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14 In food/ lifestyle/ travel

new orleans neutrals

stella-and-dot-necklace cape-shirt-3

Man, oh man, it was good to be home in New Orleans.  The official excuse for the trip was a wedding, for one of my college roommates and sorority sisters. But we always want to spend time with David’s mom, have friends and family to love on, new babies to meet and kiss, so our weekend in NOLA was a long and busy one. Continue Reading →

0 In life/ lifestyle/ travel

a nyc street stroll

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I realized right before we left for NYC that all of the pictures David and I have had made look nothing like me- I have totally outdated hair color! Oh, unicorn life problems.  Fortunately, we were able to make a little time for a date with Paige Sovic to get some updated shots taken, so I wanted to share them.

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0 In lifestyle/ travel

wiw: a highline walk

i-heart-ny nyc-sky-line-hot-girls

Even in during the craziest of weeks, in the busiest cities, I do my best to find quiet time. Don’t get me wrong- I love New York City, but sometimes the tall buildings and the crowds can make me feel just a little bit claustrophobic. So I make time to catch my breath, like the morning David and I woke up early to walk down the Highline.

nyc-high-line nyc-sky-line-city-view nyc-sky-line-city-view-polariod

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0 In lifestyle/ style

shopstyle social house

shopstyle-nyc-city-view

We are back from New York and the madness that was NYFW! I was pretty quiet about it during the lead-up, simply because it came together so quickly. But it was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my career and life thus far and I’m so excited to share it with y’all.

shop-style-show-room shopstyle-neiman-marcus-bag

The Shopstyle Social House event was actually the first invitation I received for the week in New York, and I was so excited about it.  A blogger’s oasis in a gorgeous space, I was looking forward to connecting with amazing people and brands, and it totally didn’t disappoint!

nyc-fashion-shopping shopstyle-nyc-fashion-show

Brands like Neiman Marcus, Marks & Spencer, Luisaviaroma, Sam Edelman and more all provided tons of clothes and accessories for us to choose from and borrow to wear for the week. Going through those racks was so fun… and if you follow my instagram (specifically my stories!) you saw the sneak peeks and know I went home with some seriously good stuff!

nyc-fashion-runway-clothes shopstyle-house-dcoe-purse-and-hair shopstyle-social-pretty-cards

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The glass houses was so perfectly decorated for this event, with lots of little photo-ready spaces. Hallmark was providing the prettiest cards and mailing them for us, so I loved sending a little love from the big apple.

shopstyle-social-bag-engraving sole-society le-metier-de-beauty-make-up le-metier-de-beauty-make-up-stand

Gigi NY was foil-pressing initials onto crossbody bags, while Sole Society monogrammed social handles onto denim scarves.  {use code NYFW16 for 20% off madison and catie bags at GigiNY }. Baublebar gifted us chokers, and I felt all pampered with makeup by Le Metier de Beaute  and hair by R + Co.

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They also had a photography team on deck, providing rooftop mini- shoots… pretty much a blogger’s dream, realized.  The below three images are by the talented Ugla Hauk.

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That black Trina Turk tote was one of the items i borrowed for the week- i really was glad

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I think my favorite part of the event was running into all the darling girls that I’ve gotten to know over Instagram!

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Jamie (in blue) was such sweetheart, and Abby (in that killer Milly sequined dress) is a good friend- we had a sleepover one night. It seemed like I ran into Kat and Taylor (with the gorge strawberry blonde mane) at lots of different events. And Stefanie is the cutest- she made her green outfit!

shopstyle-details tank || cape, under $70 || shorts || clutch c/0 August California || tote c/o Trina Turk and Shopstyle || heels || choker c/o baublebar || earrings  || ring

new-york-city-roof-view top-of-the-world-champs

We did so much in NYC- it was amazing and exhausting! Obviously, lots of good stuff coming soon to the blog…

top-of-the-world

loveRavayna 

0 In food/ lifestyle/ los angeles

smorgasburg la

 

purple hair fantasy braid 

I was so excited for us to finally be home and unscheduled on a Sunday so we could go eat at Smorgasburg. I love food trucks and food halls and all delicious food, so I was seriously jazzed to get my fat little fingers into all the yummy offerings.  

smorgasboard-directions smogasboard market

During the week, this space is the wholesale produce market, so I’ve been before when shopping for jamming or a pie party.  Then, it’s been crowded with crates of produce, but I’ve never seen this many people at the Bay before.

food truck meet upsmorgasboard ramen burger smorgasboard ramen burger grill_ the ramen burger

We were hungry, so we beelined for a legendary ramen cheesburger.  It was INCREDIBLE- crispy and chewy and savory and it honestly disappeared in just a few bites and I was sad I had to share it with David and contemplated getting right back in line for a second round. It totally lived up to the talk.  

big mozz stickssmogasboard beer garden

We moved on to artisan mozzarella sticks and that was a very good life choice.  We skipped the beer garden, because I had left my ID in my purse from the night before. I wasn’t brokenhearted, because I’m not a beer lover and David was driving, so I wandered off to do a little shopping.

beautiful things la truck vintage record shopping coast to coast vintage shop smorgasbaord shopping

I was pleasantly surprised at the caliber of the shops – there is obviously an application process, because all the vendors were diverse and quality. I went in for sunnies and caftans at Coast to Coast vintage, and eyed this holo swell for quite a while at beautiful things.

banh oui banh mi smorgasboard

Another sandwich round was up next for us, with a pork belly Banh Oui. I know fusion isn’t perfectly authentic, but this was one of the best pork belly sandwiches I’ve ever had, perfectly balanced and so mouthwatering!

smogasboard stuffed face cut out amaze bowls smorgasboard acai bowl smorgasboard

As we moved on to sweets, I had to go full out for the coconut bowl at Amazebowls. It was super gorgeous, but if i’m being honest I make tastier ones – some of the edible flowers were super bitter. And it was pretty tiny for the price, so I might hack these at home soon.

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I chose blackberry kaffir lime at Paloma’s Paleta’s, and it was both super delicious and very photogenic- and super refreshing, because it was so. freaking. hot. out there.

There’s a ton we didn’t get to eat, but we’ll be back soon, probably right after our next NYC trip! And I’m eyeing the soft shell chili crab sandwich, some biscuits, and a ramen burger repeat. So much goodness- if I wouldn’t outgrow my clothes, I’d go every Sunday!

purple hair braidbeauty in the breakdown

similar dress, 2, 3 (with tassels!), 4 (patterned), || sunnies  || kate spade bag- on sale!|| sandals || ear jackets|| cuff || rings: pearl, spiral || nails

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loveRavayna

8 In lifestyle/ travel

totally Trini

One of the best things about our Trinidad vacations is how much it feels like home.  That expectation’s should be a little unrealistic- we moved to the States in time for me to start kindergarten, and I didn’t return to the island until I was a grown woman. But from the time I feel the humid air at Piarco, Trinidad embraces.

pimp carnival pad

Part of it is our guest quarters.  My aunt Annemarie hosts us all (David and I, our besties Erin and Craig, my mom, aunt and uncle, my cousin and her new fiancé- a whole crew!) at her lovely home, and it’s perfect for playtime and partying… ‘liming’ is the Trini translation. She’s just the most gracious hostess, and makes her home a pleasure for us to visit.

passed out by the pool trinidad lime

Auntie has the loveliest ladies helping her at home. They spoil us rotten, and take such good care of us.  Mrs Rose and her daughter kept us in literal feasts, and Mrs Rhona (to my mom’s right) kept us in stitches too. We always joke that their goal is to fatten us up till our costumes don’t fit- these women are some talented cooks.

the aunties

More on Trini food in an upcoming post… Back to the party! says Auntie Angela. ?

disco fever old lady lime

The house pretty much has a revolving door, so the soca music starts the party early in the morning, and it goes all day. Aunties and family and friends stream in and out as Craig, the most patient bartender in the world, keeps drinks full and strong. Poolside is a sociable place to be in the Trini heat on the days we stay in.

handsome island bartender aunties trinidad house absolute carnival vodka bottle trinidad sun flare

Each of us maxes out our duty -free purchase upon arrival in Trinidad, and we stock the bar. Absolut Karnival is a bit of a thing on our trips- it’s a local market limited edition, flavored with passion fruit and orange blossom, and we drink it with soda, lime and bitters. When we’re not drinking rum, that is.  We drink a lot of rum. It’s a Trini ting.

diego martin trinidad  carnival costume winnersdonald duck hola parrot

The house has plenty: people, food and drink, bright colors, photos of my auntie’s winning carnival costumes. And Lola, my aunt’s parrot- she’s something else.  My mom taught her to say my name on a previous trip, and hand to g-d if Lola doesn’t call for me incessantly. Bless his heart, Craig spent some time trying to teach her other names, but no such luck.. She only wanted to sqwawk ‘vayna, vayna’ ad infinitum every time she saw me or heard my name.

port of spain queens savannah coconut stand port of spain queens savannah coconut

If you visit our family, someone’s going to tell you about the savannah, (Queen’s Savannah Park), and claim it as the largest roundabout in the world. I don’t know about all that (proof or it didn’t happen), but it’s home to good stuff. Aside from the carnival festivities it hosts, there are vendors of every stripe dotted along the roundabout all the time- fruit, drinks, oyster shooters, kebab, roti, and more.

port of spain queens savannah coconut discarded port of spain queens savannah coconut guyport of spain queens savannah coconut guy machete

For us, it’s always about going to see the coconut man.  Normally we’d do oysters, then coconuts but we kept missing the oysterman. It’s not like the street food vendors are on some kind of easily accessible schedule, and rumor and routine are only so reliable on Trini time.

port-of-spain-queens-savannah-coconut-water_ port of spain queens savannah coconut stand-2 port of spain queens savannah coconut gel

Coconut water in bottle or can can be as cold-pressed and raw as it wants, but it can’t compare to a fresh Trini coconut hacked open. After all the water has been drunk,  the coconut and machete meet again, to expose the yummy coconut jelly ready for eating.

port of spain fruit vendor papaya tomatoport of spain fruit vendor

We’re always interested in shopping local, seeing markets, and engaging with the vendors. We made a trip with Auntie Annemarie out to El Soccoro Road, where lots of fruit vendors are. The produce is arranged prettily, like at an American farmer’s market, but the varieties differ greatly.  I was totally intrigued by the fresh pigeon peas in their pod, and the assortment of chilis made me realize exactly why homemade Trini hot sauce is so good.

port of spain fruit vendor green beans port of spain fruit vendor hot peppers port of spain fruit vendor plantains bananasport-of-spain-fruit-vendor-sugar-cane-buying port-of-spain-fruit-vendor-sugar-cane-buying-2

I spent some time chatting with the shop owner while I browsed, and while he chopped my sugarcane to reasonable lengths. Trini people are just chatty. Auntie enjoyed art directing from the idling driver’s seat- peep her there?

port of spain fruit vendor sugar cane curlsport-of-spain-fruit-vendor-sugar-cane-auntie-sass

similar black dresses // vintage chambray dress similar // similar // gaimo espadrilles similar, 2

trinidad highway trinidad night hills

The sun was setting as we headed home, so we took a long detour to go up to the lookout. Port-of-Spain and the sea beyond were really gorgeous as the sun slipped below the horizon and pinpricks of light sparked on.

fence trinidad lights city night skyline dusk trinidad

loveRavayna

 

0 In home/ lifestyle

chickens and eggs

chicken strutt

Our girls are huge, it seems! As far as chickens go, they are actually on the small side, but they have just grown so much, so quickly.

dr. robotnik chicken brown ameraucana hen

Once they made it out of the awkward teenager stage, they began to look totally different.  Nugget is the fluffy-cheeked blonde, while Mimosa’s rocking the red mohawk.  She looks a bit suspiciously roosterlike, but she’s definately a hen. Both of these ladies are supposedly Easter Eggers, but we think Mimosa is crossed with Rhode Island Red- her appearance and blush eggs are my clues, but I’m really just learning from Google over here.

easter eggers grazingchicken coupbackyard chicken dust bath backyard ameraucana dust bath

I can’t even believe I actually feel this way about chickens,  but they are really cute.  They are adorably codependent- they follow each other all over the backyard and will call for each other if separated. They are especially adorable dust bathing – they fluff up and shake and roll and it’s pretty precious.

feeding-chickensbackyard-chicken-collage

To be honest, apples aren’t falling far from the tree over here. These girls are assertive and opinionated, for sure! They’re more often that not a bit big for their britches- Nugget is happy to help herself to a snack, and seems very intent on roosting as high as possible in the yard, ideally on top of their cabin.

backyard chicken escape

backyard chicken flyaway backyard-chicken-run

Sometimes they’re super cuddly, and other times they are having absolutely none of it, and will go squawking away. The chicken jailbreaking actually got a little out of hand for a bit, with frequent uninvited visits to the neighbors.    Nugget even went for a brief swim in the neighbors pool, till David hopped the fence on lifeguard duty.

chicken wingschicken fly

backyard chicken wing clip

So to limit the chicken capers, we had a little wing trim session. I watched a few YouTube videos, and it was quick, easy, and totally painless to trim their flight wings so they can’t make it over our (rather tall) fence. You can spot Mimosa’s haircut in the above pictures if you look carefully…. it’s not exactly super even!

stash backyard chicken eggs

But I think the naughtiest thing that happened was the egg hidey-hole situation.  After the first few eggs from Mimosa, and just one aqua egg from Nugget, they went on an apparent strike- no eggs for over a week. After a literal egg-hunt in the backyard, we found a dozen and a half eggs hidden in the wild sage!

backyard chicken pink eggs vintage egg scale

replacement eggsbackyard-egg-comparision

Their eggs are pretty tiny- above with a quail egg, and an xl white store egg for a comparison.  At first, some barely tipped the egg scale, but nowadays most are almost or into medium sized.

egg comparision

They’re obviously richly colored compared to the store egg, and stunningly more tasty. They make the most incredible carbonara, and scrummy fried eggs, and everything else. We feed the girls organic layer feed, lots of kitchen scraps, and plenty of treats and grit, so these are some spoiled chicks.

wind blown ameraucana

I’m clearly obsessed with these girls, so bonus windblown chicken picture (how hysterical are they?) if you made it through all this chicken chat!

LoveRavayna

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