Casual Weekend Dining In The Southwest -2016 Global Expedition

Wondering what’s new on the menu this weekend- in southwestern USA? If so, I have a few places in mind for you. How about a quick getaway to Dallas, TX for some delicious yum yums that are moderately priced? The Big D of the southwest, as it’s affectionately called by some,  is the first destination up in Candacetravel’s 2016 Global Expedition. Each month, I will choose a different locale and will review everything from cuisine to accommodations for you. I hope that you’ll enjoy learning more about my casual dining picks for northern Texas below -and I wish you all Happy eats.

  1. My first pick is Cosmic Café. This litte eatery is located in the uptown area of Dallas, TX and features an eclectic dining area and spectacular menu. From the moment you arrive, you can sense that it’s going to be quite an experience from the vibrant colors of the building’s exterior. Once you step inside, you’ll find the same Asian theme draped throughout. The dining room is small, but quite cozy. Although we waited a bit to be seated, it was well worth the time. I ordered the Buddha’s Delight, which was comprised of curried vegetables of the day, dahl, samosa, pappadam, rice and nan. It was so delicious and the platter was incredibly filling!!! I would definitely recommend it. I’m calling all vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians and even meatetarians (lol,) a.k.a carnivores, to this oh-so-yummy restaurant- that won’t break the bank. There is something on the menu for everyone!delight


  1. My second pick is Zoe’s Kitchen. This wonderful, Mediterranean eatery has locations throughout the Dallas area, as well as in other states (US.) It’s a great option in place of your standard “fast food” restaurant, that allows you to dine in or carry-out. It offers a casual and relaxed atmosphere with orders prepared shortly after being placed. I had the red pepper hummus, which had a nice kick to it, alongside their classic pita bread (side note- I try not to eat anything with gluten in it, but at times will bend when unavailable.) The texture of the hummus was smooth and it also comes in basil pesto and classic hummus flavor, too. On my second visit (yes, I went back for a second time,) I enjoyed a tasty side of fantastically seasoned rice pilaf and mouth-watering Greek salad, with their signature salad dressing drizzled on it- thanks to my friend. It was oh-so tasty!! This restaurant offers everything from spinach roll- ups, to kabobs of all sorts. Zoe’s food is fresh, flavorful and festive. It’s pricier than your average fast food joint, but well worth the extra expense.


  1. The Blue Fish is my third and final pick for this piece. If you enjoy traditional Japanese cuisine, then you will absolutely love dining at the BF. They offer an array of small plates, ranging from ahi to spring rolls and guests can also feast on dishes including- tempura, decorative salads, entrees that feature Chilean Sea Bass, Chicken, or Steak Teriyaki and tons of sides for those of us who lean more towards the more plant-based side of life. There’s also an extensive list of sushi rolls to choose from such as California, Shrimp, Tiger’s Eye, Volcano, Baked Salmon, Spider and many more. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, with a contemporary backdrop. I had the most delectable salad that was both visually and gastronomically pleasing, with a tangy dressing. The Blue Fish is a super option for both large and small parties who are ready for some awesome eats and good times.


Please be sure to check out one or all three of these picks and be sure to let us know just what you think! Safe travels and again, happy eats my friends!



Photo credit for Cosmic Cafe and Zoe’s Kitchen goes to Google Photos and Blue Fish goes to Candacetravels


My November Suitcase Series Pick- Is Immune System Strong

Salutations to you, my road warrior and high flying friends! We are back again, discussing my top pick for November. As usual, the eleventh month of this 2015 calendar year was a busy one for me. My thirty days were filled exciting travels, airport delays, new acquaintances and all sorts of other incredible adventures. To ensure I stay in as tip top condition as can be, it is imperative that I keep my system strong. So…today I’m sharing with you, one of my favorite cold, flu and seasonal sinus busters. It’s none other than, Echinacea & Goldenseal Combination Extract, by Nature’s Answer.  You can find it online or at your nearest health store.

Let’s jump right in and find out more about this amazing supplement below!

Echinacea & Goldenseal

Why I chose this herb for my November travels? Germs are everywhere so it’s important to have a good, solid herb to help combat all that you come up against. Additionally, climate changes can also be a major factor in keeping your immune system up to par. Goldenseal is a remarkable herb to help fight bacteria, viruses and fungi. The list of uses extends far beyond the allotted space I have to discuss. Coupled with Echinacea, which has similar properties and abilities, they make for a mighty combo. My preference is the liquid form, because it enters the bloodstream faster, or so I’m told. I’ll worn you- the taste is utterly unbearable at times, but if you drink it in a small glass of water quickly, I promise it’ll (the unpleasant taste) end soon.

It comes in a 1 fl oz. liquid dropper, is gluten- free, alcohol- free, is “super- concentrated,” and is a 1,000 mg, proprietary blend of echincacea purpurea aeriel parts extract, goldenseal root extract, echincacea angustifolia root extract and echincacea purpurea root extract. 

This is a super product to keep tucked in your suitcase. Consider it your germ-busting companion. I recommend picking some up before your next big adventure!




Get “Nourished” This Season- October Suitcase Series Picks

Welcome back friends and fellow travelers, to the 2015 Suitcase Series! Up next are my October picks; Nourish Organic Skin Solve (Creme-to-oil all-over treatment,) Sweet Orange and Rose Hip scent and Nourish Organic Lavender Mint Deodorant Creme. Find out just how these two remarkable products helped me stay “nourished” during my last big trips.

Nourish On-the-Go

I used both of these products during my time on-board Norwegian Cruise line and was so pleased with them. They fit so well in my cozy cabin, considering I had a limited amount of space, so having smaller sized items worked out splendidly! As I venture out, I encounter so many different climate changes on the road, that I’ve learned that having the right beauty care products can make all the difference. Extensive travel can be brutal on the body at times! Thus, I look for quality items with the best possible ingredients to get me through my assignments away from home.

Nourish Organic Skin Solve

What I love most about this solve, is the smooth and oily texture. It dissolves easily  and aids in keeping my skin moisturized. It starts out as a creme, but quickly transforms into an “ultra-absorbent oil”  during each application. It’s USDA Certified Organic and is comprised of the following organic ingredients; Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Jojoba Oil, Cupuaca Butter, Rose Hips Oil, Beeswax, CoCoa Butter, Sweet Orange Essential Oil, Vitamin E, Pumpkin Seed Oil and Palmarosa Oil. It’s also important to note that the solve does include organic soy lecithin, for those who may have a soy allergy.  I’m traditionally not a fan of products with soy, but I really like how this solve makes my skin feel after each use.

The Nourish Organic Skin Solve comes in a standard 3.oz tube that’s perfect for carry-on as well as checked bags, and also has a soft and pleasant scent that smells as refreshing as it feels. Consider picking up a tube for the current fall and upcoming winter season, to help combat against dry and/or cracked skin as you’re on the move.

Nourish Organic Deodorant Creme

This deodorant is so light and soft. It feels like butter when you roll it on and offers protection throughout the day. While it comes in a variety of scents, I had the pleasure of testing out the lavender mint. It’s like a cooling agent that won’t dry out the skin.  Most importantly, the Nourish Organic Deodorant Creme is aluminum free, which is a huge plus in my book!!!  Additionally, the deo includes the following organic ingredients; Corn Starch, Aloe Vera Juice, Alcohol Denat, Shea Butter, Saccharomyces Ferment, Acai Fruit Oil, Rice Bran Extract, Baking Soda, Xanthan Gum, Glycerin, Cupuacu Butter, Sweet Almond Oil, Coconut Oil, Fragrance and Vitamin E. For a more extensive list of ingredient names, please visit I’d also like to note that this product too, includes soy lecithin, for those who have soy allergies or are non-soy product users.

This soothing Nourish Organic Creme comes in a  2oz. container that fits comfortably into any suitcase pocket or carry-on bag. Be sure to add to your list for any upcoming adventures.

For more information on these and other Nourish Organic line products, visit


Nourish Organic Skin Solve, Sweet Orange and Rose Hip scent

(Creme-to-oil all-over treatment)


Nourish Organic Skin Solve, Sweet Orange and Rose Hip scent 

(Creme-to-oil all-over treatment)


Nourish Organic Lavender Mint Deodorant Creme

In Cabin on the ship


Nourish Organic Lavender Mint Deodorant Creme

VEGA Plant-Based Protein Powder and Shakes- September Suitcase Series Pick

Welcome back fellow travelers!!! Up next is my final Suitcase Series pick for the month of September. I’m sharing with you today, the oh-so-fantastic VEGA ONE, all-in-one nutritional shakes and VEGA SPORT, performance protein powders. These healthy, plant-based drinks are perfect for the avid and leisure traveler, so prepare to include them on your next trip-to-come’s checklist!

Why the VEGA line of plant-based, all-in-one nutritional shakes and protein powders made my 2015 Suitcase Series cut?

Answer-Because… they’re nutritious, delicious and simple to transport. Life on-the-move can be grueling, so when you find a product that aids in the support of your body’s maximum performance, it’s a keeper! Taste is another key factor in the all-in-one and protein shake journey. Let’s be honest, there are a number of them on the market that taste like chalk…or at least what I imagine chalk tastes like, but Not VEGA!!! The other obstacle is often finding items that come in travel sizes, otherwise you’re faced with having to measure and scoop from a large tub and transfer into some type of travel proof container. VEGA obviously took this into consideration when they created their products. They can be purchased in canister form or box, with single serve packs of 10-12, 1.2 or 1.5 oz packets, making it the perfect travel partner. They fit snugly inside just about any luggage pocket, so they won’t require too much space, leaving room for other necessities like… shoes or something:).  Additionally, the powder mixes well with the right liquid ratio and adds a fantastic punch to any fruit-filled breakfast. I especially enjoyed the French Vanilla flavor, while the mocha recovery certainly satisfied my chocolate, post-workout cravings. Over the course of my review, I created several smoothies, consisting of variations of almond or coconut milk, alongside a rainbow of fruit, such as strawberries, bananas, kiwi, blueberries, mango or pineapples, paired with kale or spinach and my VEGA ONE shake mix. It was a fantastic start to each of my days. I was equally as happy with the VEGA SPORT, which comes in three levels; prepare, sustain or recover. The Recover was definitely the best choice for me because of my hectic travel schedule. Many times, my ability to keep up my normal workout regime suffers. When this occurs, it forces me to cram in a month’s worth of gym sessions in shorter periods, leaving me with minimal time to recover in between workouts. VEGA SPORT is said to “improve strength, build and repair muscle, and reduce recover time between training.” Body Builders and healthy lifestyle advocates swoon over these products, and now I see just why. They provided an excellent boost to my system and supplied a mass amount of nutrients needed to maintain my diet, while on-the-move. This was a huge plus!

About VEGA ONE Nutritional Shakes

The VEGA shakes are made from “real, whole food ingredients.” They offer “20 grams in premium plant-based protein, 6 servings of greens, provide 50% of daily intake for food-based vitamins and minerals, 25% of the necessary fiber, 1.5 grams of Omega-3s, are full of antioxidants that protect against free radicals, include probiotics to promote healthy flora (1 billion CFU,) and the French Vanilla flavor for example, is only 160 calories. Not only do the shakes have a wealth of goodness, but they also taste amazing, too. Directions instruct users to mix with water, a non-dairy beverage or within a smoothie. I elected to use each of my single serve packets as part of my daily smoothie- over the span of a few weeks. I was fortunate enough to review the delicious VEGA ONE, French Vanilla and the VEGA SPORT (Recover,) Mocha flavors. VEGA ONE shakes also come in Chocolate, Natural, Berry and Vanilla Chai. This complete protein is a wholesome combination of pea, hemp, saviseed and micro-milled flax. The 6 servings of greens comprised in the shakes include kale, broccoli, Vega Chlorella and spirulina, as well as a mix of whole food fruits and other vegetables. It’s certified vegan, gluten-free and non-GMO.

The VEGA SPORT is an “alkaline-forming protein blend, featuring 5,000 mg of BCAAs” and is a performance enhancer, created to help us “recharge and repair,” thus cutting down recovery time in between training. This line is the 1st “all-natural, plant-based performance enhancement system specifically developed to help athletes perform at their best-before, during and after training and competition.” It’s also dairy, soy and gluten-free and contains no artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors.

I’ve not had the opportunity to sample the entire line of VEGA products, but I’m so pleased with my introduction, that I can’t wait to try some additional items. I can only imagine how tasty they must be. I can already imagine drinking that Vanilla Chai in the near future…. yum yum. Stay tuned for more reviews to come, and for more information on where to snag these and other VEGA goodies, visit Travel healthy!


VEGA ONE, French Vanilla All-in-One Nutritional Shake


VEGA SPORT, Mocha (Recover) Performance Protein Dietary Supplement and VEGA Sports Bottle


VEGA Box of 12, single serve 1.2 oz VEGA SPORT packets and Box of 10, single serve 1.5 oz VEGA ONE packets


Nutrition Information on the back of the VEGA ONE, French Vanilla, All-in-one Nutritional Shake


A VEGA SPORT, single serve pack inside the inner pocket of my travel bag before departure. There is room to fit up to 4 single serve packets in this one pocket, while the rest fit nicely inside my large roller bag pocket.


VEGA ONE, French Vanilla, All-in-one Container and Single Serve Packet

The Suitcase Series Continues…. Gluten- Free Travel Snacks Anyone?

If you’re anything like me, then selecting the right travel snacks are high on your list of priorities. However, with so many options on the market today, choosing the best item can prove to be more of a headache, than just a quick trip to the store for suitcase goodies. As a result, I’ve decided to take the guess work out for you, and share one of my newfound favorites. I present to you today, the ever delicious line of RICEWORKS Gourmet Rice Snacks (hint the word rice is meant to be an indication of the primary ingredient,) – a phenomenal alternative to potato chips. Yes, I said it, and I meant it! This line of rice chips is near and dear to my heart, as they are created by the ahh-mazing Ohio based company, Shearer’s. (Side note- If you haven’t figured out already, I’m a native of the great state of Ohio!!!) – Thus, I’m so thrilled to add this collection of rice snacks high atop my 2015 Suitcase Series, travel list.

Riceworks Line-

These yumtastic treats are so incredible that I’m unsure just where to begin. They come in 10 different flavors; Sea Salt, Black Japonica Rice, Sea Salt and Black Sesame, Sun Dried Tomato Mediterranean Herbs & Cheese, Salsa Fresca, Wasabi Soy and Ginger, Sweet Chili and new additionsRosemary Garlic & Balsamic Vinegar, Spicy Spanish Cheese Blend and Olive Oil Parmesan & Basil. How fantastic are these flavor profiles? Shearer’s has created a unique line to suit the taste of everyone. Riceworks come in a 5.5oz bag, as well as a smaller 1.75.oz size bag, which I only managed to locate during my time in Ohio, at a local Dave’s Supermarket. Both sizes fit perfectly in my tote bag, and make for the best airport and/or in-flight snack.

Ingredients –

Riceworks are made from “whole grain rice, have 0 grams of trans fat per serving, are gluten and cholesterol free, and contain no high- fructose corn syrup or preservatives.” Additionally, though some flavors contain dairy, there are milk- free options to choose from, so those particular flavors are most definitely vegan-friendly. Bravo!!! Be sure to check the ingredients on the back before purchasing.

All flavors contain “1 gram of fiber except for Sea Salt and Black Sesame flavor, which contain 3 grams.”  The Riceworks line is also a hit with the Celiac Disease Community, because as noted above, they contain no gluten. For more information, you can visit

While I thoroughly enjoyed snacking on many of the Riceworks’ line, I must say that I’ve fallen for the Sweet Chili flavor. I could literally eat a couple bags a week easily. Sometimes you just want a good ole crunchy snack for the road, and I don’t mean celery – at least not all the time!!! This Riceworks line makes my 2015 Suitcase Series cut, so be sure to pick up a few bags before your next big or small adventure. You will not be disappointed by this pick!! Visit to learn more about where you can purchase this product. Happy travels!


Sea Salt Riceworks


Sweet Chili Riceworks


Rosemary, Garlic & Balsamic Vinegar Riceworks


Shearer’s Salsa Fresca Riceworks Ingredients


Sea Salt, Sea Salt & Black Sesame and Black Japonica Rice


Wasabi, Soy & Ginger Riceworks

August Suitcase Series Pick- A Boost of Energy on-the-go; LivWell Raw Plant Protein

Greetings travel aficionados! It’s that time again, to highlight another amazing product. The first of my August Suitcase Series picks is none other than Liv Well, Raw Vegan Plant Protein (powder.) This incredible product is not only nutritious, but also delicious!!! It will help you stay on track while you travel, and will also energize you.

Let’s get started- as we review this plant based protein powder together!

Why I found it easy to travel with?
The packets are small, and fit easily into my tote bag, as well as the inside pocket of my suitcase. Size is key when you’re packing. I know I need as much as possible to fit, in as small a space as I have available for each journey. For this reason, the protein powder made for a great travel compadre because it’s so compact- about 5×2.9 inches per pouch. Just perfect!

Background Info
Liv Well offers the plant powder in two different flavors; Raw Cacao and Wild Vanilla Bean. These complete protein powders “contain all essential amino acids; the 9 essentials and all 3 branched chain amino acids, for a whopping 15, 343 mg total.” They are “100% hypoallergenic and 100% free from soy, gluten, dairy, and contain nothing artificial. The protein powder is also certified vegan by, non-GMO and USDA verified organic!” This super food plant contains “6 grams of fiber per serving and is highly digestible.” Could you ask for a better combination in a protein powder? NO!!! Additionally, Liv Well does not heat process their ingredients to avoid any alteration, and believes by keeping them in their rawest state, they will deliver the best possible benefits to all of us who indulge. LivWell even packages the protein in the perfect travel size packets that are comprised of 100% recycled material, which can be reused.

Ingredients listed on the back of the Raw Cacao packet include- yellow pea protein, sprouted brown rice protein, sacha inchi protein, hemp protein, maca root, raw cacao, vanilla bean, mesquite pod, stevia leaf, and xanthan gum (for mixing.) It also lists 17g of complete protein, 15.3g of amino acids and 28% dv iron.

I thoroughly enjoyed both flavors as I made them a part of my morning smoothies, but I must say that there was something extra special about the Wild Vanilla Bean. It truly spoke to my palate on the trip down! They both mixed well, and provided just the “kick” that my smoothies needed. I tried the vanilla bean first, with a mix of bananas, strawberries, kale, ice, and coconut milk, and was so impressed. The next day, I tried the raw cacao with a mix of bananas, strawberries, kale and almond milk, and was again quite pleased with my concoction!! Chocolate lovers will absolutely be smitten with the Raw Cacao flavor (it’s yummy,) and vanilla fans like myself, will not be disappointed by the Wild Vanilla Bean (so tasty!)

Before you venture off on your next getaway, be sure to pack LivWell Raw Plant Protein in your favorite carry-on or suitcase. Your body will thank you~ Isn’t it time to LivWell?! For more information, visit


LivWell Raw Plant Protein and two smoothie ingredients


Raw Cacao Packet Ingredients


LivWell Packets and Instructions 


Raw Plant Protein on the go- fits perfectly in tote pocket and zips with ease


Raw Plant Protein on the go- fits perfectly in suitcase pocket and zips with ease

“My Magic Mud”- What’s In My Suitcase this month?

Welcome back my adventurous friends!! My latest suitcase series pick is a pretty incredible one- It’s “My Magic Mud,” Whitening Tooth Powder. As always, I’m bringing you another high quality product, with the best ingredients. My goal is to take the guess work out for you, so you can focus your attention on other matters; like booking flights, making hotel reservations and reading reviews. Without further delay, let’s find out just why this magic mud made my 2015, suitcase series list.

Product Ingredients

The label reads, My Magic Mud, Whitening Tooth Powder, and Raw Detoxifying Power. My response to this statement- “Completely accurate.” This tooth detox did exactly what it claimed to do!! After only one use, I could see an evidently noticeable difference in my smile.  I was sooooo impressed, that this little guy has earned a special place in my luggage!!! Another big plus, is that this whitener is raw, vegan, Non-GMO, and has no chemicals or fluoride. It’s also 100% natural and kid friendly. Additionally, the list of ingredients includes; activated coconut shell charcoal, calcium bentonite clay (made with living clay,) certified organic orange peel extract powder, and wild-crafted mint extract powder. It’s made in the USA, and is the perfect guilt-free product to brighten your smile.

This Mud is also easy to use:

1. Dip your toothbrush into the the charcoal like powder.

2. Proceed to brush as normal, but with your mouth closed, per instructions for roughly 2 mins. (Closed as much as you possibly can until it’s time to spit.)

3. Discard contents ( a nice way of me saying- spit) and rinse; the directions instruct to rinse repeatedly as needed.

Upon following these 3 simple steps, I saw instant results. It’s always so difficult to say just how a product will actually perform until you try it. I must say, “this one did NOT disappoint!”

A word of recommendation- Prepare your bathroom vanity area, or other selected whitening station before use. On my second application I just placed a towel down atop the surface, prior to starting the process! MMM is a black powdery substance, and the first time I didn’t think too to cover the area, so I had droppings and splatters around the bowl during application. HOWEVER, it did not permanently stain, and cleaned up easily. I used a soapy sponge, a little bathroom spray cleaner and water to wipe down when I was done. Remember, all the ingredients are natural, so I didn’t have any trouble returning the restroom to normal state. This is wonderful news, so you don’t have to worry about leaving a trace of your in-house dental visit behind in your hotel room- ending up with an unwanted incidental on your credit card bill! No worries with this mud, so feel free to use- just come prepared!

Product Information

I was so pleased to learn of this “natural” tooth whitener. It comes packed in a small, round, 1.06 oz plastic, black container for easy transport. My Magic Mud fits snugly in my inner suitcase pocket, quite comfortably in my carry-on duffel, as well as perfectly in my toiletry pouch! This product is a MUST pack for a quick and easy brightener while away from home. It’s like having your very own dentist on the road, considering pearly whites are important for selfies and business meetings alike!!

BRAVO Team, MY MAGIC MUD– this is a fantastic addition to my 2015 suitcase series. For more information, and to order before your next trip, visit

Visit our Instagram and Facebook pages at candacetravels to enter our GIVEAWAY!!!!

Until next time business travelers and global nomads, we can now say “cheese” with confidence!


My Magic Mud Standard Size and Samples


My Magic Mud upon arrival


 MMM in Toiletry Pouch


MMM Inside Suitcase Pocket


My Magic Mud- Container


MMM Whitening Powder