Steamers Coffee & Tea Exchange

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You know the smell of Pumpkin Spice at Christmas time?  Well Starbucks has this drink where they warm some milk and mix it with those smells…then they poor it into one of those cups with a coffee collar and call it a Steamer.  I’m in love with it.  So naturally the next best thing would be a cafe called Steamers

I’m not sure yet, if Steamers serves flavored warm-milk, but I do know that among other things, you can order soup of the day, sandwiches, fries and of course burgers.  Last week I tried turkey on sourdough and it was pretty good.  My fries were warm and I watched Old Sacramento from a bar-style window seat.  After 5 minutes I had to run, which made my order-to-go-box come in handy.  A few weeks ago I picked up a Steamers scone with orange juice and hurried to work.  It’s not really the food though that keeps me coming back, but the atmosphere.

I guess I’m definitely one of those creatures of habit…or maybe not.  More a creature of adventure I guess…which is completely the opposite…but what I mean is, I enjoy finding new, comfy places to call my own and visiting them frequently.  People-watching being one of my hobbies, Steamers is instantly a comfortable place with tourists speaking in accents, regulars surfing the web, and others making small-talk at outside tables.  Everything speaks urban living which, I might add, is my favorite part about visiting any city…and all I want to do is get comfortable with a good newspaper or an empty moleskin and fountain pen.  Yep, Steamers is your typical downtown cafe and next time I’m going to ask for a warm, flavored-milk.

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Triple Date <3

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Every monthaversary Ammon and Rayla treat themselves to a night on the town eating at their favorite Mexican restaurant, La Terraza.  This Valentine’s Day they decided to mix things up with a pit-stop at Rick’s Dessert Diner in downtown Sac.  I stopped by on my way home from work to see how the evening was going.

Our brothers, Helaman and Mason, joined Ammon and Rayla for this Valentine’s celebration with their respective girlfriends, Ellen and April.  I arrived just as they were finishing off some milkshakes and tiramisu -which, I might add, was delicious.  Mason and Helaman were of course a little embarrassed to be caught on camera, but Ammon and Rayla, our favorite love-birds, were clearly used to the publicity.  Ammon related how the evening began with pizza at home and then piling into the family van to eat at Rick’s.  Finishing the night, we drank sodas and shared nachos at La Terraza.  The evening was a delicious sample of Sacramento delicacies, with understandably shy company (it’s always a little strange when your sister shows up with a camera) but they were all good sports.

Tiramisu -yum.

Rick's Dessert Diner: "...more than 285 varieties of European and American desserts, all made fresh daily from “scratch.”"

Ellen and Helaman

Of course Coca-cola.

April and Mason

Cake... Mmmm

Ammon and Rayla

Rick's Dessert Diner

Piled into the Family Van

Dining at La Terraza

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How to Celebrate your Valentine in Sacramento

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Peace Out Chocolates

Happy Valentine’s Day.  The sun is shinning, the sky is blue and my mom gave me these chocolates to celebrate.  I have no plans in particular, but I am eager to see what lovebirds will be wandering Old Sacramento this evening.  Did I tell you I work in a sock store now?  That’s right guys, Sock City in Old Sacramento!  But what I’m even more curious about is how Ammon and Rayla will be celebrating Valentine’s Day?  I’m positive we’re all curious so I promise to get and post that story by tonight.  In the mean time, I took the liberty of googling “Valentine’s Day Sacramento 2012” and here’s what I found: is featuring at least 8 events this evening from Vivian Lee at Harlow’s to Laugh’s Unlimited’s  Sacramento Love Ball and Punchline Comedy Club’s Cupid’s Comedy Allstars.  Courtyard Marriott and Hyatt Regency in Sactown are even hosting formal dinners just for you and your sweetheart.  Sigh “Ah love”.

The Legal Services of California had their 9th Annual Valentine Run this morning.

CBS Sacramento lists your Best Bets for Last Minute Valentine’s Day Gifts and Open Table makes dinner-for-two reservations easy with a list of top restaurants and reservation options.

So whether you’re in the mood for flowers & chocolate, dinner & music, running, or just laughing like crazy, Good Morning Susan’s got you covered.  If you don’t want to spend any money, I suggest snuggling up with a good chick flick or action film -if it’s your man’s turn to pick.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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The delicious Blood Orange

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First off –I don’t like oranges.  At least I thought I didn’t.

As posted before, I think it’s pretty neat that Californians can grow citrus trees in their front yards.  Lemons, grapefruit, oranges, not to mention: the Blood Orange.  I first discovered this creation one February afternoon with my friend, Cassidy.  He had a handful of oranges and offered me one.  I politely accepted the fruit –even though oranges really aren’t my favorite treat.  He told me that it was a blood orange and I was suddenly curious.  I had remembered reading about blood oranges for a school project and always wondered how they tasted.  I began to peel the fruit and was surprised when red juice started to dribble down the rind.  I soon made it to the deep red, fleshy  fruit and took a bite.  Talk about delicious: (Blood Oranges are exceptionally juicy with a sweet-tart kick).  I quickly gobbled up the fruit and couldn’t stop thinking about how good it tasted even the next day.

Now this very whole time, there had been a bowl of oranges on the table at home; but because I was so used to detesting oranges, of course I hadn’t tried one.  I later heard my brother, Kennedy, talking about how we had blood oranges and my ears perked up right away.

“We have blood oranges?!” I exclaimed.

Kennedy: “Yeah”

Me: “Alllll of these are blood oranges?”

Kennedy: “Yeah…”

Haha, and I ate about 2 or 3 of them that very afternoon.

They’re smaller than regular oranges.  I’m going to post a youtube clip of peeling a blood orange.

The funniest thing is how now, I actually like oranges.  They’ll be another comforting reminder of home to me when I’m back at the “Y”.  Back at the “Y”, Good Morning Susan: Back at the “Y”  ~Coming soon in just 7 months from now!

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Denio’s in Roseville

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Denio’s is a Famers Market & Swap Meet in Roseville, California.  Open Friday through Sunday it’s the perfect place to pick up white tees for that summer-time tie-dye party.  Oh and did I mention they sell only the best hand-dipped corndogs in the world?!  I’ve always loved corndogs but never truly loved until I tried one here.  I took these pictures months ago on a family day trip which turned out to be an absolute blast.  We drank from a coconut and lost track of the stand selling friendship bracelets with Brazilian flag beads…I will find that stand again and look for Panama.  Speaking of tie-dye, I’m feeling a party coming up in the near future.  Stay tuned for pics and how-tos on Dying techniques…cause I don’t really know that much, but I like getting color on my hands.

Also I’m going back to BYU Fall 2012 which means…(drum roll) BYU Student Living edition is coming back!  And I promise it’ll be faaaar better than those kindergarten posts from 2010.  We all know I’m a Cali-girl now.

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Why I love In-N-Out Burger

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Animal Fries with Camille

To begin with I actually don’t really care for In-N-Out Burger.  The grilled onions give me heartburn, the fries are too dry and they never have any Sprite; but in spite of the imperfections, I still love going there.  I remember when In-N-Out came to Orem, Utah.  Everyone raved about it and waited hours in line for a Double-Double sandwich, Animal fries and Neapolitan shake.  Playing along, I decided it was cool too, until one day I realized, I always felt gross after eating there.  So “Why?” you may ask, do I claim loving In-N-Out at all?  Because of the atmosphere.

The place is always open and it’s rarely as sketch as Mickey D’s.  My favorite part would have to be that it’s squeaky clean!  Now, don’t get me wrong, McDonald’s and all the other places are generally clean too, but I don’t know, it’s something about the shiny red and white tiles and sunny palm trees that make In-N-Out shine.  When midnight rolls around and we’re all in the mood for a last-minute hangout, we don’t think Taco Bell, we say In-N-Out all the way!  We’ll crowd into a row of tables and chairs and wait for our meal numbers to be called.  I admit that besides the heartburn and dry fries, I’ve come to like 7-UP, and ordering a #1 without onions usually does the trick, while animal style solves the grainy potato problem.  If there’s one thing I do love to eat at In-N-Out it’s the chocolate shakes. So all in all, that’s why I love In-N-Out Burger: it’s clean.  Oh and next time I go, I’m totally trying Beka’s recipe for Mormon Jungle Juice:

1/3 pink lemonade

2/3 sprite or 7-UP

1 juiced lemon

1 lemon dropped in the juice


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In California people grow Lemons in the yard!

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Hablo Español

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After finishing another work day at my local retail job, I eat the remains of my Chipotle dinner: Burrito carnita con salsa, queso, crema agria, arroz, frijoles negros y lechuga; oh and a fountain Coca-cola.  I originally went for Sprite (I’ve been on a Sprite kick lately) but the machine was out of syrup, so I was surprised with soda-water instead…hense the cola.  I actually love Coke, but that’s another story.

I’m writing this evening to describe an everyday experience in Northern California.  I work in retail, as noted above, and our customers, although all live in California, aren’t all originally from California.  We serve people who speak English, Spanish, Russian and a variety of other Slavic and Asian languages.  I think it’s actually really neat and one of my favorite parts about California.  America of course was born through immigration when many of our ancestors left Europe for the new world; and I appreciate and love the beautiful cultures that continue to complete our nation.

I get to use a lot of Spanish in my job, and with that comes a lot of new words.  Oh yeah, I speak Spanish, cool huh?  Haha.  Lately I’ve learned watchando which I think is more Spanglish for watching and the other word I learned today, was colchón, which means bed.  I also learned the word for size: medía*, at least, that’s what I remember the customer saying.  I can’t find it in Google Translate but it’s most-likely a new word, or one specifically from her country.  I used to be a Linguistics major, so I still have a love for language and new words.  I also used to study Arabic and heard some people speaking it or Farsi today.  I wished that I could remember my conjugations better so that I could speak to them.  Who would have known that being a cashier would teach me so much about Spanish and my community?

This is California, my California and it flows with beautiful diversity.

*Update: since this post I have learned that I heard the word for size wrong, the correct word is Medida. Thanks Carlos!

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Banana Fest

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Banana display

There were a lot of produce festivals in California this summer and Banana Fest was one of them.  My friend, Yu, sent me the link to this event after she’d heard about my trip to Tomato Fest; so we laughed and decided to go.

It happened in William Land Park and admission was a few dollars -of course this included a stamp and bananas all around.  There were lots of carnival style games for kids and a children’s theatre too.  I saw booths with art dedicated to the banana, jewelry, local businesses, banana hats; a regular community fair.

Banana stamps!

Feeling hungry, we stopped by each food stand to peruse the possibilities.  Among the usual nachos, and burritos we found a nice assortment of banana desserts like banana kabobs, and even tamales emphacizing banana leaf wrappings.  We settled on sharing some banana cookie pies after devouring a giant burrito and a plateful of nachos.

There was entertainment too and I thought the whole event was well planned.  We sat down for the end of a cooking competition and listened to a high school drumline, and professional saxophonist.

I enjoy community events whether they be centered around bananas or tomatoes.  It’s always a good and inexpensive time.  Thanks to Yu for finding this gem!

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San Francisco’s Union Square

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Union Square Christmas tree

With Thanksgiving past and Christmas fast approaching, I’ve decided to mingle my summer posts with a few current ones, otherwise I’ll forever be behind.

Here’s a post from Union Square in San Francisco:

I’ve always wanted to wear flowers in my hair, like the song, when I go to San Fran, but unfortunatly, like every other time I’ve been to the bay,  I totally forgot again.  Union Square is a fancy shopping disctrict.  You can find all the ritzy stores with stuff like $200 lacey leggings and CZ encrusted flashdrives.  Yep, Hello Kitty never looked better.


My favorite was the giant Christmas tree all decked out next to the ice skating rink.  The store I enjoyed visiting most was Macy’s: 7 stories of departent shopping delight topped off with the Cheese Cake Factory.  We indulged ourselves with dessert before dinner and drove off to the Italian district’s North Shore Pizza afterwards.

My favorite part about San Francisco is that it never ceases to surprise me.  The city is just so big!  I’ve been there three times now, but I don’t think I’ll ever know it by heart until I live there for at least a year.

"I left my heart in San Francisco"

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