Popping in to say Aloha

Aloha! 

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I have a million things I should be doing considering I'm in Hawaii for WORK but alas... Here I am at 9am sitting by the pool. In my defense, not that I feel I really need one, I already worked for three hours this morning and will be working until at least 7pm tonight.  

Moving onnnnn. 

Have you been hanging out on Instagram because I've been posting all my yummy, mostly healthy food there as well as some other snaps from Honolulu! If you're not hanging out on Insta, let me catch  you up a bit!

First of all, I arrived Tuesday and decided to take an evening walk on the beach since I'd been sitting on an airplane for 6+ hours. The walk went super well, look how pretty!

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It drizzled just a tiny but most of the walk which was fine, I mean for one it was still over 80 degrees and my PNW heat tolerance wasn't coping so well so the rain was great. Until it wasn't. When I was still about 10 minutes from my hotel it started dumping. I mean, full blown, torrential Hawaii rain.  

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Yikes. 

I've never sent out for laundry from a hotel but when I woke up the next day and my jeans and sweater that had been hanging were still DRENCHED... Best $19 I've spent in awhile. I'd also gotten the back of my beautiful white sweater muddy due to the rain and flip flops. All better thanks to 8 hour dry cleaning though! 

Day two I was feeling VERY blogger. I got a fancy straw and positioned my sunglasses to have some semblance of a reflection on them and check out that most blogger meal I've ever eaten. It's a poke bowl and man did I feel Hawaiian. And full.  

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Well, that was my most blogger meal ever until the next day when I ordered a papaya salad and realized that it  was actually a papaya salad. In that the base of the salad was spiralized papaya. I didn't even know that was a thing! It was delicious with a spicy sauce and a bit of chicken but I'll tell you what, it was far from filling and I chowed down on an entire personal pizza for dinner. And also two mojitos. Because balance.  

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Yumm.  

Today is nothing special besides that I'm wearing a romper. And it has pockets. And besides that I barely ever make it to this blog... I feel like a real life blogger.  

My last little tidbit of very exciting news is that Nicole has been asked to contribute to a hilarious and up-and-coming mommy blog and her first post had me laughing out loud. As much as I'd selfishly like to steal all her wit and hoard it here on this blog... Her talents have broadened her horizons. Make sure to check out her introduction post on  Why Do Our Kids Hate Us?? And leave her lots of love

There you have it. Life this week through the photo lens of my iPhone 7. More to come next week. Probably!

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Blogging my way through the Skinnytaste Cookbook #1

Well, it may have taken a few extra days but the first blog post in my Blogging my way through a cookbook series is finally here! This recipe is going to seem out of place considering we've had 3 days in a row where areas of Seattle broke 70° but trust me when I say last week we barely broke 50° and soup was called for. 

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I decided to blog my way through a cookbook not to write out recipes but to share recipes I've found, tried and either liked, loved, or well, didn't love. OF COURSE, in true blogging fail fashion, the first recipe I picked out of the Skinnytaste Cookbook isn't on her blog so you'll just have to buy the cookbook if you want to make it... And you should buy it because two recipes in, I'm two for two. Yumm.

First on the docket: Aztec chicken, quinoa, and avocado soup. 

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As I mentioned on Instagram, I don't think there are many sins of cooking but one is definitely forgetting the avocado! Especially when it's in the title of the recipe! I totally forgot the avocado when I made this soup for us for dinner but I think it worked out for the best. Maybe it was my subconscious evil plan all along... See, when I forgot to put it on our soup for dinner, I got to put the whole avocado on my bowl of soup for lunch the next day :D

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This soup had a bit of everything in it and since it had meat, Justin was on board. We both really enjoyed it but there are a few things I'd do differently and one is definitely remembering the avocado. I also think that I'd use something a bit more substantial than quinoa, like maybe brown rice? And lastly I think I'd leave the corn out. Justin liked it and admittedly I'm just not that into corn unless it's on a cob, so maybe I'm biased and wrong. But maybe not! 

Regardless, this soup was tasty and even better the next day. Although I can't link directly to it, it's probably not feeling like winter in your neck of the woods around now anyways. But in case you're like me and love soup all year round, here's another recipe by the lovely Gina. 

Alright all, I'm off to Honolulu tomorrow morning for work, I know, rough life. So I may or may not be back this week but I do have another recipe to blog about and lots of food pics to post on Instagram so stay tuned there!

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Blogging my way through a cookbook - and all things life

HELLO WORLD!! My brain is moving so fast that I think I'm going to forget to write everything that I want to write to you today, so I apologize for the word dump.

First of all, thank you all so much! I don't know how or why but people continue to visit this little space of ours on a daily basis and it's incredibly humbling and appreciated. Although the break from blogging has been nice and was very needed, I've been missing my creative outlet and I'm ready to dive back in. Nicole is still doing the new mom (and now new working mom) thing - and crushing it, I might add - but I'm going to try to show my face around here a bit more often. 

Previously, the food aspect of this blog was largely covered by Nicole, as she's incredibly talented in the kitchen and can actually do things other than just follow a recipe. However, if the title of this post didn't give it away, I'm going to be doing a bit more food blogging 'round these parts now and hopefully I don't screw it up too terribly. Unlike Nicole, I am really only capable of following a recipe, but I do think that there are lots of people (like me) who are constantly scouring the internet for new healthy and yummy recipes. With that in mind, I've decided to blog my way through The Skinnytaste Cookbook. It was really important to me that I pick a cookbook that is healthy, but also by an author who blogs. I don't want to steal recipes or take credit for anything I did not create, so I will link directly to the blog posts from Gina at Skinnytaste whenever possible. 

I'll be bringing you lots of food posts starting tomorrow, but in the meantime I just have way too much LIFE to update you on! 

Alrighty, what has happened since I stopped blogging? Well, I've traveled a TON for work, Justin and I have traveled a bit for pleasure and we've attended lots of other celebrations. We've mostly finished planning our 'wedding' and my dress should be coming in the next month! Oh and I discovered mood changing nail polish - you know, the important things in life.

Mood Changing Shellac Nail Polish

These are the two colors that my current Shellac can be depending on my mood (err temperature). This happens regularly when I have my right hand on my computer mouse and my left hand between my thighs to stay warm. I know you know what I'm talking about.

Samantha and Justin get dressed up

This is when Justin and I decided to get dressed up for a wedding. We clean up pretty nicely sometimes. Everyone is getting married. Well everyone that wasn't already married. Does anyone else feel like there are two phases of marriages among your group of friends? Like those who all got married right out of college and then those that get married in their late twenties? We're in wave numero dos.

Lincoln statue at Gettysburg

In the past few months we've had lots of fun adventures but I think we'd both agree the best was our trip to DC to visit Justin's sister and brother-in-law. Since moving to DC they've had a TON of visitors so Jerica has really, seriously, put together a tourist plan and we saw EVERYTHING and then some in our 5 days there. She's a trooper, she's probably been to Arlington National Cemetery no less than 500 times in the last year but she obliged and took us anyways. 

We did get to break them out of their normal tourist activities a bit though and convinced them to take us to Gettysburg. We did a driving tour with a CD and it was great and did you know there are something like 1,300 monuments and markers on throughout the Gettysburg National Military Park?! It was wild and impressive and humbling and crazy and very, very cool. The picture above is outside the information center at Gettysburg and I was only a little creeped out by how real Lincolns eyes looked (up close, I suppose you can't really tell in the picture). 

Of course we hit up all the DC monuments as well. 

DC Washington Monument

Hmm, what else have we been up to you ask? Well, we went to a friends birthday party at a Mariners game and I mean, I guess he's popular or something because look at the turnout!

Birthday Party Mariners Game

Oh and we went bowling and while I was trying to take a picture of my winning score (I never win and I was KILLING it) I got Justin in pretty amazing form. I think. 

He's pretty cute.

And then last but not least, we've been spending all our time with this little guy. When I travel I really want to soak up every minute with him when I'm home and thankfully, he obliges. He also really likes to get cleaned and groomed, look how happy he is!!

And that folks is (finally) all she wrote. For today. I think I'll be back tomorrow with the first post in my Blogging through a Cookbook series. Series? Challenge? Whatever it is, I've got two recipes to make for it! 

What have you all been up to? I've missed you! Any tips on my cookbook blogging or anything in particular you want to see?