wouldn't it be nice...

holiday time

Even though in our bright and sunny Southern California the weather hasn't changed much from the fall or even summer months, I can already feel the winter season upon us thanks to Christmas tunes, events and fall sales. KyXy is already playing holiday tunes by the hour and I've got tons of holiday inspired fare to enjoy throughout the last three weeks of the year. From ice skating in Coronado to the promise of some weather (I missed the rain this weekend) and maybe even a trip to my favorite place in the state (San Francisco), I just can't wait!


surviving local

It's one thing to shop green all the time, but another to actually shop local. With so many outlet mall, chain stores and free-for-all retail going on lately, it's often difficult to see straight. For those of us in San Diego, check out my new article on Examiner on the newly created organically designed JessBecause, an Encinitas owned boutique that is modernly designed with a flair for boho. As I discovered talking to the owner, all one needs in life is a little color and some positive attitude. Let's try to take that motto with us wherever we go...no matter where we are.

Though her Encinitas shop is still just a "toddler," as owner and designer Jessica Reif says, before long her brand JessBecause will "be a full grown lady!" in what she hopes will someday be a nationally recognized brand. The enthusiastic shop designer who has dabbled in everything from visual merchandising while studying in college to retail work at Anthropologie and Shop Dreamy in Encinitas, is welcoming new guests every day to her Etsy shop and traveling boutique, JessBecause. The creative center which provides the San Diego local "an avenue where I could let my creative energies run free" was a long time coming, and she found it through one avenue; namely: color.

"I've always done something 'artsy' ever since I was a little girl," she says. "The materials would constantly change, but whatever I was working with definitely involved color, lots of color! It was only natural for me to choose a career that resembled my childhood pastime." Yet she isn't an amateur - to say the least the veteran colorer finds inspiration in every avenue – from the locals to the vast World Wide Web, where everything from 'Bohemian' styled merch to vintage typewriter rings are brought to life in her home. "Sometimes I find great deals from really big companies and other times, I owe a huge thanks to the mom & pop shops for coming to my rescue. When it comes to supplies, I have to get creative there…It's almost required of me to think of unconventional ways of doing conventional things. I'll admit, it's a pretty fun process."

Besides being ingeniously and creatively marketed, what sets her shop apart is her outlook: "My daily mantra: 'Keep the positivity flowing, keep our bodies clean and limber, and make our ever-changing surroundings a little more pleasing to all of the senses.'" Finding the abnormal in the ordinary, she creates life's provisions complete with a touch of vintage flair to make the mundane seem exceptional. Following her love for design, JessBecause was recently launched and has become the center of this young adventurer's life.

Visit her Etsy shop, JessBecause.com and check out her events calendar – she'll be hitting up the Encinitas Farmers Market (parking lot of Flora Vista Elementary, 1690 Wandering Road) on December 6th and Painted Rock Holiday Boutique on December 10th (Painted Rock Elementary, 16711 Matincoit Road, Poway, CA).



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Throw aside your preconceived notions of San Diego and enjoy both the classic sights and sounds of the city as well as the off-the-wall ones. Don't limit yourself to one area - this large scaled city embraces different cultures within each district, making your experience in Gaslamp completely different from the one in Del Mar. Breathe in the smell of sea salt, listen to today's unique tunes, shout for your favorite song and explore local cuisine.


Balboa Park

Day Note:

Drive into downtown San Diego from the San Diego Freeway's 10th Street and park on the outskirts of Balboa Park. Walk into the park via a tile adorned bridge where you'll be welcomed with a sea of people, luscious gardens, fountains and an array of museums to choose from. Decide which to visit, but take special notice as you'll want to check out the world famous zoo before the day is done. Ideally, Balboa Park's beauty is found in the architecture and landscape, which can be enjoyed with a simple walking tour on your way into the Zoo.


Coronado Island

Day Note:

Image yourself in another world. Just minutes from downtown San Diego, this island is home to some of the area's most picturesque homes and views of pristine beaches. The most famous of all - the Hotel Del. No need to stay a night here, enjoy the majestic scenery with a walk on the beach and lunch on the hotel's terrace. The small-town streets are reminiscent of days gone past, in this idyllic Naval based town.

Living Room Coffeehouse

Day Note:

After two busy days traveling San Diego's farthest and most iconic corners, relax in one of its finest. La Jolla is known for hosting the world's wealthiest, and with homes scattered amongst the rolling hills, this day trip is perfect to simply relax, shop and eat. For that morning pick-me-up, get your coffee to go at San Diego's own Living Room; located at the tipping point of La Jolla's shops on Girard Blvd,. Enjoy your legal addictive while perusing the shops.

A perfect getaway, enjoy a day at La Jolla's well known surfing beach La Jolla Shores followed by a romantic evening for two at George's. Finally, scatter over to The Comedy Store, where well known comedians come on a nightly basis for an evening of refined entertainment.


L'Auberge Del Mar

Day Note:

The summer wouldn't be anything in San Diego without the Del Mar races. Make note of the summer schedule ahead of time (races typically run from the end of July through September) and enjoy an afternoon of sun dresses, big hats and mint juleps followed by a seaside walk through the newest addition to Del Mar's coastline, L'Auberge.

Just minutes from the beach and Highway 1, Belly Up in Solana Beach is amidst the Cedros Design District, where famed designers, entrepreneurs and the area's most uniques shops can be found. The city's alternative music seen is found here, where you can equally enjoy the Wild Note Cafe's scrumptous selection of appetizers and wine selection while waiting for your show in this intimate gathering.


Flight/Car Info:

Located in north country San Diego, ideally you'll want to drive here but once you park either on the street or at a new hotel, you'll be able to walk everywhere. Ideally, enjoy the city's bike paths, beach trails and coastline shops in Del Mar on foot.


Gaslamp Quarter

Day Note:

The Gaslamp Quarter isn't just for a night out on the town. Enjoy an afternoon game with the San Diego Padres, where you can pick up the San Diego Trolley from your hotel. Stroll around the Gaslamp following the 9 innings, as Petco Park is located within the city's center.

After a late afternoon sporting event, use your remaining energy for San Diego's Shout! House, where dueling pianos go at it night after night per the request of the house. Audiences enjoy an open bar and request their favorite songs - everything from the Beatles to Britney Spears - with a fun and quirky interpretation by the house band.



holy frick

first of all, how did a vampire come to rule the world? secondly, how did a jett get him?

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