Katherine Herrera


Restaurant Review: Chima Brazilian Steakhouse

Wouldn’t you love to go out to eat where are all your dreams will be fulfilled? If you love to eat endless servings of meat in a relaxed, happy environment, well Chima Brazilian Steakhouse is the place to be. I fell in love with the restaurant, but it is pricey, so I don’t go very often except for special occasions. When I first heard of Chima, all I heard was good things and that the food was so good and you can eat as much as you want which is what excited me the most. Ever since I heard about it, I’ve wanted to go and I did on a special day.

My first time going to Chima Brazilian Steakhouse was on my five-year anniversary with my boyfriend. My boyfriend surprised me with dinner on our anniversary, and of course, I was excited since I’ve been waiting to go for a long time. Well, we had a whole day of fun activities and it was just perfect. Perfect weather and perfect day so how better to end it with dinner at Chima.

Photo courtesy of Katherine Herrera

Arriving at Chima, they have complimentary valet parking which was great. When we went inside the restaurant, it was beautiful and clean, and we were greeted very nicely and sat down. We started out with drinks and appetizers that they have for the table which was good. Unfortunately, I can’t remember what they were called but I know they were stuffed cheeseballs, and it tasted delicious. The salad bar was top of the line because they had a variety of choices in types of salads, starters, toppings, dressing, soup, bread and they all tasted very fresh.
So, everything was going well, I was having a great time with my boyfriend, and he was even enjoying the food. My boyfriend is very critical about everything, and I was happy that he was going with the flow and enjoying himself.

The best part finally came, we were asked what kind of meat we wanted to start off with, and we started off with sirloin which was delicious. So, this is how it works, when you sit down and eat the appetizer, the waitress will come around and asked if you’re ready for the Rodizio and then they will give you a card with one side green and one side red. There are about 5 to 7 Gauchos that roam around the room serving a range of meats on a stick from sirloin, lamb, pork ribs, filet, sausage, chicken, and fish. If you keep your card on the green side, they will keep coming around serving meat, so if you want a little break you can just flip the card to the red side, and they know you don’t want more at the moment.

That’s amazing, and we got to try everything except for the fish, and my favorite was the lamb leg. I ordered it in medium well and its on a stick so you can also tell them what part you want. It was juicy, flavorful and easy to bite into. My boyfriend enjoyed the sirloin the most, so he kept getting served the sirloin and I the lamb leg and there were a couple of times where we did need a break.

You can say I am meat eater, which is my nickname in the family, but this passed my dream of having endless meat, because I needed a break to get myself together. After a few rounds of eating, we were full and were ready to go. Before we got a check, we were surprised with a cute Tiramisu cake to celebrate our anniversary. For them to make a piece of cake and actually said “Happy Anniversary” right on top of the cake which was amazing. We exchanged gifts because the moment felt right and intimate feeling like we were the only two in the restaurant. Oh, but the cake was really good.

My first experience was amazing. I was very happy; the staff was very friendly, the food was delicious. I would give Chima Brazilian Steakhouse a 5 out of 5 stars. Nothing went wrong, and they made our day even more special. I would love to go again, and it was just so good, I would even take myself out to eat there. I highly recommend eating at Chima for the experience and of course the food. Make sure to check it out soon, I know some of you are graduating soon, and this is a great place to celebrate your accomplishments. I do suggest making a reservation ahead of time, and they do offer group dining. So, treat yourself!

Photo courtesy of Katherine Herrera

Your Skin Comes First

Taking care of our skin is very important. Whether it is using sunscreen every day to protect us from the sun or making sure we wash our faces the right way to prevent skin problems. I am here to give you answers to questions that I get asked all the time. Also, the advice is here to help you and is recommended for everyone to ensure good skin care, but keep in mind everyone’s skin is different.

Photo courtesy of pixabay

Let’s start with the first step that every single person needs to do no matter what. Washing your face with a face wash! Every morning, your routine should consist of washing your face with a face wash, not just water. Many people say they just wash their face with water because its natural. Yes, water is natural, but it’s not doing anything for you either. Water will not remove any dirt or impurities. Its plain water and you can pass over more dirt to your face which can build up and lead to oily skin and break out. I highly suggest in investing in a face wash. There are some that break down makeup, helps absorb oil if you have oil concerns, some help with acne and/or pores.

I have had quite a few different face washes. I had acne problems, so I had a face wash for that which helped. I had one that was plant-based because I was doing chemical peels and couldn’t use anything with certain ingredients. Now I am using a face wash that improves the appearance of skin and minimizes pores. So, you can do any face wash you want that cleans your skin and/or also helps with any of your skin concerns. Start using a face wash instead of just water, you will see a difference in your skin, and for many women that love makeup, your makeup will appear much more flawless if you have good skin.

Another recommendation to add on to your skin routine that’s a little more fun are facial masks. They are relaxing and fun to do with friends while improving your skin. There are thousands of facial masks you can get from Amazon, CVS, Sephora and more. Now you don’t have to do this every day; you can do it once or twice a week or whenever you desire. Some masks do help with acne, pores, oily skin, dry skin, dull skin, blackheads and any other skin concerns you may have. Facial masks are a nice addition to your because they all at least help improve the appearance of your skin.

Moisturizing and keeping the skin hydrated is very important. You don’t have to have dry skin to moisturize. Everyone should moisturize their skin. If you’re oily, it is best to moisturize because most of the time you may be producing a lot of oil,  because your skin does not have enough moisture. A good moisturizer for oily skin can be one that has oil control in it to prevent the skin from producing more while giving your skin proper moisture. Now if you have dry skin, anything that’s got intense moisture or water based is important for your skin to keep it from flaking and dry. Hydrating the skin is a little different because here it’s like feeding the skin with water. They say if you drink a lot of water it is good for your skin which is true but you can’t just drink water because that water is going through your body and not enough of it is helping your skin with hydration. This will not make you anymore oily. Dehydrated skin is just lacking water that you need.

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Investing in sunscreen for your face is just as important. Sunscreen will make more of a difference as you age than in the moment. Years ago, skin care was not the focus till now, and so I see a lot of older women with dry skin, dark spots and wrinkles, and they can’t really reverse the effects of sun damage. This can happen with just any sun exposure, and I know no one wants to age this way. You can wear sunscreen with your moisturizer or makeup just to ensure the skin is protected all day from the sun. You want to do this all year and not just for the summer because you’re still getting sun exposure and can still damage your skin over time. For women who wear makeup and look for the ones that have any SPF in it, it is still makeup and not an actual sunscreen. Most makeup products have a range of SPF 15 to SPF 30, but it is still technically not protecting your skin. It’s beneficial to have that SPF in the products for a variety of reasons, but you still need an actual sunscreen that is focused on protecting your skin from the sun in SPF 30 to SPF 50. So, go grab that sunscreen and involve it into your skincare routine.

Please start putting your skin first! It is very important, and I mean who doesn’t want to have good looking skin. Take in some of my advice or all of them, I personally do it all, and I invest so much into my skin not only to have good looking skin but to have healthy clean skin.

Meal Prep 101

Living on campus is great, but it can also be unhealthy. We are surrounded by so many restaurants, and it makes it so easy to gear towards eating fast food all the time. There is a solution if you are looking to have a healthy lifestyle while living on campus. It is called meal prepping.

What’s meal prep?!

Meal prep is when you make healthy meals in advance to help you track what you eat, so you don’t have the urges to go for fast food or junk food. Also knowing that as a college student we can get very busy and prefer something fast. Meal prepping is also convenient as you can prep for up to a week and this helps cut down time from having to go out and buy food or trying to cook a meal, and you don’t have much time to do so.

Photo courtesy of Pexels

How can you meal prep?

You can meal prep healthy meals once a week for lunch and dinner. They are simple, easy meals which is what we need since we are always busy and on the go.
We have a simple, yet delicious recipe you can do right in your dorm. This meal is healthy but fulfilling because you get the right amount of protein and vegetables. We have all the ingredients listed below along with the directions to start your meal prep. Now don’t be afraid to substitute and make it your own.

So, for the meal you will need:

  • 1 lb of chicken breast
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1 head of broccoli speared into pieces or buy them already cut.
  • 1 cup or a small bag of sweet peas
  • Brown, quinoa or Jasmine rice (rice is optional, but you can pair it with your meal)


First, cut the chicken, bell peppers and broccoli into pieces. Second, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Then spread a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and add the chicken and veggies on the pan and mix it with a little salt and pepper or any seasoning of your choice. You will then put it in the oven for 20 minutes. Take it out and mix it again and then let it cook for another 10 minutes. For the rice that is optional, you can cook 2 cups or as much as you need and separate them into container proportions.

So, what are the benefits of meal prepping? 

Meal prepping has many benefits, and they are mostly beneficial to college students and here is why. Meal prep can help you save money by preventing you from buying food at fast food restaurants every day. Another great benefit is that it ultimately saves you a lot of time throughout the week. You’ll have more time study and maybe enough time to make it to class. It can also help you with weight control if that is one of your concerns.

It’s been shown that meal prep is beneficial to losing and controlling weight because you get to decide the ingredients you use and the portion size. So, yes it does contribute to having an overall balanced healthy diet because we all know when we started our college career, it is very easy to get into some bad habits and eat unhealthily and yet it is harder to get out of the bad habit and trying to feel healthy and most of the time to get back into shape.

We already stress enough with exams, work, classes along with all the factors you can think of in college, but meal prep helps reduce your stress because you avoid trying to make last minute decisions on what to eat or if you can eat because you don’t have enough time to make something or buy something.

Meal prepping is the new way of college living, and you can get started with a simple recipe that’s provided at the top. Maybe you can create some of your recipes and share it with your friends so that you can meal prep with others. It can only start with you and now that you know the benefits and have a better understanding of what meal prepping is you can get started.

Mask on!

I will say I have an obsession with masks and do it about two to three times a week and all different types too. Now some of you may not have tried on a mask and you should.
Facial masks are amazing for treating the skin and more affordable than having to go to the spa frequently. There is a variety of facial masks that help treat any skin concerns like oil control, hydrating the skin, minimizing pores and removing impurities clarifying your skin. Not only does it help treat your skin, but you will feel and look good afterward.

When I got into facial masks, the first one I purchased was the Luminizing Black Charcoal Mask by Boscia. I loved the sensation of peeling it off and seeing everything it pulled off. Strangely it was interesting. The mask is rich in minerals and charcoal. As you know, activated charcoal has so many benefits that even celebrities are into anything charcoal. The mask is going to help reduce the appearance of pores, firms the skin, removes any impurities and dead skin. All you have to do is apply a thin layer over clean, dry skin and leave for 25 minutes and peel it off. Interested? Well, you can find this mask at Sephora for $34.

Photo Courtesy of Niner Times

M.A.C cosmetics also has a great charcoal mask if you feel like peeling is too much. It’s called Mineralize, Reset and Revive Charcoal Mask. This mask has bamboo charcoal and mineral-rich white clay that purifies pores, minimizing blackheads and prevents future blemishes. It also gets deep into the skin removing impurities and excess oil leaving the skin more clarified and smooth. This is the mask that I use before my makeup because it is less time and my skin is smoother and clearer allowing my makeup to glide on and appear flawless. All you need is a thin layer all over the face, leave on for five to 10 minutes or until completely dry and wash it off with warm water. You can get the mask for $31.

Glam Glow is a popular brand that has about nine different masks and all target different things. They are much pricier yet worth it. I have tried a few of them, and they are amazing. I will share a few of them, and the prices range from $49 to $79.

One of the masks from Glam Glow that everyone was going crazy for was the Glitter Mask. I got to try it and saw results right when I peeled it off. The Glitter mask will visibly firm, lift, tighten and tone your skin. I will say it is best to moisturize right after, because it can make your skin feel dry. Apply a good layer all over the face, and the glitter may feel like it is poking you, but the glitter is safe and just for fun. Leave it on until it dries and peel it off. Make sure you moisturize especially if you have dry skin already.

Thirsty mud is a mask that’s more for dry skin because it restores and replenishes moisture to the skin. It can be used for all skin types because not only does it provide hydration, but it contains Hydra Pack that can leave the skin soft, and supple while Green Energy leaves the skin feeling smooth and energizes the skin for a healthy glowing look. During the daytime apply an even layer all over the face and leave it on for 10 to 20 minutes and wipe off with a tissue then massage it in with warm water. If your using this at night, also apply an even layer and leave it on to infuse and you’ll wake up with plenty of hydration.

Photo Courtesy of Niner Times

Lastly, there’s a much more affordable mask you can get on Amazon for $13.99 that has five stars. I got the chance to try it, and it’s amazing. It is called Dead Sea mask by HeaBea Body. The mask comes with a brush and sponge to help you prevent using your fingers that could have bacteria. That’s smart! If you have acne concerns, this is the solution for you.

The mask absorbs all the toxins, dirt, dead skin and excess oil and sebum that causes acne and blackheads. It minimizes pores and helps clear acne scars and dark spots as well as reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. You can also use this for the face and body.

Masks are amazing, fun and relaxing. They are great for your skin, and there are so many out there that can do so many things for you and not all are expensive. Facial masks can also be fun as an activity you can do with your friends or relaxing when you have a day to yourself. Not only will you feel good, but you will a see a difference in your skin.

Everyone wants to look good without makeup so why not give masks a try. I provided a few of the top best selling masks and most that I have tried and can say they work wonders. What mask are you going to try?

You can work out a Healthy Lifestyle

As a college student, finding the time to live a healthy lifestyle isn’t very easy. Going to school is a full-time job within itself and most students have a job while in school making it more difficult to accomplish goals.

I am here to share an inspiring journey of a UNC Charlotte student named Monserrath Orellana and get her top 3 pieces of advice for students who are wanting to start implementing healthy habits into their lifestyle.

Monserrath is junior at UNCC studying finance while working at Francesca’s as an assistant manager. You would think working and going to school at the same time would make it challenging to work out, but she still manages to work out 5 times a week.  So, how so? Well she said, “I just had to get into a routine that would work with my schedule.” She plans her workouts with her schedule to guarantee her time rather than trying to adjust her schedule to make time to work out and sometimes it’s not possible.

Photo Courtesy of Katherine Herrera

It is never easy to get into a new routine that involves a lot of changes. Her journey was not easy either and she said that eating healthy was hard at first especially while trying balance being a full-time student with a full-time job. Although that did not stop her because she started noticing changes in how she felt, and it was making it easier for her. 5 years of hard work, her body got used to the routine of eating healthier and working out 5 times a week.

So where did it all start? She mentioned that it was during her sophomore year in high school where she decided to do something about her weight that was getting out of control because of stress eating. So, she started out by joining school sports, but it still not good enough. After graduating, she set herself a goal of working out at least 5 times a week to maintain her weight and health. Today she is proud of sharing her story and her tips to help you accomplish your goals.

I asked her what 3 top pieces of advice you would like to share with students that want to live a healthy lifestyle and she said:

First, come up with some realistic healthy fitness goals that YOU can achieve. Always plan out the work out you would like to do each day at the gym, apartment or even your dorm room. Not only plan your workout but also your meals in advance so you are not tempted to reach for junk food.

Second, view your workout as a positive addition to your lifestyle and not something that just takes up time.

Lastly, setup your workouts as if it were your class and set a time that you can go. Thirty minutes to an hour to an hour a day is less than what you will spend bored in class.

NT File Photo

I had the opportunity to join her in a workout that is easy yet effective for those who want to get started. The workout can be achieved anywhere and all you really need are weights and a yoga mat. A 30-minute workout that turned into almost an hour because we kept moving, we lost track of time. I burned a lot of calories but gained energy which I have never felt before. I will say that the next day I felt the after effects. I was sore, but I knew it meant I had a good workout in less time and didn’t feel exhausted or tired. I will list a few work outs of the routine below that we did, so you could try it right at your gym or anywhere. I know I will be doing this routine again!

-Squat with head over press 3×12

-Deadlift with back row 3×12

-Bridge with chest press 3×12 to 15

-Woodchop 3×12 each side

-Reverse fly 3×12

-Split squat with over head press 3×10 to 12

-Side lunge with bicep curl 3×12

-Lawnmower 3×12 to 15

Make sure you keep up with the Niner Times for more details on workout routines and healthy living.


Keep an eye out in 2018

2017 was all about having that gorgeous highlight, which is still trending. Highlighting isn’t going anywhere anytime soon from what I see. It has become part of my make-up routine ever since highlighting was introduced. But we are in 2018, and it is a new a year for a new makeup trend and 2018 will be all about showing off your pretty eyes with stunning new eyeshadow palettes.

Picture courtesy of Flickr

For spring and summer, some of your favorite brands will be launching gorgeous eyeshadow palettes and some are releasing more than one, how exciting! So, who is launching what and when?!

NARS has already launched their new eyeshadow palette called “Danger Control”. The palette has six shades with some being holographic and glitter. The colors are so pretty and pigmented. This shadow will sure make your eyes pop. I did swatch the colors and got excited. You can find the palette exclusively in store or Sephora.com. Also, know this palette is limited edition and has been selling fast.  

M.A.C will be launching their Jeremy Scott collection that includes a shadow palette called “Lo-Fi” that has 29 fun shades ranging from neutral colors to brighter colors. The collection will be launching on February 8.    

Too Faced will be launching their eyeshadow palette called “Life’s a Festival”. This gorgeous palette consists of 12 shades with four different finishes, plus a highlighter! The palette will be launching on February 15 on Too Faced’s website and on February 18 at Sephora, Macy’s and Ulta online. Too Faced will also be launching another Natural Matte palette that has been giving a new look and reformulated, making the colors go on smoother and lasts longer. The palette will launch in the summer.

Anastasia Beverly Hills is launching their beautiful eyeshadow palette called “Soft Glam”. The palette has 14 shades that include pinks, brown warm tones, softer tones and some dark tones. “Soft Glam” will be launching in March.

Picture courtesy of Flickr

SmashBox is coming out with three new “Photo Edit Eyeshadow Trio’s”, all have one matte and two glitter shades. The first is “Pic Me” which has a warm matte pink, a rose gold glitter shade and bright pink glitter shade. The second called “Panoramic” has a blue and teal glitter shade with a beige like matte finish. Lastly, “Total Scene” has a yellow and silver glitter shade with a matte black shade. Smashbox will be launching these products at Sephora soon.

Morphe is launching yet another eyeshadow palette! In fact, they will be launching two more palettes soon. No dates have been released for any of them just yet, but they are soon at Ulta. The palettes are “9C Jewel Crew”, “9B Bronzed Babe” and “35T Taupe”. The names already sound amazing so just wait on it!

I mentioned a few favorite brands that are soon to launch their eyeshadow palettes for spring and summer of 2018. But, let me tell you, there are more shadow palettes coming soon, these were just a few. Some brands are launching more than one palette at a time for this season and of course throughout the year. I can’t say who or when just yet, but if you keep up with the NinerTimes, I will make sure to keep all of you updated with new releases. Like I said, pretty eyes in stunning eye shadows is the trend for 2018 and we will be seeing a lot of more creative eye looks with these new launches.

Shopping isn’t cheap, so when is it?

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

Shopping can be very expensive whether you are buying makeup, a new outfit or shoes.  You can walk into M.A.C Cosmetics or Sephora and spend at least a hundred dollars and men who love their shoes can easily spend a minimum of 200 hundred dollars for one pair. As years go by, the prices of these items do go up a dollar annually. So, when is it the best time to find sales?  Well, from working with big retailers for years, I am here to inform you of when to find good deals when shopping.

The beauty industry is trending big. Companies are competing to have the best skin care line, the best foundation or the best highlighter. Although beauty products never really go on sale, sometimes they do. Sephora’s beauty insider is a program where you gain points as you spend and with those points you can use to get some beauty products for free. Also by being a beauty insider, you get notifications about deals, 15 percent off coupons and a free Birthday gift. Towards the end of November to Christmas Eve, Sephora has more deals on their gift sets. Also around the same time, Belk has sales on their cosmetics brands which include Urban Decay, Estee Lauder, Bobbi Brown, Channel and now also included in their sales is M.A.C Cosmetics. Last year, Belk had sales weekly for a month. They had buy one, get one 50 percent off, 20 percent off everything and now all the gifts that are left are 25 percent off. M.A.C has a set of five brushes that were originally $49.50 and now about $37. Always sign up for email notifications from your favorite brands, they don’t just let you know about the newest trend or products, but sometimes they send you coupons or sale dates.

Everyone needs a nice warm coat for the winter, but as you know they can be very pricey. Coats can range from $100 to $1000. Coats in big retailers like Dillard’s or Macy’s do go on sale, but they only go on sale right after Christmas. Why after Christmas?  Well they need to make sure they all sell so there’s room for spring wear like swimsuits. No worries, most retailers try to keep coats on sale if they can up to the end of February. Another must-have are sweaters, those also start to go on sale around the same time along with any cold weather accessories. You can find those items on sale now for up 50 percent off. So, the best advice here for cold weather items is to wait until after Christmas when they go on sale and now at least you will have a coat for next year.

Coming soon is spring and summer season. Ladies, if you noticed last year swimsuits were expensive, and it will be no surprise that they will be expensive this year. When you buy a two-piece, the top alone is at least $60 and you still need to buy the matching bottoms. The best time to purchase multiple swimsuits cheap is when they go on sale around August to September. Retailers like Dillard’s and Macy’s have deals like buy one, get one free, or 30 to 65 percent off as the season ends, depending on the retailer. Stock up! Like I said, now you’ll have swimsuits for the following year. This also goes for men; swimming trunks go on sale around the same time women’s swimwear does.

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

Most stores have sales weeks before Christmas, and majority have even bigger sales right after Christmas like Francesca’s, Banana Republic, Michael Kors and more. Black Friday is a good time to purchase any electronics like flat screen TVs, cell phones, sound systems and anything you find at Best Buy. Throughout the year, Macy’s has big sales during the weekend about twice a month on clothes, fine jewelry and even household items like Ralph Lauren pillows for $7.99.  Michael Kors holds 25 percent off four times a year on everything. Also, throughout the year is when new shoes or clothes come into the stores, the “old” ones always go on sale, so keep an eye out.

So, when is the best time to shop? Well, pretty much all year depending on the items. Cosmetics have more sales during the holidays. For seasonal items like swimwear and coats, there are certain times of the year where you will get the best deal and most of the time it will be the only time. If your shopping for electronics, it is always best to wait for Black Friday since they hold the biggest sale. Majority of all stores have their biggest sale right after Christmas. Dillard’s hold their biggest sale of the year on New Year’s, which is an extra 50 percent off on all sale items in the store and SHOES are included!  To make sure you can get the best deals all year, sign up for notifications of your favorite stores because they do send you coupons and inform you on any sales and because you signed up for their program you also could get special perks. Shopping isn’t cheap, but it can be.