Thanksgiving 2013: Trot & Eat


Posted by Lauren

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!! Nicole and I absolutely love this holiday – family, friends, Turkey Trot, being thankful, and FOOD!

My week kicked off with sorting/packaging oranges into 25 lb. boxes at Second Harvest Food Bank with my coworkers. You can read more about our time there on my company’s blog :) I was surprised to learn that Second Harvest serves 1 in 10 people in San Mateo/Santa Clara counties. The two hours flew by and a few of us mastered box-folding.



On Thanksgiving morning, most of our family met downtown for the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot. This race defines Thanksgiving for us and has been a tradition now for manymany years. The race drew a crowd of 28,000 people this year (rumor has it) and benefits local charities: Second Harvest Food Bank, the Housing Trust Silicon Valley, the Healthier Kids Foundation. This is the 9th year and they’ve raised $3.4 million so far!


Snapchat selfies to other friends running Turkey Trots in their respective cities. Look who decided to run this year for the first time ever. Kyle! My mom signed him up and said “Now that you will live with him you have to do couple activities with your family! Cheers, Mom”



The start line was paaaacked and (I think) this was the first time they used “corrals” to deal with the crowds.


Sometimes running in downtown San Jose can get repetitious because the Turkey Trot and Rock n’ Roll are basically the same, unchanging route. But then you see downtown lit up in a hazy morning sun and it makes you forget all that.


I personally took the race easy, finishing in 49:38 / 8-min miles. Kyle and I ran together most of the race, except I used extra energy during the last mile and increased speed just a lil bit. Also, I wanted to get a photo of him coming in at the end :)




Sarah, me, Kyle, Nicole


Mom, Nicole, David, Sam, me

We hung out after the race with Sarah and her family. Right before Kyle left to play football, Sallie came up and said hi. That was a nice surprise! We all said goodbye and took the Light Rail back to Almaden. We ate some food, showered, and did a little prep work in the kitchen.


Brussels sprouts are a Thanksgiving must in our house. I cut them off the stalk (Nicole helped) and then sliced in half. I carefully rinsed them off and then tossed with olive oil, Nicole’s special veggie sesoning blend, and pumpkin oil.


David just came back from a trip to the Czech Republic, where he visited our other step-bro Nate. He brought us each a bottle of pumpkin oil and said that they use it on everything there. I opened it up and took a big whiff… it was nutty and reminded me so much of peanut butter. I decided to coat the brussels sprouts with it and I think they came out pretty good!

At 1 pm Nicole, Kyle, and I went to Nancy’s house to chill with my dad’s side of the fam. It was good to see everyone there – it’s been a while!!

We left around 3 and went back to my mom’s to help cook. When we got there, everything was basically finished! That was easy :)

People arrived around 4 pm and we had a big group of 20 family & friends this year!


We followed a Williams-Sonoma turkey recipe, which called for 40 mins breast side down at 425 and then 2 hours breast side up at 325. Maybe one year I’ll learn how to prep a turkey. Shirley is such a pro at it though.


Kyle carved the big bird. Miss Vegetarian Nicole helped hold the pan still and was a little freaked out by the process.

My plate… my favorite stuffing ever, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, ham, turkey, salad (?), brussels sprouts, and banana bread.



And Nicole’s plate:


We had a pretty nice dessert spread as well.

Apple crumb pie, berry pie….


…Kersten’s mixed holiday cookie platter, Kathy’s spice cake, and pumpkin pie of course.


We were all so stuffed at the end of the night. I even had to lay down on the carpet so my tummy would feel better. And that’s how Thanksgiving is done!

On Friday I slept in until 11 am (and it felt so so so good) and then made my way back to San Jose to spend the day with family. After lunch, Nicole and I went on a hike around Quicksilver. The 6.5 mile loop gives great views of south San Jose, all the way to downtown!



Nicole and I ran the last 1.5 (downhill) miles.


The rest of my day I folded laundry, ate leftover pie, and caught up on Hulu. Then I met Janae for some late-night froyo and girl talk. Loved every minute of it and now I want to visit in Utah so we can go skiing! :)

(Borrowed photo from Janae!)

(Borrowed photo from Janae!)

How was your Thanksgiving?

Ever done a turkey trot? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food?


Outside Lands 2013

osl neon crew

Posted by Lauren

This weekend was all about Outside Lands, a music festival in Golden Gate Park.

I’m not the biggest music buff, but I do welcome any opportunity to get friends together for a rooftop brunch, mimosas, and silly times.

We started with BRUNCH!

I brought blueberry coffee cake and coffee cake muffins. Sean Bacon brought the goods: three homemade frittatas, cinnamon rolls, and french toast. He always makes the bessssst food. (And he went out of his way to bring us food from the East Bay, so gold star for him.)


^ ^ Two of my favorite people in the entire world ^ ^

OSLers @ brunch: Krizia, Tyler, Andrew, Kyle K., Jamie, Kevin, Julia, Sher, Nicole, me!
non-OSLers @ brunch: Kyle D., Hunter, Darrin, Jeremy, Sean, Mandy

We poured mimosas and went up to the roof for a few rounds of flip cup and the spectacular bay views.


If you can’t tell, the theme of the day was NEON. :)

osl crew on roof

We traveled in style to the festival… a party bus is the only way to go when you have a party of twenty, am I right?

The Lineup:

Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 1.23.28 AM


My favorites:

  • Phoenix
  • The Tallest Man On Earth
  • The Lone Bellow
  • Milo Greene
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs

osl neon crew

Brief history of Outside Lands (because I think it’s interesting) summarized from their website and Wikipedia:

  1. Outside Lands Music & Arts 3-day festival started in 2008
  2. In addition to 60+ musical acts, there are attractions that focus on food, wine, and art
  3. The festival is eco-friendly, with solar power stages, bike valet, and refillable water, waste diversion and recycling programs
  4. In SF’s Gold Rush days, the area that is now Golden Gate Park was marked on maps as part of the “great sand waste,” and unrestrained “Outside Lands”
  5. The city and county petitioned for the land in the 1850s and won the land in 1866
  6. In 1871 the park plan was complete and crews transformed the sandy, sparsely vegetated 1,017 acre park tract into a pleasure ground which would convey “warmth, repose, and enlivenment”
  7. GGP welcomed pedestrians, ladies, and gentlemen in fine carriages, equestrians, and hordes of bicyclists after 1880
  8. In 1906, the Park served as a place of refuge for thousands of displaced citizens in the wake of the earthquake
  9. GGP became SF’s common ground in the 60s… a gathering place for counterculture. Flower children from Haight-Ashbury communed with nature on “hippie hill” and attended rock concerts and events held in the Park and Panhandle
  10. GGP is the third most visited park in America, with 13 million visitors each year
  11. OSL attracts ~50,000 people per day


Giant $8 s’mores bar from Choco Lands… totally worth it.

I also want to mention that I’m so happy I ran into Holly, Matt, and Molly! It’s been way too long since I’ve seen them.

Phoenix’s show was amazing. Did you know they are from Versailles, France? Any song from the Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix album reminds me of running because I listened to that album on nonstop repeat in 2010.

Anywhosies. The party bus picked us up at Cabrillo & 30th at 10:30 pm – thank goodness we arranged a ride ahead of time! Not much happened later that night… a few SNL videos, goldfish, and then I crashed.

Krizia and I woke up early earlier than the guys to go for a run at Lands End, starting at the Sutro Baths. Gorgeous!


Although I’ve never been to this part of SF before, Krish gave me a bit of history and it piqued my interest. I’ll spare you another history lesson, you should just go read this on Wikipedia. I can’t even imagine what the Sutro Baths looked like in 1897 – if you’re interested I found two videos that Thomas Edison recorded (one) (two) that show “three tiers of spectators watching the bathers… [and] a two-story slide down which many individuals can be seen descending into the water.”

I thought it was particularly fitting that we ran around Lands End and Sutro, as those are stage names at OSL. #FullCircle

Perfect 4 miles. Lots of stairs. Always grateful to run with friends.

When Krizia and I got back, we walked to breakfast at Crepe House. Although the pic is blurry, you can tell we’re having a sillyfun time.


I love these people.

Thanks for being terrific hosts, Krish and Ari!!!

Question: What’s your favorite music festival and why? Do you have any bucket-list ones?


House of Curries, The xx, Freehouse


Posted by Nicole

Last night was such a great night! Lauren got us tickets to see The  xx at the UC Berkeley Greek Theater as part of my 21st birthday gift. Three months later, it was finally time to see the show. The xx is easily one of my top 5 favorite bands, so I was extremely excited.

Lauren and I got to Berkeley at about 5:30, parked, and walked to grab dinner. We decided on House of Curries, a restaurant really close to the UC Berkeley campus.


I ordered the vegetable korma and it was perfectly spicy.


Lauren ordered lamb and vegetables and she liked it, just not the “weird” meat pieces.


Of course we had to get some naan, and we decided on the onion variety. Yum.


We lucked out not only with good food, but also with great weather. It was perfectly warm.


We planned to arrive at the concert early so we could get seats close to the front. Because I had never actually seen the Berkeley campus, we decided to walk through it on the way to the Greek Theater.


Their campus was beautiful! Lauren and I kept saying it reminded us of Europe.




A bit later, we sat down and waited for the show to begin. There was a DJ and random rapper before the opening band. They were surprisingly good.


The stands filled up as the opening band, Hundred Waters, took the stage. When they were done singing their “whale music” (as Lauren called it), the crowd anxiously waited for The xx. It took about an hour to set up the stage, tune their guitars, and get the lights ready and we started to grow antsy. When they finally took the stage, it was well worth the wait!


The singers had great stage presence and there were a few heated moments on stage.


Like most big concerts nowadays, the light show was awesome.


IMG_2345 \ IMG_2346

The “x” lasers were so cool.



The singers were very thankful for the crowd support and didn’t fail to mention that this was their biggest US show ever (they are from London). How awesome is that? After the show, Lauren and I went to meet up with one of my old intern-coworkers and his younger brother, who is actually interning with me this summer.

We went to Freehouse, a fancy house-turned-bar a couple blocks from the Greek Theater.

photo 1 (1)

It sure had a classy college bar vibe, with fancy drapes and wooden tables. I drank a grown-up beer and it wasn’t half bad.

photo 2 (1)

We chatted about tech companies until the bar closed at midnight. Then Lauren and I drove back home… but not after a quick selfie.

photo 3

Thanks for such a fun night, sis!!! I’ll never forget it.

– Nicole

Musical Monday #6: RnR SF


Posted by Nicole

Even though it’s not Monday, I didn’t want to miss out on this week’s Musical Monday. So, today is going to be Musical Tuesday.

musical monday logo final

When Lauren asked how the half marathon went on Sunday, one of the first thing’s I said was, “my playlist was PERFECT!” The majority of the songs in my playlist have been mentioned on previous M.M. posts, but a few have not.  Here are 5 of the songs that were part of my playlist. Unfortunately, none of them were “rock ‘n roll,” even though the race was ;)

Rock n Roll San Francisco half marathon 2013 01

Rihanna & Steve Aoki – 1 2 Cake Cake (Crizzly Remix)

Yep, more Steve Aoki this week as a continuation of last week’s post. I love both of these songs and they are even better combined!

Avicii vs Krewella – Play Hard Levels (DJ iConik Mashup)

I loooove remixes of Krewella songs. This is another example of two great songs mashed together.

Dada Life – So Young So High (Andybody Remix)

I just love this song. It is 6 and a half minutes long so it will keep you listening for over half a mile.

Miike Snow – Paddling Out (Wolfgang Gartner Remix)

This has been a favorite song for a while, especially after seeing Wolfgang Gartner at USC’s Springfest last year. (Remember that, Lauren?!)

Zedd – Spectrum ft. Matthew Koma

 Second to Clarity, this is easily Zedd’s most famous song. The chorus is pretty fitting for running: “We’ll run where lights won’t chase us / Hide where love can save us / I will never let you go.” It’s a good one!

Hopefully you like at least one of the above!

– Nicole

Question: What are you listening to lately?