Life Lately — May 6, 2017

 

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Hello, everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve done a Life Lately update for you all. Things have been busy busy busy and there has been lots going on! I’ve got a short list of things I want to share with you all:

Little Book of Hygge – It’s pronounced “hoo-ga.” I just finished reading this book. The Danes really take comfort and coziness to the next level with their culture of hygge. A light and enjoyable yet informative read, this book exceeded my expectations! I went back and forth on whether to buy this book, but I found it worthwhile and have even been passing the book along to friends and family.  I’ve been trying to adopt some hygge practices in my own lifestyle and it’s been awesome!

A Quick Little Trip to Stockholm – If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen some cool photos of Stockholm! We went to Stockholm for a short spring break vacation and it was really nice to experience a new culture, do some touristy things, and get out of the area for a while. I’m working on a post for you all about the trip! Look for that coming soon!

Vegetable Garden – I’m starting a vegetable garden. Well, sort of. I’m committed to the idea of growing some veggies at home, but I haven’t invested in raised garden beds, compost, irrigation systems, etc. I’m growing zucchini, cucumbers, green bell peppers, jalapeƱos, cilantro, basil, and lavender right now. We’ll see what I don’t kill and then add more veggies to the garden based on that!

It’ll be really nice to not have to constantly purchase these veggies at the grocery store or farmer’s market. Do you any grow veggies or herbs at home? Any advice to give someone who is a newbie? 

Parabo Press – I’m not affiliated with Parabo Press in any way, but I wanted to pass along a deal they have! You can get 25 free square prints just for the cost of shipping. I just sent in a 25 photos to print, including vacation photos, and can’t wait for them to come in. I ordered a photo book from Parabo back in December and just leave it on the coffee table to look at from time to time. It’s nice to physically flip through a book instead of swipe through my phone. 

That’s pretty much the “cool” stuff I have to share with you all! Below are some really good, informative links you should check out. 


Some links I’ve enjoyed lately:

13 Restaurant and Food Photography Tips for Bloggers

How to Live a Luxurious Life While Still Saving

30 Ideas for What to Post on Instagram 

 

Experiences, Not Things.

Experiences, not things

Over the past couple of years, I’ve started to shift my spending from more clothes, shoes, and accessories to spending on experiences. Designer labels and brand names are becoming less important as I get older, and at the same time, I’m starting to think more about how I want to spend my money on memorable experiences. I mean, who really needs 8 pairs of sandals? 

(No one.)

Now that the weather is warming up, I’m starting to give a lot more thought to how I want to spend late spring, summer, and fall. Even though I’m somewhat used to my homebody ways of watching Netflix or reading and snacking in pajamas, it’s time to break out of that mindset and get out there. It’s time to start going out more often (GOMO)! 

I’m pretty lucky that I live in one of the coolest places in the world(San Francisco Bay Area whaat!!) and there really isn’t a shortage of fun things to do around here. From concerts to sporting events to wine tasting and camping, there’s something here for everyone to love. 

With the help of my friends at Eventbrite, I’ve put together a sort of bucket list for fun things I want to try in 2017 that require me to get out of my comfort zone, get out of the house, and have fun and make memories! 

Here’s the list:

Go to a concertGo to my first country concert. In a few weeks, I’m going to be sipping on some bud light with my cowboy hat watching Chris Stapleton take the stage. I’m no stranger to concerts, but I’ve never been to a country concert. The group of friends I’m going with aren’t the usual friends I go to concerts with, so I’m really looking forward to making some great memories with these friends at this show. Fingers crossed that the weather is nice and it doesn’t get too chilly near the end of the show!

Take a cooking class

Take a cooking class. I took a baking class a couple of years ago while in New York at the Momofuku Milk Bar. Even though I was by myself, I found the experience to be pretty fun since I love to bake. The thing about that class is that while I loved baking and I learned a lot, birthday cake isn’t something I can incorporate in to my diet on a regular basis (but wouldn’t that be awesome if I could!?!!?). I’m hoping to take a cooking class on some type of cuisine–perhaps Thai or Japanese? I don’t have much experience with cooking those types of cuisine at home and some recipes feel pretty intimidating to tackle on my own, including beginner recipes.

go on a wine tour

Go on a wine tour. Lucky me, I live pretty damn close to wine country. While Napa County is world-famous and everyone and their mother goes there, there are wineries throughout the Bay Area, including the East Bay and the South Bay. It would be awesome to get a group of friends together one Saturday or Sunday and go on a wine tour where the itinerary is already planned and all we have to do is show up. 

Hit up a foodie festival. There is no shortage of foodie festivals in the Bay Area. Whether it’s about craft beer, coffee, wine, or street food, there’s a festival happening somewhere just about every month. Some of them can be pretty pricy, and you definitely have to make sure you don’t upset your stomach with too much food, but it will be really fun to see what local vendors have to offer and even do a taste test. 

spend time at a retreat

Spend time at a retreat. Whenever I take time off work to go on vacation, I usually pack that time full of activities and don’t give myself a lot of time to unwind and rest. With that strategy, I make the most of my time off, but I also come back to work feeling tired and unfocused…which is not good. Heading to a retreat–a holistic one, a yoga one, or something similar, where we take time to rest, heal, and connect, would be an awesome experience. 

What do you think of my list? I hope my list has inspired you to step out of your comfort zone and plan to do something new this year! 

If you’re looking for ideas, you should definitely check out Eventbrite. And if you’re the type of person to plan your own event, Eventbrite even has an event planning page that’s perfect for you. 

With all this being said, what do you say–let’s GOMO this year? 

-S

Strawberry, Blackberry & Pistachio Yogurt Bark

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You’ve probably seen yogurt bark recently on your Facebook newsfeed like I have (thanks, Tasty!).

One afternoon when I became a little hangry for going a little too long without a snack or a small meal, I started pulling fresh berries out of the fridge. Then I noticed the creamy, full-fat, rich, gooood yogurt. A full can, a rarity in my house.

While I was still hangry and searching for a snack, I was desperately thinking “I’m never going to let myself go this long without something to eat again!” I started snacking on chocolate (not a filling snack, but hey I needed some brain food to at least get started on finding something good to eat) while I started to prepare some tangy yogurt bark. 

It’s ridiculously easy to make, and you don’t really need a recipe to make it, but I’m going to list out everything for you just to make things easier for you. 

How does it taste, you ask? Deliciously tangy. The fruit is refreshing. The pistachios add a nice texture and flavor to the bark. And it’s all slightly sweet, thanks to some honey. 

How does it hold up? So, I’m not using greek yogurt, which a lot of people seem to have issues with when freezing. I’m using old-fashioned creamy yogurt from Trader Joe’s (it’s a red plastic container if you see it there), and I haven’t really come across a similar yogurt in other stores. This one is especially creamy but still has a pourable consistency. 

How long does it last? I wouldn’t keep it around for too long in the freezer, because the longer you keep it in there, the more likely it is for the taste to change and for ice crystals to develop. Do store it in an airtight plastic container for max freshness. 

Remember, all the ingredients can be adjusted to your taste or to the quantity you’re making! There really aren’t any rules. 

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Strawberry, Blackberry & Pistachio Yogurt Bark

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups creamy, plain yogurt (my yogurt is from Trader Joe's)
  • 3-4 tbsp honey, to taste
  • 3-4 fresh or frozen strawberries, sliced
  • 8-10 fresh or frozen blackberries, halved
  • 2 tbsp crushed pistachios

Instructions

  1. First of all, prep your ingredients. Slice your strawberries, chop your pistachios, etc.
  2. Add a layer of aluminum foil to a baking sheet. I used a pizza pan since I was making a small batch for myself.
  3. In a mixing bowl, mix together the honey and yogurt.
  4. Pour the honey and yogurt onto the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Scatter the strawberries, blackberries, and crushed pistachios all over the yogurt.
  6. Put in the freezer for 2-4 hours until frozen.
  7. Remove from freezer and break the bark into large pieces. Use a sharp knife for help.
  8. Eat immediately! Some of it will melt on your hands--it's inevitable.
  9. Store the rest in an airtight container in your freezer.
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