9.30.2013

Family Filled Weekend

Hello friends! How was your weekend? Mine was filled with family! It was a great few days catching up, and spending quality time with them. I hadn't seen them since the first weekend of August when we went camping in Yosemite, way too long! I can't believe how much Phillip has changed since then.

Friday I left work a bit early so I could spend some more time with Phillip, my sister and Josh. The surf conditions were really good, so Andrew wanted to go out for a bit. Since the weather was so beautiful, we decided we'd head to the beach and watch for a little while. It was Phillips first time at the beach, and he loved having his toes in the sand, but he wasn't too sure about the freezing cold water! We spent an hour or so at the beach taking pictures and playing while Andrew surfed, then headed home for takeout and a movie.



Saturday morning my parents drove down to join all the fun! They arrived just as Phillip was waking up from his nap, and we were off to enjoy another beautiful day in the city. We went down to Crissy Field and the Palace of Fine Arts to walk around and have a picnic lunch before Christine, Josh and Phillip had to head home.




That evening, my parents took Andrew and I out to an early birthday dinner at one of my very favorite San Francisco restaurants, Scoma's. It was delicious, as always. After dinner, we walked up to the Buena Vista for one of their Famous Irish Coffees. Somehow, I had never been there! It was really fun to go with my parents. They told me about when they had gone with friends when they were first married and living in Berkeley. For a wedding gift, my parents received Irish Coffee glasses, so we decided at Thanksgiving we were going to have get them out and make Irish Coffee for everyone!


Sunday morning we lounged around with our coffee for a bit, before heading out to the Farmers Market. On the way to the market, we pass one of our favorite breakfast spots, Eats, and surprisingly there was hardly a wait. We took that as a sign and stopped for breakfast. After we stuffed ourselves we hit the market to get some produce for the week, and Mom treated me to fresh flowers!

When we got back from the market, Mom and Dad decided to head home. The surf conditions were perfect so Andrew went to Ocean Beach for a few hours. Since I had the house to myself I started decorating for fall! It was the perfect way to wind down after a fun weekend!

It was a great weekend with family, and I even got a few things crossed off my Fall To-Do List!  I'm already looking forward to the next time I get to see my family, at Thanksgiving!

I hope you all had a nice weekend as well!

Linking Up here...


9.27.2013

Closet Staples: Fall




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The new season has put me in a shopping mood, which has the potential to be very dangerous for my wallet! For now, I've just been window shopping and scouring Pinterest for fall fashion inspiration. But there are a few items on my list that I think should be in every girls closet! With my birthday next month, I'm hoping for a little spending money to splurge on a nice pair of riding boots, a new purse, and a trench coat. Most of the other items I've found for pretty reasonable prices, which is always a good thing!

What's on your fall shopping wish list?

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I am SO happy it's Friday. This weekend is going to be so great. My sister, brother in law, and nephew arrived last night to stay with us. They went to the Giants vs. Dodger game last night (my poor nephew is being raised by Dodger's fans) and are spending the night again tonight so we can spend more time together. Hopefully my boss let's me leave a little early today :) 

Then on Saturday morning, my parents are coming down! It's going to be a family-filled weekend and I can't wait! I've been really missing them, I can't believe it's been since August that I've seen them. Phillip is starting to recognize people now, and my worst fear is that he won't recognize his Auntie. But he was happy to see me last night, so I think our weekly FaceTime dates are helping!

Also, my muffin post from last week is being featured on Face It Catalog and Coffee Beans and Bobby Pins today as part of their Friday's Five Link Up series! Be sure to go check out the other four lovely ladies that are being featured this week, and say hello to the fab hostesses! 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!! And happy shopping!




9.25.2013

Fall To-Do List

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I had so much fun with my Summer To Do List post and recap, I wanted to do it again for Fall! This is a long list, but I'm pretty confident we can accomplish most, if not all of these items!


Pumpkin Patch

Since my birthday is in October, Fall has always been my favorite season. There was one pumpkin patch in particular we would always go to. I haven't been to a pumpkin patch in at least 3 years, but this fall, I'm going to change that! I know of a few here in the city, but it would be even more fun to drive up to Marin County and go to a big, overly festive pumpkin patch, like one of these!

Carve Pumpkins

Again, it's been a few years since I've carved a pumpkin, but I think it would be a fun week-night get together with friends. Part of me thinks this is such a fun activity, but the other part of me hates the mess and the thought of reaching in and pulling out the seeds, ick. Maybe I should re-think this one being on the list...

Bake with Pumpkin & Apple

Notice a theme here?...I've already seen so many amazing pumpkin and apple recipes on Pinterest! I can't wait to try a few out. This pumpkin bread and these apple crisp muffins look especially delicious! 

Dress Up for Halloween

I love Halloween! It falls just a few days after my birthday, so it's always a fun time of year! Last year was the first in many years I didn't dress up, (we were too worried about the Giants winning the World Series!) so this year I hope we can go out in the city and dress up!  

Craft Project

I miss doing crafts. Before I moved to the city I used to scrapbook, and do craft projects all the time. My goal this fall is to work on at least one project because it's something I really enjoy.

Try a New Restaurant

Since we didn't really accomplish this one over summer, I'm adding it to the list for fall!

Tourist in SF for a day

This is something I've wanted to do since moving. I'd love to go to Alcatraz, walk over the Golden Gate Bridge, see the Ferry Building, go to Golden Gate Park, Dolores Park, and drink an Irish Coffee at The Buena Vista. OK fine, maybe a little shopping downtown too. (I can live without Pier 39).

Read Two Books

On our vacation, I fell back in love with reading. I hope to read two new books this fall. I'm thinking this one for sure, any other recommendations?

Friendsgiving

This was Andrew's idea, and I think it's a great one! We would like to host all of our friends for Thanksgiving  in November. I did this once in college, and it was so much fun! We have the perfect apartment for entertaining, and it just sounds like fun! 

Snail Mail

I love getting snail mail, and I want to make an effort to send a friend or family member a card to let them know I'm thinking of them. It's something so simple, and doesn't take much time, but makes a huge impact. It also goes with the theme of Thanksgiving and being thankful for the people in your life. 

Island DIY and Paint/Decorate Kitchen 

For over a year now, I've been wanting to paint and decorate our kitchen. It's the only room in the house I really dislike. I think a little paint and a few shelves will completely change the look and feel of the room. And since we spend so much time in there cooking, it's worth the effort. We also bought an island back in February that we still haven't spruced up, so I hope we can complete that project as well. 

Decorate for Fall

This one will probably be the first item checked off the list! I have two big tubs of fall decorations back home that my mom is bringing down this weekend! I can't wait to use it all again! 

Pick Apples

I think it would be so fun to get a group of friends together and go apple picking at an orchard somewhere! When I lived in the foothills, we were close to Apple Hill and would go when I was younger. It was always so much fun, and really helped get into the holiday spirit! But if all else fails, we have 4 apple trees in our backyard! 

Wine Tasting/Napa Trip

When I was at Sonoma State, my favorite time of year was fall. If you think the vineyards are beautiful during the spring and summer, image when all the rolling hills are covered in shades of red, orange and yellow! It's amazing, especially in the evening light. I can't wait to go take pictures, sip some wine, and enjoy living so close to wine country! 


That's one long list! But it's a pretty good one if you ask me! 

What's on your Fall To-Do List?


9.24.2013

Poppy's 91st Birthday

This past weekend we took quick a trip down to San Diego to celebrate Andrew's grandpa (Poppy's) 91st birthday. The party was Saturday evening, so we flew down early that morning to help cook and get everything set up. 

I first met Poppy back in May for Nina's graduation, and he quickly became one of my favorite people. I have a soft spot for grandparents (don't we all?) and Poppy is one of the best! When he stayed with us for the weekend of Nina's graduation, Andrew and his mom had to take a family friend to the airport, so Poppy and I had about an hour to visit while they were gone. It was the best! He told me stories about how he met Andrew's grandma and when they got married, why he moved to Rochester, about the times he traveled to San Francisco, and his time spent in the Army. He also mentioned his love for the show Sex in the City. I mean, seriously, he's the best! 

Just a few months ago, he moved from Rochester, NY to San Diego to be closer to Andrew's mom and his Uncle who also lives in Southern California. Since it was the first time he would be in San Diego for his birthday in quite some time, Andrew's mom wanted to throw a party to celebrate! 

Poppy is a very proud American, so the theme for his birthday party was "Made in America." Everyone wore red white and blue, there were party favors, and patriotic decorations everywhere. It was such a fun day, and you could tell Poppy loved having his family together. He later told Andrew's mom that the party made moving out west worth while. So sweet. 

Proud Dad

"please can I have more people food?"
Poppy loves fireworks! 


On the tables, there were frames with fun facts about Poppy. Here are some of my favorites not listed in the picture above:

// he has driven cross-country 54 times //

// he has used his gambling winnings to buy himself diamond rings //

// he was married to the same woman for 60 years //

//As a boy, he jumped freight trains for fun //

// he served as air crew chief for bombers during WWII //

// he lied to get a Red Ryder BB gun //

// he was struck by lightning //

// He tried out for the New York Yankees //

// He worked on secret military projects //

// he is a card shark //

too much partying for Louis and Andrew

9.23.2013

Summer Lovin'

Summer is officially over, but it's a beautiful day San Francisco, and I'm reminiscing on all the fun Andrew and I had this summer. It was our first summer living together here in the city, and we made sure it was a good one!

I put together this slideshow of images from our summer with Flipagram! I'm obsessed! You can access your Instagram account to create videos and even coordinate the slideshow with your favorite songs! I thought Eric Church, Springsteen, was the perfect song to accompany my summer Instagram pics!

I hope you enjoy!

video


As I mentioned, I am so excited for fall. It's my favorite time of year! But there are a few things about summer I'm really going to miss.

I think summer produce is at the top of that list! Tomatoes are one of my favorite foods, and there is nothing like a fresh, garden tomato in the summer. Although, they're harder to come by, and outrageously expensive in San Francisco! Lucky for me, my coworker lives in Marin County and has been bringing tomatoes from his garden to the office nearly every week. And, we've been getting them at the farmers market too. Maybe my mom will bring us some of her garden bounty when she visits this weekend so we can have a proper farewell to summer produce.

Another thing I'll miss, daylight! The best thing about summer are the long days. I've already noticed the loss of sunlight when I wake up in the morning, and get home from work at night. It's nice to take Louis for longer walks when we get home in the evening during the summer months, and there is nothing worse than waking up when it's still dark outside. I have a hard enough time getting out of bed as it is!

One thing I definitely won't miss is the cold, dreary weather we have in San Francisco during July and August. But, our Indian summer has officially arrived, and I can't wait to enjoy this wonderful city! Fall is the best time of year in San Francisco!



What will you miss about summer, if anything?


9.20.2013

Goodbye Summer


Good morning my friends, and happy Friday!!

This weekend officially marks the end of summer. Although it's a little bittersweet for some, I welcome fall with open arms! It's my absolute favorite season. I love the crisp, cool air, pumpkins, scarves, and boots. It also means birthdays, Halloween and Thanksgiving are near. Time to celebrate! 


But before we dive into fall, I wanted to take a look back on our jam-packed summer. Remember this post, when I listed all of the things I'd like to do this summer? Well, we actually managed to scratch a few items off that list. 


go camping at least twice

We managed to go camping three times this summer! We went to Tuolumne Meadows, Lake Clementine, and Shaver Lake!


Monterey (Santa Cruz)

Although we didn't make it to Monterey, we got close! Andrew and I took a day trip to Santa Cruz and had a great time! Looking forward to going back with my new camera!


go wakeboarding

When we went camping at Lake Clementine with my sister I was able to go wakeboarding! I would have liked to have gone more than once, but once is better than nothing! I love boating, hopefully we'll make it out on the lake more than once next summer!


Big Sur

We didn't make it to Big Sur this summer, but maybe in the fall! 


read 2 books

I'm almost finished with my third book of the summer! Which, I'm pretty proud of, since I had gotten out of the habit of reading before bed. 


plan our vacation

Not only did we plan our vacation, we spent a wonderful week in Cabo soaking up the sun!

complete our DIY island project

Sadly, we still haven't accomplished this one...


explore a new area of San Francisco

We were so busy this summer, it feels like we barely spent any time in San Francisco! We did make it to the Treasure Island Flea Market though, and I hadn't been to Treasure Island since I was little when my Aunt and Uncle lived there. 


float the river with friends

I'll have to make sure this happens next year!


spend time with Phillip

Although I did get to see Phillip a couple times, it wasn't nearly enough. I love FaceTime, it has become a new favorite way to keep in touch. I want him to recognize me! I miss him so much, and it's really hard for me being so far away and missing this time with him. But, they're coming down to the city next week, so I'm really looking forward to getting some snuggles in!! 


plan a trip home to see friends

Although I haven't done it yet, I am going home in early October to see and spend some time with friends (and Phillip)! I can't wait! It's been too long, I'm trying to squeeze as much in to two days as possible! 


try a new restaurant

I have a feeling this will be accomplished early fall...


go to a country concert

Sadly, I didn't make it to a country concert. But we did go to Guster and Dispatch at the Greek Theater, so that's something! 


lots of hiking

While I wouldn't say we got lots of hiking in, we did some. Especially on our trip to Tuolumne Meadows. We also managed a few urban hikes here in the city. 


host brunch or dinner for friends

I really hope to do this SOON! Maybe I'll host a joint birthday dinner for Andrew and I or a Sunday Football brunch! 




While I didn't accomplish everything I'd set out to this summer, it was a great few months! We managed to escape the fog and get some sun! Weekends in San Diego, celebrating with friends on their wedding day, Giants games, 4th of July in Tahoe, enjoying our city by the bay, and so much more! We made so many wonderful memories with family and friends during our first summer living together in San Francisco. 



 Are you ready for fall, or mourning the loss of summer? 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! We're heading to San Diego to celebrate Andrew's Grandpa's birthday. Getting all we can out of the last few days of summer! 



9.18.2013

Morning Glory Muffins



Andrew and I are both on a post-vacation health kick. We always eat relatively healthy, and rarely eat out. But this week, we wanted to kick it up a notch. Sunday, we went grocery shopping and made a meal plan for the week that would keep us on track.

I've been wanting to make these muffins for a while now. I used to make them pretty frequently, and they're so simple and really filling. I got the recipe from my mom, it is from her With Love & Butter cookbook (which also has the best blueberry muffin recipe)!

I had yet to make these for Andrew, and I was pretty sure he'd like them. Plus they would be easy for him to bring to work as a snack. I'm already thinking of a few substitutions I can make to lighten these up even more. Next week, I think I'll try making them again, but substitute whole wheat flour and use apple sauce rather than oil. If they turn out, I'll modify the recipe for you :-)

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Morning Glory Muffins 

Ingredients
2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups coarsly grated carrot, packed
1 cup corsely grated apple (including peel)
1/2 cup raisins (I don't like raisins, so I left them out)
1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/2 sliced almonds
3 eggs
1/3 cup mild tasting oil (I used vegetable)
6 tablespoons thawed apple juice concentrate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
              Preheat the oven to 375* with the rack in the center position, line a muffin tin with 10 liners.
                
Mix the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add carrot, apple, raisins, coconut, and almonds and toss with your fingertips until all the fruit and nuts are covered with flour.

Blend the eggs, oil, apple juice concentrate, and vanilla in a bowl or blender and pour on top of everything else. Mix until combined. Mound the batter into the 10 muffin cups. These muffins are quite dense and don't rise very much, so you will need to shape them above the rim with an ice cream scoop or your hand (I used an ice cream scoop).

Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake another 10 to 15 minutes or until the muffins no longer look gooey inside.


*In the past, I've found storing these in a Tubberware or freezer bags makes them get a little sticky, or soggy on top. So this time, I put them in a Pyrex pan and covered them with foil and it worked great.

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Although these muffins were fun to make, the best part was photographing them for the blog! I think I've found my favorite thing to photograph, FOOD! I shouldn't be surprised really... So anyways, that explains why there are nearly 50 pictures for this recipe, I was just having too much fun :) Hopefully you enjoyed looking at them.

I definitely recommend giving this recipe a try, these muffins are delicious and relatively guilt free.  They're perfect by themselves, or warmed up with a little honey, I've even crumbled part of one over some fresh fruit and yogurt.

I hope you're all having a great day!

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