fitness · food

yoga + brunch

{yoga @ the Santa Monica Pier}

This past Saturday, I woke up around 8:15am to get ready for a 9am yoga class at the Santa Monica Pier.  Shaina and I decided to take the metro instead of drive (we’re both only a 5 minute walk away from the same metro station!) since it would take about the same amount of time if you account for parking.  We arrived about 20 minutes late to class so we sat in the very back.  I’m kind of glad though because I’m terrible at yoga.

Sometime between downward dog and warrior II, I thought to myself, “How amazing is this?  I’m taking a free yoga class above the ocean with some of my closest friends.  Life is good.”

{breakfast burrito + avocado toast + Sweet Summer Squash Pancakes}
{iced moca + breakfast burrito + avocado toast + Sweet Summer Squash Pancakes}

After yoga, we went to eat at Bondi Harvest for Christine’s birthday brunch.  We shared everything family style and agreed that the Sweet Summer Squash Pancakes were the best!

Once brunch was over, Christine dropped Shaina and I off at the metro station closest to her apartment and we rode the metro the rest of the way home.  It was a quintessential Saturday morning in Los Angeles.  Instead of sleeping in on the weekends, I hope to take more advantage of the perks this city has to offer.

{Christine + Shaina + me}
{Christine + Shaina + me}
food

green juice

{green juice}
{green juice}

I love having green juice in the morning.  Before I got married, it was part of my morning routine.  But now that I’ve adopted my husband’s night-owl tendencies, I’ve been struggling with waking up early enough to make it before work.  Luckily, I found a solution that’s been working out pretty well.

Instead of making green juice in the morning, I make it at night, typically before I shower.  So I guess you could say it’s part of my night routine now.  I pour our green juice into insulated containers that my father-in-law bought for us.  I like it better than keeping it in the fridge in a mason jar because our insulated containers aren’t cold to the touch and don’t get everything wet with condensation.  Plus, I feel like the insulated containers keep it fresher.

Here’s a typical list of ingredients I use:

  • two or three handfuls of mixed greens (spinach, kale and chard) – I like Power to the Greens from Trader Joe’s
  • one or half of a fresh or frozen banana
  • a small handful of frozen mango chunks
  • a small handful of frozen pineapple chunks
  • a cup of coconut water – I like the brand Zico, which you can buy in bulk at Costco for a lot cheaper than the grocery store

I will make adjustments depending on how I feel (i.e. more greens if I want it to taste less sweet, less coconut water for a thicker texture, etc.).

Since I don’t really eat breakfast, the green juice has done a pretty good job of keeping me full until lunch time.  Another thing I’ve noticed is that I stopped drinking coffee every morning because it takes me a while to finish the green juice and by the time I’m done, either the coffee is all gone or cold.  And I’m usually too lazy to make a fresh pot just for myself.

Tip: Use frozen fruits in lieu of ice so the flavor doesn’t get diluted!

food

birthday celebration part 7 – lunch at Taps

Last but not least, I celebrated my birthday with girlfriends I’ve had since middle school.

All of us ordered the Three Course Tasting Menu.  In hindsight, the three of us could’ve just shared two orders instead of each getting our own.  We stuffed ourselves to the brink of being sick and still had plenty of leftovers.

{Lobster Bisque}
{Lobster Bisque}

For my 1st course, I ordered the Lobster Bisque.  I’ve had it before and it continues to be my favorite soup at Taps.

{Clam Chowder}
{Clam Chowder}

Emily ordered the clam chowder.  It tasted fine but the texture was too thick.

{Barbacoa Empanadas}
{Barbacoa Empanadas}

Grace ordered the empanadas.  I thought it was just alright but then again, I’m not a big fan of empanadas in general.

{Tomato & Scampi Linguini}
{Tomato & Scampi Linguini}

For my 2nd course, I ordered the linguini.  It was really good and I would order this again if I was craving pasta.

{Macadamia-Crusted Rockfish}
{Macadamia-Crusted Rockfish}

Emily and Grace both got the rockfish, which was also really good.

{Fresh Fruit Sorbet}
{Fresh Fruit Sorbet}

For our 3rd course, Emily and I both got the sorbet.  It was sweet and refreshing and I would definitely recommend it!

{Half-Baked Sundae}
{Half-Baked Sundae}

Grace got the sundae, which looks a lot better than it tastes.

{Crème Brûlée}
{Crème Brûlée}

Taps gave me a complimentary dessert, which was very nice of them.  But I don’t like creme brulee so I didn’t eat any of it.  Plus, I was way wayyy too full at that point.

Random thought: five of the restaurants I ate at for my birthday gave me a complimentary dessert, which I’m very grateful for.  However, all of them picked the dessert for me and all of them were desserts I don’t eat.  So either my friends ate it or it went to waste.  Wouldn’t it better if they just let the birthday person pick the dessert?  I guess it could potentially ruin the “surprise” but not if they let you order the dessert as if you were going to pay for it and then when the check comes, the server could just say it was on the house.

Anyway, that’s it for all the birthday celebrations!  As much fun as I had catching up with all my different groups of friends and eating so much good food, I’m kind of glad the birthday celebrations are over because I gained about 3 pounds in one week.

food

birthday celebration part 6 – dinner at Perch in DTLA

Since this post is long overdue and I still have one more birthday post to get through, I will sum up this dinner in pictures :).

{FROMAGE + CHARCUTERIE PLATE}
{FROMAGE + CHARCUTERIE PLATE}

I don’t eat cold cheese so I would never order this on my own.  But my friends all liked it!

{BOEUF BORDELAISE}
{BOEUF BORDELAISE}

I’m not a big short rib eater but if you are, you’ll probably like this dish.

{SCALLOPS}
{SCALLOPS}

The scallops were good but for the price, I don’t think it was worth it.

{PAN ROASTED SALMON}
{PAN ROASTED SALMON}

The salmon was just okay.  I wouldn’t recommend it.

{STEAK FRITES}
{STEAK FRITES}

This was my favorite dish!  The meat was a little tough but the fries were sooooooo good!  Next time, I think I’ll just order a plate of those truffle cheese fries + french onion soup and call it a day :).

{WHITE CHOCOLATE BREAD PUDDING}
{WHITE CHOCOLATE BREAD PUDDING}

Complimentary birthday dessert.  It was good but I would never order it because I’m not a big fan of bread pudding.  I’d rather have their Chocolate Pot De Creme instead!

 

{Sorority Sisters <3}
{Sorority Sisters <3}
food

birthday celebration part 5 – triple birthday dinner at Brunos

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Roy and I have the same birthday (Aug. 16) and his wife’s birthday is the day before.  So it was only fitting for us to have a triple birthday dinner at Brunos with all of James and Roy’s friends.  Everyone chipped in for our dinner and drinks, which was so sweet.  I also received an unexpected birthday gift from Roy & Amy (Nordstrom’s gift card) and Eric & Eric (basket full of some of my favorite snacks + vegan, cruelty-free soap!).

I forgot to take photos of our food but I got the Penne al Pesto and James got the Lasagna al Forno.  Both dishes were pretty good.

 

food

birthday celebration part 3 – dinner at Boiling Crab

Last Thursday I celebrated my birthday with the Tiffany Girls (minus Jess) at Boiling Crab.  Many months ago, I actually thought about eating at The Ivy for my birthday with these ladies.  But since Jess wasn’t going to make it, I decided to save The Ivy for another time.

Even though Boiling Crab is as casual as it gets, eating with your fingers out of plastic bag and all… it always feels like a special dining experience, especially when I go with this group.

Dinner was delicious as per usual.  I ordered a pound of shrimp, the whole shebang, medium spicy with corn and we all shared an order of sweet potato fries, Cajun fries (mild) and two orders of rice.

 

 

food

birthday celebration part 2 – dinner at Crustacean

James is so sweet.  He tried to surprise me with reservations at Crustacean since it’s my favorite fancy restaurant.  Unfortunately, his surprise was ruined because Crustacean sent me a confirmation email.  I was extremely happy when I saw that email though :).

We ordered the crab and garlic noodles, which is our usual.  We also took a chance and ordered their sea bass special.  The sea bass was good but if I could do it over, I would’ve skipped the sea bass and ordered another plate of garlic noodles and maybe an appetizer instead.  For dessert, I usually order their molten chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream.  But this time, they never brought us the dessert menu.  Instead, they gave us a complimentary dessert for my birthday.  I forget what the name of the dessert is called but it’s fried bananas with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. I’m not a big fan of bananas, fried desserts or caramel so I debated if I should still get my chocolate cake.  I decided to pass on it this time but we plan on maybe coming back just for dessert one of these nights.

IMG_0630
{I think the drink was called Pink Lotus – it has melted cotton candy!}
IMG_0632
{An’s Famous Garlic Noodle}
IMG_0633
{sea bass special}
IMG_0634
{An’s Famous Roasted Crab}
{banana dessert}
{banana dessert}