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12.22.2017

BAILEYS WARM AND FUZZY SPIKED HOT CHOCOLATE


Baileys-original-irish-cream-hot-chocolate-recipe

Happy Friday guys! Today in lieu of my ‘Fabulous Friday Favorites’ post, I thought I’d share one of my favorite spiked sippers that I love cozying up with when the temps drop. It is a perfect recipe for your weekend indulgence. Trust me, once you imbibe on this Baileys warm and buzzy spiked hot chocolate, you won’t need a festive season to enjoy the spin on this classic.

Ingredients {8 servings}

1 ½ cups whole milk (but I use almond milk)
1 tbs. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
3 cinnamon sticks
2 (12 oz.) bags semisweet chocolate chips (recommending: Hershey’s dark chocolate or my personal go-to Abuelita chocolate)
Cocoa powder for dusting, or shaved chocolate (optional)

2/3 cups of heavy whipped cream
2 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions

In a large pot over medium heat pour in milk, vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon sticks and whisk together.

Add chocolate chips. Stir until chocolate is melted. Cover and turn heat to low for 5 minutes.

For whipped Cream

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream on medium speed until soft peaks form – about 2 to 4 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract and sugar. Continue whipping on medium until the soft peaks form again – about 2 to 3 minutes.

Once you have prepared the hot chocolate, fill up your mugs with equal parts of hot cocoa. Then in each mug, stir in:

2 ounces of Baileys
1 ounce vodka or Kahlua
Add dollop of fresh whipped cream
Serve with a dusting of cocoa powder. Enjoy!

Baileys-original-irish-cream-hot-chocolate-recipe


11.29.2017

GOOD VIBES GROOVE PLAYLIST

beckabellastyle-inspirations-spotify-good-vibes-groove-playlist-2018
Given the landscape of this world as of late, I’d say a good majority of us would agree that there’s enough negativity surrounding us - where all we wish for is peace and tranquility even if it’s but for a moment. I’m at a place in my life where peace is my priority and negativity cannot exist. Because of this, I’ve only been sticking with the people, things and the kind of sounds that enhance the good vibes mood in me only. If you’re feeling the same way, here's my Good Vibes Groove’ playlist to get your heart jumping, your feet tapping, your head bopping and your face smiling. Why be moody when you can shake your booty, right? Happy listening.




11.08.2017

SEASONALLY SOFT SLEEPWEAR


Cozy Pajama Sets to Transition into Fall With

1. This floral print sleepshirt brings the right amount of cheer on those grey days. | 
2. Sateen pajamas are of course, very romantic ;-) | 3. Striped jersey pajama pants are ideal for lounging. | 4. A cozy cotton flannel plaid pajama is perfect for curling up in bed.

With cozier weather in full swing and in the midst of designing our closet in our new place, it makes me realize that it’s time to get rid of all my old raggedy pajamas stat!  I’ve always been of the mindset that you never want to bring old sleepwear into a new home and when I say old, I mean, faded, stained, stretched-out, hole-y ones. It’s such a small thing, but makes such a huge impact on the way it shapes my thought process in my new environment. For me, donning fresh new pj’s in my own new home, represents a sense of relief, true relaxation as well as a sense of liberation at the same time. I view it as a shedding off of old mojo from cruddy apartment living to starting a fresher new life routine, and a new way of being in my new space. It’s like pressing the refresh button to clear out the previously old tired cycle of functioning.

When it comes to sleepwear during this time of year, I prefer materials that feel fabulous on my skin, such as soft cotton fabrics and styles that not only ensure great beauty sleep, but also allow you to feel relaxed with the ability to lounge around on weekend mornings. Bottom line, I love sets that feel as good as they look. I especially love incorporating at least one comfy plaid set in the mix. It’s reminiscent of warmer cozy season sitting in front of a big crackling fireplace in a pile of luxe fur throws, with a cup of spiked hot cocoa topped with marshmallows sprinkled with cinnamon. Yum! These are some of my faves on the shopping list so far. 


11.01.2017

FALL FAVORITE: A PLAID SHIRT


Plaid-Shirt-Denim-fur-vest-Loft-Burgundy-Pants-Franco-Sarto-Ankle-Booties-Illesteva-Sunglasses

It sure has been a while! We have been neck deep in house renovations with days ridden with unending issues and mistakes. It’s an understatement to say things have been chaotic. And I honestly don’t foresee any calm in the storm in the immediate future since we’re getting ready to move in less than three weeks. I can’t wait to share the details once it’s all done. The process has been nothing short of something out of the twilight zone. But, we’re finally in the home stretch now. 

Thankfully, we were able to escape the chaos for a bit and went back home to NY for the fall season as we had hoped. The weather was unusually warm for New York so late into the Autumn season, therefore the leaves weren’t as vibrant as they normally would be around this time of year. Although that was a slight let down, at least it wasn't raining the whole time we were there - allowing us to enjoy beautiful sunny days with temperatures that felt like spring which we were so grateful for. Our days there were at such a normal relaxed pace, I finally got a chance to take several outfit shots, including this one upstate which is our favorite traditional fall getaway destination. Except this time instead of apple picking, we opted for wine tasting, naturally. As usual, we thoroughly appreciated the peace, serenity and beauty of both upstate and Long Island. Oh, and of course, the wine. Hello!
Plaid-Shirt-Denim-fur-vest-Loft-Burgundy-Pants-Franco-Sarto-Ankle-Booties-Illesteva-Sunglasses

Plaid-Shirt-Denim-fur-vest-Loft-Burgundy-Pants-Franco-Sarto-Ankle-Booties-Illesteva-Sunglasses

Plaid-Shirt-Denim-fur-vest-Loft-Burgundy-Pants-Franco-Sarto-Ankle-Booties-Illesteva-Sunglasses


Angry-Orchard-Wine-Tasting-Upstate-Warwick-New-York

Plaid-Shirt-Denim-fur-vest-Loft-Burgundy-Pants-Franco-Sarto-Ankle-Booties-Illesteva-Sunglasses


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10.13.2017

FABULOUS FRIDAY FAVORITES


Interior-decor-accent-details-for-house-renovation
How's everyone doing given the current world conditions? These past few weeks, as much as I wanted to share some of the latest progress of renovation projects and other inspiring decor/fashion posts, I was just not motivated. Much like the majority of people, I’ve been disheartened and distressed by all the endless barrage of horrific things happening all around us. I've been feeling numb, emotionally drained and low for a while, which made me feel uneasy to talk about the few and far between happy moments of life such as, house renovations and new door knobs - amidst hurricane disasters, destructive wild fires, and senseless massacres. Hard though it may be, it’s important to get up and carry on by focusing on the little positive morsels that life does give us here and there, so as to avoid giving completely in to despondency. Besides, focusing on all the negative noise, only makes you feel afflicted and every day starts to appear bad, or gloomy. Sadness is the worst kind of grave, because it buries one alive. In an effort to fight the darkness and shift the mind a bit, below are several interior decor accent details that's on my current shopping list for a couple areas of the house : Mirrors for the master bathroom, rugs, runners and a pair of comfy lounge chairs for the living room (I'm madly in love with this one), and pretty planters.  


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Have a Safe Weekend! 

10.02.2017

INTIMATE UNDERMATTERS


Bootay-Bag-Lingerie-#undermatters

Pretty delicate undies are among those simple fashion essentials that have the most impact on boosting one’s confidence than most would think. Let’s be honest, the way we look often translates to the way we feel, and we all know that starts with great undergarments. But of course, that means choosing the right underwear without necessarily having to shell out some hard-earned dough on expensive panties. I’m a believer of that now because of Bootay Bag. For years, I’ve spent a hefty amount of money on beautifully intricate undies, only to be left extremely dissatisfied with their poor quality that don’t even last through one wash. That’s why I’m so glad I came across Bootay Bag. This brand has reminded me that you can’t always judge the quality of things based on price, because the quality of their underwear trumps most of my expensive undies sitting in my underwear drawer that I would not want to be caught in a giant gust of wind in. Yet, their inexpensively priced underwear isn’t only of great quality, they are pretty, make you feel sexy and their nonbinding edges follow the natural curves of your body – resulting in no panty lines. These panties so far make for the perfect every day underwear. 

Bootay-Bag-Lingerie-#undermatters-Sexy-Underwear

What’s even nicer about this $12 monthly underwear subscription for 2 beautiful pieces: one) you can pick what type of undies you’d prefer thong/no thong, or a mix it up bag and they send you colors with the current season in mind. Two) you get to add new pretty, comfy undies to your closet every month conveniently delivered right to your door. And you know how they say, “There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving”? Well, with every package you’re not only receiving but you’re also giving because they donate $1 to Melanoma foundation. Don’t you love a company that thinks of others! 

* While this is a sponsored post, the opinions expressed herein are my own.


9.15.2017

FABULOUS FRIDAY FAVORITES


Brentwood Getty Museum LA View_Cacti_Cactus

Happy Friday! Hope everyone’s week wasn’t too bad. I had every intention of chronicling a few snapshots of the latest updates on our renovation project but, haven’t had a chance to gather the photos and my thoughts just yet. Let’s just say this - a lot of things have been pretty much on a construction standstill, since some material takes time to get and workers have had either emergency travel to make or just don’t show up on time to finish things. The angst of any construction/renovation process. As I impatiently wait for things to get done, I’ll be using some of the time to do a massive household item and closet purge, which I’ll be donating to Habitat for Humanity. Here are some of my favorite links and quote this week:


" Great men cultivate love... Only little men cherish a spirit of hatred."

1. Anyone else knew this could be more dangerous than smoking 15 cigarettes a day?

2. One of my strong points in life is keeping a clutter-free home, which I often wish de-cluttering my mind could be just as easy for me to do. That’s why I always welcome thought-provoking reads or videos like this. Which is now saved under my “self-help” category. So so good.

3. As serious foodies, going out to eat for us involves so many important factors. One of the things that is way up there (besides the food and its presentation obviously), is the atmosphere. We love to be totally transported upon entering a restaurant. If you want to know what I mean, check out this newly emerged restaurant spot brimming with pure d├ęcor inspiration. I'm smitten!

4. This is is old news but still gives me a good laugh. Would you be able to keep a straight face through this dialog exchange as a court recorder?

5. Love these iPhone how-tos, because after all these years of owning an iPhone, I still barely know all the tips and tricks of its functionality.

6. I think I've pretty much got half of my fall casual wardrobe covered here.


Have a great weekend!


9.08.2017

FABULOUS FRIDAY FAVORITES


BeckaBellaStyle Fabulous Five Things Friday Favorites

Amidst all the chaos of this world and of my week dealing with one unreliable contractor after another, juggling back-to-back appointments, school, and dinner meetings, including an upcoming 9-hour class this Saturday, there are several takeaways for me from this week. Two of which are, one) ‘don’t give your time, energy, and money to spend time doing things with people who make you less yourself and unhappy.’ Two) ‘everything is going to be OK.’ In the interim, do the best you can with what you can within your power and ability, while you can.

9.06.2017

THAT FALL FEELING


BeckaBellaStyle_Paige Released Hem Denim-Mango Bag-Ann Taylor Sunglasses-Brown jacket-Madewell Nutmeg Slides Mule Sandals

I don’t know about you, but am I the only one who feels like I got whiplash from the swift arrival of September? I mean don’t get me wrong, anyone who knows me well knows that fall is my favorite season and when I’m my happiest, and how can it not be? Instead of sweltering summer heat, you get to inhale refreshing crisp cool air that awakens your senses with the sweet-smelling aroma of everything nice. Dare I mention the fall layering of the home, the fashion, and being cozied up by a fire under a favorite warm blanket, while relishing in the return of all your new fall favorite TV shows? That’s just to name a few. Bottom line, just imagine the excitement that ‘summer loving’ people get multiplied by a thousand - that’s how I feel about the fall season. 

BeckaBellaStyle_Paige Released Hem Denim-Mango Bag-Ann Taylor Sunglasses-Brown jacket-Madewell Nutmeg Slides Mule Sandals

BeckaBellaStyle_Paige Released Hem Denim-Mango Bag-Ann Taylor Sunglasses-Brown jacket-Madewell Nutmeg Slides Mule Sandals

BeckaBellaStyle_Paige Released Hem Denim-Mango Bag-Ann Taylor Sunglasses-Brown jacket-Madewell Nutmeg Slides Mule Sandals

However, I wanted to at least be all settled into our new house before the season goes into its full swing, because let’s face it, there’s nothing more comforting than having your windows open, feeling the fresh autumn air breeze flowing through your well-organized home while your favorite scented candle permeates the rooms and some good vibe grooves (which I’ll be sharing that playlist soon) are echoing softly in the background. It’s a feeling of satisfaction that gives me such a sense of abundance – softening the blow of any trials and tribulations amidst the hardest of times. How about you - are you as much a fall fanatic as I am? 


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9.01.2017

FABULOUS FRIDAY FAVORITES


Beckabella Style Fabulous Friday Favorites

Happy fabulous Friday! From now on, I’ll be combining my favorite links around the web and Friday’s grateful moments posts into one called “Fabulous Friday Favorites”, for the sake of keeping things simpler. Streamlining life has been the name of the game for me around here. It's been a full week of kitchen demo chaos, design and shopping for appliances, tiles, countertops - which you might have caught a glimpse of on my IG stories. So, this weekend is pretty much-letting contractors in and supervising to make sure things are getting done the way it all supposed to happen. In the meantime, wanted to share some favorite links.

8.28.2017

A PLACE TO CALL HOME


Hacienda Retreat Gated Courtyard Desert Oasis

We’ve had some reasons to celebrate around here. For one, today makes it exactly one week since we received the keys to our new house. After an arduous, year-long search praying our hearts out for a place to call home, we are finally blessed with one just in time for the fall, my favorite season. Don’t they say, ‘third time’s a charm’? Well, this is our third home of our married life, so let’s hope so!  

Three words to describe this 21-year-old new baby: inviting, secluded, and a retreat. As of today, we’re starting the process of giving her a much-needed face lift to have her looking her best in no time, and of course, I’ll be taking you through the renovation process. The idea that it’s not brand new makes me excited, for it gives us the opportunity to upgrade it just the way we like, and make it our own. I can’t wait to see our vision for this place realized so I can finally get back to doing the things I love most in life: entertaining friends, hosting happy hours, having high tea parties and spending time gardening, slowly turning the backyard and courtyard into an oasis.
I look forward to chronicling the before and after updates, as we go through the process of making this new space home! Eek! So EXCITED!
Have a wonderful and safe week!


8.21.2017

BEST BEAUTIFUL BLUSH BLOUSE


Zara Pink Blush flirty flutter tiered ruffle sleeve top

Happy Monday dearies! Today, the only things that are blocking my sunshine on this much anticipated solar eclipse phenomenon are clouds, a little bit of rain and the beginning of a flu. But on the bright side, there’s nothing like a beautiful blush blouse with sweet detailing, such as a flirty flutter tiered ruffle sleeve top paired with comfy wide leg linen stripe pants that cannot bring a ray of sunshine on a gloomy day. I love the flirty flair ability of this top to jazz up jeans, or a pencil skirt instantly. Plus, it hits just the right spot for optimum upper arm-coverage if you’re as self-conscious about your arms as I am.

Zara Pink Blush flirty flutter tiered ruffle sleeve top

Zara Pink Blush flirty flutter tiered ruffle sleeve top

Zara Pink Blush flirty flutter tiered ruffle sleeve top

In the meantime, for those of you who actually got to see and experience the sight of the solar eclipse, it's a great day to remember this: ‘the moon loves the sun just as shadows love light. Love your shadow until your love transforms it in light.’ 


Have a good week!


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8.17.2017

TOP BEST BUDGET-FRIENDLY DURABLE KITCHEN COUNTERTOPS


Top Best Budget-Friendly Durable Kitchen Countertop alternatives to Marble

Kitchen countertop options have been my latest obsession lately, as I soon will be doing some kitchen renovation. When working with clients, sometimes it’s usually one of the toughest material choice decisions in a kitchen design/renovation. Personally, I rarely have a tough time deciding what I want but I still like to weigh out the pros and cons of my options in any decision that I make, so as to assure that I will be happy with my choice years from now. Originally, I was planning on sharing about six different well-known stone countertops, like quartz, quartzite, Corian, soapstone, granite and of course marble just to name a few with their pros and cons, but I decided to share my top best budget-friendly durable kitchen countertop picks instead and the reason why these are my top favorite options.

8.14.2017

SUMMER STYLE: FLUTTER SLEEVE EMBROIDERED TOP + WHITE JEANS


American Eagle High rise frayed skinny white jeans_Anthropologie flutter sleeve embroidered pink top_Chinese Laundry Perforated Ankkle Booties_Aldo Snakeskin Foldover Clutch

In the morning, who do you get dressed for when you reach in your closet? Is it to keep up with what others are wearing on Instagram/Pinterest? Is it to impress others? Is it to enhance the person that you are? After all, our clothes say a lot about us. Fashion by its very nature is transient. At best, the latest style can only adorn us for a while – thus, any good impression we make will quickly be compromised if our personality does not complement our appearance. However, self-confidence and satisfaction with oneself in life depends much more than looking good. 

American Eagle High rise frayed skinny white jeans_Anthropologie flutter sleeve embroidered pink top_Chinese Laundry Perforated Ankkle Booties_Aldo Snakeskin Foldover Clutch

American Eagle High rise frayed skinny white jeans_Anthropologie flutter sleeve embroidered pink top_Chinese Laundry Perforated Ankkle Booties_Aldo Snakeskin Foldover Clutch

American Eagle High rise frayed skinny white jeans_Anthropologie flutter sleeve embroidered pink top_Chinese Laundry Perforated Ankkle Booties_Aldo Snakeskin Foldover Clutch

It’s really about embracing the fact that each of us is made up of little details that make us unique. It cannot be gleaned or honed from copying someone else. Remember, the fashion industry constantly redefines “beauty” by inculcating in the populace’ mind their portrayal of a certain stereotype as “beautiful.” However, by considering and accepting your own individual uniqueness you won't feel the pressure to conform, but rather find that great style is about dressing for yourself and yourself only. It’s so much easier being ourselves instead of trying frantically to change what we have and who we are just to fit in. Ageless beauty consists of your true inner self, which is enhanced by what you wear. In essence, your well-chosen garment becomes like the bow atop the gift of you. My motto is: dress to feel good, not to show off. 

Flutter Sleeve Embroidered Top (sold out - other favorites) | Frayed High Rise Skinny Jeans | Sunglasses (similar) | Ankle Booties (old - similar) | Handbag (similar)


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8.07.2017

HOLLAND AMERICA CRUISE PART II: BUTTERFLY GARDENS + BUTCHART GARDENS


Mango Metallic Handle crossbody bag_Paige bootleg denim_Ann Taylor Loft Cashmere blush turtleneck_Vintage round sunglasses

Good morning, everyone! Hope you had a relaxing weekend. For a good dose of inspirational boost on this marvelous Monday, it only feels right to wrap up the Alaskan cruise post (as promised) by sharing some of our photo journal of beautiful Victoria, British Columbia. It’s a place we’ve been wanting to visit for quite some time now and were overjoyed when we saw it was one of the destinations on our cruise itinerary. Being that I have a penchant for gardening/gardens and high tea – the Butterfly Gardens and Butchart Gardens were a priority on the must-check-out-places list. So, this post will mainly be about these two spots. 

As soon as we disembarked at the port, we chartered a bus to our first stop - the Butterfly Gardens, which is only a short five-minute drive from Butchart Gardens. Walking through the souvenir shop, you head out the back door and enter into this intimate miniature tropical jungle with surprises at every turn (I’ll point out what startled me in the photos below as we go along, so keep an eye out). You immediately are surrounded by all sorts of butterfly species not only under foot, but flying all around you. As you continue to wander around, you come to a serene pond filled with a variety of large tropical fish, Flamingos and a refreshing waterfall. To our surprise, Victoria was a lot warmer than expected that day (mid-80’s), which left me looking like a wet chihuahua in my faux fur vest and light cashmere turtleneck. It was comparable to our typical hot soupy summer days in NYC, which I secretly enjoyed feeling the dewy drops on my skin, getting the moisture that it desperately needed - given that we’ve been living in the desert these last 10 months.

Mango Metallic Handle crossbody bag_Paige bootleg denim_Ann Taylor Loft Cashmere blush turtleneck_Vintage round sunglasses


Butchart Gardens Victoria Island British Columbia Flamingos

Butchart Gardens Victoria Island British Columbia_Iguana

This is what startled me and had me almost running, screaming with fear when I picked up my head and spotted him perched right above ogling at me. (Insert a screaming face with two hands holding the jaw and cheeks emoji).

Victoria British Columbia Canada_Butchart Gardens






Holland America Cruise Part II: Butterfly Gardens + Butchart Gardens
Victoria is one of those incredibly breathtaking destination islands that’s worth spending more than a few hours in. It was definitely the perfect port to finish up in before we docked back in Seattle the next morning and is officially ranking as our third favorite city from this cruise vacation. We’re already planning to go back to explore the amazingly picturesque spots we didn’t get to see this time around like, Inner Harbour and the Royal British Columbia Museum. We’d also love to do the hike through Goldstream Provincial Park and experience the ferry ride to Sooke, since I’ve heard whales can be spotted on this one. Rounding it out with the main goal of any vacation - wine tasting at Cowichan Valley, where there are dozens of small vineyards offering tours and tastings. Yes, please… just say when?!

Holland America Line Seattle Marina Port View

Fun fact: As if the story of Jenny Butchart turning this abandoned limestone quarry surrounding her home into the incredibly stunning gardens that are now one of the most famous tourist attractions (certainly, a woman after my own heart), the Butchart family story gets even more interesting. Did you know that while traveling in Europe, they received word that both of their German Woodland Ducks had died after an eagle attack? Since they were already mostly there, Mr. Butchart insisted on going to Germany to purchase new ducks. But Mrs. Butchart would hear nothing of it, insisting that if they went, they’d miss their steamship home. Her husband, Robert who had a love for ducks put his foot down and insisted to go, so off the family trekked to Germany. At last, after making his purchase and arranging for the ducks to be shipped back to British Columbia, the family rushed back to England only to find out that they missed their boat by two days! 

What boat did they miss? The Titanic!! Thus, the story is, two dead ducks saved the Butchart Gardens. You’re welcome America and Canada!  


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