Links: weekend meal round up

In my bloglovin I have “hearted” my favorite posts to always come back to.

I always keep a stash of recipes in there. Here I have compiled a tasty meal with one vegetarian option. These can be used in lieu of your memorial day bbq foods for a healthy and hearty weekend.



These all link back to bloglovin. Follow me here!



Shrimp Cocktail 


Cambodian Beef Lok Lak

Vegetarian Mushroom Quinoa

My favorite spring/summer cocktails

I started working in the food industry, and eventually worked up to bartender in the year 2006. I was hooked and bartended all through college + after my graduation until early 2011. One of my dreams is to open my own bar with delicious food (gluten free with vegan options!). We’ll see how that goes!

This three year hiatus did not however quench my thirst for delicious food and craft cocktails.

Here are some of my warm weather favorites with links to great recipes.

Margarita – this one from BA magazine uses agave syrup as sweetener, which I prefer over triple sec any day. A fine orange liqueur like Cointreau/Patron Citronge make a good sub also.

Paloma – the margarita’s sexy grapefruit cousin

Bloody Mary – my all time favorite. I add 2 tbsp horseradish. Just saying.

Moscow mule – vodka is king in my book, so honor it thus with a ginger beer. Try serving in a metal mug to get authentic (stays colder this way)

French 75 – fizzy with champagne, what’s not to love

Mojito – easy and can be made tons of ways. Just muddle your favorite fresh cut fruit or berries in the bottom. Strawberry and mango are my favorite. Can sub fresh juice as well just take down the simple syrup quantity.


spring organization: beauty and Japanese simplicity

Two things I dont talk about much here are beauty/make-up and home decor. It is not that I dont follow those topics, but rather that I see myself more of a student in those areas than a specialist.

My favorite way to organize and display my beauty products is using simple acrylic storage units made by Muji, the ultimate in Japanese simplicity and clean sleek items for everyday use.


Pencils – eyeliner, eyebrow, lip


Alternative for pencils


Pots and palettes – eyeshadows. cream liners, bases and primers





Other fun items I have-

For earrings and chain necklaces/bracelets:



Acrylic frames in all sizes

Soft boxes with zip lids for storage, medium size too

Tiny travel containers and pouches

Hope you enjoy!



stress-free travel tips

So, April is Stress Awareness Month. Did you know that? You didn’t? Don’t stress!

It is also happens to be primo-weather to get away for a bit, whether it be near or far.

I recently came back from a 2 week long journey through Ecuador and Peru with my other half, it was our first time traveling abroad together. Needless to say it was a difficult adjustment at first, but we had an amazing time!

- Take it day by day.

After booking the essentials – airfare, place to stay, airport transfer, don’t stress to much about over planning or overbooking your days in your vacation destination. If you relax and explore, great things will come your way and you may even meet hotel staff, experienced travelers or locals who will help you with great things to see and do (often at great or no cost). It will make for a much less stressful experience and help you learn new things about your destination and about yourself.

- Leave your pet with a trusted family member or friend.

Yes, cats/birds/reptiles can be checked on and fed every day or two, but for more social animals like dogs and small animals it is best to actually have them stay with someone. It will make you feel better and worry less, and your pet will be less stressed and not lonely. I have a rabbit and left him with my mom, and he was the happiest little thing ever! If I had a cat, I would keep up with his or her evil antics via live stream (DropCam is a cool option)

- Team up.

Travel with your partner or friends, especially to a region that is new to you or there is a large language or cultural gap. Safety is in numbers, and as a woman I always have felt more comfortable to explore with company.


That’s is for now, and I am happy to hear your tips too!







Travels: Macchu Pichu, Peru

There really aren’t any words for the beauty of this place, so a few photos and tips I learned should suffice.
I believe everyone should take a chance to visit South America and it is a must to see Macchu Pichu, even if just for a few days.
Once you explore Cuzco (previous post here) and acclimate, make your way to Aguas Calientes through the Sacred Valley and prepare to have your mind blown.
Staying in Aguas Calientes or the Sacred Valley the night before your Macchu visit, or walking the Inca Trail are viable options as well, look into this if you have time to spend. As we traveled in Ecuador and Peru for a total of 13 days, we did the quick way-
2 days in Cuzco, 1 day for Macchu and leaving morning of the last day to Lima.

Buy your entry and train tickets in advance in Cuzco
Take Peru Rail from Cuzco to Aguas Calientes, the town before you enter the historic park
Wake up early to explore
Take the 1.5-2hr hike up to the site, in lieu of the bus
Take water and sunscreen, use liberally
Hire a guide at the site entrance to show you all of the key temples, tell you history and snap some great photos of you

Buen viaje!





How-to: baked chicken thigh filets

This is a first for me since I did everything not from an inspiration recipe, but my own available ingredients and flavor wants for last night.
These are a relatively affordable for a cut of meat, as opposed to organic white breast meat or breast filets. This comes out tender and juicy, and can be seasoned any way you like.


You’ll need:
One package of six organic chicken thigh fillets
Handful of small fresh mushrooms (I used baby bella, sliced)
3-4 fresh scallion whites, sliced thinly up to light green part
Half a yellow onion, sliced thinly
Kosher salt, black pepper
Cumin, paprika, garlic powder
Apple cider vinegar spray (1/2 and 1/2 water and acv in spray bottle)
Spray oil of your choice – I used sunflower, olive oil great also. Keep it natural!

– preheat 375 degree (F) oven and ready a baking dish with your spray oil
– rinse chicken with water and lay out on prep surface
– pat chicken dry, spray lightly with your acv mix and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Begin laying out your scallions and mushrooms like below on the inside of the chicken thigh.

– roll the filet closed with the stuffing inside and top with the remainder of your seasoning and a light coat of spray oil. Add in the onions and any remaining mushroom slices scattered around your chicken in the baking dish

– baked uncovered for approx one hour, checking regularly for doneness after 45 minutes. Spray once more with a bit of acv spray and pour some drippings liquid over the top of chicken at this stage
– turn off oven once cooked through (no pink center) and let rest for 5 minutes


Serve with your favorite starch or rice on the side and make sure to top the chicken with the yummy drippings and onions from the pan! I served with small red potatoes (roasted with salt and pepper and olive oil, same time as chicken but for 30-40 minutes only)
Enjoy and please make sure to link back if you post or try this recipe!
Tag me on Instagram if you give it a try and post a photo! @whypoli

Stuffing variations:
Add minced fresh garlic to this recipe
Rosemary, sage and parsley