Sunday, June 26, 2016

First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare Tour in San Diego

My kids love the San Diego Central Library. Each time we go, my boys insist on going up to the top floor to enjoy the views.

This time, on the top floor, we bumped into the First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare Tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library.

The Old Globe and the San Diego Public Library were selected last year to co-host the only stop in California for First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare. The exhibit is on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library, a national traveling exhibition organized by the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. 

There are costumes, manuscripts, and other items on display. Although my kids have not read Shakespeare, there was a presentation of Romeo and Juliet at their school this past year so they somewhat knew about William Shakespeare.

First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library will be on exhibit at the San Diego Central Library @ Joan Λ Irwin Jacobs Common in the Art Gallery on the 9th floor, from June 4 through July 7. The exhibit will be open: Monday – Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; Friday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; and Sundays 12:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The exhibition is free of charge and open to the public, but due to its popularity tickets are highly recommended. Timed admission runs every 30 minutes, and a limited number of drop-in tickets will be available at the Central Library each day. 

Visit to plan your visit to First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare Tour

Friday, June 24, 2016

A Day at Torrey Pines, With Carnitas on the Side

Summer is here! My boys are finally off from school. We're ready to have some fun and spend some quality time with each other. Yay!

We don't plan to travel anywhere this summer, but we have lots to do in our beautiful San Diego to keep ourselves busy! One of the first things we've done this summer so far was spend the morning hiking Torrey Pines Natural Reserve.

Actually, my my eldest Jelo hiked with his aunts Tara and Sher, while DJ and I watched from afar. DJ threw a bit of a tantrum and refused to walk.

Here I am across one of the ravines at Torrey Pines and Jelo with his aunts across the way on top of one of the cliffs.

The views from the top of the Torrey Pines Reserve are beautiful. There are many different trails to take, all of which have breathtaking views.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is located between La Jolla and Del Mar, north of the City of San Diego, California. From either direction on I-5, take the Carmel Valley Road exit and drive west for about 1.5 miles until you reach Camino Del Mar. Turn left (go south) and proceed along the beach for about half a mile. The entrance is on your right just before the road begins to climb up the North Torrey Pines grade.

Use this address for your GPS: 12600 North Torrey Pines Road, San Diego CA 92037 

There is an entrance fee to bring your car up so some people like to park along the beach, at the bottom of the North Torrey Pines grade and hike up the hill. The hill is steep at times and is definitely a good workout! I know my kids would make it up a third of that hill and start complaining. So, I would rather pay the $12, drive up the hill and enjoy the hiking trails at the top =)

There is also a visitor's center at the top of the hill with wonderful information about the reserve.

After spending the morning at Torrey Pines Natural Reserve, we headed to Del Mar Highlands Town Center for some lunch at Carnitas Snack Shack.

Carnitas Tacos

Carnitas’ Snack Shack Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Visit to plan your visit to the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
Carnitas Snack Shack to get some eats after!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Foodie Friday: 85C Bakery Cafe Grand Opening TODAY

Guess what's opening in my 'hood TODAY?!

When the first Southern California location of 85C Bakery Cafe opened in Irvine a few years ago, we always stopped to buy goodies on our way home from Disneyland. There was always a line out the door whether it was early in the morning or late at night. The beautiful cakes in the displays and the shouts of "hot bread" by the staff walking out of the kitchen with fragrant, steaming hot bread kept us coming back for more!

What is 85C Bakery Cafe? The cafe was the idea of a Taiwanese business man who wanted to offer five-star quality coffee, cakes and breads at not so five-star prices. Lucky for us, 85C has crossed the Pacific Ocean and has landed in our neighborhood!

85C Bakery Cafe offers a variety of sweet and savory pastries, delicious cakes, teas, coffee, smoothies, and even boba drinks! There is definitely something at 85C Bakery Cafe to satisfy every palette.

Although the sweet pastries are delicious, the savory pastries are to die for. There are lots to choose from which are inspired by European and Asian pastries. My go-to savory pastries are the mushroom and cheese, the jalapeno danish, and the potato cheese puff pastry. Here are a few of my usual choices at 85C.

85C is the first and only place I've ever had a sea salt drink. You can get an iced coffee or an iced tea with the sea salt whipped cream on the top. It's sweet and a bit salty, yet refreshing all at the same time! Here is my Sea Salt Jasmine Iced Tea which I'm in LOVE with!

The cakes are not only beautifully made, they are also super delicious! Our family loves to pick up these cakes for special occasions. Here's my grandma and my aunt with their 85c Bakery Cafe birthday cakes. Don't they look delish?

Check out 85C Bakery Cafe's website or the Mira Mesa location Facebook page for more information and details on special events!

Here is my Snapchat coverage of the Grand Opening Festivities!

I'm so excited I 85C Bakery Cafe is just a few minutes away from me! See you there!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


My babies are growing up too fast!

My youngest just had his 6th birthday this past weekend. I had hoped he would've wanted to check out the new Great Wolf Lodge or the Universal Studios Harry Potter attractions for his birthday, but this year he chose to have a party. He really wanted to celebrate with this friends and family this year.
I found this cool photo on Google Images and used PicMonkey to add the party details
We gathered DJ's classmates and family at our local park for some fun!

DJ's theme for his party was "Hip Hip DJ" since he loves to dance. He wanted to share his love of dance with his friends and family.

I found a few "hip hop" goodies at one of my favorite stores, Dollar Tree!

Microphone doubles as bubbles

I bought a multi-color, chocolate buttercream, chocolate "zebra" cake from our local Vons. It was a great deal and everyone raved about it's yummy, chocolate goodness! I decorated the cake with a few printed pictures of DJ dancing throughout his six years. His friends loved the pictures!

Our guests munched on food from Gemmae Restaurant and Bakeshop, as well as food prepared by both sets of DJ's grandparents!

The kids played and danced all afternoon!
Grandpa had a workout pushing the kids all afternoon

Six year old DJ is an amazing little boy. He loves to dance and perform, whether it's in our living room, at this school talent show, or in front of thousands at Petco Park. I admire his bravery, confidence, and passion for hip hop dance. This past year, he's taken a liking to playing the piano. I often wake up to the sound of him practicing on his own. Coming to the end of his first year in elementary school, he teacher always compliments him on being a great student. I can tell he is a great friend to his classmates and he is very much so a wonderful son. He never forgets to say his prayers and loves to attend the youth mass at church so he can "sing along". 

Happy birthday DJ! Mommy, Daddy, and Kuya (big brother) love you very much!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Mental Health Awareness Month: What To Say

Being a school counselor is not only about scheduling classes, preparing for graduation, or planning for college. More and more, I find myself dealing with students who experience anxiety, depression, or suicidal ideation. By no means am I a psychologist or psychiatrist to offer behavioral therapy or counseling, but I am someone on the school campus my students know they can come to when they "just don't feel right".

Some of my students are already under care of a mental health professional, so they know I am their support at school when they just need to talk or need a "time out" from class. For others, I am the first person they've ever opened up to about their cutting, their self-defeating thoughts, their feelings of being alone, their helplessness, their thoughts of "not wanting to be here anymore".

Many of us have encountered friends and/or family who may have displayed signs of mental illness. According to Mental Health America, some of these signs maybe:

  • Confused thinking
  • Prolonged sadness or irritability
  • Feelings of extreme highs and lows
  • Excessive fears, worries and anxieties
  • Social withdrawal
  • Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Strong feelings of anger
  • Strange thoughts (delusions)
  • Seeing or hearing things that aren't there (hallucinations)
  • Growing inability to cope with daily problems and activities
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Numerous unexplained physical ailments
  • Prolonged negative mood, often accompanied by poor appetite or thoughts of death
What can you do to help if you have a friend or family member dealing with mental illness?

What can you say? 

✔You are not alone, I am here.
✔I'm here to listen.
✔I care about you.
✔What can I do to help?
✔Let me find someone who can help you
-You can speak to a school psychologist or school counselor for resources. 
-They can also see their primary care doctor to share their concerns. Offer to accompany them if they would like.
-If emergency medical care is needed, call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital. 

All of these professionals are trained to help those dealing with mental illness. is an excellent resource for those living in San Diego County.

It is important to know if you or someone you care about is in crisis and needs immediate help, you can also call the Crisis Hotline at (888) 724-7240. The phone lines are answered by trained professionals available 24/7; the call is free and confidential.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Try the Legendary Burgers from Around The World with Hard Rock Cafe

Last Sunday, we spent the afternoon at Petco Park to watch the Padres vs. the Dodgers. My kids love the Kids Fest activities on Sundays and my #DancingDJGarcia did a great job performing with the Padres Kids Crew!

We were super hungry after the game and hubby was craving for one of his favorites: burgers! We headed to our local Hard Rock Cafe for their World Burger Tour. I've been talking up the burgers so much, hubby has been looking forward to our visit to Hard Rock Cafe! 

Hard Rock Cafe has given their chefs the freedom to create a unique Local Legendary Burger that captures the flavors of their city. This year more than 160 local burgers were evaluated by Hard Rock’s culinary team with fan favorites selected to headline the World Burger Tour menu. 

During our visit to Hard Rock Cafe San Diego, hubby tried the English Breakfast Burger from London, England.

The Certified Angus Beef® patty topped with sliced ham, a sausage patty, a fried egg, a portobello mushroom, arugula and garlic aioli and served with a side of baked beans definitely satisfied hubby's appetite.

I had the Jamaican Jerk Burger from Montego Bay, Jamaica. Ooh yum!

The Certified Angus Beef patty topped with banana pepper rings, mango jalapeño cream cheese and jerk mayonnaise was super delicious! I loved the crunch and the tartness of the banana peppers and the melted goodness of the cream cheese! Yum!

Hubby and I also tried the custom cocktails that perfectly complemented the World Burger Tour offerings we tried. Served in Hard Rock’s iconic mason jars that we were able to take home, our server suggested a few drinks which would pair well with our burgers.

We tried:
  • The Crisp Sipper – inspired by the Aloha Burger’s sweet and savory taste, this cocktail features a mix of Hendrick’s gin, Monin Cucumber, lemon, orange and raspberry, topped with tonic and garnished with rosemary and thyme
  • The MelonPalooza – designed to complement the fresh flavors of the Greek Burger, this cocktail features a mix of Midori Melon Liqueur, Malibu Rum, Hard Rock’s house-made sour mix and PJ, garnished with slices of pineapple and strawberry

The drinks were refreshing and perfect for summer days! I could've had a few more of these, they were so good!

The limited-time World Burger Tour menu is available Sunday, May 1 through Thursday, June 30, 2016. Make sure you visit your local Hard Rock Cafe soon!

Disclaimer: My family and I were offered a complimentary meal in exchange for this blog post. All opinions are mine. 
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