An update on Djinn Djinn

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I've been a little bit very distracted lately and it all has to do with this cute little face that is in all of my photos. Yes, Djinn Djinn. If you remember this post, he'd gone on a visit to the Vet recently and unfortunately there turned out to be a slight problem. Luckily, it was caught in time so he should make a full recovery (all prayers and good thoughts welcomed, though!) but he will need to have surgery soon to remove a calcium stone that I wish I knew how to explain better but it's all so scientific to me. In short, I am confident he will once again be the healthy little pup that he's always been and mostly I am just not looking forward to having him suffer through the recovery process and I hope he doesn't hate me for putting him through this but there really was no other option. My poor little baby.

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10 things my dad taught me

This post is coming to you about a day late since the weekend turned out to be busier than I anticipated. Still, in honor of Fathers Day, I wanted to share with you all some things my dad has taught me throughout my life. He is not a mushy type of person at all but knowing he won't be reading this (...still trying to get him near a computer), I think it's okay to tell you all that he's one of my bestest pals (both of my parents are, fyi- here's 10 things my mom taught me). 


1. See as much of the world as you can see. Never stop traveling.

2. If you invest in anything, let it be real estate. You can never go wrong with owning a piece of land (especially in California).

3. Whenever you can, buy stuff that's American made (or anything that's not made in China). Quality products are (often) worth the price.

4. Be your own boss if you can. Don't waste your life working for someone else so that they can accomplish their own dream.

5. A college education doesn't hurt but it's not the only way to enrich your life.

6. Read as much as you can. Know a little bit about every subject.

7. Basic survival skills. My dad is an outdoors guy so throughout the years I've picked up a few tips on survival. Not saying I could fend off a mountain lion but I do remember to always pack a blanket and water if going on any type of trip.

8. They don't make movies like they used to. In fact, they really don't make anything like they used to.

9. Learn skills that not everyone else knows (i.e. shorthand) that way if there is ever a demand for that skill, you will be one step ahead.

10. Don't be afraid to live - more often than not, taking chances is the only way to do so.

P.S. My dad is weird & doesn't like the internet so this is as good of a photo as I could manage- it was taken at the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland.

What has your father/father figure taught you? :)

California Mission Santa Ines

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Here in California, most elementary schools teach students about the California Missions which are a group of 21 Catholic churches spread throughout the state that were built in the late 1700's to mid 1800's. You can see a list of all the Missions here. They are all quite unique.

One of the required school projects in 4th grade was to create a miniature model of one of the Missions of our choice. It was such a fun art project- I still have mine because basically I'm a hoarder like that. The Mission I created is called San Luis Rey de Francia and unfortunately I have yet to see it in person but it's definitely a goal of mine- I hope to see all of the California Missions eventually.

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Mission Santa Ines is located in Solvang and it's honestly the most beautiful one I've seen yet. The grounds are so pretty with so much sunlight and vivid flowers all around. I completely forgot to go into the actual main chapel area but I did go into the gift shop. Even if you're not religious, I think the Missions are such nice places to visit because they represent so much of California's history (the good and the bad) and especially if you studied them in 4th grade you're more likely to have a special connection to them (or maybe that's just me...)


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A visit to Solvang, California

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It's official: I think I've found my new favorite touristy spot in California. It's called Solvang and it's advertised as the Danish Capital of America. Incredibly quaint, charming, and colorful are all perfect words to describe this hidden little gem of a town. I'd been here once or twice before back when I was a young teenager and could care less about windmills and cozy bakeries. Admittedly, I don't know much about Denmark (once again I'm sure Google will save the day) but if it's anything like Solvang portrays, I could definitely see myself visiting the actual country someday. I don't think most of you Europeans would be as interested in a town like this (especially if you're right next door to Denmark or even the Netherlands) but for us deprived Californians, it's the next best thing.

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If you're not aware, I sort of have a mini obsession with wooden shoes and Solvang proudly displays clogs wherever they get the chance including this gigantic one located right outside their main shoe store. In case you're wondering, I definitely took this opportunity to wear my red Swedish Hasbeens (pictured below the big clog photo) and proudly stomped around the busy streets. If that doesn't scream tourist, I don't know what does. But wearing my clogs in Solvang was nothing short of exciting. I saw another lady wearing her clogs (they looked like ones from Lotta from Stockholm) and I kinda wanted to be her bff.

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In summary, be sure to visit Solvang especially if you're a Californian (you're most likely not more than a few hours drive away) or if you're visiting California for a couple of weeks and have time to spare. Like I said, if you're from Europe, you might not be as excited to see a town tourist trap like this but really, I'll leave it up to you to decide...

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