Global Eating

 

The first night in town, we ate at the Elk in the Woods (http://www.the-elk-in-the-woods.co.uk/) and in my husbands words, “This is the most amazing venison burger, I have ever had.” & “This dessert is probably the best thing ever”. The best dessert ever was the “Homemade Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwich with Salted Caramel”…need I say more.
The next day, I decided I was in the mood for Pho. The Pho Cafe (http://www.phocafe.co.uk/locations/islington) was an excellent treat after a chilly and wet excursion. I started out with Nem hải sản, a fried roll with prawns, pork & crab. It was so delicious with everything yummy inside. I then ordered Phở tái lăn with fried flash steak with garlic. I was so full and happy, it was truly time for a nap.
We went to the Angelic Pub (http://theangelic.co.uk/home.html) for pub eats that were as sophisticated as any fine dining restaurant. For starters. I enjoyed mussels with fries along with the most divine mojito. For my entree, I had the Atlantic Cod Fillet and was incredibly pleased with my “pub” experience.
Another stand out restaurant – and quite unexpected – is the perfect place if you are missing a bite of home done in London Style.  I am talking about Byron (http://www.byronhamburgers.com/menu/). I had the Byron and I am willing to say that it was a “proper burger” indeed. Probably the best I have had in a long time. You also have the option for onion rings, fries and chips.  The waitress even went to the trouble of explaining the intricate differences between fries vs. chips.
Being as the England has claimed Chicken Tikka Masala as its national dish, it was only fitting to find a delicious Indian Restaurant. We found Masala Zone (http://www.masalazone.com/). The environment had a warm and modern feel. It was perfect for a date night or dinner with friends. Masala zone specializes in Thalis. Which is served in a typical Indian fashion with your main curry, 2 vegetables (one green & one root), Dal (lentil), Raita, Indian salad, Chapatti, & rice.
I also have a list of must eat places once I return across the pond. They are as follows:
The Golden Union (Fish & Chips)- http://www.goldenunion.co.uk/
Antipliler (Turkish)- http://www.anteplilerislington.co.uk/
Afghan Kitchen- http://www.zagat.com/r/afghan-kitchen-london?gclid=COLclobFz70CFa_m7Aodog0AFg
Tandis (Persian)- http://www.tandisrestaurant.com/
Tayyab (Pakistani)- http://www.tayyabs.co.uk/

XO,

Chan

 

 

English Spring

 

I love traveling and getting the chance to see myself in a different context. I sometimes get stuck in the cycle of everyday. Not that I am not appreciative of the everyday joys; it is just nice to know that the world is a big place full of possibilities. This week, I will share with you some of my special finds and experiences in London. It is a lovely town that embraces diversity and history. You can definitely see those sensibilities reflected in their fashion.
We stayed in Islington, which was a cute section of England, that had a wonderful mix of accessible shopping like Gap, H&M, French Connection, Mark & Spencer, & L’Occitane. It also had more boutiques that offered everything from interior design, fresh flowers, chocolates, and independent designers.
I found a few pieces that fit into my wardrobe and will give a fresh spin on my spring fashion. On the first day, I went walking up and down the street getting my bearings and looked in H&M. I knew that I wanted a white blazer to add to my dresses and outfits this spring and summer. I use my black blazer so much and this is an easy way to freshen up my habit.
I went to Jack Wills and found that amazing trench. I loved the richness of the color and the fit was just right. It looked very “smart” as the Brits would say. I am obsessed with a trench to finish off any outfit.
It is never a bad idea as the seasons change to spruce up your undergarments. A friend of mine, state side, told me about Marks & Spencer and their lingerie department. I love the bras and underwear I got from here and the prices were the extra bonus. M & S sets were a standout. I feel like an actual adult with beautiful foundations.
London is a true melting pot, and I happened upon Tiger of Sweden. I love these pieces. These clothes can take you from the office to the other special events in you life. I adore the draping, colors, and patterns that make this line sophisticated and fresh.
I have been eyeing Camper shoes for a while, but after visiting a pedestrian city like London, I find that comfort and style are a must. I love the edgy style of Camper shoes, while your feet will thank you for it later.
In London everything is proper while keeping some whimsy. What better time of the year to show a little magic in your dress than spring. Poppy has beautiful silhouettes for women and girls. I love the vivid colors used in each garment and the story panels at the bottom. My daughter’s Easter Dress came with it’s own story book. It will definitely put a smile on your face and feel like a special addition to your closet.

XO,
Chan

P.S.
Tomorrow I will travel back to my eating tour of London!

Name/Job Titles: Emille Davie Lawrence, mother, mathematician, professor

 
Little one: one daughter, Margot Emery Lawrence, who is 9 months old ( March 11); she is one smart, inquisitive little baby who already knows what she wants and what she doesn’t.
Do you have a favorite recipe you enjoy making for your family?
My daughter’s favorite food is avocado, so I can’t take much credit for that. But when I have people over for a casual dinner, everyone loves when I make fish tacos. I batter the fish with a mixture of egg, milk, flour, and tabasco sauce and fry.  I also pan fry flour tortillas.  Then we add our favorite taco toppings which usually includes shredded cabbage, cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo, and lime.  
What is your favorite activity that grounds you within yourself?
I don’t have a lot of activities outside of work and home these days. But my favorite activity has consistently been going to the gym on Saturday mornings for a strength training class, followed by a Turbo Kickboxing class. I even went to these classes up to my 39th week of pregnancy. I love to sweat and I love feeling strong, and these classes supply both. At the end of the two hours, I leave feeling exhausted, but at the same time energized by the fact that I am giving my body what it needs.
Do you have a favorite workout plan?
Right now, I’m only working out on weekends. Saturday mornings at 24 Hour Fitness, and Sunday mornings I take a Cardio Barre class. I’d love to squeeze in a workout during the week, but I haven’t managed to find the time and energy given my two jobs as a professor and mother.
What outfit that you own that makes you feel beautiful/ powerful?
I love my red Silk Faille Full Skirt by Tibi. It is a classic feminine look, but the red color gives it a powerful punch.  There’s nothing I can’t do in that skirt!
Is there any beauty tricks you can share that might help a tired Mom?
Strongly consider sleep training when your baby is around 6 months. You deserve a good night’s rest, in fact it’s essential.  In the early days, it’s expected to have interrupted sleep with night feedings.  But prolonged lack of sleep takes its toll mentally and physically.  Start getting a good night’s sleep so you can look and feel your best!
What about Motherhood do you think you understand most?
I understand that my daughter is her own person, even now. She has her own mind and will eventually make all of her own decisions.  I may not always agree with her decisions but because I love her unconditionally, I will always respect them. 
What about Motherhood still has you scratching your head?
If you’re so sleepy, why don’t you just go to sleep????
Do you have a philosophy on balancing family time with other responsibilities?
My philosophy is that family comes first, BUT a woman should have other goals and passions outside of family.  Whether it be her career, volunteer work, a hobby, or something else, we should have a way of finding joy outside of the home. The balance will be different for each family, but the key is to be sure that everyone is happy, functional, and satisfied–mom, partner, and children.
If you could get more of anything to help you in your household, what would it be?
I need more help in cleaning.  I do a pretty good job keeping things mostly organized and tidy, but we could use extra help in this area!
What is the one beauty product you can’t live without?
MAC Ruby Woo lipstick! It looks fabulous on everybody!
When I met Emille, I could recognize in her a definite “sense of self”.  She exudes this confidence in her strong fashion sense, her amazing intellect, and love of God and family.   I have an amazing life, but sometimes struggle with finding time for my own balance.  This week I will make a concerted effort to find many little ways to express my personal passions & self.  Sometimes if you find yourself in the small things,  before you know it you will see your own greatness on a larger scale.   Go forth and be “happy, functional, & satisfied” in all that you do!   Have a wonderful week.  I will be back in early April with a renewed perspective.
XO,
Chan

 

March 19, 2014

Summer Come Quickly

Written by Posted in Kids Comments 0
Fun in the Sun

 

 

I can not help but hope that summer fun is right around the corner. While planning summer activities, I know that we need new swimming suits to accommodate our growth spurts. I have found suits that have a sense of nostalgia, beautiful prints, and optimal sum protection.
Sun protection should begin with a great pair of sunglasses and stylish hat. Crewcuts has the perfect pairings, for a little one who wants Mom and Dad’s sense of style for themselves.
I adore Tea Clothing for my daughter’s everyday wear. I love the beautiful prints that are inspired by world travels. You now can have this same sensibility in swim wear. I love the halter suit with complementing rash guard.
If you are looking for a more timeless look, try a seersucker one piece with monogram. This suit will be just as adorable when your daughter shares her swim pictures with her grandchildren.
A must for summer is the Native swim tennis shoe. As the school year comes to an end, my daughter’s school has water days, which are her most favorite thing EVER. This is a full shoe that will stay on her feet, and also weather all the water and mud she will inevitably find.
The Hanna Andersson swim suit and rash guard are so durable, with bright and beautiful colors that will last all summer long…even if you are in the pool everyday. This is tried and tested by my little water babies.  Enjoy dreaming of your summer fun to come!

XO,

Chan

 

March 18, 2014

A Moment in Paradise

Written by Posted in Eats Comments 0
A Moment in Paradise
I have always been terrible at eating breakfast.  I felt like there was not enough time, but now I know better.  I know that eating breakfast helps with my metabolism and I feel better.   I normally drink my breakfast and enjoy all the options I have with different fruit combinations.  This Smoothie is one of my favorites and I feel like I am taking a mini vacation.

Island Smoothie

Ingredients
Serves 2/ Preparation 5 min
 
1 banana
1/3 cup of frozen pineapple
1/3 cup of Mango (fresh or frozen)
2 Tbsp of Greek Honey Yogurt
1/2 cup of Coconut Almond Milk
1 Tbsp of Ground Flax Seeds
 *You can also add 1/2 cup of Spinach or Kale if you need an extra pick me up
 Directions
To your Vitamix or blender, add in your banana, mango, pineapple, yogurt, almond milk and blend until smooth.  Add in flax seed and blend until smooth.   Add a straw and umbrella…enjoy!
XO,
Chan
P.S.
Please let me know if you are considering the investment of a Vitamix.  I will be happy to answer any questions that you have.   If I can be of help to you, then consider using my affiliate code 06-009480 and recieve free shipping.
***06-009480 ***
GET FREE STANDARD SHIPPING ($25US/$35CN)
USE ABOVE CODE
1-800-848-2649

 

Fashionable Fitness

Top
athleta.gap.com

Relay Capri
athleta.gap.com

Nike shoes
nike.com

 

I require much from my workout wear. There is a serious agreement between me and my fitness gear. I will eventually work out in said clothes, and they in return will hold up their end of the bargain. Their job being… to hold body parts secure and not ride up or travel to unmentionable places. Some of these pieces I couldn’t live without, while others are on my personal wish list.
The jumpsuit from Sweaty Betty is one of my favorite exercise to the street pieces. I am in love with the jumpsuit for day and night; the idea that I can go about my day in a grown up onesie. What can be better than that?
I love the graphic tank from Athleta. One of the biggest trends this spring is black and white and this top is a wonderful way to update in a current look. This top is so versatile and can layer for almost any type of activity.
The Bitty Bracer from Lululemon is one of my favorite sports bras. I have been doubling my sports bras since high school, and even though I am slightly bigger than a C cup, I feel very secure in this sports bra alone. Its sleek look is perfect and feel like I could have my Brandi Chastain moment at any time.
Wearing Nike’s new Flyknit shoes is like wearing your most comfortable socks to your workout. The shoe conforms to your foot and is available in all your favorite Nike Shoes (Mine are my Nike Frees and Lunars). Not to mention that it reminds me of Missoni in a tennis shoe.
When I run, I have to have a pant that does not move or rub against me. This capri from Athleta is my go to. It fits so amazingly that I can mentally handle my runs without getting irritated by wardrobe malfunctions.
This Champion pull over is the perfect piece to work out in and layer. I am enamored with all the colors it is available in, and can be picked up when running your errands at Target. You gotta get something for your self while buying for everyone else!
Finding the right pieces that are comfortable and that help you express yourself is a win-win, and a great start to your achieving spring workout goals.

XO,
Chan

P.S.
Tomorrow is a trip to paradise. We all need a little get away whenever possible.

 

I’m Shelly a single mom of a high energy, extremely funny, growing too tall too fast 9 year old boy.  I stay busy trying to balance my engineering career, my son’s basketball and piano, playdates, at least 3 workouts a week and a date every blue moon!  I complain sometimes, but I do love every minute of it.

Do you have a favorite recipe you enjoy making for your family?
Simple Salmon. My son loves Salmon. It’s good and healthy. I just put olive oil, sea salt & pepper on it and bake. I then cut up tomatoes & cucumbers with a tad of salt on them. We eat this at least once a week. He gobbles it up and it quick and easy.

What food/snacks do you allow your kids to get away with?
Oreos. I HATE having them in the house because I tend to sneak 1 or 2, but he loves them and a few cookies every now and then can’t hurt.

What is your favorite activity that grounds you within yourself?
Running and quiet reading. My job is pretty stressful and keeps me solving problems in my head. I need to constantly clear it. Running I listen to music and think only about my pace and my breathing. It’s almost like meditating. Reading because I can be in my house and comfortable and kind of escape to another place. I require downtime because as a single mom I am always on the go.

Do you have a favorite workout plan?
Right now it’s running at least twice a week and strength training at the gym twice a week. I like the trainers at my gym. I do this thing called power hour and I get trainers without the extra pay. They are just training several of us at once.

When and how do you make exercise work with a busy schedule?
Luckily my son loves the gym. I used to feel guilty picking him up and then putting him in a gym daycare, but my gym started a gym for kids. He gets to work out and then play physical games with other kids. Being an only child I try to keep him socially active too. And now I no longer feel guilty because I also hope that he will keep this habit has he grows older. I run immediately after work at work. My parents pick him up for me in the afternoon. That is a blessing.

What outfit that you own that makes you feel beautiful/ powerful?
I like maxi dresses. I like the flow of them. I love that you can cover up and still feel sexy. I got the best compliment from a guy once in one. He said he loved them because you can still make out a woman’s shape, but she is still leaving a lot to the imagination.

Are there any beauty tricks you can share that might help a tired Mom?
Try your hardest to get sleep. I know sometimes it’s hard when you have so much to do, but I have learned it’s essential. Sleep deprivation affects so much. And it ages you tremendously.

What about Motherhood do you think you understand most?
That there is no perfect way to mother. There is no perfect thing to say or do. You feel what your child needs. You know him/her better than anyone. Go with your instincts. Your mother instincts will not steer you wrong.

What about Motherhood still has you scratching your head?
I want to always protect him. I want him to eventually leave and spread his wings, but I am scared to death of him leaving and I won’t know where he is or what he’s doing and I won’t be able to protect him. Sooooo scary.

If you could get more of anything to help you in your household, what would it be?
Food. I have a 9 year old who is 5 feet tall. Size 16 clothes and size 8 shoes. He is always “STARVING.” He’s starting to eat giant bowls of cereal as a snack. I have been thinking of investing in a cow to keep milk in the house.

If you could share one thing with other Moms what would it be?
Enjoy them. I remember when Cole was a baby my Aunt told me how fast it would all go by. And she was so right. I can’t believe my chunky happy baby is now a tall lanky boy.

Do you have a philosophy on balancing family time with other responsibilities?
I try to always find time for me. If I’m not relaxed and balanced myself I can’t be the best mom. I go out with friends and take grown up trips because I also don’t want him to think that my world completely revolves around him. I’m a mom, but I’m also a person. So every year I have a grown up vacation and a vacation with him.
Sometimes I let the household chores wait. The house is a mess…so what. I’ll take him to a movie, go for a walk with the dog and Cole. Go visit family. I just don’t let the pile of laundry stress me. I just say my house looks lived in. J

How does your parenting style compare to and complement your husband’s?
Well I’m a single mother. He’s dad isn’t around much. So I have ALL the say so. HA! But I also rely on my family and friends to help when I need advice on making decisions for Cole. It does take a village.

Any activities in particular you enjoy on the weekends?
Since I work a lot (I work at home again after Cole goes to sleep at night) I like to relax. Sometimes we’ll go enjoy an event in the city or go visit family. Or I’ll read while he is playing with the neighbor’s kids. I like to keep our weekends low key because we hustle during the week. Work, School, Homework, Workouts…the week can be stressful.

What activity/activities do your children’s enjoy most?
We watch movies (it’s getting funnier because as he gets older he like Sci Fi & Hero movies like I do). We read together. We take hikes. And we love amusement park rides!

What books are a family favorite right now?
We are reading Wonder by R.J. Palacio together. We read it before bed. It’s about a little boy who was born with facial deformities. While Cole feels sorry for the little boy, he also gets to hear how this little boy is just like any other little boy and has similar feelings.

What is your family favorite vacation spot?
There’s this national park on the beach in Florida. We’ve been going there every summer since he was 3 months old. We stay in a cabin with no TV. Just bring food and drink and play on the beach ALL day!

Cole Baby

What are your kids like right now?
Gosh, he’s super smart & super funny. He’s growing up too fast. Every day I am amazed by how much he knows and how he interprets things. It’s so amazing to be able to watch these little human beings develop every day. He’s starting to like girls but is embarrassed by it. He’s super protective of me. I don’t bring men I date around him and I don’t plan on it until it gets serious. I’m worried at how he would react because he’s a little possessive. LOL! But everyone falls in love with him. ( I am a lil biased).

What inspires you personally?
My son, my work, my family and friends. I am currently working on NASA’s next space program. It’s crazy and exciting. It’s the hardest job I have ever had, but I am inspired by playing a part in getting our Astronauts back into space from American soil.

What is the one beauty product you can’t live without?
Water! Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate. It does wonders for your body, skin, weight loss…the list goes on.

I am completely inspired by Shelly’s zeal for  life.  This week I will try adapt a sense of child-like wonder and play creatively with my little ones, and worry a less about logistics.   Have a wonderful weekend!

XO,

Chan

 

 

 

 

Gloria, 67

My first inspiration for complete health has to be my mother.   She has always been aware of the power of genetic predisposition, and has waged war on the health factors that were stacked against her.   She started running in her 40s and each year has managed to make adaptions that have moved our whole family to a healthier lifestyle.  I can recall, as a teenager, trying to run with my mother as she lapped me and  telling her I would wait in the car. She has alway been my fitness goal.  Even today at 67 years old, she is definitely stronger and more fit than me. I know that with hard work I too can be a pillar of strength for my family.

Today, I have featured a quick and mobile exercise…dips.   I love that you can do this exercise anywhere you can sit.  I typically find myself doing them on the tub, after I brush my teeth.  Just remember the following:

1)Keep your back flush against the chair or bench (If you move too far away, you could strain the muscles in you shoulders instead of working out your arms)

2)You do not need to  dip very deep.

3)Control your drop (try to keep the same rate for your lift and your dip)

Try to build up to 20 without a rest.  If you need to challenge yourself, try to stretch your legs out or balance on 1 leg.  Eventually, see how many you can do in a minute.    Everyone has to sit at some point and you can take a minute out for yourself.   Making your fitness a priority is doable, especially for couple of minutes a day.

 

XO,

Chan

P.S.  Tomorrow is my “Mommy Project”.  Stay tuned to meet another phenomenal mom.

 

 

March 12, 2014

Handsome Haberdashery

Written by Posted in Kids Comments 1
Sharp Dressed Mini Men

 

I enjoy looking for haberdashery for my little man. This can be challenging for boys because, let’s admit, there way more choices for the girls. I adore accessorizing classic pieces with a modern twist; like a bright colored playful tie. My son loves wearing his wayfarers, and that instantly takes his dress look to another level. He has names for his pieces, like this is my “Batman jacket” or “Cookie Monster tie”. When he puts on a blazer, he tells me he feels “handsome”. He now takes ownership of dressing up and it is fun! Of course these pieces have to be comfortable and wearable, or no toddler will oblige. These designers are tested and two year old approved. Have fun dressing your little gentleman this spring season and watch him, in turn, have fun with you.

XO,
Chan

P.S. I am all about time saving healthy practices. Stay tuned to a quick way to “get it in”.

March 11, 2014

Butterscotch Cheesecake

Written by Posted in Eats Comments 0

IMG_6041

This recipe, I am sharing today, is very special and is the brainchild of another genius in the kitchen…my friend Kevin Matthews. If he were here today, I know he would be in his kitchen coming up with more culinary masterpieces. He was a fabulous entertainer and an amazing chef. I really think he could have made a living doing what he loved to do for fun. Every time I make this recipe, I am instantly transported to a place of what dreams are made of.

BUTTERSCOTCH CHEESECAKE

Ingredients

Serves 16/ Time to Bake: 30 mins/ Time to Cool: 30 mins

CHEESECAKE:
1 Pkg of Philly Cream Cheese
1 Can of Eagle Brand Milk
2 Graham Cracker Crusts
2 Tbsp of Vanilla
3 Tbsp of Lemon Juice
1 Pkg of Butterscotch Morsels
1 egg
WHIPPED CREAM:
1 Cup of Whole Whipping Cream
3/4 Cup of Confectioner’s Sugar (Powdered Sugar)

CHEESECAKE DIRECTIONS:
1) In a mixing bowl, add Philly cream cheese, vanilla, lemon juice, eagle brand milk and egg, and blend together
2) Take 1/2 the bag and melt in a double boiler then add to the mixture
3) Add the butterscotch morsels
4) Pour mixture into graham cracker crusts
5) Bake at 350 degree for 30 min
6) Let cool then to top with whipped topping (see whipped topping recipe below)

WHIPPED TOPPING DIRECTIONS:
1) Place milk in a cold mixing bowl
2) Mix on high with a wire whip attachment (or hand mixer)
3) Add the sugar and mix until stiff

* If you only need 1 pie to serve, place the other cooked cheesecake in the freezer without the whip. You can always have a quick dessert to pull out in case of company.

Plate and enjoy!

XO,
Chan

P.S. Tomorrow will bring a bit of pizzaz to your little ones’ closet.

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