¡Feliz Navidad!

  
Whether you are on top of a snowy mountain or basking in the Caribbean sun, I hope you are all happy and surrounded by loved ones. That’s what it’s all about, right? 

Focus on what you have today and cherish it. Take a moment to let those far away know you are thinking of them. Enjoy every second, even if you are in your pj’s watching tacky Christmas movies. There’s no place for hate today, let’s keep that living on. 

Happy Holidays!!

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Gifts For That Foodie In Your Life

It’s that wonderful time of year! Yes, it’s almost Christmas, even though New York City weather wants to tell us otherwise. Today, instead of sharing mouthwatering pictures, I took the time to compile a list of a few awesome gifts to get that special foodie in your life (even if that special foodie is you!).

This past month I discovered Shoptiques, thanks to the fabulous FabFitFun Winter box. Yes, I may have been living under a rock if I just heard of this website, but if you know me, you know that I’ll take a fancy cheese plate over a pair of expensive shoes anytime. That’s just how I am wired. However, that does not mean I can’t appreciate the wonder that is Shoptiques. It basically lets you shop online from boutiques all over the world, all in one seamless experience.

I got to play around with it and it was really useful to be able to shop by category, but also being able to switch and focus on one boutique at a time. My first purchase arrived in basically 24 hours and the boutique owner even wrote me a handwritten note! Simple, yet meaningful.

Need it by Christmas? They guarantee delivery on time if you order by December 20th. Also, I can now basically give you $15 dollars to spend! Just click on this link, and once you purchase and take advantage of the $15, you will get your own link to share out with friends. The gift that keeps on giving, right?

Start browsing below, hope you find something that you like!

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Porcelain Yes Mug ($16)

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Got This Tumbler ($16)

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Antipasto Tray ($20)

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Carry-on Cocktail Kit, Gin & Tonic ($24)

Foodie Dice

Foodie Dice ($24)

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Gift Boxed Cheese-Knives ($47)

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Chez Elle Coasters ($47)

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Dot Martini Shaker ($50)

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Cheese Board Set ($60)

5 Places I am Thankful for

I love this time of year. There are so many reasons to celebrate, be with family and EAT. In spite of everything people have to say about Thanksgiving and how we are superficial for celebrating one day and then shopping our lives away the rest of the season, I still love this day.

This year, I decided to  count my blessings in the form of places, thankful for everything these places represent and what they have offered me.

IMG_13055. Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

The oldest settlement in Puerto Rico, this old town is full of wonders. You can’t get bored in Old San Juan. You can find all types of food, from food trucks to fancy latin fusion cuisine. You can also find all sorts of drinks, from Puerto Rican “moonshine” or “chichaito” to a classic passion fruit sangría. I am thankful for all the fun times Old San Juan has given me, from late night with friends to fun days with family, it all happens here.

 4. Strasbourg, France

Yes, I love Paris and all of its enchantment. Still, I am completely biased to Strasbourg. This city in the region of Alsace, just minutes away from Germany, is very underrated. The unique fusion you find here is quite incomparable. L’Alsace for dummies? Like if France and Germany had a baby, but of course, there is so much more to it. I am thankful for Strasbourg’s culture and history, this city opened my eyes to so many things and I will always be thankful for that. Thanks to Strasbourg and my wonderful host family, I also discovered my true love for food.

 3. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is always on my list. It is a special city I am always waiting to return to. Have only been there for a few days, but I fell in love with it. I’m thankful for this city’s vibrant colors, inspiring architecture and delicious food.

 2. New York, New York

Ah, where to begin with this little gem? I have a love/hate relationship with this city. It is easy to forget it’s electric magic when you are deep in the trenches questioning your life choices, but this place makes you better and stronger by just being there. I am thankful for everything this city inspires me to be and for all the food from the world I have at my reach. New York, you make me stronger and wiser with each passing day.

20131226-170718.jpg1. Puerto Rico

You think I would limit Puerto Rico to just Old San Juan? Wrong. Puerto Rico is my favorite place in the world. I doubt any of the places in my bucket list could ever change that. I am thankful for Puerto Rico’s people, we are not perfect, but we are pretty awesome. I am thankful for the incredible ecological diversity you can find in this little island. I’m thankful for all the amazing food you can taste here, from my mother’s cooking to the many restaurants that offer hundreds of plantain plate varieties. I am thankful for Puerto Rico because it is an intrical part of who I am.

What places are you thankful for? Would love to hear your stories!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wordless Wednesday: Puppy Love

This past weekend I got to puppy-sit my friend’s puppy, the lovely Frida. I have not had a puppy since I was 2 years old, so technically, I have never had a puppy. The weekend was full of learning and adorable moments, but oh boy, it’s not easy. The picture below was taken during our morning walk on Sunday. I swear I was a zombie, I barely remember doing this. Maybe the key to becoming a morning person is to get a dog. Nothing says alarm clock like a puppy licking your face and then putting her butt on my head. She’s lucky she’s cute.

Fall Foliage, Sleepy Bee & Cow Poop: My Trip to Ohio

  
I was in Ohio last month for work. Being the lucky girl in charge of driving the rental car, it felt kinda cool to drive from the airport in Kentucky all the way up past Cincinnati. The fall foliage was just beautiful! Maybe it was best that I was driving, otherwise I would have filled up my phone with pictures.

Still, I got a chance to walk around and briefly hang out with nature at Sharon Woods Park. See some iPhone shots below.

   

   
Also, if you are ever in Cincinnati, I recommend you drive to Oakley. From what I’ve heard, it’s up and coming and from what I saw, it’s very lovely. I had lunch at Sleepy Bee, delicious food and great service.

  
I had the Beekeper, which takes your BLT up a hundred notches and right up to the perfect level. Ideal first choice would have been the Buzzy Grilled Cheese but I felt that was too much cheese before a work event. You know how it is.

I have officially added a trip to Kentucky and surrounding areas to my travel list. I’m interested in checking out the bourbon trail and see a very unique and interesting part of the US.

P.S. You can buy Ohio Cow Poop at the airport. Not interested? Maybe you would like to purchase Cincinnati Pig Poop instead. Yes, it’s a real thing. Yes, I almost bought a bag for my boyfriend.

P.P.S. Reading around about Cincinnati, I found that some people call it the Paris of America which is funny since I just heard Chandler say today that Tulsa is the Paris of Oklahoma. With that, I leave you.

[San Juan, Puerto Rico] La Fortaleza

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Just a simple #tbt to one of my favorite places, El Viejo San Juan. This time, close to sunset, with the colors taking a whole different beautiful light. Views like this make me miss home.

First Time Apple Picking + Fall Sangria

Deamarest FarmsI grew up in a tropical island. The closest I had to apple picking was having a lime tree in my backyard or grabbing a fallen coconut from the beach. You got apples from the super market, that was it. The concept of making it a full day activity to go apple picking, riding on the back of a truck, wearing boots, eating apple cider doughnuts and drinking apple cider was totally foreign to me. To me, it was all fun because it was a new experience. To my friends, it’s a tradition and a moment to relive memories from growing up.

Demarest FarmsSummer is my favorite season but fall comes in second, bringing with it so much beauty… and apples!

I tried out this great sangria recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, it was delicious! I followed the recipe pretty closely, except I did not add the orange slices and I went easy on the club soda. It was a nice twist to my average sangria and it allowed me to use my freshly picked apples in a fun way. I also realized that nothing tastes bad with cinnamon.

This apple picking thing, it’s not bad at all. Next time though, I really need to get one of those famous apple cider doughnut.