Crafts & DIY

boo-tiful halloween pumpkins

I don’t do well with scary movies, haunted houses, ouija boards, etc. I prefer my Halloween sick from an over-indulgence on candy corn and dressing animals up in ridiculously adorable costumes. I also have an inexplicably irrational love of anything rainbow sprinkled.

So it’s only natural I would want to turn this:
mini pumpkin

into this!
mini pumpkin

 You too can make your own faux-rainbow sprinkle donut pumpkins in about 15 minutes.

Grab a 2oz bottle of craft paint in your favorite color (this is Martha Stewart Crafts’ “Fruit Punch”): 
mini pumpkin

Paint the top half of the mini pumpkin:
mini pumpkin

Make sure to add the rainbow sprinkles while the paint is still wet:
mini pumpkin

Optional: If you anticipate any kids, friends, or significant others poking around at your sprinkle donut pumpkin, add a layer of mod podge once the paint dries, but before the sprinkles.

And please, don’t try to eat it.

Crafts & DIY

all that glitters is gold leaf

I just started a subscription to Whimseybox and I am LOVING it. It’s a crafty person’s dream subscription box, and it’s like getting a present delivered to your door every month! Use my link to get $5 off your first box: https://whimseybox.com/r/kj8p6s6o

So, how does it work?

Every month, Whimseybox sends you a sturdy, reusable box:

june whimseybox

with its contents all wrapped up in a perfect pretty bow:

june whimseybox

a few words of inspiration:

june whimseybox

and all the supplies and instructions you’ll need to make a craft!

june whimseybox

July was all about, you guessed it, GOLD! Unfortunately, the adhesive and sealant that came with this month’s box was putrid. I could smell them in my mailbox, before I even opened the Whimseybox. I attempted making a frame with these stinky liquids, and it was a total disaster. Even with all my windows open and a fan going, I just couldn’t get over the smell. Also, there was gold leaf EVERYWHERE. #goldleafvirgin

I e-mailed their beyond stellar customer service peeps, and they heard my cries of desperation (and gasps for fresh air!) Not only did they send me a replacement frame, they suggested using modge podge as a non-stinky sealant for this craft.

june whimseybox

Since the original liquid adhesive was just as stinky as the sealant, and I wanted a polka dot pattern on my frame, I rummaged through my craft boxes and found some GLUE DOTS. A million times easier, cleaner and non smellier than the liquid adhesive. BRILLIANT.

You could apply the glue dots and gold leaf directly to the unfinished frame, but I opted to add a splash of turquoise first:

june whimseybox

Gold leaf is SUPER finicky. Be extra careful and gentle with it, and try not to handle it too much with your hands. Pro tip: a thin paintbrush helps pick up pieces of gold leaf!

To remove the excess gold leaf, I rubbed a q-tip onto the dots:

june whimseybox

Once all the excess gold leaf is removed, add a layer of modge podge to coat the entire frame.

june whimseybox

Love how it turned out! Now comes the task of finding just the right photo to complement the turquoise and glittery told 🙂

june whimseybox

Cooking

what the kale?

I’m on a green kick. Green plants, green juice, and a cruciferous green super veggie. Because why the kale not?

kale salad

The Jessica’s Kale Salad found at your nearby fancy Gelson’s deli counter is ever so slightly tangy, refreshing and crunchy. But it also starts to drain your wallet after a while. The beauty of this salad is its simplicity (which equals fewer ingredients, which equals cheap to make).

kale salad

I despise chopping kale (that stuff is tough!), so I’m a fan of the pre-chopped bag of kale from TJ’s.

kale

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Crafts & DIY

non-sucky succulents

You know what I love almost as much as food (and Disneyland)? DIY! So let me officially introduce you to my first crafty post.

I’m an avid Pinner, so naturally I am drawn to, in no particular order: clothes I can’t afford, homes that exist only in my dreams, workout infographics I will never use, inspirational quotes, mason jars, and…succulents!

They’re pretty…and pretty hard to kill, so these trending plants are perfect for your first living DIY.

diy terrarium  

 To make your own Pinterst-y mason jar terrariums, you will need:
* 3 wide mouth mason jars
* pebbles or sand (I got this bag from Joann’s for <$3 with a nifty 40% off coupon
* 1-2 cups cactus soil (I already had a bag of regular potting soil on hand, so I mixed some of this with 2-3 generous handfuls of sand. The idea is to help with drainage.)
* a pretty succulent (the tiniest one at the garden center will work)

diy terrarium

You can get ~3 pint sized mason jar terrariums out of one tiny succulent. You just gently break up the soil to separate the stems.

diy terrarium

Fill the bottom of a jar with pebbles or sand. About 1.5 inches should do the trick.

diy terrarium  

Layer in cactus soil (or your own homemade version) until the jar is a bit more than half full. Carefully plant one stem of the succulent into the soil. Repeat 2 more times. Admire your handiwork.

diy terrarium

diy terrarium

Drinks

green juice

On a scale of In-n-Out to brunch, my level of LA-ness lands right around green juice in a mason jar. When juicing started creeping into the picture and more juice bars were opening up than Starbucks, I was very skeptical of putting greens that basically taste like grass in a juice, and not making it taste like, well, grass. No matter how many people swore that an apple negated all hints of kale, spinach, etc. I just wasn’t buying it…

…Until I acquired a juicer and tried it for the first time.

photo (3)

Admittedly, I didn’t jump right into juicing bunches of kale. I started out with a less-threatening version of green juice: a cucumber, apple, lemon and ginger. I like all of those fruits and veggies (is ginger a vegetable? root?), and none of them reeked of a just-cut lawn, so it was a safe way to experiment with a “green” juice.

After acquainting myself with a “safe” alternative to green juice, I took a leap and shoved a little bit of kale into the chute and it really wasn’t as awful as I thought it would be! In fact, it tasted just like my alternative green juice, but with a little darker green color and the added benefits of kale.

Consider me a 100% convert to green juice.*

*Except for celery. I still hate celery.

 photo (5)

 

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Disney Dining

disney dining ~ storytellers cafe

I almost don’t want to push this post live because that means my secret lunch oasis will be outed 🙂

It was hot and crowded when we were in California Adventure, so we decided to take an air-conditioned break by wandering around the Grand Californian. (For those who don’t know, the Grand Californian hotel is connected to California Adventure, with an access gate for anyone who has a valid ticket to enter/exit through). Our admiration of the stunning lobby was loudly interrupted by two very hungry tummy grumbles.

Thankfully, we didn’t have to walk very far until we stumbled upon the Storyteller’s Cafe, nestled inside the hotel, away from the hustle of the park.

Storytellers Cafe

It’s a nice contrast to the crowds and noise of the park, that’s literally just steps away from the restaurant. When you enter, you’re greeted by smiling cast members (and air conditioning!) who add you to the wait list and hand you one of those buzzer things. We arrived shortly after 12pm, and our wait was only 5 minutes. Once your buzzer goes off, you’re escorted into the restaurant and you see a massive breakfast buffet display. While the scent of bacon was calling screaming my name, we were there at the tail end of breakfast and we couldn’t partake in the breakfast feast.

This actually worked out in our favor, because after a quick search, I learned that the buffet is a whopping $27.99 per person! We ordered a Los Angeles Farmers’ Market Field Greens salad and Slow-roasted Turkey Clubhouse sandwich off the regular lunch menu, and our total, with taxes + tip, and after our AP discount was applied, was just under $27 for the both of us. That’s just $13/person to have waiter service, a comfy booth, peace and quiet, and did I mention, air conditioning? That’s the same price as a just-ok chicken sandwich and fries from the Taste Pilots Grill!

The plates are basically half eaten because we were so hungry I forgot to snap a pic before we grubbed!
Slow-roasted Turkey Clubhouse

 

Los Angeles Farmers' Market Field Greens

AND you get a tasty bread basket to boot!
Bread Basket

Disney Dining

disney dining ~ breakfast at river belle terrace

I’ve had my annual pass for less than three months, and I’ve gone over 10 times. I think I might have an addiction? 

mickey!

 I like food (duh), and I clearly like Disneyland, soooo why not start blogging about what I’m stuffing into my face when I’m hanging with the tuxedo wearing mouse? My inaugural Disney Dining post begins with the most important meal of the day, featuring cinnamon roll french toast with cream cheese frosting (!!!)

cinnamon roll french toast
 Who knew this dessert-for-breakfast gem was hidden away inside the River Belle Terrace?

river belle terrace
Decisions, decisions!

river belle terrace breakfast
The classy interior with fellow hungry guests grabbing some things from the condiments bar, which includes…

river belle terrace
TRAIL MIX and GRANOLA (not pictured). Just sitting there. With nifty containers. For the taking. I can neither confirm nor deny packing some snacks for later in the day.

trail mix
So for ~$8 with the AP discount, the two of us scored a yummy breakfast (and maybe some assorted nuts).