Christmas in the Tropics

Wow, what a very different Christmas it will be this year.  The last few Christmas’s I have spent away from home and it has been a little rough.  Last year I was aboard the Celebrity Century touring around Hawaii, Mexico, and the Bahamas.  I remember Skyping my dad and sister and we were laughing about how every 5 seconds they saw a different person come into the shot to sell us jewelry or sunglasses in Puerto Vallerta.  Though I was not near my family and friends at home, I had made some new wonderful friends at sea.  Being Christmas Eve, we all bought ourselves a new pair of tropical sunglasses; as ya do in Mexico.  It was such gorgeous, hot weather with a cool ocean breeze.  We wore cute summery outfits and had our toes dug deep in the sand at our beachfront restaurant.  It was utter paradise.  We sipped sugar rimmed margaritas and lunched on macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi.  Even though this sounds like perfection, I honestly cannot wait to have my traditional, normal Christmas at home with my family.  🙂

Merry Christmas to the Fab Four!  ❤ Love you girls!

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Long Beach Lobster Fest

Have you ever had to pull the poor little claws off a lobster and clean off the tail and eat all the meat?! Omg I never had but my first experience was on Sunday!  The Long Beach Lobster Fest was in town and I ate a whole lobster!

I don’t think I will ever do it again.  I would much rather get some nicely already cracked and clean lobster meat with some mashed potatoes and mixed veggies. (The Morano Lenaya Faustman?!…ommmgggg!)

This was just too emotional of an experience for my sister and I both I think.  Poor lobbys.  I’ll eat it.  But I sure don’t want to dismember the guy first, thanks.  We had a nice meal though on the crazy hot 100 degree day, and sat on the boat for a bit.

 

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Lady Gaga Artrave in Las Vegas

I forgot to post about our amazing weekend in Las Vegas!  WHAT! Unacceptable! Kara, Meradith, and I had a fantastic weekend in Vegas and I am SO happy I got to visit Kara on her birthday weekend!  I had to go before I started back at Disneyland, and Gaga was in town, it was just meant to be!!

First of all: GAGAAAAAAAAA!!!!  Seeing her in concert was one of my “bucket list” type of things to do, so I couldn’t wait to go with one of my best friends! 😀

Kara is also my BFF because she gets the best hookupssss as one of the best PR associates in the state!!! :p  We had a beyond amazing 10 course meal at Joel Robouchon’s L’Atelier at the MGM Grand before the concert.  The quail stuffed with fois gras is one of their signature dishes, as you can see on the website, and it was exquisite.  I highly recommend this intriguing dining spot if you are ever in Vegas.  The photo below features some of the other dishes we ate including lobster, oysters, and stuffed peppers with shaved parmesan. Oh and we also got four desserts each. YUM.

For Kara’s second evening of birthday celebrations we headed to the Gold Spike in Downtown Las Vegas which has something for everyone!  Including guys who buy you drinks all night and move on to the closest flowery skirt wearing hooker he can find when he knows it’s not going to happen!  BUT let’s not discuss that! 🙂  There’s a cute band, a DJ, hopscotch, inside and outside bars, pool tables, pizza, etc!  The Gold Spike is also “home” to Zappos’s “Campus” or whatever Google-type community thing they’re trying to do.  Overall a great night! We got our makeup done at Sephora before going out. I mean, we did ALL of my favorite things!!!!

To close out the weekend I went and saw my gorgeous friends in the new and improved Jubilee! -The Showgirl Reborn!  I must say I had a great time even though some songs were just out of place and some changes were cringe worthy.  I LOVED seeing everyone in the show.  They are so talented and I can’t believe I am lucky enough to call the cast my friends and family forever.  So lucky to have been in the show as well!  Missing those glamorous showgirl days!

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La Boulange is Opening in LA!

Guys I am really excited about this upcoming opening because I had SUCH a good experience at La Boulange in San Fran during my many months of travel.  I can’t believe it is coming to my hometown!

 

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This if one of the original La Boulange…es… in San Fran.  We enjoyed a chilly rainy morning with…

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BOWLS OF COFFEE!!! I love bowls of coffee!  And mine wasn’t even the large!  Also enjoyable was the amazing croque madame with a fried egg on top of course.  I bought some Hazelnut Jam as seen here, but haven’t used it much… :/

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I adore San Fran and will be heading up to check out La Boulange in LA when the long lines die down….so next year?  :p

I hear there is a full restaurant and bar as well as the expected coffee and bakery.  OH and DONT YOU DARE leave the establishment until you’ve got an almond croissant in your hand/mouth.  They’re scrumptious!!

I hope that since this is now a “partner” of Starbucks or something they don’t…mass corporation the shit out of it.  :/  When Starbucks sells their La Boulange items they’re tres terrible.  Well here’s hopin!  Check out their website here.  Oh and you can use your Starbs Gold Card there!  Tres cool!

Tom’s: One for One

I so love the business model of Tom’s.  I mean, who doesn’t?  Buying a pair of shoes ALSO donates a pair of shoes to someone in need.  How to not feel guilty about shopping?  Boom!  Here you go, world!  But seriously, being able to help a woman, man, or a child out there without a good pair of shoes is super cool of Tom’s.  They also have an Eyewear line now which donates a new pair of glasses to someone in need of sight.  Having bad eyesight myself, this is huge!  I often think if glasses and contacts were not available to me, what would I be doing?!  I wouldn’t be able to function at all in everyday life. Plus, some of Tom’s sunglasses are sooo cute. You should get some!

 

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$139

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$179

My trusty brown Sam Edelman sandals (see here) have been my go-to fancy looking, usually appropriate, good for anything sandal!  I will really miss them when they finally explode out of sheer overuse. But man, those elastic straps are a pullin’ and the leather thingydoodles are falling off.  :/  When that fateful day finally arrives, I think I will get a pair of these Tom’s sandals! Adorbs! Maybe I will try and find a brown version too….because brown was really a great essential color to my wardrobe.  (That’s said in a posh British accent.  It’s fancier?)

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Tom’s also roasts coffee now!  Coffee!  COFFEE!  You can join the Tom’s Roasting Club and have coffee delivered to your doorstep every month!  Oh and duh, while giving water to people who lack even the most basic of human necessities for a whole year. Greatness all around. 🙂

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So go ahead!  Shop away! While giving away. 🙂

My Favorite Food In Southern California

These are my favoritest and bestest places to go and enjoy some delicious food all in one magical day.  After traveling to some amazing parts of the world, I do have some newly acquired tastes, but when I came home the first thing I did was knock off all of my favorite food places!  Isn’t it strange how we love the comforts of home so much?!  If I had an ideal foodie day in California here is what it would entail:

 

Breakfast at Ruby ‘s on the Huntington Beach Pier.  Sit on the second floor and overlook the sparkling blue ocean while gorging on Cinnamon Roll French Toast.  Just get there before 11am or you’ll miss breakfast.

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Lunch at Jan’s Health Food in Huntington Beach.  Sit outside in the sun and people watch.  Order a Surf Shop Special with half turkey avo sandwich and broccoli cheddar soup with chips.  Outstanding.  And you feel healthy after that sugary breakfast! 😉

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Just head down PCH and enjoy a 15 min scenic road trip to Sprinkles Cupcakes in Newport Beach.  After some light shopping at South Coast Plaza, look out over the ocean and chow down on a dark chocolate sprinkle cake.  Yum.

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Dinner at 25 Degrees downtown HB.  The pesto, roasted tomato, and mozzarella burger is the best burger Ive ever had.

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Finally, after watching the fireworks at Disneyland, get the chocolate souffle bread pudding at Downtown Disney in Anaheim at The Jazz Kitchen.  To die for!

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Bellagio, MJ Live, and Bacon

Well Vegas certainly hasn’t been disappointing this girl. What a week! My dad and our English relatives visited me this week and we stayed at the gorgeous rooms at the Bellagio. What a treat! It was lots of fun. I had the night off on Wednesday and we saw “O” by Cirque du Soleil. I was fighting back tears because they are so amazing. Another wonderful show. I wish I could be a dancer in cirque one day.

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My dad and I before the show. Looking cute. But I have to post this photo:

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I Mistakenly asked a bored tourist to take our photo. are you kidding me? Has he ever held a camera before in his life? Probably not by the looks of it. Okay moving on.

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Cool O costume.

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Bob and Chris admiring the Vegas beauty. 😉

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Spectacular views from our Bellagio room.

After my fam left, the girls and I went to see MJ Live at the Rio since we all got free tics cuz were just that awesome. I loved it! We had so much fun screaming “Michael, we love you!”. And the singing and dancing was good too!

Today at work we had a bacon themed potluck for Taryns birthday.

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What do showgirls eat, you ask? Oh yes, bacon topped, bacon filled, maple syrup cupcakes. Duh. 🙂