A weekend to remember

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There are just some weekends you never want to end, and this past weekend was one of them. San Francisco is finally welcoming the start of our Indian summer, it has been such a lonnnnnng Fogust, everyone’s dying for some sunshine.  This was the first weekend in a long while that Chris & I weren’t travelling / working or just having a jam packed weekend. It was so nice to just be in the city & enjoy SF. We spent Saturday in Golden Gate Park walking around with Juno, enjoying the sunshine. Sunday morning I took Juno to the Farmer’s Market a few blocks from our apartment, while Chris finished up some work at home. As soon as I saw the flower stand had  made to order bouquets of dahlias I couldn’t help myself, especially after last weekend at the Dahlia Dells!! Then we headed over to the ball park to watch the Giants play the Braves! It was such a good game, the giants scored 13 runs!! We rounded out the afternoon by enjoying some cocktails & appetizers at one of my favorite spots in SF. In the words of Walt Whitman – “we were together, I forget the rest” this weekend was just a perfect weekend enjoying one another’s company and all our beautiful city has to offer. Hope everyone had a great weekend.

xoxo Natasha

Dahlia Dells

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Golden Gate Park is amazing, I know I’ve talked about it before, but sometimes I seriously can’t get over it. Juno & I walk through the park almost every single day we’re home, and I swear each week I discover some new area of perfection. Last week’s new found obsession –  this Dahlia Dell. Mid-week Juno & I discovered the dahlias & we had to take Chris there over the weekend. Usually on the weekends we take the pup out for a walk / game of fetch in the park & I love showing Chris the new places we’ve discovered over the week.  These dahlia were too pretty not to share!

Glide Legacy Gala – ER Nurse Prom




Bro’s in Bows.

Would you believe all these women could literally save your life??

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Last Saturday twenty five ER nurses traded in their glorified pajamas (aka scrubs) for ball gowns & bow ties & enjoyed a night out benefiting the Glide Foundation. The amazing men & women in these photos work side by side with me, caring for some of San Francisco’s most underprivileged residents. Glide serves the exact same community & has been for decades, providing meals, spiritual services, medical clinics & homeless outreach. It doesn’t take much to convince this group of nurses to hang out, however this event was made extra special because one of our very own helped organize the evening. We jokingly called this event our “Prom” & we pulled out all the stops, including going as a group to Dry Bar ahead of time to get our hair done! It was such a great night getting to spend with truly some of the best human beings I know. When it comes to nursing: Our job is to love people when it hurts, when it’s awkward, when it’s uncool & embarrassing. Our job is to stand together, to carry the burdens of one another, & to meet each other in our questions.  And I’ve never met a group of people who embodied that more. I would never be able to come to work each day, if it were not for the team I’m surrounded with & this night was such a great reminder of that.


Hana Highway Highlights

IMG_2311IMG_1641^^ Opening scene from Jurrasic Park. IMG_2312IMG_1749IMG_2314.JPGIMG_5933.JPGIMG_1748.JPGIMG_1652.jpgIMG_1636.JPGIMG_1639.JPGIMG_1642.JPGIMG_1710.JPGIMG_1646.jpgIMG_1700.jpgIMG_1720.jpgIMG_1727.JPGIMG_1726.JPGIMG_1735.JPG

The Road to Hana was certainly on our must see list for our trip to Maui. I’ll say that we definitely took a relaxed approach & didn’t hit all of the highlights available. There’s so much to see on the drive so you really have to pick & choose what’s going to make your list. For us seeing the black sand beaches was definitely at the top of the list, as well as touring the botanical gardens. The black sand beach was so beautiful, I had never seen anything like it. But the beach is definitely on the smaller side & there is a very strong current & lots of rocks so only strong swimmers should get in. I went in up to my waist but quickly got out as soon as I felt the current pulling, the ocean is NO joke! One of my favorite Hana highlights was the Hawaiian pork tacos along the side of the road. I have two recommendations for this. The first was a man who drives up & parks at a little turnout around mile marker 10 & cooks literally AMAZING food. There are only a few choices on the menu: Pork/chicken/fish & it’s served with rice & grilled pineapple. It’s served in a cross-section of giant bamboo & the chop sticks the guy makes out of the bamboo also. We also stopped at Twin Falls Farmstand which is a trailhead to waterfalls but there’s a great little stand that sells fresh fruit, desserts & other Hawaiian refreshments.  I would say that the road to Hana is for those who are willing to spend a day in the car with their travel companions. Granted there’s plenty to see but a large portion of the day is spent winding through the highways switchbacks so if you’re at all prone to car sickness this activity probably is not at the top of your list. All in all it was great day spent with my family & a memory to last a lifetime.

 

Tuesday Thai

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Curry is a meal that can seem daunting to make, but I assure you it’s actually much easier than you think! I started cooking curry about 5 years ago, my best friend & I were poor college kids & couldn’t afford to order in delicious Thai as much as we’d like, so we decided to combine our culinary skills & make our own curry. Since then, curry has become a staple meal in our house. I love making curry because there can be a ton of variations, you can change up the protein or veggies for a different taste. In the autumn & winter months I love making curry with pumpkin or squash.

One of the reasons curry makes it on our menu so frequently is beacuse it’s a relatively quick meal that usually is filled with veggies & protein & typically renders lots of leftovers! So this is often one of the “big batches” I make early in the week.

IMG_6484The first step is to cut the protein into small bite size pieces & season with: salt, pepper, garlic powder, curry powder  & turmeric. Once seasoned I place in the fridge while the rest of the prep work is done.IMG_4788.JPGThe next step is to prep all the vegetables. I usually use mushrooms, sweet potatoes, bok-choy, bell peppers.  I typically just use whatever’s in the veggie drawer. I truly believe that eating healthy involves eating colorfully so I’m all for any meal that incorporates a ton of veggies.IMG_6486Once all the veggies have been prepped, heat 2 tsp of olive oil in large saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Add in onions, garlic & seasoned meat. You want to saute the meat until it starts to brown, (timing will vary depending on protein type).IMG_6487Next, add in the chopped sweet potatoes and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes, covered. The sweet potatoes & rest of the veggies will continue to cook once the coconut milk is added so don’t worry if you think the veggies are too underdone.IMG_6488Uncover the meat & potatoes, add bell pepper & allow to saute uncovered for 3-5 minutes.IMG_6489IMG_2700Next add in the more delicate vegetables, like mushrooms and bok choy. Put curry paste & additional curry powder to taste. I usually add 2-3 tbsp of paste & an additional 1 tspb of curry powder. Allow the vegetables & seasonings to cook uncovered for approx 4 minutes.
Finally, add in two cans of coconut milk and bring to low boil. Making sure all the curry paste has dissolved. Adjust for taste, adding more paste or powder as needed. Allow to cook at a low simmer for approx 10 minutes. Serve hot over rice.

If you try to recreate this recipe I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Thai Red Curry

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 45 min
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Ingredients

  • 1 Sweet potato
  • 1 package of stew meat or protein of choice.
  • 2 cups of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large baby bok choy, chopped
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped.
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced.
  • 2 tsp of turmeric
  • 2-3 tbsp of Thai Curry Paste 
  • 2 cans of coconut milk

Directions

Sliced protein to desired bite size pieces, I find the stew meat often needs to be cut into smaller pieces & usually trimmed of some fat. Season meat with: salt, pepper, curry powder (2 tsp), garlic powder & a few dashes of turmeric. Place meat in fridge to marinate.

While the meat marinates, chop all the veggies & set aside.

In a large skillet or large pan, over medium high heat begin sauteing onions, garlic and meat. Once meat begins to brown add in sweet potato. I try to add the vegetables in order of which takes the longest to cook. Once the sweet potatoes have been sauteing for 3-4 minutes along with the meat, add in bell peppers and allow to cook for additional 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once the vegetables have started to cook, add in the curry paste, curry powder & turmeric, as well as the remaining mushrooms & bok choy. Let this cook for approx 3 minutes, stirring in seasoning and curry paste.

Add in coconut milk, bring to light boil & then decrease heat and cover for 15 minutes. Taste for flavor & adjust if more curry powder or paste are needed.

Serve hot over rice.

ER Nurses Take Tahoe


These girls are the best ^
A few weeks ago my coworkers & I went on our annual trip to Lake Tahoe, it was such a fun getaway. I love everyone I work with & it’s so special when we’re all able to be in the same place at once, not working!! We stayed right near Fallen Leaf Lake & were about a 10 minute drive from Kiva Beach on Lake Tahoe. Kiva beach, is a fairly large, dog friendly beach. At the beach you have gorgeous panoramic views of the whole lake & behind the beach is a beautiful meadow with the sierra’s lining the background. It was mid July & the mountains still had snow caps on them!

Like I mentioned before, it’s so special when we can actually coordinate all of our busy schedules & find a time when we can all be together. Many of us work more than one job, so finding a 4 day stretch where we can be together is a miracle! My nursing family is amazing, I’ve learned so much from each one of them & am constantly inspired. It’s so rare to find such an amazing group of people you work with. Granted, many have moved on to other jobs but we’ve all remained close. Nursing is a tremendously hard job & if you can’t find balance in your life then you’re going to have a hard time coping. Weekend getaways like this one remind me what incredibly compassionate, generous, hilarious women I’m surrounded by, & push me to expect more of myself. I just had my 4 year anniversary as a nurse & a lot of the girls in these photos were there from the very beginning. We encouraged each other & helped one another become the amazing nurses we are today. One of my favorite quotes that embodies nursing is this: “The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others”. As true as this is, I think I’ve also found myself working side by side with these gals. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of others I work side by side with that I consider to be my Nurse role models / mentors, but these girls are gold.

Stay tuned for more photos with them because this weekend we’re headed to our first ever black tie event together… just keep in mind these are girls who wear glorified pajamas to work each day (scrubs).