Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cherry on Top!

There are so many blog awards floating around out there that it can get overwhelming (not to mention repetitive), but the most recent award I received is new to me and I love it!

The creative genius, Denice, of KDC Events was sweet to award me the Cherry on Top Award...pun intended ;)

So here it goes!

List 3 Things You Love About Yourself:
1) I've traveled by myself. Scary at first, but SO liberating!
2) I've rescued two dogs, taking them in when they had nowhere else to go.
3) I am a loyal person. If you treat me right, I'll be your best friend for years!

Post A Picture You Love:

Mayan Ruins - Tulum, Riviera Maya, Mexico

I love this picture not only because is the setting beautiful, it brings back memories of a great trip I took with my parents.

Pass on to 5 other blogs that you just adore!
Chic & Pink
La Dolce Vita
Chicago Girl Gone Mild
Ocean Dreams

These are amazing five blogs with wonderful women behind them. If you aren't yet, get acquainted!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Red, Red Wine!

OK you know you love the UB40 song...if you deny it you're only lying to yourself! ;)

Recently I had the pleasure of visiting local winery town, Temecula, for a little vino consumption with great friends, my college sorority sisters. Although I've lived only an hour from Temecula for over 20 years, this was my first time touring the wineries.

We had SO much fun!

Here's a little recap of the wineries we visited, along with my review of each:

5 tastings for $12

Definitely the most popular, thus the most crowded. They are known for their Almond Champagne which you've probably had before. And if not, head over to BevMo to pick up a bottle because it's delicious! While the winery is huge and has a little something for everyone, there were way too many people so we decided to do our tastings and move on to the next winery.

5 tastings for $10 + a souvenir glass

This was my favorite winery as far as setting and service. The gentleman that helped us was extremely friendly - which always makes for a great experience. It was also the least crowded, which I prefer. It's no fun fighting crowds to get a taste. We decided to eat lunch here, at Carol's Restaurant, the setting is a bit eclectic but the meal was pretty good.

6 tastings for $12 + a souvenir glass

Originally owned and operated by the same man famous for the Callaway golf company, this winery had the most to offer. We started with a free winery tour which was really informational and enjoyable! A few of us even bought wine and my friend joined the wine club. I got the 2008 Special Selection Dolcetto which the label describes as: Aromas of dried cranberry, cherry and touches of light toast. Soft vanilla on the palate with vibrant cherry, red currants, French vanilla and cola.

Fun fact that I learned - wines with more alcohol (reds) have thinner legs that run down the glass faster.

If you live in Southern California, I highly suggest you visit the Temecula wineries. It's a great time to be had by all!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Felt Your Heart Beat Winner!

A big fat congrats goes out to Tara of Fabulous but Evil (a great blog that I regularly check out!) who was randomly selected as the winner of the Felt Your Heart Beat giveaway! She gets the amazing Hoot Hoot earrings and Wind it Up bracelet.

Thanks to all who entered! Remember, to head over to Felt Your Heart Beat and shop around :)

Spring into Old Navy

I'm loving Old Navy's spring dresses. Staple pieces that are reasonably priced and adorable? I'm in! Here are a few of my top picks. I think the last is my favorite. Which one(s) do you like?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

American Tea Room

Last weekend I took my dear friend, Stephanie of Thoughts From Cali, on a Beverly Hills adventure to the American Tea Room. I'm personally not a big tea person. I will drink English Breakfast Black tea but don't like any other flavors like Earl Grey, lavender, etc. Despite my lack of tea expertise, I was really excited to treat Stephanie, as she's a big tea drinker.

We visited American Tea Room for their White Party TEA*VENT. Super cute name, right? During our visit we were able to, in the words of the site, "Taste the rarest of the unprocessed teas." We sampled five white teas and five suggested food pairings. Not only was the food amazingly deliscious, so was the tea! I was surprised that I really liked four out of five white teas, being that tea isn't my thing. Go figure I'd like white tea since it's harder to find and more expensive!

Here are the teas we sampled:

Ancient Moonlight
Darjeeling Blanc (my fav!)
Silver Needles
Jasmine Silver Needles

I was also quite pleased with the shop itself. There was SO much tea to choose from, and so many tea accessories. The shop owners were knowledgeable but not overbearing. Upon arriving, we selected a private table, were introduced to the tea and food, then left to taste on our own at our own pace. Of course, the staff was nearby to answer any questions that we had.

Overall, I highly suggest you visit American Tea Room if you are in the Beverly Hills/LA area. The TEA*VENTS are can get a bit pricey, ranging from $30-50) but it's well worth the experience. Plus you receive a tea tasting cup to take home and a store coupon.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Felt Your Heart Beat Giveaway!

Last month I blogged about an adorable necklace called Three Little Owls that I came across in the Etsy shop of Felt Your Heart Beat. Everybody loved the piece so much that I reached out to shop owner, Nayana, about doing a giveaway and she (obviously) said yes!

That means one of my readers gets a chance to win not one, but two, rad items from her amazing shop!

Before we get to the goods, I'd like to give you insight into Nayana. Although we've only communicated through e-mail, I can tell she's the type of spunky girl that you just naturally want to be friends with. I mean, c'mon, check out her pic. How fun is that?!

When did you create your shop and what motivated you to do it?
I opened my Etsy shop in December of 2009. My friend, who comes from a fashion background, gave me a serious reality check after taking a look at my blog and the initial work I had done. He was adamant I also set up a Twitter, an Etsy, and everything else you can name under the sun, in order to better establish the presence of my work. At first I was upset, no one had ever given it to me straight in such a way before. But after reflecting on everything he said I realized he was right. The next day I started on my Etsy and opened up shop with ten items. It was the best thing I have ever done and continue to work on.

Where do you get inspiration for the items you make?
People and personalities are my sole inspiration. Whenever I meet someone new, I love to observe their gestures, their movements, and hear their voice. I keep this to myself so I don't come off as too strange, but I am usually accessorizing people in my mind. My favourite inspiration is a woman I work with everyday. She has gorgeous blunt cut white hair and she has a very unique style. I constantly come up with new ideas while thinking about what colours and shapes would flatter her look. If I've met you before, odds are one of my designs are inspired by you.

Why should every woman accessorize?
Because it's way too much fun not to.

Here's what one lucky winner will receive, a Wind it Up bracelet and Hoot Hoot earring (since the Three Little Owls were such a hit with you all).

To enter you must be a GFC follower of Join the Gossip AND visit Felt Your Heart Beat, pick your favorite item and let me know. If you already follow let me know so you can be entered.

For additional entries you can do any of the following:
#Giveaway over @jointhegossip! Win two awesome jewelry pieces from @feltyourheart:

That's a total of six possible entries.

Contest open to everyone, everywhere! Winner will be announced on Monday, March 28 at 1pm PST. Good luck to all!

Photos courtesy of: Felt Your Heart Beat

San Francisco: Day Three

Golden Gate Bridge. No explaination necessary, except that it was freezing and windy I was literally wearing four layers - one of which was a snow jacket. In all honesty, I think it was in the 50s, which really isn't cold to most., but freezing to this Southern California girl. Due to that I look like poo in all of my pics, so I threw in a few of my hipstamatic shots.

If you continue across the bridge and vere up to the left you'll find yourself with another amazing view, this time from the Marin Headlands. The scene from the angle provided at the top of the headlands is breathtaking. Even more amazing is if you turn 180 degrees you have a view of trees and rolling hills. It's incredible how close it is to the ocean.

Come back tomorrow, I'll have a giveaway for you all!

P.S. Happy St. Patrick's Day! As an Irish Catholic, it's much more than a drinking holiday for me...although it's a great bonus! Today I'm rocking these awesome Vans. Looks at the adorable clovers! You can't see, but the tags on the side and back are Irish flags. Super cute.

Photo courtesy of: Kaboodle

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

San Francisco: Day Two, Part Two

Picking up from the previous post, we resume at the Japanese Tea Garden. It's a beautiful little area located within a big city. I'm glad we went, but I have to admit I was expecting a bit more.

Our next stop - Twin Peaks. The view of the city is priceless from this location. You can see for miles. Cold up there, but gorgeous!

To warm up, we got some crapes and warmed up with an espresso. Check out the flaming crepe!

We finished the day up with a classy meal at Radius in SOMA (good enough food, modern atmosphere, high prices, OK experience) and drinks at Rickhouse (super cool atmosphere with a throwback to times past, live classic rock music, moderate prices, lots of fun!).

I'll do another post tomorrow featuring my trip to the Golden Gate Bridge!

Monday, March 14, 2011

San Francisco: Day Two, Part One

In addition to getting to meet the fabulous Claire while up north (see post below for more details), I also had an incredible time exploring San Francisco! Although I am only an hour plane ride from SF, this was only my third time visiting and my first staying in the actual city.

My former co-worker, Michele, turned amazing friend, hosted me for a few days and we really made the most out of my time. To kick it all off we went to Haight-Ashbury to look around, do some vintage shopping, and have breakfast at Pork Store Cafe. It was a great morning and we had a blast.

I highly recommend Pork Store Cafe if you're in the area. They don't take names, you just get in line and wait to be seated in the tiny, casual joint. Once inside you notice that the menu is anything but small. I went crazy after finding that they have veggie biscuits and gravy! Since giving up meat, I crave this dish but never eat it. So this was a great surprise for me!

After a great morning, we were off to Land's End which happens to be San Fran's wildest and rockiest coast. I can easily say this part was my fondest memory of the whole trip. Words cannot even describe how beautiful the location is. Hopefully my pictures do it justice.

Stay tuned for part two tomorrow!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I Got My Claire On!

About a week ago I traveled up to San Francisco and the first thing on my agenda was meeting up with Claire from Bicoastally! We've been sending emails back and forth and visiting each others' blogs for some time now and I adore her. If you haven't visited her blog yet, now is the time. Needless to say, I was super excited when she suggested we meet in Berkley for lunch.

We went to her fav local eatery/brewery called Jupiter located across the street from Cal. Claire had explained that the food was good, but it was even better than I had imagined. Yummy potato pizza (sounds weird but SO good) and delish beer. The atmosphere was unique and rustic - perfect for an outdoor meal. We sat outside among the beautiful trees and barrels of beer.

Even better than Jupiter, the conversation with Claire. She's such an amazing woman! This chick teaches high school students AND prisoners, plus she's contributing to a book that exposes prison injustices. Talk about an activist.

I was thrilled that upon meeting she was so easy to talk to. It honestly felt like we'd known each other for years. So glad we were able to meet up because I feel like I've made a great friend!