Real Talk Rant: Why Road Trips are the Worst

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Ah, road trips.

Expectation: In your mind you think “this is going to be great”, put the top down of the convertible, pop on some tunes and let the breeze instagrammably blow your hair in the wind. WRONNNNGGGG

Reality is: you planned this trip way too last minute and flights are way too expensive, or your destination is just close enough to drive to but not far enough to fly to…. or if we want to be super annoying…you and your S/O are being cute and driving across the country hitting up all the famous Diner’s and Drives restaurants. ::insert eye roll emoji:: aka I’m Jealous. HA, Don’t get me wrong, I do love a road trip when you’re not in a rush, the scenery is pretty and you aren’t alone, then you can at least play car games and talk along the way!

In the last two months I have done two smaller road trips (SF –> LA and Houston –> Dallas) and since you have all the time in the world to ponder about life, I took notice to some of the most annoying parts of road trips that I thought I would share with you:

  1. TRUCKS. They slow us down, swerve and why the HECK do they feel the need to pass each other? Is this some sick game truck drivers play with each other? All you’re doing is cutting the rest of us off and slowing down all the people actual using the fast lane to…well, GO FAST! Stay in your lane, k thanks.
  2. Gas prices are RIDIC. I get it, we’re out in the middle of nofuck no where and we are desperate for fuel…but come on…rude, just rude.
  3. When your radio station changes to another language. And no my car doesn’t have satellite or anything fancy so it’s just me and my radio. Go ahead, judge me.
  4. The amount of bugs smashed on your car. Car wash anyone?
  5. When your butt sticks to the leather seats and falls asleep. Stretching your legs is crucial and I should probably start wearing leggings or sitting on a towel for comfort sake.
  6. The amount of crap you end up eating. What is it about being in a car that makes you want McDonald’s breakfast and sour candy…and have no shame sitting and eating it in your car?
  7. Cell service goes in and out. Don’t you dare fuck with me. Don’t you do it.
  8. The one time you have allllll the time in the world to call your mom, dad, aunt, cousins and friends you barely ever talk to, no one picks up the phone. WHYYYYY.
  9. Other drivers. Just when you put your cruise control on and are in the fast lane at a comfortable 85mph, you look in your rearview mirror and see someone about to run you down. Just chillllll, I’ll move over just give me a second. Sheesh.
  10. Worst part of road trips? Knowing you have to drive back home.

Moral of the story for me is I need to listen to more podcasts, get a new auxiliary cord and pack a cooler with snacks for my next road trip. Also, I’m officially calling these posts Real Talk Rants, so welcome to the first official one!

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What I’m Wearing: Elevated Overalls

I know, I know — since when do you think lace and florals go with overalls? But there are no damn rules in fashion and if I like it, I’m wearing it! #amirite

I actually have been wearing overalls a TON in my regular rotation because they are ridiculously comfortable and believe it or not — super versatile. Also, they are quite flattering so needless to say these won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, I’m even on the hunt for a cool black pair, because #fancy. But lastly, how damn cute are these Asos sandals? They are so granny chic (and only $32!). Also – why does saying “chic” after anything make it sound more FASHUN.

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Overalls & Bag: Walmart (Similar) // Lace Top: Forever 21 // Sunglasses: Primark // Floral Embroidered Sandals: Asos // Lipstick: Tarte Lip Paint

Overalls and Lace Up Sandals

Summer Fashion Look
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SummerStyle Overalls

And as promised, my OOTD OUTAKE! Cute, Amanda…real cute. You’re Welcome!

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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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