My husband and I decided to get away for the weekend on a last minute local trip. We really wanted to spend time with Kat and do things that she would enjoy & not just things WE enjoy! My friend Viola said it best, "Who do we think we are? Thinking we can do fancy lunches" We assume we can live the life we had before and that it will be "instagram" beautiful with the kids sitting in their high chairs, proper and appropriate. Absolutely not! That is not ideal with a 2 year old, well, most 2 year olds. We did that easily till she was about ONE, then she started to walk and it was over from there lol. What we SHOULD be doing is taking them places they can run buck-wild and truly have fun! So my husband and I try to think of random things to do so that she can have a good time - we enjoy her smiles more than anything.
We went to San Diego for the weekend and stopped by Carlsbad on the way back. I never even knew such a beautiful flower field existed! Now THAT’s instagrammable. Wear a nice spring/summer dress and go take photos! You can’t pick the flowers of course, but they do have it picked for you and you can buy them on the way out. AND it was a field of my favorite flowers, Ranunculus. These flowers are usually very expensive to buy, but you can buy a small bouquet for $3.99. The flower field was beautiful in person and was really hard to capture in a picture. I tried taking some nice photos of Kat but she had seen an open field and just ran around buck-wild, as mentioned before lol.
The flower field falls right behind an awesome shopping outlet and 5 minutes from the Straweberry field! In other words, take the day off and make a visit. Once we finally got some photos in and let Kat run around aimlessly, we drove to the Strawberry field. This was truly the most amazing experience with our babygirl! Reminded us both of times we used to do this with our grandparents in their backyards when we were kids. And Kat? She loved it! As most of you know, Kat is obsessed with Strawberies. Can you imagine her? She didn’t know which one to pick! She was picking and eating every single one, even the white and green ones lol. Side note: do NOT take your nice shoes, you’re going to get dirt all over them. Let’s not even talk about the mess Kat was in...omg! Let’s just say, we’re taking our car for a detail wash tomorrow. On a brighter note, the strawberries were delicious and the experience, memorable!
Right before I left to Italy, I unboxed this amazing Lancome PR box. I didn't get a chance to put it to use until I got back and did my YouTube video. You can watch the application here. However, I didn't give a time test on my video because it was more of a first impressions. I have to say that the Teint Idole Liquid Foundation lasted ALL DAY! It stayed matte, coverage was great - but didn't look heavy at all. I assumed it would go on heavy since it is a thicker consistency, but it actually sets beautifully onto the skin. I haven't had a chance to test out the foundation sticks yet because to be quite honest, the colors I received were way too pink for me. I will try to grab one in my shade and test it out soon! Read my full review on the rest below!
Teint Idole Ultra Wear
As mentioned above, this foundation looked flawless on the skin. As I mentioned in my video, definitely use a buffing brush of some sort to apply it. With thicker consistency liquids and creams, sponge doesn't apply it correctly. With that said, I tried this foundation again with a buffing brush from Real Techniques and it went on so much smoother and quicker coverage. Once set, the makeup didn't move all day and kept my skin looking flawless until I washed if off. If you are looking for medium to full (buildable) matte coverage, you'll love this. You can see in the picture below how its covered all my veins...and I have very apparent veins!
Teint Idole Ultra Makeup Stick
Unlike other stick foundations, this didn't go on heavy at all. The consistency was quite thin, but again, great coverage. However, this foundation did have a more "skin like" finish and wasn't as matte as the liquid. I have always said, always will - stick foundations are not for oily skin. The mattest stick foundation I have ever come across was Hourglass (which I still love), but if you are not oily - you will love this. See below:
Teint Idole Ulta Wear Camouflage
Without a doubt, this concealer is definitely FULL coverage. The coverage was phenomenal and had very minimal creasing! The trick to using concealers like this is to really use a small amount and warm it up underneath your eyes. Warm it up on the back of your hand and use your ring finger to tap along or just put a few dots under your eyes and use your finger to tap along. Loved this! See coverage and consistency below, without the blend!
Custom Strobing & Highlight Drops
These drops are SO damn pretty! I have been obsessed with mixing luminous drops into my foundation routine lately. I just take a drop or two and mix it into my foundation and apply to my face with a buffing brush. I later (if Im feel glam-ie) add a drop on the high points of my cheekbones as well, while setting it in with a powder highlighter. I will do a tutorial on this look soon. In any case, these colors are perfection. The bronzey one would be gorgeous in the summer over the contour. BTW, I am giving these away (sadly) to one of you! Just make sure you are subscribed to my channel, like & subscribe to THIS video.
I hope you found this review helpful! Let me know if there are any other launches you would like me to do a thorough review on like this! Love you guys. XOXO.
Its been exactly one week since I’ve been back & I’m finally getting over the jet lag. I write a little bit of this post and close up the laptop and knockout halfway through. So, with delay, I’ve collected all my recommendations! I visited Venice & Florence last year for a day each (which definitely is not enough) but it was my first trip to Rome. I’ll have you know, it was my husbands first time out of the country, so I was more excited for him than me! I’m SO happy he did this and even happier that we did it together. Safe to say, we are absolutely in LOVE with Italy and were already planning our next trip while we were there. If you’re reading this, you’ve either been to Italy or are planning on going. So if you’ve been, please feel free to comment and leave your recommendations. If you haven’t been, take notes! Although there is SO much to see and so many places to experience in each city, my references are based on local recommendations and personal experiences. So here we go, City by City...
Falling for Florence
There hasn’t been a person I’ve met whose visited Florence and hasn’t fell in love with the city. I don’t know what it is about it, but just simply an amazing place to be. Florence is more that casual small city vibe; beautiful river, old almost gothic looking buildings, amazing food, super friendly people and not too many tourists. We stayed here for 2 nights, 3 days and it was just perfect. You want to do all the touristy stuff (museums, site seeing) one day and just enjoy the city the next. There was actually a women sitting behind us at dinner in Venice, explaining to her 3 young kids her first experience at Florence and how the first time she was there, she was emotional and teary eyed - I totally understood her. I felt that way about Rome.
Hotel: Montebello Splendid - Extremely beautiful, walking distance from the river. I would recommend staying at a hotel facing the river - it’s gorgeous! However, not cheap. If you don’t care much about a view or fanciness, there’s MANY hotels there, just judge based on reviews. Someone there told us AirBNB does well there.
Trattoria Gargani - This cute little restaurant was a local referral. Very artsy, super friendly people and delicioussss good! I got the fresh pasta spicy tomato sauce - mm mm!
13 Gobbi - This was a friends recommendaton. Place was super packed on a Thursday night and we were lucky enough to get squeezed in. You MUST get the rigatoni and a bottle of their chianti. You’ve never had rigatoni like that.
4 Leon - I found this restaurant last year based on a local recommendation from our concierge. This restaurant is not easy to find! You have to go through several little streets and eventually, in the middle of apartments, you’ll see it. Their pear ravioli is what they’re known for (amazingly good) but this last time, I had their lasagna - I’ve never had lasagna like that in my life. Melts in your mouth!
Gusto Pizza - they’ve been there over 40 years and have a recipe from their father from Napoli. SO GOOD! A friend of mine recommended taking the pizza to go and eating it at the Piazza MichaelAngelo where you have a view of the entire city.
Don nino - You need to go in here and have a cannoli when you go to see the Duomo. They make it fresh right jn front of you. Best cannoli. I know I’m saying that to all of this - but really!
To see: Uffizi Gallery - Insane artwork! (make sure you go to the cafe and eat a prosciutto sandwhich. It’s just prosciutto and bread. We dreamt about it for weeks)
Ponte Vecchio (old bridge) - The bridge is now a walking street with shopping, cafe’s and gelato! This is also where you can buy a lock and hang it on around the metal gates.
Galleria dell Academia - It’s a nice museum but we just went to see the Statue of David specifically. You must.
Boboli gardens - We didn’t get a chance to go here because it was chilly, windy and rained a bit; but locals told us it’s a beautiful garden! If you have the time, take a stroll.
Piazzale Michaelangelo - It’s just a plaza that’s high up enough to have a view of the entire city
Piazza del Duomo - Also known as the Cathedeal Square. Iconic.
Venice is hands down the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. I’ve traveled a lot through Europe and each city will catch your heart in a different way; but Venice is MIRACULOUS! We stayed in Venice 3 nights and left for Rome on the 4th morning. You can easily do 2 nights if you’re in a rush and you’ll still see plenty. When we went it was kind of chilly so St. Marks square was a bit quieter. However, if you go in warmer weather, St. Marks square is full of people with all the restaurants setting up outdoor dining with bands and music all over the place. Pictures do absolutely no justice!
Hotel: The Gritti Palace - Dates back to 1475! A palace turned hotel. This was one of thee best hotels in Venice, facing the Grand Canal. The restaurant at this hotel is amazing as well. If you’re not staying there, go have lunch or dinner - right in front of the water on the deck.
OR Ca’ Sagredo Hotel - Stayed here last year. Again, facing the Grand canal, with a setup right in front of the water, to dine. I wouldn’t say the food was amazing though. If you’re not set on spending so much on a room, there’s many inside that don’t particularly face the water but are close in distance still.
Restaurant da Raffaele - We came across this restaurant just walking through one of the allys. It was a more local area and not on a busy shopping street. I had pasta and David had a fresh branzino which he devoured. Most importantly, you can dine right on the deck of a little canal.
Bar Longhi - Our hotel bar. It’s gorgeous at night!
Piazza San Marco - A huge square surrounded by museums, church, restaurants and shopping.
Includes: Saint Mark’s Basilica & Doge’s palace
San Lazzaro Degli Armeni - A small Armenian owned island! Whether you’re Armenian or not, the museum is so interesting with so much history! You can take a tour boat there or take a private boat. Definitely one of the highlights of our trip!
Cippriani - We didn’t get a chance to go because it was off-season; but it was highly recommended by a few people. There is a hotel (very pricey) but just go have lunch there! Oh and fun fact: George Clooney got married there!
Roaming in Rome
We stayed 3 nights in Rome and you absolutely NEED 3 nights in Rome. There’s so much to see in this city! We hired a private tour guide for 3 hours each day: one day was the Colloseum & Roman Forum and the second day was Vatican City. I HIGHLY recommend getting a tour guide, if not a private one, there’s many group ones. Your hotel can help set you up with a tour or you can search for one on Trip Advisor. Our tour guide was a historian and archeologist, so she knew every detail of the city and we learned so much! My husband is obsessed with history, so these tours were really important to him and in turn, me. But once you’re done with your tours, just Roam the City! There is so much to do! One of the most lively cities I’ve ever been in.
Hotel: Palazzo Manfredi - One of the hottest spots to stay in. Specifically because your dining spot has the most beautiful view of the Coloseum. But to say that it was one of the best hotels I stayed in, I’d be lying. Just go have lunch or dinner there and get that experience.
La Carbonara - We found this spot as we walked through the little streets and noticed a line outside the door. Place opens 12:30 and as soon as it opened, the place got packed in 15 minutes. They’re obviously known for their Carbonara and rightfully so!
Primocafe - We had pizza and pasta at this restaurant on a Sunday, which was right in front of a bazaar. True Italian experience and delicious food!
Hosteria pantheon - When you go to the Pantheon, have some food or wine and just chill here! Ambiance and Food, both A+! There are bands and solo musicians in and out.
Tartufi & Friends - An actual truffle bar! Truffle everything. Appetizers, entre, salads all with truffle. All that and their best bottle of Italian Champagne was a total of $140! What? A truffle bar in LA with that type of spread would be at least $400!
Giolitti - One of the oldest standing Gelato bars! Super old, classic looking ice cream and desert shop.
Traverna Trillusa - Another delicious local referral. Try to make reservations because it gets packed pretty quickly. Have the spaghetti in the iron pan - I don’t know what it’s called (see attached photo). Trestevere is such a cool spot - spend some time there!
Colosseaum - We had a tour guide for this, 3 hours including the Roman Forum
Vatican museum - Dedicate at least half the day here! We took a tour guide here too, including the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica.
Sistine Chapel - If you’re not going to get a tour guide, read about this before you go so you can understand what you’re seeing.
St. Peter’s Basilica - The most beautiful church on the planet. I think that may be a fact. We went all the way to the top at the end of our tour. Fair warning, 300 narrow steps; in other words, if you easily have panic attacks, anxiety or claustrophobia, don’t do it lol.
Spanish Steps - Shopping in this area is endless and insane.
Altare della patria
I should tell you right off the bat that my husband and I are ok. The tragedy that occurred is about another human being. I’m currently in the train right now, halfway stopped, waiting to continue to our destination in Venice 1 hour away. David and I were running late to our train and were able to jump on a few minutes before it took off. Ten minutes into the ride, we heard a bang and what seemed to sound like tree branches rolling under our train. Although it was slightly raining outside - it wasn’t windy. The train immediately stopped and we knew something had happened. After waiting in the train with no notification or updates for a good 20 minutes (mind you, very few people speak English on this train to begin with); we were told that we got into an accident. I wondered what kind of accident, since the train didn’t tremble at all; only to learn that it was a human being. The noises we heard were no tree branches. I’m honestly nauseous as I write about this because I don’t understand. Although not confirmed, I am going to assume this was a suicide. I assume this because it seems like we’re in a pretty empty land and there’s no walkway anywhere. The investigators and police are currently here studying the scene while we wait in the train. It’s been about 3 hours and still no sign of moving yet. I’ll update this as soon as I have more info. But what’s even more upsetting is the girl behind me continues to talk about her day being ruined and even complained to the attendant that she wants her money back or a discount. What is wrong with people? My heart goes out to his/her family. RIP.
The caption is exactly what I thought when I got this package from Becca. To be honest, I love every single shade they have. Opal has been my JAM forever, and when I am lighter, Moonstone & when tanner, Champagne Pop. I believe they have 5 or more other shades. So here I am thinking, what other color can you actually create that are good enough as the others? Introducting, Parisian Lights in collaboration with Sananas (@sananas2016). Can I just tell you that I have never seen a highlighter shade like this? The second I swatched, I was in awe! How did Becca kill it once again? The best way I can describe this shade is a soft pink highlighter with gold flecks. This highlighter has dimension and that is one of my favorite qualities about it, in addition to their already perfect formula. So then I actually applied it and it is safe to say, it is probably my new favorite highlighter. I have a little bit of a tan now (medium toned) and it just looks like my skin is glistening and the hue is perfect. To be honest, I didn't know who Sananas was until I searched for her; but I learned she is French (obviously) and the Eiffel tower print with the glistening stars is just way too cute - I didn't want to touch it! I still have the Champagne pop with the actual champagne bottle on it at home and haven't touched that one. I think I need to get another one I can shrine in my collectibles :)
So happy to share this interview I did a few weeks ago with @landofmom ! She features a new #mommyboss every two weeks and I am very honored to be a part of this along with other strong women out there! Check out the full article HERE.
Spring is almost here & so are the pastels! Before we get into the bright bold beautiful Summer colors - enjoy the feminine vibe of the season. Blush, almost always, looks good on any skin tone. You just have to find the "right" blush for you. If you are in the lighter category, go for a nude blush - its going to look pink on you! If you are in the darker category, go for a deeper pink so that it stands out on our lips and looks like your natural blushing lip color.
Pinks and Blues seem to be a trend as Spring rolls along. Beauty gurus such as MakeupbyMario, Patrick Ta, HungVanngo, AnthonyHNguyen and MakeUpbyAriel have been adding a lot of Vibrant colors on their celebrities and I have to say I’m a bit unsure. Also, I’m not really a “trending” type of artist so it definitely makes me a bit uncomfortable. Needless to say, it’s gorgeous on these girls! Without a doubt, the artists kill the makeup. My concern is, these are celebrities who are always taking photos, working the photo shoots or walking the carpet. I would think if I did this to any of my clients, they would more than likely freak out. Is it something any of us can pull off on the streets? I believe some looks are meant for instragram, some are for the red carpet and sometimes those can cross-over but not into the streets. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Tell me the photos below don’t remind you of Cotton Candy!
...at least one week at a time. One of my New Years resolutions was to keep a “To-Do List”. Although I’ve been doing exceptionally well with that, I was lacking a to-do list for life, outside of work. I feel as though I keep telling myself there’s things I need to do with my personal life; but apparently, it’s things I never have time for, or so I think.
In reality, some of these things are more important than work and some are just things that make you feel like you have your LIFE together, if done. Too often we say “tomorrow” and too often it never gets done. You are not alone my friend; we are all on the same boat! So I started making a to-list list every single week of things I need to get done that have nothing to do with work! I can’t tell you how good I feel every time I delete a task from my notes. I feel accomplished!
Below is this weeks to-do list. Does it look something like yours?
Some of these sounds mediocre, I know. But how many of us miss our annual gyno check ups? It’s so much more important than any job! I was out with my friends Teni and Angie yesterday and this conversation came up. One of Teni’s friends hadn’t gone for a checkup in such a long time that by the time she went, she was in too deep with an issue that had arised. Honestly, a year is not that long - we blink and it’s a New Year. So make a to-do list and get all your health checkups on a regular basis!
Dental appointment - we all hate it, but all it takes is one appointment. One of my teeth broke when I was pregnant with Kat. The broken tooth never bothered me, it didn’t hurt so I just forgot about it. I finally went to the dentist last week to find out I need a root canal - dammit! My dentist asked “Have I really not seen you for 3 years?!” I couldn’t believe that’s the last I visited him! I was so ashamed. I go for a cleaning every 4 months prescheduled with a hygienist, so to me, I’ve been going to the densit. So no, I haven’t really gone for my check ups. I could have prevented the root canal! Now it’s a bigger headache...better yet, toothache, in this case.
Kats toys have piled up beyond control! I cannot step into her room without banging my foot against something or stepping on something! I keep telling myself I need to clean it out and it never happens. Ugh, it takes time to go through what she plays with and what she doesn’t! But, it needs to be done. Simple yet a drag.
Printing out Elcie Articles for wall art! We moved into the Elcie office over a year ago and I have yet to design it. We moved in, got busy and that was that. I didn’t have time to decorate or do anything cute to my office. I literally have a desk and a chair and that is it. All I have to do is go to cvs.com upload the articles and click print and have it be delivered. Why has it taken me so long?!
Washing Makeup brushes, ugh! Am I the only one who finds this annoying? I have better things to do than sit there and wash my makeup brushes. Ladies, washing your makeup brushes is a must! You can clean them with brush cleaner every so often but at least once a month - wash them! It’s sanitary and healthier for your skin.
I did that to-do list this morning and in a matter of Kat napping for 3 hours, I got it all done, except cleaning out her toys! I feel so relaxed and relieved! Take time to make notes of things that you need to take care of every week that include physical and mental health! You come first. Who else makes to-do lists. Are they daily? Weekly? Monthly? I’d love to hear!
I’ve been to fancy dinners. Not because I like fancy dinners (although I do) but hubby and I love the experience of dressing up every now and then, going to a nice place, enjoying not only the food, but the ambiance. We are borderline foodies; however, were happy with simple dinners or cheese and wine, so we don’t pass for one! We equally love cooking at home together and enjoy our time in the kitchen. Our current favorite TV show is “Chef’s Table” on Netflix and on the downlow, it’s what we watch on the daily lol. We love the story behind these successful Michelin rated restaurants, the owners and how they came about, what dishes made them world famous and really just the art of the food. It’s pure genius what some chefs are capable of sometimes. One of our favorite restaurants ever is the Bazaar by Jose Andres. The Bazaar has an open kitchen concept and you can watch them cook and how they create and decorate food with tweezers. I promise you that’s my career in my next lifetime. But hey! I am looking to do some cooking classes with David, so let me know if you know any good ones!
Anyways, my friend Shushan of Ladybugz, Inc. is an amazing chef herself and owns her own catering company. I ALWAYS use Shushan’s services when I have a big party because her food is so good, so nicely presented and she never disappoints! Plus, I need an excuse to order from her every now and then because I miss it lol. So anyways, she had told me about this restaurant in Las Vegas called Joel Robuchon at the MGM. Trusting her taste, last time David and I were there, we booked next door at the Joel Robuchon Atelier. The Atelier is basically the more casual version of their formal dining restaurant (they are next to each other). We had a 13 course dinner at the bar of the restaurant. Seeing the small portions that come out, you think you’re never going to get full. By course 6, we were dying! We were so full we couldn’t breathe but the food kept coming out and it was so good, we forced ourselves to keep eating! Let me tell you...the flavor of every single item that came out was something we had never eaten before and the presentation? Exquisite.
We went to Vegas this week because David had some work to do, so I tagged along because it was Valentines and we wanted to be together. We decided to book Joel Robuchon at the fine dining this time, next to the Atelier. You walk in the restaurant and you think you just stepped into France. First of all, everyone has a French accent, the decor was rich, sexy and beautiful and the service was nothing like we had ever experienced before. The restaurant is also a Celebrity hot spot; there were many photos of celebrities framed all over the place and I also heard its a Celin Dion favorite. Anyway, we felt like we just walked into a Chef’s Table episode. We decided to do the 5 course dinner this time. They first bring out a cart with 12 different types of freshly baked bread that takes you straight to France. We chose our items from the course and it began. The presentation of each dish was so beautiful, you don’t want to touch it; but every dish was beyond. Every spoonful had so much flavor that you can’t even understand what you’re eating. Seeing each others reaction to every flavor of every dish was the best part lol. The 5 course dinner is spread out to 2.5 hours, so the whole dinner is meant to be an actual experience.
I can go into detail with each dish but I’ll let the photos do the explaining, although it was dim and I couldn't get great photos. At the end of our dinner, the Chef came out, introduced himself and wanted to make sure we were all happy with our food. They even gave me a “goodie bag” with desert and a box of chocolates. Joel Robuchon has a 3 Star Michelin rating and truly deserves every star. We knew the restaurant came with a price & boy did it lol. Our bill was $1500! In all fairness, if you remove the alcohol, it will be about $1000 for 2. Crazy? Perhaps. But heck, it was Valentine’s Day and we felt we deserved it! Lol. If you’re not a foodie or into the art of food and you’re the type of person who eats just to eat, DONT go there; it will be a waste of your money and you will not enjoy it. But if you’re one who appreciates such things, it’s an experience you won’t forget!
What are your thoughts on fancy dinners?