Thankfulness Thursday: Family, Disney, Travel

Happy Thursday everyone!

So today is my Friday because I am OFF tomorrow! Woo hoo! I’m feeling so lucky lately that it felt like a good time to link up with Ashley for Thankfulness Thursdays.

The thing I’m most thankful for is the health of my family and friends. We can get so wrapped up in the long term picture (getting through school, paying off student loans, saving for a house, etc) that we forget what a blessing every day is. I found the Rockstar Ronan blog yesterday and I won’t lie, I cried. Bawled like a baby. If you have a some spare time and a few tissues, click away.

I’m thankful for the closeness of my family. My sister begged me for sister time so we went to get mani-pedis yesterday. Then my brother crawled into bed to watch TV with me before bed. They’re such a blessing to me.

My sister is a gangsta. And yes my dog is wearing a sweater.

I’m so thankful for the sweet comments on yesterday’s blog. I’ve got big dreams of starting up a party planning business someday and everyone’s comments meant a lot to me. Thank you. And yes, I’ll plan ALL your parties. Holler at me when I get going 😉

I’m thankful for my parents allowing me to live at home so that I can save for all the expenses of life. And it gives me the capabilities to take a few vacations (more on this later today…)

I love them!

Now a few “for fun” thank you’s:

I’m thankful that The Office at least gets a “farewell” season. Even if it makes me cry a little.

I miss you everyday Michael Scott. Source

I’m thankful for Starbucks having free wi-fi?!? When I worked at Starbucks 5 years ago, you totally had to pay. Also thankful for a Salted Caramel Mocha. YUM.

I’m thankful that the Backstreet Boys are back together and making a new CD!

Hallelujah! Source

I’m thankful for new fall TV like Go On and Guys with Kids. Hiiiiilarious.

I’m thankful that the Denver Broncos have my favorite quarterback ever. Peyton Manning and Denver was my NFL dream.

Source

I’m thankful that Rob and I have annual passes to Disneyland so we can go as often as my little Prius can take us.

Luuuuucy, you’ve got some ‘splainin to do…

Okay so I have to address the fact that Rob and I are always “going somewhere”. We are not loaded, nor are we big travelers (yet) and I don’t want everyone to think I’m a vacationing tool fool. So here are the facts:

1. I have a wonderful, well paying job working in the field with the major I graduated with. But at the end of the day, this position just isn’t what I want to do with my life. When you work a job that isn’t necessarily your passion, sometimes a weekend away isn’t just wanted, it’s needed. For my sanity. So more often then not, I’m begging Rob to venture into a different city for a day or two.

2. Along with the blessing that is my job, I’m given an extraordinary amount of vacation time that I’m forced to take. I know, pity me.

3. With my very first big girl paycheck, I bought a Prius for a steal. 2 years later, I swear that car has MADE me money, best car for travel ever! It was worth every penny (We can get to LA and back for roughly $70 in gas). I highly recommend the Prius, feel free to ask me any questions about it.

4. As AMAZING as my family is, I’m almost 24. Living at home. With a boyfriend of (almost) 7 years. Somedays, I just gotta get away for a day or two (and frankly, I’m sure they’re glad to have one less mouth to feed!).

5. For all you non-Californian readers, California is an AWESOME state (arguably the best one, duh). California is loaded with all different climates, cities, communities and frankly a ridiculous amount of beautiful places. One of the BEST parts of living in Sacramento is that nearly everything is only 2-3 hours away. 2 hours away from San Francisco, 2 hours away from Tahoe, 2.5 hours from Santa Cruz and only 1 hour away from Napa (wine country). City, snow, nature, beach, wine all in arms reach! Trust me, it’s a blessing and a curse. And LA is only a mere 6-7 hours away (an easy car ride for a Prius 😉 ). That gives us a LOT of places to go on the weekend.

Source

6. Lastly, check out the prices for a Disneyland Annual Pass. We got the Premiums. We need our money’s worth right? You freakin bet we do.

So I mean, all these trips I take, they’re my little sanity-savers. And it’s easy, cheap(ish) and do-able since we are still without children. Still hate me and all my travels? Move to California, get a Prius and be my best friend so we can take trips together (seriously though, do it)!

Okay, now that I’ve explained myself (and our incessant travels), can we be friends again?

((Sidenote, all my sarcasm is out of love, if I were you guys, I TOO would wonder how in the world I get to “vacation” so often. No hard feelings, I LOVE YOU!)

On that note, we miiiiiiight driving to LA tonight. Plans are tentative but there is a 90% chance Rob and I will be reunited with our home away from home! (Disneyland meet up anyone?! 😉 ). Do you hate me again? Darn it.

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram to travel with me!

HAPPY WEEKEND everyone!

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Loving Lately: Meeting Bloggers!

Happy Tuesday everyone!

So first things first, I did in fact come home. Those of you who follow me on Instagram know that LA was very close to keeping me from returning to Northern Caliornia but alas, reality hit and I’m back. I just can’t get enough of the Southern Californian sun! What an incredible weekend. More on that later this week (trust me, come back for the food photos!).

My Loving Lately was meeting 3 of my FAVORITE blogger friends this weekend ! I was happy anyone was even remotely interested in meeting up with me but even more so overjoyed that it was Emily, Nicole and Rima. I might’veeee had them in mind when I mentioned a meet up… ;). (You can click their headers to check them out!)

When Simply Evani was just taking shape, the first blogger to reply to a comment of mine was Emily from the Anna Delores Blog. In fact, I made the unbelievably common mistake of calling her Anna (which we both laughed about upon meeting in person). Then Anna Delores Blog was the first blog I chose to sponsor when the time came and Emily was the sweetest sponsor, especially for a first timer.

Emily and I decided to meet at Urth Caffe. I was 30 minutes late being the SoCal driving virgin (Rob drives us everywhere when we travel!)so it took 30 minutes to get down Santa Monica Blvd. Lucky for me, Emily is a real life sweetheart and even had an iced tea waiting for me when I got there! We talked about anything and everything, mostly about life and maybe a littttle about blogging ;). I was amazed by how much we had in common and how easily our online friendship translated in real life. We spent 2 hours chatting before we realized the time limit on our parking was going to expire. I can’t wait to see Emily again, I know we’ve got a long friendship ahead of us.

Then on Sunday I had the pleasure of meeting up with Nicole from Treasure Tromp and Rima from Bolu by Rima at UVA bar in Downtown Disney. Both are Disney annual passholders like myself and I seriously read their blogs daily. I fell in love with reading Treasure Tromp when I found out Nicole was getting a Ph.D. in Psychology. I remember being overjoyed that another blogger shared a similar Psych background AND she was so unbelievably nice too! Rima and I bonded over having Robs (Her BF Mr. Pillow is named Rob too), our mutual love for the Backstreet Boys, and overall her hiiiilarious sense of humor.

UVA bar is one of my Disney treasures so I was happy that they were both first timers there. We had a round of drinks and dinner, and talked about anything under the sun. We talked about Disneyland, camping, 5Ks, Blogger vs WordPress and about our jobs. Mr. Pillow started us on a really interesting conversation about how much time we spend blogging daily and we laughed about interesting things we’ve noticed about the blogging world. I was amazed by how true to life our blogs are to who we are and how easy it was to feel at home with fellow blog friends. We reluctantly ended our meet up with exchanging moustache rings that I had just picked up at Santee Alley (FYI girls I was right, it turns your finger green. Just think of it as a decorative souvenir to put somewhere. Pshh I’ll still wear mine. Haha). Rob even commented later on that it felt like the three of us had already met or already knew each other and I simply told him we had : on our blogs. 🙂

When I started blogging with Simply Evani in March of this year, I never imagined it would be what it is now. The people who don’t blog are going to think this sounds crazy but I really do feel like friends with the bloggers I interact with daily. Meeting up with those 3 ladies only proved to me what I already suspected, I’ve found a group of women who have similar interests as me, who read about my life and share theirs too, who provide support or encouragement when it’s needed and whether its online or not, that makes us friends.

I’m always headed down south (I meant we HAVE to make use of our Disneyland Annual Passes 😉 ) so if you live in California or near southern California, let me know! I officially love meeting other bloggers.

Now if only I could get Niki, Celeste, Chris, Yi-Chia, Maša, Lyss and Kristine out here to California…

Did you have a good weekend? What did you do?

Happy Tuesday everyone!

P.S. Don’t forget, tomorrow is when I open up the Fitness link up! Read more about it here!

Headed South for Labor Day!

Happy Thursday everyone!

I am SO excited because Rob and I are headed back down south this weekend! My little brother is playing a football tournament in Thousand Oaks on Saturday morning but we’ll mostly be in the LA area (staying over by Santa Monica).

Honestly, I’ve been a little nervous about posting this but I am ALL IN for meeting some SoCal bloggers this weekend! If you’re interested in meeting up, shoot me an email!! We have no idea what our plans are but we’re probably hitting up CA Adventure on Sunday mid-day to night and I’d love to do Monday brunch before heading back? Honestly, I’m down for anything. Let me know if anything good is going on this weekend 🙂

What are your recommendations for Southern California? Rob and I are always looks for new restaurants, shops and markets to go to! Especially brunch spots!

Do you have any plans for Labor Day Weekend?

Also, go enter my dear friend Emily’s Blogiversary Giveaway! She giving away ad space with some of my favorite blogs!

Happy Day before Friday!

P.S. Rob and I have a friend in the hospital who could really use all the good thoughts and prayers everyone can send. Say a little prayer or send a happy thought his way if you could. Thank you ❤

Good Eats: Umamicatessen

Happy Thursday everyone!

When I’m on vacations, I usually have 1 goal: To eat good food. The older I’ve gotten, the more adventurous I am with food but also a little more selective. You’d be hard pressed to get me to eat anything out of a box these days. But put me in a good restaurant and I’ll try anything under the sun. Food is one of the great loves of my life.

Anyways Rob is a burger man and I love a tasty burger too so Umami Burger is one of our favorite destinations. And long before Simply Evani was born, I blogged about our adventures in searching for Umami Burger in SF. So when google maps yet AGAIN led us astray and took us to a place called Umamicatessen, we were initially disappointed. But luckily, Umamicatessen is an Umami Burger and more, also featuring a kosher deli, a special pork menu AND fried to order doughnuts. I’m happy to report that after our meal, we weren’t disappointed at all!

So hipster. Like all Umami locations 🙂

Their onion rings are the crowning glory of sides. They are RIDIC.

I roughly have the taste buds of a man so onion stings, cheddar and chunks of bacon are RIGHT up my alley. The Manly burger is after my heart,

Their Dulce De Leche doughnut is SO yummy. Think churro in doughnut form.

Also, Umamicatessen is only a few streets down the the LA Fashion District so ladies, you can lure your man here for a meal and do a little shopping while you’re in Downtown LA! More on Santee Alley to come.

I’ve heard a LOT of good things about Father’s Office down in LA too, that’s on our list for our next SoCal trip! Any other burger places you suggest? I’d love to have burger/food recommendations from all over the U.S.!

Hope you’re salivating as much as I am now! Have a great day everyone! 

Simply Traveling: Santa Barbara

Happy Monday readers!

Ever have one of those months where it feels like you’re in overdrive? Since mid-May to now, I feel like I’ve barely had a second to catch my breath! Anyways, I finally had some time to pull up some of my vacation pictures from Santa Barbara that I wanted to share. First and foremost, I want to thank our amazing friends Jeremy and Casey for sharing their beautiful home and taking us around town. We love you guys!

I’m convinced that Heaven looks a little something like Santa Barbara.

We ate at this amazing southern restaurant called The Palace where a live jazz band performed as we waited outside. (Sorry the pictures aren’t phenomenal, we all know how night time indoor restaurant lighting makes for the best photos!) The pre-meal bread consisted of 5 different types of amazing muffins, my personal favorite being the banana nut! Rob had a filet stuffed with crawfish and it was DIVINE. Also, can we talk about how much I love restaurants that serve drinks in mason jars!

For our lunch the next day, we heard rave reviews for Brophy Bro’s chowder but the line was insane so we ended up at Longboards. With it’s location right on the peer and with an open air deck, I can imagine some amazing Sunday brunches happening here! The cuisine was perfect “beach” food and their fish and chips were SO good. Also, their drinks were both appetizing to look at AND to drink. Win win.

 I have to tell you guys, since I graduated college, my nights out have become rather tame. But when our dear friend Jeremy got bottle service at Wildcat, we definitely took full advantage and the drinks never stopped coming! Apparently Katy Perry wrote her song Last Friday Night about a night at Wildcat and I definitely know why! Come to this place if you’re looking for a fun place to drink and dance!

Santa Barbara was SO much fun, and I’m already counting down the days til we make our next trip out there. 🙂 Any places in Santa Barbara that you guys recommend? I’d love more spots to take some beautiful photos!

 Also, don’t forget today is the last day (Deadline 5 pm PST) to take part in my first ever giveaway! Enter to win a hand painted Iron Man shot glass from my friend Sam. She’s amazingly talented and it’ll make for a fun gift for you or the man in your life! It’s as easy as liking us on Facebook 🙂

Click the image above to learn more!

Happy Monday everyone!!