It’s only Thursday, but I’m already celebrating the end of the week! I wore this outfit to a very important meeting I had after work (I can explain in more detail in a few days) and then I went to dinner with my mom and grandma. Waylon is clearly complimenting me on my cute skirt, can’t you tell by the way he’s looking at me?! Waylon is my grandparents’ fat basset hound, he pretty much eats and naps in the sun all day. What a life….
I think I need an extra day to recover from the weekend. Saturday was concert day at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena and it was crazy. From traffic to tailgating to the actual concert it was a nonstop day. Jason Aldean and Kenny Chesney were amazing as always (I’ve seen Jason four times now and Kenny twice.)
Today I had a date with Harry Potter on my couch and i loved every minute of it. I eventually got dressed to go to dinner with my mom and I kept it super casual in this Brandy Melville shirt dress. Outfit details at the bottom!
Cloud 9. That’s where I’m at right now. Well technically I was at Harry Potter World, but the places are synonymous in my mind. If you haven’t figured it out by now I am a HUGE Harry Potter
nerd fan. I spent the last four days in Orlando on my first official business trip with Houzz. I had so much fun because the conference I attended was only two days long so there was plenty of time to explore Orlando.
But let’s focus on the main attraction here because I know that’s what you came to read about. I posted the pictures in the order I went through the park. My “Harry Potter moment” happened as soon as I entered Diagon Alley. My co-worker Amanda and I were pacing all around King’s Cross Station trying to find the entrance to Diagon Alley. It was unmarked, no signs to lead the way. Eventually we realized everyone was walking behind this brick wall and we figured we should follow. It was literally just like the first movie. Once I passed the brick wall it opened up into Diagon Alley I stopped in my tracks, it was packed with people and the theme music was playing! Not going to lie I definitely had goosebumps.
There are so many things to look at and do my brain was spinning. The streets are lined with the exact shops from the books and movies and you can see Gringotts Bank with the dragon on the roof! Also they have performers dressed in costume singing and they are very good at staying in character while you’re in Harry Potter World. Gringotts is actually a ride and it takes you through the bank in a roller coaster attraction type of ride. My favorite part about Diagon Alley was drinking a butterbeer as the sun was setting and the lights were flickering on, it felt so authentic all I could do was smile. (If you stay until night the dragon breathes fires and it is very cool!)
We had a park hopper so we were able to take the Hogwarts Express over to Hogsmeade. The wait was a little long, but definitely worth it because there are a lot of picture opportunities and things to look at. Once you cross the Platform 9 3/4 barrier you actually disappear, or at least that’s what it seems like to everyone else behind you. The train is a ride in itself because of the animation. Your mind instantly takes you to Harry’s first time on the train because that’s what they show you!
Once we arrived in Hogsmeade we headed straight for the castle. The Hogwarts ride is amazing, although we did get a little motion sickness you absolutely can’t go to Harry Potter World without going to Hogwarts. The wait time may be a little long, but as you’re waiting it takes you through the greenhouse, staircase with the talking portraits, and Professor Lupin’s Classroom from the third book/movie.
Hogsmeade had many of the same shops as Diagon Alley, but the one I had my eyes on was Honeydukes. The candy store had everything you could imagine including chocolate frogs! With my chocolate obsession it was hard not to go a little crazy in there. There is one big roller coaster in all of Harry Potter World and it is a rough ride. I went by myself and it was super fun, but I felt like I had taken a couple punches to the head after getting off. (I waited to get butterbeer until after this ride because I didn’t want it to make any reappearances.) There are butterbeer carts everywhere and I recommend getting the frozen version, it tastes like a cream soda float.
Enough of my ranting though, while I have some great pictures to document our trip no pictures can do it justice you just have to go for yourself and experience your own Harry Potter moment. I’m anxiously awaiting to visit the Harry Potter World that is currently under construction at Universal Studios Hollywood, I bet you all the coins in Gringotts that I’ll be there on the day it opens!
I spent the weekend at home in Temecula catching up with friends and relaxing with my family at the spa. It was so nice to catch up on some sleep and stay home since my weeks are spent commuting and living out of a suitcase. I couldn’t pass up Free Slurpee Day so I woke up and headed to 7-11! I wore this outfit later on when I went out to the Stampede, a local country bar with one of my co-workers. We had so much fun line dancing, but I definitely can’t drink like I used to in college. Hard to accept my wild and rowdy college days are officially over.
Today we took my grandma to Glen Ivy in Corona for her birthday. If you are looking to have the most relaxing day ever I highly recommend this spa! There are multiple pools to choose from including a mineral pool, saline pool, and a hot-and-cold pool. The most fun part of the day was going to Club Mud where you rub red clay all over your body and you let it harden. My skin feels as soft as a baby’s butt now! Glen Ivy offers other services like a moisturizing grotto, massages, etc. Plus it was beautiful, it looks like Mexico!
All outfit details listed below, I am obsessed with these high-waisted patterned shorts and they were a steal for $10 from Marshall’s!
I have a huge sweet tooth, so much so that my nickname ever since I was little is “dessert queen.” Surprisingly I am very picky when it comes to brownies though. I’m not a fan of the pre-made brownie mix and I always thought it was too difficult to make homemade brownies until I found this Knock You Naked Brownie recipe from the Pioneer Woman. I am in love with the Pioneer Woman. I want her life, her kitchen, and her ranch. Can I just be her? Anyways these brownies are delicious and every time I make them they don’t last very long.
1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup evaporated milk
One box German chocolate cake mix
1 stick melted butter
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 9-inch baking pan.
2. Pour 1/3 cup evaporated milk into a bowl with the cake mix.
3. Add the stick of melted butter.
4. Add one cup of chopped pecans.
5. Mix everything together, it should be pretty thick. Separate the dough in half with the spatula.
6. Flatten half the dough in the pan to make the first brownie layer. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
7. While the first layer is in the oven, unwrap 60 caramels and mix with 1/2 cup evaporated milk and begin melting on the stove over medium heat.
8. Sir constantly so the caramels don’t burn.
9. Pour the caramel over the first brownie layer.
10. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the caramel.
11. Take the second brownie layer and carefully place it on top. It’s best to flatten the dough while it’s chilled so it doesn’t break as you are arranging it over the other layers.
12. Bake for another 20-25 minutes, remove from the oven and let the brownies cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar to finish.
The Fourth of July is my FAVORITE holiday and this weekend was one for the books. I have celebrated the Fourth at my river house for as long as I can remember, but this year I did something a little different. I stayed in San Diego, specifically Pacific Beach for the weekend and it was a blast. One of my oldest friends that I haven’t seen in forever extended an invite so we were able to catch up and I got to meet her new fiancé!
Staying in PB for the weekend was so insanely fun, you could spend the whole day just people watching because there are so many crazies out and about. We bar hopped all around PB and hung out on the beach during the day. One of my favorite bars in PB is PB Shore Club, if you aren’t a local I definitely recommend checking it out if you ever visit (don’t forget to order a Red Bull slushy!) It’s just enough of a dive bar without being gross and there’s a great view.
I own a large amount of American flag apparel so I especially go all out for the Fourth. I pretty much wear red, white, and blue year round so the amount of patriotism I displayed this weekend shouldn’t be shocking to anyone who knows me. This American flag bag is my latest investment and it was only $20 from Jasper Plum!
Links to all of my outfit details are at the bottom of the post.
God Bless America,