Happy weekend folks! I haven’t done much sharing lately (bad Mommy example!) but as usual, I have found so much awesome stuff out there on the internet and it would be selfish of me to keep it all to myself. But first, a little shameless self promotion! This week at Falon Loves Life…
I know, I know, if you are a frequent reader of this blog (and if you aren’t, welcome!) you are probably looking at the title of this post like huh? Yes folks, I Falon, lover of all things girly, sparkly, pink, and Disney, kicked some serious ass at fantasy football last year. Last season was my first time partaking in fantasy football, and I did so mainly to annoy my husband. And it worked. Because I took first place in our league. How bout them apples? (That was the nice way of saying “Suck it bitches!”.) Now, while I am a huge lover of college football, the NFL is not my thing. So other than having a decent knowledge of the rookies, I didn’t have a lot to go on when it came time to draft my team last year. I did a bit of research and learned the standard tips, which I will share with you, but I also picked up some tips of my own along the way. Hopefully these will help you draft a kickass team of your own!
Don’t draft a quarterback first. If you are someone who doesn’t watch a lot of football, you probably know the quarterback to be the leader. This is true, but you don’t need to draft a QB in your first round (in fact you shouldn’t). Most people will draft a running back in their first round. I would recommend doing that, or taking a wide receiver if you can get a really, really good one. You should aim to take your first quarterback in round 7 or later.
Mix and match your quarterbacks. You will want to draft two quarterbacks and I recommend picking one solid one and one who is a bit more of a risk. Last year I drafted Eli Manning (not the best in the league, but someone who has experience and is mostly consistent) and Marcus Mariota (a rookie). Mariota was a huge standout in college, but you never know how someone is going to transfer over to the NFL, especially in his first year. Mariota was a risk, and one that paid off. He had several high scoring games for me, and no one really expected him to do that well. (Note: pick your solid quarterback BEFORE you take your risky one.)
Tight ends are underrated (hehehe). I mean, in more ways than one, am I right? But seriously, most people won’t pay a ton of attention to their tight end pick, and mine ended up being a huge point scorer for me last year. I will probably draft a TE in an earlier round than many others so I can get the one that I want.
Pay attention to bye weeks. Each team in the NFL has a week where they don’t play, which means if you have starters from those teams, you will need to swap them out for your bench players. If you have multiple players who have a bye the same week, you are going to be low on options and that is no bueno.
Defense and kickers come last. Sorry boys, but these positions just aren’t that important in the grand scheme of fantasy football. Defense might seem like a big one since it’s, you know, half the game, but if your defense gets you more than ten points in a week, you’re looking good. Wait until the end to draft these spots.
Don’t go in blind. Some people go a little crazy in terms of research and strategy for a fantasy football draft. You don’t have to spend hours reading up, but at least peruse some articles out there on the tops picks for this season. Whatever league you are in should have some info available on rankings, make sure you read through it once or twice before your draft.
There you have it! This year I will be participating in not one, but two fantasy football leagues and I am hoping to repeat my win! I will have at least one more blog post coming your way with tips for success throughout the season, so come back soon! Have you played fantasy football before? Who’s your top choice?
One item on my summer bucket list was to visit The Last Bookstore in downtown LA. Honestly, I can’t believe I’ve never been there before, but I can officially check it off my list. I really enjoyed my trip to The Last Bookstore, and probably would visit on a regular basis if it weren’t for a couple of factors. The main thing is parking, which as is common downtown, sucks. I know that parking sucks in all major cities in America, but I feel like LA is the only one with crappy parking and crappy public transportation. There is no good way to get from my house to downtown other than to drive, which makes it not such a fun trip. Also, the bookstore itself doesn’t have air conditioning, so I will definitely be waiting for winter before I visit again. Lastly, tourists should be aware that this is not the best location in LA. There is a lot of trash and some unpleasant smells haunting the area (though once inside everything is clean and lovely). But The Last Bookstore should be on every book lover’s list and I really enjoyed exploring the space and all it has to offer.
The first floor of the bookstore is similar to any other used bookstore. You have lots of different sections to look at with lots and lots of (mostly) well-priced books for sale, including quite a few older books that are probably hard to find at Barnes and Noble. There is also a music section on the first floor if that’s your jam. Downstairs is also home to a special kids section and comic book section. The second floor is what The Last Bookstore is famous for, as it has what they call the book labyrinth. You may have seen this book tunnel on Instagram before…
My favorite part of the upstairs was the rainbow book wall. There is something extremely satisfying about seeing books arranged by color.
From the upstairs, you also have a really cool view of the entire downstairs layout, including the crazy book sculpture up on the wall.
The upper level of The Last Bookstore also contains several small shops curated by local artists and craftmakers. Several of them were closed when we went during the week, but the ones we were able to explore had lots of cute art prints, jewelry, and fun knick knacks. When I went to New York in January, I absolutely fell in love with Strand Bookshop and have since been longing for one of our own here in LA. The Last Bookstore is not quite on the same level as Strand (in my opinion), but it is still an awesome place to check out for book lovers. If I could teleport there and not deal with parking, I would probably go all the time, but instead I will probably save it for special occasions.
What are you reading right now? Any good books I should add to my to read list?
Hello friends and welcome to another edition of Life Right Now, where I totally indulge in talking only about myself (but isn’t that the best part of blogging?). I kid, I kid. I love reading these kinds of posts from other bloggers so hopefully you enjoy this one too! Right now I am….
Making Playbill centerpieces for a Bat Mitzvah. Drinking lots of iced coffee and lots of wine…so the usual. Reading I just finished Eleanor and Park (loved it) and am about to start Cinder. Wanting Matt to be back on summer break! Being a work at home mom is way easier when hubby is home too! Playing a new (to me) podcast called Bitch Sesh and loving it, though we had a rough moment when one of the hosts called Hamilton “simplistic”. Um, no. Wishing I were at Disneyland! I haven’t been in a month!
Enjoying Bachelor in Paradise. Best show on TV :oP Waiting for the new Pantages season to start! Liking Amazon Prime Now, though it’s dangerous. Wondering if I am going to be able to consistently book work in the winter. Loving being a work at home mom! Hoping for some real blog income to come rolling in soon. Needing a massage. And I’m pretty sure that has been my “needing” for a long time! Wearing cotton dresses. Heat wave. Boo.
Following the Olympics (mostly). Noticing that my natural state of being is as a night owl. If I don’t have to wake up early, I’m staying up late! Knowing that leaving teaching was the right decision for me. Thinking about finances, and advertising, and taxes…the joys of owning a business. Anticipating FALL! I am so ready! Celebrating all the little successes. Laughing at Squirt’s new found love of pretending to be a monkey. All. the. time. Feeling relieved, anxious, hopeful, excited, free and positive.
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What’s going on it your life right now? Anything exciting happening? Let me know! Also, don’t forget to check out my amazing HP Printer Giveaway!
This is a sponsored post. I was compensated in the form of a discount, free product, and/or monetary fee. All opinions are my own.
A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to visit the HP MyPrintly Suite as part of the BlogHer conference (I didn’t actually attend the conference, but since it was held in LA, I got to take advantage of some fringe benefits!). I am currently writing this post on my HP laptop and already own an HP printer, so I figured I would check out the new offerings from one of my favorite tech companies. There are some super cool new products available from HP (one of which I will be giving away at the end of this post!) and I was really stoked to see some of the new things you can do. There are three apps I learned about that pair with HP printers, and I love them all! We got to play around with them at the suite to make some examples. The first one is Pic Collage, which allows you to make all kinds of cool collage designs. Mine is pretty basic, but there are also lots of fun stickers and text you can add (my collage is on the left). The second app is HP Cards, which has TONS of card designs (including some Disney ones) for every occasion. I made a belated anniversary card for Matt since I found this pink floral design that I loved.
The third app was my favorite one and I have used it several times since attending the event. It’s call HP Snapshots, and it is meant to be paired with the HP Social Media Snapshots sticker paper. These are 4″ x 5″ sheets with a sticky back. The app pulls pictures from your Instagram and Facebook and allows you to print them out on a Polaroid like sheet. I’m a big fan of the plain white border (as you will see below), but they also have different designs. Some of them will print your social media caption right on the picture. These are just some of the things you could do with the HP social media snapshot prints:
1. Dress up a plain notebook. I also covered the plain binding of this notebook with some washi tape for a little added flair!
2. Personalize a plastic pouch. I happened to already have this pouch on hand, so I added the sticker to up the cuteness factor!
3. Create the perfect birthday party goody bags. I added this shot of Squirt with a “Thanks for coming to my birthday party” caption to a plain paper gift bag for a personalized party favor.
I mean, the possibilities with these social media snapshots are endless! I want to stick them on everything! I am going to use them for gift tags, calendars, cards…you name it!
In addition to the awesome apps, we got to see (and feel) the most lightweight and compact printer from HP, and definitely the smallest printer I have ever seen. The HP DeskJet 3755 is about six pounds and is the same height as my iPhone. Oh, and did I mention it also copies and scans? Seriously, this is every college student/New York studio dwelling/tiny space creative’s dream! AND it comes in a bunch of fun colors! OH and it also retails for just $69.99! Guys, I try not to pitch you products very often, but this is one that is so cool and has so many applications for so many people. I was legit impressed with this printer.
Another amazing aspect of the HP printer family is the HP Instant Ink program, which I am a member of. I’m sure we have all had that experience of going to print out something (something with a deadline most likely) only to find the printer out of ink. With HP Instant Ink, that literally never happens. When you sign up for the program, you pick a level with regard to how many pages a month you print, and plans start at just $2.99 a month. When your HP printer detects you are about to run out of ink, it sends a super bat signal to ink headquarters and a new ink cartridge is shipped right to your door. You literally have to do nothing in the process! It might be my favorite thing about my HP printer! And good news for you readers, if you use the code SCHOOL3 when you sign up for HP Instant Ink, you get three months free. Seriously, there is little better in this world than free stuff.
The really, really exciting news is that I have an HP DeskJet3755 to giveaway! The kind folks at HP were nice enough to gift all of the suite attendees with their own printer, and since I already have and love my own HP printer, I figured I should give this one away to one of you! Use the form below to enter! Good luck to everyone!
Hello friends! It has been a while since I shared a DIY pair of Minnie ears with you, and the tutorial I have today has produced what is now (really, truly) my favorite pair of ears. I have made two different sets of ears using this tutorial and the second ones came out a lot better than the first. So along with basic instructions for these DIY Rhinestone Minnie Ears, I’m going to let you know what I did differently with the second pair.
So the idea for these ears came about when I was trolling through Michaels one day, as I am wont to do. I spotted this entire sticker sheet of blingy rhinestone awesomeness and knew I needed to do something with it. And why not make that something a pair of super sparkly rainbow ears? In addition to the rainbow rhinestone sheet, I also grabbed some rainbow ribbon and a pink rhinestone border to act as the trim. Plus you will need your standard ear making supplies: foam cut out in the ear shape, small cardboard circles, a hot glue gun, and scissors (really good scissors).
Okay, so this is the back of the rhinestone sticker. It has a backing on it, covering the sticky part, and the rhinestones also have a covering on them to protect them. It’s thick and hard to work with so be patient. First, trace the ear shape onto the back of the sticker sheet.
Then carefully (and patiently) cut out the shape. Not going to lie, after the first few cuts, I thought that this project might be doomed, but I went slowly and used good scissors and it all worked out okay. The hardest part is keeping the top layer of covering over the rhinestones in place, which you want to do for as long as possible so they don’t get damaged along the way.
I don’t have visuals for the next couple of steps (bad blogger!), but I do have some tips. Once you have the rhinestone sticker cut out in your ear shape, you want to attach the foam to the rhinestone sticker. This is much easier if you cut your foam about a half an inch smaller (all around) than the rhinestones. Then just peel back the protective layer on the back of the rhinestones (since they are a sticker) and attach the foam. Then you will want to glue some small cardboard circles to the foam. The cardboard circles should be about a half an inch smaller than the foam. You can reference this post for instructions on the cardboard circles. The size issue is important. For the rainbow pair of ears, all my circles were the same size and it did not work well when putting the ears on the headband. For my second pair I made the foam and cardboard smaller and it worked much better.
The next step is to attach the ears to the headband. Hot glue works best for this part. I like to mark placement with a pencil on the headband so I have a guide before I glue. The easiest way to glue is to start with the middle (that part that ends up on the underside of the headband), make sure it has dried, and then glue the two circle sides together. I then like to go around the edges of the ears and add a thin line of hot glue that seals the ears together. I do this in small sections: glue around the edge, then hold the edges together until they are sealed.
Once your ears are all together and dried, you can make your bow. For this one, I made a loop of ribbon, cinched it in the middle and then fanned out the loops. You can make whatever style of bow you like best for your ears.
Then attach the trim around the outside of the ears. This not only ties everything together visually, it can help hide any flaws or imperfections on the ears themselves. Finally, attach the bow to the center of the headband using the hot glue.
While I definitely like the way the rainbow ears turned out, I am a much bigger fan of the silver pair that I made second. Having the inside foam and cardboard smaller made the ears much easier to maneuver and match up so the edge is smoother and rounder. On my second pair, I also used a thinner trim, which helped make everything more streamlined. I have to say, I really love how the silver ones came out, and now that I have a better idea of how to make these work, I am tempted to make them in every color. I really wish I would have thought of this for my 60th ears, but there are still plenty of colors of rhinestones out there to make many more pairs of these babies!
A couple of weeks ago, our little fam took a short trip down to Disneyland to hang out with Matt’s cousin and her son, who were visiting from Alabama. Given their location, it was the son’s first trip to Disneyland and they did the whole shebang–Disneyland Hotel, multiple days in the parks, everything you should do if you are visiting from out of state. One of the things included in their vacation package was the character breakfast at Goofy’s Kitchen. Since we had never done one before (at least not together) Matt and I decided to splurge and give it a go. I (naively, stupidly) thought that since Squirt and I spend so much time in the parks, he would be totally cool with all the characters. Yeah, not so much. He was not a fan, and spent the majority of the character breakfast curled in Matt’s lap (which made it difficult for Matt to take full advantage of the overpriced breakfast buffet). It will be a couple of years before we give the character breakfast another shot (the four year old loved it!) but here are some of the highlights, nonetheless.
Our reservation was for 7:00 am (probably part of the issue for Squirt since he is a super special unicorn toddler and sleeps till 9 or 9:30 every day). I hate waking up early, but this was a really good time to go for the character breakfast because it wasn’t super crowded. The characters spent a lot of time at our table since it was pretty empty, so if you want some good interactions, get there early. Before we were seated, we got to pose for a picture with Pluto (Goofy was stationed in this spot for most of the rest of the morning).
After posing with Pluto and Chip, Squirt was pretty done with the whole character deal so we didn’t get a whole lot of family photos after that.
I managed to grab a selfie with Minnie, who loved my ears. She was the cutest in her little chef/baker outfit.
Then it was time for breakfast! Goofy’s Kitchen is a buffet, and they had all the breakfast foods you could want: eggs, bacon, pancakes, French toast, fruit, and of course, the Mickey waffle. Because Squirt was so clingy during breakfast, Matt and I didn’t get to sample as much as we would have liked (definitely don’t think we got our $45 worth of food, but whatevs…I did shove some bananas and cookies in the diaper bag on the way out). But the Mickey waffles were delicious, as always.
When our waitress asked if we were celebrating any birthdays, I don’t think she was prepared for us to say we all were, but it was true! Both the little dudes had birthdays in June and the adults all in July, so they were kind enough to bring us five Goofy birthday cupcakes. Sadly, we left most of our cupcakes on the table since it was a little early for cupcakes (especially after a breakfast consisting mainly of waffles).
While we did see quite a bit of Minnie, Chip and Dale, and Pluto, we only really saw Goofy as he was on his way in and out of the kitchen. The characters did do a cute little dance, but it was in the main room, and we weren’t seated there so it was hard to see. All I managed to get of Goofy was this blurry shot as he was passing by our seats.
So obviously the character breakfast didn’t go quite as planned for us, but I did learn some tips for next time. We went with the Goofy’s Kitchen option because it was included in our family’s package, but I think the Plaza Inn and the character breakfast at Paradise Pier (from what I have seen online) have a few more characters. We didn’t get to see Mickey at all, which was kind of a bummer. One thing I really liked about the character breakfast was the fact that the characters were really good about staying away from Squirt once it was clear he was not into it. They still interacted with our little cousin (the four year old), but made sure they weren’t getting in Squirt’s face in the meantime. I’m sure they deal with scared kids on a regular basis and they clearly know how to handle them.
If you are considering a character breakfast, I would make sure your kids are at the right age, I think four or older works best. Early mornings work great for lots of face to face interaction, but really take some time to look at the characters who tend to come to each place and pick the ones you want to see.
Have you done a Disneyland character breakfast before? What was your experience like?