March 30, 2012

Miami Photo Diary

We're on a boat!
This is what rockstars look like after 1 hour of sleep!
Avocados the size of my head - that is like heaven.
Free bottle service every night? Gah.. I guess we'll take it.
Oh Mr. Trump, you've done us reaaaal good. Thanks for the free upgrade!
Love my hot little bachelorette.
Cuban food - a must in Miami!

I know...
I'm nominated for the worst blogger of the year award. 
It's been more than a week since my last post,
but I have a valid excuse,
I swear!

You see,
I was in Miami for FIVE crazy days of partying with my girls,
and upon my return, 
I had to go straight to LA for work. 
So as you can imagine,
I'm exhausted... 

Enough excuses.
I hope you enjoyed some of the photos above.
They're the only decent ones I could come up with... 
All I'm going to say is 
Miami + Ultra Music Festival + 8 crazy girls on a bachelorette party is cray cray!
From the minute we got there, we were whisked off on a yacht,
and the partying just continued from there. 
God I love that city...
can't wait to go back!!

I should be back to regular posting from here on out. 
Till the next trip that is....


March 22, 2012

Clean It Up!

I've been planning to do a juice cleanse for a LONG time.. 
In the past couple of months, I have found numerous reasons for putting it off,
but at the end of the day,
the benefits outweighed my fears (of starvation, obviously).
Last week, I finally committed to consume nothing but juice for two whole days.
If you've detoxed before,
you're probably reading this and thinking:
"Wimp. Two days? That's nothing!"
Maybe you're right,
but for a virgin cleanser like myself,
two days sounded like a mighty long time. 

Choosing the right program was tough..
there are so many cleanses out there, 
and it's easy to get overwhelmed. 
I knew I couldn't survive on water with lemon and cayenne pepper alone, 
forget about it. 
I wanted something wholesome and nutritious,
and that's when I came across Nekter Juice Bar.

The Nekter Cleanse is different from fasting;
it provides enough nutrients with limited calories.
The drink formulas are specifically designed to rid your body of toxic buildup in the organs, digestive tract and even in the skin. 
I can't say that it's the best-tasting formula I've ever consumed,
but I'll tell you one thing,
those juices sure keep you full! 
You're supposed to consume a 16 oz. bottle every two hours or so,
and I could barely get through five bottles each day! 
The last drink of the day was my favorite -
if you like cashews, I'm sure it will be your favorite too. 
What can you expect as far as results?
Well... I did lose three pounds in two days,
and my skin does seem brighter this week. 
I can't say that you will react the same way as me,
because obviously everyone's body is so different.
However, I do feel healthier,
and whether that's true, or if it's all in my head,
I don't really care. 
At the end, all that matters is how you feel, right?
And I feel great! 

Have you ever tried a cleanse before?
Is there a specific brand you recommend?

P.S. I'm currently in Miami,
so I apologize for the lack of posts. 
I promise lots of fun photos upon my return!
In the meantime, you can keep up with my adventures through my Instagram.


March 20, 2012


It finally came!!!
I've been a really good girl,
and now I get to open up a teeny-tiny christmas present every month!

For those of you who haven't heard of the beauty box concept yet,
you seriously need to get on board asap.
you sign up,
and then once a month, a mailman drops off a box full of amazing beauty samples at your front door. 
Awesome concept,

Birchbox is just one of the numerous companies in the business.
I've read a lot of good reviews about the quality of products they deliver,
so I decided to go with them. 
Check out what I got in my March box below:
Deborah Lippmann Stripper To Go laquer remover wipes, Orofluido Beauty Elixir,  and Annick Goutal Eau d'Hadrien perfume
I'm seriously obsessed with every single one of these items!!
And check out Annick Goutal's website through the link above...
it's so pretty!!
Eye Rock Designer Liner and Hollywood Fashion Secrets tape
This eyeliner should be quite a show-stopper, and I'm sure the fashion tape will come in handy this weekend.
These are just some of the items I received this month. 

Have you heard of Birchbox before?
Is this something you'd be into?
I want to hear what you think!


March 19, 2012


I've kind of being doing a little lot of shopping lately...
In preparation for my upcoming trip to Miami,
I realized that I needed to freshen up my wardrobe, beauty case, 
and anything else that may come in handy for a bachelorette party. 

I'm such a girly girl when it comes to make-up. 
I've been testing out different brands and conjuring up various looks since high school,
and attending last year's IMATS was this girl's ultimate pleasure. 
During my latest haul at Sephora,
I settled on two items from Smashbox - 

I always go through phases in my make-up routine. 
One day I'll be really into rosy cheeks,
and then a few weeks later, 
I'll ditch blush all together and stick strictly to bronzer. 

After watching Kandee Johnson's latest video on how to "slenderize your face",
I was on the prowl for a darker foundation/powder. 
The kit above seemed perfect for my needs -
it includes three different shades for contouring, bronzing and highlighting.
What I like the most about it,
is that the powders are shimmer-free. 
Sometimes a little glitter is nice.. but the older I get, the sillier I feel when my face shines like a disco ball.
Not everyone can pull of J Lo's glow... 
well, maybe just on special occasions,
and I have another set of products to achieve that look. 

I've been experimenting with different colors of lipstick lately,
and this new addition is unlike anything I have ever tried before. 
This is my first Smashbox lipstick,
but so far, I'm pretty impressed with how pigmented it is, 
and the amount of moisture it retains after a few hours. 
The picture above doesn't do this color justice - 
I posted a better picture of what it actually looks like on my lips on my Instagram.

I'm planning on bringing both of these items to Miami,
so stay tuned for more pictures of the combined look!


March 16, 2012

Brian Malarkey Fan Club

I think it's safe to refer to this blog as 
Brian Malarkey's Official Fan Club. 

Has a good ring to it, 

I have shamelessly expressed my love for Malarkey's first three restaurants,
on this blog before.
the man is on a roll. 

Gabardine, located in Point Loma, 
is his newest venture.
Together with Chad White of Sea Rocket Bistro,
the chefs are focusing on producing a seafood dedicated menu,
that left us licking our plates clean. 

Why am I such a huge fan of Malarkey's?
No, it's not just because of his good looks...
although I gotta say,
I DID get excited to see him making his rounds while we were there this week;
but in all honesty,
I just really respect him as an entrepreneur. 
He's an entertainer,
and every time I drop in, I feel welcome, 
and leave happy as a clam. 
Uni Crostini - apple-radish salad, curry aioli, yuzu-honey vinaigrette
Black Cod "Foie Gras" - brioche, port cherries & pistachios
Favorite dish of the night!!
Octopus Asada - escarole, mustard, chourico butter
Yellowtail Crudo - shallot, lime, serrano-carrot vinaigrette
Papas Fritas
Uni Gelato

And he's not even done yet. 
Herringbone is due to open in La Jolla any day now,
and this girl cannot be more excited!


March 13, 2012

Now I Know My ABC's, Next Time Won't You Sing With Me?

Yours truly, at the ripe age of 4, in my dad's hometown of Baku, Azerbaijan.
Age: 25

Bed size: King.
We're pretty obsessed with our bed,
which we recently acquired from an estate sale.
It's very Victorian looking,
and the mattress is the most comfortable thing I've ever laid my head on.

Chores that you hate: washing dishes.
It ruins my manicure, and makes my skin icky dry.
I cook, he cleans.
Cliche, but it works!

Dogs: Dolly and Roofus.
Dolly is a 15 year-old Chihuahua -
she's pretty OG, if you ask me.
And Roofus is my love -
the most spoiled Yorkie you'll ever have the pleasure of meeting.
Attitude is his middle name.

Essential start to your day: The Today Show.
Ooooh my gah,
I have a VERY inappropriate crush on Matt Lauer.
And I miss Meredith.
Is anyone else addicted to NBC from 7-8:30?

Favorite color: green.
Can't say I look to shabby when I wear it..
and it's overall a very pretty color, no?

Gold or silver: I'm gonna go with gold.
But I don't discriminate.
Silver was SO in a few years ago,
and I'm sure it will make a comeback soon enough.

Height: 5'5"

Instruments you play: ummm...
Music was never a strength of mine...
ask anyone who's heard me sing before.
I wish I could play the piano though -
if only my bestie would teach me! Hmpf.

Job title: Business Analyst II.
Whenever anyone asks me what I do for a living,
I always have to go into this drawn out explanation,
and sooner than later,
I always catch myself sounding like Chandler.

Kids: ahh... this seems to be the question of the hour.
No, I don't have any... yet.
Sometime soon I'm sure,
but my ovaries are getting intimidated from all this pressure people!

Live: San Diego, California
And I'm in love,
haven't you heard?

Mother's name: Yana Tariverdieva
Oh yeah.. try pronouncing that sucker.
For 24 years I had to deal with the puzzled faces and confused looks during introductions time!

Nicknames: Oh um.
There aren't that many actually -
Tash, Nats.. babe.. haha.
Oh, and there was the famous "Russia" phase during high school.

Overnight hospital stays: knocking on wood as we speak,
because there haven't been any. Yet.

Pet peeves: so many!
People who chew with their mouths open,
smack their gum,
drive too slow,

Quote: Just one?
Fine... if I had to choose...
"you can never be overdressed or overeducated" - Oscar Wilde

Righty or Lefty: that's right.

Siblings: one younger brother,
who doesn't look or act anything like me.
Oh, and nine very lovely siblings in-law -
four brothers and five sisters to be exact.

Time you wake up: it depends.
I can never really sleep past 7 a.m.,
and during the week I'm usually up by 6.
I don't like this about me -
I WISH that I could lock myself in a dark room and sleep for hours,
but it's just not in my nature.

Underwear: I think I'm officially turning into an old lady.
Comfort is everything,
so when I look back at the teeny-tiny strings I used to wear in high school,
I cringe every time.

Vegetable you hate: I pretty much love them all.
The only thing I'm not a giant fan of is cooked carrots.
I'll eat them all day long, as long as they're FRESH.
Otherwise they taste soapy to me.. you dig?

What makes you run late: never having anything to wear!
My closet may be jam-packed,
but picking out an outfit is always the hardest part of my day!

X-Rays you've had: I'm surprised I've only ever had one,
because I am THE clumsiest person I know.
I took a plunge while trying to reach a shoe box at the very top of my closet once,
and landed on my foot all funky.
Had to trot around on crutches for two dang weeks -
hated those things!

Yummy food you make: well I love to cook,
and judging my husband's clean plate every night,
I'm gonna go ahead and say I'm not too bad at it.
Favorite things to date, include Coq Au vin, Boeuf Bourguignon and Macadamia Encrusted Halibut.

Zoo animal: elephants.
Especially the babies.
Too cute!

Now it's your turn!!
Looking forward to learning a bit about you.
Don't forget to link back!


March 8, 2012

Thursday Travel Tips

Once again,
this Thursday's Travel Tips
are inspired by our latest getaway.
Today I'm gonna tell you about why you should head down south,
specifically to Rosarito, Mexico.
There have been so many stories in the past few years,
advising tourists to stay away from this beautiful country.
Do I think it's safe to go to Mexico?
For the most part.

Here's my opinion on the whole thing:
Have a good time,
but don't get belligerent and stumble out of a club at 3 in the morning by yourself.
Follow that advice and you should be golden.

Do my friends and I still party when we head south of the border?
Of course!
I meaaaan... have you seen my two latest posts?
Just do it responsibly people!
Stay with a group of friends,
and exercise alertness.
Something you should be doing anyway,
not only in Mexico,
but in every part of the world.
Let me tell you...
I've seen a fair share of drunk girls stumbling out of nightclubs right here in my home city.
Not classy ladies. Not in the least.

So now that the "safety" talk is over and done with,
let's talk about what you CAN and SHOULD do in Baja.

Where to stay:
There are so many fabulous options around Rosarito.

If you're looking for a relaxing experience,
drive just a few miles past Rosarito,
and stay at Las Rocas.
This is where we stayed last weekend,
and I cannot say enough great things about the place!
We were treated like royalty the whole time,
the rooms are beautiful (ours had this amazing vaulted ceiling),
there are two infinity pools overlooking the pacific ocean,
the food at the onsite restaurant is bomb,
and did I mention there's a karaoke bar?
 Yeah buddy.
View from our room at Las Rocas
The ceiling of our suite at Las Rocas
If you're looking to party,
your best bet is to stay smack dab in the middle of the strip,
The huzband and I stayed here way back in the day,
when we were first dating.
It's a fun spot right on the beach,
and is walking distance to most bars and restaurants.

Where to eat:
I feel so fortunate to live in such close proximity to a place that's known around the world for their lobster.
If you're a seafood lover,
Puerto Nuevo will be your new heaven.
Drive just a few minutes past Rosarito,
and you'll find yourself in the "Lobster Capital of Baja".
Whenever we're down there,
we head straight to Villa Ortegas.
Stunning views and affordable prices will keep you coming back too!
For about $20 you can indulge in fresh buttery lobster,
rice, beans, amaaaazing tortillas and a whole lot more.
I'm telling you,
this place is a MUST!

What to do:
Well besides the obvious beach-side activities,
there's plenty to do in Rosarito.
I've already talked about wine-tasting in my last post,
and you can always do the touristy options of horseback riding on the beach,
or renting jet skis and kayaks.
One thing that we didn't get to do this time around,
but that I'm really looking forward to during our next venture,
is the movie tour of Fox Studios,
located right there, in the middle of Rosarito.
Oh yeah,
did you know that Titanic and Pirates of the Caribbean were filmed there?
So awesome.. can't wait to check it out!

So what do you think about Rosarito?
Have you ever been?
Do you have any suggestions for me for our next trip?
Please share.


March 7, 2012

Wine Tasting in Valle de Guadalupe

While we were in Mexico last weekend,
we decided to go on a wine-tasting tour.
Our concierge hooked us up with a private driver,
who proceeded to escort us around Valle de Guadalupe,
aka Mexican wine country. 
The experience was like nothing any of us ever expected. 

Our day started out with a 45 minute drive away from Rosarito Beach,
and into the mountains above Ensenada. 
During our tour,
our guide wowed us with endless information about how the wine country came to be. 

During the 17th century,
the Spanish government began taking advantage of the valley's Mediterranean climate
by planting vines throughout the countryside. 
Other European countries soon followed,
and soon,
Baja began building a reputation for producing wines that were comparable to those of Napa.

Perhaps the biggest revelation for me,
was to learn about the large Russian settlement in Guadalupe Valley.
At the beginning of the 20th century, 
over 100 Russian families came as part of a Russian Orthodox Church dissidence that was welcomed in Mexico. 
Hence the existence of several Russian wineries that sit among the beautiful valleys - 
which brings me to the first winery we visited,

From there,
we headed towards another small Russian winery-
Samarin vineyard.
There we enjoyed some delicious fresh cheese and authentic Russian bread,
along with some apple pie, 
and of course,
Fresh cheese.
Fresh olive oil spreads. 
One hungry husband.
After indulging in several baked goods,
and even more glasses of wine,
we stumbled back to the car
and proceeded to our next destination.

LA Cetto is the largest winery in Mexico.
Their wines are distributed all over the world, 
and have earned more than 150 awards from some of the most prestigious wine competitions. 
The landscape around this vineyard is breathtaking,
and the cellars are incredibly sophisticated. 
Call me ignorant,
but I had no idea anything like this existed in the mountains of Baja. 
Well now I know,
and I'm sharing this info with you so you can get your butts out there and enjoy it for yourself.
And finally,
to finish off our day,
we stopped by a winery that specializes in dessert wine.
Can anyone say yum?!
Hubby with our awesome tour guide.
My friend and I with Victor, the winery owner.

So what do you think?
Have I convinced you to venture out to the Mexican Wine Country or what?!