California Adventures

I love California. I can say it definitively now although I always had a hunch I would enjoy it and I’ve technically only seen a small part of it. But still.

I was lucky enough to travel to Bakersfield with my grandma to visit my parents. It’s the first time I’ve seen them both since July, which is the longest I’ve ever gone without visiting with them. I’ve missed them a lot, so this was a treat.

It may have only been a four-day trip, but we made the absolute most of it, thanks to my parents being the best tour guides. In all, we traveled more than 1,500 miles, and we…

  • Traveled to Redondo Beach, where I got to put my toes in the sand and wade into the Pacific Ocean for the first time
  • Visited Griffith Observatory at night, where I saw the Hollywood sign, took in the views of LA at night, and got to see a breathtaking view of the moon (the GODDAMN moon, guys!)
  • Hiked around Lake Ming. It’s located in my parents’ town and is a beautiful place where my dad takes two of their dogs, Reilly and Lexy, to burn off some of their energy. So, we took two trips and it was just my dad and his three girls: me, Reilly, and Lexy!
  • Saw peacocks at Hart Park in Bakersfield. How is it possible that peacocks just hang out in the park? There were also dozens of kitties who were friends with the peacocks, which was extra cute.
  • Went shopping at Ross. My mom is the best because she fully understands and appreciates my obsession with Ross, which we don’t have on the East Coast. So, she took us shopping and I got plenty of new things that I can’t wait to wear and post about!
  • Ate delicious food. We tried Creamistry (where they make ice cream with liquid nitrogen); Blaze Pizza (where you can order delicious personalized pizzas); and In N Out (a staple that I’d been dying to try for years); and some Krispy Kreme; but nothing compared to my mom and dad’s home cooking!
  • Traveled to Las Vegas to see the Backstreet Boys. What an amazing concert! I’ve loved the Backstreet Boys since I was a kid and I hope I do forever. To me, there is nothing like being in the audience, singing along to my favorite songs, dancing with girls like me who grew up on their music. Where else can I show off the fact that I still remember the choreography from “Everybody”? I had so much fun and I loved going with my grandma and my mom like when I was younger. I think they enjoyed themselves, too, especially my grandma, who was excited to see her love, Brian. (Shout out to my dad for doing that eight-hour drive to Vegas and not even attending the show.)
  • Took my parents’ RV—with all four dogs—up to Port San Luis Boat Yard and Avila Beach. It was chilly, but so much fun. We saw seals and sea otters (real ones! in nature!) and visited with my mom’s cousin, Debbie, and her husband, who drove out to see us. The girls (Reilly and Lexy) got to play on the beach with other dogs, and the humans got to enjoy some delicious smoked chicken made by my dad and some incredible rice made by my mom.
  • Drove up to Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery near Hearst Castle. It was amazing to see those seals up close and in their natural habitat. They were so cute! The drive up there was magnificent, too. We traveled through wine country and experienced views I couldn’t even dream up. It was the perfect way to end our trip.

Can’t wait to go back in May with my husband and do it all again!

xo.

 

Dog-Friendly Meat Muffins Recipe

My dog, Obi, turned four years old on March 16. It wouldn’t have been a proper birthday without a treat just for him. I made a version of this recipe by Doggy Dessert Chef. (Last year, I made Obi this Rachael Ray recipe for “mighty muffins.”) I don’t think Obi is particular about what kind of meat he gets, as long as he gets it.

Dog-Friendly Meat Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb of ground beef (I used 90/10)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of oats
  • Grated parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Thoroughly mix ground beef, egg, oats, and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
  3. Roll mixture into six 2″ balls and put into muffin tin.
  4. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
  5. Let cool, then serve.

Your dog will thank you.

 

Friday Favorites #14

Here are a few things I’m loving this week.

Puppies

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Specifically, one puppy who is not such a puppy anymore. This week, my dog, Obi, turned four years old. (I’ll be sharing the recipe for the “cupcake” AKA meatball that we made for him on this blog next week!)

Social Media

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I work in social media, which I feel grateful for because I love it so much. So I was really excited to be able to attend the HighEdWeb New England conference today and learn even more about it! I really loved all of the social media-focused sessions, including one by Dave Tyler on Twitter chats (which I tweeted through!), who encouraged us to “Be not afraid. Prepare. Have fun.”

One of my favorite takeaways (from a different session byLori Packer/@LoriPA) was this quote.

Social media is not a driver of traffic. It’s a destination in its own right. 

I want to frame it and hang it right in my office as a reminder.

#ShareHuman

Got this 100% Human button after the keynote address!
Got this 100% Human button after the keynote address!

And, speaking of that HighEdWeb conference, I keep thinking about the talk from keynote speaker Dave Cameron, who told us all to #sharehuman. There were many excellent points in his talk, but he kept reiterating that we should shake the notion of being authentic and instead strive to be human. And not just human, but HUMAN—Honest, Unafraid, Mindful, Active, and Nice. I was inspired by the way he essentially encouraged everyone to create, give, and above all, share. #ShareHuman, in fact. I’ve been trying to do that myself, through this blog, through the previous blogs I’ve run (like this one and this one), through Twitter, through Instagram, and even through personal, creative endeavors that I haven’t shared. I love the idea of sharing—your ideas, your thoughts, yourself.

What are some of your favorites this week?

xo.

Things I Bought That I Love: Dog Scarf

If a dog is involved, chances are I’m gonna love it. After getting my dog, Obi, two years ago, I’ve morphed into a Crazy Dog Lady. Like, I am convinced that any dog I see on the street is my new best friend. And there’s a chance I have said I would like to have an entire pack of dogs to love me. And maybe this day was almost the best day of my life. And, possibly, I once or twice said I wanted to get a big dog so that my Maltese can ride on that dog’s back. And I own two dog print dresses because I can.

So, when I saw this scarf while shopping in Rainbow the other day, I fell in love, and my fiance encouraged me to add it to my wardrobe because he doesn’t (always) judge me for being a Crazy Dog Lady. The little Scottish Terriers are too cute, and I can’t wait to wear this! You can get your own here.

sc-dog-scarf

xo.