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Friday Five

Cheers to spring and it being Friday! 

1. Fresh flowers make me really, really happy. I typically buy mums from Trader Joe’s because they last compared to other flowers but after reading this (maybe) super scientific test, I might try out the winning method on a different variety of flower!

2. I absolutely love pasta. This flavorful and light pasta dish sounds so tasty and easy that I can’t wait to make it!

3. Having been to the Clevelander for some tasty beverages during my trip to Miami a while back, I can attest that it has a pretty sweet pool scene. I’m itching to get to these other fab pools on Christina’s ultimate Miami pool guide.

4. So, I make s’more brownies, which are always a hit. But have you tried s’more cookies?! This recipe courtesy of Jen from Carlsbad Cravings sounds so tasty!

5. It’s been a dream of mine to live abroad again one day. I’m fascinated by the stories these women share of their jump to life in a different country!

Friday Five

 1. Last weekend, I was in Tennessee visiting family. My cousin suggested we make an ice cream cake for dessert one night. Our Auntie Leigh is famous for her ice cream cakes, but I’d yet to make one. I made the Oreo crust (we couldn’t find a pre-made crust out in the boonies), Amber made homemade caramel sauce to fold into the cookies ‘n cream “cake” and I topped it all off with a generous dousing of chocolate sauce. I died and went to Oreo heaven.

2. So, speaking of Oreo desserts.. Um, this no-bake (!) chocolate Oreo tart is absolutely gorgeous. And perfect for all of this hot California weather we’ve been having…

3. East Coast vs. West Coast. New York vs. San Francisco. Will this finally settle the question of which city is better?!

4. This is like if pigs in a blanket were to get fancy, meet Parmesan and then be turned inside out. And I’m all about it.

5. As usual, Jessica saves the day with this homemade upgrade. She says it’s perfect for iced coffee, I think it’d also be delicious in my morning hot coffee.

Friday Five

Happy Friday! And happy May! It’s gonna be Mayyyy. Sorry. I had to. How are you celebrating this Friday?

Dallas margaritas kept me busy on my layover!

1. Yesterday, I jetted off to Tennessee. I flew by way of a margarita-fueled layover in Dallas into Memphis. I’m quite excited to visit family, spend some time cooking with my cousin and just get away from life as I know it. 

2. Doesn’t this boozy cake sound absolutely to die for? Some bourbon for me and some for the cake..

3. My many, many visits to Portland over the years have definitely made me want to move there. These tips will serve me well, should I decide to take the plunge.

4. Attention maple syrup users/guzzlers: we now have an answer!

5. I’m no stranger to staying in hostels and Tokyo has been on my list of places to visit. Coincidence coming across this list? I think not.

Follow my adventures in Tennessee on Instagram and Twitter!

Exploring New York in Three Days

Mondays are not something I try to celebrate normally. But this Monday is exciting because I’m telling you about my trip to New York City! Yes, the one from December 2013. I promise food! booze! adventure! and touristy things! I also promise not to drag this first leg of my trip out any longer!

I’ve been missing New York pretty hard lately. There’s just something about getting lost in the bustling city that makes all of the obnoxious thoughts preoccupying your mind float away. Since I definitely don’t get hustle nor bustle in Napa, I’m forced to relive my New York City adventures through photos of my trip and my travel journal, which I’m so, so thankful I stuck to writing in. Especially since I’ve been putting off writing about my trip for over a year. It helped to remind me of the little details of our trip that my nearly 30 year old brain had already forgotten.

Three Days in NYC

While I’ve been to New York twice before, my parents hadn’t ever been until our trip! I wanted to take them to a few of my favorite places, some which also happen to be New York icons. Over the course of 3-ish days, we explored the known, got lost in the unknown and then ate and drank our way through New York City. At the end of our adventure that wonderful few days in December 2013, my parents felt like they had a pretty great overview of the Big Apple. Here’s what our visit looked like:

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Friday Five

Grab a cuppa joe. It’s Friday and we’re taking off!

Seen in NYC, this coffee contraption. It was my first time using one and I’d only ever seen them in Europe!

1. In an effort to finally finish up my New York & London posts, I shut off all distractions (social media, email, phone, etc.) to just write. I read through my travel journal again. stumbled upon pictures I’d forgotten about (like the one above), and managed to put together a fun recap of my stay in New York City. I can’t wait to share with you bright and early on Monday!

2. Speaking of NYC, umm.. coffee cake was created in Brooklyn?! David’s refreshed recipe sounds amazing!

3. I loved reading this article. Perhaps it’s time to try a new city? Let’s agree to never settle. K?

4. How amazing (and easy!) would this tart be for a Mother’s Day brunch? Throw it in the oven, mimosa in hand. Thanks, Brooks!

5. The Galapagos Islands have always fascinated me. But after seeing these animal pics?! I’m determined to make it there.

Friday Five

We took a brief detour at Hog Island Oyster Company before making it to our destination, Tomales Bay Oyster Company. We get confused easily.

1. Last weekend, I had a bit of a staycation and became obsessed with Marin County. It was only supposed to be a few hours in some tiny little town called Marshall, CA for (other people to eat) oysters and catching up. It turned into a whole afternoon filled with friends, bubbles and great stories. And I ate oysters. I blame the bubbles. Moral of the story: staycations can be a wonderful thing!

2. Jessica made these tacos and I can’t stop thinking about them. I know she said maybe no crockpot, but I’m going to crockpot. I mean, come home from work and BOOM tacos.

3. I don’t think it’s a secret that I love chicken ‘n dumplins and Joy’s version has my mouth watering. Is it too soon to throw a fit that California hasn’t had a winter? Will my East Coast friends hate me? All I want to do is make comfort food with it raining outside..

4. Because, clearly, I need another reason to eat more cheese. This study says I’m supposed to eat cheese all the time! Or.. something like that.

5. We’ve heard of swapping out toiletries in favor of putting airplane-sized booze in your TSA-approved bag for liquids while traveling (or is that just me?), but have you heard of this? I’ve actually sampled it before and it’s tasty! Love the ingenuity in my fellow Napans.

Two Days of Eating My Way Through San Francisco

Though it’s only an hour away, I always feel that I don’t get to San Francisco enough. It’s such a fun city to wander around. It also happens to be superb for people watching and meeting. Plus all of the amazing food and cocktail options? Yeah, it’s a pretty sweet place that I’d love to get to know a lot better.

Early last month, I headed to San Francisco for a work conference and was forced to stay overnight in the city for  two nights. Right off Union Square. At a Kimpton Hotel. With a free rooftop happy hour that was killer. How horrible, I know. 

I had an absolutely amazing time during my stay meeting up with a San Francisco-based blogger you may know, catching some sweet views and, as to be expected, eating and drinking my way through San Francisco. Now, I will pass along my knowledge, for your next trip to SF!

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