Friday, September 18, 2015

Travel Guide | San Diego, California

Earlier this summer, my best friends and I took a short road trip to the beautiful San Diego. It's about a two to three hour drive from Los Angeles and it's a great coastal destination for a road trip. I remember coming here quite often as a child, so it was wonderful to visit with my best friends.


After hearing countless friends talk about the famous Phil's Barbecue, we knew this was a place we had to try. Let's just say the long line at 2 p.m. was a testament to its popularity. We waited for about 50 minutes before we could order and sit down, but my oh my were the ribs filling and delicious! The barbecue sauce was a bit on the tangier, spicier side, but the overwhelming amount of meat on each rib sure made up for it.

Tips: They serve huge portions (even from an American's standpoint,) so I would definitely recommend splitting a dish with another person. Also, the line seemed to die down a bit at 4 p.m., so if you want to dine in, I would recommend going there at that time. You can also order on the phone and pick it up (thereby skipping the long line) which can be a great timesaver.

Now on to the part everyone wants to hear about, dessert. We didn't go to Extraordinary Desserts on the road trip, but I was able to go a week later when I went to my church's retreat held in San Diego. They certainly earn their name as they are one extraordinary place. These top tier desserts are both beautiful in appearance and exquisite in taste. They have a large seated area where you can order drinks and desserts, but since my dad and I were on our way home, we opted to grab a mini clipboard and pick out our desserts. Every dessert is decorated with some type of beautiful flower, gold leaf, or fresh fruit. I promise you that there will be something to your liking. We chose the apple strudel and strawberry scone this time around, but I hope to try many more desserts next time!

this is a little over half of the dish
the beautiful interior inside Extraordinary Desserts
the apple strudel and the strawberry scone with glaze


The San Diego Zoo is a great place for both young kids and giddy adults. We had such a great time looking at all of the animals, and it was even one of the panda's birthday that day! The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is also a great place to visit if you are interested in taking some safari tours or going zip-lining.

Tip: AAA members get a discount, so make sure to bring your card if you have one.

A gorgeous location to end your day is Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. Everything is so nice and serene by the water and watching the sun set over the ocean is beyond gorgeous.

Tip: Make sure you arrive there a couple hours before sunset or else you will have trouble finding parking. Be warned, there are no bathrooms anywhere within walking distance, so empty your bladder before parking! (We learned this the hard way and walked in circles looking for a bathroom.)

It's so much fun to go down the cliffs (the safe parts of course), so be a bit adventurous! (I bravely joined my friends down there a little after I took this picture.)
We wanted to take a picture with our college sweatshirts!
Have you ever been to San Diego?


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

DIY Pamper Night + GIVEAWAY!

Hello everyone! I took a little break from blogging during the past couple of months, but I am so, so happy to be back now. While I've had the time to relax, I'm not sure all of you had, so I wanted to do a post on a DIY pamper night. Let's face it, spa's are mighty expensive, so here are a few of my tips to host your own spa night right from the comforts of your own home!

Spotify has been an obsession of mine these last few months, and one of my favorite features is their playlists. A few great playlists for relaxing are Relax & Unwind, Evening Chill, Evening Acoustic, Totally Stress Free, and The Most Beautiful Songs in the World.

I love to take out my face masks on pamper nights, and a favorite of mine at the moment is Maple Holistic's Dead Sea Mud Mask to tighten up pores and remove any excess oil on my face. I then like to prepare a nice warm bubble bath while my mask has time to work its magic. If you're not too much of a bath person, take some extra time in the shower to pamper everything from your hair to your skin. I get a bit lazy with conditioner on regular days, but I always make sure to use my Maple Holistic Silk 18 Natural Conditioner for soft, smooth hair on pamper nights.

If you really want your body to unwind, it's best to set your phone on airplane mode and to close your laptop for the night. The blue light from your technology will make it hard for your brain to relax, so a great alternate is reading a good book or magazine. Any Nicholas Spark book should be a great accompaniment to a relaxing night, and my current favorite is The Choice, a cute story about two neighbors, Travis Parker and Gabby Holland, who slowly develop an attraction to each other but are ultimately led to the question: "how far would you go to keep love alive?"

Milk has properties to help you fall asleep, so a great bed time drink is a warm cup of cinnamon vanilla milk. To make this simple recipe, pour a cup of almond/soy/regular milk and mix in a teaspoon of vanilla extract along with a teaspoon of agave nectar/honey. Warm up the milk in the microwave for a minute and then sprinkle a dash of cinnamon on top.

Maple Holistic is a great hair, skin, and bath brand that focuses on creating natural, holistic products, and they have generously offered to giveaway their Hydrate Shampoo and their Silk 18 Natural Conditioner to one lucky winner. Unfortunately, this giveaway is U.S. only, but I will try my best to have an international giveaway in the future! This giveaway will be open for two weeks (closes on September 23, 12 am EST.) will email the winner once the giveaway closes, and they have 48 hours to respond. If they don't respond by then, I will randomly select another winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What are your tips for a nice at-home pamper night?

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*Maple Holistic kindly offered to send me these products to try out, but all my opinions are my own.

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