Bites of My Life

Read, eat, workout, work, more work, staycation post-vacation, and the first of the Halloween celebrations. Keep reading if you want the details of my lazy recap sentence.

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-My current lineup. Boom Town, Hey Ladies, and Bread & Wine (for the second time). I’m struggling to get through Boom Town and Hey Ladies so I added in one of my faves to help re-inspire my reading.
-This healthy little tostada stack was actually the victim of a clean out the fridge meal. Crisp 2 Siete tortillas in a little coconut oil. Top each with smashed black beans and some almond milk cheese. Stack the two tortillas and heat in the oven to melt the cheese. Top with tomato, chopped bell pepper, some lettuce, more cheese and salsa.
-After work walk with my best girl!
-One of my favorite events of the year is the chili cook-off that happens downtown OKC every year. Haggled The Jones Assembly into participating this year. We didn’t take a win, but getting to sample multiple chilis for lunch was worth it!
-Checked-in to the Avid and immediately checked out the snack selection. Props to Avid for the great snack options and complimentary chocolate bar.
-Fun little staycation Friday night. More on this coming later this week.
-French toast!
-A batch of Pumpkin Bread to kick off the holiday baking season.

Annie

Web bite: Need a last minute Halloween costume idea? Here’s three!

Bites of My Life

Back from a perfect girls trip to California and I’m already counting down until I go back. 5 months to be exact, in case you were wondering. No birthday or bachelorette to celebrate just a good ole girls trip.

“I should move here.” Something I say after just about every trip I go on, my dad says it too me to. I did it once, hi DC! I had only been to southern California one other time, both times now to Newport Beach. Looks like NP is trying to show off for me…

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-Cold temps are here in OKC! My last week of the “fall reset” I was participating in called for pumpkin overnight oats, but I had to opt for warm pumpkin oats over cold with the cooler temperatures. I did low sugar maple instant oatmeal with a spoonful of pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and chia seeds mixed in.
-INSANE matcha from the new Woodshed Tea that just opened in the city. Order it with oat milk and ask for a sample of their oat milk matcha cold brew. Equally insane.
-Headed to sunny southern California for a long weekend girls trip. Highlight of the trip was seeing my long lost bestie gal that left me for LA in June.
-First morning in Newport had to be fueled properly. The Bueno Bowl from Alta Coffee was muy delicioso!
-Boat, drink, eat repeat. The outline for our southern California girls trip!
-Cheese from a tub still deserves to be styled.
-Scout spotted in Newport! My favorite brand making an appearance on our trip to keep our boat ride drinks cold and cool in style. I quickly jumped on this photo opp!
-Sunset rooftop drinks at Lido House with a RHOC celeb sighting. Trip accomplished.
-Sweet finish to a super sweet trip!

Annie

I’m working on some travel posts recapping my recent trips. Until then, let’s time travel to my visit to Newport Beach two years ago.

Bites of My Life

This post combines the past two weeks into one big bite. I got home from vacation late last Wednesday and quickly had to jump right back in to work and social life as I knew it. A big work event, busy playing catch up, a besties birthday and a personal to-go list that is becoming miles long has me typing as fast as I can to get through this post to continue tackling the others. A full round up of our trip to Aspen is in the works! It was too good of a trip not to devote a post to. Catch a glimpse in the snapshots below and stay tuned for the whole shebang!

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-Channeling “back to school” vibes with my new work bag/backpack - that I can’t get enough of!
-Aunts do Aspen! And Elle does Aspen really well. #gimmethosemoccasins
-We were lucky to get to stay in a big house on our trip. We played to our strengths and cooked a few meals at home. After some delicious nights out, we all agreed our dinners at home were the best!
-The reason that brought us to Aspen, Pop’s 60th birthday! His birthday was actually in June, but there are many reasons to celebrate 3 months later!
-The whole fam damily! Not often does the whole crew get to be together, but I sure love when we do!
-I went on a kale salad kick while in Aspen. It seemed that just about every menu had their own rendition, so I took it upon myself to test them out. Like this kale caesar from Ajax Tavern
-I’ll follow up my kale salad note by mentioning that I washed down my healthy salad with fries at pretty much every meal. It’s called vacation! The infamous truffle fries from Ajax Tavern could not go without ordering.
-Just like one of the beautiful trees around me! We had a successful hike through the Maroon Bells.
-Book 12 out of my 12 in a year goal. Went out with a bang with this one. Can’t recommend it enough.
-The best breakfast casserole returns. Might I add, this is always a crowd pleaser. I brought it to a morning tailgate were it was aside donuts and bagels and many people reached for the casserole over the other options.
-Played cowgirl for the day to celebrate our favorite OSU Cowboy’s birthday in Stillwater!
-After a the kale salad craze on vacation, I knew I was inspired to recreate one at home. This kale quinoa goodness is coming your way later this week.

Annie

Mahalo Hawaii

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March 14, 2018: “You know how your New Year’s resolution was to travel more? Well I think we should go to Hawaii,” - Taylor

March 15, 2018: Hotel, flights and PTO schedule.

April 10, 2018: MaryKate, Taylor and I were officially on Oahu, Hawaii.

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After landing it was straight to the hotel, bathing suits on then straight to the beach (bar).

Cheers to spontenatity, booking the most memorable trip with 3 weeks notice, and for checking off my goal of traveling more this year. (Next up, Austin, Houston, Aspen...and working on booking more).

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We found ourselves at Duke's a few times on the trip, but the best was stumbling upon Duke's on our first day which happened to be a Sunday. "Duke's on Sunday," is their busiest day. Jimmy Buffet even sings about it. Known for being a tourist bar, but even the locals come out on Sundays. You can get a glimpse here. (that video is 2+ years old and I kid you not I recognize people in the video we saw that day we were there).

If you are Waikiki bound, make sure your trip allows you to be there on a Sunday, and make a stop at Duke's!

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Our hotel offered complimentary yoga classes every morning. 1, I'm an early riser, 2, I love me some yoga, and 3, I was 5 hours ahead of schedule, so early morning yoga was the perfect way to fill my morning besides staring blankly at the ceiling when it was 4 am but felt like 9am.

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*Smoked salmon Benedict, Loco Moco and banana pancakes for breakfast at Cinnamon's

We got to Hawaii with very little plans and zero reservations. Traveling with two of your most laid back friends, makes things very easy. Thanks to Yelp and Google, we ate and did all the best things in my opinion. 

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Our zero reservations plan worked great beside one slip up the second night. We went out for authentic poke, but the place was apparently so good, by the time we got there they were completely out of everything. 

Luckily, the infamous bakery, Leonard's was across the street. We had read about Leonard's and hoped to make it there one day for breakfast or a treat. They are famous for their Portuguese donuts called malasadas. Think if a sopapilla and a jelly donut had a baby, but with a Hawaii spin because of flavor options like guava and coconut. So poke problems aside we opted for donuts for dinner. A win in my mind!

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Goofy's is a must for breakfast, brunch or lunch. So good we went twice! And conveniently right by our hotel. I recommend the açaí bowls and iced coffee. 

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We were on a strict Pina colada diet while in Hawaii. So much, I searched for where to get a Pina colada in Oklahoma City. My search came up dry...

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*truly the best cocktail I've ever had. The Tropical Seoul: hwayo 25 shochu, pamplemousse liqueur, guava, pineapple and lemon. 

All delicious meals aside, nothing compares to our dinner at Herringbone. Our "splurge" meal of the trip you can say. The restaurant as visually delicious as the drinks and food. 

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If I could do this seafood platter again and again I would. 3 words. king. crab. legs. I love me some lobster, but I have never had crab legs and I can confidently say I have been severely missing out.

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A Loco Moco is a Hawaiian comfort food dish. The standard version consists of white rice, a hamburger patty, brown gravy and a sunny side up egg. So random it is actually delicious. Served at breakfast, lunch or dinner, a version showed up on just about every menu we saw.

Taylor ordered the Loco Moco at Cinnamon's. It was very traditional and delicious. I then tried the Loco Moco at Heavenly. More modern and organic so they claim. Kulana beef, local egg, local ginger soy glaze, and 10 grain rice with local farm green beans, broccoli, organic carrot, organic lentil beans, and organic black beans. My vegan health foodie wannabe ways loved it. 

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After our first poke fail, we redeemed ourselves at Poke Bar. Basically Chipotle, but Poke. Pick your rice, your fish, your toppings, dressings, add-ons etc.

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Goofy's round 2 cause we couldn't stay away. This visit included less açaí bowls and more eggs, more carbs and more coffee. We had too much fun the night before...

Something I did not realize is how prevalent taro is in Hawaii. We had bought some chips and snacks the first day for our room, including some taro chips. I didn't think much about it because I can buy the same kind at home. You know that black bag with the pink, orange, and white veggie chips on the cover? Ya, those!

Well taro is everywhere. A root vegetable that helped sustain early Hawaiian settlers, apparently. Similar to a sweet potato, but even more versatile. We had homemade taro chips and guacamole at one beach bar, I saw taro as an add-in option for smoothies, and our favorite, the TARO MUFFIN. A couple of the breakfast spots we ended up at offered the taro muffin on the menu. Basically just an English muffin, but made with taro. And also purple, making it that much more fun.

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*Incredible Cajun Fish Tacos at Duke's. So good all three of us ordered them. 

If I am on a vacation in an area that boarders water, I will eat fish at every meal. Oklahoma fish does not compare. For obvious reasons #landlocked.

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So for our last meal on Oahu, something with fish and quintessential to Hawaii was a must. The obvious choice, poke. 

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Poke and pina coladas aside, the rest of our trip was just as perfect.

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Taylor's one request on our trip was to visit Kualoa Ranch. AKA "Hawaii's Backlot." The site where they filmed part of the Jurassic Park movies. I've maybe seen the first JP all the way through once in school when we had a substitute teacher, but I was still game.

Kualoa was 45 minutes (or 15 minutes acocording to our uber Laura -__-) from where we were staying, but it was a great way to see more of the island on our way. Kualoa is a huge valley privately owned by a local family. Movies like Jurrasic Park, Godzilla, 50 First Dates, You, Me and Dupree and more were filmed here. They choose this site for it's idyllic Hawaiian look. 

We opted in to the ATV 2-hour guided tour (S/O to our guide Jay), which I highly recommend. They also offer 1-hour tours, horseback, zipline and bike tours. 

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Big dinosaur girls after a morning in the valley!

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Plan a hike too. Google may steer you to Diamond Head, but I suggest Manoa Falls. Only an hour round trip, but the hike is still a work out and the views are spot on. All leading to the signature "falls" at the top of the hike! 

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Last thing, do a booze cruise. Sorry sorry, I mean "sunset sail." We did this one. 2 hours, inclusive drinks (AKA oopsy juice <--- yup), best view of Waikiki, and to our luck a rainbow over the beach! Perfect perfect thing for our last night on Oahu. 

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Pro tip: go on a vacation with two of your best and most easy going friends. 3 is the perfect traveling number. 

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Until next time Hawaii.  Because I'm promising myself there will be a next time. Sooner rather than later. 

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Maholo (thank you) Hawaii for the best trip ever.

Annie

Bites of My Life

Aloha! Fresh off the Island and in full on post-vacation depression mode. I'm not going to go into full trip details, because a recap post is coming this week. For now just teaser photos will have to do. I'm not dealing well with having to go back to realty today. I keep scrolling back through my camera roll looking at vacation pictures pretending I'm still there...Monday, here we go. 

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-Finally finally finally got to take a class from my favorite fitness instructor. If you live in Dallas you have to check out Class Studios!
-Trying to franchise East Hampton Sandwich Co. to Oklahoma.
-Best time celebrating #KatieFoundHerMattch in Dallas and getting to talk wedding deats with Marge for #GoingGoingVaughn.
-First morning I woke up with sunrise yoga on the greens of our hotel. 
-My slide or dies. 
-Minutes before having the best meal of our lives. 
-Give us all the açaí bowls and rice. Add in poke and piña coladas and that is basically all we ate. 
-3 girls, 4-wheels. 
-Exhibit A, rice and poke. 
-Hawaii we love you. 
-Roomie night out at Artini.
-Happy 5th Take A Bite! Keep a watch on my instagram for 5 days of giveaways this week in honor of 5 years.

Annie