Monday, August 27, 2012

August Vacation Round Up!: Puerto Rico/Glamping

Who doesn't love a vacation?! Planning vacations are bittersweet for me--bitter because I can never choose where to go and sometimes planning around work etc. is so hard to do, and sweet because I love the fact that it offers me a break from my every day life! This summer I didn't do much aside from some day trips with the kids from work.  I left everything until August (which is also my birthday month if you didn't see my previous post about my birthday wishes) and I am glad I did because it allowed me to close out this Summer with a bang! :)

I planned two pretty opposite types of vacations: 1. to a tropical island with white sand beaches and crystal blue waters and palm trees and 2. Glamorous Camping otherwise known as Glamping haha

Here is a glimpse into how those went:

Camping Weekend

P8100944 new
Camping this summer with my best friend was by far one of the most fun times I have EVER had--and that says A LOT considering I am always doing fun adventurous things like this! It was just the two of us so we really found ourselves dying of laughter as we attempted to light a campfire for the first time and as we got harassed by insects with antennae twice their body size! haha I captured a lot of video to make sure we would be able to relive our silliness whenever we wanted.  I considered this glamping because we had a glamorous croissant and fresh fruit breakfast as well as watched movies at night on the iPad as we sat in the wilderness hahah who does that?! :)

My best friend Cristina, mentioned and shown above camping with me, has an amazing tumblr page filled with the kinds of photos we all wish we could capture when we see something awesome haha--it is quite intriguing I must say ;) Check it out!

Puerto Rico

My boyfriend has so many photos with his eyes closed---I don't get it! lol ugh
photo 5
I visit Puerto Rico at least once a year being that my boyfriend and I have family there. This year I brought my friend Lauren and because it was her first time, I wanted to make sure she had a very memorable time! We had SO much fun! Puerto Rico is a great place to relax and just enjoy yourself, there is so much to do-the possibilities are endless :)

There you have it, my Summer travels in a nutshell. There are a bagillion other photos and videos but there are just way too many to share all of them here.

What did you do this summer?

If you have questions on anything that I am wearing here, hang in there, I will be doing a post on all of the OOTD's from these vacations coming up soon!

Fall is almost here,


Thursday, August 9, 2012

My Birthday Wishes 8.9.2012

Birthday cupcake

Today marks my 25th birthday. I woke up this morning so happy knowing that I had accomplished so much this past year to justify this birthday being that much more worth celebrating. I was using my days on this Earth to do something and make a change to better myself and others as well. To me, those years in between 21-25 are such a bore, I mean yes they are just as important in some senses but you can't really do anything special because of those ages. At 21 you're legal to drink at least right? (I don't drink, but still find that this is pretty cool) and then there is 22....bore...23...bore....24...bore and then WAM 25! You see I dug deep and hard to find something that was unique to being 25 so that I could feel super excited about this birthday and I did....ladies and gentlemen, 25 is the age one must be to rent certain rental cars without an underage rental fee! WOOHOO!! I can now rent a car on vacation as an adult hahahahaha Hey this made me laugh and I'll take it lol

In a more serious world, however, I am so thankful to have made it to 25 a healthy and smart young woman. I find myself to be pretty level headed and I really have big aspirations for my day each time I wake up--that way I am encouraged to complete that days tasks :)

With age, my idea of my birthday has changed so much.  In college it was about finding the hottest spot to have a dance-a-thon with my friends lol In H.S. it was about getting my grandmother to let me hang out and have dinner with my friends at the local hot spot. Now, my birthday means something much different--it means to me that I have been given the opportunity to have more time on this Earth to complete my incomplete dreams and to help others achieve theirs as well while I am here.

I have a project that I have been working on with the kids I work with for a little over a month. I told them that it would be their birthday gift to me (we will hopefully execute this project some time tomorrow).  Birthdays are no longer about gifts and money and cake, but about celebrating the fact that you have woken up another day, a day that just so happens to have a special meaning, a day that you were given to make yourself happy and lend a hand to those around you in making themselves happy as well.

I don't know about you but seeing someone else smile as a result of something I initiated, that warms the heart more than any gift card, greeting card or present.

Here is my suggestion to you: Start a new tradition--go against the norm and on YOUR birthday do something for others instead. It is the best of both worlds really, you get the satisfaction of knowing that you used your special day to show thanks by making someones world a better place and you are also helping someone accomplish something that they may not have been able to do otherwise. 

If you would like--do something kind for someone today where you have to go that extra mile and then in your head say "Happy Birthday Alysea"! --This would be the best gift ever! 

Happy Birthday to Me :)


Monday, August 6, 2012

Spicy Chipotle Turkey Burger Recipe

A few weeks ago I made these Spicy Chipotle Turkey Burgers and they were the most delicious turkey burger that I have ever had hands down! They were juicy and very flavorful with that extra kick of spice from the chipotle peppers which I love! Where I live we are still in the Summer season, although we are pretty much wrapping it up--but I am sure that weather permitting, grilling season has at least 2-3 months to go which means you're in luck if you're reading this in hopes to find something delicious to whip up for your grill :)

Here is the rundown on how to get these burgers:

When using 1 lb. and depending how large you like your burgers, you can get roughly 4-5 burgers. I used a little more than 1 pound and I got 6 rather large burgers, portion size is up to you! :)
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey (we always look to purchase the most lean meat offered, better for you!)
  • 1.5 teaspoons of freshly minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (chop these small so that you don't get that rude awakening as you bite into a large piece of onion! haha
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 chipotle chile peppers still in the adobo sauce (these can be found usually in the spanish food aisle of your supermarket)--you want to finely chop these up to add to your meat mixture
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Season the meat with a little adobo powder (goya) if you don't have this just add 1 tsp. garlic powder and 1 tsp. onion powder in addition to your salt and pepper.  
  • Slices of any cheese of your liking, we chose mozzarella and it was delicious! Use whatever cheese you have on hand!
  • Your hamburger buns

The photo above is more or less what your meat should look like when finally done being prepared.

Once you are happy with the seasoning of your meat, divide it to be formed into burger patties. This is a trick I use to ensure that almost every burger is of a uniform size:

With your clean fingers, pre-divide the meat while it is still in the dish :)

Once you form them into the pattie size you want, grill them over medium-high heat until they are cooked to your liking.  I like to slice a little hole in the middle of the largest one to take a peek inside to assure that it is cooked thoroughly, we don't want anyone getting sick here! haha To give you a rough time it should take about 4-5 minutes per side before you flip for them to be cooked well enough. A minute or so before you are finished cooking them, add the cheese that you chose and as that melts down, you are finished!

Before I was able to capture a photo of what the finished product looked like for these, they were devoured! Shows you how good they came out right?! lol