Tag Archives: Hip NJ

Fabulous Female – Erika Batista

This month’s Fabulous Female is very successful blogger, and mom, Erika Batista! At an early age Erika new she wanted to be a mom. When she married her husband they had the conversation about her desire to stay at home with her children. For Erika it was important to be there for her kid’s formative years, participate in school functions and be present for all of their milestones. While this didn’t come without sacrifice, she told me that the benefits outweighed anything she had to give up.  It’s Erika’s belief that family comes first.

While caring for her oldest Ben, she would get questions from friends and family about her clothes or makeup, since she was (and is) always so well put together. While Erika loves nothing more than being a mom, she recognizes that she’s a woman first. From her love of beauty and fashion, and as an outlet to keep the essence of the woman she loved to be before her kids, she launched Bye Erika Batista (formerly Lolabluestyle).

Through her blog Erika hopes to share the message that “mom life isn’t the end of your life… we can still be powerful, sexy, independent, loving and hardworking while being moms”.  She wants women to know that our goals are not limited once we have children. Erika’s philosophy is that it’s the opposite, and as mother’s we are natural multi-taskers, and becoming a mother empowers us to realize we can accomplish anything. While her passion is to achieve her dreams one step at a time, at the end of the day what drives her is being an example to her children, and inspire them to be and do whatever they set their minds to.

For Erika it’s a priority to empower and support other women in any way she can. Erika believes that “women who are leaders and support one another, from the kindness of their heart, empower me”.  She loves to use her platform to pay this forward by sharing details, of her life, through her social media accounts and blog. She takes pride in sharing her journey, whether they be wins or losses, so that she can create a connection with other women.

Erika credits her mom as being her biggest inspiration. As an adult she reflects back on her mother being a single parent, and how hard her mom worked to give her the world. Erika knows that she can never fail and the life she lives is so fruitful because of the lessons, and morals, that her mom taught her.

While her mom is such a big role model, she acknowledged that her husband, kids and aunts play a critical role in her success and are her biggest support system. Whether it be her kids cheering her on, with hugs and kisses, her husband being her photographer or getting that helping hand with dinner or laundry Erika says that “my village is golden and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t thank God”.

You can follow Erika at Bye Erika Batista or on Instagram @byerikabatista and on Facebook to get lifestyle, fashion, and make up tips as well as recipes or parenting advice!

cupcake

Happy #CupcakeDay!

Hey #HipNJ cupcake lovers! Today is #CupcakeDay, so let’s take a look at 5 of the best cupcake shops in the Garden State!

1. Crowley’s Cupcakes, Madison

This bakery offers a wide range of tasty treats—cakes, cookies, specialty breads, cinnamon rolls, brownies, and of course, cupcakes! Here’s just a few of their flavors—Mint Brownie, Pink Lemonade, Nutella, M&M Candy, and Cafe Mocha. Sounds tasty!

2. House of Cupcakes, Princeton, East Brunswick, Clifton

The name of this bakery says it all as they feature an eclectic mix of cupcakes. With flavors such as Boston Creme, Banana Cream Pie, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Strawberry Daiquiri, and Pina Colada, you really can’t go wrong here!

3. Blue Sheep Bake Shop, Somerville

This Central Jersey bake shop is home to many kinds of desserts including specialty cakes and cupcakes, macarons, sugar cookies, cake pops and more. Here’s a few of their cupcake flavors: Death by Chocolate, Peanut Butter Cup, Birthday Cake, Toasted Coconut, and Chocolate Covered Strawberry. Yum!

4. Ava’s Cupcakes, Rockaway

Ava’s Cupcakes produces their cupcakes using seasonally-sourced ingredients. Known for more exotic cupcakes, they offer flavors such as Beer & Pretzels, Blueberry Cheesecake, Cinnamon Pumpkin, Pink Champagne and Strawberry, and Key Lime Pie. This is a great place to test out some very uniquely flavored cupcakes!

5. Baking Grace, Hawthorne

This bakery claims “life is too short for cheap desserts” and we couldn’t agree more. Home to an awesome selection of cupcakes and cakes, Baking Grace only prepares their desserts with fresh ingredients and in small batches to assure you excellent quality. Some of their cupcake flavors include German Chocolate, Oreo, and Red Velvet, Bavarian Creme, and Orange Cheesecake. Wow!

Satisfy your sweet tooth this #CupcakeDay with any one of these fine bakeries!

somos

SOMOS Latin Kitchen and Bar

Regular guests of Costanera will be familiar with
Chef/Owner Juan Placencia‘s commitment to serving
delicious cuisine with bold flavors in a
warm, casual atmosphere.

Now, he elevates Latin cuisine further
with his sister restaurant, SOMOS.

SOMOS translates to the simple, inclusive phrase “We Are”:
an inspiration to celebrate the world of Latin cuisines
in a delicious and creative way;
this is the guiding principle behind the new
restaurant, just opened in North Arlington
by Chef Juan and his family.

SOMOS is a celebration of Latin American
flavors with a global perspective.
A lively bar pouring the full spectrum
of Latin spirits, a gathering place for drinking, dining,
late-night entertainment, a new brunch destination…
SOMOS will be all this and more.

Cocktails by award-winning mixologist
Rachael Robbins are beautifully
presented, and reflect her expertise in coaxing
stellar, well-balanced flavors out of a few simple ingredients.

In addition to select Old and New World wines
and craft beers, SOMOS cocktails include:

For A Good Time Call…
1615 Pisco, Vanilla, Passionfruit, Lemon, Cane Juice, Cava

Carmen Sandiego
Pisco, Ginger Beer, Calamansi, Cardamom, Orange Blossom

Have A Cigar
Cask & Crew Rye, Banana, Lime, Panela, Coffee/Cocoa Bitters

Humbert & Lo
Rum or Horchata Vodka, Lime, Pineapple, Cotton Candy

(Pssst – there are also special cocktails that are not
on the list — all you have to do is ask for them,
or look for clues on Instagram @chickologist.)
Happy Hour Menu is available NOW!

SOMOS. “We Are”…the universe of Latin food: familiar flavors,
new dishes, made from scratch.
Chef Placencia is thrilled by the opportunity
to present an innovative yet very
accessible menu that includes both traditional flavors
and unexpected mashups of multiple cultures’
cuisines, for dinner, lunch, brunch and late night.

The SOMOS Menu includes:

Starters:

Croquetas – Aji de Gallina
Chicken & Aji Amarillo Fritters

Cachapa
Corn Pancake, Melted Monterey, Grilled Leeks & Mushrooms

Shrimp Ceviche
Passionfruit, Crispy Quinoa, Gala Apple, Radish

Alitas De Pollo
Chicken Wings (6), Spicy Romesco

Cubano Flatbread
Mojo-Marinated Pork, Jamon Serrano, Monterey Jack Sauce

Chicharron De Pescado
Quinoa-Crusted Cod, Pico de Gallo, Piquillo Pepper Aioli

Mejillones
PEI Mussels, Creamy Aji Amarillo Broth,
Scallions, White Wine, Tomato

Mains:

Asado de Res Pappardelle
Peruvian beef pot roast, Carrots, Tomato

Frutos del Mar Cavatelli
Shrimp, Pulpo, Mussels, Calamari, Tomatoes, Puiquillo

Pollo Adobado
Achiote Roasted Chicken, Yukon Potato Puree, Jicama Slaw

Churrasco
Grilled Skirt Steak Encebollado, Rice & Black Bean
Hash, Fried Egg, Sweet Plantains

Click here to view the SOMOS opening menu.
Lunch and Brunch coming soon!
Also available for private events.

185 River Road, North Arlington 07031
201-621-0899

Hours:
Open Christmas Eve,
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Dinner: 4PM-11PM Mon-Wed-Thurs, Sunday;
4PM-midnight Friday-Saturday.
Bar: 4PM-12AM Sun, Mon, Wednesday;
’til 2AM Thursday-Saturday
Daily Happy Hour: 4PM-7PM Mon, Wed-Friday,
Bar Area only (Taverna & Plaza)
(Closed Tuesdays)

Photos, recipes or interviews available upon request.