Hobby Lobby

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This place should have a sign at the door which reads, “DANGEROUSLY GOOD BUYS MAY BE ADDICTICTING!”

In general, I’m not much of a shopper.  I don’t shop religiously like some of my friends. But when it comes to Hobby Lobby, well I could spend hours there several times a week. Go ahead.  Call it an addiction.  But this store makes me happy and feeds my creativity.

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Signs that say 50% off grab my attention.  Hobby Lobby helps my penny pinching ways by offering great affordable prices for adorable perfectly fitting items. I will admit, itDPP_0088 can be overwhelming but I’ve become a pro and know my way around. So don’t walk in and look at everything and feel completely anxious.  Just take it all in, one aisle at a time :)  One of own favorite sections (as seen in the picture to the right) is the hair bows and accessories to make headbands. BUT, I must add that accessories for the headbands are “all over the place” in the store, not just in the section that the picture shows. Very clever of you Hobby Lobby!  I was so happy I kept wondering one day in hopes of finding something in particular only to stumble upon pretty flowers and gemstones which I had not thought of. Hot glueing is not a fun task for me, yet I am getting pretty good at it. Anyway, I am now selling headbands and clips over at my facebook page Lae_Lo Photography & Design and you simply like my facebook page and comment on any that you like :)  I want to believe that my degree in Arts and Technology adds also to my head band abilities!  But, I’m not through with you yet Hobby Lobby!  Addict me to something more!

DPP_0090I should also mention that for an organizer like me, and for someone who loves to make anything look crafty and cute, you will fall head over heels with Hobby LobbyDPP_0092

All photos by Lo with Lae_Lo Photography & Design — (Facebook)

Follow Me at MYLODOWN.NET & “like” me on Facebook  ///  Follow me on Instagram: mylodown

Old Town Boutique

IMG_2590Old Town Boutique is hands down my go to store in Old Town Temecula not only for the great merchandise but for the beyond great prices. photo 1I love going in there to window shop and have made two purchases I cherish photo 2and adore. My gorgeous butterfly watch and a classic vintage couch to hold my rings. I appreciate that when I walk in I am always greeted with the friendliest smile and a gorgeous jewelry display that I could spend hours peering at. They post plenty of discount signs. They market themselves to both we everyday “Temeculians” and our visitors from other places. They are exactly what their sign says and the adorable couple that runs the place knows how to sell. They are charming, authentic, and friendly. IMG_2616Also, adding to their charm, with your purchase you get to choose a rose to take home and spray with scented oils and perfume. The two I have still smell so lovely. It’s different, its special, it makes my day. Next time you find yourself in Old Town Temecula, do yourself a favor and make this adorable Boutique your first stop. Take note! Their watch department is closing so all their watches are 50% off. I got mine for $7. The same one was at a store in the mall for $24.99, you can’t beat that!!! IMG_2596IMG_2592IMG_2597

 

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All photos by Lo with Lae_Lo Photography & Design — (Facebook)

Follow Me at MYLODOWN.NET & “like” me on Facebook

So Good Gluten Free

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With a creative name like “So Good Gluten Free Foodsyou already believe that their food is sooo good. But to write about them I needed to find out for myself, not resting on all the great opinions I had heard. Plus, as I’ve blogged before, I look forward to going to a restaurant where I can feel normal, which means going to a place to eat and not having to ask a million different questions to a sweet waitress with a confused look on her face and worry that within 5 minutes of eating I will feel sick. So on a gorgeous albeit warm April day I ventured to a Southern part of Temecula with a girlfriend and her precious baby boy, eager to try and blog about a place I’ve heard about for years!

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First, I should mention some key landmarks because I don’t know about you guys, but when I’m going somewhere new for the first time, I need landmarks. They are located next to Killarney’s Irish Pub near Henry’s & Walmart. Being a Graphic Arts major, I applaud their eye catching fresh window advertising seen from the outside.  Their logo is quite adorable! 

When you walk inside, the feeling is immediately cozy and inviting with a comfy couch begging to be sat on. 1-IMG_2688They paired up with a local friend of mine who has filled their walls with her M.A.D. Studios art pieces. To learn more about M.A.D. Studios click here! 1-IMG_2686They are an art program designed to “Make a Difference” and they truly do make a difference in many young artists lives, many with special needs and an ability to express themselves wonderfully through their art. M.A.D. Studios is designed to build character, confidence, and personal growth in children. So Good Gluten Free Foods and M.A.D. Studios are both making a difference in our community with their focus on special needs which I certainly appreciate..

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So Good Gluten Free is a mom and pop business which sprang up in 2010 from their own personal dietary needs. Lindy Pine has autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto’s) and her husband Devin has acid reflex disease. They both understand what is necessary to live gluten free with sometimes multiple dietary restrictions and wanted to help others do the same. Hands down, my favorite sweets wise was their gluten free dairy free soy free1-IMG_2704 melt in your mouth brownies and, with free sample bites, 1-IMG_2691who could resist a taste! I also sampled a taste of their delicious cupcakes and muffins. You know why I love this place so much without hesitation? Because a lot of gluten free food products try to improve on taste by adding crap and although you are not eating gluten, you are eating high sugar bad for you foods. Not this place. I could tell immediately that their food wasn’t like that. After I was done tasting, I wasn’t left craving sugar. And, closing here on a very high note, 1-IMG_2697OH MY GOODNESS, their home made baked french bread, which they used to cradle my cheese and veggie sandwich, was out of this world good! It’s the right bit of crunchy, moist and is seriously wonderful and delicious. I am even switching from Udi’s bread to So Good Gluten Free Food’s bread. It was that good!

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For all you gluten free dairy free soy free people out there, this place is your place. You can’t beat their reasonable prices, the friendliness of the owners, and their great food. So make time for yourself to dine out and feel normal again. Head over to So Good Gluten Free Foods!

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~My Lo Down Blog~ ~My Lo Down Facebook~

Pass me a beer…heavy on the “root”

1-IMG_2818I was recently asked to be the photographer for the Saturday afternoon, Taste of Temecula’s “Perfect Pairing” Tour at the Old Town Root Beer Company. As I entered Old Town Temecula from the North the Old Town Root Beer Company, with its rustic walls and awesome sign, was on the right.  The old car out front definitely completes their old wooden look.

1-IMG_2825 They have over 100 different kinds of root beers, not to mention over 300 different flavored sodas. By the way, someone tell my gluten free dairy free self how good their root beer floats are since I can’t 1-IMG_2823partake in them. Any gluten free people out there? I mean super sensitive gluten free people like me. Which root beer is gluten free? Because boy do I miss root beer. It was my beverage of choice growing up. On a hot sunny day when you are deliriously wandering around Old Town Temecula in need of a cool refreshment and you stumble upon the Old Town Root Beer Company, 1-IMG_2831know that there are many cold beverages for you to enjoy besides their root beer float. Don’t be shy, you just tell the person at the counter what you want and they will get you a cold one fro1-IMG_2819m the back, easy as that. Their cute little shop really sends you right back into time.

Before I end this blog, I have to share something sweet. As we made our way do1-IMG_2838wn the sidewalk, heading toward Old Town Root Beer Company, we saw a rescue shelter looking for homes for the sweetest puppies ever. Another woman from the tour group immediately locked eyes with one of these sweet pups (shown to the right). Well, I’m not exaggerating when I say it happened the moment their eyes met, she was in love. It was the sweetest thing. Within 10 minutes, this little puppy, whom she named Murphy, was officially another member of the walking tour. Did your heart just melt? Mine did then and does again now, reliving that moment in my mind. It was so sweet that they got paired up while on a “Perfect Pairing” tour visiting Old Town Temecula.

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So seriously next time you walk past this place while visiting Old Town Temecula, take a minute to stop in and check it out. Plus you can ask for a sample.

Photography by Lae_Lo Photography & Design

Eat Mor Chikin

You know what makes the world go round? People who care, people that love on others, people that want to make a difference, and people that give without expecting anything in return. There are plenty of people out there in the world, some I know personally whose hearts are defined by what I mentioned above, yet I hadn’t met many businesses that followed this notion…. until I became personally involved with Chick Fil A Temecula.

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Chick Fil A is located in the heart of Temecula where they whole heartedly love giving back to the community.

I recently had the pleasure of being asked to be the photographer for a couple of their events. Nothing is more rewarding in the community than to see people coming in with their children, family members, friends and being served, uplifted, and made to feel special while taking part in a chosen theme day.

Chick Fil A Temecula integrates their own kindness into the community, bringing everyone together. I was able to witness this first hand at the end of March while photographing their Daddy Daughter Date Night IMG_9849and in April for their Ninjas vs. Pirates night. The whole place went to town to make these daddy’s and daughters and Ninjas and Pirates feel so special, I couldn’t help but smile and click my camera the entire evening.

Most should know what Chick Fil A’s signature phrase is, right?? I’ll give you a second… okay I’ll tell you… “My Pleasure!” It sounded weird to me the first time I heard them say it years ago but it grew on me the way a smile grows across your face.  With Chick Fil A Temecula their pleasure really is to serve up a smile, not only on each and every face that walks through their door, but also in the hearts of Temecula!

WAIT! I almost forgot to mention Chick fil A has gluten free items, I have never tasted fries so good.

IMG_9845 IMG_9810 IMG_9850{Daddy-Daughter Date Night complete with Cinderella’s Carriage & Flowers galore!}IMG_1237    IMG_1234   IMG_1030  {Ninjas vs. Pirates Night complete with Jack Sparrow, Talking Birds, & Karate Masters!} Photography by: Lo @ Lae_Lo Photography & Design

ALL OF THE ABOVE

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Anyone who tells you that it’s easy being gluten free must not have much of a social life outside the safety of their own home. Okay, that’s a bit harsh and probably does not apply to everyone, but for me, someone who must live completely gluten free, the outside world and food seems daunting. And, as if being gluten free weren’t enough, my body decided shortly after drawing the line with gluten to completely nix dairy, as well. Gee thanks body so near and dear to my heart for 24 plus years. Yep you read that correctly, I am 29 years old and I remember exactly how every delicious mouthful of gluten and dairy filled foods tasted because it wasn’t until 2008 that my body chose to go to war. I can still close my eyes and remember the taste and texture of cheesecake or how a quick snack of cold turkey and a cheese slice was the perfect interruption for my work day. Okay, this is definitely not helping except getting to the point of my first blog; I guess I needed to give you a bit of background first. So needless to say, being gluten and dairy free has been a struggle albeit a blessing. Now I’m healthier than ever because I eat clean and to be honest I stopped missing it. The only thing I still curse is how difficult it has been to go out with friends and pretend to be normal while secretly keeping a watchful eye out for every loose crumb on the table. Yet, admittedly for most of us gluten free people, we applaud as the world of food has slowly conformed to the fact that we exist, the growing number of us who can’t indulge in gluten and dairy WHICH WAS IN ALMOST EVERYTHING THAT TASTES GOOD!
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But now let me digress to the inspiration behind my post and introduce you to my own favorite Temecula eatery escape.  I happened upon this little gem when a sweet long time friend invited me for lunch one day excitedly telling me about this little gluten free cafe. I remember thinking, “What? A gluten free cafe? They exist???”  My heart couldn’t help but skip a beat. I happily plugged the name into my gps on the day we were set to meet a few years back. As I pulled into the parking lot I couldn’t help but smile. On their sign it read “All of the Above Bakery & Cafe” and underneath in blue lettering, “Gluten Free” and beside that “PLUS”! “What?!?!?” I thought, “What could be the PLUS!?” Maybe this place already knows there are people who also can’t do dairy? When I walked in boy was I surprised. The owner is beyond amazing and caters to a handful of sensitivities by offering soy free, egg free, dairy free, gluten free, etc, you catch my drift. What began as her way to introduce alternative recipes to help her own children turned into the beginnings of her own bakery/ cafe. And you know you love the place a lot when you can walk in and, without fail, the owner knows you by name, yep guilty that would be me. She’s supplied desserts for my birthdays, family events; get together with friends, pretty much everything.
Some of my favorites? Well, and the owner knows this, the chocolate cupcakes with her vanilla wedding cake frosting are absolutely hands down one of my most favorite things in life. YES I SAID IT IN LIFE! If I were having the worst day ever I could easily be cheered up by someone giving me that cupcake. And, I’m not alone. It is not unusual for customers to drive from miles away to pick up an order of a dozen or more of her cupcakes to take home and put in the freezer!
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If you don’t really have a sweet tooth, I highly recommend her chicken salad popovers or the pulled pork sandwiches, she even offers a vegan pulled pork sandwich for all your vegetarians out there, I can’t even tell the difference!
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Most that love me know that once I love something I LOOOOOOOVE IT and, All of the Above Bakery and Cafe is just something I love. In addition when I love something I can’t help but want to share it with the world and for someone who has struggled with getting bummed that being gluten free and dairy free in the real world can be so difficult, I’m quite happy I stumbled upon this little taste of Heaven.
And that’s my Lo Down.

xoxo, Lo

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