Tag Archives: travel blogger

Poway Valley Center is Open During Renovations!

PVC Collage 1

Back in March, my sister and I had a wonderful lunch at Bongiorno’s New York Pizzeria at Poway Valley Center (original post here).  If you’ve been by there lately, there are some exciting changes happening, with completion planned for this fall.  Although updates are underway, all of the businesses are open during renovations!  My sister took these pictures this week, and even stopped by and picked up her favorites at Bongiorno’s.  We have also made plans to come back and try out Don Pollo, and then get our nails done at Glaze Complete Nail Care.

So if you’re in the area, come on in and visit Poway Valley Center because they are definitely open for business!

Cheers!

PVC Construction 1

PVC Construction 2

PVC Construction 3

PVC Construction 4

All photos by Rholnna Jiao

Fashionably Late: Catching Up On 2017

Catching Up Any Second Now

It’s been a busy year for The Chen Family!  From getting new jobs to graduating college, we’ve been busy bees since the start of 2017.  As a blogger, I do have the occasional post that I’m required to upload no matter what, but there are also many events that I get invited to that I share mostly on my social media platforms.  Outside of those required posts, I’ve finally found time to post a few catch up posts of all the wonderful events I’ve attended in the first six months of this year.

Cheers!


Louis Vuitton x Unicef – 1/12/17

LV x Unicef 1

One of my blogger friends, Ashley Pöppe, works at Louis Vuitton at Fashion Valley and occasionally invites fellow bloggers and stylists to events there.  At the Louis Vuitton x Unicef, a specially designed Lockit pendant and bracelet that was created to help children in urgent need was presented for purchase. For each sale, $200 was donated to UNICEF. 

LV x Unicef 3

This wonderful bootie is called “The Ranger”

LV x Unicef 2

Easily my favorite set of pictures from that night!  Kali from In Spades is a lovely friend and a blogger who I’ve come to know better in this interesting and creative world of blogging.  There was a person stationed at this picture spot who just made us crack up as he was taking our picture, and we loved that he captured every giggle-filled moment!


Grand Opening of Flourish By Blues & Shoes – 2/18/17

Flourish by Blues 1

Flourish by Blues & Shoes opened in February of this year where The Beat Clothing used to be in Carlsbad.  Although I will miss The Beat dearly (see posts here and here), Flourish is a unique bohemian shopping experience with beautiful clothing, accessories and home goods!

Flourish by Blues 3

Flourish by Blues 2


Malia Designs Spring Collection 2017 – 3/16/17

Malia Designs Spring 2017 1

I was introduced to Malia Designs two years ago (posts here and here), and I do everything I can to laud their cause, as they support the fight against human trafficking.  They introduced their spring collection earlier this year at the Rigby & Pellar store in Fashion Valley.

Malia Designs Spring 2017 2a

Malia Designs Spring 2017 3

With Tiffany of Glitz and Glam by Tiff & Jessica of Ziur Designs


Primavera Fashion Show – 3/24/17

Primavera Fashion Valley invitation

It’s always fun to attend runway shows when I can, even when I arrive late!  I attended the Primavera Fashion Show at Fashion Valley in celebration of the San Diego Latino Film Festival, and caught this video capture that I shared on my Instastories, as I arrived “fashionably late” from my office in Carlsbad.


Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer Collection 2017 – 3/31/17

LV Spring Summer Collection 1

LV Spring Summer Collection 2

Aren’t these sneakers adorable?

LV Spring Summer Collection 3a

With Nihan of Style With Nihan, her friend Claudia and Ashley of Ashley Pöppe


Festival Style at Macy’s – 4/7/17

Macys Festival Fashion Show 1

Maria Von Losch is a stylist, author and blogger of Savvynista who I’ve also come to know.  I’ve had the pleasure of being invited to a few of her events, including this one at Macy’s in Fashion Valley.  During this showcase, she featured festival style, showing multiple ways of wearing the same piece.

Macys Festival Fashion Show 2

Macys Festival Fashion Show 3

I loved these pants by Free People!

Macys Festival Fashion Show 4

With Maria, Tiff and Kellie of The Bicoastal Beauty


A Stargazer Brunch at Vocabulary Boutique – 5/7/17

A Stargazer Brunch 1

Cecilia Church, owner of Vocabulary Boutique, always has wonderful events either on location at her shop in Little Italy, or somewhere fabulous in San Diego.  I’ll put up a full post of her most recent event on a catamaran (yes, shopping on a boat), but I also attended their delightful “A Stargazing Brunch” the day before my birthday back in May, complete with celestial cookies and a Tarot card reader!

A Stargazer Brunch 2

A Stargazer Brunch 3

How fabulous are these cookies?

A Stargazer Brunch 4

I adore my Taurus necklace, a gift from Vocabulary Boutique!


Fashion Week San Diego Spring Showcase 2017 – 5/13/17

FWSD Spring Showcase 2017 1

Fashion Week San Diego celebrates their 10th year anniversary this year, and I have been attending since 2013.  Back in May, I attended the FWSD Spring Showcase 2017, which is the kickoff event to all of the celebrations leading up to the runway shows in October.

FWSD Spring Showcase 2017 3

FWSD Spring Showcase 2017 2

With Fatsani of Tasanni, one of the designers featured in FWSD 2015

FWSD Spring Showcase 2017 4

I purchased a fabulous leather cuff from Alber Rezko (a jewelry designer who showed at FWSD 2014 & 2015) and a FWSD bomber jacket!


Natuzzi Italia Collection at Hold It Home – 5/18/17

Natuzzi Italia at Hold It Home 2017 1

Hold It Contemporary Home in Mission Valley had a VIP celebration back in May because they added luxury brand Natuzzi Italia to their showroom.  Pasquale Natuzzi founded The Natuzzi Italia Group in 1959, and is Italy’s largest furniture house.  The designs are beautiful, sleek, and meticulously designed and the event was fun to attend!

Natuzzi Italia at Hold It Home 2017 2

Natuzzi Italia at Hold It Home 2017 3

Natuzzi Italia at Hold It Home 2017 4


Sips & Sparkle with Art In The Find and Touchstone Crystal – 6/15/17

IMG_7343 - Copy

Conni of the blog Art in the Find had a fun event in June with Touchstone Crystal by Swarovski at the beautiful Bay Club Carmel Valley.  Touchstone Crystal is a more contemporary arm of Swarovski, allowing more casual designs with the same quality crystals, that can be worn everyday.

IMG_7344 - Copy

IMG_7351 - Copy

Delicious drinks and appetizers provided by Bay Club Carmel Valley

IMG_7352 - Copy

We each got to take home a beautiful tennis bracelet by Touchstone Crystal

Quick Wok: Tasty & Affordable Chinese Cuisine!

IMG_8395 - Copy

During the summer, it’s always great when my sister and I can get together and take the kids out, especially since we have similar days off.  Earlier this month, we took the kids out for a fantastic lunch at Quick Wok, located in the Carmel Mountain area at Rancho Carmel Plaza.  The food was fast, delicious and the prices averaged at $10 or below, which made our lunch with drinks $35 for four people!

If you’re craving tasty Chinese cuisine at an affordable price, Quick Wok is located at 10175 Rancho Carmel Drive, San Diego, CA 92128 and they can be reached at (858) 592-7770.  If you’re in the area, you can also use Door Dash to have their full menu delivered to your door!

Cheers!

IMG_8376 - Copy

Hot & Sour Soup

IMG_8378 - Copy

The Sesame Chicken was amazing!

IMG_8382 - Copy

My sister had the House Special Beef and she loved it! 

IMG_8388 - Copy

The kids love dumplings, so each ordered the Fried Pot Stickers.  With a side of rice, it was a perfectly sized meal for each of them!

IMG_8385 - Copy

Our entire meal as pictured, with four drinks came to $35! 

IMG_8404 - Copy

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.

(All photos taken by Rholnna Jiao)

The Latest From LEGOLAND® – Splash Out to Summer 2017!

It’s getting hot here in San Diego, and what better way than to cool off at LEGOLAND’S® Water Park in Carlsbad!  A couple of months ago, my sister and I got to spend the day there with the kids to kick off their “Splash Out To Summer”.  In addition to the festivities, we also got to see behind the scenes during the construction of their newest attraction, Surfers’ Cove.  We captured all of the fun we had that day, and I’ll be sure to post when Surfers’ Cove officially opens!

IMG_7179 - Copy

IMG_7159 - Copy

A very early morning at LEGOLAND®!

IMG_7160 - Copy

IMG_7169 - Copy

IMG_7786 - Copy

SURFERS COVE_Draft10_flat_8x10 CMYK

(This image courtesy of LEGOLAND®)

IMG_7177 - Copy

While I stayed with the kids at the Water Park, my sister got to tour the area where Surfers’ Cove was being built.

IMG_7834 - Copy

IMG_7173 - Copy

IMG_7175 - Copy

More Seating and Shade areas - Copy

This area is near where the entrance would be to Surfers’ Cove and the blue platform area will become the Surfers’ Ride.  There will also be a Beach Street Taco stand, and we got the chance to sample what will be offered.  Pictured below is a delicious fish taco!

IMG_7181 - Copy

IMG_7162 - Copy

A fun little gift pack; I’m excited to finally have a waterproof carrier for my phone!

(Most pictures taken by Rholnna Jiao & Cy Chen, unless otherwise noted)

 

On Birthdays, We Wear Pink!

Birthday 2017 9

Before the month ends, I wanted to put up pictures of when my sister and I went out for my birthday earlier this month.  We both have Monday’s off, and my birthday was on May 8th, which fell on a Monday this year.  Since my husband was working and our son was in school, my sister and I went on a mini-adventure in the Irvine area.  I’ll split our trip up into two parts, which was what I wore, and what we ate!


Birthday Adventure 2017:  THE OUTFIT

Birthday 2017 13

I bought two things from the Victoria Beckham for Target line:  The Blush Floral Jacquard Bomber Jacket and the Black Collared Dress, which I’ll be wearing in another outfit post (pictured above).  It was fitting that we visited the Hello Kitty Cafe on our way home, because pink was the order of the day, and who wears it better than Hello Kitty!  I wore the jacket very casually with black jeans and a white t-shirt, but jazzed it up a bit with a pom-pom necklace, metallic sneakers, and of course…pink pins!

Birthday 2017 10

Outfit:  Blush Jacquard Bomber Jacket by Victoria Beckham for Target (no longer available online); The Cotton Box-Cut Pocket Tee by Everlane; Michael Kors purse (older, no longer available); Jeans and Leather Eyes Bag Tag by Madewell

Birthday 2017 11

Pom-Pom necklace purchased at Vocabulary Boutique; Chic” pin by Pin Drop; “Just Another Tweenage Dirtbag” pin by Pretty Nobody Co.; “George Michael” pin by Bang-Up Betty

Birthday 2017 12

Breakpoint Metallic Canvas sneakers by Converse


Birthday Adventure 2017:  THE FOOD

Birthday 2017 1

Our food adventure began at Burntzilla (menu here) and ended at Stax Cookie Bar (we didn’t actually eat at Hello Kitty Cafe).

Burntzilla is a brick & mortar cafe, combining two of Orange County’s popular food trucks: Burnt Truck and Dogzilla.  We originally had other plans to visit a place that served specialty tater tots, but unfortunately it was closed on Mondays.  Since I was in the mood for tater tots in any form, I searched “tater tots Anaheim”, and Burntzilla came up (although the location is in the Irvine area).  I love a good slider, so the menu was appealing because it had different variations on sliders and mini-hot dogs.

Birthday 2017 3

The folks at Burntzilla generously gave me a complimentary Golden Combo for my birthday!  The Golden Combo is a great deal because you can get two Sliders or Zillas (or one of each), with a soda and naked side.  Along with the tots, I had the Yaki Zilla (hot dog) and the Sloppy Joe Slider.  Both were amazing and the tots made my meal perfect!

Birthday 2017 2

My sister also had the Golden Combo, but had the Dogzilla, Cheeseburger Slider and fries, since I had the tots.

Birthday 2017 4

For dessert, we wanted something out of the ordinary.  On the fly, my sister hit the dessert jackpot in her search while we were literally on the road, and found Stax Cookie Bar, right across the street from UC Irvine.  Based on the pictures below, you’ll see why!

Birthday 2017 7

Birthday 2017 5 - Copy

This is the Smookie.  Stax has a variety of filled cookies to choose from, and you can top it any way you desire.  Since it was my birthday, I had the Snickerdoodle cookie (filled with Nutella) topped with birthday cake ice cream and caramel sauce.  I can’t even begin to describe how decadent it was!

Birthday 2017 Collage 2a

On the left is the Bacon Chocolate Chip Creamrito, which my sister attempted to get through.  The Creamrito is rolled ice cream wrapped around more ice cream and other yummy fillings.  This truly is a two-person dessert, and we do plan on coming back up and doing it justice because it was quite delicious.  On the right, is the famous “Waffle Shot” by Zia Valentina.  I had my first one at The Grove, but the one I had at Stax was espresso with ice cream at the bottom of the shot.  Yes, it was as good as it sounds!

Birthday 2017 Collage 1

I had a great time on this mini-food adventure with my sister, who gifted me with several new pins, because well, she’s my sister and knows what I love!  Thank you Rholnna for spending my birthday with me, and here’s to more foodie adventures to come.  Cheers!

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

IMG_6937 - Copy

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!

IMG_6932 - Copy

IMG_6911 - Copy

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

IMG_6914 - Copy

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

IMG_6633 - Copy

“Leave the gun, take the cannoli…”

IMG_6634 - Copy

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!

IMG_6939 - Copy

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® – The LEGO® STAR WARS™: THE FORCE AWAKENS Miniland Model Display

IMG_6750 - Copy

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that the longest LEGO® STAR WARS™ Miniland model ever built was just unveiled last week at LEGOLAND® California.   LEGOLAND® bloggers got a sneak peek at the media preview a couple of weeks ago.  My sister and I brought the kids to partake in the fun!

IMG_6571 - Copy

IMG_6800 - Copy

IMG_6708 - Copy

Sarah Michelle-Gellar, best known for Buffy the Vampire Slayer but is currently the voice of Seventh Sister in Star Wars Rebels, was on hand to help the young guests “power up” the display with their light sabers!

IMG_6770 - Copy

IMG_6765 - Copy

IMG_6723 - Copy

The detail was simply amazing!

Legoland The Force Awakens Food 2017

Have I mentioned my love for themed food?  There was plenty of snacks on hand to feed the young Padawans!

IMG_6811 - Copy

I think Mei-Lin and Dominic had fun, don’t you?

Brandi Williams KUSI Legoland 2017

KUSI’s Brandi Williams was on hand to interview Julie Estrada, Media Contact at LEGOLAND®

IMG_6578 - Copy

We then got to meet Brandi and she was so sweet!  She took pictures with us and let the kids hold her KUSI microphone!

IMG_6584 - Copy

Imagine my surprise to see myself and the kids as part of the media kit that went out to everyone after the preview night!

(This image courtesy of LEGOLAND®)

IMG_6576 - Copy

Thank you LEGOLAND® for a wonderful night and for the gifts for the kids.  Congratulations on your new LEGO®Star Wars™: The Force Awakens Miniland Model Display!

(Most pictures taken by Rholnna Jiao, unless otherwise noted)