Thursday, June 23, 2011


So, I always have big plans about what I'm going write about and post on here, but then life gets in the way(cough cough procrastination) and I end up not posting what I wanted to.  Well, I've been doing a lot these past few months including- working in Texas for 4 weeks, Miami for 2, visiting my best friend in LA, and visiting my family from another motha for our annual Lamb Feast.  Lot's fun adventures.  Hopefully, I'll get around to posting all those fun adventures, but if not, oh well, there's always other things to share. 


Friday, April 8, 2011


Is this for real?

Heard this on Good Morning America the other morning.... disturbing... What's wrong with people?

That is all.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Well Doesn't This Just Get You In The Mood for Spring!

Well, Friday was officially a tease in the Spring Weather Department. It was in the mid- 70s here and beyond beautiful out.  I was perusing some of my regular blog reading and I came across this awesome clothing store called Three Little Ducks and some great outfits that I adore!  I wish I could own this, this, this.... maybe the whole store... Here are some pics of some faves-  What are you most excited to purchase to round out your spring closet or pull out of the back of the closet?!

Call me crazy- but these would be great for work! They say April Showers brings May flowers... I happen to believe that April Showers brings May Shoppin'! 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patty's Day Connor!

Today is Connor's, my nephew, first birthday! I can't believe how quickly the year has flown by- I remember this day last year like it was yesterday.  Happy Birthday Connor- I wish I could be there to spend it with you.  I hope your smile is as big as this one all day long :)

Aunt Cristina

Photo by Marisa via Vinyasa-Mama

Monday, March 14, 2011

Boyar Love.

There are a few perks to having a job where I travel as much as I do.  One of them is that on the weekends between jobs, I have the option to either go home or travel anywhere for a comparable price (I've done this to visit Brin in LA for the past 2 years) This past February, I was working on a job in Gainesville, Florida a mere 4 1/2 hours from Boca Raton- the land of the Boyar Family.  So, I decided on my open weekend, I'd head down to Boca and spend time with my Brother, Adam, his wife Luciane, and their 3 kids (Chase, Alexa, and Bella).  Two of their girls live in Brazil and it just so happened that Eduane was visiting when I was down there so it was a nice treat- if only Mariane had been there, it would have been perfect.

We had a blast all weekend, full of churros at the bakery, baseball, basketball, and TONS of football.  There definitely isn't a dull moment when there are 3 kids running around all under the age of 7, they certainly keep you on your toes in the best way possible.  The funniest memory of the weekend was when I arrived on Friday evening, Chase and I decided to play a little baseball, here I had made the grand slam and was making my way to home base- when I unintentionally slid into home plate and bumped my head on the toy chest.  Pretty hilarious if you ask me.  It was then when Adam came out of the kitchen and said that he thought maybe we should put the baseball game on hold- I didn't argue with that one. haha.  So, Chase and I decided to move on to Basketball- and apparently, I'm the worst basketball player in the world.  I was "teaching" him how to play horse and I couldn't make any shots.  I got slightly embarrassed, especially when my 6 year old nephew turned to me and said the following:

"Aunt Cristina, you really need to practice everyday.  You're not that good."

If I hadn't been so mortified that my nephew was ACTUALLY beating me, I wasn't "allowing" him, I probably would have asked him for some pointers.  Maybe the next time I go there we can have a training session.

Luckily, we found where I shine was with Football- surprise surprise- its my favorite sport and surprisingly enough, I have quite the arm.  Chase would run to what felt like the other side of the world and I was expected to yell out "GO LONG" and then proceed to throw the ball to Japan for his heroic touchdown.

Meanwhile, we have Alexa riding her little car and pointing out all the purple flowers she could find.  What a difference it is between playing with the 6 year old boy and the 3 year old girl- both a blast, but one is much tamer.  But she made some great comments as well.  I swear these kids are the cutest, such a blast and honestly say some of the funniest things I've heard in a long time.    The best thing Alexa said to me was right after my shower I was letting my hair air dry and she peeks her head out of the house door just to veto my outfit and hair style with the comment "Aunt Cristina, I don't like your hair like that".  And proceeded to put bows and ribbons in my hair like hers.  Thankfully, I was able to get her to approve of my hair style sans bows and pigtails before we left for the day at the park.

We had such a great time that weekend and it was wonderful to play with Chase and Alexa.  Bella was only 2 1/2 months old when I came to visit, so she is such a beautiful and sweet baby girl- chilling with a big smile on her face.

We ended the weekend with grilling out on the porch and skyping Mariane in Brazil.  They are a beautiful family and I hope I get to go down there again sometime very soon.  Here are some pictures from our weekend adventures.

(Our little international jet-setter)

(It's hard to see, but there is a little purple flower in the bush)

(We made birthday cakes for everyone using my Cake Doodle app on my Phone and emailed them to G'Ma and G'Pops)

(We ended the weekend at the beach)

And when I returned to Philly, I was graciously welcomed by this: 

(home sweet home- this is what my car looked like at the airport parking lot)

As you can see our weekend was full of fun and a whole lotta love- the makings to a wonderful weekend.  Can't wait to see you guys again. xoxo Aunt Cristina.

Friday, March 11, 2011

I Heart Terrain

I don't know how many of you out there are aware of this perfection- but people behind the genius that is Anthropologie have created Terrain at Styers.  This was finally rolled out a few years ago but I am lucky enough to be located somewhat nearby- And let me just say- on a random Saturday afternoon- I could spend hours here.  This store is a beautiful medley between the neighborhood garden nursey meets Anthrpologie home goods.  This garden/home mecca is an open barn style location where you can pick up hydrageas, trees, take landscaping classes, shop for your living room and dream kitchen, buy the most beautiful handcrafted necklaces and then stop in their cafe for a little nicoise salad and top it off with flavored italian spritzers.

Here are a few pictures from my latest Terrain adventure and a couple of my fun purchases.  If you're in the Philadelphia area, its worth the trip out there.

The last image is a clip of the beautiful scarf I bought- I think it will be perfect this spring to spruce up a white tee and skinnies.  I like to think of this as my way to contributing/helping the economy- my doesn't quite agree with my theory, but hey we all do what we can :) Happy Shopping! xoxo.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Date Night In :)

So, We've gone out for a few weeks now and in an effort to show my appreciation for his chivarious behavior of paying for all of our dinner dates thus far, I thought it would be nice if I treated him to a nice home cooked meal.  Its selfish really, I eat "healthier" when I cook for myself and thoroughly enjoy cooking :)

Here's the Menu from yesterday's date night:
1. Rosemary, Garlic Roasted Chicken- recipe from Epicurious
2. Stuffed tomatoes with Mozzarella and Gargonzola Cheese (Thanks Dad!)
3. Asparagus with lemon juice with balsamic vinegar drizzle

Well, there you have the menu from last night's dinner.  Obviously paired with a delicious wine, which is entirely by preference.  I'm on a red wine (Malbec) kick, so I served it with an Argentinean selection!

Grocery list:
1. 3 lbs of Chicken parts (with skins- preferably breasts and thighs)
2. Garlic (LOTS)
3. Lemons
4. Fresh Rosemary & Parsley
5. Panko- Japanese Break Crumbs
6. Parmesan, Mozzarella, and Gargonzola Cheese
7. Shallots
8. Asparagus
9. Tomatoes
10. Wine (Red and/or White- for drinking)

What You'll Need:
1. All ingredients listed above (on grocery list)
2. Olive Oil
3. Balsamic Vinegar
4. Salt and Pepper
5. Broiler Pan
6. Pan to cook tomatoes
7. Saute pan to cook asparagus

I know this looks incredibly intense and overwhelming. You're probably wondering how in the world I planned on cooking all of this and going to work all day.  Well, here's my little trick.  I did most of the preparations the night before when I was cooking my meal the night before, I minced more garlic, parsley and shallots.  This way I wouldn't feel so overwhelmed the night of.  It involves a little more planning for a weekday dinner, but doable.  Probably ideal for a weekend night, but it works for the weekday as well.

Let's start with the Rosemary Garlic Chicken.  I followed the recipe from Epicurious and it was actually relatively easy.  I did let the chicken marinate for a little longer and it came out really juicy and not dry at all, but with a nice crusted skin.   Here are a few pictures from throughout the process.

Stuffed Tomatoes with Mozzarella and Gorgonzola Cheese

Preheat the oven to 375

While the chicken was marinating, I started to make the Stuffed Tomatoes.  I got lucky and found some time savers, it just so happens that Whole Foods carries a seasoned panko mixture that included, garlic, parsley and pistachios.  I hadn't planned on using pistachios, but it was a nice little addition.  Here's how I made the stuff tomatoes:

I first start off by cutting the ends off the tomatoes, gutting them with a spoon and then laying them upside down on a paper towel to dry.  While they are drying, I started to prep the panko mixture, since I had purchased an already seasoned mixture, I just added a little bit of my fresh garlic, parsley and shallots.  I suppose they weren't necessary, but I didn't want to waste what I had already prepped the night before so I added it anyways.  Once the tomatoes are dry and the stuffing is ready, in the bottom of the casserole dish, I drizzle a little bit of olive oil on the bottom and sprinkle a little bit of the stuffing onto the bottom of the dish (this helps the tomatoes from sliding around in the olive oil). After the dish is ready,  I spooned a generous amount into each tomato as shown below.  And cooked them until the tomatoes are cooked through.  Once the tomatoes look softer and cooked through (usually about 15 minutes),  I placed the sliced mozzarella and gorgonzola square onto each and then placed back into the oven until the cheese is melted.

Asparagus with Balsamic Drizzle

While the tomatoes are getting all kinds of happy in the oven.  I filled a deeper sauté pan with water and brought it to a rolling bowl.  When the water is warming up,   I rinsed off the asparagus, snapped off the ends.  Some people slice off the ends, but I like to use the snapping method, if you bend the asparagus in the right place (close to the end) the end snaps off without an issues.  I placed them on a paper towel to dry.  Once the water was at a rolling boil, I added the asparagus and had them cook for a few minutes until they were a vibrant green.  I like mine warmed through, but still crispy so they only need to cook for a few minutes.  Immediately following, I placed them in a bowl of cool water, which stops them from cooking more.  I lightly patted them dry and put them in the serving dish, sprinkled them with salt and pepper, squeezed a little lemon juice and then drizzled them with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  As a final touch, I sprinkled some parmesan cheese shavings over top.  Here's a few photos of the process and the final product.

As you can imagine, I was rather busy preparing dinner, that I didn't have much time left to get Me ready!  I was lucky and remembered this Three Twisted Buns tutorial on A Cup Of Jo which left my hair effortlessly put together- perfect for a date night in.  Here's how it looked on me.

Dinner was great, but the best part was when he said the following "How did you manage to work, cook dinner and get your nails done today?"  He noticed my still perfectly manicured, smudge and chip proof nails- haha.  I giggled to myself and all I could think was, Gotta love that Shellac :)

xoxo. I'll keep everyone posted on any other goodies I cook up.  Happy Wednesday- almost the weekend!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

No Fuss!

Ok- I'm aware that I've been completely MIA for quite sometime, but as you can imagine, I've been up to all kinds of fun, which I will fill you in on in a later post.  But before I do, I wanted to tell you about my new obsession- CND Shellac Nail Polish. The other day, I was hanging out with my roommate when I noticed her perfectly manicured, shiny, smudge proof nails...  then a few days later... I noticed the same perfectly manicured, shiny, smudge proof nails.  Now I was curious.  I don't know about you, but I'm notorious for spending 30 minutes trying to make my nails look perfect, only to decide to fold my laundry and smudge them up.  Well, I decided to stop my nail envy- on my next available weekend with $28 to spare, I went over to my nearest nalon salon excited for them to use the Shellac Nail Polish on me.   Well, they did- and it was as wonderful of an experience as one can have with getting their nails done. I felt like a child on Christmas morning- delighted by what was to come. Not only are my nails, shiny, polished, and chip proof, they also took no time at all to dry and will last for 14 days!!!! Yup- that's right- 14 days! Right now I'm day 8 into my 14 and they look just as perfect as they did on day 1.  Check them out- I know- they're awesome.  Its perfectly fine to be a little jealous- but don't be for long- next mani/pedi with the girls, ask for the Shellac and you won't be disappointed.  For more information on CND Shellac Nail Polish read this NY Times Article. 

If I had one complaint- it would be that they don't have the largest color selection.  But I was able to find a beautiful deep eggplant color that was perfect :)

Well lovelies- enjoy the rest of the weekend :)