My New Year Resolutions

  1. To stop cutting my own bangs. (Yes, I have bangs now…Heavy sigh)18iy1h9b61cydjpg

2. Learn to play the tin whistle. (Stop laughing.)

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And most importantly………

3. Drink more champagne!

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Current Read-An Invisible Thread

I just finished the book, “An Invisible Thread”.  It’s the true story of a high power sales executive and a panhandling young boy destined for a life on the streets.  Their  chance encounter  turned into a lifelong friendship changing both of their lives forever.

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If the topic interests you, then you will like this book. I was looking for a feel good story and this book hit the spot., but be sure to keep tissue nearby.

Fresno´s Not All Bad

Fresno California in the Central Valley gets a bad wrap. Sure it doesn’t come compare to Southern California or the Bay Area, but it has some good qualities. And it’s my home town!

Farmers Markets

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The Central Valley is an agriculture epicenter. You cannot beat the farmers markets Fresno offers.

Madera Wine Trail

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No need to travel to get to wineries, they’re right around the corner.

Tower District

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The Tower District is an area of theater, breweries, tattoo parlors and vintage stores.

Old Town Clovis

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Old Town maintains a western atmosphere with restaurants, bars, and a great place to go if you like shopping for antiques.

Lakes & Mountains

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And if you like outdoor recreation and beauty, it’s less than an hour away.

Yosemite National Park

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Yosemite is an easy day trip!

Fresno is not a vacation destination by any means. However, if you find yourself in the area there’s no need for dread. It’s not as bad as you think.

 

How I Budget Travel

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I love to travel and try to have a “big trip” once a year. However, travel is not cheap.  A website I have found and have used twice is Tripmasters.com. I have scoured the internet for the cheapest flight and hotel and still could not beat Tripmasters price. They offer not only flights and hotels, but also transportation and activities.

Another option I use for budget travel is Skyscanner.com. This website  searches all airlines for the cheapest flights available. You can also set up an alert to your email and everyday you will receive that days flight price for the trip you are interested in. I have a set price in my mind of what I want to pay and when I receive the alert at that price or lower, I book it.

When I book my own flight, I then go to Homeaway.com for an apartment to rent. Renting an apartment is much cheaper than a hotel. I rent apartments with good reviews and make sure the area is near to the attractions I am interested in. The downside to renting an apartment is there is no concierge. So you don’t have a local to help you with transportation and general information.

Lastly, travel off season/shoulder season. You can get better rates on everything from flights to food.  Always check weather conditions and whether attractions are still open during that time.

Tips: Don’t think traveling within your country is automatically cheaper than international. I often find that I can get a better deal (or just a few hundred dollars more) internationally (after adding in lodging/transportation/etc) than within the U.S. Check money conversion too. The dollar is strong in Mexico. The UK is cheaper now than it has been in years. Eastern Europe and third world countries are always a good bargain.

Healthy Sweet Tooth Snack

 Yummy Delicious

These energy balls from DelicouslyElla.com are just the thing. Super easy to make  using dates and cacao powder.  They definitely give you a little pick me up if you’re starting to feel sluggish.

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Ingredients:

200g almonds (1 cup)

400g medjool dates (2 cups)

4 tablespoons raw cacao powder

2 ½ tablespoons almond butter

2 tablespoons coconut oil

Method:

Begin by placing the almonds in the food processor and pulsing until they are nicely crushed.

Add the medjool dates and coconut oil and pulse until it’s fully mixed

Add the almond butter and cacao and then mix again in the food processor.

Take a tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a ball. Continue doing this until the mixture has finished.

Place the rolled balls into the freezer for around 1 hour, then remove and store in an airtight container in the fridge.