Easy Summer Pasta

It’s summertime and the weather is fine. What’s better than a great, light ,meal using the available fresh vegetables during the season. This is the perfect time to visit your local farmer’s market and gather fresh veggies like corn, zucchini, asparagus and tomatoes. After you stock up on ripe and in season vegetables, throw them on the grill or sautee them and add it to your favorite dishes.

On nights where I want something more filling than just veggies or a salad, I opt for pasta or orzo added to my favorite carbohydrate. Last night, I got some fresh grape tomatoes, asparagus, baby spinach, fresh shrimp and added it to spaghetti. It’s a great way to get your veggies in and a fantastic way to get your little ones to try and love veggies like asparagus.

Let’s Get Cooking!

Step 1:
Boil your pasta of choice while you prep your vegetables.

Wash and chop your fresh vegetables and put them aside.

 

IMG_2140

Wash and chop your vegetables. Clean and devein your shrimp. Prepare them while you boil your pasta.

IMG_2136

Whole grape tomatoes are washed and sliced in half. Wash asparagus and cut off the hard ends. Use the top third of the asparagus. Wash and dry your baby spinach.

Step 2:

After the pasta is al dente take off of the heat and drain.

Add (1-2 tablespoons) olive oil and  (1-2 pats) of butter to the pan that the pasta was boiled in.

Add the chopped asparagus ( harder to cook veggies first) and shrimp and then sautee. Oh, don’t forget to add some freshly chopped garlic to your oil.

Add grape tomatoes and continue to sautee.

Season with salt and red pepper flakes as desired.

Stir in pasta and continue to sautee and stir on medium low heat.

IMG_2139

Add freshly chopped veggies to pasta. Opt for fresh vegetables and skip the frozen. 

 

IMG_2142

Voila!

IMG_2143

Plate and serve with some freshly chopped parsley.

 

Breakfast is also a time to get some summer fruits in. I’ve been living for freshly chopped watermelon with either a drizzle of honey or a squeeze of lemon. Try it!

IMG_2132

 

 

Summer Sights:New York City

Often times we are making plans and booking flights in order to flee the city for summer but there is really no better place than NYC during the summer. There are so many sights that you can actually soak in and appreciate without the whip of cold wind slashing across your face (I exaggerate but try walking down 34th Street in the Winter in order to look at the Macy’s window. It’s not fun because it’s cold!)

There are tons of parks and attractions that can be enjoyed (preferably during the week because the weekends can get crowded) . Let’s take a look at some of my favorite places to visit during the summer:

 

IMG_1451

Coney Island has been a must-see attraction in Brooklyn for years but this isn’t your mom’s Coney Island. They have upgraded with new rides and an awesome art wall area and visiting food trucks. The art walls are a great backdrop for pictures with friends or an awesome selfie. 

http://coneyislandfunguide.com/

IMG_1450

I loved this 3D art wall. 

IMG_1439

The Wonder Wheel! Take a ride on it before you leave Coney Island. 

IMG_1425 (1)

Take a minute to frolic on one of the many beaches along the Atlantic Ocean. Coney Island’s beach is busy but has great energy. 

IMG_1505

Find a Farmer’s Market on a Saturday Morning and buy fresh flowers. The Union Square Farmer’s Market is a great place for selection and fantastic prices. 

http://www.unionsq.market/

IMG_1515

Any day is a great day to sit on the lawn at Bryant Park. The kids will enjoy this park as much as parents. The grass is beautifully maintained and there are cute little food shops all around. Don’t leave without riding the carousel. You’ll feel like you have been transported to France.

http://www.bryantpark.org/

IMG_1519

Hop over to 34th street for shopping, strolling past Macy’s and then on to the wonderful view of the Empire State building. Visit the observation deck for one of the best views of the city.

http://www.esbnyc.com/

IMG_1524

Come back to Brooklyn to feel a bit more of France. Visit the Civil War monument that is in the middle of Grand Army Plaza. There is a cute park with a cool fountain very close to the arch. Great for sitting and cooling off before a visit to the library or Park Slope. 

https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/grand-army-plaza

Where do you love to visit when in NYC for the Summer? Share Below!

 

This Just In: The Old Navy Edition.

Why do I love Old Navy? I don’t have to wait until some mega sale in order to buy what I want in store or online. The prices are accessible for most of our bank accounts and paychecks. The styles are classic yet they do try to keep customers on trend. These are the current styles that I’m obsessing over for the summer. They are all way under $30 and available in all sizes. Unbeatable.

Some of my favorites look from the season at Old Navy:

 

cn11691884

I adore a dress that can take you from the beach to dinner. If you belt and accessorize this easy cotton dress then it can take you to a great night out look.

 

 

cn11863214

This is a fun and figure flattering top. You can eat an extra hot dog this Summer and still be comfy.

cn11863170

cn11739185

How sexy yet classic are these great tank style tops!

cn11906948

This top is perfect paired with tights and cute sandals.

cn10881913

Summer is made for stripes and denim.

cn10932532

These orange cotton shorts are a great punch of color for basic tops or pair it with fun prints.

cn11690250

cn11706719

Skinny Rockstar jeans for the win!

 

 

And now, Swim!

cn11035281

cn11005983

These fun two-piece suits are still available in all sizes. Forget the black suit and opt for a Summer white or a vivid yellow.

www.oldnavy.com

What are your Summer staples?

 

Summer Flashback. I Can Pretend That It’s Still Summer, Right?

Palm trees and blue skies. Some people get to see it everyday but I don't. I would like for it to be my daily view one day.

Palm trees and blue skies. Some people get to see it everyday but I don’t. I would like for it to be my daily view one day.

Our first leg of Summer vacation began in Orlando. We rewarded Angelique with a trip to Universal Studios (Harry Potter World) because she put some major work in over the Summer academically. She deserved a great trip. The second leg was Miami. Yeah, that's mama's reward. We took our first cruise on the Norwegian Sky.

Our first leg of Summer vacation began in Orlando. We rewarded Angelique with a trip to Universal Studios (Harry Potter World) because she put some major work in over the Summer academically. She deserved a great trip. The second leg was Miami. Yeah, that’s mama’s reward. We took our first cruise on the Norwegian Sky.

It was freestyle cruising, which means there was never a need to really dress formally for any events. I really appreciated that.

It was freestyle cruising, which means there was never a need to really dress formally for any events. I really appreciated that.

The hubby woke up early every morning to catch sunsets and an early breakfast. Angelique and I thought it best to sleep in.

The hubby woke up early every morning to catch sunsets and an early breakfast. Angelique and I thought it best to sleep in.

Our first stop was Nassau, Bahamas. We soaked up some sun on the beach and visited a local African museum. I like finding out about the history of the people of the places that I visit. You find that we are more similar than we are different.

Our first stop was Nassau, Bahamas. We soaked up some sun on the beach and visited a local African museum. I like finding out about the history of the people of the places that I visit. You find that we are more similar than we are different.

I live for her.

I live for her.

Angelique always thinks it's a good idea to get covered in sand.

Angelique always thinks it’s a good idea to get covered in sand.

 

L1006965

I was convinced to pose like this for the shot but then I had sand stuck in my hair for about 4 days despite numerous shampoos.

The Pair.

The Pair. Look at that water!!!!

Love the colors and vibe in Nassau.

Love the colors and vibe in Nassau.

It was time to say goodbye to the ship and head back to Miami. Miami is my local happy place.

It was time to say goodbye to the ship and head back to Miami. Miami is my local happy place.

It was hard being cut off for civilization for days upon days while on the ship so docking in MIA and getting back online was a treat for us all.

It was hard being cut off for civilization for days upon days while on the ship so docking in MIA and getting back online was a treat for us all.

I love the art deco vibe that surrounds you on South Beach.

I love the art deco vibe that surrounds you on South Beach.

L1007263

L1007371

We’ve taken this path to the beach many times but it never gets old.

L1007390

There is fantastic green foliage separating the beach from the park where people play volleyball, bike or jog along Collins Ave.

There is fantastic green foliage separating the beach from the park where people play volleyball, bike or jog along Collins Ave.

 

Angelique thought it would be a great idea for us to do an impromptu photo shoot in Vans with her dad's Leica.

Angelique thought it would be a great idea for us to do an impromptu photo shoot in Vans with her dad’s Leica.

L1007480

This tan is fantastic and should last till about November !

This tan is fantastic and should last till about November !

Photos: @Johnricard

Taken with @Leica_Camera

@CruiseNorwegian

Summer Stripes

 

2015-05-26 08.02.46 HDR

 

Summer/Spring is here and that means we should be pulling out the stripes and denim. There is nothing more easy and carefree than throwing on a pair of comfy jeans and pairing it with a striped, cotton Tee, or shirt. An outfit like this makes me feel like I am automatically on vacation. It takes me to a mental space of the beach or a fantastic boat trip where I’m surrounded by warm blue water and fresh open breeze. Instead, I’m surrounded by concrete and city sounds but have no fear because when I am feeling nautical, I slip on some stripes.

2015-05-26 08.02.34-1

2015-05-26 08.02.35

2015-05-26 08.02.05

 

What are your Summer staples?

Jeans: Forever 21

Top: Old Navy 

Get Fit Fast for Bikini Season.

Summer is right round the bend and if you are in the South you are already basking in the warm weather. We’ve had a brutal Winter where we were either homebound from all the snow or just wanting something hearty and warm to hit the bottom of our bellies. There was no time to work out but it’s not too late to get fit fast by just following these quick tips. I’m sure Kanye had these tips in his workout plan.

You can snag this suit from www.victoriassecret.com.

You can snag this suit from http://www.victoriassecret.com.

Abs (and a flat belly) are made in the kitchen, as a result, we have to alter what we eat and STAT. A high protein and low carb eating plan is a must and can be done easier in the Summer months. It’s just too hot to eat heavy meals. Combine a salad (without all the fatty dressing) and a lean protein, like chicken breast or fish, for lunch and dinner. For breakfast, I recommend a low sugar protein shake combined with your favorite fruits for an energy  packed meal. If you are hungry in between meals snack on almonds or raw veggies.

Combine a lean protein with some fresh greens for a fat blasting meal.

Combine a lean protein with some fresh greens for a fat blasting meal.

Get Moving. If there is a gym near you then get there. There are so many gym franchises popping up and they are priced so that everyone can utilize them. There are Planet Fitness and Blink Fitness just to name two. Most neighborhoods also have a local YMCA. No gym, no excuses. Get outside and walk, jog or bike around your block/neighborhood. There are also organization/groups like “Black Girls Run” who meet in different locations in the city. They meet in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park and run as a group. Working out in groups provides support for your fitness goals and also motivates through accountability.

Take advantage of the warm weather and get outside for some physical activity. The Summer months are short so go out and play.

Take advantage of the warm weather and get outside for some physical activity. The Summer months are short so go out and play.

Have a goal but don’t have unrealistic expectations. You cannot lose 100 pounds in 1 month (I exaggerate). You know what I mean. Know YOUR body ad love YOUR body. Be kind to it and be thankful for it. The aim is to keep your body healthy and treat it well. Looking great in a bikini or your favorite suit is just the payoff. Giselle is sexy as hell but I will never have her body. I find my own sexy. Hope these tips will help you find yours during beach season.

Try to visit the beach as often as you can this Summer. If you can jet to the Caribbean, do so. If not, take advantage of your Atlantic or Pacific Ocean. Go there, feel the sand in your toes and read your favorite book.

Try to visit the beach as often as you can this Summer. If you can jet to the Caribbean, do so. If not, take advantage of your Atlantic or Pacific Ocean. Go there, feel the sand in your toes and read your favorite book.