What’s In My Carry On Bag | Must Haves


There are a few things I will always have in my carry on bag, no matter where I am going.

  • ¬†Backpack – I personally prefer skate or snowboard type backpacks. They tend to have a lot of pockets and straps. Volcom is a personal favorite.
  • H2O- it’s a must to have a water bottle and stay hydrated. Most airports now have refillable water stations. I am loyal to Nalgene and my husband cannot live without his ūüôā
  • Socks- I tend to get cold feet on planes and I have learned my lesson on being miserable. So, socks are a must.
  • Eye mask- For those that haven’t experienced the wonders of an eye mask, I’m sorry. Flying with an eye mask is a game changer.
  • Pillow- Save your neck and enjoy a nap.
  • Headphones – Duh
  • Lotion- ¬†I hate dry hands… it drives me nuts! The little eos one is perfect!
  • Lip blam – I can get the worst chapped lips. I travel with so many lip balms! One of my favorites is Jack Black‘s mint lip blam.
  • ¬†Antibacterial wipes- clean your seat area…even if you look crazy.
  • ¬†Cleansing wipes- Personally I like to feel refreshed after a long flight and cleansing wipes can make you feel like a new person.
  • Wristlet , Fanny pack or any small purse contraption – This is best for getting through the airport and not having to go in and out of your backpack. I personally love my fanny pack!!!
  • Notebook – I don’t care how many note apps there are on my phone, I like to write it down. It’s great to have to make travel plans, schedule, play games with your travel partner etc.

What are your must have travel items?

x- A

Friday’s Cocktail! | Sangria madness

With  a major heat wave hitting southern California, I am in need of a refreshing cocktail. Sangria is one of my favorites but only if done well.

Recently I had a Sassy Sangria at The Patio in Mission Hills, SD. Essentially a sangria with some tequila… it sure will get you sassy ūüėȬ† The Patio is a fabulous restaurant that is all about local ingredients and being sustainable, on top of that it is absolutely stunning¬†with great¬†¬†ambiance.¬† It is an open kitchen with a¬† wall of lush living plants and a mix of rustic wooden¬†and elegant heather blue turfed chairs. Your plates will look like art and your taste buds will be dancing.¬† It is a must try in San Diego!

My other favorite sangria place an happy hour in general is Costa Brava in Pacific beach, SD. It is a Spanish tapas place with $8 pitcher of delicious fresh fruit sangria… I could have an IV of this stuff!!!¬† You will need some munchies, so.. try everything on the menu ūüôā¬† really… its soo good!

Start your weekend off right with a fabulous glass of sangria and use this amazing chart from wine enthusiast to try something new. Mix it up and get sassy!

Share your favorite cocktails or go to places in your area!

xo- A

Bacon Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

You know those dinners that are so good that you are picking at it during the whole cooking process…. well Bacon crab stuffed mushrooms is that dish for me. This is a by taste recipe… Alex and our buddy Kellen made this happy creation and now it is a staple.

You can make this as low fat or low carb as you want.

Ingredients-

-Crab legs- chop it up!

-Red pepper- thinly diced…. about one big one.

-Onion-¬† thinly diced…. about the same amount as red pepper.

-Bacon– there is never enough… chop it up!

-Salt and pepper

-Cayenne or red pepper flakes- I like a little kick to it and I am not spicy eater.

-Moisture- We usually use some soft cream cheese and little sour cream- I know not the healthiest but it still is low carb ūüôā¬† You can use mayo, yogurt or even an egg.¬† The cream cheese mix can also be used for a delicious dip. ūüôā

-Parmesan- to Alex it is very important that it is fresh Parm. quarter for in the bowl and the rest for the end.

**Mix all the above and then stuff it into your mushrooms.

We use big portabellas and bake them on a rack to avoid the mushroom getting soggy.

The last few minutes¬†is when you add¬†fresh parmesan¬†on top¬†and put it in the broiler for a few minutes…. it creates a perfect little crust.

Ta daaa…. you have a delicious low carb/low fat however you like dish!

 

 

 

My go to protein bar!

Seems everyone has their go to favorite protein bar/shake to get them through the morning or a good mid day snack or lunch. What I have discovered is that a lot of protein/power bars are filled with carbs,sugar and tons of calories.

Then I found my love of Atkins bars and shakes, they are filled with protein and have very few carbs and calories. They don’t taste chalky or “dietiy” ¬† Like most protein bars. They are a little pricey. I try to purchase them at Target or Walmart since they seem to be almost a $1 cheaper there verse the grocery store. They do have good sales pretty often, so just stock up. ¬†I keep these bad boys with me all the time, so I avoid a “hangery” state lol.

Share with me your favorite way to eat healthy when in a rush and really hungry!

x- A

Dark Western | Fall Fashion 2014

Fall is just around the corner and I couldn’t wait to share ¬†the Dark Western fall fashion trend! I am loving it!
  ** Look out for the rest of the up coming  fall fashion trends here on B.D!
 X- A.

Vacation Surprise!

Summer vacation… there is nothing better! Alex and I had barely been seeing each other due to how busy life was.So,we were so excited to have a week in Florida. We boarded the plane with our usual travel snack pack,essentially a picnic. ūüôā We also happen to have a bunch of free Southwest drink coupons! Best thing ever! We ordered cocktails and cheered to 7 days of white sand beaches and poolside living! We landed and was greeted by Alex’s mom. We were going to visit his grandparent and his mom had already arrived.

This is not your average¬†grandparent visit. We arrived at the estate and had homemade soup waiting for us. It was perfect. It was late but Alex and I were on West Coast time, so we decided to go for a midnight swim. Beers in hand and warm summer night and a perfectly heated pool, vacation had officially started! The next day, we decided to head to the beach club. This is where we met a cabana boy who set up an umbrella,chairs and a table for us and then took our drink order. Every beach needs this! Now I need to join a beach club. ūüėČ

 

 

The ocean was 80¬į ¬†and perfectly clear. I love the southwest Florida for its pool like ocean. San Diego, you have to battle the waves…. which is also fun.¬† Our evenings were filled with watching and tracking the ¬†weather. Alex and his mom love to track thunderstorms while in Florida lol.

A few more of Alex’s Family members came to visit and we had fabulous dinners all together. But after being together with Alex for 7 years, I am continuously asked why we aren’t married. I always say, “I am not the one that gets down on one knee.” I told Alex the next day (our last day) that we needed to come up with a script to tell people on why we aren’t married yet. He laughed at me and said,” we can do that later tonight.” He had seemed weird the past 24hrs, extra lovely but different also. That night we had reservations with the family at the Ritz Carlton on the beach. We all got ready and Alex was looking so handsome.

I was hearing some skinny black pants with a sheer white tank with a fringe bottom and a big white and gold floral statement necklace and some gold strappie sandals. . (I would make links but I scored all the pieces at little cheap stores like, Ross and some local little shops.)

The Ritz was beautiful and we ate a the tapas restaurant inside the Ritz. There was even a Spanish guitarist and a box drummer, it was beyond amazing. I ordered myself a raspberry mojito¬†and scanned the menu. Alex and I always share food, so I had to get his thoughts. ¬† He wanted the duck foie gras¬†and I did not! Good thing about small plates is you can order a lot and sample them all. I stuck with ¬†Crab cakes and Chicken and biscuits ūüôā ¬†Alex was loving his ¬†foie gras¬†and ended up dropping some on his shirt. He was so bothered by it and I didn’t understand why. I giggled at him,since normally I am the one always dropping stuff on myself.

After dinner I was ready for dessert! I was listing off all the delicious dishes and hoping I could try them all! Then all of a sudden the waitress walked up¬†and says there is a special for the night. I thought it was a complimentary “I’m sorry” since they messed up grandpa’s order. Well I was wrong!

As the plate was placed in front of me, I read the magical words ” Will You Marry Me?” I looked at Alex and said ” this is happening?!?!” He responded with a huge smile¬†” it’s happening, babe!” He got down on one knee and asked me to be his Wife!!! I said YES!!! I then broke out in tears and sipped champagne with Alex and ¬†of course called my mom to tell her we are getting marrrieeed.. It is still so wild to me. I kept telling Alex how we are officially \¬†adults because we are old enough to get married. We giggled like little kids hearing the word penis. lol. We are so excited for this next chapter and¬†¬†I feel¬†so lucky to have found my person at 20 and to continue riding this journey together!

Now for post on wedding planning … ūüôā

xo.. A

Beach Day Essentials!

Beach Day musts!

Bachelorette Weekend

 

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You reach that time in your life where all your friends begin getting engaged,married and having babies… and not necessarily in that order.¬† Well I am on the cusp of that. This past weekend I got to celebrate at my bachelorette party.¬† I grew up in a little town in Northern California and was lucky to have a group of girlfriends that are just a few years older than me that are now in the peak of EMB (engagement,marriage and babies)¬† The girls flew down¬† to Palm Springs from the Bay Area and I had a nice little 2 hour drive. I have lived in San Diego for almost 7 years and still had never made it to Palm Springs, I always feared the heat! I made sure to have my bikini’s ready because my intention were cocktails while lounging in the pool.

I drove in early Saturday to meet up with my girl B while the others were still flying in. B is from Palm Springs and she gave me a grand tour. First stop of the Riveria Hotel….OMG, it is fabulous!! The walls were mirrored and there were ginormous chandeliers and old Hollywood style furniture. I felt like Marylin Monroe..hehe¬† B took me around to 5 of the major hotels/ pool parties and everyone was themed… I love a good theme. I could go back to stay at different hotels each time just because each experience would be very different.

We ended our time with a beer poolside. I departed my lovely B, to go meet up with my Nor Cal ladies.

I was SOOO excited to see my girls, it had been too long. We are the friends that don’t keep in touch very well but once back together,it is like nothing has changed. We were all decked out in our Palm Springs tanks ready to kick the weekend off right!

First things first, bikinis on!  I am currently obsessed with my itsy bitsy Victoria Secret bottoms.
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We all made our way to the pool as Lisa made up some amazing ¬†MoscowMules…. mmmm… so refreshing and so delicious… and little dangerous.¬† I made sure to bring out my little surprise for the bride before we got too deep into the weekend. I made an awesome Bachelorette weekend survival kit, it was a hit and every single item was used! (detailed post on it later)

It was about 100 degrees but wasn’t as bad as¬† I had thought, as long as you were in the water. The house was amazing, it had a modern yet retro vibe with bright teal and orange accents. The pool had a little shallow area for lounging with an umbrella in the middle… it was perfect!!

We had reservations at 8pm and it was seven¬†and we all were still wet and in our bikinis by the pool. The crazy time-keeper that I am made sure to make a small announcement that it was CRUNCH time. lol.¬† Some of the best times are the times getting ready as girls together. ¬†The shouting of what do I wear, who has gloss, help me curl my hair….¬† all the great¬†madness that getting ready involves.
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The bride had an awesome tiger H&M skirt and a new bride tank to pair with it. I convinced her it was necessary to tie up her shirt. With some mid drift showing and her tiger skirt flowing, we were ready for dinner.
The restaurant LuLu’s looked like it came straight out of Miami. All white with big chandeliers. From the looks of it we were in for a treat. Well we were wrong. The tuna crevice was great but other than that nothing was impressive. From non-existant plating to the obviously frozen lobster, it all was a major disappointment. It would have been a great place for a drink and an app, just because of the decor and location.
After a fun but not delicious dinner we decided to not hit the bars and to instead get back in our bikinis and enjoy cocktails by the pool while listening to our 2003/2004 mix CD’S….it was pretty epic.

Vacation Rental—>

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It was my kind of bachelorette party, just enough of everything! We all left tanner and a little hungover , and we all want to do it again!!

 

Low carb comfort food | Cauliflower Mash

Ingredients:
1 medium head cauliflower

1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened (optional)

1 tablespoon of half and half or cream.

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions
Boil water over high heat  to then  

Clean and cut cauliflower into small pieces.

Steam cauliflower.about 6 minutes, or until well done.

Drain well; do not let cool and pat cooked cauliflower very dry 

In a bowl with an immersion blender, or in a food processor, puree the hot cauliflower with the cream cheese (or some half and half),

Parmesan, garlic,

salt and pepper to taste.

Blend until smooth or your desired taste.  

Other ways to mix it up:  try rosemary or cheddar cheese. for a whole new taste.


This dish is key to fulfilling my comfort food craving without eating mass amounts of carbs. This is a superb way to eat low carb and not feel like you are missing out on anything! I have also made mock mac n cheese with cauliflower.. which is delicious!!

Finding new ways to enjoy your favorites is important when eating healthy.

xo- A

 bonappetito

My fashion basics!

These are my favorite every day mix and match basics. I literally have several v-necks and go to cardigans. and 2 chambrays. ūüôā With accessories you can dress up or down any of these ¬†outfits. These would be key outfit pieces for any travel adventure, comfortable,cute and classy! ¬†I am a huge statement necklace kind of girl and love throwing on a huge necklace with a simple black v-neck and cute skinny jeans. ¬†The more you can mix the more new outfits you can put together. I have discovered all new outfits in my closet just by mixing two pieces I didn’t originally think about. Get bold, get different and be your self!