• Foodie Field Trip To Pho Mai Lan

    Welcome to Pintastic Life’s first Foodie Field Trip!  Today we are visiting Pho MaiLan!

    On this beautiful 100 degree day, I decided I was in the mood for some Pho. For those who don’t know, Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup. For the most part, it is made with beef or chicken, broth, some herbs and rice noodles. I know what you are thinking… hot soup on a hot day?! In my defense some people believe that having hot soup or beverages on a hot day will actually cool you down. I have yet to experience that. I was just craving some Pho.

    We arrived at Pho Mai Lan around 11:30am. It seemed like the best time because no one was in there… yet. Apparently, it is the go-to spot for lunch and it got busy. Service, obviously, slowed down (it looked like there were only two servers) but they were still really nice and did their best to accommodate us when we needed it. The inside was nicely decorated and very clean! Tables were setup very simple which I didn’t mind at all—I was hungry.

    I ordered the Summer Rolls as an appetizer. These rolls have thinly sliced pork and shrimp, lettuce, vermicelli noodles and mint, all wrapped in rice paper. There were two rolls, each cut in half, and a peanut dipping sauce.  I am picky with Summer Rolls but these were good. They were refreshing and not too much mint, it was a nice subtle flavor. The pork was perfectly cooked and the dipping sauce had lots of flavor, without an overpowering peanut taste. It was a perfect balance for me.

    On to the main event: the PHO! I ordered the P7, Pho Tai, Chin, Nam. It’s a beef noodle soup with round-eye steak,well done brisket and flank. Mine came out at a perfect temperature for me. It wasn’t too hot where I couldn’t eat it but hot enough to cook the rare round-eye steak.  I layered the fixings on Thai basil, a couple fresh jalapeños, a few drizzles of Sriracha and hoisin sauce and bean sprouts, loads of it!  The rice noodles had a little bite to it and wasn’t too mushy. I wouldn’t say al dente but cooked slightly over. That made sense, right? The broth: A+ in my book! It had a great flavor to it, definitely balanced in flavor. I honestly ended up finishing the broth and leaving the noodles. The meat was also nice. It had a great texture and the brisket wasn’t too fatty. I actually enjoy a little fat to give it some flavor.

    My cousin and SIL got a Vermicelli Noodle Bowl. B4 – Bun Cha Gio Thit Nuong.  The bowl comes with vermicelli noodles, fresh veggies, peanuts, crispy egg rolls and grilled sliced pork, oh… and a side of fish sauce.  They enjoyed their food but said the egg rolls had an oily aftertaste if that makes sense.

    So that is the end our of Foodie Field Trip! Don’t forget to check out the video and we will see you in the next vlog! What’s your favorite food when it’s hot out? Leave a comment and let me know!



  • #VOWTOSTANDOUT Of Your Comfort Zone

    I remember being in the car on the way to Bryce’s basketball game when I saw a tweet about a web show called “Total Mom Makeover” looking for makeover moms. At that moment I thought, “I never win anything but I might as well apply. Why not?”

    I filled out the application form and tried my best to be me—goofy and childish, to say the least—but once I got to the question of “Why do you need this makeover?” I blanked. Why do I need this makeover over any other mom out there? I don’t deserve to fly out for a getaway and a head-to-toe makeover. Nevertheless, I let it all out and then went on with my life. Not long after that, it happened: I got the call from The It Mom herself: Daisy Teh.

    I remember the call. It was a voicemail, actually (I don’t answer calls if I don’t know the phone number). I stood there in awe. I just won something. Holy crap. To be honest, I wasn’t going to go. I was all set on not going. It was the first time I would have to stay in a hotel and fly by myself, and airplanes and I do NOT mix well.

    My anxiety kicked in. I’ve never gone to an event without Ryan. He was my support system. So naturally, I called Ryan and told him the news. There was already going to be a lot going on that weekend but he said he was going to make it work so I could go. He wanted me to step out of my comfort zone and let the magic happen. So I did, and the magic did happen.

    I cannot tell you how happy I am that I went. Not because of the makeover and the free stuff, although those were some great perks. I met amazing people and made such good friends that I can now call my family. This show made such an impact on me that I wanted/needed to be more involved with it. So, I offered to help Daisy with season 2. I figured I probably wouldn’t hear anything from her but then I got the Facebook message that she wanted to partner up. She asked if I would co-host with her.

    From there, my life has changed for the better. No, I’m not making tons of money now—haha—but I have found my passion. I found direction in life that I thought I had lost.

    The lesson here is, if you ever get the chance to step out of your comfort zone, #VOWTOSTANDOUT.

  • No Bake Chocolate Eclair Dessert

    Halloween is just around the corner, so naturally, we’re testing a No Bake Chocolate Eclair recipe in our latest episode of Pintastic Recipes! Ok, so maybe that doesn’t make a lot of sense, but just go with it.

    Anyhoo, the recipe for this episode comes from the Cooking Panda Facebook page. You know those 30 second cooking videos that everyone loves? Yeah, we’re testing a recipe from one of those.

    The finished product couldn’t possibly taste as good as it looks in the Facebook video, could it? Well, you’ll just have to watch this episode to find out. Enjoy!

    Click HERE to watch the original video from the Cooking Panda Facebook page.

  • The Best Damn Vegan Nachos

    I know what you’re all thinking… “FINALLY! A new Pintastic Recipes episode!!” Yeah, we’ve been slacking a bit on getting new episodes up (well, Ryan has, lol) but it’s finally here.

    In this episode, we test out The Best Damn Vegan Nachos by Minimalist Baker.

    As many of you know, Charlene has been a practicing vegan for a little while now and it was her curiosity and enthusiasm for the lifestyle that led her to find this recipe which features a vegan queso made with eggplant and nutritional yeast. Don’t know what nutritional yeast is? Don’t worry… we break it down for you in the episode.

    Now, Ryan is definitely NOT a vegan so ratings were mixed on this dish as you can imagine. Nevertheless, we were both please with the final product.

    Check out more great recipes at the Minimalist Baker website!

  • Baked Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Chips

    Hello and welcome to another episode of Pintastic Recipes! In this episode, we’re testing out a recipe for Baked Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Chips from DietHood.com.

    Why zucchini, you ask? Well, honestly, Charlene doesn’t like zucchini so she decided to step out of her comfort zone and try this dish out to see if she can turn her zucchini frown upside down.

    This recipe ended up being quite simple and pretty tasty. Here are our ratings:

    Ryan’s Rating: 3.5 / 5
    Charlene’s Rating: 5 / 5

    Click here to check out this recipe on DietHood.com!

  • Crack Pie

    We’re back with another episode of Pintastic Recipes! In this episode, we test an internet-famous dessert which came all the way from the East Coast. It’s a super-sweet treat called … Crack Pie!

    This dessert comes from the famous Milk Bar in New York. Ryan recently traveled to Brooklyn on business and brought back a box of the mix so we could give it a try. This pricey little pie (over $40 if you buy it online) is definitely not for you health nuts, but if you’re in the mood for a gooey treat to satisfy your strongest sweet tooth, this pie is probably perfect for you.

  • Vlogmas 2015

    We decided do Vlogmas this year! Vlogmas, in case you didn’t know, is where you post a new vlog every day in the month of December up until Christmas. So follow along and check out what we’ve been up to this month. Happy Holidays!!

  • Low Carb Stromboli

    Low carb Stromboli. Those three words are rarely, if ever, seen together. Yet, there they are, nestled next to each other like peas in a pod. That’s right carb-cutters and health nuts, in this episode of Pintastic Recipes we test a recipe for low carb Stromboli!

    This recipe was submitted by a viewer (thank you Reavyn Williamson) and comes from UpLateAnyway.com/keto. While the recipe was a bit confusing–at least for us–the end result was actually quite tasty. Here are our ratings:

    Charlene: 4.5/5
    Ryan: 4.5/5

    Click HERE to see the full recipe and instructions at UpLateAnyway.com/keto.

  • Vlog: 8.31.15 – Quick Update!

    Hey Guys! Just a quick update for you all! Thank you for your support! Make sure you stay tuned for more Pintastic Recipes!

  • Skoshbox Unboxing and Taste-Testing

    We’re back with another episode of Pintastic Recipes! This time, however, we do something a little different. We’ve set aside our spatulas and gone to the mailbox to get our first Skoshbox delivery!

    What is Skoshbox, you ask? It’s basically a box filled with tasty and fun Japanese snacks, available as a monthly subscription. So, in this episode, we’re unboxing, taste-testing and rating our first Skoshbox. Enjoy!

    Here’s how we rated it:

    Charlene’s Rating: 5/5!!!
    Ryan’s Rating: 4/5

    Visit Skoshbox.com to learn more and to get your own Skoshbox.

    Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored episode. We payed for our subscription out of our own pockets and recorded this episode, well, because we wanted to.