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Barley Chicken Soup

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I tried to replace elbow macaroni with barley on this recipe for the latter is packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants, cholesterol-free and low in fat.

[amd-yrecipe-recipe:18]

Cabrillo National Monument

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If you would like to see amazing views and San Diego in 360 degrees, a visit to The Cabrillo National Monument is a great stop and worth the time.  Phenomenal views while hiking the trail or scenic driving will make you enjoy more the cool and fresh blast of ocean air.

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This monument is located on a peninsula where it sits at the edge of the Pacific Ocean where its natural features encompass terrestrial and marine ecosystems. From the 422-foot ridge of the peninsula down to the San Diego Bay on the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west, one can see the scrubland habitat.  A variety of plants, small reptiles, and mammals – as well as a number of indigenous and migrating birds – reside here. During the dry summer, many of the plants may appear to be dead but they are actually dormant and will become green and vibrant again with the winter rains. Spring wildflowers are a special treat from February until May.1

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A window into the ocean ecosystem that lies along of San Diego’s coast is the western side of Point Loma where the rocky intertidal zone lies.  There are pools that form along the shores during periods of low tide where you may see flowery anemones, elusive octopi, spongy deadman’s fingers and countless of other creatures. 2

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From December to February, gray whales are common and easy to see from shore.   During these months, they pass by the monument as they swim along the coast to the bays of Baja California.

The lighthouse was built in response to the many shipwrecks that occurred in the treacherous and busy bays of the Mendocino coast where the lens were originally powered by a kerosene oil lamp. 3

While visiting the park, you will notice the remains of coastal defenses built to protect the approaches to San Diego Bay4 and Fort Rosecrans Cemetery where a number of interments date back to the early years including the remains of the casualties of the battle of San Pasqual.5

 

Info sources:

1 http://www.nps.gov/cabr/learn/nature/coastal-sage-scrub-and-southern-maritime-chaparral-communities.htm

http://www.nps.gov/cabr/learn/nature/tidepools.htm

http://pointcabrillo.org/learn/history/

4 http://www.nps.gov/cabr/learn/historyculture/military-history-and-coastal-defense.htm

5 http://www.cem.va.gov/CEMs/nchp/ftrosecrans.asp#hi

 

 

 

4 Fashion-Forward Fall Pairings To Embrace This Season

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1.  Knit Tunic + Cropped Trousers

Adore that knitted vest tunic with side slits but don’t know how to wear it?  Easy peasy! Pair it with loose cropped trousers and high stacked-heeled shoes.  To cinch the waist with a belt or not?  Either way is A-okay!

FALL FORWARD_knit tunic+cropped trouserPhoto via Zara

 

2. Midi Skirt + Sandals with Socks

The temperature drops but not ready to store your sandals away? No problemo! Wear them with paper-thin or metallic lurex socks and pair them with midi skirt.  Young and modern, without fear of looking like you just got out of prep school.

FALL FORWARD_midi skirt+socks+sandalsPhoto via Carolines Mode

3.  Oversized Jumper + A-Line Skirt

Those 70’s-inspired A-line skirts that you couldn’t get enough of last spring and summer…don’t store them just yet!  They’re here to stay for the rest of fall!  Pair yours with oversized jumper and carelessly tuck in front to create a cool, effortless and modern vibe.

FALL FORWARD_jumper+a-line skirtPhoto via Pinterest

4.  Wide-Leg Cropped Trousers + Ankle Boots

The wide-leg cropped trousers (AKA culottes) that you’ve worn with strappy sandals from the end of springtime until summer can easily transition to fall with minor tweaks.  The trick?  Classic ankle boots!

FALL FORWARD_culottes+booties_styledumondePhoto via Style Du Monde

 

 

The Hunt For the Green October

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Let’s face it, with the temperature gradually dropping, summer is almost over.  While many of us do not look forward to layering up for the cold winter months, the changing of leaf colours during fall is a welcome change for a lot us.  We revel in the beauty of fall colours every autumn!

For Fall 2015, Hunter Green is a must-have in your closet.

Here are some of my favourite hunter green items for fall:

 

HUNTER GREEN_F21 dressSlit-sleeve crepe shift dress, Forever 21, 21€
 
HUNTER GREEN_ZARA bagOval messenger bag, Zara, 29.95€

 

HUNTER GREEN_SHOPBOP jumperAmelia V-neck sweater, DEMYLEE, $245

 

HUNTER GREEN_MANGO beltWide leather belt, Mango, 30€

 

HUNTER GREEN_ZARA jacketSuede biker jacket, Zara, 79.95€

 

HUNTER GREEN_GROSSI pumpsVelvet pumps, Gianvito Rossi, 490€

 

 

Summer Transition: Olive

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summer transition 03Photo via Time For Fashion/Elle Espana

One of summer’s favourite item is anything khaki or olive.  Be it the military style or the safari look, olive exudes a menswearish, cool vibe – a bit masculine, a bit sporty, modern-urban, and relaxed.  However you look at it, it’s become one of summer’s staples — from cargo shorts and chinos to jumpsuits and shirtdresses.

How do you transition this favoured summer palette to fall?  Check out these street style inspirations:

summer transition 04Photo via Remain Simple

Re-live the 70’s vibe and make it now by pairing your olive midi skirt with
a silky graphic shirt and a pair of ankle boots like these ones from H&M (they’re on sale!).
 
 

summer transition 05Photo via Harper’s Bazaar

The bomber jacket has made a major comeback a few years ago and it looks like it’s here to stay.
Transition your olive bomber jacket by pairing it with a navy shift dress and a pair of brogue shoes.
 
 

summer transition 01Photo via OxFashion.ru

Amal Clooney made it to every spread of fashion magazines and blogs when she wore
this same chic Sonia Rykiel khaki jumpsuit.  But this street-style photo above shows
how to transition a summer jumpsuit into a perfect fool-proof fall outfit.

 

SHOP OLIVE PIECES

summer transition_shopZARAWear this fringed textured dress with metallic lurex socks, your favourite platform sandals,
a wool hat and a bucket bag.
 
 
 summer transition_shopF21
Worn with high-neck ribbed knit jumper, this olive twill culottes becomes instantly chic!
Complete the look with these suede pointy mules for that minimalist look.
 
 
summer transition_shopTOPSHOP
This perfect olive bomber jacket from Topshop could take you from day to night!
 
 
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I love how this classic leather watch can take pull together any outfit.
And the price tag is a winner!
 
 
summer transition_shopH&M
Go French chic by pairing this olive tunic dress with
this slouchy suede and leather ankle boots from Isabel Marant (and it’s on sale!).
Finish off the monochromatic boho look with this fringed leather bag from Zara.
 
 
 
 

Macaroons

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Typical macaroons are made of coconuts and almond essence or flakes but depending on traditions and personal tastes, variations were made.  My boys love how I put a twist on this small cake by adding crushed pineapples and omitting almonds, nuts and jams.  [amd-yrecipe-recipe:17]

 

Make It Yours. Monogram It.

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Monogrammed luggages has been around for a long time as part of Europe’s heraldic traditions.  World-renowned Parisian malletier and luggage manufacturer Goyard, for instance, has been doing the tradition of personalization by hand-painting monograms on trunks and travel accessories since 1853.  Back in the day, luggage personalization was done for practical reasons — to easily identify the legitimate owner of a trunk — rather than for aesthetics or for fashion.

In the recent years, other luggage and bag makers like Louis Vuitton, Moynat, Bottega Veneta and Fendi, among others, followed suit.

I like the idea of personalizing my handbag.  However, I’ve heard horror stories about paints peeling off and making the bag look terrible after years of use — not exactly what anyone would want after investing on a designer purse AND the monogram (yes, most them charge extra fees for customization and it’s quite pricey!).  However, when I learned that Fendi is hot-stamping monograms gratis, and the monogram would be quite discreet (I was never a fan of big, loud monograms or logos!) as it would be placed on the detachable tag and in the same colour as the metal hardware of the handbag, I just went for it!

Frankly, I can’t believe I actually had second thoughts about it…because I love it!

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Now, I want to have all my handbags monogrammed!

Would you consider putting monograms on your handbags?

 

 

 

I Scream for Ice Cream

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ice_ice_cream_sundae_strawberries_239290Image via all-free-download

Ice Cream… my kids usual request especially on summertime.  Who wouldn’t want one especially just by dreaming of eating one, it sends cold to our spine, satisfies our cravings and cheers us up in not-so-good situations.  So how about making a rich and creamy ice cream in any flavor and experiment with low fat ones at the comfort of your own home?  To start off, you will need these gadgets, and these are what I typically use when I make and serve ice creams at home.

 

Fully automatic frozen yogurt, sorbet, and ice cream maker n brushed stainless-steel housing with a heavy-duty motor.

Cuisinart ICE-30BC 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker
Tovolo Glide-A-Scoop Ice Cream Tub

 

 

 

A 1.5 quart capacity insulated tub with non-slip base keeps ice cream longer.

Heavy-duty spring action made of stainless steel that scoops and holds 4 tablespoons or 2 ounces.  Norpro Scoop, 56MM 
Cuisinart DLC-4CHB Mini-Prep Plus 4-Cup Food Processor
Mini food processor with 4-cup capacity with touch-pad controls, auto-reversing blade for chopping or grinding and easy-grip handle.
Set of 12 cone patented ice cream bowls and spoons (12 bowls and 12 spoons) in pastel colors made of high quality plastic which will not break, chip or crack and BPA-free.  Greenco Set of 12 Vibrant Colors Ice Cream Dessert Bowls and Spoons

Common Summer Beauty Problems and Solutions

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summer_beauty-1500325 Image via hqwallbase.com

Summertime is here but don’t let common beauty problems of this season take the sunshine away from you.  Here are some two cents‘ worth to combat these dilemmas.

Heat rash

If you suffer heat rashes during summer, apply aloe vera gel to the affected area.  Its cooling and natural antibiotic properties relieves and heals the irritation while fighting bacteria at the surface, decreasing the duration and severity of the rash.  Thanks to its combination of lignins and polysaccharides, these enable the gel to penetrate the surface, delivering compounds that anesthetize tissue, reduce swelling, and trigger immune response to layers many topical agents never reach.1

Banana Boat Soothing Aloe After Sun Gel, 16 oz

 

Swimmer’s Ear

Since swimming season is around the corner, anybody may contract swimmer’s ear, an outer ear canal infection where water remains in the ear after swimming.  The trapped water creates a moist habitat for bacterias to grow and leads to infection.  A garlic oil can help clear up the itchy and aching ear fast if you are on the side of using a natural remedy.  This simple treatment can clear up ear infections faster than prescription meds because the garlic’s active ingredients (germanium, selenium, and sulfur compounds) are naturally toxic to dozens of different pain-causing bacteria.  Whip up your own garlic oil by gently simmering three cloves of crushed garlic in a half a cup of extra virgin olive oil for two minutes, strain, then refrigerate for up to two weeks.2           


Garlic 100% Pure, Best Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil – 10ml

 

Frizzy Hair

Argan oil is considered as the liquid gold in Morocco and its high content of Vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acid called linoleic acid has anti-inflammatory properties that makes it a popular hair conditioner and nail fortifier.  With regular use, it can calm down frizzy hair and treats split ends.  To tame the frizz on your hair, put two drops on your hands and rub it well on your hair strands.


Virgin Argan Oil 100% ECO Certified Organic

Melting Makeup

Lightweight, sheer and oil-free formula makeup works well during hot season.  On the other hand, if you can skip wearing one especially if you are heading to the beach, a tinted moisturizer or a protection with an ultra-light matte finish with SPF are your best bet.  This route will add just enough radiance and will not give you a heavy look while avoiding a makeup meltdown.  After applying liberally and evenly on a clean toned face, brush some waterproof mascara on your lashes and you are good to go!

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Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+ by Kiehl’s $38

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Tinted Moisturizer – Oil Free Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen by Laura Mercier, $44


lancome_hypnose Hypnose Waterproof Mascara by Lancome, $27.50 

 

Mosquito Bites

These nightmares are prevalent during summer season and can be avoided.  Use a mosquito repellant and wear light-colored clothing.


Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Insect Repellent, 4-Ounce Pump Spray

 

Info sources:

1 Why aloe vera works

2 Erase earaches with garlic

Amazing Greece: Crete in Pictures

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