best apps for road trips

5 Must Have Apps for Road trips

Good apps make the world go around. Or they can at least make nearly every situation easier. Here is a list of some of my favorite apps that come in handy in my life frequently, particularly on road trips.

1. WAZE — Waze is a user fueled map app, as in users can report their speed in traffic, accidents and other road issues. It is spot on, to the minute, about what time you will arrive at your destination and you can program it to be narrated by a celebrity like Kevin Hart or Brooklyn Nine-Nine star, Terry Crews.

2. AROUND ME —  Looking for an ATM, Starbucks or dry cleaners? Use this app to locate the nearest spots.

3. AKINATOR THE GENIE — On a road trip, at a party, in line for a coaster at a theme park–this guy is your man to make time pass and entertain the entire family.

4. SHAZAM — This music identifying app has been around forever, but it amazes me how

check out the blue man group at the san diego civic theater

Blue Man Group Review

For years I’ve been hearing about the Blue Man Group phenomenon and finally, last night, I got to experience it for myself. My girls and I received some comp tickets to the show at the San Diego Civic Theater,  and it’s only playing only through this Sunday. We laughed our way through the entire show and have not stopped asking questions and thinking about it since leaving the theater.

Before the Blue Men even come on stage, the show begins with a bit of clever audience interaction which gets the crowd involved and cracking up from the get-go.

Then the percussion begins and for an hour and forty minutes the audience gets to play

top 10 restaurants in san diego with a view

Top 10 places in to eat in San Diego with a view

San Diego is one of the most picturesque cities in the country, and yet I am constantly surprised how few restaurants can boast a beautiful view, especially in the north county where I live. I thought about this over the weekend while dining at one of my favorite spots in San Diego, Cucina Enoteca. Our dining experience was nearly perfect–excellent food, top-notch service, and unique stylish decor–but it’s located in a strip mall with a view of a grocery store and a parking lot.

There are, however, a handful of fantastic restaurants in town, where you can marvel at our glorious coastline while dining and here are my Top 10 Favorites (this list is not in preferential order, but rather in geographical order from southern-most to northern-most):

 

Sea180 Coastal Tavern: Leave it to the Cohn Family of restaurants to open up a restaurant that will make me want to drive 50 miles to dine. Sea 180 is their newest venture and is part of the Pier South Resort in Imperial Beach. I wouldn’t be surprised if IB becomes the next up and coming part of town thanks to this new hot spot.

Il Fornaio: Though it’s a chain restaurant, which I don’t typically recommend for special nights out, their delicious Italian food, combined with a breathtaking view, lands them a spot on this list. Located on Coronado Island, this place is a must-visit. They also have a small dining area perfect for smaller private parties with the same great view.

Top of the Hyatt: Okay, this isn’t quite a restaurant, but if you are downtown on a date night, this is one of the best places to start the night off or end up for a nightcap. The panoramic view, 40 stories above San Diego Bay, is unparalleled. They only serve appetizers and desserts, but their martinis are divine and they have a superb wine list, so the Top of the Hyatt is a must! Located on the Top Floor of the Seaport Tower of the Manchester Grand Hyatt.

Bertrand’s at Mr. A’s: Native San Diegans who are as old as I am will remember this shi shi restaurant simply as Mr. A’s. Located on the top floor of an office building in Bankers Hill, just outside of downtown San Diego, this San Diego institution is the perfect place for a special occasion or just a romantic night out.

C Level Lounge & Island Prime– Located on Harbor Island, these two restaurants are two of the many fantastic Cohn Family restaurants in San Diego. They are next to each other, in the same venue, but the C Level lounge is more casual (and the one I would recommend) and Island Prime is a fancier, more upscale restaurant. They both have amazing views of the bay, downtown, and Coronado. I recommend sitting on the outside patio of C Level Lounge, and ordering the Deborah Scott Healthy Skirts of Fire skirt steak salad. To. Die. For.

The Marine Room – Literally located right on the beach in La Jolla, nothing beats the

the voice hits a perfect note with the new judges

adam levine gwen stefani blake shelton pharrell williams the voice judges season 7

photo via People.com

Reality talent shows are only as good as their judges panel. If the judges are highly likeable, uber attractive and/ or remarkably quippy, America will watch, regardless of what’s happening on the stage.

All four of the judges on The Voice‘s panel this season have all of those traits, in spades, particularly the newbies, Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams.

The blond ambitious lead rocker for No Doubt will undoubtedly reclaim the title of America’s Darling within the next week or two. Oldies like me will have their love for her rekindled while the youngsters will fall in love with her just like we did so many years ago. After the recent distasteful showings of other female singing role-models, watching Gwen be tasteful and classy is a breath of fresh air.

Then there’s Pharrell who has

wishes for my daughter on her 8th birthday

wishes for my daughter on her 8th birthday

My baby girl’s turned 8 years old a few weeks ago, but holy sunrises and sunsets, she’s definitely not a baby anymore. She’s an all-grownsed-up nearly-tween who can complete a triathlon, read chapter books, and cruise waves on a boogie board all by brave herself.

Every single day Lily and her sister Lexi amaze me with something new. Maybe it’s a new dance step, or a new joke. How and when did they even learn to tell jokes? The speed and deftness at which major changes take place in their development absolutely amazes me.

It also terrifies me a little. Yet I know that’s just life and everyone says time flies when you’re having fun–and indeed, we are having fun.

Here are my hopes and wishes for you, dear sweet Lily, on your 8th birthday (belated):

1. That you never try to emulate entertainers like Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus, but rather, you look up to women like Mindy Kaling, Lupita Nyong’o and Taylor Swift who are courageously paving self-respecting paths for themselves.

2. That you don’t find yourself in a predicament like Janay Rice, and if you do, you have the courage to walk away, ask for help, and know it’s not your fault.

3. That you have, keep and cherish good girlfriends.

4. That you don’t use texts, emails, Facebook posts or any other form of social media to

a haute couture fashion show at the house of blues by the international interior design association

The International Interior Design Association annual Fashion Show in San Diego

Photo by Julie Kremen

If you live in So Cal and you’re a fan of design and/or the show Project Runway, then check this out:

The Southern California Chapter of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) puts on an annual Fashion Show that is an absolutely spectacular and unique event. This year’s event will be on Thursday, September 25th, fro 5:30-9:30pm at the House of Blues in San Diego.

Here’s the basic premise of the fashion show:

  • Various design institutes from around So Cal team up with various furniture and textile vendors.
  • They are given a theme–this year it’s “Masterpieces” and the teams have all been assigned a