whole orange cake.

one of the things i love most about living in san diego is the constant access to lemons, limes and oranges.  i'm not kidding when i say, they're everywhere.  once we have a place that's ours, i can't wait to plant a few citrus trees of our own, but for now we're happily accepting fruit from family & friends.

a few weeks ago i found myself with a ridiculous amount of oranges and too lazy to try my hand at orange marmalade, decided to try this whole orange cake recipe in the most recent sunset magazine.  i have an awesome recipe for a to-die-for lemon cake (eventually, i'll be sure to share that one as well) that sounded similar to this (minus the whole fruit), so i figured this cake was worth a shot.
honestly, if i'm going to bake any kind of cake, let it be a bundt cake.  in general, i love the way they look & how moist they tend to be.  i don't think i've ever had a dry bundt cake, have you?  this cake was no exception.  the cake was simple enough to mix together and since the oranges were added whole, there was no fussing with juicing, peeling, or zesting.  score.

we served this cake on the night of my birthday & everyone loved it.  the bitterness of the peels gave the cake a marmalade-like flavor and unlike most cakes, this one wasn't too sweet.  if i had to make any changes, i'd probably omit the frosting.  the cake can totally stand alone and would be a perfect addition to any party, potluck, or night in.  enjoy!


adventure 3 of 30: mt. woodson

 where we went: mt. woodson

the details: lately i've been hitting the local trails on a few solo adventures.  this time however, my little sister joined me for a spectacular birthday hike up the mountain.  i've been up to the top a couple times, but this was a first for little sis.  & i figured it would be an awesome way to ring in the big 3-0.

we started the hike at lake poway, a nice little park in the heart of poway, ca.  the beginning  of the hike is pretty as it wraps around the lake and easy for beginners.  as you get off the lake poway loop however, mt. woodson becomes much less forgiving.  for the most part of the hike, it's a steady uphill trek. 

we left late morning, so while it was hot it definitely wasn't ridiculous.  if for some crazy reason, you plan to make this trek in the dead of summer, make sure you have plenty of water.  there are  a few stops to rest along the way, my favorite being under the shade of a huge oak tree.

we reached the top in about 2.5 hours, making sure we stopped for water and shade a long the way.  also, i made friends with a birthday buddy (same birthday, same age, same crazy idea of fun), so we took photos of one another on potato chip rock, a popular photo op at the top of the mountain.

after taking some time for more pictures and to take in the view, we hiked back down the mountain, exhilarated, proud and so happy we took on another adventure. 
in an effort to spend more time doing what i love, i'm attempting to go on 30 different adventures over the course of 2013.

if you'd like to join me or interested to know more, you can follow my progress here.

this is adventure 3 of 30


san diego whale watching.

a couple sundays ago, a. and i went whale watching with my family.  my sister found tickets on groupon late last year and needed to redeem them before they expired in april.

lately, the marine layer around san diego has been really thick.  i'm not sure if this is a typical spring phenomenon and something i just don't remember, or if the weather's been a bit off.  either way, we arrived to the whale watching headquarters in mission bay crossing our fingers that we would find whales and the heavy fog would burn off.
the whale watching charter was san diego whale watch.  this was my first time whale watching out of mission bay, and i have to say, overall it was a great experience.  the staff was friendly, the boat clean and the narrator was ridiculously knowledgeable.  while we didn't see any whales (wha, wha) we did see plenty of dolphins and seals to keep my 4 year old nephew entertained.
the fog never really let up and while the sun popped out from time to time, it was a pretty chilly cruise.  luckily i brought a heavy fleece & managed to stay warm.  there's something magical about being on the ocean with a vast horizon of nothing but water around you.  personally, i love that feeling and enjoyed the ride despite our lack of whale sightings.
because we didn't spot any whales on the 3-hour tour, the crew passed out 50% off vouchers that we could redeem on our next voyage as we disembarked.  unfortunately, we went at the tail end of whale season, so we'll have to wait until next year to out these to use.  but don't get me wrong, we're so happy for an excuse to do this again.  we all had such a great time and agreed unanimously that this was a great way to spend a sunday morning.



march, what a month it's been.  between all the festivities, a new job, a trying to keep up with our day-to-day life, blogging as always, took the back seat.  part of me is okay with that and another bigger part of me, wishes i was a better multi-tasker & life-balancer.  but that's for another post.

currently, things around here have been wonderful, adventurous, surprising and so enjoyable.  for the most part, our weekends have been engulfed with activities, like we're desperately trying to make up for the frenzy of the week.  we had the pleasure of taking to the seas to go whale watching, hosted a couple fun family dinners & spent a few days dining out on the town.  most recently, we celebrated easter and i was shocked to walk into a fantastic thai-themed surprise party.

this month was anything but normal.  i'll share some of these adventures with you over the next couple days and hopefully some other forgotten posts that unfortunately, were left in the dark when i signed off from this space weeks ago.  

enjoy your tuesday & let's meet back here tomorrow! :)