SF Pup Adventures

The “OMG I’m leaving in a week” adventures continue.

For lunch on Friday, I drove up to San Francisco for lunch to catch up with two of my high school friends.

I had an Asian chicken salad.


A Giant GF cookie (It was staring at me the whole meal, so how could I not?)


And some great conversation with fantastic people.

That evening, I had just enough time for Crossfit before picking up a college friend from the train station. She recently moved to Boston, but was here for work and stayed with me for the weekend.

For dinner, we had homemade lasagna with zucchini noodles, salad, and bread with dipping sauce.


Because the occasion warranted it, I broke out some of the home brew chocolate milk stout (yes, I still owe you all a post on the process!)

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One of my other friends brought a MASSIVE amount of peaches to us, so while sipping our beer, we made a delicious peach crisp using our favorite blueberry crisp recipe.

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We ended the night with peach crisp and a movie.

Saturday, we had a big day of dog-friendly adventure planned. First, we drove to the city and visited my FAVORITE coffeeshop/donutery, Dynamo Donuts. They have an outdoor patio, so Chloe was able to sit with us.


Of course, I’m a sucker for marketing and had to get her a doggy donut.


I got a GF lemon buttermilk donut.


With a cappuccino of course.


My friend requested some outdoorsy activities, and we were originally going to hike around Mt Tam, but traffic wasn’t looking good in the area, and it was unclear how to get to the dog friendly areas, so we decided to head over to Crissy Field instead.

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We did the fairly steep climb up to the bridge, and of course Chloe had a blast.


I didn’t really think about how touristy this area was. Chloe is a pretty noticeable dog, and it was interesting to see people, especially kids, exclaim about her in a multitude of languages!


Bridge views:

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After our walk/hike, we drove across the city to All Good Pizza for a “Paws for a Cause” event benefiting an organization that helps adopt out animals. There were tons of dogs there, and Chloe was moderately well behaved to start.

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The pizza place was basically a permanent food truck with a beer garden-esque outdoor area. I tried a few bites of my friend’s pizza and it was super good! I got a kale salad with turkey.


We didn’t stay too long because as the event got busier, there were more and more dogs and Chloe got a bit overstimulated and barky. My friend suggested we go somewhere with a beer flight, and through some googling, we found Southern Pacific Brewing Company.


This was the perfect place because they had a big flight with all of their house beers, and dog-friendly outdoor seating. I really, really enjoyed the Hefeweizen. It had a really interesting depth of flavor. My second favorite was the farmhouse ale.


Chloe was good until some barmy dogs came, but she was manageable with the presence of her new favorite treats.


Then, it was time to head home. We cleaned up and relaxed for a bit before heading out for Thai food with a college friend we hadn’t seen in over a year who just moved back to the area!


^Garlic chicken with brown rice.

We had so much to catch up on that we couldn’t stop at dinner, and headed to a pub next door for beers.


Eventually it was time to part ways. A couple of people from Crossfit were out, so on the way home we stopped by and hung out with them for a while. Seeing so many people these last couple of weeks is making leaving so hard!

Sunday morning, I sadly had to take my friend to the airport. On the way back, I stopped at the gym for a spin class and got my movement in early for the day.

Lunch was leftover lasagna and some of the amazing fruit we currently have in our fridge.


After lunch, I made my dad’s Father’s Day gift: our family recipe for trifle.

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This recipe is actually pretty simple. Line the dish with lady fingers or pound cake, spread with jam, top with 3 tablespoons of cherry and let it sit 5 minutes, then top with custard. The custard is just pudding from a mix with an extra 1/2c of milk added. Then topped with whipped cream and a cherry!

I made my only baby GF version with a leftover blueberry lemon muffin from the freezer as the cake, raspberry jam, a minuscule amount of sherry, and the custard.


We basically spent all afternoon watching baseball.

For dinner, I went out to a pan-Asian place with a high school friend who I have no seen in a while. We both ordered soup to start; sweet corn and chicken for me!


Then we split a paneer based Asian dish that was really different, but good!


We walked around downtown a little bit afterwards, and I got some ice cream from Baskin Robbins. I haven’t been there in forever, and ordered my childhood favorite, Gold Medal Ribbon.


It was such a fun weekend full of amazing people. I cannot wait for more adventures this week!

Blogmas Day 23: Christmas Cookies

I had a more informational post planned for today, but I just don’t have it in me, so it will have to wait until after Blogmas. I’m so freaking tired, but for lots of festive reasons!

The first of which being my annual Christmas cookie baking night, which I’ll share today! Nothing like some cookies to get into the holiday spirit, right?

This tradition started in my freshman year of high school (eek).


And we’ve done it every year since. We usually use this recipe for sugar cookies, and then make frosting from the recipe on the powdered sugar.

Let’s see if I can dig up throwbacks from the years past, shall we?

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^This is freshman year. The VERY first time we made cookies actually wasn’t for Christmas!


^Also freshman…?

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^Sophomore. We made a gingerbread house murder scene and gingerbread cookies.

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^Senior. No cookie pictures but I KNOW based on these pictures we must have done it.


^College freshman

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^College sophomores

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^College Juniors

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^College Seniors

And now, somehow, we’re college grads, but we still managed to squeeze it in.

We started the evening with dinner at a Japanese restaurant. I had miso soup and salad with grilled chicken.

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And of course, everyone was decked out in their Christmas sweaters.



We poured a little champagne as we rolled out the dough.

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Once everything came out, it was decorating time! I had some help from Chloe, of course. Once she got over how excited she was to see everyone, she was much calmer thankfully!


And here are the results!

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I actually used half gluten free, half regular flour for the dough. I thought that I would be able to eat a few bites then without dying, and without harming the texture too much!


Delicious. No death, but I think I was way sleepier than I should have been when everyone left just before midnight!

Such a great night with friends, and I love this tradition that we’ve maintained year after year. I hope it’s something I continue to look forward to as our lives change and we move away!

This morning, I participated in another Christmas tradition. At 6am. But come on, worth it for 12 days of Christmas!


This is always a fun one. The workout goes like the song…1 push up, 2 burpees 1 push up, 3 PU 2 burpees 1 push up….etc.

I used 75# for the barbell movements and finished in 36:55. It was surprisingly festive for 6am, and definitely a fun way to start the day! That being said, I think a nap may be in my future….

One a final note, I achieved one of my life goals of getting a snapchat filter on my cat. Merry Christmas.




Blogmas Day 4: Best Moments

Today in Blogmas we’re taking a break from recipes (more to come though) to talk about something a little bit different: being grateful and finding light in dark times. Everyone has been talking about how 2016 was a terrible year, that we’re just waiting to end. While a lot of terrible things did happen this year, life is too short to write off a whole year, or even a whole bunch as we wait for 2016 to end.

As 2016 draws to a close, I encourage everyone to take a moment and look back on the good times in 2016. What’s done is done, but we can shift our mindset. Don’t let the negatives wash out the positives for 2016. Life really is filtered by whatever attitude you take on. I challenge you to look back over the past year and find 10 of your “best moments.” 10 times that you were exhilaratingly happy, times that you were proud, times that you felt loved. Let go of the negativity and hold these 10 best moments close to you as we hop into 2017.

For inspiration, here are my best moments.


A fantastic night with a best friend resulted in a victory in which we won expensive wine.


I finally made it out to some Stanford baseball games. One of my big college regrets was not going to more games, so I made it happen in my final year.


Doing better than expected in the Crossfit Open. I didn’t rank super highly by any means, but I made some big breakthroughs in Crossfit and I think they started to come out in the Open. Plus, good workouts with good people? Always fun.


Going to Seattle for spring break with some of my best friends, and especially this night. I had dark beer for the first time and the beer I had was the best I’d ever had. Still on a beer kick since then!


Running the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in DC. This race was a dream for me to run, and I was so excited to get in through the lottery. I may have been slightly sick, had a broken foot, and run in sub-freezing 50 mph wind, but it was all totally worth it.


Going to a beach house with some good friends. It was so great to spend time together, get off campus, and unplug (no cell signal there).


Not letting the boot hold me back. I tried to have fun with it and do all the same fun activities with it. I put lights on it. It was my pal, my trusty sidekick. Always find the positive in negative situations.

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This is one of the moments where I was just so overwhelming happy. I had a little graduation party during the last week of school, and everyone I care about came. It was incredible. There was a school tradition of walking around campus as a giant group on the last night of the year, ending in the fountain. I had never been since I would usually go home earlier than that, and everyone wanted to go. I had just gotten my boot off and could barely walk, and surely couldn’t make it all the way across campus on foot. My friends literally took turns carrying me across campus. So grateful for them.


Visiting Emily in Nashville when I was living in Tennessee. I had such an amazing time, and it was great to see a friendly face and catch up after some time living alone, plus getting some solid life advice.


My time in Knoxville was incredible. I think one of the best moments was leading an alpaca around, although I don’t have pictures of that for confidentiality reasons. It was one of those moments where I just thought, “this is so freaking cool.” When I came home, I felt like a completely different person thanks to all my experiences there. And it got me even more excited about my future career path.


Coming home from Knoxville and seeing old friends, and getting a good look at this view. I love my city.

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Doing something I never thought I’d do: go to a country concert. After living in Tennessee for 5 weeks, I felt pretty qualified to attend a Florida Georgia Line concert in St. Louis. I went alone, but still had a blast. Made me miss TN!


The Giant’s wildcard win, which was incredible and allowed me the chance to take a trip to Chicago (my first time there!) to see my home team play in the playoffs. We can also toss in our Game 3 victory which was the biggest roller coaster of emotions and kept me up past 3 am.


Bottle feeding young goats at Grant’s Farm. Or even just being surrounded my goats. I love goats.


Running the Halloween Race in St. Louis. It was my grand return to racing post-stress fracture, and it’s always fun to do races in new cities.


Yindi (Tasmanian Devil) playing with a pumpkin. This made my morning, my week, and my year. This was the only thing that was going to cheer me up the day after the election.

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Wine tasting in Missouri wine country with my fantastic coworkers. But seriously, my zoo buddies were incredible and I miss them dearly!


And finally, having the opportunity to spend hours a week with this fantastic creature. I miss Kali!

What is one of your best moments?

It’s Crunch Time, My Friends

Well, we’re in the home stretch. My app will be submitted on Friday. Lots to do before now and then! (Just a note for anyone who may see this post and benefit: I’m submitting my app about a month before the deadline so everything has time to process, just in case!)

Although it’s Tuesday, I thought we could still do a little weekend recap!

My Saturday morning began with a fun spin class and a trip to the farmer’s market.


I really, really love figs. And California peaches—they cannot be beat! Pro-tip: put your farmer’s market peaches in the fridge ASAP even if they are still hard. They ripen super fast and will start to rot otherwise! (I knew this but still failed to do it…)

For lunch, I picked up a falafel salad with tahini dressing from a food truck.


And enjoyed the last of the caramel sauce with Halo Top and whipped cream.


The afternoon was low key, but dinner was delicious. We had grilled romaine salad with avocado, chicken, and grilled corn. Last time we made this salad, we used grade B maple syrup for the dressing, and this time we used syrup that was less than A. It made a HUGE difference—I’m never going away from B again! This was sweeter with less mapley flavor and the whole salad didn’t hve the same “wow” factor as before.


I was in the mood to bake, but didn’t want to commit to a giant loaf of bread, so I tried the 2 ingredient cookies I’ve been seeing all over the internet lately. 2 bananas, 1 cup of oats, 12 minutes in the oven at 350. I spiced them up a bit by adding some milk and semi sweet chocolate chips (I may or may not have gone to the store exclusively to buy milk chocolate chips, but worth it!), and fresh strawberries to some of them.

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The verdict? Delicious, but I highly recommend adding chocolate chips. They MADE them.


Sunday morning, I went for a run! I went to my favorite place ever to run, down by the reservoir. It is just so beautiful there. I was struck by the fact that the last time I ran there, I was running on a stress fracture. I ran 3 miles! This is a big deal, because it’s the furthest I’ve gone since my stress fracture. I don’t think I’m going to be running longer than 3 miles for a while though. It’s a good distance, and there’s no reason to take any risks. My foot definitely doesn’t feel as good as new. It feels really creaky, and I think there might be some scar tissue there. But again, I am being careful.

Sunday afternoon, I went to a Giant’s game with my friend. It was AMAZING weather. No jacket—what??

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My lunch was actually a salad. At a baseball game. I do concede that that is sort of ridiculous. I normally get amazing flatbread, but I’ve gotten it the last couple of times. This beet+parmesan salad was delicious though!

We left a little early to get on the train to go home, and in that time the lead was blown and we lost. :/

I was hungry by the time we got home, so my family and I quickly threw together fig and goat cheese salad with grilled chicken, and had some of the homemade buttermilk biscuits my mom whipped up that morning.


Monday consisted of vet school apps and a hard but fun Crossfit workout. We worked on snatches, and I was able to hit the prescribed 65% feeling good!

The WOD was full of all the things I love to do. I was the only one in the class, and would have preferred someone to suffer through it with! It was:

10 rounds: 5 pull ups, 7 front squats, 9 push ups

I think it took me around 16 minutes? I used 75# for the pull ups.

Food highlights for the day included butternut squash, chicken, and quinoa stew with roasted brussels spouts:


And leftover graduation cupcakes from the freezer:


2 months later, I stand by my decision to ask the cupcake place to switch the dulce de leche and chocolate frostings, resulting in dulce cake with chocolate frosting, and chocolate cake with dulce frosting.

The best part? I still have 2 more in the freezer, which I’m eyeing for dessert tonight!

Did you ever apply to grad school? How was the process?


The Weekend and Beyond

Whelp, it’s officially that point in the quarter. Over the past week I’ve had to write a couple of scientific research papers (surprisingly fun and interesting) and just took a midterm today. I finally feel I have some relief! Despite all that, I still had an awesome Valentine’s Day weekend. I’m going to to a sentence per picture recap (pretty sure I’ve never done this before, but why not?). Also—apparently I love experimenting on myself. I think I actually just love the scientific process, but whatever. Anyways, details tomorrow on a new experiment!


Pre-first run of my 10 miler training—4 miles this week.


Saturday I had a chocolate tasting event with my dorm and then dragged my sister out (with the condition she could wear pajamas); the night included meeting new people, seeing kitties, and a cat ear cleaning #vettech.


The stars aligned for my schedule on Sunday; spin class at my favorite studio then a cupcake pickup, then lunch with some of my high school besties!


I stole GF cornbread from the freezer at home and have been eating it all week with a touch of butter and honey; side of tomato soup with cheddar (the best way to eat tomato soup!)

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Little cupcake mishap in the car but cupcakes escaped relatively unscathed; Valentine’s sampler included coconut chocolate, chocolate cream, caramel chocolate, red velvet, chocolate raspberry, and white chocolate passionfruit.


The gluten free—dulce de leche and chocolate. Freaking amazing, and I have 2 left in the freezer!


I threw a Valentine’s Day party for my friends on Sunday night and it was awesome; the spread included English cheddar and 1000 day aged gouda from TJ’s, crackers, and cupcakes.

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My friends are the cutest; we had an awesome turnout and everyone had a great time!


Luna has a new formula and I strongly dislike it, especially the S’mores (the lemon seemed ok and I haven’t tried the others) so I’m trying to stock up!


Whole Foods green smoothie post-80 degree noon Crossfit was perfect and necessary; the workout included lots of back squats which luckily I am getting less sore from each week.


Leftover GF dulce de leche cupcake, inside view!


Sometimes I’m so classy I can’t handle myself. Breakfast was yogurt in a jar because I had a jar to use and we were out of bowls. Lunch in a can because I didn’t have anything else to store it in.


I tried this for the first time and like it better than the other flavors. It’s growing on me but needs some salt; better alone because it’s a milder flavor overpowered by yogurt! I’m still partial to my farmer’s market gourmet sun butters though.


The Grad School of Business arguable has the best food on campus, and I had some awesome chicken mushroom chowder. Also exciting, but right before lunch I successfully gave a mouse an IV injection!


I like Italian food way better without pasta I’m learning. Tons os delicious homemade sauce over greens, with plenty of cheese. I added a meatball after the picture.


New favorite way to eat bananas: once they get speckled I won’t eat them plain, but they’re awesome microwaved and served with a pool of chocolate butterscotch sunbutter! Eaten post semi-soggy run. I hit my paces at least!

Check back in tomorrow for details+results of my experiment!