Stuffin' n Muffins.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's been five days since Thanksgiving and we're still full just thinking about our meal which had us going back for seconds...and, errr, thirds.  It is by far the second best meal of the year, behind Christmas.  The food was deeee-licious and not-so-surprisingly there weren't many leftovers! My mom did most of the cooking: the turkey, sweet potato and apple casserole, peas, cranberry, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pies.  Boy that's a mouthful! Kristen was responsible for some of the desserts which consisted of mini baked apple pies and doughnut muffins.  It was an overall delicious feast that we were glad to share with our loved ones.  We can't wait to tell you all about our Christmas meal which is just around the corner!

All 21 pounds of our Thanksgiving turkey filled with stuffing!

A delicious assortment of bread from a local French bakery.

Mom-mom's recipe of sweet potato and apples. 

A pile of doughnut muffins that are great for both breakfast and dessert.

Our mom's scrumptious and beautiful pumpkin pie.

Kristen's mini baked apple pies dusted with powdered sugar.

Festive Tiger Lilies from Kristen's wonderful and sweet boyfriend.

Dear Santa.

Monday, November 29, 2010

So maybe this Christmas list is longer than I anticipated.  Whoops! Since moving into my own place this list is much more practical than it usually is (or so I'd like to think).  One thing about entering the real world is that I have been buying a lot more needs and a lot less wants so this is an opportunity for me to get a little spoiled.  I'll be honest though, I really do have everything I want (and I don't mean to sound corny): a stable job, great friends, a wonderful family, a loving boyfriend, a roof over my head, and a set of wheels to get from point A to point B.  I like to think of this list as a "hint, hint" to those that want an idea of what I want! 

1. Cakelace Coasters, Unica Home
While I love my coffee table, I am constantly pulling out the Pledge wood cleaner.  This is in part due to the fact that I have no coasters and am having to clean up after all the rings that form from my glasses.  I've been searching for ones that really catch my eye and these are the winner!

2. Nova Throw, ZGallerie
I love this throw from ZGallerie! The nice thing about it is that it's very neutral yet has a modern and simple design.  It would look great in my living room and would sure be nice to cozy up on the couch for those super cold winter's I'll have to endure here in Tampa. I'm kidding--if we're lucky it will reach the low 50s!

3. Modern House Art Peacock Print, Etsy
For the past few months I have kept my eye out for art to put over my couch.  I fell in love with this peacock painting and think a large version would look great in my apartment.  The artist has many great pieces but this one tops my list!

4. Ray-Ban Boyfriend Sunglasses, Nordstrom
I certainly don't need these sunglasses so these are definitely more of a want! I showed these sunglasses in a previous post and think it would be a great alternative to my aviators that I currently use. 

5. Madison Gathered Leather Sophia Satchel, Coach 
I think this Coach purse is absolutely beautiful!  It also comes in grey, purple, and bone; I'm really not sure which color is my favorite.  I'm in love with the textured material and this is certainly a purse I would get a lot of use out of!

6. Madison Gathered Leather Accordion Zip, Coach
The matching wallet would be a great replacement for my current wallet which is a big bulky mess (ok, not the messy part but just go along with me).  I didn't choose this wallet because it goes with the purse but because it is the perfect size and I love the idea of a wrap around zipper.

7. Lecarlos Ankle Boot, Aldo
It's a fact: I need more shoes.  A pair of lace up booties would be a great addition to my wardrobe for the winter.  These Aldo ones would go great with a pair of skinny jeans. For a pair of heels, they do also look pretty comfortable!

8. Food Fashion Friends Coffee Table Book, Anthropologie
I think a great way to spruce up a coffee table is to add coffee table books (what a concept)! I see nice ones I like all the time in stores but can never get myself to buy one.  It's a great gift for someone which is why it's the perfect item for my Christmas list.

9. Nikon Camera Case,
Last Christmas my very generous boyfirend gave me a Nikon D3000 camera.  I constantly am using it and I think its time to start protecting this bad boy before it's too late.  I want one that is not too bulky and easy for me to carry around. 

10. Cuisinart Toaster Oven, Macy's
Currently my oven serves as my giant toaster, which yes, is a bit ridiculous and unncessary.  A toaster oven would be great for someone who lives on their own (like me) to avoid having to use the much too large oven to heat something small up. 

11. Philosophy Inner Grace, Nordstrom
I received this perfume a few years back for Christmas and it was used way too quickly! I absolutely love this scent because it's light and fresh.

12. 2011 Planner, Vera Bradley
With the coming of a new year, a new planner is needed to keep track of all those important dates.  I currently use a Vera Bradley planner and I love everything about it: the size, design, and organization.

13. Nike Women's Running Shoes, Nike
My current sneakers are several years old and have been through blood, sweat, and tears (ok, maybe not the tears part).  I think it's time to turn them in for a fresh new pair.  Besides, it might give me motivation to hit the gym more often!

Gobble, Gobble!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The stuffing is made, the turkey is in the oven, and the Macy's Thanksgiving parade just finished.  Next step: finish making the desserts!  Thanksgiving is not only one of our favorite holidays because of all the good food, but because it's one of the few times during the year when the family is together.  Unfortunately, we have five-sixths of our family here this year because our youngest sister went to go spend the holiday with our Aunt in Charleston (which is sure to be a good time).  We wish you were here Elizabeth with the rest of the clan (especially our newest addition, baby Ava)!

Quieres Cafe Cubano?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cuban Coffee is a staple and a necessity in the Cuban community. I love that on almost every street corner in Miami I can get a pick me up with a "cafecito." It is great by itself or added to some steamed milk for some cafe "con leche." I can't wait to go home to Miami this weekend to eat delicious Cuban food, soak up some sun, and of course spend time with the fam. Here I'll show you the steps involved in making this delicious beverage.

WARNING: A small shot of this concoction packs enough caffeine to wake up a tranquilized elephant. You may find yourself dancing like Celia Cruz, trying to get abuela to dance like Celia Cruz, or thinking you're Celia Cruz.

To make your Cuban coffee, you'll need a cafetera, espresso cups, espresso coffee, sugar, and a pitcher

Fill the base of the cafetera with water up to the dot on the inside where the steam is released.

Insert the funnel into the base and fill with espresso. Lightly pat down to make sure it is filled.

Screw the top of the cafetera onto the base and place on your stove over medium-high heat.

While the coffee is heating up on the stove, pour 2-3 tablespoons of sugar into the pitcher.
This is all dependent on how sweet you want your coffee to be.

Keep an eye on the cafetera and watch for when the coffee begins to rise and spill over.

As soon as it begins to spill over into the top, immediately pour a splash of the coffee into
the sugar.  Place the cafetera back onto the stove to finish brewing. Rapidly stir
the sugar in the pitcher.

Stir the sugar mixture, or "espumita", until the color is a nice golden caramel.

Take the cafetera off of the stove as soon as the coffee finishes spilling into the top. Pour the
coffee into the pitcher with the espumita and stir to combine; a nice froth will form.
Pour into the espresso cup and enjoy!

Eye Rockers & Sun Blockers.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

1. Ray-Ban "Original Wayfarer" 2. Ray-Ban RX5201 3. Burberry BE2074 4. Ray-Ban "Caribbean"
5. Ray-Ban "Boyfriend" 6. Tom Ford "Jennifer" 7. Ray-Ban "Cat Eye" 8. Forever 21 Aviators
I hate to admit this but I was that kid who used to say, "I wish I wore glasses."  Luckily for me (or shall I say unluckily) I now utilize them in my everyday computing and reading activities.  Recently, I was in the market for some eyeglasses and couldn't resist going for the "geeky" pair, or rather what I refer to as my "fun" pair.  This of course pulled me over like a magnet to the sunglasses section of the optical store and had me wanting all the newest items.  I've shared some of my favorite eyeglass and sunglass trends with you and while I know I wouldn't be able to pull all of them off (for example, pair numero dos), that doesn't stop me from liking them on my other four-eyed friends.  I tried to include a variety of brands but that didn't go too well.  But hey, let's be honest, Ray-Ban's ARE just that great!

"Rockin" (well, maybe not)
my new D&G eyeglasses

Sneak Peak: Kelly's City Apartment.

Friday, November 19, 2010

After spending months of sifting through Craigslist postings, running (literally) around Manhattan, and sitting on subway floors (yes, it was a low point for us), my roomie and I finally came across an apartment we couldn't turn down. It took hard work, some tears, and lots of help, but we finally have a place we can call home. Let me rephrase that: it's a place I can call my apartment since my dad always corrects me and tells me Miami will always be my home. Oh, father, how I do love you.

Despite having a major downgrade from the size of our last apartment in Nashville, TN, this apartment is actually a pretty decent size for the city and has so much more character; I never expected to have crystal door knobs! Being pressed for time and not wanting to break the bank, I found the majority of my furniture and decorations at IKEA (you can pretty much say it's an IKEA model home). I am ecstatic with the way our apartment came out and I'll try to post more pictures soon. Hmm, maybe with some Christmas decorations?

Old photographs are some of my favorites and here are a few of my grandparents.
From left to right: my dad's family in Cuba, Mom-mom looking quite stellar - no wonder
Pop-pop couldn't resist, and Pop-pop being awarded a medal after WWII

Alex, my roomate, hung these wonderful crystal balls from CB2. They add a whimsical
element over our couch and look amazing against our walls!

This chandelier couldn't make me happier.

I was fortunate enought to be able to fit this table in my room - it
doubles as a desk and vanity!

Nail Fever.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

On Kelly: Essie's Sew Psyched Nail Polish

Over the weekend we decided to have a girls outing to treat ourselves to some nail therapy. A few weeks ago, Kelly and her roommate stumbled upon a great nail salon (Spa Season) in the West Village that not only does a great job, but is also gentle on the wallet and very clean. Kelly went with Essie's Sew Psyched (#2) and Kristen decided to experiment with two colors. Wanting to try something with a bit of sparkle she ended up going with two coats of Essie's Merino Cool (#1) and a third coat of OPI's Simmer & Shimmer (#6, which was surprisingly mostly clear with sparkles). She was very pleased with the results; it was the perfect combination for the holiday season!

Below we've compiled some of our favorite brands and shades for winter, which as you see, contains lots of shimmer, a taste of red, and a bit of the neutral colors. While we may not be able to get to all of them, we'll certainly make an effort to try as many as we can. Hey, any excuse to get to the nail salon!

1. Essie Merino Cool 2. Essie Sew Psyched 3. Essie Limited Addiction 4. Essie Velvet Voyeur
5. OPI Russian Navy (Matte) 6. OPI Simmer & Shimmer 7. OPI Bring on the Bling 8. OPI Vodka
& Caviar 9. Deborah Lippmann Today Was a Fairytale 10. Deborah Lippmann Bad Romance
11. Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday 12. Deborah Lippmann Fashion

Coach Night Out.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The weather on Friday evening couldn't have been better.  It was the ideal degree of coolness which contributed to the perfect start to the even more perfect night.  Per the recommendation of Kelly from The Glamourai, we decided to head over to Soho for the launch of the Coach Holiday 2010 Blogger Campaign.  We arrived to a sea of great fashion, delectable finger foods and drinks, high energy, and lots of fun.  The highlights of the event were creating a super fun flip book and meeting Kelly from The Glamourai.  For the flip book we filmed a short seven second clip that was then transferred into an awesome mini booklet, ready in just a few minutes.  Not so surprisingly, we weren't very satisfied with our booklet so we created another one that was much much better!  We were so glad (ok, glad is an understatement) we were able to meet Kelly.  This may be hard to believe, but she is even more cute and bubbly in person!

After the event we decided to walk the streets of Soho and then head over to the Meat Packing District to try out Son Cubano.  As soon as we walked in we felt like we were getting a taste of Cuba through the Latin tunes and decor.  We sipped on yummy mango mojitos and munched on empanadas and a churrasco salad, both of which were excellent.  We can't wait to take our Cuban father here to experience this taste of Cuba in the Big Apple!

On Kelly: Gap Coat, Forever 21 Top, H&M Pants,
Zara Shoes, Marc Jacobs Clutch

On Kristen: American Apparel Top, Forever 21 Shorts, H&M Tights,
Aldo Shoes, Michael Kors Watch, Coach Purse

Kristen, Kelly from The Glamourai, and Kelly

25 Candles.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

It was Kelly's good friend Alex's Birthday (who also happens to be her roommate) on Thursday. We both wanted to do something special for her so Kelly picked out a recipe for Chocolate Cake while Kristen (who had the day off for Veteran's Day) went around NYC picking up all the goodies to make it. The cake was made from scratch, but for the frosting we just used good old Betty Crocker chocolate frosting. It turned out deeeelicious! To celebrate, we went to Dos Caminos in SoHo, which, let us say, is one of the best Mexican restaurants we've been to... and boy do we like Mexican! The night couldn't have been better: delicious margaritas, great food, wonderful friends, and of course a birthday girl with a big smile on her face. Happy Birthday Alex!

Yummy Chocolate Cake

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup boiling water

Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by rubbing with butter, sprinkling with flour and tapping out extra.  In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix together with a wooden spoon then set aside.  In a small bowl combine eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla.  Beat well with hand mixer.  Slowly add boiling water and mix.  Add wet ingredients to flour mixture and fold and stir until smooth.  Pour batter into pans, dividing evenly.  Bake for 30-35 minutes.  Remove cake from pans and cool on racks.

Frost and decorate as you like!

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