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Grateful Moments

Wynn Hotel Las Vegas Hotel Suite Entrance to Elevators
1. My heart flutters remembering this entryway on those nights walking to/from our hotel suite.

It's been a fairly gloomy week here in NYC accompanied by rain (the misty kind that falls sideways, interspersed  with heavy thunderstorms), which made trying to get back into a normal routine after being away on the sunny west coast tough, especially with jet lag from the three hour time zone difference. The one thing that's bringing me a little sunshine right now is I'll be hosting a friend for an intimate late afternoon high tea this Sunday at our place to watch the Oscars. Have a lovely weekend.

Sur Restaurant and Lounge West Hollywood California Water Fall Entrance
2. A lovely addition to Sur's lounge entrance that we appreciated since our last time there almost two years ago.

The District Restaurant Formerly Known As Duplex Los Angeles RIP Duplex :-(
3. Though I'm chagrined that The District (even more so after having tried it) has now replaced one of our old favorite spots known as Duplex - I am grateful for having experienced Duplex at least for a good couple of years while we lived in Beverly Hills. It was the place that introduced me to one of my favorite cocktails called Queen Bee. My heart is tightened knowing that they're no longer there. They had the best, friendly, accommodating and talented mixologists and vibe. I especially miss the inviting lounge area they had with the fur pillows. :-(

Villa Blanca Restaurant Beverly Hills Creme Brulee
4. Ahhh, an afternoon lunching at Villa Blanca can't be beat. The scene is just oh, so darling and of course the creme brulee. Nom nom nom...

Candlelit Fireplace + Fur Throw and Pillows Rainy Night At Home
5. An enchanting cozy night at home in front of a candlelit fireplace while heavy rain pounds on the windows.




Insanity has been defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Though it's one of the most overused cliches of all time, it's an apropos connection. Staying stuck somewhere you don't belong would indeed be insane. When stagnation and degeneration set in, when one's soul is no longer fed by present experience and environment - that's when it's time to choose change. Yes, change can be painful or scary, but when it comes to living a more meaningful life - a life that makes you yearn to wake up every day, then letting others guilt trips bind you to a present condition that no longer nurtures your soul would only stop you from growing to your full potential. The stifling effect of trying to squeeze into a mold created by others or by society as a whole, can cause one to wither away. I choose change.


February's Favorite Links Around The Web


1. The 3 vital questions that will help you break your worst communication habits and immediately increase your emotional intelligence. #NoteToSelf

2. How successful people's sleep patterns compare to the average American. Could they possibly be sleeping less hours than us, average Joe Schmos?

3. I'm always looking for ways to keep me from indulging in all the wrong things {that I deem 'comfort food'}, thus the reason why these 15 best natural appetite suppressants appealed to me.

4. Not that I have much time to watch movies online these days, but it's good to know the best sites to watch movies online without downloading for when the opportunity arises, such as when traveling.

5. Since the chilly months of winter hit, I pretty much have been living on a favorite Vietnamese soup called Pho Beef with Oxtail Broth. I'm so obsessed with it, I find myself salivating for it the minute I wake up. I know, I'm odd. The place where I get it makes it the best, with the tastiest flavors for one's mouth to experience on bone chilly cold gloomy days! So of course when I saw this recipe on Instagram, I immediately wanted to try making it this week. I'll let you know how it comes out. Stay tuned!

6. I've been doing this (on occasions when needed) for years and thought I'd file this how to remove smell from towels tips for so many that are always curious as to why I dilute my fabric softener with vinegar and add baking soda in my wash, especially my whites. Plus, I always give my loads a double rinse to make sure all the soap is out of my clothes to avoid the yellowing of my fabrics.


Retro-Inspired Culottes in The Fast Lane


I'm back! I hope you all missed me;-) A delightful two week break out west gave me the boost that I needed more than I even imagined. While this getaway was business related, it couldn't have landed at a more perfect time. The day we left, the temperature dipped into the lowest of lows in NY (1 degree thru -39) subsequently followed by days of continuous snow fall. The warm sunny (think 70s and high 80s) west coast that greeted us as we arrived, was the perfect antidote to any lethargy I was feeling as I had slowly started to slip into a bad case of cabin fever right in mid-January. In a matter of days I felt revived like a watered flower and instantly got energized by the west coast cool laid-back vibe as we cruised around Las Vegas and L.A. in one of my favorite muscle rides - the convertible Ford Mustang GT.


About the outfit: believe or not, I have had these wide leg culottes since the early 90s and used to live in them during the cooler months as the heavy velvet fabric gives the right amount of warmth without feeling restrictive. And since the weather didn't call for heavy layers, I kept the look light by tucking in one of my favorite lightweight long-sleeved button-down shirts with the feminine lace-paneled yoke detail for a modern retro-inspired chic vibe completed with an open-toe lace up booties.

Culotte Pants (liking some of these here, but totally digging this pair) | Sheer Lace Paneled Button Down Shirt (seen here - similar here) | Lace Up Open-Toe Booties (similar here and here - love this one) | Illesteva Sunglasses (seen here - similar here and here) | Multi-Layered Pearl Necklace (similar here) + Arced Pendant Necklace

Other Style Option Favorites


Grateful Moments

1. I always appreciate a good quote reminder that serves as a windshield wiper to the mind. 

It's been several years since we've been to a Super Bowl party or spent it with anyone else other than just the two of us (minus one - me, doing everything else but watching the game until the good part - halftime!). Imagine my excitement that this year the hubby and I have been invited to a viewing party at our friends who gratefully, live out of state in a much warmer climate. I can hardly wait for the change of pace and spending some time with good friends where I know there will be lots of food, laughter and of course, drinks. Enjoy your game day weekend lovelies!

2. I had a hard time picking out a favorite out of all these nice sweatshirts, but this pink heart one would add a perfect punch of color to any jeans, especially on gameday.

3. Friends surprised me with tickets to her show this week and I must say, their waiting process before entering the studio is the most comfortable and beats all other TV shows that I've been to. 

4. A deviation from the norm - brunch drinks that did not disappoint and a great reminder that it's good to try new things every once in a while.

5. This lookbook makes me love jeans more than usual and my heart glad for spring/summer

PS. Here's an easy peasy menu for your Super Bowl shindig in case you're having one.




I know nothing about football nor does it peek my interest one bit, but I'm all about the camaraderie of hanging out with friends, sipping on delightful drinks and snacking on some delicious food. But the true party for me is halftime, especially when performers like Beyonce is performing. Boy, do I wish they'd give Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake another chance at performing next year. Now that would be a party! Anyhow, had I not been going to someone else's place this year, here are some favorite snacks and food I'd be cooking up.

1. Add a little spice to your game day with this spicy margarita.

2. This is one perfect mouth watering game day recipe that will go a long way feeding a crowd. I've referenced this recipe twice already, because it's that ingeniously good.

3. Just because it's Super Bowl Sunday, doesn't mean that you shouldn't eat healthy. And of course, a well-rounded meal always has to have some kind of vegetable and what better way to do that than with this colorful cole slaw.

4. A recent favorite added to the mix is this good-for-you oven baked sweet potato truffle fries with spicy mayo dipping sauce. hmmm hmmm hmmmm hmmm hmmm!

5. No perfect meal is ever left without a sweet finish and these go-to favorite salty caramel and chocolate pecan squares will soften the blow to being broken-hearted if your team loses.

PS. Here are other recipe suggestions below:
* 5 simple super bowl Sunday recipes
* Last year Super Bowl cocktail of choice


Oven Baked Sweet Potato Truffle Fries


Ever since our weather turned really cold to the point of confining me more than usual in the house, I find my mind constantly drifting back to sunny California, daydreaming of eating at our favorite spots. I keep flashing back to our old hang out spots for brunch and Wednesday's happy hour wine/champagne and dollar oysters in the open airy restaurant patios, that had some of the best people watching and occasional 'star' spotting. One of the places that has been locked in mind lately is Zinque in West Hollywood, where we used to go almost every evening for wine, charcuterie platter and their french fries accompanied by the tastiest spicy mayo dipping sauce I've ever had. I've been craving them something fierce lately, which made me decide to try making my own batch the other day. Granted, it didn't replicate their famous ones exactly, but my much healthier homemade version substituted with sweet potatoes, I must say, came pretty darn close and did a good job at satiating my cravings for now. And with super bowl coming up this weekend, I think it would make a great side accompaniment to serve with either burgers, or these mouth watering sandwiches. But they equally make great snacks. Put them out with a mixed vegetable tray so as not to feel too guilty noshing on them alone. Here's how I adapted this recipe to my taste preference.


3 medium-sized sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons truffle salt {I use this one}
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
3 teaspoons garlic

Spicy Mayo Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup Light Mayo
1 1/2 tablespoons Sriracha
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon truffle salt
Pinch of white pepper

Mix all ingredients together and serve in a bowl on the side with the fries.


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into fries. Make sure to keep pieces in similar sizes for even baking.

3. In a bag toss together your cut fries with all your ingredients, including olive oil and shake well assuring that everything is evenly well-coated.

4. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil {makes for easier clean up}. Spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray oil {to help avoid sticking}. Spread coated potatoes fries in a single layer, leaving space around each potato {so they can crisp up} on the prepared baking sheet.

5. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Flip fries and continue baking until crisp and browned, about 15 minutes more depending on your oven.



Toasty Toes and Sassy Slippers


It's apparent that I've had my mind on shoes lately, but as a shoeaholic it's no surprise. As such, I recently realized that my house slippers have not been on point as they used to be. Even though my seasonal pair of slippers are comfortable (like right now for the winter, I live in these and I keep these 'foot candy' pair in my travel bag), a little variety to slip into while at home would make a world of difference in starting my day on a good foot (no pun intended).  I'm not much for flats, but I try to give my feet a break while at home since I live in my heels the majority of the time, and after spotting some of these lovely varieties shown in this post, I sure wouldn't mind knocking around the house in some of these toasty toes slippers given the cold weather currently. Also since my mind has already been on spring, I've been hunting for the perfect pair to switch into once the season arrives and what better way to usher in airy spring than in one of these sassy slipper choices shown here. The bonus is their look and style make them just as seamlessly practical enough to run a quick errand in if needed - aaaand, most of them are on sale!