santa ynez wineries

Top 16 Places to Hit in Santa Ynez Wine Country

If you’ve seen my Instagram account, you probably know that I like wine. One of my favorite places to visit is the Santa Ynez Wine Country, north of Santa Barbara. The first time we ever went to the Santa Ynez Wineries was in January 2015. My husband has always been enamored with the movie Sideways, so I decided to take him on a “Sideways tour”. I got us a private tour of Sanford Winery; we went to dinner at the Hitching Post II and had breakfast at Succulent Café, all from the movie. These 3 are still on my go-to list, but that list has gotten MUCH bigger.  We go at least 2 times a year…probably more. 

In my experience, I always think that you should do no more than three wineries in a day.  After a certain number of wine tastings all wine tastes the same, and it can lead to some really bad decisions.  I know because I still have some crap sitting in my wine cellar.   Another one of my favorite activities is to get a picnic together and relax on the beautiful winery grounds. Picnics tend to slow things down a bit, just in case some of your fellow wine tasting buddies are into swigging their wine down and moving on to the next winery…not my favorite.… Read Full Post

Sunscreen Reviews for Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Everyone who knows me, knows that I am serious about sunscreen. Why am I so serious? Both my great grandmother and mother were advocates for wearing sunscreen regularly.  My mother had very fair skin and would burn very easily, while my great grandmother loved the sun, but later had to deal with skin cancer lesions on her legs and face.  I learned that you shouldn’t wait for a sunny day to put on sunscreen after I  got very burned at a track meet in high school, on a cloudy day.  Why would I should I put on sunscreen on a cloudy day?  I was wrong.
 
Some people still don’t get how important it is though. For instance, my dad thinks that he doesn’t need to wear sunscreen unless it’s hot outside, as if the heat has something to do with a sunburn.  UGH….It’s a constant battle, met with eye rolls and griping.  He will never let me forget the day that he went into “Sam Fora” (how he pronounces Sephora….not sure why, but it makes us laugh) to get Shiseido sunscreen at my urging.  He was so “embarrassed” because I made him go into a “chick store” (wait… you’re telling me he never picked up feminine products for my mom at the drug store??).… Read Full Post
Rent the Runway Review

Rent the Runway Review

Today I am going to be doing a review of the clothing and accessory rental service Rent the Runway.  Please note that this is not a sponsored post, I just wanted to give an honest review.  I’ve used this service, the unlimited service specifically, for over a year now.  This really ties into my  Buy Less, Buy Better philosophy because basically you’re not buying anything.  It’s the sharing economy, but for clothing…..now wait, if sharing clothes freaks you out, everything is always very clean before it gets to you and you’re not sharing personal items like underwear or bathing suits, which would be very gross.  

Here are some pros and cons of using Rent the Runway that I’ve experienced during the past year.

Pros

  • You Get 3 Different Items at a Time– the 3 items can be anything from jewelry, handbags, dressed, to jackets and coats.  I use it mostly for dresses and outfits for specific events. it’s been great for me because I go to a lot of events here in LA.  I was becoming so unhappy with what I had in my closet and I could never find what I wanted in the stores exactly when I needed it.  Rent the Runway has been great for this reason.
Read Full Post

Review of Urban Accents Santa Fe Mole Sauce Mix

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that many of my recipes are Mexican inspired.  One item that has been really hard for me to find when I go out to eat is gluten-free chicken with mole sauce.  I posted a photo of my finished Chicken Mole dish and someone asked “what is mole?”, well according to Wikipedia:

Mole is the generic name for a number of sauces originally used in Mexican cuisine, as well as for dishes based on these sauces. Outside Mexico, it often refers specifically to mole poblano.

I was trying to make something different for dinner and I found a package of Urban Accents Santa Fe Mole in my cabinet, it was the perfect thing.   The sauce was very easy to make and I made some simple white rice and sautéed spinach with pine nuts to go with it.  I must say that I was very surprised with how good the Mole turned out.  My husband and I like things spicy, so often times we find recipes and spice packets to be too bland for us, this one was just right.  I will definitely buy and make this again meal.  Here are some photos:

 

The mix can be hard to find so here is the link to get it yourself:  https://www.urbanaccents.com/product/santa-fe-mole-gotta-cook-tonight/.… Read Full Post

Purition

Purition Wholefood Protein Shake Review

I posted my first Facebook live video yesterday and I have to say it was fun!  I did a review of a new wholefood protein shake from Purition.  They are based out of the UK and you can find their products on Amazon. Purition sent me a sample pack and I decided to my review live on Facebook, you can view the video below or go to:  https://www.facebook.com/glutenfreeavenger

This protein powder is not the usual protein powder/ shake mix you think of, it’s made with ground nuts, coconut and whey protein, making it much more substantial and filling than the average protein powder.  It also doesn’t hide behind a lot of sweeteners for flavor, but you will get hints of almond and coconut (at least in the almond flavor I tried).  This wholefood take on a protein shake may scare away some people that are used to more processed foods, but it’s perfect for those looking for a healthy quick meal or meal replacement option.

According the the Purition website (https://www.purition.co.uk/):

Many common ailments begin as a result of eating highly processed foods, which have low nutritional value, are high in bad fats and low in soluble fiber. We believe a healthy digestive system is crucial for your overall health as it is the mechanism, which converts food into fuel and supplies the energy to power our body and resist disease.

Read Full Post