Ingredients Needed:

 This is a “Single Ladies” Serving Size (2 serving size)


  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Adobo to taste
  • A handful of medium-size shrimp, no shell and no tails (raw or pre-cooked is fine) (also clean shrimp in water and lemon juice)


  • 1 large ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced
  • 1/4 a medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 mini peppers (any color) deseeded and chopped 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • (Optional) Jalapeño deseeded and chopped 

1 Green Plantain:

**Depending on the plantain size and how to cut the green plantain, one plantain can yield 6-8 pieces. After cutting the plantain into 1 inch pieces I soak them in salt water and rub off the starch film. Then remove water and pat dry with a paper towel. ** 


Step 1: Make Guacamole

Gently combine all the prepared ingredients for the guacamole. Set aside in the refrigerator. 

 Step 2: Cook Shrimp

Cook on medium to low heat for 2 minutes on each side. Shrimp will look like a “C” when cooked and an “O” when overcooked.  

Step 3: Dice shrimp and add to guacamole

Step 4: Cook Tostones

Fill a large, heavy-bottomed pot with 2 inches oil, and heat over high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 350 degrees. Working in batches, fry plantains until golden, about 4 minutes, flatten plantains with a Tostonera (Don’t have a Tostonera to flatten the tostones? Just use a saucer, a spatula, or the flat bottom surface of a glass cup) until very thin. Return oil to 350 degrees. Refry plantains until golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer tostones to a paper-towel-lined plate, and season a dash of salt.

Step 4: Divide and add shrimp guacamole on top of tostones

These are best eaten fresh. I believe cold or stale tostones are disgusting. So if you are making these as an appetizer, make don’t cook these too in advance. 



If you’re in the mood to become a “Handy Mandy” and do a DIY project for your  master bedroom, stay tuned as I’ll quickly show you how to make your own diamond tufted headboard.

Your headboard creates a fashionable focal point in your sleep space that gives your bedroom an elegant oomph. My older sister, LaToya, was building her house and wanted her master bedroom to look luxurious.  LaToya is amazing at building things from just looking at a photo, but isn’t the greatest with fabrics. And that’s where I come in. LaToya built this entire bed from scratch and because I’m not that handy, I just upholstered it. This project can be completed alone but it better with helping hands and power tools.





I’ve provided you with the measurements for the spacing so your diamond tufted  headboard is symmetrical. I’m a visual learner and tried to just create the design using a spacing of 10.5 inches between each and it did not come out correctly. So I went to Latoya, asked for her mathematical skills, and she gave the exact measurements needed. Which, I’m giving you to make your life easier.

The headboard measures about 48 tall by 84 wide. You’ll need to measure your bed to figure out your sizing or you can just use ours. We had a 5-inch border, with 5 rows alternating between 7 and 8 buttons. The 7 button rows were spaced 10” 5/8 between each button. The 8 button rows were spaced 9” 1/4 between each button. Each row was spaced at 7” 5/8. Note that because we have a 5” border all around our workspace in 74” instead of 84”.


Step 1: Purchase Foam
Foam is a petroleum-based product, so it goes up with the price of gas. Which makes it expensive. I’ve seen others purchasing mattress foam pads as an alternative because its cheaper but we didn’t have that option in St. Croix because everything was sold out. So we purchased 3” thick foam from Divi Fabrics in Christiansted. We could have gone with 2” instead. I used a drill with a hole saw attachment and to cut through the foam because it was so thick.

Step 2: Measurement out and pre-cut you tufts
We used a ruler, chalk line, and a marker to measure and mark where our tufts would be before cutting the foam. Remember to measure twice and cut once!

Step 3: Cover the foam
Once the foam is down, after using adhesive spray, you want to secure it with a layer of batting and then a thin fabric like muslin. This ensures your fabric is smooth and soft. We secured it with an electric staple gun. I HIGHLY recommend using an electric gun because it is faster and once you add more layers the handheld staple gun requires more pressure. I cut through the batting and muslin so when it came time to nail the linen it would be easier.

Step 4: Cover with upholstery fabric
We nailed where our tufts would be instead of drilling through the plywood. The corners can get tricky, so start with the middle, then each side, pulling tight each time. This is when an extra pair of hands come in handy.

Step 5: Make your own fabric-covered buttons
Purchases fabric button making kits and use the scrap fabric to create the buttons. Because our fabric was thick I using a hot glue gun to make sure the fabric stayed put. Our kit came with 5 buttons each but Amazon has larger amounts. We bought 8 kits because we needed 38 buttons. After you make the buttons, apply them with fabric glue. Make sure you apply pressure to secure them. I used a wire cutter to remove the back loop that’s intended for the thread.

Other Resources

Now my sister hung up her headboard to her wall and I honestly don’t know how she did that. BUT, I thought myself how to create our headboard by following the tutorial over at Checking In With Chelsea . I watched her video like five times, then went out to purchase the materials, and my sister and I got to work. Annie from DIY Decor Mom has everything you need to create ANY size headboard. Go check her out! It also helped me. 

If I can teach myself how to make a diamond tufted headboard then so can you! Would I ever make a headboard that’s as large and as intricate for myself? No! But, at least now I know I can. Also, I’m a perfectionist and towards the bottom, our tufts weren’t as straight. That drove me insane but my sister was satisfied so I left it alone. I personally, prefer an experiment or machine getting it completely even! In St. Croix we don’t have access to all the cheaper materials like in the states. This project was expensive and time-consuming (in comparison to state-side standards). I’d rather purchase a headboard. But in St. Croix, that too would be expensive for the type of headboard we chose. 

Check out these DIY blogger that created budget-friendly headboards.

  1. Sweet Teal
  2. Thrifty and Chic



I’ve always said I have a 1950’s Housewives trapped inside of me. Today, I’m suppressing her and sharing my quick orange cranberry pancake recipe. Many of the meals I’ve cooked I know how to make from scratch but the New Yorker in me prefers quick and delicious meal so I usually use short cuts. Work smarter not harder. 

One of my favorite weekend breakfasts is pancakes and when I’m short on time I use pancake mix. *GASP* I know I know. There’s nothing wrong with using the pancake mix. With a few extra ingredients to add much-needed flavor, your family or guests won’t even know you didn’t make it from scratch. If your inner Housewife is having a B.F., don’t worry. I’ve included my homemade orange cranberry maple syrup and pancake recipe below (30 minutes to complete and yields 4 servings). 

Orange Cranberry Pancakes



**This is a “Single Ladies Serving”. Yields about 5 Pancakes. Double the measurements for more**

Buttermilk Complete Pancake Mix (1 cup) I use the Complete mix because you don’t have to use eggs. You can just add water. But I substitute the water for mix of whole milk and vanilla soy milk (as in the video).

Rolled Oats (1/2 Cup): Added for texture and to make pancakes more filing

Ground Cinnamon (1 Teaspoon): Added for flavor 

Dried Cranberries (1/4 Cup):  Cuts the time for chopping fresh or frozen cranberries

Vanilla Soy Milk (2 TBSP): I’ve found I like the texture of my pancakes and flavor when adding vanilla soy milk instead of water

Almond Extract (1/2 TSP): Added because we want FLAVORFUL pancakes to mask we’re using pancake mix. Also, I found that I use less syrup when the pancakes are already tasty!

Orange Juice ( 2 TBSP): Allows us to skip the orange zest if you don’t have fresh oranges available. 

Whole Milk (1 cup):  Used to substitute the water for the pancake mix

Melted Butter (2 TBSP):  Makes pancakes taste better. Other oils break down in high heat so butter is a “safe fat”. 


  1. Combine the dry ingredients and dried cranberries  in a bowl
  2. Combine the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring just until everything is combined. Then let the batter rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour batter (about 1/3 of a cup) onto a greased hot pan or griddle. Cook for about 2 minutes before flipping them over, or until small bubbles form on top. Cook on the second side until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Repeat with all pancake batter. 
  4. Garnish with more cranberries.
  5. Serve with maple or agave syrup.

Homemade Cranberry Orange Pancakes


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup cranberries, (fresh or frozen), roughly chopped in a food processor or blender
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup full-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoon orange zest, finely grated


  1. Add the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl; whisk well to combine. Add in the cranberries and, mix until they’re covered in the dry ingredients. Set aside until needed.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, add the eggs and lightly beat them. Add in the milk, ricotta cheese, and vanilla and beat until well combined.
  3. Combine the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring just until everything is combined. Then fold in the orange juice and zest, stirring until evenly combined. Be careful not to over mix the batter. Be gentle 😉
  4. Pour batter (about 1/3 of a cup) onto a greased hot pan or griddle. Cook for about 2 minutes before flipping them over, or until small bubbles form on top. Cook on the second side until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Repeat with all pancake batter. 
  5. Serve

Homemade Cranberry Maple Syrup:

  • 2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen ( If you’re using frozen, thawing is not necessary)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup

For the Cranberry Maple Syrup:

  1. In a small saucepan, bring the cranberries, orange juice and sugar to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, or until they cranberries are soft and can easily be smashed. Remove from heat and stir in the maple syrup. Spoon the mixture on top of the pancakes and serve at once.

Either recipes create delicious and filing pancakes. One is just faster and uses less ingredients than the other. You can let your inner 1950’s Housewife out or suppress her. It’s up to you! Enjoy!



Quick Juneteenth History Lesson

If you’re not familiar with Juneteenth, let me give you a quick history lesson. Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation into law on January 1, 1863. Lincoln said he intended to save the union rather than to abolish slavery in an open letter to New York Tribute editor Horace Greeley. Despite Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation into law, states like Texas didn’t inform slaves they were free until two years after the Proclamation! On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger finally read orders in Galveston, Texas, that all formerly enslaved people in Texas were pronounced free.

In 1866, the year after Granger’s order, African Americans celebrated their first Juneteenth anniversary. And in 1872, a group of former slaves put together $800 to purchase 10 acres of land in Houston, Texas, for the city’s annual Juneteenth celebrations. They named the space Emancipation Park and to this day Juneteenth celebrations are still held here. As of today only 45 states and D.C, recognize the day as a state holiday.

Juneteenth Strawberry Soda

So Traditionally, red drinks and red foods are a must at Juneteeth celebrations and barbecues, because red symbolizes resilience. Although I grew up in the Caribbean, I have family members in the South that celebrated Juneteenth and shared its history and Southern recipes with me. One of my favorite drinks is Juneteenth Strawberry Soda. I have substituted a few of their ingredients to better suit my taste. 


Fresh Strawberries (1lb)  I use sliced strawberries as a garnish for the drink. But my relatives use slice strawberries to make a quick and simple strawberry syrup. I’ll leave the recipe below.

 Simply Lemonade with Strawberry Juice (4 cups): My relatives used a strawberry lemonade mix to create this drink, but I prefer Simply Lemonade instead.

Lemon-lime Soda (1 cup) : I add Sprite for a little bit of bubbly. If you choose to use the strawberry lemonade mix, you can use water, strawberry soda, lemon-lime soda, or if you want to cut down on calories, use tonic water, seltzer, sparkling. Whatever floats your boat!

 Sprigs of Fresh Mint: There’s nothing like adding fresh mint! For one, it makes me feel fancy. It also brings a pop of color and also adds the refreshing kiss that mint brings to any drink.

 Liqueur (1.5 cups): It also You can use your favorite strawberry liqueur or vodka. I’m more of a rum gal so I use my favorite Cruzan Estate White Light Rum or Cruzan Strawberry Rum if I have it in stock. 


Juneteenth Strawberry Soda Ingredients

**Omit the rum if you want to make this family-friendly**

Juneteenth Strawberry Soda Directions

Traditional Juneteenth Recipe



  • 1-liter lemon-lime or strawberry soda
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberry lemonade mix 
  • 1 cup homemade strawberry syrup
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, washed and sliced in half
  • fresh sprigs of mint


  1. Make the strawberry lemonade by combining the strawberry lemonade mix with the strawberry soda or lemon-lime soda instead of water.
  2. Stir in the homemade strawberry syrup (see recipe below), fresh strawberries, and fresh sprigs of mint. 
  3. Taste and adjust sweetness to your liking.
  4. Pour and Serve over ice.



  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries cleaned and chopped into quarters
  • 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice 


  1. Place a saucepan over medium heat and add water, sugar, chopped strawberries, and lemon juice.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil then mash the strawberries with a fork to release the juices.
  3. Allow the mixture to boil for an extra minute and remove from heat. 
  4. Cover your saucepan and let steep for 10 minutes. 
  5.  Strain the syrup into a Mason jar using a fine-mesh sieve.
  6. Store in the fridge for up to three days.  

Now my method definitely takes MAJOR shortcuts in comparison to the traditional recipe!! But, it is delicious and I believe in saving time to enjoy the company of my guests.

 Happy Juneteenth & #BLM,


While visiting my brother and his family in Indiana, I decided to give my 3-year-old niece a room makeover. She’s just as girly as her mother and I and I love it. I knew I couldn’t go wrong with a “Pretty in Pink” theme. You’ve already guessed the color scheme. Now, the challenge was to complete this makeover in less than a day and with a $50 budget. I love budget challenges because they put my creativity and they put my style to the ultimate test! 

We went to three different Goodwill stores where I found pink accessories, her lamp, and her rug. I purchased her new bedding from HomeGoods and made sure to wash everything before I placed them in her room. When going into thrift I advise you to have a color scheme in mind, think outside the box, and stick to your budget. Oh and most importantly, be patient!

pretty in pink, room makeover

Once we arrived home, my sister-in-law rearranged her toys and we donated some toys to clear the clutter. I advise doing this on a day your toddler is distracted by another adult or when they aren’t home. You also can get your child or children involved by creating a fun sorting game with a timer and a prize. 

My niece’s room didn’t need new furniture pieces, which was great! But, what wasn’t great was the layout. I made some simple changes to maximize space. After dressing her bed, I used pieces she already had to style the room. If you have basic sewing skills you will have more options to repurpose items. 

Check out the video below to see how I transformed my niece’s room for less than $50.



Who doesn't enjoy a well seasoned salmon burger?!

Recently, I have seen many complaints that salmon burgers made from canned salmon were “lackluster and mushy.” I’ve made seasoned salmon burgers with both canned salmon and fresh salmon. Canned food can’t really be compared to fresh food…that’s unfair. Fresh food will always taste better. But, you can avoid making “lackluster and mushy” canned salmon burgers by following a few simple tips. 

Here’s what you’ll need!


1 can of canned salmon

1 tsp of Old Bay

1 tsp of Adobo

1 tsp of black pepper

1 packet of Sazon

1/4 cup of chopped onions

1/4  cup of corn

1/3 cup of black beans

2 mini sweet peppers

2 tbsp of bread crumbs

Salt to taste

First and foremost, season your canned salmon well. I add a blend of Sazon (1 packet), Adobo (1 tsp), Black Pepper (1/2 tsp), and Old Bay (1 tsp) so each bite is full of flavor. Secondly, add fresh vegetables to change the texture and bread crumbs to make it more filling. Add sweet peppers, onions, corn, and black beans (bake to avoid mushiness) for much-needed pizzaz. Last but not least, cook your patties in olive oil. 

Follow these steps:
  1. Prepare the canned salmon in a bowl with seasonings
  2. Sauté veggies in a pan with salt and pepper to taste
  3. Add the sautéed veggies and the rest of the ingredients
  4. Mix the ingredients together and bind with 1 egg
  5. Form into patties
  6. Let patties set in the fridge for 10- 15 minutes
  7. Cook patties in olive oil 2-3 minutes on each side
  8. Serve on a salad or a bun

I serve my burgers over a simple balsamic vinegar salad with red onions and cherry tomatoes. You can serve them this way or follow the traditional way on a bun. When choosing the latter, I recommend a brioche bun, arugula, and spicy mayo (yes, I’m fancy like that). If you would like to use fresh salmon, follow one of my favorite recipes from Food Network’s Aaron McCargo Jr. Jammin’ Salmon Burger.

I would love to hear how your personal salmon burger recipes! Share your thoughts in the comments below or head over to my IG: @wwmelizzaw. 




Mid-Century Tropical Design, Retro Bus, Miami, East Little Havana, Airbnb, RiverInn

Mid-Century Tropical Airbnb

 I believe everyone can live, travel, and shop for the finer things in life on a budget. Traveling on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort or style. So to get the best of both worlds I either find my hotels on discount sites like HotelTonight or I search for beautiful homes on Airbnb. Here is one of my absolute favorite accommodations was River Inn located in one of Miami’s oldest neighborhoods, East Little Havana.  This “Aparthotel” had a beautifully vibrant Mid-Century Tropical design. If you are wondering what elements create this overall theme,  I’ll quickly break it down for you below. 

Design Breakdown

Mid-Century Modern style makes use of clean lines, geometric shapes, and furniture with tapered legs to bring a more lived-in look to traditional modern style. It also incorporates wood and tweed elements while drawing attention to specific pieces of furniture and decor.

Mid-Century Tropical Design
Image by: DelightFull, Decoist, Ruffled Blog, Atomic Ranch,

Tropical style is all about comfort, ease, and utility and is eclectic by definition. The style is characterized by warm and soothing, colors drawn mostly from natural elements such as the sea, sky, and vegetation. Hues may be deep and rich or may fall on the lighter, brighter side.


I fell in love with their Mid-Century Tropical design so much so, that I will be designing my new apartment with pieces that were inspired by it. 

If you are interested in staying at River Inn click hereSign up with my link and you will get up to $55 off your first trip.


*Contains Affiliated Links*





sneakers with dresses

Since living in NYC, I’ve learned to appreciate sneakers! I mean we are walking everywhere! Whether you’re running errands or meeting up with your best girlfriends you don’t have to sacrifice being comfortable and casual to be chic. It is beyond necessary to own a great pair of that are chic and comfortable.

As you guys know by now I hate wearing pants so I’ve mastered the art of rocking sneakers with a dress. I’ve worn them with maxi, minis, and everything in between. There are a few things I tried to keep in mind when pulling off this look.

how to wear sneakers with a dress

When wearing something that is form-fitting or short I tried to make sure my sneakers are sleek and not bulky. I love rocking an all black body-con dress with a pair of crisp white high or low-top Converse. Scandinavians have perfected this look. I suggest adding feminine touches if your sneakers are masculine. The pair of Adidas I’m wearing in this outfit are actually men’s (thank you, Sheldon).  I’ve created a sexy high slit by unbuttoning a few buttons and I’ve paired the outfit with simplistic accessories. My all-time favorite pair are my slip-on sneakers. I can quickly slip into a flowy floral dress, slip into my slip-on sneakers, and run out the door within seconds! I live for this kind of effortless style!

Here are my Top 5 Sneakers every woman can pair with a dress.

1. High-Top
2. White Low-Top
3. Trainers
4. Slip-on
5. Velcro

My dress can be found at Target by Universal Thread

denim dress, sneakers,
Photography by: Christina Jones Photography



plus size suit

What's your go-to interview outfit?

Do you have a to-go interview outfit that makes you feel strong and confident? When I purchased this light blue suit, I didn’t purchase it with an interview in mind. I purchased it with a meeting in mind. A meeting in which the attendees already knew I was creative yet professional.

While I was in Florida, I was presented with the opportunity to interview for a position I wanted back in NYC. I hadn’t traveled with any business casual or business professional outfits because I was having my very own “Eat, Pray, Love” moment.

I quickly became frustrated at the plus size selection offered to the women of Tampa Bay. It was pure shit! My friend had warned me but I didn’t think it was as bad as she described. I took my selection for plus size clothing in NYC for granted!  Finding an outfit in Tampa was beyond necessary…there wouldn’t be enough time to shop once I landed back in New York.

I was searching for hours! From 11:30am until 7pm to be exact. I was almost to the point that I wanted to cry. It felt like nothing would fit and the fabrics looked and felt cheap in the plus size section. Thankfully I found a black Liz Claiborne suit from JcPenny and a navy blazer and ankle pant from Lane Bryant. I purchased both for $200 thanks to the sale JCP was having and was truly lucky.

Focus on the Fabric Content

 Appropriate attire depends on the industry and the company in which you will be interviewing, it’s location and the season. So pay attention to the fabric content. You can purchase affordable suits or separates just make sure the fabric doesn’t look cheap. Work within you budget…even if it’s low. Try to go for pieces that have a higher natural fiber content than synthetic. This A New Day suit was a cotton/ polyester blend.

 Search local thrift stores. You’d be surprised in what you can find if you have a little bit of patience. I found an Ann Taylor wrap dress as a backup option from Goodwill and purchased my heels from Nordstrom Rack. Mixing high and low pieces can really make an inexpensive outfit look expensive. Just pay attention to the fabric content.  

Company Culture & Dress Code 

For companies that have a business or business casual dress code, be sure to keep your look conservative for the first interview. Wear a conservative suit in dark grey, navy, or black. Complete the look with basics pumps, simple jewelry, and a structured purse.

For startup companies or creative companies where employees are allowed to work in jeans and tees don’t show up in a suit. It may signal you won’t fit in with the company culture. You could wear a casual dress with flats and a statement necklace.

If you’re applying for a fashion-industry position, depending on the company, I believe you have more freedom to express your style. You don’t want to dress too stuffy or too corporate. So one element of your outfit should be polished and professional and one element should be fun like a great pair of tailored trousers and a chic colorful or patterned blouse with a great belt and great pair of heels.

plus size suit
Photography by: Christina Jones Photography

“Dress for the job you want – not the job you’re applying for.”



"At the beach, life is different. Times doesn't move hour to hour, but mood to moment. We live by the currents plan by the tides, and follow the sun." ~ Unknown

I’ve spent the last 7 months traveling, running away from the hustle and bustle of the city that never sleeps. Only to experience many sleepless nights. On most of those nights I found myself driving to the beach to sit beneath the stars and listen to the waves crashing against the shore.

Life is different at the beach for me. It is more significant to me than others can understand. All my worries seem to wash away with each crashing wave. I’ve spent many hours, which felt like minutes, soaking up the sun, drowning out my fears, and listening to my unfiltered desires. It is a sacred time for me, where the mood is always right.

Florida beaches, plus size swimwear

I’m saddened that I won’t have access to a Caribbean or Floridan beach this entire summer but I know this sacrifice will benefit me in the long run. I’m beyond appreciative of the moments I’ve spent with myself on the coast. So much so that an entire post is dedicated to those moments. Maybe it’s time for me to get use to the northern coastline.

Until then, here is a list of my Top 5 Floridan beaches:

  1. Key West
  2. Nokomis
  3. Siesta Keys
  4. Sanibel 
  5.  Naples

Check out Travel Channel’s Top 10 Beaches on Florida’s East Coast. (Clearwater and South Beach are too touristy for me to ever fully love them…that’s why they will never be on my list). 


My bathing suit is from Target. 

plus size swimwear, Florida beach
Photography by: Christina Jones Photography



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