Early Mother’s Day: Afternoon Tea at The Rotunda at Neiman Marcus

This post is sponsored by Good2Go but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

This past weekend, I surprised my mom with an early Mother’s Day with Afternoon Tea at The Rotunda at Neiman Marcus. This year, we have an important family event happening on Mother’s Day so we won’t be able to celebrate the day of, which is why I wanted to still make sure I could do something special for my mom. I invited my mom to walk around the city with me and hang out until our reservation time of 3:30pm.

Early Saturday morning, I had an “a-ha” moment early Saturday morning where I considered taking my mom to tea at The Rotunda. Having heard good things from friends about their experiences, I thought it would be a great experience to have with my mom. I didn’t expect there to be any open reservations for Sunday afternoon, but I luckily snagged one of the last few reservations on OpenTable. I made sure to note on OpenTable that we were there for Mother’s Day, for Afternoon Tea, and that my mother is a vegetarian.

Late Morning

We started our day off by going to the 16th Ave. Tiled Steps in Golden Gate Heights. You might have seen it on Instagram before–a long outdoor staircase with bright mosaic artwork. My mom loved it!

16th Avenue Tiled Steps

Early Afternoon

Then, we set our sight on the Mission District. But, as soon as we got there, we needed a bathroom break. I was trying really hard to make sure I wasn’t too full for tea, which was at 3:30pm, so I didn’t want us to sit down at a restaurant and have lunch. It’s hard to find a good bathroom to use in the city, especially if you aren’t at a restaurant.

That’s when I opened the Good2Go app on my phone. We saw there was a bathroom we could use at a nearby cafe right in the Mission District, and we took a short walk to the location. As we got closer, a feature unlocked where I could join the line for the restroom. Since there wasn’t anyone in the bathroom already, I was able to go right in. The feature is there so that if there is a line for the bathroom, you don’t have to physically stand in line for your turn. You can just wait until the app unlocks for you.
Good2Go
Good2Go Good2Go

I used the QR code on my phone to unlock the door, which automatically opened. Inside, almost everything was hands-free. I just did my business, washed my hands and then waved my hand in front of the sensor to exit the bathroom.

Good2Go is everything the app it said it would be and made spending the entire day out and about so much more relaxed. I highly recommend you download the app if you’re out and about and need access to a clean restroom! It’s free to download, and it’s a total lifesaver. If you’re an Android user, you can check out the app here.

Though using Good2Go is free to app users, I felt like I should help support the cafe as well. I purchased a yogurt at the cafe because I was hungry and also because they’re the kind of small business that adds a down-to-earth character to the area.

Clarion Alley

Then we walked down Valencia street! It was my mom’s first time at the Mission District, but I didn’t expect her to like Valencia Street so much. She wanted to walk into every store and loved the variety of restaurants on the street, which I wasn’t expecting at all. My mom even loved Clarion Alley! She kept suggesting that we stop at a restaurant for lunch, but I kept trying to keep her away from the restaurants.

Mid-Afternoon

We walked so much, I totally underestimated how much time it would take to walk back to the car and drive to Union Square to head to tea at 3:30pm. All of a sudden, we had to speed walk down Valencia Street to get to the car and that’s when we realized just how far we had walked.

We rushed and rushed, trying to get there as fast as possible and knowing we would be a little late! I was freaking out, and the restaurant was calling me trying to figure out whether we would be able to make it. My mother didn’t understand when I kept saying we had somewhere to be by 3:30pm, thinking it was just a random time I had scheduled and that it was flexible. The 3:30pm seating was the last seating for tea of the day, so it was imperative that we get there ASAP.

Had we been a minute later, I don’t think we would have been able to be seated for tea. Luckily, we got there are the latest possible time. Soon after arriving, we were seated in the best spot in the restaurant–right by the window overlooking Union Square.

Needless to say, my mom was totally surprised! My “Early Mother’s Day” was a success. I took a few moments to catch my breath and then enjoyed the tea!

Our tea started off with popovers with strawberry butter, and wow they were love at first taste. Next, I received a little soup. My mother’s tea was vegetarian so it did not include the soup, which tasted like a very rich chicken broth. Then my mother and I selected our teas. I went with a light white tea called Anji. Soon enough, our sandwiches and desserts appeared on a tiered stand and I just devoured my half of the food. Everything was so tasty, I couldn’t believe it. The desserts were so rich, I couldn’t finish them. I could only take a bite out of the little cakes just for a taste.

For those curious, the afternoon tea is $45/person and reservations are highly recommended.

Overall, we had an outstanding experience at the Rotunda. Like, a 5-star experience.

Late Afternoon

Finally, our day ended with some shopping! And then we ventured home. The day was a great success. I was so tired the next day, I could barely move!

We could not have had our day out in San Francisco / Early Mother’s Day without the help of Good2Go! We would have just caved into eating at a restaurant and arrived at our nice tea totally full and not ready to eat. Be sure to download the app! New bathrooms are always popping up on the app, so there will be plenty to use in no time.

Citrus Avocado Salad with Lemon Parsley Dressing

Citrus Avocado Salad with Lemon Parsley Dressing

Citrus and avocado are by far one of the most underrated food combinations I’ve ever come across. Sure, everyone is on board with adding a little lemon or lime to the guacamole they mash up for a party to keep it from going brown, but its far less common to see a dish with both citrus and avocado playing off each other.

I’m not the first person to ever add oranges and avocado to a salad, not by a long shot! The credit for my discovery of this combination goes to a local artisan cafe I frequent all the time. I ordered some fancy toast with blood orange and avocado slices layered over goat cheese on some amazing bread. I was a little skeptical at first but knew I should trust myself and the cafe. At first bite, I was in foodie heaven and did a little dance at the table.

I knew I wanted to recreate the combination at home, so I ended up going for a salad! I thought about adding some goat cheese crumbles but just ended up not doing it out of sheer laziness. I also would have needed to have goat cheese on hand, which I didn’t. It would taste sooo good though and I totally plan to add goat cheese next time! It would bridge the flavor combination well.

Citrus Avocado Salad with Lemon Parsley Dressing

Citrus Avocado Salad with Lemon Parsley Dressing

Now, I’ve got a good salad that will take me all through spring and summer! I can switch up some of the greens–maybe add some kale, spinach, and bean sprouts. Or, I could add some grapefruit into the mix, too.

To complement the salad, I blended some fresh flat-leaf parsley, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and avocado to create a flavorful punch with each bite. I don’t usually have salad dressing on hand because I don’t always like how there are too many ingredients that go into the store-bought dressings, so making this lemon and parsley salad dressing was worth all the trouble to me. And by trouble, I mean roughly chopping up some garlic and parsley before throwing all the ingredients into the food processor.

Citrus Avocado Salad with Lemon Parsley Dressing Citrus Avocado Salad with Lemon Parsley Dressing

Here’s how you make the salad!

I would say this makes 2-3 servings depending on whether you’re eating this as a meal or as a side salad along with an entreé.

Citrus Avocado Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 - 6 cups of mixed greens
  • 1 avocado, halved, cut into slices
  • 2 fresh oranges (I'm using cara cara here), cut into slices
  • 1/2 large cucumber, cut into slices
  • 2 cups fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: crumbled goat cheese

Instructions

  1. Simply put the mixed greens into a mixing or salad bowl, and add the avocado slices, orange slices, and cucumber slices on top.
  2. Gently toss to mix it evenly.
  3. To make the dressing, add the parsley, lemon juice, garlic, other avocado half, salt, and pepper to a food processor and blend.
  4. For a runnier consistency, add a little water.
http://www.thesassylife.com/citrus-avocado-salad-with-lemon-parsley-dressing/

Another variation of the salad is to switch up the dressing! A traditional balsamic vinaigrette or another light dressing could be good options here. It’s up to you to decide how you want to make your salad!

Citrus Avocado Salad with Lemon Parsley Dressing Citrus Avocado Salad with Lemon Parsley Dressing

So, what are your thoughts? Do you think you’re going to try out this salad, or at the very least, mixing avocado and other citrus fruits together? You really should give it a shot!

Self-Care Sunday with Bioré #SelfCareSunday

Biore Charcoal Pore Strips & Biore Charcoal Self Heating One Minute Mask

Self-Care Sunday is exactly what it sounds like–taking time out of your Sunday to give yourself some extra care. One week, it may mean using a moisturizing deep conditioner on your hair. Another week, it may mean manicuring your nails and adding pretty designs with your favorite nail polish.

#SelfCareSunday doesn’t have to be grooming-related. It could be that you take the time to go for a long walk outside, or that you give yourself some time to curl up and read your favorite book. It’s all about taking the time to do something for yourself that lets you reset and prepare for the upcoming week! The goal is to reset and recharge.

Biore Charcoal Pore Strips & Biore Charcoal Self Heating One Minute Mask

We all have different needs and different ways to de-stress and unwind. For some of us, we can’t go a week without a special skin treatment. Or you might be the kind of person who needs to binge-watch a Netflix marathon. Whatever floats your boat.

This past Sunday, I decided to make my #SelfCareSunday all about skincare! After returning from a bachelorette party in San Diego, my skin looked and felt dry and irritated.

I’m actually a big fan of using face masks as they help to purify and exfoliate the skin. I always feel like I could give my skin a little more TLC.

But not all face masks are made equally! Oh, no, no, no. Rubbery sheet masks require me to lay down so the mask doesn’t slide off my face. Watery masks require me to always keep wiping the excess serum away. I wonder if the serum is just evaporating instead of going into my skin… Clay masks can be a pain to leave on as they tighten your skin, and you can’t move for at least 20 minutes.

Actually, all of the masks I’ve used have required at least a 20 minute window in which to keep the mask on.

Bioré Charcoal Self Heating One Minute Mask

That’s where these two Bioré products come in! This Charcoal Self Heating One Minute Mask (available here) only needs to stay on your face for a minute!

Biore Charcoal Pore Strips & Biore Charcoal Self Heating One Minute Mask

Biore Charcoal Pore Strips & Biore Charcoal Self Heating One Minute Mask

I’d never really seen a mask like this before, especially a charcoal mask. The mask actually heats up when you apply it to your skin, and it works to remove surface toxins and deep clean your skin, removing extra dirt and oil in only a minute. When you rinse the mask, it leaves a cooling sensation on your skin.

Not only is fast and easy to use, but it’s made using natural charcoal which is a plus! I love charcoal products.

I should have been a bit smarter this past weekend by planning ahead and packing the mask for my trip! It’s light and easy to travel with. Using the mask for a minute at the hotel would have done wonders for my skin without making me feel like I’m spending all this time doing nothing–just waiting for a face mask to work.

Bioré Deep Cleansing Charcoal Pore Strips

I also used these Bioré Deep Cleansing Charcoal Pore Strips (available here) to really get into the blackheads on my nose. When you have oily skin like me, blackheads come with the territory. I know all my friends love to use Bioré Pore Strips, so chances are you probably already know what they are. These particular strips are made with natural charcoal, which acts as a magnet and naturally helps to draw out impurities, dirt, and oil from the pores.

I actually got some black on my fingers when I was removing the strip from my nose, so I know that it’s not just black. There really is charcoal on it! Plus, if you’re like me and you like to examine the pore strip post-use, you can see flecks of skin much better on black than on the white pore strips. I think that’s reason enough for some of us to get these pore strips versus the traditional ones–haha!

My pores began to look much smaller after just one use. If you use them once a week, you should start to see your pores looking much smaller!

Also, my skin didn’t feel irritated at all afterward. I’ve used some pore strips that were too harsh on my skin before, but this wasn’t harsh at all. I actually think it did a better job at removing impurities than other strips I’ve used.

 

Biore Charcoal Pore Strips & Biore Charcoal Self Heating One Minute Mask

Biore Charcoal Pore Strips & Biore Charcoal Self Heating One Minute Mask

I used these products separately because I was using them for the first time, but you can actually use both of them at the same time. You can wear the pore strip first and then apply the face mask around it and rinse. Not that 10 minutes is a lot to spare, but it can be if you’re in a hurry so multi-tasking is a plus here.

The great thing about Bioré products is that they’re available almost everywhere! Head to your local Target store to pick up the mask and the pore strips, which are both less than $6 each (depending on the retailer).

Or, you could even order them from Amazon!

Amazon Links: 

Bioré Self Heating One Minute Mask at Amazon

Bioré Deep Cleansing Charcoal Pore Strips at Amazon

 

So…you’re probably wonder if I would continue to use these Bioré products. The answer is–YES! The prices make the products affordable, and they can be used in almost no time. And you can buy Bioré products from so many places. It’s like all the stars have aligned here!

Have you tried any of these Bioré products? What do you think of them?