Reviews

Carlsbad Strawberry Farm

A fixture along Interstate 5 in Carlsbad, California – the Carlsbad Strawberry Company has owned the farmland that can be seen from the freeway since 1948. 

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This local farm sells Strawberries at Farmer’s Markets around San Diego County, packages and sells them commercially by Aviara Farms, AND even better there is an area open to the public as “U-Pick”.

When in season this Farm is on my “San Diego Favorites” List. 

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Date Night ~ Paint Night

Blog Paint 001For my birthday one of my mother-in-laws gifted me with a Paint Night Gift Certificate for my husband and myself.

Neither.  Of.  Us.  Are.  Artists.  Not even close.  We can not even stay in the lines when we color with our three year old.

We quickly found out that we did not need to be artists to create something we actually liked; all the while laughing our way through a fun date.

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SO CAL BATON HAND OFF – IT’S MY TURN

So Cal Baton LogoIt’s been a while since I ran relay in track…
A. LONG. WHILE. 

However, like riding a bike you never really forget how to pass and hold on to a baton, right?  Scratch that.  Those handoffs do take a lot of practice. 

Fortunately, the baton I’m holding today is all about covering some Southern California ground while taking photos and posting them on Instagram…  SHEW!!

Julie over at Girl on the Move is hosting the SoCal Baton and today is my day to share some of the San Diego area via photos.  I plan to carry the SoCal Baton to two of my favorite locations to view America’s Finest City and maybe I’ll stop in at a couple other of my favorite places along the way.

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Must Have Dry Shampoo

Let’s talk Dry Shampoo.  If you have not yet been introduced, are still using Baby Powder to freshen up your locks, or have held out on purchasing a can of the good stuff this is the article for you.  Read all about my thoughts on salon grade dry shampoo down to the grocery store finds.  Dry Shampoo is a necessity for your “no wash” days, refreshing your style before an evening out, for overnight camping trips, and is a great way to keep your bangs looking fresh.

The VERY best Dry Shampoo on the market is Bumble and Bumble Hair PowderWithout a doubt.  The best.  Bumble and Bumble Hair Powder comes in a variety of hair a-wl-IMG_2042colors/shades and while some other brands leave a white residue behind (ah-hem, Big Sexy Hair), Bumble and Bumble’s dry cleansing powder does not.  Their product matches individual hair color and goes on without notice and without build up.  This dry spray does not add weight, rather it adds the perfect boost and revives some much needed volume.  Bumble and Bumble costs approximately $36 and can only be purchased at participating salons.  A can lasts quite a while and it is definitely worth the cost and the drive to the salon.

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Summer Reading List – Sarah Jio

aIMG_2444-wlIt is almost  summer and in most places it already feels like summer which has me thinking about my books of choice for afternoons on the beach.  Author Sarah Jio just released her sixth novel, Goodnight June.  And because I countdown to Jio’s book releases like a six year old counts down to Christmas I know better than to add this book to my “summer reading list”.  I will most certainly have Goodnight June finished before our beach day this weekend however I have decided that this summer I will reread all of my favorite Sarah Jio novels which includes every book she has written.

My best friend gifted me a signed copy of Sarah Jio’s first book, The Violets of March, when it was released by Plume (Penguin Group) in 2011.  Being that my best friend knew Sarah Jio through her then salon in Seattle she was aware of the plot and knew that Jio’s writing style would be one that I enjoyed.  My bff could not have been more right and I am extremely grateful for the introduction to these novels.  I have been a fan of Sarah Jio’s ever since reading her first book.  Jio’s writing style makes for such an easy read.  The setting of her books include my favorite era of 1930s/40s/50s and her dual storylines often touch the late 1990s through present day.  The plot of each book typically has a connection to her beloved Pacific Northwest and there is mystery, suspense, and romance all tied into these fictional novels.  They are engaging making it hard for me to put them down once I start reading and as mentioned I believe they will prove to make the perfect repeat read this summer.

sjIf you happen to be looking to add to your summer reading list I recommend Sarah Jio’s books in this order:
The Bungalow (released 12.27.2011) set in 1942, engaged Anne Calloway joins the Army to serve as a nurse; she meets a soldier whose mystery peaks her attention and begins consuming her time as they create their own story.
Morning Glory (released 11.26.2013) set on Boat Street in the boathouse community of Seattle; after present day Ada Santorini leaves her broken life in New York she discovers a trunk & Boat Street secret in her residence (houseboat #7) belonging to Penny Wentworth from 1959.
The Violets of March (released 04.26.2011) is set on Bainbridge Island in Seattle where Emily Nelson discovers a diary dated 1943 in her Aunt Bee’s home that involves many of the residents and a long time mystery that she feels obligated to solve.
The Last Camellia (released 05.28.2013) another dual storyline set 50 years apart when Addison, a garden designer, uncovers the story of misguided Flora Lewis who traveled to England in 1940 to earn money to help save her family’s bakery.
Blackberry Winter (released 09.25.2012) set in Seattle in 1933, when single mother Vera Ray’s three year old son is abducted during a night shift in which she had to leave him home alone; this tragedy and mystery was solved many years later in another dual plot.  (This book was by far the most difficult for me to read as my heart ached thinking of my own two boys with a lump in my throat and great sympathy for Vera as she longed to find her presumed dead son.)

sj2aTonight I’ll know more about Goodnight June (released 05.27.2014) which is another mystery set in the 1940s.  The next release for Sarah Jio is set for November 25, 2014 titled The Look of Love, Jio’s seventh novel and another Plume book.  I am already counting down!  (181 days.)

Happy Summer & Happy Reading…
– T

insta-twitterNote:  Sarah Jio tweeted me!  Writers everywhere can imagine how exciting that moment was for me.  It’s not everyday you receive a shout out from your favorite author!!  I’m still beaming.  See photo; if you follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter you’ve likely seen it.

Linking up:
Works For Me Wednesday
Work It Wednesday
All Things With Purpose
Weekend Re-Treat
Weekend No Rules Blog Hop     The Little Things Thursday

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© 2014 All opinions are my own. www.tagsthoughts.com
I did not receive goods/funds/sponsorship to write this review.


Better Buzz Coffee

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Better Buzz Coffee is better than ________.  Please fill in the blank with your favorite coffee and/or tea spot then read the above sentence and know these words are true.

aa-IMG_8386Better Buzz is a Southern California coffee shop that currently has five locations as well as a separate coffee roasting facility.  I have been to three of the five locations and they all serve the very best iced teaQuick Disclaimer:  I do not drink coffee.  However I do come from a family of coffee snobs and have raised a nineteen year old “good” coffee connoisseur.  I drink all flavors of tea and enjoy them hot, iced, and blended.  I am a “Self proclaimed tea addict” aka a Tea Snob.

The Lab at Mission Beach is one of the Better Buzz locations and it is a super fun spot to order your tea or aa-IMG_8377coffee.  The back counter at The Lab is filled with jars of different tea leaves.  Take a moment to soak in all that goodness then make your selection or even make a couple selections, order and enjoy your own Better Buzz Tea creation.  My favorite combinations are half Sun Dew Green Tea & half Black Assam Bukhial  or half Green Sun Dew & half Mango Black Tea.

If coffee is more your cup of tea then try The Best Drink Ever which was named after San Diego’s nickname for their signature Americano with a touch of sweetness, cream and vanilla or try their Vanilla aa-IMG_5034Latte!  Both of those amazing creations come recommended by my older son, my Aunt and my cousin.  And believe me they know what they are talking about when it comes to coffee.

You’ll want to plan on trying Better Buzz on your first day visiting America’s Finest City so that you can make multiple stops for more of the BEST before your vacation ends.  Both The Lab and the Pacific Beach locations are close to the coast and and will provide a perfect Beach treat.

If you happen to live in San Diego ~ I’ll see you at the beach!  I’ll be the one soaking in the sun and the ocean breeze while enjoying my half green & half black iced tea buzz.
– T

Better Buzz is also posted on my SAN DIEGO page.  Follow me:  TWITTER    PINTEREST   Google+

© 2014 All opinions are my own. www.tagsthoughts.com
I did not receive goods/funds/sponsorship to write this review.