Author Archive for southcoaststyleoc
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and since I know we all have so much to prep for and get together, I thought it would be fun to share some super easy and affordable outfit options in case you are like me and wait until the last minute to dress yourself. Raj’s outfit was ordered weeks ago, mine? Whelp, that was pretty much the inspiration for this post! I don’t want to spend a lot because the holidays are just around the corner, I want something comfortable and breathable, and even though I will be pretty much cozying up in my living room this year I still want to look cute! I made a collection of 20 dresses perfect for endless turkey and pumpkin cake and comfortable for snuggling up on the couch but that still look dressy. Everything is under $60, so you will get tons of wear for the whole season (throw a sweater over it for cooler days) but you don’t have to feel guilty for the purchase since I know we are all saving up for those Black Friday sales next week.
A handful of the dresses I shared below I actually already own. I went on an Amazon dress shopping spree a few weeks ago (this white dress in these photos I ordered for less than $20), so I will do a try on session with you over on Instagram stories on Tuesday with you and show the ones I own. I have never really shopped for clothes on Amazon before so I wanted to try some out for quality and ease of purchase, and every dress I ordered from Amazon got here in two days, and I was pleasantly surprised at how cute and nice they are for the price!
Thank you King of Christmas for gifting my family this beautiful tree
My dream tree is here and as soon as it arrived I couldn’t wait to pull it out of the box. I have seen the King of Christmas trees all over Instagram for the last few years and I have had it on my wish list for some time. When their sweet team reached out to me and wanted to work together last summer I almost cried of excitement and thankfulness. I have been counting down the days to get our tree set up and I have to say I was so happy to see how beautiful it is in person! We are so excited to decorate for the holidays, as much as I would love to get everything up right away though I am forcing myself to slow down and not feel rushed to go crazy quite yet. We have our tree up, but I think there is a part of me that still want to enjoy fall for a few more days and we will probably wait until mid-end of November to go all out, my goal this holiday season is to slow down and enjoy every minute and not to just ‘do it for the gram’ if you know what I mean. Not to mention it is realllllly throwing Raj off, he doesn’t have a full grasp on timelines yet so seeing the decor has him asking if every morning is Christmas, haha. I plan to do a full Christmas countdown with him so he can have a better understanding of how it all works, but for now we shall enjoy our beautiful tree and how even just standing alone it brightens up our home and puts an instant smile on all of our faces!
Tree details: I ordered the “King Flock” pre-lit tree and it is 7 1/2 feet. It was incredibly easy to install, all you do is stack the 3 pieces and plug it in and all of the lights automatically connect and light up. It took all of 2 minutes to set up!
You guys, this tree is the tree of all trees… I am so in love and so happy with the quality and beauty of it! I can not wait to accessorize and get it all set, and once it is complete I will be sharing a ton more photos with you all. Also, below are my outfit details annnnnd my holiday decor wish list, its just a couple of things I plan to add to my collection this year!!
Thank you SO much, King of Christmas, for getting our holiday season off to the most beautiful start!
Christmas Decor Wish List
shop my look
This content is sponsored by JCPenney. All feelings, stories, and opinions are my own and are written 100% from my heart. Thank you!
Keeping up with my promise to find every possible way to give back to foundations raising money to find a cure for cancer, today I have partnered with the JCPenney Salon to share with you the promotion they’re running in October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I was so fortunate to be part of this campaign last year and right after I had agreed to join the campaign we found out my cousin Lina was diagnosed with cancer and I knew that I was asked to be part of this for a reason. Similar to last year’s event, the JCPenney Salon will be donating 20% of their retail sales on October 20thand 21stto the American Cancer Society for up to $50,000!!! Another way to give back for the entire month along with any service, you can give a straight donation and can be entered into a raffle to win a basket full of products! As for me, this year I opted to receive a blow out for this campaign and I love that while I was sitting in the chair, I knew that it was for a great cause and that I was giving back to an organization I love and so strongly believe in and support.
I realized while working on this campaign what a wonderful thing it is to have such huge retailers like JCPenney supporting such incredible causes and spreading awareness like this. I feel thankful to have this opportunity to work with companies and brands like this who so firmly believe in giving back to the community. It is so easy to feel so small in this world, especially when you are fighting a battle like breast cancer or any cancer for that matter, so when you see huge companies supporting you whether it seems big or small it can make a world of difference. I know I am just one person, just one blog, one social media channel – but imagine if we ALL walked into JCPenney on October 20thor 21st, posted about it, and dedicated a post to those we love who are currently fighting cancer and what an impact that could have. I know that for my Mother in Law and my cousin, every word of encouragement, someone buying them a pink ribbon pin, or someone honoring them in a social post can lift their spirit and their heart and they are reminded why and what they are fighting for. Imagine if we all did this for each other!
Thank you to JCPenney for choosing me to be part of this mission. My loyalty to you is so strong because I know you care and I see how much this cause and fight means to you.
To my readers, lets all join together and share how we give back and support our loved ones today and every day!
To my Mother in Law and cousin Lina, this post is for you. I love you, I honor you, and I support you always.
I was recently gifted some of the most beautiful pieces from the MacKenzie-Childs Fall Collection and I don’t think I have ever been more starstruck to work with a brand ever. I remember browsing the collection every season wishing that one day I would be able to splash my future home with some of the decor items in the future. I am still not too sure how I got so lucky to be given this opportunity but if there is anything you can be sure of it is that I am beyond grateful for these gifts from their team!
When the box of decor landed on my doorstep I could not wait to rip it open. Raj was home with me when I was opening it, and the joy in his face was probably just as evident as it was in mine, he could not believe his eyes that Halloween had finally found its way to our home! Immediately he begged me to decorate our house, and as I started placing some of the items throughout the house he begged for more and more and more, and before I knew it I was in our garage bringing in the rest of our Halloween decor. He wanted items in our living room, the dining room, kitchen, his room, and pretty much everywhere. The following day after school we had to make a stop at Trader Joe’s and they had just started bringing out their pumpkins, and you better believe there he was filling up our cart full of pumpkins!
I have always loved the holidays, always enjoyed decorating our home and getting excited for all of the holiday festivities (even as a child I would decorate my bedroom with all of my mom’s unwanted decor), so now that Raj is finally at an age where he not only gets excited for the holidays but completely understands what they are and wants to help prepare for them, our house has become so much fun!! With his birthday so close to Halloween I have always thought it was so cool how much he loves Halloween, so it feels like even more of a reason to go completely nuts in decorating.
I wanted to snap some pretty photos of some of my favorite corners and areas of our home which are decorated and I linked all of the items below. Also, since Winter is right around the corner at the bottom of this post I have put together some of the Winter Holiday Collection from MacKenzie-Childs that I will be keeping my eye on. I don’t always buy all brand new items every year but I do love buying a few pieces to add to our collection every year, and now with Raj so excited you better believe we will be going all out!
This content is sponsored by Words with Friends. All feelings, stories, and opinions are my own and are written 100% from my heart. Thank you!
“Cancer does not discriminate. It doesn’t care if you are a 57 year old about to become a first-time grandmother or if you are a 36 year old mother of three, and unfortunately for my family, we have witnessed this first hand. Today, every day, every month we honor those we love who have been affected by cancer, and for the month of October I am proud to honor the two I love most: my mother-in-law and my cousin, both victims of breast cancer. Words with Friends is aware of the reality and that is why I am so proud to work with them to share that this month they are partnering with Susan G. Komen to raise awareness for breast cancer and have launched a new “Pink Ribbon Tile” in support. Their goal is to raise awareness through play and through all of you sharing your screenshots of the game’s new pink ribbon tiles. They are hoping to unlock an up to $100,000 donation to find a cure for breast cancer! We all know someone, have lost someone, or could be that someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer; let us all honor and praise those still in battle. This entire month and every day I do my best to honor my MIL and cousin who fight so brave, from the day of diagnosis and still today, and it is my privilege to be a constant support for them always and to use my platform to spread awareness about any way to give back to cancer research.
Some of you may have seen that post on my Instagram feed last week, but most of you may not realize just how incredibly passionate I am to raise money for cancer research to find a cure for this awful disease. In the US alone, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, which is just heartbreaking. All of these women are mothers, grandmothers, sisters, wives, friends, and family – all so important and special to those in their life. I know from experience the impact it has on the patient and family, and it is not an easy ride. When my mother in law and my cousin were diagnosed it changed their entire lives forever. We are thankful that today my mother in law is cancer free, but even for her the challenges since her battle in 2014 have never stopped. And every day my cousin, Lina, continues to fight. And while she is my greatest idol and so strong as she fights Stage 4 cancer, it just feels unfair that she, her husband, and their 3 boys have to deal with any of this. Why her, why my mother in law, why anyone?
Within my power I have vowed to do everything I can to spread awareness and help to find a cure for cancer. If it is the last or only I do with this space, let it be my one mission because I cannot stand to see another person go through this turmoil again. Please join my friends and me at Words With Friends in sharing a screenshot of your latest game featuring the new pink tiles in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For every screenshot shared on social media, they will be making a donation to the Susan G. Komen Foundation of up to $100,000!!!!! That is just so incredible!!
Help me to continue to honor those we know, those we love, and those whom we support day in and day out as they fight their battle. Sending my love to you and all of your loved ones, today and everyday.
Recently I was asked to team up with the ladies of the Chai Mommas Blog again for a feature on our family in celebration of Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights. Diwali is a 5-day celebration of the Hindu New Year and is celebrated in size and excitement equivalent to how we celebrate Christmas in the U.S. Darshan grew up celebrating Diwali with his family and unfortunately as he and his cousins grew older the celebrations slowed down a bit, but for as long as I have known his parents that have always attended parties, dinners, and encouraged us to join them yearly. In the past, we always felt like we had so much going on, the dates of their parties never fit in our schedule, so we quite honestly just always let it slide. We made a point to call all of Darshan’s grandparents and family to wish them a Happy Diwali, and that was just about it for us.
In 2013, Darshan and I were so fortunate to be able to travel through India with his parents and Aunt and Uncle. We had the time of our lives and it was an experience like nothing I have ever had before. The beauty of India is indescribable, the people are so welcoming and warm, and everywhere you go there is so much energy that it is impossible to not fall in love with the country. Being so close to Darshan’s family, I knew I was going to have the best time from everything they told me, but I never expected to fall completely in love with the country like I did. When we were visiting we noticed everyone was in the greatest of spirits. While shopping there were ladies buying jazzy saris, outfits galore, and all over the streets we noticed street vendors getting set up and people lining the blocks with lights and décor. Darshan and I were intrigued and then we quickly realized what holiday was approaching: Diwali! It was the chatter of everyone’s home we visited, and we were so bummed that we didn’t plan better so that we could actually be in the country during Diwali. That trip was so special to us. It was where we picked our future son’s name because we fell in love with all of the stories of the Rajah’s and toured so many castles and on one of days while we were there the name ‘Rajan’ popped into our head and instantly we just knew we were meant to have a little Rajah of our own (we had no idea he would be born exactly one year later). After that trip we also made a pact to celebrate Diwali from then on because we witness first hand how culturally sacred it was.
Three months after our trip to India we found out I was pregnant with Rajan, and he had a due date of October 21, 2014. He was a few days overdue, and finally the afternoon before October 23, I went into labor. It was long and exhausting, but we were so excited to meet our future ‘Rajah’ (King). I was in labor the entire day of October 23, which also just so happened to be Diwali. We were so excited and so proud that of all the ways to celebrate, we were bringing brand new life into this world, what a beautiful gift and way to celebrate this wonderful holiday. We were hoping and crossing our fingers that he would come before midnight so we could tell him be was born on Diwali, buuuuut of course his stubborn little butt came screaming into the world just after midnight on October 24, which was just perfect for us, as he was our final ray of light and the perfect way to begin the new year!
Diwali has over the years become such a special holiday to our family. We try our best to celebrate it in any way we can, and while we hope to still make the celebration bigger and better over the years its something we really hope to make routine for Rajan and our family again. Now that Darshan’s parents are moving closer to us we are hoping they will start to plan yearly parties or dinners and I know his mom is excited about that, especially now that we have Rajan to celebrate with.
I was so honored and thankful when Chai Mommas reached out to me and wanted to send my family a Love and Light box (which can be purchased here if interested) they have curated for Diwali celebrations. It is filled with everything you need to kick off the Diwali and the three of us had so much fun opening up and enjoying the book, the cookies, the sparklers, and everything else inside. What I love about the contents of the box is that it is not just a pile of useless items for show, everything is interactive, and the book especially has been on repeat, Raj has never been more excited for a book. He even said the first time we were reading it, “mommy he (an illustration in the book) looks like ME!”
Please enjoy these photos of our family enjoying and playing with everything in the Love and Light Box. Also, you can check out my interview with the Chai Mommas on their website here, or keep scrolling and read my interview below!
Side note, would you believe me if I told you we shot all of these images by ourself?! Make shift tripod, timer settings and all… how amazing did Raj do!! We were so proud of how into it he was. We are a one-man (well I guess three) show, people!
Enjoy my interview below, and from my family to yours, Happy Diwali!
1.) What about our box speaks to you the most?
I love the excitement it brings to have a ‘gift’ waiting to be opened by your little ones. My husband, Darshan, would explain Diwali to me and equate the excitement of it to Christmas for him growing up; one of the most exciting things about Christmas is that you get to open and share goodies you get with your loved ones. Everything in the box is so much fun and most importantly, interactive! Toys are great for kids, but what is most enjoyable as a family is eating good sweets together, playing games, and making memories together – the contents of the Diwali box help to facilitate that entire experience and that is what I appreciate most. Also, the book has already become one of Rajan’s new favorites – he was quick to point out that the kids in the book look like him and as a parent it felt heartwarming to see that he truly connected with the characters of the book and felt a relation to them, it was so sweet and innocent!
2.) What’s your son’s favorite way of celebrating diwali?
Our son is 100% a social person by nature. He loves family events, being around others, and having a good time. Any excuse or reason to have a full house packed with family to celebrate is fun for him! Now that he is getting older he can understand that Diwali is a fun event to look forward to and gets excited about the celebration, which as parents makes it more exciting for you. His grandparents do a wonderful job of keeping the culture present in our lives so when he sees that there something is important to them, he really does a great job of emerging himself into the emotions of how they are feeling and the excitement!
3.) How has celebrating Diwali made you and husband closer?
One of our best memories of experiencing the excitement of Diwali was when we traveled to India together in October 2013! We were there just the week before the Diwali celebrations were going to begin so everyone in every town we went to were in full preparation. We were able to see the parade floats being built, there were decorations everywhere we went, and all of the family we were visiting were all telling us about their upcoming plans; we regretted so much that we had to leave right before the celebrations were about to begin! What we did take away from it though is that we realized we wanted to bring the tradition home with us. His family here in the states didn’t celebrate in a big way any longer because all of the kids of the family were grown up, but we made a promise to one another that once we had kids we would carry on the tradition as much as could and really encourage his family to get back into it because we really got to see firsthand how exciting the holiday is for everyone in India.
4.) How do some of these rituals in our box relate to your own heritage?
I am Mexican American so for me any reason to celebrate a New Year and new start is exciting. Sparklers have always been something that I love ever since I was a kid; there is just something magical about them. I love fireworks and the beauty and emotion they evoke, sparklers feel like a miniature version of fireworks and it just makes people smile and I love that! In the culture I was raised in, family and traditions are always priority above anything else, so if we start something together we do the same thing every year and it is something we always have to look forward to! This year Rajan loved the sparklers, which he has always been terrified of in the past, and as small as the act is just seeing his pride and excitement over finally feeling brave enough to hold a sparkler on his own makes me want to carry on this tradition every year for Diwali!
5.) Plus anything else you want to share!! What does love and light mean to you? What are your hope for Rajan in the new year. How do you keep the love and light in your daily life.
Celebrating Diwali with our son is something my husband and I value and place a ton of importance on. Living here in the states it can be so hard to carry on cultural traditions and holidays because they are the not the commercial norm you see when you walk into every store for several weeks. It is so easy for our son to be excited about Halloween, Christmas, and Easter, all of the holidays I grew up celebrating, because it is in his face 24/7 whereas the holidays my husband grew up celebrating are not as ‘in your face.’ Because that is just the reality of things, it is our job as parents in our home to create the same level of excitement and to place equal amount of importance on holidays such as Diwali. I believe that if my son sees our excitement he will grow up to do the same. My hope and prayers for my son are that he always cherishes and holds on to the memories we create for him. As parents, I hope that we do a good enough job of making these memories with him and sharing the importance with him so that as he gets older he can carry on the same traditions with his family. Overall, our goal as parents is to raise a good human. No matter what he believes, practices, or remembers as he gets older the number one thing I hope he takes away from seeing his mom embrace and practice traditions of another culture is that he can do the same, and that he will always be respectful of others and their practices, religions, and family background. If that is just the one example I leave for my son, I will have done my job right. Family cultures, religions, and beliefs will vary no matter who you marry or where life takes you, but respect for others and the world around you will always be defining character in all of us.
It has been my personal mission to perfect an every day beauty look that is fast to complete (I am talking less than 5-10 minutes), and can be done with less than 10 products. Every time I look up ‘natural beauty makeup looks’ on Pinterest or online I see these perfectly curated and glowing makeup looks, don’t get me wrong are totally stunning, BUT they also take easily 20 steps, and ain’t nobody got a budget or time for that. Sorry! So, after monthssss of trials with products I have finally found a combination of products that I feel pretty and confident with that gives me full coverage and looking presentable to the public, but is also something I can easily do in a super short amount of time any morning of the week and doesn’t break the bank! Whewww
1. Primer: eliminates pores, calms redness, and evens out tone. This one isn’t dry or greasy and can be worn alone if you are in a hurry. This primer completely evens out my skin and even hides acne scars – I have yet to find anything better.
2. Under eye brightener: this helps my eyes look more awake and less puffy, also lightens dark circles and adds a much needed glow! *my color: light/medium
3. Concealer: I have been using this since forever, this is my all time favorite because it gives such great coverage! A little goes a very long way so one tube of this can easily last you months. *my color: Medium (Light Medium)
4. Translucent powder: I add this on top of my concealer for an extra under eye setting. It helps keep my mascara from running and keeps my concealer from creasing and also helps to brighten up and contour around my eyes a little, it is just enough powder to brighten my face!
5. Tinted setting power: I use this over foundation for full coverage (nights out, photoshoots, events) but I love it just as much by itself! It evens out skin tone but doesn’t sink into pores or look to powdery/dry. This is also great to keep in your handbag for mid-afternoon touch ups when needed.*my color: #2 Medium
6. Bronzer: this one is budget friendly and really beautiful. It smells amazing and I hate really shiny bronzers so love that this one has a matte finish! Also no need for blush on top of it because its not too dark.
7. Mascara: I have been using this for years, its a go to and so budget friendly which is great because I like to replace my mascara every month for sanitation reasons. This doesn’t bleed and makes my lashes look so full and long, I love it! Also I have very sensitive eyes and this does not irritate them one bit.
8. Brows: I use this pot just to fill in some of the lighter patches of my brows. I already have thicker brows naturally but just to add shape and definition I use this very lightly over them!
9. Lips: Kopari is my lifeline and has transformed my lips, honestly. Ever since using this lip gloss my lips do not peel, do not crack and always look soft and have a perfect pout. The shine makes this one so gorgeous even without any lip color so always keep this on hand!!
*BONUS: my new favorite lip tint, Dior Lip Tattoo – you guys I already have two of these and I want every single color!!! This adds just enough color so you don’t feel over done and it stays on forever!! It is not thick, doesn’t dry out your lips, and you don’t even need a primer or lipliner, it just goes on so easily! *my colors: natural rosewood & natural berry
If you take the plunge and end up trying any of these products please let me know your thoughts! I love hearing from you guys and it lets me know I am sharing content you love. Are any of these products your go-to trustees?
LOVE to you all, happy new week!!
This jacket is my absolute favorite purchase from over the last few months because 1. it is comfortable and 2. I love the oversized style – instant cool vibes. I went online to link it for some readers this morning and when I did I realize that the entire brand is having a pretty good sale right now, so while I was shopping for some fall pieces for myself, I saved some of the items I loved best to share here. Madewell is one of my favorite brands, I love the effortless style of it, love that the quality matches the prices, and I feel like everything is easy to wear but still classy and timeless. Because I don’t typically spend too much on clothes (you all know I am an shoe/handbag girl) when I do spend money on clothes I often invest in really timeless pieces that I can re-style for different seasons, and I often wait for a sale to hit to get the best prices. That day just happens to be today! The jacket I am wearing in these photos is linked (currently 25% off), and some of the items I purchased and LOVE are also below!
Sale pieces are priced as marked, but BRAND NEW fall essentials are 25% off using code HEARTEYES
*Sponsored by Alaska Air, Proper Hotels & ShopStyle
When I was asked by my favorite crew over at ShopStyle to team up with Alaska Airlines for a non-touristy/traveler style San Francisco Guide, I nearly fell out of my chair from shock and extreme excitement. There is no greater honor than having the opportunity to work with two companies you admire and trust, and San Francisco is one of D’s favorite cities in the world,so I was beyond excited to share this experience with him. I knew this would be such an incredible opportunity and memorable trip, but what I loved the most was that the team created such a fun itinerary for us that was completely out of the ordinary and it really encouraged D and I to come out of our shell and try completely new places and to try new experiences. The icing on the cake was sharing all of this with not only Darshan, but with some other Influencers who I have looked up to since my early days in blogging… never in my life could I have ever imagined myself here.
I wanted to put together the perfect 3-day travel guide for any of you looking for an easy weekend getaway or for those of you looking to have a unique and different experience in this beautiful city. Whether it is your first time visiting or if you’re a seasoned vet, my hope is that I can provide some alternate experiences to the typical tourist spots.
Did you know that Alaska Airlines travels to more cities, states, and countries than just to Alaska? #mostwestcoast means exactly just that, they travel to as many west coast cities as any other airline, and it is fast and easy to book every flight. If you are just like us, traveling out of LAX, it is a quick one-hour flight to San Francisco, which makes this destination perfect for a weekend or 2-3 day getaway.
What we loved about traveling on Alaska Airlines, first and foremost, was the customer service. Friendly staff at every front desk counter who were so kind and not only checked in each of our suitcases (first bag is free), but were cheerful and kind and ready to strike up a conversation with us; if you are a nervous flyer this initial contact can make all of the difference in calming your nerves. Our assigned seats, which is so much better than racing to try to find seats on first-come-first-serve basis, had so much leg room and we felt comfortable and not like we were sitting on top of one another. The in-flight service was just as wonderful as it was at the front desk and every flight attendant was kind and helpful. Darshan and I actually looked at each other before landing (this is a true story) and both said how we wish we had a longer flight, which has definitely never been the case! We were both enjoying our cups of coffee, I was reading my book and getting some work done on my laptop, and D was doing the same – in-flight internet is popular with us and thank goodness Alaska Airlines had us covered there.
Here are some links that might help you out when booking your next trip with Alaska Airlines:
WHERE TO STAY
I am and will always be a sucker for great hospitality just as much as I am for eye pleasing aesthetic, and this hotel is winning at both. Like I mentioned above about how great it is to be greeted with a kind smile and welcoming words at check-in at the airport, it is equally, if not more important at your hotel! This is the crew that will be caring for you for a few days and nights so comfort is always key. Upon first arrival Darshan and I were instantly blown away with the beauty and style of this hotel. So chic with its modern and artistic black and white decor, truly a luxury boutique hotel at its finest. The icing on the cake, Aēsop products… YESS! I packed my own shampoo and conditioner and never even had to remove them from my luggage. The room had all of the bells and whistles and we were so impressed with the functionality, from the hotel room classics: Iron + board, hair dryer, TV, to one of the coolest features, an in-room tablet to make all and any request through the hotel. You can order room service from the tablet, request information from hotel concierge, and do just about any and everything without even having to pick up the hotel room phone.
The location of the hotel was excellent. It was a very short walk to Market Street and all of the best shopping in town. Also, everywhere we went during the weekend cost us less than $15 on Lyft since the location is very central in the city; traveling to every neighborhood is very convenient!
WHERE TO EAT
What we ate: Mac “N” Four Cheese Fritters & Deviled Eggs (only $2 during happy hour and one of the best things I have ever eaten in life)
Experience: we learned this used to be a funeral home… whaaaaat?! From that minute I was hooked, sign me up for all things scary! Apparently there is a video on YouTube of the alleged ghost seen at the restaurant which I am determined to find, also they host live music shows in what used to be the chapel, talk about rad venue.
What we ate: Old School Tacos (holy goodness these tacos are a MUST)
Experience: this is a place D and I will frequent any time we come to the city. We love a great bar vibe and when the food and drinks are high quality and better than most formal restaurants it’s easy to become a favorite spot for us. Great place for Sunday and Monday night football, or to catch any game for that matter, or to hang out with friends and enjoy great cocktails and drinks. We were lucky and had the opportunity to take a bartending class with one of their bartenders and made our own margaritas… lets just say that is a very easy way to my heart!
What we ate: Peking Duck and Margherita Pizza (soooo delish and so fresh)
Experience: You can watch the pizzas being made in front of you in the most stunning oven I have ever seen, a 5,000 lb. Stefano Ferrara oven. Everyone on the staff is deaf so the entire purpose of the restaurant is to heighten and make you more aware of your senses and help you appreciate the beauty that truly using your taste buds and nothing else can help to enrich your dining experience.
What we ate: Grandma’s Churros
Experience: love the scene here and since we only came for dessert I am hoping to go back and try this place next time because the food reviews I have read are all amazing. Also they have a really cool bar vibe and the owner is hilariously fun, which completely shows in the design and interior of the restaurant.
What we ate: coconut milk latte, avocado/egg toast, and almond croissant
Experience: we randomly wandered into this coffee shop after walking down to Market Street from our hotel. We were in need of a pick-me-up from travels and this adorable little café was tucked into a corner and was surprisingly quiet and quant despite being center to one of the city’s busiest neighborhoods. We left feeling refueled and really thankful to have stumbled in; it is the perfect place for your morning coffee and breakfast or for that mid-afternoon coffee re-boot!
What we ate: Potato and Leek Croquettes, Heirloom Tomato Salad, Steak Tartare (been craving this ever since), Seafood sausage, Arctic Char Amandine, Steak Frites, Vegetables à la Provençal, Île Flottante, Marzipan and Cherry Ice Cream
Experience: it is always fun to get dressed up and head to dinner and this is a wonderful place to do so. Modern and chic interior décor, amazing wine list, and fantastic French cuisine… we were stuffed and feeling so great after this meal!
What we drank: Proper Cup (so so SO refreshing and delish)
Experience: this is one of San Francisco’s only rooftop bars, trust me when I say this is a place you all have to experience. Whether it is day or night, the views are spectacular and some of the best in the city. It has a very lounge/relaxed scene and is the perfect place to meet up with friends, end a crazy work week, or go for a date night out on the town.
What we ate: Warm olives, Heirloom Tomatoes, Kale Salad, BBLT, Lasagna
Experience: of all the places we went to in the 3 days we were in San Fran, this place was the most in sync with my personal vibes. Located in Sausalito on the water with sand and outdoor seating, this is a place I would probably live at if we were locals. It was really incredible to drive into Sausalito where the weather was easily 10 degrees warmer than in the city, the town is so quant and beautiful, I can’t believe this was the first time I ever visited! It was only a 30-minute drive from downtown San Fran so it’s such an easy and fun trip to make, 100% worthwhile to spend a day across the bridge!!
WHAT TO DO
Avital Food Tour: a foodie and wannabe-foodie’s dream come true!! We love trying new places but never really know where to start and never have we thought to do a FOOD tour when visiting a city. So many of the places listed above that we tried were while on this tour of the Mission District in San Francisco. This was such a fun experience and the best part was not just eating and trying new places but learning the history and background of the Mission District and every restaurant we tried. Camille was our tour guide and she was energetic, fun, full of really cool information, and made the entire experience wonderful!
Visit a bookstore: we took a Lyft down to North Beach and I was on a mission to visit a bookstore that was recommended by the ShopStyle team, and it did not disappoint. City Lights Book Store is every book worm’s dream come true. The book selection was incredible and the old-fashioned shop felt so nostalgic that simply wandering the aisles was so exciting and quite the experience. I have decided that from now on in every city we visit it is my goal to find a bookshop to visit. After an hour of browsing, we both walked out with books for ourselves as well as some books for Raj!
NFL Shop(for all you football/sports fans): located at Pier 39, this is a stop that is one of Darshan’s San Fran requirements no matter the occasion or season. He loves coming here to get stocked up on all of our football gear for the season and I don’t mind it either because you KNOW this girl loves some football. ALWAYS, always, end the shopping excursion with hot/fresh donuts from Trish’s Mini Donuts… I am already having a craving for those sweet, cinnamon bursts of delight as I type this.
Visit Sausalito: as you read above we had brunch in Sausalito at Bar Bocce, but I have to share this here because it was such an easy and fun day trip and something I have never done before. There are hikes, boat rides, SUP rentals, and everything you can do in a beach town. We went Saturday before heading to the airport and it was the greatest way to end our trip. This is such an easy plan to add to your itinerary as it only takes a few hours out of the day if it’s all you’ve got! Not to mention the drive itself is such a treat and full of so many beautiful views of the city – it’s a MUST.
OUR ITINERARY (how to do it all in 2-3 days)
- Arrive/Check into hotel
- Afternoon walk around Market Street/shops/coffee
- Evening Mission Food tour
- Room service (duh!)
- Book a tour (we were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to tour the Pinterest offices, I was elated and so thankful, I am a long time Pinner so this was a dream)
- Afternoon lunch in North Beach, book shop, walk around North Park and Washington Square Park
- Check out of hotel
- Load luggage in car
- Brunch in Sausalito
- Head to airport for takeoff
I truly hope this tour guide has helped you in any way when planning your next visit to this timeless, beautiful city, San Francisco. As I mentioned above it is one of our favorite places to visit and as much as there is to do, even if you only have a few days to spare, it is easy to leave the city fulfilled and happy after just a short weekend trip. Of course, there is a gigantic list of things to do in the city, but my hope with this guide was to introduce you to some out of the ordinary experiences. The Golden Gate Bridge, trollies, and Haight and Ashbury will never get old, but what is travel without forcing yourself out of your comfort zone to try new things in exciting and vibrant cities?!
Love this type of post? Leave a comment below and let me know if you would like to see more of these types of travel posts from upcoming travel plans we have and have taken recently!
SHOP all of my outfits here
Day 1Day 2
Hi friends! Darshan and I are so excited to spend the next couple of days here in San Francisco. I will be sharing tons of videos and snaps live over on Instagram, and next week I will have a full blog post with details of our trip. For now I wanted to create a super easy way for you to navigate and find some of the pieces I will be wearing over the next couple of days all in one place… hope this is helpful to you!! Can’t wait to share more 🙂
Finally made it back to our favvvvvorite place in OC last week, Cinépolis! This has become D and mine’s favorite monthly ritual; we put Raj to bed, hire a sitter, and sneak down the road to eat dinner and watch a movie together. It’s intimate, relaxing, and since we are obsessed with the food, it’s also one of our favorite dinner options. The nights when D can leave the office early we go for the Cinépolis ‘Magic Hour.’ As you can see in the image below, tickets are only $7-10 Monday-Thursday from 3:30-5:30 and the food/drink menu has Happy Hour prices (we are total suckers for the Truffle Skinny Fries and Gourmet Beef Sliders). What a deal! Between the glass of wine and delicious food enjoyed while watching a movie, this honestly feels like such a HUGE treat and we love every single thing about the experience.
This last visit we saw Crazy Rich Asians, which I was so excited to see because as you all know I just read the book. It was such a cute and lighthearted movie and we both enjoyed it so much! Since D knew I read the book, we sat for a little bit in the Cinépolis lounge afterwards and I told him all of the ways the movie was similar and different from the book. In a way, I actually enjoyed the movie a little more than the book, which D found interesting, so we hung out and had a beer from the Cinépolis bar before heading home. It was the perfect way to end the night.
Do you remember my other posts I have written about Cinépolis, here and here? You guys know we frequent it all the time and every time we go I feel like we have a different but equally amazing experience. In just two hours we can eat dinner, watch a movie, enjoy dessert and a drink, and it ends up being the most relaxing evening of the month. Since we are so busy and don’t get a ton of time to do something together, the ease and quality have become our favorite things about Cinépolis. If you haven’t treated yourself to this experience I cannot recommend it enough!
We have a running list on our phone for the movies we want to see over the next few months so we’ll be returning to Cinépolis in no time. D is a movie LOVER and his favorite thing to do when he has time is watch movies. He mentioned to me at our last visit to Cinépolis, that his dream is to take a full day off to just watch movies back-to-back, which now means my life mission is to make that dream come true for him!
Check out this link for a list of Cinépolis’ upcoming showings and try this luxury one-of-a-kind experience for yourself!
*this content is sponsored by Cinépolis
Because new is new… no matter what the circumstance, that alone can be scary.
Today is such a big day for our family. One I have been so excited for but equally dreading at the same time: Raj’s first day attending a new school, full time. When Darshan and I made the decision to pull him from his old preschool, the preschool I used to work at and is like family to us (as in the owner and teachers visited him in the hospital when he was born, haha), we just knew the time had come for him to move on so he could be pushed to new limits and that it was the right decision for our family. The new school Rajan is attending is the school that he will go to for elementary through junior high so it seemed like such a no brainer; lets get him used the schedule, get him acclimated to the program and other children, and give him a head start in curriculum. Never, though, did I anticipate how emotionally hard it would be for us as the parents when the day actually came! Is he too young to go full time? Did we make the right decision? Is starting at a new school where everyone is a stranger to all of us ok to do at this point? All and every question and fear started to rise over the last 24 hours and that made the emotional process a little difficult for me this morning. The self doubt as parents, the questioning if we were making the right choice to send him full time just 2 months short of being 4 years old… what the HELL are we doing?!
When I worked as a preschool teacher and director, I saw it all the time. The parents who lingered as they dropped their kids off for the first day of school, the parents who called every hour on the hour wondering how their child was doing, and I always wondered what type of parent I would be. I knew and could only imagine how hard it was for the parents at that first drop off… but I also knew from being on the other side of things how completely FINE their child was. So now being on the parent side of the track… well, it is not as easy as I thought! But the only comfort I have for today was being witness to all those kids on the first day of school, I knew how fine the kids were and so now as the parent I am trying my best to put on my teacher hat and remind myself that just like them, MY Raji is fine as well! But, while I thought I was prepared and ready for today… my gosh it is so much easier said than done! All morning there has been that small little tug at my hear that has been making me an emotional wreck, and no matter how many chants and reminders I give myself, it has still been hard. As Darshan reminded me several times, just because I am feeling this way and hyper aware of my emotions does not mean Raj is feeling the same, for all we know he is probably, and most likely, having the best day of his life! Thank God for husbands who don’t mock you and let you be a baby about parenting every so often, that is fore sure what is getting me through this emotional roller coaster. I know in my heart of hearts what a happy and well adjusted little man Raj is, and I am thanking God that he has just always been such a natural social being, in fact that is one of his biggest strengths, so I know that these funny emotions of mine will pass quickly because I have so much confidence and faith in my son’s abilities and sense of independence. But for now, for this second, I can’t help but to feel like I just want him to be my baby and my best friend and stay home with me forever.
That’s just how it is as the mama, though, right? We carry all the weight, all the fears, all the pain, all of the everything so that our little ones don’t have to. We wear the smile on our face and sing the happy songs and talk these life events up so our little ones know how much faith we have in them, but then once they turn around and walk out that door on their own, as we are standing alone waving goodbye to them, we are allowed to let those emotions and feelings flood, right? It is our job as their moms to carry them and support them and be their number one fan, and dear God if it means I carry the emotions for him so he doesn’t have to feel any of that fear, then let me carry it all! Perspective. Yes I have that little thing called perspective. I know how fortunate he is, I know how amazing he is going to be, its preschool for goodness sake, and he is going to one of the most accredited schools in our county, I know he is MORE THAN FINE… but as the mom, as his mama, I refuse to apologize for the fact that feel like a tiny little chip has been cracked out of my heart, because put simply, he is my heart. My heart since the day he was born, lives outside of my chest and is completely and entirely submerged in his little body and mind. Him and his dad, they are my world and I have never been ashamed or too shy to say it, my life revolves around them. So for today, and maybe just today, I think I am allowed to feel a little twisted up on the inside because down the road just two miles, my heart, my little boy, is in a classroom being his confident and happy social little self and making me the proudest mom in the world.
Today our little boy started big kid preschool and today begins an entirely new chapter for our family. I know to so many this was no big deal and you probably think I am SOOOOO dramatic for feeling so emotional, but we all have our triggers, for me change has always been one. New chapters can be fun and exciting but also really scary and terrifying at times, so for today and JUST today, I am going to sit and give myself some grace with the fact that it is ok for me to cry it out as I come to peace with this newness. As a person, as a woman, as a mom, that it is ok and will always be ok to let myself feel and learn to cope with the fact that what seems like such a simple and easy concept can still also need processing (like sending your kid to school full time, who knew?).
And to my little boy who barely fits in my arms anymore… I have never been more proud of you and know that there is nothing in the world I am more confident in than the fact that you are and will always be safe and ok. I am so excited to be your #1 fan for life and I will always carry the weight of the world for you when you need me to so that you can feel free to always be who you choose to be. Mama loves you, and Dad and I are so lucky you are ours.
Ok, ok. Now for the fun stuff… Check out all of our back to school swag below, we found some suuuuuper cute items for Raj so I just HAD to share them here.
SHARK Backpack + Lunchbox gifted from Petit Collage