Food

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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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!)

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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).

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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.

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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 ;)

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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. :)

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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.

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

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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.

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

-Lauren

Among other things, posing in our Christmas jammies

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Posted by Lauren

This holiday “season” I was lucky to spend Christmas and New Years with some of my favorite people.

Xmas Eve Eve

By far one of my favorite days of the year (AKA my half birthday that nobody cares to celebrate… why??) December 23rd is the day that Nicole, my mom, and I head up to SF for a girls trip!

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This year Nicole was working late (she’s such a good worker bee) and there was insane amounts of traffic so our timelines lined up and we were able to drive to BART together. We took BART to downtown SF, walked up Powell Street, checked into the hotel, and then walked to our dinner reservation at La Mar Cebichería Peruana on the Embarcadero.

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The best thing about this dinner experience was that Nicole ordered and ATE all the seafood dishes. Yup, she’s no longer a strict vegetarian and has re-introduced seafood into her diet. Thank goodness!!! (Our family loves seafood)

La Mar Cebichería Peruana

Pier 1.5, The Embarcadero, San Francisco
WebsiteYelp

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FRONT: causa limeña – Dungeness Crab on top of a yellow potato causa with avocado purée, quail egg, cherry tomatoes, ají amarillo huancaína sauce and basil cilantro oil. BACK: causa nikei – Tuna tartar and avocado purée, on top of rocoto potato, with creamy rocoto huancaína sauce topped with Japanese nori

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cebiche la mar (aka the sampler) featuring:

  • cebiche clásico – California Halibut in a classic leche de tigre with red onion, habanero, Peruvian corn and yam
  • cebiche chifa – Yellowtail with peanuts, scallions, ginger, pickled carrots and daikon, habanero, wonton strips and cilantro in a sweet and sour sesame oil leche de tigre
  • cebiche mixto – Yellowtail, calamari and shrimp in an ají amarillo leche de tigre with cilantro, red onion, Habanero, Peruvian corn and yam
  • cebiche nikei – Tuna, red onion, Japanese Cucumber, daikon, avocado, nori, and sesame in a tamarind leche de tigre

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arroz negro – Grilled calamari and shrimp with anticuchera sauce on top of squid ink arborio rice with aji panca, aji amarillo, bell peppers, choclo and parmesan, garnished with rocoto creamy chalaca

Pros: They quickly brought out plantain + sweet potato chips with a dipping sauce as soon as we sat down. The service was awesome, very attentive (but it wasn’t all that busy). THE FOOD. Wow, we loved everything. The arroz negro was a big winner because of the luxurious squid ink. The causas were unique (seafood + mashed potatoes?) but totally worked. And who doesn’t like ceviche? We would definitely come back and I’ve already recommended it to everyone I know.

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We went back to the hotel and fell asleep pretty quickly. We had a full day of shopping ahead of us!

Xmas Eve

Nicole had to work on the 24th (bummer) so my mom and I went to breakfast at Sears Fine Food and saved some leftovers for her. After coffee, oatmeal, french toast, and eggs benedict, we were ready to hit the streets.

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After a few hours of shopping, we went back to the hotel to check out and retrieve Nicole…. she’s so cute.

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Being in the hustle & bustle of the Westin St. Francis the day before Christmas definitely gets you in the holiday spirit. This picture below seriously misrepresents the amount of people that were in and out of the hotel lobby.

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Of course the minute we decide to walk back to the BART station a [torrential] downpour starts. Maybe that’s a little dramatic, but at the time we were carrying luggage AND all the presents we bought for people… with zero umbrellas. Our bags started splitting right before we reached BART, and then Nicole couldn’t find her train ticket, and then my mom got slammed by the closing BART doors…. it was quite the scene.

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The bummer part of the day? We ran out of time to go to our favorite seafood spot in the Mission and pick up supplies for Christmas Cioppino. :( Don’t worry, we improvised and stopped at Cook’s Seafood & Market (Yelp) in Menlo Park, since it’s close to my apartment.

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Dinner couldn’t come soon enough, I was sooooo hungry! Luckily, everyone rallied and we got food on the table fairly quickly :)

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After dinner, we opened presents, put on our Xmas PJs, and cuddled on the couch. Pretty perfect Christmas Eve with our mom and David!

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LOL, that photo wins Weirdest PJ Pose Award.

Xmas

Nicole and I went over to our Dad and Lauretta’s house Christmas morning (as we usually do). We assembled brunch plates (this is Plate #1 of 4 I think) and then opened up our stockings/presents.

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I’m pretty sure my dad was taking photos on his camera, so I didn’t snap any. Erg.

It was a quieter Christmas since Steve (step-bro) and Amy (SIL) were up in Oregon and couldn’t make it down. But still fun! After present opening, Nicole, Katie, and I walked over to Starbucks for some sister bonding time. When we got back, Lauretta had Divergent on TV so we got sucked into that before I had to jet off (literally!) to Colorado!

I was going to post everything at once, but this is getting a little long! Next up: Denver!

-Lauren

Paddleboarding, Donuts, and BFFs

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Posted by Lauren

Speaking of best friend trips in southern California……..

One month ago, Krizia and I drove down to LA to spend time with some of our favorite people. We left Friday after work and made it to Pasadena in time for late night food/drinks with Clay and Andrew. We started at Congregation Ale House (Yelp) – nice beer selection and sweet potato fries… then we went to Pasadena’s eclectic 3-floor billiards/restaurant/karaoke spot, Barney’s Beanery (Yelp).

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Nicole, do you think our official blog song can be Def Leppard’s Pour Some Sugar On Me?! Just think about it… :)

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Clay insisted that we try downtown Pasadena’s late night staple before heading home… King Taco (Yelp). You can’t go wrong with $1.30 street tacos!

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Krizia and I woke up early, excited for a full day with our other two college roommates, Fran and Kerry. With two boxes of Bob’s Donuts (as in San Francisco’s Bob Donuts) in tow, we arrived at Fran’s house for a phenomenal potluck breakfast of sorts…

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Kerry brought bacon breakfast burritos (ooh alliteration!) and Fran made a huge pot of coffee… We chowed down and made plans for the rest of the day – stand up paddleboarding in Newport Beach!

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Our two-hour paddleboard rentals gave us just enough time to cruise through Newport Bay and the Balboa Coves neighborhood. It was so fun!!!! Only one of us fell in, any guesses?

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After returning our boards, we walked over to the ocean-side of Newport and laid out on the beach until our skin felt just a little tooooo hot. Only one of us got a sunburn, any guesses? Hint: it was also the girl who fell in :)

Fran had the best idea for our next stop – Costa Mesa’s “Camp” green gathering spot. While Krish and Kerry ordered food from Native Foods (Yelp) (why don’t these exist in the Bay Area!?!?), Fran and I walked over to Milk + Honey (Yelp), a super cool coffee/tea shop with  shaved ice specialty drinks. A blended chai sounded amazing on the hot day, t’was love at first sip!

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Plus, their little garden courtyard (above) was awesome. Super SoCal. We also grabbed cookies from the Blackmarket Bakery (Yelp) and sat outside to share. Dang, those were good too.

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When we got back to Fran’s house, we were greeted by Wes! He spent the rest of the night hanging out with the four of us and it was great to catch up with him.

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For dinner, we picked up supplies from a local grocery store and Fran magically made us miso soup and humongous rice/seaweed/salmon sashimi bowls. Want to watch her creation come together in 15 seconds? Watch this on Instie.

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We ended the night chatting over a bottle of wine and a few donuts. Couldn’t have asked for a better day with these amazing ladies. Can’t wait til next time! #mo8forever

-Lauren

The time Nicole graduated and we partied.

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Posted by Lauren

My little sugar cookie finished USC a semester early (which I wrote about 180+ days ago) but the whole fam had to wait until May to officially celebrate with her. During her months off, Nicole finished dancing with the Trojan Dance Force, [remotely] interned tirelessly for one of the hottest Bay Area SaaS startups, and soaked up every second with her BFF’s. Oh, and she also wrote her last blog post ever (she claims to be done with blogging, WTF??).

Anyways, my company’s conference ended May 14th and the next day I flew to LA to join my mom, David, and Nicole. Our first order of business was walking around campus to take photos at USC landmarks. Definitely smart to do this before grad day to avoid the crowds :)

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All I can remember is that we were all HUNGRY (okay maybe it was just me?) and when we went to Sugarfish downtown, they didn’t seat us for a loooong time. It’s all good because their sushi blows my socks off and is “worth the wait.” I felt bad for Nicole because they had NOTHING for vegetarians… she didn’t complain (because she’s awesome and knows I was really looking forward to it). What a sweetheart.

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After dinner we went to Syrup, a hip little cafe/dessert spot a few blocks away. Nicole and I shared a banana split, but the photo only made it to my disappearing snapchat story. :( They specialize in waffles so definitely check that out the next time your sweet tooth screams at you.

Friday – Graduation Day

Nicole kept me to a strict morning alarm – 4:50 am – so I could wake up and be at her apartment with enough time to get ready and pre-party. Yes, 4:50 AM!! Nicole and I walked over to a neighbors house for mimosas around 6 am. Time flew by and soon we were walking towards campus for the ceremony kickoff….

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I found a seat next to my dad and Lauretta and eagerly waited for Marc Benioff to give his speech (it was AWEsome!)

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We moved over to the Galen Center for the Biz School’s breakout ceremony and got to see Nicole accept her well deserved diploma :)

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Then it was all over! Time to get the party started!

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Lunch in Long Beach (Yard House) with dad, Lauretta, and step-bro Steve! We battled insane traffic to get there, but it was worth it to get everyone together and catch up, especially since Steve recently moved to Portland.

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A few hours later we sat down for dinner in Santa Monica with my mom, David, and Chase….

Rustic Canyon

1119 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA
WebsiteYelp

First order of business, order wine.

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Second order of business: make silly faces

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The food was delicious, intriguing, and totally unique. Rustic Canyon was distinguished in Los Angeles Magazine’s issue of “L.A.’s 75 Best Restaurants” (and that mag was conveniently in our hotel room the night before when I was researching where to go!). Their head chef Jeremy Fox hails from Napa’s veg-friendly Ubuntu and focuses on California-French style. AKA the style you can’t go wrong with..

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beets and berries – avocado, rancho gordo red quinoa, pistachio “soil”

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ansonmills stone ground grits – ramps & morels, egg yolk, coleman’s pea shoots (PHENOMENAL)

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grilled zucerman’s asparagus – whipped goat cheese with nettles, mushroom streusel (WHIPPED GOAT CHEESE MY LAWD)

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clam & mussel pozole verde – ranch gordo hominy, scallion, radish, tortilla

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grilled marin sun farms lamb heart – windrose farms puntarelle, bagna cauda, crispy ‘kokuho rose’ rice, parmesean (LAMB HEART!)

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seared scallops – carrot puree, nasturtium, vadouvan, pine nut raisin relish (PERFECT SCALLOPS)

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king troll salmon piccata – bianco di maggio onions, fiddlehead ferns, capers, meyer lemon

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mom, david, me… (BTW – super tired at this point + wishing I could have changed/showered because the graduation ceremony was HOT HOT HOT and I was sweaty)

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chocolate hazelnut tart with candided hazelnuts

Each dish was phenomenal – I couldn’t recommend Rustic Canyon enough. GO!

After dinner, I was dropped off at my friend Andrew’s house, where Clay and Johnny were already posted up. They were matching :) We drank some wine, went to downtown Santa Monica, ate late night pizza, and then fell asleep (finally! sleeep!)

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The following day, I was in Pasadena at Lucky Baldwin’s eating tasty pasties with my mom and David. MMM MMM…. Nicole and I drove those two love birds to the airport (after a pit stop at Sugar Fix cupcakery for cupcakes and ice cream to-go!) Then we went back to Pasadena for another night out with the guys. All that survived from that entire day was this photo below. It shall remain captionless so you can capture the true essence :)

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The amazing weekend capped off with a roadtrip home with my bestie (Nicole, duh!) and all of her belongings. She’s baaaaaack and here to stay! Now, who’s going to get her to start blogging with me??

-Lauren