August 30, 2013

green house

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for another bible study meet up, ellie and i met at green house in long beach. this place was absolutely adorable and such a surprise! from the plants populating the balcony to their amazing hemp honey latte (a new obsession of mine), this place is heaven. there is even a juice and smoothie bar next door which basically means i could live here. we ended up staying for hours and hours talking and drawing as usual. if this place wasn't so far from home, i would be here constantly. looking forward to my next honey hemp latte.

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August 28, 2013


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theres no getting around it: portola is the gold standard of coffee shops. i mean coffee is serious business there. the baristas wear lab coats and make coffee in beakers and they have a testing lab in the back room. it's that intense. but the coffee here is gooooood. not normal good but "spend-all-my-extra-money-on-soy-lattes" good. the fact that they have a tea bar next door and an acai bowl place down the hall doesn't help the amount of time and money i spend at the mix mart. its so bad the people who work there are starting to know me by name. birdy, the place with amazing acai bowls, also carries brown bear eats baked goods, which is my friend and her moms cookie company that has the best treats i've ever tasted. and the fact that most things they make are gluten-free or vegan makes it all the better.

so with all the said, i thought that the mix mart would be my perfect place to take my friend christina who is visiting from arrowhead because she is a fellow fine coffee, veggie packed salads and gluten-free vegan baked goods lover. we had lunch at the new green leaf (so yum but a little too hectic for my liking) then headed over to portola for a drink. everytime i hang out with christina, i'm reminded why we are best friends and how blessed i am to have met her half way across the world. we had so many laughs and reminisced about good times and talked about our plans for what's next in our lives. we always have a great time together but it's really great to hang out with her on this side of the world. so blessed to have such great friends! love you girlie

August 26, 2013

devon's house

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my friend devon is my oldest friend. we were neighbors in newport then she moved to san juan and now to laguna beach. though i wish she still lived next door like when we were kids, i love visiting the beautiful spaces she and her interior decorator mom create. i remember first visiting their laguna beach house when it was gutted and there were dead rats under the floor boards (true story) but since, the house has become a beachside paradise. i am in love with the green accents and the cute little touches like the green nutcrackers in the kitchen and the stacks of books everywhere. everytime i visit, i am so inspired to be more creative and intensional with the spaces around me.

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August 23, 2013

lost in dtla

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on our way to cafe gratitude, ellie and i planned to grab coffee in downtown. i didn't find directions until we were already on the road (never again) and i kept getting different directions on where this coffee shop was. finally, we got to the downtown, parked (which is a hassle in and of itself) and walked to where the directions said the coffee shop was. note to self: never use instagram for directions. after walking for what seemed like forever in some super sketchy areas, we finally got to where my map said the coffee shop was. and surprise!, it wasn't there. though we were disappointed, we decided to make the best of it and explore a little. we ended up finding a balcony of an office building that had an amazing view and on our way back to the car (which was far less sketchy than the way we came), we found some beautiful murals. even though we didn't find what we came for (we later found out the coffee shop was just a few streets away), we ended up having a fun adventure anyway. LA, i still love you, even when you are really confusing to get around

August 21, 2013

grateful for birthdays

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cafe graditude is hands down my favorite casual cafe in los angeles. for ellie's birthday, we went to the location in venice which is much more casual and beachy than the larchmont restaurant. the food was, as usual, amazing and yummy and i love all the raw options on the menu. but the real star of the meal was the dessert! we had a raw fruit cobbler which i must have said 100 times "this is the best dessert i've ever had". it was that good! i'm going to try to find a recipe that comes close and if i succeed, i'll share it here. deal? but i think part of what made it so good was that when the waitress brought it out, the whole restaurant started singing a really cute and quirky version of happy birthday and it was just such a happy moment. now all we need is a cafe graditude in orange county and life will be made.

August 19, 2013

dr. oz three day detox review

i feel like i am the only person who has waited this long to do a juice cleanse/fast. i'm actually not much of a juice fan. yes i know, i'm a raw vegan so i should like juice right? i mean its not that i hate it, but why juice when you can have a smoothie? most cleanses i've found are mostly just juices and most of the juices have celery, which i passionately detest. while searching juice cleanses, i found the dr oz's three day detox with all smoothies! so i had to try it! it ended up costing me quite a bit more than the quotes on the website i found but thats probably because i bought everything organic at mothers market. oh well, it was well worth it

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didn't do much to prepare for this cleanse. i actually found the cleanse the night before i started and i decided to dive right in and start the next morning after a trip to the grocery store. i had a smoothie for breakfast (like i do every morning), a salad for lunch and some vegan greek food for dinner. so it was pretty light and healthy.

day 1
i woke up around 11am (one of the many luxuries of summer) and since i take medicine in the morning that makes me wait an hour before i eat anything, i started the cleanse around 1pm. i went for a 4 mile walk as usual before i ate anything and i felt fine. when i got home from my walk (and trip to the market to stalk up), i had the morning tea with lemon and stevia. i used truvia instead because we didn't have stevia but i only used half a packet. i think i used too much lemon because the drink was incredibly bitter. instead of using a traditional green tea, i used tazo's ginger green which i loved. the breakfast smoothie was incredible! it was as good as most morning smoothies i make and i loved the mix of raspberries and almond butter. i was nervous at first to use water as a base because i didn't want it to taste too watered down but it ended up working out great.

i had the 'lunch' smoothie as more of a pre-dinner snack because i had started my day so late. i was nervous about the lunch smoothie because the cucumber in a smoothie sounded odd and there was so much celery! after reading some reviews online, i decided to not put in the celery and to use spinach instead of kale. i'm so glad i did because i ended up really enjoying this drink which i don't think i would have if i had put in the celery.

i had the dinner smoothie around 9pm and i was still full from the lunch smoothie so i only got about three-fourths of the way through it. it was good but the cayenne pepper left a bad taste in my mouth (literally). even though it sounded odd, the avocado worked well (i usually only use avocado with cacao and in dessert smoothies) and i supplemented the kale for spinach again. the detox bath was heavenly. a perfect way to end the day. i was surprised by how great and not hungry i felt! i always have expected hunger to go along with detoxes but i felt full after every meal and had a pretty consistent level of energy the entire day.

day 2
i woke up with a slight headache which soon subsided and besides that, i felt pretty good for being on a cleanse. i had another late morning so my breakfast tea and smoothie were closer to lunch than breakfast. this time around, i added less lemon to the tea and it made all the difference. i normally like my green tea plain but this is a good alternative i could see using after this detox. just to see if it made a difference, i added unsweetened almond milk instead of water to the smoothie and while it was slightly creamier, the difference wasn't that big of a deal. the breakfast smoothie was still great.

the lunch smoothie was just as good as it was the first day. i added a bit more pineapple this time which made it a bit sweeter and again, i left out the celery. i also added a mix of lemon and lime instead of just half a lime. a few hours after lunch, i was about to go on a walk but i was feeling light-headed so i blended the rest of yesterday's leftover dinner smoothie with a bit more mango which made my headache go away and gave me enough energy for my walk.

again, i had my dinner smoothie really late. i omitted the cayenne this time and it was so much more palatable. this time, i could finish the whole smoothie and it left me feeling full and content. after dinner, i took another bath which was once again the highlight of my day. i did't have the 'second day slump' that i was expecting and aside from feeling weakbetween lunch and dinner drinks, i continued to feel good the whole day.

day 3
i woke up feeling great! i had so much energy and was actually craving a smoothie which was good because once again, that's all i would be eating. my morning tea was great and this time, i used tazo's zen green tea which i liked better than the ginger. once i was done with my tea, i had my morning smoothie and used water again because there wasn't much of a difference between the almond milk. i added a little extra almond butter and it gave the smoothie a bit of a nuttier flavor, which i liked.

i was out running errands so i was starving by the time i got home and made my lunch smoothie. the smoothie was still great and probably better because i was so hungry! i used a mix of lemon and lime again and still no celery. i made the mistake of reading food blogs and researching restaurants for my lunch with friends the next day which left me craving real food, specifically daiya quesadillas and raw tacos from 118 degrees. gosh i'm in love with that place but that's for a whole other post.

for dinner, i once again omitted the cayenne and left out the avocado too because it gave the smoothie a weird texture. i also added3/4th of a cup of almond milk and 3/4th of a cup of coconut water instead of 1-1/2 cup of coconut water which made it a bit creamier. i also added a little more mango and replaced the kale with spinach. so basically, i did a total re-haul but in the end, it was much more palatable. the bath was once again amazing and though i felt great, i was so excited to eat real food.

post cleanse
the next day, i woke up feeling lighter and full of energy. i had a bunch of fruits for breakfast that i had been looking forward to all weekend. for lunch, i had raw tacos from 118 degrees (told you i was craving them) and for dinner, i had a nice, light salad. the whole next week, i ate 100% raw (i'm usually around 80% raw) which was a nice transition back to eating. i don't weigh myself because weight loss is not my goal but my clothes felt a little looser at the end of this which is a nice added bonus. mostly, i just felt more refreshed and 'detoxed' if thats a word.

i love this cleanse! with the modifications i made, this cleanse was ideal for me because i love smoothies and it is vegan and mostly raw. i never really felt the need to have the snack smoothie between lunch and dinnerexcept on the second day when i had some of the leftover smoothie from the night before. i think i'm going to continue the morning 'tea before breakfast' ritual when i have the time and i love the detox baths. i'll probably still have a smoothie a day as usual but i'm going to take a break so i don't tire of them. i would definitely do this cleanse again and recommend it to anyone who wants a quick fix to detox and feel better.

August 17, 2013


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acai bowls are my newest obsession. i've liked them for a while but since becoming a gluten-free vegan, they have become my go-to meal while out. so when i found out birdie, a cafe by the same people who opened milk+honey, was opening at the mix mart, i was overjoyed. now i had a great place to get lunch (or breakfast. or dinner. or snack) with my portola coffee. that's the best part about acai bowls; they're good for any meal! after my mom and i spoke on a panel for the women's study at my church, we decided to have a girl date and get birdie bowls and lattes with another mother and daughter from our church. it was a fun time with great food and tons of laughs. my mom is so awesome and i'm really cherishing my time with her while i'm at home

August 15, 2013

getty villa

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a few weekends ago, i went to the getty villa in malibu with my mom and aunt. the getty center in brentwood is probably one of my favorite museums and though the collection here at the villa isn't my kind of art (mostly statues and antiquity), it is still a beautiful place to visit and explore. it was designed after the ruins of an italian villa and the builders paid meticulous attention to detail making sure everything was like the original, down to the plants and tiles used. we also took a tour of the herb garden, the only place on the grounds not based on the original villa, which was a fascinating experience because we got to see the kinds of herbs, fruits and vegetables that would have been grown in ancient times. i even got to pick a peach :)

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