I preach a lot about treating yourself. You should. All the time. But you should make it a point to treat your homegirls too. (Maybe you already do?) Like when Sad Girl bought Mousie a necklace. I’m not saying throw down big money but if you are out together getting coffee, hook her up every once in awhile. If you live close, stop by with homemade cookies. Or if you are like me and my girls who all live far from each other, drop something in the mail. Or when you see each other, pay for a round of dranks. It feels good to do it that’s why. And it makes her feel good too.
My girl Lisa in Phoenix bought me lunch at Keisei Yuzen while I was on a layover in Japan by the magic of technology. Terminal 1 in Narita Airport. I ordered me a melon soda, tempura set + chicken yakitori. Thanks, Lisa! Love you xoxo
Now here’s a concept. Invite 50 influencers to your event + tell them you trust them. But don’t stop there. Tell them keep doing what you’re doing + don’t change what you’re doing. Tell them to talk about what’s honest and true to you. Hit them with this line “Don’t ever let anyone dictate your content.” FULL STOP. ALLA THAT.
And then thank them. What it comes down to is trust and chemistry. Kia figured out the formula. Not only with influencers but with everything. Want receipts? Kia took the top spot in the 2016 J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey. The first time in 27 YEARS that a non-premium nameplate gets to floss. ALL THE WAY UP. You got the juice now, Kia.
Disclosure: I was invited to check out #GhostTown75 – All thoughts are my own.
Flashbacks on flashbacks. I wrote a piece last year for the Knott’s Berry Blog about Ghost Town Characters and I was pretty obsessed with Ghost Town then but now for the 75th Anniversary, Knott’s outdoes itself. Ghost Town Alive! is truly incredible. I’ve never experienced anything like this. For the first time ever, you can step inside + explore the Sheriff’s Office, Barbershop and Goldie’s Place. I’m ready to move in actually.
On point with the details. When I tell you it is about the little things… Get yourself a Calico Gazette. The best free souvenir you can find. Frameable even.
That’s a 2017 Phantom Black Hyundai Elantra Eco. We had one for a week. Our truck was out of commission and my schedule was packed with local travel on a holiday weekend. We would have to make the trek to San Diego and back twice. Super panicked, I reached out to DriveShop to see if they had anything in the fleet to help us. And this phantom black beauty arrived. I was feeling it. Needed to keep our costs low because we still needed to get our truck fixed and read that this baby would be easy on gas. YASSS!
We surprised the LEGO loving 4 year old with a trip to LEGOLAND! We got invited to see the newest edition to Miniland, One World Trade Center. He was so wild when we pulled up. Peep all that room. Look at it! We packed an extra bag to hang at the waterpark and snacks for on the road.
I stay inside with the kids when DriveShop drops off cars for us to check out. Chris handles all that. He gets the keys, paperwork and sometimes goes for a test drive around the block to feel it out. We requested a van for when my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and niece were here in June to celebrate my husband’s birthday. When I tell you this man nicknamed his new “man van”, a snow white pearl 2016 Kia Sedona SX-L, the Storm Trooper… and promptly snapchatted it + happily cruised around in the first ten minutes it was in his possession… it was love at first sight. And I felt the same way. He is so picky with shoes, that I was lowkey worried a van wouldn’t cut it on his cool meter. But all was good and he was down for some California cruising.
On the agenda, our must-see California:
When you wanna go on a staycation but ain’t got no free time. But you know what… I made time for San Diego. 24 hours to be exact. Figured we’d get our grub on, take in some art and chillax.
Check out A Unicorn Mama’s Guide to 24 Hours in San Diego
by Xenia / Raised by Culture at Mode
Shout out to Denny’s for bringing the bacon. Shout out to my roomies Amber, Amber + Lori.
The morning after a conference is the roughest. You probably spent all night laughing, dancing or both. The loudness of your girlfriends is different from the loudness of your home. There’s packing up what you brought and all the swag you need to bring home, wondering how you will hide it from your husband who explicitly said do not bring any swag home. An inevitable checkout time (I HAVE TO GO HOME?!) and those awkward goodbyes with your homies/roomies. May they be one in the same. This is the story of us and bacon.
You know you had an epic summer vacation when you are barely recovering in January. We usually do one big family trip out of state every year. Orlando, FL in 2013. Austin and San Antonio, TX in 2014. 2015 was going to be mellow. I was actually happy that our families were going to come to us. On the trip radar: Palm Springs for my epic birthday (more on that soon) and a Las Vegas primer for the kids. I did Life is Beautiful Festival solo in 2014 and had to take the familia. Art, music, learning and food – I was into it and knew they would be too. On this year’s lineup, our favorites Kendrick Lamar, Run the Jewels and Ghostface Killah with BADBADNOTGOOD.
The wanderlust was strong, I even curated a story about what we’d do in Vegas with the kids.
This car is fly.
The homies at DriveShop knew what they were doing when they sent over the 2016 Mazda 6 i Grand Touring edition in soul red for our weeklong trip to Palm Springs. Ya girl + the familia was stylin’ + profilin’ out there. I love a good road trip but I suffer from a little anxiety. I blame it on having kids and getting older. The one thing that makes me feel safe is a safe car. I totally looked up the NHTSA rating – 5 stars and IIHS calls the Mazda6 a Top Safety Pick. Check. All systems go. Back to the color – soul red. This car made celebrating my 40th birthday feel like my 21st birthday. Vibrant and seeking adventure.
This baby got us to Palm Springs real smooth. Since I play navigator, I was feeling the forward-obstruction warning system and blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert. Features you miss when you return to the real world in your 10+ year old truck. Comfort, both kids fell asleep on the way there – I thought we would hit traffic but we got to the Coachella Valley in about an hour. No complaints cause comfy. I’m mostly in charge of the sound system and a/c too. With temps ranging from 108-112, you know I was pushing for 65 degrees at all times. The Mazda6 cooled quick and maintained.
You could go back four years and watch me say the same thing, Knott’s Merry Farm is my favorite time of the year. There is nothing like Christmas at Knott’s Berry Farm. I said in 2012 it was pure magic, our 2nd year of starting new family traditions happened in 2013 and last year, it officially became our family favorite. This year is going to be extra special with my in-laws coming in from TX for a holiday visit. I cannot wait to watch my sons show their abuela and abuelo around.
A big shout out to Denny’s for sponsoring this Life is Beautiful post!
You know when the familia and I went to Vegas for Life is Beautiful Festival (my 9 year old wrote that piece #proudmamamoment) we had to check out the Denny’s on Fremont Street. I heard about it on my internet travels and had to investigate for myself. Full bar, happy hour and wedding chapel, you say? Maybe we could get a drink before the festival or on the way back to the hotel. I was totally up for any of that. We might can see a wedding? Yes please. The powers that be (me) couldn’t have planned our hotel situation more perfect. The restaurant was right between the hotel and the festival venue. It was about to be on!
This is where I admit to having Denny’s TWICE. No shame. No guilt. The day we got in, Chris and the boys were still feeling a little sick so we placed a to-go order after scoping out Fremont Street. The biggest reason: you can always count on Denny’s. Like your BFF; quality, there 24/7 and good to you. Life is beautiful like that. It was so good that we decided to eat there for lunch the day of the festival. While we were waiting, a couple and their newborn walked in and the staff went crazy for them. That right there is a good sign. If I’m assuming correctly, she is part of the staff there. If you love your job that much to bring your new baby in to see them, that’s a place I want to spend my money. These are the things that matter to me. Life is beautiful like that.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CambioConfiable #CollectiveBias
You need a car living in California, at least I know we do. It is pivotal to our daily freedom. It opens the door to everything. It is the key for adventures. We are always out and about doing things. My state makes it easy like that. There is no shortage of fun, we have museums, beaches, mountains, everything! Sunday Fundays are my favorite, I take the day off from work and enjoy my familia. Traffic to LA is almost non-existent and we make a day out of exploring new places and revisiting our usual hangout spots. My next favorite are staycations and road trips, that’s real freedom for adventures.
Does your car make you happy? There’s no question we love having a sweet ride to take us to all the fun things. And you know we’re all about fun! Chris is on it when it comes to Quaker State oil changes, almost like a monthly spa day for your car!!!
Our first car selfie together. I’m not sure why it took so long!