Super Woman

How it began.

On October 25th, I began one of the hardest yet most rewarding journeys I have ever embarked on. Breastfeeding and becoming a mother has allowed me to understand just how amazing the human body is.

Women are the most powerful human beings on this earth. Imagine this, you grow a human from scratch, birth them with all the strength you have and continue to nourish them with nutrients your body carefully crafted for your little one to thrive.

Baby V was born at 38 weeks, and barely allowed me to get to the hospital on time- now my birth story is a story for another time. When he was born I requested for delay of cord clamping because of the wide range of benefits that come with it. After all, at least 30% of the blood supply they lived with still is attached to the placenta 1-2 minutes after birth! I had asked the nurses that once they checked him if his Apgar score was above 8 I wanted to delay all traditional interventions for the first hours known as the ‘Golden Hour’. Immediately he was placed on my chest to begin skin to skin. We shared our first breastfeeding moment in a dark dim light room just as everyone was cleaning things up and we were about to be left alone for the next couple of hours. Due to covid, personnel was limited and no lactation consultant came by.
I was filled with overwhelming joy but despite all the research I had done on the Thompson Method for breastfeeding, putting things to practice seemed a lot harder than explained.
The Thompson Method, is a method that was created by Dr. Robyn Thompson which encourages immediate uninterrupted skin to skin after birth while allowing baby to naturally crawl up to the nipple and breastfeed on his or her own.
Since baby V had been born what they considered early term he developed a bit of jaundice which is common in a lot of newborns. It is the yellowing of the skin due to the break down of red blood cells not being able to effectively be filtered by the liver, and is most commonly treated by photo therapy light or simply feeding. The more the baby ate, the more he was able to pee and poop the excesses bilirubin in his body that was causing the change of color in his skin.
When it was time for the pediatrician to do her rounds she came by and was concerned he had already lost 10% of his weight within the first 36 hours. As a first time mom this terrified me and the first word that spat out of her mouth was FORMULA. There was little regard to how I felt about it and quite frankly no encouragement to try to get him to gain weight with my own breast milk. I cried for hours, the excess bilirubin aside from changing the color of their skin also causes them to be sleepy. He would latch and fall asleep. How was I going to feed a sleepy baby? Manual expression.

I began manually expressing my colostrum in a cup and spoon feeding him. Sounds insane right? Spoon feeding a newborn? But believe me it worked! Their tummy’s are so tiny they only need a little bit of colostrum at a time to get full. I began tracking his wet and soiled diapers and soon met the pediatrician’s expectations however they still wanted me to supplement with formula.

My nurse saw how distraught I was and came in with a breast pump and told me to try pumping to see if I would produce anything, and I did! Almost 1 ounce of liquid gold… this was just the beginning of the next beautiful months to come! I now happily pump 12-14 oz per session. I cannot wait to share the rest of my journey with tips and recommendations for you all.

Grace

The Honey and The Bee

I love honey! I have one teaspoon every day (mostly I like to drizzle a little bit of honey on my plain yogurt, or apple slices, and also into my afternoon tea). Honey is made by the honey bee after they collect nectar from flowers and take it back to their hive. It’s important to know it should be consumed in moderation since even though it’s healthy, it’s high in calories and sugar. According to and article from the Cleveland Clinic, women should not have more than 100 calories of added sugar and men no more than 150 calories of added sugar per day. Also make sure high-quality raw honey is consumed, as pasteurized honey may be mixed with corn syrup or other sweeteners to improve shelf life. Since ancient times honey has been used as food, but also as medicine. Even though there’s little evidence of honey’s medicinal uses, it does have health benefits.

A few benefits of honey include:-

  • contains nutrients (vitamins and minerals)
  • rich in antioxidants (high quality honey)
  • helps lower blood pressure
  • improves cholesterol and lowers triglycerides
  • beneficial for heart and brain health
  • promotes burn and wound healing
  • soothes a sore throat

The color and flavor of honey depends on nectar source it comes from. There are more than 300 types of honey in the USA. Color ranges from nearly clear to dark brown. Acacia and clover will produce a lighter honey, and buckwheat and manuka a darker honey. As a general rule light-color honey milder and dark-color is stronger in taste. If you can buy honey from a local source go for it! Get to know where it came from, who’s the producer, what’s the story behind it. And remember even if it says organic is doesn’t mean it’s healthier or better quality.

One of my favorite local honey is from Keez Beez – certified non-GMO and kosher raw honey fresh from the Florida Keys. Their raw honey is produced from the nectar of natural wild flora, including mangroves, wildflowers, sea grape, palms, avocado tree, mamey tree. Get their honey variety set here. 🙂 Raw honey may contain extra elements such as bee pollen and propolis, which can offer additional antioxidant and antibacterial properties.

The honey bee is found in every continent in the world (except Antartica). Bees live on nectar and pollen. Without bees the process of pollination would not be possible. About 30% of our food supply depends on pollination. Honeybees transfer pollen allowing plants to grow seeds and fruit. Honeybees are social insects. Their colony consists of one queen bee, a few hundred drones, and thousands of working bees. The queen bee is the only female in the colony who can reproduce. She will start laying eggs from early spring to the fall, as long as pollen is available. The male bee, drone, only function is to fertilize the queen bee; then they will die. Worker bees are all female and make about 99% of the colony. They have tasks for every stage of their 45-day lifespan. As the worker bee carries the nectar to the hive its body brakes down the sucrose of the nectar into fructose and glucose. After tucking it into a honeycomb cell, it will beat its wings vigorously to thicken the substance by fanning out moisture. They it will cover the cell with beeswax, sealing the honey for consumption during winter. Since they produce way more honey than they need, we get to enjoy it too. They are very gentle, so be nice to them and they’ll be nice to you!

xoxo Elisa

The Lollipop Studio – the sweetest home in Miami.

Meet our guest of the month, Begum Jariyawiriya from The Lollipop Studio.

  1. Tell us a little about yourself. After getting my Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts in Istanbul, I continued my career in America, and got my second bachelor’s degree from Johnson and Wales University. Shortly after I  focused on my professional training in prestigious restaurants and 5-star hotels from Miami to Istanbul and specialized in Japanese cuisine. In 2013 I took a leap into the academic field as a chef instructor. I am currently pursuing a PhD in Communications, and happily married to my better half and raising a miracle with him while making lollipops 🙂
  2. When did you have the ‘aha’ moment that lollipops were going to be your thing? As I was waiting for my green card to arrive, I was at home all day everyday. First couple of months it was so much fun but then it started to get really boring, because right before we moved back to Miami I was working 7 days, 5 days at the college and on the weekends I had my own cooking show on the Food Network/Turkey. So I started to look for opportunities that I can work from home and I discovered Etsy. At first I was making cute meringues and macaroons. But they were to delicate to ship. I was working hours upon hours just for one batch and then clients were sending me the crushed images 😦  A this point, I started to look for new ideas and I came up with the lollipops. It was so much fun to make and they were durable 🥳🥳  Luckily, there weren’t many people on Etsy that concentrate on my style of lollipops and it caught people’s attention right away.
  3. What has been your biggest hurdle thus far? My biggest hurdle was to learn to work from home with a toddler. Before I pour the sugar into the molds until it reaches 175F. One tiny mistake, may leave a life time of regrets. But luckily I worked long enough in kitchens and one of the biggest experience that I gained was multitasking. I set up that system in our kitchen, it’s only been a year now since we established the lollipop studio and we are producing approximately 1,000 lollipops in a week from our kitchen and for that reason I call our home as the sweetest home in Miami!
  4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Through Etsy our lollipops almost reached each and every state in America. Now my dream is to do the same thing with the lollipop stores. We are planning to open the first one in Miami this holiday season and hopefully in 5 years we will be franchising our brand.
  5. What has been your proudest achievement with your business? Besides the cute lollipops we also work with companies and taking bulk orders for their custom-made logo lollipops. Working with really big companies and seeing my lollipops on their websites for their campaigns just makes my heart beat faster and makes me feel closer to my dreams.
  6. What excites you? Seeing the people’s reaction when they first look at the lollipops. One of the most frequent thing that I hear is “they are too cute to eat” and “are they edible?” 🙂 These two comments still makes me so excited.
  7. What do you do in your down time? As a toddler mom, of course I don’t have much spare time. But when I do I read! Nothing related to cooking or baking or candies; mostly books about consciousness and well being. It really helps me to get rid of the stress and concentrate on my family and work at the same time. And for the past couple of years I have been enjoying the virtual meetings with my close friends back home in Istanbul.
  8. Where do you find your inspiration for your lollipops? I think the biggest inspiration are the cartoons that my son watches. I can closely observe all the characters. I also have to admit that just for the work sometimes I might force him to watch girly cartoons, lol, like the little mermaid. Then I make a collage from the elements that I like the most. 
  9. Which is your favorite design? See the link of my favorite lollipop. But then last year, after loosing my brother to cancer, the most special lollipop became the Disney’s Coco inspired lollipops.

Visit us at our Etsy store!

Melt & Pour

I didn’t realize until I YouTubed soap making that there was this whole science behind it. It was waaaaay more than what I wanted to commit to for this particular project, although maybe one day I can learn the art of it. This project is perfect for a quick gift if you wish to have the ingredients on hand. During my search I discovered Bramble Berry. They had everything you need for soap making – soap bases, molds, coloring, tutorials – I wanted everything and wanted to learn everything. This is where I discovered Melt and Pour base soaps, as it’s named you literally melt and pour into your mold. From their website I chose the Aloe Vera Base, the Oatmeal Base and whilst I was at it I bought some coloring (there’s instructions on how to use these and of course I didn’t read it and my colors looked a little insane, lol). I have dozens of essential oils already in my arsenal, to add a little scent to my soap, I’m not much into sweet smelling scents like Cookie Dough or Cotton Candy so I stick with my neutral scents.

I happened to be gifted a couple of loofahs from El Salvador. Of course I new what a loofah was and what it was used for but I’m not sure I knew where they come from. Luffa sponges don’t come from the ocean. And they’re not from manmade materials. Rough-textured exfoliators originate from luffa: dried fiber from the vegetable of the same name. Luffa or loofah (botanically Luffa aegyptiaca) is a vine-grown member of the pumpkin, squash and gourd family. Once the extracted fiber dries, use it for bathing and scrubbing.

I sliced the loofah into 1 inch slices. Added a thick cotton string through the natural holes (from my macrame supplies but yarn will do the trick). Placed them into a cupcake tray (I didn’t have silicone molds and I wasn’t about to buy one). I melted my soap at 30 second intervals carefully not to over heat them but enough to melt. I stirred until the soap base was fully dissolved. Added my color and essential oils. Stir again until the color was consistent and I was happy with the scent combination. I sprinkled some dried organic flowers before and after I poured the melted soap on a couple of them …. violá, soap on a rope with a little loofah!

I made: Rosemary and Lemongrass (yes the crazy green looking one) I have used these in the kitchen; perfect for after gardening when I have dirt on my hands and my cuticles. The loofah helps! This is with the aloe base. The others were with the oatmeal base; one lavender and the other rose.

The experts say to use a rubbery silicon mold for easy release, as mentioned I used a cupcake tray which is not so flexible. I’m not gonna lie, I fought to get out my soaps by tugging on the rope to pull them out of the mold. I fought and got rope burn on my fingers until … alas! My brain switched on and put the butt of the cup cake pan in a tray of .5 inch warm water for about 15 seconds. I pulled on the ropes and it easily released from the mold. A little happy dance later, I had some nice soaps that I would be happy to give away as gifts! Super cute!

Las Flores en los Niños.

El año pasado mi hija comenzó un nuevo año escolar en una nueva escuela, y tuve la gran bendición de tener las flores en casa y trabajar en ella la adaptación gracias a la magia de la terapia floral.

Por experiencia personal se que son maravillosas en los niños y tienen resultados extraordinarios y rápidos.

A continuación les mostraré algunas de las opciones para trabajar diferentes temas en niños.

FÓRMULA COMBINADA EQUILIBRIO ENERGÉTICO:

Equilibra la energía. Permite a la persona estar centrada, de buen ánimo y tranquila, mientras va liberando tensiones y viviendo los procesos de cambio con calma y serenidad. Relaja, ayuda a dormir. Calma la hiperactividad. Para los niños con ADD. Resulta una buena base energética para algunos preparados florales.

ESENCIA FLORAL HEMEROCALLIS:

Flor del Hemerocallis.

Cerrar ciclos, relaciones o experiencias que nos atan y no nos dejan avanzar. Ver con claridad lo que nos esta deteniendo. Dejar ir, soltar lo viejo, lo pasado, lo caduco, lo permitido, las relaciones perjudiciales, el trabajo que ya no nos sirve, y lo que ha dejado de ser útil para nuestro camino, sin culpa ni critica. Dirigir nuestra energía hacia nuestros proyectos, abrirnos a lo nuevo, comprender que la vida es un movimiento constante. Aprender lo que el cierre nos esta mostrando y despertar en una dimensión de conciencia mas alta, sabiendo que todo se transforma. Liberar nuestra creatividad y desplegar nuestros talentos. Volver a empezar integrando lo aprendido e ir para adelante. Empezar con ganas lo que en en algún lugar esta disponible para nosotros. Atravesar las diferentes etapas de la vida.

ESENCIA FLORAL HYPERICO:

Flor del Hyperico.

Miedos nocturnos. Pesadillas, sueños perturbadores. Transpiración nocturna. Vulnerabilidad ante influencias psíquicas. Miedo a la oscuridad, a las figuras oscuras que aparecen en los sueños, a las influencias astrales y a las figuras oscuras. Luz dorada, protección interna, la luz del sol, protección espiritual. Foco de luz, farol encendido que ilumina en la oscuridad. Confiar en que la luz y la fuerza de Dios en nuestro corazón nos protege. Estar centrados en la luz de la conciencia, confianza, fortaleza, vitalidad.

ESENCIA FLORAL PALTA:

Flore del Avocado.

Organizarnos, prestar atención, estudiar, recordar sin esfuerzo. Mejorar la memoria, cuando falla por falta de atención. Estar alerta, despiertos durante el día, y dormir bien durante la noche. Despertar descansados. Dirigir la mente hacia el objetivo deseado. Concentrarnos con atención. Seguir el propósito de lo que queremos hacer, sin distraernos por los ruidos externos o internos. Enfocarnos en el estudio y en el trabajo. Estar atento a los detalles, del presente, del pasado, y de los sueños, y recordarlos. No perder las cosas. Recordar donde dejamos lo que perdimos. Estar atentos a varias cosas a la vez sin perder efectividad. Decidir cada una de las cosas, cuando tenemos demasiadas, sin perder de vista el resto y sin perder el rumbo de lo que queremos hacer. Conducir con atención. Ser conscientes de las distracciones. Recordar los nombres. Esta esencia cabe destacar que forma parte de la fórmula combinada estudio y de los perfumes áuricos estudio y atención que sirven mucho también para los niños y adultos.

Flor del Eucalipto.

ESENCIA FLORAL DE EUCALIPTO:

Descubre y trabaja las emociones que hay detrás de los síntomas físicos relacionados con la respiración, anginas catarros, resfríos, asmas, alergias, y aliviarlos. Respirar hondo y profundo en forma espontánea, y ser conscientes de ellos. Abrir el pecho liderándolo de las penas lo oprimen, respirar la vida. Avanzar, encarar con dirección sin dudas ni oscilaciones. Tener propósitos y voluntad, concretar, salir al mundo. Ser coherente con lo que uno es. Descubrir nuestro propio valor. Tomar la vida como es y a nosotros como somos. Mantener la dirección, sin flaquear por altibajos emocionales. No postergar, salir, definir, volver a empezar, acabar con el desgano. Dejar de alternar entre emociones opuestas, reconociendo lo que nos pasa en el interior. Ver lo contradictorio en nosotros mismos.

Esta es una esencia muy usada especialmente para armonizar y equilibrar las emociones relacionadas con temas respiratorios en los niños como resfrios, tos, bronquitos muy comun en los mas pequenos.

Aquí les dejo entonces algunas de las flores mas usadas en los niños, claro que cada caso, recuerden requiere de una entrevista personal para detectar las flores necesarias para cada niño. Los perfumes áuricos funcionan muy bien también.

Espero próximamente darles a conocer las diferentes esencias florales para otro tipo de caso.

Cualquier información no duden en escribirme un DM por mi IG milagritos_floweressences.

Muchas Flores para todos!

Gisella Gaudini.

Welcoming Grace….

Hi there!

My Name is Grace and I’m 29 years old. I currently just became a mommy to the sweetest little boy a few months ago amidst the craziness of covid. I have loved every minute of motherhood thus far and exclusively breastfeeding baby V has brought me so much joy. I recently was accepted as a milk donor to help premie NICU babies in the state of Florida! Being able to help such tiny lives has opened up my world to the beauty of breastfeeding.

I have always wanted to be a mother for as long as I can remember, and my breastfeeding journey has been one of my greatest accomplishments. I have been able to use my social media platform to educate new mommies on breastfeeding through my own experience and researched. I am currently working on a blog for new mamas to enjoy and use as guidance. I hope to share my journey with you all from tips and tricks I use in my daily life as a new mother.

Talk to you soon!

Grace

KORI BAXTER BS PTA, LMT, CPT

Tell us a little about yourself: I have always had an immense passion for the health and fitness industries. The foundation of nutrition and the importance of fitness was instilled in me at a very young age. My mother, a novice body builder and competitor, inspired me to follow a journey of longevity and wellness. In 2007, I graduated #1 in my class at Florida International University with my Bachelor’s Degree in Dietetics and Nutrition. As my desire for a holistic approach to healing continued to grow, I pursued a Massage Therapy License graduating as Valedictorian at the Acupuncture and Massage College. 

Passionate about movement and wellness, I went on to become a NCSF Certified Personal Trainer and also graduated #1 in my class as a Physical Therapist Assistant from the highest ranked program from Miami Dade College. With experience in all avenues of care, I remain committed to constantly growing and learning, keeping in mind my life’s motto – “to change the world one person at a time.”

What makes you happy? I believe happiness is a mindset and I’m always ready with a smile. Walking the bridge, feeling the breeze in the air and the sunshine on my skin are priceless. Unwinding in the kitchen with my music blasting, creative juices flowing, and preparing delicious meals for the week makes me happy. However, I am most content when someone leaves my treatment room feeling like a new person, ready to take on the world! 

What does a normal day look like for you? The melodious sound of my alarm dings at 5:45am, I walk into the bathroom, look into the mirror and say out loud what I am most grateful for.  I find my way to the kitchen and drink about 3 glasses of my special water elixir (RO water, apple cider vinegar, spirulina, aloe, and ginger puree) and have my morning brew. Once hydration sets in, a workout session is dominated! Next, I jump in the shower, get ready, and then I am off to work. A shift can run anywhere from 6-12 hours, it is fast-paced and keeps me on my toes. Once I get home, I kick off my shoes, jump into the shower and then find my way to the kitchen. A deep pleasure is felt making my own food, listening to an audible book or podcast, and then engage in a yoga or meditation session. I conclude each evening with gratitude and a success list for the following day. 

You do a variety of work; can you share what you do in each? At Mount Sinai Medical Center, I work as an Acute Care Therapist, enhancing health, education, and function. Acute care therapy is the treatment one receives after a severe injury or illness, urgent medical condition, or after surgery. As you can imagine, being hospitalized is no light matter. My role is to be their “cheerleader,” with the goal of optimizing their functional independence for a safe return home. Together, we perform ADL’s (Activities of Daily Living) such as: gait training, transfer training, bed mobility, strength training, neuromuscular reeducation, self-care, etc. I work with an array of patients such as: cardiac, gastro-intestinal, orthopedic, cancer, neuro, ICU (Intensive Care Unit), failure to thrive, psych, etc. 

Outside of the hospital, I work as an Outpatient Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA), Massage Therapist, and Personal Trainer. All 3 coexist to embody a “Wholistic” approach to movement and the musculoskeletal system. 

As a PTA, optimizing movement, balance, coordination, mobility, and stability are key. Therapeutic exercises/interventions, joint mobilization, and soft tissue manipulation are performed, along with education on safety, injury prevention, recovery, and developing a plan of care to meet the individual’s needs. 

Personal training is similar to physical therapy (PT). Both professions keep you active and working on creating a plan of care to help you achieve your fitness/physical goals, however, personal trainers focus on physique and do not specifically work with injuries.

Massage therapy is an effective tool for soft tissue manipulation and stress relief. Through my rhythmic flow, I am able to help create energy balance and promote relaxation. My background primarily consists of: Swedish, Thai, Deep Tissue, Medical, Prenatal, Ayurvedic, and Shiatsu Massage techniques. Swedish Massage is very relaxing, helping to improve blood circulation, and reduce tension in muscles. Thai Massage can be described as being taken through a beautiful yoga flow, opening your energy channels, reducing restrictions, and rebalancing. Deep Tissue is similar to Swedish Massage but is performed with slow strokes and sustained pressure to move deeper into the tissue. Medical Massage is used for a specific ailment diagnosed by a professional. Prenatal is performed on an expecting mother, promoting comfort and wellness, increasing immune function, improving uterine blood supply, etc. Ayruvedic Massage is done with specialty oils and specific strokes promoting balance within the mind, body, and spirit constitution. Shiatsu is literally translated to “finger pressure.” Pressure is applied to specific points on the body, correcting disharmonies and restore balance.  

What is your favorite stretch or movement? Mobility work is an essential part of programming, there are so many valuable movements, it is challenging to choose only one. 

My top 3 favorites are: 

1. World’s Greatest Stretch w/ thoracic rotations 

2. Dynamic Hamstring Sweeps 

3. Around the World 

If you weren’t doing PT what would you be doing? If I wasn’t doing PT, or bodywork, I would go back to school to become a Functional Medicine Practioner. I truly believe in treating the body as a whole entity and we must take care of our mind, body, and spirit for wellness to take place. Functional Medicine helps to discover the cause of the issue versus just “putting a band aid” and covering up the symptoms. 

What are your top 5 must do’s for your body?

  • HYDRATE yourself with clean water
  • MOVE your body EVERY DAY (doing whatever makes you feel empowered and alive- min 2 min/hour awake) 
  • EAT the rainbow of clean vegetables and fruits- high quality proteins
  • Get good quality SLEEP (dark room, electronics off, cool temperature)
  • RECOVERY: Massage, Stretch Therapy, Breathing, Gratitude, Positive Affirmations

What is your advice to the couch potato who wants to get up off their butts but keeps finding excuses? Set it or forget it! Put an alarm on your phone TO MOVE, so you don’t even have to think about it. Making things easy, will help you to create lasting changes. If an alarm isn’t for you, make sure you are moving your whole body during commercials or at the beginning/ end of each show on TV. 

Our bodies are made to move and as we move, we release endorphins which make us feel good. And why wouldn’t you want to feel good?!

Do you eat healthy too? (if so) What is your favorite healthy: Yes, I do eat healthy most of the time. Food is another one of my passions and this girl LOVES to EAT!! 

Breakfast: Omlette (1-2 eggs, sautéed onions, garlic, spinach, riced cauliflower (adds bulk without the calories), spices, cooked in 1 tsp coconut oil) + 1/2 c frozen organic blueberries, 1/4c frozen pineapple, 1/4c cacao nibs, 1/4c baruka nuts 

Lunch: SALAD- organic spinach, spring mix, wild caught smoked salmon or sardines, raw onions, garlic, pickles, chopped date, honey goat cheese, sliced steamed almonds, ¼ avocado, chia seeds with  balsamic vinegar. Side: Kimchi and celery with hummus   

Dinner: Wild caught sockeye salmon with the skin on (Air fryer so the skin is crispy) in spices and onions

Side: Honey roasted balsamic brussel sprouts with onions, garlic, salt pepper, chipotle, bacon, dates, almond slivers and whole roasted cauliflower in pink Himalayan salt (First boiled then baked until soft) 

Dessert: Theo 85% cacao bar (Not to be eaten all at once)

What do you like to do on your down time, any hobbies? In my down time, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, creating quick and easy healthy recipes, learning (books/ articles/ etc- primarily health/wellness and Spanish), coming up with fun exercises, and enjoying art. 

Can you tell us something funny/interesting that has happened at work? Some of the remarks my clients make when I take them through a stretch sequence are quite memorable. I continue to find it so interesting how we can be so restricted and not even realize it. It is amazing restricted we can become, but taking the time for yourself each day, can make the world of a difference on your overall well-being.  

How can we contact you for appointments? 

Kori Baxter C- (305) 775-0961   Email- Kori@chainworkphysio.com Chainwork and Adapt Gym
14901 NE 20 Ave North Miami, 33181
(786) 717-7470

Shake-it, it’s mojito time!

Last month I attended a really fun cocktail-making event with one of my best friends. Shake n’ Make was presented by Finka Table & Tap, Chat Chow, and The Doral Yard. As we arrived we were sat at our own socially-distance picnic table underneath the outdoors tent at The Doral Yard. In front of us there were two small bottles of Havana Club Rum, a shaker, a measuring jigger, pineapple juice, lemon juice, soda, pomegranate syrup, simple syrup, bitters, and herbs. The workshop started with an introduction of the much anticipated Barbakoa by Finka, Chef Eileen Andrade, Gio Gutierrez Chat Chow, and bartender extraordinaire Jasmin from Finka; who gave a brief history on the famous cocktail, Mojito.

The mojito is Miami’s cocktail because it’s the perfect cocktail for those hot and humid days; which in Miami is pretty much everyday. This cocktail is refreshing, light, and crisp. Did you know that the mojito’s origin story is often disputed? Early history suggest that the mojito’s original name is ‘el draque’ from the time when Sir Francis Drake landed in Cuba looking for gold in the 1500s. Many of his crew were suffering from a couple of ailments, and the locals were known to have remedies for many diseases. This remedy was made with aguardiente de caña, mint leaves, juices from sugar cane, and lime. Others believe the mojito came from African slaves working in the Cuban sugar fields, using aguardiente de caña and sugar cane alcohol. Whatever its origin may be the creation of the Bacardi company in the 1800s was most likely the cause of the cocktail’s rise in popularity. Specially, after the famous myth of Ernest Hemingway frequently visiting La Bodeguita del Medio for a mojito in the 1950s.

Our first cocktail was, of course, the mojito. Mine did not really taste that great, but then I remember I didn’t shake it enough, because the shaker was not as nearly as cold as it should have been. So, I put it back in the shaker and gave it a few more shakes (it’s not like I was doing in for a customer, right?). Then we were given three minutes to create our own cocktail using the ingredients provided. But, there was a catch … we could not taste our own cocktails until the judges tasted it themselves. I added the full mini bottle of Havana Club Rum, a little of pomegranate syrup, one of the bitters, herbs, and shook it until I couldn’t feel my hands anymore. After drinking it I realized it was too sweet, so I added a little bit of lemon juice and it totally balance it out. The winner of the competition got a gift card for Finka. Overall this was such a fun, interactive workshop. We didn’t go with the mindset of winning anything, it was just for fun. But, as soon as the competition kicks in, you want to win for sure, LOL!

Stay tuned for events like this happening soon at The Doral Yard. I hear there’s one coming up next month. 😉

Let’s make mojitos at home! After telling Alessa about my new post, she immediately got excited and wanted to make a cocktail.

Everyone knows that a great cocktail is made to order with fresh ingredients and a hint of love. The classic Mojito is made with your run of the mill mint. Don’t get me wrong, we love the stuff, though did you know there are different types of mint? Obviously, spearmint and peppermint, but the mint family is pretty big with over 600 varieties and flavor profiles.

Alessa has a few varieties growing in her garden and they are growing like weeds. So, here we are testing a couple of varieties for the cocktail. Orange mint vs. chocolate mint with a classic mojito recipe.

Recipe

  • You will need a shaker.
  • Club soda.
  • 2oz your choice of Rum (we used Havana Club)
  • ½ Lime
  • 2tbsp Sugar (we used raw sugar)
  • 12 Mint leaves + 1 sprig for garnish
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. Cut lime into 4 sections.
  2. Place lime into shaker along with the sugar and 12 mint leaves.
  3. Muddle until muddled well. Not muddled enough? Muddle some more.
  4. Add rum and ice.
  5. Vigorously shake all ingredients for 15 seconds.
  6. Pour entire content of shaker into highball glass.
  7. Top with club soda.
  8. Garnish and enjoy!

AND THE WINNER IS ….. Orange Mint! Cheers!!

xoxo Elisa

Skin tightening with Laser

Hello again everyone,

As you know I’ve done a few Vi Peels during the months of quarantine. It’s actually time for my final peel but I’ve spent a great deal of time frolicking in the sun so my Vi Peel service has been placed on hold for a while. In my opinion my skin needed a little pick me up so I purchased a Groupon deal for a laser anti-aging treatment at Flawless Icon Med Spa. Once I arrived for my appointment. I was greeted and immediately asked to follow all Covid 19 regulations. A consultation was given where I was given several different options of services that would help me attain my desired results.

The laser tech explained how the procedure would work and what to expect. This particular service, laser skin rejuvenation is targeted towards skin tightening, diminishing fine lines and wrinkles while building collagen. Before starting the service you want to be sure that your skin is cleansed for any creams. Once the laser service began I could immediately smell the Vellus hair on my face burning. For any of you that have experience laser hair removal it has the same type of sensation but on your face. There were tiny pulses of heat it was slightly uncomfortable but not unbearable.The service from start to finish was about 20 minutes, immediately after I could see that my skin was more taught and smooth. It was recommended to have 6 to 8 treatments for maximum results. And since I’m still dealing with hyper pigmentation I took home products that would help me along the way in between the laser treatments. I love the results I received from my laser skin tightening treatment I will use my home current regimen as well as an SPF every 80 minutes. This is only because I spend so much time in the sun. My skin appears to be more smooth and firm. I’ve already booked my appointment for my second laser treatment and I’m hoping to get even better results. Unfortunately I was unable to capture my before and after photos on the day of service however my skin feels amazing one week later. If you’re thinking of doing something similar to this treatment I recommend purchasing through Groupon for your first initial treatments. A discounted price for the laser treatment is great for us who are not sure or fully committed but still want to give it a try! I will be posting pics of my second treatment and the difference of my complexion in the upcoming weeks!

Xoxo Tasha

Baby I’m Star

4 Point

I’m not sure what rock I have been living under, but I accidentally discovered a new thing (new thing to me at least) from a fashion photographer in NY…….I’m kicking myself I didn’t save his name and am crossing fingers I stumble on him again.

Anyways, he was talking about a lens filter that he uses on his regular lens that turns specular highlights into stars.

There are different point numbers ranging from 4 to 16. I bought the 4 and 6 point, the 4 point for my macro and the 6 for my 50mm. The brand is Tiffen and was purchased on Amazon, and best of all it was inexpensive!! It was about $70 for both. You literally screw this filter on to your lens and that is it, other than the filter all you need is the light hitting in the sweet spot to make a reflective light. I used glitter make-up for my project, as soon as I have time to go to the beach….I’m bringing this baby with me as I think a shot with the sun reflecting from the waves would look beyond fantastic!

So back to my project. I asked Tasha about her skills in glitter make up, she told me she was a pro. The next day we were gluing glitter on my eyelids and trimming false eyelashes. We used NYX face and body glitter and used NYX glitter primer also. I bought the lashes from TJMaxx for $1 a pair. Tasha layered 2 sets of lashes to get length and volume.

All I needed then was my camera, tripod, a glass of wine, my disco ball and the sun. Self timer was set and I shot away. What do you think?

For me to get the flare from my eyeball I flickered the disco ball to the sun so it would reflect into my eye. I was definitely seeing spots and don’t recommend doing that for a long period of time : ) All the star flares are SOOC (straight out of camera) and are not Photoshopped. I used a light skin smoother for my skin in Photoshop and converted to black and white in Lightroom.

Much love,

Alessa