Spicy Noodle Salad

Spicy Noodle Salad

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Food often creates a sense of nostalgia for me. I can eat a slice of pie and have the crust remind me of the delicious homemade pies my grandma used to make every summer. Or when I eat a chocolate chip cookie, I always think back to the cookies my mom baked for us growing up.

It’s funny how certain scents, sounds or tastes can really remind us or momentarily transport us to a different time or place. I love how specific pastries and dishes do this for me.

One of my all time favorite meals my mom would make was this Spicy Noodle Salad. She didn’t make it too often, but when she did I knew I was in for a treat. It’s sweet with a dash of heat and is loaded with veggies, noodles and chicken and/or shrimp. Eating it definitely takes me back to my childhood.

I’m excited to share the recipe with you in hopes that you will enjoy it as much as I do. This makes a decent amount of servings, so it’s great if you are meal prepping for the week or need to take a meal to a friend.

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Dressing Ingredients:

14 oz. Thin spaghetti

7 Tablespoons Sesame oil

7 Tablespoons Soy sauce

1 teaspoon Chili oil (or less)

3 Tablespoons Sugar

1 Tablespoon Ginger powder

1 Tablespoon Garlic chopped

Additional Ingredients:

Vegetables

Cilantro

Cooked chicken and/or shrimp

Cook spaghetti and rinse with cold water. Mix dressing ingredients together and toss with the noodles. Blanch vegetables (of choice: julienne carrots, red pepper, pea pods, broccoli, etc.) until their color is bright. Add veggies into the noodles and toss in cooked chicken and/or shrimp. This salad can be served hot or cold. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy!

xo

Hillary

 

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

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I love JIF peanut butter. There I said it. I know, it’s not the most healthy or “cleanest” version of peanut butter. But I’ve tried the natural and organic brands and I just always end up going back to it. I grew up eating it so maybe it’s comforting or a reminder of my childhood, but I will probably always favor it over other nut butters.

Since we are talking about peanut butter, one of my favorite foods to put peanut butter on is waffles! It’s just the best, you should try it! Unfortunately, I have found that waffles aren’t the most filling breakfast and so I’ve been on a mission to find a more filling option.

Every morning I eat breakfast around 8:30am and then by 10:00 or 11:00am I’m always really hungry and end up eating a snack. Well after eating one of these peanut butter oatmeal bars for breakfast, I was set for the morning!

They are really dense, super easy to make and kept great for several days after I baked them. With how busy life is with an infant and trying to keep up with him and everything else, I’m always happy when I can have a ready to go breakfast at my fingertips.

IMG_2293IMG_2299IMG_2303I followed this recipe exactly. And when I make these again, I plant to add in some chocolate chips just to make them a bit more decadent. Enjoy!

xo

Hillary

Shrimp Taco Bites

Shrimp Taco Bites

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I have been on a bit of a Pinterest kick these days. Anytime I’m looking for a new recipe to try I end up on Pinterest. It always seems to be such a great resource for me, and I’ve surprisingly had more successes than fails when it comes to recreating recipes from there. On a side note, my husband somehow finds the best “Pinterest Fails,” you know those before and after photos that end up circulating on social media of how the result looks nothing like the Pinterest photo, and sends them to me and they always make me laugh!

This recipe I’m sharing with you today was created from a photo I saw on Pinterest and I promise this won’t be a Pinterest Fail! The photo inspired an appetizer that I actually took to a New Years Eve party a few months back. I like these appetizers so much because they are simple to make, are bite size and contain a bit of protein so you aren’t just eating empty carbs. And as an added bonus they are gluten-free. I think these would be great for taking to a happy hour event or even at a Cinco de Mayo party.

Depending on what you have in your pantry, these shrimp taco bites could include other ingredients such as salsa, black bean or refried beans. But I kept it pretty simple as they really are quite flavorful by just following my recipe below.

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Ingredients

30 small shrimp (cleaned, deveined & tail removed)

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Taco seasoning

Sour cream

Handful of cilantro

2 avocados

Bag of Tostitos Scoops

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium to high heat. Add in shrimp, season with taco seasoning and cook 2 minutes per side or until cooked through. While the shrimp cools, place the individual chip scoops on your serving platter. In each scoop add a piece or two of cilantro and a drop of sour cream to hold the cilantro leafs in place. Cut open the avocado and cut it up into small bite size pieces. Place a piece of avocado on top of the sour cream in each scoop. Then add a shrimp on top of each bite. Makes approximately 30 bites. Enjoy!

xo

Hillary

Infant Traveling Tips

Infant Traveling Tips

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Poor babe is like “Where are we??!”

I have to admit I was very nervous to travel with our six month old baby on a six-hour flight from Seattle to Hawaii. Prior to our flight I did a lot of research on traveling with an infant and it definitely helped. It prepared me for a few situations that arose during our time in the airports and on our flights. One thing that I would highly recommend is calling your airline before your flight. I called our airline (Alaska) and checked in with them on their requirements for traveling with a baby. I found out I actually had to register Carter on my ticket since he wasn’t going to be in his own seat and they recommended that we bring a copy of his birth certificate just in case we were asked for it. We actually never used it but I’m glad we were prepared just in case.

I rounded up some tips below on traveling with a baby based on my recent experience and I hope this helps to put your mind at ease:

  1. Car Seat & Stroller: We decided to take our car seat and travel stroller with us as we were going to be gone for over a week and knew that we would be traveling around quite a bit. Unfortunately we weren’t able to use an umbrella stroller yet as our babe is still a little small but the clip in travel stroller worked really well. The great thing about it was we were able to push him all the way through the airport and to the gate and the airline let us check the stroller and car seat for free. I was a little nervous about them getting damaged or dirty in transit but we didn’t have any issues either way.
  2. Formula: Going through security was a bit trickier as he is on formula and the bottles were over the 3.4 ounce limit. I wanted to have ready-to-feed liquid formula for the flights as mixing the powder formula in bottles can be rather messy and you don’t always have access to fresh water on airplanes. For getting through security I would recommend that you budget some extra time (15 or so minutes) if you bring through liquid formula as TSA spends extra time screening you, at least they did with us.
  3. Schedule/Naps: While we were on the plane my husband wore our ERGObaby carrier and we put Carter in and out of it throughout the flight. This worked really well for us keeping him on his schedule as he napped twice on the plane both ways. I was so thankful for this as one of my biggest concerns with the travel was that he wouldn’t stay on his schedule.

Overall, Carter was in a pretty good mood and only got fussy right before his naps on the planes. I think we were pretty lucky and I am grateful that he wasn’t really disruptive to those traveling around us.

Traveling with an infant was challenging at times but being able to go on vacation and have him experience a different part of the world was worth the extra work.What tips do you have for traveling with your baby? Share below as I’d love to hear more, especially as Carter gets older and travel becomes more challenging!

xo

Hillary

Current Must Haves: Beauty Products

Current Must Haves: Beauty Products

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Sunglasses: DIFF Eyewear | Tank: Z by Zella | Shorts: Nike (Similar)

We have been back from Hawaii for a week now and I have to say I really miss the sun and the palm trees. It was beautiful there and was so wonderful to spend the days lounging at the beaches and pools. We had such a nice time relaxing and exploring the big island. The picture above was from a short little hike my husband and I took to these lava cliffs that look out over the Pacific Ocean. There was really high surf that day as well so we got to see lots of waves crashing up onto the lava rocks.

Being on vacation had me missing some of my favorite beauty products. I had to be selective with my packing this trip, as I was sharing my suitcase with my six month old :). So I had to leave a few things behind. I always love reading what products and items other bloggers love so I thought that I would share a few of my current favorites. I’m hoping to continue this on as a series, but for this first time I’m going to share a few of my top beauty products and how they have been working for me.

Coconut Oil – Up until the past few months I used all sorts of random face cleansers and serums to wash my face at night. I never really had a favorite and kept switching to different products because I couldn’t settle on one that I love. But now all I use is coconut oil and it literally is the best change I have ever made! I am so serious, my skin is clearer that it has even been before and I love how natural the oil is. All I do is splash water on my face (even with a full face of makeup), rub about a teaspoon of coconut oil all over my face and wash it off with a wash cloth. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Dr. Jart+ BB Cream – A few years ago I received a sample of the Dr. Jart+ BB cream in a Birchbox and fell in love with it! It’s the best BB cream I have used and is a great alternative to foundation if I’m looking for lighter coverage. Also, it is SPF 45 which is a nice bonus.

Burt’s Bees Lipstick – Until recently I really haven’t worn much in regards to lipstick, but after I received some Burt’s Bees Lipstick for Christmas from my husband I have been converted. I’ve used their chapstick for years and was excited to try out their lipstick. I like how the color goes on smoothly and isn’t too bright and showy. The lipsticks are natural so if you like natural products these are a great option. The only downside I would say is that the lipstick does need to be reapplied after a couple of hours for me. Although their website touts eight hour moisture so for some maybe the coverage lasts longer.

Sonia Kashuk Nail Polish– I love nail polish and have too many bottles of it to count. However, after trying all sorts of brands from OPI to Essie to Covergirl I have found that Sonia Kashuk Nail Polish is the best. I love the thickness of the polish and how it’s not on the higher end of pricing for nail polishes. It also lasts on my nails for several days. It’s sold at Target and comes in tons of trendy and classic colors.

What are your favorite beauty products? I’d love to hear about them, please share in the comments below!

xo,

Hillary