Category Archives: Review

A Night in Raleigh

This morning I left rainy LA

and these snugglers

and headed to Raleigh, North Carolina for work. By the time we arrived, it was late and we were ready for food! We headed to Heron’s located in The Umstead Hotel. The restaurant serves American food made with local, seasonal ingredients (i.e. they grow their own lettuce in a garden in the back). The menu was interesting (very meat and game heavy), but they were very accommodating and catered to our requests.

For a small starter, they served two different amuse bouche: a vegetarian option with cucumbers and one with a small piece of toast topped with salmon puree. Both were light and delicious.

For my first course, I got a Farm Lettuce Salad (Local Goats Cheese, Figs, Wildflower Honey, and Walnuts). It was fresh, fresh, fresh! Another great salad was the Caesar (I loved how they plated it).

For main courses, I had the Risotto (Melted Leeks, Buffalo Parmesan Tuile, Black Truffle Cream) and another hit at the table was the Vanilla Spiced Sea Bass (Fingerling Potato, Braised Tat-Soi, Fennel Confit, Parsnip-Lobster Bisque). My risotto was very rich, so I only had a few bites and the sea bass was a little too sweet for my taste, but both were cooked well.

And finally dessert. None of us were too hungry for sweets, but the restaurant offered a few interesting options. On the left are the Sweet Potato Fritters with Sweet Brown Butter and Cream Cheese and on the right is “Cheese and Beer,” Edam, Poached Quince, Chestnut Puree, Bass Ale Ice Cream, and Hazelnuts. The fritters were basically doughnuts, but the “Cheese and Beer” was something I had never tried before and was similar to a light apple streusel. Delicious!

Leaving to head back home tomorrow night, but hoping to grab some quick pics of Raleigh tomorrow. I am loving the colder weather here in the South!

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Lollihop Giveaway!

Hello Thursday, how quickly you are upon us! I am really excited today because I get to give away one of my newest indulgences: a Lollihop box!

Lollihop boxes are similar to the Foodzie.com Tasting Boxes I always rave about. They each cost around $20 per month including shipping, but where Foodzie provides samples of interesting products (healthy or not), Lollihop creates boxes geared towards healthy living. Their boxes are filled with tons of healthy, organic, and nutritious snacks.

When I first read about Lollihop, I was hesitant to sign up since I was already signed up for a monthly “treat” box from Foodzie, but I was also intrigued since the focus on this box was geared more towards health, which is always a good thing.

When my first box was delivered, I was blown away. There are 3 times as many snacks in this box than I have ever received in my Foodzie one. My box came with a huge variety in goodies (dried fruit, chips, bars, teas, even hand sanitizer) that all went along with the monthly theme (November’s was “Immunity”). I am beyond impressed with their product!

And now, the best part… I am giving away a one month membership to Lollihop to one lucky winner! What do you have to do to enter?

Leave a comment below telling me what your favorite snack is by Sunday, November 6th at 9:00PM PST when I will pick a random winner! It is as easy as that. Good luck!

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What I Ate Wednesday 19

Well guys, another Wednesday is upon us. This past week brought a lot of fun (birthday dinners, parties, costumes, candy, and cupcakes). And Q and I are now less than 4 weeks away from seeing each other. Knowing that we are actually going to see each other in the month of November is crazy and seriously hard to believe! I have so much excitement and some nerves (something about not seeing someone for 6 months makes me a little anxious in a good way). The official countdown has begun!

And now on to the days food:

Breakfast – 8:30AM

I love that I whip out my pumpkin two days AFTER Halloween, but with the chilly weather this morning I thought I would try some pumpkin oats. In the mix: coach’s oats, water, almond milk, pumpkin, cinnamon, almond butter, a pinch of salt and some raisins.

Lunch – 2:30PM

I waited waaay too long until lunch and was starving by the time we ordered food in our meeting. I had a slice of vegetable pizza and an Italian salad from BJ’s. Both were good and I was full for a long time since I overstuffed (eating while starving = eating too much).

Dinner – 7:00PM

Din Din

Me = super excited to see some old friends

For dinner, I met a few girlfriends at Terroni, an Italian restaurant on Beverly Blvd. across from The Grove. I got an arugula salad with mushrooms and cheese to start and also had a piece of Margherita pizza. The menu was mainly pizza and pasta and I wasn’t hungry enough to enjoy some pasta, so a simple pizza was a good choice. For dessert, we split the nutella fritters which weren’t as great as I had hoped, but still a treat.

Hope everyone is having a great week, tomorrow I am back with a giveaway! See you then!

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What I Ate Wednesday Part 17

Hello from cloudy New York and Happy Wednesday!

Since I am on the go this week for work, food has been more carb and treat-heavy than I normally like it to be. But since I am indulging, I am enjoying every bite instead of feeling guilty (no point in beating yourself up after the fact).

Breakfast – 8:30AM

My breakfast was granola and greek yogurt (hooray for being different!), but I went through the morning thinking it was Thursday and totally did not snap a pic! So instead, a little breakfast collage of recent eats.

Lunch – 12:30PM

Lunch was at Fred’s (located inside Barney’s NY). I loved this menu – a huge selection of delicious salads (chopped, shrimp, tuna, etc.) and also a mix of great American food (chicken, pizza, fish, burgers, etc.). I got the Nice Guy pizza to share (sausage and red peppers) and the Palm Beach Shrimp Salad (shrimp, hearts of palm, avocado, tomato and hard boiled egg) for my main course. Both were delicious. The pizza is so fresh you can taste it and the salad was a great filling lunch and I loved the green goddess dressing they used.

Dinner – 7:30PM

I was starving by the time dinner rolled around, but was happy to go to Morandi, a restaurant I had wanted to try when I was in New York in July. It is rustic Italian cuisine and I thought the food was great although the restaurant was about a thousand degrees inside. I got the Insalata di caolini di Bruxelles (shaved raw Brussels sprouts with percorino & hazelnut dressing) and the Linguine alle vongole (pasta with clams, white wine & green garlic). Both were delicious, but the Brussels sprout salad was something truly unique that I had never had before- crunchy, nutty, light and refreshing. I would go back to this restaurant and order that salad over and over again.

Hope everyone is having a good week!

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The Parker Palm Springs + Giveaway Winner

This week I headed down to Palm Springs for work.

The past few times I’ve headed down there, I have stayed at either The Horizon Hotel (with Q) or The Ace Hotel (with my girlfriends). But this time, I stayed at The Parker Hotel, which was a nice change of scenery.

The hotel has cool decor and has a ton of green (grassy lawns, plants, and trees), which is really rare for Palm Springs.

One of my favorite things about the hotel is their breakfast restaurant, Norma’s, which serves such delicacies as Rice Krispie French Toast and Peanut Butter & Chocolate Waffles.

This picture doesn’t even do this French Toast justice, it was basically two loaves of brioche covered in rice krispies and syrup… yum!

And the highlight of my trip? Making this new friend this morning at breakfast. He just came right up to me and we were instant buddies. (It may or may not have been from the fact I was feeding him food under the table…)

And last but not least, the random giveaway winner for the $20 gift certificate to Foodzie is: Jillian @ Iron & Sunshine! I’ll be emailing you your certificate shortly.

Thanks to everyone who left a comment, I have another great giveaway coming your way next week!

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Filed under Pets, Review, Travel

A Saturday That Felt Like Sunday

Since I took yesterday off of work to show Tina around, I was totally thrown off today and thought it was Sunday all day. I am sort of excited to have an “extra” weekend day tomorrow to do all of my errands.

Outside of Whole Foods getting the second Almond Milk Latte of the weekend (thank you Tina for this new $4 addiction)

The day started with a baby shower for a girlfriend at The Ivy at the Shore (one of my all time favorite restaurants). There was a set menu with a few choices for starters and entrees. I went with two of my favorites- the caprese salad and the lobster ravioli, but was really debating the grilled veggie salad with chicken since I dream about that dish (so fresh and healthy). My choices were amazing, this restaurant never seems to disappoint!

Tina went to take a class at Pure Barre in Brentwood and then picked me up from the baby shower. Since she hadn’t eaten we stopped by Planet Raw, a raw food restaurant in Santa Monica, so she could grab some lunch… all I’m going to say is this restaurant is more of a “Tina” place than a “Koko” place although the coconut shake I had was delicious (and $15!).

I dropped Tina off at the airport and we promised to see each other again soon. I was going to go to her Dailey Method studio opening in December, but unfortunately that is when Q is here for his leave. Instead I am planning to head out in January to see her and attend a Breast Cancer event she is planning at the studio. After the airport, I came home and saw we had some browning bananas and popped some banana chocolate chip muffins in the oven. Recipe coming tomorrow!

I can’t believe Tina’s trip is already over. I loved this weekend not only because I got to spend time with Tina, but because I got to be a tourist in my own city. I tried new restaurants, new activities, new drinks. It was really fun to go outside of my box for a few days and the weekend really showed me that I should be doing it more often.

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A Visit From Tina

Tina and I were the best of friends in college (see shenanigans below). She moved to San Francisco and then back to her hometown of Chicago after school, making our girl hang time very rare. I was so excited that she was coming down to LA to be with me for a quick trip before she heads up to San Francisco for a work trip.

Tina and Koko College Memories:

Last night I picked Tina up from the airport, we grabbed a quick bite at Real Food Daily, caught up on the couch with some wine and then went to sleep to rest up for today. We woke up early and headed to Whole Foods for an almond milk latte (Tina turned me on to this new discovery and it is officially my new favorite drink).

Yes, we are both way cuter now then we were in college 🙂

We then decided to take a Physique 57 class. Tina teaches a similar (*but better*) class in Chicago called The Daily Method and  is opening up her own studio in December. If I lived in Chicago, I would be there everyday and not just because Tina is my bestie. I’ve never done a barre class before and was excited to try something new (and was also sort of embarrassed being next to someone as good as Tina). The Physique class was a mixture of weights, core work, ballet barre work and some cardio moves all in one. You definitely are never bored and I loved trying something new (and will hopefully be trying many more even though they cost $28 a class…).

Before:

After:

Tina recently discovered she was allergic to wheat and dairy and was already a vegetarian, so she is now pretty much vegan. Thanks to a suggestion from my good friend Arielle (a great vegan blogger), I took Tina to Hugo’s for lunch since it has a great vegan selection. I got a massive lentil/brown rice wrap and Tina got a veggie burger, both were delicious (and not just in a vegan way…).

After lunch, we went to Target to stock up on some Halloween goodies for Q (and I accidentally stocked up on LOTS of care package supplies forgetting he is coming home to visit in 6 weeks and I shouldn’t be sending packages to him while he is home!). I then took Tina to my favorite Thai massage place, Thai Sabai, which was offering a spa week deal (a 90 minute massage for $50). When I left, I felt refreshed and stretched out. When Tina walked out she said she felt like someone hit her in the back with a hammer and she would be bruised for days… I told her that meant she needed it more than ever!

Post Massage (Tina = in pain, Me = happy as a clam):

We came home, showered and changed and headed to Magnolia for dinner with our college sorority sister Taylor. The last time I saw Taylor was 4 years ago when she graduated from college, but it honestly could have been yesterday. The three of us had such a good time catching up on each other’s lives and reminiscing about college (we all think it is crazy that I am dating Q, who belonged to a fraternity that was directly across the street from our sorority). We ended up staying at the restaurant for 4 hours!

We just got back and are settling in for our last day together tomorrow. Hope everyone had a great Friday!

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