Japan

Oh Japan, where do I even begin?!

I can't believe it has been it was last fall that I headed across the Pacific for Tokyo. So first off, I should tell you it was one of the top 10 trips I have ever taken, maybe even top 5. To put it differently, it rained every single day of the trip and it still was amazing, that is how much I loved Tokyo and Kyoto. So here are the details. 

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Tips and Tricks to Eating More Fruits and Veggies

If your family was anything like mine, the veggies of our childhood were overcooked and bland. I am still traumatized by the way my dad cooked zucchini. He would cook it on the grill in tin foil until basically there was nothing left. You have to give him credit for trying but the zucchini was so overcooked that it was pretty much inedible.  I still have a hard time eating cooked zucchini because of it. 

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So Long Bay Area, Hello Los Angeles

A little bit of news....we are moving to LA. Holy sh@!#$$t.

We move in a couple days and I don't think it has quite hit me yet. It is all a very long story that I won't bore you with, but we are making the move south from the Bay Area to LA. And I am both excited and nervous. Excited to live in a new city and explore new places and try new things but nervous because I have been to LA a total of three times, one of those times was when I was 13 years old. So there is that. (For the record 13 yr old Amanda quite enjoyed it though)

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Palms Springs

I just got back from an amazing weekend in Palm Springs. Every time I visit that desert town, the more I love it. For the record I have only gone in February when the weather is perfect and July might feel like walking on the face of the sun, but I grew up in Florida, I can handle a little heat. Maybe. As long as there is air conditioning. It was a weekend filled with good food, strong cocktails, interesting conversations and great girlfriends. Here are the details:

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Here's to 2016

Since 2015 has almost come to a close and 2016 is upon us, I thought it was time for some reflections and intentions. 2015 was quite a year. There were trips to NY, Chicago, Florida, the Bahamas, Italy and Big Sky, Montana. There were dinner parties for 35 people, quiet weekends spent on the couch and days spent with family and friends. I finished renovating my kitchen and fell even more in love with my newfound home of Oakland. Looking back we are really lucky. Really lucky.

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My Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

This past weekend we hosted our 4th annual Friendsgiving. Because we live on the West Coast while most of our family is on the East Coast our friends have turned into our adopted family. Each year we celebrate that with a Friendsgiving. What is Friendsgiving you ask, well it is Thanksgiving +friends = Friendsgiving. It is basically just another excuse to have a Thanksgiving dinner. Since I cooked for 35 people this past Friendsgiving, I thought I would share my menu with all of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes, as well as some tips and tricks for pulling off your best Thanksgiving ever. Since Thanksgiving is 2 weeks away, here is your game plan to make this Thanksgiving your most delicious and easiest one yet.

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Guide to Oakland

Can you believe it, we have been Oakland residents for over a year and a half?! Crazy – it seems like just yesterday we made the jump over to the East Bay from San Francisco. Since I have unofficially become Oakland’s #1 fan, I thought I would share some of my favorite  places to eat, and things to do in Oakland, just in case you ever find yourself on the right side of the Bay.

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Italian Holiday Part 3-Tuscany

I saved the best for last. After Rome and Florence and the madness of trying to see everything and eat everywhere, we slowed WAY down for Tuscany. Way down. We rented a car in Florence and drove south to the town of Chiusi in the southwest part of Tuscany. It might have been the most gorgeous car ride of my life. Everywhere you look there is an ancient town or vineyard or those stunning Italian Cypress trees that just scream Tuscan countryside. It was magnificent.

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Italian Holiday Part 1 - Roma!

We recently returned from a whirlwind trip to Italy. It was a gorgeous, hot, delicious and an all-together wonderful trip. I had never been to Italy before and I am totally hooked. Now I know why so many people fall in love with that country. Between the food, the people, the language and the history, it is one magical place. We only had one week off from work so we tried to pack in as much as we could. First stop was Rome.

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New York Weekend

We recently returned from a whirlwind trip to Italy. It was a gorgeous, hot, delicious and an all-together wonderful trip. I had never been to Italy before and I am totally hooked. Now I know why so many people fall in love with that country. Between the food, the people, the language and the history, it is one magical place. We only had one week off from work so we tried to pack in as much as we could. First stop was Rome.

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Holiday Vacation in Florida

So it is officially time to get back to real life right? I am excited to jump headfirst into 2015.   These past two weeks felt like the never-ending holiday break where everyone was on vacation and it was totally fine to stay in bed for most of the day. I am not complaining. For the first time in a while (certainly the entire month of December) I feel completely rested. It is a bizarrely foreign and amazing feeling.  For part of the holiday break we went to my hometown in South Florida where we spent the week catching up with family and enjoying the warm weather, not to mention citrus fruit and key lime pie. Here are some pictures from our holiday vacation in Florida.

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La Road Trip

This past weekend I took a last-minute, spur of the moment LA road trip. Our house is under construction and there is a layer of dust literally everywhere, so when a friend emailed and invited me to a holiday brunch I immediately said yes, I would be there. I was joined by a friend and the two of us hit the road for a road trip filled with eating, drinking and sightseeing. It was a whirlwind 36 hours but so much fun.

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East Coast trip to Nantucket and Boston

Last week I took a quick trip to the East Coast to visit Boston for my 10 year college reunion (I have no idea where those 10 yrs went!!). Some girlfriends and I squeezed in a trip to Nantucket before Boston making this trip a serious whirlwind (plus I added on a night in NYC at the end of the trip just for good measure). I tallied it up and by the end of the 5 day trip there were 2 trains, 1 ferry, 2 plane rides and 1 car ride- it was literally planes, trains and automobiles but it was amazing and totally worth the exhaustion. Here is the round-up from the trip. We flew into Boston on the red-eye, rented a car, drove down through the Cape and hopped on a ferry headed to Nantucket. We were only in Nantucket for the night but we managed to pack everything in, plus it is a small island.

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Labor Day Weekend

How was your long weekend? Was it amazing? It is hard to believe that Labor Day weekend has officially come and gone. I am not going to accept that summer is over, until it is really over. Like September 21st over. Regardless we had a great weekend. We had absolutely no plans, which led to an amazing weekend. That is usually how it works, right?

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Bahamas Trip to Green Turtle Cay

I am back from my Bahamian family vacation. It flew by with the blink of an eye. Even thought it went by way too quickly, it was a blast and so much fun to revisit a place that I hadn't been to in over 20 years. Amazingly, things are very much the same. The town seemed a lot smaller but other than that it was still preserved exactly how I remembered it.

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