Mix.Mingle.Schmooze

I recently attended the “Mix.Mingle.Schmooze” magazine release party for San Diego Style Weddings – the wedding magazine for which I’m the editor.

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The latest issue of San Diego Style Weddings.

The party, held at Mission Brewery, featured great food, beer and wine, and of course wedding inspiration.

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Another awesome party hosted by San Diego Style Weddings’ publisher Dena Nolen-Malasek.

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Posing with SDSW’s publisher, Dena-Nolen Malasek. Photo credit: Paul Barnett Photography.

Some of the highlights included:

  • The amazing paper flower backdrop created by Esmeralda Luxury Paper Flowers. What a colorful backdrop for photos!
  • I’m a sucker for photo booths and Captured Photos Booths didn’t disappoint!

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  • Yummy milk and cookies from the Cravory. I especially liked the chocolate truffle and lemon bar cookies.
  • Comfy and stylish seating from Lounge Appeal
  • The “Idaho Nachos” (create your own potato ship nachos) from caterer Feast on This were great – a perfect late night snack at any wedding or event.
  • Cool caricature drawings from Caricatures by Dave.
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Caricatures by Dave
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With my husband – does the caricature match us?   Photo credit: Eisenhower Photography

  • Tasty mini donuts and deep fried Oreos from Sensational Treats.
  • Pretty floral arrangements from local florists like Studio Flourish and Haydee’s Creative Flowers.

 

Fun fact: Mission Brewery is located inside a former Wonder Bread factory in downtown San Diego. The building has lots of open space, exposed brick and great city views.

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Check out the latest issue of San Diego Style Weddings online and in local stores.

 

Photos are my own, unless noted.

Fashion Forward for Fall Makeup

Fall is here and I’m ready to celebrate with autumn’s colors. I am excited to check out Jane Iredale’s Fashion Forward collection, featuring eye shadows, retractable brow pencils and lipstick. The company sent samples for me to try and I’m impressed.

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First I tried two Smooth Affair® eye shadows. One called Naked is sheer nude color; the other, Iced Brown, is a sheer golden brown. I liked how light and smooth they were to apply and it’s cool that they double as either eye shadow or as a primer for more shadows. They’re smudge proof too! There are four other colors in the line including a sheer pink called Petal; a matte yellow named Lemon; a champagne color called Canvas; and a shade of Gold.

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Next up, I tried the retractable brow pencils in two colors: brunette and dark brunette. (There’s a blonde color too that I didn’t try.) The pencils do a nice job of filling in brows. And I totally love the built-in “spoolie” on the end of each pencil, perfect for brow shaping.

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The finishing touch? The Cindy Puremoist® lipstick, a sexy shade of red! As the name suggests, it’s named after supermodel Cindy Crawford. I love the lipstick’s scent – a light, fruity mix of pomegranate and backberry extracts. Plus I love how the color complements my fair skin.

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Sampling these products has been lots of fun – I’m looking forward to wearing them throughout the fall.

Inside Hotel Karlan

I visit and write about wedding venues a lot and it’s always exciting. I recently got a tour of Hotel Karlan, a DoubleTree by Hilton San Diego. The hotel has just finished a $12 million dollar renovation and rebranding.

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The property, conveniently located off the I-15 in the foothills of North San Diego County’s Carmel Highlands, is well appointed with many amenities including refurbished meeting and event space, villa style guest rooms and a new restaurant, featuring farm-to-table contemporary cuisine.

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I loved touring the hotel and seeing the 32,000 square feet of meeting and event space, which includes 17,000 square feet of outdoor event space.

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The lush lawn is perfect for an al fresco ceremony. Plus the patio is a great space for a cocktail hour. This site works for weddings small and large – up to 400 guests!

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During lunch at the on property restaurant, Asado Grill, catering sales manager Kylie Flora explained the venue is a fit for couples who want a wedding venue with indoor and outdoor locations, as well as rooms for guests and members of the wedding party to stay on-site.

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Those guest rooms are spacey and modern, each with a patio as well as contemporary bathrooms complete with great mirrors and lighting, which is ideal for brides who want to take the perfect bathroom selfie!

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Another benefit of the venue? The Black Horse Pub, formerly a golf clubhouse, is a spacious place for cocktails and relaxing with friends.

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Hotel Karlan is booking weddings now and into the next year.

A Sweet Treat for Wine Enthusiasts!

Here’s a refreshing way to celebrate a wedding! Make your own “winesicles,” an adults-only frozen treat made with wine.

The recipe, courtesy of Santa Margherita is below:

Ingredients

  • Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore
  • Edible Flowers

Instructions

  • Place 3-5 edible flowers in each popsicle mold.
  • Fill popsicle molds with Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore
  • Freeze 4-6 hours, or until completely solid.
  • Once frozen, remove from mold and garnish popsicle stick with ribbon.
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Elderflower & Edible Flower Popsicles, photo: SantaMargherita.com

Wait For Me!

What a fun read! Simon Schuster and author Judith Viorst sent me a copy of her latest book, “Wait for Me: The Irritations and Consolations of a Long Marriage. ” It’s a quick read with great heart.

This book had me giggling and pondering many of the same questions as the author, namely where will my husband and I meet in heaven? The concept of designating a specific place to meet in the afterlife is brilliant! Too bad her husband is reluctant to pick a spot!

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2016 Food Trend Report

Love sriracha, artisan pickles and ancient grains? You’re in luck! These are some of the top 20 food trends for 2016.

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From healthy kids’ meals to local produce to ethnic condiments, menu trends for 2016 are intriguing. The National Restaurant Association (NRA) recently released its annual list of what’s hot at restaurants.

“Chefs and restaurateurs are in tune with over-arching consumer trends when it comes to menu planning but add their own twist of culinary creativity to drive those trends in new directions,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research for the NRA. “No one has a better view into the window of the future of food trends than the culinary professionals who lead our industry.”

The NRA surveyed almost 1,600 chefs, all members of the American Culinary Federation (ACF). The chefs reported their picks for the top foods, beverages and culinary themes trends for the New Year.

My Healthy Dining article explains what’s hot and what’s not this year in cuisine.

Celebrating the Premiere of “The LEGO Movie™ 4D A New Adventure”

So much fun! My family and I had a blast at the premiere of “The LEGO Movie™ 4D A New Adventure,” which opened at LEGOLAND California.

 

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The 12 ½ minute picks up where the 2014 “The LEGO Movie™” left off.

The movie reunites Emmet and his LEGO friends in an all-new story, combining 3D computer animation with “4D” effects like wind, water and fog.

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The story? The gang is caught up in an Evil Secret Plot involving a theme park inspired by their adventures in “The LEGO Movie.” They have to use the Master Builder skills of a surprise ally to save the day.

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Red carpet ready!

My sons loved walking the red carpet and meeting their LEGO heroes, Emmet, Wyldstyle, MetalBeard, Benny and Unikitty.

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Posing with Wyld Style.

The movie was full of adventure, fun and teamwork – great themes for kids and adults!

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Red carpet fun with my husband.

“The LEGO Movie Sequel,” is scheduled to open in theaters May 18, 2018.

Art + Science = Fun!

Getting kids interested in science can be challenging. Keeping them interested as they grow older can be even tougher. But exhibits like The Art of Science Learning at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center keep kids fascinated about science.

 

The exhibit very practically explains real world problems, like drought and pollution. Kids and adults ponder the possible solutions using STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning.

 

 

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The Art of Science Learning is designed as a call to action to find solutions to local and global science challenges. The curators say adding art to the science solutions help bring people together to collaborate and create.

Using foam, pipe cleaners, paper, tape and glue, my kids explored science through crafts.

They also enjoyed the “Epic Water Game,” a computer game where players had to research a science problem. In this case, the problem was deciding where to build a water desalination plant. The game involved learning the pros and cons of the project and balancing the project needs including environmental concerns and the impact on the local residents and businesses.

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We also loved the “Taping Shape” experience! Made of hundreds of rolls of packing tape, the art installation is also an “exploratory space” for kids and adults. That means my kids and I were able to walk, climb and slide through this cool exhibit of passageways.

It was hard to believe the whole pathway is made of clear packing tape! You just take your shoes off and have fun! Lots of fun! I lost track how of many times we went through Taping Shape.

Taping Shape exhibition runs through June 12, 2016, in the Fleet Rotunda and Discovery Galleries at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. It’s included in the price of Fleet admission.