Jack Johnson & Friends

Last night we attended the Jack Johnson & Friends benefit concert. ALL proceeds (literally everything) went back to the Santa Barbara community to help support the Thomas Fire and flood recovery. It was an awesome evening with special musical guests like ALO and Ben Harper!

Love this quote I found by Jack Johnson:

“The stretch of coast from Santa Barbara to Ventura is one of the most beautiful parts of the world with such a strong and close knit community. It was heartbreaking to have so many events affect this region in recent months. In turn, it has been inspiring to see the amount of love, hard work, and collaboration that has gone into the recovery efforts. We are excited to celebrate many of the heroes and do what we can to help rebuild our community!”

THANK YOU Jack and friends for a wonderful evening filled with lots of music, love and healing!

Xo

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Updates & Things:

Happy Monday friends! Can you believe Christmas is just ONE week away?!?!?!?

This is also my LAST week of work until our winter break/2018. Waaaahooooo! Seriously can’t wait for that. So here are some updates!

12.12.17 SIX Months at UCSB

Today is our SIX MONTH WORKIVERSARY at UCSB! Lauren and I both started on 6.12.17 and man has time flown by!
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Cheers to six months and a new friendship! ❤

12.13.17 L&S Holiday Party

Today was our office Holiday Party! We had a really nice catered lunch in an event space on campus. Surprisingly, I was one of the WINNERS of our ugly sweater competition! I even got a trophy that I get to keep in my office for the next year.

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Don’t you just love our group photo with our masks on? The air quality and smoke/ash is still terrible, so mask are required outside. We also got good news that we were being offered some time off (administrative leave) because of the fires, so we actually got Thursday and Friday off from work. Waaaahhoooo! After all we’ve been through and for continuing to come into work, this was super nice and very much appropriated. Thank you Chancellor Yang (finally)!

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With no work for the next two days we packed up and headed out of town! FRESH AIR!!!!

12.15.17 STAR WARS 25443028_10106148811624047_1479113881827792578_n

Got up early and headed to the movies to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi at 7:30AM. Yes, you read that right. We went to the movies at 7:30AM. I had Starbucks on the way there and then a mini bag of popcorn because, why not. OMG it was awesome! I wouldn’t call my self a mega Star Wars fan, but I have come to really like these movies. Of course we got all caught up by watching Rogue One and The Force Awakens earlier in the week. We went to the movie theater at Bella Terra and it was truly an experience. We had assigned seats and super fancy chairs. Each seat reclined so we could totally stretch out. Next time I’m bringing my blanket. I can’t imagine seeing a moving any other way now. #spoiled

 

 

12.15.17 Half Day at Disneyland

After the movie, getting lunch and hanging out with all the pups some, we headed off to DISNEYLAND! Gotta take advantage of those season passes ha ha ha. We did a lighter day at Disney meaning we weren’t rushing around like crazy people to get on all the rides. I guess that’s one of the best benefits about having season passes. You don’t have to go crazy each time you visit the park. You can just go for a few hours, go on a few rides and then head home. We did a few fun things that we don’t normally do too:

We of course went on some rides and finally tracked down some deliciously amazing holiday treats that we’ve been seeing on Instagram at Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe. See pictures below.

Beyond DELICIOUS! OMG can you say YUM?!?!?!?!

So the reason we didn’t do a ton at Disneyland was that we were going to be back there on Sunday with my sister in law Kristin and all the niblings. Sadly, when they arrived at Disneyland (from San Diego), both Kendall and Kristin go the stomach flu! Colton had it earlier in the week and they thought everyone else escaped it…apparently not. They literally had to clean themselves up and then drive back to SD. #sadface We were supper bummed to have missed them, but totally understood they couldn’t stay. Chris and I were both really looking forward to seeing the kiddos again and watching the Christmas Fantasy Parade. Hopefully we can see it next year.

Fire Update:

Things got pretty scary over the weekend in Santa Barbara with the Thomas Fire. The fire moved into SB County and Montecito was was under mandatory evacuation along with other parts of Santa Barbara. Sadly, some multi-million dollar homes were burned down. Check out this video. Part of 101 was even shut down because of all of this. The Thomas Fire is now the 3rd largest fire in CA historyand is looking to become #1! Since we were in Huntington Beach, we were keeping our eye on the evacuation map and general updates on the fire. Again, we got really lucky that our home wasn’t in danger and we didn’t have to evacuate. Not much we could have done anyway since we were in Huntington Beach. So far 270,500 acres have burned and it’s 45% contained. Here are several reports on the fire: NPR, CNN and Cal Fire. Please continue keep us, Santa Barbara and all those either working to stop/contain these fires or people impacted by the fire in your prayers. We need RAIN and the winds to die down. ❤ ❤

Wishing you all a great last week before Christmas. Hope you don’t have too much shopping left to do. I gotta get wrapping a bunch of presents and maybe squeeze in some cookie baking.

Xo

Weekend Update

Friday night we attend the Junior League of Santa Barbara S.A.F.E House Celebration Holiday Party at the La Cumbre Country Club. My friends Eva and Lauren joined us and I’m so glad!

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This was my first time attending the JLSB holiday party and it was a blast! The country club was all decorated for Christmas and there were so many people in attendance. During the party, we got an update on S.A.F.E. House and had the official ribbon cutting! So exciting!

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In spring of 2017, JLSB announced its new signature project: S.A.F.E. House Santa Barbara.  S.A.F.E. House will be a 6-bed shelter, designed specifically to provide trauma-informed therapy and housing for victims of sex trafficking. Over the past 8 months, JLSB has secured a safe location for the house, partnered with 4 Kids 2 Kids, and has raised $150,000. What’s even more exciting is that S.A.F.E. blue-heart

 

House is almost ready to OPEN!! What we thought was going to be a much longer project and process, has developed so quickly and is almost ready to be open. Although I just joined back in August, I’m super excited to be a part of this amazing organization and to see S.A.F.E. House open. I know we are going to continue to do amazing work with this huge projects and many others within the community.

During the party we enjoyed appetizers, drinks, chatting with people and of course, taking lots of pictures! Such a great night.

If I’m being honest, the rest of the weekend was somewhat scary with the Thomas fire entering Santa Barbara County 😦 . Saturday Chris had to work and I ended up going to Ventura to get our Subaru serviced. Surprisingly, there was blue skies and clean air in Ventura. Driving back to SB was like driving into an apocalypse. There was so much smoke you couldn’t even see the ocean. We spent the rest of weekend indoors and kind of glued to the TV monitoring the fire and who was being evacuated next.

I saw this photo on Facebook today…

24993367_1598380290242943_8162828145581572324_nSanta Barbara normal vs. today – Lower photo taken on Dec. 8, 2017, at 12:00 p.m. (Kelsey Gerckens / KEYT.com).

SO. MUCH. SMOKE. This really gives you an idea of the air quality we’ve been experiencing along with the below photos from our house.

As for now, we don’t have to evacuate. Thank goodness. But, we made a packing list this weekend just in case we do have to evacuate. As the Girl Scout motto goes “always be prepared”. UCSB postponed finals until the week of January 8th and winter quarter is now going to start a week later on January 15th. Most students have vacated the area but unfortunately, staff is still working on campus 😦 . We’re keeping an eye on the evacuation map, general updates on the Thomas fire and just taking it day by day.

Wishing you all a great week. Please keep us, Santa Barbara and all those either working to stop/contain these fires or people impacted by the fire in your prayers. ❤ ❤

Xo

Halloween Decorations 🎃

Happy Sunday!

Last weekend we went to the pumpkin patch, so last night we carved our pumpkins! I think they turned out really great. The pumpkins were super fresh and easy to gut/carve. Love that we always get pumpkins for Emma & Dash. Too bad they can’t help with the carving he he he.

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This is the first year decorating for Halloween in our new place! Waaaahooooo🎃🎃. It was a little hard getting started, but once we got going, we got it all up in no time! We also seem to have MORE places to put Halloween stuff = EVEN BETTER! Halloween is EVERYWHERE in our house. Here are a few pictures.

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This is my FAVORITE display for the year! Hubby built this table and boy has it come in handy.

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Our Jack-O-Lanterns set up ion the porch.

Don’t forget to watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown tonight on ABC 8:00PM/7:00PM C.

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Getting more and more excited for Halloween!!! Have a great rest of your evening.

Xo 🎃🎃

Weekend Update: Pumpkin Patch Fun & More 🎃

Happy Tuesday everyone!

The countdown to HALLOWEEN is ON. One week from TODAY! 🎃🎃🍃🍁🍂🍃🍁🍂🎃🎃

We had a pretty busy weekend. Now that I’m writing this post it seems like actually Saturday was our busy day. On Friday 10.20.17 we had a little dinner-movie date night and saw The Snowman. I read the book and it was absolutely terrifying! So much so that I COULD NOT read the book during the daytime — THAT scary! The movie…meh not so much. I was expecting to be terrified and have nightmares; that just wasn’t the case. We still had fun getting out of the house and breaking up our usual Friday night/weekend routine. My recommendation is wait for The Snowman to come out on RedBox and read the book in the meantime.

On Saturday 10.21.17 we headed to Solvang to go to the pumpkin patch. We ended up at The Solvang Farmer Pumpkin Patch. Sooooooo many pumpkins 🎃🎃🎃 love it!

I’m a lover of October, Halloween, pumpkins and pumpkin patches! You can check out my pumpkin patch posts from 20162015 and my first ever blog post. The Solvang Farmer had so many varieties of pumpkins including white, giant ones, a bunch of specialty pumpkins and even cooking pumpkins! My sister would have loved the cooking pumpkins. Almost every year for Thanksgiving she makes a pumpkin pie totally from scratch and uses a cooking pumpkin. Sadly, this year the pups had to miss out on coming with us to the pumpkin patch (no dogs allowed). Maybe next year pups.

After getting our pumpkins we headed to El Rancho Market to pick up sandwiches before going to Kalyra, one of our old and favorite wineries. The sandwiches from El Rancho Market were super yummy! Great pick hubby. I think we first went to Kalyra sometime after we graduated college and have always loved it. On a trip to SB be became members in 2012, took a brief break in 2016 and re-became members today. This time we are doing dessert wines only! Those wine people know how to get you! Does anyone remember the movie Sideways?? This winery is featured in the movie along with a few other wineries in the Santa Ynez Valley.

It was a pretty slow day at Kalyra which ended up being really nice. We were able to enjoy our tasting, re-join our membership and eat our lunch on the deck. It was so quiet and peaceful. Love being in wine country whether its in Santa Ynez or up north in Healdsburg.

On our way home we decided to swing by the house, pick up our pups and head to Campus Point. It was such a beautiful day out we just had to get outside more. Neither of us had been to Campus Point probably since we graduated. Back in our day you had to scale up the cliff — now there is a nice and fancy staircase haha. Emma & Dash absolutely LOVE being by the beach and MUST get their paws wet! We had a blast!

We rounded our our Saturday evening by watching the horrible USC-Notre Dame game (NO COMMENT) and then headed to the UCSB Men’s Soccer Game with Eva and a few of her friends. One of Eva’s friends had a bunch of tickets from her law firm so we got FREE food, booze and dessert at the game. Along with fancy seats to sit in at Harder Stadium. Sadly, the men’s soccer team hasn’t been doing too well lately. Surprisingly there were hardly any students at the game. When we were at UCSB, soccer games were a huge hit and we always went. In 2006 we even WON the national championship! Here’s a picture of us from the game and a few vintage photos.

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2017

Soccer pictures from the past!

Sunday 10.22.17 started off with homemade chocolate chip pancakes and bacon made by my wonderful husband and then our usual errands and much needed downtime. What did you all do this weekend? Hope you all have a great week.

HALLOWEEN IS COMING!

🎃🎃

Xo

Colorado Weekend!

Helloooooooooo! Happy Sunday night! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are gearing up for another week. This post is a little long over due but here’s all about our weekend in Colorado from earlier this month.

We caught an EARLY flight out of Orange County on 10.6.17 to Denver Colorado for one of Chris’ friends from PA schools weddings. Luckily, our dear friends Jess & Dan were also joining us on the trip. #McDahlins (combo of our last names), how we refer to the four of us and our hashtag for any time we are together. Here’s a snap shot of what we did over the course of three days!

10.7.17 — Downtown Denver & Red Rocks 

After we arrived in and got our rental car we headed to downtown Denver and straight to lunch at 5280 Burger Bar. One of my students from SJSU told me about this place a few years ago when I was in Denver for a conference and it did not disappoint. Just as good a few years later! Yummmmm! After lunch we walked around some (weather was 73* and just perfect) and then went over to the Colorado State Capitol. I did this last time I was in Denver for that conference, but it’s so worth it to go again. Located at the capitol is a step that reads “One Mile Above Sea Level.” I learned last time, that where it reads this is actually not the true one-mile marker. Ha Ha. The inscription was made based on measuring techniques from 1909, by students of the University of Denver. Originally, a brass cap was installed to commemorate this first measurement, but after the cap was stolen seven times in a matter of 38 years, the state carved the claim into the stone step itself. It turns out that the true maker of “one mile above sea level” is on the 13th step — we took note and of course lots of pictures!

 

Next we headed to our hotel in Ken Caryl and relaxed for awhile before we headed to Red Rocks Amphitheater for a concert. Going to Red Rocks has been on my bucket list for a looooong time. Luckily I got to visit when I was in Colorado a few years ago for that conference I keep talking about. We did A LOT while we were conferencing haha. Now show, but we walked around, had lunch, went to the museum and took tons of pictures! This time, we saw a SHOW and O.M.G. it was unbelievable!!! Kinda random, but we saw the X Ambassadors and Weezer. Although it wasn’t DMB (my favorite), it was a freaking incredible show! We’ve seen Weezer before (in Santa Barbara actually) and I wasn’t a huge fan of the X Ambassadors. After this show, big fans of both! They killed it!

Red Rocks is a stellar venue and the acoustics are crazy good.  We can’t wait to come back for another show. Hopefully it will be to DMB haha. 🙂

10.8.17 — Hiking, Golden, Co. and a wedding! 

After breakfast we decided to do a little hiking and found a great place just down from our hotel. We ended up at South Valley Park in Littleton, Colorado. Hello gorgeous red rocks and yellow aspen trees! I love fall; I love Colorado; and I love the Colorado Aspen Trees! While in Colorado, I was really hoping we would get some fall weather (not much of that in CA so far) and get to see some of the changing tree colors…well we sure did! Gosh this place was just beautiful! I couldn’t get over all the natural beauty and stunning red rocks! We saw so may people out hiking — kids, dogs, all kinds of people! Could totally see US doing that if we lived in CO. Hint hint.

After hiking through South Valley Park we headed to Golden, Colorado to check out the town per Heather’s recommendation. Golden is the most adorable town! It’s named Golden — Where the West Lives and it really lived up to all it’s charm! Golden is known as a Gold Rush town and also the location of Coors Brewery among many other way cooler breweries. After walking and exploring a bit, we grabbed delicious sandwiches from D’Deli and ate lunch by the river. Then we wandered over to a super cool brewery called Barrels & Bottles. My husband seriously always finds the best places for us to check out.

Next up was Heather & Corey’s wedding!! Heather, Chris and Jess are all friends from PA school. We were so excited to come out to Colorado for her wedding. A few years ago we saw Heather at Jess & Dan’s wedding so it was really fun to be at her wedding now. Heather and Corey got married in one of the most beautiful locations I think I’ve ever been at for a wedding. Arrowhead Gold Club in Littleton, Colorado was breathtaking. They got married against the most beautiful backdrop. I can’t wait to see their pictures because they are going to be fabulous! The views were just stunning. So gorgeous and such a perfect October day for a wedding. We were warned that we might see some wildlife during the ceremony, but we didn’t end up seeing any haha. These pictures don’t even do justice for how beautiful it was! ❤

Viewwwws for daaaaaaaays! So great. Heather looked beautiful and I LOVED her dress! The ceremony was short and sweet, so we got right to the party! There were also a few other friends from PA school (Erin and Suzanne) so it was great to catch up with them too. Per our style, we shut that party down! Danced all night and kept the PAR-TAY going! We had an absolute blast and it looks like Heather and Corey did too! So happy for you both! Congrats again! ❤ ❤

During the day we heard there was a winter storm coming, but clearly from the gorgeous wedding photos it hadn’t arrived yet. By the time we left the wedding it was a massive wind/rain storm! It was crazy getting back to the hotel and we got totally soaked. I was not so secretly praying for SNOW and to be stuck in Denver all week haha. Got part of my wish…because the next morning we woke up to freaking SNOW! Not just a little snow dusted on the ground but serious SNOW. SNOW. SNOW!

10.10.9.17 — SNOW = dream come true!

Monday morning was like Christmas morning for me! I was so excited to be waking up to a real Colorado snow storm. They have a saying in Colorado, “if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.” Well we sure got a little of ALL the weather in Colorado this weekend — sunny/ warm 73*, a little cool fall type weather in the mornings, rain/wind and then SNOW! Jess and Dan weren’t too impressed with the snow, but I was digging it! I was excited to even clear off all the snow from our car! I think that proves I’m ready to MOVE to Colorado. Of course my husband was wearing shorts. Can’t take the CA out of that guy!

We had an absolute BLAST in Colorado and I can’t wait to go back soon! Seriously, I’m ready to move! I know we just moved to Santa Barbara, but Colorado would be super cool too! 😉 I know we might have to wait on that move for a bit, but Chris did like Colorado so that’s a huge plus!

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Found the BEST hat at the airport that I just had to get. I may be a CA girl, but I’m ready for living life in Colorado! ❤ I mean look at that HAPPY face!!

Hope you enjoyed reading about our adventures in Colorado. Have a good Sunday night and a great Monday!

Xo

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Update with Pictures: 3 of 3

Hi friends! We made it to Wednesday. Yippieeeee!

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Today’s the LAST installment of my pictures and updates. Here’s 3 of 3!


8.4-8.6.17 Fiesta with the Dahlins

Our FAVORITE visitors were baaaaaaack! Excited to have our friends Jess & Dan (Izzy too) back in town for FIESTA! Old Spanish Days or Fiesta is an annual event that provides an education of the history, customs, and traditions of the American Indian, Spanish, Mexican, and early American settlers that comprise the rich cultural heritage of Santa Barbara. You can ready more about Fiesta here.
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Our weekend consisted of more pool time, walking with our pups (they are the three best friends), drinks and dinner at our favorite sushi place, Arigato! After dinner, we walked down State Street  cracking confetti filled eggs (cascarón) on our heads and checked out all the FIESTA happenings. And of course, to get CHURROS!

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Mission ACCOMPLISHED!

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So glad to have had another weekend with Jess & Dan. These friends have really turned into family. Thanks for visiting us again! ❤


8.20.17 DISNEYLAND

Last year we went to Disneyland to celebrate the 60th Diamond Celebration and we went again this year to see the Main Street Electrical Parade. Looking at the dates, we were at Disneyland at almost the exact same time two years in a row ha ha ha.

Disneyland is one of those places that I will always just LOVE! Thank goodness Tof (Chris)  loves it just as much as I do. No matter when we go, who we are with or how long we are at the park, we always have a great day! ❤ ❤ This time, we got some sort of special pass with our tickets (we paid for this) so we got to take a bunch of photos in all the photo opt places around the park!!! Ahhhhh! So awesome! After, we got to downloaded them for free! Guys, I pretty much wanted to die! DREAM. COME. TRUE. I looooove taking pictures while at the park, so this was super awesome! Man my hubby knows me so well! ❤

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I’m so glad we were able to squeeze a Disney trip into our busy summer/start of the school year and got a chance to see the Main Street Electrical Parade. The parade was SO GOOD and so worth seeing! Just like how I remembered if from when I was a kid! I have to say though, the best part of this trip was doing with with our NIBLINGS!!!! Kristin, Brian, Colton, Kendall and Madison drove up from San Diego and came to the park with us! At first we were just going to meet them for dinner at Downtown Disney, but they ended up getting season passes and joining us at the parks. We had an absolute BLAST with them! Colton is 5 and the twins are 3. Oh my, they are such little people now and are at such a fun age. They couldn’t get enough of Aunt Risa and Uncle Chris! It was awesome spending time with them and taking them on some of our favorite rides! They seriously made my heart so full.  ❤ ❤

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These pictures don’t quite do justice for how much FUN we were having! Love those kiddos more than words can express. We had such a great day together! ❤

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At the end of the day, we were there for 16+ hours, ~22,922 steps, walked almost 10 miles and managed to visit both parks! We had so much fun with our niblings and really hope to do another trip with them soon!

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Love this picture! Quick look at what life with 3 kids might look like…ha ha ha ❤

A big THANK YOU to Chris’ moms neighbor Amy who hooked us up with the park hopper tickets, AGAIN! Amy is the sweetest women in the world and any time she gets the chance, she gets us tickets. THANKS AMY! We had an extra magical and wonderful day at the Happiest Place on Earth!

To view our other trips to Disney, check out posts from 2016,  2015 and 2014.

P.S. Now that we’re back living in Southern California maybe we should get those season passes again! Hubby, please?! Apparently this is the 1st time EVER that CA Adventure has decorated for HALLOWEEN!!!! Um, we must go! I really, really want to  see the parks all decked out for Halloween. We both love Halloween so what could be better?!?!?!


8.27.17 Parents Visit

So excited to have my parents in town for the weekend along with their pups, Spanky & Rascal! We played it super casual and laid back all weekend. Walked our pups, went out for breakfast, got drinks at Beachside Bar Cafe and of course, had dinner at Arigato. My parents, especially my Dad LOVES Arigato. During dinner we were trying to remember how we first stumbled on this restaurant and couldn’t for the life of us recall. Regardless, we LOVE that place and it’s always a favorite dinner spot for visitors.

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On Sunday we had a delicious French breakfast at Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro and headed over to the Santa Barbara Mission to walk around before my parents headed back up north. Loved having them in town! So miss them and can’t wait for them to come back (next weekend) to visit again.


Ok friends, that’s a wrap (FINALLY) on all our updates! Hope you’ve enjoyed.

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Friday IS coming!

Xo