Hello all! It’s that time of year again where I ask you to help me with a survey for school!
If you didn’t already know, I’m currently working towards my MA in Communication Studies, emphasis in Tourism & Entertainment at CSU Fullerton.
The aforementioned project is for my Communication Management class, and the 10 question survey will focus on social media and Barks of Love – a local non-profit that helps find dogs foster and permanent homes. Please click on the link below & share it with as many people as possible. Please feel free to comment below any questions you may have – thank you!!!!
Today’s Music Monday is a little different because it’s not JUST focused on music. This week’s MM will include some clips from my very first Warped Tour (!!!! Read below for a quick recap) but also has some footage from a mini vacation I took with my family! Again, this video features Danny from Savage Squad – if you like drinking & shenanigans, please go check out his channel – here.
It would mean a lot to me if y’all showed your support by SUBSCRIBING to my YouTube channel & this blog – thank you so much!
A few thoughts on Warped Tour…
For those that don’t know, Warped Tour is a huge multi artist concert for the pop/punk genre. It’s like Stagecoach, Coachella, etc. For the last 10 years I’ve wanted to go but never have. As a teen I never went even though some of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE bands were going to be performing because it was “expensive” & I was insecure about fitting in with the crowd. I’ve talked about this anxiety in previous Music Monday posts.
Now that I’m older I care way less what other people think so I decided this was the year I went! My decision was also motivated by the fact that one of my favorite bands, Yellowcard, would be performing & they recently announced the band is retiring. I, of course, am devastated, so I needed to make an effort to see them ASAP.
I went into this experience essentially blind. I knew there would be a ton of “kids”, the food/drinks would be expensive, there would be drugs, & it would be blazing hot. All of that turned out to be true, the biggest surprise for me was the set times. I didn’t realize each band only got 30 minutes. Upon further reflection, of course this makes sense because how else would they get all those bands to play in one day? While there were other bands I was excited about, Reel Big Fish, New Found Glory, Sum 41, etc, I was really there for Yellowcard. They were amazing, as they always are live, & I’m really glad I got the chance to experience their last show at Warped Tour.
Bottom line, would I ever go to another Warped Tour? Probably not unless it was a similiar situation & one of my all time favorite bands was playing. 30 minute set times isn’t really enough for me to want to deal with all those sweaty drugged out kids & get a sunburn. Haha, I guess I’m officially old.
I hope you liked this vlog! Please keep sharing my posts & vlogs with your friends! Until next time… 🙂
Today’s Music Monday is going to be a quick recap of Harry Potter in Concert at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.
HB occasionally puts on these Special Concerts where they show a movie & have a orchestra play the score live. Previously, they showed “The Little Mermaid” & I’m sad to have missed that because they had celebrities come out & sing the songs. The score for Harry Potter is all instrumental, so I knew that wasn’t going to happen, but I was still excited for another amazing Harry Potter themed adventure! Click the video below for a super quick vlog of the Event & keep reading for my thoughts overall…
The Venue –
I’d only been to the Hollywood Bowl once before for a “Behind the Scenes Tour” when I did the Disney College Program. I remembered there was a LOT of walking & I’d heard Event parking is a complete train wreck. They “stack” the cars so you end up boxed in on all sides, which is insanely inconvenient if you’re ready to leave but no one around you has left yet. On the advice of a friend we purchased off site parking, but couldn’t find the lot. We ended up just driving to the Event & paying again for on site parking. While I was deeply unhappy from a financial standpoint, because we had arrived late the only parking was right in front, not boxed in, & the chances of people arriving later than us seemed pretty slim – woo hoo! We strolled right into the venue but finding our seats was another story…we should have called ahead to find out the options for those with disabilities. We had nosebleed seats & even with the escalators, it was quite a struggle. The venue is extremely dark, which obviously makes sense because they want people to see the movie, but made walking/climbing stairs with no railings quite precarious. When we finally found our seats, we discovered we were in the middle of the narrow row & no one would get up to let us by! While this was rude, the bigger issue was that there was no space for us anyway! We let an attendant know, they conferred with their supervisor, & next thing you know we’re sitting in box seats way down in front! Amazing! Big thanks to the staff that made that happen, it definitely made our experience better! Next time, we will be purchasing more expensive but closer seats – it’s way worth it! Also, arriving late for parking worked in our favor as no one arrived after us, so we weren’t boxed in. We were on the freeway in about 15 minutes!
The People –
I was disappointed by the negative response from the people in the row we were supposed to sit in. However, I guess I should be thanking them because they helped us get better seats! As I mentioned, super happy with the staff of HB! I wish we had thought to get the names of the staff that helped us because I would have written a “thank you letter” to compliment them personally. Beyond that initial negative experience, the crowd was…unified. That’s the only way I can explain it. Whenever something special happens for Harry Potter, there’s always this feeling of, dare I say, magic in the air. I think that’s because a majority of the crowd are real true fans. They’re willing to wait for hours to buy a new book, see a movie, spend the day in a theme park, etc, these types of Events aren’t for casual fans. They bring out the die hards, people in cosplay or themed outfits (I was wearing a Hufflepuff shirt!), people that know all the words to the movies & cheer when Harry catches his first Snitch or boo when Wormtail appears because they know what role he’ll play later. It’s truly, again, magical, to sit in a crowd of people & know that you’re all part of something. In a world that sometimes feels like it’s falling apart, it’s nice to know you can turn to your fandom.
The Performance –
I had no idea what to expect from a Harry Potter Concert! I had read a few articles leading up to the Event & mostly they talked about how difficult the performance was going to be in regards to pulling the soundtrack from the film but keeping all the audio. I did find the music overwhelmed the audio at certain times, but I realized I had to restructure the way I was thinking about the Event. Somehow, I wanted the music to just quietly frame the movie, but be really awesome & powerful! There’s no way to accomplish that. The point of this Event was to focus on the beauty of the music & how it added to the film. Once I kind of let the film take a back seat & focused on the music, it WAS really awesome & powerful. I noticed certain nuances I’d never noticed before when I’d watched the film & focused only on the dialogue. This is definitely an Event for music lovers. You must love the sound, the feeling, the epic-ness! of live orchestral music. Obviously these musicians are extremely talented & I was thrilled to see the Conductor wearing a Hufflepuff tie & pin!
The Final Verdict –
People always say to arrive early for parking, but we found that arriving later worked WAY better & will most likely do so again. As I said, there may be other options that we were unaware of, but based on what I saw, this Venue is not very “disabled friendly”. I will need to investigate other options for the future & definitely feel it’s worth it to pay for more expensive seats closer to the front. Overall, an extremely enjoyable & unique experience that brought together a lot of people & helped strengthen their love of Harry Potter. What could be better?! I hope Hollywood Bowl continues to put on these Special Events, especially if they continue with the rest of the Harry Potter series & Disney films.
Have you ever been to this Venue or seen a Movie/Concert like this? Please let me know in the comments below! Thanks for reading 🙂
Today’s Music Monday once again features my favorite band, The Rocket Summer!
I’ll be covering Concert Reviews of the 3 “Zoetic Tour” shows I saw (Phoenix, Santa Ana, San Francisco) after the L.A. performance mentioned in a previous Music Monday. These will be done in more of a summary format, quick descriptions of the night as a whole rather than breaking everything down because with 3 Concerts to review, I’m going to struggle to keep this short!
Please keep reading to see which venue I liked best & watch the video for clips of the performances! Please Subscribe, Follow, Like, Share, & Comment on this post & the YouTube video!
1. Phoenix – May 10th – The Rebel Lounge
Parking is shenanigans here. The venue lot is SUPER small, so a majority of guests parked in the surrounding neighborhood. Luckily, there was plenty of parking, however there are NO street lights. I was thankful others arrived at the same time so I had people to walk in with for creeper safety reasons, but I did trip on the sidewalk about 3 times because I couldn’t see anything.
I really enjoyed the opening act, The Foxies. They were by far my favorite openers. Lead singer Julia Lauren is gorgeous & has this Gwen Stefani/Kesha/Lady Gaga kinda look/sound going on that is engaging to watch & enjoyable to listen to.
Bryce was amazing as always. He has a great sense of playfulness & connection with the crowd. He changed the lyrics to “FL, CA” to reference Arizona, something he usually does at shows when his songs reference specific states, & the crowd went wild to have that local touch. Being from California, I was a little bitter to have my home state get the boot, but I knew that seeing him in CA later would make me feel better!
The crowd at this show was not my favorite, but not the worst I’ve experienced. One group in particular was over the top distracting. At one point they were singing other TRS songs OVER Bryce talking – rude! The loudest girl had a beautiful voice so at least she sounded pleasant. I spoke with her after to compliment her voice & she was really sweet, but part of me still wanted to chastise her, because I’m 25 going on 86, haha!
2. Santa Ana – May 12th – The Observatory/Constellation Room
Just two days after seeing TRS in Arizona, I managed to find my way to a whole different state to see another show! The CR was my least favorite venue of the tour. It was $10 to park but the lot was full so you had to park several blocks away. I’m glad I had someone with me so I didn’t have to walk alone in the dark. The CR is a small room INSIDE The Observatory & there were two concerts going on with very distinct crowds & it was quite an interesting sight to see these two types of fans mix. My Chucks, no makeup, & jeans fit right in with my fellow TRS Family, but looked quite slovenly next to the full hair/make up, bandage dress wearing girls at the rap show! Security was INTENSE, they patted me down more than I’ve ever been, even at the airport.
We missed the opening act, arriving just in time to scoot to the front & wait a few minutes. Again, awesome performance from Bryce & the band. Although, he seemed to have some trouble engaging, but I blame that on the crowd. He kept trying to get us to clap along – we started clapping 20!! times, yes, I kept track. It was too much, almost awkward.
In addition to not loving the venue, I didn’t love this crowd. There were a handful of extremely intoxicated girls behind me that kept stumbling into me, yelling at Bryce to take his clothes off, & spilling their drinks on me to the point that I left the venue smelling like Jaeger. After one girl elbowed me in the head, she draped herself on my shoulder, slurred an apology, & began petting my hair – no thanks! One bright spot was getting to meet a couple my mom had met at the LA show. They were wonderful & have been TRS fans as long as I have & we had a lot in common. Those are the types of people I love to meet at shows, they’re the real TRS Family.
3. San Francisco – May 19th – Bottom of the Hill
Back to where it all started last November, good old San Francisco, at Bottom of the Hill. This is a great venue. I’m not sure if I feel that way because I’ve been there before so now I have some sense of familiarity, because they have amazing food, or because it’s in my hometown, kind of.
SF was easily the best show overall, again, maybe I’m feeling some sort of hometown pride, or maybe because it was the last show of the tour, but it was just epic. The crowd was awesome & supportive, not overly aggressive about what songs Bryce should play & I think that allowed him to feel more comfortable & perform differently. He played “Get Over It” from the newly released “Zoetic” album & I was excited to hear it live as it’s one of my favorites. He also jumped into the crowd more than he did at the other shows I attended which is always so much fun.
I think I mentioned this in my LA Review, but I only wanted to wait for him after the SF show because that was the first place we met so it was the perfect bookend to this tour. I had carefully thought out what I was going to say – no embarrassing quoting his own lyrics to him this time! Unfortunately I ended up having only a super small window of time & didn’t get to say hardly anything I wanted or ask any of the questions I had! Bleh. It’s okay, lesson learned! The short moment was really special, he remembered me from November, what I was wearing, where I had come from that day, & saw me in the crowd in LA. He also told me I had great hair, which I’m still way too excited about, haha! In the selfies we took, which you can see at the end of the YouTube video, he’s holding our hair together in a comparison of greatness!
One additional thing I want to mention a bit more depth, as I touched on it briefly in Phoenix & Santa Ana – my annoyance with the crowd. I had an amazing time at each & every one of these shows – mostly thanks to Bryce & the music. However, a disappointing common theme I found among the crowd was, what I felt to be, a general lack of respect. A majority of the obnoxious guests seemed to be first time TRS show attendees, but people need to shape up. I don’t mind screaming for requests, especially when he asks, but when he’s playing the opening to a song & you’re yelling “NO NOT THIS, PLAY ‘TV FAMILY’, ‘TV FAMILY’ BRYCE!!!!!”, you are being rude & inconsiderate not only to him, but to fans that WANT to hear the song. It’s not all about you. This isn’t a private show. You probably think I’m being a grumpy old lady, but as I’ve mentioned, these are relatively small, intimate venues so it’s super distracting to be dealing with these chicks riding the Hot Mess Express when you’re there to focus on the music & have this spiritual experience – which is what TRS shows are for me. Also, I think it’s completely classless to yell at anyone, but especially a married man whose wife is in the same room, to take his clothes off & “Show Me Everything You’ve Got” – an innuendo based on one of his song titles.
Overall, seeing 4 shows total of the “Zoetic Tour” was quite an interesting experience. I naively thought going to 4 shows was going to make me special in some way, but I talked to at least a handful of people that had gone to the same shows as me plus others. Someone even traveled from Brazil to see him in SF – that’s dedication! I’m sure it’s obvious, but I highly recommend listening to The Rocket Summer & going to the concerts.
Huge thanks to the entire crew & band for a magical tour – shout out to Tyler for giving me a set list in SF! Teddy for putting up with my shenanigans via Instagram, you owe me a selfie, haha! & Tara, for approaching me & remembering me from the November show, it makes me feel so special to know that I made even a small impact on someone that’s made an impact on me as well. Please hire me 🙂
Of course, thank you to Bryce. Thank you for this music & the experience of these shows. As I mentioned, your music is a spiritual experience for me, & you probably find that somewhat blasphemous, but don’t worry. I know you’re not perfect or God like, that’s what’s important. You have bad days & things make you mad & you want to change, yourself, other people, the world, but you also find the beauty in things. If I was ever as talented as you, I would want to make this music, I would want to spread the same message & give people the same hope you’ve given me, all of us in the TRS Family. I have struggled the last few years, & especially the last 6 months. TRS music has always been my go to for inspiration, for cheering up, or to get out some angst. The last few months of having these shows to look forward to has kept me going & given me things to look forward to because I know that for one night, I will be in a room filled with people that look to your music for whatever reason & we all have that connection. Like you say, even when you’re alone, you’re not alone. Oh crap, I did end up quoting his lyrics to him 😉
I can’t wait to see what the future holds for TRS & in turn, for myself. I think of how different my life was when he released the album previous to “Zoetic” & I’m excited to see how things will change when the next album is released. Maybe I’ll make it to 5 shows next time! What do you think? Have you ever followed your favorite band/musician on tour? What other music should I be listening to? Please let me know in the comments & don’t forget to Subscribe/Like/Share!
For today’s Music Monday I’m going to be talking about my favorite band, The Rocket Summer. I previously discussed TRS in November when I went to the “Returning West” Tour at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco, click here to read that blog post. On April 12th, I went to the “Zoetic” Tour at The Troubadour in Los Angeles – the following post will partially be a Concert Review of that experience with some video footage.
I’m also going to review “Zoetic”, the new Album. As I’ve never done an Album Review before, I’m not exactly sure how to format it. For my first attempt I’m going to write a basic summary of my thoughts because I don’t want this post to be TOO long with the Concert Review attached as well. Writing could get too lengthy, in the future I may do this all via video, but we’ll see. Let me know what you would prefer in the comments below!!
After reading the reviews, if you’re interested in purchasing any of the songs/albums, they’re all available for free on Spotify or of course, you can buy the album on Itunes or through The Rocket Summer website. I highly recommend buying through the website because they have a bunch of really unique deals, for example, I got an actual CD – autographed! – & a digital download for about $15/$20.
UPDATE 5/2/16: After many more listens & getting these lyrics stuck in my head, I’m updating my Album Review to 4 stars. Bryce’s passion for music & the subjects he sings about are hard to deny & infectious. Perhaps there’s something to be said rating-wise about an album that takes a few listens to connect to, but I’m sticking with 4 stars. I’m still saying I don’t necessarily connect with ALL of these songs lyrically, but the music is just SO good. Give “Emergency Landings”, “Sharks”, & “White Fireworks” a listen or two or five or 50 RIGHT NOW!
Album Review – 11 songs, overall – 3 out of 5 stars
I think I’m too biased. I fell in love with The Rocket Summer as an alternative pop semi-Jesus loving kind of sound & lyrics. “Zoetic” is DIFFERENT. I’m happy for Bryce, that he’s getting the chance to expand his horizons & follow his heart – as happy as you can be for someone you don’t know, haha!
I enjoyed the album from a musical perspective. Bryce tapped into ALL his talents in terms of the music arrangement, vocal range, & style. “Zoetic” definitely has an edge to it, a harsher, angrier style that fans haven’t seen before, & I appreciate it. It’s always nice to see your favorite artist grow & show different sides of themselves. I’ll be adding most of these songs to my Gym Playlist, a place TRS songs don’t usually go.
Unfortunately I feel like so much work into the music that the lyrics were an after thought. Some of the songs are super repetitive which I’m used to hearing with pop songs on the radio, but is not usually Bryce’s style.
Overall I enjoyed this album because as always you can tell Bryce is super passionate & he puts so much effort into his work. I have to give him props for that even if I wasn’t able to connect with the lyrics this time around. In my perfect world, a future album will include lyrics in the style of previous album “Do You Feel” with music in the style of “Zoetic”.
Favorite Tracks: “Cold War”, “Same Air”, “Get Over It”, “FL, CA”
The Venue – I’d never been to The Troubadour in Los Angeles before, but was pleased with the venue. Parking was convenient, $12-$15 for Valet, & the area seemed safe. There’s two rooms, the first is super small off the left & has the bathrooms, a bar, & the merch table. That area was super squishy crowded, but the main room was pretty spacious – or maybe there just weren’t that many people there. There were seats available on an upper level & another bar in the main room. The drinks were fairly expensive though, $9 for a Jack & Coke. It might look like a dive, but don’t forget you’re in LA. One cool new (to me) thing about this show was that they were selling Giving Keys that said Zoetic on them. Giving Keys is a charity that employs those transitioning out of homelessness to stamp empowering words on keys. The idea is that you’re supposed to buy a key with a word that means something to you, wear it until you feel like you’ve accomplished a related goal, then pass the key on to someone who needs the empowerment from that word. I’ve wanted a Giving Key ever since I first heard about the company, actually I talk about them in Vlog #2!, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to buy one.
The People – As I said in my previous TRS Concert Review, the crowd at these shows are pretty respectful, mostly women or couples. There was an overly enthusiastic guy standing right next to me that was kind of weirding me out, but he wasn’t being aggressive so eh, to each their own! One thing that surprised me was the amount of children! I’ve seen teenagers before, I’ve been a teenager at a TRS show (!!), but these were kids younger than 10. It seemed like a weird parenting decision to allow kids out late at night in such a loud setting, but what do I know about raising kids!?
The Performance – The music was harsher than I’ve ever heard, but that’s the nature of “Zoetic”. It seemed like there were a few technical issues, a couple times the music sounded off & Bryce looked off stage at the tech & looked sort of irritated/frustrated. There was definitely one problem where his guitar wasn’t sounding right or something & he looked for the tech – & nobody came. He kept looking around & was holding out the guitar while trying to continue singing, but no one came. Bryce did his best to stay professional & ultimately it was kind of funny, a moment that showed a real human side to the show, but was probably stressful for him. As you’ll see in the video, Bryce brought a Fan on stage to play Cello during “Never Knew” – a VIP experience he’s offering on his website. I couldn’t hear one note of the Cello, I felt bad. My mom was sitting in the upstairs seating & said she heard it & it was great, so I’m not sure if there was a sound issue, or maybe that just wasn’t the best venue to use a Cello..?
Final Verdict: Obviously amazing, awesome, magical! I didn’t wait for Bryce to come out after the show because I’d been at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (!!!!) all day + had to drive back to Orange County, so I was ready to get going. I have plans to see him THREE more times, PHX Rebel Lounge, SNA Constellation Room/Observatory, & SF Bottom of the Hill. I will probably wait for him in SF because that’s the first place I met him & that’s the last stop on the “Zoetic” Tour, so it’ll be a nice bookend. Of course, if you like TRS I definitely recommend seeing him live. There’s not a lot of time left, but click here to see if he’s playing near you!
What do you think? For those of you that hadn’t heard of TRS before, did I make you a fan!? If you’re going to any of the shows I’ll be at, let me know in the comments below – I’d love to meet up! Please remember to SUBSCRIBE/LIKE/COMMENT/SHARE to my YouTube & this blog, thanks for reading 🙂
Try This! is going to be a little bit…unique today! Usually Try This! will be more of a Haul/Product Review piece, but today I’m going to be reviewing my experience getting a tattoo at Mainland Ink with my best friend Katie.
Disclaimer: Getting a tattoo is a HIGHLY!!!!! personal choice that requires thought & planning. I am in NO WAY saying that you should run out & get a tattoo at Mainland Ink or anywhere else. I am simply sharing my experience & the thought process behind our piece. If you have any questions/comments/concerns, please feel free to leave them in the comments below! Also below, check out a quick video of Katie & me in the tattoo process!
I’ve known Katie since high school where we caused much mayhem & mischief together as cheerleaders. Being on the same team, we obviously knew each other & were close, but my Junior year we were co-Captains of our team & the rest is Best Friend/Soul Sister history!
The tattoo is, from left to right, the Alchemical symbol for Air (Gemini is an Air sign), the Gemini symbol, & the Deathly Hallows from Harry Potter. Another best friend, Marcela, pointed out an alternative interpretation that Katie & I are equally happy with – it could be all Harry Potter related with the symbols standing for the Sorting Hat, the Time Turner, & the Deathly Hallows.
Katie has a few tattoos already, whereas I’m a novice to the game. I have one other tattoo which I’ve kept under wraps because it’s not finished yet. We had been talking for a bit about getting something matching but never seriously pursued the idea because I didn’t have any tattoos yet. However, after I got my first tattoo the idea of doing something together became way more real so we started planning. We’ve always bonded over the fact that we’re both Gemini, her birthday is June 1st & mine is the 7th. We also are both huge Harry Potter nerds. The piece is special because it appeals to us individually yet also references interests we share.
I’ve wanted a Gemini tattoo since I was in high school because I’ve always felt it was so spot on in describing my personality. Also, my dad had his sign tattooed on him, & in a weird turn of events, the tattoo artist was named David (my dad’s name) & we got the tattoo on the anniversary of my dad’s passing so it all felt very…spiritual & a way for me to connect with him.
We decided to place the tattoo on our foot for practical & “meaning” reasons.
Practical – We’re aware that tattoos in the workplace are still not totally welcome so we wanted to make sure it was something we could semi-easily hide. My other tattoo is on my side, so I couldn’t watch it being completed. Being able to watch was quite a different experience! The pain is about the same, at worst it’s like a sharp pinch. One weird thing that happened was when the needle hit a certain…nerve/muscle/tendon…? my foot would twitch. I was holding my leg down because I was afraid the motion would ruin the lines, but it turned out basically perfect. There are a couple minuscule wiggles but they are SO hard to notice, you literally have to be nose to foot. David asked if I wanted him to go over the lines again, but I said no because its hardly noticeable & we were both concerned that more touch ups would run the risk of more twitching & henceforth more wiggles.
“Meaning” – Being a Gemini, our connection to HP, & our connection to each other are what makes us who we are, it’s our roots. Placing the piece on our foot symbolized that roots/ground idea.
About Mainland Ink
Positives: The shop was clean, comfortable, has a great rating on Yelp, & they were able to work us into the schedule, even staying late two nights in a row. Everyone we talked to (Ozzy, David, & another guy but I didn’t get his name – sorry!) was really nice & willing to work on the design & placement with no attitude. They treated us with equal amounts of respect even though I’m a newbie & Katie has more tattoo experience. This is important to me because my first tattoo artist seemed annoyed by my questions or when I wanted to adjust the placement/stencil. I felt like she wanted me to just do what she wanted because I didn’t have any tattoos & she did. I’m still allowed to have an opinion about what goes on my body! This was not the case at MI & it was greatly appreciated. The shop minimum was on par with what I expected.
Negatives: Communication was a little weird. I emailed our design & inquired about pricing/availability. No answer. Later that night I called & we ended up stopping by. We were told Ozzy would call the next day to set up a firm appointment time, but by late afternoon we hadn’t heard anything. I called the shop & Ozzy said he was planning on calling when he had a bigger chunk of time between clients. I understand he’s busy but we were starting to stress & wonder if they even wanted our business. At the shop we’re eventually told David will be doing our tattoos – what?! Who?! He didn’t have any examples of his work to show which made me extremely nervous. Thankfully we had a pretty simple design because if we had been doing anything more complicated I wouldn’t have let him tattoo me.
Should YOU Try This!? – In regards to a tattoo in general – Maybe
In regards to Mainland Ink – If you’re looking for a Tattoo Parlor, yeah!
Like I said, tattoos are not for everyone & should be very carefully considered. I shouldn’t have to say this but THEY. ARE. FOREVER. I don’t advise getting a matching tattoo with anyone unless your relationship has stood the test of time & the piece means something to you individually as well as in regards to your friendship. Katie & I have been friends for over 10 years & had a really honest talk about the idea of doing a matching piece. Coincidentally, or maybe not too much of a coincidence considering we’re best friends & think alike, we both want another Harry Potter tattoo using the same quote & a mermaid themed tattoo, so someday we’ll have a couple similar pieces anyway. We figured we’d get the ball rolling with one that was an exact match 🙂
Mainland Ink was great! Other than the communication issues, everything was awesome & I would recommend this shop. I’m beyond obsessed with my tattoo, I can’t stop looking at it, & am so excited to show it off!
Do you have any tattoos? If so, tell me about them or send me a pic in the comments below! If you don’t have any tattoos, do you plan on getting one someday? I’ve wanted a tattoo since I was 15 & didn’t get one until I was 25. If you need a shoulder to cry on about your waiting struggle or someone to talk to about future plans – I’m all ears because I’ve been there too & I love hearing what people have planned! Remember to hit that FOLLOW button to stay updated on all the posts here. Thanks for reading & watching 🙂
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!
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.
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.
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 🙂
I know it’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted something 😦
As I explained in my Short Hiatus post, I’m not currently able to post as much but I have an important announcement to make pretty soon that will explain everything. However, in the meantime, I am working on stuff when I can – so without further ado!
Please join me on my trip to FILOLI Gardens in Woodside, California!
This video is an extremely quick sneak peek of what I saw during my tour. Each docent has their own connection to the property and presents the tour with their own flair. My docent was really interesting & provided a lot of rich detail & fun stories! However, I felt that it was unfair to FILOLI & my readers/viewers to simply piggyback off my tour, so I turned off the audio. My goal is to pique your interest with some footage of the beautiful house & grounds, then hopefully you will be inspired to visit or do research yourself!
If you’re at all interested in history, this is the spot for you! FILOLI Gardens is a registered California Historical Landmark & on the National Register of Historic Places.
If you’re familiar with the Winchester Mystery House, also located in Northern California, this MAY be the spot for you. The WMH is known to be haunted/spooky, with an aura of great mystery surrounding it. FILOLI Gardens is similar in the sense that you’re being allowed access to an estate built in another time, but there’s no spookiness or mystery to be solved. It’s basically one big history lesson about the families that lived in the house & the time period they lived in.
If you like nature &/or architecture, this is the spot for you! FILOLI Gardens features a country manor, lush landscapes, & beautiful gardens on over 650 acres worth of land.
I hope you enjoyed my mini tour! What do you think? Will you be making a trip to FILOLI, or have you already visited? If you’re interested in visiting, please visit the FILOLI website – here for more information. Thanks for reading 🙂
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 InstagramTwitterYelpFacebook 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 🙂
It’s finally here – another Vlog – almost 2 months late, whoops! Please watch the video below to get a little taste of Napa & see how I celebrated with my mom for her birthday!
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