Tuesday, January 31, 2012


1. I'm back on the Green Monster train.

Initially, I used a very basic recipe: 1 tbsp ground flax seed, 1 banana, 2 large handfuls baby spinach, 1 c almond milk.  But lately I've been experimenting, and I've discovered that in addition to the ingredients above, I also like 1 tbsp natural peanut butter and roughly juice of 1/4 Meyer lemon.  Yum!  It makes just about enough for two.  

2. Cracking up over the front page of Huffington Post today:

p.s. Newt is from my hometown, and used to have a house account at my parents' restaurant.  Shudder.

3. Tomorrow, I get to have cheese again.  Which is good since lately there's been only one thing on my mind: PIZZA.  

4. What on earth happened on The Bachelor last night (stop reading immediately if you haven't watched it!)??  That was a real shocker at the end.  Ben and Jennifer had that "wonderful" one-on-one date, and didn't he say she was the best kisser of all the girls?  Weird.  I totally thought he was gonna send Emily packing for dissing Courtney yet again.  And speaking of Courtney, I can't wait till Ben recognizes her for the vile beast of evil incarnate that she is.  Her stupid pursed lips kill me:

5. I've fallen hard for a nail polish.  I recently discovered Essie's Sew Psyched, and I'm smitten.  Here's a pic--not of my nails, cause I just couldn't get the color to come out right in a photo.  So pretty, right???

Also--yay, Monday's over!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Happy Weekend!

This Friday's a little bittersweet for me, cause the past two Fridays have marked the beginning of a glorious three-day weekend . . . so this weekend already feels short.  But I should stop whining, because the weather's already pretty again, and on Wednesday I get to have cheese again!

Today I have some tips for you:

1. I have a new favorite breakfast: a toasted wheat sandwich thin, sliced avocado, and Papalote salsa.  The problem is, it has to be Papalote salsa.  Here is what it looks like:

I can't really explain it except to tell you that it blows any other salsa I have ever had out of the water.  It's legendary around San Francisco, and frankly, it should be legendary all over the country.  The good news is that you can order it here.  I know it seems ridiculous to order salsa from another state (if you're in another state), but I promise you that it will be worth it.  It will arrive at your door, you will taste it, and you will immediately email me and tell me how very right I was.  

2. Lesley is my oldest friend in the world.  Her mama and my mama are BFFs, and Lesley is 6 months older than me.  She was waiting for me at the hospital when I was being born!  So literally, we go back forever.   Ha.  In any case, she has recently quit her job to do two things: 1) stay home with her adorable & hilarious daughter Matilda, and 2) pursue her dream of creating and selling amazing wares.  In the past, she's been very successful selling one-of-a-kind little girls' dresses, but recently she's started making these carryalls that have me swooning.  This is the one I'm in love with:

I tell you, I'm snatching that one up as soon as I can afford it!  Check out her blog and her shop for other patterns/designs.  I'm both in awe of her and jealous that she can make such beautiful things.  What a talent!

3. And lastly, I recommend for you an article on Obama by Andrew Sullivan (the recommendation comes courtesy of my sister, Kate).  It's a longish article about Obama's "long game," and it really puts into perspective that which he has done over the past four years, and that which he is putting into place for the next four.  It encourages us to consider the context--the economic and political ambience into which Obama (and Bush before him) entered, which I think is crucial when considering a president's successes and failures.  Whatever your political stance, I think this article will be informative.

. . . And after last night's GOP debate, I'm fantasizing about Newt and Mitt in a boxing ring (Mitt would bust him in the jowls and it would be over before it started).  

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

This Week's Pros & Cons

By Thursday, I'm always itching for the weekend.  Friday is almost upon us, and I can feel the weekend beckoning.  Sometimes I need to remind myself to stop wishing away the week days and enjoy each moment.  I have a fulfilling job, lots of wonderful people in my life, and Jersey Shore comes on tonight. ;)

Some things I'm loving this week:

*My sister found the following sign at our grandmother's old folks' home.  Crotchety old people are hilarious!

p.s. find me on Instagram (clairekiefer)
. . . or find my sister; she's funnier

*Speaking of my sister, she sent me this picture and it cracked me up.  This is how she found her husband and their enormous dog the other morning.  LOVERS, I tell you:

*This car was parked beside me in a parking lot Monday night!  I almost creeped out and waited for him/her to come out of the store so I could bust out with "I went to Tulane tooooooo!"  Solidarity, son.

*I had a date with Heather Tuesday night that involved wine, spaghetti, and making lots of little crafty treasures for Rowan's FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY this weekend.  Can't believe that little guy is already one:

how cute are my cupcake toppers??

*Matt got me a Zone 3 literary magazine & wrote this inside ♥:

*My writing date with Diana this week was at Souley Vegan.  I finally got that fried okra I'd been dreaming about!

Some things I'm not loving this week:

*A notice from our landlord that he is raising the rent.  UGH.

*Monday night, I drove all the way out to San Quentin to teach my weekly class . . . only to be turned away at the East Gate by the mean guard who looks and acts like Ignatius J. Reilly because my prison ID had expired two days prior.  No big deal that it's a 30 minute drive each way and a $6 toll.  Homeboy is ruthless.    

There's a visual for those of you who haven't read A Confederacy of Dunces.  But if you haven't, stop reading my blog and head to a book store or library immediately.  Your life is incomplete.

*The combination of a sinus infection and insomnia.  Misery cocktail.

Here's hoping the Pros list keeps goin' strong and that the rest of the week sails by breezily into the weekend.  At least I have Snooki tonight.  GTL!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Funny Dating Sites

These days, we're all familiar with the 9,624,614 dating sites out there.  There's J Date for Jewish folks, Adult Friend Finder for tryst-seekers, BBW Personals for plus size daters, Amo Latina for Latina women seeking older men, Gaydating.com, and my new favorite: SugarDaddyForMe.com, which is pretty self-explanatory. :)  Man, are we a categorized people!

Despite knowing that these sites are rampant, imagine my surprise when I saw this email in my inbox this morning:


I'm Ellie, and I own BestSeniorDatingSites.org. I noticed you've accepted guest posts on bicoastally.blogspot.com in the past, and I wondered if you'd extend me the opportunity to also write a guest post for you?

I can research and compose an original article specifically written for your site, on any topic of your choosing. I'd only ask that you let me put a discreet link to my own website, BestSeniorDatingSites.org, at the end of my post.

All you'd have to do is review/approve my completed article to make sure that it coincides with the theme of your site.

Please let me know if you are interested.

Thank you for your time and consideration,
Ellie Stevens
Blogger | Owner
Best Senior Dating Sites

P.S. If you would like to see some of my past work before deciding, don't hesitate to ask!

What?!?!  Why on earth would the owner of BEST SENIOR DATING SITES think that her product was of any relevance to my blog?  At least I got a chuckle out of it. ;)

Godspeed, senior daters!  

Friday, January 20, 2012

What to do on a rainy, gray day

I don't think I could ever live some place where it rains all the time.

Luckily, Bay Area weather is essentially perfect all year round.  It's never freezing, nor blazing hot (though I've been oh so jealous of people posting snow pics lately!).  But here in San Francisco, we're in the midst of a predicted 5-day rain streak, and I'm trying to keep my chin up and brainstorm means by which I can enjoy the rain.  Here are my ideas:

Hot chocolate with Kahlua!  The other night, at an unreasonably late hour, I announced that I was having a severe coffee craving (but that I knew it was way too late for coffee), to which my roommate responded, "Have some hot chocolate instead!"  I grumbled into the kitchen to start the kettle, when suddenly it dawned on me: I could add Kahlua to my hot chocolate, which would potentially satisfy my coffee craving!  Et voila.

A Modern Family marathon on my couch.  They're just all so funny.  Especially Cam.  Lighthearted humor: a perfect antidote to relentless rain.

Stretching.  Lately I've been feeling so tight and inflexible; usually I'm pretty limber!  I'm trying to commit to stretching every night before bed (usually I stretch several times throughout the day) in hopes that it will help my vicious insomnia.  How amazing is this picture?  I suppose this pose could be the ultimate goal of stretching.

Vegetarian French Onion soup . . . how incredible does this look?  I've been all about soup lately: butternut squash, roasted tomato, minestrone, three bean chili.  Unfortunately this particular soup (the veggie French Onion) will have to wait until February when I resume eating cheese, but you better believe I'm pinning it so I can make it the first week of next month!

Tell me: do you have any rainy day tips?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Why my Tuesday Night was Extraordinary

I miss my family in Georgia a whole lot, but lucky for me, my daddy travels to the Bay Area for work a couple times a year (we got to see each other in Napa in November).  He was in town this week for the Fancy Food Show 2012, and Matt and I got to have dinner with him Tuesday night . . . at Millennium, no less!

Millennium is one of San Francisco's premier vegetarian restaurants.  I've heard people rave about it for years, but I had never been there myself until Tuesday night.  And my two carnivorous companions were great sports about the vegan food (I'm not sure if Millennium is always completely vegan, but the menu was vegan on Tuesday night).  

sitting between two of my favorite men!

We ordered lentil cakes and pickled vegetables as starters, and they bought us out complimentary brussel sprouts, which were my favorite thing of the night.  They were halved, grilled (I think?) and teriyaki-flavored, and oh my goodness, I'm quite certain I've never had better brussel sprouts in my life:

this picture alone makes me want to go back right now

lentil cakes

Dad ordered a little gem salad, Matt had a three onion soup and a warm winter chaat salad (which was delicious and inventive), and I had the fried artichoke over cashew risotto with kale and sweet lentils.

the chaat: avocado on bottom, chickpeas, grapefruit on top!


The best part of my entree was the kale.  The fried artichoke was creative and pretty good (with salt), and I found the risotto to be quite bland, but I loved the kale.  Big surprise there, haha. ;)

Daddy & me via instagram

After we dropped Dad back off at his hotel, Matt and I went a couple doors down to Top of the Mark, the famous bar atop the historic Mark Hopkins Hotel, from which you can see a spectacular view of the entire city.  It's breathtaking!  I don't know whether it was a blessing or a curse that I left my camera in the car . . . I didn't get any pictures, but it forced me to just enjoy a drink with Matt in a beautiful setting and not think about documentation.

The above view doesn't even really do it justice, because from Top of the Mark, the view is panoramic, and you just can't get that on camera.  Plus, it was really dark when we were there, and everything was twinkling.  I could see all the way from one side of San Francisco to the other, which was a perfect compliment to my Rutherford Hill Merlot (Matt had whiskey).  

Nothing like a little spontaneous romance. :)  Happy Thursday!

p.s. It was so weird seeing the Bachelor take his ladies all around our city last week.  I'd been everywhere they went, except for that random piano shop.  Surreal.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I dated a rugby player once who was all about sportsmanship.  He gave talks to young players about the importance of sportsmanship, team unity, and being as humble a winner as you are a loser.  I hadn't thought too much about sportsmanship until then, but it's really stuck with me.

I love the Saints.  I love them because I love New Orleans, where I spent my very formative college years. I imagine that anyone who knows New Orleans in a deep way understands the grip that the city takes on you; it's the most spirited, unique, celebratory town I've known.  New Orleans is a city that has undergone deep tragedy, and that has bounced back from that tragedy with an inspiring grace.

I recognize that as much as I love the Saints, other fans all over the country love their teams (whether it be football, baseball, basketball, etc.).  All my football energy goes into rooting on my team, and frankly, I don't understand why people so viciously hate other teams.  Even division rivals--sure, cheer for the other guys in order to advance your own team's standing--but straight-up hating on teams?  I find it unclassy.

You can imagine what my facebook & twitter feeds looked like on Saturday; I'm a Saints fan living in San Francisco, home of the 49ers.  I can't count the "Who Dat?  San Francisco's DAT!" statuses I saw, as well as one guy I went to high school with commenting after the game: "YES!  Now both LSU and the Saints went down!"  I couldn't help but wonder: why does he hate Louisiana so much?  For him, is his love for UGA and the Falcons buttressed by his hate for LSU and the Saints?  I don't know.

from @Official_Saints twitter

Above is a picture of Saints coach Sean Payton, former Saint Steve Gleason, and quarterback Drew Brees.  They're promoting ALS awareness, as Gleason revealed in 2011 that he had been diagnosed with neurodegenerative ALS/Lou Gehrig's Disease.

Drew Brees on the Saints and post-Katrina New Orleans: 

"You can draw so many parallels between our team and our city.  But in reality, we've had to lean on each other to survive and in order to get to where we are now.  The city is on the way to recovery.  And in a lot of ways, it's come back better than ever.  For us as a team, we've used the strength and resiliency of the fans to go out and play every Sunday and play with the confidence that we can do it," he said.

For these reasons and many more, I love my team.  Here's to being a good sport.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Oh when the Saints go marching in . . .

Happy Friday, everyone!  I'm excited that it's the end of the week and the beginning of a long weekend, but more than anything, I'm excited about Saturday afternoon:

The Saints flew into San Francisco tonight (yes, I was tempted to stake out at the airport, but alas, I had to babysit), and my friend Annie just texted me to tell me she found out which hotel they're staying in!  If only I had the day off and could sit around sipping coffee in their hotel lobby until I just "happened" to bump right into Drew Brees.  Sigh . . .

Here are a couple other things I'm excited about:

*Checking out Souley Vegan with Matt, thanks to Groupon (you think Souley Vegan would be willing to  give me free dinners in exchange for editing?  Their website could sure use it).  My friend Diana has been telling me about this place forever, and it's a wonder I haven't gone till now.  Plus, it's next door to Beer Revolution, and you can even order Souley food from the Beer Revolution patio!  Best of both worlds.

I literally dreamed about fried okra last night, by the way.

*Playing old school Mario Bros. on our new wii.  Jen's boyfriend Jacob gave us his wii (since he has some other fancy game system), and basically all I wanna do is play this:

Diana and I had our poetry workshop last night, and we spent about 15 minutes on poems and about 2 hours on Mario Bros. :)  Jen says she feels like we're high school boys (minus the reefers).  I'm hoping the novelty will wear off sometime soon so that I can resume my normal life . . .

Until then, happy weekend!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bad Nails

Last night, when I should have been prepping for a meeting on equity and teacher inquiry, I was browsing Pinterest looking for some nail inspiration (naturally).  Now, my sister would tell you that my taste borders on tacky, at times; I like sequins, gold, bling, and lots of color.  However, some of my findings left me . . . befuddled.  For instance:

heading to the casino, are we?

Chanel = classy.  This = opposite.

I'm really hoping this is a child with extra large hands

oh look, it gets worse!

If your obsession with labels goes this far, then I don't know what to say


(all images via Pinterest)

I know it takes all kinds to make the world spin and all that, but daaaaaaaaamn.  Those are some fugly "manicures."  I'm also kinda ready for that ring finger trend to be over--everywhere I look, I see a hand painted one color with the ring finger a different color/design.  

cliche (noun): something that has become overly familiar or commonplace

Okay, done with my bitchfest.  I'll be back tomorrow with something less whiny . . . in the meantime, link up here:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Gimme Your Food Ideas!

You might recall that I am spending January 2012 cheeselessly.  (Haha, "cheeselessly").  When I mentioned it on my blog, I immediately got the following text from my good friend Shelly:

I giggled when I got her message, but there is a great truth in her words; at this point, I'd venture to say that a life without cheese would be a miserable one!  It's so good and a pretty essential food for this vegetarian.  However, I think lessening my dependence on cheese is ultimately a good thing, and this cheeseless January is showing me that I can actually enjoy (some) foods without cheese.  GASP.

(This is not to say that I won't go running back in February . . . just hopefully with more restraint and some new ideas).

I made this veggie soup the other day that turned out SO GOOD.  I sauteed diced peppers, half an onion, and garlic in the bottom of my stock pot, and then just added pretty much all the veggies, etc. I had on hand (carrots, baby yukon potatoes, kale, cabbage*, canned tomatoes, garbanzo beans, fresh corn).  I used a couple cubes of Knorr veggie bouillon, water, dried oregano & basil, chili flakes, a smidge of chili powder, and Tony Chacere's (which I put in everything I cook).  Thanks to a suggestion from one of my besties, Lesley, I added a can of pumpkin, which thickened the soup into a stew . . . it was amazing!

*the cabbage was my favorite part

My carnivorous boyfriend and roommate loved it too.  The kale is tough enough to not get slimy in soup, and it was just spicy enough.  Make this!  You won't regret it. :)

This morning, my sweet friend Amy sent me a link to this Oh She Glows recipe:

I'm definitely gonna try it--Amy made it and said it was delish.

So here's where I ask for all your vegan (or mostly vegan) ideas!  Although, I can use a chicken substitute in pretty much anything, so if you have ideas that contain chicken, send em my way.  Just no cheese, please.

If you have a Pinterest recipe board, let me know!  Or if you post food pics on Instagram, let me know that!  I need all the healthy culinary inspiration I can get.

P.S. Check out this giveaway at Little Girl in the Big World.  $25 to Erin Condren . . . cause I need me a planner!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Smooth Criminal (Robert Downey Jr.)

In continuation of the "Hot and Busted" them from last Friday's blog post, I wanted to talk a little today about one of my very favorite "hot and busted" celebs: Robert Downey Jr.

Some Fun Facts:
*RDJ has said that the safest he's ever felt was when he was in jail.
*He had a relationship with Sarah Jessica Parker from 1984-1991:

*Studied classical ballet at age 10.
*Starred in the music video for Elton John's 2001 hit, "I Want Love"

So . . . what do y'all think?  Link up with Leeann:

Friday, January 6, 2012

Hot & Busted, or, How Well My Friends Know Me

This morning, I received two emails from Jason, one of my best friends (we grew up together).  Jason, his boyfriend Adam, and their puppy Johann are some of my favorite people/canines in the world.  Plus, Jason is the only person who willingly accompanies me to Swinging Richards on my biannual trips home to Georgia (even though I've embarrassed him there a time or two . . . ).

Jason's first email was a link to an article entitled, "The Secrets Gay Men Don't Want Straight People to Know."

The second?  A site called Hot and Busted, featuring sexy mug shots!  Under the "About" tab, the site proclaims:

"Hot and Busted presents mugshots of young and photogenic male arrestees."  HA!

I'm willing to bet this guy is Jason's personal fave.  Apparently, he was arrested for failure to appear after committing the grave crime of failure to produce a saltwater fishing license.

And now the ultimate question: why the hell didn't I think of this website???

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Pictures from my Holiday in Georgia

These are long overdue, but at last, here's what I was (mostly) up to while I was home visiting family and friends in Georgia over Christmas:

obsessing over Ashley's baby, Emma Kate

petting dogs at my dad's

posing with my mama and sister in front of my aunt's Christmas tree
(I know, I know, horrible picture quality, but it's all I got)

catching up with my old friend Mike

loving on my huge nephew, Leon
(with my brother-in-law, Leon's dad, here)

buying Scotch for my 91 year old grandma

wrapping gifts late at night

enjoying girls' night with my cousin & sister (and mama and aunties)

hanging out with my best friend on Christmas Day

playing with my favorite little girls:
Matilda on left, Aria on right

giggling at my dad and stepmom's Christmas card

shootin' guns with a friend from high school, Tyler
(our deal: I agree to go to the shooting range with him; 
he agrees to read book about women in prison)

cheering on the Saints in my new snuggie from Lane 

Also: drinking sweet tea, reading books, playing board games, overbooking my days, spending lots of time with family, and not blogging. ;)