Thursday, April 27, 2023

Spa Day: The Peninsula Spa


No girls weekend would be complete without a spa day. Allow me to take you on a tour of the beautiful spa at the Peninsula Hotel in NYC, and the treatment I received. 

When you first walk in you are greeted by a relaxing atmosphere and calming aroma. After you check in you’re escorted to the locker room where you have access to both the wet and dry saunas. If that is not your style you also have the option of laying down in their relaxation room; which unfortunately I was unable to document because I was too relaxed. 

If you make your way upstairs you’ll find their state of the art gym and gorgeous pool oasis. I honestly forgot I was in the city. 

We then made our way back down to the waiting room which had the most impressive wooden chairs, and delightful snacks and tea. Next, it was time for my treatment. 

I usually get facials when I go to most any spa, including this one. However, something told me to try something new, and I am so glad I did! Mom and I selected one of the Peninsula’s signature 2 hour treatments, the Detox and Adrenal Program. My Spa Therapist, Sasha was so wonderful, and took the time to explain everything about my treatment. I never fully understood or believed chakras were even a thing until now, but I’m getting ahead of myself let me start at the beginning. 

The Detox Adrenal Program features two components: The Rasayana scrub, and The Rasayana wrap. 

The Rasayana scrub contains tulasi, walnut shells, cinnamon, and aloe. Tulasi is extremely detoxifying for the skin, the walnut shells are a physical exfoliant, and the cinnamon helps to brighten the skin and defend it from free radicals. Aloe is used for healing, and nourishing the skin. 

The Rasayana wrap has a variety of ingredients that are all detoxifying for the body and skin. These ingredients include, French green clay, green tea, spirulina, and tulsai. 

While I was wrapped up I felt like I was the ex-wife in that scene from Legally Blonde, when Elle and Emmet go to question her at the spa mid-treatment. Basically the spa moment I have been dreaming of ever since I was a kid. 

Then, Sasha helped me over to the shower to wash off all of the exfoliate. But wait there's more! 

The next portion of the treatment is the Blissful Marma Massage. It helps deliver immediate relaxation while taking care of your seeded tension. It has different levels of pressure (light, medium, and firm.) Several massage techniques are used including Deep Tissue, Swedish, Chakra Balancing, and Lymphatic Drainage. 

Let's break that down a little more. Chakra Balancing is a way of dispersing clogs between the ligaments and muscles. I could literally feel where my Chakra's where when Sasha pressed down on them. Like I said earlier,  I genuinely didn't think a chakra was something you could physically feel within your body, but boy was I wrong. I have never felt more rejuvenated than I did after this! 

Now I have always been a fan of any form of lymphatic drainage, as I am someone who holds onto fluids pretty easily. A lymphatic drainage massage helps by moving the lymph fluid towards the lymph node, where the fluid then gets deposited into the kidney and bladder as liquid waste. In other words, you pee it out. 

Overall, I highly highly recommend this treatment to anyone who is looking to help regulate your hormones, boost metabolism, immune system, and descrease stress. Oh and don't forget to ask for Sasha, and tell her I sent you! 

Until next time, 


Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Frevo: A Meal To Remember


Frevo is the most incredible restaurant you didn’t even know was there. Behind this beautiful art gallery in Greenwich Village you'll find the unique, Michelin Star restaurant. Step through the oversized painting to enter Frevo’s exclusive 16-seat chef’s counter.  

This dinner was unlike any other dining experience I’ve ever had. I’ve been to my fair share of fine dining, and Michelin star restaurants but, Frevo was next level.  The menu is pre-determined with the exception of your choice of some add ons which, of course, we indulged in. There was also a wine pairing option, but honestly I wanted to make sure I had room in my stomach. I was there for the food! 

 First Course: Shima-Aji, Shiso, and Trout Roe

Wow. Where do I even begin with this first course.  Roe is my favorite type of caviar, so I already knew this one was going to be a hit. We were told to eat it in one bite, but I honestly wish I ate it in two just to make it last longer. The flavors were incredible. The savory from the fish, and salty from the roe melted perfectly together; Along with that crunch I could have eaten 10 more of these. 

Second Course: Artichoke, Shitake, Truffle, Hokkaido Sea Urchin

The second course had the option to add on the Sea Urchin. My husband and I feel very strongly about Sea Urchin. Basically, if it is on the menu, GET IT! It is a hard ingredient to find, and very rare to see on a menu. The crunch of the truffle paired so well with the creamy consistency of the Sea Urchin. When we were done, my mom turned to me and said, "I understand now why you feel so strongly about Sea Urchin." Needless, to say this was incredible, and so full of flavor wow. 

Third Course: Broccoli, Orange, Blue Crab

This dish may look simple but it is far from it. The whipped blue crab melts in your mouth with a punch of flavor, and was unlike any blue crab dish I have ever tasted. 

Fourth Course: Naan, Tofu, Shabazi

So I am going to struggle with my words describing this dish. The spread you see in the picture was made from tofu, but you absolutely would never know. The texture was rich and creamy, and had a light almost cheese like flavor. I wish I could recreate this spread, but I am fairly certain they used magic on this one. 

Fifth Course: Amberjack, Jalapeno, Curry Leaves, Almond

The firth course was almost too pretty to eat, but once I started I couldn't stop. The amberjack, which is similar to yellowtail, sashimi on top of this refreshing gazpacho was unreal. (BTW they definitely didn't refer to this as a gazpacho, but I'm not sure what else to equate it to. However, what I know for sure is, it was delicious!)  The crispy jalapeños were a perfect finishing touch. 

Sixth Course: White Asparagus, Cashew, Caviar, White Asparagus Ice Cream

 We had the option to add on the asparagus ice cream and caviar, and of course we said yes. Who says no to caviar? Little did I know, this add on would feature one of the most unique flavors I have ever tried. The white asparagus was of course delicious, but the stand out was the asparagus ice cream with caviar.  I would have never thought to pair caviar with ice cream, let alone asparagus ice cream, but it was absolute perfection. 

Seventh Course: Madai, Shimeji, Yuzu Kosho

The star of the seventh course was the Madai. It holds high culinary and culture importance in Japan. Again, another ingredient you don't see just anywhere.  It absolutely melts in your mouth. 

Eighth Course: Lamb, Ras el Hanout, Perilla, Morels

What you don't see in this picture is actually my personal favorite part of this course, the Morels. Morel mushrooms are unique in shape and kind of resemble a honeycomb. They complemented the lamb so well. 

Ninth Course: 36-Month Comte Cheese, Honey, Truffle

Calling all cheese lovers, this one is for you. This pre-desert pretty much speaks for itself, aged cheese honey, and truffle I mean what would be bad?

Tenth Course: Chocolate, Wasabi, Porcini

It is no secret that my sweet tooth is second to none, and trust me this desert did not disappoint. The wasabi made this chocolate dish to special, and unlike any chocolate mousse i've ever tried. 

Surprise Eleventh Course!

That brings us to this last surprise. It was presented so beautifully in a Russian Nesting Doll-like contraption. It was the perfect bite. 

This meal was nothing short of spectacular, and I enjoyed every minute of it. If you are even mildly toying with making a reservation, DO IT! But hurry because they book up fast!

Until next time, 


Thursday, April 13, 2023

The Peninsula: 5th Avenue's Most Glamours Address

Every few months, My mom and I enjoy spending a girls weekend together, just the two of us. 99% of the time we go to NYC, and 100% of those times we stay at The Peninsula. It is safe to say it is one of my favorite hotels, and I am going to take you through why. 

Let's start with their ever-changing, and awe inspiring entrance decor. The Peninsula updates their lobby decor seasonally, and it is never short of jaw dropping. This past visit to the hotel may have been one of my favorites yet. This dangling chandelier-esq flower scape made me literally stop in my tracks. The installation featured individual flowers placed in singular vials, and was assembled over the course of 3 days. It was magical. 

You then walk through yet another beautiful art display which also changes seasonally. Not to mention, I am pretty sure the flooring in this room changes too. All of this, before you even get to your room!

Dress: Jesskae 

We stayed in a Grande Luxe Room which has a foray with my favorite mirror in the world (my IG fam gets it). It leads to a gorgeous marble four-fixture bathroom, with a separate shower and soaking tub complete with a TV. This bathroom is literally a dream to get ready and unready in. 

The Grand Luxe Room features the largest guest room with beautiful windows that over look 5th Ave or 55th St. Every time we have stayed here, they have provided us with a variety of edible welcome gifts. From cake balls to fruit bowls with chocolate, each one has made us feel appreciated as guests and very welcomed. 

My overall thoughts are this, if you want to stay at a super funky/trendy hotel in NYC this is not the one for you. If you want a classic, five-star (which the Peninsula has earned time and time again) experience with an attentive staff, and just about every amenity you can imagine... then this is the hotel for you. Oh and don't get me started on the Spa. The Peninsula Spa, is considered one of the best Spas in all of NYC.  It deserves a post all on its own, which is coming don't worry :).  Every time I walk into the lobby, I feel like I am in a Turner Classic movie, yet home at the same time. It is truly an experience like no other, and I highly recommend you plan your next stay in midtown here! 

Until next time! 

- Sammy 

All photos in this post are taken by me. Affiliate links featured. 

Friday, April 7, 2023

Empellón - Hot Spot Highlight

If you are in mid-town NYC Empellón  is a must stop! This contemporary Mexican restaurant is turning out innovative Mexican dishes along side a unique cocktail menu. 

For an appetizer, we shared the crab nachos with uni (sea urchin) queso. It was absolutely incredible! This is such a special dish. Uni is extremely rare to see on a menu in general let alone at a Mexican restaurant. This combination of flavors was perfection. I honestly would have been happy if that was all I ate. 

Next for our mains,  my mom and I split the fish tempura tacos and mushroom tacos. Both were perfectly seasoned and delicious. The mushroom tacos are definitely on the spicy side, but it’s not overwhelming. The fish tacos were portioned in a way to make sure each bite was full of all the flavors from the tempura crunch to the slaw in the corn tortillas. It was incredible. 

For desert, they treated my mom and I to a delectable Mexican inspired take on an ice cream sandwich. The waffle cone was taco shaped and presently beautifully. Around the taco were salted corn curnels. I was so stuffed, but I couldn’t put them down. 

Margaritas are one of my favorite cocktails I had a hard time choosing from their list of specialty margs.  I landed on the Mother of Dragons margarita which was made with agave nectar, lime juice, and smoked salt. I would definitely get it again. It was refreshing and not too sweet. 

Overall, the experience was excellent and  I highly recommend you grab a table next time you’re in town. 

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Skin Care Routine Breakdown

If you know me at all, you know I take my skincare seriously. Frankly, I’ve been using anti-aging skincare products since I was in my early twenties. My moto towards proper skincare has always been it’s easier to prevent than it is to correct. Now that I am officially in my 30’s, I am confident that all of my trial and error, money, and research I put into perfecting my skincare routine has paid off. 

I would describe my skin type as combination-normal but leaning towards sensitive. Therefore, the main products used in my routine would honestly work well for anyone! So I’ll stop blabbering. Here is what you’re really here for… this is a breakdown of my personal skincare routine and the order in which I apply it.  

Step One: Remove Make Up (optional step on no make up days)

Bioderma is hands down the best micellar water out there. It does not leave a weird residue, on the skin, like most other brand’s do. I take 3 aesthetician wipes and apply the bioderma to each side of the stack of wipes to get the most out of the product. I dampen 3 wipes to use one for each eye, and one for the face. 

Pro tip: Hold the wipe or pad on your eye for at least 30 seconds.  Allow the micellar water to emulsify the eye makeup before wiping away. Be gentle and do not rub the eye area! 

Step Two: Cleanse 

It has taken me a long time to find a cleanser that I like. I feel that a lot of cleansers out there are very drying, and don’t actually leave my skin feeling clean. However, the La Roche Posh cream cleanser does a wonderful job penetrating the pores to rid the skin of excess sebum, diet and oils. The cream consistency is also preferable because it doesn’t leave my skin feeling try afterwards. 

Step Three: Chemical Exfoliate 

This was my introduction to the brand Biologique Recherche, and I have never looked back. Well technically I was using a different version. I started with the original 1970 P50 lotion, but that is very strong, and honestly probably too harsh for most people. After a Biologique facial my aesthetician recommend the P50W. It is far more gentle on skin, but still leaves my skin feeling extremely soft and rejuvenated. 

Now what is so special about a chemical exfoliate? Unlike physical exfoliates, you are not damaging the epidermis layer of the skin. Instead P50 lotion is a gradual exfoliation that eliminates only the dead skin cells and impurities form the skin. It also helps to rebalance the skin's pH resulting in more even skintone and more resilient epidermis. The ingredients in P50W specifically minimize reactions associated with exfoliation. So this is completely safe for those with sensitive skin. 

Step Four: Eye Treatment 

It is important to treat the eye area with care. The skin around the eye and nasal folds around the mouth is 6 times thinner than the rest of the skin on your face. I have yet to find an eye cream or serum that I 100% standby but this is what I am currently using. I look for products with moisture enriching ingredients  to help maintain a healthy and youthful appearance under the eyes. I then use any excess product on the smile lines between the nostril and corner of the mouth. 

Step Five: Serums 

This step is used to treat specific problem areas. I use Dermapore by Biologique to treat my enlarged nose pores. There are a lot of products on the market that claim to reduce the appearance of pores. In my experience I believe this is the only one that actually works. I do not use this serum anywhere else on my face. 

Next I use Serum Amniotique VG and apply it to my cheeks and forehead. These areas of my face are more dehydrated and by adding in an additional moisturizing serum I am able to combat that. 

Step Six: Moisturize 

Last step is moisturizer. I use moisturizer last because it has the largest molecular compound, and will seal in all of the other products I just applied. Skincare products should be applied from lightest to heaviest. This allows each product to properly penetrate the pores, and do what they are supposed to do essentially. 

I love this moisturizer because it is simple and hydrating. It absorbs into myself nicely, and waking up in the morning my skin looks vibrant and healthy.