Sunday, January 24, 2016

Current Cali Crushes of a So Cal Teacher: Winter Blog Hop, Giveaway, & Freebies!!!

I am a born and bred Southern California girl. My parents met here. I was born here. I grew up and went to school here. I LOVE Southern California!!! For this reason I am extremely happy to be teaming up with the fabulous Kristen from Easy Teaching Tools and my other amazing Southern California teachers to bring your our favorite things about So Cal, a winter freebie blog hop, and a chance to win an Amazon gift card!!

While there are just so many things I love about Southern California, here are my super six current Cali crushes!

Current Cali Crush #1: My Family

So, I realize how insanely cliche this is, but honestly, for me my family really is the best thing about living in So Cal. The vast majority of my family on both my mom's and dad's sides live in Southern California (and on my dad's side in particular, we are a family of teachers). I was just thinking a few weeks ago about how incredibly thankful I am to live close to my family. They are always so supportive of me personally and my career. Being able to go home to my parents' on the weekend, meetup with my siblings for brunch, take a weekend away with aunts, etc. makes living in So California so wonderful. Below is a photo from my brother's wedding last year! #iheartmyfamily

Current Cali Crush #2: The Weather

It's nothing new that the weather in Southern California is wonderful, but let me tell you, it really is just perfect. I love chillin' by the pool as I lesson plan, cuddling up by a fire listening to the rain (not lots of rain or very often, but you know, every so often) as I cut lamination, or sipping hot chocolate outside a coffee shop while I blog as a crisp breeze gently lifts a scattering of leaves. Our Cali weather is mild and pleasant; we get glimpses of all kinds of fun weather in its most gentle form. We don't usually have crazy storms, we don't have to worry about snow days, and I've never had to change my outfit plans due to weather. Adding or subtracting a few layers or switching out boots for heels are a quick fix! How can you not love that?!?

Current Cali Crush #3: The Eats

The eats, oh, the eats. Whatever you want, and I do mean whatever, to eat is here in Southern California in it's finest form. From the newest food fad to home cooked traditional, from the latest health food craze to comfort food at its best, from the chef's table at a five-star restaurant to deliciousness off the side of a food truck, Southern California cuisine has got you covered. I love a Saturday brunch followed by a night farmer's market to high tea the following day with tapas for dinner.

Current Cali Crush #4: Disneyland

Have you seen that t-shirt floating around IG and FB that says, "Teacher by Day, Disney Princess by Night." Yeah, so, I own that...One of my dreams may possibly be to wake up in a Princess Diaries-type scenario. While my Mia Thermopolis fantasies have yet to become reality (I am still wishing upon a star), I can live out my inner princess at the happiest place on earth. I grew up on Disney movies and books, and I can sing just about any Disney song on command. This year my incredible roommate got me an annual pass for my birthday, and so some days I just walk through Disneyland after school. The characters, music, and smiles all make me so happy!! My inner princess floats through the park absolutely tickled pink. I love living so close to such a magical, wonderful place!

Current Cali Crush #5: The Beach

So this one kind of goes without saying. The beach is wonderful. I grew up super close to the beach and loved playing in the sand and water. #reallife now means I don't get to go as often, but the handful of times I do go each year make me so happy that I live so close to the water. I'm never more than 30 minutes away from crashing waves and the setting sun. This candid photo was taken by my sister-in-law on an epic, last-minute adventure we  took the weekend after school started this past August (see more about adventures below). Given that the school year was just starting, she said it looked like I was ready to take on the world. Truth be told, I was totally crying after a crazy first week of school (don't be alarmed, it was a great first week, but life is sometimes just rough). Amid my first week of school exhaustion compounded by life, the beauty of my surroundings all helped to put everything in perspective. Sometimes it's a bonfire with friends, other times a day of basking in the sun for that perfect "skin-kissed glow," and still others a moment of reflection, make the beach definitely a fav of mine!

Current Cali Crush #6: The Adventures

While California Adventures is actually it's own Disney theme park (which I absolutely love...see Current Cali Crush #4 above), I love that California is a great place for adventures. Whether you're seeking a mountain adventure, a beachside weekend, a day trip downtown, an afternoon of museums and art, a night on the town, a dinner cruise on the water, or anything else you'd like, adventures abound in So Cal. The photo below was taken on a weekend adventure to Oak Glen for a day of all things apples, delicious food, craft fair shopping, and a beautiful "hike" (if you know me well, actually if you know me at all, you know I don't hike).

Like life and teaching, Southern California is one big adventure after another! I hope you've enjoyed a little peak into the So Cal life!

Snag a Freebie: Snowman Solids Pack

Also, be sure to grab my winter freebie, "Snowman Solids FREEBIE Preview." This is part of our "States of Matter Unit" in science. This pack includes a solids anchor chart song and a number of fun solids activities!! Click on the product or "Snag a Winter" link below for the freebie! If you like this preview, you can check out the full product on my TPT store! Hope you enjoy!

Blog Hop Continued...

Be sure to check out Nicole at Mrs. Rios Teaches to see all about her Southern California favorites and her freebie!!

Enter to Win!

In addition, be sure to enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win an Amazon gift card!!! Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Hi Danielle,
    Wonderful photos of southern California! Thank you for sharing them. Thanks so much for the Snowman Solids freebie. It will be a fun addition to our science unit.

    1. Thanks, Mona!!! You are so sweet!!! I hope that the freebie is helpful!! Enjoy!!
      xoxo, Danielle

  2. Hi Danielle,
    I enjoyed reading about your wonderful California 'crushes'! You have a beautiful family! Thank you for that fun freebie!
    Peggy @ Primary Flourish

    1. You are so sweet, Peggy!! Thanks SO much!! Hope the freebie is useful!!
      xoxo, Danielle

  3. We sure are pretty lucky to live in such a great place! Thanks for linking up!

    1. I completely agree, Kristen!! Especially when there are such amazing teachers like you here! I was so happy to link up with you!! Thanks for all of your time and energy to organize this!! You absolutely rock!! P.S. Loved your Periscope tonight on end of the year memory books! I am SO going to do that! Thanks again!
      xoxo, Danielle

  4. Wow, Danielle, you really do love SoCal! I could never leave because of family too! And I love, love, love Disneyland. We are going to have to go together some time.

    1. Thanks for your sweet comment, Laura!! Yes, So Cal is the best!! We definitely need to get together sometime! Are you going to Katie's next weekend???
      xoxo, Danielle