As you can tell via my Instagram and my previous blog post I ❤️ ritual hot yoga. The whole experience from beginning to end is peaceful, relaxing, but also a great workout! If I had it my way I’d go to class almost every day but it is not always possible so I’m collecting some items so my at home practice can feel a little like ritual.
These mats are the thickest and sturdiest I have tried! They also come with a lifetime warranty!
When you walk into class you grab one of these thick grippy towels to throw on your mat because you sweat so much during class it’s like you go swimming!
Ritual offers their own really cool invention to keep your grippy towel in place while you practice. MatSnaps are are a set of four small snaps, designed to keep your towel in place on your yoga mat throughout your session. At ritual each mat comes with snap so you lay your towel exactly how you want it then slide and clip the snaps into places. It’s so useful and pretty cool to use. Best part is that it was invented by ritual owners Lindsey Greene and Brittney Blum.
After your session at ritual if you look carefully there might be a box of tea where you check in. I try to always make a habit of grabbing a tea bag on my way out and the next morning enjoying it at the office. I love that there are quotes on each one. The best one I got was “Let things come to you.”
One of my favorite things about Ritual is the little extras they offer like tea and also love that you can find chapstick in the bathroom waiting areas!
So I lied, and my favorite part of class is the Shavasana where the your yoga teacher gently places a cool eucalyptus infused towel on you forehead. There is nothing like this after you have sweated it all out on the mat! I have found that Aveda had a line of singular note oils and one of the scents is eucalyptus! Add that to a hand towel and home and inhale!
Disneyland is a place rich in history but often visits are so time crunched you can barely enjoy it. There is a great way to learn about the beginnings of the park AND enjoy a few rides.
Disneyland offers a tour everyday in the park at 9:30 am and 10:30 am for $109.00. If you are a annual pass holder you can save 15% and Disney Visa card holders also can get a discount. Allow yourself 4 hours to enjoy the tour, as the first time my mom and I attempted we had to leave early to catch a flight so we missed the best part of the tour which is the Dream suite.
Disney asks guest to check in early at the tour meet-up area, where you can choose your lunch items. I choose a turkey sandwich, water, and my now favorite dessert the item in the parks the Matterthorn macaroon.
Our tour started with the history of the opening of the parks in 1955. We learned that Walt’s apartment was actually above the firestation and if Walt was in the parks the light in the window would be on. To this day the light remains on in tribute of Walt. As we meandered past the firehouse we learned that Main Street is actually based on Marceline, Kansas Walt’s hometown. We spent a moment in front of the flagpole and heard the famous speech Walt delivered when the parks opened. I also thought it was hilarious to learn that there were so many weeds present when the park opened that with time running out to pull them Walt came up with a idea to add signs with the Latin names of the weeds to make it seems as they were supposed to be there. On opening day there were 28 thousand guests and in the first week the park had over a million.
As we continued on our tour that day here are some fun facts we collected:
- Disneyland is designed like a wheel where the center of the park near the castle on Main Street is the center and the spokes are leading out to all the lands.
- Fantasyland is known as the”heart of Disney” and the first land built.
- The carousel in Fantasyland is the oldest attraction with all white horses so no one would fight over who could ride the white horse.
- Walt Disney was a very patriotic man: he wanted to enlist in the military, but at the time he was only 16, but lied on his birth certificate so he could join the Red Cross Corp.
- In 1966 the real mayor of New Orleans came to Disneyland’s New Orleans Square to dedicate the land
- Walt Disney and his wife Lillian loved to take their family on long road trips. On one road trip Walt bought a Petrified tree. (Picture below)
A great highlight of the tour was lunch. Sometime lunch is during the middle of the tour or the end depending on when the Dream Suite is available for viewing. I highly recommend the Matterthorn Macaroon!
Now here is where I think the Disney Magic really shines! We meandered around Indiana Jones ride to a secret area near Pirates Of the Caribbean. We split our group in two to ride a fancy elevator to Walt’s Dream suite. The suite is 2,220 square foot living space right above Pirates Of the Caribbean that opened in January 2008. In the 1960’s Walt decided he needed a larger area to entertain VIPs so he enlisted the help of Dorthea Redmond (whose is famous for some of the set designs in the movie “Gone With The Wind”) to design the layout. Walt’s wife Lillian and Walt Disney studio decorator Emile Kuri were tasked with furnishing and decorating. Unfortunately Walt never saw the Dream suite completed as he died in 1966. The only way to see the Dream Suite now is on this tour. Depending on your tour guide you may be able to take picture inside or not. You get one guaranteed picture in the sitting area but on the tour I was on we couldn’t take any additional pictures so the ones you see here are a secret.
The Disneyland Dream Suite includes a living room, open-air patio, two bedrooms and two bathrooms. When you enter the front door leading to the parlor room you will notice that it is designed French Provincial-meets-Fantasy-land style. There are original paintings in this room of a French Castle that inspired Sleeping Beauty’s castle. There is also a gorgeous fireplace designed like something you would see in New Orleans that when it’s turned on the “flames” look like fireworks. Each room of the suite has some sort of “Disney Magic.” In the living room it is this clock that on the hour plays Disney tunes you might know like “When you wish upon a star.” One of the bedroom is decorated like the trains Walt Disney loved and had a train that circles the entire room! The best “Disney Moment” which our tour guide called the “Goodnight Kiss” was in the Adventure Land master suite. When you pressed the button the lights dimmed and a oil painting came to life with mermaids from Peter Pan. The ceiling even had stars that twinkled! Peter Pan’s ship sails as a projection on the headboard just before the lights go back to normal. Though my favorite room was the bath with the giant soaking tub and replica Tiffany glass above it. The goodnight kiss there is music from Symphony No. 6 from “Fantasia” playing. I could picture myself enjoying a nice bath with the plush robes that hung nearby. (I wonder who does the laundry here).
Overall doing the tour at least once if you have never done it. Another benefit is that your guide will “walk” you on two rides which in our case included Alice In wonderland and Peter Pan. It’s nice not to have to wait in lines! There is a lot to learn touring parks even if you are a huge Disney fan. Through the headsets you hear audio from the opening of the park and music from the wonderful world of Disney specials. All in all a special time in the happiest place on earth!
During Black Friday last year I discovered Kit And Ace in walnut creek. Even my husband and dad happily pursued their selection of clothing mostly because of the free gourmet treats, while my mom and I enjoyed free champagne. I bought a pair of pants called the York Pant. They were grey, cuffed and stretchy but looked dressy but felt wonderful. Since then I have been on the hunt for the pair in black. Unfortunately I have yet to find them but enjoyed a lovely night at the Burlingame location for a event called the Blog Party.
Blog party was founded by Jamie from j for Jamie for bloggers and brands to get to together, meet, and collaborate. This was my first event and I was so excited it was at one of my favorite stores.
Highlights were tasting delicious wines from Hall Wines and bringing home a bottle of my new favorite pineapple coconut water from Zico. I met in real life Suki from her Super Duper Fantastic Blog and many other bloggers like Nisha from her Simplistique blog. Added bonus I came home with a lovely swag bag with treats from Flash Tattoos, Yusu Soap (a lovely lavender flavor that I used right up!), Oh! Shiny Paper Co, Bare Minerals Lip Gloss, and Punk Post Company.
I had a great time mingling with the folks from blog party, Kit and Ace, as well as other bloggers! Looking forward to the next event!
For more pictures from the event check out this link.
I’ll be the first to admit I have a huge blogger/girl crush on Goldfish Kiss. Her posts make me want to run on the beach and book a flight to Hawaii, like right now. I saw recently that she and her family are moving to my hood, the Bay Area. This inspired me to share some of my favorite Hawaii themed places to eat and visit in the SF Bay Area.
Acai is an amazing healthy treat. This cute shop also has a location on the Big Island. In SF it’s very conveniently located in the Embarcadero center with easy parking and access to public transportation. Acai is a treat you don’t have to feel too guilty in indulging in unlike most of the favorites in this post. Acai is loaded with antioxidants that can positively effect your health. The shop offers several different bowls but I much prefer the basic blue Hawaiian with banana, granola, berries, and a bit of honey. This bowl clocks in at 300 calories, not too shabby. For those fish fans Blue Hawaii also offers fresh poke bowls during the week.
Tucked away in SF near Balboa Park BART is Pineapples. The cafe was started by a couple who is from Guam. Their menu offers everything from shave ice, Acai bowls, Kona coffee waffles, tropical teas (love the mint lemonade and likiloi passion tea), sandwiches to dole whips. I am a huge fan of everything I have tried here but the dole whip is the icing on the cake. I love that it’s much cheaper than the Disneyland version at $3 AND I can add toppings like Li-hing and mochi. You can even make it into a float if you heart (or stomach) desires or make it fancy with ice cream.
Every year around the first week of August, the San Mateo event center becomes a little taste of Hawaii with their annual aloha festival. The event itself it free but if you drive it’s $10 per car. My husband like to get there early and make a beeline to the food booths in the back that have (you guessed it!) malasadas, shave ice, and much more. Then we usually spend a hour or so browsing the booths inside the event center. They have a mini Hawaii grocery that had my favorite teas, Li-hing, candies, and mochi mixes. A word of caution here is that one year I bought some Hawaiian tea only to find it expired so check the dates! Many of the booths have beautiful arts, crafts, and clothing too. Outside there is traditional hula and live music so it’s a fun filled day.
Nestled in one of the cutest downtown areas in the Bay Area is Noelani’s. The restaurant started by two best friends and locals from Oahu and the Big Island. I recently celebrated New Year’s Eve here. Everything was so delicious from the Tsunami fries (that were tossed with Li-hing) to dessert of hula pie (homemade mud pie with Oreo cookie crust, fudge, vanilla bean/coffee ice cream and toasted coconut) and malasadas. They had live entertainment for New Years which made the meal even more special!
My best meal hands down in 2015 was from this locally owned pop up in Bernal Heights. Everything was fresh and locally sourced with a modern Hawaii flair. Now ‘aina has their full time restaurant in the Dogpatch. Reservations are hard to come by but they do set aside tables for walk in. ‘Aina is locally owned and operated by Jordan Keo who is a chef from Hilo on the Big Island. He has worked at Michelin-starred French restaurant La Folie and temped palettes at Google cafes and Airb&b. At one one of their most recent pop-ups (and extremely rainy) at the El Rio my husband and I met Jordan’s wife, Cheryl Liew who was absolutely delightful. She is the CFO and co-owner of the restaurant. She made me love the message of the restaurant (living off of the land) even more! Looks like their menu at the Dogpatch location has boozy tropical drinks (along with their trademark guava malasadas) so I can not wait to check out in person.