Category Archives: Foodie Fever

“Mangia Mangia” at Bongiorno’s Pizza in Poway Valley Center!

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Hometown eateries are always a great find because they’re like hidden gems.  My sister and I have been discovering fun places to eat up near where she lives in Rancho Bernardo, and Bongiorno’s Pizza in the Poway Valley Center is a tasty and affordable choice for Italian cuisine.  Our entire lunch meal, which included our main dishes with garlic knots, drinks and dessert only came to $29!  There were so many great choices, which solidifies a return trip with our families!

If you would like a great and affordable Italian dining experience, Bongiorno’s Pizza is located at 13332 Poway Road, Poway CA 92064 and they can be reached at (858) 679-3278.  They also do deliveries within 5 miles.  Cheers!

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Bongiorno’s has a cozy feel, with lots of pictures of New York.  Isn’t that pizza clock awesome?

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I had the spaghetti with meat sauce, and my sister had the baked ziti.  Both were really good, and we loved the garlic knots!

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“Leave the gun, take the cannoli…”

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This is absolutely one of the best deals at Bongiorno’s: the Dough Bites.  They are deep fried dough rolled in powdered sugar, and come in a small pizza box.  The entire box was only $4.99 and so great hot and right out of the box!

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FTC Disclosure:  I received compensation to patronize a business at Poway Valley Center.  Although I did receive compensation, the opinions in this post are strictly my own.

(Most photos by Rholnna Jiao)

The Latest From LEGOLAND®: Dominic’s Birthday at The LEGO® Batman™ Movie Days!

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As you know, The LEGO® Batman Movie did extremely well at the theaters this year.  In conjunction with its release, LEGOLAND® California celebrated with The LEGO® Batman™ Movie Days during the last two weeks in February.  LEGOLAND® bloggers were invited to attend one of the weekends, so we decided to turn it into a birthday celebration for Dominic, who turned 8 on February 27th!  Being the amazing photographer that she is, my sister skillfully captured all of the festivities at LEGOLAND®.  The next day, we took Dominic out for breakfast at his favorite place, followed by The LEGO® Batman™ Movie.


The LEGO® Batman™ Movie Days at LEGOLAND® California

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My sister, Rholnna, in action!

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Mei-Lin & Dominic were ready to take on the Miniland Scavenger Hunt!

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Batman™ Mini-figures were hidden with letters throughout Miniland, which spelled out a word.  Once the word was unscrambled, participants could enter to win one of two LEGO® prize packs!

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Batman was present EVERYWHERE in places like The Big Shop.  Even yours truly got in on the fun!

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Mei-Lin & Dominic always have fun, and can find new things to do each time we go to LEGOLAND®.  This time, they tried their hands at panning for gold!

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Another big part of why we love LEGOLAND® is the amazing food.  I always go for the Bao Bun at the Ninja Kitchen in Ninjago® World.  The rest of the family feasted on desserts, like goodies from Castle Ice Cream and the Churro Stand at Castle Hill.  Here’s a tip: Get the churros with chocolate sauce, you won’t regret it!

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Dominic got an awesome XBOX gift card from Auntie Rholnna, Uncle Jeremy and Mei-Lin!

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Thanks again LEGOLAND®, Dominic said he had an awesome time!


Dominic’s Birthday

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My mom couldn’t make it to LEGOLAND®, so she opted to have breakfast with us at Breakfast Republic Dominic’s actual birthday.  I’ve been to the North Park location, and Dominic and I have eaten at the Liberty Station location.  Since we live near Downtown, we all ate at the East Village location for his birthday.

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Dominic’s favorite meal at Breakfast Republic are the Churro Pancakes!

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For his birthday, Dominic was also treated to coffee cake with his favorite fruit: strawberries!

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Dominic loved The LEGO® Batman™ Movie so much, this was actually round two for him!

Lunch With the Girls at Oggi’s in Rancho Carmel Plaza

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It’s not everyday that I get the chance to go out and spend an afternoon with my sister, Rholnna, and my niece, Mei-Lin, so it’s wonderful when that opportunity happens.  Since my sister’s family lives in Rancho Bernardo, I headed north a couple of weeks ago and we decided to eat at Oggi’s Pizza & Brewing Co., located in Rancho Carmel Plaza in the Carmel Mountain Ranch area.  Oggi’s is a family spot that my husband, son and I like to frequent because of their delicious menu and sports bar surroundings.  I’ve watched quite a few San Diego Chargers games at Oggi’s!

I’ve always had their pizza, sticking with favorites like The Works or The Heavy Weight.  For this outing, I decided on the Prosciutto Mac & Cheese because I have this secret goal to try a “mac & cheese” dish at every restaurant that offers it!  I’m glad I strayed from my norm because this version was absolutely delicious.  The three-cheese blend elbow pasta, baked with crispy prosciutto, broccoli and crushed red peppers looked great in the menu description, and was even better on my plate.  I guess I’ve met my new favorite! My sister and niece both felt like pizza for lunch, but had different tastes in which ones they wanted, so it’s great that Oggi’s offers several sizes, including a personal size.  We had a fantastic time, but it’s easy when there’s great food in a fun atmosphere!

Oggi’s Pizza & Brewing Co. is located at Rancho Carmel Plaza, 10155-10195 Rancho Carmel Drive, San Diego, CA 92128.

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Prosciutto Mac & Cheese

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Personal Size “Create Your Own” Pizza

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Kids’ Mini Cheese Pizza

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FTC Disclosure:  I received compensation to patronize a business at Rancho Carmel Plaza.  Although I did receive compensation, the opinions in this post are strictly my own.

(Photos by Rholnna Jiao and myself)

Blogsgiving 2016

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I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Our family Thanksgiving happens annually in Las Vegas and it was filled with fun and food, and of course a little shopping.  But prior to our family gathering, I celebrated “Blogsgiving” with a few blogger friends at Hotel La Jolla where we previewed the new fall menu at CUSP Restaurant by Chef Ingrid Funes.

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Our table was dressed with gorgeous flowers by Melissa from Madmade Designs and Louie from 656 Photography documented the entire evening!

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I was in superb company with these beautiful bloggers!

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Above: Tiffany of Glitz & Glam By Tiff, Moi & Paulina of Lil Bits of Chic

Below: Maria of Savvynista, Kali of In-Spades, and Jenna of Lucky Little Mustard Seed

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Bloggers doing what we do best!

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This is the Fall menu for Cusp Restaurant, and we pretty much sampled a bit of everything!  But I’ll feature what I ate that evening, which was simply amazing!

My appetizer was the Crab Cake with sweet and sour bell pepper relish & green goddess sauce (above, in front of the Crispy Pork Belly).  My main dish was the Lobster Gnocchi with Mushrooms & Kale as my side dish.  Both dishes were savory and absolutely delicious!

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I closed the evening with a Sweet Potato Tartlet with cinnamon ice cream.  I think heavenly would be the appropriate way to describe this delectable dessert!

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Chef Ingrid Funes came to meet with us during our dinner.

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We had a blast all through the evening, sharing stories and laughing (a lot)!

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After dinner, Louie from 656 Photography captured more pictures, including this one we’re all calling our “Real Housewives of San Diego” pose.  Maybe someone can come up with a bloggers version for reality TV?

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Our lovely co-hosts for the evening, Jenna and Paulina!

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 Many thanks to Hotel La JollaCUSP Restaurant, their staff and Chef Ingrid Funes for the delicious dinner.  Thank you again to Melissa from Madmade Designs for the lovely floral table setting and to Louie from 656 Photography for the amazing photography.

Special thanks to Jenna, Paulina, Maria, Tiffany and Kali, who I’ve come to know and love as my friends.  It was a great evening filled with laughter and I was glad to have spent it with all of you!

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Fashionably Late: June & July 2016 Events!

Catching Up Any Second Now

Yes I know, it’s me again, LATE as usual!  It has been very crazy lately with lots of work events, dealing with exterminators and the newest addition to the family: Joey, who we adopted from Clear The Shelters!  This “Catching Up” post will cover June and July, then I’ll get through August in another post.

Have a great weekend, cheers!


“LIVING IN STYLE” AT POTTERY BARN, FASHION VALLEY – 6/12/16

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In June, I attended the “Living in Style” event hosted by stylist Dean Hall and Autumn Ajirotutu of WAGS (who also has a blog, Temptasteious), at Pottery Barn at Fashion Valley.  She is the wife of Seyi Ajirotutu, who was formerly with the San Diego Chargers and most recently of the Philadelphia Eagles, but is now a free agent.  They both styled some fantastic tables in-store, and Autumn baked delicious treats, which Dominic very much enjoyed!


SAN DIEGO COUNTY FAIR – 6/18/16

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Yes, that is Chicken & Waffles on a Stick and it was everything I hoped it would be!

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I think my hubby wants that Steelers neon sign, what do you think?

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Our brave boy, always ready to try something new, like holding a frog as big as his head!

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I don’t think I documented our adventures at The San Diego County Fair last year on the blog, but I always do everything in real-time if you follow me on my Instagram.  In addition to the Chicken & Waffles on a Stick, I also dove into the French Toast Bacon Bombs head first because it’s what you do at a fair!


COMIC CON INTERNATIONAL – 7/23/16

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Power Puff Girls IRL (sort of)!

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Adventures in South Park:  Not sure what my husband is doing in the picture below, but I think it has to do with Santa Claus?!

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As we did last year, we ventured around outside the world-famous Comic Con because tickets are not as easy to get as they were, once upon a time!  But we still had fun because they’re just so much to do and look at all around the San Diego Convention Center and we were pretty exhausted by the time we got around to it all.

Just for fun, here are my passes from previous years, when you could walk up to the box office and purchase them on the day of the Comic Con.  Those were the days!

Old Comic Con Passes


CLEAR THE SHELTERS – 7/23/16

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For new adoptive pet parents, wonderful free services are offered from their first vet visit to their first grooming session.  We took Joey to Preen 2 Pristine and he got an adorable little bandana after he was groomed fresh and clean!

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Right after the Comic Con, we decided to adopt our newest family member from the Clear the Shelters event.  Meet Joey, our 1.5 year old Chihuahua mix!  He is amazing and we didn’t even have to “potty” train him, so someone must have taken good care of him when he was a puppy.  The description on his cage stated he was good for kids 8 and older, so the handler allowed us to play with Joey prior to making the decision, and so she could see if Dominic would be compatible with him.  Joey and Dominic played well together, and now Joey is a part of our family!

We absolutely love him and we’re so glad we adopted!


MEETING ERICA STOLMAN OF FASHION LUSH AT UNO DE 50, FASHION VALLEY – 7/30/16

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Free gifts with my purchase below!

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At the end of July, I stopped by to meet Erica of the blog Fashion Lush at her Uno de 50 event at Fashion Valley, who is absolutely adorable and sweet in person!

This was my first time really getting a look at the Uno de 50 jewelry up close, and they have a lot of very cool silver pieces.  I liked the skull bracelet I purchased because the leather was brown, and I got a few cool “gifts with purchase” like a shirt, Godiva gift card and another bracelet!

Eternal Summer Snacking with Chobani Mezé Dips!

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It’s been crazy busy at the Chen household lately mostly because it’s summer, which means Dominic is out of school and we can travel or attend more family events.  Sometimes during the summer, we have impromptu visitors or we end up becoming the meeting place for pre-concert or pre-movie gatherings.  To help with entertaining around this time, the folks at Chobani sent me this fun infographic to help either plan a special summer event or help with what to do if you have simple soirees like we occasionally have.

Chobani is my go-to brand for Greek yogurt, so I’m excited to try their new Mezé Dips!  They have four great flavors to choose from, but I think Roasted Red Pepper will become a favorite.  So cheers to eternal summer snacking and let me know in the comments on how you throw a fabulous summer get together!

Fashionably Late: Catching Up on 2016 Events!

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I know I’ve been very laxed when it comes to my blogging lately, and I apologize!  My son has been away at his grandparents in Las Vegas for the last two weeks, so I have to confess that I’ve been catching up on some much-needed sleep.  But now to get caught up on my blogging, I’m posting about events that I missed over the last few months.  I’ll also be putting up my concert catch up posts and I think I’ll be all caught and ready to put up my newest posts about recent events and product reviews!


DANCE DANCE RESOLUTION – 1/31/16

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My husband and I were invited by Delicious Buzz to attend the “Dance Dance Resolution” event presented by the international travel company Gogobot San Diego and a local non-profit organization, The Seany Foundation.  It was held at The Rancho Santa Fe Motor Club & Storage and although it was quite the storm outside, it was a fun night of food, drinks, dance battles and pug kisses by Chole (with her mommy Heather of The Stylish Bisou).


THE BEAT CLOTHING SPRING FASHION SHOW – 2/21/16

The Beat Clothing Flier

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Back in February, The Beat Clothing stylist Astrid Montalvo invited me to check out her fashion show in Carlsbad.  Unfortunately due to some scheduling issues, my niece, Mei-Lin and I missed the actual fashion show, but I got to photograph some of the lovely models afterwards, and Mei snapped a picture of me with Astrid!


LATINO FILM FEST FASHION SHOW AT FASHION VALLEY – 3/18/16

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Bloggers were invited to attend Fashion Valley’s 2nd annual “Celebration of Fashion” runway show for the 23rd annual San Diego Latino Film Festival.  The event was emceed by Paola Hernández-Jiao and Abelardo Rodriguez and featured men’s and women’s fashion.  My favorite was the fringed skirt by Scotch & Soda, featured in the video above.  Look at that swing!


BERRY BEST CHOCOLATE FEST – 3/19/16

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My mother-in-law had a booth for Bathologie, one of her direct sales companies at The Berry Best Chocolate Fest at Liberty Station, so I took that opportunity to hang out with my son and enjoy the festivities.  Rather than all of the wonderful chocolate, Dominic decided he actually loved the Belgian waffles from the Marcel Waffle Truck.  I wholeheartedly agree!


RECORD STORE DAY 2016 – 4/16/16

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 I spent Record Store Day this year at Record City in Hillcrest with my friend Rob and blogger friend Laura of Laura Neuzeth.  This was probably the most organized RSD I had ever been to, and I think I found a new spot for every RSD from now on!  The trick is to get there incredibly early (I got there by 5:30 am and there were still people there before me) to ensure you get your choice of what you want.  They didn’t have everything that I wanted from “The List” (post about it here), but I did come away with an awesome haul!


SPRING FLING EVENT AT GO GIRL SPA – 4/23/16

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Also back in April, I attended the “Spring Fling Event” at Girl on the Go, a night spa in the Golden Hill area.  I enjoyed the free cocktails, hanging out for a bit with Tatum from Love Tatum, and then I purchased a little something from Style on the Go.  Of course, since the Marcel Waffle Truck made an appearance, I had to bring something home for Dominic!