Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Top 5 Technology Musts for the Summer #ATTSummerSoiree

Summer is a great time to make memories with family and friends! Fun in the sun, backyard barbecues, and family vacations are what make summer memories last a lifetime!

Thanks to ATT's Summer Soiree, not only was able to interact with some of the latest technologies to help me stay connected during the summer, I got to partake in the great food and drinks at Bali Hai San Diego.

Top - San Diego bloggers in attendance
Bottom - ATT San Diego crew
Photo Credit: www.LifeByCynthia.com
Cynthia and I checking out the cool ATT gadgets and gizmos.
Photo Credit: www.LifeByCynthia.com
Cheers to a great summer!
Photo Credit: www.LifeByCynthia.com
Here are my top 5 technology must haves for the summer for a busy mom like me:

1) The Selfie Stick by GabbaGoods is the newest and trendiest way to snap a photo! Whether you want the flexibility to take great self portraits, get a birds-eye view of the action, or get all your friends into the picture, this Selfie Stick makes it easy! Use it with any Bluetooth-enabled smartphone that has a built-in camera. The Bluetooth connection is super easy, and there is no app required with any Apple® or Android™ device.
Selfie stick in action at Embarcadero Park, San Diego

2) The Boom Swimmer Speaker is IPX7 Rated, meaning it can be immersed in a meter of water for 30 minutes when either attachment is secured on. Feel free to take it with you in the pool, the ocean, or even the shower. On the back of the SWIMMER is a R4A tail, that can be looped, twisted or snaked for endless mounting possibilities. Simply unscrew the SWIMMER's tail and attach the suction cup to any flat surface for upgraded bass. 

3) Mophie Juice Pack is perfect for mommies like me who always run out of battery in our phones. With the taking of pictures, texting, GPS navigation, social media updates - my battery always runs out! This ultra-light and thin charging case guards against wear and tear and provides up to 100% extra battery power with the flip of a switch.  When your battery runs low, just turn on the case to stay fully charged. And you can recharge both devices together with the included micro-USB cable so you always head out with two fully-charged batteries.

4) Moto 360 is a modern timepiece powered by Android Wear that I have been dreaming of. It's crafted with the finest materials and looks so sexy! Moto 360 keeps you up to date without taking you away from the moment. You can glance at your wrist to see your social media updates, calendar reminders, new emails, and more. Just speak "Ok, Google" and all the info you need is right there on the screen of your watch. The watch face can also be customized to fit your mood. So, if I want a fun Hello Kitty watch one day, but a Bulova watch the next, I can do that with this watch. It's so much fun!

5) Beats by Dr. Dre(TM) - urBeats(TM) are extended, full range, compact in-ear headphones. The exclusive driver design pumps out the deepest bass, soaring highs, and ultra-clear midrange so you can stop hearing the music and start listening to it. I love using my Beats by Dre at night when all the kids are asleep and I binge watch Netflix - right now I'm watching season 3 of Orange is the New Black! The sound is crisp and realistic - I feel like I'm in the prison with all the ladies!

A photo posted by @lovelylysa on
Thanks to ATT San Diego and Bali Hai Restaurant for a wonderful evening! Cheers to a great summer!

Disclaimer: I received promotional items in exchange for this blog post and other social media shares. All opinions are my own. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Bite into the Grilled Cheese Goodness at Boudin SF

Who would've thought a visit to my local Boudin SF would've turned into a science lesson?

When Chef Skverky said Lactobacillus Sanfranciscensis is what gave Boudin's bread it's unique sourdough flavor, I thought he was joking. Sanfranciscensis = San Francisco. But no, he wasn't joking. Lactobacillus Sanfranciscensis is a kind of lactic acid bacteria that can only be found in San Francisco, thus giving Boudin's origins in San Francisco a new meaning. 

I've always loved sourdough bread, especially the unique flavor of the Boudin sourdough. Now I know what gives Boudin its one-of-a-kind flavor: Lactobacillus Sanfranciscensis

Chef Skverky was super to excited to share with my blogger friends and I the new grilled cheese menu items featured on the Boudin SF menu. He shared that it is his goal, as well as all Boudin restaurants, to have the first bite is as good as the last bite. 

Chef chatting it up with hubby
Hubby, my kids, and I were able to bite, bite, bite through all the yummy grilled cheese variations.

Havarti & sharp cheddar melted to perfection, Parmesan-crusted sliced sourdough

Brie, Havarti, sliced apples, fig jam, Parmesan-crusted multigrain bread

Cheddar Cheese on Jalapeño cheddar loaf

So, which one was my favorite? It is hard to choose. They were all very delicious! The Great Grilled Cheese is a classic with its warm goodness. I can see myself craving the sweet and savory flavors of the brie and apple grilled cheese. But the jalapeño grilled cheese appealed to my love of all things spicy. Depending on my mood and cravings, I could see all of these on my plate!

But if I had to choose one...

Be sure to stop by your local SF Boudin soon. Some of the grilled cheese menu items are seasonal so you don't want to miss a bite! Click the logo below for a coupon for a FREE Kids Meal with purchase of a regular grilled cheese sandwich! Take the kids and enjoy!

Thanks so much to Boudin SF Balboa Mesa for being a great host to my family and I. My kids had a blast interacting with the other kids and doing the fun activities. Visit Boudin SF Balboa Mesa's Facebook page for specifics on their location. 

Disclaimer: My family and I received promotional items in exchange for event coverage on this blog and other social media channels. All opinions are mine. 

Click to add a blog post for Boudin SF on Zomato

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Disney Inside Out Mystery Blind Box Opening

Like many kids nowadays, my boys are obsessed with toy review videos on YouTube. Jelo and DJ have insisted on doing toy reviews for a long time now so I promised them we'd get started on toy reviews this summer.

My newly minted 5 year old DJ received an Amazon Gift Card for his birthday so he immediately wanted to buy the hottest item on all the toy reviews sights right now - blind boxes. These mystery boxes come in different themes and characters. Since we just saw Inside Out yesterday he wanted to buy mystery boxes with the characters.

Now, yes we watched the movie yesterday and ordered these toys today. Thanks to Amazon Prime we were able to score same day shipping so the toys arrived the same day. I LOVE AMAZON PRIME's SAME DAY SHIPPING!

Earlier this week, I was shopping for a paper shredder. I went to Office Depot and was disappointed in the prices and selection. I came home ordered an awesomely priced, quality paper shredder and within a few hours it was delivered to my door thanks to Amazon Prime! I swear it's magic!

Back to my boys and their Inside Out Mystery Toy Box Review!

These mystery minis are very hard to find in stores. I didn't even bother trying. With a Amazon Prime and their speedy shipping, finding these Disney Inside Out Mystery Minis was super easy!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Fun for the Entire Family at Moonlight Stage

My hubby and I have always been fans of live theater. Before kids, we'd try and catch a live theater production a few times a year. But when our kids came along, it became harder to find the time to go.

Now that our kids our kids are a bit older, we've welcomed taking them to the theater but have tried to find family friendly productions and venues. This past Friday evening, we scored a gem! We enjoyed an great summer evening under the stars at Moonlight Stage in Vista, CA.

The rows of seats are surrounded by grass areas to picnic or set up a lawn chairs so there was lots of room of little kids to get their wiggles out before and during the show. There were lots of kids in attendance so I knew it was going to get a great night for my kids!

My family loved Moonlight Stage Production's San Diego Professional Premiere of “All Shook Up". It's a new musical comedy, inspired by songs by Elvis Presley, about a guitar-playing, hip-swiveling roustabout who rides into a sleepy town in 1955 determined to help everyone discover the magic and romance of rock and roll. In between the story were a few mixed-up love stories and whacky Shakesperean gender-bending hijinks.

During intermission, my seven year old son said "I was trying to create a graphic in my head about the characters but it was all too messed up!" with a silly smile on his face. The musical's funny complicated love web was entertaining for hubby and I, and also kept my 5 and 7 year olds engaged in the story line.

The music in All Shook Up had our entire family jumping out of our blue suede shoes also. You couldn't help but tap your toe and do a little dance in your seat when the classic songs like All Shook
Up, Hound Dog, and Don't be Cruel, by Elvis were performed on stage. Our family had a great time and we know your family will also! My dancing DJ couldn't help but get our of his seat a few times to dance along. 

“All Shook Up” runs June 10 through June 27, 2015 under the stars at Moonlight Amphitheatre in Vista, Calif. All performances begin at 8 p.m. Single tickets are priced $24 to $52. To purchase tickets or for more information, call (760) 724-2110 or visit http://www.moonlightstage.com.

Upcoming productions at Moonlight Stage include:

**My family and I received complimentary tickets in exchange for this blog post and social media shares. All opinions are mine. 

Gaslamp District Welcomes Filipino Cuisine

People often ask me how I discover the awesome places I visit to eat. Not only am I surrounded by like minded foodie friends and family, social media is one of my primary places to find yummy eats. Nothing gets me like an awesome Instagram post that starts my mouth watering - you know you've had the feeling!

When I came across an article, shared by several of my social media friends, by San Diego Eater entitled "Ocean Pacific Grille Intros Modern Filipino Food to the Gaslamp", I knew instantly it was a restaurant MUST. First because it is a business highlighting Filipino culture through cuisine which I believe is important to share with the mainstream, but also because I love Filipino food! Yes, I'm a bit biased since I am Filipino - but hey, I love my people!

The opening of Ocean Pacific Grille was a great parallel to the start of the San Diego Filipino Blogger Network of which I am a part of. One of the goals of the SDFBN is to encourage and share business to blogger partnerships, especially those connected to the Filipino community. SDFBN was excited to share the news of Ocean Pacific Grille's opening!

I was delighted to hear Ocean Pacific Grille would host SDFBN's first official meet up! 

The owners Brian Norris and Executive Chef Charles Andres welcomed SDFBN on a fine sunny San Diego afternoon and explained the background of the restaurant, the inspiration behind each of the dishes, and the concept for the overall restaurant design. 

Chef Andres' inspiration for the menu items pulls from the Filipino heritage and traditional Filipino cuisine. It is his hope, and mine as well, that Filipino food will gain mainstream popularity as other Asian cuisines has been able to do.

All of the dishes we tried had very familiar Filipino flavors. I found myself thinking of family dishes, family events, or even specific family members as I was tasting the dishes. The flavors invoked feelings of home and familiarity, but in a new and fresh perspective. 

For starters we had:

The Adobo Style Baby Back Ribs had a tangy and rich flavor, which is typical of Filipino Adobo. This dish wanted me to ask for a nice steaming bowl of rice!

Pork and Shrimp Lumpia served with a spicy vinegar which is a favorite of mine! The warm crunch of the lumpia with the tart spice of the vinegar is one of my favorite Filipino culinary sensations!

French Fries with Banana Ketchup made from tomatoes, bananas, garlic, and other yummy goodness. This banana ketchup was spicier than the ones I grew up with, but still very delicious.

Lastly, the Filipino Tocino Toast was a combination of flavors that made my mouth and tummy do the happy dance. The salted pork tocino and creamy burrata cheese on top of toast was so yum. This dish is a perfect example of the familiar Filipino flavors yet presented in a new way. I have to say, this was my favorite appetizer here!

Chef Charles treated us to two on his favorite main dishes on the menu:

The crispy skin sea bass sat atop a broth similar to the Filipino sinigang tamarind soup, all with it's familiar veggies of eggplant, bok choy, potato, and string beans. I couldn't help but slurp the broth like I do with sinigang, it was very good. 

Next was the Crispy Pork Belly on top of Ginger Coconut Risotto. This was my favorite main dish! The pork belly reminded me of the Filipino Lechon Kawali and the risotto was a cross between the Filipino Arroz Caldo and Ginataan dishes. The pork belly was every thing yummy pork belly is - crispy meat and the warmth of the fatty bits. The risotto with the ginger coconut flavors blew my mind. I love Arroz Caldo and Ginataan dishes with my Filipino palate and I love risotto with my Italian palate. Putting the two together, again, made my mouth and tummy do the happy dance.

For dessert, the Chocolate Passion Fruit Dome filled with passion fruit haupia was a tart and sweet delight! The Yema cake with the Calamansi pastry cream on top was delish! I wanted to lick every last bit off the plates.

A huge thank you to Brian and Chef Charles for a great time at Ocean Pacific Grille! SDFBN sends our best wishes for a successful grand opening on June 25th! 

Visit their website http://www.oceanpacificgrille.com/ for your reservations and other happenings!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Bon Appetit with Cafe Bagatelle and Bistro in San Diego

Caprese Bagette, Steak Frites, Quiche Lorraine - all words that bring me back to my visits to Paris. 

Paris 2006
Not to mention, these dishes instantly make my mouth water.

On a recent visit to my kids usual haircut spot, I noticed a new cafe on the corner of the same strip mall. It's modern, chic look was very inviting and definitely caught my attention. Bagatelle Cafe and Bistro was calling my name!

Thanks owner Sylvie and the awesome team at Bagatelle Cafe and Bistro, the family and I were able to enjoy a wonderful summer lunch at the brand new restaurant. 

First of all, the ambiance inside the restaurant takes you away from the hustle and bustle of Miramar Road and allows you to enjoy a relaxing meal. The modern, chic decor and upbeat vibe is one you would expect in the more trendy areas in central San Diego. It is a welcome addition to the Miramar and Mira Mesa areas for sure!

from Bagatelle Cafe and Bistro Facebook Page
from Bagatelle Cafe and Bistro Facebook Page
The staff was super friendly which gave a welcoming feel to the restaurant. They were gracious to answer all of our questions about their menu and even offered from great suggestions on menu favorites!

The menu has lots to choose from. It ranges from breakfast to lunch items, American to French inspired dishes. I stared at the menu for a few minutes trying to decide what to get. It all looked so good!

I decided to get the chicken shawarma special for the day that was displayed on the chalk board outside the restaurant. The kabobs were grilled just right. The grilled tomatoes were still warm as I bit into them. the hummus was creamy goodness! It all was very delicious and very filling. I couldn't finish it all.

Hubby has the chicken and mushroom crepe which he inhaled! He kept making the "mmm...mmmmm" sound as he was eating. That's always a good sign. I took a bite and it was delicious. It was savory and creamy, and seasoned just right!

My son Jelo had the Strawberry Banana Crepe. He loves his strawberries and bananas so with his being his first crepe experience, he ate one of the two huge fruit and cream filled crepes on this plate. He said he was stuffed!

My younger son DJ loves waffles so when he saw the Belgium Waffle on the menu, he was set! The waffles came with bananas, strawberries, and a generous helping of whipped cream on top. Of course, I had to take a bite. The combination of cream, fruit, and warm waffle goodness was perfect. DJ usually doesn't rave about his food but he did say, "Yum, this is sooooo good"!

We have found a new favorite restaurant in our neighborhood! We are looking forward to bringing family and friends here for we know they'll enjoy it as much as we did!

Bagatelle Cafe and Bistro is located at 7094 Miramar Rd #122, San Diego, California 92121. It is open Monday thru Saturday from 9AM to 3PM. Stay tuned for extended dinner hours and happy hour specials coming soon! Don't miss out on Bagatelle Cafe and Bistro's specials by following them on social media Facebook and Instagram!

Sylvie owner of Bagatelle Cafe and Bistro
**Disclaimer: My family and I received complimentary meals in exchange for this blog post and other social media shares. All opinions are mine.
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