Girls Weekend in Photos

Sorry for the silence, dear readers! I had a productive week at work last week and apparently blogging took the back burner. I’ve got a lot of fun stuff to share this week though!

As anyone who follows me on FB, Twitter or Instagram knows, I was in the Bay Area this weekend. Becky flew in from Minneapolis on Wednesday and stayed with Carly in nearby Davis. They headed to Napa the next day…I had work and was a captain in a super serious (ha) playground-style dodgeball draft on Thursday night, so on Friday morning I woke up bright and early and took the train to Fairfield, where Carly picked me up and our weekend began!


It was a leisurely 40 minute ride, and gave me plenty of time to enjoy some tea and do some reading (I’m currently reading The Paris Wife).


Our day consisted of a wine tour hosted by Platypus Tours. We visited 4 wineries in the Napa Valley, ranging from St. Helena back through Rutherford and we ended in Yountville.


It was an amazing day! More details on this to come later. Shockingly, the favorite wine of the day for this red wine lover was actually a white- a Sauvignon Blanc from the very first winery we visited. In fact, it was the first taste we tried! And of course I decided not to buy it because I thought “I’ll find something else I like more”… Womp womp.


We were in pretty good shape after the tasting (the tour included snacks, lots of water, and lunch!) so we decided to check out downtown Napa after a quick rest. I am somewhat familiar with Napa, being that my ex boyfriend grew up there. But all the places we went this weekend were new-to-me! We had some amazing pasta at Ristorante Allegria (with more wine for Becky and I…oops) and beautiful cocktails at Fagiani’s.


After a painful car ride (Becky and I were not at our best after splitting that bottle of wine at dinner 😉 ), we arrived in San Francisco. The lovely Sarah met up with us and we walked through Downtown SF to the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market to check out the, uh, classy artisan offerings. We also had brunch (at like 2pm) at The Plant Cafe Organic – it was amazing!

Unfortunately the fun ended there for Becky and I, and we went back to the hotel to veg out. We ended up ordering pizza and having a relaxing night in so we would be fully recovered for a Sunday full of sight seeing!


And recovered we were! We took a nice long walk to North Beach and had brunch at a dive bar (The Boardroom) that ended up having some AMAZING food – including bacon wrapped tater tots. I had a yummy BLT and we all marveled at Carly’s graham cracker French toast with Biscoff spread – OMG. Speaking of Biscoff, apparently you can buy 3.5 lb tubs of it at a shop in Pier 39. Proof: see above!

Before leaving, we had to make sure that Becky saw the Golden Gate Bridge. We went to a lookout near Crissy Field and had a photo op while freezing our butts off. Then it was sadly time to say goodbye!


And to offset all that girl time, I went bowling with the guys when I got home! I was horrified to see that my friends are actually all totally serious bowlers (some with their own balls and everything!) because I am definitely a bumper girl 😉 I embarrassingly scored an average of 60 points in my first 2 games before pulling off a 126 in our last game! So proud.

That’s it for my long weekend. One last thing –


Happy birthday to my brother Andrew! He turns 23 today, and I am insanely jealous that it appears he will be sharing a birthday with the Royal Baby! Just push the kid out before 4pm PST, Kate!! As I already said on Facebook… He may be 10 inches taller than me, but I will always be 22 months older. Have a great day!

4th of July Weekend in Photos

Hello and welcome back to reality. I remember the 4th of July sucking last year because it was in the middle of the week and I didn’t get any extra days off…However, I think it might be even worse to have a 4 day weekend and then be thrown back into the reality of work! Luckily the whole legislature will be on recess soon, so my days won’t be too strenuous 🙂


I made the best decision ever and chose to escape the 109 degree heat of Sacramento on the 4th of July by taking Megabus to San Francisco. For those of you keeping score at home, we had 7 days of 100+ degree temps, and of those 7 days, 5 were above 105. Worst week ever. The weather in San Francisco on 4th of July? 75 degrees and sunny. Can I get an amen?


I stayed with my old college roommate, So-Ky, and for the daytime festivities we met our friend Meghan and her USF law school buddies in Golden Gate Park by the Conservatory of Flowers to BBQ and celebrate. That would be me sporting Meghan’s authentic 1996 Team USA Olympic warm up jacket and doing my best Kerri Strug. With a beer in my hand, of course.


Daisy chain, patriotic hat, and a Reagan-Bush beer koozie. Amurrica.


After the BBQ, our other former roomie Tyler arrived with our former neighbor Monique and we went out for drinks. We saw a Hello Kitty car (only in SF…) and the boys made friends with a very friendly Brit, who was also very inebriated. I made sure to Snapchat photo evidence to our other roomies (there were 6 of us in a tiny apartment!) and college friends. I had a great time reminiscing and remembering old stories of the pranks the boys pulled on us senior year 🙂


The next day, the 4 of us had brunch at Howard’s Cafe in the Inner Sunset…I got the breakfast special (2 eggs, 2 pieces of bacon, 2 slices of toast, & potatoes for $4.99!) and So-Ky and I went on a 4 mile walk to SF State. Then it was back to Sac for me!


When I came home, it looked like my basil plant had died in the 109 degree heat, but fortunately I was able to revive it! I spent the night finally finishing the last season of The Office and ugly-crying at some amazing Jim-Pam moments. So good!


I dubbed Saturday my own personal #TREATYOSELF day, a la Parks and Rec. I was a little sore from walking so I decided to forgo my Saturday morning run, but I made my weekly farmer’s market trip and bought myself sunflowers and ginger-berry kombucha. Then I cleaned up the apartment and treated myself to a movie – The Heat! Not gonna lie, I was kinda nervous to go watch a movie alone, but I actually kinda liked it! Funny movie too.. I love Melissa McCarthy!

In a kinda off-theme move, I then crashed guys night and watched the UFC fight with 4 guy friends. Although I guess copious amounts of beer and shirtless guys fighting isn’t too far off the theme 🙂 #treatyoself day lives on!

20130708-104000.jpgWithout intending to, I kinda extended my pampering to Sunday. I DIY’ed an awesome Kings shirt (cut off the sleeves, made it a racerback, and I took in the sides to make it less baggy), got pedicures with my mom (and chose the most obnoxiously neon pink polish I could find- the picture doesn’t do it justice!), and cooked my parents a delicious dinner.

I’m already ready for the next holiday- luckily I don’t have to wait too long, since Becky is coming out to California for a girls weekend with Carly and I in just a week and a half! Can’t wait!

How did you celebrate the 4th of July?

Have you ever gone to the movies alone?

How do you Treat Yo Self?

Peel’d Juice Cleanse Day 3 + Recap

Hello from foggy San Francisco!


I finally escaped the wicked heat of Sacramento and escaped to the permanently chilly City by the Bay for a quick day and a half. I hope you all had a safe 4th of July- mine involved BBQing in the park with my friend Meghan and her law school friends, then reminiscing over drinks with my old college roomies, Tyler and So-Ky, later in the evening. This may be the first year ever that my 4th did not include some kind of fireworks! We couldn’t see any from downtown when we were having drinks, and its illegal to light off your own in SF. Regardless, it was a good time and a much needed escape. Spending time with college friends and re-telling the same old stories over and over from the glory years is always a great pick me up 🙂


Now I’m back in Sac and here to finish off my chronicle of the Peel’d Juice Cleanse!

Day 3

Since I had trouble falling asleep on Tuesday night, I wasn’t as well rested, but I woke up with a flat stomach again on Wednesday. Since I was at my parent’s place where they have a reliable scale, I also realized I had dropped a couple of pounds from my normal weight (last time I weighed myself on my gym’s *inaccurate* scale, I was 2 pounds above my normal weight midday, but I’m not sure what I was on Day 1 of this cleanse). This is a little worrisome since I have been trying to maintain weight and not lose any, but at the time I figured the weight loss probably wouldn’t be permanent.

Breakfast (9:30 am)

Smoothie (celery, oranges, pineapple, ginger, almond milk, protein powder)
Also ate: A banana and handful of nuts

The verdict: Kind of a weird smoothie, I was definitely chewing my way through it with the celery. Still tasted OK though!

How I felt: I have a bit of a headache that morning, probably because of lack of sleep. In general I’m not feeling extremely different than usual.

Lunch (1:30 pm)


Bittersweet Cranberry (Cranberry, celery, green apple, oranges)
Also ate: Half a bell pepper, remainder of my summer squash, cherry tomatoes & cilantro sauteed in coconut oil with salt & pepper. And of course…more nuts 🙂

The verdict: I could have sworn this juice was grapefruit! I loved it.

How I felt: I started getting really hungry around 4:30pm, so I had my dinner juice early. I was feeling really weak, and like I wanted to just give up and have a normal dinner. I think realizing that I had possibly lost 4 pounds made me feel like I was depriving myself a little bit too much.

Dinner (6:30pm)

Green Goblin juice
Also ate: Went out to dinner and had a salad with roasted red peppers, olives, marinated onions….and chicken & feta. Oops 🙂

The verdict: same green juice from the first 2 days.

How I felt: I decided to just go for it and not omit the cheese and meat from my salad. I was feeling pretty weak and started second guessing my choice to do a cleanse. And guess what? I didn’t feel awful afterwards. It was still a pretty clean meal.

Post-Cleanse Thoughts

So I think the Peel’d cleanse is great. I like that you can eat any fruits or veggies you want, because I think everyone should eat more veggies 🙂 I think its an excellent quick fix if you’ve been having tummy problems or want to realign your diet and adopt some good habits. I would have probably benefited more from the 5-day cleanse than I did from the 3-day cleanse because frankly this was pretty close to my normal diet, just gluten free (I don’t eat meat or dairy more than a couple of times per week)…so I didn’t see a huge difference after 3 days. I base a lot of my meals around veggies as it is. But the added nutrients from the juices did help me feel healthy! Who needs a multivitamin when you’re getting so much good stuff in the form of juice?!

But to be completely honest, I don’t think I was in the right place to be doing a cleanse this week. For me, the cleanse ended up being my regular diet minus 1/3 the calories, maybe even half. Long story short, I’m currently going through a breakup and I started to realize that the cleanse was kind of becoming a justification for eating less, and though I don’t think I can say I was starving myself, I was definitely not in a healthy place emotionally. Being depressed messes with my appetite as it is. Let’s say I’m already a dramatic emotional mess and likely to not eat as much, then you give me a diet plan where all I eat are low calorie fruits and veggies….you’re pretty much asking for trouble. This is part of the reason I broke the dietary restrictions on Wednesday: I recognized that what I was doing might not have been my healthiest choice.

So that’s that. For anyone in the Sacramento area looking to learn more about Peel’d, check out their website. I actually think if you’re going to do any juice cleanse, doing one like theirs is probably your best bet! Any juice cleanse where the #1 rule is to not starve yourself is a good thing in my book. They also sell their juices every Saturday at the Midtown Farmer’s Market! I actually really liked all of the juices I had on the cleanse. Perhaps the purchase of a juicer is in my future 😉

Hope you all had a great 4th of July! Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Memorial Day Weekend in Photos

Happy Memorial Day, everyone! Hope you all got a bit of sunshine this weekend. I definitely did, for the most part. A little drizzly out there now, but we’re in for 100 degrees by the end of the week so dare I say I’m enjoying the cool air while I can!

I kept it easy on Friday night with some wine and TV shows, and on Saturday morning the real fun began:


After going to a deeelicious European-style breakfast (AKA pastries galore!) at Ettores Bakery, I headed to Safeway to get some supplies for my contribution to that afternoon’s tea party. I also picked up a basil plant and was upset to see that one of the coolest sidewalk graffitis in my area totally got defaced. womp womp.

20130527-220704.jpgOn the agenda for the day was a tea party and lawn sports for Morgan’s birthday! After consuming copious amounts of boozy lemonade and sangria out of homemade teacups (along with some snacks, including my key lime pie tartlets!), we went to the park and played croquet and bocce ball. PERFECT afternoon.

20130527-220640.jpgI thought I looked the part, no? T-Man was dressed for a different kind of tea party 😉


I spent the night watching cheesy episodes of The Office involving Jim and Pam. I cry 3-4 times every time I watch their wedding episode…anyone with me? {ps. I STILL haven’t seen any of the finale season! Blahhh so behind}


On Sunday, I decided to make a quick trip to San Francisco. Hopped on the train and hightailed it to my friend Meghan’s place. We went and got dinner and drinks at Fly Bar, where I had an epic plate of nachos that I shared with my old roomie So-Ky. Meghan got what she called a “bacon on bacon salad”, which had bacon in it AND in the vinaigrette. Awesome.


This morning, we went to brunch at Stacks and I got a delicious scramble before catching a ride with another friend who was headed back to Sac. It was drizzling and there was a TON of fog, more than I had seen in SF in a long time. We couldn’t even see the Golden Gate bridge as we were driving over it! Crazy!

That’s it for now! Hope you all had a great 3-day weekend!

New Years Eves Past

In honor of New Years Eve, I decided to look back on 3 of my last 4 New Years Eves by sharing pictures and remembering what fun they were. They brought me to two different countries and two different states, and I celebrated with different people each year. How’s that for variety? 😛

I didn’t include NYE 2010 because if I remember correctly, I had just moved home from college and spent the night on the couch watching Snooki drop in a ball. The thought of that scene alone was so depressing that I went straight to my computer the next day and wrote this blog post, then soon after, this one about getting off my lazy butt and applying for internships. Within a week I had two interviews for internships, one of which I got on the spot…and it set me on the path I am today.

Maybe that New Years Eve was mention-worthy after all 🙂

Munich2009Munich, GermanyNYE 2008 — I welcomed in 2009 in the most confusing and exciting New Years Eve setting to date: surrounded by Germans and Austrians (namely, my Austrian friend/host Laura, who was also studying abroad in Lyon with me) in Munich, Germany. Laura met me at the Munich train station on New Years Eve day, after I’d spent 3 days in Prague and had a hell of a time figuring out how to take the train (I speak neither Czech nor German). We went straight to Hofbrauhaus and shared German sausage & beer and chatted in French, much to the confusion of the Italian lads sharing our cafeteria-style table. The rest of the night was spent at a house party and later wandering the streets of Munich, where there was no real fireworks show but rather random people lighting firecrackers out of champagne bottles. Craziest experience EVER, as I spent most of the night speaking surrounded by a weird mix of English, French, and German, with fireworks flying inches from my face. New Years morning (as well as the next week of my Euro trip through Munich, Salzburg, and Stockholm) was snowy and glorious.


San Francisco, California USANYE 2009 — 3 of my best friends from college and I (we went to UCSB but are all from the Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto area) traveled to San Francisco to ring in our graduation year (Class of 2010, woo!) together. We started the night in Berkeley and had more fun getting ready and taking pictures in front of Starry Night together than we actually did in SF – we couldn’t get into any bars (AKA we didn’t want to pay a cover) and ended up roaming the streets most of the night…until we made it to the Ferry Building at midnight and saw the fireworks!


Croft Lake, Oregon, USANYE 2011 — Last year, we spent New Year’s weekend in beautiful Oregon, at my roommate’s parents’ cabin on Croft Lake. The weekend was spent canoeing, lounging around and cooking in the cabin, and checking out holiday lights at Shore Acres National Park in nearby Coos Bay. We were pretty much the only inhabitants of the maybe 1 dozen cabins on the lake there for the weekend, so we had the whole place to ourselves and the 6 of us set off firecrackers while blasting music, having a dance party on the deck, and drinking champy. T-Man’s mom had bought me a nice bottle of bubbly from Domaine Carneros, where she had treated me to a nice outing as a Christmas present, so we got to enjoy that too 🙂

My ideal NYE this year would have been something like last year, and until yesterday or the day before, we were contemplating going up to Tahoe for a mini-re-creation…but I think this year is a better year than ever to stay at home and appreciate what I have right in front of me: family, friends, my own apartment (!!!), a job. Despite an overall horrid year, I do have a lot of good things to look back on.

Plus, who knows where I’ll be next year? That’s always the fun thing to wonder. 🙂 Have a safe and happy new year everyone!

Weekend in Photos: San Francisco Edition

First of all, I cannot believe how much attention last Wednesdays’ post received (with the help of WordPress’s Freshly Pressed page, of course). Though I took pictures of it, I wasn’t even sure that I’d be sharing my tomato sauce recipe on the blog. But what started off as a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day led to a idea for a post that I hope resonated with a lot of readers.

When I graduated college in the midst of the recession and moved back into my parents home, I found that watching cooking shows and preparing dinner for my parents made me happy and, more importantly, cooking became something that allowed me to be creative — my finished product (dinner) was something I could be proud of. This summer especially has been hard, since I have had a broken hand going on 8 weeks now, but it helps to know that I am still capable of making something delicious from scratch!

Welcome to those of you that liked what you saw! Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming 🙂

I spent the weekend in beautiful San Francisco — T-Man and I took Friday off and celebrated our 1 year anniversary in the city, and the rest I spent reuniting with 3 of my best friends from college!

Breakfast for T-Man (trying to flip an omelet with a splint on my left hand) — Veggie omelets with my tomato sauce on top! — The Bay Bridge

Laughing Sal at the Musée Mécanique — Touristy Pier 39 fish & chips lunch at Neptune’s with great views! (We had dinner at NOPA, which I can’t recommend enough!!)

View from the Saturday morning Farmers Market at the Ferry Building — Breakfast before — Robin & Rach at Tacolicious — Wandering the Farmer’s Market

Stopped at Trader Joe’s in Berkeley and finally tried the famed cookie spread! — Train ride home through the Bay.

What a great weekend. I had a great time doing couply touristy things with T-Man, balanced out with a couple of girl’s nights with my friends. But let me tell you, it was tough waking up for work this morning!

Where did you go on your last weekend trip?