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Ellwood Monarch Grove & Santa Barbara

12 Apr

Posted by: Katie

This last December I met up with my brother in LA and we went up to visit our mom and aunt in Santa Barbara (we took the train- it took only about two hours. So much fun).

We did all sorts of fun things but one of my favorite adventures was going  to the Coronado Butterfly Preserve! It is in Goleta, CA close to the University of California, Santa Barbara campus and was such a surprise treat. I never knew that when Monarch butterflies migrate South they come together in certain spots and I guess this is a place that they stop and huddle together (cuddling butterflies!) for their “over-wintering time” which is typically from November through February. The recommended months for seeing the peak number of butterflies are December and January.

This way to butterflies

The Monarchs were hanging from the eucalyptus tree branches in huge clusters and apparently when the weather is a little warmer or the sun is on them, they fly around more. When we came upon the clusters I was shocked to see how big and how many of them there were. We did see butterflies flying around but it was not like a snowglobe with butterflies all around you (although that would have been cool too). It was such a beautiful, quiet place that I felt really lucky to have been able to experience it.

Those aren't all leaves they are thousands of butterflies!

Butterfly clusters high in the trees

The preserve is 9.3 acres and encompasses the butterfly grove, woodlands and meadows and trails linking the Ellwood Main Monarch Grove to Ellwood Shores coastal bluffs, Ellwood Mesa. Spearling Preserve Open Space, the Devereux Slough and the beach. The trails are not “hikes” and you can wear flip flops comfortably, although you might prefer wearing shoes because it can get a little muddy in areas. If you continue past the grove like we did you will come to a beautiful bluff overlooking the ocean.

My mom and brother

Other notable things from that trip that I would like to revisit were the Farmers Market on State Street, San Ysidro Ranch and the beach.

Farmer's Market on State Street


San Ysidro Ranch

I am excited for my next trip to see my mom, aunt and more of Santa Barbara.


Friday, I’m in LOVE…

17 Feb

…with Pasadena, CA
Last weekend I visited Pasadena. It is such a charming place and I took some pictures of some of the things that made me smile. *Katie*

City Hall, Cherry Blossom Trees, Succulent Wreath & Rose Bowl Swap Meet

…with Awards Shows
The Grammys are always one of my favorites. This year’s show was great and even though I didn’t get to catch the whole thing because I forgot to record the first part I had some high and low lights. Highlights: Adele rocked it. She had an amazing performance after recovering from all of her throat problems and really won my heart with her humble and excited acceptance speech. Katy Perry took her cue from Adele and used her breakup with Russell Brand to perform a great new angry song. Lowlights: Nicki Minaj. From her red carpet arrival with the “pope” to her creepy exorcism performance I wasn’t feeling any of it.  *Katie*

uh uh

…with Valentine’s Day
I have always been a big fan of Valentine’s Day, probably mostly because it is my brother’s birthday, and I always had so much fun giving and receiving silly Valentines in school. This year was extra special because it was Arizona’s 100th birthday and of course, I got to celebrate with my Valentine. *Katie*

…with Häagen-Dazs Sorbet
This stuff is amazing.  I did my grocery shopping this week with every intention of not buying cookies or cake, but we all know I can’t go a day without something sweet so I settled for this sorbet.  I bought the Raspberry, Strawberry, and Blackberry Cabernet flavors; all are so delicious and sweet, and they’re all natural with ZERO fat calories.  They also come in Orchard Peach, Zesty Lemon, Mango, and Chocolate.  I’ll be going back for more this weekend. *Liz*

…with DVR Catch-Up!
South America was AMAZING (I’ll post all about it next week)!  However, our DVR is so backed up all I’ve been doing after work this week  is parking myself on the couch in my little nest of a couch-bed and watching as many shows as I can.  Also, Cookie Monster couldn’t be more excited we are home. *Liz*

Favorites From the Weekend

6 Feb

Posted by: Katie

Liz has been living it up Argentina so she will be sharing all of her favorites from the trip when she gets back but my favorites from the weekend were:

Facial at Salon Embellish
This was my favorite facial I have gotten with a Living Social deal! This cute salon is right behind Urban Beans (a favorite coffee shop of mine) on 7th St between Osborn & Indian School. I had a one hour facial and eyebrow wax and it was a really refreshing and nice way to start off my Saturday! They used Aveda products and essential oils and at the end she used the Blue Oil on my neck and shoulders and it smelled like peppermint. I think it would be the perfect thing to use to help a headache.

Super Bowl Sunday
I am not a football fan but I always celebrate Super Bowl Sunday with friends and normally am excited for the commercials or halftime. This year I was not impressed with the commercials but had a lot of fun with friends and yummy snacks. I was interested in watching Madonna’s  halftime show and it was pretty entertaining with a nice touch of awkward. I was glad Madonna sang Like A Prayer but I am not a big fan of her new song.

Halftime show

Favorites from the Weekend!

12 Dec

Hanging out with my Dad
Friday night I went over to my Dad’s house and we made a delicious concoction for dinner (it was something he thought of and he is really great in the kitchen so it turned out amazing), talked, and watched Elf for the first time this winter! *Katie*

My Dad and me, Pocahontas

Pine Party
Some of my sorority sisters got together at Grazie in Old Town Scottsdale for our (kind of) annual Pine Party. We had lunch and did a white elephant gift exchange, so fun. *Katie*

Weekend Trips to San Diego
We took an overnight trip this weekend to visit some friends and pick up our annual ornament from the Hotel del Coronado. Even though our trip was short I had the best time listening to Dave and all his fraternity brothers reminisce about life during “I-Week” (initiation week) and all the trips they’ve taken to Europe and Asia.  You wouldn’t believe some of the shenanigans they got themselves into. *Liz*

Phone Call From Dad

16 Nov

Dad: “Yeah you are!”

K: “What?”

Dad: “Awesome!”

Love phone calls like that.

Happy Birthday K!!!!!!

25 Oct

HOORAY! Today is K’s birthday and she is going to have the best day everrr!!!! She already got a rad gift from her bf, the sweet sweet camera that she’s been drooling over for months, and she’ll get my gift tomorrow (she’s going to love it), so I hope she has a day filled with love and happiness and more gifts 🙂

Happy Birthday, BFF!

Ella and Grizzly wish you the best birthday, too!!!

I seriously wish this was true because Christmas is my favorite holiday, but I forgive you for not being Jesus

Haha you aren't adopted but this made me laugh a lot!

To the girl I’ve known since I was 4, who built forts with me, had dance parties to Blink 182, can rap Eminem’s Lose Yourself with me, created the greatest dance video of all time, had and worked some sweet sausage roll bangs, constantly makes me laugh, and speaks to me in the form of laughs and awkward looks… I LOVE YOU!!!!! I wish you the best birthday ever!!


I Thought I Was Past Fart Jokes

4 Oct

I’m not going to talk about work too much on here, but I work at a  very conservative and professional place. I am the youngest person in my office and outside of lunch I definitely keep my silly locked up.

Today we had a really long morning meeting and I am, 1) not a morning person… at all and 2) was bored. So afterwards I saw my very professional and 40-ish year old friend Tom and complained a little.

Me: Oh man, that wealth advisory meeting was brutal.

Tom: Why, did you have a fart attack?

I thought I was above fart jokes but I seriously kept laughing about it all day.

Ps. If I am having a really hard time keeping my eyes open in a meeting or in class or anything like that, my secret favorite thing to do is hold my breath. You can’t fall asleep holding your breath.


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