I’m Officially a Business Owner…whaaat?!

NP

Hello, dolls,

I’m back! I have been solely devoted to school since my last post. It has definitely paid off though 🙂  I managed to be on the Dean’s List last semester!! The only letter grade I want on my transcripts is an A…that’s why I’ve had no life lately. School has taken much longer than I ever anticipated but I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. My goal is to get into the Marriage and Family Therapy program at my uni so I really have to give it my all these two last semesters. God willing, I will be graduating in May 2016. Woohoo!

Anyway, enough about school. That’s not the only exciting thing in my life right now. I am super thrilled to announce to you guys that I have officially launched my own clothing website. It is called Nicky Posh! It took me some time to get all of my paperwork situated in between school and exams, but I was finally able to do it. This is something I would not have been able to do without my man’s help. He is seriously my number one supporter/fan/cheerleader. I always come up with the most random ideas. One time, I decided I wanted to become a painter. So I told my boyfriend. He took me to Michaels that night and bought me a bunch of painting stuff: canvases, paintbrushes, paint, an easel, the whole nine yard. The only thing I was missing was my beret. I was so ready to become the next Picasso. The following day, I spent hours working on my masterpiece. I decided to paint white and black checkerboard with red flowers. I was trying to go for that MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check dinnerware look (don’t ask me why). When he got home, he said, “those are the prettiest exploded worms I have ever seen”. (scroll down for a little surprise)

Another one of my spontaneous ideas was when I decided I wanted a puppy. I drove to his office, locked him in there, and told him I wouldn’t leave until he said I could get a dog. After much persuasion, he drove me to Anaheim (an hour and a half north from where I live) to pick up my puppy. My point is that he always believes in me. No matter how crazy my ideas are. Him helping me build this little business of mine is such a blessing. It makes me feel so special to know that someone believes in me so much and is willing to help me reach my goals. It’s a little tough balancing school and this new business venture but I am beyond ecstatic about it.

Nicky Posh

On October 30th, we had our usual Friday date night at Bencotto (my fav Italian restaurant in Little Italy) and sealed the deal with a glass of sparkling rosĂ©. And now, here I am. Lying on my bed, sick with a cold, ready to launch my store. I am beginning with only a few items but soon I’ll be adding more merchandise to the website! The clothes are super trendy and sexy at affordable prices. They’re the perfect dresses for going out to dinner with your man or to go out for drinks.

I hope you guys love the clothes as much as I do! Check out my website and let me know what you all think. I would really appreciate positive vibes being sent out my way. Xoxo

Pop, fizz, clink!

J

P.S. I leave you all with my “exploded worms”

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Don’t Judge My Wine by It’s Screw Cap

After another fabulous Friday double date night, I went home with one thing on my mind. Screw caps.

Over dinner, we had a bottle of my ultimate favorite wine: Meiomi. It’s the perfect pinot noir…scratch that…it is the perfect wine. PERIOD. Why, you may ask? Because it is equally enjoyed and appreciated by a wine lover (aka someone like me) and someone who is not so much of a wine drinker. It is a luscious and extremely layered wine with a slight earthiness and sweet oak on the finish. It’s easy, fruity, rich, and just plain perfection (just talking about it makes me want to walk over to the kitchen and pour some heaven-in-a-glass). It’s said before and I’ll say it again, Meiomi contradicts itself but in the best way possible. Easy-drinking, it will leave you hooked…and tipsy.

Anyway, the point of my story is this: it doesn’t have a cork.

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I immediately associate cheap wine with screw caps. I am 100% prejudice when it comes to that. I admit it. I still don’t understand whyyyy Mr. Wagner would make such an amazing wine and ruin it with a screw cap. I was so bothered after Friday date night that I went home and did my research on these hideous caps. It turns out that many wineries are opting out of using corks because they are twice as expensive and because they cause ‘TCA’ cork taint. That’s when the wine has like a musty taste to it.

Many articles online say it is becoming “the new thing” in wineries. In fact, it has become the norm in Australia. I don’t think the same can be said in the States. I feel like drinking a wine bottle that comes with a screw cap instead of a cork is pretty much drinking from a wine box. No disrespect to my boxy lovers but that’s just my preference. I love the whole art of drinking wine (I am very artistic as you can see). I love to preserve my wine bottles, especially the ones I collected from my trip to Italy and Napa. Also, I live for the sound the cork makes when you pop the bottle!! I may not know how to open it myself, but I sure love to play princess and have someone else do it for me. Also, if you have been to dinner or partying with me (which I am sure you guys haven’t), you know that I will hunt the server down until he hands me the cork. It’s my tradition. I have to keep the cork of every bottle I drink from. I am still debating what I should do with all of them but for now, it’s my wino hobby. That’s why it was, and still is, such a disappointment when I ordered my precious baby over dinner.meiomi_pinotnoir

I had our friends try it over Friday double date night at Ruth’s Chris and they fell in love. My friends husband was raving about it all night that the following day, my bf gifted him (and me) a bottle (you can find it at Ralph’s for like 28 bucks…BevMo sells them for 20 though…why am I not a member yet?!).

I can’t seem to warm up to this idea of no corks though. What do you think about screw-caps on wine? Do you think it’ll also become the norm? Does it make it less enjoyable to you? Or am I being a total brat?! I don’t want to be prejudice over screw-cap wines but I don’t know how to and it makes me very sad.

Pop, fizz, clink!

-J

The Ladies Manwich (no, not Channing Tatum)

018It’s no surprise. School is well under way. đŸ˜„  It’s barely the 2nd week in and I’m already being bombarded left and right. I am back to being a robot…class…study…sleep…repeat. I don’t even have time to eat. Like seriously. This week I have done ZERO cooking. Luckily the bf has been super understanding and only asks me to make him mangu and salami for dinner. As for myself, I’ve been indulging in pizza (and salads). The last things I remember cooking for dinner were chicken fajitas (quickest and easiest thing in the world), lobster risotto (it was so effin delicious, you felt guilty eating it), and prosciutto meatballs. Sadly I didn’t take any pics of the food…except for le meatballs!

I find these suckers to be super scrumptious and versatile. If you are feeling very Lady-and-the-Tramp-ish, you can boil some pasta and have spaghetti and meatballs or you can make hearty meatball marinara sandwiches. That’s what we had over the weekend (yes, I am a week late). Super easy, super yummy, and perfect for the boys. It was perfect for a lazy Saturday lunch. So good even your man will love it…I guarantee it. Since I prepped them the day before, I was able to snap a few pics as soon as they were out of the oven. I wish I would have taken a pic of the actual sandwiches but by the time I went to grab my camera, the boys had already bit into them. I may not have the proof to show you how delish they looked but out of the 15 meatballs I made, only one was left (and that’s because I found one to be more than enough for me). 

The original recipe was borrowed from my BFF Ms. Ina Garten per usual. Her instructions called for Italian sausage but I find the taste of sausage to be too overpowering for my personal taste. So, I made a few adjustments to it.

Ingredients
3 cups of bread crumbs
2/3 cup whole milk
2 pounds ground turkey
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, finely chopped
1 cup freshly grated aged Asiago cheese
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons good olive oil, plus extra for brushing the meatballs
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1 jar good marinara sauce
Few slices of mozzarella (2 per sandwich)
Freshly baked Italian rolls

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Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, mix the bread crumbs and milk together.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, prosciutto, bread mixture, Asiago, parsley, oregano, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Lightly combine the ingredients with your hands. Add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the eggs, and stir lightly with a fork to combine.

With your hands, lightly roll the mixture into 2-inch-round meatballs and place them on the prepared sheet pans. Brush the meatballs with olive oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops are browned and the centers are completely cooked.

Pour the marinara sauce in a large, low pot, add the meatballs, and bring to a simmer.

Lightly butter the outside of the rolls, add two layers of cheese, and pop them in the oven for 3-4 minutes. Transfer rolls to a serving plate and add two meatballs per sandwich and voila!

Let me know if y’all give it a try! I want to know all about it 😉 Enjoy.

Pop, fizz, clink!

-J

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Hostess with the Mostess: Wine and Cheese Night

Wine Night 006One of my favorite things to do is entertain. I love having friends and family over and pretty much, feed them. I grew up in a family where our gatherings are centered on food. The first word that comes to my mind when I think of family is food. Food (and wine) makes me happy; as simple as that. Any chance I get to play hostess I go for it. It can be a 4th of July BBQ, a posada, or celebrating the fact that we finally got rid of that hideous blue paint on our walls.

Last week I had one of my really good friends come over for wine and cheese. Like the typical ladies that we are, we talked and talked, and sipped, and nibbled, and sipped some more for hours. It was fantastic. What’s better than having friend over for some great (bottles of) wine?

When I have company over, I like composing cheese platters with an array of options. It’s the perfect pairing to wine and it’s delicious. Who doesn’t like cheese?! It’s the first item I search for in menus when I go out to dinner so I choose to make my own for others to enjoy. Assembling a cheese platter is quick, looks terrific, and it’s delicious—it’s great to nosh over conversation. As my BFF Ina Garten says, “I choose an interesting assortment of cheeses—hard sharp cheeses, soft creamy ones, and pungent blue cheeses. I look for an interesting mix of flavors, textures, and colors.” I learn from the best.

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To have a well-balanced cheese platter, I like to have savory and sweet flavors on opposite sides. The key component to this is to choose high-quality and fresh items. I love buying my goodies at the markets in Little Italy since they are only a few blocks away from where I live. Always keep that in mind when doing your own cheese platter (high-quality and freshness). I also like to provide my guests with a variety of breads and crackers. If you want the platter to have more color, add grapes or colorful (and tasty) spreads. Another thing you’re going to need to find is a platter or wooden board that is large enough to hold the cheeses without crowding them. I prefer using a wooden board since it gives it a rustic look.

However, last week I did not have as much of a variety as I typically like to have. My platter consisted of brie, sharp cheddar, smoked Gouda, regular gouda, a creamy Swiss, and a fun cheese with cranberries (I forgot the name). That cheese had a hint of sweetness which was excellent for my sweet side. Even though most of us love cheese, not everyone has an expanded palate for them. I am personally not fond of goat cheese so I never include it. The cheeses I chose that night were a “one size fits all”. For my savory compliments, I added blue cheese stuffed olives and roasted red peppers spread (you can find it any Ralph’s). I feel like people automatically associate cheese to bold flavors like such, but I am more of a cheese and sweets type of gal. I had dried cranberries, candied and chopped pecans (I usually use walnuts instead), grapes, and my favorite: honeycombs. Any refined cheese shop should have them available. I love to ask my guests to pair Gouda and honey together as it’s frequently their first time. If you haven’t tried it yourself, trust me, you have been depriving your taste buds of deliciousness. To finish it all, I centered rosemary crackers, fresh slices of baguette, and crostini’s.

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I accompanied the cheese platter with a fabulous and exquisite burrata and prosciutto salad. I don’t mean to sound redundant but it’s easy, it requires no cooking, and goes hand in hand with the Italian feel. All you need is a well-sized and creamy burrata, a pound of excellent quality prosciutto from your local market (based on 4 people), and a large bunch of arugula. I can’t stress it enough, select only the freshest ingredients as it’s a salad with very little ingredients. Imported prosciutto is pricier but always a go-to in my book.

5 simple steps:

  1. Set the arugula on the plate as your base
  2. Spread out and layer the prosciutto
  3. Place the burrata on center-top
  4. Drizzle olive oil, figs balsamic glaze (or substitute with balsamic vinaigrette)
  5. Sprinkle pepper to taste

VOILA! You got yourself a super easy and delectable salad that will leave your guests impressed. No more chicken Caesar salad for you! Once again, the key component is: QUALITY. We devoured the burrata so fast I did not have a chance to take a pic of it (boohoo).Oh! I forgot to mention THE most important item, the wine 😉 hehe.

Hope you guys enjoyed my wine night-in tips! Feel free to share your ideas or recipes.

Pop, fizz, clink!

-J

Kitchen Nightmares

One time in high school, I invited a few friends over to my pool. After hours of swimming, my friends and I were starving so I went over to the freezer to take out some chicken tenders. I read the back: add oil to pan, once it’s hot, throw the tenders for 5 minutes (or something like that). Pretty easy, right? I turned on the stove, poured a lot of oil on it, and went to check on my friends. Next thing I know, the living room was covered by a gray cloud causing us all to cough uncontrollably. By the time I got up to the kitchen, the pan was on fire!! Literally up in flames. I start panicking, my friends start panicking. I was about to throw some water on the pan, until my friend stopped me (Did I mention I was clueless in the kitchen?). Somehow one of them took the pan by wrapping his boxers around the handle and managed to throw the pan outside on the grass. Where the hell did he get his shamrock decorated boxers from?! He certainly wasn’t naked if that’s what you’re thinking. After that, my friends forever clowned on me for my disability in the kitchen.7f2976593dba59508fc90a141e6fe2fc

I like to blame that embarrassing moment on my parents. Growing up as an only child, my parents spoiled me rotten. I never had to cook a single meal or snack; whenever I wanted to help my dad by prepping dinner, he would kick me out and say he didn’t want me to cut myself. When I was younger I thought it was great because I didn’t have to move a single finger. Even during college all I knew how to cook were scrambled eggs and spaghetti. I felt like a failed woman (I am a non-conventional feminist; I believe the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach). I was so frustrated, my parents are excellent cooks so how come I sucked?! Three years ago, I decided I wanted to cook a Thanksgiving dinner for my bf at the time. It was just going to be him and I so I thought it would be my one chance to do this on my own. I went the whole nine yards: I made stuffing, a green bean casserole, biscuits, mashed potatoes, and of course, the turkey. All from scratch with the help of many, many recipes. I had never tasted juicier turkey in my life. My ex couldn’t stop talking about how much he loved it. Part of me thought he was just doing his boyfriend duty by being nice but I really agreed with him. I have been in charge of Thanksgiving dinner for the whole family since. All it took was looking up recipes and following instructions 🙂

A little over a year ago, I moved in with my boo. I was terrified of the kitchen. He would come after a ten-hour day at the office and cook for the two of us. I was so embarrassed! Took me about two months to finally feel comfortable in there–I told myself, if I can cook thanksgiving dinner for 20 people, I should be able to cook dinner nightly. After all, my parents are great at it so by nature I should be too (?).

I soon realized my love for cooking. I get so much gratification from making people happy through my food. By no means do I think I am an excellent chef but I do put a lot of love in everything I whip up. Every night I make simple, quick, and yummy comforting food that it’s bf approved. He jokingly calls me his Rachel Ray but I prefer to be called Ina Garten 😉

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With all that rambling, I hope you guys follow me on my cooking endeavors as I’ll be posting weeknight dinners soon. Any tips, comments, recipes, or your own kitchen nightmares you would like to share are more than welcome!

Pop, fizz, clink!

-J

Mmm…doughnuts.

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Bonjour mes amis!

As many of you ladies out there know, your nail/wax/hair stylists are the women who probably know you better than anyone else. There’s something about their personalities that automatically makes you feel like you’ve known each other for years. You go in thinking it’ll be a hair appointment but in reality, it’s your therapy session. My Brazilian wax chick is practically my BFF after the first visit, I mean, hello?! There’s nothing left to hide after that first visit! (TMI? Idc). Anyway, as I was having my eyebrows waxed, yanked, and plucked out yesterday, my brow chick and I were chatting about the places we’ve been to lately for breakfast. She asked if I had been to Great Maple in Hillcrest and I timidly admitted I hadn’t. As a wannabe blogger/food critic, I felt like it was my duty to try this little place out. So I did.

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Fried Goat Cheese Squash Blossom Popover

She, and Great Maple, did not disappoint! My inner chubby child could not gaze away from the words MAPLE BACON DOUGHNUTS. I immediately demanded to have my dessert as an appetizer (dessert before salty!?).They were ohhh sooo heavenly!! The idea of bacon on sweet kinda grossed me out before but I knew this place was known for them. Boy did I fall in love! They were a warm, perfectly sweet and savory, decadency. I felt deliciously guilty. As for my real breakfast, I ordered the Fried Goat Cheese Squash Blossom Popover, a de-Crowned house baked English popover with poached eggs topped with fresh tarragon Hollandaise cream served with pee wee herb potatoes. It’s basically their version of eggs Benedict but 100x more exquisite. The eggs were on a bed of mushrooms, spinach, and tomatoes tying all the different flavors together. The fried cheese with squash was simply foodgasmic (screw the dictionary! that’s an adjective in my vocab).

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Pic by Great Maple

This is THE place for all of my Willy Wonka peeps. Actually, the place for anyone who loves food. Period. Everything about the place was great (except for the coffee 😩 ). I suggest you pay this place a visit and perhaps indulge your own inner chubby kid with some Johnny’s Lolliwaffles (AKA waffles on a stick. Whaaaat?) or Fruity Pebbles pancakes. Great Maple has made it on my list and I can’t wait to go back.

P.S. If you live in SD and need a place to get your brows waxed, HighBrow Beauty  is the best of the West. I recommend that place 100%. You will not be disappointed. Trust me, I have perfect eyebrows thanks to them 😛

pic by HighBrow Beauty

pic by HighBrow Beauty

Pop, fizz, clink!

-J 

Friends are like Boobs

You’ve got big ones, small ones, real ones, and fake ones…?

Hi! The worst blogger-ever is back! I have been completely MIA and I am ever so sorry. It is a terrible way to start the new year but..I’m back! I’ve been wanting to share everywhere I’ve been to lately and all the great people I’ve been in touch with since December 30th. Unfortunately, getting everything situated for the upcoming semester has taken all of my time. I have 8 days left before class resumes!! *cringing*.

Anywho, I hope everyone had a fabulous NYE and has started the year with positive vibes. I ended my year perfectly; I was reunited with my high school friends that I hadn’t seen in about 4 years! It honestly felt like no time had passed between us. The gathering was very spontaneous and ended up being such a great time. We initially drove to The Queenstown Public House in Little Italy. To our much disappointment, they did not have a breakfast menu so we left. I decided to take them to Cafe 21, the perfect place to get tipsy off of mimosas and be loud without feeling awkward. This place is always packed. It’s a very hipster-y place with instagramable drinks and food. Cafe 21 is located at “people watch” central, Gaslamp right on 5th avenue, which makes it a perfect place to enjoy a refreshing raspberry mimosa or a prosciutto bloody Mary (uh…if you’re into that) on their front patio. I’m telling you, this place is known for their extravagant cocktails so I recommend you give it a try. My BFF had the prosciutto omelette, another friend a pesto chicken sandwich and they said they loved it. Did I mention their tiramisu pancakes?? I will be trying them next time. We all started with a single mimosa, then a second, then a third, and by 3pm, Happy Hour kicked in. I hadn’t seen my friends in ages so a bottomless champagne outing was deemed mandatory.The fight of delicious mimosas is half off by 3pm, by then, we were all drunk. As soon as I got home I stuffed my face with toast (mom’s alcohol cure-all) and took a cat nap. I sound like such an alchy raving about the drinks but in reality I am a light weight. However, I am not going to apologize for my excitement over bubbly cocktails.

I have been here for brunch a few times and I have yet to find the plates to be stellar. I don’t think most agree with me judging by all the people lining out the door. The food is simply not all-that in my opinion. I had chocolate chip and strawberry pancakes with a kiwi jam. By the time the server got back with my butter, they were cold. The restaurant was not expecting it to be so busy on a Tuesday (a day before NYE) so they ran out of french toasts, ketchup, and coffee mugs. Totally understandable but I had to mention it because my picture was ruined thanks to those paper cups. Overall, Cafe 21 is a great place to hang out with your friends over brunch. Drinks are fabulous, food is picture worthy, the ambiance is fun, and the waiters are very friendly. It’s no surprise why this place is so popular. To me, the company is what made it such a special lunch. I left drunk and with aching abs from laughing so much.

Pardon the bad pic quality

Pardon the bad pic quality

Lipstick stain, oops!

Lipstick stain, oops!

After my reunion and the new year in high gear, I began to analyze my friendships. We tend to distance ourselves from a lot of our college or high school friends as time passes. Usually the people who withstand the test of time during our “transient” years are the ones who have a better chance of staying in our life for good. This is a natural process that I am sure everyone can relate to. As individuals, our interests and views change and sometimes we grow apart from each other based on those or other reasons like school, work, kids, significant others, etc. Basically, life gets in the way and we become picky by who we share our time with. I am also aware that there’s others who can balance it all and are surrounded by tons of good friends. I for one am not that type. I would sometimes get anxiety over the thought of hanging out with “new” people. These were people who I considered my friends but who I did not see on a regular basis like my two BFF’s at the time. I was afraid we wouldn’t have anything to talk about after exchanging niceties (I’m weird, I know). I did not branch out, I always stayed in my comfort zone and ended up hanging out with my two BFF’s. It’s not that I didn’t want to spend time with my other friends; it was my inexplicable shyness that got in the way.

SO, I hate the whole “New Years resolutions” crap. I have never given into the new year new me thing, I’ll start working out, blah blah blah. I feel like if I mention it, I’ll jinx myself from actually accomplishing my goals. I rather take mental notes, reflect on my past, and try to make my life better. Now I’ve taken it upon myself to spend more time this year with the few people I consider my friends. I’ve come to realize that in order to have and keep a friendship, I must take the initiative. I plan to reach out, set a time and date, and then leave the ball on their court. It can go both ways: (1) the “friend” agrees, we meet up, and everything is back to hunky-dory because we have shown each other that we value our friendship or (2) the “friend” makes 101 excuses not to show up (loose ends officially tied). My boyfriend always complains about people in San Diego not keeping their word. He thinks we like to say “let’s catch up!” to friends we haven’t seen in a long time but never follow through. I believe he has us well figured out. I’ve fallen victim to that where I run into someone in person or social media and the last words that come out of my mouth are the latter. I honestly do mean it though! Whatever the reason is for others or for myself, I plan to change my ways with the realization that it takes two to tango, the energy must be reciprocated. Ain’t nobody got time to beg phony friends! LOL. That’s my attempt of growing-up and establishing life-long friendships (a girls needs her bridesmaids, you know). All I am certain about is that friends and friendships should ultimately be effortless and natural. You can’t fake it or force someone to be your friend (unfortunately). Ha-ha, kidding!!

So with all that rambling I want to end by sharing a quote perfectly fit for today’s post and by asking y’all: what defines a true friendship and what do you do to preserve them?

“If they miss you, they’ll call. If they want you, they’ll say it.

If not, they aren’t worth your time”

 

Pop, fizz, clink!

-J

Down on the West Coast

It finally felt like winter in San Diego this weekend. In case you don’t know, winter means low 60’s and clear skies for us. That counts, right? 😉 We are very spoiled here and very dramatic as well. Everyone I saw this weekend said the same thing to me: “It’s freezing!”. I thought it was freezing until this Friday when I took a little trip to Julian, a small historic town known for their apple pies. It was about 37 degrees! All we did was buy some mittens and run straight to Miner’s Diner for lunch. This town is great to visit during the holidays, especially when it snows. It’s so quaint and festive; people are extremely friendly and you get to eat all the great junk food a diner has to offer. My family and I go to Julian at least once a year during the holiday season. There isn’t much to do but eat, drink hot chocolate, and freeze your butt off. Yet there’s something about that village that makes you come back year after year. Even though I said they are known for their apple pies, I’ve never had pie there! Every time I go to Julian the line at the bakeries are out the door. I guess I never have the patience to stand in the freezing cold air with the other 40 people waiting.

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Pastrami Sandwich and Strawberry Milkshakes

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By the time I got back to San Diego, I was already starving (I don’t think I have said this yet but this girl can eat!). Per usual I had no idea what or where I wanted to go for dinner. Every weekend is the same dilemma. Lucky for me, le boyfriend was already at the mall when I got back so we decided to meet at the sushi place there. We had seen this sushi restaurant many times before but would never stop because I figured it wouldn’t be fresh due to its location. I was wrong! Blue Smoke Sushi in Fashion Valley Mall left me impressed. My yellow tail nigiri was fresh and my dynamite roll was divine. We also had two orders of chicken fried rice and teriyaki. Next time I go shopping, I will be back to try their pork belly!!

Pic by Blue Smoke Sushi Lounge

Pic by Blue Smoke Sushi Lounge

For the rest of the weekend, the bf and I decided we didn’t want to venture off or explore new places. We played it safe and went where we knew our food wouldn’t be messed up and ordered the same dishes we always do when we go there. Saturday night we went to Little Italy to eat at Mona Lisa. We probably go there at least once a month. It’s a family style old-world Italian cooking restaurant. The place is very casual and cozy, it’s definitely a favorite for many San Diegans so expect a wait to be seated. The service is great, portions are great, and the cheese ravioli are the best. It was the perfect place to go for a chilly Saturday night.

Cheese Raviolis and Pizza at Mona Lisa

Cheese Raviolis and Pizza at Mona Lisa

After the disappointing loss from the Chargers on Sunday, we went to eat our sorrows away. What better place for lunch than C Level on Harbor Island. C Level is my favorite place to go for lunch during summer. In my opinion it has the best view of San Diego. Mister A’s is also known for its fabulous views but I don’t think you can top watching the boats sail to your left as the planes land across from your seat. The place was packed as always…it felt like summer while I sipped my Black Bramble martini and watched the boats; except I was wearing a sweater and Uggs rather than my maxi dress. C Level has its adjoining dinning section called Island Prime. It’s a turf and surf menu. Personally, I stay away from Island Prime. Their steaks are just O.K. There are much better steak houses in San Diego. So for lunch I had my favorites: a cup of lobster bisque and the seared Hawaiian ahi tuna stack. It has fresh crab, avocado (except I order mine without it since I am allergic!!), papaya-mango salsa and caviar accompanied by a plantain chip and eggplant chips. It’s a guilt-free, savory, and perfect lunch pairing in my book. I didn’t anticipate eating out so much this weekend but it happened–and I have no complaints.

Black Bramble Martini

Black Bramble Martini

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Seared Hawaiian Ahi Tuna Stack

Seared Hawaiian Ahi Tuna Stack

I ended my weekend perfectly by picking up Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects at Ralph’s while buying groceries, my Lana Del Rey concert ticket (eeeeek!!), and being surprised by the bf with my favorite bubbly. I am ready to ring in the New Year in Los Angeles! All I need is my outfit, yikes. What plans do y’all have for NYE?

Pop, fizz, clink!

-J

The necessities for NYE

The necessities for NYE

The countdown begins!! <3

The countdown begins!! ❀

Bye-bye Christmas 2014

Honestly, this year flew right before my eyes! It feels as if the older I get, the faster time goes by. With finals in the way, I had to play Grinch for a while and ignore everyone and everything around me. The saddest part is that I waited until the 16 to put my Christmas tree up. The good thing about my procrastination was the sweet deals I scored at Michaels. Everything I bought was 60% off!! Um..yes please. I could barely fit all of the ornaments and decorations in the tiny cart but I managed to improvise (I’ll be posting a pic of my tree tomorrow so y’all can see what I’m talking about). That is why I am reluctant to take my Christmas tree down anytime soon! I need to make up for my “delayed response” to the holiday spirit.

I love everything about the holidays; Michael BublĂ© singing Christmas classics, drinking hot cocoa by the fireplace, and the decadent aroma of the warm Macadamia nut cookies in the oven. There’s something about this season that inspires me to make sweets. Aside from the cookies, I made basil and berries jam a few days ago–and if I may say so myself, it was pretty darn good. I’m also all about making the house smell festive and feel cozy. I currently have peppermint and pine scented candles that I light up every night. On Monday, I tried a homemade aromatherapy recipe. I boiled orange and lemon peels and about a teaspoon of cinnamon. It smelled divine! I can’t wait to try other recipes.

So with that being said, how long is too long to keep a tree up? I can’t let go just yet, Elsa!! (“Frozen” reference fyi)

Pop, fizz, clink!

-J

Christmas 2014 006 Christmas 2014 004

Ramblings of a Broke College Student: Is anybody out there?

I am so stoked to finally join the blogger community along with the billion others! sigh. Now that I am on winter break, I finally found the time to embark on this new hobby. I remember when I was just a little girl writing in my Mulan plastic-pillowy diary about all the great things I encountered day-by-day. Growing up, Sex and the City was my (inappropriate) addiction and all I wanted to be was a Carrie Bradshaw who typed advice columns for a living as she sipped countless glasses of champagne.

My goal here is to share my lifestyle and help others with my “advice columns”. I want to talk about my tips and favorite things like the most chic and delicious restaurants, the hottest places to be at, the places I’ve traveled to, my version of style, the new recipes I whipped up in my kitchen; I want to talk about relationships and how to survive being a college student for life. Hope you guys enjoy it.

Merry Christmas Eve ♄

pop, fizz, clink!

-J