A Couple High Notes

Hi, everyone- Wow, a lot has changed since my last post, published only about ten days ago. It feels a bit odd to even be blogging right now, but I know we have to also hold onto the things that bring joy and normalcy in the midst of so much uncertainty. I’m thankful for this platform of connection in a time when most of us probably feel somewhat isolated. I won’t say too much more about everything going on with the virus right now- you all are inundated with it, but I will say I pray you are all safe and healthy. I also implore you to stay home if you aren’t already. Last, if you are feeling anxious during this weird time, I do want to share a verse that always encourages and comforts me in any difficult season:

Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah: 41:10)

Writing these posts is therapeutic for me, and it helps me find the beauty in the most stressful of days. I hope it provides you a fun little escape too or provides some distraction.

In the BEST of news and the absolute highlight of our week, month, year, etc…. My sister-in-law had her baby last weekend! We have a new healthy, beautiful baby boy in the fam <3 We’re sad, of course, that we can’t just jump on a flight to meet him, but that will be priority #1 when it’s safe again.

Now, continuing this recap from the last post…

January 12th we went to Church and then after went to a restaurant called High Note for a little birthday brunch! P.S. We’ll be on that church streaming train tomorrow. I’m so thankful we live in a day of technology where that is possible!

Walking in the door of the restaurant, I immediately was drawn to their fun palm-themed wallpaper.

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But everywhere you turned it seemed the decor took a different direction- yet, it all worked together in a fun and mesmerizing way. I was trying to absorb every detail!

197ab86b-786b-4557-b771-3c648e86b9e4After being seated at one of their gorgeous deep blue booths with a marble table, we scanned the mouth-watering menu. First, we ordered their dip trio with fire roasted salsa, edamame, and cashew queso. It was good, but we probably wouldn’t order again. The “queso” wasn’t so much of a queso, but rather more of a savory vegan dip (in queso you were wondering).

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Now onto the stuff we loved! DJ ordered their breakfast sandwich with soft boiled eggs, seasonal greens, tomato confit, herbed hot sauce, cashew aioli and ciabatta bread. I loved this!! I actually preferred DJ’s to my own choice, so he didn’t have a choice kindly shared.

9740dad3-7594-4123-a026-37e5e286f1d1I ordered their vegan cuban panini with braised tofu, peppered beet, whole grain mustard, charred pickled vegetable, cashew aioli and grilled sourdough.  This was great, don’t get me wrong- but compared to that breakfast sammy there was no competition! Still a great option for those that are strictly vegan.

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I took a quick shot of their patio as we were walking out, but it was closed since it was pretty chilly that day. It’d be fun to come back in nicer weather and sit out there one day.

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On Monday the 13th, my actual birthday, I went to Starbucks and plopped down to get my studying done while enjoying a cafe au lait. The sweet barista wrote happy birthday on my cup!

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I also enjoyed the sweetest gift of Baked By Melissa treats! These are my favorite little cupcakes in the world!

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These macarons were also ohhhh sooo tasty.  I actually didn’t think I liked macarons all that much because the ones I’ve had in the past were a little dry- but these redeemed macarons for me. Talk about a great treat with coffee or tea!! I dare say I liked them as much as the cupcakes themselves!

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January 14th was more of a study day too. Jan 15th more of the same, but I did see this  natural marvel as I was on my walk on Ladybird Trail! Have you ever seen so many turtles in one place?! The cranes were somewhat majestic too with the way they were glowing in the sun.

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The same walk I spotted this white squirrel- a rare sighting fur-sure, hehe!

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Questions for you:

  • What is one highlight/good thing from this week in spite of all that’s happening?
  • What’s the most interesting creature you have spotted in its natural habitat?

xo <3

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Flights & a Sushi Burrito!

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

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

Back to the fooood (important things)!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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To top off the meal we had beignets!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xo <3

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

Friday Favorites #16! + An exciting update :)

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

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

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

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#3. Blooms. Nough’ said!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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xo <3

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