Dancing with the Tahoe Stars

Reaching for the Stars!!

I am happy to announce that I’m going to be starring in winning Dancing with the Tahoe Stars on March 3rd!  I’m the star!!  I look like a star, don’t I? 
 
Dancing with the Tahoe Stars
 
Dancing with the Tahoe Stars is the major fundraiser for our local non-profit The Tahoe Arts Project which pairs 10 local stars (that’s me! that’s me!) with 10 professional dancers (my partner, Spencer) who put on a show in order to raise money for the Tahoe Arts Project
 
The Tahoe Arts Project is a 501c3 non profit that was established in 1987 by a group of parents, professional musicians and teachers to bring performing arts and cultural enrichment to schools in the South Lake Tahoe region in both CA & NV.  TAP reaches over 5,000 students, within 10 schools in El Dorado, Douglas, and Alpine counties of California and Nevada. The artists whom students meet through the TAP programs serve as role models that demonstrate the values of self-discipline and the pursuit of excellence.
The mission of TAP is to provide cultural enrichment and diversity for the community through the arts and education with particular focus on our youth.

As you all know, community involvement is important to me.  In addition, I’ve made it my mission as a business owner to dedicate part of my gross each year to giving back.  In the past three years, I’ve personally donated over $11k to the three non-profits I chose as my beneficiaries: The Baltimore Dance Crews ProjectMary’s House, and Hope Shines.  I’m happy to announce that my 2018 beneficiary is the Boys and Girls Club of Lake Tahoe!  
 
Now I’m asking for YOUR HELP.  Part of my commitment to Dancing with the Tahoe Stars is to fundraise for the Tahoe Arts Project.  Please consider donating in my name today.  Even $5 helps bring the arts to our local schools!  I’ve created a very lofty goal of $10k in fundraising and if everyone I know donates $20 I’ll get there in no time! Because, after all, everyone knows Lauren Lindley, am I right?  
 
As of today, I’ve already raised over $3k!  I’m almost half way to my goal and I have just under two weeks left!
 
 
Thanks so much for your support!  
 

Vote for me for Best of Tahoe 2015!

Best of Tahoe 2014

Remember that time I won Best of Tahoe last year?  That was awesomesauce.

It was especially humbling because I didn’t even ask you to vote for me.  Frankly, I didn’t even realize voting was open.

This year, I am asking because I think it would be rad to win two years in a row.

So, I humbly ask you to follow this link and vote for me for Best Photographer!

LTCC Connect: Fitness

One of my good friends is also my sometimes spin instructor.  She asked me to come into her morning spin class and take some photos for her to enter in a photo contest for the Indoor Cycling Association.

A slightly different version of this photo below did make the final 8 – you can help M out by voting over at facebook via this link.

I was more than happy to help out and I got a short workout in while I was there!  The theme of the workout that day was “Heaven or Hell” and she had asked everyone to dress appropriately.  These are a few of my favorite photos from the morning, but you can check them all out here.

Indoor Cycling Association, Spinning, Spin Class, LTCC Connect, Tahoe Fit

Indoor Cycling Association, Tahoe Fit, LTCC Connect, Spin Class

Vote for me!

Hey there!

I’m having a blast at Outdoor Retailer.  It really is a giant party, with a lot of work smashed into a few hectic daytime hours.  I’ll talk all about it when I get home next week.

Until then, head over to facebook via this link and vote for my photo to win the Best of the Lake photo contest.

I’m one of ten finalists and if I win, Buddy and I will get to have a romantic weekend stay at the Park Tahoe Inn, ski at Sierra-at-Tahoe together, get cross-country ski rentals at Camp Richardson, eat dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe and a cruise to Emerald Bay from Lake Tahoe Cruises!

Help me win a trip to Berlin

Ugh.

Remember when I wrote about how I was trying to win a trip to Berlin? It’s one of those annoying who-isn’t-afraid-to-bother-their-facebook-friends-more-than-the-other-person-contests.

I refuse to harass my friends that much. I’m cool with harassing them a bit, but getting on facebook once a day and asking your friends to repeatedly vote so that you can win a goddamn trip to Europe when there are still people without power in our own country is a bit pretentious.

So, the low down is, you can go here and vote up to once a day between now and December 16th. Every time you vote, you also get entered to win a trip to Berlin.

Also, they moved all my wording around. It looks not anything like that gorgeous post I wrote on what I would really do if I went to Berlin. Also, there’s no chance in hell I’d stay in that monstrosity of a hotel – I would stay in this amazing flat.

Make it Happen: Berlin

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Expedia.com is giving away a trip to Berlin for one lucky blogger. I decided to enter the competition, which had some tight restrictions. I wrote this beautiful long informative post on all the things I would dream of doing with a week in Berlin, only to discover it was about 1,000 words too long. My imaginary trip to Berlin takes far more than 200 words to describe.

Make It Happen: BERLIN (the long version)

I fell in love with Europe after visiting Munich in 2011 and now I have a strong desire to not only explore more of Europe, but Germany in particular. With only two days there, I clearly wasn’t able to give the country the time it’s history and culture deserves! Berlin in particular has much to offer for the traveler due to it’s diverse art scene, complex history and 153 different museums!  Here’s what I would do with a few days in the capital city.

STAY

  • Reserve a room in the Swissotel Berlin where your luxury room comes stocked with an espresso maker to get you up and out the door in the morning and you can rent bikes on site.
swissotel berlin

The Swissotel Berlin, photo via Expedia.co.uk

EAT

  • Taste the locavore menu of Ibero-Pacific cuisine at Pantry.
  • Housed in what seems to be an old church, Katz Orange offers changing seasonal menus and inventive twists on classic cocktails like their “Mexican Garden,” a sweet and spicy take on a margarita.
  • At Frarosa drink wine, choose from two set menus and pay a suggested donation price (or what you think the meal was worth!).

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NIGHTLIFE

  • Head to Clarchens Ballhaus where they offer nightly lessons in tango, salsa or swing and then spend the rest of the night getting showed up on the dance floor by grandmas.
  • Berlin is world renown for it’s nightlife and I wouldn’t be able to go without spending at least one night out listening to some EDM.  Panorama Bar is your best bet for international talent: it was named the “Best Club in the World” in 2011.
  • Farbfernseher is Berlin’s smallest house venue. What it lacks for in size, however, it makes up for in spirit.
  • Cookies: the club for those of you who want to party on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Only.

VISIT

  • Start your first day off with the Discover Berlin Walking Tour which will take you around to the major historical sites.  If you have the time, delve deeper with the Third Reich Walking Tour and see what is left of the “1000 year Reich.”  Later on, return on your own to the Berlin Wall via the Nordbahnhof Station, which houses a museum that details the ancient history of the underground transportation system and the stories of those who used it to escape.  Walk the 1.3km-long section of the wall known as the Eastside Gallery.

Original Berlin Walks Logo

  • The Brandenburg Gate, a neoclassical triumph arch, is the capital city’s most iconic landmark as it is the only remaining gate that used to be the only way to enter the city.
  • Berlin might be best known for it’s vibrant street art and graffiti scene.   The city, which once fought the wall murals, has opened it’s arms to street artists.  Well known murals are found in Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg, but it’s hard to find a street without art in the city.  Learn about the artists and their tags at the online magazine Berlin Graffiti.
  • Explore 800 years of history at the interactive museum The Story of Berlin.  Exhibits include a still functioning nuclear bomb shelter.
  • The DDR Musuem lets guests explore what life was like under the socialist regime in East Berlin.
  • The Pergamom Museum is the most visited museum in Germany and holds the Pergamon Altar, so large it takes up an entire room and was originally constructed as an alter to Zeus.

 OFF THE BEATEN PATH

  • On Sunday afternoons, join the masses and check out Bearpit Karaoke at the amphitheater in Mauerpark!

World Foods Galangal Lemon Grass Stir Fry Sauce

Fusion Taste Team

When I moved away to college and settled into my first apartment, I discovered the world of Central Market, which offered apple varieties I didn’t know existed and amazing grains I’d never heard of in bulk. I spent years teaching myself how to cook, pouring through Cooking Light Magazine and tearing recipes out of it’s pages month after month. I grew up in a household that didn’t know what Olive Oil was used for and most of our dinners involved the words “fried” and “chicken.” And yes, there is a perfectly good reason that it’s called Chicken Fried Steak. If you don’t understand it, you must not be from the south.

Now, I may still love my grandmother’s mac and cheese, but these days, my palette revolves very little around Crisco and butter and more so around fresh vegetables, fruits and lean protein. I don’t believe in diets, but I do believe in eating well and eating what my body craves. I may crave a chocolate chip cookie here and there but mostly I crave fresh produce. This explains why every time I leave the country I think I’m getting scurvy.

I wish that I could call myself an inventive chef. The opposite of this is true. While I can cook and throw together dinners based on recipes that I’ve followed and again and again and again, what I cannot do is invent them. So while some of the Fusion Taste Team members are getting super inventive with their jars of World Foods sauces, what I love most about the sauces is that I don’t have to follow a recipe and that I can just throw things into a stir fry pan, add the sauce, and enjoy.

These sauces are 100% for the home cook that isn’t a chef. For the person who needs to follow recipes for the simplest things. For my co-worker, Briana, who never cooks. These are SO perfect for that person. They are also perfect for those nights you don’t know what to make and you don’t have the energy for something elaborate. They are handy. They are delicious. I am a fan.

Last night, my friend Anne came over and she was craving healthy. In a matter of 20 minutes, from start to finish, I had a veggie filled stir fry on the table.

World Foods, Fusion Taste Team, Stir Fry

Choose your protein, or skip it all together. Last night we used firm tofu, fried up crispy in peanut oil. Add your veggies. Whatever is leftover in the fridge will work. Pick a starch: rice noodles, udon noodles, soba noodles, rice! Your pantry is your guide! We always have a selection of Japanese noodles on hand because stir fry is such an easy weeknight staple dinner.

World Foods, Fusion Taste Team, Stir Fry

Last night, I added the World Foods Thai Galangal Lemon Grass Sauce to finish off the stir fry. Galangal is in the ginger family, but tastes more peppery and our dish had a bit of a kick, though I had a hard time telling if it was a kick from the jalapeno I sauteed into the veggies or from the sauce itself. Galangal is frequently mixed with lime in Thai cooking and you can find it’s presence in the ever popular Tom Yum soup.

World Foods, Fusion Taste Team, Stir Fry, Asian Sauce

Overall, I would say this is my second favorite World Foods Sauce, after the Rendang Curry Sauce. I’m also proud that I was patient enough to get the tofu super crispy, just like boyfriend makes it.

World Foods, Fusion Taste Team, Tofu, Stir Fry

You can win your own World Foods Thai Curry Sauce. We have 180 jars of sauce from World Foods to give away to readers from each state’s Fusion Taste Team. That’s roughly enough jars for five of my readers to win!

Fusion Taste Team, Contest, Curry Sauce, World Foods

If you want a chance to win an awesome jar of super fast sauce, head to the World Foods Facebook page and enter the sweepstakes.

You’ll need the password CAFTT to indicate that you are a reader of a member of the CA team in order to enter and you have until November 30th at 3:59 PT to do so.

Win Thai Curry Sauce!

We have 180 jars of sauce from World Foods to give away to readers from each state’s Fusion Taste Team. That’s roughly enough jars for five of my readers to win!

If you want a chance to win an awesome jar of super fast sauce, head to the World Foods Facebook page and enter the sweepstakes.

You’ll need the password CAFTT to indicate that you are a reader of a member of the CA team in order to enter and you have until November 30th at 3:59 PT to do so.

Read about my experiences with World Foods Sauces here:

Rendang Curry Sauce
Pad Thai Noodle Sauce
Xin Zhou Noodle Sauce
Green Curry Sauce

World Foods Fusion Taste Team

When I was approached by World Foods to be part of their “Fusion Taste Team” with other California bloggers, I was thrilled to accept the challenge. World Foods has amassed teams of US bloggers to help test out their products, create recipes, share their knowledge and compete against each other in a Taste Team Challenge. If Team California wins, we win a slew of prizes including a private Asian team dinner from a chef!

The other members of Team CA include our team captain, Alex from Ma, What’s for dinner?, Darlene from My Burning Kitchen, Mary from This Tasty Life and myself.

Each of the members of my team were sent 8 products from World Foods to sample. Now that we’re all settled into our new house, last night was the first chance I had to try one of their sauces out!

Two of my girlfriends were coming over for a little housewarming dinner and both of them have diet restrictions: one is a vegetarian and the other can’t eat soy, dairy, gluten, avocado or shellfish. Testing out a World Foods product was perfect for the occasion as they have no artificial preservatives, no gluten, no trans fat and no dairy, which makes them suitable for vegetarians, vegans and people just like my friend with special allergy restrictions and needs.

The other big appeal of the World Foods sauces is that they make a healthy dinner a snap when you are crunched for time and I am SERIOUSLY crunched for time this week. To prep a main dish in no time at all I grabbed a basket full of squash and potatoes at the grocery store and some chicken thighs to saute and then simmer in green curry sauce. It was a perfect accompaniment to the girls’ sides and our dinner had a world flair to it!

For a quick dinner, I simply sauteed salted, peppered and cubed chicken thighs until browned. I drained the chicken and set it aside, covered to keep warm, so that our vegetarian guest could eat the main dish as well. I then heated olive oil in the same pan and added cubed yellow and green squash, sweet potatoes, and one diced red chili. One pan! Less mess! You could use ANY type of vegetable in the dish, not just squash. I think it would be delicious with spinach, basil and avocado added as well!

After the veggies cooked through and softened, I added the jar of World Foods Thai Green Curry Sauce and let it simmer away. The end result was fantastic, quick, and easy. Who says you can’t have a dinner party when you’re crunched for time?