A Mexican 4th of July

This 4th of July we were not very patriotic and spent the holiday celebrating in Mexico with mojitos and margaritas. It didn’t feel like the usual 4th, but the beach time sure made up for it. We were in my favorite place: Akumal, Mexico for 4 days with 2 couple friends and crammed as many of our favorite Akumal to-dos as we possibly could. We lounged by the pool, went snorkeling at Yal-Ku Lagoon and the main bay, swam, explored Tulum, ate, drank, napped, read, drank some more, ate some more. It was my ideal vacation…it just needed to be a little longer.

Tulum is booming and so is Akumal. If you’re looking for fun spots to eat in Tulum, a few of our faves are Tabano, Casa Jaguar, Hartwood and Ana y Jose. In Akumal, the obvious best option is LolHa Restaurant. I’m biased but it’s the truth. (do NOT miss the coconut mojitos, fish tacos, coconut curried shrimp or tampiquena).

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{view of Akumal Bay}

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{celebrating America in Mexico the way we know: wings, chili fries, burgers, coconut shrimp. so basically, food overload}

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{this was a (twice, sometimes thrice) daily occurrence: caipirinha + fresh chips and pico de gallo}

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{I was surprised with a beautiful chocolate cake to celebrate my birthday a few days early. Singing waiters included. thanks husband + MIL!}

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{the cutest baby squirrel that the receptionist rescued as a baby–such a friendly little fellow!}

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{Enjoying the moment–WHAT. have YOU held a squirrel before!?}

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{an incredibly gorgeous eco-hotel in Tulum. They built it with their HANDS. No machines. Intricate and gorgeous. Suenos Tulum.}

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{The husband looking so stylish in his Trunk Club outfit on the rooftop of Suenos Tulum. Jungle for miles. Breathtaking.}

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{Tabano in Tulum}

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{Tulum has this weird thing about menus. You are required to get up and memorize your selection rather than holding one in your hand. #junglehipsters}

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{Their house salad exceeded all house salad expectations. Pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top. SO refreshing.}

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{Tabano’s take on a tomato goat cheese salad–also very refreshing. Fish tacos in the background.}

If you’ve never been to the Riviera Maya (or Akumal), it’s a must! Be sure to stay at Hotel Akumal Caribe and sneak out for a day trip to Tulum. 

I’ll be back with a few posts this week–one being our first El Bolero experience. Delish! Stay tuned.

Uchi Dallas, Overnight Oats + HG Sply Brunch

…are all wonderful things, aren’t they? 

I don’t have any explanation except that I’m behind on blogging and I want to share some mementos from a few weekends ago as my husband and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary. Obviously we did a whole bunch of eating and drinking (we do live in Dallas after all), but to be fair we also biked around White Rock Lake and went for a leisurely swim.

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Let’s start with this thing of beauty. The fried milk at Uchi. DO not pass this up. The combination of flavors and textures (and chocolatiness, let’s get real) is glorious. Also, if you live in Dallas, you’ve probably heard they’re booked solid for 4 months out. Mmmmkay, French Laundry much? {pro tip: they take 40% walk-ins AND they serve free passed appetizers while you wait and get way too drunk before your get to sit down}

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Going in order of the super random title of this blog post, meet my beautiful overnight oats. They taste as delicious as the look. Just mix together 1/3 cup raw rolled oats, 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 Tb chia seeds,  drizzle of agave nectar. I also added a generous sprinkling of unsweetened shredded coconut. Topped with sliced almonds, fresh raspberries and a spoonful of peanut butter. SO. Good.IMG_9307

HG Sply Co is now serving brunch on the rooftop—and we were the only ones that happened to know on that Saturday morning! Hello, HG rooftop to ourselves! Not too shabby. I ordered their breakfast plate and that biscuit stole the show. On the side is my drink (because brunch without booze is just breakfast, right?), their “Double Under”. It was a really beet-y version of a margarita. Too beet-y for me, but I’m not a huge fan of beets. I’ll let you decide.IMG_9315
This week has been long and I’m yearning for a moment like this over the weekend. They don’t happen often, but I could seriously go for several hours of sitting still on the couch, reading and catching up on episodes of American Crime, Scandal, The Good Wife, Orange is The New Black, KUWTK…did I miss any?

We’re almost there! I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday.

Salata Summers

 

kiss weddingHappy Monday everyone! Today is especially happy because my husband and I are celebrating 2 years of marriage. It’s hard to believe 2 years have gone by! I was extremely blessed to meet my other half at age 15, and marriage has been the absolute best. Tonight we will be celebrating at one of our favorite Asian fusion restaurants with a bottle of champagne of course–and later this week we will take a few days off to be tourists in our own city. Sounds good to me!
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{full disclosure: the remainder of this blog post has been sponsored by Salata}

Now that the temps are already in the high 90s (oh, hi summer!), it’s super easy to eat light and healthy. When the temperatures are sweltering, I find myself gravitating towards my summer staples: smoothies and acai bowls, cold pressed juice, overnight oats and of course fresh green salads. One of my favorite and most convenient spots to grab a salad is Salata. After a noon workout class, it’s so easy to run through the line, grab a super healthy (and filling) salad and get on with your day. You can even order online as if you’re going through the line, choosing all your mix-ins and then come pick it up! No excuse not to eat healthfully.

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I’m really into Salata’s spring options. I love that they have their staple ingredients that you can always count on, but add in some seasonal options to spice things up. This time, I opted for a super fresh, springy Mediterranean-style salad for lunch.

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kale+watermelon+apple+cucumber+radish+feat+chickpeas+falafel+lemon vinaigrette. So refreshing and kept me full for several hours. For those who think they need chicken to sustain themselves–try falafel and kale. Your body will thank you! I loved all the fun textures in there too–gotta keep things exciting! The crunch of the radish + the refreshing flavor of the watermelon + the savory of the chickpeas and falafel + tanginess of the lemon dressing. 

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…and when I’m not in line at Salata for lunch, I’m making my own for dinner at home! Is anyone else spring + summer veggie obsessed? Mmmmm.

So now that it’s scorching hot out, do yourself a favor and grab a salad at Salata for lunch. You’ll be pleasantly full, you won’t feel weighed down and you probably won’t get the 3pm slump either! Win-win.

Enjoy your Monday evening!

 

Eat your greens

Happy Memorial Day–err monsoon day. It’s currently pouring rain, storms have been rolling in, tornado sirens going off. Fun spring day in Texas! I think this must be the 14th consecutive day of rain and storms. I am so. over. it. Oh well, I’ll just keep soaking up our family couch time and dreaming of sunny days ahead. I hope you all are enjoying your day off–and thank you to all the amazing men and women who sacrificed their lives for our freedom, for their families, and for those currently serving and those who have served.

{Disclosure: this blog post has been sponsored by Evolution Fresh}

IMG_9126So, even though it’s rainy and gross out, today I’m bringing the summer spirit indoors. Popsicles. Not just any popsicles, but healthy, creamy delicious coconut lime green pops. IMG_9141The kind people at Evolution Fresh asked me to come up with a fun recipe as a way to get your greens in on a daily basis. As you probably already know, I am all about getting your greens in every single day. There’s nothing quite like a fresh green juice or a crisp kale salad. Refreshing, light, and makes you feel amazing inside and out. Don’t believe me? Try these tasty popsicles–or grab a bottle of Evolution Fresh at your neighborhood Starbucks or grocery store. They have plenty of cold pressed juices that will delight the taste buds and make you feel good too. My new favorite EF green juice? Green grove. Yum.

IMG_9130These are SO easy to make (make sure you have a good blender) and are perfect for an afternoon snack–but they’re healthy enough to pass for breakfast. :) 

IMG_9144Check out the recipe below to make some for yourself! (warning: these are super coconutty, so be sure you’re a coconut lover. If you want to tone the coconut down a bit, try using 1/2 cup Silk Coconut Milk unsweetened + 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt.

Coconut Lime Chia Green Popsicles

(makes 6 popsicles–used Zoku popsicle mold)

1 can coconut milk

2 handfuls kale/spinach blend

1 Tb chia seeds

2 limes (juice)

2 Tb agave nectar

unsweetened shredded coconut

5 leaves of fresh basil

Add all ingredients except for shredded coconut into blender. Blend until smooth. Sprinkle desired amount of shredded coconut into the bottom of the popsicle molds. Pour popsicle mixture into each mold. Place in freezer and allow several hours to freeze. 

If you’re not a huge coconut fan—I’d try the 1/2 cup Silk coconut milk (not from the can) + 1/2 cup Greek yogurt instead of the canned coconut milk. It has a very strong coconut flavor, and if you’re not a fan of fresh, natural coconut (big difference from coconut flavored things), you might not be a fan of these popsicles. Try the replacement listed above–and don’t be afraid to add/replace other ingredients! 

I hope everyone in Texas stays dry–Happy Memorial Day to everyone! Cheers to sunny days to come!