Friday, May 31, 2013

Flower Pop



Shoes: Merona for Target, Skirt: Merona for Target, Tank Top: American Apparel, Cardigan: BP, Sunglasses: BP 

I've been slightly obsessed with these shoes since I bought them a couple weeks ago. They are so light, it hardly feels like you're wearing any shoes at all. And the style is modern and edgy without being over-the-top---just how I like it.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mango Summer Salad



It's that time of year... summer! On Monday, we spent all day at the beach with friends, then hosted a BBQ in the late afternoon. It was the perfect way to kick off summer and ever since, I've been relishing in the simple, yet delicious meals that seem to make their way into my tummy this time of year. After debating what to make for dinner last night, I realized that I had all the fixins' for a delicious mango salad and this meal was born. 

Mango Summer Salad
Yield: 2 large servings
Total Prep Time: about 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
1 mango, diced*
1 avocado, chopped
1 handful dried cranberries
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Your favorite salad dressing**

*Click here for tips on how to cut a mango

DIRECTIONS:

Add first five ingredients to a large bowl. Drizzle salad dressing over the ingredients. Using two large serving utensils, gently toss the salad until the dressing is just mixed in. Divide and serve. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Wanderlust: British Virgin Islands






I've recently become fascinated with the idea of chartering a boat and sailing around a chain of islands. From what I've read, the British Virgin Islands is a great place to start for this type of an adventure as it offers amazing sites and beaches to visit and the navigation from island to island is fairly straightforward, suitable for novice sailors. I mean, wow, just look at these pictures and imagine being the captain of your own ship, spending a week or two island-hopping from beautiful beach to beautiful beach. Take. me. there.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade





Since it's the unofficial start of summer, which is absolutely, hands-down, my favorite time of the year, I decided to celebrate by making a batch of homemade, fresh-squeezed lemonade. There's no better drink in my opinion, and with only three ingredients, it's quite simple to make. I hope this inspires you to take a moment and enjoy the sunshine this weekend (with a glass of lemonade in hand)!

Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade
Yield: about 2 liters
Time: about 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about 8-10 lemons)
1 cup sugar
Water

DIRECTIONS:

Start by making a simple syrup. Combine one cup of sugar with one cup of water in a small pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce heat to low and let simmer for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure all the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool completely. 

While the simple syrup is cooling, it's time to squeeze the lemons. This can be done by hand or with a juicer, if you have one. When the juice is ready, it's time to start mixing.

Remember the 3-2-1 ratio. Start by mixing 3 cups water, 2 cups lemon juice, and 1 cup simple syrup in a large bowl. Stir and taste. If it feels a little too strong, add more water, if it feels too sour, add more syrup, if it feels too sweet, add more lemon juice. Do this until you have a perfect mixture that suits your taste buds. Pour lemonade into a pitcher or other storage container and cool in the fridge until ready to drink. 

Serve with ice and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

White Tribal




Pants: Zara, Shirt: Target, Belt: H&M, Shoes: Billabong, Scarf: F21, Earrings: F21, Sunglasses: BP

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Reese's Puffs Cereal Cookies


For the most part, I enjoy clean, healthy eating. I try to stay away from frozen foods and I aim to eat meals that are as fresh as possible. But I have a weakness. Reese's Puffs cereal. I'm not sure if it's possible to find a cereal that's as bad for you as this one. However, I still enjoy it from time to time. The other day, after two days of enjoying my Reese's Puffs cereal in a bowl with milk, I had the idea to try Reese's Puffs in a different form: as a cookie! 

And it worked fabulously. 

Please enjoy...

Reese's Puffs Cereal Cookies

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs 
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
3/4 cups cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating until completely mixed in. Add vanilla and mix just until blended. 

In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to butter/sugar mixture and mix on low speed until well blended. Fold in Reese's Puffs cereal. 

Drop by very large spoonfuls on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 14 minutes.

Let cool for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Wanderlust: Borneo







Borneo is not actually a country, but an island that contains three countries: Brunei, half of Malaysia, and part of Indonesia. It is the third-largest island in the world and the largest island in Asia. The terrain consists of dense jungle and mountains, much of which is unexplored. The pristine tropical rainforest is sadly being cleared at an alarming rate, which is especially frightening given Borneo is home to the largest Orangutan population in the world. With such an amazing wildlife population and crystal clear blue waters, I can only imagine the adventures that await in Borneo.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Mango Chicken Tamale Pie



I love me some tamales and last night I was craving them. BUT, I don't know how to make tamales! So I did the next best thing and made a tamale pie casserole. Seriously, the tamale topping on this dish is to die for and how can you go wrong with chicken and mangoes? 

Comfort food at its finest. 

Mango Chicken Tamale Pie
Yield: one large 9x13-inch pan (about 8 servings)
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Baking Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: about 1 hour, 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 small onion, chopped
2 chilies in adobo sauce, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup mango-peach salsa

{for the tamale topping}

2 1/4 cups yellow corn meal
2 cups water
12 oz. milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese
1 dollop cream cheese (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13-inch pan with cooking spray.

Drizzle olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add chopped onions and cook for one minute. Add chopped adobo chilies and cook until onions are translucent. Add black beans, garlic powder, cumin, shredded chicken and mango-peach salsa. Stir until all ingredients are incorporated. Pour into the bottom of prepared pan.

Make the tamale topping. Combine corn meal, water, milk and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Add shredded cheese and cream cheese and combine until fully incorporated. Pour tamale mixture over the mango-chicken mixture and spread evenly.

Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.

Enjoy!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Windswept



Pants: Joe's Jeans, Shirt: Zara, Shoes: Target

The older I get, the simpler I become. Or maybe just more responsible. The other week I had the thought, "I feel like I've reached a point in life where I can afford to spend more money on clothes, but coincidentally I've simultaneously reached a point in life where I realize that clothes are not worth spending a lot of money on." I do want to look good, feel good, etc., but not at the expense of planning properly for my future. It's just not worth it. So when faced with a choice to head to Nordstrom or Target for a new pair of black sandals, (sorry, Mom), I went to Target. (PS.. aren't they cute?)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wanderlust: Goa, India







Goa, India is a Portuguese-influenced state on the Western side of India. Hugging the Arabian Sea, Goa is a place where many travelers go to take a breather from the otherwise crazy, busy, chaotic scene that makes up the rest of India. From what I've heard, it's not uncommon for backpackers to arrive in Goa intending to stay for a week, but ending up staying for a year or more. Known for it's laid-back vibe and breathtaking beaches, it's easy to see why Goa is a popular destination, but Goa also has a lot to offer inland with animal sanctuaries and spice gardens a plenty.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Green Goddess Juice




I recently realized that there is a big part of my diet, my health and my life that I haven't really addressed yet on the blog... juicing! About six months ago, my husband and I watched the documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead and a couple days later, we purchased our first juicer, the Breville Ikon Juice Fountain. Since our purchase, we've probably quadrupled our intake of whole fruits and vegetables. I've gone from fighting mini headaches about every other day to having no headaches at all. In short, our bodies are happy and healthy which means we are nicer, more productive, and more helpful people.  

If you're looking to make a change in your diet and searching for a way to get more whole fruits and vegetables in your body, I recommend you watch Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead and start juicing! 

Today, I'd like to share one of my favorite juice recipes. This is chock full of helpful micronutrients that your body craves and has a bright, fresh taste which will make you feel energized and ready to take on life's challenges. 

Green Goddess Juice
Yield: 1 large glass of juice
Time (including prep and clean-up): about 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

1 lemon
2 apples
1-inch ginger root
6 celery stalks
1 cucumber
2 large handfuls spinach

DIRECTIONS:

Place all ingredients through a juicer. Immediately pour into a glass and enjoy!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Poser





Glasses: F21, Shirt: H&M, Pants: Zara, Shoes: Target, Belt: H&M

"Do I wear glasses?", you ask. No, I don't. Up until this point in my life, I've never had any issues with my vision which I'm very grateful for. "Then why are you wearing glasses?", you may be wondering. Well, you see, I get somewhat bored at times with the ins and outs of everyday life which is why I like to change up my look through fashion. While these glasses are fake and don't do a thing for my vision, they make me feel like a different person and they make life a little less boring. 

“When a woman says, ‘I have nothing to wear!’, what she really means is, ‘There’s nothing here for who I’m supposed to be today.”