Tag Archives: Love

Favorite Summer Destination: Paris, I Love You

30 Aug

How amazing can a summer vacation be? Pretty friggin’ spectacular, especially if the destination is Paris. It’s true what every one says about easy it is to love Paris and after spending some time there, the city can make us feel like it loves us too.

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In Paris, we can spend hours getting lost in the Louvre, one of the largest museums in the world and home to some of the most famous works of art. An experience that will guarantee moments that will take one’s breath away.

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A short walk, or in our case a short pedicab ride, away from the Louvre is the Pont des Arts or Passerelle des Arts bridge, a pedestrian bridge that crosses the Seine River. Couples come to this “Love Bridge” to memorialize their undying love by writing their names or initials on “love locks” (padlocks, which can be purchased on the bridge), attaching the lock to the railing or grate on the side of the bridge, and throwing the keys into the Seine. This romantic gesture is meant to represent committed love that can only be broken by unlocking the lock; impossible, as the keys are at the bottom of the river. Looks like it’s Sarah & Danny Forever!

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Before the Louvre, many of Paris’ historical paintings, like the Mona Lisa, covered the walls of the Palace of Versaille; however, I should say “unlike the Mona Lisa,” because I learned that this masterpiece was actually on an easel, not on the wall. We’ll notice that most of the paintings at the Louvre have no frames, and we’d have to go to the Palace of Versaille to see the frames that now house replicas of the real things. About a 40 minute drive from Paris, the Palace of Versaille is a must see destination. Renting a golf cart can save a ton of time when touring the gardens and property, especially if you’re like me and want to see it all. During busy seasons with heavy tourist traffic, or not, a private guided tour is also recommended. This guided tour gives tourists access to areas that aren’t permitted with the normal entrance fee, such as the library, music room, theater, etc. Plus, a knowledgable guide accompanies the tour’s guest(s), who can explain the history of the Palace (and it’s former residents) as well as answer any questions we can think of. Once I discovered what it was like in the general areas when walking to the exit to see the Hall of Mirrors (while still amazing, super crowded and unbearable at times), I realized what a life-savor being on private tour was.

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The Moulin Rouge was always a place I wanted to go, so I bought two tickets to it’s resident cabaret show and revue, Le Féerie. VIP tickets will avoid having to wait in the long entrance line and guarantees great designated seats, champagne, macrons, a program, and souvenirs. While the show is no “Cirque Du Soleil,” walking into Le Bal Du Moulin Rouge, so popular for it’s French can-can, makes it’s guests feel like we’re participating in it’s unique history and tradition.

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There are so many sights and monuments in Paris, like the Arc de Triomphe, which was a short walk from our hotel on the always lively Champs-Élysées. The history of the city is so rich and the architecture and design of it’s buildings and monuments are so beautiful and impressive.

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One of the sights that I got to see was the Notre Dame Cathedral. As I kid, this was a place I thought I could only dream about visiting. It was a humbling experience to finally see and realize that dreams are not too far from reality.

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During my vacation, where I indulged in some of the most incredible meals I’ve ever had, I realized that I absolutely loved Paris. Paris told me that it loved me too when I had the best crepe ever at Les Ecuries.

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The eiffel tower has got to be the most prominent symbol and icon of Paris and France. I was able to savor every sight and moment after ascending to the second level by walking the stairs. It was unreal!

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Going to the eiffel tower once in a lifetime is magical in and of itself, but going twice in one day is more than a girl who craves nearly everything could even ask for (the second time around, we took the elevator). We started the last day of our trip in Paris visiting the eiffel tower and ended the day there. Seeing the tower illuminated at night is stunning, but seeing the light show (where the tower twinkles) was amazing and incredibly romantic. In between these two visits (specifically at dinner), there was an engagement! In Paris, I savored some of the best times of my life, and came home with a fiancé (which may have contributed to this being my favorite Summer destination). Je t’aime Paris!

Zinque Craves and Savors

13 Jul

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How many bottles of wine on the wall, how many bottles of wine? At Zinque in Venice, CA, when you take one down and pass it around, there’s that number minus one bottles of wine on the wall. After meeting up a group of pretty awesome friends at a house party in Venice to welcome back our fave New York couple, we took the party down the street to a French wine bar, Zinque, for a few bottles of wine and a bite to eat. I ordered the French fries and flatbread and our friend Bry, our Bartender for the night (and many other nights) ordered the wine. We all got to catch up and got to get to know a little more about friends that we didn’t know before. I didn’t count the number of bottles of wine on the wall or the number of glasses of wine that were poured. I can’t remember the number of conversations we all shared or the number of pictures we all took, but I do know that every minute was savored. And at the end of the night, when Denver hopped on the piano in the bar, I was reminded that in a year, there are five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes, five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear. We all had to join Denver to sing the lyrics of Rent’s Seasons of Love because, “It’s time now to sing out, Tho’ the story never ends. Let’s celebrate, remember a year in the life of friends. Remember the LOVE!” While we don’t usually count or remember each minute, it’s nice to know that we can always measure our life in love.

Friendsgiving Craves and Savors

24 Jun

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Shouldn’t we be able to make our own holidays? It only seems right to have a day to celebrate friendship, so we and some friends of ours all got together at Di’s fantastic new place for a Friendsgiving potluck dinner to eat great food and enjoy the company of one another. We scarfed down some flavor cravers: catered Persian food from Raffi’s, homemade Spaghetti, a crazy good zucchini and asparagus medley, spinach and cheese pastries, ice cream cookies, homemade Tiramisu, fresh strawberries, a Mexican chocolate pie from the Pie Hole, and we were able to wash everything down with some wine and liquor. Friendsgiving also wouldn’t be right with out getting a little silly, so we played Heads-Up, an application on iTunes (which every one should download and play) which is like a high-tech version of headbands and the Cranium board game WOW edition. For Cranium, we split the group into two, the “C-words” (those who like girls) and the “D-words,” (those who like boys). While I don’t think we ever finished the game, playing was better and far more entertaining than winning anyway (usually said from the the people who didn’t win, but really, playing was better!). Although there was never a successful attempt at either team spelling a word backwards correctly, and accusations of cheating, we had had a blast and got to know each other a little better. Our team also discovered our best subject, MINDMELD, where team members are given a topic and must each write down three words that come to mind. The team wins if at least two (but changed to three) members match a single word. You’d think that’s easy to do, but from the topic Cruise Ship, I thought of Ocean, Vacation, and Food, while Jax wrote Gambling, Bikinis, and Hooking-Up. Hilarious! At least three of the five of us had Ocean come to mind. We ended the night on a high note, with a lip syncing contest (with words, not a lip-reading contest… inside joke), and although we didn’t want the night to end, there were so many moments we savored. Plus, the great thing about Friendsgiving is that it can be celebrated multiple times a year.

Craves and Savors From The Original Pantry Cafe

9 Jun

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Who loves breakfast? I do! And so do a set of four year old twins that already know what their cravings are in the mornings. My bf, his sister, brother in-law, the kiddies and I went to The Original Pantry Cafe in Los Angeles for breakfast and there was a line that almost wrapped around the building, it was so long. It’s safe to assume that every one waiting to eat also loves breakfast, and they all must also love The Original Pantry. While waiting to get in the door, I hear Evita say, “I want pokey eggs” (eggs sunny-side up, that you can poke and the yoke runs out) and DeAngelo say, “I want pancakes.” After the wait, we all wanted anything and everything on the menu! We finally made our decisions, and ordered. My cravings for coffee, apple juice, two eggs over easy, breakfast potatoes, and French toast overpowered the other cravings, but having an option for a combination of three items and two beverages also helped. Those potatoes are honestly the best breakfast potatoes ever! I think I know why so many people were lined up out front. The French toast with maple syrup was also savory, but nothing was savored more than the time spent with the people I shared breakfast with. What’s not to love about a delicious breakfast when we’re with people we love?

Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

30 May

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Don’t we just love being able to spend time with friends to celebrate good times together? In one week span, I was able to be with the best friends a person can have. We’ve all gotten together to celebrate a pregnancy, a birthday, and life! As the years go by, we celebrate more and more milestones together, and continue to learn about and learn from one another, and also learn about ourselves. In addition to savoring the fun times we share together, we are also able to truly appreciate the people in our lives and savor our friendships with them. Initially, I thought that this blog was going to be more centered around style and fashion. As we’ve all probably noticed, so many of the things I crave and savor are actually centered around the people in my life and all the amazing meals I share with them. So I have to give my thanks to all of you who style and accessories my world. You are all like the shoes to my outfits! (And you all know how much I love shoes).

Savoring The Life Of The (Birthday) Party

28 May

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Isn’t it easy to fall in love with the life of the party? I’ve known Jax for the past 15 years, but it was definitely love at first laugh. It doesn’t have to be her birthday (which it so happens to be today) nor does it have to be a party in order for her to bring life to any situation, no matter how crazy or how mundane. There are some very rare and very special people in this world that never fail to entertain, and if there was a reality show that I would actually watch, it would have to star this birthday girl. In addition to Jax being one of the most fun persons to be around, she is also an amazing friend, and an amazing person. She is a person that I look up to and look forward to being around and if you ever have the pleasure of meeting her, she will surely and easily sweep you off your feet too. I can honestly say that throughout the years, she has made countless and (already) unforgettable experiences that much more memorable. I can’t help but savor and be appreciative for the flavor and color she brings to my life, so I have to say Happy Happy Birthday to the beautiful, stylish, and irreplaceable Jax, the Life of the Party.

SW Steakhouse Craves and Savors

24 May

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Doesn’t Las Vegas have some of the best fine dining restaurants jam packed in one city? With the amount of visitors that come to Sin City to gamble, shop, and indulge in a variety of adult entertainment, the Hotels and Restaurants make sure that guests are well fed and that any cravings that our hearts desire can be satisfied. My bf and I flew to Vegas today and had dinner with my bestie Dreams and her husband Ray, and I have been dying to see them. I was on the verge of tears this morning thinking about how excited I was this morning to get to spend time with one of my favorite people in the world, Dreams, who recently shared the news that she is pregnant! We needed to have a celebration dinner, and after some deliberation of where to eat (since there are so many options to chose from), we decided on the SW Steakhouse at the Wynn. During the beginning of the busy memorial weekend, many of the dining hot spots were fully committed, but we were able to get reservations at SW, one of the most popular and raved about restaurants at the Wynn. We started off with the Seafood Spectacular, a chilled selection of the ocean’s finest Maine lobster, king crab legs, jumbo shrimp, oysters, and crab cocktail, along with the BigEye Tuna Ceviche, mango-grapefruit salsa, smoked chile, avocado, and sesame crackers, and the Alaskan King Crab Pasta, made with oyster mushrooms, basil, and Meyer lemon sauce. We shared the Black Truffle Creamed Corn, Brussels Sprouts with Carrots, and SW French Fries side dishes. Dreams and I shared the Roasted Scottish Salmon. For Dessert, we had the Funnel Cake and Strawberries with anglaise, salty caramel and fudge sauce (that was presented like a piece of art, with 6 individual funnel cakes draped like flowers on branches), the Warm Dark Chocolate Brownie made with vanilla parfait, caramelized banana, banana ice cream, and drizzled in warn fudge sauce, and vanilla ice cream. Dinner was amazing, but what I savored more from the night was the time I got to spend with people I love, which I have been craving so much more than the food on the table. While tonight, we ate at what some would consider one of the best places to eat in the many fine dining restaurants in Vegas, the people we ate with were what made the night a dinner at SW to crave and savor.

Savoring Sobriety

18 May

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What does May 18th mark for some one who is addicted to alcohol and substances? For my bf, it marks his ten year anniversary of being sober. We call it his birthday because prior this date ten years ago, during his battles with alcohol and substance abuse, he believed he was not really living at all. Some people may not understand what it’s like to be, be with, or even know, an alcoholic or addict, while other may know what’s it’s like all too well.

Alcohol and substances effect all walks of life, and while every one’s story is different, there can be certain aspects of these stories that sound eerily similar to one another. My bf’s story started out with drinking and abusing drugs at a very early age, getting three DUI’s before age 21 (the legal drinking age) and several visits to the Emergency Room, one of which left him in a coma for a week. One would think any one of those instances would be a wake up call, but for an alcoholic or addict, it’s not as easy as it seems to stop drinking or using as it may be for some one who isn’t afflicted with this disease or predisposition. Thank goodness for his family members (and especially his sister Evy), who made a final intervention and ultimatum to either get clean or get out of their lives as the life he was leading was headed in one of two directions, jail or an early grave. His mother could never get a good night’s sleep, as she thought she would one day get that call that her son was either dead or had killed some one. As the family and/or loved ones of some one is going down a path of destruction, we too have to make hard decisions of being an enabler or not. That ultimatum is what lead him to Las Encinas Rehab, which taught him the tools he needed to get and also remain clean and sober, which ultimately saved his life. While he considers himself one of the lucky ones, he also knows it doesn’t just take luck. He takes his sobriety one day at a time, waking up, thanking God for another day or being alive, and not taking anything for granted.

My bf describes himself during those “dark years” as a “shell of himself,” with no morals, no values, or without ambition to live. While I didn’t know him during the the time before his sobriety, I know that time is a big part of what makes him who he is today, one of the best persons I know, the man I love and who I can’t imagine my life without. Although every day can be considered a day to savor and celebrate his sobriety, I am so proud him and happy that we can celebrate this special milestone of his tenth birthday together.

(Amazing Banana Creme Cake Courtesy of my bf’s sister Evy, so gooooood!)

Shoe’ve Got A Friend

15 May

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What do we do in times when we’re down and it seems like nothing is going right? Lately, I have been hearing such terrible news from some friends and family members, all going through rough patches, and I could’t help but feel helpless. I was wearing my black velvet dog face slippers during the day and I wasn’t feeling my best; so, they took me out for a walk, along with Simba (golden retriever), Beau Paddington (maltese) and Cocoa Bean (yorkie). Looking down at my doggy’s sweet faces, I started to feel better. The simple joy I felt from being with three of what I consider a girl’s best friend, I was able to, for a split second, forget about the stories of pain, loss, deception, corruption, and heartbreak. I had to thank my slippers for the walk and for the best piece of advice I heard all day, which was “despite everything that we, or any one we care about may be going trough, sometimes, all we can do is offer our love, support, and friendship.” I took the lead of my doggies, who are always there for me, and I let my loved ones know that they’ve got a friend in me. As the lyrics go to James Taylor’s “You’ve Got a Friend:”

When you’re down and troubled and you need a helping hand
and nothing, whoa, nothing is going right.
Close your eyes and think of me and soon I will be there to brighten up even your darkest nights.

You just call out my name, and you know where ever I am
I’ll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call and I’ll be there, yeah, yeah, you’ve got a friend.

If the sky above you should turn dark and full of clouds
and that old north wind should begin to blow,
keep your head together and call my name out loud.
Soon I will be knocking upon your door.
You just call out my name, and you know where ever I am
I’ll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call and I’ll be there.

Hey, ain’t it good to know that you’ve got a friend? People can be so cold.
They’ll hurt you and desert you. Well, they’ll take your soul if you let them,
oh yeah, but don’t you let them.

You just call out my name, and you know where ever I am
I’ll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call, Lord, I’ll be there, yeah, yeah,
you’ve got a friend. You’ve got a friend.
Ain’t it good to know you’ve got a friend. Ain’t it good to know you’ve got a friend.
Oh, yeah, yeah, you’ve got a friend.

My Favorite Person, My Mommy

12 May

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Who is my favorite person in life? My dearest Mommy, who I love with my all my heart. Every one’s story starts with our mothers, and my story started with a compassionate and loving mother, who always put her children’s well-being before her own. With unconditional love and lifetime of sacrifices, she was able to instill values and a belief system that has allowed me see the best in people and always keep in mind the importance of family. She also been such a supportive force, allowing me to believe that I can achieve anything and to believe that the sky is the limit. I owe so much to my Mommy, and can’t express how appreciative I am to have her as my mother. She is my best friend, the best person I know, and she means the absolute world to me. To an incredible person and some one I owe everything to, I wish my Mommy the happiest Mother’s Day.