Julie - "Girl on the Move"

Orange County Bucket List

I recently came across this Los Angeles Bucket List as I was browsing Pinterest.  And while I love traveling and have a pretty extensive travel bucket list, it got me thinking about all of the things to do right here in my own backyard!  So I started doing some research (which included asking my friends and family for suggestions on Facebook and over Christmas dinner) and put together my Orange County Bucket List.  The list includes 150 things to do in Orange County that go beyond just the beach and Disneyland (although those are on the list!).  There’s also a bonus Cupcakes in Orange County section because it really wouldn’t be a Girl on the Move list if it didn’t include cupcakes!

As with most of my posts, this post may contain affiliate or referral links.

Did you know Orange County has more people than 21 of the states in the US?  It is a county rich in history, filled with gorgeous views, and full of lots of opportunity for adventure.  So grab your Orange County map (Because I think adventures are more fun with actual maps!) and start checking things off the list!  And if you want to follow along with my Orange County Bucket List adventures you can find them on Instagram.

I’d love to hear in the comments section…What would you add to this Orange County Bucket List?  Is there anything on the list you’ve done that you’d recommend I’d do as soon as possible?

Cruise down PCH in a convertible

Eat a colorful bagel from Bagels & Brew

Have a bonfire at the beach

Have a popGelato from popbar

Visit all five of Orange County piers

Go biking at the beach…any beach!

Eat a sandwich at Mendocino Farm (multiple locations)

Build a sand castle at the beach

Eat a Signature 50/50 burger from Slater’s 50/50 (multiple locations)

Enjoy a lobster roll from Slapfish (multiple locations)

Eat a waffle sandwich from Bruxie (multiple locations)

Hike Holy Jim Falls

Orange County Bucket List: Aliso Viejo

Picnic at Soka University

Orange County Bucket List: Anaheim

Go to an Anaheim Ducks hockey game

Stroll through Downtown Disney

Go to a Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim baseball game

See the Disneyland fireworks

Progressive Dinner at Anaheim Packing District

Attempt to eat “The Beast” at Blake’s Place

Ice skating at The Rinks (the official training facility of the Anaheim Ducks)

Take flight at Flightdeck

Watch the Main Street Electrical Parade at Disneyland

Movie at Oak Canyon Nature Center

Enjoy a Dole Whip at Disneyland

See a concert at Pearson Park Amphitheatre

Have authentic beignets in New Orleans Square at Disneyland

See a show at the Royal Theatre in Disneyland’s Fantasyland

Orange County Bucket List: Brea

Take a trip to the Redwoods at The Redwood Grove at Carbon Canyon Regional Park

Orange County Bucket List: Buena Park

Eat a boysenberry funnel cake at Knott’s Berry Farm

Eat a chicken dinner at Knott’s Chicken Dinner

Mine for gold at Knott’s Berry Farm

Orange County Bucket List: Corona del Mar

Have tea at the Sherman Library and Gardens

See Disneyland’s original bandstand at Roger’s Gardens

Orange County Bucket List: Costa Mesa

Shopping at South Coast Plaza (3rd largest mall in America)

Shopping at the OC SwapMeet (Costa Mesa)

Spend a day at the Orange County Fair

See a show and eat a themed brunch/dinner at The Segerstrom Center

Eat a waffle at The Iron Press

Eat a donut from Sidecar Doughnuts

See a show at the Costa Mesa Playhouse

Stop by The CAMP in Costa Mesa

Orange County Bucket List: Dana Point

Go whale watching out of Dana Point

Visit the Ocean Institute in Dana Point

Explore the tide pools at Dana Point State Marine Conservation Area

Eat dinner with a view at Cannons Seafood Grill

Dinner at Stonehill Tavern in Dana Point

Orange County Bucket List: Fountain Valley

Spend an afternoon at Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley

Orange County Bucket List: Fullerton

Spend a day at the Fullerton Arboretum

Enjoy a picnic at Laguna Lake Park in Fullerton

Orange County Bucket List: Garden Grove

Enjoy the architecture of Christ’s Cathedral (formerly Crystal Cathedral) (fun fact: this was the venue of my high school graduation!)

Afternoon at Atlantis Park in Garden Grove (note: neither adults nor kids may go without the other!)

Enjoy strawberries at the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival

See a show with Shakespeare Orange County

Orange County Bucket List: Huntington Beach

Dinner during sunset at Pacific City in Huntington Beach

See the sunset at the Huntington Beach Pier

Go surfing in Huntington Beach

Visit the International Surfing Museum in Huntington Beach

Stroll through the Tuesday Farmers Market in Huntington Beach

Attend the US Open of Surfing

Attend the Huntington Beach 4th of July parade

Kayak in Huntington Harbor

Watch a movie on the beach in Huntington Beach with Beachfront Cinema

Progressive Dinner at Food Truck Thursdays in Huntington Beach (Beach Blvd & Stark)

Eat a donut from The Donuttery

Bird watching at Bolsa Chica Wetlands

Stay overnight at Paséa Hotel & Spa

Take a trip to Europe at Old World in Huntington Beach

Orange County Bucket List: Irvine

Take a tour at the ChocXO Chocolate Factory and Tasting Lab

Ride the big orange balloon at Orange County’s Great Park

Ride the Giant Wheel at the Spectrum

Take a produce tour at Tanaka Farms

Explore the University of California, Irvine Arboretum

Eat tacos from The Lime Truck

Take a walk along the Walkable Historical Timeline in Orange County’s Great Park

Have a milkshake at Strickland’s Frozen Custard

Orange County Bucket List: Laguna Beach

Stay overnight at The Ranch at Laguna Beach

Drinks at Splashes Bar at the Surf and Sand Hotel

Enjoy First Thursdays Art Walk in Laguna Beach

Take a selfie at Heisler Park

Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach

Hike to the Top of the World in Laguna Beach

Take an art class at the Sawdust Art Festival

Have a cocktail at the Lobby Lounge at Montage Laguna Beach

An afternoon at 1000 Steps Beach

Drinks at The Rooftop Lounge

Spend an afternoon reading a book at Treasure (Goff) Island Beach

Hike Laguna Coast Wilderness park

Explore Orange County’s only lighthouse – Pirate Castle

Walk the streets of Laguna Beach on a Historic Bungalow Tour

Visit St. Francis by the Sea (once the smallest church in the world)

See a film on a third Thursday at California’s oldest museum, Laguna Art Museum

Eat a short rib grilled cheese from Three Seventy Common

Take a food tour with Flavors of Laguna

Pool day at Montage Laguna Beach

Listen to music at Reggae Night at Sandpiper “Dirty Bird”

Enjoy fresh gelato from Dolce Gelato

See a play at The Laguna Playhouse

Eat Brulee French toast from Break of Dawn

Orange County Bucket List: La Habra

Explore history at the La Habra Historical Museum

An Orange County Bucket List for your trip to California with 150 suggestions to help you plan things to do, beaches to visit, hikes, and cupcakes to eat!

Orange County Bucket List: Mission Viejo

Enjoy a wine tasting at A Hidden Vine On The Lake

Explore the Butterfly Garden while hiking Oso Creek Trail

Orange County Bucket List: Newport Beach

Brunch at The Beachcomber Café

Fruity Pebbles French Toast from Bosscat Kitchen & Libations

Spend a night at the Crystal Cove Beach Cottages

Go stand-up paddle boarding in Newport Harbor

Spend an afternoon at Newport Dunes Waterpark

Enjoy a milkshake at Ruby’s Crystal Cove shake shack

Take a ferry to Balboa Island

Take a boat ride in Newport Harbor

Enjoy a frozen banana from Dad’s on Balboa Island

Spend an afternoon at Balboa Island Fun Zone

Watch a movie Newport Dunes’ Movies on the Beach

Enjoy the pink sauce at Mama D’s Italian Kitchen

Orange County Museum of Art

Explore Balboa Village

Relax for a day at The Spa at Pelican Hill

Take a gondola ride with Gondola Adventures in Newport Beach

Have a glass of wine at Orange Coast Winery

Watch surfers at The Wedge in Newport Beach

Enjoy a picnic at Inspiration Point in Newport Beach

Shopping at Fashion Island

Eat a ham and cheese croissant from Seaside Bakery in Newport Beach

Orange County Bucket List: Orange

Aquacycle ride in Irvine Park

Hike Peters Canyon

Ride the wine trolley in Old Town Orange

Antique shopping in Orange Circle

Eat dinner at Orange Hill restaurant (note: this is where my parents got engaged!)

Step back into history with dinner at the Filling Station Cafe

Have a soda at California’s Original Soda Fountain – Watson’s Soda Fountain Café

Eat pancakes from Flappy Jack’s Pancake House

Orange County Bucket List: Rancho Santa Margarita

Take a walk around the lake and enjoy sunset drinks with lake views at the Blind Pig

Orange County Bucket List: San Clemente

Go running on the San Clemente Beach Trail

Build a burger at Riders Club Café in San Clemente

Eat crepes at the beach at La Galette Creperie

Attend an event at Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens

Watch surfers at Trestles – the “Yosemite of Surfing”

Take a trip to the South with dinner at Iva Lee’s

Enjoy a cheese plate or board from The Cellar

Orange County Bucket List: San Juan Capistrano

Visit Mission San Juan Capistrano

Orange County Bucket List: Santa Ana

See the monkeys at the Santa Ana Zoo

Progressive dinner at 4th Street Market in Santa Ana

Explore Discovery Cube: Orange County

Attend a performance at Orange County School of the Arts

Learn about the history of Orange County at the Heritage Museum of Orange County

Visit the Lyon Air Museum

Explore the Bowers Museum

“First Saturday” Artwalk in Santa Ana

Orange County Bucket List: Westminster

Dinner at Little Saigon in Westminster

Orange County Bucket List: Yorba Linda

Visit the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum

An Orange County Bucket List for your trip to California with 150 suggestions to help you plan things to do, beaches to visit, hikes, and cupcakes to eat!
Bonus!!! Orange County Bucket List: Cupcake Edition

Susie Cakes

Casey’s Cupcakes

Patty’s Cakes and Desserts

The Perfect Circle Cupcakery

Bubba Sweets

Simply the Cupcake Store

Rockwell’s Bakery

Sprinkles Cupcakes

French’s Cupcake Bakery

Sweet N Saucy

B Candy

Beverly’s Best Bakery

Hapa Cupcakes

Frostings Cupcakes

Wonderland Bakery

Sugar Blossom Bake Shop

Frosted Cupcakery

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Holiday Blog LinkUp

I can’t believe our 12 Days of Blogmas is coming to end!  It’s been a fabulous 12 days of so much Christmas goodness and I’m going to miss talking about all things Christmas here in the blog.  But alas, it’s time to go back to travel and healthy living…with a few cupcakes thrown in for good measure!  But before we head back to regular content it’s time for a holiday blog linkup and to announce the giveaway winner.

Our giveaway winner is….Valerie Hall…congratulations!!!

The holiday blog linkup is a chance for us to see all of the fabulous Christmas goodness you’ve been posting on your blogs!  So link up your favorite holiday post from this year…or your best post from the past…and then take a minute to explore all of the Christmas awesome-ness!

My favorite Christmas post this year was of course the 12 Days of Cupcakes…because you can never have too many cupcakes!

We've shared lots of amazing Christmas ideas with you and now we want to see all of your fabulous Christmas posts in this Holiday Blog Linkup!

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Have a Happy Healthy Holiday!

Tis the season for holiday parties filled with calorie laden foods and drinks and a calendar so packed it might be difficult to make it to the gym.  So how do you stay healthy during the holidays…with these healthy holiday tips!

Find time to be active – The truth is you’re probably going to eat more than you should this time of year so balance the extra calories with extra exercise.  If you’re shopping at the mall, find a parking space further away to log a few extra steps, create holiday traditions that involve being active like ice skating, sledding, or a family 5k (there are some fun Santa and Ugly Sweater runs out there!)

Choose your indulgences carefully…if you’re obsessed with Aunt Rosa’s cookies, then skip the ones you only kind of like from your other relatives…don’t indulge on everything available!

Healthy holiday tips to help you stay on track with your diet and workout goals during the busy (treat filled!) holiday season!
Practice portion control – It’s okay to eat one treat at your work Christmas party, but you probably don’t need to eat ten of them!

Plate your food…If you’re at a holiday party don’t spend the whole evening grazing at the buffet table.  Grazing means you’ll end up eating way more than you should!  Instead, prepare a plate of food and then stick to that!

Bring healthy food…If you’re attending potluck holiday events, bring along a reasonably healthy dish.  This way you’ll know there is at least one healthy option to choose from at dinner time.

I’d also recommend checking out this Healthy Holidays printable

What are your healthy holiday tips?

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Holiday Decor Traditions for Christmas

Ask any member of my family and they’ll tell you…I LOVE traditions!  Some of them might even tell you I’m a little obsessed.  I think a big part of why I love traditions is that I love adventures, being on the move, trying new things, and going new places and having traditions to come back to centers me and gives me peace.  Some of my most favorite traditions happen during the Christmas season and while I could talk about so many of my favorite Christmas traditions, today I’m focusing on holiday decor.  Here are a few of my favorite holiday decor traditions and tips on creating your own!

As with most of my posts, this post may contain affiliate or referral links.

Tips and ideas for creating holiday decor traditions for your family during the Christmas season so you can create memories decorating the entire house!

Decorate together.

In our family we have a pretty strict rule about not decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving.  But come the day after Thanksgiving…we go all out with the holiday decor!  I have so many memories of bringing out all of the bins of decorations the morning after Thanksgiving and spending the day decorating to all of our favorite Christmas music.  Set aside time as a family to decorate for the holiday

Add a new piece each year.

One of the things I love about my mom’s house at Christmas is looking back through the years at all of our holiday pictures.  Each year my mom gets a new snowman picture frame and adds a Christmas picture from the year.  Not everyone needs to get a new picture frame each year (although it is a pretty great idea!) but find something about your decor you can add to each year.

DIY your holiday decor.

Plenty of our decorations are store bought, but there is also something memorable about creating your own decorations.  I think one of my favorite reasons for creating your own holiday decor is that each year when you set out the decorations, you’ll be reminded of the memories you made creating the decor.  Every time I put out my holiday garland I’m transported back to the year I made this at my mom’s house.

Do you have any holiday decor traditions in your family?

See more ‘Holiday Decor’ posts from the Blogmas bloggers!

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The 12 Days of Cupcakes

Today we’re talking all about baking for the 12 Days of Blogmas!  But let’s be real for a moment…if I’m going to talk about baking is there anything I would talk about other than cupcakes?!?  We’re again combining two things I absolutely adore…Christmas and cupcakes for….Christmas cupcakes!

So today we celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas Cupcakes!

We're celebrating 12 Days of Blogmas with ideas and inspiration for Christmas cupcakes that can be easy enough for kids or showstoppers.
On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me one Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cupcakes

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me two White Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me three Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me four Snowball Elf Cupcakes

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me five Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me six Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me seven Eggnog Cupcakes

On the eigth day of Christmas my true love gave to me eight Spiced Apple Cider Cranberry Cupcakes

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me nine Snow Angel Cupcakes

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me ten Peppermint Cream Cheese Cupcakes

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me eleven Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

On the twelvth day of Christmas my true love gave to me twelve Eggnog Cupcakes with Butter Rum Frosting

What is your favorite treat to bake at Christmas?!?

See more holiday baking from the Blogmas bloggers!

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DIY: Christmas Card Display

Welcome back to the 12 Days of Christmas!  Today I’m going to share a quick and easy craft with you because if you’re anything like me you might not have a lot of time to complete a complicated craft project this time of year!  I don’t know about you, but I am absolutely loving seeing all of these different projects and ideas from so many different bloggers.  If you haven’t had a chance to check out the first two posts, go and do that now!

Christmas Card Display #merryblogmas
One of the things I look forward to the most about December is the Christmas cards that arrive in my mailbox.  Beginning around Thanksgiving I actually get excited to check my mail and see if I received any Christmas cards.  I save my cards from year to year but realized there wasn’t really a good way to go back and look through old Christmas cards…and so I created these Christmas Card Displays!

Supplies Needed:

Cardstock…I used red and green but you can use whatever holiday colors you’d like

Hole Punch

1-inch rings…if you get a LOT of cards each year then you might want a bigger ring but 1-inch should work for most people

Christmas cards

Holiday Card Collage #merryblogmas

1. Print out title pages for each year.  You can do this very easily be creating a Word document that says “Christmas ####” on half of the sheet.  I chose to alternate every year red and green but you can do it however you’d like.

2. Cut the cardstock in half so you have a cover and a back.

3. Put all of the Christmas cards in a pile so you can hole punch them all at once.  This helps make sure everything lines up evenly.  I sorted my cards based on categories…family, work friends, friends, etc.

4. Once you’ve punched two holes you simply need to bind them all together with the rings and you’re set!

Now that I have these I love being able to look through them at Christmas time and see how my friends and family have grown and changed over the years!


Do you send Christmas cards?  Do you make them yourself or buy store-bought ones?

See more Christmas Card inspiration from the Blogmas bloggers!

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