Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I’ve moved…

Hi! I’ve moved to a new web domain. You can find me at http://withlove-rachel.com

Thanks, and hope to see you there!

Thoughts on the Boston Marathon

There is nothing that I can say about the horrible events at the Boston marathon yesterday that hasn’t already been said or will in any way make it easier to process. That is just the thing, how do you process such an event?

This post is more for future me, who will maybe some day be able to process this. This is especially for future me who in exactly 2 months will cross my first marathon finish line. That finish line has been on my mind for several months; every time I want to give up, I think about how it will feel on June 16th to cross that line and know that my hard work paid off. Knowing that others share that same dream and motivation is what establishes such a strong community and bond among runners.

So to think that someone would deliberately hurt people at the very place that symbolizes human strength and spirit, to target those who have sacrificed so much for so many months, and those who came to support and congratulate their loved ones for the hard work… it’s just too much.

June 16th is going to be a bittersweet day, and as I cross that finish line, those whose lives were destroyed by that same dream will definitely be on my mind.

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California Love: The Madonna Inn

As you drive up the 101 past Morrow Bay and through the hills to San Luis Obispo, you will spot one of my favorite landmarks: The Madonna Inn. 

As a child I was fascinated by the building and begged my grandparents to let us stop there. They always chuckled and kept driving as I watched the pink gingerbread house– named after my favorite pop star!– fade into the highway.

But now that I am a grown woman, I am free to stop in whenever I want.
The Madonna Inn has been around since 1958. The history states that the original owner is quoted as having said, “I want people to come in with a smile and leave with a smile. It’s fun.” And you can’t help but smile inside this place.
It’s… pink. Aggressively pink. Awesomely, aggressively, pink.
I’ve never stayed overnight; the bar itself is plenty for me. 
I mean, where else can you find a pink bar?!


(The sweet potato fries are really good, too. I am usually disappointed by sweet potato fries, but Madonna Inn fries are just as awesome as the pink bar.)
And then there is the dining room…
But the most famous sight of all is the men’s restroom. I asked C to go in and take a picture for me, but he instead took video that was not appropriate for this bar, so here’s proof from the internet of the famous waterfall urinal:

The rooms are equally awesome; each has its own theme. The Madonna Inn’s website has a grid of different room amenities–proof that I am not making this up. Here are some pictures from their site of some of the rooms:

If you enjoy kitsch, pink, gooey desserts smothered in frosting and sprinkles, and watching old couples dancing cheek to cheek (and if you don’t, I probably don’t want to know you), then you MUST stop in and check out the Madonna Inn. 
* all photos, unless otherwise noted, are from my Galaxy S III. Follow me on Instagram for more!

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P.S.– Want a chance to win some cold hard cash?

Saturday, April 13th was my birthday and well, you know what that means! 
IT’S A CELEBRATION!
Even though I don’t like getting older, I still celebrate BIG. Including using the line “It’s My Birthday Week” at least a thousand times. (HA, ya my husband LOVES that)
I am so excited to be working with some fabulous bloggers to give one of YOU 
$200 PAYPAL CASH! 
One winner + A lot of Cash = CELEBRATION!
Enter through Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

High Five for Friday

I am one of those annoying people who doesn’t work Fridays. I can feel your scorn through the screen, and it’s cool; I understand.
However, this week has been a busy one, and so I am really looking forward to the weekend…filled with grading papers.

But still, there are a few things that made me smile this week…

1. My indoor succulent garden.

I still need to find a new pot for the aloe, but I love these happy little succulents on the table behind the couch. I like knowing that I can at least keep these guys alive– and if I can’t, well, then that makes me less nurturing than the desert, which will be pretty sad…
2. Philosophy’s Help Me night cream.
This small tube may be a little bit expensive, but it does wonders. As I am now in my 30s, I worry about fine lines and sun damage. Also, because I take BC pills, I sometimes get dark spots from “pregnancy mask” that  I am paranoid will look like a mustache! This night cream has faded those dark spots and smoothed out my skin. 
3. Fun with Amazon product reviews. If you want to laugh until you cry, read the reviews on these ridiculous pens:
4. My April Birch Box arriving yesterday.
Yes that glass of wine with it was totally necessary. Birch Box totally nailed it this month; I have been looking for a new eye cream and a good SPF day moisturizer, and I can’t wait to try these out. The body gel smells wonderful, and the gluten-free macaroons were a pleasant surprise. I can’t use the shampoo (Keratin, remember) but I am sure one of my girlfriends will be happy to take those samples off my hands. 
5. This gif. For some reason I can’t stop watching it, and I dare you to not smile at this:
Hehehe!
And here’s something to get your booty shakin’ into the weekend:

Happy Friday!  
And since it’s Friday and we all love Fridays, we thought it would be fun to offer a fabulous giveaway!
I’ve teamed up with a few lovely ladies to offer you a $75 PayPal Cash Giveaway! 
Isn’t that awesome?! 
I love giving stuff away!!
Use rafflecopter to enter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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$300 Tory Burch GC Giveaway!!

OH EM GEE guys, O.M.G.

Anyone feel like splurging?
What would YOU buy with a $300 Tory Burch gift card? Don’t know? Well, Lauren from the Style Elixir was kind enough to suggest pairing that Small Center Stripe Ella tote with a pair of black Chelsea ballet flats. I’m in love with that poppy red Ella tote and the nude Reva ballet flats.
I’ve teamed up with these 17 other amazing bloggers to bring you a little treat!

1// Lisette 2// Raven 3// Rachel 4// Catalyn 5// Erin 6// Stephanie 7// Lindsay 8// Jess 9// Samantha 10// Martha 11// Nicole 12// Shannon 13// Rachel 14// Nadine 15// Kristine 16// Lisa 17// Stevie 18// Marquis

Giveaway Info

– Entries will be verified.
– Open worldwide.
GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday Faves, Road Trip Edition

This week C and I are road tripping the new Tesla up the central coast to test out range and ease of finding charging stations (so far, so good). We’ve been hanging out in Santa Barbara and my all time favorite place, Big Sur. 

So with that in mind, here are the things that are rocking my world this week:


1. Coppola Keratin dry shampoo spray.

image via

I had another keratin treatment just before I left, which meant no washing my hair or putting it up for four days. Thank god for this dry shampoo, mostly for C’s sake. 
BTW, a post about Keratin treatments will be coming soon. If you have questions about it, let me know in the comments. 

2. Hotels/ cabins/restaurants that offer free Wifi. Or Weefee as they pronounce it everywhere else in the world. Look. Wifi should come with your lodging. Don’t charge guests for wifi. Don’t tell me that the beautiful view is their answer to wifi. This is 2013, and a lot of people, like myself and my significant other, need to remain connected for work purposes.
Not only did the Canary hotel have a wonderful bed, they had free effing wifi!


3. Deep. Fried. Pickles. 
Eff yeah. I understand that these are nothing new to southerners, but to a California girl like myself,  these were a revelation. 

I found these beauties at the Maiden Publick House in Big Sur. There were more to the order, but I was obviously distracted before taking a picture.

4. Lovely small bookstores with cats that roam the premises. 
There are a few that I have come across– Village Bookstore in San Clemente comes to mind– but nothing beats The Henry Miller Library  in Big Sur. 


This is Theo. He’s a bit indifferent to guests who stop in and he naps on the deck nestled among the Redwood trees. He has a good life. The Henry Miller Library is a good place with coffee and wifi and good books.

5. Hikes that take you to majestic views.
I will be posting more about Big Sur in the future, but as I sit in a pub with fried pickles and free wifi, I thought I’d share this with you all:



Heaven. On. Earth. And this is just across the highway from the towering redwood trees.

As usual, since it’s Friday and I like to join Whitney to Backthatazzup, I leave you with this, in honor of our road trip:


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Friend Connect Blog Hop!

It’s Tuesday again which means it’s time for the Friend Connect Blog Hop!
It’s the time to meet new friends and find new blogs. You can choose to follow the cohosts in whatever way is best for YOU! Here are some of my favorite ways: GFC, BlogLovin’, HelloCotton, RSS, Twitter, Facebook.
Ok, so let’s get to the party, shall we?
RULES are simple:
1. Follow your host 
The First link below
2. Follow your co-hosts 
The Next 8 links below
3. Link up below using your main blog url not a specific post.
4. Make sure to visit some of the blogs in the link up and follow them 
and if you want to leave them a comment, I’m sure they’d appreciate that as well.
5. Tweet about this blog hop

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);

6. Share about this blog hop by grabbing a button and putting it on your sidebar!
I have cohost spots available! Email me if you’re interested at melissa@thelifeofanotsoordinarywife.com

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