Recipe Mondays

Food is the common thread of humanity

Let’s start a recipe Monday, where I share with you my one favorite, seasonal or new dish or drink and you tell me what you think.

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It will be like we are all sitting around our living room watching Julia Child… well maybe not that much … but we will try!

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Today it is Ahi Tuna in Buttler Garlic Sauce.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

2-6-8oz Tuna steak (thawed or fresh)

8tsp Organic butter

5chopped garlic cloves

1 cucumber

Pinch of salt

1tsp flour

How to:

Grill tuna steak on both sides. The middle should remain raw below 115 degrees. When done take out and cut into thin slices. Meanwhile on a medium saute pan sauté garlic for approximately two- minutes. Add butter and let it heat until white. Take off the heat. Add flour slowly and mix as you go pour over tuna immediately. You should have cucumber cut into thin slices already to plate with tuna.

Voila!

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Designer Stories: Chanel

“The woman who hasn’t at least one Chanel is hopelessly out of fashion,” Harper’s Bazaar.

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I’ve decided to do a routine post on some of the most famous or personal favorite designers. In this case it is both. Because who else than Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel would start off my list?

Chanel is today an empire, dominating all aspects of haute couture. To say Chanel is to say, class, elegance, effortless beauty. To own something from the iconic fashion house makes you feel important like you belong to a fashion club. We all know the basics about the designer who founded said label. We know she was French, she never married, she existed somewhere between La belle époque and World War II. We know that she was strong, independent, classy and didn’t care for people’s opinions of who she was.

That said few people know exactly how she started, her love affairs and how they shaped her business and her struggles maintaining the infamous fashion house.

Chanel was born around 1887 though she would later claim that it was in 1897 … but she would not be a beauty obsessed designer is she didn’t try to be younger right? She was born in poverty and when her mother died at the age of 12 she was sent to a convent. Amidst the tragedy and the grieve that we can only imagine she felt, going to that convent was perhaps a strike of luck. Perhaps everything happens for a reason, it was there that she learned to sew and make choices that would shape her life. After she could not longer stay at the convent, Gabrielle would find employment as a seamstress and sing at a local hall. It was there that she met the man who would take her a mistress. Etienne Balsan a textile heir and ex-calvary officer. Coincidence or fate?

While with him Chanel learned refinement, class, elegance and the working of high society. While with him she met Arthur Edward Capel, whom would not only finance her first design projects but whom she would hold a relationship for nine years until his death. It is often said that perhaps he was the great love of her life, and she said in later years that “when she lost him, in a sense she lost everything.”

By 1915 she had established herself as a couturier and had moved on from designed hats women could wear to Longchamp races to designing gowns that would dominate the fashion industry for the next decade. The flapper dress, the boyish pants, free of corsets would become her signature design. Her humble beginnings flourished into a lucrative fashion house. Maison Chanel bought buildings, employees over 4,ooo people, and became a favorite of the moneyed, dressing even the aristocracy. She was given way into the British aristocracy, the Russian family and even in the 1930’s came to Hollywood to dress the stars. Though her sting in Hollywood was not to her liking, saying that, “Hollywood was the capital of bad taste … and vulgar,” she did end up working and designing for French films during the same era. Critics believe the clash between ‘real couture’ and costumes for Hollywood movies where vastly different. “Chanel made a lady look like a lady while Hollywood wanted a lady to look like two.”

Up to that point Chanel had been a success. Then the war came and she closed all her design studios, her fashion house and retrieved to her hotel suite at the Ritz in Paris. This is perhaps one of the pieces of her story that any Chanel’s aficionado would know. She was famous for her suite atop the glamorous Ritz and her liaison with a German elite during the Nazi occupation of Paris. The less know fact is that she used the war saying, “it was not a time for fashion,” to close the shops where employees had started to ask for higher wages and better working conditions.  For the next 15 years her house would remain closed. The name Chanel, though we can’t phantom it now, began to fade. There was many reasons for it, her affair with the German officer, her suspected activities in German intelligence and her actions to try and take Parfums Chanel from the Wertheimers who were Jewish. Another little known fact about the fashion house is that she did not design or own Chanel no. 5 until after the war. The Wertheimers came to her to brand their perfume, she picked the fifth sample so Chanel no. 5 was born. In the beginning of the agreement she only had 10% of profits and once she saw that is was booming with the coming of the was she tried to seize the rights claiming that she was ‘aryan’ and they were not. She did not succeed and it wasn’t until years later when the owners came to an agreement with the designer.

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Perhaps it was all of these things together or the fact that the times had changed, that let Maison Chanel to lay dormant for so many years. It wasn’t until 1954 at over 70 years that with the money she had gotten from the perfume settlement she financed her comeback to fashion. This is the birth of the iconic Chanel suite (my favorite), the icon leather purse and the little black dress.

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She received nothing but bad reviews from the French press. It would appear the fashion world in ‘Old Paris’ was not ready to forgive yet. However, American Vogue did a spread in March 1954 and the American public was ready for Chanel. The irony was probably not lost in her, that ‘vulgar’ Hollywood was coming to her rescue. Chanel re-established herself as one of the most influential designers of her time, she showed the world again that she was not obsolete, that style and class is never obsolete. She died at the age of 87 as we would suspect in her suite at the Ritz.

Today her legacy carries in everything the fashion house does. Today Chanel is synonymous with luxury, with France, with timeless style. If she were alive today we can only guess she would be proud.

Cococ Chanel in her studio 1954

Should her controversial life still be considered an example for modern girls? Little is often said about how her design houses were financed by the  lovers she had, how her involvement with Nazi officers kept her posh and safe while millions died below her Ritz hotel room, how she unscrupulously tried to take away profits from the perfume house. Is it fair to say she was ‘self made’? I think so. She came from nothing, dirt poor, she managed to become one of the icons that define a country. If you visit France chances are your visit will be defined by three grand ladies, Edit Piaf, Coco Chanel and the Eiffel Tower.

My favorite Chanel design: the Chanel suit.

My favorite Chanel accessory: the timeless leather monogramed bag.

My favorite fragrance: Chanel no. 5

My favorite movie about her life: Coco avant Chanel (in French), Coco Chanel with Shirley McClain.

Ces’t tout … Until next Designer Story 🙂

So … Paris.

I promised to write about traveling and all my trips. I though it only fair to start with my first solo, across the pond, travel adventure. PARIS!

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Those who know me, know that I am positively in love, obsessed with France and in turn Paris. I think it started in high school, when I started taking French class; but, it could have been before because I have always been obsessed with fashion and French so it only made sense.

After I graduated HS, I wanted to move to Paris, that did not happen of course, and it actually wasn’t until I was 24 when I FINALLY after a failed attempt the year before booked my trip to Paris.

Now let me tell you it was supposed to be with a close friend at the time, but she backed out and I ended up with the decision to go alone or stay. I had not done much traveling, I had never traveled out of the continent and never alone. I did it anyway, my desire to travel and see the sights at the city of lights outweighed any danger alerts and tuned out my mother.

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I have never regretted it. Was it crazy and super scary? Hell yea. I was not familiar with planning trips, I had never rented a vacation home, and though I spoke French it was not by any means perfect. Yet, I took all that uncertainty and channeled it into whimsical thoughts and what better place for that than Paris? I had an amazing time, visited some friends, did some touring in the South of France and created the memories I still relieve today. It made me less afraid, more independent, great at planning, organizing, problem solving and started a life long affair with travel. Paris is still my favorite place to go to.

*Funny anecdote time because:

Travel leaves you breathless at first and then turns you into a storyteller.

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upon arrival at the airport I had planned on taking the REI to the 16th arrondissement where my flat was (give me a break I was a broke college senior). It turned out my bank card had no chip and (this back in 2011) all the ones at the airport only took chips. I tried all machines, tried the ticket counter, fought in English and broken French and finally upon a frustrating hour or so  I called the man who was handing my the keys to my flat told him, I would be late and took a cab. $96 euros later I arrived at an cute yet old building. It started to rain (seriously) and the guy was late. A few hours later and one rickety elevator which only fit one suitcase at a time. I got to my room.

Can you guess it? I totally broke down crying. I wondered if I would even have fun, I was so far away from home and so alone. I wrapped myself in my brand new coat and fell asleep crying. It was 6pm. This after I had attempted to go to the store and bough some wine, and a mean French lady yelled at me. When I woke up hours later, I changed, showered and went to dinner a few blocks away in an unknown bistro, and I had raw beef, and an egg and the best espresso ever. I decided that I was so much stronger and better than that. The days that followed were like I said before some of the best days of my life.

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The Self-Portrait vs. A selfie

According to Jessie Wender, a photo editor for the New Yorker, in 2013 the Oxford Dictionaries named ‘selfie’ the word of the year. That was five years ago, and still today Selfies are more prevalent than even in our social media circles. They range from Facebook profiles, to full on selfie stick family vacation pictures. It would be easy to label a ‘selfie’ as a self portrait for a photographer.

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But are they?

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Wender believes that,” we ask more from a self-portrait than we do from a selfie: more consideration, more composition, more psychological insight and aesthetic care.”

I tend to agree with her, a self- portrait should have the same level of care and composure that a normal photograph would have. There is light & background to consider and perhaps more importantly the story that the photographer wants to tell. A selfie on the other hand, though some may rival in creativity, is more about capturing the moment, the place you’re sightseeing, the profile picture with less regard to the usual rules that apply to photography.

 

However, with the constant presence of our phones and accessories, two things happen. The lines of self-portrait and selfie are starting to blur since we get better with composition, light and editing. And the second is that we are getting worse at distinguishing art and selfies.

What is your opinion on it? What do you think?

Healthy Foodie Journal ~

I don’t know about you, but I’m a foodie and a fatty and any time anyone says ~ lifestyle nutrition change I am already running for the door before they explain.

Usually that’s because when I was younger I did all the unhealthy diets you could think of; from diet pills, to watermelons  diet (I hate watermelon ) to eating disorders. It took years for me to pull it together and have a healthy relationship with food. So whenever anyone tries to take me away from potato anything I get … sensitive.

Enter the new nutritional eating plan that I do conjointly to my workout routine, it gives me the freedom to create dishes, alternate ingredients, meal prep if it’s a busy workweek or do it day by day if I have time and feel like dusting my culinary school skills.

 

I did a rushed food journal on my Insta Story the other day and the response was overwhelmingly positive, because let’s be real we all LOVE food, to see food, talk about food eat food … if not what are you doing with your life?  ~

So… I went ahead and prepped some gourmet food that you could find at any upscale restaurant and used only healthy, Beachbody approved ingredients and Voilà …

‘ le masterpiece culinaire’ ~ Julia Child would be proud!!

 

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The Brunch Item :
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The post-workout chocolate Recover
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Snack-Time Treat
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Le Caprese Salad ~
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The side entree ~
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The Chef’s Plate

It all was delicious… Let me know what dish looks best.

Do you want recipes?

Second Impressions.

“Resilience is not just about getting back up from a fall, resilience is about learning from the fall and reinventing yourself… like a Phoenix.” 

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Two years ago I started this as a travel blog, a place to jot down my past and future voyages. A place to tell you about my passion for discovering food, culture, the world over and do it so mixing my love for photography & writing.

Last year I stopped writing because I didn’t have anything to say. I wrote a few entries about the devastation of the Mexico City earthquake and nothing else formed in my head. I who have been writing about everything since I was seven or eight, who has more journals filled with stories and poetry than my mother can accommodate in our garage had nothing to say. It was a hard year, I lost things and people I loved.

People say that things happen at the correct time, that timing is everything. If you had asked me last year, I would have said that was a lie. Today I could not agree more. You see 2018 has been an absolution. If I had tried last year to invest in my fitness, in my health, in my personal development I don’t think it would have worked. If I had tried to start fitness coaching or revamp my photography page I would not have had the energy or the drive to do it.

Perhaps because of everything I wen’t throng last year, perhaps because it made me realize the most carefully aligned plans, fall apart in a matter of days. Perhaps because I realized that even the most carefully cultivated relationships can buckle under pressure … and that we don’t have a single day of our life guaranteed is that all those endeavors I’ve decided to take are flourishing.

I’ve decided that I’d like to continue this blog. I’ve decided that I won’t only share my travels past and future but my other loves … fashion, photography & fitness.

WHAT DO YOU SAY? ARE YOU COMING ALONG FOR THE RIDE? 🙂

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Go Fund Me Campaign … For Mexico

I’ve started a go Fundme campaign to help the victims of the the devastating earthquakes in Mexico.
The victims from the 8.1 and 7.1 earthquakes have a long road ahead of them and as a mexican who lives out of the country and was by chance in Mexico City on Sep19 the need to help is our duty. Please help me donate and share!! Lets help !!!https://www.gofundme.com/fuerza-mexico-campaign