a picnic in the park

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this lemonade is seriously so good

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this weekend was super nice in arizona! it’s been really hot recently, and then we had a few days of gloom, but now its 80 degrees and perfect. my boyfriend and i originally planned on going to hike camelback, but i just recently started pure barre. i went on wednesday, thursday, friday and saturday…and i am so sore. like insanely sore. which is pretty pathetic but whatever. i am trying to go about four or fives times a week, so we will see how that goes. anyways, we opted for a walk instead.

i typically don’t like to walk anywhere unless it involves food, so we decided to pack up some yummy lunch to bring along with us. we went and picked up a bunch of goodies to snack on and i stumbled across this rose lemonade (it is delicious).  i brought some reading with the intention of studying, but we just ended up playing football and people watching. even though i have been in arizona for about two years now, i can’t get over this warm weather. i don’t know if i can ever go back to the snow!

since i was supposed to study this afternoon and didn’t, i should probably hop to it.

i hope you had a great weekend!

cafe gratitude

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i am the worst at remembering all the restaurants i eat at on vacations, so documenting them here will hopefully help me with that down the line.

while in san diego over the weekend, we tried this restaurant called cafe gratitude, and it was SO good. it’s downtown in little italy, which is a really fun area full of shops and other places to eat. i’ve been trying (emphasis on the trying) to eat gluten and dairy free because it makes me feel a lot better than i do when i load up on sugars and carbs and stuff. anyways, this restaurant doesn’t use any dairy, gluten or eggs when they make their food! i was kind of skeptical at first, but as i am sure you can see in the photos above, the food looked and tasted amazing.

the entire place is so pretty and full of light. i love the kind of vibe they have going on. i will definitely be returning!

bruschetta

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whenever my sister and i are together we love to try and make or create new recipes. this weekend, we really wanted make a bruschetta. we went to a local farmer’s market in scottsdale to pick up some fresh bread and other ingredients to throw on top! it ended up being a super delicious recipe that we will definitely be using again soon.

i wanted to share it on here as well (mostly so i don’t forget it) and because it think it’s just so pretty and fun. the ingredients and instructions are simple as well, which makes it even better.

ingredients

  • 3 ounces of pancetta (or any other cured meat)
  • small log of mozzarella cheese
  • 4 ounces of sun dried tomato pesto (or your own favorite spread)
  • 1 small basket of heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 artisan loaf of bread
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • salt and pepper to taste

directions

  • preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • slice bread about 1 – 1.5 inches thick
  • drizzle some olive oil over the bread and pop in the oven for about 5 minutes or until the top of the bread is begins to toast
  • remove from the oven and spread pesto over the top
  • layer cheese, cured meat and tomatoes
  • bake for another 10 minutes or until cheese begins to reach the edge of the bread

and that’s it! i love this recipe because it’s so easy to replace these particular ingredients with other options. enjoy!

save the fishies

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whenever i am in california, i make a point to visit some of my favorite beaches. i used to go to a ton of different ones all the time with my family and friends, so it’s fun to re-visit them every so often.

while we were there this past weekend, i started to think about all the beaches and other places i wanted to bring my future children to. my parents always took my sister and me on the most amazing vacations around the world and i am excited to carry on that tradition with my own family; but it’s sad to think about how a lot of things that may not even exist anymore when by the time i have children (ahem.. i am looking at you great barrier reef).

that’s why i have really been trying to buy from companies who support different conservation efforts. my towel in these pictures is from a company that i love and admire. i recently partnered up with sand cloud because i love everything that they stand for. they support 3 different organizations and donate 10% of their profits in constant effort to protect out oceans and marine life. they were also recently on shark tank and landed an awesome deal with robert herjavec… wahoo!! i love their towels because they are so pretty but also compact and functional at the same time. they have tons of products, so make sure you check them out and snag some for yourself!

you can find the link to the towel in there pictures here. although i don’t think you can go wrong purchasing any of their towels, i also love this one and this one. they’re perfect for that beach vacation you have coming up or even just for a picnic in the park!

for anyone who is interested in supporting this cause or just having a super cool towel, you can use the code MeganIt25 or  this link for 25% off your purchase.

*thank you to sand cloud for supporting this post

weekends

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this is just a short “weekends” post, since i documented the weekend in another entry as well.

like i said before, my boyfriend and i went to mission beach with a bunch of our friends for part of our spring break! we stayed in a house right on ocean front walk. it was really nice to just relax by the beach and walk around. although the weather wasn’t super warm, we still had a good time playing games and being with each other.

my sister is here in arizona with me for almost the entire week and i am so excited! we are planning on trying out a bunch of new recipes. i am kind of obsessed with collecting cool cookbooks, so i just ordered this one on amazon. everything in it look so delicious! there is a 4-ingredient brownie that i really want to try out. if we come across any favorites, i will post them on here!

universal studios

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a dark picture… but it’s the only one we took together!

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while my boyfriend and i were on spring break, we decided to stray away from our group for a day and go up to universal studios! we have been to disneyland with each other a few times, so we decided to branch out this trip. universal studios hollywood recently added harry potter world to their park and that’s probably the best decision they could have ever made. we had so much fun hanging out together, going on all the rides and eating our fair share of theme park snacks (i live for banana split dip n’ dots).

we stayed on mission beach for spring break and it was super cloudy until the day we left (of course), but it was 90 degrees in hollywood the day we went up!!! the heat kind of killed us, but it was definitely a nice break from the gloom.

sweet cooie’s

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my sister recently got accepted to the medical program at the university of washington, so we have been in celebration mode for the past few days. last night, my mom, sister and i went out to a fun dinner and then made our way over to sweet cooie’s in denver.  it opened on valentine’s day and as far as i know, they’ve been busy ever since! luckily, we went around 9:00 and it was fairly quiet. we had a good time listening to music (the music there is amazing), telling stories, and laughing about all sorts of different things.

they serve little man ice cream, which is by far my favorite ice cream in the world. you can get a few scoops on top of some cotton candy or even between two hot buns drenched in icing. so this place is pretty much the only ice cream shop i ever want to step foot in again.

i go back to arizona today and i am sad to leave my mom and sister (i am not sad about leaving this awful/cold weather). yay for california in a few days!