California Haul

There's nothing like picking up a few items on a vacation that (for the most part) you really can't find anywhere else. California was definitely the spot to get some unique items and I love everything that I bought. There's even somethings that I got that for the life of me I can't find online, regardless I shared what I could!





What are some of your favorite things to buy when you're on vacation? Comment down below.

xoxo, Michele

Fifteen Days In California: Part 2

Continuing from part one is part two of our California trip. After Rocio and Gabe left Omar and I didn't have a lot planned. We had places we wanted to visit, but not like a set schedule or anything. Even though we had a few more things on our to-do list, this was the the most relaxing part of the trip. We literally did..whatever we wanted to. Relax.. go on an adventure.. pool day.. it was whatever we woke up and felt like doing! That is what a vacation is supposed to be after all.

Sunday: Gizmo's, Vanderpump Dogs, The Grove & Toy Story 4
On Sunday morning Omar and I decided to explore Los Angeles a bit more. We went downtown to explore and somewhere I really wanted to go was Gizmo's Cereal Bar. I saw it on an Instagram account and I knew Omar would love this place. It's not ridiculously overpriced, even though yeah I paid $10 for cereal, but you get to choose as many flavors as you want with as many toppings as you want and because it's California they had so many milk options. We ate cereal and watched cartoons just like we used to as kids. Super cute. We also visited the last place on the Vanderpump tour.. Vanderpump Dogs. It was beyond adorable in there and I wanted to take home all the dogs. Another thing on our list was to go to The Grove and walk around. It's always so pretty there and we ended the night eating a cheeseboard for dinner and watching Toy Story 4 (12/10 must see).

Fifteen Days In California: Part 2
Fifteen Days In California: Part 2
Fifteen Days In California: Part 2
Fifteen Days In California: Part 2

Monday: Universal City Walk & Photoshoot at Santa Monica Pier
Something that Omar and I love to do is just walk around and see where the day takes us. We decided to go to Universal City Walk and well.. walk around. We had time to kill before heading to Santa Monica Pier for a photoshoot that I had set up. When we got to Santa Monica Pier we played arcade games and watched as a movie was being filmed with drones. It was a very "LA" experience. Then I had booked one of my favorite YouTubers, Shelby Church (celebrity siting #3), to take some photos for my blog. All of the awesome pictures you've been seeing lately? All Shelby. She started her own website, Shuttr.com, where you can hire freelance photographers and videographers for an affordable prices in major cities. I highly, highly suggest using Shuttr and if you can book Shelby. She was wonderful to work with an I'm obsessed with the photos she took. You can view the blog post with all of these photos by clicking hereShelby's Instagram by clicking here and Shuttr's Instagram by clicking here.


Fifteen Days In California: Part 2
Fifteen Days In California: Part 2
Fifteen Days In California: Part 2
Fifteen Days In California: Part 2
Fifteen Days In California: Part 2
Fifteen Days In California: Part 2
Fifteen Days In California: Part 2

Tuesday: Grandpa's Restaurant, Shopping, Huntington Beach, Visiting My Cousin & Balboa Island
After we checked out of the AirBnB Omar and I headed to Southern California. We had plans to stay with my cousin, Michael, for a few days in Irvine and then to Anaheim. While we were waiting for my cousin to get off work we went to Huntington Beach. Now, Huntington Beach has a special place in my heart because it's actually where my dad is from. My grandpa and his siblings owned a restaurant called Sam's Seafood and then it turned into Don the Beach Comber and no sadly it's been closed down. However, the location has been classified as a landmark, so even though it's not a running restaurant right now, I hope whoever buys it next makes it something really great. It was still such a proud-Katsaris moment to be there. I've always seen pictures and heard stories, but it was really special to just be there in person. Overall, a great start to my morning. After we visited we just went shopping and had lunch before hitting the beach. We laid out and got our tan on before heading to Irvine to meet up with my cousin Michael. Let me start by saying my cousin's apartment is freaking awesome!! Omar loved his apartment complex and referred to it as the ultimate bachelor pad πŸ˜‚. That night Michael took us to Balboa Island which was sooo cool. I don't even know how to explain it. It was like Nantucket meets west coast. All of the houses were very cottage-esque and everyone was riding around on bikes or on their boats. Then we took a ferry to the island and had dinner, sight seeing on the island and ended the night at an old school candy shop. Such a great night.

Fifteen Days In California: Part 2
Fifteen Days In California: Part 2
Fifteen Days In California: Part 2
Fifteen Days In California: Part 2
Fifteen Days In California: Part 2
Fifteen Days In California: Part 2
Fifteen Days In California: Part 2

Wednesday: San Diego Zoo, Rooftop Hot Tub & Dinner
Something Omar wanted to do was visit San Diego Zoo so we made it happen. We took a day trip to San Diego and experienced the zoo that everyone is always talking about. It was really cool and I'm glad we went. Not to mention how much we laughed, I don't even remember half the things that were said, but I remember laughing a lot. We also had lunch at this restaurant that Omar's brother recommended, they had "exotic meat" on the menu.. Omar says it was good so I believe him! Then we headed back to Irvine. My cousin ordered sushi and we went to the rooftop hot tub which had a glass wall and overlooked the streets. Then we ate dinner by one of the fire pits. An actual and ideal California night.

Fifteen Days In California: Part 2
Fifteen Days In California: Part 2

Thursday: Pool Day
One of the most relaxing days we had was hanging out at my cousin's apartment. His apartment has two pools, a hot tub, two gyms, a golf simulator, grills and roof top fire pits. Hanging out there was so relaxing and one of Omar's favorite parts of the trip. Then of course seeing my cousin and hanging out with him was an added bonus! This is all we did on Thursday before checking into our hotel in Anaheim. Super chill day.

Fifteen Days In California: Part 2

Friday: Downtown Disney District, Shopping & Dave and Busters
Another day with no plans so we decided to explore. We went to Downtown Disney District (California version of Disney Springs) to get a feel of how the Disney parks are set up. Spoil alert–it's very different from Orlando. We found that Orlando overall was much more organized, more enthusiastic employees and overall a better park experience. Not that Disneyland was bad by any means, we had a great time, but Orlando is definitely better. The one thing that Disneyland had that Disney World doesn't have is the multiple fast passes you can get. You can get as many fast passes as you want in a day in Anaheim where as in Orlando you can only get 3 per park, per day. So, just something to note when planning your trips. Anyways, we walked around Downtown Disney District, did some shopping and grabbed some food. Then we decided to go to the outlet mall close by and go to Dave & Busters. If you've been to D&B you know how much fun it is. Omar and I played tons of games and won tickets to claim prizes but it was literally like a piece of candy and those crappy little toys you get, but still such a good time.

Fifteen Days In California: Part 2

Saturday: Laguna Beach & Cookout
Beach day!! Michael took us to Laguna Beach for the day and this was another highlight from the trip and here's why... first we went to the grocery store to get some snacks before going to the actual beach. While we were in the grocery store Omar comes up to me and says, "That's Tony." "Who?" I said and he replied, "Tony, from '13 Reasons Why,' he's over there with the chihuahua." So, I not-so-nonchalantly walked down the aisle pretending to look for something, saw the chihuahua and when I looked up, Christian Navarro (celebrity siting #4) was looking right at me. So what do I do? I turned right back around pretending like I lost πŸ˜‚. I know, so smooth. But it was him and that was the coolest celebrity siting we would see on this trip. After I completely embarrassed myself we went to the beach, haha. My cousin showed us how crowded the beach gets, but it's because no one knew there's a whole other half to the beach. We had to walk through a gated community and even though it's gated, it's not private property so we were able to walk down this street and to a public entrance of the beach, which wasn't crowded at all. The beach was beautiful and the heat to water temperature was perfect. We'd lay out in the sun for a bit, then just in the ocean, then back to tanning then back to the ocean. We decided to end the day with a cookout at my cousin's house with us and his friend. As us Balabon's (mother's side of the family) do we bought way too much food for four people, but we made some bomb food. Then we ended the night with Funfetti cake (even though Omar is a hater πŸ˜‹) it was like the perfect dessert to that day.

Fifteen Days In California: Part 2

Sunday: LAFC Soccer Game
Something else Omar decided he wanted to do was go to a LAFC Soccer Game. We met up with his friends Megan and Josh and we decided to grab some last minute tickets using one of those apps where you can get pretty cheap tickets. The tickets we bought were around $80 each, which wasn't bad considering when we asked the people at will-call how much tickets were she said $200. So as we walked into the arena we kept being directed higher and higher. We knew we bought cheap tickets, but we were confused as to why the ushers kept sending us to a new section. That was until we came to an usher who was blocking a velvet rope and when we showed him our tickets he let us by. Still confused at this moment until we found our seats I realized we were in a club seating. The seats were right on the glass and we were right above the lower-level crowd. We could see the entire field and when the boys went to get us drinks they came back with beers and food with smiles on their faces going, "This was all free!!!" We also were sitting right next to LAFC Players, we just didn't know it because we're fake friends, but that takes us to celebrity siting #5. We scored club seats for the game on a last minute ticket app and these were the $200 tickets that will-call was telling us about... how awesome!

Fifteen Days In California: Part 2
Fifteen Days In California: Part 2
Fifteen Days In California: Part 2

Stay tuned for part 3 of this series coming soon!

xoxo, Michele


By now you have started to see some of my California blog posts and even a few other posts where I've shared these amazing quality photos in a really nice all-white outfit. Those pictures, even though they all have a unique background to them, were actually shot all in the same day at the same location. You wouldn't know it though just by looking at them. That's because I decided to hire a photographer to get some pictures for my new and improved blog.

It all started when I was just catching up on my favorite YouTubers one day and one YouTuber that I really enjoy watching is Shelby Church. She posts all types of content, everything from real estate to photography to thrift store hauls. Her content is always up-to-date, constantly changing and very, very engaging. During one of her videos she started talking about a website she had created called Shuttr.com, this website is where you can hire local photographer and videographers for a reasonable price. It was super easy to use and all I had to do was see whose available in what area and what are their rates. Most photographers that I direct messaged on Instagram were going to charge me $300+ for a 45-minute session. Thank U, Next... and I decided to give Shuttr a try. My first thought was ... well let me see if Shelby was available. I love her work but I didn't get my hopes up thinking she was either not available or super expensive. Not only did she respond to me that day she was beyond affordable. I even changed the dates, number of people and number of outfits on her and she didn't even flinch.

When the day came I met Shelby at Santa Monica Pier. She was sooooooo friendly and easy to talk to. I wasn't even nervous to tell her like yeah I watch your videos and follow you already. She was just a really cool person to get to know. We walked all around the area and she knew exactly what pictures to get. She gave very clear directions and was moving constantly. She switched lenses with ease and even would get random sparks of ideas and we'd try them out. We for sure went over an hour long, but I think we were both just having so much fun we didn't even care. She didn't even mind that Omar was with us and took a couple pictures of us together as a bonus. Plus, her turn-around-time and the amount of edited photos you get is unreal.

As we started to wrap up (something I never would have asked for) she wanted to vlog a bit of our photo shoot and gave my blog a shout out *insert ugly crying emoji face.* That weeks vlog is up on her channel and you can view it by clicking the link hereShelby's Vlog. After the shoot her and Omar started talking about cars and she even offered us to come check out her new Tesla car and tell us all about it. Like I mentioned before, she was just a really friendly person and even though I walked away with some killer photos I also walked away with a new Internet friend yay!

Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr
Photoshoot With Shelby Church & Shuttr

I can't recommend Shuttr enough. It was the easiest tool to use and something that has seriously been missing in the online-creative world. It's hard when you're on a budget but want high-quality photos. Your friends can only do so much for you, yanno? If you're on the hunt for an affordable photographer or videographer I highly suggest checking out Shuttr.com and if you can book Shelby Church!


Thank you again Shelby for these AMAZING photos. I'm seriously obsessed.

Check out Shelby's socials here: Instagram | Main YouTube | Vlog YouTube | Shuttr 

xoxo, Michele


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