So, How was the food?

It’s a question I get asked constantly since I returned from Turkey. Every-time I relive the experience I get excited about traveling all over again. Being the foodie that I am, I fully intended to eat well while in Istanbul. I found the food to be tasty. Traditional dishes like kebab were served with rice and french fries. The food at more inventive restaurants like The House Cafe served dishes like this quinoa salad.


The salad had my name written all over it. I couldn’t even finish it, and trust me I tried. It had  pumpkin, beets, radishes, arugula – they call it “rocket”, and they topped it off with creme cheese blobs around it. That alone made the salad creamy, very rich, and made everything else in the dish burst with flavor.

In the mornings I’d curl up with my iPad, catch up on stateside news on the patio, or in the lobby of the hotel and have a latte and small pastries.


They also made sure to send over freshly made — in house Turkish Delight! You see only 1 remains on my plate.

The dish below is from Masa.  Its located on the top of the one the more luxurious malls I’ve ever been to called Istinye Park. I made sure to finish this meal. Seafood Spaghetti done just right with freshly ground pepper on top.


This zucchini pizza could have easily been shared between 2 people. I wish I would have known that when I ordered it. It was so good; I was actually disappointed I couldn’t finish it.


My absolute favorite food moment though was this one…


Our new good friend Yesmin, who we met whilst enjoying the fantastic Happy Hour in the Executive Lounge of the hotel, blog on that coming soon, and Turkey native suggested we end our last full day having high tea at the palace.

Now when I heard palace I said “please indeed”. So off we went after lunch at Masa, my BFF and I en route to Ciragan Palace Kempinski. It was definitely a new level of luxury for me. The location is amazing – overlooking the Bosphorus, it’s indeed a fairytale destination that packs a punch!

Of course no meal in Turkey would be complete without either Turkish tea or coffee. I loved that all of the simpler things, such as coffee and tea are always served with a side of infused water like the tea below, and also the lovely platters it’s served on.



Of course we also partook in the room service offerings. Like the burger and fries I conquered after a particularly late night out.


So, How was the food? Great!


5 Things

I am not done blogging about my trip to Istanbul, I haven’t even shared the food! But even I got tired, momentarily — of writing about it. So I decided to do another 5 Things post.

1. Growing – My friend Janelle, owner and founder of fashion and beauty firm Suite PR took time out of her busy schedule to spruce up my part of the web.

I LOVE the redesign. We had so much fun cutting up between her designing headers, us deciding on workable colors – she’s for no color, while I need to see all the crayons, and watching the RHOA reunion Pt 1.  If this is your first time visiting then you have no idea how wretched, but effective the last theme was. This current one though, speaks to my soul. Its classic, timeless and fresh.

2. Acting Life Pt 1 – Law & Order SVU Intensive – I had my fist casting director intensive yesterday at Actors Connection.  It went…blah. I made a choice based on the script and the casting direction (CD) interpreted it differently. It could have been because of how that particular episode actually aired, but we definitely approached it from different angles. Nevertheless, he did say I was getting closer based on my second take at it. I m glad I went though. I got a lot of information and am starting to form relationships with some of the gate-keepers. I’ll give it a couple of months and try his intensive later in the year.

3. #GirlfriendDay – I love when I can link up with my friends and decompress. Last week Janelle, myself and The Style Maverick decided to have lunch at one of our favorite restaurants and my first ever hostess job Locanda Verde. It was sooo good seeing my old co-workers and managers; they even sent over desserts!

Below is a pic of Janelle and I as we were leaving the restaurant. I call it #GirlfriendDay because it’s always the full day.


After lunch we grabbed drinks at The Top of The Standard in the Meatpacking District.

The Top of The Standard Interior

4.  Acting Life Pt 2 – I finished a on-camera commercial class right before Istanbul and as of yesterday an intensive with a casting director (CD) so I scheduled time to meet with my career counselor Chantal over at TVI studios, she’s been a great help to me in navigating my career and she agrees that its time to take things to the next level, which means showcasing with agents/management and getting in front of more CD’s. She also gave me a list of things to do and a lot of insight and clarity overall. Now I have to take all that NEW information implement and test it.

5. Viewing – I’ve become a bit of a you-tuber. I am always watching T.D. Jake’s, Fulton J. Sheen…etc.  I’ve been getting more focused on my health and fitness and before Istanbul I got into Jillian Michaels videos. This week however was all about hair “typing” videos. I’ve decided I fall in the 4A-Z category.  I have been devouring the techniques and minimalist approach of  Alicia James. I too suffer from major shrinkage so I tried both her blow-dry and flat-iron methods and my hair came out lovely. I did a twist out the following day and it was beautiful. I’m going to continue the approach and check my crowns health at the end of May. Check out Alicia’s “No Heat On Ends” technique below.



A Fashionable Vacation – Overpacking & Vintage Shopping in Turkey

And as I did going to Aruba in 2012, I did going to Istanbul. I over-packed.

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Aside from the jewelry pictured above I also had another case full of earrings, bracelets, and rings, the image above also has 2 layers of necklaces below it. lol What’s funny is I pre- packed and left many things behind. Yet I still had so much I didn’t use.

Not to mention my cell, iPad, laptop and the coordinating chargers.

But be that as it may, I had a lot of fun getting dressed up everyday.


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I did my homework before the trip and came across: Istanbul’s Top 10 Secondhand Clothing Shops and being the thrifter I am, I made sure to visit some of the places on the list. I stopped by By Retro and Nahil.

By Retro is Istanbul’s largest and oldest secondhand shop. By far the most impressive vintage store I’ve ever seen. You need a week to sift through all the merchandise. I saw gowns, a couch piled high with leather outerwear, sections full of skates and TV’s, shelves of sunglasses, leather briefcases and clutches. And don’t forget to look up, for the bars above housed off-season items like fur coats, more dresses, blazers, you name it. They also have a section of costumes for rent only.

There were so many hidden crevices and racks of clothing that were impossible to get to, at least on this trip. Below are some pictures of By Retro, and a picture of me with some of the shops attendants.

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The other store Nahil was full of gems like a selection of heavily curated shoes, I even spotted some gorgeous gold Givenchy sandals, tons of men’s blazers and jeans, and plenty of women’s dresses and accessories. I scored a vintage Fendi purse at Nahil the condition was great and at 30 TL = $15 I could not say NO!

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Below are pics of the Fendi bag I got and two dresses I purchased from By Retro.

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I had so much fun navigating the stores and can’t wait to go back and get more goodies. What you can’t see too well is the vintage terry cloth romper I also got at By Retro. I knew from the moment I put it on that it would be mine and that I’d live in it. I can’t get enough of it. I put it on and feel like a super hero. Honest to God. I could wear it everyday and maybe someday I’ll have someone make me a whole slew of them in every.damn.color! #boss