SUMMER VACATION: CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Sorry it has been so long since I last blogged. I promise from now on I will try to blog at least once a week. Thank you for still keeping up with my post. Even though I’ve been MIA, you guys are still very supportive. I am sure the last time you heard from me was regarding my boutique. Anyways, lets get straight to my post for today.

I recently went on a trip with my husband to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. This was our first time here and we had a great experience. We chose a very nice resort. It did not have a bunch of teens or college kids like Cancun. We stayed at Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach private resort. It is crazy how huge this resort is. They have 2 markets and like 6 pools (I think). The beach was beautiful but we really couldn’t swim because of the current. The weather was beautiful during the day but chilly at night. Of course… I did not check the forecast before packing, so we did not bring any sweaters or jackets to keep us warm at night.

We then did the activity boat where it took us out to Lover’s Beach. Can I say how beautiful it was. The view was just awesome! The trip was definitely not long enough but hopefully next time we will be able to take our kids to enjoy the trip. We said to each other that this was going to be our last trip with just us, the next one will be as a family with our two kiddos. I definitely recommend this place if you plan to visit Cabo. I can’t begin to tell you how awesome this resort is. They have over 500 rooms and they navigate around by driving golf carts. They even have a free shuttle to take you to their sisters hotel. All in all, our vacation was relaxing and fun! What are you doing this summer?

DAY ONE

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Our beautiful view!

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The food was delish! I know we got sushi, but they really make some awesome sushi!!!

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DAY TWO

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One of the sister’s hotel that we visited. Very beautiful!

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Our little adventure to Lover’s Beach. By Day 3 we decided to leave the camera in the room and have some relaxation by the pool with some mojitos. We also enjoy relaxing at the cigar bar with great wine and beautiful music. We definitely plan to visit again!

CHECK OUT MY BOUTIQUE

Hello all,

I am back again. I have been occupied with my boutique that I actually have not have time to post. Well, I figured that I would post today and what’s a better post then to let you guys know what I have been doing. I have been putting out my heart and time for this children boutique that I created. It is called: smboutique | a chic children’s boutique. Here is a little info about us:

Smboutique offers high fashion and unique products for your little ones which reflects the latest trend in pop culture. We provide high fashion products that will not be found at any retail stores. Every item is chosen carefully to offer high quality and style to compliment your child. Our mission is to provide everyone with the most rewarding online shipping experience ever. Whether it is a place to find the perfect gift or even something special for your little ones. Smboutique will always provide you with the most up to date products and best possible service.

For all the mothers out there, check it out! We do have a promotion going on right now, which includes a 20% off entire purchase until June 21, 2013. You can also add me on instagram: shopsmboutique or facebook.com/sweetmelange22 – we will be doing a giveaway on one of our item when we reach 1,000 likes on FB. Stay tuned. I promise I will post more DIYs and recipes soon. Please bare with me. 🙂

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CITRUS TUNA TARTARE RECIPE

Hello lovelies!

Sorry I have not posted anything up the last several days. I have been so busy with getting the boutique up and also merging my old blog to my new blog in order for it to be linked from the shop. Yeah, I have a lot going on… But I promise I am now back and will do daily updates. I am not sure if you all got my last post regarding my move to: https://sweetmelangeblog.wordpress.com. So for all of my readers, please follow me on the new one because that will be the only way you will get an email when I post.

Anyways, how was everyone Mother’s day? I had a wonderful day spending it with my family. Here are some pictures from last week. Below is a pictures of my kids and on the right side is a picture of Chloe and my parents. Look how young and cute my parents are. I love them!

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Today I will be showing you how to make my all time favorite, tuna tartare. The husband and I both love sushi and we could eat it every day if it wasn’t so expensive. Now once in a while I do enjoy making my own sushi at home. Yes, I loved it so much that I learned how to roll up the sushi and make myself a roll. It’s actually not that hard but very time consuming. Now the Tuna Tartare is definitely easier to make then rolling up some sushi. First you want to make sure you buy fresh tuna. You don’t want to buy it frozen because it can actually make you sick if you consumed it raw. I usually purchase mine at either Central Market or Whole Foods. Make sure you get the Yellow Fin Ahi Tuna. So let’s get started!

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Ingredients

¼ cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice (about 1 orange)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)

½ tablespoon water

½ tablespoon sweet rice wine

Dash of crushed red pepper

¼ teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

¼ teaspoon sesame seeds

4 green onions, thinly sliced

1 shallot, diced

½ pound sushi-grade yellow fin ahí tuna, chopped into ¼ to ½ inch cubes

1 can mandarins 1 avocado, chopped into ¼ to ½ inch cubes

Directions

Add soy sauce, orange juice, lemon juice, water, sweet rice wine, red pepper, ginger, sesame seeds, onions, and shallot in a bowl and whisk until combined. Marinate the tuna in the soy mixture for a couple of minutes. Put a cookie cutter on a serving plate and pack with avocado until it’s about ½ inch high. Slowly pull the cookie cutter up a little bit and pack with tuna pieces about ½ inch high. Slowly pull the cookie cutter up a little bit more and pack with mandarin pieces. Slowly remove cookie cutter. Repeat until all tuna is used. Serve with bagel chips, rice chips, or whatever you please.

MOST BENEFICIAL SUPERFOOD: 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. Let me know in the comment section below, if you have any plans for this summer.  

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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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 the 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 store runs 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! Let me know if you like any of these products mentioned, in the comment section below.

CIRCUS THEMED BIRTHDAY PARTY

Hello Everyone!  Today’s post will be dedicated to all you party planners out there. I put this birthday party together for my daughter’s 3rd birthday two years ago. It was a Big Top Circus Carnival party. It took me several months to plan and make all the decorations. It was a lot of work but yet so much fun. We served hot dogs, snow cones, nachos, chips, lemonade and TONS of sweets. We also had Groovy the Clown who did face painting and fun games with awesome prizes.

It was one heck of a day! I was eight months pregnant with my second child. I was on my feet all day and hosting on an empty stomach, but towards the end of the day, my 3-year-old ran up to me, gave me a hug and said, ‘Mommy, I love you. Thank you for my party’. Those words were enough to make me full. Definitely worth going through all that trouble to celebrate the day my baby was born.

Come one, Come all

To the Greatest Show on Earth

Welcome to Chloe’s Circus Carnival of fun…

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These are all the items I put together myself with the assistance of The Mr., who was definitely a big help throughout the party.

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I made this guest book so guest can line up to have their Polaroid photo taken. They will then tape it on the guest book and write a little message for the birthday girl, but unfortunately, the Polaroid that I purchased wasn’t working. So I ended up using it as her photo album.

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The colorful centerpieces I made for the tables.

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 I inflated colorful beach balls and set them inside the moonwalk.

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Our yummy desserts… I had cotton candy bags, gummy worms, Pixi Stix, cupcakes and caramel apples that I made.

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We served hot dogs, nachos, chips, snow cones and lemonade.

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Here is the birthday girl with Groovy the Clown.

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It was time to sing ‘Happy Birthday’!

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And here is the rainbow cake that I made…

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If you want the rainbow cake recipe, let me know. Thank you for reading. You all have a wonderful weekend!