Friday Favorites #15 -Autumnal Feels!

TGIF!!!! Thank goodness it’s FALL!!!!! I know it may be a bit premature to be posting full fledged Autumn posts, but every ounce of my basic-fall-loving-self is screaming like a banshee to be let out. Even though I’m desperately trying to suppress it, just kidding I’m not, it’s showing itself in all its true colors. Like a tree in Autumn. On that note, let’s jump in (and I’m not talking a pile of leaves). How far into the back of your head have your eyes rolled? Rollin’ like a pumpkin rollllllll. Okay, I’m done. For now. Anywho- hope you enjoy these faves- maybe they’ll get ya in the spirit too!

  1. Faux pumpkins. Am I slightly embarrassed I have faux pumpkins? Yes. Do I nearly cry tears of joy when it’s time to bring them out? You betcha.

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2. Apple Pie & Pumpkin Candle from Bed, Bath, & Beyond. I recently did a massive bulk purchase from BBB for necessities (TP, paper towels, cleaner, dishwasher soap, hand-soap, etc.) with a $20 off coupon & slid a candle into the cart. This candle has such a strong scent; I am living for it. Recently, we’ve had a couple candles that don’t smell like much when they burn, but this is just warming the house with all the fall aromas!

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3. Dr. Death podcast. With a background in neurosurgery, this podcast caught my attention instantly. I have to say I think I have a strong stomach when it comes to gruesome medical talk, but this is not for the faint of heart. It is pretty disturbing- but what disturbs me the most is the fact that this story is real, and these are real patients, and involves a real surgeon. It’s mind blowing, tragic, fascinating… and horrific.

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4. The Passenger. I am about halfway through this thriller and loving every second of it. It’s entirely unpredictable, and the story line is gripping. It’s not super explicit like a lot of thrillers are, which I greatly appreciate. Highly recommend this one!! I can’t wait to finish it up.

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5. Dexter. I’m pretty sure Dexter has made it on the FF list before, but he’s making a comeback! DJ and I watched this show probably about a year ago, but dropped off around season 4 when work was getting intense. We decided we both would love to pick it back up and now we’re wondering how we ever stopped. It’s soo stinkin’ gooooood.

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6. A Simple Favor. Stop what you are doing right now (wait, I guess that would be reading this)….. After reading this, buy tickets for the next showtime of A Simple Favor. This is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time! I saw it this past Tuesday with my SIL, Amy and her boyfriend. The way it’s produced is just genius- the perfect blend of humor, thriller, suspense and everything else. Plus, Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively are just phenomenal actresses (goes without saying).

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7. 6 min. abs with Cassey Ho. This has recently become one of my favorite workout videos. You can get a better abs workout in these 6 mins than from  some of the 15 mins you’ll find on Youtube. Cassey & any of her Blogilates videos are amazing! I do this one about every other day.

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8. Murasaki Sweet Potatoes. They’re baaacccck. I literally let out a vocal “yay!” when I saw these in Trader Joe’s. I have a couple recipes for stuffed sweet potatoes I love to make with them in the fall!

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9. Miyoko’s Vegan Cheese Wheel. We used this for the first time this past summer, and it’s my new vegan cheese obsession. It’s the closest changing faux cheese to the real thing I’ve found- and the herbes de provence is remarkably delicious. You’ll need to pack this for your autumn picnics of course 😉

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10. African Botanics Revitalizing Therapy Gel. This stuff is magic! It came in my FFF box, and I am fully obsessed. I love using it on my shoulders and back especially. Funny story though- one night this past week my hamstrings were hurtin’, so I lathered it alllll over my legs. Not a good idea. They felt like they were on FIRE. I had to race into the bathroom and scrub it off once the burn set in. It was quite a scene, much to DJ’s entertainment. As you can tell, it works VERY well, meaning a tiny bit goes a long way! You’ll need this after raking all those leaves!!

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Question for you!

  • Any weekly favorites? Things you are loving?

xo <3

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Fall Blooms!

Hey, everyone! I am picking up from where I left off to fill in some gaps in recaps. It may take a few posts to catch up- but I’m excited to share some very beautiful fall blooms that are poppin’ up here in Cupertino! I swear- California has like five springs.

Tuesday the 4th and Wednesday the 5th I just did school work all day long. In the evenings, we had leftover cheese and crackers and hummus from wine country to try to eat some of that up. I always love post-wine country trips because it gives us an excuse for cheese and cracker dinners. We love to graze around here 😋

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Come around Thursday the 6th, I had a massive craving for one of those See’s candies lollipops. To take a study break, I drove to the mall in order to stock up!

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The rest of the week was all the same- wake up, workout, study, take a walk to clear my brain, make dinner, watch Dexter with DJ (yes, we picked it back up!!), throw a tantrum about the neighbors at 12 am (lol, more to come with that), then repeat! These following blooms are from my walk on Friday, September 7th 🙂

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One of my neighbors even has a lemon tree

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And an apple tree- but more apples were on the ground then on the tree- haha

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I even spotted this little squash!

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After finishing up the cheese and crackers during the week, I then made up some vegan tacos with lettuce wraps to devour.

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Saturday September 8th, I needed to “fill in” some groceries. We are trying to use up everything we have at home and just fill in need be- our grocery bill has plummeted this month so far, and I love that it forces us to get creative 🙂

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In the evening, I whipped up DJ a farfalle pasta with sauce & cheese we already had, but added pasta I grabbed from TJ’s. I just had the lettuce cup tacos again. I blogged a bit while DJ worked on his graduate school ap!

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I’m saving Sunday festivities for the next post, cause they need a post of their own 🙂

Questions for you!

  • Favorite type of pasta noodle? 🍝
  • Favorite season? 🍂

xo <3

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Mama’s SF!

Knock knock. Who’s there? Apparently, not me! Or my brain! Guys, I forgot to publish an entire post?! After our night in SF, we had a spectacular morning in SF, but it sadly slipped through the cracks. But no worries, we will not let these shenanigans go undocumented!!

In the morning of August 10th, I woke up early to squeeze in about seven miles on the treadmill. I loved the workout room!

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After getting ready for the day, Deej and I whipped up to the top floor again to grab some views.

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We were a couple of starvin’ marvins at this point. We decided to chow down at Mama’s… a bucket list item of ours! This poppin’ place has been opened for over fifty years and is considered one of the best brunch spots in SF. It is still family owned and operated, and one of the sons of “Mama” was actually letting everyone in through the doors, giving suggestions of what to order and telling us interesting tid-bits.

We found some lucky parking on the corner, then got ready to stand in the over-an-hour wait line. (It’s ALWAYS like that, so you just have to be prepared to be on your dogs for a bit).

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Finally- we were allowed to enter into this magical place! It was just the cutest thing I ever did see. It was painted a warm pastel yellow and decorated with a farmhouse feel.

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You order everything at the cash register then are seated. I practically salivated on the glass looking at the variety of daily house baked breads.

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Now for the good stuff! I ordered the Dungeness Crab Benedict, and me oh my was it delicious! But my favorite part was actually the potatoes. The Salmon Benedict at Bill’s still tops this.

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Now listen, Linda, after our wait I was very hungry. I decided to try out the cranberry orange walnut french toast that was suggested. I LOVED it. It was the perfect amount of savory, lightness, crunch, and sweetness. And DJ is allergic to walnuts, so I couldn’t share. Darn 😉

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But I do have to say… the bell of the ball was this Monte Cristo. According to YELP, this is the dish to get here. DJ tried it out, and I had to have a bite. We both agreed this is one of the BEST brunch dishes we have ever tried- and y’all know I don’t care for the taste of meat. This was next level though. I have been raving about it since. If I was going to eat a meat dish, this would be it!

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After, we decided to knock out another BL item and see the historic Dutch Windmill!

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The flowers surrounding it were beautiful.

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And that takes us to our most current post. Next stop: Labor Day weekend. Hopefully I can get those up soon. School is pretty darn time consuming, but blogging is always such a nice break 🙂

PS. Neighbors are still being a big ole’ pain. Thank you tons for your love & empathy & ideas in the last post. We finally contacted management, and even called security when they were SUPER loud at 12 am (mgmt said to contact security if they were loud after hours). Still nothing has changed…I don’t even know what they could be doing to make so much noise. I just hope we get used to it because I’m kind of at a loss of what else to do?

Questions for you!

  • Does your hometown have any local gems or hot spots?
  • Any fall plans?

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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Kels and Kenz Take on the Bay Part 2: Wine Country!

Happy Sunday! I’m actually writing this late Saturday night, but let’s be real, this will not be published till Sunday (or Monday) by the time I write, re-read, edit, re-re-read, edit edit, re-re-re-read, then publish (and still find countless errors after the publication-tehe).

In Part One, we left off ending Friday night on the Row with one of my best friend’s, Kelsey from Illinois. On July 28th, I woke up at the wee hours to squeeze in a run, then at 730 am we left the apartment, drove an hour into the city, lucked out with some great parking in Union Square, walked about a mile to the Ferry Building, and arrived right on time to start the journey to wine country!!!

Upon walking to the Embarcadero, we saw this fun little massive waterfall art piece that I’ve never noticed before. I’ve been to the city probably at least fifteen times, but how have I missed this giant thing?

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We signed up for a trip through wine country via Platypus Tours. For those deciding how to visit Napa/Sonoma I want to give great detail about this tour so you can decide if this is a way you would like to tackle wine country! When I found this tour I happily astounded by the price. It was only $110 per person for the entire day, including four wineries, lunch, and discounted tastings and wine tours. (Each winery tasting ended up being about $15 including the winery tour at the first winery, and Kels and I split a couple tastings which also cut down on the cost). The reviews were terrific so we decided to give it a go! This tour required us to be in front of the Ferry Building at 8:45 am to jump on the tour bus that would take us to the wineries.

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The morning went seamlessly- no traffic, easy parking, and it was a breeze finding our tour bus for the day.

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Before getting on the bus, we went to the guest services area in the Ferry Building to grab our tickets to take the Ferry back from Vallejo after our tastings (only $14 per person).

We then walked around enjoying the Ferry Market with a few minutes to spare (yes – minutes to spare in the morning! Can ya believe it?!)

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We were the first to arrive, so we tested out the seats. The bus was comfortable, a good size for the number of people, and stocked with plenty of water.

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I had read online that you can request which wineries to visit or make a request to try different wineries than you have already visited. Our wine tour guide, Bob, already had a set agenda for the day- but it worked out because the wineries were VERY unique and none of us had been to any of them before. Bob was knowledgable and worked hard to make sure we had a great day.

Our first stop was Nicholson Ranch.  This is one of the first wineries you encounter when driving into the southern foothills of Sonoma. I remembered passing it when going to wine country for the first time in March with my Mom & Pete!

We all shuffled into the tasting room, and had a glass awaiting us of their Chardonnay.

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I usually do not like Chardonnays (it’s the oaky finish that I tend to have an aversion to I’ve discovered), but every time I have sampled one in wine country, I have enjoyed them!

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I love watching their beautiful pours!

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This is the winery we were given a full tour of the winery… it’s originally $40 a person, but with our tour, it was included in the tasting price of $15. We initially went up a mountain along their vineyard and were greeted with tremendous views and a pretty awesome dumpster. (Never thought I’d ever say that sentence).

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We then walked down into the actual factory and saw the wine vat. We were given a fantastic educational session that blew our minds with how wine is actually made. I guess you will have to go yourself to find out 😉 Ok, or google. I guess google would work too. But this is way more fun! Lol.

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We then all took the elevator into the basement. We walked around in the surprisingly humid cellar. I was amazed by the number of barrels. But I was even more shocked by the price of each barrel. Anyone have any guesses?

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Answer: Each barrel costs $2000, and must be replaced every 5 years. Can you imagine?!?! Sheesh!

After our fabulous cellar session, we went to another hidden cellar room containing the oldest wines in the winery. The wine in the forefront of the photo is the VERY first wine ever made by the owner of Nicholson ranch (which was originally started in a garage).

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And finally, we moved into a gorgeous dining room for our final tasting.

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Kels and I pulled out our vegan cheese, crackers, sun-dried tomatoes, and hummus that we had packed for the day (it was about 11:30 am at this point and the hunger was starting to kick in!). I love packing cheese and crackers for winery tours, it enhances the experience and helps bring out flavors in the wines (especially the heavier ones). We shared our grub with our new friends we had made on the tour, and they couldn’t believe the cheese was vegan (I’ll share it in a Friday Favorites!).

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How freaking beautiful is she?!!

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After Nicholson ranch, we headed to Kieu Hoang winery. This is actually a winery that was originally a Mondavi winery (which is a pretty popular wine you may recognize in your local grocery store). I love the Robert Mondavi Cabernet you can just buy at Target!

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This winery was absolutely the most contemporary designed winery I have ever seen. Everything was immaculate and punctiliously designed. Yet, it clings onto the traditional Napa ambiance when you step onto their quaint porch.

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And these were the views..

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The woman serving was slow & less than knowledgable about the wine, but when we tried the zin we knew we had stumbled upon something special. Goodness. It was soooo good- the only Zin I have had that maybe is better is the one from Rombauer (to this day, I am still convinced Rombauer has the best wines!). Anyways, if you buy a bottle, they waive the tasting fee, so this bottle was essentially $10. How can you pass that up?! We grabbed a bottle to take home and enjoyed a small tasting with our lunch!

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This was one of the first wineries we have been able to actually go the actual vineyards. It was charming, delightful, scenic and all things “vineyard”. We decided to do a little photo shoot because wine not?!

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Winery numero tres, Bouchaine Vineyards! This one probably left the least impression of all four, but was wonderful nonetheless.

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This winery was much tinier than the other two we had visited, but was quiet, relaxing, and had phenomenal wines.

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Surrounded by their gorgeous gardens (Somewhat reminding me of Frog’s Leap) we enjoyed perhaps the best Chardonnary we have ever had- although I did LOVE the one we tried at Ledson. It left a  buttery note. I finally understood what people meant by “buttery” by trying this wine. I should have taken a picture of the list so I could tell you which it was, but I failed! I should know butter by now! 😉

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anddd maybe the most FUN of the whole trip- we ventured to our fourth winery… The Runway- Trending Wine Bar.

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Initially when they said our fourth winery was at an airport I was skeptical. An airport? Really? That doesn’t exactly scream “Wine Country” to me. Did another winery fall through? I was soooo cynical going into it, but not rightly so. Ohhh so not rightly so! It may have been our favorite part of the day.

We arrived at the winery and were greeted by Jason, the ultimate wine entrepreneur. He created a brand of wine around the hashtag, and actually owns the #besties, #bromance, and #selfie. (yes, the actual #). All millennials are #impressed right now.

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Everything is centered around the #… down to the logo on the wine glasses! Tell me you have never seen a more brilliant marketing idea!

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Every single wine was delicious, and Jason had us rolling- the whole time we were laughing and enjoying the very Grammy-esque backdrop for a photo shoot!

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I was flattered when this was posted on Trending Wine’s Instagram! Taking a selfie with the #selfie wine.

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Never have I ever been more basic, errrr, I mean awesome, right?

After, we went our to the tarmac to witness the planes taking off & coming in, waiting for a celebrity to disembark one. Celebrities frequent this airport, and we were keeping our eyes peeled for Matthew McConaughey sightings. (no such luck, but regardless we had a great time).

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We ended the fab trip by getting a photo all together.

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Time for the Ferry ride back!!

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Just keeping baby Zin nice and safe <3

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And we back!!! The ride back was about 45 minutes. It was so relaxing, but unfortunately the fog was so thick (dangit, Karl!) that we didn’t get the best of views.

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Annnnd that caps our day until about 6 pm. I will pick up in our next post to recap our evening. It will definitely require a post of it’s own!

And to quickly give a synopsis on pros/cons for those that are considering this tour!

Pros: This was a very friendly & accommodating company- immediately when I booked they called us to clarify our dietary preferences to make sure lunch had options for both of us. Price is phenomenal for included transportation, four wineries, a delicious lunch included. You get to see & do wineries you may not venture out to do on your own. Water bottles are included. You make friends and meet people from all over the world. It’s stress free, ya just show up and have a great time!

Cons: Limited flexibility in choosing of the wineries. If you are a newbie, this is a great way to do it because you have no expectations of what to expect/nothing to compare it to. We did feel rushed at times because we were on a specific time schedule to catch the Ferry back. When you go on your own, you can take your good ole’ time at each winery as you please. There is a $15/$20 tasting fee at each winery if you choose to do that (but with the tour we were given the lowest possible price).

Let me know if you have any questions or need recommendations for wine country! I have a bunch.

Questions for you!

  • Have you ever been to Wine Country? Any all time favorites or must do wineries?
  • If you like wine, which type is your favorite?

xo <3

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Friday Faves # I’m not sure, I’m running late for work and want to get this published!

Happiest of ALL Fridays, to youuuuu! I woke up a FULL five minutes extra this AM to try to whip out a Friday Faves post with just a few things I have been loving this week!

  1. ONE Bars. Since No Cow and I are having a bit of strife, I decided to give these little sons of a guns a go. And hot DANG. They are so tasty. The birthday cake, lemon, or MAPLE DONUT will not let you down. I’m eating one literally as we speak (aka I type). You can buy them at Amazon or the big protein shops like Vitamin Shoppe/GNC.

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2. I knowwww quotes are A. Pretty cheesy and B. Pretty Basic, but you C… I’m both those (at least I’m self aware), but naturally I love them. I saw this quote in a little boutique I strolled into this week. It hit home with me, especially with how this past year has been. I would not have had any strength to make it through without the support of DJ, friends, family, and y’all. Then with the second part, the reason I go into nursing everyday is to love people. It is ultimately the reward to love and to show love that is the driving force and fuels me with courage every day I step foot on the floor.

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3. Ok, SnarkyNurses may be my favorite nurse Instagram account. It is the perfect amount of sarcasm, a bucket of truth, and has those gems of, “We all think it, but no one says it”. Gosh, I LOVE it.

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4. Lately I have been loving the Chill Hits station on Spotify. I decided to just put it on while cleaning one day and cannot get enough. I always avoided it while working out and whatnot because it didn’t seem the right fit, but I was so wrong. It is absolutely my new favorite workout playlist. I also like listening to it at night when I’m reading.

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5. Dis Eggplant Hummus from Trader Joe’s doe. Baba or hummus?! How about both! My new obsession (overused word, but I mean it here… ooooob to the sessssssssed).

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6. Pink Himalayan Salt. I found this little guy in TJ Maxx, and love love love. I used to live and breathe sea salt, but this is next level. Plus, it has quite a few health benefits  (Ps. I don’t know if that’s a reputable source, but we’ll go with it)! Needless to say, I am so-dium pleased with it…. *crickets* …

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7. While we are talking all things Himalayan, because that’s just your standard run of the mill convo, DJ and I are OBSESSED (gosh dang it, stop overusing that) with Himalayan Kitchen… a tremendous Indian food joint we found in Sunnyvale. Indian food is my faveeee, and I was having a massive craving the other night. HK has the BEST curry dishes, and they are spicy to the point where it is ALMOST too spicy,  but not quite which is exactly right. DJ goes for the Chicken Tikka Masala, and I ventured away from my usual Palak Paneer and tried their Shrimp Curry. And Naan… Heaven, just heaven. I have a theory that naan was the mana God sent down from Heaven.

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8. the Skimm! If you don’t read anything else on this post READ THIS!!!!!! the Skimm is my lifesaver. There are so many current events happening it’s hard to keep up and read everything. the Skimm is a free e-mail service that send you the skimmed version of all news M-F. It breaks it all down in an easy to understand, and fun to read format. Use the  link below to subscribe! I have been using this since the middle of college, and have it to thank for my somewhat elementary understanding of what is happening up in here.

SUBSCRIBE TO the SKIMM

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9. Baked By Melissa Cupcakes. Shoot I was supposed to leave for work two minutes ago. Ah! We had these sweet goodies delivered for Valentine’s Day and holy maloly cupcakes… these are the cutest little cupcakes with the most massive embodiment of flavor. SERIOUSLY the best cupcakes I think I’ve ever had.

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10. Last but not least, I can’t believe I haven’t shared with y’all that I finally have a running watch, the Vivoactive Garmin! I used to have the Forerunner, but I lost it a few months after we moved out here (the black hole of California). I LOVE this watch, it’s super easy to use for a technology novice like myself, and has everything I could want in a watch. It links with an app on the phone for accurate tracking too.

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(There are probably a ton of typos up in here right now… don’t mind them. Ok time to go run around like a chicken with its head cut off for 12 hours! Seeeee yaaaaa!)

xo <3

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Friday Favorites #8 (I think?!)!

Hey Y’allll! I am doing a combo post- a recap mixed with Friday faves. Knockin’ out two calling birds with one snowball.

This past few weeks since the wedding has been filled with finishing up the research project (it’s due in less than a month!) & DJ has been working super hard too with the holiday community events. We had his company Christmas party last week which was a lot of fun!

Anywayyyyyyzzzz, what better time to share a few favorite things than the most wonderful time of the yeaaaarrr!

Ok. Let us begin!

  1. Donut Wheel Donuts- Nough’ said?! For some reason this holiday season makes us crave some donuts. We grabbed these little guys the day after we returned from the wedding.

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2. Pieology. This was one of the last places for us to try on Main Street Cupertino! I think I even prefer it over Mod Pizza… which I didn’t think was possible . DJ demolished their Margherita Da Vinci, and I savored their vegan pizza with all the toppings. The only thing I will say is there largest size is a bit small. DJ was still a bit hungry after his.

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3. Our Church’s Christmas Creative. Every year our Church tells the Christmas story in a festive, creative way displaying the wide array of talents those in our Church possess! It blows me away every year.

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Below is just a sampling of our Children’s group who opened the show! Come on, how cute are they?!

4. This is super random, but I have to include it a la “recap” style… Spotting wildlife! I saw an actual Jack Rabbit for the first time in real life last week. Those ears are HUGE.

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5. VitaFusion Biotin!!!!! I don’t why in the fuji apple it has taken me this long to jump on the biotin train. If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’d know I’ve been exceedingly frustrated as of late with my hair. The stress of this year has caused my hair to be brittle, thin, and dry. Even my go-to cure-all shampoos weren’t doing the trick. I started using biotin and have seen ALL the difference. Even my nails are remarkably stronger.

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6. The Giver! Sooo this is one of those novels that most find on their grade school mandated reading list.. but for some reason I never was required to read this classic. It has been sitting around my mini library for a long time (we’re talking years on years). I walked past it the other day and emphatically (and randomly) decided to give it a go. I flew through it in a couple days. I was a little perturbed at the ending. I feel like there could have been a part two. But overall I’m a sucker for the dystopian fiction. Orwell and Huxley were most definitely on that required reading 😉

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7. Cassie’s Cookery! One of my favorite bloggers, and good friends, Cassie, over at Cassie’s Cookery created her first cookbook. OK, these recipes are INCREDIBLE. I cannot wait to dive in. She is one of the first people that brought to light how scrumptious sweet potatoes are for breakfast. Check out her amazing blog right NOW!

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8. Beyond Meat: The Beyond Burger!!!                  (pause for dramatic effect)…. DJ asks me to snatch these from the store every time I go. That says a lot considering he is a meat eater through and through. These are uncannily good and even bleed like real burgers (from beet juice). I dare you, all you vegan skeptics, to give this a go! The way it sizzles, tastes, and smells is the equivalent of a juicy burger. I wouldn’t lie to you now would I?!

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9. Beautiful Anonymous Podcast. I don’t know why I haven’t included this before in a FF. I feel like maybe I did, but I don’t remember expounding on it. Anywho- This is one of my ALL time favorite podcasts. For one hour flat Chris Gethard talks to an anonymous stranger (who calls in when he tweets out the number) about anything and EVERYTHING. They are entirely anonymous (ya don’t say?) so the stories people share are fascinating. There are no “holds barred” in the words of Chris.

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10. All things Christmas!!!! I did an “all things Fall” Friday Faves last time, so what the heck, I’m sticking with the seasonal fave. We were late to the game this year getting our tree and decor up. But we finally did this past Monday!

img_4435img_4440img_4436img_4438We wanted to continue our tradition of going out and chopping down a tree, but this time around none of our days off lined up, so we settled with finding one at a tree farm.

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We saw this little guy instantly and knew it was the one!

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Happy Holidays, y’all. I’ll be working the 23, 24, and 25th, so please eat some extra helpings for me <3

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What’s YOUR Friday Favorite?!

xo <3

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Protein Packed Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

I start every single day with cookies and end every day with ice cream.

Not kidding! I say it’s the secret to a balanced diet and keeps me motivated to eat healthy the rest of the day!

Soooo…. I am finally sharing my breakfast cookie recipe per request! I have spent time after time and batch after batch trying to perfect these little guys. I finally feel I have come to a place where these breakfast cookies are exactly what I crave in the morning. And by crave I mean if I don’t have any left come morning my whole day is off. I pair a couple with my creamy avocado smoothie and am usually set for a full morning of work from 4:30 until about 11 am when I have my first break. Plus, the sweet & savory combo is perfection.

Grocery List:

  • 2 scoops Protein Powder of Choice (I prefer EAS Vanilla)
  • 2 C. Oatmeal of choice (either old fashioned or quick oats- I like quick oats)
  • 3 TBSP Enjoy Life semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
  • 2 Large overripe Bananas
  • 1/2 C. Organic Peanut Butter (I use Laura Schudder’s)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mash bananas in a large mixing bowl with a fork or spatula
  3. Add all other ingredients
  4. Stir and mash with spatula until thoroughly mixed- put your muscle into it! It’s dry at first, but eventually becomes nice and doughy (may use a Kitchen Aid)
  5. Using a Tablespoon, scoop cookies one at a time onto a greased baking tray
  6. Put all cookies into the oven, cook for 7-8 minutes
  7. Allow to cool, enjoy!
  8. Store leftovers in the fridge.

**They taste like little cookie dough bites cold, but I reheat mine in the microwave a couple seconds before eating them in the morning. I think they are even better warmed up!

Nutrition per cookie. Servings per batch: 31

Calories: 63

Fat: 3g

Carbs: 7g

Protein: 3g

Sugars: 2g

E N J O Y!

xo,

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