It’s almost summer season. Are you ready?

The sun is shining and poolside Pina Coladas are calling. Summer is a few weeks away and I love it! During the prime beach season I like to stock up on a few summer style essentials to keep my look fresh for whatever spontaneous summertime activity may come my way. Without further ado, here is my summer must-haves style list from Zara:

RIPPED MID-RISE JEANS
RIPPED MID-RISE JEANS
PRINTED SARONG SKIRT
PRINTED SARONG SKIRT
PRINTED STRAPPY DRESS
PRINTED STRAPPY DRESS
FLORAL PRINT DRESS
FLORAL PRINT DRESS
PINEAPPLE PRINT BERMUDA SHORTS
PINEAPPLE PRINT BERMUDA SHORTS
CREPE JUMPSUIT
CREPE JUMPSUIT
EMBROIDERED MINI SKIRT
EMBROIDERED MINI SKIRT
SHORT BOMBER JACKET
SHORT BOMBER JACKET
T-SHIRT WITH FRILLED SLEEVES
T-SHIRT WITH FRILLED SLEEVES
CAGE-STYLE STRAPPY SANDALS
CAGE-STYLE STRAPPY SANDALS
LACE-UP ESPADRILLES
LACE-UP ESPADRILLES
LEATHER PATCHWORK CROSSBODY BAG
LEATHER PATCHWORK CROSSBODY BAG

What’s on your summer must-haves list? Tell me in the comments!

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Slow-Cooker Chili

A delicious and easy crock pot chili recipe, perfect for those nights when you want dinner ready as soon as you get home!

www.fashionbites.org

My crock pot has got some major use lately and I’m definitely not complaining. Let’s just hope that my crock pot has a lot of life in it because I foresee a lot of chili over the next few months. Another thing I love about chili recipes is how versatile they can be. Not a fan of kidney beans? Swap them out for pinto beans instead! Don’t like ground beef? Switch it out with ground turkey instead. Top with a little cheddar cheese and serve with a pile of nachos. Or if your like my partner, serve it with homemade quesadilla. Now that’s what I call the perfect chili dinner!

www.fashionbites.org

Prep time: 45 mins

Cook time: 6 to 8 hrs. in the slow-cooker

Difficulty: Easy

Servings: 6

Tools: Crock pot, Large skillet, Wooden spoon

www.fashionbites.org

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 medium yellow onions, medium diced

1 medium red bell pepper, medium diced

6 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/4 cup chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

2 pounds lean ground beef

kosher salt

1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes

1 (15 oz.) can organic pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup jalapeños, coarsely chopped

For serving (optional):

Shredded cheddar cheese

Nachos

Homemade quesadilla

www.fashionbites.org

www.fashionbites.org

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until shimmering. Add the onions, red bell pepper, season with salt, stirring occasionally, and cook until softened, about 8 mins.
  2. Add the garlic, chili powder, and cumin, stir to coat the vegetables, and cook until fragrant, about 1 min. Add the ground beef and salt as needed and cook, breaking the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until the beef is no longer pink, about 7 mins.
  3. Transfer the mixture to the crock pot, add the diced tomatoes and their juices, tomato sauce, and pinto beans, and stir to combine. Cover and cook until the chili thickens and the flavors meld, about 8 hours on low or 6 hours on high.
  4. Stir in the jalapeños. Taste and season with salt as needed, and serve with the cheddar cheese, nachos, and quesadilla.

www.fashionbites.org

What are your favorite ways to eat chili? Tell me in the comments!

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Zara Weekly

Zara has done an amazing job delivering fashion at an affordable price. The quality factor is quite impressive and not to be underestimated. The shoes, jacket, and accessories are my favorite! Here are my favorites from  Zara this week:

Embossed Cross Body Bag $69.90

Lace-Up Flat Sandals $49.90

Leather Wrap Wedges $119

Lace Crop Top $39.90

Off-The-Shoulder Top $49.90

Fringed Blonde Lace Top $35.90

Printed Off-The-Shoulder Crop Top $39.90

Loose-Fit-Trousers $49.90

Long Sleeve Jumpsuit $99.90

Polka Dot Halter Neck Dress $49.90

Long Printed Dress $99.90

Long Jacquard Blazer $99.90

What do you think? Is Zara your favorite brand? Tell me in the comments!

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JAMIE’S ROASTED CHICKEN WITH LEMONY BOMBAY POTATOES

SERVING: 2

PREP TIME: 15 min

COOKING TIME: 35 min

TOOLS: Large pot, Big Bowl, Colander

INGREDIENTS: 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts; 12 oz potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 lemon, 1/4 oz fresh cilantro, 2 red bell pepper, 2 thumbs ginger, olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place a large pot of salted water on the stove to boil. Peel and chop the potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Cook in the boiling water for 6 minutes, then drain well and let air dry. Add 1⁄2 teaspoon turmeric and 1 teaspoon cumin to a bowl, then grate in the lemon zest. Pick, roughly chop and add the cilantro leaves. Core, seed, and remove the white ribs from half the bell pepper, then cut it into thin strips. Peel and cut the ginger into matchstick, then add both to the bowl. Cut 3 slices of lemon and set aside. Squeeze the juice from the rest of the lemon into the bowl. Shake the potatoes up in the colander and add them to the bowl, along with the chicken. Drizzle with oil and season with sea salt and black pepper, then toss everything around to coat. Remove the chicken from the bowl, then tip the potatoes into a baking dish and spread out into a single layer. Top with the lemon slices, then drape over the chicken. Drizzle with oil, then cook in the middle of the oven for 35 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.

THE VERDICT: Add rice and call it a meal! This dish was very flavorful and quite easy to make, especially when I don’t feel like cooking.

Food Recipe altered from Hell Fresh

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Adidas Avenue A Subscription Box

Subscription services have been a growing trend in the fashion and lifestyle industry over the last several years. So it’s no surprise when the German multinational corporation, Adidas is getting into the subscription box business. Avenue A, a quarterly box that delivers select workout clothes, shoes, and accessories to your doorstep for $150 a box (that’s $600 a year). The first Avenue A shipment features one of Adidas newest offerings for women on the move: the PureBoost X running shoe that hit store shelves last week and retails for $120. Don’t like what your sent? Adidas promises to remedy! Whether through a refund or an exchange, it isn’t exactly clear. With few activewear subscription box, Adidas is well positioned to take a big piece of the untapped market with Avenue A. I can easily see a men’s box on the way soon, too!

Photos: Adidas

Would you pay $150 a quarter for a mystery box of Adidas gear? Tell me in the comments!

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TRENDING: BOMBER JACKET

A waist-length jacket with a zip front, elastic waistband, and cuffed sleeves. Also, called the Bomber Jacket. A trend we couldn’t get enough of in 2015 and 2016 looks all set to stay the same. This jacket, once known as a flight jacket was worn by military pilots and crew has slowly but surely crawled into our lives. No longer belonging only to pilots, the bomber jacket might actually be our new staple, that we so desperately run to when leather becomes too boring. Team it with anything from sweat pants to ankle boots, the bomber jacket has become a true essential. Keep scrolling to see some of my favorite bomber jackets in stores for both women and men!

Quilted Bomber Jacket $69.90

Satin Stretch Bomber Jacket $49.90

Floral Print Bomber Jacket $49.90

Satin Embroidered Bomber Jacket $159

Reversible Bomber Jacket $99

Resin Bomber Jacket $89.90

Camouflage Bomber Jacket $89.90

Peccary Bomber Jacket $199

Bomber Jacket $79.90

Suede Bomber Jacket $215

Must Have or Not? Tell me in the comments!

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And the Liebster Blog Award goes to..

A huge thank you to the lovely Rian Harrington at thisisforreel, for nominating me for the Liebster Blog Award!

What is a Liebster Blog Award?

It is an online award given to other bloggers within the community. It is an awesome way to find new blogs and to also connect with others.

Here are the rules:

  1. Ask nominees to answer 11 questions
  2. Nominate 5 other blogs
  3. Share 11 random facts
  4. Answer 11 questions
  5. Thank the blogger that nominated you and link their site

Here are the 11 questions from Rian:

  1. What would your perfect Sunday look like? The perfect Sunday would be a day free of all troubles. It can also be a day full of peace, joy, love and happiness.
  2. Why did you decide to start blogging? I mainly decided to blog because I crave fashion. I love displaying that through my main platform (Instagram), but I also wanted a place where I could voice my thoughts and opinion on various products. And because blogs are free for the audience and open to the public, on many levels, it is an act of giving. It is a selfless act of service to invest my time, energy, and worldview into a piece of writing and then offer it free to anybody who wants to read it. Others will find inspiration in my writing and that’s a wonderful feeling.
  3. What was one of the most defining moments of your childhood? I was about seven or eight years old when my uncle threw me into a pool so I can learn how to swim. It was terrifying and to this day I freak in water.
  4. What is your favorite color? Although I’ve always been a pink, my color choices can vary day-to-day depending on my mood.
  5. What would be your preferred pizza topping? Plain and simple
  6. Where is your perfect vacation destination? Anywhere warm as long as I’m accompanied by the people I love
  7. What would you like to achieve in the next 5 years? Do what I love so I never have to work a day in my life, learn to drive and buy a house.
  8. What is your favorite movie? This is a hard one as I have a few but The Pursuit of Happyness is one of those movies that I could watch a million times. It always gives me a sense of hope that things will always work out no matter how bad they get. And of course, A Single Man – I have so many feelings about this film. Besides how visually stunning it is it’s just so utterly devastating. Colin Firth has done plenty of films that are emotional, but this was just so raw.
  9. What is your favorite book? I’m a huge fan of Nicholas Spark, Stephen King, J. K. Rowling, and George R. R. Martin to name a few. My list of favorite books changes daily, if not hourly, but a few that I turn to over and over again. I loved Eat, Pray, Love! The book brought up some good points about life, love and the pursuit of something meaningful. While it won’t give you the answers about what is life about and how do you get over a bad break-up, it does give you hope that if you stay true to your journey, you will end up in a better place than when you started.
  10. How do you feel about going to the beach? I love a good tan!
  11. What is your favorite inspirational quote? It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. – Theodore Roosevelt — The greatest political speech I have ever read in my life. The truisms throughout each paragraph describe the sorry state of our current political leaders, whom he describes in painfully exact detail. This is the kind of president we need now, more than ever.
 11 Random Facts About Me:
  1. I am shy, but once I get to know someone it is hard to get me to shut up
  2. I’m addicted to Starbucks coffee
  3. I cannot stand when people spit
  4. I organize my clothes by color
  5. I speak four languages: English, Mandarin, Taiwanese, and Cantonese
  6. My favorite fruit is Cherry
  7. I don’t like to talk on the phone
  8. I love Spring, when the world turns green
  9. My favorite number is 3 since childhood
  10. I don’t like people who type lyk dis
  11. Pet peeve: Mouth noises/chewing with mouth open
 Here are the 5 lovely people I nominate:
  1. Ivana Salerno The Smile Behind Closed Doors
  2. Cath Fahey Nutri-Fam
  3. Ty Austin The Love Channel With Ty Swint
  4. Vik Vek I.Am.Vagabond
  5. Rawan Manjal Rawan, Myself, and I
 Here are 11 questions for you to answer:
  1. What inspired you to create a blog?
  2. How did you come up with the name of your blog?
  3. Name your favorite designer
  4. If you could have any super power in the world, what would it be?
  5. What is your most prized possession?
  6. Name your ideal comfort meal
  7. What is one thing you can’t live without?
  8. What is your preferred style of travel and why
  9. What is your favorite hobby? (besides blogging)
  10. What is something about you that people might consider odd or quirky?
  11. What three words best describe you best?
Congratulations bloggers on your nominations! Please link your post in the comments so I can learn more about you! Now, go spread the love and nominate five new bloggers!
Have you been awarded the Liebster Award before? Share your post in the comments so I can read your answers and meet a great new blogger!
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Chimichurri Steak with Roasted Pepper, Tomato, & Couscous Salad

A culinary specialty of Argentina, chimichurri, is one of the most flavorful condiments out there.  Bursting with flavor, this perky, vibrant condiment is easy to make and has multiple uses.
 
SERVING: 2
PREP TIME: 10 min
COOK TIME: 35 min
TOOLS: Baking Sheet, Small Bowl, Medium Pot, Cast Iron
INGREDIENTS: 12 oz Sirloin Steak, 1/4 oz Parsley, 1 teaspoon Chili Flakes, 2 teaspoon Red Wine Vinegar, 1/2 cup Couscous, 1 Red Bell Pepper, 4 oz Grape Tomatoes, 1 teaspoon Cumin, 1 Shallot, 2 cloves Garlic, 1/2 teaspoon Butter, 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
PREPERATIONS: Remove the steak from the fridge and bring to room temperature. Halve the tomatoes. Core, seed, and remove the white ribs from the bell pepper, then cut the pepper into 1-inch pieces. Finely chop the parsley. Halve, peel, and mince the shallot. Mince the garlic.
INSTRUCTIONS: Toss the tomatoes and peppers on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place in the oven for about 15 minutes, until very soft. In a small bowl, combine the parsley, 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar, a large drizzle of olive oil, and as much shallot, garlic, and chili flakes as you like. Season to taste with salt and pepper. In a medium pot, bring 1 cup water and a large pinch of salt to a boil. Once boiling, add the couscous and cumin. Cover and remove from the heat until the rest of the meal is ready. Heat a drizzle of oil in a cast iron over medium-high heat. Pat dry the steak with a paper towel. Season it on all sides with salt and pepper and add to the skillet, cooking for 4-7 minutes per side, or until cooked to desired doneness. Remove from the pan and set aside to rest for 5 minutes. Toss the roasted vegetables into the couscous along with the butter and a pinch of salt and pepper. Thinly slice the steak and serve on a bed of couscous salad. Drizzle with the chimichurri and serve!
Recipe altered from Hello Fresh
THE VERDICT: This meal were just dance-in-your-mouth fabulous! I love chimichurri!
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Zara Weekly

Fast, funky, stylish, trendy and exciting, with something new to offer every week, stocking everything from separates to casual basics, jackets to layering options—here’s whats new in Zara this week:

Drawstring Suede Leather Handbag $49.90

Detailed Belt Bag $29.90

Thin Printed Scarf $12.90

2-Pack Of Chokers $22.90

Halter Neck Swimsuit $35.90

Studio Top $69.90

Halter Neck Bodysuit $25.90

Cropped Embroidered Top $99.90

Blouse $49.90

Ruffle Top $25.90

Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans $49.90

Mid-Rise Jeans $39.90

Printed Bermudas With Belt $29.90

A-Line Skirt $35.90

Asymmetrical Length Dress $39.90

Dress With Crossover Back $69.90

What are your favorites from Zara this week? Tell me in the comments!

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Spring Asparagus and Shrimp Risotto with Meyer Lemon

Did you know March is National Nutrition Month? The National Nutrition Month (NNM) is a nutrition education campaign sponsored annually by the American Dietetic Association (ADA) and its Foundation. Each year a topic is picked to educate people on the importance of healthy eating. This year the theme is ‘Savor the Flavor of Eating Right,’ which encourages everyone to take time to enjoy food traditions and appreciate the pleasures, great flavors and social experiences food can add to our lives.

SERVING: 2

PREP TIME: 10 min

COOK TIME: 45 min

TOOLS: Small Pot, Large Pan, Slotted Spoon, Medium Pan, Zester

INGREDIENTS: 4 cups water, 1 tablespoon vegetable or fish stock concentrate, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided; 1 medium yellow onions, finely chopped; 2 cloves garlic, minced and divided in half; Salt and pepper to taste, 3/4 cup Arborio rice, White wine (optional), 6 oz asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces; 8 ounces shrimp, cleaned and deveined, 1 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 Meyer lemons, zested and squeezed; 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided in half.

PREPERATIONS: Remove the shrimp from the fridge and bring to room temperature.

INSTRUCTIONS: In a small pot, bring 4 cups water to a simmer with the stock concentrate over medium-low heat. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add half the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds, until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper. Add the Arborio rice to the onion mixture and stir to coat. Add a splash of white wine (optional) and let it bubble until nearly evaporated. Begin adding the stock to the pan, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring between each addition, until liquid is absorbed. Continue adding stock by the 1/4 cupful until the rice is tender, about 30 minutes. Between additions, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in another large pan over medium heat. Add the asparagus and cook, tossing, for about 3 minutes. Add the shrimp and remaining garlic and cook, tossing, until shrimp is just pink and asparagus is crisp-tender. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. When the risotto is cooked, stir in the shrimp, asparagus, 1 tablespoon butter, the lemon zest, and half the parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of Meyer lemon. Sprinkle risotto with remaining parmesan and enjoy!

Recipe altered from Hello Fresh

THE VERDICT: I adore Meyer Lemons and I would never have thought to put them with risotto. What a delicious recipe!

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