Must Do, See and Eat in San Francisco || Travel Guide
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Matthew surprised me with a trip to San Francisco for our wedding anniversary and we loved every second of it! I wanted to create a list of things we enjoyed doing, seeing and - most importantly - eating!! It's such a diverse city and rich with culture so be sure to add it to your bucket list!! All locations mentioned will be linked to google maps. You're welcome. ;)

Before we jump into it here's a few tips! We stayed in a darling AirBNB in Oakland, but if we could change one thing about our trip it'd be to stay in the city so we didn't have to cross the bridge every day. It took a lot of time from our day and we just didn't feel as safe as we would have liked to. There were some amazing restaurants we got to try in Oakland though, so not too mad about it! We didn't rent a car and just took an Uber or Lyft if we were tired of walking, which I would recommend because parking is crazy! Plus, they have those cameras that take pictures of the plates and mail you traffic violation tickets. No thanks! They have great scooters you can rent for $1 with an app on your phone to ride around the city and we had so much FUN doing that! Make sure to check the weather before packing to make sure your prepared! It turned out to be a LOT colder than we expected and I was so glad I brought my heavy coat with me! Okay, now that we've covered some of the basics, let's jump into the fun stuff!! 

 

MUST DO + See:


Fisherman's Wharf:

We loved walking around Fisherman's Wharf! There's street performers everywhere that are entertaining and a fun way to pass free time. They also have a vintage arcade called, Musée Mécanique that is CRAZY! There's lots of seafood and amazing restaurants to try as well!! This was Matthew's favorite spot of the trip. Watching the street performers do their thing. 

Ghirardelli Square:

Just down a ways from the wharf is Ghirardelli Square. You HAVE to go check it out and try some of Ghirardelli's famous ice cream creations and sample their yummy chocolate! I had the BEST rocky road ice cream in a waffle cone! I never got any pictures of the things we ate because I was too excited to eat them to think to take a picture. Hahaha! Story of my life. There are other fancy restaurants and shops, too! We saw a few street vendors at the park there and you can board the cable car to take you downtown!

Golden Gate Bridge:

Have you really been to SF if you didn't see and walk across the Golden Gate Bridge? I mean, come on!! It's even more majestic in person! I couldn't believe how massive the bridge really is!! I have a fear of heights and bridges can sometimes give me anxiety because of that, but I felt very safe the entire time! Watching the maintenance workers walking on the outside of the bridge? Not good for my anxiety. Haha! 

Baker Beach:

Another great view of the Golden Gate Bridge is from Baker Beach. WARNING: You are very likely to see nude men laying, roaming, and splashing around on this beach. Go early in the morning to avoid them if you can! Because it really is a beautiful beach and view of the bridge!

Pier 39:

This is probably the most touristy part of SF, but it's adorable none the less! Total beach carnival feels. The funnest shops, eateries, attractions and most delicious fresh fruit stand where Matthew purchased the best mango of his life. It was nearly the size of his head!!! No joke. There are also seals that come chill on the docks. They stink and they're loud, but it's still quite the spectical! Ha!

Original Cable Car:

One more time: Have you really been to SF if you didn't ride the Cable Car? We almost skipped this one and I'm SO GLAD we didn't! It's the LAST cable car of it's kind still running, in the entire world! The cables that move the cars actually run underneath the streets. It's nuts!! You can hop on it in multiple locations, but we decided to ride it from Market + Powell to Pier 39 where we had our anniversary dinner date that night!

Chinatown:

Okay. We totally felt like we stepped into China when we got here. Try to enter through the Dragon Gate and get a picture in front of it! There are tons of shops and places to eat here. We bought some Chinese fruit cake that was...interesting. Haha!! But I love trying new things and experiencing cultures this way! Especially through their unique foods!They only accept cash there, so make sure you bring some if you want to buy trinkets and yummy food! I'll share the restaurant we tried and loved further down on this post! 

Alcatraz Island Tour:

This was HANDS DOWN my favorite part of the trip. We took a cruise ship over to the island, and as soon as we set foot on it I was completely blown away with it's beauty! The natural aging of the buildings told a story and the landscape was absolutely breathtaking!! I seriously took hundreds of photos. This isn't even all of them. We did the audio tour of the actual prison, and it was crazy to think about all of the prisoners who once lived there. I don't want to spoil any of the tour, but I'm telling you, you have to check it out!!

Mission District:

This area felt like we walked into little Mexico! Matthew and I love some good authentic Mexican food and it was everywhere! Our favorite that we tried is listed below. There's Mission Delores Park that has a stunning view of the city and a fun playground for kiddos. We also stopped to see the oldest church in SF that was built in the late 1700's, but later found out we took a picture by the big newer one next door and missed the old one completely. Haha!! If I learned one thing over and over again on this trip, it's that I have no sense of direction in unfamiliar places. 

Painted Ladies:

Am I the only one who thought Full House was filmed in one the painted ladies??? I was a little bummed to find out that wasn't the case and that it was over a mile away. Still, these houses are beautiful and we took a nap on the grass of the park across the street. Walking the streets of SF is tiring man! The architecture and character of the homes there was amazing. You really have to walk the streets to really take it all in!

 

MUST EAT:


La Taqueria:

Again, no photos of the food because I was starving at every stop! Haha! The burritos at this place literally made me cry tears of joy. I hadn't eaten in 6 hours and this food gave me LIFE. We didn't speak to each other until our food was gone. I wish we had the time to go back and have some tacos, but it didn't end up happening. DEFINITELY try it!

Nopa:

The BEST food we ate while on our trip. Our neighborhood friends ended up being there at the same time (go check out Tauri's blog post for her trip experience) and they suggested we meet up for dinner here. BOY am I glad that they did!! Fancy, tasty food in a super fun atmosphere. I savored every. single. bite. Seriously, still dreaming about it.

Tony's Pizza:

We stopped in little Italy for some legit Italian pizza. I love a good authentic margarita pizza and this one met all of my expectations! They offer some cool speciality drinks at the bar there as well. We tried a non-alcoholic mango flavored ginger beer and it was SHARP. Pretty sure I asked Matthew multiple times if there was alcohol in it because the ginger was so strong! Hahaha! 

Fog Harbor Fish House:

This is where Matthew and I had dinner to celebrate our anniversary. Matthew had a filet mignon with crab on top and I had their famous clam chowder in a bread bowl. It was all to die for!! Then we had a free dessert to share. Heavenly! The view of the bay and the company were the best part though. Best 7 years, growing older and experiencing life with this guy!!!! 

Ghirardelli Ice Cream Shop:

The day we went to the square to get some ice cream it was cold, and the line was LOOOOONG, but it was well worth the wait!! It did not let us down. If you're lucky, you can watch them make the waffle cones while you wait for your order and they'll even let you try one. I think I owe that to Matthew's charm. It's definitely one of the many perks of being married to him. 

Aunt Mary's Cafe:

Okay, so this isn't in SF. It's a darling brunch place in Oakland, and it was BY FAR the best breakfast we had while on our trip. Probably even made the top 5 overall. Seriously yummy, and original breakfast food. They also had pies that looked incredible, but I was so full from our meal we didn't get a chance to try some!

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Bi-Rite Creamery: 

Ice cream, again. What can we say? We like to indulge ourselves while on vacation. Somehow the wait was extremely long here as well on an even COLDER day! It really convinced us that it was as good as people say it is. I loved the location near Mission District with this cutest little ice cream cone outside the shop! 

Hawking Bird: 

This is another Oakland eatery. Our host highly recommended trying this place out because a friend of hers who is a Michelin star chef opened it! She suggested trying the chicken fat rice, and once again it did not disappoint. That was another night I was starving and it REALLY hit the spot!

House of Nanking:

This was the super delish Chinese restaurant we picked to eat at in Chinatown! It's the tiniest little place, but has lots of charm! The staff was super accommodating and the food was awesome! I just wish we ordered more eggrolls. 


And that's a wrap! Those are some of the highlights from our trip and we 10/10 recommend them! If you end up going to SF and visiting the spots in our guide we'd love to hear what you thought! Have you been to SF and love something we missed on the list? Add it to the comments so future readers can see your recommendations, too! 

Shout out to Kristin Welker for all of the amazing recommendations she sent to us out of the goodness of her own heart! Love you, girl! 

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I Lost an Angel on Mother's Day

*WARNING: TRIGGER POST*
Contains details of a miscarriage.

Bumps Ahead | Pregnancy Announcement, miscarriage, loss, infertility, taboo

This is the photo we took on our Anniversary while in San Francisco to announce our pregnancy. We didn't know we would lose our angel upon our return, let alone on Mother's Day.

Near the end of last year, Matthew and I felt prompted to start planning for a third child. In January I was finally able to schedule an appointment with an OBGYN to get my IUD removed. In the past my pregnancies have been quickly conceived with close to no complications. February came and I had a period. March came and I had another period.

I remember having the thought that I was going to miscarry for some reason, but it had never happened before so I completely dismissed the thought.

That's when we decided to try an ovulation test kit. The beginning of April  I started peeing in a cup every day to test if I was ovulating. I kept getting negative after negative. Some faint lines, but on an ovulation test that still means negative. The end of April was drawing near and I wasn't having a period, but I still wasn't testing positive for ovulation. 

Then suddenly I got my first strong positive ovulation test on April 30th, again on May 1st, and again on the 2nd. It seemed so bizarre, but we took advantage of it anyway. Without my knowledge, Matthew did a second test from my sample cup on the 2nd. But not with an ovulation test, with a pregnancy test! That's when he told me that I was pregnant. He knelt down, announced it to me and kissed my belly in the sweetest way. I was in shock and overjoyed at the same time because we were about to go on a vacation to celebrate our anniversary! The timing couldn't have been more perfect.

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I changed my period tracking app to pregnancy mode, and there was a digital image of a 5 week old fetus that appeared on the screen. I still couldn't believe it was real!

When we arrived in SF I started spotting. At first it seemed fine, like implantation bleeding, but I had a feeling something might be wrong. It stopped the next day and so I didn't worry about it very much. On our anniversary we took the 'bumps ahead' photo. What I didn't know at the time was the irony that photo would have just a week later. The women taking the photo congratulated us and they were elated by our upcoming announcement. I was starting to accept and believe that this was really happening!

We got home on the 8th, and the next morning I started bleeding again. But this time it wasn't light and it definitely didn't seem normal. I just kept bleeding. The 10th, 11th, 12th, and on Mother's Day I watched as clots and strings of blood left my body. Every time I went to the bathroom I was terrified that I would somehow see a 6+ week old fetus on the pad lining my underwear. 

Throughout the day, I felt depressed and yet comforted. As if in my mind I knew this was going to happen, but my heart still wouldn't accept it. The lessons in church were so incredibly special and applicable to me that day. I couldn't stop sobbing. 

Yesterday Matthew gave me a priesthood blessing and he said that I would be comforted through this loss. As a definite statement, not a question. I had scheduled a doctors appointment for Tuesday, so even though it felt final I held on to a fraction of hope that maybe I'd hear a little heartbeat in there, still beating. 

Today I watched the doctor do the ultrasound. The screen was dark and I saw my empty uterus. It confirmed all of my feelings and fears. To have that excitement start and end in such a short span of time. It's impossible to explain how heavy the loss felt on my heart in that moment. And yet, somehow I feel okay. I feel like God prepared my mind for this all along.

Still.

I lost an angel on Mother's Day.

I don't know why this happened. Why my husband was prompted to do a pregnancy test, and why it was over before I really accepted it. But I do know that God has a plan for me. This loss is a part of His plan and it's a part of my story now.

I'll see you again one day, my angel baby.

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#BLOOPERS

You guys. April is a super exciting month for me, you know why?? Because ONE YEAR AGO I took the leap to become a Maskcara Artist and I have not regretted that decision one day since!! So brace yourself for all things Maskcara and make sure to follow me over on my Facebook Page so you can get in on some awesome beauty product Giveaway action!! 

I'd love to tell you more about the artist program, but in the meantime, watch this hilarious bloopers reel of me trying to make a serious video to send to the Maskcara Beauty corporate team. HAHA! I hope it brightens your day! Love you all and I hope you have a great Easter weekend with loved ones!! 

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Do I Have a Story Worth Telling?
 
Do I Have a Story Worth Telling? | A Dash of Salter | Motherhood, Lifestyle, Beauty Blogger |
 

For a while now I've been trying to write more about my life on the blog, but I get so hung up on if I have something valuable to share. I ask myself questions constantly. What about my life could someone relate to or find value in? Could I help uplift someone by sharing my experiences or are they not _______ enough? 

The fact is I've lived a very privileged and blessed life. I grew up in a loving home with two parents who never got divorced. I have a strong relationship with all of my siblings. I've never broken a bone or suffered a severe injury. I've never been personally effected by cancer, miscarriage, or loss of a family member. I have never had strong financial burdens (thanks parents and husband) and I don't feel like I've had a lot of trials placed in my life.

The trials and struggles I have considered as such seem so insignificant in comparison to the problems of many others. How can I even complain and struggle with something trivial when so many others have it much harder and worse than I do?

Yesterday I was watching Jenna's Insta Stories and she said something that really struck a chord with me. "Gratitude and struggle can coexist." You can go through something that is hard and still feel gratitude. My struggles may seem insignificant to others, but to me they are still hard! That doesn't mean I'm ungrateful, I am constantly in awe of how truly blessed I am, it just means my hard is different than theirs. 

I have a strong belief in God, and I know that he doesn't give us trials we can't overcome. For me right now, my biggest struggle is trying to manage my time and teach my children. Having two toddlers and trying to stay on top of housekeeping, self care, budgeting, planning and my business is completely overwhelming most days. I want to be able to do it all, but managing it all is so hard when I've got two little boys who need me 24/7. I am SO GRATEFUL to be a mother, especially to their sweet spirits, but that doesn't make it easy. 

Here I am. Showing up to give it my best shot! I'm a 27 year old mom with two crazy boys who extract all of my energy from me and I love them endlessly. I cherish the time I get with my husband, but I don't always show it. I have an unhealthy relationship with sugar cookies in every form and I'm okay with that. I am enough.

Every time I'm vulnerable about my struggles and my life I hear from someone saying, me too. I know I'm not alone, but it's so easy to isolate ourselves. All of us have different life experiences and struggle in our own ways, but we have more in common than we realize. 

My story might not be heart wrenching or ground breaking, but it is still worth telling. I want to remember all of it. The sweet moments and the things I had to overcome. My story is what makes me who I am. So I'm going to keep sharing it. 

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Business Style Capsule Wardrobe
 
 

When it comes to business clothes, my closet was...lacking...to put it nicely. Since my husband started doing real estate, I've felt like a bum compared to the suited up looks he sports out the door everyday. While it doesn't make sense for me to wear business appropriate clothes at home with the boys, I really wanted to pull myself together for the Mike Ferry Retreat we would be attending in San Diego with some of the best agents and coaches in the nation. I wanted to make a good impression for my husbands sake, and for the sake of my own makeup business.

That's when I rallied together the troops of instagram to help me know where to start, and BOY did you guys come through!! So thank you! Lots of you wanted all the deets on my new items, so I wanted to make sure I compiled all of them here so you can find them! ALSO, most of them are even cheaper now then when I bought them!! *Hands up to the sky emoji* Yuh welcome. ;) 

I was really happy with the pieces I picked and how I was able to mix and match most of them together. I got so many compliments on my professional attire at the retreat! Looking like a professional really helps you feel like one too. So go grab some of these pieces and go KILL IT boss babes! Look good -- Feel good -- DO GOOD.

 

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*Post contains affiliate links. Purchased items myself and all opinions are my own.*