Arrival in Abu Dhabi

This past week, on route to Australia, I stopped in Abu Dhabi for a couple of days. So it was me, for two days, in Abu Dhabi, ALONE. Pretty cool. The closest I had come to Abu Dhabi before this trip was the Dubai airport when I was traveling to Tanzania a few years ago. And man, even that airport was like a mini vacation in itself!

Since the moment the flight attendant told me to open my window blinds in preparation for landing, I was astonished at how beautiful this place was. I mean, I had no idea the sky could be so many shades of blues, oranges, pinks, and yellows, all at once! My eyes were paralyzed on the view for a good 75 minutes— no joke.  (due to amazing view + me being delirious from the 13 hour flight) I landed at about 7:30pm Abu Dhabi time (8 hours ahead of NY), sped through customs, security, baggage claim, and met my driver for a short 20 minute drive from the airport.

On my arrival I was greeted by a multitude of gentleman and was treated like a Princess. After being checked in, I was brought up to my room, where I was given a mini tour and settled in. At this point I was in utter awe at how amazing this place, this hotel, and these people are. I felt as if I was literally in a whole different world. Men and women walking around in their traditional Arab dress with the headpieces and everything. Of course I have seen Sex and the City 2 a million times, and it was actually just like that (to give you a better idea). Let’s just hope I don’t pull a Samantha and get kicked out of the country.

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Amazing lobby

 

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Quick shower, and an ever quicker unpacking job, I was starving and ready for my first bite of Arabian cuisine. Who knew that a hotel could have so many restaurants? I mean this one has at least five— all different and all delicious. So I ordered a seafood salad with some of their local dressing, cuddled up in bed with an (unknown) movie, popped a sleeping pill, and that was the end to my long first day.

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View of the Grand Mosque top right corner!

 

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This morning (day two) I woke up to my alarm at 9am. First thing I thought was this is just not gonna happen— I hit snooze, and fell back asleep until 11am. I rushed out of bed, went to the gym for like a minute (have you ever been to a gym with the perfect view of the Grand Mosque? I have!), then laid out by the pool. When I say “laid out”, I mean sat there uncomfortably drenched in sweat after 2 minutes because it was 100 degrees. No exaggeration. I then came to a sudden realization that i hadn’t had my morning brew yet. What! It’s already 12:15, and I haven’t had a sip of caffeine (even with this jet lag)!? So I headed to the oh-so-fancy Chocolate Lounge where I had a couple (or a few) cups. And that’s that.

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Where the chocolate-making magic happens

 

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Lounged there while writing 🙂

 

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This afternoon I am going on a Desert Safari organized through the hotel. I don’t know why it’s called a “safari” because since it’s in the desert, we will be seeing absolutely no animals (except Camels!). But, even better, I will be camel riding, sand boarding, watching belly dancing, henna painting, and feasting on an Arabian Desert- Barbecue. I literally can not wait! More to come…

Xx,

Tash

DIY Protein Shake

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Last spring, I became addicted to the protein shakes at the little cafe at my local Equinox. I would pick one up after each workout, and they were the perfect post workout snack—so delicious and replenishing for your body. However, if you add the price of one week’s worth of protein shakes all together, they can get pretty expensive. So, to be cost effective, I started making my own! The recipes were so simple that I thought it was almost easier to make them in my own kitchen. Also, I could incorporate my favorite ingredients and create personal recipes, instead of having to pick one off of the cafe’s menu.

Here is a recipe that is one of my all time favorites: it’s simple, delicious, milk-shake like, home-made, and FULL of protein. What makes it a little different (and better!) is the added chocolate flavored protein-coconut water, which gives it an extra chocolatey flavor, extra protein, and extra hydration.

Recipe:

1/2 banana (or a whole, for a thicker consistency)

1/2 cup strawberries

1 scoop chocolate protein powder

1/2 carton of Coco Libre chocolate protein-coconut water

1 cup ice

&&& sometimes for an extra energy kick, I add a little bit of coffee too!

Blend until all the ice has been crushed and the consistency is smooth.

Xx,

Tash

Pre and Post Workout Fuel

@teatanandtoned

photo by @teatanandtoned

You’ve probably heard it a million and one times, but when trying to get into shape, what you eat is just as important as your workout itself. In fact, pre and post-workout meals are crucial if you are looking to seek results— whether your goal is weight loss or muscle definition. Your body needs to fuel up before and then recharge after any workout. Waking up and heading straight to the gym on an empty stomach is not ideal, and will bring you minimal results. Not to mention, this routine will most likely lead you to a sugar craving or binge when the clock strikes 4pm.

I’m no expert on this topic, and I’m no certified nutritionist or health trainer, but I would say I have a pretty good sense of the do’s and dont’s when it comes to fitness. I will spill to you what has worked for me, and what I believe will bring max results. I think it’s important to be sure to eat your pre-workout snack at least 45 minutes before your workout, and refuel at most 45 minutes post-workout. In general, carbs are what you need to energize you before a workout, and proteins are your BFFS when it comes to muscle growth after leaving the gym. However, if you are looking for a whole meal (not just a quick snack), try to incorporate both protein and carbs with veggies for some hydration and an antioxidant boost.

It’s often hard to find a yummy, quick snack to fit into a busy schedule, so here are a few ideas for pre and post workout snacks that will maximize your workout as well as your results:

Before

  1. Whole wheat toast with sliced bananas and almond butter: Both types of carbs, raised potassium levels, lots of energy and protein
  2. Greek Yogurt and granola or fruit: Easily digestible, gives you good fat and protein
  3. Fruit smoothie: Make it with Greek yoghurt and any fruit: Lots of protein, energy, and time efficient!
  4. Oatmeal with fruit (bananas or berries work well): Slowly digestible, so you will have energy continuously released during your workout
  5. Apple and almond butter: Fills you up on vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, with fat that will amp up energy levels

After

  1. Grilled Chicken with veggies: Lots of lean protein and carbs, will fill you up and replenish your muscles
  2. Veggie and Avocado Omelet: A perfect mix of protein, fats, and good carbs, with lots of nutrients
  3. Chocolate Milk: Who woulda thought?! Chocolate milk is great as it rehydrates and provides your body with protein and carbs
  4. Protein Shake: Quick, easy, replenishing, and not to mention deeeelish! (will to a post on my fav recipe later this week)
  5. Quest Bar: The best protein bar on the market. Heat this baby up for 30 seconds and it’s literally heaven for your taste buds (I usually eat one a day, chocolate chip and smores flavors are to die for)

Xx,

Tash

Spring/ Summer Jackets

This past week I have been blessed with perfect weather out here in tundra-town Madison, WI. 70’s almost every day, I’ve been spending majority of my time out by the lake people watching as the day goes by. I’m not used to all of this time outside, and hopefully the high temps are here to stay. As the thermometer is certainly shifting (about.time.), so are our wardrobes. I’m shoving my turtlenecks, timbs, and trench coats to the back of my closet. They’re there to stay, and I’m pretty ecstatic about it.

But, lets not get carried away, because tanks and shorts might not cut it quite yet. Let’s be honest, its only April (almost May, yay) , and there’s still a breeze in the air. Solution for these gusts of wind and those chilly Spring (and Summer!) nights: I introduce you to the perfect spring jacket. Yes, every girl needs one, dressy or casual, for the transitional spring days or even brisk summer nights.

Here are some to check out before you go on that essential Spring/ Summer shopping spree.

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River Island Denim Jacket

 

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Oasis Drape Tailored Jacket

 

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River Island Fringed Biker Jacket

 

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Asos Parka Cape

 

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Religion Oversized Drapey Duster Coat

 

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River Island Geo Print Jacket

 

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River Island Utility Jacket

 

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River Island Leather Look Biker Jacket

 

Xx,

Tash

The Liebster Award

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Exciting news! I was nominated for the Liebster Award by one of my fellow bloggers, Katie Nichole. She has an amazing blog called Typewriterial (Check it out here!!!!).

So, I’m a total newby to all of this but here is how it works:

  1. Mention, thank and link the blog who nominated you (see above)
  2. Answer the nominator’s 11 questions (see below)
  3. Create 11 questions of your own for your nominated bloggers to answer
  4. Notify your nominees via social media

Here are the 11 questions that I was asked:

1. Where did you grow up?

New York

2. What is your favorite song at the moment?

I don’t have a favorite- but love anything Tay Swift or Beyonce

3. Why did you start your blog?

I love to write and spent so much time reading other people’s blogs— I thought why not write my own!?

4. Do you eat breakfast?

Always!!! Never skip breakfast, people.

5. Morning person or night owl?

Definitely a morning person

6. Favorite makeup brand?

I like to mix it up, but most of my products are Bobbi Brown or Maybelline 

7. Who is someone that you admire?

My parents 

8. What is your favorite television show?

Hmm… Anything reality. I would have to narrow it down to KUWTK and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills 

9. What is something you’ve never told anyone?

Lips are sealed!! 

10. If you had to eat the same thing for the rest of your life what would it be?

Call me a health freak, but probably fruits and veggies 

11. What is a blog post you would like to see me do?

Easy DIY Recipes! 

And here are the 11 questions of my own:

  1. What is your dream job?
  2. Who inspires you the most?
  3. Favorite Beyonce song ever?
  4. What’s the last thing you binge watched on Netflix?
  5. What’s your favorite topic to blog about?
  6. Favorite clothing brand?
  7. What’s your most used emoji?
  8. Who is your guilty celebrity crush?
  9. Where do you gain the most inspiration for your blog?
  10. How long have you been blogging for?
  11. What’s your favorite city?

Lastly, here are the bloggers that I nominate:

coffeeandcurls with kiki

hey han

one girls obsessions

abroad and local

StilStyle

Everything Nadia

you.theworld.wandering

Xx,

Tash

 

The Wonders of Vaseline

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One simple drug store product that I always have around is Vaseline. I started off using it simply as a lip moisturizer, to cure the dry/cracked lip syndrome that we all get when the colder months roll around. But, over the years I have started to use it for SO much more than that. What’s funny is that I created my own uses for it, but when I looked it up online, it seems that many people have had the same ideas as me. Who ever invented this gooey jelly-like paste is seriously a beauty genius. I’ve decided that I’m going to share with you guys some of the amazing hidden secrets I’ve found of this product.

  1. The obvious— it’s great for moisturizing chapped lips. But, who said you only had to limit it to your lips?! Vaseline works great for any dry spots or cracked skin.
  2. As I mentioned in an earlier post, you can create your own personal shades of blush, shadows, and lip balms by mixing it with powder.
  3. Before bed, I often rub it around my eyes and eyelashes. It highlights your skin, darkens and thickens your eyelashes, while moisturizing them too!
  4. Rub the jelly on your skin before spritzing your perfume, and the scent will last much longer! (who woulda thought?!)
  5. Whenever I have small little baby hairs and I’m deprived of any hair spray, I take a tiny amount of vaseline and just stick those untamed pieces down
  6. Ran out of your last bit of makeup remover? No worries, vaseline’ll do the trick.

So, next time you’re in your local drug store, be sure to stock up on this multitasking beauty product!

Xx,

Tash

The Best Celeb Selfies from Coachella ’15

Coachella is still a hot topic, and as the two week long event just ended a couple days ago and celebs continue to brag about what a great time they had through social media, I thought I’d write a little bit more about it 🙂

Most stars have nailed the selfie game- I’m not sure if it’s from lots of practice, or it comes naturally to them (?!). But either way, all of the selfies posted on instagram from ‘Chella were pretty killer. I did some lengthy searching through my feed and tried to break it down to find the celebs who had the best selfies from their days in the dessert. Some are comical, others pure fun, and all made me jaw-droppingly jealous. Check them out below!

Gigi Hadid

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Paris Hilton

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Ciara

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Bella Thorne

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Beyonce

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Katy Perry

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Skrillex

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Julianne Hugh

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Behati Prinsloo

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Alessandra Ambrosio

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Xx,
Tash

The Best Dressed at Coachella ’15

 

Unless you’re living under a rock, you’re probably aware that Coachella (aka the world’s biggest music festival) took place over the past two weekends. Basically a fairytale make-believe land full of the world’s best music, the best food, the best rides, and what seems to be every-single-celebrity that exists. While my roommate was lucky enough to snag a ticket and a tent to experience the second weekend (ugh, bring me next time, @Olivia?!), I just got to experience from the sidelines, through the overwhelming celeb coverage on social. Well, there’s always next year, I guess?

Although Coachella is primarily a music festival, it’s also a time when the spring and summer trends are shown off by the world’s top supermodels, stylists, and artists for the world to see. The whole vibe is a pretty boho-chic atmosphere, and people attend dressed in some wild (and sometimes questionable) looks. Personally, a lot of the outfits (even those of my all time favs— ie. bff’s Gigi and Kendall) are not my favorite (just not my style). But, here are a few looks that I loved at Coachella ’15:

Kate Bosworth

Kate Bosworth

Kristina Bazan

Kristina Bazan

Jourdonn Dun

Jourdonn Dun

Jasmine Tookes

Jasmine Tookes

Jamie Chung

Jamie Chung

Alexa Chung

Alexa Chung

Julianna Hough

Julianne Hough

Alessandra Ambrosio (and possy)

Alessandra Ambrosio (and possy)

Alessandra Ambrosio Weekend 2

Alessandra Ambrosio Weekend 2

Rosie Huntington Whiteley

Rosie Huntington Whiteley

P.S. Another Coachella post coming soooon!

Xx,

Tash

A Day at the Pier

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As I mentioned in my previous post, during my stay in LA, my brother and I adventured off onto the Santa Monica pier for an afternoon of childish fun. Here, I rediscovered my love for cotton candy and kiddie rides. No lie, I probably wasted $20 trying to knock a few blocks down for the reward of an oversized Scooby-Doo stuffed animal. And was shaking and wining while waiting on line for the roller coaster (where I was by far the oldest, most nervous person there). And yup, I cried, and there’s video to prove it.

Here are some shots of the day below. And regarding my outfit, every single item from head to toe (literally) is from Zara. Wait I lied! Exception of my sunglasses, which are by Asos.

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Me and my little brother 🙂

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Me and my little brother pt. 2 🙂

Xx,

Tash

LA Getaway

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Malibu

 

Last week, over my spring break, my family and I (with the exception of my older brother) took a trip to LA. My dad was going out there for work, so my mom, younger brother and I thought we’d tag along for the ride. I had never been to LA, and had always dreamed of strolling down Rodeo Drive and dining at the celebrity hot spots. As you can guess, I was super excited and had a very lengthy list of things to do and places to eat (based on celebrity Instagrams, duh!). We were there for 7 days and 7 nights, and stayed at a hotel in Santa Monica. I won’t go into the trip in too much detail, because I could honestly write a novel about how much I loved every little detail, but I’ll talk about the things and areas that stood out in particular. Also, I’ll mention the really amazing restaurants and cafes that I highly recommend.

I started each morning with a fun workout at Soul Cycle Santa Monica which just happened to be across the street from my hotel. Therefore, I was up bright and early each day before 8am. You might be thinking, no way that’s a relaxing vacation! But I was determined to see as much of LA as I could in the short time that I was there, so there was absolutely no time for sleeping in!

The first day we arrived we headed out to Malibu. And what a great first impression of California! Clear skies, bright blue waters, and swarms of surfers, I loved the city (and state) from the start. We drove around the residential area, dined at Malibu Farm (yum…!), and took a pit stop at Zuma Beach. Later, we headed back to Santa Monica for some delicious Mexican cuisine at Mercado.

On day two or three (I forget- they all kind of jumbled together), we spent the day in our temporary backyard, the Santa Monica Pier. My brother and I decided to let out our inner-child, and rode the roller coaster and the ferris wheel- SO much fun. When we were dizzy enough from all the rides, we left the peer and had another amazing lunch right across from the pier at Ivy at the Shore.

The Wednesday (midway through our trip) was spent window-shopping on Rodeo Drive and awing and ooing at all of the possible items I could never afford. It was so beautiful and the nicest day. After getting a little bit lost and starstruck around the streets in Beverly Hills, I was on a mission to find Urth Cafe (thank you, Kylie Jenner!). We arrived, we waited (yes, very long lines), we ate, and WOW was it amazing. No words to describe it, actually. The next day we went back to the same Urth, and got it as take out, eating it in a beautiful courtyard just off of Rodeo Drive.

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Nobu Malibu

 

To foster the greatest hunger for Nobu Malibu (so we could try all of the artistically crafted delicacies), my mom, brother, and I headed up to Runyon Canyon for the day. We completed a hike on one of the paths (not very long), and I was pretty satisfied as the view from the top consisted of the one and only Hollywood sign (could I be any more of a tourist)! Post fun-celebrity-seeking hike, we headed to Urth for lunch for the third time (I swear, it’s an addiction).

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To end our trip on a high note, and to truly lose my Los Angeles virginity, the family spent the night at the Staples Center, to cheer on the Lakers! I wouldn’t say I was at the edge of my seat the whole time, but it was still so fun.

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Lakers Game

 

So basically, I don’t think I’ve ever had so much good food in such a short amount of time. Literally, I was never disappointed with anything I ate that whole week. Here are a few of the top places that I’m still craving, days later:

 

Soho House Restaurant

Katsuya (Brentwood)— Brussel Sprout Salad. Enough said

Malibu Farm— Vegetable scrambled eggs and any juice

Nobu Malibu— ANYTHING and EVERYTHING (But isn’t that obvious?!)

Urth Cafe— Went there not once, not twice, but three times. (would go every day for the rest of my life if I could)

Fig Restaurant (in the Fairmont Hotel Santa Monica)

Ivy at the Shore (Santa Monica)

Primo Cafe (Santa Monica)

Mercado (Santa Monica)

Xx,

Tash