All posts tagged: socal

temple time.

On a recent trip home we visited the Fo Guang Shan Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights. The architecture and details in design made it feel like we went on a day trip to China. The temple has been around since 1988, but I only recently learned about it from my Mom who also recently learned about it from a friend. The temple is place of worship but also a place of calm and rejuvenation. It caters to visitors – All the statues and buildings had information cards, and there were many lists with proper temple behavior to follow, e.g. No pictures are allowed inside the temples. There are gardens, classrooms, and a cafeteria that serves vegetarian cuisine. I enjoyed exploring the grounds and tossing coins into the garden for prosperity. After our visit, my Mom shared some photos with friends. They thought we were on vacation, too. Where do you day trip? Share below. 

solvang, super fast.

Hubby hadn’t ever been to Solvang so we took a detour on the way back home from Santa Barbara. It was burning hot the day we visited and our NorCal-acclimated skins were crying (I hear this stuff is called sweat 😉 ) so we only stayed for a short while. We explored the Main Street and side alley ways. Of course I found the bead store, a vintage gift shop, and a DIY studio and market place. I also found Santa Barbara cold brew coffee, an iconic Solvang photo opp for Hubs, and a windmill. I’d say it was a successful quick trip! Solvang much? Share your favorite Danish village finds below!

cabrillo boulevard.

Lucky me, there’s an Arts and Crafts show every Sunday in Santa Barbara! It’s half art and half craft and all fun. Plus, it was a gorgeous day for a walk down Cabrillo Boulevard. The market is easily walkable, and depending how intrigued you are in the goods for sale, you can probably stroll the whole street in an hour or so. There were paintings, photographic works, … …glass art, wood pieces, … …jewelry and other wearables… Some of my favorite finds included these mini kaleidoscope necklaces. The kaleidoscope charms are functional; I’d never seen kaleidoscopes so tiny until I saw these. My niece scored a turtle necklace (currently her favorite creature). And my nephew got a yo-yo lesson from this fascinating yo-yo guy. Until next time Santa Barbara! Santa Barbara much? Share you favorite SB spots below! 


On my last visit home my parents and I explored the Pasadena Flea Market. Held every first Sunday of the month, the market boasts an interesting mix of collections. I’m always impressed, and slightly concerned, about where people store all of their goods. So. Many. Things. My favorite things to spot at these types of events include Pyrex mixing/serving bowls circa 1970, teak dishware, milk glass, and functional typewriters. Sewing machines that come with matching tables are an added bonus. Since in the summertime it gets hot early, we decided to spend an hour perusing in the AM. It was enough time to explore one side of the market. (There may have been another side that we completely skipped….) We left with some summer fruit nail art pieces and baby succulents. Oh, and this lovely photo. Fleas! One person’s junk is another person’s treasure. What’s been your best flea market, garage/yard sale, thrift store, etc find? Share below!  

the lab.

Now here’s The Lab, which is located just across the street from The Camp! They call this one the “anti-mall” but it’s totally a mall, just filled with some great independent shops and restaurants. My favorite stops: Calipoke and Honey & Butter. Calipoke Poke bowls for the win! Fresh fish; savory, sweet and spicy sauces; and an assortment of crunchy veggies and toppings. A regular bowl is the perfect size to share if you’re hungry; a large if you’re hangry. Honey & Butter Macarons dressed like your favorite characters sold out of an airstream decorated with Tsum Tsums. Yup, that sentence happened. What else? The Lab has lots of places to sit and chat, enjoy the day, and people watch. Costa Mesa knows what’s up. Give your fave OC stops a shout out below!

the camp.

More Orange County adventuring! I stumbled upon The Camp on my way to a job site, so you bet I managed my way back after the job was through. There are restaurants, shops, and succulents everywhere. Plus, fun quotes at every parking spot. The business that keeps me coming back on each trip is Milk & Honey. The have my go to breakfast meal when I’m working in town: an açai bowl with granola and fresh fruit. Plus, I grab a milk tea. There’s also Seed: the People’s Market. I enjoy perusing their wares. They carry an assortment of handmade and fair trade items, and they are all fun to look at. OC much? Where do you like to explore? Share below!

coastal life.

Front yard pool parties, bonfires, and no pants — A typical weekend day in surf city, or perhaps a typical day in general? I recently visited Huntington Beach for a friend’s wedding. Along with wedding festivities I had to squeeze in some getaway time, too. My fiancé and my first stop: our favorite poke place. Ok, maybe it’s the only poke place we know but we do know our tuna and this place has got the good stuff. Behold, his and hers poke bowls from North Shore Poke Co. I picked the spiciest sauce on the menu (Kalihi-kine) and paired my poke with avocado and thinly sliced cucumber. He got his with a shoyu based sauce (Pipeline) and added fresh mango. Both are served over steamed white rice. The tuna is tender and melts in your mouth. Afterwards, we walked along the beach to rest and digest and get some sand between our toes. I love strolling on beaches and feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin. For a moment, I had no …