In order to attain that enchanting flavor and texture of their signature crust, I figured that Biscoff cookies would do the trick. Not only that, but the addition of molasses and honey give it the most ethereal, profound dimensions within every bite and, to top it off, the filling is superlatively rich and dense compared to other pumpkin pies I’ve tried in the past…Read More
I agree that folks romanticize LA way too much, and that was something I just couldn't wrap my mind around for many years. The other day one of my church girls posted a meme on Facebook that read, "Stop romanticizing LA. It is way too crowded, the traffic is horrible, and in-n-out lines are way too long". And while I find that to be quite painfully and humorously true, I now can't help but share my love of diversity this place offers. I am more grateful for the nuances that only LA displays, a little more today than yesterday. One of the forefronts of food innovation is right here in LA and if I can ever make it to the cafe, I get to sip on Urth's spanish latte! But equally on the same level of importance, where else can we experience the beach and the mountains and city life all within a one hour drive?
Coming from a background where I was the only "different" one, I fully embrace the eclectic lifestyle this city displays. A lot of it is far from perfect, of course. The poverty I witness in certain pockets of the city is unsettling for the heart, but the good things far outweigh the bad. I feel no longer a stranger after so many years of living here, and although I know that's God's way of never letting me be too comfortable, I am comforted by the fact that there's always the potential to rejoice and be grateful in the present. Just look for the little things in your todays, and you won't have to stray too far.
I'm so curious to know where my readers and fellow bloggers are from! What kind of city do you live in?
Most of you know that Monday is our day off work. Errr more like Greg’s day off work, hence, it’s my day off too since I have an extra set of hands taking care of Selah. Now before we get into our Monday adventure, let’s talk food! For lunch, I had a simple meal that was sort of reminiscent of the grilled sandwiches my mom made me as a kid—except I used a whole grain tortilla instead of bread.
I simply warmed up the tortilla in coconut oil and wrapped it with cheddar and black forest ham. This, along with green beans dipped in my all time favorite condiment mix (mustard and ketchup), totally hit the spot!
I’ve been starting to notice that Selah has a really good attention span which I think is funny considering that my attention span is close to non-existent, haha! She’s absolutely been enjoying playing and “reading” her books for a solid 30 minutes. The last I’ve been told is that 30 minutes is super long for a baby….and it’s been making things rather easier for me in the daytime. It’s a blessing, I tell ya!
Greg drove us to Santa Monica. I tried to take a picture of the two of us several times but to no avail, darnnn!
He absolutely hates pictures (some days more than others) and every time I attempted to sneak up on him he’d catch me so I ended up taking a photo of my lonesome self.
Is it just me or do most males hate taking photos?!
We went to Urth Caffe near Third Street and had dessert al fresco. I ordered one of their new desserts—earl grey tiramisu. It was delicious and way too easy to finish 80% of it in one sitting! Oops. Granted, it didn’t have the espresso flavor like traditional tiramisu and I did wish that the earl grey taste was stronger, but the creaminess from the mascarpone made it a winner in my book.
So where does it stand when I compare it to their pumpkin pie and blueberry cheesecake? The earl grey tiramisu is amazing, but I still think the other two are just a tiny bit better overall.
Greg got the raisin bread pudding and it’s perfect for an afternoon snack. I had a taste and it was really good, but it seems to be more of a breakfast item rather than dessert. But who am I to critique that? I still think that it’s way better than any bread pudding I can make.
A bold Spanish latte to wash it all down! Because you can’t visit Urth Caffe and not have this addictive drink. That, my friends, would be a sin.
We then took a stroll at the Promenade and it was a treat for all of us. You see, Selah hadn’t been there before and although she won’t remember anything about it, we at least have these pictures to show her when she’s old enough.
It’s the little memories that matter, you know? And whether it be a big or small event, I want to capture everything that comes my way.
Urth Caffe // Santa Monica
2327 Main St. Santa Monica, CA 90405
Have you been to Santa Monica? If so, what places did you love?
What dessert has been remarkable to you as of late? Do you prefer traditional or innovative recipes?
It is a common notion that stay-at-home-moms don’t need a day off, much less actually get the privilege to have a few hours to herself. But like I said before, it’s all about communication and how well we express our needs and desires to our spouse. In yesterday’s case, though, Greg actually offered to watch Selah for a couple of hours when I didn’t even think I needed a break because if I don’t watch it, I can easily go go go till the fuel in my engine is running on empty.
Seriously. Can my husband be any sweeter?! I’m really not trying to brag here especially if you don’t get time for yourself as a new momma, but can I seriously suggest that you take some time off (if your circumstances allow)?! Give yourself the freedom to go for a coffee+reading sesh or a relaxing walk when somebody offers to watch your little one. Without any guilt.
So…in an attempt to partay (or as the young’ns call it turnup nowadays) take some me-time yesterday I did what any Angelena would do—go to a coffee shop! Hah!
You see, if it’s not going out for a hike or playing somewhere out in nature, then I just LOVE to relax in a nice little café. Thankfully I managed to beat the horrendous LA traffic to get to BrewWell, and then I planted my butt there to read, work on my blog, and sip on a hot cup of coffee.
I found BrewWell through this amazingly talented girl’s Instagram. And when I read up on the Yelp reviews I was convinced that I needed to stop by! My natural instincts told me to go to Urth Caffe, as it’s my favorite place in all of LA, but being the adventurous coffee “aficionado” that I am, I knew I couldn’t pass by this opportunity.
And you know what? I’m so glad I did because:
a) The parking is amazing! Easy peasy, especially considering that it’s located in the psychotically busy Koreatown.
b) Located right by Assi Market so if you need your Korean food fix, you can conveniently buy your Korean groceries and drink some good coffee.
c) The coffee is tasty and super fresh.
d) Did I mention the coffee is good? Oh yes, I did. Well, I really appreciate the fact that it has a different quality from what the world famous Starbucks has to offer. I ordered just a black coffee and this is what I got: it has a slightly floral tone and isn’t not too smoky or nutty, which I think is just as delicious. But BrewWell’s coffee kind of resembles Café Demitasse’s quality but much much much smoother. I know many people love Café Demitasse but their java is much too strong for me! I guess I’m not as much of an aficionado as I thought I was? Hehe.
e) Very open and refreshing environment! Plenty of natural light shining through the windows, young and friendly staff, free and fast Wi-Fi, all make for a great place to read or meet up with a friend.
If all of these criteria apply to your preferences, then BrewWell might just be your kind of coffee shop!
This was the sight yesterday evening after I came back from BrewWell. So cute!
My failed but still tasty vegan+gf scones with yogurt+fruit on the side, which cancels out the vegan aspect of the breakfast, haha.
I finally buckled down and fed Selah her first feeding of meat. I went with a mixture of salmon, water, and baby rice cereal to tone down the “meatiness/fishiness” of the meal.
At first she didn’t know what to think of this creation.
But she quickly warmed up to it, as you can see. And she loved it! Well, I wouldn’t say she was dancing on the tables about it but she definitely enjoyed her salmon. And I’m sorry about the gross baby food picture! Ummmm I know it looks less than appetizing but I promise it wasn’t all that bad.
Sunday evening we went to Corner Bakery since we hadn’t been there for ages! I remember we used to study, chat, eat, and drink coffee all at the same time at CB back in our college days. I ordered their chicken pot pie soup and it was out of this world! The soup was surprisingly full of chicken and the crust floating around was so buttery and perfectly crunchy. Mmmmmmm!
And as for my EAT BEAUTIFULLY CHALLENGE FOR 21 DAYS? Well, let’s just say that it’s not going perfectly, per se, but I’m still holding up and trying to be as diligent as possible. So far I skipped about 2 days worth of green smoothie because I was outside and couldn’t get access to the kitchen. And this is a reminder that we can’t always meet our goals perfectly—you just have to get back to it and resume whenever you can.
Eating healthfully should serve our mind and body, but we shouldn’t be chained to them because that can easily become a trap!
Have a great day and talk to you soon!
Have you been keeping up with the challenge? Or what healthy food are you trying to include in your diet?
If you’re in the LA or OC area, have you heard of BrewWell?
What kind of atmosphere does your favorite coffee shop have?
There are some things in life that I really miss and would “rather be doing”. I sometimes fantasize about the simple things that make me smile and move on to the great things that I’ve had the opportunity to do throughout my life. Please don’t get me wrong! Despite the challenges that I’m presented with in my everyday life, I am beyond grateful for all that I have. I am learning to appreciate where I am and who I’m becoming as I learn through the highs and lows. Let’s be honest now. Life is definitely not perfect for anyone—no matter how much we make it out to be flowers and sunshine on social media—and I know for sure Davida agrees on that one. But for the sake of getting creative and sharing what “I’d Rather Be Doing”, please play along with this post and share what you’d rather be doing as well!
So off I go daydreaming about the sweet and simple things in life, as I also reflect on the blessings past and possible blessings in the future.
Some old pictures ahead, by the way!
Sometimes I’d rather be:
1. Able to turn on the car ignition, put Selah in the car within 10 seconds flat with no fuss whatsoever, and meet a friend for a latte at a moment’s notice. Let’s specifically make that my favorite places in LA, shall we? I’m talking to you, Urth Caffe, Café Gratitude, and Bread Lounge (the latter two I’m hoping to visit very soon)!
But the upside is that I now appreciate every single moment I get with my girlfriends! Whether it be over a latte or going over to their house, every word and every meal shared is that much more precious to me.
2. Shopping with no hassle or having to hurry to the point of not even trying on the outfits, and then just hoping that they’ll fit once I buy them.
But the upside is that I don’t “waste” time by casually walking up and down the aisles and taking awkward selfies in the fitting room anymore. I mean, time is precious and it supposedly equals money, right?
3. Spending an entire day developing and testing recipes, all while eating my weight in those recipes.
My vegan+gf banana cake with coconut chocolate avocado cream! Definitely craving some now. Recipe HERE.
4. Going back to India, and hopefully someday soon. I feel as though a good chunk of my heart has been left in that land—a land with beautiful souls waiting to see God’s amazing love for them!!! Not only was it wonderful to meet and minister to the villages in Punjab, but the memories Greg and I created with our friends is priceless.
The upside is that I know the Lord has so many great plans HERE AND NOW! I am discovering the various ways that He can use me to display His love in my surroundings RIGHT NOW, and it just goes to show that there is no cookie-cutter way to minister to others. I am blessed beyond measure with the people I have here in So Cal, and I am daily reminded that this is my mission field…my family, friends, church family, strangers at Starbucks….
5. Re-living our wedding day and honeymoon trip to Kauai! Except, we could happily go without all the day-of-the-wedding-preparation stressors altogether. Yeah, we were pretty stressed and short on sleep, both of which are essential on such a special occasion.
But the upside is that we have a deeper relationship as we walk through this journey called marriage. Every trial and victory makes our bond stronger, which is everything I can ask for to have a flourishing family life! Especially if we want to be happy parents for a happy Selah.
6. Eating sashimi till it comes out of my nostrils (I kid! Who do you think I am?) and enjoying it with a side of Japanese Ramen. I’m sure Greg would totally second this one! I don’t know about you, but my mouth is beginning to water.
But the upside is that I’m saving some moolah AND unwanted calories since I don’t want to sabotage my fun and hard-earned workout high. Yea right, hah! I’m all about eating healthy most of the time and being lenient when a BIG craving hits…so I’m guessing sushi and ramen are on the agenda?
7. Able to to rock a chic and refreshing short hairstyle like this one, but I’m afraid I have been traumatized as a child one too many times as I ended up with horrible mushroom cuts. Oh, and let’s throw in an afro in there too. Not that I don’t like afros because I think they’re beautiful, but not on a Korean girl like me. Plus, I’m not sure if I have the right face shape for such a short cut. I mean, my face did change quite a bit from my Jr. High days but I would probably regret it if I chopped it this much. Oh well, a girl can dream, right?
But the upside is that…uhhhhh there is no upside to this? I still want that hair.
8. Going off on little adventures out in nature and practice my baby photography skills. I think I definitely have come a long way in this area, but this form of hobby brings me so much joy that I consider it as my daily creative outlet. I definitely wouldn’t mind a whole day photographing things I find interesting.
Fuzzy iPhone picture : (
But the upside is that I now have this beautiful little munchkin to photograph 24/7! That’s right folks! I have my baby model who says I can photographer her for free, hehe. I have also learned that photographing subjects other than food is a lot more fun than I thought!
Have yourself a beautiful day and take advantage of your blessings! But feel free to daydream a little.
What would you rather be doing?
Happy Monday, dear friends!
As the due date is fast approaching I find myself adding more things to my “last wishes” list, for lack of better term, before I become an official mom. I remember like it was just yesterday that I was wanting to go to this place and that place, and do this and that with such and such friend right before I got married. And now the time has finally come where I start the cycle again before Selah arrives to this little world of ours.
Yesterday was that kind of a day and exactly what the doctor prescribed—a night out with girlfriends after a rather long weekend and a blessed morning service at church.
Emily drove us over to The 3rd Street Promenade and we walked around popping in and out of the stores. We browsed around several places like Zara, which by the way was heavily enticing me with its beautiful outfits that I cannot wait to wear soon, as well as Sephora. Although I have never been a makeup person and usually just plop on some lotion on my face, a bit of powder and mascara, I was more than excited to purchase myself a Bare Minerals Matte powder. It is one of the few things that I “pamper” my face with in order to freshen up each morning. I figured that I needed to take care of that before Selah comes! Haha.
After a simple dinner at the Santa Monica Place food court we made our way to Urth Caffe. Although my mind kept telling me to stop indulging in rich foods like a normal person would, I knew that I had to give in to my craving! I got the Torta della Nona, which is a pie type of dessert filled with pine nuts, some cooked custard type of filling, and peach jam. Oh man, was this perfect! This was one amazing little dessert and it totally hit the spot. I highly recommend it for those of you who are fans of flaky buttery pie crust.
Emily and Jenn ordered cheesecake and this simple yet amazingly refreshing Pot of Urth green tea! It was oh so good, and we all ended up sharing our desserts.
Another thing that I’m hoping to be able to do before Selah gets here is have one more date night with Greg. We shall see if or when that happens, but we need to take care of first things first—booby class tonight at 6:30 pm. Okay that didn’t sound right…more like, breastfeeding basics class, haha.
Have an amazing rest of the day and be a blessing to others, because we never know whose life we can save with a simple smile.
What facial products or makeup would I always find in your collection?
What’s the best dessert you’ve had lately?
Do you think you would have “last wishes” before the birth or your child?