Event: Uncasked Neighborhood Brew Fest at Westfield UTC

Uncasked Neighborhood Brew Fest

Alright, moms and dads – you deserve a date night. Or moms – perhaps a little moms’ night out? And what better way to spend your night out than by celebrating San Diego’s exceptional brewing community? (Psst – we have the best brewers in the country right here in San Diego!) The Uncasked Neighborhood Brew Fest offers a self-guided beer tour, sampling 8 different local craft breweries, culinary bites and live acoustic musical performances – all coming together to create a perfect, local San Diego evening that you won’t want to miss.

Date: Saturday, April 5th.

Place: Westfield, UTC

Time: 4:00 – 7:00 PM

Craft Brewers Featured:

  • Karl Strauss Brewing Company
  • Acoustic Ales Brewing Company
  • Stone Brewing Company
  • Mother Earth Brew Company (a personal favorite!)
  • Rough Draft Brewing Company
  • Helm’s Brewing Company
  • Rock Bottom Brewery, La Jolla
  • Mike Hess Brewing

Culinary Bites by: Seasons 52, Tender Greens, Eureka! Gourmet Burgers & Craft Beer and PIRCH

Musicians: Jasmine Commerce, Josh Damigo and Alaina Blair

Ticket Price: $20 advance tickets or $25 cash only at the door (includes a branded beer glass, Uncasked tasting guide, unlimited bites, 10 drink tickets, exclusive offers and more).

To purchase tickets in advance, click here.

100% of the event proceeds will benefit local non-profit, the San Diego Brewers Guild.

Cheers!

uncasked neighborhood brew fest

 

 

Baby Bloggy Bootcamp

This post is written by me on behalf of Liz Lange and Ergobaby.  Product was provided.

I originally found out about the Baby Bloggy Bootcamp in San Diego last month from the trusty Rookie Moms (I just love those two) who were also speakers at the event. After looking at the line-up and learning that we could bring our babies to the actual conference, I was eager to attend!

Baby Bloggy Bootcamp

The day was full of helpful information that pertained especially to new bloggers and mommy bloggers (which hit home for me in both categories). It was so much fun to be in a room filled with fellow women bloggers who were also mothers. Talk about a sense of camaraderie. I especially loved the tips from Tiffany Romero and Francesca Banducci (Founders of Sits Girls) about the key components that should be found on every blog – from SEO tips and tricks to best practices for sponsored content. I found it all extremely helpful.

baby bloggy bootcamp

The Swag

I’m all about swag, especially when it’s really, really good swag – like the products we all received at the Baby Bloggy Bootcamp.

ErgoBaby really spoiled us all with a new Ergobaby 4-position 360 Carrier, Ergobaby Swaddler and Ergobaby Wrap.

ergobaby

The new Ergobaby Four-Position 360 carrier is amazing. As you may have gathered from its name, it offers 4 different positions including a new, front-facing position. During the conference, Ergobaby demonstrated how to use this new product – which I found very helpful, even though it is extremely easy to use! I tried it out with Blake as soon as we got home and she fell right asleep in the comfortable carrier – snug as a bug in a rug! I can’t wait until she gets a little older so I can try the front-facing position.

Ergobaby 360 carrier

We also received a beautiful Liz Lange maternity dress. The fabric on this dress is so soft and very figure flattering for your baby bump. This is weird to say, but it made me want to be pregnant again! Having the baby bump is so much fun. And although I’m not currently pregnant, I know firsthand how hard it is to find luxury, stylish maternity pieces that are also affordable. I’ll definitely be putting this Liz Lange dress to good use during my next pregnancy and will happily check out the rest of their maternity clothing line, available at Target.

I also loved the samples of Honest Diapers, which I’ve been wanting to try on Blake for a while, and the cutest (and most delicious) candy I’ve had in a long time, from Sugarwish.

honest diapers         sugarwish

 

All in all it was a wonderful event and I hope to attend another Sway Group event in the near future.

 

This post is written by me on behalf of Liz Lange and Ergobaby.  Product was provided.

The Dish: Healthy Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe

You guys! I cooked. And I cooked healthy stuffed bell peppers for 8 people nonetheless! This was my first time really cooking (like following a recipe I had never cooked before) since the baby was born, so I’m feeling quite proud of myself. We hosted a dinner party (8 adults, 5 children – it was beautiful chaos) so I found this recipe on Pinterest and made a few of my own tweaks. It’s super easy and turned out great, so thought I’d share.

Ingredients:

  • (4) bell peppers
  • (1) package of quinoa/rice blend (I used Near East’s blend of Quinoa and Brown Rice with Red Bell Pepper flavoring)
  • (1) pound ground turkey
  • (1) large onion
  • (1) 14 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • (1) 14 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes
  • (1) 7 oz. can diced green chilis
  • (1) packet taco seasoning
  • 1/2 TB olive oil
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella shredded cheese
  • 3/4 cup water

Note: I doubled these quantities for a party of 8.

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat olive oil in a LARGE saucepan. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add in ground turkey meat and cook until browned. Drain all of the excess grease.
  3. In a separate pan, cook quinoa/rice blend according to box instructions until done.
  4. In the meat pan, add in black beans, tomatoes, green chilies, water, and taco seasoning packet. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium/low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add cooked quinoa, once ready.
    stuffed bell peppers recipe
  5. Cut red bell peppers in half length wise, remove ribs and place in baking dish.
    stuffed bell peppers recipe
  6. Spoon in ingredient mixture and top with grated mozzarella cheese. Cover pan with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
    stuffed bell peppers recipe
    stuffed bell peppers recipe
  7. Remove from oven and serve with sour cream, salsa and fresh avocados.

Bon Appetite!

Rookie Moms Challenge #7: Plan a Mom’s Night Out

After 3.5 months of pretty much never leaving my little one (except to get my hair and nails did – the essentials!) I decided it was time to go out and spend some time with friends!  This past week I completed the Rookie Moms Challenge #10: Plan a Mom’s Night Out…and it was amazing.

The Crew

Lucky for me, two of my girlfriends from high school live close by and they are both new moms, too. When I asked if they were interested in doing a “moms night out”, there was a resounding “YES!” I also decided to recruit one of my new “mommy” friends from my Mommy Play Group (see Rookie Mom Challenge #2: Join a Mom’s Group).

With my “crew” locked down, it was time to search for a venue and the criteria was simple. 1.) Must serve wine 2.) See criteria #1. Solterra Winery & Kitchen was just the spot (check out my review of Solterra during a recent Whine and Dine post too).

Heels, Perfume and a Necklace

There are three things I didn’t even realize that I had completely cut out of my every day life until this night while I was getting ready to go out without the baby: Heels, perfume and bulky statement necklaces. Heels got the boot (no pun intended) for obvious reasons – just not practical while carrying a baby 24/7. Perfume is no more because I’m afraid it will irritate Blake while I’m holding her (and let’s be honest – I’m not exactly out and about trying to impress people with my fabulous scent these days), and statement necklaces are too bulky to wear when a baby is constantly resting on your chest. Needless to say, in my excitement for girls night out, I put on my highest heels, a big necklace and spritzed myself with some perfume – boom! I was back.

Wine & Tapas

The night was amazing! The four of us split a couple of bottles of red wine, ordered a bunch of tapas to share and had a blast catching up about LIFE. Life with the kiddos, life with the hubbies, our past life (you know, the glory days). All in all it was a very successful moms night out. It was so nice to be out, having adult conversations in a normal voice (as opposed to my “baby voice” that has become quite the staple these days).

tapas

moms night out, san diego

 

I came home refreshed and relaxed but also extremely happy to see Blake (I missed her like crazy!)

Bonus Points

I’m giving myself bonus points for this challenge because I’ve also been asked to become a reoccurring contributor on San Diego Moms’ Night Out – writing about all of the fun places for mom’s to relax and unwind here in San Diego. You can follow my new mom adventures at San Diego Moms Night Out and on my Instagram.

Cheers! 

Spring has Sprung: 5 New Goals

Happy first day of spring! There’s something about the first day of spring that just screams new beginnings. The flowers blooming, the birds chirping, Tucker chasing the birds that are chirping…

I always like to set little goals for myself right around this time, because, let’s be honest, my New Year’s resolutions don’t always stick at first (I think everyone needs a good couple of months after the holidays to recover and regroup).

So, in no particular order, here is my list of 5 goals for Spring 2014:

1. Exercise More: I know,I know, SO predictable. But after my Fit, Fab Feb, I pretty much fell off the wagon. With this warm weather upon us, thinking about getting back into a bikini after having a baby is probably the scariest thing I’ve faced since a man with a chain saw chased me at a haunted house two Halloween’s ago (and that was TERR-I-FY-ING)! That being said, I MUST find the time to workout. And “finding the time” has come to mean, incorporating Blake into my workouts. Here are some great links featuring workouts that incorporate your baby. Blake and I tried a few of these and Blake laughed the whole time – so much fun!

2. Entertain in our Backyard: Pre-baby I use to love to entertain at our house. Strike that, pre-pregnancy! I tried to entertain a few times while I was prego and the whole, being too tired to enjoy the party and not being able to indulge in an adult-beverage with my guests, really just put a kibosh on the whole thing. But, now that Blake is a little older and not crying every hour, I can’t wait to host some fun spring and summer parties in our backyard! After finding this awesome lantern at HomeGoods and digging out this cool book from the closet, I’m ready to start planning some par-ties!

outdoor entertaining

Get your party pants on and follow my Outdoor Entertaining Pinterest Board for inspiration!

3. Plan Summer Vacations: Some of the best memories from my childhood were while we were on vacation. I can’t wait to take Blake on so many fun adventures, exploring new cities and countries. I want her to know how to get dirty while roughing it camping but also how to dress up for afternoon tea in Paris. (Check out more of my hopes for her, written before she was even born). I just can’t wait to show her the world!  This summer we’ll be taking her to Lake Tahoe, Colorado and the Outer Banks to start. So much planning, so little time!

4. Launch my Business: It’s official – I won’t be returning to Hyatt after my maternity leave. After living and breathing that job for 4 years, it’s time for me to take the next step professionally and launch my own marketing consulting business. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, but finally life seems to be just where it should be in order to take this next step. It will also allow me a flexible schedule to be a full-time “Mommy” to Miss Blake. So, with one client strong, I’m launching KH Marketing in the next couple of weeks. Maybe I’ll even throw a Launch Party to also help with my goal #2?

KH Marketing

5. Teach Blake How to Walk: Juuust kidding – the child is not even 4 months old! But, I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next. Her belly laughing and now, rolling over are so adorable I just don’t know how she’s going to top those. (Somehow, I know she will). :)

baby girl spring fashion

Happy Spring!

 

Prep for Prom Event at Westfield North County

This event is for all the mamas with daughters who will be attending prom this year. It’s almost prom season for all of the San Diego High Schools so Westfield North County is celebrating with a Prep for Prom event.  If only they had these types of fun events when I was getting ready for prom – this sounds like every 16 year old’s dream!

Where: Westfield North County

Date: March 29th and 30th

Time: 11AM – 7PM

The FREE event will include:

– Prom Styling sessions with fashion expert and Stacy London-certified stylist, Jennifer Rosson from Style Your Life.
– Mini-Makeovers sponsored by MAC Cosmetics.
– Prom perfect hairstyling by City College Cosmetology.
– Exclusive special offers, including a complimentary 30-minute MAC cosmetics makeover on prom day with a prom dress purchase.
– Prizes including a prom ready look and a prom dinner date at one of Westfield North County’s six dining destinations.

Westfield North County will also be collecting donations of gently used formal dresses to benefit Escondido Union High School District students in need.

To find out more click here.

Prep for Prom

Babies in Bloom Presents #BABYFEST14

Calling all San Diego and Orange County new moms and moms-to-be! Babies in Bloom is celebrating new and expecting parents during their upcoming event, #BABYFEST14.

Babies in Bloom Event

WHAT: This unique event is designed to bring you the latest in products, services and information, including keynote speakers: January from Birth Without Fear and Kim Rosas from Dirty Diaper Laundry. You can also expect over 65 vendors and exhibitors who cater to growing families.

ALSO ENJOY:

  • Raffle prize giveaways
  • Children’s activities
  • Demonstrations, cloth diapering, babywearing

WHEN: Sunday, March 23, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

WHERE: QLN Conference Center, 1938 Avenida Del Oro, Oceanside, CA 92056

COST: $5 online, in advance, $8 at the door. VIP and VIT ticket options are also available, please see details below.

  • VIP Tickets $125: Includes admission to BabyFest, a deluxe gift bag which includes a special-edition BabyHawk mei tai baby carrier, exclusive Chewbeads necklace, Moraki cloth diaper and more. Plus a special “meet and greet” event with January Harshe, Birth Without Fear to start the day.
  • VIT (“Very Important Teether”) Tickets $25:Includes admission to BabyFest and an exclusive Chewbeads necklace.

*All proceeds from this event benefit the March of Dimes.

PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS HERE

Tuck’s Comeback: Activity #2

At first it was a bit tough to walk Tucker and push Blake in the stroller at the same time. While Tucker is pretty good on a leash, he’s still just a puppy at heart, so any other dog or even human who gives him a welcoming smile is enough to set him off – jumping, pulling, trying to play, etc. Trying to steer a stroller and keep a hyper dog at bay is quite the arm workout, let me tell you. And then there was the whole part about Tuck having to learn to walk to the side of the stroller rather than right in front of it! He lackadaisically would start swerving from side to side on the sidewalk, right in front of the stroller, which would cause quite the debacle trying to untangle his leash and get him to move so we could proceed.

Fortunately, I feel like we’ve finally worked out all of the kinks now and Tucker looks forward to our daily walks.

cute dogdog and baby

I’ve been pushing my luck lately and taking Tucker (and Blake) on longer walks around our neighborhood, purposely taking routes that incorporate two big hills. On one of the hills, there are several flat boulders that line the sidewalk, so I thought I’d add some agility tests for Tucker along the way. Each boulder we came to, I’d make Tucker jump up on the rock, sit and shake and then jump down.

cute dog

We did this about 10 times and he was loving this fun new addition to our otherwise routine walks. Although by that 10th boulder, his jump up was more like a slow crawl and he let out a big yawn.

cute dog

People driving and walking by (and even Blake) thought I was nuts, but I didn’t care – it’s all in the name of Tuck’s Comeback and another successful activity to help him shed a few pounds. Good, job Tuck-Tuck! :)

Whine & Dine: Casa Sol y Mar

San Diego is full of great Mexican food. That’s one of the things I love about this city – no matter what neighborhood you’re in, you can always count on a great Mexican food restaurant just around the corner. Casa Sol y Mar in Del Mar is no exception.

It was raining the night we decided to try this place out, so I was extremely thankful for the convenient parking lot in the Del Mar Highlands shopping center – not having to search for street parking is always a plus when you have a baby!

The Low Down

  • The ambiance was very cool – I loved all of the colorful lanterns hanging throughout the main dining room and the bright red ceiling. There is also a large outdoor patio that would be perfect for dining on a non-rainy day (so, the other 360 days of the year in San Diego).

Del Mar Restaurant

  • The hostess purposely sat us in the back in a quiet booth because Blake was sleeping, so imagine the look on my face when the 4 piece mariachi band began playing (complete with a trumpet) right next to us! I studied Blake’s face waiting for her to be startled awake, but she just kept on snoozing as if nothing was going on – impressive!
  • The food was great. I usually judge a Mexican restaurant by it’s chips and salsa – so after I devoured the whole basket of chips and bowl of salsa, I knew our entrees were going to be good. I had the chicken fajitas and a corona (while channeling a peaceful white sandy beach and palm tree like you see on those Corona commercials). Everything was fantastic and the service was spot on.

Del Mar Mexican Restaurant Mexican Restaurant Del Mar

My Favorite Part

When I looked down and realized that our guacamole was sticking its tongue out at me. Now, if that’s not a good time, then I don’t know what is. :p

San Diego Mexican restaurant

Rookie Mom Challenge #6: Buy Some New Jeans

This past week, I decided to complete the 35th Rookie Moms Challenge (in the list of 52 Weekly Challenges) and  buy myself some new jeans. Perhaps the most daunting of all the Rookie Mom Challenges.

Hot Mess

It all began one day when Blake had just gone down for a “nap”. Nap is in quotations because the child does not nap – she merely closes her eyes for a 10 minute stretch and then is wide awake and ready to play again. Still, 10 minutes is a much-needed break and a moment to myself. I sat down on the couch, in the silence and slowly “came to”. It was 3:30PM, I was still in my pajamas…pajamas covered in baby spit up. What’s worse? I hadn’t even brushed my teeth that morning! The words, hot mess came to mind as I sympathized with my grumpy cat mug.

new mom

In an act to try to “save the day” I went into my closet and pulled out some old pre-pregnancy jeans. Big mistake. I got one leg in when I realized, this just wasn’t going to work, and why go through the pain of trying to squeeze a whole other leg in? I contemplated putting on my maternity jeans but then opted for my ol’ reliable, tried and true yoga pants instead (every new mom’s uniform) and vowed to go shopping the next day.

What Do Moms Wear?

I put a lot of thought into what sort of clothes I needed and in the end, decided I needed a new style altogether. Afterall, wasn’t I a new person after having a child? I was now a mom. What do moms wear? I wanted something comfortable, but not too sloppy looking. Chic and trendy but toned down a bit. Baffled by all of these new thoughts, I headed to the mall.

Luckily I was able to find some great items at two of my favorite stores: Express and Zara. After awkwardly telling one of the store’s sales reps that I was “looking for new clothes within the genre, Suburban Mom meets San Diego hipster” (the 22-year-old sales rep looked at me blankly) I bought a couple pairs of jeans and a few shirts. I tried to make my purchases about 50% mom appropriate and comfortable and 50% San Diego trendy – in the end they’re really just 100% me.

A Different Version of Myself

And while I may not be the same person I was a year ago – two sizes smaller wearing skin-tight clothes, going out to fancy restaurants and trendy bars every weekend and complaining when I didn’t get 8 hours of sleep (ha! what a fool) – I’m definitely still a version of myself. Perhaps a little more mature (a newborn baby depending on you for survival will do that I guess), a lot more confident (ya know, because I gave birth to a human being), and a whole lot more complete with Blake in my life.

Funny how a new pair of jeans can put it all into perspective. :)

– See more at: http://www.rookiemoms.com/badges-and-buttons/#sthash.5L8Ztgat.0LIfwleN.dpuf

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