Sellands – The Latest Hot Spot in El Dorado Hills

For months now we have been teased with the signage of Sellands opening in Town Center. If you are not familiar, this great foodie spot is already quite popular in East Sacramento and also comes from the same owners of The Kitchen and Ella, also both a name in themselves. I was so excited when they opened earlier this week. I was able to walk through on Monday with a friend. I actually just wanted to peak in the windows because I thought the actual opening was on Tuesday. We grabbed some menus and drooled a little. Knowing of course that we’d be back. We also took in the beautiful design. With a large counter of both hot plates and deserts as well as a vast assortment of wines, there was truley something for everyone. The patio is dotted with happy yellow bistro tables. Inside you are welcomed with a fresh sprinkling of white and yellow. Selland’s is also considered a market so if you look around, you will find lots of goodies including an assortment of Stonewall Kitchen products like a dark chocolate salted caramel sauce {I can’t stop thinking about it!}  It just feels like a happy spot where you would want to sit and savor your food among friends and family.

Fast forward to today, I had a lunch date with another friend and this of course was where I wanted to go. The menu is full of sandwiches, pizzas, hot plates, soups and salads. It was so hard to choose! I went with a bowl of butternut squash soup and a lovely salad with apples and goat cheese. The soup was creamy with a little bit of sage oil on the top. The salad came with a golden balsamic vinaigrette. It was the perfect meal. My friend had a turkey and brie sandwich with caramelized onions. I was able to sample that as well and it was delish. We met at 1:30pm and the place was crowded and buzzing with happy customers. I think this was exactly the kind of spot that El Dorado Hills needed. I look forward to dining there again very soon. Actually, maybe even tonight? My son was very unhappy that I went without him. As he said, “I am dieing to try their pizzas”. So there you have it, Selland’s offers an atmosphere that makes kids and adults want to come back.

And we didn’t even have desert .. so stay tuned  for my next post on Selland’s Sweets 🙂

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Ho ho ho! Tis the season and I am sharing some local Santa hot spots with you!!


El Dorado Hills

El Dorado Hills will also have it’s annual tree lighting at Town Center on Saturday,  the 26th. Santa will also be available for photos in the California Visitors Center from NOvember 26th – December 24th. Click here for times.

You can have breakfast with Santa in El Dorado Hills on December 10th. There are two times for this event, 8am or 10am. Please click here to register.

The Annual El Dorado Hills Santa Run put on by the local fire department runs from December 14th – 17th with the finale happening on December 18th at Town Center. Please click here for details, maps and times.

Calling all kids! Santa is busy getting ready for the holiday season and his elves will be delivering your Christmas wish lists to the North Pole from December 1st-15th. Santa would love to hear from all his friends in El Dorado Hills and promises to return letters. Letters can be mailed or deposited in the holiday mailbox at the El Dorado Hills CSD Gym.
Send a self addressed stamped envelope to:
SANTA, North Pole
c/o El Dorado Hills CSD
1021 Harvard Way
El Dorado Hills, CA. 95762


Wild Nights & Holiday Lights at the Folsom City Zoo
, 5 – 8 p.m. Dec. 3,
8-10, 15-23.  Celebrate the magic of the season and help support the Zoo Sanctuary animals — forest of
lighted and decorated trees, carolers and seasonal refreshments, animal presentations and visits from
Santa Claus and the Zoo’s own Santa Paws.

Folsom Police and Fire staff and volunteers will guide Santa’s sleigh on the
annual parade through Folsom neighborhoods Dec. 11 through 16 beginning at 5
p.m.   Rain dates are Dec. 17 through 20. Click here for details.

Historic Sutter Street Christmas Tree Lighting on Dec. 2 and at the Annual Arts
& Craft Fair on Dec. 3. I am having a hard time with the Folsom Parks & Rec site. Please
view this contact information for a list of numbers for more details.

Local Malls

You can visit Santa at the following malls, please click on the name of the mall to be redirected to their site for hours.

Roseville Galleria

Sunrise Mall

Arden Mall

Downtown Plaza

I am sure that Santa will be making appearances at many local venues. If you have a favorite Santa location, please share it with me. Ho ho ho and Happy Holidays.


The Grace Foundation, for the love of all animals

There is something so special about this time of year. The “holiday season” seems to kick off on October 1st. Well, in my life it does! I feel like there are festivals, events, gatherings, holidays and all of the in-between for the last three months of the year. I love it. All of it and I feel that it is so fleeting {hence why I have been so MIA — so much busyness happening, more on that in another post}. October feels like a month of just enjoying Fall. The harvest festivals, picking out Halloween costumes, pumpkin patches, carving pumpkins, decorating for both fall and perhaps turning our front yards into a scary sight for all to see come October 31st. Then there is November. November is a bit of calm before the madness of December catches starts. November is a month of blessings. A month of sharing what you are thankful for. A month of “giving thanks”. That being said, I wanted to share something that has made me thankful this month. It is a wonderful organization that I have recently had the honor of coming into contact with.

The Grace Foundation is a place I had heard of. I knew the basics, that they rescued horses and other animals from dier situations in hopes of loving them, healing them and hopefully finding them a forever home. Of course knowing that this type of business is run mostly on love, community support, lots of generous donors and wonderful people that volunteer their time makes it all the more amazing. Recently my sister started volunteering at The Grace Foundation and with that came more information and an invite to a fundraising event that happened a few weeks ago. Upon my tour I realized how much work goes into the foundation. There were countless horses, sheep, a pig and lots of goats as well as some dogs needing a new home. If you have been following along with the local media, you may have heard of the Susanville 70. This is where 56 horses {18 of which are expecting foals} were rescued from a gruesome scene. This video shows the resilience of 3 of these horses. Grab a Kleenex!


The woman telling the story is Beth De Caprio,  the founder of Grace. I was blessed enough to meet her on November 1st. There is something amazing that happens when animals are near her. They feel safe, happy and connected. I saw this in the short amount of time I spent with her.  Not only does Beth take the time to help animals in need, she also runs a variety of other programs utilizing the love and compassion that animals possess. There are summer vet programs, equine therapy programs, riding lessons, birthday parties, volunteer programs and so much more.

As the holiday season approaches, many of us think of charity. What and where can we give to enrich others. The Grace Foundation is always in need of supplies, gift cards and money to help take care of the animals. My husband and I host an annual holiday party and we always choose an organization to donate too. This year we chose Grace.  We provide a wish list and ask our guests to donate. It is always a well received idea and makes us feel like we are helping those in need. Think about how the smallest amunt of money can make a difference.  If you donate just $10, it will but one bale of hay which will feed 14 horses one meal. What a small amount that can make such a big difference. In the words of Mother Theresa, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one”. I love this quote and it has been in my head since November 1st.

November 1st — why is this date popping up in this blog post? Well on November 1st, I went to Grace Foundation to meet Oreo. This was after my sister posted a sad photo of this sweet boy and asking for someone to love him cause he was so sad. Well that was all it took. I Wanted him to be happy. Actually I am pretty practical when it comes to animals as I know they take a lot of work. I love them but I want to be 100% ready to give what an animal needs for life. So this being said, I grabbed the boys and we hopped in the car and headed on over to Grace. After meeting Oreo, I just felt that he HAD TOcome home with us. My hubby was at work and was he very apprehensive about adding someone new to our house. We have a 10 year old lab mix that we have had since she was 8 weeks old. She is very well trained and easy. We are ‘fostering’ Oreo {who we have renamed Ollie} until the hubs gives me the green light. I think he is warming up to the idea. This 10 month old boy found his way to us. He is sweet, funny and awfully cute. Wanna see?

I was touched so much by this organization and how it helps so many sweet animals who don’t have a voice that I had to share it with you. Can you make a difference in the life of  others? For more information on The Grace Foundation, please click here.

Weekend Halloween Fun

Are you looking for some fun Halloween events this weekend? Look no more! I am sharing some of the fun with you. Halloween truly is a special time of year and so much fun for all. Seeing the costumes and creativity is one of my favorite parts. Well and the ahem, candy stuff. Yeah, I do love me some chocolate 🙂 My kids don’t really get things like Almond Joys, Heath Bars or Butterfingers. Those “disappear”. Poof! Magic on Halloween.

Hands 4 Hope is putting on their 2nd annual Haunted House. It is openThursday from 6pm-9pm, Fri- Sat from 6pm – 10pm, Sunday 5pm-8pm and 5:30pm – 7:30pm on Halloween. . They are located in Town Center. The cost for entry is $8.00. I hear it is pretty scary!  Click here for more details.

Town Center is also hosting a Halloween event on Oct. 31st. Trick or Treat from 4pm – 6pm and enter the costume contest for dogs and kids {serious cuteness to be seen!!} at 5:30pm.

Are you looking for some Halloween fun and dancing? Check out the dance party in Cameron Park. GP Productions will be playing dance music from 7pm – 11pm. Click here for more details.

Ravenblood Mortuary Haunted House is up and running next to Raley’s in EDH. This is not for the faint of heart so you must be at least 10 years old to enter. Cost is $10/8 with a student ID. Proceeds benefit Bikers Against Child Abuse, Soldiers’ Angels and Sons of Italy. You can purchase tickets at or at the door.

If you want to check out a spooky house – head on over to Waterford. The Sheffield Drive home of David Michael has an eery pirate theme with lots to see.

The Forest of Lost Souls will also be up and running this weekend. The El Dorado Food Bank is partnering with this event to raise food for those in need. This event runs the 29th – 31st. Kids under 10 can get in for free with 2 canned food items. They must be accompanied by an adult.Head on over to their site by clicking here. You will find details on price, donations and scary versus not so scary times.

If you are visiting Apple Hill this weekend, head over to Appleridge Farms for Halloween goodie bags on the 29th and 30th {while supplies last}. Grandpa’s Cellar has a Haunted Nature Trail on Oct. 27th – 31st from 10am – 4pm. Weather pending.

Of course there is also the Night of a Thousand Pumpkins and Fall Festival happening in Folsom this weekend. Click here for my previous post on this weekend of fun.

Are you looking for some fun and fabulous {and oh so spooky} Haunted Houses in the Sacramento area? News 10 shares some of the best. Click here for locations and details.

Do you have a favorite Halloween Haunt? I’d love to share it with my readers.

Night of a 1000 Pumpkins & Fall Fest in Folsom

Have you heard of or been to the Folsom  Night of 1000 Pumpkins? Well your chance is NOW! This event takes place on Friday, October 28 from 6pm-9pm. Bring your carved pumpkin down to Wool/Sutter between 2pm – 5pm. All pumpkins will be lit at dark and will line the streets. Which by the way are all pretty since the major renovation that took place over the past year. Vendors will be ready for Trick or Treaters so bring your little Goblin down between 4pm – 6pm. The night will also feature family friendly Halloween movies on a giant outdoor screen. Be sure to bring some folding chairs and a sweater!

Also, if you follow Karen’s Cafe on Facebook then you may have seen this little bit of fun information that they posted today. Pumpkin Carving at Karen’s Bakery Café! In case you did not see it, here is the post:

In preparation for the Night of 1,000 Pumpkins we’ve made arrangements for two PALLETS of pumpkins to be delivered to our patio on Wednesday, October 26th. Come during our business hours on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, carve a pumpkin, and then we’ll take care of transporting all the carved pumpkins up to Sutter St. on Friday (of course you’re welcome to take it up there yourself if you like). We’re hoping to help in the effort to have 1,000 pumpkins brought to the street on Friday night.

Historic Folsom is also hosting Fall Fest on Saturday, October 29th from 10am-4pm. There will be street vendors selling arts, crafts and more. There will also be a children’s costume contest and parade, a petting zoo, live music and street entertainment. For more details on both of these events go to or or call 916-985-7452.

It’s a Business Explosion! JoAnn’s in Folsom and so much more

Sometimes I get a little lost on what I should title a post. In the blog world, I want to be found in a search engine {hence JoAnn’s in Folsom} but I also want ya’all to know that there are lots of new business happenings in around Folsom. I thought I’d update you — and what perfect timing for the kick off to the holiday season? Hopefully these places will start off with a bang financially because of the season in which they are opening.

Now, many of you locals {especially the ladies out there} knew of and felt the affects of the fire at the Roseville Galleria. I believe the statement I saw most that day on Facebook was, “Oh my God!! The Mall is on fire!!!!” Now this was obviously a mess for so many reasons. Yes, I was upset because it is my fave mall but mostly I felt awful for the people who were suddenly out of work and the holiday revenue that so many businesses count on? Gone. They hustled and had some of it back up by Christmas but there was a chunk that was not accessable. Just last week they re-opened that section of the mall. The rebuilt section of the shopping center now boasts more than 50 stores and restaurants, providing even more options the holiday season. Can I get a woo hoo?? 😉

What else is new? JoAnn’s has arrived in Folsom. This was a very big deal to the community. We have Michael’s but JoAnn’s carries fabric. People seem to love fabric  if the line in that department is an indicator! Walmart carries a small selection but JoAnn’shas them beat. They are located at 1010 East Bidwell Street in Folsom. They opened on the 6th but they are celebrating their Grand Opening this Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 13-15. Be sure to sign up at for coupons and newsletters.

Another coming soon attraction in Folsom is Whole Foods Market. This is kinda like the mecca of all grocery stores. The selection is awesome and if you are one who tends to go for more natural and organic groceries, then this is the store for you. The Grand Opening is October 26th. If you click here, you can sign up for a sneak peak on Oct. 20th or 21st. I just signed myself up!!

Another great store coming to Folsom on Oct. 23rd is HomeGoods. You probably know the commercial, “Be HomeGoods happy”. If you have been then you know this is a super fun store to shop for …. home goods! I am talking a little bit of everything. Bathroom linens, bedding, lamps, mirrors, wall decor, storage, pet beds and dishes, holiday decor and even furniture. It is a great place when you are in the mood for a little redecorating but want to keep yourself on a budget. I do {heart} this store. If you are want to see what HomeGoods is all about, click here. Prepare to be inspired!

Steinmartalso opened in Folsom a couple weeks ago. It is located in the Broadstone shopping center. It took the place of the old Linens n Things. I had never been in a Steinmartbut I wanted to check it out. Of course I happened by on the opening day so it was a bit of a mad house. They seem to have a good selection of men’s and woman’s apparel as well as various accessories. They also had some housewares. The prices are fairly average. The store is definitely more upscale in appearance then Ross or Marshall’s. It had the feel of a Macy’s but on a much smaller scale.

So there you have it — some new spots for shopping locally. I was hoping to include Selland’s in this list but when I called for status today, I was told that they are pushed out until January. Oh darn! I was very much looking forward to another dining option here in El Dorado Hills.

Do you know of any new businesses making an appearance in our area any time soon? Do tell. 🙂

Goblin Gardens – Local Farm Fresh Pumpkins & Hay Maze

Well, I am on restriction now. From Pinterest. It’s become a borderline ‘issue’. Kinda like chocolate except I like Pinterest more then chocolate! Do you “pin”? Click here if you do and you can check out my boards. If not, let me know and I can let you in on the secret 😉 Basically I could sit and pin my likes all day and all night. So I give myself little time-lines, “Gabby, at 10:15 you must close out of Pinterest”. Ugh. Seriously people. It is like crack {not that I would know but you get the idea}. So beyond my addiction, I wanted to share a what looks to be a fun local Pumpkin Patch in Natomas. It is called Goblin Gardens. They are open daily from 10am – 7pm. Some of the fun things they offer:

  • Corn Maze
  • Bale Pyramid (Consisting of 1356 bales of hay.) The best view of our farm.
  • Minature Hay Maze
  • Minature Racetrack for younger children.
  • Large inflatable double-slide
  • many fun cutouts and backdrops for some terrific family photo opportunities.
  • Weekends hourly educational Hayrides. (Available also by appointment on weekdays.)

I can not seem to locate the prices but I did find a $1 off coupon on their Facebook Page. Click here to be redirected. You can also contact them at 916-925-2496.

Oh yeah, don’t let the idea of a “Minature Hay Maze” be a deterrent — my 40 year old husband managed to have a great time chasing and scaring the kids in one at Apple Hill this last week. The fact that he is 40 and did this is a whole other post 😉 I think I shall call it, “Once a boy, always a boy”. The kids had a blast with their grown up friend! Ha ha.

Do you have  a favorite Pumpkin Patch? I’d love to hear where it is.

Weekend Fun in Cameron Park & Folsom

Yes, I like to have fun. Who doesn’t? 🙂 Well it seems there is always something fun to do in or around my town.  A few local ideas for this weekend:


The Folsom Zoo has gone art crazy! They actually had their animals create works of art. You can see the display from September 8th – October 27th at The Gallery at 48 Natoma in Folsom. Tonight is a special preview from 6-8pm and features wine tasting from El Dorado County Wineries. Proceeds from art sales benefit the Folsom Zoo. For more details {and to see an interview with my sweet friend Lynn that works at the zoo, click here}.


How about a little foodie fun? Cameron Park is hosting Ribstock this Saturday. Gates open at 11am. There will be of food, live music and plenty of fun for the whole family. Plus, someone is gonna win some cold hard cash for the best ribs. Competitions are always fun to watch. Kinda like watching Throw Down with Bobby Flay on Food Network 😉 Click here for more details.


The 44th Annual Antique Peddlers Fairewill be held in Historic Folsom from 8am-4pm. There will be lots of goodies to buy! I am actually attending this and I can hardly wait. I am hoping to collect some fun goodies to make/create/sell on my upcoming Etsy business.

What are you doing this weekend?

9/11 Memorials in and around Sacramento

Dearest friends,

As you know I like to share a lot of hodge podge stuff on my blog. I always try and include humor as I do believe laughter is the best medicine. Sometimes laughter is not a part of a post though. Case in point. This weekend will mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America. As I have been reading all of the stories that have surfaced and even has I have heard Lee Greenwoods, Proud to be an American and cried — I am reminded of that day and of that time. The world felt like it completely stopped that day and I know many of us felt unsafe and wondered what was next. I did not know anyone in the World Trade Center nor did I know of anyone in the military during that exact time. I am however married to a firefighter. That in itself was such an insight to what a fearless profession he is in. It stung. I thought of all of the firefighter wives that said good-bye to their husbands that morning not knowing it was the last. All of the parents that kissed their babies for the last time that morning. The gripping fear that must have seized these souls during their last moments. We all felt this. In some way or another. It changed us.


My heart goes out the people have endured the aftermath of this insanely inhuman attack. The lovers who lost their soul mates, parents who lost children and children who lost parents. All of us were affected. A lot of very innocent people. All because of beliefs and differing opinions. It breaks my heart. I am a peaceful fighter. One who believes in standing up for my beliefs but one who also believes in kindness and knows that we are all unique in our views. A few weeks back, I went to see Sugarland in concert. The most moving part of the entire concert was when Jennifer Nettles appeared on stage. With a black can of spray paint and a stretched white flag in her arsenal. She painted the word, “NOW” and within the ‘O’ she made a peace sign. Wow. Such a powerful statement. It washed over me. I had this feeling of, “Why can’t it be this easy?”. Why is there so much hate in our world? Aren’t our basic needs the same? To love and be loved? Do all of our differences have to make us hate each other? I say we take the opposite stand. Love each other and find peace.


I am feeling this so deeply and wanted to share my sentiments with you. Thank you for listening 🙂

This Sunday I will be attending a 9/11 Tribute at my husbands firehouse. I can pretty much bet that there will not be a dry eye in the house. I wanted to share some other memorial events happening this weekend in and around Sacramento.

9/11 Memorial Events per the Sacramento Bee


• Sacramento

7:30 p.m. – Diverse Americans Unite – Japanese, Muslim, Sikh and Buddhist Americans – presents a memorial at Buddhist Church of Florin, 7235 Pritchard Road. At 8 p.m., participants will ring a Buddhist gong and conduct a candlelight ceremony.

• West Sacramento

Noon – A 9/11 Memorial Flag Tribute with nearly 3,000 small flags representing lives lost on Sept. 11 is at Jefferson Boulevard and South River Road. The display continues through sundown Sunday.


• Colfax

8:46 a.m. – The Kiwanis Club of Greater Colfax presents Reading of Names Memorial Service behind the Historic Freight Depot, 1-4 Main St.

• Dixon

4 p.m. – Dixon Fire Department unveils a 9/11 Memorial featuring steel from the World Trade Center at 205 Ford Way.

Rancho Cordova

The California Capital Airshow presents a tribute with a memorial flower drop, concluding with a Missing Man formation at Mather Airport, 10510 Superfortress Ave. A ticket to the air show is required. The cost is $15 for general admission.

• Roseville

Noon – St. John’s Episcopal Church holds a remembrance at 2351 Pleasant Grove Blvd. A special memorial flag with names of victims hangs in the narthex.

• Sacramento

5:30 a.m. – A remembrance vigil and reading of names of the men and women who died in the attacks begins at the west steps of the Capitol. There will be a moment of silence at 5:46 a.m. Immediately following, the crowd will be ushered into one of the three memorial sites on the Capitol grounds.

8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. – Nor Cal Tea Party Patriots, KTKZ and Fox 40 News presents a memorial remembrance at Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd. A free pancake breakfast for first responders, military members and their families is from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. At 9:07 a.m., a bell will be rung and a moment of silence will be observed.

2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. – The Law Enforcement Chaplaincy Sacramento presents “Decade of Remembrance” at the east steps of the Capitol.

There is also a 9/11 Memorial Run/Walk which starts at 9:11am. Click here for more information. Anna Nalick will be performing as well.
Will you pay tribute on 9/11? If so — where and how?

Apple Hill 2011

September has arrived! Do you know what that means?? Apple Hill time!! Yes, my happy place people 🙂 Labor Day weekend is the kick off for many of the apple ranches in Camino. I have actually gone on opening weekend for many years but this weekend we were in Twain Harte with friends. I see a weekday trip happening in the very near future though.

Have you been to Apple Hill? Well let me give you the run down. It’s located in Camino and it is 56 family owned and operated apple farms. You will also find several great wineries in the area and in just under a month, PUMPKINS!! Eeeek. I can hardly contain my excitement.

A few bits of information — click here for the official Apple Hill Website. Each ranch has it’s own specific hours as well as merchandise. This is a popular destination for field trips of all ages. This being said, you will see busloads of people arriving at the more popular ranches.

Celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s Birthday on September 18th. Lots of extra fun to be had at participating farms. Click here for more details.

Did you know that Apple Hill also hosts a Harvest Run? This year is the 32nd Annual and it falls on Nov. 6th. Click here for more details.

A few of my favorite spots:

High Hill Ranch: This is a very popular spot, probably the busiest of all of the apple farms. They have an ongoing craft fair as well as a fishing pond and lots of apple goodies including a bake shop {tip: buy frozen pies for the holiday season – no one needs to know that you did not make this yourself ;)} Fudge Factory Farm is also located here! Chocolate people. Need I say more?

Abel’s Acres: A great spot to take the kids on the weekends. They have pony rides and a Hay-Bale Maze {weather permitting}. Abel’s also has an ahhhh-mazing selection of  caramel apples.

Apple Ridge Farms {formally Plubells}: This is probably my kids favorite farm. They have animals that you can feed {kids LOVE this!}, a hay-maze as well as a U Pick Pumpkin Patch. Seeing how much effort the new owners have invested in this ranch has been great and the transformation has been incredible.

Boa Vista Orchards: This is one of the few that is open year round. It is a popular spot right along the main road but a little extra tidbit? They also have fresh produce!  So you can get some apple goodies and even perhaps some fresh tomatoes as well.

Rainbow Orchards: Fresh, hot apple donuts. Need I say more? I didn’t think so 🙂

As I have mentioned, many of these farms also grow pumpkins. Check back in towards the later part of the month. Some farms even allow you to pick your own.  Fast forward alert … If you are wanting to cut your own Christmas Tree, you can also find some ranches that offer this. We went last year and had a blast. Especially cause we got to play in the snow while picking the perfect tree. Click her for Christmas Tree information.

You can find a 2011 calendar of events by clicking here.

Are you already an Apple Hill fan? If so, what is your favorite ranch and why?