Currently Craving: Jewellery Edition

When I said I had a soft spot for designer goods, this also included jewellery...
But at the same time, when I admit having an expensive taste, that doesn't mean that I actually buy these things. I have my small "jar of savings" so that from time to time (maybe once or twice a year) I can treat myself by purchasing something that I've been coveting for a long time (like this).

Of course, this means a lot of planning in order to analyse where to invest best my money in. My final choice then is usually between bags, shoes or accessories. You might think that the prices are absurd and yes, you may have a point. But in my opinion I rather spend that money in something made out of leather or metals that I know will accompany me during a long time, instead of clothing items that I know will: go out of fashion or get ruined with every cleaning process.

I'm not going to lie, I try to buy high quality clothes every time I can, but high quality doesn't necessarily equal haute couture or designers.
If you open my wardrobe, you will mostly find Zara, Mango, H&M and a lot of Argentinian brands like Rapsodia, Akiabara and Clara Ibarguren.
What better than having the ability to combine an H&M blazer with a Chanel 2.55?

1. Juste un Clou Bracelet, Cartier / 2. Olivia Rose Ring, LeiVanKash /
3. Feather Pinky-Mid Ring, LeiVanKash / 4. Mini Titan Crystal Bracelet, Vita Fede

An extra pinch of couture: even Karl Lagerfeld eats at McDonald's, just like us!

Weekly RoundUp - #thiswasfast

Via Creatures great and small from The Big Picture
You might wonder why I picked up these adorable mini pigs for my front picture. Not because I like them that much, but because this is the perfect example of a picture where my husband would look at me and start laughing while pointing both at the picture and at me.
He always does that. And I usually laugh. Because it's kind of funny.
Of course he always makes sure to pick out the most funny, weirder, older, etc. looking creature or person that's being displayed.
I know that some women would not be amused by these kind of jokes. But as long as they don't hurt your feelings and get personal, it's always better (and healthier) to just laugh along.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Who doesn't like a broo-sket-tuh?

These kindergarteners are adorable!

These are some strange beaches.

Still laughing.

I love doing sobremesa.

This might come in handy one day: erasing yourself from the Internet.


I never tried recipes coming from an app, but this one does actually sound good (via VSL)

How cute and extremely annoying are these deers?

Middle Eastern photographers.

Loading a cat and buffering a song.

The naked truth.

Baby ostriches dancing around.

Applies for US only (via VSL)

How come I didn't think of this before?

An extra pinch of airport: this is great.


A Thought: Macarons

I can't remember the first time I came across this pâtisserie. Even though I was always in the search for the top places to go, things to eat, must have clothes, etc., I was too young and apparently focusing on other things.

Was it a movie? My last visit to Paris? A friend? I can't remember...but one day the term "macaron" came into my life and has been present ever since.

I actually remember on one of my first visits to the UAE, we drove to Dubai to visit the Dubai Mall and there, for the first time ever, I spent a lot of money (at that moment in my life) for a box of macarons from Ladurée. I was so excited that if I think about it now it's actually ridiculous. I think it was the whole concept of Ladurée as a status symbol and not the actual macarons that made me go all crazy about it.

Ladurée pour Unger Hamburg >  buy a tote, get macarons!

But leaving the brand aside, what is it about these round little confections that make them so special? Wherever they are served (and let me clarify that you don't find them everywhere, but mostly in "nicer" places), they always stand out and somehow distinguish themselves from everything else.
Is it the colors? The mixture of textures with the meringue biscuit and the buttercream/ganache filling? Do they make us feel better? Is all of this just my imagination (I hope not...at least I don't think so)?

Can it be that this little pastry has become a symbol of status, sophistication and luxury? That would be a logical explanation to my reaction when I first bought them. It's not as expensive as a watch, a car or a bag, yet it carries the same message. If you ever enter a Ladurée shop, you will see it with you own eyes and understand exactly what I mean.
Note to the reader: this isn't a negative opinion by any means. I love everything about this bakery and continue getting a treat every time I get the chance.

(via SHE Canada)

What I'm actually asking myself is: in an era where more people have access to better and more variety of food, could it be that the macaron is one of the few food items that go hand in hand with status (together with i.e. caviar and foie gras)? Or could it be the fact that one bakery has intensified and upgraded a normal pastry so that we now associate it with status?

What do you think?

An extra pinch of macarons in motion: cute & MAGNIFICENT


Monday-Yumday: Hearts of palm and avocado salad

When I came across this recipe, I knew it was going to taste like heaven.
But you know...I was wrong. This salad was so much more than heaven!!! Take your favourite ingredients and put them together...that's what this salad was for me.

When my husband saw the hearts of palm, he looked at me with skepticism because according to him, even though he had never tried them, he was 100% sure he wouldn't like them.
Who doesn't like hearts of palm. I know, a lot of people...but still, who doesn't like them?! Even though they're not considered as one, for me they're a delicacy.

As in most of my cooking, I tend to adapt the recipes with the ingredients I have in the kitchen or the ones I could get at the grocery store. Or just leave out the ones I don't like (yes, it's that easy).

Hearts of Palm and Avocado Salad
(by Food and Wine)

#chefK comments:

+ well, being a huge fan of all ingredients makes it very easy to speak positively about this dish. But as objective as I can be, let me tell you, this is an amazing and fresh salad
+ regardless of the vegetables, the lime in the dressing makes all the difference in the flavour. If you would change it, it wouldn't be the same
+ instead of parsley, try coriander. Best decision ever!! (although I have to admit I mixed up the parsley with the coriander and that's how I made this discovery)
+ easy and fast
+ it tastes like South America, double-like!!!

(-) even though it's a salad, it's a heavy dish. This is great for +4 servings

An extra pinch of palms: these palm smacks and now that I found this recipe, I can't wait to try it out.


Weekly RoundUp - #finally!

Via Welcome to the Fair from The Big Picture (check it out)

Why are there working weeks that seem endless and others that are completely the opposite? I suppose it's the adjustment of going from 6 to 9 working hours, because this week felt like it would never end.
During the last month, 1pm meant only two more hours. Now, 1pm means...four long hours. We people get used to the good things too quickly...

I hope you have a great weekend!!

It's nap time!

Everyday objects transformed into unlikely ones.

Don't we all feel safer than average.

If Disney princesses had Instagram. So true.

Hot-Dog legs.

The kindly Brontosaurus: I have to try this out!

Made me laugh.

Since when is it cool to always be busy?

Gorgeous pumps.

I have to admit, I'm no. 13.


Such a cute and strange video at the same time. Please love him (or his dad).

McDonald's of Piazza di Spagna. An interesting point of view!

Make art, not memes.

Waiters grinding the pepper for you (make sure to watch the SNL video at the end - if you can't watch Hulu from your location, you may watch it here).

An extra pinch: me during school. Can you relate?


Mine: Sac de Jour, Saint Laurent

During the past months I had been dreaming about getting the Saint Laurent Cabas Chyc Tote, which I had already tried a couple of times in Dubai. I loved it and the fact that even my husband liked it made me love it and wanting it even more. The only downside in my eyes: the big Y.
Of course I didn't question this when I got the belt with the big H, but I have to admit that I sometimes want to cover it. I don't regret my purchase, but when it comes to brands and the display of their logos on the goods, I prefer the motto: the smaller, the better.

But there was something else during this whole craving process. While I was trying on this bag, I had already set my eye on a new tote: the Sac de Jour. I was actually considering going bankrupt and buying one and then the other. Nonsense.

During this last trip to Germany, while we were window-shopping (sometimes without the "window") we had to make a mandatory stop at this department store that had both totes on display. We checked everything out, I wasn't sure about it (should I? shouldn't I wait a few months?...). So what happened? Again my husband jumped in and said "get it now". And he was right. How many times did it happen that I left an item for the next time and when I came back, it was sold out, didn't have my size or color I wanted. I know, I wasn't in Zara or Mango, these purses don't just disappear, but still...maybe next time I didn't have the time (or money).

So I got it...and I couldn't be happier. I find the model extremely classic and suitable for the office, which is the main reason I bought it.

My precious
What do you think: yay or nay?

PS: What YSL? It's Saint Laurent Paris.

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Thoughts: Getting active after office > Yoga Edition

I still remember my school years when everything I would do during and after classes was related to sports. Man, I was so active I can't even believe that I changed so much.
I must admit that sounds worse than it actually is, but there is a slight difference. Then, sports felt like something natural, something that was in me and would always be like that, no matter what.
Wrong, I was so wrong. With 15 you have absolutely no idea how your body, daily schedule and responsibilities change.

First came university, where I still had enough time on my hands to go almost everyday to the gym or running. Then I started with internships after my classes, but somehow I still made it to go and exercise almost every day.
I finally graduated and started working from 7.30 to 17-18 every day. I had to commute back for almost one hour, what meant getting home at around 18.30-19. Sports? What sports? That word had been erased from my vocabulary. There was absolutely no way that I was going to make my days any longer than they already were. No way.

After I think one year of not doing anything (by this I mean jogging once a month), I came to my senses and realized that I couldn't keep up like this. Story made short: I started exercising again, not as much as I once used to, but something.

Then moving to Abu Dhabi came. A city (or country, let's not leave Dubai out) created to do nothing. I mean, you don't walk unless it's in the Mall/supermarket, you drive everywhere - I didn't even know there could be such a sedentary lifestyle. I went almost a year without doing anything.  But let's face it, after the age of 25/26 don't expect everything to just stay there where it is...nope.

So I decided to do something about it and started with yoga. For a former athlete, tennis player and gymnast, I always thought yoga would be too serene and static for my taste and that in order to get hooked it would have to involve some running, jumping...you know, full cardio. Again, I was so wrong.

May I say that yoga might be the reason behind my inner-balance. I'm suddenly not that stressed and worried all the time, I feel more calm and understanding, I definitely feel like something has changed in me. Do I see things from another perspective? Maybe. I think the more negative-me became a bit more positive and optimistic.

Now, every time I speak to people that tell me how their exercise regime is not working for them, I suggest them to at least try yoga. It definitely took me by surprise and the same might happen to you.


via Conscious Connection Magazine

An extra pinch to think about yoga: for gym junkies and this hilarious video about the shortage of yoga pants.

PS: you have no idea how excited I am because yesterday I did my 1st headstand!!


Monday-Yumday: Roasted chicken + Pumpkin salad

Those who follow me on Instagram have seen the picture of this dish already. I took it a few weeks back, when I tried the salad for the first time and decided it would be a great side dish for the roasted chicken I often make. It was actually a great combination!! We both loved it.

Since my version of the chicken is very basic and I always try something different, here's a very similar one to mine:

Slow Roasted Garlic & Lemon Chicken
(by Nigella)

Paired with this amazingly easy recipe of the Pumpkin & Rocket Salad (by Taste.com.au) made it all look more healthier.

#chefK comments:

+ as Nigella describes it on her recipe, the roasted chicken is gloriously easy to make and doesn't need a lot of preparations
+ the salad can be adapted as you like. For example, since I weren't able to get macadamia nuts, I left it out and didn't replace them
+ the lemon juice for the dressing makes the whole difference

(-) since I'm very sensitive to spicy food and ingredients, the dried chilli flakes on the salad were a no-go for me
(-) it was the first time I tried to roast pumpkin and at the end it didn't look very roasted, but I had left it already too long in the oven and even tried using the broiler with no success.

My Roasted Garlic & Lemon Chicken + Pumpkin & Rocket Salad

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Weekly RoundUp - #welcomeback

Yesterday we came back from our little trip to Germany. We went from one city to another to meet with family and friends, shop, eat...and yes, mainly eat.
Throughout the last years I've come to realize that our trips shifted from discovering the cities and being a typical tourist (you know, backpacking style and running around with the camera), to exclusively checking out the best areas to shop and spending more and more time in nice cafés and restaurants.

But now, the holy month of Ramadan has come to an end, which also means that the short working days are over and the work starts looming on the horizon.

Luckily for us, weekend has already started and I'm sure I'll spend mine getting as much sleep as possible!!


What Woody Allen has learned.

A quick history/geography refresh.

Are you a soul & funk lover? You'll love this site (via VSL).

The word "abandoned" usually creeps me out. I wouldn't dare to visit some of them, but I admit they're beautiful from my laptop :)

Watched this documentary yesterday. So moving!

Want to eat them all.

Hello adulthood.

An extra pinch of history: the entire history of the world in one single chart and these amazing podcasts that are worth listening to.


Weekly RoundUp - #helloEurope

Good morning!!

I know this is not a good move if you've just started to blog, but today we're leaving for a very short trip to Europe. That means I decided to reschedule the Weekly RoundUp post for today.
 I will tell you all about our tour next week.

Have an amazing week+weekend!! I know I will :)

An ode to colours and amazing images here and here (via VSL).

Where did France's wine go?

Believe me, you never fall this graciously.

Red Bull always does it better.

Nr. 23 is everything. Happy Birthday!

So me one and a half year ago. I wonder that the graph for "after marriage" would look like.

Important when travelling.

An insider's glimpse of the Tory Burch Fall 2013 show.

Attacking the birds on TV.

I haven't read the books and I won't watch the series. I refuse. I won't become a GoT freak.

A pinch more: tripping over subway stairs - this comment is absolutely right: "Fantastic how many people break into a little sprightly jog after they trip". I actually do the same.


A Thought: fake it (till you make it)

After a few recent experiences where I had come across people who were putting this idea into use and were telling me "how many people did this" to feel more successful or in the same level as their better-off peers, I was actually curious and started paying more attention to this.

A few weeks ago we decided to watch a documentary about the lives of two ordinary American families - one black, one white - for over twenty years, showing their struggles to avoid sliding into poverty.
The film is called "Two American Families" and can be watched here. I highly recommend it.

What then triggered this post, was actually one of the main characters of the documentary saying this exact same phrase while purchasing clothes at a thrift shop.

Of course the actual meaning of the phrase is what Napoleon Hill explained as: "Whatever you can conceive and believe...You can achieve".
My view goes more on a "showcasing what we have" level.

What is it with us people that we feel the need to "fake it" to feel that we've kinda made it (but are actually not even close to that what we're aiming for).

Here's an example: a woman arrived to a business meeting proudly carrying a famous handbag known for being a symbol of wealth. THE BAG, no need to even name it.
Curious (almost biting my fingernails), I had to say something about it. Her having that handbag wasn't impossible, but something was just off.
Since I don't have a close relationship to her I decided to compliment her. Both she and a colleague that was with us started laughing and explained to me the odyssey she went through to get that bag. Story made short: it was a fake bag.
And according to them, especially in this part of the world, you wouldn't believe how many people buy fake goods.

Wow!! Suddenly the great feeling of thinking I was living in a country surrounded by people wearing designer goods vanished. I couldn't get this question out of my head: "why do people do this?". I know social pressure is not easy to handle, but it's amazing how it encourages people to buy or even do things that shouldn't be OK. And yet, it seems they've become accepted.

I know this sounds very shallow by comparing it only to designer goods, especially when there are much worse actions derived from this idea. But I can't get it out of my head and it somehow made me think more critically about this behavior.

One thing are designer items reproduced by retailers that for someone who follows designers' collections and it items are extremely easy to spot, but something else are replicas that over the years are more and more difficult to identify because of how good they've become.

Something that I stand for and will repeat over and over again: if you can't buy it, then don't fake it. Buy something that is in your range or wait until you saved enough money to buy the original (even if it's used). Believe me, there's no better feeling than knowing you finally got it, instead of having to fake it in front of everyone.


Dinner? Every single day? It's Monday-Yumday

If you look on the right side of the blog, you will see that I added my daily "internal monologue" (for not saying desperate thoughts) regarding dinner. Except for some days where I surprisingly manage to plan my cooking in advance, this happens almost every day. Over and over again. It's exasperating.

A month ago or so it came clear to me that I had a very limited number of dishes in my "culinary portfolio". Even though my husband was always very satisfied with everything I cooked, I was repeating them very often. I needed new ideas.

I started navigating through different websites and ended up with 40 open tabs. So many recipes that sounded amazing and wouldn't take that much time of my spare time after work.

This is how I came across the recipe I'm going to share with you today and in all my other food posts.

Just to set the record straight: I'm not a professional cook, never have taken any cooking class of any kind and definitely aren't looking to be the next Top Chef.

So here's something I tried out last week for the first time:

Mushroom, Leek and Fontina Frittata
(by Bon Appetit)

My Frittata
#chefK comments:

+ all ingredients are easy to get
+ overall preparation and cooking time is short
+ since I didn't get fontina cheese, I ended up buying a mixture of six different varieties (mozzarella, fontina, romano, asiago, provolone & parmesan). This worked perfectly
+ you can eat it the day after at room temperature

(-) the instructions say to pour the egg mixture over the leeks and mushrooms without stirring. This way, you will have the vegetables on the bottom and the whole egg mixture on the top. I would definitely mix eggs and vegetables to have it evenly distributed
(-) it wasn't tasteless, but there was definitely something missing
(-) make sure to have an oven-proof pan with no plastic handles

I would be glad to read your suggestions or improvement tips for this dish.

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Weekly RoundUp - #helloweekend

As some of you may know, here in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) as well as in other Arab countries, the week goes from Sunday to Thursday - which means that our weekends are on Friday and Saturday.
Yes, it took me a few months to get used to it. 
The funny thing is that on Fridays I feel great knowing that all of my friends back in the Western countries still have a whole working day ahead of them - but on Sundays it's not that fun anymore, because while I'm sitting in the office working, I: a) receive all the Whatsapp group messages of my friends while they're partying and b) turn on my favourite radio station in Argentina and have 4 hours non-stop party music. On the bright side, it really gets you going on that first week day.

Having said that, every Thursday or Friday (depending on my schedule) I will be posting a list of random interesting, funny, cute, must-see, outrageous, etc. posts from all over the world that I've come across with the past week.

What better than getting to the office on a Friday morning and knowing that you have something else to check out apart from your E-Mails and favourite newspapers/websites.

Have a great weekend!!

When someone breaks character on screen, don't you just start laughing with them?

These pictogram men also got lucky this summer.

Would you ask your boyfriend/husband to do your makeup? Mm...nope.

In a few years I'll share mine.

Are you smarter than an eight grader in 1912? Deplorably failed.

The strangest installations and art projects on earth.

Call me flower engineer.

What you watch and what you do in bed are worlds apart.

He stars in hundreds of memes. Of course he would have a twitter account.

Have you read this book? Would you recommend it? The title just cracks me up.

So heartbreaking and wonderful at the same time.

An amazing initiative!

Until two weeks ago I had never seen a Star Wars movie. My husband wouldn't take a "no" for an answer, so I agreed on watching them. We haven't finished yet, but I couldn't have found this with a better timing.

This Multicolr Search Lab ended up to be very addictive.

An extra pinch of SNL: we will miss you Stefon!