YUM!

Hang on to your mouth because you’re about to drool!

I was browsing around online earlier this week and came across a site called Skinnytaste. I’ve clicked through countless pages of recipes, and am still clicking and saving along the way. I have a list about THIS long now of things I want to try. Benjamin was nice enough to make one of the meals for us earlier in the week. Eating healthy was a big concern of mine before we came out to Hawaii. I wasn’t sure how we were going to do it. Benjamin came out about a week before I did and was told to report to me what our living arrangements where going to be like. You can’t imagine my joy when he sent me a picture of a full kitchen. You see, our temporary housing was only supposed to have a fridge and microwave. A full kitchen makes a big difference. Granted, its an outdoor kitchen, and pretty poorly stocked but its ok. We bought some dishes from Goodwill and have been making do with that. I’m just happy that we can cook our own food.

I have a very sensitive stomach and have to make sure I’m eating as wholesome as possible (i.e. no preservatives, additives, high fructose corn syrup, etc.). Ideally, everything I eat should be as pure as possible. So for example, if I wanted to eat a roasted chicken it’s ingredients should be just chicken, oil or butter, spices, and some chicken broth for gravy. It’s shocking how much crap goes into all the food we eat, but that’s a whole other can of worms. But, if you are interested the book Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser is a great read. His writing is objective and informative, much different than Morgan Spurlock’s movie Supersize Me. Everyone’s response is usually the same when I suggest the book: “Oh yeah, I’ve seen the movie, the Supersize Me one.” Let me tell you that this book is far better and explores in depth the awful stuff we put in our food. Eating healthy can do MILES more for your health and weight loss than any diet program.

Back to where I was. Yes, the chicken. I’m so sensitive to these additives that I can get a serious stomach ache if I happen to eat them. My mom bought a roasted chicken from Albertson’s a few months ago, which is a rarity because she usually makes her own. She was saying how delicious it was and what an easy meal it is until I picked it up and started reading the ingredients to her. You really don’t want to know. Next time you’re at your local grocery store though go ahead and pick up a roasted chicken and start reading the ingredients, you’d be surprised. (One exception is Whole Foods, last time I checked their chicken was good to go). I always make it a point to know what I’m eating and how my food is made. By no means do I eat super healthy though. I’m an extremely picky eater. Like, REALLY picky. There are a total of about 3 vegetables that I’ll eat. And I’m a total carnivore and carbo-holic. My favorite foods are high in fat, carbs, and sugar. Or probably all three. But, I just can’t say no to pasta drenched in a luscious cream sauce. Or donuts…

Needless to say, I was so thrilled to find this site. There are so many healthier options of my favorite foods and even more of foods I want to try. She has recipes for everything from green smoothies to martinis, salads to desserts, thanksgiving to cinco de mayo, and so much more. We’ve only had the Chicken Rollatini with Spinach alla Parmigiana but will definitely be trying much more in the very near future. You’ll see I’m a little obsessed with chicken and shrimp. Any of the chicken recipes could easily substitute turkey breast as well, another favorite of mine. Keep in mind that I’m not a fan of vegetables, but she does have a million options (maybe not literally, but a lot!) if you do like them. Here are some of my top picks:

One of the best parts is that she includes nutritional information with her recipes. So you’ll know how many calories are in what you’re eating, along with protein, carbs, fiber, sugar, and sodium. For anyone in Weight Watchers, she also includes their points system.

Let me know if you try any of the recipes!

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What I Wore: Training

Good news… I got the job! I was crossing my fingers all week and finally got the call Friday night. This will be the first time this entire year I’ll actually get paid. I had an unpaid internship previously for school so, while I was working, I wasn’t getting any money for it. I loved my internship, don’t get me wrong, but I’m really looking forward to my first paycheck. Wednesday was my first day of training. Given the laid back environment, I went with this navy and white knit dress and yellow blazer. Its one of my favorite color combinations! I topped it off with silver accessories that really pop against the navy blue.

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Lighthouse Trail

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Ah, the view from the top.

Rewind to last weekend when the weather was being a little moody. Remember when we went to the beach here and I said how cloudy and dreary it was that weekend? Well, we took that time to embark on another hike. This time up Makapu’u Point lighthouse trail.

Going on the hike in the late afternoon probably wasn’t the best idea. It was so hot and muggy, but not really sunny, that by the time we reached the top we were both soaked. From the parking lot there are a couple trails you can take: one heads up to the top and the other goes down through a gully to the beach. As much as I know Benjamin would’ve loved to surf some of the surrounding waves, we were on a mission to see the lighthouse. The hike followed a paved road pretty much the entire way up – a fairly simple route but based on my guesses we stopped every 5-10 minutes. And by we, I mean me. First it was water. Then to take a picture. Then to walk down a random path over the cliffs only to come back after 10 steps. Then more water because I was thirsty again. And so the cycle went on. One of the signs we stopped to read had said that from that vantage point (on the top of a cliff) you can sometimes see whales in the water below. They’re easier to spot during mating season when they are around the island, usually in December/January. Of course, I have to go back then and see them.

Another little side trail led to an old bunker. I get the sense there are so many of them on the island. It was tagged with graffiti, as many of them are, after years and years of abandonment. But, get this! This one still had a rusted truck parked out front! How cool is that??? The grass has grown in and the pieces are falling apart but I loved it. I have a little thing for old, abadonned buildings/cars/homes/towns. There is something so beautiful in the lost and forgotten.

And of course, the lighthouse. With its little red cap it looks a lot like the old seaman that I picture watching over the lighthouse a century ago. It really pops against the pale backdrop of the blue ocean and gray clouds. I wish we could’ve walked closer, there is a path right up to it, but unfortunately its a closed trail. But even from a distance, it was beautiful. IMG_7884

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Turtle Turtle

A few weeks ago we went on the hunt for turtles. Not literally hunting turtles (that would be awful!) but just to catch a glimpse of them. They’re known to hang out at certain beaches and pop up onto the sand every now and then and bask in the sun. They are, after all, the Hawaiian basking sea turtles. Unfortunately, that day was not our day because although we spotted some in the water, none came up to shore. I may or may not have tried to convince them to come closer telepathically, but still no dice. I told Benjamin that we have to go back a few times and see if we can’t catch them soaking up some rays on the shore. We did, however, have fun climbing on the rocks! 🙂

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What I Wore: Interview Week

I’ve been interviewing for jobs all week and this has been my standard  look. Its been way too hot to wear anything but this light silk dress and featherweight cotton cardigan. Hawaii is very casual so this look has been great, but for a more professional look I’d suggest a blazer and longer hemline. Here’s to hoping I get the job!

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Dress, Cardigan, Necklace: J. Crew

Paradise

Yup. I’ve found it.

It’s called Lanikai Beach.

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They weren’t kidding when they named this place “heavenly sea” in Hawaiian. It is absolutely STUNNING. A small stretch of beach that is surrounded by the most brilliant shades of turquoise, blue and every other variation of the two in between. There isn’t much sand to lay on but even at high tide theres just enough of the buttery soft stuff so that your toes don’t hang in the water. But, for when you do want to get your toes wet, the ocean is this ideal temperature of cold and warm. Cold enough to cool you down after the suns been beating on your shoulders, but warm enough so that you don’t feel like your toes are about to fall off from frostbite even in the midst of summer (I’m lookin at you, California beaches). The waves are strong enough to sway you back and forth but gentle enough that you don’t fear a surprise coming to topple you over the second you turn your back. You can’t not smile at this kind of beauty. There are a select few beach cottages (and I use that term VERY loosely) that are right up on the beach, one of which with a price tag of $11,500,000. Not kidding (see here).

I’ve already started saving. Only $11,499,990 to go!

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