Touring L.A. With Teens

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L-A-with-teens

With Spring Break and Summer quickly approaching, I wanted to give you some tips on touring L.A. with teens.  Traveling with teens is much easier than with small children, but demands a higher level of entertainment.  After an almost week long trip last July, my kids are still talking about our trip to the city of angels, and frankly, so am I! If you’re considering going, here are some things to put on your to-do list.

First, have a parent (grandparent to your kids) who will pay for your airfare and hotel, and almost everything else once you get there. It really is a huge relief to the wallet. 😉 I know, at 41 I’m still spoiled – but so grateful.  Thanks, Mom!

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But seriously, let the adventure start with a missed alarm that lands you on a flight to Chicago instead of straight to L.A. – that way you can see the beautiful lake Michigan, and have a celebrity sighting like we did.

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Don’t get snotty now, it’s Keegan-Michael Key and he was in Just Go With It, Pitch Perfect 2 and lots of other things.  Look it up – it counts as a celebrity sighting.  My son was tripping out, so i snapped this pic.

L-A-chinatown

First stop once we got to L.A. (after a dinner of Mexican food, of course), was the famous Chinatown where we all tried boba for the first time.  I can’t tell you what it is or what it’s made of, but I will say that it was a new experience that we won’t soon forget.  I’ll also tell you to plan a little better before heading to Chinatown so that, unlike us, you can see it lit up.  We had lots of laughs with the boba though, so #noregrets.

Next, be sure and put a studio tour on your list of To Do’s.  We picked Warner Brothers studios because we had just finished binge watching all ten seasons of “Friends.” Here’s your backstage pass:

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Holiday Road-mobile.

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Being Batman.

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Tricky Harry Potter cinematography.

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I can no longer watch movies or T.V. shows without thinking, “Is that the back lot of Warner Bros.?” (Hint: they all look the same.)

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Get a pic with the humongous version of Rory Gilmore, because you love her.

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While in Hollywood, see the famous sights like the Hollywood sign, the Walk of Fame and Grauman’s Chinese Theater.

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You can’t go to California without seeing it’s beautiful coast line. We rented bikes in Venice Beach, and rode them to the Santa Monica Pier for a day of fun, carnival-type activities!

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The next day, we played at Laguna Beach

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Next up, DISNEY!!  Started by dinner in Downtown Disney.

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Then, hit the Starbuck’s at Downtown Disney before a FULL day of Disneyland & Disney’s California Adventure!  Without having to ride all of the baby rides, you can actually easily see both parks in one day, so get the hopper passes. 

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This etch-a-sketch-ish photo of us is at the Starbuck’s.

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Never too old for teacups, even if your teen son thinks so.

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Remind you of anything? (I’m showing my age here, but hey…if you have teens, you’re probably feeling nostalgic right now too!)

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Now you’ll have that song stuck in your head.  You’re welcome.

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Don’t forget your Mickey treat!

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If you love roller coasters, the Knott’s Berry Farm is a must!

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On the last leg of our jam-packed journey, we hit up the Farmer’s Market in L.A.

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To keep it real, we visited the Holocaust museum of Los Angeles…no one said that a vacation couldn’t be educational and extremely humbling.

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Killing time before heading to the airport, we sat on the “lawn” at The Grove shopping center and enjoyed the perfect weather, hot dogs and some Sprinkles cupcakes.

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All good things must end, but we had a fantastic time seeing the the sites of L.A.!

I’ve attached a website link to all places mentioned, but please feel free to message me with questions about any part of this trip – I’d be happy to answer them!

Peace & Love,

Carrie

The San Antonio Symphony Performs The Music Of Queen

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When I was in high school, I found a cassette tape of Queen’s greatest hits laying around my house.  I popped it into the cassette player of my Chevy Citation (don’t be jealous), and my love affair with Queen began.

As a singer myself, Freddie Mercury’s vocals blew my mind.  Then you add in the sheer genius of the band’s song arrangements and musical abilities and the whole sound becomes pure magic.

When I got the opportunity to exchange a blog post for 2 tickets to The San Antonio Symphony Performs The Music Of Queen, I jumped at it!  The best part, is that I get to take my 16 year-old who is also a Queen fan!  Proof that their music can stand the test of time, making fans with each new generation.

Freddie Mercury is sadly no longer with us, but Vocalist and performer Brody Dolyniuk, will provide Freddie Mercury-like sound to the show.  He’s also known for providing vocals for the video games “Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock,” and “Rock Revolution”

 

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Bridging the gap between rock n’ roll and classical music, conductor/arranger Brent Havens takes the podium on October 23, 2015 at 8 p.m., as he channels the music of Freddy Mercury and Queen into a symphonic experience unlike any other.  According to Havens, “The band is reproducing what Queen did live, as closely as possible within the constraints of personnel, and then having an orchestra behind the band gives the music richness, a whole new feel, a whole different sense of color but still preserving the wonderful music that they originally produced.”  Familiar songs will entice rock fans to the Symphony for a new appreciation of Queen’s arrangements and Mercury’s vocal style.

 

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This awesome event will be held On October 23, 2015 at 8:00 P.M. in the beautiful and historical Majestic Theater of San Antonio!

Tickets start from $25. Rock concert fans can purchase tickets online at ticketmaster.com, by calling (800) 745-3000, or visiting their nearest Ticketmaster location or the Majestic Theatre Box Office.   Use code ROCK for a 20% discount!

If you’re going, let me know so we can meet up for a selfie!

Peace & Love,

Carrie

Oktoberfest On The Riverwalk 2015 – Win Free Tickets!

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Last night, my husband and I got an early taste of this year’s Oktoberfest!  Our friends over at the BierGarten on the Riverwalk graciously hosted a pre-festival preview, complete with beer, brats and sauerkraut.  This is one of our favorite spots on San Antonio’s beautiful waterway, not only because of the location, but the great food and atmosphere.

 

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In San Antonio, this is the only BierGarten you’ll find that boasts of European style and German Engineering.

Below is the Oktoberfest Bier Drinkers Platter, which includes:

  • Bratwurst
  • Knockwurst
  • Polish Sausage
  • Frankfurters
  • Krautwurst Balls
  • Sauerkraut
  • German Potato Salad
  • Royal Bavarian Pretzels
  • Bier Cheese Sauce
  • German Spicy Mustard

My mouth was watering as I typed that – there wasn’t anything on that platter that I didn’t love!

 

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If wieners don’t do it for you, how about a pretzel-bun burger?  Also delicious.

 

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Oh, and don’t forget the beer! Prost, Y’all!!

 

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 At the BierGarten, you’ll be welcomed to a taste of Bavaria and the historic Oktoberfest, right here in San Antonio!

 

Now it’s time for the giveaway! One lucky winner will receive a VIP pass to BierGarten THIS FRIDAY NIGHT to help kick off Oktoberfest on the Riverwalk.  The winner will be announced Friday, September 25th at noon!  The details are below:

Even if you don’t win, be sure to head down to the San Antonio Riverwalk and BierGarten anytime during Oktoberfest, September 25th-27th & October 2nd-4th.  Good Luck!

Peace & Love,

Carrie

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B&D Ice House Southtown, San Antonio

Driving by it, you wouldn’t know that B&D Ice House Southtown, San Antonio was in the business of serving up some of the most delicious barbeque you’ll ever put in your mouth.  That’s subjective, I know, but not one person in our party of 6 was disappointed.

Started in 1961 and “reimagined” in 2014, there’s certainly nothing pretentious about this place.  No fancy sign and no fancy building, just order at the window and a grab a picnic table.  When they holler your name, come and get it!

B&D serves all the go-to barbeque for the purists (and fixins), which stands above the rest all on it’s own.  But this establishment kicks it up a notch by combining flavors that had everyone making noises your not supposed to make in public.

How about some green chile mac-n-cheese?  Oh yeah, it’s as good as it sounds. I had this alongside some chicken thighs that were smokey and delicious.

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I didn’t get a bite, but there was quite a bit of groaning over “The Bruno.” Bun, chopped brisket, sauce, mac-n-cheese, slaw…BAM.

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My husband couldn’t shut up about the chopped brisket frito pie either.  Need I say more?  Just look at it.

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Of course, if you’re into brews, they have those too.

I highly recommend traveling down to Southtown (or whichever direction will get you there), and checking it out for yourself.  You know I liked it because I received no compensation to write this!  Just wanted to give some fanfare to a local business who serves up great food.

Be in the know and get info on hours and location here:

Facebook

Twitter

Peace & Love!

Carrie

How To Makeover A Chair Using Maison Blanche Paint

Mason Blanche ChairOver the weekend I went to a furniture painting class and learned how to makeover a chair using Maison Blanche paint.  I’m always interested in learning new things and trying new products, and this experience did not disappoint!

The Burlap Junkies out in Pipe Creek, Texas host Painting Parties to teach people how to give new energy to an old piece of furniture.  It’s an afternoon of food, fun and new friends that you can enjoy with or without wine.  Your choice.

I signed up for the small furniture painting class early in May, and thought I had plenty of time to find a piece to take.  However, time got away from me and I found myself a few days away from the event with no piece.  Never to fear though, the Chair Junkee is here! Sweet Claudia (a.k.a. Chair Junkee) partners with Lisa from Burlap Junkies to make sure that no one leaves empty handed.  The best part is, the price of her chairs (which are well priced), include reupholstering! She saved my bacon by having this beautiful chair available to purchase.

Now, on to the how to…

Because of the fabric I had picked out, I decided on the Coffee Bean chalk paint from Maison Blanche.  With the chip brush, I applied a quick coat of paint.

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And then another, and then another (because of the dark shade of paint).

When the paint was thoroughly dry, I took a 220 grit piece of sandpaper and created a well-used look, allowing some of the original wood to show through the paint.  After the sanding, I applied a clear wax with a chip brush

Mason blanche Chair

When the clear wax had been buffed with a rag, I then applied a product called Lime Wax.  I was pretty excited to use this because I had never heard of it before.  It ended up being the magic to this piece, creating a truly aged look by putting a greyish white into all of the grooves, including the grain of the wood.

I have to admit, I had not been happy with the color of the coffee bean alone, but with the lime wax, it was spectacular!  Here is the finished product:

Mason Blanche Chair

While I worked, Ms. Claudia recovered my seat with the fabric I brought.  When I finished the chair, she screwed the seat on and it all tied together so well!  I couldn’t have been happier with the result.

If you’re in the San Antonio Area, be sure and check out the Burlap Junkies and the Chair Junkee on Facebook!

Peace & Love,

Carrie

 

The House {Boozey Ice Cream and Brews}

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The House

Last night, a dear friend and I had ourselves a girls’ night out down in Southtown (the south side of downtown San Antonio) at a delicious Belgian restaurant called, La Frite.  The food was amazing, and our night probably would have concluded there, except just next door we spotted a “boozey” ice cream shop.  What the what?  It didn’t matter if we were full, this was a must-try situation.

The House (it’s actual name) was hopping with hipsters, and mohawks and tiny children who wear Vans.  And this 40 year-old mom felt a bit out of place, but I didn’t care.  I wanted the ice cream.  I NEEDED the ice cream.

When we finally made it to the counter and asked to sample some flavors, the most awesome thing happened…WE GOT CARDED!  FOR ICE CREAM!!!  I always love getting carded, but for ice cream?  Best day ever.  They weren’t kidding about the boozey, were they?

I ended up with the oh-so-nummy Bourbon Vanilla.

The House

 My friend ended up with a waffle cone full of Mint Chocolate Chip, flavored with a crème de menthe liqueur.

The House

 We were both extremely happy.

If you’re not the “boozey” type, or wondered what on earth those children were doing there, don’t worry – they have several flavors that don’t require an ID.  Last night was actually their first night to be open, and was a “soft” opening that we were just lucky enough to attend!  Based on what I tasted and saw, I think they are gonna do OK.

I couldn’t find a website, Facebook page, Twitter handle OR Instagram for The House just yet, but I will tell you, they are located at 732 S. Alamo St., San Antonio 78205.  Show this new local business some love!

Peace and Love,

Carrie