Posted by & filed under Travel.

We were fortunate enough to have our friends from LA come up to the Bay Area for the weekend and stay with us.

Trevor and I started off our weekend of fun with a visit to the Petaluma Pumpkin Patch. When our friends arrived after their long drive, we went out downtown for dinner and drinks.

On Friday, we had a wonderful Halloween party followed by a group outing to downtown to check out everyone’s costumes. On Saturday we got up and loaded the car for our drive up I-80 and head over Donner Summit to Reno. We stopped in Davis for lunch, I had never been there before and the downtown area was lovely with lots of shops and trees, much like downtown SLO. We will definitely be heading up that way again to explore it more.

We then stopped near Donner Summit to play in the freshly fallen snow! I had never seen it snow before and the drive was beautiful.

Once we arrived in Reno, we checked in at the Silver Legacy and started to explore downtown Reno. There were some beautiful abandoned buildings, including a casino, that I wish we could have explored. We also came across a place that took old-timey western photos and the group agreed if we won $50, we would go back and get the photos taken…and we did! We had some luck at Harrah’s playing Craps. Typically I don’t like to play table games but I learned the basics and it was so much fun!

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We made flavored shots in test tubes for the party, Green Slime, and pumpkins!

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You have to be super serious about this.

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Snow fall!

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Trevor as pink ranger, myself as black.

Posted by & filed under Photography.

One of my hobbies is photography.

So I occasionally get asked to take portraits or senior photos for friends and family. My niece is about to graduate from the same high school I attended, so after the Mud Mash I cleaned up and went around locations in SLO, Los Osos, and Morro Bay and took her portrait.

These are a few of my favorite shots

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Posted by & filed under Travel.

I took a break from work to go visit one of my best friends in San Diego.

It was like a dream- all of the sunshine, sand, and palm trees made me miss living closer to the ocean (we aren’t far from the ocean here, but it’s cold!). I spent the majority of the week just traveling around, visiting malls and breweries, Belmont Park, Coronado Island, Balboa Park, and downtown.

Here are some iPhone snapshots:

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Balboa Park

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View of Downtown from Peohe’s (Coronado Island, try their onion rings!), House of Blues (Downtown), Belmont Park

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Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits, they made some awesome beers and their new location in Miramar just happened to open a couple days prior to my visit. Try the beers with peppers and chili’s in them.

Posted by & filed under Food.

It’s pumpkin season and everyone is going crazy with putting it in things, myself included. So for dinner last night I wanted to make something belly warming for the cool fall nights.

I replaced the eggs and oil in this Pumpkin cornbread mix from Trader Joe’s with pumpkin puree, saving about 1,000 calories and sacrificing none of the flavor or moisture!

How to Replace Eggs and Oil with Pumpkin

1 egg = 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
oil = equal part pumpkin puree

This mix calls for two eggs and half a cup of oil (which comes to about 1,100 calories!), so I replaced those ingredients with one cup of pumpkin puree, about 100 calories. Instead of milk (I’m allergic), I used plain almond milk.

We paired it with Anderson Valley’s Winter Solstice beer. All of the spices from the beer, cornbread, and chili went well together and make a perfect fall meal!

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Posted by & filed under Crafts.

I love Halloween. Now that I’m older I don’t get the thrill of trick-or-treating (apparently 25 years old is too old to go knock on the doors of strangers looking for candy), so instead we have parties!

Trevor and I are trying the Pinterest-y DYI approach this year to get more bang for the buck. Here’s a little project we worked on last night:

How we did this on the cheap

Candles: 2-packs from the Dollar Tree.
Wine bottles: free from one of our local favorite pizza places, Brixx. Just ask your waiter, they usually have more empty wine bottles than they know what to do with and are happy to give you some.
Halloween labels: being a designer I would typically want to make my own, but we stumbled across these at the Dollar Tree and in the interest of time snagged them up.
Glitter: $1.69 at Michaels.

You can also see in the background the bloody drip candles Trevor made (we thrifted the brass candle holders from Good Will, $2 each).