Food and travel (or rather travel for food!):  the two experience that I have always valued and have tried to pass on to our kids. We are finally at that sweet spot where it is no longer daunting, but rather such a pleasure.  I know you guys, I didn’t always feel this way.  Before the kiddos, I always prioritized travel – even dreaming of selling all my possessions to buy a boat and set sail.  Then I actually had these small people, and my priorities changed.  House, yard, good school district – you know the drill.  But now that they are a little older, we can finally have it all!

It starts with flying on the right airline.  First, yes, I am one of those fliers that look up safety rating – I have a slight fear of flying.  That aside, I try to always fly direct.  And I have a handful of favorite airlines.  On our recent trip to Africa, (yes, Africa, more on that later) we flew Emirates Airline, which is definitely very high on my list.  This was our first experience with Emirates, we have heard really good things about it – they’re business class and first class is crazy luxurious – but ok, we are not in that demographic, so I can only give my opinion on their international economy class, which by the way, is pretty darn good.  

Check out these cute plush animals that turn into blankets!

Check out these cute plush animals that turn into blankets!

The kids loved their stuffed animal blankies!

The kids loved their stuffed animal blankies!

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If you are in the Los Angeles area, the best burger on the westside is located at this West LA institution:  The Apple Pan.  Come and grab a seat at the wraparound counter on one of the red, vinyl barstools.  Sit elbow to elbow with tourists and locals.  You will love the old school charm at this burger counter with burger patties sizzling off the griddle, iced cold soda pop served in paper cone cups and waiters that have been serving here for years.  Enjoy the basic menu of burgers, sandwiches and fries and some of the best pies ever!

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We don’t just live on alcohol alone – we love our coffee too!  There are two kinds of coffee shops:  one that you can pop in to grab a quick coffee to take with you: these places often have uncomfortable and cramped seating to discourage lingering – I’m looking at you Starbucks; then there are the places that just scream welcome.  I love those coffee shops and I have had a bit of a hard time finding one that I really like.  But Eureka!, I finally found a great coffee shop that has ample seating with bright, natural light. The wifi code is posted at the counter, and you can borrow a portable charging station!  Decent pop music played at a medium loud volume that can be heard above the pleasant hum of other customers.  

Cool Coffee Shop Vibe at The Lost Bean

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Someone recently asked me: How do you make a “DIY Michelada“. That got me thinking. We’re back from our summer travels so lets get right into it with some fav summer drinks for these hot days!  I don’t necessarily have a favorite drink; but rather, it kinda depends on where I am and what I’m doing.  Dive bar: Makers and Ginger; nice bar:  Bombay Sapphire martini extra cold and extra olives; Italian vibe:  Negroni first, then red wine;  Japanese vibe:  always both sake and Asahi beer; Thai vibe:  either an ice cold Singha or Heineken (yes, in Bangkok, everyone drinks Heineken) or an icy glass of whiskey and soda over ice, I can go on and on but you guys get the idea. 

Sooooo, summer time means lots of outdoor activities, and an old time favorite is going out to a baseball game.  We are so lucky to have some awesome ball parks within driving distance.  Our hometown park is of course Angel Stadium; Dodger Stadium is just a short jaunt away, and our family makes several trips during the season to Petco Park in San Diego.  

Michelada at the Ball Park

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We love female business owners, and Brittany Reenan has created a cool salon vibe on the East Side of Costa Mesa.  Brittany is the salon boss, stylist, and creative colorist leading her talented team.

Woman Crush Wednesday Brittany Reenan of Salty Blonde Cut Co

She has been cutting and styling hair for 15 years.  She started when a friend invited her to share a retail space.  Brittany started with 3 chairs, then continued to expand.  She eventually took over this space and filled the place with many more chairs by bringing in other cool and hip stylist and colorist.  She kept the shared commercial concept alive by inviting pop up boutiques that rotate in.

Woman Crush Wednesday Brittany Reenan of Salty Blonde Cut Co

I found The Salty Blonde Cut Company last year and have been very happy with my cuts.  Brittany keeps her cuts are fresh and current.  She is friendly and takes her time to make sure that you are happy with the services.  

My reasons why I love this salon:

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