Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Breakfast in San Diego: Great Maple, North Park

 Moscato Villa at Great Maple SD

I'm usually not a big breakfast person, unless it involves mimosas let's be honest. However, my husband cannot survive the day without a huge breakfast. So we usually end up venturing out on weekend mornings in search of eggs and mimosas. I had seen Great Maple on Yelp and decided one Saturday morning to head that way for a little breaky-boo. 

I decided to make a reservation using OpenTable just in case. We had learned our lesson earlier in the week after being turned away by multiple places for not having a reso. I would highly recommend one at Great Maple if you're planning to do breakfast or brunch on the weekends. Otherwise plan on waiting an hour or more.

 Moscato Villa at Great Maple SD

 Moscato Villa at Great Maple SD

Unsuspecting, it's located on the corner of Washington St. and Lincoln Ave. and looks like an old lodge style diner to me. With its rock skirt, dark wood, and shingle roof I was expecting your typical early bird special type of diner. A place where the waitresses have worked forever and the coffee is strong. Approaching the front door I first noticed the typography of the gold window logo and decided this might not actually be your grandpas diner. Then I realized just how many people were waiting outside. And inside. Instantly my thoughts drifted to "this place must be good" since there were so many people waiting to eat. 

 Moscato Villa at Great Maple SD

Walking in you're welcomed into the chaos of a busy brunch service by two or three hostesses at a rather small hostess stand. Always on top of their game though, I haven't had a bad experience at the host stand there yet. Except for the fact that they're so busy and have so many people waiting that a place to stand and wait becomes quite interesting. 

Looking around your eye jumps from decor to food passing by to furniture and back to decor. Natural wood, teal, greens, and whites make up the majority of the color scheme. All mixed together with a mid century modern flair and touches of gold and black. The turquoise bar is cased in a marble counter top with black accent stools. Exposed beams and a herringbone wood floor help round out the restaurants style. At their Hillcrest/North Park location they also have a cushy side patio complete with heaters . 

 Moscato Villa at Great Maple SD

Their breakfast/brunch menu is stellar. I recommend the blueberry pancakes or egg whites & California toast. Their cocktail menu is also great and includes a large list of bloody's to try. And you'll most likely see servers walking around with a sample of their maple bacon doughnut for you to try too. 

Great Maple is on my Highly Recommend! list for San Diego dining:
  • Great for breakfast/brunch (lunch and dinner too I'm sure, just haven't tried it!)
  • Family friendly
  • Full bar 
  • Outdoor seating available 
  • First-come, First-serve at the bar seating 
  • Busy busy! Make sure to have a reservation 
  • Mid range pricing 
  • Parking lot and street parking 
  • Healthy and sinful food & drink options 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

let's start from the beginning: finding a place to rent in san diego

 Moscato Villa at home

First off, you're moving to San Diego! Yay! Get excited for this fun, tons to do, beautiful city! Secondly, get it in your head right now that you're going to be paying more for rent here for a 500 sq. ft. apartment, than you would for a mortgage for a 2300 sq. ft home in Arizona. Just keep that in mind and don't act weird when you realize the sad truth while house hunting. Finding a "good deal" is either unrealistic or comes at a cost.

Don't get me can find a place for cheap in San Diego. Options include: roomates, moving way up the coast, moving way inland, or skimping on amenities. All four can save you some money. But at what cost? Your privacy or your commute come to mind. You can also find cheap rentals in most neighborhoods, but again you might be sacrificing laundry facilities, parking, AC and heat to name a few.

One thing I learned really fast about the San Diego rental market is that properties go FAST. Super duper sonic fast. Especially if they're in a desirable neighborhood, have parking, AC, laundry, or some other amenity that everyone else and their mom is looking for. 

For instance, I would find something I liked online and send it to my husband through email. Half a day later when he would go to click on the link, it would be removed. The property had already been spoken for. Sometimes it wouldn't even take half a day... the place I would bookmark would be gone in 30 minutes. Things go so fast here! It's the reality of the San Diego rental market in 2016.

 Moscato Villa at Belmont

I would say out of all the websites out there for San Diego rentals, Craigslist and Zillow were my go-to's. Both update constantly throughout the day and you're able to filter the hell out of the search. However! Not all landlords remember to add all of their amenities in to their ad, so you might filter out possible options while trying to narrow the search. *To that end, I would recommend searching with "AC" checked and unchecked for instance. I found multiple places that actually had AC in the unit but the person who posted the ad just didn't click it into the filter section. TRUST ME, it will open up a whole wide world of rental options. Also, as with everything online, be mindful of scams. There's a lot of them out there. If you have a bad feeling or think it's too good to be're probably right. Go with that gut. 

Filters I used for my apartment search in San Diego:  dog friendly, parking, air-conditioning/heat (a lot of places don't have this..welcome to the beach city!), laundry on-site

The other option, which I wish we had done, is to cruise around the neighborhood you like. Once you find the neighborhood you want to be in, drive around the streets for an hour or so. You'd be surprised how many "for rent" signs are up on places not even advertised on Craigslist or Zillow. 

Once I moved in to my place, I was walking my dog that same weekend and stumbled across the cutest bungalows. Not advertised online. Just had a nice sign out front. Cheaper than what I got my place for. Still kicking myself over that one. 

If you're looking for pet-friendly, make sure to ask about the pet rent. A lot of places allow an animal but you have to pay an additional $20-$60/month for that little flea-bag. Keep that in mind when calculating total rent. 

Some rentals include utilities and some don't include anything. Make sure to ask about that if it's not mentioned in the ad. Those bills could tack on an extra couple hundred dollars to your rental price each month. 
 Moscato Villa at home

All I can say is don't stress! You will find something. Just don't settle for something you can't actually see yourself living in for the next six months to a year. It's not worth it. If you want parking, stick it out for parking. Fighting for parallel spots is a total life suck. Also think about the commute. This is San Diego and we have rush hour. You might save money on rent living further out, but you'll make up for that in gas money and time spent sitting on the freeway. Also not worth it. 

Next post I'll delve into neighborhood recommendations for San Diego. I looked at 'em all and can give you some highs and lows to think about! 

Monday, January 21, 2013

kelly and leopard

Hardly ever wear this cardi. A) because it's this weird silky material and I always feel like I'm wearing pajamas. B) it has an awkward layout on the front. But since the weather is colder now and my favorite flowy kelly green top is pretty thin, I felt I needed an extra layer. So leopard pajama cardi it is. Paired this with my favorite legging like jeans and my motorcycle boots and I was out the door. Easy peezy.

Cardi: local boutique, Kelly Green Top: Francesca's, Denim: Marshall's, Boots: Charlotte Russe, Watch: Fossil, Phone Case: Marshall's

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Last night JT got home late so I missed watching The Bachelor and Biggest Loser with him...we recorded both..but I've been avoiding almost every website I usually frequent on daily basis so that I don't see any spoilers. I'm dying!!

Since the first time I discovered blogs I've been inspired to experiment with different makeup. I'll watch a YouTube tutorial and try to imitate it...I'll see a fashion blogger wear a bright lip color and I'll try it. I am not afraid to try new techniques, because let's face it, I've never been a big makeup wearer or really very good at putting it on. But over the years of sifting through blogs, videos, and magazines I've learned a thing or two and have gotten more comfortable with what I like and don't like. I've learned that I always need to put on a little more than I think I do. I always think I'm putting a ton of makeup on and that makes me go really light on my application of everything...which ends up defeating the point of me actually brushing it on. Stupid.

I've also learned that I will never like heavy eyeshadow on me. I just can't get the hang of blending colors in the right spots to get that smokey eye effect and when I actually step out into the sun I look like I've slept in club makeup from the night before. Not pretty.

I'm a drugstore makeup buyer at heart, I just can't bring myself to spend a bunch of money on designer makeup. My most expensive splurges have been Bare Minerals, a MAC lip gloss one time, and the Naked Palette. Lately I've been really into this makeup grouping, because I've been focusing on my cheeks and contouring instead of my eyes. I suck at eyeshadow application and blush and bronzer is SO much easier. These are my favorite products right now!

Foundation: In the last month or two I've been wearing Sonia Kashuk Luminous Foundation in Vanilla. Got it at Target for $9.99 and I've loving it. It's light enough on my skin, but gives me the coverage I want. And it smells good.

Eyebrows: I use the darkest powder in this trio to fill in my eyebrows. I found this eyeshadow trio at CVS for about $4.00 and I've never seen it again. Not sure what I'm going to do when I run out..shit. But it's the perfect color for me.

Eye Shadow: Splurge Alert! This was the most money I've spent on a makeup item in my life. Bought this at Sephora. $50 for eyeshadow? But, it really has the best colors and I use it every day. Well worth the dinero.

Eye Liner: I use Sonia Kashuk pencil liner in Iced Coffee. It's the best brown color EVER! I switch between pencil and liquid, but this is my tried and true right now.

Mascara: My all time favorite. I will never try another mascara ever again. Maybelline Define-a-Lash. In the pink or green tube..both are fabulous.

Highlighter: I use this $1 ELF shimmer for highlighting my cheekbones and brow bone. It's the prettiest champagne color and I love the liquid form. Does what it's suppossed to do and is such an awesome price.

Blush: A new purchase from last week. Maybelline Bouncy Blush. It's a new favorite and I've worn it every day since I bought it.

Concealer: Almay Smart Shade, also a new purchase from last week. Totally loving it. Not really full coverage, but enough for under the eye where I use it.

Bronzer: Sephora Brand, no shimmer, and doesn't make me look muddy. True love..but anxious to try something new. I'm a bronzer addict.

Monday, January 7, 2013


So I jinxed myself. I got sick. Stayed on the couch ALL day yesterday watching a marathon of Rehab Addict on the DIY channel. Still recovering today, but back at work (sucks), and slightly drunk off my medicine cocktail I've been taking. I'm not as sick as JT was, but even being a little sick still sucks balls.

Since my outfit yesterday consisted of sweatpants and college tshirt, I thought I'd share our New Years Eve with y'all. Since JT was still pretty sick, we just decided to get dressed up and go out to a nice dinner here in town. Turns out though, when you wait till 3:45pm on NYE  to make dinner reservations you're not going to have much luck. We ended up scoring a 7:30 reso at a restaurant I'd never been to. I googled the menu and it looked awesome...steaks, seafood, wine..

But then when we arrived to the restaurant we were greeted with a NYE Specialty Menu. It wasn't special. It was filled with all kinds of items that I was not excited to eat....i.e. liver, quail eggs, elk, etc...
But we made the best of it..I ended up trying grouper for the first time and it was pretty good. We toasted with champagne and told each our most favorite and our least favorite thing about 2012. Then we talked about the things we wanted to accomplish in 2013 and we left the restaurant full of weird food, good champagne, and hopeful for the new year.

We ended our night quietly on the couch with a glass of more champagne and watched the ball drop on tv. Totally my idea of a NYE, but I'm sure next year we'll be doing it up at some club to make up for our cancelled plans this year. Annnnnd I got to wear my dress!! So excited and I can't wait to wear it again for something. I felt so beautiful in it...that's the best kind of clothes you can have..ones that make you feel like a million bucks. Love!