Tuesday, July 31, 2012

California Adventure - Palm Springs Chapter.

Back again for more California trip fun!  P.s. I promise you only have to hear about one more of these.....After spending some time in LA, Laguna and San Clemente the man-friend and I headed off to hot, hot, HOT (but beautiful) Palm Springs.  Has anyone ever been to the desert?  Well, I had not, and despite everything Tony told me, I was not prepared for the combination of intense heat and dry, desert air that seemed to smack me in the face every time I walked outside.  HOWEVER....I must say, regardless of the fact that it was 110 degrees, Palm Springs is absolutely breath-taking.  I never knew the desert to be such a gorgeous and scenic place.  Tony actually lived in Palm Springs for a good portion of his childhood so luckily he really knew his way around!  He showed me his old elementary school, his bike-riding routes, the grocery stores and movie theaters, etc. he went to, and three of his old houses - he must have had the BEST parties!  Except not considering he was like 5.  Okay 12 but whatever.  Anywho, along with an exciting trip down memory lane, Tony took me on a morning hike, treated me to a BEYOND delicious lunch at In-N-Out Burger, and took me on a gorgeous drive up and down and all around the mountains.

One of Tony's childhood homes - we found it!

'bout damn time.....ten days in California and I didn't get my Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf until day 8!  not right....

cue the drool.....

the hotels on this trip just got better and better....one of my FAVES!

yesssssss, claw-foot tub.

Like I said, just ONE more post chronicling our Cali adventure.  Next (and last), San Diego!

Don't lie....you'll be sad when these are over.  


Friday, July 20, 2012

friday, sweet friday!

Happy sweet, sweet Friday, kitty-cats!  Today I am linking up with Lauren at From My Grey Desk for "High Five for Friday!".  I have been following Lauren's blog for a few months now and she has been more than an inspiration for all things fashion and DIY (not to mention she is hilarious!).  I finally decided to jump on her Friday bandwagon and share my top 5 favorite things from this week:

As luck would have it I was finally not the ONLY one in the house craving something sweet late-night....so last night the roomies and I decided to order cookies from a little gem called Dough-to-Door.  It is EXACTLY how it sounds.  You call and place your order and within about 30 - 60 minutes you have a dozen freshly-baked cookies (any variety of your choosing) and two bottles of milk knockin' on your door.  I'm sure you're thinking "60 minutes?!", but it's just because they don't bake them until you order.  If you're in the St. Louis/University City area I demand you try them, you won't be disappointed  : )
roomies and hound awaiting the sweet treats (yes, that is in fact an all plaid outfit on Teresa over there....)

Tomorrow St. Louis will actually go back down to double-digit temperatures for the first time in about 27 (or so the news says) days.  Who knew I'd ever be so thankful for a 95 degree day??  I'm trying not to look at/think about the middle of next week, just going to bask in the glory of this "break from the heat" we will be getting tomorrow and Sunday.  Okay, that was way sarcastic and these posts are about positive things to actually be thankful for!  So I will end it by saying it looks though that much-needed rain will be in our future as well.  HOLLA for t-storms and temps in the 80's!


I did some MUCH needed cleaning, laundry-doing, organizing at my apartment this week.  I have had these things (especially the organizing) on my to-do list for weeks but just have not been able to find the time; this may be the busiest summer for me to date.  But finally this week I was able to arrange and organize this little make-up/lotion bottles/"anything else I can fit" organizer that I bought at Target about a hundred years ago.  It really is the little things in life  : )
*picture of make-up/dresser organization to come soon...i was just so overjoyed that i finally did it i forgot to snap a shot : )

THE ANNUAL HALF-OFF LITERS SALE AT BEAUTY BRANDS.  'nuff said.  My favorite, go-to products are from the Matrix line:  Biolage, Amplify, and Sleek.  Woop woop!


Last but not least, the most favorite part of my week was that I started working for that hunky boyfriend of mine at his grocery store, which I introduced you all to in a post here.  I decided to go from full-time down to part-time at my "9 to 5-er" and start working alongside Tony Monday - Thursday for a few hours at the end of the day.  I love absolutely everything about this store and could not be happier to get to be a part of it, now, four days a week.  The customers are so friendly and you can tell that when they come into Viviano's, they know they are going to find exactly what they need at the best price and quality, as well as pick up some new treasures on the way  : )  My first week has been so great and I cannot wait for what is in store for the future.  Plus, who wouldn't love seeing this adorable face with its Joe Manganiello-esque lip curl everyday??  (you're welcome, dear.)

picture from our night at The Carlyle in NYC seeing Woody Allen perform the jazz trumpet
Happy Friday, people!  Feel free to share what you're thankful for this past week.  Enjoy your weekends  : )

Thursday, July 19, 2012

California Adventure - SoCal Chapter

Back again for more California fun!  Last Cali post chronicled our wine country days in Napa and Sonoma, which we followed up with a quick flight towards the more southern points in California.  Our next stops, or what we call the midsection of our trip, included two days in L.A., a day exploring Balboa Island and Laguna Beach, and then an evening/overnight stay in San Clemente.  As much as this girl loves her vino, I have to say that this was my favorite part of our trip.  I'm pretty sure 99% of people would say they love the beach and the sun and what not, and of course I do as well, but I have honestly always been more of a city girl, loving the fast-paced hustle and bustle of noisy, busy streets.  After visiting Balboa Island and Laguna/San Clemente I can officially say, for the first time EVER, that I could live in a beach town.  These places were absolutely gorgeous but still full of normal, everyday life (a.k.a. not just vacation-ers).  Our time in L.A. was fun and fast-paced complete with a taping of the Jimmy Kimmel Show, a visit to Clayton Moore (the "The Lone Ranger")'s grave site (that one was for my Dad!), drinks at Rainbow Bar and Grill (no sitings of rock'n roll legends : ( ), a game at Dodger Stadium, and lots of shopping!!  Out of everything we did/saw/visited during this portion of the trip I have to say that my favorite was our time on Balboa Island. Anywhere that requires you to put your car ON a boat to get to is my kind of place.  It didn't hurt that a gorgeous beach, a mini ferris wheel, and some of the best custard ice cream was also awaiting us on the other side  : )  Enjoy some pics below and see it all for yourself!

not at all creepy......RIP, Lone Ranger.

Balboa Island

we're buying this one......

car on a boat!

one of my faves  : )  look how turquoise the water gets as you look further out!

Laguna Beach

looking for seashells for the kiddos

view outside of our room in san clemente

i love my liiiiiife!!

As usual, more to come soon!  Only a few more posts left of our Cali adventure....yes, I still miss it  : (  Hope you all have been able to relax and have a vacation of some sort of your own this summer.  Feel free to share your stories!  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

California Adventure - Napa/Sonoma Chapter

(disclaimer:  largely photo-based post ahead....)

Back again for another post on our California adventure!  I first shared stories and photos from our first day in San Francisco, and from there we were headed off to Sonoma for our first day of vineyard-hopping.  As I mentioned in an earlier post here Tony is a certified sommelier and one of those most impressive and knowledgeable wine experts I've ever met (and I'm Italian, I've been around a lot of vino in my 26 years), so he managed to plan out our sequence of wineries and tasting rooms perfectly by the kind of wine that was offered/specialized/featured at each one.  We started at La Crema in their tasting room and sampled about 10 wines total, among them being Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (my favorite red!), and then left to explore the adorable town of Healdsburg.  Our next steps in Sonoma included Seghesio, where we sampled the "Venom" wine from a snake-shaped decanter (!!), then Simi (one of my absolute favorite wines), and ended the day with dinner and delicious wine at Coppola Winery (yes, Francis Ford Coppola's winery!).  After dinner we checked into our room at Hotel Yountville and settled in for a good night's sleep before our looooong day in Napa the next day.  Our day in Napa consisted of four wineries, our favorite being Viader Vineyards (I'd be lying if I said our suitcases weren't a few lbs. over at the airport from some bottles of Viader's finest.....), and then FINALLY some relaxing time by the pool.

man loves his vino.


our gorgeous room in napa, complete with canopy bed, fireplace and our own, private terrace with a fountain!

casting notes from "The Godfather" at Coppola.

Castello di Amarosa

gorgeous cypress trees everywhere!

come oooooon, secret passageway.....

absolute heaven.

weeeeeee!  where to next?!

cheese-ball love : )

my "just go over there and introduce yourself to the owner so i can go pet that dog on the lawn" face.

a little sparkling to end our day,

meditation pool at our hotel in napa, lined with cypress trees and fire-lit stones

good-bye BEAUTIFUL napa!  Off to Hollywood  : )

Stay tuned for the next California post soon!  I promise it won't take as long as this one did to share  : )  Have a wonderful week, lovers!