Thursday, March 28, 2013

Photo overload | San Fran

There are two ways you can go about reading this post. You can either not read it, and just look at the pictures, or you can read about what happened along the way.

Thursday morning before my last final I had this crazy idea... hey, we should just drive down to San Fran! or Napa! Or somewhere that might be warmer than Oregon! I texted Alex while he was at work and he was surprisingly up for it.

We never do things like this! The most spontaneous we have ever been was a drive out to the coast for the day. And typically we don't even do that. We have ideas all the time about taking off but we never go through with them!

But after my final on Thursday I was more than ready to ditch town for a few days. I spent most of the evening looking for a really good cheap deal on a hotel. I found lots of hotels around the $100 range, but they were either super far from downtown or they looked like a hell hole. Everything else reasonable was in the 150-200 dollar per night range and we really didn't have that much money to spend on this last minute trip.

I decided to check out hotwire, and see what they had. And they happened to have a 4 star hotel in the east union square area for $98 a night, but you couldn't see the name of the hotel. We are super picky about hotels and this was a little scary to think about for us. But we really didn't care about how nice the hotel was, as long as it wasn't in a sketchy neighborhood, so we booked it.

And it was beautiful! Honestly, it was the nicest room we have ever stayed in! Only the lobby at the Westin in Hawaii was better, (because how can you beat live flamingos?). We paid half the price that our hotel would have cost for both nights by booking it on hotwire. If you've thought about going this route but have been hesitant, I would highly recommend it. We got an amazing deal for our hotel. (btw, it was the Hotel Zetta on Market and 5th. It was amazing. Beautiful and the most amazing service we have ever gotten!)

Day 1
I spent all day Friday cleaning and packing! I had to pack all of my stuff plus Alex's, as well as anything we needed. Had the house fully cleaned and dinner ready when Alex got home around 6:15.

We took off around 7pm. We could have waited and left in the morning, but this way gave us more time in the city. Alex and I drove 6 hours south for the night and stopped in Redding, CA and slept in our car in a Walmart parking lot. My mom was pretty worried about this, but we were in a section where a bunch of people in RV's were staying for the night, so it was plenty safe. We got there around 2am and went in Walmart to use the restroom. Which is where one of the most embarrassing moments of my life happened...

After I went to the bathroom, I was in there washing my hands when someone walked in... a man! I was really confused when he continued to a stall even after seeing me (clearly a woman) in there and decided I should let him know it was the women's restroom....
"Um, sir, this is actually the women's restroom?"
And then it donned on me... maybe that is a woman! not because they looked feminine (not by any stretch of the imagination), but because they had to of known it was the women's restroom!
person: "What?"
Me wide eyed: "OH, never mind..."
person: "Well obviously this is the women's bathroom otherwise I wouldn't be in here!"

Crap crap crap. Why didn't I just keep my mouth shut?? I usually don't say things like this to strangers, but obviously at 2am I had no filter.

I bolted out of that bathroom as fast as I could and me and Alex had a good laugh about that for the next half hour.

Anyways, we made a little bed in the back of our Prius and got a surprisingly good amount of sleep before we took off at 7:00ish the next morning.

Day 2

Four hours later we drove into the beautiful and hectic San Francisco!

We checked into our hotel (several hours early). And as soon as our car was parked and our bags were in our room, we showered and hit the town.

What kind of amazing hotel has an espresso machine in the room?? Oh, ours did.

Loved the floors and the rug!

After we got all our stuff settled in we headed out to eat lunch (we were starving!) and began exploring the city.

I'm not even going to try to describe everything we saw on that first day, all I will say is that we walked, walked, walked! Eight hours of straight walking! I was actually pretty impressed that we didn't get super tired and throw in the towel after the first 4 hours, but we just kept on exploring.

This isn't a very good picture, but the only one we got someone to take for us. I was nervous to hand my camera over to strangers.

There were tons of amazingly talented street performers down by the piers, it was so cool to see them.

Ghirardelli Square. Honestly, I didn't think it was that exciting (I'm not much of a chocolate fan) but it was cool to see none-the-less.

We stopped for dinner at this amazing sushi restaurant down by the Hyde St. Pier called Flying Ninja Sushi. So freaking good! Second best Sushi restaurant we have ever been to! We are big sushi fans so this was a big deal to us.

Side note: First best was Sansei Seafood and Sushi bar in Maui! If you are ever in Maui you absolutely have to eat there! Well, if you like sushi.

Day 3
Even though my feet were killing me, and Alex's legs were sore, we headed out for another day of exploring. This time we planned to stay closer to our hotel or take a bus if we wanted to go somewhere far away.

But that didn't happen!

On our way to find food we found the San Francisco city hall, which was gorgeous!

I know this picture is blurry but it was the best picture of the building we got.

Some cool statue.

On our quest we found a farmers market and found a cool food cart that was serving breakfast items.

I just liked the way this house looked! I'd love to live in a house like this someday.

We stopped in some park on our walk to lay down for a little while. The weather was gorgeous. It was perfect T-shirt weather.

A really pretty building we saw waiting for a bus.

We hopped a few busses and went out to see the golden gate bridge, it was cool but we went a little late so it was really cold by the time we got there and it was hard to get any good pictures.

We hopped on another bus to get back to our hotel area to go to dinner... but we ended up missing our bus stop and realized it way way far away from anything we knew. We took about 5 other busses to get back to the right area of town and by the time we sat down to eat it was 9:30. We were still several miles from our hotel! We really didn't want to walk back in the dark (there were lots of sketchy areas on the way) and we didn't ever want to step foot on another bus again. So after we had a few (too many) drinks, we hailed a cab (for the first time) and headed back to our hotel.

Clearly I had too many glasses of wine. I have like 100 more pictures of me being a psycho and jumping on the hotel bed like a freak, but I decided one was enough for you guys!

In the morning we stopped in Berkley for some breakfast, grabbed some Starbucks, and made the long journey home.

Only moments before we were officially back in Oregon we were greeted by the all too familiar rain fall. Oh, Oregon.

We had so much fun, and it was worth the extra expense that we weren't planning on making. We would love to go back this summer if we have an opportunity. And maybe we will get to see some of the stuff that we weren't able to see on our short trip this time.

PS. For anyone that remembers about my driving-on-the-freeway panic attacks, I think they are gone. I drove for four hours in the dark and rain on the way home and a few hours on the way down. Ahh, I'm so happy to be a semi normal person again. ;)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

We're back!

We got home from San Fran on Monday night! And I've pretty much been laying on the couch recovering ever since.

Clearly when I planned our little trip I forgot about my Monday healthy eating post commitments, so I'm skipping it this week. I'll post next week about types of foods we avoid. And stay tuned for a post tomorrow with about a bazillion pictures from our trip. For now I am going to go eat with the husband.

See you tomorrow friends!

Friday, March 22, 2013

dear so and so


dear finals, Thank goodness you are over. dear life, we will be reunited once again! I've missed you dearly. dear self and husband, way to go for being spontaneous! This never happens! Have the time of your life. dear San Fran, oh by the way we'll see you in the morning! dear hotwire, why have I not used you before? Thanks for getting us a good last minute deal. dear freaking awesome hotel in San Fran, you are gorgeous but hopefully we will only be using you for sleeping. dear readers, if you couldn't tell we made a last minute decision to skip town this weekend. Halle-frickin-lujah! Much needed vaca. Hopefully I'll have some pictures up on tuesday. We are leaving tonight and getting back in sometime on Monday (which happens to be the Huz' birthday!).

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I speak computer

Actually I don't. 

Each time I want to make some changes to my blog I learn a little bit more about HTML editing. It is quite the headache, but I'm determined to avoid paying someone to design my blog until this blog can pay for itself (that may never happen).

I spent a good portion of last night avoiding studying chemistry making that beautiful banner up there. I know adding a picture as a header is easy, but this was all done using HTML (even the page buttons!). I'm basically beaming right now. Yep, I did all that on my own. Yep, it doesn't look complicated. Yes, sadly, it took me about 2 hours to create it and learn how to add it to my blog. (give or take a few hours trying, unsuccessfully, to learn how to do some other editing stuff).

Eventually I will be an editing genius... It just might take me another 15 years.

PS. I'm considering switching to wordpress... I've heard that this gives you more control over customizing your settings. And since GFC is going away I figured this might be as good a time as any. Does anyone have experience with the two and can give me some advice?

PSS. Clearly this picture was taken a long time ago and has nothing to do with this post. I haven't taken the time to take any new pictures lately.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Happy places

Cuddling on the couch with my boys (2 cats and the Huz).
Relaxing in a clean home.
Having a long deep conversation with Alex.
Seeing friends after long absences and picking up where we left off.
Running on cool summer mornings.
Laying on the beach in Hawaii.
Saturday mornings.
Much needed alone time that doesn't involve homework , studying, or cleaning.

Alright, just had to remind myself of all of my favorite things before my final that is going down in 4 hours. The perfect way to keep myself from getting too stressed out.

Monday, March 18, 2013

How I eat "healthy"

I'm horrible at commitment, mostly just to goals I make (and this blog). But for the next couple of weeks (or for as long as I have things to share/decide to) I'm going to commit to passing on some my nutrition "secrets". It never hurts to start our week out with some reminders to eat healthy and stay active, right? 
Before I tell you anything I just have to give you a little disclaimer, I am not a professional! Someday hopefully I will have the credentials to back up what I have to say, but for now I am just going to tell you things I have learned from my own personal experience. 
Learning to eat healthy doesn't happen overnight. The number one thing I'd like you to take away from anything I tell you about nutrition is that eating healthy should be easy. If you are on some crazy diet and you are always left hungry and frustrated, it isn't a good diet (in my personal opinion). Let things be natural. And I don't encourage quick weight loss tricks.
Eating healthy is a funny thing, as a Nutrition student some of what we learn is how hard it is to get people to overcome the mindset that eating healthy is expensive and impossible. Alex and I aren't perfect eaters. We eat plenty of things that aren't healthy for us, but we try our best to keep that to a minimum. (Mostly just because we feel crappy after eating something bad for us).

The thing that makes people think that Alex and I eat super healthy is this: we eat fruits and vegetables. As soon as someone sees us eating some sort of fruit or vegetable for a snack or meal or whatever they say, "omg, you guys eat so healthy! How do you do that?"

Source // recipe
Well here are some tricks we have learned:

1. Buy fruits and vegetables! You can't eat them if you don't buy them.
It took us a really long time to learn how to buy fresh produce and not have it go bad before we could eat it. Sometimes we still buy a bag of lettuce and 2 weeks later have to throw most of it out because we didn't eat it in time.

Our staple fresh produce items are:
bell peppers (all colors)
lemons / limes
and some type of lettuce

2. Only buy enough to last us for a week. Sometimes they last a little longer depending on how healthy we eat that week, how much we bought, and how long they stay fresh. I am super picky about bananas so after they start to get spots I peel them and put the in the freezer for future smoothies.

3. Cut everything up ahead of time. We try to cut all of our veggies up as soon as we get home from the grocery store, sometimes it is when we make a meal or salad. It just depends on how lazy we are being. This makes it super easy to throw together a salad at any time. The hardest part of eating veggies is the convenience factor. Is it easy to throw together? Do I have to chop a bunch of stuff just to make myself a quick salad for lunch? Usually if it will take awhile I will opt for my go to unhealthy options, like a bowl of cereal.

Recipe: Feta cheese, craisins, sunflower seeds, hard boiled eggs, spinach, kale, and broccoli.

4. Try to eat everything before it goes bad. This is where being cheap and on a budget comes in handy. There is nothing I hate more than wasting money on food. I might as well just throw my money straight into the garbage. When we buy produce we try our best to eat it all. I love it when we run out of a fruit or vegetable, it means our money was not wasted.

5. Learn what you will and wont eat. Sometimes we try to buy certain items because I know they will be good for us, like avocados, but time and time again we buy them and they go bad. I love avocados, but we just don't seem to eat them fast enough. When we do buy them it is only 1, if we eat it super fast I will maybe buy 2. But I don't buy them every week, because we don't tend to eat them consistently. Don't just buy things because someone told you it is healthy. If you aren't going to eat it, it is just as unhealthy as not buying it. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try new things, but start out just buying one or two. If you find you like having them around and they never go bad, by all means, buy more just be mindful.

6. Frozen veggies are a good option. People tend to think just because something is frozen means it is more unhealthy. Not true. In fact, it can mean the opposite. Frozen vegetables are actually picked closer to the time they are ripe, so they end up having more natural nutrients from the plant and soil in them. Fresh veggies are often picked early so that they last longer, and ripened in boxes. Sometimes they are even sprayed with CO2 (for non-organic, non-farm fresh options) to help them ripen after being picked. The only reason I prefer to buy fresh veggies is because we seem to eat them more often.

Come back next monday to find out what types of things we avoid.
How do you add more vegetables into your diet?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Blogging about blogging | and recent iphone pics

I was just reading through some of my past blogs and realized that I miss this place. For awhile I've thought, eh I'm kind of bored with blogging. I was having a little pity party and thought my blog sucks, I have nothing good to share, I'm a terrible writer, I don't even like reading my own posts.
I know, those are all super terrible negative thoughts. I don't like to admit I think things like that, but I just have to be real (obviously, that is my number one motto in life).

But then I was looking through my blog today and thought, hey I like sharing these things. I like looking back and reading the words I had to say at different times in my life. I miss writing things that someone somewhere might like to hear. And heck, I really miss my blog friends. I know when one of you stops blogging for awhile I wonder what is going on in your lives and I religiously check to see if you have updated your blog. Ok not like every day, but whenever I think of it, or whenever I'm out reading blogs.

So I think I might be back for a little while. We shall see.

I'm sharing some of my recent iphone photos. Most of these pictures are of me because, well, I'm with myself most of the time.

1. Shameless selfie
2. Notes I find on mirrors around campus
3. My baby sunflower I got after finishing an experiment in Bio
4. A monday.
5. Before getting my hair done
6. After. (almost the same, minus the grays and dead ends)

Hopefully you guys will see me again soon.