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Kitten and Food, And That’s All You Need

Hello! I feel like over the past few months I’ve started out every single post with “it’s been a while,” so let’s just skip that and dive right in. I’ll say now that I’ll just put all the kitten pictures at the end 🙂 I figured this would be a good time to catch up on food, and some fitness, per the name of my blog.

I’m now a little over a week into school after break, to put things in perspective.

Fitness-wise, it’s the usual per my injury. Crossfit. Spin. Some yoga. No running. I tried Core Power Yoga over break with my friend. First week is free! I liked it but didn’t love it, but I’m proud of myself for acclimating to a hotter room. I don’t really like hot yoga, but I tolerated the heat. For the hotter class I went to, I tried to stay by the door where it was cooler but got moved right under a heater. I survived.

I really enjoyed being back at my home Crossfit over break. It was nice to do a slightly different style of workout. They just started the 20 reps of press/squat in preparation for the Open, so I’ve decided to do a little bit of that on my own. I actually thought to come to my blog today because I’m going to do my own little weight lifting workout, which I try to do once a week to work on strength we don’t do as much at Crossfit. It almost always involves squatting.

An update on my bone bruised ankle: I think it is getting better. I’ve been mostly sedentary since coming back to school, and I’ve been trying to be good about icing+electric stim daily and I think that has been helping! Still a ways to go, but progress is progress! We’re currently learning all about bones and bone injuries in school, so that’s also been something interesting to think about.

Ok. Food. It’s been a while. (I know I said I wouldn’t say that!) Note: Jackson is featured somewhat heavily because he wants everything I eat. I’ll do a full Jackson update at the end of the post.

Spaghetti squash tossed with parmesan and topped with spaghetti sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil.

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My favorite ice cream shop from undergrad just opened up right next to my hometown, and on the final weekend of break I finally made it over there! I got chocolate.

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Also new in town at home? A restaurant called Avocado Toast. You know I had to try that out. I got avocado toast, and a salad to split. It was good, but not anything you couldn’t do at home. But worth it for the spectacle.

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One final night of break with my best high school friends, beer, and Chloe.

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Gluten free chocolate chip bundt cake.

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This recipe is for a quinoa, chicken Tuscan style stew. No idea where we got the recipe from originally, but it’s really interesting because it has olives in it! Gluten free biscuit on the side!

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I had this salad for lunch one day at home and felt like straight up health. Kale massaged with balsamic vinaigrette, warm spaghetti squash with garlic, salt, and pepper, and fresh mozzarella. Seriously, I feel like kale energizes me!

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Lunch at my family’s favorite Chinese restaurant at home (you know everyone has their favorite Chinese restaurant). Vegetables and chicken with fried rice.

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Flourless banana bread (with oat flour). This was one of those things that I didn’t love at first bite, but I loved it as a healthy breakfast throughout the week (especially when I had early physical therapy every morning of break). I’m super into oat flour right now, and I feel better when I eat quick bread with oat flour vs. regular gluten free flour.

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If there’s ever a recipe you need to make, it’s this one. It’s Cooking Light’s Light Macaroni and Cheese, but the awesome part is it gets a lot of the creaminess from butternut squash. It’s delicious. Even my picky foodie of a sister makes this (with truffle oil though, of course). Served with roasted brussels sprouts.

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Cranberry orange bread. I used this recipe, but actually un-veganized it (because allergies). I added chopped chocolate orange to the top. I actually over-cooked this a little bit, and my mom ended up making me another loaf, but with oat flour, before I went back to school. It came out absolutely amazing. I was planning on freezing some, but I ended up eating a generous slice for breakfast every day that week. 100% obsessed with oat flour. It was super moist, and I was smart enough to stick it in the fridge so it wouldn’t get moldy.

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Teriyaki chicken taco from our favorite Mexican restaurant at home right before driving back to school.

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Breakfast all of last week: cranberry orange bread with oat flour, and an orange. And Jackson.

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Out of my 40+ pounds of persimmons, I’m down to my last one! This salad was the usual persimmon, goat cheese, and grilled chicken. And again, Jackson.

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Same salad as before, but with Pirate’s Booty. Which Jackson apparently likes as much as Chloe!

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Same persimmon salad.

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Leftover macaroni and cheese with a side salad. This was on a day where I couldn’t help but think how much easier it would be a human doctor, and therefore how nice it was to just pull stuff out of my fridge for dinner. We had a lab with every bone of multiple species, and it was a lot!

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Finally trying the elusive 4th Davis brewery, which is lesser known, Dunloe. It was good! I had a delicious Saison.

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Last weekend, my friends and I got together for a vegetarian potluck. I made the salad with apples, dried cranberries, aged cheddar, and balsamic vinaigrette. My friend made a delicious zucchini and eggplant lasagna, another made a carrot tahini soup, and there were tons of chips and dip. Plus pie! Even a GF one!

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My parents came to drop off Jackson’s cat climber, so we got lunch at the local salad place. This featured beets, butternut squash, apple, grilled fennel, roasted turkey, and a Dijon dressing.

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Dark beer+pup with my parents.

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I actually managed to flare my stomach yesterday which was annoying. Especially since it was the day before our first dissection lab.I’ve gotten really good at managing it though, and took the necessary steps. By the end of the night, I was feeling basically 100%! Steps: exercise, kombucha, and magic ginger soup.

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I made berry compote, and put it on top of yogurt with a banana and a little honey.

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Apparently Jackson loves yogurt. This breakfast was really hard to make because every time I turned around, his tongue was in my bowl.

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And finally, avocado toast and a salad with sautéed butternut squash, kale, lettuce, aged cheddar, an egg, and balsamic vinaigrette.

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Phew. Ok. So,  Jackson Update. He adapted remarkable well to living at school with me! He hid for about a day, but then around his wild time he was walking around and exploding. Now, he’s a little ball of energy. The first few days were rough because he was locked in my room, so he didn’t get his energy out before bed, resulting in early, early morning wildness that woke me up. Since getting full run of the house though, he gets his crazy out before bed.

He’s growing quickly. He was 5 pounds when I weighed him his first morning here. For reference, he started out as 3.4 pounds. He still has very prominent pelvic and shoulder bones, which is fantastic for me to practice palpation on since we’re learning about those bones. I can feel everything! He eats lots, and always wants what I’m having, to the point it’s difficult to cook anything without him sticking a tongue in my food. The other thing that is driving me crazy is he’s developed a weird obsession for getting into the kitchen sink, licking dishes and then tracking wet paw print everywhere. I think as I made/ate dinner tonight, I probably threw him out of the sink 15 times.

He and Rina are not friends yet, but she seems to be hissing/growling less. He keeps his distance, and she doesn’t seem stressed, just annoyed that he’s here. Jackson currently has 1 adult fang, 2 baby fangs, and 1 with and adult and a baby still there. He was in a crazy bitey/playful in bed phase a couple of days ago, but it seems better the past couple of days! One of his favorite toys is a mouse attached to a string and stick, and he pulls the mouse around, dragging the stick. It looks so silly! Ok, photo time! Some of the pictures are back home with the other kitties as well.

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Christmas, New Year’s, and Tons of Cats

Wow, I really haven’t had the motivation to blog lately, but here we are! I’m going to dive in with a succinct recap of the holidays, featuring lots and lots (and lots) of cats. Spoiler: We had 6 cats at my house on NYE.

The night before Christmas Eve, I made my pumpkin gingerbread, and enjoyed that with wine while watching Home Alone 2 (we watched the original last year).

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I started Christmas Eve with a festive spin class, of entirely Christmas songs.

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On Christmas Eve night, my whole family went to Benihana’s per our tradition. I just got beer, a salad, and their amazing fried rice, and then stole bites of my family’s food.

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Before we knew it, it was Jackson’s first Christmas!

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Kitten’s first stocking!

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^This was after I caught him looking extremely guilty with a little tree in his mouth.

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For breakfast, we had gingerbread (for me)/croissants (my parents), plus scrambled eggs and turkey bacon.

After breakfast, my mom and I headed to the bay to take Chloe for a little Christmas walk.

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Around lunchtime, my sister, her husband, and their two kitties came over (5 cats total in the house!)

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We ate an easy lunch of soup, and then opened presents.

My sister made us all homemade gelato! Mine was salted caramel.

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^This was my present to my sis! Lava and Ash, her kitties!

My sister and I were tasked with cooking Christmas dinner, which is a first for us. We poured champagne with pomegranate juice, and mulled wine to sip on while we cooked.

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My sister made homemade pasta, pumpkin soup, and brussels sprouts. I made cranberry sauce (with maple syrup) and cranberry citrus relish, and then ended up sort of roasted a turkey. I wanted to buy some slices from Whole Foods like we did a few years ago, but when I went on Christmas Eve, they didn’t have that. So I ended up buying a whole (pre-cooked) Diestel turkey. Apparently I looked clueless enough at the store, and the store worker was super helpful and told me how to heat it up: 350 for 1.5 hours, with the first .5 hour covered. It came out super well (and we had a ton of leftovers which were enjoyed all week).

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My sister’s husband is Jewish, and the two of them have perfected the latke. These are lemon truffle latkes with homemade apple sauce that my aunt sent us!

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Highlights from between the two holidays:

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Leftover turkey-cranberry opened faced sandwiches with laughing cow.

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AMAZING turkey and rice soup. My mom made turkey broth from the carcass, and the flavor was incredible. Served with Brazilian cheese balls.

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Beer flight during the Alamo bowl. This was a fun flight because we picked out the individual beers from Trader Joe’s, so it was all good things! Sadly the game didn’t go as planned…

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For our football food, we did BBQ turkey sweet potato nachos. Roasted sweet potato slices topped with BBQ sauce, 2% Mexican cheese, leftover turkey, and green onions.

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I made my weirdo salad with leftover roasted turkey instead of deli turkey and it was insanely good.

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Friday night, my parents and I finally made it out to the local brewery. They have a beer called “Beer Kitty,” so naturally I had to get that.

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They also had food trucks out. I had a kale salad with chicken, and french fries.

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On the way home, we stopped for frozen yogurt. I had chocolate mint and  eggnog. Both were super good!

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Saturday, I actually worked all day at the vet. It was good to be back, and we had lots of kitties that day—my favorite! I went out for dinner and beer with coworkers after as well. When I got home, it was madness. My family was gone, and my sister’s 2 kitties were staying with us as well. I got home to 5 kitties! Thankfully they all got along, and there were kitties EVERYWHERE!

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^All 5 in one shot!

My NYE consisted of a spin class, lots and lots of cat time, Jackson’s first kitten playdate at my friend’s house, then my friend bring her kitten to my house to make it 6 cats, and finally game night at a different friend’s house while our kitties played. The rest of the post will be exclusively cat pictures! I got a new phone, so the cat pictures are higher quality and I have more memory to store them! Happy New Year!

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San Francisco at Christmas and Holiday Foods

I’m back for another little holiday themed recap!

To be honest….I think one reason I’m struggling to feel like Christmas is just 2 days away is that I haven’t had a ton of holiday food, and I haven’t done any sort of Blogmas/12 Days of Christmas/Blogiversary!

I have one more Christmas-y adventure to catch you guys up on, as well as fitness and food things!

Yesterday, my family went into San Francisco to check out the Union Square Christmas tree and see the holiday kittens at Macy’s. I had originally thought that when I saw the kittens (up for adoption), it would be feasible for me to get one! However, Jackson is more than enough <3

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Also, I don’t know if I posted a picture of our tree yet, but it’s especially pretty this year! My parents went through our plethora of ornaments and picked out all the best (breakable) ones. Pretty bold move on their part with a new kitten!

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On Friday, after a 35 degree-unheated Crossfit workout, we headed into San Francisco, starting at the big mall. We ate lunch at the food court, and I got a big kale salad with butternut squash, apple, pumpkin seeds, chicken, and a maple curry vinaigrette.

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For dessert, I had a piece of GF cinnamon coffee cake that tasted like the inside of a cinnamon roll, and a few bites of my dad’s mousses.

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We shopped around a tiny bit before walking over to Union Square, first to see the Macy’s kittens!

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So cute!

Then, we walked over to the big tree in Union Square.

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We hung around there for a bit before deciding we wanted to grab a beer. I looked up nearby breweries, and we ended up at Thirsty Bear, which was also a tapas place with a delicious looking menu. We shared a flight of all their beers, as well as some samples of their holiday brews (including a lager with nutmeg).

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After our flight, my dad and I split the Panda Bear, a lager made with cacao nibs and vanilla. It was served with TCHO chocolate, which paired perfectly! It was really interesting because it was definitely a chocolatey beer, but it wasn’t a dark beer!

We finally headed home and ate dinner and relaxed until I went to a Christmas party with my friends! My friend’s house was decorated beautifully. They also had a white elephant exchange, but for snacks, which I thought was a great idea! It was also another great excuse to bust out my Christmas sweater! I’ve gotten lots of use out of it this year!

In terms of fitness this week, it’s been a mixture of Crossfit and spin. It’s nice being back at my home Crossfit, but Monday and Tuesday’s workout had my entire body hurting. Monday was 100 pull ups+100 wall balls. 2 days later, I could not straighten my arms! But I did 100 pull ups without ripping my hands, which was sort of a miracle. I was really happy with my workout; I was able to hold onto sets of 4 or 5 most of the way through the 100, only dropping to sets of 2-3 by the very end.

Then, Tuesday morning was 5 rounds of 20 power snatches and 50 double unders. Plus, we did 100 hollow rocks as part of the strength for the day (that crushed my abs). Thankfully, my double unders, which had been elusive over the preceding months, decided to return.

I’ve also been walking Chloe. We walked a couple of times with my friend and her dog (he’s gotten so big now!), and a couple of times solo with a podcast.

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In terms of food over break, here are a couple of fun things:

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Sort of open faced sloppy joes with ground turkey. Bread on the bottom, lettuce leaf on top. Plus some amazing roasted brussels sprouts. We drizzled them with truffle aged balsamic and it was absurd. I planned this meatier dinner for the night after 100 pull ups!

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Cooking Light’s Miso Ginger Noodle Bowls. I found these while flipping through the magazine!

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Crustless vegetable quiche (filled with broccoli, peppers, mozzarella, and feta), roasted asparagus with truffle salt, and GF baguette with olive oil and that amazing balsamic.

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GF molasses ginger cookies from the GF bakery in the city. So delicious! Also pieces of this See’s toffee bar. These remind me of my childhood; we used to sell them as a band fundraiser in middle school (I played the violin), and I haven’t had one in years! Most toffee has nuts, but these don’t!

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And finally, open faced turkey and havarti sandwiches with persimmon on top, broiled. Green beans with a lemon dill seasoning blend on the side.

And finally:

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Starbucks peppermint hot chocolate. Of course with whipped cream. I got it with nonfat milk, so I guess it’s a compromise!

I don’t expect to post again before Christmas, so I hope everyone has a fabulous holiday!

 

Holiday Festivities

Hello! I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season! I wanted to catch up on my holiday adventures!

First, we’re going to step it back to just before finals week. I actually drove home the weekend before finals to go to my dad’s company Christmas party.

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I’ve never missed one, and I decided it would be a good break from school and studying, plus it would allow me to spend a day studying with my kitty at home! (And I re-listened to a lecture on the drive back.)

Of course, there was good food!
Salad:

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Snapper:

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And cheesecake:

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The next day, I baked peppermint bark muffins with a gluten free muffin mix I had lying around, plus Ghiradelli peppermint bark chips and chocolate chips.

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The next Christmas festivities occurred right after finals. I knew I was going to want to celebrate the semester, so I scheduled my annual Christmas cooking making with my best friends from high school.

Another bonus? One of my friends has a new kitten!

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Here’s our handiwork!

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Saturday night, my family and I went to a Dickens Christmas Fair. It was really cool! It was exactly what it sounds like. Lots of people were dressed up. There was food, things to buy, and performances going on.

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We were there kind of late so a lot of the food was gone. I had a baked potato and steamed vegetables.

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And a GF cookie.

Sunday, it was time for the Santa Run! It’s an afternoon race so it’s always awkward working out meals. I made my shortcut ginger butternut squash soup.

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We got super lucky! The weather was absolutely beautiful! Some years it’s been cold and/or rainy!

I was not super confident going into this race. My ankle is still bad (and likely will be for the foreseeable future). But I couldn’t miss this race!

I went out at a decently fast pace the first two miles, but sort of jogged the last mile. Unfortunately, eating gluten in Christmas cookies a few nights before had be feeling sick in the following days. Oh well, lesson learned!

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Not too bad of a time, all things considered!

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Embarrassingly, I actually re-rolled my bad ankle within the last .1 mile, but since my ankle issues are weirder than just a role, I don’t think it made any lasting difference thankfully!

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At the finish line, we grabbed snacks (chicken tamale for me) and explored Christmas at the Park. Apparently the 600 Christmas trees there this year was a Guinness World Record!

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I actually ended up pulling off a third place in my age group!

After exploring the festivities, we grabbed beers at a place we’ve stood outside in past years because they had heat lamps and it was freezing!

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On the way home, we stopped in Palo Alto to see lights on a famous street that apparently has been decorating since the 1940s! It was pretty cool! The decorations seemed like they were from another era—a lot of wooden figures.

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While in Palo Alto, we stopped at Sweetgreen. I got a salad with burssels sprouts and a delicious cranberry vinaigrette.

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Later in the week, my mom and I went to the Ferry Building in San Francisco.

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We stopped at Mariposa for lunch, a gluten free bakery. I had a turkey sandwich, and we split some muffins (the pumpkin chocolate chip is my favorite!)

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We also tried a couple of gourmet chocolates: Rose chocolate and burnt caramel.

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This post is getting super long, so I’ll save the remaining festivities, but I’ll leave you with some of my favorite kitten pictures of the week!

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Let’s Catch Up: Meet Jackson!

It’s been a minute since I blogged. I even missed my Blogiversary! But things have been absolutely wild over here between vet school finals, Christmas festivities, and most importantly, the newest addition to our family! I’m going to do a couple of recap posts, but because this is the most important by far, let’s start with the newest addition!

Meet Jackson!

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I made it through an entire semester of vet school without adopting any animals…and then went to the shelter right after finishing my finals and driving home. I honestly didn’t expect to come home with a kitten, but he was just too perfect! While initially shy, he’s turning into quite the talkative and playful boy. The shyness did not last long at all!

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He’s 4 months old and is dark gray and white. He looks completely different from one side to the other because one side has spots and the other is totally white!

Interestingly, the kitten interfered with blogging about the kitten. Everything is a toy (including my laptop charger) to a kitten, and nothing is more fun than walking across a keyboard.

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He’s actually doing well with the other pets too! He hisses and growls at Chloe if she gets to close, but she’s been very calm with him. Lilly was interested in him right away, and when he’s loose in the house (he was mostly kept in my room), she’s almost always nearby. Charlie wasn’t too happy for the first couple of days. He was hissing at me, and hissed and growled when he saw Jackson. However, he started getting more curious in Jackson and less hissy, and last night they were both romping around the house playing together! Charlie is a pretty playful cat, and now that he’s warmed up to Jackson, I think he’s happy to have a playmate! Jackson is very easy going and took all the hissing and growling in stride.

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His biggest flaws are that he doesn’t understand gravity and is constantly rolling off of things, and he is still learning how to cat! He never just sits, he always just flops and rolls over. <3

More recap posts on the end of the semester, food, and holiday festivities!