Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year + Music Favorites + Favorite Eats at LA/Pasadena

Happy new year, everyone!!!!! It's officially 2014!!!!

Sorry for the weird background - I'm currently at Starbucks

Today I want to share with you my music favorites of 2013. 

Favorite Singers:

* Brooke Fraser - her music style is unique, and I just love it. I really enjoy the lyrics to a lot of her songs - very deep stuff. She has biblical references in her songs every now and then, which is pretty awesome too! 
Currently, my favorite songs from her are Ice on Her Lashes, Seeds, Hosea's Wife, and C.S. Lewis (yes, that's the name of one of her songs).
* Josh Wilson - I love this guy's music. Many of his songs are about his relationship with God. Very relatable (as you can see, lyrics are important to me), and the music is nice too. 

* John Legend - he is so talented. I went to one of his live concerts recently and it was great! If you're in the mood for a laid back, romantic love song, may I recommend All of Me or Ordinary People. They are two of my favorites.
* Alexander Rybak - Alexander Rybak is quite a talented man. He is also pretty good looking, in my personal opinion. He plays the fiddle like nobody's business and has an awesome voice that's very pleasant to listen to. I don't always agree 100% with the lyrics, but overall they are fun and playful. Some great songs I recommend from him: 1) Fairytale, 2) First Kiss, 3) 13 Horses (this one is with piano and it's so beautiful but be warned: It is depressing!) 4) Roll with the Wind (this one I couldn't find on Spotify, but I know it's on Youtube - the same goes for 13 Horses). 

Favorite Composers:
* Brahms
* Shostakovich
* Addinsell
* Manabu Oshishi

That's pretty much it for music. On to food!!!

Favorite Restaurants/Cafes in LA and Pasadena
* My Vegan - My Vegan is so great. I've now been there twice. The first time I went to the one in Pasadena, and the second time - yesterday - I went to the one in LA. I definitely enjoyed the one in LA because the interior looked nicer and there was a different menu with organic ingredients. My Vegan restaurant is especially known for their Thai/Asian dishes. My favorite dishes: 1) Vegetable Bowl (it was the Vegan Bowl of the Day or something like that) with marinated kale and red/brown rice, topped with a soy sesame sauce. 2) Miso soup (from the one in Pasadena), 3) "Chicken Drumsticks" with choice of buffalo or BBQ sauce, 4) Pineapple Lemonade, 5) Any of the Thai coconut curries are fantastic! They are served in big, beautiful bowls and come with a side of brown rice. 
Pasadena Website:

* Real Food Daily - another organic vegan restaurant. What can I say? Vegan restaurants are my favorite!  The food here is so tasty, and so wholesome. In my opinion, the best part of this restaurant is the sweets. Ok, I'm biased, since I haven't tried any of their main dishes yet. Haha ^_^ But seriously, try their strawberry hemp "milkshake". You won't be sorry! 
Real Food Daily has locations in Pasadena, LA, and Santa Monica. 

* Le Pain Quotidien - this restaurant is superb! Seasonal ingredients, fresh baked bread, raw, vegan, gluten free, and vegetarian options among the fancy meat options - and everything tastes fantastic. I enjoyed the seasonal turmeric chai latte (not sweet at all, but had a very nice taste), as well as the minestrone soup (best minestrone soup I have ever eaten, no joke), and as my main course I had the seasonal Kale Caesar salad. Yeah, pretty much the best salad ever. The dressing had lapsang in it (lapsang is apparently some sort of smoked tea) and gave the whole salad a delicious, cheesy and nutty smoked flavor. And here's the cool part: this caesar salad was dairy and egg free! Healthy, dark green salad that tastes AMAZING and is super nutritious - yup, can't beat that.  
Besides offering great food, this place also encourages great company. The restaurant has a lovely mix of modern and traditional, especially with a giant communal table in the middle of the room. I had the pleasure of sitting there with some great friends of mine, and we had a wonderful time together. 
Here's the webiste:

There were other great restaurants I visited, but those were my three favorite for this year, I think. 

Well, that's pretty much it! Pretty soon, I plan to share a delicious green smoothie recipe that turned out SO fantastic. I can't wait to share. :)

Much love,

~ Natalyn

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