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Newport Back Bay Hiking Trail

One of my favorite hiking spots in Orange County is the Newport Back Bay. It has all the best things I look for in a place to take a hike with Cash. It has a view of the bay, places where there’s great incline, 10.5 mile loop, sites of beautiful houses, and you can take your dog on all the trails!

When you take your dog to the Back Bay be prepared for the other animals. There’s a lot of dog walkers and people on horses. Apparently there are rattle snakes and bobcats but I have never even seen one in all the years I’ve been hiking there. There are some raccoons, coyotes (especially around dusk and dawn), rabbits, nearly 200 species birds, and lots of rodents and harmless gopher snakes. There’s nothing to be worried about if you do see any of these animals.

Some of the rules of having your dog with you in the Back Bay is that the dog is required to be on leash, although I have seen many people get away without a leash as long as the dog is behaved and there’s no bikers around. Make sure to always pick up after your dog– there are dog bags located on the loop and by the parking lot. There’s no sign saying anything but it’s best to stay on the trails and out of the mud because it can disrupt the ecosystem of the microorganisms. I however did not get this memo till after Cash and I got stuck in the mud…

When you’re exploring the Back Bay there are many enchanting spots. There’s a spot with a little bridge, trees, and running water. There are steps that lead down to the bay. You can walk by the back of houses that overlook the bay. There’s even a Science Center where you can learn more about the Back Bay and the wildlife there.

If you prefer to ride a bike or even a horse there are trails for bike riders and horse trails. There are some trails where you can’t take your bike or horse but there will be signs to guide you.

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Must Visit this Newport Beach Flower Shop

Making your home feel beautiful and cozy is very important. Having fresh flowers not only creates a great ambience, but it also creates a nice fragrance in the home. I would prefer to have flowers weekly, but I can realistically afford every other week, so it’s important for me to find some that last long!

Here are some keys to having longer lasting flowers:

– Find flowers that are not yet wilting. When the flowers are wilting that means they are dying, so those flowers aren’t in their prime, and we want the flowers looking fresh and alive.

– Flowers that are buds are a great option because they still need to bloom.

– After you bring home flowers, cut the stem on an angle in order to help the stem better absorb water.

– Change the water daily. Changing the water daily helps prevent mold and it keeps the flowers looking better for longer.

– Use flower nutrient packs or sugar. Flower nutrient packs provide nutrients to the flowers which will help them last longer. If you don’t get flower packs then plain white sugar works well too!

– The majority of the time, local flower shops are going to have better quality flowers that are going to last a little bit longer. This isn’t always the case though– you can find some great flowers in your grocery store. When I purchase flowers at grocery stores, it’s usually from Trader Joes, Whole Foods, or Sprouts.

The flower shop that I love getting flowers from is a cute little flower store in Corona Del Mar called Bloom. Bloom has a wide variety of flowers and has a couple of great florists that can arrange a beautiful arrangement for any occasion. I went there the day before Halloween– they had many beautiful arrangements with blacks and oranges–  I’ve never seen anything like it before.     

The day that I went to Bloom, I ended up bringing home some beautiful pink and white roses with eucalyptus! The flowers really lightened up my home, and the Eucalyptus brought a great fragrance to my home.

I love to put my flowers on my night stand to add life to my room. I usually get roses that are pink representing sweetness and romance. I love the look of hydrangeas, but generally I tend to stick with pink roses. I was so pleased with the beautiful pink roses I chose! I hope you found these tips helpful and will use them when your buy you next arrangement. 

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Palm Springs Travel Guide with Terra Newell

Palm Springs Getaway Tips

One of the best vacation getaways in Southern California is Palm Springs. When you live in Orange County or Los Angeles you can get caught up with your busy “city” life. Even the ocean can get a little mundane and monotonous at times. Every now and then you need to step away and find somewhere a little bit calmer. With COVID times, life obviously changed drastically, so I wasn’t able to travel like I normally do. Luckily, a trip to Palm Springs recently presented itself, specifically at La Serena Villas and I jumped at the opportunity to hit the road. Today on the blog, I’m sharing about my experience and giving you some tips and tricks if you decide to venture to the city known for warm weather, beautiful palm trees, and unforgettable sunsets.

When to Travel to Palm Springs

In my opinion, September is the perfect time to travel to Palm Springs. And trust me, I’ve been many, many times and by far – this is the best month. It’s still hot enough to hang by the pool however it’s not as scorching hot as May, June, July, and August. So you’ll still enjoy the warmth of the sun’s rays in such a pleasant way. During this particular trip, my friend Dan joined me. We’ve been the best of friends since the 3rd grade. Since Palm springs is only an hour and a half without traffic from where I live, we stayed for just one night. 

La Serena Villas Recap

Photo credit: laserenavillas.com

When we arrived at La Serena Villas, we found parking easily and walked to check in. The check in process was a breeze, and someone offered to give a tour and showed us to our room. The safety protocols were all explained thoroughly, and we felt very safe. They have about 16 or less rooms so there weren’t many people there, which contributed to a cozy, safe feeling.

Photo credit: laserenavillas.com

After making it to our room, I was ready to lounge by the pool. So I threw on my Lspace swimsuit and cute little cover up.

The pool was quiet, but had a nice vibe with some great tunes playing. As we sat down, someone came and took our order for drinks and gave us the code for the menu. The food at the poolside restaurant was impeccable. I of course ordered a burger (hello, it’s vacation!) We really enjoyed our time relaxing. Dan and I sat at the poolside for a few hours and then decided it was time to get ready to see what was open in Palm Springs. 

I slipped on my Lani The Lani Lennon Dress, did my make up with a red lip, and threw my hair in a high pony. In Palm Springs there is a row of restaurants and shops so we went down there. It was about a 5 minute walk from the hotel. We found this little Mexican restaurant downtown called Las Casuelas Terraza. The food wasn’t mind blowing, but definitely a good experience. I ordered nachos and guacamole and chips. 

We finished up our meals and then took a walk to check out the local bar scene to see what was open. As we arrived at that block, we discovered that many were closed, and the ones that were open, you were required to order food at. I understand the reasoning behind this, but it was just an interesting reminder how different the world is these days. Being that we just chowed down on Mexican food, our minds were made up for us. We succumbed to our fate and headed back to the hotel to relax. We got in our comfy clothes and watched some shows on Bravo. To be honest, it was quite an enjoyable great night.

The next day we did a little photo shoot. I decided to wear my Lani The Label Felicity Dress and then got dressed up in my Place swimsuit and cover to head to the pool. We relaxed there for an hour or so, soaking up the last bit of time we had there. When it was time to leave, check out was just as easy as it was to check in. This Palm Springs mini vacation was so needed and restful. If you’re headed to Palm Springs, be sure to check out La Serena Villas for a nice (and safe) stay!