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Movie Talk: Vacation-Inspiring Movies & a Giveaway!

23 Aug

School is starting soon in Maryland, which means that summer is suddenly coming to an end. Obviously I want to squeak in one (or two) more mini vacations before ‘real life’ starts up again. I mean, I work year-round – so real life never ends – but once the kids are back in school it just feels less FUN. Am I right? Which brings me to today’s post… movies that inspire your traveling!

One of my girlfriends (hi Jenni!) totally planned her honeymoon for Greece because of Mamma Mia. Those amazing shots of Skopelos, Skiathos and Kerkyra would make anyone want to pack up their suitcase and visit, especially for a romantic honeymoon. And now I kind of want to go too…

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

As for me, I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii. We are hoping we can make it happen for our 10th wedding anniversary, which is coming up in a little more than a year. While I can’t remember the exact reason I started with my Hawaii obsession, Blue Crush may have pushed me over the edge with the amazing shots of Oahu.

Source: Universal Pictures


Now it’s your turn: have you ever traveled somewhere because you saw it on a movie or television show? Leave me a comment and tell me all about it! To add a little extra end-of-summer fun, one random commenter will win a prize pack containing John Grisham’s new book, Camino Island and a few other beachy goodies.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I can’t wait to read all your comments and make my next movie viewing/traveling list!


Disclaimer: I am a member of Netflix’s Director’s program, which gives me free access to movies. If you sign up with my referral link, I may receive a referral reward. My friends at provided me with the fabulous prize pack for the giveaway.The winner will be chosen randomly.

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Visiting San Francisco: All the Exploring + a Segway Ride

25 Jul

Back in June I had the opportunity to go to San Francisco for a work conference.  When I got back I posted about all the fun I had shopping (Visiting San Francisco: All the Shopping) but I never got around to posting about the rest of my trip. So here is a big old breakdown with lots of photos and a super dorky video!

I arrived in San Francisco on a Tuesday and after I took a quick nap, I spent most of the afternoon walking around. And I mean A LOT of walking, according to my FitBit I walked 6.5 miles, even with the long plane ride and nap!

Source: Google Maps


Basically I grabbed a burger by my hotel (Super Duper Burgers), walked all the way to a Goodwill and then worked my way back to my hotel, stopping at a Nordstrom Rack on the way. It was a nice, cool day and it felt great to use my legs after being stuffed on a plane for so long.

I spent all day Wednesday at the conference and didn’t even see the light of day until I decided to run out to a nearby movie theater that evening. I had been wanting to see Wonder Woman and it was such a treat to have a huge, comfy seat to myself (no kid smushed on top of me…) and watch the movie totally undisturbed!

Thursday was another all-day conference day. However, I met up with one of my favorite previous co-workers, Alley, and we checked out a local restaurant for dinner. Zero Zero was within walking distance to the hotel and the food and ambiance was fabulous. I got the Castro pizza, which was topped with Sopressata, House Made Sausage, Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella and Basil. We both ended our meal with their famous soft serve ice cream.

We both chose the Vanilla organic soft serve topped with Fiordolio Olive Oil and Sea Salt. It was super delicious, but we could have totally shared one order!

I finished up with the conference in the morning and then decided to do a bunch of sightseeing in the afternoon. As a totally spur-of-the-moment decision, I booked myself a Segway tour with the San Francisco Electric Tour Company. I picked the Fisherman’s Wharf, Waterfront & Northbeach tour that lasted 2.5 hours and it was AWESOME!

Source: San Fransisco Electric Tour Company


There were only three of us on the tour and our guide, Jessadra, was absolutely fantastic. When I first stepped on the Segway I was convinced that I was going to fall off or crash into someone. However, Jessadra was great in training me how to NOT die and also kept me laughing throughout the entire afternoon. It was a really fun way to see that part of the city and also was totally exercise, because my butt and thighs were crying the entire next day.

If you are exploring a new city, I absolutely recommend doing it on a Segway. I can’t stress enough how much FUN I had. And as proof, here is an incredibly dorky video of me on my Segway… complete with giggles and a coughing fit.


For my last day in San Francisco, I wanted to hit up all the tourist spots before I headed to the airport for my red-eye home. I started with an Uber ride to the Golden Gate State Park and walked around there for a bit. I ended up at the de Young Museum and enjoyed some time exploring.

From there, I grabbed another Uber and traveled over to Baker Beach. My sister had visited this beach on a previous trip and said it was a great spot to view the Golden Gate Bridge and she was totally right.

It was a little chilly, but the sun was out so I spent some time walking the beach, climbing on the rocks, people watching, and taking photos. I’m so glad I had the chance to go there.

According to my FitBit, I walked about 7 ½ miles that day, so I was totally pooped. I made my way back to my hotel to change into comfy flying clothes, charged my devices and took a taxi to the airport. San Francisco was so much fun and if I had more time I totally could have done so much more exploring. However, with my 5 day trip I had to buy an extra suitcase to take home my treasures, so it’s probably good that I came home when I did!

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Visiting San Francisco: All the Shopping

27 Jun

If you followed along with me on Instagram (@PocketfulofJoules) while I was in San Francisco last week, you might know that I went a little crazy with the shopping. Okay, a lot crazy. So crazy that I realized that there was no way all my stuff would fit back in my little carry-on and I had to go and buy myself another suitcase.


Even though I did ALL the shopping, I didn’t spend ALL the money. So, let me show you all the deals I found while putting in some miles in San Francisco:

Nordstrom Rack Scores
I find that Nordstrom Racks can be totally hit or miss depending on the location, so I was curious to stop by the Market Street location. I was thrilled to see a ‘baby bell sleeve’ blouse that I’d been eying online – baby bell, not Babel for my cheese lovers – so I tried it on. It was this one for $26 and it looked awful on me. So, that basically saved me like $80 to pay to Nordstrom to send it to me, only to have me return it at a later date.

I did buy two things though… this zip up star hoodie for $32 and also this pretty ‘good luck’ elephant necklace for $29.

I wore the hoodie every night when I got back to my chilly hotel room (and also a night when I went out and about for dinner). As for the necklace, it is my new favorite and I’ve worn it every day since I bought it!

Anthropologie Score
There was an Anthropologie right by my hotel and they sent me an email that they were having a 50% off sale, so I figured I’d stop by and take a little look around. I ended up with this Julian Tie-Sleeve Top because I can’t resist a cool black tank top for $30.


You can tie the straps as high or low as you like, which is great for a perfect fit. It looks super cute untucked with a more fitted cardigan over top, or on its own half-tucked into jeans or shorts. I think I’m going to get a ton of wear out of this one! If you want to try it for yourself, you might want to size down. I went with a medium and it still looks nice and flowy.

Goodwill Scores
I actually stopped at three different Goodwills during my trip. The first one at 1580 Mission Street had a huge selection and I spotted some great finds from Boden and Joie, but nothing came home with me. That was NOT the case at my second Goodwill. The location at 296 Bay Street was one of the nicest I’ve ever seen and OHMYGOSH the scores were crazy.

Prada sweater, $4.99
Within my first rack or two, I came across a cashmere and silk Prada sweater. PRADA! Oh yeah, and it was $4.99. As you can imagine, I hid that thing in the bottom of my basket and was totally afraid someone might come and grab it from me! I found an identical one online in pink with an original price of $840 so this deal is even bigger than when I found a DVF dress with tags still on it. I can’t wait to wear it in the fall/winter tucked into a high-waisted skirt!

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Dainty Low Top, $9.99
Another lesson in looking everywhere at a thrift store… these sneakers were in the men’s section even though if you look inside they have women’s sizing. I recognized them as the Dainty Low Tops and they are being sold on the Converse website for $50. This pair was never worn and my size, so it was obviously meant to be!

Poncho, $8.99
I know, shopping for a poncho is a little ridiculous in June… but when you see something you like at a thrift store, you need to just go for it. This one is a nice medium-weight fabric and the leather and metal clasp is really snazzy. There are no tags on it, so I couldn’t track it down anywhere. However, I think that will be a great addition to my wardrobe next winter.

Aris A. USA Velvet Burnout Duster, $4.99
When I saw this cute velvet burnout thing I didn’t recognize the brand, but it reminded me of some kimono’s that I’ve seen recently at Anthropologie. I thought it could look cute with a tank top and jeans, or maybe even as a cover-up at the beach. I googled the brand a bit and found a similar design online for $175. While I would never pay almost $200 for this, at just $4.99 it was a total steal!

I decided to visit one last Goodwill at the 822 Geary Street location. That one was very similar to the ones that we have back home and there was a total hodgepodge of stuff. I ended up with just one item, this top for $5.99:

The upper tag had been cut out, but there was still the inside tag intact. I did some google sleuthing and found that this is the Textured Dot Sweater from Ann Taylor that was sold for $80.


I really like the weight of the fabric, the subtle dots and the sleeve length. The navy color will also work with much of my closet, so I should be able to get wear out of this pretty much immediately. (6/28 update: I wore it today!)

Old Navy Score
I was in San Fransicso during Pride month and missed the Pride parade by just one day. Lots of stores had rainbow flags and Pride displays, and I was initially able to resist this shirt when I saw it in the window at Old Navy. Then, I went on a Segway adventure (more coming about that later this week) and sunburned the crap out of my chest. Every shirt I had packed was a v-neck, so I bought this one to protect my poor sunburned skin. No regrets on the $14 purchase, because it is awfully cute.

And that brings us to my last purchase… my extra suitcase! Apparently I’m not the only one who goes a little shopping crazy in San Francisco, because the TJ Maxx next door to my hotel had the largest selection of suitcase I’ve ever seen in one place! There were literally hundreds of choices and I ended up picking this adorable “London” design for $50.

I’ve been slowly switching out our crappy suitcases with nice ones, so this purchase wasn’t really much of a hardship. The inside has one zip closed portion, the wheels go all directions and its pattern will make it easy to find at the baggage claim. I’ll call that a win!

Have you ever bought so much on a trip that you had to buy another suitcase? Are you with me in squealing over that Prada find?


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Leaving on a Jet Plane… to San Francisco

20 Jun

If all goes according to plan – which includes hauling myself out of bed at 3am – I am on a plane to San Francisco right this moment!

Thanks to the time change, I’ll arrive in California around 9:00 local time. So, it is quite possible that my “day” will begin with a nap in a nice, cold hotel room. I’m hoping to do a little walking around/sightseeing that afternoon and evening. You can find my plan here: Traveling Fun, Share your San Francisco Tips!

Then, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I will be in conference sessions. If you think about me, stick some hilarious memes on my Facebook page so that I have something to do during the boring bits!

I’m hoping to do some more sightseeing on Saturday and will then take a red-eye plan back home.

If you are a reader in the San Franscisco area, send me an email to and maybe we can make a plan to grab coffee or a grown up beverage while I’m in town!

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