Friday Favorites #25!

Happy Friday to you all! I am on my last day of break and did not get quite caught up on everything as I was hoping… a few unexpected things came up and somehow this break is already over. Next semester is going to be double the load of what the summer was… which I don’t even know how that’s possible, eek!.. hence, I may be a bit MIA again till the holidays 🙁 (I do have some posts backlogged to share though!!). And of course, I will pop in when I can, I just may not be as active as I’d like to be… we’ll see how it goes. Thanks for being patient. Anyway, I do have a bit of time this AM to whip out a Friday Favorites 🙂

  1. Hello mat from Walmart. In the Bay Area we didn’t have a welcome rug and didn’t really need one since we were rarely bringing in dirt or dust. However, in Texas our shoes get pretty covered from walking around the trails. I found this rug at Walmart to help the cause! It’s technically an outdoor rug, but it works inside our foyer area.

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2. Texas Blooms. I have loved discovering the different types of flowers/wildlife local to the area. I do have to be careful to not touch the foliage lining the trails though because it’s littered with poison ivy! (And, yes! I did find a new walking/running path (wooohooo!)- I’ll discuss that more in a recap post.. eventually… hah).

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3. Impractical Jokers! Okay y’all, this is one of our favorite shows ever ever!!!! This is so funny! We watch a 20ish minute episode occasionally before going to sleep, and it has us in stitches every time.

4. Boxed. I love writing letters, sending hand written notes, and even have a pen pal from high school… so we go through stamps like nobody’s business. Going to the USPS for stamps is always a pain in the butt and a big waste of time. I found these stamps in bulk at Boxed- Plus, at check out you get to add two free add-ons, so I chose the bare baked crunchy apples and a protein Kind bar. What a deal. I am going to use them more for bulk buys in the future! If you use LOVEBULK you can get 15% off your first order plus free shipping 🙂

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5. theo organic fair trade salted almond dark chocolate I picked this up in Miami to have for our Bachelorette night… and all of us were going crazy over how good this chocolate is!

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6. Greeting Cards for every occasion.I found a roundup of the forty cutest cards from Amazon for only $12.99. I have already used several— they really do have every occasion and the cards are adorable! This is just a small sample below.

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7. Cauliflower Gnocchi from Trader Joe’s. The obsession is still going strong.

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8. Mariell Earrings . I felt like these were the most perfect simple, but pretty bridesmaids earrings. I’m sure I’ll be able to wear them again for other occasions too.

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9. Niksen. This is a Dutch concept of literally (I’m trying to use “literally” when it is literally in only a literal sense 😉 ) doing nothing with no agenda. We are not meant to be productive all the time… this is a great reminder to take a few moments to just “be”. It reminds me of Psalm 46:10… “Be still and know that I am God”. How often do we just “be still”? It was very thought provoking for me. Time to put it into practice!

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10. Today I did save the best for last!….. DRUM ROLL……. Amy started a blog!!!! It’s called Rightfully Lost & is going to be your new favorite travel blog. When it comes to traveling, she knows what’s up. She does world-wide expeditions, often solo, so if you want to know how to do cost-effective trips while getting the most out of them, she’s the one to talk to. Plus you’ll just leave feeling so dang inspired. Traveling the world on your own is no small feat, and her stories are incredible. I am stoked she started this!!! Right now she has a post recapping her time in New Zealand- it’s a fascinating read, and she has a serious eye for photography.

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Any favorites for you this week?! Have a great weekend. Can’t tell you guys how much I miss ya.

xo <3

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

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Our Road Trip from CA to TX!

Hey all! How is everyone?

So we are FINALLY at our road trip post from CA to TX!

Early in the morning of July 1st, we ate some oatmeal in disposable bowls, wiped down our counters one last time, dropped our keys off and then headed out first thing. One spot we never hit while living in CA was the charming little beach town of Capitola, so we made sure to factor it into our road trip.

As soon as we pulled into the city limits we started seeing brightly colored homes with characteristic beach signs on front doors or in windows reading phrases like, “All you need is Love and a Beach” and “This Mermaid swims on Coffee”.

The city itself is surprisingly quite tiny! I always imagined it much larger in my mind- but the polly pocket size of the city added to its charm. We found a parking spot and roamed around the immediate area. We couldn’t go too far from DJ’s truck since we had a bunch of suit cases in the back. **PS. Take note of the cooler sticking out of the back- it’s important for a story later on**

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Have you ever seen more zen seals?

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Although it was a cloudy day, the colors of the beach homes popped against the somber skies.

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After enjoying Capitola and watching a swarm of lifeguards being trained in the water (I can’t imagine how chilly that water was!), we hopped back on the road.

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Next up: Palm Desert. We passed by an army of windmills on our way. It reminded me of Courtney’s road trip out– she mentioned how large and alarming they can be- and I totally agree! It’s a weird feeling being under such looming and massive structures that are moving nonetheless. Funnily enough, all I could see were antibodies when I looked at them- Smalls was causing my brain to compare everything to something patho related, lol. Here’s a link to antibodies so you can see what I’m talking about.

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We finally arrived to our hotel for the evening! Somehow I got it for an insane deal — compared to everything else around it was one of the more affordable options. When we arrived it turned out it was “villas”, but really was more of a hotel room- it was confusing, but made sense once we actually got in our room. Anyways, the views of the mountains all around were just spectacular. It was HOT though- the idea of what the “desert” feels like was 100% as scorching as it sounds.

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We spent a good chunk of time lugging in all our suitcases from the bed of the truck to the room. Once we dropped everything off we headed out to explore the grounds (but we had to be sure to be back in time for Bachelorette, of course 😉 ).

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The grounds were so pretty & relaxing! Once we returned from our exploration we decided to just order some room service. I ordered a salad with added avocado (and I had a bunch of hummus to add too that I packed in our Freezer lunch bags for our roadtrip) and DJ opted for their chicken sandwich with the truffle fries that I kept stealing, naturally.

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We watched The Bachelorette and enjoyed our food. I love travel nights like this. It reminded me of time we were in NYC and made sure to be back to the hotel in time for Bach. Now, if I was in NYC these days I don’t think I could sacrifice a second of exploring the city for any show (yes, even Bach!), but since we were there wasn’t too much going on around us that evening we didn’t feel like we were missing out.

That evening was rough when it came to sleep- there was this LOUD whirring noise that even kept DJ up (who can sleep through anything)… we ended up calling maintenance at around 12:30 am when we resolved we probably wouldn’t be able to sleep. They came by and basically said there was nothing they could do at the time- it was in the pipes above us. I put on my noise-cancelling headphones to try to sleep. DJ finally fell asleep, but I tossed and turned the whole night and had a gnawing pain in the side of my head the next day from where they dug into my head. Then, our toilet stopped flushing unless we pressed the flush with the strength of Samson or did the lift the lid and pull the chain method. It suddenly all made sense why our room was immensely discounted, haha. Minus the nocturnal hours, the stay was so nice!

When it was finally the morning of July 2nd I decided to shake off the cobwebs with a morning run and a ton of coffee. Really- what would we do without coffee? I was a new person after some endorphins & caffeine.

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We ate oatmeal and granola bars we had on us for breakfast and hit the road. Back to spending time with Smalls.

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While passing through Phoenix we hopped off the highway- I needed more coffee desperately.

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But while on our quest for coffee we were greeted by an awesome surprise. Culver’s! We squealed out of nostalgic joy (DJ would probably argue he did not squeal, but I definitely did). We loved our Culver’s when we lived in Indiana. 

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DJ ordered a brownie mixer, and I stole a couple bites. Also, if you go to Culver’s you must order their cheese curds too- that’s probably my favorite thing on their menu… my stomach was not feeling 100% otherwise I totally would have loaded up.

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Okay okay, still on our coffee quest. Luckily there was a Starbuck’s right across the parking lot!

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I ordered my go-to almond milk Misto and grabbed a Siggi’s yogurt for some protein to tie me over that hopefully wouldn’t aggravate my over-tired queasiness.  Goodness this yogurt is good! I have seen it sold all over the place, but haven’t tried it- it’s really dang good! I felt better instantly after eating it.

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Back to the highway.

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New Mexico has a special place in our heart after our experience in Albuquerque on our way to CA from IN.

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While driving through New Mexico we saw a road runner statue on the side of the road. It tripped me out, because it looked so realistic at first, but was impossibly gargantuan.

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The views driving through at dusk were breathtaking. I had to put Smalls on pause to soak them all up.

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And we finally made it to Texas! wooohoooo!

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We stayed at the Doubletree in El Paso. When we checked in, we got these complimentary delicious cookies! So fun & a great little touch 🙂

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We were so hungry by this point. We ate through all our snacks we had packed in the car and were ready for some real food! We just went to The Fire Restaurant in the hotel since it was pretty late (around 9:30 pm). While waiting for our food we were feeling reflective and talked all about our time in CA and what we were looking forward to in Texas. Special convos <3

DJ ordered one of the greatest pastas we’ve ever tried. It was blackened shrimp penne with mushroom, green chile, sundried tomato and red chile cream. Who would have thought- just out of a hotel restaurant?! We have talked about this dish several times since.. I mean, wow– we were mind blown. I think it was mainly that red chile cream sauce- whatever the heck is in that… I neeeed that recipe.

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Even though I ate DJ’s pasta as though it was my own (good thing it was a pretty generous portion), I also ordered the Fire FIT Vegan bowl with hominy cake, cabbage, tomato, onion, green chile, pickled radish, Guajillo broth, and cilantro. This was a phenomenal vegan meal! It had such a unique, wonderful flavor and it didn’t take long to eat every single bite.

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After dinner we scurried out to catch the bottom of the 9th of the El Paso Chihuahuas (we just watched through the fence). It was fun to see a different minor league stadium & how they run a show!

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I think our little El Paso stint was our favorite part of the road trip. So fun! In the morning of July 3rd we hit the road super early (around 6 am). We stopped in a gas station, and I grabbed some coffee. This was such stinking good gas station coffee- it even had a beautiful layer of crema- like …WHAT?! (the picture below is straight black coffee- not a latte or anything- that is just the quality of the crema!). First a hotel restaurant (not even Italian restaurant) serving the best pasta ever and now a gas station serving insanely good coffee… I am having an existential foodie crisis.

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Back to the road… More studying with Smalls & more driving for DJ.

I offered tons of times to drive, but DJ insisted on driving so I could study. He’s the best <3 I made such a dent and felt good about the ground I had covered (mentally, and I guess literally with our move, hehe).

Sooo we did have a little mishap on the highway. Remember how our cooler was just barely sticking out of the bed of our truck? Well, it went FLYING out of the bed when we were on a wide open windy area in Texas.. I mean flying… we were actually warned at the gas station from the cashier that the wind was brutal and to be careful. We didn’t realize it was going to actually pick up our cooler! We only lost a couple items that were of any value (our Ninja bottles were the big thing and just some cheap dishes, along with the cooler itself). Luckily the cooler tumbled off to the side of the road, but we are just just so thankful nobody was behind us on the highway… that could have been real bad. The thought makes me shudder. There was nowhere to turn around to retrieve it, but I’m hoping it wouldn’t cause any issues being off the shoulder.

About 10 minutes before arriving we started seeing gray clouds, ominous harbingers. We crossed our fingers that it wouldn’t start to rain because we had all that luggage in the bed of the truck. But sure enough, while stuck in our first experience of Austin traffic, the rain came down in full force- buckets upon buckets. We were so close…. yet so far..

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I will say despite knowing everything was getting soaked in the back I was still excited to see a thunderstorm. We hadn’t seen one in years, and I loveeeee a thunderstorm (at least the mild ones- not the actually dangerous ones, which I hear we may experience often here).

Finally we arrived, got our keys, checked in, and unloaded our sopping wet suitcases. It’s all good though- they aired out pretty well, and it wasn’t an issue. We had never seen our apartment in person (my mom helped scope them out for us when she was in town for business a few months ago). We were immediately excited upon walking in! This is perfect for the stage we’re in right now- annnd everyone was so friendly we interacted with while unloading our truck. I think that was the first thing we noticed here- everyone is so friendly!

After dropping our stuff off, we popped into Trader Joe’s for our first ever Texas grocery trip! It has a parking garage system where you get your ticket comped if you are under an hour- forces me to grocery shop real quick- and y’all know I treat TJ’s like a leisure stroll in the park, so this can be a challenge, hah. Also, you take an elevator to bring your groceries down in the cart. All these little things seemed so confusing at first, but are second nature now!

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Alrighty this is quite long so I’ll continue the rest in another post. All in all it was a wonderful, memorable road trip, even with the minor little glitches. Rest in peace, ol’ Igloo Cooler- thanks for helping preserve all our San Francisco leftovers over the years… you were real cool 😉 

Questions for you:

  • Have you ever lost anything valuable on a road trip/traveling?
  • Are you team room service or eat out on the town? Both?

xo <3

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**There is an affiliate link in this post, but all opinions and ideas are my own**

Our Final Days in the Bay!

Hey all! Hope you all have had a nice week thus far. I am in desperate need of some writing time. Writing is the kinda thing I absolutely crave..even if it’s just writing up a recap! I should be studying for my final exam, but I think I’m more productive and clear headed when I take time to get some of my thoughts out on paper- er- WP virtual paper, I suppose.

Our last week was a mad dash to get ready for the move while trying to simultaneously study and get school assignments done….. June 20th I had a long overdue hair appointment at Aveda salon in Willow Glen. I have to say, I am pretty excited to be out of CA when it comes to hair care— the salons around the Bay Area were terribly overpriced. They are way more reasonable in Texas. AND we got a coupon pack from our apartment when we arrived  that included an Aveda coupon in it for a salon nearby- woot woot!

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I’m working on getting those darker roots so I can go longer and longer without getting it touched up. I definitely feel like my hair is back to itself after last summer when it turned pink, lol! Also, Smalls was able to experience the Hair Salon too (nothing like reading about the pathophysiological mechanisms of reactive oxygen species while getting your hair did). At one point he decided to jump off my lap onto the floor- and I swear it rattled the building. That was very much a “You’re killing me Smalls” moment.

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Quick question– has anyone tried Madison Reed? I am considering it because it would save a ton, but I don’t trust myself with hair one bit… curious if anyone has experience with it?

On June 21st I ran some errands on Main Street- I already miss that express Target we had basically out our back door- it was extremely convenient, but also this will force us to be more intentional with grocery shopping and cut out the “fluff”… Savings September is right around the corner, so this is a great temptation to not have near us.

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On June 21st I used up some more of the chicken for DJ making BBQ chicken, wild rice, and a wedge salad with bacon, diced tomatoes and thousand island dressing (DJ’s favorite type of dressing).

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June 22nd was a big day of packing. It feels like this was yesterday, but it was a month and a half ago- never ceases to amaze me how crazy quick time flies!

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To refuel from packing I had a big ole’ Murasaki potato, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, beets, hummus, and Fage. I have this almost everyday- with different variations. Adding jalapenos is my favorite addition lately!

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In the evening I made DJ flank steak with a side of chimchurri sauce, brown rice and a caprese salad.

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On June 23rd we went for our last Date Night ever on Main Street. We decided to go to Rootstock and enjoy their patio. I didn’t take many pics- just soaked up every single moment!

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We passed our giant Apple on the way home for the last time. Since Cupertino is where Apple is headquartered (we could see it from our apartment window) they have a giant apple right on Main Street. People love it as a photo op.

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June 24th I woke up to a luminous sunrise. Sigh. This is turning out to be a quite the nostalgic post for me to write <3

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We consolidated all our belongings into one spot & were mostly all ready to go for the big move! We ordered half our boxes from Amazon and got the other half of the bigger boxes from the Home Depot. The ones from Amazon were pretty cheap and went a long way.

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I woke up with a delicious omelette with tons of veggies, vegan cheese and a slice of toast with butter.

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In the afternoon… I enjoyed…you guessed it…my stuffed murasaki potato..creature of habit over here!

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In the evening we enjoyed salmon topped with artichoke hearts, roasted veggies, and quinoa… only half the veggies actually made it on the plate (the other half makes it into my mouth straight out of the oven, lol).

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I recapped more of my highlights from June 24th to the 28th in my Friday Favorites post! On June 29th I enjoyed one of my last walks around the ‘hood.

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In an effort to try to use up some of the last of our food I made an egg white omelette with artichokes, whatever veggies were in the fridge and a side of grapefruit…. on a Christmas plate. Gotta use whatever you’ve got when moves happen, haha. I guess I was just embracing Christmas in July.

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June 30th was a BIG day! It was DJ’s last day working at the stadium. His coworkers had planned for weeks to send him out with a bang! They arranged to surprise him by having him throw the first pitch as they all lined up behind home plate, plus they made an absolutely heartwarming video of him and his contributions to the team. It was incredible. They so sweetly invited me to be a part of it all! I brought Sara with me to the game so we could have some girl time too before the move <3 (It was Luau night at the stadium as you can probably tell ).

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Here we all are lined up behind the home plate with DJ pitchin’! Tammy took this pic- her and her husband, Ben, went too! I was thankful to see them one last time before we left too.

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Going in for a hug when he realized I was there, hehe.

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They even signed a bat to give him and wrote some of the kindest cards. He will undoubtedly be missed!

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After watching some of the game, Sara and I went to Santana Row to use up my free vouchers I got through Instagram and enjoy one last girls night. The Hotel only requested I take some pics to share- I took the pics, just have yet to share them- so I’ll start here, ha!

The Hotel Valencia was just serene and lovely.

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We used our coupons to get a our pretty drinks & then chatted for what felt like five minutes, but was actually a couple hours, out on their terrace. We also went to look over The Row on the balcony side too.

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I miss Sara sooo much already. It was an emotional goodbye, but could not have been a more perfect last day in the Bay!

When DJ returned from the game he was pretty hungry, so I used the last eggs we had and made him a piece of peanut butter toast. And this was the last dinner ever had in our apartment! Not the most extravagant- but at least we used up all we had left.

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And if you’ve followed my blog for a while you may know I have a little nightly ice cream cone (except for when we travel, of course). But just because we were leaving I wasn’t about to let that stop me from my daily tradition! (I refreeze it after making it, but before eating it, so it doesn’t melt as fast— I know, I’m weirdlyyy particular about my ice cream cone- haha).

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In the next post I’ll recap our trip from CA to TX!

Questions for you:

  • Favorite salad dressing?
  • Do you have any unique daily routines?

xo <3

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I also just want to say before I end this- my heart is so heavy with the shootings that occurred this past weekend. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone impacted 😢 💔

Take Us Out to the Ball Game!

Hi, Friends! Speaking of Friends… I started the TV series for the first time. They are taking it off Netflix in 2020, and my friend Sara has been begging me to watch it. So it’s now or never! I’ve tried once before- and couldn’t get halfway through the first episode. She said to give it five and then make a decision. I am on episode 2 and already liking it a bit more than the first time around. I love having something light and fluffy to watch in the background of working on case studies, other assignments, etc. because the school content/life feels pretty overwhelming right now. It creates a nice balance.  When life itself feels stressful I tend to enjoy comedies and baking shows (that’s specific) even more- and when life is feeling more day-to-day or easy going I crave more dramatic shows.

I’m already digressing, and I haven’t even begun the post, haha. So where were we? June 10th was back to reality. My sister and I hunkered down at Peets and enjoyed our coffee while I studied and she worked on her to-do list.

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We came home early and whipped up some chicken and cheese quesadillas for DJ.

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For ourselves, we enjoyed some roasted asparagus, a seafood blend from Trader Joe’s, and some cauliflower mashed potatoes. Plus, (not pictured) but my sister made some absolutely to-die-for lentil stew. I have to get the recipe from her to share it here.

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On the morning of July 11th we enjoyed acai bowls with lotsa cashews, PB, and strawberries.

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And off to studying we go! We went to Philz coffee this time. I have always been “anti-Philz” because their coffee literally makes me shake (and I’m loyal to ol’ Peets). But we wanted to have a change of pace and gave it a go. We actually loved it- and since we both got decaf we didn’t get the coffee jitters. It was quite delicious!

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I also love that they offer oat milk! This was my first time trying it, and this might be my favorite milk alternative. It’s so wonderfully creamy.

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In the evening, it was Bachelorette night! We wrapped up around 6 pm at Philz and headed home to make dinner. Halston’s good friend (and basically my other little sister), Marissa, moved to the area the week prior. Since she is a big Bachelor franchise fan too, she came by our apartment, and I made us all tacos (half regular/half vegan) with all the fixin’s to gear up for the show. Can you guess which is which? It was such a fun night! I’m on the edge of my seat for the finale tomorrow..

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On June 12th we worked at Starbucks for the day and then went to an impromptu SJ Giants game since we finished up everything we had set to do!

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We walked around scoping out where we’d want to eat. Decisions, decisions, decisions!

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We settled on Turkey Mike’s for food… usually the go-to.

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We even got featured on their Instagram page with all our yums in hand!

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Found our seats!

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We loved our veggie subs… but I always particularly look forward to the coleslaw and baked beans from the stadium.

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We then popped into the press box to say hi to DJ & I took him a hot dog..Naturally, I had to get a photo of it before giving it to him- haha. He’s a trooper.

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And now- for the star of the show- The ever-so famous San Jose Churro!!!

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These are a “must” try if you go to a game. People say these churros are better than Disney World’s. I have never actually tried a churro before (That I can remember?), so I didn’t know much what to expect.

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It was tasty! I don’t know that personally I would go out of my way to have one- I think I’d prefer just enjoying an ice cream cone or garlic fries, but if you do like churros- these are the ones to try!

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And last up on the list- Somi Somi! Halston wanted to save this place for her last stop before flying out the next morning.

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It did not disappoint! I am forever convinced this is the best ice cream treat you can ever have.

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On June 13th, I had to drop Halston off at the airport- talk about a sad morning! But it helped knowing I would see her again in a month 🙂 I started the morning with an acai bowl again.

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Then I went to Philz in the afternoon to study with Smalls. I guess I can’t honestly say I don’t like Philz anymore, hehe.

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In the afternoon I enjoyed some tilapia with asparagus and a murasaki potato with vegan butter and Fage.

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The next few days were just a ton of studying and packing. I’m still on my stuffed sweet potato kick as an afternoon snack with vegan cheese, boca crumbles, an unnatural amount of jalapeños and Fage.

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On June 16th I was able to make it outside for my traditional walk route. I will say I am so excited to find a new route here! There is a river right near us, so I think that will be the place to start looking for one.

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On June 17th, I worked hard all day on school work, and then since I hit a mental wall, I texted Tammy to see if she could come over to watch the Bachelorette! Right before, I ate a dinner of tilapia, murasaki potato and a ton of roasted veggies.

8ac74fe7-ff30-4f03-b9a2-fe339fd5fc81During a commercial break, we tried out some face masks Tammy bought over. We laughed pretty hard at how the mask refused to stay on my face, and every time I breathed the mask around my nostrils would flare in and out. bahah. But the face mask did feel amazing! Even the next day my skin felt silky smooth. They are called 111 Skin Rose Gold.I added an Amazon affiliate link here if you’re interested!

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June 18th, back to Philz I gooo.

e8be47ab-302d-43b4-a243-a43a3bc3f3adMidday for a change of scenery I went to our apartment conference room to study. 92f9e0aa-1a7e-43fc-a255-12580e9904c0

I think I forgot to mention this, but funny(ish) story- I was trying to use up everything in our fridge/pantry before the move. I had a chicken-based dish I wanted to make for DJ later in the week and just needed a couple chicken breasts. Since he was going to the store I asked if he could pick a pack up. He got a large, I mean massive, super-sized pack of chicken … a week and a half before the move, lol. I cracked up when I saw it, and he was like, “What? You said to pick up a pack of chicken!”. I soo appreciated his effort- he just went a bit above and beyond (with enough to feed an army), but it gave us a good chuckle … or shall I say cluckle . 🐔 Anyways, I had to get creative to use it up, so for dinner one evening I made him some chicken tacos instead of beef- same ingredients otherwise. I didn’t know if it’d throw the whole taco off, but he actually really enjoyed them!

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I was craving my garden bowl per usual. This is definitely my summer go-to.

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On June 19th I made BBQ chicken with rice and a wedge salad.

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Eating amongst the boxes.

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Time to get back to studying!
Questions for you:

  • Do you like the show Friends?
  • Best churro you have ever had?

xo <3

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A Sister Day in the Bay!

Hey hey!! Wow, I think this is the longest I’ve ever gone without blogging since I’ve begun. I miss y’all tons! But guess what- we finally have Wifi?! Wooohooo! The last few weeks have been a real whirlwind, but with the best of memories mixed in. School and trying to find our footing in a new city is taking up every second of my spare time. I hope to get catch up on blogging during the couple days I have between semesters in August (If I’m not sleeping the whole time, lol).

I am still catching up from way back in June. After our day in Wine Country and the most unforgettable pizza dinner at Capo’s, we stayed the night at my SIL Amy’s. In the morning, Hal and I had plans to run the city. And yes, I mean physically, literally run (but I guesssss you could metaphorically say we ran the city that day too 😉 )! She is maybe the only other person I can think of that would agree to get around the city this way. While packing for the weekend I advised Hal to bring warmer clothes. SF is usually pretty mild/chilly, even in the summer – hence the saying- “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco”. Wellll, it would have behooved me to actually have checked the temp- and it ended up being 95F! Whooops. We were a bit overdressed, but weren’t about to let it deter us from our plans.

Since we were going to be out and about for the day, we took our leftover pizza and snacks, and filled a bag of ice from Walgreens since I forgot my cooler (Womp Womp). We were not about to let all that food go to waste though! Surprisingly, this makeshift cooler worked out really well. We placed the bag in a little plastic lid I had in the trunk, so anything that melted didn’t actually get on the car lining. The lengths we go to to protect our food, amirite?!

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And we are off to the races!….

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Our first stop was Arsicault– a bakery known for their croissant.

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We took our croissant next door to Breck’s since Arsicault doesn’t have much in the way of coffee.

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We grabbed some iced coffees to enjoy with it! I rarely get iced coffees, but this day was givin’ me a hankerin’ for one! It was so smooth and creamy. You could tell it was extremely high quality beans.

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Now onto the croissant… I have tried several croissants in SF-  Tartine, B. Patisserie, etc. and this one easily was the best (with Tartine as a close second). The only other croissant I’ve had that may come close is the one from Summer Moon I went to with my momma in Fort Worth (which I think they may have a Summer Moon in Austin?! I passed a sign for one the other day!). Anyway- the combo with the iced coffee is about as good as it gets. I get cravings for this on the dailyyy now.

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After the most delightful start to the day, we saw a Farmer’s Market around the corner we had to check out.

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This breaddddd. I am always drawn to the carbs like a magnet.

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We continued running, running, and running some more..

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Soaking up the views along the way…

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Our next stop was the Cable Cars, but first, we needed to find some hydrating fluids to quench our thirst. We popped into the Walgreens once again (we spent a whole lotta time at the corner of happy and healthy that day). They have the cutest little Ghirardelli section too! I have never seen that in a store before.

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After grabbing some vitamin water to refuel, we also popped into the big Macy’s across the street and cooled down for a second while perusing the super cute summer selection.

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And finally, we grabbed our tickets for the cable cars. It was about a 45 minute wait. Important Tip:We learned later that you actually can jump on at any cable car stop (you don’t have to go to the main one- you can avoid a ton of waiting time if you walk just about .25 of a mile up the road!).

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I had never rode a cable car before this either (I know– How can I call myself an SF pro if I haven’t even rode a cable car?!)… I was excited to share this SF first with my sis and not lay awake at night feeling like a fraud (JK that never happened- well not often). For my history people- Cable Cars were invented in SF, so it’s pretty much a “must” on every tourist list. If you want to read more about the history click here!

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It was actually way more fun than we even anticipated! We did it more for the novelty of it, but wow- what a blast!

 

The views of the city as we strolled along were awesome too.

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Pic or it didn’t happen.

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We ended near Ghirardelli Square, and then continued our run to our next spot….

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Boba Butt! The Corgi inspired Boba shop!

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Their boba is SOOO good!!! Pictured is their strawberry smoothie boba… the definition of refreshing and flavorful! We have to make sure to bring Pool Noodle (Amy’s Corgi) here sometime so she can get him up on the photo wall!

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And you know I couldn’t help but sing, “I like big boba butt smoothies, and I cannot lie!”

We then jogged through China Town to a place on the bucket listGolden Gate Bakery. They are famous for their egg tarts. I didn’t know what to expect since I wasn’t super excited about the ones I tried from City View- but people said these were in a league of their own. The shop also has extremely unpredictable hours- there is even a Twitter account that directly addresses, “Is the Golden Gate Bakery open today?”.

We waited about 30 minutes (not too bad of a wait from what I’ve heard!). The bakery itself was pretty cramped inside, and there was hardly room for more than a few people at once. We eagerly ordered our tarts and headed outside to try them out!

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The verdict? Woah— woah— I get it!!! I totallyyyy get the hype. It’s hard to describe the flavor because it’s unlike anything I’ve had before. It was steaming hot and the bite was the most wonderful balance of savory, sweet, and crisp with the crust. The egg flavor was there, but in a muted way that wasn’t overwhelming. Think almost like a sweet quiche. Like I said– just perfectly balanced in every way! I definitely should have gotten more than the couple we ordered, but we had one more food spot we wanted to try.

Next up we were going to go to Haight Ashbury for their Street Fair, but then we heard there were a bunch of naked men walking around so we decided to change our plans, lol. SF, you’re something else, I’ll tell ya what. Rather, we decided to go to The Mission- an area in SF with a ton of great restaurants and shops!

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My sister particularly loved it because it has a lot of Latina influence. She feels right at home when she hears people around talking in Spanish.

Hal was having a Peruvian craving, and I’m convinced Ceviche is one of the greatest things on earth. So naturally, we popped into Limon Rotisserie for a little snack before heading home.

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We shared Ceviche Mixto. This was the best ceviche of all time ever ever. This dish will definitely be the one to beat! Halston said her fiance’s mom’s is better- so when I saw her for the wedding festivities I told her we have to all get together and have her ceviche sometime! Her ceviche definitely is on that “ultimate” food bucket list- which I should publish on here one day. Hmmm. Digressing..digressing…

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Back to the food at hand— the taro chips it was served with were really tasty! I have never had these before, but I know the brand Terra has some- so I may pick them up in the store if I see them.

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And a crisp, Diet Coke was the perfect refreshing beverage to pair with it. I know how bad they are for ya, but on a rare occasion nothing sounds better!

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And here is the summation of what we ran for the day!

75ee0c58-fbc6-4e5d-a3ea-e53d21f8221dIf you like to run, this is such a fun way to see a city. Just make sure to do it with someone and map out the safe places in town… and maybe don’t wear leather workout pants in 95F weather!

That evening we just enjoyed lotsa leftovers! (mainly the ‘za, of course 🙂 ).

Question for you:

– Please share something going on in your world. I miss blogging so much & reading what you’ve all been up to too!

xo <3

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Wine Country Part II & Capo’s Pizza!

**I started this post on the evening of July 4th, just as an FYI for some temporal reference 😉 I’ve just chipped away at study breaks**

Hey everyone! We are officially in Austin! We arrived last night. It was a pretty smooth trip out, but an emotional and high stress morning today. I’ll discuss all that more when I actually do our travel posts. BUT we did have a productive afternoon, I made it to my study end point for the day, and then our evening of the 4th was a blast. Currently, I am sitting on the floor in my new “study spot” with my mood lights wrapped around our fan to give some sense of calm lighting- It may be a fire hazard at the expense of my own aesthetic comfort- gotta choose your battles, ya know? (I’ll take a picture now and put it in the post when I have Internet again). Our movers don’t come until the 9th, and we leave the 10th for the wedding- so it’ll be a bit before we are living normal again- it’s all guuud though.

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Peep the Ugg boots from 8th grade that I still wear as slippers around the apartment, totally a normal thing, ya?

I have Dynasty, a new show I’m trying out, playing in the background. I downloaded it from the Lobby’s WIFI since we don’t have any yet. I’m also eating Halo Top ice cream because I couldn’t find my normal Dreyer’s Double Chocolate Brownie favorite at the store, and this is probably my second favorite. It’s 11:37 pm, but my body is still on Pacific time, so it feels much earlier to me. I am so eager to discuss all things Austin and our last whirlwind of a 36 hours.. but for now I will try to catch up on everything else from the last month, hah!

In the last recap, I summed up the first part of our sister jaunt through Wine Country. The next winery we went to a winery called Mckenzie-Mueller! I would be lying if I didn’t say I was a touch excited about the shared name; some of those things that bring ya amusement as a kid never die. Ya know growing up when you’d be at a tourist shop and find your name on the little key chain? It’s that same thrill (even if they spelled it differently, close enough). Also, side note about Platypus tours: I think it’s so enjoyable that you don’t know which wineries you are going to until the day of- it adds an element of surprise- I didn’t even know that this winery existed!

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This was easily the most beautiful landscape of the day, although the overall feel was a bit more “stiff” than the others. It was so quiet, which was nice, but the host had an air of arrogance that created a somewhat impersonal, cold vibe.

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The tasting room was in a fun little nook- surrounded by the owner’s paintings and wine barrels.

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So meta, ya know?

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We headed out to the vineyards and had a lesson about basically every varietal.

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While it was fascinating, and the educational element of wine country is my favorite part, it felt a bit too long in light of the heat. They eventually let us loose to enjoy the grounds ourselves and find respite in some shade in between our galavanting! After getting a bottle for DJ of Sauvignon Blanc, my sister and I went to the vineyards for pics. **If you do visit Napa/Sonoma and want to purchase a bottle, they will often waive the tasting fee. This bottle ended up coming out to about $5- and since Hal and I shared a tasting it was only about $10/person. I highly recommend doing it this way if you do the tours with multiple stops!**

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We loaded up into our Tour Bus and headed to the last spot!

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And to conclude our tour, we went to Starmont.

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At this point in the day the heat was at a high… circa 105F. We decided to move inside after initially starting the tasting outside because the heat was nearly unbearable.

It was a nice winery– but felt more “commercialized” than the others- more of a tasting room than an actual winery I’d say.  I think it’s the type of place the locals like to come and hangout on a lazy Saturday. But I think if you want the full Napa experience, pass on this one and go to an actual vineyard.

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Time to head to the Ferry!

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When we got back into the bus to head to the Ferry, the driver had cheese and crackers for us- yummmy!! Can’t beat that.

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After exchanging Instagram handles with friends we made from the tour, we hopped off the bus and waited for the Ferry back from Vallejo to SF.  The Ferry never gets old! I just loveeee it.

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It was a nice and smooth ride with stunning views.

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And for Halston’s bday dinner… We went to Capo’s! It was only about a mile walk from the Ferry, so that was easy peasy. This recommendation came from Kate at LiveintheNautical. When she visited SF, and we met up for the first time, she highly recommended Capo’s to us. I had been eager to try it since, but it seemed we always had something else lined up every time we ventured into the city. One of Halston’s favorite foods is pizza, so I was hoping to give her one of the best pizza experiences of her life! (Also side note: This is the sister restaurant to Tony’s we had tried a few weeks prior).

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I immediately loved the entire feel from the brick walls to the red leather seats. I would describe it as casual, edgy, classic, yet somewhat romantic, all at the same time.

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We started with the Quattro Forni, a pizza cooked in four different ovens.  YES- FOUR. In 2012 this won the “Best of the Best” Pizza award in Las Vegas’s international Pizza Festival. This is cooked in a 500 gas brick oven, deep fried, then topped with all the yums. THEN, it then returns to a 500F brick oven, then a 650 brick oven, and lastly a 800 wood burning oven. I don’t even know if this would be classified as “pizza”—it had more of that feel of a cheesy bread because of the light airiness of the crust- but think the best GOSH DARN cheesy bread you’ve ever tasted in your life. I dream of that flavor (especially the crust). And they only make 10 per day! I made a note in our Yelp reservation that we would like to try one and called to confirm that day that it’d be available. I was determined we’d try one, haha. It was better than I could have ever imagined. Such a uniquely phenomenal creation.

Next up was the pizza-pizza- we had their “cracker thin” pizza- half Farmer’s Pie with mozzarella, provolone, goat cheese, white sharp cheddar, house honey Calabrese sausage, bacon, Guan’s assorted mushrooms, farm eggs, peppadews, arugula, oregano & romano (this half was mainly for DJ since we knew we’d be able to take him some home) and half Haight Ashbury (vegetarian) with mozzarella, provolone, feta, pesto, onions, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, broccolini, roasted red peppers, garlic, oregano, romano. We shared a slice of the Farmer’s to give it a review, but our heart was with the Haight Ashbury. The cracker thin crust was everything I could have dreamed of in a pizza crust- light, crunchy and balanced. The whole pie definitely satisfied our “pizza tooth”. Halston said it was some of the best she’s ever had too!

She was a trooper letting me pull out my obnoxious, incredibly non-subtle, food light to get these shots, lol.

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And that’s a wrap! My sister-in-law, Amy, graciously let us stay with her that evening since we were set to frolic in SF the next day! We had fun catching up and chatting with her all about her solo trip to New Zealand.

I’ll recap the next day’s happenin’s in a separate post.

Question for you:

  • Did you have a nice Fourth of July?

xo <3

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Friday Favorites #24!

Happy Friday one and all! Although..maybe Happy Saturday when you read this considering I am writing it Friday evening. I finished up everything I wanted to get done for today, so I figured why not share some favs?!

  1. It’s-It ice cream sandwich! On a podcast I was listening to, the host was raving about how tremendous these are. I have passed by It’s-It brick and mortar shop plenty of times on Interstate 280, but have never thought to pay it a visit.

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This place was established in 1928 and has gained fame in San Francisco with this ice cream sandwich of vanilla ice cream in between two oatmeal cookies that are coated in dark chocolate. I was bummed we were going to miss out on this famous creation considering we wouldn’t have time to try them before we left. BUT.. while at Safeway (local grocery store), I stumbled upon them in the ice cream aisle!!!

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I had high expectations… and it met every bit of them. Highly recommend tracking these down if you are the west coast. It’s unlike any other ice cream sandwich I’ve ever had before. YUMMMAYY.

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2. Peets. I am soaking up every single last moment at Peets. I have gone nearly every day this week to study. The last day I knew I’d see my favorite barista, we exchanged numbers to stay in touch. I’ll miss her!! I gave her my blog name too- so if you are reading this- Hi, Connie! You make the best Cafe Au Laits in all the land! <3

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Connie has been there from the beginning when I studied for my NCLEX before I was even a nurse. It was hard to say goodbye, but I will always be thankful to know her. She rooted us on through so many seasons & continues to do so. Endless learning & growth took place at Peets. It’ll always be way more than a coffee shop to me. (I know it’s sappy, but it’s true).

3. Living minimalistically <– dat a word? We got rid of so much while packing up & since our movers came Tuesday we have been living with the absolute bare minimum. I feel like having so little around really has cleared my head, made me more productive & focused. It makes me want to get rid of even more! (Pictured is my little study spot I made since we have no couches or chairs to sit on right now- hehe).

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4. Tofu Tacos!! Yes, you read that right. When I first made these, I was a bit nervous how DJ would feel considering tofu is a bit spongier than meat. But he loved them! So much so he was still talking about them the next day.

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Roughly estimated recipe: They are super simple to make- just sauté mixed peppers and white or yellow onion in a sauce pan over medium heat with minced garlic. Once caramelized add crumbled extra firm tofu with your choice of vegan (or regular) Mexican cheese. Then add  your decided amount of taco mix (for a batch of taco seasoning : TBSP chili powder, 1 TBSP ground cumin, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons hot smoked paprika & 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper- sprinkle in as desired). Add a little bit of slice jalapeno for an extra nice kick!

5. Sunsets. The sunsets have been just gorgeous this week. I have tried to take moments away from the busyness to just enjoy a moment in awe of the beauty. God is the ultimate artist.

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I’ll miss these mountains <3

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6 & 7. Sonicare electric tooth brush with extra soft bristles & activated charcoal toothpaste. Okayyy, this combo is a game. changer. It was time for me to upgrade my tooth brush & with all the tea I have been drinking lately I feel like my teeth are staining (weirdly, coffee doesn’t stain them – only tea?). I was a little skeptical about how activated charcoal would work, but WOWZA Mctrowza…. I woke up after using it in the evening and already noticed the stains were disappearing! The toothbrush is awesome too- it feels like it is thoroughly cleaning my mouth, but without any harshness on the gums.

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8. Ok, a bit embarrassing to admit, but guys, I am lovin’ this season of The Bachelorette. I adore Hannah. I think this may be my favorite season yet actually. I don’t know any spoilers either, and I don’t feel like there is a clear front runner. Cannot wait to see what happens these coming weeks! I hear it’s wild…..

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9. Nathanwpylestrangeplanet on Instagram (good luck saying that three times fast)… is my new favorite Instagram account. DJ showed it to me, and it basically is a couple of aliens that make parodies of humans through cartoons. They are ingenious & hilarious.

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10. Always Be My Maybe. Sigh, I just loved this movie (even though it did take me over three weeks to actually finish it, lol). I am not a fan of chick-flicks usually. I typically think they are just so darn predictable… but this one.. this one I loved (even though it was just so darn predictable 🤪). I think it’s because it took place in SF & I loveeed all the local shots & references. I don’t know that I would have enjoyed it as much if we didn’t live in the Bay Area… but it’s so cute nonetheless & anything Ali Wong I am here for.

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What is one of your favorites from this week? Any new food items, songs, TV shows, etc.?

xo <3

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**There are affiliate links in this post, but all opinions are my own!**

Sister Time & Wine Country Part I!

Hey hey, long time no seeee!! Oh man, you know what’s tough? Sometimes the times in life when you need to write and process the most are the times that are the most chaotic and don’t allow much free time to do just that! (Don’t count how many times I used “time” in that sentence, or this one). But I’ve gotta say, at this moment, I’m actually enjoying the chaos. It’s incredibly stressful for sure, tears have been shed, and there are times I don’t feel like I can handle it all- but things are going much smoother than I could have ever imagined, and I feel like we are almost in the clear! We also have a lot of the really huge stressors behind us, so now much of that anxiety is getting replaced with excitement and anticipation! Also, although each day is go-go-go from super early morning till nearly midnight, the adrenaline from everything is working wonders. We officially move out on Sunday.

Currently….My brain is fried, I cannot do another lick of studying, so I am treating myself to just this one night to do a blog post!

We left off the evening my sister arrived. On June 5th, my Sis and I woke up early to get to work! Halston had tons of “to-dos” on her list for the wedding & of course, I had a bottomless pit of reading and studying and assignments. We started the day with avocado smoothies– Hal talked about them for weeks leading up to the trip since she got hooked on them last time she was here. We had one every day of her visit this time around- and now I can’t have one without missing her!

I took a midday break to post some items on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. I’m never using Craigslist again with the success we’ve had through Marketplace. I’m so stoked about it- it’s just so easy.

In the evening we whipped up some stuffed sweet potatoes again. We made ours each a bit differently, mine with extra tzatziki and beets and Hal’s with extra green goddess dressing from TJs. These also included tofu, roasted peppers and onions, artichoke hearts and hummus all stuffed in Murasaki potatoes. We chatted out on the balcony & enjoyed the momentary quiet from the studying/wedding details.

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On June 6th we went to Peets during the day to get shtuff done, and then came back in the late afternoon and worked out on the main apartment community deck. Smalls was soaking up the sun… I would have hated to disturb him..so I figured I should just let him be 😉

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We made massive salads in the evening with all ingredients in the fridge- mmm mmmm! Halston is all aboard the massive salad train too.

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Side note: DJ had a home-stand during the week she was here (where he leaves basically at 730 am-ish and doesn’t get home till 11ish); that’s why he isn’t around in any adventures, sadly. We missed him!

Anyway, we took an after-dinner walk around Main Street before I hit the books again.

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Aaand it was the same ol’ on June 7th. We were very productive through the week, but basically it was just study/eat/workout/study/eat.

To shake things up for dinner, we decided to try TJ’s Cauliflower Gnocchi! We didn’t add much seasoning to it because I wanted to get a feel for the base to see what I could jazz it up with next time.

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They were super yummy. I think next time I’d like to add some type of nice parmesan on top! A red sauce would work well too. We ate them with tilapia and roasted veggies from Chef Hal herself. Halston and I eat essentially the same type of diet, so it was fun to tag- team dinners throughout the week.

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I started packing that evening after getting to a stopping point I had planned for the week. We made sure to try to get a good night sleep because we woke up around 4:45 am on Saturday June 8th to get a workout in. And finally- after a long week of studying and wading through wedding logistics we were ready for a day of fun & relaxation! We scarfed down our coffee and avocado smoothies and headed out to celebrate my sister’s birthday in….. NAPA!

We headed from Cupertino to the Ferry Building in SF where our wine tour car would be picking us up. I booked us through Platypus Wine Tours again since it was such a phenomenal experience the first time around with Kelsey (and it’s very reasonably priced).

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The tour bus was scheduled to pick us up in front of the Ferry Building at 8:45 am, and we had about twenty minutes to spare after grabbing our Ferry tickets for the trip back…so naturally we had to grab some pics!

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When it was time to load up the car, we found ourselves surrounded by about 8 other people from all over the world- Denmark, France, Canada… It was fun to get to know them all throughout the trip. That’s something I so love about San Francisco- you meet people from truly everywhere and anywhere with the most fascinating lives and stories.

First stop first: Auburn James.

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This was a unlike any other winery experience we’ve had before. The whole tasting room vibe was supposed to make you feel like you were entering a home, and it really did feel like we were all just hanging out in a living room.

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We were given our tasting and then showed around the vineyards.

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The vineyards were beautiful! But it was HOT HOT HOT. Our Platypus tour guide did say they were a little bit worried about wildfires that day. I think we could have all done without that little tidbit of knowledge.. eep!

6486d0ac-f7b3-4bfa-b416-ea35be5d910f1d6c75ed-5548-4dd3-8a3f-97408f06db4a I wouldn’t say this winery is a must, but it was a lovely experience nonetheless. I think it was the most educational out of the four!

Second Stop: Hagafen. This was our favorite of the day for several reasons…

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Oh, and another bonus, they had games! We attempted a round of cornhole, but the wind kept catching our bags, so we didn’t do too hot.. meaning it was probably comical for any bystanders watching, haha.

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Before we knew it, it was lunch time! yaa buddy. They had vegetarian dishes for Hal & I. Platypus called before hand to make sure they accommodated any dietary restrictions. So kind! We enjoyed every nibble of our veggie sandwiches accompanied by hummus, pears, and a lentil salad that was to die for.

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And dessert were these sweet little strawberries and cream muffin bites.

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I’ll recap the second part of wine country in a separate post! Happy birthday again, Sista!

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Questions for you:

  • What do you call cornhole? I know it has a variety of names depending where you’re from.
  • What time of day do you prefer to workout?

xo <3

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Meeting another Blogger, Golden Boy Pizza & The Emporium!

Hi, everyone! I hope you had a nice weekend!

Jumping straight on into the recap…On May 29th and 30th, it was just study study, ya know the drill by now- but also, ya can’t get started without breakfast, right?! Breakfast time is one of my favorite parts of the whole day & I have been eating this one on repeat the last few weeks: an Avocado smoothie with PB toast & honey.

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On May 30th I went to the local coffee shop to grab a cafe au lait and studied with Smalls in our apartment community office/study room. In the afternoon was Boys and Girls club. The kids are done for the summer & it’s been a bit emotional coming to that realization. I can’t wait to get plugged back in once we’re settled in Austin!

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On May 31st I had a very lovely morning! I met up with a local blogger, Kalpana, from surreyfarms.net at Great Bear Coffee in Los Gatos.

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We have been friends in the blog-o-sphere for years but have never met up before. It was absolutely wonderful to meet her and have such deeply rich conversation for a couple hours- I felt like we could have talked all day! And the coffee was fantastic as a nice bonus 🙂 It was certainly the highlight of my week. If you want some mouth-wateringly, beautifully prepared and delicious recipes, gorgeous garden pictures, and heart-warming family adventures I highly recommend heading over to her blog! She is a true inspiration of mine <3

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In the afternoon I enjoyed a purple sweet potato with beets, artichoke hearts, hummus, and Fage.

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I studied all the rest of the day and then while walking through our complex I realized there was something going down…. A hoe-down to be exact!

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The management team had an entire western themed party going on for the complex complete with a petting zoo for the kiddos. I texted DJ to see if he wanted any food, but he had already had BBQ at the stadium for lunch. Still, so fun and a nice gesture for the apartment crew to put this on!

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DJ finally had an evening to breathe from work, and I hustled on school work so we could enjoy a Saturday evening together the following day.

On Saturday June 1st we both were productive during the day and then around 5:00 pm we headed to San Francisco. I read Smalls in the car on the way down up (I always want to say down for some reason?!) and actually made a huge dent in my chapter- it makes me optimistic that I’ll be productive on our road-trip to TX. So where was our foodie adventure for the evening you ask? Welllll, lemme telll youuuu! I’ve been on a serious pizza kick lately and have been on a mission to find the best!

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People swear by Golden Boy Pizza as the best in the city. The wait was about forty-five minutes, but finally we made it to the front to order. It’s a casual spot- you can technically eat inside, but it’s mostly standing room. People usually just take their pies to go.

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They are famous for their clam and garlic pizza, so we tried that and a few other flavors: DJ had their pepperoni and sausage, and I had their cheese and clam/garlic.

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We took our slices back to the car and blasted the heat while chowing down. This pizza was very good. DJ and I both prefer thin crusts, and this is more of a focaccia, but it worked! It wasn’t too dense or doughy- it was light, airy, and had a lovely crunch. The flavor of the clam and garlic was pretty tremendous and unique, but DJ preferred their meat-based slices. I don’t know that I would wait that long again for it- but I am so glad we finally tried it! I see why it has its popularity, but at the same time I’m not sure it’s 100% worth the hype.

After, we headed over to The Emporium to continue our date night. The Emporium is a massive arcade for adults. They have a live DJ, play a giant movie, and have countless of games that will make you nostalgic for the 80s and 90s.

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It was a blast!!! Probably one of my favorite things we have done in SF yet.

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DJ beat me at the basketball game, of course (hello, two time national basketball champion 😉 )…. but I held my own in ski ball, hehe.

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When I was going through our pics on the way home I realized we were photo bombed by a cartoon painting who weirdly had similar eyes to mine?!

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On June 2nd it was back to it! Smalls is almost too big for the treadmill reading/walking routine, but if the chapter is somewhere in the middle of the book I can balance him, ha!

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June 3rd, same same, mixed up with my new favorite snack of a purple sweet potato, artichoke hearts, hummus, and Fage– can ya tell I’m on a kick?

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I decided to make some homemade hummus with leftover tahini that evening. This is the best batch of homemade hummus I’ve made thus far, but I stilll don’t like it better than TJ’s quartet.

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I also made Shakshuka from TJ’s. I heard about Shakshuka from Kori’s blog, and when I saw TJ’s had an easy throw-together one I figured it’d be a great way to start it out!

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I served it with a couple eggs, brown rice, and naan bread. It was so stinkin’ yummy. This will be added to the lineup!

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On June 4th I started the day with the uszh, yoozh? usz? (however you spell the short of usual).

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In the afternoon, I threw together a little snack that I quite enjoyed of cauliflower mashed potatoes, tzatziki, artichoke hearts, beets, and chik’n tenders from Lightlife.

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My sister was flying in that night! Before she arrived I had some errands to quickly run at Santana Row.

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I marveled at this cozy sunset before heading to the stores.

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After a happy reunion with my sissy, we went back home, I whipped up some stuffed sweet potatoes with tofu, hummus, roasted veggies, and green goddess dressing for us both, and we caught up while eating out on the patio.

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I was initially planning on doing more school work, but I was so excited about my sister being here that I couldn’t think about focusing. Instead, I made DJ a big batch of his favorite chicken curry and naan that would be good for about three meals for the week.

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This feels like a good stopping point.

Questions for you:

  • Are you having any food cravings/stages right now?
  • Have you watched Chernobyl on HBO? I hear it’s the new GOT, and DJ and I both are considering starting it after we finish The OA.

xo <3

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Friday Favorites #23!

Hey everyone! I just finished up a big night of studying and am taking a quick break before starting to pack. My packing hours have been basically 12 am to 3 am… so naturally gonna squeeze in a blog post in between. Normal, right? Let’s get to it- shall we?!

  1. My sister was here this past week! We spent majority of it in coffee shops studying for me, wedding planning for her, but we made the absolute most of the time we had. I can’t wait to share some of the adventures we did squeeze in. I’m having that post-visit depression since I dropped her off at the airport this morning, but cannot wait to see her and the rest of my family in a month flat for the wedding!

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2. The Woman in Cabin 10. While I don’t have much time to read right now, this book makes me want to sacrifice my couple hours of sleep a night to read. I’m not super far in, but it’s turning out to be a terrific mystery/thriller. I’ll letchya know how I feel when I finish it up!

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3. Everything But the Bagel Seasoning from TJ’s. I am obsessed. This stuff is oh so yummy- especially on avocado toast!

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4. Açaí  bowls. It’s been unusually hot here lately, so these make for a great breakfast or lunch. I put in a Sambazon açaí  packet with a frozen banana, 4 oz. (ish) of almond milk, salted cashews, and PB powder to mix in! Yum-mayyy

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4. Marine Layer Respun Program. I heard about this from Em’s blog and just love this whole mission! If you turn in 5 tees, you get $25 credit to the store, and they recycle your old shirts to make new ones! Win-win allll around. It was extremely easy- I just dropped off my shirts to the store and gave them my e-mail which had the credit in it within a couple hours. You can also mail the shirts in if you wish too.

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5. Averagefashionblogger. Dare I say Courtney is the most relatable human on the internet. I just discovered her Insta a couple weeks ago, and she has me cry-laughing.

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6. PiperWai Deodorant. I have had this sitting in my bathroom drawer for a while, and with the move coming I have been on a mission to use up allll cosmetics possible. When I ran out of my carcinogenic Secret, I decided to give it a go. I haven’t had great experiences with natural deodorant in the past, but dannnng this works. I am never looking back! And I am excited to hear they now have a roll-on version (the regular version is a little bit crumbly and messy). Highly recommend checking this out- fun fact: they had their start on Shark Tank!

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7. Youth by Glass Animals. I have this song on repeat. I can’t get enough. Fair disclaimer: I have an off-beat taste in music, so it won’t be for everyone.

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8. Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones. Soooooooo remember how our neighbors were supposed to move all the way back in November? Yeah, that never happened (long story). I didn’t feel like y’all would want to hear a full on vent session about it, but now that we are moving I feel like I can share this without it sounding so whiney, lol. Since we realized we would have to live with the crazy noise 24-7, we invested in a pair of Bose Headphones to try to deal with it, especially since we had some Best Buy gift-cards we had been saving up! Y’all…. these. are. magic. I live in them while in my apartment (no exaggeration- it’s pretty much all waking hours), but it has been the ultimate life saver this past half a year!!! Oh, and I love using them while studying in coffee shops too- they definitely help me focus. Best investment of all time.

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9. Facebook Marketplace. My sister introduced this to me while she was here, and I have had way much more luck than I did on Craig’s list with selling a few things before the move! It’s incredibly user friendly, even for a technologically inept individual as myself.

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10. Big Little Lies. So season two just released, and I decided to rewatch the first season while running/working on house chores. Oh my gosh, I forgot a ton. This story line is tremendous. I was definitely distracted first time around watching, because I don’t remember half of this! But wowza- maybe one of the best shows ever.

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That wraps up a FF. We were long overdue, huh?

What is your Friday Favorite today? Drop those FF links below if you have them!! 🙂

xo <3

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