Ramen Nagi & Castle Rock!

Hi All!!! I am stilll SHOOKETH from the Game of Thrones episode last night. *Spoiler alert* –There was one point where I was saying to DJ, “There is NO possible resolution from this- they are all deeeaad”! And then Arya jumped in and saved the freaking day, my giiiiirl.

What a phenomenally done episode.

Anyway– Jumping straight into these highlights from the last couple weeks because I have got to hustle to get these recaps done before leaving Thursday for OH for my sister’s graduation and bridal shower. Woohooo! I cannot wait.

April 15th I went to Nosh to work on school assignments and plan out the next couple months.

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In the afternoon I went on a walk to shake off the cobwebs from staring at a screen all morning.

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Lately, I have been trying to diligently use up everything in our fridge and pantry before going back to the store (as I’ve said about five hundred times; don’t mind my broken record self). Since we don’t want to lug a bunch of dry goods to Austin with us, we’ve been having the dressings/dry goods inspire our meals. It’s been pretty successful and a fun challenge! However, once the fridge started looking like this I bit the bullet and went to the store.

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A girl can only eat frosting and chocolate milk for breakfast so many days in a row…I kid, I kid 😉 But I was craving a raw vegetable.

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It was a pretty large trip! The guy at Trader Joe’s said, “You having a party?” as he scanned my three large hummus quartets. I said, no I just really like hummus, haha.

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While at TJs, I saw the Tomato & Olive Focaccia and couldn’t resist.

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I made a Margherita pizza on it with some fresh basil straight from the plant. Mmm mm! It was delicious- although I still prefer thin crust at the end of the day.

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I also ate up soo many large salads that week- I was craving them somfin’ fierce and was ecstatic to enjoy so many fresh veggies.

On the morning of April 16th, I woke up to a beautiful, sunny morning!

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I went to pick up my bridesmaid dress from David’s Bridal and to get it fitted. You know what’s wild?! My alterations were more than the dress itself! Anyone else have tips for the future on what to do about more affordable alterations? Is it better to go elsewhere? Is David’s Bridal known for having pricy alterations or is that how it is everywhere?

Once I was home, I decided to meal prep for DJ for the week. I made these fajita steak bowls with cilantro lime rice from Diane’s blog served with some Chimichurri sauce I’ve had sitting in the pantry begging to be used. He liked them a lot & they made for a great dinner through the week.

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April 17th was the official last day of the semester (before finals- but I lucked out with not having any this semester?! I don’t know how, but I won’t argue with it!). In the afternoon I whipped together one of my favorite lunches of late with purple sweet potato, Fage, tzatziki, green goddess dressing, boca crumbles and almond mozzarella cheese.

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I ran in the afternoon & lifted some weights. It was a great workout- fueled by the elation of surviving another semester of grad school.

On April 18th, I snap-shotted my meal that I’ve had on repeat for breakfast the last couple months: Avocado smoothie with oatmeal + stevia and some vegan chocolate chips. This is kind of odd, but I actually like pouring the smoothie onto the oatmeal before eating it– it kind of has that cold overnight oat effect.

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In the afternoon I worked on some templates for Bridal Shower games. The last thing I have on my list is figuring out gifts for winners of the games- any ideas?

On April 19th we received the sweetest little Easter surprise in the mail from my MIL <3 <3

See the pretzels below? They are the best pretzels I have e’errrrr tried. They are MAGIC. They are cinnamon greek yogurt covered pretzels. They are flavor explosions in the mouth! I put them in the freezer and treat myself to a little handful here and there. SO stinking good.

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In the evening we went to Ramen Nagi for a long overdue double date with our friends Tammy and Ben. Ramen Nagi is a super authentic Ramen spot that people have been raving about for months. The line is always at least 45 minutes long!

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First, you choose which Ramen Flavor you’d like and then choose your soup “setting” (saltiness, oil, garlic), toppings, spice, noodles and then any extras.

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The wait went by quickly for us since we had soo much to catch up on.

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I loved all the fixin’s in the middle of the table, especially the little rice noodles.

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We tried a couple appetizers- the rice and edamame. Both scrumptious!

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Whatever seasoning they put on the edamame is out of this woooorld.

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Tam ordered the Red King- I think their most popular dish— “A striking blend of garlic, chili oil, and cayenne pepper in a velvety broth; topped by a tempting ball of miso-infused minced pork and select Nagi cayenne,with tender Cha-shu”. I tried some of the broth and me oh my was it delish!

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DJ ordered their Original King with “award-winning tonkotsu pork-broth prepared in the traditional method, mouth-wateringly rich, fresh, and aromatic; special handcrafted noodles and classic Nagi pork Cha-shu”.

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He loved it- I liked it- but my personal fav was the Veggie King!! “Savory Japanese soup stock expertly blended with cauliflower purée, featuring hashed potato “chashu” and accented with shiitake mushrooms and spinach; Nagi’s amazing vegetarian ramen”.

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I could not get over how insanely yummy this was…. I expected to like this place, but this is one of the most savory, comforting, satisfying meals I have ever enjoyed. To say it surpassed my expectations would actually be an understatement. It blew my expectations out of the water. Or should I say out of the Ramen! I ordered it extra spicy. One of the workers suggested I not get it as spicy as I put on my paper, so I took his opinion and changed my number down. I kinda wish I had kept it at my original spice (a 7)… but the 5 still had a nice kick! I also added extra dried mushrooms + cabbage. Also, whatever the hash potato cakes were may have been my favorite part of the whole dish!! They were so crisp and held up well absorbing the broth but maintaining their crunch! **all these exclamation points are entirely warranted**.

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It was such a fun double date! Love hanging with Ben + Tammy.

On Saturday, April 20th, DJ had to work the whole morning, but in the afternoon we went to Castle Rock State Park for a hike. This was a place on my bucket list. DJ is a bit skeptical that I can hit everything on the bucket list before we leave. I am blindly optimistic though. hahah. Meaning….

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In all seriousness, I know some of the food places will have to wait probably years, especially the fine dining- but I’m hoping to make a serious dent in the fast casual spots and hiking.

Anywho… where were we? Oh yes yes, Castle Rock–

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They have boulders you can climb on- soo much fun. It reminded me of a place called Whips Ledges that we used to go all the time growing up in OH.

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There is a peak and also waterfalls, but we were a bit low on time because I had a food shoot in the evening to attend. It was a blast just climbing all over the rocks. Hiking is one of my alll time favorite things to do and when climbing is thrown in- nothing better!

Questions for you:

  • Have you tried authentic Ramen? Do you like it?
  • Are you on the GOT bandwagon? Who do you think ends up on the throne?

xo <3

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A Super Quick Update!

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HEY YA’LL!

Long time no seeeeee.

I have a sweet & short post about what we have been up to lately (well, relative to my other posts) . I received a text from my mom yesterday saying she was concerned since I haven’t made much contact with anyone the last week or so. NO WORRIES- all is well & good just busy, busy.

It reminded me that I haven’t updated the good ole’ blog baby in a while. I need to write an entirely separate post soon about what I have learned this past month in regards to nursing, faith, and dealing with some intense emotional battles. It’s been nothing short of a glorious, ferocious, awful, and beautiful rollercoaster.

That will come soon… I travel to Pittsburgh this weekend so I’m thinking the flight may be a good time to unravel that one.

But for now, for all our friends and family that are all, “How the heck are ya, where the heck are ya, and what the heck are ya up to?!” … this is my response!

I graduated from the FACC series class last week (Foundations of Acute and Critical Care Training). That means wayyy less online work, aka less free time sucked up, and more consistent 36 hour weeks in the hospital rather than sporadic classes mixed with shifts. HALLELUJAH! I learned so much through this series and while it was a major time leach, I am incredibly grateful for all I learned.

Alsoooo..come on now- this cake..

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. Hahahahha. I know it’s bad, but I couldn’t help but share. Our FACC leaders definitely have a good sense of humor (which I have learned is entirely necessary in nursing).

DJ’s doing amazing at his job working with the SJ Giants in marketing. I admire him beyond words with the way he has handled this job and the integrity with which he also handles the challenges. He has been an outstanding leader in our small group through church as well. Unfortunately, I haven’t been to our small group because of work, but DJ has been leading a good deal of the sessions. I am just thankful I have him as my rock as we go through this hard, hard year.

We both are in such similar places of navigating the season of NEW. New jobs, new coworkers, new schedules, new responsibilities, new frustrations, and new memories! We still hardly see each other but soak up every second when we do.

Many evenings I get home and go straight to sleep after a 12 hour shift, and can’t do much the night before a shift considering I have to get up at 4/4:30. But some nights when I don’t have to go back the next day I try to just soak up that alone time.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy those quiet evenings are in my feng shui hangout eating sushi, drinking some wine, and reading or watching a reality show. Call me basic if you wish, but these sushi rolls are ANYTHING but basic.

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A place near our apartment called Azuma can be delivered through GrubHub. I oscillate between the 49ers roll (eel, avocado, and other assorted fish), and the sunshine roll (lemon, tuna, eel, green onion, and avocado)…. with brooownn rice. Brown rice adds a texture and heartiness to the roll that I love.

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It’s all so delish. Probably the two best sushi rolls of my life. But I have a problem. When DJ and I went through the budget/spending this month I embarrassingly replied “Sushi” when he asked what each purchase on my card was from. Whoops. Girl’s gotta eat. #sorrynotsorry. #sushinotsorry.

Speaking of eats! Here are our other recent ones..

I have been LOVING my turmeric cauliflower mashed potatoes with black bean burgers, hummus, and parmesan asparagus. You know I get on kicks, and this is the most recent! I also love topping it with basil.

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Flat-out pizzas are always a good go-to. If you’ve never tried a good flat-out pizza, it’s definitely worth a try- especially if you are a lover of thin crust pizzas! Each flatbread is only 100 calories, and then I top with vegan cheese, tomatoes, basil, and oregano to make a mean vegan margarita.

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It’s also been a while since I’ve made Indian. When we lived in our Toho in Indiana this was one of my favorite meals to make! DJ loves it too. For myself I make a vegetarian version with dosa, idli, and tons of curry laden veggies. For DJ I make chicken tikki masala with jasmine rice and naan. Who doesn’t love naan?! If you don’t know what naan is, you don’t know what life is, so please stop reading this and go try some naan.

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Did you try the naan?!?

I’m serious.

Try it.

Now.

Since I am leaving this weekend, I made DJ tons of BBQ chicken, parmesan rosemary fingerling potatoes, fried okra, and wild rice.

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Alsooo, I may have casually ordered a jillion gallons of PB2 on Groupon. It was a steal!!!! Pb2 is so dang expensive, so when I saw this Betty bargain steal I had to jump.

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Ok, ok you caught me. When going through the budget and spending it goes like this … Sushi, sushi, PB2, sushi, overage data fees while blogging about sushi and PB2, sushi.

I’ve also been running a ton to deal with my stress. Lately I’ve been listening to podcasts rather than music. Just wait for the next Friday Faves, folks, and I will divulge some of my loooves. Anyone have favorites out there?!

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Last Thursday I got my hair did! Wooohoo!!!! The roots were so bad. I am in the wedding Saturday, so I felt like I had to be somewhat presentable for someone else’s forever wedding photos.

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After getting the roots all touched up and a nice (MUCH NEEDED) trim, I was craving me some boba. Luckily, next to the Aveda salon on Santana row there is an amazing Boba shop It hit.the. spot. Especially because it was way too hot that day. Raise your hand if you love boba?!

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FINALLY one of DJ and I’s days aligned for a day off last Friday. We started our day off by sleeping in until the cows came home.

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Then I was craving boba, … so… boba.

We also decided to try out Game of Thrones. Holy maloly- it’s entralling! Does anyone watch? Yes, it’s pretty dang explicit, but I know most shows are out of the gate to get more ratings. The story line is just insanely good. Any thoughts?! We love it.

For dinner we tried the newest addition to our little Cupertino downtown- Stein’s Beer Garden.

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It was one of those places that just has pizzazz.

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I loved the feel. It was beery unique! There is a literal wall lined with faux foliage in a modern, industrial environment.

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The staff was super friendly off the bat. While there was a bit of a wait, it was worth it.

We started with complementary pickled veggies in a jar. I don’t know why more places don’t do this! It was such a great mini app. I didn’t even miss the typical starter bread (GASSSSPPPP!).

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I’m not big on beer, but felt like I should at least try one, considering it’s in the restaurant’s name. The only kind I really like that I’ve tried are Sours. Their Mango Gose was surprisingly refreshing with the meal I had!

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I tried the roasted beet & smoked salmon salad with arugula, chevre goat cheese, and spiced pecans. It was fantastic! (Also- PS. I just have to tell my Aunt that she would LOVE this place, it’s so up her alley, so ya’ll need to come back soon!).

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DJ tried the Yucatan Pulled Pork Sliders with chili paste marinated pork shoulder with chipotle aoili chicharon, cilantro slaw, jalapeno, and roasted tomato salsa.

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The rest of the night we flew through a couple episodes of GOT, then we both worked all weekend.

Fast forward…

It is currently Wednesday evening, I’m on the heels of 4- 12 shifts nearly in a row. I’m not sure my mind is all here and this post probably has a million errors haha. I’m haphazardly watching bachelorette and realizing I have a million things do before 10 am tomorrow. Oh well. It will get done, it always does.

I leave tomorrow for Pittsburgh and don’t return until Sunday. I plan during that time to catch up on blog comments and your blogs too (although, I’m not sure the 7 hour traveling day in the air will have wifi?!)..

Monday is back to work and then I won’t see DJ again until Tuesday, but he works most of the time too. Also- my best friend’s baby is due this week, and I can hardly stand it. This time of life is wild, and hard, fun, challenging, and rewarding. I know we will look back on this year and see it as one of the most transformative for the both of us.
What are you all up to this weekend?!

xo <3

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