Monday, March 19, 2018

Things to do for Spring Break in Sacramento Collab with Blog About It All

Hi all!  Today, I'm doing a collaboration with Jessica Briggs from Blog About it All.  We are sharing ideas for Spring Break!  We have all different ideas so be sure to check out both posts!  Also, Jessica has four boys so her list will be different than mine since only my daughter will be on Spring Break.  My boys already had a break in February.

I met Jessica through blogging, Instagram, and Facebook.  We are both from the Sacramento area so it's been fun to get to know about local mom blogger.  Jessica covers subjects like family life, budgeting, and marriage.   She does super fun stuff with her kids like go on trips and make yummy treats!  I always love seeing what they are doing over there!

As I was saying, this Spring Break is a bit different for us.  My kids have different school schedules since my boys are on year round school and my daughter is not.  My boys already had a long "off track time" so it will just be me and my daughter this Spring Break.  I'm looking forward to it since coming next school year, she will be on the same schedule as the boys.  This will be the last time we get Mommy/Daughter break time so I want it to be special.

First up, some of our tried and true favorites:

1. Imagine Play Elk Grove.  My daughter still loves Imagine Play!  Since we've last gone, they have added a brand new pirate ship.  She'll be so excited to go back to play pirates and mermaids!  Plus, she loves the hourly activities they have for the kids.  We usually bring a lunch and try to get as many hours in as possible.

Photo from Imagine Play of my daughter

2. Mani/Pedi time.  She got her first professional nail painting a couple weeks ago but she hasn't gotten a pedicure yet.  I'm not sure what all the pedicure entails for a kid but I think she'll get a big kick out of it!

3. Tuesday Discount Movies.  We love seeing movies but they are so expensive to see in the theater.  Luckily, many theaters around us have special discounts on Tuesday.  You can usually see a movie for $5 or $6 per ticket.

4.  Color Me Mine.  We've only been here once together.  Avery loves to paint so we definitely need to go back again.  The first time, she painted a plate and it had to have a self portrait on it since it was for the multicultural festival.  When we go next time, I'll get her pick her own piece and go to town.

5. Folsom Zoo Sanctuary.  This sanctuary is a cute little zoo where they have animals that would not survive in the wild due to health reasons.  They have chickens and peacocks that roam around freely.  They have a raccoon exhibit.  It's just a fun and quirky little place to hang out.  They also have a park next to the zoo where you can picnic and play at the playground.

Things we've never tried but really want to:

6. Art Beast.  This is a studio with different rooms where children can explore art.  This is gear from children under 6.  They have both indoor and outdoor areas.  They also have drop in classes where an instructor will lead the children in either music, art, or sometimes both at the same time.

7. Afternoon tea.  We've never been to a real tea house and gotten high tea.  I think my little girly girl would love to get dressed up and have a nice tea with little finger sandwiches and desserts.

8. Jelly Belly Factory.  None of the kids have been to here.  Hubby and I went once while we were dating.  They have a tour and you even get a free small bag of jelly beans on the tour.  It's fun to see all the candy and hear how it's made.

9. Daffodil Hill.  This is a ranch where there are up to 300,000 daffodils in bloom in the spring.  It's in a mountain setting and there are even animals on the ranch to see.  This year, due to odd weather conditions, I'm not sure it will be open for us to see during spring break.

10. Ice Cream.  My daughter's favorite thing in the world is ice cream!  There are so many local shops that we haven't been to yet so exploring some of those would be so fun.  Some places we have not been are Vic's, Gunther's (though we've had Gunther's ice cream at other places), and Sweet Puffs.

What will you be doing for Spring Break?  Do you have any fun ideas for us?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

Here is a direct link to Jessica's post.

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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!

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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

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