Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Birthday Celebration

On Sunday, Abel and I went out to celebrate my birthday.  My actual birthday was Monday, but we had the evening free Sunday.  And I worked early Tuesday so I didn't want to do anything too much on my birthday night (being an adult sucks!).  We decided on Jackson's Bar and Oven in Santa Rosa.  Excuse the horrible lighting, the restaurant wasn't super bright. We started with garlic bread that came with an olive tapenade. It was SO good. I don't even like olives but really liked this.  

Looks like true love
For dinner I got The Burger (with Bacon added of course) and Truffle Fries on the side.  I had never had truffle fries, but I don't think they tasted much different from regular fries.  The burger was delicious, and perfectly cooked.
Abel got the Chicken and Shrimp Gumbo.  He doesn't usually order soup, but he really liked it.  I tried it and agree that it was really good.
We also got a side of crispy Brussels Sprouts to share.  I love Brussels Sprouts and these were really good, with a hint of lemon that was just right.
I'd like to say that we had a delicious desert, but we were both too stuffed to order anything else.  Instead we came back to the apartment, enjoyed some hot cocoa and watched Netflix.

On my actual birthday, I wasn't really feeling like going out.  After work, we made dinner together.  I was really craving some pasta so we had some delicious spinach and ricotta ravioli.  For desert we had a Ghirardelli chocolate cake that my boss got me.  We ended the night with some hot tea and the movie Everest.  It was really good and I definitely recommend it.

Overall, it was a nice quiet birthday.  My mom and I just realized it's the first one I've spent away from my family.  It was weird but Abel definitely made it special for me.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving Weekend

Hello again! 
Last week we started our Thanksgiving celebrations early, and left here Monday night to head home. Abel and I both skipped class Tuesday in order to go home early and spend as much time with our families as we could since we had to be back up here on Friday. I'm so glad we got that extra time home. Monday night we got in late so we went straight to bed.
 Tuesday was filled with relaxing and hanging out by the fire with my family. That's the time I love the most. Tuesday night we had our first Thanksgiving. My family from Napa was in town so we had a dinner with (some of) my mom's side of the family. I always love getting together with this group and we had a great time seeing my aunt, uncles, and cousins, as well as my brothers. 
Wednesday we spent relaxing again (can you see a theme?) and doing a little shopping with my mom. My mom made an impromptu traditional turkey dinner Wednesday evening (she's the best!) which was great. 
Wednesday night we went to the only bar in our little town, and that was interesting. My brother told me that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is always really busy with the younger crowd (my age) so we thought we'd check it out. Oh my goodness it was like a high school reunion. I was honestly dreading it because there aren't many people from high school I actually still keep in touch with (or want to). It wasn't that bad though. I got to see some classmates I enjoyed talking to, and the rest of the time was spent with my best friends and our boyfriends. Haha. We won't be making it a yearly thing but it was interesting to experience once. 
Thursday started bright and early at my house. This year my mom and I decided to try something entirely different-a Thanksgiving brunch. We figured it would be so much easier and we wouldn't have to worry about coordinating with other families of our significant others for dinner times. It turned out so good! In fact, so good that I forgot to take pictures before everyone dug in (#bloggerfail). In reality my aunt, uncle, and cousins stopped by and I was too busy talking to them to stop and take pictures! It was SO good though. On the menu was: 
  • Breakfast burrito bar with ham, sausage gravy, eggs, bacon, and all the fixins
  • The BEST apple pancake (the one picture I took)
  • Fresh fruit and veggies

We were really happy with how it turned out and are thinking of making it a tradition. 
That afternoon we had Thanksgiving at Abel's house with his family. I love spending time with his family and Thanksgiving was no exception. We had a great time, all before falling asleep around 8 or 9.  
We left early Friday morning to come back to Santa Rosa. I had to work (#RetailProbs) but I'm happy to say I survived my first Black Friday! It actually wasn't horrible, but waking up at 4am Saturday to work again was.
We had a great trip home and I'm so glad we got to spend Thanksgiving with our families. Hope you all had a great one too!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Winter Wishlist!

Both Abel and I are working on updating our wardrobes for fall/winter and in general. I want to add pieces to my closet that are quality staples and can be worn with a lot, so I'm focusing on quality rather than quantity. There's also a couple trendy things I'm eyeing as well. 
1. Purse
I'd like to get a good, quality purse that will match with everything and is going to last me a while. My Coach purse is on its last leg and I'm looking to update with something neutral and possibly a leather style.  Now, I'd love one of those Kate Spade purses, but I'll probably end up going with a cheaper option (College student budget here!)
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2. Watch
I'd like to get a nice watch like a Daniel Wellington or Skaagen, in a rose gold and cognac leather style because I think it'll match with a lot. I also came across this and this Timex the other day which is less expensive and super cute!
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3. Booties
I have a pair of black booties, but I hardly ever wear black so I'd like to get a brown pair. I love that they can be dressed up or down and go with so much.
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4. Jeans
This is one of those things that is a staple in my closet. I have plenty of jeans but there's something (small) I dislike about all of them. They're either too big, they stretch out, or there's some other tiny thing.  

10. High top white Converse
This is way more of a want then a need and that's why it's down here at the bottom. I think they're super cute and would love them, but I'm not sure exactly how much wear I'd get out of them.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

San Francisco

Over the weekend, Abel and I's best friends came to visit.  We've been looking forward to this weekend since they decided they were coming and it was super fun!
We ventured into San Francisco on Saturday and got to play tourists and explore.  The first thing we did was go to the Exploratorium at Pier 15.  It's a museum with tons of interactive stations that you get to go around and experiment at.  Our favorite part was the Human Phenomena Gallery, especially the Science of Sharing. 

We also went to Ghirardelli Square, which I hadn't been to since I was a kid.  This place is like a chocolate lover's dream! There are so many different kinds of chocolate, I wanted it all.  I want to go back on during the day so we aren't freezing and can enjoy some ice cream. 

On the way back to the apartment, we stopped at two different parks next to the Golden Gate. Even though it was super cold, the view of the city at night was amazing.

The pictures don't do the view justice!
We had such a good weekend with Mattie and Calvin and I'm definitely looking forward to the next time they come to visit!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Third Street Aleworks

Over the weekend Abel and I ventured out to try somewhere new and ended up at Third Street Aleworks. This is probably the second most popular brewery in Santa Rosa, after Russian River. (I also went to Russian River this weekend but more on that later!)
I'm not really a fan of beer, so I didn't order any but Abel got two. He tried the Stonefly Oatmeal Stout and Octoberfest Marzen, both of which he thought were really good. 
I'm not sure why my hands look gigantic in this picture!?
To eat, we shared buffalo wings and a pepperoni pizza. Super boring I know, but we weren't super hungry and I was really craving pizza! The wings were good. They were a little more spicy than a typical buffalo wing but I really liked them. The pizza was also really delicious. It had a crispy crust, which I love, and the top had just the right amount of cheesy-ness and sauce.  
Overall it was a good experience. The atmosphere was nice. It was loud and friendly, which I don't really mind. We're hoping to go again soon so we can venture out and try other things on the menu. I might even try a beer (wild I know!).

Friday, October 9, 2015

Five on Friday!

Happy Friday friends! It has been such a long week, and I'm so happy for it to slow down a little.  Here's five interesting things for this wonderful Friday afternoon.
1. I Finally bought myself an iPad after wanting one for so long and I love it! I got it mostly to take to  class and do notes, but there is so much to do with it and it's so convenient.
2. These amazing people. It's always a nice pick-me-up to read a heartwarming article about people doing good things for others.
3. I made biscuits and gravy on a whim last weekend and they were SO good! My mom was sick so I couldn't get her biscuit recipe, but I used this one and they were delicious. Nothing beats biscuits and sausage gravy for Sunday breakfast.
4. How cute are these? I think they'll be perfect for our apartment since we don't have anywhere to put a carved pumpkin.
5. J. Crew is having 30% of regular price items and an extra 40% off sale! I've been looking to update my wardrobe a little so I'm pretty excited for this.
I hope you all have a good weekend!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Homemade Pumpkin Spiced Coffee

Did you know that a PSL from Starbucks is loaded with sugar and other garbage? I've personally never had one because I just started drinking coffee earlier this year.  Not to rain on anyone's parade, but I just try to stay away from too much of that.  I've seen so many recipes online for homemade pumpkin spice lattes, but this is how I make mine. It's delicious and is even pretty good for you!
Pumpkin Spiced Coffee
2 cups coffee of your choice
1/2 cup milk of your choice (I use whole)
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 Tablespoon maple syrup (adjust to your desired level of sweetness)
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Brew coffee as you normally would. I don't have a fancy espresso maker, but I use espresso beans and brew them like you would for regular coffee.
2. Put coffee and coconut oil in blender. I add the coconut oil first so that the heat of the coffee melts it.
3. Add all other ingredients and blend.  Make sure you blend well, because that's how the magic happens.  The coconut oil will foam up, almost like a latte.
4. Pour into cup and enjoy!   

Monday, October 5, 2015

Fall Fashion

I mentioned before that I was so excited for Fall and all the fun things the season brings.  One of my favorite things about Fall is the fashion! Here are some of my favorite fall trends and the things I am SO looking forward to breaking out soon. 
1. Riding Boots
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This is probably my favorite fall (and winter) fashion item. You can style a good pair of boots with so many things, from jeans to dresses to colored pants. I invested in a pair of Frye boots last year, and it was such a good decision! They are perfect and so so comfortable.

2. Plaid
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If you've been out anywhere lately you've probably seen plaid for fall. It's everywhere! Target even has plaid Listerine bottles.  I think that's taking it a little too far, but I'm still loving all the plaid fashion.

3. Colors
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Deeper colors are really popular for fall, and I've been loving all the olive green and burgundy I've been seeing. One of everything please!

5. Scarves
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I wear scarves all year round, but I love chunky knit scarves and the thicker ones you can wear during fall and winter.  I just purchased a blanket scarf (really late to that trend!) and I love how cozy and warm it is.

4. Layers
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This isn't an item like the rest, but more of a style.  Fall is so nice because you can layer so much.  It's easier than winter because you don't have to worry about freezing because fall has the perfect weather for layering.

So there's some popular treads for fall. Next week I'll be back with my fall fashion wishlist. Have a good Monday everyone!

Friday, October 2, 2015

5 on Friday!

1. Fall weather
We finally have been getting some cooler weather.  The last couple weeks it has been so hot, but it's supposed to be mostly in the high seventies this week and next and I'm so ready for it!
2. Moon
Did you guys see the Supermoon Lunar Eclipse on Sunday? It was really difficult to see here.  There was too much light and cloud cover.  However, my brother who's living down in Grenada, had an excellent view and took the below pictures.
3. Fall Fashion
I'm a little obsessed with fall, can't you tell? I'm been working on a wishlist to add a couple things to my closet for fall. I love all the colors and warm clothes and I can't wait to start dressing for the weather!
4. Pumpkin Goodies
I made these doughnuts not too long ago and they were delicious!
5. These travel tips
I don't travel as much as I used to, but these seem super helpful and I'll definitely use them when I need to.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Fall Harvest

What's better than getting out of class early on a Friday? Not having class at all on a Friday. I got done early with class so Abel and I headed to try out the Tap Room we've been wanting to go to for a while. (More on that later) After that we headed up to my Aunt Ashley's and Uncle John's property. It's so convenient being less than an hour away from them.  My dad also came up for the weekend and I was so glad to see him.
Our Saturday morning started bright and early; it was harvest day! Well, one of several harvest days for them, but the only one we could make it to. My aunt and uncle have a vineyard and one block of grapes was getting picked that day.  It was a small area, so we were finished by 7:30am. (A couple days before they had picked for 12 hours!)
I'm not sure how much help we were (#rookies), but it was fun getting to experience this part of the winemaking process. 
It was hard work and I'm not sure I could have lasted much longer than the 1.5 hours I was out there! I have gained such a respect for people who do this kind of work.  Not that my parents ever raised us any differently, it's just really interesting to get a small taste of the difficult stuff farm laborers do.