Posts Tagged ‘california’

Oceanside birds

laelene Posted in video blog,Tags: , , , , , ,

With my pending move back to the West coast, I’m looking forward to being near beaches and awesome seabirds again. 🙂 Last time I was hanging out at the beach was in Ventura, almost exactly a year ago!

pelican trio flying by Oxnard from Mary Qin on Vimeo.

seagull flying over crashing tide slow-mo from Mary Qin on Vimeo.

seagull flying overhead past sun slow-mo from Mary Qin on Vimeo.

trying to scare seagulls from Mary Qin on Vimeo.

pelican and friend landing in ocean from Mary Qin on Vimeo.

pelican soaring off in distance from Mary Qin on Vimeo.

Escape Monthly October: California Box review

laelene Posted in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wow, I can hardly believe it was well over a year ago that the other California box came. I’ve got to say, this box introduced me to some great products that I quite enjoy!

Escape Monthly is just under $40 per box (with code for 20% off your subscription – see end of post) and comes with a variety of food, home, skincare items themed around a city/region. Each box comes with a guide for that area. Boxes are sent monthly with no option to skip. They offer a referral commission program.

escape monthly october california box products showing escape monthly october california box info card escape monthly october california box info card opened with fact sheet showing escape monthly october california box info card opened with details of products included(click to enlarge and read full messaging)

As before, I like the skincare items that were included. Guess there are a lot of those great brands out west. The other stuff is pretty cool too and overall this box has more things I’ll use.

Here’s what came in the box:

Frommer’s EasyGuide to San Francisco – This is only the second Frommer’s book that they’ve used. It’s got a ton of maps that will be useful in finding things. I’ve only ever explored SF on my own of things I’d heard of, so I’m curious what the guide will recommend.

Goldrush Sourdough Starter – This is packaged to be mailed like a postcard, which would be a fun thing to do from CA. I love sourdough bread and I’ve never thought about making it, so this should be exciting! I might even take this home to LA with me this Thanksgiving to try it out in my mom’s bread machine.

California Mango cleansing gel and hand & body lotion – As I’ve recently learned, mango skincare products smell amazing. These generous tubes will last me a very long time! I’ll smell fabulous coming out of the shower. The lotion almost smells a little bit coconuty, which is also a super tropical sort of scent.

sisal pouch – I’ve got small pouches with smaller holes for the solid shampoo and conditioner pieces that are too small to use alone and now I have the perfect pouch for my soap! I recently got a cute wool soap that’s meant to do a similar thing. I can also use this as a glove to scrub my body with if I want a rougher exfoliation.

Torn Ranch milk chocolate truffle bar – I just got a bunch of chocolate in Europe, so I’m saving this one to eat later. The truffle bar sounds rich and wonderful – can’t wait to try it!

loofah pad – I’m all about exfoliating, so I’m happy to have this to use in the shower. I might even make soap and pour it around it to make loofah soap, like this one cool bar I once got from Hawaii.

Napa Organics face mist and face oil – Ooo, now these look like luxurious products. I love mists and toners, so this toner mist is just perfect to use after washing my face. I swear the oil smells like some sort of honey (clover honey maybe?) that I’ve had before. It has a nice earthy element to it and feels like it could be a healing tonic with medicinal qualities.

travel wallet – Too bad I didn’t get this before our travels, or I could have used it to keep some money and cards stored away. I think it could just fit my passport in it as well and definitely plane tickets, which would have been nice to help me organize all my stuff.

I think a lot of the focus here was on NorCal products, so I hope that there’s a SoCal or LA or San Diego box in the future, to learn more about products from my neck of the woods. No idea what the next destination is but I’m hoping more Asian countries will show up. There are amazing things to be found out there. What products from this California Escape Monthly box do you like most? If you want to sign up, be sure to sign up for their newsletter to get a code for 20% off the lifetime of your subscription.

[This post contains affiliate links. Signing up through them helps support my subscription and I’d be ever so grateful. 🙂 All opinions are my own and I received no compensation for this review. I just purchased this box and wanted to share what I got!]

The Santa Barbara “mist”

laelene Posted in photo blog,Tags: , , , , , , ,

pelicans on the roof of a restaurant at santa barbara pier

Pelicans! Real live ones!

the marine layer comes in over santa barbara early in the afternoon

Wow, their marine layer came in really early!

the marine layer at santa barbara came in the early afternoon and hid the ocean

You can't even tell the ocean is right there.

memorial graveyard at santa barbara beach to commemorate soldiers

It's a haunting image made even more eerie by the foggy air.

a view of the marine layer covering santa barbara from above in the mountains

Driving up allows for this view of Santa Barbara, now completely covered by the marine layer that crept over.

Road trippin’

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , ,

Wow, it has been two tiring days on the road!  Philosopher and I set out on Thursday, ready for a coastal trip up to Northern California.  We made pit stops at the Getty Villa, Ojai, Santa Barbara, and Solvang before finding a campground in Santa Maria to settle in for the night.  The sleep was sporadic and interrupted by cars driving by, brisk air (it was in the low-mid 50s all night), and of course the uncomfortably firm ground.  Every time I tried to stretch out straight, I would find my blanket was covering my feet and it was way too to have them out.  So, reluctantly, I would pull them back in and curl up in a ball under my body pillow.

When getting things out of the car, I had accidentally locked my keys in the trunk (first time that happened to me!), so in the morning I called up AAA to break into my car for me.  It was really interesting to see their method, using an inflatable balloon pouch and a thick metal rod.  I didn’t quite imagine it being that way based on descriptions I’ve heard using clothes hangers, but hey, whatever works!  With access to all our stuff again, Philosopher and I were able to prepare for the long day ahead.

Day two consisted of a lot of winding roads, driving up and down mountains, and in and out of cloud/marine layer coverage.  I feel at once windblown and sunshone (yeah, yeah, not a term but what would you say?).  This time went from Santa Maria to Pismo Beach to San Luis Obispo, then out to the coast again to drive along the 1.  We took some time at Carmel-by-the-Sea to enjoy the town and beach, then continued on to Santa Cruz and finally San Jose.  While waiting for dinner at BJ’s and looking for another campground, we decided to go for more traditional lodging.  After all, we weren’t having much luck finding a place and it’s been a long two days without proper rest, so I don’t mind rewarding myself with a nice bed and shower.

Luckily, I was able to find the Larkspur Landing Hotel in Campbell, which was offering a really reasonable rate.  There’s free wifi, breakfast, cookies, and a business center, fitness center, and laundry room.  What’s most valuable is a warm and cozy bed, as well as a hot shower!  There’s no need to suffer and doing the whole camping thing another night was turning out to be too much trouble.  I can finally charge up my phone again and start tomorrow afresh.  By dinnertime, we will be meeting up with Panda and I’m really excited for that.  🙂

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