The Best InfuZed Bottle You’ll Ever Buy

Recently, I was surprised & delighted to win the pre-launch/kick off contest held by The Infuzed Bottle and I couldn’t’ have been more thrilled! (Lizzie was pretty intrigued as well 🙂 )

I’ve had on my radar to check these little ‘infuser’ guys out, read reviews and find the best one for me, but in typical fashion, I kept putting it off. While I’m not much of an adventurer of anything outside of drinking water, I do love to mix up my water – from a fizzy sparkling water to a variety of fruit infused water blends. Having these combination options helps me to not get bored of my water, while keeping up my hydration consumption!

Today, I’m sharing my review of The Infuzed Bottle and why you should or why you shouldn’t invest in one.

It’s So Pretty!

How could you NOT want to strut around the office, the gym, your daily errands, etc. without this little beauty in your hands? From day one when I started using the chic, gold topped, fashionable glass bottle, E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E I saw wanted to know where I got it from. It’s a show-stopper!

It’s Easy to Clean! (AND – It’s good for the environment)

With an elegant glass structure, you have to be delicate. BUT – I personally always feel I’m able to get glass clean or sanitized versus plastic. Plastic harbors Bisphenol-A, a chemical known as BPA, which can mimic naturally occurring hormones in the body like estrogens, androgens, and thyroid hormones. A.K.A. TOSS/RECYCLE YOUR PLASTIC BOTTLES FROM YOUR KITCHEN CABINET. As quotes by The Infuzed Bottle, “Friends don’t let friends use plastic!” Exposure to BPA is a concern because it creates possible health effects on the brain, can have a direct correlation to high blood pressure, as well as health effects related to behavior and prostate glands. Yikes!

For Infuzed Bottle, you can get it sparkling clean by simply hand washing your bottle in warm soapy water. AND – know you’re being socially responsible!

It’s Easy to Keep Tabs on Your Hydration!

The Infuzed bottle holds 500 ML of water, equivalent to approximately 17 fluid Oz, so if you’re one to aim for the ideal of eight 8-once glasses of water in a day, you only need four full helpings to exceed your goal.

It’s Healthy!

I know what you’re thinking … of course it’s healthy, Brittany, it’s W-A-T-E-R for goodness sake! But, I mean even more than that – Don’t fall for flavored waters, vitamin waters, etc. that can be filled with artificial sugars and sweeteners! Maintain your nutrients and vitamins by using FRESH fruits and veggies. PLUS – they’re a great snack afterwards J

There are SO Many Ways to Use it!

Not in the mood for cold infuzed water? Try a hot mixture! The Infuzed Bottle has both hot and cold functionality. Don’t worry – whatever you decide to mix it with will get caught in the stainless steel strainer. That means so extra seeds, chunks or tea leaves for you! Not sure where to start? Here’s a few of my favorites combos for you to try:

  1. Strawberry + Cucumber + Mint
  2. Lemon + Lime + Splash of Ginger
  3. Grapefruit + Pineapple
  4. Raspberry + Lemon (tastes like pink lemonade!)

HINT HINT: It’s always best to chop, slice or dice your fruit into bite sized chunks before adding to your Infuzed Bottle. It helps to get the natural juices released and flowing! If you’re adventuring into berries, you can even try muddling them before you add them in for some extra bold flavor!

Still need some convincing? Try it for yourself! They’re on sale for a limited time – just $39! PLUS – if you use code BRIT10 you can get an added 10% OFF!
I promise you that you will fall in love ❤ ❤

Until next time!

xoxo
Brittany

Cheery & Charming’s Traveler’s Guide: 10 MUST See Places When Visiting San Juan, Puerto Rico

Well, well, well . . . Puerto Rico – like other islands we’ve had the blessing to visit, was absolutely beautiful. The sunsets were stunning, the food was amazing and the culture of Old San Juan was priceless! I wish we had the time to visit all the reco’s we received before visiting, but with a jam-packed, short four days, I’m posting my personal, favorite finds here:  

1. Serafini Beach Hotel
This spot was absolutely STUNNING. Talk about feeling like you’re on the edge of the ocean – a quaintly designed infinity pool, waves crashing and live jams. I was super bummed to have stumbled here on our last day, as we weren’t able to take full advantage of the amenities, but the staff was warm, welcoming and nice enough to hold onto our luggage while we explored during our last day – even with not having stayed there!

2. Cochina Abierta 
Umm… YUM. That’s all I have to say. Although, to be transparent that it was definitely more on the pricey side of the meal options we had while in San Juan, it was worth it for sure. Wanting to try everything on the menu, the four of us went family style, which also made it feel like we got a lot more ‘bang for our buck.’ They have a seasonal, farm-to-table menu, but in the event you see any repeats, here we the table favs!

– Croquettes filled with porcini mushrooms, truffle oil & tomato chutney
– Octopous causa over a bed of purple potatoes, black olive “crema,” & hibiscus pickled quail egg
– Fresh local catch ceviche seasoned with chiles, cucumber & tropical fruits
– Goat cheese and ortica leaf ravioli over charred tomatoes Passata, parmesean cheese & roasted pine nuts
– And accompaniments Gratin of creamy yucca and cauliflower + Ember roasted veggies


… is your mouth watering yet?!

3. Tacos & Tequila by Patron – inside the Condado Vanderbuilt Hotel
Yet ANOTHER breathtaking spot. This gem, located inside the Condado Vanderbuilt Hotel is another space we stumbled on during our last day that I wish we had more time to enjoy. The views were incredible and they had multiple areas to lounge in the ocean-side, shallow infinity pools & hot tubs.
But, one thing we WERE able to enjoy were the giant margaritas and delicious tacos! I had (2) crispy fish tacos and (1) pork belly taco – some had (3) of all different kinds! It was fun that you can order all three the same, or mix and match what’s on the menu.

4. Alambique Beach Lounge – NEXT DOOR: “For Lifeguards Only”
The day we visited Isla Verde Beach, we were in search of… you guessed it… even MORE tacos! While the Alambique Beach Lounge was hopping, we decided to try the smaller, more intimate spot to the side of it called “For Lifeguards ONLY,” and SO happy we did! In recapping our trip, this place, hands-down, had the BEST fish tacos we had the entire time we were there. The staff made you feel like family as they graciously served you tacos OVERFLOWING with goods and crisped to perfection. Deliciouso!!

5. Piu Bello Gelato & Restaurant
Being a firm believer that you can’t let any vacation go without the local ice cream and/or gelato, Piu Bello was great! We ended up having a great chat with the owner, who coincidentally used to live in Baltimore! What a small world!! Oh, and the gelato was delightful. I mean, who doesn’t like a sprinkle cone?!

6. La Placita de Santurce
Definitely a must see! This is the “party-scene” of San Juan – a full “block-like” plaza square of everything you could imagine having in one spot:
music, dancing, clubs, some food, nightlife, fine dining and casual bars and restaurants alike. While we were there on a Wednesday, it wasn’t quite as “hopping” (which was honestly sort of nice), but it was cool to pop around a number of spots without having to jump back into an uber or cab.

7. Barrachina 
Eeeee! One of my favorites!! Barrachina is most well-known for a traditional Spanish bartender Don Ramon Portas Mingot, who in 1963, created what became one of the world’s most famous drinks: the Piña Colada.  With the reputation of 50 years in the business, they certainly did not disappoint. Look at that beaut!

8. Isla Verde Beach 
While we had a beautiful view and beach where we stayed, at Condado Del Mar, I think everyone agrees that you shouldn’t spend an entire vacation in one spot. SO, this is my top beach pick for the places we were able to make it to during our time in San Juan. There are a number of beach bars, convenient to the beach so you can grab a quick bite to eat, without losing too much beach time. Plus, it’s always fun to immerse yourself in more of the local culture – everyone we encountered here was friendly and welcoming. Then again.. who wouldn’t be on a nice day at the beach? 🙂

9. Fortaleza Street – Old San Juan
A bustling street in Old San Juan full of shops and boutiques! I really can’t place enough emphasis on the true, authentic sense of San Juan’s culture you receive by visiting here. From handmade treasures to uniquely manufactured Puerto Rican finds, there’s an array sights for everyone to see – including my favorite – Fortaleza street, which is lined with parasoles! And, depending on when you visit, they’re always different colors, so no visit is ever the same.

10. Di Zucchero
And, finally… DiZucchero! This was our first night’s dinner adventure and WHAT an adventure it was – CHECK. OUT. THAT. FISH. Located across from the San Juan Condado Mariott, this final “must see” could very well be listed first. The food was incredible, the drinks amazing (they’re know for their fresh squeezed/crushed daiquiris) and our server was the best! It was a great kick off to our trip, and an awesome way to close out this post 🙂

And that’s a WRAP! I hope you enjoyed scrolling through my reco’s and feel compelled to share some of yours!

Until next time…

xoxo
Brittany

Cheery & Charming Traveler’s Guide: 8 NEW Places to Visit in New York City

As always, New York was a whirlwind! Up and back in 2-days, via the Vermonter & Acela Express made for a jam-packed, fun and exciting adventure for our Valentine’s Day this year. Aside from my first time at Madison Square Gardens + seeing Billy Joel live, we covered a TON of ground and visited a slew of new spots!

Whenever I find fun, new spots, I’m always pressed to share! So, I’m quickly jotting down my top 7 favorite places we visited for any of you who may be looking for a cool, trendy or cozy new spot to check out next time you’re in the area!

  1. Hanoi House
    We had dinner here Thursday night and let me tell you – it was I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E. Placed appropriately on the historical, adventure seeking, 119 St. Mark’s Place, you’ll arrive in a (not-so-surprisingly-small), delicately quaint, romantically dimmed, intimate spot in East Village. But – don’t let the size fool you. Hanoi House is known for “The Absolute Best Pho in New York,” “The Absolute Best Octopus in New York,” “The Absolute Best Vietnamese Restaurants in New York,” and more. I mean . . . WOW!!! Once you’ve had a moment to take in the eloquent details, brace yourself as you’re about to be spoiled with a breathtaking, unbelievable, well-cultured, imaginative display of Vietnamese cuisine! From the Crispy Crab & Pork Spring rolls (Nem Ran), to the Spicy Octopus (Bach Tuoc Ca Ri) – delightfully displayed over roasted sweet potatoes, coconut curry, charred scallion and shishito peppers, to the Hanoi Style Beef Pho Soup (Pho Bac), – a classic 16-hr broth with heritage Black Angus filet mignon, brisket & rice noodles AND an add-on option of bone marrow (must have!) on the side, our dinner was simply divine. The only thing that will leave you feeling disappointed after this visit, is the wish that you could fit everything on the menu in your belly!
    P.S. make sure you get there early!! They don’t take reservations and the place was nearly filled upon our arrival, 15-minutes post their opening at 5:30.
    P.S.S. our dear friends own this place, so go. check. it. out. !!!
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  2. Joe & Pat’s Pizzeria NYC
    I don’t know about you, but I know that when I visit New York City, I’m not leaving until I’ve had a proper slize of za 😉
    Joe & Pat’s Pizzeria is more formally known in the Staten Island area of New York. Wanting to break in and make their presence known in the Manhattan area, they opened their NEW location at 168 1st Avenue. Priding themselves on a secret Neapolitan recipe for a special thin crust pizza that has made their restaurant famous, I was so glad to have enjoyed this gem during our trip! We sat at the antiquely pounded copper counter top on the corner of the bar and enjoyed catching up with friends and admiring the original, characteristic stained glass windows before, quite literally, demolishing our pizza. Looking for the perfect NY fold? You found it!! Can’t decide which kind to try when you visit? Psst… if you order a large, they allow you to do half and half! But, they also have a smaller, personal 10” option as well. Not to mention – the bartender and staff were  amazingly warm and welcoming, making for a fun, social lunch break on Friday!
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  3. C&B – East Village, Thompson Square Park
    I’ll keep this one short and sweet, just like this shop! Seriously one of the cutest little coffee shops in East Village! We stopped in for a quick espresso (always needed!) and loved seeing the kitchen staff live, in action, flipping, kneading and pounding their homemade dough!! I mean, you just can’t get that just anywhere in Baltimore! Plus, you can take your coffee/espresso/latte and enjoy a casual stroll around Thompson Square Park after, which is right across the street!
  4. Tacombi
    SALT! SALT! SALT! LOVED this Mexican spot we found on 267 Elizabeth Street. And come on … a old school, authentic Volkswagen Bus as the taco-making station?! We only stopped in for a quick taco (or two…) and kept on our exploring, but the atmosphere was so traditional and genuine, it’s definitely worth a visit and some cliché photos! P.S. the tacos were awesome too!
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  5. L’AMICO
    This is probably one of my favorite spots in NYC – although a little more ‘commercial,’ in feel, the atmosphere is to die for and this is going to sound weird, but I love their bathrooms! Haha! While separate male and female, the hand-washing station connects the two via a shared wash-sink area with a reflective, stained glass like mirror for separation. It’s a great spot for a casual happy hour, quick bite at the bar (they have amazing selection of appetizers, wood-burning pizzas, fresh pastas, and selections of charcuterie), or in our circumstance, a late night cap for topping off Saturday evening after the concert. We stayed in the hotel above it – The EVENTI, which I would TOTALLY recommend if you’re ever seeing a show at Madison Square Gardens. It was about a 5 minute walk from the concert!
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  6. BUA Bar
    Cute and friendly spot to stop to get a snack or drink beforehand if you try our Hanoi House! It’s right across the street and felt so intimate. The space is decorated with countless lit candles that grace spaces in the walls where bricks have intentionally been removed. Candles also delicately and artfully line random fashion behind the bar liquor bottles, shelving, and pretty much anywhere you look!
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  7. Westside Market
    Talk about a local food market!! I WISH we had something like this in our small town, Federal Hill! Then again, I get we may not have the same volume to sustain this type of operation 🙂 It felt like I had walked into the Costco-version of a market! Never-ending, colorful supply and variety of fruits, vegetables, sandwiches, deli meats, cheeses, traditional grocery, flowers and more! Super cool spot to stop by, take in the colorful spreads and patronize a local business (with some salty and sweet snacks while you’re there!)
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  8. The Pennsy Food Hall
    Last, but not least – and definitely not a big secret as it’s right above Penn Station, but this is a great, vibrant and convenient spot to grab-and-go a snack before you catch the train ride home. It’s more of an incubator-type feel with a variety of small eateries, so there’s a little something for everyone. From sushi, to tacos, to bar food, to sweet treats, ice cream and more! Plus, they sometimes have a DJ that slings throwback songs and top beats to get you boppin’ and grovin’!

Do you have any favorite spots or gems to share? I’d love to hear! Ping me in the comments below!

Talk soon!

xoxox
Brittany

I Did It All for the Cookies… NEW: Keto Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Being on a diet, a NEW diet at that – it’s natural for your sweet tooth to perk up! Especiallyyyyy when you’re telling yourself something is off limits. You just want it EVEN MORE. Amiright?!

Well. Say goodbye to those nasty cravings, because I have a 100% Keto approved chocolate chip cookie recipe for you to try! That’s right folks – I said C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E  C-H-I-P  C-O-O-K-I-E-S !! You don’t have to deprive yourself on every diet! These  cookies contain all the Keto necessities: coconut oil, butter, almond flour and . . . you guessed it . . . chocolate!!

For the purposes of the Keto diet, we’re choosing a 100% cacao baking chocolate bar, unsweetened. NOTE: By itself it’s extremely bitter, but mixed in with the other ingredients, it creates the perfect balance!

Keto Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup golden monk fruit sweetener OR sticky sweetener of choice
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 3 oz. 100% cacao baking chocolate bar

Directions:

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together coconut oil and butter.
  3. Next, add eggs and vanilla extract
  4. Add sticky sweetener of choice, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt
  5. Slowly, while mixing, add almond flour to cookie mix
  6. In a separate bowl, microwave chocolate pieces until just barely soft. Use a utensil to separate chocolate pieces into smaller bits before transitioning to mix
  7. Pour chocolate pieces into bowl of dough and mix until combined
  8. Form dough into balls and place on cookie parchment paper
    REMEMBER: Allow room in between cookies for cookies to spread during baking
  9. Bake cookies for 18-20 minutes, until edges are golden brown.
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before serving.
  11. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 191  Fat: 18g  Carbohydrates: 11.5g (Net: 1.9g)  Protein: 4.3g

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Mamma Mia! NEW: Keto Italian Stuffed Meatball Recipe for the Books

For some, odd, I can’t-explain-it reason, I was so intimidated by the idea of making meatballs. I know . . . call me weird. But, it felt like everyone had their own “special” or “secret” recipe, sometimes dating back generations of family. BUT – it turns out, most of those recipes don’t fall within Keto diet guidelines anyway!

While traditional meatballs are not keto, I’m here to help you with an awesome, SUPER easy, Italian Stuffed Keto Meatball alternative.

Typically, meatballs contain bread/crumbs as their main ingredient. This helps the balls maintain their shape. The presence of bread is a direct keto violation, but here’s a solution! (don’t be scared away by the number of ingredients – you just end up combining everything together! 🙂 )

Servings: 4

Split equally into 4 portions

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs Ground Beef
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 2 tsp Garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 3 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 3 tbsp Flaxseed Meal
  • 2 Large Egg
  • 1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • Salt & Pepper Sprinkled for Seasoning

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Mix meat and all other ingredients together
  • Form into meatballs
  • Lay on a foil covered baking sheet
  • Bake for 20 minutes
  • Serve over spinach with sprinkled mozzarella cheese on top
  • Enjoy!

Nutrition
Calories            594
Fats (g)              44.8
Protein (g)        36.8
Net Carbs (g)    3.8

Seriously… HOW FLIPPING SIMPLE?! Great for lunches on the go, hearty dinners and for satisfying your favorite Italian food cravings! And these are delicious . . . I PROMISE you!

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Give them a try and post your review/comments below 🙂

Talk soon!
xoxox
Brittany

 

What Did the Buffalo Say When His Son Left for College? . . . “Bison.” NEW Keto Recipe: Brown Butter Buffalo Bites

Okay, okay, okay, so there’s technically no “buffalo” in this recipe outside of the sauce (although there mayyyy be a recipe on that coming soon . . .  😉 ) BUT – in the meantime, who says you have to dine out to enjoy delicious cauli buffalo bites?! Now, you make them in 30 minutes – right from home!!

They’re the perfect 30-minute prep snack you can grab and go all week long, OR an awesome munchable addition to your Super Bowl spread in the coming weeks!

I’ve grown to LOVE  what some call the “ghost” version of broccoli, see hilarious meme below. There’s so many ways to get creative using this low carb potato substitute – even in place of noodles/rice. There are only 2.9 grams of net carbs in an entire cup of this clean veggie, making it a clear winner on a Keto diet!

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Keto Brown Butter Buffalo Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower (approx. 3 cups of florets)
  • 1/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot
  • 2 tbsp. Butter
  • 2 garlic cloves OR the equivalent minced
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400F
  2. Melt butter in a small skillet on medium heat
  3. Bring to a simmer until browned. Meanwhile, cut your cauliflower into florets.
  4. Pour florets into a large bowl
  5. Add minced garlic to your melted butter and let simmer
  6. Remove the butter and garlic mixture and pour it over the cauliflower
  7. Add in the hot sauce and gently toss to coat thoroughly throughout
  8. Move the florets to a sheet pan
  9. Bake the cauliflower for 20 minutes
  10. Remove from the oven, transfer to a serving dish. Drizzle with remaining sauce.
  11. Garnish with crispy bacon and serve with ranch or accompanying sauce of your choice for dunking
  12. Enjoy!

Nutrition
Calories: 175  Fat: 11  Carbohydrates: 10  Protein: 4

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Did you like this recipe? I’d love to hear!
Email or tag a friend and share the Keto loveeee!

Talk soon!

xoxox
Brittany

Cozy Snow Day Work Outfit

If you’ve been watching the news, you might have similar snow day flurries in your tummy as I do! According to the weather, Winter Storm Harper is on the horizon for the Northeast! Actually, I think New York and further north is getting the bulk of it, so maybe not much here for us in Baltimore, but no reason not to get a little giddy and excited for a snow day, amiright!?

I remember when I was a kid and we wanted a snow day, we would place spoons under our pillow (it signifies that maybe *hopefully* there will be so much snow you will have to dig your way out) and demand upon wearing our pajamas inside AND backwards to bed for snow day good luck!

Plus, recital of:

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord lays the snow down deep.
Please give me a snow day before I wake,
So I can have big snowmen to make.

Did anyone else have these quirky, crazy traditions?! Or other ones I haven’t heard of? Pretty please with snowy sugarplums on top, post your childhood traditions below! I’d love to hear them 🙂

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white furry vest // white top // high waisted j brand jeans // ralph lauren riding boots // gucci leather belt

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow . . .

xoxox
Brittany