Just got back from a whirlwind away on the west coast in the Bay Area. We decided to visit our best friends from Stanford for the holiday, and it was truly one of the best weekends yet. We laughed, ate, ate some more, ate even more, laughed some more, and just had great quality time together. Here is what we did (and great recommendations for anyone going to the Bay Area, too!)
National Forest north of San Francisco in Marin. A beautiful, relaxing, and incredible sigh of redwood trees. Redwood trees are supposed to be healing, and just being in their presence felt magical. They are HUGE and ANCIENT.
Yesterday, I wrote that the date was November 2021. I can’t believe that it is not 2021, and in fact, it is almost 2023! Here is what I am loving right now in Early November.
1. Zara Marine Jeans (for kids)
These jeans are the cutest and I wish they had them in adults sizes. They are Tusia’s first jeans (ever) and she loves them just as much as I do (which is never the case).
Currently, Crumbl cookies are all the rage as the store just opened up in Manhattan on the Upper East Side. It is another jumbo-sized cookie (each one is four servings) with 500 franchised stores around the country. There is a ton of hype around the cookies, but I have to admit, they are so delicious. And worth it.
Box of deliciousness.
I love the food website, The Infatuation, that writes about all the new restaurants,bars, cafes, bakeries, in any and every city. Most of all, I love their random guides such as “Best pizza in NYC’ or “Best donuts in NYC“. And of course, not only do I love reading the articles slash lists, but I love trying all their random recommendations. For best donut in NYC, I decided to try something new and different, Mochinut Donuts. Mochinut is a chain with locations all over South Korean, Thailand, and most states in the United States (literally everywhere!). What makes these donuts unique is that they are made with rice flour.
Two locations in Manhattan — I went to the one on 38th and 6th. Super friendly, clean, and easy.
Here we are in October! Fall in New York….here is what I am currently loving (and please send me what you are loving, too! I love to hear!)
1. Flash Flowers by Lewis Miller Design
Walking home from drop off yesterday and I saw this beautiful flower flash installation by Lewis Miller Design — always so beautiful.
New York City’s newest largest rooftop park! This past weekend, we explored new outdoor space and loved seeing the city from a different perspective. Pier 57 is located on W 15 St. & Hudson River Park — a mixture of office space (Google), public park, and soon a Food Hall by James Beard Foundation (JBF).
It is hidden and a little more discreet to get to. It is located just north of Little Island, so you can hit them both up at the same time.
Walking along the pier to get to the entrance of the park.
Great views, even more you go to the roof.
The elevator to get to the park. YES, AN ELEVATOR!!! I found that part so amazing. And I love the colors in this photo — Ukraine Flag colors.
This made me laugh — a button for the park.
The rules — you *CAN* bring dogs, which I didn’t know, but they need to be nice dogs.
Great views of Little Island and southern Manhattan.
The city up high.
Views to the North.
A wedding was happening! A very small wedding, but we loved seeing the bride and groom.
You could rent this out for an event!
Then we crossed the street and went to Chelsea Market and had doughnuts and tacos for lunch.
Definitely worth doing on a beautiful Fall day — incredible views, great use of space, and something different!
Zucchini bread and pumpkin bread symbolize FALL like no other. Since I posted about my favorite pumpkin bread a couple years ago, I thought I should investigate zucchini breads. I fell upon this NYTimes Vegan recipe, and since my husband is not currently eating dairy, I thought it was a great one to try. And I love the outcome — so definitely recommend!
I have heard a lot of wonderful things about Athletic Greens through friends, podcasts, and articles, but I have never tried it until recently. It is my attempt to get more vitamins and nutrients in my body, and not just carbs carbs carbs which is what my body craves most. I have yet to figure out if it is doing anything magical and amazing to my body, but I must say that I enjoy the extra hydration and the feeling that I am TRYING to do something magical and good.
What is it? Athletic Greens is a powder with 75 vitamins, minerals, and whole-food sourced nutrients in one convenient daily serving. One Scoop, 8 ounces of water. It’s all you really need, really. You drink it with cold water, and voila, your body is all good.
Through a friend, I was introduced to Good Eats, a program that feeds elementary school children, every weekend. Sadly, all over our country, there are children that eat all their meals at school through government subsidized programs. As a result, over the weekend when they are not in school, they do not eat. Good Eats comes in to schools where there is a need and gives students a package of food to put in their backpacks for the weekend. Often times these kids do not have can openers or fridges that work — so the food has to be nonperishable and have a shelf life. Yes, the goal is to change the world through KALE (don’t get me wrong, I LOVE KALE), but the reality, is that the food needs to be accessible and easy for the kids to eat. Basic hunger.
A distributor that is partnered with Good Eats, delivers the food to the school once a month. We were supposed to meet him at 830. He did not show up until past noon…..but grateful even more so.
I LOVE SHAVED ICE — not the snow cone with sugar syrup, but the Asian Shaved Ice with condensed milk and so much flavor and taste. It is my favorite thing in the world — so much that when I was in Undergrad, I would drive with all my friends to a place in LA and get Taiwanese Shaved Ice in the middle of the night — I have so many fond memories of that place (wish I could remember the name!) and all the times I had shaved ice with tapioca balls, red beans, mango and shaved ice with condensed milk. So, fast forward to this summer, when I was in Seattle with my family, we went to an incredible Shaved Ice place, Snowy Village (go if you are in Seattle!) and I fell head over in heels. I tasted my college experience!
Seattle shaved ice — Snowy Village. SO good and tasty, loved every single bite.
I am constantly hungry and simultaneously, always on the lookout for the best snacks — yes, I can always grab fresh veggies and fruit, but sometimes I want something sweet — just a nibble. So when I came across Date Better Snacks, I knew it was the perfect snack for me. And sure enough — they are SO good, SO delicious, and just the amount of sweet.
Date Better Snacks are actually what they sound like — dates! Medjools dates are full of fiber, potassium, B-family vitamins, magnesium and calcium! And are the perfect texture.
If you happen to be in NYC and want an adventure, I highly recommend going to Mister Dips, an all-American restaurant that serves (supposedly great hamburgers) and ridiculous soft serve ice cream downtown on South Street Seaport.
We decided to make it an adventure — so we took the East River Ferry that loads at 34th Street (and the East River) and then got off at Wall Street. It was an extremely hot and humid day in the city, so the 15 minutes on the boat felt marvelous. Highly recommend doing just the boat trip!
I am a granola snob and nothing makes me happier than eating delicious and great granola. I have yet to find a homemade granola recipe I love — until now. And now I am obsessed. This granola is not overly sweet, delicious and has the perfect mixture of nutty, sweet, and grains. The beauty of it is that you can add whatever you want to customize it to how you love granola!
It is so true that January and February creep by — each day seems sooooo long, and then July and August just whizzzzzz by. So here we are, end of August, and here is what I am loving.
1. Good Quote
Seen on a hike, “Expect noting. Celebrate everything.” I love this quote and think about it often.
The friend who told me about Dave’s Hot Chicken, also told me about Killer Burger. A very different type of cuisine than I normally eat, but a huge hit for everyone in the family (including myself). Currently, Killer Burger is a Pacific Northwest Chain, but hopefully in the near future, it will become more mainstream and located nationally. If you happen to be in the PNW, you must try Killer Burger — home of the PEANUT BUTTER PICKLE BACON BURGER. Yes, PEANUT BUTTER PICKLE BACON. And I have to tell you — it is SO good. So good.
Killer Burger with the family.
Ah summer — I love you. So very much. Here is what I am loving this month:
1. Never Have I Ever – Season 3
Season 3 comes out on August 12th and I cannot wait! I am so so so so excited! Such great, fun, easy TV!
Apparently I am on a dessert kick because all my recent posts have been about dessert — apologies — but this one NEEDS to be shared (again). I posted this recipe seven years ago (yes, I have been doing this blog for a looooong time) and it is so good that I need to remind you about it. Ice Cream Cake made with Ice Cream Sandwiches! I learned this genius recipe hack from my sister-from-another-mister.
Finished product! Look how gorgeous — and they are even more delicious.
I love most desserts (yes, I know, sugar isn’t good for you, but I love it), but especially baklava. It is one of my absolute favorites (along with red velvet cake, key lime pie, blueberry crisps….so many), and yet I have never made it myself. So during a heat wave in Oregon, I decided IF NOT NOW, THEN WHEN, and made my first homemade baklava, and let me tell you, it is delicious and I plan to make it again! It is that good!
One of my favorite activities in the Pacific Northwest is to go fruit picking in the summer. Raspberries, strawberries, cherries, blueberries and peaches. Yesterday, I went blueberry picking (the season is almost over) and within an hour we had over 7 pounds of fresh, delicious, beautiful, organic and inexpensive berries ($19 for 7 pounds).
I love this one blueberry picking spot — right near one of my favorite hikes — but there are so many different places you can go and get the berries.
I know that this sounds totally basic and obvious, but infused fruit ice cubes are incredible; and something so simple adds so much!
Chopping — you simply add tiny pieces of fruit to each ice cube.
I was fortunate enough to spend the last 2 weeks in Southern Spain with my parents, daughter, and Ken (for a week) where we relaxed and explored together. It was refreshing and rejuvenating to leave the US and get fresh air and tastes of a different culture. Here are the highlights:
Every morning, I ran. Over the two weeks, I ran 98 miles. Up hills, down hills, and NEVER on flat surfaces. It was the hardest place I have EVER EVER RUN in my entire life, and I hope that it makes me a stronger (and faster) runner. Each morning, I would dread my run, but I loved it so much afterwards. Plus, it gave me the opportunity to explore my surroundings and really have a feel for the area.
There is a lot to love in July — summer, sunshine, no school, and a shift in seasons; but here are some other things that I am loving this month.
There is nothing I love more than gazpacho — it is my all time favorite soup — and I craved it when I was pregnant with Cruzzie the entire pregnancy. So now that I am in Spain, on the few times we have gone out, I have ordered gazpacho — and it has always tasted delicious. I love tasting the different restaurants and styles — all absolutely delicious, healthy, and refreshing.
Who knew that there was such thing as Almond Butter Almonds or Cashew Butter Cashews, but they exist. And they are amazing — and you need to know about them. They are the perfect blend of sweet and filling, and count as a protein snack or a dessert. I love them both so much that before my European vacation, I had to go to Trader Joe’s to load up on them. They are perfect to have in a bag when you just need something to hate (which is always for me).
Sweet, salty, crunchy, and the best coated smooth cashew butter ever.
A new kind of coffee company is in NYC and it is going to CHANGE the coffee scene. About Time serves unexpected coffee creations through a speedy on-the-go coffee experience. You order on line on their simple app to the nearest location and then you pick it up. Yes, sounds like a typical coffee place, but in addition to 3 storefronts, they have “locations” around the city that you can schedule your pick up for — and they are there with your cooler and your coffee. They see themselves as magicians introducing modern sensibilities to the traditional cafe offerings…..and I couldn’t agree more!
I placed my order to 45th and 5th, and this was my “store.” A nice man with my coffee all ready.
It is almost mid June and so the end-of-school-rush and start of traveling is in full swing. I am trying to pack for two camps, a cross country trip, a Europe trip, and still manage to get the kids to school. Needless to say, I feel like a chicken without a head. All good things, and I am happy to be here and healthy….so here is what I am loving this month.
1. Notorious BIG Metro card
A lover of BIG, I had to get this special metrocard. Going to frame it — love it. Definitely cost more than a normal metrocard, but it will last a lifetime.