Our Best Black Friday Purchase – Ever!

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One year ago on our way home from my parents we picked up our sweet black lab Juno. I’ve never been one for black friday shopping but this by far was our best black friday deal ever! In some ways the last year feels like it’s flown by, but at the same time it’s hard to remember what life was like before we had this sweet girl. I’m certaintly a little nostalgic being a couple states away this year celebrating Thanksgiving in Texas. But we’re sure to celebrate Juno’s adoption day when we get back home. For now she’s enjoy Thanksgiving break in suburia with my best friends family & their two dogs! It’s crazy to think our eighty pound labrador was once 15 pounds of pure puppy! Time flies! Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving & shared it surrounded by loved ones.

 

DIY Scented Candles


Whether you’re making them as gifts or you’re like me & can’t bring yourself to buy a $30 candle from Anthropologie, this tutorial will show you candles are a super easy project to take on!

What you’ll need:

Optional items:

  • Paper to line countertops for easier clean up
  • Crock pot liners – easier clean up


I’ve been making candles for about 3-4 years now. Usually around the holidays I invite some girls over & we have a little holiday crafting day & everyone makes some candles either for themselves or to give as gifts over the holiday season! Over the years I’ve come up with some tips / tricks  for easier candle making & easier clean up!

Probably my biggest tip is to line your counter-tops with paper. I usually get some plain paper in the dollar aisle at target or you could even use heavy duty tinfoil. Just something to keep the counter-tops protected from any wax spills.

Along the same line of lining your counters I recommend buying crock pot liners. Unless you plan to dedicate a specific crock pot to candle making. I usually line the bottom of the crock pot with tin foil & then use the liner. It makes clean up so simple. I just allow the crock pot to cool completely and then lift the liner out & toss away. Then I just need to run some soapy water over the crock pot & it’s good to go.

I get all my supplies from amazon. But I know they sell candle wax / candle scents at craft stores like Micheals, so if you finder cheaper deals than what I’ve linked to, go for it!

The first step is to line your counter-tops for easy clean up.


Next, pour the soy wax into the preferably lined crock pot and allow the wax to melt completely. I find it usually takes about 40 minutes to melt about 5 pounds of wax on high. I usually just start that process while I’m getting the rest of my supplies in order.


Once the wax has completely melted you can begin filling your containers. I try to do all the containers that will have the same scent at once. When it comes to adding the essential oils, go big! Especially if you’re trying to get a candle to be as fragrant as store bought. I think I’ve only made one candle that was wayyyy to scented & honestly I think it had more to do with the actual scent than with the amount I added. once you’ve added the desired amount of essential oil, place your wick.


I’ve experimented briefly with wood wicks and have been disappointed with how quickly they burn out. So if anyone has a good suggestion for a brand of wood wicks please tell me! Otherwise I’ve gone back to use the standard candle wick. I use medical tape across the container to support the wick as the wax melts. It’s important to cut the wick to approximately the height you’ll want it before trying to put the wick in the hot wax. I find the wicks try to collapse or fall over if you don’t cut them ahead of time.


Finally allow the candles plenty of time to harden completely & then that’s it! All in all it usually takes the candles about 60 minutes or so to be done. It depends on the size of the candles you’re making though. I usually make a variety of sizes, scents & styles.



If you use this guide, I’d love to see or hear about any recreations in the comment section below!

Happy Holidays to all!

Nurses Gone Ranching 


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^ Just a casual helipad

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What happens when you take five ER nurses out of the city & out on 500 acres? A lot of laughs. This weekend I got away with some of my dearest friends to a ranch outside of San Luis Obispo.  We spent the weekend riding ATV’s around the property, shooting guns, lounging by the pool & just enjoying being outside of the city. I feel like I talk about this whenever we go away but there’s just something so refreshing about being pulled out of the SF tech bubble. I think it’s so healthy to go “off the grid” every once in a while. These days I think it’s so easy to get wrapped up with technology & our phones that I find it oddly calming to be somewhere where I’m not getting any notifications & can just be present. Weekends like this one remind us that life is so much bigger than our 7×7 city & all that really matters is who you surround yourself with & quite frankly I feel pretty damn lucky to be surrounded by these women.

 

 

East Texas Nuptials 

^^ Early morning flights = sunrises from window seat!img_8609^^ Jumping for Joy we made it to Blum, Texas…img_8646-1

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img_8670^^Rooftop bars with live music & all these fine friends ❤img_8603-1img_8631^^ Weddings with this man will always be my favorite.

^What do you do when you’re locked out of your hotel room at 1am waiting for maintenance to drill the door open? Take random photos in the hallway, duh.img_8584

This past weekend we went to a wedding in Blum Texas, which is outside of Cleburne Tx. Never heard of it? Yeah, neither had I! Chris is from Austin originally & so over the past four years we traveled quite a bit to Texas, visiting family & friends. I’ve also spent small amounts of time in both Houston & Dallas. But this was my first time really going deep into Texas. Albeit a stark comparison to our day to day life in San Francisco, there’s something so nice about being out on country roads, windows down, country music playing. I grew up in a small town in northern California so I can appreciate large parcels of land in towns that maybe have one stop light. And I can certainly appreciate big sky country, especially for the beautiful photos it helps produce. Chris has a large group of friends from college & it was so nice to see everyone all in one place again & just spend the weekend together! Not to mention that going to weddings now having already been married for over a year makes us nostalgic about our day. Weddings are just the best & this one was no exception! The first night there we went to the beautiful rehearsal dinner held at Lost Oak Winery. After the rehearsal we headed to downtown Burleson to continue the night & meet up with all our friends. We went Old Texas Brewing Co which had an awesome rooftop bar with live music. The next morning I was lucky enough to randomly wake up around 7am & catch this absolutely breathtaking sunrise from our hotel room. None of the sunrise photos have been edited whatsoever. It was so beautiful!! The wedding itself took place on this gorgeous estate surrounded with trees. Chris always talks about how special Texas is & how there’s no where quite like it. I don’t know if this born & raised Cali girl will ever truly understand what he means but I can attest that there’s definitely something spectacular about it & it’s home to some of the best people we know & miss! We got back late Sunday night & woke up to San Francisco rain, so I guess it’s time to wash the jean shorts, pull out the rainboots & get ready for fall in the Bay Area!

PS. One of the best perks of having a husband is convincing him to take cheesy jump on the bed photos so we can test out the new remote for the camera! yay!

Glide Legacy Gala – ER Nurse Prom




Bro’s in Bows.

Would you believe all these women could literally save your life??

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Last Saturday twenty five ER nurses traded in their glorified pajamas (aka scrubs) for ball gowns & bow ties & enjoyed a night out benefiting the Glide Foundation. The amazing men & women in these photos work side by side with me, caring for some of San Francisco’s most underprivileged residents. Glide serves the exact same community & has been for decades, providing meals, spiritual services, medical clinics & homeless outreach. It doesn’t take much to convince this group of nurses to hang out, however this event was made extra special because one of our very own helped organize the evening. We jokingly called this event our “Prom” & we pulled out all the stops, including going as a group to Dry Bar ahead of time to get our hair done! It was such a great night getting to spend with truly some of the best human beings I know. When it comes to nursing: Our job is to love people when it hurts, when it’s awkward, when it’s uncool & embarrassing. Our job is to stand together, to carry the burdens of one another, & to meet each other in our questions.  And I’ve never met a group of people who embodied that more. I would never be able to come to work each day, if it were not for the team I’m surrounded with & this night was such a great reminder of that.


Tuesday Thai

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Curry is a meal that can seem daunting to make, but I assure you it’s actually much easier than you think! I started cooking curry about 5 years ago, my best friend & I were poor college kids & couldn’t afford to order in delicious Thai as much as we’d like, so we decided to combine our culinary skills & make our own curry. Since then, curry has become a staple meal in our house. I love making curry because there can be a ton of variations, you can change up the protein or veggies for a different taste. In the autumn & winter months I love making curry with pumpkin or squash.

One of the reasons curry makes it on our menu so frequently is beacuse it’s a relatively quick meal that usually is filled with veggies & protein & typically renders lots of leftovers! So this is often one of the “big batches” I make early in the week.

IMG_6484The first step is to cut the protein into small bite size pieces & season with: salt, pepper, garlic powder, curry powder  & turmeric. Once seasoned I place in the fridge while the rest of the prep work is done.IMG_4788.JPGThe next step is to prep all the vegetables. I usually use mushrooms, sweet potatoes, bok-choy, bell peppers.  I typically just use whatever’s in the veggie drawer. I truly believe that eating healthy involves eating colorfully so I’m all for any meal that incorporates a ton of veggies.IMG_6486Once all the veggies have been prepped, heat 2 tsp of olive oil in large saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Add in onions, garlic & seasoned meat. You want to saute the meat until it starts to brown, (timing will vary depending on protein type).IMG_6487Next, add in the chopped sweet potatoes and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes, covered. The sweet potatoes & rest of the veggies will continue to cook once the coconut milk is added so don’t worry if you think the veggies are too underdone.IMG_6488Uncover the meat & potatoes, add bell pepper & allow to saute uncovered for 3-5 minutes.IMG_6489IMG_2700Next add in the more delicate vegetables, like mushrooms and bok choy. Put curry paste & additional curry powder to taste. I usually add 2-3 tbsp of paste & an additional 1 tspb of curry powder. Allow the vegetables & seasonings to cook uncovered for approx 4 minutes.
Finally, add in two cans of coconut milk and bring to low boil. Making sure all the curry paste has dissolved. Adjust for taste, adding more paste or powder as needed. Allow to cook at a low simmer for approx 10 minutes. Serve hot over rice.

If you try to recreate this recipe I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Thai Red Curry

  • Servings: 4-6
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Ingredients

  • 1 Sweet potato
  • 1 package of stew meat or protein of choice.
  • 2 cups of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large baby bok choy, chopped
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped.
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced.
  • 2 tsp of turmeric
  • 2-3 tbsp of Thai Curry Paste 
  • 2 cans of coconut milk

Directions

Sliced protein to desired bite size pieces, I find the stew meat often needs to be cut into smaller pieces & usually trimmed of some fat. Season meat with: salt, pepper, curry powder (2 tsp), garlic powder & a few dashes of turmeric. Place meat in fridge to marinate.

While the meat marinates, chop all the veggies & set aside.

In a large skillet or large pan, over medium high heat begin sauteing onions, garlic and meat. Once meat begins to brown add in sweet potato. I try to add the vegetables in order of which takes the longest to cook. Once the sweet potatoes have been sauteing for 3-4 minutes along with the meat, add in bell peppers and allow to cook for additional 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once the vegetables have started to cook, add in the curry paste, curry powder & turmeric, as well as the remaining mushrooms & bok choy. Let this cook for approx 3 minutes, stirring in seasoning and curry paste.

Add in coconut milk, bring to light boil & then decrease heat and cover for 15 minutes. Taste for flavor & adjust if more curry powder or paste are needed.

Serve hot over rice.