Midsummer in Paris

Currently obsessed with the song, Paris by Chainsmokers and it has gotten me feeling nostalgic about last summer in Paris. I never thought I would miss Paris as much as I do now, or that I loved it that much, but it is one of those places that you wouldn’t know you would miss so much until your gone. And now I miss it , immensely

Paris is one of those places where people are truly living. I don’t mean simply existing, but actually living life.

From two long lost friends eating a 3 hour lunch at a Parisian café , a meal complete with the finest French wines and dessert, to couples dancing the salsa along the River Seine and pecking on a scrumptious French picnic lunch of cheese and baguette in the evening, these people know how to live life. In this new year, I hope to learn from the Parisians and adopt the : ” C’est La Vie “mantra to my life . This translates to “That’s life or Such is Life”. What I find so admirable about this outlook on life is that it makes me not overthink the little things and simply go with the course of life because that is life.

Here are pictures from my trip , hope you enjoy :

 

 

 

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 Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face vibes when she dances alongside the River Seine (Old Hollywood is the best)

 Musèe du Louvre 

Inside the Royal Apartments at the Palais du Louvre

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Such a mesmerizing painting by Paul Delaroche

Adore the traditional red velvet decor of French Restaurants and most of all the lovely Béarnaise sauces that accompany meals

Atelier Chanel 

Champs-Élysées ( reminds me of when I read the Count of Montecristo) 

Notre Dame de Paris

Bisous Bisous,

Shizá

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Travel Diary: Oxford, England

Last summer, I embarked on a spontaneous trip to England. While, there I visited the archaic city of Oxford , with more than a thousand years of history as one of the oldest universities in the world.

I was enthralled by the profound scholarly vibe that emanated through the charismatic streets of Oxford. Left in awe by the majestic architecture and distinct traditions of this ancient university.

It was surreal exploring a university that was founded in the year 1096 , as a university for monks, that was later open to the public and has continued to be the birthplace of revolutionary ideas and leaders.

……..

 

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Sheldonian Theatre , site of graduation for Oxford students

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Views from the top of the Sheldonian theatre viewing deck 

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The ancient scholars and philosophers safeguarding the Sheldonian Theatre 

 

how charming is Oxford?

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Tower of the Five Orders at the Divinity School 

 

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Bodleian Library ; reminiscent of the architectural splendors of ancient rome 

 

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Afternoon Tea at Oxford; english tea, currant scones with clotted cream and jam..

 

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rustic street signs

 

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scrumptious British cookies or should I say biscuits at the historic Covered Market (est. 1774) 

 

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Harry Potter dining hall!!

 

 

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“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

XOXO,

Shiza

 

 

Fall Adventure Ideas

With the chilly weather and college application deadlines looming ahead, I haven’t been out on a fun, carefree adventure in a while. I have been craving the excursions of summer and of last year, when I had more time on my hands. I figured it was time to ditch the books and my cozy room for a new experience that will inspire me. Here are a couple of ideas that will get you out of the house and throw in a little adventure into your week.

Museum Days

Truthfully, I’m down on to go to any museum during any season. But I think museums during autumn are special. People walk into the halls bundled up in their fall gear, coffee and camera in hand. The art and history are lovely, but people watching is nice too, especially in LA. Most museums take only about an hour or so to go through, so after your short excursion you have the rest of your day to hit the books or do other work.

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The Broad, Los Angeles

Morning Hikes

Talk about killing two birds with one stone- satisfying the crave of adventure and exercise is fulfilled with hiking. The cool morning air energizes your lungs and the nature clears your mind. Fall hikes are definitely picturesque as well, with the color change of the trees and the falling leaves.

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Abalone Cove, Palos Verdes

Antique Stores

My sister and I were bored one day after school, so I invited my friend to come with us to the local antique store we discovered a couple of years ago. Crammed with things from used postcards to Russian dolls, its truly an exciting place, albeit a little creepy. Also a fun place to take cool, vintage pictures! You never know what you will discover at an antique shop; it is like going back in time. I found a yearbook from the 60’s with the funniest senior quotes.

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Studio Antiques, El Segundo

Coffee Shops

It’s not autumn (or a hectic school year) without weekly trips to the local coffee shop to motivate myself with a farfalla (Oreo/espresso frappe aka heaven in a cup) to do school work. I love the atmosphere of coffee shops. Make it an adventure and discover a new coffee shop every week, try a new drink or pastry every time you stop by, or talk to the interesting person in front of you in line who orders the same drink as you. july-18-2016-841

Blue Butterfly Coffee Company, El Segundo

Corn Mazes

I had at least add one cliché fall activity in here. Personally, I’ve never been to a corn maze but it sounds like a great and exciting time. The car ride there would be an adventure in itself; most farms with mazes are a good drive away. Gather a couple of your friends, and prepare to spooked and challenged by a well-made corn maze.

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Big Horse Corn Maze, Temecula (not my photo)

So there you have it, 5 excursions you should go on between finishing assignments and avoiding the rain without going too far and not spending a lot of money. Also, very moderate and doable, so you can’t put it off. Go on, adventure awaits!

Have fun,

Firda

Jaleo Restaurant by José Andrés

One of my favorite things about Las Vegas is its radiant and refreshing dining scene with so many different restaurants to choose by world renowned and celebrity chefs. The glamorous and upbeat vibe at the Cosmopolitan Hotel makes it one of my favorite hotels to dine at and the lovely Spanish Tapas restaurant , Jaleo by the talented Chef, José Andrés offers a truly unforgettable dining experience.

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Gorgeous ambiance of layered chandeliers surrounding the hotel bar

Tapas are small plates of Hors d’oeuvre style dishes that can be shared. What I particularly love about the tapa dining experience is that you are trying several dishes and sharing with others which makes it so much more fun to eat because you are not “stuck” with the dish that you ordered. It is exciting to try the different flavors and dishes of tapas that are ordered. Everything that we had at this restaurant had a unique flavor profile and was truly amazing. It also had fast and friendly service which makes it even better. Definitely a restaurant on the top of my list.

All the pictures are shown below. Lastly, the featured image of this blog post is the Garlic Chilli Shrimp which was also excellent.

Bon Appetit, Shiza

 

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 upbeat and vibrant atmosphere at the restaurant

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Ensalada Remolacha , scrumptious confit beets are balanced with refreshing segments of citrus and the crunchy pistachios and pearl cheese add flair to the Ensalada

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Delicate flounder fish on a bed of roasted squash and zucchini 

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Helado de aceite de oliva cítricos texturados Interestingly delicious olive oil ice cream ( new favorite) on a bed of the refreshing grapefruit granita and segments of grapefruit all drizzled with honey to add a hint of sweetness

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Patatas Bravas // Crispy Potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce and garlic aioli on top

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Croquettas de Mariscos are filled with a creamy lobster and shrimp filling and served with a garlic aioli on the side

Killer Cafe

Hey guys! 

Killer cafe is a small coffee house/ cafe. Located on 4213 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292. Store hours are super convenient as well, 24 hours a day. Killer cafe is actually an add on to the main restraunt Killer Shrimp, it’s next door. Great place to take after brunch pictures, in the marina harbor! ( me and the girls always do it!)


  • Full table picture, we always order the same things whenever we go lol. 

(Left to right) buttermilk pancakes, huveos rancheros, fresh strawberries, French fries

buttermilk pancakes


3 layer banana spilt😍

animal style tots

heuvos rancheros

June Favorites by S

Hello summertime. Goodbye real life.

It has been so invigorating relaxing this past week. I have set aside this week, the first week of my summer, to doing what I want. This means not touching my tons of AP summer homework stacked up on my desk and neglecting studying for the SAT’s for just this week. I really wanted to destress and have time for doing the things that I love the most. Anyways, with that being said, this week I have had plenty of time to catch up with old friends, shop, and have a spa day… something that I needed very much after the hectic month of May. How has everyone else been doing?

With that being said, let me get into my June favorites.

Lately, I have been loving the 80s fashion trends. I had such a fun shopping day with my mother on Monday and I picked up a few 80s inspired things from my favorite shop, ZARA.

Here’s a mini haul as to what I purchased, and I can honestly say that they are my current fashion favorites

  1. Bomber Jacket

Don’t hang clothing off of chandeliers , not a very good idea, but you got to do what you got to do for the blog, right? Anyways, what i particularly love about this jacket is that it has the cute green stripe through the sleeves and also the “Don’t grow up” message on the back of the jacket adds extra flair to it. I love the color scheme of the jacket and it can easily be paired with a simple crop top and some jeans. It can also be worn with a light colored dress and I wore this with my baby blue halter maxi dress.

2.  Simple tops

I got this sparkly grey crop top with patches on it. Patches were a major trend from the 90s and they are in right now. The patches on this top make it more interesting and fun. I also bought this peachy pink top and I love the material of it and the contrast with the white.

 

Also, in this shopping trip, I went to Topshop , and picked up some ballerina-esque black tie up heels. They are my ultimate favorite heels right now.  I literally could not resist them. I have been loving the Ballerina trends right now from tie up heels/sandals to wrap tops. This trend is by far my favorite.

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Beauty favorites:

  1. I have been loving the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Aquacealer Concealer. This is the best concealer of all time. With dark circles caused by finals and stress, this concealer has been my go to. A little tiny bit goes a long way to cover up the darkness under my eyes and brighten them immediately. Although this is not a permanent solution to getting rid of dark circles, this concealer does an excellent job in concealing them. Definitely worth it. I got mine from Sephora.

 

 

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2. My second favorite of this month has been the Bath and Body Works Italian Citrus Sun Body lotion. It has a sweet and citrusy scent to it which makes it smell divine. I can’t get enough of this flavor. I have also been loving the perfume , Chance by Chanel, that I recently got. It has an energetic and floral scent which I love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3. My last but most favorite, beauty favorite of June is the Rosewater Aromatherapy Mist from Target and the California Rose Sea Salt Souffle from Whole foods. The Sea Salt Souffle is a 2 in 1 bath soak and body scrub. It has dried rose petals in it and smells like a rose garden which is incredible to bathe in. The aromatherapy mist is a great facial toner and I love spritzing it all over my body, face, and hair after I shower . Its a great addition to your post-shower routine before putting on lotion. Rose water is an excellent toner and keeps you hydrated.

 

 

 

Miscellaneous Favorites:

  1. Chocolate covered Stawberries are the best fruit and chocolate combination there is. I have been making them so often this month and they are my favorite thing to snack on. It is so simple and easy to make all you have to do is melt some semisweet chocolate chips in a double boiler ( a pot filled halfway with  water, boiled, and then place a stove proof bowl on top of the pot and let the heat of the water underneath melt the chocolate. Make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water or you can just melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals until the chocolate melts). It is super easy to make these. Or if you are really lazy, you can always by them from Godiva because Godiva is the best Chocolatier there is. There truffles are my absolute favorite.

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2.  Room DIY. My cousin got me this cute wooden heart for my room. It was blank and I decided to paint over it in some shades of emerald green and paint the word “live” on it in a cursive font. This has been my favorite room decor item so far and it is so easy to do yet so cute.

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That sums up my favorites of the month, so far, considering its only been half the month. Hope you all have an adventurous summer filled with happiness and positivity.

XOXO,

Shiza

 

 

 

 

Brunch Party

Hello everyone, so last month , we threw my dad a birthday brunch in our backyard and I can honestly say that it was perfect. My dad is the kind of person that doesn’t like to go out on his birthdays and would much rather spend the day at home with his family and friends because he goes out to eat so often that he is literally tired of restaurant food. Therefore, my cousins and I decided to throw him this surprise brunch party.

To throw a birthday brunch you need a plan and the first step to your plan is the menu. Get together with your cousins and/or parents and map out a menu. Divide and conquer is the strategy. Have one person make the eggs dish, one make the sweet breakfast dish such as (french toast, homemade waffles, pancakes, or crepes) , and one person make the sides such as (breakfast potatoes, hash browns, fruit salad, and sausages). A fun way to serve the sweet breakfast dish is to have a toppings buffet with all of the yummy treats we all love such as whipped cream, nutella, strawberries, caramel, etc.

Remember to keep the menu short and simple because less is more. Here is our menu:

 

Birthday Brunch Menu

Italian Frittatta  cherry tomatoes, basil, mint

 Lemon Blueberry Pancakes

 Italian Breakfast Potatoes onions, bell peppers, garden rosemary & thyme, jalapenos, cheese

 Mango Cake

 Watermelon Mint Agua Fresca

 

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Set the table with your prettiest plates and cutlery. We used our Portugese printed plates from the World Market , oversized water goblets, and plain cloth napkins. Set the table with your favorite tablecloth, this one is a new satin sheet we had lying around the house. Its fun print and soft fabric made it a perfect tablecloth. A runner also makes for a great decor piece and this floral one is perfect for the summer. Last but most importantly, have a bunch of fresh flowers in the center of the table as the centerpiece.

 

 

 

 

 

Ferry Building Marketplace

The Ferry Building Marketplace is a haven for food lovers. It has numerous local eateries and cafes that create artisanal, organic food that is scrumptious and sustainable. From cheese shops with local cheeses, handmade pastries, organic coffee houses, and other breakfast/lunch time eateries – The Ferry Building has something that will satisfy any palette. It also has some cookware shops, small grocery shops, and flower shops of the garden. This place is THE food lover’s sanctuary in the heart of San Francisco with a view of the gorgeous Bay.

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Outside the Ferry Building

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Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

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Soft Scrambled Eggs with herbs

 

Bon Appetit,

Shiza

LA’s Stunning Cafe’s & Restaurants

Hello everyone. I know that it has been awhile , but we are finally back on! So we are gonna start the year off on a delicious note, with a list of the yummiest places around LA to eat. I love to cook it and try both trending and hidden restaurants wherever I go. I have been to MANY restaurants in Los Angeles, but these ones definitely hold a special place in my heart.

Angelini’s Osteria – 7313 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90036

If you are looking for some down home, traditional Italian food this is THE place. The restaurant has a rustic and cozy atmosphere, with an exposed brick wall, large pit fire oven, and be sure to make reservations before hand because the restaurant has only one dining room and some patio seating and it is always packed. The menu is impeccable with food that could have been your Nonna’s food but with a modern twist.

 

Grilled Prime Rib Eye // Swiss Chard Ravioli ( I promise you this is the greatest ravioli that you will ever taste) Who knew Swiss Chard could taste this good?

 

El Floridita Cuban Restaurant – 1253 Vine Street , Los Angeles, CA 90038

This upbeat, authentic Cuban restaurant will take you to the Caribbean and back . With friendly service, nightly dance and music performances, and a menu in which almost everything comes with a side of rice, beans, and fried plantains you will never want to leave!

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Tilapia en Mojo, a Cuban scampi sauce. The sauce is packed with flavors of garlic, tomatoes, onions, and spices and the tilapia is an excellent, delicate choice of seafood to pair with the bold Mojo sauce.

Nobu, West Hollywood – 903 N La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069

This is the shining gem of the LA fine dining food scene. Japanese food takes a whole new level with extraordinary entrees and sushi that have a Peruvian flair.
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These deceptively, un-spicy, Shishito Peppers are crunchy, sweet, and addicting. Hands down the BEST appetizer ever.

Tender Greens- 9523 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

If your a looking for a lunch place that is healthy, fast, and has many vegetarian friendly/plant based options, this should be number 1 on your list. Tender Greens has the BEST salads from varieties such as Vegan Salads ,Backyard Steak, and Tuna Nicoise topped with quail eggs are my particular favorite.  They also have refreshing homemade lemonades such as mint lemonade.

Aroma Bakery and Cafe- 7373 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046

Aroma has been one of my favorite breakfast spots for as long as I can remember. It’s chic and has no wait time because its a large amount of space both inside and out (because we all know that Brunch in LA always has a wait time, sadly) , Aroma doesn’t follow this norm and gets you seated right away which is one its best qualities asides from the spectacular Middle Eastern inspired breakfast.

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Knowing how to  make Shakshuka at home, I know what makes a Shakshuka (Eggs in Spiced Tomato Sauce) truly spectacular- Harissa and the right amount of Ras El Hanout (Moroccan spice blend) and this particular one hits all of the right notes. Having travelled to Israel, has set the bar very high as to what i classify as a good Shakshuka, and I can honestly say that this is the most well done Shakshuka that I have had in any restaurant in Los Angeles.

 

 

 

This Middle Eastern platter is a glimpse as to what a traditional Middle Eastern breakfast consists of which is IMG_3213an array of fresh cheese such as feta, hummus,  traditional creamy yoghurt called labneh which has a sweet and tangy taste and is definitely my favorite thing on the platter.

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Barney’s Beanery Redondo Beach – 100 Fishermans Wharf, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

For a casual , Mexican -Californian breakfast , Barney’s Beanery has a lot to choose from. You can order the Mexi-Cali favorites such as Huevos Rancheros, Ranchero Omlette, and Chilaquiles or opt for a simple American breakfast of pancakes. My favorite thing to order are the Chilaquiles with the classic Chocolate milkshake.

 

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The Chilaquiles are tortilla chips topped with scrambled eggs and a red chili sauce, served with refried beans and rice on the side, and guacamole and salsa.

 

 

 

Il Cielo – 9018 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

This beautiful house turned Italian restaurant with a charming courtyard has an excellent selection of traditional Italian cuisine. However, I personally adore the desserts more than the food itself. The gorgeous Panna Cotta was hands down , sublime. I would come here specifically for the desserts . The silky , subtle texture of the Vanilla bean Panna Cotta is perfectly complemented with the strawberry coulis and fresh berries complete the decadent dessert. The Tiramuisu was delicious but did not match the unparalleled beauty and taste of the Panna Cotta.

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Brunch @ Blu Jam Cafe- 7371 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

 

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Make sure you arrive at this Melrose / West Hollywood neighborhood brunch gem right when it opens because if it hits 10 AM, the cafe has a long line outside of it ( More than an hour …#hectic ) However, the Crunchy French Toast with a Hot Vanilla “Milk”(kinda like a sauce) is a breakfast that is truly worth the wait. This is by far, my favorite french toast in the whole world. Its the culinary balance of textures from the creamy custard like bread to the crunchy bite on the outside and the luscious hot vanilla bean milk all of which pair perfectly with tart seasonal berries and a light dusting of powdered sugar. Also , they have fresh juices, made with fruits that you want. A healthy juice can help you forget having just devour a french toast a few moments ago.

 

XOXO,

Shiza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Churros Calientes

Hello loves, 

This past weekend I decided to spend some quality time with my mother and sister. We were in the mood for something SWEET! So I literally typed up chocolate places in LA. And this really amazing place showed up😍. I would see it on my friends snap chats and such and I finally tried this place out! It’s a hidden place almost, the adress is 1121 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles California 90025.

heres my ootd:

It’s not really a clear picture, but I was wearing my K rew high boots, stockings, my new fur coat 😍  and my Zara long dress top. W a mess bun. 

The store hours are great, it’s open till 2 am in case your ever in the mood:)

I ordered the plain churros with chocolate sauce, and the churro ice cream sundae with vanilla ice cream.  


(Menu)