Big Day Off & Paying Rent

Well what do you know, looks like it’s Monday again! I hope you all had a quiet, relaxing weekend. Or maybe it was wild and crazy.. whichever you prefer! I [and Nathan] made every attempt to make our weekend as relaxing as possible. Work has been running me ragged lately so when I have a full day off, I take full advantage.

Saturday, I slept in till about 7:30 [hey, no alarm is a wonderful thing, even at that hour!], had a leisurely breakfast on the couch in my jammies, and got myself together to go to the farmers’ market. We’ve been loving all of the fruit from the market; the strawberries and oranges, in particular, have been outrageous! We loaded up on produce and a special porcini salami from Boccalone, and headed home to pack up a picnic.

The weather has been perfect lately; practically 70 and sunny everyday. A couple miles of sunshine later, we reached the top of the hill and unpacked the goodies.

Mountain View Cemetary

Boccalone Salami Cabot Cheddar Cheese Strawberries La Farine Medjool Dates Charles Shaw Chardonnay Blue Diamond Almonds

There’s nothing a jar full of chardonnay can’t fix, am I right? πŸ˜‰ That and a post-hike nap and Chinese food for dinner. It was the perfect Saturday.

Yesterday was back to work opening the gym. As I said, working 3 jobs has been running me into the ground. Multiple 10-12 hour days, sometimes between all 3 places, has been tough. I’ve been working on balancing the jobs with the rest of my life; figuring out how to find time to eat, cook, spend time with Nathan, and get in my own workouts has been a bit of a struggle at times. Sometimes I have the opportunity to cook dinner in the middle of the day to take to work with me in the evening. And sometimes by the time I get home to see Nathan, all I can do is brush my teeth and pass out.

As I attempt to figure out my workouts, I find that letting somethings go by the wayside are coming back to bite me in the butt. I totally burned myself out on cardio and almost stopped running all together. I’ve been trying to slowly get back into it, even just once a week. Rather than saying my run yesterday was frustrating, I’d like to call it humbling. After expressing my feelings to Nathan, he shared this quote with me.

Success isnt owned, its leased and rent is due everyday. JJ Watt

Of course, I would be naive to think I can stop running and pick right back up where I left off. But just as I’m learning to find balance in my life, I’m learning to re-balance my workouts and sometimes that just means taking more days like Saturday when I can. And sometimes weekends like this have to end in brinner because that’s just the darn best.

Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday – Brinner! Roasted sweet potatoes and brussels topped with an egg.
Sweet Potato Brussels Sprouts Eggs Heinz Ketchup
MondayLemon Moroccan chicken with za’atar roasted cauliflower
TuesdayCashew chicken
WednesdayThai basil turkey rice bowls
Thursday – Saturday – Friends in town!

Food for Thought

What’s your favorite way to spend a day off?
What kind of “paying rent” lessons have you learned lately?

We’re Road Trippers

As soon as we landed in California, we hit the ground running. We had a weekend to adjust to the 3 hour time change, Nathan started work that first Monday, and I started the apartment hunt. We really haven’t had time to slow down during the week [hello there, lack of blog posts..] and on the weekend we road trip! There’s so much here to explore and it’s our way of relaxing. Not to mention, it’s nice to get out of the hotel for the day.

Nathan had a big trip planned for us on Sunday and tasked me with picking up a few things from the store on Friday; we were picnicking on the beach! We drove south past San Francisco to Pacifica for our first stop where we went for a little hike by the water.

Pacifica Beach

Such beautiful views!

It was so nice to be able to walk out by the water in December and not freeze! Definitely new for us πŸ˜‰ There were a good amount of people there surfing, but it was certainly not a busy beach!

Pacifica Beach

Looks like some of our honeymoon pics πŸ˜‰

After Pacifica, we drove about 15 minutes further south to Gray Whale Cove Beach. It was just as beautiful there and even more secluded. There might have been about 10 people on the beach the entire time we were there. Perfect time to break out the wine!

Gray Whale Cove Beach Brittany

Almost the only people there!

Gray Whale Cove Beach Nathan

Short sleeves in December!

And then it was lunch time.. Friday’s selections!

Charcuterie Cheese Foccacia

Charcuterie, cheese, bread, and wine. What more do you need?

I grabbed some [not so] spicy salami, salami with fennel seed, and turkey pastrami. I knew the meat had to be the base, so after picking that out, I went for the cheese and ended up with a lighter, but flavorful gouda and a super fresh parmesan. We were totally spoiled with parmesan in Italy so we’re especially picky but this was from a wheel that was just cut open and it was fabulous!

The topper of the tower is the best bread ever. We’ve been trying to get a loaf of this foccacia bread from Liguria Bakery about 3 or 4 times but every time we go, they’re closed! This bread is so wonderful that they have a line as soon as they open. We got there on Saturday about an hour after opening and they were already sold out of the mushroom bread! I got a loaf of rosemary garlic and a loaf of onion. It’s honestly the lightest, fluffiest bread I’ve ever had.. nothing compares and I think it might be dangerous to be so close to this place now πŸ˜‰

And because we can’t go a weekend without trying a new brew, we had to make a pit stop on our way back to Half Moon Bay Brewing Company. It was the perfect way to round out the trip.

Gray Whale Cove Beach

Gray Whale Cove Beach. Loved the waves crashing on the rocks.

Can’t wait to see what’s in store for next weekend!

Food for Thought

What’s your favorite way to relax on the weekend?

What is the best bread you’ve ever had?

What I Ate Wednesday #26 – Doing It Up Miami Style!

Have you entered my KIND Snacks giveaway? It ends tomorrow night.. don’t miss out!

Friday night, Nathan and I jet setted to Florida for a long weekend. I have family in the Ft. Lauderdale area so it’s always nice to be able to get away and go visit them, especially this time of year when it’s freezing at home! And since it’s not enough to just go to Florida, we planned a full day in Miami; completely revolving around food, of course!

We spent the day roaming South Beach with completely full stomachs. Seriously, this was not planned well. We had far too much food at every stop! But I guess if that’s my only complaint, it’s not so bad πŸ˜‰

[Brunch]
Yardbird

“A house of worship to farm-fresh ingredients, classic Southern cooking, culture and hospitality.”

This place is great! I loved the decor and all of the little touches, from the clever chalkboard drawings, right down to the paper napkin ring.

Yardbird Decor South Beach Miami Florida FL Jeff McInnis Top Chef

The staff was super friendly and really helped to make the experience so enjoyable and relaxing. I think my eyes lit up when we walked in and didn’t stop until we left. The kitchen was open to the restaurant and I loved being able to see everything being made and brought out. I definitely tried to scope everything out as it went by!

Yardbird Run Chicken Run South Beach Miami Florida FL Jeff McInnis Top Chef

Shares
Butter Lettuce and Grilled Mango salad with smoked pecans and benne seed vinaigrette.
Chilled Watermelon with cayenne pepper, lemon, and herbs.

His
Mama’s Chicken Biscuits with homemade pepper jelly and house-pickled cucumber, onion, and okra.
Coffee

Hers
Egg-white omelette with caramelized onions, muenster cheese, and smoked pork, topped with pimento cheese sauce. Buttermilk biscuit and fresh fruit on the side.
Coffee

Thoughts
The salad was tasty and I would recommend it if you’re looking for a light, refreshing salad. Next time, we would definitely look for something that packs a little more punch. Same idea goes for the watermelon; we like bold flavor!

Best biscuit ever? I think we both agreed on that one. It was light and flaky. Just the right consistency to peel layer by layer. The chicken was perfectly fried and the homemade pepper jelly was slightly sweet and spicy which was the perfect compliment. The omelette was chock full of mix-ins and flavor. I’d never had pimento cheese before but I think this may have converted me.

Overall, it was a great experience. I would definitely recommend a visit if you’re in South Beach and I’ll definitely be back again!

[Lunch/Snack]
Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs during brunch, but somehow we managed to put away all of that food. Which meant when lunch time rolled around, we weren’t hungry. Joe’s Stone Crabs were part of the original plan, but not being able to buy 1 or 2 for a little snack meant I skipped them all together.

Instead, we went over to the Hofbrauhaus.

Hofbrauhaus Hofbrau House Miami South Beach Florida FL

It had been a few hours and we’d done a few miles of walking so it was more-than-time for some beer. Or 1 liter each. And with all of that beer, clearly you need something to wash down!

Enter the meat and cheese platter with a side of soft-baked pretzel. Good thing we had the tiniest bit of room in our stomachs for this mound of deliciousness! We had no idea there would be so much food. But once again, we finished it. All of it.

And it’s worth noting, the people watching in Miami is second to none! You get a great view from the outdoor seating at this place.

[Pick-Me-Up]
Nathan has not stopped telling me about Aroma Coffee since he went to Israel 2 years ago. It’s the only coffee shop over there and they have the best coffee. So when he saw there was an Aroma Coffee in Miami, we had to stop in. And who doesn’t need a little iced cappuccino after a liter of beer?

Aroma Coffee Israel Miami South Beach Florida FL

[Dinner]
With no room left in our stomachs, we made our way over to Michael’s Genuine. It was featured on The Layover so we knew we had to check it out.

Michaels Genuine Food Drink Miami Beach Florida FL Anthony Bourdain

Unlike brunch, this time, we shared everything! We started with the Crispy Pig Ear. And if you can forget what you’re eating, it’s really delicious! They’re perfectly spiced and wonderfully crispy (just like the name!)

Next, we got the Crispy Sweet & Spicy Pork Belly with kimchi, crushed peanuts, and pea shoots. I love anything peanut so I was really digging the flavor and crunch on this.

Finally, for our meal we ordered the Grilled Leg of Lamb with salsa verde and the Wood-Roasted Brussel Sprouts with pancetta and lemon aioli. Unfortunately, I have to admit that this part of the meal fell flat. I was disappointed with the portion size of the lamb for the price, not to mention, it was cold when it came out. It wasn’t seasoned well and didn’t have tons of flavor. The brussel sprouts were good, but not anything really special.

In an attempt to make up for the lamb, we were comped a dessert of chocolate cake topped with ice cream and whipped cream. This happened to be the best part of the entire meal (and also the part that I didn’t photograph!)

With such a high price tag, I don’t think we would go back. The whole experience felt a bit over-hyped and even though we had a decent dinner, I’m sure we could have spent half as much and enjoyed ourselves much more elsewhere.

Overall, we had a great day in Miami. We were filled to the gills the entire time and couldn’t get enough of the sunshine and summery weather! Not exactly what you think of around the holidays, but a nice change of pace.

Food for Thought

Have you ever been to any of these restaurants? Have you ever gone to a restaurant that was recommended by someone famous and found that it didn’t live up to the hype?