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Health, Recipes, Review

Adaptogens + The Healthiest Smoothie in the World

April 29, 2017

Adaptogens are a unique class of herbal plants used as tonics that help balance, restore and protect the body. Generally, they are used to increase resistance to disease and stress, increase energy, and increase physical performance and endurance.

               

Here are some of the more common ones and their top benefits:

Reshi

Resihi is a a mushroom (fungus). Boosts the immune system, protects against heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, kidney disease, cancer, and liver disease. It is also used for HIV/AIDS, altitude sickness, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), trouble sleeping (insomnia), stomach ulcers, poisoning, and herpes pain. Other uses include reducing stress and preventing fatigue. In combination with other herbs, reishi mushroom is used to treat prostate cancer (Webmd).

Cordyceps

Cordyceps is a fungus that lives on certain caterpillars (!) in the high mountain regions of China. It can be reproduced in a lab setting so that’s why it can be widely available. It is used to treat respiratory disorders, kidney disorders, nighttime urination, male sexual problems, anemia, irregular heartbeat, high cholesterol, liver disorders, dizziness, weakness, ringing in the ears, and unwanted weight loss. It is also used for strengthening the immune system, improving athletic performance, reducing the effects of aging, promoting longer life, and improving liver function in people with hepatitis B (Webmd). It may also have a positive effect on inhibiting growth of certain cancers.

Astragalus

Astragalus is an herb and the root is the medicinal part. It may be useful in treating common colds, upper respiratory infections, allergies, fibromyalgia, anemia, HIV/AIDS. It is also used for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), kidney disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Generally, astralagus appears to stimulate and increase the immune system.

Ginseng

Ginseng is a root that also helps boost the immune system and may lower blood sugar levels and improve mental performance. One type of ginseng is called eleuthero, also known as Siberian ginseng. Eleuthero is used in Korean and Russian folk medicine to increase stamina and improve athletic performance. In Chinese medicine, the root is used to invigorate qi (chi or energy), strengthen and nourish the spleen and kidney and to balance vital energy (Mountain Rose Herbs).

Schisandra

Schisandra is a plant and the fruit is both a food and a medicine. Schisandra is used for preventing early aging and increasing lifespan; normalizing blood sugar and blood pressure; and stimulating the immune system and speeding recovery after surgery. It is also used to treat hepatitis and protect the liver from poisons. Other uses for schisandra include treatment of high cholesterol, coughs, asthma, sleep problems (insomnia), nerve pain, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), chronic diarrhea, dysentery, night sweats, spontaneous sweating, thirst, erectile dysfunction (ED), physical exhaustion, excessive urination, depression, irritability, and memory loss. Some people use schisandra for improving vision, protecting against radiation, preventing motion sickness, preventing infection, boosting energy at the cellular level, counteracting the effects of sugar, and improving the health of the adrenal glands (Webmd).

The chemicals in schisandra improve liver function by stimulating enzymes in the liver, thereby promoting liver cell growth.

Rhodiola

Rhodiola is a plant and the root is medicinal. Rhodiola may be effective in improving athletic performance, shortening recovery time after long workouts, improving sexual function; treating depression; and for heart disorders such as irregular heartbeat and high cholesterol. Rhodiola extracts might help protect cells from damage, regulate heartbeat, and have the potential for improving learning and memory. However, none of these effects have been studied in humans. The root is native to the arctic regions of Europe, Asia, and Alaska and has a long history of use as a medicinal plant. In fact, it is mentioned by the Greek physician Dioscorides as early as the first century AD! (Webmd)

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a plant and both the root and berry are used as medicine. It has a LOT of uses but there is not enough information to tell if it is effective for any of them. Ashwagandha is used for arthritis, anxiety, trouble sleeping (insomnia), tumors, tuberculosis, asthma, a skin condition marked by white patchiness (leukoderma), bronchitis, backache, fibromyalgia, menstrual problems, hiccups, and chronic liver disease. Some people also use ashwagandha for improving thinking ability, decreasing pain and swelling (inflammation), and preventing the effects of aging. It is also used for fertility problems in men and women and also to increase sexual desire (!). Ashwagandha contains chemicals that might help calm the brain, reduce swelling (inflammation), lower blood pressure, and alter the immune system (Webmd).

The name Ashwagandha is Sanskrit and means “horse smell” haha which is pretty accurate but I can’t taste/smell the little bit I put in my smoothies at all!

Tocos

Something else I add to my smoothies are tocos, which is derived from the bran of brown rice. Tocos is a rich source of fat-soluble natural vitamin E which is great for the skin, connective tissue and healthy muscle function. It’s almost white, very fluffy and light and looks like fake snow and makes drinks and oatmeal creamier and really has no taste! I get mine from Sun Potion and it contains: Vitamin A (Beta Carotene), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine), Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Vitamin E, Folic Acid, Biotin, Choline, and Inositol. It also contains naturally occuring Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Iron, Zinc, Manganese, Copper, Iodine and other Trace Minerals (Sun Potion).

WOW amazing benefits huh? I want to know why these herbs aren’t more popular! However, it should be noted that not everyone should take any of these herbs if you have medical issues (or clear it with your doctor first of course) and I heard you want to kind of cycle the herbs so you are not taking them ALL the time. I usually do 3-4 weeks taking them and then 3-4 weeks off of them and I mix up which ones I add to my smoothies as well.

My favorite adaptogen smoothie

This taste like a chocolate peanut butter milkshake and you instantly feel good after drinking it!

  • 1 cup loosely packed spinach
  • 1 tablespoon powdered peanut butter (sub regular nut butter if desired!)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 serving sprouted brown rice protein powder (I use Moon Juice Deep Chocolate – Activated Brown Rice Protein* Maca* Cacao* Stevia* Cinnamon*)
  • 1 teaspoon maca powder
  • 1 teaspoon Moon Juice power dust (Organic Astragalus* Ginseng* Organic Eleuthero* Organic Schisandra* Rhodiola* Organic Stevia*)
  • 1 teaspoon Sun Potion Anandamide (Raw Cacao* Tocos * Mucuna Pruriens* Ashwagandha* Reishi Mushroom* Astragalus** Suma** Moringa* Rose Petals* Cardamom*  Turmeric* Cayenne*Cinnamon* Black Pepper* Himalayan Salt Crystals* Love!*)
  • 2 teaspoons Sun Potion tocos
  • 1 teaspoon bee pollen (one of nature’s most completely nourishing foods, it contains nearly all nutrients required by humans)
  • 4-5 ice cubes

                

Since I have started cycling this tonics, I honestly have noticed my mood is better and I have been less stressed and anxious! I think that is all I have noticed so far but I’m sure my body is healthier on the inside too. If you try any of these, I would love to hear how they have effected you!

In other news, I’m really excited today because I just bought my study guide stuff for the NASM personal trainer exam! I can’t wait to start studying (somethign I’ve never said before) and I have already signed up for my exam date- September 30th! I technically have 180 days to study so until the end of October but there were no exam dates available later than the 9/30 so hopefully I’ll be well-prepared by then.

XOXO

Health, Review

Currently crushing on…

January 10, 2017

Cheesy kale chips – I made kale chips in the oven a couple years ago but I kept burning most of them and I got sick of that burnt taste so I hadn’t eaten them since. I was at the Capitol Hill farmer’s market recently and a guy was handing out samples of kale chips with nutritional yeast “cheese” and they were amazing and tasted just like a cheez-it! On my next grocery haul, I grabbed a bag of this brand and they are really tasty. I plan on making them homemade also. The ingredients are: Kale, red bell peppers, cashews, sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, sea salt, chia seeds, lemon juice.

Image result for cheesy kale chips radiant foods

Perfect bars – I just got a box of these at Costco and they are quite filling and dense with some pretty interesting healthy ingredients! They do have kind of a lot of sugar though. My favorite flavors are the peanut butter (obvi!) and the cranberry crunch. Costco only has the variety pack with pb, cranberry and almond butter. Downside is that they have dairy and eggs so not great for people with allergies but they have a lot of cool stuff like tomato and dulse – probably like 1/100 of a tsp per bar but still cool! The label below is from the peanut butter one.

Image result for perfect bars

Image result for perfect bar nutrition label

Simple Mills banana muffin mix – I am so in love with Simple Mills, everything they make is incredible! It’s all made with paleo flours (almond and coconut) and grain, dairy and gluten free. I love their pizza dough mix, chocolate cake mix for brownies with my fav Enjoy Life chocolate chips. I just tried this banana muffin mix and it is definitely my current favorite. I added chocolate chips and ate all the muffins in record time!

Image result for simple mills banana

Image result for simple mills banana nutrition label

Pressed Juicery Freezes – Pressed just opened a juicery in downtown Seattle last month (in Westlake mall) and I couldn’t be more excited. I even went to the grand opening and waited in line for a freeze and a juice. A lot of health nuts I follow on Instagram are obsessed with the freezes which are like a healthier soft-serve frozen yogurt but non-dairy and super healthy and I have to agree-they are delicious. I had the chocolate one and I’m not sure what it is made of but it’s all 100% fruit, nuts and veggies. It tasted like a delicious chocolate almond milkshake!

Image result for pressed juicery freeze

 

Now on to non-food items..

Native deodorant – I’ve always felt uncomfortable about the aluminum compounds in generic deodorants as they potentially may be absorbed by your skin and some believe it could cause cancer. Even if it doesn’t cause cancer, it can’t be good to have any chemicals near your sweat ducts. I tried natural deodorants but they never worked and I wasn’t a huge fan of the scents and always went back to my ooh-la-la lavender Secret clear deodorant. My coworker told me about Native deodorant and I decided to give it a go so I ordered the coconut vanilla scented one. I had low expectations but it turned out to work amazingly well and I am hooked for life honestly! I always smell fresh and vanilla-y and just one application is plenty for a day. The only downside is that it’s not clear so I get those darn white marks all over everything but that’s a small price to pay for a great natural deodorant. Native is a San Francisco based company and you can order just one deodorant for $12 or subscribe and get one every month or two months.  The general ingredients are: Caprylic/capric triglyceride ( which is a fancy way of saying fractionated coconut oil ), arrowroot powder, stearyl alcohol, baking soda, shea butter, coconut oil, hydrogenated castor oil, polyglycerol-3 beeswax (which is a fancy way of saying cera bellina wax), jojoba esters, tocopherol (which is a fancy way of saying Vitamin E), L. acidophilus (which is a natural bacteria found in your body already), dextrose, glyceryl caprylate, glyceryl undecylenate.

Radha Beauty Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser – I read an article about how essential oils can help relive stress and are generally good for you so I got this little diffuser off Amazon for $20 and some lavender essential oil to try it out. I love this little thing. It has a mist function so every few seconds you get a lovely mist of scent and this diffuser can change colors too! It’s really relaxing to start this up for bedtime and I am excited to try some other scents. I also want one for my office so I can de-stress at work too!

 

FreePrints App – this is one of the best (if not the best) apps ever! Basically you download the app on your phone and then within the app you can select photos from your camera roll, cloud, one drive, Facebook, Instagram, etc. and then you choose the size you want and they ship printed photos to you! You get 85 FREE 4×6 prints per year and you can buy whatever other sizes you want (they are cheap too). I know, I know it sounds too good to be true but it’s not! I’ve used it once already and my mom has used it a lot too. It’s so nice to have printouts of Instagram photos for framing or gifts. Oh and the app is free to download too!

 

What are food or other products are you currently crushing on?

Review, Travel

A Weekend in San Francisco

June 18, 2016

I visited my boyfriend in San Francisco recently, we ate a lot of food and saw some of the touristy sites. I had been to SF twice before but I was only there for the day and didn’t get to see very much so going for almost a week gave us plenty of time to hang out and see the city!

I arrived around midnight from Seattle so we went to bed immediately and then got up pretty early the next day. We already bought Alcatraz tour tickets for that day so we went out to brunch near G’s apartment which is in the best location ever, the marina district! You can see the golden gate bridge from outside his door and all the apartments have the typical SF ornate style.

I did a quick Yelp search and this place, Cafe Golo came up with good reviews and it was like a 2 minute walk so we gave it a go.

My handsome BF:

Greg cafe golo

This is a teeny tiny kind of hole-in-the-wall looking place, our waitress/possible owner was really sweet and brought out some pastries made in-house (it’s also a bakery):

cafe golo

G and I ordered the same things, the blueberry french toast on their cinnamon swirl bread with a scrambled egg and bacon (mine went to G of course). Verdict: Great bread, tasted like a cinnamon roll! BUT they used terrible fake maple syrup instead of real which is basically a sin for a cafe specializing in brunch. The eggs were nothing special either and the meal costs almost $15 each! Unexpectedly pricey for the look for the place and for somewhere that uses fake syrup.

breakfast sf

G lives about a 5 minute walk from the Golden Gate Bridge!

greg at the marina

marina

Next we walked to Fisherman’s Wharf where the Alcatraz cruise takes off. I pictured a bigger boat but the use pretty small ones that bounce a lot on the waves and almost sent me flying a few times! It was sunny but pretty chilly on the water because the wind is super strong near the bay.

Arriving to the rock…

Alcatraz

alcatraz arrival

It’s actually quite pretty:

alcatraz view 1

Not very pretty inside though:

alcatraz jail 1

The great escape:

Escape from alcatraz REAL

alcatraz window

alcatraz admin

So close to the beautiful city! I can see why one would want to give swimming to shore a try

view from the rock

A decaying house of one of the prison officials

alcatraz building

We escaped the rock!

view from alcatraz boat

The tour took longer than we thought so we were starving by the time we got off the boat. I had yelp’ed this fish and chip stand which has amazing reviews to we went to find it near the piers. I LOVE the name!

The codmother fish stand

These are the BEST fish and chips I have ever had! They are in the classic English style with malt vinegar included. The breading was so airy and light and the fish was perfectly moist.

the codmother fish and chips closeup

After that huge meal, we walked back to G’s apartment and passed out from sun over-exposure (me the Seattleite – not him).

The next day I dubbed “mission district day” so we headed over there and played a fun game of mini golf at Urban Putt which was so fun! After playing golf, we went to La Taqueria El Farolito which is supposed to be one of the best mexican restaurants and it’s super cheap! I got a veggie burrito with guac of course and G got some meaty burrito. It’s a very narrow little place and kind of dirty but they have good food and the lines are long. They do only take cash though!

el farolito SF

Burritos the size of newborns:

el farolito burrito SF

Mmm so tasty!

el farolito burrito closeup

Because we are gluttons with endless pits for stomachs, we also got ice cream at Bi-Rite Creamery! I have been here before and they have high-quality stuff! I got cookie and cream and mint chocolate chip and G got a huge ice cream sandwich that he couldn’t finish. Don’t worry, I finished it for him.

bi-rite cookie ice cream SF

bi-rite ice cream SF

The next day was reserved for the enormous Golden Gate Park! We went to the Japanese tea gardens and the botanical gardens. The whole park is so beautiful and it’s so much bigger than I thought!

Botanical gardens:

botanical garden sf leaf

botanical garden sf flowers

botanical garden sf 7

botanical garden sf 5

botanical garden purple flower

botanical garden bird

I love this wisteria, so pretty!

botanical garden 2

Weird plant in the Australian section:

botanical gardens australia zone

botanical orange flower

botanical gardens SF 3

botanical gardens sf 6

flowers SF

Japanese tea gardens:

GG park japanese tea garden

GG garden 3

GG park 4

GG tea garden

In front of one of the museums:

kyla at golden gate fountain park

GG park 2

Greg at GG park

japanese tea garden kyla

The succulent part of the botanical gardens is my favorite!

succulent!

GG Park botanical garden

Two goobers:

greg and kyla SF botanical gardens

So many succulents!

succulent gardens!

succulent gardens kyla

succulent gardens kyla 2

G caught me mid-complaint about something lol!

succulent garden Kyla 3

This is my favorite picture:

succulent garden closeup

succulent garden cactus

Whew this is such a long post, hopefully you are hanging in there!

The next day, we went to Chinatown and the financial district area for some tasty eats.

First I dragged G to a highly-rated bakery called Good Mong Kok, here is their menu:

good mongkok bakery SF

Everything is SO cheap so we got a bunch of stuff to try. G got a barbecue pork steamed bun:

good mongkok bun SF

I got some scallion/shrimp dumplings which are so delicious:

good mongkok bakery steamed chive dumplingsgood mongkok steamed dumpling

G got us egg custard tarts which are really good and he loved them so much he said it was the best thing we ate the whole trip! The crust is super flaky and buttery and the custard is just right.

good mongkok custard tart SF

Not a great picture, it’s hard to balance a camera and a tart! 😉

good mongkok custard tart closeup

A pineapple bun – decent but nothing too special,there is no filling so it’s kind of plain, I wish it was filled with custard.

good mongkok pineapple bun

Scallion bun/bread – yummy and super huge, couldn’t finish this one!

good mongkok scallion bun

good mongkok scallion bun!

After our massive chinese bakery breakfast, it’s only natural to wash it all down with a bubble tea! We went to G’s favorite place, i-Tea, which has a bunch of locations in the bay area. They have an awesome large menu and the tea is really good! I wish they would come to Seattle.

I got a jasmine green tea with boba and G got a wintermelon milk tea:

itea bubble tea

Then we walked around the Ferry Building Market for a bit, always a good time.

ferry building market SF

At this point, coffee was needed, so we got blue bottle NOLA iced coffees, the only coffee I like! It has roasted chicory root in it.

kyla at ferry building

Unbelievably, we got hungry again and since it was my last night, we decided to go for Italian food so we stopped at The Italian Homemade Company which I have been to before and they make the best pasta! We went to the original restaurant in the teeny Italian district of SF.

italian homemade company

I got pesto ravioli and savored every bite.

italian homemade co pesto USE

G got spaghetti with meatballs which also looked divine.

italian homemade company greg

To end the night, we stopped at Naia Gelateria for a cone, I got hazelnut chocolate and biscotti something or other. Good thing we walked so much otherwise I would have gained 10 lbs from this trip! We averaged about 20,000 steps a day!

gelateria naia 2

The next day I had a late afternoon flight so we were able to go out to breakfast. I looked up some places close to his apartment and chose a rather touristy spot, Hollywood Cafe, which is in the Fisherman’s Wharf area. G got blueberry pancakes and I got french toast and fruit.

hollywood cafe SF

The amount of fruit is impressive! It was pretty good french toast.

Hollywood cafe SF fruit

We walked around at the marina park and got mojito iced coffees at Philz coffee. It is a little too sweet for me so G had to finish mine for me.

philz coffee line

greg at the marina 2

philz coffee mint mojito 2

I ate some farmers market strawberries too:

sf farmers market berries

It’s such a pretty area, I would love to live near this like G does! I ran 11 miles here on one of the days for my half training and it was super hot but it had great views!

marina SF

I love these apartments! They cost a fortune to live in though.

SF 3

IMG_4471

Beautiful SF…

San fran!

We also had time for one last frozen yogurt, we went to this place like 3 times during my visit because it’s SO good. It’s called Loving Cup and they make their own probiotic froyo and then mix in toppings for you. It’s only a few blocks from G’s apartment on Polk street! I actually like this better than the famous Bi-Rite Creamery.

loving cup menu

I got the “Dirty Hipster” a couple times, it’s vanilla froyo with oreos and nutella mixed in…Heavenly!

DSC_0139

Post-froyo cheerfulness:

IMG_4482

We walked by this donut shop and I saw the biggest donut I have EVER seen! The cinnamon roll next to it is the size of an adult hand so the donut is about the size of my head! And no, we didn’t eat that too 🙂

IMG_4481

We also stopped for a quick drink on Union Street, G got a beer and I got a rather weak black currant kombucha. They don’t really have much kombucha around in SF that I saw, I should open a kombucha bar there!

IMG_4476

That concludes this super long post! I hope you enjoyed reading. Have a good weekend!

Eating, Review

B-up Protein Bar Review + Spring + Must-Have Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe!

April 2, 2015

Spring has arrived! It was so beautiful out for a few days, as I’m typing this it is overcast, raining and freezing cold, but it was really nice for a bit! Hopefully spring fights back against Seattle’s desire to be dreary. Last night there was a big thunderstorm actually, which is not very common here. I like thunderstorms, they make me want to get cozy!

Anyways, my friend Sulki and I went to see the cherry blossom trees on the UW campus because it was so sunny and nice out. As you can see, it was the place to be!

cherry blossoms UW

cherry blossoms UW campusCherry blossom girls

How gorgeous are these blooms?!

cherry blossoms!

cherry blossoms seattle

Afterwards we headed to an outdoor mall nearby and between the paper/card store (we love cards!) we couldn’t resist popping into Menchie’s for a sweet treat. Mine looks like a bit of a hot mess but a really yummy hot mess! I got cake batter and peanut butter cookie.

Froyo menchies

Sulki’s is a lot prettier to look at, those bright colors! She got cake batter.

froyo menchies fun

froyo menchies!

I also stopped at Target to grab some groceries and stumbled upon this gum. I don’t chew gum but the packaging got me! Plus I wanted to see what cake flavored gum would taste like. Verdict: not very good! As I should have known it just tasted like chemicals but I appreciate that they made the sticks of gum have sprinkles, like funfetti. I’ll find someone who likes gum to give it to!

bad target decisions

I went to a training away from the office last week and got back just in time to head to the gym but I was starving, like there’s no way I had the energy to workout and I had no food, so I ran to the GNC around the corner and grabbed this protein bar. I’ve heard about these, kind of a new Quest bar. Here is the label and the ingredients list:

PBJ_nut

INGREDIENTS: Prebiotic Dietary Vegetable Fiber*, Peanuts, Whey Protein Isolate, Milk Protein Isolate, Cocoa Butter, Natural Flavors, Palm Fruit Oil, Xylitol, Strawberry Juice Concentrate, Sea Salt, Sunflower Lecithin, Beet Juice Powder, Citric Acid, Stevia Extract, Monk Fruit Extract.ALLERGENS: Contains Milk, Peanuts, and traces of Tree Nuts (Almond, Cashew). *Go to www.bupbar.com to see results for fiber analysis.

Anything with that much fiber in one little serving makes me a bit skeptical and there have been some negative studies about xylitol and sugar alcohols in general.  I haven’t read anything bad about monk fruit extract but I think it’s a rather new ingredient on the market, maybe I’m wrong though.

Here is some info on monk fruit:

Monk fruit, also known as luo han guo fruit, is traditionally grown in the forested mountains of southern China, Reuters reported. Its antioxidant and vitamin properties have made it a popular remedy for anything from a sore throat to diabetes, and its naturally sweetened flavor makes its dry form a practical ingredient for soups and teas. Manufacturers report that one gram of monk fruit extract is equal to eight teaspoons of sugar…and In its pure form, monk fruit is considered 300 times sweeter than sugar…California-based Zevia recently launched its brand of zero-calorie sodas, sweetened with a mixture of monk fruit extract and stevia.” (source: http://www.medicaldaily.com/monk-fruit-first-healthy-artificial-sweetener-also-tastes-great-265647)

I tried Zevia once or twice and it tastes really good! You’ve probably seen it at your local grocery store, or Whole Foods:

Can of Zevia Ginger Root Beer

Okay now my review: I chose the PB&J flavored bar because I just love PB&J! They also have: vanilla peanut butter, peanut butter, sugar cookie, chocolate mint and cinnamon roll.

b up bar 1

Whoa that’s pink, wasn’t expecting the layered color look. Smells like PB&J kind of.

b up bar 3

Tastes a bit chalky but the peanut butter layer is good. I can kind of taste the stevia but not anymore than in a Quest bar. The jelly layer is to fake and weird for me though, too chalky and whey-y (haha not a word at all). I’m not the biggest fan of protein powder (unless it’s mixed in a smoothie) but I do like quest chocolate chip cookie dough bars and they taste better than this one.

b up bar 2

Verdict: I would probably try the peanut butter one because generally anything with peanut butter I enjoy, but I’m gonna say “no thanks” to the others. Of course, one should always try to eat some plain Greek yogurt or hard-boiled eggs over processed bars but sometimes you need a quick fix! (And sometimes I microwave a chocolate chip protein Quest bar and eat it for dessert : ))

After that I got a solid workout in though! I’ve been trying to run at least 3-4 times a week and mix in some strength training.

working out!

 Makes me laugh!

My spring-y nails!

nail stick-ons

What I have been eating for dinner like every night, Trident salmon burgers form Costco, 20g protein, nothing but fish. So juicy and delicious!

trident salmon patties

My BF’s birthday is this Sunday, on Easter, so I made him a bunch of cookies to send in a birthday package! Including his favorite, snickerdoodles, which turned out AMAZING, thanks to Mrs. Sigg’s recipe. I used all butter instead of half shortening half butter.

mrs. siggs snickerdoodles

They turned out perfectly puffy, slightly chewy and thick.

mrs. siggs snickerdoodles 2

Obviously I had to make sure they tasted okay 🙂 They look yellow in this photo but they are white, it’s my darn kitchen lighting!

mrs. siggs snickerdoodles 3

 Next I made him this espresso chocolate chip shortbread recipe. They didn’t look too pretty since I don’t have a rolling pin but I think they turned out good! These are not very sweet but very buttery and have strong infusion of espresso, perfect for my coffee-holic boyfriend.

espresso chocolate chip shortbread

I got him this card (I hope he doesn’t see this blog post before Sunday!), he likes the grumpy cat so this is perfect!

greg's birthday card

His box all packed up, it also had some Easter basket straw filling, some chocolate Easter eggs and a few other little surprises! I topped it off with an old camera booth thing from when we first started dating, we look totally silly but I thought it was a nice touch 🙂

greg's bday box

If anyone can get through this super long post, I will be amazed! My mom came to visit last weekend so I want to share what we did. We walked to Capitol Hill and got lunch at Rancho Bravo Tacos, which is in an old KFC building but is super cheap and tasty Mexican food. Mom got enchiladas and I got a veggie burrito.

rancho bravos tacos

rancho bravos tacos burrito

Mom also brought my pup, Gryphon, to visit. I miss this little weasel so much! I got him a bow tie, which only enhances his natural beauty. Unfortunately, Gryphon is getting to be a senior citizen so he couldn’t do the walking we had planned but he was just as happy to take a nap in my apartment with his toy squirrel!

gryphon!

Quite a stud huh?

gryphon in seattle

Many kisses were shared.

gryphon and kylagryphon and kyla licks

After lunch, mom and I got her first Molly Moon’s ice cream experience. SO delicious! I got a huge waffle cone (which they make there) with salted caramel and melted chocolate. I also tried the earl grey which tasted really good but I was in a chocolate mood.

molly moons

Mom accidentally ordered a sundae with salted caramel, melted chocolate, toasted hazelnuts, fresh whipped cream and fresh chocolate sauce. We got flustered while ordering and mom order this, she only made it halfway through after being induced in a sugar coma!

molly moons sundae

Mom and I. My eyes look so dark and devilish!

molly moons with ma

If you could only eat one flavor of ice cream for the rest of your life, what flavor would it be?