7.31.2012

Midtown East Farmer's Market

I was beside myself when I realized that every Wednesday there is a farmer's market just two blocks from my office. It's the Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza Greenmarket, on 47th Street at 2nd Avenue (Open 8am-3pm). I stopped by during lunch to pick up some goodies for dinner. I think it's safe to say that this will be my Wednesday tradition. Nothing like a stroll through a market to freshen the mind.

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With my finds, I just made a simple salad of chopped cherry tomatoes, tomatillos, and edible flowers (so cute and tasty!). This salad was dressed with olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper, and fresh basil.

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Then, I sauteed the eggplant, zucchini blossoms and squash in olive oil, with some garlic, pepper, red pepper flakes, salt... and then after cooking, I melted in 2 tbs of mascarpone cheese into the mixture.

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7.30.2012

Guest Post: Creative Organization

Today's Guest Post featuring new and creative ways to get organized, without stuffing everything in a closet, under the bed, or corner! I know I'm guilty!

Using displays as extra storage
Storage space seems to have the magical ability to shrink when you need it most. Logically, we know that the space is the same size but there never seems to be enough. When it gets to a certain point you might think you have to choose between chucking out your stuff or getting a bigger home. Fortunately, you don’t have to do anything that extreme if you get a little creative and incorporate displays into your storage strategy.

Start with your closet
Your closet is the perfect place to start looking for display items. Your choice of clothes, shoes, and accessories determines your “look” that probably translates over to other areas in your life. As a result, your wardrobe is likely the perfect match for your current home décor. For example, if you have a great collection of shoes you can put up some shelves to show them off. Getting them out of the closet and on display will free up storage you can use for other, less visually appealing items.



Collections on display
Are you a collector? If so, it’s time to put your prized items on display for everyone to see! Almost all collectibles can be displayed in one way or another, which frees up the storage space they were filling before. Depending on the nature of the collectible, more shelves might do the trick. Unusual items might require a bit more creativity, however. One of the best solutions I’ve seen came from a pocket watch collector. Most watch collectors use shadow boxes or flat cabinets for keeping watches, but this collector decided to hang the watches on the wall. He put in hooks over his office desk and hung the watches from them. He even kept some open and showing time for different time zones around the world! Your collection deserves the same attention, so get it out in the open instead of letting it sit in the closet.  

Get the kids involved
If you have kids then it’s time to get them involved in your display storage strategy. Put up shelving and hooks in their rooms and let them go crazy! Most kids will be more than happy to put their most prized toys and other possessions on display. This is a great way to avoid the clutter of extra toys strewn about in every room of the house. Make sure the displays are sturdy and easily accessible so you don’t end up with a hurt kid after he tried to climb up on the shelf and fell. If you get the kids involved enough they’ll soon be pestering (in a good way!) all your guests to come see their cool displays.

Displays that double as storage are the perfect way to free up some extra room in your home. The amount of room you can get back is only limited by your creativity!


Author’s bio: Lisa is an author and expert at SelfStorageDeals.com specializing in storage and organization. She proudly displays her collection of antique cooking utensils in her dining room.

7.27.2012

Happy {Birthday} Friday: A View From the Top!

Have a great weekend everyone.
Just a quick shot of NYC from above.
The fiancé took it while landing at LaGuardia.
Good times.

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Today is also my birthday. 
I have now entered the last year of my twenties! 
Here are my horoscopes today, 
which I think are so inspirational and could not be closer to the truth. 

The next 12 months will at times be difficult but they will also be rewarding, so take each day as it comes and strive to make each 24-hour period a mini masterpiece. Make this a time of real and lasting achievement. 

Cosmic activity in your own sign encourages you to believe that you can do anything - and it's not far from the truth. But you will accomplish more in the long-term if you focus on one particular talent. Be the world's number one. 

If it's your birthday...
Happy birthday, Leo! When you’re true to yourself, life has a way of falling into place. You are blessed with close friends who support your aspirations. This year, you can connect with people to help you grow on a business level.
source

7.25.2012

Cotton Candy Couture

So it's Wednesday... that means it's hump day and you are already in need of a cocktail. Well, I've got you covered thanks to my friends at Cotton Candy Couture. They were kind enough to think I was sassy enough to submit a cocktail and outfit look. Thanks, CCC!

Check out Cotton Candy Couture!


ps if you don't drink, this is super delicious sans vodka for a light snack or pre-workout.

7.24.2012

{ i heart }... skin care


 
{ i heart } skin care

Today's { i heart } is all about my favorite skin care products.
I was inspired to write about them after a fun chat with Emily of Amazing Grapes on the topic. 
Enjoy!

The following products are the ones that I personally use on a daily basis. I was not paid to endorse them. I've just taken up a collection and habit with certain products and the results have been great. I do not have a before and after picture... but I never had major acne so I'm not sure the picture would do how my skin actually feels justice. Overall, by using all of these products, my skin is smoother, more supple, pores are less defined, and the color is more toned, even, and not blotchy.

My skin type: Fair, dry all over except  my T-Zone, which is oily, and very sensitive. I get blotchy all over from the slightest irritation.

As far as my skin care routine goes, I am not going to tell you what I use to wash my face or to moisturize with lotion... mainly because I just use whatever bar of soap I have and whatever bottle of lotion I have not used up yet. Nothing fancy. (But a good idea is to use lotions with Aloe or Vitamin E)

So, Step One: I wash my face with a bar of soap. (Dove is actually a great timeless product, but I use lots of organic soaps too) 

Step 2: Scrub-a-Dub-Dub

Finding a great face scrub will do wonders for your skin in the summer and winter. Nothing like a fresh face. I starting using Pangea Oraganics Facial Scrub with Egyptian Geranium, Adzuki Bean & Cranberry. What I like about it most is that it has a smoothing effect and after using it my face feels very moisturized, even though I just scrubbed everything off. It's also very gentle. 

A great drugstore alternative: St. Ives Apricot Scrub
(They make a "gentle" version too)










Step 3: Pre-Moisturize Moisturizer

While I am still in the shower or bath, and I've washed everything, I take little dime size amounts of Jojaba Oil and just use it all over my body. Face, elbows, knees, shins, feet, hands... EVERYWHERE. Don't be afraid to put it on your face. Just because it's oil, that doesn't mean you'll breakout necessarily. So try a little and see if you have a reaction. Jojaba oil makes your skin incredibly smooth and has purifying abilities as well. I really love it.

Once a week, I'll also use a little mixed in with my conditioner. It really leaves the hair silky and treats your split ends. Don't use too mush though. Otherwise your head will be a total grease ball.
Tip: you can also mix this into your lotions and soaps so it's one less step in your routine.











Step 4: Tone it Up

Toning is not just a term for your body. It's also for your skin. If you want an even skin tone, with no pores showing, investing in a great toner will do the trick. I got this Clairvoyant Beauty Cucumber Toner in a monthly beauty group and I will definitely be purchasing another one when I have used up what I have. It smells like you actually just cut up a cucumber and rubbed it on your face. I just spray this all over my face when I get out of the shower. Let it dry a bit, then rub it in.

Cheaper Alternative: Rose Water
(heard about this from The Boot Blog!)






Step 5: Wrinkle Prevention


Vitamin E is the oldest trick in the book when it comes to combating wrinkles. Recently, I found a bottle of high concentration Vitamin E oil. Gone are the days of piercing vitamin E capsules! (Thanks Emily, I did this too!). After you've scrubbed and toned, take a dime size amount of the Vitamin E and massage it under your eyes, the corners where crows feet hide, the lids, and even between the brows. Be careful not to get any in your eyes. Moisturize with whatever other lotion you like all over your face. This will help distribute the product lightly too.  I only do this at night, as the product is very thick and needs the nighttime to absorb into the skin.










Step 6: Zit Zap Miracle!

I don't have acne, but I do get zits! Random little pimples at random little times. And since I was in high school, Burt's Bees Tea Tree Leaf Oil Blemish Stick has worked miracles every time. I swear that when I put this on a pimple at night, the next morning it's either gone or 80% done. It's a no fail product in my book. It's just a little roll on stick that you roll onto the area. I do this after all of my other skin products, otherwise I'm just covering the spot with moisture and that's what a pimple needs to survive. The fiancé uses it too!

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PRODUCTS?










Other things i  heart }
 


7.23.2012

Guest Post: Design in Barcelona

Guest Post: Discovering the World of Design in Barcelona
by: Harriet Freeman of Things to do in Barcelona

Perhaps it's the presence of Guadí's works of art that are scattered around the city, maybe it could all be due to the huge transformation that took place in anticipation of the 1992 Olympics, or maybe it all just happened by chance, regardless of what triggered it; Barcelona is recognized internationally as an artistic city that lives and breathes culture and creativity. The aim of this article is to help immerse you in this world of Barcelona design, and will cover topics like the accommodation you stay in, the shops you visit, the attractions that you tour, and the restaurants you eat in.

Staying in style 
This isn't the most essential part of getting the most out of your design visit to Barcelona, but it helps to return to a nice place at night where you can appreciate the interior design efforts of your host. Normally the most stylishly designed accommodation for the best price can be found in apartments rather than hotels. If you wish to stay in an apartment you just use a rental agency that specialize in low-cost quality Barcelona apartments a quick search here found a nice and cheap apartment in Arc Triomf. 

Design Shops 

Shopping! Perhaps the most well-known design store in Barcelona is Vincon. Here you can find a number of quirky designer products from lots of famous European design brands like Joseph & Joseph, and Alessi. On Gran de Gràcia there is a new shop called “Culinarium" that specialize in design products for the kitchen. In terms of clothes, practically all of the famous Spanish designer labels are located along Passieg de Gràcia; Zara, Mango, Bershka, Adolfo Dominguez, and Sfera (well it's in Plaza Catalunya but it's close enough). The Born district of the city is widely known for being a center for fashion boutiques, while you're there, check out “La Comercial", a boutique which stocks men and womens-wear from designers like Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood, and Givenchy. 

Attractions 

Okay, visiting the works of Guadí is practically mandatory for visitors to Barcelona, but when you're not admiring Parc Güell, La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo, or Casa Mila, then what more is there to see for the design-inclined sightseer? Well there is a whole network of design attractions to see in Barcelona called Disseny Hub which includes the Museu Tèxtil i d’Indumentària (Fashion and Textiles), Museu de les Artes Decoratives (Interior Design), Ceramics Museum, and Gabinet de les Arts Gràfiques (Graphic design and typography museum), they all take a look at the history of design in their respective fields allowing visitors to get a better idea of how design has evolved. There is also the lesser known MIBA museum which is a museum of inventions, from the most fascinating to the most absurd (like a mop with a microphone at the end so you can pretend to be a rock star while keeping the house clean). Finally, between the 1st and 5th October, BCN Design Week 2012 will bring design professionals and enthusiasts alike to the city in order to promote and debate design, as well as key speakers talking about innovation. It's great if you want to improve your design knowledge or make contacts within the world of design.  

Restaurants
Finally we reach restaurants. Javier Mariscal is a famous designer who lives in Barcelona and created the mascot Cobi for the 1992 Olympics, he has also had his work shown in an exhibition at the Design Museum in London. One of his design projects was the Restaurant Tragaluz which can be found in the city center of Barcelona on Pasaje de Concepción if you're willing to pay the rather expensive prices to eat there. If that's not enough to satisfy your design urges then you can make a visit to Citrus with its interior designed by Antoni Arola (winner of the National Design Award 2003) and decorated with paintings by Lluis Lleó, a contemporary artist who was born in Barcelona and grew up in New York. There are many well designed and contemporary restaurants in Barcelona so it only takes a little bit of a search to find the right one for you. 

So whether you're planning to add a touch of design to your trip, or to immerse yourself in it completely, here's hoping that this guide proves useful for you. However, if you have any doubts or would simply like to know a bit more; drop me a comment and I'll do my best to help you out!

More articles and photos on Barcelona: 

7.20.2012

Guest Post: Beauty and the Heat



Happy Friday! In today's Guest Post, we've got some fabulous beauty tips for looking hot in the hot weather. Enjoy! I really love this one...

Heat-Proofing Your Beauty Routine
Following on from this article about dressing for the heat, it's now also a good time to think about tweaking your beauty routine for the same problem!

If you're someone that finds that no matter how carefully you've applied your make up, by lunch time it's everywhere but on your face, hopefully there will be some tips here that will help rectify that and make sure you still look as good at the end of the day as you did at the start!


Skincare tips
An increase in humidity and temperature means that the creams and serums we slathered on our face during the winter months are possibly now too heavy. However we still need to keep our skin supple and hydrated. Some brands will offer a lighter version of their normal moisturizer designed for summer months and heat. One that rates very highly is 
Garnier Nutritioniste Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel Cream, reasonably priced and has a soothing gel texture that hydrates without oiliness.

You could kill two birds with one stone and opt for an all-in-one product like a BB cream which will not only moisturize your skin but add color, concealment of blemishes and also offer a high SPF too.

Brands to look for include the original BB Cream by Missha, pricy but by comparison to many brands who have tried their hand at the formula, this is the original and best and offers the most in terms of skincare benefits.
image courtesy of riebutik.com

Primer: a girl’s best make up friend!
Possibly the most important thing you can do in summer to protect your make up is to use a primer on your skin. Not only will it seal in the moisturizers you've used and make them work harder for you, but they will create a great barrier between your skin and the environment to stop the heat and humidity making your make up slip off!

A good primer will help minimize pores, which can sometimes look worse or larger because of extreme weather conditions. A primer is applied straight after your skincare. They dry down on the skin almost instantly and leave your skin matte and ready for make up.

A good brand to choose is Laura Geller, whose Spackle Primer not only gives a lovely luminous finish to the skin but also feels ultra cool as it’s smoothed on, perfect for when temperatures are high. It also comes in a variety of different shades including a bronzing version.

image courtesy of laurageller.com

Make up
If you’re someone who doesn’t like the idea of a BB cream and would prefer more of a proper make up, then opt for a good tinted moisturizer with a fine layer of loose powder over the top to set it. Ever popular is Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer with added SPF. Adding a layer of powder over the top will help finish the look and banish shine.

After you’ve applied your make up, you can use a relatively new innovation to the market called a make-up setting spray such as this one by Model In A Bottle. Applied sparingly over your finished face it will help your cosmetic application last longer, and in combination with good skincare and a primer will ensure everything stays put until you decide to take it off.

image courtesy of handbagfairy.co.uk
 

Refreshing
Sometimes, during the day we all end up with shiny patches or oiliness showing through (though if you follow the steps above it should really help to lessen this). If you still find that there’s the odd bit of shine on your skin that you don’t want perhaps later in the afternoon, then think about looking for a product such as the quirkily named and packaged Papier Poudre which is a neat and natty way to make sure your complexion is looking good at all times. It's also handbag sized for ease of use!
image courtesy of sumally.com

Points to remember
Sometimes, it’s also worth looking at your diet and what you put into your body as much as what you’re doing on the outside to remedy make-up issues. A diet that’s too high in over-processed or fatty foods will not only make you feel bad, but it will show on your skin. Increasing your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables in the form of refreshing salads and making sure you take in plenty of water will help banish any oiliness or skin issues, as would taking on board a good grass fed whey protein supplement to help keep energy levels high during periods of intense heat. It’s no good having the perfect make-up on if you’re too tired to see it in the mirror!

Above all, have fun experimenting with some or all of the tips here and maybe find some new favorite products along that way that can make your summer beauty routine much more pleasurable to do!
---
Janet Redskin is a freelance health and beauty writer from London, England. She strongly believes that a healthy diet is the key to a healthier, happier life.

DON'T FORGET THE $50 SHABBY APPLE GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY... ENTER HERE! 
 

7.19.2012

Restaurant Review: The Greatest Meal on "Hearth"

DON'T FORGET THE $50 SHABBY APPLE GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY... ENTER HERE! 

Hey everyone! I have a great restaurant review for you today. Last week, we dined at Hearth for the fiance's birthday dinner. Hearth actually used to be Salt, and it's down in the East Village in NYC. Before I tell you what we ate, just a heads up that on Tuesdays they have an actual Pig Roast with beer and wine pairings. Needless to say, we'll be back for sure!

Hearth specializes in local and in-season ingredients. The menu even includes a full list of where their products come from. Since their menu is seasonal and not online, I will do my best to explain the dishes we had. The waiter and staff were incredibly attentive, nice, and the service was neither too fast or too slow. Just right! And the food, was so delicious. Everything was so fresh, simple, and prepared with love.

*Side-note. I don't like to take my camera to dinners. Flashing is obnoxious in the evening... and so is acting like a mediocre foodie so I just stuck with Instagram... Wait, that makes me even more pretentious. Oh well! And if you are wondering where the flares came from, download the LensLight APP... it's addicting. Instagram should marry it.

We opted for the tasting menu.

Fava Bean and Pecorino Salad
Smoked Salmon and Farro Salad
Duo of Quail (Leg and Egg)
Braised Pork and Pappardelle (amazing!)
Roasted Pork & Beans
Keylime Sorbet
Cherry Upside-down Cake & a Message


What are some of your favorite restaurants in NYC? 

DON'T FORGET THE $50 SHABBY APPLE GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY... ENTER HERE! 

7.18.2012

Guest Post... Stylish Living Room: Decor and Ideas

DON'T FORGET THE $50 SHABBY APPLE GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY... ENTER HERE!

Today's Guest Post is all about spicing up your living room with thoughtful and fun pieces!

Your living room is the most prominent in your home—it is where you relax, host events, entertain guests, bond with your family, and get creative. Since you spend so much time here, it’s a worthwhile effort to decorate it to showcase your personality and your sense of taste. There is a plethora of living room decoration ideas, each as varied and unique as the people who utilize them. Take some time to create a stylish living space, and you will gain a wonderful place to unwind and show off to all your friends. The following tips will help you craft your perfect living room.

Walls


Your
living room walls are the largest project to decorate, and also give you the most versatility when it comes to choice of décor.

Wall Color

Wall color is an important choice to communicate the ‘feel’ of your living room. Soft, warm colors like pastel blues or purples invoke relaxation. If you are feeling bold, paint only one wall of your living room a strong accent color like red. Painting stripes on your wall creates the look of more space and adds an eccentric vibe. Thin stripes are more classic, while thick contemporary.

Wall Hangings

If you’re short on space, an age-old trick to create the illusion of more space is to hang mirrors. Experiment with different shapes and sizes of mirrors; though don’t go too large—you don’t want your living room turning into a ballet studio! Don’t feel the need to stick to plain square or rectangle shapes; try a star, heart, or spiral shape. Your walls are also a great place to display a unique collection you may have, such as ornamental dish trays or even clever t-shirts. Flowers also aren’t just for vases anymore—try displaying some dried, pressed flowers on your wall.

Display your favorite quotation on one wall with large black letters made specifically for wall decoration, or paint them on with a stencil. For a more contemporary touch, proudly display your family photos. Try hanging one large print with smaller prints surrounding it, or make a collage of your favorite memories. 


Accent Pieces

-The trick to adding decorative pieces of your living room is to place enough things to develop a personality, but not so many pieces that any visitor feels overwhelmed in your home.

-Flowers are a timeless decoration. A vibrant-colored set of flowers in an equally vibrant vase can bring a bold pop of color to the room, and fresh flowers bring in a pleasant scent as well as sight. 

-Don’t limit yourself to just placing flowers in a vase, though: also try large feathers or colorful sticks. Another take on flower decoration is to have a few long-stemmed fake flowers in a large vase as a stand-alone piece. Add some colorful pebbles in the vase, and you’ve given the look an edge.

Other Accent Pieces
 
-A bowl of seashells and sand adds a casual vibe, and a funky lamp can add just the right amount of personality to your living room. 

-Antique stores are great places to find unique accent pieces for your living room. Hang a couple shelves on the wall to display your finds.

-Another way to create a relaxing atmosphere in your home is to install a small fountain—the gentle sound of the flow of water is very soothing. 

-If the rest of your living room in one shade or one color, adding a pop of another completely different color keeps the room looking vibrant—try it with an accent pillow or throw rug. 



Floors

While deciding what to put on your living room floor, keep in mind the flow of traffic in your living room and decide where you want to direct it. Placing rugs strategically creates clean lines in your home and keeps everything looking orderly. Your rugs should be fairly simply designed and colored to keep from overshadowing the rest of your room.

Furniture

Deciding which furniture to place in your living room is probably most important, as it needs to accommodate visitor’s comfort levels as well as their sense of taste. As with decorating the floors, when placing furniture keep your flow of traffic in mind and make sure nothing will be obstructive. Do not feel limited to just placing your furniture against the wall: angling it creates a surprising contemporary edge. When buying furniture you can really allow your creativity to shine through, as there are so many choices for what to put in your living room. A light or cream colored couch and chairs open up the room and are a good choice if your walls are already highly accented. Create a modern feel by pairing all similarly toned or colored furniture with one piece that is radically different. Adding an ottoman or two not only refreshes the living room but provided additional seating spots. 


Image Sources: Shop4Furniture , Scrollmag

However you decide to decorate your living room, be most concerned with pleasing yourself and your family. Do not worry too much about making it trendy if that is not what you want—you will have to live in it every day! Be creative and, most importantly, have fun.

Author: Lisa Jolan

DON'T FORGET THE $50 SHABBY APPLE GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY... ENTER HERE! 

7.17.2012

Giveaway: $50 Shabby Apple Gift Card!!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED...

I have a fantastic, and fashionable, giveaway for you all today. 
It's a $50 Gift Card to Shabby Apple!


7.16.2012

Guest Post: Trichster

Hey everyone and Happy Monday (NOT)!

I have a very important Guest Post today. My friend Jillian is directing a documentary on a fairly unknown yet not uncommon disorder: Trichotillomania. Please check out her story below. Watch the video. And hopefully, donate to her cause so that she can take this film to the next level. Thanks!

 ************************************
Hello fans of Behold the Metatron! I have been invited to write a guest post about the documentary Trichster which I am currently directing. What is a trichster and why should you care?

A trichster is a term that some people with trichotillomania call themselves. Unlike well-known disorders like self-mutilation, eating disorders, and obsessive compulsive disorder, trichotillomania is an impulse control disorder where sufferers compulsively pull out their hair. Although it affects about 15 million Americans, it is generally unheard of, and those who suffer from it are often unaware that the disorder has a name.

Throughout the next year, my creative team and I will follow a small group of trichsters to learn how trichotillomania impacts their daily lives.  Our goal is to raise awareness about this disorder which is more common than most people realize and help those who suffer from it know that they are not alone. Through this film, we hope to spark a conversation about trich and reduce bullying of children with trichotillomania.

Our biggest challenge right now is funding! Please visit our kickstarter page to learn more about how you can help and watch our promo video! We hope you enjoy it.

Thanks so much for reading, and have a great day!

Jillian Corsie

 
Have you heard of this disorder? 
Tell us your thoughts!

7.13.2012

TGIF | Giveaway & Review Updates | Self Conscious Fruit

TGIF! 

Just a few quick updates to get the weekend going.

1) Everyone I know was born in July (including myself)... this is wreaking havoc on my wedding "diet" (ha, diet... yeah right.) Just thought you should know.

2) Coming soon, I'll be teaming up with Cotton Candy Couture with an Outfit Post and coordinating Cocktail Recipe (don't worry, this blog is not going to turn into an Outfit Of the Day blog... I don't have time for posing/posting that crap... this is just an excuse to drink... and of course collaborate with CCC and their awesomeness!)

3) I'll be dining at Hearth tonight in NYC for the fiance's birthday (see, I told you everyone I know was born in July!) Anyone ever been? Look out for my review next week.

4) An amazing Shabby Apple gift card giveaway is right around the corner so keep coming back to enter when it's up.

5) And finally, Oh She Glows shared this cute photo on facebook... I think it says it all. I don't know about you lot, but I've definitely posed like the Pear in the mirror more than I'd like to admit!




What are your plans for the weekend?



7.11.2012

Guest Post: Hot looks... literally!

What to Wear in 100 Degree Weather and Still Look "Hot"
by Glee from Creative Fashion


The highest temperature I´ve ever been exposed to was 36°C. That´s pretty close to the 100 degree Fahrenheit weather that sometimes hits New York City roughly between the months of June to August. When I was still living in Bangkok, Thailand, I was aware of only three types of weather - hot, hotter, and the hottest. The most difficult to endure is the heat of April and May. I remember walking out of a hotel to get a taxi and was blown by a such a hot wind that I nearly fainted. But I heard of a province in Thailand which temperature even rises to 47 °C. I can´t imagine how it is. 

Having had to deal with warm weather basically made me learn how to dress in the heat while still looking hot. And because I sweat a lot in a high temperature, I also had to be careful in choosing the type of cloth I wear and the color. Here are some tips to help you look gorgeous while feeling comfy. 

Dress Up a Lightweight Drawstring Pants




Drawstring pants are starting to gain influence this summer and contrary to popular belief that they´re unstylish, they can actually be dressed up. Drawstring pants usually come in lightweight cotton material and because they´re roomy, they lessen the circulation thus giving you less heat. Unlike your skinny jeans and fitted capris, lightweight drawstring pants are comfy for warm weather. Team it up with another lightweight printed top preferably sleeveless and add a color-block sandal and gorgeous bag. This look still keeps you trendy. 
Show More Flesh
 

If you have a torso and legs to show, it´s time to bare more flesh. Shorts were my favorite item to wear for six years in Thailand. And believe it or not, for that entire period of time, I never purchased a pair of jeans. My hemlines had to go short all the time and if I were at work, I wore soft trousers if not skirts. For a casual weekend look, go for soft denim shorts and pair it with a cropped cotton top and accessorize with statement sandals and a neon satchel. Of course, don´t forget your sunglasses. 

Wear More Whites



  

White summer outfits are currently a hot trend and it makes sense, because white allows the heat to exit your body leaving you fresh. I recommend you style up a white sundress. Add a gorgeous tribal style necklace and wear a pair of sexy strappy wedge sandals. Remember to opt for thin strapped sandals to allow your skin to breath. Wear your hair up, preferably in a high bun, and leave the rest bare. 

Now your turn ... How do you manage to look great even at a warm temperature as high as 100 degrees? 

 Glee happily blogs about fashion at Creative Fashion and Creative Fashion Kids. Visit her blog for more styling tricks and practical lifestyle tips.

7.09.2012

Guest Post: Biergarten in Barcelona

If you are planning a trip to Barcelona, this guest post is for you! You can also check out my travels and other articles and recipes on Barcelona here.

Biergarten Barcelona
A biergarten is something typically German. A biergarten is an outdoor area in which beer, other drinks, and local food are served. Biergarten originated in Southern Germany. The most common beer is Bavaria. Biergartens in Germany were developed in the kingdom of Bavaria in the 19th century, during which dark lager beer was predominant. The term "beer garden" (Biergarten) has become a generic term for open-air establishments where beer is served. Many countries have such establishments. The characteristics of a traditional biergarten include trees (no sun umbrellas), wooden benches (no plastic garden chairs), gravel bed (no street pavement), and solid meals (no fast food). The largest traditional biergarten in the world is the Hirschgarten in Munich, which seats 8,000 people.
The Hotel PrincesaSofia pays homage to these German terraces to bring the most traditional Bavarian flavour to everyone in Barcelona. They play live music and serve typical Bavarian dishes. The garden is decorated in German style and the waiters and waitresses wear traditional costumes. All this makes it the only terrace in Barcelona that recreates an original outdoor biergarten like they have in Germany.
With the slogan 200% German, the biergarten celebrates its eighth season. All the products they serve are imported. This means you get the best beer, real sausages, the original wienerschnitzel and much more. Because of this, more and more people come to the biergarten.
When you are not German is it also nice to visit this place. You can try dishes from another country. It is a real experience when you haven´t tried it before. Also when you are a sport fan, this is a perfect location to go to. They broadcast many games, for example the champions league, the Olympic games and more.
The Biergarten is open every day from April to October, from 1 pm until midnight.
This article was written by Silvie, a travel writer and blogger for apartime.com, providers of holiday accommodation and property for sale in Barcelona. 
Thanks so much Silvie! And if you are in NYC and feel the need for incredibly traditional German food, check out my little review of Heidelberg!

7.05.2012

Ratatouille, Ratatouille Style!

Ever since I saw the adorable film Ratatouille, I always wanted to make the dish that sent the evil critic back in time to his childhood. I had never had ratatouille before, and was shocked to find how simple it is... Or at least how simple I made it because I did not follow all of the steps. If you love vegetables, I highly recommend making this dish. You can serve it with chicken, pasta, rice... really anything.

I used this recipe as a guide, but I'll still tell you want I did as every interpretation is different. You can really make this as simply or as complicated as you want. As you'll see... It's also just as beautiful and it is tasty...


Here's what you need:
(amount of veggies depends on how big your dish is, and you can use any extra that don't fit for pasta primavera or soup!)

A mandoline for slicing your veggies perfectly.
1 italian eggplant (that just means the small eggplant)
1 zucchini
1 summer squash
4-5 plum tomatoes
2 red peppers
1 cup tomato sauce
herbs de provence
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil

What you'll do:
Preheat oven to 375. Coat the bottom of your dish with 1 cup of your favorite store bought or homemade marinara sauce. Slice up all the vegetables with a mandoline slicer so that they are similar in shape and size. Layer/alternate each vegetable in a dish like so over the sauce...



When you are done layering/alternating, sprinkle the top with salt, pepper, and herbs de provence. I didn't measure, but just made sure to give it a few sprinkles. Not too much! Maybe a teaspoon or so. Drizzle the olive oil evenly over the dish.

The experts cut out parchment paper to fit the shape of your dish to cover but I just used tinfoil for 1/2 the baking and then took it off. Whatever!


We ate this alone with some grilled chicken, and my favorite pasta in a green cream sauce.


Very simple sauce... After you cook the pasta, reserve 1 cup of the hot cooking water. Then, in an electric mixer or chopper, add the following: 1 garlic clove, 4-5 cups baby spinach, 1 cup basil, 4oz goat cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice from 1 lemon, salt and pepper to taste, 1 tsp red pepper flakes. Mix/Blitz that up until you get a really creamy and green spread. Add this to the hot pasta, and stir. Add the reserved pasta liquid as needed so that the sauce thickens. That's it!

Have you ever been inspired to cook a dish from a film? If so, let me know!



7.03.2012

Eataly Birreria Review

On Saturday we headed over to Eataly's Birreria (roof top beer garden) for some quick drinks and nibbles. Eataly is fun but it's definitely chaotic and when you go. It's hard to decide where to park yourself for some food and wine. If you have the luxury of visiting this Italian Mecca often, you'll find that it's easy to try something new each time.

Our first trip
Our second trip

And now, our third trip: Sitting on top of the world at the Birreria! 

When we first inquired about a table, the staff informed us that there were no tables out of the sun (it was 95 that day), but we could still head on up to check out the bar. When we got up there, there were tons of tables in the shade so not sure what the motivation was. Anyway, we sat in the heat drinking and nibbling. I stuck with the Flor Prosecco NV, while the fiancé tried the Del Borgo Reale draft.

To munch on, we had some cheese (Robiola Bosina, Taleggio, and Asiago Fresco), meat (Cacciatorini) and a salad (Insalata Di Mela)...


Have you ever been to Eataly in NYC? 
What was your experience like?

** I was not paid to write this review. Just a happy patron!