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Sunday, September 30, 2012

One Year Wedding Anniversary

My Wedding
My parents and I share the same wedding anniversary. Today they have been married 29 years, and now I have been married one year. Happy Anniversary all around! Thank you to my parents for showing me what marriage really means, and all my love to my amazing husband today. :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Hollywood Date Night

On Sunset Blvd.
Yesterday evening, Rickard and I decided to have ourselves a little date night. We've been having a lot of these the past few weekends actually. It seems like our friends are always busy with work and other things so the two of us have been venturing out and exploring more on our own.

We love to check out the Happy Hours in our local city, but this time around we decided to head over to our old stomping grounds -- Hollywood! (For those of you that don't know, I spent a year living off Sunset Blvd.).

Saint Felix Outside Patio


Saint Felix is one of our favorite, go-to spots. They have happy hour everyday from 4-8pm, and their outside patio and ambiance is so romantic with the beautiful lights at night.

Saint Felix - Raspberry Creme Brulee
We checked out Blue Palms Brewhouse and 3 Dog Cantina last night too. I think 3 Dog must be a fairly new establishment as I had never seen it before on Cahuenga. It would be a great place to take someone on a date purely for the wonderful open windows and authentic Mexican vibe. However, I was kind of disappointed in their nachos and how the chef does not allow changes to items on the menu (e.g. no beans). It gets a good score for me on location and setting, but I am undecided on the food.

Hollywood & Vine
Walking around Hollywood

In any case, it's always a fun night out with my husband. We just talked and talked all night long, and ate and drank sooo much. Until next date night...which is next week since it is our one year anniversary!!

xo
Sunaina

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Easy Dinner Idea: Mediterranean Couscous with Chicken, Shiitake Mushrooms and Broccoli

Chicken Couscous Dinner

This is a meal I made a couple nights ago, which took less than 30 minutes. It is super easy to do.

Ingredients:
  • Near East Mediterranean Curry Couscous
  • Chicken
  • Broccoli
  • Shiitake Mushrooms
  • Olive Oil
  • Seasoning: Cayenne, Chili Powder, Pepper, Cinnamon
  • Lemon

Directions:

1. Boil the couscous in water as you would rice. Stir in some of the packet seasoning. Health Tip: To cut out some of the excess sodium in this product, use more of your own seasoning, and use the Near East packaged seasoning sparingly.
2. Cook the couscous until it is fluffy. Then set aside. 
3. Cut up chicken squares and season with cayenne, chili powder, pepper. I even used some cinnamon on the chicken and it was great! I also squeezed some lemon juice onto the chicken, but this is optional.
4. Cook chicken in a separate frying pan with olive oil until brown on both sides.
5. Set cooked chicken and couscous aside once cooked. In the same pan you cooked the chicken, add in chopped broccoli and mushrooms for a quick stir-fry. Feel free to add some more cayenne or chili powder to the vegetables for added flavor.
6. Add some couscous, chicken and the stir-fried vegetables onto your plate and enjoy. :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Big Sur Roadtrip {Day 3}

McWay Falls {Big Sur}
Here are the last set of pictures from our trip up north. We drove all the way from San Francisco, back to LA, taking the scenic route (aka the State Route 1). Usually its about a 6-7 hour drive between SF and LA, but Route 1 will make your trip 8-9 hours!

But it is totally worth it for the beautiful drive. We were a little unfortunate because Big Sur was incredibly foggy and at many points we could not even make out the ocean. When we did see the ocean, it was this amazing turquoise, crystal blue color. Fog aside, we were still in the middle of the Los Padres Forest surrounded by sprawling greenery and trees that seem to go on forever. I tell you - pictures don't do it justice. I would love to go back for a camping trip someday.

farm stand near Monterey, CA

farm stand near Monterey, CA



elephant seals @ San Simeon

spotted!: a little rainbow underneath the fog

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Napa & San Francisco {Day 2}

Domaine Carneros {Napa, CA}
On our second day in NorCal, we explored Napa, Sonoma, and some more of San Francisco.

The first thing on our agenda? -- a wine tour of Domaine Carneros in Napa!

As you can see, it was such a beautiful venue.


The sun was shining; it was a lot warmer in Napa than in San Francisco. The tour was informative, and was kept entirely indoors in this French-inspired "mansion" (some tours take you out into the fields, but not this one). Most of the tasting included only sparkling wine. Note: If you do not drink alcohol -- that is okay -- because you can opt out.

After the tour, we were free to explore the area as we wished. My sister, Rickard, and I snuck a taste of these wonderful grapes (shh!):

Domaine Carneros Grapes
The grapes were so sweet, and tangy. Amazing.

Domaine Carneros Winery

Domaine Carneros Winery
Domaine Carneros {napa, ca}

husband and me {napa, ca}
i looooove willow trees
Domaine Carneros
After the wine tour, we were pretty hungry. We took the Trinity Road per my friend's suggestion to Sonoma. It is a beautiful drive where you get to see the other wineries and some ranches.

We tried out a Mexican restaurant called Maya. If you are ever there, I highly suggest getting their chicken burrito. That's what my husband had, and it was one of the best wet burritos I've tried.


After lunch, we walked around Sonoma and enjoyed the quaint and little town's parks, boutique shops, and "vibe".

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After our day trip to Napa/Sonoma, we headed back to San Francisco....

fog @ golden gate bridge
We were welcomed back to SF with some crazy fog! We were at the viewpoints for the bridge, but at many times you could not even make out the bridge because of the fog!

foggy!

san francisco
And so we went back to my sister's apartment to hang out. My sister's place is walking distance from Coit Tower and in a very central location, so Rickard and I decided to walk up to the Tower and spend the rest of our evening there.

It is a lovely and very short trail up to the Tower. A little romantic and the perfect end to our time in San Fran. :)







The next day we headed to Big Sur...more to come!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

San Francisco {Day 1}

my sister jumping in front of the Oakland Bay Bridge
This past Labor Day weekend went by so fast and was such a blur! Rickard and I drove up to San Francisco for the weekend to visit my sister - and in that short 3 day trip, we managed to pack in not just San Francisco, but also Napa, Sonoma and Big Sur into our tight schedules!
  
Oakland Bay Bridge


On our first day in city, we grabbed some brunch at Brioche Bakery and let me tell you, you cannot go wrong with their French Toast! So good.

After that, we walked around Union Square and did some shopping. I love that SF has a Madewell store, so I was a little shop-happy after my trip to their HUGE Westfield mall. :)

Later,we headed over to Palomino Restaurant for some Happy Hour! After all the walking from earlier in the day, their artisan style pizza really, really hit the spot.

Palomino pizza
What's great about the Palomino restaurant is not only their food/drinks, but also you get a beautiful view of the Oakland Bay Bridge and this peaceful, fountain area at their outside patio:

husband and me
sister and me
After pizza, we decided to hit up Ghirardelli for some dessert. We took the Muni over to the Wharf and walked the rest of the way to Ghirardelli to get a Cookie Bottom Sundae that we split amongst ourselves. It was a really nice evening, with live music and of course sweets.

Ghirardelli




World Famous -- Ghirardelli



My advice if you are ever in SF -- wear some comfortable shoes! We did a ton of walking all over the city, and most of the sites you want to see ARE pretty central. Parking is also difficult if you bring your car, so walking is definitely the way to go.