Latest Posts

Unplugged Weekends in Hawaii: VOLUME 3 – Waimea Falls Park & Botanical Garden

See the previous Volumes of our “Unplugged Weekends” Photo + Video Series below:

This Volume (3) captures our day having visited Waimea Falls Park & Botanical Garden.

Bella has been infatuated with all things flowers since she was a baby; and Niko, well he likes just about anything that includes bugs and/or being outside. So our family outings are often enjoyed in places like botanical gardens and parks.

Watch the video clip from our experience:

 

 

balancedlifealoha.com

balancedlifealoha.com

balancedlifealoha.combalancedlifealoha.com

balancedlifealoha.combalancedlifealoha.com

After our park and waterfall adventure, we headed to Haleiwa for a meal.

We ended up at Farm to Barn Cafe. If you are ever in the area, their shrimp tacos are a must! The local mango kombucha was super refreshing also.
balancedlifealoha.com

 

x. Heather

 

 

 

Advertisements

Unplugged Weekends in Hawaii: VOLUME 2 -North Shore Beach Days

“Unplugged Weekends” was an idea that Santiago & I implemented last year. It came about because of the part of being a blogger that includes sharing your everyday life… well, it can sometimes get overwhelming or just simply distracting from being present during quality family time.

So, our unplugged weekends are still somewhat shared, but there’s no pressure to be posting in real-time, (like on Instagram stories, etc). However, for the sake of documenting our life journey – we still photograph our trips, outings, + adventures for keepsake purposes and to share later on. I’ve also started to shoot some short video clips to slowly start dabbling in the realm of video blogging (bare with me, lots to learn + at this point they are basically just what I would have posted on Instagram Stories, but instead stored on my phone to later upload to our Youtube channel). I hope that you enjoy these snippets from our ohana album!

balancedlifealoha.com

balancedlifealoha.com

balancedlifealoha.combalancedlifealoha.com

balancedlifealoha.com

balancedlifealoha.combalancedlifealoha.combalancedlifealoha.combalancedlifealoha.com

balancedlifealoha.com

 

 

x. Heather

 

 

New Year GIFT GUIDE for YOURSELF// Top Item Picks for the SHOPBOP’S SALE ON SALE Event!

I did not participate in publishing any Gift Guides for the 2018 holiday season. However, a handful of my readers sent messages sharing their interest in such posts from me. Because of that interest, I figured that a “New Years Gift Guide” could be a super fun article to put together as a *TREAT YOURSELF THIS NEW YEAR* blog post. In doing so, I am also offering my item picks for the SHOPBOP‘s big “SALE ON SALE” event that is starting today, January 2, 2019, and lasts for the next 3 days! This sale consists of an EXTRA 25% OFF *certain* sale items by using the online code “HELLO2019”. Now although the final pricing amounts will be variable, head on over to the SALE SECTION to find your own deals, or shop the picks that I’ve shared and linked below:

  • CAMO SWEATPANTS – LINKED – HERE

balancedlifealoha.com

  • WHITE CREW TEE – LINKED – HERE

balancedlifealoha.com

  • STRIPED TEE – LINKED – HERE

balancedlifealoha.com

  • HIGHWAISTED LEGGINGS – LINKED – HERE

balancedlifealoha.com

  • STAR PRINT PAJAMA SET – LINKED – HERE

balancedlifealoha.com

  • BLUSH LACE UP SNEAKERS – LINKED – HERE

balancedlifealoha.co

  • OAT BOOTIES – LINKED – HERE

101010

  • SHERPA LINED SNEAKERS – LINKED – HERE

balancedlifealoha.com

  • WESTERN BOOTIES – LINKED – HERE

balancedlifealoha.com

  • SHERPA PULLOVER – LINKED – HERE

balancedlifealoha.com

  • (TWO PACK) LONG SLEEVE TEES – LINKED – HERE

balancedlifealoha.com

x. Heather

 

balancedlifealoha.com

 

Our Stay at The Four Seasons Resort – O’ahu, HAWAII

Together is our favorite place to be. Doing life as a military family, you really are forced in to the reality that “Home” is not a place, but rather wherever you may be together with your family. That’s at least what we have come to find and embrace.

Home is a feeling. 

Weekends together as a family in the house in which you live, yes, that is “being home”. However, family vacations in places that allow you to feel “together” and relaxed at the same time – there is almost no words to describe that level of happiness and fulfillment. It is just magical. And our stay at the Four Seasons Resort on O’ahu – was nothing short from just that, magic.

 

balancedlifealoha.com

balancedlifealoha.com

Four Seasons Resort O’ahu is a beachfront island resort that sits on O’ahu’s west coast.

A 35-minute drive from Honolulu will bring you to Ko Olina Resort community on O’ahu’s sunny western shore. This is a 642-acre master-planned vacation and residential community with over 2 miles of coastal frontage and three natural + four man-made lagoons featuring white sand beaches.

The Four Seasons Resort is edged in the north end of Ko Olina, within the pristine nature preserve of Lanikuhonua (“where heaven meets the earth”). It’s nestled near the award-winning Ko Olina Golf Club and a quick few-minute drive to the Ko Olina Marina; which is Hawaii’s only private deep-draft marina where you can set off for fishing, sailing , and  whale and dolpin-watching expeditions.

balancedlifealoha.com

Pulling up to the grand entrance evokes all those “relaxing getaway” vibes, but although the size of the building may be grandiose – the atmosphere has perfected a balancing act between busy and calm. You have to experience it for yourself! ;)

balancedlifealoha.com

After we handed the keys to the valet, we were first welcomed by an authentic Hawaiian (fresh flower and kukui nut) Lei Greeting; a symbol of hospitality, love, respect, and the Aloha Spirit.

balancedlifealoha.com

Upon check-in, we were welcomed further with freshly made ginger lemonade for the adults and cold tropical juice for the kids – both equally refreshing and delicious. Then we were generously shown to our room and entered to find a stunning wall-to-wall ocean view, koi fish stuffed animal gifts for the kids, and a bamboo scroll filled a snack assortment of dried fruits.

balancedlifealoha.com

The first thing that the kids insisted on doing, was exploring the pools, of course! And boy, this resort DOES NOT DISAPPOINT. There are three different pools: the main and largest located in the center of the resort, the extremely serene adults only infinity pool + jacuzzi, and then the super fun kids-friendly/family pool.

balancedlifealoha.com

 

The latter was obviously Bella and Niko’s favorite and the concept of this kiddie pool is cooler than anything we have ever experienced before.

A portion of the shallow end contains a pebble/sand bottom which keeps the kids super intrigued and occupied within this concept of swim-beach-play all wrapped up in to one area.

balancedlifealoha.com

 

balancedlifealoha.com

balancedlifealoha.com

 

The overall grandness is seriously mesmerizing.

balancedlifealoha.com

 

Santi and I told ourselves, that one day in the future we will have to come again on an overnight adults’ only trip. That way we can fully enjoy the 18-and-over pool/jacuzzi too, because Good Lord, it is soooo remarkable!!

balancedlifealoha.com

 

Also, for those who are vacationing in Hawaii and choose to stay at the Four Seasons Resort on the island of O’ahu, aside from all of the amenities within the hotel grounds itself, you also have the option to walk right outback to the beach… So no worries: it has everything you could ever dream of for a perfect Hawaiian getaway. (Paradise Cove, “Hawaii’s Best Luau” is even located right next door!)

balancedlifealoha.com

 

Bella & I had some major mommy & me pampering time – I mean who doesn’t do this when presented with hotel robes?! ;)

3333

balancedlifealoha.com

 

balancedlifealoha.com

balancedlifealoha.com

Besides the pool (a given), the kids’ other favorite parts of the resort included:

The “suuuuper comfy beds”, the “fancy hallways”, and of course the koi ponds!

balancedlifealoha.com

 

balancedlifealoha.com

 

balancedlifealoha.com

balancedlifealoha.com

balancedlifealoha.com

balancedlifealoha.com

balancedlifealoha.com

 

Overall, I cannot say enough great things about our experience at the Four Seasons Resort O’ahu. I would surely recommend it to anyone I know. Whether it’s for the occasion of a honeymoon, getting married (yes, they host weddings here too!), a baby moon, family vacation, romantic getaway, or just a fun weekend staycation – this resort is an all around hit!

Aloha & Thanks for Reading,

x. Heather

 

balancedlifealoha.com

 

Getting Ready for 2019 – The Year of GOOD ENERGY!

2018 has been the year of ALL AROUND BAD ENERGY.

And it is actually quite surprising to be saying that myself, seeing that I am comparing it to all other years – even the ones that consisted of miscarriage, loss, trauma, major heartbreak, and very scary life-threatening health incidents.

But still, without a doubt, 2018 has been the deadliest. As it’s coming to a close though, I have realized a few things. The reason why this year has been the worst, is because it has consisted of the largest amount of the silent but deadly killer. The subconscious stress that the burden of bad energy and wasted worries – is far worse than any “hard” life event including my miscarriage and other things that definitely were not easy to endure in the past either.

The reason being because of the silent toll that stress takes on the body, health, and mind. 

Though there is no doubt that stressful events are not easy on the those three pillars (body, overall health/wellness, and mind) at any time in life, but there is something extremely dangerous about the constant allowing of toxic energies to deplete our own daily energy allotments.

There is scientific proof (that appears in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology), that provides biological evidence validating the idea that there are positive and negative people in the world. However, even if you are a generally more positive person, being around those who tend to be more negative, can actually destroy you.

And that is because the bad energy created by or rubbed off on us by those all-around negative individuals (and situations in general), takes a toll on the body in the form of conditions like high blood pressure, stress, anxiety, stomachaches, migraines, poor circulation and more. Research has also shown that even just five-minutes of the anger (stress, etc.) you feel from certain situations, environments, or people, is damaging enough to impair your immune system for up to and possibly more than six hours!  Now if we regularly allow these effects of habitual bad energy to penetrate us, that can lead us down the path to more serious problems, like heart attacks, strokes, + more.

Now though science has confirmed that there are brain markers that can distinguish a negative thinker vs. a positive thinker, something that I have learned through personal psychological therapies (highly recommend for everyone regardless of your demeanor), is that nothing is set in stone when it comes to our mental health. I actually am SO committed to highering and protecting my energy now, that I am currently enrolled in BioFeedback Therapy at a Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, SPECIFICALLY to learn ways to re-wire (any and hopefully all) conditioned (throughout life via environment, peers, etc.) habitual thinking that negatively effects my body systems and overall health and wellness.

This Neuroscience approach is opposite of the allopathic approach that merely attempts to deal with symptoms (like anxiety, etc.) with medications, but aren’t actually treating the root causes. Anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, + —are results of physiological changes in the brain!

Surely yes, medication and supplementation of certain chemicals can reduce symptoms, but take those additives away and the processes that create the symptoms still haven’t been cured.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am not implementing that all cases of taking medication are bad – definitely not; there are instances where the benefits for SURE outweigh the possible side effects (everyone’s healthcare plan will differ).

For me personally though, this is my journey and plan of action:

1.) Biofeedback therapy in which my brain processing speed, cardiac measures and neuropsychological processes are recorded, studied and then used in implementing neurofeedback by targeting parts of my brain that may not be functioning “properly” or in ways that are NOT creating positive body system effects (like steady blood pressure, cortisol responses, etc.) and instead are creating negative effects (like anxiety and high blood pressure) – essentially I’m training my neurons back to health.

2.) Exactly what I am explaining here in this article: the conscious daily choice of protecting my energy.

As 2018 has been nearing an end though, there have been seemingly daily issues that have been popping up. At one point I was thinking “What is next and when will this stop happening?!?” But what I have come to realize recently is this: These occurrences are popping up here at the end of the year, even more frequently than the obsessive amounts throughout the other parts of 2018; and that is because the storm that has been whipping me around, is finally passing and the tail end is showing that although rough waters were endured, the storm came to clear a path rather than to sink me!

balancedlifealoha.com

I honestly keep telling myself this, DAILY. 

And since the mindset started to sink in, I have been blessed with a few things. One being a recent health diagnosis. Though that may seem perplexing to some, the reality is that for someone who deals with chronic issues and symptoms and is fighting for answers, a supplemental diagnosis is actually a blessing. It puts a name to things, but more importantly, it allows healthcare providers who would otherwise shrug off reoccuring symptoms, to actually have some sort of baseline in understanding the patient. Besides all of that, it allows me to hone in on specific research and seeking more specific knowledge to further my health journey and evolve my healing process.

Also. The second blessing was the news that we were granted authority to move (final military move before retirement) and the plan that we wanted to execute, can now be implemented – which allows the best for our family and also enhances the journey of ridding all the BAD ENERGY! *happy dance*

I guess, all in all, my conclusion is that even after the most torrential and damaging rains there comes rainbows – and with extensive hardships comes extensive blessings.

balancedlifealoha.com

I have never taken the energy in my life SO SERIOUS. But I am the busiest I have ever been in my life now. And within my duties, I don’t have much extra time for nonsense nor do I have expendable energy for things, people, or situations that are not necessary, do not add to my growth as a human, or wastefully deplete my energy in any way. Before now, I really didn’t take a strong initiative to protect my energy. But after a year like 2018 – IT IS IMPERATIVE.

So in moving forward, before I react or allow myself to become emotional (which leads to negative physiological effects) about a situation (like someone wronging me or just overall bad vibes), I think to myself, “Is this worth the blood pressure elevation and the snowball effect of that stress?!?!” And the answer most always is, “NO. MY HEALTH IS MORE IMPORTANT.” And my health really IS more important; not only for myself and every day living, but for my family. Because they are my everything and they come first. When I allow someone (even a stranger or just not good vibes) to lower my energy, guess who suffers in return? Not just myself, but my family as well.

balancedlifealoha.com

So what else does this mean for the new year?

It means that 2019 is about living as an aligned person.

  • It means disconnecting from anyone and anything that does not align with my energy.
  • It means not feeling bad to say “No.” Whether that is declining a work assignment that doesn’t align with career growth, or even saying “No” to social outings that would cost too much energy. Whatever it is, there is no room nor need for guilt within the ALIGNMENT of making decisions that connect the dots of the plan for a successful journey of an all around positive energy-filled life (and WAY better years to come!)
  • It means only following social media accounts or pages that edify me and that my energy DOES NOT suffer from being inundated with whatever content the influencer shares. It means unfollowing any repeat-offenders of killers of good energy. Time is truly precious, I’ve come to really embrace that, so social media needs to only be used as a tool for my personal growth – so positive influence is all that’s permitted. 
  • It means fully understanding that self-care is NOT selfish, but rather a necessity in order to not deteriorate as a human being with lots of responsibilities (including a family and a healing journey).

Now these objectives might sound as easy to do as they are to simply list here. But, in reality, especially for someone who is prone to anxiety (and working on re-wiring anxious thoughts), it most likely won’t always be easy. But honestly, I wholeheartedly believe that it is worth the commitment.

Overall, I hope that in my openness to share this, that it can perhaps inspire someone else to examine the way in which they take care of their energy, and in return create positive strides towards a healthy alignment in 2019.

balancedlifealoha.com

Talk more soon.

x. Heather

P.S. I will share more about my new diagnosis and our upcoming move soon! Stay-tuned.

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup Recipe – Easy To Follow!

If you have followed me on social media for a while, then you surely are aware that I am a “spontaneous cook”. Meaning that, I don’t ever follow recipes and I rarely ever write down the steps and ingredients of the meals that I create. Basically, I am a real life “Chopped” cooking show, except it is just me and also, the judges are my family members who can never get rid of me – lol.

But, a recent goal that I made, was to start documenting more of my spontaneous meal creations, especially the ones that I share via Instagram stories and that conclude with a great flavor and lots of interest from my readers/viewers. ;)

So, that is what brings me here. Yesterday, I realized that I hadn’t started making a soup like I had planned, and it was already nearing the time where I am usually half way done with making dinner! But I was still able to whip a soup up in time, and it turned out super delicious.

If you’re here because you watched the Instagram story videos of me making this soup, then I am super excited to share the recipe with you! If you happened to stumble upon this recipe post organically, well I am excited that you’re here too! This recipe makes a creamy butternut squash soup boasting of lemon-garlic flavors and made with coconut milk!

INGREDIENTS/

  • 1 large Butternut Squash
  • 1 can of Organic Coconut Milk (full-fat)
  • 1 tbsp. Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or you can use butter if not vegan)
  • 1 head of Garlic
  • 2 Shallots
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 cups of Organic Vegetable Broth
  • 1 tbsp. Coconut Aminos (because I don’t use soy sauce)
  • Salt/Pepper (per taste/preference)

DIRECTIONS/

Pre-heat oven to 385. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, place the large butternut squash on top (whole – do not cut). Then use a small kitchen knife to pierce the butternut squash all over evenly about 5-6 times for venting purposes. Once oven is pre-heated, place the baking sheet with butternut squash in to oven and bake (uncovered) for about 25 minutes.

balancedlifealoha

While the butternut squash is baking, prep the garlic and shallots by peeling skin and chopping in to minced-size cubes. Heat up your soup pot on stove-top. Once heated, add the extra virgin olive oil (or butter of choice). Then add the chopped shallots + garlic and fry between Low and Medium heat. Once browned, add 1 cup of the organic vegetable broth and deglaze pot. Add Salt and Pepper per taste/preference.

Remove the butternut squash from oven and let cool down for a few minutes. Once able to touch, use a vegetable peeler to peel the skin and discard, then chop ends off (also discard), slice in half and then quarters. Remove and discard the seeds and stringy inside pulp. Chop remainder of butternut squash in to cubes.

Squeeze the whole lemon’s juice (using a citrus press) over top of the garlic-shallot mixture right before adding the butternut squash cubes to the soup pot.  Once the butternut squash cubes are added, higher the stove to Medium heat, and then pour the coconut aminos over top and mix with a large spoon. Then pour the entire can of organic coconut milk (including the top layer of fat) over top, followed by the other 1 cup of vegetable broth, mix well.

Cook on Medium heat until the butternut squash cubes become evenly soft. Once soft, blend the entire contents (mixed well) of the soup pot in a Vitamix or high-powered blender (being careful since hot – or you could cool down for a few minutes first). Once blended, pour back in to soup pot and decide if you want the soup to be less thick, if so – add more vegetable broth as needed until desired consistency is reached. Serve & enjoy!

PRINTABLE (right click to download):

balancedlifealoha

As always,  make sure to tag me in your creations on social media! (@balancedlifealoha)

 x. Heather

_

Unplugged Weekends in Hawaii: VOLUME 1 – Swimming With Sea Turtles

Unplugged Weekends was an idea that Santi & I implemented this year. Part of being a blogger includes sharing your everyday life… but sometimes that can get overwhelming or just simply distracting from being present during quality family time.

So, our unplugged weekends are still somewhat shared, but there’s no pressure to be posting in real-time, on Instagram stories, etc. However, for the sake of documenting our life journey – we still photograph our trips, outings, + adventures for keepsake and to share later on. I hope that you enjoy these snippets from our ohana album!

balancedlifealoha.com

balancedlifealoha.com

balancedlifealoha.com

balancedlifealoha.com

 

Until Next Time – Aloha,

 

x. Heather

 

 

Dining at Celebrity Chef Michael Mina’s HAWAIIAN FISH HOUSE – “Mina’s Fish House” Review

Born in Egypt, graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, and with over two decades of culinary influence, Michael Mina is a much-loved, award-winning celebrity chef across the United States (and beyond). He is also a restaurateur and cookbook author. His company, Mina Group, is a restaurant management company that currently manages more than 30 concepts around the world.

What I admire about Michael Mina as a chef, is not only his aspiration to bring food to life, but also in his seeking for BALANCE. Him and his team believe in the beautiful art of balance in flavors. Their four key ingredients?

Acidity, Sweetness, Spice, and Fat.

The balance of these four is what creates Mina’s bold dishes.

With that being said, I cannot speak highly enough about the flavors that I experienced while dining recently at one of his restaurants. Actually, this beautiful spot is Michael Mina’s first and only Fish House!

balancedlifealoha.com

If you travel to Hawaii (or live in Hawaii), and want that FRESH line-to-table inspired seafood experience, then Mina’s Fish House is the spot that you need to visit!

The menu features pupus, small plates, a signature Hawaiian seafood tower, whole Hawaiian-style grilled and baked fish dishes, and so much more.

Altogether, service was phenomenal and the warm, handmade flat bread that was brought to our table after being greeted was so tasty it could make your eyes roll back! It was super fresh and also served with complementary spread toppings including a tzatziki sauce, olive tapenade, and homemade hummus – all equally incredible.

balancedlifealoha.com

Okay, now on to the drinks: Mina’s Fish House features cocktails that are inspired by the Hawaiian beaches and fresh tropical fruits that are grown here on the island.  Many also have a Tiki theme to them while utilizing flavors like papaya, lilikoi, kiwi, and coconut.

balancedlifealoha.com

balancedlifealoha.com

The bar is at the heart of the Fish House with an acid-washed zinc and custom glazed ‘fish scale’ tiled bar face. Though we admired the design from a far, the drinks served to our table were both strong, tasty, and unique –  like the “Run Home Jack” in a ceramic pineapple and the “If Can, Can” served in a SPAM container:

89

Now before I go any further to talk more about the food, let’s pause for a second to appreciate the VIEW!

balancedlifealoha.com

Mina’s Fish House offers a unique beachside dining experience with a seamless connection of the interior bar area with the outside open-air dining room. The decor is slightly rustic, yet the calming island vibes make you feel like you are on a 5-star resort vacation.

Beyond the main dining area, there are also multiple exterior decks that ultimately end at the beachside “feet in the sand” dining option.

It’s a definite one-of-a-kind restaurant, even in Hawaii.

Now there are classic fish dishes from Chef Mina’s repertoire offered, but also a daily “Market Catch” menu portion.

balancedlifealoha.com

Seeing that our favorite fresh fish is ahi, we had to try the Ahi Tuna Tartare.  Though this plate is a definite signature of Mina’s, it has been reimagined here at his Fish House as a contemporary poke, and it did. not. disappoint!

balancedlifealoha.com

In the spirit of balance, we also ordered a salad. The “Marinated Hass Avocado” was a perfected match of creamy fat (avocado) and tangy acid (pickled veggies/mushrooms). I actually want to visit again specifically for this salad and wouldn’t be mad at an extra pound or two of whatever that magical jalapeño dressing that this salad is served on top of…. ohhhh, so dreamy!

balancedlifealoha.com

I want to thank Mina’s Fish House for having us, as well as for the sweet birthday surprise dessert in honor of my 28th birthday. My husband and I cannot wait until we visit again!

My Sincerest Aloha,

x. Heather

*DISCLAIMER: This post is not sponsored, our meal was gifted, but all opinions and thoughts shared are mine alone and completely genuine.

28 Random Facts About Me on My 28th Birthday

If you didn’t read my last year’s article “27 Life Lessons Before My 27th Birthday” – the theme behind these birthday posts stem from basically asking myself before each birthday (since becoming a parent) this question: “If I were sitting down with my kids as adults or teenagers, what would I have to share with them about *this* specific age?”

So, now turning 28 years old, a career-related revelation that most prominently sticks out to me is this:

I am not threatened by other women or other women’s success.  I have been in the blogging world for a couple of years now and have found a way to be inspired by other’s success without allowing myself to feel LESS THAN. This is possible because I possess the understanding that there is only one *ME* and only I can offer what I uniquely do. So, when I feel admiration (towards a blogger or even non-blogger), my genuine desire resides in what their gift can teach me within my own journey of becoming the best version of myself. I mean, everyone is a teacher to someone in some way; but once you allow yourself the title of “life-long student” (or I guess – “student of life”), your personal growth possibilities open up in endless ways!

Alright, enough preaching, now on to the 28 Random Facts About Me on My 28th Birthday:

  1. I have moved 20 different times in my 28 years of life.
  2. I am afraid of outer space. That may sound ignorant, but it just freaks me out and I hate thinking about it. (Still to this day I refuse to watch that space movie, you know the one with Sandra Bullock & George Clooney…)
  3. My right eye is smaller than my left eye.
  4. Also, my right foot is smaller than my left foot.
  5. If I could have any one superpower, it would definitely have to be the ability to speak any and all languages fluently!
  6. I had a 5.0/4.0 GPA in high school (yes, that is possible, because I took AP classes which are college-level). Then in college, I was inducted into the Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honor Society in graduating with a 3.94/4.0 GPA.
  7. I am NOT a picky eater at all; there is really no food that I don’t like…
  8. Growing up, as a kid, I was pretty much a “tomboy”, and most of my friends were boys. I loved climbing trees, baiting live worms on my fishing pole, but hated wearing dresses. I also got in to a lot of trouble, like getting hit by a car while racing my bike down a steep hill when I was 5 years old.
  9. Our childhood babysitter had sons, them and my brother would all gang up and throw snowballs (with rocks and jelly inside of them) at me – so I learned to fend for myself at a young age, lol.
  10. Those same boys also pushed me in to the 10-feet-deep end of the swimming pool when I was 4 years old and still learning to swim. But, I basically just started swimming and that’s how that happened…
  11. On the day that my husband and I were waiting to get legally married (yes, we first got married at a courthouse and later had a wedding) we talked about our future kids and chose the names “Bella” and “Niko” in that conversation… and now here we are today with our precious Bella and Niko! :)
  12. I am obsessed with Colombian food. I could eat 4-5 arepas in one sitting, and I won’t even tell you how many buñuelos. My mother-in-law makes THE BEST!
  13. My astrology sign is a Cancer, and although I don’t know too much about the topic, everything that I have read and have been told about my sign is always SO ACCURATE!
  14. My husband’s personality is “INTJ” – basically the polar opposite of mine, LOL! I am an extrovert and my husband is an introvert – we pretty much BALANCE each other out though… for the most part ;)
  15. My most important “love language” is Words of Affirmation. Yup, I am a TOTAL words person.
  16. It may not be apparent, but I have never been one to shy away from confrontation. Though I fully disclose that I have learned over the years that there are times where confrontation should be avoided solely to avoid physical altercations or for other safety reasons… buuuut with that being said, in my younger years, this extroverted way of being, did earn me a bar fight with a girl in college (not proud of that). But now as a mom, my confrontations are things like this: When stopped at a crosswalk in Waikiki (a very crowded city where most people walk) and there is no room to move, but a stranger is smoking a cigarette in front of the group of tons of people and blowing their cancer smoke in our faces (including my kids) then yes, I choose confrontation. Or this: When I witnessed a group of 7 teenagers at the beach smashing GLASS beer bottles on a tree in the sand, yes, all 5-feet of me marched over there to give them a piece of mind and to order them to clean up the shards!
  17. I have never worn my shoes inside my house. Growing up we were not allowed to and that custom followed me in to living on my own, college even, and now my own home.
  18. A HUGE pet peeve of mine is LITTER!!!! I think one of the most disgusting things that a person can do, is throw trash on the ground or litter anywhere for that matter.
  19. On the topic of pet peeves, another disgusting thing in my opinion, is CIGARETTE SMOKING, yuck. I cannot stand the smell!
  20. At this point in my life, it is next to impossible to answer the question of “What is your favorite food?”….because food is life. However, if I was held at gunpoint and told to chose ONE favorite meal/food, it would be LOBSTER (w/ garlic, lemon, butter – – to be exact, haha).
  21. I didn’t eat sushi until I was in college, but now it’s pretty much a staple in my diet.
  22. I started my blog as a hobby and only recently started taking it more serious business-wise.
  23. My favorite delicacy are quail eggs. SO GOOD.
  24. I’m a night person, NOT a morning person. Though now being a parent, I don’t really get a choice, LOL.
  25. I’m obsessed with Japanese hand-painted ceramic and have a small collection of assorted-sized bowls. I think that they are timeless and so beyond beautiful.
  26. My hair is naturally VERY curly, like Shakira curly.
  27. If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be without a doubt, 1-million percent, ANTHONY BOURDAIN. </3
  28. I always knew that I wanted to be a wife and a mother. :)

 

 

Cheers to another trip around the sun!

x. Heather

 

 

 

 

Patacones (Fried Green Plantain) RECIPE

Plantains are VERY versatile. For starters, you can cook with them ripe AND/OR not ripe. And just like bananas, a green peel means that a plantain it is not ripe. There is not much flavor to an unripe plantain, but that is what makes cooking with them super versatile, plus the texture (once a green plantain is fried) is starchy and makes a perfect element for many different meals. On the other hand, once a plantain peel turns dark, almost a brown-black, they are ripe, have a sweet flavor and oftentimes used in dessert-style recipes.

But today I am sharing a recipe for fried green plantains, also popularily known as “patacones” or “tostones”.

We love to eat patacones like you would eat tortilla chips – with salsa (check out my Colombian “Aji” Salsa Recipe – HERE), and also use them as a “bread” or “bun” with meat and steak recipes as well. The texture is so addictively delicious!

INGREDIENTS/

  • 2 Green Plantains (this will make about 15-20 patacones, depending on the size of the plantains that you are using)
  • Avocado Oil for frying
  • Sea Salt to taste

balancedlifealoha.com

DIRECTIONS/

  1. Cut the ends off the whole plantains, then slice long-ways and remove the peel.
  2. Slice each plantain in to about 1-inch pieces.
  3. Add enough avocado oil in to a medium-sized pot to cover half the height of the plantain slices, heat on Medium.
  4. Add the plantain slices to the heated avocado oil (single layer) and cook/fry for about 4-5 minutes per side (time will depend on oil temperature, so I usually gauge by the color); flip once the first side submerged in the oil is golden, and then carefully remove once the entire slice is golden.
  5. Place the once-fried plantains on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess avocado oil.
  6. After a few minutes of cooling, place the slices on parchment paper and use a hard flat surface (like a pot cover or plate) to press the plantain slices down firmly to achieve 1/4 inch thickness.
  7. Using tongs, add the plantains back in to the hot oil in a single layer and cook/fry again for about 3-4 minutes each side.
  8. Once crispy, remove the patacones from pot with a slotted spoon and again place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any extra avocado oil.
  9. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  10. Let cool or enjoy warm!

x. Heather

 

PRINTABLE (right click to download):

balancedlifealoha.com

 

SaveSave