How to Make Thai Steak & Noodle Salad

So, fun fact: growing up in high school and college I always worked a server in restaurants — pretty much any chain restaurant you can think of I worked at (Applebees, Cheesecake Factory, Tony Roma’s — yup, can I take your order?!). But while I was in LA going to college I worked at restaurant name Houston’s (where I got to serve celebs like Leonardo DiCaprio, John Legend, Chris Pine — NBD), a casual fine dining American style restaurant that had one specific salad that I LOVED – the Thai Steak & Noodle Salad.  It’s not a traditional salad at all and has so many bold, delicious flavors that it quickly became my favorite (probably because it has pasta in it) which is why I wanted to share my own version of how to make this bomb dot com meal!

Thai Steak and Noodle Salad

It may seem like a lot of ingredients, but you can pretty much add whatever you like to customize it to your taste. You can even use chicken or tofu instead of steak, but I love the classic version!

Let’s do it! First, prep your steak! 

Steak Marinade: 
2 Teaspoons Sesame oil
Half of a Lime juice
3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Chili Garlic Sauce
3 cloves chopped garlic
**Depending on how large your steak is you could make more or less

Step 1: Marinate your steak with all ingredients for 4-8 hours in the refrigerator — take it out 30 minutes before you are ready to cook it.
Step 2: Heat your grill (or in my case grill pan) until hot, drain off excess marinade and grill for 4-5 minutes each side.
Step 3: Once cooked to desired temperature, take it off the grill, cover with foil and let rest for at least 10 minutes (this locks in all the juices!). Once rested, cube it into bite size pieces.

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SteakMarinating

Grilling Steak

Medium Rare Steak

Next, get your dressing ready!

Salad Dressing:
1/4 cup of Peanut Butter (I used chunky)
2 Tablespoons of soy sauce
3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
2 Teaspoons sriracha
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
Half juice of a lime

Step 1: Combine all ingredients except the oil and mix together. Once combined slowly drizzle your oil in to thicken – voila!
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Now it’s time to assemble and toss everything together…and most importantly EAT!

Salad:
Marinated, cooked & cubed steak
1/2 pound of whole wheat spaghetti, cooked, drained, rinsed with cold water & tossed with a tablespoon of sesame oil
1 mango, cubed
1 avocado, cubed
1 cup shredded carrots
1 hothouse cucumber, sliced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups butter lettuce
1/2 cup each of roughly chopped mint, basil and cilantro
1 tsp of salt and pepper
Crushed peanuts and lime for garnish

Combine your cooked steak, salad ingredients and toss with your peanut dressing and ENJOY! This is just as good on day two so make extra for leftovers!

Thai Ingredients

Sesame Oil Pasta

Salad Assembly

Salad in Bowl

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Why I’m Taking a Break from Online Dating

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Sometimes you need a BREAK. From working out, some friends, laundry, work, pretty much any and everything that can be overwhelming and suck the positive energy out of you. One thing that I constantly have to take breaks from? ONLINE DATING. I go in this cycle every few months where I just can’t. possibly. swipe left or ignore a d-bag type message any longer.

This time around, there are three clear reasons why I need a fucking break…

OVERALL SELECTION

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This is when you know it’s time. When you start seeing the same people on every app, profile pictures of guys in costumes or then you hit a wall where even the app itself tells you “girl, take a breather cause not even our algorithm can find a decent catch right now.”

THE AWFUL MESSAGES 

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CAN YOU EVEN?! Guys hide behind these apps and I am flabbergasted at the disgusting pigs some of them are. Here is the extreme of one pig and another cheeseball. SIGH. It is so frustrating sifting through messages like this — I only even responded because I could tell they were up to no good. You better believe I responded to the perv and gave him a piece of my mind.

ENERGY AND TIME SUCK
The hardest part of it all is feeling like you are wasting your time. I have thick skin and don’t let the above get to me, but time is precious so use it wisely!

And do I want to date? SURE! It’s not that I wouldn’t want to if it happened, but the actual effort it takes to online date, it sometimes feels like you are in an endless, hopeless, exhausting journey and when I start to feel that way – I am ouuuuuttt. Just as in life with anything, the minute you aren’t happy and excited about something, take a break and focus on the things that bring you joy!

Until next time my friends!

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How to Make the Best Damn Balsamic Vinaigrette

What’s cookin’ good lookin’?! I’m so excited because my first recipe post is here! You may not know this, but cooking is one of my passions. When I was younger instead of watching cartoons I was hooked to watching cooking shows, writing down recipes and recreating them. I even was considering going to culinary school but obviously opted for a different path. #noregrets So today, I get such a joy from creating yummy dishes and can’t wait to share some of my favorite recipes with you.

Today I’m going with something super #basic — balsamic vinaigrette. I used to buy salad dressing but I realized making it is so easy and so much more delicious. This one in particular is my go-to and can pretty much go with any type of salad you make but my favorite is on a kale salad!

Here’s what you need for the dressing: 
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
3-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, garlic powder
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Step 1: Add diced shallot, dijon mustard, honey, lemon salt, pepper & garlic powder to a small bowl.

Step 2: Add balsamic vinegar and mix together.

Step 3: Slowly stream in olive oil and whisk at the same time. You will start to see the dressing thicken (aka emulsify) and really come together.

Step 4: Pour on your favorite salad, toss together and enjoy!

Step 5: 😊

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What I’m Wearing: Springy Lace & Florals

What?! My first outfit post here on HMRL? Yes, that’s right. Style is core to who I am and I get a lot of questions about where I shop, my personal style, and I’ve always worked in fashion (I even went to college for fashion marketing), so naturally I wanted to add a sprinkle of style here on the blog so let’s do the damn thangggg!

This first look is actually way more girly than I normally dress but it was perfect for a warm California day. Lace and florals standing in a field of flowers? How fitting.

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Skirt: Poshmark via Adiel’s Boutique // Blouse: Marshall’s // Shoes: Target // Bag: Poshmark // Sunglasses: Ray-Ban via Nordstrom 

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Each outfit post I’m going to share an outtake because sometimes (aka all the time) snapping these pics you have to trek into random territory….like me stomping through the dirt to get into these flowers outside of work. HA The things we do.

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Why I Did a Boudoir Photoshoot

I mean, why does anyone that isn’t a model take sexy boudoir photos of themselves? And no it’s not to become insta famous. For me, not only have I been busting my ass at the gym and eating kale all day healthy, I’ve at a place in my life where I feel the most happy and confident INSIDE as well. I am independent, strong, smart, successful. Fuck yeah I should celebrate those things…and when your inner happiness blossoms it really shows on the exterior as well.

I planned to take these photos a few months back so I could capture this beautiful moment in my life. For me to capture how I feel about myself – confident, sexy, loving, hopeful, open, badass. For me to know that this body I have is a temple. For me to have something to look back on and say DAMN girl. I did this FOR ME. Am I perfect? No, which is what I love. I’m imperfect and that’s what is REAL. No one is perfect, but you are YOU which is the most special and unique thing in this world.

If you’ve ever thought you can’t do something because of our world’s beauty standards, push the boundaries and do it. Everyone is beautiful. Everyone. Embrace yourself. Love yourself! 

This is just part one of this shoot, I plan to share what went into a shoot like this, how all of my lingerie got STOLEN by Virgin America TSA(yes, seriously and so creepy) and how hard we worked for hours to achieve this.

Huge thanks to my amazing friends and dream team who helped make this come together!
Photography: Bronson Farr // Styling: Josh Francisco // Art Direction: Sam Canvin

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Travel Diaries: The Worst Parts of Being on an Airplane

Hey fwendz! Sorry I’ve been MIA — been SO busy and traveling a ton, but I’m baackkkk and have a bunch of fun posts coming soon. Speaking of traveling I’ve been experiencing a lot of the same shit over and over so wanted to share some realness about being on an airplane.

SO, we all know traveling is a bitch. The whole process: packing, ubering to the airport, going through security, spending $75 on a glass of wine at the airport…but today I’m going to focus on the actual act of flying and discussing the shit — the very annoying, uncomfortable and WTF shit — that actually happens on an airplane.

I’ve experienced literally everything on this list, but please share any other ridiculousness in the  comments that you’ve dealt with while on a plane!

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  1. Finding out your seat buddies are a smelly old man and a crying baby. NOoooOOoo
  2. When you have to get up to go to the bathroom and have to pass people in the aisle and rub butts. Like, is this considered our first date? Do you want my phone number?
  3. Your seat doesn’t recline and you’re on a 6 hour flight.
  4. You sit next to the airplane police and tells you you shouldn’t put your jacket in the overhead. (This JUST happened to me last week. MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS and LET ME LIVE)
  5. Your seat mate keeps hogging the armrest and you start playing a bitchy game of MOVE YOUR ELBLOW.
  6. You have an ideal row 4 window seat and a family of 18 asks you to switch with them so they can “all be together”. NOPE. I DON’T CARE. I GLADLY ACCEPT TITLE OF BIGGEST BITCH ON THE PLANE.
  7. You sit in the vicinity of a farter. RIP
  8. You’re on a business trip and have to work on the plane but there is not enough space on your tray to fit your computer so you are working hunched in a little ball.
  9. The person diagonal from you won’t shut their window and it is GLARING into your eyeballs.
  10. Someone pukes and the whole plane smells making you want to puke.
  11. When they bake fresh cookies for first class…and you’re definitely not in first class. RUDE
  12. The food. Nuff said. (although I do have to say Virgin’s cheese plate is aiite)
  13. You haven’t showered in two days and you sit next to a cute guy. That would happen to me.
  14. You’re watching a movie and a sex scene comes on and you feel like everyone is judging you. AGAIN, LET ME LIVE
  15. When you land, and are trying to get off the plane someone behind you doesn’t let you go first. ISN’T IT COMMON KNOWLEDGE YOU DEPLANE IN ORDER. STEP BACK BRO

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Happy flying! 😂

The Real Deal About Being a Bridesmaid

Here comes the wine bride…here comes the wine bride….

Ahh, the time when one of your BFFs is in love, getting married and asks YOU to stand up by her side on the biggest day of her life. So sweet, right?! Well, YES…and don’t get me wrong I am honored but let’s be real, it’s not just standing up next to them but soo much more and we all know this. To anyone who has been a bridesmaid or — even better — a maid of honor — knows that while it’s an exciting time, it is also a stressful, money sucking, drama filled time for the lucky group of ladies. FUNNNNNN

No matter what though, there are things that arise when you are prepping for one of your closest friends or family members big day and not all of them make you cry tears of joy, but tears of stress (is that a thing?). Not having your dress fit? AWESOME. Spending a month’s worth of rent money on new clothes, hotel stays and gifts? SUPER GREAT. Getting bitched at because you recommended something to the head bitch in charge Maid of Honor. THE BEST. 

Here are other things I’ve personally experienced or heard about directly from friends who have been a bridesmaid. If you have any other ridiculous stories PLEASE share in the comments. I’d love to hear! 

  1. Not all bridemaids are created equal, like you’re totally her best friend but she haddddd to make Sally the maid of honor because she was Sallys. #uhhuh
  2. Your bride has turned into a bonafide bridezilla…and wants to go on a week long cruise for her bachelorette party. It’s only $1500, bargain right?! #hellno
  3. Bridesmaid dresses are never really that cute…and will never fit perfectly or be completely your style.
  4. You will have to spend more money than you want…read on.
  5. You will need a spray tan. $
  6. You will need a mani pedi $$
  7. You will need a dress $$$$…and have it altered $$$$
  8. You will need to attend or even better yet plan a bachelorette party $$$$$
  9. You will need a wedding gift $$$$$$
  10. You will have to deal with a lot of emotions- tears, yelling, laughter…it comes with the territory
  11. You get thrown into being into a ‘bride tribe’ of ladies who you probably aren’t already that close with or don’t even know at all…you can imagine the gossip and drama that arises.
  12. No matter what, the bride will be emotional. Get your shoulder ready to cry on and all the tissues
  13. While things may be going to SHIT in your own life, that doesn’t matter. The wedding is the most important thing ever and you need to suck it up.
  14. Group chat messages will not stop until wedding day. I hope you have unlimited texts.
  15. If you’re single, going wedding dress shopping gives you hives. ::chugs champagne::

Really though, it’s always a crazy but fun experience. I can’t wait for my besties big day this weekend. Follow my insta story or Snapchat for all my real talk behind the scenes!