sweet, sweet, Sebastopol

Sebastopol is about 50 miles North of San Francisco where art, local wine, and organic food have intersected. It’s trendy and cute and all things I want in a weekend get away, without outrageous prices and ..accesible parking! Do San Franscico city folk even remember such a luxury?

We recently discovered The Barlow and what a gem. What a gem.

Instead of partaking in the Hallmark fueled February 14th madness this year, we postponed and celebrated a week late. Spirit Works Distillery, located in The Barlow, has been on our minds for some time and we finally packed the car, booked a room, and embarked.

When we arrived, bloated rain drops pounded down, killing the cute date night outfit I had packed. No matter though. My shoes and mascara were waterproof and that was enough for me.

After we checked into the Sebastopol Inn, conveniently located just across the street from The Barlow, we started our night at MacPhail Tasting Lounge. Here we spilt a flight of wine, anticipating a boozy night ahead with a tour and tasting scheduled next and then dinner at a place with a seemingly delicious cocktail menu!

After our wine, we walked to Spirit Works. A grain to glass distillery, that uses only organic grains for their alcohol and are a women run establishment. It’s safe to say there were a whole lotta things I liked about the place!


The tour was fun and interesting. And then the good part… the tastings! Everything we tried was sooo good. We ended up buying a sampler and a bottle of cask strength wheat whiskey.

For dinner we headed to zazu kitchen and farm. Mike and I really like craft cocktails (if you can’t tell already) and local, sustainable food. Zaza was close to an oasis for us. We started with a cheese and meat plate (bad vegan…), picking the lonza, the weirauch st. rose (sheep) cheese, and iscalini cheddar pimento (cow) cheese. YUM!!

We spilt a salad, bacon wrapped dates, a bucket of Korean fried chicken wings, and a poutine-inspired dish. It was way more meat than we usually eat but we enjoyed every bite.

We went back to the hotel after dinner and although it was still raining, we decided to go hot tubbing anyway! The Sebastopol Inn was literally perfect for our stay. Conveniently located, cute, clean, and equipped with a hot tub.

The next morning we sauntered over to Taylor Maid Farms for breakfast and caffeine. All good things to say about my cafe au latte there – so smooth and creamy and perfectly balanced. And if you know this girl, you know a good cup of coffee sets the day right.

We decided to leave early as it was too rainy to really do anything outside but the weekend was a 10/10 with that sweet, cozy, romantic, tipsy, love-drenched kind of vibe.

** Note this blog went through a rebrand and is now veg vibes; which aligns better with the direction I organically gravitated towards. It’s all about your vibe.**

No Jar Tomato Sauce over Polenta

There was a period in my life when I considered going gluten free… All of that wheat. Inflaming my organs and intestines.

It must go.

This mindset lasted about a half day.

Turns out, I don’t have celiac.

Anyways, during my short stint in (thinking about) eliminating wheat from my diet, I learned about polenta.

Polenta is cornmeal that you boil. Plain and simple.

 After boiling, you can either serve it like porridge or let it solidify. To solidify it, you just boil it according to the package and place in a glass container, cover, and let sit for about 20 minutes. 

Once solidified, you can bake it, fry it, grill it, flop it, bop it.

Or simply make an easy, nom No Jar tomato sauce to pour over it and dig in.

A quick note that you actually can buy polenta in two forms; already solidified or still in grain form. I’ve cooked with both. I prefer the grain form because I get more bang for my buck. However, the solidified version (packaged in a tube-like shape; pictured below) is nice to have on hand for a super speedy dinner.

Although polenta is versatile and cheap, it’s pretty bland. The real show-stopper here has to be the sauce.

Tomato sauce in a jar is a reasonable option if you want to save on time. And there are some great organic versions out there; if that’s your flavor. However, I find that most jarred tomato sauces are either made with soybean oil or have added sugar in them.

My solution? A super simple, 4-5 ingredient sauce (depending if you like mushrooms or not) that you can make while your polenta is solidifying.

No Jar Tomato Sauce 

Prep time: 10 minutes – Cook time: 25 minutes – Servings: 4 *freezes well*


  • 4 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
  • Full bag of a leafy green (it reduces so don’t be shy – put in the whole bag.)
  • 1 c. mushrooms – sliced
  • 2 Tbs olive oil


  • Heat your olive oil and sauté garlic until translucent
  • Add mushrooms and continue sautéing for about 1 minute
  • Add leafy greens and can of fire roasted tomatoes
  • Stir until greens are well incorporated
  • Cover and let simmer for ~20 minutes
  • Note: it might look like you don’t have enough liquid at first but by covering the sauce, the trapped steam will thin it out
  • Spoon onto your favorite Italian carbohydrate (polenta, pasta, etc.) and enjoy! 

** Note this blog went through a rebrand and is now veg vibes; which aligns better with the direction I organically gravitated towards. It’s all about your vibe.**

quick and easy veggie fried rice

This recipe is quick because I chopped all of the veg for it earlier in the week. Highly recommend for days you know will be busy.

Pro tip: sesame seed oil is a total game changer. I used to make fried rice without it and it never turned out as good as I wanted it to be.

Sauté your veg in some oil, add rice (again, you can make ahead to save time), and a dash of soy sauce and you have dinner.

Garnish with seaseem seeds and scarf it down. You’ve got things to do. 😉

** Note this blog went through a rebrand and is now veg vibes; which aligns better with the direction I organically gravitated towards. It’s all about your vibe.**

Coronado (part 2)

Continued from Coronado (part 1) 

After our night of drinking and music, we slept in on Sunday, which feels indulgent even in everyday life! We ventured out to the hotel cafe for coffee, tea, and breakfast. It was already gorgeous out so we sat in the sun, fully enjoying the start of our day.


While noshing on pastries and sipping caffeine, we decided to kickoff the day poolside. There, we soaked in some vitamin D, which I’ve been feeling extra deprived of this winter; ordered chips and guac; chatted in-between reading (I had the luxury of diving deep into the pages of Yoga Girl); dipped ourselves in the pool; and lounged in the hot tub. Ah, pure bliss. 


Midway through the day we decided to skip the overpriced hotel food and walk into downtown. We found Miguel’s Cocina and were transported back to Mexico. We sat on the cute patio, drank sangria, and split steak fajitas. The life!



After our late lunch we browsed a few shops and walked round the hotel property again. That evening we had a private bon fire on the beach with s’mores and wine. The guy who helped us “tend the fire” and refill our s’mores stash was such a sweetheart. I remember thinking, if I have a son, I hope he is as respectful as this kid and immediately after felt so old! ~7 years ago, I probably would’ve been thinking what a cute California suffer boy he was and here I was wanting to compliment his mom on a job well done. Good Lord.

Feeling kind of old aside ;), the bon fire was a fun time to just be silly with Mike. Earlier in the day we saw the famous Sandcastle Man; who builds these elaborate sandcastle on the beach outside of the hotel. We were surprised that he was still there, hours later, while we were having our bonfire. We learned that he’s actually out there for about 14 hours a day protecting his work. Mike and I kept joking that we were just going to go run over and plow through it. Like, how mad would he be? 



After our bonfire we walked to a nearby pizzeria and got huge slices to-go. We went back down to the beach and ate them by the waves. 

Monday was our actual anniversary and our last day there. We woke up and did yoga on the beach!! It was such a great and rejuvenating way to start the day! Connecting your body to your breathe while hearing and seeing the ocean just can’t be beat. 

Adding to the experience, while flowing, we saw some Navy Seals practicing drills in the ocean and I actually got really patriotic watching them. I was overcome with emotion for these men and women that dedicate their lives to the call of duty and keeping us safe. No matter what your political affiliation there is no denying gratitude for our military.


After yoga it was time for our massages. As you do on a Monday. 

I basically finished Yoga Girl in the pool at the lounge after and then it was time to hit the town again for lunch. We strolled down Orange Ave, the island’s main street, and found Burger Lounge. We spilt a burger and fries because our dinner reservations weren’t too long after. And then…  happy hour!

I ordered the white wine sangria and Mike got a cocktail. It was warm and nice to sit on the patio. Uggggh, what I would give for warmer weather right now!

After our drinks we walked on the beach and played in the waves. Nothing like a cliche romantic walk on the beach on your anniversary, right!?





When we got back to our room, we exchanged gifts and opened a bottle of champs in celebration! I got ready while we blasted Lil Dicky (our current obsession) and then it was time for dinner!


We walked across the street to Brigantine for dinner. The costumer service here was sooo good! They knew it was our anniversary and there was a card waiting on our table for us signed by some of the employees. The manager also came over to wish us a happy anniversary with complimentary glasses of champagne. 

We ordered the crab and shrimp fondue to start and … I honestly don’t remember what else! The appetizer was so good we should have just ordered two and called it a day. 😉

The next morning we woke up early to grab breakfast at Cafe 1134 on Orange Ave to fuel us for our journey home. Our weekend in Coronado was exactly what we needed.  It was so much fun to hang out with Mike and enjoy each other’s company. Next we’re looking forward to Bali in April with Mike’s family!


** Note this blog went through a rebrand and is now veg vibes; which aligns better with the direction I organically gravitated towards. It’s all about your vibe.**

Coronado (part 1)

When Mike and I were looking for a place to celebrate our 6 year anniversary we wanted it to be meaningful and were okay splurging a bit.

To check the meaningful box, we decided to head back down to San Diego, where we ventured 5 years ago to toast one whole year together. But this time we wanted a bit of an upgrade from the DoubleTree in Little Italy. Cue Hotel Del Coronado.


Coronado is on a Peninsula in San Diego. It somehow has both small-town vibes, while still feeling luxurious.

We arrived on Saturday and stayed at the historical Hotel Del Coronado. I was so excited to set foot at this historic landmark and the 70+ weather was a welcome change to the cold Bay Area chill we’ve been experiencing.

Let me tell you right now. The Del does not disappoint. It is absolutely stunning. I think I mentioned how pretty it was there at least 5x a day.

View of The Del from la playa

Hotel del Corando is over 125 years old with a history as glamorous as its architecture. Maybe most famously, it was the location of Some Like it Hot with Marilyn Monroe. It is also claimed to be haunted by the ghost of Kate Morgan, a young woman who checked into the hotel and committed suicide. Her room, now 3327, is the most requested room at the hotel.


At check-in, we were asked if we wanted to upgrade to an ocean view room for $56 more a night but, having been burned before on paying for rooms with a view (word to the wise: not worth it at the Hyatt is San Francisco or for the falls view in Niagara), we declined.

What a mistake! Our room’s view was of the parking lot. Every time we walked on the ocean side of the hotel, we regretted not paying extra for the view. How nice would it have been to drinks champs out on the patio while watching the waves crash in the distance!?

PSA: parking is insanely expensive!

Our missed view opportunity was really the only regret of our stay though so, I’m not complaining. Right after we put our bags in our room, we rented bikes to cruise around the island; shedding our coats for that warm Southern California sunshine.

Our first stop was lunch at Lobster West. I was excited about this place – lobster rolls! – but kind of disappointed. The food was good and tasted fresh but I expected a very different ambiance. I imagined a more authentic beach shake vibe but it felt very corporate. It was also pricey for the portions. No matter though. We were still enjoying lobster rolls on vacation!

Matching glasses and brews at lunch 😉

After lunch we biked to the other side of the island on a path that took us through a golf course and then near the water. It was such a pretty and fun ride! And it was early enough that the sun was still shining bright, keeping us warm. We stopped at Coronado Brewery and spilt a flight before biking back to our hotel.


We stayed on the hotel grounds during our first night. After a hot tub sesh, we went to Babcock & Story for dinner, drinks, and live music. We ordered the calamari and California quesadillas for dinner.

While we were eating, Gonzo Gonzalez started playing and we were glued to our seats for the rest of the night. Mike arguably scored us the best table in the place so it was hard to leave. We each had 2 cocktails and then spilt 2 beers (each time saying, “let’s just spilt one more beer and then go…”).

We literally stayed at this bar all night because of the music! Gonzo was SO good. The whole restaurant was mesmerized. It’s cliche but the music literally brought us all together for the night. Barely anyone was talking but we were there jamming together.

The view from the hot tub before dinner

At the end of the night I ran into Gonzo on the way to the bathroom. I couldn’t help but stop him and tell him how great he was! I yelled at him, “you’re feeding my soul!!” He thanked me and gave me a hug, all the while probably thinking man, I’m just trying to pee! Hah. We went to bed with a buzz and good music in our heads. What’s a better way to start a vacation??

To be continued… 🙂

** Note this blog went through a rebrand and is now veg vibes; which aligns better with the direction I organically gravitated towards. It’s all about your vibe.**

Veggies and Peanut Butter Noodles

Hi y’all!

Two years ago this month I published my first post on the veg voyage. Since I’ve been documenting vacations, travels, book reviews, general thoughts, and a few recipes. This year I want to concentrate on more on recipes, kicking it off with a whole month of weekly dinner posts!

First up is a color packed one: Veggies and Peanut Butter Noodles

One quick note: I made this before without soba noodles and it wasn’t as good – the noodles just stuck together – so I do recommend using soba. Mike picked up some buckwheat soba noodles at Whole Foods and they were perfect.




Peanut Butter Asian Noodles

Prep time: 10 minutes – Cook time: 25 minutes – Servings: 2


  • Chopped veggies (I used broccoli, peppers, carrots, and snap peas)
  • 1 TBS oil to sauté veggies
  • 1/2 bag of soba noodles
  • 1/4 cup of smooth peanut butter
  • 1 TBS soy sauce
  • Noodle water to thin sauce (possibly)


  • Sauté vegetables while soba noodles are cooking (according to package)
  • Use tongs to take transfer cooked noodles from pot to wok or pan that vegetables are in (I never strain my pasta because I like the texture better when a bit of the water is still on the noodles)
  • Mix peanut butter and soy sauce and add to hot vegetables and noodles
  • If need be, think out with more soy sauce (to taste) or noodle water
  • Serve and enjoy!


** Note this blog went through a rebrand and is now veg vibes; which aligns better with the direction I organically gravitated towards. It’s all about your vibe.**