Monday, August 5, 2019

Easy Meal Prep x Egg Muffins

After hearing quite a few success stories about the Keto diet over the last while, I recently grabbed a magazine at the local bookstore to learn more about this lifestyle--and to cop some recipes that I could begin incorporating into my eating regimen.

I haven't done a lot just yet in the way of adopting the lifestyle since I'm still in the "exploratory phase", but there were some fabulous recipes that immediately caught my eye and took away some of the mystery around what a Keto-friendly diet is really all about.

And it was the featured egg muffins that leaped off the page and made it to my kitchen first.  What drew me in?  The ease of preparation (like whisking up some eggs and layering them with delicious add-ins in muffin tins for a bake it and forget it done deal.)  With just an hour or so out of my Sunday afternoon to assemble and bake, which meant perfect timing for catching up on a couple of podcasts, it was likely as easy as meal prep goes. 

And we can't forget about the key takeaway of cooking: the taste!  These are delicious and the piquant onion flavor, coupled with the savory goodness from the dry-aged salami and cheese, felt like I was enjoying crust-less, mini quiches.  Some days they were breakfast and others they were lunch with a side salad thrown in. 

The final bonus is that they lend themselves well to freezing or storing in the refrigerator.  What meal-prep dreams are made of, no?

So whether you're a Keto devotee or not, these egg muffins will suit any quest for easy, healthy and delicious eats.  Try them and let me know your thoughts.

Happy Eating!

Egg Muffins

2 scallions, finely chopped
5 oz. air-dried chorizo, salami or cooked bacon, chopped
12 eggs
6 oz. shredded cheese (your choice)
2 Tbsp. red or green pesto (optional)
Salt and pepper 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Divide chopped scallions and meat and add equal amounts to bottom of each cup.  Whisk eggs with seasoning and pesto, if desired.  Add cheese; stir.

Pour egg mixture evenly into each cup.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on size of muffin tin.  Let cool before wrapping in plastic and storing in fridge or freezer.  Enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of 

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

{Travel Like a Pro}: City Life x Public Transit

A Paris Metro Station
What do some of the world's greatest cities, like New York City, Madrid, Bangkok, Paris, Chicago, London, and Washington, D.C., all have in common?  Sure, they're all bustling metropolises.  But the common thread of which I hint goes further.

For a traveler who seeks to make the most of her time in a given destination (read: immersion in the local culture and scene--with lots of to and fro), they all share a gem that has been invaluable in making my forays in each city real life #travelgoals. The gem of which I speak is the public transit system that each possesses for getting locals, and visitors, alike, around town in the cheapest (yes, to that!) and often most warp speed, efficient manner (double yes to that!).

London's Public Subway aka The Tube
In my earlier travel days, public transit was the default because I simply had no other means of regular, affordable transportation at my disposal.  For example, arriving in Spain as a college student, and soon after settling in Madrid to study abroad, meant embracing the metro for my comings and goings--and quickly proved to be an interesting lens into the people and culture in which I was now living.  Ultimately, if not surprisingly, my goal of mobility was met in memorable and often laughable ways.

The following Summer found me similarly planted in Washington, D.C. to take on a stint as a Legislative Aide on Capitol Hill.  It was a dream opportunity in an already favorite city, but the girl had no car.  (In truth, my car was back home awaiting my return, based on a judicious decision thrust upon me by my mama.  She was not about to chance my then still questionable driving skills against the D.C. traffic.)

Inside a Bangkok Transit System Station
Living in a dorm room at Georgetown University meant a daily commute that consisted of bus routes that converged into the Metro rail and ultimately got me close enough to 'The Hill' to manage the remaining sneaker-clad trek.  And you know what?  Like Madrid, I couldn't have amassed a better grasp of the city and its unique offerings almost any other way.  Like it or not, I was fully immersed--and truly gained homes away from home. 

Fast forward several years later and the merits of public transport were a distant memory and thing of the past.  In those pre-Uber/Lyft days, I was the taxi cab queen (with an occasional private car and driver added to the mix.)  Beyond the coins that were consumed, I was largely relegated to the destinations in my direct queue and minimally ventured much further beyond to gain broader exposure.  In retrospect, I was happy and loving it, but didn't know (or rather forgot) what else I could have enjoyed.

The Louvre Museum Metro Station in Paris
And I'm proud to say that I eventually shed those ways and once again made public transit my ally for taking in the cities in the immersive manner that has always defined my travel aspirations.  Did it take a bit of courage when navigating on foot, stopping (frequently) to ask strangers for directions or guidance, or deciphering through foreign languages when in Paris and Bangkok, for instance?  Yes, of course.  But the pay offs more than outweighed any inhibitions that I had.  And once I adopted that mindset, it became a natural option, no matter where my footprint landed.

My ultimate local navigation style includes a medley of public transportation (weather permitting, daylight mostly, non-heel wearing goings) and taxi/ride sharing transportation (mostly when the above conditions are reversed.)  I feel like such the "big girl" and local when I'm out there navigating those city terrains and hopping on and off the train.  And then there's the fringe benefit of being more aware of and connected to my surroundings, making my travels all the more fulfilling.

Often the simplest things have the biggest payoff and, in the world of big city exploration and mobility, this is definitely one of them.  If you're not already on the public transit bandwagon, I highly recommend it.

Happy Travels!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

{Hairstory}: Tribal Braids x Life Lessons

I can barely recall a time, absent young childhood, when my hair wasn't top of mind.  Whether it was the leap from virgin to relaxed hair; my first chop--a chic bob that would become a favorite go-to style over the years; keeping it healthy while living miles apart from my trusted stylist during college and law school; enduring the upheaval that workout sweats wreak, and on and on, it's always been (and remains) a consideration.  And allowing myself to embrace myriad styling options (albeit gradually) has become invaluable.

A couple of years ago, I switched gears from my minimally relaxed routine about three times a year (to help with manageability) and stopped applying any chemicals, despite how slight the previous applications had become.  It wasn't intentional initially, but as time passed, I decided to go with the flow.  During that period, I also released my previous resistance to extensions, weaves, and the like, and jumped on the "sew-in", clip-ins bandwagon for additional versatility.  And, most recently, I opened my styling options to the easy, carefree world of braids.  In full candor, it was a somewhat unexpected adjustment that caused me to reflect more deeply about how I view myself, my personal aesthetic, embracing change and the freedom to express myself as I see fit on the hair and beauty spectrum.

I must say I was delightfully surprised at all of the positive and affirming feedback my new look garnered and how it truly served to help me settle into my new hairstyle.  Because let's face it--hair is a big deal.  Whether you're deciding on texture, styling options, healthy maintenance, battling hair loss or diminished density due to improper care, illness, aging, etc., our hair is our crown of glory and is forever attached to our self-expression.

Back to my foray into the world of braids (beyond my previous, simpler, but no less lovely, cornrow styles), I decided to go for the tribal braids with inspiration drawn from Bo Derek's famous look in 10.  My motivation was lifestyle ease, especially regarding those style-crushing workout sessions I mentioned earlier, coupled with my admiration for the sheer beauty of the style as worn by other women.

I said farewell to my braids on last night after my six week stint and can say that along with my hairstyle change came a greater self-appreciation and open-mindedness to express myself in ways I deem beautiful and authentic.  I fell in love with this new expression of myself and added another notch in my hair story.  See of more of my tribal braids looks here. :)

Happy Living!

P.S. What is your hair story?  Have you ever made a bold change to your hair?


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Toast With This!: Elderflower Lemonade Spritz

Only a handful of days back home from my most recent jaunts to London and Paris and everything--including the longing to return--is still fresh and vivid in my memory.  As I paused to reflect, I realized that this most recent visit to Paris, in particular, marked the fifth over the past 17 years.  And can I let you in on a secret?  It's still my favorite all these years later.  If you've been following the blog for a while, then you know London is also a fond destination and this third time around was as charming as the first over twelve years ago.

So putting my sentiments to the side, momentarily at least, I want to share an ode to the casual, yet sophisticated, sip that takes many variations among the sidewalk cafes and restaurants throughout each destination: the Spritz.

From the Aperol (which recently underwent a heated review, turned debate, courtesy of New York Times Cooking, but which showed no sign of waning across the pond if my observations are any proof), to the St. Germain, and beyond, the Spritz undoubtedly holds its own as a drink of choice. 

I've created a light, effervescent version that's as refreshing as the Summer days are long and the temps are hot--making it an undeniable go-to all season long. Combining Elderflower Lemonade (I like Belvoir's), Prosecco, and Club Soda for an elegant sip couldn't be easier, or more delicious--and the combined bubbly effect is a lovely bonus. 

If you can't be cafe-side in Paris or London, you can still enjoy the same joie de vivre--and toast with this.

Happy Sipping!

Elderflower Lemonade Spritz
Elderflower Lemonade (or Lemonade combined with an Elderflower Cordial), chilled
Prosecco, chilled
Club Soda

Pour Elderflower Lemonade into a glass, followed by Prosecco, and topped off with a splash of club soda.  Stir slightly and enjoy!

Thursday, May 9, 2019

{Taste of Atlanta}: Sear Restaurant at the Marriott Marquis

Marquis Honey Butter Bread
Last night I attended an intimate dinner in the heart of downtown Atlanta, at a previously hidden (to me) gem on the local dining scene.  Here enters Sear Restaurant--located in the stunning Marriot Marquis hotel.  Now before you're tempted to mentally lump Sear into the typical hotel restaurant category (read: pretty hum-drum, sans wow-appeal), let me share a few highlights that will paint the true picture--and distinction.

Open since 2008, Sear has continued to evolve over the last decade, completing an extensive renovation last year.  Its moody and slightly rustic aesthetic, replete with one-of-a-kind art from artists throughout Georgia, gives you all the warm and cozy vibes.  And once you're settled in to one of the public or private dining spaces, all that's left to do is feast on its exceptional menu that boasts seafood, steak, vegetarian and vegan dishes that are creatively--and deliciously--prepared.

And speaking of dishes, the pictured honey butter bread was a mouth-watering start to a night of indulgent eating and sipping.  What I admittedly loved most was being gifted with a swag (gift) basket, replete with its own skillet of freshly baked bread, the signature Marquis honey, hand crafted hot sauce, and the recipe for bringing it to life in my kitchen.  And because sharing is caring, I'm passing it along to you for your baking and noshing pleasure, as well. Thank me later.

So the next time a breakfast, lunch or dinner outing is on the agenda, be sure to make Sear one of your go-tos.  The chefs and staff will ensure that your visit is top notch from start to finish and make it a favorite in your Atlanta dining repertoire.

Happy Eating!

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Tastes of Spring at Fogo de Chão - New Seasonal Menu!

Just in time for the start of spring, the internationally-renowned Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chão introduces new menu items using the freshest ingredients of the season and crafted for those ready to embrace warmer temperatures. From Brazil-inspired meat varieties to nutritionally balanced soups and salads, new spring selections are now available as part of the Full Churrasco Experience at all U.S. Fogo locations for a limited time.

“Brazilian cuisine focuses on harvesting and serving fruits and vegetables when they are in season and have reached peak flavor,” said Barry McGowan, Chief Executive Officer of Fogo de Chão. “At Fogo, our gaucho chefs refresh our Market Table with seasonal items to deliver new choices for our guests to dine with us in a naturally nutritious way.”
A selection of Fogo’s spring menu items include:

Lighter Cuts of Spring Pork Picanha (butchered and prepared with the same simple style as traditional Picanha, then carved tableside) and a new spicy Linguica Sausage (pork sausage with red pepper, garlic and fresh onion) are added to the Full Churrasco Experience this spring.

Market Table Additions Roasted Cauliflower Salad (oven-roasted with olive oil, garlic and black pepper, then topped with scallions and sesame seeds) and Brazilian Kale & Orange Salad (with a citrus-honey vinaigrette), plus gluten-free Carrot & Ginger Soup (blended with fresh herbs and coconut milk) join the Market Table this season.

Crème de Coconut – A traditional Brazilian recipe, this new dessert features shredded coconut baked with condensed milk and cream, then served warm with ice cream and lime zest.

Blood Orange Manhattan – Buffalo Trace Bourbon is shaken with Carpano Antica, blood orange and angostura bitters, then served on the rocks.

Fogo de Chão is also honored to unveil “Eulila,” a red wine blend specially created exclusively for Fogo by the award-winning winemakers at Viña Vik. Available by the glass or bottle, the wine blends Carmenere, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah grapes from the Cachapoal Valley in Chile and pays tribute to Eulila “Selma” Oliveira, Chief Culture Officer of Fogo de Chão. 

Spring menu selections and the Eulila tribute wine are now available at all Fogo locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico and are the perfect additions to guest favorites such as the Bone-In Cowboy Ribeye or dry-aged steak offerings, including the 24-ounce New York Strip and 32-ounce Tomahawk Ribeye.

For more information about Fogo de Chão, the new culinary and cocktail additions, or to make dining reservations, please visit

Happy Eating!

This is a sponsored post.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

{Self-Care x Pampering} ~ 5 Ways To Treat Yourself Well

Self-care can mean many things to as many people.  However, one thing is constant--it's necessary for actualizing our most fulfilled, balanced, and healthy selves.  Whether you're talking physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual, well-being, making time to care for yourself is essential.

One of the many ways that I spell self-love and self-care is through pampering!  Whether it's a trip to the spa, or special at-home rituals, a little pampering goes a long way to reinvigorating and uplifting us into our best selves.

Here are five of my favorite ways to indulge:

Drink to Life - with a 24-hour drink menu for the prettiest skin of your life. (Marie Claire)

Detox Your Skin - grab the secrets of five beauty bloggers as they spill the beans on the best ways to care for your skin from the inside-out. (Bloglovin')

Enjoy a Spa Day - at home! With these DIY spa treatments, your spa day is closer than ever. (Lulus)

Unplug - Going off the digital grid for an afternoon, a day, or more, can contribute immensely to a renewed outlook and a recharged mental state.  And fewer things can be more indulgent and nurturing when the world beyond beckons and your favorite app is only a touch away.

Rest Up - Sleeping in, afternoon napping, early bedtimes, anyone? Slowing down and prioritizing restfulness is the essence of self care and the side benefits are endless!

Sounds simple, right?  But if we're being completely honest, how consistent are we about actually doing it?  Let's make the days ahead the best they can be with a bit more self-love and self-care in action.

Happy Living!

P.S. How do you spell self-care?
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