Friday, April 29, 2016

Activated Charcoal Soap from 23 Soap Company

The kid has sensitive skin and has been dealing with bouts of eczema on and off over the past four or five years. Luckily, his skin usually clears up quickly.

However, in December he had another flare up, and that flare up did not clear up like the ones in the past. We used prescription medicine but didn’t get the results we had in the past.

Activated Charcoal Soap to Improve Eczema

In early March we had finished shopping at the Campbell Farmers’ Market and saw a sign from 23 Soap Company that mentioned that its activated charcoal soap may be beneficial for individuals with eczema and other skin conditions. At that point, we had another appointment scheduled with the kid’s dermatologist as we really didn’t want to use the prescription medicine long-term and were ready to try about anything.  

23 Soap Company 1

I literally thought: “Well, what do we have to lose? We may as well try it.” And so we did. The kid used the soap that night in the bathtub, and after his bath his skin was less red and the rash seemed improved, too. We thought that the improvements were probably our imagination… But his skin continued to improve every day until it was completely clear in about three weeks. It was truly like magic.

As a bonus, the soap is pretty, smells really good, and comes beautifully packaged. Andy likes the fact that the soap dries well and doesn’t get “mushy” like typical bar soaps.

23 Soap Company 3

I know that everyone’s skin (and especially eczema) is different, so I can only report on our results. But since the kid’s results were so amazing, I thought I had to share our experience. To learn more about 23 Soap Company, their story, what’s in the soap and information on how to purchase it, visit the 23 Soap Company website. I thought the name of the company was interesting as it is a reminder that our skin can absorb material into our bloodstream in as little as 23 seconds! What you put on your skin really matters!

Linking up with: Sweet Inspiration, Thursday Favorite Things

Questions: Have you ever heard of activated charcoal soap? If so, have you ever used it? What was your experience? 

Be well,

[Disclaimer: As always, all opinions are my own, and I bought the 23 Soap Company soap with my own money and received no compensation to write this post.]

Friday, April 22, 2016

11th Annual Uncorked Wine Festival at Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco

We love visiting Ghirardelli Square when we are in San Francisco. Its location right on the water - just a short walk from Fisherman’s Wharf or Fort Mason - makes it the ideal spot to stop and enjoy yourself. There are great views of the Bay, restaurants, the famous Ghirardelli chocolate shop where chocolate is made right in front of your eyes (and which has great ice cream sundaes!), unique shops, a bakery, a wine tasting room - an overall great place to hang out! Plus, there is even free street parking nearby! Unheard of in San Francisco!

Ghirardelli Square
Ghirardelli Square 2

Local readers have an additional reason on May 7, 2016 to visit Ghirardelli Square because the 11th Annual Uncorked Wine Festival takes place from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. 
Uncorked will feature wines from 50 Northern California wineries. There will also be craft beer, and Lagunitas Brewing Company will kick off their Ghirardelli Square Summer beer garden, which will start Memorial Day Weekend. In addition, festival goers can enjoy live music, food from Off The Grid, and a large craft fair by PopUpsters.
Uncorked is family-friendly, and general admission tickets are $60 (VIP tickets are $90). Tickets include a souvenir wine glass and unlimited tastings. A portion of the proceeds will go to Bay Area Green Tours, a non-profit that strives to provide experiences and events that demonstrate sustainable economy and inspire environmental responsibility.

We look forward to attending Uncorked and tasting, learning about and experiencing Northern California wines and enjoying beautiful Ghirardelli Square.

Question: Have you ever visited Ghirardelli Square? If so, how did you like it?

Be well,

Friday, April 8, 2016

5 Fun Places to Visit on the California Central Coast

We got to spend Spring Break in Avila Beach. Avila Beach is about a 10 - 15 minute drive from downtown San Luis Obispo, and it’s one of our favorite places to relax and recharge.

Avila Beach

Avila Beach

Avila Beach is a small town, with a cute little downtown area. There are numerous unique shops as well as several wine tasting rooms. Plus, there is a nice beach. While you won’t be able to walk for miles on the beach, the unique location of Avila Beach within San Luis Bay often results in slightly warmer weather than other beaches on the Central Coast. It’s also a great place for kids to play with a couple playgrounds right by the beach.

Port San Luis

Port San Luis Walk

One of our favorite activities while in Avila Beach is walking from downtown Avila to Port San Luis. The views of the beach during the walk are always so calming. On the pier are two fish markets, and we love getting fresh, local fish and cooking it ourselves along with some veggies.

Bob Jones Trail 

Bob Jones Trail

The Bob Jones Trail leads from Ontario Road (parallel to Highway 101) to downtown Avila Beach. The 3-mile mostly paved trail is ideal for family outings as you can walk it, ride your bike, or roller blade. Part of the trail is in the shade, but do make sure to protect yourself from the sun as you’ll walk in the sun for part of it.

Morro Bay 

Morro Bay Beach 3
Morro Bay Beach 2
Morro Bay Beach 1

Morro Rock in Morro Bay is impressive and worth a visit. There are numerous restaurants with fresh, delicious seafood as well as a number of shops with unique clothes and other merchandise. Plus, the beach is amazing as you can walk up and down it for hours. It’s also the perfect place to find sand dollars, shells, and pretty rocks. You also have numerous options to go on fishing or whale watching boat trips.

Breweries on the Central Coast

Barrel House Brewing
BarrelHouse Brewing Company in Paso Robles 
Central Coast BrewingCentral Coast Brewing in San Luis Obispo 
The Libertine Brewery
The Libertine Brewing Company in Morro Bay

No trip is complete without some beer for Andy. On our recent trip, we visited three breweries. All were kid- (and it seemed pet-) friendly and had good beer. There are numerous breweries on the Central Coast, and our visits were determined by location and opening hours. But we would definitely go back to each one. On our way from the Bay Area to Avila Beach, we stopped at BarrelHouse Brewing Company in Paso Robles. It’s a fairly new brewery with a beautiful tasting room and plenty of seating outside. Andy loves sour beers, and on the day we visited there was one sour on tap. It was very enjoyable and so were all the other beers we tasted. In San Luis Obispo we visited Central Coast Brewing. I love their fun collection of beer bottles from all over the world. There is limited seating available inside as well as barstool seating outside. Central Coast Brewing has quite a varied selection of beers on tap and we enjoyed what we tasted. Finally, on our way back home we stopped at The Libertine Brewing Company in Morro Bay. It’s a funky place that specializes in sours. If you sit by the window, you have a fabulous view of Morro Rock.

It was really nice to get away for spring break, relax, enjoy nature and spend time together. It was our first family vacation since my dad suffered a major stroke right before spring break last year, and we are very grateful that he is doing much better.

In other news, the fabulous Sylvia from 40+ Style recently interviewed me for her style interview series. If you want to learn a bit more about me, you can read my style interview here.

Linking up with: Sweet Inspiration, Thursday Favorite Thing

Question: Where is your favorite place to relax? 

Be well,