Sunday, October 14, 2018

Sacramento RiverTrain: Pumpkin Train

We are constantly looking for new and fun things to do with the kids so we can make new memories. Recently, we heard about the Pumpkin Train from Sacramento RiverTrain and it fit the bill just perfectly!  It's hard to find things that all my kids will like since my oldest is 6 years older than my youngest.  They all loved the Pumpkin Train!

*** This post is a collaboration with Sacramento RiverTrain.  We received tickets in exchange for an honest review, as always all opinions are my own and 100% honest.  *** 


The Sacramento RiverTrain is based out of West Sacramento.  It is a local family owned business and their rail line is 14 miles long.  The train goes from West Sac to Woodland.  The train goes 10-15 miles an hour for a leisurely experience.


We arrived a few minutes early for the Pumpkin Train and easily found parking.  They told us what train car we were in and we were able to get a lovely booth.  All the seating was next to windows so you could enjoy the view from the train.  Our tickets included a soft drink from the concession stand and we purchased a couple snacks to enjoy.  NOTE: the concession stand only accepts card, no cash or check.




The ride to the pumpkin patch takes about 45 mins.  In that time, we enjoyed our snacks and sodas while watching the river and farm land views.  We also got up and walked over to the open air cars at the front of the train and checked those out.  In one of the cars, they had story time.  They also had a person doing face painting and caricature drawings.  My kids also got some ballon animals from a gentleman who was doing balloon twisting.  PRO TIP: bring along some small bills for tips.  We only brought $5 in cash so I only allowed my kids to get balloons.  I didn't realize there would be so many different things offered on the train.


The pumpkin patch was a private patch set up exclusively for the Pumpkin Train.  This was awesome because it was not too crowded.  The little patch had a variety of different pumpkins to choose from.  They had big pumpkins, little pumpkins, orange pumpkins, white pumpkins, green pumpkins, etc... The pumpkin patch had a covered area with picnic tables and there was complimentary self-serve lemonade and water.  There was cute decorations that were good for photo ops.  They also had a supervised bounce house and corn hole set up.  We spent about an hour at the pumpkin patch and then it was time to go back to the train station.





On the ride back, there were a few fun things to do.  They had a bunch of stickers out so people could decorate the pumpkins.  My kids at first were reluctant since they wanted to carve their pumpkins but we figured we could just peel the stickers off later and still carve.  They had another story time with a different story.  An employee also went through the train and offered the kids some complimentary masks that they could take home and color.



Overall, we had an AMAZING time on the Sacramento RiverTrain and will be going back.  Since it is a ticketed event, there was a limited amount of people.  I have a son who gets really overwhelmed by crowds and lots of commotion.  He had a GREAT time on the train since it wasn't overly crowded.  He could do the craft, the pumpkin picking, and bounce house without being overwhelmed and for us, that's a big deal.  He loved the experience and was smiling ear to ear!  The other kids loved it too but they are more easy going so I wanted to note this for any parents who have a sensitive child.

You can find out more information or book your train HERE.  They offer lots of different themed trains like a zombie train, murder mystery train, beer train, and soon they will have Christmas themed ones!

All photos by Maddy Eccles Photo courtesy of Sacramento RiverTrain.




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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Unravel 2018 Wrap Up

WOW, you guys!  That was a crazy insane month fundraising for Unravel Pediatric Cancer!  I usually do one super long post on Facebook thanking everyone and I blog post but I figured I would just roll them together this year.


First, I want to say how thankful and humble I am for all the people who came out of the woodwork to help me on this project!  I need to thank Matt from Highflier Productions for making a video for me to spread the word and Tasha from Tasha Chizuru Designs for all the graphics for all the events.  I also appreciate all the media we received from The Elk Grove Citizen article, Good Day Sacramento came out to us twice (Boys Bakery/The Kitchen Table and Journey to the Dumpling/Flatland), and Studio 40 Live.

Next and really mostly, I have to thank the businesses that partnered up with me.  Each and every single one of them went above and beyond.  I asked so much from them and not one of them blinked. Not only did I ask them to donate money, give me their space, but I also asked for special items to be made.  It was a HUGE ask and each one of them were more gracious and wonderful than you could believe.  If you want to make a list of places you support, all of these guys should be on your list!

The Big Boba Theory!  They made us a signature drink, they advertised our event, and they told me to do whatever I needed to do when it came to decorating.  They also rounded up their donation to the cause.  They had so much passion and kicked my month off on the perfect food.




Boy's Bakery!  First off, Joe is so busy and so talented.  He is high sought after and needed absolutely no help from me to sell all his buns so the fact that he agreed to collaborate was purely the goodness in his heart.  He created a special Candy Corn bun for us AND he went on TV with me twice which makes him nervous.  He also donated ALL of his proceeds in addition to the insane amount of time it took him to bake.




The Kitchen Table East Sac!  Susan not only donated a portion of her proceeds from the ENTIRE day to us (and rounded up) but she opened early so we could have the news come out to film.  She helped me decorate.  She went above and beyond sharing on social media to bring in more people.


Flatland Brewing Company!  These guys bought edible drink glitter and brewed me a special beer.  Can you even believe that?!  They let me bring all my girliness and frills to their brewery.  They also more than DOUBLED the amount that they were originally going to donate. Plus I hear that they are still cleaning up glitter there.



Journey to the Dumpling!  These guys opened at 6am so we could go on the news when they don't normally open until 11am.  They made not one but TWO exclusive Unravel colored dumplings that were served one day only AND they trained their wait staff to explain the dumplings and let people know about the fundraiser.  They continued to collect donations once I left and gave them to me after.  The owners and wait staff also donated cash to us.



Old Town Pizza and Taphouse!  They reserved me an entire room.  They let me in early and set up all sorts of decorations including an entire table for kids to craft.  They extended the donation period by one hour and rounded up their donation.


Huge thank you to Maven Mindy for donating her proceeds on Sept 22.  Borderlands Bakery for the donation from their pop up as well!  Also to The Mix Baking Co for donating a cake to auction off!

I need to thank all my friends and family that showed up and supported me!  I constantly needed reassuring during this process and they had to deal with my whining, crying, and over exhausted rambling.  Thank you to my online community of bloggers, influencers, and all people who shared events!  Thank you to everyone who came out and supported us!


Here are the totals:
The cash, check, PayPal, and Venmo donations were rounded up to $1535 and will be matched 200% coming to a total of $4605.
The proceeds from our partners came out to $1600.
Our GRAND TOTAL is $6205!

Thank you so much to everyone!  Also, if you want to donate to Unravel you can do you HERE.  It doesn't have to be Childhood Cancer Awareness Month to help the kids.






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Friday, August 31, 2018

Fluttering for Unravel Cancer Year 5

For the last 4 years, my family and I have been Fluttering with Unravel Pediatric Cancer for Childhood Cancer Awareness.  For 4 years, we drove from house to house every single day of Sept to spread awareness to single families in hopes that they would spread awareness to their friends.  For 4 years, we've had a small event called Fluttering the Community which slowly grew but still only reached less than 100 people.  This year is the year we reformat.  Over the last 2.5 years, I have grown my social media to try reach local people (follow me on Instagram please!)  This year is the year we combine these two passions.



This year, we've decided to do FIVE Fluttering the Community events to celebrate year FIVE!  Come to one, come to all, just please come!  At each event, our partners will be donating a portion of the proceeds of their sales to Unravel.  Our family will be doing what we call a "pop-up" at each place.  We will come for a couple hours, bring some decorations, hang out, and collect any cash donations.

CASH DONATIONS WILL BE MATCHED 200% THIS YEAR!  Sorry I had to shout.  I'm so excited that my husband's employee matching program has increased the amount that they match!  If I donate $1, they will donate $2 making the total $3!  If you have change laying around, please bring it on over and let's make a HUGE impact on finding a cure to cancer!

Are you ready to find out the event dates and times?!

Part 1 -
Sept 8
The Big Boba Theory Elk Grove
~ Pop-up from 1-3pm.
~ The Big Boba Theory will be donating 50% of the proceeds for ALL drinks purchased that day to Unravel Pediatric Cancer.  They will also have a special drink designed for Elayna from Team Elayna.

Elayna Sandeen forever 9


Part 2 -
Sept 15
Boy's Bakery at The Kitchen Table in East Sac
~ Pop-up from 11am-1pm.
~ Boy's Bakery will be donating a portion of the proceeds from all items sold that day to Unravel.  He WILL SELL OUT so get there early please.  He's also making a specialty flavor for the event.  He will only be there until 12pm.
~ The Kitchen Table will also be donating a portion of the proceeds of their sales from the whole day to Unravel!

Part 3 -
Sept 22
Flatland Brewing Elk Grove
~ Pop-up 12pm-2pm.
~ Flatland brewed us a special beer inspired by Unravel's logo of "knowledge is like glitter, it sticks to you."  It is called Not All That Glitters... and is an easy drinking Pilsner with a touch of blood orange juice and edible glitter.  Flatland will be donating $1/beer until they run out of the beer.
~ I'm currently looking for a truck to serve lunch, hopefully that happens.

Jennifer Lynn Kranz forever 6


Part 4 -
Sept 26
Journey to the Dumpling Elk Grove
~ Pop-up 11am-1pm.
~ Journey to the Dumpling will be donating proceeds from 11am-3pm for everyone who comes in with the flier or shows it on their phone.

Part 5 -
Sept 29
Old Town Pizza and Taphouse Elk Grove
~ End of the month PIZZA party from 12pm-2pm!  Old Town Pizza will donate a portion of the proceeds from everyone who shows the flier.


I hope to see you all at one of these events!  I think it will be a fantastic time!  If you cannot attend and would like to donate online (online donations will not be matched), please do so at this link: https://fundraise-2-unravel.everydayhero.com/us/newell-family




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Friday, August 3, 2018

Introducing: Sacramento Body Positivity Collective (SacBoPoCo)

Something has been bubbling inside of me for a long time and I honestly don't know why it's taken me so long to act on it.  They say to "be who you needed as a child."  While I try to integrate that into my everyday life, I feel like I wasn't doing enough.  That changes today.



I'm launching a new project called Sacramento Body Positivity Collective (SacBoPoCo.)   The goal is to create a community that celebrates ALL BODIES.  Inspiration will be for everyone, worldwide, but I hope to have meet ups locally in Sacramento.  I want to create a safe space where people can talk about their body, their insecurities, and also share their wins.

My Why

Being a blogger and being someone in the media puts me in a lot of different places literally.  I go to events and I hope to find another bigger person to relate to.  I look on social media for camaraderie and it feels like all I see are "the beautiful people."  (Yes, I know that all people are beautiful in their own way but mind meld with me for a bit.)  My feed is full of what I call commercial beauty or society approved beauty.  And let me tell you, I love each and every one of my commercially beautiful friends with all my heart.  But it makes me feel so incredibly alone.

Being a fat Asian woman is already hard because of the stereotypes that Asian women should be small, demure, fair skinned, etc... Obviously, I am no Asian stereotype.  But increasingly, the more I look, the more I cannot find people like me.  Plus sized brands don't have Asian models.  Even when they are brands that share social media pictures from customers, I don't see plus sized Asian women.  It is hard to have no one to relate to.

Who is this for?

SacBoPoCo is NOT only for plus sized people.  I just wanted to share with you the feeling that sparked this movement.  And I NEVER want you to feel it for yourself.

At SacBoPoCo, I will be featuring all different people.  People of different sizes, shapes, color, ages, abilities, medical conditions, personal style, etc... And by feature, I mean, I want to share not only their pictures but also glean wisdom from them.  I want to talk about the postpartum body, the breastfeeding body, the dealing with chronic disease body, the life after cancer body, and so much more.

I want to talk to everyone who wants to talk to me.  I want to share stories that will inspire people to love their bodies even though they aren't what society thinks of as "perfect."  I want people to know that it's ok to love yourself in the process of getting to where you want to be.  And mostly, I want people to know that they are not alone.

How can you join?

Easy peasy!  You can follow along with SacBoPoCo on Instagram to see all the inspiration.  You can use #sacbopoco to join the community when you post about your own body positivity.  You can join the conversation in the SacBoPoCo Facebook group.  Again, while meet ups will be local, anyone can join the group for chatting and friendship.  All the online stuff is free.  I'm not sure about the meet ups yet since I'm not sure if I'll need to rent a space.



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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Summerland 2018 at Park Winters Recap (Photo Heavy)


I was lucky enough to be invited to the most dreamy, wonderful event called Summerland at Park Winters on June 28.  Today, I'm writing a recap and sharing some pretty pictures with you.  I had heard of Park Winters before but had never visited.  Do not make the same mistake I made!  This place is nothing short of magical and you need to get over there as soon as you can!  Park Winters is known for being a wedding and event venue but they also have a bed and breakfast as well as a Farm Dinner several times a month.

Summerland was an amazing event filled with gorgeous vignettes all over the property and different events throughout the day.  I'm just going to go through the day chronologically with you because that's how it makes the most sense in my head.  Also, I will be sharing my photos and photos of me.  I will link you to a place to see more photos at the end.


Park Winters is about an hour drive from where I live.  The property is stunning!  Upon walking in from the parking lot, you are transported to a different world of lush green gorgeousness.  I will admit, I walked in the wrong way and missed the sign in table but I found it later.




However, I was a lovely pink tent of flowers and balloons and my feet just took me over there.  Somehow I ended up in the Rose tent first off.  I guess the heart wants what the heart wants.  And while I was there I figured it would be rude to turn down the drinks.






Me and my amazing friend Sadye of Lovely Splendid Happy


Then we wandered over to the pool area to check it out.  We chatted with some friends and hung out a bit.

#Theodoor

Dress from Torrid (hello, please sponsor me, lol.)

It's like they designed this for me!

Then we heard a lovely speech from Rafael Galiano, owner of Park Winters.  He's the most lovely man!  (I was so busy listening to him that I forgot to take a picture of him.)  He said he put together the whole event because following bloggers like Sassy Red Lipstick and Wannabe Fashion Blogger gave him so much joy.  He wanted a place where we could meet, have a great time, and foster relationships.  I could not be more grateful to have been invited especially after hearing the why!  I love building community and making new friends!

I met Sarah Tripp aka Sassy Red Lipstick!!!  Then I fainted!  Not really but almost.

Rafael also told us to explore the property.  Now if there's one thing you need to know about my husband it is that if you tell him there's exploring to be done, he will explore it.




I love Poppy and Oak gift crates!   

Lunch from Nugget Markets

Then we headed into the main building at The Inn at Park Winters which has 4 suites.  There were people staying in the suites so we didn't explore them but we did get to see the lovely downstairs of the bed and breakfast.

Top from Torrid, Shorts from The Pomegranate Boutique

We found a sweet surprise inside The Inn!  Sacramento chocolatier Ginger Elizabeth was inside setting up a display, a flat lay, and a chocolate tasting.



After cooling off at the chocolate tasting, we went to explore the property.

Original Foreman's Quarters

Original Foreman's Quarters inside where they have bouquets from the weddings that they've had.

My new friend Kevin that I met at the Red Barn

The Chicken Palace

My hubby on the seesaw because why not?


Took a moment to enjoy nature

They had so many beautiful artichokes!

We climbed all the way into the Fig Forest and I had to try a fresh fig right off the tree.

When we got back to the main area, we found even more amazing things to experience!

Wine tasting
The Meltdown Ice Cream Truck
Dress from The Pomegranate Boutique 
Cocktail hour with passed appetizers

Then we got to experience a dinner at Park Winters.  I've had several friends tell me about the amazing dinners at Park Winters and I was so excited to try it!  It was everything they said it would be and more!  Every single thing was absolutely delicious!


Watermelon salad

Bread with olive butter

Steelhead Trout
Elderberry dessert 

Then we took a couple parting photos in the Golden Hour light before heading home.  (I will save most of those for my Instagram since this post has SO many pictures in it already.)

Me with Sadye, Ruthie Ridley, and Candice Stubblefield who are just the nicest, loveliest bloggers.
Thank you Suha Musallam for taking this photo!
On the way home, I couldn't help myself.


I cannot explain to you how lucky I feel to be invited to such an amazing event!  Every single detail of this event and Park Winters is literally out of a dream!  I was so overwhelmed by the beauty that I forgot to take pictures of a lot of things.  (If you want to see a lot of really beautiful photos and an amazing recap, check out my friend Katrina's blog post.)

I didn't know where life was going to take me when I switched from DIY blogging to Lifestyle blogging.  I mostly did it because I couldn't manage to create projects anymore but I just loved and missed blogging so much.  I never in my wildest dreams thought it would take me to the most beautiful places I've ever seen and meet the most amazing people!  I'm so grateful and humbled!  



Here is a list of the vendors and their social media handles typed out by the remarkable Katrina.  Used with permission.  

WINE TASTING AND FOOD // Bailarin Cellars Wine Tasting @bailarincellars Berryessa Gap Wine Tasting @berryessagapvineyards Ginger Elizabeth Chocolate Chocolate Tasting@gingerelizabeth Honig Vineyard & Winery Wine Tasting @honigwine Insight Coffee Roasters Coffee @insightcoffee Nugget Markets Lunch Caterer @nuggetmarkets PURE Honey Honey Stand @purehoneyca Sun & Soil Juice Juice Bar @sunandsoiljuice The Melt Down Ice Cream Truck Ice Cream @themeltdownicecreamtruck Turkovich Family Wines Wine Tasting@turkovichwines Wente Vineyard Wine Tasting @wente
POOL PARTY // Dixon Florist Eyeconic Booth @dixonflorist DJ Z Rokk DJ @zrokk Eyeconic Sunglass Bar @shopeyeconic Made In the Shade Tent Rentals Cabana Tents @madeshade_com Standard Party Rentals Arbor, Cabana Furniture @standardpartyrentals The Plant Library Plants @theplantlibrary Tres Fabu Events Cabana Designer @tresfabuevents Wild Flower Linen Linens and Decor @wildflowerlinen
VIGNETTES // Alluring Events Vignette Designer @alluring.events Blossom Farm Vintage Rentals Furniture Rentals @blossomfarmvintagerentals Celebrations Party Rentals Rentals @cprandtents CL Decor Rentals @cldecordesign Debra DeAngelo Tarot Reader @debradeangelo Dixon Florist Florals @dixonflorist FlowerMama Boutonniere Bar @flowermama323 Found Rentals Rentals @foundrentals KMK Design Company Vignette Designer @kmkdesignco La Tavola Fine Linen Linen Rentals @latovolalinen Lemonee on the Hills Gratitude Journals@lemoneeonthehills Nicole Ha Designs Florals @nicolehadesign Paper Heart Patisserie Dessert@paperheartpatisserie Poppy & Oak Vignette Designer @poppyandoakgoods Sacramento City Signs Sign Fabrication @sacramento_city_signs Standard Party Rentals Furniture Rentals@standardpartyrentals Swoonable Rentals @swoonable Tan Weddings and Events Vignette Designer @tanweddingsandevents Tres Fabu Events Cabana Designer @tresfabuevents With Grace & Love Events Vignette Designer @withgraceandloveevents
DINNER// Function45 DJ Lighting @function45dj Celebrations Party Rentals Chair Rentals @cprandtents Dixon Florist Florals @dixonflorist La Tavola Fine Linen Linen Rentals@latovolalinen Theoni Collection Table Settings & Decor @theonicollection
OTHER// 5 Star Limo Transportation www.fivestarls.com Ashley Baumgartner Calligrapher@ashbaumgartner Blackfield Media Videographer @blackfieldmedia Chris Howard Photography Photographer @chrishowardimagery Creative Excursion Glamping Tents @creativeexcursion Crystal Lynn Photographer @crystallynnphotography Giggle and Riot Photobooth@giggleandriot Hannah Muller (Full Belly Farms) Photobooth Backdrop @farmerhands


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