I’m headed to San Francisco!

I am super excited to share that I’ll be heading to San Francisco, California in June. I’ve wanted to get out to San Fran for a long time now and finally have the opportunity. Luckily, I’m one of the people who get to travel sporadically for their work. The first couple days of the trip are for work and I’ve extended my stay to hang out and explore the city.

The big question becomes: What will I do? One thing for sure is visiting Alcatraz. I’m a nerd and followed all the ghost shows and consistently saw Alcatraz on the list. This has always made me want to go. I don’t have the guts to do a ghost hunt, but I can’t wait to see the views of the city from The Rock.

Of course I’m excited to see the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. No, not only see it, but walk it! I’ll be staying near Fisherman’s Wharf and hear this is a place I must visit. Other than this, I’m flying blind.

That’s where you come in. What do you think I should see? Where do you think I should go? I won’t have a car, so I can’t go on long excursions. Share your must-see attractions and places in the comments below. Help me plan a fun trip to the West Coast!

Recipe: Quick No Bake Energy Bites

I came across this recipe first on gimmesomeoven.com and just had to share it with you all. These no-bake energy bites are quick and simple to make and so tasty you’ll want to eat them all the time. I shared this recipe with my coworker and she loves them, too. Here are the delicious details!

Ingredients (Yeild: About 3 dozen):

  • 1 cup (dry) oatmeal
  • 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips or cacao nibs (optional)
  • 1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.
  2. Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to one week.
  3. Eat!

It’s that simple! Try the recipe out and let me know how you like them in the comments.

Painting with a Twist at 26!

This weekend I turned 26. Hooray! And every year, people always ask what you want to do for your big day or what gifts you want. By the time you’re 26, I must say that it really doesn’t matter much. But this year, I tried something new for my birthday!

My friends and I took a class at Painting with a Twist. You may be wondering what this actually is. You sign up for a 2-3 hour class and an artist walks you through, step by step, how to complete the painting chosen for the class. I know, it can sound intimidating. But the number one rule for the class is to relax! Your painting will turn out okay.

So we went over the painting portion of the place. Now what’s the twist? Wine and snacks. Bring your own alcohol and food and go to town, friends. On top of that, expect music and dancing. Oh, and mustache contests. It’s a painting party and it is a blast!

If there is a Painting with a Twist near you, I highly recommend taking a class. If you have a large group of people you can have a private party, too. We went for my birthday, but I also saw bachelorette parties as well. It’s a nice change of pace from the clubs and bars you normally do for birthdays!

Lastly, I documented the process. Check out the pictures that prove you really do create this painting start to finish!

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Grab Your RipStix and POUND

I know what you’re thinking: What are RipStix and what is POUND?

POUND is my new favorite workout class. Group fitness is awesome and this class takes it to another level. On the POUND website, they describe the workout as a full-body cardio jam session, combining light resistance with constant stimulated drumming. The best part about this workout? It’s fun.

The entire 45-minute session is set to all different types of songs. Do you think you’re not coordinated? Don’t let that stop you! The beats are simple and the instructors I’ve had are very helpful and vocal. As long as you’re moving, you’re doing well.

You can burn up to 900 calories per session all while toning your body. The first time I took the class, I was walking funny for a couple days. You’ll feel it in your legs, arms and even your abs.

Kirsten Potenza and Cristina Peerenboom are the women you can thank for the creation of this workout. Look for a class near you and give it a shot! Let me know how you liked the class in the comments. Staci Says you won’t regret it. :)

Recipe: Simple Buttercream Frosting

My aunt is known in our family as the one who has some of the best baked goods. At each party she throws, there is some sort of homemade treat. I went to my cousin’s birthday party this weekend and was not disappointed.

She made simple vanilla and buttercream cupcakes and they were the best I’ve had. My favorite part was the frosting and that’s the recipe I’m going to share with you today.

Ingredients (Yield: 2 and 3/4 cups):

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Instructions:

  1. In a small mixer bowl at low speed, beat powdered sugar, butter, shortening, milk, vanilla, and almond extract until blended.
  2. At medium-high speed, beat until light and fluffy.
  3. If desired, beat in food color, a drop at a time.
  4. Leftover frosting can be kept covered in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Extra: If you want chocolate buttercream frosting, sift together powdered sugar and 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder. Prepare as above.

There you have it! Try out the recipe and let me know your thoughts in the comments.

World’s Many Wonders is now Staci Says!

Welcome to my new blog, friends! For a while I’ve been thinking about revamping my blog to include more than just travel. We all know how much I love travel but there is so much more to talk about, so why not talk about it?

Don’t worry, you can still expect to see travel posts from me. But I’ll also be talking about the books I’m reading, the new adventures I embark on and how I’m changing my life to find greater happiness. It may sound cliche, but it’s time to really find out who I am and what I want to do during this lifetime.

Come along for the ride!

Potted Potter is a Must See

Normally I don’t do show reviews, but this is a special occasion. And, if you’re lucky, you can catch Potted Potter in a city you call home or are visiting.

Never heard of Potted Potter? First, shame on you! Just kidding. This is a two-man show that runs through all seven Harry Potter books in 70 minutes. Yes, you heard right. Two guys play all the major characters and do so flawlessly. I can’t choose a favorite, but I must say that you’ll love Ron Weasley.

So I took my mom to the last showing of Potted Potter at PlayhouseSquare in Cleveland for her birthday and, let me tell you, it was amazing. Amazing, fabulous, hysterical, all of the above. This show is a must see for anyone who likes or loves the Potter series.

The talent is impeccable. Joesph Maudsley and James Percy know how to make the audience participate and laugh throughout the entire show, both kids and adults alike. The simplistic set and props really show just how talented and entertaining these guys are. I could rant and rave about these two for the rest of this write up, but will direct you to follow them on Twitter and find a show to see them yourselves.

Potted Potter gets five stars in my book. I would see this show again and again in a heartbeat, and just may venture to Ohio’s capital to see it for a second time. Check out the upcoming tour dates and be prepared to be laughing the whole show!