5 Ideas for a Fun Friday

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Paris rooftop pic

{Paris rooftop via here}


 

You’ve been waiting all week for this and now Friday is here! You’re probably sitting at work right now, trying to figure our how you can get your weekend off to a great start. Well, I think I can help you out…

5 WAYS TO MAKE FRIDAY AWESOME

1) Leave Work Early

Who can concentrate at 4pm on a Friday anyway? To quote my favorite character Donna for NBC’s Parks & Recreation, “Treat Yo Self”! Go shopping, maybe get a mani/pedi or massage, indulge in some delicious calorie ridden ice cream, or go eat at your favorite food truck. Get happy.

Also: Treat Yo’ Self Ideas

2) Take A Power Nap

Maybe you have a long night ahead: an epic birthday party, club night, or concert. Go home and take a nap. An hour (or two) will do you good. Boy do I love a good nap. You’ll thank me later.

3) Go To Happy Hour

I have never, ever in all my years had a friend turn down an invite to happy hour. Why? Because it doesn’t happen! If the cheap drinks aren’t enticing enough, the cheap food is always a winner. A place with great ambiance (al fressco anyone?) never hurts either.

Also: My favorite happy hour spot

4) Throw an Impromptu Dinner Party

Roll the dice once in a while and it keep in mind it doesn’t have to be ‘fancy’. Maybe whip up some shrimp paella and invite your closest pals over. Food, friends, and a a great bottle(s) of wine. Done and done.

5) Just Chill….

Stay at home…because there is always Saturday.

And what I’m I doing this Friday? After finishing up some work I’m prepping for a weekend in San Francisco with my lovely husband. I cannot wait! Hopefully I can get a few pictures in and report back on our trip next week. Until then…

xo  Saudia

On a Summer Holiday

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Any fun plans for 4th of July weekend? Whether you’ve opted to make this 4th of July a complete day of rest, or you’re juggling a plethora of BBQ invites, here are a few things to get you in a patriotic mood:

 

WEAR THIS:

 

BUY THIS:

Cream & Blue one shoulder swimsuit

{via Saks}

 

WATCH THIS:

 

EAT THIS:

 

DO THIS:

As for me, my 4th starts with teaching a few Bar Method classes, with plans later to attend two barbeques. I have more work throughout the weekend, but I’m gonna do my best to bring more fun into the mix.

Happy Fourth of July!

 

P.S. More ideas: Patriotic Inspiration Stylishly Patriotic

 

xoxo

-S

 

Vegan Lavender Martini

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Vegan Lavender Martini picMartini anyone? If the heat hasn’t made an appearance in your region, then I’m sure it’s knocking on your door. This cocktail is the perfect remedy. It was fun to play bartender for the day and try my hand at making a lavender inspired cocktail.  I bought this vodka a few months back after trying it at the vegan restaurant Crossroads in Los Angeles. I really fell in love with the smoothness of this vodka. I’m not vegan, but I thought it would be a fun challenge to create something catering to those that are. This summery cocktail is just as flavorful as it is fragrant. Scroll down for the recipe!

Vegan Lavender Martini pictureIMG_0491

Vegan Lavender Martini

  • 2 oz Vodka (we used Fair Quinoa Vodka) *vegan & gluten free
  • 1 oz lavender simple syrup (recipe below)
  • 1 oz St. Germaine (elderflower liqueur) *vegan & gluten free
  • 1 splash of lemon juice
  • 1 fresh lavender sprig for garnish

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, St. Germaine, lemon juice and lavender syrup and shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with the lavender sprig.

Lavender Simple syrup

2 cups vegan cane sugar
1 cup water
4 tablespoons lavender buds (fresh or dried, add more lavender if you’d prefer a more fragrant syrup)

Bring sugar, water and lavender to a boil in a small saucepan. Boil for about 2-3 minutes, until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let steep 30 minutes. Strain lavender buds out and store syrup in a glass bottle with a lid. Refrigerate for up to a month.

Vegan Lavender Martini ingredient pic

Vegan Lavender Martini with lavender sprig for garnish

My vegan friends out there, tell me what you think! I would love to hear your feedback on this. Cheers!

-S

 

 

Our Wedding on Style Me Pretty

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{pictures by Skip Hopkins}

{pictures by Skip Hopkins}

 

So I promised these pics a while back, but now you can finally see what I had cooking…

Yesterday, the wedding blog Style Me Pretty featured our wedding on their site! I was so honored and flattered to have them cover the wedding, especially since I pretty much stalked their wedding blog during my planning phase. It’s only been 8 months, but looking at these pictures, it totally brought me back to reliving this fantastic day all over again. A huge thanks to our fantastic photographer Skip Hopkins. He really knocked it out of the park.

Check out the Style Me Pretty feature here.

In case you missed it check out engagement video here.

 

Until then…

-S

 

 

See + Buy + Listen + Try

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Little surfer pic

{picture via here}

 

How was your weekend? I tried out a new place in downtown called Choco Chicken. The cocktails & chicken were pretty amazing. I also worked on one of my blog posts, as well as another project of mine. Then of course reality hit me yesterday, when I spent over 10 hours doing my hair (experimenting with a new “method”), washing clothes,cooking dinner, and brainstorming with SCC. Whew! Today is pretty light, but I know for sure tomorrow will be full speed ahead. Here are a few things to get you thru the week:

A great list of useful websites.

Could I have everything at the Zara sale please?

I know when I hear this song on the radio, summer is officially here

Try a few of these fashion tips.

 

Until then…

-S

Always Dream Big

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Tiny Rwandan Ballerinas

{Tiny Rwandan ballerinas via tumblr}

A couple of months ago I was talking to my husband and I asked him what he wanted to be when he was a little boy. I recall his mom mentioning how creative he was when he was younger, so I figured his answer would be pretty close to his career as an a sound mixer/actor/writer. To my surprise, his answer was, “If I had to go back and do it all again I’d probably be a chef. I’ve always liked to cook, but growing up I didn’t know that being a chef could be an actual career.”

This got me to thinking, how many of us have passion in life that we never in our wildest dreams thought could happen? I remember my first week at my Performing Arts High School. A couple of days into school I switched from the acting department to the dance department. I met a fellow dancer. This young black girl had danced ballet since the age of 5, and mentioned she was told by a fellow (white) dancer over the summer that “black girls don’t get to dance in major ballet companies”. She was heartbroken, because it never occurred to her that it wasn’t possible. For some reason she took this limited opinion at face value; A black ballerina would never get to be a principal dancer or soloist with the top 3 companies: American Ballet Theatre or New York City Ballet or San Francisco Ballet.  We were generally relegated to The Dance Theater of Harlem (which is still an amazing, yet mainly African-American dance company). I understood. Ballet was my first love. Before I even stepped foot in a formal class, I was presenting mini performances in my home to Ravel’s Bolero. My mom bought me a ‘Get in Shape Girl’ ballet barre which I used to practice my barre exercises next to my life-size poster of Mikhail Baryshnikov. Eventually I made it into a real ballet class and I loved it. However, as the years passed I never saw a face that looked like mine that had managed to break the color barrier and rise in the ranks of a major ballet company. Yes, there were a few faces like Lauren Anderson, and others which I know of now….but back then their stories were relatively unknown and the idea still seemed out of reach. Later in high school I put my emphasis on modern & jazz dance, but sometimes I can’t help but think what would’ve happened if there was a Misty Copeland around.

For those who don’t know who she is, Misty is the most high-profile African-American soloist for the American Ballet Theater. She is an incredible dancer with an impressive story to match. The the thing I love most about her is that her passion & mission is to make classical ballet a more accessible art form. The youth of today are very lucky. Thanks to the world-wide web and the multitude of social media platforms, everything is pretty much at your fingertips.  Unfortunately, there are still those whose  socioeconomic level provides less of an opportunity to ‘dream big’. Misty is one of the few artists & entrepreneurs profiled in the Passion Project by American Express; a project designed to inspire all to pursue what is most passionate to them.

As much as I loved ballet, acting won out. I still dance when the opportunity arises, and to be honest, my passion for dance & acting were always neck-in-neck. So in the end I’m still pretty lucky that I get to pursue a passion of mine.

What’s your passion? If you could go back to your 5 or 10 year-old self, what you be? Was there some career that you thought was out of reach? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

P.S. Check out this orphan to ballerina story and more dance-spiration.

Until next time…

-S

10 Nude Sandals for All Skin Tones

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10 Nude Sandals for All Skin Tones
Raise your hand if you’re having a helluva time finding sandals that are even close to matching your skin tone. This problem tends to arise every few years in my case; once I’ve worn to the bone the previous sandals I held onto for dear life. This year I thought ahead and bought 2 pairs (a low wedge & high heel). Hopefully my picks are helpful to your search as well. A few runner-ups here, here, here, and here.
Until next time….
-S

Art Prints

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I’m always keeping an eye out for artwork I might want for our apartment. Minted, a website mainly known for invitations and paper, just expanded their business to include art. Most prints start at $20-$25, and can go higher depending on the size. They have some great selections, and I’d thought I share a few of my favorite so far. If you’ve been on the search for artwork online, I think this is a great source to add to your list.

Orange Crush

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Orange crush Orange romper blog post

IMG_0644I’ve always loved to wear bright hues. After my closet purge this year it seemed as my wardrobe is lacking in the colors that complement my skin the most: reds, yellows, pinks/purples. This is one of the few orange outfits I have. I bought it last summer when I was a bit heavier, so the outfit was a bit snug. Imagine my excitement when I tried it on 2 months ago and it fit perfectly. I’m looking forward to adding more color and patterns to my wardrobe.

IMG_0527IMG_0566IMG_0570{Romper: Rachel Roy via Macy’s, similar here, here and here | Wedges: Kork-Ease| Purse: Old Navy | Earrings: Lucy Yang Jewelry}

 

Until next time…

-S

Cookies n’ Cream Pancakes

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Saturday morning is when my husband and I like to indulge in a carb/bacon heavy breakfast. Last year I tried this recipe and it was was pretty great, but I kept wondering how well it would go over if I used a different cereal instead of Capn’ Crunch? So with some experimenting, the Cookies n’ Cream pancake was born.

IMG_0440The results were quite tasty and the cereal provided a nice balance; the pancakes were flavorful but neither too creamy nor too rich. Hershey’s syrup could be added to the batter if you prefer your pancakes on the chocolate-y side. I decided to add the Hershey’s syrup to the condensed milk syrup instead and that was just perfect for me.

COOKIE N’ CREAM PANCAKES

Pancakes

½ cup Hershey’s Cookies n’ Creme cereal, maybe more for topping

1 cup and 2 tablespoons cake flour

1½ tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

1¼ cups whole milk

2 large eggs, lightly whisked

6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, plus more for the skillet

 

Condensed-Milk Syrup

1 cup condensed milk

¼ cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon Hershey’s syrup (optional)

Dash of kosher salt

cookies n' cream pancake recipe

Cookies n' Cream pancake recipe

DIRECTIONS:

 1. For the pancakes: In a food processor, add the cereal and pulse until it is ground to a fine powder. Transfer to a medium bowl and add the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs and melted butter. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined.

   2. Set a griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Grease lightly with a bit of melted butter and add ¼-cup spoonfuls of batter to  the pan, making sure to space the pancakes at least 2 inches apart. Once bubbles begin to form on the top of the pancakes, after 4 to 5 minutes, flip them and cook until the second side is golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter until it is all used.

3. Make the condensed-milk syrup: In a medium bowl, whisk together the condensed milk, syrup (optional if you want more a chocolate milk taste), heavy cream and salt.4. Serve the pancakes with butter and condensed-milk syrup and top with extra Cookies n’ Cream cereal.

      Makes about 12 3-inch pancakes or 5-6 larger pancakes

      I would love to hear your thoughts if you try the recipe!

Until next time…

-S

 

2. Make the pancakes: In a food processor, add the cereal and pulse until it is ground to a fine powder. Transfer to a medium bowl and add the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs and melted butter. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined.

3. Set a griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Grease lightly with a bit of melted butter and add ¼-cup spoonfuls of batter to the pan, making sure to space the pancakes at least 2 inches apart. Once bubbles begin to form on the top of the pancakes, after 4 to 5 minutes, carefully flip them and cook until the second side is golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter until it is all used.

4. Make the condensed-milk syrup: In a medium bowl, whisk together the condensed milk, heavy cream and salt.

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