Santa Monica: Restaurant guide

Santa Monica Restaurant Guide.png

Since moving to Santa Monica, I’ve had a few visitors and people ask me what’s good to eat. There are lots of great places and I haven’t come close to trying all of them, but I do have some favorites that I want to share with you. I though it would be helpful to break it down into neighborhoods or types of meals.

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Easter Sunday in Santa Monica

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Paul and I spent this Easter Sunday in our home city of Santa Monica. It was a nice, relaxing day.

I made buttermilk waffles in the morning with our new waffle maker. I sort of combined this recipe from King Arthur Flour with this recipe from Betty Crocker. We topped them off with fresh whipped cream made the day before and some strawberries.

After washing an overflowing sink of dishes (I had been putting them off), I talked to my mom on the phone for a while and then we took a walk along the beach. When we came back, we made dinner out of leftovers. That’s always a good thing because it means no cooking, just reheating.

Now it’s a little past 5 pm and I’m watching Charmed before heading to work a closing shift with the memories of a lovely day.

Feels like home to me

Myself in May 2015

One time when I was about seven years old, I thought I would be silly and pretend I could read fortunes for my older sister and her friends. I don’t remember what I said to her friends, but I remember that I did my teenage sister’s fortune last and what I said made her upset.

I told her that when she grew up she would live in a trailer in a parking lot right on the beach and she would own a seashell shop. She felt hurt that I told her she would live in a trailer because that wouldn’t be successful. But I thought it sounded cool and fun. She would get to go to the beach every morning.

Now that I’m 24 years old and a grown up (I guess), I live in an apartment only a mile from the beach. It feels like a dream come true, even though I don’t actually go to the beach every morning and I still haven’t learned to surf.

My boyfriend and I have an ongoing joke that I’m a “beach babe” because I love the beach so much. I can’t say it without laughing because it’s just weird to call myself a babe. More than just living by the beach and living with my boyfriend, it feels so good to actually feel at home in my new home. It’s no longer just my boyfriend’s apartment that was only his for a year before I moved in, it’s mine now too.

Moving, transitions and change are a pain, at least for me. Moving involves not just moving stuff and where you live. As an adult, it includes changing your mailing address, your billing address and your address with the Department of Motor Vehicles. It involves some redecorating. It could involve starting a new job, or two in my case.

Santa Monica really feels like home now and it’s a good feeling. I recently had the chance to show my mom and older sister some of my favorite places around the city. I asked my sister what she wanted to see and she said something like “I don’t know, it’s your city.” It’s still funny to me that I’m living in a city that’s unfamiliar to them, although it’s still in Southern California. By the way, that’s a photo of Mom on the Santa Monica pier below.

Feels like home

The real moment I knew I felt at home was when I was talking to a close friend on the phone a few weeks ago and she asked me “When was the last time you went home.” I had to think about it for a few seconds because I was standing in the bedroom of my apartment at the time. I was home. But she meant when was the last time I was at my old (or other) home with my family. It had actually only been a few days. Just a few months before I had been thinking of my family’s home in Covina as my home and Santa Monica as my second home. It took some time after moving for the two to switch in my head.

I’m so excited to be a resident of the city of Santa Monica, explore what it has to offer and take part in it. I’ve been absent from this blog for too long, but i’ve got photos and videos coming just waiting to be uploaded. So, I’ll be back here again soon. Happy living.

My new home

Santa Monica palm trees

Santa Monica pier

Santa Monica ferris wheel

Santa Monica pier 2

Hello, hello! It’s past midnight on a work night, but I just wanted to check in and share some photos from my new home.

I still find it hard to believe that I live within walking distance of the beach. This is seriously a childhood dream come true! Considering that, though, I should really go there more often. I should make it a goal to go to the pier, shore and/or walk along the sand at least once a week.

Santa Monica sure is pretty! It’s very inspiring.

P.S. Speaking of goals, I’m going to get a post up soon about how I did with my 24 before 24 list. As of Groundhogs Day, I’m 24 years old and getting older all the time. As Ferris Bueller said, “Life goes pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Beer with a Blogger: Cassie of Witty Title Here

A few weeks ago, I met up with another blogger for the first time. Meeting people from online is not all bad, I tell you. I’m still alive and I got to meet this cool girl Cassie who runs the blog Witty Title Here, a lifestyle blog which features personal essays, photography and interviews. For her Beer with a Blogger series, I suggested we meet up at O’Brien’s Irish Pub in Santa Monica, because hey, O’Brien is my last name.
beer close up

It was so cool getting to sit down across from someone whose blog I had been reading for months and talk about blogging with someone who actually does it. I don’t know any bloggers in real life, so whenever I bring up blogging to my family and friends they just play along.

We talked about blogging (of course), places to visit in the area, books, feminism and the media. Cassie is a Journalism student too! She’s also a California transplant who moved across the country for school, which I find very brave. The girl is brave, funny, honest and smart. You can follow Cassie on Twitter here.

William O’Sullivan neon sign

The owner, William O’Sullivan came out to meet Cassie and me while we were taking photos of the outside of the building. He was really nice and friendly. He wanted to know what we were taking pictures for, understandably, and even went back inside to write down the names of our blogs. I thought that was sweet. Although he was born in Ireland, he decided to name the bar after a Star Trek character instead of his own last name.

O'Briens Pub outside

The pub seemed like a nice place and I plan on going back. I’ll have to get my family to go with me so we can all enjoy being there together. Fun fact: My sisters and I all have pajamas that say O’Brien’s Irish Pub. My dad got them for us from Old Navy one year.

Beer with a blogger

Photo from [Witty Title Here]

This was so much fun! I’m glad we met up, Cassie. We’ll have to get meet up again soon.

A lovely weekend

pink flowers and dress

Hello lovely people!

I hope you guys had a nice weekend, whether you did anything special for Valentine’s Day or not. Personally, I love Valentine’s Day. I l love love and it’s nice seeing it everywhere. So, I thought I would share some photos from my weekend with you.

On Friday night, my mom met my oldest sister and I ate a California Pizza Kitchen with flowers from a local grocery store. She’s is honestly the sweetest lady I know! I wish I would have given her something too. I’ll think of something and give it to her when she’s least expecting it.

While in the restaurant, I was pleasantly surprised to see how many families were out to dinner together. Maybe that had something to do with the time we were eating. We got to the restaurant around 5:30 p.m., so it makes sense that there were babies and little kiddos with their parents. I thought it was sweet! Maybe the parents couldn’t get a babysitter, but I would like to think at least some of those parents wanted to share the restaurant experience with their little ones.

Seagull

Even though I tried not to care about Valentine’s Day and not getting to spend the actual day with my boyfriend, I still let the expectations get to me this weekend. Ugh, expectations. Don’t expectations suck? I say chuck ’em out the window if you can.

The thing is, Paul is such a go-with-the-flow guy and I love making plans. I don’t mean to air my dirty laundry in public, but I also don’t want to say everything is perfect all the time. What I will say is this. Communication is the key to life. He didn’t even realize I wanted him to decide what to do until I told him. He likes letting me pick our itinerary most of the time because he’s a sweetheart and I normally love being the boss. Once we actually discussed our feelings, we had a really nice weekend.

Santa Monica for Valentine's weekend

The photo set above is from Paul’s Instagram. On Sunday we walked from his apartment to the Santa Monica pier and then wandered around the promenade. It was really beautiful out. The weather was nice. I didn’t even need to wear the sweater I brought along. Sadly, I ended up losing it. It must have fallen out of my arms on our walk back to his apartment. Goodbye, perfect yellow Target cardigan. I miss you already.

Oh guys! I have to mention that I can cross one thing off my 24 before 24 list now. Yay! I tried hot sake at this Thai place we went to. The restaurant was called Thai Dishes. Funny name if you ask me. The food was delicious. The sake was, well, interesting. It’s strong and reminded me of vodka. I’ll probably never order it again. I don’t think it’s “my thing.” But it was cool to try!

I have today off from my internship, so I’m going to use it to try more new things and cross stuff off to-do lists. That means practicing coding, practicing Spanish, catching up on blog posts, maybe helping my mom sew and maybe finally fishing Divergent. Oh yeah! I got an internship, by the way! I waited two weeks to say anything on here. Life is looking up!