Buns, Dumplin’s & Blooms

Hey hey!! How’s it shakin’? I am a touch behind on these updates (what is new?)… but I have a pretty chill weekend where I hope to sit on our balcony with lots of coffee and catch up! Currently I am eating a yogurt with matcha powder, granola, & chocolate chips — mmmm. I can’t wait to share this in a few posts.

This post includes highlights (mostly foodie highlights) from in between studying, work, house chores and watching Ozark in the evening, of course! We only have a couple episodes left in the second season- then I think we are going to start the OA!

Okay, jumping right in- I am trying to use up as many of our “dried goods” items so that we don’t have to take them with us on our move. So, on March 28th, I made fresh spring rolls with rice paper, tofu, sautéed veggies, and fresh cabbage mix.

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I made some homemade peanut sauce with PB2, a touch of soy, and topped with a sprinkle of ginger.

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On March 29th, right before dinner I went on a walk enjoying all Spring has to offer.

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In the evening I made pasta for DJ with different cheeses and pizza sauce we had leftover, topped with parm. Pizza sauce is not quite as good as different marinaras we usually use, but still worked!

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I was craving my rice/fish/roasted veggie combo. This kick is definitely still going strong. Since we are out of Arizona’s Heat sauce I’ve just been using brown mustard- still a great fixin’ for the dish.

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DJ has been making himself overnight oats for breakfast most days, but whenever he runs out make him a standard breakfast of eggs/bacon/toast.

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Below are some pics from my morning walk on March 30th. Usually I use walks as a study break to clear my head, but on Saturdays I like to start my day with them.

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I was notified on Instagram that I won a giveaway for vouchers to Hotel Valencia’s restaurant on Santana Row. I have never been into the actual hotel although I’ve passed it countless times.

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When I went to pick up the vouchers I was blown away by the beauty of the hotel’s interior/restaurant! It overlooks San Jose, and the way it is decorated is just stunning. I am saving these vouchers for when my sister visits, so I’ll be sure to snap pictures then.

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In the evening I was in the mood to cook & try something new. I looked at what we had and decided on Caprese chicken. This was chicken stuffed with buffalo mozzarella & marinated sundried tomatoes from TJ’s.

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I then topped with breadcrumbs and put in the oven. Easy Peasy!

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I decided to roast up some multicolored potatoes and garlic green beans to accompany the dish.

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Oh, and a slice of garlic toast too!

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For myself I made rice, green beans, and tilapia. I also had a bowl of the potatoes. Mmmm mm!

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Sunday March 31st, we woke up early pearly for Church. It was a radiant morning.

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At church they had a build your own yogurt bar & donuts galore!

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After church I worked on school assignments all day then met up with Amy in the City for dinner at Dumpling Time. I love going to the City on Sundays- the traffic is so light & parking is FREE!

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I loved the feel of the restaurant. When going back through my photos I couldn’t help but giggle that this girl was doing the same thing as the people on the screen without even knowing it.

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The whole restaurant had a modern twist on traditional asian cuisine. We decided diet coke sounded so good for some reason. I rarely ever have on anymore, but gosh- it was a refreshing treat and served with the most adorable paper straw.

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As you can tell from these pics, the lighting was subpar. Below are the pork bao buns- one of Amy’s favorites.

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I was peering envyingly at the other side of the restaurant where natural lighting was pouring in. I’m not even kidding- we were sitting in the darkest corner possible.

So what did I do? Did I let social faux pas and normal etiquette stop me from literally walking to the front of the restaurant to get a picture of each dish? Heck to the no! Bring on the questioning stares, the raised eyebrows, and the confused waitress who tried to stop me from taking the dishes out the door (I promised her I was only going to the front to snap a photo of the gems, not to kidnap them- she then smiled and acquiesced- clearly, I’m not the first “food blogger” to have stepped in here). PS. Amy was an absolute trooper, and cheered me on through my whole shameless display.

So, on with the pics, ya?! First up we have their giant soup dumpling called King-Dum. This dumpling is so large it is served with a straw. Truly, exstrawordinary.

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Although I didn’t eat the pork inside, I tried the soup part (so good) and the actual dumpling. It was a treat! If you like pork soup dumplings, I definitely recommend this.

Next up were the Tom Yum Goong dumplings with pork belly, shrimp, and coconut milk, wrapped in a beet skin. Once again, I avoided the pork inside, but the actual dumpling itself was one of my favorites I have ever had! The beet skin was perfectly chewy and incredibly flavorful. The coconut milk was subtle, but added a smoothness to each bite. I would say I liked this even more than the King-Dum.

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Now on to the things I ate in full 😉 The shrimp toast!!! This is one of their famous dishes- people rave about it. There ain’t no way I was about to pass it up. It is made of chinese donut, minced shrimp, and spicy aioli. My first bite I didn’t know what to expect, but felt slightly…. underwhelmed. Then I dipped it in their chili & soy sauce- and HELLO, FLAVOR FIREWORKS. It accompanied the rest of the dishes beautifully. It added a nice crunch among otherwise softer foods.

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Now, for one of the stars of the show: The main lobster siu mai with chives, butter, and white truffle oil. You know if there is truffle it is a MUST try for me. It lived up to all my wildest dreams of what it may taste like. So. much. yumminess.

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Featured below are the vegetarian dumplings with local greens, carrot, mushroom, cilantro, and egg. I didn’t expect much, but man, these were superb. I was blown away by the mix of freshness/flavor/texture. This is the type of dish I could easily eat every single day. Nutritious & delicious!

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I’m struggling to find the words to best describe how scrumptious these little guys below were. The Trio of Buns (green tea and milk, beet and taro, and egg yolk bun) stole my heart. This is the type of dish I would drive the over-an-hour into SF for alone. They were fluffy, warm, creamy- utter perfection. I would put this on my list of “must try” desserts in SF. Our favorite flavor was the egg yolk bun followed in second by the green tea and milk bun.

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Not pictured because I lost my shameless steam- the seafood gyoza with spinach skin, crab, scallops and spice chili butter. I regret not getting a picture of these gems because WOAH—-They were a show stopper. Truly, I would have a hard time deciding between those & the main lobster siu mai.

Overall, Amy and I both preferred Dumpling Time over City View. It was easier to get in (aka no need to chase anyone down and sternly demand your name be put on the list), the food was more flavorful, and the presentation was visually a treat! Plus the service was wonderful. Our waitress was very kind- not something you always encounter in restaurants around here because patrons are often treated like an assembly line with the mass amount of people. But if you want the real deal experience with the carts and all- I still recommend City View at least once.

April 1st nothing exciting happened besides us eating dim sum leftovers all day & studying. On April 2nd I went on a beautiful walk while the sky held back the rain.

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It occasionally sprinkled, but it made for gorgeous dew drop photos.

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I even saw this cute little guy!

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In the evening I made a dinner of almond mozzarella cheese, boca crumbles, dolmas, hummus, and a cabbage mix.

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For DJ, I made stuffed jalapeños with Mexican blend cheese, ground beef crumbles, taco seasoning, and salsa con queso. He really enjoyed them, but somehow a super hot chili pepper snuck its way into the bunch which added a not-so-pleasant surprise mid-meal! We suddenly had flash backs of Pepper Gate 2017!

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April 3rd I parked it at Nosh out of convenience with a yogurt with berries, honey pecan granola, and stevia. I worked on school assignments and spent a couple hours planning my sister’s bridal shower and bachelorette party. Her bachelorette party is in Miami, so if you have any suggestions for games or places to go please share! (Although, I did take notes from Taylor’s recent posts!).

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I made DJ some charcuterie in the evening with roasted chickpeas and mini saltines.

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I had a repeat of the night before, but added some mashed cauliflower this time.

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This is getting far too long, so I’ll say farewell, adieu, to you for now- but I’ll try to get another update published over the weekend.

Questions for you:

  • Any suggestions for bridal shower/bachelorette party games?
  • Have you watched the OA? What’s your current show binge?

xo <3

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We’re in Trouble!

Semi-sorta-whenever-I-get-around-to-publishing it weekly recap comin’ in hot!! Last Sunday, the 24th, I headed down to SF in the afternoon after church. Something I adore about SF are the murals on every corner. Every time I’m there I notice a new one!

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DJ had to work all afternoon, but I met up with Amy and we decided to hike a few different spots. First up: Corona Heights!

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It’s a park that overlooks the city elevated upon a little hill that you can climb up to see the best views.

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It only took about 15 minutes total to hike up and down- super short hike, but a great way to see the city!

Next stop: Buena Vista Park.

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We actually were on our way to Sutro Heights, but stumbled across this park on the way. We saw a free parking spot & snatched it. It’s located near Haight/Ashbury and is a beautiful walk. We loved the greenery mixed with lovely flowers & glimmers of the Golden Gate were a fun surprise too.

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Right before pulling away, we had a lady with very broken English tap on my car window. I wasn’t sure if I should roll it down (you can never be too careful), but I have a hard time just ignoring someone. I cracked the window, and she held up a blurry black and white picture of a house and asked if I knew where it was located… uh no sorry, lady. I don’t have every house front of SF memorized. And even if I did no way I’d recognize it by that pic! Hah- such a strange experience.

Next stop: Mount Sutro. This one was a bit off the beaten bath. It starts in what feels like an apartment complex and is surrounded by USCF buildings.

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Once we started walking through the woods it had the same effect of hiking The Presidio– The bustle of The City faded away, and it became serenely quiet. There are so many hidden gems in this city – it never ceases to amaze me.

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Before heading home I desperately wanted to try TROUBLE Coffee… a place that has been yelling to be crossed off the bucket list for months.

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This place is so edgy; I love it.

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I ordered a cafe au lait with almond milk & Amy had their mocha. I had to save half of it for the next day because it was too late in the day to have it all- aka hellllur, insomnia. I was so excited when I woke up the next morning with it in the fridge though!

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They have a small menu, but they are known for their toasts– in particular, their cinnamon toast.

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I actually have no words to describe how amazing these toasts are….

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On the heels of that statement I will proceed to try to use words to describe how amazing they are..

I took a bite of the PB & Honey and thought, “There is no way the cinnamon could beat this”…. then I took a bite of the cinnamon… and it did… all the hype around this toast was entirely warranted. To. die. for. It made me nostalgic, because buttered cinnamon toast was something I grew up on. But this was next level. 

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In the evening I came home and tried to get creative with a meal since I was in the mood to cook. I made DJ a “caprese” chicken with buffalo mozzarella, marinated tomatoes from TJs, artichoke hearts and bread crumbs. On the side I made some toasted baguettes with asparagus seasoned with za’atar.

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On Monday the 25th I took a nice little morning walk before getting started on school work for the day.

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Tea has become nearly part of my nightly routine lately. I went through a stage in high school where I loved tea, then didn’t enjoy it for years, but I’m back on that tea train now!

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I spent some time spring cleaning the apartment a bit too!

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On Tuesday the 26th, I finished up some big assignments and then had a delicious lunch I’m excited to share! It had quinoa, sautéed tofu, hummus, artichoke hearts, cabbage slaw, and green goddess dressing from TJs. MMmmmm!

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My mom-in-law and my sister-in-laws (Renee and Amy) were coming to stay with us for the evening. I had been looking forward to this for weeks!! It was sooo much fun having them here even though it was a short time. They were flying to Phoenix the next day for a little getaway. I wish I could have gone so badly, but the school load just wasn’t permitting it. I saw Amy this past Sunday and had her relay every single detail of the trip so I could live vicariously through her!

We went to Lazy Dog on Main Street Cupertino. DJ and I have been a couple times, but not in a while. They changed their menu & it’s so darn eye-catching and pretty now!

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We ordered a couple drinks to start. Stars of the show were the Huckleberry Mule & Rose Elderflower Punch.

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A started app we tried were their deviled eggs- lightly fried, topped with smoked paprika and bacon candy. The “fried” egg was a bit confusing on the palate. We all agreed traditional deviled eggs just can’t be beat! Don’t mess with a good thing, ya know?

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DJ and my MIL both ordered their PB & J burger with a grilled 1/2 lb beef patty, candied bacon, havarti, peanut butter, grape jelly, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle. They were absolutely raving about it! Based on their reactions I would dare say it may be one of the best things on the menu!

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Renee ordered the pot pie- yes, a real pot pie from a restaurant! This had roasted chicken and slow cooked veggies. I love how creative their menu is. It’s a predominantly  American food menu, but with a twist!

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I had their seared ahi tuna salad. My go-to is their ahi tuna over mashed cauliflower, but I was craving something cold. This hit. the. spot. I savored every bite.

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Of course, after dinner we had to get some Somi Somi! This time I tried the ube and matcha mixed with custard in the cone. Gosh, I don’t know if I like nutella or custard better in the cone– they are both insanely good. I think Oreo is still my favorite flavor though! Matcha is a close second.

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Here is all of us together!!! It was the highlight of my month having them here, even if briefly. It was SO much fun & really helped infuse some fun into the week!

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In the evening we watched the documentary Free Solo. If you haven’t watched it yet, you have to. It’s an extremely well done, gripping, amazing, inspiring documentary.

On Wednesday the 27th, I after dropping off everyone at the airport I came home greeted to this gorgeous rainbow <3

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The rest of the day was same ol’, same ol’. BUT It was my beautiful Momma’s bday which made the day extra special. I wish I could have celebrated with her, but we did from afar <3 Here is the little Facebook excerpt I wrote:

Happiest of all birthdays to you, Mom—truly one of the most incredible women to bless this earth 💕 You demonstrate what it means to live with a zest for life, selflessly love everyone around you, have the most genuine heart, and live out an unshakable faith. I’m constantly amazed by your wisdom, grace, strength, pursuit of adventure and perseverance in any situation. I’m so thankful for you, as are countless others, and today we celebrate beautiful YOU. Happy happy birthday ! I love you! ❤️

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Oh, and she just got a massive promotion at work and destroyed her Dri Tri Championship with Orange Theory! #superwoman

Thursday the 28th I headed to Boys & Girls Club in the afternoon (gosh, guys– I love those kids– I don’t know how I’m gonna leave them 🙁 ). Working with those third graders is one of the highlights of my week every week. The thought of the school year ending makes me want to cry…I am soooo attached..ALSO, I have some hard core baby fever like I’ve never experienced before. We know the timing isn’t right, but I can’t wait for that day!

Anywho-For dinner I made some tilapia with roasted veggies & quinoa topped with mustard. I used a bit too much mustard, but it was still so yummy.

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Let’s wrap it on up here. Hope you all are having a great week! It’s FRIYAY.

Questions for you:

  • Would you be team PB toast or team Cinnamon Toast?
  • Have you seen Free Solo?

xo <3

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Date Night, Nosh & Korean BBQ!

Hey, hey!! Time for a lil’ update, whaddya say?! You know how it goes.. mostly food with a little sprinklin’ of everything else. Hope you are all doing well & enjoying the transition into Spring!

On March 14th after Boys and Girls Club in the afternoon, I made some mahi mahi with Mrs. Dash seasoning, zucchini/squash, and rice for Deej and me.

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We decided to have an absolutely wonderful impromptu date night since the weekend was going to be busy with school work & wedding planning. Sometimes the most spontaneous decisions are the best! We walked to Main Street Cupertino and wondered into Rootstock, one of our favorite little spots.

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Even though we had already had dinner, we decided we still had room to nibble on a charcuterie board. DJ enjoyed some crisp Riesling & I enjoyed a glass of an “Interesting” red blend. Anything with the word “interesting” immediately grabs my attention. It was lovely whatever-the-heck it was! We savored every bite of the cheese board (we ordered a smoked gouda), the bread pieces were deliciously nutty & fruity, and DJ greatly enjoyed the prosciutto. As soon as they set it down I had to say with a straight face, “We are clearly on the prosciutto happiness”. I did get a liiiiiittle chuckle out of him 😉

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Inspired by our charcuterie platter, the next time I went to Trader Joe’s after this I stocked up on meats/cheeses like this for DJ to enjoy at home without breaking the bank. TJs has a really terrific meat tray for a reasonable price.

On March 15th, to shake off the cobwebs from studying, I enjoyed a long walk outside. I shared some of the flower bloom pics in my Friday Favorites post 🙂

March 16th I worked on my sister’s bridal shower invites, blogged, and did some school work during the day. In the afternoon, Deej and I took a walk around… guess where.. Main Street! It was just too darn pleasant outside to resist a little afternoon stroll.

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And this brings us to our first SomiSomi experience that I mentioned in my last post! Little did we know that stepping foot into this little ice cream shop would change our lives (not being dramatic)..that soft serve is a game changer

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In the evening, I made us some cod with roasted asparagus, rice and corn. Easy & delish. I put a little vegan butter & pink Himalayan sea salt all over the whole dish.

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On March 17th after church I whipped up some grilled cheese and some cream of turkey soup with some frozen turkey I defrosted for DJ. While he did graciously finish this up, he so sweetly confessed he is officially sick of turkey haha. Turkey.is.cancelled. (Isn’t that a term the cool kids are using these days?) He really is such a trooper; I promised I won’t feed it to him anymore till Thanksgiving! lol.

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Before running some errands I whipped up some avocado toast to tide me over; I was craving this gem of a snack.

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After a massive trip to TJ’s I was excited to have fresh veggies stocked in the fridge. I made my usual giant salad with Lightlife smart tenders for lunch, my faveee.

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For dinner I made us cod sandwiches with vegan garlic aioli from Sprouts and fresh rolls with gorgonzola crackers.

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On March 18th, I woke up with coffee, avocado smoothie, and protein cookies per usual (this has been on repeat for the last month).

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I shipped out the invites, worked on a few assignments, then took a walk outside. I realized I have been over-running lately (random pain twinges/heavy legs/water retention, etc.), so I have tried to replace some of my runs with a walk twice a week & I’ll tell ya I feel much better/more energized. I also have been trying to do more cross-training, and I can tell my body is positively responding to the variety. Intuitive exercise is so important, just like intuitive eating, but I’d say I struggle with it a bit since it’s how I cope with stress. I’m trying to be better to rest when needed & “read” my body for the type of exercise I should do that day,  if any at all. It has made ALL the difference!

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March 19th I whipped up this concoction for lunch of purple sweet potato, beets, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, hummus, and Fage. I’ve had this on repeat until I ran out of ingredients this week. It’s sooo stinkin’ yummy & satisfying!

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In the afternoon I decided to try out a new coffee shop near us, Nosh. I loved this decor! They even had a perfect study section with a sliding door. I took full advantage.

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I ordered a cafe au lait with almond milk, and was surprised how well they made it since it wasn’t even on the menu!

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In the afternoon I went for a run & loved the gloomy skies. The contrast between the gray skies and foliage was stunning.

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March 20th was a ho-hum day, but I did make DJ some of these Lavash wraps from Sprouts for lunch. He’s been lovin’ them!

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I took my first bath, in ages, that evening. Why don’t I do this more often?! I used the Green Coconut Bath Bomb from Kate, and it was heavenly. I put on a “chill hits” playlist from Spotify, read some Little Fires Everywhere, and, man, I have not appreciated the power of a bath! I understand the hype now!

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The baths were short lived though since on March 21st we didn’t have any hot water. The hot water was lost due to the repairs they are making on that second floor main line break…  I was just thankful we still had water after last time! I worked up a sweat running and immediately showered to try to tolerate the cold. It was frigid, but I was proud of myself for powering through it!

That evening I made a new dinner. This night I tried out the pre-marinated chicken shawarma with rice and tandoori naan for DJ.

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This was a winner!

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I had my salad with hummus, Lightlife smart tenders, hummus, and balsamic. Mmm mm! Of course, I had some naan on the side 🙂

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On Friday March 22nd we had a day, honayyy. I spoke too soon about being glad we still had water…. it was entirely turned off in our apartment again. Apparently in order to make the repairs they had to turn off all the water lines. Well, we were out for a few days again. They gave us shower vouchers for this community club across the street that has showers. We could only choose one day to shower (lol), so people were trading in the lobby of our apartment to get the day they wanted… one of those moments of, “Is this real life”? Haha. I know this is all going to be resolved soon, and we will definitely laugh about this for a while. I hope this doesn’t come off as ungrateful or as venting- I am sharing this because I honestly find the whole situation comical!. I know we are blessed & recognize even just taking a daily shower is a true luxury.

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I ended up going to my friend Sara’s for the day to shower instead, (also.. so that I’d have access to a working toilet-real talk). I parked out on her couch and worked on school work all day. It was a super productive day! Sometimes just being out of the house can harness that productivity since there aren’t as many other responsibilities vying for your attention at home.

Directly from Sara’s I drove to Milpitas area in the evening. DJ and I met up with the couple who will be the pastors of the church location in Austin at Gen Korean BBQ.

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The interior was an industrial feel, clean and modern. Luckily, we didn’t have a long wait since it was raining and us Californians melt in the rain.

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Although I don’t eat meat I enjoyed the marinated calamari & shrimp. DJ loved the bulgogli! I wouldn’t say it’s our first choice meal given the price, but it was a fun experience & it’s all you can eat. Do not go if you are a vegetarian though- they have very limited options in that regard.

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It was great chatting with the couple & getting to know them a bit better. They’re amazing individuals! It definitely provides some reassurance that we know people where we’ll be moving. The guys are already planning to watch some football games together & we all bonded over our love of Cracker Barrel– Apple butter anyone?! Gosh, I miss that place! It’s been a minute since a peg game has called me an “ignoramus”.

Saturday March 23rd I took a stroll in the morning with coffee in hand. On Saturdays that aren’t too busy this is one of my favorite ways to start off the weekend. It helps me clear my mind before diving into school work for the rest of the day.

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In the evening I made a charcuterie spread with the TJ’s goodies I told ya about, blistered shishito peppers and a mix of breads. I enjoyed the prosciutto peppers & one of my large salads with tons of chopped veggies, Lightlife smart tenders, lotsa hummus, and balsamic; I am on a kick!

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Sunday morning, on March 24th, we were greeted by this gorgeous sky on our way to church.

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Here was the cute little team spread for the day!! Love those mini parfaits.

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Sunday afternoon was a blast in SF…but I’ll save that for the next post 🙂

Questions for you:

  • Favorite type of cheese?
  • Any weekend plans?

xo <3

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Friday Favorites #22!

It’s Friday!!! Woohooo!!! I am gonna whip this post up realz quick before trudging through school assignments to *hopefully* find some free time this weekend 🙂

  1. SomiSomi Ice Cream. This stuff is next level delicious soft serve. They just opened a location within walking distance of us! Might be a good thing we are moving because we probably definitely would consume more than is healthy over time. I tried the Ube soft serve (purple yam) & Oreo and DJ tried all Oreo. We both liked the Oreo flavor the most. Purple yam was just kinda vanilla (quite literally tasted like vanilla). You have the option for a macaron or a strawberry and what you want your cone stuffed with. I had nutella stuffed & DJ did custard stuffed! The Taiyaki cone is the best doggone ice cream cone of all time! We. are. obsessed.

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2. Mornings spent outside on the balcony! It’s finally warm enough to enjoy breakfast outside on the balcony again. I’m loving my avocado smoothies with protein cookies or oatmeal and chocolate chips to start the day. It’s so dern relaxing.

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3. Spring has sprung!!! I’m beginning to see flowers pop up everywhere!

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This flower below in particular has a special meaning for me when I see it bloom. You can read about that here.

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4. Wedding Planning!! I am honored to be my sista’s Matron of Honor, and while she really is taking care of most everything, I’m having a blast with my responsibilities. Over the weekend I ordered her bridal shower invites from Etsy & had them send on a PDF file. I then just downloaded the PDF onto cardstock through Staples and picked them up the same day- easy peasy! I highly recommend doing it this way, especially if you want to save money or are on a time crunch! Since I blurred out the details you can find the original template here 🙂

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5. This commercial. Bahahahaha.

6.  Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. I am only about halfway through this book, but I’m loving every second of it. I always highlight significant quotes or elements that resonate with me through my Kindle app, and I feel like I’m highlighting every five seconds. I also grew up in a suburb of Cleveland, where this story takes place, so seeing familiar names and locations makes me nostalgic and feel a kindred tie to the book. It’s a fantastic read so far! If you want to read a synopsis click here. Thanks for the recommendation, Maureen!

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7. Zoya’s August Nail Polish. I saw this color on Hunida and had to have it!!! It is sooo beautiful! Even DJ complimented my nails, and he doesn’t usually notice things like that haha. I was introduced to Zoya by my Aunt a couple years back, and truly no other nail polish lives up to it! I just adore this color.

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I’m reallly not great at doing my own nails (so I’ll spare you a subpar picture of my own nails), but I do talk with my hands so no one can focus on them for too long anyways. Hahah.

8. This video had me cracking up. DJ showed me this over the weekend and we went down a video hole of “I think my dog is broken” vids. Definitely watch if you need a little laugh 🙂

9. Roasted Gorgonzola Crackers from Trader Joe’s. I couldn’t do Friday Faves without a specific TJ mention, now could I?! Oh man, do I love this find! This has a very strong gorgonzola flavor (a little blue cheese too), so if you love those types of cheeses I recommend trying these out! YUM!

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10.  American Gospel: Christ Alone. Today I truly saved the best for last. This documentary has been out since October, and I don’t know why we’re just hearing about it. I could discuss this for hours upon hours, but I will just say I urge everyone and anyone to watch it. It addresses the “Word of Faith” movement, which we have been exposed to since living in California. This documentary debunks the false Gospel that is preached as well as presents the true Gospel in one of the most true, honest, raw, beautiful ways we have ever heard. I watched it twice in two days it was so good. Right now I could only find it on Amazon, but I really hope it releases to Netflix or Hulu soon too. It’s so important- the most important.

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Question for you:

  • What’s a favorite of yours this week?!

xo <3

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**There are affiliates in this post, but all opinions and ideas are my own**

Foodie, foodie, foodie bloggin’ everywhere

Before we dive into the recap, I want to quickly say a quick note of thanks for allll the shared excitement about our move on the last post. After reading your comments and good words about Austin I’m even more excited about the move! I just love y’all!!! <3

I realized it’s been a while since a full recap! I’m sitting here on my balcony coffee and avocado smoothie in hand enjoying the clouds looming over the mountains. It’s my favorite type of morning- the kind that feels like it is on the verge of a storm. I find myself trying to be more present in each second knowing that our time here has a cemented end date.

On Saturday March 2nd, I ran a few miles on the treadmill while reading for school then walked to the coffee shop nearby and picked up a Pellegrino to accompany me on a walk. I was craving some time outside to clear my head after all the intense reading.

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I worked on school work most of the day. In the evening I made DJ some tacos with Old El Paso Spicy Cheddar Flavored Taco Shells from Target.

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For myself, I had some tilapia with tahini, hummus, grape leaves (dolmas), pita, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh vine tomatoes.

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Sunday March 3rd was church in the morning followed by a full day of editing a paper before submitting it. The only picture I have from the day is this somewhat low quality photographed salad (but high quality flavor) with all the veggies, avocado, tzatziki, and balsamic.

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On Monday March 4th, I woke up early to get a run in before hitting the books for the day. Then I headed to Peet’s to camp out at my second home. My favorite barista, Connie, was working. We held up the line again catching up, whooopsies!

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I packed a little lunch for myself of a no-cow protein bar, apple, and a yogurt with berries and almonds to accompany my liquid gold.

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Around 4:30/5ish I headed home, and then started on dinner for the evening. This night it was a margherita pizza on Trader Joe’s pizza crust. I mixed a bit of pizza sauce with olive oil for the base, added a touch of garlic, buffalo mozzarella, vine ripe tomatoes, and after out of the oven some fresh basil.

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On Tuesday, March 5th I grabbed coffee with one of the future Austin campus pastors. It was my first time meeting her, and we hit it off immediately!! I officially have at least one friend in Austin! Also, Crema, the coffee shop where we met in San Jose is my kinda coffee shop- it’s so warm, eclectic, and has great rainy day vibes. I will have to go back soon to work on some assignments & snag some photos. The coffee was wonderful & served in a steaming mug!

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After returning from our coffee date mid-morning I was craving a snack. I had a no cow protein bar & Power of Seven juice from TJ’s. I am not a huge “juice” person, but I’m obsessed with this stuff. It tastes great and I feel energized almost immediately upon sipping it. I feel like it’s nourishing every cell in my body.

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Dinner was just leftovers from the night before.

Wednesday, March 6th I had a hair appointment in the morning. It was long overdo! I am trying to incorporate my roots back into my blonde so I can go longer and longer without getting my hair done- the last time I had this done was super early December, and I’m hoping to go until July this time!

Thursday March 7th, I had a protein bar to start the day, then for lunch had a purple sweet potato with vegan “meat” crumbles, vegan mozz cheese, and Fage with red crushed pepper.

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For dinner I made us grilled cheese and tomato soup! I just use vegan cheese for mine.

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On March 8th in the morning I was running a bit low on groceries, but I made together a bowl of dragonfruit smoothie, Fage yogurt, and PB powder.

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Mid-morning I had toast with avocado, tzatziki, and hummus over Dave’s toast- mmmm mmmm!

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I was out of my protein cookies at this point, so I whipped up some more to accompany my morning avocado smoothies!

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For dinner I made DJ gyros with tzatziki and tomatoes over pita. I had one of them big garden trough salads, as I call em’.

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Saturday March 9th, I did this workout from Fitness Blender, then the rest of the day must have been allll in the books, since I have zero pics.

Sunday March 10th, at church they had a little yogurt/berry/granola bar. MMmm! I had already had breakfast, but who can resist that?!

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My phone broke at this point & I needed to get a new one *sigh*. I was excited to upgrade, but also wish I could have gone a little longer. They did have an AWESOME trade in deal for the Iphone that was not going to continue much longer, so I had to take advantage of that while I could. Anyways, I’m pretty stoked about the new phone and am excited to upgrade my pics too!

In the evening I made dosa and TJ’s Indian food. I have never made dosa at home before- I think it’s supposed to be a bit thinner than it turned out, but the flavor was absolutely delectable. It almost is like a healthier version of a pancake! I actually ate the leftovers the next morning with butter and syrup & it did taste just like eating pancakes. They are made with rice and lentils, so much healthier than regular pancakes too. If you are looking for a healthy pancakey indulgence, I’d recommend these! I bought the mix from a local Indian food grocery store, but I bet you can find it in regular grocery stores.

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March 11th was a ho-hum day. All the veggies were starting to look wilted, so I sautéed up all the veggies in a pan and topped with Fage and tons of different seasonings all over a purple sweet potato.

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March 12th, I ran to the Post Office to drop off some Poshmark items. (woot woot!). Love that site. I will say, you have to be very patient. I suggest spending one day posting all your items, and every month slowly drop the price! Things will randomly sell out of nowhere that I’ve had posted for over five months. They send the shipping label straight to your e-mail, so it’s easy peasy (much easier than Ebay).

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In the evening, I realized the flowers were all the way dried out from Valentine’s Day, so I clipped them from the stems and put them in my bowl of “Roses from DJ” 🙂

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On the morning of March 13th, I made some dragonfruit over toast with PB2 powder on top! This is one of those “we-are-low-on-groceries-what-can-I-make?” snacks that turned out really yummy. I have been repeating this almost everyday since!

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I turned in a big assignment for school and then in the afternoon headed to the mall (groan!). BUT it was successful! I was going to a blogging event and wanted to grab a new shirt since I haven’t bought a new shirt in ages. I feel like all I like to buy are dresses haha. I found an $11 shirt from Zara & paired it with a belt and some earrings from Express and Francesca’s. I am good on shopping for about six more months- it wears me outttt haha.

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Anywho- I have to take a minute to say I am officially much better at curling my hair! If you’ve been here for a while, you’ll know that I literally did not know how to curl my own here a year ago. It’s been a work in progress, but I’m getting better!

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In the evening I was invited to Flights to sample out their new menu by celebrity Chef Kyle Kingrey. 

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Tammy was my guest for the night & it was soo much fun having her there! Thanks for going, Tam, and lighting up all the dishes for meh 🙂

Let’s get started! We were all able to order a drink flight to start (there were about 8 other food bloggers there). I ordered the champagne since I thought it was make for good pics with the bubbles 😉 I sampled the different champs & was blown away by how crisp & delicious they were! Highly recommend !

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So, Flights totally revamped their menu. They have some classic favorite flights (like their fry flight) but now have all of one item flights and actual entrees! Chef Kyle came to the table and told us all about how they chose each dish specifically based on research from the area. It was interesting to hear what goes into the creation of a menu! He explained the goal is to make dishes that allow you to try a variety of flavors that doesn’t leave you feeling bloated or uncomfortable by the end of the meal and that also pair well with drinks for socializing. By the end of the tasting I can say mission accomplished! They also have options for every need- vegan, vegetarian, gluten free… and they will do their best to accommodate additionally if needed.

First up were the corn tostadas with avocado mousse and cojita cheese. I loved these!

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Next up were the truffle & parmesan croquettes- anything truffle has my attention! These I will order again! They were such a yummy app with truffle crema, grana, and fresh herbs.

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Coming in HOT- the red chili empanadas with fresno pepper, oaxaca cheese, and cilantro-line crema. These weren’t my favorite- but that’s because I’m not a big fan of a lot of that thick breading that often makes up empanadas. I will say the inside with the oaxaca cheese was just scrumptious & I loved the red chili flavor.

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Next round! We tried the Ancho BBQ Shrimp with black beans, pico de gallo, and cilantro. YUM! This shrimp was soo juicy.

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Then we had smoked paprika salmon with crispy falafel, mint-lime raita, and cilantro. This was my favorite dish!!! When it was set down on the table the smell of it engulfed us and the flavor was truly phenomenal. The salmon nearly fell off the fork it was so perfectly cooked- like butter. The falafel underneath was a perfect accompaniment.

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One of my favorites has always been their tuna flight! Once again I was amazed at the fresh, savory, light refreshing flavor of each type of tuna.

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The Korean “Buffalo” Chicken was next. This had celery & carrot slaw with creamy blue cheese. I didn’t want to tempt my fate with meat, but Tammy said they were great!

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And last up, their spaghetti and meatballs. Okay, confession- I really don’t care for spaghetti. There are just so many other types of pastas I’d choose first. But everyone seemed to really enjoy it- so if you do like this classic dish, I bet you’d enjoy this dish!

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Thank you, Flights, for the incredible meal!!!

Question for you:

  • HOW IS IT MARCH 20th ALREADY?!?!
  • Which dish would you like to try from Flights?

xo <3

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**Flights provided the meal free of charge, but all opinions and ideas are my own** 🙂

Huge Announcement! We are moving to….

Hey y’all!! I’m pretty excited to finally publish this post 🙂 I wanted to get all caught up on everything else before I filled in all these deets. So, many of you might know that DJ has been applying for grad schools. Well, I’m so stinkin’ excited to announce he was accepted into his #1 choice and we are moving to Austin, Texas this summer!!! I am so dern proud of him & happy for him (us)!!

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It’s pretty cool how this all came together, and I truly believe God’s hand has been in this whole process.

So y’all know how much I love the Bay Area. DJ loves it too, but I adore it on anotha level. When DJ started talking about applying for grad schools out-of-state, I became uneasy. The thought of leaving filled me with a twinge of dread. We love our life here, although we had never planned on staying here past a few years. I would have gone wherever he wanted and knew the move was inevitable… but I couldn’t wrap my head around the actual reality of leaving this place we now call home. However, when he said he was interested in a school in Austin, I surprisingly found myself excited and at peace about the idea.

DJ meticulously perfected his application. We prepped for his interview together into the late hours of many evenings. And finally…*the* weekend came! The interview seemed to go well (of course DJ humbly downplayed just how well; if he says it went “pretty good” that means he knocked it out of the park). We flew back from that weekend ecstatic and hopeful as ever! Seeing just how badly he wanted this made me want it for him all the more.

Fast forward a month later. DJ gently woke me up super early in the morning. The only other time he has done that was to tell me our fish died (RIP Spanky Tom), so I panicked. Immediately he told me with all his typical DJ composure that he was accepted. Well, I lost any semblance of composure and jumped up & fist pumped the air about a hundred times. We hugged, I cried… it all became official… We are moving to Austin. We both feel an overwhelming peace about saying goodbye to our Bay Area home, an emotion I never thought would coexist with the idea of leaving. Oh, and logistically, I’ll be able to continue school online and fly to NC for on-campus intensives/ do my clinicals locally for those wonderin’.

We are probably going to move in June/July depending on apartment move-in dates and our schedules. I’m feeling nostalgic writing this as I started this very blog to record our California adventures….. but we are ecstatic to start this next chapter…. next stop: The Lone Star state!

SLAPFISH Review!

Hello, my Friends! I am stoked to announce  SLAPFISH has arrived in the Bay Area, and better yet, in San Jose! I was invited by another food blogger (@fooodiemon) & SLAPFISH to promote their Grand Opening.

As a pescatarian, I take my seafood very seriously. And I am pleased to say I give SLAPFISH a big ol’ slap of approval for their sustainable, fresh, and incredibly yummy dishes. The menu has a plethora of options from the light and healthy to indulgent comfort foods you can trust. I dare say this is the new “it” spot for fast casual nomz in town. So let’s get to it, shall we?!

Enter 5297 Prospect Road into your GPS and I’ll see ya there…

 

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Upon entering, I love the nautical vibe! Let’s order at the counter, and we can’t forget to order one of their teas- I am going for the unbelievably tasty Berry Patch Haymaker.

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Time to get to the foood!

First up, The ULTIMATE Fish Taco. It lives up to it’s name. This comes either grilled or crispy with cabbage, “awesome sauce” (I concur… it is awesome), and pickled onion. The cohesive mix of flavors packed in each bite of this is mouth-wateringly delicious. I personally would order it grilled, but if you like that “fried fish” flavor, then go for crispy!

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Next up! The Power Bowl. If you are craving something extremely healthy, yet delicious, this is your dish! It has mixed-grill seafood, brown rice, crisp veggies, avocado, and extra virgin olive oil. The shrimp in it is so juicy- the word that keeps flashing in my mind with each bite is *FRESH*FRESH*FRESH*.

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If you are wanting something with a satiating mixture of flavors and textures- go for the Poke Bowl! They promise to serve only the freshest tuna, seasoned rice, and chips with greens.

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And if you are looking for something more simple, yet still filling & scrumptious go for the Grilled Fish Bowl. This has your choice of daily (yes, DAILY) fish, seasoned rice, herb sauce, and hand picked salad.

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Now, time for the Clobster Grilled Cheese!! This is a dish I am adding to my “Must Try” list for the San Jose area. This contains a melting mix of lobster, crab and a creamy herb sauce. Excuse me for a moment while I enjoy every. single. bite.

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Now, for the grand finale! For years I have said Sam’s Chowder House has the best Lobster Roll around, but this may have changed after trying The Lobster Roll at SLAPFISH. I was astonished at the generous portions of the lobster meat, the way they overpack the sandwich, the bursting flavor and the value. An issue I have with many lobster rolls is how often the butter masks the flavor of the lobster rather than enhance it- with this one it is only lightly drawn with butter, so the lobster flavor comes through in all its glory!

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Don’t forget the fries! Their fries and the house sauces are top-notch!

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People have asked for my favorite dish… and it’s insanely hard to choose. I think I would go with the lobster roll because it’s just so well done & flavorful. But the Clobster stole my heart with the mixture of cheese AND seafood. For a daily go-to dish I think I’d choose either the Poke Bowl or Power Bowl! The good news is, you cannot go wrong with whatever you choose! Thank you, SLAPFISH, for the wonderful food and welcome to The Bay!

If you want to catch more food adventures of mine check out @mackncheeeesy (But you will find them here on this blog too 🙂 ).

Question for you:

  • Which dish are you interested in trying the most?

 

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**Disclaimer: This food was provided to me with no fee by SLAPFISH, but all opinions, pictures, and ideas are my own**

Recent Eats Roundup!

Hello one & all! I can’t even start this post without first discussing a very important matter: Did you watch the Bachelor earlier this week?!? Hooooly smokes, that episode… I dare say it was the most dramatic episode I have ever seen (WTA was nuts too). Would love to hear your thoughts. Our jaws were on the floor in disbelief… and I actually kinda knew spoilers (they were so hard to avoid this season), but watching it play out was just … wowza.

So since our little Staycation in SF, it’s been pretty hum-drum with work, school work, and general life maintenance. This post basically highlights some our favorite things we’ve munched on the past couple weeks with little random tidbits sprinkled throughout.

I mentioned how I wasn’t feeling 100% going into our best SF weekend, but just ignored the bug creeping in. Wellll, although I survived our time in The City, when I woke up on February 17th, I felt like a train had hit me. I think I overdid it a bit, but still wouldn’t have changed anything! I was basically bed-bound for the day and watched church online. Also if you are interested in our church’s sermons you can find them here. For breakfast I was craving something warm & comforting- so I enjoyed a purple sweet potato with Fage, avocado, boca crumbles, vegan cheese, hummus, and tzatziki.

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On February 18th, aka Bachelor Monday, I woke up feeling much better. Not 100%, but definitely more like a human being. I started my day with oatmeal, blueberries, fage, protein powder, and a sprinkle of stevia.

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February 19th, we woke up to no water in our apartment. A HUGE main water line broke on the second floor of the building environmentally evicting everyone on that floor & shutting down businesses nearby 🙁 We ended up having no water for about three days. I have told people it was like experiencing our very own Fyre Festival. I had to make a couple trips to the local Target to stock up on gallons of water. Let me say, I have never been so thankful & relieved to take a full shower when the water came back on. I will never take a shower for granted again. On that morning I was craving a cafe au lait, so I went to the Starbucks located inside the Tarjay where I stocked up on some water.

This is a new one to add to the list, Cyra! “Nancy”… “Mackenzie”….. Same diff.

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When I got home I dumped my cup into an actual coffee mug to rewarm it- gotta have it pipin’ hot.  Also, I am back on my avocado smoothie kick . I paired this with some oats topped with granola. I love mixing these textures & flavors.

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One of my favorite snacks during the day was a brioche grilled cheese with TJ’s vegan cheese & tomato soup. Mmm. Since I still wasn’t totally up to par, this was a great little combo.

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In the evening I went to School of Leadership with my dinner packed in hand. I had to leave the house at 6 to get there by 7 because of traffic (even though it’s only 15 mins without). We are there till 9:30 ish so I had to make sure to pack my food.. otherwise my hangry Hyde would come out of hiding. No bueno.

On February 20th I woke up with the same avocado smoothie. Midday for a study break I concocted a snack of purple sweet potato, an over medium egg, hummus, more avocado with pink Himalayan sea salt and crushed red pepper.

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In order to clear my head in the afternoon I got a quick run in on the tread & lifted some weights. I’ve been doing short little 10 min lifting workouts every few days and am loving how much stronger I feel in general. It’s not much- only up to about 5- 12.5 lb. dumbbells, but it’s an improvement!

After, I threw together my trough salad with alll the whole garden, vegan crumbles, cheese, and tons of hummus.

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February 21st I baked us tilapia with brown rice and roasted zucchini with Koop’s Arizona heat all over it. That sauce is tooooo tasty. I know it’s a bit much to just slather the whole dish with it, but it’s that good & goes with everything.

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February 22nd was more Avo smoothie for breakfast and this time I topped it with some granola.

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So, here’s a picture of the second floor after the flood. They had to rip out the entire carpet and flooring. I feel awful for the people that live there.. our main elevators are broken because of it now too. Ugh, what a mess.

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Anywhoooo, that evening DJ and I decided on a little easy date night. There is a new spot that opened on Main Street in Cupertino that looked like a fun vibe. We decided to give it a go.

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We arrived around 6:30 pm, and basically had the whole place to ourselves. I loved the interior- I’d describe it as a chic sports bar.

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We weren’t planning on having a full dinner, just a drink & an appetizer. We shared a platter of their house potato chips & dip. Okay, I’m not a big potato chip person, but these were ridiculously yummy. That dip *insert drooling emoji*…. mmmmm!

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& It paired well with their beautiful paper crane martini. This was a tiny too sweet for my liking, but still good- I think most people would enjoy it. I just really don’t prefer mixed drinks- Every time I try to venture out I just end up wishing I’d ordered a simple glass of wine instead– they just taste “sticky” to me, lol. but hey, it was pretty!

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When we came home I made our dinner-dinner. For Deej: a Bubba Burger with french onion straws, gruyere cheese, and ketchup/mustard.

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For me: fish, roasted beets, roasted eggplant, and brown rice. I was on a kick of fish that week. Also, I’ve been using the original Mrs. Dash which has been a total game changer in seasoning. Although I still have to mix in my pink himalayan sea salt 😉

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February 23rd was a long study day. Then in the evening I made us another meal of tilapia, roasted zucchini, and brown rice.

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Sunday the 24th we went early to serve at Church- I loved this idea from hospitality team! Bahaha. Their puns are on point.

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For lunch I had some oatmeal with frozen raspberries, almonds, coffee protein powder, and Fage.

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DJ enjoyed an after-Church snack of a caprese salad with pita chips, hummus, and salsa con queso. The pita chips from TJ’s are perfectly salty, crunchy & versatile- they go with basically any dip.

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That evening I made DJ another burger & whaddya know I had fish with brown rice and tons of veggies (Don’t worry- I won’t post such a redundant shot).

804a889f-1177-4a12-ac22-e7b0f198d4bc February 25th I submitted a paper and took a big breath of relief. We were getting really low on groceries by this point, so time to get creative again. I mixed some cauli mashed potatoes with cottage cheese warmed up with black bean burger and hummus. Sounds a bit strange, but it was reallly savory and delicious.

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You know at some point tacos had to be in the mix! Caprese salads actually pair pretty well because they are so light & refreshing mixed with the spicy tacos.

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I had a stuffed sweet potato with about four egg whites with veggies, hummus, and cottage cheese (most of it is under the egg), and tabasco in lieu of tacos since I was out of boca meat. It was a surprisingly great combo.

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February 26th I baked up some of my PB & chocolate oatmeal protein bites to have with avocado smoothies in the mornings.

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In the evening we had our last school of leadership. I have officially completed the first session! There are three total. I’m not sure I’ll be able to do all three right now, but after a little break I may do #2 in a month…. we’ll see! I really enjoyed the first round & learned a ton.

In the morning of Wednesday the 27th I had to run to the store for a few items, and looked to my right greeted by a double rainbow. Not a bad way to start the day 🙂 There have been buckets upon buckets of rain here lately that I feel like I’ve seen more rainbows in a couple months than my entire life combined.

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After being cooped up with school all day, I was ecstatic to get out of the house and meet up with some dear friends from my nursing cohort. I decided to walk to Santana Row to clear my head (it’s about a four mile walk). We’d be finishing dinner when DJ left work, so he said he’d just pick me up since it’s right on the way home. On my way I saw this license plate…. ha! Love this person’s sense of humor.

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We met up at Pizza Antica again. You may remember the last time we met up back in September!

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I had the goat cheese and kale pizza… one of my favorite pizzas I’ve ever had. It was actually way better than the pizza I had last time I was here too. Their homemade crust is realllly well done.

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On Thursday the 27th, I was out of avocados, but I whipped up a dragonfruit bowl and had it with two protein bites.

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For a snack at some point I had a stuffed sweet potato with hummus, cottage cheese, and tomatoes.

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For DJ I put together two gyros with meat from TJ’s with vine ripened tomatoes and tzatziki sauce on fresh pita.

8248bf79-a6f3-4df6-a060-d717baf6f60a4d9f799c-36a8-4166-91f4-e1c4937c6ed3Friday morning of March 1st I did a HITT routine through Fitness Blender to start the day! In the evening I went to a food blogger event 🙂 Can’t wait to share that in another post.

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Question for you:

  • Are you on any food kicks lately?

xo <3

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SF Staycation Part 3: La Taqueria & Urban Putt!

Heyyy ya! How are you? I’m quickly going to wrap up our second half of our big San Francisco day, mostly through pictures.

If you missed our first half of the weekend you can check it out here:

Part One 

Part Two 

After Strawberry Hill, DJ and I went to check out the rest of the park. We just strolled around and passed some notable museums like the de Young Museum, the California Academy of Sciences, Spreckels Lake, and random little monuments.

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On our drive out we drove passed the Bison Paddock, a little fenced area that houses real Bison. We were skeptical that actual Bison existed in the middle of San Francisco, but they doooo!

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We then met up with Amy and all decided to grab some lunch together. I just love that she lives here. We went to  La Taqueria, one of the most popular Mexican spots in town.

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The line was out the door–it always is every time I pass it- a sign of great food! We waited about 45 minutes and finally got to the front.

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I ordered their veggie burrito. It was very good… but I wouldn’t say it was the best I’ve ever had. I love when tortillas are kind of crispy, and this was a bit doughy. But the fixin’s & added house hot sauce was a terrific combo. Not worth the wait I’d say, but still a really solid burrito.

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We drove a little way down the road and walked around the Clarion Alley Mural Project. The history behind this is really fascinating- it is a grassroots movement of art that began in 1992 and promotes culture, dignity, and empowerment of the marginalized.

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^^ Despite the fact that I have trypophobia and this picture really freaks me out, I still thought it was too cool not to share.

We then went to another place on the BL- Anchor Brewing SF.

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This is a great place to just hangout on a Saturday afternoon. I had their unfiltered anchor steam, a brew you can only get in their brick and mortar brewery- I really enjoyed it….I even got it in a Merry Christmas glass- so bonus points!

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Also, I captured my matte nails that in the natural lighting. I haven’t done these in a while, and I was pretty pleased how they turned out, although I messed up the thumb a bit, oh welllls!

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We then went to the close by Urban Putt– an indoor mini golf course & restaurant.

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We said we would have some “light” appetizers since we had our burritos barely a couple hours before. L to the O to the L. This is what we ended up ordering…

Empanadas with roasted pumpkin, queso fresco and pasilla pepper filling with creamy chipotle pepper sauce on a masa crust…

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Chicken and waffle skewers with vermont maple syrup…

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A side of broccolini….

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The Fairway Deep Dish Pizza with mozzarella, parmesan, provolone, white cheddar, tomato sauce and basil….

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& UP Poutine with Kannebec Fries, beef short rib gravy, garlic, and herb marinated cheese curds.

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“Light appetizers”…😆

Our review? The fries were our favorite across the board. I love cheese curds- mmm mmmm. The broccolini was my second favorite- the flavor was spot on. The empanadas were yummy too. We surprisingly thought the pizza was a bit subpar- disappointing because it looks like cheesy gooodness, it was just lacking some kinda flavor kick.

Now- time to golf! The downstairs of the building turns into a giant mini golf course.

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The wait was insane- at least an hour- but we finally got up to the front.

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Each course was so unique with tons of odes to the city & interesting themes. It was a lot of fun, but we had a realllllly obnoxious family right ahead of us that were actually pretty disrespectful to everyone else- that was the only downside.

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In the hole below, the ball actually hit the drums and comes down the ingeniously designed contraption? So interesting!

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I definitely recommend this if you do visit SF- just try to go in “off” hours (Not on a weekend or try to go super late at night when there are fewer people!).

Question for You:

  • Do you like poutine?

xo <3

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SF Staycation Part 2: Craftsman & Wolves, The Presidio, & Japanese Tea Garden!

Happy Sunday or Monday or Tuesday… or whatever-dayuvthaweek this post finds ya!!! Just want to take a second to say thanks for reading- still boggles my mind that ya would take a second out of your day to read about what’s happenin’ in ours. I just finished my first draft of one of my huge semester papers, so I’m finally going to finish up our weekend in SF! So let’s get to… shall we?! You can find part one here! Saturday February 16th, we woke up early (around 7 am) to beat the morning breakfast rush and traffic.

It was my Dad’s birthday, so I took some time talking about him with DJ and in our family group text… just remembering the amazing man he was. My brother said my nephew now recognizes him in pictures, which just melts my heart <3 His birthday is usually one of the hardest days of the year for me, missing him horribly…. but I knew that he would want us to just smile, laugh, and have tons of fun. So that’s exactly what we did- it ended up being a full wonderful day I’ll never forget!

To start with, I grabbed a cup of free bitter coffee from the lobby as we set out for the day. I couldn’t even take more than a few sips- it was awful, haha- and I’ll drink just about anything that resembles coffee. Luckily, I knew I’d have plenty of time for coffee to come- so I wasn’t too worried about it 🙂

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Here is a peek of the gorgeous Ferry Building on our walk over. There are so many parts of SF I love- but the Embarcadero might be my favorite!

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I always use the Transamerica Pyramid as a reference point in the city too. I love the architecture of it!

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Alright – time. to. grub! First place on the bucket listCraftsman and Wolves.

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This little cafe is filled with soo many goodies! DJ and I first tried the vanilla glazed donut with biscotti crumbs on top- OH my…. it was a perfect donut. They also have an apple cider one I would love to try at some point!

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This donut was so warm, yummy, doughy (but not undercooked), flaky & just hit the spot. And of course, I unashamedly dipped every bite into my latte. Mmmmm!

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Now for the grand finale- the Rebel Within!! This egg centered muffin specifically was what we came here to try & it did not disappoint. I will say it actually surpassed my eggspectations. Also, whatever salt they served it with was ridiculously goood & the touch of pickled carrots were a lovely accompaniment.

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We scurried out after finishing up our first course to try out breakfast treat numero dos.. at this point it was probably about 9:45 am, the rush usually starts at 10/10:15, so we were doing good on time!

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I usually don’t venture somewhere twice simply because there is an overwhelming amount of goodies to try in SF. But I couldn’t pass up introducing DJ to B. Patisserie– the best bakery in SF without question. You may remember it from when Amy and I went on her bday!

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Mainly, I wanted to make sure he tried their famous Kouign-Amann.

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DJ raved about how great it was after the first bite… even without my standard prompt of, “Soooo what do you think”?!

Also, they have little mini Kouign Amann keychains you can buy that I was just smitten with. I didn’t get one, but maybe next time!

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Anddd on to the next place! As we walked back to the car I had to capture the bright pastel home fronts & lovingly decorated doorsteps.

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Another place we’ve wanted to check out is Lovers’ Lane in The Presidio. First off, I did not realize how massive “The Presidio” (former U.S. Army military fort) was! It is home to the Walt Disney Family Museum as well as many other commercial buildings. I thought “The Presidio” was only a little tiny hiking area… I didn’t realize it was basically a small city of its own.

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Anywho, after some serious issues finding where exactly Lovers’ Lane was, we finally found it! It’s not a hoax after all!

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We hiked the stunning tree lined pavement portion for a while…we couldn’t believe how quiet it was. It was hard to believe this was actually located in The City. There were very few people on the trail as well.

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We hiked around a while and couldn’t seem to find the exact location of the iconic swerving logs and tree path.

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I showed DJ those pictures linked up top from Google Images, and he suggested we off trail a little to locate it, so that is what we did…..

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And we found it!!! Check check off that list! It was such a unique little spot & such a nice breath of fresh air from the craziness of the actual city. If I lived in SF I’d have to come here often.

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Next up.. Golden Gate Park!!! I was shocked how huge it is. To give you an idea, it is 20% larger than NYC’s Central Park!

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We found some free street parking, then immediately searched out some restrooms (that’s always the struggle when visiting The City)… I will force myself to limit my fluids through the day just so I don’t have to go to the bathroom, haha. We then set off to hunt down Strawberry Hill. We were accompanied by stunning lake views & blooms along the way.

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We eventually spotted the storybook adjacent bridge that crossed the river to Strawberry Hill.

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We hiked to the top and soaked up the spectacular views that surrounded us. We couldn’t believe this true sanctuary existed in the middle of the city?! Too cool.

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My adventure partner <3

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After hiking down the hill, we walked past the Golden Gate Pavilion. This pavilion was a gift from Taiwan and houses beautiful plants and birds, such as the Blue Heron.

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Next Stop: The Japanese Tea Garden! We surpassed visiting the tea garden in Portland and San Diego, so we agreed we probably should at least visit it here.

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WOW. This place is stunning. It was raining while we were there, but the rain added such an element of serene beauty.

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Also, we saw this oddly vertical bridge we just had to climb over.

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Not sure why this picture distorted the back of DJ’s neck… Professor Quirrell???

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Ahhhhh <3 It’s the type of place that just forces you to take a big deep breath & relax for a moment.

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