Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Super Easy Panang Curry Soup (inspired by True Foods)

I am not generally someone that goes to a restaurant and is IN LOVE with the food so much that I want to go home and make it!  It kind of caught me off guard when I went to True Foods in San Diego last year....and I fell deeply in love with their Panang Curry!  I do LOVE curry, but I am generally not a fan of milk based soups. (chicken noodle soup fan for life!)

I found myself searching online for the recipe and I have made it several times this past year! I totally forgot about it over the summer, but this cold snap of weather we have been having, has had me on the hot soup kick for days!  I found this recipe, and I am sure that this is how a true chef would make the soup for her family! It sounds amazing!!!!

I am a bit lazier than the average "chef", and I will not make a recipe if it has a lot of ingredients.  There really is no other rhyme of reason....other than I am lazy and I hate buying something for ONE recipe only.  I made up this version of my favorite soup, and it is EASY, and it warms you from the inside out! (total bonus is that it is Gluten and Dairy Free....and can be made peanut free)

-Half of a packet of Thai Curry Paste (I use this because it has all of the spices. It is SPICY, so add what you feel comfortable with)
-Two cans of Lite Coconut Milk 
-Spoonful of creamy peanut butter (optional)
-Two Breasts of Chicken
-Shrimp (I add 4 to each bowl)
-1 cup of cooked carrots (optional)
-1 cup of cooked Broccoli (optional)
-Cooked Rice or Quinoa
*serves 4-6

Saute cubed chicken and shrimp (or use leftovers).  Bring two cans of Coconut milk to a boil (constantly stirring) and add Curry Paste  to taste.  (this is when I add a spoonful of peanut butter to cut some of the spice, but that is totally optional) Once the curry and peanut butter have incorporated,  Add the chicken, shrimp, cooked broccoli, and cooked carrots to the pot just before serving. Serve soup over rice or quinoa AND ENJOY! 

I am totally picky and I do not like cooked carrots OR broccoli, so I do not add those at all. You can honestly add any veggies that you want, or meat, and it will still taste amazing because of the curry, peanut butter and coconut milk.  I ALWAYS have those three ingredients in my pantry because you can make just about anything taste good by adding them.  


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Girlfriend Gift Guide At Anthro Sale

I am a total gift giver! I will FIND a reason to send someone a gift because, selfishly, it makes ME feel good!  There is just something about thinking of someone and feeling as though I know them well enough to get them something THEY would want! (and the majority of the time....I would want as well!) 

I have tried to make it a habit to plan ahead for birthdays or events.  This past year I took advantage of each one of the Anthropologie sales and stocked up on gifts for upcoming birthdays, weddings, showers, or rainy days!  Here are a few of the gifts that I have found in the current sale that would be PERFECT for any girlfriend's special day, or just to put a smile on their face! 

Tea Towels: I love giving tea towels with wedding shower gifts. I think it adds a little something extra and a pop of color to gifts! This set is basally my favorite, and I want a matching set for myself! 

Notebook: I like to add notebooks to teacher gifts, gifts for Mother's Day, or to a girlfriend in need of a journal or two.

Cheers Opener: This is SUPER cute to hang on a bottle of wine or wine glass for a hostess gift! 

Luggage Tag: Fun idea for bridal shower! You can add their NEW married name on a pretty label inside of the tag.

Clutch: THE MOST AMAZING CLUTCH EVER! I wish that I would actually go somewhere fancy enough to use this! This is something that you buy as a gift for your favorite party/fancy girl!

Notebook: I purchased this notebook for a girlfriend for Christmas and I was honestly REALLY impressed with the quality! It is a leather zip around and I just think that every girl needs a pretty journal.

Pie Plate: I am NOT a chef, and I generally sign up to bring a gift card when someone is in need of dinner. BUT I do make a pretty mean turkey pie and I am going to purchase this set for a special friend that is in need of a nice warm family dinner. It is nice to be able to let them keep the pretty pie plate! (and server!) 

Now, I am a big time gift giver...but I am also REALLY great at buying gifts for myself. :) I happened to purchase this "gift" for myself this morning! I have NEVER been one to love leather clothing, but this vegan leather just looked so yummy, and the reviews were GREAT! When a piece is described as "soft as butter"....I NEED IT!

Don't forget to use coupon code "xtra40" to get additional 40% off of all sales item! WHOOP!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Disney Cruise With My Crew

This past weekend we packed up and took our kids on a Disney Cruise! The truth is, I became terrified of going on a cruise the second I became a mom! I have no idea why I have this fear, because I have been on cruises before and really loved it! I must have seen a movie or something that switched my opinion of loving them and flipped it right on around into a full force FEAR! The kind of fear that includes nightmares, awful thoughts, and a full on desire to avoid them at all cost.

WELL... this all changed when Chad called me a few months before Christmas with the idea to give our kids a weekend on the Disney Cruise instead of gifts this year! I LOVED the idea....I just HATED that it involved a HUGE cruise ship that has absolutely NO business being able to float at all!  I sucked it up, made the plans, and put on a happy face for my kids! I just didn't want to pass my own random fear onto them! (Pirates, huge waves, feeling sick the ENTIRE time, being stuck on a ship with a crazy person and we are all stuck.....YOU NAME IT....I THOUGHT IT WOULD HAPPEN!)

Christmas morning was the BEST!  My mom and I stayed up entirely too late on Christmas Eve and made a scavenger  hunt around the house! I added a little clue/gift with each clue (goggles, swim suit, binoculars, sunscreen, sunglasses, and flip flops) and we hid them all around!  I don't think it mattered what the surprise was....my kids LOVE a good scavenger hunt! 

It was a full on race to find the next clue!


The ship was BEAUTIFUL! (We were on the DREAM) It still blows my mind that this baby even floats, and I had to remove the thought from my mind IMMEDIATELY.  Our kids were in such Awe of every single detail!
I was not sure how I would feel about letting the kids just walk around on they ship, or go to the kid's club.  I wanted to spend every single minute just enjoying it all with them. BUT the truth is, they went on the water slide a million times while Chad and I just sat back and relaxed.  They also checked out the kids club a few times and lOVED it, and Chad and I were able to go sit at an adults only bar and get a massage! Pretty sure that quality time WHILE the kids were having a blast is priceless!

We are more of a sports/active family than a character family.  We really had no desire to meet or take pics with the Disney characters, and spent our time playing golf, basketball, water slides, went to every show, and saw every movie available. I was honestly nervous that it was just going to be 100% Disney and that we would feel like we didn't really belong.....BUT it was nothing like that! 

AquaDuck that goes OVER the water and is super fun! We went down this numerous times and loved it! 

My kid's had ice cream AT LEAST 5 times a day and I am pretty sure they have never been so excited about it! 
I have to tell you that the food was my favorite part of the cruise.  I am allergic to Dairy AND Gluten and I brought several boxes of meal bars onto the ship in fear that I wouldn't be able to eat anything.  (I had ordered a Gluten/Dairy Free meal at Universal a few weeks ago and THEY LIED....totally had gluten in it and I was sick for days!) Our server was AMAZING!!!!! I told him whatever I wanted to eat.....and it was prepared in a different kitchen and was AMAZING. I know within 5 minutes if I have eaten something with Gluten in it, so I can guarantee you that it was 100% legit! 

Pirate night was fun! Some people went ALL out with costumes, but we just had fun adding some pirate accessories to our outfits. (bought at the party section of Target) 

Fake mustaches will forever make me laugh! 

I am so thankful that Chad goes along with whatever the kids are excited about! ha!

We stayed on the Boat in the Bahamas because our trip was quick and the ship had SO much to offer. The weather was beautiful the day we were in Nassau and the pool and water slide were EXACTLY what we wanted to do! 
The next day we were in Castaway Cay and the weather took a turn! Immediately after this picture, it started to rain...hard! We headed back to the boat for a bit and once the rain stopped we headed back out to the island and enjoyed this BEAUTIFUL island.

It was COLD but how could we not take a swim to the water slide island?! (and by "we", I mean Chad and the kids and NOT me.)

I just thought these were too cute! We didn't do any Character events, so this was our chance at getting a pic with them. ;) 

We upgraded our room to one with a patio....JUST IN CASE PIRATES TOOK OVER THE BOAT AND WE NEEDED TO JUMP! (hey, it is a real concern) I don't think we will need the patio next time because we were never really in our room....but I was happy to have it this time.  **photo shoot directed by Kacey

Our last dinner was too cute! Kacey secretly went up and told them that Chad's birthday is next week, and they came out singing and dancing.  He is not the type of guy that likes to be in the spotlight, but it was perfect.  The look on her face just makes me so proud!

Our cruise experience was THE BEST! I felt safe, wore my Sea Bands the entire time we were moving and felt fine, the kids had a blast, Chad and I had a blast, zero pirates took over our ship, and memories were made that will last a lifetime! To me....that is as successful as you can get! 

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