September welcomed the arrival of fall season while summer finally came to the Bay Area this month. Summer months of July and August in San Francisco were cold while September brought us beautiful warm days! We endured few uncomfortable days in the high 80’s that made it hard to sleep at night but it was mostly gorgeous afternoons in the 70’s.
September was the perfect month to take a vacation somewhere even hotter with lots of beaches. You guessed it — Hawaii! Let’s go and embrace the September heat one last time before October brings in the cozy sweater weather (which is my most favorite season of all!).
BEACH DAYS IN OAHU
♥ Our eight glorious days of beach, sun and Mai Tais on the island of Oahu were the highlights of this month. I promise to write and post many pictures of our fabulous stay at Prince Waikiki (which is now my happy place), breathtaking scenic drives, delicious eats and drinks. I am still dreaming of Hawaii right now and holding on to vacay feels despite already being back to reality.
“HAMILTON” AND HAPPY HOUR
♥ Another highlight of this month was watching the Broadway hit “Hamilton” with Jer, her husband and BFF. The voices of those actors were phenomenal! It was a glorious afternoon at the opulent Orpheum theater with my girls. Jer and I have not seen each other in a few years despite promising to hangout more often. Her sweet husband allowed us the space to enjoy a girls’ only Happy Hour at the Cadillac Bar and Grill in San Francisco after the show. It was a beautiful afternoon that ended with a promise to “do this all over again” — meaning, more girls’ time.
♥ We had one date night this September and it was at The Kebabery in Oakland. It was a nice casual dinner. I wrote a full review of this restaurant on this post. We only had one date night as Mr Sweetie was out of town on a couple of Saturdays. We were also looking forward to our vacation in Hawaii that we chose to do a movie and takeout date nights at home instead. Lazy movie and takeout dinner Saturdates are always so much fun, and I hate to admit it, one of my favorite date night activities!
NEW FOOD FINDS
And I also got to cross places off on my Foodie List!
♥ Bubbly … Honestly, the real reason why I wanted to go to Bubbly was because I really wanted to own one of the cute and reusable glass bottles from Bubbly. They are free if you buy boba. I got it but not happy with the Year of the Rat design on the bottle. You cannot choose the bottle and have to get what they have to offer that day. The boba drink itself was too sweet. I guess I have to go back to get a new design and try a different flavor.
♥ Huong Lan …for banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches) in San Jose. I had the tofu banh mi and what a disappointment! It was like eating sandpaper. This place was supposed to be good. Oh, well. I got to cross it off my list.
♥ As for another delicious eat, Mr Sweetie got me tacos from a food truck not far from our house the night before we flew to Hawaii for our vacation. And they were yummy!
DONUT AND GIRLFRIENDS
♥ BFF and Alexis paid me a visit at work and brought me a passionfruit donut from the popular Johnny’s Doughnuts in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley since they were in the area. It was a lovely warm day in San Francisco and we got to talk outside of work for about 15 minutes. I was so touched to get a short but sweet (no pun intended) visit from my friends and bearing donut at that! My girls know my heart! I am such a blessed girl to have such great friends for life!
Karma Repair (self-care)…. We reap what we sow. Taking care of our bodies translate to better health, peace and joy.
I had a couple of “me time”/ self-care/karma repair days this month because Mr Sweetie was away on a couple of business trips. I timed my days off while he was away so I could focus on me, myself and I!
♥ I got to do a lot of shopping this month. (Traveling is a good excuse to shop for new dresses and new bathing suit for Hawaii!)
♥ WEEKDAY DAY OFF…. I took a day off to apply for TSA pre . The TSA office was located in a lovely building in Alameda, CA with fountains and all! It was sunny day as you can see. I also discovered a Dollar Store not far from the place and I scored a pair of really pretty flipflops for $2 which were perfect for beach walks in Hawaii. I returned to CVS to take advantage of their summer sales which were 70 percent off on the regular prices. I also finally got to return my overdue book to the Oakland Public Library. When I got home I cooked shrimp fried rice and blogged to my heart’s desire! Needless to say, a relaxing yet productive day!
♥ SOLO FRIDAY NIGHT …. Another karma repair moment was while Mr Sweetie was away on another business trip. It fell on a Friday (9/14). I still went to work but I got to spend Friday evening by myself. Fridays are TJ Fridays for me which means I shop at Trader Joe’s to load up on yummy treats for the weekend every Friday after work. Lucky for me, TJ is just few blocks away from where I live. This particular Friday, I bough a bottle of bubbly, Kati Pouches, hummus and my favorite sesame rice crackers. I went home and ate/drank really well. (No, I did not eat all of those in one sitting!) I read “City of Girls” which is a great book, by the way. I am still reading it. I also devoured a cozy mystery. I am so addicted to those Kati Pouches that are sort of like samosas!
♥ SATURDAY “ME TIME”…. Mr Sweetie was still on a business trip. I woke up at 7:30 am which is very early for me on a weekend! I usually sleep in until at least 9 am – 10 am on Saturdays. I made myself a Vegan sausage egg cheese muffin for breakfast. After doing my chores, I finished reading Mornings On Main, ate more Kati Rolls and drank more bubbly. Mr Sweetie came home in the late afternoon but so exhausted that we stayed in and did another movie and GrubHub date night.
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♥ SHOPPING TIP: CVS Pharmacy‘s seasonal items are marked off significantly after the season. This is a great time to stock up on Christmas items for example, well, in January. Last year I bought Halloween decors for less than a dollar — even cents. I also got some summer items which I would normally never spend money on like cute ice cream cups, plastic cocktail shaker, etc but they were on sale from about $10 to a $1! Irresistible, right?!
♥ TRAVEL TIP: I highly recommend getting TSA pre for US domestic travels for US citizens. So worth it to go through the airport security checkpoint without having to take off my shoes and liquids from my luggage! I think there is a Canadian version as I first heard about this from a Canadian friend years ago. I used TSA pre for the first time when we went to Hawaii. I should have gotten it a while back as I travel quite a bit for work.
♥ TRADER JOE’S YUMMY FIND: Kati Pouches ! If there is a TJ near you and you like samosas, check out Kati Pouches. A box is about $2.50 and comes with two pouches. They have been described as Indian Hot Pockets. They are also vegan. Have I already mentioned that I am addicted?
WHAT I AM GRATEFUL FOR
I have a hundred and one reasons that I am grateful for this month of September. Actually, make that a thousand and one reasons. I am very grateful for the moments of solitude, for the days that I was able to take a break from work. To be able to read, eat well, drink well, write, just be quiet, enjoy my home and the company of my cat — these are my heart’s desires. I had plenty of these this month which fell on gorgeous sunny days as well.
I am very thankful for the love of my family, friends and Mr Sweetie, and their generous ways of showing it. I am grateful for the moments I spent with my friends such as being able to go to the theater together and visiting me at work.
I am very grateful for being able to travel and go on vacation in Oahu with Mr Sweetie, with each day of the 8 days of vacation being perfect.
Life is not perfect and I do not expect it to be. There were difficult moments this month but I would like to focus on what is good in this life despite the hardness of this world.
September was a great month, and I give thanks to God my Lord and Savior for the blessings of life, love and rest.
Thank you, September and goodbye, summer! Thank you for not being unbearably hot this year!
Hello, October! Hello, autumn, my favorite season!