Zara is having a SALE!

Last night I received one of the best emails a fashionista can receive. Zara is having a sale. Zara doesn't have online sales often. Rarely. Seldom. In fact, from what I've gathered, they only have one once a year, around the end of June. Of course if you are lucky enough to live near a Zara store, (mine is in San Francisco an hour and a half away) you may experience sales on a more regular basis. I squealed with pleasure when I saw my email announcing the sale today. I immediately began thinking of all my favorite items (dozens hundreds) and started praying to the fashion Gods that they would be so deeply discounted it would be a sin if I didn't buy them.

Here are some of my favorites from the sale.
Biker Jacket with Buckles 

Faux Leather Combination Jacket

Combination Crochet Blouse

Faux Leather and Lace Dress

High Heel Shoes With Ankle Strap

There are slim pickings already! Most all of the clothes are sold out in my size, which only leaves the shoes and accessories (oh no!) So I did manage to score the heels above (they've been on my wish list for a while!) for $40! Did you score any goodies at the Zara sale? Share in the comments below!

Lust List: Chunky Summer Sandals

I am so thrilled that the latest shoe trends are going with a shorter heel rather than higher, because frankly, my feet can't take it anymore! I'm only 5'3" and once I get above the 4" heel height I start to look like a T-Rex dinosaur walking around. I'm not kidding. Is this what men visualize when they see all of us girls wearing high heels at the end of the night? 
ShoeMint "Jaja" Sandals 
 This summer, chunky but low heeled shoes are in. Whether they are wedges, flatforms or sandals, make sure to get at least one comfy pair that you'll wear all summer long! My choice was a pair of neutral but eye popping wedges from ShoeMint. They are without a doubt one of the most comfortable pair of shoes I own, and they go with virtually everything in my closet. 

There are endless amounts of options for chunky sandals online and in stores. But to make my job easy, I picked a handful from my favorite store on the planet, Zara.

High Heel Sandal with Ankle Strap

WIde Heel Sandal with Ankle Strap

Cork Wedge Platform Shoe
 What are your favorites? I know it's hard to pick one. Try going to Zara's website and not purchase something. I dare you.

xoxo, Courtney

Homemade Pad Thai

Thai food may be one of our favorite cuisines. There is a super good Thai restaurant downtown we love to go to, but when I found a recipe for home made pad thai, I knew I had to give it a shot. I knew nothing would compare to our beloved Thai Basil, but when we are craving Thai (which, let's be honest, is always) I am so excited we have a recipe we can whip out at home! And even better, you can customize it to your liking whether you want tofu, chicken, shrimp, beef or all veggies! 

 - 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into cubes (or protein of choice)
-  5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Asian fish sauce
- 1/2 pound firm tofu, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons rice-wine vinegar
- 3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 3/4 pound large rice noodles 
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2/3 cup peanuts, chopped fine
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- 1/4 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves, or more to taste

1. In a small bowl, coat the chicken (or protein of choice) and 1/2 teaspoon of the fish sauce.  In another bowl, combine the tofu with another 1/2 teaspoon of the fish sauce. Skip the second part if only using one type of protein. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 5 tablespoons fish sauce with the water, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the lime juice, the vinegar, sugar, salt, and cayenne. 
2. In a pot of boiling water, cook the rice noodles according the packaged directions. Drain.
3. Meanwhile, in a wok or large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring until just done. Remove. Put another tablespoon of oil in the pan. Add the tofu and cook. Remove. Put the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the pan, add the garlic and cook, for about 30 seconds. 
4. Add the pasta and the fish sauce mixture. Cook, stirring, until nearly all the liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Stir the chicken, tofu and 1/3 cup peanuts. Remove from the heat. Stir in the remaining 1/2 tablespoon lime juice, bean sprouts, and half the cilantro. Top with the remaining peanuts and cilantro.

The fish sauce and rice noodles are easily found at any international market or even your local supermarket. We couldn't find any peanuts (right?) which was a total bummer. Peanuts totally make the dish amazing, and you must must must use them! Enjoy!
Original recipe found here

Aloha! My Trip to Hawai'i!

I went to Hawai'i during Memorial Day week with my Mom and brothers for 5 nights/6 days worth of sun and fun. We left early Saturday morning (5:30 am to be exact) and got to Oahu by noon. We stayed right off of Waikiki Beach. Below is a sampling of my pictures from the trip!

Waikiki Beach:

 Waikiki Beach, while famous, is very saturated by tourists. Of all the islands, Oahu is the least "private" or "secluded". The main street parallel to the beach is lined with shops and reminds me somewhat of the Embarcedero in San Francisco. The waters were warm, but crowded. 

Diamond Head Crater:
Diamond Head is a huge crater on the south side of the island that is a short .8 mile hike to the top. It is a windy, steep hike however, so it's no walk in the park. I highly recommend any visitors to do it. The views from the top are stunning (bottom picture). Make sure to wear sunscreen and comfortable clothes (and shoes) and bring water! Luckily it was quite windy that day so the heat wasn't a problem, or else try to hike as early in the morning as your travel companions will let you!

Dole Pineapple Plantation:
We made a quick stop at the Dole Pineapple Plantation after a day at Kailua Beach (rated one of the best beaches in the world!) I am so glad we did. Pineapples are among my favorite fruits, and I honestly didn't really know much about how their grown or processed. Well, they are grown in fields and picked (every single one, by HAND!) We picked up a mix between a sorbet and ice cream made with fresh pineapple. (bottom picture) It was so delicious. 

Hanauma Bay:
 Snorkeling is always one of my favorite activities to do on a beach vacation. We went to Hanauma Bay, known for the coral reefs, schools of fish and if you're lucky, sea turtles. This excursion can get pricey as you pay for parking ($1), admission ($8 ea) and rentals ($10 ea) so knowing that can help you prepare. Since there are so many people competing for lounging space on the beach and snorkeling spots in the water, it can get super crowded. This may also be best to do in the wee hours of the morning. 

 Pearl Harbor:
 We made the stop to Pearl Harbor a few hours before our flight out of Oahu. There is no fee to get into the memorial, unless you take any tour. So we passed by through the museum and looked at everything from afar. I wish we spent half a day taking the tour, but if we ever get to go back, we will make sure to do it. But I am glad we at least got to pass by. 

Food Food Food:
 I like to go on vacation to eat. How doesn't? We got to eat a lot of yummy meals while in Hawaii. Here's a few samples. The top is a Loco Moco plate from Rainbow Drive In. They were featured on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives. It is Hawaiian fast food if you will: sticky rice topped with a beef patty and sunny side up eggs topped with gravy and a side of macaroni salad. Delicious! Second is a bowl of chicken and veggie ramen from a noodle place we got along the main strip in Waikiki. Lastly, we got some pineapple and strawberry shave ice after our Diamond Head hike! So refreshing. 

 There are so many stunning sights in Hawai'i. Compared to the city landscapes of California, the tropical scenery is such a drastic change. The first picture is a tree with the beautiful flowers used to make the leis. The second are these huge trees I saw on Waikiki Beach that kind of reminded me of The Lion King. Not sure why. haha. Lastly, the bottom two pictures are the sides of the H-3 Highway. There are sky high mountains with lush green trees with hundreds of waterfalls. It was one of the most remarkable things I have ever seen. It was stunning. I am so glad I wasn't driving, because I was so distracted by how gorgeous it was! 

What I Wore:
Badgley Mischka Halter Bikini -
Now for a dash of fashion. I brought along a new bikini with me on the trip and wore it for the first time (a risk I was willing to take). I ordered a few months ago this bikini from and it's hands down the best bikini I've ever owned! I have an emerald green color vs black, and it fits great! Not to mention, for being a designer piece, the price was amazing! 

xoxo, Courtney