Friday, September 28, 2012

La Isla Saona

Taken with the panoramic setting on my iPhone
On Sunday while my parents were visiting, we took an excursion to La Isla Saona.  This is a 42 square mile [110 km] island off the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic.  We spent the entire day on the beach or in the warm, salty water. 

We took a speedboat to a natural pool and snapped pictures holding large starfish - unfortunately I don't have any of them on my camera!

We drank fresh coconut water upon settling in to our beach chairs. 

We swam and took tacky beach pictures. 

And we returned to the mainland by napping on a catamaran. 

It was just the way I like to spend my Sundays.

We have no plans yet for this weekend, but I doubt it will compare to last's!
Happy weekending.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dinner in a Cave

Last weekend was a long weekend here in the DR, so my parents came into town and stayed with us in our new apartment.  After a long day of shopping and brain-picking decor ideas, we got dressed up and met A's parents and nephew for dinner at El Mesón de la Cava.  

My Parents & I
I had been wanting to go for a while but had always forgotten about the place when choosing where to have dinner at the last minute [does this happen to you as much as it does to me?!].  I knew that the restaurant was on a mini cliff, so I expected a restaurant with a view.  What I didn't know until the day prior was that the restaurant was inside a natural cave!  

40 feet down..
We walked down a narrow, spiral staircase and I was blown away by the atmosphere of the restaurant.  After seeing original drawings dug deep into the limestone, I checked out the background.  From native Indians to various soldiers throughout the 1900's, the cave had a long history of inhabitants over the course of millions of years before it became this restaurant in 1967.

Bar with dusty bottles
Dimly lit tables
The menu was Spanish and French infused with local flavors.  We all had fish, lobster, or steak, and shared cheesecake and coconut pudding for dessert.

I highly recommend this place if you are visiting Santo Domingo.  
Just remember to bring a sweater; caves are cold! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pinterest Home Inspiration for the NCG: Trays

Welcome to my second post about how to make things found on Pinterest when you're a non-crafty girl like me!  See my first post here.

Clearly I'm bad at making DIY posts because I never take any "before" or "during" pictures!  But the directions below are very easy to follow, too easy to follow..

Inspiration photo:

1. Buy a wooden tray (around $3).

2.  Paint it.  I first did a coat of white (wall) paint to even out the metallic color I was about to paint next.  I then used metallic silver paint from the craft store and did 3 coats.  

3.  Using an exacto knife (or a fake, cheap version like mine), cut a piece of scrapbook paper to fit the inside of the tray.  I literally placed mine inside the tray and then cut it while inside - no precise measurements really needed here.

4.  Glue paper to tray with a layer of Mod Podge.  Seal the top of the paper with about 3 layers of Mod Podge.  I used the glossy version and applied it all over the tray to give it a shinier look.  

Ta - daaa!

I'd love to make a much larger tray to put in the laundry room to hold things like detergent, my mini iron, and my new favorite discovery: Clorox Bleach Pens (they work wonderfully!).

Do you have trays at home?  What do you use them for? 

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Wedding in the DR

On the 8th of September, boyfriend's little sister Cindy got married.  It was my first wedding in the DR, and I was a bridesmaid!  It was a beautiful, balmy night.  

Since I had never been to a wedding here, it was fun for me to note the unique differences between the wedding here and those back home.  For one, most couples take pre-wedding photos a few days before the wedding instead of engagement photos at the beginning of the engagement.  Some brides wear a wedding dress that isn't theirs (so that the groom doesn't see the real one until the wedding), or another average white dress.  The bride took her wedding photos in her mother's wedding dress - they were nearly the exact same size when they married!

A & I
Here, brides have bridesmaids, but oftentimes there are no groomsmen in the wedding party, which means I had to walk down the veeeery long aisle in the church alone, and luckily I didn't trip.  Rather than standing at the altar, bridesmaids sit in the first pews at the church - I always thought this was reserved for the parents and close family! 

Night before wedding, preparing La Hora Loca
Something fun that they do here is have "la hora loca" {crazy hour} at the reception.  Because not all weddings have one, it was a surprise to the bride and groom.  Hired guys with lots of energy [think cruise director types] marched in with bongos and the bridesmaids passed out noisemakers, hats, clown noses, masks, and confetti.  The music changed from traditional salsa and merengue to pop music, and there was even a dance contest.  Unfortunately I don't have pictures to prove this..

The food was buffet style and we ate so many delicious things that there was no room for cake!  So ofcourse, we made it back to the house the next day for left over wedding cake.

Congratulations C & J!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Happy Fall Plans

I still cant believe that its September and that the holiday season is just around the corner!  Very few wishes on my summer wishlist actually panned out, but I'm quite alright with that because, well, where I live its summer year round ;)

Here are some things that I'm looking forward to in this last bit of 2012:

The bride's bachelorette treats
Boyfriend's sister's wedding this weekend..  I'm a bridesmaid (!) and cant wait to play dress up with dresses and hair and makeup and nails.  And champagne..

Spending a week in California with my godmother this October!  Its been two whole years since we've spent QT together in my favorite US state.  Slater's 50/50 is on my list and I'm planning to order the Peanut Butter and Jellousy burger..  Note: I will probably chicken out. 

{Homemade by yaya}
My grandmother visiting me in early November.  One of the things I miss most about home is her cooking, and I cant wait for the smell of Greek food wafting from our kitchen. 

Being home for Thanksgiving; my all time favorite holiday of the year.  The pot of brown sugar-marshmallow-sweet potatoes and I will be best buds for the day.  What isn't on my happy list?  Being home for Black Friday.  Madness, its just madness.

Here's to a spectacular last few months of the year!  
Make them count.