Friday, March 2, 2018

February New Finds

I cannot believe how fast February went by!  I know it's a short month but I feel like I blinked and it was over.  Last month, quite a few people checked out my January New Finds so I'm gonna keep it going.  This is such a great place to put in a few things that I wouldn't do a whole post about.  (Raise your hand if you remember when I used to post everyday.  Sigh... how did I do that?!)

This post contains partner links.  Opinions and thoughts are 100% my own. 

First up is my favorite photo from the month which I did last month too.  This is a great quote from Phil Rosenthal's show that I talked about last month as well.  I used to this photo to enter a contest to for a dinner with Phil but I didn't win.  I did, however, end up with a great photo so that's a win, right?

1. Queer Eye for the Straight Guy reboot.  You know what's funny?  Before January, I probably hadn't watched Netflix in 6 months.  We play for the service but I always watched Hulu since it has a lot of shows that are currently on the air.  But Netflix is killing it with these Netflix Originals.  I liked Queer Eye when it was on originally but I never felt profoundly affective by it before.  I know I was younger then.  This new Fab 5 are lovely, vulnerable, and willing to tackle hard topics.  They also vary in ethnicity which I love!  I would watch a hundred episodes if Netflix would just make them.

2. Ugly Delicious.  This is another socially aware Netflix show that stole my heart.  I love food and I love watching shows with chefs!  This show transcends all of that.  I know that David Chang is not for everyone but I like him.  I appreciate how no nonsense he is and that he speaks his mind.  I grew up a lot like him.  I was an Asian kid in a town with not many Asian people and it has a huge effect on how you grow up.  Beyond being a food show, Ugly Delicious is a culture show about breaking down boundaries and understanding different cultures.

3. Bottoms Up Ginger Beer.  I've been looking for a good ginger beer for some time now for Moscow Mules and also for drinking plain.  Bottoms Up is my favorite thus far.  It has a nice amount of sweetness to compliment the bite from the ginger.  I like the ginger at the bottom so I know I'm getting good quality ginger beer and not just ginger flavoring.

4. R Cubed Lifestyle.  I got invited to a lovely blogger brunch at R Cubed Lifestyle.  I fell in love with the space and the owner Shannon Gilley.  She does in store form what I do on my Instagram.  She finds people doing amazing things and she highlights them.  When she was talking to be about the items in her store, every story started with "That was made by a husband and wife team" or "This was made by a lady here in town."  I love that!  The shop is beautiful!  It's filled with home decor, jewelry, art, clothes, and more.  I can't wait to go back!  You can check out R Cubed Lifestyle on Instagram to see the awesome things they have.

5. Volume lashes from Amazing Lash Studio.  I've written about my lash extensions from Amazing Lash before.  I LOVE long lashes!  I always have.  You know, I'm living that unicorn life.  I recently started getting some of the volume lashes and oh la la!  I'm just so happy with the way I look in photos and in real life.  Also, I have really thin natural lashes and the volume lashes apply to my lashes just fine.  You can get $10 off your first set of lashes if book here and use my code LashLuv22.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Date Your Spouse 2: Palladio in Folsom

You guys, I have a life hack for you.  If you go on a date during the day while your kids are at school, you don't have to pay for a sitter.  Also, you won't have to deal with crowds and lines and most likely, your meals will cost less.  In this blog post, I wanted to show you how to have a fun date at the Palladio in Folsom.

This post is in partnership with The Palladio.  As always, all opinions are 100% honest and my own.  Thank you for supporting companies who support my work!  

Quick confession, my kids have been off school for the ENTIRE month of February since they attend year round school.  Luckily, my sister in law was able to watch them for me so hubby and I could go on a day date.  I feel like day dates are so underrated.  Not only can you save money but there's just something special about being out during the day together!  It's like when you were single.  LOL, who remembers way back when you didn't have bags under your eyes?

First, we started our day at Palladio by getting hubby a smoothie at Pure Life Juice Company so he could have lots of energy while I shopped... Listen, we were at a shopping center and part of marriage and dating is doing a balance of what each person likes.  We popped into H&M (where he shopped too) and Charlotte Russe.  Then, I got a few things from Torrid and Apricot Lane.
Pure Life Juice Company
Jewelry at Apricot Lane and SHOPPING!

Next, we headed off to lunch!  We had lunch at Grist Beer Hall which will soon be celebrating their 1 year anniversary.  They have 50 taps and they ALL rotate so you never know what you'll find.  They have everything from sours to stouts.  My hubby went with a sour called 1 Ton Of... Blackcurrant from the brand To ├śl which is imported from Denmark.  Grist also has local beers on tap such as Fort Rock, New Glory, Bike Dog, and more.  I also like that they have cider because I'm a cider kind of girl.

Grist calls their menu "locally curated artisan food."  They have starters, small plates, salads, main dishes, desserts, and a kids menu.  I'm gonna admit that mistakes were made on my part.  LOL!  I really wanted to try the Crispy Poutine. (My first mistake was not adding the pork belly.  WHY?  If there's an option for pork, you should say yes!)  The poutine comes with a stout gravy which is such a great tie into the beer hall.  It was delicious!

For our main dishes, hubby got the Lemon Pesto Chicken Sandwich and I got the Marinated Skirt Steak.  (Mistake 2 was I should have gotten salad or soup as a side since poutine is a french fry dish but I didn't think to ask for a different side.)  I had to have some of hubby's sandwich, you know, for research.  The chicken sandwich was so delicious!  The brightness of the lemon was a lovely addition to this sandwich which also had balsamic onions, Havarti cheese, and bacon.  My steak was absolutely delicious!  It was tender and well seasoned.  The fries were crispy and super fluffy inside!  It was an excellent meal!

Then, we headed over to Barnes and Noble to browse.  We love book stores!  We used to go hang out in book stores all the time until the book stores around us closed.  We chat about the titles we see.  We tell each other about why we are picking out specific books.  Personally, I love grabbing a big stack of magazines and sit down with a cup of coffee at a book store.  The staff at Barnes and Noble was so sweet!  They even tried to make me a pretty latte even though they don't do latte art there.  We really enjoyed our time there!

After the book store, we made our way over the Pretty Sweet for dessert.  You HAD to know that dessert was coming.  Pretty Sweet is a GORGEOUS shop.  The decor is very modern and their desserts look super gourmet!  We shared a Lemon Meringue Tart which was a lovely treat!  We also got some beautiful macarons to take home.

Last, Dustin went to go pick up the kids and I headed into Charming Charlie by myself.  My sister in law needed to get ready for work and I wanted my Instagram photographer to take some pictures of us.  I found ALL the fun things at Charming Charlie!  That store makes my heart sing and the one at the Palladio is HUGE!  I could spend all day in there.  If you haven't been, it's all sorted by color and that makes my heart so happy.

Going to the Palladio was a great way to spend a day date!  They have other more "date" type of places to go to as well like their Palladio Luxe Cinema is AMAZING and you can eat while watching a movie (but we are trying to get out of the dinner and a movie rut, remember?)  They have Color Me Mine where you can paint your own pottery and Painted where you can do a paint (canvases) and sip.  There's also a spa at the Palladio if you can take your date into some pampering.  Lots of great date options!

Do you go on day dates?  Where do you go?  Let me know!  I'm always looking for new ideas!

Friday, February 23, 2018

DateMeSacramento: A Surprise Date Planning Service

This year on the blog, I'd like to start a Date Your Spouse series.  I think it's so important to take care of your marriage!   I've been married for almost 13 years.  It is so easy to forget about date night especially when you have kids.  Dating goes on the back burner and I believe this is a mistake.  Over this year, I'll be sharing all different kinds of dates for all different budgets.  You don't have to be married to enjoy these dates either but I know that married people tend to put off date night more.  First up is DateMeSacramento.

*** This post in a collaboration with DateMeSacramento.  The opinions as always are honest and 100% my own.  ***

DateMeSacramento is a brand new company that launched on Feb 1.  The creators are a couple that I know from Instagram, Katja and Caleb.  I am so excited for them and so proud of their entrepreneurial spirits!  DateMeSacramento is a service that plans a surprise date for you.  You don't know where you are going until the email you the morning of your date!

First, you choose how many people are going on the date.  You can go with 2 people or you can go as a group.  Then you pick the level.  Prices start at $90 and go up to $400 for the 2 person date.  Next, you get a survey asking about your interests, activity level, and the kind of date you're looking for.  That's it!  You sit back and wait for them to plan your date.

We got an envelope a few days before our date from Caleb and Katja.  The letter told us what to wear and what to bring on our date.  It also gave us a few clues about what we were doing.  Now, if you wanted to be super surprised, you could open the letter the morning of your date too.

We got to go on a modified level 2 date.  Due to another commitment, we were not able to do the last part of our date which would have been a dinner reservation with a special set-up.  While the meal bill is the responsibility of the guest, DateMeSacramento makes your reservation and has certain perks at certain restaurants such as special menu items or perhaps a complimentary appetizer or drink.

Onto our date!

Stop 1: The Prickly Pear

Now, The Prickly Pear has a slightly odd set up.  They have a green house and succulent garden in a residential neighborhood in Oak Park.  There is a fabulous space on their lot with tables and stools where you can sit and pot our own succulents.  It is such a cute space!  The owner, Mona is AMAZING!  She's so sweet and knowledgeable!  You can tell she puts her heart into everything she does!

We were each able to pick out a jar which Mona hand paints, sands, and turns into a planter.  Dustin decided to do a full sized jar but I could not resist the mini jar.  It is pink and SO cute!  Dustin told Mona that he wanted to put his succulent on his desk which doesn't have any sunlight.  She helped him pick out a nice sturdy plant for indoors.  I wanted a pretty blush succulent to match my jar.  Then, we went to the potting station and Mona helped us pot our succulents.  She also gave us care instructions for each plant and said we could contact her any time with questions.

We had a great time!  I loved meeting Mona!  She has an amazing heart and we have already talked about doing some events together.  Also, succulents are probably the only kind of plant that will survive in my house so that was an excellent choice!

Stop 2: AVA Virtual Reality

AVA Virtual Reality is located in Natomas by the movie theater.  Upon entering, you check in at a desk and sign a waiver.  They have seven stations where individuals can go in and get set up for the virtual reality games.  They have a lot of games to choose from and you can play collaboratively which is great for a date.  You get set up with a VR mask, headset with a microphone, and controllers.  This is VERY immersive!

The first game we played was a zombie game which I would not recommend starting with.  It was hard to get used to the controls while being attacked by zombies.  Also, I feel like you should go into that game with some sort of plan with your partner and I felt slightly uncomfortable on the headsets.  Also, at one point I went underwater in the zombie game and it was rough on me, I felt a little woozy.  The next game was a laser tag game which was somewhat easier to play but gave me the same issues.  It was hard to figure out how to move and how to shoot while trying not to get shot at.  At this point, I needed a break.  The VR is very immersive and wearing all the equipment made me a little sweaty.

The last game is a game I would suggest new people starting with.  Dustin decided to try the Escape Room game and I sat in the same room as him with no headset on.  This was great because while there was a time limit, you could move around and interact with objects without fear of being reset.  This was also easy to work collaboratively on.  I could see the room on the screen.  I helped point out things he should do in the game.  This game would also be good for a work team building type event. Dustin also tried going into a game for a few minutes where he could explore a wizard's lab which would also be a good one to start with.  He said that after wearing the VR equipment for the full hour, he felt weird walking around in real life.  He can't wait to go again and talked about it a lot with friends and family the next day.

At this point in the evening, we would have headed off to dinner planned by DateMeSacramento but instead we went to a birthday dinner for a friend.

DateMeSacramento is such a fun way to have a date!  They pushed us out of our box.  We tried two things that we've never tried before.  Both are activities that we might not otherwise try but we enjoyed.  They were also really thoughtful.  I feel like The Prickly Pear was something more for me and AVA was something more for Dustin.  It was a nice balance of things we enjoy and it was really well thought out!  We often get stuck in a rut doing the same old dinner and a movie thing.  DateMeSacramento was a great way to get out of the rut.  For the cost, this would be great for a birthday or anniversary.  You can even give a date as a gift by purchasing from their website.

You can find DateMeSacramento on social media:
DateMeSacramento Facebook
DateMeSacramento Instagram

Tell me all about your favorite date nights!  I'm hoping to make this a twice a month series which is A LOT...  LOL!

Connect with me on social media:

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Color Street Nail Polish Strips Review and Giveaway

Confession time, though I know that it would make my Instagram pictures better and I like having painted nails, I rarely have my nails done.  I don't want to pay for salon manicures and the manicures I do at home never turn out well.  I'm bad at painting nails.  It takes too much time and never turns out right so I walk around with naked nails.

(This post in a collaboration with Color Street consultant Jenn Marshburn Lynch for product and a giveaway.  All opinions, as always, are my own honest thought.)  

I started hearing about Color Street last year but I was skeptical.  But I read that it was made with real nail polish and only took a couple minutes to apply so I decided to give it a go.  Color Street are nail polish strips that are dry on one side and moist on the other side to adhere to your nail.  They are not stickers.  They are flexible so you can stretch them a bit to fit your nail.  There is absolutely NO drying time!

 Color Street Day 3 - forgot to take picture before because we left on vacation

I picked the Tokyo Lights glitter for my manicure.  I think it took me 10-15 minutes to apply my nails because it was my first time and I was nervous.  The nail strip has the base coat, polish, and top coat all in one step.  You just put the strip on your nail, press and rub it in, and pull off any excess.  I tried to be more careful so I could use each strip on two nails which means you get two manicures per package with some left over.  Truthfully, I wasn't GREAT at the application the first time.  I had some areas where I was way too rough and ripped off more of the strip than I should have.  Next time I'll be more gentle.  Even so, I think the mani looked pretty good when I was done.

Color Street Day 7
I applied the manicure right before bed as I was watching TV.  This is usually the time I do my nails but I always wake up in the morning with smudges and dents even though I thought the nail polish was dry when I went to bed.  With Color Street, I had none of those concerns.  There's NO drying time.  No waiting time for it to seal.  No nothing.  You put them on and then rub an alcohol pad over the top to seal them in.  That's it!  I went to bed and everything was dry and fine.  I woke up with them looking exact like they did when I went to bed.  I got SO many compliments with people not believing that I didn't get my nails done at a salon.  They looked so pretty!

I wore this manicure for 14 days!!!  It didn't even look that bad when I took them off.  I definitely had more growth from the bottom than chipping from the top.  I have really oily skin so gel nail polish and nail sticker products usually only last about 8 days on me.  I was floored that this lasted 14 days!

Removal was pretty easy.  I was afraid since there was a TON of glitter on my nails.  I took some tips from Jenn and put coconut oil all over my nails for a few minutes before I removed the Color Street.  Then I used regular nail polish remover and cotton pads.  They came off in chunks and took a couple minutes.  My natural nails look great underneath, no drying or weakness at all.

Color Street Day 14

I think this product is great for any person on the go!  It's affordable.  I used the excess from my manicures to give my 5 year old daughter a mani but didn't get a picture.  For the $12, I got 2 manicures for me and can do 2 for her.  I loved how easy it was for someone like me who is BAD at nails!  And the fact that I didn't have to dry was basically the best thing of life.  I have already bought more strips from Jenn!  I'm also hosting an online party with Jenn if you'd like to purchase HERE IS THE PARTY LINK.  I will receive a hostess credit of product if anyone decides to purchase.

Jenn has kindly given me a set of Color Street to giveaway to one lucky reader so they can try the fabulousness!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Connect with me on social media:

Friday, February 16, 2018

Disney on Ice, Golden One Arena, and Light Rail Review

Tonight, we got to go to Disney on Ice at the Golden One Arena in Sacramento.  It was our first time going to the Golden One.  I was lucky enough to get some press tickets for the show.  This was also the kids first time seeing Disney on Ice and riding the Light Rail.

The Show

I'll start with the show.  Disney on Ice was more magical than I remember from childhood.  How often does that happen?  I feel like technology has taken things a long way.  For example, they project snow all over the audience during the Frozen scenes.  The scenery pieces and skaters who played background pieces were really amazing as well.  What took my breath away the most were the aerial stunts done by some of the skaters.  I don't remember them doing anything like that when I was a kid.  It was crazy to see people flying in the air on just a piece of fabric!

I also really liked that they started the show on time.  We walked in at 7:04pm which is 4 minutes after it started due to going to the wrong area at first and there were already skaters on the ice.  Another really cool thing is that we got to see Inside Out and Finding Dory which made their Disney on Ice premier this show.  These numbers were great for keeping the attention of my boys.  I also found out that one of the skaters from the Inside Out scenes is a Sacramento native named Justine Wong.  I thought that was really awesome!

Overall, Avery LOVED the show!  She really liked the interactive number and of course seeing Anna and Elsa from Frozen.  At 5, she is the perfect age for Disney on Ice.  My son Parker is 8 and he seemed to really enjoy the show.  He would put his hands up when the characters said to do so and he was clapping for the numbers.  He did get a little bored during some of the princess numbers but overall, I think he enjoyed about 90% of the show and that's pretty good.  My 10 year old son didn't complain at all during the show and he did perfectly fine.  He said he liked it.  I'm pretty surprised by that.  It was a great night out with the whole family which is usually hard for me.  There are still tickets available for $20 each.  If you go to Raley's or Bel Air, they had coupons to get tickets for $15 each but I'm not sure if they still have them.

The Golden One Arena

The Golden One is obviously a lot bigger than the Arco Arena.  I don't even know if that's what it's called anymore... but I think you know what I'm talking about.  I found the outside layout a little confusing.  We needed to go to the box office and struggled to find it.  There are so many doors yet so few you could actually enter.  It is a beautiful structure and the art around it is lovely.  

We sat in section 118 row S which is on the main floor without being an up close seat.  We were toward the back on the main floor, I imagine it starts with row A.  The seats were great.  The chairs themselves are comfortable.  There are cupholders on the back of the seat in front of you for drinks.  I really liked how there were lots of aisles with a railing going down the stairs.  It was really easy to get to your seat without trying to step over tons of people.  We, including my littlest, could see just fine from our seats.  I would come back to the Golden One.  

1. I had my Swell bottle confiscated since you're not allowed to have water bottles.  I carry it in my purse at all times and did not think to take it out.  They would not place it in the lost and found nor let me pay check it.  Boo!  
2. Tell your kids you will buy them treats a different place or time.  Popcorn was $12 for bagged popcorn and a small soda was $5.  Ask me how I know.  They also have people walking up and down the aisles during intermission trying to sell stuff.
3. Get there early and take a trip to the bathroom.  My daughter was SO sad to have to go to the bathroom during the show.  She said "I don't want to miss anything!"  I felt so bad for her.  
4. I also heard you aren't allowed to have weapons and usually they consider pepper spray a weapon so any ladies who are trying to be safe instead of sorry cannot.  :(  They should really offer lockers outside of venues for this reason.  Walking downtown in the dark can be risky.  

Light Rail

We decided to take the light rail into downtown Sacramento because we thought it would save money on parking and stress on driving in traffic.  In retrospect, I would not do this again.  First off, you have to give yourself 45 mins to get downtown no matter what time of day it is because the light rail has to make a bunch of stops.  Second, it was not cost effective for a family of 5.  The tickets were $2.75 each person for a one way ticket.  To go to downtown and back, it was $27.50 plus $1 to park our car in the light rail parking lot.  I'm pretty sure I could have parked near the Golden One for about that cost.  I might have even been able to Lyft or Uber for that price depending on if we were at a surge rate or not.  Third, we missed our train twice.  The first time, we were trying to figure out how to pay for parking which was not information given in the parking lot.  (That's dumb!)  We had to wait 15 minutes for the next train since it was 5:45pm and it was during commute hours.  We missed our train coming back home too.  We were across the street when it pulled up and didn't have time to get there on time.  This time, since it was 9:15pm and not commute hours, we had to wait 30 minutes in the cold and dark for the next train.  Fourth, on the way, there were a lot of young people on the train talking really loudly to each other using swear words.  I'm guessing that's par for the course when school is getting out and commute times.  

While the kids thought it was kind of cool to ride the train, they did not like the waiting and how long it took to get to our location.  With the cost and the extra time we had to add onto our day, I would not do this again.  Perhaps you could plan it out better and not miss your train but if one kid needs to go potty, that whole plan is out the window.  

Hope you found this post helpful!  If you have tips for us on Disney on Ice, Golden One, or Light Rail, I'd love to hear them!  

Connect with me on social media: