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Getting Ready for Puerto Vallarta

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I can’t believe how quickly time has passed! Weeks ago, I’d been planning on doing a post about the super awesome vacation Chef and I have planned. And now, we’re less than a week days away from our trip to Puerto Vallarta! I’ve been trying to remember all of the cool things to do in Puerto Vallarta, but I haven’t been to PV since I was a senior in high school and, honestly, a lot of the trip is a blur. Thanks for that, Señor Frogs.

Thankfully, Chef and I have so researched many delightful ideas for what we might do: surfing, pool-lounging with trashy celebrity/food/fashion/life magazines in hand, cocktail-sipping beach-side, stuffing our faces during food tours, cruises, ATV tours.. But nothing is firmly scheduled. Yes, we have a bunch of great ideas for our deliciously long getaway from the States.

Yes, lots of these will be happening. Photo via Cote Writes

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White Chip Cranberry Cookies

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I’m in love with fall and I don’t care who knows it! To me, fall is synonymous with baking and cooking. And enjoying apple pie-scented candles while sipping a homemade salted caramel hot chocolate as it rains outside. So you can imagine my excitement when the girls from #C2CCS (Coast to Coast Cookie Swap) and I decided to do another swap, which obviously meant more baking!

We switched up the #C2CCS format a bit. The #C2CCS girls and I each mailed to 3 of the 6 bloggers in the group and received cookies from a different set of bloggers, rather than mailing cookies to everyone in the group (the cost to ship to 5 people across the country is expensive!). We also welcomed Amber from Domestic Wannabe to the group. She also happens to be my cousin and the other little cutie pie in the photo of us baking with my grandma in Forked Deer below.

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We always love baking with grandma!

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Taking in the 9/11 Memorial

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Happy Friday, everyone! It’s really hard for me to believe that nearly a year ago, I was preparing for my three-week trip to New York, London, and Paris! As you may have noticed, I’ve been sharing my NYC-London-Paris adventures sort of piecemeal and in intermittent spurts. Most of it is my lack of time to sit down and sort through photos and journal entries, but a few posts also require me to find older pictures from previous trips. This was one of those posts.

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One World Trade Center is 1,776 feet tall, making it America’s tallest building, according to its website.

Let’s start with a story. Read the rest of this entry

Gardening for the Novice

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This post should probably be called ‘Gardening for the Plant Killer’, but I thought that might come up in some weird searches..

I’ll be frank, guys, I’m a plant murderer. Orchids– toast. Rosemary (yes, the ridiculously hearty herb)–donezo. The one plant I’ve managed to keep alive for a few years is a cyclamen, but it even tried dying for a few months. Miraculously, it came back to life after I started ignoring it.

It’s bad. Read the rest of this entry

Weekend Recap: Portland 2014

As you might remember, I went up to one of my favorite cities earlier this month. If you need a refresher, here you go! Well, I’m back from Portland and seriously missing it already. Side note: while in the Pacific Northwest, my darling friend Kortni and I began working on something really exciting for ye olde blogge, so be sure to follow my blog with Bloglovin or my  musings on Twitter to ensure you won’t miss any announcements! Also, check out my travel, DIY, and recipe inspiration boards on Pinterest to see what I might be making/doing next!

But back to my (now annual) jaunt up to Portland. Guys, it was better than I could have imagined: friends, food, booze, and music.

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Getting Ready for Portland (2014 Edition)

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Man, oh, man. With the NapaQuake turning the Wine Country upside down for a short while (click here to read my story), I’ve been itching to get out of California.  My trip this past weekend to Chico was heaps of fun and filled with food, friends, and beer! But I have somewhere a little farther away I’d like to get to.. PORTLAND! We all know Portland is one of my favorite cities and I’m excited to say that this weekend, I’ll be jetting up to that fabulous city for a quick weekend getaway.

My darling friend Kortni and I have been scheming together to see one another, but our schedules are jampacked. Sometimes being an adult sucks. But we finally discovered not one, but TWO weekends where we’ll get to see each other. A few weeks after my visit up to Portland, she’ll make her way down to Napa. That should definitely keep my wanderlust at bay until my Mexico trip in November, but more on that later.

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This picture captures us perfectly.

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NapaQuake 2014

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The last few days have been a very interesting living in Napa! Most of you have heard by now that we just had a 6.0 earthquake on Sunday morning at approximately 3:30 am. For most people, living in the Bay Area– or even California as a whole– means expecting a few earthquakes now and again. I’ve experienced so few in my 20-something years of living here, that I almost forget to remember we’re prone to earthquakes. I was alive but very young for the 1989 Loma Prieta quake that devastated many parts in the Bay Area. I don’t remember much, but my parents have told me stories about that day. My dad was on his way to the ’89 Battle of the Bay World Series in San Francisco (San Francisco Giants vs Oakland Athletics). My lovely mom and aunt Donna were taking a toddler-aged me shopping. I was also here during the 2000 earthquake in Napa, when my aunt Donna and her Brit hubby were visiting. I remember a picture frame falling next to me and waking me up. The damage to Napa was significant but we rebuilt. Earlier this month, a small earthquake 3.2 rattled me awake but after a short while, I was able to fall back asleep.

Sunday, August 24th was much different. Chef and I awoke at the start of the quake, forcing us to endure many minutes of shaking when it was really only seconds. Moments after the quake stopped, we heard neighbors shrieking to turn off the gas, sirens blaring down our street, and dogs barking incessantly. I realized that this was going to be pretty big.

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