Sunny California Girls Trip

Hello! Here’s to the first of many travel posts to come because experiencing what God has created is a must for me. A couple of weeks ago I headed out of town to the west coast with my girlfriends to sip on wine, LOTS of wine. It is always nice to have girl time with the ladies that went through those life changing moments of becoming an independent adult in college. We always pick right back up and there is never a dull moment. Why the west coast? Because some of the ladies live out there and some are about to open their own wine shop! Send me all the wines, kthx!

We started the first half of the trip in Napa Valley, CA where the only thing on our agenda was riding around in a limo, stopping at several vineyards and sipping on bubbles and wine. Reserve a limo and thank me later. Our stops were Domaine Chandon, V. Sattui, Peju, Del Dotto and Jacuzzi.

The second half of our trip was spent in sunny San Francisco. We stayed in an adorable neighborhood called the Marina District which is very convenient to food, bars and shops. Things we conquered while here: Golden Gate Bridge views and drive. Alcatraz (Go in the morning before the crowds get too big). Lunch at Pier 39 and endless entertainment from the sea lions. Ghirardelli Square for ice cream. Tomasso’s for dinner (small, quaint and very good Italian food). Drinks. The Painted Ladies (Full House is all you need to know). Drove down Lombard Street. Awesome salads at Blue Barn. Shopping on Chestnut and Union. Yum yum sushi at Ace Wasabi’s. Pirate ships. Walking, walking and more walking. Wear comfy shoes or your dogs will be barking all day.

Rose all day at Domaine Chandon.

V. Sattui is the place to enjoy a picnic. Buy a couple bottles of wine, cheese, meats and crackers inside their adorable meat market.

Peju has a beautiful outdoor entrance to hang around. Kudos to the hefty tasting pours we received here and delicious wine!

Del Dotto is a must see for their cave tours. Intimate atmosphere, good taste of music and pretty darn good wine. Bonus: if you take a full tour, they feed you cheese, salami's and pizza at the end!

Jacuzzi has an awesome outdoor patio to enjoy wine with an incredible view of their vineyard. Oh and I almost forgot to mention they have FREE wine tastings! Delicious as well!

Homemade Carrot Cake

I know warmer weather is just around the corner and we are all trying to be good and eat lighter, refreshing menu items buuuuttt Easter is coming and so is the Easter Bunny. Easter Bunny’s love carrots and humans love cake so why not smash those two together and voila! You have a homemade Carrot Cake! This recipe I am sharing with you today is a staple in our household during several holiday or birthday celebrations. I have no idea where this recipe generated from other than my grandmother’s kitchen. Which used to always be a staple in her house while visiting but now her staple is chocolate oatmeal or peanut butter cookies. I am now the one in our family responsible for making this cake for those special occasions which is totally fine by me because I get first dibs on licking the icing off the spatula :)

When it comes to the ingredients of this cake there are a couple of items that I like to buy particular brands of or prepare in a particular way. Why? Because that’s what my grandmother does. I like to peel and shred my own carrots. Now there is a much more convenient way if you are in a hurry or don’t have any type of food processor which is buying the small matchstick carrots in the bag. However, these are still fairly long and need to be diced up a littler smaller. Which is one reason why I like to shred my own because you can get them into much smaller pieces. The other good thing about shredding your own is that the carrots are still full of lots of moisture which I think helps give the cake that moist texture to it. That may not be true but it sounds good ha! The other ingredient I want to talk about is the vegetable oil. Wesson Vegetable Oil. Why? Again, because that’s what my grandmother uses and specifically wrote on the list of ingredients and I haven’t steered away from it. But, I assure you to try any brand ingredients you have on hand or that you like to buy. This is not a sponsored post, just my good ol’ trusty recipe telling me what to do!

I hope that everyone has a very Happy Easter in celebrating our Savior!

Enjoy!

Who I am & Why I am here

Welp, here we go. It's my first blog post and I am here to tell you who I am and why I am here. 

Who am I? I am a tall brunette, in my 30's, living in the south. Go Vols! I am married to the man whom when I met for the first time my heart skipped a beat. And thanks to my choice of college, this fluttering heart was able to grow into a true love for this man! (Insert cheesy smile)

Olympiapark Munich, Germany

Olympiapark Munich, Germany

I am someone that you can always find looking for somewhere to travel. Whether that be a new or old stomping ground, there is always an adventure waiting! I also LOVE food and my most favorite has got to be Italian. I get it from my Nonna. That's grandmother in Italian and yes she is a full-blooded Italian which makes me a little pasta noodle myself! Her and my mom have always been my inspiration to enjoy being in the kitchen cooking and baking. There is nothing better than sitting down at the table with family/friends enjoying a meal that you crafted in the kitchen.

I enjoy working out and sweating. I think sweating is a great detox to the body and it always feels so refreshing when you get done with an intense workout or yard work in the blistering hot sun (always finding a way to get in some tan time). 

Speaking of a nice refresh. Being outside is refreshing in itself. Which leads me to tell you that I have recently become acquainted with the sport of deer hunting. This is something that my husband has loved his whole life so why am I just becoming a fan of it? Oh wait, probably because I am not a morning person. Most of my friends think I am crazy to want to get up at the butt crack of dawn (again: I am not a morning person) to sit in a tree. Ya'll believe it or not, being in the woods is so peaceful but yet an adrenaline rush at the same time.

Despite it sounding like all I enjoy doing is rolling around in the dirt and sweating, I do love me some shopping and fashion. I like to keep up with the trends and attempt to try things that maybe I usually wouldn't. Step out of your comfort zone every now and then. You may find something you never thought you would love!

A few other things about me. I laugh A LOT. I love snow but gosh I love the sand in my toes while gazing into the crystal blue water. I love a wide range of music. I have several TV shows I keep a close watch on. I love ice cream. I love stealing as many cuddles as I can from our labradoodle Coach. You should probably follow him on Instagram @the.dood.coach.

Now that you know a little bit more about me, why am I here? I am here because just like so many of you out there, I love doing life, making the most of it and sharing my adventures and what better way to influence people to enjoy life than right here. So, hello old and new friends! Let's take this journey so that we can all take delight in the things we love and flourish in them!

- Sara