All posts tagged: socal

get some color.

I’m on a project at work that sends me quarterly to the Coachella Valley. I stay at different hotels depending on where my meeting will be and this time I was able to book a night at the famous Saguaro ~ where Instagram dreams come true. 🤗 I wasn’t really sure what to expect on my visit, but I knew I wanted to see the colorful doors for myself. It was definitely off season during my stay, which is much more to my liking – it was quiet and not crowded. Look, no people in my photo! 🙃 The vibe was like 70s motel (on purpose) and desert mod; my room was orange and yellow with purple carpets. Color everywhere! The old school camera was a nice accent, but I felt like I was being watched. 😝  The black and white photography – nice contrast. With all this color, you know I brought some Feed the Fish co goodies to photograph! (And yes, also specially made for the occasion.) The lobby had neon signs, ping pong, …

lavender festival.

If you’re a fan of lavender, I highly recommend the Lavender Festival in Cherry Valley. It’s not a U-Pick type of experience (which is something else on my list of funs to do!), but it’s an immersive lavender experience.There’s shopping, music, hay rides, crafts, food…plus, it doesn’t get ridiculously crowded so you can enjoy in a relaxed setting. This year I went with my sister, niece, and nephews.Food First things first, there was so many lavender-inspired foods and beverages. It was warm out so we tried the lavender lemonade, iced tea, and ice cream. I wished we were hungrier because then we could have also tried the lavender cheesecake and beef brisket (yes, beef brisket!). Also, they have an afternoon tea and a sit-down farm to table dinner that I would have loved to be a part of. Next time!Shopping The farm has an extensive line of lavender projects for sale. They also invited a few local makers to vend. You name it and they probably infused lavender into it – tea, lotions, honey, face …

wild terra.

After visiting Topo, I walked over to Wild Terra, which had caught my eye when I was looking for parking. I was drawn to the brightness of the shop – lots of natural light. I didn’t know what would be inside and I had to find out! Turns out, Wild Terra had just opened three weeks before my visit. They sell teas, spices and herbs, and lots of natural beauty and health products, plus art prints and some home goods. Wild Terra holds workshops onsite, too. (Big fan of workshops!) And they sell local honey. (Big fan of local honey, too!) The space is inspiring and the staff are very welcoming. They encouraged me to open up the jars to smell all the aromas. Mmm…I ended up getting some Earl Grey tea – the “Earl Grey Creme” – which was indeed creamy, even without adding any milk. Wishing you lots of good vibes and success, Wild Terra!


I spent a little time in Highland Park last week and stumbled upon some cute, cute, cute shops! Today I’m sharing my Topo adventure! I was enjoying my lunch at Kitchen Mouse (mmm, chilaquiles) and admiring all the decor (plants! weavings!), when I spotted a doorway (It was like a little mouse hole in the wall that you see in cartoons.) into what looked like an adorable market place. After lunch I wandered through… Turns out it was Topo (which means mouse in Italian), the Kitchen Mouse marketplace and to-go counter. I didn’t know they had a shop so I was pleasantly surprised. There were cards, bags, kid’s books and toys, housewares – all kinds of fun stuff. I ended up getting a super cute Kitchen Mouse / Highland Park screen printed tote bag (tote bag addiction and proud of it!). At the to-go counter there were treats as well as a handful of savory/meal selections and drinks. Much like the restaurant, I loved all the bright colors and warm hospitality at Topo. Check it out (and …


My trip to the Palm Springs area was for business and for pleasure. I conveniently scheduled a work project meeting for the day before my cousin was to get married. Sneaky, sneaky! All the food adventures below plus links to all my reviews. THURSDAY I flew into the Palm Springs airport on Thursday evening and headed straight to food with my co-worker. Rooster and the Pig / pickled okra / green papaya salad / shrimp spring roll / panko-crusted rice ball with yellow curry Long wait, hole-in-the-wall feel in a strip mall. I’m liking my dinner choice! And once inside, a culinary experience. Dishes are easy to share; my fave was the pickled okra, but check out that rice ball on top of the yellow curry. Unique finds! If I wasn’t there during the work part of my trip, I would have tried a fancy adult bevvie. Regardless, my foodchella experience was off to a great start. FRIDAY Friday was the day of my work meeting so instead of trying a breakfast hotspot in the morning, I …


Whilst in the Palm Springs area, I had to visit the Cabazon Dinosaurs! I remember visiting as a kid circa the late 80s, but I don’t remember there being an indoor museum-like option. I remember a lot of sand… I’ll have to dig up those photos! In any case, I made Hubby take me to see the dinosaurs. I. LOVED. IT. I think he loved it, too. 🙂 I was surprised there weren’t tons of people here. We actually got solo shots with the T-Rex! These photos will forever make me smile. Road trip much? What are some of your favorite roadside attractions? Share below!

grow and bloom.

Being home for Christmas weekend means I got to spend some time in the famous Garcia Garden. I can never get enough garden time. Here’s what’s growing this time of year. In the frontyard: In the backyard: My Mom likes grow daughter plants in smaller pots and have them available to give as gifts when people come to visit. Such a great idea! I’m going to copy her. 🙂 My Dad’s current favorite plant: this fire plant. It’s neon pink! He wants to use it as his Christmas tree next year. Daughter approved! Husband picked some citrus (pomelo, oranges, and calamansi) to take home. We even brought home two trays of plant babies: rosemary, mint, arugula, oolong, succulent varieties, a fire plant, aloe, sage, and so much more… Slowly but surely I’m getting better at caring for my house and patio plants. What do you grow in your garden? Share below!