¡Olé, Olé!

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Just because Labor Day is the “official” end of summer, it doesn’t mean you have to put away the grill. These recipes were inspired by one of my favorite NYC taco spots Tacombi, which you last saw in this post. I was craving their tacos and decided to whip up my own version along with their famous Corn in a Cup.

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Corn in a Cup

  • 4 ears of corn
  • Queso Fresco
  • 2 limes
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Throw the corn on the grill following this recipe. Cut the corn off the cobs, add the mayo and sour cream, and mix together in a bowl. Add some lime juice and scoop into the cups. Add a dollop of the sour cream/mayo mixture on top, squeeze some more lime juice, and sprinkle with chili powder. Crumble the Queso Fresco to top it off.

*If you want to make the Mexican Street Corn version, leave the corn on the cob when you’re done grilling. Mix the mayo with chili powder (eliminate the sour cream for this version) and spread onto the cob with a brush. Throw back on the grill for a few minutes. Add a bit more chili powder and roll in Queso Fresco before serving.

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Pineapple Pork Tacos

  • 1 lb pork tenderloin
  • 1 pineapple
  • 1 bag of cole slaw mix
  • 2 limes
  • Corn tortillas
  • Queso Fresco
  • Handful of cilantro
  • Teriyaki sauce

Marinate the pork in teriyaki sauce for a few hours before you cook. Saute the pork on the stove or throw on the grill. Slice up the pineapple and grill. I love cabbage on tacos but instead of buying a full head of cabbage, I use a bag of cole slaw mix that has a combination of white and red cabbage. To build the tacos, add the pork, grilled pineapple, cabbage, crumbled Queso Fresco, a few pieces of cilantro, and squeeze a lime over the top. Drizzle with the sour cream sauce (recipe below).

Cilantro Sour Cream Sauce

I don’t like to measure a whole lot when making a sauce. I think it’s more fun to taste as you go. For this sauce, I throw everything in the food processor. Small container of sour cream, fresh garlic, cilantro, green onions, a dash of milk (to thin the sauce), and salt & pepper.

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Bon Appétit

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It seems like every visit I make back to NYC revolves around food. It’s necessary to stop at all of my favorite spots for a bite even when making a quick trip. I started off my Fourth of July weekend with patriotic doughnuts and iced coffee at Doughnut Plant in Chelsea. The trip continued with fireworks on a friend’s rooftop in Brooklyn, a glamorous Italian dinner at the Mondrian in Soho, beautiful pastries at Dominique Ansel Bakery (sadly, they were sold out of cronuts for the day), and Upper East Side cocktails to escape the heat.

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset^^The most ornate French pastries at the newest Ladurèe in Soho.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset ^^Lime Me Up tart with brown sugar sea salt at Dominique Ansel Bakery.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset ^^I need these doughnut pillows that adorn the wall at Doughnut Plant.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset^^Patriotic doughnuts calling my name.

IMG_4331^^Our view of Manhattan before the fireworks on the Fourth. 

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset ^^Spaghetti Al Limone & Garganelli Bolognese at Isola Trattoria. I wish I could teleport this pasta to my kitchen right now.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset^^Our view while we ate our pasta. The glass chandeliers were absolutely stunning.

DSC_3999^^Escaping the heat with cold cocktails at Upstairs at the Kimberly.

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Paris is Always a Good Idea

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Paris is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever had the chance to visit. The decadent pastries, the charming cafes, the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower, the high fashion pieces adorning the windows of the Champs-Élysées…so many of my favorite things in one place. While I was in NYC last month, I stopped by the new Ladurée tea house in Soho modeled after the Paris location. Rose petal tea, French Toast, and macarons while dining under a crystal chandelier is my idea of the perfect breakfast.

Then it was out for a quick stroll around snowy Central Park, Fifth Avenue shopping, and a stop by the always stunning Bergdorf window displays. I suppose NYC is a pretty good substitute for Paris but there sure is nothing like the City of Lights.

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New York Girl

I’m not really sure how Christmas has already come and gone…the holidays always seem to disappear in the blink of an eye. Back in November I made a weekend trip up to my old stomping grounds to visit friends, eat at some of New York’s finest establishments, and of course…take in the autumn leaves! It’s nice to look back at the golden colors since the leaves are now long gone and snow is the only thing New Yorkers will be staring at for the next few months.

^^Pink gem-faced mannequins inside Topshop.

^^NYC always looks better in lights.

^^Having a “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” moment on the stoop from the 1961 movie.

^^The best tacos in the city at Tacombi in Nolita. Carne Asada tacos, fresh watermelon juice, and grilled corn in a cup.

^^Central Park was covered in golden LEAVES!

^^So many popsicles to choose from at Popbar.

^^The colors inside the park were just breathtaking.

^^Massive fortune cookie dessert at TAO.

^^Lady Gaga’s bone dress at her ARTPOP pop-up installation in the Meatpacking District.

^^DVF has always been one of my favorite buildings, just love those hot pink lips!

^^The famous Jeff Koons ‘Balloon Dog‘ worth $58.4 million! Should have stuck it in my purse…hah!

Hit the Lights

^^Bubble lights inside the Dream Downtown in NYC.

^^Trendy light installations at the Tampa Museum of Art.

I can never resist pulling out my camera whenever I run into unique lighting. It’s one of those little things that really change the whole atmosphere of a place. There’s nothing like a beautiful chandelier to really romanticize even the simplest of rooms. These are some of my favorite pieces I’ve stumbled upon.

^^Spooky antler lighting at the Mandarin Hide in downtown St. Petersburg.

^^Old wine bottles light up the booths at Sea Dog Brewing.

^^The romantic lighting that lit up the barn at my brother’s proposal spot.

^^The crystal chandelier and art deco ceiling were straight out of The Great Gatsby at downtown Tampa’s Floridan Palace.

^^Spanish-inspired lighting at Ceviche.

^^The most spectacular chandeliers at Buddakan. This room was made famous in the Sex & the City Movie where Carrie + Big had their rehearsal dinner.

Baked Doughnuts

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While I was living in New York City, I loved swinging by the Doughnut Plant for some type of fancy doughnut. My favorite was a PB+J flavor, topped with a creamy peanut butter frosting and filled with grape jam. I decided to try my hand at making homemade doughnuts. Instead of the typical fried doughnut, I went with the baked version for my first attempt. The cake was light and fluffy with a hint of cinnamon.

I created a pink marshmallow glaze (which looked pretty in pictures but hardened a bit too much in the fridge) and a Nutella frosting topped with crushed graham crackers. These were the perfect partner to a cup of coffee in the morning. Thanks to Glitter Guide for all the best baking ideas!

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The City That Never Sleeps

There’s something so magical about photographs and the way they can capture a moment. Sometimes living in the past just for a split second can rekindle your love for a place you once adored. That’s one of the reasons I’m constantly snapping pictures when I’m somewhere I want to remember.

Spending a few days back in my old town under a rainy haze made me realize how much I miss the city life. It gives me comfort to know that I’m only a plane ride away. I’ve planted a new chapter of my life back in the Sunshine State and I’m so lucky to hold both of these places close to my heart.

^^The most amazing carnitas tacos at Smorgasburg in Williamsburg.

^^Picnic-themed cookies from Dylan’s Candy Bar.

^^MARC by Marc Jacobs zipper earrings.

^^LaduréeUniqlo collaboration = adorable macaron tees.

^^Cat shopping bags at Topshop.

New York, New York

When I arrived in NYC last week, the first thing I did was take a stroll through the Upper East Side. The spring blooms lining Madison Avenue, colorful macarons at Ladurée, the intricately designed railings in front of the elegant brownstones, the window boxes full of hydrangeas at The Plaza, and the dazzling spring fashions displayed on Fifth Avenue.

Even after walking these streets hundreds of times while living in the city, there is still something so charming and magical about this part of town. It felt almost as if I was in a dream. A chic, elegant, perfect dream.

A Little Party Never Killed Nobody

I spent last week in my old town of New York City. The Great Gatsby had completely taken over Manhattan. From the Fifth Avenue windows of Tiffany & Co. to the lobby of The Plaza Hotel, the 1920s was in full effect. The Plaza housed Leo’s famous pink “Gatsby” suit and Tiffanys displayed the multimillion dollar diamonds worn in the movie.

The Prada store in Soho had all of the absolutely stunning costumes on display. I was amazed by the detail and intricate design of each piece. Every costume was even more elaborate than the next. Personally, I fell in love with the gold flapper number complete with shimmery bangles and leather gloves.

Unveiling

I’m proud to have officially moved my blog over from Tumblr to my very own site! After 2 years of blogging on Tumblr, I knew this would be the right move and I’m looking forward to what this space will become. As I mix up the content on this new site, I hope that each of you will still read and enjoy every post just as much as I enjoy sharing my writing + photography in each entry.

I want this to be a virtual scrapbook of the very best things that happen in my life. I also want this to be a place to inspire you. I allow the simplest things in life to spark imagination + creativity and that’s exactly what I want to bring to Life is a Red Carpet.

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Welcome to Life is a Red Carpet. Enjoy!

{A special thanks to my brother Tyler for all of his help on the site.}