Monday, February 17, 2014


I am finally getting to this post...

If you follow me on Instagram, you are already well aware that Logan and I just spent a few days in San Diego, CA. I only posted about a million pictures of our adventures and probably way too many pictures of the fantastic food we devoured. It was the first time we had both been away from Ellis together for more than a night or two. We missed her like crazy, but thoroughly enjoyed the time away, just the two of us. I am confident that we explored all that is San Diego, CA! Here just a few of my random thoughts on our get away:

1.  Traveling is something I need. YES... NEED. Some people have no desire to travel and I think that is 100% pure craziness. I think about it almost every day. Now, if I only had a money tree in my backyard that paid for plane tickets... hmmmmmm
2.  Even though it is so nice to get away, there is something so wonderful about coming home. When you have a little one you have missed like crazy, it makes it even better. AND there is just something about sleeping in your own bed...
3.  Public transportation is NOT a germaphobe's dream - no sir. We got over it quick, but it took a minute and a little bottle of hand sanitizer.
4.  THE FOOD. OMG, the food! We were there to not only site see, but to try the best Italian in Little Italy, the best Mexican in Old Town, etc. I would have to say, San Diego did NOT disappoint in flavor!
5.  I consider myself lucky to have a husband who shares my passion for exploring. I think we make a pretty fantastic little travel duo.
6.  If you are going to travel while pregnant: #1 - Make your travel partner well aware of the fact that you will have to pee at least every two hours. #2 - Travel while in your second trimester. I would have never made it in my first.
7.  California Dreamin'. Yes, I felt like La Jolla and Coronado Island defined my idea of what that really meant. I have NEVER in my life seen so much money. The cars, the houses, all the stores (that we couldn't afford)! As we were walking down the beautiful cobblestone roads looking up at the amazing houses along the shoreline and peeking into the driveways to catch a glimpse of their fancy cars, it blew our minds that people actually own these things and yes, many of the houses were people's second homes. I guess THAT is California Dreamin'.
8.  After a few days in San Diego, I started to notice a trend. Logan and I were drawn to every little girl we saw around the age of two. It's like we spotted them from a mile away. Little boys - nope, didn't care too much about them. lol We would usually ask the parents how old she was and then we told them we had a little girl at home and that we missed her. It was just so funny to me. It made us miss her every time.
9.  I think I might be a 'vacation narcoleptic.' After every big meal we ate, I fell asleep for a good 20 minutes about a 30 to 45 minutes after we were done eating - didn't matter where we were. I fell asleep on the SD Zoo trolly tour and the city bus, not to mention, I pretty much crashed every night we got back to the hotel. It was seriously the strangest thing!
10. After our visit to SD, Logan is now having a 'turning-30-life-crises' and has the urge to wear skinny jean, backwards hats, grow his hair out shaggy and buy a long board. ;) kidding, but he did buy a sweet hat with a hula girl on it. Oh, and he does own a longboard. ;)

Our list of 'must try' restaurants in the San Diego area include:

Hash House A Go Go: (Brunch) Get the sage fried chicken - I have never tasted so many flavors in one dish!

Snooze: (Brunch) They have cage free eggs and serve tons of healthy options like quinoa porridge, but are famous for their eggs benedict.

Buon Appetito in Little Italy: (Dinner) Delicious pasta, seafood, and steak - Our Italian server was so sweet! The service and food were both fantastic. A local elderly Italian man who lived the neighborhood recommended it to us. (Always ask the locals, never your concierge.) 

Filippi's Pizza Grotto in Little Italy: (Lunch or Dinner) You have to walk through a little Italian deli to get to the restaurant and the entire ceiling of the restaurant is covered with bottles of their house Chianti hanging in little straw baskets. I wouldn't say the pizza was truly authentic thin crust Italian pizza like we had in Italy, but it was more of a pan style pizza that was just as amazing. 

The Prado at Balboa Park: (Lunch or Dinner) Logan had a burger with the most amazing french fries (I know this b/c I stole half of them) and I had a Farmers' Market Salad. They also have great outdoor seating.

Cafe Coyote in Old Town: (Lunch or Dinner) for great Mexican food. They hand make their own tortillas right out front in the outdoor seating area.

MooTime Creamery on Coronado Island: for a milkshake or about a million other different options for ice cream treats. AAAMAZING!

Our list of things to do in the San Diego area include:

La Jolla - the shores to see the seals, walk the beach, and walk through the beautiful neighborhoods to look at the houses. It might not be your thing, but it is totally ours. 

The San Diego Zoo - It is just a must see. It is over 100 acres and it takes a good five hours to go through. Make sure you grab a map when you first get in. It will make it much easier to navigate and you can make sure you see everything. 

Coronado Island - Go inside and explore the famous Hotel del Coronado - walk the beach and go to all the adorable little shops. 
Balboa Park - museums and restaurants. 

The Gaslamp District - great restaurants and clubs if you are not pregnant and feel like going out. ;)

The Border of Mexico - We also headed down to the border (almost to Tijuana) to hit up the Las Americas Premium Outlet Stores in San Ysidro. Now I wouldn't exactly recommend outlet shopping for a tourist b/c, let's be honest, you can outlet shop anywhere. We just wanted to go and see the border and well, we like outlet stores I guess.

Saturday, February 15, 2014


I made these today and they were fantastic! I am curious if using espresso vs. coffee would bring out the coffee flavor a bit more, so I will have to try that sometime and report back.  I was surprised at how soft they were. I was expecting them to be possibly a bit dense b/c of all the whole wheat flour, but they are actually super moist! I will be making them again for sure!

2 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk (I didn't have any on hard, so I made my own using whole milk and lemon juice - super easy and I am sure any kind of milk would work)
3/4 cup olive oil
1 cup banana mashed, plus 1 cup diced (2 large bananas smashed and 1 diced)
1/4 cup strong coffee, room temperature
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 - 1/2 cup chocolate chips or cacao nibs
sugar for sprinkling on top
Preheat oven to 350. Grease or line 2 muffin tins. (Makes 24 muffins)
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together, and make a well in the center. Combine the oil, milk, mashed banana, coffee, vanilla, maple syrup, sugar, and egg. Whisk the wet ingredients together and pour over the dry ingredients. Stir the ingredients together until almost mixed. Add diced banana and chocolate chips and finish mixing until just combined, being careful not to over mix. (Remember, lumpy is good!)
Scoop the batter into the prepared pans, filling the muffin cup about two-thirds full. Sprinkle with a bit of sugar. Bake until the muffin edges are golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out with the very tiniest bit of crumb, 16-20 minutes.
(Recipe slightly adapted from The Vanilla Bean Blog)