Saturday, March 31, 2012

Santa Cruz Coffee House Feature: Verve

      It is a long standing fact that I love Cafe Delmarette here in Santa Cruz, CA. What you may not know is that Dalmarette whips up delicious lattes and cappuccinos made from Verve coffee beans. Imagine my delight when Verve Coffee House opened on the downtown strip! A spacious and open venue with modern art pieced adorning the walls as well as beautiful lighting set the mood for the perfect spot to enjoy your daily cup of joe. On this occasion I ordered the most delicious (and picture perfect) latte ideal for a quick boost!

      Verve Coffee House is located on 1540 Pacific Ave, in Downtown Santa Cruz or click here to be directly connected to Verve's main web page for information on additional locations and store hours. 


Friday, March 30, 2012

Nico's Most Wanted List: Utensil Sandals

      As a home cook, how could I resist these incredible utensil sandals that mix my love of fashion with my love of food?! I randomly stumbled across these Moschino Cheap & Chic sandals on Nordstrom's Blog and instantly fell in love. 

      What do you guys think? Would you wear gilded silverware on your feet?


PS: I'd definitely wear these shoes with a pedicure version of this nail art I did a couple weeks ago:

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bright & Vibrant Citrus Salad!

        Last week marked the first days of Spring and to honor the occasion I pulled together a zesty citrus salad that not only looks as bright and colorful as the Spring but also tastes like the perfect bite of a fresh new season. Cool mint leaves coupled with spicy slivers of red onion make for the ideal balance of flavors against a thick slice of orange. Feel free to utilize your favorite variety of orange or mandarin (example: blood oranges, tangelos, grapefruit) or whatever happens to look the most fresh at your local grocery. I selected juicy Cara Cara oranges, which are typically slightly pink on the inside and have a more complex and sweet flavor. I also used pea shoots for the first time for this particular recipe. I normally don't stray too far from romaine lettuce, a spring mix, or (on rare occasions) arugula, but I believe that the pea shoots bring a more subtle and delicate flavor to this dish. The final components of this citrus salad are the perhaps the must indulgent, flakes of creamy goat cheese and a drizzle of honey balsamic vinaigrette to round out all the other flavors for a citrus salad that not only looks like a modern art piece but tastes like a culinary master piece also! 

Magic Ingredients: (for the salad)
- Red Onion
- Crumbled Goat Cheese
- Mint Leaves
- Pea Shoots
- Oranges 

Getting Started:
-Start by slicing an orange according to the pictorial below:

- Slice a red onion into small slivers.
- Assemble the citrus salad as shown in the pictorial below (layer the pea shoots and mint, followed by slices of oranges, crumbled goat cheese, red onion, and a generous drizzle of dressing) 

Magic Ingredients: (for the dressing)
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon honey / agave Syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Getting Started:
- Mix all of the ingredients together until smooth and creamy.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Skirt Set:

Elena Flats by Kate Spade

Sunglasses- Betsey Johnson (I've had these sunnies for 5 years and they just passed away, R.I.P!), Top- Gap, Belt- Urban Outfitters, Dress (worn as skirt)- Target, Bag- Kate Spade, Shoes- Kate Spade
      For the third installment of one-dress-three-ways (check out styling options 1 & 2) I layered a scoop neck t shirt over my sundress for a lady like spring look! The full dress actually has a vivid tribal/ikat print towards the top but throwing a t shirt over everything virtually hides the print and transforms my dress into a floral mini skirt! The belt was added to cinch in this otherwise loose fitting top to really stream line the whole outfit. 
      It was really fun for me to put together three different outfits using the same dress in each! Don't you think this concept would be perfect for travel? Accessories also help make each outfit appear unique! 


PS: All photos taken by Shahin of The Jukebox Gallery

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Blue Lagoon

All photos by Shahin of The Jukebox Gallery

Necklace- Vintage, Watch- Michael Kors

Hat- Target, Sunnies- Michael Kors, Dress (worn as top)-
Target, Skirt- American Apparel, Shoes- Escada 

      Wore this dress as a top today for an all blue look with just a little pop of coral (Lipstick- Mac Impassioned). I spent this particular day eating dinner at Lillian's Italian Restaurant which has to be (hands down!) my favorite place in Santa Cruz! They open at 5pm Monday thru Saturday and be sure to get there early to snag a table before the small/intimate location fills up!


PS: If you missed out on yesterday's post I mentioned that I am reworking the dress I am wearing into three very different outfits. Check back tomorrow for the final installment!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Neighborhood Flower Child:

Leopard Pumps by Max Studio

Vintage Gucci Bag. 

Hat- Gap, Sunnies- Michael Kors, Red Vest- Trina Turk, Dress- Target,
Bracelet- Vintage Givenchy, Watch- Michael Kors 

      I wore this light and airy sun dress out for a walk in my neighborhood the other day. I purchased it last season at Target for just $24 dollars and the garment has proven to be worth a whole lot more. Today is the first installment of what I would like to call "one-dress-three-ways." If you have been following my blog for awhile you know that I love to remix items from my wardrobe (examples 1 & 2) and it is my firm belief that you don't need lots of things but rather, all the right things. Whenever I'm even considering purchasing a new garment I always ask myself "How many items in my closet will this go with?" If a new garment will match with at least 3 other things I already, I am more willing to buy. Over the next few days I will be demonstrating how I put this shopping theory into effect! I think most of us girls own a sundress and I think that each of these three different styling ideas can be executed with wardrobe basics you probably have in your closet already! See you back here tomorrow with the second installment!


PS: All photos shot by Shahin of The JukeboxGallery, his latest post is centered around local Santa Cruz bands!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Chicks dipped in chocolate.

      Yes, you heard correctly people....chicks dipped in chocolate! Dark chocolate to be exact (leftover from the apricot recipe I posted last week). And the chicks are of the sugar coated marshmallow variety! (Was your mind in the gutter AGAIN?!) 
       I actually got the idea for these sinful treats while browsing thru my favorite local candy shop, Marini's. I could have purchased these chocolate drenched peeps but opted to make them at home instead. This allowed me to customize what kind of chocolate to use and cost me a lot less cash because a dozen peeps were only $1.50. I went with a rich dark chocolate for this batch but next time I'd like to try white chocolate instead! If you find the urge to make these at home, here's how:

Magic Ingredients:
- 10 marshmallow peeps
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Getting started:
-In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave. Heat the chocolate for 25 seconds, stir, and repeat until all chips are melted. 


Saturday, March 24, 2012



SATIN&SALT by nsaich featuring crochet tights

      Contrary to the fact that it is officially spring, Santa Cruz has been gifting me with heavy rains. With dark clouds and fog looming I thought I would create an outfit on Polyvore inspired by the Morton Salt girl, who is always dressed appropriately (and fashionably!) despite dismal and dreary weather. I know her usual slogan is "When it rains, it pours," but knowing that I am a glass half full kind of girl I thought "When it rains... there is a rainbow afterwards." would be more fitting. 


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Santa Cruz Restaurant Spotlight:

      Today I over indulged with lots of take out from my favorite Afghani restaurant in town, Kyber Pass. Nothing beats working on homework with an unlimited surplus of take out! Their warm and savory masalas and bright fresh salads are what bring me in at least once a week! Kyber Pass also offers exotic mango and cucumber lassies. This local (and personal) favorite always dishes up massive portions at crazy low prices:

Only $2.99 for more than double what you see pictured!

Freshly baked and slightly crisp herbed naan, $2.99. 

Chicken tikka masala and basmati rice simmered in
chicken stock with a burst of fresh lemon juice.

Complimentary sauces that I just can't get enough of!

      Kyber Pass is located on Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz, California. You can view their online menu by clicking here. Or make a reservation tonight by calling (831)423-3400!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Coming Up Daisies!

Sunglasses- Betsey Johnson, Top- Vintage, Watch- Michael Kors, Bangle-
Coach, Bag- Michael Kors, Pants- Helmut Lang, Shoes- Stuart Weitzman

      To prove that the pants I wore previously in this post are actually quite versatile despite the fact they are mustard yellow I tried pairing them with a vintage T shirt and massive round sunglasses for a casual day time look. Don't you love the bejeweled daisy on this top?


PS: Thank you to Maggie of 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Blueberry Lemonade:

      My father has a huge lemon tree growing in his backyard and I do my best to make the most of the tart and tangy citrus. I make a pitcher of lemonade each and every year as soon as the lemon tree starts to bare fruit. This year for a change I thought it might be nice to add an additional fruit flavor, like blueberries! Try a glass of my blueberry lemonade for a taste that is both sweet & tart!

Magic Ingredients:
-2 cups fresh lemon juice
-1/4 cup frozen blueberries
-3 cups fine granulated sugar 
(2 1/2 cups for sweeter lemonade)
-6 cups water
-Slices of lemon

Getting started...
1: Squeeze enough fresh lemons to make 2 cups of lemon juice.

2: Boil together the blueberries, sugar, and 3 cups of water in a pot over the stove on medium high heat until the sugar is dissolved.

 3: Combine the blueberry simple syrup, lemon juice, and remaining water in a large pitcher and let cool in the fridge over night. 

4: Before serving, add ice and fresh slices of lemon.


PS: Remember to always....

Sunday, March 18, 2012

DIY: March (Butterfly) Calendar

      I first saw this calendar idea on BecksPick, and had to try it for myself! A simple idea that makes staying punctual a whole lot more adorable. 

-Colored paper
-Glue sticks
-Decorative stickers

Getting Started:

1: Write a calendar onto a sheet of colored paper, cut a quarter inch border around the text.