Browsing Tag

food

Featured FOOD Lifestyle

The Perfect Simple Summer Salad

With the summer heat beating down, it can be hard not to give in to those cravings for a sweet icy treat like fresh-made ice cream. The good news is, with a sweet summer salad like this, you can satisfy your cravings without the added calories!

Sweet, Refreshing, and Healthy

One of my go-to recipes that is absolutely perfect for the hot weather and a healthy lifestyle is this perfect and super easy-to-make summer salad. The strawberries and dried cranberries make it taste sweet without adding too much sugar, while the cool butter lettuce and homemade balsamic vinaigrette offer a chill that feels fabulous after a day of swimming or sunbathing. Add some grilled chicken for a little protein, and you’ve got the perfect summer lunch!

Ingredients (Salad):

  • 3 cups butter lettuce
  • 1 ½ cups grilled chicken, sliced
  • 2 ½ cups fresh sliced strawberries
  • ¼ cup fresh goat cheese
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • Homemade balsamic vinaigrette (to taste)

Ingredients (Vinaigrette):

  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp. fresh minced garlic
  • 1 pinch Italian seasoning (basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme)

The Perfect Salad to Share!

If you’re bringing this salad to share with friends, I recommend slicing the strawberries and goat cheese ahead of time and packing them in separate Tupperware containers along with the dried cranberries and chicken. Leave the vinaigrette on the side until the last moment, in a salad dressing shaker if you have one.

When you arrive at your event, simply pile on the strawberries, goat cheese, chicken, and cranberries before mixing, adding the vinaigrette, and mixing again. Waiting to prep until just before you dig in ensures that none of the ingredients get too soggy and the salad stays perfectly fresh for you and your companions.

Keeping Cool in the Hot Summer Months 

There are so many possible variations for this salad, so I’d love to hear what you come up with! What are your favorite salads to serve (and eat!) during the hotter months? Share in the comments below. And stay cool!

Featured Lifestyle

Build a Beautiful Life With Niche Tea

My regular readers know that I’m all about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. And one of the best and easiest ways to promote wellness, increase hydration, and support your holistic health is by drinking tea regularly. I’ve become such a tea aficionado after learning the many benefits of these key ingredients and discovering the absolutely delicious taste of Niche Tea.

With innovative flavors ranging from their rose petal-infused Skin blend to oolong-melded Body mix, Niche Tea makes feeling beautiful, vibrant, and energized a breeze.

A Little About Niche

Officially the Niche Company, Niche Tea began as the brainchild of Amanda Miles Ricketts. While Amanda was always a tea lover, she began noticing herbs’ anti-aging and beauty-enhancing effects after she hit the age of thirty. Hoping to hone in on this age-defying effect, she began self-educating, learning all she could about how to increase the effectiveness of tea’s natural powers.

The result of the tea expertise that Amanda cultivated through years of research was a collection of six original tea blends focused on supplementing nutrition and supporting beauty from the inside out. Amanda learned exactly which herbs supported different beauty and health functions and combined them to make a truly gorgeous and delicious product.

Which Flavor to Choose?

Niche now offers six flavors that specifically address different aspects of wellness and beauty. While drinking tea is incredibly healthy in and of itself, these key blends make it even easier to focus on those aspects of your self-image that you would like to improve, whether it’s losing a few pounds, eliminating bags under your eyes, or flushing out your digestive system.

Their six wellness-enhancing teas include:

Skin: Drawing upon the anti-aging and antioxidant properties of white tea, this delicious blend is sweetened and enhanced with hints of hibiscus, dandelion leaves, red clover, rose petals, and elderberries.

Mind: This blend enables you to energize and revitalize mentally with yerba mate, a natural source of mental stimulation and vigor, popular across many Spanish-speaking countries. This flavor also includes hints of cocoa shells, cinnamon, lemongrass, lime leaves, and gota kola, dynamic elements that both stir the mind and tempt the taste buds.

Cleanse: Perfect for those switching over to tea from coffee, this blend of digestion-supporting peppermint, cleansing pu-erh tea, licorice root, ginger root, fennel seeds, and cardamom will clear out your system, leaving you feeling healthy and refreshed. It’s also a great treat for your body after a hard night of partying!

Body: This flavor is designed around the weight loss properties of oolong, a traditional and popular Chinese tea that helps boost the metabolism. Added in are ginger root and aniseed, which work to combat indigestion, and hints of hibiscus, apple, rosehip, cleavers, juniper berries, and orange peel.

Hair: Known for stimulating hair growth and supporting scalp health, peppermint has long been a favorite of beauty experts. This tea harnesses the power of peppermint while also bringing in elements of green tea, nettle leaves, schizandra berries, apple pieces, sage, and chili to keep your hair as thick, luscious, and strong as it is long.

Sleep: Recognizing the effect that a good night’s sleep has on our overall health, Niche has added this relaxing blend of soporific herbs, including rooibos, lemon balm, chamomile, passionflower, rose petals, and lavender. I highly recommend sipping on this tea in the evening while burning your favorite luxury candle to decompress after a long day.

Make a Statement With Your Tea

It doesn’t hurt that each of these teas comes in a gorgeous cylindrical container that looks absolutely stunning next to any of the other blends—meaning that you can buy all six, line them up on your counter, and enjoy the colorful pop that these accent pieces add to your kitchen.

Best of all? I absolutely love that these teas are all natural and packed in pre-measured triangular sachets with the perfect mixture of tea leaves. I can rest assured that I’m getting the highest quality and most nutrient-rich herbs and spices available!

Try Niche Tea today and add an effective and delicious practice to your beauty ritual.

 

Featured Lifestyle Travel

The Intriguing Charm of Abu Dhabi

img_4937

The Intriguing Charm of Abu Dhabi

Fusing breath-taking skyscrapers, cosmopolitan scenes and luxury shopping, Abu Dhabi has an air of grandeur. Like many major cities around the world, this stunning location offers you an array of exquisite attractions, whether you’re searching for tranquillity, excitement, or elegance. If you’re planning your next escapade or have a layover, relish the opportunity to explore one of the most decadent places on earth and consider visiting these Abu Dhabi landmarks.

Things to do

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center, adorned with marble, semi-precious stones and chandeliers could easily be the eighth wonder of the world. Holding space for 40,000 people, the mosque offers self-guided walks alongside free tours in both English and Arabic. The dress code is Arabic dress or you can loan an abaya on entrance. This magical experience is even more beautiful at night.

img_4934 img_4931

Yas Island

For thrill-seekers, look no further than Yas Island. This exhilarating, adventure land promises attractions that you’ll find nowhere else in the city. Live concerts, formula 1 racing and the world’s largest waterpark are some of the key attractions to visit. Alternatively, head to a haven of serenity with a spa day or dine in one of the 90 restaurants. The stunning beaches and sensational hotels like the Yas Viceroy make the island an idyllic setting for a vacation.

The Galleria Mall

Located on Al Maryah Island, The Galleria is undoubtedly the home of luxury shopping in Abu Dhabi. Featuring the crème de la crème in designer fashion, brands like Balenciaga, Dior, Gucci, and Lanvin are just a handful of notable names occupying the mall. Grab a coffee at Magnolia Bakery as you explore the finest in retail, or partake in a dining experience at Rosewood or Cafe Milano located inside of the four Seasons Hotel next door.

 

Art & Galleries

Art is a popular pastime in Dubai so the N2N Gallery is the perfect place to visit. Combining art collections from Abu Dhabi and Europe, the gallery showcases over 170 pieces from 13 artists. As well as viewing sculptures, contemporary art, and paintings, N2N also offers art classes, providing a pleasant opportunity for you to immerse yourself in the local art scene.
And The Louvre Abu Dhabi, opening in 2017 is a universal museum in the Arab world. It’s  intended to be a place of discovery, exchange and education.

emirates-palace-abu-dhabi-dream-design-discover

Where to stay

The Emirates Palace

A regal, seven-star hotel, the Emirates Palace is set in 85 hectares of lush greenery and is the world’s most expensive hotel. Decorated in marble, silver, and gold with Swarovski crystal chandeliers, the 200 fountains, 114 domes and 2000 staff members make this hotel one of the grandest locations in the city. The world-class caviar bar (all though I don’t like caviar) serves a traditional caviar menu with champagne, set against a backdrop of live music, while each room boasts 24-hour butler service, iPad mini, and wi-fi of course. Experience fine dining at one of the 14 restaurants, or relax in the spa and swimming pool.

 

What to wear

The culture of Abu Dhabi is rooted in Arabic traditions. While nationals of UAE wear traditional dress, visitors are welcome to wear liberal clothing. However, any short or tight clothes may be deemed unwelcome so dress appropriately and respectful.

img_4930Btw. This is what not to wear to the Mosque (but for shopping perfectly fine)

 

xoxolisa

 

 

Featured FOOD Lifestyle Travel

Top 5 Tea Houses in London – UK

tea

Top 5 Tea Rooms in London

 

The great scone debate ‘jam or cream first?’ is not over for many Afternoon Tea Enthusiasts. Some prefer to spread the jam first (the traditional way), while others like to get started with the cream, like butter on toast. Well, here’s something we can all agree on – tea. Scones must be accompanied by tea.

The great British tradition all started in 1840 when Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford got too hungry in-between lunch and dinner. Thanks to her, the tradition is still popular today but is more of a luxury treat than a daily routine.

Whether you’re a lover of Afternoon Tea or have never tried it check out our Top 5 Tea Rooms in London…

royal opera house tea blog dream design discover

1. The Royal Opera House

The world famous 5-star Ritz Hotel offers an unforgettable quintessential, British afternoon tea experience. Tea is served in the majestic Palm Court, conveniently located at Piccadilly. The beautiful detailed ceilings, birdcage chandeliers, metal flowers, mirrors and authentic monuments make the salon a must visit! The Ritz is known for its impressive personal care and attention to detail. You will be made to feel special without a doubt.

If you like dressing up in fancy clothes you will fit in perfectly at this formal venue. Expect to pay £50+ per person… Well worth the money! Delicately homemade finger sandwiches (smoked salmon are the best), apple and raisin scones and a selection of impeccably made cakes are served on pretty chinaware. Not only are there 18 different types of loose leaf tea to choose from but an Epicurean afternoon tea tasting experience is also on offer. To top off this luxurious experience, a pianist and harpist play modern and classical music in the Palm Court.

ritz carlton high tea london 2. The Ritz

The world famous 5-star Ritz Hotel offers an unforgettable quintessential, British afternoon tea experience. Tea is served in the majestic Palm Court, conveniently located at Piccadilly. The beautiful detailed ceilings, birdcage chandeliers, metal flowers, mirrors and authentic monuments make the salon a must visit! The Ritz is known for its impressive personal care and attention to detail. You will be made to feel special without a doubt.

If you like dressing up in fancy clothes you will fit in perfectly at this formal venue. Expect to pay £50+ per person… Well worth the money! Delicately homemade finger sandwiches (smoked salmon are the best), apple and raisin scones and a selection of impeccably made cakes are served on pretty chinaware. Not only are there 18 different types of loose leaf tea to choose from but an Epicurean afternoon tea tasting experience is also on offer. To top off this luxurious experience, a pianist and harpist play modern and classical music in the Palm Court.

 

london
3. Fortnum & Mason

Tea enthusiasts this is the place for you! Fortnum & Mason serve over 80 different types of rare, exotic tea from all over the world. They also offer their own traditional blends and have lately introduced a new range of green teas. F&M even have a tea-tasting service where staff members guide visitors through all the different blends and combinations. Exciting! Of course, they serve a great selection of sandwiches, scones and cakes too.

The Diamond Jubilee Tea salon is where it all takes place and was not long ago opened in 2012 by the Queen! Visit for a relaxed and sophisticated afternoon of tea sipping.

 

tea time dream design discover
4. Shangri-La

Tuck into your scones with an amazing view of London at the Shangri-La. The most exclusive afternoon tea experience of them all…

The view from the Shard is incredible, so along with afternoon tea you really are treating yourself. Booking a birthday surprise or celebration here would never fail to disappoint a close friend or relative! Over 30 different teas are offered and the option of English or Asian-inspired afternoon tea can be selected. Both choices are £54 or £62 with a glass of champagne. If you’re feeling adventurous and go with the Asian alternative, you must try the Ube Macarons and the Lemongrass Rice Pudding!

 

sketch london blog dreamdesigndiscover
5. Sketch

Mayfair’s quirky Sketch gallery is a food, art and music hang out that does its own funky spin on afternoon tea. Not as traditional as The Ritz and The Royal Opera House, Sketch goes for a more contemporary menu (£45 pp). Mozzarella and pesto paninis are served in addition to classic salmon sandwiches, although, these can also be ordered if preferred.

The fun vibe of the gallery is aimed at children as well as adults; kids can order afternoon tea from their own special menu (£27 pc) which includes ‘sweet treats’ like Malabar marshmallows and fresh meringue. Making Sketch extra original is the mixture of music genres on the playlists – expect to hear reggae, jazz, electro-pop, house and many more…

Visit Sketch for a colourful, vibrant afternoon tea and something a bit different to your average tea and scones.

Now it’s time to choose the afternoon tea of your taste… If you are anything like me, you will want to visit them all!

Guest Writer: Charlotte Lillington

ENTERTAINING FOOD Lifestyle

You are Invited!

invited post dream design discover

‘Tis the season for dinner parties. Enjoy a few of my favorite dinner tips…

Build excitement with the invite:

Your invitations offer peek into the style and them of your dinner. If your going glam, you’ll need an invitation to match.

The thickness of the paper, the wording and even the time of the dinner will clue guest into the formality of the event. Metallic inks and foils can add a touch of luxe and fancy to your invitation and still keep the design sophisticated.

Inform about the attire:

This will guarantee a smart look for the entire guest list. If you are planning to hold a formal dinner let your guest know how you would them to be dressed for the occasion. Nobody wants to be under-dressed.

Formal or Cocktail, Business Casual, Beach Casual or Casual are terms that are often used to described the dress code… don’t try to get to creative with describing the dress code. Otherwise your guest will feel confused and nobody wants to look out of place.

  • black tie should appear in the lower right-hand corner of the invitations, if you wish your guest to arrived dressed in formal attire.

rsvp

  • When a response card is sent with the invitation, it should be used for the reply, rather than a handwritten response.


Copy samples:

John and Barbara
cordially invite you for
a night on the terrace
to celebrate the new year

Saturday, June the sixth
at six-thirty
65 Beverly Hills

OR

The honour of
your presence is
requested
at The Country Club
117 Seaside Drive
Miami, Florida
on Sunday, April 11th
for Cocktails and Hors d’oeuvres
at six o’clock in the eveningDinner immediately followingName of Host / Hosts
OR
The honour of your presence
is requested at my
Dinner & Cocktail Party
….
 Casual attire
Location

Create an ambiance :

Hosting a glamorous dinner is as much about creating a beautiful stage and being a gracious host. Make it fun by adding stylish details, music and candles. If your hosting a more intimate dinner the light can be dimmed.

If you have a beautiful centerpieces you should high light it with colors or lights.

Light up the dessert or the cocktail area. Draw attention to the beautiful things and conversation pieces of your dinner decor. Winter Chic Looks are COOL, CLEAN, SCANDINAVIAN OR SIBERIAN WINTER decoration looks.

 

Late Guests

Delay dinner fifteen (15) minutes for a late guest. When the guest arrives, he or she is served the course that is being served at the time.

 

A season of deliciousness…

 

xoxolisa

DYI Lifestyle

Cute & Fun Unusual Gifts – Gift Guide

French Tea Party,

Macaroons, petit fours…. The French rule in the exquisite-indulgence department. Make a ceremony of the Tea, with bowls of loose teas for guest to sample before choosing. Champagne optional, but encouraged .. 🙂 is what the parisian say….

Macaron Kit $ 39.99

dream design discover macaroon set

Light as a feather and bearing the sweet flavors of fruits, flowers, and even tea, the French macaron is a bite-sized dessert that spells refined decadence. Make the dressed up cookie yourself with this kit, offering a nonstick silicone baking mat, refillable batter/icing “pen,” and six different tips for easy decorating. An included recipe book allows you to start creating flavors like rose, Earl Grey, pistachio, and even wasabi. Made in Spain.

 

 

Japanese Elm Bonsai Specimen Tree

Enjoy some meditative greenery and cultivate your own delicate bonsai tree with this kit.

$ 34.00

Bonsai gift guide dream design discover

 

Elm Essence

Patience is a virtue. The centuries-old Japanese tradition of bonsai stems from the meditative pursuit of the essence of nature over years of cultivation. Begin your exploration of this horticultural tradition with these bonsai specimen kits. Each one includes everything you need to start growing your own Japanese elm bonsai tree–seeds, growing medium, bonsai pruners, detailed directions, and a recycled US steel grow box.

A tree with classic character, Japanese Elm (Zelkova serrata) makes a truly distinctive bonsai. Long, delicate branches with small, serrated leaves that turn orange and yellow in autumn give this tree year-round appeal. It’s considered to be one of the best bonsais for winter, when its array of attractive branches are not hidden by leaves. Kit made in Idaho.

 

Love Is Art Kit

$36.00 – 60.00

art kitart dream design discover Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 3.38.13 AM

My Life Story – So Far

This journal gives you prompts for recording your life’s experiences, relationships and hard-won wisdom.

$ 28.00

book journal Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 4.03.46 AM

The Rest is History

Inspire parents and grandparents to create a lasting family keepsake that will be treasured for generations. Beginning with “The Early Years,” this uniquely designed journal is organized in nine sections, each containing thought-provoking prompts to spark a colorful personal memoir that captures the memories of first dates, lifelong friendships, meaningful stories, and pearls of wisdom gathered along the way. There’s even a section dedicated to list the things you hope to accomplish next!

DIY Jewelry Studio

$65.00

gift guide

Jewelry Design, Out of the Box

A beautifully-crafted piece of jewelry is even more meaningful when you make it yourself. These DIY jewelry-making kits will inspire your inner artisan with an alluring mix of stones and beads, accompanied by a step-by-step manual for making your own gemstone jewelry. Choose from prepared palettes of Aquamarine and Laboradrite, Smoky Quartz and Tourmaline, or Druzy and Pyrite. They’re accompanied by metal accents, crimps, wire, and hardware. Each studio-in-a-box even includes a tape measure, beading pad, and crimping tool- everything you’ll need to create uniquely-designed necklace and bracelet sets. Designed by Cindy and Avril Joffe and made in Georiga, USA.

ENTERTAINING Featured FOOD

Tea Time Traditions Explained

With our fascination with the British Royal Family and the welcoming of Prince William and Kate’s baby, Princess Charlotte, I have noticed aspects of British culture making its way across the pond. In particular, I frequently hear the term “high tea” by friends and see it on menus offered by five star establishments.

I decided to take a deeper look into the origin of high tea and other tea traditions.

High tea originated in the UK as the British working class’ meal before dinner. Typically the meal was enjoyed on a high table and stool, hence the name, “high tea”. The meal would usually consist of meats, custard, and tea.

On the other hand, afternoon tea became popular about one hundred and fifty years ago, when ladies invited their friends to their houses for an afternoon cup of tea. This tradition included light sandwiches, sweets, cakes and of course, tea.

Our modern tea tradition is more closely related to afternoon tea. When serving afternoon tea, light sandwiches, like watercress or fish paste or butter, are popular offerings. Scones and clotted cream are also common, and cakes, pastries, petit fours, and other assorted pastries satisfy sweet tooths. When scones and clotted cream are served, the meal might also be called cream tea.

Even in England, where the tradition of afternoon tea still remains a part of daily life, an elaborate cream tea is typically reserved for special events only. Sometimes, afternoon tea is a weekend meal, or one might attend an afternoon tea at a restaurant, teashop, or hotel. When restaurants outside of the UK feature high tea, they are usually referring to afternoon or cream tea.

One casual teatime tradition is a cup of tea at 4pm as a restorative. When children arrive home from school at about this time, an afternoon snack is usually fairly desirable.

Attending afternoon tea? Be sure to brush up on these teatime etiquette tips.

What teatime traditions do you enjoy? Leave a comment below.

xoxolisa

Featured Lifestyle Travel

Welcome to Dream.Design.Discover

Dream.Design.Discover is the premier destination for tips and inspiration for living a chic lifestyle with simple and elegant ideas on decorating, entertaining and living life beautifully.

Inspired by travel and lust for life, I have started this blog to share my experiences. When sharing my little tips and tricks with my friends they would often ask me, “Why don’t you create a space so you can share with everyone?” This inspired me to create Dream.Design.Discover.

Please feel free to engage and leave your comments. I look forward to hearing from you!

Chat soon …

xoxolisa