Be Worldly · Uncategorized

Visit to Sacramento, California

OMG this is officially my favorite airport sculpture!

Never in my life I thought I would go visit Sacramento, it is just not a touristy place you hear about often, but we had the perfect excuse… visiting some dear friends that moved there. This ended up being a really cute place to visit, it is a decent distance from other larger cities and tourist attractions, so you can easily hop on the car and get there; but it also has this super cute area called Old Sacramento (Old Sac for short). This place looks like it was taken out of a western movie and the contrast between this and the modern buildings from Downtown Sacramento is super cool. They have all kinds of cute little shops including a really cool candy shop where you can try all kinds of taffy for free (yes, I ate way too much taffy). They also offer boat tours, restaurants, street performers, and more. Besides this cute little gem, you can also visit one of the many museums they offer, the capitol, Fairytale town, or head over to the Dive Bar for a bite, drink and to check out their large aquarium with a mermaid! talk about uniquely themed bars. Even if this is not your main destination, I definitely recommend visiting if you are in any of the surrounding areas.

Stay true – Chantal

Be Well · Uncategorized

Invest in Experiences

You’ve all heard this, life is short. We all spend waaaaaay too much time worrying about so many things that we miss the most important ones. Yes it is important to pay our bills, it is important to have a place to call home, cover our family’s needs, etc. but it is also important to LIVE and LIVE WELL. By living well I mean actually being fully present in the now, not looking at your phone every five seconds, invest your time in things tat will allow you to connect with others, connect with nature, and connect with your inner self. No, you don’t need a new phone every year and you definitely don’t need all of the latest gaming consoles as soon as they come out. It is nice once in a while, but things get broken, they lose value and the enjoyment for the object fades away; but the memories you make through experiences will stay with you forever. The end of the year is getting closer, take these last few months of 2019 to reflect on what really matters to you, create a bucket list of things you want to do or experience during the upcoming year, and go in to the new year with the purpose of checking as many of those items as possible. Whatever doesn’t happen next year, write it on the list for the following year, but keep that list somewhere you can see it, and next time you want to make a large purchase, remind yourself of those thing you could be checking off that list instead of buying that particular item.

Tell me about the best experience you’ve had this year so far and a bucket list item for the next year!

Stay true – Chantal

Be Healthy · Uncategorized

A Big Bowl of Delish

As we get closer to cooler weather, you may want to keep this delicious soupy recipe in mind. Lentils are an incredible source of protein, fiber and complex carbohydrates, helping you boost your metabolism, nourish your body, and even lower cholesterol levels. On top of being hearty and satisfying, it is super simple to make.

Ingredients (feeds 4-6 people):

  • 1 Lb. Lentils
  • 4-5 Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 Large Chopped Jalapeno Peppers (No Seeds)
  • 1 Small-Medium Chopped Onion
  • A Small Chunk of Onion
  • A Large Garlic Clove
  • 6 Large Eggs
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil
  • Vegetarian (Optional) Bouillon
  • Sweet Plantains (Optional)

Boil the lentils with a splash of olive oil, a bit of salt, and the garlic clove. Cover them up and continue to check them until they are soft (continue adding water if needed). You can make this more of a soup by adding more water and have a more runny consistency. While the lentils cook, lightly saute the onion and jalapeno peppers, then add the chopped tomatoes. Once the lentils are soft, set the heat to medium-low, get rid of the chunk of onion and the garlic. Add the sauteed onions, peppers, and tomatoes as well as the bouillon in to the pot with the lentils and mix it all together. Crack and drop in the eggs into the soup, carefully placing them separate from one another and cover the pot with a lid. Gently mix the soup occasionally (covering the eggs to allow for the heat of the soup to cook the eggs). Once the eggs are cooked throughout, add salt to taste and enjoy. For added deliciousness, separately fry sliced plantains with a bit of olive oil or with an air fryer and add to the soup.

Feel free to adjust the amount of any of the ingredients according to your preference. This is a full meal that will help your digestive health and give you all the nutrients you need.

Try it and tell me what you think. I prefer it with the plantains, but sometimes the stores don’t have them ripe enough (therefore not pictured).

Stay true – Chantal

Be Worldly

Visiting the “Haunted” Island of Galveston

Stressed out by the back to school traffic, my family and I decided to take a quick mini-vacation to Galveston Island, TX. Now, I have lived in Texas for about seven years now and I still haven’t explored much of it. I had heard a lot of mixed opinions about Galveston Beaches, so I finally got to go and see for myself. I absolutely loved my time there, stayed very close to the beach, so it was very easy to get around; I also went during a weekday after school started to avoid crowds (best idea ever!). As any other cool beach town, they offer dolphin watching boat tours, kayaking, cool museums and aquariums, boat rentals and more. What really caught my eye is the number of ghost tours they offer! We did some of the other things on the list, but I the ghost tour was definitely one of the highlights of the trip, not only because of the walk tour at night filled with creepy stories, but because it gave us insight about the island, showed us historic landmarks, and allowed me to make sense of other things I wouldn’t have known unless I did additional research.

Great Storm of 1900

When we first arrived to Galveston beach, I saw the above sculpture and I thought it was a bit depressing (though beautiful) for a beach town. Well, it seems like it is a memorial dedicated to all the lives lost during a hurricane during the year 1900. This is the deadliest natural disaster in US history which left about 10,000 people homeless, billions in damages, and over 6,000 people dead. After this storm, it was decided to raise the entire city several feet over sea level, which is also the reason why in order to get to the beach you need to go down a very steep set of stairs… isn’t this crazy! The entire project of elevating the entire city and encasing the old homes’ first floor is really worth looking into. A creepy thing to hear about is what the city did with the remains of the victims of the storm. There were too many to properly bury and they tried disposing of them in the ocean (but then they washed ashore), then burning them but couldn’t get the temperature hot enough to burn bone, and then ended up burying them in the process of elevating the city… yes this means there are random bones scattered under the city everywhere! I definitely recommend doing one of the ghost tours if you ever visit, I believe it is worth it. Here are some other pictures of creepy houses we visited, each has a creepy story.

More to Explore

I was not a big fan of the water in Galveston, but walking by the beach, visiting Pleasure Pier, souvenir shopping, the museums, and eating by the seaside made up for it. Also, you can easily take the ferry to Crystal Beach and the water there is better, no seaweed, the sand is softer, and it feels more private. The ferry to Crystal Beach is free and runs 24/7! Would I ever go back?? Absolutely! the place is super laid back, very cute, and I feel like I still have more to explore. Have you been to Galveston yet? I would love to hear what you have to say! I would also love to see people’s recommendations for trips so I can add to my bucket list and hopefully make it there sooner rather than later!

Stay true -Chantal

Be Beautiful · Uncategorized

If Life Gives You Lemons…Do a Beauty Treatment!

Lemons are amazing for many things other than lemonade. You can use lemon as the sole ingredient or an one of the ingredients of a multitude of beauty treatments for face, body and hair. Many of you will be familiar with the struggle of darkened elbows, knees, underarms, and even the darkening of skin due to scars. Due to the high content of vitamin C in lemons, they are fantastic for skin lightening use. You can just grab a half of a lemon and rub it on the areas you desire to lighten, leave on for a good 15-20 minutes (less for sensitive skin) and rinse. Repeat periodically (two to three times a week) until you see the desired change. To add more power to this lightening treatment, mix the juice of a lemon with a half a teaspoon of baking soda and rub the mixture on the desired area (adjust the amount of juice and baking soda depending on the size of the areas you wish to treat).

Not enough? Lightening skin is not all you can do with lemons. They are also great for mixing with honey for a delicious hair mask that will give your hair a beautiful shine and if you mix the lemon juice with honey and sugar you have a tasty body scrub! What else can you ask for? You literally have a key ingredient to any kind of at hoe body treatment sitting in your fridge!

Have a lemon beauty recipe for us to try? post it in the comments!

Stay true – Chantal

Be Fashionable · Uncategorized

Wearing Summer Colors While I Still Can

Our days of summer are counted, soon we’ll start seeing the leaves falling of the trees, the grass turning brown, and the weather cooling down. I love seeing the change in seasons, but I love the heat, I like dressing with bright vibrant colors, thin fabrics, and being outside without freezing my butt off! Make sure you embrace what’s left of the summer and bring out all those beautiful summer clothing pieces out, flaunt those colors like a peacock, rock the summer hats, and eat out in the patio or terrace. As you know, I love easy one-piece outfits like dresses, rompers, and jumpsuits during the summer. I think they are super easy to throw on, look super fun, and are very comfortable. What’s your go to clothing item or accessory for the summer that you’ll miss once the cool weather hits?

P.S Check out my fabulous authentic leather purse from Erandi. Shop this and other beautiful leather accessories and jackets at http://www.erandifashion.com.

Stay true – Chantal

Be Worldly · Uncategorized

A Day In The City! Gotta Love San Francisco!

Had never been to San Francisco before and this city definitely didn’t disappoint! The weather was a bit chilly, but nothing a light jacket couldn’t solve. I was a bit disappointed because I couldn’t get tickets for the the Alcatraz tour ***SILENT CRY***, apparently you do have to book that tour way ahead of time as it is such a popular attraction, so I settled from seeing it from far away… for now! Even though I didn’t get to see Alcatraz, there was plenty to do for a full day packed of activities. Here is a recap of our visit for and things for you to do when visiting:

Golden Gate Bridge and City View

There are several stops where you can park to see the bridge, glance at the entire city and even take a look at the Alcatraz Island. Definitely great for pictures although keep in mind that San Francisco does tend to be pretty foggy due to the water in its surroundings, making the heat rise, so it is hard to get the perfectly clear image of the full bridge a lot of times.

Quick Iconic Stops

Other iconic places we visited to check off the list are:

The painted Ladies – some beautifully colored Victorian houses from the 19th Century. The park across the street provides a beautiful view of the houses as well as the city itself.

Lombard Street – This is a short drive or walk at the crookedest street in the world. It is also a very beautiful street as there are tons of beautiful colorful flowers everywhere!

The Palace of Fine Arts – This is an incredible architectural master piece at a park. It s so peaceful, breathtaking, and just perfection. There was nothing going on when I visited, but they do have various community events throughout the year.

Full House House – Now, if you don’t have visiting this place in your bucket list… you are a psycho! lol I do feel for the neighbors though.

Pier 39 – Fun and delicious food right by the ocean, nothing more perfect!

Unique Activity

The Ice Cream Museum recently found a permanent home in San Francisco and it is a really cool place to get some sweet treats, learn about the history of ice cream, have some family fun, take colorful fun pictures, and even swim in a sprinkle pool!

Food With a View

We enjoyed a delicious dinner at The Cheesecake Factory rooftop restaurant in downtown San Francisco while enjoying the view of the city. Rooftop dinner or partying is definitely a must!

I fell in love with this beautiful fun city for sure and can’t wait to go back. What’s your favorite city to visit?

Stay true – Chantal

Be Beautiful · Uncategorized

Chocolate Obsession Body Scrub

As if chocolate wasn’t fabulous enough as an edible, it is also serves as an amazing and deliciously smelling body scrub! All you need are three ingredients, Cocoa powder, sugar and olive oil. Just mix all the ingredients together, gently apply on the desired areas in small circular motions to exfoliate the skin, leave on for 15 minutes, and rinse. The antioxidants in the cocoa will help restore elasticity to the skin, fight ageing, provide hydration, and its properties will also help reduce skin breakouts. Bonus point, the caffeine in the cocoa powder can even give you an energy boost!

Enjoy this delicious treat 😉

Stay true – Chantal

Be Well

Happiness Takes Work

Be happy! it sound so easy, so jolly and care free, but why is it so hard to feel happy sometimes? Because being happy takes work. Don’t get me wrong, I am not talking about working to buy the next thing you think will make you happy; it is not about material things. Things will not make you happy long term, they just satisfy an immediate want or need. I am talking about what it takes to feel whole, to feel at peace, to feel relaxed, to make you smile from the soul. Being happy starts from within you, it starts by you taking care of healing your soul, to love the amazing person you are, the capacity of love in your heart, the acceptance of those things you can’t change, and the drive and motivation to change those things you can change. Being happy is giving your loved ones the time they need to feel loved and cared for and do the same for you in return. It means building meaningful relationships, taking care of your body and your mind, exploring and nourishing your curious and adventurous side. Stop thinking about what you can get that will make you happy and start thinking on what you can do to work in your lasting happiness. Change your mindset and your daily actions, you’ll see the difference.

Here are some things you can do on a regular basis to work on your happiness:

  • Exercise – you’ve heard this one before and it is true. Even if you do a light workout to get those endorphins going, it helps.
  • Sleep enough – please try to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. Your body and your mind will thank you, plus you wake us in a better mood.
  • Go outside – even if you just go for a quick walk during your lunch, go out, see the natural light, breathe the fresh air and appreciate your surroundings.
  • Build a strong support system – surround yourself with people who truly care about you and you care about, people that will be there no matter what and that will push you up and encourage you.
  • Social gatherings- with family or friends. I know you want to go home, get in bed and binge-watch a show, but make sure to spend time with those you love.
  • Good deeds – volunteer to help others, it will give you a great sense of satisfaction and you’ll be doing something good for someone else.
  • Meditate – this will help you relax, quiet your mind,be aware of your breathing, and help your body and mind to connect.
  • Smile and or laugh – of course we are not always in the mood to do this,, but smiling or laughing generate more smiling and/or laughing from yourself and/or others. You can also brighten someone else’s day with this.
  • Find what you are passionate about and do it as a hobby.
  • Take time to appreciate what you do have material or not. Be grateful!

These are only some things to get you started, but it is all about acknowledging that everything takes work, accept it, work on it, and have a positive mindset. Everyone has dark days (some more than others), just make sure you see the light at the end of the tunnel and you walk towards it. If you struggle with this, it is okay to ask for help, bring a partner along in your journey to happiness and work together. You are not alone.

Stay true – Chantal

Be Healthy · Uncategorized

This Zucchini & Squash Meal is the Bomb!

I haven’t been a vegetarian all my life, in fact, I’ve only been a vegetarian for a little over a year. It was a very personal decision that I had been considering for the longest time and I am very happy with it. I was already not a great cook and the switch to vegetarian has made it even harder… why? Well, now I have been needing to figure out how to get everything my body needs with this new lifestyle, how to not get bored eating the same things over and over, and how to expand my taste buds by trying other foods that maybe I wasn’t as crazy about or willing to try before. Sadly, I am still not a great cook, but I am making progress and I just absolutely love sharing my small cooking accomplishments with you. The below, is a small twist on a dish my mom used to make (hers involves pork), hope you try it and tell me what you think!

I will not be using measurements for this recipe as it is all based on personal taste. If you are a big fan of any of the ingredients, just add more of it.

Ingredients:

  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • Frozen corn
  • Jalapeño pepper (I used half of one without seeds to not make it too spicy)
  • White or yellow onion
  • Tomatoes
  • Mozzarella or Oaxaca cheese
  • Avocado
  • Salt
  • Olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Finely chop the onion and jalapeño. Once finely chopped, put it on a pan with a little olive oil at medium-low heat and cook them until the onions are golden.
  2. Chop the tomatoes in small pieces and add them to the pan.
  3. Cut the zucchini and squash in small pieces and add them to the pan. Mix occasionally to allow all of the ingredients to cook and not stick to the pan.
  4. Once the zucchini and squash are cooked but still firm, add the corn and salt to taste.
  5. Add some cheese and mix, allowing it to melt on the other ingredients.
  6. Serve with a side of sliced avocado. You may garnish with a bit of extra cheese on top, some greens or anything else you like.

Super easy, very quick to make and tastes delicious!

Do you have a cool vegetarian recipe for me to try? Post it in the comments and I will give it a go.

Stay true – Chantal