Hi Friends! I’m Natalie Mason. I live in Charleston, SC and I am mom to Sterling 12 , Frances Moon 8 and our mini golden doodle Dolly.



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The Best Veggie and Chicken Stir Fry + Cooler Favorites for Summer

Jun 8, 2016

Every now and then I crave a good stir fry.   I shared this chicken stir fry recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook a few years ago but this time I wanted to add veggies.  I was just going to buy a jar of sauce to use but then read all the ingredients and decided why not make my own.  This meal takes a little effort but it is well worth it. You can always pre chop all the veggies ahead of time to have one less step at dinner time.  

The chicken is hands down the best stir fry chicken I have ever made or tasted.  The sauce is just amazing.  Sterling kept asking for more.

You can use any veggies you choose, I used what I had on hand.  

If you have never tried the Brown Rice from Trader Joe’s in the freezer section it is a must.  My friend Ann recommended it to me and now I buy it every time I go.  The rice gets sticky like sticky white rice which I think is perfect for Asian inspired meals.


|| T H E   B E S T  S T I R   F R Y ||

 1 bunch broccoli

 2 zucchini

1 red bell pepper thinly sliced

 1 red onion thinly sliced

brown rice or white

 green onions for garnish

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon hot sauce

 1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1.5 teaspoons sesame oil

 3/4 tablespoon corn starch

Bring a pot of water to boil and add broccoli and cook about 3-5 minutes.  If you just want to slightly cook the broccoli.   Drain and set aside.  In a large skillet over medium heat add 2-3 tablespoons of oil( I used peanut oil but any kind will work)  add in red onion, bell pepper and zucchini.  Saute about 5 minutes until starting to wilt slightly and then add in broccoli.   Cook for a few minutes.  Season all with salt and pepper.

Whisk together all ingredients from the brown sugar through the corn starch.  Then pour over veggies and let cook a few minutes.  Remove from heat and sprinkle with green onions if desired and serve with rice and chicken.

 || C H I C K E N ||

via My Father’s Daughter

4 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into small cubes

2 tablespoons cornstarch 
 Coarse salt
 freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup peeled and minced garlic
1/4 cup peeled and minced ginger
1/2 cup minced scallions (white and green parts)
Pinch red chile flakes
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Toss the chicken with the cornstarch, a large pinch of salt, and quite a bit of pepper. 
Heat the oil in a large nonstick wok over medium-high heat (this is a gentle stir-fry). 
Add the garlic, ginger, scallions, and chile flakes if using them and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. 
Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the vinegar, sugar and 6 grinds of black pepper. 
Boil on high for 5 minutes, or until the sugar has really caramelized, the vinegar has mellowed a bit, and the whole mixture is dark brown and sticky and lovely. 
Add the soy sauce and let simmer about 20 mins on low heat.


I had a request to share what coolers we use when we hit up the beach, pool or boat. 

Last year for Christmas my parents gave Matt a Yeti Cooler and it is honestly the best cooler.  He uses his often for fishing but we also use it for boat rides and longer excursions.   We have left drinks in there for 24 hours plus and it still will have ice and be super cold.

We have this white version.

Next up I want this version.  Our friends have it and I like it is a bit more portable than our bigger one.

Yeti Cooler

If we are just going to the pool for a few hours I love this Sunny Life Cooler.  It is the perfect size for water bottles, juice boxes and a few snacks- it will also hold a bottle of wine:)

Also HERE and HERE in different patterns

I was browsing through the Mark and Graham catalog last night and they had some really cute options.  I have never ordered from there before but may just change that with this cute wine cooler!  This would make a great graduation gift or hostess gift.  It comes with a wine opener and cheese board as well.  We often go to dinner parties when I want to bring chilled wine and this cooler would be perfect for that!  It also comes in a single version.

Wine Cooler

I also really like this matching insulated tote.  It looks like a nice size for a picnic or playground playdate.

Insulated Tote

I have heard great things about The Scout Coolers as well.  May have to get one of these next.  Our friends last weekend on the boat had one and I really liked the size.  They had this square one and it was the perfect size for food and snacks.

Any other cooler favorites?? 

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  1. Sarah P says:

    I was recently on the hunt for a new beach cooler and some friends recommended the Polar Bear coolers as an alternative to the Yeti Hopper. They have 2 Yeti's (one is the Hopper) and the Polar Bear cooler. We ordered the Polar Bear 12 can cooler to test it out and LOVE it! We pulled cans out with ice on them and the ice lasted for just as long as a Yeti. PLUS they monogram! Anyway, just wanted to throw that option out there.

  2. also look at the RTIC cooler. Just a good as yeti and half the price. almost exact look alike

  3. Scouts are my favorite! So many size options and cute designs and colors! I have one I still use I've had for three years!

  4. Erica Cook says:

    This looks so good. I always turn to you when I'm in a food slump for your genius inspiration. Thanks lady! xo

  5. We have the same Yeti as y'all, as well as some of the Yeti tumblers…and they are amazing!!

  6. Can't wait to try this recipe out.