North Carolina! C’mon and raise up. Take your shirt off, twist it ’round yo head. Spin it like a helicopter. Petey Pablo anyone? Ok, I’ll move on. I went to NC last weekend to attend the High Point Market, an industry trade show for all things furniture and design. It’s kinda like fashion week but for interior designers. New collections are being showcased, buyers from around the world fly into to see them and some how little ol me was in the mix of it all this year. Why you ask? Well, I’m co-hosting a brand spanking new show called Design Smackdown with Thom Filicia, who happens to be a BIG DEAL in the design world and a hilarious human. The purpose of my trip was to promote my show and meet my fellow Design Network peeps. It was a blast. Southern hospitality is alive and well in North Carolina my friends. Love it! The trip was a whirlwind of parties, shmoozing and being blown away by all the incredible designers and artists I met. I stayed at the Grandover Resort that was located on a stunning golf course. We had an insane brunch on Sunday that I’m still recovering from. I think I got carried away with the biscuits. Oopsies. I ate most of my meals at either the resort or at Market. One night we had dinner in the Theodore Alexander showroom- that was pretty awesome! It was a bit of a challenge finding vegetarian meals, let alone vegan, but luckily the last day I got the best vegan wrap from Jerusalem Market in Greensboro. The sweetest Palestinian family runs it and they make fresh, flavorful food all day er’y day. If you find yourself in Greensboro- check ’em out. Below is a snapshot of my trip and at the bottom of the post is a sneak peek of my new show. Enjoy!
Watch a preview of Design Smackdown below!
Good things are bound to happen when you combine a Healthy Happy Vegan Kitchen with My Dancing Kitchen! Recently my friend Kathy Patalsky came over to share this easy, delicious vegan chocolate pudding recipe. It’s SO SO SO freaking good. My fam and I love this guilt free treat. Kathy is one of the top (if not THE TOP) vegan influencers on the internet and dare I say the WORLD. She has a vegan cookbook with killer recipes and multiple websites about all things vegan. She’s such a pleasure to collaborate with and her dance moves are always on point. Check out all her info below including this fabulous recipe.
Here is the RECIPE:
Double batch Easy Chocolate Avocado Pudding
4 avocados (medium), peel removed
1 cup maple syrup (add about another 1/3 cup to taste if desired)
1 cup vegan chocolate chips (add 1/3 cup more for extra chocolate-y results)
2 Tbsp Virgin coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or vanilla bean pod, scraped) – optional
Salt to taste (1/8 tsp is minimal)
Add avocado and maple and vanilla to blender.
Melt chocolate and coconut oil together in microwave until silky smooth (heat at 30 second intervals and stir).
Add chocolate mixture to blender.
Blend until silky smooth.
Salt and add additional sweetener to taste.
Serve warm and freshly blended or chilled!
Consume within a few days – slight darkening will occur next day as avocado oxidizes.
Hellloo! I’m excited to share that TheSASS is back! Well, almost. Season 2 is launching in a less than two weeks and we have so many exciting episodes for you. As a thank you for watching Season 1 we are hosting a big giveaway. The giveaway is International and we are going to hook up one lucky winner with some sweet beauty swag. Sound good? Take a look at the video below to see what you have to do to enter the giveaway. Good luck and happy Wednesday!
I mentioned last week that I would dedicate an entire post to the beautiful Vallarta Botanical Gardens because I have so many incredible pictures to share thanks to my dad, Mansur Kiadeh, photographer extraordinaire! If you find yourself in Puerto Vallarta anytime soon, I highly recommend visiting the gardens! Please enjoy the pics below.
Hola! Como Estas? My fam and I headed to Puerto Vallarta last month and I wanted to share some of my favorite places. I’ve been going to PV for a few years now, but this was my first time going with a toddler so my activities changed a bit. There was still tequila, just not as much ; ) Below are some pics and my recommendations whether you’re traveling with kids or not. Enjoy.
For a beautiful (more touristy) beach side dinner head to La Palapa. Great food, good vibes and an unbeatable view!
For something super kid friendly and very lively (and not so touristy) check out PiPi’s. They have exceptional service, big portions of yummy food and live entertainment.
Cafe Des Artistes is romantic and beautiful, but not-so kid friendly.
Walk around the Art’s district and pop into some of the cool galleries.
The Vallarta Botanical Gardens was such a treat that I’m dedicating a separate post just for that. Check back again soon to see those pics!
Walk on the Malecon and see all the wild street performers. If you are traveling with kids, definitely rent one of those little remote control cars for a few minutes. Your kid will be in heaven!
For an unique, non touristy experience, check out Hotel Conchas Chinas. You can reserve a room from the hotel or rent from an owner. Many of the places (like the one pictured with a private pool) are listed on AirBnB.
*The bottom 4 pics were shot by my awesome dad, Mansur Kiadeh.
Sick of reading? Watch the video below instead!
The Lobster in Santa Monica is a Pescatarian’s dream. (Pescatarian is not a religion fyi!) I’ve been coming to this historic beach side staple for a few years now. In fact it was one of the first restaurants I went to with my now husband. I’ve always been a fan, but lately they’ve done some super sexy renovations and added some delicious new things to the menu. I enjoyed a massive lunch the other day… okay, maybe I went a little wild- but it was to die for. Excellent work Chef! Can we say location location location? Hello perfection. It’s on the beach overlooking the iconic Santa Monica Pier and stunning Pacific Ocean. This is a great place to bring out of town friends and family, it’s perfect for date night, or a beautiful lunch with girlfriends. Basically, just go there if you want a lux beach side experience, extremely fresh seafood and an incredibly friendly staff. (Hi Lobster Lynne!)
They also offer happy hour M-F from 4:30pm-6:30pm & Brunch on Sunday’s until 2:30pm
New Zealand King Salmon Sashimi, Avocado Horseradish Puree, Ponzu & Coleman Farms Radish Salad
Japanese Hamachi Sashimi, Jalapeño, Lime & Cilantro Salsa with Flowers
Peruvian Scallop, Yuzukosho Vinaigrette with Poblano Peppers, Sweet Onions, Tomato & Chili Oil
Oyster with Spicy Tomato-soy salsa
Schaner Farms Tahitian Squash Soup
Pumpkin Seeds, Vadouvan & Yogurt
American Lobster Salad
Avocado, Little Gem Lettuce, Schaner’s Citrus Vinaigrette & Crispy Leeks
Sauteed Blue King Prawns
Brandy, Garlic, Shallots, Italian Herbs & Shrimp Butter with Toasted Ciabatta
Seared Rare Yellowfin Tuna
Charred Leek Vinaigrette, Oven Dried Tomatoes, Taggiasca Olives & Garlic Chips with Horseradish Crushed Potatoes
Shortbread Crumbs & Torched Merengue
Warm Chocolate Pudding
Caramel Corn & Vanilla Ice Cream
Are you drooling yet!?!
Where to stay: I LOVED my experience at The Grand America. It’s a luxury hotel walking distance from downtown. They have a fantastic spa where I received a TWO HOUR massage. (#Heaven) There are multiple dining options in the hotel, including a lobby bar with live music on the weekends. (Yes, you can drink booze in Salt Lake!) They also have a toy store, pool, gym and even a French Patisserie.
Where to eat/drink: I had a few meals at the Grand America but I also wanted to explore the city. The Copper Onion came highly recommended for brunch. My girls and I had a great time there. We also LOVED the speakeasy inside Bodega. (aka The Rest) That was by far my favorite place. Definitely check it out if you find yourself in Salt Lake. Tons of people told me to eat at Red Iguana and sadly I didn’t get a chance to. Next time!
What to do: Other than the staring at the stunning mountains, one of the main attractions is the Mormon Temple/Temple Square. The building itself is beautiful from the outside. Because it is considered a sacred church you must be a member to go inside. City Creek Mall is a few blocks away and requires no membership! It’s a nice indoor/outdoor shopping center with great retailers and restaurants.
Watch my Salt Lake City video below!
My love for the Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts continues to grow. The hotel chain is known around the world for being super lux and having exceptional service. But, what you may not know about the Four Seasons is how kid friendly they are. Idris has now stayed at three FS properties (Santa Barbara, Paris and Westlake Village). I’m constantly blown away by their attention to detail for their youngest guests. This holiday season my fam and I were invited to experience the Let It Snow event at the FS Westlake. In typical Four Seasons fashion it was glam, family friendly and so fun. Idris had the opportunity to dance under the “snow” with Minions, eat popcorn, hang with Santa, ride a train and decorate cookies with Mrs. Claus. Michael and I enjoyed wine while all this was happening, so it was a win win! We also experienced the Italian dinner at Mercato and the character breakfast the following morning. So fun! (Idris went CRAZY with excitement when he met the Minions!) You can see the full list of Let It Snow activities by clicking here.
This year give your favorite people a Four Seasons Giftcard so they can pamper themselves in the spa, enjoy fancy cocktails, dinner or a lux night out at any FS location around the world.
On the latest episode of My Dancing Kitchen I created 3 Vegan Holiday treats that are perfect gifts for the special people in your life. I also paired the goodies with adorable, festive Holiday Cards from Hallmark. Click the picture below to see me in action!
The first recipe was Maple Chili popcorn that I got from MyRecipes.com. I substituted coconut oil for butter to keep it vegan. I loooove the way it turned out.
The Rice Crispy Treats were from Detoxinista. I also want to experiment with Vegan marshmallows next time. Last, but not least my Roasted Rosemary nuts. This dish was inspired by Meg from What’s Up Moms.
Let me know if you try any of them. Have a beautiful day!