Blog Update with Pictures: 3 of 3

Hi friends! We made it to Wednesday. Yippieeeee!


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.

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!

fiesta 2



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


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! ❤

disney 2

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.  ❤ ❤


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! ❤

disney 3

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!

disney 4

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.


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.


Friday IS coming!



Blog Update with Pictures: 2 of 3

Ohhhhhhh Monday………..we meet again. Struggling today. Need. More. Coffee.

OK, back with more pictures and another update. Here is update 2 of 3, enjoy!

7.1.17 Beach Life


Our pups, Emma & Dash are settling in just fine with their new life living by the beach! When we can, we love to walk them at the beach and let me enjoy going in the water. They LOVE IT! The only downside is after the beach it’s bath time ha ha ha. I also got a pretty sweet (used) beach cruiser. Now I’m really fitting back into the SB lifestyle.

7.4.14 Happy 4th of July

4th of july

HAPPY 4th of JULY!!!! Celebrated with Eva coming over for some pool time and a BBQ before heading to Girsh Park for the fireworks show. This year was a little more low-key and relaxed. In 2016 we were celebrating my sisters wedding with a full weekend of events and celebrations. Regardless, we still had a great day and love celebrating the 4th of July!

7.15-7.18.17 Sister Visit

SISTER VISIT!!!!! Ari & Brian (along with their pups Muddy & Hazel) came to visit for a long weekend! On Saturday Joleen (Ari’s college bestie) came up and joined us for a weekend of FUN. We spent a lot of time at the pool, eating pizza, drinking and just enjoying summa time in SB!


7.17-7.18.17 Jack Johnson at the Santa Barbara Bowl 

Night #1 7.17.18

jack 1

For my birthday, my sister Ari and her hubby Brian surprised me with tickets to see Jack Johnson at the Santa Barbara Bowl. I was totally surprised and super excited to have tickets not only for one night but two! Funny story, I purchased tickets for night #2 with just Chris having no idea my sister go tickets for the first night. I had no idea why Chris didn’t want to go the first night of the show…now I know why! Ari and Brian were getting us tickets for my birthday!

Seeing Jack in concert is always a blast and seeing him at the SB Bowl just makes it extra special! Jack went to UCSB (GO Gauchos) and has a lot of songs that have to do with UCSB and Santa Barbara. Special guests the first night included ALO!!!! These guys are amazing and so much fun! You also can’t beat an outdoor amphitheater. Great atmosphere, awesome acoustics and just an overall awesome venue.

The first night we were in the general admission area. We were up front and ended up being super close to the stage. Ahhhh. So awesome and such a great experience. Really glad my sister and brother-in-law were able to visit in SB. Thanks for the belated birthday present! Love you guys! ❤

Night #1 7.18.17

jack 2

Who doesn’t love going to a concert two nights in a row?!?!? We clearly don’t mind! Ha Ha Ha. For night #2 we had seats. Not to sound too old, but we were really glad to have seats the next night. After having to stand the night before for so long our old legs were tied (we feel so old hehe). Jack put on another killer show and really rocked the house! So glad to have seen him and for two nights!

Ok that’s a wrap for my second series of blog updates. See you back here on Wednesday for the final installment.

Thanks for reading and have a great start to your week! Let’s do this Monday!


Blog Update with Pictures: 1 of 3


We made it. Happy, happy FRIDAY!

I’ve been horribly behind in posting to my blog. Things have been busy (I know that’s not an excuse), but this seems to happen every summer ha ha ha. I just get behind, caught up with other stuff (lots of visitors this summer) and then BAM September comes and it’s like where did summer and my blog go?!?!?!?

Since so much as happened lately, I decided to do another update with pictures and quick blurbs. I did this last year and that seemed to work. Looks like there will be a total of three posts again for this series. Here. We. Go!

5.27-5.29.17 Memorial Day Weekend with the Dahlins

memorial day

VISITORS!!! So excited to have our dear friends Jess & Dan in town for the long Memorial Day weekend! Our weekend was filled with pool time, hikes by the beach with our dogs, lots of drinks and dinner at our favorite sushi place, Arigato! So glad to have Jess & Dan as friends and am so very thankful they could visit us! ❤

6.3.17 Ashley & Anthony’s Engagement Party ❤ ❤ ❤ 

engagement party

My bestie is GETTING MARRIED!!!!! So excited for my best friend to be marrying the love of her life. We couldn’t be more happy and excited for Ash & Ant. March 2018 seriously can’t come soon enough! Had a blast at their engagement party in Santa Cruz. So glad we could come up and celebrate with everyone. Got to catch up with so many HS friends. Let the parties/celebrations begin! LOVE you Ash & Ant.<3

6.12.17 NEW Job at UCSB

First day at UCSB in my new Academic Advising gig. Excited to be back on campus and to be working in the College of Letters & Science. Here’s being back “home” and to a new adventure!

6.24-6.25.17 Visit with the Gangais


So happy to have have the Gangais in town and to show them Santa Barbara! Lilly and I met while I was working at SJSU. We became fast friends and our hubby’s hit it off too. Since moving to SB we’ve really missed seeing them/hanging out on a regular basis. Back in San Jose, we spent many a Friday nights getting dinner (Sushi 2-2 Train was a favorite) bowling, going out for drinks and having lots of laughs. While there were here we did it ALL. Even though we know SB, it’s still fun showing friends around and playing tourist in our own town. Love and miss you Lilly & Chris! Can’t wait for another fun filled weekend sometime soon.

Ok that’s a wrap for this first series of blog updates. Hope you enjoyed. Have a great weekend and we’ll see you back here next week for more updates!


Holiday Traditions: SF Nutcracker



Tis the season…SF Nutcracker time! This marks our 6th year going and truly one of my favorite holiday traditions! You can read about our previous visits here: 20152014, 2013. Sadly, no blog posts from 2012 or 2011.

As always, the SF Nutcracker is so much fun and a truly beautiful production! I love going to the ballet and this is the perfect production to get you in the spirit of the holidays. I say this every year…if you haven’t seen the SF Nutcracker, I highly recommend it. There is also nothing better than seeing the War Memorial Opera House all decked out in lights and holiday trimmings. Going to see the Nutcracker really is one of my (our) favorite holiday traditions and I so look forward to it every year! I can’t believe the hubby and I have been seeing it every year since 2011; what a treat!

Each year, we hold true to our tradition in every part of the way. Dinner is always at our favorite Thai place, Lers Ros. The subject of switching it up always comes up, but we always end up back at Lers Ros. It’s too good of a place to say no.

One of the best things about going up to the city during the holidays is all of the LIGHTS! I love holiday lights, especially City Hall! It looks so magical when it’s all decked out in red and green lights. We always have to get a few pictures of it and a few selfies 😉 .

Of course, the best part is taking a few pictures in front of the gorgeous tree inside the War Memorial Opera House ! So glad my hubby is always willing to pose for pictures…I sure got lucky with this one! ❤

We decided again this year to purchase the orchestra section seats becuase you just get a better view of the stage. I really love being closer to the stage and seeing all the beautiful costumes and little details. Before the show we checked out the front of the stage and the orchestra. It was fun seeing the musicians come in and get warmed up. Kinda makes me miss my clarinet playing days….

The SF Ballet sure didn’t disappoint this year. They put on another fantastic show and now I feel all ready for the Holiday Season! Can’t wait until next year!🙂

I love making and keeping up with our holiday traditions, espeically going to the ballet! We still needs to bake cookies and look at Christmas lights. Crazy how fast this month has flwen by…only one more weekend until Christmas, yikes! Wat are some of your favoritae holiday traditions?


Hope everyone has a great start to the week! I’m counting down the days until I’m off work and can relax/celebrate with our family and friends!


Weekend Update: Pumpkin Patch Fun 🎃

Happy Monday everyone!

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

The hubby and I actually had a 3-day weekend which was awesome! Originally, we were going to try for a mini trip to Seattle, but it just didn’t work out. Luckily the trip fell through because Chris wasn’t feelings too hot at the end of last week and really need the weekend to sleep, rest and relax.

On Friday 10.21.16 we mustered up some energy and headed to Half Moon Bay for lunch and then a dog-friendly pumpkin patch! It was the most perfect day in Half Moon Bay! Plenty of sunshine, a few clouds and just the perfect crispness in the air. We found a sweet pizza place called Pizzeria West that was just delicious! Nothing beats NY style thin-crust pizza-by-the-slice. Mmmmm Mmmmm. This place is definitely worth coming back too.

Then it was off to Farmer John’s Pumpkin Patch. This place was awesome! Not only was it DOG FRIENDLY, but they had a great selection of pumpkins! So many different varieties. Since it was a Friday, it wasn’t too busy which made it nice for taking lots of pictures with our pups and taking our time selecting pumpkins. 🙂

As a lover of October and Halloween, I am also a big lover of PUMPKINS and pumpkin patches! You can check out my pumpkin patch posts from 2015 and my first ever blog post. Farmer John’s had gorgeous orange pumpkins and then a bunch of specialty pumpkins. Check out the list of pumpkins they grow…it goes on and on!

The pups had a blast at the pumpkin patch and I can’t wait to take them back next year! It was also wonderful to have an extra day this weekend, even if we spent the rest of it laying low and not doing a ton. Sometimes you just need to recharge and take it easy.

What did you all do this weekend? Something fun and festive? I noticed over the weekend lots of pumpkin patch postings on social media. I guess it was a good weekend to go. Happy Monday! Hope you all have a great week.



Blog Update with Pictures 3:3

Hi friends! I’m back with my LAST installment of pictures and updates! I tried to get them all done yesterday but just couldn’t do it, so lets finish today! Here’s 3 of 3!

This last update is all about CONCERTS! We were really lucky to see a bunch of shows this summer. I think you all know which one was my favorite! 😉

ADELE 7.30.16

Hands down absolutely one of the greatest performers and shows I’ve ever seen. Adele KILLED IT! OMG so totally fabulous!

We totally LUCKED out in being able to go to this show. Last fall a bunch of us in my office tried to get tickets. Unfortunately only one person was able to get 4 tickets and there were 6 of us who wanted to go. I was so bummed :(.

Fast forward to the week before the show and we got 2 tickets!!! 🙂 🙂 The coworker who got the the only tickets in the office ended up not being able to go, so we had the chance to buy her tickets! Waaahooo!!!! Chris and I were beyond EXCITED to have scored tickets! I’ll be honest, I had no idea what to expect from Adele. We are used to seeing big, full bands like Ben Harper, Jack Johnson or DMB. Adele BLEW US AWAY!

Chris and I went to the concert with my other co-worker Lilly and her husband Chris. Chris X2. The four of us had an absolute BLAST! And ADELE was freaking AMAZING!!!! That girl not only can sing (well duh!), but she’s hilarious as hell and such an entertainer. We couldn’t stop laughing and belting out each of her songs! Such a fabulous show and with such great company!

P.S. Our hubby’s are huge Adele fans now and at least in my house, Chris is still blasting her music! 🙂

Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals 8.16.16

Hubby got us FREE tickets to see Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga. We’ve never been to Mountain Winery, but let me tell you that place is PERFECT for a concert! I love outdoor venues and this one is top notch with fantastic acoustics! It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Ben Harper and he didn’t disappoint. Another great show and fun weekday date night! ❤img_6231

Dave Matthews Band 8.29.16 & 8.30.16

TWO NIGHTS OF DAVE MATTHEWS BAND!!!! ❤ 🙂 ❤ 🙂 ❤ HIGHLIGHT of the summer and probably my life (ha ha ha ha). Dave Mathews Band is my favorite band of all time and I absolutely love seeing shows at the Greek! If you’ve never been to a show at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, CA you seriously have to go! Like the Mountain Winery, it too is an outdoor amphitheater, but I have to say the Greek is my favorite! There isn’t a bad seat in the house and don’t even get me start on the acoustics!

DMB is my favorite band and I’ve been seeing these guys since 2002 when I was in high school. My bestie, Ashley and I have been seeing them since then as well. Each year I look forward to going to their show with her. I think there is only one summer that the band didn’t tour, so we didn’t seem them together. Heck my blog is even a lyric from one of my favorite DMB songs!

Two Step 
“Celebrate we will
Because life is short but sweet for

This summer marked the bands 25th Anniversary and man did they put on an awesome show! Night #1 was history making in my book. My goal every year is to get as close to the stage as possible. Well this year folks, THAT HAPPENED!!!! We were literally ONE row behind the very first row. I about DIED! DREAM COME TRUE!

Last year Chris and I became Warehouse members in hopes of scoring better seats to some of the DMB shows. Although we didn’t get special seats for the Greek (it’s all general admission) we did get to line up in a special line just for Warehouse members. In addition, we got to buy t-shirts/other concert stuff before the venue was open and enter the venue 30-45 minutes before everyone else. Talk about some unanticipated perks! Being able to get in so early made a HUGE difference because we got front row seats! Poor Ashley; we had to leave her in the regular line, but saved her some pretty sweet seats up front. Her boyfriend joined us later and the four of us had a great time! You can read about some of our other DMB concerts adventures from 2015 and 2014.

The set list from night #1 probably wasn’t my most favorite, but I love DMB anyway and love it when they jam out! It was amazing to be so close to stage and really SEE the band. We actually got to HEAR them, not just hear them through the speakers somewhere else in the venue. It was unbelievable!! Ahhhh such a cool experience! Check out these awesome pictures!


DMB Night #2 8.30.16 We went back for a second night!!!

Funny story, Rashawn Ross, the trumpet player for DMB lives in the same building as my cousin in LA! She knows that we are huge DMB fans so she always tries to get us tickets if she can. Guess what?! This year we got tickets!!!!!! Rashawn got us FREE tickets for night #2 AND special passes!!! We had no idea what the passes were, but super excited to be getting anything! Rashawn totally didn’t have to do that for us. We got to pick everything up at will call under the “artist guest list” sounds pretty fancy right?! 😉 Ahhh so cool! The special passes ended up being for the DMB Friends & Family Lounge which allowed us to go to a backstage area and have free food, drinks and snacks before the concert. Yes please! I was hoping that we would get to meet someone from the band, but that didn’t happen. We did see Tim Reynolds through a gate though. Does that count? He he he.

I have to say that the set list for night #2 was pretty epic! The concert was absolutely amazing and probably on my top list of best concerts ever! The band was just killing it and rocking out like no other! Not to mention the song selection! Although we weren’t able to get to the concert as early as we did the night before, we felt pretty stoked to have free tickets and special passes. We also managed to get great seats (not as close) but honestly, there isn’t a bad seat at the Greek. The DMB Friends & Family Lounge was totally unexpected and lots of fun. Another amazing night seeing my favorite band and a great way to wrap up our summer concerts! Looking forward to more DMB concerts and one day meeting Dave Matthews in PERSON! #lifetimegoals #itwillhappen

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