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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.

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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

The holidays are over, but I can still share these….

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Posted by Lauren

The holidays are over, but I can still share these…. PHOTOS!

Yes, I know it’s January. But let’s back up and relive the December fun :)

My first holiday “party” was the cookie decorating happy hour at work. After Dreamforce we moved into a new office that’s in the middle of nowhere (Redwood Shores) and to keep things jolly about the office we created “Team Fun” to organize bi-monthly, themed happy hours. I loved the cookie decorating one and was pretty proud of my snowman sugar cookie.

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Next up, Kim’s infamous holiday party in Fresno! I’m fairly confident that everyone who is invited to Kim’s party looks forward to it all year. She’s just a spectacular hostess and continues to surprise us with her festive/glamorous decorations, drinks, and food! (Here’s a recap of 2012 and 2013)

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It was extra nice to see Holly and Molly (after Oktoberfest!) and Megan and Paul (and their adorable pup!) and Wes (from the dorms) and Margaret and meet Kim’s boyfriend for the first time. How many days until the next Martinis and Mistletoe party?! :)

–SIDEBAR real quick for a photo of Nicole (and her bf!) at her company holiday party–

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Ow ow! So hot.

Next “holiday” party? San Francisco’s ridiculously awesome SantaCon. I forget what weekend it was, but with approx 20 minutes of brainstorming Kyle and I both found Santa-worthy outfits and headed up to the city via Caltrain with Jeremy, Pam, Kit, Adrienne, Sallie, Chris, and some others. I took two fuzzy white socks from CVS, cut them up on the train, and safety pinned them to the bottom of my red dress. I wish I would have snapped a photo! Everyone was so festive, and yet this is all I have to document the day….. #fail

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Met up with some coworkers in the middle of SantaCon! Speaking of coworkers….

The day after SantaCon, we pulled ourselves together for our company holiday party at our CEO’s house. Like last year, there was Christmas caroling a la piano, silly games, and gainsta merryment. This time we upped the ante with a photo wall and fake cigs.

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A few days before that, I joined Kyle at his company’s holiday party in Menlo Park. It was a very classy event…. with a jammin’ jazz quartet and fancy buffet dinner. It was awesome meeting Kyle’s coworkers and catching up with my pal Joffer who just started working there!

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Next up: Our Christmas & NYE festivities…. in SF and Tahoe!

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Would you rather: decorate xmas cookies or dress up like Santa and roam around SF?

I made a resolution to….

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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 :)

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Next up: pics from various holiday parties!

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

-Lauren

Dreaming and Rocking and Rolling

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Posted by Lauren

What do you do when you’re bored on Caltrain headed to day 2 of Dreamforce? (the biggest cloud/tech conference ever… Nicole’s here too!!)

You remember this tiny corner of the internet where you and your sister used to blog and decide to post a quick update!

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Side note: you used to be able to resize photos on the WordPress mobile app, where did that feature go!?

Dreamforce is always an interesting time. Even more interesting though is how today is Game 3 of the NLCS showdown between the Giants and Cardinals and the whole city is buzzing with Orange and Black. I love this time of year :)

This is basically a St. Louis week all around. Why? Well we’re playing the Cardinals, the 49ers beat the Rams last night, and on Thursday I’ll be flying to STL with my mom and stepdad for this…

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You wouldn’t know it (because I’m not blogging hardly ever) but I’ve done zero running this year (or that’s how it feels).

For the past 10 days or so I forced myself to run a little so that my body remembers what to do on Sunday. A lot of family members are running the race and it will be super embarrassing if I can’t finish! Humiliation is a good motivator :) Not to mention that I have 3 half’s in the span of 5 weeks (St. Louis, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, oh my!) So I better get my act together!

What else is new??? Well, we are moving offices for work (hello Redwood Shores and a new northbound 101 commute), last weekend my BFF Katie got married in Portland (ahh it was the most perfect wedding!!), and the two weeks before that Kyle and I were roaming around Europe — Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, Munich, Oktoberfest.

So pretty typical. Jk.

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I’d really like to make some detailed posts on my recent trips… But until then… GO GIANTS!!!!!

-Lauren