Pismo Beach Food Recommendations

Pismo Beach and the surrounding area is a beautiful place to visit. I find myself coming here whenever I need a change of pace or clarity with myself or my life. I have a few favorite places I visit each time but of course I always love trying new places! My food recommendations below!

 

  • Mon Ami
    • I LOVE crepes! I love how light and delicious they are – sweet and savory! Mon Ami makes beautiful creations and has a wonderful atmosphere. When you walk in you immediately step into France. The decor is very calm and pleasing. I love dining inside, enjoying my food and tea, and reading a book. Every time I’ve come here the employees are so friendly and sweet and make the experience that much better. My favorite crepe is the Pismo – ham and cheese, mmmm. My go to drink is their Vanilla Chai Tea. I don’t know what they use but it’s literally heaven. I am an avid chai tea drinker and nothing compares! It’s my absolute favorite spot to get some.

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  • Blue Moon Over Avila
    • The last trip I took to Pismo Beach I decided to treat myself on my last night there. Blue Moon Over Avila is a fun French restaurant that overlooks Avila Beach. Outdoor and indoor seating is available along with a bar. Any time I go out to eat by myself I always choose the bar. Why? No idea. As stated before, I’m a huge tea drinker. What I loved about this place is that they give you an individual teapot for your drink. It gave it so much more of a pleasing aesthetic and it was nice to prepare my tea exactly how I wanted it. I highly recommend getting the filet mignon. It had my mouth watering and leaving me wanting more when I was finished! I was truly impressed. Are you on Yelp? Make sure to check in here to get a FREE appetizer – the French Garlic Bread is extremely good and a light appetizer to start.

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  • Pismo Yogurt
    • Okay so nothing insanely fancy about this one but support your local businesses! Pismo Yogurt is located by Pismo Beach Pier and is perfect for hot weather. They have fewer selections than Yogurtland or other big chain fro-yo shops but you still get really good choices! They have a bunch of yummy toppings too(my weakness). The day I went for some fro-yo I had planned for ~60 degree weather(according to the forecast…) it reached 80 degrees!! Needless to say, they were extremely busy that day.

 

  • Ocean Grill Avila Beach
    • This is another fun place to go to if you visit Avila Beach. It’s indoor seating but no matter where you sit you have a view of the ocean. Even at the bar there’s a giant TV that has a live feed of the ocean. I love having dinner and drinks here during the sunset. I’ve tried a variety of the food here and don’t think I really have a favorite – it’s all so good! Dessert here is really good too(Again, check in on Yelp to get some FREE!)

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  • Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards
    • Hands down my favorite winery! I found this place from a local to Pismo Beach. I was so happy I had the opportunity to meet him and that he told me to check this place out. It’s not a far drive and it’s secluded in the hills so it’s a beautiful drive. One of the cool attractions? They have peacocks! They wander all around and are so beautiful. The vineyard is family owned and one of the family members designs all of their artwork. The theme they use are mermaids and I’m amazed every time I go in and look at all their wine labels and paintings. Their wine is extremely good and my favorite one is their Golden Delicious Chardonnay. It’s their house chardonnay infused with apples. Another cool thing about it? The apples used are from the apple orchard next door to them! Seriously, I don’t know if this place can get any cooler. Make sure to check in on Yelp again here so you can get a free tasting!

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More recommendations to come when I visit again! If you’re in the area and try these places out let me know what you think!

4 Reasons Why I Get Eyelash Extensions

The first time I heard about eyelash extensions I was in my junior year of high school and we had a foreign exchange student from Norway in my class. Another girl had told her that her lashes were so long and that’s when she told us that she had eyelash extensions. Now, keep in my mind, I lived in a very small town in Minnesota. The way of life out there is extremely different. I had no idea that eyelash extensions were even a thing and I thought that it was a crazy thing to do! Fast forward to April 2018 when I decided to finally give them a try and fell in love! In this post I’ll explain why I decided to try them and why I continue to pay for them.

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Let’s start with a quick background about my eyelashes. I was blessed with very long eyelashes. What I wasn’t blessed with? Curl. They are stick straight and a mile long. When I first started wearing makeup at 13 years old, I had just the basics. After wearing mascara for awhile, I was still frustrated that my eyelashes weren’t curling. I brought it up to my mom and she let me know that we could get an eyelash curler for me. Let me tell you I tried every trick in the book for the eyelash curler. Curling my lashes first, putting mascara on and then curling, repeating that same process twice, heating the curler before curling…..I googled until there was nothing left. Eventually I just accepted that my lashes were doomed and stubborn.

-> 2017. My first experience with false eyelashes was when I did a photo shoot. A friend of mine did my makeup for the shoot and I decided to buy some(yolo right?). She put them on me and I felt like one bad-ass woman. I was unstoppable! Fierce! Needless to say, I got hooked and bought myself more lashes.

-> April 2018. I was talking to one of my friends about eyelash extensions. We both were saying that it seemed really cool but we were too scared to try it. We made a pact that I would try them first and if they looked good then she would get extensions too.

The first appointment was amazing. It was so relaxing and the results after were so worth it! I decided to go with a medium length natural style. They looked so beautiful and I felt much more confident! For once in my life it actually looked like I had eyelashes! Since then I haven’t had them taken off. I go every 3 weeks to get them filled and love them every time.

But what about the pricing!? Here’s what I think is super funny about people’s responses when I tell them how much my lashes are: they literally pay the same amount to have their nails or hair done. Quality acrylic nails can be anywhere from $40-$80 depending on where you go and your design – and those get filled every 2 weeks! Women’s hair stylists have always been expensive. My last stylist increased her price to $90 for a haircut. When you first get the extensions it will be in the $110+ range. Fills vary on the style you’re wanting. Note: Pricing also varies on where you go. These prices are for my lashes. I pay anywhere between $60-$80 for my lash fills depending on which style I go with. Generally I stick with the Volume style which is $70. Why do I pay this much every 3 weeks?

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  1. It looks BOMB. I don’t think I need to elaborate.
  2. It’s convenient. Waking up every day and not having to worry about makeup is amazing. It saves me so much time getting ready in the morning(or if I’m running late!)
  3. It saves me money. Yes, you read that correctly! Since getting lash extensions, I have greatly decreased my trips to makeup stores. I feel confident leaving my house with zero makeup on so I’m not wearing makeup every day. This also means I’m not having to spend money on makeup remover wipes either!
  4. “Treat yo self!” I don’t spend a lot of money on myself, especially since I’ve become a minimalist. My haircut is around $45 and I go whenever I feel like I need a touch up. I don’t get my nails done anymore because of how damaged they were from gel and acrylics. I very rarely buy any new clothes anymore. The only reason I’ve bought clothes recently is because I lost some weight. Having my lashes done brings me so much joy and confidence! 

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I’ve been really happy in my decision to continue getting eyelash extensions. It’s an expense I don’t mind and budget for every month. I love the convenience of them so much! If you’re interested in getting them, make sure to do your research! You’re dealing with your eyes and want to make sure you’re staying safe and healthy. Word of mouth and Yelp are really great options in deciding where to go.

HELPFUL TIP: When you go for your first set, start with the natural since it’s the cheapest option. When you go for fills you can choose other styles and pay the fill price instead of a new set! 😉

My Benefits of a Weighted Blanket

*This post contains links and product suggestions. I have not been paid for these – this is purely my own experience and review.

 

I heard about weighted blankets a long time ago because a friend of mine had purchased one. She said she absolutely loved it and after that I completely forgot about them until recently. I don’t remember exactly how(probably an online ad) but I started becoming interested in them. I read reviews and posts about them and how life changing they were for some people. I also came across an article that someone wrote about their child who has AD/HD and how beneficial the weighted blanket was for them.

In my post about my mental health, I mentioned that a lot of changes have been happening in my life the last few months. I’ve been switching between a few medications and had a new diagnosis that I was trying to work through. Just recently I had another doctor appointment where they are questioning another diagnosis for me and the potential for another medication switch. Basically there’s still a lot going on for me and my health and I’ve been doing my best to find my coping mechanisms.

And now we get to the weighted blanket! After reading several articles about how they’re very beneficial for people with mental illnesses I was hooked on wanting one. There are many different kinds out there but the one I have is The Calming Comfort Weighted Blanket. From their website, here is how they explain how the blanket works: The Calming Comfort™ Weighted Blanket applies an even amount of pressure over your body to help the production of serotonin and melatonin (the body’s primary sleep hormones), simulating Deep Touch Pressure Stimulation. It feels like a warm hug, immediately sending you into a state of comfort and relaxation.

Knowing this and the information I found from the articles, I was very eager to get one. I have a few mental illnesses and I also have a hard time sleeping. The sleeping part I always struggled with, even as a baby! It always takes me a long time to fall asleep and when I do, I constantly wake up throughout the night.

Okay, fast forward to actually getting the blanket. *This is not an exaggeration* It literally feels like heaven. I immediately snuggled up with it on the couch and having all that weight on me felt so good. Not to mention it’s extremely soft too! My first night sleeping with the blanket was one of the best sleeps I had had in a long time. I woke up feeling refreshed and actually well rested. Now I know you’re probably thinking, ‘Well Kait, how do you REALLY know that it was working?’. One night I went to bed without the blanket. I had it nearby but was just too lazy to grab it. Nothing changed during my day or in my normal routine. I did everything as I normally would have, took the same medications, and had my same bedtime routine. I had also been using the weighted blanket for about a week every night already as well. That night I felt SO distressed! I couldn’t get comfortable and when I finally fell asleep I was awake maybe 30 minutes later. This went on for a few hours. I eventually grabbed my weighted blanket and fell asleep shortly after – and stayed asleep.

Ever since then I have used my blanket every night and the occasional cuddle on the couch. I have been falling asleep faster and staying asleep the entire night. I wake up feeling well rested and comfortable. It’s been very rare that I wake up without anxiety anymore! I highly recommend you give the weighted blanket a try. If you struggle with anxiety, depression, or AD/HD then this blanket is truly a great gift. It’s also helpful for those that have an issue being touched by other people. Some of my friends, myself included, don’t necessarily prefer to be touched when we’re having an anxiety or panic attack. Some don’t like to be touched in general. For them it’s not a great way to get them to calm down; it only amps up their anxiety. This blanket could be an option for them as it will stimulate the pressure stimulation without having to feel another person on them.

Check out their website and find more testimonials about the blanket!

New Year’s Resolutions!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

We have officially reached 2019. Another year has come and gone and now it’s time to start it all over again. Resolutions have always been hard for me. I try to go above and beyond and start out really well but then burn out a month or two in. The goals I try to do now are pretty simple and I try to have them benefit my mental health as much as possible. One year, I wrote down on a slip of paper everything that made me happy. All the slips would go in a jar. On New Year’s Eve, I opened the jar and read about all the happy moments I had in the year. There were a lot of emotions: some made me cry, some made me happy, and some made me mad. Overall I rather enjoyed it as it was a nice reminder of all the good things in life.

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  • Start and finish school
    • School has never been my first choice. I tried a few classes here and there after high school but was more focused on my career. A few months ago I made the decision to go back. I didn’t want to take any time off work so I looked into online programs. I am now enrolled at University of Phoenix with a certificate program. This allows me to be done in about 6 months. I start my first class middle of January and while I’m looking forward to it, I’m also terrified!
  • Create a daily routine for myself and stick with it
    • There’s so much going on in my life that it’s hard to keep myself disciplined with certain things. Now that I’m adding school to my hectic schedule, I created 2 daily routines for myself: one for when I do work and one for when I don’t. I’ve created a basic outline for both of what I imagine will work best but I plan to make adjustments once I actually start school.
  • Continue therapy
    • It’s hard asking for help. It’s taken me a long time to ask for help, even with my own friends. I constantly feel like such a burden to everyone in my life and I don’t want to think that way anymore. I’m tired of letting my mental health take over so many areas of my life. I’ve started taking medication again as I know I truly need it. With therapy, I hope to overcome some issues and to learn how to live with my anxiety in a more positive way rather than negative.
  • Create a budget
    • I budget my bills pretty well. I always pay on time and make sure I have enough for everything. This year I’m making a new goal for myself with my budget. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I still live with my mom. Living in California is expensive enough with roommates and can be near impossible by yourself. With this budget I want to go into as much detail as possible in every aspect of my life so I can see where I can save more and spend less.
  • Learn to be more assertive
    • I am not an assertive person. I feel like there are times that I am but generally I’m a pushover. It’s hard for me to say no to people(especially authoritative figures) and if I feel like I’ve been wronged or my feelings are hurt, I won’t address them with the person. I continue to let myself be “used and abused” over and over again until I start to break. This year I want to push myself to be more assertive. I don’t want to continue putting myself in uncomfortable situations just because I feel like I should. If something bothers me with a friend or relative, I want to be up front about it so they understand their actions and how it affects me.

 

This year I want to focus on me. I never put myself first in any situation and now is the time to. It’s time for me to break out of my comfort zone and explore endless possibilities for myself!

 

Tell me about your resolutions in the comments!

 

How I Shop Differently as a Minimalist

*This post contains recommendations purely made by myself. I have not been paid or given incentives.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone and holiday shopping continues. I have about half of my Christmas gifts purchased and plan on finishing the rest this week.

In one of my posts about my trip to LA, I had mentioned the items I had bought. As I continue minimalism, I’ve noticed so much of a change in my shopping habits.

The other day I was hanging out with my boyfriend and he mentioned some items that he wanted in the future. Every item he rattled off was expensive, hi-tech, and name-branded. With each mention of these items, I found that I had zero connection to the same wants. Perhaps it’s because I’ve become minimalist and have a new way for my life or perhaps it’s because I used to be that person that wanted the expensive, name-brand items.

My first job in California was at a thrift store. We bought and sold clothes that other people brought in. In order for me to become a good buyer for the store I needed to know the brands and the trends. I wanted to be really good at my job so I did my research. I found what people really liked and what these big brands were. It was really different for me especially coming from a small town in Minnesota. I truly believe that this job started my downfall in fashion. Don’t get me wrong – I love fashion. I love posting my outfits and I love helping my friends and family with their styles. But because I was brand obsessed, that became my main focus. I wanted only Michael Kors bags. I wanted True Religion jeans. I wanted cute Brandy Melville clothing. I ended up leaving the thrift store after a few years and started at a new retail store. There was a different policy here – no bags allowed. This is the case for many companies as it helps reduce employee theft. I had a beautiful beige Michael Kors crossbody at the time. It went with everything and it really did give me so much joy. However with this new policy, I soon got tired of having to transfer things from my purse to a clear plastic backpack just so I could go to work. Soon I stopped using my crossbody entirely. This was the start to my end of brand name items. It wasn’t until I left retail that I started to realize I didn’t actually need any of these things. I began my career again in veterinary care where my uniform was scrubs. I had no reason to keep up with fashion trends or worry about putting together different outfits everyday. And because I was wearing scrubs every day, I started to value the outfits I was putting together when I was going out with friends or just running errands.

I continued to shop as I normally would have (minus big brands) and had so many clothes piled up in my closet. It’s still a work in progress, as I constantly change my style, but I am very proud of where I am at today and the new shopping habits I’ve picked up. Here are some things that I’ve learned along the way:

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  • Understanding Brands
    • I told you that I used to be brand obsessed. I felt like it gave me a certain status and anything below these brands were unacceptable. There are only two items out of my whole wardrobe that I have splurged on. That would be my Dooney & Burke small crossbody and wallet. I bought these about a year ago and it was because I decided to treat myself. The purse I had before I used for quite some time and picked it up for $5 at a thrift store. A lot of the times, people think that because it’s a huge name brand and that it’s expensive means it’s great quality. Sometimes that’s not always the case. There’s also the fact to keep in mind that you can get the same item at the same quality for a much cheaper price. I mentioned that I loved True Religion jeans. They were super cute, fit my body type at the time, and also lasted for a really long time. Over time I realized I didn’t want to spend that kind of money on jeans and the fit wasn’t working for my body anymore. Now I get my jeans from American Eagle. They are reasonably priced and they LAST. My oldest pair right now is about 5 years old and you would never know it! The latest pair I bought is already 3 years old and in perfect shape.
  • Needs or Wants
    • This may sound weird but I think I was destined to be a minimalist. Looking back, I had the same fundamentals and values but never knew how to completely discipline myself. It was always when I had my items and stood in the long line for the cash register that I would start contemplating my purchase. The longer I stood there the more I looked at my item(s) and realized that it wasn’t worth waiting any longer for. I’d get out of line, place the piece back, and leave the store. I’ve done that several times throughout my adult life and have never regretted that choice. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve put so much thought into every purchase I continue to make. Understanding the needs and wants for yourself are extremely crucial. For example, when fall and winter rolls around, I love seeing all the sweaters on display. I already have several sweaters but seeing new ones in different styles and colors is tempting. I’ve reached a place with myself now where I can appreciate the article of clothing and continue my trip without purchasing it.
  • Understanding Sales
    • Sales are a dark hole that should be avoided when necessary. Stores put the sales there so you buy more than you need because, hey!, it’s on sale and cheap. Some sales however can be extremely beneficial if it’s for something you need. When I go shopping, I generally stay away from the clearance sections. Everything ends up there at some point but you’ll find a lot of outdated items. You’ll also find things, like a shirt, that aren’t your style but because it’s so cheap you’ll buy it anyway. You’ll wear the item once and then it ends up in a corner never to be seen or worn again. The key is to stick with your favorite brands and know when their sales are. In a lot of blog posts about saving money, you’ll find that they’ll tell you to unsubscribe from store’s mailing lists. While I fully support this idea, it’s also not a bad thing to stay on mailing lists for stores you really enjoy. It’s a great way to get coupons and find out about sales going on in store or online. There are a few stores that I still subscribe to and just because I’ve subscribed to them doesn’t mean I’m using every coupon or sale they send to me.
  • Buying in Bulk
    • A majority of my shopping is done online. I hate going to the mall and being in large shopping crowds. If I do have to go to the mall I have to mentally prepare myself days in advance. My main website is Amazon and I do pay for Amazon Prime so I can get my items faster. But let’s say I needed to get a pair of jeans. I usually check the store’s website to see how much I would need to spend for free shipping. After knowing that, I wait to purchase until I need multiple things so I can take advantage of the free shipping and other deals they may have. This saves me money by waiting for things I actually need instead of trying to find something to bump myself up for free shipping. It also eliminates the need for me to place multiple orders.

 

Living in California has been a new challenge for me. I never cared about brands or fashion until I moved here and realized that that is a major part of the culture here. I easily and quickly got swooped into the belief that to be successful and to show your status it was essential to have all these things. Trying to get the new and shiny electronics or the newest fashion trend didn’t make me happy. It made me anxious and depressed because I felt like I was behind or not good enough if I didn’t have them. I live my life so comfortably now and okay with knowing that I don’t need all these things. My iPhone is most certainly not a newer model and my laptop is a Google Chromebook I purchased 5 years ago. Both run smoothly and I have no desire to spend money for a new model when these work perfectly well.

When I write these posts I don’t urge for you to become minimalists. I urge that you rethink the importance of things in your lives. Are you truly happy and if not what can you do to change that? Our lives are short, fast and should be lived happily – not stressed over new things or what our hard earned money can buy.

 

I challenge you the next time you go shopping to hold each item in your hand for five minutes. Imagine it in your life, walk around with it, connect with it. Do you need it? Does it spark joy?

Leave comments below and discuss!

Items I bought in LA

*Post contains links and items I recommend. I have not been paid to advertise

“Does this spark joy?” If you’ve done research on minimalism then you know this a common phrase you should ask yourself. When going through your items to decide if you want to keep them or not, you are to hold each item and see if you have any emotion to it. I’ve found this extremely helpful while cleaning and organizing my things. Just recently I was cleaning out a storage bin and found a key chain with my name on it. I remember the exact time and place I had purchased it but when I held it in my hands, I had no feeling towards it. It was a great memory and experience but I had not used the key chain in years and had no intention of using it again. Another thing I found in the bin was a painting of a volleyball and a drawing of Rolie Polie Olie I had done in the 8th grade. I can’t remember the last I had them out on display but seeing them and holding them in my hands gave me a rush of emotions. I am in no way, shape, or form an artist. My art teacher had worked well with me and extended my deadlines to give me extra time to work on my projects. In the end, my painting received a good grade and the drawing was displayed in the art showcase in the school hallway. These I found acceptable to keep, and in storage, because they still bring happiness to my life when I see them.

Alright, so I think you’ve got the basics of it, yes? Moving on!

My recent trip to Los Angeles was my first vacation since becoming a minimalist so I thought I’d share the items that I bought and why!

First off, a huge majority of my money went towards transportation, food, and experiences.  I can honestly say that I had no problem swiping my card or pulling out cash for any of things that I purchased – even food. During the trip I realized that this is why I wanted to become a minimalist. I wanted to experience this place I’d never been to before. I wanted to try all the food I could that I wasn’t able to get back home. I wanted to go to all these different places and experience as much as I could. 

My purchases in Los Angeles are as follows:

  • Beetlejuice earrings from Hot Topic
    • Browsing around City Walk after a day at Universal, we went into Hot Topic. They had a Beetlejuice section, as it’s the 30th anniversary, and I fell in love. These earrings caught my eye right away and are a style that I like very much. It was an instant purchase and I’ve received so many compliments by wearing them! This one passes as an acceptable purchase because it’s something I wear frequently and it gives me joy every time I wear them.

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  • Sweet Pumpkin Crunch Body Scrub from Nectar Bath Treats
    • Nectar Bath Treats is an extremely cute store. I looked at their website and it doesn’t list any store locations but you can order items! If you do get a chance to see this store though I highly recommend it! All the products are vegan and handmade. But the best part? They all look like desserts! Macaroons, pies, ice cream – you name it! While browsing, an associate told us about their body scrubs and had us try some samples. Right before the trip I just happen to run out of my scrub and was very pleased with theirs so I bought one! It’s kept my skin super smooth and the smell is amazing! After using it frequently for the last couple of weeks, I can honestly say I won’t be purchasing body scrubs anywhere else!

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  • Cat Ring from the CatCafe Lounge
    • If y’all know me then you know I’m obsessed with rings. It’s my favorite pieces of jewelry to wear. I have a total now of 7 rings that I wear every day and all are very special to me. While visiting this cafe I saw that they had cat jewelry and apparel. The jewelry caught my eye right away and the ring was so simple and beautiful. Another fun fact about it: The woman who makes the jewelry gives the proceeds to help cats be spayed and neutered – how amazing is that!? I purchased the ring because it was very cute and fit perfectly on my thumb(where I happen to be wanting another ring) and knowing that the money goes to a great cause makes it that much worth it to purchase.

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  • Tank Top from the CatCafe Lounge
    • My second purchase here was a tank top. I love anything cat related, as you can tell by my above purchase, and I love supporting small businesses. This shirt is everything I live by and so it was absolutely fitting for me to get. It’s also a great reminder of an experience I had with some beautiful cats(who are all up for adoption!)

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And there you have it! Outside of food and travel, I only purchased 4 items my entire Los Angeles trip. Before I would have bought everything I liked or get a bunch of souvenirs. Now that I’ve started this new lifestyle as a minimalist, I know that many purchases I would have made would have brought me joy at the beginning but would have no real impact on my happiness in the long run. It also saved up money that I used for other things like trying new foods or drinks and not feeling guilty for spending that money.