Mighty Minis at The Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum!

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My sister and I always try to take our kids out to do something fun and out-of-the-ordinary in our beautiful city of San Diego.  Every morning before work, I watch the KUSI Morning News for any hot topics, especially traffic and weather before I head out and drop off Dominic at school.  One Friday morning, I saw a news segment about The Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum in Carlsbad.  Since I knew my niece Mei-Lin was going to spend the weekend, I planned a whole day around visiting the museum!  After having breakfast, we headed up to Carlsbad to check out all of the many mini machines, engines and models on display.

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Craftsman Museum Collage 1Because we were a bit late for the second of the machine shop/engine run demos (they run at 10am, noon and 2pm), the kids were given a scavenger hunt to help them really get to know what the museum has to offer.  The great thing about the scavenger hunt, was that it took us to every part of the museum, allowing us to dig into each of the displays because you just couldn’t find what you needed unless you looked at everything.  Both Mei-Lin and Dominic really got into it (and I think the clipboards made it feel official)!  We had a great time, and I took plenty of pictures, including a video of some of the mini-engines.  Cheers and have a great weekend!

The Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship

Hours of Operation:

Tuesday through Saturday, 9 AM to 4 PM 

Machine Shop/Engine Run Demos at 10 AM, Noon and 2 PM each day. 

(Shoes required in machine shop)

3190 Lionshead Avenue

Carlsbad, CA 92010

Phone: 760-727-9492

FREE ADMISSION!

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One of my favorites from the miniature houses section.  The detail is incredible.

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Check out these mini-guns.  I would love to see a demo to see how they look and sound!

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Who remembers the Erector Set?  I had one when I was little!

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London’s Tower Bridge made of match sticks!

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Even though the scale is supposed to be smaller than the real thing, the spaciousness of the museum made some of the displays feel larger than life!

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After turning in their scavenger hunt questionnaires, they received a little prize of a 3D printed simple machine.  Note: they both got all the answers right (I helped only a little bit).

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Before the final demo of the day, the kids and played games and read books & magazines until the next tour of the machine shop was ready to begin.

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In the shop, we got to see the “Do Nothing Machine”.  It is literally a mechanism that runs to do…nothing!

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Dave Belt, the shop craftsman, gave several demonstrations of engines and simple machines.  In addition to the live demo by Dave, they also run the machines right outside of the shop.  I took a video below.

A Fun Night Out: The Murder Mystery Company

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I’m always looking for and thinking of fun things to do with my friends and family that are bit out of the normal dinner or amusement park.  I recently had the opportunity to experience a night out with The Murder Mystery Company at The Old Spaghetti Factory in Downtown San Diego.  I had always heard about The Murder Mystery Company, but didn’t truly understand what exactly what it was about.  So I thought it would be a fun way to celebrate a date night out for my husband’s birthday!  The Murder Mystery Company hosts several events throughout San Diego and there are different themes.  The event we attended was “Midnight at the Masquerade” where guests are encouraged to don attire appropriate for the theme:

The rustle of silks and feathers under muted conversation was probably the last thing heard by the tragically and unexpectedly deceased at the Annual Billionaires Club Masquerade Ball. With a mystery under each feathery façade, unmasking the killer may be quite a challenge. It’s up to you to determine which partygoer is guilty, bring this crime to justice, and save the party!

Attend the Billionaires’ Club Annual Masquerade Ball and help get this soiree back on track by trading clues with your guests, gathering information, and solving the crime before the masked menace gets away! Evening wear, ball gowns, Venetian masks, suits, and tuxes are what to wear to this high class night of masks and murder. Get ready for a glamorous evening of mystery, intrigue and, murder.

There are several different types of tickets to purchase including General Admission and Early Access (the price differential allows earlier access).  We had the Gold Circle Access, which includes preferential seating, a “Mugshot Momento Set”, and 30 minutes early access.  All ticket levels include the show and a three course dinner (drinks not included).  We really liked our seats because we were right in the middle of the action, directly in the area where most of the improv takes place.

To have the most fun, you have to participate.  Each table has a person who will be directly involved in the action, meaning they will play an actual character in the mystery that will need to be solved by the end of the evening.  There are books at each table with clues for your table’s character, and the “money” at each table will be used to purchase clues from other tables to help solve the mystery.  Tables have “investigation” time where your table can interact with any other table or their characters, and each table has a scribe who will ensure your clues are documented.  At the end, all tables turn in their “whodunit”, and the winning table gets bragging rights for solving the mystery.

We really enjoyed the direct involvement of the improv actors, who never break character throughout the performance.  As I mentioned previously, you will have the most fun if you are active with your table, and get up and really roam around to get the definitive clues you need to solve the mystery.  I won’t give away too much because it’s really something that you have to enjoy for yourself.  Deon and I already know from this experience that it makes for a great date night, but I think it would make for a great “Girls/Guys Night Out” or even family night if you have kids who are old enough to participate.  I’ve included some pictures from the evening, including our “mugshots”.  Thank you to The Murder Mystery Company for adding a great alternative for a night out in San Diego!

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Are you ready to play?

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The awesome improv cast of The Murder Mystery Company!

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How do you like these mugs?

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I wore my fabulous vintage opera coat that I bought from La Femme Chic Consignment Boutique!

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FTC Disclosure:  I received complementary Gold Circle passes to attend a show.  Although I did receive complementary passes as a courtesy, the opinions in this post are strictly my own.

Fashionably Late: January 2016 Events With San Diego Style Bloggers

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I guess I’m doing fairly well with documenting events lately, especially since I’m only two weeks behind in posting them (yikes)!  I attended a couple of events to help support my fellow San Diego Style Bloggers: Girls Night Out at La Femme Chic Consignment Boutique and the 2016 Style Refresh Party at Bliss 101.  I’ve got a couple more events to catch up for January, which I will post up before the end of the week.  In the meantime, please enjoy my recaps of these fun events!


Girls Night Out With with Tiffany of Glitz and Glam by Tiff at La Femme Chic Consignment Boutique

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Gorgeous model/blogger Tiffany hosted a Girls Night Out at La Femme Chic!

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La Femme Chic is located in Solana Beach, and they specialize in combining high-end chic with affordable pieces.  You can find lovely Chanel and Christian Dior purses next to well cared for Madewell and H&M items.  My kind of consignment store!

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All of the displays in La Femme Chic are so gorgeous!

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I found my opera coat!  I fell in love with the ones Carrie Bradshaw wore on “Sex And The City”, and I have been looking for something similar to what she wore on the episode “Anchors Away”.  I found that gorgeous vintage one picture above, and at such a great deal!


2016 Style Refresh at Bliss 101, Hosted by San Diego Style Bloggers

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Bliss 101 is located in Encinitas, and they specialize in all things having to do with art, home and body.

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Bliss 101 helped to host San Diego Style Bloggers (SDSB) for a meet up.  They provided sips and snacks, in addition to a DIY project!

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Bliss 101 DIY Collage

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Our DIY project: a decorative lamp made with re-purposed wine bottles!

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SDSB Event Coordinators Jen of Sprinkles on Sunday and Kali of In Spades; blogger Aylin of Stylin’ by Aylin; and SDSB Local Business / Designer Spotlight Contributor, Devon of Seventeen Dresses.

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A mix of bloggers and patrons all participating in the DIY project.  And I finally got to hang out for a bit with Laura of Laura Neuzeth; it’s been awhile since I have seen her!  

Thank you Bliss 101 for a wonderful evening!

Moto Mania

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I have been on the hunt for a classic moto jacket for the better part of a year now.  I didn’t want anything fancy, just a simple moto jacket like the ones Depeche Mode used to wear (check out Alan Wilder’s in the picture below).  I had a great faux leather one (post here and here), but my search began after it started to wear in the shoulder area.  I was deciding between a more affordable faux leather one and a real leather one, but I didn’t want to keep replacing the faux one due to possible wear.  Imagine my delight when my husband surprised me at Christmas with this wonderful, absolutely classic real leather moto jacket by BCBGeneration.  I searched for months to find what he found in one evening, simply by chance.  But it’s definitely no accident that my husband’s years in retail have helped in finding exactly what I wanted!

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Check out Alan Wilder’s jacket; classic, no? (Photo courtesy of The Place)

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I’ve always loved black paired with navy blue.  It’s almost monochromatic, but with just a slight bit of contrast.

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Outfit: BCBGenerations Moto Jacket (no longer available); Forever 21 houndstooth sweater; Madewell jeans; Naughty Monkey suede boots; Warby Parker “Simone” glasses in Blue Coral; Tahari scarf; Beret from Paris; Love Tatum Rings; “Adelaide” crossbody purse c/o Kipling (Fashion Valley)

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Thank you SO much to Kayde and the fantastic folks at Kipling in Fashion Valley for my lovely Christmas present!

(Outfit photos by Deon Chen)

My First Fashion Subscription: Rocksbox!

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I must say, I’m very new to this fashion subscription box game.  I’ve seen reviews from my blogger friends on beauty boxes, and I even know an actual fashion box stylist.  But this is my first time trying it out, and what better way than through Rocksbox!  I’m a sucker for a great accessory, and with Rocksbox, I can review three pieces of jewelry and decide to purchase them or send them back for another three pieces as curated by my stylist.

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Here’s how it works:  I became a Shine Insider by filling out a survey to help the stylist who will be assigned to me to determine my style and jewelry preference.  I can also choose items for my “Wish List” that could be added to my box.  Soon after, I received my first box with the Urban Gem necklace I chose, along with a set built around my necklace by my stylist, Eleanor: adorable Gorjana earrings and amazing rings by CC Skye.  I have to tell you, I have been getting a lot of use from my Rocksbox pieces, wearing them altogether as a set or with jewelry I already own (the CC Sky ring paired perfectly with my Love Tatum one).  If I absolutely love a piece, I simply keep it and purchase it on my account page, and then return the rest of the pieces!

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I can’t believe I haven’t tried this before because it really is very easy and so convenient!  First of all, I really enjoyed the personalized touch.  Upon opening the box, I was immediately greeted with my name on the card with the description of the contents of the box.  Each piece was carefully wrapped in its own individual jewelry bag.  Very explicit instructions are included on not only how to return the jewelry with the packaging and shipping label provided, but also on how to care for the jewelry, just in case you want to return the items you don’t want.

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I actually purchased the Gorjana “Cress Shimmer Studs” that Eleanor chose for me, and used my Shine Spend, which brought the price of the earrings down to $20!  I then returned the rest of the jewelry in the original packaging, with the shipping label provided.  I’m excited to see what Eleanor has planned for me next, especially since I made some additions to my “Wish List”.

Would you like to try out Rocksbox, courtesy of moi?  Any Second Now readers can use code any2ndnowxoxo when prompted on the Rockbox site to try it out for one month!  If you love it, then it’s just $19 a month thereafter to get unlimited access to rent some great jewelry!

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FTC Disclosure:  I received a complementary 3 month subscription to try out Rocksbox.  Although I did receive a complementary subscription, the opinions in this post are strictly my own.

Product Review: The Proactiv Acne Treatment System

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As you know, I’m always up for trying products that may enhance or improve my skin care regimen.  My current skin cleansing routine is very simple: I wash my face daily with a cleansing foam and use an exfoliant every other day.  I have been introduced to a few products here on my blog, but I will have to say that this will be the most popular one to date:  I have been asked to try The Proactiv Acne Treatment System, to assist in ensuring my readers are making the right decision for their skin care treatment related to acne.  As we all know, not one solution works for everyone, which is why I have been asked to review Proactiv to find out what will work.  Since I have always wanted to try Proactiv, I was happy to be asked to participate in this review, and I will post my results after trying the product over a period of time.  So stay tuned for my final review of Proactiv!

FTC Disclosure:  I received product specifically for a product review.  Although I did receive product, the opinions in this post are strictly my own.

Ashes To Ashes: Remembering David Bowie

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As I write this, I’m still in shock over the untimely death of David Bowie.  I’m not going to get too much into his history because you can look that up anywhere, and at press time, he is definitely trending all over.  But what I will do is just touch on what he meant to me, especially since he was such a major influence on the bands I adore.

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I’ve possibly been exposed to David Bowie as early as four years old because my parents used to watch The Dinah Shore show and Dick Cavett back in the 70’s.  My parents were also very big fans of Bing Crosby, so I completely remember the Bowie and Crosby version of Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth, although it may have been a memory from repeated Christmas specials because I was only seven when they performed that together in 1977.  But I definitely remember the first song I heard by David Bowie, which was Ashes To Ashes from his Scary Monsters album.  I was a mere 11 or 12 years old at the time, but I distinctly recall seeing the video on MTV, thinking how odd it was to see nuns and clowns on a beach.  I also remember the song Fashion because then MTV VJ Alan Hunter proudly declared time and again that he was in the video.

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The album that made the most impact on me was the Let’s Dance album because that was when I was in my self discovery phase, which included the importance of music in my life.  In 1983, local radio station 91X introduced me to the kind of music that would stay with me with bands like Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Joy Division, New Order and of course, Depeche Mode.  My favorite bands all site David Bowie and Bryan Ferry as true inspiration when they were youngsters looking for their identity, and I recall how dapper and suave David Bowie looked in videos like Modern Love and China Girl.  The fashion influence was obvious on Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran, but I swear Simon Le Bon is vocally channeling Mr. Bowie in New Moon on Monday from the Seven and the Ragged Tiger album.

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I think David Bowie’s death has impacted me so much because he’s always been present.  I can’t remember a time when I was listening to music without him being artistically somewhere close by.  He was an innovator, he was soulful, and he was creative.  He gave people like myself, self-proclaimed “weirdos” or “outcasts”, license to be yourself.  He was a fashion and musical genius.

I recall a discussion my husband and I had about an impeding Bowie tour about two years ago, vowing that we would see him here or Los Angeles, or even San Francisco or Las Vegas if we needed to travel, just to ensure we would see him in our lifetime.  When that tour never materialized and there was no word, I even hinted that something else may be wrong, like some kind of health problem because there was suddenly radio silence about his tour or a new album.  So when I heard about Blackstar being released, I was optimistic about seeing more from David Bowie in the near future, even a possible tour.  I listened to the whole album on Spotify, telling my friends and family how much it harkened back to his earlier days.  Instead of hearing about a new tour and more new music, my best friend alerted me to the news of his death, which was confirmed on all news channels within about 15 minutes of her text.  Now, we sadly bid adieu to Ziggy Stardust, aka The Goblin King, aka The Thin White Duke, aka a beloved music legend.

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(All pictured vinyl and CDs are from my personal music collection.)

(Edited to add my David Bowie playlist from Spotify)

My Favorite Bowie