Friday Letters: What’s the big box behind my TV?

Happy Friday everyone!

I know I didn’t “create” much on the blog this week in the midst of my deathly illness and my birthday so I apologize there wasn’t more content as opposed to me babbling on about my life. Thank you for stickin’ around, I promise next week I’ll feature a recipe or two! For now, Friday letters! Linking up with Ashley.

Dear Google+, You became INSTANTLY cooler last night when I had my first Google hangout with my girlfriends. The google effects were hiiiiilarious. Who doesn’t want to have a conversation wearing a virtual moustache, pirate hat and monocle? Who knew Google + was useful for something?!

Dear iPhone 5, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Got your tracking e-mail and you’re in Mather, CA! I’m praying that means you will be on my doorstep by tonight! (I know, I’m late to the party. Not my fault cough *SPRINT*)

Story of my life

Dear Grey’s Anatomy fans, I know I brought this upon myself but Rob and I are still in Season 8. I’ve got the DVR set so we can catch up in real time soon! I love you all so dearly but it forces me to stay off twitter completely on Thursday night when you’re all screaming “OMGGGGGG ______ is gone!” Lol. I know I have no one to blame but myself.

 Dear Disneyland, You and I have SUCH a special relationship and I love you with all my heart. But when our season passes are over, I’ve decided Rob and I can’t renew. I’m going to probably shed a tear or two about that in May but it’s time for Rob and I to see more of the world. I made it one of my 25 before 25 goals that we would travel internationally and we can’t save for that if we keep going to LA. So we’re going to go Disneyland-CRAZY until May 2013 but after that, we’re going to have to take a break. I want some pizza in Italy.

Dear Technology,

Thank you Rob for ushering me in the future.

Dear Evani (yes, talking to myself now), I’m SO proud that you didn’t cry when you got your TB test placement this morning. Clearly being 24 means you’re an adult now. Way to go kiddo.

And just out of curiosity, take a quick second and vote in this poll PLEASEEEEE! 🙂

What are you weekend plans?! I don’t really have any and I’m SUPER excited for that! New TV + Netflix + Football + Bed!

Have a great weekend ya’ll! 

Advertisements

Simply Disney: Favorite Photos

Happy Hump Day!

So I’ve been sitting at my computer thinking about how I plan on writing this without seeming completely nuts. As most of you probably know, I looooooove Disneyland. And I know there are people who totally get the judging eyes on when I talk about how many times I go a year (as an adult) because everyone assumes its for kids or people with kids. I want to say I don’t care but honestly, it does make me really self conscious about talking about it. But at the end of the day, Disneyland is part of who I am so if you judge me for loving it, I guess technically I don’t want you reading anyways!

There are so many reasons why I love Disneyland but I think it’s difficult to explain. It’s more of a feeling than it is reason (other Disney enthusiasts will agree with me!). But I’m gonna to share my favorite artsy-fartsy pictures I’ve snapped at the parks and some of the reasons why I love it so much!

Beautiful Giant Castle. ‘Nuff said.

No matter where you are, there’s almost always a “view” at Disneyland.

I’m still crying a little about the California letters being gone but I love the retro feel to the new California Adventure.

I love the Pacific Wharf, mostly for the UH-mazing Margarita Stand and Karl Strauss Beer Truck but the new Ghiradelli doesn’t hurt either 😉 Did I mention there’s a Starbucks now too?!

No one can deny the detail Disney puts into small details of the park. This is a restroom area!

California Adventure’s Mickey wheel over Paradise Bay is something I could watch all day.

The line of Indiana Jones is usually horrendous. But the detail they put in the “waiting” areas especially of this ride, is undeniable.

Disneyland almost never has a bulb out. Considering the number of bulbs around the park…

You could walk by this pond all day without noticing anything spectacular. But at certain intervals at night, there’s a mini light show that happens prior to the fireworks. It’s such a trivial detail but it’s one of the ways that Disney always strives to make your money worth it.

I absolutely LOVE how Disneyland is different between night and day. Seeing the transition never ceases to amaze me.

All photos were taken by my iPhone 4s.

I’ve been going to Disneyland since I was little and the wonderful part is that the Disneyland Resort has almost grown up with me. They added California Adventure (a very adult friendly park), built more thrill-centric rides (not for the kids), and now they serve alcoholic beverages (all of these things happened in my lifetime!). Oh trust me, there are millions more reasons I call it my second home (holiday decorations, World of Color, food and drinks), but those are for future entries…

Have you ever been to Disneyland? What’s your favorite parts?

Do you have a place that you simply feel connected to?

Hope you make it over the HUMP okay!

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!

Simply Traveling: Santa Monica

Happy Thursday everyone!

I could not be ANY happier with the ladies that linked up with Let’s Get Physical yesterday! Check them out here because they’re all amazing (I promise) ! If you weren’t able to join us for September, feel free to join us for the next link up on October 10th.

On our recent trip down south, we stayed with a good friend of ours that lives in Brentwood, close to the Santa Monica pier. He was such a gracious host and he definitely made sure we had a great time. We ate A LOT… I’ll just let the picture speak for themselves.

Santa Monica Restaurants:

800 degrees – Like a Chipotle for pizza, you go down a line and create your own. AMAZING. Highly recommend the pesto sauce!

Diddy Riese -Cheapest ice cream cookie sandwich ever!

The Misfit – AMAZING Ahi Tuna and the best sea salt chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever had. They also do an endless mimosa brunch I’m definitely returning for!

Although I wish maybe I would’ve thrown in a morning jog or two, I don’t regret any of the deliciousness posted above! Food is a big part of my life and I won’t apologize for that. But I can only eat like that on vacations, eating such AMAZING food daily would not only hurt my fitness journey but my Rob’s wallet too, eek!

I have NEVER had an Ahi Tuna Burger and I think my life was changed FOR-EH-VER. Do you have any recommendations of places where you love their ahi tuna burger??

In between all the food might’ve been a drink or two too. Let’s just say 32 oz Cabo Cantina Margarita vs. Evani: Margarita-1 Evani-0. (32 oz is A LOT people. Trust me on this. Haha)

What are your favorite spots in Santa Monica? Have you ever been? If you haven’t, I highly recommend it!

I can’t believe it’s almost Friday, YAY!

Simply Traveling: Lessons in Travel Planning

One of my favorite places in Florida 🙂

* I wrote this entry before the creation of SimplyEvani but since it’s travel related, I decided to keep it!

I’m finally back and I’m back for good! I know I’ve been so inconsistent with blogging these days but I’ll be better about it now that all vacations are said and done. Find a way to forgive me while I entangle you in a post about our crazy vacation.

So for those of you who follow my blog,  you remember my post about planning this vacation to Florida. It was clearly already an ordeal planning for it but it became apparent that planning was only half the beast. Here are some of the lessons I learned on our vacation gone wild:

Despite our problems with Delta, the touch screens were wonderful on our flights!

After all the anticipating building to Florida, 2 weeks before we leave  I’m calling Delta airlines to see what their change policy is. Lesson #1: ALWAYS check airlines change policy prior to purchasing. After checking the weather report at least 5 times a day for a week, it was obvious that thunderstorms were eminent. Suddenly all appeal of Florida was gone. Much to my dismay, the change fee for Delta was $200 per ticket, not including the difference in flight price. After my days of panic trying to decide what to do, Rob made the executive decision that we would go anyways. I moped about the weather endlessly but I resigned to make the best of it and we kept our reservation. Lesson aside, Florida could not have been any more sunny and beautiful than it was when we went.  (We just barely missed Hurricane Irene, which came in 2 days after we left. Imagine if we had booked for that weekend instead!)

Lol

The night prior, I had checked us into our Delta Airlines flight and learned of the checked baggage fee (Lesson #2: Always check for hidden fees on airlines and hotels). For those of you who know how proud I was of us paying so little for our Florida trip, you can imagine the look of horror on my face. At 6:00 am the next morning on our way to the airport, Rob and I were consolidating our luggage into 1 (which was totally do-able!). I had already printed out our boarding passes when I checked us in the night before and as we excitedly go through security check points (yea, we’re new to the travel thing), I notice our tickets have seats printed on them. And the seats are in different rows.

Lesson #3: Don’t be afraid to ask for what you paid for. As I realized either bookit.com or Delta had screwed us over, I was determined to make this change. Approaching the Delta airlines counter several times, I made sure Delta knew I was not to be denied.  When the employee asked if we were willing to sit in the emergency exit, I willingly jumped on that. Moments later, they gave us new boarding passes to the emergency exit, which was a godsend to Rob’s unbelievably long legs. We had the best seats on the flight. Much to my dismay, we were assigned separate seats on 3 out of 4 of our flights. After our first victory, sternly requesting the emergency exits on the rest of the flights gave us seats together.  Although I credit our tenacity at demanding what we paid for, I have to give props to Delta for always accommodating us.

So true

Upon arrival in Florida, the weather was phenomenal. I won’t bore you with all the details of how beautiful and sunny Florida was. We ate, drank and enjoyed ourselves to our heart’s content (I will probably do a separate blog on travel tips and recommendations on Florida later). The funny part of vacationing was that the more we tried to plan, the more plans fell apart. On Monday, one of our few full days in Florida, we woke up at noon (EST). The planner in me was furious that we slept half the day away but we just went about our day and it ended up being our favorite day at Typhoon Lagoon. Lesson #4: Don’t feel guilty about doing what feels right on vacation (aka sleep). The day we slept in, ended up being out best day and we didn’t crash mid-afternoon.

After allowing things to go with the flow, we had a fantastic time. Although everything seemed to fall into place this time, travel planning is best learned by trial and error. While some of these seem like common knowledge to travel veterans, it was our first time and we learned lots. Hopefully someone out there can learn from our experiences! When we plan our next  trip, I know there are a few more things I’ll be watching for.

I’ve missed blogging and all my readers dearly, I hope you missed me too! 🙂

Happy Tuesday!