First Taste of San Fran

Our very first taste of San Fran — Lattes with local, organic milk and homemade rosemary, olive oil shortbread from Blue Bottle (the Mint St. location).  In one word? Perfection.

This was my first meal in San Fran at Grandeho’s Kamekyo II (on Hyde St. between the GoCars and The Buena Vista Cafe). Heaven on earth aka vegeterian pho.  This would have been incredibly delicious and satisfying no matter what, but it was especially relished after not having eaten since 5am AND walking 3 miles to get from our hotel to here. I made a point to go back again for the same meal plus a side of delicious and very spicy kimchi. The owner commented how much I like spicy things (indeed I do)…yum yum yummm!

There were many, many more delicious teas, coffees, snacks, and meals to follow, but unfortunately I didn’t keep up with my picture taking! Basically, nothing ever dissapointed and I can truly understand all of the raving about the food of San Fran.


Goodbye Sunshine…

…hello snow! We finally made it back to DC after being (happily) stranded an extra day and night in San Francisco. I’m looking forward to catching up on everyone’s posts and sharing some of our San Fran fun next week :) Happy Friday!

Cool Glacier Candle

I love this candle by skyn ICELAND for so many reasons. First, it’s soy with a cotton wick, which means it burns REALLY clean. The scent? A relaxing, therapeutic mix of so many interesting fragrances including bergamot, peach, melon, lily, orris, cyclamen, white lavender, and sandalwood (just to name a few). Last but not least, I just love the shape and color of the holder.  I think this candle is ideal for the bathroom…well, especially when you have it sea-themed like I do :)

Skyn also has a great, stress-targeting array of natural skincare. Has anyone tried? I haven’t yet, but I think I will soon!

Cool Glacier Candle – Burns for 45 hours and retails at $35.


Quick Healthy Veggie Recipe

My older sister (mentioned in this earlier post {here}) recently passed on this quick and healthy recipe that I wanted to share. I’m usually not a huge fan of fennel when it’s raw, but she has assured me it tastes different once cooked so I’m looking forward to trying this mix out soon! Thanks Sarah :)


  • 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic chopped
  • 3 shallots sliced
  • 1 head of kale (approx 3 cups)
  • 1 bulb of fennel, sliced (approx 1.5 cups)
  • 1/2 yellow pepper chopped
  • juice of one lemon (keep 1 tsp reserved)
  • 1 tbsp dill
  • 1 tsp + 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tbsp + 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • dash red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (She loves Kitchen Basics)

How to:

  1. Cook garlic and shallots in evoo over medium heat until slightly browned
  2. Add kale and 1 tsp salt plus 1/2 tbsp onion powder and cook about 5 minutes (or until all leaves are wilted slightly)
  3. Add remaining ingredients except stock and let cook about 10 minutes (or until fennel and peppers are soft)
  4. Add chicken stock and cook on med-high until almost all liquid is gone
  5. Squeeze remaining lemon juice over food
  6. Enjoy!

A shot of her leftovers for lunch the next day…

Photo Credit: Sarah Fetchet

Giveaway – CORE Foods

I am so excited to announce my 3rd giveaway, which is sponsored by CORE Foods aka the maker of the first FRESH nutrition bar! There are so many bars out there, but to actually find one that is not super-processed, nutritious, delicious, and great for every day eating as well as for athletes — now that is hard to find! But CORE is truly one of a kind with a mix of just 6 fresh, raw, 100% organic ingredients. I am a huge fan because they actually taste like real food, they can’t be on a shelf for months on end (= your body can process them much better), they have just the right amount of sweetness, and they’re high in protein.

Now here is your chance to win some and find out for yourself!

How to win:

  1. Be a follower of
  2. Visit CORE Foods to check them out
  3. Leave a comment below and tell me what flavor looks most appealing (Raw Almond & Raisin or Raw Cashew & Cacao)
  4. “Like” CORE on Facebook for an extra entry (please leave a separate comment letting me know )
  5. Tweet about this giveaway to receive an extra entry (again, separate comment)
  6. “Like” this post to receive an extra entry (separate comment)

You have until 9pm EST on Sunday, January 23rd to enter. The winner will be chosen at random and announced on Monday, January 24th. Good luck!!

A Natural Cough Syrup

I really can’t remember a time when honey wasn’t in my was ALWAYS the sweetener in our home growing up and it continues to be to this day. But aside from the usual uses of putting it in my tea, oatmeal, etc, it’s also my go-to for sore throats as well as coughs. It always does the trick. Now there is specific medical evidence behind it — honey is actually as effective as over-the-counter cough suppressants!  I can’t say I’m surprised, but it’s nice to confirm that the natural route is as effective PLUS there aren’t any negative side effects to using honey.

So if you have a cough (or sore throat) try taking a tablespoon of honey before bed. If you’re wondering which one to choose, I think they’re all great, but I really love the taste of Orange Blossom. Also, when it comes to allergies and the immune system, you’ll get the most benefit from local honey aka the sweet nectar produced by the busy bees in your hood!

The study: Children age 2 and older with upper respiratory tract infections were given up to 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) of honey at bedtime. The honey seemed to reduce nighttime coughing and improve sleep. In fact, in the study, honey appeared to be as effective as the cough suppressant dextromethorphan in typical over-the-counter doses. {full article}

Scentcillo’s Essential Oils

I am a HUGE fan of essential oils. From baths to skin ailments to cleaning, there are just so many wonderful uses for all of the essential oils out there.

A new brand that I recently discovered is Scentcillo. I’m especially loving them for these fun blends:

Oracle – A combination of the citrus tones of clementine essential oil with the rich, warm, spicy scents of frankincense, myrrh and sandalwood creates a bold and heady aroma that is mysterious and hypnotic.

Tango – A warm floral scent combining the exotic aroma of ylang ylang with palmarosa and tangerine essential oils creating an exquisite and alluring fragrance.

Shaman – A stimulating and refreshing mix of lime, pink grapefruit and lemon creates a citrus burst of aroma layered with the woody overtones of cedar wood and cypress and the exotic white lotus

Starlet – A sweet floral and feminine aroma of rose geranium and frangipani intermingles with wood and citrus notes to create a captivating fragrance.

Here is an awesome list to check out: {50 Ways to Use Essential Oils}

Some of my favs from the list…

  • Place 1 or 2 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil on your hair brush before brushing to promote growth and thickness.
  • 1 drop of Peppermint oil diluted in 1 teaspoon vegetable oil rubbed on the back of the neck helps to relieve headaches.
  • Put a few drops of your favorite essential oil on a cotton ball and place it in your vacuum cleaner bag. Lemon and Pine are nice. Rose Geranium helps with pet odors.
  • To blend your own massage oil, add 3-5 drops of your favorite essential oil to 1 oz. Sweet Almond Oil or other skin- nourishing vegetable oil.
  • 1 Add 10 drops of essential oil to a box of cornstarch or baking soda, mix very well, let set for a day or two and then sprinkle over the carpets on your home. Let set for an hour or more, then vacuum.
  • And the list truly goes on and on and on…!