Oakland to SF Ferry Boat Adventure

Playing tourist is one of my favorite things to do when I go home to the Bay Area. I’ve been gone for 13 years living in other parts of California (Humboldt and Sacramento), and now Michigan, so even old familiar places sometimes feel new.

I wasn’t sure how much exploring we’d be able to do with Ziva being just 3 months old on our trip this spring. When my Dad and his girlfriend Stephanie suggested taking the ferry from Jack London Square in Oakland to the Ferry Building in San Francisco, it sounded like a great idea, just maybe not with a baby… but, as I’ve said before, I waaaay underestimated my little Ziva. I’m so glad they convinced me to give it a go!


Once the decision was made that we were headed to SF by ferry, it was a mad dash to get from El Cerrito to Jack London square in time for the afternoon boat. We made it with just minutes to spare. The boat wasn’t too crowded and there was plenty of room for us to all sit together in the front with a great view of the ship yards and the slowly approaching San Francisco skyline.



It was a much shorter ride than I’d expected and before long we were pulling up under the bay bridge.

 First stop was the Ferry Building. We were a bit too late for the Saturday Farmers Market, but all the vendors and booths inside the ferry building are worth the visit on their own.

My favorite stop is always the Mariposa Bakery booth. They have absolutely Devine gluten free baked goods. I’ve never gotten something from them that wasn’t delicious, and the loaf of facacia bread I picked up this time didn’t disappoint.


We walked around inside for a while before heading out to the water front to enjoy our treats and coffee. The sky that day was impressively blue.  

We brought a stroller for Stella, and Ziva road most of the afternoon in he Baby Bjorn since she LOVES forward facing. Our next carrier is going to have to be the Ergo 360 (though she is starting to like her inward facing carriers more recently). Ziva was enthralled by all of the people and new things to see. She just took it all in, looking around until she eventually fell asleep.

Next we crossed the street to check out the makers fair and all of their goods. My sister ended up getting a beautiful necklace and I picked up some earrings.



We decided to walk the Embarcadero past the tourist filled Pier 39 to catch the ferry boat back to Oakland at Pier 41. Along the way both babies began to get a little restless, so we stopped to nurse them. The girls ended up switching for the remainder of the walk so that Ziva could ride in the stroller (and give my back a break) and Stella could ride in the Bjorn (satisfying her need for mama-snuggles)! She was just weeks shy of 1 year old, but she is never to old for baby wearing!

If you know San Francisco, than you know how once that fog rolls in it can make a sunny day grey and chilly. By the time we reached the pier it had gotten cooler and the wind was blowing in. Perfect timing to cross back over to the sunny side of the bay.



We ended up beating the fog across the bay and were able to enjoy almost another hour of sunshine in Jack London square. There is a wine tasting room right next to the doc were the ferry lets you off and my dad and Stephanie are members and had a case to pick up, so we stopped in for some tasting (Ziva enjoyed a tasting from the boobie bar while I enjoyed some tasty water). Surprisingly, we weren’t the only group with babies enjoying some wine and sunshine that afternoon on the patio of Rosenblum Cellars tasting room, there was what looked like a mom and baby group a few tables away too!


 

So, somewhat surprisingly this ambitious adventure across the bay and back turned out to be one of my favorite memories from this last trip home. Ziva loved taking in all of the sites, she happily napped in the carrier (yay baby-wearing), and I loved every moment of the bay breezes and California sunshine. Grandpa Gilbert for the win :0)

April (Bridal) Showers 2013

Last year was one busy year. So busy that I hardly had a chance to share about all of our wedding festivities and preparation. Thinking back on happy memories is a great way to lift ones spirits, so I thought I’d begin the process of looking back and sharing our wedding journey :-).

We started with an engagement BBQ party hosted by my parents, and then another joint engagement party hosted by Brian’s parents celebrating his sister’s and our engagement. The coolest part: Brian’s parent rented an ice cream truck for the engagement party! We were so caught up in the excitement that I never got a single picture of the fun. If you are looking for engagement party ideas, I highly recommend a summer party with an ice cream truck, it was a hit!

California Shower

Brian and I went on our first date April 6th, 2010. Three years later, on April 6th 2013 my best friend Micah and a close family friend hosted my first of 3 wedding showers. It was a gorgeous, sunny, California day. Sitting out in the bright mid-day sunshine, sipping on mimosas, surrounded by women I love, we celebrated our love and future! My favorite part: copious sunshine and my closest friends 🙂

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Me and one of the beautiful hostesses, my bestie Micah!
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Bridesmaids shot!
My mom with my best friends mom. They're the cutest.
My mom with my best friend’s mom. They’re the cutest.

Michigan Shower

A little later in April my mother-law’s friends got together to throw us another lovely wedding shower! They rented a space at a golf course and hosted a lovely lunch. Though we got some actual April showers that day, it was a really nice gathering and we were really grateful to have the chance to celebrate with Brian’s family. My favorite part? The AMAZING gluten-free cakes from Rumi’s Passion Gluten-Free Bakery in Plymouth Michigan. The hostesses were so thoughtful and even picked up some of Rumi’s Passion’s gluten-free dinner rolls for me to have with our lunch. I love this bakery, it is a fully gluten-free bakery with a ton of sweet and savory specialties.

My friends at the Michigan Shower.
My work friends at the Michigan Shower.
My in-laws. I <3 them.
My in-laws. I ❤ them.
Gluten-Free Carrot Cake from Rumi's Passion Bakery.
Gluten-Free Carrot Cake from Rumi’s Passion Bakery.
Gluten Free Chocolate Cake from Rumi's Passion Bakery.
Gluten Free Chocolate Cake from Rumi’s Passion Bakery.

 

Work Wedding Shower Tea Party

At my old job I worked with an amazing group of women who became great friends (and luckily, I think this will be true for my new job as well). These lovely women put together an adorable tea party themed bridal shower at the office and I was happy as can be. One of my colleagues formerly worked at a home for aging nuns. There she met many older nuns who have a LARGE collection of assorted tea cups and saucers, and they were kind enough to loan them to her for the party. Each cup was unique and had that feminine delicate prettiness that makes tea parties so adorable. It was really a special day, I felt so loved and cared for with my work family around me, I will always be grateful!

Tea party gluten-free cupcakes!
Tea party gluten-free cucumber sandwiches and gluten-free cupcakes!
One of the many pretty tea cup sets loaned by the nuns.
One of the many pretty tea-cup sets loaned by the nuns.

Garden Shower/Bachelorette!

At the beginning of June, Brian and his best friends headed up north to a rented home on Torch lake for a weekend of Bachelor party debauchery. To keep my mind of things, and as a loving gesture, one of my bridesmaids (the Best Man’s wife and amazing hostess-with-the-mostess, Jes) hosted a garden shower/bachelorette celebration that was absolutely divine! Jes has incredible taste and throws great parties. She pays attention to every detail and it always comes out beautifully. We started the afternoon with a backyard brunch. We all had a fair share of  delicious (and strong) champagne punch, and were soon dancing away! We ended the night out on the town. We didn’t get into too much trouble though ;-).

The garden party settings.
The garden party settings.
Beautiful table setting.
Beautiful table setting.
The spread, it was all delicious.
The spread, it was all delicious.

 

Lox (smoked Salmon) for the bagels.
Lox (smoked Salmon) for the bagels.
Cucumber appetizers.
Cucumber appetizers.
Gorgeous, gigantic home grown peonies.
Gorgeous, gigantic home grown peonies.
My favorite flowers. Pretty, pretty peonies!
My favorite flowers. Pretty, pretty peonies!

 

The lovely hostess
The lovely hostess
Ladies night on the town.
Ladies night on the town.

Breakfast Egg “Muffins”

Another delicious grab and go breakfast experiment!

We’ve been eating Banana Oat breakfast muffins in different variations for a few weeks so I decided to try another high protein option for those rushed weekday mornings. I’ve seen a few different “egg muffins” on Pinterest and I thought it might be fun to give them a try. Most of the Pinterest versions include a lot of dairy (cheese, milk, etc) and pig products (ham muffin liners, bacon bits, etc), but since Brian and I are cutting back on dairy and I don’t eat any pork products I made up my own version.

Here’s what I put in (makes twelve muffins):

  • 6 whole eggs
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup brown rice flour or other flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (My favorite is Trader Joe’s Vanilla Unsweetened in the refrigerator section)
  • 1 chicken apple sausage (Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/2 large green jalapeño pepper
  • 1/2 tomato
  • 1/2 zucchini squash
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 1 package Applegate herb roasted turkey slices (there are less than twelve so I cut them up to line all of the cups)
  • Coconut oil pan spray (Trader Joe’s)

1) Chop up the veggies and sausage into small pieces and mix together.

2) In a separate bowl use six whole eggs and with the other 6 separate out the egg white and yolk and use only the egg white. Add the almond milk and rice flour and whisk until mixed thoroughly.

3) Sprayed the muffin tin with coconut oil pan spray and lay about a half a slice of  turkey into the tin as a liner.

4) Fill the cups of the muffin tin with a scoop of the veggie/sausage mix each. I filled them up pretty high since the egg mix filled in around it all. Pour the eggs, almond milk and rice flour mix over it.

5) I baked these for about 25 minutes at 350 (checking back until the center of the cups were solid and not liquidy).

6) Let them cool and enjoy!

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Egg Muffins. Image by Ready Set Sarah

I didn’t freeze any because I wasn’t sure how well they would thaw… a friend told me they thaw better with dairy in them. It didn’t matter though because between Brian and I we went through them in one work week. We’d pop them in the microwave for about 40 seconds in the morning. Super fast, satisfying and easy.

I put the ingredients into the My Fitness Pal recipe builder on the app and this is the nutritional information it gave me for this recipe. This is for a serving of one Muffin. Not a bad breakfast!

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Nutritional info for 1 egg muffin (From MyFitnessPal)

Muffins, Mimosas & Football

Weekends, the best of days.

What more are Sundays for than long walks with your pup, baking, and watching football? It may be early fall (or technically late summer) but we are settling in to Michigan’s finest season in style. Yesterday my alma mater #BeatND while we watched from my sister-in-laws birthday dinner celebration. Today, we are watching our Detroit Lions in style while enjoying delicious healthy muffins and even more delicious Mimosas. Ah weekends, I love you so.

Cockapoo Brinkley Says GO BLUE! (image by Ready Set Sarah)
Cockapoo Brinkley Says GO BLUE! (image by Ready Set Sarah)

Before the game today we took Brinkley for a long walk around the neighborhood. We had planned on putting her in her Lions jersey, but discovered that she is nearly twice the size she was last football season and will definitely need a new Jersey this year. I mean, a girl needs a jersey if she is going to watch football with her daddy, right?

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Baby Brinkley in her Lions Jersey

Sunday’s are usually my meal prep day for the week (when I’m being good). So I spent the beginning of todays game making Banana Oatmeal Breakfast muffins that I discovered on  Pinterest (here). I’ve made them once before and they taste and smell amazing! Full disclosure they stick to the muffin liners but are delicious enough that I don’t really mind. I used Trader Joe’s Gluten Free rolled oats and I added pecan pieces and some cocoa powder to personalize the recipe. They are serious yum.

Banana Oatmeal Muffins (Image by Ready Set Sarah)
Banana Oatmeal Muffins (Image by Ready Set Sarah)

To top off this relaxing afternoon, Brian suggested we pop open some wedding celebratory Champaign and make Mimosas. I’m telling you, these muffins pair very well with orange juice and Champaign. Happy Sunday and Happy Football day!

XOXO,

Sarah