Negative Criticism: We Criticize What We Think We See, But We Ignore What’s Inside…

It’s been around a year since I decided to change my mindset and the way I choose to see and talk about people, and changing my mentality has been nothing but extremely rewarding to my inner self and those around me. At this moment, some people (mostly close people) still have a hard time believing me when I tell them that I am not that old-me anymore (that person full of negativity and criticism towards others) because I spent so many years in my life being that person, that somehow it became part of me and it’s the image that others have about me.

There were many times in which I wondered why I had so much trouble making (and keeping) friends, which is something that I still struggle with despite being on the path of completely changing my mindset and view of the world. My whole life I’ve spent it struggling with friendships and I always made the mistake of blaming others or blaming external factors, but I did fail to realize that part of my struggle was simply because I was being someone or acted like someone that people simply didn’t want to be around.

And honestly (now that I think about it), I believe that I always knew it deep down but I never wanted to acknowledge it, and to admit it as something negative that came from the hidden part that we all possess, who whispers negative things and thoughts of self-conscious worthlessness. I used to excuse my behaviors by calling it “honesty”, and claiming that I could “see underneath” of people, something that I claimed others couldn’t or didn’t want to do.

Negative criticism is like poison, poison to oneself and to others; we’ve all done it at one point of our lives, and there’s definitely nothing good that comes from it: It feeds our minds and heart with negativity, jealousy and hatred; and most of the time, all that hatred is not about the person who we are directing our hate to, but it’s about ourselves.

When we hate on someone, when we criticize negatively the way that another person look, dresses, speaks, acts… we’re forgetting that everyone is different, and that we can’t expect people to look like or to act like we wish or we want. We, as humans, tend to see only the negative things about people, but we pretty much always fail to see the good things that they do; we’re always expecting to catch the error, the mistake, the ugliness, so we have grounds to criticize them.

It was not until I met certain people, who were always criticizing people for how they look, what they do for a living, and how they chose to live their lives; that I realized how awful I was being, and how ridiculous is to judge others for what you see externally, rather than what there is internally that the eye won’t see. I realized that I wouldn’t want to befriend me, that I was a horrible person. I wasn’t working a minimum-salary job because I’m too lazy to get a degree and I don’t have any ambitions in life; but I was doing it because I had first to move out to another country, learn the language and work my ass-off while I waited to be able to get a university education because my parents couldn’t afford to pay for it. But people could not see that, and everything they saw about me was that I was a 27-year old working minimum salary and based on that, assumed that I had no ambition in life. So it’s the same thing for that forty-something old McDonald’s employee. You don’t know if he is studying college at night and working full-time during the day, you don’t know if he wasn’t able to get an education because he was taking care of his sick, elderly parent… you know nothing about that person and the reasons that made him/her to be doing that job.

At the end, you never know what things could happen in the future that may force you to completely change your life for the better or for the worst, and therefore change how you view it, and how you view people. So that’s why we should always be thankful for the things we have in our lives, we should not be so judgmental of others but instead, treat people kindly and understanding that everyone have good and bad times in life, that there’s always a reason behind everything, that everyone makes mistakes, that everyone has different opinions and experiences.

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Happy Spring Sunday (even if it’s still snowing in Eastern Canada)….

Y.

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That Stress Caused By Midterms…

It is that time of the year for me, that time of year that only happens twice or thrice for some of us… that time of  year that some of us see as almost as terrifying as having finals, but maybe others don’t see it as a danger at all…

If you’re like me and gets utterly stressed whenever you’re facing midterms… welcome to the club.

This is that time in which we have to learn everything from a whole (half) semester…. I admit that I am still struggling a lot with getting rid of my bad habit to cram everything last minute. Even though this semester I did start studying almost every other day… I STILL STRUGGLE and I feel totally unprepared to face my exams.

Worst is that whenever I am stressed like this, other things want to gain my totally undivided attention inside my brain (like the manuscript of that novel I’m working on, or playing videogames). I think it is my brain’s desperate effort to run away from responsibility and hide itself within the pleasure of leisure activities…

That’s why I’ve established for myself a DISCIPLINE and action plan, which I plan to write about once I’m a 100% sure it’s proven effective.

Before that, wish me luck! Twice, since I’ll probably be stressing all over again once I face finals in April…

Happy Monday!

Yas.~

Reasons why I’ll never, ever be a books or beauty blogger…

Over the years I’ve owned several blogs, blogs that are born with a spark but die faster than the amount it takes the spark to be at it brightest, and while I am motivated about it for a couple months, I always end up not committing enough. Well, I assume that there are many people out there that has had the same feeling at one point or another.

But I want to point the main reasons which in my case, are the ones that keep me from ever becoming a successful blogger:

  • Reason 1: Lack of money.

Seriously. I’ve never had a great salary, and on top of that, I’m not great at keeping a budget. There’s honestly no way I’m gonna be able to keep buying beauty/makeup, fashion clothing and shoes every week. I know that there are many discount and thrift stores, and budget-friendly makeup alternatives such as drugstore makeup… but let’s be honest, everyone has different priorities. When it comes to makeup, I’m a minimalist, not a hoarder; and the same thing I can say about shoes. It’s like, you like something because it looks cute, and you want it, but you have other priorities (food, pay the bills, not getting into debt), and at the end, you just pass.

And now that I quit my full time job for school, I’m honestly flat out broke. Bye bye blogging dreams.

But, if there’s something that I’m truly willing to spend money on, is BOOKS. First of all, books are way cheaper than clothes and makeup; some would argue and say this is not true, but let’s compare: one paperback/ebook costs average $10-$20, while one piece of clothing costs at minimum $10, but not even FXXI costs that cheap -unless it’s on clearance, and I rarely find my size or even pretty things on that aisle-, shoes are more expensive, bags: even worse. And, since I’m on the cheap side lately, the only thing I allow myself to splurge on these days, are ebooks, because hardcovers are outrageously overpriced, and the kindle store is still cheaper than buying paperbacks (yes, my economy is this bad). And I buy zero clothes, zero makeup, almost zero beauty products (except necessities such as facewash and makeup remover) because otherwise, I would become homeless after one trip to H&M and Sephora. I’m serious.

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  • Reason 2: Lack of space.

I live in a one-bedroom apartment: we’re two people and one cat. There’s just no space for anything. We’re soon moving this summer to a two-bedroom small apartment, because we need a computer room, which we will also use for storage. I do have a couple bookcases, and I already own like 100 books, which is way a lot already… but damn, if you want me to be honest: the idea of having large bookcases full of pretty, colorful books is AMAZING… but it’s just so damn INCONVENIENT when you have to be moving all the time. I tend to move every 2-3 years, due to many reasons, and every time I tend to become more and more of a minimalist mindset. My apartment is still full of crap, but it’s mostly my boyfriend’s stuff, because he’s a hoarder. Everything I own, is old clothes, some 20 pairs of old shoes, CDs, some videogames, my books, and teddy bears (yes I know, somehow I’ve collected those), and it still seems like I own too much stuff, and it’s starting to feel suffocating.

So, having a room with a couple giant bookshelves full of beautiful books, another room full of clothes, shoes and accessories? Maybe one day, when I finally get to own a house and have a good job.

  • Reason 3: Lack of time.

I admire those people that are amazing at keeping and managing their own agendas. You know, those people with kids and family obligations, who somehow manage to run a blog and a job, and perhaps even school at the same time… I totally admire them.

I’ve always been awful at managing my time. It wasn’t until I started school, about 5 months ago, that I realized that the only way to survive university, was to force myself to have discipline. Back then when I started, I was both studying full-time and working part-time, and I failed miserably, because of the sudden change and the impact that school (along with a stressful job) made in my life. I had to quit my job, but it still proved hard for me to adapt, and it was mostly because I lacked discipline.

Still, at this point, even if I do manage to have a strict agenda and stick to the discipline required to be successful in school, I can still say that I do not have the necessary amount of time required to maintain a blog, at least not in the way I would like to. Because it is simply not my priority at this moment.

And honestly, I am not really sure that being a book or beauty blogger is what I want to be doing full time… sure, it looks amazing, and the most successful bloggers look tremendously happy about all the perks and good things that come along with it. But what people don’t notice, is that that kind of lifestyle, has an incredible amount of stress and responsibilities, and I’ve read a lot about blogger’s experiences and insights for years. (It becomes your full-time job, mostly underpaid and you can’t seem to make ends. Just read this article written by one of the youtubers behind Just Between Us, it’s an eye opener). I believe that reading about the sad truth behind blogging is what has put me off this kind of lifestyle.

I love books, I love the thrill of finding new, exciting books to read, and I love to talk about them… but I’m just an awfully slow reader, and by no means I’m an expert or have any idea about how to review them, I can just guide myself about the things I feel when I do. But I know that I do not want to avoid sleep, or gaming, or watching Netflix, just for the sake of reading non-stop and writing a thousand reviews (some of my favorite book-bloggers read about 15 books a week, how the hell do they even do it? Is that even a life?). So starry dreams aside, I’ll just read as much as I am able to, without rush or pressure; and I won’t add more stress to my already stressed life. It is just not for me.

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As tempting as it sounds, I don’t have what it takes to be doing this all the time… sigh.

Which brings me to my last point:  Reason 4: I’m just not passionate enough (at least not about the books or beauty niche). I believe this is the most important reason of all, because it doesn’t matter if you have time, spare money, a nice laptop, a nice camera. If you don’t have passion about it and are not willing to sacrifice many things for the sake of your intended niche… there’s just no point. In my case, like I already mentioned, I am not willing to dedicate a lot of my time and effort to make reviews of products. If I ever want to do it, it will be something I totally believe in, like the holy grail. You know, that book that leaves me mesmerized (which happens every once in a while), or that face cream I’ve been using for years because it has become my skin’s best friend…

So that’s what I believe it’s the difference between blogging as a hobby, and blogging for something else… and then when you reach a point in which your blog or youtube channel stops being a hobby and becomes your full-time job, it’s up to you if you want to give the step and become something more… However, I do find that there are many bloggers who claim that blogging is their hobby, but will also admit that it comes with a lot of stress, and are afraid of losing readers if they do not write constantly. I wonder then, are they truly sure that’s what they want to be doing?

Just do what you feel like doing, whenever you feel like it.

Yas.~

The Sad Truth…

The sad truth is… that my paid web hosting is about to expire… today or tomorrow, I can’t remember when.

The sad truth is… that nobody is going to read this post, but I still want to write it.

The sad truth is… that once again, I didn’t do the things I had planned for my blog. Because of school, work, because I don’t have money and I’m flat broke… and mostly and above all, because of my own personal lack of motivation.

What do you need in order to create a lifestyle blog? I used to believe that you need money. You know, in order to pay for all the travel, restaurants, clothes, makeup… I used to believe that you need to show the world how consumerist you are and how much you believe in capitalism. That is probably the truth about fashion and beauty blogs -not that consumerism or capitalism is a bad thing, I’m not a socialist-, but in order to keep the posts coming, you need to have the capital.

A lifestyle blog, is much more than just consumerism… it’s heart and soul. It’s a voice. A voice deep inside that constantly wants to come out and be heard. A lifestyle blog is what you make of it. A lifestyle blog it’s your child.. And of course, like a child, it requires maintenance and love.

How can I write a lifestyle blog when my own lifestyle is a mess? Negative as it sounds… there are things that are priority on my life: right now my priority is school.

Last semester was my first one at college. I dreamed for ten years about going to university. I wasn’t able to for personal and financial reasons, so I took the first step. My first experience wasn’t the best, since I had the most disastrous semester ever… I got so depressed, thinking that I’m a failure and I’m not smart enough. Well, after ten years without sitting in a class, I was probably adapting to it, so I couldn’t have known what to expect: It hit me like a splash of freezing-cold water on a morning. And the last thing I was thinking about, was blogging. Who wants to hear the words of a sad college student?

Well, I believe that every experience in our life, be it good or bad, makes us who we are. I take that experience to learn from it. I thought about quitting school, I wouldn’t have been the first one nor the last one, but I am still here, trying again… trying harder, trying smarter.

But what it has to do with my blog? I won’t be trying to be successful anymore, that proved wrong, that led me to be another sad, failed wannabe blogger. My paid web hosting may have died, but I’m coming back. And this time, I will be myself.

No money for restaurants or for traveling around the world, just me and my thoughts, my words.

 

Yas.~

 

My teenager bullying story, how it changed my personality and how it affected my friendships with women

I never in my life would have thought of writing my personal teenager bullying story online, and exposing to the world something very personal that I’ve been trying to bury and forget for such a long time, but that over the years kept resurfacing over and over again, because it has always been there, deep inside my memories and my heart. The reason why I want to share my story, it’s because when we suffer from bullying, we probably think we’re the only ones in the world who’ve been hurt in such ways, but we’re far from being the only ones, and if there is someone out there who’s struggling with bullying and all its negative effects, and happens to read this, I hope that my experience can help in the best way I can, by sharing my personal bullying story. First of all, all I can tell you, dear reader, is that you’re not alone.

When I was in primary school I used to have many girl friends, and everybody knew me for being very talkative while being around other kids; I was a normal kid who went to a Catholic School for young girls and after school, I used to play with my many friends in my neighborhood (I used to have two best girl friends -Maggie and Kenny- with whom I have now on facebook but we rarely talk and I haven’t seen in more than ten years, but some of my dearest memories are in company of these two wonderful ladies who were always kind and nice to me). As a normal kid, I grew up among many female and male cousins.

Everything was fine, until once puberty hit, I started getting bullied by other girls from school who used to think too highly of themselves. Of course at first, these were girls that were popular and were always (as they used to say) in parties and had boyfriends and knew about fashion; and of course, I wanted to be their friend. Bottom line, I was so wrong for wanting or even daring to ask them to be part of their group, and I quickly realized how ugly these girls really were on the inside.

What they did to me probably ended up affecting my entire life, of course that is not the only bad experience I’ve had, like everybody else; but I can definitely relate my trust issues towards other women thanks to that specific experience. These were mean girls that used to talk on everyone’s backs, calling them ugly, poor, losers; and probably not just on their backs but also they made sure the other girls knew it too. I don’t think the other girls really minded their comments, I never knew of any one who may have been a direct target of their bullying; but unfortunately, it was me who was their perfect victim. It was my own 14-year old naivety, hunger for attention and popularity, that fed their egos in a monstrous way, and soon I ended up being the biggest victim of their 8th grade popularity power play.

This group was pretty big, a total of eleven or twelve girls in total, who used to control everybody else, even the teachers (I’m not kidding, the teachers used to trust them to run the group and to claim themselves “group presidency” or something like that), who used to claim themselves as the nerdy, smart, pretty and -ahem- rich ones (they were just spoiled girls from middle class families who used to get whatever they wanted from their poor, busy parents), and probably not all of them really did care about messing with me, as some of them were pretty cool and nerdy and they used to care more about getting good grades; but I do remember at least there were four of them whose faces and names I still haven’t forgotten, and I remember them in a specific order, from who made the worst damage, to the one who only laughed in my own face when she witnessed my disgrace.

You have to understand that being called a lesbian, in a Catholic school for young women, in Latin America, and realizing the next day that every girl has stopped talking to me because they were afraid of me, is something pretty heavy (not that I have anything against the LGBT community, in fact, I’m very supportive of this community); but it was the year 2002, and like I mentioned, in a Catholic environment, in Latin America these things are still taboo, and being bullied and mocked for something that I am not, by the girls who I wanted to be friends with; felt like some kind of stabbing in the back (or more likely, paralyzing me, rendering me defenseless and stabbing me in the chest over and over again) and it made me become very depressed for several months afterwards. Not only the L name calling, but being mocked because of the way I spoke, my hair texture, being mocked for not having money (when in fact, I was as much middle class like them, but I was not a spoiled kid who got every new toy in the market, my mother did not replace her love and attention with material things), being called ugly and fat, and they even used to mock my white skin (which was funny because the alpha mean girl used to have pretty much the same skin color as me). It was all utterly ridiculous and silly and they just used to invent all that crap and lies just because they found in me the perfect naive, innocent victim to ridicule as they pleased.

I ended up begging my mom to change me to another school, where girls were normal and not sick in the head and not full of all that telenovela crap those girls used to absorb (because yeah, those girls used to talk about the every day episodes of those popular soap operas about popular high school girls and silly romance and similar crap that I also used to enjoy and that now I realize how wrong of an example those things give to young teenager girls). And right after I changed schools, the girls kept trying to still spread rumors and crap about me, but it was short lived, soon all that was forgotten and in the past; except, I never, ever, but not for one moment forgot.

I lived many years with a lot of hate towards them, and towards the school itself, for being so focused in traditional Catholic lectures but they did a poor example of making sure those teachings were really applied to everyday life, and when my mom reported the bullying to the teacher, nobody, but nobody did nothing.

For many years I used to fantasize about giving each one of those girls the physical beating they deserved, turning into a bully from hell myself, but I was so scared of my mother punishing me afterwards or scared of not being accepted at another school for my misconduct; so I did nothing, and let them bully me, and that’s why I used to fantasize a lot about it in the years after. Honestly, I still think they deserved the beating a 100%; but today, I just feel very sorry for them, and I truly hope they realized how wretched they were, and I truly hope they changed. But if they never changed, or if they never regret what they did to me, well, that’s fine too. I know that those things happen during puberty years, I was no angel either, there were also occasions where I might have been rude or mean to another girl, and now that I’m older I can say that kids are mean sometimes, because they’re influenced by many things in their lives, or probably they’re suffering on the inside. Thing is, I think that two or three of these girls were from families whose parents were going through separation at the time, so I know they were in a way, suffering.

But on the other side, those scars left by bullying sometimes last forever, and they do so much damage, that they can totally reshape our personality and way of thinking or seeing other people. In my case, I completely stopped trusting females, I started having a hard time making and keeping female friends, during all the years after that, until these days, I’ve had female friends here and there, but I have had so many trust issues, and sometimes I’ve acted in ways that I now feel embarrased, because it has made me question myself: “did I turn into a bully myself?”.

Until a few recent years, or even months, I’ve still turned female friendships away from me: I don’t trust them my secrets, I don’t think they’re honest when they call me pretty or when they’re too nice to me. The constant feeling that they’re being hypocritical or that they waiting for the minimum chance to stab me in the back, it’s not a nice feeling. I am not entirely paranoid, of course I’ve had a few dearest friends, and I’ve been betrayed also, but my capacity of making new friends, and keeping them, it’s  been greatly reduced, to the point that I had no female friends at all for a few years. Also, the fact that I have episodes of social anxiety doesn’t help either.

All these years I’ve been very judgmental of women, not only criticizing their appearance but also their intentions or their behavior. Saying all this really makes me feel shitty about myself, and I feel like a horrible person for admitting this, but it’s been months that I’ve been trying to leave all that behind, I’ve learned from my mistakes and I realized that this toxic attitude is not good at all, and it really made me feel very unhappy. Now I’m slowly starting to get a little bit closer to people, talk to women from different countries and backgrounds, hear their stories, and I’ve changed my mentality a lot, and I learned that all the negativity came from within myself. It was not those eight grade girls’s fault, but it was my own, for letting it affect me, and not learning from it.

After all, life experiences make us who we are, and it is within ourselves to let those things affect us negatively; or instead, to learn from them and turn those negative experiences into good ones.

Thank you very much for reading, do not hesitate to comment or share your experiences with me. ❤

-Yasmin.

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Moroccan-Style Chicken | Pollo Estilo Marroquí

Hello,today I am bringing to you a very interesting dish inspired by the flavors of Morocco. I’ve never traveled to Morocco in my life (not yet), but I’ve always been amazed by its colors and flavors and I wonder how it feels to take a vacation in a nice and ancient kasbah with the heat of the desert. The best way -for now-, to start dreaming of my vacation in Morocco is by eating this Moroccan-inspired style dish. 🙂
One of the ingredients of this dish are green olives, and also dates, and I find that they provide a nice touch and flavor to the dish. Now, I know that a lot of people don’t like olives, and that’s fine, I suppose; but they can’t be excluded from the dish, as they provide themselves half of the flavor. The other half, is pretty much the dry red wine and cumin flavor. Overall, all these ingredients, make for a dish packed with lots of flavor.
And for the chicken, you can either choose to cook a whole chicken cut in pieces, chicken breasts, or boneless chicken thighs (my favorites); this time, I chose chicken breasts, which I cut in three parts each, because I didn’t have chicken thighs at the moment, but it still came out great.
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MOROCCAN-STYLE CHICKEN
  • Cooking time: 1 hour, 20 minutes. Serves: four.

 

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces; or six boneless chicken thighs; or four chicken breasts,cut in half or three pieces each.
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 3 bay leaves, crushed
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green olives, pitted or unpitted
  • 1/2 cup dried dates or prunes
  • 1/3 cup dry red wine
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

 

INSTRUCTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 375° F.
While you prepare the ingredients, rub the chicken with some salt and pepper and keep it in the fridge for a moment, this will prepare the chicken for cooking and the flavor will penetrate.
In a large oven-proof skillet, over high heat, heat the olive oil. Then add the chicken and cook on high on both sides, until each side is brown and with a nice color, about 3 or 4 minutes each side. Then turn off the heat.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the cumin, black pepper, salt, thyme, bay leaves; then add the mixture over the browned chicken, on both sides.Then pour the wine and the vinegar over the chicken, add the parsley on top, the green olives and the dates. Finally sprinkle the brown sugar and the hot red pepper flakes all over the chicken.
Bake for 50 minutes to an hour, depending on the thickness of the pieces.
You can eat this dish with plain couscous in the side.
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Let me know your thoughts about this dish. 🙂
Xoxo, Yasmin.

Hola, hoy les traigo un platillo muy interesante inspirado por los sabores de Marruecos. Nunca he viajado a Marruecos en mi vida (todavía no), pero siempre he estado asombrada por sus colores y savores y me pregunto qué se siente tomar una vacacion en una kasbah bonitay antigua en el calor del desierto. La mejor manera -por ahora-, de comenzar a soñar con mi vacación en Marruecos es comiéndome este platillo inspirado en el sabor Marroquí. 🙂
Uno de los ingredientes de este platillo son las aceitunas verdes, y también dátiles, y creo que proveen un buen toque y sabor al platillo. Bueno, yo sé que a mucha gente no les gustan las aceitunas, y esto está bien, supongo; pero no pueden ser excluídas del platillo, porque ellas proveen la mitad del savor. La otra mitad, es sobretodo el vino rojo seco y el comino. En general, todos estos ingredientes, hacen un platillo lleno de mucho sabor.
Y por el pollo, puedes elegir entre cocinar un pollo entero cortado en partes, pechugas de pollo, o piernas de pollo deshuesadas (mis favoritas); esta vez, escogí pechugas de pollo, las cuales corté en tres partes cada una, porque no tenía piernas de pollo disponibles en ese momento, pero siempre terminó saliendo muy bien.

POLLO ESTILO MARROQUÍ
  • Tiempo de cocción: 1 hora, 20 minutes. Sirve para cuatro.

 

INGREDIENTES:
  • 1 pollo entero, cortado en piezas; o seis piernas de pollo deshuesadas; o cuatro pechugas de pollo, cortadas en dos o tres piezas cada una.
  • 2 cucharadas de aceite de oliva extra virgen
  • 1 cucharada de comino molido
  • 1 cucharada de pimienta negra molida
  • 1 cucharadita de sal de mar
  • 2 cucharaditas de tomillo seco
  • 3 hojas de laurel secas, machacadas
  • 1/2 taza de perejil fresco, picado
  • 1/2 taza de aceitunas verdes, con semilla o sin semilla
  • 1/2 taza de dátiles secos, o en su defecto, ciruelas pasas secas
  • 1/3 taza de vino tinto seco
  • 1/3 taza de vinagre de vino tinto
  • 1/3 taza de azúcar morena
  • 1/2 cucharadita de hojuelas de pimiento rojo picante (o ají rojo picante)

 

INSTRUCCIONES:
Precalentar el horno a 375° F.
Mientras se preparan los ingredientes, frotar el pollo con pimienta y sal y dejarlo un momento en la refrigeradora, ésto preparará el pollo para cocinar y hará que el sabor penetre.
En una sartén grande de uso doble (estufa y horno), en fuego alto, calentar el aceite de oliva; luego añadir el pollo y cocinar en alto en ambos lados, hasta que se ponga dorado y de un buen color, alrededor de 3 o 4 minutos cada lado. Luego apagar la estufa.
En un tazón mediano, mezclar el comino, pimienta,sal de mar, tomillo, y hojas de laurel; luego añadir la mezcla encima de cada lado del pollo. Luego añadir el vino y el vinagre sobre el pollo; agregar el perejil, las aceitunas y los dátiles sobre el pollo. Finalmente espolvorear el azúcar morena y el pimiento rojo picante sobre el pollo.
Hornear por 50 minutos a una hora, dependiendo del grosor de las piezas.
Se puede comer junto con cuscús.
Déjame saber lo que piensas sobre este platillo. 🙂
Xoxo,
Yasmin.

What’s in my makeup bag? April 2016 Edition | ¿Qué hay en mi bolsa de maquillaje? Versión Abril 2016

Hi girls! It’s been two weeks I don’t post anything in my new blog [:(], and I am probably not the most busiest person in the world, but I’m terrible at organizing my time and between things like working and house chores and a demanding boyfriend; my time gets all consumed and I am unable to blog (and read blogs) as much as I want; so there’s definitely something I need to do about organizing better my time. Plus, I’ve recently upgraded from a cellphone camera to a new DSLR camera so I’ve been trying to use my free time to learn and practice.

I have several posts in mind that I want to write about during the week, and I will start with a classic and simple post, that all the other girls that have beauty blogs have already written; and why not? It’s fun to look at pictures and to know about what other girls carry around in their makeup bags. I love to know and try new products.

My makeup bag (the one I carry with me all the time) it’s very, very simple. You’ll notice I don’t carry around things like foundation, right now I don’t even carry any pressed powder, I like to keep it simple: Pretty much everything I carry around are lipsticks, lip balm, hand cream, mirror, hand sanitizer, a nail file, travel sized perfume, and a concealer. That’s it.

Xoxo,

Yasmin.

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Revlon nail file; Bath and Body Works – Vanilla Bean Noel Hand Sanitizer; Fresh – Sugar Mini set of 3 tinted lip balms: Rosé, Honey and Nude; Buxom – Full-On Mini Lip Polishes in Erica and Alexandria; eos lip balm, NARS Concealer in Custard; Too Faced – Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Melted Peony; Ives Rocher – Neroli mini eau de parfum; Chloé – Love Story eau de parfum rollerball 0.34 oz; Bath and Body Works – Orchard Frost Nourishing Hand Cream; mirror; Forever XXI pink and white stripes makeup bag.


¡Hola chicas! Han pasado dos semanas y no he escrito nada en mi blog [:(], y probablemente no soy la persona mas ocupada del mundo, pero soy terrible a la hora de organizar bien mi tiempo y entre cosas como trabajar y hacer quehaceres y un novio que pide mucho tiempo; todo mi tiempo se consume y no me queda tanto espacio para escribir en el blog (y leer otros blogs); así que definitivamente hay algo que tengo que hacer para mejor organizar mi tiempo. Además, he recientemente hecho un “upgrade” de cámara de teléfono celular, a una nueva cámara DSLR así que he estado tratando de usar mi tiempo libre para aprender y practicar.

Tengo varios posts en mente que quiero escribir a lo largo de la semana, y comenzaré con un clásico y sencillo post, que todas las chicas que escriben blogs de belleza y moda ya hicieron; y pues, ¿por qué no? Es divertido mirar fotos y saber acerca de lo que otras chicas andan en sus bolsas de maquillaje. Me encanta conocer y probar nuevos productos.

Mi bolsa de maquillaje (la que siempre cargo conmigo todo el tiempo) es muy, muy simple. Notarán que no cargo cosas como base de maquillaje, por el momento nisiquiera cargo polvos compactos, me gusta sencillo: Casi todo lo que cargo son lápices de labio, bálsamo labial, crema de manos, espejo, desinfectante de manos, una lima de uñas, perfume de tamaño de viaje, y un corrector. Eso es todo.

Xoxo,

Yasmin.

Easy Vegan Matcha Latte | Latte Matcha Fácil y Vegano

There probably are a million matcha recipes on the internet these days, but I couldn’t avoid not making my own post about it, since it’s so amazing and I love it. 🙂
There are still a bunch of people who don’t know what matcha is, and I’m always happy to spread the matcha love and convert more people to the matcha religion. If you don’t know what matcha is, let me put it simple to you: It is a Japanese ceremonial green tea that has been used for centuries or even more than a millenia, it is ground green tea leaves that are made into a tea with a wooden whisk. Among its health benefits are: high in antioxidants, burns calories, boosts memory and concentration, and it fortifies the immune system. The flavor it’s that one of the green tea but I find it is way more concentrated and the texture is very creamy. If you’re a fan of Starbucks you probably heard of their own matcha latte who is very popular among young millennials (including bloggers and celebrities).
What I find strange about matcha, is that the first time you taste it (especially if you’ve never before in your life tasted green tea), you don’t know what to make of it, it has this bitterly, leafy flavor and you wonder why the heck is so damn famous. When I first tried it, I was not new to the green tea flavor but I still found matcha quite weird; and then other people like my boyfriend, who never tasted green tea in his life, couldn’t even look at it. Just the idea of a green beverage can make some people wrinkle their faces at it.
First impressions aside, you realize that the flavor is quite unique, can’t be compared to anything else you’ve ever tasted in your westerner life (especially if you’re from Latin America, where these Asian trends are still very, very new to us); and you can either just not be interested in drinking that weird green beverage again, or, you can just get quite… addicted to it.
The amazing thing is that besides being an addiction, a passion, one of those big pleasures of life; it comes with great health effects, so there is no way you’ll ever gonna feel guilty from drinking too much matcha (except if you buy Starbucks matcha every damn day and you’re putting tons of sugar and dairy products in your body with the excuse that it’s “matcha latte”, that is in no way healthy at all…).
Another benefit of matcha, is that it’s so damn easy to prepare, it’s no excuse to not make it at home. The only downside to it being, that the ground matcha powder is quite expensive compared to regular green tea leaves.
If you want to try out what is all this matcha fuss about, you can start by trying this simple recipe, and of course, feel free to tweak it to your own taste, that’s the fun.
By the way, if you do not like soy milk, you can try replacing it with either coconut milk or almond milk; and as for the stevia, you can also use agave or even honey.
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EASY VEGAN MATCHA LATTE | LATTE MATCHA FÁCIL Y VEGANO
Ingredients: | Ingredientes:
  • 1 teaspoon ground matcha green tea |  1 cucharadita de té verde molido matcha
  • 1/2 cup very hot water |  1/2 taza de agua muy caliente
  • 1 cup plain unsweetened soy milk |  1 taza de leche de soya sin azúcar ni sabores
  • 1 teaspoon stevia leaf extract sweetener |  1 cucharadita de edulcorante de la hoja de stevia
  • You will need a milk frother |  Necesitas un vaporizador de leche
Instructions: |  Instrucciones:
Heat the water in a kettle, then pour it in your favorite cup. Immediately add the teaspoon of ground matcha and whisk it with the frother; make sure that there are no leftover clumps. Add then the soy milk and the stevia, mix with a spoon and then whisk it all again to make sure the final consistency is creamy and that it will all be properly mixed. I would suggest that you heat the soy milk prior to adding it to the tea but you can also heat the drink in the microwave at the end.
You see how easy it is? Hope you enjoy. Welcome to the church of matcha lovers. 😀

Probablemente existan un millon de recetas de matcha en el internet en estos días, pero no pude evitar no hacer mi propio post, porque es genial y me encanta. 🙂
Todavía hay mucha gente que no saben qué es matcha, y siempre estoy contenta de hablar del amor del matcha y convertir más personas a la religión del matcha. Si no sabes qué es matcha, déjame ponértelo simple: Es un té verde ceremonial japonés que ha sido usado por siglos o por más de un milenio, son hojas de té verde molidas que son hechas en té y mezcladas con un batidor de madera. Entre sus beneficios de salud están: Tiene un nivel alto de antioxidantes, quema calorías, incrementa la memoria y la concentración, y mejora el sistema inmunológico. El sabor es ese del té verde pero yo encuentro que es mucho más concentrado y que la textura es muy cremosa. Si eres fan de Starbucks probablemete has escuchado de su latte de matcha el cual es muy popular entre los jóvenes millenials (incluyendo bloggers y celebridades).
Lo que encuentro rato acerca del matcha, es que la primera vez que lo pruebas (especialmente si nunca en tu vida has probado el té verde), es que no sabes qué hacer de el sabor, tiene este sabor amarguito, frondoso, y te preguntas por qué demonios es tan famoso. Cuando lo probé por la primera vez, el sabor del té verde no era nuevo para mí pero igual encontré el matcha un poco raro; y luego hay otra gente como mi novio, quien nunca en su vida ha probado el té verde, y nisiquiera puede mirarlo. Solamente la idea de una bevida verde hace a algunas personas aturrar la cara.
Y con las primeras impresiones a un lado, te das cuenta luego de que el sabor es único, y no puede ser comparado con nada más que hayas probado en tu occidental vida entera (especialente si eres de Latinoamérica, donde estas tendencias asiáticas todavía son muy, muy nuevas y raras para nosotros); y puede que no estés interesado(a) en volver a tomar esa bebida verde rara de nuevo, o simplemente puedes volverte un poquito… adicto(a).
Lo grandioso es que aparte de ser una addicción, una pasión, uno de esos grandes placeres de la vida; también viene con grandes beneficioos a la salud, así que no hay razón para jamás sentirte culpable por beber mucho matcha (excepto si compras el matcha latte de Starbucks todos los días y estás consumiendo toneladas de azúcar y productos lácteos en tu cuerpo con la excusa de que es “un latte de matcha”, eso no es para nada saludable…).
Otro de los beneficios de matcha, es que es tan fácil de preparar, no hay excusa para no prepararlo en casa. La única desventaja es que el polvo molido de matcha es algo caro comparado con las hojas regulares de té verde.
Si quieres saber de qué se trata todo éste escándalo sobre matcha, puedes comenzar por probar esta sencilla receta, y por supuesto, siéntete en libertad de modificarlo a tu propio gusto, eso es lo divertido.
Por cierto, si no te gusta la leche de soya, puedes tratar de reemplazarla con leche de coco o leche de almendras; y en vez de stevia, puedes también usar miel de agave or incluso miel de abejas.
¿Ven que sencillo es? Espero disfruten. Y bienvenidos(as) a la iglesia de los(as) amantes de matcha. 😀

 

The start of a fresh new day! Winter is finally over and Spring is here! | ¡El comienzo de un nuevo día! ¡El invierno se ha terminado oficialmente y la Primavera ya está aquí!

I am usually the kind of person that don’t like to go out a lot, even on weekends. My perfect weekend pretty much consists of staying at home watching TV, cooking some great meal, reading an interesting book while my cat sleeps next to me on the couch. Well, usually that is pretty close to reality, except that 70% of the weekend I do some cleaning, washing dishes and grocery shopping. Ugh.

There are people, like me, who’s always hated doing house chores, but honestly, the older I get, sometimes I think that it’s not so bad; especially if you mix it with other things that are fun. For example, the thing I hate the most in the whole universe of chores, is washing the dishes, especially since they tend to pile up pretty quickly. What I do now in order to solve that problem, or at least to make it a less awful chore, is that I simply listen to my favorite music, and that’s it… it’s not so awful as it used to be. Same thing for cleaning the rest of your home, if you do it, while listening to awesome music, you don’t even feel the time pass by!

There are days, that feel really monotone and boring, probably the weather is awful and/or you’re not feeling well, you’re grumpy because you had a nightmare and you woke up feeling even more tired. I know the feeling, it happens quite often to me. Sometimes, I don’t feel like going out at all, or I just don’t feel in the mood to do anything. I think that when this happens, all we need is just a little spark on our day, it doesn’t matter if it’s something small or insignificant, but with enough power to change our whole day, or to at least make it much more joyful.

Today I woke up grumpy, and I had in mind to do some breakfast, but since I’ve been cooking the whole week, my boyfriend insisted that I take a break. There’s this little breakfast-lunch restaurant called L’Oeufficiel just a few blocks away from our apartment, and Anthony has become pretty much addicted to their great mexican-style casseroles. The great thing is that it’s very, very cheap, so we realized that it doesn’t hurt our wallet that much. Today we had a great, awesome brunch for only CAD$28, for both of us! (Normally, breakfast restaurants in Quebec cost about CAD$40-$50 for two people), and we like the place because it’s big, well-lit, with amazing service by the employees and it’s just overall great. We are now regulars, and we go there almost every Saturday -or Sunday-, to start our new weekend fresh!

We went there and we had a nice talk, and since the day is great and warm, -yay! Spring is finally here!!- I could feel my grumpiness slowly evaporating from my skin, hehe. We came back home with a full belly and radiating happiness. I also got to wear my wedge sandals and kick away my boots for once! We sat to relax on our patio to get the sun on our faces along with my cat Gary -who was enjoying himself a lot-.

It’s amazing how active you get when you are in a good mood. After our relax time, I took all my spring-summer clothes out and put the winter ones away, including my winter boots. I am hoping that no snow will come again within the next days (you have no idea how bipolar the weather is in Canada) and that I can start finally wearing my sweet spring clothes.

Is it spring time there already? What are you doing this weekend? 🙂

Xoxo,

Yasmin.


De habitud soy el tipo de persona a la que no le gusta salir mucho, incluso en los fines de semana. Mi fin de semana perfecto mas que todo consiste en quedarme en casita viendo la tele, cocinando una comida genial, leyendo un libro interesante mientras mi gato duerme en el sofá a la par mía. Bueno, usualmente eso está muy cercano a la realidad, excepto que el 70% del fin de semana hago limpieza, lavar trastos y las compras del supermercado… :/

Hay gente como yo, que siempre hemos odiado hacer cosas de la casa, pero honestamente, entre mas edad tengo, a veces creo que no es tan malo; especialmente si lo mezclas con otras cosas que son divertidas. Por ejemplo, lo que mas odio en el universo completo de quehaceres, es lavar los trastos, especialmente como tienden a acumularse rápidamente. Lo que hago ahora para solucionar ese problema, o por lo menos para hacerlo menos horrible, es que simplemente escucho mi música favorita, y eso es todo… No es tan feo como solía ser. Lo mismo para la limpieza del resto de tu hogar, si lo haces mientras escuchas la buena música, ¡nisiquiera sientes el tiempo pasar!.

Hay días, que se sienten realmente monótonos y aburridos, probablemente el clima es espantosos y/o no te estás sintiendo bien, estás de mal humor porque tuviste una pesadilla y te despertaste sintiendo aún mas cansada. Conozco el sentimiento, me pasa algo seguido. Pienso que cuando esto pasa, todo lo que necesitamos es una pequeña chispa en nuestro día, no importa si es algo pequeño o insignificante, pero con el poder suficiente de cambiar nuestro día entero, o al menos hacerlo mucho más alegre.

Hoy me levanté de mal humor, y tenía en mente cocinar desayuno, pero como he estado cocinando toda la semana, mi novio insistió en que me tome un descanso. Hay un restaurante de desayunos-almuerzos llamado L’Oeufficiel a algunas pocas cuadras de nuestro apartamento, y Anthony se ha vuelto algo adicto a sus cacerolas de estilo Mexicano. Lo grandioso es que es muy, muy barato, así que nos dimos cuenta de que no afecta tanto nuestra billetera. Hoy tuvimos un genial brunch por solamente $28 dólares canadienses, ¡por los dos! (Normalmente, los restaurantes de desayuno en Quebec cuestan entre $40 y $50 dólares canadienses para dos personas), y nos gusta el lugar porque es grande, muy iluminado, y con un servicio genial por los empleados y es simplemente grandioso. Ahora somos regulares, y vamos ahí casi cada sábado -o domingo-, a comenzar nuestro nuevo fin de semana.

Fuimos ahí y tuvimos una buena plática, y como el día está lindo y algo caliente, -¡yay! La primavera está aquí finalmente!!-, podía sentir mi mal humor evaporándose de mi piel lentamente, jeje. Volvimos a casa con la pancita llena y radiando felicidad. ¡También pude ponerme mis sandalias de plataforma y por fin hacer a un lado mis botas! Nos sentamos a relajarnos en nuestro patio a recibir el sol en nuestras caras junto con mi gato Gary -quien estaba disfrutando mucho estar afuera-.

Es increíble como te pones de activa cuando estás de buen humor. Después de nuestro momento de relajación, saqué toda mi ropa de primavera-verano y guardé la ropa de invierno, incluyendo mis botas de invierno. Espero que ya no vendrá nada de nieve en los próximos días (no tienen idea de lo bipolar que es el clima en Canadá), y que finalmente pueda comenzar a usar mis lindas ropas de primavera.

¿Ya es primavera ahí donde están? ¿Qué haréis éste fin de semana? 🙂

Xoxo,

Yasmin.

Jamaican-Inspired Dark Rum Chicken Thighs | Entrepiernas de Pollo con Ron Añejo al estilo Jamaicano

When it comes to cooking, alcoholic beverages help in the creation of interesting and flavorful dishes, either by cooking some regional old recipe that grandmas pass from generation to generation, or by creating your own main dishes.

My fridge is always stacked with dry red and white wine, rum, and beer; funny thing is that I rarely use these for my own consumption but mostly I use them for cooking.

The other day while reading about the uses for allspice (a spice found and mainly used in the Caribbean, famous for tasting like a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves), I wanted to try the spice in a dish, along with some rum and Jamaican peppers; and when the dish was ready, it did exceed my expectations.

Now, I thought this dish was going to be very spicy, to the point of burning, but that was not the case, it might be that I am quite tolerant to spicy dishes because I am kinda used to it, but if you do not tolerate the spice at all, you can opt to not include the Jamaican pepper; however this specific pepper has a very distinctive flavor and I think you can consider adding at least ¼ to ½ of the pepper to the dish, depending on your tolerance. By the way, be careful when handling the pepper, believe me… I learned that the hard way! The skin of my fingers were burning for the rest of the day and nothing would help the case, so I suggest you use latex gloves when touching the pepper. And if you want to reduce the sting, you can remove the seeds because that’s where the burning oils are concentrated.

And as for the chicken thighs, I chose these because I love how flavorful they are, but if thighs are not your thing, you can try with a whole chicken cut into pieces or you can try with chicken breasts.

JAMAICAN-INSPIRED DARK RUM CHICKEN THIGHS

MARINADE:

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup dark rum (I used Havana Club, but you can get the most affordable brand, as long as it’s dark rum)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • the juice of 1 lime
  • 1 scotch bonnet hot pepper, chopped

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 8 boneless chicken thighs

INSTRUCTIONS:

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together all the marinade ingredients. Place the chicken on a baking pan large enough for the eight pieces, then pour the marinade all over the chicken pieces, cover with aluminium paper or with a lid (if available) and marinate in the fridge for at least one hour or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a large non-stick pan over high heat, heat the coconut oil, then cook each side of the chicken legs until brown, set the marinade aside. Transfer the browned pieces back to the baking dish and pour the marinade on top of them with a spoon.

Bake the chicken with the marinade for 45 minutes.

You can serve with rice and/or vegetables of your choosing.


 

PIERNAS DE POLLO CON RON AÑEJO AL ESTILO JAMAICANO.

Cuando se trata de cocinar, las bebidas alcohólicas ayudan en la creación de platillos interesantes y llenos de sabor, ya sea al cocinar alguna receta vieja regional de esas que las abuelas pasan de generación en generación, o al crear tus propios platillos principales.

Mi refrigeradora siempre está llena con botellas de vino seco rojo y blanco, ron y cerveza; lo gracioso es que raramente las uso para mi propio consumo pero mas que todo las uso para cocinar.

El otro día mientras leía sobre los usos de la pimienta de Jamaica (una especia encontrada y principalmente utilizada en el caribe, famosa por saber a una mezcla de canela, nuez moscada y clavos de olor), yo quería probar la pimienta en un plato, añadiendo el ron y pimientos jamaiquinos; y cuando el plato estuvo listo, excedió mis expectativas.

Ahora bien, yo pensé que este plato iba a ser muy picante, al punto de quemar, pero ese no fue el caso, pueda que sea porque soy algo tolerante a los platos picantes porque estoy algo acostumbrada, pero si no toleras la picor para nada, puede optar por no incluír el chile Jamaicano; aunque este chile específico tiene un savor muy distinctivo y yo creo que puedes considerar añadir al menos ¼ o ½ del pimiento al platillo, dependiendo en tu tolerancia. Y por cierto, ten cuidado al manejar el chile, créeme… ¡eso lo aprendí a la brava! La piel de mis dedos estuvo quemándose por el resto del día y nada pudo calmarlo, así que te sugiero que uses guantes de látex al tocar el pimiento. Y si quieres reducir el picor, puedes quitar las semillas porque es allí donde se concentran los aceites naturales picantes.

Y en cuanto a las piernas de pollo, yo escogí las piernas porque me encantan lo gustosas que son, pero si las piernas no son lo tuyo, puedes tratar con un pollo entero cortado en piezas o puedes probar con pechugas de pollo.

SALSA PARA MARINAR:

  • 1 cucharadita de gengibre molido
  • ½ taza de salsa de soya
  • 3 cebollitas verdes (o cebolletas), picadas
  • 1 cebolla pequeña, picada
  • ½ taza de azúcar morena
  • ½ taza de ron añejo (yo usé Havana Club añejo, pero puedes usar el ron más económico que encuentres, siempre y cuando sea añejo)
  • 3 dientes de ajo picados
  • 1 cucharadita de pimienta de Jamaica
  • el jugo de un limón
  • 1 chile jamaicano, picado o en trocitos

INGREDIENTES:

  • 2 cuchardadas de aceite de coco
  • 8 piernas deshuesadas de pollo

INSTRUCCIONES:

En un tazón mediano, mezcla todos los ingredientes de la salsa para marinar. Coloca el pollo en una bandeja para hornear, lo suficientemente grande para las ocho piezas, luego verte la salsa para marinar sobre las piezas de pollo, cubríendolas. Cubre la bandeja con papel aluminio o con una tapa (si hay una disponible) y marínala en el refrigerador por al menos una hora o déjalo toda la noche.

Precalentar el horno a 350°F.

En una cacerola grande teflón, sobre fuego alto, calienta el aceite de coco, luego cocina cada lado de las piernas de pollo hasta que se doren y se pongan oscuritas, y pon la salsa para marinar a un lado. Transfiere la piezas doradas de regreso a la bandeja para hornear y con una cuchara vierte de nuevo la salsa para marinar sobre las piezas.

Hornear el pollo con la salsa para marinar durante 45 minutos.

Puedes servir con arroz o/y vegetales de tu elección.