Miami Spice Just Arrived

I am eager to tell you that Miami Spice just began! Every year in the months of August and September, the most trendy and exquisite Miami restaurants offer a three-main-course menu featuring popular dishes at reduced prices. The brunch and lunch cost $23 and dinner $39.

There are more than 200 restaurants participating in the Miami Spice.

How can you make the best decision and try the most delicious dishes?

I have created a list of the top 3 restaurants that are worth to visit for the three occasions: brunch, lunch, and dinner. Let’s take a look at them!

SeaSpice

I have always been a fan of this place because of its fun atmosphere! Sunday brunches in Sea Spice are a day party that never stops. However, this time I went for the food. Let’s check what I ordered.

For the appetizers, we had the tomato and yellow pepper gazpacho, and the plantains wrapped in bacon filled with chorizo. Yes, you read well. Filled with CHORIZO. My boyfriend is a food lover; he just loves to try new things and experience different flavors. That’s why he chose the plantains. And guess what? They tasted incredible! The sweet and salty combination was delicious. He likes to call it the newer version of dates wrapped in bacon – an iconic appetizer of the Pubbelly Station. They both have that bittersweet contrast but with a different texture.

For the main platter, we both had the truffle ravioli with gorgonzola and pear. This combination is one of my favorites in the world. It’s like an explosion of flavors melting in my mouth. The rich aroma of the cheese and pears was hard to resist. Together, they produce a taste unlike any other.

The size of this plate is a little small. Ravioli servings usually have five to six pieces. But with dessert, you should be satisfied. We had a peach and champagne cold cake, and a mango mouse with a touch of basil and crumbled cookies on top. Both of them were a delicious selection. Our favorite was the mouse!

SeaSpice participates in the Miami Spice in the following days. For brunch, Saturdays and Sundays. For lunch and dinner, from Tuesdays to Fridays.

Komodo

Komodo features an Asian-modern-fusion cuisine with outdoor eateries and a Brickell-type nightlife experience. This delicious restaurant participates in the Miami Spice from Mondays to Fridays for lunch and dinner.

For the lunch menu, Komodo offers five appetizer options which include edamame, shrimp tempura, and watercress and calamari salad. I recommend the colorful salads. They are both refreshing and full of flavor; perfect for the summertime in Miami.

For the main entree, my two favorite options are the salmon bowl with kale and red quinoa, and the tahini chicken with peppers and peanuts. Since I am a salmon lover and a fan of the Asian cuisine, this bowl blew my mind. However, the tahini sauce with the peanut touch made this chicken one in a million. They are both mouthwatering selections, especially for those who like this type of season.

Since the hot weather in Miami is more powerful than ever, gelato is always a good option for dessert. The texture was soft and creamy. It comes in three different flavors: green apple, blueberry, and raspberry.

Kiki On The River

Located in the Miami Downtown area, this modern-greek-cuisine restaurant offers a wide selection of mouthwatering dishes and an amazing view of the river to be enjoyed from its garden-like setting with a glass of wine. Kiki participates in the Miami Spice from Monday to Friday at dinner time and changes its menu every week.

For appetizers, the restaurant offers both cold and hot dishes with five different options. Since I went with my boyfriend, we got to choose two appetizers. He chose the marinated octopus, and I chose the Greek grilled cheese platter with a side of salad. The octopus was tender and grilled to perfection; its flavor was out of this world. I highly recommend it. On the other side, the cold appetizer was tasty and refreshing. As you may know, Greek cheeses have a strong flavor and hard consistency. This exquisite selection combined with the raw veggies made this plate, one to remember.

For the main course, we had the t-bone savory lamb steak and the roasted rosemary chicken with spices. I must say that my favorite was the lamb. Cooked medium, tasted delicious with lemon roasted potatoes. The chicken was also a good selection. The Mediterranean touch gave it an amazing flavor.

We had pistachio baklava for dessert – one of my boyfriend’s favorite. The puff pastry was crispy and sweet. The last layer was full of pistachio and melted caramel. And yes, it tasted as good as it sounds. If you are a fan of Mediterranean cuisine and romantic views, Kiki on the river is MUST visit!

 

I hope you like it, and I encorague you to enjoy of this annually event! Great food cannot be missed!

 

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How to create a productive morning routine

Lately, I have been feeling that I don’t have enough time to do all the things I need to do. Since I started to work from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., my schedule is upside down and I’m not being as productive as I used to be. The four essential things in my life are work, exercise, my personal project, and the people I love. Every single one of them is necessary to go to bed with a smile from cheek to cheek.

Balance was a part of my daily life, but now I have days in which I only go to work, others in which I exercise, and others in which I spend most of the night awake working on my content, trying to provide helpful and entertaining posts for you.

I have come to the conclusion that I’m not being organized and realized that I spent more time thinking about the things that I needed to do than actually doing them. I imagine that I’m not the only one struggling with time management issues.

It’s the 21st century, no day has enough hours! As a result, I changed my monotonous mornings for a brand-new productive routine.

STEP 1: Rise and shine, gorgeous

I wake up at 6 a.m., brush my teeth, wash my face, and run to the kitchen. Are you thinking the same as me? COFFEE! Mornings cannot start on the right foot without coffee. That’s a fact! Since I’m training in the mornings, I only eat a banana with almond butter, and after my workout, I prepare a big nutritious and delicious breakfast. Bananas are great as pre-workout. They fuel you with energy and don’t give you a feeling of heaviness in the stomach.

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STEP 2: Time to get serious

As I mentioned before, exercise is a MUST in my life. My day is not complete until I workout. It makes me feel relaxed and full of energy to keep up with my day. What I usually do now is either train at my house’s gym or go to a spinning class. If I train at home, I do weight lifting. Depending on the day, I will train legs, triceps, biceps, abs, shoulders or back. I firmly believe that all muscles should be trained – yes, ladies. You heard well. At the end of the day, we use every single one of our muscles, and we must strengthen them.

On the other hand, if I decide to go to spinning, the dynamic changes. Spinning classes focus on burning fat and are a great way to do cardio. For me, it’s really hard to spend 45 mins on the same machine doing the same thing, even if I’m listening to my favorite playlist. That’s why I try to take classes that motivate me to keep going and finish my 45-50 mins of cardio. Since I need to take a shower and go to work after my training session, I only train for 45 mins.

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STEP 3: Breakfast is served

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day! I truly enjoy cooking it and devouring it, especially after an intense workout. I tend to have arepas for breakfast at least three times a week, not only because they are delicious, but also because they are a time-saving option. What I do to save time is preparing the arepa’s mix (corn meal, ground flax seed, and roasted plantain or butter squash) during the weekend. These aren’t the original arepas, but I like to personalize them by mixing different flavors and adding fiber. I make approximately 20-30 arepas, I pre-cook them, and then I wrap them with plastic wrap. Now, I only need to take one, put it in the oven…and ta-ta! Breakfast is served and ready to eat.

Then, I take the half hour that I have left and organize my day. I scratch the things that I’ve already done, I highlight the urgent ones that I haven’t done yet, and lastly, I add the ones that I’m planning to do. In that way, I can look at the whole picture — past, present, and future.

My recommendation here is to think clearly. Clarity is the new clever. Even if you don’t have everything figure out – current status – you will take things out of your way by only knowing what to do with a few.

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STEP 4: Playing dress-up!

I used to spend HOURS in front of my closet deciding what or what not to wear. Guess what? That CANNOT happen! Those are 20 mins, 50 mins, completely wasted! Now, I select my outfit the night before, and I leave everything ready for the next day — lesson learned.

I try to keep my makeup pretty simple. Some blush and highlighter on my cheeks, mascara, and a little color on my lips. That’s it! Looks professional and is not overwhelming.

This routine takes approximately 1 hour and a half, but I get to do everything I need to have a wonderful day. After work, I can have dinner with my boyfriend, or pamper myself and get my nails done, or simply keep working on my passion and plan my next move.

I highly recommend having a productive routine that keeps you focus and on time.

Here are 5 tips to start creating your own routine

  • Get as much as sleep as you can. Try to sleep at least 8 hours.
  • Go to bed early. In that way, you can take advantage of your mornings and have things ready sooner.
  • Develop a routine that meets your necessities. What’s important for you? What are you trying to achieve? Write down what you need to do and then organize it.
  • Set up alarms in order to control the time you spend on each task. After a while, this won’t be necessary. You will get used to following your routine.
  • Plan! Plan ahead your routine, not the minute after you wake up. In that way, you will be able to do it in zombie mode if necessary. That’s the best part of having a routine!

Let me know how it goes!

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Memorial Weekend: Last-minute Getaway

As we all know, Memorial weekend is around the corner. And what does that mean? A short vacay! Wohoo! Sounds good, right? But if you are like I am, and you take forever to make a decision and finally book a flight ticket to somewhere, you are already late.

According to a Times Union’s article written by Eric Anderson, the highways and hotels will be busier than ever, and more people will fly. AAA is predicting 39.3 million people traveling 50 miles or more, which is the highest figure since 2005. I mentioned this fact because of two reasons. First, we need to be conscious about our budget and see how much we are willing to spend on a three-day trip. And second, we should dig into other options. Even though we are late, we can still have an awesome weekend.

I have thought about three different and budget friendly options that we can do.

1- Camping on the beach

Miami is full of beautiful beaches that permit camping. The one that I recommend is located in Oleta River State Park, North Miami. This place has several islands that have enough space to set up the whole camp, and they are pretty private. Also, this park has kayaking! One of my favorite outdoor activities. We can do kayaking while watching the sunset on the beach. At night, make a bonfire and cook some marshmallows to eat delicious s’mores. And finally, have a nice breakfast with the sun rising.

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2- Go on a road trip!

What better way to enjoy a weekend than going on a road trip with all your friends? Florida is a state that has many exciting cities. For those of us who live in Miami, Orlando, Gainesville, Naples, Jacksonville, are places nearby. Since all these cities are close to each other, we can easily visit more than one. We could book a hotel in Jacksonville, and on Sunday drive to St. Augustine – the oldest city in the United States. This city is known for the Spanish castle San Marcos and its beautiful and relaxing beaches.

3- Meet our city

I have lived in Miami for almost three years. There are so many places that I haven’t gone yet, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. This weekend can be a great opportunity to explore the wonderful places that we haven’t visited because of lack of time, or work, or whatever the reason is.  Why don’t we make a list of the top 5 places that we are dying to visit here in Miami? I’ll start!

coral-castle-solar-sculpturePhoto was taken from All that is Interesting’s website.

see_and_taste_plateWhich one is your favorite option? Next week I’ll share mine with you!!

Photo was taken from Glass & Vine’s website
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Non-tourist Guide in NYC

 

Have you ever been to a place in which everything seems new even though you have already visited it? I have, and I cannot stop imagining myself there… eventually.

New York is one of the most visited places worldwide. Not only because it’s a fashion capital, but also because it has so much culture and diversity that’s irresistible. I had the opportunity to go last weekend, and it was AMAZING. Since I have been in Manhattan before, I decided to spend most of my time in Brooklyn, especially in Williamsburg. Today, I will propose you a non-tourist guide around NYC. Here, you won’t find visits to the Empire State Building nor trips to the Statue of Liberty; this guide is for adventurers who love to be surprised.

If you are like I am, the first thing that you think when you wake up is food; so let’s start there. One of the best places to have breakfast in this fabulous city is Eataly located at Flatiron at 200 Fifth Avenue. The concept of this place is great because it’s a market-style shopping in which you can buy fresh home-made pasta, fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and chocolates, while you have lunch at the different Italian restaurants. And as far as I’m concerned, the delicious crêpes from the Nutella bar are for dessert!

Moreover, this awesome market counts with a rooftop restaurant that is sponsored by La Birreria. The greatest part of this rooftop is that it changes according to the seasons. For instance, the winter’s restaurant is called Baita, which recreates the Italian Alps. The place is decorated with green pines, rocking chairs and a huge cabin in the middle. This is a MUST stop to make. I highly recommend it, especially if you enjoy Italian food.

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The next stop: Chelsea. Chelsea is well known for its artistic mood; it’s full of galleries, restaurants, bars, and lounges. My favorite place in Chelsea is the High Line Park. Before, it used to be just some old train track, but now is an elevated park with tree-lined paths and a bunch of greens and loungers to rest and enjoy the view. I have always been a fan of green parks and sunset walks, so for me, this plan is more than perfect.

Once you finish enjoying the view, you can take the elevator downstairs and go to the Chelsea market. The concept of this market is similar to Eataly, but at the same time, they are way TOO different. The decoration of this place is unbelievable; when you go inside you feel that you are underground. Everything is darker, there are pipelines everywhere; there’s even one that is “broken” and pours water.

The Chelsea market counts with a variety of restaurants with different types of food. There is one specialized in seafood – the lobster is great. There are hamburgers, vegetarian sushi, the #1 Tacos in NYC, Mediterranean food, etc. The restaurant in which I ate is called Giovanni Rana. This place is recognized for its pasta; they even have a pasta bar, and you can decide which type of pasta would you like to have (tagliatelle, tortellini, ravioli, etc.) and choose any sauce. Since I’m a salmon lover, I ate a salmon with grilled veggies and lentils. The combination of the three tasted like heaven, simply delicious.

 

Now, the sun is going down, so let’s start to prepare the plans for tonight. If you like to take risks, and you feel like crazy is your thing, then you definitely need to stop at Pana. Pana II Garden is an Indian restaurant that offers a whole different experience. The place is basically a hallway -just getting to your seat would be a challenge- full of colorful lights, flowers, and flags from all the countries. The environment is fun and amusing; it’s noticeable that people are enjoying themselves. The food is pretty good; I recommend the lamb tikka bhuna masala, the butter chicken and the lamb tandoori. I admit that the waiters are not the nicest people alive, but I believe is part of the experience, and maybe… if you are lucky, they could let you be the DJ of the place. And if it’s not on Snapchat… does it really happen?

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On the other hand, if you don’t feel like going wild for the night, you could just go to Sel Rrose. This lounge-bar place is amazing. The drinks are out of this world. Since I’m a wine person, drinks with champagne, red wine and prosecco always get my attention. My favorites are called “Lavender Piscine” and “The Hunter.” Sel Rrose is a place to have one or two drinks with a few appetizers while you enjoy the atmosphere and the music; that’s it. Otherwise, your wallet may regret it.

Sunday! Sundays are my favorite day because they mean brunch and mimosas. And what better way to spend a Sunday than with a bottomless brunch? Right in Williamsburg, there is a restaurant called Baby’s All Right that offers bottomless mimosas for $34 during 90 minutes. The environment of this place is kind of retro and hipster; the walls have blue paper-wall with a bunch of pictures and a DJ located at one of the corners. The entry that I ordered is called “Wake and Bake”; it included two poached eggs, spinach, toasts and smoke Gouda on the top with Hollandaise sauce. It tasted as good as it sounds.

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Later, I ended up at the rooftop of Withe Hotel. The view was amazing; you can see all NYC from there. I really loved the place and its atmosphere. So I said good-bye to New York with one hand – the other was holding my drink!

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Hope you enjoy it!

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