So Long, Summer

We all know that Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer. I love fall, but I’m just not ready to let go of summer. Fortunately, we still have a few weeks of hot weather (today will be close to the 90s) so we can transition into pleasantly cool and crisp autumn days.

I had a good summer. Like, really good. I did a lot of traveling and exploring that I didn’t really share in-depth with you all (sorry about that!). Summer just went by so quickly that I don’t think I even took long enough to process everything that has happened, so I thought I would take a moment to highlight some of the best parts of the season.

Amsterdam Centraal/Central Station

Amsterdam Centraal/Central Station

At the end of May, around Memorial Day (the unofficial start of summer, ha!) I hopped on a plane to the other side of the world to explore the beautiful city of Amsterdam. I only shared part of the trip on here because I couldn’t find the time to share every detail I wanted but I was truly taken aback by Amsterdam’s beauty. The architecture is breathtaking, from all the old churches, tall houses to the brick roads and small bridges, and there is so much to learn about their rich history at The Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum and Rembrandt’s house. All I can say is, I would love to go back. And if you have an opportunity to visit Amsterdam, I hope you take it!

From Amsterdam, I got on a plane again to Asia, where I spent a lot of time in India. India is a place you must see for yourself. India has a rich culture, and there are many different subcultures throughout the country. I got to explore much of South India, where I spent time in the “Silicon Valley” of India, called Bengaluru (or Bangalore), Kozhikode (or Calicut), and Kanyakumari. Each place is COMPLETELY different than the other. I got to vacation at a high-end resort, see a world-famous sunset, and indulge in South Indian Cuisine. Plus, I got to drink a whole lot of filter coffee, one of my favorite drinks there.

Filter Coffee

Filter Coffee

Calicut

Resort in Calicut

Sunset at Kanyakumari

Everybody gathering to watch the sunset at Kanyakumari. It was foggy but still beautiful!

For 4th of July weekend, a couple of friends and I decided to get away for the weekend and hit up Los Angeles. We browsed through a few nice vintage stores, walked through some boutiques in Abbot Kinney, and spent lots of time in beautiful Santa Monica doing some shopping. It was all about shopping and good eats for us! Our time in LA was short, but sweet. We couldn’t fit in everything we wanted to do within 48 hours, but we made the most of our time there (we only slept for 2 hours our 2nd night there!).

Venice Beach

Venice Beach

A few weeks later, I made my way to the Renegade Craft Fair that was happening in Fort Mason in the city. Of course, parking was a mess, but we browsed through so many different booths full of handmade goods and art. I always wanted to go but somehow, every year it fell on a weekend that never worked for me. I find craft fairs like this so inspiring, and I love supporting small businesses. I didn’t buy much, but I was happy to finally get to go!

My birthday happens to be in the beginning of August, so my friends and I went to Sunday Brunch at Foreign Cinema. For those not familiar with the restaurant, it is one of San Francisco’s top-rated brunch spots. How popular is it? Let’s just say we got there 20 minute before it opened and there was already a huge crowd waiting about to trample over others for some brunch. Yeah. I started my day with a bloody mary and some type of fancy poached eggs I don’t even remember the name of. We then grabbed some coffee from Ritual Coffee Roasters on Valencia St. and made our way to Haight-Ashbury where we did some shopping (and people-watching).

Foreign Cinema

Eggs at Foreign Cinema

A couple of days later, I saw the Queen since she came to visit. By Queen, I mean Queen Bey. Beyoncé and Jay Z made a stop in San Francisco for their On The Run Tour. The show was so lively and although I could barely see Beyoncé from where I was sitting, the show was still amazing.

Beyoncé and Jay Z: On The Run Tour

Beyoncé and Jay Z: On The Run Tour. Can you spot Beyoncé and Jay Z on stage?

And a couple of days after that, I went to my first (I know, first!) music festival, Outside Lands. I saw a lot of great performances and ate some good food from some of the Bay Area’s most well-known restaurants, like Homeroom. It was nice to go to a huge festival at home, instead of say traveling all the way to Coachella. Some of the acts I saw included Death Cab for Cutie, Capital Cities, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, and Kanye West.

Ranger Dave at Outside Lands

Ranger Dave at Outside Lands

Needless to say, I was pretty tired after that weekend.

I had a life-changing brunch the next weekend after that, where we were celebrating a friend’s birthday. In addition to having peach mimosas (soooo good!), I treated myself to Nutella-Stuffed French Toast. It was heavenly, to say the least. The Nutella would just pour out as I cut into the toast. I never thought Nutella could complement french toast so well. And yeah, you bet I will be trying to recreate the french toast.

And now we are here, at Labor Day weekend, where I decided to kick back and enjoy some time at home!

Hope you all are having great Labor Day weekends and can also say you had amazing summers! Just so you know, you may still see some bits of summer around here until the weather *actually* starts to get colder.

Favorite Finds #19

I’m doing things a little differently for this installment of Favorite Finds.

This week, I’m sharing two videos I found fascinating that I’ve been dying to share!

How to Make Japanese Iced Coffee from Counter Culture Coffee on Vimeo.

Until finding this video, I had no clue that this method of brewing iced coffee even existed, but I’m so glad I found it. I can’t wait to try it once I get all the right tools. Coffee lovers, unite!

7 Smartphone Photography Tips & Tricks

When I first began watching this video, I thought it would have a lot of the basic tips and tricks that most websites put up. Instead, I was blown away at how great each tip was. This is definitely a must-watch if you are an iPhone user!

Take care, and have a lovely Sunday!

P.S. The End of Summer Giveaway ends at midnight EST TONIGHT so don’t forget to enter if you haven’t already! 

Ricotta & Honey Toast

Ricotta Honey ToastThis has been quite a…strange week in the Bay Area. We started off our weeks with a huge earthquake in Napa, CA that the entire Bay Area felt. For the rest of the week, we have been experiencing some crazy weather which has also brought some crazy allergies. With the crazy weather has come allergy attacks for almost every single person I know, and this week my allergies hit me HARD.

Not that you want to hear all my symptoms, but I somehow ended up with a sore throat from my allergies. So to soothe my throat and boost my immune system, I made some Ricotta and Honey Toast.

This healthy breakfast almost instantly made me feel better, and I’m not exaggerating. At one point while savoring the sweet toast, I had forgotten my throat was sore. Yeah, it made that big of a difference. Sore throats are irritating to say the least, so I was taken aback at how the honey helped my throat. My spirits were lifted!

Needless to say, after nearly inhaling this amazing toast, I was ready to face the day!
Ricotta Honey Toast Honey & Ricotta Toast

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of french bread from a baguette, each 1″ thick
  • 4 tablespoons ricotta cheese
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup fruit of your choice to top the toast

Directions:

Slice the french bread into 1″ thick slices if you haven’t already.

Toast the bread using your favorite method. I chose to broil the bread on high on a large baking sheet. I let the bread broil 3-4 minutes on each side

Spread the ricotta cheese on each slice of bread.

Top with the fruit of your choice (I am using blueberries and sliced strawberries) and drizzle honey on top.

Serve immediately.

Ricotta Honey Toast

There you go––an easy to make breakfast that is tasty and healthy. What more can a girl ask for?

P.S. if you have any remedies for allergy attacks, I’m all ears!