New Food, New Places

There have been quite a few restaurants or foods we’ve wanted to try but the timing never seemed to work out or our tastebuds changed last minute and it seemed like something that would never happen until recently.

This first one may seem kinda silly, but since coming to California I have wanted to try California Pizza Kitchen. I know it’s not just in California, but it seemed fitting to try it in the place it’s named after. We took a leap of faith and ordered a margherita and a California veggie (subbing the corn for olives).

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The margherita came on their thin and crispy crust while the California veggie was on their regular crust (I think). I definitely enjoyed the regular crust more than the thin crust. This is mostly because I feel like the thin crust here is like a cracker crust and I am not a fan of that! In terms of flavor I did not enjoy the eggplant in the veggie. I may be crazy, but I felt like it had a fishy flavor from it.

Overall, I don’t think we’ll be revisiting CPK, but maybe we didn’t get the right things? Let us know if that’s true and we may have to go back and check it out at some point 🙂

This next item isn’t something that was on my list to try until I spotted it and got it for B’s birthday. This guy LOVES Reese’s PB cups and he LOVES PB and LOVES PB/chocolate anything. His eyes light up anytime he sees that combination anywhere (ice-cream store, donut shop, etc). When I saw Jessie’s Nutty Cups online-it felt like a hallelujah moment. I got an assorted 8 pack.

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I was excited about these, but not as excited as B was and they sadly fell a little flat. They didn’t hold together when you bit into it and although it was fun to try out all the flavors it’s not something I would recommend to a true PB cup enthusiast.

The Nutty Cups were a total win compared to this next little bakery spot: Paris Pastries. The display case of little cakes and meringues totally did me in and we had to pick up a few things, but you guys, these were SO BAD. Out of the 4 items we purchased NONE of them were good. I was super sad, but got over it pretty quickly. We will not be revisiting!

Now that we’ve gone through some fails, let’s perk this post up and talk about some wins!

I’ve never had a caramel/candy apple. I’ve also never had a burning desire to have one until recently when walking by Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and seeing their apple monstrosities. Have you guys seen these? They have the basic apples, but then they have the super pimped out apples that are larger than my face! I needed one and of course we had to go for the Reeses coated version.

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We had the lady slice it in store and when we got home and opened the bag we had quite the surprise. There was so much coating still on the apples, but a large amount had fallen off and was sitting in the paper basket. I could not believe that all this peanut butter cup goodness had been layered onto one apple!

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Needless to say this was absolutely amazing. It totally makes my apple dipped in PB look like child’s play!

The Hat is apparently a San Bernardino County institution and they serve pastrami dip sandwiches. The spot has old school diner vibes and serves food in large portions. We knew this coming in and ordered their famous pastrami dip and a “small fry.” The “small fry” was placed in a fry container, but it was almost like the carton was an after thought because the fries filled the bag almost a quarter of the way up.

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The pastrami was served in a super soft bread spread with mustard and a hefty amount of pastrami topped with pickles. I really enjoyed this sandwich in all it’s savoriness. I can see why people love this place so much. When we went it was filled with families and older couples-it was definitely a jump back in time.

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After the Hat we walked around thinking about having something sweet. We thought through a few places and couldn’t decide until we remembered Baked. It’s been a spot that we had gone into, but never tried anything from. Since we were in that “try something new” mood we figured it would be the perfect day. We ordered for mini cupcakes-a s’mores, nutella, ube flan, and a dulce de leche.

We enjoyed the ube flan and dulce de leche the most, but they were all super yummy! This bakery has some Filipino flavors embedded into their baked goods and I am here for it. I will definitely be back when I am in that cupcake mood to get some of their larger cupcakes…or maybe I’ll get a bunch of the minis again. You guys know how I love trying little bits of everything 😀

Even though some of these spots/items ended up being a fail I really enjoyed trying them out. I find it super easy to get into a routine and stay there whether it’s with a workout, food, or just life so it’s nice to switch it up every once in a while. Stepping out of my comfort zone (even if that’s just with CPK) gets me a little more comfortable with trying other things when those opportunities open up.

What is something new you have tried whether it’s a food, workout, event, anything? Let me know in the comments below!

P.S. I was super serious about your CPK suggestions if you are a CPK lover. Let me know what you love!

Happy Monday-ing you guys!

A Century City Adventure

When we lived in the Valley we loved heading into LA and walking around Century City. To this day it is my favorite mall and since moving out of the Valley and LA we hadn’t really visited in a while.

We changed all that and made a little date night adventure out of it. After the somewhat long drive into the city we needed a little snack to power us through so we stopped by Shake Shack and tried their Chicken Shack and got some fries. I loved the dilly flavor and the green pickles in this chicken sandwich-I would get it again! The fries are always a win because they remind me of childhood. I love how crispy they are!

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While walking around we spotted Randy’s and got donuts to share because what is an adventure without donuts? These donuts were so good and had some substance to them while being so soft and pillowy and melt in your mouth!

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We had meant to do some shopping, but totally got side tracked by some of the new spots that had opened up. There was toffee shop that opened up and were sampling their goods. We tried a sample of the almond toffee and their toffee popcorn-both sweet and yummy!

While passing by we saw another place sampling cheese tarts and after having a sample we had to get a couple to have. We decided on the almond and strawberry and both were so GOOD!

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We actually had the tarts with some coffee (I had an espresso and hubs had iced coffee) from La Colombe. It’s our favorite coffee place-they literally have some of the smoothest tasting coffee I have ever had!

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After Century City we went to the Grove and walked around until we were ready to visit our last two spots and head back home! It’s kind of a tradition for us to go to Vito’s Pizza and SK Donuts, but recently Alcove (for cake) has been added to that list so that is what we did and how we ended our night!

Vito’s is hands down the best NY style pizza place we’ve found in Southern California and I will always encourage anyone that is craving a NY slice and living in LA to try it out.

That’s where I’ll leave this post! Until next time friends!!

Have a great weekend!

Trader Joe’s Treats Review

We absolutely love Trader Joe’s all year round but the seasonal stuff really gets us giddy. I cannot tell you how many videos I’ve watched and blog posts I’ve read hauling and reviewing Trader Joe’s goodies this season-it’s definitely been an obsession.

Over Thanksgiving break we had hauled quite a few goodies from Trader Joe’s to try out for ourselves and since I love posts like these I figured I would share our thoughts 🙂

Jumping into our first item are the Apple Cider Cake Donuts. These were coated in cinnamon sugar on the outside which would lead you to believe they may fall in the too sweet category, but these were very mild in sweetness. In terms of texture this fell on the dryer side of things, but not in an unpleasant way. I wasn’t reaching for water with every bite, but maybe every few bites? We really enjoyed these, but I don’t think they would be a staple in our house.

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The Danish Kringle in almond was something we had no idea what to expect. I knew it was a pastry and people absolutely love it, but we aren’t big pastry people (usually). THIS though was fantastic. The almond paste filling was super nice if you enjoy the flavor-if you don’t then stay away! I will also say this was SUPER sweet between the filling and the icing on top. We tried warming a piece in the microwave and in the toaster oven. The toaster oven definitely had the better texture, but be careful because the icing becomes super hot super fast.

Steering away from the sweets for a minute to check out these Cornbread Poppers. These were filled with pepperjack cheese and serrano chilis, but they are by no means spicy in any way. The outside was a cornbread with the inside filling being a gooey cheese, but when I got these I had assumed it would be a cornbread ball that had cheese and serrano chilis mixed in. Because it wasn’t that I think I was a bit disappointed, but overall these were pretty yummy.

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The Soft Baked Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are something we had been eying for a long time. I had one cookie from this and hubby finished the pack so it’s probably safe to say I thought they were fine and he LOVED them. These are super peanut-buttery in flavor and the chocolate chips felt a bit like an afterthought. If you love peanut butter cookies you will definitely enjoy these!

Staying in the cookie category this next purchase was an impulse buy. We were in line waiting to check out when we saw the customer next to us had these in her basket. Thank God TJ’s isn’t a big store because I was able to speed walk there and back in good time to check out. All that being said, these were a fail for us. I am not a big fan of crispy cookies and that is what all of these were. In my head I was imagining a variety of butter cookies, but I definitely should have looked at the images a bit closer. As I always say after one of these incidents, “at least now we know!”

The last item are these Ridge Cut Potato Chips with Horseradish and Chive. These were nice and crunchy, but not as crunchy as a kettle chip. In terms of flavor they are very similar to a sour cream and onion with a hint of horseradish. I feel like horseradish lovers and those who aren’t horseradish fans would enjoy these. I know hubby thought these were just okay, but I’ll probably have some with sandwiches and finish off the bag. The combination of us not buying chips often enough and there being a large amount of chips in the world to try I can say safely we probably won’t be rebuying these.

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If you stuck it out this long thank you so much and I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it! I know all these items weren’t seasonal, but what are some of your current favorite Trader Joe’s goodies (seasonal or not)?

Have a great week and happy Monday!

What we ate on Thanksgiving

The past few years we have made burgers for Thanksgiving, but this year we decided to switch it up and go a bit more traditional. I won’t lie we didn’t really make anything from scratch (other than the Brussels we roasted and ate for breakfast 😀 ), but the meal ended up being pretty delicious!

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We had both sweet and regular mashed potato. The mashed potato ended up being our favorite out of these two-although I will say that the mashed potatoes weren’t as garlicky as I thought they would be?

A corn casserole dish…or as Trader Joe’s calls it Corn Pudding. This was interesting in that the top was the texture of flan.

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We obviously had to have gravy and were super pleased to find that Good & Gather had made a turkey gravy. This was super umami in flavor and really brought the meal together.

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Plus turkey and rolls 🙂 I won’t lie the turkey was turkey to me because I am usually in it for the sides, but who isn’t?

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The only thing I felt like we were missing was cranberry sauce. There’s something interesting about cranberry sauce-I didn’t think I would miss it, but while eating this all I could think was “this NEEDS cranberry sauce.”

Later on we made sandwiches with the rolls and leftovers and again I felt like the slight tart/sweetness from cranberry sauce would have taken it up a few notches. I guess we know for next time!

For dessert we had decided on pies and went for a slice of apple and a slice of chocolate mousse-both of which were really good!

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That concludes our Thanksgiving meal, but I can’t conclude without giving hubby a big shoutout for these pictures! Thank you babe for taking these ❤️

How was your Thanksgiving and what did you guys end up eating? Let me know in the comments!

Good food, great company

Happy Monday lovely people!

I hope you’re all kicking the week off strong! We’ve been enjoying some yummy food the past week or so and I thought it would be fun to share 🙂

We kicked the weekend off with a little date night at Paul Martin’s. We looked through the menu, but finally settled on getting a couple of mains. We had to get the short rib since it was so good last time and we got a blackened ribeye. We shared and loved both dishes!

A little flash back to the week though would give us this homemade dinner of salmon and veggies. I found this mustardy cajun sauce recipe to use and I’m a little obsessed with it. I can almost taste it!

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We had been on a burger kick that got interrupted by some busy schedules, but we finally jumped back on the wagon Sunday and were not disappointed. These burgers were so good-caramelized onions, garlicky cheddar cheese, pickles, lettuce, and In n’ Out spread. Also, carrot fries!

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I think we temporarily went crazy and decided to buy a Costco cake-the only reason this is a little wild is because we are TWO people…but we had bought this cake before and knew we loved it. The chocolate tuxedo cake is so good! I love the layers of texture and flavor! Highly recommend-even if you are only two people 🙂

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I love yummy food, but I have to say that good food is made a million times better by great company. I love being married to my foodie partner in crime and each day (food related or not) is a wonderful adventure with you.

That’s gonna wrap up my good eats post, but I’m dying to know what you’re good eats were in the comments below!

Cookies and Closings

The week of October 13th was an exciting one to say the least! It was a busy and odd week that kinda ran together and felt super long at the same time. To sum it up there were cookies and we (finally!) closed on selling our house!!

We tried a new make your own pizza place on Wednesday called Pizza Press. It was delicious, but I would pick Blaze any day of the week!

On Thursday came some cookies we ordered! We had to try out some of Bang Cookies new flavors (and some oldies, but goodies). We waited till the weekend to try them, but they were delicious none the less. We wanted to try all the flavors so we only ate half each and froze the other half.

Thursday is also the day we got the text confirming that we had finished the process of selling our house! It was a very bittersweet moment. We obviously had loved our little home in the Valley and put a lot of effort into making it go from house to home, but we were very happy and relieved to have finished the selling process.

This was the first home we bought together and boy did we learn so much! It was quite the journey ❤️

I was also working Thursday and Friday so it was a bit of a blur!

Our weekend was kicked off on Saturday with a workout and breakfast at Denny’s. We both ordered the same veggie sizzlin’ skillets. and shared half of a pumpkin crackle cookie.

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We walked around and enjoyed the gorgeous weather and walked into a Barnes and Noble. I headed into my favorite section which happened to have some really interesting and funny finds.

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I also noted this book that I want to buy at some point!

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We also did some grocery shopping so our Sunday selves would thank us 🙂

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After dropping off groceries and dropping in some laundry we headed out for a nice walk and some caffeine.

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When we came back we went to TJ Maxx and got this gorgeous, fluffy blanket from TJ Maxx and some fun wrapping paper from Target!

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By the time we came back we were in much need of a snack so I had some TJ’s Harvest Chili and sourdough toast. We may or may not have had half of this cinnamon whiskey crackle…by “we may” I mean we definitely did.

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I finished up laundry while hubs wrapped up a present and we enjoyed some In n’ Out and more cookies for dinner!

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I don’t know about you, but that is a pretty productive week for us! I hope you guys are having a great start to your weeks and I would love to know what you’ve been up to-let’s talk in the comments!

Comfort food and cozy vibes

I don’t know if it’s because the temps got slightly cooler here or what, but we’ve been eating some serious comfort foods and so I have some fun random pictures to share with you guys.

After looking high and low for a bagel place here we have finally maybe found one! I really wanted a bagel one Saturday and after a nice long hike we found one at 42nd Street Bagel Cafe. I got the super onion bagel with lox (they were out of the everything bagel 😦 ). This bagel reminded me so much of a NY bagel-it was chewy with a dense crumb and I would definitely come back and get some Sunday morning bagels!

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This was a big comfort food night at Yard House. We ordered what felt like everything-the chicken lettuce wraps, buffalo cauliflower, roasted Brussel sprouts and potatoes, cheeseburger, and the truffle fries.

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My favorite thing here had to be the lettuce wraps and they were so delicious that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them-so much so that I am making shrimp lettuce wraps tonight!

We grabbed some sweet treats from Sprout’s and some of these were good and others not so much. The glazed lemon cookie was a not favorite. The glaze was so sweet and didn’t pair well with the lemon cookie. The rest were actually pretty yummy!

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In order to balance out all the comfort food I went to Panera and ordered a Mediterranean grain bowl. I enjoyed this much more than I thought I would. The rice, chicken, hummus, and all the fresh ingredients were really delicious! I would get this again without the dollop of yogurt on the side.

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I ordered this fish dish from Luna Modern Mexican Grill when I went out to lunch with the girls. It was pretty, but not the best thing I’ve ever had…

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Of course, we love sweets a lot in this house and whether that’s cookies or ice-cream we’ve been eating it all!

Have you guys been feeling the need for comfort food recently? How are the temps where you’re living?

Oh the food we will eat…Citrus Kitchen

During the week we’ve been really trying to cook at home and it’s been working out well for how busy we’ve been and for our budget! That being said we needed a little change up and by we, I mean me. My sweet hubs would eat salmon and roasted veggies every night or be perfectly content making one of his chicken concoctions. I love that man!

Sadly for him, I cannot, but we were both excited to discover Citrus Kitchen. They make healthy meals with proteins and veggies and will even make you meals for the week. I love that they offer a couple of different kinds of seasonings for your proteins, a good selection of sauces, and a nice variety of sides. I also like that they are vegetarian friendly and offer tofu for those that don’t eat meat.

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We had somewhat of an idea of what we wanted when we walked in, but our minds were totally changed upon sampling their adobo chicken. It was flavorful and saucy and reminded us of home cooking!

We went for the adobo chicken and cajun salmon for our proteins. Since we got meal versions of those we got to pick 2 sides to go with them. We chose butternut squash, garlic potatoes, couscous, and steamed veggies.

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Once we got our meals we honestly couldn’t stop eating…I mean we barely said two words to each other while inhaling this meal. That’s a big deal for me! I can talk through basically anything!

The salmon was crispy and succulent and very well seasoned. My favorite side was the couscous and hubs enjoyed the squash. The stars of the meal were definitely the proteins and I can honestly say we will be back. These meals can be as light or as heavy as you need them to be and seem to work for whatever nutrient needs you may have.

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I doubt we’ll do any meal prep stuff with them, but for a quick and nutrient dense meal out this would be a good spot!

After dinner we needed something sweet so we ended our night with Handel’s ice-cream. They have a Thursday special of $1.35 for a scoop so we were excited about that. I got a blueberry crumble and the hubs got a chocolate peanut butter something or other.

It was a successful night of eating to say the least!

Have you guys tried any meal prep places? What did you think?

Our weekend in San Diego

San Diego is definitely one of our favorite places to visit. It’s just such a beautiful city with incredible weather and delicious food! There’s been a lot of craziness and mis-matched schedule situations for B and I so we decided we were in need of a mini-getaway. This past weekend we drove ourselves to SD for an overnight trip.

We normally pick AirBnB for our stays because it’s cheaper and we are rarely ever there other than to sleep, but sweet hubs booked us a lovely little hotel close to Little Italy (our favorite little nook in SD).

We arrived around lunch time and went straight to Herb & Eatery after drooling over the Yelp pics. The restaurant is also a little mini store that sells drinks and kitchen goods. We both loved the fun decor and all the light that came in from the windows despite the grayish day.

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We ordered the curry chicken salad and the SD turkey. The curry chicken salad had just a hint of curry-enough to flavor, but nothing strong. The SD turkey was a solid turkey sandwich with the sprouts and the hearty bread! If we lived here I have a feeling we’d be coming here more often then not…

Afterwards we walked around a bit and then headed to our hotel. Hubby had also booked us massages so we dropped off our things, explored the hotel a bit, and headed out. I look so tired here!

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Post massage we were both so relaxed and exhausted so we tried taking a nap. I was on and off mostly because the same weekend we were here there was an EDM concert AND twitchcon. It was a bit noisy from outside the hotel, but lots of excitement and lots of people!

Post nap we left on HGTV and got ready to head out to dinner. We had decided ahead of time to just walk there. It was a 40 minute walk, but it was a lovely day and figured it would fuel our appetite. The walk was a little sketch for a few minutes, but we made it to Cucina Urbana with some time to kill.

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Our reservations were for 6:45pm, but we got seated probably closer to 7pm so we had some time to sit and look at the menu. It was restaurant week in SD too so the larger crowd may have been due to that. We were fine with it because it gave us time to ooo and ahh over the inside of the restaurant and people watch.

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By the time we got our table we knew exactly what we wanted and ordered the chicken liver pate, roasted cauliflower, and for our main got the pappardelle with short rib.

The chicken liver pate had barolo soaked fig on it and came with different kinds of bread. I am super happy about the fig situation because I am not much of a liver person and this pate definitely had an iron-y flavor. Even though this was not my favorite dish of the night it was one of those things you could tell was done really well and was good quality.

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Then they brought out the cauliflower which was dressed with fennel, pine nuts, golden raisins, mint and yogurt. My first bite was a bit sweet, but after that I got some salty goodness from the pine nuts possibly? It was a really incredible dish that gave you all the mouth feels.

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When the pappardelle came out with the short rib, mushroom, carrots, and topped with parm it looked like comfort in a bowl. It tasted like a Sunday roast but made better with the house made pasta.

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We both left full and happy and walked back 40 minutes to let the food settle and ponder our dessert options.

After perusing through some spots we went back to a classic and a favorite-Salt & Straw. I got the child’s scoop of cookie dough in a cup and B got a split scoop with the cookie dough and another flavor in a cone.

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We walked around with our ice-cream and then headed back to the hotel so I could change into comfier walking shoes. We were going to walk to Gaslamp, but after getting into the coziness of our hotel we both decided we’d rather just stay in and relax so instead we went and checked out the firepit/bar/outside balcony area of our hotel and sat around talking until we were both a little chilly and ready for some tele and bed!

On Sunday we woke up to sunnier skies and decided to do a quick workout and enjoy the free breakfast before heading back home. We literally had the quickest workout ever and headed to breakfast which was conveniently right next to the gym.

I had some eggs, spinach, and this biscuit which made the whole meal! I also have this thing for hotel waffles so I had to try this one. I will say it wasn’t the best, but it was okay. I think I may just enjoy the waffles where they give you the batter and you make it in the waffle maker yourself?

We showered and headed out to the Donut Bar before leaving SD. We had visited Donut Bar a few years ago and I remember loving it. We got the pumpkin with cream cheese icing, birthday cake, Boston cream (it was the favorite of the girl who was helping us), a nutella, and the creme brulee.

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Instead of just grabbing and going like we normally would we decided to try out a couple…we went for the pumpkin which was SO good. It was pumpkin spice flavored and the icing mellowed it all out with a good dose of sweetness. The creme brulee that we tried afterwards seemed underwhelming in comparison.

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The donuts here remind me a lot of the brioche type donuts we had in Maui when we went. They aren’t light, but dense and chewy for a yeasty donut.

We kept the rest for later that night and drove home. We had some errands to run in the form of grocery shopping so we did that, some laundry, and then prepped for our week ahead.

When we were ready to grab dinner we decided on Burger IM and ordered what ended up being a lot of food. We got their duo burgers, chili garlic wings, and their half and half side option of sweet potato fries and their special Burger IM fries which we had seasoned with Cajun seasoning.

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We got basic cheese burgers for our duos and they were like mini burgers (bigger than sliders, but smaller than a regular burger). These were just tasty cheeseburgers. We had no complaints!

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The wings were saucy, garlicky, and kinda sweet. They had great flavor! The fries were my biggest surprise. I didn’t think I would like the disc shaped potatoes as much as I did, bu they did a great job at keeping the outside crispy and inside fluffy. They were also a good thickness.

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We went for a really long 2 hour walk after dinner and when we came back we were ready for something sweet. Lucky for us we had some donuts left! The Boston cream had the same vanilla cream as the creme brulee and was again a bit underwhelming. The birthday cake was sweet and pretty close up there with the pumpkin for me. The nutella was also delicious, but I do wish there was more nutella on the donut.

We spend the rest of the night watching football and HGTV on Hulu until we got too tired and headed to bed!

We had a really great weekend of hanging out and eats! Have you been to SD? What’s your favorite place to go when you’re there? Let me know in the comments!

Weekend Randomness

Weekends for me aren’t necessarily Saturdays and Sundays…they are basically any days that I am off and sometimes that falls on an actual weekend and sometimes it falls on a Tuesday. That is the beauty of inpatient nursing…that being said I did have an actual weekend, but a long one so I thought it would be fun to share that with you.

On days that I am off and hubby works I try to cook up something yummy, nutritious and different then our quick throw together stuff. Salmon is definitely one of those meals that gets thrown into rotation-hubby loves it when salmon is on the menu and it fits into that yummy and nutritious category.

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We had this piece of salmon with some roasted cauli and since we had a few carrots leftover I roasted those up too.

I’ve been enjoying rice bowls for lunches/dinners recently. I have honestly never been a rice person, but recently I’ve been craving it. I love throwing in whatever veggies we have on hand along with some beefless ground and this green sriracha from Trader Joes.

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When hubby and I finally had the chance to go out we hit up a Mediterranean spot, The Diplomat, to get in some good eats. To start we had the hummus, pickles, and falafel.

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We ended up sharing the lamb chops for our main. I think the hummus may have been one of my favorite parts of the meal. It was so smooth and creamy!

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On Sunday morning, post HIIT I toasted up a Kodiak Cake waffle (yes, still eating them!) and spread some peanut butter and mashed up some raspberries on top. Will be doing this again!

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During our grocery run we ended up hungry and found ourselves in the car eating rotisserie chicken and some cake we picked up from Porto’s. The carrot cake was my favorite outta the two and I will definitely be adding that to my list of items to get from there.

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We wrapped our weekend with In n’ Out and flan from Porto’s along with a nice long walk. I hope you guys enjoyed the post!

What’s your favorite weekend thing to do?