Hoppy Rhapsody

I remember my first sip of IPA. I had just moved to San Diego and I had never tried a hoppy beer. John’s favorite beer at the time was Stone’s IPA and it was with him that I tried it for the first time. He told me what IPA meant and the whole story of how hops were added in the beer in order to allow the beer to make the long journey from England to India. I remember tasting the bitterness of the hops and grimacing in disapproval. People drink this for enjoyment?

Fast forward five years and I am officially a hop lover. I’ve learned to differentiate styles and flavors in beer. It’s not surprising that I’m a beer fan since we live in America’s Beer Capital – however, personally I’ve had a really cool beer journey. From not being a beer drinker (ever!) to living on 30th street (home of so many breweries), to going back home to Mexico and noticing how the craft beer movement is catching up down there… so awesome. I’m a little bit of a snob but not in a negative pretentious way, if that makes any sense.. I know that craft beer tastes better if it is poured in the proper glass so I rarely drink from the bottle anymore, yet I can still sip on Pacifico’s on the beach on a warm day. It’s just so neat to learn and understand a beverage. What goes into it, the passion behind the brewers who make it, the combination of ingredients…All great things take time and effort and I find value in the art of crafting beer.

IMG_1627
Image via @lalo1981_

 

Here are my 5 favorite IPA’s right now – all so delicious!

1. Insurgente La Lupulosa – American IPA – 5 Hops – Fruity – Malty – Hints of Caramel – Made in Mexico (YES!).

2. Modern Times Booming Rollers – American IPA – Citrus – Tropical – Refreshing – “Light” Bitterness.

3. Pizza Port Lono – Mango IPA – Silky – Golden – Juicy – Well Balanced – Robust – You can actually taste the M A N G O!

4. Alpine Nelson – Golden Rye IPA – New Zealand Hops – European Rye – Malty Flavor – Dry Hopped.

5. Stone Japanese Green Tea Collaboration – Herbal & Hoppy – Bitter Finish – Light – Dry – Grassy.

Cheers!

Trader Joe’s Finds & Faves

I’ve heard people say (mostly girls but I’m sure it applies to most of us) that it’s hard for them to leave Target without buying something that they didn’t even need. Yes. Guilty. I do have to say though that I’m pretty good at just walking straight to the aisle or department of the item that I need, grabbing it and heading to the registers. I don’t really browse at Target that much. Take me to Trader Joe’s though and it’s a totally different story.

Trader Joe’s is my Target. Obsessed! I walk down every aisle, EVERY time. We don’t really do our groceries there, Sprouts is cheaper and less tempting for me. Not to mention they do bulk so that’s that. Anyways back to Trader Joe’s. I’m a fan. When we lived in Hillcrest we used to live so close to one that I’d pretty much go every day. Now that we’re further I don’t find myself going as much but when I do I make sure to take my time and check out any new stuff and pick out some of our TJ staples. Here are some gems from my latest visit:

IMG_0158

1. Organic Baked Teriyaki Tofu – I love how it’s already pressed and seasoned. Perfect for when I don’t have the time to press and marinade a regular block. It’s a couple of dollars more than just their regular tofu but so worth it!

2. Cold Pressed Juices – Looks like TJ’s caught on the juice craze and went their own route. The juices are delicious, made with only fruits and vegetables and cold pressed. They’re 5.99 a piece which is cheaper than the cold pressed competition.

3. Inner Peas & Inner Beans – We’re quite the snackers over here so I’m always looking out for healthy snack finds. We love snacking on nuts, hummus, baby carrots and these crunchy peas. This was the first time I bumped into the beans which I’m pretty sure will live up to their name.

4. Preserved Tunisian Lemon Slices – I was totally wooed by the presentation of these bad boys. The slices look perfect and so pretty! Not to mention I have had my eye on this Cauliflower Cous Cous with Preserved Lemons and Chickpeas Recipe.

5. Almond Butter – Gimme that! Nut butters are a staple in our kitchen and this one is hands down our favorite. No fake ingredients and so delicious. We get one or two jars every time.

6. Roasted Seaweed – Put some hummus on it and eat it!

IMG_0159

7. Japanese Green Tea IPA by Stone – IT’S BACK! Boo-yah! John and I were on a serious beer hunt for this beer when this came out about 3 years ago. I’m a big green tea fan so I knew I had to try it. I didn’t even know that they had released it again and BAM! There it was. Happy early Valentine’s Day to me!

Weekend Happenings

We finally made it to Popotla for lunch! Sitting on a plastic chair by the beach, drinking Tecates and eating seafood in Popotla had been on John’s bucket list for a while. Sienna still hates the car seat so some parts of the little excursion weren’t super fun but it was worth it! The food was delicious, there was no line at the border to cross back and if you follow me on IG you probably saw that Charlie met a pig… it was pretty hilarious.

IMG_0029

I tried this delicious hummus trio and did some work for the next issue of the “La Vida Vegan” column. I can’t reveal the spot I picked yet but… it will be awesome! Also, for the March issue I will be one of the featured contributors so make sure you pick up a copy!

I got Sienna ready and all dolled up for a bridal shower that we had on Saturday. My cousin got her this cute dress from Du Pareil Au Meme for Christmas and I was waiting for a special day to put it on her. Unfortunately, the outing ended up being a total #fail. Her naps have been funky and she’s starting to teeth so she had a Meltdown with a capital “M” that ended up with her napping at home while John watched her and me arriving at the shower almost two hours late. It’s true – having a baby is amazing but there are definitely days that totally go wrong. How cute did she look though? :)akeout from Tajima on Saturday night. Enough said.

Babies and beers at the Modern Times Flavordome. I know I mention this place pretty often. It’s really close to our house and my friend Andrew works the bar so it’s pretty much our go to. Also #allthebeer that they make is delicious. And their typography is pretty. And Sienna loves the lights in there. Sold.

We went to the San Diego Zoo! Sienna loved it! Her favorite part had to be the aviary. At her age she couldn’t really “see” a lot of the bigger animals so she loved just being around all of the plants and sounds inside the aviary. She spent most of our visit with John holding her and they had a great time together. Sienna met her little cousin David visiting from New Jersey. His mom is my first cousin and it was great to catch up with her and her husband. John and I don’t have family living in San Diego so it’s nice being able to spend time with our families whenever they visit. I grew up surrounded by so many cousins! Luckily we have a lot of close friends in San Diego already so I am sure that Sienna will have a good amount of company around her as she grows up.

IMG_0033

Lazy Girl Chipotle Chili

When John goes out of town for work I rock my lazy girl lifestyle. My daily priorities are the same (i.e cooking, working, keeping the house in order, getting a good dose of exercise, getting some vitamin D by stepping outside for at least a small chunk of our day…) but my pace definitely changes. I feel confident in being able to take care of Sienna by myself but I have to admit that days are a little more stressful and tiring when I’m playing single parent.

I don’t get my little morning break where I can walk Charlie or where I can go for a run. I don’t have a partner who will get up and give Sienna her pacifier at night if she cries. I have to bring my A game and make sure that Sienna is getting everything she needs so I take a little more relaxed approach to my day in order to keep my anxiety levels at a minimum.

I keep my lululemon pants on all day. I put my hair in a high bun. I don’t put on my contact lenses. And most importantly – I bring my trusted friend the crockpot out to help me with dinner.

IMG_9782

This is a take on regular bean chili just a little more Mexican(ized). Perfect for a hearty and comforting dinner after taking care of a baby all day. A glass of wine to accompany it is highly recommended.

Lazy Girl Chipotle Chili – Yields about 6 cups – Vegan – Gluten Free

Ingredients:

  • 1 large zucchini – cubed
  • 1 medium russet potato – cubed
  • 1 small sweet onion – finely diced
  • 15 cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 1 jalapeño – minced
  • 1 can of black beans – rinsed and drained
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans – rinsed and drained
  • 2.5 cups of veggie broth
  • 1 pack of Chipotle Chili Salsa (I use this one brand because who doesn’t love Rick Bayless? – Also, no fake ingredients.)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 lime
  • cilantro for garnish
  • avocado for garnish

Directions:

Add all ingredients to the crockpot – cook on low for 10 hours or high for about 5 (just check for desired consistency). Adjust seasonings. Serve in bowls and garnish with avocado, a splash of lime and cilantro.

Buen Provecho!

Virtual Coffee Date

I’ve been following Jenna over at Eat, Live, Run for over two years. She started out blogging about recipes (which are all yum!), health and fitness. She now has a baby boy so her blog has evolved into more of a family + lifestyle site. She’s genuine in her posts and I really enjoy reading her so I highly recommend you guys check her site out. She writes these posts sporadically called “Virtual Coffee Dates” where she has a chat with her readers as if they were sitting in the same room, sharing a cup of coffee. I’m borrowing her idea and doing something similar over here at Bare Wanderings… So here we go:

IMG_8982

If we were having coffee today I’d tell you that 4 month sleep regression is real and kicking my butt! It’s funny how your personal dictionary adds a number of terms to it that you would never even think existed when it comes to raising a baby: growth spurt, overtired, overstimulated, sleep regression, nap time schedule, baby led weaning… the list goes on and it is serious! None of these are to be taken lightly. Sienna gifted us with good chunks asleep since she was born and was already sleeping through the night at two months. Lately though, it’s getting cray cray at night again. It’s a battle of keeping her pacifier in so she can soothe herself back to sleep. That or I can just hear her on the monitor cooing to herself and babbling (which is pretty freaking adorable). She’s so much fun lately though, which I guess makes up for the lack of sleep.

I’d tell you that one of my favorite beers in San Diego right now is Modern Times’s Universal Friend. If you’re into craft beer, you.must.try.it. It’s a saison that has been made with grape must. I liked the Chardonnay version but yesterday I tried the Merlot one and oh em gee. It was perfect. So light and crisp.

I’d tell you that my motivation for running has been lacking and I’m hoping it gets better. Running has become such an important part of my life in the past 5 years. Nothing compares to the feeling of crossing the finish line during a race, specially when growing up you sucked at running and thought that you’d never be able to do it “properly” – whatever that means. I’m training for the Rock’N’Roll Half coming up on May 31st. It’s a race I’ve always wanted to run so I hope that I am just going through a weird funk. It’s definitely more challenging now that I have Sienna, I am more tired throughout the day but I just have to make sure I make time to work out. It sounds counter intuitive but it really does help me rest better and I release a good amount of stress. I need a running buddy. Who’s in?

I’d tell you that Andie Mitchell’s book “It Was Me All Along” blew my mind. I literally finished it in two days. The book is a memoir and story of her weight loss journey & recovery from an eating disorder. She is so honest and open about something that so many people battle with. The book isn’t exclusively catered to people who have suffered from an eating disorder. She talks about things that most of us deal with in our lives like anxiety, social pressure and dysfunctional families…So I am pretty sure everyone can relate at some point. Kudos to you Andie, you are definitely my #wcw.

Lastly, I would tell you that I am very excited about our next family trip to Mexico. Going back home in December was stressful but I think it will be better this time around. It was great seeing everyone and I love going home for Christmas as ALL of my family gets together, we’re scattered in different countries so it’s always so nice to reconnect with everyone. However, it was Sienna’s first trip and I am a major control freak (working on it) so from getting on a plane to dealing with putting her on her schedule down there, my anxiety level was through the roof. I’m sure it will be different now that I know what to expect. We are attending my cousin’s wedding and traveling to Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende. John has never been there and it’s been a while since I have visited those two cities so I can’t wait.

See you next coffee date!