Restaurant Review: Cafe Cantata, Del Mar


For the past six months, it's been hard to leave work at lunch time. There's construction going on in our office park, so if you leave at any point during the day, you're basically kissing your parking spot goodbye. But when I was invited to check out Cafe Cantata, a gorgeous little coffee shop and eatery in Del Mar at the Flower Hill Promenade, I decided it was worth the risk.

Not that I ended up having to worry: my friend Diane and I had been trying to find time to get lunch together and when I asked her if she'd like to try Cafe Cantata with me, she offered to drive. As we walked up to the comfy little shop, I immediately fell in love with the space. 

This is the perfect coffee shop to work in...

Road Trip Diaries Part I: Famous Last Words


During the last week in August, Ryan and I dropped the dogs off at boarding, packed up the Versa and embarked on a 5-day road trip through the southwest. Thousands of miles and 35 hours of driving took us through 5 states: California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Arizona. And it all started in good 'ol San Diego.

Back at the beginning of the summer, I found out some very exciting news: my cousin Brett was getting married to his long-term boyfriend Massimo over Labor Day weekend. And the best part? For once a family wedding was closer to me than it was to the east coast! #itsallaboutme 

I was so excited not only to celebrate Brett and Mass and their beautiful future, but also to spend time with family I hadn't seen in a while. Even better yet? My dad (who hardly ever lets himself take vacations) was going too. Needless to say, I enthusiastically RSVPed "Yes!" 

Then I looked at flights to Aspen and lodging options. 

Did you know that Aspen is an incredibly expensive place? I didn't. Flights were like $700pp round trip and hotels were starting at $200/night. Even AirBnB was expensive there. Then it hit me: this was a perfect excuse to take a road trip. We booked the last camp site in Aspen, figured out our route and started to get excited about our long weekend on the open road. 

The day that we left, I got a ride to work from my coworker and had Ryan pick me up at the office after a half day of work. Which, I might add, I spent downloading music and stand-up comedy to my iPad, because you know... we had 35 hours of driving time ahead of us. Ryan got there, we said adios to my coworkers and headed out to the car. 

That's when it happened. 

Taste of Thrillist San Diego


Is not having cable still a hipstery thing to brag about or is it just commonplace at this point? Whatever the case, I haven't had it in over a decade and so if a TV show isn't on Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, HBO Go, or Showtime Anytime, I don't know what you're talking about. Even if it is, with the exception of a brief, shameful period where I was really into Teen Mom, I haven't seen any reality TV.

But in San Diego, you don't need to have watched Top Chef to know who Brian Malarkey is. The superstar chef is the talent behind hot spots such as Searsucker and Herringbone, and even if I wasn't a foodie, I don't think I could avoid the buzz. Besides, my boyfriend's business provides knife sharpening services for his restaurants and my friend Jon of Lovelife often DJs sunset sessions at both the LA and San Diego Herringbone. Bottom line: I don't need to watch the show to know he's my favorite Top Chef!

Hence my excitement when Thrillist offered Ryan and I a pair of tickets to their Hotel Thrillist: Taste of Thrillist event last Friday at the Hard Rock Hotel downtown. The event was hosted by Brian and featured off-the-menu tastings from some of San Diego's top restaurants including Searsucker, Puesto, Slater's 50/50, and Salt and Cleaver. Obviously, I didn't hesitate to say yes and it's a good thing I didn't.

Endless Summer


Around here, it's been an endless summer in every possible way: the great, the meh, and the ugly crying. I haven't had time to sleep, much less blog, which is driving me nuts because blogging is all I want to do.

Yet every time I go to post and break the dry spell, I end up feeling overwhelmed with all of the things I want to write about. So this morning I decided to finally bite the bullet and just get something up to get back in the swing of things. As a result, I present to you a recap of the aforementioned highlights and lowlights of this summer:

The Great

  • We spent an amazing five days in Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Arizona: a night on the roulette tables in Vegas, touching dino tracks in Utah, camping in bear country, attending a gorgeous wedding in Aspen, and watching the sunset over the Grand Canyon in Arizona. It was the perfect summer road trip and I can't wait to share!
  • I sucked it up (read: got drunk) and finally committed to going on the Mermaid Yogis retreat down to Sayulita in November! Even though it is a big financial and time commitment and even though I am still working on becoming a better yogi and better swimmer, I am wayyyy stoked about this trip. Getting to go back to Sayulita, making new friends, and trying all kinds of adventures... I'm sooo ready to pack my bags. 
  • Babies everywhere! Two of my friends moved back to San Diego with their baby and another close friend just had her baby recently. I still could not care less about random babies, but damn my friends' babies are. the. cutest.
  • Pool parties, surreal sunsets, reggae shows at Winston's in OB, taking advantage of end-of-summer bikini sales, trying new restaurants if only to bask in their AC.... these are the things summer has been made of and they've been glorious.

The Meh

  • Oh, work. Work has been ridiculous. I haven't ever had work permeate every minute of my life the way that it has this summer and it's been exhausting. It's sucked every last creative molecule out of my body this past month and has definitely been the main cause of this blogging dry spell. Here's to hoping I wrap some projects up and make things a little more balanced this fall.
  • A total lack of exercise and healthy eating and a general feeling of ugh-ness as a result of the above. 
  • School started up again and let me tell you, Business Strategy is not as fun as it sounds. I know.... shocker. 

The Ugly Crying

  • We're moving. And it's too early on in the process for me to be excited about our new place in Ocean Beach, though honestly.... there's a lot to be excited about. But we love, love, love our place in Mission Hills. We've spent the past 2 years making it into a home and to have to move unexpectedly has just not been easy for me to handle. Our landlady passed away last year and her family just decided to sell the property to a company that specializes in upgrades. Rather than get kicked out at an inopportune time (like the holidays) and try to find a place to live with two decent-sized dogs, we jumped on a place in OB that's a block from the beach. The beach! I should be excited since I've wanted this literally my whole life. But instead I'm just a stressed out, depressed mess. My neighborhood is the only one I've ever lived in in San Diego and Ryan's lived there for the past 6 years. This will be a huge change for both of us and it's super unsettling, at least for me anyway. I just have to keep reminding myself that home is wherever Ryan and the pups are. Plus, I do love creating new Pinterest boards for decorating spaces!