chicken veggie stir fry

As part of my healthy new lifestyle, I made some chicken veggie stir fry (and consequently a big mess) today. Delish! First, I made some brown Jasmine rice.


Then, I chopped up some onions,


zucchini, broccoli, carrots and bok choy.


I cut chicken into thin strips and heated some sesame oil in the wok. I cooked the chicken in the wok until 3/4 done, added the stir fry sauce and cooked all the way through. I set the chicken aside and cooked the veggies in the same manner. Lastly, I added it all to the brown rice and mixed well.


The colors came out quite strange in the last picture but it was really very tasty! I will be eating this for dinner throughout the week. It tastes exceptionally great with lots of Sriracha chile sauce and is a wonderful way to add some veggies and good carbs into my diet.

I also picked up lots of fresh plump fruits to test out my juice extractor!

cuban coffee

As promised, here is a post on how to make the perfect Cuban coffee! First, you will need an espresso maker and a good Cuban coffee like Bustelo or Pilon (I was worried about not finding either outside of Miami but found both at Target here in Los Angeles).


Step 1: fill the pot with water and pour into the top, close tightly
Step 2: pack the filter with coffee, pat it down and add some more. Screw in tightly
Step 3: plug in and twist to "brew"


Step 4: pour sugar into a separate cup (8-10 teaspoons, about one per each espresso cup, it should be extremely sweet!) and place cup in machine
Step 5: let coffee brew till just coating the sugar, switch the cup with the empty pot
Step 6: beat the sugar vigorously with a spoon
Step 7: when coffee has finished brewing in pot, mix coffee with sugar mixture

Pour Cuban coffee into espresso cups and enjoy! At this point (or the next day with leftover coffee), if you want cafe con leche (similar to cafe au lait), pour a mug 3/4 full with milk and microwave for 2-2 1/2 minutes on high. When done, pour cuban coffee into milk.


And there you go! The perfect Cuban coffee or cafe con leche, whichever you prefer!



turning a healthy new leaf

Just yesterday my Waring Pro juicer came in the mail and this morning I picked up my last dozen Bagel Broker bagels that I had prepaid through Groupon. I strongly believe that the culmination of all of these events means it is time in my life to turn over a healthy new leaf. Aside from getting on a regular workout schedule again, I want to form better eating habits for myself. Here's how I will make my diet more colorful:


  • fresh juice made from carrots, celery, apples and parsley
  • stir fry made with chicken, broccoli, zucchini, carrots, and bok choy served with brown rice
  • whole grain turkey wraps with sun-dried tomato pesto, honey mustard, fresh onions, olives and shredded carrots
  • soup made with onions, carrots, yellow squash, white beans, and tomato
My goal will be to try to eat at least two out of the four above dishes each day. As I've learned before in my life, eating well leads to feeling well and I am excited to get back to that! Now to make a grocery list... 

way to wear the trend: denim dress/ structured sleeve - nautical summer

You may or may not remember this perfect little denim dress I raved about earlier. Well, here is part two of my series "Way to Wear the Trend":


1. ModCloth - Nursery Rhyme Dress
2. ModCloth - Edie Earrings in Socialite
3. Forever 21 - Tubular Beaded Necklace
4. Forever 21 - Woven Laces Belt
5. Melie Bianco - Diagonal Stitch Tote
6. DSquared - G006

My last post was "baby shower chic". In this look, I incorporated white, red and gold to create a nautical look. I love gold accents for the summer and I think this oversized Melie Bianco bag (only $79!) would really dress up any daytime look. Plus, I love how you can clutch the top handle or just sling it over your shoulder! It may be a bit early, but I think this ensemble would be great for July 4th or brunch on a balmy summer weekend.

Los Angeles survival guide

This is my first blog in about two days now because I've been so insanely busy! The plus side to that is that I have learned an incredible amount these last couple of days and I'd like to share some Los Angeles survival tips with you as I've had to learn as I go. If you want to move to LA, here's a list of some must-haves:


In Los Angeles, it is illegal to hold the phone while driving. And because you have to be able to stay in constant touch with people, a headset is key.


When living in a new city, especially one as expansive as Los Angeles, a GPS system is absolutely essential. While I have, so far, been able to get along fine with my overall good sense of direction, every day I feel like I'm just pushing my luck. Nowadays I have no time to get lost so I'll be running out to get one of these immediately! Wouldn't it be ironic if I got lost along the way?


Having a smart phone allows you to be in touch via email at all times. Gone are the days when one would write a letter and wait months for a reply to come on horseback.

On that note, I say we bring back snail mail. There's too much cute stationary not to!



just like home

rainy day

Today I walked out of the office after a long day of work and the most glorious thing, it was raining! Most people would feel bogged down or depressed by the "dreary" weather but, as a native Floridian, rain possesses a certain comfort level for me. I used to complain about it to no end living in Miami, but having just moved to the desert, it was so comforting to be blanketed by the precipitation.

And so, I have yet another collage for you! Outfit posts have been sparse since I've been working 9-5 at my internship Monday-Wednesday and tomorrow, my supposed day off, has excitingly and unexpectedly turned quite busy! In appreciation of the gorgeous (not being sarcastic in the least) weather, I have selected some rainy weather must-haves. The outfit on the top is a "rainy-day chic" ensemble and the outfit on the bottom is a "jump-into-puddles playful" ensemble. However, all raincoats and accessories can be mixed and matched to your liking.

1. TopShop - Printed Waterproof Mac
2. Amazon - Sunflower Bloom Umbrella
3. Sperry Top-Sider - Women's Saucalito Boot
4. ModCloth - Big Fish Umbrella
5. Hunter - Hunter Original
6. ModCloth - Scantron Raincoat


i'm a little short...


Whether you have a little spare change or a lot, there's no reason to not be carrying it around in style. I absolutely love all these coin purses from the kitschy mouse one to the patent leather designer one. Now you can be stylish on any budget!

1. Modcloth - Short Change Purse - $4.99
2. TopShop - Spot Double Frame Purse - $12
3. Rebecca Minkoff - Can'tBuy Me Love Leather Pouch - $50
4. Chanel - Red Quilted Patent Leather Wristlet - $1,080


recipe for happiness


Today, the oh-so-lovely blogger of The Halcyon Life challenged me to make a list of what makes me happy. Her blog is a staple for the Anthropologie-obsessed (me) and I am honored that my blog brightens her day! Here are the rules and my list in no particular order:

List 10 things that make you happy. (try to do one of those things TODAY!)
Tag 10 bloggers that brighten your day.
Make sure to link back to the person that tagged you!

  • unconditional love
  • happy2
  • old faded pictures of my parents/grandparents from Cuba
  • nails freshly painted in a bright color
  • happy7
  • macaroni and cheese (the ultimate comfort food)
  • a breathtaking photograph
  • happy8
  • girls' night w/ the besties (added plus if there's a good bottle of red)
  • happy
  • an outdoor concert
  • happy6
  • street art 
  • happy4
  • being alone on a beach with my boyfriend
  • happy5
  • colorful accessories
  • happy3
now it's your turn! 

The Halcyon Life
Paws on my Face
Swing the Day Away
Kristen Cruz
Gary Pepper Vintage
Anna-Lee and Jesse do Stuff
Kendi Everyday
Kunst Kinder
The Girl Who Came Gift Wrapped

Love your blogs, girls!


dressing room diaries

Today I had another important interview! And an interview, like any event in life, is an excellent excuse to go shopping! I headed over to Melrose to check out the selection at Urban Outfitters and here's some of what I found...


While I absolutely fell in love with the black and white striped Nom de Plume by Yaya Aflalo skirt in the second picture, I decided to try out some of the second-hand stores in the area before making my purchase and boy am I glad I did! Let's just say I was a Florida girl in California vintage heaven. I hit up the greatest thrift store on Vista and Melrose called Wasteland. While a little pricier than your average thrift store (I'm used to Goodwill), it was filled to the brim with every designer name possible in a colorful gently-used whirlwind. I ended up purchasing a red Theory skirt,


a colorful Diane Von Furstenberg blouse in a size 6 (two sizes too big but love can make you do crazy things),


and the most adorable mint green Marc Jacobs jacket.


There were a lot of outfits I tried on that, sadly, did not make the cut as both funds and closet space are very limited for the time being.


  1.  Regretfully, I forgot the designer name on these cropped trousers but I thought they'd be very Sartorialist-worthy!
  2. I was thisssss close to purchasing this Walter mini skirt (I thought it would be a great beach cover-up) but, alas, it was too big as well and very similar to a tiered Zara skirt I already own. 
  3. This Steven Alan navy and white pinstripe shirt was so charming and picnic-worthy!
  4. I would have come home with this LaROK blazer except that I already have my navy Mike and Chris swacket and it was missing a button. Twas not meant to be!
  5. This Mike and Chris romper was too sweet for words. I could not, however, justify a work-inappropriate piece right now. Also, the color (dusty rose, I know it's hard to tell) washes out my fair complexion. 
  6. This A Common Thread top was made with such a great silky fabric!
This was just the tip of the shopping iceberg. I cannot wait to show you how I integrate my new acquisitions into my wardrobe! 

way to wear the trend: denim dress/ structured sleeve

I recently saw this gorgeous denim dress on ModCloth...


and have been dreaming about it ever since! Seeing as structured sleeves are all the rage and denim is oh-so-perfect for the long anticipated warmer months, I thought it would be fun to show you how I would wear this dress in a few different blog posts. Because of the versatility of the piece, you can create a completely different look just based on how you accessorize it. The first outfit would be darling for a baby shower.

denim dream 1

In this version, I stuck with metallics and a high wedged espadrille for a dressed-up, yet still daytime, look.

1. ModCloth - Nursery Rhyme Dress
2. Etsy - Graphite Textured Braided Belt
3. Amrita Singh - Samantha Bangle Set
4. Forever 21 - Curved Rose Ring
5. Charles David - Nurture Wedge

I will be posting more ways to wear the trend throughout the week!

when one door closes...

Some may remember a very pouty dani brava last week when I missed out on a Ruelala sale for a Cuisinart food processor. Well, today I feel more like this...

one door

And this is because today I was finally able to cash in my Ruelala credit for something else off of my kitchen appliance wish list. Say hello to the newest addition to my collection...


The Waring Pro Juice Extractor!

Although the food processor was higher on my list, I am extremely excited to make fresh fruit and vegetable juices in my own apartment! And while I love to bake and indulge every so often, I do believe that you have a better overall sense of well-being when you eat healthy.

Slightly off topic, I made the chocolate chip cookies I blogged about last night. They were absolutely delicious although not chewy in the least. At the rate they're disappearing here, I'm not so sure they'll make it to the girls next door, whom they were originally intended for. Alas, I may have to rely on my personality to make friends!


bagel run







sunglasses, RayBan; tank top, Urban Outfitters; jacket, Mike and Chris; scarf, French Connection; jeans, Siwy; boots, Dolce Vita; brooch, vintage; handbag, Kale

I wore this while running out to get bagels this morning. I am still going through my Bagel Broker
Groupons. Btw, I highly highly highly recommend their cheddar jalapeño bagels with their cheddar jalapeño cream cheese! On second thought, that's probably something only I would love. 

Either way, what I'm wearing here has become my cold weather "uniform" of sorts. If temperatures dip below 60 degrees (I'm such a wuss!) then I resort to jeans or leggings with over-the-knee boots, a long tank or tee, a colorful scarf and a comfy swacket. This Mike and Chris swacket is so soft and fleecey on the inside. I also adore the large Peter Pan collar so I pinned a cameo brooch (eBay) onto it to draw attention. I want at least three more gold vintage brooches to adorn it! The scarf I'm wearing here is great for cold or warm weather because it's so lightweight and my Siwy cropped jeans are absolutely perfect for tucking into boots because they're the ideal length, ending promptly at my ankle, which avoids uncomfortable fabric bunch-up. My absolute favorite piece though is my Kale handbag! It's distressed black leather on the outside and supple purple suede on the inside. But, most importantly, it belonged to my mom who gave it to me right before I moved out here. When I wear it I think of her; what a stylish lady!


recipe box

Today I got a little lazy about cooking but I'm excited to spend some time in the kitchen this weekend. Not only did I finally get my waffle iron/panini press in the mail (yay!) but I also rediscovered my Food Network recipe box! Some recipes in there were added over five years ago so looking back on them is like falling in love all over again. I plan on baking some chocolate chip cookies for my new neighbors,

recipe box2

testing out the panini press on these pesto chicken paninis,


and, if there's time, making some waffles for me and my boyfriend.

recipe box

Sounds like quite the ambitious weekend of cooking. I will document my culinary adventures for you!

Also, more outfit posts soon to come!

bad dani


Your boyfriend's Trader Joe's chocolatey coated chocolate chip dunkers and cafe con leche do NOT a substantial lunch make!

P.S. I'll do a post on making the perfect Cuban coffee/cafe con leche soon!

spring forward


It may not be spring quite yet, but in my mind, I'm already there! This winter, I filled my wardrobe with dark denim, neutral leather accents and lots of white and grey tops to layer. I am over the drabness of the season and am, therefore, fast forwarding into spring! Here are some of my favorite picks to brighten up any wardrobe and maybe, with lots of wishful thinking, we can usher in some warmer weather!

1. ModCloth - Tangerine Dream Dress
2. Tarina Tarantino - Super Sized Crystal Cocktail Ring
3. Gemma - Brites Silk Tank
4. Kate Spade - Swirl Glitz Ball Necklace
5. French Connection - Wimbledon Tube Dress
6. Forever 21 - Metal Slat Belt
7. Rebecca Minkoff - Morning After Mini With Strap
8. Moschino Cheap and Chic - Sandwich Wedge
9. French Connection - Safari Floral Beach Tunic
10. Vita - Como Wrap Double
11. ModCloth - Shades of Summer Skirt

This blog post may not have been a good idea. Now I'm borderline obsessed with the Moschino wedges!


in full bloom


While walking to Melrose, I saw these gorgeous flowers in full bloom that reminded me of the skirt I was wearing. Here's a quick shot of what I wore. I got compliments (plural!) on both my skirt and shoes.



sweater, Marc by Marc Jacobs; skirt, Plastic Island; shoes, Report

Not the best outfit shot but just felt like sharing...

me time

As my relaxing stint of unemployment quickly draws to an end (a good thing), my boyfriend suggests to me that I take a day for myself and go to the beach. Well, the beach is kind of far but I did think he was onto something with some "me time". I went for a long three mile run (glad I didn't die!) and came back for a healthy snack of vanilla yogurt with frozen pomegranate seeds, yummm...

me time

I avoided (successfully!) my boyfriend's Trader Joe's chocolately coated chocolate chip Dunkers

me time1

Did my nails a gorgeous dusty rose color. It was about time!

me time2

And trimmed some long bangs for myself.

me time3

It's a wonder what some much-needed grooming can do for you!