Rainy Day Date Ideas

Rainy Day Date Ideas

For the first time in years, we’re California is finally experiencing a winter with rain. Lots of it. There’s no shortage over here. 

Quick pros and cons list for you: Pros include that we aren’t really experiencing a drought anymore and that our reservoirs are getting pretty full, while Cons include flash floods, reservoirs spilling over, power outages, and bad driving. Oh, and it feels like there’s nothing to do. 

But feelings aren’t facts (haha!) and there is actually plenty to do when it’s raining. We just don’t feel like we want to do anything when it’s raining. But that feeling gets old and cabin fever can set in pretty quickly. There’s only so much Netflix someone can watch. Maybe you’re tolerance is higher than mine, but I would rather not spend every weekend binge watching a new show.

 Here’s a list to refer to when you can’t think of anything. This list is for everyone everywhere, but I’m also going to list local suggestions for those in the Bay Area. 

Go Bowling – If you’re in the Bay Area, head out to San Francisco’s Mission Bowling Club or Oakland’s Plank. 

Appreciate art and history at Museums & Art Galleries – Oakland Museum of California, Pace Gallery, and SFMOMA are popular spots. 

Look at fish, sea critters, and more at an Aquarium – The only thing cuter than watching otter videos on Youtube is watching otters IRL. Aquarium by the Bay and Monterey Bay Aquarium are your Bay Area options! 

Shoot some pool at your local Pool Hall – Slate in San Francisco also has skee ball sooooo 

Get active and go Rock Climbing – Planet Granite has locations across the Bay Area, but there are also other small gyms around so do some research before you head out. Also, if you’re a beginner, you might have to take a training class so keep that in mind.  

Buy a book you’ve been eyeing from a local bookstore or visit the Library –  I love the feeling of picking up a book that I’ve been thinking about buying and finally making the purchase. Pay a little more to support your local bookstore (or else Amazon will eventually be your only option) or pay nothing and pick up some books at the library. My favorites include Green Apple Books in San Francisco and Books, Inc. across the bay area. 

Wine Tasting / Brewery Tours – Depending on the winery and brewery, they may offer tours during the rain, so you’ll have to do a little research. Some brewery options: Anchor Brewing in San Francisco, 21st Amendment in San Francisco, Gordon Biersch in San Jose, Lagunitas in Petaluma. 

Play some games at an arcade – Coin-Op Game Room in San Francisco, Dave & Busters, and Brewcade in San Francisco are some good options. 

Check out live performances like concerts, plays, or comedy shows – This one is easier said than done for sure, but many restaurants and bars have live music at night. Grab some drinks at a local dive. Savanna Jazz in San Francisco, Berkeley Playhouse in Berkeley, and Tommy T’s in Pleasanton are a few options for you. 

Go to the Movies – This isn’t very creative but the movies are always an option. Consider going to a matinee if tickets are expensive. To switch things up, go to a historic theater, or one that serves alcohol and or has dinner service. Sundance Kabuki and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema are popular in SF. 

Belt out your favorite song at Karaoke – You could do this in a group or just as a couple but head to a karaoke place and just sing. 

Relax at the spa – Go to a nice spa in the area and get massages and facials or whatever you want. Watercourse Way Bath Room Spa in Palo Alto and Serenity Spa in Atherton have great reviews. 

Have an adventure at an Escape Room – What’s an escape room you ask? “Real-life room escape games are a type of physical adventure game in which people are locked in a room with other participants and have to use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles, find clues, and escape the room within a set time limit. ” – Quora. There are quite a few in SF and in the South Bay

Play Indoor Mini Golf – Urban Putt in SF and Subpar in Oakland are good options. 

Play with some animals at a Cat Cafe – These aren’t located everywhere but there is KitTea in SF and Cat Town in Oakland. You may have to make reservations in advance. 

Shop for some vinyls – Check out a good record store and buy favorite albums on vinyl. 

Get some tickets to a game – Basketball and Hockey take place indoors. Look for last minute deals on SeatGeek and StubHub. 

Want to stay in instead? 

Home-cooked Meal / Bake something – Why step out in the rain if you really don’t have to? Make some comfort food at home or bake something! 

Plan a trip – Think of a place local or a new destination where you would want to go! 

Learn a new language – Open up Duolingo on your phones and start learning! Then start speaking to each other in that language. 

Listen to records/music – ’nuff said

Board Games – Some aren’t as fun with only two people but that doesn’t mean you can’t play! 

Video Games – Not everyone’s cup of tea but it can still be fun. 

That’s what I came up with! What are some rainy day date ideas you have? Please share! 

How to Make The Most of Your Instax Mini Camera

How to Make The Most of Your Instax Camera

Who has an Instax?! Or, maybe you keep adding it to your shopping cart online and then telling yourself you’ll just buy one later? That was me for a while! Anyway, this post is for you.

I got my Instax mini 8 (in white) back in September but didn’t play around with it very much. I felt like I needed to save the film for fun occasions, so I was a little hesitant to bust it out at events or even in low-key environments.

But, what’s the point of having a fun camera like the Instax mini if you don’t use it? Here are a few ways to really make the most of your camera and take good photos: 

First of all, don’t be shy to use your camera. Yeah, in a lot of situations when you’re out an about, you’re going to feel a little silly taking photos with your Instax.  Learn to tune out your surroundings and have a little fun! Stay calm, steady, and relaxed when composing for the best photos. Don’t cover the exposure meter (the two holes above the lens) or the flash when taking a photo.

Try taking photos of everything. Your friends. Your face. Your eyeball. A pretty flower you saw. Your breakfast. Your coffee. A funny sign. Your happy hour cocktail. If you really want to get comfortable with your camera, you’re going to have to use it. 

Invest in a good camera bag or strap. If you feel like you have to inconveniently lug your camera around, you probably won’t use it very much. Whether you use a camera strap, special camera bag, or even a bigger purse to hold your camera, have something with you to hold your camera if you’re going to be holding it for a long time. One time, I thought I would be fine just holding my camera everywhere I went but it got annoying pretty quickly. 

How to Make The Most of Your Instax Camera

This case is currently on sale at Urban Outfitters and it fits the mini 8 like a glove. 

Get artsy with different filters and attachments. It’s pretty fun to play around with filters and lenses on the Instax. This pack has a few colored filters, and this lens helps you take better selfies. Instead of buying colored filters, you can also go the DIY route and use colored cellophane or sunglasses to create cool filters too. 

Try out different types of film. Fujifilm actually makes a variety of film for their minis: wide frame, monochromatic, rainbow, shiny star, air mail…the list goes on and on. It’s pretty uncommon to find a good variety at stores, so order online for the best selection. Fujifilm has a list right here. I’m definitely going to buy a monochromatic pack one of these days! 

Display your photos in frames, albums, and scrapbooks. While hanging photos on a photo wire or taping them directly to the wall has that carefree cool girl vibe to it, you actually have options when it comes to displaying or saving your photos. Urban Outfitters actually has a ton of frames and albums made just for Instax. I have a couple of the clear frames for my photos and LOVE them. They just sit on my desk. 

Buy film in bulk. Let’s be real–snapping photos on with your Instax costs a lot more than snapping photos with your phone. Costco sells the regular Instax mini film in some of their warehouses for a nominal price, but I prefer to order on Amazon for the convenience. $10-$15 per twin pack is pretty standard for the classic white film. You might be paying more like $10/pack for the other special film packs. 

Tips for taking photos:

  • Make sure the exposure you have set matches up with the light on the camera, unless you want to deliberately overexpose or underexpose for an artistic look.
  • The viewfinder isn’t exact, so you will need to make sure you’re pointing the lens at the subject. Try turning the camera to the right a little and tilt upward.
  • Do not expose the film to light. Do not shake the photos. Once you have taken a photo, make sure the photo isn’t exposed to direct sunlight. If you’re outdoors, put it in your pocket or in a bag to protect the image. 
  • Carry extra film and batteries with you! 

That’s pretty much it! Do you have any tips to add to make the most of your Instax experience?

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. 

High Protein Macaroni & Cheese

High Protein Macaroni and Cheese

I’m going to paint you picture here. It’s been gloomy for days. Gray skies, strong winds, rain falling sideways. You’ve been hit with relentless storms and according to the forecast, you’re not catching a break for a while. All you want to do is curl up into a ball and read, watch some TV, take a nap, or snack.

But it’s the new year and you’re supposed to be sticking with your new diet and fitness plan.

BUT when the weather is like this, you just want some damn comfort food. 

What do you do? Dilemma, right? 

I think most of us have been in this situation. You’re really craving something hearty, delicious, and kinda bad, even though you’ve told yourself time and time again that you need to stick to a healthy diet. You don’t want to derail everything you’ve been working toward. 

Well, I’m here to tell you that there’s a compromise. At least when it comes to macaroni and cheese. 

This macaroni and cheese recipe packs on the protein without losing any flavor. How much? I’m talking 24g of protein per serving, and this recipe makes 4 servings. If you want to truly make a filling meal out of it, eat two portions…although I don’t recommend this as it really isn’t that healthy for you. It’s really just good as a side with some light, creamy soup and a salad. 

Tweak the recipe and make it your own by adding bacon, different cheeses, breadcrumbs, jalapeƱos…the list goes on and on. Think of this recipe here as a starting point for what you can do to really make your tastebuds sing and keep your waistline intact. 

I will also note, my recipe was is a bit of a lazy-girl version. Get a food processor or blender in here, and maybe add a little flour to create a roux and get a really smooth cheese sauce.

Without further ado, here’s the recipe:  
High Protein Macaroni and Cheese High Protein Macaroni and Cheese
High Protein Macaroni and Cheese
High Protein Macaroni and Cheese
High Protein Macaroni and Cheese

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