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Multiracial Mixed Woman

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THE MCCLURE TWINS


THE MCCLURE TWINS via Swirl Nation Blog

We've loved the McClure Twins ever since we featured them on our blog back in March as a Featured Multiracial Family! The other day I was on YouTube and stumbled across this adorable video of the girls, Ava and Alexis, discovering they look exactly the same. It is the most adorable thing ever! You can follow all of the cuteness that is the McClure Family on their YouTube Channel


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LEO'S LETTERS: CUSTOM PAINTED LETTERS FOR KID'S ROOMS AND NURSERIES


One thing I really love about having Swirl Nation Blog as an outlet, is that is provides me with the chance to promote and support amazing men, women and families! Next month we will be featuring the adorable Seestone-Ramirez family from Provo, UT as a Featured Multiracial Family, but will mom Anna was filling out her profile she shared her business Leo's Letters and I became obsessed! So I wanted to share the cuteness with all of you:) 

Leo's Letters (named after Anna's son Leo) is an adorable business Anna started custom painting letters for kid's rooms and nurseries. Anna is a mom, a full time student and a business owner all at the age of 22! These letters would make the most amazing holiday gift for a kid of any age!

Check out some of the projects she has worked on and go to her Etsy page to order some for a cute kid in your life! 

Leo's Letters on IG and Etsy!


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OBSESSED: RUMOR MILL, PRINCE HARRY AND MEGHAN MARKLE


So, I’m not entirely sure this story is true, but let’s pretend it is because it’s AMAZING! For the past few days several news outlets have been reporting that 32-year-old Prince Henry of Wales (better known as Prince Harry) is dating 35-year-old American actress of “Suits” fame, Meghan Markle. I don’t know what’s better, the fact that she’s three years his senior or she’s a gorgeous mixed woman! I honestly can’t remember that I’ve ever heard of someone in the British royal family being linked romantically to someone of mixed race (don’t quote me). While growing up queens and princess were always white, and the first black princess I can even remember (besides, Lisa McDowell in “Coming to America”) is Tiana in “The Princess in the Frog.” The problem here – both of those stories were fictional, and this story is real (well, maybe). Anyway, I love this rumor because I hope whether it’s true or not it gives little mixed girls hope that they someday can be princesses, too. Go Meghan, get you a prince!

OBSESSED: RUMOR MILL, PRINCE HARRY AND MEGHAN MARKLE via Swirl Nation Blog

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THE.WAV


I am currently OBSESSED with The.Wav! And honestly I have been for the last few years. Watching the evolution of these magnetic artists has been amazing. The.Wav combines different rhythms, sounds, and cultures to create their own sound, which they describe as Afro-Trap.

The group itself is comprised of 4 members, Gregory Stutzer, Kelly Be, Cardigan Deville, and Badí. Each from a different cultural background, and their backgrounds are definitely reflected in their music and even in the title of their new album, Diaspora of Sound. 

This album has something for everyone! From the Caribbean pop Carnivál vibes of their hit single “Love Games” to the hypnotic lush jungle rhythms of “Claim My Love”, you’re sure to find yourself winding your waist and drifting off with the music. 

THE.WAV via Swirl Nation Blog

The.Wav will be hosting an album release party on November 3rd at Los Globos in Los Angeles. And just in case you needed any more reasons to love them, the party will feature all female DJ's and percussionist from different cultural backgrounds! Talk about representation! 

There will be a special guest list for friends of Swirl Nation Blog. 

To RSVP, please shoot an email to swirlnationblog@gmail.com 

 

We hope to see you there as we get down to multi-cultural grooves and celebrate the diverse beauty of the diaspora! 

THE.WAV via Swirl Nation Blog

Check out their website for music and videos.


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MOM LIFE YO


MOM LIFE YO via Swirl Nation Blog

Mom Life Yo! Mom life is crazy, as those of us who have experienced it know all too well! I love this new online radio show where the creators, T Lopez and Breegan Jane, share their thoughts on mom related topics as well as sharing music. It is designed for mom's to listen to while they multitask! 

MOM LIFE YO via Swirl Nation Blog

Music is something that binds these two friends together. T Lopez is an award-winning Mexican-American singer, actress and television host from Southern California. A former member of the Latina group Soluna, T Lopez has toured the world with Grammy artists Enrique Iglesias and Marc Anthony; she has also recorded with top artists T-Pain, Lil Wayne and Jon Secada. Now a solo artist and mother of two girls, T Lopez is serving up bilingual entertainment on the stage, television, big screen and behind the mic. 

Breegan Jane is a DJ, interior designer, and restaurateur born and raised in Southern California. She is the entrepreneur, owner and designer behind LEONA Venice, one of the city's most popular and stylish restaurants. As a DJ, Breegan’s passion for music echoes throughout her curated playlists of blended rhythms and feelgood vibes. You’ll find Breegan spinning and dancing her heart out with her favorite clients, her two boys.

I love that these two busy moms are taking the time for friendship and also to share their experiences! Motherhood can be such an overwhelming experience at times, I love the mix of casual conversation and fun music that Mom Life Yo has! 

Take a listen! 

You can also follow the Mom Life Yo crew on social: IG // FB // YT


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THE ART OF KOHSHIN AND DELFIN FINLEY


 Kohshin Finley

Kohshin Finley

I was lucky enough to meet brothers Kohshin and Delfin Finley last fall through my friend Elizabeth, who is best friends with Kohshin and Delfin's mother, Blanca. The moment I saw their work, I knew I had to meet them and I was lucky enough to collaborate with them on an art show very soon after! 

Both brothers are clearly extraordinarily talented painters and all of their work is incredible, but my favorite pieces are the ones that dive into social issues, specifically tied to their experiences as young, multiracial men. 

 Delfin Finley

Delfin Finley

In Kohshin's piece Camouflage For The Modern Man you see a black man with white paint on his skin, representing a need to camouflage his blackness in order to stay safe in today's world. Similarly in Only Way To Make The News At 25 you see Kohshin actually as a self-portrait also covered in white paint for protection. 

Delfin's piece Dead Man Walking shows a young man crumpled onto the pavement. 

I think you will find their work as powerful as I do! I can't wait to see these two young talents take over the art world! 

 

KOHSHIN FINLEY, CAMOUFLAGE FOR THE MODERN MAN

 KOHSHIN FINLEY //   Camouflage for the Modern Man , 2015  // Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas  

KOHSHIN FINLEY // Camouflage for the Modern Man, 2015 // Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas
 

 KOHSHIN FINLEY //   Only Way to Make the News at 25 , 2015  // Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas

KOHSHIN FINLEY // Only Way to Make the News at 25, 2015 // Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas

ABOUT KOHSHIN FINLEY

 @kohshin_nn

@kohshin_nn

Kohshin Finley is a contemporary painter based in Los Angeles, CA. He received a BFA from Otis College of Art and Design. Kohshin utilizes traditional oil painting techniques and contemporary text-based imagery to communicate a character’s emotional travels; where they were; where they are; and where they will be.
Kohshin explains his work by saying, “Los Angeles’ graffiti covered walls and sign-lettered awnings are as artistically inspiring to me as the classic works of the Renaissance. Just as a songwriter tells stories through rhythm and melody, I tell my stories with brushes and paint. The subjects of my paintings are captured in a vulnerable state of being, at their most honest and revealing. Poems and short tales are written in diaristic scrawls throughout the paintings as if the characters wrote them. I utilize traditional oil painting techniques and contemporary text-based imagery to communicate a character’s emotional travels; where they were; where they are; and where they will be. I create paintings in this way to showcase my own vulnerabilities, and to give the viewer permission to discover something about themselves when viewing my paintings. I utilize traditional oil painting techniques and contemporary text-based imagery to communicate a character’s emotional travels; where they were; where they are; and where they will be.”

DELFIN FINLEY, DEAD MAN WALKING

  DELFIN FINLEY //   Dead Man Walking // O  il on Polyester

DELFIN FINLEY // Dead Man Walking // Oil on Polyester

ABOUT DELFIN FINLEY

 @delfinley

@delfinley

Delfin Finley grew up in South Central Los Angeles and always felt a great connection to the art that sprouted around him. Instead of letting his spirit sink with the chipped paint and broken windows of the abandoned buildings, he saw beauty in the vibrant colors and lines of the graffiti embellishing the alleys. He found even more inspiration in the people that found their voice through a spray can.
He was born with a need to journal his experiences through drawing and later through oil painting. He speaks through his images, which flow more easily than words. His portraits convey the emotion and angst of love lost, the pain of depression, racism and ultimately the joy and beauty of a moment forever captured on canvas.
THE ART OF KOHSHIN AND DELFIN FINLEY via Swirl Nation Blog

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AMIT SHIMONI'S 'HIPSTORY'


I love art. Like LOVE, LOVE, LOVE art. The walls of my apartment are overflowing with pieces from amazing artists, many of whom I discovered online or on Instagram. Recently I came across an artist's Instagram profile that instantly caught my attention!

Let me introduce you to the work of Isreali illustrator, Amit Shimoni.

AMIT SHIMONI'S 'HIPSTORY' via Swirl Nation Blog

His series HIPSTORY has reimagined world icons such as Barack Obama, Martin Luther King, Queen Elizabeth II, Che Guevera, and of course Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump into technicolor hipsters!

The pieces are amazing! Barack all tatted up, the Dalai Lama in a hoodie and a mohawk, Martin with the flat brim, and Hillary rocking purple ombre hair- each one has special details and I love the bold, colorful style. 

On his Facebook page, Amit shares this philosophy about his work:

I am Shimoni, a young designer, illustrating is my love. I think anything can be turn into an illustration, seriously anything, whether it is scenery or a feeling; and I believe an illustration has a place anywhere, seriously anywhere, whether it is in the Louvre, or on coasters, if it is illustrated I love it.
I see my creation process as a game of "Ping-Pong" with the reality, I capture things that
arouse thoughts and feelings within myself, and through my filters, I bring it back to world as a drawing. I hope that after going through my filters, these final outcome will light something in you, or at least give you something to contemplate about, but not less important I hope you will find them beautiful.
 Click here to check out his Instagram!

Click here to check out his Instagram!

Amit told the Huffington Post:

“When I started ‘HIPSTORY’ I only wanted to deal with the dead leaders,” he said. “But with today’s personification of politics, you see how leaders are being iconized already in the process of their election. And Trump is a good example of that.”

I can’t wait to see who hipster-izes next! I also need to figure out a way to clear some wall space so I can start my own HIPSTORY collection! 

 

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SWIRL KITCHEN: SHRIMP AND CHICKEN LETTUCE CUPS


 Curried chicken

Curried chicken

If you are looking for the perfect summer dinner this is it! It is quick and doesn't require too much cooking. 

 

CURRIED SHRIMP AND LETTUCE CUPS

For chicken: 

  • Heat oven to 425
  • Cover two chicken breasts with curry spice (any organic curry mix is fine), salt and pepper. Then drizzle olive oil over top and place in oven for approximately 15 minutes. 

For shrimp: 

  • Heat skillet to medium and add 1tbsp of olive oil 
  • Sprinkle with curry spice, salt and pepper on top of shrimp and place in skillet.
  • Cook a couple minutes on each side until shrimp look pink

 

Sauce mixture: 

  • Get a bowl and mix 1/4c of mayo, 1/4c of Greek yogurt, and half a small dallop of something sweet. I used Walden Farms Calorie Free maple syrup because it doesn't have carbs. If you aren't Keto you can use honey. Mix together. 
  • Then add 1/8c of golden raisins, 1 piece of celery chopped small, and a small bunch of purple grapes sliced in half. Set aside. 

 

Assemble: 

  • Add sauce mixture to lettuce cups
  • Place protein on top
  • Add cashews for crunch 

And serve! Delicious! 

 Curried shrimp

Curried shrimp


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SUMMER PLAYLIST PICKS: GIRL POWER MIX


Summer time is the perfect time for GIRL POWER! Right now I am obsessed with three “I got the juice/Best you ever had” songs.  

First up, Rihanna! Rihanna has been known for her in your face attitude, but this song seals the deal for me. “Needed Me” is an unapologetic “Boy bye! Don’t get it twisted.” to the guy who just can’t seem to understand you simply do NOT need him.

Needed Me – Rihanna

Next up, Ms. Lopez comes through with in your face girl power, chanting “I aint your mama” and a list of things she AIN’T gonna be doin’ this summer.

“Ain’t your mama” – J. Lo.

Finally, we have Fergie! It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Fergie Ferg, but she’s back and celebrating her success as both a mother and an independent boss in her new song. Plus the video features some cameos from some pretty bad celebrity mamma-jammas including Kim K and Chrissy Teigen.

“M.I.L.F. $ ” – Fergie 


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SUMMER PLAYLIST PICKS: SUN BLEACHED


SUMMER PLAYLIST PICKS: SUN BLEACHED via Swirl Nation Blog

I don’t get to wear a swim suit very often, so mine usually hangs out at the bottom of a drawer waiting for summer and the day I get to hop on a plane to a tropical location. So when I finally dug it out of the depths for my trip to the Big Island, I was surprised at how sun bleached it was. Then when I landed in Kona, I pulled out my yellow iPod Nano (circa 2011), plugged it into the car… And realized just how sun bleached my playlists were looking, too. A little faded, a little worn from one too many listens, not to mention, I think the newest album on my trusty litt player might be the Arctic Monkeys’ AM. It might be time to get some new tunes, but for now, I don’t mind sticking to the songs that served as my soundtracks for summers past. Though I might be in the market for a new swim suit. Without further ado, here’s my Sun Bleached Summer Playlist:

 

  1. Blister in the Sun - Violent Femmes
  2. Pass This On - The Knife
  3. Sunset - The xx
  4. Lysergic Bliss - Of Montreal
  5. Into the Sun - Sean Lennon
  6. Sunday Girl - Blondie
  7. Play with Fire - Rolling Stones
  8. Oslo in the Summertime - Of Montreal
  9. Summer’s Thirst - Pretty Lights
  10. It Is Not Meant To Be - Tame Impala
  11. Golden Brown - The Stranglers
  12. Holy Roller - Thao & The Get Down Stay Down
  13. Sunny Afternoon - The Kinks
  14. Losing You - Solange
  15. Vacation - The Go-Go’s

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SUMMER PLAYLIST PICKS: YUNA

I have become somewhat Obsessed with Malaysian singer Yuna. Her voice is addicting and her style is fierce too. I’ve been listening to her old album a lot lately, the self-titled Yuna came out in 2012. Lullabies is my favorite song, it totally transports me. There isn’t a video for Lullabies, not sure why, but take a listen:

The tone of her voice and this particular song also totally remind me of this other singer I used to LOVE, her name was Hope and I would listen to her song Who Am I To Say about 100 times a day.

 

 

Ok back to Yuna... her new album is titled Chapters and came out this year. She has a song called Crush with Usher that I also love. Her voice is like silk. I also love the interracial love story that plays out in this video between a young asian boy and black girl.

I also love that Yuna is one of the rare pop stars that has a more modest style which makes her stand out and she wears a headscarf or hijab at all times. You can see that on display on her Instagram page.


 

 


 

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YOU TUBE CHANNEL: ELIZABETH ISRAEL


YOU TUBE CHANNEL: ELIZABETH ISRAEL via Swirl Nation Blog

I discovered Elizabeth Israel because of this Buzzfeed article which was about how some loser was shaming her online for looking drastically different when she was wearing makeup vs bare faced.

Elizabeth told Buzzfeed

“I love wearing makeup because in my eyes it’s art, yes, it boosts my confidence, yes, I feel more lively wearing it, but no, I don’t rely on it or love myself any less without it.”
YOU TUBE CHANNEL: ELIZABETH ISRAEL via Swirl Nation Blog

Her girlfriend then went on social media with this kick ass response: 

YOU TUBE CHANNEL: ELIZABETH ISRAEL via Swirl Nation Blog

Elizabeth does makeup tutorials that are pretty impressive. She definitely completely transforms her face and has some great tips. I would categorize her makeup style as "Kardashian like". Much heavier than I would typically wear, but then again I basically only wear eyeliner and mascara unless I'm going out.

Here are some of her videos, watch and learn! 

 

EVERYDAY EYE MAKEUP 

 

MY CURRENT EYEBROW ROUTINE


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YOU TUBE CHANNEL: THE REAL


YouTube is one of my favorite ways to not only listen to music and watch videos, but gives my ears what my daytime life cannot afford me since I’m working and that’s The Real. The Real is a diverse group of daytime talk show hosts that is akin to The View or even The Talk except more appealing, fun, and honest.

YOU TUBE CHANNEL THE REAL via Swirl Nation Blog

Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate what The View and The Talk have done for it’s worldwide audiences, but The Real is the first daytime talk show I can relate to as a millennial. The group of women is comprised of all ethnic backgrounds with comic Loni Love (Black), singer/actress Adrienne Bailon (Hispanic), Fashion Expert Jeannie Mai (Vietnamese/Chinese) and biracial actress Tamara Mowry-Housley. It’s important to get a group of women with varied careers, personalities, beliefs, and cultural backgrounds so the conversations are fresh, entertaining and educational.

The subject matter they discuss covers everything from trending topics, politics, fashion, interviews with celebrities, and candid opinions that are reflective of not only their beliefs, but where they come from in their respective industries and lives. I do not get the opportunity to tune into the TV when they are on live so YouTube allows me to see clips and highlights from the show throughout my day. It is not only a nice refresher for what can be a long day in the office, but also the co-hosts are very charismatic which keeps me engaged instead of bored.

On the YouTube channel you will a lot of content that ranges from games they played, interviews, key topics and focused discussions on daily news to what is going on in pop culture. It does not feel rehearsed or that I’m watching a conversation that I in no way can understand or relate to, it is in fact just the opposite. As an audience member I feel like I’m participating in conversations that I am invested in and have either had in real life or am grappling with in my personal life. Check out The Real, these ladies are bringing fresh, fun voices to television and I’m so happy they are getting the Emmy nominations they deserve along with recognition on multiple networks and media platforms.

Check out some of my favorite moments on The Real:


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YOU TUBE CHANNEL: IT'S AKILAH, OBVIOUSLY


I first discovered Akilah when I was writing my cultural appropriation post.  She made a hilarious parody poking fun at such things like thinking it is ok to fetishize adopting a baby from another culture than your own…  She had me at “OMG, I want to adopt a white baby!”  I occasionally go down the rabbit hole of what is her YouTube Channel, oddly called SmoothieFreak.

A little about Akilah, from her website:

Hello there! Chances are good that if you’re reading this, you know that I’m Akilah…obviously. I’m a comedian (stand up, sketch, improv, writer, YouTuber, etc.,) originally from Cincinnati (who dey?!) who is now hanging out in Brooklyn, NY.  I write for FusionHelloGigglesFemsplain, and Refinery29, and I am a sketch and improv person trained at Upright Citizens Brigade. I take lots of photos and make lots of YouTube videos, and generally have too widespread of an interest pool to be one of those niche blogs. Here you will find posts about hair, pop culture, race, comedy, being a 20-something lady, fashion, makeup, being good at things, being terrible at things, moving to NYC and pretty much any topic in-between.
 

Below are some of my favorite videos.  Enjoy!

The video that started it all:

White Party

 

Some other favorites:

Meet Your First Black Girlfriend

Every Natural Hair Video Ever

How Black People Feel About Haunted Houses


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SWIRL BEAUTY: COLOUR POP BOLD LIP


  ColourPop (Are&Be)

ColourPop (Are&Be)

So let me say first and foremost I have been a minimalist with make-up my whole life. I am not the person looking up pallets, studying tutorials, and spending a boatload on make-up. There is nothing wrong with it nor am I shading any women that do it, I applaud you, admire you, and give you praise. You have something I do not. Patience and Willpower. Personally, I started out being more of an eye make up only person and this past year started playing more with my cheeks and lips thanks to ColourPop which is based out of Los Angeles.

  Colour Pop (Mess Around)

Colour Pop (Mess Around)

I discovered them when Karruche Tran released a line of shadows, matte lips, lip pencils, and cheek highlighter as part of her partnership with ColourPop that they do with celebrities. What attracted me to the line was that it was fairly inexpensive and Tran had a skin tone similar to mine so I had an idea of what her make-up could look like on me. This is extremely vital visually because I was ordering online through a company I had never heard of in my life and couldn’t exactly try on samples.  Needless to say I became hooked and have ordered several different ultra-matte lipsticks, ultra-satin lips, and other various make-up they have since they keep a rotation of new items in steady supply.

The only make up tip I have for you is that I’ve continuously experimented since my ColourPop revitalization and that is a bold lip is all you need. I think no matter the shade a bright, dark, or neutral lip can really add an extra pop of color to your face and overall look. Sure you can dress it up with some good eye shadow and bronzer which I do from time to time, but I love the fullness that adding color gives to my lips. I feel fierce, strong, and that I look like a badass which can help my mood especially when I’m headed to work. I do recommend using the lip pencil if one is suggested or provided with your token lip color because it helps define and outline the shape of your lips. Here’s to full lips and big smiles for the summe

  ColourPop (Lyin King)

ColourPop (Lyin King)


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SWIRL COCKTAILS: THE OLD FASHIONED


So when I walk into a bar, or better yet, mix my own drink at home, my one and only goal is to have myself a drink that makes me feel like Don Draper in the first couple seasons of “Mad Men.” Back when he was cool, in control and stylish, unlike his sloppier self later in the series.

  Yes,   this   Don Draper. Peggy Olson’s looking pretty slick, too, I have to admit.

Yes, this Don Draper. Peggy Olson’s looking pretty slick, too, I have to admit.

Before you get on my case for making Don Draper’s drink of choice my drink of choice, I know, a privileged white man from the 60s isn’t the best cocktail (or life) role model for a young Hapa girl. Especially one whose drinking genetics definitely leave her with that certain “glow” after a cocktail or two… But, you’ve got to admit that he’s got his classic cool down pat and who can blame a girl for wanting to exude some of that?

 

I could tell you the recipes to some of my go to drinks at the moment, but they tend to be only a one or two ingredient kind of deal: whiskey on the rocks, whiskey and soda, whiskey. They’re pretty self explanatory.

 

Instead, I’ll turn my attention to the Old Fashioned--don’t worry, I’m not going to give you a history lesson. An Old Fashioned is something you’ve probably seen on a number of cocktail menus, or at least a variation of it, and let me tell you--it is tasty… As long as you like your whiskey. From what I gather, this drink has been around since the 1800s and for good reason. It’s a little sweet, a little citrus-y, and it’s not something your bartender can just water down, since it’s almost all parts booze.

 

So mix you and your friends up a couple, slick your hair back, and do your best Don Draper imitation. Winner gets to mix the second round.

What you need:

-Pick a good rye or bourbon whiskey (I personally enjoy Bulleit Rye, since it’s a little more budget friendly, but still makes you feel a little like a bootlegger.)

-1 sugar cube or ½ a tablespoon of loose sugar

-Angostura bitters

-Ice cube(s) if you’ve got the nice big block cubes that could easily break a window if thrown, just use one, but you may need a few if you’re using regular ice tray-sized cubes

-Splash of water

-Orange peel and a lighter (If you’re an Old Fashioned snob, you won’t add the orange or the cherry, but if you like a little fruit action, go for it.)

-Maraschino cherry (Read above.)

 

How to make it:

  1. Put the sugar cube or ½ tablespoon of sugar in your glass and splash 2 or 3 dashes of Angostura bitters onto the sugar.

  2. Add no more than a splash of water to it.

  3. If you’re adding a maraschino cherry, drop it in now.

  4. Muddle everything together using a muddler (If you’re fancy) or a spoon (If you’re like me).

  5. Add the ice cube(s).

  6. Pour in 2 oz. of whiskey.

  7. Now here’s where you get really swanky: Take your orange peel and a lighter, singe the orange peel just a little, twist the orange peel directly over your drink so the zest/orange oil will hit the surface of the Old Fashioned and then plink the same orange peel into the Old Fashioned.

  8. Cheers! (Or if you’re drinking alone… Well. We don’t judge here.)

 

Until next time!


 

 

 

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SWIRL DESTINATIONS: GUADELOUPE

Guadeloupe in 3 Days


I recently got back from a mini vacation to Guadeloupe. Sorry, not sorry! This beautiful island is located in the Caribbean and part of the French Antilles.

It’s stunning. Oh and French is the national language. Je parle francais… un peu.

There are two parts to the main island, Basse Terre and Grande Terre. We stayed in Basse Terre which is considered the more rugged part of the main island – we didn’t have time to visit both sides. We were literally only there for 3 full days, but when you find round trip airfare for under $200 you get it and go!

How do you make the most out of a mini vacation? By renting a car. Luckily at 15 – 25 dollars a day it won’t break your bank. Staying at an Air BnB spot in Deshaies we were only a short car ride away from what is known as one of the most beautiful beaches Guadeloupe has to offer – Grande Anse.

Here is my day by day breakdown on what we did and where we ate! A more detailed description will follow in the coming weeks.

Day 1 – We arrived around 8:30pm and by the time we dropped our bags off at the Air BnB spot most of the restaurants were closed on the Rue de la Vague Bleue. However, Le Madras was open!

Day 2 – We spent the morning at Grand Anse Beach. Lunch at Les Delices d’Adrianna Bokits and Bar au Jus. After lunch we headed to Cascade aux Ecrevisses in Parc du National Guadeloupe. That evening we went back to Rue de la Vague Bleue and had drinks while the sun set at L’Amer. Dinner was at La Savane – number 3 on Trip Advisor.

Day 3 – We drove about 2 hours to get to Les Chutes des Carbet. Christopher Columbus noted these waterfalls in his log in 1493. They are so tall that they are visible from the sea! Gorgeous amazing waterfalls! The Deuxium (second) Chute is 2200 feet in elevation and it’s 360 feet tall. The Premier (first) Chute is 3000 feet in elevation and 410 feet tall. It’s quite the hike and you gain about 1000 feet, which is roughly equivalent to 8 miles round trip, to see the first waterfall, but it is so worth it! The water was a bit too cold for me to go swimming. After our hike, we thought we’d check out Les Bain Jaunes on the slope of La Soufriere (the volcano). Les Bain Jaunes is a hot spring. Sadly, it isn’t very hot. Think tepid water. Ew. Felt like sticking my feet it pee… French pee. You’re allowed to go swimming, but you do so at your own risk. If you get water up your nose you might just get your very own brain eating parasite! Yay! That evening we went to dinner in Rue de la Vague Bleue dining at Mahina, a pizza joint. A favorite of the locals.

Day 4 – On our last full day in Guadeloupe we decided to eat petit dejeuner (breakfast) at Patisserie: Le Fourril de la Cote in Rue de la Vague Bleu. We spent the rest of our day at Grande Anse Beach. We ate lunch at Delices De Marco, and got homemade sorbet right on the beach! We loved L’Amer and Mahina so much we went back one final time for drinks and dinner.

That was our trip in a nutshell. Would I go back to Guadeloupe? In a heartbeat. The locals are friendly French speaking people. The food is wonderful and the scenery is out of a movie.

The only thing I would change is where we spent our night’s aka slept. The room had no screens and the fan barely worked. Did I mention there is a shit load of mosquitoes? Let’s just say I feel like I have chicken pox all over again. Also, our host Magali advertises on Air BnB that she has free wifi. She had none. Yeah… Not cool yo. The one redeeming thing about the Air BnB was Magali has a cat.

I’m a crazy cat lady so being woken up by a screaming kitty at 4am, that got into our room, was endearing to me. However, I’m betting most people would probably have thrown the cat off the balcony.

All in all, I loved our mini vacation and I can’t wait to go back and see the rest of Guadeloupe. 


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SWIRL DESTINATION: NEW ORLEANS


The wonderfully made, Cajun cookin’, Bourbon bouncing city of New Orleans

SWIRL DESTINATION NEW ORLEANS via Swirl Nation Blog
SWIRL DESTINATION NEW ORLEANS via Swirl Nation Blog

So I could probably write pages about how much I love and appreciate New Orleans, but there just isn’t time in the day to do so. I love New Orleans so much I am scheduled for my fourth visit there this August and have told my mother I’m almost sure I want to get married there (she’s not really loving this idea, but she’ll come around).

It’s the number one place I recommend to people to visit and if they have gotten the pleasure of seeing it then I relish swapping stories over the magic of this city. I always wish I could have visited NOLA (yes I’m a tourist who will scream this on my venture there, while I’m there, and when I reference it in conversation) before Hurricane Katrina mulled it over and made it what we know today. Hurricane Katrina’s impact on the city was so massive it’s still in recovery long after the financiers and media have taken the city and its refugees out of the spotlight. You can see the water line on many of the buildings and even neighborhoods that never fully were rebuilt and instead had to pick up and go elsewhere. I wish I could have seen pre-Katrina because if it was anything more marvelous than the New Orleans I’ve come to enjoy for vacation these past few years, then it was pretty spectacular.

SWIRL DESTINATION NEW ORLEANS via Swirl Nation Blog

Each visit to New Orleans has been different ranging from my company to the occasion so needless to say each visit has been different. You might think that with so many visits things could be boring or dull, but in actuality it’s just the opposite. For example: my first visit there was for my sorority conference and I was there for 4nights/5days (my longest trip yet) and I remember just being in awe of the city. We did a two-hour double decker bus tour, danced in Louis Armstrong Park, learned that no one wears heels on Bourbon Street, discovered the magic of Hand Grenades and the importance of drinking water in a city whose humidity makes you want to walk around stark naked.

My second trip was much shorter and it was rainy. Rainy, wet, and humid is just torture, but we went on a swamp tour. I HELD A BABY ALLIGATOR. I stayed with 2 friends and a guy in a small hotel courtesy of Groupon and learned despite my reservations that no 3 people in a bed doesn’t work. The last time I was in NOLA to celebrate my 25th birthday which was very memorable and special since I put five of my best friends together. The shenanigans of Bourbon Street, The Coven House (American Horror Story), Air BnB, Absinthe, and new restaurants made it such a crazy experience. No matter how many times I go fun, food, and booze are pretty much the staples of the trip while I bask in the ambience of the city.

SWIRL DESTINATION NEW ORLEANS via Swirl Nation Blog

New Orleans is so beautiful from the decadent buildings that are painted like cream puffs to seafood so good you don’t care that you will inevitably bloat from the salt intake the next morning. The French Market that is bustling and busy with every tourist trinket you can think of but boast amazing little sit down eateries with locals and conversation you just can’t beat. Even though I’ve been so many times there’s about a billion things I have not done yet like: Go on a plantation tour, visit a museum, see the Uptown neighborhood, go to an authentic crawfish boil (these are seasonal), and the list goes on and on. New Orleans is music, culture and life that goes far beyond the party and peril of the infamous Bourbon Street. If you want to be immersed in a city that is going to welcome you with open arms to all things N’awlins, then this is the place to go.

SWIRL DESTINATION NEW ORLEANS via Swirl Nation Blog

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SWIRL DESTINATION: SANTORINI, GREECE


I’ve had the same dream destination for awhile now. The perfect images of the white houses on cliffs overlooking the ocean, electric blue roofs and doors, and pops of fuchsia bougainvillea… Santorini, Greece is definitely in my future travel plans.

The only snag in my plan is that I feel like I can't go to Greece until I go with someone I am in love with. It just seems like the most romantic place on earth. So as soon as that happens I will hop a plane to this amazing place and who knows, maybe I'll never come back! 

Breathtaking isn't it? 


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