My First Macaron

I don’t know about you, but before last week I had never eaten a macaron! It all started when we were in whole foods browsing the glorious bakery. I saw the macarons and really wanted to try one, but thought they were a bit pricey. ($1.89/cookie) So we passed on them and left without any sweet treats.

Later that night, Alex and I went to dinner at a restaurant by his house. When the server offered a dessert menu, we quickly passed. We didn’t want to go home just yet, but weren’t sure what we should do. Somehow, the macarons were back in my head and I remembered a famous place in downtown LA, known for their macarons. I had recently seen another blogger go there and I knew one of my sorority sisters went there on her last trip to LA. So, I looked the place up on the blog and we headed downtown. 

The place is called Bottega Louie, It’s also a restaurant and it’s known for all of it’s decadent desserts, not just macarons. These little cookies were more expensive than the macarons at whole foods, but after my first bite I knew every dollar was worth it! (5 macarons=$12)

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We got 2 salted caramel, 2 vanilla and 1 strawberry. Each one was better than the next but I think the vanilla was my favorite. It came right from the refrigerator and the center cream was still cool. MMM! I am dying to get back and get some more. I think that half the cost we payed went towards the cute little box that these cookies came in. I saved it for later use.

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If you ever get to LA you should definitely check out Bottega Louie for some macaroons. And if you haven’t had a macaron at all, you need to try one! I didn’t know what all the hype was about until I had one and now I completely get it.

 

Hope you’re having a great week!

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O’s Game in San Diego

 

It’s so fun to visit other baseball stadiums, so when we realized that the O’s were back in California, we made it a priority to get to one of the games. They were playing in San Fran and San Diego. Don’t get me wrong, I’m dying to get to San Francisco but I wasn’t willing to drive 8 hours to see the Orioles play. So we decided to head south to San Diego.

This time we had some company, my roommate Megan and our friend Michael who is also from Baltimore came along with us. We left LA around 2:00 and got in to SD around 5. While we were driving, we found a cheap hotel to stay at for the night. (I don’t know what we did before smart phones!) We pregamed there for a bit then headed to the stadium because we wanted to get some food before the game started.

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One of my favorite things about going to away games is you get super close to the bullpen. We were able to see Wieters and some pitchers practicing before the game, which was pretty sweet.

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It was pretty awesome how many Oriole fans were at the game, and you could definitely hear the ‘O’ loud and clear during the national anthem. Unfortunately, we did have some hecklers behind us this time. They were making fun of us over stupid things. But of course when the game was officially over the kid was nowhere to be found because WE WON. I hate stupid people like that, especially cowards like that kid. I never talk $#!* to people during sports games because you never know what the end result will be. However, if the game is over and we have won, then I may become a little feisty!

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After the game, we wanted to go out in the Gaslamp district, which is downtown San Diego neighborhood with lots of nightlife. We were walking in the same direction as everyone else when we randomly ran in to my Dad’s best friends son and one of my friends from high school, Ryan Coster. He lives in San Diego, but I just could not believe that we happened to run into him! We also met his gf and they took us to a cool bar around the corner. Ryan also went to Calvert Hall so he and Alex were chatting it up and we caught up on California living. The bar was packed and it was a really fun time! They had dancing, which is my favorite. We stayed out til about midnight then headed back to our shabby hotel room.

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The next morning we headed to a restaurant in Mission beach, which was right on the boardwalk. We had a lot of laughs and Michael played this game that we all love! He asks a question such as “what’s your favorite holiday?” or “what’s your favorite movie?” and everyone has to answer. It’s such a fun way to get to know each other. Plus, every conversation with Michael and Alex is hilarious because they feed off each other very well.
After lunch, we headed back to LA. I’d like to head back to SD at least one more time to get to Sea World, we will see if that happens!
Happy Saturday, hope you’re having a great weekend! 🙂

New home

When I first moved back to Cali, I was living with Alex for a few weeks. I really wanted this living situation to be permanent because it was dirt cheap and I have a ton of loans to pay off. After working my first weekend while living in house, I changed my mind. Let’s just say his house doesn’t provide the best sleeping environment during the day time on the weekends.

Lucky for me, my friend and former coworker, Megan was moving out to Cali to do travel nursing as well. So, I was now on the hunt for somewhere for us to live. We couldn’t decide if we should take housing that is offered through our company or find our own. We both knew we wanted to save some money and usually finding your own is the best way to do that. However, finding good housing for just 3 months is nearly impossible so we ended up taking housing through the company. We still get to save a decent amount AND they furnish it for us so we didn’t have to worry about the stress of furnishing an entire apartment. (The furnishings are just the essentials so it still looks a little bare, but it works for us!)

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Cute and cozy kitchen20130816-130911.jpgDining area

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living room, a little bare

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Megan’s bathroom

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Megan’s bedroom

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My bedroom

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My bathroom

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My closet

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hot tub!

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Pool and community grills (I love grilling!)

I am so thrilled with my decision to move out of Alex’s house. It is nice to have my own (huge) space and to be able to sleep all day without distractions. I also felt like somewhat of a burden there because they had to be quiet while I was sleeping during the day. This turned out to be the best situation.

AND best of all, I now have a friend that’s a girl in Cali! In addition to living with Megan, we are going to be working together on the same unit at Little Company of Mary. SO exciting!

I hope you all have a great weekend!! While your weekends are just getting started, my work week is just beginning! 😦  BUT at the end of my 3 nights, we have something fun and delicious planned for Monday!

1 year with the coolest kid I know

So, I got back to Cali just in time to celebrate my 1 year anniversary with Alex. He had a little surprise in store for me, I just had to make sure I had off for Tuesday & Wednesday of that week. I knew we weren’t going far, but I had no idea where we were going! I was so excited because I love, love surprises!

We hopped on the 405 and headed south towards Long Beach, which is about 1/2 hour away. Our end destination was the Queen Mary in Long Beach. The Queen Mary is a retired ocean liner that sailed primarily in the North Atlantic Ocean from 1936 to 1967. It is now docked at a pier and has been transformed in to a hotel. The boat is supposed to be haunted, but we didn’t notice any paranormal activity. The ship offers ghost tours and regular boat tours for a small price, but we didn’t participate in any of those.

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We arrived in Long Beach around 3:00 on Tuesday and we really wanted to go stand up paddle-boarding. Our dreams were crushed when we got there because it was soo windy! I’ve never been SUPing but I knew it would be enough of a challenge without the wind so we decided not to go on this particular day. We opted for a double kayak instead. That way I could relax and have Alex do most of the work! 😉 I did help SOME! It took me back to my Greece trip where I had the worst experience with kayaking against the current and wind. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any sweet pics of us in our life jackets. But after kayaking we hung out on the beach for a bit.

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This water is wayy warmer than OC water was when I was home! and there were a TON of kite boarders out that day as you can see in the background.

After our time on the water and at the beach we headed to the Queen Mary ship. Our estate room was quite nice as you can see below! I LOVE me a king sized bed! We showered up and got ready for happy hour followed by dinner. We had such a good time at happy hour just talking about life and the last year. We worked up a huge appetite by the time 815 rolled around.

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Happy hour on the deck

The ship had 2 fine dining restaurants and Alex chose the less formal of the two because he thought I would enjoy the menu better. He was right! I had the most delicious filet mignon stuffed with lobster and spinach. It was seriously so awesome. Sadly for Alex, his entree was not as good as mine but he was a good sport about it. He got a seafood boil but it didn’t have much flavor. Maybe I’m bias but I don’t think anywhere prepares seafood as well as MD! It was still a delicious dinner with creme brulee for dessert!!

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The next day we had kind of crappy weather, it was overcast all day. But we spent our day exploring the different areas of the ship and buying souvenirs. It was such a neat ship, it felt like being on a real cruise! It was cool because Alex has never been on a cruise before so he kind of got the feel for it. (I can’t even imagine what the Oasis of the Seas looks like next to this ship!) We had such an awesome night and 2 days together. It is great to explore all different parts of Cali near and far. We loved Long Beach! The people were so friendly and really felt like a true beach town. I was thrilled with his surprise destination for our 1 year!

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I can absolutely, positively say that this past year has been the best of my life. I am so blessed to have Alex in my life. I now know what true love is and he makes me feel complete. I am so lucky to have such a great guy, they seem so hard to come by these days! I am a better person because of him. I can’t wait to see what this next year has in store for us! ❤

 

 

 

 

Best Vacation Ever!

I never thought that a vacation to Maryland would be the best one of
my life! But this past month I spent at home was so awesome! It
cwouldn’t have started off any better. It’s been 4 years, so it was
cruisin time again!! We had such a blast but we prefer Carnival to
Royal Carribean. Or maybe The Oasis of the Seas was just a little too
snooty for us! It is so awesome to have no access to the real world. I
loved not having emails, internet, phones, it is so freeing! It is fun
to see how you can walk around the ship and still meet up with people
you know without even sending a text or making a phone call. The ship
was soo huge, I definitely didn’t think that was going to happen! My
second favorite part is seeing my family members all day every day for
a week straight! I was so so happy. 🙂

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After I got home from the cruise I was able to spend the rest of my
time in OC and Baltimore. I felt like I was so busy the whole time I
was home. I got to see pretty much everyone once, but I really didn’t
hang out with anyone more than once which was kind of a bummer. On my
last night I went to my cousin’s wedding and it was so awesome to
spend the end of my MD vacation with the Whitty’s. I love hanging out
with my family and that is most definitely the hardest part about
being in California.

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Leaving Baltimore was extremely depressing, but on the day of travel
back to Cali, I wasn’t as sad as I thought I was going to be. I guess
there are 2 major upsides to being here: 1- Alex, 2- I’ll be getting a
pay check again. After having a month off I realized that I really
don’t think I would get bored if I never had to work again. I wish I
could take a 1 month vacation after every 3 months of working. That
would be the best thing ever. Hey, a girl can dream, right?!

 

Hope every one has a great week! I have a lot of California adventures planned for August, so check back!

Radom thought

This is pretty random but I wanted to share. It’s too long for twitter and I don’t really like to post on FB. So this is my last social media option.

On my new drive to work I pass a few schools and I noticed some different things.

1. I have yet to see a school bus. I’m starting to think they don’t have them out here.
2. A large amount of the little kids ride their bike or scooter to school.
3. Almost everyone seems like they walk to school. (I guess they don’t have much choice without a bus!)
4. I watched about 50 high schoolers at a cross walk and not one was overweight.

It’s times like these that I realize how different California is in some aspects. I wish Baltimore was more like this!!

Lazy Days

 

 

 

Hello everyone! I think the best way to describe my life recently is lazy. So I really don’t have any exciting updates for you this week when it comes to California adventures. Alex and I depleted our bank accounts on all the activities from last week so this is welcomed for both of us. A few more things have been adding to the laziness, the weather and the upcoming celebrations in my life. It’s been in the 60’s and quite gloomy this past week. I really don’t have much motivation to get out of the house when the weather is not nice. (flashback to Baltimore winter days when NOTHING could tear me out of bed.) I’m much better about that here, though! I at least get out of bed to do some cooking, cleaning and to play a little pool with the roomies. In addition, I have Alex, my mom, my brother and my brother-in-law’s bdays coming up and fathers day! I have been doing a lot of online shopping for presents so I am pinching the pennies when it comes to going out drinking and doing crazy things. I have really been enjoying this lazy time though, I feel like I have been nothing but go go go since I got to California.

 

Anyway, on to what I DID do on these past few days off. I was able to bring some pinterest/blog recipes to life. (Yay for training to be a better housewife! haha) I told you I was going to attempt fish tacos.. they were a flop in my book. Alex and Tom said that they liked them, although I was never convinced. Alex is ALWAYS honest about what I cook so I guess I should believe that he liked them. The best thing about the tacos was the discovery of baja cream sauce, which I found over at bakinandeggs.com. She insists that you must have this sauce with any fish or shrimp tacos, I concur. The second good thing was making a radish, onion and mango “slaw” to put on top the fish tacos. I used the previously listed ingredients and added lime juice, salt and pepper. Basically the toppings were awesome and I ended up just making a taco of toppings.

 

I had bad feelings about the fish from the start. Initially we wanted mahi but Whole Foods didn’t have it so I settled for rock fish. (bad choice) The fish really didn’t look that good and when I got it home I discovered bones in it!! Thankfully I discovered that before cooking them. Between the bones and my hands smelling like fish all day I was already turned off by the fish tacos before even cooking them, they really didn’t stand a chance with me. As it turns out, they tasted very fishy after they were cooked and I had one bite and couldn’t eat any more. Alex always tells me that cooking is a learning experience and he is right, I will definitely be using my toppings again and I will reattempt the fish for tacos.. one day. I’m quite turned off by fish for the moment.

 

My second culinary endeavor for the week was cauliflower crust pizza! I didn’t believe anyone who said this stuff was good but, they were right! I have been trying to make a conscious effort to eat better recently, so finding healthy alternatives to foods that I’m not willing to give up, is always a good thing! Alex isn’t so welcoming to the addition of new and healthy foods to his diet so when he said “this is awesome” and “there is no bread in this?!” I knew it was really good. I used a combination of recipes but here is paula deen’s recipe. It turned out that the way we prepared them really wasn’t that healthy, but I think still better than dough crust. The crust has a lot of cheese in it and we topped it with 2 kinds of cheese. Next time I will attempt a different crust recipe I found that doesn’t have cheese in it to keep it a little more healthy! The crust was pretty simple to make and it’s fun to add all your favorite toppings. Alex and I wanted to have buffalo chicken pizza so we used chicken marinated in tessemaes hot sauce, spinach, bell peppers, onions and blue cheese. YUMMY!
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In other news, I am going to extend my contract at my hospital for 1 whole week! The manager said she will let me know closer to my return date if the unit needs me for another 3 months (or more.) So I am keeping my fingers crossed in the mean time. I feel comfortable at this hospital and actually really like it now so I’m hoping to be able to come back. And yanno, job security is always a good feeling.

 

I will be home in exactly ONE WEEK! I am like a kid around Christmas time. I am so hyper and absolutely can not wait to get home. I have never been more excited to come to Baltimore. Also, last night at work I was looking up all kinds of stuff about our cruise ship and I am suddenly extremely ecstatic about that too! Up until now the excitement hasn’t really hit me. I got to thinking about memories from the past 2 cruises and now I am pumped! On that front, I desperately need a good vacation book to read! Please comment with any recommendations. I haven’t been really into a book in a long time and I miss it!

 

Finally, I got some reallly, REALLY exciting news 2 days ago that I can not share with you just yet. But if you stay tuned I will be making an announcement eventually!

 

Life is so good right now, and I am so happy!
Have a great Thursday!!