Tuesday, March 27, 2012

South Park Walkabout - Spring 2012

Hey There:

Four times a year South Park hosts a sort of business open house, where you can learn about all the restaurants and shops in the neighborhood, enjoy free samples, buy unique hand crafted items and have a nice time. This walkabout had a Wild West theme, so I put on my cowboy hat and off I went!

I frequent several restaurants in the area, but this time I made it a point to check out businesses I normally wouldn't go to and  was pleasantly surprised. These are just a few of them:

Graffiti Beach (2220 Fern Street)

Brand new store! Graffiti Beach showcases Indie Designers, the items are so amazingly cool and they will have their official Grand Opening on April 7th with a Runway show. RSVP for free at their site www.graffitibeach.org

Space Travelers Emporium (1947 30th Street)

The perfect place for children and adults who are all into Science and Space, it was pretty neat to go inside, I immediately felt all geeky and smart! They offer Math and Science Tutoring for grade levels K - 8 with tutors from the San Diego Space Society.

Jorge's Barber Shop & Beauty Salon (1927 30th Street)
(619) 230-0833

Jorge's celebrated their 10th year anniversary, a family business they offer women, men and children's hair cuts as well as up dos, colors, flat iron, beard trim, fades and tapers. It was great to see the whole family in the celebration serving cake, giving out fliers and taking to people....may they have 10 more years!!

Halcyon Tea (3009 Beech Street)

I read about this tea shop from AAA's Westways magazine, but I didn't know where it was...until now. This is a very cool shop for tea lovers, they have everything you want in tea related items in a very relaxing environment.

Fern St. Cafe (1947 Fern Street)

Previously known as Urban Gourmet Food & Market, they offer coffees, smoothies, organic raw juices, sandwiches and various food items (vegan options available). This is a nice place to have lunch or go with friends and have a chat. They were giving samples and I tried a juice made with cucumber, celery, something, something and lemon, also a mini pizza slice with portobello mushroom, I think - I've had some wine and beer by then, don't remember all the details - but the samples were very good!

Mercado Golondrina

A swap-meet on Fern Street, it was full of local artists and I was very glad to see my favorite Mexican folk art artist: Wink Artisans.

Full Circle Tattoo Studio (2310 30th street)

I've found my new tattoo artist!! I walked in the shop and browsed through the different portfolios and fell in love with the art by Gemma Pariente. Her designs are so beautiful and feminine, I'm so getting a tattoo from her!! The following are a few images taken from her website.

 Full Circle Tattoo brought in Murrugun the Mystic, a very entertaining performer who did some flame throwing and sword swallowing....and he's based in San Diego, available for your parties!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Hunger Games Nails

Hey There:

I normally don't do blog posts about nail art, if something looks cool I'll just post a twitpic, but I really liked this tutorial and this is The Hunger Games weekend so what the heck!

What I liked about this technique is that I made the flame design on a plastic bag, let it dry, peeled it and applied it to my nail. It was very easy! Of course, I'm not gifted when it comes to drawing so the flames look a bit crooked, but I still love them.

I have tons of nail polish colors, these are the ones I used to create the look:

OPI Base Coat
OPI Black Onyx (represents District 12 coal mines)
Sally Hansen French White Tip (base for the flame design)
OPI I'm not Really a Waitress (red polish)
Sephora by OPI What's your Poison? (glittery red)
KleanColor Boogie Nights (orange polish, an emergency purchase from a dollar store)
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Mellow Yellow (yellow polish)
Sephora by OPI Cab Fare (glittery yellow)
OPI Top Coat

I just did a quick count of my nail polish collection...I have 46...that's not too many, right? Anyhoo, here's the tutorial I used to create the Hunger Games nails. I love CutePolish YouTube tutorials, so unique and easy to do! Check her out and subscribe to her channel, she's good!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Garden Window - St. Patrick's Day Decor & Party Info

Hey There:

Decorations for St. Patrick's Day are everywhere and here I don't need to be creative, a trip to the 99 cent store is all that was needed for my Garden Window.

As for my neighbor, she pimped out her fern with a paper mache iguana looking thing, shamrocks, coins and green.

Now the parties, this year St. Patrick's falls on Saturday March 17...I can almost feel next Sunday's hangover! Here are some things going on in San Diego:

Balboa Park International Cottages

There's an area in Balboa Park with lots of little cottages, each one representing a different country. They're open on Sundays and people from those countries are available to talk about their culture. Each week there's also a lawn program hosted by one of the cottages to showcase music, dance and food. On March 11th it was House of Ireland, this time I didn't take pics, but I did put together a video. Check out Lawn Programs 2012 to see when your favorite country is hosting an event.

If you watch this video you'll hear the Irish language being spoken (he's the Irish teacher) and men in kilts. Nothing sexier than a guy wearing a kilt!

San Diego St. Patrick's Day Parade and Irish Festival

This is the 32nd annual event presented by the Irish Congress of Southern California with over 120 parade entries, booths, beer garden, contests and much more. This year the theme is "Celebrating the Spirit of Ancient Ireland", they are looking for volunteers, check their volunteer page.

This is a very fun and free event for the whole family, these are some of my pics from 2011

shamROCK 2012

Presented by Jameson Irish Whiskey and The Field from 2 PM until Midnight, this event benefits the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation. Streets are closed and carpeted with green astro-turf, looks awesome! This is a 21 & Up event and tickets start at $35 depending on the day of purchase, check their site for more information. They have live bands, booths, green beer and lots of drunk people!

Green Beer!

Of course, there will be a party in every Irish Pub in San Diego!

Rosie O'Grady's in Normal Heights

The Ould Sod in Normal Heights
Here are some of the many Irish Pubs in San Diego, check out their sites and partay!!

Gaslamp / East Village:

Henry's Pub - 618 5th Ave
The Field - 544 5th Ave
Dublin Square Irish Pub & Grill - 554 4th Ave
Patrick's Gaslamp Pub - 428 F Street

North Park / South Park / Normal Heights

The Ould Sod - 3373 Adams Ave
Rosie O'Grady's - 3402 Adams Ave
Hamilton's Tavern - 1521 30th street

Lemon Grove / La Mesa / El Cajon

Hooley's Irish Pub - 5500 Grossmont Center Dr
Shenanigans Irish Pub - 7030 University Ave
O'Connor's Pub - 8758 La Mesa Blvd

And many, many, many more

Thursday, March 1, 2012

How to Cook Nopales

Hey There:

I'm a big fan of nopales (edible cactus) which is a very nutritious plant containing beta carotene, iron, some B vitamins and is a good source of vitamin C and calcium. In case you don't know what I'm talking about....it's the plant on the background...Yeah! You can eat those!

It's a staple in my fridge and when I cook for friends, house guests or couch surfers, I normally make a plate of nopales so they can try something new and so far they've been a hit.

You can purchase nopales from Mexican grocery stores, even though they're available year-round, their peak season is from early spring to late fall. At the grocery store you will find the nopales already cleaned and in some cases cut in pieces.

The taste is very light so it combines beautifully in Mexican dishes or salads. There are several ways to cook them, but my favorite way is slightly pan seared.

  1. Spray Pam on both sides of the nopal
  2. Place them in a square griddle and season with salt and pepper
  3. Turn them a few times and cook for about 10 minutes

Once the nopales are done, place them in a plate, cut them up in pieces, sprinkle some salt, a bit of lime juice and enjoy!

The consistency is a bit slimy, very similar to okra. I normally have it as a side dish with Mexican rice, whole pinto beans and Mexican sour cream - with lots of corn tortillas. It also goes great as a topping for carne asada tacos, in this case I would cut the nopales length-wise.

When it comes to unusual foods, it always makes me wonder who was the first person to think cactus could be edible!