Thursday, July 30, 2015

Summer Cocktail Recipe: Mint Watermelon Agua Fresca Margarita

Now that Summer is well under way, it's seems only fitting to be sipping on a cool cocktail. I have the perks of living with two friends who are in the restaurant industry and we are always stirring up new cocktail creations. Since the heat is definitely in full effect here in New York City, we decided to come up with a refreshing drink.

Let's be honest, who doesn't love a good margarita? And watermelon being a Summer favorite, we came up with the perfect recipe. A 'Mint Watermelon Agua Fresca Margarita'. I promise it tastes just as good as it sounds! Agua Fresca meaning a Mexican drink made with pureed fruit, water and sugar. And of course a margarita consists of lime juice and tequila. Add fresh watermelon and be prepared to fall in love this cocktail.

Recipe: {per serving}

  • 2 oz silver tequila       *choose tequila of your preference 
  • 4 oz watermelon agua fresca 
  • 1 oz agave syrup 
  • 2 oz of fresh lime juice
  • 4-5 mint leaves
  • 3-4 ice cubes
  • 1 sliced watermelon wedge to garnish 

*Salt rim can also be added. 

To prepare the agua fresca mixture you will need to begin by slicing a small watermelon into small cubes. Make sure to cut a few wedge slices to use as garnish later. Remove seeds and place cubes of watermelon into a large bowl. Set aside. In a separate bowl begin mixing equal parts of water and agave syrup to essentially make a sugar water. 

Then place watermelon cubes into a food processor slowly adding the sugar water mixture until you have a smooth consistency. In our recipe, we choose to strain the watermelon mixture and use only the juice with the pulp removed. Once you have completed this, place juice in separate container and chill until ready to use. 

Next take a few limes, cut in half and squeeze the juice from the lime into a separate container. This will be your fresh lime juice. Set aside. Then wash the fresh mint and remove the leaves from the stems. 

Now for the final steps...

In a glass, take 4-5 mint leaves and muddle. 
Add 3-4 ice cubes 
Add 2 oz of your preferred tequila. (We used Peligroso Silver)
Add 4 oz of watermelon agua fresca
Add 2 oz  of fresh lime juice
Add 1oz of agave syrup  (for added sweetness)

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker, give a few shakes and pour into your favorite glassware. 

Garnish with a watermelon wedge & you are now ready to sip away the Summer heat! 

Special Thanks to Will & Danny for their help in creating this fabulous cocktail & for being the best friends a girl could ask for!

 XO, Rae

Monday, July 27, 2015

5 Favorite Beauty Products

Ladies, we all want to look and feel our best. Now days, there are so many products on the market it's hard to keep up with them all. So, I decided to share a few of my favorite beauty products that I use. I hope you will find that you love them just as much as I do!

1. Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser (foaming formula)

PRICE: $10.99 

PURCHASE @: Rite Aid, Target or any local drug store. 

WHY I LOVE IT: I have sensitive skin that can often be oily. This is the first cleanser that I have used that makes my face feel really clean after using and lasts all day. It's also great for removing makeup. I love how it foams on use and is gentle enough for me to use everyday. And it comes in a pump bottle which makes it easy to control how much you use. 

2. e.l.f. Studio Eye Refresh    

PRICE: $3.00 

PURCHASE @: I personally love to shop at the e.l.f. Studio Financial District *139 Fulton St. New York, NY 10038.  If there is not an e.l.f studio near you, you can also purchase at CVS, Target, Walgreens and even some Old Navy stores. 

Order online  {link below}

WHY I LOVE IT: I often have puffy eyes no matter how much sleep I get at night. So when I came across this product, I was excited to give it a try! I have tried creams in the past but never really got great results. This Eye Refresh rollerball is amazing! I use it daily after I cleanse my face and before I apply my makeup. When applying, it gives you a refreshed feel and includes ingredients like cucumber and green tea. This rollerball is also great for reducing dark circles. The rollerball is lightweight and compact so it fits perfect in my makeup bag for those on the go days. 

3. Makeup Sponge Applicator 

PRICE: $3.99  

PURCHASE @: I found this pink one {Bella Beauty} at HomeGoods. Yes, they have beauty supplies too! You can also purchase similar sponge applicators at most beauty supply stores like ULTA, Sephora and Target. (Prices may vary)
WHY I LOVE IT: These sponge applicators seem to be all the rage these days. And I can see why. I love mine! I have a few and use them to apply my concealer and also to help touch up my make up through out the day. The shape is what I love most, it fits perfect in your hands which makes it easy to apply makeup. No more using your fingers or awkward flat sponges. And how fun is it that these applicators come in all different colors! 
Tip: You should wash your sponge applicators often using a mild cleanser.

4. REDKEN Fashion Work 12 Hairspray 

PRICE: $18.99

PURCHASE @: Ricky's NYC is where I purchase mine. Also available at ULTA or your local Hair Salons that carry REDKEN Products. 

WHY I LOVE IT: My hair is fine and volume is something I have to create myself. I love this hairspray because it gives just the right amount of texture and volume without leaving your hair feeling weighed down. And it does not make your hair crunchy. Ladies, you know what I'm talking about. You can spray this hairspray on your hair and comb right through it. I also love that I can re-apply more if needed through out the day and my hair never feels sticky after use. This hair spray is perfect if your trying to achieve hair with volume yet flexible hold. 

5. It Works! Defining Gel 

PRICE: $45.00 Loyal Customer Price/ Retail $75.00  

visit for info on how you can become a Loyal Customer

PURCHASE @: It Works! Online {link below}

WHY I LOVE IT: We know that there is no way to get rid of cellulite for good. But good news is, there are ways to improve the appearance of your trouble areas.This defining gel is one of my best kept secrets (well until now). I have been using this defining gel for over 2 years now and I am very happy with the results. I use it a few times a week, although you can apply it as often as 1-2 times per day. You just simply apply on targeted areas using a circular motion to rub in and allow to dry for a few minutes. I have used the defining gel on my legs (cellulite) and stomach (stretch marks & scars from previous appendix surgery). It definitely has improved the appearance of my skin in these areas. And even more reason to love it, this defining gel isn't made of harsh chemicals so your skin will thank you! 

Thanks for checking out my 5 Favorite Beauty Products! 
Share your favorite beauty products in the COMMENTS below. 

XO, Rae

Thursday, July 23, 2015

One of My Favorite Places in the City

On Sunday, I met up with my friend Sarah for lunch who happened to be in the city for the weekend celebrating her daughters birthday. Always great seeing her & catching up! 

After lunch I did some shopping and took a walk through Bryant Park, one of my favorite places in the City. Bryant park is iconic for so many reasons, mostly for hosting fashion week for years. One thing I love about the park, is that it always takes on a new look according to the season. Plus there is something for everyone to engage in. There are ping pong tables, chess and backgammon games, a carousel for kids and a huge open lawn. Along with tables and chairs that border the lawn to sit and have lunch or just take in the sites. Not to mention, the park also has some amazing views of nearby skyscrapers.

Yesterday was no exception. The park looked gorgeous. The lawn was so green, trees in full bloom and lots of people out enjoying the 80 degree weather. I love how each time I visit the park, it feels like a new experience. 
Can't wait to spend more Sunday's at the park! 

Brooklyn Bridge

    View of Manhattan

    Found some LOVE Locks on the bridge ❤️

A few weeks ago I finally took a trip down to the iconic Brooklyn Bridge.  I have been wanting to walk the Brooklyn Bridge since my very first trip to New York a few years ago. Now that I live in the city, it only seems fitting to go.  My roommates Will and Danny along with some friends visiting from out of town all decided to make a day of it and head to the Brooklyn Bridge.

As we got closer to the Brooklyn Bridge from the Manhattan side, you first walk along side the highway and soon start to see the infamous arches of the bridge. As you get toward the middle you start to see views of both Manhattan and Brooklyn. It's the most amazing views. For me it was a bit emotional. It was the day after my last day at my job and standing there on the bridge was surreal. It reminded me that in life you can be in between two points and you have the choice as to which one you decide to embark upon. I definitely had some moments of pure happiness as well walking the bridge. To be there with Will, my best friend of over 10+ years, was amazing to experience it together. And a day that I will never forget. 

For anyone visiting or living in New York, the Brooklyn Bridge is a must see! 

XO, Rae 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Status: SINGLE

I can admit, I am still a little damaged from my last serious relationship. I don't feel pity for myself. I just know now exactly what I want and what I don't want out of my next relationship. Just because someone wants to be with you doesn't mean you have to be with them. Your not doing yourself a favor by trying to fill the void in your life. I used to look at failed relationships as a bad thing. I am a product of divorce. I typically have trust issues with men. And I haven't always picked the greatest ones to be with. I now see it as a chance to grow and learn from. I'm not perfect. I've definitely had my faults in past relationships. But all of that has helped to mold me into the person I am today. And because of lessons learned, I am more sure of what I want for myself in the future.

Being single isn't always easy or ideal. Although it is sometimes welcomed. I think being single is often looked at as a negative status. Honestly, I think more women should embrace it. But it's a choice I make. I am willing to stay single for as long as needed. God willing, that won't be forever! I'm not getting any younger. Ha! Now that I am in my thirties, it's more important for me to stay true to myself. I'm not looking for a perfect guy. I just know there are some traits I am not willing to settle for. I have goals, hopes and dreams and I want someone who I can share those with. So ladies, don't be afraid to wait for the love you deserve. 

XO, Rae

Sunday, July 19, 2015

10 Things You Learn In Your 30's

I have learned to fully embrace my Thirties and I have to say so far, they have not disappointed. But of course with age comes wisdom. With the help of some friends, I have compiled a list of '10 Things You Learn In Your 30's.'

1.  Embrace who YOU are. 

 By 30 you start to really get to know who you are as a person and what you want out of life. You become an adult so to speak. Your getting your career on point, your paying bills like a boss and dating like a grown woman. Don't be fearful of who you may become. Be open to the possibilities.

2.  Your Mom is always right. -credit: Kristi Evans

 It's bound to happen. You will begin to hear yourself channeling your mother and saying to yourself "She was right!"  I even find that I often apologize to my Mom for thinking that she has no idea what I am going through....what I now realize is that she has already been there and done it. Hence why Mom's give the best advice!

3. You are not missing out on anything. -credit: Billy Berces

 Remember when you got invited to go out with your friends and you were so afraid of missing out you would never say 'NO'. Well those days are over. You just worked a 40+ hour week, your tired, you have nothing to wear and all you really want to do is go home and watch 'The Real Housewives'. Plus you can live vicariously via Facebook and save yourself the hangover. You will thank yourself in the morning!

4. Family is not always blood. -credit: Marisa Liona

 I agree 100% with this! Family does not have to be true to definition. Being family means more than just sharing a last name or a bloodline of relatives. It's about being there for someone and making an effort to be a part of their life. You don't get to pick your family but you do get to pick your friends. If your lucky, some of those friends will become family. 

5.  It's okay to make mistakes. -credit: Billy Berces

 Although you are well into adulthood now. You are still allowed to make mistakes. You don't have to have it all figured out in a perfect pinterest board. Be open to the idea that things will fall apart at times. But more often than not you will find yourself able to pick the pieces quicker. 

6. Sometimes you become the parent for your parents. -credit: Jackie Alfaro

 At some point you will find yourself in a moment of being the parent to your parent(s). Whether it's in giving advice or in caring for them as they get older. Both are more of a reality at this age. You will begin to start to worry about them more often, be ultra protective and have to deal with the fact that they are getting older and will need you more than ever. 

7.  A few good friends are all you really need. 

 At this age it is all about quality NOT quantity. Life is busy and when you do have down time, you want to invest in those who make it worth while. This isn't high school anymore and you don't need to be in a clique. You need real girlfriends that you can laugh with, confide in and drink bottles of wine with no judgment. 

8.  Date yourself.
 Ladies, LISTEN UP! You can't expect for someone to love you if you don't love yourself. And sometimes the best way to do that is to date yourself. Meaning put yourself on "a break" and get to know who you are deep down. The only way you are going to know what you want out of a relationship is to know what you have to have offer as well. Try it. I promise you will be a better girlfriend and one day wife for it!

9.  Sex is better in your thirties.  -credit: Jennifer Sears

 Okay so now that you have dated your self and have sworn off men for awhile. Nothing will get you back in the saddle more than having some good sex! It's true, sex is better in your thirties. Maybe its because of all the bad sex you had in your twenties or because your more experienced now? Whatever it is, be thankful! 

10. Your life is NOT over at 30! 

 Contrary to what you may think, turning 30 is not as awful as it may seem. It is possible that your thirties will be some of the best years of your life. Enjoy it because 40 is around the corner. Kidding! 

  XO, Rae

Have some more to add? Comment below. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Self Check!

Sometimes you just have to look in the mirror, pull yourself together, tell yourself to stop being fearful of the unknown and remind yourself that you are capable of amazing things! LITERALLY had to have that conversation with myself today.

Since I recently resigned from my job and am currently taking a hiatus from the 9-5 world, lately I have been feeling displaced. I'm a planner by nature and I thrive on working and feeling accomplished. So now that I am venturing out to do my own projects. The days are less organized and I have been feeling less accomplished. Fear is also partly to be blamed. It's the fear of not knowing what lies ahead. And I know there will be many hiccups along the way. That's part of the risk of the journey.  But hey everyone has to start from somewhere and I'm pretty sure I'm not the first to have these feelings. For so long I have been so focused on my career that I forgot to focus on what makes me truly happy. I hope to accomplish much success with this blog and my handbag designs one day. Giving life to these two things is what gets me excited everyday. So I plan to do everything I can to make it a reality for myself. Sometimes in life you have to push yourself harder. Nothing worth having comes easy. 

XO, Rae

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The One That Got Away

Ladies, have you ever thought to your self "what if he was the one?"  Let's face it, we have all dated a guy in the past and then later in life started to wonder could he be the one that got away?! 

In this case it's kinda reversed. I've had 2 guys that I've dated in the past that have at one time or another seeked me out again and have said the exact words of "I've always wondered what it would be like if we were still together?" It's somewhat flattering and somewhat frustrating. Is it because they have failed relationships and want to reach back into their past? Or is it because they truly feel that way now? 

Some would say that exes are that for a reason. And we all know that relationships end for all sorts of reasons. In my case both relationships didn't end on bad terms. They simply ended because at the time we were young and in different places in our lives. So it does beg the question: What if?

I think as women we tend to struggle with this question sometimes. Wondering if we passed up on "the one" or wonder could it be different now that both people are older and maybe wiser? 

We all know the phrase "leave the past in the past". Why dig up old feelings and make them fit into your present life?  But I'm sure in some scenarios it has worked out for some couples. Maybe rekindling the flame years later is not such an awful idea if both people are invested in it. 

So I say you be the judge of your own heart. You never know, YOU could be the one that got away.❤️


Monday, July 6, 2015

Beautiful Breckenridge

I am currently visiting my family in Denver, Colorado for two weeks. Yesterday my Dad, brother, his girlfriend and I decided to take a road trip to Breckenridge, Co. I was excited because although I was born in Colorado, I have not really explored a lot of the state. So we all piled up in the truck and set off for a road trip.

Breckenridge is a small town with scenic views and lots of local shops and restaurants that align the streets with just about everything from clothing to souvenirs to ski shops. There seemed to be mostly locals around but also many visitors exploring the town. We had lunch at the The Gold Pan Saloon which is on Main Street. The restaurant has a laid back atmosphere and a wide variety of a menu. After lunch, we decided to walk around and see the sites and shops. It was raining on and off but the views were still breathtaking. The mountains were even still snow covered in some areas. 
We spent the rest of the day walking through town and bought a few souvenirs to take home with us. Isn't that the best part of road trips?

I definitely recommend visiting Breckenridge if your in Colorado. Perfect way to spend a Sunday with friends or family!

For more information on Breckenridge, check out the link below.

XO, Rae

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Friends We Keep

Once you are in your thirties you realize that a few true friends are better than the twenty you used to have. I think it's important that women have a close group of girlfriends.I have an amazing group of girlfriends! Most of my girlfriends, I met when I was in my twenties. Your twenties are usually your unstable years. When you're partying, making up, breaking up and trying to figure out your life. If your friends can see you at this stage of your life and still stick around after, they are keepers! 

All of my girlfriends have this in common, they are loyal and have a genuine interest in my life. I feel that is a must when it comes to friendship. Often we surround ourselves with friends who are too caught up in their own life to take notice of ours. Friendship should be 50/50. It takes work just like any relationship. But in the end you want to feel they are just as invested in your life as you are in theirs. As women, I think it's important to have a well rounded group of girlfriends. I mean if all of your friends were alike, that would be pretty boring right?

One of my girlfriends is a few years younger than me. We are complete opposites in most aspects. She is bold, has never met a stranger and loves the outdoors. I'm more shy and quiet at first and not very outdoorsy unless it involves drinking on a patio. But we get each other on a level of passion for life. We both have recently moved to new states in efforts to chase our dreams. It's nice to share those experiences with a friend who understands it first hand. 

One my girlfriends that I have known the longest, I met at my first medical office job. She is soft spoken, smart, a great mother and can fix almost anything. Seriously, she can put most men to shame. She has taught me a lot about medical and we both connected over our passion for working in the medical field. We have leaned on each other through heartbreaks and been there to help pick up the pieces afterward. She has been my wing woman at the bars when we were both single and on the prowl. We have had some great times and share stories only we can tell. 

Another one of my girlfriends is my ride or die friend. Every girl needs one. That friend that never judges you or your mistakes. She is kind, funny, outspoken and doesn't let many people into her life easily. I consider myself lucky to be called her friend. She helped me to work through my past relationship with my ex and has always been a great sounding board. She is always honest when giving advice and that is what I love most about her. We have seen each other go through some difficult times in our lives. And we have celebrated many of life's happy moments like her newly born daughter. She is so worthy of becoming a mother. She reminds me that life is full of unknowns but you still have to ride it out. 

My best friend I saved for last. She is the most selfless person I have ever met. She is thoughtful, funny, kindhearted and will surprise you with her karaoke skills to 80's and 90's music. She will sing Salt -N- Pepa's "PUSH IT" like nobody's business. We could do nothing but sit in her living room and drink wine all night and be perfectly content. She and I like to do simple things like go to festivals, eat cheap mexican food, drink margaritas and craft things. Although she is now a busy Mom, she always makes time for our friendship. We just get each other and never have to apologize for what we say or think. She is like a sister to me. Friends who become family are the best types of friends. I can see us both sitting on a porch well into our 50's sipping wine. 

Life is too short not to be surrounded by great friends. I cannot imagine my life without my girlfriends. I am nothing without them by my side. 

XO, Rae