I feel like seafood and summer go hand in hand. When I think of summer, I actually don’t think of burgers right away. Instead, I think of margaritas with fish and lemon, or shrimp and pasta. I also think of Mexican food which probably comes from my Florida roots. This recipe featured on the food blog Garnish with Lemon.
The recipe is fairly simple to make. The only thing that takes time is the sauce which needs to sit in the fridge for an hour, but that can be assembled early in the day and forgot about. I use frozen shrimp for convenience, but you can of course always use fresh. If you’re looking to bulk out your tacos a bit, I’d suggest cheese, and lettuce, though I personally think they taste great just as they are.
I have been on the other side of this planet twice so far. I’ve been to Japan, Malaysia and Australia (all beautiful countries by the way). I love traveling, but packing can be a real problem and I always feel like I’ve forgotten something, and then there are all those rules on what you can and can’t bring on a flight! I’m also not always able to access my carry on luggage so, I’ve thought of some ways to organize my luggage to make everything easy and accessible to me while on a flight.
Let’s talk about checked luggage first. Usually, this is one big bag. In here, you are going to want to pack all of your clothes, toiletries, your makeup, shoes, swimsuits, an empty purse. DO NOT pack your laptop. You’re not allowed to lock your baggage and with all those hands making sure it gets to your destination, I wouldn’t put anything in there, that I didn’t want to lose. Let me put it this way. If Kris Jenner can have things stolen from her suitcase on the way to Vienna, there’s no promise your stuff won’t get stolen too.
When I was a child I loved The 4th of July. Even now I can remember my mother setting up a small pool in the back yard, and it felt like hours for the garden hose to fill it up. I remember swimming and smelling her grilling up burgers that she made. The smell of a charcoal grill brings back those memories so fast.
I am picky with spicy things. I like warm, but not hot and I am pleased to say that if you’re the same, then you’ll like these burgers. They have the jalapenos mixed in and the pepper jack gives it a little extra something. I like this recipe because you can adjust the heat to your level of liking by adding more or less jalapenos or leaving in seeds. My husband absolutely loved this and I hope you and your family does as well!
So it’s been six months since I consistently started going after my goals and blogging regularly. I feel like this is a good time to reflect on my activities and I have to say, for the most part, I’m doing pretty good. I mean the truth is, for six months I could have not been doing anything, and that hasn’t been the case. So I’m pretty happy about that. This quarter has been particularly difficult, but with any goal, there are going to be good and bad times. So here’s my check in on weight loss, my blog, and home.
I’ve had this thing ever since I was little and I’d go to camp. I’d have fun for the first couple of days, but once I was past the midpoint of the trip I’d start to get anxiety. I knew in a few days I’d have to go home and there was a lot of stress at home and I felt so GOOD being away from home! This mindset has followed me into adulthood, and my trip to Australia was no exception. About halfway through I started to wonder how I could live in Australia, and not go back to Boston. Honestly. I started thinking how could I make money, and live right here in a little apartment right on Coogee beach? The truth is, home, no matter where I live has been a problem for me because HOME IS A MINDSET! The saying “Home is where your heart is” isn’t too far off actually. The problem was my heart had been hurt a lot at my home in Boston…and I knew very well I couldn’t live at Coogee beach…So I had to start thinking of what I could do to take some of what I was learning back home with me.
In this post, I’m going to be talking about the things you can bring back with you that are going to be more life-changing than anything you can fit into your suitcase!
In the last post, I covered two common reasons why people often don’t take vacations. Now, I’m going to cover what you can do to make the most of your Vacation once you’ve decided to take it. I’m going to use my trip to Australia that I took in December as an example, but I’ve also found an IMMENSE amount of rest in Provincetown which is a two hour drive from where I live, so just because you’re on vacation, doesn’t mean you need to go to the other side of the world to do it. As my therapist has said when I returned from Australia, “Australia experienced you….You didn’t experience Australia”. What that means, is that the happiness, healing and rest came from somewhere within myself, so the location doesn’t really matter much if you have the correct mindset.
School is out for summer!!!! Or at least it’s about to be as summer vacation is on our doorstep here in Massachusetts. That means a lot of kids, and usually, a lot of upturned schedules and vacations abound!
I don’t have kids (yet), but I was raised in a home where my mother cared for everyone (including my father who didn’t really feel the need to support his family, when he had a wife who was so much better at it anyway). The truth is, my mother had to work two jobs at times to keep our home. She homeschooled me until my high school years, she cooked (I rarely remember going out to eat), and cleaned, and shopped for groceries. She was a powerhouse. Truth is, she really really needed a vacation. She was very selfless, and gave so much, but didn’t really have anyone giving back to her. My sisters and I where young and unfortunately kids don’t have the situational awareness that we have as adults. If I knew then what I know now I’d be begging her to take some time off.
That time has passed however, so I’m writing this article for the parents who are giving all they have. You know who you are. You’re running on all cylinders, the last weekend you had to yourself was somewhere before you had kids, and YOU…ARE…EXHAUSTED…and yet, I have noticed you are the last people to go on a vacation! This article is for you guys. You unsung heroes of life. You need time for yourself and I want to if not give you the excuses, then at least the dreams on how you may take a vacation and how to really take it in once you get out there.
Growing up, I spent $30 of my Christmas money, on a Bonsai. I loved it. It was so cute and it gave my “Asian Themed” bedroom (because I was really into martial arts at the time) the perfect touch. However, in Florida, we have these horrible little creatures called sugar ants that seem to find their way into homes every summer to escape the heat. They don’t sting like fire ants, but they are really annoying and seem to get into everything…which is exactly what they did to my poor Bonsai. Overnight it became infested with these little ants. I was young and didn’t know how else to handle an infestation of this manner except to spray my Bonsai quite heavily with an ant killer and it worked! er…kind of. While the ants did die, my Bonsai died too and that was my first introduction to having an indoor house plant.
Social media (like my Instagram) usually shows beautifully styled homes with lush green houseplants everywhere, but more often than not, I hear people complaining about them online. They die, they turn weird colors, remembering to water them seems to be a constant ongoing war and I’m left with the impression that perhaps a houseplant is something you give to someone like a frenemy. The idea seems nice at first, “Oh look at this cute little plant I got you!” but then GAWD FORBID they kill it, and then they’re “the ones who killed the pretty plant you gave them” and even if you don’t say anything, that plant will be hanging like an albatross from around their neck. Trust me, if I give you a houseplant, chances are I’m openly telling you that I don’t like you and I want to give you a really inconvenient gift that now you are responsible for keeping alive.
With Mother’s Day being a focus I decided to add one more post about a book I just finished that has really spoken to my soul as a woman.
I wasn’t taught how to embrace being a woman. I was raised to be quiet. I was raised to care for everyone else but me. I was raised that when people treated me badly, I should “just ignore it”, “get over it” and just accept it. I was taught that having any emotion other than happy and obedient was wrong, and I wanted to be a good girl…so I took that hook line and sinker.
Now at the age of 34, I realized that part of me really wanted to embrace being a woman, but not in the way that I was taught. I didn’t really know what that looked liked or where to even start remaking myself not just as a woman, but as a strong woman. I can’t tell you how frustrating it was to go on Google and not really find much on how to go about finding what it means to be a woman. It was like women knew something I didn’t and it was that “something” I wanted to learn about…but that something turned out to be that I hadn’t been programmed to embrace myself, and it was going to take a lot more than self-love and self-care bubble baths to do that!
While browsing the bookstore before a session with my therapist, I was drawn to this book called “Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D.” (which you can buy with a click on the affiliate link below). Not to sound dramatic, but it was a bit like pulling a sword from a certain enchanted stone. I knew in my heart that I had to get this and read it, and so I did and I was surprised at the deep levels this book spoke to me.
For Amin’s 30th birthday, I wanted to do something really special. Amin is half Iranian and over there they love the flavors of lamb, rose water, cardamom, pistachios, and saffron. So I made him an amazing rack of lamb (which I hope to write about in the future), and then I came across this recipe from Kokocooks. The first time I made this I went all out and even candied rose petals which you can do, but it takes six hours and it’s really just a garnish so I omitted it.
I chose it not just for my husband’s heritage but also because of the story behind it. As I looked at different recipes I found a website that said the origin came from a story of a woman who fell in love with a handsome prince, and she made this cake in order to win his heart hence why it’s a love cake. I told my husband the story when I gave this to him as well and it definitely won his heart over.
You have the rosewater and saffron frosting which is amazing balanced by the cardamom cake. The only word of warning I give here is please be careful with the rosewater…even if you think it smells good, only add the recommended amount because it can not only overwhelm the other flavors, but it can become the only thing you smell and taste for a while. This is where I would like to say that if you watch any food competition on TV if rosewater is involved it usually means someone is getting voted off for using too much. Okay. I’m done with that rant now for the recipe!