Carmel By The Sea

I am just now getting back into work mode after a wonderful two weeks off from work. Being back to work is bitter sweet; I loved having so much time off with my husband exploring the coast of California and then ending our wonderful vacation with a weekend trip with the family in Mexico. However, since I can’t travel full time (who doesn’t want to do that right?!) I have to get back to the daily grind and save for our next excursion.

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Carmel was quite the surprise. I heard it was a favorite for so many but when we got there, I couldn’t believe how lovely it really was. I instantly fell in love. This town by the sea is so charming that we ended up spontaneously booking a night there after two nights in Marina. We stayed at Colonial Terrace Inn By The Sea. It was so stinking cute, the only negative thing about this place was that the walls were SOOO thin, you literally could hear any outside activity. However, it was so quaint I would stay there again. Carmel is the perfect place to stay if you’re traveling the coast from San Francisco to Big Sur area. Only two hours south of San Francisco and under an hour north of Big Sur.

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We asked locals where to eat when we were there and they suggested Em Le’s for brunch as well as Little Swiss Cafe. Both were exceptional! We then stumbled upon Carmel Valley Coffee for some cappuccinos and the best chicken pesto panini I have ever had. Also, If you’re in Carmel you must make a stop into Barmel for some drinks and for their Chicharones. The freshest fried pork belly I’ve ever had once again. We really wanted to try their ramen with egg but they we’re out so they comped us with delicious steak sandwiched made by the restaurant they owned next door. I could have spent hours in that bar.

Unfortunately we didn’t take any photos of the food with our camera, just my husbands phone and we lost ALL, I mean ALL the photos and videos from our whole Cali trip while in Mexico because the phone somehow rebooted and didn’t save anything. After almost crying about it, my husband promised we would go back so that we can experience it all over again. Never rely on phones..always save your photos on a hard drive after vacations. #LessonLearned ;(

We spent most of our short time there just walking the streets and eating a lot! I’ve never seen so many different types of flowers in a town. They were literally everywhere and I had hundreds on his phone. ;(  The locals are seriously so lucky they get to live in paradise and I kept asking my husband to find someone to adopt us there! hahaha

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I absolutely recommend staying in Carmel if you plan a trip to California. You will not be disappointed. I will be adding different posts up these next 2 weeks of all of our travels throughout Cali and Mexico. There are soooooooo many pictures and videos to go through :)

Happy Thursday Friends, the weekend is near.

xo – Roxy

San Francisco Dreaming

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Photo and edit by my love

This quote perfectly sums up the wonderful week my husband and I spent cruising the gorgeous coast of California.  It was one of the most exciting road trips we’ve ever taken. The weather in the constant low 80’s was a relief from the scorching 100’s we’ve had here in Arizona, we were ready to explore everything.

We flew into San Francisco last Saturday morning and could barely wait to pick up our rental before heading for the city. When we checked into Park Central Hotel , we were asked if we wanted an upgrade from our 5th floor to their highest level for an additional $30, I did not hesitate. They upgraded us to the 34th floor, their highest floor, and my goodness those views of the city and the bay peeking behind it were spectacular!! If only we had more than a night to enjoy those views, we would not have wanted to leave our room that day.

I love how this city is so vibrant and alive! From the different cultures and neighborhoods, to the eclectic foods,  San Francisco is one of the culinary capitals of the world and the foodie in me is always happy there. This is our second visit to this city and we can’t wait to return. The fresh dungeness street crab, clam chowder in their famous sourdough bowls and the overall vibe of being in the center of it all makes it one of my favorite cities.

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1. Golden Gate Bridge – If you’re in San Francisco, you must drive over the bridge and if you have time to watch the sunset from Golden Gate Heights Park

2.Fisherman’s Wharf – Walk the pier, listen to live music on the streets, browse all the different shops, and eat a lot (make sure to get the whole cracked crab w butter and a clam chowder bowl from Sabella & Latorre – it’s amazing)

3. Chinatown -The largest Chinatown outside of Asia, San Francisco’s Chinatown is a great place for some cheap souvenirs and great food among many other things. Chinatown is located in downtown San Francisco, and covers 24 square blocks. It is within an area of roughly 1 mile long by 1.34 miles wide.

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I hope everyone has a wonderful rest of this week! I’m headed to Mexico in the mornin :)

Roxy

Orange – Honey baked Salmon

oh boy, Arizona is heating up!!!!

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So this past Sunday was spent indoors all day working on my etsy shop and making delightful recipes. I made a healthy chicken and avocado salad, fresh fruit lemonade for some much needed refreshments and for dinner we made a delicious Honey – Orange Salmon with veggies and rice in a pineapple for the finishing touches of our Hawiian feast. We are heading to Hawaii in 23 days so eating healthy lately has been a must! It’s tough because I’ve always hated watching what I eat and haven’t been a big fan of working out either, but making this a priority lately hasn’t been as difficult as I thought. I wanted to try something Hawaiian inspired and knew I had to incorporate a pineapple. Always fun experimenting in the kitchen.

 

Salmon

Ingredients:  (4 servings)

Cooking time: 15 minutes  /  Prepping time: 5 minutes

  • 4 salmon fillets (about 6 oz each one)
  • Salt and black pepper or black pepper and Vegeta
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • 4 slices fresh orange

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  2. In a large baking dish place the salmon fillets. Season each fillet with salt and pepper or pepper and vegeta.
  3. In a small bowl mix the orange juice and honey. Divide the mixture on top of the salmon fillets. Then top each fillet with 1 orange slice.
  4. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through.

Veggies

Ingredients:  (4 servings)

Cooking time: 25 minutes  /  Prepping time: 5 minutes

  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 meduim yellow squash, sliced about 1/2” thick
  • 2 medium cups crimini mushrooms cut in half
  • Sea salt
  • Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp water

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 F.
In a casserole dish , pour the olive oil. Dump all the veggies on the tray and mix, using your hands, until well coated with the oil. Sprinkle a bit of salt over the top, and the Italian Seasoning, too. Mix again using your hands until well coated. Spread veggies out and put in the oven for 15 minutes covered. Add the 2 tbsp of water then roast another 10 minutes uncovered.

 

For the rice, I used a bag of Knorr Fiesta Sides Spanish Rice and presented it in a pineapple. Simple yet very tropical.

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The weather in Phoenix has been in the teens and we are burning up and are ready for a breezy 80 degrees constant next month. Hope you all have a wonderful week! <3

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Sedona Highs

This past Saturday we went on a day trip and flew to Sedona, it was hands down the most amazing time; nothing beats seeing this town from the air. All thanks to my husband’s stepbrother Ezi; he made this wonderful day possible for us. First off, I did not expect Sedona to be more beautiful than I already thought it was. It was so much more grand and lush soaring above those beautiful red rocks. When visiting, an airplane tour is definitely a must to be able to really take in Sedonas beauty. I found Sedona Air Tours site that does helicopter and plane tours over Sedona for a pretty good rate. I would love to see the Grand Canyon in a helicopter <3

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After a short 40 minutes, we landed at Sedona Airport which is located on top of a high mesa overlooking a major portion of the city. One of the best airport landing strips I’ve ever seen! We rented a car and headed for some coffee with the lovely red rocks within our view, took a nice stroll through L’Auberge grounds for some creekside relaxation and then a quick dip in the water with my feet. We ended it at Cathedral Rock and just took in the breathtaking views. It was a perfect day to say the least.

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Have a WONDERFUL week :)

Amalfi Coast

“Please be a traveler, not a tourist. Try new things, meet new people, and look beyond what’s right in front of you. Those are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in”

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While we were in Italy we tried to see and visit as many places as possible and it still didn’t satisfy my wanderlust. I am so thankful to have been able to see more than most at 30 and I still can’t get enough. With every country we’ve visited it just adds fuel to my desire to keep traveling. While in Ravello, we spent several hours in Amalfi before our departure to Rome. We had some time to stop and enjoy an oceanfront lunch at Lo Smeraldino for some fish and wine. Note to all before traveling: Wine is never a bad idea.

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After a bottle of wine; we were feeling wonderful. Walking by the shore; the water was freezing in May but that didn’t stop me from dipping my feet in and just taking in our view. Often did I find myself looking around and wondering how lucky I was to yet again explore such a breathtaking town. If only we could find a way to make Italy our permanent home, I would be in paradise.

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Until next time Italy…..

Blue Ridge Reservoir Day Trip

Two weekends ago we had a huge getaway planned for some camping and exploring the greater outdoors of Blue Ridge Reservoir. That Saturday we picked up our rental, got it all packed with our supplies and headed out. Little did we know it would be the worst possible weekend: when I asked siri for weather in Coconino that prior Friday it showed it would be sunny and wonderful weather however, I must have been in a rush because I didn’t check the day prior. It ended up raining off and on, then even hailing and the weather forecast for the next few nights were looking pretty harsh, so after hours spent off-roading and stopping for some fresh air and photographs we decided to head back home. I still had the most wonderful time despite the rain canceling our plans. It was a lovely day trip!

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The drive through the woods and into Blue Ridge was something we’re definitely doing again. This canyon is breathtaking and kayaking throughout it would be such an adventure.For anyone who wants to be surrounded by the forest, this narrow canyon provides a secluded feeling of escape.

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Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world. – John Muir

Jade & Nala

I can say we are so in love with our new babies, they are the sweetest most playful little fur balls and I cannot get enough playtime with them. Two weekends ago we went up north for a planned kayaking and camping getaway but the weather had other plans. We ended up coming back home and that evening we adopted these two little sisters from a friend. Thanks Mary, we couldn’t be happier to have these cuties!

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They were six weeks old when we brought them home and seeing their progression with eating solid foods and pretty much taking over our apartment has been such an experience. I am so sad to see how much bigger they’re getting week to week so we’ve been filling up our camera and go pro with pictures/videos galore. The Sirghi household is complete :)

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They got a visit from the #SirghiClan

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Yes! I was that person... I couldn't resist

Yes! I was that person… I couldn’t resist

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Pipeline Canyon Trail

Sometimes you just need to unplug from everyday life and just go on a nature hike. I love discovering new trails and living so close to the lake is such a plus for me, nothing I love more than being surrounded by water. I recently hiked Pipeline Canyon Trail at Lake Pleasant and I must say, it was so beautiful I did not want to leave. I never go hiking solo but my husband was at work and I just needed to get out of the house and go wander around and play with my camera. This trail is just the perfect place to do just that, spending hours just taking in the beauty of the desert is exactly what I needed on a Monday off. Hope everyone has a wonderful rest of the week. It’s almost Friday and we have a wonderful three days off planned with camping, kayaking and just relaxation up north.

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Birthday Picnic Photo Shoot

This Monday is my niece Alexa’s birthday and she turns the big 5! I’ve been wanting to finally start taking some portrait photography and I have to say, I loved it! I had so much fun with this family shoot!  First of all, they are my family and so knowing them makes for a fun and easy photo shoot!  My husband and I had the best time with these little nuggets and they nothing but perfect. They had a sleepover at our apartment Friday night, we had late night pizza and beauty and the beast captivated our attention before fatigue set in and they were sprawled out by the end of the night. :)

The next morning consisted of watching cartoons and Alexa and I making flower crowns together before we were off to Estrella Lake. She has an obsession for flower crowns and I couldn’t be happier since I do as well. I wasn’t sure exactly how I wanted the setup to look but once we arrived I saw the perfect spot near the lake surrounded by palm trees, it instantly came to me. While I set up, with the go pro in hand, my husband led them exploring. I later on watched their videos he let them recorded and it had me laughing so hard. I will be editing those next week and will have it posted because they were too cute not to share!

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Shortly after setting up they were more than thrilled when I mentioned it was time for cake. She had been talking about wanting to eat the cake all morning, hahaha. So thankful my husband was there to help me with them and drive us around for the day. You da best! <3 We are excited to start planning the next photo shoot. I have so many ideas I cannot wait. We took so many photos between the two of us (thanks Chris and Ligia for the second canon it came in so handy)

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Thank you Alexa and Tristan for being fun perfect angels. Happy Birthday Alexa.

Easter Sunday

Every Easter my parent’s house is packed with little minions running around, delicious Romanian/Traditional American cuisines, and my sisters always seem to surprise with baby pets. Last year there were two baby bunnies and this year two baby ducks and a cuddly bunny. I am a sucker for any little fury animal, I cannot wait to welcome a baby kitten to our family in a month. This Sunday was so fun, especially with those little guys around; seeing my nieces and nephews love on them like I did made my day.

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I love my parent’s back yard, the endless fruit trees makes it feel like Seattle and I love that! The weather was so lovely and being surrounded by family on such a joyous occasion, made this the ultimate Easter for me.These nieces and nephews of mine are just too perfect I couldn’t stop snapping away.

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I am excited for a busy week ahead by planning a photo shoot for my niece. I’ve been on a constant search for the perfect location. I envision wildflowers and a lake nearby but I have not found any place nearby. That means nonstop adventures in secluded areas to find the perfect spot. So you will be seeing tons of photos coming soon on Instagram. Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! ~Roxy