Aqua Lilith  $41 US, Pom Poms and Tassels hat by Eric Javitz $250 US, Pom Pom sandals by Elina Linardaki $225 US.

This trend is easy to wear. You can make any look fun and bright with tassels and pom poms, going from zero to vacation mode in seconds. You can shell out some serious coin for a designer item or pick up something more affordable from off price retailers or fast fashion boutiques. OR, you could DIY!

That’s exactly what I did. I decorated a pair of espadrilles, a cross body bag and made a necklace.

Necklace

WHAT YOU NEED 

Length of leather, rope or chain.

Embroidery thread or floss.

Jump rings

WHAT TO DO 

1. Take a length of the thread and wrap it around three fingers multiple times. The more you wrap, the thicker the tassel will be. Alternately, you can use a square of card board, the with determining the length of the tassel.

2. Cut a short piece of the embroidery thread and tie it approximately 1/4 way down the tassel. Make a few wraps then tie off.

3.Thread a piece of the embroidery thread through the top loop and tie off. Add a jump rings and knot.

4.Cut off all the loose ends, then trim the bottom loop to create the fringe.

5.I repeated this twice using different colours and creating varying length fringes. I also combed through the thread with a fine toothed comb to make it fluffy.

6. Slide onto faux leather and tie ends together .

Shoes

WHAT YOU NEED 

Shoes- I used a pair of espadrilles with laces. You can use gladiator sandals or any other shoes with laces.

Pom Poms-These can also be easily DIY’d using yarn but they are very cheap and accessible from craft and stationary stores.

Eye pins- These are the small metal pins with loops at the top. They can either be bought from jewelry supply stores or you can make one yourself with jewelry wire and a round nosed pliers.

WHAT TO DO 

1.Push the eye pin through the Centre of the pom poms.

2. Cut the excess length off the eye pin and using pliers make a loop at the other end. Note, it must be large enough to slide over the laces.

3. Slide the completed pom poms onto the laces at varying points.

An alternate way is using jewelry bales and gluing the pom poms on then sliding those on to the laces.

Bag Charm

WHAT YOU NEED 

Bag- any style you wish, I chose a black square crossbows.

Tassels- you can make them the same way demonstrated above or use inexpensive  ready made ones from a craft stores,  like I am. 

Pom Poms

Thread- I used embroidery thread since it was at hand. You can use rope or ribbon if you like.

WHAT TO DO 

1. Make a loop and knot it.

2. Add an eye pin to the pom poms.

3. Slide onto thread and knot after each addition.

4. Add a jump ring to the top loop then add a keyring to the jump ring.

 

Bonus

I made this little cutie as a bonus. I’ve been seeing pom poms bag charms with eyes all over. This is great for a kid’s bag or for an adult with quirky taste.

I used a larger pom poms, added an eye pin and a jump ring at the top, then a keyring to that and glued on the googly eyes.

Whether you chose to DIY or buy, you’re sure to feel festive and trendy wearing tassels and pom poms.

Beginners Baking Kit 

30 Apr

For all you new bakers out there who aren’t sure where to begin, this is a guide to get you going. This “kit” is geared towards someone who doesn’t bake regularly or who is just getting into baking.

Bowls

You will of course need bowls. Multiple ones of varying sizes. You will need at least one large bowl to hold your batter, a couple of small ones to hold small portions of ingredients and a couple medium sized ones.

Measuring spoons and cups

These are a must. They are useful for measuring liquids and powders and fortunately are very easy to come by. Most supermarkets, hardware stores even craft stores sell them and they can be extremely affordable.

Scale

A digital scale is a personal must have recommendation. I did not own one of these when I first got into baking, I actually ended up buying it at the suggestion of my nutritionist but it came in handy for so much more than measuring servings of almonds. Scales can give exact weights which is necessary for successful baking. Make sure your scale can convert between units (oz/kg).

Mixers

Hand Mixer

This is where you can end up spending some big bucks, but you don’t have to. For someone who is now beginning or maybe doesn’t plan to do a lot of Baking I recommend a hand mixer over a stand mixer.  Stand mixers are fabulous but they are a big commitment. They typically cost at least a couple hundred dollars, they require care and maintenance and they take up lots of space. So start small. Hand mixers are typically affordable,  portable and easy to store and they get most baking projects done with ease.

Whisk

A whisk is a must and you probably already own one. If you can’t afford a hand mixer a whisk will work nut obviously requires more effort. Moreover, whisks are useful for more specific techniques where you may not need ingredients beat together. Whisks are affordable and easily found in supermarkets and hardware stores.

Utensils

There are numerous baking utensils you can find yourself buying. But for the basics you really only need three things. A spatula, a spoon and a palette knife or offset spatula.
Spatula

A spatula is useful for scraping down batter, getting batter out of bowls and for folding ingredients.

Spoon

The need for a spoon is self-explanatory and most people have spoons laying around.

Off set spatula 

This nifty little tool comes in handy for decorating. If you are Icing a cake it helps to smooth the icing over the top and around the sides.

Baking ware

One cannot bake without baking ware. Lol. The type of Bakeware you chose to buy depends on what you plan to bake. For example,  if you plan to make bread and loaves you need a loaf pan and if you are a muffin lover you’ll need a pan for that too. I have a few basic suggestions.

Circular tin

For your basic cake making you cannot go wrong with a circular tin. My one pro tip is get a spring form tin, one you can release and remove the bottom out of for easier removal.

Square pan

This is useful for baking brownies, blondies and other bar type baked goods.

Cupcake tin 

Cupcakes and muffins are also pretty basic baking territory and for that,  you’ll need a cupcake tin.

Baking sheet

This is great for baking cookies and other flat baked goods.

These are the basics for getting started in baking. Let me know if you have any other basic baking essentials that I left off and have an awesome day.

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Dark Decadent Feast

21 Oct

Hello and happy Fall/Autumn/Halloween and if you’re in the Sounthern hemisphere Happy Spring and if you’re in the tropics Happy End-of-Rainy-Season.

THE INSPIRATION

This post is about creating a tablescape and some menu ideas for a dark themed dinner. It’s not too Halloween-ey, not overly Autumnal but rather a bit in between. I imagine this as a romantic dinner for two thrown together by a sophisticated witch who enjoys long walks crunching fallen leaves as much as she enjoys online shopping at Pottery Barn.

TABLESCAPE

I began by layering a traditional white lace tablecloth underneath a black netted material purchased at a Halloween decor store.

I then decided to cluster some synthetic and organic elements including a cast pumpkin, a white fake pumpkin interdispersed with fall/Halloween appropriate fruit and vegetables: turnip, beet and pomegranate.

I also added a battery operated off white medium pillar candle placed in a cloche for some lighting effect and to add some interest.

To complete the tablescape and add some height variation I place a clear vase with some beautiful fresh hydrangeas. The white adds the perfect classy touch but the burgundy brings the dark decadence.

The table was complete by adding two place settings of black and white dinnerware and simple clear glass flatware.

MENU

For the menu I decided on a salad, soup, light main and dessert.

DARK SALAD

This salad is a simple combination of mixed greens (I chose one with lots of purple and brown leaves) and purple (or red) cabbage. It would pair well with a balsamic based vinagarette.

To make this salad simply chop, mix and plate!

SWEET POTATO AND BEET SOUP



This thick delicious soup is made from yellow sweet potatoes and a bit of beets to deepen the colour. It can be served warm or cold.

To make the soup : Boil sweet potato and beets, blend or mash into a puree, sautee onion, garlic and spices then add puree and vegetable stock to make thick flavorful soup.

BRAISED EGGPLANT

This is the light main course: an umami fueled flavour trip. The thick meaty texture and deep flavour makes this a fantastic menu option.

To make this braised eggplant: Chop the eggplant into thick wedges

Mix the braising sauce; molasses, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, miso paste and white granulated sugar by whisking ( Mix according to your taste preference)

Using a little bit of olive oil, sautee the eggplant then add braising sauce, turn down heat and cook until thickened.

MERLOT POACHED PEAR

This one gets a chef’s kiss because it’s so good yet so simple. This is a sweet after dinner treat that requires no advanced dessert making skills.

To make the poached pears: Peel and core the pear

Bring merlot, white granulated sugar and spices (I used cinnamon, clove, bay leaf) and vanilla extract to a boil.

Add pears and let simmer until cooked and absorbed the mixture.

Let it cool and serve. This goes well with chocolate as well as a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Have a beautiful decadent autumn !

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Faded Summer Backyard Bop

19 Sep

IT’S STILL SUMMER! Fight me. Lol

Welcome to the beginning of the end of another beautiful summer where the intense bright heat begins to give way to mellow humid evenings.

These are some pictures from a relaxed summer evening spent with friends.

Get your guests warmed up with a fresh cocktail.

This one is a fizzy gin and prosecco mixture. I added a bit of the rhubarb and ginger gin liquor and topped it off with prosecco to create a light bubbly yet intoxicating drink.

Add a decorative touch

I pulled a few flowers from a larger arrangement and put them in this large mason jar to add a little natural, simple decor.

Fresh, delicious eats

An important part of any gathering apart from the people and the cocktails is of course the food. Pictured here are :

Pasta pots; orecchiete pasta (so named because they are shaped like ears), cheddar cheese and pasta sauce mixed and baked into ramekins.

Peach and arugula salad: Mixed arugula and other lettuce, sliced peaches with crumbled feta and a lemon honey dressing.

Chicken fruit skewers: Sauteed chicken breast alternated with red plums and pineapple on skewers grilled to perfection.

We also had mini burgers served in pittettes (mini pita pockets) and batter fried eggplant.

The evening started off balmy with bugs and ended cool, and relaxed. Enjoy the last days of your summer and have a great day.

Cereal Treats

21 Aug

We’re all too familiar with the rice crispy treat, a mixture of rice crispies, marshmallow and whatever else they add in to create a very sweet, sticky moreish delight enjoyed the world over. However, my mind was blown a few years ago when I realised you could do the same thing with any other cereal and from that point I’ve always wanted to try coming up with some concoctions of my own. Well I’ve finally done it!

This is a cool idea for a party or picnic snack. You can make them ahead of time, they’re fun and even though most people have had rice crispie treats, other cereal treats may be a novelty.

WHAT YOU NEED

1) Cereal(s) of your chosing– I opted for a fruity cereal, chocolate puffs and Lucky Charms.

2) Marshmallow– I picked the smaller ones because I thought they would melt faster but in fact I have no proof that’s the case. You can also opt for flavoured marshmallow.

3) Toppings– I chose sprinkles,  icing and cocoa powder.



Multiple types of cereal.




Marshmallow.

Sprinkles, icing and cocoa powder.



WHAT TO DO

1) Melt marshmallow in microwave- Try short bursts of 10 seconds or so, stirring each time until it’s soft.

2) Add cereal and melted marshmallow (along with any flavorings e.g. cocoa powder) to bowl and mix.


Add melted marshmallow to cereal.

3) Spread mixture into flat surface or mould (I used baking pans)


Mixture spread into a pan.


Other cereal mixtures in pans.

4) Let mixtures cool and harden in refrigerator.

5) Once hardened let soften a bit (allow to sit out) and remove.


Finished treats.

And that’s it! Enjoy!

Snapshots of : MIAMI

6 Aug

These are some snapshots of a visit to Miami. Miami is a vibrant city with a kaleidoscope of cultures and warm beautiful weather. There is something for you whether you love to eat, shop, party or explore. I hope my photos bring just a speckle of the richness that is Miami, some spots to check out and tips.

Room with a view

My hotel room offered me this view onto a fairly busy street with ongoing construction and opposite a fairly new and modern apartment complex. At various times of the day I would see people walking to go grab lunch, heading to the gym with their yoga mats and popping in and out of the nearby Whole Foods supermarket.

THE SALTY DONUT

Local hotspot.

I checked out a local donut shop called “The Salty Donut” for breakfast. This place is so popular that they are rumoured to sell out of products each day. I made sure I got there super early to avoid lines and have a peaceful morning.

The display case.

This shop boasts interesting flavour combos year round such as maple and bacon, guava and cheese and brown butter and salt as well as seasonal options. Additionally, they sell some delicious coffee offering up familiar hot options such as cappuccinos and macchiato as well as cold brews and iced coffee.

 

Coffee and donut

 

My selection was raspberry and rhubarb donut, a sweet take on both fruits paired with brioche dough along with Japanese iced coffee with tangy fruity notes.

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Raspberry rhubarb donut.

 

THE SHOPS AT MERRICK PARK

 

Shopping up a storm

Miami hosts a myriad of shopping options from outlet malls to well loved off brand retailers as well as beautific outdoor malls. I visited The Shops at Merrick Park in Coral Gables where you can find US mall staples such as Sephora, Francesca’s and Pottery Barn as well as some luxury options such as Gucci and Jimmy Choo and a favourite of mine; Anthropologie.

View of the steps at Merrick Park

There are a few dining options at Merrick Park one being Brasserie Central which serves French cuisine set at moderate prices.

 

French lunch

Clam chowder

 

Oysters

 

LA CENTRALE

Street view of La Centrale from the bridge.

This is described as an Italian Food Hall where diners can experience anything from casual deli style to al fresco to fine dining. The restaurants offer a plethora of options from meat based to seafood not to mention gelato and other desserts. There is also a bar situated in the centre of the fine dining hall and the kitchen where they offer classes in Italian cooking.I was able to take in the Neopolitan Pizza making class. Chef was thorough and very nice.

The kitchen.

Aprons for class.

 

Pizza

 

Outdoor seating at La Centrale.

 

In addition to the pizza making class, I had breakfast at La Centrale on a Sunday morning. There was “limitless” Prosecco for two hours.

Breakfast delights.

 

Bombolone: Jelly filled donut.

 

Delicious brunch at The Caffè.

 

Apertivo and Cocktail bar.

 

Negroni fountain (no you didn’t actually drink from it, but it looked pretty!)

 

Negroni: This stuff is strong! 

 

BAYSIDE

This plaza is a staple in Miami at this point. An outdoor mall with well known American eateries such as Bubba Gump, Five Guys and Chillis as well as more authentic cuisine stalls selling Cuban and Caribbean food as well as a more run of the mill food court. There are also lots of stores selling clothing, art and jewellery and more as well as an open air theatre with a view of the ocean hosting local performances both day and night.

Bayside by night.

 

Bayside by day: Here boats taking passengers out on day trips.

SUGAR (EAST HOTEL)

 

This decadent Asian inspired restaraunt is located on the top floor of Brickell Centre. On the outside is a beautiful outdoor bar called sugar where there tends to be standing room only. However, on the inside there is this beautiful eatery with a live DJ.

” Bottomless Champagne”- We got to drink as much as we could stomach within 2 hours.

Tasting Menu

The prices in here are on the higher side without a doubt, however a fantastic option is their “tasting menu” where you can select one item from each segment of a menu and it gives you about four or five different things to eat including dessert as well as Moet for 2 hours.

Trying a tasting menu is a bit of a pro-tip for eating at a more expensive restaraunt especially if you are there in a group because then everyone gets a little taste of everything usually at a more affordable price.


Some of the dishes and the view from our table.

 

BRICKELL CENTRE

This is a shopping and lifestyle centre located in Downtown Miami. Here you can find luxury shopping stores such as Gucci, more affordable ones like H&M and Zara, makeup shops like M.A.C and Sephora not to mention some amazing restaraunts including the aforementioned La Centrale and Sugar rooftop bar and restaraunt. Surrounding the main centre are also more shops and restaraunts. This is a great place to spend an afternoon as well as finding something to do at night.

A view of Brickell City Centre from a bridge.

 

Brickell Centre is partially open air making it more relaxed.

View from across the waterway of Brickell City Centre.

 

OUT AND ABOUT

Just out and roaming Miami City you get to enjoy a lot of unique architectural designs from the Art Deco buildings on South Beach, the sunny sky scraper apartment buildings with beautiful windows and glass balconies and of course, the flyovers curving and weaving like a 1960’s artist’s rendition of ” The Future”.


Flyover going across the water.





A view of the buildings .





A metro station.




View off Brickell Centre from across the water.




View from beneath.


Waterway and apartment buildings.



A mural

 

SOUTH BEACH

If you go to Miami, you have to at least check out South Beach, Miami Beach. It’s definitely one of the more popular spots in this city and that does mean it’s often crowded but I still reccomend. On South Beach you can find restaraunts galore, museums, shops, bars and clubs meaning there is definitely something for everyone there. If you are interested in architechture you will be amazed by the Art Deco buildings dispersed around this area with an actual Art Deco district for your viewing pleasure.

Street view of South Beach, Miami Beach.

The beach.

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Delicious seafood pasta at a restaraunt in South Beach.

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Dining out on South Beach.

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Art Deco style building.

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Shops in South Beach.

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A shot of Collins Avenue.

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Bustling nighttime in South Beach.

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The famous Ocean Drive and the Art Deco welcome centre.

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The clock: people take photos here as proof that they’ve been to Miami Beach.

 

Those are some of my snapshots of Miami, obviously this city has so much more to offer but these were some highlights for me. If you’re thinking of visiting definitely do it!

 

ON Trend: NEON Moment

26 Jul

So… NEON, ammirite?

Neon is out and about this year especially this summer. While brightly hued clothing, jewellery and even makeup isn’t new having had moments of insane popularity throughout the past 30 years or so 2019 is definitely a year for Neon to shine.This year Neon is popping up in little and big ways on the runway, in stores and on the streets.

OPI Neon polishes, Huda Beauty 9 pan Neon eyeshadow palettes, Orange bag by Zara.

Okay, so neon is popping and happening but you aren’t really a neon person so how can you incorporate this trend into your style? I would say a little goes a long way. Sure you can dress yourself from top to bottom in bright orange, hot pink and acid green, that’s cool but if you’re a little less…loud, you can try little accents here and there.

A great way to incorporate neon is with smaller clothing pieces like bikinis or cropped tops or jewellery pieces like earrings.

You can also add bright neon pops of colour with your makeup like a pink lip or orange eye or accessories like a wristlet or socks.What neon items do you plan to pick up? Have an awesome day!

EXERCISE AT HOME

10 Jul

Tired of dropping hundreds of dollars in gym membership only to drop out weeks later? Unable to join that aerial silks class all your friends are talking about due to tight budget? Can’t put aside time to meet up on the beach for that free aerobics class?

Have no fear! Broke Party Girl is here to the rescue!

I know first hand how incredibly difficult it can be to establish a regular physical activity schedule and how easily it can get derailed. As busy working adults so many things can take priority over exercise. Then, if you’re fortunate enough to get a regimen going, all you need is one hectic week or a minor injury and before you know it you haven’t worked out in months!

Throughout my life I’ve exercised in many different forms; gyms, swimming, exercise groups (clubs) and some were very successful but at some point all came to an end for one reason or another. This led me to focus more on working out in my own home, on my own time and at my own pace. While I absolutely encourage as many forms of excerise as you want including gyms and classes, the ability to get it done in your own home gives you a great fall back option AND it’s more budget friendly.

Here are my suggestions for your budget friendly home workout

AN EXERCISE MAT

This one is a must and a no-brainer. Exercise or yoga mats create a barrier between yourself and the ground, cushioning you and making it easier to do certain exercises. The great thing about these is that they are easily found everywhere from supermarkets to hardware stores and of course online and they are typically very affordable.

AN EXERCISE BALL

This is another staple and I suspect everyone between 18 and 60 has owned one at some point. Exercise balls are inflatable and come in a variety of sizes to suit you and your preference. One of the most outstanding things about this item is the versatility. They can be used to do ab work, leg work , they can be used in aerobics and also in doing stretches. Like the exercise mat, exercise balls are typically easy to find and very affordable.

WEIGHTS

Another must have and the final piece of what I think of as the trifecta or work out items. If you purchase nothing else, get the mat, the ball and some weights. Weights can come in the traditional dumbbell form but there are some variants such as weighted balls and handheld dumbbells that have a strap going across the hand making it easier for persons who can’t hold dumbbells. Weights are useful in doing resistance work when strengthening and toning muscles. The weight or weights you choose depends on your strength and goals.

SKIPPING/JUMPING ROPE

This isn’t a necessity but it’s an excellent tool. I personally LOVE skipping so maybe I’m biased. Skipping is an excellent form of cardiovascular activity and is considered a full body workout since you have to use multiple muscle groups such as abs, legs and arms. It helps to improve coordination and burns loads of calories. And it’s cheap, skipping ropes are very affordable so in fact I recant my initial statement, a skipping rope IS a necessity.

RESISTANCE BANDS

As the name blatantly implies, resistance bands work based on resistance. These rubbery bands are useful adjunct to weights with the added benefit of being able to work other muscle groups you typically wouldn’t with regular weights such as lower body muscles.

YOGA BLOCK

Yoga blocks are rectangular pieces of foam that are useful in helping with stability and support and as extensions of the arms allowing the user to achieve more poses. Most people use two but having just one is useful.

FOAM ROLLER

A foam roller is helpful in stretching and releasing muscle tightness. It is a cylinder of foam and can be found in many sports departments for a reasonable price.

Those are my personal recommendations for getting home exercise started. Note, there are no expensive machines or equipment in this list meaning you don’t need to spend thousands to get started.

PLEASE NOTE THESE ARE EQUIPMENT RECOMMENDATIONS NOT EXERCISE RECOMMENDATIONS, BEFORE BEGINNING ANY EXERCISE PLEASE CONSULT WITH YOUR PHYSICIAN AND CONSULT WITH A TRAINER REGARDING CORRECT USE OF EQUIPMENT.

What at home exercise equipment would you recommend?

Thanks for reading and have an awesome day!

Cheap and Chic:

14 Jun

Hello and welcome to the fancy life (just kidding). This post is about finding an affordable way to elevate your look using just one item: a silk scarf.

THE ITEM

This is the item , a silk scarf. I purchased this one from Nordstrom. It is by their in house brand Halogen and cost $35 US.

So here are some ways to wear it:

1 AS A NECK SCARF

Wearing a skinny silk scarf tied around your neck won’t keep you warm, but it sure will make you look fancy AF. It makes for a nice accessory and I especially like it paired with a button up shirt.

2 AS A WRIST CUFF

I really like this one. I love the idea of wearing things around your wrist that’s a little different from a dainty bracelet. I like leather and metal cuffs but a scarf is perfect. It’s a little bit girly and a little bit bad girl. I tie mine up like a bow.

3 AS A HEAD SCARF

This is a simple way to wear to wear a scarf. Adding it to your hairmakes you look as if you tried when you really didn’t.

4 AS BAG DECOR

This is another one I totally love. Wrapping a bag handle (seen here) or tied like a bow (seen above) really makes a basic bag become boogie.

If you can get your hands on a skinny silk scarf, definitely try wearing it all these ways. Thanks for reading!

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