Monthly Archives: September 2013

Planning and Packing For a Long Weekend – San Francisco

San Francisco is one of my favorite cities.  I visited a couple of years ago with some girlfriends and fell in love.  When Andy told me he had to go there for a business trip I took full advantage of the opportunity to make another visit!  We are on the plane now.  I love traveling, and even love flying, until I am on the airplane and realize there are four more hours to sit in this tiny little seat.  I’m such a head bobber when I sleep, it probably looks pretty silly.

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I was a bit of a procrastinator for this trip.  I didn’t finish packing until about 11PM last night.   Ever since I went to Peru for a month with one back pack I am convinced I am the best packer in the world – but it’s a little different when you want to try to look somewhat good on your trip.  I also at some point along the road decided that it was pretty uncool to check your bag if you don’t have to (think this came from my days of “backpacking” in Europe).  So when I started packing last night I thought it would take me about 10 minutes to decide on everything and fit it all in my carry on….wrong.  It took about an hour – still not too shabby right?  Here’s what I ended up with:

Packing List (for one duffel bag carry on and one Northface backpack)


2 pairs of shorts (one dressy, one casual)

2 dresses (one day dress, one nicer one for night time)

1 pair of jeans (apparently it’s supposed to be pretty chilly at night)

2 nice tank tops

2 cardigans / 1 stylish zip up

Leather cropped jacked

5 tank tops (a mix of bed/day time)

2 pairs of bedtime bottoms (shorts and sweatpants)

1 running outfit

2 pairs of flat sandals

1 pair of wedges

1 pair of flat boots

1 pair of running shoes

15 pairs of underwear and 1 bra (yes, I get carried away with the underwear)

Toiletries/Girl Stuff

Makeup (I don’t bring much)




Mini brush, blow-dryer, straightener (we are staying in an apartment so couldn’t count on hotel extras)

3 pairs of earrings / Alex & Ani Bracelets

Mini body lotion / face lotion / body wash / body spray / deodorant (will have to get shampoo/conditioner there)


Lap Top / charger

i-Phone / charger

Cannon Rebel DSLR camera and case


Alright, now that I just wrote all of that out…I’m pretty damn impressed that I fit all of it in to 2 bags and didn’t have to check anything.  Okay, I’m a great packer 🙂

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Planning / Itinerary

So I’m not one to plan an hour by hour itinerary.  I think you have to be flexible while traveling and seeing a new place.  Things might come up that you didn’t even know you wanted to do or you might decide you don’t want to do something you thought you might.   I pretty much come up with an outline in my head of places/areas I want to see.

For San Fran we definitely wanted to do a Napa tour, following the IfOnly tips, I decided that a sunset cruise on the bay would be awesome, and Andy had the request to watch football on Sunday.  So basically those are our three set itinerary items.  Everything else we want to do / see pretty much revolves around eating and drinking so Yelp I went.  I bookmarked about 20 different places that I either had suggestions from people or that just had good reviews.  I am not sure if this will help with my restaurant/bar indecisiveness or make it worse once we are there.  We will just have to see!

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Take Me Back Tuesday – London!

When thinking about which destination I wanted to write about this Tuesday my mind wandered to London.  Then I realized it was perfectly fitting because it was almost exactly three years ago that I flew across the pond!  I had a pretty darn lucky first year out of college.  I found a company that allowed me to see different parts of the world including Peru and the United Kingdom – some pretty good perks for being one year out of college huh?



Where We Stayed:  A Co-Worker’s Flat!  She lived close to the Shepard’s Bush tube stop.  It was a good area easily accessible by the tube and easy to get around to the main attraction areas of London.  I absolutely love knowing locals when traveling, it completely changes the experience.  She was so accommodating and showed us some fantastic hidden gems in London.



Sight Seeing:  We didn’t have too much time to explore the different sites in London so we squeezed them all in to pretty much one day.  I’m used to the abridged versions of sight-seeing since most of Europe travel was done on long weekends while studying abroad.  We still managed to cover a pretty good section of the city.

We saw the main sites including St. Peter’s Basilica, the London Eye, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, The Thames River, Convent Garden.  My favorite part of our sight-seeing day though was visiting Borough Market! Check the website first to make sure it’s open.  It’s a foodie’s dream!

We also happened to be there for the Notting Hill Carnival.  I have never in my life seen a festival so big, it’s the largest of its kind in all of Europe!  The festival happens on the last weekend of August in West London and is a celebration of Caribbean Culture.  I actually got separated from my friends during this festival which was probably one of the scariest things I’ve gone through while traveling.  I kept calm (haha) and some how found them eventually.

London is a fantastic city to visit!  It has so much history yet is such a chic and fun city at the same time.  I haven’t thought about this trip in a while and am happy to have taken a trip down memory lane. Take me back!

St. Peter’s Basilica 



Big Ben!




Westminster Abbey


The London Eye (and yes I think that’s Starbucks in our hands)



Along the Thames River


The Borough Market – A MUST – SEE in London!!

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Notting Hill Carnival

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Weekend Round-Up – Picnics, Poses, & Paleo Muffins

I can’t believe Labor Day weekend is already here and gone!  I swear summer goes by faster and faster every year but lucky for me Fall is my absolute favorite season!  Even though I love fall I tried to soak up as much little bits of summer that are left.

I started off Friday with a nice cold Sam Adams beer on my deck.  I love that my new apartment has a deck – so nice just to be able to sit out there and get some fresh air.

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Saturday, we took a trip to Long Island for a family party.  We took the ferry over, which I haven’t done in a really long time.  It was fun – a little windy – but fun!  We played a few games of corn hole, drank lots of coronas (fresh and cool thanks to this post on cooler bags), and tried not to over eat all the great picnic food. The key: don’t sit next to the food!

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One of the Yoga teachers I follow on Instagram, Rachel Brathen (@yoga_girl), had announced a 10 – Day yoga challenge that started on September 1st.  I’ve never done one of these so thought it would be fun to try.  I’ve probably even in the past made comments about people who post all of these types of pictures – but I’ve realized some times you just have to say f*c* it and do what makes you happy!  Focusing on a different yoga pose each day really makes you take a look at your practice and realize what you like, don’t like, are good at or need to work on.  This challenge is called #AimTrueChallenge.  Day 1 was for a pose that empowers you and Day 2 one that challenges you.  I had fun playing around with this and I’m sure Andy loved being my photographer 🙂 Here were my poses:

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We played around with a paleo bread recipe this weekend and came out with some delicious mini paleo muffins!  They’re a great treat to have on the weekends with my go-to omelet.

1 ½ cups blanched almond flour
2 tablespoons coconut flour
¼ cup golden flaxseed meal
¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
5 eggs
¼ cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Combine all ingredients and spend a few minutes mixing together, making sure to get out any chunks that the coconut oil forms.  It would probably be better to use a food processor if you have one.

Pour batter into a greased (we used some coconut oil) muffin pan.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes

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