Tag Archives: Summer

Casey Conquers the Dog Beach

For someone who lives less than thirty minutes from the beach, I don’t take advantage of it nearly as much as I should. Things have been hectic this summer, but we were finally able to make it down to Huntington. It’s hard leaving Casey at home by himself, and we try to include him as much as possible, so of course we needed a dog beach! I looked up some options on Yelp and came across the Huntington Dog Beach; reviews said it was clean, safe, and perfect for new pups .

We packed up our beach bags filled with human and puppy treats and headed down. For anyone who lives in the area, the strip of the beach isn’t clearly marked from above as dog friendly, so look for Tower 22. When we got there, I felt like I was in Heaven. No, seriously. I’m pretty sure that’s what Heaven is like: clear waters and TONS of dogs. I swear every dog breed was represented. It was like Noah’s Ark, but with just the best species ever. Sign me up for that boat ride, Captain!


We weren’t sure how Casey would act, but he did great. He was a bit hesitant of the waves at first, but we tiptoed around for a bit at first. Then we carried him in to get his feet wet (quite literally), before walking further for a swim. He’s been spending more time at the pool lately, so the beach was at least a little familiar for him. We kept him on the leash the whole time, which I highly recommend to all puppy owners. There were many dogs who were let off their leash to run; most were well behaved, but some needed to be restrained. A large lab was infatuated with Casey, and wouldn’t leave him alone. The owner thought it was hilarious that he tried to play fight with Casey. Me? Not so much….


Casey really did make tons of good frriends, and it was great seeing him acclimate to the new environment so successfully. His furry friends would pop by to say hi, and it made me fall in love with dogs even more. I wish I could have taken them all home!


He ended up having such a great time, that we took him back two days later. We grabbed a life vest from Petco for $18, because, well, this crazy Mama needs some peace of mind sometimes. I highly recommend it for anyone who’s a little worried about the water, or wants some extra assurance. Safety first!


I don’t think Snowy and Bijou would enjoy the waves, but hopefully we will be able to take Tux next time to join in the fun!



Lilly Pulitzer Giveaway



Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you’ve heard of the craze that is Lilly Pulitzer for Target. I’ve been a fan of LP for years (thanks Maddy!), but LP’s collaboration with Target was not only more aligned with my preferred price points, but also more accessible considering there are several Target stores within minutes of me, and no LP!

LP+T’s launch was an absolute mad house. LP lovers crashed the website, and when it finally came back to life, it was sold out within minutes. People lined up for hours and were faced with a “Black Friday” kind of situation; I heard reports of fighting, screaming, name-calling, and tons of item stealing. Items were up on eBay within the hour for ridiculous prices.

I wasn’t able to participate in the launch day madness that morning due to rugby, but I headed to Target that evening to see what I could snag. I was able to purchase items and sold them online at decent prices to online friends across the country…a relocation of goods, if I must.

I have made online friends who aren’t able to get any items in their stores (LP is MUCH more popular in the east and south than it is here in Southern California), and the hunt for satin dresses, shifts, and mugs, has taken over my life. I probably visited about ten different Targets a total of twenty times. I’m fairly certain the Customer Service reps at my local Target recognize me by now. I loved the rush of finding an item I wanted, as well as the ability to help fulfill others’ wish lists. It was tiring, and I was often discouraged, but somehow I did it. (I had to step back and remind myself that these are just “items”, so luckily I didn’t get too crazy!) After a ton of buying, selling, and trading, I was finally able to get my hands on the most coveted items.  I’ll do a haul on everything I got soon, don’t worry!

It took me almost a month to get everything I wanted, so now it’s my turn to help YOU all! I’m giving away this adorable LP+T Happy Place Rafia Tote. You can fit a spare pair of clothes, a towel, some books, and snacks for the beach in this gorgeous bag! Head over to my Facebook to be entered to win.


P.S. If you comment on this with your favorite item for the LP+T line, you get an extra entry!! :) Good luck!

Orange International Street Fair

Nothing screams summertime quite like a fair. While I’m not a fan of being outside in the scorching heat, good food and drinks is usually enough to coax me out of my air conditioned bedroom. I headed down to the Orange International Street Fair for my first time this weekend. The annual event, which has been taking place for more than forty years, was the perfect mix of sweet aromas, fattening foods, and a wholesome international vibe.

The event takes over the historic downtown area of Orange Circle and includes “streets” that have designated countries on them. Countries ranged from Switzerland to Italy to Polynesia, which meant my stomach was thrilled to take part in the international eating. As a world traveler, one of my favorite parts of experiencing a new culture is eating their specific cuisine.

While the higher-than-normal prices were to be expected, I felt that I was able to enjoy a wide variety of cultural foods that I would not have tried otherwise. We came with empty stomachs because we knew we would be sampling so many foods. And by “sampling”, I mean devouring totally normal portions. And by “normal”, I mean…well…yeah.

It was 90 degrees around 10:30 AM…thanks California. The crowds were still trickling in, which is a good thing, because I’ve heard the fair can get uncomfortably crowded as the day goes on. I had heard great things (i.e. the lines were wrapped around the booth) about the gyros at the Greece booth, so we headed there first. J had a gyro, while I opted for a chicken soulvaki as I don’t eat beef or lamb. The bread was to die for and the tzatzkis sauce helped bring out the chicken’s flavor without overpowering it. ($6 each)

Greek food! Under The Sticks


We then headed over to the Danish booth, where we split three Danish donuts. They were crispy on the outside and had nice, moist batter inside. The powdered sugar on top sealed the deal! (3/$4)



By this time I was almost ready to go home, jump in cold water, and never come out to see the sun again. Almost. Luckily, my love for food overpowered my hate for the extreme heat and we carried on with our cultural journey. We decided to cool off  and share a Mexican ice treat. I loved how thin it was. The mango was good, but I would have loved a bit more flavor. I wasn’t surprised that it was artificial flavoring. You win some, you lose some. It was still a good sweet treat.


After that, we walked around the commercial booths for a bit. I practiced self control and didn’t purchase anything. Weee! :) We sat down for a bit to cool off.


We then decided it was time for a strawberry lemonade. What good is the fair without one? I wish it was filled with less ice. The entire cup was done with a few sips each. ($6)

Strawberry Lemonade UnderTheSticks.Net


Based off of what I’ve heard, it’s a good thing we showed up early. There were no issues with security or safety while I was there and the volunteers seemed to work cohesively and were knowledgeable about the happenings, which is always great. However, I’ve seen pictures and video clips from the event and it’s easy to say the best time to bring your children is in the early morning or afternoon. Avoid the drunk crowds (and heat) and knock it out of the ball park early in the morning.

Although I wasn’t able to take any international trips this summer, my stomach did! The fair will be back next year, starting September 4th. I’ll be sure to come with plenty of sunscreen, light clothing, and a huge appetite.

What’s your favorite thing about summer fairs?

Summer Favorites Under $70



Children are heading back to school, the beach is getting less crowded, and my skin is finally turning back to its normal shade. It must mean summer is finally wrapping up. With another successful season under my belt, I decided to share with you my summer favorites . They’re all under $70, so be sure to treat yo’self!

Athleta Coverup in Sour Apple (Gap)  $24.99

Sometimes, the least amount of clothing is the best. Until, of course, you go out in public! This sour apple cover up is not only bright and cheery, but will also keep you dry and appropriate to go out after the beach.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen (Walgreen’s) $11.49 

Take care of your skin, because you’re literally bound to it for the rest of your life. As a chronic sweater (oops, did I say that out loud…), I need a sunscreen that will stay put and do its job. This is the only sunscreen I use when I go outdoors because its gentle enough to keep my skin free from breakouts and dryness, but strong enough to protect me from the sun’s harmful rays. I apply once every hour just to make sure I’m always covered! Don’t forget to apply at least fifteen minutes before sun exposure!

Argan Oil of Morroco Body Wash (Target) $6.49

The sun can dry you up quicker than a prune! Be sure to keep your body hydrated with argan oil. It’s high in Vitamin E, which means your skin will stay moisturized for longer. Plus, it smells delicious.

  Osprey Luxe Beach Towel in Cobalt and Green design by Sunny Life (BurkeDecor) $69

The gorgeous contrast of cobalt and green is perfect for making a statement in the sand. I’ve always been a fan of loud prints, and this one sure caught my eye.

Aladdin Mason Jar (AllModern) $18.46

Everything tastes better in a mason jar, even water! I fill my mason jar with everything from chai tea to juice to water infused with fruits. The built in handle makes it easy to hold, while the straw simply makes sippin’ easier.

Optimist Yellow Nail Polish (Debenhams) $16

I always use summer as an excuse to bring out the bright tones, especially when it comes to my nails. This sunny color is a perfect shade to add a pop to your nails while keeping things fun and flirty.
Perfect Bar (Shop Perfect Bar) 8/$24

These bars couldn’t have a better fitting name…they truly ARE perfect.  With a consistency similar to cookies that melt in your mouth, it’s pleasantly surprising that they’re jam-packed with super foods and tons of healthy additions. Without any exaggeration whatsoever, these taste like pure Heaven in my mouth. They’re great before workouts, trips to the beach, or even on the side of a protein shake. My favorites are Almond Butter & Peanut Butter! And did I mention they’re a local company? It’s just perfect.

#GirlBoss by Sophia Amorusa (Amazon) $16.17

One of my favorite books, #GirlBoss is sure to inspire you to throw your excuses out the door, follow your dreams, and make a name for yourself. It’s an easy read that’s filled with great advice on being a #GirlBoss. Can I get an amen for girl power?

What were your must-have items this summer? Let me know below!

Sea(Foam) You Later, Summer!

A delicate mix of blue and green, sea foam has always been one of my favorite colors. It adds a pop of unexpected color to outfits without overpowering what you’re wearing.

Its versatility makes it perfect for throwing on your living room walls, wearing to an evening gala, or even for adorning your kitchen utensils! And, of course, it’s wave like color reminds me of the beach, which I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to after such a beautiful summer…



NineWest Necklace from Macy’s $65

Monrow Tissue Narrow Tank from Austique $84

The Classic Backpack from Herschel Supply Company $40

Stella Mcartney Oversized Shades $300

Anchor Print Rash Guard from Sperry Top Sider $70

Now Introducing Heels from Modcloth $34.99

Nails Inc Chelsea Psychic Garden Nail Polish from the Hut $18

Loewe Scarf from TheRealTheReal $125