Partytime

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

Salad + Work Fun

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Posted by Lauren

I ate this tasty salad for lunch… shredded collard greens, broccoli slaw, red pepper, pepperoncini, great northern beans, shredded chicken + TJ’s goddess dressing.

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It might be my favorite lunch I’ve ever “made” at work – fresh and simple.

Last night I had the same thing + cheerios + chocolate chips + 2 Girl Scout cookies. All I want to do at night is snack, snack, snack. How do people break that habit…?

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But, no more salad pictures. Instead I want to brag a little bit about how much I love where I work. We had “mandatory fun” last week which manifested itself as super professional karaoke. I mean, look at the knobs!

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Our CEO and Chief Customer Officer kicked things off with their rendition of Grease’s Summer Lovin’. Things escalated as coworkers powered through Ke$ha, Eminem, What the Fox Says, Shania Twain, Backstreet Boys, and other classics.

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Seriously, SO FUN! (Even fun if you’re terrified of singing ::cough::)

We also found a way to copy Ellen’s infamous selfie tweet, when we received news of our story in Entrepreneur Magazine.

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And as if 50+ hours / week with these people isn’t enough…. we partied together last Friday night in San Francisco under the guise of our coworker’s (2nd) (unofficial) Bachelor party. Things kicked off at Mas Sake!

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Awww Marketing Team <3 – Me, Sam, Joe, AK

…. and the sales guys / girl …

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…. a few of the other ladies at Stock & Trade

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We had a great night, fueled by sake + cider bombs. Side note: Have you tried sake with cider? Yum!

The other day I fixed our toilet at work. A screw came loose on the flush lever so I opened it up and screwed it back in place. While washing my hands I thought to myself how amazing it is to work at a startup. At a bigger company, I’d just shrug it off and expect it to fix itself. But (no pun intended)… at our office, with it’s two-stall bathroom, that just doesn’t cut it. Every single person has to pitch in and every single person has a crucial role in our path to success.

K, that was random. Basically the little things make me happy :)

-Lauren

Valentines/Presidents Weekend

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Posted by Nicole

This weekend was a busy, but FUN one.

Thursday (what I consider the “first” day of the weekend) was a busy day. I worked for a couple hours, went to the gym, and then got ready for the men’s basketball game vs. Utah. Pregame popcorn is a win.

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The game was out by 10 pm and it was perfect time to meet up with friends for a night out. It’s always so convenient having hair and makeup done for the night. I’ve also gotten used to living in red lipstick ha.

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I went to my first big frat party of the semester (feelin’ a little too old for these nowadays) and it was actually very fun. I saw a lot of familiar faces and my ridiculous coral pants sure fit in with the Valentine’s theme.

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If only free ragers with great music, dancing, and company existed after college… they are way too fun.

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Ashley and I kicked off our single’s awareness day on Friday morning with a much needed walk to get breakfast.

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I hung out with some dance girls, took a nap, and eventually rallied for our Valentine’s night out. We decided to go to DBA, the club in Hollywood, again.

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Flag pictures are a must, especially for Presidents Weekend!

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We had a little photoshoot before letting Joe hop in the pic with us.

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The club had a masquerade theme with complimentary masks at the entrance. Free stuff is always the best.

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The club entertainers were a hit once again. Ash danced with one of them and I quickly snapped a pic. They are crazy about photos in the club… trying to keep it all ~*mysterious*~ for first-timers.

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After the late night out, I managed to wake up super motivated to workout on Saturday. After taking two weeks off in January, it has been SO nice having my workout mojo back. I went to the gym and ran 4.25 miles and then went on the spin bike for an hour while catching up on my Feedly. It felt gooooood. I relaxed for the rest of the day, watched the All Star Dunk Contest (disappointing, huh?), and then went to see a friend of a friend’s band perform in West Hollywood. The band was very good!

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On Sunday I woke up and went to this pretty place.

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Then I went home, had lunch, and went for a quick run around my neighborhood. It was super hot outside and my legs felt like lead, but I pushed through and that’s what matters.

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A quick shower and blowdry and I was headed to yet another basketball game. It’s crazy to think that we only have 4 more home games before the PAC-12 Tournament in Vegas!!

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I’m obsessed with the wonderful girls on this team… I just can’t say it enough.

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This game was an exciting one (even though our team lost) because my dad, stepmom, and stepsis were in attendance. Afterwards, we grabbed a late dinner at Panini Cafe in Downtown LA. Their food is SO GOOD and I’m glad everyone approved of their meals. My falafel wrap and romaine avocado salad sure hit the spot.

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The rest of my night was spent relaxing in bed and watching House of Cards… I am hooked! I just started Season 2 and will probably finish it up in a few days.

Monday was my day to run errands before the week really started. I went to the grocery store and then to the Beverly Center to shop a little bit use an expiring gift card. Then I went to the gym and did my two favorite cardios: spin bike (40 mins) and running (3.25 miles). Kicking my butt at the gym has been awesome. Tomorrow I am supposed to grab lunch with the folks in Hollywood and on Thursday I’m going to visit my grandpa & family in East LA.

I hope your weekend was filled with a good balance of fun and rest. Time for a short week!

– Nicole

Kevin and Julia’s Palo Alto Wedding

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Posted by Lauren

Last Saturday was a ton of fun because another college friend tied the knot! I met Kevin freshman year of college, he was one of the guys that spent a lot of time in our dorm but didn’t actually live there. (The math and science dorm was quite the party spot in 2005 believe it or not.) When someone got kicked out spring quarter, he took advantage of the opening and moved in, officially becoming a Muir guy. He’s the first guy in our crew to get hitched!

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The night before the wedding, Fran, Krizia, and I went to Kevin & Julia’s apartment to hang out with the almost-newlyweds and a few other wedding guests. We toasted to them with a round of champagne and then watched some Olympics opening ceremony. It was nice to get extra time with all the out-of-town guests!

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Saturday morning, after a quick run & bar class, Fran/Krizia/I got ready for the ceremony! It felt just like old times getting ready for a night out with my college roomies (minus Kerry, who we missed terribly!). A little after noon we hopped in the car and caravanned to Stanford. (Extra thanks to Kyle for driving us everywhere and being so sweet by dropping us off close to stuff so we didn’t have to be in the rain a lot!)

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Sometimes when prepping blog posts I get lost in Wikipedia looking at facts. Here’s some about the ceremony site, Stanford Memorial Church:

  • Nicknamed MemChu
  • Commissioned by Jane Stanford as a memorial to her husband, Leland Stanford
  • Jane spent two months in Venice to select the watercolors for the mosaics
  • Construction started in 1899 and finished in 1903
  • The 1906 earthquake wrecked much of the church, felled the spire, cracked the walls, and “injured beyond repair” the mosaics
  • It has the plan and structure of a large Romanesque church while the extensive use of mosaic and the foliate forms of the stone carvings reflect Byzantine styles (like the churches of Constantinople and St Mark’s Basilica)
  • The chief building material of the church is buff sandstone, which came from the Goodrich Quarry in the Almaden area of San Jose (aka where my mom lives!)

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Photo op with Krizia and Fran :)

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Kevin and Julia took a few photos together before the ceremony – it was kinda cool to watch it happen (usually photos are done out of sight and you have to wait until they pop up on Facebook).

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We took our seats in the GORGEOUS church and the ceremony began!

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After the “you may now kiss the bride” moment, we grouped up for photos. Our Cal Poly crew was one of the bigger groups! Then, we took advantage of the 2 hours between the ceremony and reception and went to the Rose & Crown for drinks and snacks. Randomly, my mom and David were in Palo Alto, so they met us there as well! I loved this part of the day.

The reception was only a few blocks away at the Garden Court Hotel. (So convenient!!) We mingled during the cocktail hour and then went downstairs into the reception space for dinner.

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Sea ^^^

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Land ^^^

(Both, so so so good)

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The photo booth was a big hit……

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Yea, we were kinda obsessed.

First dance!!!

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Table 3! What a great table :)

On my way to the bathroom I came across this sweet moment between Kevin and Julia….

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Aren’t they adorable?!

Their wedding was perfect and totally “them.” The food, dancing, photos, speeches – all so fun! Can more people start getting married, please?!!

After the reception ended, a few of us went to Nola’s for another drink. We played that one iPhone game where you guess the word… and then some guy brought us all three fishbowl drinks (uhhh, no thank you?).

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It was an amazing day! Congrats Kevin and Julia!!

-Lauren