San Diego eats + drinks

Brunch at the Andaz Hotel downtown

May 21, 2015

Heads up! I’m back (hooray!) and have changed my posting schedule to Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Brunch on the Andaz Hotel rooftop in San Diego // My SoCal'd LifeYou had me at dog-friendly. The Andaz Hotel‘s RoofTop600, a lounge that includes DJ’ed weekend parties and a trio of pool parties this summer (Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day), serves brunch on its top floor, and your four-legged friend is welcome. The space, which was remodeled last summer and includes a retractable roof perfect for this recent spate of San Diego rain, is open and airy, with daybeds, a living plant wall, and city views.

On this particular Saturday, it was drizzling May grey-style darkness, so we settled in for a cozy with Teddy by my side. The staff loved him, bringing him a water bowl once we sat down and giving the lovable attention whore a few pets every time they checked on us.

We managed the perfect balance of savory and sweet: The sizable waffle topped with macerated berries and fresh cream and the highly recommended caprese omelet. Oh, and a classic chocolate donut. Did I not tell you about the rain and gloom?

Check it out:

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be right back

May 13, 2015

too-many-tabs-openIt’s time to get real real. I’m juggling a whole lot on my plate right now: working at San Diego Magazine (filling in for an editor on maternity leave), freelancing, blogging, trying to stay active (it’s good for the freelance brain), and virtually checking in with my mom, who’s undergoing surgery today for a broken ankle.

I feel totally all over the place, and each week a few things fall to the wayside. Either I don’t see friends or I don’t work out or I don’t spend any time with my dog or I eat like crap. Bah! I’m going to have to make some changes, what those are I have no idea because I haven’t even had time to think about it, but one thing that will help is taking a few days off from this blog to recharge. Sometimes you need to just sit on the couch while your golden retriever sits next to you and snores ever so softly without the compulsion to cross something off your checklist.

So I need to figure out ways to allow for more of that in my life. Thanks in advance for being patient with me! As with everything in life quality > quantity.

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how to propagate succulents

May 11, 2015

succulent propagation

Succulents are as Southern California as surfing and palm trees. They’re planted in yards, sold at boutiques, and often the decor of choice in cafes and restaurants. They’re cute, they’re low-maintenance, and they come in all sorts of kooky shapes. I was sold. That said, constantly buying new succulents becomes a costly affair. Enter: succulent propgation, the process of using succulent leaves to breed new succulent plants.

I used this very handy, very visual guide from fellow SoCal bloggers, Needles + Leaves, to get started on my succulent that was beginning to take on a life of its own. If you’re looking to try this yourself, I highly recommend the Needles + Leaves guide, since they took better notes than I did. Ha! But for now, I recently transferred some baby succulents into the new pots, so I thought it would be a good time to share my progress. My number one tip? Let the mother/host leaf die before yanking it off. There were a few times that I pulled off the precious roots in the process.

For those that did survive, take a look:

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around san diego

the balboa park cactus garden

May 6, 2015

Balboa Park Cactus Garden // My SoCal'd Life, a lifestyle blogLiving within walking distance of Balboa Park, the 1,200-acre urban playground filled with trails, museums, restaurants, tennis courts, dog parks, and a velodrome, has its perks. One of them is getting to walk through the less-visited cactus garden, located just across Park Boulevard near the rose garden.

The garden is an enclave of quirky cacti, flowering trees, and walkways with mountain views to the east. Dr. Seuss was rumored to have been inspired by the cacti here and used the shapes as inspiration for his own drawings. And best of all, unlike the rest of Balboa Park, this nook usually remains delightfully quiet.

Take a look:

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around san diego - San Diego eats + drinks

brunch at farmers bottega in mission hills

May 4, 2015

brunch // My SoCal'd Life, a lifestyle blogBrunch may not be the first word that comes to mind when I think San Diego—it’s usually palm treessurfing, and 72 degrees—but I quickly learned that this city is passionate about the intermediary weekend meal. And San Diego offers every shade of the brunch rainbow, from boozy spots and vegan options to acai bowl stands and a place that serves pineapple upside down pancakes.

Farmers Bottega is a happy medium between everything—farm-to-table-focused without costing a fortune, simple without lacking style, and spacious for big groups. Last weekend I went to the restaurant to celebrate my friend’s birthday with a group of about a dozen, and we found the perfect spot for a group brunch: the expansive, dog-friendly back patio. It’s filled with lush greenery as well as brick walls that feel straight out of New York, albeit with much more square footage. The menu includes chilaquiles with vegetarian-friendly black beans ($10), different Benedicts ($10-14), French toast ($9), Cafe Moto coffee, and more. Sounds standard? They also have extensive gluten-free options along with bacon all over the menu. It’s like the two sides of San Diego, health-conscious plus pork-lover, coming together on one menu!

Check it out:

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