Thursday, April 30, 2015

{ May Printable Calendar }

(to print-just click on the image.right click to save to your the file and print!)

May's free printable calendar is here!

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

{ Your Guide: Villa Blanca in Beverly Hills }

You want to know a great place to stop for a delicious bite to eat?

Villa Blanca located in Beverly Hills!
Yum Yum Yum! So many great options. (Even at a reasonable price!)
Yes. Villa Blanca is owned by Lisa Vanderpump from the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. You may have even seen the restaurant featured on the show a time or two. If you go, be sure and keep your eyes out! I personally have seen Pandora several times and Scheana was our waitress once.

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I cannot tell you how much my mom and I enjoy coming here! Whenever we are out on the town we HAVE to come to Villa Blanca. The food is beyond amazing and so is the service. The lunch menu feature this lovely pizza, an assortment of pastas and salads, and don't forget THE BEST burger you will ever eat! I am not kidding... You have to try it! Dinner is simply and elegantly accompanied by a gentle candlelight placed on each table... highlighting the beautiful yet comfortable decor of the restaurant. Casual elegance... You gotta love it!

No need to worry too much about a strict dress code. I would say as long as you aren't covered in dirt or something you should be fine. Now I am aware that we do often go at off times, but generally I have to say there is never a wait to be seated. Always a plus in my book!

After reading this anyone else as hungry as I am? I wish I was there as we speak! Hope you are having a great Tuesday!

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Friday, April 17, 2015

{ Your Guide: Grand Central Market }

Happy Friday! While reflecting on last week's spring break fun, I wanted to share with you my guide to Southern California. My mom and I went on one of our much needed LA trips on Saturday and had a blast! Now an LA day for us does not just mean LA... It can also include Beverly Hills, Malibu, etc. depending on what we are in the mood for. Whenever I find a fun new hangout I want to be sure and let you know... and I thought this would be the perfect way to do so!

To start off this new series I will begin with Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles.

We actually just discovered this hidden gem on Saturday and can't wait to go back! Definitely a new favorite! Grand Central Market opened in 1917 and has not stopped pleasing the community since. They serve a variety of bakery items, fresh juices, spices, Asian cuisines, cheeses, ice cream, flowers... The list goes on and on! You can also park in the parking structure conveniently located right next door.

When we arrived we did a loop around the whole building to check out our options and decided to stop at Valerie for breakfast and coffee.

After enjoying a leisurely breakfast, (they have THE BEST french toast and homemade jam), sitting side-by-side at the counter lined with retro red stools, we wanted to go and grab a few juices at Press Brothers Juicery, a stand we had passed when we made our initial walk through.

Holy Smokes! I fell in love the minute I opened mine (Liquid Gold) and smelt it! The perfect sweet scent of mint and pineapple filled my lungs. Delicious! How could this even be real?! I of course then had to proceed to taste my moms and had just the same reaction. So incredibly fresh and natural! After ordering our drinks we realized just how much time we had spent chatting and relaxing, and knew that we must move on to our next destination... The Jewelry District in DTLA which will be explained in the next Your Guide post!

Our day was so much fun! I hope that you will enjoy these new posts, and that they will give you some fun spots to check out. What are your plans for this weekend?

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

{ A Day At Disney: Part 3 }

Disney after dark!

I always think that Disney is even more magical after dark! I like to save a spot on Main Street and watch the second show of the Soundsational Parade at 6:30pm. After, we can go on a few more rides like Astro Blasters and Pirates of the Caribbean. I have to go off on a quick (hopefully) Astro Blasters tangent... Stay with me. I love this game/ride! Very fun and interactive. Great for crowded days because the line is always less  than 20 minutes. Believe it or not, I am actually GOOD at this game as well! That always helps! I managed to max-out the game with a point total of over 999,999 one time, but have never been able to do so since. How did I manage to do that? I have NO IDEA! Luck honestly... and a very sore hand afterwards! There are however a few secrets that I can share with you that can add some serious points to your score.

First off. Try out your gun on the wall when your cart first starts to move. This way you will be able to get a feel for the position of your laser and adjust accordingly. 

Next, only try and hit diamonds (second highest points) and triangles (highest point value). Don't even waste your time on the circles and squares. Unless you really want to. Remember it's ok to be picky!

Secondly, try and sit on the left side of the cart. The right side will make it much more difficult to get the same amount of points.

Lastly (the best secret of all), Zurg has a hidden target located in the middle of his chest. It is worth 50,000 points! It may be hard to find but it is worth it.

Now if you can't find the hidden target or the triangles or too hard to reach, that's ok! My tip to you... Just keep shooting! Don't you dare stop! For every 6 shots (without even hitting a target) you will receive 100 free points! Look at that! Everyone can be a winner! Let me know if any of these tips were helpful for improving your score. 

Now on to dinner options. My family has always loved going to Redd Rockett's Pizza Port located next to Space Mountain. They serve a variety of pizza, pasta and salad. Delicious and good for the whole family! While we love going here (also a fabulous secret place to watch the fireworks show) we recently found another favorite stop for dinner. The Plaza Inn at the end of Main Street, on the corner of Tomorrowland's main hub entrance. They have a wonderful variety of comfort food for everyone to enjoy. Our go-to is the Chicken dinner which comes with 3 large pieces of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans and a biscuit. We are a family of four and can split this meal feeling stuffed afterwards. At only $16 it is a great value!

Thanks for having a Disney day with me!

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

{ A Day At Disney: Part 2 }

On the last post I discussed delicious breakfast options with you that are sure to start your morning off on the right foot... Guess what today is? Afternoon activities!

California is known for its great weather, but during the afternoon (especially during the summer months) you may need a break from the sunny skies to cool off indoors. So what do you do? Shows are a great activity during the afternoon. Grab some lunch and watch a nearby show. The Enchanted Tiki Room is a fabulous option! Make sure and grab a Dole Whip while your at it!

You can also watch a show at the Golden Horseshoe. Hilarious and interactive! Sit close to the front and you too may become apart of the show! All sorts of ice cream floats and sundaes available as well.

If you aren't in the mood for a show or don't mind the weather, you can always grab a treat at one of the many food carts located all across Disneyland. I recently discovered that Toontown also serves some delicious treats such as individual pizzas, frozen yogurt and slushies!

I do have a favorite that hasn't been mentioned yet... 

Village Haus in Fantasyland. My brother and I love to go there and take a quick break from running around the park to enjoy their burgers and fries. Yummm! Hits the spot!

Next up on the series... Disney after dark!

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Friday, April 3, 2015

{ A Day At Disney: Part 1 }

Wahoo! A Disneyland day in review! It gets me excited just thinking about it! Tuesday night my family and I enjoyed a quick trip to Disneyland. It was crowded because of  spring break crowds but we didn't mind. We got a chance to do some different activities, such as going to see the goats (new babies included, so cute!) the train and watching the Soundsational Parade... lots of fun!

So at first I was thinking about posting a list of Disneyland secrets... Then I got to thinking that there are a TON of those available already. What was something a little bit different that I could share with you? Well, I decided to share what a typical day at Disneyland looks like for us. Some of our go-to restaurants and rides, as well as some tips (and maybe even some secrets included as well). I began writing this post and it seemed as though it would never end! So I am going to break up this post across a couple of days in order to make it less daunting for you to read through.

Generally our favorite day of the week to visit Disney is on Sunday. Of course if we know that both my brother and I are available on a Tuesday before my dad's next chemo, that is a great day to go as well. (Weekdays are usually a bit less crowed). So let's say we go on a Sunday... We will either go in the morning from the time they open to about noon, or we will choose to go in the evening, about 5 and stay till 10. 

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For the morning trip I unfortunately can't tell you much about breakfast ideas (since we live so close to Disneyland, we just eat before we leave the house). I can however tell you a few ideas based on recommendations I have heard around the block. Everyone should be plenty familiar with a little company known as Starbucks... (If not, you really need to run and find one... fast!) Yummm! They have two locations to choose from. One on Buena Vista Street in California Adventure (which is a lot bigger and less crowded) and one in on Main Street in Disneyland itself. You could also check out The Carnation CafĂ© for a great variety of options. Jolly Holiday Bakery for what else? Delicious bakery items of course! Last but not least the River Belle Terrace, which offers Mickey Mouse Pancakes.

One note about stopping for breakfast that you may want to consider... Early morning is the BEST time to go on rides! If there are a few of the "bigger" or more crowded rides that you are wanting to ride, I would definitely recommend going on those first. You could always go on a few rides and then enjoy a later breakfast when lines become a bit longer.

Hope that helped! Be sure and stay tuned for more Disney to come!

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