SF.

As promised, a recap of a recent long weekend in San Francisco. Though it torrentially down poured for the duration of our visit, friends and I still managed to love every sock-soaked minute of it, damp hair and all.

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Our first evening brought us to dinner at Starbelly, in the Castro. Despite the rain, we were able to sit in the eatery’s covered backyard garden, where string lights and heat lamps made for a perfect hideout for hungry travelers. We shared a quinoa salad pumped up with kale, avocado, marinated beets, and parmesan; grilled broccoli rabe with butter beans in tomato sauce; and a butternut squash / sage / pumpkin seed / goat cheese pizza, below.

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With morning came somewhat clearer skies and lovely views from our stellar Airbnb. (Seriously, check these guys out if you’re looking for a place to stay in SF. Airbnb ranks them as “superhosts.” Probably has something to do with the complimentary granola and Nespresso machine access they provided, as well as the glasses of wine they greeted us with at the door upon arrival. Swoon.)

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When it wasn’t monsoon-ing, we walked SF’s streets (or perhaps more accurately, mountains), stopping at coffee shops and lunch spots along the way…

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{ In the Castro }

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{ At Flywheel Coffee Roasters in Haight Ashbury }

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{ More in Haight Ashbury }

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{ More in Haight Ashbury – lunch of Vietnamese shrimp salad from Dragoneats }

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We also wandered over to the Mission, where authentic Mexican bakeries sat adjacent to hipster coffee shops, new-agey apothecaries, and upscale vintage clothing stores, as seen above + below.

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With SF’s major hills comes hunger. So after careful brunch research, we made our way to Beretta in the Mission. I went for a flavorful pesto frittata packed with veggies and paired with roasted potatoes, greens, and a slice of crispy, grilled bread. Friends opted for breakfast pizzas and burrata toast that were equally inhale-able.

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After finding out that SFMOMA was closed for renovation for the foreseeable future, we headed to the de Young Museum, located in the city’s famous Golden Gate Park. Our visit included a stop in to the viewpoint at the top of the museum’s observation tower, which offers 360-degree views of downtown SF, Golden Gate Park, the Bay, and the Marin headlands (weather permitting, of course).

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Anxious to see more during my last hours in the city, I walked my way through part of Golden Gate Park, where the lush greenery benefitted considerably from the consistent drizzle. I benefitted less; the steady rains eventually led me to (woefully) call an Uber to bring me the rest of the way back to my Airbnb.

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In some way I’m thankful for the unrelenting weather, as I have all the more reason to return for the activities I’d hoped to get to. I’m thinking a walk along the Embarcadero, a bike ride along the Golden Gate Bridge, and another brunch (or three) are in order.

Year in Review (2015).

Like any other year, 2015 had its ups and downs. And as always, the downs made the ups ever-sweeter. Here’s to focusing on the positive: some of my most favorite “ups” from the last 365 days.

2015 brought me to Miami (twice), Nashville, and Park City, where I spent time with family and friends for vacations, birthday celebrations, and a wedding. Of course, I took pictures all along the way.

Miami:

the w south beach

Nashville:

broadway nashville

tavern nashville

bj reece orchard

Park City:

st. regis park city

st. regis park city

ritual chocolate park city

But if you follow This Is It Though, you know my heart lies in NYC, where I was born and raised and yet remain a freak of a tourist, never ceasing to take photos during my everyday pursuits. Yes, I am completely ashamed of it, and no, I will not stop. Lincoln Center, the Empire State Building, and a morning in Williamsburg all documented below.

nyc blogger

empire state building

williamsburg morning

Luckily, I was able to pursue some of things I love most in life in 2015. At the top of that list? Exercise, cooking, and spending time outdoors.

So, I did yoga whenever I could…

yoga to the people nyc

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…and ran a 10k in May.

nyc 10k

I ate a breakfast of champions every damn day, whipping up winning combos like this plant-based protein smoothie bowl…

healthy smoothie bowl

…these dates with almond butter, coconut, maple syrup + strawbs…

healthy paleo breakfast

…and this bowl of overnight oats topped with raisins, walnuts, and honey.

healthy oatmeal

I also enjoyed all that the great outdoors has to offer, be it in Utah or Westchester, NY.

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wild nature

And when my schedule (and wallet) allowed for it, I made sure to pick up fresh goodies from local farmer’s markets’ bounties. Those goodies included the following:

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union sq. farmer's market

union square greenmarket

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As for some of my most memorable restaurant meals, this salmon + labne dish from Bonfiglio & Bread (in Hudson, NY) deserves a shoutout…

bonfiglio

…as do the chips + guac and Mexican corn from Taquiza in Miami…

…and the killer hummus from Taim in the West Village.

taim nyc

With just one last year left of my time in Atlanta, I returned to some of my favorite spots, like Octane Coffee

octane coffee grant park

…as well as Piedmont Park…

piedmont park

…and Yalla!

yalla atlanta

So, here’s to hoping that 2016 is as nutty as 2015…

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…and that:

the best is yet to come

Lots of love to all in the brand new year. Make it a goodie, lovelies!

Life Lately (15).

Bits + pieces of Life Lately. Scroll happy!

bluestone lane coffee

A most picturesque corner at one of my favorite new NYC spots: Bluestone Lane on the Upper East Side. The brunch mecca’s newest location is fittingly nestled inside of a church, as the cafe’s avocado toasts and ricotta + honey-topped banana bread are basically religious experiences of their own. Stop by ASAP.

look up

Blue skies above. Enough said.

the best is yet to come

A friendly reminder to always look forward.

union sq. farmer's market

Berries galore at the Union Sq. Greenmarket on a recent Saturday morning. Clearly, I want it all.

de marchelier

Feeling fancy (and snap-happy when my lunch date took a bathroom break) while lunching at a French bistro last week.

Check back soon for more of Life Lately!