Arizona Adventures!

Hey everyone!
Today’s post is at least 3 months overdue – sorry! I’ve been having some technical issues with iMovie that’s causing delays on my Vlogs so stay posted as there’s a lot to come!

This vlog is a little disjointed as you’re seeing what was meant to be part of an ongoing series about shenanigans to get into in Arizona because I was living there & attempting to get into shenanigans – followed immediately by footage of me moving back home.
If you’re confused about when I lived in Arizona, don’t worry – you’re not alone! I was going to film a big announcement & create several videos discussing the move, however, circumstances changed quickly & creating an ongoing series seemed pointless.
Long story short, I moved to Arizona in December 2015 for a new job in an attempt to expand my Resume, broaden my horizons by living in a new state, & live closer to several friends/family members, including my godchildren. Unfortunately, my grandma was diagnosed with cancer very shortly after that & I moved back to NorCal in July 2016 to help my family & spend time with her.

Please enjoy this small snippet of my time in Arizona featuring Danny from Savage Squad, click here to see their channel! Please FOLLOW MissAl-Leigh.com to stay updated with future shenanigans, SUBSCRIBE to the YouTube channel for more vlogs, SHARE, LIKE, & COMMMENT! Thank you 🙂

Beauty Deals 2.0

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Food Friday! Combos Sweet & Salty Pretzels

Hello again! Welcome to Food Friday!
This is another bi-weekly/monthly series I’d like to kick off but may take some time to get off the ground as I currently do not have access to a kitchen! That’s a story for another time though. I think this will be a fun series for y’all to watch because I’m a MESS in the kitchen, I can barely make toast. However, I really like food (obviously) & enjoy the imagination & creative process behind beautiful chocolate dipped strawberries, cupcakes, etc, so I’d like to try some of the recipes I’ve found on Pinterest.
For now, we’re starting with something easy, a Review of pre-made, packaged food, haha! These snacks were sent to me to Review by Influenster.com on behalf of Combos – thank you to both companies! I have a familiar face alongside me for this Review, my best friend Danny. While these snacks were sent for free, you’ll see our Review is completely unbiased!

Thanks to Danny for helping me out with this Review. You can Subscribe to his YouTube Channel by clicking here – Savage Squad. Please also Subscribe to MY YouTube Channel & this blog! Please Share, Like, & Comment if you’d like to see more Food Friday videos 🙂

Vlog #6 – 5 Maui Must Do’s!

Aloha!!!
Today I’m going to be sharing with you a short, silly, vlog I filmed while in Maui a few months ago. I was going to make this a multi-part video covering every activity of the trip, but I just couldn’t bring myself to film every day. Wouldn’t you all get tired of just watching me lounge around? Haha!
I’ve been to Maui several times, it’s one of my favorite vacation spots! With that being said, there are a lot of activities I’ve done there but won’t get into because I didn’t partake in them on this most recent trip. If you’re at all interested in adventure, surfing, parasailing, scuba diving, snorkeling, & swimming with manta rays are all AMAZING. I also didn’t feel the need to get into great detail about every beach you should visit because that’s a pretty standard activity, 99% of the beaches are epic & there is a ton of info available online & on the island.
For this vlog, I narrowed my footage down to 5 Maui Must Do’s/Travel Tips. However, of course I encourage you to hike/kayak/helicopter tour – whatever will make your trip amazing! Maui is a magical spot & you really can’t go wrong with anything you choose to do.
Click on the video to watch the vlog & please look below for my 5 Must Do’s/Travel Tips!

Must Do #1: Costco
Costco is 100% the way to go! If you can go to Costco right away, do it! You will be hungry when you get off the plane & won’t want to waste time grocery shopping later. It is a tradition for all my family members that vacation in Maui to stop at Costco by the airport before heading to the hotel. As you saw in the vlog, stopping by Costco is also a great time waster before checking into your hotel. Of course it’s always a good idea to get big dinner items, like ribs/chicken/veggies to grill, especially if you’re with a group. However, don’t ignore snacks, especially portable ones. A big part of your time in Maui will (hopefully!) be spent outside of your room & having snacks in the car or on the beach are great. Also, spending a lot of time in the sun & water can tire you out & cause you to get hungrier, faster, so you won’t want to wait to eat back at the hotel. Even if you intend to chill by the hotel pool your entire trip, you will want to purchase your own food rather than constantly rely on room service or hotel restaurants because that can get expensive. Again, portable snacks are a great idea in this situation as well so you’re not constantly having to go back to your room when your tummy starts rumbling.

Must Do #2: Investigate the Hotel/Room – Ka’anapali Beach Club
Okay, yes, part of this is a shameless plug to showcase my family timeshare, the Ka’anapali Beach Club – if you ever want to stay there, let me know! Also, this Tip is practical for a couple reasons. After Costco, checking into/investigating your hotel situation is a great idea. It’s always wise to familiarize yourself with the area & the amenities your property offers you. Concierges will have all the inside scoop to add activities & memories to your trip! Some activities only take place during certain times or weather conditions, so it’s wise to try to book things in advance. It sounds like simple logic, but sometimes people get “vacation brain” & don’t think about things like this. Also, it’s key to check out your room ASAP  to make sure it’s safe & clean. Let’s say you head right to the beach then come back to your hotel expecting to find a comfortable place to shower/sleep, but the hotel isn’t what you expected. Now it’s dark, you’re driving around in an unfamiliar area, wet & sandy, trying to find suitable accommodations. If you discover a problem right away, it can be handled right away! Also, while I’ve never had a safety problem in Maui, it’s generally never a great idea to leave your luggage in the car for an extended time period. Drop it at the hotel THEN go enjoy your vacation! Another random fun thing to do in Maui is go check out the lobby/pool area of other hotels. Most hotels are fine with you wandering around as long as you’re not bothering anyone or using the pool. The Grand Wailea is a beautiful property & the lavender fields nearby are awesome too.

Must Do #3: Drink!
Only if you’re 21+ obviously, haha! Really this Must Do is just meant to be a Tip to remind you to RELAX – however it is you make that happen. If you want to get a massage by the beach, or you prefer sipping a pina colada (or 2 or 3, no judgement!) in a pool chair – Maui has several ways to help you relax. Not every day has to be filled with wild adventure – unless that’s what helps you relax. That’s one of my favorite things about Maui. There’s something for everyone. Whenever I vacation with my mom, one of my goals is usually to get her to drink because she very rarely does. As you can see in the video, I have way too much fun giving her a hard time about drinking. Something fun & new we did on our trip was visit a Vodka Distillery. We chose to visit the Haili’imaile Distilling Company which is home to Pau Maui Vodka, Sammy Hagar’s Beach Bar Rum, Paniolo Whiskey, & Maui Moon Vodka. There’s a law on Maui that the Distillery MUST educate you in some way before letting you sample Spirits so we took a tour of the facility & it was actually really interesting! They have several flavors of Spirits to choose from, you pick 3, no chasers/mixers! The Tour Guide/Bartender told us that to really taste the complexities in each Spirit we’d have to be really familiar with the Spirit in general beforehand – we clearly are not that familiar because we both agreed everything just tasted like drinking fire, haha! Overall, still a fun experience, always cool to try something new.

Must Do #4: Warren & Annabelle’s Magic Show
OH. MY. GOSH! If you like magic or theatre or good food or good drinks or a good time, you should definitely go see Warren & Annabelle’s Magic Show on Front Street!!!!! No joke, I have been waiting basically my whole life to see this show. You have to be 21 to attend & this was the first time I’d been to Maui over age 21, so this was the first time I was able to go. Warren is a Magician & Annabelle is a ghost that haunts the parlor room. You enter the parlor via secret passage that you find based on clues Annabelle gives you. You enjoy dinner while Annabelle plays music, then you enter a small theatre for Warren’s Magic Show. Warren Gibson is the namesake of the show, but he doesn’t always perform. I was lucky enough to see his performance & while a bit old fashioned, he’s truly amazing. You can tell he’s very passionate about his work. We ordered the Royal Flush Package which includes (per person) Admission to the show, 2 cocktails, a plate of appetizers, & a dessert. The food was delicious, the dessert (Creme Brulee) was delicious, the drinks (Lahaina Lollipop – Malibu, Midori, pineapple juice, orange juice & Caramel Apple Martini – Caramel Vodka, Sour Apple Pucker, Butterscotch Schnapps, Sweet & Sour Mix) were delicious!!! It was truly magical – highly recommended!

Must Do #5: Go to a Luau!
Of course if you’re going to Hawaii, you have to go to a Luau at least once! The Old Lahaina Luau is the best! I’ve been several times & never grown tired of it. The food, drinks, & service are always top notch. The Luau is extremely creative & tells the history of Maui in a really beautiful way. I’ve seen people of all ages enjoy themselves at this Luau. Really, how can you go wrong eating a delicious dinner while watching a time honored tradition against a glowing sunset on the beach!?

An additional activity I would recommend is going to Whaler’s Village. I didn’t make it there this trip so I couldn’t include it in the Vlog & I was super disappointed. It’s just a shopping center but hidden inside is a museum that teaches about the culture of a whaling town, which Lahaina was from 1825 to 1860. I love the atmosphere of the Village, it’s definitely worth a trip to look around!
This is another activity that didn’t make the Vlog because I’m going to do a separate Concert Review on the experience. I would recommend checking out what mainland musical acts/movie festivals etc might be visiting the island. I had never thought to do this before but I will definitely be investigating in the future. Just by luck we found out that Country Music artist Billy Currington was going to be performing at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, so we bought tickets & it was a great show at a great venue!  MACC has hosted other cool performances like “Straight No Chaser”, “Last Comic Standing”, Santana, & on April 6th 2016, Lee Brice!! I smell a return trip in the works 😉

Alright, so there you have it, a few Tips, Must Do’s, & Recommendations to have the best Maui vacation ever! What do you think? Do you love Maui as much as I do & have a few suggestions to add? Please let me know in the comments below! Are you planning a trip to Maui soon? If so, please take me with you, we’ll go get tattoos on Front Street at Skin Deep, eat lunch at Aloha Mixed Plate, then go catch some sun and surf – Alooooha! Mahalo for reading 😉

My Favorite Disney Treats!

 

Hi everyone!
As many of you know, I was a Cast Member at the Disneyland Resort for about 3 years. During that time I grew quite fond of certain foods served around the Resort. Now that I’m no longer a CM, I obviously don’t have access to those foods whenever I want – so when I’m able to make a trip to the park I make a big MUST EAT List! Read below to see what items are on my list & what new snacks I tried on my most recent Disneyland trip!

My Must Have Snacks
Disneyland
1. Clam Chowder Bread Bowl from Royal Veranda in New Orleans Square – Yes, the Bread Bowls from Boudin Bakery on the Pier in Disney California Adventure are fresher. However, I enjoy the atmosphere in NOS way more!
2. Jalapeño Pretzel with Spicy Banyan Sauce from Bengal BBQ in Adventureland – I used to work at this location & this was one of my favorite snacks to eat for lunch!
3. Caramel Apple from Main Street – Caramel Apples are available in many locations in many fancy flavors. I like the plan ol’ regular Caramel Apple & I usually get one on Main Street as I’m leaving the park for the day.
4. Funnel Cake from Stage Door Cafe in Frontierland – Another location I used to work & the only location you can get a Funnel Cake! They come in a few flavors, chocolate brownie, powdered sugar, strawberry, & this holiday season – peppermint. I prefer the Strawberry with whipped cream & I always eat it while watching Fantasmic. Sadly, this tradition has ended now that they’re closing Fantasmic due to the construction of the new Star Wars Land. If you plan on squeezing in a Disneyland trip before the construction begins make sure you get in line for your Funnel EARLY. Many Guests share this tradition with me & the line can be extremely long, sometimes resulting in a 15-20 minute wait for a Funnel Cake. Although waiting is the name of the game at Disneyland, if you’re not a fan of that, you can always go after Fantasmic. SDC is one of the few locations that stays open after Fantasmic, so you can still get your sugar fix without the long wait.

Disney California Adventure
1. Chili Cone Carne/Dipped Ice Cream Cone from the Cozy Cone area of Carsland – Not something I MUST eat, but if I’m going to eat in DCA, these are my preferred food choices.
2. 21+ Drinks at Mad T Party – The drinks at Mad T are a tad expensive for my taste at $11 & up, but I always have to make a visit to this area & what Party is complete without at least one drink!? My last visit I had “The Queen’s Red Rose” – Rum and Hawaiian Punch, & my mom had the Mudslide. It might have had a Disney name, but I can’t recall. Both were excellent but for $11+ next time I’d go with the Mudslide because $11 for some Rum & Punch is a little wild. This is my FAVORITE place to people watch & SnapChat, haha!

Downtown Disney
1. Beignets from Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen – These are also served in New Orleans Square, but I think they’re fresher & tastier at Jazz Kitchen.

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Tigger Tail from Pooh’s Corner, Jalapeño Pretzel with Spicy Banyan Sauce from Bengal BBQ, Rose & Raspberry Macaroon from Jolly Holiday Cafe

New Treats
Disneyland
1. Tigger Tail from Pooh’s Corner in Critter Country – This is the only location in the park to get one of these sugary treats! A Tigger Tail is marshmallows covered in caramel & white chocolate with orange sugar & a chocolate drizzle. While this was tasty, I won’t be adding it to my list of favorites. It was just like eating a candy bar, not a huge thrill for me.
2. Raspberry & Rose Macaroon/Macaron (?) from Jolly Holiday Cafe on Main Street – I’m never sure the difference between a Macaroon & a Macaron, but whatever the case, this was delicious. The raspberries gave the Rose Macaroon an extra kick. I’ve also heard these are called Matterhorn Macaroons/Macarons, but the sign at the bakery just said Raspberry & Rose Maca…whatever, so I’m not sure about the Disney name. 

Disney California Adventure
1. Lobster Nachos & 21+ Drinks at Cove Bar on the Pier by Ariel’s Grotto – This is somewhat of a hidden gem right now as the Pier is undergoing some construction that’s blocking the entrance to Cove Bar. I’ve heard the Lobster Nachos get hyped up for a LONG time now, but honestly they were just okay. The drinks on the other hand!!!! YES PLEASE. We ordered off the “Secret Menu”, the “Neverland Tea”, “Zombie”, & “Earthquake”, all of which were Long Island Iced Tea type drinks, so LI/Tokyo Tea/AMF lovers – these are the drinks for you. They were priced around $11 which seems like a fair price to me for a Long Island based cocktail.

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Cove Bar in Disney California Adventure – Lobster Nachos, Neverland Tea, Zombie, & Earthquake

Of course there’s corn dogs & churros & Mickey Mouse ice cream – but what do you think of my list? Am I missing any of your favorite snacks? Please let me know in the comments below what treats I should try on my next Disneyland trip! Thanks for reading 🙂

Vlog #4 – National Friendship Day

Happy  (Belated) National Friendship Day!!!
Watch the video below for a quick recap of how I spent Friendship Day with my two buddies, Jeri & Jeremiah! Hint, hint – it involves a LOT of sugar!!

As promised, here’s a quick Recap of the two bakeries we visited.

1. Zombee Donuts & Bake Shop
802 E. Chapman Ave, Fullerton, CA
Instagram Twitter Yelp Facebook
OH MY GOSH – beyond delicious! I’ve seen reviews complaining about how sweet these donuts/pastries are & I don’t understand. Why are you upset/surprised that pastries taste super sweet?! Don’t get me wrong, I agree these things are gonna give me diabetes, I’m just not upset/surprised by that. I purchased the “Monster” and the Fruit Loop “Cereal Killer”. I ate the “Monster” but only ate a few bites of the “Cereal Killer” because I was in a sugar coma. However, I don’t see anything wrong with that. Let’s be honest, donuts aren’t great for us. Should we really be eating more than one a day? Nope! So it didn’t bother me that one donut satisfied my sugar cravings & I had another left over for the next day…okay, again let’s be honest, I ate it later that day! The “Monster” was literally the best donut I’ve ever eaten. I’m not usually a fan of cream filled items, but I had to take a chance because the filling is made with Monster Energy drink & I was highly intrigued. It was so light and fluffy! I would go back just for that! The “Cereal Killer” was good, but a tad dry & nothing could compare after I’d eaten the “Monster”. The decor of this place is adorable & the girl that helped us was incredible! She let us film & take pictures (obviously), & helped us decide what donuts to order. Zombee offers a vegan donut of the week, plus an amazing assortment of delicious “dark” themed treats – I highly recommend this shop & can’t wait to go back!

2. Hapa Cupcakes & Cakes
105 W Amerige Ave, Fullerton, CA
As great as my experience with Zombee was – that’s how negative my experience at Hapa was. You may have noticed I did not include information to their social media as I did with Zombee because I don’t feel like they’re worth promoting. I was so disappointed with their treats & customer service. The girl behind the counter was extremely rude, sighing heavily when we asked questions, rolling her eyes, & even leaving the counter & telling us to ring a bell when we were ready to order. I understand it can be frustrating when guests don’t know what they want, but 1. We’d never been there & told her so, 2. There was no one behind us so we weren’t creating a line, & 3. Pricing was not clear & if your guests don’t understand the options, how can they make a decision? We were trying to split one box between the 3 of us & every time we picked items, we were told our combination didn’t work. I could’ve forgiven Hapa for bad customer service because maybe the cashier was having a bad day, however, I can’t forgive their inedible treats. I had the Vegan Potato Chip & Chocolate Cupcake, the Captain Crunch Cupcake, and a Strawberry & Champagne Truffle (not shown in the video). They were all disgusting. I felt like they had been sitting out on the display way too long. The cakes were dry & the frosting was hard yet had a greasy texture – you can see in the video the icing is sliding off the cupcake but maintaining it’s shape. I took mine home to share with my family, took one bite of the Potato Chip/Chocolate & spit it out. Captain Crunch had no flavor, & the Strawberry/Champagne Truffle had a weird mushy/gooey texture. I was living in a house with 3 teenage boys at the time & after sampling the treats, even they wouldn’t finish them. You know it’s bad when teenage boys won’t eat something!  I would only recommend this place to someone that’s never been because maybe I just had a bad experience, but I would definitely warn them about what I experienced. I would not return here unless brought by someone else that really wanted to go.

So there you have it! A celebration of Friendship & sugar! Have you been to Zombee or Hapa? Will you try out either of them now that you’ve read my review? Obviously you know which one I’d recommend more, haha! Please let me know of any more delicious treats you think I should try out! Thanks 🙂