My go-to summer salad


How is it August 31st already? No summer, you cannot go just yet!

One of my favorite things this summer, has been this salad. When it comes to salad, its always been pretty basic for me: Caesar, plain lettuce with grilled chicken, sometimes even a steak salad. After browsing Foodgawker one day earlier in the summer, I decided to try a new ingredient in my usually basic salads: strawberries! 

The combination of the lettuce, with the strawberries, goat cheese, and (on this day) turkey is unexpectedly delicious. With the addition of my absolute favorite pear and champagne dressing from Trader Joe's, its hard to remember that it is not just tasty, but healthy. I will continue to enjoy this salad, as long as the fresh strawberries of summer will allow me.

Now its your turn! Whether its food, a destination, or an article of clothing, what are you going to miss most about summer? 

Lanvin Fall 2011 Campaign Movie


Can someone please set up a meeting between me and Alber Elbaz? We are seriously MEANT to be BFF's. I am absolutely LOVING the new campaign movie. (I'd also like one of every outfit.)

Life. Made.

Turning lemons...


Hurricane essentials obv

With Hurricane Irene on the way, like much of the East Coast, NYC is on a maaajor shutdown. No public transportation, businesses closed, and everyone just waiting it out. While I love staying inside for a good snowstorm when it comes to hurricanes, they just don't have the same fun appeal for me. 

So I'm going to pray that my house doesn't blow away, that the storm isn't too bad, and make the best of this situation. I have some cork board for a DIY, paint swatches, my favorite hair treatment, and September issues.

As they say, preparing for the worst, praying and hoping for the best. Be safe all my east coast friends!!

Local eats in St. Martin and Puerto Rico


Sarafina's Marigot, St. Martin

It was our cruise last year when this deliciously sweet discovery was made. As part of our excursion, we had a stop in Marigot, with a little over an hour to explore the shops and restaurants. While my dad and I enjoyed lunch, my mom went off to explore. It was then she came across Sarafina’s, and when the love affair began. 

Having St. Martin as one of our port's of call again this year, it was an absolute must that we stop there for lunch and desserts. With its location right on the Marigot waterfront, the open air cafe with its many tables and sofas is the perfect place to eat and enjoy the Côte d'Azur atmosphere. 

However, this perfect place does have one problem; WHAT DOES ONE GET? Because they have EVERYTHING: Macarons, tarts, crepes, napoleons, eclairs, cakes, fresh bread, gelato, sorbet, quiches, hot and cold sandwiches, pizza, the list goes on and on. Everything is baked fresh, the staff is pleasant and everything is just absolutely delicious.  An absolute must if you are in St.Martin. 

Needless to say, no trip to St. Martin will ever be complete without a stop to Sarafina's.

Genesis Restaurant San Juan, Puerto Rico

Genesis was yet another accidental find from last years cruise. In looking for (and not finding) a different restaurant that was recommended by our tour guide, we decided to stop into Genesis, as time was running out before we had to return to the ship.  Not having a recommendation to go on, I was a little uncertain as to what to expect. However,  as I looked around at my fellow diners, and noticed they were mostly locals, I thought that had to be a very good sign. And it was. (Good sign number two was that the bathroom was INSANELY clean. )

The food at Genesis is delicious!! Of course I was going back this year! Even if it meant smuggling it back on the ship (which is illegal but whatever) I was not leaving Puerto Rico without trying a local dish: Chuletas Can-Can.

(If your vegetarian/vegan, don't read further.) 

If your unfamiliar with the dish, it is a delicious fried 3-fer of pork: a pork chop, ribs, and cuero (or pork skin). I rarely eat fried food, so this was a huge exception and a serious indulgence. With a side of  rice and beans, it was a good thing I was wearing a loose maxi dress. 

Whether is mofongo, tostones, pork, chicken, or fish your after, it is all muy delicioso at Genesis. 

Well. I'm hungry now. 

Shopping in St.Thomas


Since we were busy in the other islands with tours and excursions, St. Thomas was our only real chance to get any shopping done. I failed to research the island before hand, but of course the port shopping guide on board was a great help. (Cruisers, make sure you check in with your port shopping guide. You do save money and get GREAT recommendations).

What I Gather 
  • Granted you know what things cost beforehand, you can save quite a bit. 
  • Perfume is a bargain! Most were about $6-10 cheaper than US prices, in addition to being tax free. For example my all time favorite Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb was $91 for a 1.7oz bottle as opposed to $100, and a 1.7oz bottle of Chanel Coco Mademoiselle was $62 in St.Thomas as opposed to $68 in the US. 
  • I can only speak for the MAC counter, but makeup prices are the same as back home. Just tax free.
  • Alcohol is definitely a bargain. Many 2-for deals. And your allowed to buy more than in any other island (since it is a US Virgin Island).
  • Jewelery and watches can also be a bargain. For example, our port shopping guide Shanee, had these amazing two-in-one diamond earrings. Had I bought them in St. Thomas they would have been $695 (if I remember correctly). Purchasing them now back home? $1295 + tax. 
  • There's a ton of unique find to be found from table clothes, bamboo sheets from Cariloha, and apparel and accesories that change color in the sun from Del Sol

My buys: Michael Kors Watch, MAC blot powder and pencil, Gucci Rush perfume, Del Sol nailpolish

Vacation Snapshots


I'm back from yet another wonderful cruise with Royal Caribbean (Well I have been back since the 13th, but I have been quite the incubus of viral plague). Our family vacation this year was on board the  Explorer of the Seas, sailing from Bayonne, New Jersey. Being able to drive to port as opposed to flying was so easy and hassle free! Not to mention, I could pack all that I wanted to, and not worry about paying any crazy fees. 

Without a doubt, this was one of my best cruises. It was the perfect length of time (9 days), great ports, and wonderful crew. It was also the first time I ever met the captain! Captain Olav was always around the ship and so friendly! 


This was my first time in Bermuda! We opted to take a tour around the Dockyard and surrounding area first, which was very informative and fun as it was done by trolley! After we returned from that excursion, we then went to Horseshoe Bay Beach. The sky was ominous and after a light sprinkle, it soon cleared up again. I could have spent all day at this beach with its gorgeous pink sand. We returned to the ship in time to watch departure. I especially didn't want to miss it since Bermuda is completely surrounded by reefs. 

One of my favorite islands/places to visit in the world. We arrived at noon, and went on our excursion at 12:30. We chose to go with Bernard's Tour since the company comes so highly recommended on Cruise Critic. The tour did not disappoint. The highlight was being able to go to Maho Beach and watch the planes land right overhead. We also stopped in Marigot for lunch and then went on to Orient Beach. We opted to be dropped off by the shops and took the water taxi back to the ship. 
St. Thomas
St. Thomas was also a first for me. We first took the bus into Downtown Charlotte Amelie for some amazing duty free shopping. I could have shopped there all day, but we had to get back to the ship for our excursion to Coral World and Maegan's Bay. The tour that left us at the pier. We eventually were able to catch up with the (overbooked!) excursion, and enjoy as much of Coral World as we could. After which, we headed off to Maegan's Bay which was absolutely wonderful! The water was perfectly calm and so relaxing. I am glad I did not know there were jellyfish until after I left the beach. 

Truth be told, St. Thomas is absolutely beautiful and the shopping is great. But the majority of the people were kind of unfriendly. And people say New Yorkers are bad...

Puerto Rico

 The thing I dislike about Puerto Rico is that the time here is so short! I We opted for the Bacardi Rum factory tour. The grounds are absolutely beautiful. We were expecting to go into the actual factory, but not so fast! Bacardi actually has a building set up specifically for tours. So you don't get to see the actual process/factory, but you do get a very informative tour, a bar tending lesson, and free cocktails. Who cares if its 9 in the morning?! 
Like I said, the time in PR is short but no trip to the island is complete without some local food. I'll have a post all about that coming up. 
Around the Ship
The length of this cruise is just perfect because you get enough time in various ports, and enough time to enjoy the ship. Explorer is just the right size to be in the action when you want to be and in peace and quiet when you need it. Our cruise director Jimmy was crazy, and his catchphrase was "How you cruisin'?" like Wendy William's "How you doin'? Like every Royal cruise I have been on, the entertainment and activities were top notch. I absolutely cannot wait to sail with them again (hopefully very soon!)