Healthy Living

In the past year, I’ve worked hard to get healthy, add fitness into my life, and cut down on processed foods. In Hong Kong there may be *too* many opportunities to celebrate every day through indulgence, particularly with food and drink. I started a new Instagram account to document my journey of healthy meals, juices and smoothies, and motivation. If you are interested, follow wholefoodsfit herecollage wholefoodsfit

Insta Friday

I apologize I’ve been sporadic in my posts lately. The last month sped by, and the next is nearly as fun, with a trip back to the US. Here’s a bit of my life from Instagram over the past 6 weeks or so.

collage insta May

 

1. Bali’s outdoor shower.

2. Popsicles at the beach. Does it get better?

3. Wellness Day.

4. Mexican corn in Singapore.

5. Art Basel

6. Tokyo at the Miro Museum

Colorful Summer BBQ

After a whirlwind couple of months with travel, including Singapore last weekend we decided we weren’t quite up to another weekend away. We decided to stay in Hong Kong, enjoy the long weekend (maybe you saw the Dragon Boat on Google), and indulge in a beach and BBQ day. A week late for Memorial Day, but sun, burgers on the grill, corn on the cob and watermelon.

After a fun day at Big Wave Bay, we headed back to our terrace to start the BBQ. We love light, refreshing Pimm’s Cups, so we tried out the Bon Appetit  recipe. We also had white wine {I made a few spritzers, cutting the wine with soda water}, coconut water {hydrating!} and beer.Last Import - 02

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For appetizer we had cut veggies and hummus, as well as chips and guacamole. Since there were so many pretty colors, I had to use my Merimekko napkins. I mixed some healthy tortilla chips and with regular tortilla chips to allow for health preferences.

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For dinner we set up a buffet {yes, I was trying to add some sparkle with the disco ball in the corner} then we sat down together under the lights. Burgers, carrot salad, corn, chips and watermelon made for the perfect beach day dinner.

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For dessert I wanted to end with something chilly to cool down after a hot day. We bought mango sorbet for something a bit lighter, topped with strawberry and kiwi. I loved using cute paper cups with my favorite flamingo napkins. Last Import - 30

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We sat around chatting in the moonlight for a bit, being glad we didn’t have to go to work the next day. A wonderful way to spend a long weekend!

 

June Crush

Some things I can’t stop thinking about this month. #happysummer

collage june love

 

1. A how-to for writing on a cake

2. A Farmers Market First Birthday. So adorable.

3. Everything you love about your state, in a postcard.

4. Color code your bar cart. Yes please.

DIY Wellness Day

This past Sunday I hosted some girlfriends for a healthy day of yoga, juicing and massage. It was a great to relax and spend time together, and feel good about it the next day. We had so fun that we are thinking of making it a series.

One of the girls knew someone who could teach yoga as well as our juicing class, so we arranged a private class. Sandra from Latin2Yoga was a great instructor and she got along well with the entire group. She was so laid back and helped the entire day run smoothly.

sandra

The weather held out, so we were able to have the yoga class outside on the terrace. It was supposed to be a scorcher, so I put together water bottles for each of the girls, as well as sweat rags (nothing is worse than slipping and sliding on your yoga mat!)

diy wellness bottles

We started the day at 9 AM, with some light nibbles before yoga class. When everyone arrived, we had oatmeal chia bars and fruit out. I didn’t want it to be heavy, but some people need to fuel their work out, so I wanted to have something available.

morning

Our yoga class was 90 minutes of breathing, movement and relaxation at the end. It was the perfect amount of work and wellness—and I definitely felt sore the next day!

yoga

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After yoga, we were presented with cold towels, scented with peppermint. We added just a few drops to the water to give that high end hotel feeling.

diy wellness towels

Then we really dove into the fruit, oatmeal chia bars and veggies with homemade hummus. I tried new bars this time, from my every day muffins, and they drew rave reviews. I used this recipe here.  We also served cold water and flat belly water {lemon, cucumber and mint, infused over night} as a choice of beverages.

bars

veggies

After we snack a bit, we started the juicing class. It was a 2-hour class, the first hour for understanding the benefits of juicing and smoothies and the second hour for tasting. Most of us are fairly educated on the value of organic produce, so it was a lot of fun to try out new recipes we had never imagined.

collage diy wellness day

juice

smoothie

Once we were well prepped and educated, it was time for lunch. My awesome husband put together a healthy spread of various salads and roasted vegetables. They were so good and so beautiful. With lunch we served iced tea {like the proper southern girl I am!}, my favorite T2 Quince Tea and for a light dessert, I made my favorite unprocessed mounds bites.

collage diy wellness salads

lunch

Once we were good and full, we piled in a taxi and headed to get massages. One of the girls found a modern, fun place where we could get a choice of foot or body massage. It was nice to be able to all get a massage at the same time. I got a body massage and it was wonderful.

As a take away, I gave each girl a box of organic chocolates and some tea to take home to extend her wellness.

diy wellness gift

We had so much fun spending the day together, and focusing on our wellness and ourselves. And, in truth, as I spend a lot of time eating healthy, it was great to share some of my recipes and favorites with my friends. I’m looking forward to the next installment!

 

How To: Polka Dot Party Tablecloth

Do you remember this awesome party? At Charlee’s 5th Birthday I painted this polka dot tablecloth, as well as some striped ones. Since the original post was lost, I thought I’d re-create it here.

balloon backdrop

 

I won’t lie– this is a time consuming process. It took me 2-3 times more time I expected. But the results are awesome– so colorful and fun. I was sad to see them go at the end of the party!

 

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First I washed and dried the tablecloth (I got a blend, part cotton to make it a little stiffer) and laid it out on the floor, on paper.

Since I was working with so many colors, I marked bowls to lay out the color and the look, giving it that perfect, but not too perfect, randomization.

I made a circle stencil for each color, and used acrylic paint to make the dots. Pick up the stencil quickly, so it doesn’t dry to the tablecloth. Let the tablecloth dry overnight.

Drape it over a table and get ready for the compliments!

Happy Mothers’ Day!

I am lucky enough to have two amazing Mothers in my life– my mom and mother-in-law. Both women are supportive, caring, and loving to both of us. These women have raised thoughtful, creative children with an interest in the world, who were lucky enough to find each other. Our mothers have cheered us along our journey, while continuing to learn and grow themselves. They are both amazing examples of Motherhood and I hope some day to measure up.

collage air plant

 

These amazing plants were our gifts to our mothers’ present this year, from Bird and Feather Co.  I thought they were colorful, modern and playful and I could imagine both of my moms with this cool accessory in their homes. Even if the plant dies, they still have a cute bowl. Adorable side note: I asked Bird and Feather Co to include a note, and each mom mentioned how the handwriting matched mine. Cute coincidence. :)

Much Love to my two amazing moms– and all the moms out there.

Unprocessed Mounds Bar

Recently I am obsessed with coconut. Maybe because we are using more coconut oil at home, or maybe because it’s so darn tasty, I want it all the time.

So when I saw this instagram video for how to make Mounds bars in a healthy, whole foods way, I was in.

collage bounty bars

 

Unprocessed Coconut Bars 

1 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened) ➡️

4 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons coconut oil ➡️

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract ➡️

2/3 cup dark chocolate chips melted {I used 1.5 chocolate bars, because that was more accessible}

Mix the first 4 ingredients together {or blend them for a smoother texture} then scoop them into a silicone ice cube tray and into the freezer for 20 minutes. Once out, pop them out of the tray, and dip into the melted chocolate. Then get them back into the fridge or freezer as quickly as possible. Pretty easy!

This treat is healthy and tasty and perfect for guests. Just be careful, as I bet they will melt quickly with no chemicals.

Enjoy!

Spa Party

My best girls and I– the ones that used to stay out late and have too much fun– have {mostly} all turned a healthy leaf. Our conversations that used to revolve around boys and drinking are now focused on health and wellness. We hike, share recipes, and motivate each other to stay healthy.

We decided to put together a wellness day to take care of ourselves. I’m really looking forward to this, as these couple of months are quite hectic. This will be the perfect chance to to unwind and re-focus on my goals.

We’ve already booked our yoga teacher for a private session, who will then give a lesson on juicing. We also plan to get massages and eat a healthy meal. collage spa party

Any other ideas for what we should include?

{images: yoga, juice, massage, food}

Thoughtful Encounters

Lately, I’ve come to realize how much I value thoughtfulness. I’ve always recognized thoughtfulness, both having it and the absence of it, but not given it much weight past that. But it’s becoming clear to me how important it is.

My very favorite yoga teacher is here in Hong Kong. She has been my instructor since 2005 and I have never found another yoga teacher, here or across the US, that approaches her style. Her classes are well planned, leading from one posture to another, preparing you for the next one. Her style is calming and encouraging, accepting and kind, but the attention she puts into the class flow is really what draws me in.

It really hit me with our recent trip to Bali. We stayed in this little boutique hotel in Ubud called The Purist. With only seven rooms, their attention to detail was incredible. In fact, I’m not big on tipping generally, but there we did, as the service was that outstanding. The staff remembered our preferences and took care of our every need. They greeted us by name, made arrangements for us outside of their normal schedules and made us feel special. And their beautiful setting didn’t hurt.

purist 3 purist

 

I try to remember this when planning an event as well. It’s not about how much you spend, or if all of your decorations are the same colors. It’s the thoughtful touches that really make your party memorable. Maybe it’s wraps on the back of the chairs in case guests get cold. Maybe it’s cold towels on hand on a hot day. Or maybe it’s even as simple as a bowl to toss your olive pits. Those details are the ones that make guests feel cared for and special. And, really, isn’t that what we all want?