Avocado Toast

Avocado toast is my go to breakfast. There are so many options to dress up this toast and every time it is so darn delicious. For the sake of #toasttuesday (yes, there is such a thing) I thought I would share one of my favorite avo toast recipes with you.

Ingredients you will need:

-1 piece of bread

-1 egg

-Kite Hill chive cream cheese

-1 avocado

-a slice of a bell pepper

-1 tsp Chosen Food avocado oil

-pinch of salt & pepper

Start by toasting your favorite bread. I get the organic bread at the grocery store that is on sale . I encourage you to read the ingredients & make sure you can read them!

Poor 1 tsp avocado oil into small pan on medium heat. Place bell pepper in the oil and crack an egg into the middle of the bell pepper.

While the egg is cooking spread the cream cheese onto the toasted bread.

Then scoop out half of an avocado on top of the cream cheese. Mash the avocado with a fork and spread out into a checkered design.

When the egg is at your desired consistency, turn the heat off and place your bell pepper egg onto your toast.

Sprinkle salt & pepper over the egg & you have yourself an amazing breakfast toast.

Bon appetite! Have a wonderful day!!!

 

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Ironman New Zealand

We woke before the sun was up, I kissed my Ironman & wished him good luck. Shortly after I walked to the swim start from our hotel; I prayed the whole way as I passed hundreds of people dotted along the lakeside. The dark clouds rolled over Lake Taupo as the winds were gusty and the white caps were crashing down. The canon went off at 7AM and Ironman New Zealand was underway. Team Dovey received VIP passes from Meredith Kessler; a wonderful perk and the best way to watch an Ironman. Thank you Meredith, we greatly appreciated everything! I ducked into the warm restaurant where it was VIP only (we felt very special) and watched the swim from the glass windows that overlooked the lake. I saw over 30 people getting pulled out of the water, a testimate of how hard this swim truly was. I prayed some more and was thankful in this moment that my husband was a strong swimmer.

As the female pros were getting out of the water, Team Dovey spread out along the swim shoot, to cheer on Jackson. I yelled for him as he ran past and even got a smile! I raced up a hill to catch him for a split second as he saddled up for his 112 mile trek on the  bike. Team Dovey (Jackson’s parents and myself) cozied up in a quaint cafe and sipped on the most amazing lattes. We did feel a little bit of guilt as we were sitting by the fire, warm and content, as Jackson was sitting on a tiny saddle for the next five hours.

It is no wonder Ironman New Zealand has consecutively been voted as the number one race from participants and spectators: the volunteers, community support and the amount of times you get to see your Ironman, is like no other race! If you haven’t spectated an Ironman race, I encourage you to do so. An Ironman race is one of the most: inspirational, motivating and positive atmospheres you will be apart of.

As the time got near Jackson’s 2nd loop of the bike, Team Dovey spread out again to get optimal cheering power, to pump him up on his final loop of the bike course. Team Dovey refueled for lunch and before we knew it Jackson epic bike quest would be coming to an end. After 5 hours, 1 minute and 21 seconds, Jackson was off the bike and we cheered as loud as we possibly could, as he set out to run a marathon….YES a marathon!

Jackson was in the top three amateur racers after the bike and we hoped he could make up some time to achieve his goal of not only winning his age group, but overall amateur as well; hey, dream big! In the past Ironman races Jackson’s running has not been his strong suit and understandably so, after swimming and biking for so long. This race he wanted to P.R. in his marathon run and we were yelling extra loud so he could achieve that feat. He smiled every time we saw him on the run course and I realized during this race I hadn’t been worried or anxious, but kept cheering my a$$ off and praying was in full force. As Jackson finished his last loop, which was averaging one hour per loop, we were feeling overwhelmed with pride and joy for our Ironman! The loops were nice as we got to see him multiple times, but we lost track of what place he was because of all of the people running both ways, the Ironman tracker had also been down most of the day. We loved all of your text messages and we felt all of the cheering from home!

As the one hour marker of his final loop was approaching, Jackson’s mom and I raced to the VIP finish line; we were so gitty as I chocked up and told his mom how proud of him I was! I’m truly the only one that sees Jackson’s dedication, day in a day out. Not only is he amazing at his job & his diligence in his training, but makes time for me and sometimes even gives up his training sessions to spend time with me; I feel like the luckiest wife and I’m beyond proud of him! Ok, enough of the gushy stuff and on to the most memorable part of the race…the FINISH! We saw Jackson coming down the long finish shoot, knowing he won his age group and was the second amateur overall. As we screamed at the top of our lungs, Jackson high fived the fans, waved up to us and even had energy to jump at the finish line. The VIP access let us see him right away, to give him a sweaty hug & wet kiss! We all knew what this victory meant, another vacation to…HAWAII!! He also P.R. his marathon time of 3:04:38; a race with many goals achieved and one to go down in the memory book!

We grabbed our Winner a beer and he chugged it down with the taste of sweet victory. Team Dovey was overwhelmed with excitement and pride, we were all on cloud 9. We all needed to freshen up after our 9+ hour day, so off to our hotels we went. We met up at Burger Fuel and scarfed down our grass fed, New Zealand burgers and drank celebratory drinks.

Team Dovey and our Ironman were all wiped out after such an exciting day, that we decided to end the night early and reconvene in the morning. As I looked back at this Ironman, it was the best one yet and the taste of victory for Jackson never felt better. Now onto traveling our way through New Zealand, a dream destination for both of us!

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Women’s Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Love Is In the Air

A small gift on Valentine’s Day from their love is what every girl wants. I personally love: a small gift, a bouquet from Bloom That and a hand written note for Love Day (hint…hint…to my hubby)! I hope this gift guide helps a man or two on what to get their special valentine or a woman on what to ask for. Happy Shopping! XoXo

  1. Dior ‘Addict Lip Glow Balm a hydrating lip balm that brings out your natural lip color. I tried this balm at Nordstrom and was instantly in love!
  2. Ban.do Love Potion Flask Fill this metal flask with your favorite drink and be prepared to fall in love!
  3. Kate Spade Heart Phone Case a perfect way to dress up your phone and get into the Valentine’s Day spirit.
  4. Voluspa Candle will be sure to dress up a bathroom or bedroom and let off a magnificent smell with the scent of Prosecco Rose.
  5. Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Camera is the best gift for the girl who has everything & will be sure to make her smile!
  6. A Valentine’s Day Card or hand written note is always my favorite; this small gesture shows that you care and put in that extra effort.
  7. Love balloon will give any flowers or card an extra flare of Valentine’s Day love. I love supporting local shops and small businesses and this balloon is from Etsy, a great website to support small businesses.
  8. Whispering Angel Rose. Yes Way to Rose! This bottle of Rose it one of my favorites and would be a great addition to any Valentine’s Day themed basket or a bouquet of roses.
  9. Sugarfina sugar lips candies is a perfect gift for that sweet valentine of yours.

 

 

 

 

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Men’s Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

All In the Name Of Love

I love celebrating Valentine’s Day because any excuse to buy my husband something to show him I care, is a holiday worth celebrating. Click on any of the highlighted words below to check out the items in my Men’s Valentine’s Day Gift Guide. I hope you find something special to buy your man this Valentine’s Day. Happy February, may your month be filled with love and showing others love; our world needs it!

 1. Sugarfina hot lips candies for your man who is too hot to handle.

2. Heart Happy Socks, a way to make your feet happy and festive; these are seriously the best socks!

3. Everyman Jack body wash, it’s all natural and spells fantastic. You can also find this product at select stores listed on their website.

4. Bourbon flavored toothpicks that is a unique gift for a man who loves Bourbon.

Sugarfina hot lips candies for your man who is too hot to handle.

5. Mad Libs Adult Book, a fun book to fill out with your love and get in a good laugh

6. W&P Design Old-Fashioned Cocktail Kit for your man who loves an old fashion drink while up in the air.

7. Engraved Collar Stays are perfect for your man to add to his collar each day and think about you before he starts his busy day.

8. Heart Boxers will give your man a little love to wear without it being seen.

9. Coffee Mug that is manly and practical.

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NYE Celebration

When my husband and I tried to come up with NYE plans this year, we were stuck. We’ve done the big parties in San Francisco, went out in the craziness, traveled, hosted our own NYE parties & had late dinner reservations with friends at nice restaurants. As we looked back at past celebrations, the late dinners with friends had been our favorite memories. Then I had a brilliant idea to cook dinner at our very own home…not any old dinner, a seven course meal. That meant: no driving, no crowds and no up charges. My husband and I did this for our seventh wedding anniversary and it was a night to remember. We love to cook and just be together; I know gag…but we really just like hanging out!

 

I decorated our table in black, gold and glitter of course. I hung decor on the wall and put up sparkly banners; we set the table with our fine china and stemware from our wedding. Jackson and I created our seven course menu and made our grocery list. We had a gift card to Whole Foods, so that is where we bought all of our groceries; we never shop there for a full grocery list, so this was a real treat. All of the alcohol we had a home, so this dinner only costed us about one hundred dollars…bonus!

We dressed up, played some music in the background and began cooking our seven course meal. During each course we would take a card (found HERE, on Pintrest) and talked about our 2016 memories.

Menu

First Course

 Phyllo Wrapped Baked Brie

Second Course

Bodega Bay Oysters with Mignonette Sauce

Third Course

Cucumber Salad

Fourth Course

Butternut & Apple Souo

Intermezzo

Lemon Raspberry Sorbet

Fifth Course

                                            Bacon Wrapped Scallops

Sixth Course   

Fillet Mignon with Roasted Mushrooms

Seventh Course

Creme Brûlée 

After Dinner

Sparklers & Champs                                                                                                                                                                  

Click her for video: IMG_0751

It was a perfect night as we cooked, talked about the future, shared our goals for 2017, danced and played with sparklers. 2017 we are ready for you, we can’t wait to see what the future holds. I think this is going to be a  great year! Happy New Year to you; I wish you a very HAPPY & HEALTHY 2017!

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Christmas Gifts

This Christmas was filled with family and fun. We got to spend quality time with loved ones and celebrate the reason for the season! This year my family decided to forgo our adult gift exchange and only buy gifts for the nieces and nephew. Also, Jackson & I decided no gifts and  planned special outings we had never done in the South Bay on Monday & Tuesday, after Christmas. It was one of the most enjoyable Christmas holidays! I’m just sad it’s over, it always goes by way too fast.

Day 1

On Monday we said goodbye to my parents, the last of our family to leave. Jackson and I started our special outings not too long after. We went to the new Starbucks Reserve Bar in Los Gatos, to get caffeinated for the day. The reserve brand is the best coffee     Starbucks has to offer. It’s a more relaxed vibe, while you can order from the coffee bar, enjoy your coffee, then the barista takes your payment. I got the butterscotch latte and it was velvety smooth.

From there we left to Woodside, CA and ventured on a new hike, Edgewood County Park. We parked right off the street and made our way to the marked path, to start our hiking adventure.

         

The paths were smooth and well marked. The views of the bay were beautiful, it was a cool, crisp, winter day. I love hiking and soaking in time with Jackson, to talk and exercise at the same time. We had fun talking about: 2016, our dreams and what we are looking forward to in 2017.

We were starting to get hungry, so we headed back to the car. To Yelp I went and found a lunch spot in Menlo Park. We went to Refuge, a gastropub with an amazing selection of beer & comfort food. We started with a Christmas beer flight, to share.

I ordered the barbocoa nachos and Jackson ordered the pastrami sandwich. Both were amazing, the pastrami melted in your mouth;  we will definitely be coming back!

We headed home to feed our dog and quickly became couch potatoes. Jackson & I are addicted to binge watching Suits…thanks to my sister. If you need a show, I highly recommend it! Stay tuned to day two, it started early.

Day 2

On Tuesday, we woke up before the sun had risen at 5:30, gathered our gloves & jackets and jumped in the car. BUT FIRST—COFFEE! You can always count on Starbucks to be open and after our coffee, the adventure could officially start.

The moon lit our path as we drove up the two lane, winding road, as we witnessed views of the bay with thousands of lights twinkling in the distance. As we trekked on, we passed many bare oak trees as the moon was disappearing in front of our eyes. We reached the top of of Mount Hamilton right before the sun was peaking from the mountain top.

It took us an hour to arrive to the top, where there is an observatory. We parked our car on the side of the road and got out to witness an awe struck beauty of God’s creation…the sun rising up from the mountain peak. The surroundings were incredibly peaceful, not a sound to be heard except the eagle passing by in the sky as it was hunting for the first critter to awake from the cold night. We braved the cold, taking our gloves off to snap some pictures and took in the romantic scenery as we kissed under the sun and ran back into the car to pump up the heater and start our day.

As we drove down we stopped to take a picture of the bay as the sunrise casted a beautiful sky scape. The mountains were rugged and vast, it’s crazy this surrounds our flat bay. The beauty wasn’t even captured in our amateur iPhone pictures, but we have stored those snap shots in our memories and it will be a morning I will never forget. The drive down was a lot faster and we passed all the live stock up for their breakfast and our dog loved barking at the cattle as we sped past.

We were very hungry, so we stopped at a new wellness cafe in Willow Glen called, The Source. We both ordered the tropical acai bowls, to go and enjoyed looking around at their shop. They offer a wide range of raw food, Chinese medicine, cold pressed juices and Verve coffee. The acai bowls were delicious and we will definitely be coming back!

After relaxing a bit we got ready and I dropped my husband off to swim at Stanford, as I ventured to the mall for the after Christmas sales. We met up for lunch at Fambrini’s Cafe; it was hard to find as it was not well marked, but a small sign at the bottom of the stair case. The cafe was at the top of the stairs; they must have had fifty different sandwich options and delicious sounding salads on the menu. Jackson ordered the Carlton chicken salad and I got an egg salad sandwich on their signature ciabotta bread. Both were great and a good find off the beaten path, away from the busy downtown of Palo Alto. *No pictures, we were too hungry!

From there we headed to Willow Glen to try a new ice-cream shop, Icicles. The line is always long, but we had nowhere to be, so we waited for 45 minutes until it was finally our turn. You pick your ice-cream flavor, we picked Nutella and Chill and they pour fresh milk on a cold plate, mix in your ingredients, chop them up into little bits and then they roll the ingredients flat on the cold plate and then roll them into icicles. Once they put the icicles into the cup, you can pick unlimited toppings. We went for: a toasted marshmallow, Oreo, toasted coconut and carmel drizzle. It was amazing, would I wait in that line again…maybe but you would need to go before the hanger dessert demon kicked in. The guy that worked there said the line at night can be up to a two hour wait, so best to come in the afternoon.

We were both dog tired from our early morning and called it an early night. I hope you can find time to venture to the best spot for a sunrise with your significant other or enjoy a day trying all new things in your city. Those two days, trumped any Christmas gift you could possibly give me. I hope you had a wonderful holiday season, until next year! XO

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12 Days of Christmas Cookies

Kisses Candy Cane Blossom Cookies

These cookies are easy and they make a ton because they are so tiny. They have a sugar cookie dough and a burst of candy cane from the kisses.  A must try for the holidays! Click on the cookie title for the recipe link.

Neiman-Marcus Squares

These bars are so delicious: gooey, soft, and rich; the only thing is you can’t just stop at  one! This recipes is from our aunt and my mom makes them every Christmas. This needs to be a Christmas baking recipe to add to your repertoire!

  

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Clusters 

These cookies are so easy, just microwave and stir. They are crunchy, creamy and fluffy all at the same time. Try them, they take minutes & are worth it!

Santa’s Suicide Bars

These multi-layer bars will satisfy any chocolate cravings. I added Recess Peanut Butter Cups amongst the Christmas red Oreos & broiled marshmallows on top.

 Snowball Cookies

These semi-homemade sugar cookies add an extra Christmas flavor with: peppermint extract, crushed candy canes & powdered sugar. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies

These cookies might be my new favorite winter treat. I might have eaten one for breakfast!

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Holiday Glam Guide

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The holidays mean parties, from office to ugly sweater & who doesn’t love to dress to impress?! Holiday parties are my favorite, I’m just sad they only happen once a year! Here is a gift guide, everything under $100 & ideas for every holiday party. Click the links below & shop or click til you drop!

1. Vince Camuto sequin skirt.

2. J. Crew Factory holiday plaid button down.

3. Kate spade bow belt.

4. Kate spade wristlet.

5. Lauren Lorraine plaid pumps.

6. Cristabelle collar necklace.

7. Lulu red backless dress.

8. Cozy Zoe holiday sweatshirt. 

Last weekend I went to my first holiday event, the Nordstrom private holiday shopping party. Hey, with an open bar, appitizers and a dj playing holiday music…I’m down to party & shop the night away!

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Husband Gift Guide

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I’ve made a gift guide of my husbands favorite things he has worn or used this year. I hope you find this helpful as the holidays are quickly approaching. Click on the links below & happy shopping!

1. Noise canceling ear buds from Nordstrom, we can’t fly without these!

2. Roka Kona sunglasses that are trendy but great for sports as well.

3. Herschel toilette bag from Nordstrom is a great bag for everyday and travel.

4. Yeti tumblers keep ice or hot drinks cold or hot all day. We tested them out pool side in Hawaii and our pina coladas stayed cold all day!

5. Oppo suits sold at Nordstrom, a complete suit for $99.00 and you can find one for just about every holiday.

6. Cologne is the best for men to wear, I got this one at Nordstrom Rack. I found it on Amazon for a comparable price, it smells really good!

7. Happy socks are funky, fun and fashionable. My husband gets compliments all the time for his crazy socks.

8. Bear claw slippers are fun to put on after a long days of work; they make you smile!

9. Garmin Vivoactive watch is fashionable but functional, my husband wears his everyday.

10. Qalo ring is great for working out with comfort and flexibility.

 

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Thanksgiving Dinner

Cooking thanksgiving dinner can be very overwhelming, but why should it when it’s a day to be thankful & spend time with your loved ones. We have a tradition of going to Mexico with our friends, which is the most amazing tradition…EVER! Although I could eat Mexican food everyday, we still miss our favorite sides for Thanksgiving. We solved this problem by hosting Friendsgiving each year. Unfortunalty, this year we couldn’t find a free weekend & didn’t end up having one; Jackson was bummed he wasn’t going to get his turkey and favorite Thanksgiving sides. To his surprise he came home on Monday to a Thanksgiving feast! Here is how I did this dinner, stress free and everything was ready on time.

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First, I picked out recipes from Pintrest. Here they are:

http://thenoshery.com/apple-cider-glazed-turkey-breast-and-giving-breast-cancer-the-boot/

*I did a small turkey breast, it cooked fast and was enough for the two of us for three left over days of lunches and dinners. YUM!

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http://celebratingsweets.com/sweet-potato-casserole-with-marshmallow-pecan streusel/

*This was really good, tasted like dessert!

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http://www.campbells.com/kitchen/recipes/classic-green-bean-casserole

*The classic Thanksgiving side dish, my favorite!

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http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-mashed-potato-casserole-recipes-from-the-kitchn-211202?utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=managed&crlt.pid=camp.Dg4o3wFZquhR

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*This was a new recipe for me and it was delicious! It said to substitute Greek yogurt for the sour cream, so it’s healthy right?!

http://www.jimmydean.com/recipes/holidays/sausage-cornbread-stuffing

*This was Jackson’s favorite dish of the night!

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Then I made all of the sides ahead of time, minus the stuffing. I wrote on post-it notes: the cooking instructions, cooking time and added any extra notes from the recipe. I marinated the turkey and stuck everything in the refrigerator.

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I got home from my errands around 5:00 and immediately started cooking the turkey in the oven. I also put the green bean casserole in with the turkey, set the timer for 25 minutes and started cooking the stuffing. I pulled the green bean casserole out, put the stuffing and potato casserole in. After 35 minutes I pulled the cover off the stuffing, rotated and basted the turkey and put in the sweet potato casserole. Everything was ready around 7:00, just in time for the arrival for my husband to get home.

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He was surprised to see the Thanksgiving spread and we ate until we couldn’t move. Thanksgiving dinner never disappoints! I hope everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving; I hope you gobble til you wobble!

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