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!

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.

LA Food Recommendations

When I go to a new city I like to try new food places. I know a lot of people who are totally fine hitting up the same food chains in different cities but I don’t prefer it. I like to immerse myself in a full experience of a new place and that includes food!

Los Angeles, like most major tourist cities, has a ton of places you can try. I started by using Yelp to see what places people were raving about. My mom had talked to some coworkers and received recommendations from them and our Airbnb host was absolutely amazing and gave us some amazing recommendations as well.

Keep reading to see my recommendations to a few places we visited in Los Angeles!

  • Micelli’s
    • By far one of the most fun restaurants I’ve ever been to! A family owned restaurant, Micelli’s sits on a corner right near Universal Studios. There is a complimentary valet available to park your car in a private lot right outside. Once you step inside you feel like you’ve been transported to a different world. The decor inside is so fun and there’s always something new to look at. All the employees are so cheerful and happy to help. The best part? The waitresses sing! That’s right, all the waiters and waitresses take turns singing and putting on a show for everyone inside. Even with all this going they are very attentive to their tables. The food is absolutely amazing and I recommend trying their house wine and after dinner drinks.
  • Karl Strauss Brewing Company
    • Loved this place so much I visited twice! I have zero complaints. The staff were incredibly nice and gave fast service. They have a ton of beers you can choose from and they’ll give you a list of their daily specials as well. I went with the Windansea and enjoyed it very much – especially for me not being a huge beer drinker. I’m extremely basic when it comes to eating food so you won’t find any special recommendations from me. I love macaroni and cheese and practically did cartwheels when I saw it on their menu. It’s a huge helping and there was not a single piece left – most amazing food ever! There’s also the option of indoor and outdoor seating. I never got to sit outside but I would have loved to as you get to see the hustle and bustle of City Walk and can even get live music from performers below.
  • Porto’s Bakery
    • I wasn’t in the immediate area for this bakery but it was totally worth the drive! This is another family owned place with an amazing background story. Walking in and staring at all the delicacies was a little overwhelming because I wanted one of everything! If I had had more time I would have loved to try so many more items but the pastry I had was amazing by itself. Another great thing? It’s dirt cheap for amazing food. Our two items were less than a small coffee at Starbucks. You can’t beat that!
  • CatCafe Lounge
    • So I found this place on Airbnb and I’m obsessed. This organization takes in cats and helps socialize and prepare them to be adopted. For $25 you’re able to go hang out with 30+ cats for an hour and a half and help socialize them. All are up for adoption as well! It was one of my favorite parts about my trip – tea, lounging, and cats. It was really hard walking out of there not adopting some of them. Here is there website for more info!
  • BluJam Cafe
    • This was my favorite spot to have breakfast and I will absolutely be returning when I’m in Los Angeles again. There are several locations but the one I went to was on Melrose Avenue. It’s a small place but I never felt crowded. Since there were a lot of people it was fairly loud but not where you had to shout across the table and the music was kept at an acceptable volume. I also really loved the interior design. I felt so calm and at peace! Our host and waiter were extremely friendly and attentive and the food was 10/10. I highly recommend trying their french toast churros.

 

I have another trip to Los Angeles coming up soon so stay tuned for more recommendations!

Saving for my LA Trip

If you’ve been following my Instagram (and if you don’t, you should!) then you know that I was in Los Angeles for a mini vacation! It was my birthday and so my mom and I took a trip to Universal Studios. Now, I’ve lived in California for about six years and I have never been to LA. I figured since we were already going a few days for Universal that we might as well do some sight seeing too!

We spent a total of six days in Los Angeles and, yes, it was a little expensive. So how did I do it? How did I manage to take care of bills, have fun, and not stress about money? Read on to find out!

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Before I begin, I must add that I did not pay for this trip entirely by myself. As I was going with my mom, she helped pay for things too. It was also my birthday trip so I deserved to get spoiled a little!

Travel ~

Airbnb. I’ve been using Airbnb for almost 2 years now and I absolutely love using it for trips! You’ll find it is much cheaper than staying at a hotel and the hosts are so sweet and some will even give great tips and recommendations! The one I booked was only 2 miles from Universal and it was around ~$850 for two people the entire stay. Before you let your jaw drop, understand that this was an amazing price! I did compare to other hotels and found that if we were to stay at one, the cost would be well over $1,100. The other great thing is that I was able to split this up into two payments – one half when I booked and the other half about a week or two before our actual stay. This was perfect because I wasn’t out $850 in one pay period and I was able to save up and be mindful for the next few months before the other half of the payment.

Plane Tickets. For the plane tickets, we used Southwest, my favorite airline. We get alerts emailed to us and they were having a sale going on with cheap ticket pricing. Also you don’t have to pay for checked bags if they’re under 50 pounds – you can’t pass that up!

The last thing we had to do was book a rental car. This was all on my mom as I am not 25 years old and cannot do so.

Lyft. This is a shout out to our awesome Airbnb host! She lives about 2 miles away from Universal. When we checked in with her, she asked if we were planning on going to Universal and if so, if we were planning on driving and parking there. We told her yes and she advised us that we take Lyft instead. From her place, it was $7 or less one way to go to Universal. Parking your own car was upwards of $35/daily. In the end, we totaled out that we used exactly $35 on Lyft to get us to and from Universal (and one night for City Walk). That saved us a whole day of parking and took out any stress of it as well!

Packing ~

I never like to check a bag unless I absolutely have to. I’m also the kind of person to over pack. I’ll bring multiple pairs of everything so that I have it just in case. I’ll pack the fancy outfit…just in case. I get crazy with it. This time, I packed extremely light and only had my carry on. I packed for my trip a shirt for each day, a sweater, two pairs of shorts, one pair of jeans, and three different pairs of shoes. It made packing so much easier and less stressful to do!

But Kait…that doesn’t have anything to do with saving money? Wrong! If you were packing this in a carry on and flying with an airline that doesn’t charge for a bag over a certain weight limit, you just saved yourself some money. You also saved space for yourself if you buy things while on your trip. Imagine if you bought too many things and didn’t have enough space for it all? You’d end up having to buy another bag or small suitcase to make everything fit.

The other thing I did to help save money was to buy empty travel size containers. If you’re like me and use a special shampoo and conditioner, you wanna stick with that and keep it with you on the trip. Most of the time, though, these shampoos and conditioners don’t come in travel sizes. Sure you could buy some other kind but you’re most likely not going to use the whole thing, it then never gets used again, and it goes in the trash. So I buy empty travel size containers and put my shampoo, conditioner, and moisturizer into those bottles. Whatever I don’t use on the trip just goes right back into the original bottle and voilà! Money saved.

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It doesn’t seem like much but doing all of these things helped take so much stress out of my vacation and allow me to have a fun time doing all the things I wanted while I was in Los Angeles!

What are your tips and tricks for when you travel? Comment below!

6 Ways I Save For Travel

Lately I’ve been focusing on myself and experiences I want in life. Towards the end of 2017 I got bit by the travel bug and I got bit hard.  I’ve done my fair share of traveling and have been all over the United States and even visited England and Scotland when I was younger.

Just recently I went to Los Angeles with my boyfriend and our friend for a concert. Flying down to L.A. for one night for a concert was something I’d never done before and it was worth it

We all know traveling can be expensive so before I start booking any vacations, I’m doing what I can to prepare for the expenses.

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For starters, I’ve been embracing minimalism. Since taking on this new lifestyle, I’ve saved money by not buying “stuff”. I’ve really been taking a look at my life and seeing what’s important to me and what’s not. It’s been a huge eye opener looking through all my things and seeing what purchases I’ve made throughout the years and how I can do better.

Picking up extra shifts at work. I’ve read a lot of travel blogs where the blogger is able to do all their traveling because they don’t have a job with set schedules. While amazing and fortunate, that is not the case for a lot of people, including me. I work a 4/10 schedule so I always have an extra day or two to work when I can. It puts more money in my check and adds PTO time that I can use for future travel.

Doordash. What I like about Doordash is that I don’t feel obligated to do it everyday or every week. I go completely based off my schedule and when I feel I have the time to do it. The money you earn is not taxed and 100% goes to you weekly. It’s perfect for when I’m in a pinch and need some extra cash. They also have their busy hours where they’ll over anywhere from $1-$6 extra for each delivery. The one thing I get paranoid about though is the fact that it isn’t taxed and I don’t want to make too much to where I’m owing money back during tax season.

Applied for a credit card*. I only have two credit cards and recently cancelled one since I never used it much. I wanted to get a new one that would be perfect for traveling and getting me started. I did some research and found the Capital One Venture card. It had great reviews from customers and the perks are great!

  • 2x miles for every $1 spent
  • 10x miles for every $1 spent on hotels (using their own link)
  • 0% APR for the first year
  • $0 annual fee for intro year
  • BONUS 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months of opening account
  • And many more! Check out their site here

 

Taking surveys. There are so many sites to go on but the one I use is Valued Opinions. It’s very easy to use and surveys are frequent. Once you reach a certain dollar amount you can get gift cards, donate to charities, or even get some miles through Southwest!

Lucky Day app. This one isn’t necessarily saving money but you can get some awesome rewards through it! Literally it’s a scratcher/lottery app where you can win actual money and tokens! Tokens can be saved and used to get rewards. I just cashed out 10 million tokens for a $10 Starbucks gift card – how awesome is that! It’s not complicated and no strings attached – just open your app, play some scratchers, and get rewards!

What ways do you save for traveling? Comment and share below!

 

*Credit card is not sponsored in any way by me.