Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Trip Recap: Back to the Bay

For the past two weeks, I've been back in the Bay Area of California. I hadn't been back in almost a year and a half, so having the opportunity to be there as long as I did was great. I not only saw friends from high school and college, but experienced working in San Francisco for my company. My complete itinerary, along with some photos, are below.


FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16: San Francisco + Morgan Hill
Morning: Spend time on Pier 1 in San Francisco.
Afternoon + Evening: Drive to Morgan Hill to visit my high school friend, Kiley, her husband, Daniel, and their adorable boy, Oliver.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 17: Morgan Hill + Sacramento
Morning: Eat breakfast with Kiley's family.
Afternoon: Drive to Sacramento.
Evening: Go to Iron Horse Tavern for dinner with Clara, Marie, and Alaa. (I had a mac and cheese sampler that was so tasty!) After, go to Biergarten for drinks.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 18: Sacramento
Morning: Go for brunch at Crepeville.
Afternoon: Go on an Ikea and Target trip with Clara.
 Evening: Take the 5 Love Languages quiz with Clara and her girlfriend, Jamie. (Later in March, I'll share my findings with you!)

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 19: Sacramento
Morning: Eat Emma's homemade breakfast (waffles, whipped cream, and bacon galore!)
Afternoon: Play indoor glow-in-the-dark mini putt at Monster Mini Golf. (I came in second!) Eat lunch at Mimi's Cafe.

TUEADAY, FEBRUARY 20: San Francisco + Alameda
Morning + Afternoon: Work from my company's San Francisco office.
Evening: Drive to Alameda to have dinner at Bluefin Sushi Thai (a combo Japanese-Thai restaurant) with my high school friend, Katherine.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 21: San Francisco + Emeryville
Morning + Afternoon: Continue to work out of my company's San Francisco office.
Evening: Drive to Emeryville for a going away party (and enjoy the hot tub).

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22: San Francisco
Morning + Afternoon: Continue to work out of my company's San Francisco office.
Evening: Have a cozy night in with Marie.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23: Marin + Mountain View + San Francisco
Morning: Drive to Marin for my endocrinologist appointment. (Despite moving to Chicago, I kept my specialist in California as he knows my case really well.)
Afternoon: Explore downtown Mountain View with Clara.
Evening: Eat dinner at Emmy's Spaghetti Shack.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 24: San Francisco
Morning: Eat brunch at Cafe Seventy8.
Afternoon: Ride Ford GoBikes into the Castro District. Go to a Little Mermaid sing-along at the Castro Theatre. (We got crowns, glow-sticks, and bubbles to use throughout the movie and poppers to set off during the wedding!) Explore the Castro, eat at Hot Cookie, shop at Cliff's Variety, and get pour-overs at Philz Coffee.
Evening: Meet Emma at Patxi's Pizza for dinner. Have ice cream at Salt & Straw.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 25: San Francisco
Morning: Drink coffee outside and have breakfast.
Afternoon: Climb a million stairs and hills for a beautiful view of the city.
Evening: Go to dinner at Urban Putt with Marie's boyfriend, Chris, and friends.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26: San Francisco
Morning + Afternoon: Work from my company's San Francisco office (and finally meet my manager in person!).
Evening: Spend my last night relaxing with Marie.

I had the absolute best time being back in the Bay!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Meet Kinchie & Whinnie: My Cavalier King Charles

Today is National Love Your Pet Day and let me tell you, I love my pets! Kinchie and Whinnie are half sisters and best friends. They are so precious together. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that these love muffins pop up a lot, so what better day to introduce them to the LE blog world? 

NAME ORIGIN: Glenkinchie, Scotch from East Lothian, Scotland
AGE: 10
FAVORITE TOY: Her hedgehog
FAVORITE SLEEPING SPOT: On a lap or anything super soft
FAVORITE ACTIVITY: Fetch or being chased
- If your laptop is on your lap and she wants to lay there, she'll paw at it until you move it out of her way
- She has an obsession with all things soft - you can find her on a blanket or pillow most of the time
- Her internal clock is so strong! She'll start bugging you for dinner at 5:30 and if she hasn't been out by 11:00, she'll start scratching at the door
- Kinchie will often greet you at the door with her hedgehog in her mouth, ready to play

NAME ORIGIN: Dalwhinnie, Scotch from Highland Village, Scotland
AGE: 9
FAVORITE FOOD: Turkey from the deli
FAVORITE SLEEP SPOT: On the leopard blanket, with her back paws pushed up against the couch
FAVORITE ACTIVITY: Going on walks and being pet
- She goes crazy for turkey, barking and spinning around in circles
- If you're petting her and you stop, she use her paw to tap your hand to keep going
- For whatever reason, the nose if her favorite spot to kiss
- As soon as someone walks into the kitchen, it's not long before Whinnie has followed, always sitting on the mat in front of the sink

These dogs have been the best. They are both so loving and sweet and never fail to brighten my day. We've had them for 10 years and I still look at them like they're little puppies. They'll do something cute and I'll automatically take a photo. (The camera roll on my phone mainly consists of my dogs.) Before I had dogs, I didn't think of myself as a pet person - now I can't picture life without them.

Happy National Love Your Pet Day!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Recipe: Peach Champagne Jell-O Shots

This past weekend, at my Galentine's Day Sleepover, I made something I never had before - jell-o shots. I looked at a lot of different recipes, but ultimately decided to create my own using peach vodka and pink champagne. What made them even better was the fact that they were heart shaped! Interested in making your own? Read the recipe below.

3 cups pink champagne
1 cup peach vodka
4 envelopes unflavored gelatin
4 tablespoons sugar
pink or red food coloring
small cookie cutters

1. Pour two cups of pink champagne into medium pot (without heat).
2. Add in 4 envelopes of gelatin. Allow to sit for 2 minutes to allow gelatin to activate.
3. Turn on heat and stir until gelatin has fully dissolved. Turn down heat to simmer.
4. In a separate bowl, add remaining pink champagne and peach vodka.
5. Add in drop of food coloring to create the soft pink color.
6. Add mixture to hot champagne and stir.
7. Pour hot liquid into sprayed 9x13 pan.
8. Refrigerate overnight.
9. With cookie cutter, carefully remove your heart-shaped jell-o.
10. Refrigerate until serving time.

You can switch up the recipe to fit whichever holiday you're celebrating - just change the vodka flavor and/or food coloring.

Enjoy (responsibly)!