Friday Favorites – July

Hiking

Mike and I are hiking Half Dome in Yosemite next month. To prepare, we’ve been trying to go on some nice long hikes. Around here, we’ve hiked Quicksilver; which proved to be very difficult on a hot day… We plan to do Windy Hill soon too.

In the future, I really want to do some of the Lost Coast Trial.

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 New books!

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Amazon Prime Day was all about books for me.

I’m trying to carve out more time to read. Who doesn’t love getting lost in a good book? I find when I read fiction, I’m more likely to read quicker. Overall I also like non-fiction but never find them to be page turners.

I’m currently reading Hey Ladies, which is a very lighthearted book about a group of friends and their email exchanges to each other over a year. A lot of the emails are relatable and pretty funny. I’m enjoying the book but it’s more stylistic than really telling a strong story, so I can’t say it’s my favorite.  Good for a quick read though!

I am really looking forward to reading Bear Town, which my future mother and sister in law both raved about. The Favorite Sister is in the pile too, our first book in #bookclub. The Perfect Mother looks very intriguing so I’m hoping to get through the other two first and dive into this one ASAP. I also just heard great things about The Nightingale, a hand-me-down from my grandma. So many books, so little time…!


Surfing Sundays

Mike and I have been going down to Santa Cruz on Sunday mornings and it’s been a great way to end the weekend. He surfs and I alternate between reading in a cute cafe or reading on the beach. Bliss.

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Cute little flower van outside of the cafe

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Engagement gifts!

We registered on Amazon for our engagement party and let me tell you how fun it is to come home to presents waiting for you on your doorstep! We got so many sweet gifts (I already mentioned our wine cooler last month). I’ve been loving using all of our new pieces, which have mostly been for the kitchen.

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A full cooking set from my friend sister Kristina
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Cooking books! Community was from Mike’s sister in Australia
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How nice are these S&P shakers from the future in-laws?  Not going to lie, these make me feel very much like an adult! 🙂
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Guac, anyone!?

Also a HUGE thank you to my mama llama, who planned our engagement party. It was a dream!

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Other Friday Faves:
January
February
March
April
May
June

2017
Friday Favorites #5
Friday Favorites #4
Friday Favorites #3
Friday Favorites #2
Friday Favorites #1


Something new! 

An intention set for next month: In August I hope to start meditating. Stay tuned.

Family vacay | San Diego to Sebastopol

We’re coming off of 2 weeks of family vacation and I wanted to document some highlights.

My grandparents celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary on Saturday, June 30th. Mike and I flew down to San Diego to meet them, my mom, little bro, and stepdad. San Diego was the first place my grandparents lived together as a married couple so it had sentimental value. Mike and I also celebrated our one year anniversary there years ago. I will say San Diego was more crowded than I remember.

This time around, we all stayed in the same Airbnb in downtown. Unfortunately the parking at our Airbnb was terrible. We had the 2 cars my family drove there in and risked a ticket every night by parking in the church lot next door. Our Airbnb was also very cozy for 6 people, plus a baby, but we managed.

After we settled in, we drove to Old Town. My grandma used to work at Wells Fargo so I planned a surprise tour of the Wells Fargo museum for her. Our guide was very informative and fun. After, we had lunch at Bora Bora. My mom and I spilt the cheese enchiladas and they didn’t disappoint!

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Exploring Old Town

That night, we went to dinner at Donovan’s Steak House to celebrate my grandparent’s milestone anniversary. Parking in downtown was a nightmare, as to be expected, but everything else was perfect. We basically all ordered steak and I didn’t hear a single complaint. The waitstaff was friendly and attentive, even holding Gio for a bit!

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After dinner Mike and I went to the National Comedy Theater. We had been there years ago and knew we wanted to go back the second this trip was planned. It is the funniest improv show. Like, bent-over-belly-laughing funny.

When traveling, some of my favorite things to check out are local improv/comedy clubs, yoga studios, and walking tours. Which, speaking of… on Sunday we made a spur of the moment decision to do a walking tour of Coronado. Mike and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary on the island ~2 years ago and fell in love (you can read about our stay here and here). The walking tour was $20/each for 90 minutes. We saw a bunch of historical houses and ended at The Del. I thought it was well worth it for everything we learned. Plus, we were the only ones on the tour, which is always a nice surprise.

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Gio’s first walking tour; catching a ride from SISTER
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Canadian cutie outside The Del

We had lunch after at Tavern. I’m surprised this place wasn’t more crowded because it was really good. It’s a big win when your entire group is happy with the menu and their food. The decor here was really cute too. And I’m a sucker for ambiance. My family was ready to head back after but Mike and I stayed to enjoy a drink on the patio together. Then we took the fairy back to San Diego, which I definitely recommend as it is pretty cheap and just fun.

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That night my friend from high school came to visit because her son is a huge Andy Z (my stepdad) fan. It was so cute to see him starstruck by Andy. We all just chilled out with some wine and heavy apps. As with most family vacations, we turned in pretty early; tired from a full day of activity.

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Patio chillin

On Monday we went to the San Diego Zoo and I was like, #OutOfOffice y’all. What’s better than being on vacation on a Monday? I knew the SD zoo was huge so we had to get an early start. First up? Flamingos!

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We had an okay lunch of hummus wraps and pasta salad that, surprisingly, didn’t break the bank. Food at any of these places (theme parks, zoos, etc.) is typically so unhealthy and expensive. I was glad our lunch was decently priced but I really should learn to pack a picnic instead.

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The whole fam.

The real highlight of the zoo was when Mike and I were strolling along and a zookeeper came out saying “please move to the left side of the walkway so we can walk our cheetah.”

Wait, what!?

Sure enough, seconds later, there is a cheetah walking a few feet from us (obviously on a leash). The trainer stopped at a bench right in front of us to feed the cheetah. It was one of the coolest things I’ve seen and completely unplanned.

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…not the best picture but the Cheetah is behind her dog buddy, who were introduced when the cheetah came to the zoo and are now BFFs (the dog helps the cheetah stay calm and relaxed).
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Hi there!

Sadly, we were all had to go home on Tuesday. Before heading to the airport, Mike and I went to a cute cafe we discovered, Lofty Coffee. Best house made chai lattes. I typically don’t order chai unless I know it isn’t made from a powder, so I was happy to see a solid option on the menu.

It is a quick flight home from San Diego. Being that we were on vacation, we headed straight to our pool. That night we went to our neighbors for apps, dinner, and gallons of wine. 😉 It was so nice to catch up over good food and a few drinks. Plus, the girls and I decided to start a book club. (tipsy Prime usage FTW) so we’ll be getting together again soon.

Mike’s parents arrived for a visit on Wednesday, 4th of July. For the past 4 years, we’ve spent the 4th with our friends Gary and April (in Calabasas last year and Mexico the year before!) so I was happy that they could make it too. We grilled chicken at our house for tacos and played a few games. It was a fun, low key 4th of July.

Having taken the week off, we decided to take Mike’s parents to the Barlow for an overnight stay Thursday to Friday. They’ve been to California a number of times and have done almost everything touristy in the area. This was a new adventure so it was extra fun. The Barlow is a sweet little area filled with organic food, wine, breweries, cafes, and our favorite distillery.

We started with a wine flight and cheese plate at MacPhail tasting lounge. It was nice to be outside enjoying the warm weather and catching up between pours. It is a particularly exciting time because we’re in the middle of wedding plan, which I always find fun to talk about.

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Next we went over to Pax and spilt a bottle of wine, plus an order of warm olives. Again, such a nice time.

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After we went to a brewery for burgers and a few rounds of games. Sadly, I lost both… Specifically Jenga, when I pulled the block that made the tower tumble. Boo!

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Faaaaiiiilll

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We ended the night with a dip in the hot tub and a discussion of wedding songs. 🙂

Friday started with coffee at Taylor Lane, where they serve organic coffee and creamy almond milk. Win. We took Mike’s parents to Spirit Works Distillery after to show them the barrel room and spilt a tasting flight.

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Wanting to beat rush hour in SF, we left shortly after. On the way home we met my dad for a light bite at The Fish Market in San Mateo. The Fish Market has a few locations throughout California but the best one is in San Mateo, without question. It was a nice day so we sat outside on the patio. I was happy my dad got to spend some time with Mike’s parents since they live far away and our families don’t get to see each other often.

The week was fun and family filled. We packed in a lot of activities in a short amount of time. But, to be honest, the rest of Mike’s parents stay was just as jam-packed as the first few days. They were here for 10 days total and we did something almost every night.

On Saturday, we had our lovely engagement party hosted by my mom and fam. It was great to see our closet friends and family come together and get to know each other before our big day next May.

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On Sunday we enjoyed a cheese, cracker, and beer night to get through some of the leftovers.

On Monday I went back to work but we still went to a Giants game that night. Which they won. Go Giants!

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Tuesday was dinner at home. Mike cooked. The best.

Wednesday we were back at The Fish Market for an official meal there. My dad joining again. 🙂

Thursday we visited the hotel that our room block is at for our wedding. Notably also enjoying a glass of wine on their cute patio and brainstorming after-party ideas.

Friday was their last night here (sad), which called for a fancy dinner at Dry Creek Grill. This was our first time there and we loved it! I can see it becoming a go-to place to dine for us.

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Cheers!

Overall it was such a fun 2 weeks with family. I can’t believe how fast time is going. Our wedding is just over 10 months away and I have a feeling it’s going to go by in a flash…!

Friday Favorites – June [Crispy Tofu Strips recipe]

Oh, hiii. I’m sneaking this blog post in before we pack up and fly down to San Diego early tomorrow morning.

So, what am I loving this month? One word. Summer!

Read on to hear about some of the very summery things that have been going on over here.


Pool parties 

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Who doesn’t love a good backyard pool party with the fam? During the first weekend of the month we all got together and enjoyed a BBQ and some fun in the pool. Including baby bro’s first little dip in the water.


Barenaked Ladies concert 

Mike and I went to a Barenaked Ladies concert mid month at (I think) the best venue in the Bay Area; the Mountain Winery. Omg this place is pretty!

Better Than Ezra opened for them. I hadn’t heard of them before but their music was catchy and they were funny. Which makes live shows way better.

Barenaked Ladies were also really funny and just generally great to see live. Such a good night in a gorgeous setting! We spilt a bottle of wine and chilled out listening to the music. Talk about a perfect summers night.

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WINE COOLER

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We’ve started to get a few engagement gifts (always fun) and this week we came home to a pretty good one. A wine cooler!! It fits perfectly beside our bar and I can’t wait to have a chilled glass of wine soon. I’m looking at you, Barb!


Crispy Tofu Strips

I don’t think there is a single tofu recipe on veg-vibes. Although I avoid cooking meat at home, tofu isn’t a staple in my kitchen. I guess it’s just never been my jam. And while I doubt tofu will be in the regular rotation, I did like this recipe for baked crispy tofu strips.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 package extra firm tofu 
  • 1 cup milk (nut or regular)
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbs corn starch
  • 2 Tbs onion salt
  • 1 Tbs cumin
  • 1/2 tbs chili powder

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Directions:

  • Wrap tofu in a clean dishtowel and place under cookbooks for about 20 minutes to get most of the water out
  • While your tofu is sitting, mix together breadcrumbs, corn starch, and spices + pour milk into a bowl 
  • After your tofu is dry, cut it into ~1 inch strips
  • Coat strips with milk and then place them into the breadcrumb and spice mixture
  • After coated, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes
  • Serve with a veg and dipping sauce 🙂

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Other Friday Faves:
January
February
March
April
May

2017
Friday Favorites #5
Friday Favorites #4
Friday Favorites #3
Friday Favorites #2
Friday Favorites #1

Friday Favorites – May

Subscriptions and online shopping are still proving to be a favorite for me this year. I tried out 2 new online shipping services this month because I have a problem. The first one was from Brandless where everything is only $3. What a steal right!?

Their spiel is that they’ve removed the brand tax that we pay for products from other companies. Therefore, everything is “brandless” and can be $3. I honestly did zero research on this and I’m sure buying some products via their service aren’t much of a savings but I still like the idea. Plus a lot of their stuff is organic; including their panty liners!

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I ordered a pretty random assortment of stuff (see pics) and haven’t used everything yet. But I can say the quinoa is gone and the crushed pepper & truffle oil popcorn is life changing! I am a savory snacker and this stuff hits the spot.

I’m not sure if I’ll be ordering from Brandless again but I think it would make a cool gift idea. And it is worth it to try once, just for something new.

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I also tried Grove Collaborative. Mainly because I got a free bundle for being a Skimm reader. Although, my values align their mission so I would like to support the company moving forward.

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Everything on the right was free. Score!

I had to spend $20 to get my bundle (which included all of the Mrs. Meyer’s products, the dish brush, and the spray bottle). To get there, I ordered the Seventh Generation disinfecting wipes (they’ll be gone in like, a week); more Schmidt’s deodorant (a past Friday Favorite); and Bon Ami powder cleanser (this purchase was a whim but worked wonders on my kitchen sink).

After I got my order I paused the automatic renewal feature because I’m not ready for that level of commitment. Hah. But I will be using them again to order non-toxic household products.


New earrings

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I rarely wear earrings because my ears are super sensitive. I need a good metal that doesn’t irritate my ears and never really want to spend the money on that investment. My mom recently gave me a $50 Amazon gift card and I decided to try to find some affordable, quality studs.

I ended up with these tiny earrings and… what gems! They were under $14! I think they are so cute and, most importantly, they don’t bother my ears. Plus Lemon Grass is a family run business, which I also like to support.

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Black diamond charcoal teeth whitening

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With that same gift card, I bought Blk diamond charcoal teeth whitener to try. Black diamonds are all the rage guys… 😉

I’ve only tried this once – because you have to brush for 5 minutes with it – but did actually see results; plus my mouth felt extraordinarily clean after. There is also a lot of charcoal powder in the container, so although it is on the pricey side, I think it will last a long time.

Note that it is a bit weird to use because your entire mouth turns black and you look like a monster (not willing to post a pic of that on the internet hah) and, as mentioned, takes some time.

I’m still trying to get Mike to try it with no success…


SETTING A DATE

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Mike is actually trying to ruin my selfie here, not hold my hand, but that’s our kind of romance… 😜

We set a date for our wedding and have less than a year to go! What!!! It feels so official now. I already have my dress. Our venue is amazing and I feel like we have a lot taken care of through them. We still need to do is pick a color, a DJ, and a photographer but that’s kind of it (…she types, blissfully unaware of all the little things that still need to be planned).

It’s so crazy that I will be Mike’s wife this time next year. All about it.


Feijoas

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Who has tried these? Feijoas are native to New Zealand and such a devine little fruit. I saw them at Whole Foods and wanted to try them since a YouTuber I follow is always talking about them. They are a bit tart and fleshy. I cut them in half and ate with a spoon for breakfast. So refreshing and the perfect warm-weather fruit.


This food pyramid

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Am I right?!

I snapped this picture of a poster in a Peet’s (say that fast!) when we were coming back from Tahoe. It is basically my diet on weekends and vacations and I’m sticking to it.


Other Friday Faves:
January
February
March
April

2017
Friday Favorites #5
Friday Favorites #4
Friday Favorites #3
Friday Favorites #2
Friday Favorites #1

Romantic getaway [Squaw Valley]

Squaw Valley is mine and Mike’s “spot.” It’s about a 4.5 hour drive from our house and the perfect getaway. We used to make it up there multiple times a year but now it seems we only get up there once. I’m not complaining though! Even one weekend a year to disconnect from the outside world and reconnect as a couple is great; especially in magical Squaw Valley.

We’ve been going up there for so long, we have our own little traditions in place. This past trip incorporated our favorite things to do (of course) but we also explored a lot of new things too. We even got extra fancy this time and took a day off from work to enjoy a nice, long 3 day weekend together.

We arrived late on Thursday night and basically unpacked and went straight to sleep. On Friday we woke up early for our first activity of the weekend; hiking! Side story: we got permits to hike Half Dome this August so we’re trying to do a lot more hiking in the next few months to prepare. With this in mind, I picked the hardest hike Squaw has, Shirley Cannon Trail. As a bonus, we were able to get some altitude training while up there, which isn’t a possibility at home.

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Those Bombas socks were key on the trail

The weather predicted rain and thunder storms around 12pm so, after a quick bowl of oatmeal in our room, we started out on the trail at 8:15am. The original plan was to hike up and take the gondola down* but things didn’t work out that way (#foreshadowing). On past Squaw trips, we’ve taken the gondola to the top and spent the day hot tubbing, eating, and drinking champagne. What a different plan it was this time!

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The Shirley Cannon Trail hike is no joke. It’s gorgeous but strenuous. You cross multiple streams, see a few waterfalls, and have to actually boulder quite a bit. No lies, the altitude started to get to me once or twice and I had to stop to rest. But overall I was impressed with my fitness and feel less anxious about Half Dome.

Unfortunately there was still a lot of snow at the top of the trail and, given it looked like it was going to rain and we were on slabs of granite, we turned around before making it to the top. WHICH MEANS we had to hike down too. Not the original plan. Plus, to top things off, one of my contacts fell out about halfway down. Not ideal. Nonetheless, we made it back down just after 12pm and promptly treated ourselves to a brewski and lunch.

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So high up

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We intended to take a quick 40 minute catnap when we got back to the hotel but slept for a hour and 20 minutes instead. I wasn’t mad about it though… I think our bodies needed the rest.

After snoozing, we hit up the hot tub and got caught in a little rain storm. But who cares when you’re already wet? Squaw has the best hot tub scene, with 3 different Jacuzzis and a giant pool. All that and a gorgeous view of the mountains. It’s not a bad way to spend an afternoon…

Before our dinner reservations, we had time for a glass of wine and a little Royal wedding watching. Correction: I watched updates on the wedding. Mike could not care less. Who else is obsessed with MM like I am though? 🙋 She’s so gorgeous and an American/Californian. I had to support. 😉

After my pop culture history-in-the-making fix, Mike treated me to a cozy dinner at Six Peaks. We spilt a bottle of red, an order of lobster mac n’ cheese, and indulged in fillets. It was such a nice night. There is just something about splitting a bottle of wine that is so romantic to me. AND we got to toast the official less-than-a-year countdown to our wedding!

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On Saturday we had a big adventure planned. But first, COFFEE (and tea and breakfast sammies). Wild Cherries in Truckee and is my favorite local coffee spot. I am a picky coffee drinker and have never been disappointed with their java. They also have made-to-order sandwiches that are hot and fresh every time. I may need to start a campaign for them to open a location in the Bay Area…

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AND THEN it was adventure time. We drove to Tahoe Treetop Adventure Park in Tahoe Vista for 2.5 hours of zip-lining and swinging around in the trees.

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most
fun.

For $60 you get to explore 9 different obstacle courses up in the treetops. You are harnessed in while you try things like walking across rolling logs or rock climbing on a suspended wall. There are also zip lines sprinkled throughout each course. I was a little nervous at first because you have to jump off to start zip lining and don’t have anything to grab onto but your harness. After a few tries though, you don’t even think about it.

Mike and I completed all 9 courses (and one twice, by accident) so we were pretty proud of ourselves. I highly recommend trying this if you’re in the Tahoe location. The same company has 2 other parks and I’m sure we’ll be back for more.

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After our treetop adventure we scarfed down quinoa (for me) and orzo (for Mike) vegetable salads that we had bought at New Moon, a health food store next to Wild Cherries. Then it was a quick drive back to Squaw for some relaxation in the form of a couples massage.

Now that we are engaged, on vacations like this, I think about how in few years we might have a little babe with us; and vacations will likely look a lot different! hah 🙂 But for now, it’s still just me and Mike and we can indulge in things like bottles of wine, hour long adventures, and massages.

We hit up Sandy’s Pub in the resort after for beers and sweet potato fries. I have good memories of Sandy’s including basically sneaking in a bottle of wine to drink with my future mother-in-law a few years ago; to actually sneaking into the hot tub outside the restaurant another time with my friend Sandra and eating at Sandy’s after. Not to mention all of the times Mike and I have been there. ❤

We spilt a pizza and a salad after and then, perhaps proving that we are ready for parenthood, went back to the hotel to chill for the rest of the night. Oddly enough we found an interesting documentary on the Weather Channel (of all channels) and proceeded to learn all about the Donner Party. Not a super romantic topic… ek 😐

On our final morning in Squaw, we continued a tradition we have that involves a mountain view, tea, and hot tubbing. Who doesn’t love hot tubbing right in the morning when their the skinniest they’ll be all day?! Jk.

Then we spilt a chocolate croissant (hot tub before you eat, I’m telling ya;), packed up, and said ✌️ to Squaw; our favorite home away from home.

A sweet life it is.

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*Mike was actually going to PROPOSE last year when we had the same plan but we didn’t end up hiking that trip. Instead he proposed a few months later in the sweetest, most perfect way. Spoiler: the day included hot tubbing, apple picking, wine tasting, and of course, a very special question. 🙂

Filoli Gardens [+ iced London fog recipe]

For Mother’s Day this year, I took my mom and grandma to Filoli Gardens. Despite growing up in the Bay Area, I’d never been to Filoli. At $22/person, I thought it was a decent price for an afternoon spent wondering around beautiful flowers and greenery.

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My favorite flower; California poppies!

Filoli was built between 1915 and 1917 by the wealthy William Bourn. The name of the estate are the first 2 letters of Bourn’s credo.


FIght for a just cause;
LOve your fellow man;
LIve a good life.


In 1936, Filoli was sold to the Roth family, where they lived until 1975 when Mrs. Roth donated the estate to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. There are 16 acres of gardens to wonder through; plus the house that both families lived in when they resided in Filoli. You can pay an additional $5 for a garden tour and $5 for a house tour but we decided to go self-guided.

We explored the garden first. There are different sections of the garden and they are all gorgeous. When you first enter, you see a little pond area; which, let’s be real, is impressive enough on it’s own (I would be happy with just that tiny section as my entire garden). Then you wonder through some hedges to the pool.

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The pool was put in by the Roth family after Mr. Roth had a stroke. He would go into the pool for exercise to help with recovery. But it was also a favorite hangout for the family during the summers.

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The Woodland gardens were next. A shady area with twisty curvy trees. The tennis courts were located up some stairs there, where we sat for a bit to enjoy some afternoon desserts.

We strolled through the rose gardens and fruit trees after. How nice must have it been to live on that property? I would love to just stay there for the weekend and enjoy a morning cup of coffee (and an evening glass of wine) walking around the garden.

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After seeing all of the garden, we wondered into the house. When we first entered, there were A TON of people crowding the door but as we weaved through the rooms, the crowd dispersed. I wish I read more of the plaques with information about the house and history but there was so much to see, I didn’t get to everything!

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A fireplace we could have fit inside
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A hidden little bar

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My favorite part of the house was the kitchen! I find most old house tours never show you the kitchen and that’s what I’m always the most interested in.

Filoli had 2 fully stocked kitchens (as you do), plus a pastry room (that is legit the size of my actual one kitchen).

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The pastry room!
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Honey, I’m home! I loved the teal cabinets (and the handsome guy looking out the window;)
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The 2nd kitchen
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But first… coffee

Or tea! As a little added something in this post, I wanted to share an iced London fog recipe I’m obsessed with. My inspo for this came from Pick Up Limes but I made my beverage iced instead. It’s the perfect afternoon pick me up for a spring afternoon (if you’re lucky, you can sip it strolling through a garden).

I used almond milk instead of regular milk because I simply prefer it but feel free to sub any milk of your choice. You can also add a few drops of vanilla or a splash of agave syrup. Get crazy!

  • All you need to do is bring a cup of milk to a boil and add your earl gray teabag (I actually ended up adding another teabag since I was making mine iced).

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  • Sprinkle in some cinnamon and stir.

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  • Pour over a tall glass of ice and enjoy!

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Friday Favorites – April | picture edition 📷

Who else regularly scrolls through their insta feed to see the pix they’ve posted? 🙋

Just me? Okay. Moving on.

Even if you aren’t lurking your own social media, everyone has their favorite pictures. The ones that capture the perfect moment in time and flood you with memories. I love looking through pictures. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve scooped up my baby albums at my grandma’s house, absorbing the pictures of my childhood.

Old vacation pictures are another favorite (and part of the reason I love maintaining this blog so I can look back at all of the places I’ve been). And then there are just the random pictures from any old day that capture the moments between big life happenings.

For Friday Favorites this month, I’ve created a combination of some of my favorite pictures below and a few captions to explain why.

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^ First up? Bali. This picture is blurry but I love it. It was taken at the end of a fun day at Potato Head Beach Club. I think we both look so happy, content, & in LOVE in this picture, which is why I like it so much. Plus, it brings back memories of lounging by the pool and drinking fresh watermelon water all day with Mike. Bliss.

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^ I also love this picture I snapped on one of our morning walks in Bali. (I can almost feel the humidity just looking at it… ha.) We walked the path from our villa to down town multiple times a day – stopping at Taco Casa (seen in the pic above) a few times for nachos and sangria – so this picture brings back good memories of our time spent there. I also like the local on his bike in flip flops with a grocery bag of water and snacks; the greenery; and the spray painted fence in the background.

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^ My last Bali picture is this one of Mike and his niece. (Her shoulder blade doesn’t look like that IRL; just a weird angle…) Mike’s sister lives in Australia so we don’t see them too often but look how happy Ella looks with uncle Mike! Just smooshing his face and living her best life in Bali with the fam.

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^ Remember when taking a million pictures on Apple’s Photo Booth was the thing to do? This snapshot was taken in a mini photo sesh with two of my closet friends in college. (Let’s take a sec to acknowledge how dark my hair was……..)

Full disclosure: Before this picture was taken, I had just tried my fake ID for the first time at TGIF Friday’s happy hour (and it worked!) so we were a little tipsy. I remember it was a rainy Friday and we were like, let’s party! But… all of our friends were busy so it was just the 3 of us. Despite that sounding lame, it was such a fun night. This picture just reminds me of that time in life; where my friends were the center of my world and one of my biggest concerns was if my fake ID was going to work.

Present day, we have to schedule a hour coffee date 2 months in advance (and there is a 50% chance even that won’t work out) because … #adulting.

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^ This is the picture that made me think about some of my other favorite pictures. Earlier this month, Mike and I attending one of my oldest and dearest friends weddings. She was a gorgeous bride in the perfect dress and as she was walking up the aisle – having just gotten married – I snapped this picture of her. It was such a special moment for a few reasons. 1. Look how happy she looks! The picture captures the pure excitement of the newlyweds. 2. Selfishly, I love that she is glancing right at me. I remember locking eyes with her as I was taking the picture and, just like in high school, knowing exactly what was on her mind. I feel like she knew my excitement and love for her in that moment too.

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^ This was taken the day before thanksgiving a few years ago when a whole bunch of our friends went out to celebrate Friendsgiving. (Side note: my glasses are totally fake in this picture and I just wore them as a joke… little did I know I would be wearing real eyewear a few years later.) It was one of those perfect nights when everyone made it out. We did sake bombs, had margaritas, went dancing!

This night is extra special in my memory because it was before 3 of my closet friends (2 photographed above – April, where you at?) moved away 😦

Maybe we’ll get lucky one year and have a sequel.

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^If you look in the right corner you’ll spot my mom (with the camera) and me and my grandma laughing hysterically. For context, this picture was taken on a girls’ trip to New York City we took a few years ago (read about it here). We had just – or were about to (can’t remember the exact timeline) – demolish a margarita pizza in Time Square before going to the Broadway show we had tickets for. My mom spotted a crowd of people and a camera that was projecting them onto a big screen in the middle of Time Square. Immediately I thought; no, while my mom was like; let’s go!Obviously she won. 😉 At first glance, this isn’t the best picture. There are a ton of other people in it with us, it’s blurry, you can’t even see the whole screen… but I love it. I distinctly remember my mom being so pumped to be on that big screen. She had a huge smile and was bobbing up and down saying “oh yeah, oh yeah.” <– which is why my grandma and I were laughing so hard.

This picture and memory encapsulates my mom; spur of the moment, life of the party, happy. 🙂

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^ Ok I might be on a mama llama/NYC love spree right now but this is another one of my favorites. It was on another trip to New York a few years before when we went with my grandma. We were visiting the Empire State building with a friend of mine who had recently moved from the Bay Area to New York. She snapped this picture of us and I love all of mine and my mom’s similarities in it; our hair color, both of us are wearing hair clips and have sunglasses on our head. PLUS, look at that view of the city. ❤ love.

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^ I love this picture of one of my best friends, Leslie. I think it’s just the cutest. She looks so happy. (I took this picture while riding a bike behind her, a mere weeks before I had to get stitches from a biking accident — now I never ride without 2 hands on the handlebars AT ALL TIMES ha.) I remember this day was gorgeous. She met me for lunch at Google and after we met a whole bunch of girlfriends at a local beer garden.

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^ This picture was from 4th of July last year. I can’t say it is my favorite picture of myself 🙈 but I love Mike and our friend April in the background. These two are v similar and I bet they were cracking some joke as I was taking this. I remember this day also being gorgeous. Plus, we were playing impostures and living like the rich & famous in Kardashian Land Calabasas that weekend. Private pool and hot tub all to ourselves on a holiday weekend? Check.

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^ I love this picture of Mike in our apartment. We were just chatting, sharing a nightcap when I snapped it. Something about how mundane it is makes me like it.

Whiskey. Water. Sweats.

Also, this is probably weird but I like looking in the background of pictures and seeing what people’s houses are like. Are they messy? Are they clean? What nicknacks do they have? So, if anyone else shares this quirk, here’s a good glance of my living room…!

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^ I think it’s rare that we admit to liking a photo of ourselves. All too often, we’re quick to call out bad pix and silently compliment the good ones. (Or is this just me!?) WELL I want to work on that habit & start lovin’ myself more; which is why I picked this #selfie as a favorite.

Mike and I were on our way to Yosemite when I snapped this in the front seat. You can see our bikes in the backseat, my teal straw from an iced coffee…

Blonde locks, black tee, and probably black leggings; getting ready for a weekend of drinking wine, hiking, and sleeping under the stars. Love it all.

Other Friday Faves:
January
February
March

2017
Friday Favorites #5
Friday Favorites #4
Friday Favorites #3
Friday Favorites #2
Friday Favorites #1