January Round Up

As it already been a month!? I feel like it was last weekend that Chris and I were making our way through Scottsdale for our little New Year’s adventure. This month has been a busy one. Besides heading to Arizona for the beginning of the month, I also took advantage of the long weekend and went home to Connecticut. Sometimes you need some good girl time and that was exactly what MLK weekend was about for me. I love living in California but when I get to go home, I definitely love being able to be myself with the people who have known me the longest. My girlfriends even threw me a early 30th birthday party. 

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Besides spending the weekend with my nearest and dearest, the weekend home also made me super appreciate some of my newest skin care items I got over the holidays. I am loving these Mary Kay TimeWise products, and so has my skin.

As far as work goes, I am still pretty new in my job and my limits have been being tested every day. But I am getting more and more comfortable and my sales have definitely been showing it which is awesome. It is so crazy to think that just a year ago I was struggling to be happy in my job and now, I am doing something completely different, and doing well at it. It was a year ago this past weekend that Chris and I headed to Las Vegas for a weekend getaway and I decided it was time for a change.

It is so crazy to see how far I have come in a year. Looking back on the year and the growth I have had personally and professionally it is a huge motivation to keep moving forward and growing.

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How to Look & Feel Fresh After a Weekend of Traveling

I am just getting back from a crazy 60 hours on the east coast where I was go go go. Last Friday after work, Chris dropped me off at the airport where I flew home to visit my friends and family in Connecticut. I haven’t been home in a full year and was in desperate need of some friend time, and cousin time. Lucky for me, everyone was able to get together and spend the weekend together. Saturday some of my bridesmaids and I were able to go and have them look at dresses for our wedding next year. And after that they threw me a little fake birthday party since I won’t be around at the end of February during my actual birthday.

Sunday most of my family members were able to get together for some lunch and wine at my mom’s house. Last year I had three cousins who had babies and I was itching to see how these little guys grew in the past year. And they did not disappoint! The little munchkins are so cute. And neither did the food. When I tell you we went through five loaves of large stuffed breads, I am not exaggerating. I don’t even know where you can get stuffed breads in Orange County. Italian food in Connecticut is no joke kids!

I headed back to the airport around noon on Monday but I was still able to stop by a girlfriend’s house to see her new born and stop by another bridal shop to scour for a dress my sister fell in love with a few months ago, and now we cannot find. So once I got in the car to head back to the airport, I finally sat down for a minute and realized that was the first time I had slowed down since getting on the plane Friday night.

I instantly felt the bags under my eyes growing and the pimples on my face getting bigger and bigger. I landed in Los Angeles at 8pm and had to be at work just 12 hours later and I knew I needed to get my face and my schedule back on track.

Sleep on Red Eye Flights

I don’t think I have ever flow from west to east on anything but a red eye. Lucky for me there are tons of options from LA, Orange County and Burbank for red eyes into JFK. When I get on the plane I usually do a little work and make sure I get to bed. If I need a little extra push to falling asleep I make sure I dim my TV screen in front of me, ask for some hot water and steep a small cup of green tea with mint. This is my favorite tea to fall asleep to. That way when I land at JFK at 5:30 in the morning I can pound a cup of coffee and I am usually good for most of the day. This time around, my friends and I didn’t get home from the bar until 2 in the morning and somehow I went the whole day with just a 20 minute power nap.
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Drink tons of Water

I always try to skip the coffee while I am actually on the plane. Instead I opt for tons of water to keep myself hydrated and my circulation up. And I don’t think I have ever had alcohol on a plane. It just seems a little counterproductive to have a drink and then need to have water to stay hydrated for that long. As soon as I feel my fingers starting to plump up and my feet tingling I always ask for extra water bottles.

A Strong Face Mask Once I am Home

The second I get in the door I head to the shower, wash my hair from the nasty plane air and give myself a deep cleans with my Mary Kay TimeWise Microdermabrasion Set. I have been even using a facial brush with it to make sure to really clean out my pores. I have been using this since November and have been in love with the results. I feel like my face never feels too dry, even though it is a stronger facial cleanser, but it still feels clean at the end of the day. At the end of my shower I make sure to use the pore minimizer lotion, and even in the dry winter, that has been enough to keep my face hydrated.

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CC Cream for the Morning

And in the morning when lack of sleep is still showing and there isn’t enough coffee to perk me up, the Mary Kay CCCream is the perfect hideaway. This is the first CCCream that I have tried and I don’t know if I am going to actually move on to any others. It is so light and wears so well throughout the day that I barely even use a powder on top. I am not a big face make up person, but in the winter, with my iridescent skin, I need something to bring a little life to my face and this CCCream has been the perfect find. It doesn’t go on cakey like other foundations and concealers but it stays throughout the day without making me break out. So far, this get 5 stars!

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Irish Mule

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I am obsessed with anything that means I have to buy a new glass or cute plate. When Moscow Mules became the new thing, I wanted to like them so bad. The little copper cups were the cutest things I’ve ever seen. But I just really don’t enjoy vodka all that much. I guess I had one too many rough nights in my early twenties with the stuff. But last year when Chris started making Irish Mules, I fell in love!

Throughout the fall Chris and I would have these a few times a week. They’re so yummy and the fresh lime makes it such a refreshing drink. And best part: we get to drink them out of these cute little copper mugs. Bar ware is my weakness.

The recipe is super simple and only requires three ingredients. But you definitely need to find a good ginger beer that you like because cheap ginger beer can definitely ruin the whole drink. We usually use Seagram’s. Next time you are in the mood for something refreshing, make one of these… super yummy.

Ice (in a copper mug.. eee)

1 ½ oz Jameson whiskey

½ lime, juiced and dropped in for garnish

Fill with Seagram’s ginger beer

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Weekend in Scottsdale, AZ

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New Year celebration has looked very different for Chris and I over the past few years. We have rang in the New Year at clubs, at big house parties we have thrown and in the past few years, quietly with a few close friends. This year though, we had no idea what we were going to do. Honestly we wanted to keep it quiet, but take advantage of the long weekend that we were both given from work so we headed on a road trip to Scottsdale.

Where to Stay

Courtyard Scottsdale North

We picked a Courtyard Marriott in North Scottsdale mainly because it was a Marriott and it seemed to be in a nice area. It was a perfect pick. The hotel was right on Scottsdale Rd. and just down the street from pretty much everywhere we went. And on New Year’s Eve we were just a $20 Lyft ride from all of the restaurants and bars.

Where to Eat and Drink

Two Brothers Artisan Brewing

Holy New Year’s Eve dinner! We had an amazing four course dinner with beer pairing and let me tell you, I could not finish any of it. I turned down a whole beer and barely was able to finish my dessert because the amount of amazing food was out of control. My dinner was balsamic glazed Brussel sprouts for an appetizer, delicious mushroom bisque, chimichurri sauce over flank steak and the biggest scoop of ice cream ontop a peanut butter cookie and huge brownie. Amazing. Chris completely skipped the soup and we both just picked at our dessert. Each course was paired with a beer. My favorite was the Eible’s Weiss… their Weiss beer. YUM!

Gordon Biersch Brewing Company

We have two Gordon Biersch in the LA area but we haven’t been to one yet so when Chris noticed there was one just up the street from our hotel I knew that was going to be one of our stops. We ate lunch here on New Year’s Day. We both got much needed oversized salad but we started off with bratwursts sliders that were absolutely amazing and the perfect size.

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Postino

After walking through Scottsdale Quarter and Kierland Commons all day Sunday, and running in and out of stores, hiding from the rain, we worked up quite the appetite for a little happy hour and we stumbled upon Postino. A cute little wine bar, with a super small food menu, but we were totally happy with what we chose. Postino has a pretty big bruschetta menu on top of gluten free bread and, well… yum! My favorite was a tossup between the brie and the mozzarella.

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Diego Pops

Nine years ago I went to Tuscan with my best friend and I was introduced to my first prickly pear margarita. I always am keeping my eyes open for the same drink on menus, and I’ve even looked at the grocery store for actual fruit, but nothing. So when I saw a prickly pear margarita on the menu I knew I needed to have it. It was absolutely amazing and a perfect pairing to their cod taco and shrimp tacos. I am a sucker for seafood tacos and Diego Pops did not disappoint. Oh and their salsa was pretty good too.

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What to Do

Scottsdale Quarter and Kierland Commons

Holy cuteness. These two outdoor shopping areas straddle Scottsdale Road have a ton of great shops of all sizes and fantastic restaurants. We spent a lot of New Year’s Day strolling in and out of home goods and furniture stores, and stopping into Postino for wine and bruschetta. I’m not sure which we enjoyed more. The stores or the wine.

Desert Botanical Garden

New Year’s Eve we didn’t have any plans and were kind of going to wing it, but with the weather taking a turn, and being the grandma and grandpa that we are, we thought it would be cool to stop by the Desert Botanical Garden and see their Las Noches de Las Luminarias. It was a really cool showcase of the botanical garden at night, light up by thousands of candles, with a dozen different performances of local artists and musicians. I wasn’t super excited for this, but by the time 9 o’clock came around I was sad we had to leave. It was such a cool experience and a beautiful presentation of art and music. There were Spanish guitar players and flamenco dancers, Native American storytellers, and a violinist that look like he has had been around the world with nothing but his violin case. It was beautiful. Skip the wine tastings… not the best, but defiantly something to check out next holiday season.

Chaparral Park

This was one of our first stops when we woke up in Scottsdale on New Year’s Eve and it has amazing views of Camelback Mountain. This cute area of Scottsdale was full of families, couples, power walkers and their puppies. I was super excited we were able to stop here and snap a few pictures before we set off exploring the city. The views of the Mountain were absolutely stunning.dsc01467

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We’ve always talked about doing spring training in Scottsdale one year, and this trip just made me more excited for when we finally have the time one March to watch baseball and drink beers in the desert. This was a much needed getaway that was just long enough to take us

Weekend in Pismo Beach

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Way back, what feels like 3 centuries ago, in early November, we spent the weekend up in Pismo Beach, California. It’s a small beach town along the central coast. The central coast is super near and dear to both of our hearts, and I don’t really know if I can put into words why. For Chris, the central coast is somewhere his family went every summer as he was growing up. For me, there is this nostalgic feeling I get every time I travel north of Santa Barbara. The little towns are just so quaint and they make me want to just sit at a coffee shop, not think about any worries and read a good book.

This trip was a little like that. When we head up north we definitely make sure to stop at a few of our favorite spots. I figured I’d take the time to tell you guys all about some of my top places to visit when I am in the Pismo Beach area.

Where to Stay

Pismo Beach Lighthouse Suites

When we head up to Pismo we usually go with Chris’s family. So with his parents, us, and his two sisters, that is 6 adults who need a hotel rooms. These suites are perfect for us. They come with two bedrooms, one king sized bed and two queens, and best of all: two bathrooms. Yes ladies and gents, two bathrooms is a highlight for any hotel in my book. Especially with four women getting ready. There is also a pretty good complimentary breakfast with great waffles. What I love about staying here is that it is set up high on a cliff, with amazing views of the Pacific, and you can take your coffee and walk down to the beach and head over to the Pismo Beach Pier. And honestly what better way of waking up in the morning besides a walk with coffee on the beach.

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Where to Eat and Drink

Cracked Crab

Definitely you have to put in your name early if you have somewhere to be, but totally worth the wait if you have the night to spend here! We had a show to catch so we couldn’t relax with a drink and appetizer and had to kind of rush through dinner but it was delicious. Chris had their amazing snow crab dinner and I filled up on the Blacked Scallop Carbanara. Both were amazing!

Solvang Copenhagen Sausage Garden

For the past few years when we go to Solvang we have noticed the Solvang Copenhagen Sausage Garden right along Copenhagen Drive but have never stopped. It looks like a cute little bier garden in Europe. We split a bratwurst and it was the perfect size to tie us over before our dinner. And of coarse, we had to have some beer while we were there.

Dos Carlitos

For dinner we ended up in the cute little town of San Yanez at Dos Carlitos, a little Mexican restaurant. Their margaritas were amazing and I loved their wine selection. Their portions were huge, so everyone had plenty of food to bring home for lunch the next day.

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What to Do

Pismo Beach Pier

This year was the first time I took the walk from our hotel, along the beach to the Pismo Pier. It was a perfect morning. I loved getting a cup of coffee at the end of our buffet breakfast and walking down the beach to the pier where we were able to walk in and out of all of the little stores and check out all of the “PISMO BEACH CA” sweatshirts that tourists pick up.

Avila Beach Barn

This is probably my favorite part of the entire trip. I love any type of farmers market, and when you throw one inside of a barn, yes please! Not to mention this place has some of the best Mexican corn I’ve had. It was so spicy I thought my lips were going to fall off. The Avila Beach Barn has farm animals, amazing baked goods, and a corn maze that took us 20 minutes to get out of. Every time we leave the barn we leave with bags full of fresh fruits and vegetables and we even allow ourselves to get one or two snacks.

Avila Beach Pier

This last trip we didn’t head over to Avila Beach Pier, but it is definitely one of my favorite places to go while visiting the central coast. Remember that pier in the TV show the OC? That is what it totally reminds me of. Such a cute place to stop and take a little swing on their huge swing set.

dsc01290 dsc01265  dsc01189dsc01223 dsc01200 Going to the central coast is one of the things I look forward to the most during the fall, but really there is no time of year that the central coast is bad. I’ve gone in the winter and you just need a few extra layers to bundle up. The summer, is obviously beautiful with the beach towns and perfect weather. And the fall.. well need I say more?