Birthday Weekend.

Whew. What a birthday weekend. Although I have to admit, it was not my typical birthday weekend, it was more age appropriate I suppose (aka I did not drink like a fish Winking smile.) I started my birthday with a little pampering by getting my nails done and a little window shopping. Even though nothing caught my eye it was a nice morning.

001

I wanted to eat at Swan’s for lunch, (best oysters I have ever had,) but the line was too long, so I ended up eating at a little Greek restaurant for lunch called Mykonos. The food was okay, but the best part was reminiscing about the time I went to Mykonos in 2005. Two of my girlfriends and I had a blast, and now I want to go back, as soon as possible!

005006

I ordered the Falafel plate for lunch which came with pita, hummus, Greek salad, and Greek country potatoes. I probably just should have a had a gyros. I also ordered a Greek beer. I wanted a Mythos, but they didn’t have it. Oh well!

After lunch, I headed down for a little more pampering, it was finally time for me to get my hair done! It had been wayy too long.

010

Look at those roots! I wanted something a little more natural and a little darker for Fall.

011 (2)

Don’t mind the champagne glass, but look past it towards my hair. I love the final outcome! (And the sparkling wine was delicious too!)

For dinner my sister, her fiancé and my mom headed to The Slanted Door down on the Embarcadero. I started my night taking pictures but slowly forgot as soon as we sat at the table.

013 (2)

016 (2)

018 (2)

I started with a Gin Fizz (pictured above) before moving on too more sparkling wine. I love sparkling wine, and its even better when you are celebrating. The food was awesome, and we ordered enough so that I know that the entire menu is pretty much delicious. I am sad I forgot to take pictures, but we were all enthralled in eating and talking, so you will have to settle for a list:

  • crispy imperial rolls  with shrimp, pork, glass noodles and peanuts 
  • steak tartare  grass-fed tenderloin with mint, thai basil, quail egg and toasted sesame rice cracker
  • mesquite grilled lamb sausage and kusshi oysters  chinese black olive and preserved lemon relish
  • grapefruit and jicama  with red cabbage, pickled carrots and candied pecans
  • grass-fed estancia shaking beef,  cubed filet mignon, watercress, red onions and lime sauce
  • lemongrass grilled petaluma rabbit  with olive oil poached leg, braised fennel, thai basil, chive and lemon
  • cellophane noodles  with green onion and fresh dungeness crab meat
  • chue farm baby bok choy  with baby shiitake mushrooms

I still cannot believe I didn’t take pictures. But everything again was amazing. The dishes are not too big, so you can have a little of each without feeling too full. We definitely still had room for cake!

013photo (1)

After dinner my mom headed home and the rest of us headed out for a drink at a fun little bar up on Filmore. Overall, the night was fun, full of delicious food and family! It has literally been almost ten years since I was with all my family for my birthday! So needless to say, it was long overdue.

On Saturday, it was time for one of my favorite things, wine tasting in Wine Country. Did you know I liked wine? Winking smile My grandpa also lives up in Napa, so it was a chance to visit him as well. We went to several wineries, including:

Ram’s Gate

041

030036038

Hall Winery

020061

Grgich Hills Estate

045047056058060

Rubicon Estate
(owed by Francis Ford Coppola)

073074076082

Between wine stops, we grabbed lunch in St Helena at a little café downtown. I ordered a big Cobb Salad to soak up some of the wine. Smile

016

Today, was just an easy day which was just what I needed after a long night on Friday and a long day on Saturday. I got some laundry done, went to brunch at B Star (honey lemon iced tea + huevos rancheros,) and meal planned for the upcoming week.

023024

Now that my birthday is over its time to get back on track, which is exactly what will be happening! After all the planning, moving and birthday celebrating, back on track is what has to happen!

It was a great weekend, with a great final dinner, which I will post about tomorrow! Hope you all enjoyed your weekend too! Good night!

A Gorgeous Day.

Yesterday was hands down such a gorgeous day. I know I sound like a broken record, but seriously, so, so gorgeous. So gorgeous I spent the majority of the day outside. Just around lunchtime, I put on some shorts and a tank top, and headed out on a mile and a half walk to Whole Foods for lunch. I had purchased the Living Social deal a few weeks ago and deemed yesterday the perfect day to use it.

I headed out the door and into the beautiful California sun and eventually ended up at Whole Foods.

019

Now as this is the only Whole Foods I have been to so far in the city, I am crossing my fingers that this is the worst one in the city because I was craving there amazing salad bar and this one disappointed to the max. Maybe I am a snob, and just need to get used to city living, but I am used to the big, luxurious Whole Foods in the DC area. I picked up a few things and then decided on Salmon Avocado Brown Rice Sushi with a Sesame Seaweed Salad on the side. Fear not, I will try another one, and obviously still heart Whole Foods, this one just was conveniently located next to Golden Gate Park where I was planning on picnicking.

034 

I sat down in a nice shady area and dug in to my lunch.

020

021

022

The sushi had great flavor and I loved the seaweed salad (I seriously love seaweed!) but the only downer was the sushi had wayyy too much rice on it. I ended up taken off the majority of the rice on the outside of the roll. It was not needed.

028

I didn’t let the brown rice ruin my lunch or the bad day. I mean how can you ruin this?

024031035036

I finished my lunch and headed the mile and a half back, quite happy I had bought a bottled water at Whole Foods for the walk back! It was hot! Not that I am complaining one bit.

I got home, took out Oliver for about a mile, and headed to meet my sister, Katie, and some friends for a beach date with their dogs. (Oliver doesn’t play too well with others, he is more of a person dog, than a dog’s dog.)

The beach was gorgeous and I so wish I had taken my camera and not just my iPhone because the shots I got does not give the day or the beach justice. It felt so good to be at the beach, it had been far too long!

001003008009

We drank some wine, played with the this little guy, Cooper, and just had fun in the sun.

015

All these dogs are just leaving me dog crazy! I need one, immediately!! Okay, well soon at least. Smile

After the beach I headed to Benefit with my friend Merry for a much needed session at the Brow Bar. My brows look so much better. They were NOT looking good, and with my birthday TOMORROW, I had to have them look parfait. Non?!

After our brows were looking good, we headed to dinner at Dragon Well just up the road on Chestnut. We were both hungry, especially after the glass of wine on the beach! The lighting was horrible, but we ended up ordering three dishes to split.

beefchickenstir-fry

The Beef and Chicken dishes were my favorite, both very flavorful and very fresh tasting. There’s that word again, fresh. My new food word. The noodles weren’t my favorite, a little bland, but overall a good meal. I hate when Chinese is too greasy, and this wasn’t in the slightest.

After dinner we walked back to where my car was parked and I spent the night googling puppies. Yes, I am that girl right now. What can I say? I have puppy fever.

Do you have puppy fever? Or do you have a dog? If so, what kind?!

First Weekend in San Francisco.

Hello, hello + Happy Monday! And a gorgeous Monday at that in San Francisco! My first weekend in San Francisco went off without a hitch. After driving for 5 days, I needed a little weekend fun, but not too over the top fun – I was still exhausted!

Friday night I just decided it was best to stay in, drink some wine + watched a funny movie with my mom. We ended up watching Bridesmaids, which was pretty funny.

There were definitely a few laugh out load moments + overall, it was an entertaining flick. I really love Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph. They are both hilarious.

Saturday brought two of my favorite things: Brunch + shopping. I love brunch. I think I have mentioned this before, but brunch is my favorite meal to go out for. It usually involves champagne or a Bloody Mary + can be savory or sweet depending on your mood. My mom, sister and I went to The Magic Flute on Sacramento and Spruce in Presidio Heights (according to Google…I’m still a SF newbie, what can I say?)

The restaurant is very cute with a bit of a French feel. It always has a nice outdoor area, but I was a little cold. What can I say, I am adjusting to the cooler, California weather!

I decided on a Bellini with the Wild Salmon Scramble (eggs, asparagus, sour cream, green onions, tomatoes, potatoes + fresh fruit,) although the entire menu looked delicious.

My mom additionally order us an order of the Cinnamon + Sugar Beignets
with fresh lemon curd, sweeted whipped cream for a brunch starter. Appetizer at brunch are always fun. Especially if they involve beignets.

 Everything was excellent. The salmon was great. I have never had eggs with salmon before, but it was delicious – especially with the asparagus and green onions. It really made it taste fresh. And of course the beignets were amazing. I had a few bites which absolutely satisfied my sweet tooth.

Overall, I’d give the Magic Flute an A on brunch. Definitely a place to go back to – you know after I try the other 1,234,234 restaurants in San Francisco. 😉

After brunch we headed downtown to shop! I believe I have mentioned that my sister, Katie, is getting married next June, and Saturday was about finding her wedding shoes! We headed to Neiman’s, Bloomie’s, and Nordstrom to name a few before she “settled” aka was beyong excited with a pair that she loved. I won’t out what shoes she choose, but let’s just say, Carrie Bradshaw would be proud. 🙂

I might have also bought this watch I’ve been eyeing for quite some time as an early birthday present to myself.

Hello, Mr. Kors, its lovely to see own you. It was a bit of a splurge. But hey, if will last forever. Or at least for the next few years.

Saturday night included Thai food for dinner (the lighting in the restaurant was terrible,) followed by some wine and fun with a group of my sister’s friends. Nothing fancy, just a get together at an apartment, but sometimes that is all you need. Good dinner + good company.

Sunday morning was cold + rainy, which to me means the perfect morning for pancakes. I had picked up a box of Kodiak Pancake mix at the grocery store after reading about how awesome they were on Carrots ‘n’ Cakes as well as a few other blogs that I love reading.

Well, the were correct. They were awesome + super easy to make. Whole wheat, oats + honey for ingredients + just add water. I added some blueberries to the mix, baked some delicious bacon, and added sliced bananas + pure maple syrup on top. Plus a nice big cup of hot coffee on the side. Yum-o. My sister came over for breakfast, and there was plenty for all.

After breakfast my mom and I headed to Costco to pick up a few things she needed. The best part of staying with my mom until I get settled and find my own place is that I get to go to Costco and shop for “free.” Okay not free, I told her I’d cook until I am out of her hair (fair trade off, right?) but it is always more fun shopping when you aren’t paying.

After Costco we were both ready for lunch so we headed to the first place we saw that was not fast food: Chevy’s. I know its chain Mexican food, but I have always liked this place for some strange reason. Maybe it’s the fact that you get a free Sombrero on your birthday. Maybe.

I decided on the BBQ Chicken Salad and to share a bowl of the Mexican Tortilla soup with madre.

The soup was good, but needed a little salt, but the salad was really good. I love Mexican salads, and the BBQ on the chicken was a fun twist.

When we got home from Costco and lunch I decided to take this guy on a walk.

Oliver.

My mom’s dog Oliver + I both have a few elbees to loose, so I am thinking we will work on it together while I am staying with my mom. He is a lab mix and a big boy! We walked just a bit over a mile. Need to start him off slow. He is just the sweetest though + he makes me want my own dog so bad! Soon, soon!

Dinner was something I have been craving for a while, but since the post is long, I will post all about Sunday night’s dinner in its own post later today! I have free time while I am seeing about a new job, (in person interview next week, so send good vibes out to the universe for me) so expect to hear from me a bit more each day! I have to do something to keep myself from going stir crazy!

Hope you all had an awesome weekend! So far, so good, San Francisco. See you later!

Weekender.

With only three weekends left in DC before my big move, I took the opportunity this weekend to relax, hang out with friends and enjoy myself. This meant a little blogging vacation (sorry!), some tasty snacks and a whole lot of wine rain (thanks Irene!)

That being said, I am all sorts of a mess today. I forgot my breakfast and lunch. Forgot my camera. And look like a mess. (Like for real.) Oh and I got pulled over today for not yielding correctly onto the highway, but luckily the cop let me off with just a verbal warning. (He was also a Maryland cop and pulled me over in DC, is that even legal?)

Since I forgot my camera and therefore a lot of my pictures from this weekend, I will just do a mini recap. Ready, set, go!

Friday included four of my favorites S’s: Seaweed Salad, Sushi, Sake + Sapporo with a big group of friends new and old. It was lots of fun, and the food was delicious. We went to Sushi U in the U St Corridor in DC and then went to a few bars afterwards. It was a pretty fun night which made for a painful run on Saturday. But run I did. Approximately 2 miles. In a row. Before I got off and did a little strength of this and that.

Pretend this was mine...

As for food, Saturday morning started with a trip to Dunkin’ Donuts for a Coconut Iced Coffee. It was needed. I also grabbed a mulitgrain bagel with a little reduced fat cream cheese. I also ate a plum when I got back to mi casa. Lunch was a homemade chicken breast sammie with lots lettuce and onions on some Ezekial bread. It was pretty tasty too, probably because of the strip of turkey bacon I put on there. 😉 (Again pictures on my camera. At home. Lame) Dinner included pizza + salad + a glass or two of vino. Hey it was hurricaning outside, I ate what I could get!

Sunday the rain had stopped, so a friend and I headed to brunch at Senart’s Oyster & Chop House on Barracks Row in DC. We decided to share everything, so we ordered oysters (duh,) the Smoked Salmon platter + the Lobster Omelet. It was all delicious.

oysters.

smoked salmon platter.

lobsta omelet

(Pictures courtesy of my beat up iPhone… better than nada. October please come soon.)

The oysters were awesome, but the salmon platter stole the show in my opinion. It was killer. The chive creme fresh really was the icing on the cake. So good. The lobster omelet was okay. Not enough lobster and wayy too much egg.

After brunch we walked around the city looking at the hurricane damage. Mostly just lots of branches and leaves with an occasional tree here and there that had indeed fallen over. Neither my friend or me lost power, so I suppose we were pretty lucky. It seems quite a few people had no such luck!

Lots of walking and mini stops later, we ended up at a bar to grab a beer + watch the Nats game on TV. They lost. C’est la baseball.

Dinnertime approached, and my friend and I decided since we had made it this far (and we both had no food, and no desire to go to the grocery store) that we should just grab some dinner too. We headed up to H St to check out a place I have been wanting to try before I leave: Granville Moore’s. I think the theme of Sunday was seafood because Granville’s is famous for their moules or mussells!

not my moules....

We ordered the Wedge ‘Caesar’ Salad, Diablo del Mar Moules (littleneck clams, baby Maine shrimp, hand-crafted pappardelle, spicy fennel-saffron broth) + a side of frites. I tried to focus on the mussels over the frites, but a few of them slipped in my mouth, what can I say?

No workout was worked in on Sunday (issues at my gym, not treadmills were available and the trail was crazzzzy from the storm) but I walked a lot at least and will make up for it today. Over all my weekend was fun, a bit indulgent and one for the books (I am a hurricane survivor after all.)

Hope you all had an awesome weekend, have power + didn’t get too much damage from Irene!

So much better.

Wow. I am so blown away by all the kindness and words of wisdom many of you left me yesterday. Sometimes exactly what you need to hear others can provide, and let me tell you all, your words helped! I am feeling so much better today (which could partly be due to the fact that I am going on vacation tomorrow,) and am back in planning mode, and back to being positive!

While I am out of town, I will have a few special guest posts, which just so happy to fit perfectly with where I am at in my journey to a better me. I have “previewed” these posts, if you will, and they have given me some great advice. I am going to set up some posts to go out as a follow on to their guests post, so even though I will be on the beach, I will get a few posts in, and I will have a great plan once I get back from Cape Cod.

While on vacation, I plan on getting in some exercise and I plan on making healthy choices, but I am definitely going to splurge and have some drinks and most importantly relax. Because I am listening to my mind and body and it is telling me relaxation is what I really need! I hope to come back from the Cape, refreshed, relaxed, and with a plan that I will and can stick to!

After ‘putting it out there‘ last night, I headed home from work and hit the gym. I did 1.5 miles of mostly running and a little walking on the treadmill for a warm up and then planned on doing NROLFW Stage 1 Workout A, but some guy was bogaarding the area. (The gym I use is in my apartment building, so its small. It’s equipped. But it’s small. That sounds dirty…)

I decided to head upstairs to my apartment and do some weights on my own. I have 10lb weights (I think, maybe I should weigh them,) so I did my own little strength routine:
* 2 x 15 Squats with weights
* 2 x 15 Lunges with weights
* 2 x 15 Chest flys
* 2 x 15 Seated Rows (which didn’t work out too well without a machine)
* 30 crunches
* 50 bicycle crunches

I think that was it. I didn’t write it down. Conclusion: following the plan is much better, and I need to do them in the AM so that no one has taken over the machines. Better than nothing though, so there is that! (And the chest flys definitely worked, my arms are a tad sore today!)

When I got back to my apartment I realized that I had literally nothing in the house that I could make for dinner, unless I defrosted chicken and ate it with maybe a can of beans. No veggies, no nothing! This is a good thing since I am about to go on vacation but a bad thing after a workout!

The roommate and I decided to order from Lost Dog Cafe, which as I have said before is my favorite pizza place in Arlington. I decided to order a personal size Catahoula, with whole wheat crust, and a garden salad.

It was very, very tasty. What I love about the pizza’s from Lost Dogs is that they feel homemade. Natural, fresh ingredients. Not too much cheese. A very balanced pizza!

I had two slices and a bunch of greens on the side. And a glass of Riesling. It’s been that kind of week, as I think you were all fully aware of!

I decided to end my day by setting myself up for a great morning. If you guessed I made Overnight OIAJ you were right. I woke up this morning already in a better mood knowing my breakfast was going to be awesome and healthy.

In the jar:
* Last bit of Vermont Peanut Butter Avalanche (White chocolate PB – holy yum best peanut butter I have ever had. Seriously.)
* 1/2 cup oats
* 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
* 1/2 tbsn flax seeds
* 1/2 banana
* 1/2 cup Almond milk
* 1/2 cup Chobani Vanilla Greek Yogurt

Added on top:
* Sprinkle of TJ Low Fat Vanilla Almond Granola
* A couple of strawberries

Yum, yum yum. So good.  Work this morning has flown by and as I type this I am eating my lunch, which means on;y 4 more hours until vacation! Lunch was a tuna salad that I was given for free! The tuna was a bit mayo-y, but I made it work. Perhaps I should suggest they make it with plain Greek yogurt in the future? 😉

I am going to try to squeeze in one more post before I leave tomorrow! Happy Friday!