Celebrations With Yealands Wine

This post is sponsored by Yealands Wine but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

The holidays are such a special time for me. It’s where I get to reflect on the amazing memories created throughout the year and set new intentions for the upcoming one.

One thing that is always present is my lifelong friends and our ability to always show up for each other. Not many people are blessed to be surrounded by genuine souls, so any chance I get I love to celebrate life and the special people in it.

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With everyone rushing around and being pulled in different directions, it’s always nice when we can all get together because no matter how busy we get, we always make time for each other. And what better time than during the holidays!

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Winter Wonderland was the theme of the night and everyone was feeling the holiday spirit. There are three things needed to have a great party: good food, great conversations, and amazing wine!

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We savored on Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc throughout the evening. It paired well with all the appetizers and food served that day. I wanted to serve my guests a white wine that had a crisp yet not overpowering taste. A wine that would perfectly complement the occasion.

And I think I picked the perfect one!

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Crafting wines in harmony with nature is why Yealands leads the world in sustainable wine growing, resulting in great tasting without negatively affecting the earth.

Based in the Awatere Valley – the southernmost, coolest and driest of Marlborough's growing regions – Yealands is one of only a handful of wineries around the world to be certified as carbon neutral and the first-ever to be certified from inception.

Not only has Yealands established themselves as globally-recognized producers of premium wine but they have also won numerous prestigious sustainability awards that only amplifies their mission. Makes me happy to support such a great brand.

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To me, a rich life is all about nurturing your relationships and always creating new memories. No matter what comes my way, I know I’ll always have a reason to celebrate and be grateful. And of course with a glass of wine in hand.

Cheers to loving and living life!

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Sweeten Up Any Occasion With Roscato Wine!

This post is sponsored by Roscato Wine but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. 

Last year I tried Roscato wine for the first time and ever since it’s been my go-to wine. I make sure to always keep a few bottles in my house for any occasion.

When it comes to wine, I tend to gravitate towards sweet wines and mostly whites. The only time I like to drink red wine is in a sangria. That all changed when I had Roscato Sweet Red. I was hooked! Naturally, I went online to learn more about this delicious brand.

My latest obsession, Roscato Rosé Dolce (Sweet Rosé)!

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First of all, can we talk about how gorgeous the bottles are? Blush and gold scream out girls’ night! And that’s exactly how I introduced my girlfriends to Roscato Rosé.

It’s been raining the past couple of days, which honestly makes me want to just curl up on my couch with a nice glass of wine and catch up on my shows.

Although this week that’s pretty much been my routine, I decided to have a couple of my girlfriends over to keep me company. What could be better than being cozy with some pizza and wine?

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My friends and I have similar wine preferences, so I knew they would love Roscato Rosé just as much as I do.

And I was right. The moment they had their first sip, their eyes lit up. We had a winner on our hands!

Roscato is an irresistible range of high-quality wines from the northern Italian region of Lombardy. With low alcohol of 7% and just a touch of sweetness to it, Roscato is the ideal complement to any cuisine… and any girls’ night in!

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There is something about wine and girlfriends that brings me so much happiness. Every time I spend time with my friends, I feel rejuvenated and so blessed to have them in my life. We can literally talk for hours and have the best time doing nothing but eating and drinking.

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I’m excited to try out more wines from the Roscato collection. If they’re anything like the two I’ve had so far, I know I’ll enjoy them as well.

Have you tried Roscato before? What’s your favorite?

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Night time snack with Sejoyia Coco-Roons!

I've always been a big fan of snacking throughout the day. If you look inside my purse, you will probably find at least two different kinds of snacks in there. Whenever I'm busy or on the go, eating something light gives me the energy I need to be more productive.

When it comes to the type of snacks I like, I like them all! Sweet, savory, you name it, I'll eat it but ideally I prefer having healthy snacks on hand.

I recently discovered Sejoyia Coco-Roons and have been enjoying them all week. I love that all the ingredients are things I recognize and can pronounce. These delicious superfood cookies are organic, gluten free, vegan, non-GMO, paleo and made without refined sugar!

Coco-Roons

Perfect for day time snacking but also for my personal favorite: Night time snacking!

Right before I go to bed, I don't know why, I always get a craving for something sweet. Instead of going for ice cream or a pastry, I've been eating Coco-Roons! They're the perfect size to satisfy my craving without the guilt!

There's nothing better than curling up in bed, watching my favorite show and eating a healthy cookie!

Coco-Roons

Sweetened with pure, organic, maple syrup, Coco-Roons are so decadent and delicious that it will make you forget you're eating something packed with so many nutrients. These bite size cookies come in a variety of flavors. The two I've tried so far are Brownie, made with the finest raw, organic cocoa and Lemon Pie.

Although I love the deep rich flavor of Brownie, I think my favorite is Lemon Pie. It has a light and refreshing citrus taste without it being too overpowering.

Coco-Roons

Coco-Roons can be eaten at any time/multiple times a day because of the quality and health of the ingredients that goes into each bag.

Perfect for day and night time snacking!

Coco-Roons

I found Coco-Roons at Walmart in the gluten-free section. Check Sejoyia's website to see if your locations carry them.

Take advantage of the $0.75 off ibotta offer when you purchase 1 Sejoyia Coco-Roons at Walmart, while supplies last! Also, get an additional $.50 for redeeming the rebate on 3 different shopping trips!

 

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Sejoyia, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #CocoRoonsAtWalmart  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV


Healthy Muffin Parfait with Garden Lites

This post is sponsored by Garden Lites, but the content and opinions expressed are my own.

With the new diets and trends coming and going, there is one message that has forever remained constant- “eat your vegetables."

Luckily for me, I've always been a vegetable person. Even as a young kid, I enjoyed anything green served on my plate.

My love for vegetables has only grown in my adult years. Unfortunately, I don't always have the time to cook up a nutrtious veggie meal. This is why I love finding new and creative ways to get my nutrients in-especially when I'm traveling or on the go.

I recently discovered Garden Lites muffins at my supermarket. They're the perfect snack to help get in my vegetable intake for the day, without having to cook anything.

These little muffins are gluten-free, dairy free & nut free and contains 3 grams of fiber and 5 grams of whole grain in each serving, making them the ideal snack.

They're a great way to sneak in zucchini and carrots in your diet without really trying. If you have a sweet tooth and don't like the taste of vegetables, then these products were made for you!

I was pleasantly surprised on how delicious and moist the Garden Lites muffins were. You would never know they are low in calorie and fat. Plus, I like how the portion is just the right amount, enough to statisfy your craving.

At Garden Lites, they are pioneering nutritious foods that make eating your veggies much easier and much more enjoyable. They are on a mission to create delicious foods that are truly healthy since every one of their products is veggie-rich with vegetables as its first and primary ingredient. 

Looking for a fun and different way to eat your muffin, here is a quick 5 min recipe that will transform your muffins into a delicious and healthy parfait style snack.

Muffin parfait

INGREDIENTS:

 • 1 Muffin
 • 1/2 cup yogurt
 • Strawberries (or any fresh fruit)

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Cut muffin into three pieces
2. Put down first muffin piece to serve as your base and pour a spoonful of yogurt
3. Put sliced strawberries (or any fruit) on top of the yogurt
4. Layer another piece of muffin and pour yogurt and sliced fruit on top
5. Place last muffin piece and decorate with a piece of strawberry

muffin parfait
muffin parfait
muffin parfait
muffin parfait
muffin parfait
muffin parfait

I found the Garden Lites Chocolate and Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins at my local Publix. You can also find them in the freezer section of your nearest Stop & Shop, Giant, Shop-Rite, HEB, Kroger or Costco.

Save a $1 off your purchase here.

Garden Lites

Learn more about Garden Lites by visiting their website at www.gardenlites. com/about


Umi Japanese Fusion Cuisine

If there is one dish I could eat every day, it would easily be sushi.

I've tried many places around town but there are only a couple of restaurants I like and frequently visit.

Umi is definitely one of them!

umi restaurant park ave

I was first introduced to Umi a year ago, when I was invited to their grand opening event. From the moment I walked in, I loved everything about their establishment. From their set up, to customer service and food- Umi does it right!

Since then, I've gone back for girls night, lunch, hosting an event, and even International Sake day.

Yes, that's an actual holiday. But to be honest, I'd find any excuse to throw down Umi's Pineapple infused sake any day of the year.

Celebrating International Sake Day at @umiwinterpark!! 🙌🏼🍍🍸

A photo posted by Fiorella // Metanoia Living (@metanoialiving) on

To celebrate their one year anniversary this month, Umi has added some fresh new menu items to present new flavors and ingredients and expand upon variety and quality to their already popular menu.

Umi graciously invited me to sample their new delectable dishes.

The delicious feast started off with a couple of refreshing cocktails, Fresh Suika and a Very Berry Mojito, edamame and a Spicy Jalapeno Roll.

Umi Winter Park

The sushi chef is very particular in the type of fish and seafood he purchases. Quality is the main criteria he looks for and will not use anything that does not meet his standards. He buys the whole fish and prepares it himself. Deliveries are done up to 3 times a week in order to maintain freshness to their guests.

The sushi rice is made using the highest grade rice grains and it's prepared in traditional methods using a large wooden rice mixing tub called a Hangiri.

Spicy Jalapeno Roll: Shrimp tempura, cream cheese, jalapeño, wrapped with spicy tuna, sliced jalapeño, spicy mayo drizzle, and side of spicy kobachi sauce.

sushi umi park ave
Umi Winter Park

After devouring the first course, the focus shifted to the next plate.

Umi's Bento Tray! Their creative twist to the typical Japanese Bento box.

There are two versions- raw and cooked. I opted to sample the cooked Bento Tray.

Umi Winter Park
Umi Winter Park

My Cooked Bento Tray du Jour- consisting of the chef's daily selection of assorted cooked and small dishes was exceptional!

That day, the selection had a great variety and I was able to sample a few items I probably wouldn't have ordered on my own.

  • Homestyle Bibimbap served with a perfectly poached egg.
  • Cured Salmon over vegetables with balsamic teriyaki sauce.
  • Kimchi Croquette
  • Bacon Wrapped Cherry Tomatoes
  • California Roll
Umi Winter park

I was most excited to try out the Kyo Katsu- a dish you cook yourself on a hot rock.

Kyo Katsu: Panko breaded NY strip steak (5oz)- flash-fried, served with a side of napa cabbage tossed in house-made orange dressing and a side of katsu sauce.

All sauces at Umi are homemade, even the soy sauce (which is called "Tsukuri") is modified to create a smokey flavor.  It's made with Mirin which is a rice wine, sake and bonito flakes.

Umi Winter Park
Umi Winter Park
Umi Winter Park
Umi Winter Park
Umi Winter Park

Another unique signature for the restaurant is the use of their Robatayaki Grill.

Umi uses Binchotan charcoal- made from White Oak. The charcoal is imported from Asia and is quite expensive.  It is as natural as can be- no chemicals. It burns odorless and smokeless and burns at over 1,000 degrees Celsius. It instantly sears and locks in the juices.  

The meats, seafood and vegetables cooked on the Robatayaki Grill are implemented into the sushi rolls and plated menu items.  There is a section of the menu that is just Robata grilled items that are ordered a la carte and served for dinner.

Umi Winter park
Umi Winter Park

Pretty much anything cooked on the Robatayaki Grill will be delicious, but my favorites so far are the pork belly, skirt steak and squid. So good!

Besides all the mouth watering food at Umi, they also carry a boutique wine list of over 40 wines, Japanese imported beer, local craft beer and Soju cocktails

HAPPY HOUR

Drinks
Everyday: 5-6:30p
Sat & Sun: 12p-3p

Small Plates
Mon - Thu: 5p-6:30p

Umi is the perfect place for any occasion or celebration. From lunch, happy hour to dinner- Umi will be your new favorite restaurant on Park Avenue!

Umi Japanese Restaurant

525 S. Park Avenue
 Winter Park, FL 32789

407-960-3993


Wahlburger's Grand Opening in Orlando!

The long awaited Wahlburgers in Orlando is finally open!

I was lucky enough to score a coveted spot to their invite only VIP grand opening party held at their new Downtown restaurant- which is the first Florida location so far.

Walhburgers Orlando

As you can imagine, the street was shut down and filled with hundreds of fans eagerly waiting to get a glimpse of the Wahlberg brothers,  Paul and Mark.

Donnie unfortunately couldn't attend due to a prior work engagement.

A&E cameras were also present filming for the brother's reality TV show, Wahlburgers, now on their 5th season- premiering on March 9th.

The restaurant, located in the SunTrust Building at the corner of Church Street and Orange Avenue, was only open for the VIP guests that night. 

Among the VIPs included Johnny's House from XL 106.7, former N’Syncer Joey Fatone, attorney and billboard giant Mark NeJame, franchise investors and owners and Orlando city officials.

The grand opening red carpet event brought a lot of excitement and attention to the downtown Orlando area.

The brothers raved about Orlando saying that it was the perfect spot to start their franchise in Florida. Other locations are rumored to be in the works, including Miami and Tampa.

Owner, Manny Garcia, signed a deal that will bring 20 Wahlburgers locations throughout Florida over the next several years.

"These agreements put us closer to our vision of making Wahlburgers a happy part of people's lives across America and around the world. Donnie, Paul, and I appreciate the support of our fans and all those who love great burgers," said Mark Wahlberg.

Mark Wahlberg said it’s his job to bring as much attention as possible to the brand but humbly gives all the credit to his brother Paul, who serves as the restaurant’s executive chef.

“People may come in to the restaurant out of curiosity because of myself or Donnie but the reason why they’re going to come back is because of the experience that Paul provides,” said Mark Wahlberg.

I've been to a few grand openings before but nothing compares to this one. The amount of people and love shown was incomparable.

Even though the party was inside the restaurant, both Paul and Mark made sure to say hi to everyone waiting outside.

Everybody was drawn in by the brothers... and of course the food!

All of their burgers are made with quality, fresh ingredients that are classic favorites with a few creative spins.

The Wahlberg brothers are the real deal- super talented and so down to earth. I can't say enough about them. Genuinely nice guys!

wahlburgers orlando

Before the event came to an end, Mark and Paul went outside and shared a touching speech and toast with everyone from the VIP party, as well as their devoted fans that had been waiting outside for hours. 

After the toast, Mark was whisked away but Paul, being hands on, stayed behind to make sure everything ran smoothly inside the restaurant.

I stayed behind for some more food... What a shocker!

Not pictured but I highly suggest getting the onion rings- crispy fried Bermuda onions sliced thin, tossed in sea salt and parsley. They were everything!!

And this is coming from someone who hates onion rings.

Get them... and everything else on their menu!

Make sure you stop by and taste one of the best burgers in town!

Walhburgers Orlando

                 200 S. Orange Avenue                 

Orlando, Florida 32801

Telephone: 407-293-7777


Lunch with Chipotle at Lake Meadows Naturals Farm

I was recenlty invited by Chipotle to have lunch with their marketing and management team at Lake Meadows Naturals Farm located in Ocoee, Florida.

Even though I live only 20 minutes away from the farm, I didn't know of its existence. Thankfully, after having the opportunity of touring their facility, I'll definitely be paying them a visit from now on.

Lake Meadows Naturals is a local farm that sells cage free chicken and duck eggs, grass fed beef and goat, Berkshire pork, honey, and fresh herbs. Everything is clean and organic, which is the main reason Chipotle gets most of their fresh ingredients for their Florida locations from there.

Lake Meadows Natural's mission is to supply the area with great tasting and high quality food, while at the same time educating their customers along the way.

Their mission is perfectly aligned with Chipotle's "Food with Integrity" motto.

Did you know that Chipotle is the first and only fast food chain to ban GMOs from their menu?

"This is another step toward the visions we have of changing the way people think about and eat fast food,” Steve Ells, founder and co-chief executive of Chipotle, told the New York Times. “Just because food is served fast doesn’t mean it has to be made with cheap raw ingredients, highly processed with preservatives and fillers and stabilizers and artificial colors and flavors.”

It's always nice to discover new places, especially a great find like Lake Meadow Naturals, that supports Chipotle's movement.

The owner of the farm, Dale, gave us a private tour around his property and explained to us in great detail everything that goes on in the farm.

We started off the tour by getting up close and personal with these little guys.

How cute is that face??

After falling in love with the baby chicks, we went inside the incubator room to see the baby turkeys.

A little baby turkey hatched while we were there!

After they're born, Farmer Dale puts them in the incubator to keep them warm.

We later entered the quality control/packaging room.

The eggs are placed on a conveyer belt that is lit up in order to see if the eggs have any imperfections. If they pass the test, they are washed and ready to be packaged. You can purchase these eggs in their farm market store.

Now came the fun part.

Picking our own eggs!

Mission accomplished!

It was harder than it looked but I successfully picked my dozen eggs.

If you're up for the challenge, you can pick your own every Saturday.

Before leaving the coop, I had to take a picture with my new friends.

Now onto the rest of the tour.

First time trying a mulberry.

Look at that smile!

Farmer Dale offered us fresh green beans straight from his garden.

How gorgeous is his house!!

Gorgeous views of his land from every angle.

Farmer Dale was nice enough to have us in his home for our delicious lunch sponsored by Chipotle.

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Chef Tonda Corrente from La Femme Du Fromage prepared our meal.

The peach cobbler was pure perfection!

A perfect ending to the day.

Make sure when you visit Lake Meadows Naturals, you stop by their farm market store. It's filled with fresh produce, assortment of cheeses and plenty more!

After attending two events sponsored by Chipotle, I think it's safe to say I'm BFF's with them.

Well, the official term is "brand ambassador" but same thing right?

Huge thank you to Chipotle for including me in this lunch event and a special thank you to Farmer Dale for his generous hospitality.

Can't wait to whip up something delicious with the eggs I picked out!


How To End The Weekend Right

Last weekend consisted of exaggerated amounts of bread, sangria, soda, rice, cake, chips, bacon, pastries -you get the idea, not the most healthiest of choices- and that was just on Saturday! But you know what?

I'm perfectly fine with it.

binge
binge

I'm all about clean eating and taking care of yourself, but sometimes you just have to forget about that and enjoy the little things in life (literally- I'll get to that soon).

On Sunday I had a mother/daughter date with my sister and mom -which are my favorite kind of dates- and we ended going to the Florida Mall for a little shopping. I'm really not a big fan of that mall, but we were in the area, so we decided to stop in a few stores.

After spending a couple of hours in that mall, it quickly became my favorite.

I'll give you a hint on why:

churromania2
churromania2

I'll share the mouth-watering pictures at the end of the post though- save the best for last right?

Another (delicious) reason:

wasabi
wasabi

If you know me, you know I love sushi and I hate waiting for food, so this place was made for me!

photo
photo

The concept is simple:

  1. Sit
  2. See
  3. Grab
  4. Eat
  5. Repeat
table
table

Little plates of different kinds of sushi are placed on a conveyor belt next to your table. You just pick up what you think looks appetizing and enjoy.

tempura
tempura
shrimp
shrimp

Each colored plate represents a different price.

price
price

Although I'm a sushi fanatic, I still haven't mastered the art of eating with chopsticks (don't judge me) so I always get excited when sushi restaurants offer kid starter chopsticks.

helper
helper

I'd say it was a successful experience.

done
done

What comes after lunch?

Dessert!

churromania
churromania

Oh no, this isn't just any ol' churro. It's a "life changing, party in your mouth, too big for just one person but too good to share" type churro!

"Say hello to my little friend"

yum
yum
wholechurro
wholechurro

Not only is it covered in drizzled dulce de leche, but it's also filled with it too!

churro
churro

Filled people, filled!!!

filling
filling

You can choose what kind of churro you want, the topping and filling.

type
type
options
options

The sign alone lures you in. How can you not get a churro after seeing that?

sign
sign

Too good for words!

nosharing
nosharing
finished
finished

And that my friends, is how you end the weekend right.

On that note, Happy Friday and hope your weekend is filled with an abundance of sinfully delicious food!

The Health Benefits Of Warm Lemon Water

I'm constantly browsing the Internet and reading books in search of new ways to improve my lifestyle and health. This is why I recently added lemon water to my daily morning routine. After learning about all the great benefits, I decided to give it a try. I was worried at first that I wasn't going to like the taste, but to my surprise, I actually enjoyed it and look forward to drinking it every morning. I'm fortunate that I'm able to sleep 8-9 hours a day (I know, please don't hate me) but somehow in the afternoons I always found myself getting tired or sluggish and in need of a nap. Since I don't drink coffee, I was looking for a pick me up substitute.

Enter lemon water to the rescue!

Besides improving my nutrition, I found that drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning has increased my energy level. I can't remember the last time I've taken a nap. Since faithfully drinking lemon water every morning for the past two months, I've noticed an improvement in my overall heath.

lemonwater3
lemonwater3

Some of the Benefits:

1. Boosts your immune system: Lemons are high in vitamin C, which is great for fighting colds. They’re high in potassium, which stimulates brain and nerve function. Potassium also helps control blood pressure.

2. Balances pH: Drink lemon water everyday and you’ll reduce your  body’s overall acidity. Lemon is one of the most alkaline foods around. Yes, lemon has citric acid but it does not create acidity in the body once metabolized.

3. Helps with weight loss: Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings. It also has been shown that people who maintain a more alkaline diet lose weight faster.

4. Aids digestion: Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials. It  encourages the liver to produce bile which is an acid that is required for digestion. Efficient digestion reduces heartburn and constipation.

5. Is a diuretic: Lemons increase the rate of urination in the body,  which helps purify it. Toxins are, therefore, released at a faster rate  which helps keep your urinary tract healthy.

6. Clears skin:  The vitamin C component helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes. Lemon water purges toxins from the blood which also helps  keep your skin clear.  It can actually be applied directly to scars to help reduce their appearance.

7. Freshens breath: Not only this, but it can help relieve tooth pain and gingivitis. The citric acid can erode tooth enamel, so make sure you dilute the lemon juice with a sufficient amount of water.

8. Relieves respiratory problems: Warm lemon water helps get rid of chest infections and halt those pesky coughs. It’s thought to be helpful for people with asthma and allergies too.

9. Keeps you Zen: Vitamin C is one of the first things depleted when you subject your mind and body to stress. As previously mentioned, lemons are full of vitamin C.

10. Helps kick the coffee habit: After taking a glass of warm lemon water, most people experience less cravings for coffee in the morning.

(Source)

How I Prepare My Lemon Water:

lemonwater
lemonwater

Ingredients:

lemonwater2
lemonwater2

The way you start your day is incredibly important. Try swapping your cup of coffee this week for a cup of warm lemon water instead. Who knows, you might have just met your new morning friend.