February was a great month! My brother was here for about half of it, and I spent the other half exploring the island with Nick and working on cooking healthy meals when he was in school.
When my brother was here, we did my favorite hike, the Pillbox Trail. We also kayaked to the Mokulua Islands, and he rode his bike to the top of Tantalus. I introduced him to 30 Rock and we had a few Netflix binge-watching sessions while eating our favorite snacks. I love that despite being so far away from each other, my brother and I have stayed so close. He’s only been working for about a year so this was one of his first vacations, and it meant a lot to me that he used his first real vacation to come visit me. I am pretty sure he loved Hawaii because he is already trying to figure out when he can come back!
Nick’s wrapping up his quarter so he’s been busy with final projects and papers. It’s been hard for him to get out and explore, but he did get to hang out with my brother and me a lot. And the other day, we went wale watching, just the two of us. Whale watching season is almost over, but there were so many around!
I also finally got out of my book rut! Book reviews are in progress but I loved all of the books I read in February:
The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan by Jenny Nordberg
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
And, I am finally starting to get back into meal planning and am trying to cook one new recipe per week. It makes life so much easier (and healthier!) when I know exactly what I am making for the week. Even better is when I can prepare some food on Sunday; it just makes the entire week so much smoother. I started a running list of all of the recipes I know how to make so that I can just go to that list each week for ideas and add to it when I learn something new. It has made it a lot easier to come up with meals to make! A few of my favorites are:
Hawaiian Shrimp Truck Special (Garlic Lemon Butter Shrimp) from Half Baked Harvest:
Healthy Chipotle Chicken Sweet Potato Skins from Half Baked Harvest:
And for Valentine’s Day, I made Nick these homemade Snickers bars. Nick loves Snickers and he really enjoys these! I don’t like Snickers the candy bar, but I really like these. They are super easy to make, too!
So that was my February!
This month a bunch of our family and friends also started making plans to visit us over the spring and summer, and I could not be more excited! I started planning a solo trip to New York to visit my family, and Nick and I also started planning to go to California together for our friend’s wedding this fall, so we have lots of exciting things to look forward in the upcoming months!
What are your favorite weeknight recipes?! I am in need of inspiration!