Month: March 2013

doctor’s orders: much needed rest

I had a health scare Thursday, which somewhat put a lot of things into perspective. I mean, why is it that, we push ourselves to the limits and only react when we are faced with an emergency visit to the doctor’s office?  I just don’t understand. But anyway, we are human and this is what we do. With that said, I have to say my doctor’s orders are much-needed rest and time to wind down. Something, of course, I hadn’t been doing.  His instruction was to go home and think of ways to relax or find relaxation and hence, I spend the greater part of yesterday afternoon thinking of ways to do just that: 1. A walk through the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park – San Francisco 2. Spend an afternoon at a neighborhood old fashioned bookstore – West Portal, San Francisco 3. Spend a day at a hot spring spa in Calistoga, California (near Napa) 4. Rent a paddleboat for Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park and circle the lake while listening …

healthy eating: lavendar granola

I have to say I love granola, more so soaked in Almond Milk than over yogurt, although I’m not that picky. But the store bought version tends to have too much sugar, which is something I am trying to definitely cut down.  So, I was happy to find the recipe from here to try and also to share.  The only difference is, although, I love lavendar, I prefer not to incorporate it in my food, so I substituted the exotic flavor with a dash of cinnamon (my favorite) instead. Lavender Granola Ingredients: 2 cups Oats 1/4 cup Flax Seeds 3/4 Nuts of choice or mix them all! (A mix of almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds) 1 tsp Vanilla 4 Tbsp Honey 1 Tbsp Lavender Buds Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, bring all ingredients together and mix well. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes until golden, dry and toasty. Let cool, then transfer to a mason jar to store. Serve over yogurt and top with fresh berries …

boutique hotel pick – baccara resort and spa – santa barbara california

I woke up this morning with a sudden need to travel somewhere, even if only for the weekend. I guess it’s that time of the year again, when I get the travel bug and no matter what I shift my focus on, I remain distracted until I finally organize a holiday getaway of some sort. Baccara Resort and Spa is a place I’ve been to, twice. Once for a wedding and the other, just to run away. I had forgotten about the destination until I scanned my memory for quick get-away places from San Francisco and lucky for me, I remembered. The hotel is sprawled on the sandy beaches of the Pacific Ocean, in the middle of California, very close to the town of Santa Barbara and offers some of the most prestiges   resort and spa amenities one would need to get their bearings back.   

fashion statement: romance and cocktail parties

I love getting dressed up, even if only for one night out of a month and going on, what is known to any generation – a date night.  But what I love the most is surprising, my significant other with how I look. I insist on making a fashion statement, whether it be for romance or simply a cocktail party for two. So, here’s to fashion statements and date nights and here are my latest inspirations to duplicate: 1. Valentino Cotton and Silk-blend dress 1990USD 2. Thakoon Embroidered organza and printed cotton and silk blend 2150USD 3. J. Crew Printed silk and cotton blend dress 495USD 4. Donna Karan Belted draped stretch jersey dress 1495USD 5. Alice & Olivia Essie printed jacquard dress 597USD

healthy recipe: fajita burgers

As I stated many times before I eat healthy and with that there are many sacrifices I have made in order to stay within the guidlines of eating well.  On occassion, however, I crave the fat, the cheesy, the breads and carbs and when I stumble upon a recipe which gives me the chance to indulge in a healthy way, I jump right on it. Here’s one recipe I absolutely love and have included in my monthly menu planning. Ingredients 1 pound 90%-lean ground beef 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion 1/4 cup chopped scallions 2 teaspoons minced garlic 1 tablespoon chili powder, preferably New Mexican 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise 1 tablespoon lime juice 1 tablespoon chopped chipotle chile in adobo, (see Ingredient Note) 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese 4 French rolls, preferably whole-wheat, split and toasted 2 roasted Anaheim or poblano peppers, (see Tip) 1 cup shredded green cabbage 4 slices tomato …