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.
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.
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!
- What is something you’ve just recently tried for the first time that you now enjoy?
- Can you guess the secret ingredient that makes these wings so crispy?
- 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!