Monthly Archives: May 2015

American - FOOD - "The Delicious" - Healthy

Gjelina in Venice, CA

May 31, 2015

Gjelina


I’ve had some good eats in LA for sure, but Gjelina set the bar on a whole different level.

Gjelina

It could be that we were famished and every single thing on the menu looked like a good idea (marinated roast beets with avocado, citrus, hazelnut and sherry whattt?). Could have been  the outdoor patio dining area that let us soak in some of the beautiful Cali weather. OR it was likely even our waiter, Myan, who detailed each dish with so much gusto you felt like not ordering one of his recommendations might actually let him down (but he wouldn’t let you, of course, because he was so convinced we were going to love the food he put in the orders for us even as we were deliberating over them). But really, it always comes down to the meal which gave us so much to pore over (in taste and looks — every meal looked like it was fashioned for a gourmet mag), we left elated. Feast your eyes on it:

Tuscan kale, shaved fennel, radish, lemon, ricotta salata and breadcrumbs

From just looking at the menu, I would have never thought to order the smoked trout salad — I’m not a huge fish eater, and the combo with grapefruit and avocado sounded too experimental for even me. But Myan insisted we had to try it. The salad is so fresh and the citrus isn’t overpowering at all — I would even ended up liking it more than the kale salad.

Smoked trout, grapefruit, avocado, red onion, and lemon


Grilled king oyster mushrooms with tarragon butter

Grilled king oyster mushrooms with tarragon butter


Wood roasted cauliflower, garlic, chili, vinegar


Crispy purple potatoes, aioli, pickled red onion, horseradish, and dill


Hanger steak sandwich with roasted anaheim pepper, arugula, and horseradish aioli


Salt and pepper frites with romesco and aoili


Pomodoro, confit tomato, basil, oregano, and green olive oil


Side of fresh oregano, cheese, and red pepper


Mushroom, rosemary, and garlic oil pizza


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Avocado, sprouts, red onions, pepper, aioli, and fennel sandwich


Just when we though we couldn’t eat more, Myan convinced us that we haven’t lived until we tried their butterscotch pot de creme with salted caramel and creme fraiche.

Butterscotch pot de creme


And that’s how lunch is done. Can’t wait to go back to check out their bakery counterpart, Gjusta. And since you’re on Abbot Kinney anyway, make sure you stop by the cute shops on the street like Burra, and Tom’s coffee shop/shoe store.

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Afghani - FOOD - "The Delicious"

Fremont Afghan Kabob in SF

May 28, 2015

Guys, if you have just three hours before a flight in SF and have time to eat at only one place, do like we did and visit Fremont Afghan Kabob — because you’ll have good food and be really happy and then pass out immediately right after *takes a breath.

Inside Fremont Aghan Kabob

The plan was actually to go to De Afghanan upon a fairly solid recommendation from our friends, but we got there only to find it was opening later than schedule (not sure if it being Memorial Day had anything to do with that). We took a chance at the newly opened Fremont Afghan Kabob since it was the first time for us all, and the short story is it did not disappoint. The restaurant has two areas. The entrance has regular tables and seats, but a level up is a carpeted space with low tables where you can eat family-style sitting on cushioned floor mats and pillows. Fine for us — maybe not so much for our little 6 foot 4 friend, but he managed to sprawl out in his own little corner without complaint.

Inside Fremont Afghan Kabob


The decor (replete with traditional Afghan clothes, shoes and crocheted pakols pinned up high on the walls) wasn’t its strong suit (no pun), but the food was definitely the star of the place as we hoped for. We ordered boorani kadoo (butternut pumpkin cooked with garlic, peppers and onions topped with their homemade yogurt, boolani (grilled bread filled with seasoned potatoes) to start.

Boorani kadoo


Boolani


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We moved on to mantoo (Afghan style pot sticker filled with ground beef onions and spices, topped with homemade yogurt ground beef tomato sauce), chicken kabob (charbroiled chicken breast marinated with seasoning and served with brown rice), beef kabob, and chapli kabob (grilled ground beef with cilantro, green onions, and spices).

Mantoo


Chicken kabob


Mixed dish with beef and chicken kabob


Chapli kabob

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Spanish/Latin American - Travel Beauty - Travel Feasts

All about my Costa Rica trip!

May 22, 2015

I’m still nostalgic over my trip to beautiful Costa Rica. Since then, I’ve had a few people asking me about details about what I did, and where I stayed so I figured I’ll do a round up here to make it easier on everyone ☺.

Poás Volcano



WHERE WE STAYED
(in order of day):
Double Tree Hilton (San Jose)

Lobby at the Double Tree in San Jose


Outdoor pool at the Double Tree hotel


Hotel Presidente (San Jose)

Hotel Presidente


Volcano Lodge (Arenal)

Welcome drinks at Volcano Lodge


Outdoor pools at the Volcano Lodge

Note: One place to avoid if you’re going to Arenal is Arenal Paraiso Resort & Spa. We kept coming back to our room to find animal droppings on our bed, so we had to shift over to Volcano Lodge really late at night.
Parador Resort & Spa (Punta Quepos/Manuel Antonio)

Parador Hotel


That view!


*This was by far our favorite hotel – beautiful heated pools, scenery, spa, and gym.
Club del Mar (Playa Jaco/Jaco Beach)

Club del Mar


Club Del Mar at night


WHAT I PACKED
:
Pack plenty of comfy workout clothes (I depended on leggings), sneakers (or water shoes) for rafting, and canyoning, and extra bathing suits. By the end, every single thing I brought was drenched. There was almost no day where we didn’t get wet, either from activities, or from light rainfall.

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Beauty - "The Lovely" - interviews

The Real co-host Jeannie Mai talks beauty & recycling your products

May 19, 2015

“Makeup has always been the most inexpensive way to enhance my identity,” Jeannie Mai, beauty expert and talk show host of The Real tells me. “Even at the age of 36, I can still have confidence issues. That’s why it’s important for me to partner with companies like Unilever — they teach women to not only own their beauty, but to take it a step further and do good for the planet as well.”

Jeannie Mai, beauty & fashion expert and co-host of The Real, joins the Unilever “Rinse. Recycle. Reimagine.” movement and shows off how with just a rinse and recycle empty bath and beauty bottles can take on new life and return as new items like her stylish umbrella.


The queen of reinventing herself (seriously, she’s probably sported 3,000 different looks since I first met her four years ago in NY!), shared some of her beauty tips with me below!:

Beauty and the Feast: How do you store your beauty products when you travel, and what do you make sure you take with you?
Jeannie Mai:
I love compacts, so I create my own. Once my old makeup products – blush or foundation compacts – are done, I rinse out the residue on the inside, then I use them to use my new concealers and lip glosses. For example, I finished this one blush compact, so I put new lip glosses in it, stuck it in the fridge, and it cools to make a new lip palette. I condense all my products, so I have a small makeup pouch. You can also purchase ones made of recycled material.

Once I travel, the number one thing I make sure I pack besides my lip colors is my Simple Micellar Cleansing Water. It’s the shiz! Especially when you’re traveling you don’t always have time to go to a sink and wash your face. As long as I have that cleansing water, it allows me to wash my face, so to speak, wipe off all my makeup and it leaves my skin feeling moisturized too. You know how when you’re on the plane your skin feels really tight? This is the only stuff that once I’ve cleansed my face it actually feels really moisturized and rejuvenated so I don’t have to put on additional moisturizer when I don’t have time.

Mai in West Hollywood



BATF: Do you have any beauty rituals on the plane?
Mai:
I always put a lumbar pillow on my seat for my back or even a rolled up sweater on the lower part of my back. I promise you it will make a world of difference. And I love oils or aromas, I use lavender oil on my wrist and neckline once I board. It smells so fresh and relaxing.

BATF: What are some products you have in your bag right now?
Mai:
I always have a Dove bar because it removes my makeup and doesn’t irritate my skin. Even expensive hotels might have nice products but it has so much fragrance in them that it irritates my skin. I have eczema so this works best for me. I also carry a little Tom Ford perfume with me. And I love carrying Too Faced palettes — there also made of recycled products. I always support brands that do their part.

BATF: What are some tips you learned on the set of The Real?
Mai:
My makeup artist, Uzmee, is always playing with glitter. And you know when you use glitter or any kind of sparkle and you get that one speck that travels down your face and just sticks there — like, no matter how hard you try to flick it with your nail, it never comes off? Here’s your tip: take a little piece of Scotch tape and tape it right off. If you don’t want to ruin your makeup, take the piece of tape and stick it somewhere else on your skin and take it off so it’s not so sticky and then touch that glitter and you can remove it without having to like claw your face to death.

The program is designed to educate people about recycling in the bathroom, inspire them to reimagine what empty bathroom products could become through recycling, and ultimately make a small change that holds big potential to positively impact the environment.



BATF: Finally, why is important to you to work with Unilever to raise awareness on recycling?
Mai:
We have seven billion people in this world and one planet. The average American has about eight plastic bottles that can be recycled in their bathroom. We have to take it beyond just the kitchen — think about the bottles in the bathroom. Think about your body washes, your deodorants, your creams – all these things in plastic containers. It’s not just because it’s good for the planet, but these things can be remade into products that we buy today still: your makeup bags, your hairbrushes, even your kids backyard play sets. They’re all made from recycled plastics. If we all took it a step further, we can save 29 million tons of plastic that end up in landfills every year. It’s unbelievable how much waste we produce. Unilever wants to reward you for doing your part. Just take a picture of any plastic bottles in your bathroom and post it on Instagram or Twitter with hashtag #reimaginethat #sweeps, and Unilever can award you with a prize, which is pretty cool!

Snap a photo of your bathroom recyclables on Twitter or Instagram using #ReimagineThat and #Sweeps to spread the word and be entered for a chance to win reimagined recycled prizes. Details below!


Thanks Jeannie Mai and Unilever for the interview!

More details on the Unilever Sweepstakes: Go to brightfuture.unilever.us to learn more about bathroom recycling and how to get involved! http://unileversweepsrules.com/reimagine/ read more

Breakfast/Brunch - FOOD - "The Delicious" - Healthy - Homemade - Recipes - Vegetarian

Recipe: Avocado banana breakfast smoothie

May 4, 2015

Sorry, sorry. Technology and I — we’re just not friends. I tried to post this recipe for you guys yesterday but [insert chain of excuses here]. As I mentioned on Instagram, I’ve been drinking this smoothie after I workout in the mornings and it gives me so much energy and is filled with nutrients. And it doesn’t hurt that it takes two minutes to make. Just mix the following together in a blender:


Ingredients
:
1/2 an avocado
1 banana
1 tsp ginger, raw/grated
1 tsp honey
1 cup brewed green tea
1/2 cup of spinach
1 tsp of Carrington Farms organic chia and flaxseed mix (optional)
ice

Avocado breakfast smoothie

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