Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mi familia

Hola blog world! These past few days have been crazy, but it's the kinda crazy tiredness that makes you feel that all is "well and good" when you fall into your bed at night. It is Memorial Day weekend, so the whole country breaks out the stars and stripes to honor those who have served our country. I've never had anyone close to me serve in the armed forces, so I haven't always realized it is more than just a weekend of sweet corn and macaroni salad. People have chosen to protect me and risk their lives for me. So seriously, thank you for that.

Alsooo! My Colombian family is currently staying at our house. This is their first trip to the US so on the day they arrived, we threw them a little fiesta to introduce them to the States with style :)

As per usual, our reunion was a partaaay. Celebrated with food both delicious and diverse, populated with family members that spanned the ages of 14 months to 78 years, and abounding with horse-shoes playing, bon fire gathering and memory recounting. It's always funny to me when my family assembles in one place because we are such a little mosaic. From ages to languages to eye color we are a montage of a family. God literally brought people from all different places together to create something stunning. I love my family! This particular party was centered around my Colombian relatives, so it definitely has more of a Latino-flair. But make no mistake, almost all of us kids and cousins are half this and a quarter that, so it's impossible to judge by appearance in this family ;)

          The photo below is a total iPhone pic (as are some above) but I had to include it! This, ladies and gents, is called flan. It, ladies and gents, is amazing. Courtesy of Tia Mercedes. Gracias Mimi! :)

In case you are curious, flan is cooked upside down, and then flipped onto a plate so that the caramelized sugar at the bottom of the baking pan drips over the edges of the cake. Highly delicious and generally joy inducing.

Horse-shoe playing and aguardiente drinking also seem to be common place at our family gatherings. (Which makes for lively games, mind you.) My family even brought over little wooden shot glasses with the Colombian flag painted on them! The glasses are tied to a string that is hung around one's neck. Decorative, adorable, practical. That's how we roll.

On a completely different note, I seem to have been born without seemingly one ounce of my mama's mochalicious skin. For instance, I am currently sporting what I call the "rose glimmer." The rose glimmer, for those of you who do not know, is the phase of sunburn which occurs a couple days after the initial burn. It is not so lobster red at the moment and can thus be called something more elegant and positive. I do not tan my friends, but you better believe that I am often seen exhibiting the rose glimmer.

ANYWAYS, for los americanos, I hope you've all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and to everyone have a smile-filled semana! :)


Monday, May 28, 2012

music monday

source: google
confession time. i love one direction, a british/irish boy band consisting of 5 boys from the x factor (uk). the thirteen year old inside of me is swooning. before you're quick to judge them, they can actually sing (x factor annnndd no big deal simon cowell's little proteges...)

current jams - "one thing" and "same mistakes," which is seriously swoon worthy!
and because i know you're dying to figure out who my favourite is... it's a tie. hello zayn and harry.

and for all the haterz out there, i am offering another slice of music in today's post.

source: john mayer tumblr
john mayer (one of my fav. musicians) released his new album, born and raised, this past week. i've heard mixed reviews but i've enjoyed every. single. track. different style and tone (very "american" aka neil young) in comparison to his previous albums, but as per usual he brought his A game with his lyrics. interestingly, his songs seem very remorseful ... makes you wonder what was going on his 'lil head of his during his writing period. naughty john mayer!
favourite tracks: "face to call home," "queen of california," "something like olivia," and "love is a verb"

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


a couple posts ago, i was all up on the weather in vancouver. now, not so much. it's back to normal - rain, light rain, drizzle, heavy rain, clouds with sunny breaks.... you get the picture. at first, it was kind of nice because i got to catch up on my reading- yes please to cozying up with a book and a big mug of mint tea! but, as the week went on the sentiment quickly disappeared. it really doesn't help when you log onto facebook and you see a good 20 generic "weather is so warm in x" statuses.

warm weather, please come quick!

staying indoors has given me more reason to bake (not good pour moi) and to read blogs (probably not that great of an idea either). starting this week, i'll try my best to post a faux pas that i (lucky me!) got to stumble upon. while your eyes may or may not cringe, it's worth the laugh (or disbelief).

for this week, your weekly dose of oh no they didn't is a fashion faux pas. altogether now, lets click on this link: click me!

yes, you read that right.  dress pant sweatpants. yes please.
all for the price of $90 you can own a pair of dress pant sweatpants! perfect for "boardroom style, bedroom comfort"

but hey, if dress pant sweatpants aren't your thing - why not get an "executive pinstripe hoodie." click me!
only $148 people!

until next time!
ej XO

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

New York State of Mind

My family from Colombia is coming to visit soon and I am super psyched! We plan to take them around New York and I can't wait to show them what's up! Sooo, in anticipation of that lil adventure, here are some pics of a funny, adventurous Reading Week spent in New York with my roommate.

First things first though. Chocolate cravings were had and, therefore, needed to be satisfied.


...and then this happened somewhere in between... and yes, those are leopard print leggings. ahem.

ANYWAYS! Moving along. Michelle and I spent the day exploring NYC and then stayed the night with my fashionista friend, Lauren, in Brooklyn.

I'm not sure if you are aware, but subway shots are an obligatory part of any NYC escapade, and as you will see, we took notice of this rule.

after goofing around on the subway, we made our way to Nolita and ate the DELICIOUS and FAMOUS Mexican-style grilled corn at Cafe Habana. So. yummay.

We also made our way over to Union Square at 14th Street and looked around the lovely Union Square market. I love it! We took (multiple) samples of fresh, local apples and (I) spied on the always curious vegetable vendors. We also went into the Union Square Barnes & Noble and, in short, I pretended I was Belle.

Onto the BK! We met up with Lauren at a tapas restaurant called Cadaqués. It was fun and quite chic/funky. (How the BK rolls, it seems.) There was lots of candles and long wooden tables and a Latino-licious band playing all sorts of dance-inducing beats. My camera was not cooperating but here are some blurry snaps:

after this, Lauren took us on a mini night-tour of her neighborhood before we headed back. It was fun to hear her explain the vibe of the neighborhood and her experiences of living in the city. So good to catch up with old friends :) We then went back to her place to sleeeeeep and meet her three (possibly four) guy roommates and their ex-fighter pit bull. Yes, you read that correctly and yes, it was as amusing as it seems.

The next day, Lauren took us to the roof of her building and we looked out over Brooklyn in the morning sunshine. Brooklyn is gritty but funky, historic yet trés a la mode. I had a wonderful time. Thanks Lauren for showing us around!

Reading Week went by so fast, and our New York jaunt felt like a few hours. Man, that's the worst part of trips sometimes...they go way too fast! But, my family gets here soon, so I shall soon be back and in full exploration mode.  Prepare for New York through the eyes of los colombianos. :)

See you sooon!
Coco xx

Thursday, May 17, 2012

on my way home

i've already been home now for about two weeks and, let me just say, it feels good! i LOVE waking up in the morning and eating brekkie and spending time with God. it's so peaceful! man, i feel like these seasons in life are few and far between. so i am really, really, reeeeally relishing it before, ya know, reality hits. but until then, my friends, i shall show you some pics! ;)

SO i'd forgotten how beautiful upstate new york could be, until i came to mcgill. airfare can be pricy to travel back and forth from new jersey to montreal, so oftentimes, i take the train! (Adirondack 68 crew, whaddup.) i pretty much consider myself a train veteran now, on account of having taken it so many times! anyways, if you live in montreal and are wanting to take a trip down to new york, i suggest taking the train. it is about $170 dollars roundtrip (MTL-NYP). that being said, it does take 11 hours...oui, eleven. however, these are some of the examples of the views:

these were taken during my february trip home for reading week. i had exams just following break, so i was trying to study. unfortunately, Nietzsche had nothing on the killer views right outside my window. (he is also just quite pessimistic which didn't help the situation.)

my truly awesome parents (you guys are pretty cool, i must admit!) met me at Penn Station and took me out to a delicious dinner. and by them taking me, i mean to say that i was a dictator and dragged us all to  a wine and cheese bar that i had heard about. hehe. 

but it turns out we had a really fun time, just mes parents et moi :) firstly, because the restaurant wasn't open yet when we initially got there (ahaha we were such keeners!) so we ducked in a random irish pub and, well, that's pretty much always an interesting time. after that, we arrived at the adorable albeit tiny little restaurant and ordered a custom cheese plate and two sides: oven-baked, three-cheese macaroni (hey, it was a cheese bar, to be fair) and mini braised lamb skewers. both were delectable. also, i must tell you that the dark brown crackers next to the fluffy white mascarpone cheese pictured below are, indeed, homemade chocolate graham crackers. (!!!) should i become best friends with the owners? i believe so. 


it doesn't look like much food, but when you are munching and talking and trying to guess each little flavor in every bit of cheese or bread, it is actually quite filling. the name of the restaurant escapes me now, but i will search for it! it was definitely worth a return visit.

and this was just the start of reading week. the following day, my roommate from montreal arrived and we had some little adventures of our own! more pics and stories to come :)

à la prochaine semaine! 
coco xx

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

spring fever

spring, the transition between winter to summer, is very much noticeable out in the east coast (montreal, i'm looking at your -40 winters). the snow melts, birds are actually chirping, the temperatures rise above 0, and one might even have a 'lil bit of a spring in their daily commute. now that i have been exposed to what spring brings, i've started to appreciate and look forward to it.

higher temperatures also means desserts. recently, i discovered that we have an ice cream machine - um HELLO, why did i not know of this existence? i don't know if i'm in the minority, but i love the tart like taste it brings. also, you can add toppings - enough said.

i made strawberry frozen yogurt. here's how i made it:
slice strawberries, add sugar, let it rest for an hour.
in a food processor, add greek yogurt and the mixture
pour it in the ice cream maker, when finished add whatever toppings you want - voila!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

mealtime in montreal

often times, ej and i are a bit more excited about our chatting, goofing, and munching than we are about our school work. (DISCLAIMER: this is not always the case.) however, the week before our finals (ah finals week, who can be bothered?) we decided that it was imperative to be well fed in order to study in top form. before long, ej's dark brown wooden table was topped with fresh sliced bread, creamy baba ganoush (a new fave!), red wine (of course!) and some delish quinoa salad à la ej. even though we did actually end up going to mclennan library, (mclennie/mclenz for you locals) this little situation is a perfect picture of ej and i: munch well, laugh well, work well!

in fact, my iphoto seems to contain all the incriminating evidence of our foodie exploits. most of the pictures are of us, our friends, or food! but living in montreal makes me feel less guilty about making meals a priority. i mean, when it's negative 42 degrees, you NEED to make yourself some, heart- and-body warming food to survive!

SO, i present a recipe to combat a winter afternoon in montreal:

1. invite amigas/amigos over to cope with you. but make them come to your house (mwuahaha).

2. Fashion a light but satisfying lunch that makes you smile instead of shiver. wear killer nail polish while doing this.

3. set the table with nice dishes and survey your luscious little meal

4. you MUSN'T forget dessert! (this doesn't seem to be a problem for ej and i). pictured: maxine's lovely and light chocolate crepes:

5. take secret pictures of your amigas ;)

6. and that, my friends, is how you survive a winter's day in montreal.

see you all later!
coco xx

baby steps...

this is our first step into the blogging world! we hope that you'll be able to tolerate and perhaps even enjoy our ramblings on trends, food, and culture. excited for what this new adventure will bring us! XO