Friday, May 23, 2014

Family Vacation: Day Trip to San Diego

On Wednesday we drove down to San Diego and spent the afternoon having lunch and shopping before heading to the beach. 

We had lunch at Puesto at the Headquarters in San Diego. We each ordered 3 street tacos for $11 from the menu and we sat outside under giant orange umbrellas. 

Afterwards we toured the seaside village. If you eat at a restaurant or purchase gifts at the village your parking is only $3 for 2 hours instead of the higher rate. Just be sure to ask the cashier for validation when you pay. 

Me and my mama!

My aunt and me

Even though you can't tell from this picture, 
I witnessed a public proposal while walking through the park!

These little kids were taking surfing lessons after school. Brave souls, that water was freezing!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Family Vacation: Laguna Beach and Balboa Island

Laguna Beach

We played tourists on Tuesday and walked around, Balboa Island and Laguna Beach.  I had been to Laguna Beach before when I was in high school, but I loved being there again. Even if the weather was cold (60 degrees) and windy.  

I was watching for the waves

And then I was soaked anyway

Our favorite store in Laguna Beach was Tuvalu: a cute home decor store with great ideas for wedding and housewarming gifts. We however, only bought things for ourselves ;)

Newport Beach Marina

After grabbing lunch at a Market/Deli in Balboa we picked up a Duffy boat to tour around the marina.  We rented our Duffy from this rental place and had 2 hours to drive the boat around the marina.  They were very prompt, we even showed up early and they had us on the boat in minutes, it was pre-season though .

Ryan, gave us the quick run through of how to turn on the boat, and where we could and couldn't drive the boat. We may have been turned around for a little bit, but that wasn't Ryan's fault ;)

Me and my uncle on the Duffy Boat

My aunt and mom

My cousin Ashley and her fiancé Richard

With the wind being so strong we thought the Duffy boat would be a bust, but luckily they have plastic "walls" we zipped up.

We found some great houses, when we win the lotto we're ready to go!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Family Vacation: Newport Beach, California

What a vacation! After 7 work events in April, I packed my bags for a week in California with my mom's side of the family. My aunt and uncle have a timeshare with Marriott and we stayed at the Marriott Newport Coast Villas, in Newport Beach.  The resort was B-E-A-utiful!

On our first day there, my aunt, uncle and I went to the public golf course for my first 9 holes on a golf course. Truthfully, I had never even taken a lesson before so I was beyond nervous that I would be awful. However, after the first 3 holes I finally remembered to keep my shoulders down when I swung and I started doing pretty well. 

Me and my Aunt Cathy

The view from the course wasn't too bad either, especially for it being a public course. 

Thursday was the only day of the trip when the weather was warm and the sun was shining.  So this became our relax by the pool day. 

The resort has a main pool area, with 3 pools and 2 hot tubs.  Outside by the pool there are two ping pong tables and two pool tables, and a giant checker/chess board for anyone to use. There is also a teen room with arcade games and a movie theater with movies playing throughout the day.

There are two other pools on the outermost edges of the resort for all the people who are staying in buildings away from the main pool. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Paper Pinwheels

Hey everyone! I'm so excited for warm weater, especially since we just had a crazy mid-May snowstorm in Denver.  And not just a sprinkling of snow, almost a foot of heavy wet snow that broke tree branches.

So while it was snowing, I was crafting paper pinwheels and dreaming of summer.  Believe it or not I don't remember making paper pinwheels before, and I had to look up a few blogs with directions. Lucky for me they are easy to make. 

What You Need: 
Cardstock paper with designs on both sides
Hole Punch
Wooden Dowels
Washi Tape


I used 12 inch, 10 inch, 9 inch and 8 inch square papers  to see how much the sizes changed.  The 12" pinwheel was a bit big, I recommend smaller ones. 

You can either fold the square in half both directions, or use a ruler to mark the middle of the paper

Using your folded or drown lines, cut from each corner of the paper halfway to the middle.

Then hole punch every other corner of the paper. Pull each hole punched corner to the middle of the paper and put a brad through the four corners. 

Push the brad through the cross mark in the middle of the paper and push the metal tabs out to hold in place.

Wrap washi tape on the wooden dowels and hot glue one on to the back of each pinwheel.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Co-worker Thank You Gifts

Since I have the most amazing co-workers in the world, and they helped me sooo much with my events in April, I wanted to do something small to tell them how much I appreciate all their hard work.

I came across something similar to this on Pinterest and loved how simple they were. After grabbing hand sanitizer at Bath and Body Works, I picked up some cute gift tags at Michaels.  I wrote 'small card. BIG thanks.' on each card and signed my name. Simple and small, but a meaningful thank you.

This would be easy to do with travel size lotions, a pack of pens, candy bars etc... Have fun with with and let me know what great ideas you come up with!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Easy Mother's Day Gift Idea

Happy Mother's Day to all the amazing mom's out there! If you're anything like my mom, you are always putting your family's needs before your own, and you often don't get a thank you for it.  (Mom, thank you for always being there for me, I am so lucky to have you.) Now I've said it publicly ;)

My mom doesn't ask for anything for Mother's Day, which has been nice when I've been a broke college kid.  This year, I saw this idea on Pinterest and I knew it was the perfect gift for my mom who doesn't need traditional gifts.

I printed off this great gift tag from Capital B, and attached it to paper plates, in two sizes, and plastic cups from the grocery store.  Sky over at capital B also created another version of this printable in multiple colors in case you like those better.

This gift will definitely be used on a long day after work, or when company comes over for a BBQ this summer.

Braised Chicken

I found this jar of Chicken Fricassee Braising Base in my parent's kitchen cabinet and decided I should use it to make dinner for the family. It was about $12 from Williams-Sonoma. 

Directions were easy and it could be used to cook in a crock pot or in a dutch oven.  

Just brown chicken in a skillet or in the dutch oven, add the sauce and cook in the oven for 50 minutes. Then add asparagus and peas for ten more minutes. 

An easy recipe for week night dinners, and Williams-Sonoma has braising bases in a variety of flavors. This will definitely become a pantry staple for easy chicken dinners.