Friday, April 17, 2015

natalie's juice: spring salad with mango orange cilantro vinaigrette …

I am partnering with Natalie's Orchid Island Juice Company today to share with you an amazing Spring salad with Shrimp, Mixed Greens, and an Orange Mango Cilantro Vinaigrette.
Natalie's Orchid Island Juice is a family owned business out of Florida that has been around for 25 years!  They grow and squeeze only the best for their customers, and guarantee a clean label juice using minimal ingredients that are NON-GMO, soy free, and gluten free.  Their juices are squeezed fresh to order, and they never add preservatives or hidden ingredients, and made right here in the USA!

I was so impressed with their quality, and variety of juices!  I was able to serve some at my son Ezra's eighth birthday party, and our families couldn't get enough!  Our favorites were the Orange Pineapple, Grapefruit, Orange Mango, and the Lemonade's were a big hit!
I was excited to create a recipe from their fresh juices!  The most important thing for me when I look at juice to feed my family is the ingredients.  I always look for hidden preservatives or sugars.  Natalie's juice ingredients were simple.  Just the way I like it.  Only fresh fruit juice!  
To make the mango orange vinaigrette, you will need a few ingredients.

Mango Orange Cilantro Vinaigrette
1 garlic clove
1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro, washed 
2-3 tablespoons red onion
1/3 cup champagne vinegar
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (good quality)
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Place all items except for olive oil in into a blender.

Drizzle in the olive oil at the end until it is all blended together.  Add Salt and Pepper to taste.

For the shrimp.
Rinse shrimp with water, and pat until completely dry.
Season 1/2 lb of shrimp with tails removed with.  Garlic salt, paprika, garlic powder, fresh ground pepper, and sea salt.
Heat 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Place shrimp into the skillet, be careful to not crowd the pan so that they will cook evenly and not become rubbery.
Cook for about 2 minutes per side.  They will not take very long.  Remove from skillet, and set aside.
Chop up one red pepper, and dice one avocado.
Plate mixed greens onto a salad plate, and top with diced avocados, and red peppers.  Drizzle with the freshly made Orange Mango Cilantro Vinaigrette.
This Salad is perfect for a light lunch or dinner, on a beautiful Spring day!
Mango Orange Cilantro Vinaigrette
1 garlic clove
1/2 a bunch of fresh cilantro, washed 
2-3 tablespoons red onion
1/3 cup champagne vinegar
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (good quality)
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Place all items except for olive oil in into a blender.

Drizzle in the olive oil at the end until it is all blended together.  Add Salt and Pepper to taste.

For the Shrimp:
1/2 1b shrimp, tails removed
Rinse shrimp with water, and pat until completely dry.
Season 1/2 lb of shrimp with tails removed with.  Garlic salt, paprika, garlic powder, fresh ground pepper, and sea salt.
Heat 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Place shrimp into the skillet, be careful to not crowd the pan so that they will cook evenly and not become rubbery.
Cook for about 2 minutes per side.  They will not take very long.  Remove from skillet, and set aside.

For the Salad:
Mixed Greens
1 red pepper, diced
1 avocado, diced
Top with Shrimp and Vinaigrette

Enjoy!

Cloth Napkin Source: Hen House Linens

Thank you Natalie's Orchid Island Juice Company for Sponsoring this post.  Find out where to purchase Natalie's Juice in your area here.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

favorite easter basket fillers ...

I love a good Easter basket!

Over the years of "helping" our Easter bunny put together baskets for my children, I have found that we have some favorites in our household. 

Before you check them out, be sure to check some of our past easter basket fillers, and ideas here, here and here, !
First up, I wanted to share Norah's Easter basket.

It is fun for me to look for fun items for their Easter basket's!  I've been known to grab things months and months ahead if I come across something that is just perfect!  I usually put my items in a bin as I gather them up over the weeks or months before Easter.  Holidays tend to sneak up on you, so it's always nice to be prepared!
One of my favorite things to put in their baskets are Annie's Bunnies Snacks.  The Cheddar bunnies snacks and fruit snacks are a great alternative to candy, and the bunny shape is perfect for easter!  See what else I've done with cheddar bunny snacks here
Another favorite Easter Basket filler in our house is Lindt Chocolates.  The tiny carrots, bunnies, lambs, chicks, bee's, lady bugs, frogs.  So So cute!!  And, I'm a fan of high quality chocolates, none of that yucky chocolate, even for my kids!
Like I said, I love browsing stores for cute little items.  The Dollar Tree is a great place as well, I find some cute little items there!  
Another favorite Easter Basket filler are these darling 2 inch size photo books that you can print directly from your Instagram feed.  I print one for each of my children, and put in into an Easter Egg.  My kids think it's amazing that the Easter bunny was around to see them doing all these activities they were doing in the photos!

Easter Basket Girl Edition Sources:
Bunny Tights- Target
Sandals- Gap
Social PS Tiny 2 inch photo books that fit perfectly in Easter Eggs
Bunny Headband- Hello Shiso
Kid Made Modern Colored Pencils- Target
Carrot Pen- Oriental Trading
Flashlight/pen- Dollar Tree
Strawberry wind-up toy- Dollar Tree
Lindt Chocolates- bunny, lamb, chick, bee, lady bug
Colorful easter eggs- Target
Little baby chicks- Oriental Trading
Toy filled egg- Walmart
Hopping bunny- Oriental Trading
Now, I wanted to share our favorite Easter basket fillers for my boys!

Much of the fillers are the same as the girl basket, with the exception of a few things.

My favorite Easter baskets for my kids are these plain natural wooden bushel baskets I find at Hobby Lobby.  I love them, they are classic, and fit lots of items for Easter Egg hunts, and for Easter morning!

We LOVE the Melissa & Doug Triangular Crayons.  They come in the perfect little container for on the go, and they are shaped triangular, so they won't roll away!
My boys, especially my youngest Thomas just loves little tiny things.  Tiny animals, tiny people, you name it.  

We just love the Schleich toys.  They are such high quality when it comes to little plastic toys, and they stay looking nice for a while!  We have a big collection!  I love putting the teeny tiny animals, especially bunnies in some of the plastic easter eggs!

I love the classic toy cars.  This red truck is a favorite!
My kids are really into Kendama's lately.  They fit perfectly in an Easter basket.  And, the tiny mini keychain novelty kendama's fit perfectly in an Easter egg!
Easter Basket Boy Edition Sources:
Little Red Toy Truck- Land of Nod
Carrot Pen- Oriental Trading
Wind-up eyeball toy- Dollar Tree
Spiderman Flashlight/Pen- Dollar Tree
Hoppy Bunny Toy- Oriental Trading
Sticker and Toy filled Eggs- Walmart

Hope this helps with your Bunny Shopping!!  Or for any of you last minuters who need a few ideas.

Happy Easter!

While, Easter is so fun, and so is the Easter bunny.  This is a lot of fun for our kids for Easter, but we also teach our children our belief's on the real meaning of Easter.  

Check out this amazing video here!

{all photos by me}

Monday, March 23, 2015

hello shiso ...

I still can't believe that Easter is just around the corner!
This Spring weather has me straight up giddy, and so excited for some fun outdoor adventures!
We headed out to do some early spring exploring with my little bunny. (More on this favorite magical adventuring spot of ours in an upcoming post!)
I am so excited to partner up with Hello Shiso on today's post!  Hello Shiso is a design studio out of Berkeley, California that sells unique accessories for boys, and girls, and sometimes their parents!
This bunny headband my little Norah is wearing is almost too much for me to handle!  Just too adorable!  She was so excited to wear it out on our little adventure!
With Easter only a few weeks away, these darling accessories would make such a great Easter basket filler!  I mean, the bunny headband couldn't be more perfect, don't you think?!
Norah was also excited to wear the cat headband.  Next thing I knew, she was crawling around our favorite tower playing doing her best kitty impersonation!
The Hello Shiso simple little clips are also a favorite!  This kitty clip,  big heart clip, and pineapple clip being top on my list!
I can't wait to fill Norah's Easter basket with a few Hello Shiso hair accessories!

Norah's outfit:
Dress: H&M
Cardigan: Crew Cuts
Sandals: Old Navy
Hair Accessories: Hello Shiso
Necklace: Bling Jewelry
Easter Basket: Thrifted

Thank you Hello Shiso for sponsoring this post.

Friday, March 20, 2015

soulstice retreat ..

My good friends over at Albion Fit are teaming up with Stein Erikson Lodge at Deer Valley to bring you one amazing Retreat!  Here's a little more information about it!

RELAX. RECHARGE. REFOCUS. RETREAT. For 4 days, and 3 nights, immerse yourself in one of the world's most pristine mountain settings at the exclusive, Forbes 5 star, Stein Eriksen Resort and Spa in Deer Valley, Utah.  Begin your retreat with a welcome basket, brimming with fabulous fitness and beauty gadgets and accessories. Enjoy an Albion Apparel gift card for a weekend's worth of premium fitness, swims, and loungewear. Exercise your body under the watchful care of Awaken Retreat instructors, industry-leading professionals available around the clock to help you set fitness goals and create a plan to achieve them. Create your own schedule from a broad selection of fitness activities: Start your day with a sunrise Vinyasa atop a mountain overlook at 9,000 feet. Sign up for daily pilates reformer classes with hands on instruction. Experience weightlessness for the first time in aerial yoga, gracefulness in a barre class, or hit the mountainside in an adrenaline-boosting trail run.  Alongside elite fitness classes, Soulstice also offers a wide variety of intellectual and soulful workshops, providing experiences and memories to take with you beyond the retreat. Have fun with new friends learning healthy eating tips from a New York Time's best selling author, taken an oil-painting workshop and create a landscape portrait to hang on a wall at home, or learn how to use natural light from a professional photographer.  In your free time, take hot air balloon ride over the Wasatch mountains, go horse-back riding on aspen-laden trails, or pamper yourself at the 5 star spa and get a 90 minute, hot stone massage. Enjoy exquisite cuisine with fresh, local ingredients hand crafted by America's finest artisanal chefs and shop on Park City's historical Main Street.  At Soulstice, your time is yours, to spend as you please.

How amazing does that sound!  For early bird pricing and more information, head over to www.soulsticeretreat.com

And, for a chance to win a HUGE GIVEAWAY! We are giving away one lucky winner and her BFF a trip to this amazing retreat at the 5 star at Stein Lodge each valued at $3500.  Awaken Retreats will be teaching reformer Pilates  anti-gravity, barre classes, SUP yoga in a crater, and special guests teaching oil painting, photography, and lectures by Melissa Hartwig of Whole 30 and Stephanie Nielsen and much more.  

To enter, head over to my post on INSTAGRAM, follow @albionfit @steinlodge and @awakenretreats and @armelle_blog and tag your BFF. That's it. 
For a bonus entry, repost the above photo on Instagram, and post and tag @soulsticeretreat.  
Relax, recharge, refocus, retreat. Giveaway ends Sunday, March 29, so be sure to head over to Instagram to enter soon!! GOOD LUCK!  

Monday, March 16, 2015

st. patrick's day ….

St Patrick's Day Ideas Green Food Ideas
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

St. Patrick's Day is a fun holiday for my little family.  It's the anniversary of the first day my husband and I met, so it's kind of like the anniversary of our family in a way.  I thought I would share some fun St. Patrick's Day Ideas, and some fun green food ideas for the holiday!
St Patrick's Day Ideas Green Food Ideas
I always like to pull of a festive feast for my family on holidays if I can.  I try to make sure that it is something that I want to do for them, instead of looking at it as a chore.  But, really I truly do like to see their faces of excitement when they see the festive table!  I think maybe because my parents grew up in France and Vietnam, so many holidays are a little foreign to them.  While we celebrated many, things weren't over the top, so maybe that's why I tend to go a little that way.  It's fun for me to live and experience the holidays right along with my children!
St Patrick's Day Ideas Green Food Ideas
My daughter Norah especially loves to help me set up for holidays.  The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, huh?. She loves to help me set the table, and often plans parties as part of her pretend play. So cute!
St Patrick's Day Ideas Green Food Ideas
St Patrick's Day Ideas Green Food Ideas
St Patrick's Day Ideas Green Food Ideas
I set up as many green items to go with the St. Patrick's Day theme as much as possible.  
Green rolls, green grapes, gold coins, green mint and chocolate chip cookies.
St Patrick's Day Ideas Green Food Ideas
St Patrick's Day Ideas Green Food Ideas
St Patrick's Day Ideas Green Food Ideas
For the rest of the food, we had my favorite Kale caesar salad (all ingredients can be found at Harmons Grocery) with crostini's, green tortellini with pesto sauce, and steamed broccoli.  The beauty is you can homemake, or store buy many items depending on how much time you have, and you can pull of this festive spread without too much work involved! I always turn to my party supply box, and as always being a hoarder pays off for me, wink!
Kale Salad Recipe
Kale Caesar Salad with Crostini Croutons

For the Salad
Combine:
Kale
Crumbled Crostini's from Harmons Grocery
Grated Parmesean Cheese
Kale Salad Recipe
For the Lemon Caesar Dressing:
Juice of 1 Lemon
1/2 tsp lemon zest 
2 tablespoons Garlic olive oil from Harmons Grocery (sciabica's brand)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
2 shakes cayenne pepper (more or less depending if you like a kick)
1 cup olive oil
Kale Salad Recipe
Whisk all together well, and toss over Kale, crostini's and parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!  And, Hope you have an amazing St. Patrick's Day!
St Patrick's Day Feast Armelle Blog

{all photos by me}