poke for everyone

When we visited the Big Island a few years ago, we decided to make a stop at the Da Poke Shack in Kona for lunch one day. While I’d had poke before, I hadn’t ever seen the crazy variety of poke as was available there! Multiple types of tuna poke, salmon poke, octopus poke, etc! And while it was the perfect island treat, it was one of those food items that you definitely wanted to take home and enjoy more often!

Fast forward to today, where poke seems to be everywhere! We’ve got it at Costco in bulk, at various supermarkets and there are two “make your own” poke restaurants near my office in downtown Sacramento and many more in the region. This also means that my cravings for poke have increased exponentially as well!

So last week, I decided to make an extra stop at the fish market after Sunday’s farmer’s market and grabbed a pound of sushi-grade salmon to take home for poke! I found inspiration from a wonderful recipe from Daisy’s World, and on Monday night I was quickly whipping up a batch of delicious poke after work. And, wouldn’t you know, it was gobbled up within minutes of me serving it!

Salmon Poke

Yields 3-4 servings


1 tablespoon finely diced Maui onions (can substitute yellow)

1 tablespoon finely chopped green onions

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon furikake flakes

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon sesame oil, or more, to taste

1 pound fresh sushi-grade salmon, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

lightly toasted sesame seeds


Mix together the onions, salt, furikake flakes, soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil. Add the salmon and gently mix together with the sauce. Garnish with a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve, simply make some rice and serve it along with seaweed salad (I rehydrate fueru wakame). (The fancy rice shapes are totally just for impressing foodie 6-year-olds)


Sweet meets spicy on an air conditioned afternoon

This post was sponsored by Starbucks as part of an Influencer Activation. I received compensation and complimentary products to facilitate my review.

Five weeks ago, I started a new fitness routine… let’s just call it “boot camp.” And along with this “boot camp” came some diet recommendations: eat light at night, increase your veggie intake, and (last but not least) try to cut out coffee.

I’m sorry… what? No coffee for six weeks?

There was a BUT in there however… TEA. Tea was ok. That meant I could slip in an afternoon chai latte here and there and not break any silly rules!

PHEW! I say that, my dear readers, because this is the amazingness that showed up on my doorstep just a few days later:

Look at those TAZO® Chai Latte K-Cup® pods!!! All of the goodness of a hot chai latte right from your Keurig® machine!

If you’re thinking I’m a little “too” excited about this, I want you to picture my afternoon working situation:

It’s 2:30pm and the afternoon yawns are making their way around the office. The sun is glaring at you outside, but it’s a cool 68 degrees at your desk as you shiver through the afternoon bundled up in a sweater and blanket at your desk. You want to go out and grab a hot caffeinated drink, but the walk to the coffee shop around the corner will melt you in the 102 degree heat and they’ll all laugh at you for getting a hot drink on a crazy hot day, so instead you sit and shiver and stay put and continue to be cold and tired.

Now just pretend everything is fixed by getting up from your desk, walking down the hall with your coffee mug, TAZO® Chai Latte K-Cup® pod and milk packet in hand… and one minute later your mind, body and spirit are warmed by that sweet and spicy loveliness that is a chai latte. You’re not just comforted by the warmth… but you’re seriously imagining yourself somewhere far, far away from that office chair. Well… until you realize your boss is standing behind you and you have another deadline to hit… but it was nice while it lasted!

I couldn’t help myself and took a spin at making one the very next day:

Every afternoon from then on, I had a little something to look forward to as an afternoon snack/body warmer. And you can bet that I devoured each of those TAZO® Chai Latte K-Cup® pods in succession. In fact, I just ran out of them today and already placed an order for more supplies!

If you love chai tea, and you have a Keurig® machine, you really do need to try these out! I’m still not quite sure how they recreate the coffee shop magic, but they really do!


Alice Through the Looking Glass Coloring Book Pages


I’m a sucker for all things Alice in Wonderland. I dressed up as Alice as a kid. I dressed up Miss L as Alice too. My favorite video game as a kid was an Alice in Wonderland game. I adore all things Cheshire Cat. And I was in a rock n’ roll version of the play in middle school.

So… it goes without saying that I’ll be seeing Alice Through the Looking Glass when it comes out this weekend. And I may just be indulging in some of these fun Alice Through the Looking Glass coloring pages with Miss L right after we do it!


Time to try a2 milk

“This post was sponsored by a2 Milk® as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.”

Some of you have been asking about a2 Milk® since my previous blog post, so I wanted to make sure you had a chance to try it out for yourself!

The a2 Milk Company™ has a receipt-redemption offer for the first 1000 recipients at http://trya2milk.com/. This way you can try it out risk free! While you’re there, you can also enter to win a trip down under to Australia! (That’s where the first a2 Milk® herd was located!)

As for our a2 Milk® intake… well it isn’t slowing down!  

It’s Monday, and I’m running through the grocery store at 5:45 like a madwoman trying to grab things for dinner that night and for the rest of the week. (Why I didn’t shop on Sunday is always a mystery to me!) As I’m traversing the store with Miss L on my heels, she halts in front of the refrigerated section and yells, “WAIT MOM! We need more a2 Milk®!”

I’m pretty certain about 6 people turned to look at us, as they probably had no clue what we were talking about. I turned on my heels and reached out to grab a carton from the shelf. That’s when another woman my age, who had obviously heard Miss L’s loud declaration moments earlier, asked me what it was.

“Oh, it’s regular milk, but instead of having the A1 protein that bothers a lot of people’s stomachs, it has the A2 protein. I’m not lactose intolerant, but I can’t drink a lot of regular milk without getting ill. And now I don’t have that issue with this milk. Oh… and my daughter loves it!”

The woman nodded her head a little, said thanks, and as I walked away I saw her reach back and grab a carton as well.

And if I’m telling people in the store about a2 Milk®, and telling you about it, then it must mean we’re pretty hooked on it. I just hope all the new A2 cows in the midwest and upstate New York can keep up with our family’s demand!

We usually just have a little container of milk in the house that usually expires before we get to use it all. But now, we’re going through milk like crazy!

We’ve got it in our cereal in the morning.

And for those awesome chocolate milk breaks in the afternoon, or after a workout! (Seriously though… I could never indulge in chocolate milk post-runs because it killed my stomach after… and now I’m good to gulp it down!

We even have a2 Milk® to grab when someone eats a little too much jalapeño with their evening appetizers! (“MOM! Grab the milk now!!!”)

We’re lucky now that our uber-local grocery store, Nugget Market, now carries a2 Milk® , but if you can’t find it in your local store, use this store locator link: https://a2milk.com/find/.

I hope your tummy benefits as much as ours has by switching to a2 milk and that you get to enjoy having more milk in your diet without the discomfort!


Spring Break 2016: Williamsburg


After our lovely visit to Palmetto Bluff, SC, we left the deep south and headed up to Williamsburg, VA. Mr. M remembered Colonial Williamsburg fondly from trips as a kid, and thought Miss L would get a kick out of it. She became obsessed with George Washington during their Kindergarten unit, so he thought spending a day in the Revolutionary Era might excite her.

We had dinner reservations set for Sunday evening in Colonial Williamsburg at The King’s Arm Tavern, so we left around 9am and drove Interstate 85 most of the way. After our final pit stop around 3:30, I consulted Waze to see what route it recommended. One option was continue on Interstates, and I believe I described the other way as “adventurous.” Given those choices, Mr. M opted for adventure, so we headed off onto country backroads and through the farm fields of Virginia. Continue Reading