Celebrating milestones! Start 2018 pampering yourself.

2:41:00 PM

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored blog post. Although we were compensated to write this post and shop at the business described below, all opinions are 100% our own. All photos and content in this blog post are copyrighted and belong to Just Happiling and the sponsor. You do not have the right to redistribute this information, without our written consent. 

I am going to start this blog post by sharing how unbelievably fast 2017 went. They say time flies when you are having fun, but I guess it also applies for when you are very busy with big projects. Nonetheless, I must say that there were a couple of huge milestones accomplished this year, and for that, we definitely needed to celebrate.

For starters, our blog turned one during 2017. I believe the first year of a particular blog is the hardest, because not only are you building your audience, but you are also testing the waters to see if this is something you really want to do. Don't get me wrong, I have been blogging for five years now, but I really didn't feel like I had found my niche until Just Happiling came along; a place where I can share moments and things that make me happy, with all of you.

It all felt super official once I got my business cards from Minuteman Press. I was very pleased with their customer service, and at awe at the way my awesome business cards turned out. But most of all, having them delivered to my home was the cherry on top. Like many of you, I am super busy most of the time. Practicality is the key word in everything I do, and delivery services really come in handy when making the choice to purchase products or services. Now that we are looking towards the future, and other business possibilities, I really feel confident that I can find the products we might need for these new projects, and at a reasonable price at Minuteman Press, such as; postcards, stationary, fliers, custom stamps, promotional items, and more. 
I highly recommend for you to check out their website to see the whole line of products and services available at the following link: http://www.escondido.minutemanpress.com/

Alongside our blogiversary, there was another huge milestone that I had accomplished this past year. Right before Christmas, I took the Oath of Allegiance and became a Naturalized Citizen of the United States of America. I had been a resident for almost seven years at the time I applied, and I knew by then, it was time to take the next step. After applying, there was a few months waiting period, nonetheless, it gave me enough time to study and have everything ready for the big day. Once the ceremony date arrived, I was so stressed about being on time, that I just didn't want to eat at all. I figured we could go out and celebrate by eating something after the event, which ended up around noon; oh boy were we starving by then.

That is when we decided to go eat to Ali Baba, also located at the Mission Escondido shopping center. Not only does Ali Baba have very savory food, but the very generous proportions of the servings were just what we needed. 

Although I really like the shaneena, which is a yogurt drink, I had the craving for something sweet and refreshing. Therefore, we ordered a pomegranate-berry juice instead.

If you like refreshing juices, I highly recommend for you to try this one. I really don't know if it's the pomegranate or the berry, but it is really tasty. However, if you are feeling a little exotic, try the shaneena. Just be aware that it is a bit salty, not sweet at all. I guess it's an acquired taste, because like I said, it's my favorite.

Service at Ali Baba is super fast, and always super courteous. Soon after we sat at our table, we got one of the first dishes we ordered; the sampler. This includes; hummus, baba ghanouj and tabouli. I can still savor that delicious humus just by thinking about it. I really like this combination, but to be honest, if I had to order just one thing from their menu, and leave the place happily, it would have to be the humus. That is why as soon as the dish was placed in our table, we just had to dig in. Oh and by the way, it comes with their famous Ali Baba Bread, which is very big and yummy. You just got to try it. 

As I mentioned earlier, service here is super fast. Therefore, it didn't take that long for our main course to arrive. I was so looking forward, grabbing a bite of that Lamb Tikka, and oh look--more hummus. I was really enjoying myself with these exquisite flavors. The serving that you see in the photo below, is not in the online menu. This was the special for the day, offered when we went to visit. However, just ask the staff, and they will be more than happy to assist you and describe the different dishes to you. 

If you want to have an idea of what you can order at Ali Baba, just visit their website here: http://abcuisine.com/menu. You'll find photos with the names of the dishes, so you can make a better choice of what you want to order. And if you are going to have a special event in which you'd like to offer something different to your guests, Ali Baba has catering services as well.

Don't be deceived by the perspective of the picture above, regarding their Ali Baba bread. We had already eaten quite a bit of it, and things look smaller in the background. But just to give you an idea, it is slightly bigger than the plate in which I am enjoying my meal. 

As always, we had a great experience eating here. However, it ended up being so much food, that we just had to take the rest home. I was secretly excited that we were going to eat this again the next day with the left overs.

In case I gave you the cravings, know that although you can order all of these goodies at any time during open hours, there is something special you can only enjoy on the first Saturday of each month around dinner time: a belly dancing show. This means, you might enjoy of this event tomorrow if you make plans for it. Don't hesitate to contact the restaurant to find out more about these monthly events, to make sure that schedules haven't changed, and/or make a reservation. We usually arrive early, but if you arrive during rush hour, it is better to be safe with a reservation up front.

I was still a bit overwhelmed in excitement of what I had just accomplished earlier that day. I couldn't help but daydreaming about all the possibilities that were coming now that I had become a Citizen. I was literally going to start the New Year, with a new me. Oh yes, because in a way, it does make you feel like a different person with new rights, and also with greater responsibilities. Nonetheless, and although I am a proud new citizen of this great nation. I am still going to celebrate my Mexican heritage whenever I get the chance. Mainly, because I need good excuses to go eat tacos. And for that, I am so happy we discovered El Tejate Restaurant, where you can try authentic Oaxacan cuisine. Have I mentioned that lately, this is the only Mexican restaurant that we go to? They had me at 'Organic' tortillas. 

Here, I also got to try crickets, which is a staple snack in Oaxaca and other southern states of Mexico, but I think next time, I just want to stick to the less exotic menu. At least I can still claim that I was adventurous enough this past year. Nonetheless, there is still so much I want to try. 

If you'd like to read more about our experience at El Tejate, visit our previous blog post here: 

All in all, it was a very exciting year, although a little stressing by the end. This is why, I think that I want to receive the New Year with a bit of a break. Pamper myself a little, and start fresh and more relaxed for the things that are to come this 2018. In a way, I am glad that the New Life Day Spa is located right there at the Mission Escondido shopping center as well. I've never really gone to a spa in my life, but at this point, after all the hard work of last year, I deserve it: Well--actually both my husband and I deserve it, because while I was getting stressed, I was kind of driving him a bit crazy (laughs*). Just a bit, I promise. 

If you also feel like you want to start the year by pampering yourself, learn more about New Life Day Spa by visiting their site here: https://www.yelp.com/biz/new-life-day-spa-escondido 

Oh, and if you just happen to be like me, and enjoy making, but mostly eating sweets during the Holiday Season, it might be handy to know that A+ Dental is also located at the Mission Escondido shopping Center. I usually go to the shopping center on the weekend, which is when they are closed. But the last time I went there was on a Wednesday, and that is one of the days they are opened at this location. 

The staff was very attentive and kindly answered some of my questions regarding the schedule. If you think you might benefit from their dental services, give them a call to learn about current promotions they might be having. Check out their website here: http://www.aplusdental.us/ or visit via Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/A-Dental-629224790537693/
By the way, if you just happen to be at the shopping center, and the office is close. There is a flier bin right at the door with contact information and currently ongoing promotions (if any). 

We really enjoy visiting the Mission Escondido shopping center when we are in the area. There are several culinary choices to try, both for dining on location, or if you want to buy some interesting ingredients at the Oriental Food Market, and make it yourself, like we have in the past. 

You can check out that blog post here: 

It is very convenient to have such diverse array of services and products so close to home here in the City of Escondido, that it makes it easier to appreciate and share the experiences we've had on our visits to this shopping center. 

The Mission Escondido shopping center is located at:
205 W. Mission Avenue, Escondido, CA 92025

Discover the many other businesses located at the Mission Escondido shopping center by visiting their website here: http://www.missionescondidoshops.com.

Have you visited this location? If so, what is your favorite place to eat, shop, visit, or pamper yourself at? Do you have a favorite meal from one of the restaurants at the Mission Escondido shopping center? Let us know in a comment below. We'd love to read you, and even try your suggestions.

Happy 2018, and remember to smile, because it's contagious.


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