Author: tina slayer

Easy Vietnamese Spring Rolls Recipe

Is it spring rolls or is it summer rolls?  Here is my quick thought on that – I call it “spring” rolls because I think of spring as a fresh season with greens.  Hence, the fresh greens in the rolls.  “Summer” rolls reminds me of the hot weather – so I think of the egg rolls being fried in hot heat.  For the purpose of this recipe – my fresh rolls will be called spring rolls! Ingredients: Spring roll wrapper (bánh tráng) Vermicelli noodles (bún) Lettuce Cilantro Shrimp Hoisin sauce Peanut butter Milk Water Olive oil Peanuts (optional) *Note – I do not have specific measurements because I cook my food from eyeballing and tasting it to my own liking! Using measurement tools just takes too long in my opinion with extra things to wash. The wrappers, vermicelli noodles, and hoisin sauce can be found at local Asian and Latino markets. Steps: Boil the vermicelli noodles for 4-5 minutes.  Then drain the noodles and run cold water over it. Peel and cook the shrimp halves …

Tips on Wedding Venue Shopping

Before you get into all the nitty gritty details of wedding planning, i.e. colors, dress, flowers, and cake selection… finding your wedding venue is probably the first to-do thing on your list! And budget too – the not so fun part of wedding planning. Everything else will then fall into place after you’ve decided on a venue. Here are some tips from my personal experience: Location Using search engine tools like WeddingWire.com and TheKnot.com are great ways to have an idea what venue options are in the area. You should start a list of maybe 5-10 potential venues.  Also, do you plan on having multiple sites?  Ceremony at one site and then the reception at a different venue or will it all be held at the same place? Budget You should have a budget set in mind before visiting these venues. Some venues have a significant fee just to rent the place versus some that have a lesser venue fee. Keep in mind that you need to leave a significant amount of room for other …

Valentine’s Day at Home

For our fifth Valentine’s Day – we decided to celebrate it at home for a change. Don’t get me wrong, I love to dress up and go wine and dine at fancy restaurants. However, due to our hectic work schedules lately, I’ve never wanted to be such a homebody until now. My fiancé made steak for dinner and we enjoyed a nice bottle of wine to pair with it. Pros on celebrating Valentine’s Day at home: Way less expensive (food and wine) No rush because we didn’t have dinner reservations Completely comfortable in pajamas No interruptions during dinner (complete privacy) The food was made with LOVE! You can make this simple and inexpensive dinner yourself, in less than an hour and for less than $25 total! Ingredients: New York Strip (10-12oz.) Broccoli Mashed Potatoes (packet/pre-made) Household staples: salt, pepper, butter, olive oil Marinate the steak with salt and pepper in separate zip lock bags the night before. If you don’t have a sous vide, I recommend it because it makes cooking so easy! Fill up …

The Las Vegas Bachelorette Party Guide

Las Vegas is the most ideal city to knock off all the cliché to-do list for a Bachelorette trip.  So, whether you’re the bride, maid of honor, or bridesmaid – I hope you can get some ideas from my personal experience on the awesome things to do for a Bachelorette Party. First, consider the time of the year you plan to go.  Obviously, you would want to plan it somewhat near the wedding.  However, there are slight differences in what you can do during particular times of the year.  For instance, outdoor pool parties are only available during the warmer months.  But going during cooler months can allow you to go sightseeing without getting exhausted in the super dry heat.  Regardless of when you go, you will have a blast nonetheless because – Sin City never sleeps. Flight I used my travel points on my American Express card to travel for free to Vegas. If you don’t already have a credit card with rewards – I highly recommend it because you can’t go wrong with travel perks! Google flights is also …

2016 re-cap

What an eventful year!?  From starting the year off with a Bieber concert to in between bachelorette parties… and to top it off with a ring on my finger! I am so grateful for the same group of people in my life each year.  Being able to stand by my close friends as they each get married off is such a wonderful feeling.  Seeing my married friends have babies is even more precious!  Although I’ve lost a couple family members this year, I know that they are at a better place.  Thus, a huge reminder to value the time with the ones that are still here. Traveling is something I’ve always wanted to do but find it hard to achieve due to my commitments and schedule.  However, 2016 allowed me to do the most traveling I’ve ever done within a year.  Some spots I hit this year included: NYC – it’s annual thing since it’s not a far drive, Los Angeles – Jenn’s birthday celebration, Emerald Isle – Candice’s bachelorette trip, Las Vegas – Thanh’s bachelorette trip, and …

MVNDC Pageant

What?!  Did I just compete in a beauty pageant?  Yes, indeed.  I’ll admit – I never thought that I would compete in pageants because that wasn’t really up my alley.  I’ve always had this negative stigma that pageant girls were just pretty people with rich parents to support them.  Wrong!  The ladies I’ve met along this journey were highly educated, independent, and represented different organizations as leaders in their communities.  Beauty AND brains!  I had an incredible experience and secretly wish I would have competed in more of these.  However, that’s too late now since I’ll be a “Mrs” in the near future.  But if you are still a “Miss”, I highly recommend stepping out of your comfort zone because you will gain a valuable experience and will develop great friendships along the way.  Congratulations to all the contestants for putting on an amazing show and to the Royal Court!  Thank you to all the MVNDC crew who put their genuine efforts in making this pageant great. If you want to see behind the scenes of this pageant journey, …

The Big Apple

I have been to New York City several times but never on a spontaneous trip. My friend, Thanh texted me just two days prior, asking if I wanted to go. Without any hesitation, I booked my bus ticket. I’ve driven into NYC, taken the MegaBus, and flew into JFK airport. But this time – I used Eastern Shuttle. Eastern Shuttle is a bus service from DC to NYC offered daily and it’s inexpensive. To my surprise, it was a clean, new, and quite spacious. The bus schedule was on time without any delay. The round-trip cost was only $39 with their current promotional code. MegaBus tickets are within the same price range but often delayed and a double decker is way too cramped. My trips tend to always follow an itinerary because I am a very detail-oriented individual and I like crossing tasks off my list. But we had nothing planned for this spur-of-the-moment trip. We went with the flow for 12 hours in the city and I enjoyed every moment of it. What and …

Las Vegas Deliciousness

In-N-Out (1960 Rock Springs Dr.) This burger joint is only available on the Pacific coast, so it’s a big deal for east coast people like me. I gave it a try with the double-double animal style! The burger and the fries came in generous portions, good for those with a big appetite. Overall, it’s a decent burger joint and less expensive compared to a few others. However, I am more of your ShakeShack type of girl. Sake Rok (3786 S. Las Vegas Blvd.) A huge menu (literally) with a variety of sushi to choose from. They also have a good selection of drinks and punchbowls for big groups to share. Aside from their tasty sushi, they also have entertainers. The staff surprised us with an awesome mini dance show. Bacchanal Buffet (Caesars Palace) Make sure you have an empty stomach before coming here to eat your money’s worth! It’s about $60 per person but the food is delicious. I’m not really into buffets because I get full easily and the food quality is normally not …

My Holy Grail Hair Products

The question that everyone (even the hair stylists) would ask me whenever they play with my hair is… “What hair products do you use? Because it looks and feels so healthy!” I have colored my hair since I was a pre-teen all throughout high school. Then, I left it back to my natural hair color throughout college (poor college student). Now, I’m back to coloring my hair again. But I’ve still maintained healthy hair through all the years of color dye and bleach!  Below are the hair products that I use: It’s a 10! Miracle Leave-in Product This is my absolute holy grail with or without color in my hair. I’ve used this after every single hair wash for the past few years. It’s a leave-in conditioner following your shower. Not only does it have a refreshing scent, it also helps detangles and nourishes your hair. You can find this at your local Target and some drugstores. You can also find this in the biggest size they have (10 fl. oz.) on Amazon. It’s worth …