A Girl’s Day in Solvang

On the way home from our family trip to San Francisco, my most amazing husband ever was kind enough to drop me off in Solvang so I could join my group of girlfriends for a one night wine tasting trip. Solvang is a small town a little ways north of Santa Barbara that features lots of Danish influence, cute little shops, and lots and lots of wine. I, sadly, missed out on most of the actual wine tasting during the trip, but I did manage to arrive in time for happy hour at our hotel and did plenty of catching up. We had a perfectly lovely (and much needed) girls night away from home and it was so awesome we decided to make it an annual event. Here are some of the more appropriate highlights of our stay…




We spent the night at Hotel Corque (pronounced “cork”), which was very chic and boutiquey. We got a chance to enjoy happy hour at their restaurant, Root 246, which had great appetizers and tasty wine (obvs). I would have liked to have had another day so we could have enjoyed the pool during the day. We went for a dip right before the pool closing time and it looked like it would have been a very relaxing place to spend the day.

solvang

The rooms at Hotel Corque were really nice (sorry I didn’t get a pic, one of my very lovely friends was in a bit of a hurry to get us down to happy hour before it ended…) and it is definitely somewhere I would stay again. It was also centrally located, meaning it was walkable, which is obviously important on a trip with a lot of drinking involved.

solvang

Also, there is this old-fashioned stockade in front of the hotel, which clearly makes for some fun drunken pictures. For our dinner, we walked down to the Landsby hotel and ate at Mad and Vin. They had the best fries I have ever eaten in my entire life. Seriously, I would go there just for the fries. This is another hotel I would consider staying at in the future. Very cute, and West Elmy.

solvang

As you can maybe imagine, after a full day of nothing but wine, we were a little worse for the wear when we woke up the next morning. So we walked down to Paula’s Pancake House, which is one of the most popular breakfast spots in Solvang. None of us actually had pancakes, because sweet is not usually the way to go with a hangover, but the hash browns were bomb and we all managed to eat enough to prep us for the ride home.

solvang

I, of course, had to snap this picture of the Little Mermaid statue since it is one of my faves (the author, Hans Christian Andersen was Danish). I would like to point out that we obviously had an amazing girls trip given my utter lack of pictures from the trip. We had a great time exploring Solvang, and drinking lots (and lots) of wine.




Where is your favorite place for a girls’ trip? Where should we head next? Let me know!

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Owl Crate Subscription Box: September 

As you might have figured out by now, I am a wee bit obsessed with my Owl Crate monthly subscription box. If you are new to these parts (welcome!), Owl Crate is designed for lovers of young adult lit. Each month they release a new themed box that contains one hardcover YA read, along with lots of other goodies inspired by popular teen novels. I have been receiving the boxes for a few months now and I feel like they are getting better and better each month. I look forward to each new box and am always excited to see what’s in store. September’s theme was Darkness, which is perfect for the fall weather that everyone but So Cal seems to be experiencing (not that I’m bitter or anything). This month’s box contained tons of good stuff and I’m psyched to share it with you!




One of my favorite items this month was this candle from The Melting Library. It’s inspired by Celaena from the Throne of Glass series (which I really enjoyed) and smells like a super tasty cake. Seriously, it’s one of those candles that smells like you could eat it. I am also loving the gold container.

I am a big fan of Out of Print, so I was stoked to see this canvas pouch with a quote from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I actually just finished the book (I never picked it up before because those pictures of the kids freak me out) and I liked it more than I thought I would.

Another one of my favorite items this month was this fortune-telling bath fizzer from Da Bomb. One, I love that this company was started by two teenage entrepreneurs (though nothing makes me feel lazier than kids with more drive/success than I have!). Two, I think the concept of the magic 8 ball esque bath bomb is brilliant. To use, you simply ask a yes or no question, hold your bath bomb under the tap, and discover your answer inside! Unfortunately, I did not get the answer I was hoping for from my bomb, but at least I got to take a relaxing bath right after to heal my woes.

The book for this month is Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake, which looks really interesting. As always, the book came with a signed bookplate and a handwritten note from the author. In addition to all of that goodness, the box also contained a bookmark from Evie Bookish, a copy of the serial Remade, and a mini coloring book featuring the new series Moon Chosen.




And as always, we got a sneak peek into the next Owl Crate subscription box, and the new theme is Once Upon a Dream. I am SO EXCITED for this box. I obviously love fairy tales, and “Once Upon a Dream” is one of my favorite songs. I CANNOT WAIT to see what’s inside! If you are interested in checking out Owl Crate for yourself, please use this link (referral link). I promise, you will not be disappointed!


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earl of sandwich

Restaurant Review: Earl of Sandwich

In my opinion, Earl of Sandwich is one of the better additions to Downtown Disney to come along in a while. Earl of Sandwich (obviously) serves sandwiches, but also has a good selection of salads, pizza, and fresh and healthy items like fruit cups. They also have some delicious not so healthy items like cupcakes and beer. What I love about Earl of Sandwich is that in addition to being tasty, it is fast and convenient. We have eaten here several times after picking up race packets, and it seemed like the perfect place to eat after a long afternoon swim at the Disneyland Hotel.




On our most recent trip, I ordered the caprese sandwich, which comes with spinach, tomato, mozzarella, and a balsamic vinaigrette. This is one of my favorite caprese sandwiches out there, I think because the vinaigrette is lighter than the pesto that comes on most caprese options.

Matt ordered the Hawaiian BBQ sandwich, which comes with chicken, ham, pineapple, Swiss cheese, and BBQ sauce. I hadn’t tried this one before so I of course made him give me a bite and it was really good. I will definitely be ordering this one in the future.

We ordered the kids’ turkey and cheese for Squirt, and he actually ate the whole thing (thank you swimming!). We also got some fresh fruit and two beers (for Matt and me, obvs). While the meal was on the higher end of what we would normally spend on a quick service meal, it was still cheaper than a meal in the park and definitely just as tasty (if not even tastier). If you are looking for a quick and yummy place to grab a sandwich or salad in Downtown Disney, Earl of Sandwich is definitely a good place to check out. Considering that most of the restaurants in Downtown Disney are full service, Earl of Sandwich is a great option for something a little more casual.

What’s your favorite place to grab a quick bite at Disneyland?

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Get Your Wine On with Glassful

This is a sponsored post. I was compensated in the form of a discount, product, and/or monetary fee. All opinions are my own. I only write about products and services that I use myself and would recommend to a friend.

Happy Friyay friends! Since Friday is the international day for getting your drink on, I thought I would take some time today to talk to you about one of my favorite subjects: wine. I love me some wine. And what is better than wine? Amazing wine at a price I can afford (and I’m self-employed now so I can’t afford much!). What’s better than amazing wine at a price I can afford? When that wine is delivered to my door. Holla. Enter Glassful. Glassful is kind of like a subscription box, but like way better than most subscription boxes. Because wine.

Okay, you get it, there’s wine involved and that makes me happy. So here’s how Glassful works. You take a little quiz about your tastes and Glassful’s expert sommeliers match you with three bottles. Those bottles are shipped to your door. You drink and enjoy your wine and then rate the bottles on Glassful’s site. The next month, you get three new bottles. The more you drink and rate, the better Glassful gets to know your tastes and can really refine your wine choices. I mean, as a busy mom, wine being delivered to my door is like my greatest wish come true. I received my first box from Glassful a couple of weeks ago and a) was super excited at the quality of wine I received and b) was pleasantly surprised to find a bunch of other little goodies in the box too. Check out what came in my box:

Three bottles of wine, chocolate, matches, a sticker, a super cute little notepad and pencil, and a sample of toothpaste (which is necessary after drinking a bottle of red wine).

Despite feeling like a wine connoisseur, I’m really not. What I did recently discover when Matt and I opened our five year anniversary wine bottle (we had guests sign different wine bottles as our guest book) is that wine that has been aged tastes better (yes, I know, duh). So I knew that the reds included in my Glassful box were going to be great. I haven’t actually opened this 2011 red blend from Terra Bella yet because I want to save it for something more special than a Tuesday night dinner. But I have a feeling it’s not going to last too much longer in our house.

Naturally, I went straight for the white wine that was included in the box, a 2010 Riesling from Walla Faces. Riesling is not usually my go to, but I really enjoyed this one (again, might have something to do with the age). It wasn’t too sweet and had a really easy finish. Definitely a great summer wine.

We enjoyed this 2012 Pinot Noir from Jeff Hill this past week and it was tasty. I love Pinot Noir and I was glad we had a semi cool day this week so that I could feel good about busting open a red. Matt is not a huge wine drinker, but he really liked this one too. Pinot Noir is usually a smooth red and this was no exception. This is one that I would look for again.

Overall I was really impressed with the quality of wine that I received in my Glassful box. I can definitely see myself becoming a big fan of their wine subscription service, but they also have an amazing wine shop on their website that allows you to purchase single bottles at a huge discount–we’re talking a $65 bottle of wine for $30. But really, in my ever so humble wine-loving opinion, the monthly subscription is the way to go. For only $54 per month, you receive $180 worth of wine. But hold on y’all, if you click this link right here to sign up, you get your first box for just $44. Amazeballs.  Do yourselves a favor, friends, and head to Glassful. Sign up and get some delicious wines delivered right to your door. You can thank me later. Have a great weekend everyone!

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football mason jars

DIY: Football Themed Mason Jars

Hello football fans! I am so excited that football season is upon us again! I wait for this time of year for a long time, and it always seems to go by so quickly. In my family, we are diehard football fans and we love to celebrate multiple football occasions throughout the season. Recently, we had a party to host our family fantasy football league draft day and I jumped at the chance to make some football themed crafts. I was inspired by this blog post to make these super cute Mason jar football decorations and I absolutely love how they turned out! Plus, if you are anything like me, you already have a plethora of Mason jars lying around the house just waiting to be put to use. Here’s the steps I took to make these football jars!

Gather your supplies: three Mason jars; acrylic craft paint in black, white, brown, light green, and dark green; sponge brushes; a white paint pen; rubberbands.

The first two jars are pretty easy. For the football jar, paint the entire jar brown. I had to do three coats before I got full coverage.

Then use your white paint pen to trace out the laces on the football. This jar happened to have a measurement guide on it, so I used that as the outline for my laces. If you want, you can trace over the paint pen with white paint (I did, it gave the laces a fuller look).

The black jar is designed to look like a chalkboard with a play chalked on it. For this one, simply paint the entire jar black (again, it took about three coats for full coverage). Then use the white paint pen to sketch out a “play”. Matt was kind enough to point out that my X’s and O’s didn’t make sense in terms of how many players I had lined up and where, but I think it’s cute so whatevs.

The football field jar is definitely the most complicated and it has multiple steps. First, paint the jar white. Give it several coats until it is fully painted. Then let it dry overnight. Once the jar is completely dry, use the rubberbands like you would painters tape. Spread them out so they are (somewhat) even and make sure they are completely flat.

Then alternate painting the light and dark green inside each stripe. Since the base of the jar is already white, the green coats didn’t require as much as the black and brown.

When the green paint is totally dry, carefully remove the rubberbands. If you need to, you can go back with a small brush and touch up the white stripes. You can also use the white paint pen to put in the field number markings if you want to (I kind of wish I hadn’t).

When all the jars are completely dried, it’s not a bad idea to seal them. I didn’t and I did see a couple of chips in the coverage after our party. All in all this is a really simple painting project that requires zero artistic skill and produces a super cute result.

Are you a football fan? What are some of your favorite details at a football party?

If you are interested in making these football jars yourself, here are some supplies you can use (affiliate links):


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chatbooks

Chatbooks: A Lazy Mom’s Best Friend

This is NOT  a sponsored post. I just love sharing awesome products and services with my readers!

Okay. Confession time. I am a terrible mother when it comes to recording memories and those magical “first” moments. My mom often says “Make sure you write that down in Squirt’s baby book” and I smile and nod. I don’t even have a baby book for Squirt. Seriously. Never went out to buy one, never even looked for one on Amazon. I know myself and I know I would never actually use it, so why waste the money. I know that I will remember the important details without a book to remind me, but I do feel like a pretty crappy mom when I think about all those lost little memories. Scratch that. I USED TO feel like a crappy mom. And then I discovered the beauty of Chatbooks. Chatbooks is an app for your phone that allows you to collect all of your Instagram photos in an actual real life printed book. I don’t have to write down Squirt’s reaction to his first taste of rice cereal because I (duh) photographed it and shared it on Insta. And now that moment will live on forever in my Chatbook. So all of the big moments–first steps, holidays, new experiences–are compiled all together with all of the everyday moments and I barely have to lift a finger.




Okay, so let’s walk through this so you can see just how easy it is. This is the home screen when I log onto my Chatbooks app. I have titled my book series The Three Bees, so this is automatically printed on all of my books. Each volume holds 60 photos, and you can check in on the progress of your book at any time.

When you click on the cover of the book in progress, you can scroll through all the photos that will be included in the volume. Your Instagram captions are automatically uploaded with your photos. This is great because it allows you to not only have the picture, but also whatever description you have already created. The date and the geotag location (if you used one) are also included on each page.

If you click on an individual photo, you can edit the caption (say if you wanted to get rid of the hashtags). You can also exclude a photo from your book if you don’t want it printed.

One of the best things about Chatbooks is that you can have more than one Instagram account linked to your book. Since the main purpose of the books for me is to record memories of Squirt, I also have my mom’s account and Matt’s account linked so that any photos they share of him are also included.

Once you have amassed 60 photos in your book volume, you have three days to edit and make changes if you want to. Your book is then printed and shipped to you and your account is charged. Softcover books are $8 per book and hardcover are $13. I typically fill one book every two months, so for $50 a year I have all my photos and memories printed and bound. You can’t beat that. The quality of the books is also really high. The covers are sturdy (and I have only gotten the softcover) and the printing beautiful.

These are some of our actual books so you can see what they look like in a real life setting. I am always so excited to receive a new book.

So I might be really crappy at writing down memories and special moments, but given that we capture everything on social media these days, I still have a full collection of all the important life moments. Really, for you moms out there, it is the best $8 you can spend. You literally have to do nothing other than share your photos on Instagram (which you are likely doing anyway) and check your mail. No arranging photos, no printing photos, no recording the dates of every picture. It is all done for you, and it is done beautifully.

I also want to add that the one time I had an issue with a delivery (it got caught in the middle of our two addresses when we moved), I sent customer service an email and they shipped me a new copy of my missing book within two days. That kind of customer service is becoming an endangered species. If you are a lazy/busy/not crafty/unorganized mom (and I’m gonna bet at least two of those adjectives apply to most of us!) Chatbooks can make your life so much easier. Seriously y’all. Check it out for yourselves. And you’re welcome ;o)




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Printable: Halloween Sweets and Treats to Eat

It is officially Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort and I am soooooo excited. Fall is one of my favorite times of the year (even though it doesn’t really exist weather wise here in So Cal) and I especially love fall at Disneyland. The whole park is decked out for the season and there are so many fun things to see and do. I will be visiting this year’s Halloween Time celebrations over the next couple of weeks and I will be sure to report back on all the fun. In the meantime, feel free to check out last year’s take on Halloween Time and read all about my first experience at Mickey’s Halloween Party. As of right now I am not planning on attending the Halloween Party this year since it is on the pricey side, but I am super bummed about that because they added a cool new parade this year and it looks amazing. I might just convince myself to go, but we’ll see!




Of course one of the best part of any holiday season is the food, and Halloween Time is no different. There are so many delicious new treats to try, both sweet and savory, that I am honestly not sure whether I will have the time (and the stomach) to get to them all. But I am going to try my best! And you can bet I will be telling you all about them when I do so you know what the can’t miss items are (seriously people, the sacrifices I make). Because there are so many spooky eats to try, I decided to make up a cool little list to help keep me on track, and since I am nothing if not a giver, I am going to share that list with you! Make sure you scroll all the way down to get your own printable copy of the Halloween Time Sweets and Treats list! (Note: This list is based off of info from the official Disney Parks blog, however, offerings can change at anytime. This is also not the complete list of offerings, just the ones that sounded the best to me.)

halloween-treats-checklist

As of right now, I have officially marked off three items on the list! Here’s a brief review of each! First is the orange and vanilla swirl fro yo from California Adventure. This is delicious and basically tastes like an old fashioned creamsicle. It tastes more like summer than fall to me, and I was expecting the color to be a bit more dramatic, but it was tasty nonetheless!

I also sampled the Anti-Vampire Garlic Chicken Pizza from Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta. It was just okay. Not anything to write home about and definitely not as garlicky as I would have liked. Also, not a huge fan of the crust at Boardwalk. It’s pretty bland.

The Butterscotch Beignets, available in a couple of different locations (I got mine at the Mint Julep Bar behind French Market) were delicious. I mean, you really can’t go wrong with a beignet covered in butterscotch flavored powdered sugar. They were scrumptious, and I only ate one of the three and felt satisfied, so there is enough in one order to share!

Okay, I still have a whole lot of goodness to shovel into my piehole (gracefully and like a lady, of course). Come back soon to see how everything rates on the yumminess scale! And if you would like to download and print out your own copy of the Sweet and Treats list, click this link right here!




What are you most looking forward to eating this Halloween season (at the parks or at home)? What are your favorite fall treats?


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