SoCal & L.A. Travels, Coffee Perfection, & Eats!

It feels good to be back home and easing into my regular routine. I’ve missed my coffee pot, gym sessions, and of course my boyfriend and the pups. I had a really fun trip. Spending time with my brother and exploring the west coast was a lot of fun. I’m excited to go back and cover all the fun spots I missed. We tried a lot of cool restaurants, coffee shops, played a lot of tennis, and spent time putting his new place together. This recap is going to be filled with delicious food, so I hope you have coffee and a snack nearby!

My intentions were to have this post up bright and early, but I fell asleep last night.  It happens. 
My body was still on east coast time, so I often woke up around 5 am. On Monday morning, I woke up to write my weekly recap post, made a breakfast plate, and then headed out with my brother to grab some decor. My breakfast plate had clementines, blueberries, strawberries, kiwi, and egg with pepper. I have been extremely obsessed with Celsius water lately. I’ve talked about it briefly on the blog. It’s so tasty and makes a big difference in my energy levels.  The Wild Berry is the best flavor of them all (in my opinion.) I tried a lot of new products this week that I’ve fallen in love with, so I’ll share them throughout the post.
My brother and I ran all over the place on Monday. We were zonked. I think we went to over fifteen stores and cleared out all the boxes from the move. We had some afternoon coffee, snacked on some popcorn, and decompressed. The Little Kernel Popcorn brand was so good. It’s sweet & salty, and I loved how little the kernels were. I crumbled a couple of pieces of dark chocolate on top.  I found it at Sprouts, but they have it on Amazon as well. I linked it above.
I was so hungry later on that night, so I ran over to Sprouts to pick up a salad from their food bar. I had their balsamic marinaded kale, dried cranberries, edamame, hard boiled egg, pepitas, tomatoes, old-fashioned chicken salad, squash, romaine, and sunflower seeds. 
My brother headed over to the tennis courts early Tuesday to play. I was so happy to play with him because he taught me a lot. My brother is an incredible tennis player, and he didn’t take it easy on me.

Afer tennis, I had another Celsius Live Fit water and a  Mucho Fuego Tonic. The juice had black pepper essential oil, ginger, turmeric, cayenne pepper, orange, lime, and filtered water. Because I had over 60,000 steps in the 2 1/2 days, I could feel the inflammation in my knees, so this juice was a great anti-inflammatory drink. I ordered a case off Amazon, and I plan on using it as a base for smoothies. 
I had SO MANY food recommendations from you all! I wrote them all in a notebook and sent them over to my brother for his future rec. I had about ten people recommend that I try out True Food Kitchen. I know it’s in several locations, but I had never tried it before, so I was pumped because this place was right up my alley. 
The menu was hard to choose from because there were so many delicious options.  
I decided to go with the Turkey burger. I’m a sucker for a good turkey burger! Theirs was so juicy and flavorful. It came on a gluten free bun with smashed avocado, tomato, hummus, and jalapeno remoulade. It originally comes with smoked gouda, but I had them add hummus as a replacement. I love hummus on my burgers! I had a side of kale salad, which was incredible! I wish I could get my kale salad to taste that good. If you’re a pizza lover, theirs looked incredible! 
My brother went with the inside out quinoa burger. The bun is a quinoa patty! Inside of the patties, there is hummus, tzatziki, tomato, cucumber, onion, avocado, and feta! He had a side of kale salad and sweet potatoes. The potatoes were very crispy. I had a bite of his quinoa burger, and I can confirm that it was delicious and worth ordering. 
Later on in the evening, I headed out for a run along the beach. There is a trail for runners and walkers. I planned on doing three miles but felt too good to stop. I ran from Hermosa Beach Pier to Manhattan Beach Pier and back.  The weather was perfection. I already miss the California breeze. You have to bring a sweatshirt if you go anywhere during the evening because the temperature drops about ten degrees. 
I heard some great things about The Source Cafe via Yelp. I decided to stop in there after my run and spend some time on the Hermosa Beach Pier while the sun went down.
It was a pretty cute spot with indoor and pet-friendly outdoor seating. 
I decided to try out one of their chia puddings for a post workout! I chose the Majik Chia Pudding. It came with coconut milk, coconut water, blue Majik, maca, tocos, cinnamon, vanilla, maple, coconut and sea salt. Sounded pretty good! 
I also bought an iced matcha & chlorella tea. It was made with coconut water. Also sounded pretty good! I also ordered a coconut milk cappuccino because it was getting chilly.
For having all of the tasty ingredients in this chia pudding, it tasted like chia seeds and pond water. I took two bites and decided to save it for later. I needed to doctor it up with honey and some other flavors. I wasn’t going to waste it, but I wasn’t going to eat it in the state it was currently in. 
I was excited to have my Cappucino on the pier. 
But my cappuccino wasn’t a cappuccino at all. I have no idea what it was, but I almost spit it out after the first sip. It tasted like old coffee with sour milk. I couldn’t believe what I just put in my mouth. I thought this was some sick joke. The good part is that it photographed well. How about that for a little optimism?
I was excited to try the matcha tea with coconut water. You can’t mess that up.

Pond water. Did I just drink pond water? Yup, I think I just drank pond water.

The worst part is I spent $30 on a big fail. I should have just ordered a black coffee or one of their desserts from the glass case. The desserts looked delicious, so if you go in there, that is what I recommend. Stick to dessert!

I want to point out that I may have just ordered the wrong items and I would probably give this place another chance. Their food on the Yelp menu looked good, their smoothies, and the dessert looks like they are worth it. So if you want to try out this place, do it! Just don’t order a coconut milk cappuccino, matcha water/tea, or a Majik chia pudding bowl. 
I stopped at Whole Foods on the way back from the pier to grab a salad and dark chocolate for dinner. I tried out the Nohmad Coconut Milk Raw Chocolate with Cacao Nibs! I always like to have a little piece of dark chocolate at night. It was really good 🙂 

My salad had zoodles, edamame, hummus, quinoa, Seasnax jalapeno chompers (so good), grilled chicken, kale, bell peppers, and balsamic vinaigrette. I ended up finishing three seasons of A Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce in five days. It was such a good show! 

On Wednesday morning, TC and I headed to Natureba for breakfast before picking up Karlee at the airport. My brother never had an acai bowl before, so I was excited for him to try one. 
I’m so glad we chose this place for his first acai bowl because it was so delicious.

I ordered the traditional acai bowl which came with organic acai, banana, and guarana topped with granola and banana.
My juice had wheatgrass, extra ginger, green apple, celery, cucumber, spinach, kale, lemon, and lime. Probably one of the best juices I’ve had in a very long time.

Later that day, we headed out to lunch at Xanadu Cafe in Newport Beach. I started out with a coconut milk matcha green tea. So tasty! 

My brother and I split an avocado & smoked salmon toast plate. You can’t complain about a combo like that! 
The toast had cream cheese, onions, capers, smoked salmon, and alfalfa sprouts. It also came with a little side salad. 
Later in the afternoon, I headed out for a long walk around Redondo beach. 
We decided to do hibachi on the grill for dinner. We also made a ton of different sides.
I was in charge of the delicious kale salad.

I washed and dried fresh kale and then tossed it in agave, sesame oil, apple cider vinegar, balsamic, olive oil, and a splash of garlic powder. I tossed the marinated kale with chopped mission figs, halved cherry tomatoes, chopped red onion, sunflower seeds, cucumber, and mango chunks. The only ingredient missing was the avocado! 
I love a colorful salad!:) It was so good with chopped grilled chicken on top. 

My brother made a fried rice on the hibachi grill as well. 

Sautéed plantains!
Grilled veggies, tofu, chicken, rice, kale salad, plantains, toasted peanuts, and peas! Perfect combo! 
My plate was filled with the grilled chicken, my kale salad, and mixed vegetables! 
I was so excited for Thursday! It was time to hike to the Hollywood Sign! You can’t go to L.A. without doing the touristy stuff 😉 
We stopped at the gas station for water before heading to the trail. I was curious about this UP TIME drink. It literally tasted like fizzy cool aid. It has ginseng, ginkgo biloba, and coenzyme q10. I purchased more on Amazon because I’m not sure where else to find them other than, Seven Eleven gas station. 
I didn’t want to do this without a workout. There are several trails you can take to get to the sign, or you could drive it. I chose the Bush Canyon Trail because it’s 6.4 miles round trip with 1,050 feet of elevation change. 
The views were breathtaking.
There was a lot of horse poop towards the top of the trail around the stables, so be careful. 
Hello, Hollywood! I knew I’d get there one day. 
Thank you, T.C. for the fifteen selfies on my camera. 
On the way down, we snacked on clementines, pineapple, and cantaloupe. 
I had someone snap me a picture of this coffee shop, and I knew I needed to find it! Luckily, it was only three miles from the trail. We drove down to Melrose Ave and made our way into Carrera Cafe! 
Guys, Ryan Gosling Coffee art. 
I repeat…RYAN GOSLING COFFEE ART!! Are you kidding me? How cool. 
I had their soy milk cappuccino with an extra shot of espresso! The espresso wasn’t fantastic, but still. RYAN GOSLING COFFEE ART. 
They sold a lot of really cool local snacks in the cafe, and they were so fun to browse. These Dardimans California snacks looked heavenly. We spent the next few hours exploring Melrose Ave and Rodeo Drive. 🙂 
We were so ready for dinner! We headed down to Manhattan Beach for tasty Mexican food.
Hello, Pancho’s! 
They had a really cute outdoor patio we were going to sit on, but happy hour was for bar seating only, and we weren’t about to pass up happy hour. I ordered a skinny margarita 🙂 
Tasty house guacamole, spicy guacamole, and chips to start with! I loved their salsa! 
I love to order fajitas at Mexican restaurants because you can skip out on the tortilla and keep it low carb (tip from Becca.) I had enough carbs eating all the chips.
Perfection on a plate. This restaurant was so good, and they were very friendly. The fajitas almost had an Italian taste to them, and I liked them a lot.
I was so stuffed after dinner, so I decided to head down to the beach with Karlee for a long walk. My watch hit 28,000 steps for the day…holy moly. 
We stopped to get tea first. 
If I lived by this beach, actually any beach, I’d walk it every night or every morning. It’s so therapeutic. 
We walked all the way down to Manhattan beach pier. 
The temperature dropped to sixty-five, and the winds from the ocean were so chilly! I was loving it. I love fulfilling days. Days where each minute is spent doing something you love <3
I also love filling breakfast. My breakfast had a kale salad, scrambled egg whites, and sautéed vegetables. 
Jax thought my kale was catnip or something…

After breakfast, we headed to the tennis courts to play. It got hot fast, so we only spent about an hour there. 
After showering off and getting ready for the day, we headed out for coffee and a little exploring. We stopped at The Boy & The Bear for a much-needed coffee. The decor was seriously goals. I loved the pattern painted on the floor! I thought it was a rug at first. 
I ordered the hemp milk cappuccino with an extra shot of espresso. It definitely came out latte style, but it was still pretty good. I actually really enjoy hemp milk! 
I tried one a Vive organic immunity boosts wellness shot when I was there. I’m a sucker for anything with ginger. This one had ginger, turmeric root, black pepper, pineapple, lemon, and echinacea. Echinacea is a flower that is used to enhance your immune system. If you have a cold, or feel one forming, totally get your hands on echinacea! 
We took a drive to Rancho Palos Verdes! What a gorgeous drive, and beautiful area of California.
We walked around the Seascape trail. It’s the perfect place to start in Palos Verdes. 
During peak season, this is the place to go for whale watching! 
How beautiful! It’s the Point Vicente Light House. This area used to be an army base years ago. 
There were a ton of homes across the street. Imagine being able to bring your coffee over and walk the trails every morning?
We were all getting hungry, so we headed to Redondo for dinner!
We walked past this succulent & crate display. How cute!!!! I need to figure out how to do this.
We decided to have dinner at R10 Social House. They had a pretty impressive happy hour. We started with some wine, a Moscow Mule, and some fancy mint martini. Our bartender was so kind and friendly. We were going to have dinner outside on the water, but we were enjoying our time and didn’t feel like moving. We also wanted to take advantage of all the happy hour bites for dinner. 
We ordered mussels, shishito peppers, wings, Brussels, and a whiskey loaf.
If you check into the restaurant on your Yelp app, Facebook, or Twitter, you get a free whiskey loaf! Just in case you’re planning on stopping by.
Mussels don’t excite me. I don’t crave them, or care to order them. My brother made me try them again, and theirs were really good. They didn’t taste slimy or fishy. They were cooked in a buttery coconut curry sauce that I enjoyed. This was my first time trying shishito peppers, and I’m completely hooked. How could a vegetable taste so freaking good? The brussels sprouts were also incredible. Their sauces and seasoning on the food were perfection.

We ordered another round of drinks and a couple of ore plates of shishito peppers and mussels. Our bill was only $60! This place is a must if you’re near Redondo. 
The views from the restaurant weren’t too bad either. It was a great way to end the night.
I woke up around 5 am on Saturday morning to shower, pack up, and get ready for my trip home in the afternoon. 
I picked up a ton of snacks at Whole Foods for the day. I was going to be traveling until Midnight, so I wanted to have snacks in my bag for the airport. I obviously didn’t eat all of these in one day, but I picked out some things that looked good.
Go Raw Sprouted Carrot Cake Cookies
Rhythm Kale Chips (the best)
R Bar (Literally tasted like lemon cake)
PaleoKrunch Pumpkin Bar (only 178 calories for the bar and it’s pretty large)
Night Train Chocolate (delicious vegan chocolate)
Bobo’s Granola Bar (the best for breakfast before a training day/or run)
Bearded Brother’s Bars
Chia Crunc Coconut & Blueberry (would be so good with peanut butter)

Before heading to the airport, we stopped at Gum Tree Cafe in Hermosa Beach for coffee and breakfast. This was a cute little spot 🙂 
My brother and I split avocado toast with egg. Hello, espresso! I actually stole my brother’s drink for this photos. I just ordered a black coffee to go, and his looked better. 
Their breakfast was really really good. I need to start making avocado toast at home. 
Gum Tree Cafe also had a store with cute little gifts and home decor. We took a look around before leaving. 
I am so so so so obsessed with this doormat! They sell it at Anthropologie 🙂 You can find it here. 
When I got to the airport, I found a little spot by the window that had an outlet for my computer so I could set up this blog post and relax an hour before getting on the plane. I picked up hot English breakfast tea to go with my pumpkin bar.

I had about ten DM’s asking about my shoes. I couldn’t find them online anywhere, but here is a pair from the same brand that is a different color! I just ordered these because I’m obsessed with this color. 
I had a wonderful flight (minus the screaming kids in front of me.) Nothing earbuds and a good book couldn’t fix. I also had a couple of pieces of dark chocolate with my coffee. I made this a treat-yo-self flight. I started reading The Couple Next Door, and I was instantly hooked. This made the plane ride go by way too fast. I wanted more time! 
I landed in Chicago around 9 pm central time. I was on a hunt for something to eat because snacks didn’t sound appetizing at all. I guess packing the snacks was a fail. I knew I wouldn’t be in Charlotte until Midnight and I didn’t want to eat that late, so my only option was to eat before getting on the plane. I was on a hunt for Pot Belly’s because that’s where I usually stop when I’m in Chicago, but I couldn’t find it. I went with a cobb salad instead. It had cherry tomatoes, bacon, avocado, egg, grilled chicken, and lettuce. Instead of the ranch, I used an Asian vinaigrette! It was good on the cobb 🙂 The salad tasted a lot better than it looked. They seriously need more Chipotles or Panera Breads in airports. I spent my last flight buried into my book. 
Hello, Charlotte! Kyle picked me up at the airport at midnight. I slept until nine the next morning. When I woke up, the pups were walked, fed, and he was already up for the day. It’s usually the other way around! He took the dogs to get groomed on Saturday morning, so they were all shaved up when I got home. They were so happy to see me 🙂 Leo slept in my arms all night and Grumples curled up at my feet. 
Kyle, his roommate, and I headed to the 7th Public Street market for breakfast. I ordered an omelet with onions, spinach, tomatoes, bell peppers, and sweet potatoes! The coffee from Not Just Coffee was on point Sunday morning. I don’t know which roast it was because Kyle brought it over to me, but it was so so so good! Even Kyle, who isn’t a coffee drinker, liked it. He said he could drink that every day. Oh, and the omelet was very good too! 
After breakfast, we packed up some waters and headed to the tennis courts with the pups. We found a single tennis court that is shaded so we could bring the dogs. They love coming to watch us play! They sit on the side of the court and run for our balls when they go flying. They take them to the side and spit them out. It’s almost like they know what they are supposed to do. 
They were so cute 🙂 
After we dropped them back off at home, Kyle and I made a trip to the Fresh Market and Whole Foods for dinner ingredients. I picked up some chocolate covered ginger pieces, my favorite. 
I finished my book yesterday afternoon with a cup of coffee. It was really really really good! I highly recommend it!
Later in the evening, Kyle and I started making dinner. After eating shishito peppers at R10, I was craving them again. We found them at Whole Foods and bought three pounds of them.

I heated a pan to medium, added a little olive oil and 1/4 cup of water, and added the washed peppers to it. You’ll want to cook these on a medium heat. If you cook them too high, they’ll brown before fully cooking. You want them to wilt and blister a little. Once they were blistered and slightly brown, I added in garlic powder, black pepper, gluten free teriyaki sauce, and sesame seeds. 
I was worried that they wouldn’t taste like the restaurant’s, but they were just as good! They were even healthier. I have a feeling you’ll be seeing more and more of these on the blog soon.  
Another perfection in the kitchen last night.

Kyle made the tastiest, crispiest, most delicious oven-baked wings last night. He even made homemade buffalo sauce. These were so crispy that they could have been mistaken for fried wings. When you bit into one, the outside crunched. The chicken was cooked perfectly, and I just wish I could have these again tonight. Holy Moly!
Kyle and I are going to put together a blog post this weekend with the recipe and some more homemade sauces. I think we are even going to make it a video.
We even used gluten free flour to play around with the texture. I would eat these over any wings I’ve ever had. Like the shishito peppers, you’ll be seeing more and more of these. There is a secret ingredient that made these chicken wings magical. Can you guess it?
Questions for you! 

  1. What is something you’ve just recently tried for the first time that you now enjoy?
  2. Can you guess the secret ingredient that makes these wings so crispy?
  3. Would you rather walk the beach at sunset or hike the mountainside early in the morning?

Thank you guys for reading this extremely long blog post! I have a fun surprise for my recap post next week! Stay tuned. Oh, and a pumpkin apple muffin recipe with coconut whipped frosting coming Wednesday!

Comments

  • Dani

    Girl! I live in the hermosa beach area!
    The Source Cafe is actually one of my favorites! Next time you NEED to get their avocado toast. It’s amazing. And their desserts are delicious too.
    You should also check out The Post in Manhattan Beach next time for dinner. My husband and I LOVE it there. It’s a restaurant that actually used to be an old post office (hence the name) and the chef worked at a Micehlin star restaurant previously. They are known for their cheddar, bacon and chive biscuits that come with a maple butter – literally best thing I have ever eaten!

    Reply to Dani
  • Patricia L.

    Baking powder! ?

    Reply to Patricia L.
  • Nika

    This post came at the perfect time! Just found out I am heading to LA for work next month, so hoping to try some of these spots! Definitely going to try that hike to the hollywood sign you did as well:)

    Reply to Nika
  • Katie

    Wow looks so beautiful there!! Seems like you had a great time! All those eats look sooo amazingly delicious. I can’t get over that coffee art! 😀

    Katie | http://www.meshkomoments.com

    Reply to Katie
  • Melissa FitzGerald

    Ha, I’ve been going to Redondo Beach for my entire life and you just gave ME a recommendation! I’m going back next week for my sister’s wedding and I’m DEFINITELY gonna try to add R10 Social House to our agenda!

    1. As embarrassing as this is… mango! I’ve had mango-flavored things but never the actual fruit. My neighbors have a mango tree and they’ve been giving my parents their extras, and I finally got to try it the other night. I don’t know where I’ve been living, but apparently it was under a rock because those things are delicious.

    2. I wanna guess some sort of sugar? That could definitely caramelize and make the wings crunchy… but they sound too healthy for that, so I’m stumped. I’m super excited for the recipe to post though… wings are da bessttt.

    3. I would definitely rather hike the mountainside early in the morning. Talk about my happy place! One of my favorite memories from when I was a kid was driving to Canada from Montana with my family and stopping to hike a random mountain. It was my first time ever seeing snow, and I was in shorts and flip flops!

    Reply to Melissa FitzGerald
    • Taralynn McNitt

      OH YES! YOU MUST GO THERE!!!

      It’s weird because the mango fruit is something I’m still trying to teach myself to like!! I DO love the flavor when it’s candy, smoothies, or dressings…The mango in Hawaii was way different than the ones on the mainland and I like that way better.

      Sugar would be a good one!

      Awwww I love Canada!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Em

    Loving the black nails!

    Reply to Em
  • Abbey

    Yes shishito peppers are delish! I like to roast them with olive oil and coarse salt.

    Reply to Abbey
  • Susie

    I loved this post! I’m from San Francisco and visit SoCal often and it was so neat to see you exploring my home state. I actually just visited the Griffith Observatory this past July myself. Vacations are great, but I bet it’s so nice to be back home. You should totally make a video of Grumples and Leo going after the tennis balls, I bet it’d go viral, lol.

    1. One food I recently tried and loved is roasted golden beets in my salads (with goat cheese -oh my!)
    2. I say panko crumbs is your secret ingredient. Cant’ wait for the video!
    3. I’m a water sign so definitely walking the beach at sunset.

    Oh, and thank you for recommending Girlfriend Guide to Divorce, I’m on season 2 and love it! And since I also loved the last book you suggested, I will definitely put The Couple Next Door at the top of my list.

    Reply to Susie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you, Susie!

      Hhahaha that would be a great idea for a video and they do it like the pros!

      yikes! I may have to try that EVEN THOUGH I HATE BEETS!lol

      Goooood guess! Those are def my fave in chicken nuggets!

      Beach & sunsets are my favorite. I wanna live by the beach so bad.

      HAHAHA So glad you’re hooked. Also, if you haven’t watch Younger!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Evani

    I bought that book and finished it as soon as I saw your Insta. Holy girl, what a book!

    Reply to Evani
  • Lesley

    I love all of your coffee pictures. Some people are so annoying! I hope to try True Foods in D.C. soon!

    Reply to Lesley
  • Meghan

    Hey Taralynn,

    Long time reader here, I just wanted to pop in and say hi 🙂

    Love reading your life updates and living vicariously through your travels! I also live far from family so I know how great it is when you get to visit. I love looking through your posts for workout and recipe ideas, thanks for sharing!

    For this post:
    1. It’s not ‘new’ to me per say, but recently started going to hot yoga again. Forgot how great it makes me feel and loving it again!
    2. Best secret ingredient guess would be cornstarch? Can’t wait to find out though, love a good crispy chicken!
    3. Beach for sure. I live by one of the sunny beaches in Australia and loooove it!

    I’ve been looking for some more reading material and was wondering if you would share some of the blogs that you follow?

    Thanks 🙂

    Reply to Meghan
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Meghan!

      Thank you for the kind words 😀 Visiting family is always great!

      Hot yoga is wonderful! I was so intimidated to try it, but LOVE it.

      We will be making new variations this weekend!!

      I don’t follow a lot of blogs because I have a hard time keeping up with my own, but some of my favorites would be Fit Foodie Finds, Gal Meets Glam, Barefoot Blonde, and The Real Life RD. 😀

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Susie @ Mile High Dreamers

    I’m so confused after reading this post… I don’t know if I want a delicious juice, a coffee, a veggie burger, avocado toast, a yummy fizzy drink, to go run, or to buy that book immediately… SO MUCH GOODNESS!

    I have never really wanted to visit LA that bad until I saw all your food pics, now it’s a must haha (except dishwater juice, no thank you).

    I recently just tried the BBG workouts and I’m OBSESSED. It’s amazing to just be done in 30 minutes and it’s kicking my butt!

    I guess the Secret ingredient is… rice flour! Or some sort of fizzy drink. I stole that from the Food Network (if it seems random haha).

    I do love a good early morning hike, but Ben pretty much has to drag me out of bed if it’s before 8 on the weekend so…. sunsets it is :).

    Ps. Your brother’s kitties are the cutest!

    Reply to Susie @ Mile High Dreamers
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Susie!!

      I guess you’ll just have to plan to do it all 😉

      Yeah, steer clear from the soapy pond waters lol

      That is awesome! I’ve heard great things about those workouts.

      Rice flour would be a great one!

      Hahahaha I agree!!

      & yes his cats FINALLY like me. Took years haha

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Amber

    That book looks awesome!

    Reply to Amber
  • marti @fitwithheart

    looked like an amazing trip!! and everything you tried looks so good! can’t wait to see your wing recipe!

    Reply to marti @fitwithheart
  • Amy

    Taralynn I love that you shared your visit to CA, that’s where I grew up! The shisito peppers can also be made in the broiler tossed with sea salt and olive oil. They take about 10 minutes or so and are super easy. Just in case you were interested in another way to cook them… I’ll def be trying your way 🙂

    Reply to Amy
  • Bethany @LuluRuns

    Love this post, girl! Man, those views are amazing! I wish I lived next to a beach, I would walk or run along the water, every morning! hmmm…for the wings, is it cornstarch? That’s kind of a long shot, but just a guess 😉

    Reply to Bethany @LuluRuns
  • Shelby

    love the recap! Cant’wait to see the wing recipe. Crispy wings are my fave! don’t forget to post about your new running shoes! 🙂 🙂

    Reply to Shelby
  • shalyn

    What a great post for visiting neat cafe/ restaurants. Nice photography and glad it was great trip. The beach is sure wonderful!

    First time love – grilled pineapple!

    Secret Ingredient – honey?

    Beach or Mountain – How about both? Living in the PNW, I do both often in 1 day!

    Reply to shalyn
  • Amie

    I love all of your photos and your love for coffee!

    Reply to Amie
  • Elisa

    I’m trying to lower my caffeine intake, but I surely would make an exception for a Ryan Gosling coffee 😀

    What is something you’ve just recently tried for the first time that you now enjoy?
    Baked camembert! I was skeptical (it’s not very healthy and, well… cheese smells!) but it’s definitely a great comfort food (I just don’t cook it on a romantic date – and I share with my sister when she visits me)

    Can you guess the secret ingredient that makes these wings so crispy?
    Breadcrumbs? I use it when I make homemade nuggets

    Would you rather walk the beach at sunset or hike the mountainside early in the morning?
    I’m lucky I can do both where I live, but if I had to chose one thing… Walking the beach! My dad grew up by the sea and the ocean just makes me feel like I’m home

    Reply to Elisa
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Right?! haha & you can always go decaf if you wanted.

      Ohhhh that sounds interesting. I may have to try it.

      Breadcrumbs are a great guess!

      ohhhhhhh you’re so lucky. I want that!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Cathey

    Thanks for the post!!! Great seeing your CA adventures 🙂

    I think the secret ingredient is baking soda or powder…can’t remember which one, but I made baked hot wings a few months back. They were DELISH, but left a heck of a mess in the oven! Did you set your smoke alarm off too??

    Reply to Cathey
  • Peggy O’Neill

    1.) Marcona Almonds
    2.) Cornstarch?
    3.) I don’t care as long as I am outside!!

    Your trip looked incredible!

    Reply to Peggy O'Neill
  • Forrest Corbin

    Please, please, please share the wing sauce recipes 🙂 I enjoy reading about the places you two eat at and the food you make at home.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply to Forrest Corbin
  • Hannah

    Is the secret ingredient in the “best-wings-ever” vinegar?? 🙂
    I have heard wonderful things about using soda water when battering homemade chicken strips, especially when you use gluten-free batters, like with rice flour!

    My mouth is watering thinking about chicken, now! I am going to go try my hand at making some tofu nuggets 🙂 My friend is currently eating vegan + no added sugar, and I have been helping her prepare some of the food. It has been so fun! Some of the food T.C. had while you were out to eat have been inspirational for things we can meal prep for her. I loved reading all about it!

    Reply to Hannah
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Vinegar is definitely in the sauce!:)

      Yes, Tofu is actually really good! Vegan or not, it’s enjoyable! I just bought some today actually.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Ashton Jury

    Yay! Glad you enjoyed California! Native over here from Newport Beach / Balboa Island but currently living in Seal Beach, which I think you would love. It looks like its stuck in the 1960’s and we have a ton of cute little shops and places to eat + drink. Also those peppers look delicious, I’ve been obsessed with fresh green beans lately that I marinate in the island soyaki dressing from Trader Joe’s. I have to say since I live at the beach I do love hiking in the mountains, I’m heading back to Seattle in two weeks and I’m so excited to go hiking there!

    Reply to Ashton Jury
  • Jenny Hut

    I love how active you are on vacations! Those are my ideal vacations too! I wish I could drink coffee twice a day, but I get so shaky. Do you ever get low blood sugar after a caffeine crash? I do and I hate it – because I LOVE the taste of coffee. I’m one of those weirdos who orders decaf… 🙂 I am going to keep my eye out for those peppers at whole foods. YUM!

    Reply to Jenny Hut
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I only have it in the morning and at night and to be honest it doesnt really do anything to me. I used to drink like 4 cups a day and that was an issue! I dont’ get shaky or have any weird side effects.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jessica

    What is something you’ve just recently tried for the first time that you now enjoy?

    I’m so bad, but salmon! I have never really been a fish person and I’m guessing it’s because of the way things have been cooked or presented to me. After seeing all it’s benefits and watching people post delicious looking photos of it I asked my husband to make it for me. I’m hooked. Like, can’t stop eating it. We grocery shop for two weeks at a time and have returned in between to grab more.

    Can you guess the secret ingredient that makes these wings so crispy?

    No but I’m curious to find out!

    Would you rather walk the beach at sunset or hike the mountainside early in the morning?

    I’m a mountainside lover. We were just in Ireland and cliff walks were my favorite part. The weather is amazing and perfect for the beauty of Ireland. Beaches are fine but crisp cool weather is my first love.

    Reply to Jessica
    • Taralynn McNitt

      OMG! Really?? You’ll now find yourself ordering salmon all the time and exploring new ways to cook it. You should try some of the Blue Apron salmon meals. My favorite!!!

      Sounds so lovely!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jessica

    Can we get a recipe for those wings please? They sound amazing!

    Reply to Jessica
  • Kelli

    I am so glad that you posted this! My husband and I are going to Huntington Beach CA in March, he was born and raised there and still has family out there. Of course since he’s from there we already have a long list of places he’s wanting to go, but I also wanted to incorporate some places he hasn’t been before (which is proving to be difficult…) but I think you’re list will be helpful! Also, I’m wanting to hike to the Hollywood sign and spent a good chunk of the day yesterday trying to pick a trail that would be challenging, but also not too long as we still want to do other things that day. I think the trail you chose will be a perfect match for us and it looks like it has gorgeous views!

    Reply to Kelli
    • Taralynn McNitt

      You guys will have SO MUCH FUN!

      If you do the hike, bring old shoes that you don’t mind getting dusty! Also, bring a change of clothes and baby wipes. You’ll collect that nasty dirt around your ankles! It’s great you’ll be there with a local! Would love to see what you do when you go so I have recommendations for next time!

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Nicole

    In pretty much all of your recap posts, you say that you go for coffee or lunch or something after a run or a workout. Do you go home and change/shower first? I always feel like it’s inconvenient to work out (I know, excuses) because then I can’t do anything else until I clean myself up. Any tips or suggestions for how to combat that insecurity?

    Reply to Nicole
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I usually go home and change for sure! Unless I didn’t sweat very much and all I want is to grab coffee to go! Sometimes my friends and I will go straight to brunch after working out, so I’ll keep cleaning wipes and deodorant in my gym bag to freshen up the best I can!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Amanda

    Hey!
    I recently saw on your IG or Snapchat (can’t remember) that you were using Collagen Peptides. Do you have a preference between powder vs pill? Any brands you recommend?

    Thanks@

    Reply to Amanda
  • Jacky

    Hi Taralynn!
    Your trip to California looked amazing! I’ve only been once but I’ll definitely be visiting there again. You’re lucky your brother loves there because then you get a good excuse to go and visit often!

    I am going to guess the secret ingredient in the chicken wings was baking powder?
    And for your 3rd question, that’s such a tough one because I love the mountains as well as the beach but I think I’m going to go with walking the beach at sunset.

    Reply to Jacky
  • Elisabeth

    It sounds like you had a great trip! I just finished reading that book too – such a good one!!

    xo, Elisabeth
    http://elisabethhayes.com

    Reply to Elisabeth
  • Linda @ the Fitty

    I love cold weather, so I definitely rather hike them out in early in the morning! Also, ever since Amazon bought Whole Foods, have you seen the prices lower?

    Reply to Linda @ the Fitty
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Linda!

      I haven’t really noticed a difference, only when people point them out!

      & the mountains are always nice! Funny you love cold weather! BURRRRR.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Indi

    Oh those shishito peppers look amazing!

    Reply to Indi
  • Celeste

    How much money do you estimate you spent on coffee on your trip?

    Reply to Celeste
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I’m not sure. I have about two cups a day and it’s just something I enjoy. Visiting new coffee shops while I’m on vacation is fun for me. Some people love to spend a ton of money at wineries or breweries on trips, but I choose coffee. It looks like a lot because I take photos of them, but it’s really not that much. I don’t drink more than two cups of coffee a day. One in the morning and one afternoon.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Lauren

    I loved this post! We are planning on making a trip to the West Coast next year. I definitely want to visit that place with the Ryan Gosling coffee!

    Reply to Lauren
  • Harriet

    Brilliant recap! Your trip looked so amazing! And All of your photos are amazing. Definitely going to try shishito peppers they sound incredible. One thing I have recently for the first time is ginger and apple tea, it’s so good! Is the secret ingredient white vinegar?. Okay the last question is a hard one, can I say both as in summer I try to do both every day, it’s pure happiness. Have a fantastic week!

    Reply to Harriet
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Good Morning, Harriet!

      Thank you very much for the kind words!

      I LOVE ginger & apple tea! I make it myself sometimes. Vinegar was definitely in the sauce! Kyle made homemade buffalo sauce. You have to get yourself out there and try shishito peppers like ASAP.

      They both are certainly pure happiness!

      xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Anonymous

    Your doggies are so cute playing tennis

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Vanessa

    What is something you’ve just recently tried for the first time that you now enjoy?
    Beetroot! They always looked kinda weird to me but now I tried them for the first time and I’m definitely hooked!

    Would you rather walk the beach at sunset or hike the mountainside early in the morning?
    Tough choice, both sounds great! But in the end I am more of a beach person so beach walk it is!

    Reply to Vanessa
  • Dana

    1. Black raspberries from the Farmers market this summer, they were so tiny and amazing! (I have to try how you cooked the peppers, I make them a lot; I just put in a hot cast iron pan to blister and then sprinkle with salt and olive oil at the end.)

    2. Cornmeal

    3.Beach at sunset.

    I loved that this was extra long tonight, I had a long wait for my bus and it made time fly.:)

    Reply to Dana
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Omg our black raspberries at our farmer’s market here are literally the size of golf balls! & now you have me craving blackberries.

      Nope! Good guess though!

      YES! Unless it’s fall.

      Glad you could enjoy my blog! xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Natalie

    I recently tried brussel sprouts for the first time! It’s crazy that I’ve never had them before, because I’m a huge vegetable lover.

    Those wings look fantastic, but I have no idea what the ingredient would be because I don’t cook a lot. I’m excited to see!

    That last question is hard, but I think I would rather walk the beach at sunset. I was in Colorado in July and spent time camping and hiking in the mountains, and it was truly breathtaking. But there’s just something about the ocean, ya know? I live in South Dakota, so I don’t get there often, but some of my favorite memories are at the ocean. Your pictures are beautiful.

    Seriously cannot wait for that pumpkin apple muffin recipe! Ahhh! 🙂

    Reply to Natalie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Natalie!

      I made the mistake of trying pre-frozen brussels sprouts and then came to the conclusion that I hated them!! I tried them again years later and they were fresh brussels sprouts sauteed and then came to the conclusion that I LOVED them, so it’s important to always give things a second shot! 😀

      We will be making new ones on Saturday!

      I totally understand what you’re saying. So much peace at the ocean.

      I am going to be working on the pumpkin apple recipe today and hopefully have it live by tomorrow morning!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    True Food Kitchen looks so good! I wish the restaurants in California were here in Hong Kong – we really don’t get enough healthy places to eat!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
  • Kelsey Weissner

    I tried Nalley Fresh recently and now I love it! Is there one near you? They have salads, soups, noodle bowls and rice bowls. You can get all sorts of amazing proteins, veggies, toppings, and the most amazing array of dressings! So good!

    I’m going to guess that you use an egg wash to crisp them up?

    I would love to hike mountainside every morning if I could! There’s nothing like the smell of fresh mountain air to start your day off right. Also, I love the smell of pine trees and their scent is linked to being therapeutic 🙂

    Glad you had a nice trip & visit with your brother!

    Reply to Kelsey Weissner
  • Carrie Velasquez

    Great recap!!
    I can’t remember if I tried something recently that blew my mind…I just love eating good food!!

    Is it corn starch for the secret ingredient?

    Mountainside hands down, maybe because I have lived with mountains my entire life!!

    Reply to Carrie Velasquez
  • Tanya

    I would love to walk on the beach every night. I’m always willing to try new things. Just tried kombacha. Now I making it at home. Love how good it is for u. Secret ingredient ginger!!!

    Reply to Tanya
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Kombucha is really fun to have at the breweries down here! They always have different flavors 🙂 I’d love to know how you’re making it at home! HOW FUN!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Maximiliane

    Ooh can’t wait for the recipe blog post to be uploaded! Going from reverse order: that’s a tough decision to make. The ocean is my happy place, but I love doing something active early in the morning! I think I’d hike the mountainside early in the morning. Could the secret ingredient be potato chips or protein powder? I’ve been trying a lot of new things lately, and something I’m starting to become obsessed with is coffee! I wasn’t a huge coffee fan (unless it was baked into something or extremely sweet), but right now I’m loving ordering an almond milk decaf latte. There’s just something sophisticated and relaxing about it! I guess to me it’s like the non-alcoholic version of wine, feeling-wise. 🙂 Have to try watching Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce!

    Reply to Maximiliane
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I agree! It’s a hard choice 😀

      Ohhh potato chips would be a fun little ingredient! HMMMMM

      Welcome to the coffee side 😉

      Oh, the show is so cute and so good!! I love the clothes in it.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Anne

    Where is that pinks shirt from?

    Reply to Anne
  • jordan @ dancing for donuts

    it’s amazing how i’ve lived in LA for 6 years and haven’t been to like 90% of the places you’ve mentioned, haha. i do love true food kitchen though, and gum tree! it’s right down the street from where i work actually and i haven’t been in ages. thanks for reminding me of how good it is!! your trip looked absolutely incredible, i think maybe i need to take a staycation/adventure a bit more around here!

    Reply to jordan @ dancing for donuts
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hahaha, you better have yourself a stay-cation soon!

      Gum Tree was so cute & it reminded me of a place I’ve gone to in the Hamptons!

      😀 You’re so lucky to be living in Cali!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Carly

    I’m so glad you discovered Sprouts! I recently moved back to Colorado from Boston and one of the most exciting things was having Sprouts in my life again!

    True Food Kitchen looks not only delicious but also like a very cool vibe… succlents on the tables and a wooden wall! too cool! I will have to try one on my next California trip! OMG Ryan Gosling coffee art! best find of your trip for sure!!! I will put up with less than stellar espresso for the coffee art alone! ha!

    Your kale salad looks deliciouly colorful and is most definatly becoming my inspiration for lunch tomorrow!

    I thik being a tourist is the best way to hit insane step counts! Instead of thinking about how far youve gone you are continually excited to see the next fun thing!

    I’ve recently just tried watermelon, mint, feta salad…. YUM! try it before watermelon disappears!

    I have no idea the secret wing ingredient! But I hope we get the recipe soon 😉

    Can I pick both sunset beach walks and early morning mountain hikes? Literally my two favorite things!

    Reply to Carly
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Ahhh I love sprouts. Patiently waiting for it to come to Charlotte.

      So many succulents in Cali! 😀

      Hopefully, you enjoy that kale salad!

      Yes, you’re right! You just want to see everything new to the eye and you don’t even realize how much you’re walking.

      YUM!!! Love that, but love it with goat cheese and balsamic added.

      You will next week!!

      Yes!:D

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jennifer

    I LOVE Leo’s ears like that with him all shaved down– SO CUTE!! And I LOVE GIRLFRIEND’S GUIDE TO DIVORCE!!! It’s so funny!! haha I’m glad you had a good time on your trip!

    Also, super excited to try the wing recipe!

    Reply to Jennifer
  • Carrie this fit chick

    Holy photo bomb! I can’t keep up with you, girl! How long did it take to upload all of these, hah! But seriously, you hit up so many killer spots in LA. More than I ever hit up when I lived there for 3 1/2 years. True Food is so good though– they have one up here in the Bay area too. LOVE that place! I recently tried whiskey/bourbon and now that’s been my go-to drink for the past month!

    Reply to Carrie this fit chick
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hhahahaha Luckily, I did it each day, so it wasn’t too bad!! If I would have waited, I’d be dead.

      You’re tough. I can’t even do whiskey! UNLESS IT’S BAKED!! haha

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Forrest Corbin

    Can you guess the secret ingredient that makes these wings so crispy? I am going to guess Corn Starch? Please do some sauce recipes for us!! Thanks for sharing

    Reply to Forrest Corbin

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