Thursday, April 20, 2017

Throwback Thursdays


Okay, we had to go to this show. Melissa was actually a New Kids on the Block fan and it just seemed like too good a show to pass up! I was a little too young for NKOTB but it was a blast. They played all the best songs from both boy bands and we even hit up both after parties (which were kind of next door to each other in terms of casinos with NKOTB at Chateau and BSB at Gallery). We even had a close encounter with the New Kids on the Block when they walked right by us at Sugar Factory (Donnie grabbed my arm walking by and smiled at me and I didn't recognize him until afterwards whaaaat). I have literally never seen a nightclub as packed as Chateau was on the night of that party! It was wall to wall women of a very specific age group and there was barely room to walk. We got to enjoy a couple after party songs though so it was so worth it! A bunch of the guys stayed in town for the July 4th weekend so I actually ran into Jordan Knight and Howie Dorough at Treasure Island!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tuesday Travel Guide: Napa- Where to Play

Our time in Napa was much shorter than we had originally intended, but I still think we got to see a lot! We even had time for a mid afternoon nap which has become absolutely necessary the older I get! We planned it out so that each of us would have one day to drink while the other one did the driving and it worked out pretty perfectly!

Castello Di Amorosa- This was the first vineyard we visited and it was one of our "must do" places. The grounds are beautiful and walking around the castle was a lot of fun. It was really crowded though, especially in the shop and tasting area. 

Chateau Montelena- Another really gorgeous property. We didn't have time to do a tour or tasting but we did get to wander the grounds a bit. Even cooler- the harvest was in progress so we got to see these huge containers of grapes and the machines that pull the grapes from the leaves and stems. Pretty neat!

Grgich Hills- This was one of my favorite activities because Grgich Hills offers a grape stomp for a couple months a year. We really wanted to stomp grapes. There was nobody else around when we went so we got to take all the pictures we wanted and wander the grounds while our shirts (you get a souvenir shirt with your grape stained footprints it's super cute) dried. So much fun!

Beringer Vineyards- This was the only real tour that we did. We did the Legacy Cave Tour which was really fun and informative and consisted of several tastings throughout the tour. The grounds are also really beautiful and it was such a gorgeous day for walking around. 

Old Faithful Geyser- The geyser itself is fairly small but it does what it promises- it goes off every few minutes. I think it was a bit more active when we were there because there had just been an earthquake early that morning too. There's a lot of areas to lounge and it's quite peaceful and relaxing, especially when the weather is nice. There is also a large goat farm with all kinds of goats. So cute!

California 101- This wasn't an attraction but I definitely wanted to include it. Driving up from San Francisco International Airport, we took the Bay Bridge to go north into Napa. We took CA 101 on our way back down so that we could make a stop at the Golden Gate Bridge. We found the perfect viewpoint too. Take the exit for Point Cavallo and drive down to the Moore Road Pier. It's a fishing pier with an amazing view and virtually no tourists!

I wish we'd had a couple extra days to explore. We had a little time to explore the Napa Riverfront but there's so much more to see outside the downtown area. There were so many adorable small towns along the way and it would have been fun to stop and explore. A couple things on my list for next time:

Winery Picnic- So many of the wineries have picnic grounds and I would love to get a meal at a gourmet store like Cal Mart and enjoy it out by the vineyards.

Napa Wine Train- This has been on my bucket list forever. Next time I'm in Napa I'd really like to do the sunset dinner train in one of the observation cars. So gorgeous!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Monday Must Haves

Good Morning everyone!

So it's warming up quite a bit and my sad pale skin is starting to look even sadder in the sunshine. A couple years ago I started using St Tropez tanning products for my warm weather trips. It's certainly made wearing shorts a lot easier!

I recently discovered that TJ Maxx carries the St Tropez 4pc Self Tan Starter Kit and I kind of freaked out a little. I have a number of their products and they are way better than the dozen other products I've tried in terms of streaking and color. The smell isn't disgusting like some of the others and the mitt really makes a difference in keeping your hands clean. Just follow the instructions really carefully for the best results.

This post contains affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link. As always, all opinions are my own.

If you're a bit paranoid about the color coming out too dark or just really really want to avoid ANY streaking, I'd suggest the St Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion. I've used it for a while and it really is gradual. It doesn't require any dry time at all and the color builds on slowly so you can monitor exactly what shade you get. It's not the best for fast results but if you're a little OCD about your tan like I am, it's a great tool. 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

eBay Guide For Beginners

A little known fact- I buy most of my stuff on eBay.

Most people think it's a place to get used items or vintage pieces or just bid on auctions; however, it's actually a great place to find inexpensive clothes, beauty products, and accessories. A lot of sellers have surplus of items they don't want/can't use or some sellers even have pieces that they never used or received as gifts. I once bought a pair of designer sandals that were worn once- the seller had been hiding her shoe collection from her husband and he found it and made her sell them!

While eBay can be a great place to find some choice deals, it's also a bit difficult to figure certain things out. I've been buying (and periodically selling) on the site for over a decade, so today I'm going to share a few tips!

Look at the photos carefully- one mistake I hear a lot of is people not checking the photos. I don't mean the stock photo of an item, the actual photos of the item that is for sale. If there aren't any, request some. If it's a used item or a defected item, there should be actual photos. If there aren't, the seller might be fishy. A good seller wants to make sure you know exactly what you are getting.

Read the description carefully- in one of my law classes at UNLV, my professor described a case involving someone who spent thousands of dollars purchasing a big ticket item only to receive a photo of the item. Apparently they hadn't read the description properly and the piece for sale was the photo not the big ticket item. If you're buying something expensive, read carefully to make sure you are getting exactly what you expect.

When purchasing designer items, exercise caution- you can always request a copy of the receipt from the original purchase but know that this may not be available. If the item should have a serial number, there should be a photo of it and if there is not, request one. I tend to gravitate towards the gently used designer items instead of anything claiming to be new and authentic because I typically get a weird vibe. I'm not saying they don't exist but be careful.

Don't take any crap- utilize the eBay communications channels. Currently, I'm having issues with a couple sellers that have been going on for MONTHS. One seller promised me a refund for items I never received even though they supposedly sent them twice. The other seller sent me a pair of socks in two different sizes rendering the pair completely unwearable. Keep in mind- eBay will pretty much only help you within 30 days of the latest estimated arrival date; however, you can open disputes with Paypal within 180 days.

Beware of dates- if a seller is out of office, typically there will be a notation at the top of the listing saying the dates they are out of office. One big thing- if you are buying products from Asia, not the dates for Chinese New Year. A lot of sellers will not be working their stores during those 15 days (or possibly longer) so get your orders in well before or after the festivals.

Check scores- feedback scores can be very telling. Additionally, check when the negative reviews were made. If nothing negative has been made within the last 6-12 months, I'll usually ignore it. Often this is a good place to find out if other buyers have received counterfeit items in which case, move along.

Shop around- If you're looking at say, a set of Living Proof shampoos (they're listed in every size), shop around for a bit. Often you can shave a few dollars off your purchase by doing so because there's almost always multiple sellers. This is also a great time to compare the prices and ratings from sellers- a great price and a poor rating should cancel itself out. 

Ask about discounts- if you're buying multiple items, it may knock down the price of the shipping if the seller knows you're buying multiples. Don't be afraid to ask!

I hope this helped make it easier to navigate eBay! 
I'll be sharing a list of my favorite things to purchase soon!
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