โ‰ก Menu

A Pho-Tastic Start to the Year & Some Shopping Finds

Happy second day of 2014! It’s cold and gray here in Charlotte but I’m combating that by eating lots of comfort food like oatmeal and grilled cheese and tomato soup and I have a big pot of homemade chicken noodle soup going on the stove for tonight’s dinner. And as usual I’m drinking hot tea while sitting in front of a space heater in my office. ๐Ÿ™‚


My New Year’s Day was fairly low-key. I slept in until 8:30 a.m. and then decided at the very last minute to go to a 9:15 a.m. hot vinyasa class at Y2. I love kicking off the new year with a yoga practice and I’m so glad that I got myself to my mat because it helped wake me up and get me going for the day.


I had an awesome practice despite having quite a bit to sweat out from the previous night’s celebrations.


I grabbed lunch at Panera after class. They have this new Mediterranean Shrimp and Couscous Salad that is really good. I always go for the “You Pick Two.” I had veggie soup with pesto and a whole grain baguette on the side. You’ve seen an uptick in Panera lunches lately because they just opened a location directly in front of the yoga studio so it’s an easy stop after class when you’re starving.

I spent the afternoon editing photos from New Year’s Eve, blogging, cleaning the house and tackling tons of laundry. I also ran to the mall to make some exchanges and checked out a sale at Ann Taylor Loft – 60% off of all sale items.


I ended up with two tops that were regularly priced at over $100 for just $40. Working left to right…I scored the blue lacy top at Banana last week during their after Christmas markdowns for $14. The sweater in the middle is from Loft. It’s a little shiny but that’s not reading in the photo. You can view it online here. And the black top is features a drape neck that’s pretty. It’s online and on sale here.


It was 8 p.m. when I finally thought about dinner and nothing I had at home was really speaking to me. I was in the mood for something healthy but different so I decided to go to the Vietnameseย restaurant near my house for pho. Started with these summer rolls with peanut dipping sauce. I love how light and fresh they are.


And vegetarian pho with tofu and vegetables. It was loaded with rice noodles, veggies and tofu. As I ate the soup I slowly started peeling off layers and my nose started running from all the chili sauce I added. It was a perfect dinner for a cold January night.


I needed something to cool me down after the pho so I decided to try bubble tea for the first time. The waiter said the mango was his favorite so that’s what I went with.


Cold and refreshing! It had a definite tea flavor with milk and mango. I loved the bubbles and it was a little surprise every time you got one through the straw. I would definitely order bubble tea again.

Are you a pho fan? Have you tried bubble tea?ย 

{ 26 comments… add one }
  • Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) January 2, 2014, 3:28 pm

    Would you believe I’ve never actually had pho? After your instagram photo though, I’m on a mission! Happy 2014 Jen ๐Ÿ™‚

  • She Rocks Fitness January 2, 2014, 3:32 pm

    Supposedly Houston has a ton of awesome “hole in the wall” pho locations that I want to try and wished I had some while I was sick. ๐Ÿ™‚ I tried on that top from BR, but it was definitely not $14.00 when I put it on. LOL…Glad you scored some good deals.

  • Ang @ Nutty for Life January 2, 2014, 3:48 pm

    I’ve never had pho but I have had bubble tea. My one friend raved about it so I tried it from a mall stand (which was probably why I ended up not liking it). I also didn’t get milk tea, just regular tea so maybe that affected it, too. And I love the inspiration that yoga tea tags give! Always a nice lift.

  • Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves January 2, 2014, 3:53 pm

    Pho is the best! My family and I love going to Vietnamese restaurants to have some pretty often. I do like bubble tea, but I don’t like the bubbles, haha!
    I need to head over to a Panera soon. Their options have been looking great!

  • Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona January 2, 2014, 4:19 pm

    I love pho but can’t stand bubble tea cause I never know when I’m going to grt a bubble. It’s unsettling.

  • C. January 2, 2014, 5:00 pm

    I have never tried pho, but I’m in love with bubble tea – and mango is my favorite. Good choice:)

  • Erin January 2, 2014, 5:37 pm

    I love bubble tea! The first time I tried it was on a 2 week vacation where there was a really good bubble tea place in town, and I ended up filling up a 10 drink punchcard before the 2 weeks were over, haha. And that pho looks delicious.

  • Jordan Lynn // Life Between Lattes January 2, 2014, 5:59 pm

    I love pho! I actually made some veggie pho over the holidays with my sister. It was an interesting process that involved roasting ginger and onion over an open flame and dry-roasted spices, but I would say it turned out pretty good for a first try. Bubble tea is also awesome. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Julie January 2, 2014, 6:11 pm

    Love pho! made it for lunch today with trader joes dumplings, soba noodles, onion, and tofu, usually I out in some green veggies but I didn’t have any on hand. Bubble tea is, weird, once I get over the weird texture of the bubbles it’s good!

  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun January 2, 2014, 6:19 pm

    I have never tried pho but I see it all around the blog world! I will have to give it a try sometime. I have dinner in the oven as we speak and should be ready shortly! Hopefully because I’m starving!

  • Matt @ Runner Savvy January 2, 2014, 7:38 pm

    Pho is delicious! I always get it with chicken.

  • Teri [a foodie stays fit] January 2, 2014, 8:28 pm

    i LOVE pho but I don’t know of a good place to get it in Winston-Salem. Sounds like I need to visit Charlotte ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Ashley E January 2, 2014, 8:30 pm

    Which Vietnamese restaurant do you go to? Want a good recommendation! Looks delish ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Jen January 2, 2014, 9:19 pm

      saigon palace on south blvd

  • Brittany @ proteinandpumps January 2, 2014, 8:42 pm

    Bubble tea? I’ve never heard of such a thing. South Central PA is behind the times but we DO have lots of great pho options.

  • Tara | Treble in the Kitchen January 3, 2014, 7:33 am

    You got some GREAT deals on those new tops ๐Ÿ™‚ And shrimp salad at Panera? Count me in!

  • karla @ finding my fit January 3, 2014, 9:35 am

    There used to be a bubble tea on my college campus and I loved it! so different and quite refreshing.
    I have never had pho but I really want to try it someday ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Lindsay E. January 3, 2014, 9:35 am

    LOVE Pho and Vietnamese spring rolls! My brother has made both for me a few times, but I haven’t found a good place to get it out anywhere. I did see a good place in Asheville last time we were there though. Bubble tea… still on the fence. I really like the milk tea part, but the consistency of the bubbles still weirds me out a little.

  • Becky @ Life Outside The BOX January 3, 2014, 9:58 am

    Not a huge tofu fan but that Pho looks amazing!!!

  • Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope January 3, 2014, 10:26 am

    I love Panera – I always get the you pick two too! I used to always get the black bean soup, but I branched out lately and found that they actually have a lot of other good ones! I need to try that salad next time!

  • meghan @ struggle muffins January 3, 2014, 10:57 am

    Oh man, I have a soft spot for Panera. Didn’t know they had a salad with shrimp so I’ll have to take it for a spin. Love starting the new year off with yoga – I did the same and it was so great to do something slower and more introspective than a butt-busting workout like I’d normally be inclined to do. Happy New Year!

  • Heather Murphy January 3, 2014, 11:08 am

    I’ve never tried bubble tea, but it sounds fun! ๐Ÿ™‚ anything mango I usually like!

  • brie January 3, 2014, 11:51 am

    please help! ive been a long time reader and am hoping you can shed some light on my situation. Ive been a runner and loved running forever- always half marathon distances being my top. My dad suddently passed away 2 years ago, and I absolutley plowed into marathon training doing one each year. I went out running the 3 weeks ago and got a pain in my groin, which has caused running to be impossible and walking with limp/slowly the only form of excersie I can do. It hurt the same 3 weeks later with no running, and the doctor is now ordering an mri-thinking perhaps a lateral tear. Have you ever heard of this? I am so scared. Scared of the results but even more so coping with the loss of dad without running or my training group. Im looking for any information on this, and any advice. I am hobbling around and very down. thank you!

    • Jen January 4, 2014, 11:46 am

      hey brie – i am going to email you.

  • Alaina January 3, 2014, 3:16 pm

    I love that top from Banana! I think I have that same one but in coral.

    I have never actually had pho, but I do love coconut bubble tea. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Janice January 13, 2014, 4:26 pm

    I am a little behind on reading your blog. I love Pho. I had The Boba Tea Taro flavor and love it! The hot soup and cold tea is a perfect combo!

Leave a Comment