Little bit of this, a little bit of that!

Hi, everyone!!! Before the holidays catapult into full force I am hoping to play a little catch up with the happenings from the last couple weeks. This is gonna be one heckuvah hodge-podge post. Oh, but before I forget- please check your Spam! My comments have been getting stuck there again. 🙁 Oh dear WP, all I do is love youuuu , why must you do this to me?!

Anyywho, November 6th after returning from Austin was a day full of school work. The days entirely devoted to school are such a blur! I don’t remember the day itself- but I do know I made trout with roasted zucchini and brown rice. Mmm mmm. Such an easy go-to meal. DJ had his leftover tacos per usual.

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November 7th I went on a lovely seven mile run in the morning.

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In the evening I made DJ bow-tie pasta with a garlic breadstick from TJ’s. Highly recommend- these are quickly becoming a favorite in our home! I had a repeat dinner of the night before.

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Thursday November 8th, I enjoyed a nice run again, then finished up some discussion boards and went to Boys & Girls club in the afternoon. In the evening, since I was ahead of my schedule for school work for the week, I treated myself to a little in-home spa night!! I heard of this amazing face mask featured below from Maureen. (Also she just finished her first marathon this past weekend!! Woooohooo!).

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Anyways, I think I could count on one hand the number of facials I have done in my life (okay maybe one finger- I’ve always been skeptical that they actually do anything), but this was so nice!

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I poured myself a nice glass of wine in my San Jose Giants glass and plopped on the couch to catch up on blogs after taking off the face mask. The Aztec clay worked so well, and I truly feel that I felt a difference in the brightness and smoothness of my face. If you end up using this, I will say you need less than you think- a little goes a long way!

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November 9th I took the day off from running and decided to go for a morning walk before getting started on my massive assignment for the semester. The trees finally are tryin’ to make it feel like fall. A for effort I say 😉

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Our Friday was pretty uneventful- I worked on my huge paper & just chilled with DJ at home.

Saturday November 10th provided a little respite from the crazy studies!! I ran a fourteen-miler in the morning and then we went to the most epic annual holiday party hosted by our friend Nicole (one of DJ’s coworkers) and her family. You may remember it from last year!

All they ask is that you bring a nonperishable item- isn’t that a wonderful idea for a holiday party?

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The decor, the food……. everything is just done up superbly. It is truly the party of the year. My pictures do not even display the half of it. There was an entire other room with hot food (the most delicious apple crepes I have ever had) and a mimosa bar outside on their stunning patio.

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Peek the Rombauer crate 😉

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For dessert, there were pumpkin crunch parfaits that I was like, “I am so stuffed, but I have to have one bite”… yeah, right! Good luck stopping after one bite of these little guys. Dessert stomach came in the clutch that day.

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They also had these darling caramel apples. The creativity is just next level with everything. *cue Ciara’s Level Up*

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Nicole’s family is so fun to be around and make you feel like one of their own. I had been looking forward to this party for months, and it was full of nothing but laughs, great convo and new friends. <3

The morning of November 11th DJ proposed we go to Toast before Church. Who am I to object?! Since DJ “bumps in” to help set up for church, we drove separately and met there. I squeezed in a run before and was starvin’ marvin’ by the time I arrived.

Snuck a shot of this cutie before he noticed. Shhhhhh.

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This time I had to actually try their toast. I had the mushroom toast with whipped mascarpone and goat cheese, sautéed spinach, egg whites, garlic, peppers, mushrooms, a touch of marsala wine, & balsamic glaze all on sourdough toast. It was phenomenal!!! The savory creaminess and the cheese blends on the toasty sourdough was unbelievable ! (And actually totally feasible to recreate at home).

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And like I said.. I was so hungry! I ordered a side of french toast to see if it was any good. I will say it was about average. Not worth ordering, but glad I gave it a go, so now I know. Didn’t mean to rhyme, but guess it was just the time!

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Of course, DJ had to order the winning chocolate chip pancakes! He always lets me have a bite, bless him.

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We went to church then had a nice nap in the afternoon with football on in the background. Sunday fall football naps are the best naps.

In the evening I was having a craving for some pizza! I made a vegan pizza on butternut squash from Trader Joe’s. I had high hopes for the butternut squash crust, but it missed the mark. I would say stick with the cauli crust. I think the butternut squash should have been more of a root veggie pizza maybe with hummus rather than a traditional marinara based pizza! (but of course, I still ate every little bite).

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I topped it with their almond cheese- TJ’s almond mozzarella is some of my favorite! It is some of the best vegan cheese I think I’ve found.

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DJ had leftover pasta, and then for dessert I made some overdue tollhouse cookies for us. We finished the Haunting of Hill House… It ended on a beautiful note! I heard on a podcast that Haunting of Hill House is the This is Us of horror… I felt like it was a pretty accurate description. hahah.

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November 12th was back to the grind with school, but with the California fires weighing on my mind. This picture below was taken at 4:30 pm. The sun was blocked by all the smoke, and this is the eerie scene that resulted. It seriously felt somewhat apocalyptic.

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I thought the air was better on November 13th, so I went on a nice walk in the morning before hitting the books.

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There were some radiant blooms!!

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Unfortunately, when I came home I had an awful headache and felt somewhat nauseous. I think I thought the smoke cleared too soon— quite literally. 🙁 Even being so close to everything going on it’s hard to wrap my head around- I just pray for everyone affected and that has lost their home or loved ones. It is devastating.

November 14th I started the day with some toast: pomegranate and Fage with a sprinkle of Shakeology protein powder on cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread. Mmm mmm! I am loving pomegranates lately – except for the fact that it looks like a crime scene when I’m cutting them up.

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Since then we have been pretty much confined indoors. DJ kept insisting on going outside for his run, but I pulled the nurse card and wouldn’t let him. Usually you can see mountains in the background- but everywhere you looked was smoky. It is much better now though!

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Oh, super random story- but kinda funny, I use my old mac laptop (barely operating) to do Insanity since that’s what I have it downloaded on… but when I brought it up from doing a workout it went haywire. It made an unnervingly LOUD buzzing noise (not the normal fan whir)– I actually thought it was going to blow up! I put it on the floor in the bathroom and called the Mac customer service hotline. I think the guy thought I was a nut when I led into the convo with, “I think my laptop is gonna blow up”….. It stopped whirring about two minutes into the phone call (of course)… so I just let it be. I don’t have anything seriously important on there, but I am just glad it didn’t self combust hahah.

Thursday the 15th- Saturday the 17th was full of Boys & Girls Club, studying, and working on my big assignment! I made a major dent, which is such a relief. I can’t wait to share my Sunday with you in San Francisco- but that is for another post 🙂

PS. If you are still looking for a yummy side dish/dish for any vegetarian/vegan friends I have one that I just love! I am making it this Thursday and thought it’d be fun to do a little link up with the recipe here.

Anywho- have the best Thanksgiving everyone 🙂

Questions for you:

  • Any go-to face masks you really like?
  • Favorite Thanksgiving recipe? Please share a link if ya have one!

xo <3

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

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Austin, TX!

Happy Thursday! And welcome to a travel post! This is a short & sweet one, as we were in Austin for only about 24 hours. BUT we did our best to make the most of it 🙂

So, as many of you know, DJ is checking out different schools/campuses for grad school (MBA). We decided to give UT Austin an in-person visit since he’d never been, but it’s one of the schools he is considering. On Saturday November 3rd I spent the day packing, tying up loose ends around the house, trying to get as much school work done as possible, cleaning, etc.

Around 4:45 am on November 4th I woke up to run, then around 6:30 am we grabbed an Uber to the airport!

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The only thing that made standing through security and the long lines bearable was the promise of Peet’s at the end. *Big deep sigh of bliss* Nothing like Peet’s and reading about reformed Medicare at 7:30 am.

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I studied majority of the plane trip, so I hardly even remember it. I do know the turbulence was awful, and I don’t do well at all with that. But we still arrived, safe and sound 🙂 The Uber driver was very informative and we learned a ton about Austin on our way just to the hotel. Gosh, everyone is soo dern friendly in TX!

We stayed at The Hampton Inn that was closest to right off campus. It was super convenient, cheap, and easily the nicest Hampton Inn we have ever stayed.

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Highly recommend if you are ever in Austin. Those hotels downtown can be pricy- this one was a real bang for the buck!

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And in light of keeping Austin weird they had an intentionally spray painted wall & a photo booth, lol.

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This was on the inside of the elevator… Austin and I will get along just fine!

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We were greeted by a cute little Armadillo & a coffee maker first step into the room, so we were happy as a couple clams! <3

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After dropping our stuff off at the hotel, we walked across the street to UT Austin to check out the grounds!

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It is a stunning campus!

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After walking around for a while, we realized we were quite hungry (‘magine that!). We went back to the hotel, grabbed some water at their cute little water stand in the lobby, and then changed out of our frumpy travel clothes.

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If you know me, you know before big trips I can spend an absurd amount of time researching restaurants. I came to the conclusion that The Salty Sow was a must!

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It was such a warm little space!

img_1523Luckily we came in time for the tail end of Happy Hour, so we tried a few apps at only $5. *In voice of Dorothy: We aren’t in California anymore*.

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First, we had to try the “duck fat” fries. Not even sure what that means, but goodness gracious, they were crispy, delicious perfection. And how fun that they were served with a fry-d egg!

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Next, we had to try the Brussel Sprouts. These were hands down, the BEST Brussel sprouts we have ever had. DJ isn’t even a huge fan of brussels usually, but he kept saying over and over he couldn’t believe how tasty they were.

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For main entrees, DJ ordered the slow cooked beef shoulder with yukon gold mashed potatoes, glazed root vegetables, and a fried egg. It was served in a literal pan.

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DJ loved it.

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For my main, I had the chef’s veggie antipasto platter. It didn’t give a large description of everything that would be on it, but I’ve never met a veggie I haven’t  liked. The platter was massive! I thought “there is no way I can finish all that!”.. but whaddya know, everything was so delicious I couldn’t leave a scrap.

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We were pretty tired and somewhat disoriented from traveling/time change/daylight savings, so we just went back to the hotel to get a nice night slumber & watch Haunting of Hill House. In the morning of November 5th, DJ met with a student from the school of business while I cranked out a six-miler on the treadmill while reading for school. After…. brekky time! At home I usually have breakfast before working out, but when traveling I usually like to work out first thing and work up a massive appetite before chowing down. It makes all the food taste sooo guuuuud.

Look how pretty this buffet area is!!! I just love a good hotel breakfasts.

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The coffee was soo yummy too.

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I grabbed a chocolate scone, fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, a hard boiled egg, and studied for my research course while fueling up for the day.

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While waiting for DJ to return, I watched some lectures in the hotel room and then somehow dozed back to sleep.

When he came back it was around 11:30/12 and we still had some time before our flight. We decided spur of the moment to squeeze in a few more eats before heading back. First stop: Tumble 22! I actually had a Austin food blogger (AustinEater) reach out with the suggestion.

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They claimed it was the best chicken sandwich ever, and DJ confirmed.

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Right next door was a fun little spot called Ranch 616 that had pescatarian- friendly eats for ya girl, so we decided to swing in.

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The atmosphere was wonderful- nice &  relaxing, buzzing with character!

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First, we had to try their Southern Kitchen Living award winning “best oysters in the South” oysters! I am not a big fan of fried food because often I feel like all you taste is the “fried” flavor and nothing else (plus sometimes thereafter tummy troubles)… but these were jam packed with spectacular flavor. And the aioli they served with it was just the best, creamiest compliment. DJ swore he wasn’t hungry after having that massive sandwich, but after having one bite of these he had his share 😉

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I also tried their shrimp tacos which were Mmmmmm mmmmm mmmmm! My mouth also waters just thinking about the jalapeño onion rings. I may never be able to enjoy standard onion rings the same way again.

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Time to head back to the hotel. Luckily, where we stayed we were able to walk to everything except the airport while we were there. This saved on getting a rental car and also allowed us to see more of the city on foot.

I loved this mural we spotted on the way back!

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The rest of the day was a full travel day with a layover in Denver. It all went pretty smoothly. I just studied the entire time and actually knocked out a decent amount of school work for the week!

Questions for you:

  • Have you been to Austin? If so, do you have any favorite restaurants/ things to do?
  • If you could visit a city for 24 hours where would it be?

xo <3

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Friday Favorites #16!

Happy Friday, everyone!!! I was not planning on publishing a Friday Faves today, but I am having the worst time focusing on school this morning. It smells thick of smoke from the wildfires and my eyes are dry- it’s making it hard to read and absorb the info. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by Camp Fire (and the shooting). My stomach hurts thinking about everything going on 🙁 So scary, so awful. What’s happening to us, guys? *Sigh* I didn’t even plan on mentioning this, but my heart is breaking for the pain & loss being experienced by so many.

Anyways, Friday Favorites are always some of my favorite posts to post (Did that sentence even make sense?). Publishing one always brightens my spirits, and I hope it brightens yours as well! I’m currently enjoying an extra cup of pumpkin spiced joe (it’s a three cup of coffee type morning) and am excited to share some highlights before hitting the books again. Luckily, I have the whole weekend to just focus on a massive paper I have due soon. Alrighty ! Leggo!

  1. Apple Cider Donuts from Trader Joe’s. We haven’t been great this year about doing all the traditional autumn activities, but really, all ya need is an apple cider donut (or six) to call your fall a win!!!

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2. Brooks Ghost Runners  & Berry Inserts. This has been my go-to shoe/insert pairing for the last six(ish) years, maybe more! Before using this combo I had horrible shin splints. I have been fighting some serious knee pain recently, then realized I haven’t replaced my shoes in nearly five months. That’s far too long when you are marathon training. Since replacing them my knee already feels much better, but I’m gonna take it easy this week to try to let it heal up.

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3. TJ’s Lightlife Smart Tenders. Oh, how I love Lightlife. Their smart tenders are just insanely good, vegan, and super high in protein.

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I like dicing up the tenders, heating them up, and throwing them in my salads. For thanksgiving, I am going to eat these with gravy as my “turkey”. (Of course I’ll make a real turkey too for the meat eaters 😉 ).

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4. Dang, this is quickly becoming a TJ’s Friday Fave! Have y’all tried these pumpkin cranberry crisps yet?! OH man they are good! I like dipping them in greek yogurt for an afternoon snack. Mm mm. I may need to go grab some now!

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Okay, back, with crisps in hand! Onto the next one….

5. If you follow the bachelor, you have to read this exchange between Arie & Sean Lowe. Too funny.

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6. My sister asked me to be her maid of honor!!  After a lot of contemplation and ambivalence about my answer (jk jk), I said yes! I am so so excited. She asked me with this cute little scratch off  & a wine glass that had an inside joke engraved on it. Her wedding is next July 🙂

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Not a super high quality picture, but a high quality moment!

facetune_07-11-2018-18-50-23(PS. JUST in case anyone notices, I’m not wearing my ring in the pic because I was deep cleaning the apartment this day haha- there is zero trouble in paradise 😉 ). Although speaking of which- can you believe Kaitlyn and Shawn’s breakup (bachelor franchise reference)?! *insert shocked emoji*. Although I’m not alll that shocked. There were some signs. Okay, I need to move on. Hahah.

7. We are a bit late to the game with this one. But we are LOVING The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix. We watched the first episode and weren’t sure how we felt, but after the second one we were glued to the series. I think we may binge it tonight depending how much work I get done to try to finish the ‘sodes. We have three left!

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8. This is an unusual Friday Fave- but this past week when checking out at my local Target I was chatting away with one of my favorite cashiers, and right before I left she threw a bunch of free goods into my shopping bag! I used up everything already except the lavender + sage soap (which I smells delightful and I’ll be opening it up today). I particularly loved the lemon sage lotion– yummy!  Shoutout to my local TarJay employees – y’all are the real MVPs!

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9. This. Just this.

img_1422-110. Ebates!!!

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Oh man, oh man! A few of you recommended signing up and installing this into my internet toolbar for cashback on purchases after my Savings September post. All I gotta say is….. what have I been doing my whole life?! This is incredible. It’s so easy, and I already am racking up cashback on things I already buy all the time. Thank you tons for the recommendation!!! If you want to sign up, click this link!

Questions for you:

  • Current favorite Trader Joe’s Product?
  • Any weekend plans?

xo <3

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**There are affiliated links in this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own**

All the Carbs, Please!!

Hey, Hi, Hellur! I worked my tush off this week promising myself I could blog a bit tonight if I could get “x” number of assignments done! Annnd here we are! Wooohooo!!! The last week and a half was stuffed to the brim with soo many fun things. I cannot wait to share!

Sunday October 28th we went to church in the morning. I came home and whipped up a stuffed purple sweet potato with some leftover crab from my giant sushi burrito, avocado, and fage.

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It hit the spot! In the afternoon I worked on a massive school assignment that is due at the end of November while DJ worked on grad school schtuff. For a little break I ran to TJ’s.

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^These pumpkin biscottis were mighty tasty with some coffee!!!

img_1275  On my way home I received this text from my mom- in case anyone has a Boarshead near ya I thought you’d appreciate me passing it on 😉 How good does this sound?! Has anyone tried any dessert hummus?

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When I came home from our massive haul I whipped DJ and me up a Margherita Pizza.

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The way it bubbles gets me every time 🤤

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Monday October 29th all my new assignments were released. I worked, worked, worked as did DJ. For dinner I made him Bison Tacos per his request (I swear he never gets sick of these things haha), and I made myself a giant garden salad.

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October 30th was the same ole’ as the day before. Except for dinner I used some mini raviolis I found at Trader Joe’s to make mac n’ cheese ravioli.

I also tossed in a little tomato sauce and a bit of parm on top. I love the texture of parm on top of any pasta- always the perfect finishing touch!

img_1235I had a tiny bit with my favorite salad, and DJ pretty much destroyed the rest 😉

In the evening I perused through Food & Wine magazine to get ideas brewing for Thanksgiving. I am PSYCHED to cook up a storm this year.

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In the morning of October 31st (Happy Halloweeeen!), I had a nice long run outside greeted by a beautiful day. The sky said summer, but the leaves were begging for fall. Welcome to California autumn, haha. I am LIVING for all of your autumn pictures you guys have been posting. It’s so different here. I still love the weather, don’t get me wrong- but I do miss the gray skies, chill and smell of “fall” in the air.

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I worked all day on assignments, and then headed into the city to meet up with my friend, Cynthia, from my residency cohort! I haven’t seen her since we graduated from the program in March. I’ve missed her! We have stayed in touch, but haven’t had a chance to get together. As I drove into the city a beautiful palette of colors greeted me along the skyline.

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Of course, pictures never do justice 😉

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We went to her favorite local pizza joint, Ardiana’s. We have similar taste buds, so we decided to split a couple dishes. First up was the roasted Brazillian broccolini, white anchovies, chili oil, preserved lemon, and pecorino romano. It was beyond delightful. Oh my! I don’t know the last time I’ve had anchovies- but I’m allll about um’ now! The combo was perfection.

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We followed this dish with a pizza with funghi, caramelized onions, thyme, fontina, and moltinero truffled pecorino. The truffled flavor is something I have dreamt about ever since. This was easily one of the tastiest pizzas I have ever tried. Better than Pizza Antica even! I dare say it was even better than Jack Rose Libation House which before stood as my favorite.

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I stayed at my SIL, Amy’s, apartment for the evening since I was a bit nervous driving all the way home late on Halloween evening. I slept so well and woke up to this gorgeous view on the morning of November 1st.… I just love this city <3 Not a bad way to start the month 🙂

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At around 7:30 I headed toward the Embarcadero to squeeze in a run before heading home. I have been craving a run on the Embarcadero lately. Do you all remember when Annie lived here? I used to love staying at her apartment and getting up early to sneak in a run on the water. It is the bestttt.

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After my run, I decided I still had time before I wanted to head back to Cupertino. I was loving loving loving being in the city. I went back to the car, grabbed my laptop and school materials then headed to Peet’s in the Ferry Building.

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I grabbed a quest bar for breakfast and had to see what this vegan eggplant “bacon” was all about. It wasn’t too bad, but way too expensive for what it tasted like. I actually prefer my homemade eggplant strips to this!

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I was happy as a stinking clam. I just missed Kate because this is the Peet’s where we first met in person! I sent her a little snap of the table we sat and chatted at.

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I was surprisingly productive for being so giddy. I knocked out one solid assignment and decided to head home to eat up some groceries rather than spend more money eating out.

On Friday November 2nd, I had a gala for Boys & Girls Clubs. Okay, I haven’t really mentioned this on the blog yet…. but this has been a big part of my life for the last couple months. This also probably explains why I haven’t been able to get out my posts in a timely manner, haha. First, I help third graders with their homework on Thursdays. I just adore these kiddos and always get the cutest little drawings haha. Yes, I have one eye in the middle one 😉

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It has been one of the most rewarding, lovely, amazing experiences. Truly a highlight of my week! Next, I have been mentoring a high school girl and helping her get ready to compete in something called “Youth of the Year” (YOY). They choose three outstanding high schoolers from the program, they each write a speech about what the club has done for them, and then compete for a scholarship. I have grown close to the girl I’m mentoring, and when the opportunity came to volunteer for the gala I eagerly signed up since it meant I could see her give her speech!

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I chatted with her and the other two YOY contestants before, we ran through their speeches, and then just all hung out trying to calm their nerves. I then went to help out at the raffle table when the event began.

Oh, and if you are a fan of Happy Days or Holes, you may recognize Henry Winkler, the guest speaker for the evening. He was great and entertaining!

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I wasn’t planning on taking pictures for the evening, but since I was tucked away in the corner at the raffle with no one around me for dinner time (except a couple third grade twins I was watching for the evening) I decided to sneak in a few shots 🙂 I had the butternut squash ravioli. It was tasty but unfortunately a bit cold when it came out- that’s whatchya get with banquet food sometimes! I know, I worked in the banquet industry. Difficult to keep all that food warm for sure.

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For dessert they brought out a raspberry mousse stuffed cookie. This was just incredibly delicious. I savored every little bit of this thing!

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Here are all the awe-inspiring, amazing students lined up!

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She didn’t win, but to say I was SO proud of her would be an understatement. I was bursting with pride watching her speak so eloquently and confidently. She vulnerably shared parts of her life and demonstrated a courage that amazed me. It was a wonderful night. I hope to continue to mentor her in some way even though this event is over. DJ attended our church gala, and although I was sad I couldn’t be in two places at once he shared every detail with me! I will save that for the next post.  Oh, and next recap is a travel post- yeeehaw! 🙂 **I don’t have time to edit this post because we want to watch Haunting of Hill House, so please excuse errors that I will cringe at when I find them tomorrow, lol. Goodnight one and all!**

Questions for you:

  • Favorite pizza toppings?
  • Pizza or pasta? I know, I know.. cruel to make you even choose!

xo <3

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Flights & a Sushi Burrito!

Aaaand let’s jump right into the better half of last week! Currently it is midnight, my neighbors are being loud per usual (But they are leaving within the next week!), and I am eating mac and cheese. No one can be mad while eating mac and cheese. Monday the 21st, I had my big ole’ midterm- It went really well! Deep breaths of relief all around 🙂 The rest of the day was horribly unproductive. I still received a whole new round of assignments for the week, but barely made a dent. Brain fried like an egg on cement on a hot July day in the south. Tuesday the 22nd to Thursday the 24th I chipped away at my assignments, but felt super off. I had a weirdly hard time focusing- my emotions were alllll over the place, and I had that “impending doom” feeling for no reason. I told my mom on the phone I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a full moon because this is how I get around them (aka off my rocker)… turns out it was! Hahah. All is right in the world now though- as soon as it started waning we were back on track. DJ thinks I’m nuts blaming my emotional crises on the moon- but it. all. makes. sense. I can palpably feel y’alls’ eyerolls- “there she goes…. talking in crazy Californian”. teheh.

Anyways, nuff of the hog wash. So, I am sooo excited to share that I received my first ever foodie invite!! You might remember Flights from here or here. I just love this spot! Everything, food and drink, is served in Flights of three. I received a DM in my foodstagram (*mackncheeeesy… subtle plug*) inviting me to “media” night at their new location opening in Mountain View. I have to be honest– immediately I was terrified by the thought of “media night”.. doubting my worth being there, worrying about the logistics, etc. But I have learned this last year the power of just saying “yes”. Any type of event that I don’t know 100% what to expect can be kinda scary- but usually the unexpected turns into some of the greatest memories.

Back to the fooood (important things)!

We walked up to the stunning entrance and had to give our names on the list- heart racing- are our names going to be on there?! They were. Phew! We were greeted with champagne and encouraged to take a seat wherever we wanted. We found a nice little table and then were given a menu. The CEO came over, shook our hands, and told us to indulge to our hearts content. I was floored- everything was FREE! Everything was complimentary. WHAT?! We ordered sooo much food- trying to avoid what we had already tried. And we still haven’t tried everything. My goal is to try literally every food item on the menu! At this point I think I have like 2 more dishes to try haha.

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Oh, so this is a pretty fun detail— if you need service you press the “service” button, same with pay and dessert respectively.

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They also had spreads for us to snap shots of too!

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Now for what we ordered! We started with the hummus.. and holy smashed chickpeas… it blew me away. I never expect much from hummus after having Oren’s… but this was dang good! And the pita was warm and fluffy. The flavors they have are avocado cilantro, roasted red pepper, and roasted garlic. I truly could not pick a favorite!

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We also ordered the veggie pizzas— this is easily one of my favorite things on the menu. They had blue cheese apple, pesto margherita, and mushroom teriyaki. I think I love the mushroom teriyaki best, but the pesto margherita was close behind as was the blue cheese apple. YUM!

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We ordered their salad flight too- I would say they were just okay. The caprese was the best of the three!

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The star of the show in my opinion, was the tuna! SO GOOD! My mouth waters just thinking about it- so fresh, so delish!

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I went with my good friend, Sara, who y’all probably recognize by now! DJ’s new favorite video game came out that Friday so while he graciously offered to go with me I knew he’d much rather be gaming. Plus I hadn’t spent time with Sara in a while so this was a perfect excuse to hangout. Also can we have a moment to just admire her hair? Seriously the most beautiful hair in the woorrrrld.

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We had to try at least one meat item- cause I gotta be objective for my carnivores out there! I tried one bite of each, as did Sara- and we agreed the truffle empanada was the best of the three. So tasty. The al pastor and ground beef were a bit too salty for our liking.

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To top off the meal we had beignets!

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I’ve beignet waiting all my life for a flight like this <3

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HEAVEN! They surpassed all expectations!! facetune_31-10-2018-11-10-22

It ended up being just a wonderful event, so easy and fun! I am super glad we said yes. I will say the next day I started feeling insecure when I saw everyone’s gorgeous photos of the spreads from the same event. I started comparing myself to the other food bloggers, thinking of all the different shots I should have grabbed, but quickly remembered one of my go-to fave nuggets of wisdom “Comparison is the thief of joy”. I am not a professional, I do this for fun, and that’s exactly what it was! I am grateful to have been invited in the first place, and it was truly an unforgettable experience!

Saturday morning of the 27th I went for a nice run in the morning followed by a riveting CPR class to renew my license. How does two years go by so quickly?!

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I desperately needed to go to the grocery store, but wanted to work on school work in the evening… so I messaged DJ to see if I could pick up some food for us from the mall nearby (this mall has the greatest food options! I seriously go there just for their food sometimes). I was craving Sushirrito, and he wanted Panda. I grabbed him some orange chicken and I tried a BL item– the ultimate Sumo Crunch roll!

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I was a starvin’ marvin’ at this point, so I also snatched some seaweed salad to tide me over. It literally didn’t even make it home…. I wonder what other drivers were thinking hahah. And yes, I ate it with the chopsticks. And yes, I spilled it all over myself (goes without saying).

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And now for the epic Sumo Crunch roll!!! I will say I loved the amount of crab on it and the red tempura flakes – mmm mmmm. I still think I preferred some of the other rolls better. Some people say you should get it with tempura shrimp, so maybe that’s what I need to do next time.

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But wait….. could it be?!?!? BAKED BY MELISSA! Halloween Edition!!! Thank you so much to my mother-in-law for this sweet halloween treat. Y’all know our love of Baked Melissa- so we were PUMPED! I think our favorite is the “eyeball” or the “bear-ied” alive hahah.

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One day I’ll catch up on these updates. Hope you all have a fun & safe Halloween. I won’t be really celebrating this year (sigh- in the midst of the craziness we never really got anything together), but I am eagerly looking forward to seeing all your posts!!

xo <3

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**This is a sponsored post with affiliate links. All ideas and opinions are my own**

Jus’ Out Here Havin’ a Ball!

Hey, Everyone! Wowzas- long time, no seee! The last couple weeks have been an absolute whirlwind. I feel like I have just soo much to share- this may take multiple posts. We left off Sunday the 14th from our jots around SF. Monday the 15thWednesday the 17th I spent all day e’ryday chugging away on school work. Of course, Monday night Dancing with the Stars consumed the evening. But they didn’t even send anyone home! I’m sick of the participation trophies, haha. On Thursday the 18th I volunteered in the afternoon and then deep cleaned the apartment. Feels so refreshing to do that every couple weeks!

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In the evening, my friend Dani came by to get ready for an event in SF. We actually heard about it from Venmo John on Sunday, as he was promoting it. It sounded like a tremendous event, a wonderful cause and a fun girls night. We were just sad Tammy couldn’t join us! As I mentioned in my last post, Dani is a traveling occupational therapist and is moving, so this was our last time to hangout together. My sister in law, Amy, joined us too!

This event was hosted by Spark– a “network of young professionals who invest to improve the lives of women around the world”. The theme was black and pink if ya can’t tell 😉 We realized when we got there that it was just one massive fundraiser, but still a fun time! I’m just totallly not used to settings like that haha.

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Sista sista! I seriously can’t express how much I love living this close to my SIL. She is easily one of my all time favorite people to hang with.

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Picture with one of the band members

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Dani and me <3 Ugh, I am going to miss her tooo. darn. much. Seriously always the best of memories with this one!

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Always always have to get snacks of course. They had the cutest little pass around dishes. The best thing I tried was a little cheesecake cup, but the picture came out a bit too blurry…. Not blog approved 😉

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We said hey to John and thanked him for telling us about such a great event!

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By the time the event was over, we needed real sustenance. We headed to Nob Hill Pizza & Shawerma to nosh on some pies!

On Friday the 19th, I studied big time for my midterms. Deej and I had a chill night at home while he worked on grad school interviews.

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Anyone else study on the treadmill?

Saturday the 20th, we decided to try out a new breakfast spot. There is nothing better to fuel up a long Saturday run than some yummy breakfast food.

img_0634img_0523This new Dive is called Toast Cafe & Grill– and we knew nearly immediately it would be a favorite.

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The menu is extensive- with alllll the yummies!

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I ordered their french garden skillet with egg whites. It hit the spot. You can’t see the hashbrowns underneath in this photo, but they were mighty tasty. I will say I feel kinda bad for not trying out their toast at TOAST (quite out of character for me), but next time, next time 😉 The skillet just sounded too darn good.

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Deej tried their South of the Border omelette, and he said he may like this place better than Bill’s…… *gasp*. I don’t know if I’m gonna go that far just yet.

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I do like their pancakes better than Bill’s though.. I have to admit! But nothing tops Bill’s french garden omelette or smoked salmon benny. Mmmm mmm!

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The service was impeccable too. We both cannot wait to go back.

In the afternoon I had a glorious long run! That evening Deej & I just had a chill evening. We watched the first episode of The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix. We weren’t sure how we felt about it at first, but now we are loving it!!

Sunday the 21st we went to Church in the morning. Afterward, I grabbed a much needed cup of coffee with Tammy. She knows all the best spots. I had never been to this fun little cafe called FlowerFlour before, but I am officially obsessed.

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Is this not the most intricately and eclectically decorated cafe you’ve ever seen?

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Such a great place to visit in the fall! We grabbed lattes and shared some scrumptious zucchini bread while having a great chat.

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After DJ was done “bumping out” at Church (tearing down the venue since we use a pop up site) we went to LazyDog, a restaurant we just love on Main Street Cupertino, for some good eats. He called me mid run, but I am always down for a snack break. Lol.

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I usually have a hard rule against ordering the same thing on a menu twice- but I can never resist ordering their seared ahi tuna over cauli mashed potatoes. Mmmm mmm!

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DJ had their fried chicken sandwich. All their food is too darn good! I kept stealing probably too many fries than he would have liked, hahah oops.

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I ordered the second half to go, but literally as soon as I got home I was itching to have the second half.

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And I finished the evening with the second half of that run and some beautiful views. I ended up running about 26 miles in two days (a 12-miler followed by a 14 miler Sunday (split into two parts). I’m currently gearing up for a marathon in January if my knee can handle it.  Also, I was stressed about taking my midterm in the morning this run helped calm me down a ton.

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I enjoyed some veggies, cheese, hummus, and pita chips to snack on post run + some Dexter with DJ.

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This is getting long so I’ll wrap it up here! Have a wonderful week, m’ friends!

Questions for you:

  • Favorite post run/ post workout snack?
  • Anyone else love “leftovers” as much as I do? 

xo <3

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A Day in the Bay! (+ a “Celeb” encounter)

Hi, Everyone! How are you? I have midterms this week, so I’m knee deep in the books + studying. I can’t wait to catch up on your blogs after I finish the testing up! This past week since my last recap was pretty uneventful. I included the highlights in my Friday Faves 🙂 DJ was in Monterey for another work trip for a couple days, and I just worked hard for school. We both wanted to take Friday & Saturday easy at home, so we just ran errands, had leftover mac and cheese, put on some football games, snuck in a couple long runs and lounged around- it was just wonderful.

My friend Dani (you may remember her from here or here among many other posts) is leaving soon for another occupational therapy travel assignment, so we are soaking up whatever days we can find to hangout together. This Sunday it worked out for Dani, Tammy, and I to have a full out girls day in SF. “Fun” is truly an understatement- it’s always a blast when we all get together! I’m excited to share our day with you all! These pictures are compiled from the three of us from the day.

So let’s get to!!! We made our way up to the city around 8:30 am.

First stop *drumroll*…. Mr. Holmes Bakehouse!! I have wanted to try out this gem of a bakery since we moved here.

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I’m not joking when I say we tried one of everything….. (minus their cookies and a couple savory pastries)

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One of two boxes, naturally!

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YOU GUYS!!!! Look at this box. Lol, I love this place.

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Literally everything we tried was delicious. I think the favorites were the matcha croissant, churro donut, sticky pecan bun, and the blueberry/lemon/pistachio bostock. They are known for their cruffins as I mentioned, and while it was yummy I wouldn’t say it was a favorite. It’s hard to compare to B. Patisserie & Tartine because it’s a different type of bakery. The other two have a lot of variety and dimension. Here, it is more about the novelty (of course, the pastries are amazing too!). The only downside is there really isn’t anywhere to sit and enjoy your pastries- it is more a grab and go type place. We were lucky to grab the only counter space available.

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We were walking back to the car and spotted a little coffee shop that had a line out the door. If there is anyone that has the need to try out the hoppin’ spots like I do, it’s these girls!!! I was so excited when Tammy said this was a place she has been dying to try- and we could always go for another coffee.

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This popular spot is called  Jane . I am actually shocked I haven’t seen this on on the lists I’ve searched.

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How adorable is this?! They also brag many awards- best croissant in the bay of 2018, best baguette 2017… how have I not heard of this place?!?!

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We ordered our coffees- and I am SO stoked that I finally got to try something charcoal. I have seen a lot of charcoal items featured throughout the bay, but never have stumbled across one. I ordered the black charcoal latte with activated charcoal, raw cocoa, coconut, and reiki mushrooms! yes, mushrooms. You couldn’t taste them at all- but I think they act like an antioxidant.

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(Behind the scenes of the picture- tehe!). I cracked up when I saw these pictures Tammy took!

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ZERO chill. Hahah.

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The lattes were terrific! I am going to crave that charcoally goodness. (may be the first person in history to ever utter that sentence).

Next stop on the bucket list?! Bernal Heights!!! The views are just tremendous.

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Of course we had to try out the famous swing…

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It was sooo much fun. A must if you are in the city.

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And sometimes ya just gotta go barefoot ya know?

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We then met up with some of Dani’s friends in town so they could see her before she goes too. One of them is an NP! I had a great time chatting with her.

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Time for food at  Soma StrEat Food Park !

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Annnnd guess who we ran into?! Venmo John from the Bachelor! He was truly the nicest guy… he chatted with us for a while then gave us his volunteer food voucher! (my excessive use of exclamation points is entirely warranted in this post)

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my look of disbelief that we just chatted with Venmo John and now have his meal voucher…. What is life

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We grabbed a dish from The Sarap Shop. I ate some veggies under the chicken, and had my emergency protein bar on me to add some protein!

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I love this little area they have set up to eat with picnic tables and TVs

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After chowing down, we still had room for dessert… Ice Cream time!!!

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This matcha ice cream was some of the best I have ever had!!! I saw in one of Rossy’s posts the fish cone- and man is it tasty!!! It is way better than a traditional waffle cone. Not sure what’s in it, but I’m in love. We also had nutella drizzled inside of it which was a perfect touch.

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My friends are the cutest <3

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And that’s a wrap!! Hope you all are having a great week 🙂 Don’t mind any errors in this post, I whipped it up super fast, but time to get back to studying. *Sigh*

Questions for you!

  • Have you ever had anything matcha flavored?
  • Have you ever met anyone that’s been on TV? (I’m such a fangirl, I love these convos, hahah).

xo <3

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Friday Favorites #16! + An exciting update :)

Hey Everyone! TGIFF! Thank Goodness it’s Friday Favorites! Sometimes on a pretty uneventful week I like to include the updates/highlights in a Friday Faves post. Also, Autumn seems to be the time of year when my creative juices (especially in the kitchen dept.) start flowing. I don’t know if it’s the fact that it’s a new season or what, but I always feel the urge to turn over a new leaf 😉

#1. Ezekiel toast with Fage & low sugar strawberry jam mixed/dried apricots/walnuts/stevia. It’s no secret I love my yogurt toast, but I got the idea to mix the yogurt with jam from Kori, and it. is. life. changing.

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#2. Kodiak Power Waffles. I have heard people rave about this brand, but it actually took DJ suggesting trying them out to pull the trigger. They are excellent little waffles! I topped them this morning with Fage, syrup, and vegan chocolate chips before a long run. I can’t wait to try the pancakes next.

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#3. Blooms. Nough’ said!

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#4. Chloe’s Pops. Is there anything better than a fudgesicle? Take that childhood nostalgia and indulge in this yumminess! This week I have been loving one after dinner as a little sweet treat.

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#5: Baked By Melissa. For DJ’s birthday, we got this little sweet treat in the mail from my mom-in-law!!! These are my FAVORITE cupcakes in the world- and although sent for DJ’s bday, he let me snag a few of course 😉 #happywifehappylife. The chocolate chip cookie dough is probably my favorite- but they are all terrific. They are based in NYC if you are ever there- but they make a wonderful gift too!

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#6. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. This show is a hoot and a stinkin’ half. I love it. I’ve only watched the first season, but I blew through it in about a week while writing discussion boards for grad school. I don’t typically like watching comedies alone, but this one is just gold. A must. Also, shoutout to Rach for the suggestion!

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#7: THRILLIST. If y’all don’t use Thrillist, ya neeeeds ta! I love this site. It gives an excellent list of all the great travel, food options, recipes, etc. I particularly love it to find the best food spots around here. I consulted this list big time to make my bucket list too. I get e-mails each week of “must try” restaurants and up and coming spots.

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#8. This Garlic Chicken Cheddar Recipe. This is more like a DJ Friday Fave! I haven’t tried this myself, but DJ loved it. I usually make big meals for him for the week that will last a few days, and this was a hit. Plus it smelled phenomenal while cooking. I also added a drizzle of ranch because I felt it would complement the flavors well (and everything is better with ranch).

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#9. VASANTI. This is the BEST face wash/exfoliating cleanser I have ever tried! It was in my FabFitFun box, and boy oh boy am I glad! My skin has never been better.

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#10. Dancing with Stars. DJ always cracks up at me watching this show because I watch it with the goofiest smile, just happy as a clam, and sometimes I can’t help but try to get up and dance the darn Fox Trot with um’! (what an awful sight to see, lol!). It is the epitome of a feel-good show.. this is the first time I have watched it in two years (motivated by Grocery Store Joe, of course), and I love every second. I so look forward to it every week!. Anyone else watch? I’d love to chat 🙂

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#11. And a bonus Friday Fave….OUR UPSTAIR NEIGHBORS ARE MOVING OUT!!!! YES, you heard (read?) right! So, I talked to one of the ladies from the management team a couple days ago. She said basically they asked our neighbors to move due to the noise, offered them a spot on the second floor (not above anyone else), and they said they were happy to accept because they hate the apartment they are in anyways. WOOHOO! Thank you, Jesus. I cried when she told me I was so happy. The first words I said were, “WHAT! I can sleep again!!!” and gave her an obnoxiously big hug. Thanks y’all for your encouragement and convos with this whole fiasco. They are still here but will be out in the next couple weeks. They are currently vacuuming at 10:45 pm, but I don’t even care because they almost GONE! Boy (and girl), BYE!

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xo <3

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**There are affiliate links in this post, but only products I 100% stand by and support. All opinions are my own, and I’d never lead ya astray 😉 **

Birthday Treats & Festivities!

Heyyyy ya! Hope you are all doing well 🙂 I am on my “fall break” today which means I didn’t get a fresh load of assignments this morning. Woohoo! I still have a ton of work to do for projects due later in the semester, so I’m going to chip away on those anyways.

On Thursday October 4th, I finished up all my homework for the weekend, then did all the weekly chores- laundry, deep cleaning, etc. In the evening I went into SJ to volunteer for few hours, then caught up on blogging.

Friday October 5th, I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off, just the way I like it! Hah. I woke up early, did an intense leg burning HITT routine, ran to Baskin Robbins to pick up a cake for my sister-in-law, Amy’s, birthday, then made DJ’s favorite dessert- Oreo Dirt Pudding for his birthday (They are twins to clarify!). If you have never tried dirt pudding, it is a must. This stuff is addictively delicious & pretty easy to whip up. The recipe I use isn’t hyperlinking for some reason- But I will share it soon if any one is interested!

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I was running low on time, but I had a meeting in San Jose to make. I grabbed my stuffed sweet potato bowl and decided to munch on it on the road. I was 98% sure I was going to get some food on me, but I didn’t! It’s the little victories, right?!

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When I returned, I surprisingly still had a little time to make dinner- I put together a dinner of swordfish, corn-grits with butter & parm, zucchini, asparagus with parm, and sourdough bread for DJ.

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I was still a bit stuffed from my stuffed sweet potato (THE IRONY), so I just chowed down on all the veggies (including roasted acorn squash- my new autumn obsession!).

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DJ had to get up early to run on Saturday followed by work all day, so he wanted to go to bed early. We celebrated his birthday technically last weekend with the Brown’s game since we knew he’d be booked for the actual day of. But the night was young! I was excited to drive down to SF to hang with Amy.

We had some cake then hit the town- anyone catch the reference on the cake 😉 ?

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We went to our favorite SF hangout spot, Smuggler’s Cove. You may remember it from when Kelsey visited- I have more pictures of the actual place in that post. It’s very tucked away with no signage, and while it’s busy like any place on an SF Friday night, it is still pretty low key. We had so much fun, just chatting and catching up!

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On Saturday the 6th, it was an absolutely beautiful morning!!

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We weren’t super hungry for a full on brunch, so we decided to try out a bakery. We headed to one on the ole’ bucket list, B. Patisserie. (Thank you for the suggestion, Rhonda!!!) This bakery is on Thrillist’s list  for the best bakeries in America (along with Tartine that we visited a couple months ago). Mom and Pete will have to return soon to try this one out!

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The lady in front of us in line gave us some terrific suggestions of what to try. We had the cinnamon roll, Kouign Amann, pumpkin almond croissant, ham and cheese croissant, 10-hour apple tart, and berry cream croissant.

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Everything was insanely good. Hands- dough-n the best bakery I think I’ve ever been to. It pain(au)s me to say, but I think it even tops Tartine. The Kouign Amann (the pastry on the circle plate with the chocolate in the middle) is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, pastry I have ever had. It’s kinda of like a croissant, but even better.

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Amy vouched for the ham and cheese croissant too- so if you eat meat- you must try this! The pumpkin almond croissant was magical & the apple tart was perfection.

And it doesn’t stop there… I had to try one of their tartines for a savory fix, so I ordered the mushroom tartine with caramelized onions, fontina, and gruyere cheese. It was heavenly.

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After rolling out of B. Patisserie (so much for not being very hungry 😉 ), we went to a super neat event at Duboce Park. In light of Fleet Week in SF, there was a naval band performance followed by demonstrations with dogs trained in finding people under buildings, cadaver dogs and dogs trained to trace an individual person’s scent. It was SO cool. For one of the demonstrations, they had a dog smell a scent of one person in the park, the person went and hid far from the dog in a mass of people, and the dog found that individual. It was bananas! The Blue Angels were here all weekend too!

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In the afternoon, I drove home enjoying the gorgeous highway mountain views, went for an amazing ten-mile run fueled up by the morning carb load, did some school work and then took an on-and-off nap while watching Netflix. I hardly ever take naps, but gosh they are nice!

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Later in the evening, I had my leftover mushroom tartine and then had a big bowl of oatmeal with Fage and PB for dinner. I can’t go a day with out this lately <3 I am officially on a new kick!

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DJ finally came home from work late in the evening, and he said all he wanted to do was watch Dexter and eat dirt, so that is what we did!

Sunday the 7th DJ and I went to church, I worked on my Savings September post then just got prepped for the week. Time to return to reality! Also, happy Anniversary today to my Mom and Pete! They are at the hot air balloon festival in New Mexico! So excited to see pictures.

Questions for you:

  • What is your go-to birthday treat? If cake, do you have a favorite kind?
  • Has anyone seen the Blue Angels perform in person?

xo <3

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Savings September In Review

Hey everyone! I have a little different type of  post today. As some of you may know DJ and I have an annual tradition of doing a lil’ something we call Savings September. We have noticed that summers tend to make a big ole’ dent in the spending arena, so every September we use to refocus, re-establish good habits, and look for ways to be smarter about spending, especially leading up to the holiday season. We don’t want this to be limited to September either- the goal is that by creating these conscientious, yet practical, habits we will be able to take what we have learned and apply it to each month thereafter.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to make a post initially; I never have in the past. However, this year was particularly successful, and a few of you have expressed interest in ways we have saved! SO without further adieu, here are some little easy tips and tricks that helped us save 42% of what we spent in August. Yes-42%!!! Something we predominately learn each time we do this is the little expenses and choices add up!

1.Limiting Eating Out.This one is probably not a big surprise that it’d be a saver & it didn’t mean we never ate out. Basically, we limited our eating out to either social hangouts with friends or date nights together. I tried to be diligent about prepping more and making sure there was something DJ and I could easily have for lunch rather than him buying lunch every day at work. This used to be a routine for us, but it definitely fell through the cracks through the summer. Feels good to be back in the swing!

 

2. Limiting Coffee Out. I definitely still had my Peet’s <3… but I used up old gift cards with a couple dollars sitting on them here and there at various coffee shops. I tried to only go to Peet’s once or twice a week when the school load was extra heavy and ordered a small most times.

3. Groceries. This is probably where we saved the most. I tried to use up every little thing we had in the pantry/freezer/fridge before going back to the store. I would create meals surrounding what we already had. For example, I knew we had fish in the freezer, so I would go get rice and a veggie to “fill in” a meal with what we needed to use up. I also tried to be attentive to making the wisest decision among choices. For instance, usually when I get tomatoes, I don’t pay too much mind to the couple cent difference between the Roma and the cherry tomatoes. But when you opt for the cheaper one and apply that mindset to every item you are buying over weeks, months, years it really adds up- especially on things that you don’t mind a slight difference. Oh, and buying the on sale in season fruits makes a HUGE difference too- and taste better!

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4. Skipping on the non-essentials. I loveee myself some carbonated bevies, especially “ICE” waters. But the thing is, they ain’t cheap when you buy them often! I always throw in a couple bottles when I’m at the store along with some gum from the cash register- but with how frequently I chew gum, it just isn’t a wise investment and a habit that needed some breaking. Rather than buying ICEs, we bought 3 large packs of Bubbly water for $10 and stopped buying gum entirely. I do have mints in need of freshening up my breath on the go though. Not only has this saved monetarily, but I no longer even crave the ICEs or gum. This doesn’t mean I won’t grab a pack here or there, but I don’t have the desire for a piece of gum every hour of the day.

5. Poshmark!!! I sold quite a bit on Poshmark this past month, and then had credit in my account available with the sales. I noticed I needed new face-wash, but my favorite face-wash that I discovered through Fab Fit Fun costs around $34. Ugh! That’s how they get you. I decided to check Poshmark to see if I could find some for cheaper. I negotiated for two bottles that would be about 1/2 of the price using the Poshmark credit. Score! It makes me wonder what other items I can find on there.

6. Being cognizant of saving electricity. I have a bad habit of keeping lights on going room to room (It drove my mom nuts growing up). We have both been extra diligent in making sure to turn lights off upon leaving a room and when we leave the house. It’s a great habit we have developed, and now it would bother me to keep them on and leave.

7. Buying in Bulk. At some point I noticed we were running low on some cleaning supplies, toilet paper and other essentials. I remembered I had received a coupon from Bed Bath and Beyond to get $20 off $80 spent. I bought all the stuff that we needed (including a couple fall candles-  autumn necessities 😉 ) all online. We are stocked up on tons of cleaning supplies, a new shower liner we desperately needed, dishwashing soap, and toilet paper for way cheaper if I had bought them at a regular grocery store. The delivery also came with 2 $60 gift-cards towards HelloFresh. Also, at Target you will sometimes see if you buy a certain number of items, you can get a $5 gift-card back. I always try to stock up on laundry detergent and household essentials when I see those promos going on. Right now if you get a flu shot at CVS affiliated with Target- you can also get a $5 giftcard to Target (just call before you go to make sure they are doing the promotion). But get yo flu shot, peopleeee!

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8. Using Cosmetics I already Have. I don’t know about you, but I have a bunch of little “samples” sitting around of makeup, shampoo, body wash, etc. Rather than just buying something new when I ran out of something, I gathered up all my samples and have been using everything up. Those little samples go a long way! Not only have I discovered some products I really like along the way, but I am clearing up space in the cabinet too. Oh! And I’ve started using olive oil to remove makeup- it works wonders and is so gentle- no more needing to buy makeup remover!

9. Having fun, restful weekends at home. I love to be busy and plan, plan, plan. But even seemingly cheap plans can become expensive, especially around here- you’ve got unexpected parking expenses, food, gas money, etc.. Not having a ton of weekend plans reminded me how important (and fun) just a weekend at home is for rest & rejuvenation. I also was able to get ahead on some school projects, so that always feels good! Oh, and DJ definitely needed the time to breathe now that the season has ended. I’m excited to plan some lax dates this month when we carve pumpkins, watch Halloween movies, make homemade wine together, practice baking soufflés, and have picnics with the lovely autumn weather!

10. Mint. This financial management app is incredible. It is super easy to use and understand. Being conscious of where every dollar goes, seeing our budget clearly, and having alerts when we are about to go over a set budget has been tremendously helpful in being good stewards of our money.

We also have some other just general saving tips that we have used for a couple years or gained over past Savings Septembers:

  • We love Groupon . This is where we get some restaurant deals & most of our hotel deals  (along with Orbitz to collect Orbitz bucks!)- always make sure to get points or rewards for your travels! It’s a free night in a hotel or a free plane ride eventually. I also have accounts with hotel.com & booking.com for when they have the cheapest comparative rates.
  • Installing Wikibuy into your Internet toolbar is a big saver! Every time you are about to make a purchase, Wikibuy will scour the internet for coupon codes, deals, promos, etc. and automatically apply it to your order if it finds one. You also get money back many times and can use that toward other purchases.
  • Sometimes I like to peruse Coupons.com before making a purchase to see if there are any coupons for something I may need too.
  • I have subscribe and save on Amazon for certain things we rebuy every few months- like shavers and Swiffer refills. This saves 5% for each purchase, and we would buy that stuff every couple months anyways- so why not save 5%?

As you can see, a lot of the savings do not come from really any novel ideas, but simply being conscious of each purchase. Hope this was somewhat helpful for someone! If you have any tips and tricks I’d LOVE to hear them too! Have a beautiful week, everyone 🙂

xo <3

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