On the Tenth Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me…

10 best things I ate in the past year.

This is arguably my favorite post I do for 12 Days of Christmas. So here’s a peak at the best things from the past year!

1. This raspberry pastry thing from the Danish Christmas town, Solvang. It was sort of like a fancier, better, moister pop tart.


2. Chocolate ice cream from Tin Pot. This is my absolute favorite ice cream, and I’m pretty sure it’ll make the list every year.



3. Nutella-filled chocolate chip cookies with sea salt. My roommate made these right before winter break and they were AMAZING. (Note-this is before I started avoiding nuts 100%.) Picture perfect chocolate chips cookies, and then stick nutella in the middle. And the sea salt on top? Perfect.

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4. Guacamole from the restaurant Reposado in downtown Palo Alto. It was amazing. I think it may have had cheese mashed in?


5. Salmon from fancy restaurants in DC. My parents came to help me move in and get settled, and we went to a couple of nice places, one of which was in our hotel. Both were delicious!

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6. Guacamole greens salad from Sweetgreen. The amount of times I had this over the summer was ridiculous. The salad was fabulous though-it tasted just like fresh guacamole!

7. Maryland crab cake at the Nationals ballpark. I have rarely had crab cakes, but my grandma insisted I needed to have something with Maryland crab while I was over there. When it was my last weekend and I still hadn’t had any, I opted to get a crab cake at the ballpark, and I’m so glad I did! Phenomenal! I may be a crab cake person now.



8. Arepa from a place at the Oxbow market in Napa. The place was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and I can see why! This sweet corn arepa had tofu, platains, avocado, cheese, and black beans.


9. Pumpkin soup at Thanksgiving in Napa. Last year, butternut squash soup was on the list. Now-I think I’ve moved on! I can’t wait to make this over break.


10. Sibby’s cupcakes. Honestly, I think this place deserves its own post. After searching all over DC for the best cupcake, I found it was right under my nose, 10 minutes from my hometown. I have nothing but amazing things to say about these cupcakes.

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What is the best thing you ate in the past year?



On the Ninth Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me…

9 best moments from the past year.

(I apologize that this post is late to go up!)

1. The Giant’s winning the world series. No explanation necessary.

2. Going to a Giant’s game in DC. It was so fun to see a new ballpark, and I felt so much SF pride!


3. A random trip to the pumpkin patch. My friends and I made a spur of the moment decision to visit a nearby pumpkin patch and it was awesome because there were SO MANY.


4. Visiting my friends from high school over the summer right before I went back to school. It had been SO long and it was just like old times!


5. The Giant’s parade. This was amazing, despite sitting in the rain for 5+ hours being absolutely drenched. So worth braving the elements! There was so much Giant’s love and it was so cool to see all the players.

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6. Our Halloween party. This was the best because I’m obsessed with Halloween, and it was an opportunity to see all of my favorite people at once. And yes, this was the same day as the Giant’s parade, so it was a pretty freaking great day!

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7. Doing the Crossfit competition. I had never done a competition before, so that was a lot of fun. Plus, it was for such a great and meaningful cause.


8. Teaching my second real spin class. I say the second and not the first because I was pretty frazzled for the first one. By the second one, I finally found my groove and it was amazing! I left with such a high!

9. Visiting the monuments at night. This was just amazing-they were stunning.

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On the Eighth Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me…

8 holiday traditions.

Hey guys! Sorry this post is going up a little late. My blog was down for some unknown reason last night-I hope that did not cause anyone problems!

Also-does anyone mind that I’m not linking the other 7 days? It was starting to get really tedious in terms of posting but also with the link backs. So without further ado, let’s get into some of the holiday traditions I/my family do every year! Here’s last year’s!

1. Every year my family goes to Napa over Thanksgiving-whether it be for the day or just around Thanksgiving. I can’t remember the last time we didn’t go. This year we went for Thanksgiving day and the day after.

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2. Every year I pull out my peppermint body spray from Bath and Body Works. I got this at least 5 years ago, and the smell just reminds me of the holidays! Plus, it’s sparkly!


3. Every year on Christmas Eve, my family loads into the car with the dog and drives around looking at Christmas lights.


(I totally almost used the same picture as I did last year…)

4. Every Christmas Eve my family goes to Benihana’s, a Japanese steakhouse where they cook food in front of you.


5. Every year my best friends and I get together and make Christmas cookies. They’re just basic sugar cookies, but the fun part is decorating! This one started out because as middle schoolers we were obsessed with plaid things, and wanted to make plaid cookies.



6. Shopping in the city. Every year around the holidays, the same friends and I go up to San Francisco to go shopping and walk around. And see the kittens in the window at Macy’s.

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7.  Christmas movies. These happen every year as well, although the only one that we seem to see EVERY year is Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas. That’s my dad’s favorite-not sure how he manages to get that on the list every year! It does seem to have some good life lessons though. My favorite is The Year Without a Santa Claus.

8. Decorations. This is one of the best parts! A simple bow can make everything more festive. We always get a real tree. We used to go to tree lots, but found Whole Foods has the best and cheapest trees!

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How does your family celebrate the holidays?

On the Seventh Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me…

7 things that haven’t changed in the past year.

After looking at a post from last year’s 12 Days of Christmas about things that have changed, I realized how much really has stayed the same in the past year. So, I thought it would be interesting to look at some of those things!

1. Running. I did 2 half marathons the prior year, and 2 this year. Additionally, my 5k/10k schedule for winter is likely going to be exactly the same as last year. What can I say-I get in a groove! And to be honest, I’m not sure I can do more halfs than this. I tried for 3 and ended up having to drop thanks to chronic injuries. Maybe if I spaced them better? I don’t know-I enjoy the shorter races too-it’s a different kind of training!

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2. My workouts in general. I’m in a pretty good Crossfit+running+spin groove right now. Not much different than a year ago!

3. My friends. I feel like friend groups change a lot from Freshman to Sophomore year, but I feel like I’ve kept a lot of the same people in my life this year, which is great!

(This is my roommate and my Christmas card…or something…)

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4. My love of cats. I honestly feel like my interests have changed a bit over the last year. Or, at least shifted. This has not changed.


5. My general demeanor. In my first year of blogging, I feel like I was all over the place. I think being at a new place and doing new things can change a lot. But I suppose it is just same old, same old over here! My writing style tends to reflect how I’m feeling and I think it’s a lot more sane and even now, as it was last year.

6. Apparently my love of persimmons. This is a silly one, but my roommate brought back a TON more persimmons as I believe I mentioned before. Guess which year is which?

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On that note-my roommate also hasn’t changed!

7. My major. Thank goodness. I think I’ve been all over the place with what I want to ultimately do, but at least I’ve had a clear idea that I wanted to do Biology from Day 1, so whatever I do I’m on the right track and not behind!


In what way HAVEN’T you changed?

On the Fourth Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me…

4 variations on a theme

3 new recipes

2 workouts

1 family

When I saw last year’s post for this day, I was stuck. Uhh you can only mash bananas so many ways! Instead, I decided to alter the the idea to variations on a theme. Much easier to work with! But what could I make 4 ways?

Custard! Last summer, I tried my hand at healthy banana custard and it came out really well. In the fall, I tried pumpkin custard. But then I realized I never posted the original recipe! And here’s a bonus-one version is a microwave version of the original as well. Although fair warning, it is  bit hard to not get it to overflow in the microwave. That happened when I made it in DC at the house I was staying at. Let’s just say that microwave needed the cleaning. *Shudder* So let’s get to it!

First, we’ll go through general custard making, and then I’ll do adjustments for each variation. Note that I use egg whites and skim milk for it. If you want to make it richer, feel free to use full fall milk or egg yolks.

Custard Making

1. Heat milk up in medium/large pot until it simmers.


2. Meanwhile, whisk egg whites and corn starch together (and banana is recipe calls for it) in a medium/large bowl.

3. Remove milk from heat and pour onto the side of the bowl with the egg mixture, while wisking the mixed mixture.

4. Immediately pour everything back into the pot and cook on medium high until everything thickens.

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5. Stir in butter and vanilla

Ok! Now for the fun part.

Banana custard

3 bananas, well mashed (can microwave to soften them but cool before adding to egg mixture)

1 T butter

1 t vanilla

2 c milk

1 c egg whites

1/4c cornstarch


Bananas Foster Custard


3 bananas, sliced

2 T butter

1 t vanilla

2 c milk

1 c egg whites

1/4c cornstarch

2 T brown sugar

1 t cinnamon

Sautee 1 T butter, the cinnamon, the brown sugar, and the bananas.


Sautee until soft and tender, and then lightly mash.


Let the bananas cool before adding them to the egg and corn starch mixtures, and follow the directions above for custard making.


Eggnog Custard


2 cups light eggnog or soynog/coconut milk nog/almond milk nog (go with regular eggnog if you want it super rich-I used Silk Soynog)

1 cup egg whites

1/4 c corn starch

1 T butter

1 t vanilla

Follow above instruction for custard with eggnog in place of milk.


When this came off the stove, I was sort of blown away and decided it needed to be inside a cake. I used it as a filling for pumpkin cake and it was fantastic!

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Microwave Banana Custard

I made this for breakfast in DC when I wanted something lighter and fast with a good protein kick!


1 very ripe banana

(optional 1 T corn starch)

2/3 c milk

1/3 c egg whites

dash of vanilla

1 t butter (optional)

1. Mash up banana in microwave safe bowl and heat about 30 seconds or until soft. Mash again.

2. Add milk, egg, and corn starch to bowl and mix well.

3. Heat on high until mixture thickens, stirring every 30 seconds. Make sure it doesn’t overflow!

4. Stir in butter and vanilla.

And because I’m still home, here is your holiday cat quota of the day:

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