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This Weekend in San Diego: October 24-26

attractions dog things San Diego events this weekend in san diego

It’s been another crazy week but I’ve done a little research about what’s happening in San Diego this weekend.

Here are three events I think are worth checking out:

Howl-O-Ween 5k Mutt Run/Walk (event website)

Saturday, 8:00 am-12:00 pm

Run this 5k and help raise money for Labs and More! In addition to the race, there will be a raffle and a dog costume contest, the winners of which will receive prizes. This event takes place at Road Runner Sports in Kearny Mesa.

Howl at Helm’s Fundraiser for Second Chance Dog Rescue (event website)

Saturday, 4:00 pm-8:00 pm

dog pirate costume

As everyone knows, Maeby is a spokesdog for PetBox! The wonderful people at PetBox are hosting this event with Second Chance Dog Rescue at Helm’s Brewing Company in Kearny Mesa. This event is free, but there will be a food truck, raffle, costume contest (Maeby will be there as a pirate), and more! Proceeds will go to Second Chance Dog Rescue, an organization near and dear to my heart, as we almost fostered a dog through them.

Trick or Trot 5k and 3k Fun Run (event website)

Sunday, 8:00 am-12:00 pm

Here’s another race for a great cause. Proceeds from this event will go towards after-school clubs and enrichment programs for Roosevelt Middle School (80% of the kids at this school are low-income). You are encouraged to wear your costume and prizes will even be awarded to runners with the best costumes. This event take place in the beautiful Balboa Park.

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What are your plans for this weekend?

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This Weekend in Photos: October 10-12 + 17-19

attractions dog things friends photos

Here’s what my last two weekends have looked like…

Two Saturdays ago, we drove up to Los Angeles for the engagement party of Adam’s friend. It was a lovely evening with great people!

engagement party

On our way back from Maeby’s overnight boarding…

Last Wednesday, I went to paint night with my friend at Pinot’s Palette in Liberty Station. I’ve only been to one other location in San Diego, and I much preferred this place! They had an assistant who helped us, and a bartender who went around throughout the class to see if we wanted drinks. And I’m a big fan of Liberty Station, where there’s a Stone Brewery, Trader Joe’s and Slater’s 50/50. I will, for sure, be back at this location soon for another paint night.

paint night

I got Maeby a brand new toy. It lasted a total of an hour.

Morning glories on an evening walk…

morning glories

Korean BBQ with Adam at our favorite, Mapo.

korean bbq

We got Maeby a Halloween costume. She’s going to be a pirate.

dog pirate costume

And last but not least…

Adam and I spent our Saturday afternoon at the San Diego Zoo. We have annual passes (which weren’t much more than the cost of daily admission), so we got to go in for free! And we avoided the ticket lines, which was great because I’ve never seen the zoo so busy.

tiger

elephants

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I also got some exciting news from work last week…

They’re sending me to our office in the UK for a week! After that, I’m going to take two days to go back to one of my favorite cities in the world: London. I studied abroad there for a semester when I was a junior in college, and I’ve been dying to go back ever since but didn’t know if I’d get the opportunity to go any time soon. I feel so lucky (and honored) that my work thinks my skills are strong enough to go engage in conversations and share my opinions with the higher ups at our company headquarters, and fortunate that I am able to take an extra couple of days to return to London.

Life’s been busy, but it’s been good!

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What I’ve been up to…

cuddly things life photos

It’s been a couple weeks since I last wrote. Work has been crazy and I’ve been taking it easy recovering from it on the weekends, but I’ve still been loving life in America’s Finest City.

Here’s what I’ve been up to…

Enjoying the items I won in Lauren Lives Healthy‘s birthday giveaway

lauren lives healthy giveaway

Seriously, this giveaway was unreal. I won all of the above, but also received a two-day juice cleanse from Nekter Juice Bar, a cookbook from Oh She Glows, and tablets and a water bottle from Nuun. Some of my favorite new-to-me products from the giveaway so far: Justin’s Dark Chocolate PB Cups (these were gone in the first day), Brownie Coco-Roons (so, so good), and Cacao Nibs.

Enjoying more of Maeby’s PetBox

We aren’t even close to being done with everything in this box, and Maeby is still loving it all. (Don’t forget, use promo code MAEBY at checkout for 10% off your first purchase!)

Sunset and drinks in Del Mar…

del mar sunset

…followed by a romantic dinner (and great prices because of SD Restaurant Week) at Kitchen 1540, at L’Auberge Del Mar.

kitchen 1540

I have to say that the first time we went there last fall, we thought it was good, but not the best thing we’ve ever had. This time though, we can honestly say it was one of the best meals ever. And the deal from Restaurant Week was totally worth it.

What else…?

Evening runs…

dog and person running

Sunday morning yoga (it’s free!) with friends in Pacific Beach…

san diego beach yoga

Authentic Mexican tacos from our next door neighbor (who we call our abuelita)…

tacos

Time at the vet…

dog at vet

…and hopefully getting everything resolved. But either way, Maeby clearly doesn’t seem concerned.

Dinner and drinks at Dan Diegos [Yelp] in Bay Ho…

dan diegos drinks

…which is one of Adam’s favorite restaurants and I’ll just say that the Oktoberfest menu did not disappoint. At all.

More running, this time at Harbor Island Park…

…which just reiterated to me how much I love this city.

(Free) Sunday morning yoga in Balboa Park…

…followed by brunch with friends at 100 Wines in Hillcrest.

100 wines hillcrest san diego eggs benedict

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Whew. Okay. I think that’s it for now.

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, but everything has been great. I am still in awe that I live in this amazing city and am building a life here…a really good life. Since moving here, I can honestly say that for the first time in my life, I’m not thinking about the future and wondering where I’ll be and what I’ll be doing next – I’m so happy with how things are at this moment in time, that I feel no need to wonder or daydream. I’m really quite lucky.

Now that you’re all caught up on what I’ve been to, how about you share with me…

What’s new with you? Like…what’s really, actually new? How are you feeling today?

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Maeby’s First PetBox: Review + Discount Code

business review dog things product review

I didn’t formally announce it, but I did tweet about it, so in case you missed it…

Maeby is officially a spokesdog for PetBox!

What is PetBox?

PetBox is a monthly subscription service for toys and treats for dogs and cats. With every PetBox purchased, PetBox helps to feed a pet in need.

Obviously Maeby is all about toys and treats, but what really got me was the philanthropic angle of things, especially since Maeby was brought in as a stray and eventually saved from a high-kill shelter. At one point, she was a pet in need.

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Just a few days after our first PetBox shipped, it arrived in the mail. I got home from work, and saw this lovely blue box sitting on our stoop.

Maeby and I immediately headed to our backyard, where I began opening the box.

petbox 1

I loved the attention to detail. Everything was wrapped in black tissue paper, with a round PetBox seal of approval.

petbox promo code

Something smelled good, because Maeby was all over the box right away.

petbox dog

And once I opened up one package of treats, she didn’t hesitate to help herself.

petbox treats

Here’s what was in the box:

inside of petbox

Clockwise from top:

- Petz info QR ID tag (in case your dog/cat gets lost)

- Evanger’s canned all-natural chicken dog and cat food

- Wellspring Pets Bionic Bones water nutrient (contains glucosamine and chondroitin, both of which help keep your dog’s joints healthy)

- PetSafe Lawn Protector to filter your pet’s drinking water

- Bark+ waste pick-up bags (which is necessary because Maeby “produces waste” 3-4 times a day)

- Loving Pets natural chicken jerky

Clearly there was a nice variety of items, all of which we will be using

I want to point out that just because Maeby’s a dog, it doesn’t mean that she deserves to eat food that has fillers or other processed materials. I like to feed her the same kind of food I would want to eat, and even though I’m sure she’d prefer bacon all day everyday (and really, who can blame her), I give her the next best thing: Canidae, which is an all-natural, grain-free food made with real meat. In keeping with these beliefs, I’m really quite impressed with PetBox and love that all of the treats are natural and made in the U.S. And, as I mentioned above, Maeby is already enjoying some of her newest treats and had no trouble helping herself.

I think it’s safe to say our first month of PetBox was a success.

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Are you interested in PetBox for your dog or cat? Get 10% off your first box with code MAEBY.

Do you have any pets? I kind of love all animals everywhere and would love to hear about them.

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Things to do in San Diego: San Diego Zoo

attractions parks photos

Trip Advisor recently named the San Diego Zoo as the #2 zoo in the world. I’ve been there a couple of times (and recently bought an annual pass), and I can tell you that ranking is well-deserved.

The San Diego Zoo (2920 Zoo Dr, San Diego ▴ (619) 231-1515 ▴ Trip Advisor) is one of the largest zoos in the world, with over 4,000 animals, and because of San Diego’s consistent temperatures year-round, most of the animals are not enclosed in buildings and instead are housed outside in the open air.

The first time I visited the zoo was back when I was visiting Adam in February of last year, when I saw the happiest gazelle in the world:

san diego zoo gazelle

I knew I definitely wanted to go back a second time, and since my mom loves animals as much as I do, I knew she’d enjoy her time at the San Diego Zoo when she visited.

Here are some of my favorite photos from our afternoon there:

A very tired koala

san diego zoo koala

A hippo that loved swimming around…

hippo san diego zoo

A sleepy serval

san diego zoo serval

Two giraffes, just hanging out…

giraffes san diego zoo

The baby giraffes were the cutest.

One of the many elephants (my mom’s favorite) roaming around…

elephant san diego zoo

A passed out lion (which was HUGE)…

san diego zoo lion

And my personal favorite, the polar bear

polar bear san diego zoo

We saw probably 2/3 of the zoo, and when my mom comes back in February, we plan on going back to see the rest of it, as well as some of our favorite animals.

Parking is free, and it’s $46 for an adult, 1-day pass, which includes the Skyfari Aerial Tram (which takes you over the whole zoo and offers views of San Diego and Balboa Park). And FYI: there’s also a 10% AAA discount.

And, if you plan on going to the Safari Park or visiting either park more than once in a year, the one-year membership is definitely worth it (since membership covers admission at both parks and you get coupons to use at both parks as well).

If you’re planning on visiting San Diego, the Zoo is a perfect place for kids and adults. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon and I will definitely be taking full advantage of my membership and plan on visiting many more times this year.

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WoodDot Designs Whiskey Sampler Review

product review


I recently entered to win a giveaway on 20 Something Bloggers. What was the giveaway for, you ask? A Whiskey Sampler Flight Tray from WoodDot Designs.

For anyone who knows Adam, this won’t come as a surprise, but the man loves his whiskey. So when I saw this giveaway, I was all over it, because I like to surprise him with things and I knew he’d love it.

I’d like to point out that I’m sharing this product with everyone because I want to and I know that someone spent a lot of time making this and it shows.

Here’s what it looks like:

 

wooddot designs

And here’s how Maeby felt about it:

She was intrigued.

While I don’t have any pictures of it in action, I can tell you that we are loving the flight tray so far! Adam has used it to sample various whiskeys, and since I’m more of a beer gal myself, I’ve used it for some beer flights.

Some of the things we love about it:

  • It’s well-made. This product is obviously hand-made, and the man who makes them, Bob, clearly takes his time with each individual one.
  • The holders for each mini glass are the perfect size and depth. By this, I mean that each glass fits in perfectly, and won’t spill. Seriously. Adam even held the tray with empty glasses over the couch, and begin tilting it. It wasn’t until it got to about 90 degrees that the glasses fell out onto the cushions. Again, Bob clearly took his time carving this and putting it together to make sure every glass fit perfectly.
  • I got a note from Bob himself! Bob wrote a nice little note at the bottom, and asked for feedback about the tray. He wants to improve his designs and products and takes customer feedback into account.

If you haven’t had a chance, please go check out WoodDot Designs on Etsy. I’m loving these coasters and this tea light holder, and I think they would make great gifts!

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I’ll be back on Thursday with some info about and photos from the San Diego Zoo. In the meantime, I’m off to enjoy our new flight tray.

Are you or your significant other a whiskey/scotch drinker? Or are you more of a beer lover? Share your favorites below!

My all-time favorite beer? Magic Hat #9.

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This Weekend in Photos: September 5-7

dog things friends hiking

Brenna came to visit this weekend, so I took Friday off…so I had another long weekend, which I can’t complain about (though it will be the last one for awhile!).

We spent our weekend hiking Iron Mountain, paddle boarding in Mission Bay, eating lunch at my favorite park, watching dogs surf and eating delicious food.

Friday

In the morning, we drove out to Poway to hike Iron Mountain. Reviews on Yelp said this place gets busy on the weekends, so we decided to do it on Friday, while most people at work. Yelp also warned that this hike is intermediate, and lacks any real covering/shade, so it can get really hot.

I was excited to do this hike because it’s pretty long, has over 1,200 feet elevation gain, and is dog-friendly! Anything that tires Maeby out makes me happy, and she was excited to explore a new area.

iron mountain san diego

dog hiking iron mountain san diego

top of iron mountain 2

It definitely got very hot out (and Maeby wholeheartedly agreed), so I’d recommend if you’re planning on going out there to go out on a cooler day, or go earlier in the day.

I’d also recommend that even if it is hot, you do this hike, because the views up top were completely worth the ~6 mile roundtrip trek.

top of iron mountain 1

top of iron mountain san diego 1

top of iron mountain 3

top of iron mountain san diego

(photo courtesy of Brenna)

After our hike, we headed to Clairemont Coffee, where Brenna purchased her first Acai Bowl. No pictures of this, as we got them to go, so they weren’t super photogenic. But, 10/10, would (and will) eat again.

In the evening, we drove out to Pacific Beach to enjoy tacos at Oscar’s Mexican Seafood, and catch the sunset.

oscars mexican seafood tacos san diego

san diego sunset pacific beach

We wrapped up our day with a low-key night in, made possible by Yogurtland.

Saturday

No pictures of paddle boarding, or of lunch. But here’s a picture of Mission Bay Park.

mission bay park

We headed to Mission Bay Sportcenter to rent out paddle boards for an hour. Since we knew it would be busy on a Saturday, we made reservations in advance for noon (to ensure we’d have paddle boards available to us), but we didn’t anticipate how hard it would be to find parking. After driving around for 25 minutes, we finally managed to grab a spot.

Paddle boarding was definitely something I’d do again. We enjoyed it, but the problem we had was the amount of wind we experienced. We ended up getting carried out pretty far into Mission Bay, and though I was able to paddle back to shore where we picked up our boards (after 25 minutes of effort and struggle), Brenna and my other friend had a hard time getting back and had to stop off at a shore that was on the other side of where people would pick up the jet skis or boat rentals. Staff at MBSC weren’t happy about that…but we weren’t the only ones that had this issue. As we waited in line to get out paddles, we heard one woman telling the front desk that her friend had gotten taken out really far into the bay and after trying for a half hour, she had made no progress and was unable to get back to shore. I’d return to MBSC, but would hope that they would be aware of wind conditions and help people out a little more, or at least give some kind of warning and encourage people to be aware of where they were paddling to.

Saturday night, Adam, Brenna and I grabbed dinner at Hinotez, more froyo (why not?), and watched Naked and Afraid. I’d say it was a quality evening.

Sunday

Brenna and I woke up early and drove up to Del Mar Dog Beach for the Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon (which I highlighted on Friday).

surf dog surfathon hwac

That’s Brenna’s picture again. It was hard to get photos but we loved watching the dogs surfing, and also enjoyed checking out the vendors. One vendor I was especially impressed with was Dogly, an new app where you take and upload pictures of your dog (and add fun stickers or text), and shelters/rescues of your choice have a chance of receiving donations based on the number of “likes” your photo gets. It’s still a little glitchy (I think the woman said they will be finalizing the app in the coming days), but I definitely plan on downloading it.

After the Surf-A-Thon, we headed back down to my house, where we picked up Adam and drove down to OB to get brunch at Wonderland. Any excuse to eat there is always welcome.

wonderland ob brunch

We made a reservation beforehand, which helped a lot because it was packed since it’s officially football season. I strayed from my usual order of pancakes and went with the eggs and enchiladas, and I have zero regrets. Good food, sangria, and an ocean view? Can’t be beat.

The rest of Sunday was spent taking it easy (it was really, really hot out), a trip up to the beach in North County (once it cooled down)…

san diego beach pacific ocean

san diego beach

…baking some blueberry nut bread for work tomorrow, and a quiet night in.

Brenna left this morning but it was so, so good having her visit.

Now it’s back to reality and a pretty crazy work week…

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How was your weekend?

Did you see dogs surfing? Or sweat excessively due to the summer heat? Spare no details.

 

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This Weekend in San Diego: September 5-7

this weekend in san diego

As I mentioned yesterday, Brenna is here for the weekend! I’ve definitely done some research on things happening this weekend, and while I know we won’t be getting to all of these, here are three events I think are worth checking out this weekend:

Brews and Barkers (event website)

Saturday, 11:00 am-1:00 pm

PetBox recently mentioned to me that they were having this awesome event at the Coronado Brewery Tasting Room. Enjoy craft beer and time with your dog, and make new friends (because let’s be real: dog owners are the best people out there). This event is free and definitely worth checking out!

Treasure Chest Fest (event website)

Saturday, 12:00 pm-6:00 pm This annual event, which serves as a fundraiser for local breast cancer charity, Susan G. Komen San Diego, is definitely for foodies. With craft beer and local chefs and food vendors, this is a great opportunity to taste some of San Diego’s best food and drink options, while also helping to raise money for a great cause.

Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon (event website)

Sunday, 8:00 am-2:00 pm

dog surfing

It’s no secret I love dogs. It also shouldn’t come as a surprise that I follow a lot of animal rescues and shelters on social media, including Helen Woodward Animal Center (HWAC). So when HWAC shared a little photo and blurb on their Instagram about this fun event, I was all about it. It’s a dog surfing competition taking place in Del Mar, the proceeds of which go to an incredible cause. Will you be there? Share your photos with #hwacsurfdog.

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Have a great weekend!

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So it’s Thursday but it’s my Friday.

friends

Ummm…this week has been great. Monday off, two solid days at work, a third solid day today and then tomorrow off.

Why did I take another day off?

Because my friend from college Brenna is coming to visit! My first visitor!

So…she’ll be here tonight. And then we’ll have three days of enjoying America’s Finest City before a very full and busy work week next week.

Here’s to a fun weekend!

grumpy cat fun meme

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Liebster Award + Survey

Miscellaneous

So Ashley, over at Twe1ve2, nominated me for the Liebster Award.

liebster award

Here is what the award entails:
– Post 11 facts about yourself.
– Answer the questions provided by the person who nominated you and then create questions for the next group of nominees.
– Choose up to 11 (or more or less depends on the rules you follow) bloggers to nominate and link them in the post!
– Let your nominees know that they’ve been tagged- and no tag-backs!

11 facts about me:

1.  I really hate soup spoons. And I refuse to use them.
2.  I love field hockey and played throughout high school in college.
3.  Injuries resulting from the aforementioned sport: plantar fasciitis, 2 black eyes, 5 stitches, a fat lip and a broken thumb.
4.  I’ve never smoked any sort of tobacco product – cigarettes, cigars, or hookah.
5.  I danced for 10 years, from the ages of 3-13. I did ballet, tap and jazz.
6.  When I was in first grade, I made a boy laugh so hard he peed his pants.
7.  I’m a pro at parallel parking. So much so, that if Adam is driving, he gets out so I can parallel park it.
8.  The first time I ever went on an airplane, I was a sophomore in high school.
9.  I spent half of my junior year studying abroad in London, and loved that city so much that I applied for jobs there after I graduated.
10.  I’ve been skydiving…in the Swiss Alps.
11.  My favorite season is fall, and I definitely miss the changing temperatures and crazy foliage that we had back in New England.

Below are some of the questions that Ashley asked me. At the bottom, I will ask my own questions and nominate some other bloggers…

What is your favorite food?

Burgers and bacon. Combined. Perhaps that’s why I’m such a big lover of Slaters 50/50. Also a huge fan of sushi.

How do you de-stress?

I do something fun with Maeby. Whether it’s taking her to the dog park, to Dog Beach or Fiesta Islandfor a swim, or for a run, seeing her smile makes a stressful day 1000% better.

Where do you get your ideas for new posts?

Since That SoCal Life is supposed to highlight my life in San Diego and the best things to do and places to go in this city, I get my ideas from my days and nights in America’s Finest City. Sometimes, I look to other bloggers to see what they’re up to, but usually I gather inspiration from my own experiences.

Cookies or Pie?

Either/or. My favorite dessert is actually brownie sundaes (ice cream + toppings served over warm brownies). I’ve had that for the past three years for my birthday instead of cake.

What’s your favorite movie?

I think Clueless will always hold a special spot in my heart. Also a big fan of The Wedding Singer.

What is your least favorite chore to do around the house?

Putting folded laundry away. There’s been times when I’ve left it folded, in the basket, for a couple of weeks just because I couldn’t be bothered to put it away.

What’s your favorite hobby/activity to do in your spare time?

I really enjoy baking and running.

Do you play or watch any sports?

I love going to baseball games in the summer, and especially love that I’m in a city with a professional sports team. I also really like watching football but I’m not sure if I’ll make it to a Chargers game this fall. I feel like football should be watched in cold weather and that’s just not going to happen in San Diego. I also played field hockey throughout high school and college. I found a pick-up league out here that I go play at occasionally.

Are you a country or city girl?

I like having everything in close proximity, and love the hustle and bustle of cities like New York. Studying in London was a dream come true for me and I definitely consider myself a city girl.

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I nominate KaylaJerseysjov, and Lyndsay. And here are my questions for them:

1.  What is your typical morning routine like?
2.  What is one talent you wish you had?
3. I f you could be any animal, what would you be?
4.  What are your pet peeves?
5.  Who is your real-life hero?
6.  What is your greatest fear?
7.  What do you consider your greatest achievement?
8.  What is your idea of perfect happiness? OR Where and when were you been happiest?
9.  What is your most treasured possession?
10.  Which qualities do you look for in friends? In relationships?