IMG_6996

For Lauren’s Sweet 16, I was inspired by the coconut cake served at Solace and the Moonlight Lounge (her favorite). The inspo: Coconut Cake with Rum Caramel Sauce, Sugared Macadamia Nuts, Cream Cheese Frosting.

IMG_6997

I used the cake recipe from Beth Cakes Triple Coconut Rum Cake paired with the Homemade Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting from Living Well Spending Less. The whole cake turned out super dense, and I kid you not, probably weighed around 20lbs because I didn’t end up leveling the layers.  The flavor made it taste like a humongous coconut macaroon.

IMG_6994

For decor, I used a big rhinestoned “16” Jen purchased from Amazon and a variety of pink roses. Fresh flowers have been my favorite decor lately. They dress up a cake without requiring a steady or artistic hand for some ingenious floral frosting.

IMG_6654

signature

IMG_6988

Haha, the first month of 2017 is already over. And we’re half way into February (kinda…whenever a full moon falls I feel like it marks the halfway point for the month). I was cleaning up my blog a little when I stumbled upon my 2015: Lookin’ Back At It post and forgot I used to do these! It’s funny, I feel like the years just start to blur together. It’s crazy to think we’re quickly progressing through 2017. But when I plan ahead (for work, personal life, etc.) and look into the new year, I start to feel like I’m already there. For example, so much of 2016 was looking ahead to events in 2017, and now…we’re here!

Anyways, looking at my 2016 goals, I feel like even if I didn’t conquer all of these last year, I’ve actually knocked out quite a few in the first month of 2017.

2016 Goals:

  • Have more weekend adventures: Always! I don’t feel right sitting at home doing nothing (unless I’m sick like now). Starting the week after an eventful weekend makes me feel so accomplished and prepared. From Yosemite the first weekend in 2017 to multiple weekends in Big Bear, I’d say this trend has continued.
  • Get outside more than just running: Yes! I’ve broken from my running only mentality and I’ve started doing other outdoor activities, including hiking, snowboarding, softball, etc. I also signed up for a rock climbing membership, and even though that’s indoors, you never know if it might lead to something outside.
  • Do more yoga: I ended up almost replacing running with cross-training, and on February 1 I signed up for unlimited yoga at Yoga Six.
  • Read more books: definitely accomplished this with the high number of “Girl” books I read last year.
  • Qualify for Boston, again (this time with 3:32 or sub marathon): N/A. I actually ran 0 marathons last year.
  • Run more ultras!!! Ran one ultra in 2016, with plans to run more that never came to fruition.

Weekly Workout Recap (12/26-1/1):
Mon – 3 mi Palm Canyon hike
Tues – Bootcamp @ YogaSix + Softball
Wed – Bootcamp @ YogaSix
Thurs – Full Body @ Core40 + 6 mi
Fri – 4 mi Mirror Lake hike
Sat – 8 mile Dewey Point snowshoeing
Sun – 7 mile cross-country skiing
Total Weekly Mileage: 6 mi
Number of cross-training workouts: 8
2017 miles: 0 mi

Weekly Workout Recap (1/2-1/8):
Mon – 7 mi cross-country skiing
Tues – Softball
Wed – Full Body @ Core40 + 5 mi
Thurs – Hot Yoga @ YogaSix
Fri – Mixed Level @ The Bar Method
Sat – Climbing
Sun – Climbing
Total Weekly Mileage: 5 mi
Number of cross-training workouts: 7
2017 miles: 5 mi

Weekly Workout Recap (1/9-1/15):
Mon – Bootcamp @ YogaSix
Tues – Full Body @ Elevate Training + Bootcamp @ YogaSix
Wed – Power Yoga @ YogaSix
Thurs – Hot Yoga @ YogaSix + Climbing
Fri – Rest
Sat – Snowboarding
Sun – Snowboarding
Total Weekly Mileage: 0 mi
Number of cross-training workouts: 7 mi
2017 miles: 5 mi

Weekly Workout Recap (1/16-1/22):
Mon – Bootcamp @ YogaSix + Climbing
Tues – Full Body @ Elevate Training
Wed – Climbing
Thurs – Bootcamp @ YogaSix
Fri – Power Yoga + Climbing
Sat – Rest
Sun – Bootcamp @ YogaSix
Total Weekly Mileage: 0 mi
Number of cross-training workouts: 8
2017 miles: 5 mi

Weekly Workout Recap (1/23-1/29):
Mon – Rest
Tues –  Full Body @ Elevate Training + Bootcamp @ YogaSix
Wed – Power Yoga @ YogaSix
Thurs – Bootcamp @ YogaSix
Fri – Bootcamp @ YogaSix
Sat – Climbing
Sun – Climbing
Total Weekly Mileage: 0 mi
Number of cross-training workouts: 7
2017 miles: 5 mi

signature

IMG_7027

The other night Kevin and I had the opportunity to preview the Valentine’s Dinner Menu at Cafe Coyote down in Old Town. I haven’t spent much time in Old Town, so it was a fun and new experience to check out the area.

IMG_7032

Cafe Coyote has received the CRA (California Restaurant Association) 32nd Annual Gold Medallion Award for the Best Mexican Restaurant 2016. So if you’re looking for an authentic Mexican dining experience in San Diego, this is where you should go!

IMG_7026

Cafe Coyote is known for their margaritas, so of course we had to check them out! There were 2 special margs on the v-day menu, but I prefer mine not too sweet, so I ordered the Tres Agaves that doesn’t use sweet and sour mix, making it a little more authentic. Kevin ordered the Cadillac Margarita made with Grand Mariner, so it added a little more punch of booze with a hint of sweetness.

IMG_7033

Cafe Coyote amasses a big portion of the block they’re located on. We learned that the restaurant originally started as just the upstairs area, but as businesses went out underneath, they continued to expand and with it, grow their success.

IMG_7031

The restaurant was definitely bustling with life. We sat on the patio and enjoyed the romantic open-air ambiance. We ordered the 2lb 3-course lobster dinner for 2 served Puerto Nuevo Style with Mexican style rice, refried beans, handmade tortillas, drawn butter and fresh salsa. Plus we each got one starter (tortilla soup and pozole) and one dessert (fried ice cream and chocolate Chile pot de creme).

IMG_7029

I much rather prefer a Puerto Nuevo style lobster dinner than a traditional super fancy lobster dinner. It’s fun and filling, and it definitely brought back memories of our summer trips down to Baja!

Our meal was so delicious, and such a great deal! The lobster dinner for 2 is only $49.95 total, almost equivalent to how little you’d pay if you went down to Puerto Nuevo.

IMG_7028

We were shown so much hospitality with little details like chocolate roses, a “candle lit” dinner and an extra special white chocolate fudge heart from the candy store next door.

IMG_7030

For an affordable, fun, and romantic Valentine’s Day experience, I’d highly recommend checking out Cafe Coyote. Plus V-day also falls on Taco Tuesday 😉

Cafe Coyote 2461 San Diego Ave
San Diego, CA 92110

signature

Thank you to Cafe Coyote for hosting me! As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

img_5922

Galaxy Cake
INGREDIENTS:
Cake
2 boxes Devil’s Food cake mix
2-1/2 cups water
1 cup vegetable oil
6 eggs
Star sprinkles
Black food coloring
Topping
2 containers of store-bought buttercream frosting

IMG_6708
DIRECTIONS:
Cake

  1. Heat oven to 350°F
  2. Make cake according to the directions.
  3. Pour cake batter of first 2 layers into 2 9” pans that have been greased.  Sprinkle with star sprinkles.
  4. Bake approximately 30 minutes at 350°F or until you can put a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean.
  5. Repeat with remaining 2 layers.
  6. Cool all layers completely at room temperature (~12 hours).
  7. Level with cake leveler and discard one layer (or reserve, but you do not need it. I always bake 4 layers and pick the best 3).

Topping

  1. When ready to serve, spread frosting between each layer. Top with glacé icing (below).

IMG_6709

IMG_6710

Glacé Icing
From Whisk and Wander
INGREDIENTS:
2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, no need to sift
1/4-3/4 cup water, room temp
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Blue, red and black food coloring
Silver pixie dust (optional)
DIRECTIONS:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment add confectioners’ sugar.
  2. With mixer on low speed slowly add water to sugar a little at a time until icing is spreadable but not too thin.
  3. Mix until all sugar is dissolved and icing looks smooth. About 4 minutes. Scraping sides as necessary.
  4. Slowly add food coloring and swirl with fork.  I started with a couple drops of blue, a few red (to create purple) and a tiny hint of black.  Swirly gently to create the galaxy effect.
  5. When desired color has been achieved, pour slowly pour over cake to ensure maximum coverage.
  6. Spread around sides to completely cover cake. Top with silver pixie dust for additional shimmer

IMG_6711

IMG_6712

signature

img_6422

Recently, Kevin and I have realized we’ve gotten our hiking lunches down to a science.  These 3 ingredients pack so easily and do not require a cooler or refrigeration.  They’re easy to stuff into a sack and prepare on the trail.  This has led to some of our most epic lunches.

img_6510

What you need:

  • Stick of Hard Salami (or package of salami)
  • Package of Babybel Cheese
  • Bread (ciabatta or Sprouts sometimes has these sliced half-loaves)

Other tools:

    • Swiss Army Knife
    • Summit beers (definitely necessary!) 😉

signature

FullSizeRender

’Tis the season for birthdays and cakes! I promised Noelle an out of this world galaxy cake for her “stay wild moon child” themed birthday party. However, I didn’t realize how intensive the cake was that I originally agreed to bake (like fondant with metallic sponge painted on it). So I completely improvised and ended up with quite a creation (recipe to come)!

IMG_6654

The following week it was my faux-little sister’s 16th birthday. Her favorite cake is the coconut cake at Solace and the Moonlight Lounge in Encinitas, so I tried to re-create it. I ended up with 4 layers of incredibly dense coconut cake (I think the cake probably weighed around 20lbs in general) that tasted like a coconut macaroon (another cake recipe to come).

The week after was my brother’s birthday, but instead of baking him a cake, we met up for dinner at the new Star Wars movie. Little did I know, this would mark the first of VERY MANY movies for the week. Monday kicked it off with Star Wars, followed by Office Christmas Party on Tuesday, Manchester by the Sea on Saturday, Jackie on Sunday, and Passengers on Monday.

DCIM100GOPRO

img_6226

My dad and I spent Christmas in Palm Desert visiting my grandparents and I managed to sneak off for a repeat of last year’s Christmas Day trail run (probably one of my most favorite trails). The day after Christmas, on my way home, I stopped by the Indian Canyons and ended up doing 3 miles on the Palm Canyon Trail. Originally I thought I might just head out half a mile and come back, but I just kept walking about a mile out. I also wanted to avoid the crowds coming back, so I opted for the Victor Trail, a higher route (that ended up being a mile longer than the way out) but it gave me both different views and a different perspective of the hike. This was a nice loop and it spit me out essentially right where I started (even though I wasn’t 100% certain where it might lead me).

Weekly Workout Recap (12/5-12/11):
Mon – Rest
Tues – Sculpt @ BodyROK + Restorative Yoga @ Fortis and & YOGALUX
Wed – Rest
Thurs – Rest
Fri – Bootcamp @ YogaSix
Sat – 6 mi
Sun – 6 mi
Total Weekly Mileage: 12 mi
Number of cross-training workouts: 3
2016 miles: 798 mi

Weekly Workout Recap (12/12-12/18):
Mon – Mixed Level @ The Bar Method + Hot Yoga @ YogaSix + Deep Stretch @ YogaSix
Tues – Bootcamp @ YogaSix
Wed – Rest
Thurs – Bootcamp @ YogaSix
Fri – Bootcamp @ YogaSix
Sat – Rest
Sun – 4.2 mi
Total Weekly Mileage: 4.2 mi
Number of cross-training workouts: 6
2016 miles: 802.2 mi

Weekly Workout Recap (12/19-12/25):
Mon – Rest
Tues – Full Body @ Core40 + Bootcamp @ Yoga Six + Softball
Wed – Rest
Thurs – Bootcamp @ Yoga Six
Fri – Bootcamp @ Yoga Six
Sat – Rest
Sun – 6 mi Garstin Trail run
Total Weekly Mileage: 6 mi
Number of cross-training workouts: 5
2016 miles: 802.2 mi

signature

San Diego Restaurant is happening, now through Sunday, January 22nd!

Tuesday night, Kevin and I stepped out of our North County bubble and traveled down to The Smoking Goat in North Park for San Diego Restaurant Week. North Park has such a wide array of good restaurants, I just never seem to make the trek. For example, I’m pretty sure The Smoking Goat has been on my “to-try” restaurant list for the past 6-7 years, so I’m glad San Diego Restaurant Week gave me the chance.

The Smoking Goat is a French bistro with a rustic farmhouse vibe that definitely fits the San Diego food scene. The restaurant week menu provides a good representation of what The Smoking Goat normally serves, while only priced at $40 for 3-courses.

IMG_6644

To start, we ordered the French Onion Soup with oxtail broth, crouton and Swiss gruyere and the Foie Gras Torchon with fig preserve and toast. The French Onion Soup had a flavor that was reminiscent of Thanksgiving (perhaps the flavor from the bay leaf?). And the Foie Gras did not disappoint since it’s one of my favorite things (and I don’t think I’ve had it since I studied abroad in Paris basically 7 years go!).

IMG_6645

IMG_6646

Our waiter was very knowledgeable and helped me select a Cotes du Rhone to pair with my entree, the Duck Confit. If you haven’t noticed a trend, duck is my absolute favorite! The Duck Confit was accompanied by a sweet potato-oyster mushroom hash, rapini and black truffle jus. And for Kev’s second course, he ordered the Compart Farms Duroc Pork Chop with potato-bacon gratin and braised kale. Both of our dishes were very moist and flavorful, and we completely devoured them.

IMG_6647

This season, San Diego Restaurant Week partnered up with the Girl Scouts of America to celebrate 100 years of Girl Scout Cookies, so chef’s created dishes that incorporated this treat. We found this collaboration in the Chocolate Pot de Creme dessert that came with Girl Scout trefoils shortbread cookies and espresso cream. Of course we had to try one of each dessert, so we also ordered the Apple Cobbler with stone fruit and coconut-oat streusel.

Everything was absolutely top notch! One of my favorite things about San Diego Restaurant Week is that it makes me try new places. And through this format, we’ve always been able to sample a selection of dishes that leave us wanting to come back another time to try more.

The Smoking Goat 

3408 30th St
San Diego, CA 92104

signature

Thank you to The Smoking Goat for hosting me! As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

img_5274

img_5253

img_5258

November was a month I didn’t seem to sit still. The first weekend of November was spent down in Mexico in the gated community of Las Gaviotas for Deb’s birthday. I successfully baked and transported a rainbow layered cake, and successfully made it back over the border in less than 2 hours!

img_5715

The next weekend London and I took another trip up to Venice for our friend Jhoel’s birthday where we celebrated at the LA Beer Fest. With Hawaii on our mind for Christmas/New Year’s, we buzzed-ly decided, ya we “co-habitate”, and signed up signed up for a timeshare presentation (which we ended up getting too sketched out to go to). We also ran into our friend Hoppy Beer Hoppy Life who had a booth and scored some newly designed hats.

IMG_6651

IMG_6650

Fast forward to the next weekend we celebrated Friendsgiving and I made my favorite German Chocolate Pecan Pie. Time seemed to fly, because the next week was already Thanksgiving. I went to Jen’s Thanksgiving for the third year in a row and brought a brown butter sage roasted sweet potato dish (recipe doubled). And on Black Friday, I decided to #optoutside again this year with a hike at Palomar Mountain while simultaneously “dealing with the past” (which surprisingly ended up being and has become a good thing).

IMG_6652

Leading into December, London and I went back up to LA (ironically the day we were supposed to go to our time share presentation in Encino LOLOL) for the Unique LA holiday market where London’s friend had a booth. We made sure to stop somewhere truly LA to eat where we saw someone insta-famous and simultaneously turned to each other and said “that’s @___!“ We immediately we felt better about our choice to devour brunch at Urth Cafe including breakfast “apps” (appetizers), an establishment where someone Insta bikini famous ate!

Weekly Workout Recap (10/31-11/6):
Mon – 3 mi + Bootcamp @ YogaSix
Tues – Rest
Wed – 4 mi + Power Flow @YogaSix
Thurs – Rest
Fri – Rest
Sat – Rest
Sun – Rest
Total Weekly Mileage: 7 mi
Number of cross-training workouts: 2
2016 miles: 768.5 mi

Weekly Workout Recap (11/7-11/13):
Mon – The Mixed Level @ The Bar Method + 3 mi
Tues – Full Body @ Core40
Wed – 4 mi run
Thurs – Bootcamp @ YogaSix
Fri – Rest
Sat – Rest
Sun – Rest
Total Weekly Mileage: 7 mi
Number of cross-training workouts: 3
2016 miles: 775.5 mi

Weekly Workout Recap (11/14-11/20):
Mon – Mixed Level @ The Bar Method + 3 mi
Tues – Full Body @ Core40 + Bootcamp @ YogaSix + Climbing
Wed – 3.5 mi run
Thurs – Bootcamp @ YogaSix
Fri – Rest
Sat – Sculpt @ BodyROK
Sun – Rest
Total Weekly Mileage: 6.5 mi
Number of cross-training workouts: 5
2016 miles: 782 mi
Weekly Workout Recap (11/21-11/27):
Mon – Hot Yoga @ Yoga Tropics
Tues – Bootcamp @ YogaSix
Wed – Rest
Thurs – Rest
Fri – Hike @ Palomar Mountain
Sat – Rest
Sun – Bootcamp @ YogaSix
Total Weekly Mileage: 0 mi
Number of cross-training workouts: 4
2016 miles: 782 mi

Weekly Workout Recap (11/28-12/4):
Mon – Hot Yoga @ Yoga Tropics
Tues – Full Body @ Core40
Wed – 4 mi
Thurs – Rest
Fri – Mixed Level @ The Bar Method
Sat – Rest
Sun – Rest
Total Weekly Mileage:
Number of cross-training workouts: 3
2016 miles: 786 mi

signature

img_6509

Biggest question for 2017: do I still want to be a blogger?

In 2016, this blog slowly started to die.  The concept of “daily cup” and “daily doses” doesn’t really seem to fit anymore.  When I first started this blog circa 2013, I read a lot of running bloggers who ran race after race, leaving me feeling inspired, but also like I needed to race frequently to build content.  Last year, I ran 2 whole races, which left me with not so much content.  I don’t really run and I don’t really write.

Long gone are the days when I’d spend Sundays meal prepping an entire week’s worth of food – breakfasts, snacks, and lunches, always with a plan/recipe for dinner. Meal prepping is no longer in my vernacular. It’s more like make 1 recipe a week to spread out 5 days for lunch. And I never plan for dinners anymore because it’s something I just can’t really plan.

In a way, I feel like “blogging” has become so predictable.  It’s hard to be creative and innovative when it feels like you can Google something and find it on someone else’s blog. Blogs are like the new half marathons (everyone’s done one) and half marathons are the new marathons.

So what do I want? I want to share things and experiences that I can’t find online when I do my research (for example, backpacking Cactus to Clouds, La Croix can costumes, and pieced together layer cake recipes).  I want to rebrand this blog (because the title and tagline just don’t make sense anymore). And I want to write more in general (just maybe not about myself on a weekly basis).

So…let’s see what happens in 2017!

signature

img_5841

The best gift I received this year (and maybe ever) is my Nespresso.

It’s the gift that never stops giving. Not only do a I enjoy a warm cup of a FROTHY latte first thing in the morning, EVERY MORNING, from the comfort of my own home…but I’m also saving money.  This is why you need to get your loved one THE GIFT OF ENDLESS COFFEE.

For 70-80 cents per pod…I just purchased 70 capsules (aka 70 cups worth) for the equivalent of 8-10 of my “fancy coffee” drinks (and allows me to drink 2-3 cups guilt-free daily…)

cwsmm6gvqaaq6o7

And not only do I enjoy my Nespresso at home, we recently just bought one for the office from William’s Sonoma at Westfield UTC (the whole store smelled like one big holiday pie).

img_5839

Now purchasing Nespresso pods is even easier with the new Nespresso store at Westfield UTC. PLUS it’s equipped with a tasting station where you can “try” those brand new holiday flavors you’ve never ever tried before (or maybe just have 3 sleeves of waiting at home… ;-)).  When you’re thinking of what to put on your wish list or what you should get someone this holiday season…trust me and GIVE THE GIFT OF NESPRESSO!

img_5840

signature

 
 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: