Chocolate cake, my new haircut, and sweet potato ice cream

Posted by Lauren

Another day, another post… It’s got me feeling all like:

Monday. Coffee. First thing I do when I get in the office.


You know what else happens on Monday? #PrinceFarming hahaha…. this season of The Bachelor is so ridiculous already. But it’s a great excuse to get together with Sarah and Cindy (and Mike and Mark) for dinner, dessert, and laughs. Cindy tempted us with a picture of this chocolate cake earlier in the day and I could not WAIT to dig in.


For dinner we had slow-cooker braised short ribs with noodles and biscuits. I’ll admit I went back for seconds, it was unreal.


After dinner we watched the college football championship game and skipped the Bachelor. JUST KIDDING! (btw, go Buckeyes) The tractor race in bikinis? You’ve got to be kidding me. And keeping Miss Crazy Pants? Ugh.


Nothing interesting happened on Tuesday, but on Wednesday I met up with Nicole after work to go get our hair done! We drove to the neighborhood we grew up in and had the fabulous Kalee make us pretty again. Nicole and Kalee were BFFs in 2nd grade and when we reconnected on Facebook we saw all of her awesome hair magic.


We both cut our hair shorter (#twinning) ….I lost about 10 inches at the longest point. I’m loving the change!


Thursday morning I woke up suuuuper early (at my mom’s) and carpooled with Nicole to Redwood Shores and then drove the rest of the way to San Francisco for our team’s offsite. You know what’s fun? Parking in the Tenderloin. And then finding the nearest [hipster] coffee shop (Machine Coffee) to get a red eye and blueberry scone.


We spent all day in this cool coworking space run by wework. I love it when our whole team gets together! :)



After dinner we walked a few blocks to Farmer Brown for drinks and apps. I ordered their grand gimlet ($11) – blue coat gin, lime, pavan muscat liqueur, muddled sage & celery. WOW… this is a drink I want Katie to try. We shared their fried pickles, sweet potato fries, shrimp & okra hush puppies, and pork sliders. Everything I tried was great and I’ll definitely remember this spot next time I’m near Union Square/Market and looking for a “cool” spot. (Katie, it’s across the street from Mikkeller Bar!)


Friday I worked late and then had no motivation to work out once I got home. Pretty sure I fell asleep early. After a 9:30 am bar method class on Saturday, I treated myself to Philz Coffee. I wish they had a rewards program so that I could rationalize choosing Philz over Starbucks (damn you and your gold star rewards).


I spent all day watching the Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce episodes stock piled on the DVR. That show is actually really good! Later that night, Kyle made us a healthy dinner of panko-crusted baked chicken with brussels sprouts and leftover quinoa/beans. I was about to go out and celebrate a coworker’s birthday so a solid dinner was necessary.


Milad’s birthday celebration in Mountain View was fun!!! I love this little Gainster crew. Full details made it to my snap story, but not the blog ;)


Ah, Sunday. First a L2 bar method class (semi painful due to lasting effects from said night out), then starbucks (per usual) for coffee + spinach egg wrap, then football watching (damn you, seahawks), then a nice tandem bike ride for ice cream. :)


Tin Pot Creamery is in the same shopping center as bar method. Every time I go to a night class I have to hold back from getting 10 scoops of everything. It’s not the cheapest craft ice cream shop in the neighborhood if you know what I’m saying. But their flavors are unique and delicious.


I got a scoop of purple sweet potato with cinnamallows and a scoop of peanut butter fudge brownie. Yum!!


After eating pulled pork for dinner I worked up enough motivation to do my “long” run of the week (only 6 mi since it’s week 2 of the plan). Speaking of … here’s my recap from this week’s workoutzzz

Day: {{Week 2 Hal’s 1/2 plan}} >> {{actual}}
Monday: strength >> bar method
Tuesday: short run >> 3 miles @ home 8:15 pace
Wednesday: 30 min tempo run >> 10 min @ 9:05 pace, 15 min working up to 7:35 pace, 5 min @ 8:15 pace
Thursday: strength + run >> NOPE. I blame the SF offsite.
Friday: rest >> bar method
Saturday: pace run >> bar method + 3 mile run at half marathon pace (7:50 pace)
Sunday: long run >> bar method + 6 mile run (8:44 pace)

BTW, Wednesday’s tempo run was brought to you by the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.


I was going to write about future races and whatnot, but I think I’ll save that for next week. Have a good week!


My first experience flying a plane, and running stuff

Posted by Lauren

I apologize for the 30+ photos in the last post about New Years. Hopefully you don’t mind :)

Now that I’ve covered the holiday season, I want to settle into a regular post cadence to sum up the highlights and workouts from the previous week. Then, when I get bored on Friday nights I can go back into my iPhoto library and find random things to flashback recap (like Katie’s wedding, and Oktoberfest, last year’s races, etc).

Headed back to work + kicked things off with our global all-hands.


A few hours later a food truck rolled up to our door, courtesy of one of our investors, congratulating us on a strong Q4. It’s the little things :)


Wednesday night we hosted a block party for the neighboring offices. It was random, but pretty fun.


On Thursday a few of us went to lunch at this memorable pastrami spot, Refuge, in San Carlos. I need to go out to lunch more because 1)  this was really tasty and 2) it was good to get out of the office midweek.


Friday night Kyle made this fine looking dinner for us. My one job was to put spinach in the quinoa and I totally forgot. Whoops. We had cookie dough ice cream for dessert. MMMmmm


And then, it was Saturday.

I went to bar method, and then went for a short run, and then showered, and then curled my hair… I felt a little bit Texas afterwards so what else are you going to do but Snapchat it?


For Christmas this year, Kyle told me to keep Saturday afternoon free for a surprise. Around 1 pm we drove towards SF and then got off the freeway near the San Mateo county airport. Turns out that we were going flying in a small plane… Wanna know the twist? Once up in the air, the pilot lets YOU fly.


We signed some forms and walked out to the little plane. I’ve always had a thing for Amelia Earhart so this experience was ESPECIALLY COOL. We got inside the plane and the pilot when through a lengthy “cross-check.” Now I see why it takes so long in the big planes.


And then we took off! We basically flew right over my office (one of those white buildings below)….


We flew south towards Palo Alto, and then west towards Half Moon Bay. The pilot told me to take over shortly after take off, and I maneuvered us towards the ocean, turned us around, and back towards the airport.  201501w117

The whole thing was amazing… maybe one day I’ll be able to get a pilot’s license :) Like, if I win the lottery.


Yes, I’m wearing aviators (how perf) and my Amelia Earhart inspired hat.


Thanks, Kyle!!!!


That night we went out to dinner in Palo Alto (the other downtown) at Anatolian Kitchen. We shared hummus, moussaka, and a gyro dish. Everything was really good, but I especially loved the moussaka.

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After dinner we watched Snowpiercer on Netflix. Talk about a weird movie.

On Sunday I did what I always do, went to bar method in the morning and then Starbucks to catch up on work. I made it back in time to catch some football but I’ll be honest with you…. football is way more interesting when fantasy points are on the line.



Look! Proof! I can still sorta run…


But only when there’s some sort of stimulation….. PLL is BAAAAACK :)


Who can name all 4 shows? Bottom right and top left are my favorites. Bottom left I’m *trying* to get into. Top right I just, don’t even know why I was sucked in.

Day: {{Week 1 Hal’s 1/2 plan}} >> {{actual}}
Monday: strength >> bar method (that counts, right?)
Tuesday: short run >> 3 miles
Wednesday: strength + run >> didn’t do anything due to Block Party :(
Thursday: speed work >> 4×800 (paces 7:03, 7:13, 7:13, 7:08)
Friday: rest >> bar method
Saturday: short run >> bar method + 3 mile run
Sunday: long run >> bar method + 5 mile run (week 1 of plan so starting small :)

I’m following [a sometimes modified version of] Hal Higdon’s plan (AGAIN) because it’s not too time consuming, allows for bar method classes to layer on top easily, and it forces me to do speed work, tempo runs, and pace runs. I need to start those again!!!! I mapped out my running goals for the year (including training and races) which I’ll talk about in my next post!


I made a resolution to….


Posted by Lauren

I made a resolution to…. blog once a week!

I’ll probably work on posts Sunday mornings and then schedule them for Monday. But I’m a little eager to get the first one out :) so here it is. Who knows, maybe blogging once a week will turn into twice a week?! Dare I say it.

What’s new???? (Don’t worry, I’ve definitely kept up with reading my favorite blogs and can’t pry my eyes away from GOMI).

Okay. To start off, I’m going to share some photos from the holiday season. And by holiday season, I mean Thanksgiving because clearly that was yesterday and totally timely.

We did our annual Turkey Trot thing on Thanksgiving morning. Nicole had the brilliant idea to put on fuchsia lipstick before the race. At the time, I was all about copying her. But while running I was convinced I developed a pink clown smile.



I started running with Kyle, but around mile 1.5 I realized that he was taking it a litttttle too easy for my taste. I picked up the pace (not uncomfortably fast, but enough so those endorphins would flow) and finished the race in 50:41 (8:09 min/mile). Afterwards we met near the bananas (like always!) and saw our family friends, including Sarah and Jason, below!


I don’t think we have any pictures from Thanksgiving evening, but we had a really lovely dinner with all the staples. David’s creole stuffing, mom’s sweet potato casserole, pumpkin rolls for dessert, the horrible 49ers game, and wonderful friends and family.

The next day, Kyle and I put up a Christmas tree (see below). Ha! We found a tiny tree on display at Safeway so we bought it to decorate our apartment. Note the beautiful framed poster behind our tree…. it’s our 5 euro purchase from Oktoberfest this year (turned $130 framed purchase) and I’m in love with it.


Thanksgiving weekend we went to our aunt Cori’s house for an amazing brunch. Seriously, look at those quiches! It’s always so fun to catch up with our cousins Collin and Morgan over mimosas and bacon :)


It wouldn’t be a Thanksgiving “vacation” without some time with the Po5 crew. Remember that time we were all in LA over the summer? That was awesome. Unfortunately Katie wasn’t in town (and we missed her like crazy), but it was still nice to see 3 of my 4 high school BFFs.


The #1 thing that absorbed my life since September…. FANTASY FOOTBALL.

OMG. This marks year 3 of playing fantasy football and I’m still obsessed. This year I played in the high school all girls league, the college+ all girls league, and a work league. Turns out, I probably should just stick to one league and give it my all. While my work league team sucked, the college+ league team had a big comeback Week 13. It put me into 2nd place, which I was able to keep through the playoffs. Unfortunately I ended the season in 3rd place, but I’ll take it. CANNOT wait until next year!


Oh, and Nicole and I spent Black Friday picking out matching (early) Christmas presents for each other from MK. We settled on hers & hers laptop-carrying totes.


Next up: pics from various holiday parties!

Do you play fantasy football? How did the season treat you?


Colorado Chillin’


Posted by Lauren


1. Right now I’m flipping the channel between Bachelor in Paradise and the Emmys (equal levels of classy, yes?).
2. I finished a 5 mile run after work. I really should do that more often!!! Ahhhh it felt SO good.
3. My phone has NO SPACE left, so naturally I’ve got to move all my photos to my computer…..
4. ….which means now I can blog about things. (Do other people seriously import photos daily for their blogs?!)

Last weekend I jetted over to Colorado with Kyle. We were long overdue for a visit to his family!

We arrived late Friday night and grabbed dinner in Golden, CO at Woody’s with Kyle’s parents who kindly picked us up from the airport!


In some ways, this family owned pizza joint reminded me of Woodstock’s in SLO. (Maybe it was the name connection?!) They had complimentary popcorn, a great beer selection, and really friendly service. Kyle and I split the California pizza (sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, feta, mozzarella, spinach, garlic) and a burger with mushrooms + fresh jalapeños. I was so hungry and Woody’s hit the spot.

Saturday morning we hung out around Kyle’s parents’ house and then ventured over to Red Rocks for a walk. One day we’ll plan a trip that includes watching someone perform at the amphitheater. Definitely a Colorado bucket list item.



Sooooooo pretty. We drove to the downtown area of Morrison and scoped out a few potential dinner spots for the following night. The cute little “downtown” area is flanked by Bear Creek, with a few streams (like the one below) lining the side streets.


On our way back to Evergreen, we stopped for a farmer’s market palisade peach (it was raining at this point!) and picked up an ice cream cake for that evening. We got back to Kyle’s parents’ house early afternoon and spent the time leading up to dinner playing with Graham and Lena, Kyle’s nephew and niece. Graham is a riot — he showed me all the special cactuses, checked out the treehouse with me, and then we looked at lots and lots and lots of ants. HAHA


I want a treehouse. And I want Pete Nelson to make it.


Lena is about 6 months old and just so beautiful. It was great to finally meet her and yes, we had a “whose cheeks are bigger” contest. I lost miserably. She looks adorable in her new purple beanie!

We finished the night with a tasty ice cream cake (choc cake + cookies and cream ice cream) and then, once Kyle’s sisters and BIL went home, we sat outside near the fire pit with his parents. It was then that I learned we’d need to wake up at 5 am for our hike the following morning. WHA! 5 am on a Sunday?

Alright alright alright, 5 am for a 14er is doable. :)


After a quick all-terrain drive to the trail head, we set off for the 14,278 foot pinnacle of Gray’s Peak. Elevation and me aren’t that good of friends, but if you put one foot in front of the other enough times you’ll gradually make it to the top :)


View from the halfway point ^^^

“Extensive views stretch south to Pike’s Peak and the San Luis Valley, east to the Great Plains, West to Silverthorne, and north to Longs Peak and Rocky Mountain National Park” (thanks Wikipedia)



Views from the top ^^^

What you can’t tell from this picture is that the winds were howling at 40 mph or so. Freezing! At least it wasn’t as windy as the first 14er we did (Bierstadt), last October. Instead of eating brunch at the top, we snapped a few photos and then walked down the mountain for wind cover.


Turns out, walking down at 14k feet is a whole lot easier than walking up. The 7-mile roundtrip hike took us about 4 hours including stops to gasp for air. We ate our PB&J sandwiches in the car and headed back to Evergreen a little earlier than planned thanks to our speedy descent.


We also decided to make 14er-climbing a tradition.There are 53 in Colorado so…. only 51 more trips to the Rocky Mountain Empire!

I had to quickly draft a fantasy football team at noon (btw I’m really pleased with my selections!) and then we were off to grab drinks/food in Morrison.


Wine flight @ Flights = best place ever for wine lovers. Plus, their charcuterie plate had some clever meat and cheese combinations going on.


Dinner was at the latin bistro, Beso de Arte (just a few doors down)


We split the crab empanadas (note: their tapas are actually not tapas – they’re big apps!)


For my main, I opted for the prosciutto-wrapped scallops, with fresh arugula, grilled watermelon, and a quinoa pilaf.


I really enjoyed this dish and it satisfied the salty cravings following our high-elevation hike. The prosciutto + scallop combo reminded me of the flub on Food Network Star where a contestant claimed she used serrano ham but was fooling everyone with prosciutto.


Don’t ever try to fool Alton Brown. Giada might fall for it though.

Anyways, we had a great time hanging out with Kyle’s family, especially getting more time with Graham and Lena. Already looking forward to the next trip out there!