Monday, November 7, 2016

graduation

well i never thought i'd be able to say i have a masters degree... but i do! this past august i completed a one year accelerated degree in non-profit leadership from the graduate school of social service at fordham university. one of the many perks of my job is being able to take advantage of the various graduate programs we have to offer. my program was unique in that half of the classes were offered through the graduate school of business and the other half were offered through the graduate school of social service. 

my mother, sister, brother-in-law, and nephew came up to new york city for the day and i was thrilled to have them especially since it was gregory's first time to the city. following lunch at parm and the actual graduation ceremony we spent some time in central park before heading to dinner at fred's
my roommate joined us for the day and my aunt and cousin came in for dinner. we had never been to fred's even though it's a neighborhood icon so we were excited to use this occasion to try it out. 

here are a few photos from the day!
  
 
  
 
a special thanks to everyone who supported me along the way. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

weekend getaway // sonoma

while out in sf we arranged for a little getaway to sonoma. i have been to sf a few times so i was excited to see another part of the state and unwind a bit. after doing a lot of research we decided it would be best to rent a car so we could go between the vineyards at our own pace. 

we left berkeley around eleven and stopped by park 121 for lunch. not only was this restaurant located in a cute shopping and information center, but the food was unreal. everything was locally sourced and we each loved our meals. from there we headed to kunde family winery for a mountain top tasting. the tasting started in the main building then we made our way out to tour the vineyards (they even let us taste the grapes right off the vine), the cave and the processing facilities. from there we took a small van to the top of the mountain with a few stops along the way. i think the photos speak for themselves. it was a pretty surreal feeling sitting on top of the mountain, sipping on wine and taking it all in. i've been to a few wineries over the years, but there was something special about this one. it was a wonderful way to kick off our time in sonoma.

 next, we went to robledo family winery. we were able to try a bunch of different wines and we ended up buying a few bottles to take back home (we also bought the most delicious dessert wine at kunde).  here are a few photos from our relaxing afternoon.
 
following robledo we checked into our hotel, the lodge at sonoma. we were in luck because they were having a complementary wine tasting so got each grabbed a glass and enjoyed them on their beautiful patio.
eventually, we made our way to the room and freshened up for dinner. i am lucky because a friend of mine used to live in the area so she offered us so many great recommendations for wineries and restaurants. we ended up at the girl and the fig for dinner and it was unreal. 

we slept in the next morning and made a coffee stop at dutch bros before heading to the square to enjoy window shopping and brunch at the sunflower cafe. this was another amazingly fresh and delicious meal. 
 after we had our fix of eating and shopping we headed to ravenswood winery. a few people had suggested we stop by and we were glad we did. this winery is tucked on the side of a hill and it was very cozy and quaint. after we wrapped up the tasting we decided to switch gears and head to lagunitas brewing company for some beer tasting. 
 
 our time in sonoma was jammed packed but at least for me, it still felt really relaxing. there are so many other wineries i'd love to check out that i have a feeling i'll have to head back real soon! 

Monday, October 31, 2016

happy halloween

halloween has always been one of my favorite mini holidays. i'm not sure why but i think it's so fun to dress up and see all the creative costumes. halloween in new york is the best because you see kids and people in costumes the entire day since people are out and about so much. even if you aren't dressed up it's easy to get in the spirit!

 this year i will be checking out a haunted hayride on randall's island but i thought it'd be fun to share a few photos from last year when my little sis joined me in nyc for halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2016

pumpkin patch with baby g

fall has always been my favorite time of year, especially growing up in bucks county. i try to make it home each october for a day of 'fall fun'. this year, our day consisted of a visit to the farm across the street from our house. last year, gregory was so tiny when we went pumpkin picking that he was asleep for the entire thing! this year it was pretty cool to see him exploring each part of the farm, especially because he currently loves farm animals. a few photos from our day below!
 
selfies with my main man!

  
hanging out with gregory is always the best so combining it with the fall activites pretty much made my day... or year if i'm being honest! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

quick trip to sf // mr. holmes bakehouse

i was out in san francisco for a work trip last week and i decided to extend my visit since my younger sister recently moved out to berkeley to pursue her master's degree. once work wrapped up and before heading out to see my sister, a friend and i went to mr. holmes bakehouse. conveniently located right around the corner from our hotel we were up early because of the time change and were able to walk right in to get some pastries. after purchasing our treats we learned that the famous chuffin the shop is known for doesn't come out until 9 a.m. since i had nowhere to be i agreed to wait in line while my friend went to do some sight seeing.  
my pre-cruffin treats consisted of a churro croissant, which is a croissant filled with dulce de leche, and a choux bomb, which is essentially a cream puff with coffee filling. my friend tried the pecan pie donut and one of the savory breakfast pastries - both of which she loved!
when it was finally time to get the cruffins it was neat because eater was there doing a piece on this famous dessert. they brought out the pastry chef for some photos so it was fun to watch all that unfold as i was checking out. the bakehouse only has one flavor of cruffin per day so i bought two (that's the limit per customer) of the apple cardamom. 
over the course of the day we shared the treats and the best, hands down, was the croissant. i don't think i've ever had a better croissant (outside of paris) and that's saying a lot because they have become one of my favorite desserts over the past few