Restaurant Review: Water Street Sushi Room

I can’t believe Valentine’s Day is around the corner (literally two days away). Wasn’t it just Christmas? I’ve realized as an adult how much faster time flies by than when I was a kid. Have you thought about where you’re going to take your sweetheart to eat on Valentine’s Day? Well, I’m here to tell you about a great find my husband and I ate at a while back.

I’m going to have to confess something to you first: We don’t eat out often. I love cooking, so many meals we eat at home.  I’m guessing maybe once a month we go out on a date for dinner. My husband went to culinary school, and has a degree in restaurant management. I’ve been cooking for my family for years, and have developed a love for cooking, and quite the palate. So, again, we love to eat good, local food. We don’t want to waste our money on a mediocre chain restaurant. (Unless, it’s Chili’s chips and salsa… I could eat those every day).

So, if you’re in the Corpus Christi/Coastal Bend area, listen up! Here’s my restaurant recommendation for this month: Water Street Sushi Room. Now, if you’re local to Corpus Christi, you’ve probably heard of Water Street Oyster Bar. It’s a great place to go for a nice, upscale dinner or catch happy hour after work. The food is great, and so is the atmosphere. However, don’t pass up the Sushi Room! The Sushi Room is located right behind the Oyster Bar, and it has a much more laid back feel to it.

We were comfortable in our T-shirts and flip flops when we walked into the place. It was a cute, almost loft-like set up. You order your sushi at the counter, and we were given outstanding service. The cashier walked us through our likes and dislikes, and gave us recommendations based on our preferences. We just grabbed water to drink (because we’re cheap lol), but if you wanted a soda or beer, they have bottled beverages in a cooler by the counter.

After we ordered we headed upstairs to the sitting area. Outside seating is also available,  but it was cold outside the day we went, so we staying inside. There was a pitcher of water with lemons and cucumbers infusing their flavor. Upon sitting down, we saw these little signs about the restaurant being an Ocean Friendly restaurant, which means only reusable utensils are used, plastic bags are not available, ect. I thought this was a nice touch, considering it’s helping the marine life we are enjoying. 

I can’t tell you how excited I was when the waitress set the food down in front of me. You guys, this sushi tastes as great as it looks! I got the Tiger Roll, which, in my opinion, is everything sushi should taste like.  It’s your Cali roll, but with added goodness like: blackened tuna, avocado, ponzu, eel sauce, and tobiko. You get a taste of the sea from the tuna, the sweetness from the avocados and eel sauce, a slight kick of spiciness from the spicy mayo and washabi, and the umami from the soy sauce I dipped it in… y’all it was perfection.

My husband ordered the Padre Island Roll, but you need to know he changed it up quiet a bit. He 86ed (that’s kitchen lingo for “got rid of”) the bell pepper and toasted coconut, and he added fresh ahi tuna and mint. So the final product was super refreshing with cucumber, tuna, mint, and mango. I tried one of his rolls, and it was very refreshing. It tasted like a perfect summer day. I did enjoy my roll better, but if you’re in the mood for a roll with a “lighter” and brighter taste, go for his.

Now, I’d love to hear from you. Where are you eating for Valentine’s Day? Do you have a restaurant I need to try? 

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Delicious Roast Chicken

So, what I’ve been hearing lately is that you must go to France to experience the perfect roast chicken… while it seems like a perfectly legitimate excuse to go to the land of love, I’m not buying it. You can make a delicious roast chicken right in your very own kitchen.

What I love about roast chicken is you can dress it up or dress it down, kind of like a good pair of heels… You can serve it to company with some pretty roast vegetables (think brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, red onions, and herbs) to go with it, or you can make it on a Tuesday for your family alongside some mashed potatoes. It’s a classic dish.

Ingredients:

  • Whole Chicken
  • 2 Lemons, cut in fourths
  • 4 sprigs of Rosemary
  • 4 sprigs of Thyme
  • 4-6 Cloves of garlic, peeled
  • Half of an onion, roughly sliced
  • 3 carrots, roughly chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Butter

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Take your herb sprigs, veggies, garlic, and lemons and make a bed for your chicken. (I’ve used a cast iron skillet, 8 x 8 Pyrex, or you can use a roasting pan.) Reserve about one sprig/piece/slice of each to shove in the chicken’s cavity. Pour a little olive oil on top of your bed of aromatics and season with salt and pepper.                                                       
  3. Take your chicken and drain the liquid from the cavity, and pat dry the chicken with a paper towel. (P.S. I’m not gonna pretend I know more than I do, and I never know what to do with the parts inside the chicken… sometimes I cook them, sometimes I chunk them. Totally up to you. My husband was the one who went to culinary school, not me.)
  4. Shove the reserved aromatics (lemon, garlic, herbs, onion) in the chicken’s cavity. Place your chicken on top of the bed of herbs and veggies                                       .
  5. Pour some olive oil on top of the chicken and season (aggressively) with salt and pepper.
  6. (Optional) I usually put a few pats of butter on the bottom of the dish with the veggies, and a tablespoon or so inside the chicken. It adds nice flavor and keeps it moist! If you don’t do dairy, you can leave it out, or sub more olive oil. Just make sure your veggies don’t dry out completely during the cooking process.
  7. Bake for 2 hours (I normally use a 5 pound chicken) or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Notes:

  • I have seen recipes that recommend a shorter cooking time, but it will depend on a variety of factors: the size of your chicken, your oven, ect. Just be sure internal temperature gets to 165 degrees Farenheit.
  • If you don’t have fresh herbs available to you, try seasoning your chicken with Trader Joe’s 21 Salute seasoning. It has a mix of everything in it: herbs, lemon zest, pepper, ect.
  • You can totally tie the legs with twine and get fancy like you see on the Food Network, but I usually don’t have cooking twine at home.
  • Save the bones to make a homemade broth! 

I hope you enjoy this recipe! I’d love to hear from you. What’s your favorite side dish to have with roast chicken? Comment below!

doTERRA October Promos

Hey friends! Just like that October is upon us. Hopefully, you’re enjoying the benefits of fall weather, but here in Corpus Christi, Texas it’s just as hot as ever… with mosquitoes that size of baseballs. ANYWAYS, let’s celebrate this month with some amazing promos from doTERRA.

Product of the Month (POM): Did you know that doTERRA offers a FREE Product of the Month, every single month? All you have to do is place a qualifying Loyalty Rewards order, and this product will automatically be added to your cart. No promo code needed.

This month only you can get a bottle of doTERRA’s Lemon essential oil for free. This is an essential oil that I use EVERY day. I love to drink a big glass of water with some lemon essential oil every morning before having my coffee. It’s a great way to gently detox my system after a night’s sleep.

Here’s a tip: Keep your essential oils where you will easily access them. I keep 1 bottle of Lemon essential oil in my kitchen, where I can quickly put it in my glass of water. I also keep 1 bottle of lemon by my diffuser because I like adding it to peppermint in the morning to help wake me up before the coffee hits. I keep another bottle of lemon essential oil near my washing machine, because I add a few drops of lemon right before I start the wash to freshen up the load! Try it out!

Highlighted Product: doTERRA also offers a product at 10% off every month. This month is doTERRA’s TerraZyme Digestive Enzyme Complex. This is a blend of whole food live, active enzymes that help with the digestion of our food. TerraZyme is also great for helping our body absorb the nutrients in our food, and helps convert food nutrients to cellular energy. Who doesn’t need more energy?!

200PV Promo: I love doTERRA’s 200PV promos. They have a tendency to roll out and promote limited time items during these months. Right now, you can get a FREE car diffuser and THREE free oils. The free oils are: Red Mandarin, Kumquat, and Clementine. These limited time citrus oils are great for uplifting your mood, supporting your digestive system, and have natural cleansing properties for your skin.

Bonus from ME!

Just to sweeten the deal, here is what I have to offer when you choose to start your doTERRA journey with me:

  • Welcome gift (personalized roller bottles, recipes, and other oily goodies)
  • Private access to my team’s Facebook group (a wealth of oil knowledge)
  • Free Wellness Consultation (a chance to really dive deep into your health goals)
  • Continued Support (to answer your questions in real time from a real person— ME!)

Simply go to mydoterra.com/amandagerber and click “Join & Save” to get started.

Which one of these promos are you taking advantage of this month? Share below in the comments!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

A Message for the Lonely: You are Not Alone

Disclaimer: I wasn’t planning to post this. I actually wrote this months ago. I didn’t want it to make people feel awkward or obligated. (You’ll understand as you read). But… I feel like I need to share because this is part of life, and part of my struggles.

Based on a conversation with other moms a few weeks ago, I think many can relate. My hopes are that by sharing our hearts we can help each other reach truth and self acceptance. So please know, I’m not doing this in an attempt to seek attention, I’m doing this in an attempt to seek healing. I’m also posting this for all other women who struggle with feelings of loneliness to know: You are not alone.

You know that saying, “Nothing good every happens after midnight?” Well, in mom terms that translates to “Nothing good every happens after 9:00PM.” This seems especially true tonight.

Scrolling through social media late at night is just not a good idea for me… I felt pretty good about myself right before I opened up my computer, and now I am in tears. (This outcome is also magnified by hormones LoL) All I could see was the success of others that I didn’t have yet, the parties and celebrations that I wasn’t invited to, and the friends and deep connection with others that seemed out of my reach. 

My heart is breaking. I feel like I don’t belong. I feel unwanted. I feel unlovable. I feel forgotten. I feel a deep ache in my heart. I feel a longing in my heart for connection. Real connection. A connection I had with a group of friends in college. We could openly share our struggles, our joys, our awkwardness with each other without any judgement, knowing we’d have unconditional love for each other…. I miss that kind of connection.

So now who do I talk to? I feel like I really don’t have that one girlfriend that I can spill my guts to. (Update: I know this is now a lie, as so many friends have opened up to me in the past few weeks… but alas, this was my thought when I wrote this.) So I’m spilling my guts to my computer screen. At 11PM. On a Monday. God, help me. (Literally).

I am reading the book Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst right now, and it’s so fitting. I just started and feel like I’ve gotten bits of nuggets from it, but still waiting for my ah-ha! moment to arrive and be fixed… but that doesn’t just happen from reading a book. That happens from intentional prayer, reading multiple books, chewing on the truth (not literally, but mentally), hashing things out with God, waiting, listening, worshiping, and possibly repeating the process multiple times.

What I do know is how I feel, and I recognize these are lies. I feel unwanted… forgotten… unlovable…. maybe I start to believe the lies because I can think of so many events I wasn’t invited to, inside jokes I don’t know, opportunities I wasn’t included in, the times people who I’ve met before literally forgot me. Every time one of these things happen, it’s like a tiny stab in my heart. So I scroll through a Facebook feed and those tiny stabs lead to a gaping hole.

A hole in my heart that people aren’t meant to fill. My feelings of being loved don’t reside in people justifying it. I (should) know I am loved, because I am called Beloved by my Creator and Savior. I belong because He says I belong to Him. I may not belong to every clique or club, but I belong to His kingdom, and that (should be) is enough. I am never forgotten. My God knows my thoughts, my sorrows, my emotions every second of every day… and despite that He still wants me. He longs for my heart. I long for that to be enough.

How do I believe this truth? I know I’m not the only one who has these struggles. Please share your tips and truths below.

Mental Health Awareness Month: Cling to Hope

I didn’t expect this blog post to be so difficult to write. I knew I wanted to write about Mental Health Awareness, but I didn’t know how to approach this article… and not because I feel like I don’t have a voice in this battle. I know I have a voice, a story, and a passion about mental health… but how on earth do I put words to the ache in my heart?

I fought depression on and off from 11 years old to 28 years old. I am only 31 years old. I struggled with anorexia in middle school, late in college, and then briefly after having my second child. Depression has been a part of my life more often than not. Depression is what stole my childhood. Depression is what stole my motherhood for the first 4 years of it. Depression stole my identity for so long. I believed the lies it fed me for far too long. The lies of You’re not good enough. You’re not worthy of (Fill in the blank/literally anything other than pain). You’re not loved.

Y’all I went so long believing these lies were true. It wasn’t until I was about 26 years old and in counseling while I was recounting my thoughts out loud to my counselor. Specific thoughts I had when I debated with the idea of suicide… My counselor was able to help me realize that those thoughts were some dark lies. Many have said suicide is a selfish decision, and I understand that perspective. I also understand the perspective of the one with suicidial ideations… you’ve convinced yourself this is the most selfless thing you can do for your family. You’ve convinced yourself that they are better off without you, that you’re easily replaceable, and that you truly don’t matter. You’ve convinced yourself that the lies are true. **Please note: If you are thinking about suicide, I urge you to stay. Stop listening to the lies in your head. Know that you are LOVED. You matter. You have purpose. Go get professional help.**

This month, and every month, I stand with those of you affected by mental illness: depression, anxiety, eating disorders, bipolar, schizophrenia, you name it. I stand with you, I will fight for you, and I will pray endlessly that you hear God’s truth, and not lies.

Even though I had studied for years about psychology and have a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology, it took my husband to convince me to get help. I was in such a dark place after we had our third child… I went to counseling, I took Zoloft for a while, I continued studying and found Dr. Caroline Leaf’s work from my counselor’s suggestion. (If toxic thoughts are running your life, I highly recommend her book Switch on your Brain). Before we got pregnant with Sarah, while working with my doctor, I weaned off of Zoloft. I started using some holistic measures in place of it (and still do), and after having my fourth baby I didn’t struggled with postpartum depression. I don’t know if you can appreciate the magnitude of that sentence… for the first time in YEARS I didn’t have to battle my mind while caring for my children. Sure, I still dealt with those raging hormones the first couple of months, but I felt the JOY of motherhood that I had only heard about from other moms. To this day I don’t have to take Zoloft, and I no longer have to fight the daily fight to chose life and not death. 

I want to provide hope. If you’ve been struggling with mental illness for months, years, or decades… there is hope. I know, please trust me I know, sometimes it feels helpless. I have many memories of crying out to God begging him to just take it away. I am incredibly thankful He provided me with a solution for my body and emotions.  I want to encourage you to continue to seek help and healing. Reach out to your loved ones. Know that you are loved, wanted, valued. Go to counseling. Provide your body with solid nutrition, exercise and supplements. Feed your mind with positive thoughts and emotions. Surround yourself with loving people and influences. Believe in healing. Cling to hope.

doTERRA May 2018 Promos

Just like that May is upon us. Is anyone else spring cleaning right now? We are working on deep cleaning our home, and decluttering before school gets out. doTERRA has some amazing specials going on this month that can help support your family’s health, and can offer some awesome natural cleaning products too!

Product of the Month (POM): Did you know that doTERRA offers a FREE Product of the Month, every single month? All you have to do is place a qualifying Loyalty Rewards order, and this product will automatically be added to your cart. No promo code needed.

This month only you can get a bottle of doTERRA’s Rosemary essential oil for free with your LRP. This is an essential oil I keep in my kitchen with my spices! You can use Rosemary aromatically, internally, and topically. It’s great to diffuse to clear up congestion and sinuses. I actually have it diffusing in my home right now! I also like to rub a drop on my chest before working out to open up my airways and help me breathe clearly. 

Rosemary is also great for supporting a healthy digestive system, and a healthy respiratory system. Rosemary is also great to use right now, because it helps you maintain your focus and keep you alert and focused. It’s perfect to use during finals! 

Highlighted Product: doTERRA also offers a product at 10% off every month. This month is their OnGuard Cleaner Concentrate. Incorporating doTERRA’s all natural and chemical free cleaners are a great way to take care of the environment in your home. Many typical cleaners you find at the grocery store are filled with yucky toxins and chemicals. Ditch those cleaners, and go for doTERRA’s OnGuard Cleaner Concentrate. It’s super affordable, and the bottle with last you a long time!  

For those of you interested in learning more about the effects of household cleaners, I recommend watching The Human Experiment on Netflix. It’s extremely eye opening, and informative. 

May 200PV Promo: This doesn’t happen every month, so you want to make sure to jump on this sort of deal while you can. This month only, if you order 200PV worth of products, doTERRA will send you FOUR free products this month: OnGuard Sanitizing Mist, OnGuard essential oil, Wild Orange essential oil, and OnGuard Toothpaste. Y’all, I use all four of these products every day in my home. I definitely took advantage of this promotion and stocked up on our essentials!

Bonus from ME!

Just to sweeten the deal, here is what I have to offer when you choose to start your doTERRA journey with me:

  • Welcome gift (personalized roller bottles, recipes, and other oily goodies)
  • Private access to my team’s Facebook group (a wealth of oil knowledge)
  • Free Wellness Consultation (a chance to really dive deep into your health goals)
  • Continued Support (to answer your questions in real time from a real person— ME!)

Simply go to mydoterra.com/amandagerber and click “Join & Save” to get started.

Which one of these promos are you taking advantage of this month? Share below in the comments!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Chasing My Dreams: Meeting Gary Vaynerchuk Along the Way

Two weeks ago, I met Gary Vaynerchuk. Now, I’m blogging about this for a couple of reasons: 1. I want to remember this experience for all eternity. 2. I want to challenge y’all to go out and fight for your dreams. They are worth it. You are worth it.

In order to document this experience, I need to take you back to April. The night of April 15, 2017. I had a dream I was sitting in a business meeting with Gary. Now I don’t remember details, because right as this dream began, I was woken up by a kicked from my 4 year old who is notorious for crawling in bed with us.

So, I thought that was kinda weird, but started getting ready for Easter service at church. I’m applying my mascara when I hear Gary offer his 30 Pitches giveaway. Basically, he offered 30 people to come to New York, pitch their business to him within a 30 second time frame, and he would provide you with feedback.

Now a lot of thoughts went through my head: I should really post about Jesus on my feed and not Gary Vaynerchuk… There’s no way I’m going to get chosen… He’s gonna have thousands of people apply… Will I even be able to afford to fly there if I did get chosen? Whatever. Screw it, I’m gonna go for it.

So I entered the contest. And then I got chosen. And then I freaked out. And then I found cheap flights (thanks SouthWest!). And then I left my 4 kids and went to New York City for the first time in my life. And then I freaked out again. And then I went to VaynerMedia. And then I freaked out again, but only on the inside while I tried playing cool on the outside. But what do I know about being cool? I spend my days with my 4 little kids, so my version of cool is singing all the lyrics to Moana. Whatever. My kids think I’m cool. I got this. Breathe.

I get to VaynerMedia, and mingled amongst the other business owners. There was such an interesting crowd: from social media consultants, to coffee roasters, a volleyball coach, and luxury soap creator. We made our way to a conference room, shaking DRock’s hand and chatting with Tyler while we waited.

 (Tyler is super tall, y’all!)

Gary called us back one by one to give him our pitch. So there I went: a stay at home mom from Texas with a heart for natural healthcare and big dreams. I gave him my 30 second pitch that roughly went like this:

“So, I’m a stay at home mom to 4 kids 6 years old and under, and today I’m pitching to you my side hustle. I’m a doTERRA Wellness Advocate and what I do is educate about natural and holistic health, and I point people in the right direction as to what essential oils would be best for them and their family. Then I help them learn how to use the product correctly, and reach their health goals.”

To which Gary responded: “Great.”

Then: LONG. AWKWARD. PAUSE.

Me: “That’s my pitch.”

Gary: “Ok, so what are you wanting from me?” Panic set in. I wasn’t prepared for this. I just thought he would spit out advice. So I responded by telling him I was just looking for advice.

He starts telling me I already know things he is going to say (which is true for anyone that’s been listening to his content for longer than a week): patience is key (which is funny because I was planning on wearing his Patience is Key shirt, but changed my mind last minute). He talked about collaborating with more people, contacting 5-10-20 more people at night when I’d rather be sleeping, and he also mentioned trying out Anchor, and providing a daily podcast highlighting a different product each day. (By the way, my Anchor station is up and running, you should check it out). You can also find my podcast on iTunes. Just search “Amanda Gerber” and you’ll see my podcast!

We ended with a book signing and selfie. It was quick meeting, and I’ve gotten some really crazy looks when people found out I flew to NYC for a 3 minute meeting… But it was so much more than a 3 minute meeting. Not only did I meet Gary, but I got to brush shoulders with others on his team, and the culture that’s in that building is truly inspiring.

One of my favorite parts about the day was the friendships I made with the other business owners in the room. We stayed and chatted for hours, sharing stories and dreams. I told many about our desire to grow our doTERRA business to a full time income, and my family’s desire to give to our community in big and powerful ways to further the kingdom of God.

To top off the day, after a group of us went out for pizza, we walked across the street to take a photo across the street in front of graffiti wall. The words along the wall read “and maybe I had a dream about you…” I couldn’t have been more thrilled. We took a group photo, and I had a take a photo by that caption, because that’s how it all started. With a dream. I’m still chasing and working towards my dream, now go chase yours!

I’d love to encourage you as you work towards your dreams. What are some of your dreams and goals?