I’m Attending Shiftcon Eco-Wellness Conference 2018!

I’m Attending Shiftcon Eco-Wellness Conference 2018!

As a ShiftCon eco-wellness influencer & volunteer, I have been given free admission to ShiftCon 2018. This post contains my affiliate link for event ticket purchases. All opinions are mine. © ShiftCon

I am really excited to share that I will be at ShiftCon in Irvine, CA, February 1 -3, 2018. I know it seems so far away, but I have to tell you how ecstatic I am because I have been dying to go since I first heard about this event in 2015. If you are a social media eco-wellness influencer and/or blogger that wants to be part of the movement of shifting perspectives, then this conference is totally for you!

Shifters prize themselves as being part of something bigger than themselves. We are a community with a mission to change the world. It’s a focus on wellness, green and sustainable products and technology. – ShiftCon

© ShiftCon © ShiftCon

Ok, so what is ShiftCon?

An eco-wellness social influencer’s dream.

It is a conference filled with the community of like-minded people that want to create a more sustainable earth and work with brands that bring value to their lives and their audience’s lives. I’ve been following the event on social media for the last two years, gawking at all of the fun, but also the wealth of knowledge that is shared by the numerous experts in the fields of health, food, wellness, communications, legislation, social media and healing. See past speakers here.

© ShiftCon

Join us for three days of learning, growing and life-changing experiences! There are two influencer/blogger options when you purchase your tickets. The ELITE track gives you access on Thursday to an additional 9 workshops, totaling 24 workshops! The Influencer/Blogger track gives you access beginning Friday to 15 workshops.

© ShiftCon

In addition to all of the learning, there will be a lot of fun! There’s an expo hall where over 40 brands will be showcasing their products and services. You’ll go home with 2 swag bags and be fed a reception meal, 2 lunches and 2 breakfasts, plus featured snacks and refreshments!

© ShiftCon © Hotel Irvine

Location, Location, Location.

The event will be held at Hotel Irvine, and the rate is $179 per night. Book early and know that when you reserve your room, a one night’s hotel fee will be charged to your card for reservation. Will I see you at ShiftCon? I hope so! Make sure to say hi! I look forward to learning, growing and shifting with all of you! Get your tickets now!


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Spring Break at Dillon Beach, CA

Spring Break at Dillon Beach, CA

Spring break has come and gone.

We spent our family vacation in Dillon Beach on Bodega Bay, CA with my husband’s family. Every year, they rent a home that sits midway up the mountain of Oceana Drive. IT IS GORGEOUS.

This quaint little beach town is about 30 minutes west of Petaluma, CA but approximately two hours from us (Lodi). As a SoCal girl, the first thing I will tell you is that this is a cold beach. I usually pitch a fuss about having to wear a jacket on the shore. I know, such a baby. However, our kids love it though and somehow manage to still dip their toes (or depending on which kid) or whole body into the freezing water.

Some of the fun things they enjoy include digging holes, hiking up the mountain, and rolling down the massive sand dune.

If you plan a trip to Dillon Beach you should know a few things:

It was amazing time spent just revelling in the beauty of the coast and closeness of our loved ones. We are forever grateful for the memories we get to make with our babies, and that they get to grow up appreciating these moments of family, creation and fun.

Pictures say a thousand words, so I will leave you with Jeff’s amazing visuals.

Other sights & experiences in the area:

What are some of your favorite spring break excursions?

Girls’ Guide to a Hands-On San Francisco Adventure

Girls’ Guide to a Hands-On San Francisco Adventure

I was hosted by Dagne Dover for an exclusive event.

There was no compensation, just great community, good drinks, crafts, and a lot of fun! All opinions are mine.

Unsplash Unsplash

Ever in need of a quick pick me up that portals you to a new space and environment to enjoy something different? Do you have a love affair with crafting with your hands? I love taking trips. They can be anytime of day, for an hour, 24 hours or a week. I also love crafting and making things.

I am pretty sure that getting out of your everyday environment refreshes your spirit and soothes your soul. So, what better way to do that, than with one of your favorite people? I recently had the pleasure of making a fun girls’ Sunday adventure with my little sister. Not only was it a lot of fun, it was budget friendly!

WikimediaImages WikimediaImages

1. Take Public Transportation and/or a private driving service (uber or lyft)

As much as I love driving (it brings clarity), the event we were attending at The WorkshopSF, courtesy of Dagne Dover, was in the evening and I am not fancy with night driving. That being said, I did some research on taking the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) realized it would save me a ton of stress and a couple hours of night driving, plus it was cheaper than parking once in the City. Since we are in the Greater Stockton Area, we parked at the Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station, which is about an hour or so from us. You can find the closest station to you on their website, which is a lifesaver once you are in the City!

We arrived in Dublin pleasantly surprised that we did not have to pay for parking on a Sunday. So, it only cost us $12.30 each (round trip) to Union Square, San Francisco. Irrespective of random fear, and the nightmares that I have previously had about people falling on the BART tracks, I put on my big girl pants and hopped (literally, I was not trying to fall through the crack) onto the car. My sister was definitely amused, but she loves me.

For those of you that might be hesitant about public transportation, I have to say that BART is pretty swell. My next adventure will be to take our entire clan on a family trip to SF via the BART system. Woohoo! Mentally preparing for that one.

Once we were in the City, thanks to BART, we had Lyft pick us up to drop us off to our destination. When we left for the evening, we called for an Uber car to return us to Union Square.

2. Find food. because, food.

Just as our pink mustache car dropped us off at the location, we realized we were a tad early and this super cute Mexican restaurant across the street pretty much called our names. At that moment we also realized we were really hungry. The question was, “should we have margaritas before the event?”

Hello, Green Chile Kitchen

As you can see, the food looks gorgeous. It tasted even better. Joy had a burrito – potentially the Chile Verde (I was too busy thinking about my meal I forgot what she ate, but it was around $11) and I had a Pulled Pork Quinoa dinner bowl ($16). If you are gluten free, this is an amazing little spot. The ambience was quaint, refreshing and super chill. They were very accommodating with knowing my allergy and I slept well and most importantly – pain free, score! This restaurant is definitely family-friendly and I can see the kids enjoying the space and drinking water out of mason jars like little adults.

Exploring the City is half of the fun, so make sure you research restaurants prior to your trip, or do as we did and be surprised.

3. Find an Event at workshopsf.

For us, we had an event planned in advance, but for you – if you’re crafty, or secretly want to be, check out WorkshopSF because they have a TON of awesome DIY workshops. Past workshops include sewing bootcamps, screen printing, iPhone and photography, metal smithing and jewelry making!

Seriously, the coolest work space that I have seen. Seriously, the coolest work space that I have seen.

Our fun for the evening consisted of fashion, terrarium making and cocktails. We learned from Jenny Lennick about terrarium making basics. She did a wonderful job keeping us busy and confident in our terrarium making skills. It was really easy and fun. I chose to create a tiny-sized terrarium with three little succulents and moss. Oh, and hello R2 🙂

The Force is strong with this little one. The Force is strong with this little one. Joy makes a mean Gold Rush! Joy makes a mean Gold Rush!

I love a good cocktail. We made the Gold Rush, which is extremely simple and contains only three ingredients: honey simple syrup, bourbon and lemon juice. SO GOOD. I passed on the Moscow Mule, because, beer (wheat), but I was happy with the Gold Rush.

4. Last but not least, travel in style.

The entire reason we attended this event was to check out the awesome Dagne Dover handbag collection. I haven’t had the pleasure of having my own Dagne yet, but I definitely have been drooling over them for a while now. Based out of NYC, the company was founded by Melissa Mash, Jessy Dover, and Deepa Gandhi. It was really cool to see Melissa at the event, she’s so down to earth and I enjoyed chatting about how the bags are game changers.

I shared with her that I am all too familiar with the “two bag schlep” that inspired the Signature tote, as a graduate student and working professional. I carried books, food, and other things along with me in one bag in addition to a fully stocked purse (hey, mama of five. You can never be too prepared. Although I recently found my kids’ socks in my bag at work (mind you, I no longer have toddlers or “little kids” so please tell me what this is about).

The lovely Melissa Mash, CEO of Dagne Dover The lovely Melissa Mash, CEO of Dagne Dover

If you know me, you know that I love a good handbag, clutch, wallet, or anything that helps me to organize my massively chaotic life and responsibilities and feel like I look adorable doing it.

Dagne has recently released its 365 collection, which is “designed for a life in motion” – guys they also have a sweet backpack called Dakota. It would be perfect for a day trip to San Francisco, perhaps to a visit at The Walt Disney Family Museum, just saying. The Landon Carryall is also perfect for a field trip with the kiddos, and yoga or gym session.

Image via Dagne Dover - The Dakota Backpack comes in 3 colors Image via Dagne Dover – The Dakota Backpack comes in 3 colors Image via Dagne Dover - The Landon Carryall - comes in 3 sizes and four main colors (availability varies)  Image via Dagne Dover – The Landon Carryall – comes in 3 sizes and four main colors (availability varies) Image via Dagne Dover - The Essentials Clutch Wallet comes in 10 colors! Image via Dagne Dover – The Essentials Clutch Wallet comes in 10 colors!

I also love the Essentials Clutch Wallet, it would be the perfect go-to for a quick run to the store, or to keep as an everyday wallet when I need to hop out the car and leave my tote in the trunk. The Signature collection is made from coated canvas so it will hold up to spills and frills.

For a client meeting or a coffee-house work session that would involve some homework or blogging, they have beautiful options with a new set of leather styles. I am crushing on this Simone Satchel. The leather is gorgeous and the hand is amazing. The quality of the bags, the philosophy of the company and the options in colors and styles is pretty awesome.

Thank you Dagne Dover for such a wonderful event!


No matter how you decide to spend the day in the City, make sure you’ve figured out your transportation (or suck it up and just drive), keep your hangry in check by exploring local restaurants, plan a fun activity or attend an event, and make sure you’re keeping your day stress free by having a handbag or clutch that looks great and keeps you organized on-the-go.

 

Spread Magic

Holiday Traditions at Winter Fest 2016!

Holiday Traditions at Winter Fest 2016!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Growing up in Southern California, winters were always fairly warm and we had to travel to get to snow, which was always a treat! Even though I am now a Northern California resident, I can often be found in Los Angeles and Orange County throughout the year, and holiday time is no different. There’s something about seeing Christmas lights in palm trees that make me smile. 🙂 I don’t know if you can tell, but holiday season has always been my favorite time of year. I love everything about the holidays – the music, food (mostly the sweet treats), decorations, and LIGHTS!

Image Courtesy of Winter Fest Image Courtesy of Winter Fest

Our eldest daughter (MeiLani) will be turning sixteen around Christmastime (where has time gone?!). In light of this milestone, one of my best friends and I will pack up my daughter and her bestie to take an early girls’ road trip to celebrate and partake in some fun. Mei has been a traveling girl since she was a baby, so she always up for an adventure. Southern California is one of her favorite destinations and she requested a special trip for her birthday and Christmas combined, so I am excited to share more memories with her at Winter Fest 2016.

experiences

This will be our first time attending a Winter Fest event, so everything will be new! However, if you’ve attended before, you’ll be happy to know that there are some experiences back by popular demand, along with many new experiences. After perusing the website, here are some that I am MOST excited to experience (to see all available experiences and shows click here):

  • Tree Lighting Ceremony – Nightly, on the dot at 5:30, the lights begin glowing on a 30-foot-tall Christmas tree. Christmas trees are my favorite.
  • Snowflake Summit – A 130 ft, 6 lane ice tubing slide and get this, UNLIMITED tubing is included with every admission ticket to Winter Fest. I am afraid of heights, and tall slides. However, I am excited to try this one out because I love tubing!
  • Meet & Greet with Santa – You can’t experience a winter event without Jolly Old St. Nick! Let’s hope I was good enough this year, I might need to slip him a candy cane to check my name! You’ll be able to take pics with Santa, so have your cameras ready!
  • Candy Cane Carnival – Enjoy over a dozen holiday carnival rides, including a Holiday Ferris Wheel, Carousel, and try your hand at carnival games!
  • Mistletoe Lounge – Enjoy holiday cocktails, craft brews or indulge in specialty coffees or try the popular Winter Fest hot chocolate (it wouldn’t be a holiday event without hot chocolate)
  • Festival of Lights – Grab some hot chocolate or a speciality coffee from Mistletoe Lounge and stroll down a pathway illuminated with 2 million lights with your family and friends, to experience 10 holiday themed lands. One of our favorite family traditions is to look at Christmas lights with our kids, so this is right up our alley!
  • Snow Play – This area is free for everyone enjoy. I’ve already been told that I will be hit with a snowball, thanks to the real snow that will be blown in for the event. It’s been a while since I made a snowman, hopefully someone will want to play with me.

With the awesome lineup of activities, like ice skating, snow play, ice tubing, and strolling through the Festival of Lights, I can guarantee that my birthday girl is going to have a lot of fun with her best friend. She’s a big kid at heart, and already asked if I thought they’d let her in the bounce house, ha ha! I’m not quite sure about that, but we will definitely have a race around the outdoor ice skating rink.

Details

If you’re looking for a fun date night, or special night to hang out with your teens (or kids of any age), take them to WinterFest 2016 in Orange County. The event is held at the OC Fair & Event Center, and will only be open from December 16, 2016 – January 1, 2017. Admission begins at $10 per child, $15 per adult and you can purchase tickets and wristbands on the Winter Fest website.

With over 20 different experiences, there is definitely something for everyone to enjoy, throughout the day. If you have younger children there are live action mini shows during the day, and a special place for snow tubing in the snow play area. If you want an extra special experience, you can reserve a Private VIP Cabana that can accommodate up to 10 guests.

I can’t tell you how excited I am to experience Winter Fest 2016 and perhaps start a new road trippin’ tradition for my entire family!

What are your favorite family holiday traditions?

This is a sponsored conversation, all images are via Winter Fest, and as always, the magic and opinions are 100% mine.

Holidays at Disneyland Park 2016

Holidays at Disneyland Park 2016

It’s here, it’s here! 

 

Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

 

It’s the merriest time of year at Disneyland Resort. From now until January 8, 2017, you can enjoy the holiday season at the Happiest Place on Earth!

Holidays are my favorite, and holidays at Disney Parks with my family and/or friends are the best. Here’s what you can expect to see and experience at Disneyland Resort this holiday season.

“it’s a small world” celebrates its 20th holiday presentation

 

Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

 

If you know me at all, you know that “it’s a small world” is my favorite attraction. I honestly love the song, as annoying as it may be to most people.  The holiday version intertwines “Jingle Bells” and “Deck the Halls,” adding the right amount of Christmas magic. Get ready to set sail on “The Merriest Attraction on Earth!”

 

Here we are for the #Disneyland60 holiday fun!

Here we are for the #Disneyland60 holiday fun!

 

Since the attraction is celebrating its 20th holiday season, you might notice “Hidden 20s” sprinkled throughout. This will give my competitive kids some extra motivation to ride with me this season – whoever finds the most hidden 20s will get a churro! 🙂 

Fun facts:

  • It took nearly three dozen cast members 35 days to install the exterior and 18 days for the interior decor
  • There are over 400,000 lights that illuminate the plaza from the exterior to the trees, shops, and topiaries
  • The happy clock in the front dons a Santa hat and every quarter hour, there is a 3D-projection show presented by Siemens
  • Inside, your senses will awaken to whiffs of peppermint and fresh pine

Jack’s back – haunted mansion holiday

Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

 

Image © Paul Brinegar/Disneyland Resort

Image © Paul Brinegar/Disneyland Resort

 

What’s this?! Jack Skellington and his friends have taken over the Haunted Mansion. In traditional holiday fashion, we watch the Nightmare Before Christmas right after Halloween to usher in the holiday. Half of the fun is looking at all of the intricate details within the ride, and who doesn’t love seeing Zero flying around!

“believe…in holiday magic” fireworks

 

Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

 

Cozy up on Main Street, U.S.A., with a cup of hot chocolate to see the fireworks light up the night over Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle. This is my favorite way to end the night, and not to mention one of the best things is the snowfall finale. I believe in Holiday magic… do you?

Hop onto the Jingle Cruise

 

Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

 

If you thought sailing on the Jungle Cruise was fun, wait until you see it spruced up for the holiday season. The Skipper is still full of jokes, and the ambience is merry and bright!

what are you waiting for?

If you’re like me and like to plan last minute trips, make sure to check out Get Away Today (affiliate link) and save on an awesome vacation package to the Merriest Place on Earth! I am so excited to spend some time at Disneyland Resort this Holiday Season with some of my favorite people on earth!

Which attraction or experience are you looking forward to the most?


It’s the Climb

It’s the Climb

Family day trips are great, especially when you get to be out in the open, consumed by nature. Okay, that totally does not sound like me. I am not a hiker. I do not enjoy lounging in the forest. I appreciate it all from a distance, but it isn’t my “go-to” idea of F U N.

 

 

However, I have an active family, and they L O V E nature trails, hikes, forests and oceans and I love them to pieces for it. So, I go. I’m mostly afraid of being eaten by a wild animal, being taken by the ocean, or one of my children falling off the edge of a trail. I will tell you that the more I participate, it is slowly growing on me. Don’t let me see signs about bears or other wildlife because I will turn right around and go back to my car.

Our most recent adventure was to the East Bay at Kennedy Grove Regional Recreation Area. We met up with one of our favorite people, Jeff’s cousin, Melissa, who happens to be one of my dearest friends since I was 18. She is always good to hang out with our crazy fun family; always ready for an adventure with the Kimble-Walls! 🙂 

 

 

I learn a lot about myself on trips like this, like how strong I really am – even when I think I am going to keel over or am scared of some random sound in the bushes. I also realize how important moments spent as an entire family unit are to my kids. I am making a more conscious effort to reserve off days for doing things that they enjoy. I treasure the memories that I have with my parents and brother as we traveled, whether it be camping, hanging at the beach, or exploring new cities and states together. Being such a large family is not the easiest thing when you want to see the world, but we are committing to explore as much as we can together. That’s the beauty of it, we get to do it together. Before long, our eldest will be in college (yikes, just 2 more years), and our youngest a high schooler. Time is going by so quickly, and I don’t want to miss out on an experience with them.

 

  

Having kids sometimes feels like an uphill battle, but just like on our hiking trip, in life there are a lot of sweet, precious moments and at the end, when you look down and back, you see how far you got and feel pretty proud that no one fell off; even though we might have bickered on the way up and/or some of us complained – we made it. Together. You see, getting to the top is just part of it. It’s the climb that makes us stronger, brings us together, and shows us new things. This truth is something we try to show our kids, not just tell them. Giving them hands on experience to relate to life will help them grow as teens and adults. Getting to where you want to go isn’t easy work. It’s uphill, it can be a battle, it can be exhausting, but it is so satisfying. Enjoy these moments while you can.