Monday, March 2, 2015

Weekend Relaxing & Blogger's Brunch

After traveling last weekend, I was in need of a relaxing weekend and that it was...

On Friday after work, K and I went out for some dinner at Red Lobster to use some gift cards from Christmas. Of course dirty martinis ensued but that was the extent of my Friday night.


We slept in on Saturday which was very much needed and then headed out to get some errands done. We stopped at Marshall's for some new home decor and then I spent a few hours with the Geek Squad at Best Buy because genius me spilled wine on my Macbook last week and my laptop immediately died. Stupidest $1000 mistake. Ever! 

I also stocked up on my favorite beer which is now in season ~ Abita Strawberry from New Orleans.




We decorated our master bedroom with the new wall art I picked up from Marshall's.



On Saturday night, we relaxed at home and watched Gone Girl from Redbox and snuggled with Lola.

Image credit



On Sunday morning, I met up with Kate, Kerri & Pamela at Santiago's Bodega for buffet-style brunch and unlimited mimosas. It was a blast catching up with these pretty ladies and fellow bloggers.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday's Quick Recap & Favorites

This week has been draining. Starting off Monday at 4:30 am to head to the airport to fly back to Orlando is not my idea of fun. I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend and some QT with my bed and of course K and Lola. Evidently it becomes harder to bounce back from all the fun and traveling as you get older.

Nevertheless, the exhaustion is well worth it because the wedding last weekend was magnificent and being able to witness my best friend getting married is a once in a lifetime opportunity. 

Joining Amanda for her Friday's Favorites linkup and Congrats to her for becoming a Mrs last weekend as well!

Favorite Hair Color:
I love this mix of hair colors. I recently did a test run with one purple streak which didn't come out this nice but if I build up the courage, I would love to experiment with some burgundy in my blonde hair.


Favorite Purchase: 
I know it's no longer the holidays and sparkles are dying down but this Sequin Cami Dress was 50% off at Express and sparkly dresses are always acceptable for weddings right?


Favorite Recipe:
This Vegetable Turkey Sausage Stir-Fry recipe from Kristin @ Miss Southern looks amazing!


Favorite Funnies:

 

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Things I'm Loving Lately

Michael Kors Cicely Cork Wedges - I just purchased these shoes because I needed tan wedges for another wedding that I'm in next month and I think they'll also be comfy shoes for work and other occasions.

Buddha Bookends - If you walk into my house, my love for Buddha becomes very apparent. I think these bookends are super cute to add to my collection although it would help if I had a bookshelf.

Clinique 'True Bronze' Pressed Powder Bronzer - I've been using this bronzer for over 4 years on a daily basis to add some color to my fair complexion. After losing my compact somehow on my recent trip, I realized just how much this bronzer is a staple to my makeup routine and immediately ordered one from Amazon to be shipped soon. The color I use is "Sunblushed".

Tropical Print Strapless Dress - Because I need some floral in my life. The picture really doesn't do the dress justice because it's way prettier in person.

Tan Towels - Kerri introduced me to these tan towels and I think they work excellent to get a subtle tan especially during the colder months. 

L'Oreal Paris Studio Secrets Professional Color Correcting Primer -  I just started using this anti-redness primer to control my pink undertones before applying light foundation to my face. I like how it works compared to others I've tried.

NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow - I love shimmery eye shadows and, after the girls at The Sequin Notebook did a review recently, I fell in love with the colors offered in this NARS eyeshadow collection. The $29 price tag is a bit steep but the palette looks like it'll last a long time. 

Portofino Blouse - Express has come out with a new line of Portofino shirts in every color and pattern imaginable. These are perfect for work and I'm planning to purchase a few when I run into a few extra dollars.

Kate Spade Crystal Heart Dial Watch - I really don't need this in my life but it's definitely is a looker. I'm going to keep it on my radar because I like the dainty look for special occasions but wouldn't wear it as an everyday watch.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Caribbean Wedding Bells: Trinidad Trip Recap

I'm back from my quick trip to Trinidad for my dear friend's wedding which I was the maid of honor in. It was a busy, busy trip but I got to accomplish everything that I hoped to do and also spent some time with family and my girl friends from childhood.

On Friday, myself and the other MOH hosted a tea party for the bride, her mom and the bridesmaids so we got to spend some time together and catch up before the big day.
 
We did a quick and casual rehearsal afterwards with the guys before heading to Hakka for some family style Asian food.

On Saturday, we woke up bright an early to start the hair and makeup process for the wedding that afternoon. We had some finger food and champagne while getting dressed. 


We then headed to the venue to get the professional photos taken and for the bride and groom to do their first look. 

The venue was an outdoor setting up high on a mountain with some breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea. The rain did interfere a bit with our photos but the sun eventually came out just in time for the bride to walk down the isle.

The wedding was SO much fun filled with tons of love and happy tears! We enjoyed the views and danced the night away to local music.

On Sunday, I coordinated a lunch so I could see my close girl friends before flying out. We continued on for some patio drinks at the Hyatt where lots of shit-talking and hysterical laughing ensued.

Sunday night was family time. We ordered some Chinese takeout and had dinner at my Aunt's house for my last night before heading back to Florida bright and early on Monday morning at 5 am.

It was a nice break away from work and blogging but I can't say it was even slightly relaxing so I'm looking forward to getting back into my usual routine and catching up on some sleep. The funny thing is I have to return in exactly a month for another girl friend's wedding which I'm a bridesmaid for but K will be joining me and we're making a vacation out of that trip!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Mixed Berry Smoothie


I'm keeping it simple today with one of my favorite recipes for a on-the-go breakfast or snack.

Ingredients:
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup low fat vanilla (or plain) yogurt

What To Do:
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend well for a few minutes until smooth.


Enjoy!

Martinis & Bikinis

1. Follow Kate and myself via GFC and Bloglovin.

2. Link up your favorite recipes or food-related posts.

3. Grab our Recipe Swap button and link back to our blogs.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Hi friends! I'll be missing out on the action in the blog world until Monday as I'm heading home to Trinidad (southern Caribbean) for my best friend's wedding.

I'll be staying with my parents and enjoying the sunshine, warmth and amazing food that I've missed so much. Most importantly though, I'll get to spend some time with my friends & family and stand by my best friend's side to witness her marriage.


For those that don't know, I was born and raised in Trinidad and I moved to Florida when I was 18 to go to University. I've been in Florida for about 13 years so my "home" is divided between the two places but I've always said home is where your mom is and that would be Trinidad!

I did a travel recap of Trinidad a while back if you want to check it out and see how beautiful it is. Not being biased or anything! haha

You can also follow my travel adventures on Instagram.

Catch you next week loves!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Influenster Refresh VoxBox


I've been a member of Influenster for a while now and get VoxBoxes here and there to test and review if the products strike an interest with me. The #RefreshVoxBox didn't disappoint and included a variety of nutrition, beauty and personal care items; all of which I would use in my daily routine. 

Nutrition Snacks


Beanitos Chips: I wasn't familiar with Beanitos chips before receiving these two samples but I really enjoyed both - Restaurant Style & Nacho Cheese. They are full of fiber and protein and also gluten-free so that's good news for those that avoid gluten. I'll definitely purchase them again cause I think they are one of the better tasting chips out there minus the greasiness of some brands I won't mention.

 

Skinnygirl Nutrition bar (5 for $5 at Target): I love Skinnygirl products including their cocktails but haven't had a chance to try their Nutrition bars so I was excited to see a bar was included in the #RefreshVoxBox. I got the Banana & Oatmeal Dark Chocolate bar which was very tasty and the perfect on-the-go snack. I'm not a huge fan of banana flavored stuff so I will try another type when I purchase.



Beauty Products


Covergirl UltraSmooth Foundation & Applicator: This is the product I was most excited to receive because I recently noticed it on the shelves at the drugstore. Ultrasmooth contains Olay serum and is meant to provide medium coverage for a more natural look. The flat, rubbery applicator is not like any others I've tried but it does it's job and blends well. I plan on continuing to use this product because, luckily they sent me the correct tint for my skin tone.



Montagne Jeunesse Face Masque: I've tried a couple Montagne Jeunesse face products in the past and was never impressed enough to re-purchase but I did enjoy the experience with this face mask. You apply after washing/cleansing your face, let dry for 15-20 minutes and then peel. I loved the smell and how my face felt after so I think this is one of their better products for the face.

L'Occitane Shea Butter Comforting Cream: I've never heard of this brand but the cream is formulated with 5% shea butter and made for normal to oily skin.  I really liked how it made my face feel after I applied to a clean face after showering at night. I'm going to keep this in my skincare regimen as a night cream (and I'm pretty picky with my facial products). 



Dental Care



Listerine Pocketpaks: I've never been a huge fan of Listerine mouthwashes. I use gentler mouthwashes but the pocketpacks aren't a bad gig to keep in your purse to freshen your breathe on the go. I like these!

DenTek Floss Picks: I've used floss picks before but always resort back to traditonal dental floss. I really liked these ones though. They were effortless to use, easy on my gums and give off a minty flavor. I'm excited I have 30 count pack for many more uses.

I don't have kids so I'll be giving away the DenTek Fun Flossers to a friend for her to test out with her kids but I'm sure they work just as effectively as the adult flossers. 

I received these products free from Influenster to test and review. 

Have you tried any of the above brands?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Italian Beef Florentine & Savory Pasta


This is a Publix Apron's recipe that K found a while ago and wanted to try over the weekend. You can find the original recipe here. It's a 2-step process to make the Italian Beef Florentine and then the Tortellini & Broccoli pasta but it's well worth the effort. Overall it only takes about 30 minutes to cook eveything but there's several pots, pans and bowls involved. I modified a few ingredients from the original recipe but it was a huge win and K takes all the credit for this one. I did the dishes!

Serving Size: 4

Italian Florentine
Ingredients:
4 lean ground beef patties (1 lb)
2 eggs, beaten
1.5 cups Panko bread crumbs
2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
2 tbsp olive oil
1 jar Alfredo sauce
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup flour
Salt & pepper to taste


What To Do:
Place flour in bowl
Beat eggs gently in second bowl
Combine bread crumbs, seasoning, salt, and pepper in a third bowl
 

1. Preheat large pan on medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Dip patties in flour, coating both sides. Dip into eggs; let excess drip off. Dredge in bread crumb mixture (wash hands)
2. Pour olive oil in pan, then slowly add patties and cook 2-3 minutes on each side to brown
3. Reduce heat to medium and cook for an additional 2-3 more minutes on each side or until cooked to your liking.

  
4. Place Alfredo sauce in medium saucepan; bring to a boil on medium-high
5. Reduce heat on sauce to low. Stir in spinach; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until spinach wilts. Serve sauce over patties



Savory Pasta
Ingredients:
2 tbsp olive oil
1.5 cups water
1 can diced tomatoes (drained) 
1 package frozen cheese tortellini
1 pack frozen broccoli with cheese sauce

What To Do: 
This is where I modified the recipe quite a bit. 
1. Boil tortellini in a medium saucepan according to direction on the package

2. Cook broccoli and cheese in the microwave according to the direction on the package
3. Drain tortellini and return to saucepan
 4. Add the diced tomatoes and cheesy broccoli to the saucepan with tortellini and cook 2 more minutes or until hot and bubbly


Serve and enjoy!

Martinis & Bikinis

1. Follow Kate and myself via GFC and Bloglovin.

2. Link up your favorite recipes or food-related posts.

3. Grab our Recipe Swap button and link back to our blogs.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Valentine's Weekend Festivities

Another busy, busy weekend...

On Friday evening I came home from work to find Lola dressed in a cute Valentine's outfit and some roses from my two loves. You can tell she's getting big but I still love picking her up like a baby!
 
K and I then headed to Downtown Disney to have dinner at Planet Hollywood before the SOJA concert at the House of Blues. SOJA is a reggae band from Arlington, Virginia that I absolutely love. My sister gifted used the concert tickets for Christmas so I've been looking forward to the show for a while.
 
 


On Saturday we took Lola to her final training class at PetSmart. She passed her graduation class not exactly with flying colors and got her certificate of achievement so we're done with puppy training!


After training, K and I headed to Epcot to continue the Valentine's festivities. 


We did some shopping in China and had some drinks in Japan, Morocco and England.  


We capped off the night with a double-date dinner in the France pavilion at the Monsieur Paul restaurant. I had the duck entree which was amazing and same for the wine was but holy expensive!! On the plus side, we were seated by the window which overlooked the 9pm fireworks so the view was priceless.


By the time we were done with dinner it was at 10:30pm and the park was closed for the day so we had a peaceful walk back to the car without tripping over a million people and got some great photos. It was the perfect end to Valentine's day!



Sunday was a relaxing day at home. Lola played dress up in her new Chinese kimono I bought at Epcot and I also love the little Buddha statue I got for my office desk.

Joining the lovely Biana for her Weekending linkup.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!