AIP x Whole30

aip x whole30 | it's me, charlotte

August is a very special month for me. It was exactly two years ago when I embarked on this amazing health journey of eating whole, real foods and seeing tremendous healing and new found health. For me, this whole journey started with a challenge. The challenge was called Feast and it was very similar to the Whole30 challenge that has gained so much popularity recently. It truly changed my life for the better and I haven’t looked back since doing it.

Please click here to read more about the Whole 30 challenge!

As a way to celebrate two years of improved health and vibrant living, I am going to be doing another round of the Whole30 challenge.

 While I have been following the Autoimmune Protocol Diet [AIP] for the past couple of monthes and will continue to follow it during the duration of the next 30 days, the whole30 challenge offers something a little bit different for me. Preface: the AIP diet allows occasional use of natural sweetners like honey, maple syrup and dates. In the last month, I have been using a little more of those sweetners than I would really like to admit. It’s been one of those things where I will have a little bit of honey in my tea, a little bit of honey in homemade popsicles, a little bit of maple syrup in pork sausage and a couple of dates as a treat. While I realize this isn’t terrible, I know that sugar in any form [including natural sugars] makes my autoimmune condition flare up significantly. This is especially evident when I consume little bits of sugar for a couple of days in a row – I start feeling more fatigued, start feeling a little more joint and muscle pain than normal, begin to experience some attention problems and my skin flares up a bit. The Whole30 program does not allow any form of sugar or the recreation of treats with things like dates, dried coconut, coconut milk – let’s be honest, it’s pretty easy to find recipes for paleo pancakes, cupcakes, muffins, these days. So for me, this challenge is really going to be about cutting out sugar and seeing how that impacts my autoimmune condition.

Another aspect of this challenge that I am going to work on is eating three solid meals a day with minimal to zero snacking during the day. I know we have been taught and told that eating multiple small meals a day is best to keep hunger at bay and to avoid massive cravings, but to be honest, this is not the case. Allowing 3-4 hours between meals allows for better digestion and greater nutrient absorption – something I am working on. I struggle with nutrient absorption because of my permeable gut lining (which I am currently healing) so I know not snacking between meals will help continue to improve my gut health. I also notice that the snacks I generally gravitate towards are fruit, fruit and coconut bars and sweet potato chips. While again, not necessarily bad choices, I know I feel my best when I limit snacking and focus on nutrient dense meals. Additionally, taking out snacks from my diet will allow more opportunity for me to eat more veggies, meats, fermented foods and healthy fats that I know are so crucial in healing my autoimmune condition.

I would absolutely encourage you to check out the Whole30 challenge and to see if it might be a good opportunity for you to reclaim your health.

Make sure to follow along with me on social media for musings, challenges and meal inspiration. I will be hashtagging #AIPxWhole30

XX

Charlotte



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Hope for Hashimoto’s – My Journey Towards A Better Me

Sometimes, you just have to sit down and write. And that is exactly what I did last week. I wrote my whole story about my Hashimoto’s Thryoiditis diagnosis and the events leading up to the day I found out that my own body was attacking my thyroid. I put off writing it for a long time – 3 months – because I was scared that putting it into words woud make it feel all too real. I wanted to hide from the diagnosis and pretend it had never happened – that my body and health was okay. Since the diagnosis in May of 2014, I couldn’t write at all. I couldn’t blog. I was worried that if I started writing about a new recipe or a life recap, that my story of my struggles with autoimmune thyroid disease would begin pouring itself out into a word document without even meaning to. But last week, their was a shift. I felt a strong feeling within that it was time to tell my story and my personal experience struggling with an autoimmune disease. In the beginning of my diagnosis, I felt completely lost, uninspired and alone. I read other blogs and stories about diagnosises, recoveries and living with autoimmune conditions; for me, this was an incredibly comforting and healing experience. It gave me a sense of solidarity with all the brave souls who are living with autoimmune conditions. It is a really scary thing to know you will have to live with a disease for the rest of your life. Sharing my story is my way of giving back to the community that offered so much to me when I was first diagnosed.

If you are interested, you can read my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis story here!

While this disease has brought so much sadness into my life, it has also brought joy and the opportunity for a deeper relationship with myself and the food that I eat. I have always believed that food is the most powerful form of medicine, both literally and figuratively. In itself, food has the power to literally heal your body from diseases and ailments – this, I am learning first hand. Traditionally speaking, the culture around food is incredibly healing and health promoting. I have always believed that the process of gathering, chopping and preparing food is a therapeutic and creative outlet; Now, I am truly living that. The process of chopping onions, gathering herbs, browning meat and eating nourishing food has become a time for meditation and a mindful act in which I get to prepare my own medicine. I have found that nothing brings people together like food does. Cooking with my sisters, preparing food with my wonderful Kristian, serving my Dad a big bowl of bone broth, spending my lunch hour dining with my friend Stephanie and eating dinner with my whole family has allowed me to share my time of meditation with those who I love and feel supported by. Through the very acts of preparing, cooking and eating, I have been able to develop deeper relationships with those I love. Having such a deep support system has been crucial to my healing process.


While my diagnosis story talks about the time leading up to finding out about Hashimoto’s and the progress I have made in the past three monthes, I only briefly discuss the healing diet I am now following. The diet is called the Autoimmune Protocol and it is a powerful diet that has helped many people put their autoimmune conditions into remission. Please read my story to hear about the tremendous transformations I have witnessed in my health since switching to this diet. The goal with the diet is to remove all dietary triggers that may be perpetuating the attack and compromising the immune system. It also promotes improving gut health – the root of all autoimmune disease. I knew this diet would be difficult. It can seem absolutely daunting in the beginning as it removes gluten, grains, dairy, soy, nightshades, sugar, legumes and corn. I know what you must be thinking…what can you eat!? I have found so much insane creative energy and inspiration in this healing diet. Maybe it’s my new found brain clarity but I am learning so much from being able to cook with “so little.” I am experimenting with delicious homemade broths, gorgeous produce, fresh herbs, fermented foods and cuts of meat I never even new existed. I make this diet enjoyable by shopping at the farmer’s market, getting to know the people who raise the meat I eat, chatting with local botanists, visiting the farms that I am buying produce from – I have never felt so connected to my food before. I believe this level of connectedness would have never come without Hashimoto’s and my personal journey towards better health. I feel truly blessed. Below are pictures of the vibrant food that I get to eat every day.

hope for hashimoto's | it's me, charlotte!
[ my farmer's market basket is always full of fresh berries, fresh herbs like basil, mint and thyme and lot's of produce!]

hope for hashimoto's | it's me, charlotte!

[a gorgeous purple cauliflower - vibrant and delicious]

hope for hashimoto's

[herb infused bone broth with root vegetables and grass-fed beef]

hashimoto's | it's me, charlotte!

[candy cane + golden beets - my current obsession]

hashimoto's | it's me, charlotte!

[a warm veggie salad with chopped herbs and a basil vinagrette + a grilled hamburger]

hashimoto's | it's me, charlotte!

[a delicious, organic green juice - a treat, these days]

hashimoto's | it's me, charlotte!

[salmond salad with grilled beets and a ginger dressing]

hashimoto's | it's me, charlotte!

[harvesting and drying mint leaves for chilled herbal tea]

hashimoto's | it's me, charlotte!

[a delicious chopped salad with bacon - my favorite kind of breakfast these days]

hashimoto's | it's me, charlotte!

[freshly caught, wild salmon from the Oregon Coast from my favorite fisherman at the farmer's market]

hashimoto's | it's me, charlotte!

[a fun and easy mocktail of ginger kombucha, watermelon and mint for mocktail monday]

Posting these pictures makes my heart sing. Look at all the gorgeous and vibrant colors!! This diet has been so healing and it is only the beginning. I look forward to sharing AIP friendly recipes with you, which I think you will love, regardless of what kind of diet or non-diet you follow.

I love you all and thank you for being here.

Charlotte



Crater Lake National Park [Explore Guide]

Adventuring out to places and spaces around Oregon, in good company, is one of my favorite summer activities. Sometimes, squeezing in a quick trip to a secret lake or embarking on a whimisical hike after work days is enough to fulfill my adventurous heart. Other times, we [kristian and I] plan our trips in advance, waking up with the sun for a long day of adventuring far away from home. Regardless of our destinations, we always have our cameras in hand, hearts full and all the snacks.

crater lake explore guide

This past weekend we trekked [drove] two and a half hours to Crater Lake National Park. We stopped at one of our favorite markets in Bend before heading out of town and made sure we were prepped with enough yummies to fuel our bodies for a long day of hiking and swimming. We are snack connoisseurs. That is a fact.
[crater lake explore guide]
Crater Lake is a magical place. Drive a mile in any direction and the terrain seems to change drastically. From dry to lush; rocky to smooth; the terrain keeps you quiet entertained. We arrived at the national park and chatted with the park ranger, paid our fee for the day and kindly accepted a large map. It’s always important to have a map when adventuring. Our first hike was the Watchman Hike, a 1-mile vertical climb up a rocky and dry mountain, that leads you to the watchman tower – the place where park rangers watch and monitor forest fires. We arrived at the top, mesmerized by the truly breathtaking view of the lake. This first part of our adventure took about 1.5 hours, as we stopped to take pictures, to chat with other adventurers and to snack on strawberries at the top while enjoying the view.
[ crater lake explore guide ]
[ crater lake explore guide ]
By noon, we were done with our first hike, and hungry, as always. We drove over to the head of the Cleetwood Cove Trail. We had a picnic over looking the lake, sharing slices of prosciutto, left over hamburger patties, dried apricots, nectarines, plantain chips, carrots, sugar snap peas and a Kit’s Organic Bar. My belly was happy. I was really concerned about how I would be an adventurer while still sticking to the autoimmune protocol diet. This was the first trip where I was convinced it could be done!!  Dried fruit, jerky, cured meats, raw veggies and bars like Kit’s Organic Bar and Epic Bars are awesome options for those avoiding the most common allergens, and in my case, staying AIP, while adventuring. Oh, and lots of water.
CL10
After lunch we ventured the Cleetwood Cove Trail – a long, rocky and steep trail [I may have slipped twice] that leads to the most majestic body of water in Oregon. The color of Crater Lake is my new favorite color. It is a neon royal blue. Truly breathtaking. The water is so clean, not to chilling and has soft, weathered rocks, similar to those in Lake Tahoe. When you get down to the bottom of the trail, you walk another 100 yards to your right to find a couple dozen families, couples and solo adventurers sun bathing on soft rocks, swimming in the lake and jumping off “the jumping rock.” It was definitely not crowded, but populated in a lively, fun kind of way. We spent a good portion of the afternoon  swimming and enjoying the warm sun. My skin and hair has never felt as clean, smooth and refreshed as it did after swimming in Crater Lake. Magical I tell ya. At around 4pm, we hiked back up the long and steep hill, which was tiring but my competitive edge kept me going. I couldn’t let those behind me pass.
[ crater lake explore guide ]
[ crater lake explore guide ]
[ crater lake explore guide ]
After a day full of sun, new freckles, crunchy lake hair, dirt between our toes and my pair of trustworthy adventuring overalls on, we were ready to head home.
[ crater lake explore guide ]
More adventures and explore guides coming soon!
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Spring Vibes + Lamb Vegetable Stew

I’m quiet today and don’t have all that much to say.

spring time :: it's me, charlotte!

I had a really tough couple of days this past week. Life is so weird and unpredictable. Sometimes, a big bowl of comfort is all you need. After seeing a picture of lamb stew, I could not get it off my mind. So I headed to the grocery store, to get all the best fixings for a spring inspired stew that I could think of.

colorful easter egg radishes :: it's me, charlotte!

I found these beauties whilst shopping at a local, organic produce shop near my house. They remind me of pretty pastel Easter eggs. Perfect timing. I had never tried a radish until a couple of days ago. They’ve got a spicy little kick to them!

spring day :: it's me, charlotte!

When I got home from the store, I spotted these gorgeous little flowers right outside our house – they must have just bloomed; I couldn’t resist trimming off a little blossom to place on our kitchen table. Flowers make me so happy.

rainbow chard :: it's me, charlotte

Rainbow Chard is undeniably beautiful and I wanted to incorporate it into the stew because chard is so spring – am I right? I always seem to ignore chard but have recently been reminded that it is a powerhouse veggie, stock full of important elements and minerals.

pink easter egg radishes :: it's me, charlotte!

 I trimmed the leaves off of the radishes and gave them to my bunny, Puff, to munch on. I piled the radishes in a cute little bowl and put them on display, along with my flowers and a couple of feathers I got at the farmer’s market last weekend. Makes for a cute little centerpiece.

spring day :: it's me, charlotte!

After a little bit of chopping and grooving in the kitchen, the stew was done. It is totally not one of those soups that has to cook for hours. With tons of happy spring vibes, I sat down to a healthy and light bowl of vegetable lamb stew. Delicious. My favorite part was definitely the addition of the kale and cabbage.

spring veggie & lamb stew :: it's me, charlotte!

Lamb & Spring Vegetable Stew

Ingredients:

+ 1 pound lamb stew meat

+ 3 tablespoons F.O.C. (fat of choice: coconut oil, tallow, lard, ghee, etc.)

+  1 yellow onion, diced

+ 1.5 cups carrots, chopped

+ 5 stalks celery, chopped

+ 6 cloves garlic, diced

+ 6-8 cups stock (chicken/beef/veggie)

+ 1.5 cups fingerling potatoes (use sweet potatoes for AIP), quartered

+ 1 cup crimini mushrooms, quartered

+ 2-3 cups small savoy cabbage, shredded

+ 4-5 cups swiss chard/rainbow chard, shredded

+ S&P to taste

+ Chopped parsley to garnish (optional)

+ Lemon slices to garnish

Directions

1. In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of fat over medium heat. Once the bottom of the pot is hot and the fat has melted, brown the lamb. Once the lamb has browned, remove from the pot and drain in a strainer. You can leave the meat juices left from the lamb in the pot.

2. Next, add another tablespoon of coconut oil and let it melt. Once it has melted, add diced yellow onion, chopped carrots, chopped celery, diced garlic and cook over medium heat until softened and fragrant.

3. Once onion/carrot/celery/garlic are softened and fragrant, add potatoes to the pot and let cook for five minutes. After five minutes add the lamb and broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Once stew has reached a boil, turn to low. Let it simmer for about ten minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.

4. Once the potatoes are totally cooked through, add the mushrooms, shredded cabbage and shredded swiss chard. Cover with lid. Continue to simmer pot on low for an additional 5-10 minutes or until mushrooms/cabbage/chard has softened into the stew.

5. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with fresh parsley and a slice of lemon.



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Life Lately

Here’s what my life has looked like lately…

spring salmon :: it's me, charlotte!

{wild salmon + lemon + dill + freshly cracked pepper + coarse sea salt}

air plants :: it's me, charlotte!

{currently loving air plants}

portland, OR :: it's me, charlotte!

{spotted walking around Portland, OR a couple of weeks ago}

portland, OR :: it's me, charlotte!

{pretty pineapples in the window of a juicery}

saturday finds :: it's me, charlotte!

{a few finds from poking around downtown this weekend}

succulents :: it's me, charlotte!

{succulents on my window-sill waiting to be planted + beautiful blue light}

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Hello, Spring!

spring :: charlotte dupont

Is it possible? Is it really and truly officially Spring?

I am absolutely thrilled that it is Spring. And not just for the beautiful flowers and sunnier days (okay, well maybe) but also because Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal. The past few months have been an absolute whirlwind of excitement and I almost haven’t been able to keep up. I’ve been working on overdrive. A couple of weeks ago, I received news that I was selected to be Art Director of Flux Magazine, the University of Oregon’s premiere student publication. I worked so, so hard for this and it has been a great reminder that hard work and perseverance really do pay off. On the flip side, I’ve had to be a little bit more chill about blogging, free time and my social life. Sigh.

That being said, the beginning of Spring and the end, thank goodness, of my winter term couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m ready to rock spring term and these next few months even harder than the last. I’m also in the process of applying to very, very exciting internships where I hope to grow my creative abilities. So many exciting things in store for 2014.

I’m heading to San Francisco tomorrow for a little r&r and I think it will be just what I need to reset my brain and get fired up for these coming months. I’m planning on sleeping, a lot. Eating veggies, fruits and hydrating with tons of water. Giving my dad lots of hugs. Sweating it out at hot yoga. And maybe a digital detox, but let’s get real, probably not.

How do you like to reset and renew yourself for Spring? I would love to hear from you!

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Paleo Chicken Piccata

I’m looking out the window right now and it is literally pouring…it’s February and in typical Pacific Northwest fashion it is cold, foggy, gray and wet. For me, that means a lot of cappuccinos, wool socks and warm, soul nourishing food.

paleo chicken piccata

To be honest, I actually really enjoy the cold and wet months that we have. I bundle up in my long puffy coat, wrap a scarf around my neck and I’m good to go. I’m feeling especially excited right now because I just purchased the Lumi Sherpa Jacket (update: this coat is now officially sold out) from Anthropologie, which is just too much for words. Pure luxe. I can’t wait for it to arrive so that I can put it on and snuggle up.

paleo chicken piccata

I have been wanting a “sherpa” inspired jacket for MONTHS. I saw similar jackets by Stella McCartney and other top designers that were way, way out of my price range but couldn’t get the style out of my mind. I then came across the Lumi Sherpa Jacket from Anthropologie via Pinterest and was sad to find out that it was completely sold out. Sigh.

paleo chicken piccata

However, yesterday, completely out of the blue, the jacket popped into my mind again. I did a quick google search to see if someone had possibly put it up on ebay or another retail site only to find that it was currently in stock at Anthropologie and on sale.

paleo chicken piccata

WHAT!?!?!

I thought it had been sold out for months. Right when I got home, I immediately went online to order the coat. They only had one size left…it was my size!!! MEANT TO BE. Obviously, I immediately ordered the coat and was in pure bliss.

I then went downstairs and made this wonderfully, delicious rustic chicken piccata inspired dish – which I have been making a whole lot lately. It’s unbelievably comforting when paired with roasted fingerling potatoes and wilted spinach. Sigh. Twas a good day for me.

paleo chicken piccata

A note to the cook: Are you about to make this dish? This dish is absolutely delicious. I created the recipe by drawing inspiration from one of my favorite dishes – Chicken Piccata. However, I have omitted many of the regular ingredients in order to make this dish to be both gluten/grain-free, quick and easy and to allow my favorite flavors to shine through. Please note that a “meat tenderizer” or small cast iron skillet highly suggested to pound the chicken very, very thin. In my experience, the meat hammer works the best and allows you to pound the chicken into a thin, 1/4″ fillet allowing high heat cooking therefore moist chicken with a crispy, golden exterior. I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. Happy Cooking!

Paleo Chicken Piccata

Serving size: 2

Ingredients:

+ 2 chicken breasts; butterflied and pounded to a thin fillet of 1/4″

+ 2 tablespoons butter

+ coarse sea salt

+ 1/2 cup dry white wine

+ juice of 1/2 lemon

+ 1/8 cup capers; drained from liquid

+ bunch of parsley

Method:

1. Butterfly each chicken breast and pound thin with meat tenderizer until each filet is 1/4″ thick. Lightly sprinkle each fillet with coarse sea salt.

2. To make sauce: combine 1/2 cup chardonnay or other dry white wine, juice of 1/2 lemon and 1/8 cup capers. Set aside.

3. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 Tbsp butter to pan and wait until butter is simmering and the pan is very hot. Add chicken breasts to the pan and sear for 2-2.5 minutes per side. Assuming your chicken is very thin, this should produce a nice, crispy golden exterior and a juicy, cooked interior. Once chicken is done cooking, place on another plate. Repeat the same steps for the rest of the chicken fillets.

4. Once all of your fillets are done cooking, add 1 tablespoon of butter and the sauce mixture to the same pan the chicken was cooked in. Turn burner from medium high to medium and bring sauce to a simmer. Let sauce simmer and thicken. Continue to stir sauce every once in a while. At this point, I like to place the chicken fillets onto serving plates. Once sauce has reduced and thickened, it is done cooking. Pour sauce over chicken fillets. Garnish with chopped parsley (optional.)

{I love to serve this recipe with roasted fingerling potatoes and wilted spinach}

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Love. Love. Love.

 Valentines Day is one of my favorite days of the year.

v2

 I like to spend Valentine’s day being intentional about loving myself.

We are all so special and also so critical of the beautiful beings that we are. There’s no better day to celebrate you. It’s a tradition of mine to treat myself to something like a pedicure or a special something that I have been wanting for a long time on V-day. Maybe it’s even just a yoga class that restores my body. Maybe it’s just an afternoon nap. Whatever it is, I do what I need to do to practice self love.

v1

“Loving yourself…does not mean being self-absorbed or narcissistic, or disregarding others. Rather it means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart, a guest worthy of respect, a lovable companion.” – Margo Anand

skulls

Wishing all of you beautiful souls a wonderful day filled with love. Whether your celebrating your relationship or your own being, make sure to do something extra special for you. You deserve it.

Do you celebrate Valentines Day?

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I Love My Skin

Love my skin? I never thought I’d say that. Thank you Tastyface Organics.

TFO_3

{vanilla mint daily moisturizer}

In 2012, Kelly Ross founded TastyFace Organics (TFO) a “so clean you could eat it” skincare line. I began using Kelly’s products the moment she launched her new business in March of last year. I didn’t know how life changing it would be. After using TFO products for almost a year, I can truly say that I’m never turning back to commercial skincare – I will forever be a customer.

TFO_2

{nourishing serum – argan + sweet orange}

 Kelly Ross founded TFO to fill a void that she saw in skincare for “truly clean, organic, awesome skincare.” Did you know your skin absorbs up to 64% of what you put on it? That is exactly why Kelly uses safe, organic and food grade ingredients to create the most amazing skincare currently available. Kelly is 100% transparent about the ingredients she uses. See them here. You can both recognize and pronounce all the ingredients she uses like coconut oil, cocoa butter, aloe vera, beeswax, etc. She uses only the most high-quality ingredients and leaves out additives and preservatives. Her products are also “Paleo Certified” meaning all her products are guaranteed to be gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free. Love.

tastyface organics skincare; paleo-friendly and foodgrade

{rosemary aloe toner}

But how do they work?

Every single one of Kelly’s products is mind-blowingly amazing. Using Kelly’s products has been such an enlightening and empowering experience for me. After about 2 weeks of using TFO, my skin began to recover from years of using commercial products; I immediately ditched ALL of my “skin junk” and never looked back. Now, I no longer feel victim to all the marketing schemes of big skincare companies. I trust in the power of healing with real ingredients versus synthetic ones; similar to my feelings about food.

 In my daily routine I use the coconut vanilla cream cleanser, the rosemary aloe toner, the vanilla mint daily moisturizer, a combination of the healing serum and the nourishing serum and the lemon rosemary mint lip balm. TFO has taught me to care for and find beauty in my own skin (and imperfections.) Over the past year, the quality of my skin has improved dramatically. Now, my breakouts are fewer and far between, my skin is plump and glowing and I’m happy as ever because I know the products I’m using are safe for my skin and body.

TFO_10

{lemon rosemary lip balm}

TFO also makes me FEEL great.

The products are healing, therapeutic and made with love. It’s this wonderful feeling of knowing I am doing something fabulous for myself. Self love. It is totally a way of self loving, which I’m super into. Every time I do my skincare regime it feels like a mini spa session. It feels like I’m totally spoiling myself and my skin. All TFO products are free of artificial scents and instead Kelly uses calming and healing aromatic essential oils which totally contributes to that spa-esque feeling. Ahhh, TFO, I love you.

tastyface organics skincare; paleo friendly for your skin!

{see all products}

What do you think? Do you want to try Tastyface Organics Skincare? This post wasn’t sponsored or anything of the sort; I’m a customer of Kelly’s and I just wanted to share my love for a beautiful product with you all. However, Kelly has offered to donate a few products to my very first Facebook giveaway. So come on over and join in on the fun (update: this giveaway is now closed – congrats Candice and Marlina!)

P.S. this would make a fabulous Valentine’s Day gift for the special ladies or gents in your life.

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San Francisco Trip

After Christmas, Kristian and I spent a week in San Francisco. It was great to spend some time at home. It was also 65 degrees and sunny every.single.day. One day I even got a little bit sunburned. Oh, California!

San Francisco

The first day we headed to Haight Street and met the cutest french bull dog with a massive underbite. We also made a little visit to Amoeba Music record store and Kristian bought his first record – a Red Hot Chili Pepper’s album.

Underbite.

We ate at Pacific Catch, my favorite restaurant in the city. A trip to San Francisco is just not complete without eating there at least twice.

sweet potato fries

They have tons of great fresh seafood, awesome tacos, bowls and sweet potato fries.

We had fish tacos both nights, hard to resist, sweet potato fries, korean short ribs and some awesome lemonade and lemongrass ginger ice tea.

fish tacos

We strolled around different neighborhoods in the city, including one of our favorites – the Marina.

san fran

There were still pretty holiday lights everywhere. So pretty.

san fran

We spent Sunday hanging out on the Marina Green and walking on the beach.

Everyone was enjoying the weather. Who can resist the sun in December!?

BakerBeach1

Love this guy.

beach

On New Year’s Day, we decided to take a walk by the Golden Gate Bridge. Perfect start to the year. Apparently, many other people thought so too. It was quite busy.

ggbridge

I brought my Tastyface along, as always! Love that stuff!

tastyface

Lastly, one of the trip highlights was going to Alice Water’s Chez Panisse on New Year’s Day with my dad and his friend Kathy. We had been planning to go for months. The food was so amazing. No phones or cameras allowed so only one picture of Kristian and I before we left.

new years day

It was a great trip! Now we are in Eugene, missing the sunny California weather!

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