Grown Up Minnie

I've grown up with Minnie Mouse my whole life- but I only remember the cheeky, juvenile character. Even at my age, I love the polka dots and bows and Minnie was the first to wear those before they became a trend. Below are some of my favorites Disney has made. Grown women no need to fear looking silly in Disney shirts. These look good in and out of the park. Hover over the items to take you to the link. 

Harveys Leopard Bag, Peter Pan Collar Tee, Nail File, Bow Tank, Dotted Doll tee, Minnie Ears, Bow-led Over Tee

This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links help support my family and upkeep my blog. Thanks for the support! 

DogVenture with DogVacay

This post is in partnership with DogVacay

There are times when our parents can’t always watch our dogs, and this is where DogVacay comes in. They make it simple, just like booking a hotel online, but for pets. They make it even easier with an app. Search local pet “hosts”, and book your stay for your pet online. DogVacay includes free pet insurance, customer support for 24/7 and requires a daily photo from your host to know pets are having a safe and fun time. 

As a reward for putting up with us leaving them occasionally, we like to take them on a mini vacation of their own—their favorite spot is the Dog Beach in Huntington Beach—a beach devoted to all kinds of pups. Leashes are “technically” required, but that rule is only enforced for unruly pups. It’s the perfect place they can run, swim, get dirty, and socialize with other dogs. 

Frodo is the type of dog that is happiest anywhere she is, as long as we are around. She’s much more happy socializing with us then the other dogs, but even she can’t resist the atmosphere. Usually by the time we are ready to go home, Merry is all done barking in excitement and running in circles—she sleeps the entire car ride home…and pretty much the rest of the day too.  

Real talk- this is how half my photos looked like. Happy dogs don't pose for blog posts apparently. 

Real talk- this is how half my photos looked like. Happy dogs don't pose for blog posts apparently. 

California- where dog’s life is a beach. Thank you to DogVacay for sponsoring my DogVenture! 

Dressed Up for The ER

I’ve been wanting to do outfit posts for awhile now, but I always believed I had to be skinnier, more charming, more graceful, less awkward, less this, more that. It turned out, I had to be less myself. I was starting to wonder why I wanted to do them. I get a lot of of “where did you get that?” questions, so I figured, okay! Plus when the internet witnessed my complete breakdown this year, there is not much else to hold back. I was even a little skeptical of showing off my legs since I have scars from skateboarding accidents, a Birkenstock tan, and pregnancy gave me varicose veins, or as Ruthie calls them, "nature's typography tattoos". 

Photos of myself are out of my comfort zone so I may as well start with an outfit out of my comfort zone. I normally don't wear color but I love the cut of this dress. As for the ER visit, moments after these photos were taken, I fell and sprained my ankle. It's not broken thankfully, but I was told the damage was bad enough it would take as long as 12 weeks to heal. I wish I could say I was doing an awesome slam dunk during basketball and landed but nope, I was simply walking and my foot got caught on a cement crevice, and I tripped. I guess I won't be posting many outfit posts for awhile but this was fun! 



I wanted to try Plated's service to deliver fresh food to your doorstep with the recipes. All you have to do is cook it! The basics are required like salt, pepper and olive oil. When logged in, you get to choose the date and the recipe, and they offer vegetarian. I chose a beet pita dish, and I can say it's one of the best things I've made, I made sure to save the recipe. It's a spiced deekuh beets with watercress on a greek yogurt with feta on a grilled pita. The photo below is what came with plated, along with the recipe. 

I love Plated and I will use it again for special occasions like when I'm having people over or even when I know I'm going to have a crazy week and eating out isn't an option for me. They offer gourmet recipes but the prices are about $15 a plate, $12 with membership. I thought Plated would be great for a couple like Scott and I but for a large family on a budget, Plated isn't for every day meals- but then I added it up. By the time I go out to a restaurant (not fast food), with tip, pay for gas, it's the same price as going out. If you appreciate fresh food from local food sources for your family, this is a great option. Sign up here

Friday Darlings

Every Friday I have a weekly collection of things I find darling. 

When you already have a broken heart, hearing, reading and watching heart breaking things adds a little bit more to the pressure of trying to hold it together. I think what this week has taught me is I don't think our vulnerability and our kindness is mistaken for weakness. Compassion is the least we could do right now and sometimes it's the toughest thing. Instead of the typical fun links, I'd thought I'd share links that inspired me to be a better person, whether it's opening the door for someone, smiling at a stranger, or donating a favorite dress, I hope these inspire you, too. 

+ Don't Waste a Moment

+ What Bad News Does to Your Heart 

+ It's Okay To Fail

+ Blind Man Teaches Kids to Read

+ Emergency Art Therapy

+ Become an Optimist

+ The Coffee Shop With Homeless Employees

+ I Raise My Hands

Ok, so I can't leave without a pizza link so how's this? Enjoy your weekend and stay safe! <3 

Hello Kitty x Minnetonka

* This post contains partner links. Thanks for the support!

I've seen Minnetonka's on friends for years. They not only love the brand, but they are borderline crazy when it comes their loyalty for the brand. When Sanrio and Minnetonka designed a shoe together, I thought it was time to see what the big deal was. When they arrived, I knew how much I would wear these out but the quality is awesome, and I doubt these will wear out anytime soon. What I love best about the collaboration is how subtle Hello Kitty is on the shoe. The design isn't as loud like other Sanrio collaborations. It still keeps Minnetonka's signature style but it still has the famous Sanrio look. 

Grow Part 2

We have tomatoes! They were planted in spring, along with other veggies and fruits, and they are growing faster than we can eat them. Each day we pick a handful. Thankfully I love tomatoes, and my favorite way to eat them is just plain with some kosher salt and pepper. I'll admit food tastes better when you grow it yourself. Maybe it's the humble brag that gives it that extra flavor. Seriously though, gardening has saved my sanity, the more each plant bears veggie or fruits, the more I can see my heart bearing a little more hope. Yes, this post came with extra cheese apparently. 

Friday Darlings

Every Friday I have a weekly collection of things I find darling.

I still kept taking my prenatals in fear I would lose my hair postpartum and I can see the benefits of them in my hair mostly. As someone who used to do hair, I've seen a million things that could work on the hair, but ultimately, eat your fruits and veggies! I'm also wearing my City Chic bow dress, now on sale! 

I still kept taking my prenatals in fear I would lose my hair postpartum and I can see the benefits of them in my hair mostly. As someone who used to do hair, I've seen a million things that could work on the hair, but ultimately, eat your fruits and veggies! I'm also wearing my City Chic bow dress, now on sale

+ Start your Friday right by listening to this version of Radiohead's Creep. 

+ 25 Books To Read Before You Die according to Powell's Books. My personal goal is to read them all before 2016. I hope I don't die by then. 

+ More books to read- The Inspirational Books That Can Change Your Life. 

+ Sometimes I'll admit I won't workout at all if I've been on my treadmill desk all day, but this article makes me want to kick up my cardio. 

+ Cut back on your house cleaning. 

+ What it's like to be the president of Disneyland 

+ Another perspective of real honest look at the first week as a mother we rarely read. The physical recovery after labor was the hardest of my life and I feel for the new mom. 

+ Loving this girl and her blog

+ Don't let that huge tub of Greek yogurt go to waste

+ Friday night pizza night

Enjoy your weekend! 

Nicely Worn

I have my “nice” outfits and I have my everyday leggings-and-t shirts-outfits. The days I go out and wear my nicer outfits were few and far between. My husband and I work from home. I’ve been at home more wearing faded black leggings than I am wearing a fitted silk dress and red lipstick (also, that’s a terrible combo in retrospect because have you ever tried getting red lipstick out of silk? It’s my white whale of stains). I would walk by my “nice” things- the finer plates in the kitchen cupboard, the designer dresses in the closet, and the fancy makeup in the (unused) vanity. I was jealous of my own things. The things I owned but didn’t wear because I was waiting. And waiting. 

Moments to use our nice things won’t come as often and when they do, they will probably be a little disappointing. Waiting to wear nice heels only to notice they’re not as comfortable or they don’t make you as tall as you thought they would. Or the dinner party you waited for to use the nice plates aren’t as fabulous because guests didn’t comment on your fancy plates or someone drops a salad plate and your set is no longer a set. 

I have so many “nice” things, I rarely wore them in hopes I will look taller, smarter, thinner, more this, less that, but most likely those promises won’t be met. 

I’m tired of waiting for “nice” moments because right now, this minute is when it’s the moment to celebrate, with no expectation. Don’t wait for “date night” for those heels, a job interview for that dress, a party for those plates. Don’t wait for nice moments. Go to that nice restaurant to celebrate a Tuesday, use those fancy plates for the kids mac and cheese and the peanut butter sandwiches for Mondays. Wear that silk dress to do your laundry, or my personal favorite- wear that expensive lipstick to go running. Yeah, it looks ridiculous but so do the plates collecting dust in the cupboard, or the lonely dress hanging in the back of your closet, or that lipstick shoved in the drawer. Don’t let nice collect dust and time. Nice is right now.

Waiting For Nice.jpg

July 2014 Favorites

Let's take a look back at favorites for July.

Favorite Instagram feed is emricchini. For that cliche saying, "There's beauty in the simplicity", Erika is the perfect example of this quote. I like seeing creativity and styled photos in the every day. By now, I would think I"m tired of shots of feet, flowers, selfies, and whatever else Instagram is flooded with but she makes the mundane work for her, which works for me. There's a moody creativity in Erika's photos and I'm happy to share her feed as my favorite. 

Favorite purchase was my Zoku popsicle maker. I'm staying healthy and making my own popsicles beats a pint of ice cream. Although, I'd love the ice cream over the homemade popsicles any day, but I'm just being real here. Those days are long gone and I'm making the most of it. Instead of eating my feelings and feeling the sugar rush cut off, this is a great alternative that doesn't make me feel like I could cut someone from the lack of ice cream in the house. It's easy clean up, easy recipes and it doesn't take up much space. Plus the whole ice cream thing. 

Favorite book is Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. I've mentioned his Virgin Suicides book before as one of the best books I've read. I had low expectations of Middlesex- there is no way Eugenides would beat the wordy affair I had with Virgin Suicides. I'm not DONE with the book and I'm naming it a favorite book for July. I read 6 books in July. This is how amazing and powerful this book is. After reading a few passages, I had to take a moment and catch my breath because I didn't realize I was holding it. I never imagined I'd have my breath taken away by reading, but I have and Middlesex does this to me. And no, it wasn't the lack of ice cream. 

Favorite album was The Voyager by Jenny Lewis. I wish this album came out in the beginning of summer. It's the perfect summer soundtrack. Anything Jenny Lewis does, or anyone from Rilo Kiley, I love. Besides the amazing cover album, and the fact she is Jenny Lewis, this album is relaxing, has angry love ballads but when she put them to her music, it's still magical.

Here's to August 2014! Check out other favorites for this year here

Locals Only; Shutter + Light

I just have to note the irony of this post- I couldn't blog the past couple of weeks because my disk on my laptop was full. I'm writing about an awesome analog camera shop but my digital photos were taking up space...Well, I thought it was funny. 

Shutter + Light is a camera store located in Santa Ana, close to my favorite shops, Mothers Market and Harveys. When I head down there, I like to pop in Todd's camera store and say hello, and see what new stuff they carry. They are the only ones in Orange County that carry Impossible Film, offer tintypes, and will offer to test your Polaroid camera to make sure it works before buying film. How awesome is that? I can't keep track of the amount of time and money wasted in thrift stores and ebay searching for the perfect vintage camera only to discover it doesn't work. This is one of the perks Todd offers in his shop. 

I've actually just found out about tintypes through S+L, and I was curious about what they were. I was there for the process and it was awesome to watch. I saw how careful the process was, sometimes it's hit or miss, but just like film, that's the exciting part of it and I can see why Todd does them. 


"A tintype is a handmade photographic process that was invented in the late 1800’s. It is a chemical based process that allows you to put an image on a piece of tin (we use aluminum). So the image you see on the plate is silver. Since it is a chemical based process each image is unique and one of a kind. If you have the same subject and controlled lighting the image will still look a little different because of the way the chemicals were poured on the plate. It’s a fascinating process...When I say beautiful images I mean that in the way they are unique and one of a kind. Like a lot of hand made products they have their flaws and special qualities. They are not perfect and to me that is what makes them beautiful."

You can see more of Todd's tintypes and book your appointment here. The prices range from $60 to $220.


Visit the store for their vintage cameras, too. I was in awe of the vintage Diana cameras they had. It's a small shop but they have so much! If you're going to Disneyland and are short on film, this is the place to go. 

Shutter + Light on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

189 E. City Place Dr. 
Santa Ana, CA 92705

(714) 617-5374
Shop hours:Tuesday-Saturday: 11am-5pm

Locals Only is a series on blog highlighting Anaheim and surrounding areas in the OC. If you're a small business and would like exposure on this blog, I love supporting local business'. Contact me here. 

Book Review: California

Most dystopian novels have a twist- zombies, or global disease, but this twist from California by Edan Lepucki, I didn't see coming. The writer builds her characters so well, I was getting annoyed with Frida, the main character, as if I really knew Frida in real life. She's stubborn, fearless, and spoiled and I couldn't stop reading. She's pregnant with her first baby and struggling with keeping a healthy marriage and healthy baby when there are limited resources in a fallen world. There is no food, only the food they grow, no antibiotics and even bandaids are hard to come by. The survival story of Frida and her husband Cal is exciting. I can't help but see myself in this book. The way the world Frida and Cal live in is not far off from how we live now. The only difference is coffee is extinct, internet is for the super rich, and eyeliner is described almost like a unicorn, it's never been seen in the last days. How would I live with the post apocalyptic life? It puts you on the edge of your seat, white knuckles you, and all the other cliches to tell you this book is suspenseful. After I finish a book, I normally pick up another one. However, I couldn't concentrate on my new book. I had to give myself a day or two to think about what Lepucki wrote. She wrote a great summer read. It's dark, disturbing, suspenseful, and well written. That's what I loved best about this book. Regardless of how silly the story is (extinct coffee? ha!) Lepucki has a gift for writing that keeps you reading. 

nail polish from the new black in walrus

nail polish from the new black in walrus

Friday Darlings

Every Friday I have a weekly collection of things I find darling. 

A few weeks ago I got this in the mail, from Jess' shop My Charming Colors. She makes these mason jar cozies and they've been perfect for ice cold drinks. They don't "sweat" and look adorable. 

A few weeks ago I got this in the mail, from Jess' shop My Charming Colors. She makes these mason jar cozies and they've been perfect for ice cold drinks. They don't "sweat" and look adorable. 

+ Thanks so much for the nice comments on this photo. There were hundreds of comments but most were curious about the lipstick and the glasses. I'm wearing Stila's Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso and I love LOVE my new glasses from Bonlook designed by Elsie and Emma

+ I've been in the process of getting rid of stuff. Not just clutter in my home, but clutter online and clutter in how I spend my time. This article and this one make me want to de-clutter more. 

+ 7 Harsh Truths They Don't Tell You About Personal Growth

+ Simple Ways to Make Someone's Day

+ Things I want to do- make a habit of being a plant eater more. Habits of Highly Effective Plant Eaters.

+ The trashy part of Disneyland. 

+ What do fireworks during the day look like

+ Amazing before and after home transformation. 

+ A Night at the Museum

+ Where's the cereal emoji though

+ One of my favorite red-headed-red-lip wearing women chimes in on her favorite red lipsticks.

+ Friday night pizza night

+ This instagram post. And this one

Happy Friday! 

YSL Babydoll vs Miss Manga

I'm not a beauty blogger but L'oreal's new mascara, Miss Manga, caught my attention. It reminded me of YSL Babydoll, a mascara I've been using for about 8 months and I'm on my second tube. One is high end while the other is a cheaper drugstore brand, but both mascaras advertise the full-fringe-wide-eyed-cute effect unlike a traditional mascara. I don't have big lashes, or any visible lashes, really and if I could save money on my daily beauty routine, I thought readers would, too. Read on to see how both worked!

YSL Babydoll $30 This is the mascara I would keep buying over and over. It does work on my short lashes and make me look less tired. It's not a miracle product but it works, and for me, it's been worth paying the higher end price for it. I also love the packaging. Just like the brand, the packaging is just as luxurious as the name. It's easy to come off, it has survived light teary nights, but failed during the tougher nights, so if you're going swimming in it, it's not going to hold. The brush is clean, clump free but the more I apply, it becomes thicker without clumping. 

L'oreal Miss Manga $7  I used this mascara on both my lashes and bottom lashes. I don't use mascara on my lower lashes because they smear easily and this mascara doesn't smear, even YSL. It is clumpy if you have too many strokes, it gets that "spider" lash look but I don't mind it because it can be fixed with a good lash brush. Unlike YSL, if you apply it a few times, you just make them thicker. With L'oreal's mascara, it appears to make the lashes look longer with each stroke. The brush bends for flexibility but I didn't see the point of that for my own application. Another bonus? It made my lashes so long, they hit my glasses. 

I like Miss Manga better not just for the price, but it does the job. It's cheap so you can buy one once a month. I try to make YSL last for 3 months. I like YSL but I realized I love the packaging and the name of it more than the actual formula. When I order it from Sephora, I love getting the box, opening it up and savoring the moment of retail therapy. L'oreal is just one quick trip to Target. It has cute packaging but it feels cheap. The packaging is a lighter plastic and the wand is clumpy, it just requires smudging it off a bit on the tube before you apply. The brush is cheap but it works better than YSL, so I'm still wrapping my head around this. Like I said, I'm not a beauty blogger and the only mascara I've used mostly was higher end. I'm happy with L'oreal's Miss Manga over YSL's Babydoll, and I'm open to other drugstore products. 

My Summer Beauty Essentials

This post contains personally recommended affiliate links. Affiliate links help me put a little money back from my blog. Thanks for your support! 

I am so excited to share what items are going to get the most use this summer. 

+ Anastasia Beverly Hills Brush #12 and Dipbrow Pomade- We're past the TMI part of this blog, right? Ok. I sweat. A lot. So much, my eyeliner and eyebrows are gone by the end of the day. Dipbrow has stayed in tact. I've tested this at Disneyland, in the heat, during workouts and many teary nights. I use the brush to apply it to my brows and use it as gel eyeliner. 

+ Nail X Formula in Turbo. This nail polish means business. It's bright, lasts for a long time, and it can be applied with multiple coats to add more color. I've only finished one polish before, and I think I'll be finishing this one, too. 

+ Supergoop Sunscreen Eyecream. Just because I wear glasses and shield my eyes doesn't mean I shouldn't miss that part of my face for sunscreen. It's an anti-aging eye cream without the heavy paragons, sulfates, phthalates, safe for sensitive skin, and has stayed put. So on those days I decide to wear contacts, it doesn't burn my eyes. What I love best is it's surprisingly priced for an anti aging cream that actually works, under $50. 

+ Cover FX Natural Foundation. I recently switched foundations and there's no looking back. This foundation stays put, has less chemicals than the previous one I used, it's water resistant, anti-inflammatory, calms my redness, it's vegan, fragrance-free, and it's so much gentler on my sensitive skin but still covers my rosacea. A little goes a long way, too. It's thick but blends well. 

+ Marc Jacobs Beauty Lip Vinyl Gloss. This is the first lip gloss I've loved, I'll admit. I'll always go for the lipstick before I bother with lip gloss. Long hair and lip gloss are the worst combo, it gets stuck to my lips and rubs off on my face. Marc Jacobs Beauty has developed a lip gloss that avoids that color drag, my lips are in tact and there is no strange wine colored streak across my cheeks. 

+ Davines Vegetarian Miracle Conditioner. There's a reason "miracle" is in the name of this conditioner. A little goes a long way, my favorite part. My long thicker hair sucks up conditioner and it's constantly on my shopping list. This conditioner not only saves me money, but it works. I use it a deep conditioner by adding a cotton hot damp towel wrapped around my hair for a few minutes. I found it for $1 cheaper here

+ Sunscreen Bands. I'm recommending this product hoping the reader already uses sunblock. (My favorite is Alba's brand) When applying sunblock, rub a little on the band, wear it when you're out in the sun and when it's time to re-apply, it'll change colors to remind you. Unless you remember to always apply, these bands aren't needed. I get lost in time and end up with minor sunburns even when I apply sunblock. Plus, I paid $$$$ for my tattoos, I don't want to lose the color simply because I forgot to reapply. This is a great investment not just for your health. 

+ Soapwalla Deodorant Cream. Ok, so this is where things are getting real TMI. I'm totally comfortable in my sweat. However, I'm not comfortable around other people smelling it. This is an aluminum-free, organic, non-animal tested, vegan thick cream applied to your underarms instead of the conventional deodorant stick. Plus the idea of a chemical making you stop sweating completely, something our bodies are meant to do, sounds grosser to me than a smelly person. It's been tested under stress, the sun, heavy workouts, worn with black outfits and it doesn't rub off and you don't have to wait for it to dry unlike other natural deodorants. 

So those are my beauty summer essentials! If there's something I missed you can't live without, email me and let me know. I'd love to try it out. 

Friday Darlings

Every Friday I have a weekly collection of things I find darling. 

I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday. Here are some Disneyland fireworks from the other night. I was so close, I could feel the smoke. The best view of them is the top of parking lot, FYI! 

I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday. Here are some Disneyland fireworks from the other night. I was so close, I could feel the smoke. The best view of them is the top of parking lot, FYI! 

June 2014 Favorites

Let's take a look back at favorites for June 2014


Favorite Instagram account is girlsfort. Andrea captures sweet moments of her day, her daughter and local coffee. It's so banal, but there's creativity and sincerity packed in a small square sized photo. 

Favorite purchase is OXO pineapple corer. Fresh pineapple taste so much better than canned and I've had a hard time cutting it, and it was awkward. I found this OXO corer and I'm enjoying fresh pineapple. 

Favorite moment was meeting Paul Frank. I've loved his designs for over a decade and he is so sweet and appreciative. 

Favorite purchase were my Birkenstock sandals. Yes, they're trendy and that's why I initially bought them but last year when my feet were twice the size due to edema, someone suggested them. I'm so sorry I didn't buy them earlier. I have sciatica, pelvic and back problems (another reason to lose weight) and these shoes totally ease the pain. I'm eyeing this pair next

Here's to July 2014!

Teadrops- Rethinking Tea

This is a paid partnership but it's a brand I 100% support, love and recommend and I hope you will, too

I love the idea of tea. However, every time I brew it, I'm off on the timing, the measuring, and I don't know how hot to make the water for certain teas. I love the benefits I'm sipping of tea, I know I could get more out of a leaf if I brewed it correctly. And I love Teadrops for this. Sashee, who grew up drinking tea her whole life, made it so much easier for people like me. No measuring, no timing, no worries about the temperature. Teadrops is tea formed in single serving designs with organic sugar. 

I tried them this morning, currently sipping and writing this blog post, and it tastes like tea should taste like. It's really easy to do, I feel silly explaining it. You add a Teadrop to the bottom of your cup, pour hot water, and enjoy. I love the sustainable packaging, Sashee's passion for changing the way we view tea, and my favorite part is they're all made here in California, by hand. I have so much love for Sashee and this company, I don't think I'm going back to plain tea leaves anytime soon. 

There's a giveaway on Instagram right now if you'd like a chance to win! 

You can buy from Teadrops directly on their page, get updated on news on Facebook and Instagram. Thank you, Sashee for making such a quality product. 

Friday Darlings

Every Friday I have a weekly collection of things I find darling. 

If you love scripture and Jane Austen, this Jane Austen Devotional is such a great combo, I highly recommend it for quiet mornings with a cup of coffee. 

If you love scripture and Jane Austen, this Jane Austen Devotional is such a great combo, I highly recommend it for quiet mornings with a cup of coffee. 

+ The archive of hit summer songs 

+ Orange is the New Black in real life *SPOILERS INCLUDED*

+ Saved by the Bell Lifetime movie. Srsly. 

+ A sweet story with a sweeter recipe. I'll be trying it this summer. 

+ Literally the Best Thing Ever- The Madonna Inn

+ I've gotten to know and love Tania on Instagram and she's taking on blogging

+ If you're local, The Cheese Shop has a deal on Amazon Local

+ Design Aglow has the ultimate giveaway for bloggers, photographers and creatives. 

+ A stunning maternity shoot. 

+ Friday night pizza night 

Enjoy your weekend!