eShakti: Petite Perfection!

17 June 2017

Good morning, fellow fashionistas!

June 2015, I had the pleasure of reviewing a dress from online retailer, eShakti, and was pleased as punch to follow up with a 2nd review this June as well.

Now that we know that eShakti does a great job of customizing clothing sizes 0-36W exactly to your own physical measurements, I wanted to see how they did in customizing the length of dresses for petite ladies such as myself (5'1").
Anyone who is petite will agree that it is almost impossible to find a dress that falls just right at our feet. And good news, ladies! The online fashion house does a great job of creating long summery dresses that won't have to be hemmed nor will you be tripping over them time and again.

Unfortunately, the dress I am wearing (day sky print) is not in stock anymore. That is one of the problems with eShakti, in that fabrics seem to run out quickly and rarely are replenished.

Thankfully, eShakti is constantly introducing new patterns and outfits that you can customize to your own desire. For this dress in particular, I changed the deep v neck to a regular v neck for modesty.

I have so many favorites among the new print dresses that I cannot even begin to share a choice two. So take a peek yourself!

Enjoy! And be sure to grab the $25 gift coupon and free shipping codes for new customers!!

xx Joy

Disclaimer: Thanks to eShakti for the complimentary sample. All photographs and opinions are my own.

Summer Fun: Whale Watching!

12 June 2017

(c) Island Packers.
Summer is here in 8 short days... And there are so many incredible and exciting ways to enjoy the summer holidays with your friends and family.

One that I am super excited about is...

Whale Watching !!!
(c) Island Packers.
I have personally never done this before but l am looking forward to taking my dad on an ISLAND PACKERS CRUISE out of the Ventura Harbor this Sunday for Father's Day, their first summer whale watching excursion.

Island Packers Cruises' summer whale watching tours are six hours on the water (remember, the channel can sometimes be rough). They depart from the Ventura Harbor on a 65' power catamaran.

The boats and dock ramp (at Ventura Harbor) are handicap accessible.

I look forward to having a full detailed accounting about my trip this coming Sunday (18 June) next week.  In the meanwhile, check out their website to see the various tours they offer (including a 4th of July fireworks trip).

(c) Island Packers.
See below for some helpful pre-trip policies from the website:
All Trips
  • Food Service is available on the boat. Cash or credit cards are accepted
  • Wear low heel rubber soled shoes with good tread. (No high heels)
  • Dress casually and in layers of clothing for cold and/or warm weather. Sunscreen is suggested.
  • Bring a warm jacket/coat and hat.  A lightweight raincoat is suggested for sea spray in the winter.
  • Cameras and binoculars are great to bring along.
  • Check with your doctor for appropriate sea sickness medication if you feel it necessary.
Non Landing Wildlife and Whale Watching Trips
  • You may bring lunch, snack and non-alcoholic beverages for your time aboard.
  • Please no glass containers for everyone's safety.

ACCESSIBILITY: The Ventura Harbor is handicap accessible with ramps as is their 64' power catamaran (summer whale watching tours). FYI -- the Oxnard Harbor is NOT handicap accessible.**

Until next time!
Joy x

Zulilly: Feeling Patriotic?

07 June 2017

Hello friends!
Can you believe it is already June?? Where does the time go?

Today, in preparation for the summer holidays including 4th of July, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite new tunics from Zulily favorite "Simply Couture".

American Flag Sidetail Tunic.


A fluttering hem creates alluring movement, while a lightweight cotton blend keeps you cool.

Side Note: This item runs large. I usually wear a medium but found the small worked just fine.

The tunic is available in plus sizes for $29.99 (as of 7 June 2017).

The regular sized tunic is currently not available but save it to your wishlist and you never know if it'll reappear at any time. In the meanwhile, check out Simply Couture's feminine and romantic current outfits on Zulily.

I currently have the "pink lace pleated tunic" (but in white) and absolutely adore it.

What do you think of patriotic clothing?
xo Joy

Afternoon Tea: Tranquility Tea Room

01 June 2017

An afternoon spent at Thousand Oaks' Tranquility Tea Room is sure to be a pleasurable one for all involving fragrant tea, delicious edibles and enchanting themed teas. For my birthday in April, my friend L graciously invited me out for tea at the local tea room and I eagerly accepted. You could hardly say no to girl time and a spot of tea.💜

Tranquility Tea Room hosts five themed teas each year in addition to an annual Mother's Day tea. I have previously enjoyed their "Once Upon a Tea" and "The Wizard of Oz" menus. They also have a "Tinkerbelle Tea", "Mad Hatter's Tea Party", and "Christmas Tea Party".

Each themed tea has different decor, featured tea flavors in keeping with the theme, and five unique tea sandwiches with fillings that represent the party's theme.

At this particular occasion, we were there for the "Once Upon a Tea" and each table was decorated to represent a different fairy tale such as: Rapunzel (our table for 2), Sleeping Beauty and Beauty & The Beast.

There are 6 different tea options for purchase (ranging from $16.95 - $28.95 per person) and they offer a $2 off coupon online for their premium Deluxe Tea.

Should you have a dietary need, there are: a Gluten Free Deluxe Tea, an option to substitute 3 sandwiches for a Quiche Lorraine ($5.00), or you could substitute several sandwiches for a salad ($4.50 - $9.00).

My main complaint is that the Deluxe Tea only offers ONE scone whereas most tea rooms offer two scones with their premium tea offerings. And considering how scrumptious the fruit scone was, there would have been no complaint had there been a second one. Also, there was no option given between a fruit scone and a plain one.

Each attendee may choose a personal pot of tea that will be refilled as many times as you like during your visit by the charming servers. I noticed the "Ode to Joy" tea on the list and given that it was my name I had to give it a try. And I was not disappointed in the least.

Should you like your chosen tea or want a fun keepsake, the tea room also offers a mini shop in the front room with scone mixes, bags of loose-leaf tea, tea scrunchies, and more.

At our tea, the sandwiches were all good with fresh bread but my personal favorite had to be the "Caramel-Apple Brie with Pecans on Potato". Thankfully, this is a popular sandwich that is offered at several other of the themed teas. Of the dainty desserts, I loved the creamy lemon tart. And the fact that Tranquility Tea Room uses fresh roses and flowers in their decor adds a special touch.

Two thumbs up to our young male server who was attentive, helpful with taking photos, and eagerly shared tidbits about the different tea pots and his favorite tea choices. He also let us know that there were extra scones for sale that we eagerly purchased.

A local favorite is that the tea room is filled with fanciful hats, gloves, tiaras, and boas! You can of course bring your own hats and/or fascinators (as I did) but there is always fun especially with a large group of ladies to dress up and snap dozens of fun photos that will surely grace your Facebook and/or Instagram feeds.

Since the tea room can only seat 32 ladies (and gentlemen), reservations are a must. The tea room needs at least 24-hour advanced notice.

Reservations (windows of 2 hours) are available:
Monday - Saturday: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.

For reservations call: 805-418-9939. If you need any children teas, gluten free teas, and/or special requests please be sure to let them know when you make reservations.

Tranquility Tea Room also offers catering and tea-to-go options if you cannot make it to the tea room yourself. In particular, as someone who is currently using a wheelchair, I cannot make it up the stairs to the tea room either in the front room or back room (6 stairs), I am interested in testing out the tea-to-go option soon and will be sure to share all with you, my fair readers and friends.

The tea room is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible but they do offer a wheelchair catering discount.

Tranquility Tea Room
Address: 2527 Thousand Oaks Boulevard, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

Driving Directions:

Exit Hampshire North from the 101
Left on Thousand Oaks Boulevard
Right on 2nd Street "N.Oak View Dr"
Use 2nd driveway on the right
They are Located Upstairs ***There is no elevator

I hope you have enjoyed my review of Thousand Oaks' Tranquility Tea Room. If you are in the area, be sure to look them up and perhaps you too can enjoy a couple hours over tea.

The current tea is: Mad Hatter's Tea Party (June - August).

And be sure to mark your calendars for my other favorite, Wizard of Oz Tea (September - November). You can see some photos from my 'giving thanks' tea party in the front room below.

Until next time,
Joy x

Review: Los Robles Hospital ER

31 May 2017

Good afternoon friends and fellow bloggers. Hope everyone has had a great memorial day weekend and are excited about what's to come in the month of June.

I want to share a review of my experience at Los Robles Hospital (4 May - 10 May 2017). Today we will dive into what happened at the Emergency Room.

In the Ventura County, Los Robles Hospital is considered one of the best options. However what I experienced on the 4th of May was a huge disappointment and raised several red flags.

First: The Wait Time.

They say that their "ER Wait Times" text message service is approximate and represents the time it takes to see a qualified medical professional (not including a triage nurse). When I texted for the wait time, as we were pulling up to the curb, it said 15 minutes. Not too bad, I thought, but boy was I to be disappointed when it took several hours before I was finally rolled into a room only to wait another long while before the doctor himself appeared.

"ER Wait Times": 23000

Wait Time: D
ER Waiting Room. (c) Los Robles Hospital.

Second: The Waiting Room.

Backing up... my dad pulled up to the curb outside the emergency room and went in search of a wheelchair since I could not walk. He found one in the foyer near the entrance and wheeled me inside. A volunteer (very kind) walked us over to the self check in station which was very easy and prompt. Then we were instructed to have a seat until a triage nurse called us in. The waiting room was about 1/2 full at the time so we pulled up a chair for my dad and he wheeled me up next to him.

The triage nurse called me after about 5-10 minutes and after taking my details, they sent me back into the waiting room. Now began the longggggggg wait. I kept seeing patients come in and pretty soon the waiting room was completely full.

A triage nurse (Asian male) came out and started my IV and asked me to give a urine sample. But that is where he failed miserably... I cannot walk and cannot even lift my feet but an inch or so and he offers no assistance to the bathroom and just tells my mom "she has to do it". There was no kindness or compassion, just matter of fact coldness. #MajorFail

Later, I asked a passing volunteer (very kind young man in high school) if he knew an approximate time. He was going to comply graciously when a stuck up female volunteer (middle aged blonde) walked over and scolded him and haughtily told me that they didn't do that and I would be seen after all the important clients. #WhatTheHeck

After a couple hours we were finally wheeled into a cubicle/room and more waiting commenced.

Waiting Room Staff: C-

(c) Los Robles Hospital.
Finally: The Doctor.

After being wheeled into the curtained cubicle, it was probably 15-30 minutes before the male nurse (Grand Canyon University graduate) arrived, said the doctor was going to be in soon and scurried out so fast I didn't get a chance to ask for a drink.

Finally the doctor (Dr. Ramin Raven) breezed in with his students (?) in tow. He asked what was wrong and I specifically pointed out that I couldn't walk and my legs weren't moving. He proceeded to exam me and when he got to my abdomen he said I was constipated and sent me for an ultrasound. I was shocked! Constipation??? I was there for my LEGS!

After the test results confirmed constipation, he said that was my problem and that he was releasing me!!! I said but wait a second and reminded him that it was my legs and feet and he 'threatened' me that it was either 'be admitted overnight or sent home'. We tried to get off the gurney but I couldn't even sit up. He must have realized it was worse then he thought and finally agreed to admit me. He was definitely not pleased with this decision but walked out and I breathed a sigh of relief.

A half hour or so later, an African American woman stepped into the room, muttered something under her breathe about being required to give us a paper, dropped the paper into my mom's lap and walked away. Again, I was shocked by the blatant disrespect and lack of courtesy we were being shown at Los Robles Hospital. And this form she had 'given' my mom had some very important information that required explaining and since it was near two a.m. at the time there was no one available to talk to at the phone number on the form. Thanks a lot, lady!

We were in the ER from 7 p.m. - 2:30 a.m. (7 1/2 hours) when they finally brought us to my room on the fourth floor.

Staff: F

A further review of my experience in the hospital will follow soon... In the meantime, if you have to go to Los Robles Hospital's ER do yourself a favor and try to avoid Dr. Raven at all costs.


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