Archives for category: Food

Sevilla is something else. Being a California girl, I love me some sunshine, and especially cities that are close to large bodies of water (read: oceans or seas). Sevilla, (‘Sah-vee-yah’ – if you know anything about Spanish – and Seville ‘Sah-vill’ if your native tongue is English), on the other hand is not an oceanfront city. It has the Guadalquivir river running through it and due to where it is located in proximity to the equator it has plenty of sunshine at a time of year that most European countries are lacking the vital vitamin D. So you can imagine after enduring 5 very long winter months in the Czech Republic how one could be more than anxious to absorb some sun and see beautiful spring blossoms come April in Sevilla.

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My boyfriend, being Spanish, and knowing my wanderlusting and fashionista heart planned a trip to Sevilla for us both. It must be mentioned though that he is just the absolute funnest – is that a word? He kept the destination of our trip a secret until I could guess; only giving hints every other day beforehand and allowing me one question every day until I could guess the place correctly. After narrowing down that it was 1) in Spain and 2) during a very special week in this mystery city, I started my research. 

I came upon La Féria de Abril – a week long beautiful Spanish culture festival. Here is Wikipedia’s definition which is quite accurate (after having attended): 

“For the duration of the fair, the fairgrounds and a vast area on the far bank of the Guadalquivir River are totally covered in rows of casetas (individual decorated marquee tents which are temporarily built on the fairground). These casetas usually belong to prominent families of Seville, groups of friends, clubs, trade associations and political parties. From around nine at night until six or seven the following morning, at first in the streets and later only within each caseta, there are crowds partying and dancing sevillanas, drinking Sherry, manzanilla or rebujito, and eating tapas. This fair also has an amusement park that comes with it and has lots of games to play along with roller coasters to ride.”

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Now, enough about La Feria de Abril and a little more about what I’m actually here to talk about: my spa day at AIRE – even though, I’ll be sharing a lot of photos from the fair at the bottom of this post!

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I have visited two of this company’s other locations: New York (once) & Barcelona (twice). So for me to be checking out another location was quite exciting, especially because each of the locations has its own unique layout due to always being built in a historic building and in the city’s best neighborhood. The one thing that isn’t different, the incredibly surreal feeling this spa brand/concept invokes.

This time at AIRE I was accompanied by “my couple” – as my boyfriend calls me. Spanish to English term? European term? Still haven’t figured that out but I like it nonetheless! I think he means “partner”.

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Upon entering, after a photo-op outside the spa in the famous alleyways of Sevilla, we were greeted by the front desk and management who gave us a warm welcome. We were then led through the sunny and quaint interior courtyard to a stairwell with a beautifully carved wood ceiling where we ascended to the second level where the entrance to the men and women’s locker room was and where we changed into our swim attire. Side note: I was distraught because I forgot my bikini. This visit, with the view and photo-op you’re about to see, was the reason I purchased it, but thank heavens AIRE has a black one piece swimsuit you can use if something like this happens. Distraught I tell you. One job, and I mess up; nobody’s perfect I guess. Anyway! 

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After changing, my “couple” and I met at the entrance of the locker room where an attendant was waiting to escort us down into the bathing facilities which would be enjoyed prior to our individual 30 minute massages and wine bath. Yes, I said a bath in wine. 

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The baths layout was bit tighter in some walkways than in the other AIRE locations I have been in; AIRE makes up for this with the vaulted ceiling in the transparent blue and glowing warm pool whose walls are a deep burgundy red and where you can find a giant Moroccan style chandelier hanging just heads-height over the water giving an otherworldly dimension to the space.

We alternated between pools, plunges and the jacuzzi before being escorted to a private glass-doored vault-like room that contained a wall entirely for the storage of wine bottles and, best of all, the large stone basin where we would be enjoying our wine bath. Unfortunately I was not able to get photos in the premises of the baths this time around.

A few steps up into the stone basin allowed us to descend into the deep washtub where the faucet was on and gushing red wine into the tub; pouring onto our feet and quickly around our bodies – just amazing. I felt like a goddess. The wine bath experience is paired with a shoulder, neck and head massage and then topped off with a glass of wine and healthy snack and a few extra private minutes to enjoy the wine waters.

If the current state of euphoria wasn’t at it’s precipice, it was heightened when after the wine bath we were ushered to our own room where we would then enjoy a private 30 minute massage in dark aromatic room on one of the upper levels of the building. The thing I love about an AIRE massage is the, quite literally, finishing touches. When they remove your bikini strap from off your shoulder it is a delicate and sensual removal. When they remove the towel, they slowly and intimately let the last fiber of the towel touch your skin. When they are done massaging a section of your body they almost tickle your skin with the last bit of their fingers. Dare I say it’s a bit erotic? In any case it’s gentle and is a smooth transition to the preceding action, leaving you to continue feeling relaxed.

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After being awoken back into reality, I was met in the hallway by my couple where we were then taken to the picturesque terrace that included a rooftop pool, awaiting us in privacy, with the Cathedral and Giralda Tower just off in the viewable blue-sky distance. A pair of sunglasses might have been nice at this moment though. After being in darkness for over an hour and a half and the re-immerging into a sunny atmosphere with reflective water and white architecture surrounding us, my sensitive blue eyes could hardly take in all that there was to see!

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One of the staff members brought us not only our choice of wine with grapes, cheese and bread bites but also two flutes of champagne. Needless to say, the state of euphoria I was in 45 minutes ago was brought to a state of ecstasy. AIRE does it again – bringing otherworldly bliss to earth. We snapped a few photos and video, shared some sweet moments together and then gathered ourself to prepare for the rest of our short stay in Sevilla.

All in all, Sevilla is incredible. I love the people all across Spain. The sunshine, the spring air was much needed. La Feria de Abril was incredible; having my partner’s friends there to experience the fair with made it all the merrier. We stayed at the Mercer Hotel which was impeccably designed (minus the squeaky bed and frames that randomly fell off the wall). I cannot wait to enjoy more time in this part of Andalusia and explore all it has to offer!

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“Perspective gives us the ability to accurately contrast the large with the small, and the important with the less important. Without it we are lost in a world where all ideas, news, and information look the same. We cannot differentiate, we cannot prioritize, and we cannot make good choices.”
– John Sununu


 

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It’s interesting… to summarize it generically: this whole traveling / world-away-from-home life. Like the quote above says, this perspective, this paradigm I have introduced myself into…this “discomfort” as some might choose to think of it, has made me become, quite ironically, zenful and sickeningly happy – which puts me in a place where I am enjoying the ability to internally and rationally assess the good and the bad in my life, the good and the bad that tries to come into my life, and the good and the bad that I want to either keep or let go of immediately. As well as the things that require my immediate attention in order to continue improving my life and experiences.

What’s interesting also, is how being in this season of my life, this place in the world (Prague, Czech Republic), I am able to really narrow in on the tiniest of moments that bring me happiness in a way that I never have before. It’s as if reality becomes a slow-mo and as the beautiful moment happens it’s like a glowing orb lights up within me and glows around me the size of a willow tree and just burns with pure brightness. It’s incredible. And as hippy-dippy as it sounds, it’s beautiful. On the daily, I am understanding attitude and happiness is a choice more than ever. It’s transcendental. It’s love. It’s eternity.

Materialistically I’ve also been able to narrow in on the most “basics” of my human needs…i.e. hygienic necessities, work attire, healthy food options, utilitarian clothes for a winter season, amount of space I need to live in this world and my interests. Coming from a self-proclaimed “fashionista”…it’s an experience I am appreciating very much. Having a minor in Environment & Society and approaching the time in my life I will buy a home…it’s a valuable, humbling lesson.

I’m dealing with friends unfollowing me at a rate I don’t understand. This happened last time I was traveling abroad. What am I doing to deserve that? What am I doing wrong? Not staying in touch? Doesn’t the phone/internet go both ways? Do you not like what I am posting? Some say it’s envy. I challenge that and say people need to learn to be happy for others – and figure out why they are uncomfortable sharing in others joys and change their life. After all, happiness is a choice – an inside job – a job YOU are the captain of!

So after all I said above, I can’t be bothered. Because there are people in my life who do continue to care, and who equally stay in touch and are supportive of allowing my personal/career life to live out it’s own course with no judgements or preconceived convictions. People with good vibes. And truthfully, if they bow out of the friendship that is their choice. I just have to remember their decision when and if they want to come back into my life. I’m all about loyalty. & I also believe friendships have their own course and sometimes chapter in life. What I do know is that when I have fete’s in my life that I want to celebrate, I only want people there who have never bowed out. It’s called boundaries. Just as in any relationship there are things you will tolerate and things you won’t.

Quality over quantity. Perspective above contentment.

So below are some quotes that really struck a chord within me when searching for words that I could relate to during this time in my life. And I felt like sharing!

 

Perspective Quotes:

“I believe everyone should have a broad picture of how the universe operates and our place in it. It is a basic human desire. And it also puts our worries in perspective.”
– Stephen Hawking
“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”
– Ernest Hemingway
“Winners have the ability to step back from the canvas of their lives like an artist gaining perspective. They make their lives a work of art / an individual masterpiece.”
– Denis Waitley

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.”
-Horace Walpole
“The only thing you sometimes have control over is perspective. You don’t have control over your situation. But you have a choice about how you view it. “
-Chris Pine
“Sometimes we may ask God for success, and He gives us physical and mental stamina. We might plead for prosperity, and we receive enlarged perspective and increased patience, or we petition for growth and are blessed with the gift of grace. He may bestow upon us conviction and confidence as we strive to achieve worthy goals.”
– David A. Bednar
“Perspective is everything when you are experiencing the challenges of life.”
– Joni Eareckson Tada
“Never write about a place until you’re away from it, because that gives you perspective”
– Ernest Hemingway
“There are seasons in life. Don’t ever let anyone try to deny you the joy of one season because they believe you should stay in another season… Listen to yourself. Trust your instincts. Keep your perspective. “
-Jane Clayson
“Faith gives you an inner strength and a sense of balance and perspective in life.”
-Gregory Peck
“Everybody that listens to something hears it differently from their own perspective. And you can’t please everyone. Don’t even try. Please yourself first and then try to please those people around you that you feel know what you’re doing.”
-Buddy DeFranco
“Traveling gives you some perspective of what the rest of the world is like. I think that having the courage to step out of the norm is the most important thing.”
-Meghan Markle

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetI’m “traveling” right now and one of the surest ways for me to feel “at home” is to eat the things my stomach agrees with. I’m 30 so I’m pretty much at the point where I have figured out my bodies internal temperaments and I understand what keeps me lean, not bloated, and nourished. Luckily, getting lost in translation with a Slovak foreign-to-me-entirely-language, doesn’t mean food looks different – and(!) there are grocery stores here in the Czech Republic too! Who woulda thunk? 😉

I receive a lot of recipe emails because well, I love throwing my favorite things together in a new form so I’ve signed up for too many websites to send me recipes to try. And occasionally one looks so good that I have to try it and then the recipe will usually stick in my brain forever once I try it (rare. bad memory) . Hence, I love finding a reason to try new things in the kitchen. #happyplace #braincookbook

@HealthGuide sent me a recipe for Chickpea Roasted Sweet Potato and it was love at first read and sight. It became my next recipe mission.

The next time I went grocery shopping down the street (10 minute chilly walk) I picked up a few of my staples…given: I cannot tell what is organic or the most “honest”/transparent brand of food, (whatevs!…gotta pick my battles right now, and being fed at a decent level is acceptable by me for now) as well as picked up the ingredients for this super yummy recipe, aforementioned.

I was intrigued because it had roasted chickpeas – I looove anything the least bit crunchy (or burnt) and smushy like a bean. Yum! I eat sweet potatoes all week long. And can’t resist the punch a good hummus can bring. It might seem like theres a lot of “smush” going on with the potato and chickpeas but add in the soy (or almond) milk to the hummus with the minced garlic and onions, and this one gets it in the bag, literally.

Long story short, I made the recipe and it was bomb.com. Everything including the lemon pepper chicken breast that I stove top baked and the side salad I prepped took one hour. And here I am now posting the recipe to share because it. was. that. good. Trust.

Try it if you don’t believe me:

https://www.healthiguide.com/recipe/chickpea-roasted-sweet-potato/

 

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Owning my own spa and wellness center has always been on my radar, so it’s no coincidence when I stumble upon centers of the like. There are so many routes and niches that you can create when entering into the holistic and pampering industry. So when I discovered The Springs LA on Instagram I was intrigued. It encompasses a few things that I find myself seeking out in separate places – but all under one roof. Yoga, juicing, smoothies, massage, hot stones, and colon hydrotherapy to name a few.

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My roommate and I decided to go on a little weekend getaway to LA for Memorial Day weekend to celebrate her new found freedom as a recent graduate from USD. As the awesome crony she is, she was down for whatever, so I lined us up an adventure filled weekend. And since I had my eye on The Springs LA we were definitely stopping in.

We got into LA on Friday morning, went to the LACMA for the afternoon, then had lunch at The Line Hotel’s Commissary restaurant (a must!) and went out Friday evening to Toca Madera and Ysabel’s. We called it an early night so that we could wake up Saturday morning in time to catch our 9:00am yoga class at The Springs LA. The Springs is located in the arts district of Los Angeles. Perhaps it was because everyone went out of town for the holiday weekend but we found the city to be quite mellow compared to the hustle and bustle we were expecting – it was nice.

Once parked, the gate to the center was rolled open and we walked in and was greeted by an open and sunny space with a Palm Springs meets warehouse feel. Simple and cheerful. We were directed by the juice bar attendant to walk to the back to check into our class. We tucked our items into the cubby holes in the yoga room and began our morning yoga session.

An hour and 15 minutes later we awoke feeling more limber and relaxed. We pursued the items for sale – lots of cute little items such as oils, candles, jewelry and fitness gear. After we walked back toward the front where we purchased a fresh made green juice (Northstar was our choice) and headed out.

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The Springs LA is a really neat concept. With it’s open casual space I can only imagine all of the events that take place within this center, and to add to it, they have a restaurant in the works too. I highly recommend a yoga class and juice if you’re in town. Your first class is free! After that drop ins are only $15. Juices are pricey (about $10), but you can’t put a price on healthy liquid gold like that. 🙂

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This is somewhat of a post to those who think you’ve got to be in shape to be at the gym. My physique may be in a “small” shape but these muscles couldn’t out run a zombie apocalypse if their life depended on it. Funny bc I’m totally not a zombie nerd (love you Vibeke!). But I am one who has always thought about being as fit as I possibly can be! One life. One body. #healthy = #balanced

I haven’t worked out in 3 months and today I am FEELING it. Please no stairs! 🙅🏻 (& I live on a second story) I am working out with @onefitathlete because I know my body can handle rigorous exercise. This might sound like the typical inspirational story, but im still going to tell it again, if only to inspire one person. There was a man at the gym while I was there who, out of 4 limbs (2 legs, 2 arms) had ONE. I just can’t wrap my head around how hard it must be to not only go thru that but to come to a place where you. are. DOING. IT!! 💪🏼🏃🏻 What’s even crazier is how there are people who have two legs and two arms but choose not to help themselves when their body’s are screaming for the strength, heart and mind training. Like, GO FOR A WALK! …with your new Taylor Swift album. Feel it. Start to wave those arms around. Skip! Let yourself get into it, move that beautiful sinuous, grace-filled body you OWN! Dance in front of your mirror for goodness sake.

I can’t eat any form of wheat flour bread without itching, bloating, getting backed up, or oddly enough feeling angered (anyone else? My girl friend Tati agreed with this the other day). I can’t consume too much of milk products without my stomach hating me. I can’t have coffee because I feel like I’ve burned my stomach to a thin layer that will have a whole in it the next cup I drink – which means any hot, or highly caloric temperatured foods don’t make the cut either. And obviously sugars I try to keep at bay, and I seem to love fats of all kinds right now (probably due to seasonal changes #ayurveda). A new one I am starting to tap into is all the “gums” they add into our food. No wonder my stomach feels like it’s in a knot trying to break something down sometimes, it’s gummy…not exactly an easily decomposable ingredient.

My point is: we’re all battling something when it comes to our health.

I battle keeping it 💯 organic, gluten free and mostly lactose free because that’s all my body will accept without noticeably affecting me and my mental state. Why or how do I know this? Because that’s how in tune I am with my entire body and that important ish.

I also battle with managing to get in exercise because of how busy I am: 2 jobs, one core class (3 units), and coaching girls soccer. But you’re damn sure it’s a priority…even if it’s only 2-3x a week.

Fight back. If you don’t feel great or something is off in your physical, internal or mental equilibrium, I can guarantee if you start with your physical shell you’ll be able to get to the bottom of what you’re not doing right.

I dare you to figure it out.

And trust: when there are all of the chemicals in food that there truly are out there, you’d best learn yourself knowledgable. Read ingredients. Ask Siri questions. Use google. Look up books. Use your resources! Success leaves clues.

Good luck. Go for a walk…one that turns into a dancing skip. 😊❤️

 

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San Diego really is such a beautiful city to live in. The lack of disturbing to the heavenly weather we experience allows for us to remember why we are so lucky on the daily. A stretch of 3 days hot, windy weather can remind one why when there is good weather, you can quite literally weather the bad.

I woke this Sunday not sure of my intentions for the day. I had an idea, but wanderlust can be debilitating when feasibily not in the priotization realm (FINALS). But flowers have  been on my brain. So, that became the mission to accomplish this gorgeous day. A Sunday La Jolla Farmer’s Market it was.  I needed some veggies, fruits and sweets too.

After collecting my yummies and new flower decorations ,and of course bedazzling myself in the prettiest of jewels – just to see how they would look before I left, I came home and relished in the cheerfulness of my new bouquet.

For whatever reason this funny topic popped into my head – I was never told the story of the birds and the bees. I wonder if it would have changed the way I look at myself and the world. To it’s credit, it really is a great example to a young human how the world goes ’round, and it’s fragility. ::heart sinks, hope rises::

Wikipedia’s use of words is awe-striking and accurate. The worthiness of this post soley stems from this comical but interesting-thought(“the birds and the bees” story)-of an article.

The birds and the bees – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

 

 

And now, I’m off to accomplish some homework before work. Speaking of life cycles. #roundandroundwego

If only I had a home to do all of these time-consuming tasks in. One day!

November Checklist for a Smooth-Running Home.