Thursday, January 29, 2015

:-: WARBY PARKER :-:

The Warby Parker spring 2015 eyeglasses collection is now ready for your face.

  Left: Cass  $95
Upper Right: Chalmer     $145
Lower Right: Carnaby     $145

What's a Warby Parker, you ask?  Let me tell you.



Warby Parker is a store that sells prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses at reasonable prices.
The cheapest option starts at $95, which includes prescription lenses.

Saving money makes everyone happy.  And if that's not enough for you, it's nice to know that for each pair of glasses sold, Warby Parker gives a pair of glasses to someone in need.
In fact, they've already distributed one million pairs of glasses to people in need.

How do I get Warby Parker eyeglasses, you ask?  Let me tell you (I'm so full of knowledge today!)

You can do the home try-on option, or you can go to one of their stores.  I went to the Hollywood location at The Standard.


It has an awesome chair!


But back to the eyeglasses … I went to the hotel so that I could try on a few pairs and see how they felt.  All of the frames I tried on were lightweight and felt sturdy.  The colors were really nice, too.

I'm due for an eye exam in the next few months, and I don't want to purchase a new pair in the event my prescription changes, but I actually plan on buying a pair of my very own Warby Parkers around summer time.  Then I can show you the summer collection, too!  It'll also give me an opportunity to give an actual review of how the glasses wear on a daily basis.  For now, here are close-ups of my three favorite styles (each style is available in more than one color option):

Cass

Chalmer
Carnaby

Want to know how Warby Parker's founders came up with the store name?
Then check out their website.  It's for a good cause.

Thanks for reading!

:-:  C  :-:







Disclaimer:  Warby Parker asked me write a blog post about their 2015 spring collection.  I was not compensated for publishing this information.  I just really liked the company's premise and wanted to help spread the word.  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

:-: HE PROPOSED !!! :-:

It happened.

Meet M, the love of my life.


Last Friday, M and I made our annual January trip to Santa Monica -- it's been our tradition since we first started dating.  It started off normal with dinner at Bubba Gump's.  It was actually the first time we'd ever gone to this restaurant chain without being bothered by the trivia questions.  The trivia games were fun the first few times we went, but the novelty wears off after a while.  I was tired from work and just wanted to enjoy my dinner.  Good thing it was my lucky day!

Have you ever tried a CoronaRita?  It's a margarita with a teeny Corona bottle that slowly mixes in the beer as you drink the margarita.  I'm not a big fan of beer, but this drink is a winner.  It comes in a small and large size, but they're both the same price.  I usually order the large size, but I think I've only finished the whole thing once.


M had Mama Blue's Southern Charmed Fried Shrimp.  Size large.  No joke - they really come in sizes now.  I guess they wised up to people having to order extra shrimp on the side.


I had one of my absolute favorite shrimp dishes: Shrimp New Orleans.  I substituted the rice for mashed potatoes.  I've only ever had it this way and I'll never try it with the rice!

… I eat enough rice at home.


M proposed on the ferris wheel.  It was so surreal and I still can't believe I'm engaged!
I always told myself that if I received a proposal and the ring wasn't exactly what I envisioned in my mind, then that meant he didn't really know me.


My ring is perfect!  (Whew)!  :)


I'm so excited to share this new journey with you!

Thanks for reading.

:-:  C  :-:







Thursday, January 22, 2015

:-: BE OUR GUEST RESTAURANT :-:




This restaurant is located in Fantasyland - in the Beast's castle!  It's HUGE.  And absolutely beautiful.

If you want to eat here for dinner, you have to make a reservation.
Otherwise you won't get to be their guest! (Haha lame joke.  You know you love it.)


There's a lovely stained glass mosaic upon entering.


If you keep going straight, you end up in the grand ballroom.  The ceiling is hand painted; the cherubs are based off of pictures of some Disney imagineers when they were children.  The gorgeous chandeliers were imported from Italy.  And the back wall makes it look as if it's snowing outside.



To the right is the Rose Gallery, where there's a moving statute of Belle and the Beast dancing.


The best room of all?  It's where I got to eat:  The West Wing!!!
Yes, three exclamation marks.  Because this is where the enchanted rose is located.


The service here was excellent.  And I'm not just saying that because the waiter kept calling me Princess and telling me I could have whatever I want.  I won't lie, it was nice.  Besides, I was in Fantasyland.  This type of treatment is kind of expected.


We started with the charcuterie plate.  The pickled onions were soaked in wine and went so well with the paté.  The whole thing was delicious.  Super yum.  I could eat another one of these right now.


Next up was the sautéed shrimp and scallops entrée.  It was OK.  Nothing special.  I'll try something different next time.  Yes, there will be a next time.


"Try the gray stuff - it's delicious!  Don't believe me?  Ask the dishes."

Or just believe me.  This dessert was a cookies and cream cake with frosting and pearls.  It was crunchy on the outside, but soft in the center.  The frosting was creamy and the pearls were delightful.  Yes, I said delightful.  I'm now on a mission to find more places that serve desserts with these crunchy pearls on them.  The dessert wasn't very sweet, but it was soOoooOoO good.  I could eat another one of these right now, too.


Oh, and you can order adult beverages here.  I think this is the only place in the Magic Kingdom that serves alcohol.

Once you've finished eating, you can take all the time you want to walk around the restaurant and  admire its wonderfulness.  You can even have a photo op with the Beast.  I'm not sure if Belle shows up, too, but she was MIA when I visited.  She probably ran off again.  Oh, Belle.

Thanks for re-visiting my Disney World adventure with me.  It's only appropriate that we end this adventure in Fantasyland, because that's what this vacation felt like.  I'm so sad that this is the last stop, but I had to get back real life eventually…

...Burgers, anyone?  :)

Missed a stop?

:-:  C  :-:

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

:-: ANIMAL KINGDOM PARK :-:

Fifth stop:  Animal Kingdom Park


The Matterhorn ride was missing from Magic Kingdom, but this park has a snowy mountain coaster of its own.  Guess this is where it went?  This park also has a water rapids ride that I was expecting to find at Hollywood Studios.  I guess you have to spread things out when there's two extra parks ...

But when there's extra parks, there's more types of food!  How about some African food?


O.K., so the Dole pineapple whip isn't African food, but it is delicious!  The pineapple whip at Magic Kingdom was kind of icy, and wasn't very good.  This one tasted like the one they sell near the Tiki Room in Disneyland.  Mmmmm!!!

I'm so excited there was something Lion King themed.  Finally!  Be sure to check out the Lion King show.  It was musical / Cirque du Soleil type of act.  Lots of fun!


This park had the cutest Christmas tree decorations, but it always closes pretty early because of the live animals, so I didn't see the tree near the park entrance when it was lit up.  Luckily, the Tree of Life kept me busy.  It's huge!


If you watch the Bug's Life show, the exit leads you underneath the tree so that you can take up-close pictures.

So, you can make like a bug ... 


 Then make like a tree ...


Then you can go home.  So sad.

Next stop:
Thanks for reading!  Stay tuned!

:-:  C  :-:

Thursday, January 15, 2015

:-: HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS :-:

Fourth stop:  Home!


Just kidding.  This is still Florida.  The fourth stop is Hollywood Studios.

I really wanted to see all four parks, but if you don't have much time for your Disney World trip, I would either skip Hollywood Studios altogether or spend a half day max there.

Here's what I would do:

1. Go on Tower of Terror, one of the best rides EVER.  This one is a little different from the version at California Adventure.  I won't tell you how, though, otherwise it won't be a fun surprise when you go!


2. Eat at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre


It's super duper cute inside.  


You sit in a car with a small counter in front of you.

 

The burger special had a layer of fried mac 'n cheese inside.  I wasn't expecting much when I ordered it, but I seriously wish they had something like this closer to home.  It was delicious.

On a side note, it stays dark inside because they play sci-fi movie clips while you eat.  So I didn't want to be obnoxious and disturb everyone around me by taking a bunch of pictures with flash.  I limited myself to one flash picture, and this is what I got.  At least I tried.  You get the idea.

3. Go on the Aerosmith roller coaster ride and/or ride Tower of Terror again.


4. If it's the holiday season, walk through the Osbourne's Christmas Lights Spectacular.
It's unbelievable and definitely belongs on the do-not-miss list.


Next stops:
Thanks for reading!  Stay tuned!

:-:  C  :-:

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

:-: DOWNTOWN DISNEY - FLORIDA :-:

Third stop: Downtown Disney

This is made out of Legos.  Ridiculousness!

We needed a day of rest to recoup and recharge for the last two parks!

 Earl of Sandwich was the most reasonably priced food we ate on our trip.  And it was actually really good, too.
The mac 'n cheese was way better than what I got at Chefs de France the night before - not to mention it was a fraction of the cost.  Good news: there's a location in Downtown Disney - Anaheim also.


M had The Original 1762 and The Earl's Club [standing in the super long line to order helps work up an appetite] and he liked both.  I had the Holiday Sandwich, which is pretty much Thanksgiving dinner in between two slices of bread.

Holiday Sandwich
Even the desserts were good! The chocolate chip cookie was freshly baked and the brownie was soft yet crunchy - and filled with bits of Ghiradelli chocolate.  MmMmm. 


We also went to AMC, which has a theatre with full service dining and a full bar.  It was fun, but I didn't get a chance to take pictures.  They have things like that here, too, if you're interested.

Dinner was served at Fulton's Crab House.
It's a really cute restaurant that looks like a boat and is located right beside the water.

We were stuffed from the popcorn, so we just ordered off of the appetizer menu.  The crab cake was served atop a fried green tomato and surrounded by maque choux.  The raw oysters tasted fresh.  Both were good.  What wasn't good were the mahi mahi tacos we ordered; they were pretty bland.  The best things, though, were the beef tenderloin skewers.  They were cooked to a perfect medium-rare temperature and were tender and juicy.  They were cooked with garlic mojo and topped with pickled red onions.  They were also surrounded by a sea of toasted hazelnut romesco, which was absolutely delicious.  I'll miss this dish.



Are you hungry yet??

Next stops:

Missed a stop?
Magic Kingdom
Epcot

Thanks for reading!  Stay tuned!

:-:  C  :-:

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

:-: EPCOT :-:

Second stop: Epcot!

Epcot is amazing.  Period.



If I had more time during our Disney World trip, I would have spent another full day exploring and re-exploring all of the "countries" in Epcot.  I also really liked the Spaceship Earth and Living with the Land rides.

I also could have seen more if I didn't stop to rest because my legs were felt as though they were going to fall off from all of the walking.

Good thing I spent a lot of my break times eating!  Too bad I didn't get a chance to buy food from every country.  Next time.

Morocco
Norway

Italy
France
I was super excited to eat at Chefs de France, but the food was so-so and our waitress was trying to rush us.
It was supposed to be Ratatouille themed, but I didn't even see Little Chef.
If you're planning a trip to Disney World soon, I would recommend going to Epcot in lieu of Hollywood Studios - especially if you live close to Disneyland.  I wanted to experience all four parks, but I don't think it's worth a full day's ticket (it may be worthwhile if you have a park hopper ticket and spend half a day there) unless you get to see all of the beautiful Christmas decorations.




Next stops:

Missed a stop?
Magic Kingdom

Thanks for reading!  Stay tuned!

:-:  C  :-: