Mother’s Day Weekend Adventures

Hello hello!

I feel like just a moment ago I woke up to get ready for work and now I am about to head to bed. Where does time go? I guess time moves pretty fast when you’re busy!

This weekend also went by insanely fast! Then again, that’s how weekends always seem to go!

Saturday

img_5558.jpgThis Saturday started off by grabbing coffee with my sister and meeting up with one of my best friends from college – Maddie. The three of us had some shopping to do, so we headed over to the mall to attempt checking off our shopping lists.

img_5555We all failed. None of us found what we were looking for. I was searching for two dresses for my upcoming Vegas trip and struggled to find anything that was not ridiculously expensive, for Prom, or straight-up ugly looking. It’s amazing how difficult dress shopping can be!

Afterward our shopping and grabbing lunch with the girls, I picked Winston up and brought him over to Ian’s for some play time from all of Ian’s friends. Winston LOVES attention, so by the end of the day, he was absolutely pooped. I’d say that’s a win-win. Winston is happy from getting lots of attention and I am happy that he is tired and I can relax!

Sunday

img_5568This Mother’s Day I did not get to spend the day with my mother – partially because I live around 2,000 miles from her, but also because she happens to be travelling right now with my brother. Safe to say, I am insanely jealous of all of the fun they are having ๐Ÿ˜‰

That being said, Ian’s mother doesn’t live nearby either, so the two of us decided to enjoy our Sunday together by exploring Los Altos and grabbing lunch at Santana Row!

img_5579Ian had been raving to me about a place called Sino at Santana Row, so we finally decided to grab food there together.

img_5571Their dinner menu is a taaad expensive, so we had been putting off eating there for the past few months. This time, we made it to Sino during their lunch hours, so we decided treat ourselves to a nice lunch ๐Ÿ™‚

img_5572Ian suggested getting their Kalbi Steak tacos – which were incredible. I HIGHLY recommend you try them if you ever find yourself at Sino!

img_5573We also ordered their Banh Mi Kobe Sliders and well, they were good too. What a shocker.

SINO Review

Overall Experience: the food? Absolutely amazing. The ambiance? Wonderful. The service? Not so great.. Would I ever come back? Absolutely.

Atmosphere:ย ย A+ – super trendy and lively. Fun restaurant to grab drinks with friends and hangout. Maybe not a great place to have an important dinner with your great grandparents. It can get pretty loud inside!

Food: A+ – everything we ordered was amazing. I highly recommend coming for lunch, they serve Asian Tapas during lunch, which are extremely tasty. Try their: Banh Mi Kobe Sliders if you like jalapenos & their Kalbi Steak tacos. Also worth trying: their Krab Rangoons.

Drinks: A+ – drinks were awesome. Of course.

Service: D – honestly, I was pretty shocked at how wonderful their food was and how.. not so wonderful their service was. I am not sure if something happened that day and they were short on people, but the service was incredibly slow. It took us 30 minutes to even find out who our waitress was and all of the tables around us were in similar positions. It was not too crowded, so it was a little confusing why there was no one really around to take orders. That being said, Ian informed me that the service was a lot better when he ate their with his mom a few months prior. So we could have just caught them on an off day.

Wait: 5 minute wait for lunch. It was not a matter of finding a table, it was more just having someone take us to one. I would imagine that going for dinner would have a bit of a wait.

Price: Spendy! It is a lot cheaper if you come here for lunch, so if you are on a budget, consider visiting Sino a little earlier in the day. Their food is absolutely amazing, but be prepared to spend some money.


How did you spend Mother’s Day?

~ Britt

 

 

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Lettuce Wrap this Week Up

HAHAHA

I’m currently laying in bed laughing at my punny-ness and Ian is not appreciating my sense of humor apparently. Humph. At least I thought my title was funny.

Anywhoooo, the title of this post is actually relevant to my day today. So, before I jump into raving about delicious lettuce wraps I made for dinner, I will quickly recap my day today ๐Ÿ™‚

lrg_dsc06445ย So where do I begin.. well, I had work today and was super busy the entire time. This week has been quite the week, not in a bad way of course, but definitely busy! Honestly though, I am glad that it was busy. Being busy makes the time go by so much faster ๐Ÿ™‚

lrg_dsc06440After work, Ian and I began making Chicken Lettuce Cups. I found a recipe somewhere online and thought it could be cool to give it a try. Besides, I got a new slow cooker and have been looking for any excuse to use it ๐Ÿ™‚

lrg_dsc06433While waiting for the lettuce cups to cook, Ian and I watched some more Grimm – we have been binge watching it lately. I actually used to watch Grimm back in high school and throughout college and I have always loved the show. It wasn’t until recently that I noticed that a new season was release last year. I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen it yet, so I was eager to jump in. Ian, on the other hand, had watched an episode here and there.. so we decided to start from the beginning and work our way to the last season.

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Winston happened to be super laid back today, which is very rare..ย  so I had to take advantage of the opportunity and take some photos of him.

lrg_dsc06449Thankfully, the chicken lettuce cups came out really well! I will definitely be making these again in the future ๐Ÿ™‚ Best part? All of the ingredients we used were easy to find at Trader Joe’s!

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If you want to try them out, I have included a basic, and I mean basic, recipe below!

Slow Cooker Chicken Lettuce Cups

Ingredients

  • 1 package ground chicken
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup Trader Joe’s Korean BBQ sauce
  • Salt & Pepper (as much as you’d like)
  • 1 – 1.5 cups white rice
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • lettuce!

I wanted an easy, yet tasty dinner, so the effort we put in was minimal. That being said, we made these by throwing ground chicken and garlic into the microwave for 5 minutes. Then, we threw the ground chicken and garlic into the slow cooker and added in the chopped veggies and liquids. After cooking in the slow cooker for almost 2.5 hours on high heat, we added the white rice we made and let the mixture cook for another 5-10 minutes.

And voila! A very simple slow cooker dinner for ya! I’m sure there are better recipes out there, but this one worked just fine for us ๐Ÿ™‚ Probably not a recipe to bring to a dinner party though, haha.

img_5502After dinner, we took Winston for a walk and I could not help snapping pictures of him with his new favorite stick. He would not put that stick down. It was the cutest thing ๐Ÿ™‚

Aaaand that just about sums up most of my day! I realize that most my pictures in this post are all of Winston.. oops.. so I will be sure to take photos of other things for my next post ๐Ÿ™‚

As for tomorrow, my office is going on a team day.. so I am super excited! So happy it’s almost the weekend!

~Britt~

Midweek Catch up & Cinco de Mayo Festivities

Helloooo and Happy Hump Day!

This week has gone by both quickly and slowly. Besides working, sleeping, and eating… I haven’t been doing very much. My evenings have consisted of playing with Winston, cooking dinner, and watching Grimm with Ian.

img_5417I would also like to point out that Winston is absolutely crazy. The photo above accurately depicts our relationship haha!

Cinco de Mayo Festivities

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While I do not have much to report from the past few days, I do want to tell you all about what I did for Cinco de Mayo this year! I know that Cinco de Mayo is a heavily commercialized holiday in the United States – where tacos and margaritas are all the rage. However, Cinco de Mayo is different for me. Yes, I do partake in celebrating with Mexican food and a drink.. or maybe two.. but it reminds me of my family. Growing up, my family always celebrated Cinco de Mayo together. While I never truly celebrated the holiday for what it really is, I celebrated my grandpa and my family’s Mexican roots. While I may only be a quarter Mexican, which shocks most, I enjoy celebrating that quarter of me every year on May 5th.

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(from Luna Mexican Kitchen’s Website)

This year, being 2,000 miles away from my family, I celebrated Cinco de Mayo with Ian. I had been to Luna Mexican Kitchen with my brother a month or two prior and remembered how positive my experience was.

The interior had a cozy yet trendy feel to it. The walls are plain with a pop of bright blue by the bar. The exposed brick, wood, and stones just top of the aesthetic experience for me. I am a huge sucker for all of the materials used in building what is now a lively Mexican restaurant in San Jose! Honestly, I could go on for hours about how perfect their interior design is…

img_5461Anywho! Besides their adorable interior and exterior, they do have delicious food and drinks. Being Cinco de Mayo, Ian and I just haaad to order a drink while there. Rather than getting margaritas, we chose to switch things up and get sangrias.

img_5454And boy oh boy, they were goooooooooood. Ian could not stop raving about how his sangria may have been the best sangria he had ever had. That being said, he has only hadย  3 sangrias in his life.. so I’m not sure how much that says BUT I would have to agree with him. They were GOOD. I highly recommend ordering one if you ever decide to give Luna Mexican Kitchen a try ๐Ÿ™‚

img_5460Happy Ian ๐Ÿ™‚

img_5463.jpgNot only were the sangrias absolutely amazing, but the food was pretty darn good too. Ian and I decided to splurge on a mixed grill Parrillada – or BBQ. The menu price for the mixed grill parrillada was definitely higher than I would have liked to spend, however, being a holiday and seeing one on another table.. we could not resist trying it out for ourselves. Sometimes you just have to treat yourself, ya know?

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AND it was definitely worth it. The meat was served on a hot plate along with green rice, beans, and tortillas. Safe to say, we had leftovers for the following night!

LUNA MEXICAN KITCHEN

Overall experience: very positive! Ian was hesitant about going there for dinner that night but is now a huge fan!

Atmosphere: A+ย  – lively and cozy, all at the same time!

Food: A+ย  – try a Parrillada if you are willing to splurge! Otherwise try their Mole Poblano Enchiladas. All of their food is flavorful and very filling. Not to mention, their tortillas are made fresh – right near their entrance!

Drinks: A+ย  – I have tried both their sangria and one of their margaritas and enjoyed both. I would highly recommend ordering a sangria here though.

Service: A+ย  – Staff is very friendly and helpful

Wait: Depends. On Cinco de Mayo, Ian and I waited almost an hour. By the time we were leaving, the wait time had gone up to 90 minutes. On the other hand, I came here another time with my brother and were seated upon entering. It was a Tuesday night, so that could be why our wait was non-existent.

Price: Spendy – for a Mexican restaurant. However, the price is worth it. Their food makes up for the large bill at the end!


What did you do for Cinco de Mayo?

Do you have a favorite Mexican restaurant?

~ Britt ~

 

 

 

Patio Decorating & Winston Time

Heeeeeellooooooo!

It is almost Friday and I am pumped. So excited for the weekend. I feel like I have been exhausted everyday this week. Meh.

Anywho! Besides working and complaining about being tired all week, I have also been spending some good ol’ quality time with Winston and my patio! The weather has been getting nicer here in the Bay Area, so I have been wanting to spend more of my time outdoors. That being said, I have been working on making my patio a little cozier ๐Ÿ™‚

lrg_dsc06422My plant collection is slowly growing, but it’s getting there! The patio already feels more colorful and peaceful ๐Ÿ™‚

lrg_dsc06423Not to mention, the flowers are just fun to look at.

lrg_dsc06426The only thing is.. I have no idea how to take care of them.. so we will see if my plants are still surviving in a few weeks from now.. haa!

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Anywho, I really wish there was something awesome for me to report on from this week. To be quite honest, I have barely done anything this week besides work.. play with Winston.. cook.. umm yeah that’s about it.

lrg_dsc06403Although my week sounds like it was pretty boring, it was actually pretty nice. I have been running around like a crazy woman for the past few months.. heck.. few years? So I actually made plans with myself to *gasp* have no plans. It was AWESOME. I really suck at getting myself to take it easy and slow down, so I was pretty impressed that I finally managed to lay low this week.

lrg_dsc06400Winston has also been extremely lovey this week AND somewhat calm. I normally struggle to take pictures of him because of all of his wiggling, but I think he’s maturing a bit. He’s now 5 months old and 50 lbs!

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img_5364And while I do not have any cool places to write about this week, I do have to say that I have found a new TV show to binge watch ๐Ÿ˜‰

My brother and sister have been raving about a show calledย Lost in Space,ย so I decided to give it a try. To both Ian and I’s surprise, the show is actually pretty good. We are currently on the 4th episode, so I still have a bit more to watch, but I am liking it so far. Ian says, “it’s ok”. Ha!

While I do like the show so far, I am really hoping that the plot begins to pick up at a fast rate. In Ian’s words, “they are turning their wheels in the mud”… and I would have to agree with him on that. We are currently 4 episodes deep and each episode seems to slowly build up to a conflict and resolution by the end of each one. However, it’s still entertaining AND I absolutely LOVE their graphics and set (landscape).

That being said, I plan on watching another episode or two and then calling it a night!

A few questions for you:

– Do you ever plan out time to relax and take it easy?

– Which TV Shows are you watching right now?

– Anyone watching Lost in Space? ๐Ÿ™‚

Spring Showers & April Flowers

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. It’s April showers bring May flowers. BUT, I have to tell ya, flowers are in full bloom here in the Bay Area.
img_5171Now that the weather is getting nicer out and Winston is learning to enjoy walking.. for longer than 5 minutes (ha!), I have been enjoying more after work walks with my little guy… or maybe not so little. He just weighed in at 49lbs and just turned 5 months old yesterday! How time flies!

img_5189Anywho, I feel like there is so much I need to update you all on. These past few months have been absolutely crazy- but full of lots of fun. That being said, I thought I would first recap this past weekend with you all and then get to all of the other stuff later ๐Ÿ™‚

So let’s get started, shall we?

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This past weekend Ian and I decided to leave our normal stomping grounds and explore Berkeley. I had been to Berkeley a handful of times in the past but never really spent an entire day walking around and taking it all in. Ian, had only been there once before. So we thought it would be fun to explore a bit!

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Our first stop was at one of the cutest little taprooms I have ever seen. The walls were pink and beautifully decorated with green tiles and plants.. everywhere. I was obsessed.

img_5204Not to mention, their name – Roses’ Taproom – wasย  as cute as their ambiance. I highly recommend stopping by and enjoying a beer there if you are ever in the area. They have a limited selection of beers, but they were very refreshing and unique in flavor. You can check out their beer menu: here.

img_5205After enjoying a beer at Roses’ Taproom, we headed over to a nursery we passed by on our way to Roses’ and decided to walk around and look at their plants. I have been on a HUUUGE plant kick lately. Now that the weather has been getting nicer I have been spending more time on my patio – making me want more plants and flowers on my patio ๐Ÿ™‚

img_5208The plants at the nursery were absolutely gorgeous, but to be honest, pretty pricey. With that said, Ian and I chose to look at plants at the good ol’ Home Depot ๐Ÿ˜‰

img_5211We then headed to the iconic Telegraph Ave and enjoyed browsing the aisles of Moe’s Booksย and thrifting in Buffalo Exchange.ย img_5219After walking around for a few hours we worked up an appetite and found a quaint tapas restaurant on Google. Unfortunately, by the time we got there, the wait was 1.5 hours. Having a craving for Spanish tapas, we looked up other tapas restaurants in the area and found a Spanish restaurant, called Shakewell, located in Oakland.

img_5220Like the other restaurant we visited, Shakewell’s tables were filled and the wait was uncertain. However, the bar seating was first come, first serve. Fortunately for us, a table opened up right as we walked in. Being in a Spanish restaurant, I just had to order a Sangria ๐Ÿ˜‰

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What we did not realize before sitting down.. was the price range of their menu items. I am not going to lie, my eyes may have opened a little wider once I saw the prices. Wanting to save a little money, Ian and I chose to order their Papas Bravas (“spicy potatoes”) and paellaย to share.

The Papas Bravas were absolutely AMAZING. We both could not get enough of them!

img_5226The paella was also ridiculously good!

img_5227To our surprise, the food was extremely filling. We ended up needing a take out box for the paella.

img_5240To wrap up our weekend, we enjoyed brunch in Los Gatos and then painted ceramics at Petroglyph.

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Realizing that I do not actually own a flower vase, I decided to paint a vase for my apartment. Looks like I won’t be using wine bottles as flower holders for a while, haha! I also have been slowly buying different bowls and plates to have an assorted collection of colorful dinnerware, so Ian chose to add to that collection by painting a bowl. Overall, we had an absolute blast painting! I definitely want to spend more time painting, it’s both rewarding and relaxing ๐Ÿ™‚

img_5261After sending our ceramics off to be glazed, we headed over to Home Depot to pick out a few plants for the balcony aaaaaand that just about sums up last weekend! This weekend I plan on doing absolutely nothing. Ha! But really. I can’t wait to just relax, read, and play with Winston ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Spaghetti Squash & Turkey Sauce

In an effort to clean up my eating habits as of late, I have been taking the time to plan out my meals for the week. Some people enjoy meal prepping.. but I hate eating the same thing everyday. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I am truly a creature of habit at times.. but having a repetitive meal that I have laid out for myself 5 days in advanced just does not work with me. It’s also fun for me to experiment with new foods, so there’s that.

With that said, I decided to cook spaghetti squash for last night’s dinner. I hadn’t eaten spaghetti squash since I was in college, and to be perfectly honest.. I never really cared for it. It was OK. Nothing special to me. Nothing that I ever craved. However, I decided to give it another go. This time, I decided to dress it up a bit compared to how I ate it in college – plain with some tomato sauce on top. Boring!

To my surprise, last night’s dinner turned out great! It was even boyfriend approved! That’s when you know it’s good ๐Ÿ˜‰

So if you’re looking to switch things up and make a tasty – but healthy- dinner, give this dish a try!

Butternut Squash & Turkey Sauce

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First begin by setting your oven to 400 degrees. Then, cut your Spaghetti Squash into half. Make sure not to cut the stem.. unless you want to struggle for your food (which is commemorable but so unnecessary).ย  Once your squash looks similar to the photo above, go ahead and scoop out the seeds and strings attached (these are more orange in color than the squash itself).

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Once you have finished scooping out the seeds, you can drizzle olive oil and sprinkle on seasoning. A few recipes I read beforehand stated to have the open-side facing down onto the pan.. but I wanted my oil and seasoning to soak in as the squash cooked. After baking for around 40 or so minutes and then flipped them over to drain excess oil for around 5 or so minutes. I am sure you can decide to have them flipped so that the openings are on the pan, but leaving them facing upwards tasted great too ๐Ÿ™‚

While the squash was cooking, I made a meat sauce to both add more flavor and protein. The sauce was extremely simple: tomato basic pasta sauce from Trader Joes, ground turkey, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Once the squash finished cooking, I set them aside to cool and finished cooking the meat sauce. Being the impatient person I am, I didn’t fully wait for the squash halves to finish cooling and dove into scraping the shells out with my fork. I do not recommend acting like me, but hey, it all turned out ok!

6ecd6036-1adf-4a56-aee6-7641c671457bAfter scraping out the inside of the halves, I topped our spaghetti squash plates with the meat sauce and avocado pieces.

Andย voilร !

Hope you give it a try sometime ๐Ÿ™‚

 

A Night in SF

Holy moly. How is it already Monday?? This weekend went by waay too fast.

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Never have been bar hopping in SF, Ian and I decided to head to the city and test out a few destinations. One of my coworkers raved about a sports bar downtown, called Golden Gate Taproom, so we decided to begin our night there.

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I managed to miraculous score free parking right outside the front of the entrance, which was a major PLUS. In fact, the entire night I was extremely lucky with parking. I assure you, this is usually not the case for me. Trips to SF often involve me circling around in my car for an hour before finally landing a spot.

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Golden Gate Taproom consists of two floors, all of which have screens streaming games throughout the building. Unfortunately, the Blackhawks were not on while we were there, but if they were.. I may have not left ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Being a taproom, their beer menu is both expansive but also reasonably priced, especially for being downtown in SF. Their food menu consisted of typical sports bar food – hamburgers, sandwiches, salads, and pub snacks. Ian and I opted for their pub snacks, ordering: buffalo wings, jalapeno poppers, and mozzarella sticks. Diet completely out the window, but hey, you have to enjoy the weekends ๐Ÿ™‚

img_4478Not only do they have games streaming, beer flowing, and food to munch on… they also have games to play!

a880ffaa-4861-41f3-a039-0757ce436a4aIf you’re looking for a fun place to grab drinks, watch a game, and hangout with friends, I would highly recommend giving this place a try!

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After Golden Gate Taproom, we stumbled upon a small local bar called Tunnel Top Bar. While this bar may be small, the atmosphere is both cozy and welcoming. A majority of the people we encountered there were locals, many of which frequent the bar on a weekly basis.

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After enjoying a drink at the Tunnel Top Bar, we headed over to Urban Putt for some mini golf fun. I had been to Urban Putt two years ago and had an absolute blast. Ian had never been there before, so I thought it would be fun for us to visit!

6f5a3c40-a917-427e-ab9c-9449f1dc0e09Urban Putt is located in the Mission District of SF and has 14 elaborately designed courses.

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Not only is Urban Putt located in the city with indoor courses, but they also have a bar. At Urban Putt, you can order food and drinks AND take your food and drinks onto the greens. So. Much. Fun.

img_4494We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to enjoy a drink and have some fun mini-golfing, so we made a stop at Urban Putt’s bar. I ordered a drink called “Rosemary Baby” which consisted of rosemary infused Aperol, whiskey, honey, lemon, and soda water. Absolutely delicious.

Urban Putt also has a restaurant location on the second floor, just incase all the mini-golfing managed to increase your appetite. Overall, I would say Urban Putt has everything you could ask for: fun, drinks, snacks, and food. What more else could you want?

That being said, I highly recommend you check out Urban Putt if you are in the SF. It’s a great place to go with friends or even dates ๐Ÿ˜‰

Where are your favorite SF evening destinations?

~Britt