life in an instagram.

There are lots of new & exciting changes in the works for Aaron and I which has kept me away from blogging for a bit.

In a nutshell: Aaron and I will be relocating to Chicago at the end of August.

This means that we have been trying to check as much as we can off of our “LA to-do” list while also making sure we visit our favorite spots in LA one last time. I thought a nice way to catch everyone up on our crazy last few months was to post some instagram shots… some of which date back to April!

here is what we have been up to:

ec1d1c62d1ee11e2b07922000a1fbd9b_7[at Kimberly & Guy’s beautiful wedding at The Bel Air Hotel in April]

35217a36d53511e2902222000a1fa52b_7[Zig, my brother and I spent several days lounging around Laguna Beach]

562546fed9fe11e2b57222000a9e07e9_7[my summer has been filled with LOTS of yoga & pilates]

db86e7d2d60f11e28ea222000a9f1946_7[Aaron’s parents came to visit the weekend before Aaron’s 30th birthday, we lived liked kings by staying in The Beverly Hilton Penthouse, eating at The Bazaar, and drinking some fantastic wine]

6e3a0e02d6eb11e2914322000a1f984e_7[even Ziggy approved of the Penthouse]

b0a1f752d61211e2a52422000aaa0a0f_7

0bfe9910d63c11e29a8222000a1f8ccf_7[one of my most-favorite things at The Bazaar- the Caviar Cones]

3be894aed86311e2a64f22000a1f968e_7[Aaron’s actual birthday was gorgeous, so we went for a hike north of Malibu and then took in the beautiful Pacific Ocean on our drive back home]

edf6fb32d86211e2b4e822000a9f130c_7

8360ddc0d88e11e282c522000a1fa433_7[Aaron’s birthday dinner at Gjelina. It was incredible.]

63dd59d0dc7911e2938922000ae8007c_7[the weekend after Aaron’s birthday my parents surprised him with a sailing adventure]

aeb5c640dc7911e2a2fe22000a1f8ce3_7

ee1d4bb4dc7911e2b60722000a9f09f0_7[he loved it]

ed7fb208dc8011e28e8222000aa82017_7[Justin Wine & Sweet Lady Jane cake for the birthday boy]

df7af9b8d1dd11e29efd22000a1f9a07_7

c8d68dd2e19411e280ce22000a9e05dd_7[I ended my running hiatus with a fun & blazing-hot 5k in Pasadena]

5e0a066ae65211e2b7e922000aaa0a96_7[Ziggy and I headed to Mobile, AL for a week of R&R]

9bebaaa8ec8611e28a8922000a1faffc_7[….and he took full advantage]

85d64f64ece711e2b96122000aa802d9_7[I returned to LA from AL (without Ziggy) and Aaron and I celebrated our new adventures with a great meal at Sotto and great bottle of wine]

1a216facf0d811e2a52322000a9e02f9_7[then we did it again at Fig & Olive]

468c8d98ed5311e2997822000a1fd57c_7[then the packing & organizing process started]

1d8c5608f23a11e282b622000ae912ed_7[lots of coffee has been consumed]

318fc42ef34711e28d7d22000a1f981a_7[we enjoyed one Monday night on our friend’s rooftop in Angelino Heights with more great wine]

5dac12b0f34711e2900e22000a1f96c7_7

42e9c34af7c611e2a13a22000aaa05ca_7[Aaron’s parents came to visit us in LA one last time before we head out and we were able to go see the Endeavor Shuttle and check another thing off of our “LA to do” list]

76db257adffe11e28b6c22000a1f8db8_7[and now we are putting all things moving related on hold so that we can focus on prepping for our 3 week adventure in France that begins on August 1st]

Au revoir!

holiday recap, part three: New Year’s

Every year since Aaron and I started dating we have spent New Year’s Eve in a different location.
The first year it was San Francisco, the next year it was Chicago, the next year it was New Orleans, last year it was Aguas Calientes, Peru…. and this year it was Santa Barbara.

Part of our Christmas present from Aaron’s parents was for us to all stay in a house in Santa Barbara over New Year’s so we could all get away from our respective homes and do something different together; not only were we totally on board for this idea, but it also satisfied Aaron and my “New Year’s in a new place” tradition so it worked out nicely.

Saturday, December 29th Aaron and I got up, loaded up the car, and were on our way North with Ziggy in tow (one of the main stipulations for the place we stayed was that it was dog friendly).

We arrived in Santa Barbara about an hour or so before Aaron’s parents, brother, and his wife arrived so we went straight to the beach so that Ziggy could run around and I could admire the ocean that I love so much.

Growing up 45 minutes from the Gulf of Mexico (and making so many trips to the beach as a kid that I can hardly count) and having a grandmother that loved water in every form; its no wonder that I grew up to absolutely love the ocean. Ive seen the Gulf of Mexico, Ive seen the Atlantic Ocean, Ive seem numerous lakes and rivers…but nothing can quite live up to the Pacific Ocean and the Central California coastline. Its just so beautiful!

We met up with everyone else about an hour later and enjoyed a fabulous lunch at Pierre Lafond’s Wine Bistro on State Street in downtown Santa Barbara. I had a delicious avocado sandwich and Aaron and I were able to try a new IPA (from San Luis Obispo) and we were both quite impressed.

After lunch we headed to our house to check in. The house was absolutely gorgeous and perfect. It had a good sized kitchen for all of us to cook in, 4 bedrooms (to which we only used 3), 3 bathrooms, a pool, a hot tub, a fenced in front and back yard for the dogs, a grill, and… oh yeah, an ocean view:

The next few days were spent relaxing, cooking fabulous meals, drinking fantastic wine & beer, and checking out as much of Santa Barbara as we could.

[drinking my morning coffee while snuggling with Zig, wearing my new PJ’s and
wrapped up in our new throw-blanket]
[more snuggle time with Zig while looking outside at the beautiful yard]
[we were cooking up a storm and Zig was being a little needy; so we fixed him right up:
hes curled up on our new fuzzy blanket on a bar stool in the kitchen]
[just some of the beer & wine we brought along with us to enjoy]
[we stopped at the Santa Barbara Fish Market one day to grab some crab, clams, and a crab cake for dinner. Look at all of that fabulous fresh fish!]
[cozy’d up by the fire]
[then Aaron’s dad brought me a fantastic glass of wine]
[one of my favorite vintages of my all-time favorite wine]
Before heading back to LA Aaron and I drove by the Santa Barbara City College campus; look a the view from their parking lot:
All in all it was a great vacation and great New Year’s! We didnt quite make it until midnight to officially ring in the new year, but we had fun nonetheless.
I already knew that I liked Santa Barbara; but after spending such a great few days there, I think I fell even more in love with it. Great food, cute downtown area, gorgeous scenery, and one of the most dog-friendly places Ive been to (outside of LA). I highly recommend it for a nice weekend (or more) away. Its a shame UCSB doesnt offer my major or I’d certainly be trying to transfer there next fall.

holiday recap, part one: Thanksgiving.

We spent Thanksgiving in Fresno (as we have every year since we started dating). I drove to Santa Clarita on Wednesday evening to meet up with Aaron at work and then we were on our way North as soon as he wrapped.

We decided to stop in Bakersfield for a little snack to break up the drive. I only allow myself to splurge on In-n-Out once or twice a year and trust me when I say this time was particularly delicious. However, once I devoured it (and for the record: I wasnt able to finish it all) I quickly remembered why I only eat this every six months or so; its just so high in sodium and so filling that it left me feeling tired and miserably full. Luckily we still had a 2 hour drive ahead of us, so I was able to sleep through my food coma.

The drive was painless (and quick considering I napped for the majority of it!) and we went to sleep not too long after we arrived at Aaron’s parents house.

Thanksgiving morning was nice and relaxing. Normally Thanksgiving morning is full of prepping, cooking, and baking… but this year it was pleasantly restful. I spent a large portion of the morning sitting on the couch in my flannel pj’s drinking coffee, snuggling Ziggy, and doing a little online shopping from my iPad.

Our first Thanksgiving stop that afternoon was filled with football, good food, and of course: fantastic wine. I was glued to the TV for the last bit of the Texans game (that went into overtime) but made my way to the table for Thanksgiving meal #1 as soon as the game was over (the Texans won!)

While eating our feast, we manged to go through several bottles of Justin Isosceles wine (one of my absolute favorites) and were spoiled with some really great vintages…. and 2 of them were even Isosceles Reserve!

We then relocated to Thanksgiving meal #2… where we ate even more great food and drank even more great wine (there is never a shortage of wine… or food in Fresno).

The Saturday after Thanksgiving was spent at the Fresno State/Air Force football game. We arrived early for the [very impressive] tailgating festivities and got our fill of early morning booze and breakfast tacos before the game started.

Sunday morning we packed up the car and made the drive back to LA earlier than normal in order to avoid the “return to LA” traffic on the Grapevine. We made it back home in pretty good time and spent the rest of the day unpacking and resting up for our final weeks of school (finals!) and work before our holiday hiatus and the hustle and bustle of Christmas began.

San Francisco: running, food, and shopping.

A few weeks ago I met my mom in San Francisco for a long weekend of food, shopping, and running a half-marathon. The whole purpose of the trip was the half-marathon but it should come as no surprise that our entire weekend was centered around food.

We arrived Thursday night and met up at SFO before taking the BART into the city. We stayed at the Hilton in Union Square which is a short walk from the Powell BART station.

We checked into the hotel and quickly made our way to our dinner reservations at Hops&Hominy. For a place with hops in the name, their beer selection was pretty disappointing. They did have Autumn Maple from The Bruery (which we ordered) but there were only about 6 beer options to choose from and only 2 were California beers. The food was good, but not anything super special. Id say this place is best for an after work drink and an appetizer, but thats about it.

After dinner we walked back to the hotel, took in the amazing view from our 36th floor room, and quickly called it a night.

The next morning (Friday) we got a little bit of a slow start thanks to my migraine headache. Luckily it went away enough for us to venture out just in time for the NWM Expo to open. We were able to pick up our race packets, experience the expo, and make it to the NikeTown store to shop and find our names on the wall without too much chaos or too many long lines.

We took a cab over to the Ferry Building and walked around a bit. I just love the Ferry Building. We stopped at my favorite stores: Miette, Heath Ceramics (they also have a location in our neighborhood in LA, which is actually where I get all of my Weck jars) and Village Market. We actually didnt get a latte from Blue Bottle (which is surprising) but we had just finished a latte when we arrived.  We had lunch at Market Bar and then made our way back to Union Square. We found the lululemon store just south of Chinatown and helped stimulate the economy a little bit and then we wandered around a little more and made it back to our hotel in time to change and cab it to our dinner reservations at Baker & Banker.

I highly recommend Baker & Banker. Small place, great food, great wine selection, and great service. We left overly full and a little giggly from one too many glasses of delicious wine. We took a cab back to our hotel and were in bed soon after.

Saturday was a gorgeous day.
We woke up to this view:

We walked over to Farm:Table for breakfast; which is a super cute and super small place in the Union Square/Nob Hill area. They only have one table which is designed to be a community table and their menu is small, but the food is delicious and they have a great latte. I really cannot recommend this place enough, but please be advised that this place is small. Most of the locals were coming in for a latte to go.

After breakfast we made our way to the Mission area. We got another cup of coffee at Ritual Coffee Roasters and then went and grabbed some of the most delicious pastries I’ve ever had at Tartine Bakery. With our goodies in tow we walked over to Dolores Park and enjoyed them while enjoying the unbelievably beautiful day.

About the time we were done devouring our pastries at the park, my Aunt came and picked us up. We drove around the city a bit and then found ourselves sitting in another park by the marina starting at the Golden Gate Bridge.

We made our way back to our hotel and met up with my dear friend Sarah and her friend Andrea for a drink at Urban Tavern that was located at the bottom of our hotel. Then we made our way to our dinner reservations at Cafe Tiramisu. The restaurant was nestled down an adorable alley. Dinner was wonderful, the wine was wonderful, and the company was fantastic.

Sunday morning we woke up at 4:30am. We got ready, had our coffee, and made our way to Union Square to meet up with Sarah at the starting line around 6am. The race finally started at 7am and we enjoyed 13.1 miles of beautiful scenery, chilly temperatures, and lots of hills. Mom and I finished the race (so proud of her!) and we were eager to get our Tiffany finishers necklaces and get back to the hotel to shower.

Unfortunately, getting back to Union Square ended up being much more difficult that we had planned (trust me when I say it was a nightmare) But, after a couple of hours of trying and a city bus later, we finally made it back.
We showered, put on our necklaces, and headed to our lunch reservations at the Rotunda at Neiman Marcus. Lunch was great and we enjoyed a much-needed bloody mary, but we were both pretty tired from the days events.

As a gift to us for finishing the race, Dad treated us to a handbag from Louis Vuitton. So, even though we were exhausted, we managed to find the energy to do a little shopping before heading back to the hotel to pack our suitcases, order room service for dinner, and fall fast asleep.

We got up early on Monday morning and took the BART to SFO.
After going through security I saw this sign:

I had heard of SFO having yoga rooms available in their terminals; I’m so glad that I was actually able to see one! Hopefully this trend catches on and they put them in airports all over the country.

While walking to my gate I heard someone say “Tanis, is that you??!!” and I turned around to find one of my good friends from high school who I had not seen in 10 years! Luckily we were early enough to the airport that we were able to sit and catch up for about 45 minutes. It was so great seeing Evan after all of these years; I am so glad he noticed me! Its such a small world.

the end of Summer.

It’s hard to believe that Summer is over.   

This Summer was not without drama, or stress, or chaos… but it was productive. and it was fun.

My Summer began by completing the 200hr YogaWorks Teacher Training program.
Then, I went straight into my 6 week intensive Physiology Summer school course.
During that 6 week time-frame, I was a study-a-holic, we took a long weekend trip to Chicago for 4th of July and Ashley & Drew’s wedding, when we returned Aaron had a surprise appendectomy and then Aaron’s parents came to visit.
Once Summer school was over, my parents came to visit for a little over a week, and then Aaron and I went to Fresno to spend some much-needed time away from Los Angeles.
In the past few weeks Aaron started working on a new television show, I started my 300hr Professional Program, and my dad came into town on a whirlwind trip to help my brother move.

Next week my Fall semester starts at Santa Monica College and I will be embarking on the second full week of my 300hr Professional Program through YogaWorks.

I will be one busy student in the coming months trying to manage my time wisely between being on campus, at a yoga studio, and studying.

Its also crazy to think that with this transition from Summer to Fall (this is according to my school semester calendar; certainly not according to the weather we have been having that says its still very much Summertime) will come holidays, travel, and a New Year.

[while my parents were in town we walked over to LACMA to see the new “Levitated Mass” installation. Yes, its art… but its also just a great, big rock.]

 [my parents got to partake in “ciabatta baking day”! AND they got to take a loaf home to Alabama with them]

[the beer fairy came to Los Angeles! between my Dad’s home-brew and some mid-west/east coast beers (that we cant get here in CA) our house is stocked with lots and lots of yummy beer!]

[speaking of beer, one of our current favorites is the Tart of Darkness from The Bruery; 
its a dark, fruity sour that even my mom likes!]

[I whipped up my favorite banana+spinach+mango+wheat germ+cinnamon+coconut water 
smoothie on my parents’ last day in LA]

[my dad was able to get ahold of one of these bad-boys while in town!]
I was sad that my parents had to head back home; but happy that they were able to spend a great week and a half with us in Southern California! I really wish they lived closer.

[Ziggy and I went down to Orange County a few times in the past couple of weeks to spend time with my brother]

[and, of course, we ended up at The Bruery Provisions for a tasting flight… or two]
[Aaron and I spent a (much needed) long weekend in Fresno… Ziggy had a nice, relaxing trip up]

[we went out to eat at Pismo’s in Fresno and I had some amazingly delicious garlic linguini with clams]

 [and, of course, Ziggy made himself right at home]

[we enjoyed Champagne with breakfast… because its the perfect addition to a long weekend]

 [and so is cheese with an assortment of fantastic olives]

[there is never a shortage of wine while in Fresno, and Justin Wine is simply the best]

[we had a great long weekend away from LA,
even though the temperatures were a little warm]

[back home, Aaron and I enjoyed happy hour at one of the most dog-friendly patios in LA, 
AND discovered that they offer a free cheese pizza during happy hour!]

[Summer is the perfect time of year to be craving lots and lots of kale and heirloom tomatoes… which I did…. so Ive been making this meal a lot]

[I spent one afternoon organizing our pantry with my newest collection of Weck Jars]

 [while my dad was in town helping my brother move, we were able to make it to The Bruery’s sour tasting one night. It was incredible]

[we also made it to their new tasting room!]
[Aaron, my dad, and my brother went to Stone’s 16th Anniversary party; I wasnt able to go, so I had to check out their anniversary IPA in the bottle……..]

[………..and it was delicious, so I made a trip to our local Whole Foods to chat with our beer buyer friend; and I stocked up on some Summer beers to enjoy this weekend]

[I spent my last week of Summer driving all over Los Angeles trying to get ahold of this currently highly sought after beer…. Stone Enjoy By IPA
Aaron, my dad, and brother were all able to try it at the Stone Anniversary party; so I had to seek out the bottles so that I could try it! I was lucky enough to end up with FIVE bottles! It took me all week to accumulate them, and was quite a tedious task hunting them down; but my brother promises me that this beer is worth it.
Ill finally be able to try it out tomorrow after teacher training.]

[Ziggy says hes ready for Fall because this Summer has been exhausting]
Here’s to Fall, the new school semester, my 300hr teacher training… and everything else in store for us in the coming months!

Rich came to visit.

our friend, Rich, came to stay with us for a bit while he was in town for work.
What happens when you put 3 people who LOVE food, LOVE beer & LOVE wine under the same roof for an extended period of time?

THIS:

 [Rich made some AMAZING anchovy pasta, 
Aaron and I contributed the broiled tomatoes and sauteed greens…. 
and we had ourselves one very tasty dinner]

 [we walked over to Sky’s Gourmet Tacos to introduce Rich 
to some of the best shrimp tacos you could ever have]

 [Simone & Ceci invited us over to their house for a beer & burger night… 
and Simone made homemade hamburger buns for our burgers!]

 [Simone also made some delicious homemade potato chips 
and a salad with homemade shallot & vinegar dressing]

 [mmm. “chicken” cutlet, caramelized onions, 
goat cheese, on the delicious homemade bun]

 [I made a tofu chocolate silk pie, and Simone made 
some of the most amazing, creamy, custardy ice cream ever]

[we introduced Rich to BLD for brunch one morning…. 
mmm their vegan benedict is SO good]

[Elliott drove up one Sunday and we all went to Canele… 
one of THE best brunch places in LA]

 [I love this sign]
 [coffee with some fun sugar “cubes”]

 [best thing on the menu: egg in a hole– but ask for a side of siraccha]

 [at Canele, you have dessert after breakfast. 
their French Toast (and yes, get it with the mascarpone and prunes) is AMAZING]

 [one night, our power went out for 12 hours. 
so.. we put some candle sticks in beer bottles…]

[… and enjoyed some brie & bleu cheese with a fantastic bottle of wine]

 [what better way to enjoy a black-out?]
 [Aaron made some yummy lentils, and toasted some 
of my homemade ciabatta with garlic and olive oil for dunner one night. YUM]

 [our power went out AGAIN so instead of making 
dinner at home we went to Little Tokyo for dinner. 
there was a bit of a wait at the restaurant, so we past the time with a beer]

[we went to Sushi Gen. it was, by far, the BEST and most AMAZING sushi I have ever had. 
we started out with Mackeral, then had some of the fattiest toro I have ever seen, delicious snapper, had some AMAZING salmon that melted on your tongue, amazing albacore that also practically melted in your mouth, yellow tail, yummy giant clam, and we ended with a fantastic piece of eel.
it was definitely one of the best meals I have ever had.]
[Rich left these, John Kelly chocolates for us… and OH MY are they delicious. 
… dangerously delicious. mmmm. ]
Rich headed back to Marfa, Texas this morning. We had such a fun and lovely time while he was here; I cant wait for him to come back and visit! and next time… hopefully Jean can come too 🙂

springtime in Fresno.

Last weekend we went drove up to Fresno.
The weather was gorgeous the entire weekend! on Sunday we were able to take a drive down the beautiful Blossom Trail and take some great pictures:

Sunday evening we had a great homemade dinner of pizzas, grilled swordfish, grilled garlic ciabatta bread, lemony asparagus, roasted brussel sprouts, and my pear & apple crumble.

We also opened up a fantastic bottle of wine: Winston Hill Rutherford 2007.
Which is actually the same bottle we opened with Aaron’s parents after Aaron and I got engaged.
It. Is. Delicious.

for a hot, summer afternoon

… this is a perfect, crisp, refreshing rose!

 [Domaine Begude Pinot Rose, 2010]

But be warned: Its not easy to get ahold of.
In fact, last year (their 2009 vintage) we enjoyed 3 bottles and were then told that it was no longer available! So this year we got on a waiting list at K&L Wine Merchants for it and ended up purchasing a case! I am not normally a white wine or rose person (and trust me, we purchased several bottles of rose’s last year after we were informed that this one was no longer available; and NOT ONE of them lived up to our new rose standards) but this is just so perfect for summer.

If you happen to see one, pick it up! You wont be disappointed!

fine dining.

Aaron and I recently went to Osteria Mozza with my dear friend Flo who was in town from Nigeria.
We have frequented Pizzaria Mozza, but have never had the chance to try out their fine dining restaurant next door (due to extensive reservations; you have to book well in advance).

Flo was able to get us reservations on Easter evening (thank goodness for American Express privileges) and we set off to enjoy a lovely evening. Honestly, I didnt have many expectations for the restaurant only because I dont know many people who have been there. I knew their Pizzaria never disappointed in the food department, and since Mario Batalli is behind both of them I figured it would be good, but I still didnt have any specific expectations.

We arrived a bit early and decided to enjoy a drink at the bar. The wine was great, even though we got lucky ordering since neither of us are big connoisseurs of Italian wine (we are California wine drinkers, through and through; thank you to the waitress to steered us in the appropriate direction). About half-way through our drinks the rest of our party arrived and we were seated. And little did we know we were about to enjoy one of the best meals in our life (which, ironically, has happened a lot in the past year or so).

Between the various mozzarella appetizers, the first courses of pasta, the main courses of everything from short-ribs to Mahi Mahi, the two [delightful] bottles of Italian wine, and some amazing dessert our table was more than impressed and satisfied.

I dont have any photos of the food or establishment from that night, because – lets be honest- a fine dining restaurant isnt the best place to whip out your phone and start taking pictures for blogging purposes (although, Im sure they wouldnt have minded; everyone working there was friendly, helpful, and had smiles on their faces). BUT take my word for the fact that the entire evening was flawless. From customer service, to the food’s presentation and quality, to the deliciousness of each item ordered. 5 stars, hands down.

If you are looking for a great night out, and dont mind dropping around $150 a person- I highly suggest making a reservation at Osteria Mozza!
You wont be disappointed; Aaron and I are already planning on going back.

I can definitely say its on my “top 10” list for best restaurants Ive gone too/meals I’ve had… hell, maybe even in the top 5.