Archive for June 2015

Dine Out : ABC Cocina

June 29, 2015
ABC Cocina Review, Jean-Georges Vongerichten Restaurant

Ever since my impressive dining experience at ABC Kitchen last year, I've also wanted to try Jean-Georges Vongerichten's companion restaurant ABC Cocina. I believe that these two spaces are actually interconnected through ABC Carpet and Home. Nonetheless we made our entry through their 19th Street entrance that offers outdoor seating during the warmer months. The somewhat cavernous feeling dining room with a bustling open kitchen features exposed beam ceilings from which a number of eclectic chandeliers hang. The decor adopts an eco chic modern vibe with concrete walls, black steel tables with black and pink open back chairs that look cool but are quite uncomfortable. The Latin inspired tapas style menu follows the same farm to table market concept of ABC Kitchen with a varied selection of seasonal organic and local sustainable fare. All the dishes we tried were bursting with bright and fresh flavors. Our starters of mezcal cured salmon with cucumber yogurt relish and shaved beets, portobello mushrooms, queso blanco and herbs were impressively flavorful. The market vegetables over brown rice with salsa verde looked gorgeous and tasted equally as incredible. Every element was cooked to perfection and the flavor of each vegetable was as if it had just picked from the garden. I can't say the same for the roasted turkey cuban sandwich which had some crazy kick that burned so intensely that I couldn't spit out the bite I took of it quick enough. My husband didn't have any issues with it though. For dessert we tried their famous salted caramel impossible flan which had the loveliest smooth texture and delicious mingling of vanilla and caramel. The light and creamy tres leches cake didn't disappoint either. I've mentioned before I'm not really one for sweets but I could easily eat a few bites of both of these without getting sick of them. The service was knowledgeable and friendly. Overall I think we may have enjoyed the food here even more than ABC Kitchen and there are some menu items like their spring pea guacamole that I'd love to return to try. The reservation situation is similarly challenging to their sister restaurant but I will mention that it does seem to be easier to score a table during lunch than dinner. 

ABC Cocina
38 East 19th Street (Park & Broadway)
New York City

A London Fog Latte with Plum Deluxe Tea

June 26, 2015
London Fog Tea Latte, Earl Grey Latte Recipe

I often talk about my love of tea and how I drink several cups a day. London Fog Lattes are a particular concoction I've been enjoying lately. This drink is also known as an Earl Grey Tea Latte since it's made with Earl Grey Tea. I didn't think this drink could get any better until I recently tried it with the Mindful Morning Black Tea from Plum Deluxe. This fresh take on Earl Grey is a 100% organic tea blend that features cream black tea, orange peels, blue cornflowers, bergamot oil and vanilla essence. It not only smells heavenly (like I wouldn't mind wearing it as a fragrance) but it may also be one of the prettiest looking teas I've ever seen. 

Plum Deluxe Mindful Morning Blend

I've been asked how I make my London Fog Latte so I'm sharing my recipe here.

Foreo Luna Review

June 24, 2015
Luna by Foreo, Foreo Luna vs. Clarisonic

As a long time Clarisonic user, I wasn't really sure what to expect from the Foreo Luna other than by the looks it, I imagined the experience would be quite different. The Luna is billed as a revolutionary facial cleansing and anti-aging device that uses T-Sonic (transdermal sonic) silicone touch-points to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles, and remove impurities for a glowing and radiant complexion.

The Facts: The Luna by Foreo is a cute looking personal skincare device, It is about 3" wide by 4" high and can fit into the palm of your hand. It is made of non-porous and bacteria resistant silicone and is fully waterproof. The Luna is available in 3 different models that suit sensitive/normal, combination or ultra-sensitive skin. The pink one which I have here is designed for sensitive/normal skin. It has 4 intensity settings which you can adjust to your preference or for the area you're treating. The Luna can be used about 450 times per charge and requires no replacement brushes.

Luna by Foreo, Foreo Luna vs. Clarisonic

I incorporated the Luna into the second step of my double cleansing process following the oil cleansing that removes all my makeup. You use the cleansing brush surface during the cleansing mode on your damp face with your favorite cleanser. Up to 8,000 pulsations per minute are channeled through the silicone touch points during the process. You cleanse each area of the face for 15 seconds as directed by the pauses of the device's pulsations. After the cleansing mode is done, you rinse your face and flip it around to the concentric waves surface for the anti-aging mode.

Central Park Conservatory Garden

June 22, 2015
Vanderbilt Gate Central Park Conservatory Garden

Come take a tour of the Central Park Conservatory Garden with me today! This magnificent formal garden is just 6 acres of the 843 sprawling acres that comprise New York's Central Park and it is one of the park's attractions that still manages to remain relatively hidden in part due to it's location. The Conservatory Garden lies behind Vanderbilt Gate and 105th street on Fifth Avenue. It is actually made up of 3 smaller gardens, each designed in it's own distinctive style. The northern French garden is the home of the dancing nymphs in Untermyer Fountain flanked by concentric circles of flowerbeds. The central Italian style garden features a charming pergola and terrace with views of the entire garden. The southern classic English garden is probably the least formal in style and my favorite. A bronze sculpture based upon the characters of Mary and Dickon from The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett that oversee a dainty yet enchanting water lily reflecting pool is the centerpiece of one of the most idyllic spots to sit and take in the splendor of this urban oasis. This officially designated quiet zone is also home to thousands of trees, plants, shrubs, bulbs, perennials and annuals which blossom through the seasons. It's serene beauty makes it a perfect escape and not surprisingly the site for a number weddings. We even witnessed 1 on the day of our visit. Stepping into this enchanting space was kind of like going into a real life fairy tale. I almost wanted to keep this little gem to myself but it is really too good not to share. I hope to return in the fall to see the changing colors of the foliage. The Conservatory Garden is open from 8am to 8pm daily.

Cool fact: Central Park itself is reported to attract approximately 37.5 million visitors a year.

Burnett Fountain Central Park Conservatory Garden

Eye Candy : Ji Chang Wook for Ceci

June 19, 2015

The editorial gods keep giving as Ji Chang Wook plays model again on the cover and pages of CeCi China's 7th anniversary issue. The handsome actor has really cemented his status as a top Hallyu star following his success in The Healer and he's been busying himself with fan meets throughout Asia lately. He always makes for a fantastic model though I find some of styling in this editorial a little suspect. His swept back hair on the cover looks so suave and he is rocking that Kenzo printed lion shirt and gold jacket. The pictorial switches gears to a sportier side showcasing Chang Wook's boyish charms and then takes on a retro vibe. The checked shirt and flared jeans are actually quite nice but I'm totally not feeling the sandals and the entire last look with the sandals. I'm just not a fan of "mandals". My husband doesn't care for them either. Well at least he's not in flip flops. Those are gross and only belong on the beach! I probably wouldn't have even posted the end pic in that case. I'm not kidding about my phobia/aversion to other people's feet. So how do you feel about man sandals/mandals?

Don't miss out on my latest giveaway where you can win an adorably chic Pinch Provisions Minimergency Kit packed with 17 handy emergency essentials!

Alisha Trimble Resort 2016

June 17, 2015
Alisha Trimble Resort 2016 Blanche Du Mois

I had the pleasure of viewing Alisha Trimble's Resort 2016 Blanche Du Mois Presentation last week. This Resort collection was inspired by a recent trip Alisha took to Saint Tropez. The foundation is a white palette with intimate separates that layer through to complete outerwear looks. Blanche DuMois is an original intimate apparel concept by Alisha, inspired by the female characters in Tennessee William’s literature. The fresh and fun layering concept works well with the feminine and glamorous ready to wear looks. Standouts for me were the breezy silk-cotton voile pintuck dress with a silk habotai lining as well as the silk broadcloth jacket belted with a grosgrain ribbon belt, paired with charmeuse nautical shorts and a crochet and fringe dress. The chic turbans were made by Stella Rose. A well appointed lounge at the Residences at the W New York Downtown with stunning views of Tribeca like this one provided a lovely backdrop for the presentation. To learn more about Alisha Trimble, you can visit the designer's website.

Alisha Trimble Resort 2016 Blanche Du Mois

Pinch Provisions Minimergency Kit Review & Giveaway

June 15, 2015
Pinch Provisions Minimergency Kit Review

Some of you may remember when I shared the contents of my bag awhile ago. Well I've recently added a Pinch Provisions Minimergency Kit to the stash. This super handy kit packs 17 emergency essentials into a portable, cute little zip pouch. I haven't had occasion to use any of the items yet but I certainly like being prepared for some of life's little emergencies. I think this is fantastic item to have in my purse and it would make for a great gift as well. In fact I liked it so much, I picked up another one just to give away.

Pinch Provisions Minimergency Kit Review
Pinch Provisions Minimergency Kit Review

This Gold Stud Muffin Miniemergency Kit includes:

1. hairspray
2. clear nail polish
3. nail polish remover
4. nail file
5. lip balm
6. earring backs
7. clear elastics
8. mending kit
9. safety pin
10. double-sided tape
11. stain remover
12. deodorant towelette 
13. pain reliever
14. tampon
15. breath freshener
16. dental floss
17. adhesive bandage

This is an international giveaway that starts June 15, 2015 and ends on June 30, 2015. Entries will be verified for eligibility. One winner will be randomly selected. You can enter through this link or the Rafflecopter widget below. The widget can be a little temperamental so if it doesn't load on this page, just CLICK THROUGH HERE FOR IT. Good luck!

Eye Candy : Shin Min Ah for Nu You

June 12, 2015

I just discovered this alluring editorial featuring Shin Min Ah sitting in my drafts folder and can't believe I had never gotten around to sharing it. Well better late than never. The luminous actress was photographed by Wee Khim at the presidential suite of the St. Regis Singapore for Nu You magazine which is a Singaporean publication. Her understated makeup and hair so perfectly complement the lovely Burberry Prorsum looks she is wearing. And how absolutely mesmerizing is this first image?

Recent Loves

June 10, 2015

Welcome to Recent Loves 2.0! It's been awhile since I've done these posts because I was thinking about how to to revamp the format and change it up. I will now be including a mini review of each product.

Skinfix Hand Repair Cream Review

Currently Coveting

June 8, 2015
A few items currently on my wish list. It was only after putting it together that I realized this could actually work as an outfit. What are you coveting lately?

{All my summer hats are neutral and it would be fun to have one with some punchy color.}
{This shade which is described as a lavender hued beige with a touch of silver shimmer looks super pretty and wearable!}
{Sequins and bunny ears... enough said}
{Loving the classic feel of this blouse. The ruffles add a sweet touch of feminine flair and I don't currently own anything in this color.}
{A fun way to represent the city I live in and love. And this one celebrates one of my fave foods!}
{Awesome motivation on a pouch.}
{This skirt that combines polka dots, stripes with a midi length is totally calling my name.}

Eye Candy : Song Hye Kyo for Elle

June 5, 2015
Song Hye Kyo, Song Hye Kyo Elle, Descendants of the Sun, 송혜교

Song Hye Kyo dazzles in an array of glamorous Dior Pre-Fall 2015 looks in this Elle Korea editorial photographed by Ahn Joo Young in Paris. In the accompanying interview, the beautiful actress spoke about her upcoming project, Descendants of the Sun in which she will be portraying a doctor and she expressed that her character would be bright and optimistic much like Han Ji Eun in the popular Full House. She also complimented the talent of her leading man Song Joong Ki with whom she'll share a romance against the backdrop of a fictional war zone. There were some ridiculous complaints when the casting news first came out for this show with people complaining about Hye Kyo looking significantly older than Joong Ki. While there may be a 4 year age difference, she hardly looks 33 and those worries were hushed when photos from the drama's first script reading were recently released. Descendants of the Sun which is Song Joong Ki's first project following the completion of his military service will begin filming soon overseas. I think this one will actually be fully completed before it airs later this year which is a departure from the usual live shooting process that Korean dramas usually employ.

Song Hye Kyo, Song Joong Ki, Descendants of the Sun, 송혜교
Song Hye Kyo, Song Hye Kyo Elle, Descendants of the Sun, 송혜교

Dinner Made Easy With CookUnity

June 3, 2015
 CookUnity Review, Meal Delivery Service
While we really enjoy dining out and trying out restaurants in New York City, on weeknights, I'm all about home cooked meals since it''s healthier and cheaper. Most weeks I'm pretty good about meal planning and grocery shopping but sometimes when I get busy with work or it's just too hot to turn on the stove, I end up improvising and just throwing quick something together or we order something from Seamless (food delivery service). I've tried recipe meal kit services where pre-measured ingredients are delivered to your door and you just have to cook them but in some cases I found that those meals took even longer to prep than a dinner I would make from scratch which kind of defeated the purpose.

When CookUnity reached out to me a few weeks ago and introduced their service, they got my attention. They partner with local chefs who prepare homemade meals with farm-fresh ingredients. These chefs create specialty dishes featuring an intersection of timeless classics and reimagined recipes. The menu items utilize local and organic ingredients and are balanced both for nutrition and taste.

This definitely sounded appealing so I gave it try. When you go to the Cookunity site, you're presented with their weekly menu which typically consists of two adult meal options and one kids' meal option for each day. One of the adult meals is usually vegetarian friendly. The cuisine choices vary and include authentic meals from different regions of the world. All meals are clearly labeled if they meet certain dietary restrictions like gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, etc. and you can see exactly what goes into each dish. I added my choices, chose a delivery window, entered my address and sat back and waited for my food.

CookUnity Review, Meal Delivery Service

Through My Lens : On Instagram

June 1, 2015
slip-on sneakers, from where I stand

April seemed to breeze by but somehow May felt like it passed even quicker. It was a good month and I might have gotten out more if not for my allergies going crazy at times. Here are some highlights of the month which have been previously posted on Instagram. This is just 13 of 47 photos I posted in the past month so to see more please click on over here. And you can always follow @rolalaloves. I promise I don't spam and I also don't post every single photo from each of my blog posts cause that's kinda spammy as well. The above photo was taken at the Time Warner Center. I thought the green marble floor tiles there looked like water and this juxtaposition almost made it look like I was standing on a ledge over it.

Battery Park City Esplanade
Some real water... a lovely view of the Hudson River from the Battery Park City Esplanade which is one of my favorite places to hang during the warmer months.

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