Holiday Season Festivities

My promises are not meant to be illusory, but apparently I am full of them.  Boy do I miss blogging and now that I am done with my first semester I am feeling so guilty! I really wanted to blog but my days were so full.  I think next semester will be full as well but now I know what to expect and maybe can plan better. I think after football season my study and blogging habits will both increase.

Have I told you what my schedule was like? Yesterday was my last final and the week prior was dead week so I only went to campus twice, but normally I would leave home before 7:00am and get off work at 4:00pm. 9/10 days I would go straight to school and had class M-Th until either 8:30 or 9:30. Often times if my class ended earlier I would stay and study. On the weekends we have been going to the Raiders games and I have attempted to catch up on anything that I could but a few weekends were homework only.

Today is my first day of FREEDOM for 1 month! We are having a lazy morning watching football and in a couple of hours we are heading to Golden Gate Fields to watch some horse racing on Dollar Day!

I have a few recent pics below to keep you interested!

Our tree that we finally got last night post final:

Tree 2013

It’s about 6 feet but this picture makes it look smaller 🙂 Here is a picture from this morning, Wally is pushing his fate….

Wally under tree 

I have not allowed myself to do many Christmasy things so that I don’t distract myself from studying, but I have let myself indulge a few times:

Noahs

How could I not when it looks like this outside most days?

Foggy SF morning

Here is a glimpse into my Sunday when the Raiders are in town:

Raiders Tailgate

Our group makes THE BEST tailgate food, ever. I followed the following recipe one day, OMG it was so good!pullapartbread3 

I hope everyone enjoys their Sunday and if you celebrate holidays, I hope you get into the spirit today if you haven’t already.  We are already full blown Christmas at work, I will post some pics this week. Our office Christmas party is Friday and I still need to find a gift. Other things coming up on my agenda:

  • Saturday at Mom’s house
  • Sunday- Raiders game
  • The following week we have an office pot luck and raffle
  • December 19-21, romantic weekend away in Sonoma
  • Christmas week mayhem
  • New Years in LA
  • Girls Tahoe weekend
  • School starts again :/

Phew! OK, now that you know way too much about my definite plans, I also intend to bake a lot of goodies and if I can, but probably not, I would like to craft a bit. I have a Santa bottle project in my periphery.

Q: What craft projects have you been undertaking this holiday season?

xoxox

Amanda

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My 7 favorite places in San Francisco

In honor of today’s Daily Post, and yesterday’s spur of the moment SF trip, I am going to tell y’all my 7 favorite places in San Francisco!

The DP reads as such:

The Satisfaction of a List-Who doesn’t love a list? So write one! Top five slices of pizza in your town, ten reasons disco will never die, the three secrets to happiness — go silly or go deep, just go list-y.

Yesterday morning I drove Joe to the EIT or (Engineer in Training) in San Mateo and had to be there before 7:00 am.  I decided to take the short drive up to SF afterward because it was so close and I had nothing better to do for the next 8 1/2 hours.  On the way up I stopped off at a beautiful little park and walked around before watching the sunrise and the planes at the airport take off and land.

Sunrise 4-13 waterSunrise 4-13 ocean

Park 4-13Flowers 4-13Pier 4-13Airplane landing SFO

After taking in all of the beauty I headed up to USF to walk around a bit and captured a picture from behind St. Ignacious, just beautiful!

                                   USF Statue                                               St. Ignacious SF

Shortly afterward I headed home for several hours before picking Joe up and heading BACK to SF for dinner at one of my favorite places in the city- Milano Pizzeria on 9th Avenue.  It’s no surprise that many of them are places to eat, lol! So here we go with my list:

7.   Milano Pizzeria– It may be cash only, however it is good enough to hit an ATM first.  I personally love the pepperoni and garlic with fresh oregano on it…YUM!

6.   Crepevine on Irving- The best breakfast I have had in the city so far (and this is a small chain!). I love the atmosphere and people who work there.  EVERYTHING on the menu is delicious.crepevine

5.   Java Beach Café– Located at Ocean Beach, Joe and I would walk there from my Great Grandparent’s house when we used to visit.  I like to watch the surfers come in and they have good coffee and muffins. Not to mention the fresh air out there!

java beach

4.   Boudin at the Wharf– When I lived in SF I would frequent Boudin and get a chili bread bowl and Joe loves their chowder bowls.  Their original location and main bakery is located at Fisherman’s Wharf, where you can watch the bread makers through the windows, walk through their history gallery, and smell the fresh bread.  When you eat you can sit in their upstairs dining room at stare at the boats coming into the bay.

Boudin Bakers

3.   USF/Cole/Noe Valley- I just love to walk around these areas so much.  They are truly SF and not touristy.  I always feel home when I’m there and they have really cute spots to shop and eat.  The houses in those areas can be BEAUTIFUL too.

                        SF neighborhood map                                  SF houses

2.   AT&T Park– Home of the San Francisco Giants!

ATT park gate

1.   North Beach– In particular Saints Peter and Paul Church– located in Washington Square Park, this is the most beautiful church I have ever been too.  I have seen so many get married there and actually sat in on part of one! Shh don’t tell anyone! Jen and I went to the Italian American Festival there and LOVED it.  I love the area and the park because there are so many kids and people running around and during the summer they show movies in the park at night!  I also love Coit tower especially at night.

Coit Tower  St Peter and Paul

Those are SOME of my favorite places and are DEFINETLY not all of them.  Did I leave anything good out?

Q: What is your favorite place in SF?

xoxox

Amanda

Superbowl Weekend

It’s Wednesday already? I had high hopes of getting this done before now, but I have been a busy little bee!

Last weekend Joe and I went on a little adventure to Valley Springs and Clements to visit my family and go to a Superbowl party.

When we arrived at my parent’s house on Saturday my Mom had a big pot of chili cooking and it smelled AMAZING!  We visited for a few hours before digging in, it was delicious!

Chili

We hung around and played with the animals, they are super cute!

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That is my Daddy with Mr. Chow (our cat from our last house that went to my parent’s house when we moved).  They like each other!

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Here is Mr. Chow and Gizmo on the back fence looking at us while we checked out the new gate and repairs that my Dad made when the fence fell a few weeks ago.  It is so funny to see him up there because he was so scared of everything when we got him! He LOVES living there!

Stewart

Isn’t Stewart getting big? His head seems more dog than puppy now, if that makes any sense!

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Later that night the sunset was gorgeous and we continued to chill out and Jamie curled my hair while Dad and Joseph watched hockey and the pregame Superbowl coverage.

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She did such a cute job! It was just for fun because she LOVES to curl her friend’s hair and has been asking me forever to do mine.  We finally found the time and Joe thought it looked like a poodle. LOL I would have curled them looser if we were going somewhere but after sleeping on it I was able to wear loose curls all day Sunday! That is a miracle as my hair notoriously does not take a curl!

The next morning we woke up early and had breakfast consisting of pancakes, sausage, hash browns and fruit.

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I also prepared some meatballs for the party later that day! They were so simple and yummy!

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When we arrived we went shooting (clays) until the game was ready to start.  We had so much fun! I hit 4 targets baby! I only shot at 8-10 so I was happy as I haven’t went shooting in years!

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Look at that stud!

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We watched the game, ate like pigs, and played with the babies- 3 of them!  Here are a couple cute ones of Jack Jack!

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At the end of the night we drove home and passed out.  It was fun and we are looking forward to a month of fun weekends!  On the agenda:

LSAT, Amanda B’s birthday party, fishing trip in Carmel, Coheed concert, and more!

Stay tuned for some more better late than never posts from this girl as I am also back in school and working!

xoxox

Amanda

Grocery business

Goooood Morning!

I have little to report today, I have been pretty boring!

Yesterday my best friend Noel came to visit! It was amazing to see her as she has been living on the East Coast for the past SIX YEARS! I have seen her periodically but she is temporarily back to train for a new position in the Coast Guard.  We went to lunch and took a nice walk and chatted each other’s ears off- per usual!

Afterward I went grocery shopping and tried a new place, Sprouts Farmers Market. I have only been there once when I was in a bread “emergency” for dinner, lol! I didn’t get a chance to look around and shop.  I probably would not have went back if it weren’t for the weekly ad in the mailbox. I looked at some of their prices and I was instantly curious.  Turns out, I love it there and they have very decent prices- on produce and bulk bins anyway.  Their other goods, such as cereal is a tad over priced.  I did notice their huge selection of vitamins and the like- very good to know!

Ever since I decided to eat better I have been on the hunt for Chia seeds.  Safeway has some, but only a large container that sells for $10! I have never had them and have been reading about the benefits, but did not feel right buying them without ever trying them.  Sprouts has so many bulk bins and they of course had some Chia seeds! According to Nuts.com Chia seeds reduce food cravings, help you feel full faster, reduce your blood pressure, are high in Omega 3s, and are great for diabetics because they slow the body’s conversion to sugar.  I need to tell my Mom!!

This morning I sprinkled some over my Greek yogurt and strawberries.  They have little to no taste and I really liked the texture- not very noticeable.

Yogurt breakfast 1-11-13

I have also been in the market for some whey protein powder.  I am not an avid exerciser or anything, but I love smoothies and like a protein powder to make them more worth my while.  ANDREI- any tips?  Do you have a favorite brand that I should try?  I want to get one that is not just for women- so Joseph can have some too!

After I came home I studied some more for the quickly approaching LSAT. I am determined to kick my last score’s butt!!  It is the hardest test I have ever taken and want to feel confident with my score before applying.  Talk about stress- sheesh!

Anyway, today I will do a little more studying and probably go for a walk/jog.  I think I am going to make a crock pot dinner, so that will be easy and I might even organize the disaster aka my desk.

Q: What is your favorite protein powder? If you don’t use any, what is the hardest test you have ever taken?

xoxox

Amanda

Clean or dirty?

How do you prefer to eat, clean or dirty?

For the past several months I have been investigating the whole “eating clean” thing. Aside from doing to standard Google research, I follow several “healthy living” blogs in which I see on a daily basis the progress that people make from eating healthy and clean.  A few of my favorites are:

If you aren’t sure what “clean eating” is, basically it is eating foods that are natural to the earth like fruits and veggies in combination with lean meats, eggs and better for you carbohydrates and fats.  I am so not a professional, in fact I just decided a few days ago to give it a try.

Source

My mission is to be healthy.  I’m not trying to be drastic or try a fad diet; this is not a diet, it’s a choice to eat better overall.  I’m tired of feeling crappy after a meal and want to feel full and satisfied without feeling guilty or gross afterward. 

If you don’t know me, I am not a professional in food or exercise. I am just a regular person who is tired of being tired.  This is not my attempt at a New Years resolution either. I haven’t joined a gym, and probably will not. 

With that said, I am hoping this blog will help me to keep my motivation and get some tips and advice on being healthier.  Along the way I will share things that I learn and hopefully change my view on food.

I am a HUGE food lover, and this is going to be a challenge.  I am looking to eat good food that is also good for you.

Wish me luck, I will need it!

Q: Do you eat clean? Why or why not?

xoxox

Amanda