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2.21.2019

POMEGRANATE CHAMPAGNE SANGRIA


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The Awards season never fails to get me giddy. They are the televised events that I look forward to the most in the new year, as it is the perfect excuse to turn it into a special day for us as well. A time to concoct a great cocktail and take a few moments to de-stress from whatever may have consumed our thoughts for the week and just hang out, cuddle, swoon over all the beautiful dresses, and nosh on delicious treats. The ultimate best recipe for a special relaxing weekend. 

I like to celebrate each awards show with a signature cocktail as I find it helps to set the mood. The cocktail of choice I went with for the most recent Grammy awards was Champagne Sangria (yum!), a nod to one of the most memorable cocktails that we were introduced to over a decade ago in Spain. This time I switched it up a bit to pomegranate champagne sangria. The amber red tones from the pomegranate cordial are the perfect hue for this festive cocktail.

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Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

1 bottle of champagne of choice 
½ cup brandy
1/2 cup Cointreau
1/3 cup Aperol (optional)
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
2 oz. agave (because I’m a fan of agave in lieu of simple syrup)
Sliced oranges, apples, strawberries, pears, and red raspberries

Directions

Stir all ingredients (except the champagne) in a pitcher without ice. Transfer to the refrigerator and allow flavors to meld together for at least 2 hours. 

Add champagne just before serving. Stir gently to mix. Serve in ice-filled glasses, garnished with a slice of orange or strawberry.

* Recipe serves 8-10 but can easily be halved for 4 servings.

Personally, I feel if you want to experience the true enjoyment and full impact of a drink, the proper glassware is necessary. I guess that's the Dorit in me. Hahaha!

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best-white-pomegranate-champagne-sangria-cocktail-drink-for-awards-viewing-season-celebration

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2.18.2019

YOU DON’T HAVE TO TRAVEL FAR AWAY TO CREATE LASTING MEMORIES


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Last weekend, the hubby and I needed a change in scenery and opted for a snowcapped mountain escape, which was such a nice and well-needed refresher. Although we enjoy traveling to faraway places, it felt equally relaxing and refreshing to leave the daily mundane things behind and make the short journey through the Mojave Desert into the horizon towards the Rocky Mountains filled with snow - all without the stress of dealing with airport madness and hauling luggage. Better yet, being greeted by the beauty and surrounded by magnificent Juniper, Mountain Mahogany, Aspen, and Ponderosa pine trees where the natural ventilation of the 28-degree cold crisp windy fresh air hit our lungs - made us feel so grateful and alive!

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Taking these kinds of day trips throughout the year never fails to remind me of the quote that says, “You don’t have to travel far to find the greatest experiences life has to offer.” I know for some the word traveling, may conjure up the idea of jetting off to an exotic faraway place, especially when they see their friends/people on Instagram lounging on the beach in those exotic faraway lands with captions like, “Tuesday-Beach day!” This may make a lot of people not only feel restless, but they might feel like the only thing that gives them a reason to exist is to also be able to fly off to an exotic getaway of their own. I suppose that can cause some to have that dreaded feeling of FOMO. But there’s one problem: what if your circumstances (whether it be financial or any other reason) don’t allow for it now? No need to feel restless or have FOMO, you don’t need to travel the world to experience beauty. There are plenty of beautiful gems awaiting your discovery right in your own city/hometown that most likely will give you the greatest memories to reminisce about for years to come. You just have to think outside the box and go explore to find them. You never know, you may also find some cool driftwood treasures to bring back home with you too. Ha! Remember, it’s not the destination but the Journey.


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2.13.2019

THE REAL STORY OF SUCCESS


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Today’s post is what I’d like to call real talk. Just wanted to get honest about what success is. One of our greatest possessions is our eyes. They are so indispensable to our complete happiness. I mean, think of all the amazing things the gift of vision enables us to enjoy – the vision of the starry heavens, a beautiful sunset (one of my favorites), the beauties and marvels of our wonderful planet, and the very sunlight itself. We must admit though that so often the same pair of our choicest possessions can easily deceive how we perceive another person’s apparent success and sadly allow that quick, inaccurate snapshot to evoke unappealing feelings such as jealousy, envy, and sometimes even hatred in our heart towards such ones.

How sad! This is all due to not having our perception trained. What I mean by this is having the ability to apply knowledge to productive and constructive thinking and activity (not on emotions laden with jealousy and envious eyes) in order to have the ability to properly discern what is perceived with the eye. I once read this statement in part: “Every one of the five senses can be twisted to deliver a completely different picture of what appears to the eyes. Apart from the very unreliable picture running inside the brain, we have no proof that reality is anything like what we see.”

The truth of the matter is that some fail to focus on the real gritty stories behind what is perceived as ‘easy’ success. One thing I know for sure (like my Oprah-ism here ;-) is that there’s always so much more than meets the eye. What people don't see is all the late nights working in front of that computer screen until your eyes start dancing uncontrollably. Running multiple companies. Constantly strategizing for the next work day. Years of sacrificing living your “best life” wondering if you’ll ever get a break. Feeling isolated and lonely. Loss of friends because of their shortsightedness or their perceived skewed thinking: 'you’re no longer in “the same boat” as me'. Sleepless nights thinking of ideas upon ideas. Drafting collaboration letters that oftentimes go unanswered. Crunching numbers that sometimes have you scratching your head pondering 'when is it going to pay off? If ever!' Pumping yourself in order to keep going despite being exhausted along with disheartened failures and postponed expectations. Giving oneself pep talks to self-motivate to wake up the next day to do it all over again. Sometimes, never stepping foot outside for days etc… etc… What I'm trying to say is the dark moments are what we don't see.

The reality is when you dig down into what apparent success is, you can’t help but discover that it is a lot of consistent, constant hard work and inconsistent postings on a "not-so-well-curated Instagram feed." Success is only one percent of the real story. The next time someone else’s perceived success catches your eye before you allow your mind to go wandering into wrong thinking, always remember success is like the bamboo seed in this story:  

The Fern and the Bamboo
One day I decided to quit...I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality...
I wanted to quit my life. I went to the woods to have one last talk with God.
“God”, I said. “Can you give me one good reason not to quit?” His answer surprised me. “Look around”, He said. “Do you see the fern and the bamboo?”

“Yes”, I replied. “When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them. I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth. Its brilliant green covered the floor. Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo. In the second year, the fern grew more vibrant and plentiful. And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo. In year three there was still nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would not quit. The same in year four. Then in the fifth year, a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern, it was seemingly small and insignificant. But just six months later, the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall. It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive.

I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle. “Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots? I would not quit on the bamboo. I will never quit on you. “Don’t compare yourself to others.” He said. “The bamboo had a different purpose than the fern. Yet they both make the forest beautiful. Your time will come”, God said to me. “You will rise high.” “How high should I rise?” I asked. “How high will the bamboo rise?” He asked in return. “As high as it can?” I questioned. “Yes.” He said, “Give me glory by rising as high as you can.”


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2.08.2019

FIVE THINGS FRIDAY


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Happy Friday!

Hope you all had a wonderful week. Excited to bring back my Five Things Friday where I share a weekly dose of my favorite things from inspirational quotes, interesting articles, d├ęcor, and links from around the web that I’m currently enjoying. Without further ado, here’s this week!

1. I've been eyeing this beautiful wrap linen dress for a while now. The color of it makes me so happy and it's on sale!

2. This article on why women of all kinds are suddenly wearing layered gold chains made me chuckle from beginning to end. 

3. Lately, all I envision on my kitchen shelves are these blush ceramic plates. Aren't they pretty?! The color is just right and would make the perfect contrast against all the white background in the house. 

4. I'm currently creating a mood-boosting playlist (coming up soon) and I would be amiss if I didn't include this song. Reminds me of our cruise last Summer.

5. Debating on which of these apps to make for the Grammy viewing this weekend. Mmmmm...

Driving up to the mountains this Saturday to get a snow fix before it's gone and watching the Grammys this Sunday. What are you up to this weekend?