CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’

I completely went MIA on my blog ..but I had a good reason! My husband and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary and my birthday by taking a trip we’ve always dreamed of doing — we toured (mostly) all of California!

Neither of us had been before but had always wanted to go (he was dying to drive down the coast, I was dying to see Disneyland!) and we finally decided celebrating our anniversary and my 26th birthday was the perfect reason to go!

We started in San Francisco (which, by the way, is such an awesome city!) and saw Union Square, Chinatown, and the trolley cars, we toured Alcatraz (amazing!), went to the botanical gardens, had dinner at Fisherman’s Wharf, and saw the Painted Ladies — we’re big Full House nerds, so this was a dream of ours (LOL!). We also drove over the Golden Gate bridge and visited the Walt Disney Family Museum in Presidio because we both have a huge soft spot for Walt.

Everywhere you look...
Everywhere you look…

This was all in like, 2 days! Then we picked up our car and headed to wine country, where we spent the weekend amongst the vineyards in Sonoma and Napa Valley. We visited a few, including the Francis Ford Coppola Winery and Castello di Amorosa. Wine country was so idyllic and gorgeous — every drive had unbelievable scenery to offer. Our favorite winery, by far, was Castello di Amorosa. It was breathtakingly beautiful and an actual castle!

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My favorite part of wine country wasn’t even the wine! We did a mud bath at Golden Haven Hot Springs Spa & Resort. My husband was VERY nervous as he’s never done any kind of spa treatment, but he LOVED it. We both found the mud bath so bizarre and hilarious, but it was overall such a fun and unique experience.

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Things got a little muddy!

Then we began our (LONG) journey down the coast, which took a full two days. We stopped at several beaches to feel the Pacific ocean (including Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, Monterrey Bay, and Moonstone Beach) and enjoyed the views. I was terrified at times due to the fact that there’s really not much stopping you from plummeting to your death with one sharp turn, but it was SUCH an experience.

That view though!
That view though!

Our journey then took us to Disneyland, where we spent three days. The weather in Anaheim was much hotter than either of us expected, and crowd levels were high, but we took our time and went on old favorites (Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean) and new obsessions (Radiator Springs Racers, Mickey’s Fun Wheel.. lol) and we had a great time. It’s hard to compare DLR to WDW as even though they’re both theme parks, they’re both actually so different. We decided, ultimately, that we preferred WDW but we’re so happy we saw the original.

California Screamin'
California Screamin’

We loved being there at Halloween (Haunted Mansion Holiday was absolutely mind-blowing!) and also enjoyed being able to go on one last ride of Soarin’ Over California (especially after finally SEEING California!) before it’s changed in 2016. I still think Disney should keep the California version in California, but unfortunately I don’t get to make those decisions!

Then we headed towards L.A., with a stop in Laguna Beach to hang with Lauren and Kristin (juuuust kidding!). We stayed at the intersection of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood and explored those neighborhoods, of course stopping to see Rodeo Drive, and we also visited the Hollywood sign, the Walk of Fame, and The Grove. We visited Calabasas (home of the Kardashians!) but didn’t get to see any of the K girls. Bummer!

We ended our trip with a visit to Universal Studios Hollywood, which has AWESOME views of Hollywood and an unbelievable studio tour. The park is themed super well, but doesn’t have many rides, so we only spent about six hours there.

And of course, being in the home of all the biggest celebrities, we did get to see a few famous faces.

Sponge out of water!
Sponge out of water!

Ha just kidding. But Spongebob and I are officially in love!

It was a jam-packed trip and I think I’m still jet lagged, but SO much fun. A true experience of a lifetime, all with my favorite person ever!

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’

LITTLE SLICES OF HAPPY EVERY DAY

One thing we all tend to forget in our day to day lives is how little it can take to bring a smile to our faces. We go through the motions — wake up to our alarm, stumble around to get ready for work, be prepared for 8+ hours of a grind with commuting and countless interactions (some good, some bad) and new things thrown at us each day, with the solitary goal of being able to make our way home to whatever chores lie ahead there, to plop on the couch before passing out and preparing to do the exact same thing tomorrow.

No matter how much you love your job, or where you live, or your coworkers or friends or family, this gets daunting and tedious quickly. For the past few months, I’ve tried to inject what I call little slices of happy into my routine each day. I know, hear me out. It sounds so cheesy and silly, but doing teeny tiny things can really help keep the work week from feeling so dull.

1. Drink citrus-infused water first thing in the morning.

Lately I have been trying to drink as much water as possible — it’s so good for your body, for your skin, and for your digestive system to be well-hydrated. But we all know plain water is, well, plain and boring! The way I combat this is by adding a slice of lemon or lime into my water bottle in the morning. It makes plain water delicious, and much easier to drink a lot of. If you drink it throughout the day, you will beat the heat and give your body exactly what it needs for no calories or sugar — just pure water with a twist. Staying hydrated becomes less of a chore and more of a treat.

2. Listen to music you love every single day.

Maybe you have time on your commute, or during your workout, or at your desk, or at night before you drift off to sleep. Incorporating music into each day, no matter where or how much you can, is such a great way to brighten up your mood. I love music so much — certain songs truly make me come alive, make me want to dance, and make me feel — they bring me to a happy place. It literally does not matter what you want to listen to — whatever rocks your world is exactly what you need to hear every day. Make a playlist, or listen to whatever is on the radio, but hearing music you love every day is a truly personal and wonderful thing to do.

3. Wear something that makes you utterly happy.

My gym sneakers are hot pink and yellow Nikes. They’d likely look ridiculous out on the street, but when I see them, I can’t help but smile. They also feel like I am walking on a cloud. I keep them in a spot that I won’t be able to ignore them in order to inspire the urge to workout. And guess what? It works! The shoes are so dope that I’m like “bring it, treadmill!” Put something on every day that you absolutely love, whether it’s a cozy sweater that makes you feel warm and fuzzy, or a piece of jewelry you got on vacation or as a gift from someone special. You’ll be reminded of something that makes you happy and that moment of joy is worth it all.

4. Compliment someone.

Nothing brings good energy your way like putting good energy out there. Make a point to compliment someone every day. It can be someone you know, or someone you pass on the street. You like someone’s purse or shoes? Tell them! Your coworker killed it in a meeting? Praise them! Your SO did something small like cleaning up the coffee table? Thank them! You will feel good knowing someone else smiled because of you.

5. Have little adventures every day.

Take the long way to work to finish hearing your favorite song. Walk to the coffee shop a little further away than Starbucks for your morning buzz. Go get ice cream on a Wednesday evening just because. Doing things that are different than the norm can motivate and excite you in ways you didn’t know were possible. Give it a whirl… every single day. Smiles will abound. 🙂

xo A

LITTLE SLICES OF HAPPY EVERY DAY

why not.. take a crazy chance?

Hello, I’m Arielle. Yeah.. like the mermaid. Except with an extra LE because I’m fancy like that 🙂

I feel like a major dork starting this blog. But I love to write, and truthfully, feel more dorky that I am only NOW starting a blog when so many people I admire created these beautiful bloggy works of art years ago and I’m late to the party. My mom was in labor with me for, like, 20 hours so that should tell you what you need to know about me. Apparently I’m never in much of a rush for things.

I have no idea what I’m going to write about, but I’m having my Lizzie McGuire moment, so humor me. Well, this is going to be awkward. But here goes nothing.

why not.. take a crazy chance?