Monday, March 23, 2015

Springtime Goals

Cardigan: Gap
Scarf: Uniqlo
Dress: Forever 21
Tights and Flats: Target

I admit in the past few months that I've become a bit complacent with life, just going about the everyday routine of life and somehow becoming quite settled in it, but not quite content. There are still lots of goals and things to do that I need to tackle, and I would like to slowly pick up on that. As I had said in February, I've wanted to really reduce my spending on clothes and reduce my wardrobe, and I have done a pretty good job of not spending money on clothes (bought one pair of velvet pants in early March for $20 and that's it). I also packed up a few bags for donations (but have yet to find time to drive them down there). Spring cleaning is ever so slowly making progress...

I'm in a goal-setting mood, but I'm afraid to list things here and fall through on many of them (because I'm so terrible at follow-up). With the start of a new month in a few days, I will be spending the next few days thinking about things I want to start doing or tackling for the new month...

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

San Diego Zoo

Our next day in San Diego was spent at the world famous zoo, and since my friend Jen lives in SD and has an annual pass to the zoo, I asked her to accompany us and be our tour guide. We met up first for brunch at The Cottage in La Jolla, which was recommended to me by several people as a must-try brunch spot. I ordered the delicious Southern California scramble, because obviously guacamole :)

By 10 or 11 we made our way over to the zoo and it wasn't too crowded that day. I had gone once before when I was much younger, and all I remembered was the sky people mover. It was really cool though, it's so much bigger and nicer than the SF Zoo. Plus there is a bigger variety of animals, and we got to see so many, including the world famous pandas. The line to see them was pretty short, but I hear that in the summer and during busy times, people often wait an hour to see them. Crazy! My favorite animal that we saw was this adorable spotted jaguar that was incredibly difficult to snap a photo of since it wouldn't stop moving back and forth haha. I really like big cats and I enjoyed seeing the jaguar close up. I also loved seeing the elephants, there were quite a few, both Asian and African ones.

By the time the sun went down, most of the animals went in for the night, so we made our way to Phil's BBQ, as recommended by Jen. There was a crazy line outside but we decided to wait, and it was pretty good! I ordered the beef ribs and they were huge but delicious. I don't often eat BBQ food but this was well worth it.

Definitely had a blast at the zoo that day! I think next time if we have more time, I'd want to check out the Safari Park, the concept seems really cool. Thanks Jen for being our guide!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Shop Updates for March 2015

I'm super excited to share with you guys my newest line of products for my shop! Introducing easy to wear elastic headbands! The idea came about when I was looking for something small to make with my leftover scrap fabric, after I used the bulk of it to make skirts and scarves for the store. I still had a lot of usable but small portions of fabric, and after brainstorming for a few weeks, I came up with the idea to make headbands. I did some research and decided to go with enclosed elastic headbands, which are super easy and quick to make.

I'm happy with the finished product! The only issue I had was with sizing because I wasn't too sure how it would vary on fit for kids versus adults, but after trial and error and some research into what sizes work best, I came up with a good prototype for both kids and adults. The elastic also allows some leeway in sizing for varying head sizes. I'm also looking into a variation of the headband that I may introduce as well on my Etsy shop, which uses an exposed elastic as opposed to enclosed, but that is still in the works. For now, feel free to check them out! Coming up with new items to make using the same fabric has been a blast and I can't wait to get working on the next idea :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Meet Clint

I'm excited to share with you guys the newest addition to the household: Clint the Cactus :) As you can probably tell from my last post, I've developed somewhat of an interest in cacti, probably thanks to Roger and his obsession with cacti. But after really gaining exposure to various types of cacti at Anza-Borrego, I've been doing more research about cacti and learning about the different types. I also decided to pick up my own little fellow from Home Depot. Who knew they carried so many types of cacti and succulents? I apparently didn't. I never saw myself with a green thumb, but a low maintenance and fun plant like a cactus was perfect for me. I named him Clint after Clint Eastwood and the slew of Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns he starred in the 1960s, because obviously westerns and deserts and see the connection. We each ended up picking up the same type of cactus from Home Depot, a bristle brush cactus.

I'm quite happy to have a little cactus in my house, and thankfully he's very low maintenance but I can't wait to take care of him and watch him grow. Apparently they can reach 15 inches in height, and right now he's just at under 7 1/2 inches or so. I'm considering adding more cactus as well, but one is a good number to start with :)

Friday, March 6, 2015

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

For our first full day in San Diego, we decided to drive two hours out of the city to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, located in Borrego Springs northeast of SD. After looking through different lists of things to do in San Diego, we realized that we weren't too far away from various different state parks and natural attractions. Joshua Tree National Park was another option, but we decided it was too far for a quick day trip from SD, and so Anza-Borrego popped up on our radar. We set out early that morning armed with snacks and water to Anza-Borrego for a day in the desert.

Our first stop was at the Anza- Borrego Desert State Park Headquarters to visit the Visitor's Center and the first set of cactus and trails. We ended up spending the majority of our day here exploring the various trails and stopping to take pictures of all the cacti. Thankfully it was winter and it wasn't hot at all, but in the summer it can get up to triple digits! Apologies for the cacti photo spam, but I couldn't resist snapping all the different cacti species at the park. From various cholla to prickly pears to barrel cacti, it was fun getting to see all the different types of cacti in person and learning little things about them.

After exploring the Visitor's Center area and the surrounding trails, we desperately needed a pit stop for lunch, so we drove into the small town of Borrego Springs and found Kendall's Cafe, which was absolutely delicious. We all ordered a burger and a side dish of nachos and it was so yummy! It was a nice small cafe in the middle of almost nowhere, and it really hit the spot.

After our late lunch, we drove to the next trail called the Cactus Loop Trail, which was about 20 minutes away. By then, the sun was about to set in an hour, so we quickly tackled part of the trail, carefully maneuvering around various cacti while slowly ascending upward. The trail featured the same cacti we saw earlier but in a mountainside setting and information about the different types along the trail. Part of the mountainside was covered with basically a field of beautiful teddy-bear cholla. Finally we decided we needed to head back down as the sun began to set.

For our final hour or so, we decided to head back to the headquarters and try some stargazing out in the desert. It wasn't as clear as we had hoped, but as the sun set and the stars began to appear, we managed to spot a few major constellations and slowly watched the sky fill with stars. Then we headed back to Old Town for a late night dinner and drinks at Tequila Factory.

Overall, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park was gorgeous and I only wish we had more time to explore various trails. I don't think I'd want to go back in the summertime, but I hear in the spring the cactus flowers bloom, and I would love the chance to check that out some day. We also didn't get to spot any desert bighorn sheep (for which the park is partially named after), but they are endangered and difficult to find. I would recommend Anza-Borrego for those with a general interest in desert landscapes and flora, especially those interested in cacti species! It was a wonderful day trip out of SD, and I would highly recommend it :)