Marin Headlands Hiking & Home Cafe!

We are just zoooming right along! My type-A side is very bothered that my recaps are not in the present time just yet, but we are almost there!!

Thursday September 13th I woke up and made the Ezekiel bread again with nuts and dried fruit.

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I went for a run and still spotted some new blooms.

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I then drove to the Post Office to drop off some Poshmark sales! woot woot!

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I worked on schoolwork at Peet’s all day (with my packed lunch- I literally have a full spread of my snacks on “my” counter there, make myself right at home) then headed back home. I had my massive salad again for dinner (I get on kicks) and made DJ some beef tacos.

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Nearly every evening this past couple weeks we have watched an episode or two of Dexter before bed- SO good!

And whaddya know- Friday September 14th I had Ezekiel bread again with chopped walnuts and craisins.

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I snuck in a nice run then spent the rest of the day working on school work- at Peets ‘magine that?

Jus me and Peety for the day

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In the evening I had a nice chunk of time to blog, which was nice. After eating leftovers, DJ and I watched Dexter for the rest of the evening. Such a restful Friday! Since we aren’t planning many events right now it’s been nice having free weekends to just hangout at home. I suffer from serious FOMO but am discovering how relaxing it is to have an uncluttered schedule on the occasional weekend.

Saturday the 15th I woke up around 7, ate some avocado on rice cake and then headed to SF to hike with Amy and my fur-nephew, Pool Noodle!

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Driving into the city the sky was so crystal clear! This is a rarity and the views were just breathtaking.

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We decided to meet at Marin Headlands- a place on the ole’ Bucket List.

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The fog started rolling in as we did our hike, but it didn’t take away from the stunning views.

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Pool Noodle <3

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Can ya’ stand the cuteness?

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He’s so photogenic

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After the fact, we went to Home Cafe to have some nice lattes and treats! Home is alsooooo on the Bucket List. I hope you don’t take a shot every time I mention that thing. It literally drives our plans anytime we go into the city.

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I’ve had Home on my radar for a while because they make the prettiest latte art and serve up some one-of-a-kind toast! Check out the menu… I need to go back and just try one of each!

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Amy tried out their scrumptious Bravo toast

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I was still pretty full from a protein bar I had before our hike, so I just tried one of their Japanese Mochi donuts. It was okay- nothing to write home about, but still a nice accompaniment with the coffee!

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Amy had their cookie monster latte- I had a sip- and let me tell you- maybe one of the tastiest sweet lattes I have ever sipped!!! It was divine. Tastes like you are straight up drinking a chocolate chip cookie (but in the best way!).

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I had their birthday cake latte, and it was ever so satisfying!!! I highly recommend this too. Also, you can taste how high quality the espresso is, yum!

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In the afternoon in Cupertino, it was such a gorgeous day I decided to listen to podcasts and take a walk since I was almost all caught up on school assignments. I have a new podcast I’m obsessed with- that I shared in my recent Friyay Faves– Dr. Death. The rest of the day was basically tying up loose ends with assignments for the week.

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In the evening, I made Deej chicken tacos & I had my big salad, yes again. I start to crave this thing! I will get sick of it soon, but I am deep in my salad kick.

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On Sunday the 16th, DJ and I went to church then DJ went to work the Almaden Valley Art & Wine Festival. I just worked on laundry, cleaning, dishes, fill in groceries through the day, etc.

When he returned later in the afternoon, he had a big box with him that had a ribbon. I was so excited he let me open it, haha. It was from the festival thanking the Giants for making an appearance there- they gave us a big bottle of nice Merlot, a beer glass, and a wine glass! It’s Christmas y’all! Savings September karma!

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In the evening, I tried a glass of the delicious wine while we watched Dexter and then Monday it was back to the grind. Hut hut!

I will save this week’s recap for next time 🙂

xo <3

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Sears Fine Food & The Wave Organ!

Let’s just drive right in- shall we?!

Sunday September 9th, DJ and I woke up early, had breakfast, and headed to SF to go to Church with his twin sister, and my SIL Amy!

Before leaving I had avocado “toast”, but we were out of bread… so in light of Savings September I used leftover rice cakes that have been sitting in the pantry.

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We went to the 9:30 service at our SF location, then after went to a bucket list place- Sears Fine Food!

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This place is located right across the street from the Sir Francis Drake hotel where Kels and I stayed when she visited. I have had my eye on this gem for a while- especially because they have famous Swedish pancakes.

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I lol-ed when I saw this written on the menu under Melons “We thump each and every one” haha. I just thought it was funny they included it.

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DJ got the eighteen (yes, eighteen!) pancakes so we all could try a couple. They were sooo good, you guys. We agreed they are probably the best pancakes we’ve had in the Bay so far (especially with the lingonberry jam on them- holy cannoli guaca-freaking-mole).

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Amy and I both had omelettes!

img_4326I even think the omelette and hash-browns were some of the tastiest I have had in the Bay. I usually don’t frequent a place twice because there is such a wealth of restaurants to try out- but I would go here again in a heartbeat. I think this might be my #1 breakfast spot I’d recommend to people visiting the City!

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Even the wait staff was super friendly. They brought Amy and I coins to use in their slot machine on the way out.

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We didn’t win anything- but it was so fun, and reminded me of when I was a child and would ask my Dad or Mom for quarters to play the “claw” game at some family owned ma-and-pa joints back in the midwest.

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We decided we still had a tiny bit of time left after to knock out one more thing on the list! We headed toward the golden gate and Crissy Fields area to see the Wave Organ.

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The organ is built into the jetty and in the water. It makes music with the waves. We didn’t hear anything when we were there, but it may be because we weren’t there at high tide.

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Still pretty cool to see!

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Love this picture of DJ and Amy

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In the afternoon, I went on a nice long run outside before buckling down to do school work for the evening.

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On Monday September 10th, I received a whole new round of assignments for the week. You know what this calls for? Peets!

I woke up early, walked on the treadmill as I read my chapters and then walked to Peets to gear down and watch lectures.

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I packed some snacks to take along like a no cow bar and a yogurt and then at about 4 pm in the afternoon headed home.

I went for a nice walk to clear my head then made dinner.

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In the morning of September 11th, I had Fage yogurt and frozen grapes to start the day (thank you, Kori, for this combo!). I did Insanity, then buckled down on more schoolwork.

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I had the same ole’, same ole’ snacks and food through the day, but in the evening I got a second hungry wind, craving something salty. I decided to make some sweet potato fries- they hit the spot!

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In the morning of Wednesday September 12th, I had Ezekiel bread, yogurt, raisins, and nuts with my coffee to start the day. (I found some Ezekiel bread I forgot was in the freezer! Woohoo!)

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I went for a run in the morning and saw the first signs of fall!

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Look at this beautiful lil’ guy!

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In the afternoon I got my hair did. As much as I love my bright blonde, it’s hard to keep up with. I decided to go back shorter and a more natural balayage so I can go a longer time without getting my roots touched up. Even though we are in Savings September, I consider this an investment since I won’t have to bother with my hair for a long time after this!

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When she finished it was REALLY dark. Like too dark for what I’m used to. I asked if there was anyway to brighten it up just a touch- cause I didn’t want it to be 100% brown (I have some blonde naturally).. so she washed out the color and then toned it. It was the longest I have ever been in a salon- 6 hours. SIX. I thought I was gonna pass out from hunger. Good thing I took my study materials with me.

I will post a pic soon!

It’s taking some getting used to, but DJ says he prefers it to my bright blonde, which makes me feel better <3

But like I said- I was SO hungry. I decided to make my favorite massive go-to salad: a kale blend with tomatoes, red onion, beets, peppers, multi-colored carrots, mushrooms, hummus, and a Morningstar black bean burger (slightly overcooked so it tastes like croutons 😉 ) topped off with balsamic vinegar. I literally ate massive carrots as I was making the salad and bites of a protein bar and probably some Smartfood popcorn, lol. It’s a wonder and a half that I stopped to grab a picture!

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This is getting a bit long so I’ll stop here for now before recapping the weekend 🙂

xo <3

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V. Sattui Winery & Labor Day!

Slowly but surely we are catching up!! Sadly, this is the last installment of Labor Day weekend- but it was a couple of days that did not disappoint!

After our awesome first few days together and the first three wineries (post one, two, and three), we headed to the last one of the day- V. Sattui. It is a family owned and operated winery since 1885 and was voted the winery of the year for 2018 by the Winemaker Challenge for the second year in a row.

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This is definitely more of a tourist trap winery than the others we went to- it has a giant gift shop, a deli, a park where you can eat, stands that sell gelato, among a number of other to-dos.

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Now, I have to put on the disclaimer that our experience may have been slightly negatively skewed considering we went over Labor Day weekend- but I am going to give an honest (but brutal) account of our time here.

First, upon arriving we couldn’t find parking. Like- nooo parking anywhere. Finally we found somewhere about 3/4ths a mile away and walked in 90 degree heat to get there. Fine- it’s labor day weekend, I get it. But in Napa, usually parking isn’t an issue.

Second, we got our tickets for our reservations. I had the whole day mapped out to a “T” including our dinner reservation after- so there wasn’t a ton of wiggle room. Yet, when we got our ticket, basically it was entrance to a room where you have to fight tooth and nail for a spot at their wine bar.

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Y’all know I am not a complainer- but I gottttaaa vent a bit.

Rant time (beware): Once inside and all three of us separating to see if we could find any open areas among the mass of people, I finally found a spot on the very end of a bar for our “reservation”. We all squeezed in and were greeted by the most crotchety and condescending lady to pour our wines. For the tasting, their list is extensive so we asked for some guidance in which to choose. She basically said they were all good and that it’s an impossible question to answer (she answered as though that was the most absurd question I could ask). Okayyy. So then I asked what their most popular wine is. She said they are all popular. Okayyy. Then I finally ask what her favorite is- and she said depends on the mood. Throwing our hands up in defeat, we basically just chose whatever. Oh, and at one point we ordered a Bordeux blend, but she brought out a cab. She poured it and we asked how it was a Bordeux blend if it’s a cab and she said, “Oh it’s a cab- we don’t have the Bordeux”… but rather than telling us they didn’t have it, she just poured us something random. Hahah. Like, what?! Come the very last wine to choose, we were going to try dessert wines- and she goes, “Oh you don’t wanna try the blah blah blah (some bold red) wine?” And we all three looked at each other like, Are you kidding me?! This is what we were trying to ask her the whole time… like we asked for your help to choose best ones from the get go, now you scold us for not trying the right ones?! It was a hot mess and she was so rude through the whole thing. We will not be returning. There are hundreds of wineries in Napa- do not waste your time here! I recognize how silly and minute this issue was- I just wanted it to be perfect for momma Jill and Pete, so I got a bit heated. Also, I wouldn’t even have cared about the busyness or fighting for a spot if our lady just treated us like human beings. Just be nice, why is that so hard for people to grasp?!

After I grabbed this adorable shot of them…

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Tried to get a selfie best we could haha

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And to decompress for the madness we went to downtown Napa for a wonderful dinner at Ristorante Allegria!

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It gives off the warm ambiance of a Macaroni Grill I’d say! (One of my favorite restaurants from back in Ohio).

We eagerly dived into their bread with a delightful bruschetta dip.

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For an appetizer, we split calamari… I forgot to snatch a picture before, but I remembered when I had one little squiddy left. Hehe.

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Pete ordered their Caesar salad that was super tasty. He was kind enough to share some with us even though my mom and I also split a house salad.

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Pete also had their vitello piccata with pan seared veal scaloppini, on garlic-mashed potatoes sauteed spinach, and lemon capers white wine sauce. I had a bite of the spinach and mashed potatoes and it was all heavenly.

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My mom and I split their pappardelle allo zafferano with fresh homemade saffron pasta, jumbo prawns, wild mushrooms, finished with roasted shrimp bisque. This hit the spot!! I love the idea of using bisque on top of noodles too- I may need to try that at home sometime. One of my favorite parts of eating out is seeing different ways you can assemble different ingredients for a tasty meal.

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We headed home for the evening, but my mom gave me this when we got back- A candle from Rombauer <3 <3 So sweet. AND it is made out of a wine bottle!

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Monday September 3rd, Labor Day, my mom and I woke up early to go to Orange Theory to get our workout on.

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It was partner day so it was extra fun because we worked together 🙂

After, we refueled with our avocado toasts per usual.

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Unfortunately, yo girl had to “go to school” the whole day, so my mom and Pete went to do some prospecting of malls in the area (it’s part of my mom’s job).

In the evening, my mom and I went on a nice long walk to clear our noggins. It was one of my favorite parts of the weekend.

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I’m just rocking that “I’ve literally been studying and reading every second of the day” look.

After a hard days’ work for all of us, I whipped everyone up tacos!!! Bison tacos are DJ’s favorite of the meals I make, so I made bison tacos for the men and my vegan tacos for my mom and I. Can you tell the difference? 😉

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Momma Jill made us all her famous skinny margs. Gosh, they are the best!!

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we ended the evening by watching Bachelor in Paradise and eating caramel blossoms with ice cream!

On Tuesday September 4th they left super early to head back to Texas. It was an unforgettable weekend- I always say that- but truly nothing tops time with family and friends.

Questions for you!

  • Let’s taco bout this- you a crunchy shell or a soft shell kinda person?
  • Cilantro- yay or nay? Apparently some people think it tastes like soap!

xo <3

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Stag’s Leap & Rombauer!

– What did the grape say when it got crushed?

Nothing, it just let out a little wine.

Okay! Next stop of the day is famous Stag’s Leap. This winery may sound familiar- They sell some of their wines in common grocery stores and even in Sam’s Club!

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The views driving in were beautiful and sprawling. It was so quiet and picturesque.

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The tasting room is bright and spacious. It has one large bar with multiple sommeliers to accompany your for your testing.

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The wine bar faces a gorgeous view of the mountains and vineyards.

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We tried all cabs in our tasting, but we were a bit disappointed! They were great compared to most $5- $8 wines we are used to drinking, don’t get me wrong- but we had thought Stag’s Leap was going to be just the best of the best. The cab we had at Darioush was on another level from these cabs. “Artemis” may have been our favorite surprisingly- it is actually the cheapest of the ones we tried, and luckily it’s sold in Sam’s if you have access to one 😉

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The Hills are Aliiiiive with the Sound of Musiiiic. Jus’ channeling my inner Julie Andrews.

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And what would be a trip to wine country without stopping at Rombauer? Our forever favorite <3 You may remember we went here back in March, but unfortunately Pete fell sick the night before and wasn’t able to make it. (who am I saying “fell sick”, who says that?). Anyway- We had to make sure he visited this time around!

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We just love everything about Rombauer- the wine (their Zin and Chardonnay is the greatest around- and I don’t even like either kind usually), the views, the landscape, the ability to picnic!!

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Before our tasting we had a little bit of time so we had a little picnic we packed with vegan & regular cheese, crackers, sun-dried tomatoes, dried fruit, olives, hummus, and chocolate.

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Time for the tasting!

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After enjoying the best zinfandel of all time and the crispest chardonnay, we relaxed on their patio.

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You don’t even have to do a tasting if you visit- you can just enjoy a nice glass outside if you’d like!

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I just love Rombauer. It’s always the first winery I recommend to anyone visiting Wine Country. Next post I will recap our last winery and the rest of labor day weekend 🙂

Questions for you!

  • Anything big planned for the week?
  • Favorite wine of all time? I love a good rec’!

xo <3

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Tartine Bakery & Darioush in Napa!

Happy Sunday, my friends!! I am sitting here on the couch after church chillin’ with football on in the background and all my school work DONE for the weekend (until tomorrow 😉 ). Life is guuud.

OH, and I just have to share that my sister is ENGAGED! I am ecstatic beyond words. You may remember this favorite couple of mine from here, here, and here. They are finally getting murrried, and I am here. for. it.  Gosh, I just am so happy for them, and love um’ so much!

Anyways—I am only two weeks late with this? haha.. I’ll catch up eventually. On the morning of September 2nd, my mom, Pete, and I woke up early to go to SF to knock out a bucket list item at where else than a Bakery?!

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I have had my eyes on Tartine for a long time…I even had specific items that I wanted to try after doing into a deep dive in YELP. They only have three locations- SF, LA, and Seoul, South Korea.

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Like I said in my last post, there is no one better to go to Bakeries with than my mom and Pete- I know they won’t shy away from trying basically everything on the menu with me! (Unfortunately, Deej had to work :/). After waiting about 30 mins, we finally made it to the front to order our goods.

I think these pictures will speak for themselves!

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Below is the frangipane croissant with almond cream. This was maybe our favorite (along with the morning bun).

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And this is the morning bun with cinnamon sugar and candied orange- pure gold.

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I think I loved the lemon cream tart more than they did- it sure was rich for 9 am, but anything lemon I am all about. This was superb!

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We also tried their lemon tea cake- this was great too- but not a “must try”.

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We also gobbled up the pain au chocolat. It was very good, but the frangipane croissant with almond cream was even better!

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gotta try the Eclair, right?!

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And what’s the point of enjoying baked goods without some coffee?

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It was all so scrumptious- I forgot to mention we shared a chewy, fudgy brownie as well. I still want to go back to try much more- like their croque monsieur with shiitake mushroom and coconut cream pie!

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With very full & happy tummies, we headed to Napa! First stop on the list was Darioush.

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From the get-go this place is magnificent! It is unlike anything I have ever seen before. The winery is tucked against a beautiful mountainous background and surrounded by vineyards. The Persian inspired grounds coupled with the wine provided an unforgettable winery experience. This may be one of my favorites I have ever been to in Napa!

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Even the interior is gorgeously designed

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We had a reservation and were treated with a shaded table and comfortable chairs in a terrace area to enjoy our tastings.

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After they brought out pistachios and water for us we began the tasting

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This pour right here is one of the best tastings of the day- their 2015 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon. It actually may be the best cab I’ve ever had. The woman who was serving the wine was incredibly knowledgable and friendly. I highly highly recommend this winery if you are visiting Napa.

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Winery photos!

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I’ll wrap it up here for now 🙂

Questions for you:

  • What were y’all up to this weekend? (drop link if you’ve got it 🙂 )
  • Favorite bakery item?

xo <3

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Our Third Year Anniversary!

Hey everyone 🙂 I am starting grad school tomorrow (Monday), although I’m not entirely sure when this will be published! I am soo very excited, but I’m soaking up this last night to try to catch up with blogging best I can before the craziness ensues.

To pick right up where we left off, on the evening of August 8th, DJ and I made a spontaneous trip to San Pedro square to pre- celebrate our anniversary. How have three years passed already? It has truly been the my favorite three years of my life. Although this past year was the hardest single year of my life, I would not have made it through without DJ nor would I have traded it for the world. It was a year of challenge, growth, but the most reward- it shaped me, shaped us. Year three we grew more as a couple more than our first two years combined, and I just love love love this man more than I could ever have imagined possible. He is my rock. Sorry for the sap, but if any day warrants it it’s an anniversary, yahhhhh? Plus we both missed the obligatory social media post, so making up for it here. Hahah.

This anniversary we didn’t think DJ would be able to do anything the actual day of August 8th with work, but he miraculously was able to leave pretty early. We went to the mall together to pick him up a new phone since his entirely bit the dust then went down the road to dinner.

We had a gift-card we had been saving for a special occasion to district in San Jose, and this seemed like no better time than our anniversary day!

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This place is just so darn snazzy. It was dimly lit so it was hard to get great pictures of the unique bar that went directly through the middle of the restaurant. It also had a lounge area with fun adieus to our favorite classic games- Twister, Darts, Billard’s, etc. It’s a contemporary age type cocktail/tapas bar and a fantastic social environment if you are meeting with friends too!! I would love to come back here with my girlfriends someday.

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I’m working on getting DJ to enjoy oysters like I do, so we ordered some scrumptious ones on the half shell. He said they weren’t bad! Baby steps!

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Then we tried my personal favorite dish- seared squash blossoms. Whatever tomato sauce these were in was magical. I sopped up every bit. Even the waiter came over trying to take the plate and I politely asked if I could keep it to dip a bit longer. He said, “I respect that!”. Lol.

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We then tried a true gastronomical delight (thank you, Linda, for the new addition my lexicon 🙂 ). DJ and I had bone marrow for the first time at Orchard City Kitchen, and we were blown away by it. This was just as savory as we remembered! It just melts right off the bone. Heaven. This was DJ’s favorite.

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We then tried a gnocchi dish that was a close second favorite for both of us. It was very unique compared to what we usually have in terms of gnocchi, but gosh every bite was terrific!

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We were so full in our regular stomachs- but there is always the dessert stomach! DJ had been wanting to try a Pizookie from BJ’s Brewhouse for a while, so I decided to surprise him with a trip to try um’ out! I pulled up the maps app, and guided him to the restaurant. It’s not often that you have the chance to surprise each other in marriage- so this was a fun little spontaneous treat.

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He was stoked when we pulled up! I swore that I was too full to eat a bunch of dessert, but when these came, we equally contributed to the pizookie demolition.

We opted for the flight which and chose cookies n’ cream…

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salted caramel…

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and chocolate chunk…

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We couldn’t decide on a favorite. They were all sooo yummy. They were way better than I ever expected. Considering we have a BJ’s 2 miles away from us this could be dangerous. I think they’ll be something I crave.

The next day DJ and I had our “official” anniversary celebrations, although we both agreed the night before would have sufficed! Since we had reservations and the time set aside already, we went through with the staycation, and boy, am I glad we did.

The restaurant we went to was a big one on my bucket list. I have been PUMPED for the past month to share this with you all. I’m sitting here spazzing out because I don’t even know where to begin.

Cafe Jacqueline is a little, teeny tiny hole-in-the-wall place in SF that serves essentially only soufflés. They do have a french onion soup that is supposed to be unmatched and a couple other little items- but their thing is soufflés!

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It’s super intimate- I think they only have a total of about twelve tables. It is a perfect date and romantic dinner night restaurant. I will warn- it is extremely hard to get a reservation, so we booked about a month and a half in advance for this particular Thursday night. Weekends are rough trying to get a spot. There was hardly anyone there when we arrived, but quickly the place filled up.

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A little more history about this place- Jacqueline herself is a chef from France who started this restaurant in San Francisco. She makes every single soufflé herself to this day. When I went to the bathroom, I had to cross through the kitchen, and there she was soufflé-ing away! She is so cute- she’s in her 80s, tiny, and jovial as can be. She looked up at me with a big smile and said, “Bonjour!”. I hope I am half as cool as she is when I’m her age.

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Everything on the menu was making us salivate. We actually spent the car ride driving into the city trying to figure out what to order, but had no idea what to expect since we had never tried a soufflé before. Each soufflé can serve multiple people (savory ones they say serve 2-3 and dessert serve 3-4). Oh, also, since Jacqueline makes every soufflé to order, it takes about an hour or more for each to come out, so be prepared to wait! We didn’t mind, I treasure time just to spend with DJ with undivided attentive discussion together.

We decided on their white corn ginger garlic one. You. guys.  I cannot find the words to describe how tremendous this was. Seriously one of my favorite- if not MY FAVORITE food item I have ever had. DJ and I kept saying this could not be real- it surpassed every inkling of expectation we may have had- was so light, fluffy, yet full of perfect flavor. It was out of this world. I want to cry thinking about it. Does a food ever make you want to cry? (not talking onions) Like it’s so delicious it just evokes emotion? Just me? Ok

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We ate every little nibble so fast. The authentically amazing french waiter with a handle bar mustache came back and looked at us with wide eyes saying, “We either starved you for too long, or that was really good”. I said, “definitely the latter!”.

For dessert we tried the chocolate soufflé. It was *insert crying sniffle* perfection. Excuse me, I need tissues. I have never felt this way toward a food item before. why. Why did it have to be so good?!?!

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Here is a video of us scooping into it! It is a semi- ok shot, until the end where it all falls off my spoon. Haha. Smoooooth.

We had to walk a looong time to get back to our car but we probably needed it after not leaving a bite of our 3-4 person soufflés. Lol 3-4. No chance!

When getting into our car we had this radiant view of the bridge.

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We stayed at Hotel Vitale for the evening- probably our favorite hotel in SF that we have been to once before. Their theme is lavender. Breathe innnn the relaxation. Even the rooms have lavender coming out of the room numbers.

img_2623The service here is phenomenal. Something I have learned in my twenties is “it doesn’t hurt to ask”. I received a text from the staff a few days before our stay and they said if you have any additional requests please let us know. I asked if it would be possible to have any champagne or anything to celebrate our anniversary (the worst they can say is no, right?).

When we arrived we had this lovely note addressed to us…

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And complimentary champagne and chocolate <3 <3 <3 It was so kind!!!

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They even complimentarily upgraded our room for our anniversary. I was so touched, like what?!?! We went from an interior room to an exterior with a view of the Ferry building and the Bay Bridge.

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After dropping off our luggage, we went up to the roof area. (They have several rooftop areas you can take in stunning views of the city). I was so excited and thought the Bay Bridge was in this picture. When it wasn’t DJ said, “Uh, Kenz, you may want to put your hand the other way.” LOL. Whoops!

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Too funny not to share.

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And here is that lovely bridge..

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It was an unforgettable evening! Truly one of my favorite date nights and anniversaries for all time.

img_2621Alas, this post is so long I will wait to recap our brunch experience in the next post. I can’t wait!!! One of the best! Stay tuned…

Questions for you:

  • Have you ever had a soufflé?
  • What is one life lesson you have had in your twenties if you have one?!

xo <3

Kels and Kenz Take on the Bay: Part 6!

Aaaand finally- we are at our final post in the Kels & Kenz take the Bay series nearly a month later. Yes, part 6. You read right. This is the longest series recap I’ve ever done- but you can’t say we don’t seize the day! Carpe stinkin’ diem! If you want to catch up on the other parts here they are….

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

I am sad this is the last post in the series, but I’m thankful I can immortalize these memories forever (and ever and ever and ever). Cause the Internet IS forever, kids.

After our incredible day at Facebook Headquarters, we left to see the wondrous Golden Gate bridge… cause did you actually visit San Francisco without a picture with the Golden Gate?

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Unfortunately, Karl was out to play per usual, BUT we did find a part near the bridge to snag pictures that you can somewhat make out the kinda famous big red bridge.

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Also, I’ll consider this a PSA- if you’ve never been to SF and decide to visit, bring LAYERS on LAYERS… anywhere within a 10-15 mile radius of the city, it can be nearly 80 degrees, but as soon as you get deep into the city, the temp can drop rapidly due to the microclimate on the Bay. Don’t expect sunny and 75 if you are staying in the city- especially in the summer. There is a reason there is the saying, “The coldest winter I have ever spent was a summer in San Francisco” 😉

Take tips from this girl, she wears SF well!!!

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We walked around the city after and saw this little guy hanging around outside a restaurant. I couldn’t help steal a shot!

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And there was one more bucket list place I wanted to take Kels! DrumrolllSmuggler’s Cove!!! This very tucked away spot (basically only locals are aware of) has some of the best rum based drinks around. The history of this place is just fascinating and kinda wild. If you join the club and work your way up the rungs (and essentially try 400 rums in the process) the owner will fly you to his island to sample the rums there… or something like that haha. You can read about it on the website. Anywho… here we go!!

It’s multiple floors, pretty dimly lit much to my blogger thirsty dismay, but it is set up to feel like an Island Oasis. The bartenders were just too fun. We actually went on one of their biggest days of the year where they have a giant rum tasting… these were some pictures of glasses I took of some people sippin’ at the bar. I found it funny that they did Rum tasting in wine sorta looking glasses.img_2309-1

I didn’t get anything since I was driving back, but Kels ordered whatever the bartender recommended. He made her The Mastodon… we’re not entirely sure what was in it, but Kelsey loved it! I tried a sip and it was delicious- so veryyy refreshing and tasty!!!

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Here is from a top view down into the main entrance area

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We drove back to Cupertino…somehow missed all the traffic?! wahhoooo… and were CRAVING some good Thai. I’ve gotta say, this super hole in the wall Thai restaurant within walking distance from our apartment (dannngerrouuus) is still the best Thai I’ve had to date!! I went here for the first time with Rachel and again with my sister in law, Amy! I was psyched for any opportunity to go back. DJ had never been and he had another free night where he could join us for dinner 🙂

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Something I just adore about this place is its authenticity. We opted to sit in their section that you have to take your shoes off for cultural respect. (There is a little spot under the table where you can tuck your legs in). DJ was so confused at first thinking we had to sit cross legged for the meal haha.

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First, if you ever go here you MUST order their Roti. It. is. so. delicious. It’s perfectly crispy, and whatever the heck sauce they serve with it is just something divine.

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Deej ordered their yellow thai curry. Even last night he was still talking about how good this dish was!

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I ordered their pumpkin red curry. Their red curry is my favorite! It’s phenomenal. I usually only eat half, but I ate nearly the whole thing this time. Thai food may be my favorite. I just cannot get enough. I crave it daily. The only thing I will say is I asked for it as spicy as possible, and it had no spice. I asked for the spice rack and nearly poured the red pepper and various spices into my curry. I want my esophagus to have actual burns after eating the Thai . Ok, that’s dramatic- but kinda true.

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Kels had their Pad See Ew (I think that’s right), and I tried some of the noods’. Gosh, y’all. I could eat those noodles for dinner every single day for the rest of my life. UGH, I think I have a new favorite. I’m gonna be so torn next time we go back!

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We scraped up every little bit!

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Why does he put up with me, really.

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We spent the last night on the balcony, eating ice cream and watching a Hulu comedy show. We also had a second dinner around 9 pm when we chowed down on Oren’s hummus, sun-dried tomatoes, pita bread, and cheese.

On Kels’ last day (August 1st) there were just a couple last things we had to knock out before her flight. Philz Coffee is a Bay Area favorite… we basically have one in our backyard. I will say I don’t care for Philz. I like my Cafe Au Lait from Peetys, and I will stand by that forever and ever. However, you have to experience Philz while you are here.

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Kels really enjoyed hers. I felt like I was cheating on Peet’s.

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Annnnnd did you actually go to California without trying In-n-Out?! We found an In-N-Out close to the airport, and since it was something Kels wanted to try I was not about to let it slip past the agenda. We were shocked how crowded it was for 10:30 am. Hahah.

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We got the fries animal style and a regular cheeseburger.

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Kelsey wasn’t sold on it. I took a tiny nibble of the burger, and I thought it tasted pretty fresh, but meat burgers just don’t do it for me anymore. And let’s be real- nothing beats McDonald’s fries. (But DJ is a die hard In-N-Out fan).

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I saw Kels off on her flight out of Oakland and drove back to SF jus’ trying to keep the tears away. These memories were so precious. I will treasure them truly forever, and I cannot wait until the next time we can reunite <3. I have so many other exciting things to recap that have happened since this week. I will try to roll those out the rest of this month. Hope you are having a great week 🙂 Happiest of all hump days! wait… it’s probably Thursday when you read this… so happiest of all Friday Eves!

Questions for you:

  • What is the single best burger you have ever had?! It can be vegetarian too of course!
  • Favorite fries? I guess this is all just gonna be food related right now.. 

xo <3

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Kels and Kenz Take on the Bay: Part 5! Facebook & Instagram HQs

Happy Monday!!! Oxymoron? Nahhhh, I love the start of a week- plus there is usually a show I’m fully invested in on Monday nights- the mindless brain dessert after a long day; always a silver lining 😉 Right now that brain mush pie is Bachelor in Paradise.

Anway, shallll we continue on in our Kels and Kenz take the Bay series!

If ya missed um… here are…

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

That was all over the course of three days. Now I need a nap… JK JK…

I have been stoked to share this post with you all. On Monday July 30th, my good friend Tammy that y’all probably know well by know offered to give us a tour of Facebook & Instagram! DJ and I went to Facebook one time before for their Friday night happy hour, but seeing it during the day was an entirely different experience. I didn’t think I could be more amazed from the first go-around, but sure enough, I was!

Time to head on in!

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First, you check in and are given a badge. Everything is electronic, but there is still a friendly greeter to help orchestrate your entrance into Tech Disneyland.

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The creativity is everywhere. Put aside your preconceived notions of what a corporate office looks like!

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The HACK vending machine here has all kinds of electronic pieces you may need- like USB cables, electronics, chargers, etc. (I can’t think of techy necessities right now haha)

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In my last post from Fbook, I took a picture of the red bridge inspired by the Golden Gate at night, but I was able to capture it during the day this time!

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Can’t leave out the awesome game room & arcade!

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And get this…… all the employees do not have to pay a dime for the food across the campus. There is no way in heck I can include all the food options here, but basically they have everything you can imagine- a myriad of restaurants, desserts, snack carts, etc. etc. It’s INSANE. Obviously their employees work crazy hard, but Facebook makes sure they have the best environment to do so!

Tammy is such a phenomenal tour guide, and I wish I could share everything with you. But I will try to bring you along the tour best I can even though I can’t do as great a job!

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Burger Shack

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Famous Teddy’s Restaurant

Pictured below is a treehouse that employees can have meetings in. Not kidding. A treehouse.

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Smoked Meat Restaurant 

There is a pop-up shop that has something new in it all the time. Right now it has an edible cookie dough shop!

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Even the artwork on the buildings is fun..

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The design of Facebook’s campus was inspired by Disneyland,  and there are parts that are very evident of that! The Sweet Stop is one of them. I just love this storefront.

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We then went indoors to their actual office spaces, and immediately were just blown away.

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Sheryl Sandberg actually passed us at one point when we were walking through!!

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We stopped into a coffee shop called Saint Frank and had the greatest coffee I have ever had in my life. Kelsey and I both tried their almond macadamia latte, and goodness gracious- it was perfection. They have a location in San Francisco so if you are ever in the city I highly, highly recommend trying it out!

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When checking out I couldn’t resist these pastries, I asked for one of each to try expecting to have to pay for it. But no. FREE. FREE FREE FREE. Everything you want to eat is FREE! (I mean the employees are paying with their genius ideas, intelligence, loyalty, and hard work…. but stilll!)

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And they were yummmy!

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We headed up to the rooftop where there is a juice and smoothie shop called STRAW, made out of foliage constructed letters naturally.

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The rooftop is stunning, so beautifully decorated with flowers everywhere and planted trees.

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They even have these fun little hangout spots.

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Can’t forget the views…

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Maybe the highlight of the visit was seeing the famous Facebook foxes!!! Tammy has worked for Facebook for years, and has only seen the foxes one other time.

img_2278We were so excited, especially after she explained what a big deal it was to spot these little nuggets. There were two of them playing, chasing each other and climbing the trees.

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Time to go back into the building.

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We headed down into the far side of the building and passed through The Sugar Shack. We were about to eat lunch, but it was definitely tempting to try a slice of cake or one of these pastries. I don’t think I’d have willpower to work here. They call it the Facebook 15 for a reason. LOL.

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And now time to head to the Instagram headquarters! So just like Uber and Lyft, Facebook employees have the option to to use a service called On Demand. They can download the app on their phone and take these cars to get to another part of the campus (It’s a massive campus, and is on two separate sides of a road). They also have bicycles for employees too, hence the giant helmet rack in the first picture.

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Instagram time!

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The minute you walk in, there are the cutest photo ops & they have props too!

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Where-else but Facebook would they have a “Beyonce” chair, hehe!

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Time for lunch!! We went to a Mexican place and chowed down on some of the freshest most delicious tacos and a Mexican medley.

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Oh, and we grabbed some chocolate matcha cookies that were super scrumptious.

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For dessert x2, they had lemon meringue grahams that I want every day for the rest of my life.

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That wraps up our incredible tour of Facebook. Thank you again SO much, Tammy, for the tremendous, unforgettable experience. In the next post, I’ll be finishing up Kelsey’s trip here.

Questions for you!

  • Did anything surprise you about the HQ? 
  • Are you a lemon meringue fan? 

PS. Please check your spam! My comments are still going there. I promise I’m not a robot <3

xo <3

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My Bay Area Bucket List

Hey hey!!! Below is my Bay Area Bucket List I made at the beginning of the summer. I’ll be probably adding to it as I find new things to do, places to go, and things to eat (of course!). Please let me know if you have suggestions 🙂

Whenever it comes time to leave the Bay Area, I am thinking of making a “must do/eat” in SF separately of things we have already done and deem essential to a trip here! Anywho, this is my little list that I’ll be using as reference as we knock some things off!

Things to do/Places to Go:

  • Twin Peaks
  • Visit Golden Gate Park (Golden Gate Rose Garden, Spreckels Lake)
  • Ride a Cable Car
  • Go to Mission District
  • Muir Woods National Monument
  • Chinatown
  • Mount Sutro/Corona Heights
  • Fort Point
  • Fat Grape Winery: Free tasting (Wednesday through Sunday) on Treasure Island
  • Garlic Festival- Gilroy
  • Cal Sailing Club- Free sailboat rides 1-4 pm on October 14th, and November 11th
  • 16th Avenue Steps
  • Picnic at Crissy Field
  • Wave Organ
  • Haight-Ashbury 
  • Mystery Spot
  • Bernal Heights for the views
  • Seward Street Slides (bring something to slide down- cardboard?)
  • See Strawberry Hill
  • Japanese Tea Garden: Free every M, W, F before 10 am
  • Clarion Alley Mural
  • The Dutch Windmill 
  • Get a Coffee at Home Cafe
  • Grizzly Peak- Berkeley
  • Visit Point Reyes Lighthouse
  • Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve
  • Pizza Antica pizza
  • See the Pulgas Water Temple
  • Half Moon Bay
  • Point Bonita lighthouse
  • Cataract Falls
  • Audium
  • Go to Angel Island
  • Exploratorium at night

Hiking:

  • Hike The Presidio Trails & get brunch at Club Presidio
  • Hike Lover’s Lane
  • Nimitz Way Trail at Inspiration Point
  • Hike Dipsea Trail
  • Big Basin Redwoods
  • Hike Mt. Diablo from Mitchell canyon
  • Mori Point
  • Hike Wildcat Canyon Regional Park
  • Marin Headlands
  • Castle Rock State Park
  • Hike Sunol Regional Wilderness
  • Tennessee Valley to Muir Beach
  • Joseph D. Grant County Park
  • Sanborn County Park
  • Henry Coe State Park

Must Try Restaurants:

xo <3

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Kenz and Kels Take on the Bay: Part 4! Santa Cruz

Hey ya, hey ya!!! Happy Friday to youu!

Really quick: PLEASE check your spam. My comments are going to spam on other WP blogs lately. This has happened one other time and randomly fixed itself, but please make sure I’m not hanging around comment purgatory. Thank youuuu.

This is a sort little post, but believe it or not it is still not the last in our Kels & Kenz take on the Bay series!

Aaand here are….

Part One

Part Two &

Part Three

After a deep sleep with happy tummies full of sushi, we woke up on Monday July 30th, did an Insanity workout together, and then packed our leftovers from the weekend in a cooler to take to Santa Cruz with us for the day.

Santa Cruz is forever one of my favorite places to go and take friends to when they visit. It’s the quintessential beach town. It also appeared in one of my very first blog posts! It’s so fun to go back to vintage posts and see how much has changed.

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Anywho, we were starving when we arrived, but didn’t want to eat too much since we had packed our leftovers. We first went to FireFish grill, my favorite on the pier (along with Stagnaro Brothers!).

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I love their bread they serve- mm mmm! A complimentary carb is the way to my heart. Oooooo we should put that on a tshirt.

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We also decided to split their Bloody Mary- it’s my favorite bloody of ALL time. It was actually the first I ever tried when DJ and I escaped to the beach town last year 🙂

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They put salt around the rim that looks like sand and top it off with a little shrimp.

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And because we can’t seem to resist oysters when on the menu, we gave Firefish’s a go. SO slurpin’ good, but gone too soon.

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After our little tide-me-over, we walked the famous Boardwalk.

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Beach time!! We soaked up the sun while listening to Backstreet boys (let’s talk about that comeback!) and occasionally sneaking leftovers from our cooler.

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At around 5 in the evening, we decided to head on back to Cupertino. DJ didn’t have a game that day so was done with work around 6! We were finally able to all get together and the three of us headed to Campbell to get some good grub.

We went to Flights, the unique dining experience where everything on the menu is a flight, you are given “in flight service” buttons, and the waiters/waitresses dress as flight attendants. Too fun!

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We shared only two flights between the three of us since we still wanted to go to San Pedro Square for more food.

First, we tried their taco flight with Thai Tofu, Veggie Rancheros, and Mushroom Teriyaki.

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The other flight we shared was the french fry flight with truffle, sweet potato, and garlic. These fries were SOOO good. I highly recommend the fry flight if you go.

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We left Campbell and headed to San Pedro Square for dinner #2!

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Also some proof that DJ isn’t always working 😉

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I grabbed some food from Blush the last time we were in SPS , and I knew this is somewhere Kels would love. PLUS it had a bucket list item I knew she would knock off with me!

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We made it just in time for the start of Happy Hour so everything was much cheaper than usual. Love when that happens!

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We started with their $1 oysters-  I loved all the fixin’s they came with! I love horseradish, lemon, and cocktail sauce on my oysters I’ve discovered.

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And now for the BL item… the tofu martini! It isn’t actually a martini- just assembled in a martini-esque glass. It is tofu, green onion, and soy sauce. Honestly, it was disgusting. It was saturated in so much soy sauce that it was repulsively salty. Oh well, at least we tried it!

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Everyone around us was ordering sushi and it looked so dang good, so we had to order some of that too. We also tried the Rose Roll with spicy tuna, crab, avocado, and spicy mayo. It was tasty- a little heavy on the sauce again though.

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And last, we split the sushi tacos- seared tuna, salmon, and a California taco. They were pretty tasty! This was a great way to sample food on the menu since it was way cheaper than it usually is.

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Hope you have a great weekend all!

**REMINDER: Please oh pretty please check your spam <3**

Question for you: 

  • What’s your ideal “beach day”- Read? Boating? Games? Fly a Kite? Listen to Music? 

xo <3

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