Soufflé Pancakes & It’s Finally Autumn!

Hey, everyone! I am trying to get us all caught up before a super busy (and fun) week ahead 🙂 This morning is a three cups of coffee type of day, but I’m resisting considering I have to get up at 4 am tomorrow morning. Wish meh luck…. sometimes I wonder how I did that on a regular basis for over a year. I think we left off right after Thanksgiving!

November 23rd was a day of utter relaxation for DJ and me. I used to love Black Friday shopping, but now that online shopping is available I would much rather do it from my home than fight the masses. I ran a few errands and then we had a Thanksgiving Round 2 with all our leftovers in the evening (you can see those in the Friday Faves post).

November 24th DJ and I woke up early, went to our local Target, and then grabbed some Starbucks. I still have to try their new holidays drinks. Anyone try the Juniper Latte yet?

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After breakfast I enjoyed a nice long run on a my-kind-of-Saturday-morning grey day!! It actually finally feels like Autumn now. Leaves are falling, I repeat- the leaves are falling!

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After working on some school work I was in a mood for a movie. I am never in the mood for a movie at home, but for some reason nothing sounded better that evening. I usually can’t sit still that long, but I was so exhausted after all the festivities, and with the warm Christmas tree up it all sounded perfect. We chose Manchester by the Sea. About twenty minutes into it we turned it off- it was too depressing for the mood we were in. Instead, we tried Crazy Rich Asians, which I had heard raving reviews about. It was a good movie, we enjoyed it- but were sad they portrayed Christians in a such poor light, yet again, through the Hollywood lens :/.

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Sunday morning of the 25th before church we tried out Koja Kitchen. DJ and I have been drooling over pictures of these soufflé pancakes for a couple months. After our experience at Cafe Jacqueline, anything with the word “soufflé” is calling our names! Within this last couple weeks just started selling them at this particular location by our apartment… serendipitous I do say!

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DJ had their mixed berries ones, and there was not a trace left within a couple minutes. Rarely does DJ rave about food in the way I do, but he couldn’t stop talking about how wonderful these were!

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And I concurred. My matcha mascarpone ones were next level fluffy, yummy deliciousness!!! These are crave worthy- the texture & flavor is everything. I don’t know how soufflé pancakes aren’t a staple for all breakfast spots. They are just phenomenal.

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You can see in this video just how fluffy they are when you cut into them…

After church I enjoyed a shorter run soaking up the beautiful day.

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November 26th I went on a nice walk before finishing up my massive paper for the semester. Woohooo!

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On Wednesday November 28th I just continued to truck along with the school work with a run squeezed in between.

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In the evening I posted a whole bunch of stuff on Poshmark and sold a few items. That always feels so satisfying, especially when you sell something that has just been sitting in the closet for a while!

Thursday the 29th was the same ole’, same ole’ for us with school and work, but in the evening I made more of the mac and cheese recipe from Thanksgiving! My goal is to figure out a vegan version of this. But for now- bring on the dairy!

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I classify this as “cry food”: Food so good you get emotional and may even feel the urge to cry tears of joy.

Friday November 30th I went to a new hair salon and had my roots fixed from the fiasco of the last lady now that I’ve nursed it back to health somewhat. I loveeed how it turned out, I paid about half the price as the other place, and definitely spent half the time in the chair. I am so stinkin’ excited about this… y’all know I’ve had a difficult hair journey since moving here, so I’m glad to have found somewhere affordable and high quality! I loved my stylist too- she’s so sweet, fun to chat with & knowledgable.

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We decided to have a formal date night for the first time in a long time! We have been kinda all over the place with work/school/etc. this last few months, so our attempt at a weekly date has fallen to the wayside (although we could consider our weekend breakfast tour a date day I suppose!).

We received a coupon from Steins to try out their new menu. If you’ve been following along for a while this place probably looks familiar. We were excited to try it out!

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I am always skeptical about a soft pretzel since trying the one at Deschutes in Portland. That one was just too good & has ruined every soft pretzel since- nothing ever comes close! However, this one was solid. Not as good still- but close, especially with the dipping sauces of caraway beer mustard, pub cheese, & tomato jam!

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Gotta get those truffle fries!! The lemon aioli they are served with is the most heavenly aioli everrrr.

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We tried their creamed spinach too- and was pleasantly surprised how good this was! Typically steakhouses are the ones with the best creamed spinaches, but this is up there for sure.

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DJ had their chicken tenders with their super spicy hot sauces. Mmm mm! I used some of the hot sauces for dipping too. DJ said these are some top notch tenders.

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I tried their vegan cauliflower & garbanzo bean vegan dish paired with a cold glass of Pinot Grigio (perfect combo). This dish is supposed to serve three people, but when in marathon training….lol.

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The dish was… fine. I wouldn’t order it again, probably will go for the fish next time- but it was still satisfying & is a great vegan option for those that are strictly vegan!

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We came home, watched Arrested Development, and crashed.

On the morning of Saturday December 1st (How is it December?!), we had to go back to Koja…… the cravings were REAL.

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This time I tried their Tokyo caramelized banana option! It was tasty, but I still prefer the matcha mascarpone. DJ had the mixed berries again.

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I had a great long run of 16.75 miles after that carb load. I studied the entire time on the treadmill because it was raining outside. I made a solid dent in the books & actually felt better than I thought after the run. In the evening we had all our leftovers, and I spent the rest of the day resting the legs and blogging.

Yesterday, December 2nd, we went to an awesomeeee church service, then I did the first 20 minutes(ish) of this Youtube HITT routine. I ran some errands and then stopped by my friend Sara’s to wish her a happy bday. I worked on school work for a few hours, spent on hour talking to SheIn customer service (do not order from them- it’s not worth it), and last, to round off a nice, lazy, yummy weekend, we watched a couple episodes of Arrested Development.

Today the 3rd, I made a bunch of returns on my Black Friday orders. I ended up keeping two shirts, but it’ll feel good to see that money come back. Right now I’m enjoying this bowl of overnight pumpkin oats with fresh cranberries, a dollop of Fage, & maple syrup. Holy smokes – I might be on a new kick!

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The rest of the day is dedicated 100% to studying. Watch out Research & Stats, I’m coming for ya. We leave tomorrow for Disney, so I’ll probably be MIA till next week! Hope this week is absolutely restful, joy-filled, & lovely for each of you!

Questions for you:

  • If you have been to Disney, which is your favorite park?
  • What are some of your favorite online stores with cheap(ish) clothes that you can trust? There are so many sketchy sites these days, but all of them seem to have such cute clothes until you get something totally different in the mail, lol!!

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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Finding my [[ Center ]] & Fighting Self Care Guilt

Happy Friday Eve, everyone! I have been spending the last couple weeks finding my center per the title. *Cue the yoga mudra*. This sounds like some serious Californian crap, but ohhh well, it’s trueeee.

Leaving off from the last post, I entered into the next week determined to do some serious self care.

Self care is difficult for me because I tend to feel like I have to be dying on my sword, exhausted in every way before I allow myself to take a darn bubble bath. But that’s what these couple of months are for before diving back into the deep end in August. I am struggling though because if I’m rested, calm, and moving less than the pace of a tornado- am I doing something wrong?! The guilt has been knocking at the door… but I had to remind myself of the beautiful lesson I learned about seasons/transition times when I moved here, and I am going to soak up these next few weeks best I can. After all, I have to be rested before I can give my all, right?

My sister, Andi, and I chatted on the phone on Father’s Day reminiscing about our Dad and life in general. I told her how I’m feeling a bit strange not being busy busy busy. She said the awesome thing about these phases and seasons is that you are available- truly available for whatever God might have for you.

Case and point- I was on a run today and saw a debit card on the sidewalk. In all my busyness previously, I honestly may have just left it, not bothering myself with it. But since I had the time, I was able to run the card to the nearest Police Station- It felt good being able to just do something that I selfishly probably wouldn’t have if I was in one of my busy seasons. The police called back and said the man was incredibly grateful. I also feel like I’ve just been able to be there for my friends and family a bit more this last couple weeks. Usually, I just keep my phone on “Do not Disturb” because when I was at work I obviously couldn’t answer, and when I wasn’t at work I was running around getting ready for work or trying to sleep. It resulted in a endless games of phone tags and a full voicemail box. Now, I actually have my phone on and am able to chat with my friends and family who are going through some tough stuff right now. I’m so glad I can be there to just listen.

So what does this self care look like? Well first, I have allowed myself to sleep without an alarm (which is a challenge when usually I set an alarm even when I don’t need one). My body has been thanking me though- I am breathing easier and feel like my feet are actually on the ground. My circadian rhythm is resetting- and not only physically- but emotionally too.

I’m beginning to actually feel like myself again.

Second- I am cutting out the artificial sweetener drinks and sticking to water. I love those ICE drinks and Vitamin Water Zero- but I have decided to try to just drink pure water. I have noticed the difference in two things- bloating & energy. I love my flavored wa’ (pronounced wah), but time to hydrate the old fashioned way.

Next, this past year in nursing I have severely damaged my back, actually more than I realized. I am working on doing more stretching and some yoga to help it, but DJ suggested I get a massage. I decided Monday June 11th to get one at Elements Massage in Los Gatos with a coupon. Although the masseuse  talked the entire time and we ended up talking about her family’s medical issues, it was still enjoyable. A nurse is never really off duty ;). Haha.

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Monday during The Bachelor(ette) season is my favorite night of the week! I love that DJ watches with me because he has the most hilarious commentary. We took a nice lazy walk on Sunday night on Main Street and passed Rootstock Wine Bar. We decided we would hop in there the next night for a glass of wine before the Bachelorette.

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It’s pretty expensive, but sooo delish, and a nice date place every once in a while. They always have some of the best wine. I also love the whole ambiance- it’s rustic, yet chic, and comfortable. On some nights they have live music playing. We sat out on the patio and enjoyed our glass of wine before walking home to eat our Tollhouse  chocolate chip cookies and watch maybe the silliest shows on television. (Although.. it does look like it could win an Oscar next to the Proposal- ew, that show– awful. Do not even get me started!).

Tuesday morning, the 12th, I tried my first Orange Theory class!!! I thoroughly enjoyed it. I used the arm band for the first one, so I don’t think it was accurate- but it a fantastic workout. I don’t think I’ll stick to the courses because it’s very similar to Insanity (with the HITT routine) that I already do. But every once in a while with some friends it would be fun!

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Almost every night this last couple weeks (That DJ doesn’t have a game of course), Deej and I have been going on evening walks after dinner. This has been one of my favorite parts of the day. We used to take walks often when we lived in Indiana, but have just been so on the go since moving here. It’s been great to have that time together to chat, unwind, and reconnect.

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Wednesday, the 13th,  I did Insanity then realized a new Handmaid Tale episode was out on Hulu. To Peet’s we go with popcorn in tow!

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After, I rounded up our groceries for the week from TJ’s and did some meal prep the rest of the day. In afternoon I started the book, “Behind Closed Doors”. It’s a difficult read from a content perspective, but goodness I could not put it down. Has anyone read it?

Thursday morning, the 14th, I made the same avocado toast that I’ve been having every morning while enjoying it out on my balcony. It has a slice of seeded bread, 2 TBSP hummus, 1/2 avocado, and pink himalayan salt and pepper. I think I’ll be on this kick for a while.

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I went for a run, although somehow I think a sweat bee got caught in my mouth and stung me or something. I was okay, but it was a bit of a shock and hurt! I don’t even know how that happened, lol, but the bee season is in full swing right now. I then was proceeded to be chased by killer crows on the last rung of my run. They followed me about 1/4 mile even when I changed direction and then started flying in front of my face. It was so scary!!! I dove across four lanes of traffic and finally lost them. (A few days later, I heard on the radio this is a thing in Canada!). Mack vs. Nature- 0-2.

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I then caught up on e-mails, laundry, etc.

One of the meals I meal prepped for the week was salmon, broccoli, wild black rice, and ciabatta bread from Trader Joe’s! We gobbled this up for dinner.

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Friday I headed to my first Bar experience!! I had heard about Barre3 from Kori, and when my friend invited me to try The Bar Method, I jumped on it. I think there are some differences between those two- but generally the same idea.

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The boutique was immaculate, quiet, and adorably decorated.

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So my thoughts on bar: I’m such a cardio junkie- so this was a fantastic new challenge for me! I loved how much they focused on strength through micro-movements. It was a workout unlike anything I’d ever done before. I still don’t know that I can totally depart from my cardio- but I would love to incorporate the idea of focusing on such specific muscles into my normal workout regimen more. No wonder Kori & Kaci (Kori’s twin) have the most perfectly toned arms!!

The rest of the day Sara, my friend, and I went back to her house to binge watch our show & snack.

In the evening I headed to Harry Potter Night to watch the San Jose Giants play!

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They went alll out for this! When you enter the gates, they give you a ticket and sort you into a house. Despite the long debate DJ and I had in our kitchen about which house we would be in, I was sorted into Gryffindor! (The sorting hat at Warner Bros said Gryffindor too, sooooo).

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If I had to sort myself I think I’d be in Ravenclaw. Which house are you?!

They even sold Butterbeer from a local brewery (It was basically cream soda, mmm mm!).

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I just LOVE minor league games, especially at Muni. The food is irresistible and the environment is pure fun and excitement.

I recorded on video the House Race on broomsticks, and this poor little man ate it. I felt bad, but I couldn’t help from laughing.

Saturday morning, the 16th, I was craving a soft boiled egg over my toast. I went through FIVE eggs to try to get one that didn’t break right when I was taking off the shell. Well…..

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I overcooked it when I finally thought I had it right. Haha. What are your tricks for a perfect soft boiled egg that’s a bit runny?!

I ended up just going with a normal over medium fried egg.

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Yum, yum!

I went for a calming long walk, listened to a podcast, chatted on the phone, and then during my mid-stride bliss, I was pooped on by a bird. Not the first time this has happened, probably not the last. After taking a THOROUGH shower and washing all my clothes, I then got to work posting tons of things on Poshmark and Ebay that I’ve been wanting to post for a while.

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These are all the clothes I have left (minus workout clothes/pants that are in my dresser). I feel lighter having narrowed it down to clothes I actually wear (considering I wear the same like five outfits in rotation- ha). DJ had to work the weekend, but was home Saturday night for dinner.

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We improvised with the little bit of salmon we had left, rice, and them a tomato soup from trader Joe’s with tortilla strips.

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Sunday the 17th was Father’s Day. It was a hard day- just missing my Dad and DJ had to be at work so I did feel a bit lonely. I went on a long walk in the afternoon and called my step dad, Pete, and my grandpa which turned my mood right around. I’m so excited to see them in about a month! I continued to spend the rest of the day spring cleaning and posting to Ebay/Poshmark.

Monday the 18th- Wednesday the 20th I spent the days shopping. Ok, that probably sounds wonderful to most of you, but not for me! I hate shopping (especially when I need something). I get in the mood maybe once a year for like five minutes when I actually want to shop. This was not one of those times. I needed to find a dress for a wedding we have next weekend and also was hoping to find something to wear for fourth of July. I struck out everywhere, leaving each place empty handed.

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^ I mean, this is what I’m working with… (although the dress alone is pretty cute!).

I did enjoy seeing the massive gorgeous Anthropologie at Stanford Mall.

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Since I couldn’t find a single thing, to online shopping we go (I must clarify- I do LOVEEE online shopping! I’m still a female, ya know?).

Tuesday evening, the 19th, we headed to DJ’s Dad’s to celebrate Father’s Day and to say goodbye (They are moving back to Ohio). It was bittersweet, but I’m glad we had one last hurrah before we saw them go.

Yesterday morning the 20th, I had the best cosmetologist (in my book) at Limon Salon work some serious magic on my damaged hair (part 2)… part one is in the previous recap where she had to work my hair out of the awful highlights.

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Last evening, I made a big crockpot chicken and veggie slow cooked meal that made the house smell magical. I am going to try to make meals in the next couple weeks that we can freeze for when things pick up here soon.

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I’m now sitting at Peet’s (imagine that) and then heading to a work dinner with DJ’s coworkers tonight. Woohoo!

How are your weeks going? If you know how to make a soft boiled egg, please help your girl out!

xo <3

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