May 15, 2015

East Village Tavern and Bowl + Giveaway!

When was the last time you went bowling?
I must admit, 
it's been a while for me, 
mostly because the bowling alley right by my house is very..... vintage. 
Smelly shoes and greasy food is not exactly my idea of a good time,
but fortunately, East Village Tavern and Bowl is a game changer!
A few weeks ago they invited me over for some bowling, dining and drinks,
and I had SUCH a good time. 

This is not your average bowling alley. 
It's super modern, has good music, yummy drinks, and delicious food! 
No more greasy pizza and flat pitchers of beer for you!

And guess what? 
To help spread the fun, I'm hosting an AMAZING giveaway!
Get the party rollin' at Tavern and Bowl with 5 of your closest friends,
cause you can win 1 lane for 2 hours and bowling shoe rentals,
plus 2 flatbread pizzas & 2 soft drink pitchers.
Approximate value of $180!

Redeem at any of the four locations,
Costa Mesa, East Village, East Lake or North County. 
To enter, simply leave your Name and Email in the comments below. 
Giveaway will run from the time this post goes live, until Friday, May 22nd,
and I'll personally contact the winner as soon as it's over. 
Good luck!
Farmer's Market Burrata - burrata cheese and heirloom tomatoes, topped with basil puree, with roasted garlic and grilled bread.
930 Market St.
San Diego, CA

natasha

May 6, 2015

In Love With..

via
-I decided to pass on the Apple watch.. for now. But I am quite smitten with the new MacBook. Gold?! I think I decided what I'm getting myself for my birthday.

-Tried out a few new places around town lately and here's what I recommend:
1. Quartyard - I love my dogs. You love your dogs. We all love our dogs. And alcohol. Combine the two and taking your pooch to the park just got a whole lot more interesting!
2. SuperNatural Sandwiches - hidden in between the military base and a million random businesses, is a tiny deli that serves up the most legit seafood sandwiches. With shrimp chips! I tried the siren and the griffin so far. Both are ridiculously delicious. Go there. Now!
3. Don Chido - I know that there's like a gazillion a-ma-zing taco shops sprinkled all throughout San Diego, but sometimes a gal wants to feel classy when she's shoving a burrito in her mouth. So she devours this burrito at a Mexican restaurant instead. Don Chido is located in the heart of the Gaslamp district, has killer carnitas and an awesome bar. Olé!

-I've been on a reading kick lately. I finished Girl on the Train in like.... a day, and now I'm completely sucked into Killing Kennedy. I can't say that Bill O'Reilly is my favorite person on the planet, especially not when I listen to his interviews... however, this is a damn good book. So easy to read, and I'm actually learning and retaining everything I probably should have learned and retained in my U.S. History class in high school. Better late than never!

-Were you obsessing over MET Gala coverage this year? I was. Let's talk about the battle of the booties. Who wore it best?
Jlo, Kimmy or Bey? 

natasha

May 1, 2015

Sycamore Den

Are you guys watching the last season of Mad Men?
Does anyone else feel like they're on the verge of depression because you don't want the show to end? 
Only three. episodes. left. 

I love that the last stint takes place in the 70's. 
Such a fun decade!
Do you want to time travel there?
You can. Sort of. 
I recently stopped by Sycamore Den to try out a cocktail or two,
and instantly fell in love with the ambiance. 
The cocktails are awesome, 
with the Wolf Ticket being the most popular.
Grab a seat by the giant fire place and roast up some smores (the Den will provide all the ingredients!),
or just chill by the bar and take in the music of the piano. 
Definitely adding this place to my list of go-to's when I need to unwind!
Sycamore Den
3391 Adams Ave.
Normal Heights, CA 92116

natasha

April 28, 2015

VIPink Brunch Giveaway + Shades of Pink Cocktail

Hello!
Any other brunch lovers out there?
It's one of my favorite pastimes, and when I can brunch for a good cause, that's even better!
Won't you join me this weekend?

On Sunday, May 3rd Westfield Mission Valley will host its popular VIPink Brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
It is a charitable culinary and shopping experience that benefits the work of Bright Pink,
the only national nonprofit org focused on prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women.
VIPink will bring together fashionistas, foodies and shoppers for a fabulous afternoon outdoors
where guests will dine, drink and shop for a great cause.
For a $10 donation, guests will enjoy a bevy of activities, including:
• Craft cocktails by master mixologists of Rumbling Tins  (SOO yummy! See below for recipe.)
• Delectable brunch bites by Gordon Biersch
• Pink donut station by Nomad Donuts
• A live, interactive fashion show
• Styling by Fashion Group International
• Pampering mini beauty treatments
• Live music
• Activities, giveaways and more!

Guests will also have the chance to go on the ultimate shopping experience around Westfield Mission Valley,
where they’ll receive samples, swag and exclusive discounts.
Most importantly, 100% of the proceeds benefit Bright Pink.
Tickets and more details are available HERE.

I'm also happy to report that I am hosting a GIVEAWAY for a pair of tickets right here, right meow!
Last week I got together with one of the sponsors, Rumbling Tins,
to taste-test one of their signature cocktails for you - Fifty Shades of Pink!
Check out the featured cocktail recipe below,
and if that sounds delicious,
enter for a chance to taste it yourself this Sunday!
Recipe courtesy of Eric Johnson of Rumbling Tins:
  • 1/2 shot of lemon juice
  • 1 shot of orange juice
  • 3/4 shot house made Grenadine
  • 1 shot solerno blood orange
  • 1 shot Reyka Vodka
  • Top with soda water
___________________________________________________________________
Just leave your name and contact info below to enter the giveaway.
If you can't wait to see if you've won, and just really want to attend, purchase your tickets here.
Hope to see you there!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

natasha

April 19, 2015

Spa Day at the Grand Del Mar

is also known as PARADISE. 
This place is ridiculously gorgeous, 
which is the main reason why my bestie and I chose it as the setting for our random Tuesday spa day. 
Best. Decision. Ever. 

I meaaaan, I'm pretty sure the pictures speak for themselves,
although I hardly remembered my camera was in my purse as we stumbled around the beautiful grounds. 
The Grand Del Mar shines as California’s triple Five-Star resort with a sparkling roster of recognition from the most prestigious organizations in the world, 
including the incredible distinction as TripAdvisor’s #1 Luxury Hotel in California.
Nbd, right? 
So in other words, it's fancy. 

Here's the deal though,
you don't have to stay here to enjoy all the perks.
You can, of course,
but if you're an SD native like myself and don't need a place to stay,
you can just make a day trip out of it. 
Which is exactly what we did. 

Just book a treatment at the spa,
and indulge in all the complimentary amenities. 
You guys, I can't even describe to you how relaxing this felt!
Shortly upon arrival, we checked in at the spa, changed into our robes, and walked over to Amaya for a light lunch (make your reservations here, it's worth it, I promise). 
After some salmon tartare and a chilled bottle of rosé,
we pranced over to the pool to take in some sunshine before heading in for our spa appointments, 
This was pretty much where we stayed for the rest of the day,
in between body scrubs and more wine. 
Bliss!
5300 Grand Del Mar Court 
San Diego, CA 92130


natasha

March 26, 2015

Weekend Getaways


Hey friends, 
who else is ready for the weekend? 
I know I am. 

I'm thinking it's time for another weekend getaway,
don't you think?
If you're looking for ideas, 
then you should definitely join me in the #FKWEEKEND twitter chat today at 3 pm EST.
Together with FlipKey, area expert cohosts, and select TripAdvisor Media Group brands,
 I'll be chatting about favorite weekend getaway cities and destinations in the US.

If you had a few days to spend in some of our favorite cities, what would you do?
Where would you go?
Where would you eat?

I'm looking forward to sharing some of my ideas,
and more importantly,
getting some new ones!

If you don't have a twitter account, or are unable to join the party today,
don't fear,
FlipKey offers some amazing travel guides on their site.
So many places, and so little time!

Hope to chat with you all in a few hours!

natasha

March 20, 2015

In Love With..

via
-although it's been a long week, I feel like I can hardly complain since I get to indulge in not one, but TWO spa days! On Tuesday, my friend and I decided to spend a day at the Grand Del Mar (it was absolutely sublime! stay tuned for a post about it next week), and tomorrow, I'll be joining two other girlfriends for facials at Enviouskin, brunch at Cafe Bleu and pool lounging at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. What is this life?! I'm not sure, but I can definitely get used to it!

-last night I made these carnitas and oh my gah.. drool! I love easy crock pot recipes, and this has to be one of my favorites to date. Throw all the ingredients together in the morning, cook on low for 8 hours, and boom - tender, juicy pork is ready to be devoured. Serve "street tacos" style on corn tortillas, with shredded cabbage, avocado, crema, hot sauce and a squeeze of lime.

-for the past month I've been using Fitn to try out different workout studios in my area, and I. Am. Hooked. The concept is simple - subscribe for one Fitn membership, and get access to hundreds of different studios all over San Diego! So far, I've tried out several new yoga and barre studios around my house, and even challenged myself to do a bootcamp class. It kicked my booty, but now I'm obsessed! What's more, is that every time you workout with Fitn they donate a day pass to the Boys and Girls Club of San Diego to keep children active and healthy. How great is that? #fititforward

-I recently attended a media event at Bottles & Wood, a business which takes beer, wine, liquor, and soda bottles and repurposes them into glassware, serving ware, lights, and jewelry. They offer some neat products for sale (you may have seen the Grey Goose chandelier on my insta @inlovewsandiego), and the venue is kind of perfect for hosting events (check out past events here). Afterwards, we migrated a few blocks east, and had dinner and drinks at Common Theory. They have about 34 beers on tap, and their Truffle Mac & Cheese was like stupid good

natasha

March 16, 2015

Panama 66

I have this romantic notion of what a picnic should look like in my mind...
You know, a plaid blanket,
a wicker basket filled with hand-made sandwiches, cheeses and fruit,
some white vino that magically remains chilled throughout the day. 
I've tried to assemble this setup once or twice before,
but haven't had much luck. 
Somehow the food looks like it's been sent via snail mail from Africa by the time we're ready to eat,
the wine is warmer than my morning coffee,
and no matter how large my blanket is, there's never enough room for us to actually sit. 
So you end up laying out your legs on the freshly cut grass,
only to get eaten alive by bugs five minutes later. 

Debbie Downer much?

Well anyway, I've given up on most diy activities, 
including arranging a picnic basket,
and have opted to seek out cafes with outdoor patios and professionally assembled food instead.

I checked out Panama 66 a few weeks ago,
and was pleasantly surprised with the simplicity. 
Situated adjacent to the San Diego Museum of Art,
the location is perfect for taking a break from museum hopping. 
 The menu changes often, but they do have a full bar, 
and offer a nice variety of appetizers, sandwiches and salads. 
Oh, and they also do brunch, on Saturday and Sunday from 10am-3pm. 

With summer practically upon us,
at least it feels like it considering the weather has been climbing above 90 degrees lately,
it's a nice option for a day-time "picnic" at Balboa Park. 

natasha

March 13, 2015

In Love With.. New Mexico

I know.
Random, right? 
And pretty outdated.
But last year I went to New Mexico simply for the hell of it,
and... actually enjoyed it. 

I spent a few days in Santa Fe,
and then squeezed in a day in Albuquerque, because I'm a Breaking Bad fanatic, 
but more on that later. 

Below are a few foodie recommendations along with some overall travel tips,
in case you decide to visit any time soon.
Please try not to judge the quality of the photos too much... 
I decided to leave the giant camera at home this time. 
Never again. Promise. 

Let's start with logistics - 
we flew into Albuquerque, rented a car, and drove straight to Santa Fe right around sunset. 
The colors during this time of the day are amazing,
and the scenery made the 70 mile drive super easy. 
In Santa Fe, we opted to stay at the Buffalo Thunder Resort,
a giant Hilton property, complete with a casino, and even a club. 
The location is not in city center, 
but the proximity is close enough,
and I didn't mind because the resort is pretty awesome. 
We did explore around "downtown" quite a bit
and here's what I suggest. 
Grab a seat on the outside patio of Draft Station,
and consume as much beer and pizza as you can. 
I opted for the lobster, shrimp, applewood smoked bacon, mushroom, green onion, truffle oil & four cheeses with alfredo sauce on blue corn crust. 
Holy foodgasm! 
From there, walk to the Georgia O'Keefe Museum and take in some vagina paintings
Bonus points to whoever knows where that reference is from.
Be sure to stop by the Loretto Chapel and check out the spiral staircase,
aka the "Miraculous Stair". 
Two mysteries surround the spiral staircase in the Loretto Chapel: 
the identity of its builder and the physics of its construction. 
I won't go into details, but be sure to check out the episode of Unsolved Mysteries that it was featured in.
Or just watch this
Take a break and try some local favorites at Santa Fe Spirits
This place is awesome, 
but warning, the drinks are strong!
The Scotch Lassie was my favorite, as far as I can remember. 
If you're looking for souvenirs,
or just in the market for something weird,
visit the Santa Fe Flea Market
Made me feel like I was on set of True Detective, not gonna lie. 
After a few days of exploring around Santa Fe,
we headed back down to Albuquerque for a night before flying home. 
I was there around October, 
and the colors of fall were SO beautiful!
We pulled over quite a few times to...
have a photoshoot. 
Hah!
So what is there to do in Albuquerque besides stalk Breaking Bad locations? 
Well.. we couldn't find a whole lot, 
except for eating and drinking, 
cause we all know I'm good at that!
I was pleasantly surprised with the microbrew scene.
Is it just me, or is it blowing up all over the country?
Either way, 
that night we had dinner at Nexus Brewery and um, the chicken and waffles?
Amazing! 
Dare I say it tasted better than Roscoe's?
Blasphemy! 
It was the next best thing, considering Los Pollos Hermanos is not real...
And yes,
I did creep Walter White's house. 
And Jesse's too.
And I even stopped by the car wash. 
Shameless. 
Finished the trip with a nightcap at the Canteen before flying home the following morning. 
All in all - a great time. 
Have I convinced you to plan a trip?

natasha