Lifestyle

MOST BENEFICIAL SUPERFOODS: HEALTHY FOOD YOU SHOULD BE EATING

I recently read in an article about some super foods that are proven to help fight disease and also help boost energy. I thought this will be something great to write about. Sometimes we lack the importance of foods that we need to consume to ensure a healthy lifestyle. Even I forget what is important. But when you become a mother, you want to make sure that the family intake healthy foods.

Salmon

salmon fillet

Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and also have a great source of vitamin D, which has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, great skin, and aiding weight loss. Omega-3 also slows the rate of digestion, which helps us consume fewer calories. Bake it in the oven on 400 degrees for 15 minutes and add in a side of vegetables and you got yourself a healthy meal.

Broccoli

broccoli

One medium stalk of broccoli contains more than 100 percent of your daily vitamin K requirement and almost 200 percent of your recommended daily dose of vitamin C — two essential bone-building nutrients. The same serving also helps stave off numerous cancers. For maximum disease-fighting benefits, steam the veggies. By steaming the veggies, you are killing fewer nutrients then by microwaving it.

Avocados

avocados

Avocados are rich in healthy, satisfying fats proven in one study to lower cholesterol by about 22 percent. One has more than half the fiber.  It may help reduce your risk of heart disease. Avocados are a bit high in calories, so make sure to avoid weight gain, use avocado in place of another high-fat food or condiment, such as cheese or mayo. Adding it to your salad can increase the absorption of key nutrients like beta-carotene by three to five times compared with salads without.

Lemons

lemons

Just one lemon has more than 100 percent of your daily intake of vitamin C, which may help increase “good” HDL cholesterol levels and strengthen bones. Citrus flavonoids found in lemons may help inhibit the growth of cancer cells and act as an anti-inflammatory. Add a slice of lemon to your green tea, water, or even sparkling water. Yum!

Dark Chocolate

dark chocolate

Just one-fourth of an ounce daily can reduce blood pressure. Cocoa powder is rich in flavonoids, antioxidants shown to reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol and increase “good” HDL levels. So next time if you want to binge, it is okay to have a piece of dark chocolate. You no longer have to feel guilty. Cheers to that!!

Walnuts

walnuts 

Out of all the nuts, walnuts contain the most omega-3 fatty acids, which may help reduce cholesterol. Now Omega-3s have been shown to improve mood and fight cancer; they may protect against sun damage, too but of course still use sunscreen. The key is moderation, since nuts are high in calories. Keep a jar of chopped nuts in your fridge, and sprinkle a tablespoon on cereal, salads, stir-fries, or yogurt. Or have an ounce as a snack most days of the week.

Spinach

spinach

Spinach contains Lutein and Zeaxanthin, two immune-boosting antioxidants important for eye health and also cancer-fighting. Spinach is also rich in iron, which helps deliver oxygen to your cells for energy. Do you remember Popeye? Well it is true, spinach also helps build up stronger muscles. I love to blend some spinach into my smoothies. Try blending 1 cup spinach, 1 cup peach, 1 banana, 1 cup apple juice, and ice. Whola! You get the best source of both worlds.

Beans

beans

Eating a serving of beans, peas, and lentils four times a week can lower your risk of heart disease by 22 percent. They are loaded with proteins and dozens of key nutrients that most women fall short on:  which is calcium, potassium, and magnesium. It also helps lower the risk of breast cancer, high cholesterol, and type-2 diabetes.  A great recipe to make with beans is the stuffed bell peppers recipe I posted recently.

SUMMER VACATION: CANCUN, MEXICO

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

I cannot believe it is May and that summer is sneaking in. I know everyone is probably thinking: What to do this summer? Where to go this summer? If you are looking for a perfect vacation, Mexico is an ideal destination. I know the media is constantly reporting that it is an unsafe country to travel to. Please do not be discourage, you can still have a perfect Mexico vacation if you go to the right places. Cancun is one of the popular getaways.

My husband and I went to Cancun about two years ago and I really enjoyed my time there. Beautiful beaches, awesome nightclubs, and fun adventures. The highlight of my vacation is staying at Le Blanc Spa Resort. Le Blanc is one of the best resorts in Cancun. I guarantee that you will enjoy your stay, where luxury reaches its pinnacle and service is simultaneously warm, genuine, and unbelievable. The property is beautiful and well kept up, the rooms are very comfortable, the all-inclusive dining options are fantastic, the pools are beautiful as is the beach and the staff is very attentive.

When we check-in, we received cool towels and coconut drinks. I was already in awe. The room and service was truly outstanding. The food was fantastic and plentiful. Let me stop the mumbling and start showing you the pictures. Overall, I will definitely go back to Cancun and stay at Le Blanc again. Hopefully, in a couple of years. Now I forgot to mention that this resort is an all-inclusive ADULT only. I am sorry if you do plan to travel with the kids. I am sure there are other resorts in Cancun that is kid friendly.

Our beautiful resort!

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Dinner at one of their fancy restaurants. Follow by, a fire show by the pool.

There was always some sort of show at the hotel every night.

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I can literally wake up to this every morning. The sounds of the waves… Just beautiful!

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12

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One of our adventure in Cancun: Snorkeling.

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The view from our balcony.

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The end. I hope this help gives you an idea on where to go this summer.

APRIL FAVORITES

I cannot believe April is almost over and we are heading into May. Which means summer is approaching soon… The next several months is definitely going to be super busy. But I am thrilled to announce that I will be going to Cabo San Lucas with my husband next month. It will be my first time there and I am super excited. Ekk. Anyways, here is a little review of my April favorites:

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1. NARS Eye Shadow in Galapagos – This is one of my favorite crease color. It is highly pigmented and the color applies on smoothly. I love this shade!

2. Maybelline Master Shape Brow Pencil– I love this brow pencil! This is probably the fourth brow pencil that I have bought. So you can tell that this is one of my favorite. The great thing about this pencil is that it has a waxy texture, which keeps the eyebrows hair stay in place and resistance to smudging. And the spool is great for blending and brushing. The only negative side to this brow pencil is when you need to sharpen it, it gets a little difficult.

3. L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara in Black Smoke – This is by far one of my favorite mascara besides the original L’Oreal Voluminous mascara. I have been using this for the last months and it really gives my lashes that full definition. This one lengthens AND gives volume; most do one or the other.

4. E.l.f Contouring Blush & Bronzer – This is one of my newest favorite bronzer & blush. I love that it is a duo compact, which means less to carry in my make-up bag. It’s amazing for contouring! It gives me a subtly tanned look but not overdoing it. The blush is pretty but a little too shimmery. Such a perfect pair!

5. NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Liquid Foundation -I love this product. I’ve tried expensive brands like MAC, Make Up For Ever, etc. but they are just okay. So I decided to purchase this and I fell in love with it. I have really oily skin and was looking for a foundation that gives me full coverage. The awesome part, it is inexpensive.

6. Glytone Hydrate Conditioning Cream – Best moisturizer ever! This is a great moisturizer that does not clog up the pores and gives you breakouts. It leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth. And it has clarifying properties!

7. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer – By far the best concealer! The sponge applicator allows me to apply where necessary and then I tap away with my finger to blend. It brightens up my eyes and covers any blemishes.

8. Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray – I love this stuff. It was actually my first time using it last week at the wedding and my makeup really last. Towards the end of the day my makeup looks like it did in the beginning. It keeps your face fresh looking all night long.

9. Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler – I love this eyelash curler. It fits my eyelid and never pinches my skin. It curls real well and also makes them pop.

10. MAC Satin Taupe Eye Shadow – The most gorgeous shade. It doesn’t crease, even without a primer, and it is so easy to blend! Definitely a must have eye shadow. You can dress it down with neutrals or glam up with smoky shades.

11. NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Powder – I use this powder after applying my NYX foundation as a setting powder. It gives me a great smooth finish as well as provides coverage. It also keeps shine to a minimum.

12. L’Oreal Infallible the Super Slim in Black – This liquid eyeliner is great, especially for beginners. I have been wearing liquid eyeliner for a while but I use brush tip and it was hard to get the perfect line, but THIS makes it extremely easy to apply and the tip is perfect. I actually went out to buy two more just to have in case the stores run out.

13. Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion in Eden – This is the best primer ever!!! It really keeps my eye shadow on all day and without creasing. Blends and spread easily. I know this is crazy but it is also great to use for under eye circles. I love, love, love this product.

I hope you enjoyed this month’s edition of favorites!

GIVEAWAY WINNER ANNOUCED!!!

The winner of the one month giveaway is…..

plan212@gmail.com

Congrats to plan212!!! Please email me your mailing address at sweetmelange@live.com to collect your prize. If I do not get a response from the winner within the next couple of days, I will try again for another winner. However, thanks to EVERYONE who entered! Please don’t feel discouraged if your name was not selected. I will have more giveaways in the future.

winner giveaway

ONE MONTH GIVEAWAY – (CLOSED)

Thank you so much for reading and following my blog. You guys are the best!! Today marks one month since I blogged and I thought this is a great time to do a giveaway for everyone that have been so supportive and keeping up with my nonsense. Please read to enter the giveaway, which is ONLY open to the US! I will do more giveaways soon, so stick around for the next one. Please share with all your family & friends and get them to enter in as well!

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***GIVEAWAY RULES*** Step 1: MUST Like me on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/sweetmelange22 Step 2: MUST Follow me on my website – http://www.sweetmelange.com Step 3: MUST be 18 years or older or have parents permission if under the age of 18 Step 4: Leave a comment on my Facebook page telling me what you would like for me to blog about. (You may comment as many times as you’d like as long as you do not repeat the same comment to prevent spam. The more you comment, the more likely you’ll win.) Step 4: Giveaway starts today, March 11, 2013 till March 25, 2013 at 9PM CST. Step 5: USA ONLY!!! (I will do an International contest in the future)

        – I will announce the winner on my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/sweetmelange22. The winner will be chosen randomly.        – NOT SPONSORED. I bought all the items with my own money.        – The winner will receive a Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette, Forever21 Flower Studded Earrings, Forever21 Floral Print Makeup Bag, Maybelline Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm Cherry Me & my DIY Tinted Lip Balm.

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GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

xoxo, sweetmelange

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!!! Wishing you all a day filled with love and gifts. Here are some pictures from last year’s Valentine’s (except for the flowers; it was delivered by The Mr. this morning). Anyways, Enjoy!

 flower

steak

strawberries fondue

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY

Happy Saturday Everyone! This past weekend The Mr. and I celebrated our fifth year anniversary at The Pass & Provision on Taft St. in Houston, Texas. Here are some facts about this restaurant: it consists of two different sides: one side is a casual dining and the other side is an intimate dining. We had reservation for The Pass, which is an intimate dining area with an awesome view into a working kitchen, which is always a plus for me because I can definitely see all the action that is going on back there. The menu consists of two tasting menus offered of either five-courses or eight-courses.

I do not know where to begin. Let’s start by saying I can not believe it’s been five years of marriage. Oh boy, has time fly. I am definitely very blessed for such a great and supportive husband, who’s been there with me through thick and thin. I have to say it has been an incredible five years. However, enough about my marriage, back to the review of the restaurant. I definitely have to mention what great service we got there. I cannot describe how nice and pleasant all the staffs are. When we checked into the restaurant we were welcomed by a manager who walked us to our table and brought out complimentary champagne for our anniversary dinner. The Mr. and I chose the eight course menu with the pairings. All eight dishes were wonderful and beautifully prepared. Every dish was complemented with a nice pairing. After nine glasses of wine and champagne and endless conversation with The Mr., I have to say it was a wonderful anniversary. Towards the end of the night, I was just glad to be spending it with him.

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This was not on the menu but was served to help the taste buds open up.

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Foie Gras ‘ol Fashioned/Salmon/Nasturtium Soup: A small salmon canapé with a foamed nasturtium soup shooter and Foie Gras bourbon jelly. The bourbon jelly was not appetizing at all.

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Kaeshi Egg: A perfectly soft-set egg with shaved mushroom, bonito, grated black truffle, deliciously crunchy mushroom ”gravel”. (The Mr.’s favorites of the night)

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Nori Bucatini/Tofu/Ugni/Clams: Bucatini wrapped around silken tofu, withsalmon roe, sea urchin foam, hamachi, clam, edible flowers.

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Tar Tar/Yolk/Marrow Brioche: Beef tar tar with bone marrow salt, served with a wonderful, warm house-made brioche roll. (Definitely my favorite of the night)

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French (onion soup) Toast/Onion Variations: Onion ice cream, some sort of onion like stuff, caramelized onion and onion chips. (There is not “soup” involved in this dish.)

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Headcheese/Bread (blood) Pudding/Candied Apple: The meat was definitely very satisfying and had an appetizing savory bite to it.

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Egg custard ice cream/Shaved ice/Cream soda syrup: This was also not on the menu but given to us to try. It was definitely yummy, I was not a fan of the syrup soda but the cream “yolk” was awesome.

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Milk Chocolate: Milk chocolate mixed with some sort of liquor. This one fell flat all around, including the appearance. (Our least favorite)

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Macarons: These resembled macarons in appearance but not in texture and not in taste.  Tasted like sweet cheese whiz type. Out of the three, I only liked two and sadly had to say, I took a bite of the last one and definitely had to throw it out.

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Petit Fours: Fruit chews and lemon cake. By this course, we were definitely too full to eat, so we packed it to-go.

I apologize for the quality of the pictures. I only brought my iPhone that day and forgot to bring the camera.

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