Oh the Places our Cookies Will Go…

Summer is all about seeking adventure, and what’s better than exploring our own backyard? There are several places in Santa Cruz to sight see (the most obvious being the beach), yet I always forget about the beautiful mountains we are surrounded by. I quickly made a list of hiking spots I wanted to visit. My first stops were Big Basin and Castle Rock (UH-MAZING views of Santa Cruz mountains). While there are more places on my list, there was one in particular I have dreamed of exploring and it’s a wee bit outside of Santa Cruz…Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite National Park

To many surprise, I had never been to Yosemite. I know it’s a bucket list destination, so I thought this summer was the perfect time to go. I pitched the idea to a dear friend of mine and I was thrilled when she said she was on board! We set a date and I began counting down the days! The night before our trip, we made a quick stop to the grocery store to stock up on snacks and fresh produce for our sandwiches (my friend and I both have a sweet tooth, so of course I brought cookies!). We called it a night, knowing we were going to start our day early.

Early morning came and I was eager to get on the road. We put on our hiking gear, loaded up our backpacks and we were on our way! Once we reached Mariposa County, I knew we were getting closer. The drive down the valley was absolutely beautiful! We hadn’t even made it to the park entrance and I wanted to stop at every turn to take a picture. The sound of the water flowing down the Merced River was so soothing and tranquil. I couldn’t wait for everything else that was to come!

Yosemite Falls

We made it to the park just before 8 AM and parked near Yosemite Falls. I was in awe of my surroundings – sky high rocks, the fresh smell of pine trees and the soft sound of distant waterfalls. We took a few moments to appreciate the beauty of the valley floor and Yosemite Falls.

Vernal Falls – Mist Trail

We decided to hike to the top of Vernal Falls via the Mist Trail. The trail was no walk in the park (pun intended). While the views were breathtaking, it was definitely a workout! The last half mile is quite steep, with over 600 granite rock steps! At this part of the trail, you will learn first hand why it is called the Mist Trail. With temps in the mid 90’s, the drizzle of Vernal Falls felt cool and refreshing. We were enjoying the mist, so we paused for a quick power snack.

It was so rewarding making it to the top of the waterfall. Having close to no hiking experience, it was quite the accomplishment and I felt an instant sense of peace and relaxation. The panoramic views were like a painting – something you think you can only see in a museum and cannot touch, yet there we were admiring every piece of it with all our senses.

View from top of Vernal Falls

After our hike, we ate our lunch and decided to explore the valley floor which included peaceful meadows, distant views of Half Dome and lots of squirrels! We learned so much about this historic park by visiting the Yosemite Museum, Yosemite Village and the Ansel Adams Gallery (and of course made a pit stop to the gift shop!).

Until the next visit, Yosemite!

I cannot describe enough how beautiful Yosemite is, and how much MORE there is to explore! I am so eager to go again. If you have not been, I encourage you to go like right now! It is SO worth the drive and SO fulfilling for your soul. My suggestions: get there early, pack lots of snacks and water, and take LOTS of pictures!

Follow the Dessert Crazed Road?

I am ALL about desserts (one would hope that one who works at a bakery has a sweet tooth) – cookies, brownies, candy, chocolate dipped anything, you name it. I am always on the hunt for the new dessert craze.

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse – San Francisco

My friends and I ventured to San Francisco to stop by Mr. Holmes Bakehouse. We heard lots of great things about this bakery, and of course looked at all their mouth-watering pictures on Instagram (seriously, check out their Instagram, here). They offer a bunch of sweet treats – cream filled donuts, chocolate croissants, cheese danishes, etc. What they are really known for and what causes a line to swing around the building is their “Cruffin” – a cross between a Croissant and a Muffin. Once we saw the photos, we knew we had to try them. We followed the advice of Yelpers and arrived at the bakery at 9 AM. We anticipated the long line, so we patiently waited for our turn to select our treats.

We waited about 20 minutes in line before making it to the counter. Alas! A plethora of sweet treats. We strictly went for the Cruffins, but there were other treats that certainly caught our attention, like the churro flavored croissants and strawberry cream filled donuts. We made our selections and watched in awe (think heart-eyed emoji) as the employee carefully packaged our treats and handed us our box.

Meet the Cruffins

The Cruffins (think muffin shaped croissant with cream filling and sprinkled with sugar) were absolutely delicious! We ate them quickly and tried our other delights as well. My sweet tooth was VERY pleased! Here are a few pictures courtesy of their website (you can visit their website here).

Will you follow the road?

If you’re into the dessert craze, I suggest stopping by Mr. Holmes Bakehouse! Take a look at their Instagram and definitely do some Yelp research before heading there for tips on parking, best time to go, and fan favorites. I promise you will not be disappointed! Off to research my next dessert adventure!

Happy National Mimosa Day!

Happy National Mimosa Day!

Boy, there sure is a National Holiday for everything nowadays, right?! Well, today is no different! May 16th has been deemed National Mimosa Day! Mimosas are the epitome of a simple cocktail – equal parts of champagne and orange juice. They are essential for a Sunday brunch gathering.

Introducing: The Mimosa Bar

My family is big on dessert bars – brownies, cupcakes, cake pops and COOKIES of course (lots of Dr. Midnight fans in my household). With Mother’s Day coming up, my sister and I wanted to switch things up. We scaled down on our dessert bar (cake pops and cookies “only”), and introduced our very own Mimosa Bar!


With a couple bottles of champagne and orange juice, we set up our bar for our guests to create their very own mimosa! For garnish, we included an array of Driscoll’s berries (strawberries, raspberries and blackberries). Our Mimosa + Dessert bar was a hit! I paired my mimosa with a Lemon Drop cookie, while my Mom paired hers with Oatmeal Raisin (the only cookie she says is justifiable to eat for breakfast).



Create your own Mimosa Bar!

While easy to make, mimosas are always open to interpretation. Not a fan of orange juice? No problem! You can really substitute with any juice you’d like! I suggest mango or cranberry juice. As far as champagne, you can use whichever bubbles that quench your thirst. I suggest stopping by a local winery and tasting their champagne! I love Kirigin Cellars and their champagne is fabulous! Perhaps you’re not a fan champagne? Many restaurants are now putting their own spin on the classic mimosa by substituting champagne for BEER! Try making one at home with equal parts beer and orange juice (light beer works best).

Next time you’re hosting brunch, give a Mimosa + Dessert bar a try! Paired with the right treats, mimosas are a sure way to get the party started. Can we cheers to that?!