Black Bean, Cilantro & Quinoa Salad

You know the feeling... it's so hot that you've lost your appetite.  You only want something refreshing, light and healthy to eat.  Swimsuits are now more frequently being pulled out, and no one ever liked being bloated: enter Black bean, Tomato Cilantro & Quinoa {Keen-wah} salad. This salad is so easy to make, delicious, and surprising light that I wanted to share. On top of it all, it's packed with nutritional benefits.  Quinoa is part of the grain family but is also classified as a seed.  It contains all of the essential amino acids and a high source of protein, magnesium, fiber, vitamin B, and is gluten-free {for all you non-glutenites}.  Here's how to make:
zest from one lime
juice from 2 limes 

juice from 2 lemons
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 (14- to 15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 medium tomatoes, diced or cherry tomatoes
4 scallions, chopped 

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 
1 Persian cucumber for extra crunch 
Feta Cheese for sprinkling on top
Start off by making the Quinoa: 1 cup Quinoa and 2 cups water.  Bring the Quinoa to a boil and then simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Cool in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, drain the black beans, set aside.  Slice the tomatoes {or use Cherry tomatoes sliced in halves}; Scallions; 1 Persian cucumber; Cilantro; and red onion {if you so wish}.  After Quinoa has been cooled for about 15 minutes, toss in all other ingredients.  Squeeze 2 lemons/2 limes for the dressing along with salt and pepper to taste, 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil, dazzle with some feta, garnish some Cilantro and voila! Bon Apetit. xx

{ Enjoying my salad with a Kir Royale = Champagne <or in this case, Prosecco> with Chamboard }


{ long weekend }

Happy Memorial Day!  So, since this weekend officially kicks off Summer {in our opinion}, here are a few things we are looking forward to:
Pictures via Pinterest & Personal
{ Lazy Summer days lounging at the beach }
{ Pink Peonies & Apothecary jars }
{ Summer Salad: Watermelon - Feta cheese - Mint salad - refreshing and easy to make }
{ Summer drink: Kir Royale with a twist - Blackberry Prosecco Popsicles }
{ Reminiscing my Fiji trip last November ... looking forward to new travels } 
{ Spending the days outside }
What are some Summer activities you're looking forward to?


{ a good weekend }

We found ourselves in Vegas for a dear friend's bachelorette party.  Such a fantastic weekend; here are some snippets of it all:
{ The glamorous Chandelier Bar @ The Cosmopolitan Hotel }
{ A delicious dinner at Fix Bellagio }
{  VV gals ... game face before heading out }
{ Cosmo room service ... A-mazing }
{ An incredible experience at Topshop by the Personal Shopping team }


{ favorite things }

{ Sunday morning Cappuccinos amidst mouth-watering macaroons and pastries } 

Although the past few weeks have been an absolute blast, we literally have not spent one weekend home. Most of these pictures were captured on some of our more relaxing weekends spent lounging around town...something I truly look forward to doing a bit more of as the warmer months approach.  Here are a few things currently keeping me going and inspired.  

Trastevere -- a restaurant in Santa Monica we can't wait to try since it holds the same name as our favorite local city spot in Rome where we had some of funnest nights on our honeymoon }
{ Chanel trinkets at an adorable Parisian vintage hat store }
{ a stunning bridal bouquet reminding me that Peonies are finally in season }
{Friday pick-me-ups in the office:  Lemon coconut cupcakes and leopard printed mint Current Elliot's }   
{ Picnicking where he proposed }


{ Fashion's Biggest Night }

Every year we look forward to the Met Ball.  Also known as Fashion's biggest night, The Met Ball celebrates the annual opening of the Metropolitan Museum's fashion exhibit at the Costume Institute. Each year, there is a specific theme. This year's theme of “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations," explored the similarities between Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada. Vogue’s own Anna Wintour not only oversees the event, but is responsible for the star studded guest list, which collectively raised their largest amount with $11 million for the Costume Institute!  Here are some of my favorites this year…in my opinion I think the models out beat the movie/tv stars with their riskier looks.  Isn't that what fashion is all about?
Nina Dobrev glowed on the red carpet in Donna Karan Atelier
Diane Kruger was one of my favorite’s last year in Jason Wu. This year she looked effortless and chic in her purple Prada, light makeup and undone hair.
There was a lot of black on the red carpet this year which was unusual, but Rooney Mara looked romantically edgy in Givenchy // Although stunning, we weren't sold on this Marchesa gown on Sofia Vergara // Marion Cotillard also landed up on many worst dressed lists but I think she looks great in her Dior gown. 
Karolina Kurkova took a huge risk and wore something really outside the box and I think it paid off! The Met is one of the only places you could really get away with something like this. She is wearing Rachel Zoe Collection // Chanel Iman looked amazing in Tom Ford although I’ve been reading on some blogs that she’s on their worst dressed list... // Jessica Stam also took a fashion risk in John Galliano for Christian Dior Haute Couture.
Scarlett Johannsen sparkled in Dolce Gabbana
Gwenyth Paltrow in a simple yet sexy Prada mini
Emily Blunt in an on-trend coral Calvin Klein simple gown

What were some of your stand out favorites? There were so many great ones to pick from! –N.K.


A Fashionable Cause

This is the fifth year where H&M launches its Fashion Against Aids campaign to create awareness and raise funds to educate the current young generation of shoppers about the harsh realities of HIV/AIDS.  This year's collection brings an ethnic fashion forward flare from different continents. The collection is in stores and online now!  


Style Profile:
Blake Lively

Oh, the fashion muse that is Blake Lively: Daunting the most exquisite styles on Gossip Girl, being hand-selected by the world famous Karl Lagerfeld to be the "Chanel it-girl." From TV star to fashion royalty... not a bad transition, eh? Fiction to Reality.  We've seen her grow up from the tomboy in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, to the girl-crush on Accepted, to the ultimate fashionista as Serena Van der Woodsen on GG.  Her sartorial preferences vary from swoon-worthy short dresses and glamorous red carpet looks, to coordinating colors perfectly and off-camera flawless chic ensembles. Who hasn't admired her wardrobe? It's clear the star has a penchant taste for sexy dresses and stilettos that always flatter her perfect figure while still remaining classy. The infamous Lively touch of turquoise always helps too!  The hair?  Usually disheveled, combed back in a casual yet stunning pony tail, or side swiped in a messy pony-braid.  She always looks effortless, letting her inner-girl-next-door visage shine through.  This vibrant yet rare combination adds up to personal style worth nothing on our style profile today.  *GS*
Figure Flattering Dresses
Chic Street Style
Dangerously sexy minis
Pretty Peplums
Angelic Evening Gowns