Adventures in Paris: Dessert Edition

Okay so really, I was mildly obsessed with all of the macaroons, pastries, and any other form of dessert I found in Paris.

& best part about it, I never felt guilty about eating ANY of it because…

1. I mean who cares, I was in Paris
2. I walked everywhere in the city, literally everywhere.

Here we have a salted-butter caramel ice-cream with a cookie, one’s basic lunch time dessert, from La Terrasse.

The top corner is a grand marnier souffle, from La Fermette Marbeuf, which was so light and had such a strong flavor I thought I was getting drunk.  The last is a warm apple pie, drizzled with caramel, I die.


Next up is a Nutella tiramisu…best. thing. ever from a little brasserie named Le Zinc.  That weird ball looking thing was chocolate on the outside with meringue and swirls of chocolate on the inside, it was interesting but so sweet I could only eat a few bites.  I got this after a long afternoon at the Monet Gardens, from La Petite Chocolatière

The bottom two desserts in the picture above are from when my friend and I had afternoon tea at the Hotel Daniel, the first is a strawberry puff pastry that had custard in the center, obviously, it was great.  

The second dessert was a white chocolate cookies and cream type of mousse.  I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing this was, I love white chocolate, I know it’s a love/hate type of sweet, but OMG, it was to die for.


These next four desserts above serve as the second round of deliciousness.  The top is a huge raspberry macaroon from an Eric Kayser bakery on Rue de Commerce, the custard was bomb and the raspberries were so fresh, it was amazeballs.  The next yum dessert is from Sofa Cafe, right near the jaw-dropping Galeries Lafayette, and it is a simple creme brûlée, because, I mean really, I needed to have it.

The bottom two desserts are profiteroles from La Suffren, where we dined the first night, and a chocolate donut from the bakery around the corner, whose name is escaping me right now, but I’ll figure it out!  I literally had profiteroles in like 4 different restaurants, but I decided to not show almost the same picture over and over again!


This little plate of joy is from my friend’s family friend’s bakery, Les Chants De Ble, and I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing each pastry was.  There was a pistachio eclair, mille-feuille (aka for Americans, a Napoleon), Opera cake, and an almond puff pastry (I don’t know its “official” name!).  I’m not a pistachio lover but seriously, that eclair was outstanding.  

Not only did I get to eat those yummy desserts above, but I got a lovely tour of the bakery, which makes 700 baguettes a day! That’s a lot of greatness.  It was so awesome to see where everything was made, it seemed like such a small space, but everything was running so smoothly, it was truly a unique and amazing experience.  

SO, that was my adventure in Paris’ dessert paradise, it was an amazing time to say the least!! XO

24hrs in Stockholm, Sweden

On my way home from Paris I stopped over for another quick-trip, this time to Stockholm. 
I enjoyed Stockholm a lot, the weather wasn’t so great, but I loved my hotel, was able to do a bus tour around the city, and had a great dinner. 
I found that Stockholm was not as touristy as a city as I had expected, maybe it’s the time of year?  I’m not sure.  But, that didn’t stop me from doing a nice bus-tour and, even though it was raining, enjoying what the city had to offer!
I stayed in the Elite Hotel Adlon, right across the street from the train station, it was perfect!  I loved that the airport had a high-speed train right to the city, Arlanda Express, it runs about every 15 minutes, has free wi-fi, and boasts its use of green-energy, which is something I think is really great!
Photo: www.elite.se
I ate dinner down the street from my hotel at Stockholm Fisk.  I started with a Nicoise salad, the tuna was ahhhhmazingggggg.  
For my entree I had traditional Swedish meatballs because…I had to, right?!  They were the best Swedish meatballs I have ever eaten, I couldn’t believe it.  They were just…insane, I want them right now.  
For dessert I had what’s called a Swedish Fika which is just a small assortment of cookies & pastries. 
And of course, Pink Bear was enjoying his time in Stockholm as well…

24hrs in Copenhagen, Denmark

Well, my European adventure & graduation weekend are now officially over. AH. 
I have so many posts for the next three weeks, it’s unreal.  Between all of my pictures from the trip, and graduation, I have tons to share!
Christiansbourg Palace
Anyway, here’s a glimpse into my 24hrs in Copenhagen.  Since I got there at 1pm I had enough time to check into my hotel, grab a map, and explore while everything was still open.  I walked around the entire city for about 4 hours, it’s such a walkable area, and I had a great map that showed me where everything I needed to see was.
Walking around Nyhavn
I loved all of the restaurants and cafes along the water, everyone was just walking around with a beer in hand loving life.  It was a beautiful day!

A Legalize Marijuana Parade filled the streets all over the city.

I stayed at the wonderful Axel Guldsmeden Hotel, it’s an organic sustainable hotel just a few minutes walk from the Copenhagen Central Station, it was absolutely perfect.  The hotel was so cute and Earthy, I wish I had had time for the spa because it sounded amazing.  The room was lovely, and the bathroom had heated floors and showcased their line of signature beauty products which smelled amazing!
Photo: www.hotels-world.com

For dinner in Copenhagen I dined at Frk. Barners Kaelder, which was right across the street from the hotel.  Frk. Barners Kaelder features authentic Danish cuisine, which I was really looking to try, and it was amazing.

Photo: www.tripadvisor.com

 [PS: For this food part I’m sad because I know I took pictures of everything, but I’m missing some!] 

I started with a creamy mushroom soup, it was delish.  For my entree I ordered Miss Barner’s Stew, traditional Danish stew, with mashed potatoes.  It reminded me a lot of Hungarian dishes, the sauce was a paprika scream sauce with pork, sausage, bacon, mushroom, and pearl onions.
For dessert I went to an ice-cream shop in Tivoli Gardens and got an amazing waffle sundae, but I don’t know what happened to my picture!!!
The next morning, after a great night sleep, I ate a great organic breakfast at the Axel Guldsmeden restaurant, and left for Paris!

Organic Breakfast Buffet; Photo: www.tripadvisor.co.uk
Pink Bear lovin’ Copenhagen
Copenhagen was amazing, everyone was so friendly, and I can’t wait to go back someday!

Guest Post: Travel Necessities by Alexa Curtis

One of my blogging resolutions was to incorporate guest posts into my regular blogging schedule.  I’m so excited to be presenting a post on Travel Necessities written by Alexa Curtis of A Life in the Fashion Lane.  Make sure you check out her fabulous blog, especially the video clip from Rachel Ray!
This post comes at a perfect time as I’m preparing to book my trip to Paris (and a bunch of other countries TBD) in May!  I def think I’ll be picking up a copy of Karl Lagerfeld’s new book for the journey. XO.
Travel Necessities 
 For those of you who are avid travelers, there are a few items you should always have on handy. Whether you’re stuck in an airport or expecting a long road trip ahead, these will have you busy, not hungry, and excited for an adventure!    

I’m a huge fan of energy bars, and especially ones with the smallest amount of ingredients. Thunderbird is one of my favorite brands because they use whole, organic ingredients, plus the bars are gluten-free and vegan!
Another one of my travel staples is headphones, but headphones that won’t break. Although a bit on the pricier side, Beats are a cool and fashion forward upgrade from your regular headphone.
An enjoyable read is a fun way to make any time pass quickly, and Karl Lagerfeld’s new book is bound to have any fashionistas eyes locked to the pages.

Relaxin’ in Buenos Aires [2]

Okay so let’s get real, one of the best parts of our trip was the food.  
 First night’s dinner at Cabana Las Lilas at Puerto Madero, without a doubt my favorite dinner of the week.
Just the beginning, the antipasti platter…& the bread was AMAZING. 
End of dinner Limoncello shots.  
I know it’s dark, but Dulce de Leche Crepes & Dulce de Leche Creme Brûlée

Sunday brunch at Olsen, recommended by one of my favorite blogs, D.C.’s Bitches Who Brunch.

It was like a little oasis in the city. 

The breakfast potatoes were incredible!! 

 San Telmo Street Fair

Happy Cinco de Mayo, celebrated at Lupita’s!

 

 Afternoon tea at Claridge Hotel.

Just some late night empanadas. No big deal.

Pulperia de los Faroles in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

The cutest literary cafe in Buenos Aires, La Poesia…San Telmo section.

Italian night!

Beef carpaccio, my favorite! 

Not a great picture, but it’s ravioli filled with beef tenderloin in a mushroom sauce.

To top it all off a wonderful tiramisu. 

And..shots of limoncello of course!!  

Last night in Buenos Aires, happy hour before dinner!

 Last dinner, La Cabrera in Palermo.

Isn’t this plate too cute?! 

Super cute, lollipop tree at the end of dinner.  Of course, the dulce de leche on was the best!

Relaxin’ in Buenos Aires!

Hi! I’m finally back!
Two weeks ago I went to Buenos Aires for a week, with a day trip to Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay…with two of mi besties.  Needless to say it was beyond amazing, the food was out of this world, all of the street art was incredible, and the entire experience of just touring around the city was awesome.  It’s taken so long to post because I accidentally left my laptop in NJ, and then couldn’t find my camera cord…but now I’m back on track!
Here are some pics, of us touring the city.  Tomorrow I’ll feature all of the amazing restaurants we dined at, each one really was amazeballs.
Caminito, so many colorful buildings! 
 

La Recoleta Cemetery 

The tomb of Eva Peron, we actually happened to visit it on her birthday, it couldn’t have been more perfect! 

Plaza de Mayo 
Casa Rosada 

Gates to the city of Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay  

Lighthouse in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay 
Didn’t realize until after leaving, but this is the oldest church in Uruguay!
Floralis Generica 
 
Selfies on the bus tour. No biggie. 
A little trip to the zoo. Love aquariums! 

The most touristy tango show ever.  Good thing there were multiple bottles of wine involved. 

Puerto Madero 
Our last night we went to the best drag show in all of life.
And…the best part…the culinary journey…will be featured tomorrow! xo 

Weekend Getaway: Montréal

This weekend my mom & I took a girl’s trip to Montréal and stayed at the newly renovated Ritz Carlton.  Needless to say it was absolutely amazing and perfect and I never wanted to leave.  I mean the beautiful bathroom with a TV alone was perfect, I could’ve just hung out in there all weekend.
Cocktail Hour in the Palm Court of the hotel.
The restaurant connected to the Ritz, Maison Boulud, was outstanding as well.
Tango Passion – Cocktail Hour.
Amazeballs French Onion Soup
Chocolat Coulant with caramelized milk ice cream.
It was a short weekend, and the weather wasn’t particularly wonderful, so we just did a few activities and then ate & drank the rest of the time at the best restaurants ever. hehe
First, we went to the Notre Dame Basilica.  Of course, it was breathtaking.  Old Montreal is super cute, lots of small stores & restaurants.

The Biodome & Botanical Gardens were amazing.  The Botanical Gardens had the Butterflies Go Free exhibit open, which was perfect for me because we all know about my obsession with butterflies.

 

I really liked this guy.

And these guys.
Afternoon tea.
 Saturday night we went to the number one restaurant in Montreal, Europea.  This was by far, and I mean, FAR, the best restaurant I have ever been to.  From the moment you walk in it’s ultimate elegance and as I like to call, a culinary adventure, of Asian-French fusion cuisine.
I’m big on the now super trendy tasting menus, so naturally we chose that option.  It was about 10 tasting courses, not counting the little extras from the kitchen.  When we sat down the waiter brought over a little personal handwritten note, welcoming us to the restaurant and hoping we enjoy our time at Europea.  Too cauteee!
Before even receiving menus prosciutto chips, goat cheese/ parm/ pesto lollipops, garlic-herb breadsticks, & parm popcorn were brought to the table.  Done and done. 
The first of the official courses, lobster bisque cappuccino with a truffle puree.
Fresh squid.
Giant scallop with creamy white asparagus.
The final “savory” course, cornish hen.  They actually brought it out for us to view before cooking it in a cast iron dutch oven.
The cheese course, a melted creamy goat cheese.  So pretty.
The pre-desserts: Cotton Candy, Pina Colada, Praline & Poprock Lollipops, and assorted pastries.  DO YOU SEE THAT COTTON CANDY?!
The main dessert, a chocolate mousse with a chocolate wafer.
We walked out with tons of presents too, a box of madeleines, little candies from the Sinfully Sweet Tree they brought to the table, breakfast bread, and macaroons.  I asked for a copy of the menu & our waiter was nice enough to go down and have it signed by the chef.  It was absolutely amazing and I cannot wait to go back!
Now it’s back to reality of a presentation due Thursday, an upcoming final paper, & summer job searches!
XO.
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Spring Break: Punta Cana

Midterms and spring break (both of which kept me from writing the past couple of weeks) are officially over.  This spring break was by far the best ever, although London and Rome last year were pretty fab, so I guess it’s a tie.  Buttt, unfortunatelyyyyyy this spring break was the last one I’ll have with my friends while still in college, which kinda really seriously sucks.  My friends and I went to Punta Cana, whichhhh is in the Dominican Republic, and we stayed at the absolutely beautiful Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe.  

If you’re ever looking for an affordable spring break getaway, I def suggest this place.  The food was great, the location was spectacular, and since it’s all-inclusive you don’t have to worry about carrying any money, credit cards, etc around with you.  AND, most importantly, who doesn’t want to wake up to mimosas and get unlimited (my favorite… “extra strong”) Cosmo’s every waking moment?!?!?!?! Exactly.  Well, here are some picturesss…enjoy…and start planning your summer vacayyyy here now.

 

Champagne toast once we arrived =]
The pool area.

 

 

First night dinner!  Dress: Victoria Secret.

 

Second night, Coral Seafood Restaurant! Dress: Express.

 

The golf course area where our room was.

 

Third night, before dinner with my Errrrrica. Dress: Express.

 

 

In the water with my little Corinni pie.  I LOVED this neon shirt and wore it all the time it was the perfect beach cover-up, it’s from Charlotte Russe.

 

Dress: Charlotte Russe.

 

 

My beautiful Corinna.

 

Cooking us our hibachi.

 

Sangria cheers.

 

 

More cheers.

 

 

Last night. Dress: Charlotte Russe.

 

XO.
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Makeup In Chicago

Today waking up in Chicago, I realized…I had to go shopping.  My first stop was at Saks Fifth Avenue, and boy was it a good stop.  Walking into the beauty department I was immediately stopped by a woman working for Giorgio Armani cosmetics.  She said she saw my eyelashes from across the room and had to stop me…yeah right, but I went with it because I do have pretty great lashes.  She offered me a makeover, and we all know what that means, I’ll have to buy products at the end of it.  Honestly, I didn’t really care, I’ve never tried Armani makeup before so I was intrigued.  I’ve heard amazing things about Armani’s foundation, so I was especially excited to try it out!
I love the look she created for me, I ended up walking around the entire day exploring the city.  It’s so hot here in Chicago, I felt like all of the makeup literally melted off my face, but it was so natural and she took a lot of time to teach me how to recreate the look which I appreciated.
So, as I had expected…the foundation is absolutely amazing.  I’m in the middle of a breakout right now and it didn’t even look like I was wearing any makeup after she applied it!  This foundation won Instyle Magazine’s “Best of Beauty” award, and I think it was well deserved.  I got the Luminous Silk Foundation in #5, it matches me perfectly.  The consistency is honestly the best I’ve ever used, and even as I blend it into my hand right now as I’m typing this I just love it…it gives amazing coverage while remaining super light.
Accompanying the foundation I bought the Fluid Sheer in #2, Jane [the makeup artist] told me to mix one pump of this into the foundation for a dewy look.  This reminds me of Benefit’s High Beam [click the link to read my post on it] except this is slightly more sheer and blendable.  Once again, while blending it into my hand it’s super sheer and lightweight…perfect for the summer. AND, as I said earlier, I was sweating from walking so much…I was afraid the luminosity would make me look oily…it didn’t! YAY.  
The next two items I purchased are live savers if you’re like me and tend to get the strangest weirdest random annoying breakouts.  I was super surprised by what Jane said about this first product…the Master Corrector in #1.  Most of the time to cover up redness I’ve always used a green base, which counteracts redness.  Well, this is red based…I was a little scared at first…red on red just didn’t sound right…but I could not believe the way this covered up my under-eye circles and blemishes.  As you can see the brush is super thin, so I thought it wouldn’t cover much.  WRONG.  The less the better and the way the brush applies, very minimally, is great too.
The second concealer I got is a skin tone matching concealer, High Precision Retouch, it has the same brush a the master corrector.  Jane taught me to just lightly sweep over the area I want to cover, on top of where I put the master corrector, and then anything that was once there…is magically gone!  PS….it totally works.
The last item I bought was the Blender Brush.  I’m obsessed with brushes, and I loved the way this one felt and blended in everything.  Not only did Jane use this for primer, foundation, and concealer…she also used it to apply my eyeshadow base.  I was amazed by the way it perfectly set and blended in everything [even the eyeshadow], my current blending brush was made by Sephora and to be honest…it sucks.  So, I’m really glad I got this one!
I think I’m gonna become a big fan of Armani makeup, I knew Megan Fox was the spokeswoman for the brand this past spring so I included some videos and an interview so you can familiar yourself with the brand a little more!
XO.
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Chicago: Shedd’s Aquarium

Yesterday I went to Shedd’s Aquarium here in Chicago!!  I absolutely love aquariums, so of course it had to be the very first thing I did in this city.  Below are some pictures I took while I was walking around.  It’s redic hot here, but it was so nice to walk around the city, especially since I’ve never been here before…the skyline is absolutely beautiful!!
I love coral, hopefullyyyy in a couple of years I can do volunteer work at the Coral Reef.  The colors are crazyyy beautiful.  When you look at it it’s kinda hard to believe it’s real…likeeee living real.
Lastly, I saw these two dudes and I just loved their faces.  I mean, really…their just super cool.
XO.
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