Growing up I spent a handful of New Year’s in Rio de Janiero on Copacabana beach, where my mom is originally from. Brazilian tradition involves wearing all white on New Year’s Eve to symbolize peace and renewal. It also includes putting flowers into the ocean as a gift to the goddess of the sea & to bring good luck into the new year. These traditions date back to the 1500’s. Ever since I’ve lived in San Francisco I’ve made it a point to take advantage of my close proximity to the ocean & walk out into the water on new years. There’s something so peaceful about going to the beach & thinking about the whole year to come.
I’ve spent the past five new years working in the ER. I always choose to work NYE for a few reasons: 1. it’s endlessly entertaining in the ER 2. I love my coworkers & we bring a ton of food & decorations & have lots of fun 3. I want to have Christmas off so I always volunteer to work on NYE.
Turning the page on 2017 & going into 2018 is so exciting. 2017 was filled with so many wonderful memories. We spent an incredible two weeks exploring Spain & Portugal, we enjoyed SF Giants spring training in Scottsdale for my birthday, we saw friends get married, camped in Timber Cove, found out in late summer we’d be having a baby & so much more! I’m excited & anxious for the year to come, I know it will be our biggest one yet! With everything on the horizon, it feels good to lean on old traditions. Even though this past weekend I’ve been combating a terrible head cold while working 11 hour nights I’m so glad we made a point to get to the beach & throw our flowers in the water. I can’t wait to do it next year with our baby in tow.
Happy New Year! I’d love to hear what some of your New Year traditions are, leave them in the comments below.
No Matter How Long The Winter, Spring Is Sure to Follow
It seems like the rain in California has just been relentless; albeit great for the drought I find myself rejoicing when the sun’s out & it’s a beautiful spring day. These photos were taken two days ago in Golden Gate Park, but even now as I write this, there’s rain drizzling down my window. I don’t religiously check the weather here in San Francisco because on the whole it’s so mild that usually a look out the window & a few light layers will be enough. However with all this rain it’s been really nice when I wake up & there isn’t a cloud in the sky! The unpredictability of the weather the last couple months have just brought me more gratitude for when it’s a beautiful day outside. I feel like it’s too nice to sit inside & let it go to waste. So rather just walking my dog around our neighborhood we’ll stroll through the park & take advantage of some sunshine because we could wake up to rain tomorrow. This “seize the day” mentality can be so motivating. It’s easy to be focused in on the day to day tasks & think, ugh I have to get the dog out for a big walk otherwise she’ll be a madwoman. But this season change has allowed me to zoom out & actually see the beautiful day & enjoy just being outside soaking up some much needed vitamin D! As a nurse I feel like already have a pretty good appreciation for how precious & unpredictable life can be but it always feels good to find new appreciation even in the day to day things.
Speaking of appreciating small things – this is our last weekend at home before we head to Europe & we’re SO excited! We’re just wrapping things up before we leave, having dinner with some of our favorite people & dogsitting one of Juno’s BFF’s plus it’s supposed to be sunny!
San Francisco in the springtime is so beautiful. I love wandering around the city & taking in all the views. Even though I’ve lived here for nine years San Francisco ceases to amaze me, I feel like I’m still finding new sweet spots in the city. Some of these pictures are from earlier this week when a few friends & I did a little urban hiking around nob hill / pac heights. The rest of the pictures are from this past Saturday when Chris & I took Juno out to Crissy Beach to meet up with some friends for a little dog date! Don’t let the sunshine fool you, it was freezing by the water, barely breaking 50 degrees! Despite the cool weather it was a great weekend hanging out at home & just enjoying this wonderful city. Saturday night we snuck away for dinner at favorite spot of ours in the mission. Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! We’re just a couple weeks away from trip to Spain & Portugal! Can’t wait!
February always seems to go by in the blink of an eye & this February was no exception. We layed low much of this month, in part due to my hectic work schedule. We enjoyed staying in the bay area, took a quick trip to Napa & introduced Juno, our black lab, to wine country. Needless to say she loved it. For Valentine’s day I made these festive chocolate dipped strawberries & we enjoyed a delicious dinner at the Cliff House! The cliff house is a San Francisco must, the food did not disappoint whatsoever. These chocolate dipped strawberries are super easy to make. 1/2 a regular pack of chocolate chips will cover a regular size pack strawberries. I melted the chocolate chips in a glass bowl with a 1/4 tbsp of coconut oil. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until completely melted. You can dip the strawberries or drizzle the chocolate. I added Valentine sprinkles for additional cuteness. Then I refrigerated them until consumption! I’ve been making these strawberries as a sweet Monday night bachelor themed dessert! Let me know if you recreate these. We’re off to Scottsdale for Giants spring training today!
^Juno can’t believe all these gorgeous lakes & waterfalls are in the city! ^^ How gorgeous was this Labor Day Sunset?! ^^ True love is when your husband drafts your fantasy football team while you do your makeup.
Labor Day kind of snuck up on us this year. We didn’t plan any getaways & it honestly turned out to be a great weekend in the city. Friday, Juno (our black lab) & I did an urban hike through Golden Gate Park. We walked about 6 miles in the park & it was awesome. We stumbled upon the amazing waterfall above Stow Lake. I had been to the waterfall before but somehow missed the part where you’re able to walk to the top!! Juno seriously was in heaven. Friday night we reunited with one of near & dear friends & just went out to a delicious dinner & enjoyed being out in SF. Saturday was a true test of our relationship, we had to go to Ikea – hung over, on both a holiday weekend & a college move in weekend!!! Luckily we survived & successfully built our furniture haha. We rounded out the weekend with a little bbq & I made some of deviled eggs & a watermelon caprese salad! Holidays are just the best excuse to make delicious treats! Happy unofficial end of summer all!
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.
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!
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).
Batteries to Bluffs is by far one of my favorite “urban hikes” in San Francisco. I love this hike for so many reasons. The views are incredible, even on a cloudy or slightly foggy day you get beautiful scenes of the Golden Gate Bridge. On a clear day you can easily see the Marin Headlands & the Point Bonita Lighthouse. In the springtime the trail is lined with countless wildflowers that you can see in my photos. Another reason why I love this hike? STAIRS! With more than 500 stairs along this trail you’re guaranteed a good workout & pretty spectacular view for “leg day”. It’s also a sure fire way to tire any puppy out. Not only will you experience phenomenal coastal panoramas but there’s also plenty of history along the hike. These batteries were built in 1900 & designed to protect underwater minefields outside the Golden Gate. By 1943 it was closed & all the guns were scrapped. It’s pretty cool getting to walk literally on top of history where men before our time fought to protect our lives & now I’m hiking with my puppy across the same batteries they stood guard at, crazy! So if you find yourself in San Francisco wanting to try something new & off the beaten path (no pun intended) definitely check out Batteries to Bluffs trail. On the weekends the hike can get a little crowded but most weekdays you may only see a handful a people, another reason why I can’t get enough. Do you have a favorite urban hike? If so I’d love to hear about in the comments below!
^^^ Happiness is a sandy snout – Juno spent a good portion of her time yesterday trying to dig gigantic holes in the sand! It feels like a lifetime but we’ve only had Juno, our black lab, for 2 months. It’s been so fun getting to explore San Francisco with our newest fur-baby. Yesterday we ventured out to Baker Beach. The weather was so strange but when we got to the beach the sun was actually out. The cloudcover made for some pretty amazing photos, especially with that little bridge in the back drop. Baker Beach is an awesome mile long beach tucked beneath the Presidio Cliffs with phenomenal views of the Golden Gate Bridge & Marin Headlands. It’s hard to believe that a beach this beautiful can be empty enough to let my puppy run around! Yesterdays beach trip was the perfect start to the weekend! We’re off to the foot hills this weekend to let Juno explore the 4 acres my parents live on. Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!