Photo of the Day

Perfect Popsicles

It’s never fun when your kid is sick. Mine was sick with a running fever for 10 days, a sinus and ear infection. It was a long week for her; missing her last week of school and end of the year parties. On top of that, she lost most of her appetite, and foods she usually loves she no longer had the desire to eat.

The other day, as she started to feel better, we headed to the one place that can cheer any kid up (and me) – the Disney Store. We browsed all the new shirts (my closet is full of them), stuffed animals (her bed is full of them), and items I’ve never seen the Disney store carry before (my kitchen will soon be full of them). The kiddo grabbed these adorable Mickey popsicle molds and I knew we had to have them.

We made some popsicles right away with some fruit juice. She still isn’t eating much, but at least I know she’s hydrating.

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Running, Uncategorized, What Makes Me Smile

Sacramento Zoo Zoom

My daughter is such a huge inspiration to me. She really enjoys running and is always asking me to sign her up for a 5k.  She’s pretty good too!!

So it was a joy to read our local zoo was doing a fun 5k run. We love our Sacramento Zoo. We gladly have yearly memberships there. It is small and quaint, but clean and full of lush trees and majestical animals.

The Zoo Zoom has you running through beautiful Land Park, where streets are lined with classic homes from the 30s and 40s and canopy trees that shaded us throughout.

The “little” pushed and pushed. She never wanted to quit, and our run ended right at the zoo, where we were granted free access for the day.  We quickly replenished with water and snacks and enjoyed the rest of the day watching the monkeys swing and the lions sunbath.

It’s such an honor to share this hobby with her and see her grow into the sport.

 

Travel, What Makes Me Smile

Weekend in San Francisco

My cousin, who I am so very proud of, had a very special weekend which we were grateful to be part of. Not only was it his birthday and promotion to Captain of the South San Francisco Fire Department, but he earned his bachelors in fire science. So we had a lot to celebrate!!

We were thankful for the warm, beautiful sun that greeted us as we headed into Pacifica, which is nestled in-between two lush mountains bordered by a sandy beach and the blue Pacific Ocean. I’m so grateful for my wonderful family – for all the loving hugs we get from uncles and aunts and countless noogies from all the boy cousins that will forever outnumber the Lange female population.

After the celebration, we headed to the infamous Taco Bell located on the beach. I like Taco Bell and I like the beach, so it’s a win-win.  Later that night we strolled Rockaway Beach (still in Pacifica). While I chilled, my brother and other cousin (another boy cousin) headed to Nick’s – Pacifica’s local bar and restaurant operating since 1927.

The next day we headed out for the sea cliffs in San Francisco. That is where you will find the historic Cliff House, the Sutro Baths, and Lands End, which has wonderful look out posts with glimpsing views of the Golden Gate and the never ending ocean with swelling waves crashing against the land. I loved sipping on my latte that I got at the cafe/visitors center, and taking in the view and breathing in the fresh air.

Then we headed to the Presidio for the Walt Disney Family Museum. I’ve been wanting to go for sometime and this was the perfect weekend for it. My pictures of the museum don’t do it justice. It was absolutely amazing. Every detail was thought of and the exhibits were the highest quality. My cousin and brother agreed, we could easily go back and spend a couple more hours just learning all about Walt Disney. Of course, I nearly cried at the end. What can I say, Disney gets to me.

After we spent a few hours at the museum, we drove into Sausalito for some really great burgers. The Napa Valley Burger Company offered quick service and gourmet burgers that didn’t disappoint. Our last stop was the Nut Tree in Vacaville for some sweet ice cream at the Fenton’s Creamery. As we all ate our ice cream, we watched the little run around on the playground. The Nut Tree has become our designation for a quick stop for trips between Sacramento and San Francisco.

The weekend was great. The weather was wonderful. And each place we went just filled in our time perfectly.

 

Crafts, Uncategorized, What Makes Me Smile

Dress for a Princess

It’s my cousin’s little girl’s 4th birthday. She is fierce with a heart of gold – the true makings of a princess. I knew exactly what I wanted to make her. A dress she can wear for when we go to Disneyland or to prance around at home.

I had Disney princess fabric that was waiting to be used for the right occasion. The pattern called for buttons (which I finally know how to do) and a placket (which was easy once I understood how to do one properly). Youtube is wonderful – I was able to watch the proper way to make a placket and buttonholes without screwing up the whole dress.  I love buttonholes now, btw!!!

Here is a glimpse of how it turned out.

 

 

Uncategorized, What Makes Me Smile

Girl Scout Cookie Time

It’s COOKIE TIME!!

You may have seen a flurry of Girl Scouts out in your neighborhood selling those delicious cookies from the classic Thin Mints to the newer, campfire friendly S’MORES. There is a cookie to delight any palette. But that’s not all the Girl Scouts do. I should know. I’m a troop leader for my daughters Brownie troop.

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Since our troop first formed, we have gone to museums, marched in parades, worked on outdoor skills, prepared ourselves for camping, and spent time doing community service projects.

If you asked a Girl Scout what their favorite thing about being a Girl Scout is you will get a myriad of answers. These were the answers from our-then Daisy girls last year:

“I loved making the dog toys for the animal shelter and visiting the animal shelter” 

“I enjoyed our PJ party and being with my friends” 

“I like all the cookies and singing Christmas carols to the seniors” 

Our troop is headed for some exciting times this summer. We will execute our first outdoor camping trip. Try a ropes course. Spend the night in the Monterey Bay aquarium. Take hikes and explore more of Northern California.

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Our local Girl Scout council also provides monthly activities that troops can participate in. Things like Self Defense, Babysitting 101, Night at the River Cats (Sacramento’s       Triple-A team) come to mind.

We are very proud to be part of the scouting community and many families with or without children can find ways to be part of it. There is always a need for strong leaders, people with special skills that can be taught to kids, and troop support.

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If you are interested in more information about Girl Scouts in the Sacramento area, please visit Girl Scouts Central Heart of California.

If you are interested in more information about Boy Scouts in the Sacramento area, please visit Boy Scouts of American Golden Empire Council.

If you or someone you know is moving to Sacramento or the surrounding area, I would love to show them what this great city has to offer.  Please email ucdlaura@gmail.com for a Realtor in the Sacramento area or visit www.sacramentohomesforsale.info 

Travel, What Makes Me Smile

Disney Never Gets Old

Me and my brother never get tired of talking about our trip to Disney World. I’m pretty sure most people are tired of hearing about it. But…I don’t think either one of us cares, so I’ll probably spend the rest of my days blabbing ‘Disney this.. and Disney that.’

I haven’t uploaded my DSLR pictures to my computer until today and seeing my photos sparked all those great memories from way back – way back 2 months ago. Don’t judge.

Unfortunately, I forgot how much I hobbled around WDW (did the Dopey Challenge and ran nearly 50 miles) and how little I used my DSLR to take pictures. But priorities, right?

Since this is a website about what makes me happy, I thought I would post some of these photos from our January 2018 trip to Walt Disney World.

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The epitome of the Magic Kingdom

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Gaston’s has the best drink. Le Fou’s Brew is a must get.

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I really don’t care for romance anything, but hey when in Rome.
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Sci-Fi Drive in Restaurant. My fav restaurant in WDW.
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Dang’t Mark!!!

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Transported back into the 1950s. Love it.

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Is this sponsored by Pizza Rat
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I love the Muppets. I hope they one day further develop this area.
What Makes Me Smile

Dutch Brothers Coffee in Sacramento

About a year ago a new Dutch Brothers showed up in my neighborhood. I’ve seen Dutch Brothers before. They are easy to spot around Sacramento. Usually a micro building with a drive thru window plopped in the middle of a parking lot to a small strip mall. Anytime I drove by a Dutch Brothers,  the line of cars would circle all around the small building. I would see cars around town with Dutch Mafia stickers. My partner constantly raved about them.

Clearly Dutch Brothers is popular with a large loyal following. But I’m usually late to the popularity parties. It took me 34 years to see the first Star Wars movie (or I guess that would be the 4th movie). It took me 20 years to finally start the Harry Potter series (btw I am officially a Potterhead). So, I thought maybe it was about time I see what was drawing people to apply for the Dutch Mafia which serves drinks called the Birthday Cake and the 911.

Winters in Sacramento can be fickle. The week before I was in a t-shirt and pulling out summer shorts, and this week the high in the area was the low 50s. That is cold for me, and thought this would be the perfect time for me to try a coffee over at Dutch Brothers.

Now, I’m not a huge coffee person. Someone like me probably shouldn’t even have caffeine. But I do enjoy the taste, so I usually get a decaf Americano. When I pulled up into a packed lane of cars, a delightful girl took my order from my car and helped me customize a drink. She recommended the decaf Americano with mocha and heavy almond milk. WOW!!! So good. Really smooth and just a perfect blend of the chocolate and almond milk.

That week I came back three more times and started my punch card (which is now full and I’m ready for my free drink).  But the superb drink is not what is bringing me back. It’s their wonderful service. From the moment someone takes your order until you drive away, the servers at Dutch Brothers just make you smile.

They asked how my day was, and if I had any plans. They gave the little Miss whip cream on top of her straw which just made her day. They really want you to drive away with a positive start to your day, ready to conquer the world.  Their glowing personalities are infectious and any business could take a lesson on how to connect with customers.

Here is Kaitlyn handing us our drinks with a huge smile. IMG_0184

We have lost our way of friendly customer service to a world of mobile orders leaving little to be desired. But not at Dutch Brothers. You will be greeted with servers interested in knowing who you are and making sure they provide the best service. When I stopped there this morning, Marisa, greeted me with a cheerful smile and said “Hi Laura. A decaf Americano with mocha and heavy almond milk.” She took the time to remember my favorite drink and my name.

Now when I head off to a showing, I always stop at Dutch Brothers to let their uplifting attitudes pump me up for a successful day.  I’ll continue to recommend my clients take the time to drive thru and let some of that Dutch Mafia attitude rub off on them.

People love Star Wars, Harry Potter, and the Dutch Mafia not because they are trendy, but because they are connecting people to their soul.  I think what we are seeing from this company is merely just the beginning of something much larger and I look forward to seeing their growth in the Sacramento area.

For more information about Dutch Brothers go to www.dutchbros.com

Are you new to Sacramento? Looking for a great place to lay your roots and need to find a home? Email me at ucdlaura@gmail.com and I would love to help and introduce you to our beautiful city.