Monday, May 8, 2017

HAVE TIME TO LEAN? THEN YOU HAVE TIME TO CLEAN (OR AT LEAST fake it)


MAY 2017

Those winter doldrums have officially given way to flights of fancy, but before you tiptoe through the tulips, you must shoo all of those dust bunnies away. Or at least make your visitors think you did.

Most of us enjoy having people over for some R & R, and we usually think we've gotten our act together just enough on the dust-front to pass for something a few notches down from a clean-freak, but you know what happens when the doorbell rings and you welcome in your first guest; you immediately notice every little speck of dirt and scuff mark! Relax, you are *most likely* noticing more than your guests are and hey, they would probably still be your friend even if you're a bit like one of the beloved, yet unkempt, characters on Peanuts, buuuuuut... 


Want to head into the season ready to rock-n-roll (or just have some friends over for an impromptu cookout)? Here are some quick ways to turn a 😬 into a ☺️ when you open the front door and let them in.


1. THE SWIFF!

Not an Olympic sport, although it should be. This is really the quickest way to get rid of the dust bunnies, sand (you don't even live near the beach?) and general detritus that somehow finds its way into your home. Really get up next to those baseboards too and if you have the chance, give that little ledge on top of the baseboards a good wipe-down. Dust gets everywhere! 

2. BLEACH THE BOWLS

Pour a cup or two of bleach into the toilet bowl and let it chill for a bit. It'll save you from scrubbing and in the meantime, you can tackle some of the other items on this list.

3. HALLOWEEN IS OVER

Clean-up around the doorways people will be using and sweep away spiderwebs and dirt. Not only will you help prevent guests from tracking-in more grime, you'll prevent the dreaded wind-milling and arm-flailing that results from walking into an invisible spider web and leading everyone to believe your home may very well be haunted. Give the front porch/walkway a few sweeps of the broom too.

4. Find yourself a few good baskets

Grab a few cheap wicker baskets and use them to collect random items that belong in other rooms. Each room gets a basket, just place corresponding items that are out of place in their appropriate basket and it'll be easier to deliver them to where they truly belong. If you don't have time to put all items back where they go, they'll at least be in the basket and not under your guest's feet. Just don't forget to put them away eventually.

5. THE WINDOWS ARE THE EYES OF THE HOME

Pay special attention to the sliders. They're big and they show all the dirt, especially when they lead out to the party area and when the spring and summer sun shine through, you can see it all. Clean glass windows really go a long way into making guests think you are a very clean person. 

6. CLEAR THE COUNTERS

Clear the clutter on your kitchen counters or at least place things into groups with as much space in-between. The less clutter, the more feeling of cleanliness and flow. If you do manage to clear them off, use the opportunity to assess if you really need even little thing put back. Clear counters are kinda awesome.

3. EITHER DO ALL OF THE DISHES...OR FAKE IT

An empty sink feels really good doesn't it? It makes you feel so accomplished and not at all like a slob. Do your best to get those dirty dishes done, but if you can't, pile ALL OF THEM into the sink and then cover them up with a big cutting board. You will eventually have to contend with them, but if you got so caught up getting the rest of the place in tip-top shape and ran out of time, you're excused. But seriously, you do have to move that cutting board at some point. 

5. Spray something citrusy

Fresh orange and lemon aromas are a sure sign of clean and fresh surroundings. Don't use something cloying or overbearing as it can nauseate sensitive olfactory systems. Smelling clean is sometimes, almost as good as being clean.

6. GET OUT

The best way to see what still needs to be cleaned-up (other than to wait until someone shows up) is to walk outside and re-enter your home with the mindset of a visitor.
Or your mother-in-law.

We like Good Housekeeping as a source for quick tips. It's been around for ages and after-all, it's called Good Housekeeping!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Need a little Downward Dog? Area yoga studios will hit the spot

treat yourself to a little Nirvana. 







April 2017

Yoga has definitely found its place in mainstream wellness and fitness. Sure, it took a thousand years or so, but who's counting. Its a hectic, workaday world we live in and the search for ways to sooth the spirit, stretch the limbs and find mindfulness often takes more effort than return but at least there seems to be a yoga studio in every 'hood these days so one needn't travel far to find a mat suitable for the next Sun Salutation. As for the path to spiritual enlightenment, finding your way may be as easy as finding a space in the Trader Joe's parking lot. 

5275 Sunrise Blvd., Fair Oaks, CA

This is a relative newbie to the Fair Oaks area but a real favorite. A full locker room with showers, retail area and instructors that people seem to LOVE. The schedule is varied and packed full throughout the day. It's clean clean clean and the equipment is kept up. It is a chain and the rates are not cheap. If you can commit to taking advantage of a robust schedule of classes, you'll get your money's worth. If not, you may want to choose a pay-as-you-go type of studio. Also, do not expect to be let in any class you after the start time. They are serious about not disrupting classes already in-session. Not a ding or a positive, just something to be aware of. Try a free trial and see what you think. Also, it's right next to Trader Joe's, so there's that.


4009 Bridge St., Fair Oaks, CA

A stalwart in Old Fair Oaks and we still get a kick out of the name. For the unaccustomed, Hot Yoga and/or Bikram is yoga done in a super-heated space. You generally either 'love it or hate it'. For the lovers, there's plenty and the instructors get big kudos from the students. For those that are in the 'meh not so much' camp, there are non-hot classes too. It's an intimate studio with a welcoming atmosphere and good class prices with drop-in ability. Make it a quickie or take a stroll after class over the Sunrise River Bridge and keep the happy feelings going. Or walk over to the village and grab a beer...but only after you have hydrated, hydrated and rehydrated. Hot Yoga is a kicker.
7225 Lincoln Ave., Carmichael, CA

The meaning of hidden gem. The most hippie-like of the group with yoga, group meditation, cooking classes and such. The setting is really lovely with a tranquil Koi pond, muraled studio, tree-lined drive and fountain and perfect for those seeking an experience versus just a get-in and get-it-done class. Would be a wonderful outing for a solo soulful tune-up or with a friend or sweetheart. 
9373 Winding Oak Drive, Fair Oaks, CA

So technically this is not a yoga studio, or should we say not ONLY a yoga studio, but a gym/club that offers many types of classes, yoga being one of them. Now that we explained ourselves; they offer a few different types of yoga styles, nothing out of the ordinary but good enough to get your yoga-on, plus with a membership, you can access the club's other offerings. The cost of membership is less than if you paid for about 10 classes separately at many studios so if you like to do yoga AND lots of other things, this may be a good choice for you. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

7 Secret PATIO DINING SPOTS around (but not in) SACRAMENTO

Al Fresco around (not in) Sac town


MARCH 2017

There are ubiquitous Sacramento al fresco dining destinations that see their share of action when the sun shines and the temps rise. Spots like Paragary's, Lucca and Tower Cafe all come to mind, but what about the hidden gems that sport sunny seating outside the city for us suburbanites? On this first day of spring, let's all take a moment to revel in anticipation that soon ,we'll be taking our meals out in the open and under the Northern California sun. 

1. SIAM PATIO

9830 Fair Oaks Blvd., Fair Oaks, CA 95628 Tel: (916) 844-0356

This was once a pizza parlor with barely passable pizza. The decision to become Siam Patio was absolutely in everyone's favor and the name says it all. Delicious Thai cuisine that spans the traditional to more interesting Thai-inspired dishes and a gorgeous, slightly whimsical patio area that turns from sweet to romantic as the evening unwinds. A little shabby chic chandelier action, dark wood & mood lighting makes for a rendezvous to remember. And did we mention live piano Fridays?

2. Carmelita's

4071 Howard St., Fair Oaks, CA 95628 Tel: (916) 961-3327

This Fair Oaks hot spot has been around since 1962 and has been a favorite local gathering place since. What Carmelita's lacks in inventive or high-end comida, it more than comes through in the sunny, swanky patio department. Complete with drapery, outdoor bar area and occasional neighborhood rooster appearance, it elevates the usual enchilada experience. The price has increased since the old days to finance the decor upgrades but the food is decent, the drinks are icy and Rosa, our favorite waitress, and the sunny patio warm our corazones.

10344 Fair Oaks Boulevard, Fair Oaks, CA 95628 Tel: (916) 967-4331

If you want to get your outdoor picnic on, Sunflower is the place to come for saucy, nutty, messy, piled-high take-out that happens to be vegetarian. Right next to Old Fair Oaks park, where the chickens do roam, it bustles with cyclists, strollers, families and friends. The wait can be tedious but when the sun's out get your Nut Burger bun's (or Nutty Tacos) out and get grubbin'.

9634 Fair Oaks Boulevard, Fair Oaks, CA 95628 Tel: (916) 534-9330

The tucked-away back patio sees little traffic, but that just makes it all the more relaxing. It's spare, but fits you and your friends nicely when the two picnic tables are stuck together, farmhouse-style. While away a sunny happy hour with $3 beer specials and crispy tots with a smoky, porky topping and if you get hungrier, grab a set inside for more on-premises smoked barbecue specialties.

9611 Greenback Lane, Folsom, CA  95630 Tel: (916) 989-6711

Judging by the popularity of Scott's happy hour, it may not be much of a secret and chances are, you may have sat-a-spell on the patio. Sipping on a glass of ice bucket-chilled, buttery chardonnay while munching on fresh, ocean-sweet seafood is just the way to spend a summery afternoon. If you haven't christened Scott's patio, your chance is right around the corner.

6. Fabian's 

11755 Fair Oaks Blvd., Fair Oaks, CA 95628 Tel: (916) 536-9891

Dark wood interior, a mellow, low-key vibe inside, top-notch bartender crafted cocktails (with an amazing $5 whiskey/bourbon-heavy happy hour cocktail menu) and mostly Italian food menu hidden away in strip shopping center is a worthy destination. The shady arbored patio with twinkling white lights & a cozy fire pit is inviting and the perfect spot for some of their tasty small-plate goodies. 

7. Zinfandel California Cuisine

2220 Gold Springs Ct., Gold River, CA Tel: (916) 853-9600

Hello...1986 calling! 
The interior of this long-time restaurant resident in Gold River is decked-out in purple, glossy black, mauve and sponge-dappled peach laminate...an 80's era study in interior decor that does have its own unique charm. That being said, the patio is expansive and perfect for a group gathering. After you've gathered, order the prosciutto pizza topped with lightly lemon tinged arugula or arguably the best burger this side of the American River (another secret we're divulging.) The wine pours are generous, the staff is always friendly and there's always a shady table waiting for you.