Friday, November 23, 2012

Non-Toxic, Color-Safe Bleach!

Afraid to use bleach on your delicates, new sheets, or in your household because it's too harsh? Try The Laundress All-Purpose Bleach Alternative. It safely brightens everything in your home. Safe on colors, it's non-toxic, non-abrasive and environmentally friendly.  Buy it online or pick it up at Bloomingdales in the home department :)

The Laundress All Purpose Bleach Alternative

Monday, November 5, 2012

Organization is Key

Shop best-selling elfa closet and home solutions.

We all know how amazing the Container Store is, but here are a few things you may not know they offer:

  • Free closet design.  You can call to make an appointment and all they need are the measurements of your closet.  They digitally design your space depending on your needs and budget.  You can choose the finishes and accessories.  The shelves are removable so you can always reconfigure the space (something uncommon for most customized closet design).  Let them design your master closet or even office space!
  • Cord control.  Cord Control contains all your cable wires/cords and extension cords in a sleek little box.  Use it in your office or under your cable box.
  • Large white bins.  Unlike the traditional black or silver plastic containers for storage in your garage, they brighten up the space.  You can even purchase plastic sticky labels that can be written on with a dry-erase marker.  If everything has a labeled home, there's definitely a higher chance it will get put away!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Blogs I Love: Shop Sweet Things

At the moment, I'm loving the blog Shop Sweet Things.  With the holidays right around the corner, I'm on the prowl for fun, original gift ideas for family and friends, and Shop Sweet Things is a wonderful resource.  I especially enjoy the "Sweet Things Under $20" feature.  Can I help it if I see a few things for myself?

I've been hunting for a new iPhone cover and, lucky me, I found a post entitled, "16 Eye-Candy Cases to Dress-Up Your New iPhone 5."  OK, so I still have an iPhone 4, but I'm sure I can find iPhone 4 versions of at least a few of these adorable cases.  My favorite is the striped iPhone case that can be found on Etsy.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Style Me Pretty Launches New E-Magazine

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Check out Style Me Pretty's new e-magazine! Style Me Pretty is a fantastic blog for brides-to-be, which features photos from real weddings, ideas for DIY wedding projects, and an extensive bridal fashion guide.  The introduction of the e-magazine adds yet another resource for wedding inspiration.

So often bridal magazines recycle the same content month after month, and fill the pages with more adds than articles.  What I love about Style Me Pretty (both the blog and the e-magazine) is that the focus is on beautiful new images any bride can use as inspiration.  Even if you're not planning a wedding, try translating some of the great ideas into your next event.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Most Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookie is Worth the Wait!

A few years ago, the New York Times published what is, hands down, the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I have ever tried.  The key to executing this recipe is to let the dough rest for approximately 36 hours prior to baking.  The author of the article, who adapted the recipe from Jacques Torres, explains that this allows the dough to soak up the liquid and achieve a better consistency and a richer, more sophisticated taste. 

Dont let the recipe intimidate you.  It is not any more difficult than the typical cookie recipe.  The main challenge for the cook is waiting patiently for a few days--which is well worth it!  Although the recipe calls for bread flour and cake flour, I used all purpose flour.  I also substituted regular chocolate chips for the chocolate disks.  And I don't have a mixer with a paddle attachment, so I just used a standard hand mixer.  Clearly the key factor is to achieve the full restimg time, rather than follow the minutia of the instructions.  Keep reading for the best cookie recipe ever!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Best in the West

Sunset Magazine recently released its picks for the West's best local food shops, and several San Diego shops made the list!

Homegrown Meats in La Jolla offers grass fed beef raised in the Palomar Mountains.  Happy cows indeed!

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Sugar and Scribe Bakery in Pacific Beach makes scrumptious desserts, while Catalina Offshore Products' offerings include fish caught in local waters.

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Saturday, October 6, 2012

How to Host a Book Swap

Book clubs are lovely, but let's face it: it's almost impossible to find a date that works for all your friends, decide on a book that everyone will enjoy, and actually get people to read it!  Hence the book swap.  A book club-lite of sorts.

I hosted a "Books & Brunch" book swap last month.  Here are the details:

Assorted pastries, berries, tea sandwiches, and Bloody Mary's

Each person brings two or three books and discusses them with the group.  Numbers are drawn, and each person picks a new book in order, until no books are left.  Refreshments are enjoyed, and the conversation turns to general gossip.  So easy!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Vegas Getaway, Mandalay Bay

Thinking about a weekend getaway? Take a look at my new photos from Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas on my Facebook page. "The Hotel" section is amazing.  All rooms are suites, and the wave pool, lazy river, cabanas, and sand make it worth staying at the end of the strip.

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Have dinner at the House of Blues restaurant and enjoy live music, or have drinks at Mix for the best view on the strip. Mix has a glass elevator that takes you up to the 64th floor.  If you have time for it, the spa looked pretty snazzy also!   You won't need to leave "The Hotel" during your getaway.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Wrap it Up!

When it comes to gift giving, it's the thought that counts.  But nice gift wrapping can add excitement and style.  My favorite store for cards and gift wrap is Paper Source.  In addition to two San Diego-area locations (La Jolla and Carlsbad), Paper Source products are available online.

I always like to select wrapping that hints at the surprise inside, or reflects the gift recipient's personality.  For a friend obsessed with cycling, I might pick a cute bicycle bag:

For a colleague moving to the east coast, I'll wrap a New York travel guide in this Brooklyn map wrapping paper:

LUXE linen

Shop for your linens at Bloomingdale's Fashion Valley.  They carry Hudson Park, which just came out with a LUXE collection.  Amazing!!  Bloomingdale's has unrivaled sales, and a great Loyalist program.

Check out the new collection online, but make sure to shop in the store for personalized service.

Bloomingdale's LUXE

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    Thursday, September 20, 2012

    Good Hair Day

    Nothing pulls a look together like a polished hair style.  And isn't it so much easier to achieve bouncy shiny hair with professional help? Enter Drybar, a Los Angeles mainstay with an outpost in San Diego.

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    Tuesday, September 18, 2012

    San Diego Restaurant Week 2012

    With 3 more days left in Restaurant Week, take advantage!  My favorite is the Marine Room.  You can make your reservations right there online through open table.  It's also a great way to try out a new place.  You can search for restaurants by cuisine.

    Friday, September 14, 2012

    Blogs I Love: Viva Luxury

    Viva Luxury is a blog by the distressingly fantastic Annabelle Fleur.  Annabelle's style is pure California and so fun to follow.  Think of Viva Luxury as a west coast counterpoint to the "streets of Milan" aesthetic of The Sartorialist.

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

    Are You Hip to Hipmunk?

    Need to book a flight?  Try Hipmunk!  As a frequent traveler, I have established very specific travel rules:

    1. I never fly before 9 a.m.
    2. I never take a flight with more than one layover,
    3. Said layover must be less than 1.5 hours long, and
    3. I always try to find the best deal.

    Unlike other travel websites, Hipmunk sorts flight options by "agony" level, and presents the nice short affordable flights first.  Scroll further down the list to view the nightmare flights that depart at 6:00 a.m. and take you though three snowy midwestern cities before you arrive at your final destination without your luggage.

    October is the Month for Museums

    Don't forget that during the month of October kids receive free admission to 14 museums in Balboa Park!  (Limit 2 children per paying adult.)
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     Participating museums include the Children's Discovery Museum, San Diego Air and Space Museum, USS Midway, Gaslamp Museum, and the William Davis House.  Follow this link to see the complete list:

    With the money you save on admissions, you can take the Old Town Trolley Tour to your desired destinations. 


    Sunday, September 9, 2012

    Weekend Trip to San Francisco

    “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”  So true…where else do you see people walking around in trench coats in mid-June?  Thankfully the fall weather is usually fantastic, making September and October the perfect time for a weekend trip.  Unlike the sprawling cities of San Diego and Los Angeles, San Francisco is compact, and relatively easy to traverse in a short period of time.  Just make sure to bring your walking shoes!

    Friday, September 7, 2012

    How to Handle your Guilt

    With the weekend approaching, check in with your mood.  The busy week brings a lot of stress and anxiety.  Read this article about dealing with guilt.  It lists 6 strategies that help you put things back into perspective.  Check it out, and enjoy the weekend guilt free!

    Thursday, September 6, 2012

    Refresh Your Shower

    Go over to Tuesday Morning in Pacific Beach.  It is a discounted home store that is not oversized or alarmingly disorganized.  I was able to refresh the look of my shower for under $30.00.  They offer all home goods, but the best deal I found in this store was in their bath department.  They have an assortment of styles for all preferences.  I like the solid colors with stripes.  They remind me of hotels :)  Take a look at what I found and there today:

    This is what ended up in my shower:

    Take a look at how their prices compared to Target:

    Shower liner: $10-$15
    Shower hooks: $9-$20
    Shower curtain: $20-$30
    Total- $39

    Tuesday Morning:
    Shower liner: $4
    Shower hooks: $7
    Shower curtain: $17
    Total: $28

    Wednesday, September 5, 2012

    Laundry Tips and Tricks

    Why spend hundreds of dollars a year on dry cleaning bills when you can hand wash your cashmere and silk garments?  Hand washing is better for both the environment and your pocket book, and requires a minimum amount of investment.  Keep reading for my favorite products and tips.

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    Try Making a Mahi Mahi Salad for Dinner

    Try making a mahi mahi salad for dinner this week.

    Ingredients: 2/3 pound mahi mahi, 1 bag of mixed greens, 1 avocado, 1 cob of corn, 1 cucumber, 1 small package of cherry tomatoes, 1 bottle balsamic vinaigrette