SLIDER

A Piece of Summer || A short story

Friday, July 31, 2015

We were hiding in a concrete ditch, a storm drain meant to guide rainfall for conservation. It rarely rains here in San Diego, so the irrigation system was as dry as sandpaper on chapped lips. We heard the voices of two jabbering ladies in the distance. They were getting closer with every word, every footstep. As their sound grew louder, we quieted ourselves to a somber whisper.

We were dressed in the perfect camouflage for a dry chaparral, wearing only dark brown & black. A far cry from the normally bright colors I tend to sport. I guess it was meant to be. We lurked undetected like a hungry lioness hunting for zebra. The women walked by; they never saw us from our post. 

Our initial plan was to spend some time outside. We, Winona & I, had stopped by our favorite brewery for a growler of beer. We had each chugged a glass of water & took the plastic cups with us on our journey. We traipsed up the beaten path & into the ditch as a sign of solitude. A place where we could talk in peace, in nature. However, the constant sound of footsteps around us altered the purpose of the excursion.

piece of summer

The ditch was surrounded by native plants. Some were green but many were dry. A hummingbird fluttered by our heads. Winona carefully poured the brew into our miniature cups. I took a photo of her on my disposable camera. We slowly sipped & murmured faintly, as a man & his dog walked by. It felt like we were undercover detectives, staking out for our suspect. But in truth we were suspect ourselves, hiding there from humanity.

We were surrounded by trees & bushes with dry branches that scratched your bare legs ruthlessly. A sense of adventure can't be purchased. The tempting sun caressed the back of my neck. The California summer day began its metamorphosis into the California summer night. Daylight started to fall behind the mountains in the distance. We sat there tacitly commenting on the pastel sunset unfolding before us. A true beauty.

The last slurps of beer were consumed. The last of the evening trekkers passed by. The last rays of light vanished. Even the twilight turned into twinkling stars. Was it just another night? Or just another memory? Perhaps. But to me, it was a piece of summer.

+++++++++

How do you interpret this story? What's your favorite thing about summer?

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☀ Here Comes the Sun! ☀

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Here comes the sun & I say it's all right! Yes indeedy, I threw in a Beatles reference; they're one of my favorite bands of all time. Anyway, summer is upon us! Get ready for long days, warm rays, & beach stays. In the land of Southern California you're going to be seeing a lot of sun -- feeling it too. But here in Amsterdam it's been cloudy & rainy like nobody's business. I wish I could see a little bit of the brightest star. Inspired by those yellow beams of light, I've chosen some items I think best express the boldness & brightness that is summer. Take a look!

here comes the sun

Protect yourself from sun, heat exposure, & UV radiation with the Sunpocket Samoa Bright Blond Sunglasses. Too much UV radiation can lead to problems like skin cancer, cataracts, & premature aging of the skin, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The sunnies are a bit out there as far as color, but you'll be the brightest girl on the block. Literally.

Being an enormous fan of anything pineapple, the cross-body Kate Spade bag is nothing short of alluring. But I'm all about the Vera Bradley Drawstring Backpack in Yellow. It's got such a cool look to make those hot days more bearable. It's made of faux leather & includes a drawstring closure concealed by a flap. Chic & functional.

I've been trying to up my workout game so the Topshop Sporty Runner Shorts are motivation for me to get off my butt. They're freaking adorable! I'm thinking they'd make a good cover up for your bikini too. Check out the funky little draw cord waist & sporty seam trims. At least I can pretend I'm athletic.

Brands like O.P.I. & Triangl are nothing new but I really liked the colors & designs I found. Life Gave Me Lemons by O.P.I. looks like it's a neon yellow with a slight twinge of green; for some reason it's only $9 on Amazon. I'm still on the hunt for awesome bikinis geared for bustier ladies, but the Farrah Golden Fields Triangl top may work for you. 

I nearly blinded myself with the massive amounts of yellow here, but it was worth it. It's safe to say yellow is the perfect hue for summertime happiness. However, I'd like to leave you with this public service announcement: if you have any pets, please don't leave them in your car!!! It can get brutally hot inside your vehicle, even if only for a few minutes. Leave your pets at home!

What do you think of these bold yellow items? Do you have a favorite? Have you seen anyone leave their pet in the car on a hot day? 

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Social Media Basics: How to Run a Facebook Boost Post

Monday, July 27, 2015

Facebook is a great way to get more exposure for your brand, business, or blog. I love to use boosted posts once in a while on my Facebook business page to get a wider reach. You can boost links, photos, & even your status! Today I'll give you some insight into how to maximize the effect of your boost. Let's get started. :]

facebook boost post

1. Go to your business page - First things first, you need a Facebook business page. Your business page is not the same as a regular page. On your business page people like your page rather than add you as a friend. 

facebook boost post

2. Pick a post you'd like to boost - Now you need to determine what to boost. I like to boost links because it gets people to your website. This helps to build a wider readership versus just having someone like a photo on your Facebook page. See that little blue "Boost Post" button in the bottom right corner? Click it.

facebook boost post

facebook boost post

3. Explore the boost before boosting - Here's what you should see when you click the "Boost Post" button. You may or may not see the red warning box depending if you have an ad blocker on your computer. Take a look at this & get familiar with what it looks like. You'll see things like Audience, Location, Age, Total Budget, Estimated People Reached, Duration, & Payment. These are all important.

facebook boost post

4. Determine Audience -  You have three audience options: People who already like your page, People who like your page & their friends, & People you choose through targeting. I've gotten more clicks & engagement by choosing "people who like your page & their friends." I suggest you play around & figure out which works for you & your business. The subject matter makes a difference.

facebook boost post

5. Determine Audience Interests **Audience interests is only applicable if you choose "people you choose through targeting." The people who already like your page & the people who like your page & their friends options do not allow for this. Click "Edit Audience." You will see something like this:

facebook boost post

Now you'll want to determine the location, age, gender, & interests for your audience. (I give details on location in the next step below!) When it comes to age, establish who do you want to see this post? Is it geared toward teenagers, adults, seniors? When it comes to gender, is it something that applies to both men & women, or just one gender? Ask yourself these questions & start putting in your details. When it comes to interests, what sort of things are your readers interested in? For example, my boost post about My 5 Favorite Glossybox Products would look something like this:

facebook boost post


Due to the nature of the post (a review of beauty products), I selected certain ages who I feel would be interested to see it. I decided to show it to strictly females. I chose a few interests these types of readers may like: Glossybox, Cosmetics, Fragrances, Lipstick, Blogger, etc.


facebook boost post

facebook boost post

6. Determine Location - You have three location options: Countries, States/Provinces, & Cities. Regardless of which audience you choose, you still get to pick the location. When I go by country, I normally choose United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, & any mostly English-speaking country. Say you review a restaurant & want locals to read your post, go with cities. If your post is about something that people from across the globe could benefit from,  go with countries. Use your discretion.

facebook boost post

7. Determine Budget - How much do you want to spend? $5? $20? $200? Obviously, the more you spend, the bigger the reach. If you're just starting out or have limited budget, opt for $5 to get an idea of how it all works & what your results are.

facebook boost post

8. Estimated Reach - Now you want to check out your reach. How does it look? You should want your reach to be in the orange range, which means that you've targeted a select audience. If your reach is red it means that your targeting is very broad. Narrow your targeted audience if you want your promotion to reach more people that you care about. This means narrowing down the location, age, interests, etc.

9. Review & then "Boost" - Take a second to look at all your details & then click "Boost." You want to make sure all the details are correct because you can't edit them once you submit it for review. It normally takes around 15 minutes for Facebook to approve your post, but sometimes it can take over an hour. Be patient.

facebook boost post

facebook boost post

facebook boost post


10. Analyzing results - Once you exhausted your budget & the  boost ends you get to take a look at the results. Was it successful? How many people viewed your post? How many people clicked on it? On my boost, it was not very successful. I only received 7 link clicks which is hardly worth the $5. Those link clicks were done by females aged 18 - 24. I had a reach of 2,172 (how many people saw it/scrolled by it). I chose to target only women & of those, 57.1% were from Canada & 42.9% from USA. This is where trial & error helps. I've had boost posts of only $5 with 150 link clicks. Woo!


I hope this How to Run A Facebook Boost Post tutorial helps you grow your blog & learn a little more about social media basics. Let me know if this helped you or if you have any questions. I can always expand more in another post. What did you think of this tutorial? Is it helpful? Have you done a Facebook boost post before? Let me know! :]

You may be interested in reading more from my Social Media Basics series:


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Acorelle Organic & Natural Cosmetics Review

Friday, July 24, 2015

Sometimes all you need is a little pampering. Although those days are far & few between, I adore the moments when I can spend time doing stuff for myself. Painting my nails, opting for a new haircut, or buying a cool shade of lip liner. That's why I was happy to be contacted by Acorelle*, an all natural & cruelty-free French brand, to review a range of their products. They sent me a variety of perfumes & natural hair removal items to experiment with. I spent some time trying them all out with a bit of Netflix playing in the background.

acorelle organic


For perfumes, I received the Silky Rose Eaux De Parfum, Perfume Discovery Tips sample set, Tea Garden roll on perfume, & Ocean Sage Body Mist. As for waxing products, I got the Cold Wax hair removal strips, Roll On Oriental Wax, & the Cire Royale™ Professional Wax. 

acorelle organic

acorelle organic

I adore perfumes so I was thrilled at the selection I was gifted. Acorelle perfumes are certified organic & made in France; they're created with essential oils & organic, non-denatured alcohol. The perfumes contain no phthalates, artificial colors, artificial musk, or synthetic chemicals.

acorelle organic

Silky Rose Eaux De Parfum has a pretty fruity, rose scent -- seemingly fresh from the garden with head notes of rosebuds & lychee. It smells like a true rose water. I love love love this perfume & I'm glad it came in the 50ml bottle. Retails at $34.73. 

The energizing Ocean Sage Body Mist comes with invigorating notes of lemon, cedar, & sage. I like to casually spray this body mist before going anywhere since it's light & refreshing compared to a heavy perfume. The 100 ml bottle retails at $13.23.

acorelle organic

My mom had a similar scent to the Tea Garden roll on perfume that I always enjoyed. Now I have my own. However, the roll on perfume lid is a bit wonky & doesn't close properly; upon receiving the perfume, half of it had leaked through the packaging. It contains head notes of citron, bergamot, & cardamom. Retails at $13.23.

acorelle organic

I also received the Perfume Discovery Tips sample set which is a pack of nine trial sizes of perfume. They're perfect for traveling & popping into your purse. I brought the sample set with me while I'm traveling in Europe to smell good on the go! It's so convenient. Overall, I was really impressed with the perfumes I got. I like the clean scents & the natural element behind everything. Retails at $7.17.

acorelle organic

I'm not a wax expert, so the waxes were a little more difficult to deal with. My favorite was the Cold Wax hair removal strips with aloe vera & beeswax. It comes with 20 strips & one post-wax organic sweet almond oil. Warm up the strips by rubbing them between your hands & then place them on your body. The almond oil removes the wax residue & left me with smooth, silky legs. I would recommend this one for the waxing newbies out there. Retails at $9.70.

acorelle organic

The Roll On Oriental Wax with ylang flower & cane sugar was so so. The directions said to heat the wax in the microwave for four minutes. I only did it for one minute & the bottle was so hot that I burned my finger & the wax overflowed inside of the microwave. It was a hot mess. Literally. On the plus side, I did like the fact that the wax strips were washable. All you have to do is rub it under warm water & the whole thing -- wax, hair, & all -- comes off super easily. That's an economical bonus. Retails at $12.35.

acorelle organic

The Cire Royale™ Professional Wax contains beeswax & white lily extract. I like the formula of this one. You directly apply the wax, wait until it sets, then you rip the wax off. It's pretty simple & worked quite well for my eyebrows. Retails at $8.98.

I am not a waxing regular, so perhaps some of my experience was due to the learning curve. I'd absolutely recommend any of Acorelle's perfumes. You surely won't be disappointed. The Perfume Discovery sample set is a bargain since you get to test out multiple scents. The Cold Wax hair removal strips were no fuss & effective. The Cire Royale™ Professional Wax is great for face & underarms. Which item(s) looks the best to you? Which perfume scent would you choose? :]

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* Disclaimer: Everything was received complimentary from Acorelle in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this review are 100% mine aka Carmen's. :]

5 Artists You Must See at FYF Fest

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I love myself a good old fashioned music festival. Loud music. Lots of people. Overpriced everything. I assure you it's a lot better than it sounds. Experiencing live music with people who are equally as excited to be there as you is a unique feeling. Now let's talk about FYF Fest; this music festival takes place August 22 + 23, 2015 at the LA Sports Arena & Exposition Park.

Tickets run for $175 for two day general admission. It has a pretty stacked lineup for a festival that's 11 years old & was initially founded by an 18-year-old. What was I doing at 18? Not creating a music festival, that's for sure. Morrissey, Flume, Jesus and Mary Chain, & Solange are some of the artists performing this year. But here's who you should really see.

misfits shirt


1. Frank Ocean - I've had a crush on Frank Ocean for years. He really got me through some heartbreak back in college with his debut mixtape, Nostalgia, Ultra. "Love Crimes," "Novacane," & "Swim Good" are still awesome. Ocean was a member of OFWGKTA also known as Odd Future. He's got a voice made of magic & pretty much all his songs are hits (to me). His new album & magazine, Boys Don't Cry, drop sometime in July.


2. Bloc Party - This British indie rock band is a classic. I include Bloc Party due to my boyfriend's long adoration of them. He got me hooked. The band has gone through a couple of hiatuses & now they're back to rock your socks off. Bloc Party is in the midst of recording their fifth studio album. 


3. The Drums - Prepare for nostalgia when you hear their songs. Not because it takes you back in time, but because of where their music can go. The Drums give off a sentimental vibe that you can't place your finger on. They're latest album, Encyclopedia, was released September 2014. All American indie pop. It's good for your soul.


4. Death Grips - I was lucky enough, nay blessed enough to see Death Grips live at FYF Fest 2013. Death Grips, like Frank Ocean, is a longtime favorite of mine. Their jams were the only thing powerful enough to get me through arduous workouts. The music of Death Grips defies any one genre; it's a perfect concoction of hip hop, noise rap, & industrial. MC Ride + Zach Hill = Bliss. They're great. I've seen footage.


5. FKA Twigs - FKA Twigs is pretty much the coolest person ever. This British darling has got some rad style, an alluring voice, & dance moves for days. She's a true triple threat. Her music is dreamy, breathy, sexy. Not that this has anything to do with her musical talent, but she's engaged to Robert Pattinson. So there's your gossip for the day.


Music festivals in California are pretty easy to come by if you know where to look & you're willing to pay a good chunk of change. FYF Fest is sure to be filled with music to your ears. Are you going to any music fests, concerts, or shows this season? Have you heard of any of these artists? :]

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Time to Travel || A Month Abroad

Monday, July 20, 2015

Hi all! I'm super excited to announce that I'll be traveling for four weeks in Europe with my family! Right now I'm researching the cities for things to do, determining what to pack, & just finishing up getting ready in general. I'll be away for four weeks, but I do have posts scheduled for your reading pleasure. Don't worry! Most of the places we're staying have wi-fi, so I'll still be social & send intermittent updates. :]

The last time I was out of the country was in 2012; I went to my cousin's wedding in Canada. Back in 2010 my family did another Europe trip. We went to several countries. If you want to read about my travels, check out the Journal of my Journeys series. If you want to go wayyyyy far back on my blog, check out this post. It was my third post ever!!

cathedral

Okay, so I leave on Tuesday, July 21. Yep, that's coming up immediately. Like...tomorrow. At the moment I'm piecing together my luggage & having a hard time narrowing it down. It's kind of difficult to fit/determine what you'll wear for a month abroad in a tiny suitcase. But it's a challenge I can manage. Now for the revelation. Where are we going?  Honestly, it's still up in the air. We're traveling to:

  • Copenhagen, Denmark 
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Haarlem, Netherlands?
  • Leiden, Netherlands?
  • Delft, Netherlands?
  • Antwerp, Belgium? 
  • Brussels, Belgium  
  • Trier, Germany?
  • Luxembourg City, Luxembourg 
  • Paris, France 

I would love to have your input on where to go & what to do if you ever visited any of these. Where should we visit? Where should we eat? Please leave a comment with any suggestion you have! :]

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Vocabulary Time!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Hello & good morning. Let's learn! Okay, I bet that's not what you were expecting to hear on a California lifestyle blog, let's just say I'm trying to spread some knowledge. We live in a world where you can email files at the click of a button or Google the answer to a question you don't know.

Back in the day, you had to wait for days before your documents arrived in the mail & you spent the afternoon at the library researching for a school assignment. I want to challenge us do some do something different, so this is an educational post on VOCABULARY! You don't have to like it, but you'll learn from it.

vocabulary time

I came across some interesting words as I watched shows, read books, flipped through magazines, & what have you. I decided to write them down to reference later because I wanted to fully understand their meaning. This will be an ongoing series because I seriously believe knowledge is power, so let's get learning! Here are three vocab words that I came across in the last couple weeks hopefully we can learn a thing or two.


  • noun ▲ sub·ter·fuge ▲ suhb-ter-fyooj
  • Definition: the use of tricks or deception especially to hide, avoid, or get something
  • Example: The fitness blogger used fake before & after photos to get users to sign up for her workout routines by subterfuge.

2. Attrition
  • noun ▲ at·tri·tion ▲ uh-trish-uh n
  • Definition: a reduction, decrease or decline in numbers, size, or strength
  • Example: The graduating class of 2015 had a high rate of attrition as they moved away for college.

3. Clairvoyant
  • adjective ▲ clair·voy·ant ▲ klair-voi-uh nt
  • Definition: the ability to see objects or actions beyond the ordinary range of perception
  • Example: Sally seemed to be clairvoyant because she accurately guessed my middle name on the first try.

Feel free to click on the links; they go to the definition page so you can understand more about each word. I included summarized versions, but there's always more to learn. Did you know any of these prior to reading this post? I challenge you to write a comment & add a sentence using one of these vocab words! :]

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Mary Poppins // OOTD

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Hey everybody! I hope you're doing well! I've been pretty busy lately. It seems like everything keeps piling up no matter what the circumstance. I needed to decompress, so I spent the the day relaxing 100%. I really needed it. I watched some X-Files & The Brady Bunch. I always get a kick out of seeing what kind of styles were fashionable at the time. It's good for some inspiration!
mary poppins ootd
Shirt: from the boyfriend's closet // Pants: HUE via Nordstrom // Necklace: Made in Earth* // Earrings: H&M // Shoes: K Shoes // Purse: Thrifted
I've been monitoring my food intake & eating clean so I was very pleased to see that I had lost 3 pounds over the course of the last 2 to 3 weeks. Prior to weighing myself, I genuinely felt fitter. Sometimes the scale can lie, so it's always important to use other measures to gauge weight loss. I felt better & that's all I needed. The scale basically verified the fact that I did indeed shed a couple pounds. Woohoo!

mary poppins ootd

mary poppins ootd

A few weeks ago I was invited to the opening of a new jewelry gallery in Del Mar called Made in Earth*; I received this necklace as a token of appreciation. It includes pieces of black tourmaline trapped within quartz. It goes with anything since the quartz is sheer. It kind of camouflages itself to match any look.

mary poppins ootd

mary poppins ootd

mary poppins ootd

I borrowed my boyfriend's shirt for this look. I asked him where it was from, but he couldn't recall. Fun fact: I found this purse in the dumpster! Well, by the dumpster. Someone had a whole box of stuff they were throwing out & I nabbed it. The bag reminds me of a carpet or couch or Mary Poppins' magical bag. What do you think? How's your life? Have you ever dumpster dived or found a cool item? :] 



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* Disclaimer: The necklace was received complimentary from Made in Earth in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this review are 100% mine aka Carmen's. :]

Try Something New... Lavender Cheddar Cheese

Monday, July 13, 2015

Hello, I like cheese. Do you like cheese? I know this may be a funky blog post, but I genuinely adore this cheese so much I had to share. It wouldn't be fair to keep to myself. Okay, so one time when my boyfriend & I were shopping at Frazier Farms we were searching to try something new in the cheese section. The associate behind the counter recommended a lavender cheese & we were instantly intrigued.

lavender cheddar cheese

I freaking love lavender. It smells delightful, it's soothing, it's great. We immediately picked up the LaDiDa Lavender Cheddar Cheese by Rogue Creamery that she recommended & were on our way. The cheese is a rich savory white cheddar cheese with earthy, organic Oregon-grown lavender blossoms. What a mouthful. A mouthful of yum!

lavender cheddar cheese

This 8 ounce block of cheese will run you about $8.99 at Frazier Farms; on the Rogue Creamery website it's priced at $12. Now that's not the most economically friendly price, but if you want to devour something different, something that's a bit of a novelty food, I would absolutely recommend getting this.

lavender cheddar cheese

It has a unique flavor to set it apart from any other cheese you've tried. Obviously, as with all cheeses, don't nosh on the entire block. Portions are important. This is high in fat, saturated fat, & sodium. But it's an incredible treat paired with fruit & crackers.

lavender cheddar cheese
lavender cheddar cheese

Is this something that sounds tasty to you? Or does it sound terrible? What's a funky food item that you're obsessed with? Leave a comment below & include your "tasty" or "terrible" verdict. :]


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Teeez Trend Cosmetics Nail Lacquer Review

Friday, July 10, 2015

There's nothing quite like a fresh manicure. Last year I was really hell-bent on getting acrylic nails because the polish didn't chip; I could keep my nails looking picture perfect for almost a month at a time. Then came a point when the acrylics came off & I found my nails would chip, bend, flake, & break easier than an iPhone dropping on asphalt.

teeez trend

That was the turning point, a revolution of sorts. I stopped getting fake nails. When the acrylics came off, I struggled to paint my own. My polishes were old & goopy. With a full-time job & what seems to be full-time blogging, I found it difficult to put in the work to do my nails. But I fiiiinally got around to it. Like eons later. This is another feature on one of my Glossybox finds; guess I did acquire some items I enjoy.

teeez trend

I got the Teeez Trend Cosmetics Head Over Heels Nail Lacquer in Cadmium Rush. Such a long drawn out name, right?! The Teeez site says they incorporate the season's hottest colors with long-lasting lacquers to give you a smooth & glossy finish. I found that I needed three coats in order for the color to not be opaque. Cadmium Rush retails at $12 & is a wonderful peachy coral color with a slight twinge of orange.

I added just a bit of fine glitter on my ring fingers to give them a bit of dimension. I like blingy, shiny things. The color is easy on the eyes. Although, I wouldn't have picked it out myself. That's why subscription boxes can be useful; you receive items you normally wouldn't choose yourself & learn to love them.

teeez trend

I definitely recommend a top coat, as with any nail varnish, to keep it from chipping. In these photos there's no top coat because it was way too sparkly to accurately articulate the true color of the polish. I used Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat that I purchased from Target; it's really fantastic. I'll do a post on it later. The Teeez polish along with the Sally Hansen Top Coat kept my nails chip-free for 6 days!

Soo...how does the Teeez Head Over Heels Nail Lacquer look? Do you like the color? What other products have a lengthy name? :]

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6 Things To Do in Julian, CA

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Julian is a quaint town nestled in the mountains of San Diego County. Julian is an official California Historical Landmark, ideal for a cute day trip with friends or a sweet weekend with your honey. I visited Julian several times as a little girl, but this was my first experience going as an adult with my own agenda. My boyfriend & I explored the town on foot; it's so petite that you can see nearly everything in about a day. Here are some of my favorite things to do in Julian!

1. Julian Tea & Cottage Arts
julian tea and cottage arts

julian tea and cottage arts

Stop by this century old cottage for tea. Call ahead to make a reservation or come in early to do so. There are only a handful of tables, so don't miss out. You get bottomless tea for $3.95 per person & there's a lunch menu too. The teas are tasty & the food is handmade! Everything is so charming. We got the Cream Tea which came with buttermilk biscuits, jam, whipped cream, & lemon curd for $8.95. All handmade! Shop for tea, teapots, & everything tea related. Even my boyfriend loved the experience.

2. Julian Pie Company

julian pie company

julian pie company

This place is a legend. They sell their pies across the county, so they've gotten more popularity & you'll usually find a line out the door. There are only a few tables to eat at; you're lucky if you get a seat. We stopped by to try something different than their famous pies: cider donuts. Yep, apple cider donuts. They were pure heaven with a touch of spice. Kinda wish I had one (or two) right now.

3. Old Julian Book House

old julian book house

old julian book house

Get your knowledge on with this cool bookstore. They have a vast selection from birdwatching to old school Nancy Drew novels. Most come at very reasonable prices but definitely not thrift store value. Some are vintage & some not so much. You'll find a variety of books. Each room has a few selected genres: religious, fiction, sports, to make your journey simpler. I was pleased to see anyone from young kids to grandparents in the book house.

4. The Candy Basket

the candy basket

the candy basket

Like sweets? Know someone who does? Stop by this nostalgic candy shop & buy some in bulk. There are plenty of taffys, gummies, chocolates, lollipops, & licorice to choose from. There's also those classic candies you rarely see anymore like Mary Janes & Walnettos. We purchased some of the cheaper bulk candies; kids will love you for it. Munch & reminisce.

5. Julian Soap Company

julian soap company

julian soap company

I adore handcrafted items made with love. Michaeline creates everything herself. Shop for soap slices, fabric wrapped soap, potpourri, room sprays, & more. You can smell the mixture of scents wafting through the air the second you walk in the door. If you're like me, you'll sniff everything before making a decision. I purchased the Lemon Thyme soap for my mom; she loved it.

6. Blue Door Winery

blue door winery

blue door winery

We were walking around & spotted a "wine tasting" sign. I was sold. You'll get six tastings for $10. Now that's a price I'll get on board for. I recommend their sangria; it was so scrumptious & poured in a reusable plastic cup you may keep as a souvenir. Wine is served in wine glasses. The tasting room is open, light, & welcoming. Feel free to bring your dog. Beware! Blue Door Winery is closed Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday.

Support small businesses & browse the wonders that Julian has to offer! There's more than meets the eye. We had such a joyous time exploring & walking around the town. It was especially wonderful since it was cold & gloomy, an experience we rarely witness in San Diego. Which of these looks like a place you'd like to visit? Have you been to Julian? :]

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