30 is the New 20 with Love Saranghae Skin!

To start off, I want to be completely honest by saying I’ve never been a person to follow a strict skincare regime.  I’m of Italian descent so my olive skin has always treated me well and I’m not going to lie, I’ve taken full advantage of this. Even in my 30’s I will still go to sleep with makeup on and I frequently forget to cleanse my face. I’ve never had an acne issue nor did I have pimples as a teen so I continued into my 20’s and now 30’s having this awful skincare routine, or the lack there-of. I typically rely on my bi-monthly facials to fully cleanse my skin and I’ve even done a couple of peels as well. Of course now getting older, all of my girlfriends have a specific brand they use and my mother is a beauty guru with 100 steps she takes each night so I naturally want to follow in her footsteps.  As a woman in her 60’s with hardly any wrinkles, mom definitely knows best! Because of this, I decided it’s finally time I started to take care of my skin! I realize I’m getting older and after just celebrating my 34th birthday, I want to make sure I look no older than 28 for the next decade…wishful thinking, but with Saranghae I definitely have a chance!

 

Saranghae, which means “I love you” in Korean, is a 5 Step process made specifically for women and designed to “Heal, Regenerate, and Protect”. Within the first day of using, your skin automatically feels repaired, hydrated, and replenished. After using the product and cleansing my face consistently, I was able to feel the difference of how much better my face felt that it could breathe vs. keeping makeup on at night. I feel my face has also gotten tighter, yet feels softer at the same time.

 

Saranghae offers many bundles but the most popular is the 5 Step process for only $159, which is a great price for all of the product you receive in comparison to many other leading brands which prices are more like $300-500. You also have the option of choosing between two smaller bundles at $119 per bundle, or each individual item for $39-59, depending on the product.  These are the five products I’ve been using:

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1. Saranghae Nourishing & Moisturizing Oil + Foam Cleanser with Truffle Extract & G old- What I love about this cleanser the most is that it’s also a makeup remover. Many people don’t know, but most cleansers do not have the formulas to also effectively take your makeup off.  I do want to note that you initially put this on without water, and let the cleanser work into the skin first, then you add water so it foams. This allows the cleanser to work deeply to remove oils, dirt, and toxins directly, before washing out. I also love the gold flecks you can visibly see in this, makes you feel like a queen made of gold, literally!

2.  Saranghae Deep Radiance Essence + Serum- Made of 10% Phellinus Linteus (Sang Hwang) mushroom extract, this serum is designed to bring vitamins and antioxidants back to your skin. I’ve used a lot of serums before and to be honest, many of them end up drying your face out to make your skin tighter, but this serum was able to accomplish both  hydration and the feeling of firm elasticity. My favorite part about this product though is the smell. It smells amazing! Like a garden full of citrus trees.

3. Saranghae Firm and Lift Cellular Regeneration Cream- One of the most powerful items they carry, there really is not much this cream can’t do! It’s goal is to make you look younger by reducing fine lines and wrinkles, minimize age spots, and strengthen the collagen in your skin. This is very essential and if you could only afford 1 item, I would suggest this item over any other.

4. Saranghae Focus Renewal Eye Cream- Very similar to the Firm and Lift Cream, the eye cream focuses on reducing fine lines and wrinkles, but also works to reduce dark circles and create brightness around your eyes. After using this product for even a couple of days I saw a difference! As I use eye liner, I was immediately able to tell that the skin around my eye has gotten tighter as it’s been easier for the liner to glide over the lid. I also want to add that I used this product a bit liberally a couple of times and it never irritaded my eyes. Lastly, I also cried while wearing this (because of a TV show, don’t worry) and my eyes were still not irritated at all.

5. Saranghae Elemental Essence Mask- I’ve posted about this mask now twice on my     Instagram stories because I love it so much. It’s meant to be a relaxing mask that you keep on for 15-20 minutes, but I feel like its so much more! The first time I used the mask I was hungover, with a headache, and the coolness feeling mixed with the antioxidants soaking into your skin, it makes you feel 100% better! It’s also meant to relieve redness and inflammation due to stress or fatigue so no wonder it’s a perfect cure! It’s also designed to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines so it makes you look younger at the same time, double win!

I’m so excited to be taking care of my skin, and even more excited to be seeing results with this line of Saranghae products!  Let me know if you’ve tried Saranghae or what your favorite skin care products are in the comments below!

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Start your Love Story with Saranghae skin! Click Here

Something Sexy Underneath

As a bustier woman (thanks Grandma), I am always apprehensive when it comes to trying new bras.  I feel like every time I try something new it doesn’t work and I just get uncomfortable, so bra shopping is not something that’s ever on my list. When Upbra decided to collaborate with me, I was genuinely excited when I looked them up and only saw and read great things! Comfort with a bra is number 1 and sexiness is number 2, because how can we be sexy and confident when we’re uncomfortable? (Not that I haven’t stood around for hours in the most painful heels looking cute!).

The Upbra took over 6 years to research and create, and this design is so innovative! I’m not going to lie, I wore this bra for about a week before actually reading the instructions as I wanted an honest opinion and I know many readers, like myself, tend to just open and use items without reading directions first.  As soon as I put the bra on, my cleavage was instantly bustier to the point where my boyfriend commented as soon as he saw me! I think a lot of ladies can relate, sometimes we’ll spend hundreds of dollars on a completely new hairdo and our men don’t say anything, so a strong reaction from him definitely sealed the deal! Little did I know as I was wearing this comfortable, yet extremely sexy bra, that when following the instructions, I can make it even bustier, oh my!

When creating the design, they spent years researching various women with 3 goals in mind. 1- To give the best cleavage ever, 2- to make the bra adjustable to the woman’s preference, and 3-to have it look more natural than leading brands. With 100 design elements in each Upbra, it’s not surprising it works wonders!

After reading the directions I learned the real reason they call it the Upbra! Their Active Lift is made of vinyl which at first feels like it would be hard on your chest, but actually feels quite comfortable and extremely supportive. The hearts on the bra indicate where the vinyl support is and what holds those bad girls up! The other very unique and creative feature of the Upbra is that it has straps along the bottom that you can adjust according to how busty you want to be. Trust me, even before I knew the bra could do that, my chest was already protruding, but when I adjusted them, it was like my cleavage had seen a whole new height I didn’t think was possible!

This bra is perfect for wearing underneath a sheer shirt or for adding that extra WOW factor to the chest area in that little black dress. I love to feel sexy and this bra certainly does the job. I received mine in the color black, but they also have white, nude and red, along with their new bikini collection line which I’m looking forward to trying this summer! I’ve been modest with this bra thus far, but I can’t wait to rock it in a new dress to ring in the New Year. Be sure to check them out for your new favorite lift, thanks for reading!

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Ring in the New Year with a New Martini

Welcome to my page! I am so excited to share my new Holiday “sip” with all of you! As you should know by now, I love cocktails and creating drinks that I can share with my family and friends. Typically inspired by something I drank at a restaurant or found on Pinterest, I enjoy putting my own spin on these recipe finds and making them more enjoyable, easier, or cheaper for my followers.

 

If you’re looking for a beautiful New Years Eve cocktail, you are going to love this fresh and mildly sweet White Cranberry & Rosemary Martini!
Martini 13I  was a bit apprehensive at first as the original recipe called for simple syrup, and although I was a bartender for many years, I had never made simple syrup from scratch before. Come to find, SUPER easy folks! I give 100% credit to my 14 year old brother, who apparently had made this before for his fresh lemonade. If you’re not familiar, simple syrup is an essential sweetener and ingredient in many cocktails. Some will use agave in place of this, however, if you have a stove and can boil water, you can can make it in 2 minutes! Just mix equal parts water and sugar, bring to a boil, add crushed rosemary, then let stand for 30-40 minutes, before straining out the rosemary. As a rosemary lover, it was delicious!

 

Fresh ingredients are always what makes a craft cocktail superb. My Mom picked this rosemary from her best friend’s garden and it smelled delicious! Once it was infused into a syrup, it made for an excellent sweetener that you can keep for up to a couple of weeks! Note: do not substitute for dried rosemary, since this will not infuse correctly.

I am extremely lucky that my Mother has a lime tree! Pictured here are her limes which are uniquely yellow, with the most perfect sour. You can always tell how good a lime is by the juice that comes out of them. Have you ever cut into a lime and barely anything comes out? It’s the worst and my Mom’s never disappoints!

 

I actually had never tried a real cranberry until I made this cocktail. It has a mildly sour yet hard exterior and does not really have much taste. I’m still not sure how I feel about it honestly, so let’s just say it’s better for decoration. Pictured here is my amazing and supportive brother who taught me how to make simple syrup and helped me stage this blog post.

 

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As with most martinis, this cocktail is shaken over ice, and I always suggest to shake for at least 20 seconds to get a real frothy martini!

Recipe:1.5 oz Vodka

2 Tbls White Cranberry Strawberry Juice

1/4 slice of Lime (these are fresh limes which is why they look like lemons)

2 Tsp simple syrup

Simple Syrup:

1/2 cup Water

1/2 Cup Sugar

Crushed Rosemary

 

 

 

Martini 5

Not so shy girl in Chi town


Chicago 24Did you know that Chi Town originally got it’s name from a 1975 country album? The album by C.W. McCall had a song on the record called “convoy” and included lyrics about driving through “Chi Town.” The last time I had gone to Chicago I was 9 years old. I do not remember going to see the city or anything exciting, as I was driving cross country to move from Connecticut to California and it was just a quick stop to visit one of my mom’s best friends. It was summer time and the only thing I remember is going to a pool with a waterslide…not very much of a Chicago memory if you ask me! So it was a pleasant surprise when my boss asked me to attend our annual conference in Chi Town this past November! I had already built up in my head for years what I would do if I was in Chicago next, but I only had about 24 hours to actually explore, so I had to be strategic!

Chicago 17I really did love this city and I cannot wait to go back again! From the beautiful architecture to the delicious food, there really is nothing Chicago can’t offer you for a true “downtown” experience. I had the LONGEST list in life of things I wanted to do while there, all suggestions from friends, family and of course my Blogger Babes! However, after a 4.5 hour plane ride, meeting and speaking with 500 different faces and shaking hands at the conference, going from warm 70 degree weather to cold 40 degree weather, you could imagine my dismay when I got sick the last day which was the day I had planned (3) more Chicago bucket list restaurants and bars! I ended up spending my last day in my hotel room and ordering Caviar (which is similar to Postmates but on the East) and having ramen (which was not the best). Boo! Honestly, there was SO much more I wanted to do, see, and eat, and I was so disappointed I got sick, but below you will read highlights from my trip, where I stayed, the restaurants I ate at, and unfortunately, a few items I did not have time for that I would highly suggest to my travelers.

Accommodations~ I am so lucky to work for an amazing brand like Kimpton. Each and every one of our properties are unique and innovative, while keeping a sophisticated charm. I had the opportunity to see and experience (3) hotels while in Chicago: The Grey by Kimpton, Intercontinental Chicago (Miracle Mile), and my personal overnight accommodations, The Kimpton Allegro. All 3 hotels are in fantastic locations, walking distance to many bars, restaurants, shopping, and nightlife, and I experienced them by attending an event, dinner, or meeting at each one.

Allegro
The rooms are quaint but also encompass a downtown feel with amazing views of the city!  allegrochicago.com

With every Kimpton property, they love to give you that WOW factor in the lobby. This art piece at the Allegro (below) clearly illustrates that the hotel wants to remind it’s guests of an older era, which I would say is 1920’s since they have a speakeasy upstairs! The detailed decor in this lobby really incorporated a vintage feel with the gold accents and leather furniture, and the designers did an amazing job of making you feel that you’re in downtown Chicago.

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Did you know every Kimpton property has a complimentary wine hour from 5-6pm?! It’s such a perk when traveling to have a glass of wine waiting for you right when you get back to the hotel from a meeting! The Allegro actually serves Prosecco for their wine hour which I love as bubbly is always a favorite of mine, but I was able to sample a couple of their white wines as well including this Sauvignon Blanc.

Food: As much as I had heard about Chicago, I definitely had high expectations of the food scene in the city and had compiled a whole list of places to fork down! Of course, as with most trips, I didn’t get the opportunity to venture to nearly as many places as anticipated. However, with the limited time I had, I did get to experience very amazing food and culture!

Bar Siena (pictured below) was a place I had seen blogged about many times on instagram and pinterest since they also own this very cool doughnut and Italian coffee shop, Bombo Bar, which is attached to the restaurant. Located in Restaurant Row in the very popular West Loop neighborhood, Bar Siena is known for their eclectic Italian streetfare which is served family style, and is leaded by winning Top Chef Fabio Viviani (who is gorgeous by the way) and owned by DineAmic Group partners and the Chef himself. I loved the vibe of this restaurant as it had a very energetic, yet romantic feel and although the food has beautiful presentation that made it feel like a fancy restaurant, it has the ability to gives you a casual feel.  

Let me just go ahead and say that I have tasted A LOT of burrata in my life. I have traveled to Italy and tried burrata. My family has even made burrata! This was without a doubt my favorite burrata I have ever had at a restaurant. It was seriously so delicious I cannot stress enough how good it was! And to answer the question you may be thinking, yes! Bar Siena makes all their cheese in house and EVERYTHING on their menu is made from scratch. Of course being Italian, I had to try their gnocchi as this potato pasta is very hard to master. Mixed with prosciutto sausage, rapini, parmesan, and chili flakes, I felt the gnocchi was cooked to perfection and although I did find the dish to be a bit salty, I think that’s because I’ve never had prosciutto sausage before and I wasn’t expecting such a strong taste. 

Bar Siena 5
Bombo Bar is is a walkup eatery that is known for their Bombolini, a small, hole-less donut that has the filling on the side to “stuff” the donut with. I really wanted to incorporate one of their hot beverages with one of their dessert options, so I chose the Hotter Cider (pictured here). As amazing as it looks, this hot beverage consisted of very apple cider, salted caramel, and the best topper, an old-fashioned, pecan-apple donut! Connected to, and also served for dessert at Bar Siena, I would highly recommend this spot for a quick dessert place. 

Pizza from Chicago

Giordanos pizza is infamous for the deep dish style pizza in Chicago and they have multiple locations. If you are not familiar, Chicago style pizza has cheese in the middle, with the crust and the sauce on the outside. For the heavy cheese lovers, this is a melted cheese heaven dream! Being Italian, I was skeptical at first, but it was extremely delicious and I would definitely go back there again! We got half cheese and half sausage, and both were so yummy! #nomnom

Things to do: Just walking around the city is honestly enough to do in itself! Endless shopping, restaurants, and entertainment surrounds you no matter what part of town you’re from. From our hotel, we were able to walk to the river, the iconic Bean, and even the infamous Ledge, which of course, I had to  experience!Chicago 28

The Ledge, also known as Sears Tower is infamously known for their 8 walkout ledges that those who want to experience the terrifying feeling, can enjoy. As they only give groups less than 2 minutes to take pictures, I was very strategic in exactly how I wanted to pose myself for this particular shot (pictured above). It honestly was an extremely terrifying  yet exhilarating experience as you have a whole 1 minute elevator ride up the 130 stories to your ledge! Pictured below is the view from the ledge, when we first got to the top of the building. Luckily by the time it was our turn, the city lights had just come on enabling me to get this beautiful picture above. 

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My first time at the iconic Bean, I was so excited to only get myself in this shot!
Chiacgo 20
Beautiful leaves turning all around you in Chicago in the Fall

What I wanted to do that I couldn’t: I’m sure as most of you can relate, when we go away somewhere, there’s a long list of places you put in your phone that you want to check out and let’s be honest, we actually probably only see 10% of what we planned. I try to be that person who can cram a lot into one vacation, but as I stated earlier, with getting sick, and also being on a work trip, I was limited. Below are my Top 3 places that I plan to explore the next time I’m in the city:

3Arts
#1- Three Arts Club Cafe- Owned and located inside Restoration Hardware, this beautiful design gallery is host to a restaurant, cafe, and wine bar Grubstreet.com
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#2- Lena Brava- This eclectic and trendy restaurant is located in the West Loop and  and owned by Top Chef  winner and author of 9 cook books, Rick Bayless  www.rickbayless.com
chicago boat tour
#3- Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise- A 90 minute boat ride that allows you to learn about Chi Town’s history and beautiful architecture. www.timeout.com

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Thank you for reading and always keep sipping!

“Fall” in Love with Sangria

I am so excited to share my very first blog post with  those who are reading. I wanted to keep the first one as simple and sweet as this delicious Fall style sangria my friend Taylor and I found on Pinterest a couple of years ago. Perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and any other parties you attend during the Fall season, this perfect blend of flavors leave your taste buds  truly feeling the Fall spirit!Cheers to sangria

Random history fact! Sangria is originally from Spain and Portuguese decent, however it dates all the way back to Romanian period. In this era, water was constantly contaminated so the Romans used wine to “sanitize” their water and added extra herbs and fruits to make it into more of a juice! As I know from reading books from this era, they did dilute their wine so this makes complete sense and I’m surprised that more Sangria producers don’t implement this into their marketing efforts for the brands!

I throw an annual Hocus Pocus night at my house every year so last year when I was looking for ideas, my girlfriend Taylor and I stumbled upon this concoction which perfectly fits the theme of basically anything October. It’s also a a great choice for a party where a lot of women are attending since it is sweet so it’s more of a girly drink.  PLUS you can make it in bulk and fast if you need to re-fill your pitchers, and if you have girlfriends and family who know how to drink like mine, then this is very convenient!

Now to the fun stuff! This Caramel Apple Sangria is made with a mixture of Caramel Vodka (not be confused with apple vodka), Apple Cider, White Wine, and of course, sliced apples. I have yet to find another Carmel Vodka other than Smirnoff but I have been told that Pinnacle also has had one in the past.

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Being an east coast girl, I was raised near an apple farm so I grew up with the luxury of having a cider mill close to me, however I have yet to find a cider mill in Orange County (I believe Julian or Moreno Valley is the closest), so my go-to is Trader Joes Apple Cider. If any of you do know of a great place that makes fresh cider, please comment below!

I am going to be upfront regarding my wine preferences now…I am NOT a Chardonnay drinker, so I will most likely never suggest using that white wine as an ingredient. With that being said, I suggest Sauvignon Blanc for the sweeter side, or Pinot Grigio for the drier the side. We used Pinot Grigio for this party as I like cocktails that are not as sweet, especially when you already have a sweet base  such as apple cider. Also, if you want to make the Sangria less strong, you can use more wine and cider vs. vodka!

IMG_1703To complete your Sangria, make sure you buy various types of apples and cut them to soak in Sangria before serving. I used Fiji, Honeycrips, and Galas to give variety and add extra flavor. Once you mixed the recipe ingredients below, make sure you soak the fruit for at last 1 hour, 2 hours if you have the time! If this was red sangria, you could soak at room temperature, but since this is a white sangria, lets go ahead and refrigerate so it stays cold before guests come over. You also have the option of keeping at room temperature and pouring over ice.

SangriaI am so excited to hear the outcome when you try this at an event! Thank you for reading and stay Full of Sips!

Recipe:

Serves about 8 drinks

3 Apples

5 cups of Apple Cider

1 Cup of Caramel Apple Vodka

1 Bottle of Pinot Grigio

*Refrigerate for 1-2 hours