About Me

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I was motivated to start a blog by reading all the wonderful talented individual's who have blogs out there. So, I want to make this blog about everyone who reads it. My family and God always comes first in my life. I want to share my experiences and in turn, hope to get feedback and ideas from you. I love unique things, I adore anything that sparkles (not over the top though) I love decorating, cooking, gardening, photography and shopping. My number one passion is photography! To me it becomes more than a picture, it can become a piece of art, or a beautiful memory. Decorating, though I am not a professional, and don't claim to be, has been a part of my life since I was very young, and just love searching and shopping for new ideas and incorporate the old, such as Mid-Century Modern and Hollywood Regency with contemporary. Living close to the Gulf of Mexico in Florida, and being of Hispanic heritage, I love cooking Mexican food, and love to share my authentic recipes. Though I live in Florida, my heart is in the desert southwest, and hope that my family and I will return there very soon…keep your fingers crossed that my prayers are answered SOON!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ippolita Jewelry...

Spring is almost here, and summer is around the corner.  Rather you love the ocean, the mountains or the desert, Ippolita Jewelry has something for every taste.  Many colors of the stones remind me of sea glass, and others such as the turquoise pieces, remind me of the beautiful desert southwest.  Enviable every time my daughter and I go into Neiman’s or Nordstrom’s and head to the jewelry counter, we go to see what they have new in the Ippolita area, then  to John Hardy and Alexis Bittar.  Each piece looks like a well thought out piece of jewelry architecture.  The pieces are simple, clean  and the texture is exquisite.  One of my favorites are the slightly oval bangles, they are so pretty when stacked in several different colored stones and gold or silver.  Even the bangles in resin are just perfect for the upcoming summer season, the Ivory resin with 5 stone in polished turquoise, love it!!!
Coming from Florence, she had a history of being close to antiquities and Etruscan objects. “I love the greenish colour of that period’s gold,” she says. “It really looks like treasure-chest gold, something I have finally recaptured.” 

I love the statement she made…”Mothers buy my designs for their daughters and vice versa”…it’s so true, you can wear it with a nice Chanel dress (which by the way, I don’t own), or a pair of blue jeans!  I hope if you haven’t had the opportunity to see some of her jewelry, you do in the future, you won’t be sorry.

Friday, March 11, 2011

After the Wedding....

Tomorrow will be one week since the wedding, and I am still exhausted.  I wanted to thank those of you who made the sweet comments on my last post, regarding me taking the photographs for my cousin's daughter's wedding...it was beautiful, and I am so grateful that God was by my side, they turned out really much better than I would have given myself credit for.  I was extremely nervous the whole way to the church, once over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, I knew I only had about 10 minutes until the church, but once I arrived and saw how happy everyone was, I was ready to go!  I took almost a thousand pictures, and only 20 didn't turn out well...I was shocked to say the least.  The ones I have sent to the family already told me just how pleased and happy with them they were, that's all I needed to hear.  Every evening, I've been downloading them on disks for everyone, so they have them right out of the camera, no editing.  And the last several nights, I've been doing my photo editing, with numerous programs.  Some are blended, sepia, color splashed, vintage, black and white, cropped, you name it...this is the part I love.  But...I must say, that will take quite some time to complete, but I am just so happy they asked to me to this for them, and that everything went so well.  Family always comes first and I am blessed that I was able to help this young couple out.  It was one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve been to in quite some time.  It was in black and teal, and the table settings were simple elegance, the music, the food, everything was just magical. 

If our weather here in Florida warms up a little, I may be hitting some beaches this weekend for more photographs, doing this wedding has me in the mood to start shooting more. 

Hope everyone has a wonderful blessed weekend.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Wedding Weekend....

What a beautiful weekend this is going to be, the daughter of my cousin is getting married, and they have entrusted in me to be the photographer....oh no!!!!  As I have said before I am a professional photographer only in my heart, not in my talents, but I did take over a thousand pictures at a niece's wedding on Anna Maria Island last April, and I was so pleased with those photographs, that gives me encouragement.  This wedding however, is inside, a totally candle lighted church, in the evening, completely different than a day time beach wedding.  I want to make sure to capture every single precious moment for this young couple, and I pray to God that he helps me achieve that for them.

My daughter is in the wedding and she is going to attempt to attach her Flip to her bouquet of flowers, so as she is walking down the isle and during the ceremony be taping it up close and personal, without anyone knowing.  Can't get much closer than that to video a wedding...

I have my battery totally charged (and packing the charger of course),  4 different SanDisk, totalling 32 GB, 2 packages of 20 each AA batteries for my Speedlight, my diffuser oh and the camera! 

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Agua Fresca and Agave Nectar, What a Perfect Blend...

Basic Recipe for Pina Agua Fresca
Simple, delicious and you can use the fruit of your choice.  Besides Pineapple, my favorite would be guava, mango, watermelon, and honeydew.
1 large ripe pineapple – remove the skin and cut the pineapple in small pieces
3 cups of cold water
*3/4 cup of sugar (or) 1/4 cup of Agave Nectar
Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender, mix thoroughly.  Use a large strainer and strain into a large glass pitcher or container of your choice, be sure to not allow any pulp, only the liquid goes into the pitcher.  Refrigerate until ready to use, and serve over ice and ENJOY!!!
*You may choose to add more of either to sweeten to your personal taste, but the idea is to taste the fresh fruit and for it to be refreshing, not overly sweet.
When using other fresh fruits, you will have to adjust to amount of water depending on the size or amount of fruit you use.  I always add the water slowly when using other types of fruits to ensure the proper water to fruit ratio.

5 Gallon Agua Fresca Barrel Beverage Dispenser


Agua Fresca Barrels Full of Pure Delicious Refreshing Tropical Flavor, Seen all through Mexico and The Desert Southwest, by Street Vendor’s or at Mexican Restaurants, etc. 
This would be so perfect for a pool party or dinner in the Lanai

Very typical of these wonderful drinks that I've seen in Mexico

Look at those beautiful colors

Perfect for a hot summer's day, or evening

Mango Agua Fresca - A variation of the more basic recipe with lime juice and garnishes.

Serves 2

This light, refreshing drink is a terrific thirst quencher on a hot summer day. The trick with making agua fresca (Spanish for "fresh water") is to infuse the water with fruit essence without turning it into a smoothie or slushy drink.


1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and cut into chunks
1 1/2 cups cold water
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar or sugar,  more or less to taste
Lime wedge and mint leaves for garnish


In a blender, combine mango and water and blend until smooth. Pour through a strainer into ice-filled glasses. Stir in lime juice and agave. Garnish with lime and mint, and serve.

Juan Antonio, owner of the café Oaxacalifornia in downtown Los Angeles, uses his grandmother's recipe for horchata, which many people consider the most refreshing agua fresca. Horchata is made by soaking rice overnight in water, then puréeing the mixture in a blender, straining it and adding flavorings such as cinnamon, vanilla or almonds.  Antonio serves the drink over ice with a sprinkle of diced toasted pecans and fresh cantaloupe -- topped with a scoop of his house-made cactus pear sorbet. The sorbet slowly melts in the glass, painting the pale horchata in pink and orange hues, and adding a terrific flavor counterpoint. He also likes to add a scoop of lime sorbet to a glass of tamarindo or, when he's made a jar, a chilacayota agua fresca. (Chilacayota is a Mexican squash.) Using the sorbet, Antonio says, "is a typical way of serving [aguas frescas] in Oaxaca."
Reference:  LA Times
Horchata (Cinnamon Rice Milk)
  • 1 cup long grain rice, rinsed
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
1.    In a large saucepan, combine rice, water and cinnamon stick. Set aside for 3 hours.
2.    After 3 hours, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Allow to cool.
3.    Puree rice mixture in a blender until smooth. Strain through cheesecloth or a fine sieve. Flavor with vanilla and sugar to taste. Chill, and serve over ice.

Horchata Agua Fresca

 Agave Nectar

Agave nectar (also called agave syrup) is a sweetener commercially produced in Mexico from several species of agave, including the Blue Agave (Agave tequilana), Salmiana Agave (Agave salmiana), Green Agave, Grey Agave, Thorny Agave, and Rainbow Agave.  Agave nectar is sweeter than honey, though less viscous.  Agave nectar is produced in the Mexican States of Jalisco, Michoacán, Guanajuato and Tamaulipas. According to Mexican laws pertaining to certificate of origin, most is produced in Jalisco.

Agave nectar is 1.4 to 1.6 times sweeter than sugar.  Agave nectar is often substituted for sugar or honey in recipes. Agave is commonly used as a Vegan alternative to honey in cooking.  Because it dissolves quickly, it can be used as a sweetener for cold beverages such as iced teaAgave nectar's are sold in light, amber, dark, and raw varieties. Light agave nectar has a mild, almost neutral flavor, and is therefore sometimes used in delicate-tasting foods and drinks. Amber agave nectar has a medium-intensity caramel flavor, and is therefore used in foods and drinks with stronger flavors. Dark agave nectar has stronger caramel notes, and imparts a distinct flavor to dishes.    Agave is less cloying than sugar and more healthful (higher in fructose, lower in glucose than sugar), and it dissolves instantly.

I use Agave nectar instead of simple syrup when making my Mojitos or other cocktails that require a simple syrup, it is delicious!!

Agave Tequilana

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Restoration Hardware- Aviation-Inspired Furnishings...

It is no secret that I have a sincere passion for Mid-century Modern and specifically Desert Modernism, so when I think of that particular era of beautiful homes and decor,  I also think of those silver airplanes like in “Casablanca”, such as the Lockheed Model 12A Electra Junior. There is just something so romantic about that era, and the old movies when they were traveling inside similar type airlines, it was all so much more personal, and with a certain glam that went along with it, that we just don't see today. The men in suits and the women always dressed up in such beautiful dresses, gorgeous jewelry, and of course always in heels!

Now at Restoration Hardware they have a unique line of “Aviation-inspired designs, and I must agree with the articles on this, it is timeless. It may not be for some people but to me, it is just so unique and I would love to own a few pieces of it. It’s a reminder of those days gone by, though we may not have been born during the “Casablanca” era, this design was carried well through most of the mid-century period. This for many is a reminder of home, family, and even a safer world for which we live in now. So, if something as personal as home décor is important to you as it is to me, this might just be something you too would enjoy.  My favorite are the Wing Desk the Blackhawk Chests and the Rocket Chair - does remind one of a well worn bomber jacket....

Reference:  http://living.glam.com/2011/02/18/aviation-inspired-furnishings-from-restoration-hardware/

                                                      Fullham Leather Sofa, $3,995

Tailored with reverse seaming that exposes its raw edges, this supple leather sofa displays the casual, well-worn hand of a vintage flight jacket. Its oversize profile, foursquare lines and deeply padded arms and back offer seating with exceptional comfort and relaxed style.


                                                                 Wing Desk, $1,995

Inspired by streamlined WWII fighter planes, this desk is a shining swoom of metal, its shape mimicking the bent wing of a plane. Poised as if for take-off, it features a polished aluminum patchwork exterior accented with steel screws and built around a solid hardwood frame. Three canvas-lined shelves offer ample storage.


                                                        Atlantic Coupe Chair, $1,795

This chair pays homage to the 1938 Bugatti Atlantic Coupe, a futuristic dream machine that was all curves, chrome, and leather. Pairing arms of stainless steel with a warm, vintage leather seat, its sleek, built-for-speed design contrasts old and new to masterful effect. A deep seat and raked back offer considerable comfort, swathed in sumptuous leather.


                                                              Rocket Chair, $995

This chair’s aerodynamic curves, raked back and deep, low slung seat recall the cockpit of an early 20th-century vintage fighter plane. Clad in leather with the character of a well-worn bomber jacket, its clean-lined silhouette offers enveloping comfort.

                                            Blackhawk Chests, $1,495 – $1,995

Inspired by the gleaming nose cones and fuselages of mid-20th-century aircraft, these trunks are clad in a patchwork of polished aluminum panels accented with exposed steel screws. Rounded corners and inset drawer pulls give them sleek, aerodynamic lines.