Friday, February 28, 2014

From NYC with love #3

Well, hello there!!
I hope you are not getting tired of these NYC-related-posts, because I have a few more coming up! hihihi

So today, I write about our 3rd day in the Big Apple. To mention, we were both very tired from first days and even a cold coming up; all due to the fact that we stood outside, in the cold, for such long periods of time.
That being said, we decided to just take it easy, and stay inside as much as possible.
On this 3rd day, the snow was the main attraction, and I honestly can't cope with snow flakes coming into my eyes. No!!! It's just not for me.
The streets of NYC were totally overwhelmed by my super-enthusiastic-Portuguese/English-swearing! :)

But whatever we did, the day didn't start until we got our dose of Starbucks! whahaha how fast can you adapt to local traditions, the better you will experience the place you are, isn't that right?! :-D

Places we visited:

-  MoMA (Modern Museum of Art)
-  Walked by Tiffany&Co (you ladies out there, know what I mean!) which is right next door of the Trump Tower
-  First burger @ "Burger Joint"
-  5th Avenue
-  The Rockefeller Center 
-  Bryant Park
-  Grand Central Terminal
-  Hard Rock Cafe

Now the pictures:
1 & 2 - Super high buildings all over the place!! :D
3 - Tiffany&Co shop and Trump Tower, side by side, both on 5th Av.
Some examples of Modern Art at the MoMA. I could not resist to the Nail Polish Painting *love*; Picasso also included! 
1 - Burger Joint, a nice place for the first burger of this trip!
2 - The Rockefeller square; love to see all those flags together, they do not fight against each other; people should do the same!
3 - Radio City Hall!!!
4 - Snow falling at Bryant Park.
1, 2 &3 - Grand Central Terminal. A pity that the camera could not capture its entire beauty (or my super bad photographer qualities could also be an option!)
4 - Margaritas at Hard Rock!!! Let the party begin.


My tips/comments:

First time for me to be at a Modern Museum Art and most likely the last one. It's just not for me. It had some cool stuff here and there but most of it, just didn't catch my attention. A few things to mention about modern art:
        1) It seems that put a colored plank against the wall is some sort of art. If I would have know that a few months/years ago, my house could have been nominated for the best Museum in town! Just saying...
         2) Some of the things in exposition over there were just to "weird" for me; I could not get it and it surprises me to see sooooo many people looking at a bunch of cardboard (or any kind of other junk) and making the most "intelligent" assumptions about what the artist wanted to express... Please, give me a break!
          3) It's a nice place to see Trendsetters; at a certain point in time, I asked myself: "Is the Fashion week already over or it just changed location to the Museum?!" Nothing further to add, you can imagine what I mean.
I do like Museums, but the ones that have a story to tell, that are focus on something we did not experienced, that take you to other times/experiences/ways of living/realities and so on... MoMA can be famous but to me, it's just a place not to go.
Now, back to something interesting: The Burger Joint. Well this is a very nice place to go and get an old-fashioned but tasty burger. Not McD style! But first, you gotta find the place!!! Jesus... It's almost mission impossible; it's inside a Hotel, next to the lobby, a narrow corridor behind a huge red curtain will lead you there. Well, I thought I was going to some underground XXX-club or something like that. Nevertheless, it's totally worth it because the burger is DE-LI-CI-OUS!!! :D
Moving on to the Grand Central Terminal, we passed by Bryant Park which had a skying ring installed and a glimpse of what we could call "Christmas Market"; nice and cute, even more when the snow is falling.
At the Grand Central Terminal, I had the impression I was being transported (how adequate...) to some kind of movie, like the one that Tom Hanks lives in the airport Terminal and so... Super cool place to stop by! The ceiling is impressive!!
Then, we closed off this day with a very nice dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. Some sort of a tradition and no matter what, it's always a nice place to go and enjoy some good food and music at the same time! Me likes!!! :D

Writing these diaries makes me wanna go back... NOW!

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cabelos ao vento

(If you do not speak Portuguese, you can use the Translator tool on the side bar)

Ora então, vinha eu muito bem do trabalho, a pensar com os meus botões "ahhh mas que sol tão bom, só é pena não tar calor".
Não deixa de ser agradável sair do trabalho quando ainda há sol, um céu azul mesmo ali em frente... Sabe tão bem!!!
Mas adiante, vinha eu no B-mobile, de casaco, cachecol, oculos de sol e o AC a 21graus, e eis que se não quando, dou por mim com um Mercedes SLwhatever, descapotável (nada de extravagante por estas bandas...) mesmo ali ao lado. Nada de espectacular até agora.
O melhor foi mesmo a capota aberta (sim, aberta!!!), uma loira de cabelos ao vento tal estrela de cinema, e eu olho para o termómetro e marcam 10 graus no exterior. *shocking*

Pensei cá pra comigo: Sou eu que vou mal ou a menina tá com os calores?!?...



Fiquei a matutar na cena e pensar o quão rídiculo aquilo me pareceu, mas depois eis que me lembrei de algo!
Esta gente por aqui, entenda-se no país das Túlipas e no da Salsicha, acha que 20 graus é uma temperatura agradável, 25 já é calor e tudo acima disso é qualquer coisa insuportável!
Pronto!! Tava explicado; "obviamente" que 10 graus é fixolas para abrir a capota do carro e aproveitar os raios de Sol.
O que me preocupa é como é que esta alminha vai sobreviver quando as temperaturas aumentarem... Not of my business, I know!

E pronto, era só isto! :-)
B.
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Mask me, please!

Who doesn't like to go to a Spa every now and then?
I have never been to one and after Sunday morning, I might not need to go any time soon.

For the first time, I decided to do a homemade facial mask. Didn't feel like spending quite some euros on a cream/mask product, that no matter what they say, it will always have a bunch of chemicals in it.
I have very dry/sensitive skin and I'm super careful with it; I can't use any kind of cream so the idea of using natural ingredients sounded like a great plan to me.

After a week in NYC, where temperatures were most of the days below 0C, my skin was super dry and in need of some extra treatment.

I first did a Cleansing Mask followed by a Moisturizing Mask.

A) Cleansing Mask  (also good for Sensitive Skin):
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • a bit of water
  • 1/2 cup of milk
How to:
1) Put the cucumber and water in the blender, and blend it until you get a liquid solution
2) Pour it into a bowl and add the milk.
3) Stir it for a bit.
4) Apply it onto your face with cotton balls and let it be for 5 min.
5) Rinse it with warm water and tap a towel on your face until it's dry.

B) Moisturizing Mask:
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup of oatmeal
  • 1 table spoon of honey
  • water
How to:
1) Mash the banana.
2) Mix it with the oatmeal.
3) Add the honey and mix, mix, mix and a bit more mix.
4) Add a bit of water until you get a creamy consistency.
5) Apply it onto your face with a clean foundation brush and let it rest for 15 min.
6) Rinse it off with warm water and dry your face gently.


My experience:
After Mask A), my skin was suuuuper fresh and felt so clean!!! While you have the mask on your face, you might feel it drying up and this feeling of someone pulling out your skin; it doesn't hurt though. Once you wash it off, that feeling is gone and freshness is back!! Totally recommend this one. 
If you were make-up every day, this might be a good thing to do every 3/4 days. 
I made too much mask for 1 usage, so with the remaining, I stored it in the fridge and should stay good for at least 5 days.
Mask B) was also efficient and got the same "pulling" feeling while the mask was drying up, but once it was off of my face... damn!!! It felt like baby skin! Seriously, my skin was getting flaky and so, but after this mask, it's super moisturized and feels very soft.

So, all in all, you just need 20 minutes of your day (plus 10/15 min more to prepare all the masks), and you will feel like brand new!
I'm planning on doing this every week, so let's see how it works on a long term basis.

What about you? Do you do any masks? Homemade or you buy creams?
Let me know in the comments!

B.
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Monday, February 24, 2014

From NYC with love #2

Now that I have a break from my Dutch homework, I can finally come back to the amazing memories about NYC.

It all started with a sunny morning and the Empire State Building (ESB) right in front of our hotel room's window. Now, it was real; I was in New York City!!!!!!
It took me a while to realize it but once I did, it felt like...... I don't know the word but it was veeeeery nice!

All our days were very busy, so I'm going to keep it simple: a list of places we visited, pics and some tips & comments.

Day #2 - Places visited:

- walked from ESB to Times Square and then to Columbus Circle;
- 1st Starbucks coffee!! Got addicted to Cafe Latte. :-D
- Liberty Island;
- Ellis Island;
- Wall Street;
- Trinity Church;
- Ground Zero;
- City Hall;
- Glimpse of Chinatown;
- Broadway;
(yep... busy day!)

Now, the pictures:
1 - ESB
2 - Columbus Circle (a square at one of the entrances from Central Park)
3 - In the Big Apple baby!!! :-D
4 - Times Square!!!!!
1 - Liberty Statue; nice but not thaaat impressive, imo.
2 - Hospital buildings @ Ellis Island
3 & 4 - Nice quotes about people immigrating to the States
5 - Registry Room; where all immigrants were registered when they arrived in the USA. Their 1st contact with their new country.1 - View of Liberty Statue on the way to Ellis Island
2 - View of Manhattan form Ellis Island, while the sun was setting; breath taking!!!
3 - Trinity Church
4 - New York Stock Exchange
5 - New tower built at Ground Zero, where the WTC used to be...

Tips & comments:
This day was just tiring as hell!! But at the same time, super great and we saw/visited remarkable places.
The Ellis Island and all its history is very impressive; as an e/immigrant myself, it meant quite a lot to me, but nowadays, things are not as tough as back then.
Seeing Manhattan from the Hudson while the sun was setting, was very special. Those kind of "Kodak" moments that will always stay in your memory.
Once you get closer to Ground Zero, you can automatically feel a different vibe in the air; streets aren't as noisy as any other street in NYC, people don't make that much noise and all in all, it's a very heavy, respectful, sad and honorable atmosphere. The whole area is still under construction and there are several police checks surrounding it. It's impressive the amount of police in such a "little" area. No wonder...
I don't know and never will, how NYC looked with the WTC there, but as it is now, you can tell that it's a different New York... The past events changed the city, the people, the country and the World. Nothing is as it was, and it will never be...

I will come back with Day 3, asap!!
Hope you like this post.

NYC, I miss you....
B.
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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Adventures in the kitchen #5

So, here I am with another recipe for those who are interested.
It's a super easy desert to prepare and if I can do it, anyone can. ;-)

Berry Mousse
What you'll need

  • 125g frozen berries
  • 200g sugar + 50g
  • 250ml cream
  • 1.5 jelly leaves
  • 1 bit of cinnamon
How to:

  1. Put the jelly leaves in cold water.
  2. Pour the frozen berries with 200g of sugar and cinnamon in a pan and let it cook. Stir it every now and then until you get a nice consistency; apprx.13min.
  3. Add the jelly leaves (without the water) and stir it. Let it cook for 2 min and then let it cool down.
  4. Beat the cream until you get a fluffy and voluminous mix. Then, add the 50g of sugar and stir it again.
  5. Add the 50g of sugar and stir it once again. Let it rest in the fridge for 5min
  6. Add the berry mix into the cream and stir it.
  7. Put it in the fridge for at least 2 hours and that's it!!!



I hope you enjoy it! :-)
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Saturday, February 22, 2014

From NYC with love #1

Finally, I've got the time to write about NYC.
It was a dream for me to go there, at least once, and now all I can say is that I want to go back ASAP!!!! hihihi

I had such a great time there, that it gets very difficult to put it in words.

The journey started very early in the morning, as our flight was departing from Amsterdam. As usual, check-in was done online, so no time wasted at desks. Just drop off the luggage and done.
Waited for a couple of hours because we were at the airport a bit early (but with Dutch trains, you just never know...), meaning I had plenty of time to wonder around at the Duty Free area... hihihi
Schiphol airport it's like a shopping mall where they actually have flights to some places! Cool concept, I'd say! haha

The flight was pretty smooth but HOT!! And I mean it; it was soooo warm in that plane that I got so sick that I nearly fainted. 
Anyway, after some looong waiting at the customs, we were ready to go to NYC! A tip; if you land in JFK or La Guardi, take the NYC Airporter to downtown Manhattan. It's a bus service, running every 20/30min, that will take you directly from the airport to your hotel. I totally recommend it, super convenient and much cheaper than taking a cab.
In less than an hour, we were at our hotel, with a lovely view to the Empire State Building, totally in for Valentine's Day with some pink lights shining on it. Great!!!! :D
1- Nice blue birds at Shiphol airport
2- Brasileira as a language on KLM menu... As far as I know, Brasileiro it's not a language; it's Portuguese!
3- Our hot meal during the flight; quite okay I'd say
4- First glimpse of Times Square!!!
5 & 6 - Drinks and snacks at Applebee's; super yummy! (let's not think about Pepsi though...)

I will be back asap with diary #2!!!!
We had a great time in NYC so you can expect LOOOOOTS of pics!! hahaha

B.
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I'm coming your way, NYC!!!!

Suuuuuuuuuuuuper looking forward to get in this baby!!!!



Just 24hrs to go and still quite some packing to do. :)
I will keep a diary of this trip and hope I won't freeze my ass off in there.

#excited
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