San Francisco Weekend in a Nutshell

This past weekend was my first weekend away from my sweet babe, and on a plane no less.  I flew to San Francisco for a quick weekend away to visit my best friend Jody.  It was such a much needed weekend to relax, recharge, and enjoy some quality girl time.

Upon arriving, we met up with Jody's husband and some other friends at Homestead in the Mission, for a stiff cocktail (I had the Paloma) to celebrate in regale in our friends Alex and Kostas' recent engagement.  Followed by a modern Vietnamese/Thai meal at Slanted Door in the historic Ferry Building.  It was a seriously superb meal; even the rice is amazing!  {Try the stir-fried organic chicken, chili-coconut eggplant, and green papaya salad}.  Plus they boast the eclectic dessert of sculpted cotton candy - we were tempted to order this ourselves to satisfy our inner children, but were perfectly satiated it would've been difficult to eat even one more bite!
The next morning we slept in (!!) before dining al fresco at Kitchen Story, which quite possibly might have been one of the best brunches of my life, I opted for the eggs Benedict accompanied by bacon wrapped asparagus, let me tell you, it was A-MAZING!  We considered ordering the bottomless mimosas - apparently a new San Francisco staple, but opted for singles as to encourage our activity for the day.

After brunch, we strolled around the Mission, Castro, refueling with some coffee at Stanza, before playing tourist and channeling our TGIF roots with a stop by the Alamo Square Park for a touristy photo opp, Full House flashback anyone?
After stopping by Whole Foods to pick up some sustenance, and picking our our favorite stoops and houses along the way, we met up with our friend Andy at Mission Dolores Park.  Mind you, did I tell you it was a beautiful beyond beautiful day.  The sky was cloudless, the sun warm and inviting, nothing of the typical fog or overcast haze San Francisco is famous for.  We settled in for some quality people watching with a blanket, a crisp bottle of Rose, and our own makeshift fruit platter.  
After, we grabbed a quick snack at Regalio Rostecario - all the rose had me craving guacamole (and there's didn't dissapoint).  By now it was at least 7:00, and we slowly made our way back to Jody's house for a "homemade" Blue Apron meal, pinot, and a cheesy but hilarious at times romcom.  All in all a pretty perfect day!

On Sunday, after waking up early to an earthquake (!) - we cruised down to the Marina to explore a new nook of San Francisco, picking up a healthy breakfast and filling smoothie at The Planet Cafe, before enjoying yet another day of sun as we shopped Fillmore and the surrounding area.  I had a 3:40 flight, so we headed back to her apartment to pack, but not before another touristy stop to Tartine  -whose line moved surprisingly fast considering it snaked around the corner.  One pain au chocolat and a croissant to go, followed by a stroll back to her apartment in the middle of the road, courtesy of Sunday Streets.  We discovered this weekend street closure is an age-old San Francisco tradition where alternating neighborhoods close a main thoroughfare on Sundays, open only to pedestrian traffic.  The street was peppered with a few sidewalk sales, street performers with instruments, and children riding their bikes.  It was a nice change of pace and way to explore.

All in all - quite a full weekend of sightseeing, and so much fun catching up with my dearest friend!  Thanks so much Jods! 

What's your favorite thing to do in San Francisco?  Do tell, I might just have to plan a return visit soon...

Cookbook Crush

Another swoon worthy cookbook about to hit the shelves.  Dinner: The Playbook is the eagerly anticipated "sequel" of sorts to Dinner: A Love Story, inspired by the ever-popular blog of the same name.  While I follow many a food blog, and hopelessly pin away recipes I know I'll never make, I appreciate Jenny Rosenstrach's approach to cooking.  She's very relatable; she tells it like it is, an ordinary mom of two kids, on a quest to consistently bring a variety of delicious, interesting, and healthy dinners to her family's table.  Granted her kids are good eaters, though they definitely have their gustatory quirks, as all children do.  A few of her recipes I've successfully followed and delivered include a new fan fave, pork fried rice.

What cookbooks are you crushing on?


Quote of the Week

"Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school."  

~Albert Einstein


The Healthy Deodorant

Continuing in my quest to use beauty products free of parabens, toxins, and the like, I have a new product to share with you.  Behold, The Healthy Deodorant by Lavanila.  Deodorant it seems has become a hot topic among blogs I've read lately, namely because several studies have suggested that aluminum and parabens in deodorant could be linked to breast cancer.  Doing my due of diligence, I picked up current Dove deodorant, flipped it over, and sure enough, the main ingredient is Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex GLY (15.2%), sounds really natural, right?  

While this data is only pulled from a few studies, and perhaps is inconclusive, that is reason enough for me to seek out an alternative, healthier antiperspirant.  My thinking is, deodorant is something I apply EVERY SINGLE DAY.  If there is even the slightest possibility that any of these ingredients could be linked to breast cancer, that's reason enough for me to change my ways.  

A few other bloggers have reported success with Lavanila, so I bought it on Amazon (also available at Sephora) between $14-15 per stick depending on your scent.  I opted for Lavender Vanilla.  This brand boasts no parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes, petrochemicals, silicone, or mineral oil.  Scents are derived from essential oils and anti-oxidants. Three days in, I'm quite pleased with this product.  There's no sweaty smelling odors late in the day, I've had no issues with staining on my clothes, and I feel it's held up with my level of activity and exercise.  

Are you up for the deodorant challenge?


Quote of the Week

via bloom

Dinner Last Night: Seared Scallops with Pea Puree and Beurre Blanc

Just call me Julia Child, friends!  A few nights ago, after that annoying Iggy Azalea song had me singing "I'm so fancy," on repeat, I decided it was high time to put the fancy back in dinner.  After a sweep of the ol' pinterest board, I selected this elegant dish; seared scallops with pesto pea puree and beurre blanc.  Not your average Monday night, eh?  Well, it was surprising easy - for real, thanks to Trader Joe's frozen scallops, my Nutribullet, and a whole lotta butter!  Butter really does make everything better…Julia was right all along.  Although I was channeling the culinary genius, I'm not sure I came even close to mastering beurre blanc (basically butter, heavy cream, and white white stirred and reduced), nor was it finessed in the same way, however the final dish did to match the picture surprisingly enough!  Victory!

image + recipe/bakedbree

Last Great Book I Read

I don't think I can say enough good things about this book, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.  When I sought out book recommendations a few weeks ago, a few of you suggested this title.  I'd never heard of the author, and to be honest I was really not impressed by the cover art (yes, I know, don't judge a book by its cover and all that, but sometimes it's hard not to…).  

Anyway, I bit the bullet, and bought it on my kindle.  The first chapter didn't instantly captivate me, however a few pages in something happened; characters developed, plots thickened, and this beautiful, unusual story unfolded before me.  I found myself eager to read, seeking out free minutes to pick up where I last left off - always a sure sign of a genuinely good book.  And lastly, once it ended, I found myself still continuing to think about it.  In a nutshell it had all my hallmarks of a must read: thought provoking, moving, memorable.  Go for it!