The Next Chapter

Just less than 2 years ago, I shared with you my excitement and nerves as I announced Nathan and my big move across the country to California. As we approach our 2 year anniversary in the Bay Area, I’m excited to announce that we are going to be moving back to Baltimore! In a month, no less!

Oakland Bay Bridge

Oakland Bay Bridge on our first day in California.

Our time in California has truly been great. It was scary moving out here on one income, not knowing anyone, and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. There were a lot of smiles, laughs, butterflies, and tears along the way, but I can confidently say we did it. I’ve never been one for change; I’m a creature of habit and change scares the crap out of me. But I quit my 9 to 5, moved with my husband across the country, made some friends, and started a brand new career.

Nathan Mt Tam

We conquered Mt. Tam!

My experience here as a personal trainer has made me a stronger and more easy-going person. Sure, I knew how to work out on my own, but starting as a personal trainer in a place where I had no network was tough! And you can bet I don’t have a set schedule; not day-to-day, not week-to-week. I’ve built up to more than 20 sessions per week and I’ll definitely miss my clients and co-workers. It’s going to be tough to replace my work family.

Teresa Brittany Truve Oakland

Love this lady!

Marcus

Marcus and I have spent many bright and early mornings training together.

Over the past week, as I’ve broken the news to all of my clients, I’ve gotten some amazing responses that has made me feel like this is the right job and industry for me. I started out flying by the seat of my pants and I never thought people would tell me they’d miss having me as a trainer! It makes me confident that I’ll find my place as a trainer in Baltimore.

It’s certainly going to be a whirlwind of a month packing up and hitting the road. Did I mention we’re driving this time?! It’s going to be a hell of a trip; we’re headed down to L.A. and San Diego for a few days to start, then over to the Grand Canyon, and taking a southern route back to B-More. We’re absolutely stopping in Memphis for some BBQ, too! If you have any suggestions on any must-see [or must eat.. or drink] places, I’m all ears!

Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco California

Soaking it in.

I’m excited to move back to Baltimore and to be with family and friends again, but I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.

Nathan Erin Don Brittany Mt Tam

The never-ending hike.

Jessie Brittany Wine Country Napa

I definitely foresee some wine country vacations in our future.

As I look back on my 1 year in California post, it still remains true. Nathan is my best friend, California’s pretty darn cool, and home is where the heart is.

Mom Dad Brittany Berkeley

They’re not excited at all that we’re moving home!

Nathan Brittany Sliver Berkeley

Cheers!

Gloria Ferrer Sparkling Wine

To the next chapter.

And with that, it’s time to scratch things off of our California Bucket List! You can be there will be plenty of pictures on Instagram so don’t forget to follow!

Food for Thought

What would be on your bucket list?
Any suggestions for cross-country driving?

Life Lately

Hi, friends! I hope you had a great weekend and are ready to kick off this week. Next Monday is Memorial Day so hopefully most of you will have a nice 3-day weekend next weekend. Just a little something to get you through the week 😉 Thanks for sticking with me through my lack of posting lately. I’ll get back to my normal routine one of these days, but for now, this seems to be working for me, so I’m going with it.

I’m still waiting to start my new job so I’m currently enjoying a little extra downtime. It’s nice to only be working at 2 gyms right now. Ha, never thought 2 jobs would be when I got to relax! So, where exactly have I been the past few weeks?

Well, Nathan’s sister came to visit for a week. She was here for his birthday which was spent at the Giants’ game. Birthdays and baseball go together like baseball and beer.. which, of course, we had.

Nathan Marcie Drakes Brewery

Day 1! Drakes Brewery, straight from the airport. We don’t mess around!

Nathan Brittany San Francisco Giants Baseball

A birthday win!

Monterey Bay Aquarium Jellyfish

Finally made it to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Nathan Marcie Brittany Wine Country Vineyard Jaccuzzi

Photo-bombing my own picture.

Mayo Family Winery Vineyard

One of our new favorite wineries.

We also celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary last week. It’s so crazy to think that it’s already been 2 years. And at the same time, it’s only been 2 years. I bet you wouldn’t be too surprised to learn that we celebrated with food and drinks.

Clove and Hoof Pork Pate Terrine Arugula Anniversary

Surprise picnic at work!

Pizzaiolo Oakland Anniversary Menu

Pizzaiolo Oakland Aperol Spritz Anniversary

Aperol Spritz to take us back.

Pizzaiolo Oakland Tagliatelle Pasta Porcini Mushroom Anniversary

Oh, those porcinis and fresh pasta ❤

Pizzaiolo Oakland Margherita Pizza Anniversary

Holy Margherita!

We try to get back to our honeymoon as much as possible, so an impromptu picnic at Nathan’s office and Pizzaiolo for dinner had to happen. It was named one of the best pizzas in the Bay Area and it was definitely delicious; the crust was the most light, fluffy, tender crust we’ve ever had. That said, Il Casaro still wins for our favorite pizza since Italy. Next month, we’re going to see Book of Mormon. I called that the anniversary gift so we’re also planning on going to a nice dinner that night before the show. Any recommendations around the Orpheum Theater?

We’ve also made a successful foccacia bread at home [and by we, I mean Nathan..] which is HUGE for us! AND I’m dying over the fruit lately. Yogurt + cherries + nut butters [peanut and almond because I couldn’t decide] = heaven.

Homemade Foccacia Bread Fage Yogurt Cherries Almond Peanut Butter

In the fitness world, I’m finishing up my 30 Day Kettlebell Challenge and have loved it. It’s been so refreshing to change it up and get my butt kicked in 25 minutes or less! Since I’ve just mainly been following that program this month, I’ve cut my cardio back significantly to typically one 30 minute run per week in addition to a quick warmup on the elliptical before my workouts. It has certainly helped me to fit my workouts in between clients. And speaking of clients, they’re picking up too! I’m searching for pockets of time but I’m so excited to have more clients these days. Only up from here, right?

My meal planning has been lacking a little bit lately, so let’s all get back to that, shall we?

Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday – Nathan’s whole roasted chicken with roasted sugar snap peas and [sweet] potatoes
MondayCoconut Honey Lime Filipino Chicken Adobo Skewers with roasted red pepper and zucchini chips
TuesdayBalsamic Watermelon Chicken Salad
WednesdayJerk Chicken Kabobs with Balsamic Fennel Salad
Thursday – Leftovers
Friday – Out!
Saturday – Leftovers

Food for Thought

What’s happening in your life lately?
Any restaurant recommendations near the Orpheum Theater in SF?

Beer, Wine, and Sunshine

Good morning! Today is the last day to enter my Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts giveaway.. are you in on it yet? Also, I’ve announced the winner of my Peanut Butter & Co. giveaway. Such excitement to start the week!

We had another fun-filled weekend with Nathan’s mom. Friday we went into San Francisco to shop. We were on a mission to find Nathan a new suit and were especially successful leaving with 2 suits! We also finally had success at Liguria Bakery. Our most favorite pillowy-soft foccacia bread has been on our radar for months and every time we’ve had the chance to get over to Liguria, they’ve been closed or sold out. Friday, however, we picked up a plain square and a rosemary garlic square. It’s just the best!

Liguria Bakery Focaccia San Francisco SF California CA

After a beautiful day in the city, we made our way to Jupiter in Berkeley for a little patio beer, pizza, and salad action. It was too nice a day to let it go to waste so we spent as much time outside as possible.

Stillwater Cellar Door Jupiter Beer Berkeley

Salmon Salad Xanthia Pizza Jupiter Berkeley

Saturday was another day of amazing weather and what better way to enjoy it than in Sonoma? We tried a couple new places—Gloria Ferrer for sparkling wine and charcuterie, Viansa Winery, Park 121 Cafe for lunch, and Meadowcroft Wines. While we don’t typically purchase any wine when we go tasting, we couldn’t pass up the cab franc and port. They’re definitely bottles that we’re going to be saving for a more special occasion. Two-buck chuck does just fine on a regular basis 😉

Gloria Ferrer Sparkling Wine Sonoma

Park 121 Cafe Cornerstone Sonoma

Brittany Sonoma

Saturday night, we had a wonderful dinner at Homestead, a farm-to-table style restaurant that changes their menu daily based on the freshest ingredients they can get. Nathan and I had been eyeing this place for practically a year and had read great reviews so we were pretty excited to finally try it out. It definitely lived up to our expectations! I ordered the pan seared black cod, chickpeas, artichokes, grilled treviso, almond pesto; it was seasoned perfectly, the skin on the cod had a nice crisp to it and it was overall a pretty light dish. The housemade sourdough levain with housemade sea salted butter to start out was a real treat too. I probably could have eaten a whole loaf of that bread!

Homestead Oakland Black Cod Garbanzo Beans Almond Pesto

Nathan got the pork loin, spaetzle, grilled onion, sauerkraut, whole grain mustard. He agreed that the flavors in his dish were on point and it was also rather light.

Homestead Oakland Pork Loin Spaetzle Sauerkraut

Sunday was pretty much back to normal; we dropped Nathan’s mom off at the airport in the morning and I headed into work. Back to reality, I guess. Ahh, it’s gotta happen sooner or later, right? We’re currently guest-less for 2 1/2 weeks before my friends get here and while we’ve enjoyed having company and are looking forward to more, we’re definitely going to the enjoy the quiet and home-cooked meals!

Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday – Leftovers
MondayCrunchy stuffed buffalo chicken with ranch roasted potatoes and asparagus
TuesdayBurrito bowl with perfect black beans [<–the best!] and chicken
Wednesday – Leftovers
ThursdayThai chicken satay noodle salad with coconut peanut dressing
Friday – Out!
Saturday – Leftovers

Food for Thought

Moving Weekend

Hell week is over! Somehow I came out of it in one piece and ready to tackle all of the unpacking to come this week. We lucked out and had a beautiful weekend for all of the running around and I think we’re already getting comfortable in our new place.

Moving Sofa

I’m loving the HUGE sliding glass doors that we have!

Living Room

New Kitchen

This place definitely has more character than our last. It’s a 2-bedroom which is really going to come in handy with all of the visitors we’re having this year. Not to mention, it’s in a great area and walking distance to so many amazing restaurants! So many new places to try again, it’s like a whole new adventure.

I’ve also started working at a new gym which is now right around the corner. Seriously, it takes 5 minutes to walk there. Amazing! We’ve started a new California chapter this past weekend and I’m looking forward to seeing where this year takes us.

Food for Thought

What’s your favorite place you’ve ever lived?

Don’t forget to enter my She’s Losing It! giveaway!

Sunshine, Group Asses, & Red Thai Curry

Oh man, Monday already, huh? We had absolutely beautiful weather this past weekend and even though we had a ton of packing to do, we also wanted to take full advantage of the sunshine. Saturday we went into San Francisco. It had been almost a month since the last time we spent time in the city; we didn’t go in with much of a plan but to just walk around and enjoy our time outside.

One of the first things we passed was this fabulous sign. Take note.. always be careful of where you place your specials.

Group Asses On Pointe Training

Would you like a $99 special on some group asses?

The city was hopping and by the time we made it to Blue Barn Gourmet for lunch, it was packed! We ordered our lunches to-go but snagged a table by the window while we were waiting. I’d been to Blue Barn by myself when we first moved out to California but had never taken Nathan. It was so good!

Blue Barn Gourmet Smoked Salmon Winter Salad

Winter salad with brussels, roasted squash, grated parm, pomegranate arils, pine nuts, and smoked salmon.

We continued our hike through the city and made our way over to the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a pretty clear day and the scenes were awfully nice!

Golden Gate Bridge Nathan Brittany

You’d think by now we’d be better at taking selfies..

The Palace of Fine Arts was looking pretty wonderful too. We laid out a blanket and as soon as my my head hit the blanket, I was out cold! Clearly I needed a nap.. ha!
Palace of Fine Arts

Palace of Fine Arts

We stayed in for dinner; I made a chicken and broccoli stir fry with red Thai curry sauce over spaghetti squash and it was delish. I added some sriracha to the sauce and it gave it a nice kick. I will definitely be stashing this recipe away to make again soon!
Pinch of Yum Red Thai Curry Chicken Broccoli Spaghetti Squash

We did a bunch of cooking over the weekend in hopes of keeping this week super easy. We don’t have a specific meal plan for this week because we’re moving Saturday and are trying to keep our dishes to a minimum without going out a ton. It’s going to be a crazy nuts week but we’ll be in a new place soon and we’re definitely ready for another new experience! And on that note, let’s do this thing!

Food for Thought

Did you do anything fun over the weekend?

Five Things Friday {12/26}

Happy Friday, friends! I hope everyone is able to enjoy a nice 4-day weekend!

  1. We kicked off our Christmas day with our second annual dim sum brunch at Lai Hong Lounge. We figure there’s a reason Jews eat Chinese food on Christmas, but we wanted to one-up it with dim sum and it’s just so darn good! We kept a bunch of faves from last year, too.
    Lai Hong Lounge BBQ Baked Pork Buns

    BBQ baked pork buns.. these are my fave!

    Lai Hong Lounge Dry Braised Green Beans

    Dry braised green beans are SO good.

    Lai Hong Lounge Garlic Pea Shoots

    Garlic pea shoots.

    Lai Hong Lounge Pan Fried Mixed Mushroom Bun

    Pan-fried mixed mushroom bun.

    Lai Hong Lounge Roast Peking Duck

    The prettiest Christmas duck I ever did see.

    Lai Hong Lounge Roast Peking Duck Roll

    Duck bun all wrapped up!

  2. No trip into Chinatown is complete without a stop at Rogue and a walk by the water.
    Rogue The Bruery Seven Swans a Swimming Quad

    The Bruery – Seven Swans a Swimming Quad

    Nathan Brittany Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco California

    Such a clear, beautiful [and windy] day!

  3. I’ve been powering through some sort of cold or something this week so I’ve spent a lot of time on the sofa the past couple days. I’ve also done my best to make sure I’m getting my greens and proper fuel to get better fast. I decided to whip up this smoothie on a whim and it was awesome!
    Chocolate Cherry Protein Green Smoothie
    Skoop Core Power Mamma Chia Chocolate Cherry Green Smoothie
    Ingredients
    – 1/2 bottle Cherry Charge Mamma Chia Energy drink
    – 1 bottle Chocolate Light Core Power
    – 1 scoop Skoop A Game
    – 1/2 english cucumber
    – 1-2 handfuls spinach
    – 4-6 ice cubesBlend it all up and enjoy! It would also be awesome with some frozen cherries in there too.. next time!
  4. We watched The Interview on Wednesday night. I’m not really sure what all of the craziness was about but I’d say if you’re in the mood for a silly, chuckle here and there kind of Seth Rogan movie, go for it. Pretty much what you can expect from him. On the flip side, Gone Girl. Watched that last night; you need to watch it, too. Best movie I’ve seen in a while.
  5. If you are in the bay area, or know anyone in the bay area, looking for a personal trainer, I’m running a special in January. First 1-hour session is $50, normally $80, and if you purchase a package of 10 sessions, you get 10% off. If you’re not in the bay area but still want to train with me, check out my 4-week personalized training package!

Hope you enjoy your last weekend of 2014!

Sprint 2 the Table

Food for Thought

Any fun weekend plans?

What I Ate Wednesday #116: Downtown Napa

Can you believe we’ve lived in California for over a year and had never been to downtown Napa? Clearly that had to change so Sunday we put on our drinking caps and made the 45 minute drive. Our plan was to stop at the Oxbow Public Market and then head to NakedWines.com for $10 all we can sample. Sounds like a pretty good plan, right?

Our first tasting stop at the public market was at Fatted Calf. We didn’t intend on that being a snack stop, but when we got in our jaws dropped, the woman behind the counter started offering samples, and we just couldn’t say no!

Fatted Calf

Everything was absolutely incredible, from the pate maison to the housemade roast beef and lomo [cured pork loin seasoned with paprika.] So many samples; it was such a great appetizer.

Next up, we went to Ca’ Momi where we started with their own Ca’ Secco.

Ca'Momi Sparkling Wine

Followed by a shared porchetta & cipolle flatbread sandwich.

Ca'Momi Porchetta Flatbread Sandwich

And to wash it down, a shared beer; Anchor’s new-to-us Our Barrel Aged. Anytime I see barrel-aged, I’m sold.

Anchor Brewing Our Barrel Ale OBA

Of course, Nathan couldn’t forget dessert. He picked up some of their famous cream puffs.

Ca'Momi Cream Puffs

I took a bite of a couple but apparently I’m not a big cream puff fan. More for him 😉 Not to worry though, I did get some toasted almond gelato around the corner!

And since we’d walked off our drinks and snacks already, by the time we got to Bounty Hunter, the smell of the smoker drew us right in.

Bounty Hunter BBQ Chicken Brussels Sprouts

To continue the theme, we shared a bbq chicken sandwich with a side of brussels. And each a glass of wine to wash it down.

And after all of our eating and drinking excursions, we never did make it out to Naked Wines. But I’d say we did pretty well for ourselves, yes? 🙂

We had to test everything out to make sure it’s up to par for all of the people coming to visit us next year.. you know, since we’re upgrading to a 2 bedroom apartment what whaaattt! We’re so fancy. And I’d have to say this place far and away passed our test. I can’t wait to go back and eat and drink more!

Peas & Crayons What I Ate Wednesday WIAW

Food for Thought

Do you ever share dishes at a few different places?

What I’ve Learned From 1 Year in California

Happy [waddle] day after Thanksgiving! I hope you had a wonderful day yesterday and were able to spend time with your friends and family. I ate entirely too much [who doesn’t?] and I fully intend on doing the same thing tonight!

Thanksgiving Dinner

Trust me. There was WAY more food!

The Friday after Thanksgiving last year, Nathan and I packed up and shipped out to California. Thanksgiving was certainly an emotional day and I can’t believe 1 year has already passed. It’s pretty ironic that we’re back in Baltimore this week but it definitely feels good to be home. Over the past year we’ve had our ups and our downs. Nathan and I have had so many new experiences together that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I’ve learned so much in that time.

  1. Nathan is my best friend.
    We couldn’t have done this without each other. We are each other’s biggest cheerleaders and strongest support systems. Moving away from all of your family and friends into an unknown world is scary and trying. Like I said, we’ve had our ups and downs, but ultimately, this experience has made us stronger and grow closer.
    Nathan Brittany Dolores Park
  2. Making friends is tough!
    For real, I don’t know how kids do it. There has been a lot of trial and error and I’ve had a few people stick. I’m not really sure why they put up with me, but they do!
  3. I’ve done a lot of growing up.
    I haven’t had much of a choice. Before Athleta and personal training, I spent a lot of time at home by myself. If there’s one thing that really makes you think about what you’re doing with your life, it’s spending hours of time alone. Sure, I may still question what I really want to do when I grow up, but hey, I’m only 27. I still have some time to figure that out.
  4. California is a pretty cool place to live.
    Nathan and I have gone on so many mini road trips and fun adventures that we couldn’t have done in Maryland. From wineries to beaches right around the corner to incredible hikes to eating our way through the city, we’re certainly not taking our surroundings for granted.
    Mt Tamalpais
  5. Home is where the heart is.
    After everything is said and done, I love just being home. Every time we come home, it feels like we never left. The time that I’ve been able to spend with my family and friends is unbeatable. I cherish every minute with my grandparents and it’s so fun watching Jilly grow. Staying with my parents has been fun too; any extra time I can get with them, I’ll take!
    Jilly Bean

It’s been a hell of a year and I can’t wait to see what the next year holds for us. I have a good feeling about 2015; it should definitely be another learning year but I think now that we have our feet set a bit more, things will fall into place.

Food for Thought

Does your family have a second night of Thanksgiving?
Have you moved far from your family before? What did you learn from the experience?

Familiar Faces and Sunset Views

Good morning, friends! Have you entered my WIN giveaway yet? It ends Thursday at 11:59 pm PST so make sure to get your entries in!

We had a really fun and totally exhausting weekend over here. My friend, Jordan, came to San Francisco for work but since he was here for a couple of extra days, we got to spend some time together. It was so great to see a familiar face [even though we will be seeing him again in just 2 short weeks!]

Jordan Brittany

Nathan and I both had some work to do on Friday, but we definitely made up for that Friday night. Moscow mule anyone?
Moscow Mule

Aside from the drinks, Friday was pretty tame.. especially in comparison to Saturday! We went all over the city in an attempt to show Jordan as much as possible in such a short time. Obviously when we show people around, it’s all about the food. There was dim sum.
Shanghai Pork Dumpling Yank Sing

There was beer.
Rye Saison Beer The Monk's Kettle

There were fabulous sunset views.
Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco

San Francisco Skyline

And that’s just the start! Between this past weekend and Thanksgiving next week, I will absolutely be watching my extra snacks this week haha! Yesterday, Nathan and I started the day early, went for a nice walk, hit the gym, and got our lives back together. In just 1 week, we’ll be packing our bags and heading back to Baltimore for 2 weeks and I’m psyched! But for now, gotta focus on getting through the week.

Weekly Meal Plan

SundayAsian quinoa meatballs with roasted broccoli and baby bok choy
MondayThai chicken satay salad
Tuesday – Leftovers
Wednesday – BBQ chicken with roasted brussels and caramelized shallots
Thursday – Leftovers
Friday – Out!
Saturday – Leftovers

Food for Thought

What’s your favorite way to show someone around your city?
Did you do anything fun over the weekend?

We Were Just Babies!

Hi friends, happy Monday! I hope you had as relaxing a weekend as I did. Friday kicked off with an awesome workout at a new-to-me circuit gym called Sweat. I went with a few of my coworkers and the trainer took us through 3 rounds of 8 stations of supersets. These exercises hit every single muscle and I was definitely feeling it all weekend, especially my abs! I can’t wait to go back again.. luckily they’re on ClassPass.

Saturday, Nathan and I took it easy and celebrated 11 long crazy years. I can’t believe we’ve been together for so long; we were just babies when we first started dating!

Prom Nathan Brittany

Check. Us. Out.

Saturday night was when we had the big plans for a nice dinner out. We’d been talking about going to Gather practically since we moved here and walked past it the first time. The price point is a little higher than our normal night out on the town so we knew it would be good for a special occasion, and it definitely was! We started out with drinksa local red wine for me and a local black ale for himand split 2 small plates. [You’ll excuse the lovely lighting for the pictures, yes?]

Gather Acme Bread Rockwall Red Wine

Rockwall sangiovese blend and fresh Acme bread

Gather Crispy Pork Terrine

Crispy pork terrine with herbed buttermilk, hot sauce, pickled melon rind

Gather Wild Mushroom Sweet Potato Crispy Quinoa

Wild mushrooms with sweet potato, celery root, Treviso, crispy quinoa

Both dishes were so delicious and full of flavor but I think I ended up preferring the mushroom dish and Nathan went more for the pork terrine. No surprises there; boy loves his fried food 😉

There were so many appealing options on the menu for the entrees, one of which would be the amazing looking pizzas, but I couldn’t say no to the black cod. I hardly ever make seafood at home because Nathan doesn’t eat it, so I love to get it whenever we go out. The cod did not disappoint in the least; I ate it flake-by-flake and the skin was perfectly crispy too. I think I “mmm”-ed with almost every bite!

Gather Black Cod Broccoli Celery Root Maitake

Local black cod with broccoli di Ciccio, celery root, Maitake, lemon

Gather Black Cod Broccoli Celery Root Maitake Mushroom

Zooming in for the close-up!

Nathan ordered the burger with fries which may not sound too exciting but he confirmed that it was a pretty damn good burger! And I can confirm that the fries were tasty too. We skipped out on dessert in favor of a couple peanut butter cookies we got earlier in the day; a nice little sweet treat to finish it out.

Peanut Butter Cookie

Yesterday was all about recovery from our big meal. Ha! We watched football, went to a couple grocery stores, and did lots of cooking and prepping for the week. We might have had a messy kitchen, but dinner was awesome!

Herb de Provence Roast Chicken Smashed Potatoes Brussels Sprouts

That chicken recipe will be coming soon 😉

Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday – Herb de Provence roast chicken, gouda smashed potatoes, and roasted brussels sprouts
MondayVietnamese pork bowl
TuesdaySmokey chicken wing chili
WednesdayChicken bacon rice bowls
Thursday – Leftovers
Friday – Out!
Saturday – Leftovers

Food for Thought

If you’re married, do you still celebrate your dating anniversary?
Did you do anything fun over the weekend?