Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Review: Rimmel London Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara

I was sent complimentary products in the Rose VoxBox for review purposes from Influenster. If you'd like to test products and join a cool community, you can request an invitation here. Or if you know me in real life, I can send you an invitation.

My favorite item in the Rose VoxBox was the Rimmel London Scandaleyes Retro Glam mascara. It was smooth, rich in color, and had a dramatic effect on my lashes. It lengthened them and made them very full. Another huge perk is the price, $5.99. 

My only critisms are that it doesn't curl my lashes and separate as well as my regular mascara (Yes They're Real by Benefit Cosmetics $23.) 

When applying this mascara, I recommend curling your lashes first. After dipping the wand in the container, run the brush along the top of the container to remove any excess product. Apply only two coats, you won't need anymore than that. You risk some major clumping should you attempt that third coat. Hello, 5 extra thick eyelashes. You know what I mean.

Update: When I tried to use the mascara a third time, the mascara was very thick and did not apply smoothly. I tossed it. 

Below are photos of me BEFORE with no mascara and then AFTER with Rimmel mascara. In the last photo, you can see what a big difference it makes to the overall look. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sublime Tavern

You guys! This is my first post where a restaurant invited me to a complimentary tasting! Let me reassure you that all opinions are my own.

The owner of Sublime Tavern, James said that he studied with a French chef to perfect his menu. You'll see, as I experienced, that the food at Sublime Tavern is elevated because of the attention to detail. And to top it all off, this is a family-friendly environment. You can bring your kids. Awesome! They've also got some great spaces for private parties. The patio is enclosed and overlooks the polo fields in Del Mar. It's great!

Ok now, on to my photos and how delicious everything was and how impressed I was with the staff. I brought my 5 year old son and mother-in-law with me for a second and third opinion!

Sublime Tavern offers a large selection of craft beers from the local favorites Ballast Point Sculpin IPA to Stone selections, Societe beers, and many many others. If you're a beer lover, you'll be happy. I tried something new, Rip Current Vanilla Storm. Wow! It was dark and tasted like vanilla coffee. I really enjoyed it. Thanks to my server for the recommendation. She also recommended a wine my mother-in-law liked.

an imperial stout with coffee and vanilla
We all enjoyed our food. Sublime Tavern put out a buffet of truffle fries, mac n' cheese, chicken fingers, and pizza for the children.  My son gobbled it all up. He told me the pizza was his favorite ... he is, after all, a pizza connoisseur.

We were served four courses and each course consisted of two items. The first course was homemade focaccia sticks and Belgian style truffle fries. Both were perfectly crispy and all together addictive. I had to control how much I ate because I knew three more courses were coming. 

homemade focaccia sticks
truffle fries
The second course consisted of salads, a wild arugula salad and a spinach salad.  My mother in law was ranting and raving about the spinach, declaring it was her new favorite. When the server came to clear the salads, she made sure she took another heaping serving. I think the minted sherry vinaigrette made it rather special and unique. The arugula salad was well balanced. The arugula was bitter and the bleu cheese was creamy and tangy, while the pears were nice and sweet. The crunch of the toasted almonds complimented it nicely.

bartlett pears, bleu cheese crumbles, toasted walnuts, blueberry pomegranate vinaigrette 
baby organic spinach, warm goat cheese, fuji apples, crispy bacon, toasted almonds, minted sherry vinaigrette
Next they brought out Get Figgy With It Pizza and Ecstacy Mac n' Cheese. The pizza was a perfect combination of salty, sweet, and bitter. The mac n' cheese was incredibly decadent. I did have another little scoop of the mac because it was that good. Comfort food, my friends, comfort food. I've been looking at the menu online and saw that they offer many varieties of mac n' cheese.  There's one called Rapture Mac n' Cheese and it's got pulled pork and caramelized onion and parsley.  I gotta go back! 

figs, prosciutto, balsamic glaze, olive oil, and garlic base

gorgonzola bechamel, applewood smoked bacon, mushrooms, roasted red pepper, garlic thyme 
Last came two entrees, braised boneless beef short ribs over mashed potatoes and their vegan coastal bounty. The short ribs were falling apart tender and nicely seasoned. The potatoes were a perfect consistency. Now, I was really impressed with the vegan coastal bounty. The lemongrass coconut sauce was so so good flavorful.

braised boneless beef short rib, caramelized shallot whipped potatoes, bleu cheese crusted green beans, red wine reduction
corn and ginger with quinoa, lemongrass coconut sauce, wild mushroom and mixed beets
I'm already planning when I'm coming back and who I'm bringing with me. I'm thinking I'll be meeting some friends here with my son and my husband and I'll also be meeting some girlfriends to have a beer and that vegan coastal bounty. They're going to love it. You're going to love it too. Enjoy!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at The Headquarters

Sunday night we had the privilege of attending the ribbon cutting ceremony for The Headquarters at Seaport District. It was a great event that showcased the restaurants and retail occupying San Diego's Old Police Headquarters and really celebrated the SDPD history of that location. Yes we did have our photos taken in a jail cell with actor inmates and our drinks were served by bartenders dressed in SDPD's old tan uniforms. It was very very cool.
It's open! It's finally open!
There are many fabulous restaurants occupying The Headquarters and our first stop was Pizzeria Mozza. We got inside and my husband made a reservation for next weekend and I went straight to the counter to watch the cooks using the pizza oven. We were served refreshing spritzers, savory pizza, and their famous butterscotch budino. People! You need to try their budino! It's a thick velvety pudding topped with a caramel sauce and rosemary pine-nut cookie. 

I snapped an action shot of the pizza oven on overdrive.

Fennel and sausage pizza, really fresh. 
This is THE budino. Try it. 
Our next stop was Puesto. We have eaten at their La Jolla location so we knew what to expect, delicious tacos and drinks. That's exactly what we were served. What was new to us was the space and the design of Puesto. It's great! It's industrial and contemporary and the perfect spot to visit with your friends and family. There are many stylish sitting areas, inside and out. 

Just one of the sitting areas.
See the black and white floor? That's tile. Pretty cool.
Tacos al pastor and chile relleno. 

I've never eaten at Seasons 52 but have been wanting to. I thought I'd wait for The Headquarters location to open. Last night their staff was offering desserts. My husband tried the cannoli and I jumped at the pecan pie with vanilla mousse. OMG... So good. I'm looking forward to returning and trying their full menu where they proclaim all items are less than 475 calories. I've heard nothing but good reviews and can't wait to come back. 

Cheesecake Factory is one of the big anchor tenants at The Headquarters. Of course it is. They are famous for their big delicious entrees and their desserts. Guess what I sampled? Rich, creamy, dense chocolate cheesecake. Because The Headquarters is a historic building, the Cheesecake Factory had to do some custom design for this very special location. I must say that I think it's their best one. 

I was sad to see that Eddie V's won't be open until Februrary 2014. However, that is perfect timing for our wedding anniversary. ;) Even though their space isn't ready, the staff from Eddie V's was out in full effect offering succulent scallops for us to try. Delicious, and I can't wait for the grand opening.  
Delicious bite

In addition to all the restaurants, The Headquarters has specialty food shops and retail like Kitson, The Sunglass Hut, Venissimo Cheese, Geppettos, Starbucks and more.We loved it all. 
Venissimo Cheese

The night ended with a special performance by The Temptations and a sky full of fireworks. It was quite the evening and I hope that you will be enjoying The Headquarters at Seaport District. You'll have to see the transformation for yourself. The restaurants, the retail, the plaza, the fountains, everything. Enjoy! 

Fireworks over Puesto

Monday, October 14, 2013

Baked Eggs Over Chorizo and Potatoes

Back to reality... I just spent a really fun weekend at a friend's gorgeous cabin home overlooking Lake Cuyamaca. We played games, we drank tons of wine and champagne, we ventured into Julian, and overall just had a perfect little weekend.  It was a really good group of couples, no drama, everyone just getting along.

Here are the ladies, tasting at Orfila. I enjoyed the 2008 Old Vine Zin and the 2012 Element 119 Pinot Noir.
I picked up these goodies at the Julian Cider Mill. This morning I added the apple butter to my son's peanut butter sandwich. I'm hoping he eats it all. He's been a terrible eater lately.

Before going, we divided up the meals. Let me tell you what a treat this was. We did this when we went camping too. Each couple was responsible for a meal and by doing that, we get to taste what other people cook. One of my favorite things in the world is eating a home cooked meal, THAT SOMEONE ELSE PREPARED. We had Mike's famous lasagna, garlic bread, breakfast burritos, we had meatballs, buffalo chicken dip, nachos and more. Such a treat!

My turn to provide a meal was Sunday morning. After consulting a foodie friend of mine, I decided to make baked eggs over chorizo and potatoes. I found the recipe on Food and Wine's website. This recipe was pretty spot on and I only changed a few things to make it easier to prepare.

Browning the potatoes
Chorizo and onion mixture

The finished product

The perfect bite!

This recipe serves 5 and will take about 45 minutes to prepare.

3  16 ounce cans of whole potatoes
2  10 ounce Mexican pork chorizos
10 eggs
1/2 large sweet Mayan onion
10 tortillas

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Chop up your canned potatoes and set aside.
Heat your pan over high heat and cut open the chorizo. Break down that chorizo and move around. It's done when the stringiness is gone and it's brown.
Chop your onion and add.
Cook and stir the chorizo and onion mixture for 5 minutes and empty it into a separate bowl.
Put your chopped potatoes into the pan and season them with salt and pepper. Cook them until they brown up, about 5 minutes.
Add the chorizo mixture to the potatoes and combine.
In a 9x13 pan (I lined mine with foil for easy clean up), add the chorizo and potatoes.
Using a spoon, try to make little dents for your eggs and crack your eggs into the dents.
Bake for 10 minutes. It's done when the whites of the eggs are opaque.
Enjoy with tortillas.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Our Family Staycation at Hilton San Diego Bayfront

Let me clear the air and admit that I haven't posted on The Good Life since June. It's October people and I'm finally going to write something down, upload photos, and post.  I just need to get back in the habit and I already know what I'm going to post next.

Many months ago, we stayed at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. It's a lovely hotel with great views, sleek rooms, fantastic service (you'll see when you read about my son's bee sting), a pool to die for and good food and drinks. If you're a San Diego resident and looking for a weekend staycation, I highly recommend staying here. It's one of my favorite places in San Diego. And if you don't live in San Diego, like maybe you live in Reno, Nevada or Bismarck, North Dakota, plan your next trip and make a reservation here.

We requested a corner room and here's why, THE VIEW. We were able to look out at  Embarcadero Marina Park South, the convention center, and the Coronado bridge. Seeing these views feels like vacation. 

Heavenly salt water pool  

While relaxing at the pool, we were able to enjoy the view of the beautiful San Diego Bay and Coronado. 

My poor boy was stung by a bee. The silver lining was the attention we received from the staff. When he started screaming in pain, two staff members were there immediately with a first aid kit. My husband removed the stinger and they gave us something to clean his owie. Then they gave my son (they asked me first) a chocolate dipped Rice Krispie treat and a chocolate chip cookie. I'd also like to add that one of the staff members stayed near us for at least 15 minutes to make sure my son didn't have an allergic reaction to the bee sting. Thankfully he didn't.
This is the toddler splash pool. Fun! Behind it is the water slide with a giant TV playing Sponge Bob.
What hotel stay isn't complete without a little dessert room service?  That's carrot cake and an ice cream cookie sandwich.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

BCBG Max Azria Cleo Tote at Costco

Let me lead with big news, my kiddo swam without floaties! Yay! My theory is that he's had the ability for some time but has been waiting for the right bribe. I promised that he could watch Hotel Transylvania on a school night. It worked! This guy threw off those Cars water wings and went for it. I'm so proud of him. 

Let's move on to the deal I saw at Mission Valley Costco, also important. This BCBG tote is super stylish and chic and less than $70. I did a little googling and discovered this bag and similar ones, are listed for twice as much online. 
If you are looking for a smart black leather tote, you better head on down there before they're gone. Enjoy! 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mushroom Pizza Bites

I love finding inspiration on Pinterest. I pin my diet food on a board called, I'm On A Diet. Me and my low carb dieting phases...  I ran across a pin called Mushroom Pizza Bites. Inspiration! I thought, I can put whatever I want in a mushroom and call it a pizza. Sweet! Fresh marinara like my husband's grandmother taught me to make, salami, and full flavor mozzarella cheese were going into my mushrooms.

The original author at uses marinara, low fat mozzarella, egg white, and turkey pepperoni to fill the mushrooms. The site gives a more detailed recipe including measurements (I just eyeballed it.)

These were really delicious and not terribly difficult to make. The hubs liked them, so that's a huge win for me. Also, I loved making these because there's no real measuring that needs to be done. You can make these however you'd like. Enjoy!

I bought these at Trader Joe's. I think other mushrooms could work too but these are a really nice size. Two and a salad make a decent portion dinner. 

After you wipe the tops of your mushrooms, cut out the stem and then scrape off the gills with a  spoon. Throw these on a lined baking sheet and bake at 400 for 8 minutes. 

After their 8 minutes in the oven, top them however you would top your pizza.  Back in the 400 degree oven for about 5 minutes or until your little pizzas are melty and brown.

YUM. I thought they could use a little more cheese. I topped them again and back in the oven they went until the cheese was melted. 

Dinner is served! 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Mitch's Seafood on Shelter Island

My husband has been frequenting Mitch's for some time now with his coworkers. He's been telling me how amazing their fish tacos are and they are such a good price, $3 each. "We need to go for Taco Tuesday!" Ok ok, let's go then. Last weekend we took the boy to Shelter Island to play on their swing set and slide for a couple of hours. After we wrapped up, we took the short drive to the famous Mitch's. My husband asked me where I wanted to sit, inside or outside. Duh! Look at the view.

You can order the tacos grilled or beer battered and fried. The mister assured me that grilled is just as good. So maybe next time I'll order them that way. For my first time, I ordered the fried. It was delicious and my husband (I'm so tempted to start referring to him as Mr. GoodLife) was right to bug me about trying this little Shelter Island jewel. If you are reading this, do yourself a favor and plan a trip to Mitch's. Mr. GoodLife (hahaha, it might stick) says that they also have a really good hamburger. However, it'll be a while before I order something that's not a fish taco from this place. The batter was so perfectly crunchy and light and nicely seasoned. I'm dreaming about it.

Please, go now! Order the beer battered fish tacos and sit on the patio and love your life in San Diego. If you're not a resident of America's finest city, visit soon!

It's tough to beat the views in San Diego. 
This is from the patio, looking out into the marina.
Sit here.

This is the combo meal. You get two tacos, chips, salsa from heaven, and beans. I recommend dipping your chip in salsa and then beans or the other way around. Nevertheless, eat it all in one perfect bite over and over again. 

Close up. You can closely inspect that pico de gallo goodness on top there.  The mister won't eat pico anywhere else. (He's such a weirdo.) It's that good.