Wednesday, July 23, 2014

South Bay Shenanigans

I've been looking forward to my family and our London friend coming out for a MONTHS. The time is finally here!

My sister and mom got in last week and while my mom had a sister vacation with my aunts who live around here, I got to spent time with my younger (more fabulous) sister.

Friday I had a half day and we went to the beach!

That makes my legs sore just admiring her splits, lol.

It was a perfect beach day. We brought sandwiches down to the water napped, listened to music, and chatted before heading back in for the day.

That weekend my cousins and our London friend and our other friends came to hang out, so we first took them to our spot on the pier!

We had Mai Tais to kick off the weekend. 

Then we headed back to our part of town for some deeeeeelicious Mexican food!

Ortega 120 is my FAVORITE South Bay Mexican joint because a) $2 super delicious tacos and b) margaritas made with only fresh squeezed juices (none of that nasty sweet and sour that's unforgivable with hangovers) 

Plus it's day of the dead themed and there is something cool to look at in every corner!

It was a good place for our group of 10

 Another favorite of mine is their fresh and pressed handmade tortillas. They are divine! I could eat 20.

When you first walk in you get to watch them making them right in front of you.

 We finally sat down and ordered our meals. I ended up splitting a burrito with my cousin, and good thing too...

This thing was a monster! A delectable, smoothered monster. 

 It was so, so good and the giant portion was perfect enough to split between two!

The next day we burgered out at The Standing Room to treat our London friend to some great burgers. 

And ended the night with a fully American Irish car bomb. 

It was an eclectic mix of food and fun and over WAY too fast :(

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Day on the Water

On a clear, sunny Sunday a few friends and I wandered down to the pier to try out paddle boarding. We'd been talking about wanting to do this ALL summer, so it was fun to get a group of us together!

Paddle boarding is something on my 30 before 30 list that I made this year. 30 things in 5 years shouldn't be too terribly hard to accomplish, and I was excited to check this one off!

We stayed in the harbor for our first round. I don't know if I'd ever try it out in the ocean. Too many waves and your paddle board isn't attached to you like a surf board is.


On the dock getting ready to jump aboard!

My friend was smart/brave enough to bring along her fanny pack with her iPhone in a sealed plastic baggie so she could take pictures. I was too afraid I'd be the first person to fall off my board. 

Although I didn't fall, I did crash into some rocks trying to turn around (to everyone's amusement.)

It's way easier than I thought it would be! Steering can be difficult though. 

We were able to paddle past some seals, too! They were mainly chillin on those rocks behind me. One swam between me and my friend's board as we screamed in excitement because it was so cute. 

We were out in the water for about an hour. We paddled all over the harbor and then came back to the dock to return our boards.

Of course we were hungry by that time.

So we headed down to the restaurant part of Tony's for some fantastic views of the water while we browsed our menus.

We all ordered Mai Tai's in celebration of our successful paddle boarding experience.

I ordered a hearty bowl of clam chowder and chowed down. :)

I would definitely go paddle boarding again, especially with friends! I love love love trying new things.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hot's Hermosa

I'm baaack.

I never really intended to take a blogging break but you know, life gets weird sometimes.

A few weeks back a friend of mine and I rode our bikes up the coast.

It was a really gorgeous afternoon.

We didn't have a destination in mind, so we rode up to El Segundo and back. It was a good 18-ish mile trip. So clearly we needed fuel.

We decided on Hot's Kitchen in Hermosa and found a seat at the bar. I love the interior!

Shared an order of chips and salsa, which tastes SUPER fresh and light.

But Hot's is known for it's spectacular tacos...

And they WERE spectacular. 

I got two of "Hot's Favorites." Left: Baja fish with salsa and a heart slice of avocado. Right: Pineapple pulled pork (for the Texan in me)

I devoured them both. I still can't decide which one I liked better, but the favors on each were fantastic.

I highly recommend Hot's Kitchen if you're in the Hermosa area!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Heat Waves and Pier Dates

So, if you live in SoCal (or also NorCal, I heard) then you know that we had a bit of a heat wave that hit last week.

Having moved from Phoenix, I feel that I can deal with the heat. However, in Phoenix everyone has AC. If you don't, you fry like an egg all summer--especially on those 114 days. 

For the most part, you really don't need AC in most parts of southern California. Especially if you live near the beach. Buuuuuuut it jumped to 102 on Wednesday. And our apartment felt like an oven. 

So I suggested to my boyfriend that we take our bikes and head down to the pier.

My boyfriend loves growing better and better at photography, so initially I suggested we go down to the beach so he could practice. I had a few bookish ideas in mind and he made my vision come to life just as the sun was setting.

"Behind the scenes" :P

The result! I love it. I may use it as a background or image for something in the future :)

Here's another one I really liked. My inspiration was from a Modcloth ad I saw, lolol. (However, that is no Modcloth dress. $9 dress from a discount store for the winnnnn?)

Anyway. After sun was starting to set, I didn't want to go back to the apartment. So I suggested we bike to grab dinner before heading home. My bf wanted to take me to a bar he'd been to before for the spectacular views--and a quick drink.

 This picture really doesn't do the place justice. It's kind of a dive bar feel, but the entire bar is upstairs with a 360 view of the pier/harbor! He told me to sit here so I could take in the ocean in the background :)

 The rainbow orbs of light decor were my favorite. I want some for our apartment (They would never fit. But I can dream.)

Grainy, but that's the view of the pier behind me!

 After, he took me to another spot that he'd been to before: R10 Social House. 

I LOVED the modern/rustic vibe on the inside!

We sat at the bar (also very pretty) and browsed the cocktail menu.

He had a margarita, and I had a very fancy whiskey cocktail.

Fancied out with prosciutto, maple and some other delights that I can't remember. Super good.

We decided to split an order of the wild boar sliders with house pork belly and tomato-bacon jam. IT WAS SO GOOD.

We also split an order of the mac and cheese, which is probably the best I've had in a long time. OMG just looking at it makes me want moreeeee. 

Surprisingly, we both filled up on this!

This is outside of R10. Another eatery with gorgeous views! I will definitely be going back.

After we headed back to our apartment, which was still warm but not as toasty as before. :)

Of course, this isn't a bad place to be when it's in the 100s ;)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mango-Cilantro Orange Glazed Chicken

Lets talk about summer foods in this Tuesday Foodsday post, shall we?

I love everything about springtime and summer meals. The lightness and freshness of it all! Citrus-y glazes and tangy mixed lemonades. Cool salsa and lime EVERYTHING. Oh, and berries--plump and juicy strawberry salads and blueberry smoothies and blackberries on ice cream.

I had a mango in the fridge and worried that it may go back, I decided to throw this quick summery dish together! Mango-Cilantro Orange Glazed Chicken.

It tastes as good as it looks.

 What will you need?

1 roma tomato
Fresh cilantro
1 mango, cubed
1/3 red onion
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup apple juice
garlic powder
lite italian dressing
1-2 chicken breasts

Start by chopping up all your veggies and set aside!

In a skillet, cook your red onions, apple and orange juice, salt, pepper, and garlic powder on medium heat.

This chicken breast was HUGE (I don't think you can really tell from this pic) so I cut it in half. But you're going to want to cook your chicken like this, turning it over frequently, until fully cooked. 

When it's done, it should have a glazed look on the outside and there should be 0 pink in the middle. You may need to add a little more OJ if it cooks up too fast. 

 While your chicken is still cooking, throw the rest of your chopped veggies into a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of lite Italian dressing and 2 tablespoons of orange juice. Mix together and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder for taste (just don't overdo it)

Serve a-top your chicken with a side of rice and VOILA! You're ready to eat.

So fresh and soo good. The perfect summer meal!