Stuff Your Face: Poppy + Rose

If I had two daughters I’d totally want to name one Poppy since I already have a Rose.  Floral themed offspring names, SO cute!  This may be one of the reasons we ventured to downtown to check out Poppy + Rose (not really).  The other, more important reason was the fried chicken (really).

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Poppy + Rose is aptly named since it is located in the middle of Los Angeles’ flower district, right next to the Flower Mart.  On Saturdays there’s a small farmer’s market out front which makes parking a little difficult.  The meters in the neighborhood are a whopping $4 per hour and 2 hour max.  The restaurant website says they validate structure parking, but I was not into trying to find where that particular lot was. We ended up parking on a nearby rooftop lot for $5 (beware: many lots advertise a $5 rate but add conditions like ‘not on Saturdays or for special events’).

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flowers everywhere

What we ordered:

Two Egg Breakfast Plate $9.50

Buttermilk Fried Chicken + Waffle $13

Plain Bagel + Cream Cheese $4

Two Coffees $5

Fresh Squeezed OJ $3.50

For about $40 we had a great meal.  Well, two of us did.  One of us just snacked on puffs and tried escaping her high chair the whole time.

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Couldn’t resist a close up of the super crispy batter.  How can you go wrong with fried chicken first thing in the morning? Added bonus: they make their own hot sauce that is delicious on these fried birds.

While the food wasn’t out of this world, and the location is a bit tricky for us Valley kids to get to, it was a nice place to spend a Saturday morning with our little family.  This place is no fuss, you order when you walk in and there’s plenty of seating + high chairs.  The service is great (we got a few refills on coffee without even having to ask), and the crowd is not pretentious hipster so you can definitely take your loud little ones without feeling like you’re intruding.

Because lord knows, the only moment of peace we got during breakfast was this photograph of flowers being still:

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Poppy + Rose
765 Wall St
Los Angeles, CA90014

(213) 995-7799

 

 

Coffee Klatch: Paramount Coffee Project

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We LOVE coffee.  The obsession started before our year in Seattle, but intensified while we were there for sure.  Now, whenever we hear of a good coffee spot in town we have to try it.  We actually revolve our weekend mornings around making it to one of these spots since most of them are a good car ride from home base.

To be honest, most of these are hipster coffee spots in Mid City or the Eastside, and they make it incredibly hard for you to bring your baby/toddler.  They don’t offer high chairs or changing tables, and they more often than not have super cramped and minimalist spaces that make it really uncomfortable for any squirmy kid you happen to bring.  But, seriously hipsters, that is NOT going to stop us.  No, not us, the coffee obsessed and sleep deprived parents of a toddler.  We shall bring our own booster chair and we shall change diapers in the trunk of our car–priorities, right?

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One of these Saturday mornings brought us to Paramount Coffee Project.  This place was everything a hipster coffee spot required: cool servers, cramped indoor space, cute outdoor patio, mason jar serving ware, retro furniture, and slow service.  We started by ordering our caffeine.  For me a filtered coffee and for him a flat white with an extra shot. *Notice the mason jar to hold my extra coffee.

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Luckily for us it wasn’t just bench seating and there was a chair for us to attach a booster.  Now, among the 20 something singles sipping their coffee and working on their laptops there would be a 1 year old flinging porridge onto the floor.

For breakfast we ordered 1. Banana Porridge 2. Frijoles y Queso and 3. Bubble and Squeak Hash with an egg.  All three were delicious.  Most hipster coffee spots do coffee well and food okay.  I’ll say that this coffee spot had good coffee and a killer breakfast! Obviously we ordered the porridge for R, but she wanted to eat our egg whites instead, so we feasted on her left overs.  Of all three dishes I’d say that the porridge was the star.  Shocking, I know, but the winter spices added to it were perfect.

So let’s say you have a baby and you just don’t feel like being that annoying family that doesn’t realize their time for places like this has passed.  Fear not, you can still enjoy PCP coffee and treats at the to go window.

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This place was definitely worth the trip over the hill.  Now it’s your turn.  Go get some coffee!

Paramount Coffee Project

456 N Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036

 

Playtime: The Treehouse, Tarzana

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The Treehouse
18600 Ventura Boulevard
Tarzana, CA 91356
Isn’t there some study that proves dogs have similar intelligence as children until the age of 2? I thought I heard that once.  In any case, I’m finding my experience to prove that one true.  Even though I’ve never actually owned a dog for more than 24 hours (but that’s a story for another day). Check out my non-scientific list of ways dogs and toddlers are similar below:
1. Dogs love to play, as do toddlers
2. Dogs respond well to praise, as do toddlers
3. Both love games, mealtime with R proves this one to be true
4. You can teach both “tricks” (where’s your nose?)
5. They both love cuddles
6. I think they have a very similar receptive vocabulary for a while
7. They need exercise
That’s where this whole Treehouse comes into play.  We went there one afternoon as a way to “exercise” R.  We try to leave the house at least once a day because when we hang out at home all day she basically lounges on her butt until bedtime since we have such a small condo (serious lack of motivation from this one).
The Treehouse had only been open for 2 months, making it sparkly and new compared to other playspaces we’ve visited (major plus for a semi-germaphobe like myself). Here are some pros from our visit:
  • relatively large space
  • cute toddler sized eating and lounging area
  • lots of window seating for parents
  • really cool obstacle course for kids
  • well sized section for babies under 2
  • lots of snacks and drinks for sale in case you forgot your snack bag

The only thing I think it could use was an extra bathroom, since there was only one.

R had a blast doing the parts of the jungle themed obstacle course that she could manage. She loves climbing, so it was perfect for that.  If you have a child under the age of 5, this place is great to kill a few hours.  I’d just say to avoid any rainy days or school holidays, because indoor playspaces are kind of chaotic on those days.  But on any other weekday I’d say pick up an iced latte, head over, shell out $10 and watch your little puppy, er…kid have some fun.

Nap Time Over

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It occurs to me that I’ve been MIA for almost a full year.  What in the world could have caused that to happen? Hmmm…

But here’s my first attempt to resurrect this blog. I say “first” because I’m no fool.  I fully anticipate getting sidetracked by life.  Let’s see how long this attempt lasts.

You have The Less Than Domestic Goddess to thank for this.  I stumbled upon her very own blog revival and got inspired.

Time to dust off my keyboard, this mama’s nap time is over!

4 Day Getaway: Carmel and California’s Central Coast

About a month ago we began our  journey from Seattle to Los Angeles (maybe one day I’ll post about this epic journey of ours).   We initially wanted to stop at Big Sur, but after 7 days of traveling by car, we were just ready to be home.  We had two weeks to recover, and then we were ready to hit the road again to see what we had missed on our way down the Pacific Coast.

We decided that Carmel, Big Sur, and Monterey were the spots we wanted to hit up.  We got a recommendation to stay at this resort called Treebones because I’ve always wanted to go glamping in a yurt, but of course our last minute ways prevented us from getting a reservation.  Next time…

Instead we stayed at this place in Carmel Valley called Quail Lodge Inn.  It was a perfect place to stay.  Highlights for me included the pool, bocce ball, putting green, and the best organic complimentary breakfast I’ve ever had at a hotel.  The weather was gorgeous, and we were able to soak up the sun by the pool by ourselves a couple of days.  Ah, the joys of traveling Tuesday through Friday.

 

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The entire way down from Seattle, I was so impressed by the beautiful Oregon Coast.  But, let me tell you, California’s Central Coast may just be a tad more beautiful.  The specific shade of blue green here is amazing, and the amount of wildlife we saw was spectacular (whales, otters, jellyfish, pelicans, cormorants, seals, sea lions).  Check it out:

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1. A scenic stop off of Highway 1, near Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.  It’s a short little nature walk that overlooks a little cove, waterfall, and some picturesque rocks.  Perfect for a stop to stretch your legs on the way home.

2.  Sunsets at the beaches in Carmel.  Just about any beach here will offer you the most incredible sunsets.  I recommend getting a seat on the beach about 40 min. before the sunset on your weather app.  Bring some snacks and relax.

3.  China Cove at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve.  We really wanted to go down to the freezing water, but it the stairway was closed for renovation.  Look at that blue green!

4.  Our first stop at Point Lobos, we saw tons of seals and sea lions here.  We were lucky that it was such a clear blue day, normally the views are limited and covered in fog (just another form of beauty, I suppose).  Point Lobos was my favorite stop of the whole trip, there are tons of trails here, and if you’re not into long hikes, there are short nature walks with amazing views.  You must get here early though.  There is very limited parking, and access is $10.  Once the lots are filled a line builds up at the gate and you wait until a car exits before the next car can go in.  We got there at 10 am on a Wednesday and it we didn’t have to wait.  You could also park along the road and walk in to enter, but it’s kind of a long walk.

This was such a relaxing and peaceful trip.  Perfect for a romantic getaway from LA if you don’t mind driving 5 hours or so to get there.  Besides, the drive itself is part of the vacation with its scenic views.

 

Countdown to California

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In a little over a month I’ll be back in California.  I cannot wait! I had an amazing year up here in Seattle, but boy am I ready to go home.  Lately I’ve really been missing my BFFs and Family.  I’ve made some great friends up here, some I’m sure that will remain close after the move, but they just aren’t the same as those friends who’ve grown up with you.

I can’t wait for:

1) Sunday family dinners (with delicious homemade food that I didn’t make)

2) Sundresses and flip flops everyday

3) Holding all my friends’ beautiful babies

4) Hanging with the BFFs

5) Being there to help my sister plan her wedding, in person

6) All the old neighborhoods and restaurants I’ve missed

I’m sure once I get back to LA, I’m going to miss the lush landscape of Seattle, the layers of beauty on any given day.  But as everyone knows, home is where the heart is.

Happy New Year!

Last night we had a very “family” NYE. We spent it with families in which children outnumbered adults. It was a lot of fun to hang out with my nieces. It was especially amazing to realize that our 9 year old niece was able to have serious conversations and was practically a teen already.
Then there came the dreaded question: why don’t you have kids? Only this time it didn’t come from an adult. It came from an 8 year old and 9 year old. (The parents know better than to ask). The conversation went a little like this:
9 yo: why don’t you have babies?
Me: oh, I don’t know.
8 yo: but, aren’t you married? So why not get a kid?
Me: yea, we are married but no kid yet.
9 yo: well, maybe the right baby is coming…or maybe you’ll adopt! (Big hug)
Me: yea, the perfect baby is just waiting to find us.
I know 2014 is going to be great. I know this because I was able to keep it together throughout that conversation.
To all of you starting a new year still hoping for that miracle, I hope your perfect baby finds you soon! And to our perfect baby: we’re ready!