Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What's Your Fragrance?

A random post...

Ladies, i ponder, are you faithful to your perfume? Or are you a seasonal cheater?
I am most certainly never faithful to my fragrances and i think it all began with my grandmother. She always had an array of beautiful perfume bottles displayed on her dresser. People loved gifting her wonderful fragrances for birthdays and holidays and so from early own, i always felt that you should never smell the same. Anyone else feels the same way?

I remember clearly the first bottle i ever purchased for myself at 13 years of age. I felt so grown up and independent. It was a pharmacy brand, Lady Stetson. I laugh now looking back but i was very proud of my purchase. The first bottle ever gifted to me was by my grandmother, and it was Cabotine Gres Perfume. Cabotine and I we no longer fare well, but i keep a bottle with me for sentimental reasons.  Since then and throughout the years i've had several romances with an abundance of perfumes, some of my favorites by Donna Karan, Estee Lauder, Stella Mccartney and Chanel. As you can see i've been quite adventurous. 

And so the time is here once again, where for the next few weeks i will be hunting for my next perfect fragrance. Tell me, do you do this too?

It's Hump Day Lovers, Rejoice!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hey Guys...

I've been busy with fun little side projects over the last few days that have left me exhausted but happy.
I can't go into much details now but will explain a bit later in the week.  I'll be back pronto.

Happy Tuesday Lovers!



Friday, August 26, 2011


This week i tried something new - i took a chance. I finally gave in and gave Bikram Yoga a try. So far i have no regrets.

Today too, i'm taking another chance. This one is not out of character for me but it's still a bit bizarre... in a good way.  I may or may not blog about it later, but for now as i tell myself, i encourage you too, to try something new today.

Take a chance today.
Have a great weekend lovers.
Make it a great one.

Watch out of Irene East Coast.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Recipe: Homemade Cashew Wine

As you know i was recently in Miami spending time with family. I cherish this time and often use it to pick my grandmother's brain for recipes i used to favor as a child. I remember both her and my grandpa always making meals from scratch. None of this canned/preservative crap. We come from a small city in Nicaragua so much of the preservative stuff wasn't available to us anyhow; everything we ate was natural and super delicious and nutritious. Oh, and the smells from my childhood. Nothing compares.

I already have a few recipes up my sleeves that have been passed down and so here i was looking to add yet another. I asked my grandmother what she had to share this time. She points at a jar of brown liquid and said, that. What is that? That, she says, is Homemade Cashew Wine

Now, i bear in mind that i am sharing this recipe knowing fully well that most of you will not have access to cashews. This fruit is a native of Brazil and only grows in warm temperate climates. So Central and South America... and my grandparents backyard in Miami. Because you know, Miami sometimes feels like another country so this would make sense. (i swear i often feel like i need a passport just to visit family). I digress. 

Here are the steps as instructed to me by my grandmother. Its a lengthy process but the end result is a delicious sweet wine. I did not make this one but i did get to savor the end result and and i promise you, you will not be disappointed.
A little cup of wine in a sea of Cashew Seeds.

*Cashew Wine*
-- You Will Need-
1 doz. Cashews Fruit
1 pack of prunes
6-8 cloves (or Clavo de Olor for my Spanish readers)
Sugar (add to taste)

-- Steps --
Juice the cashews by first cutting and removing the nut/see from fruits. Use a large spoon to squeeze the fruit through a strainer and press to ensure you get the maximum juice.

Transfer juice into a pot and bring to a boil. 
Add the pack of prunes and cloves.
Add sugar to taste (this is sweet wine)
Continue to boil for 3hrs and occasionally skimming away the top foam that forms

Place boiled juice and all its content in a tight air-sealed jar and let it sit out (in the sun preferably) for 24hrs + to ferment. 
After the 24hrs, once again using the strainer, strain the now wine of all prunes and cloves remains.

Finally, transfer the Cashew Wine into a wine bottle, cork, and or serve to your liking. 

Note: Do not be fooled by the word juice. This IS wine and it WILL give you a buzz.  A winner in my book for sure. So there you have it. Are you exhausted? I am. Ha! Enjoy

What an actual Cashew Fruit looks like. 

The end product.


Monday, August 22, 2011

The Switch


So guess who's finally made the switch to iPhone? Yup, this gal right here. I am now the proud owner of an iPhone 4 and i'm like a kid with a brand new toy.  I've been busy playing and downloading loads of apps - i honestly don't know what took me this long. Thankfully i'm not a stranger to the look and feel of this device since i own an iTouch and they are both very similar. I'm so happy with my new toy. 

Next is deciding what case is best for the phone and my clumsy hands. But of course i'm more concerned with the design. After all it must be stylish. I did a little research and i seem to favor Kate Spade's designs. So pretty. The three below are the ones that resonated best with me. They are each $40 a pop. Seems a bit excessive but again, they are oh so pretty.  

So what do you think? Which one should i go for? It would be fun to get all three, no. Yeah, i know.... a bit ambitious of my part. Help me decide, please. 

This week i got a yummy homemade mom approved recipe to share with you. So be sure come back and visit often. 


Thursday, August 18, 2011

DIY Leather Lace Brass Hex Nut Bracelet

This is my very first attempt at a DIY post so bare with me please.

I first saw a version of this adorable brass hex nut bracelet on fellow blogger's 'This is Glamorous' page.  I immediately set out to make my very own but with leather lace. I was pretty convinced someone else had already beat me to the idea although i have yet to see one. My attempt was five months in the making - for the life of me i just could not find brass hex nuts... ok, maybe i wasn't looking hard enough.

On my recent trip to Miami i went straight to the source, my Dad and uncle, both mechanics. If they didn't have it in their shop then all hope was lost. But alas, Dad came to the rescue. Woo Hoo Daddy!!!!

And so here now is my feeble step-by-step attempt at making this bracelet in photos. 

*NOTE: I will be providing my version of the steps in photo however, so that nothing gets lost in translation, i referenced the exact steps as used by This is Glamorous and hereby acknowledge full credit to their blog. Their post was and is 100% what inspired me to attempt my own version. 

Having said that, i invite you to visit the lovely blog page of This is Glamorous which is always filled with beautiful things to stimulate your mind. Please click here for full step by step tutorial on how to make your very own Leather Lace Brass Hex Nut Bracelet

Your Materials: 
~ Leather lace (3 strands at a yard a piece)
~ 18 small brass hex nuts







This was really fun to make and i will be proudly wearing my bracelets for days to come. I hope i inspired you to make your own and good luck!


I Have MY Own...

...Avenue!!! Yeah, that's right. Ha!

My friend tagged me on this photo this morning. I thought it was so perfect i had to share. I have my very own HOOKER Avenue. Ha!

As you can imagine, growing up and throughout the years - even today - my surname has served as the butt for many sessions of joke cracking and belly-full of laughters.... of course always in good fun and never mean-spirited. I am very proud of my surname. :)

Today i'm working on a DYI post that i will share this afternoon. Some of you may have seen something similar in other blogs but i wanted to share because it's my first attempt at making my own. You will see very soon.  ;-)

ps - thank you Gabe. xo


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Good Read

I had a really great DIY project prepared for today's post... prepared in my head at least. But then i got caught up in the story of Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley.  I stayed up till 3am reading until i was done... wallowing in tears of happiness and disappointment. I was truly a sight to see.

'One Day', have you read it? No? Then get to it. And grab a tissue box while you're at it. Let me clarify that its not a sad story... just that some of it is quite relatable....for me at least. This is a great read and i love when a book is able to captivate me this one did. It's been a while. This is certainly going on my list of Sweet Reads. I also plan on catching the movie version of it this afternoon. I hope it doesn't disappoint. Any recommendation on what to read next?

PS - I took this pic while on the beach last week. Do you see my crooked pinky? It's my arch enemy. You try practicing the guitar and or piano with a pinky like that. It's almost ruining my life. ;)

Make it a great one lovers, it's Hump Day!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Things To Do When Your Flight Is Delayed

  • Play the lets find the nearest power outlet to your departure gate, game
  • Charge your computer, ipod, phone, etc
  • Check for the nearest bar (alcohol is a MUST)
  • Proceed to get drunk
  • Check your emails, facebook, twitter, tumblr etc
  • Spend $16+ on a turkey sandwich, chips and ice tea
  • Stack up on magazines
  • Try reading that book you brought along on your trip but never read
  • Scout for a cute single traveler and contemplate the possibilities of flirting
  • Eves drop on other peoples phone conversation and decide that their life is boring
  • Say a silent prayer that the annoying kid running and screaming around non-stop is not on your flight or worse... sitting behind/in-front/next to you
  • Blog.... if you can ;-)

Miami In A Flash

A black sky threatening storm above a beautiful scenery.... this was actually quite metaphorical for my family this past week.

If you read my previous post you will know that my family recently experienced yet another scare with the matriarch of our family. She's been quite ill this past year but you would hardly know as she's ever the sharp, witty and fiercely independent lady. And also quite stubborn in sharing her ailments. Frustrating. Today she's great and we are a bit at ease but it's an ongoing battle; each new day is a triumph... literally. The love of family is STRONG.

With a heavy weight off our shoulders (for the time being), my cousins and i were now able to make the best of our mini girls trip and enjoyed all that South Beach had to offer. It was a first for my little cousin; at 25 it was her first time absorbing and experiencing SOBE. Thrilling for her...a nightmare for me. She's gorgeous and i was afraid i would have to fight-off the flocks of men that surrounded her. Ugh! And besides, I'm not a real fan of SOBE - having lived in Miami a good part of my life i'm SO unimpressed and over it. But we had a good time. We rented bikes, tanned, walked around a bit and just took in the great weather. Free drinks at the Ganservoort and the occasional yummy home cooked meals rounded up our low key trip.

Here are some fun shots of our 5 day getaway. Miami, as you cans see was quite temperamental; bright and beautiful during the mornings and nasty and feisty in the afternoon. The tide was super low. You could literally walk beyond 20 feet and still not have water reach your waist. Perfect!
Moi and my glass of wine. We're almost inseparable.

Side note: i'm very excited and happy with my little blog that could. It's my baby and it has slowly but surely been making strides. Great things ahead.  I also have a couple DIY post coming up between the next couple of weeks that i guarantee you'll love.

Happy Monday Lovers. Make it a great one!
I'm coming home New York.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Life's Agenda

Sometimes life has other plans and you just have to move with the flow. I'm in Miami once more and this time with my cousins for what was intended as a girls trip / let's visit our grandma and spoil her a bit. We imagined daily home cooked breakfast made by us for our grandma, beach filled days, drunken afternoons and yummy dinners.  And then life...

I am grateful to share that our grandma is doing really great today after a few excruciating days of not knowing what to expect. Yes, that bad. And so this short trip did not turn out as planned. We've had to do some alterations. Beaches, drunken afternoons and yummy dinners are still part of the plan, they just now include daily hospital visits and for me... i'm living the life of a nomad. I'm practically living out of the rental car. Yup, showers at the hotel on SOBE and sleepless nights at the hospitals with grams. Whews!

A little faith, prayers and lots of determination has helped our family get through these past eight months. Its been an ongoing battle but the biggest trooper of them all has been our ill matriarch. I've said it before and i will continue to say this, she's one of the most amazing and bravest person i know. Our hero. And with all this i can't help but think that there was a reason why we booked this flight around this time. 

Don't forget to love and SHOW your LOVE for your loved ones DAILY.... for life is fleeting.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011


For what its worth i prefer to live in my little world of oblivion. I purposely don't watch the news  because nothing good comes from it. The world seems so damaged. 

Insomnia took over last night/this morning and so i decided to browsed the news sites....why? My heart is heavy right now... amongst other recent things occupying my mind. Not much i can do - the least i can offer is this song. It's not much but it speaks volumes.  The world needs a hug.

PS. I may be quiet this week. My grandMOM is not doing too well again. Pray.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Day with Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen (British, 1969-2010). Photography: The Metropolitan Museum of Art website.
"I have always loved the mechanics of nature and to a greater or lesser extent my work is always informed by that.”
—Alexander McQueen

'Savage Beauty' Alexander McQueen's extraordinary contributions to the fashion world.

I went during its final days, a weekday to be exact, believing i would avoid the bulk of the line as well as counting on the newly extended hours. I was lucky despite having to wait for two and a half hours as others, i later learned, waited for up to four hours with lines that went far outside the Met's building. That two hour + wait was monumental for me. I don't do lines. Allow me to digress and explain.

Once, during a visit to Disney World with a large group of friends Gilbert, a friend with the group suddenly suffered a "broken leg" (this is all quick thinking and honestly brilliant imagination). Gilbert removed his  right tennis shoes, doubled up on the socks as the rest of us scattered to help him stuff it with napkins. Other's ran off to Disney's customer center to fetch a wheel chair. Gilbert was now injured and out in Disney World with a group of his closest friends and of course... should not be waiting in line (wink wink). So yes, we skipped all of those Disney lines. My point here is that the lines for the McQueen exhibit was like waiting for a ride a Disney World. I replayed that Disney scene in my mind constantly as i shifted my legs from side to side hoping for sweet relief. But i knew better, something like that would never fly at the Met... and not with thousands of jaded new yorkers around.  Now back to McQueen.

The exhibit showcased six spectacular rooms of titillating fashion brilliance: The Romantic Mind, Romantic Gothic & Cabinet of Curiosity, Romantic Nationalism, Romantic Exoticism, Romantic Primitivism, and Romantic Naturalism.  It was difficult to maintain a clear head as you went through each gallery, mainly because you were being herded by the large crowd and it gave little to no time to really absorb the pieces. What i do remember feeling is that McQueen's creations defied the laws of the human body. His imagination was beyond anything i have ever seen. I was struck by each and every one of his costumes. His use of feathers, sea shells and other elements. The bold shapes and cuts. All very daring and complex. I particularly like the fitting quotes throughout the rooms that complemented the collection. 

The beauty of Alexander McQueen's collection is that you don't have to be a fashionista to be able to appreciate what he has created. The architecture of his work goes beyond boundaries and can be appreciated by the least fashion inclined. This is something that is likely to stay embeded in minds for a very long time. The thousands that go through these galleries viewing, admiring, and celebrating his work... truly epic.  And everyone once in a while you reminded with the reality of his death. The sensation was very poignant. A romantic tragedy.

If you were lucky enough to see and experience this exhibit then you can understand how hard-pressed for words i was in constructing this post. There really isn't the right amount of words. This is something that is and must be visually explained. 
"I want to be honest about the world that we live in, and sometimes my political persuasions come through in my work. Fashion can be really racist, looking at the clothes of other cultures as costumes. . . . That’s mundane and it’s old hat. Let’s break down some barriers.”
—Alexander McQueen

If you were not able to make it, the Met offers this great eight minutes video tour. Enjoy!

Friday, August 5, 2011

*Dirty Thirty*

Yesterday was Denise's 30th Birthday.

Happy 30th Denise and welcome to the dirty life! 

Yes, i promise that your 30's will be so much better than your 20's. Give it a chance and let "it" embrace you. Personally i found that once here things were less trivial where before i let them consume me. I am much more aware and have much more respect for the caliber of people i surround myself with... that is why i am so happy to call you my friend and to have you in my life. You will forever be my #1 travel buddy and the best roommate i ever had. Love you madly. Happy Birthday!

Happy Friday Everyone and have a Super Weekend!
I  think this is beach weather, no. Run get your swimsuits ready and your sunblock. I challenge you all to a Tan-off!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

One Silver Dollar

'River of no Return', it's been years since i last saw this film and remember mostly nothing of the plot.  All i remember is Marilyn Monroe... and why wouldn't i? She's phenomenal. This film and its music was recently brought back to my attention thanks to The Kills

My twitter feed was all abuzz yesterday with The Kills cover version of 'One Silver Dollar' a song taken from the film. And it was wonderful. They did a beautiful job. I want this version for my iPod. But all that said, you know there's nothing better than the original, right? It's more magical that way.

Below is Marilyn Monroe's 'One Silver Dollar' and this link will direct you to The Kills versions. Both rightfully amazing.

It's Humpday Lovers, Rejoice!!!!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

An Inside Look... all my pretty things.

I've seen other bloggers do this - where they give you a personal insight of their cosmetic drawer or their jewelry box. I always liked the concept and have wanted to share some of my goodies as well - unfortunately my collection of cosmetics is nothing to brag about. My costume jewelry collection on the other hand is another story.

I've been collecting pieces of these divine gems since i was 15 years old - some still in very good condition - as well as some newly added pieces my grandmother has passed on to me. I am really proud of what i have achieved to date and continue to add new pieces as i think fit. My fascination of the past couple of years have been cocktail rings. I'm always on the search for the perfect most unique one.

What i'm showing you here does not even begin to explain what i have. It's ridiculous. What's more ridiculous is that i am a repeat offender. So here, a glimpse of my costume jewelry collection.  Hope ya like.
These are my day-to-day necklaces that i've hung on my bathroom wall with push pins. I have a great cosmetic counter to work with and once i'm done, it's easy to just turn around and select a piece to accentuate my costume.

This is a rather small view of my bangles and cuffs. I have tons. Friends and family love to gift me these. They're everywhere. They are taking over!

My cocktail rings and my earrings are my more classic pieces... and the ones that i cherish the most. A few of these here were given to me by my Grandma. LOVE her!

And finally here is where most of my costume jewelry goes to die. Those other three drawers you see there are a tangled mess of earrings, necklaces and whatnot.

I have about three other jewelry boxes filled with costume jewelry placed around my bedroom and my bathroom. And i often complain that i have nothing cute to accentuate my outfits. Ha!


Monday, August 1, 2011

Vintage Find: SpenderDress

Introducing my SpenderDress 

I like finding thrift shop and street market vintage treasures just as much as the next person, but i'm also quite weary in doing so. These items obviously had previous owners (clothing in particular) and no matter how much i invest in dry cleaning, i often let my imagination get the worst of me. Lets just leave it at that. 

Item of clothing are much more difficult for me to pick up... random intricate jewelry or house accents are a different story. But every once in a while there's an exception. Like in this and this previous post... and the instance below. This is a winning situation all around. 

This vintage SpenderDress (as the boys at the bar i frequent have lovingly dubbed), i found on a side walk street market located on Houston... i would say near perhaps near Sullivan or Thompson (its near a church). The street vendors are there most of the time during the weekend.

As you can see, I think it actually falls under the category of a skort (horrible name). I wore it with a plain white wife beater (another horrible name) and Jessica Simpson platforms.

The only imperfection i found were the lack of pockets. Pockets would have been nice. 

It has a very intricate brocade finish with a lot of character in the print. You can catch hints of boxes and hearts in the white scribbles.

My spenderdress was a mere $20. Yup, $20. I struck gold! I've had it for over a month now and just recently got around to hemming the bottom, taking away two inches off the original lenght. So what do you think? Do you think I did good?

PS. Sorry for the poor photo quality. These were taken with photo booth and lovingly enhanced with instagram. Ha!