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

March 5, 2015

In Love With..

via
-seriously considering a juice cleanse next week. I've done it before, and it's a love-hate relationship. Love the way I feel after about three days, but kind of hate getting there. Don't get me wrong, the juices are delicious, and the program I usually opt for even allows food (yay for chewing!), but I always want what I can't have. In this case it's anything from In-N-Out and McFlurries. Who am I?! I don't even like sweets that much! Ugh, the struggle is REAL. 

-so I'm not really into competitive reality TV (is that what the American Idol category is even called, or did I just make it up?), but this week I turned on The Voice and kind of got sucked in. Mainly because Adam is so dreamy, but also because there was this kid who sounded SO GOOD. So I may or may not watch the whole season. We'll see. But speaking of Adam, have you guys seen this Maroon 5 video? Did they really do that? I love them even more now. 

-this week I had dinner at Bankers Hill for the first time in years, and was kind of kicking myself for not coming in more often. The steaks are always on point, and I highly recommend the Chile Verde Soup. Also stopped by Starlite for a quick happy hour, and I still believe that they make the best moscow mules in San Diego. Their potato and cheddar pierogis are also amazing... smothered in butter and caramelized onions. Guh! I'm salivating. 

-I know that it's probably not the smartest fashion investment, considering the weather in San Diego is not exactly conducive for wearing wool hats buuuuut.... I really really want a Janessa Leone hat. There are so many cute ones to choose from!

natasha

February 24, 2015

Perform with PrAna

I love yoga. 
It's one of my favorite activities for mind and body.
If I'm having a poopy day, 
spending 60 minutes on a mat, in a heated room, will work wonders for my spirit. 
That, and a bottle of wine are my typical stress busters. 

Last Saturday I was invited to an awesome event at CorePower Encinitas,
to celebrate the opening of prAna's first Souther California retail location. 

PrAna is a lifestyle brand that draws its name from the ancient Sanskrit word for breath,
life and vitality of the spirit. 
The brand creates purposeful and stylish apparel for people to pursue their passions on the water, mat, rock, trail and street. 
Basically, they offer super cute workout clothes, and I want just about everything from their yoga line. 

The event included a class at CorePower (love their studios!)
followed by some mingling with fellow San Diego yogis.
I even got to walk away with a swag bag full of goodies from the sponsors,
including some awesome prAna yoga accessories, a fresh juice from Beaming, and a week of free yoga!
I couldn't ask for a better start to my Saturday. 
25 Highway 101
Encinitas, California

natasha

February 20, 2015

A Day in Encinitas

A couple of weeks ago, 
I had a random day off of work,
and decided to do something different. 
The weather was perfect, (reads 85 degrees in January),
so I knew I wanted to head towards the beach. 
The cute, surf town of Encinitas came to mind,
and I realized that I haven't been there in years. 
I packed up a beach blanket, with few little plans, and headed out for the day. 
And guess what?
I had a really lovely time. 
It's amazing how rejuvenating vitamin D could be for soul. 

Encinitas is only 25 miles away from San Diego,
and is totally worth a visit. 
We drove up right around lunch time,
so naturally, finding a place to dine was the first order of business. 
Not too hard of a task - Blue Ribbon Pizzeria has been on my list of "must visit" restaurants for a while now,
so I was excited to finally check it out. 
Oh my gosh, I'm so glad I tried it because it was stupid good. 
Leave it to me to stuff my belly full of pizza and beer right before heading to the beach,
but who cares! 
It was totally worth it. 

I spent the next few hours soaking in the sun,
and finished it off with a nightcap at the Bier Garden of Encinitas
Does it get much better?
Hardly. 

natasha