Category Archives: around san diego

around san diego

An Urbanite’s Guide to 24 Hours in San Diego

July 16, 2015

An Urbanite's Guide to 24 Hours in San Diego // My SoCal'd LifeLast week we met the design lover. This week’s installment of my five-part city guide series is for the lover of all things downtown, urban, and skyline-dotted. From a waterfront park marked by the San Diego cityscape to a hip Italian eatery that feels straight out of Milan, here are eight ways to dine, drink, and play like a city slicker:

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around san diego

A Design Lover’s Guide to 24 Hours in San Diego

July 9, 2015

A Design Lover's Guide to 24 Hours in San Diego // My SoCal'd Life

Lately I’ve been getting a lot of questions from visitors and recent transplants about San Diego—where to eat, what to see, where to go outdoors. And I must say, I’m honored. In the mere 2.5 years I’ve lived here, my day job as a food and travel magazine writer has forced me to get a firm handle on this city in a short amount of time, and now I can confidently recommend wonderful parks to visit, restaurants to try, and shops to peruse through.

So I wanted to launch a series of San Diego guides that pay homage to the never-ending joy I get out of giving people recommendations. Here, the first of five guides for how to spend 24 hours in San Diego. (I know what it’s like to zip around this city in one day, so I was very realistic with how many things to do during those non-dormant 24 hours. At the end of each post, I’ll offer more options for the ambitious tourist.)

If you love mid-century design, art museums, Instagram-worthy cacti, and the like, you’re in luck. Today, I’m tipping my tour guide hat to the Design Lover.

Take a look:

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around san diego - San Diego eats + drinks

Neighborhood Watch: Cardiff-by-the-Sea

July 7, 2015

Acai bowl // My SoCal'd LifeWith a name like Cardiff-by-the-Sea, can’t you just picture a quaint beach community of surfers and free spirits? That’s at least some of what’s on tap in this North County neighborhood, and in the latest issue of San Diego Magazine, I rounded up eight more food, drink, and outdoor Cardiff picks.

You can read the full story here.

Photo by Sam Wells


around san diego

The San Diego Summer Guide from A to Z

June 25, 2015

San Diego Summer Guide // San Diego Magazine

Outdoor jazz concerts, opening day at the Del Mar races, boozy popsicles, dog-friendly happy hours at the Hotel Del, and more—I rounded up a summer-tastic lineup of food, drinks, and events for the new issue of San Diego Magazine. You can read the full story here. (The concert finder is my fave.)

Photo by Jen & Bec

around san diego - Design + Interiors

The Best San Diego Home + Gift Boutiques

June 23, 2015

The Best Home Decor and Gift Boutiques in San Diego // My SoCal'd Life

Birthdays, weddings, barbecues—’tis the season for a party, and shopping at local boutiques has become my new favorite outlet for gifts that are equal parts thoughtful, unique, and often locally made. Here are my eight favorite spots in San Diego for something special: read more

around san diego - Travel

Rancho Valencia

June 16, 2015

Rancho Valencia Resort in San Diego // My SoCal'd Life, a lifestyle blog

I appreciate my hole-in-the-walls and fun-for-free beach excursions, but SoCal isn’t SoCal without some floss, no? With that in mind, I had been itching to check out Rancho Valencia ever since I moved to San Diego and got wind of this sprawling, glossy property located in one of America’s wealthiest neighborhoods, Rancho Santa Fe.

The award-winning hotel is comprised of suites, villas, a luxury spa, fine dining restaurant, croquet lawn, and equestrian-themed bar, all of which together has earned it the number one spot on U.S. News & World Report’s list of best hotels in America. When you pull up to its Veladora restaurant, you can’t even see where all the cushy accommodations are. That’s how wide this place stretches.

Lofty title aside, would you just look at that design? Spanish-style architecture, bougainvillea to the left and right, and a perfectly pristine attention to detail. And that’s just the space allocated to the resort’s restaurant.

Take a look:

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around san diego

Neighborhood Watch: Bonita

June 11, 2015


In my latest piece for San Diego Magazine, I’m sharing nine picks from the neighborhood of Bonita, a south San Diego nook with diverse menus, surprisingly country-like landscapes, and gorgeous strudels. Thanks to Katherine Belarmino, a Bonita resident and blogger at Travel the World, for her help with this!

You can read the full story here.

Photo by Sam Wells

around san diego

Sonima Wellness Center in Encinitas

June 4, 2015

Sonima Wellness Center, Encinitas // My SoCal'd Life

One of the great things about living in San Diego is that, compared to New York, I spend time with friends in a much healthier way. It’s less about drinks and brunches (though there’s some of that too), and more about going on a hike or trying a yoga class.

So now I love setting up dates with my nearest and dearest that revolve around something active. And last week, Eaman and I swapped a dinner date for a workout date at Sonima Wellness Center in Encinitas. The part-gym, part-cafe, part-health coaching Mecca stemmed from the Sonima Foundation, a non-profit organization that brings health and wellness education to underserved schools. The founders, Sonia Jones and Salima Ruffin, went on to create to share tips to a broader audience. And now the first center, which opened in January, sits on the 101 in Encinitas.

The Center offers group classes, and while it’s no surprise that yoga and meditation are part of the schedule, the inclusion of circuit-training boot camps and dance is pretty rare in yoga-centric studios. And one of the coolest parts is the piggy-backing possibilities. We tried Michelle Rene Buysse’s Active Alignment class, a restorative blend of yoga and physical therapy that everyone has to try at least once, and followed it with yoga. Or you could try boot camp then reset your body via Active Alignment.

They also offer health coaching and workshops, and most dreamy of all is their organic, vegan, raw cafe, led by Joy Houston, raw food nutrition educator and teaching chef for Whole Foods. I know, organic, raw, and vegan?! How very SoCal of me. But trust me, Joy is doing amazing things with that menu. The spicy Thai kelp noodles was outstanding—my favorite raw/vegan dish I’ve ever tasted.

I know it sounds like I’m fan-girling a bit, but that’s because I am. I love what the Foundation stands for, the mindfulness they’re bringing to staying active, and the spa-like ambiance of the Center. It encourages a new breed of hanging out.

Best of all, your first week is free! Take a look:

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