Friday Favorites #22!

It’s Friday!!! Woohooo!!! I am gonna whip this post up realz quick before trudging through school assignments to *hopefully* find some free time this weekend 🙂

  1. SomiSomi Ice Cream. This stuff is next level delicious soft serve. They just opened a location within walking distance of us! Might be a good thing we are moving because we probably definitely would consume more than is healthy over time. I tried the Ube soft serve (purple yam) & Oreo and DJ tried all Oreo. We both liked the Oreo flavor the most. Purple yam was just kinda vanilla (quite literally tasted like vanilla). You have the option for a macaron or a strawberry and what you want your cone stuffed with. I had nutella stuffed & DJ did custard stuffed! The Taiyaki cone is the best doggone ice cream cone of all time! We. are. obsessed.

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2. Mornings spent outside on the balcony! It’s finally warm enough to enjoy breakfast outside on the balcony again. I’m loving my avocado smoothies with protein cookies or oatmeal and chocolate chips to start the day. It’s so dern relaxing.

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3. Spring has sprung!!! I’m beginning to see flowers pop up everywhere!

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This flower below in particular has a special meaning for me when I see it bloom. You can read about that here.

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4. Wedding Planning!! I am honored to be my sista’s Matron of Honor, and while she really is taking care of most everything, I’m having a blast with my responsibilities. Over the weekend I ordered her bridal shower invites from Etsy & had them send on a PDF file. I then just downloaded the PDF onto cardstock through Staples and picked them up the same day- easy peasy! I highly recommend doing it this way, especially if you want to save money or are on a time crunch! Since I blurred out the details you can find the original template here 🙂

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5. This commercial. Bahahahaha.

6.  Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. I am only about halfway through this book, but I’m loving every second of it. I always highlight significant quotes or elements that resonate with me through my Kindle app, and I feel like I’m highlighting every five seconds. I also grew up in a suburb of Cleveland, where this story takes place, so seeing familiar names and locations makes me nostalgic and feel a kindred tie to the book. It’s a fantastic read so far! If you want to read a synopsis click here. Thanks for the recommendation, Maureen!

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7. Zoya’s August Nail Polish. I saw this color on Hunida and had to have it!!! It is sooo beautiful! Even DJ complimented my nails, and he doesn’t usually notice things like that haha. I was introduced to Zoya by my Aunt a couple years back, and truly no other nail polish lives up to it! I just adore this color.

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I’m reallly not great at doing my own nails (so I’ll spare you a subpar picture of my own nails), but I do talk with my hands so no one can focus on them for too long anyways. Hahah.

8. This video had me cracking up. DJ showed me this over the weekend and we went down a video hole of “I think my dog is broken” vids. Definitely watch if you need a little laugh 🙂

9. Roasted Gorgonzola Crackers from Trader Joe’s. I couldn’t do Friday Faves without a specific TJ mention, now could I?! Oh man, do I love this find! This has a very strong gorgonzola flavor (a little blue cheese too), so if you love those types of cheeses I recommend trying these out! YUM!

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10.  American Gospel: Christ Alone. Today I truly saved the best for last. This documentary has been out since October, and I don’t know why we’re just hearing about it. I could discuss this for hours upon hours, but I will just say I urge everyone and anyone to watch it. It addresses the “Word of Faith” movement, which we have been exposed to since living in California. This documentary debunks the false Gospel that is preached as well as presents the true Gospel in one of the most true, honest, raw, beautiful ways we have ever heard. I watched it twice in two days it was so good. Right now I could only find it on Amazon, but I really hope it releases to Netflix or Hulu soon too. It’s so important- the most important.

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Question for you:

  • What’s a favorite of yours this week?!

xo <3

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**There are affiliates in this post, but all opinions and ideas are my own**

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Friday Favorites #21!

Happy Friday!!! We made it – woohoo!! DJ had to work super late last night (around 11 pm), but in turn he gets today entirely off! I still have to work on school shtuff all day, but I love having him around. I have faves bursting at the seams this week- definitely will have to save some for next week too!

  1. Trader Joe’s Tzatziki– oh man, this stuff is so creamy and delicious. I like putting it on my “chik’n”, eating it with hummus and pita chips, or putting it in my salads.

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2. Trader Joe’s Sliced French Brioche. The obsession is real. This is a must-try. We use it mainly for sandwiches, french toast, and grilled cheese!

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3. Little Pink Book. I am sooo old fashioned in keeping “paper records”. I don’t totally trust technology plus I’m bad at it, lol. Anywho- this little book is so fun & adorable for storing all contacts and addresses. I’m sure my mom is happy to read this considering it means I won’t constantly text her, “What is so & so’s address again?”

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4. Crispy Chickpeas from Trader Joe’s. This is more of a DJ Friday Fave, I like these, but DJ loves them. I actually prefer the Saffron Road brand, but these are still yummy.

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5. Olay Instant Hydration Eye Cream. I gotta say, I am usually so skeptical about face and eye creams- they cost an arm & a leg, but do they actually work? I noticed a difference in my under eye puffiness and also general smoothness in my under eyes by using this for one day! It lasts for a long time too because you only need very little.

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6. Fyre Festival Documentaries. This is kind of old news now, but I have to include it! Oh man, this is a fascinating documentary! I suggest watching both- the Netflix and Hulu styles are different & you learn different aspects about the whole mess through each. I won’t even give a synopsis because I’m sure y’all are well aware about it by now. Gosh, it’s entertaining.

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7. Airpods! DJ has wanted to get these for me for a long time for a Christmas or bday gift for the last couple years, but I always said I didn’t get the point. I didn’t see how they were that different truly from the regular headphones. WOW, was I wrong in my thinking- these are a game changer!! He finally got them for me this past Christmas, and I am sooo glad. They are sooo much easier, don’t catch on everything, and I think my form is better running because I can truly stand up straight without the headphones tugging on my phone. Also, I can do HITT routines while listening to podcasts or music… I couldn’t do that with my wire ones because they needed to be connected to my phone.

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8. Maybelline’s Colossal Volume Mascara. We have all seen the commercials for this mascara, and I had a sample I finally tried. I usually use “They’re Real!“.. but that can be sooo doggone pricy. This Mascara is insanely comparable, maybe even adds more volume, and is a price I can justify!

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9. The Wife Between Us. Wowzas, this book is a good one! Some people compare it to the style of Behind Closed Doors, one of my favorites from last year. This book, similarly, had sooo many twists and turns at the end, my jaw was nearly on the floor. Thanks, Maureen, for the suggestion! I really hope they make this a movie!

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10. The Final Table. Where my cooking show fanatics at?!?! This is a must watch! The Final Table takes the best chefs from around the world and they compete in the ultimate cooking competition. This is top tier cooking competition gold.

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Question for you:

  • Any favorites for you this week?!

Have a great weekend, my friends 🙂

xo <3

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**There are affiliated links in this post, but all ideas and opinions are my own! Some images are from a Google Image search- ya know the really crisp professional looking ones 😉 **

Friday Favorites #20!

Hey hey–Happy Fridayyyy! Even though I’m in school full time, & weekends are basically filled with school work anyways, there is something about the energy of a Friday I still love 🙂 Also I usually try to get most of the heavy lifting done by now so I can at least move at a somewhat slower pace once Saturday rolls around. Anyways, I have a long list of Friday Favorite items saved & catalogued from Christmas till now. I can’t wait to release them over the coming weeks 🙂 I got up early this AM to try to get a post in since I’m so behind- what is new?!

  1. This mug! How stinking cute is this? I feel so fab sipping my coffee in the morning with it! I couldn’t find this exact one, but I linked up one similar on Amazon (not quite as cute).. there are a plethora of  fun options on there though.

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2. Candy Sushi!!! Yes you heard right- Candy Sushi! I first saw this at Candytopia & then Taushah posted about it. After that I just needed to try it! Okay, I expected it to be more of a novelty thing, maybe not the best tasting candy ever-  but it was all soo yummy. The little red sour gummies were my favorite followed by the gummy fish. This was too fun!

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3. When I came home from SD, I had this super thoughtful card & gift awaiting me from Kate. She has just the sweetest heart!!! This lush green coconut bath bomb scent is out of this world- holy moly. Everything in Lush smells great, but this might be my favorite scent yet. AND she paired it with a toasted coconut peanut butter cup. It did not last long, lol. It was such high quality chocolate- so. stinking. good.

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4. My mom got DJ and I hooked on these Icon Meals when we were in Texas! These are a great snack when you just need a handful of something sweet and also a protein boost. Highly recommend! The dark chocolate sea salt is my personal fave.

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5. Norwex Envirosponge. Y’all. My mom got them for us for Christmas, and they are game changers!! They do not stink at all or have that musty scent that traditional sponges have after a few uses. Seriously do not know how I went so long without them. We have saved many paper towels by using these too. Bye bye green & yellow sponges!

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6. This Lavender & Lemon Soy Candle. This was another gift that is one that is great to get, but also wonderful to give. If you read on the label, the proceeds go to helping survivors of human trafficking. Such a worthy cause, and the candle smells just lovely. I couldn’t find the exact one- but I found a vanilla scented one.

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7. This video. I felt personally attacked but also laughed so hard. Trust me, worth the watch!

8. This planner below. I’m a bit late to the game posting about my planner, but it was a winner getting me through January. I’m just lovin’ it even though it’s super basic 😉 I got it for $5 at TJ Maxx!

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9. The Moth Podcast. This podcast is different than ones I usually listen to, but it’s a nice change of pace. I feel like I have been kinda high-strung lately, so listening to high energy podcasts that I usually do seem to just make me more anxious. This podcast almost calms me down. The stories that people tell are fascinating, mind blowing, make you think, and bring you back down to earth. They are humbling and perspective changing.

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10. Ozark. DJ and I are deep into Ozark. I think you suggested it, Kaci, so thank you for that!! We finished Season 1 last night & oh boy, is it a good show. It is extremely well done. In an interview, one of the producers said their goal was to never have a bad or “throw away” scene. I’d say they accomplished that goal with flying colors. Every single moment of the show will keep you on the edge of your seat! I look forward to watching an episode every evening with DJ before bed while eating my nightly ice cream cone, lol.

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Question for you:

  • What are some of your favorites this week/month?

xo <3

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**This post contains affiliate links, but all opinions are my own!**

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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Friday Favorites #17!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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9. This. Just this.

img_1422-110. Ebates!!!

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

Questions for you:

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

xo <3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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One of two boxes, naturally!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ZERO chill. Hahah.

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

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

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Of course we had to try out the famous swing…

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

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And sometimes ya just gotta go barefoot ya know?

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

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Time for food at  Soma StrEat Food Park !

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

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

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

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

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

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

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My friends are the cutest <3

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

Questions for you!

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

xo <3

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Friday Favorites #16! + An exciting update :)

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

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

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

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#3. Blooms. Nough’ said!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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xo <3

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

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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Friday Fave…. nots? Friday Fails.

Hello all of ya positive optimistic lovely people! Today I am going to turn that smile upside down!!! Say what? Jk, jk. (kinda). I am embarking on a Friday Fave.. Nots, or rather, Friday Fails. Not only have I had a series of self inflicted unfortunate events as of late, but equally a series of.. humorous…events, and I feel I can’t keep these gems to myself- that’d be selfish. So allow my misfortune (all very silly – I recognize) entertain you for a brief moment. ** I hope you are not eating for this one **

  1. Dropping my keys…… in a gas station trash can… on accident. Yep, this happened. I was at a gas station last week and while throwing away empty water bottles and gum wrappers there went my keys. The moment I dropped them was a big ole’ “ohhhhh nooooo, that didn’t actually just happen, did it?”. I had to tip the whole giant trash can over, and shake it until my keys came to the surface. Y’all… I have done some not unpleasant things in my life as a nurse… and this was one of the nastiest things I have ever had to do. The worst best part? As I was getting in my car, the gas station cashier started chasing me (as I was now driving away in my car) yelling “What are you doing?!”. I was too mortified to explain… so I just zipped out of there. I think he thought I was stealing something out of it? Cause robbing a gas station trash can would be first on the list. Lesson learned: I cannot multi-task as well as I think.
  2.  Leaking leftovers. After our yummy vegan meal in the last post, I decided to take the leftovers to go. Wellllll, I discovered when I came home that my entire giant bag was saturated in their “special house sauce”. I tried washing the bag, but it was left a sad droopy version of itself. Sorry, bag. Lesson Learned: Sauce + Gravity= a sticky situation. Also, don’t put faux leather through the washing machine.

img_8078-13. Unapproved Carwash. DJ occasionally will get coupons from sponsors for the Giants and one of them was a free car wash. It was about twenty-five minutes away, but worth it if it’s free, right? I drove in allll the traffic (I even scored an extra 30 minutes for an accident), passed a legit wildfire on the side of the highway, and finally arrived to the car wash. I was unclear of how to proceed- go through the car wash or go to the cashier first? Naturally upon being given a 50/50 option, I chose the wrong one. I went through the car wash assuming it would be clear how to use the coupon, and when I arrived to the payment options- I pressed for “help”. “System down, please go inside” is what the prompt read. Well, with 3 other cars behind me I didn’t want to be that person holding up the line, so I proceeded forward into the car wash paying in full (the money slot still worked). When I went inside, the cashier wouldn’t hear my explanation for a single second, and basically shooed me out the door saying I had to use the coupon first. Better luck next time. Lesson Learned: Don’t drive through a wildfire for a car wash- it ain’t worth it!

4. Dis’ popcorn. Let me tell ya. It it no bueno. I am not picky when it comes to popcorn, but this… oh this…. be away with your protein infused self!img_8083-1

 Lesson Learned: Just stick to the Boom Chica & Smartfood.

5. When your oatmeal does this….

img_8082-1#Monday in a nutshell. They say don’t cry over spilled milk. But can you cry over spilled oats?! Lesson Learned: Watch out for the “wave” in microwave.

6. Broken Headphones.

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Yes, easy to replace- however I just bought these about a month ago (on sale from Amazon prime from a third party seller). Lesson Learned: Just buy the darn apple headphones, not the knockoffs!

7. K-Cup Shamed. Mmmmhmmm. At Trader Joe’s the cashier felt it his duty to remind me that it was more economically friendly to invest in the refillable K-cups at home, rather than buying actual K-cups. It is better, I acknowledge. I recycle, I try to take short showers (ok, that’s a stretch), I rarely use straws, but Trader Joe’s cashier, we can’t all be perfect. Just please scan my Reese’s peanut butter cups and let me live. Lesson Learned: You can always be more green. #conviction

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8. Dis’ Moroccan Oil Shampoo. NEVER AGAIN. This stuff made my hair so tangly, greasy and heavy. Never ever ever again. No wonder it was on sale for like $6 haha! Lesson Learned: A pretty package doesn’t mean it’s a good product.

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9. Beauty Fail. Confession time. This is actually a Flashback Friday Fave Not.. Remember those fake press on nails that I used for the wedding a couple weeks ago? Well have I got a story for you!! I haven’t told this to anyone yet; I think I was trying to block it out of my memory. While waiting in line to board my flight back, I was digging in my mess of a purse to find my boarding pass (Yes I realize non-mobile boarding passes are old school). Something goes flying and what do you know… it’s my nail… flying and then sliding under a suitcase of someone in front of me. I didn’t wanna be like, “Heyyyy, I dropped my fake nail under your suitcase, can you please move?”… So I waited until she moved a couple inches, watching her suitcase like a hawk, then snatched it before anyone could see. Although I’m pretty sure they couldn’t have cared less with it being 5 am. Lesson Learned: I am Murphy’s Law incarnate, and I need to get. it. together.

And this is where we meet our end. I am not going to list a number 10 because at the end of the day, the good always outweighs the bad…so I’ll leave a full 10 for my Friday Favorite posts. Life is gooood, and I feel cleansed, and I sound neurotic. Ahh. Have a wonderful day.

Xo <3

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A Corgi & A Cat Fight

Hey y’allll! I am hardcore putting on the “y’all” draaaawwwwn out in a southernly manner because I have Southern Charm on in the background and it only seems appropriate. I have finally jumped onto the bandwagon. Man, this drama just cracks me up. But I do love the peek into the Southern way of life! Any other watchers?

So let us begin this riveting recap, starting with Saturday July 7th. I woke up early and ran a breezy four miles before driving to San Jose to meet up with my sweet friend Julie from church.

We decided on Academic Coffee, and it’s maybe some of the best local coffee I have tried yet!

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It’s such a cute little unassuming place, but is bright, clean, and welcoming!

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Over some great conversation, Julie and I shared the matcha muffin and the mochi muffin that they sell from Third Culture Bakery in Oakland.

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The matcha muffin was just aiiight, but the Mochi muffin was out. of. this. world. It is the yummiest, most satisfying muffin I have had with coffee. I am on a real mochi kick, and I don’t see it settling down any time soon! (thanks for that, Tam!).

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The rest of the day Saturday I did some deep cleaning in the apartment, finished up some laundry (I feel like every day is laundry day), and then started a new book- Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. It’s fascinating so far, but pretty dark, so I have had to be in the mood to read it, ya know? And noooo, I still haven’t finished the fourth book in the HP series (1.5 years later….). Next week I will finish it- hold me to it!

On Sunday morning, the 8th, DJ had a little bit of time before work to grab breakfast, but not quite enough time to go to Church. We decided to scarf some grub down together since we hadn’t seen each other in over a week since Ohio. I figured I could catch the sermon next day on the podcast at least!

We tried out a new spot in SJ called The Breakfast Club at Midtown. We have heard tremendous things about this place, and it certainly lived up to the hype.

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I was craving (and I mean CRAVING) lemon ricotta pancakes, and thankfully they had them. I started salivating like a dog when they placed them in front of me. These are my favorite pancakes we have tried in the Bay Area so far. Not even a question. (DJ’s favorite are from Sweet Maple SF).

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Deej had their famous chicken and waffles. Isn’t it so cute how they serve it with a little watermelon wedge? It’s the little things. And I guess it’s the big things- because if they didn’t have those cakes…….

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I did Insanity in the afternoon and had plans with a friend to hike in the afternoon that fell through. Oh well! I ended up just resting, reading, and stocking up on groceries for the week (Trader Joe’s! Trader Joe’s!).

On Monday the 9th, I went on a nice long run in the AM and continued to blog in the morning while enjoying a poached egg over avocado toast.

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I worked on stuff for grad school scheduling the rest of the day then DJ came home right on time to view Bachelorette since they didn’t have a game! Woot woot! Naturally I whipped up our cookies (and one Mega cookie) to enjoy with the show. I prefer Mega, DJ goes with the smaller ones. (peep the pronoun because Mega is a member of the family).

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We so severely undercook our cookies, it’s a surprise we haven’t gotten salmonella yet.

After throwing a fit about Becca’s reaction to Colton’s “news” (What the heck, Becca?!?!), we called it a night. Other Bachelorette watchers- let us discuss.

Tuesday the 10th, DJ had the day off!!! WOOOHOO! We had a nice lazy morning, I made breakfast for us and then did Insanity. I read on the couch while he played video games for a couple hours, and it was so nice… we haven’t had just a lounge day together in SO LONG. In the evening, we met up with Amy, his twin sister to get in some bowling. We haven’t been bowling in forever, but it was wayy too hot outside to do anything out in the wild, so we decided to go with something a bit cooler.

This bowling alley is within walking distance from our house, and we have never been! Time to finally try it out!

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This was the COOLEST bowling alley we have ever been to. It was super nice, clean, did not reek of cigarettes (I feel like most usually do?), had a huge arcade, and even had a gorgeous full bar. I couldn’t get over the decor!

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We concluded that bowling is not our sport, hung up the bowling shoes, and headed to dinner.

We went to San Pedro Square as I mentioned in my Friday Favorites. Gosh, I love love loved this place!

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I’d briefly been to B2 Coffee which is connected to the Public Market, but have never explored. This place is like one massive food court, with everything you can imagine. Italian? You got it! Chinese? You bet! Good burgers? Mmmhmm! Indian? Always! Mexican? Sushi? Potato Bar? The darn sky is the limit!

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I decided on some sashimi from Blush Ice Bar. It took me way too long to decide on what to order, and honestly this whole place is just one big black hole for the indecisive.

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We grabbed our grub and headed outside. That sashimi hit the spot on the hot hot summer day, and I could seriously eat seaweed salad for days on end. Never gets old.

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DJ had the chicken tikka masala from Urban Momo…. I tried some of the sauce, and we both agreed it is the best masala we have ever tried. It was sooo dang creamy.

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After dinner, we decided to grab a glass of wine at Rootstock on Main Street Cupertino. Amy brought her Instagram famous corgi, Pool Noodle, along. He is such a hoot– if you like Corgi’s, or you’re a normal human being that likes furry things and witty captions, his handle is poolnoodlethecorgi .

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On Wednesday the morning of the 11th, I received a nice surprise in the mail— A replacement pair of Brooks Ghost 10s. It’s Christmas I tell ya, Christmas! I haven’t replaced my shoes since February and am loooong overdue. My knees have been aching and my shin splints are coming back- tell tale sign that I needed new ones. Feels like running on a cloud.

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I have also been going on a ton of walks lately in the evenings after dinner. With DJ being at work most nights, it gives me a way to preoccupy my time. I turn up a podcast and take in the beautiful views of the sun setting!

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This one took my breath away.

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Thursday the 12th, I worked on grad school prep. I tell ya what- I have discovered I am bad bad bad at technology (well I’ve already known this, but now it is reaffirmed). This whole online thing is definitely gonna be a learning curve!

In the evening I worked on my Friday Favorites post so I could have it posted in a timely manner (‘magine that!).

Friday the 13th (wooooooooOOOooOOooo), I did a master clean out of the rest of our clothes, and I took some to Plato’s Closet and then posted the rest on Poshmark.

In the evening, I made a giant veggie salad for myself and bison tacos for DJ for when he came home. He usually gets home around 10:45/11 (sometimes later), but he’s always starving for dinner. I try to have something in the fridge waiting for him- it’s sometimes a makeshift meal, but he said these were “Soooo goood”. His words, not mine 😉

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Yesterday, Saturday the 14th, was a pretty great day! All my friends were booked for the day, but I was itching to get out and about. I decided to try out the Los Altos Food and Wine Festival. Sometimes solo dates can be so enjoyable!

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This was the most sprawling arts festival I think I’ve ever been to! The energy was tremendous, and I was perfectly content just bouncing from tent to tent seeing the unique creations.

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If you did opt to try the wine, all you had to do was pay a flat rate for the glass, then go to each different winery tent to sample.

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I decided instead to try Garrett’s Lemonade and it hit the spot on this sweltering summer day.

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To occasionally seek respite from the heat, I would pop into the side stores. DJ is ADAMANT that we will never ever get a cat (he genuinely hates them, hahah).

But when I saw this little face in a pet store I almost forgot the loud resounding “NO” to bringing a kitty home. hehe.

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I couldn’t convince him, but I gave it my best shot! (I have his permission to post this)

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Womp Woooomp. Ya win some, ya lose some in marriage y’all! Once we have stable enough schedules we WILL be getting a pup 🙂 Now that we can agree on!

After the festival, I came home and had a giant veggie salad with half a mushroom burger. Then, I went to DJ’s bowling work event. I will recap last night and today (Sunday) in my next post.

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Do you guys ever go on solo dates?!

Are you a cat or a dog person? Both?

xo <3

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