Friday, May 25, 2012

10 Things NYC Taught Me

New York City. It was everything that I imagined it to be. Hovering skyscrapers and buildings. Noise from bustling footsteps and honking cars. A rainbow of people of all different kinds. I want to go back. There is truly nothing like it, & I am so glad I got to experience it! So while being there the city taught me a deal of things. Things that i didn't expect, and things that were obvious. Either way, here they are in all it's coffee drinking, brisk walking, expensive living, glory!

1. Everyone, or at least 80% of everyone; orders out on a regular basis.
That's just the way it is. It cheaper, faster, and way easier to get some takeout from the local restaurant down the block. Seriously. With high prices on fresh produce and busy schedules it's the norm to order in or go out to eat 3 or 4 times a week. If you lag it in the kitchen, you'll love the variety the city has to offer when it comes to food!

2. Rock your NY apparel with pride!
One of the first things that I immediately saw was how common it was to wear apparel that had some sort of New York logo on it. Doesn't matter if it was the Yankees, a New York shirt (no I heart NY allowed though!) or a jacket, if it was repping New Yawk City, then people were all about it! I am used to coming from a land where only tourists wear Las Vegas shirts, and no locals would be caught wearing anything representing the so called city of sin...

3. Coffee & Bagels; breakfast for champions!
No matter if you are some high ranking attorney with a corner office or if you are on your way to English 101, it seems like everyone here has a cup of coffee and a bagel sandwich of some kind for breakfast! & why wouldn't they? They are utterly delicious (especially when made by Carlos at Manhattan Gourmet Deli on 168th Street and Audubon Avenue) No matter where you go in New York people are religiously addicted to their bagel and coffee. & Remember, its grab and go, no sitting around on this one!

4. The subway waits for no one.
oh yeah, and sit down fast!
I learned this the hard way on my first ever NYC subway trip. I got in "la di la di da" carefree as ever, hear a beep, then completely fall on top of some random stranger...yeahhhh, wasn't that smooth. The looks on everyones faces could definitely decipher that I was some kind of tourist. After that I learned that the subway waits about 2.4 seconds for you to get on and sit yourself down if you find a spare seat or grab a handle nearby!

5. Silence? What's that?
Yeah, I don't think a true native New Yorker has ever heard the complete and utter silence of nature (at least within the island). The city is masked with noisy car horns, people talking and laughing, footsteps crashing a top the concrete floor. Silence doesn't exist in the big metropolis, except maybe for the inside of a museum. & Even then, you could feel the noise that comes from the heartbeat of the city from within its soul!

6. Taking the ferry to Staten so worth it.
Even though i am part of the counter culture when it comes to traveling (never truly been a fan of guided tours and touristy landmarks) taking the Staten Island Ferry & seeing the Statue of Liberty was totally worth it. Even though my naive mind imagined it bigger, It's minuscule 20 minute ride across the Hudson, and beautiful view of Lower Manhattan's Financial District; made it totally worth it. We catched some fresh air, and it gave me some well deserved peaceful time to let all of NYC sink in to my city hungry soul.

7. New Yorkers aren't really all that rude.
Yeah, maybe they walk fast and look completely unhappy  while riding the subway; but rude they are not. I only encountered 2 people that were less than nice out of the millions that i walked with during my time there. I think that they have gotten the bad rap because people here just don't have time to be all extra nice about things. They have places to be, places to go and maybe the rest of the country is just used to super nice people who go the extra mile. Please and thank you suffice here, and no weird smiling at strangers either!

8. Don't bring up 9/11 to New Yorkers
 9/11 was something really traumatic to the people who saw it happened or were directly affected by it. Not to say that the rest of the country didn't, cause we were ALL affected by it. But I noticed it's really a touchy subject for them. They don't like to go near Ground Zero, they don't like to talk about it, the city itself is SUPER cautious about security, and if there is even a minor "emergency", people start to panic. They will never forget that day, and how their city was horribly attacked. My heart really truly goes out to them. They most out of everyone where the ones left with the deep scar in their hearts.

9. Things are expensive, get used to it.
No matter if it's a loaf of bread or a pair of designer jeans, things are going to be expensive. (Although I did find some takeout cheaper than cooking, refer to rule 1)
People that live here are used to paying 3$ for an avocado and don't need people to repeat how "expensive" everything seems to be. I learned that one just needs to suck it up and pay and not freak out over how cheaper it is back home. No worries though, I caught myself saying "Man, that's super expensive! I can get it cheaper in Vegas" many times, but realized that is just NYC living, and its inhabitants are a-ok with that.

10.  You can never really see all of New York
There is truly just so much! My friends sister said (who was born and raised) "I still have so much to see and I've been here 26 years!" That should tell you that it is virtually impossible to visit everything on your 1 week vacation. Sure you can still see a lot, but the city holds many treasures that people are still on the look out for!

So there you have it folks, all this coming from a Vegas native who is used to the masses of tourists, best in high end shopping, and 24 hour living. What did NYC teach you? Or if you've never been, what other city has taught you something? (:

Just a couple shots from the trip (: More to come!

Monday, May 14, 2012

What To Wear? Ep 2

What to Wear: Airport/Flight/Plane

1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5/ 6/ 7/ 8/ 9

Hi all! As I post this; I will be sitting on a plane probably reading a book or listening to some Jason Mraz as I fly across the US. This is most likely what I am wearing and what I am bringing (except for the sunglasses; mine are Raybans; hehe) Here are my reasons as to why I chose what I did and other recommendations when you jet set!

Casual Clothing
The last thing you want is to be wearing an uncomfortable pair of jeans or a too tight of a shirt. Put on something that is flexible and can let you move freely. I love yoga pants or a heavy duty type of legging like J Crew's Pixie Pants or Victoria Secret's YP (above). For tops; make sure you wear layers (scarf) or a long sleeve, so you can adjust according to varying temperatures.

Easy Slip On Shoes
Going through security can be a hassle, so make sure you have easy slip on shoes such as sandals or a pair of TOMS. I like to bring a pair of socks so I can put on just before going through the checkpoint and won't have to walk completely barefoot on the nasty airport floor. No one wants possible fungus or germs!

Recycled plane air can dehydrate your skin, making it look dull and colorless. Make sure to moisturize your face and hands before, during, and after your flight. Don't forget to also bring a moisturizing balm that is multi usable; such as the Figs & Rouge Balm or the C.O Bigelow Rose Salve. They can be used on your lips, face, and elbows! Make sure to bring lots of water on board,or if you prefer to not pay $4 for a bottle, bring a plastic one and fill it up at a fountain.

Smell Good, Feel Good
Carry on Rules are super strict these days; but that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice smelling fresh! Pack a roll on version of your favorite perfume so you can carry with you without worrying about it spilling or having it get taken away.  Roll on versions tend to be more subtle so you'll still be considerate of the other people around you. Nobody likes someone who seemed to have bathed in their cologne! My favorite at the moment? Pure Grace by Philosophy, smells so fresh and clean!

Don't Forget!
To bring your iPod, good reading material, a journal to write down your adventures, a pair of sunglasses, a lightweight jacket, some Herbalife Best Defense, a snack, a comb/brush, travel size toothbrush, makeup for touch ups, and of course your camera!

Happy Travels Everyone! (:

Happy Monday!

Considering I rarely put pictures of myself on here, you will have a one eyed smiling Stef greeting you this week (:

Oh Goodness, I leave for NYC tomorrow! Ahhh! My nerves are kicking in! Especially since I have yet to pack (and do laundry, shh!) I am considering trying to pack as light as possible since my suitcase will be just a carry-on size, so I am a little nervous on that end, however will be rolling up everything so all my stuff should fit. I unfortunately wont be taking my laptop with me since it has been having battery issues (frown face) but I will probably be updating through twitter (yes, i have one & in my defense, rarely use it lol) and instagram. So if you are remotely interested in my doings; follow me yo! [my username for both is; estefarochi]

So before I go onto the Monday Distractions list; I wanted to share some pictures of my week :)

Made this on Saturday; after seeing this; It was actually pretty good! I surprised myself lol

Last Tuesday I randomly decided to go walk Fremont Street after work. People there don't care if its 5:30 pm on a weekday; its a party ALL THE TIME down there. LOL

Pool season has started! We got in after church yesterday with our cousins. Beleive it or not its 100 degrees! I am NOT looking forward to the summer months. (hello 110' mornings, blah!)

 I went thrifting on Thursday and one of stores' parking lots looked like this. I love the colors!

Caught this shot on my iPhone which is why it's so grainy. Yet, was still impressed at how close I was able to get it. The flowers are beautiful btw, they are growing right outside the office building! (:

Alright so now for some internet wandering;

-Midday office rave? Should I need say more?

-Considering that my desktop is a jungle mess; this makes a lot of sense!

-Since I am an avid sticker user & instagramaniac; you can bet I will be ordering some of these soon!

-Yeay! I have a follower! & considering she has an awesome blog; check her out! (:

-What is Radical Self Love you ask? Watch this and find out! *I would always see it, never bothered to watch it, Now i am so glad I did!*

- Considering I celebrate Mother's Day everyday (no joke) I decided to go with a simple orchid this year (: she loved it.

- I should probably get slapped for this; but I finally watched Iron Man 2 last night. Isaac was shocked at the fact; so he picked up some cheesecake and we watched RDJ duke it out with Mr. Rourke!

-Ready for a sarcasm fix? Check out these ironic photos :)

-Am I the only one who finds it extremely odd that Mr. Bieber was part of Mayweather's entourage last week?

-If you are in town and have a few thousand calories to spare (& a big appetite) consider trying some of these!

-My favorite blogger at the moment (:

-This place was definitely the place to be at during the early 90's!

-Favorite song of the week.

I wish you a fabulous week; remember to make the most of it! (:

Friday, May 11, 2012

His Timing

So as you might already know, God is pretty rad. He has been so good to me throughout all these years. Showing me his grace and mercy when my not so perfect ways seem to get a hold of me. Through the windstorms and confusion of life, I can always seek refuge in his son and peace in his promises. His timing is always perfect and even though i understand that now, I know that sometimes its hard for us to grasp this concept. We want it NOW on our own terms, wanting things on OUR time. Not really wondering if its in accord with God's plan. He's shown me in so many ways however, that

HIS timing is indeed perfection.

For example; my last job? It was true misery. I hated it. Then all of a sudden I got fired, and even though I was jobless, I felt such a peace within me. Then an a position opened up at a place where I used to intern. Let me tell you, they NEVER have openings. So when they did, I applied & look at me now, I AM SO HAPPY! It was such a blessing in disguise. Another example; I've been wanting to go to New York badly since last year. There were countless times where I found myself at the checkout page of Delta Airlines. Knowing that I should just wait I would quickly exit setting aside all my urges to go. Then out of the blue I (technically) get invited on a one week trip (I leave in 4 days!) where I don't even have to pay for a hotel! It was truly such a blessing!

I also learned the mistake rushing into things without waiting on God's clock. Just how it happened the Summer before Senior year of high school. I was so desperate to have a car. There was a friend who called and said his uncle's car had been towed and he did not have the money to take it out so was looking for someone to keep it. I anxiously offered to go look at it thinking my "first awesome car" was closer than ever! Isaac was nice enough to go with me that day, and when we got to the towing place it was said that I had to pay up front before I could even see the car, talk about throwing the dice! I conjured $600 and gave it to the clerk. The guy working the yard (who I so happened to go to school with) walked me through the junkyard of cars, some without wheels and some completely torn apart. We got to what seemed like a powder blue dream straight out of the early nineties. "Here it is". I looked around with disappointment scouring for hope within the torn interior and iron metal smell. "Thanks" i sorrowfully said. Let's just say I drove out of there not as excited as I had came in. Days later we were told that the owner lost the title and case in point I could not drive it. I ended up returning the car to my friend who gave me my 600$ back. (so it wasn't s a total loss).

Moral of the story, even though i had been praying for a car, I should have waited for things to fall into place for me instead of trying to do things my own way. I learned that when things do not easily fall into place or there are kinks along the way trying; it might not always be the right time. Obviously I am not encouraging to not take initiative and just lounge around life waiting for things to happen. No no no! Not at all! What I AM trying to say is that take into consideration God's timing and his plan. You will know if it is right. Pray about it, he will guide you. And ultimately

if it his plan, you will feel peace.

Not anxiety, like what I felt when I got that "first" car. Give it time and be patient. I guarantee he will not disappoint you.

The other day as I was cleaning my room, when things weren't going so perfect and I felt astray; I came across this note. I wrote it to myself a while back, while sitting in church listening to a sermon.It just spoke to me. It was so amazing. So timely and perfect. & even though at the time, it might not have seem like a big deal; When I rediscovered it, it was so encouraging it brought me to tears. It wasn't much what I wrote  but the timing of me finding it. Hiding out behind my dresser. I am deciding to post it just in case any of this speaks to you (:

Thanks for listening to me ramble :)

<3 Stef

What To Wear? Ep. 1

Picnic or Barbeque

 1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5/

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Celebrate; Mother's Day!

Here are some precious ideas, inspiration, and beautiful Mother's Day photography! Click the links to take you to the posts, recipes, or DIY tutorials. Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Homemade Croutons!

I tend to be one of those people that if I can easily make something instead of buying it, I will. I love the idea that I can skip on consuming all of those extra preservatives and chemicals that my body does NOT need. Granted, an abundance of raw&fresh fruits & vegetables is always the way to go, but when you can give yourself the indulgence of lets say; croutons; then this recipe is perfect! :) This recipe is so simple that I felt a little silly posting it, but considering the fact that my own mama was amazed at them, I obliged.


French bread or a Baguette
Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Italian Herbs Seasoning

Go ahead and preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut your loaf or piece of bread into cubes  (of whatever size you want). Sprinkle them over a baking sheet and drizzle some olive oil on top. Add a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of dried herb seasoning for taste.

Place the "raw" croutons in the oven for about 10 minutes; checking back every 3 minutes and tossing them around so they get baked evenly. (I learned from experience, that they are easy to burn if you lolligag for even a minute). Keep checking on them until they are of a golden brown. Take them out of the oven and let them cool. They should be crunchy and tasty at the touch.

(my lunch for today with the amazing croutons!)

See how easy that was?! Never again will you need to buy croutons that are filled with preservatives and unknown ingredients! I say that is pretty awesome!

Enjoy on salads, soups, or as a quick snack by themselves. Let me know if you try them!

<3 Stef

Monday, May 7, 2012

Happy Monday!

Happy Monday everyone! So today is a monumental day regarding the pair of tweed slacks you are seeing above you right now which I have paired so effortlessly with my Andrea flats (which show my ridicilous toe tan). This pair of slacks have not fit so snuggly since the day I bought them (1 year and a half ago). As sad as this is going to sound, I would wear them on occasion when there was nothing else to wear, unbuttoned with my shirt pulled over to give the illusion that they were just fine. They were NOT comfortable that way let me tell you. At least until yesterday. Over the last few months, I've lost a little under 20 lbs. and sort of forgot about these guys since they were hiding in between some dresses. I looked at the them with an aggravated look, knowing that our last encounter wasn't too friendly. I however, braced myself, grabbed the pair off the hanger and tried them on. (anxious drum roll please.....)

they fit.

and not just fit, they were slightly loose.

my oh my was i overjoyed. i was so happy! I knew how these meanies used to cling to my thighs and not want to embrace my middle. I couldnt beleive it, this was such a motivation! One of the things i hate most is shopping for jeans, and knowing that I can shop a dress size (or 2) less is such an excitement! This literally made my week! This just motivates me more to keep going in the process of feeling energetic and jean hassle shopping free! I can truly say this is the first significant milestone in this new journey i am embarking. Soooooo...with that said here are a few weekly favorites to distract you on this Monday Morning.

- I  have these characteristics and share the category with Tommy from Rugrats an Julia Roberts. What are you?

- I am loving this new blog I found :)

-Lots of ladies and girls can learn a thing or two from reading this.

- I think might go this route for NYC, after seeing this!

- This has been doing WONDERS on my skin. No joke. Its a little pricey, but soooo worth it.

- One of my mom's distributors opened a new Herbalife Nutrition Club, yeay!!!!

- Need a vintage motel sign fix? Follow me; estefarochi (instagram)

These old timey pictures are pretty wicked!

-The Avengers was incredible!!! & my crush on this guy lives on! (:

- Debating whether or not to take my laptop on my trip..... hmmm. What do you think?

-I gave these guys a second chance and tried the mini ones. Surprisingly they were good! Not so sweet as the previous!

- This just makes me so happy!

- Favorite song of the week.  middle school throwback! LOL

What are you favorites of this week? (:

<3 Stef

Update: I wrote this on Monday and never posted it! So here it is! :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Review: Gigi's Cupcakes!

I honestly have never been that much of a sweets person. I mean a slice of birthday or wedding cake every once in a while seemed to tie me over. Lately however, I've been all over anything cakey, frosted, and oh so sweet (have yet to try my first macaron!). One day as I was watching Cupcake Wars I wondered, "is there any cupcake shops around Vegas? I mean there HAS to be!" So I got on Yelp, typed in "cupcakes vegas", and came upon a few places. Most of them either in Summerlin, Henderson or the Strip. I was surprised to find one in downtown, more specifically inside a casino. So one day, me and Isaac hoped on the bike and rode downtown to Gigi's Cupcakes for a cupcake lunch. (:

Upon arriving we were greeted by a friendly staff person who didn't speak much but helped us right away. We both got 2 cupcakes for a total of 4. Each cupcake cost $3.25, which is an average price for a cupcake shop, yet still expensive if you are used to buying them at the grocery store. Gigi's has "cupcakes by day" in which they select 10-12 of their 37 flavors to bake for that day. They have the same weekly menu, and their most popular types can be seen on either a more frequent or daily basis. Isaac got "White Midnight Magic" [dark chocolate cupcake with cream cheese frosting,sprinkled with chocolate chips] and "Mississippi Pie"  [chocolate cake with baked in coconut & pecans with a chocolate marshmallow frosting, sprinkled with marshmallows and drizzled with ganache.That was a mouthful!] I bet you can tell who's the chocoholic in the relationship LOL. Since I am not much of a fan of chocolate cake, I went with the "Coconut Cream Pie" [coconut cake, filled with a coconut creme filling, topped with coconut creme cheese frosting and graham cracker crumbs, YUM!] and the traditional "Wedding Cake" [white cake topped with white buttercream frosting and white nonpareils].
Instantly, I fell in love with how much frosting these cupcakes were topped with. Being a fan of good frosting, it excites me when I see someone who doesn't skimp on it! I first tried the Coconut Creme Pie one and was instantly hit with a sugar rush. The frosting was SWEET, and I mean almost sickingly sweet. However, seemed to pair well with the not that sweet cupcake. I looked over at Isaac who had just taken a bit of his Midnight Magic cupcake and he seemed to think the same on the frosting. TOO SWEET. LOL  As I worked my way througout the actual cake part, I discovered the coconut creme filling. Oh my heavens, was this something wonderful. The filling was not overwhelming and very tame on the sugar compared to the frosting, which made the combination perfection! It finally made sense, the overwhelmingly sweet tower of frosting paired with a tame cake and finished off with a hint of perfect creme filling. The coconut flavor itself was a little too much (that coming from a coconut addict since the age of 4) but I guess I expected that since all 3 elements (cake, frosting, and filling) were all coconut flavor. I asked how Isaac liked his cupcake and he said it was okay, but was not a fan of the cream cheese frosting, he ended up leaving most of the frosting. I ate half of the coconut one.

I went and moved on to "Wedding Cake" which is your traditional white cake and buttercream cupcake, my favorite kind. Once again, it towered with frosting, and was similar in sweetness to the other. The cake was lacking moistness (if that's even word) but I guess I am just used to these supermoist cakes. Overall, I really liked this one. It was simple, with a good frosting to cake ratio, and good cake. I would actually probably buy this one again. Isaac ended up not trying his other cupcake, so I don't know if he liked it or not.

That "Lemon Dream Supreme" looks heavenly!

"Mini" Cupcakes! 4 for 4$ or $1.25 each

Overall, I would recommend this place to someone who is in the area looking for a cupcake fix and prefers the bakery method other than those prepackaged things at the stores (Never been a fan of those things). The although I applaud them for their awesome piles of frosting, it is still to sweet for my liking and much rather prefer this bakery's. The cupcake itself could be a bit more moist but was still good to eat. If you haven't been to a cupcakery, the prices might seem expensive (as I first thought) however as I did more research on these shops, I've discovered they are pretty average for the cupcake shop world. So if you are by the Plaza Hotel downtown and have a random late night cupcake craving, this place is better than Albertson's cupcakes, ANY DAY.

Gigi's Cupcakes
Union Plaza Hotel Store

Sun-Thu 10 am- 10 pm
Fri-Sat: 10am- Midnight


<3 Stef