May 31, 2013

WEAR: leather shorts resort wear



Hello sunshine!  A couple weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to take a beach vacay to the Bahamas!  Everyone  needs a few beaches in their lives.  Work hard, beach hard.  Sipped Bahama mamas and pina coladas poolside/beachside but still was able to snap a few outfit pics to share. :)  These pictures were taken at The Cove Atlantis on Paradise Island, Bahamas. 




Warm-weather leather?  Yes please.  Being a natural born rebel, I wholeheartedly embraced this look.  They came, they saw, they conquered.  Leather that is ... showing up on and off the runways everywhere even after the cold months!  Typically not the go-to for summer but designers from Theysen's Theory, to BCBG, to 3.1 Phillip Lim offered leather shorts on the runway for their spring/summer collection.  I think they are perfect to add that unexpected touch to your wardrobe this season.  It doesn't have to be real leather - pleather, vegan leather works just fine.  It's the luxe look of the fabric paired with a simple tshirt or tank that makes leather shorts look more sleek than regular cut-offs.   I took inspiration from Oliva Palermo - as she stays cool and looks hot in her Rebecca Minkoff leather shorts, here




Per usual, the devil is in the details so be sure to rock that wrist, arm, finger swag with your fave accessories.  For footwear, you can pair it with casual Converses for the day and then throw on heels, or summer wedges (as I did above) for the evening.  




 As for tops to pair with your leather bottoms,  just keep it simple and lightweight.  I kept my top easy breezy with a black sheer tank and finished off the look with my silk kimono blazer that kept me cool outside and warm inside where they blasted the A.C. 




  Channel your inner rebel and do this fashion don't, how will you wear your leather shorts this summer?  Hello summer!  Happy and safe travels everyone. 




"Beach don't kill my vibe ..."  


Faux leather shorts:  H&M // Tank:  Pinkyotto // Silk floral blazer:  Aritzia // Wedges:  Jimmy Choo  // Bracelets:  Hermes,  DIY gold chain bracelet, DIY black beaded initial bracelet // Ring: YSL and  Brandy Pham Lovely ring //  Necklace: That's Foxy Cleopatra necklace

May 28, 2013

EAT: avocado toast



Here's my avocado motto: you can never have enough avocado.  Such smooth, rich creaminess packed full of fiber, potassium, vitamins C, K, folate and B6.  Half an avocado contains 15 grams of heart-healthy unsaturated fat.  Fat that's good for you?!  Why wouldn't you be stuffing yourself silly with this delicious stuff?

I always try to keep a couple on hand, and one of my favorite breakfast/lunch/snacks to make is avocado toast.  This is especially the case when I'm strapped for time since it's so quick and easy to make!



Here's the fun part - you can use whatever you have on hand to add as toppings.  No worries if you don't have anything aside from the avocado and toast - it's still so simply delicious on its own.

Ingredients:
  • Avocado
  • Bread
  • Coarse salt, pepper
  • Optional ingredients
    • Truffle Oil
    • Toppings - I used chives & sesame seeds, soft boiled eggs, micro greens and heirloom tomatoes

Instructions:

In a small bowl, use a spoon to scoop out and mash the avocado to a chunky paste (I prefer mine a little chunkier than your average guacamole).  Salt and pepper to taste (I also like adding a few drops of truffle oil).  Spread onto your toast, then add your toppings of choice.  Enjoy!!







Avocado-licious!

May 22, 2013

SOUL: Darling, the art of being a woman



First and foremost, we'd like to apologize for our semi-brief hiatus from the blogging world.  Both of us have been on vacation.  Hey, everyone needs some beach time (Bahamas) and jungle time (Costa Rica) every once in a while right?  Well we're back, slowy but surely.  The age old saying really does apply in this situation, "we need a vacation from our vacation".  

If Audrey Hepburn were to start a magazine, it would be Darling.  I stumbled upon this magazine at Anthropologie right next to Kinfolk magazine (another visually stimulating and inspirational read). After a few pages in, I immediately fell in love.  With artful and clean layouts among other things (no ads, real woman not photoshopped, beautiful typography), whats not to love?!  It really is a different kind of magazine that is a breath of fresh air.  Wanting to learn more about them, I found them online, here!  Basically their philosophy is (below):




"We believe in the power of print, that women still love the feel and smell of real paper in their hands. Darling is a quarterly print magazine and blog dedicated to the art of being a woman. Each season, we deliver relevant, inspiring content on high quality paper. Our issues are around 150 pages, include original content that is not shared through our blog, and are 100% ad-free.
We are committed to sparking a positive feminine revolution—believing that all women are not only interesting, but original; not only good enough, but exceptional; not just here, but here for a purpose."  

Our sentiments exactly.  I also found them on Kickstarter (where I got the pictures above) and because the project successfully got funded, we are graced with the release of Issue No. 3!  Also, their mission statement is on the back cover of all their issues,  here.


 I mean, Vogue will never be replaced!  That would be blasphemous, this just offers a worthwhile option to freshen up your magazine repertoire.  :)  I'll leave you with an excerpt:

"A light exists in the spring not present on the year at any other period. - Emily Dickenson.  While we watch the earth turn from shades of brown to vibrant green, we often forget it just endured the winter - long, cold, still and lifeless.  This is where we find our hope.  When life pulls at our petals and threatens to uproot our grip on reality, we observe the garden and see that all which grows there is not unlike ourselves - living things that understand the nature of life - the tender growth, painful pruning, loss, death, and rebirth.  Yet how so much more permanent are we than the flowers, how much more resilient! "


xoxo, neato! bonito

May 20, 2013

EAT: spicy pork and tofu spinach salad


 Salads are so easy and you can never go wrong.  Whatever you pile on top is fair game as long as it's tasty right?  Sometimes I like my salads cold, sometimes I like it hot.  THIS time, I wanted it both hot and cold.  For the most part, the ingredients for this salad is somewhat healthy if use fresh crab meat and go light on the dressing.  But with this particular dressing, I didn't find that possible.  Sometimes I just want to drink it.  I can tell you right now, that probably is NOT healthy.   By popular demand on instagram (follow @neatobonito, @margalatte and @sea_chelle_),  I've provided the simple steps for this hot and cold, sweet and spicy,  soft and crunchy salad below.  :)




Ingredients:
  • baby spinach
  • kani (fresh crab meat or  artificial crab stick)
  • grape tomatoes
  • spicy marinated pork (pre-marinated or marinate with spices yourself)
  • medium firm tofu
  • miso sesame dressing (Masa's)

Directions:

Wash your spinach and tomatoes. Fill your bowl with clean spinach.  Cut the tofu into the size that you like.  Pile on the tofu, tomatoes and the crab stick.  Cook your spicy marinated pork and then pile that on top of the salad.  Top of with the miso sesame dressing (my favorite dressing of all time).  SO EASY and so delicious! 





Fun fact:  One cup of spinach has nearly 20% of the RDA of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and curbs overeating!  The nutrition you get from spinach packs a punch. 


xo, bon appetit! 

May 9, 2013

WEAR: casual chic, dressy shorts and graphic sweatshirt




It's a jungle out there ...so dress appropriately!  And appropriately to me, always mean comfortable. Contrary to popular belief, to achieve the effortlessly chic look actually takes EFFORT -how ironic.  Hah.   There's a thin line between REAL bed head and the bed head 'look'.  Still trying to master this myself, I looked to the queen of casual, cool, chic herself -none other than Sincerely, Jules.  She mixes a relaxed look with smart and tailored touches.  




Seriously, Jules can do no wrong.  I, on the other hand CAN do a lot of wrong.  0_o So what better store to "experiment" with a new look than at  ...Forever 21?!  If you don't like your new look, you don't have to feel guilty about the price.  Then, if you like your new look, and want to stick to it, you can start looking for investment pieces that reflect it.  Win, win.  :)



  
 Go 'head girl, dress down. 



Sweatshirt and shorts: Forever 21 // White button down:  All Saints // Frames:  Aldo // photography: Paulo Salud


May 7, 2013

EAT: kale and beet salad with avocado lime dressing and sweet potato medallions


The concept of "clean eating" was perplexing to me the first time I heard of it.  Making sure my food is washed clean before eating it?  I always do!  Although that part is important, the real meaning behind it is actually quite simple and smart: eating fresh, whole foods (as close to their natural state as you can get them) instead of pre-packaged, processed or fast food.

What a great concept.  I try to eat clean whenever possible.  And though I still falter with the occasional burger or slice of cake, eating clean overall really makes a HUGE difference.  Less bloating/food baby/after-meal food coma - and you really do just feel...better!  Try it for yourself for a week or so and you'll notice the difference.  

I made this kale and beet salad with an all natural avocado lime dressing as my first meal back from vacation.  It was much needed and I felt much better after a weekend of eating like there was no tomorrow - YOEO! (you only eat once?)





Ingredients:

Salad:
  • One bunch Kale - washed and cut
  • 1-2 Beets - washed, cut and cooked (I boiled mine for 20-30 min, or until tender)
  • 1/2 Avocado, diced
  • 1 Egg - hard boiled (about 8 minutes in boiling water)
  • Sprouts - (I used pea shoots)
Dressing:
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 1/2-1 Lime (depending on how tart you'd like it), juiced
  • 1 tbs. Cilantro
  • 1/2-1 Garlic clove (if you like it garlicky)
  • 1/4-1/2 Cup Water (depending on how thick you'd like the dressing)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Sweet Potato Medallions:
  • 1 Sweet Potato, peeled and sliced (about 1/4 inch thick)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Instructions:

1.  To prepare the sweet potatoes, place one layer of the medallions on a greased cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees until tender.

2.  For the dressing, combine the avocado, lime, cilantro and garlic in a food processor and blend well.  Add water and blend again until you reach your desired consistency.  Salt and pepper to taste.

 3.  For the salad, simply place a couple of handfuls of kale at the bottom.  Then, layer on the beets, avocado, egg and sprouts.  Drizzle on your homemade dressing and enjoy!




Oh yeah - CLEAN EATING MACHINE!

May 3, 2013

DRINK: cinco de mayo tequila and margarita shots




From baby clothes to shots, we realize our post order is random but such is life, is it not?  And such is us, babies and shots!  J/K.  Anyways, does anyone else feel like the month of May just creeped up on us?  May 5th is this Sunday - Drinko de Mayo!   In all seriousness, I know it's a day to celebrate Mexican heritage and pride. :)  So please go forth, let's celebrate (responsibly) with a shot or two! And it's not a Cinco de Mayo celebration if tequila isn't involved right?     

I actually made two kinds of shots last night.  Apparently, just ONE way of drinking tequila was not enough.   OPTIONS right?  Gotta have options.  Below, I provide instructions to make a plain tequila shot in a lime cup and also a classic margarita-ahhhh! that can be served as a cocktail or as shots.  Check out this simple idea below to take your shots (buzz) to the next level - whether you are a hosting a fiesta or just to drink fancifully by yourself.   No judgement here. 

Got my swerve-o on with Jose Cuervo last night.  For obvious reasons, lots of tequila and salt was spilled in taking these pictures.  0_o




TEQUILA LIME CUP SHOTS

Ingredients:
  • tequila (Patron, Jose Cuervo)
  • limes (1 lime makes 2 cups or you can cut off 1/4 of the lime and use 3/4 of the lime for a bigger cup -the bigger the lime, the bigger the shot, save a lime for garnish)
  • sea salt (grinded)

Instructions:
  1. Cut off the ends of the limes so that the lime cup can stand up level. Then cut the limes in half.  
  2. Gut out lime core.   First using a knife going around close to edge of the peel.  Be very CAREFUL doing this because it gets juicy and you want to be extra careful with knife.  Best to do over a bowl (to save the lime juice for the margarita). Then after you loosened up the sides, use a fork to dig in the core and twist out the rest of the inside. SEE BELOW PICTURE of the gutted out lime cup. 
  3. Rim the edges with salt.  Twist the lime face down on a pile of sea salt or grinded salt.  Alternative:  First rim the lime edge with a little bit of honey so that the salt will stick more and you'll get a little bit of sweet and sour taste when you take the shot.
  4. Fill your lime cup!  Use your favorite tequila (chilled or room temperature is up to you).  Or fill it with the margarita shots (SEE BELOW for instructions).  
  5. Garnish lime cup with lime wedge.   Lime inception. 






OPTIONAL - CLASSIC MARGARITA:

Ingredients :
  • 1 1/2 oz tequila
  • 1/2 oz triple sec (Cointreau recommended)
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice (that you'll collect from the gutted out lime cup, see below)
  • 1 oz agave nectar (optional, if you want to sweeten)
  • lime wedge for garnish
  • salt or sugar to rim glass

Instructions: 
  1. Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake well! 
  2. Salt the rim of a chilled margarita glass. 
  3. Pour contents with ice into the glass, garnish with lime wedge.  
  4. Serve and drink as a cocktail or using a strainer, pour the margarita into the salt rimmed lime cup  and serve as a shot!




♪ ♫  SHOT, SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS,  everybaahhdy! ♩  ♬   Happy early Cinco de Mayo!