5 Quick Tips To Prepare For Guests

This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC®, and its advertiser however all images and opinions are my own. #GladeFineFragranceMist #CollectiveBias

We’re still getting settled into our house here in San Diego but it’s starting to feel more and more like home. I’m still in this weird vacation stage where I haven’t been here long enough to really accept that I live here and yet I’ve been here long enough to get to know the area close to our place and find my shopping spots. It’s an interesting balance that I’m learning just comes with a move and you roll with it. A few nights ago I had some ladies over for a chill night. Even though the house isn’t fully unpacked and things aren’t where I want them to be I don’t ever want to close myself off to not having people over. I’ve learned in the past how easy it is to seclude yourself and make excuses for not spending time with others and I’m done playing that excuse game!


After finalizing plans with the girls I realized I didn’t schedule a lot of time to pick up / clean the house before they arrived. I literally had about 30 minutes to make it look presentable before they arrived and that made my perfectionist heart flutter with nerves. I grew up in a household where every surface needed to be cleaned and everything put away before guests arrived so naturally I’ve carried that into adulthood. While I LOVE that I try to keep a clean house 99% of the time I’ve also learned that life happens and days bleed together and sometimes you just have to do the mad-dash clean and pick up before people are knocking on your door.

With that being said I made a short list to help you quickly prepare for guests:

ONE | Sweep / Vacuum the main walking areas

There is just something nice about having a clean place to walk. We have linoleum floors in the living areas so dirt and whatnot comes from walking in and outside as well as a cat who shakes his litter all over the place which means I try to sweep/vacuum at least once a day. I loath having anything stick to my bare feet.

TWO | Wipe down your kitchen counters and empty the sink.

Trust me, it will make you feel so much better to have your kitchen picked up and the dishes either washed or put into the dishwasher for later.
I’m not sure about you but I get a little stressed out when I walk into my kitchen being super cluttered (my vitamin bowl is currently stressing me out with how messy it is!).

THREE | Clean your bathroom!

Wipe down the counters and put some cleaner in the toilet bowl and do a quick scrub. Maybe I’m crazy but I get a little creeped out when I walk into a bathroom that looks like it hasn’t been wiped down in a while. I’m a bit of a clean freak (as mentioned above).

FOUR | Scan the main entertaining room and remove anything that doesn’t belong.

Do you have random socks, cups, bobby pins scattered around that don’t really have a place – quickly run and put them in the room they belong to! I try to do this at the end of every day but I’ve been slacking off so this is even more important to do right before guests arrive.

FIVE | Make it smell nice.

There is something so comforting and welcoming about walking into a nice smelling room; so make sure all the rooms smell amazing! When preparing for the girls arriving I ran into Walmart that morning to pick up some snacks and stumbled upon Glade® Atmosphere Collection™ Fine Fragrance Mist and immediately opened up the different numbers to smell all the smells! I selected No. 1 Enraptured™, No. 2 Bright™, & No. 3 Free™ scents and put them into my cart and didn’t look back. One of the reasons I was drawn to this mist was because the collection is infused with essential oils, and masterfully crafted fragrances. I’ve always been a fan of the Glade® brand and all of their products and now being able to keep a mist in each of our most used rooms is going to keep my house smelling inviting for months to come!


So tell me friends, how do you prepare for guests at your home?
Do you have a must-do list you go by, or are you a fly by the seat of your pants kinda preparer?

Recent San Diego Eats

I’ve got another post of recent eats while being here in San Diego!
I’m loving finding all of these different places to grab food and enjoy the atmosphere. There is something so refreshing about having a moment to indulge in some scrumptious food. If you’re planning a trip to San Diego make sure you add some of these restaurants to your list of food places to enjoy.
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See my other recent San Diego eats post right here; this is going to become a regular thing on the blog so stay tuned!


SMOKING GUN %

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Y’all, this place is absolutely amazing.
While Beth was in town we were hosted by the Smoking Gun for their Walk of Champagne Brunch and I’m not going to lie – it was beyond scrumptious. The staff was delightful and walked us through their menu and how they prepare their drinks and food, all super fresh! I loved the retro feel of the restaurant with all of their menus, and dishes. It was also a nice nod to some southern food and it comforted my south carolinian soul. 🙂

I ordered | Breakfast Sliders with the Mimosa Flight. The cayenne aioli was SUCH A GOOD TOUCH and definitely not that spicy. If you’re going for brunch, seriously give it a go! The mimosa flight was so tasty with such different flavors! Yum Yum Yum!!!

Beth Ordered | Bagel French Toast with Vanilla-Agave Cream Cheese & a fluffy orange juice. She said that she was nervous that the bagel wouldn’t be as soft for a french toast, but that it ended up being perfect! Also their juices are freshly squeezed in house and that makes a difference!


SUGAR & SCRIBE

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This is in the heart of downtown la jolla and when we were looking at a place to grab some lunch while exploring the area we stumbled upon this and I’m so happy we did! They have a super cute shop inside where you can order baked goods, coffee, and some other fun things! It’s also the restaurant of a champion chef who was featured on the Food Network.

I ordered | The Sligo Scramble and it was SO TASTY!  Their jam was so fresh and when it came out I thought “wow that’s a lot of food, I probably won’t finish it”; well I did finish it and I was so happy I did.

Beth ordered | Brioche French Toast. The whipped cream looked like ice cream and Beth said it was beyond tasty. I think I may have to go back and order this for the next time!


AMERICANA RESTAURANT

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After exploring Torrey Pines with Beth we ended up just driving into Del Mar to grab some grub at Americana Restaurant.

I Ordered | I am a little bit more of a complicated orderer and built my own burger. Ill be the first to admit I judge a place if a burger is on the menu and this did not disappoint! I did a beef burger with adding caramelized onions, avocado, and goat cheese. Their french fries also have what seems like oregano and other spices which make them soooooo good!

Beth Ordered | Fish & Chips. The minute she saw it on the menu she was all “I have to have this” haha! It really looked so good!


DIY Cat Litter Box

This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC®, and its advertiser however all images and opinions are my own. #LovetheseCleanPaws #CollectiveBias

If you’ve been around these parts for a while you’ve already met Tobi.
He is my little 13 year old furball who is simultaneously the joy in my heart and a pain in my butt, yet I wouldn’t have it any other way. With all the moves in the last year (4!) finding a space for Tobi’s litter box has been a challenge. Since Charleston his litterbox has ended up in the living room/den of every house and let’s be honest; you don’t want to have guests over while your cat takes a poop next to the couch and smelling that less than delightful aroma.

A while back I mentioned to Eddie that I wanted to get something that was covered that we could put his box in and help hide the litter box, block the smell, and catch the litter. After looking at a bunch of options we found one that we both liked (inspiration) but Eddie decided to build it himself and I’m here today to share with you the plans and my extra tips to keep everything smelling fresh and clean.

I’ve also got to admit that this litter box wasn’t the only solution to making a re-fresh with Tobi’s litter situation. I was walking through target and grabbed some of the Fresh Step Clean Paws™ Triple Action Scented Litter to try out and I’ve got to say, I’m not disappointed. Having a cat is such a blast but the litter situation always makes me a little queasy – I mean dirty paws walking all around your house is a smidge gross so having Fresh Step Clean Paws™ helps to keep Tobi’s paws and my house clean! It also is a low dust formula (a must!) and helps to lessen litter tracking all over the house as well as blocking odor in three magical ways: blocks urine odors, eliminates fecal odors, and stops odors from bacteria. (ALL THE PRAISE HANDS!).


DIY Cat Litter Box

Materials
+ 1 sheet 3/4 inch maple plywood
+ 1/2 sheet 1/4″ Maple plywood
+ 5/16″ oak dowel
+ Pocket hole Kreg jig
+ 1 1/4 inch pocket hope screws
+ ‎2 magnetic door latches
+ Gripped contact paper

How to:
1. Measure and cut the top and bottom pieces at 36″ x 20.5″
2. Measure and cut both sides at 20″ x 20.5″
3. Measure and cut the divider at 20″ x 8″
4. ‎Equally space and drill four 3/4″ pocket holes on the bottom and top of the sides and two 3/4″ pocket holes on the top and bottom of the divider
5. ‎Attach the sides using 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws to the bottom piece
6. ‎Attach the divider at a length appropriate for the size of your litter box and cat (we attached to allow 22″ between the side and divider)
7. ‎Dry fit the top and measure for your doors. Allow a gap for the doors such as 1/4″ gap on the sides (our doors ended up being 10 5/8″ x 19 3/4″)
8. ‎Drill 1/2″ deep holes in the bottom and top pieces and top and bottom of doors to insert dowels for placing the doors (the idea is to fit like IKEA furniture)
9. ‎Attach the doors followed by aligning and attaching the top using 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws
10. ‎Attach the magnet latches to the bottom of the top piece and the top of each door
11. Add a back piece of wood/pdf if you would like (we plan to!)
12. ‎Use veneer edging to cover the plywood edges or use a router to edge the top piece
13. ‎Paint or stain as needed


Psssttt…make sure you check out the Target Cartwheel Offer on the Fresh Step Litter running from 4/1-4/7!!!



© 2018 The Clorox Company

A Day At Balboa Park

While Maria was still in town visiting after the road trip we knew we wanted to go take a look at Balboa Park in downtown San Diego.
We didn’t plan on doing any of the museums there (although there are 17 within the park) we simply wanted to stroll around, look at all of the beautiful architecture, people watch, and absorb a beautiful sunny California day.
We got there before the afternoon rush (I think we arrived close to 9:30-10AM) and parked over by the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, which was rather empty when we arrived but FULL a few hours later when we left.

Without hitting any of the museums that left us the ability to really soak in all of the beautiful buildings, peak around some stores, and I got a feel for the museums I want to check back out when I go back. I definitely want to go back to see some of the performances at the theater because they look amazing!! I also plan to head back to FINALLY visit the Zoo as it’s been on my list since we moved here!

I’ll add a list below of the museums, shopping, eating, and sights to see while you’re at the park.



Museums

1. Centro Cultural de la Raza
2. Fleet Science Center
3. Japanese Friendship Garden
4. Marston House
5. Mingei International Museum
6. Museum of Photographic Arts
7. San Diego Air & Space Museum
8. San Diego Art Institute
9. San Diego Automotive Museum
10. San Diego History Center
11. San Diego Mineral and Gem Society
12. San Diego Model Railroad Museum
13. San Diego Museum of Man
14. San Diego Natural History Museum (theNAT)
15. The San Diego Museum of Art
16. Timken Museum of Art
17.  Veterans Museum at Balboa Park



Eats / Drinks / Shopping

+ Cafe In The Park 
Craveology
The Flying Squirrel
The Tea Pavilion at the Japanese Friendship Garden
Café Mingei
Prado Perk
Home Plate Sports Café
Helen Edison Gift Shop at The Old Globe
Marston House Museum Shop
The Collector’s Gallery Gift Shop at Mingei International Museum
United Nations Building and Gift Shop



 

The Grand Canyon

I’m quickly becoming a lover of everything dealing with The National Parks.
Eddie & I were able to visit Acadia National Park last year and it was breath taking and in that moment I knew I wanted to see more, do more, and explore more.
When Maria & I were figuring out our stops for the cross country road trip we both decided that visiting the Grand Canyon was a non-negotiable. Like most who hadn’t visited the canyon I poured over images and my mind filled with wonder that something so vast and detailed was formed over so many years and within our own borders. We were able to make the drive up to Williams Arizona and stayed at the La Quinta there since we had Tobi and needed a safe place to keep him and rest for the night. After unloading the car we got back on the road and made the hour drive to the south entrance of the canyon where we showed my National Park Pass and then hit the road up to the crest. With it being the winter season and us getting there after lunch time the crowds were minimal and we were able to really soak everything in.

I think we ended up standing on the edge for a solid hour just staring out at all of the vastness that is the Grand Canyon.
It really is Grand.
We then took a small stroll to see a few different angles before hoping back in the car and heading back to the hotel.
I do wish we had been able to have more time to hike and explore and really make a trip out of it but knowing we were getting back on the road early the next day made it impossible to plan out anything more than just sitting and staring at the majesty of it all. Awesome enough, Eddie & I only live 8 hours away so making a weekend trip back isn’t out of the question!

To be honest as I sat at the foot of the Canyon and absorbed the details I was quickly made aware of how small I am.
Later that night I found myself reflecting on life and the value we bring to it; the ability we have to make waves and spur movements and change lives. This national monument is one of the most stunning things I’ve ever seen; it’s vast and intrinsic and full of wonder and yet there it stands. Yes it has the ability to make an impact on a life, and it will change and erode slowly over time yet people flock to see it, to marvel at it, and to cross it off of a bucket list. I wonder what my life would look like if I put as much enthusiasm as I had to see the Grand Canyon into my relationships with others, into my business, into my marriage, into my family, into…everything. I can only imagine the change that would ripple out and turn into a whole new current.


Quick Facts

Where we stayed: La Quinta Inn & Suites – Williams, Arizona (about one hour away from the south entrance to the canyon)

Outfit Details: My sweatshirt% / Leggings / Hiking shoes (similar) / Sandals% / Headband

Time of Year: January – This made for a chill in the air and lots of wind! There was till snow on parts of the canyon which we weren’t really expecting. So if you’re planning to visit during this time make sure your bring layers and the right kind of footwear!


My Moment Of Yes

This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC®, and its advertiser however all images and opinions are my own. #WellYes2018 #CollectiveBias

When was the last time you said Yes?
I can tell you that for me it was just a few days ago when I finally muted the phone and left it in another room, turned the tv off, put a record on and enjoyed some honest reflection while indulging with some hearty soup. Good flavors & reflection does the heart so much good.

Lately it’s been a struggle to find true balance in my life.
My work life has been bleeding into my home life and the challenge has been finding that good give and take where I don’t feel overwhelmed, under-productive, or insignificant. I keep busying my mind with all of the things I need to cross off of my to-do list instead of saying “YES” to making intentional downtime to calm my mind, body, and spirit. I’ve started noticing that the more I say ‘yes’ to that dedicated space of my day where I am saying yes to reflection; my spirit is more free, my body more energized, and my mind more joyful.

It all started with another morning feeling like I just couldn’t get it all done.
The alarm went off and I hit the ground running to get everything done. Answering all of the emails, reading all of the blog posts, educating myself on the latest social changes, reaching out to clients, updating my websites, researching new areas and client bases…the list goes on and on and on. Lunchtime finally rolled around and I realized I had been staring at screen for hours without so much as even checking in with myself to see how I was doing. I walked downstairs to see what I was going to fuel my body with and I remembered I had picked up some Well Yes!® Soups at my most recent trip to The Big Y; which has been my favorite grocery store since moving to the NorthEast – they are so good at supporting local! I decided on the Butternut Squash Apple Bisque for lunch that day and would definitely be eating some of the sweet potato corn chowder the next day. WellYes! is a line of soups made with nutritious ingredients, like chicken meat with no antibiotics, sweet potatoes, kale, and quinoa and it doesn’t skimp on the flavor; these soups are seriously delicious!

After pouring the soup into a pot to warm I went over to the record player and put on some Johnny Swim to play in the background.
I decided in that moment that I was going to actually be present for lunch that day. I wasn’t going to spend the time scrolling through my phone, watching another episode on the tv, or even listen to an audio book; I was going to enjoy my meal and reflect on where I am in life right now. This would be my new moment of Yes

As I start thinking about all the changes and adventures that await in 2018 I can’t help but sometimes feel a little overwhelmed, out of sorts, and running on empty.
I am the type of women who pushes herself to always do something, be somewhere, and connecting with someone; yet rarely do I really make that most precious time to reflect internally. This new year I really want to be intentional with making “yes moments” at least a few times a week. I’ll be realistic in knowing that some weeks the hustle and bustle will catch up with me and I’ll fall into bed at night realizing that I didn’t take those few minutes to check in with myself; but I’ll make the effort to try again the next day.

Self care is so important.
I’ve found that more often than not we care for the needs of others before making sure that we’re safely floating above the water as well. Instead of realizing too late that we’re under the water and overwhelmed; why not take some time during the week to stop, reflect, check in, and make some adjustments with what you need to do more of and what needs to be done less.
I’m not sure about you; but I’ll take some quiet time and a good bowl of soup any day to reflect.


NOW BACK TO YOU.

How are YOU making time for yourself lately?
Does taking a “moment of yes” resonate with you in the start of a brand new year?
What would those moments look like and how can I encourage you to make them happen?



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#WellYes2018 #Sweepstakes (1/15 to 2/16)