Weekend in Photos

So I’ve been sucking as a blogger lately. On the flip side, that probably means I’ve been succeeding as a productive employee ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ve got an extremely busy workweek ahead of me, but I wanted to pop in and say hello, yes I’m alive, and here are some pictures from my weekend to prove it! Continue reading

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Weekend in Photos

A little late, but happy Monday! Today was rough. As you’ll see, I had an action packed weekend so it was tough going back to work today! Worth it? Totally.

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Friday night started like most of my Fridays do- with WINE! I definitely felt like I deserved it, I stayed late at work finishing up a project. 2 weeks in and I’m already putting in overtime! I had to buy this wine I found at Grocery Outlet because I loved the label. After a glass or 2, I met up with friends at LowBrau and watched the Kings lose in OT… boooo! I headed home early to rest up for my run and watched old episodes of 30 Rock. The best.

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My run on Saturday morning was EPIC. I am a bit ahead of my training plan – I was only slated to run 9.75 miles, but I decided on Friday that I would go for it and push for 10 miles. It was super nice outside and I actually had to ditch my shirt at the end of mile 6! That’s probably why my mile 7 split was so fast ๐Ÿ˜‰

Overall, it was a really good run, but it was HARD. My legs felt heavy and stiff from the very beginning. But I did it and that’s all that matters! I am happy with my pace (My goal for the half is to average 9:10/mile) and I didn’t have knee OR hip pain this weekend. Great success! I think I will run the same course next weekend instead of increasing my mileage.

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Next, it was time to replace all those calories! Yvette treated me to lady brunch at Limelight. I just got a simple breakfast with eggs, toast, 4 pieces of bacon (yesss so much bacon) and potatoes. And of course tea and mimosas!

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We kept the fun going and went toย Der Biergarten since it was a gorgeous 75 degree January day (wtf)… Biergarten just opened on Friday so we wanted to check out all the hype! It was super fun, I can’t wait to sit out on that patio in the summer months! That evening I rallied and made it out for a friend’s house party. It was seriously a marathon of a day. I logged 25,000 steps throughout the course of the day!

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Yesterday, I did some grocery shopping (all that healthy goodness for $20! Score!) before hopping on my bike and heading to the dodgeball bar. Unfortunately, I got stopped by a cop on my way there and he gave me a ticket for rolling through a stop sign! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I seriously always follow traffic signs… I’ve even ranted about bicyclists not following the rules on this blog! Go figure that the one time I don’t stop at a stop sign (there was NO ONE around) I get in trouble for it. I don’t know how much the ticket will cost yet, but I’m expecting it to be hefty… And I’ve also read that it might count as a point on my driver’s license ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Oh, and that’s Greg carrying Yvette’s purse for her on our way to dodgeball. Bahahaha!

Overall I had a great weekend. However, I definitely had the Monday blues today – it was so hard to focus at work, and I just generally felt sluggish. PLUS I am getting over a head cold…double whammy! I was probably a joy to work with today, sniffling and coughing and hacking all day long ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have a great week!

75 degrees in January… love it or hate it?

If you’re a cyclist, do you follow traffic signs?

Labor Day Weekend in Photos

Raise your hand if you didn’t want to get out of bed this morning!

My roomie and I had a hilarious moment this morning…I was drowsily walking out of the bathroom as she was walking in, and she looks at me and goes, “Is it just me, or was it really hard waking up today?” …Given the fact that it was already 8:10 and I had been snoozing my alarm since 7:30am, I don’t even have to tell you how much I agreed ๐Ÿ˜‰

Also, I would like to take a moment to thank my multivitamin and kombucha for getting me through this weekend. Multivitamin for my lack of sleep…and kombucha for my hangoverย tummy aches!

The weekend started with me whipping up a batch of my Avocado-Cilantro Hummus to bring to Manteca for Wine Stomp 2013. Every year, my college friend Rob invites a group of us to his parent’s beautiful home in Manteca to stomp their chardonnay grapes, drink lots of wine, and generally have a blast. This year was no exception!

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Nicki and I arrived just in time to enjoy a movie in the backyard under the stars. Rob’s dad set up a projector and a huge (10-15 feet) screen. We watched Mud, starring Matthew McConnaghey (um, I just realized I’ve never actually had to spell his name…is that even correct?) and Reese Witherspoon. It was pretty good!

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Saturday was Stomping Day!! Nicki and I woke up early-ish to go for a run in the “country” so I could stay on track for this weekend’s 10K. Unfortunately, I was severely dehydrated and there was very little shade, so I nearly passed out after about 3 miles. #fail.. I still need to get one long run in before the race on Sunday, hopefully I’ll be able to do that tomorrow morning.

After a jump in the pool, everyone got their picking gloves on and we started picking the chardonnay grapes we’d be stomping later!

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Then it was stomping time! We picked names out of a hat for who would face whom, then set a timer and played one minute of a song. Jerry and I tied at 4 cups of grape juice each, while the winning score was 8 cups! That is a lot of juice.

After stomping, we had a blind taste test (where everyone guessed what variety of wine they were drinking) and barbecue, followed by a beautiful sunset, bonfire and smores! Such a perfect day.

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Nicki and I headed back Sunday morning with plenty of time to spare for more fun. So, for the 2nd week in a row, Matt & I had Sunday Funday, which included a silly re-enactment at Gold Rush Days in Old Sac, followed by beers (lots of beers) at Fanny Ann’s, and a drink at Dive Bar on our walk back into Midtown. And yes, my liver was crying by this point.

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Because I apparently didn’t have enough wine at Grape Stomp, the logical next step of the weekend was to #DrinkMoreWine. Miranda was having an impromptu ladies wine & cheese night at her new place, with guest of honor Timmy the cat! All of my favorite things ๐Ÿ˜€

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Monday morning was for brunching at Crepeville. Highlight? Definitely that banana-stuffed beauty on the right. Not pictured: the vat of Nutella we got on the side. I may have a Nutella problem…

Unfortunately, it RAINED most of the rest of the day. So after a few too many days of debauchery, most of Monday was spent relaxing, cleaning up around the apartment, and catching up on TV shows. (1 ep of Breaking Bad and 2 eps of The Newsroom, to be exact!)

Hope you all had great Labor Day weekends, and enjoy the rest of your short week!

What was the highlight of your weekend?

What is your favorite kind of wine?

Wine Tasting in Napa Valley with Platypus Tours

The highlight of our Girls Weekend for me was definitely Friday. Becky, Carly & I spent the majority of the day on a wine tour with Platypus Tours and had so much fun!

{photo cred: Becky}

Our host for the day, Scott W., swooped us up at our hotel at 10:30am sharp. It was very convenient to be picked up, since it’s obviously unsafe to drive while wine tasting! The CHP (California Highway Patrol) is also pretty strict in Napa, as you can imagine.

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We drove up the valley all the way to Saint Helena (one of the more northern points of the valley) and arrived at our first stop: Flora Springs Estate.

Flora Springs was one of the more personal experiences we got throughout the day, and it was probably our longest stop. Our host, Travis, had wine glasses at the ready and even led us on a tour of the estate’s caves, complete with lots of stories about Flora Komes, the winery’s namesake.

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{there’s Travis pouring our first glass, and a photo of Flora Komes arriving in America}

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Flora decided to name all the “streets” in the wine cave – there was also a Hollywood Blvd and Route 66!

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Some of the barrels were American, but most of them were French. The origin of the wood matters! Did you know that barrels like this cost over $1,000 each? Do you see how many are in that cave?! They also carry a ton of wine ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Some wines are aged in this concrete “egg”!

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I really liked Flora Springs’ Sauvignon Blanc “Soliloquy Vineyard”. It was the very first glass we tried and, though I’m a red lover (and they had some nice reds for us to taste as well!), the Sauv Blanc was the perfect balance of sweet and dry. We convinced ourselves that we would find other wines that we liked better throughout the day, but no other wine tickled my fancy (or my pocket book) like this one! Guess I’ll have to order online ๐Ÿ˜‰

After nearly 2 hours at Flora Springs, we hopped on the bus and headed to our next stop!

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On the bus, we were delighted to be surprised with crackers and some amazing cheese. Carly doesn’t like this picture but I love the joy on her face…it definitely mirrors what we were all feeling at that moment! Flora Springs gave us some pretty heavy pours ๐Ÿ™‚

The next winery was just a short trip away, still in St. Helena: Arger-Martucci Vineyard!

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Arger-Martucci is owned by an extremely friendly Bronx native, who we had the pleasure of meeting near the tail end of our visit. We had a perfect little spot overlooking the vineyard’s pool (huh? Whatever, I’ll take it!) in the shade. It came to be about 90 degrees in Napa that day – PERFECT, compared to the 102 degree temps in Sacramento!

This was definitely an intimate setting, and our wine guide for the day (Hannah?) was sharp and knowledgeable. We totally bonded over being French major/Francophiles ๐Ÿ™‚ We tasted only reds at Arger-Martucci, and they were varieties I don’t try very often like Cabernet Franc. All very tasty and not too heavy for the hot day!

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Scott W. also had an amazing lunch spread waiting for us! He seriously took care of us all day long, making sure we had food in our stomachs and were properly hydrated!

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Not just yummy but healthy too: croissant sandwiches with fruit and quinoa salad.

We had to leave eventually, so we headed on out to our next stop: Rutherford Grove Winery.

Rutherford Grove was pretty much just a tasting room, and they offered mostly red wines. We were a little less than thrilled with the size of the pours (I promise we weren’t drunk at this point!), but the wine was good and our server was friendly!

We at least got some nice pictures!

Back into the van we went for one last stop –

Oh and also, the cheese platter was obliterated by this point (there were 10 of us in the van to enjoy it!)

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Our last stop of the day was Hill Family Estate in the cute little town of Yountville! This was also a kind of tasting room experience, but our tasting was accompanied by some delicious food and fun stories about the family who owns the place. Our host was also very accommodating to those on our tour who weren’t huge red wine drinkers (and had been forcing down red wine all day!), and let them substitute their favorite wine instead.

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Seriously…amazing spread of food.

And that was it for our tour! We got a little bit of free time to explore Yountville, then headed to the bus to be dropped back off at our hotels.

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Oh yeah, while we were exploring, we saw an Indian wedding party ride through. In the middle of Yountville. So random!

If you are looking to go wine tasting in Napa Valley, but have no idea where to go…I can’t recommend Platypus Tours enough! The price is comparable to what you’d pay for a private driver for the day, and on top of transportation you also get snacks, lunch, water, and a guarantee that all of your tastings will cost only $10-$15! We had an amazing time.

Have you ever been wine tasting? Did you go on your own or with a tour?

Have you been to Napa Valley? What is your favorite winery?

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!

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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After a painful car ride (Becky and I were not at our best after splitting that bottle of wine at dinner ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), 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!

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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!

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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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 –

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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!

Sweltering Hot Weekend in Photos

Is it just me, or does Monday always feel like one giant hangover? Like, not an alcohol hangover…but a weekend hangover. I had too much weekend this weekend, and now I’m going through weekend withdrawals.

That’s totally a thing, right?

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On Friday evening, it got up to a sweltering 105 degrees. I went out to dinner with my parents, my great aunt Emmy visiting from New Jersey, and Emmy’s friend Karen to celebrate my mom’s birthday (which was the day before) and Emmy’s birthday (which was that day!)…we went to Ten22 in Old Sacramento. I had been there before about a year ago and was a little shocked because the menu had changed quite a bit and had a lot of super strange sounding stuff: lamb, elk, duck, you name it! Not one to order the “safe” item on the menu, I chose the Osso Bucco (lamb) with chorizo, dates & roasted tomatoes. My mom, however, scored the winning dish, which was housemade gnocchi with spring vegetables. And of course no birthday dinner is complete without cake! Chocolate mousse, ohhh my god.

Everyone found something that they liked and our dinner definitely solidified my love for this place!

Ten 22 on Urbanspoon

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It had cooled down to a modest 98 degrees by the time we finished, so walked around Old Sac and had a little family photo op by the river.

Karen’s daughter, who lives in SF, had visited Dive Bar on a trip to Sacramento and told Karen and Emmy they had to see the mermaids. Dive Bar has an aquarium above the bar and every hour or so, a mermaid plops into the tank and entertains the crowd. This was my first time ever frequenting a bar with my parents, and I had a great time watching them people watch and react to the scenery!

On Saturday morning, I found myself awake at 9am because my apartment was already so. damn. hot! I figured since I was already awake I might as well finally check out the Saturday morning Midtown Farmers Market. I picked up some mushrooms, beets, summer squash, amaaazing avocado-cilantro hummus, and this green juice from Peel’d. I actually have a friend who just did their 5-day juice cleanse, sounds interesting! Juice cleanses…so in right now…

After my little outing, I promptly sat in my apartment in the A/C the rest of the day, checking various things off my To-Do list (and watching sappy TV shows and crying my face off). The high on Saturday was 108 degrees. I eventually had to leave because:

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I had a surprise dinner to attend! My friend Alex is in town from New York and his birthday is tomorrow, so we strung together an elaborate chain of lies to get him to show up at his favorite restaurant, Chicago Fire, where we were all waiting for him with a cake. Good pizza and old friends…lovely!

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On Sunday, part of that same group of friends caravanned to Berkeley for another high school friend Ian’s birthday BBQ. We taught his 10 year old brother how to play flip cup with Pepsi…he was totally a pro. I arrived back to my apartment in the evening to find that my roomie had already planned an impromptu Wine & Snacks night with a couple of girlfriends! There was chips, dip, and girl-talk galore.

We get one day of respite before it jumps back into the 90s: the high temp is only 75 today. That’s a 30 degree difference, people!

Enjoy your week! I have something very cool to share with you all later this week, which I am very excited about!

PS. Don’t forget to RE-PIN my Muesli Protein Bars! I totally had one for breakfast this morning…mmm, chocolatey.

Hows the weather in your part of the world?

Have you ever been surprised or planned a surprise party? I think I prefer being the one who’s surprised…planning is not nearly as fun ๐Ÿ˜›

3 Day Weekend in Photos

Hey friends. This long weekend was definitely needed! Apparently I was exhausted from the last few weeks- after an epic episode of Downton Abbey (Season 2 Christmas episode, omagawww) on Friday night, we went to sleep at 1am and I didn’t wake up until nearly 11am. TEN HOURS of sleep! To be honest, I probably would sleep at least 9 hours per night if I didn’t have to work every morning, haha, but it felt nice to be well-rested!

Enjoy my weekly pics from the weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

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On Friday, my boss was in Clarksburg so he went to the winery that is supplying our reception and picked up our order: 2 cases of wine. Think that’s enough for 50-60 people? They are all lobbyists and state lawmakers, of course, so you never know… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Also, our apartment is looking lovely thanks to our two boyfriends and Valentines Day!

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Friday night, I made roasted cauliflower steaks for the first time (with a soy ginger type glaze), and T-Man made us his specialty: Chicken Caesar wraps. Homeboy only has one signature meal in the kitchen…but damn if he isn’t great at it!

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Saturday was girls night out at Sapporo. I had a Music roll (shrimp tempura, salmon, tuna, avocado, and two sauces!) and a glass of wine. Instead of going to another bar, we opted to go back to my place and try out an orange moscato I’ve had hanging out in my cupboard for months now. All 3 of us kept talking about how we felt like old ladies, but crowded bars and clubs are stressful, man!

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That night, I attempted overnight crockpot oatmeal. Nothing really to write home about, it was a little too runny for me and not sweet enough for my roomie. I think I’ll stick to my normal microwave routine for now!

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Strange, strange beer. It has a very slight aftertaste of watermelon. Probably won’t buy it again anytime soon, but I feel like it could be a perfect light summer beer!

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Haha um, that was me insisting that T-Man take my picture when we were the only ones in the theater at Argo yesterday. They re-released it since it’s Oscar season and it’s gotten so many awards I didn’t wanna miss out! It was a very cool movie- I think I prefer the brilliant acting in Silver Linings Playbook, though.

And below you’ll find the Game of Thrones board game. We play board games pretty often, and many are very complicated (Settlers of Catan is a favorite), but this game is almost too much! There’s so much going on that it takes a minimum of 3 hours. We stopped after 3 hours and had only gotten through 6 turns (out of ten)! To be continued, I suppose… ๐Ÿ™‚

Unfortunately after all the bragging I did about our weather last week, this is my view today:

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Womp womp. At least the week will already be 2/5 over after today! Here’s to long weekends!

Have you seen all the Oscar Best Picture-nominated films? I’ve only seen 3 of the 9- I’m slacking this year!