Denim Jackets & Maxi Dresses

I recently bought two maxi dresses from Forever 21. Originally, I was just going to get the blue one, but at only $8, I had to get another color and chose their coral/orange color. I love maxi dresses, it’s an easy way to look put together and is super comfortable. It can also double as a swim-suit coverup too. I usually wear them with sandals, but they can also be worn with wedges for a more dressed-up look.



Forever 21 Maxi Dress



I went to San Diego this past weekend and wanted to get a denim jacket to wear with my dresses as it got pretty chilly at night and I only brought my leather jacket. After going to several stores, I decided that I liked the darker wash denim jacket from The Loft the most. I picked it up for 40% off too and would recommend that you purchase it when the store’s doing a sale as well. I was really torn between a darker wash and a lighter wash though. I used to have a white denim jacket way back in the day that I used to adore too. If I lived somewhere where I would be able to sport the denim jacket more frequently, I would probably get them all.



denim jacket with maxi dress



I love how versatile the denim jacket is. You can easily wear it with any spring dress. You can also wear it with shorts, colored jeans, or skirts. I also wore it with a black and white chevron skirt with a black tank. If you want to try out the denim on denim look (which I haven’t yet), be sure that your two denims are of different washes.



denim jacket



I for one am glad to see denim jackets back in style, are you?

In this post:

1. Flounce Maxi Dress, Forever 21, $8.80 | 2. Cropped Denim Jacket, The Loft $79.50

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Tasty Bites in San Diego

This past weekend, I went to San Diego for a mini vacation. I always enjoy going to San Diego because there are so many local restaurants with fabulous food. Every time we go, we try to go somewhere new and local. Here’s an overview of everything I had over my ‘foodcation’ (like it?).



isola bruschetta





isola farinata



To begin our foodcation, we started at Isola Pizza Bar. They have a fantastic Happy Hour menu. We ordered their Farinata, Bruschetta Burrata & Carciofini, and Bruschetta. Everything was delicious. We really wanted to try their Margherita Pizza too as it was only $5 on Happy Hour but we didn’t have any more room.



buon appetito tiramisu



For dinner, we went to Buon Appetito where I had their gnocchi and tiramisu for dessert. My boyfriend had their chicken lasagna and really enjoyed it. It’s a relatively small restaurant in the heart of Little Italy. Our options were a little limited as we weren’t hungry for dinner until 9pm and most of the kitchens were closed in the area.



spicy mango lime lemonade



The next day, we woke up early to start our day at Little Italy’s Farmers Market. I loved their farmers market, there was so much to sample and see. We tried their Chili Mango Lime Lemonade which was different. We had a complimentary breakfast at the hotel before we left, otherwise I would have loved to try the crepes, elote, and other goodies that were available for purchase at the market.



oscars mexican seafood tacos



For lunch we went to Oscar’s Mexican Seafood. Being on Yelp’s list of top 100 places to eat, we had to check it out. We went to their original location in La Jolla. It’s a super small place with outdoor seating only. We had their fish tacos and shrimp tacos. They were really tasty and I loved the red sauce that you can add to it. My boyfriend really liked the shrimp tacos and said that he’d wait again for them.



'lette macaroon



For a snack, I picked up a macaroon at ‘lette while we were at the mall. I can be picky about macaroons but I ultimately decided to try one out because they had a sweet wedding almond flavored one that is supposed to taste just like a marizpan. I love macaroons and marizpans, so I had to try it out. It was probably one of the best macaroons I’ve had! I could eat one everyday.



spike africa's lobster roll



For dinner, we stopped by Davanti Enoteca to get their ricotta + honey comb. We had it the last time we were in San Diego and my boyfriend loved it so much he wanted to go back for it. We then walked to the Gaslamp Quarter to Spike Africa’s. I’ve been here before a few trips back because they have a lobster roll and wanted to go back for it for my birthday dinner. Unfortunately, I was pretty full from our appetizer and didn’t work up an appetite on our walk over like I was hoping for. For dessert, I was given a complimentary ice scream sundae with this delicious dark chocolate sauce.



la puerta guacamole





la puerta street tacos



For our last meal in San Diego, we went to La Puerta. We got the guacamole, which was one of the best that I’ve had and I did their Mix ‘n Match street tacos. I got their carne asada, pastor, and ranchero shrimp. The shrimp one was my favorite out of the three.

Overall, this weekend was filled with lots of good food and memories. My next foodcation will be in May where I’m headed to San Francisco for more tasty bites.

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The Best Pizza in the Valley

I love pizza. I was born in New York and raised in Chicago, both states that are well-known for their pizzas. If I had to pick a style, I would probably lean towards the Chicago style, but that’s a really hard choice. You really can’t compare the two, they’re very different. I made it my personal mission to find my favorite pizza in the Valley. Below is a list of everywhere that I’ve been to worth noting.



Cibo Margherita Pizza



Cibo

Walking up to Cibo, I instantly fell in love with their outdoor patio. It is so cute and charming. We went during brunch time and ordered their M&M (sandwich with organic almond butter and strawberry marmalade) ($7) and their Margherita Pizza ($10.50). Personally, this was my least favorite out of all the ones I tried. The sauce was a little too salty in my opinion and the Parmesan is the powdered kind you would find at your average pizza joint.

Federal Pizza

At federal, I ordered their Big Artichoke ($11) and their Margherita Pizza ($12). Their artichoke was so good. I split both items with my boyfriend and it was more than enough food for the two of us. Their pizza was my favorite. I loved the slightly burnt cheese taste where the cheese touches the crust and the Parmesan that they give you is so good. If you sign up for their Eposse (email newsletter), you can score yourself a free pizza too. Want something sweet afterward? Walk across the street to Churn for some yummy ice cream (try the pretzel cone!).

Grimaldi’s

I used to frequent Grimaldi’s often as well at my last job on days we felt like switching things up. I’ve had their cheese ($9) and pepperoni (additional $2). Personally, it’s a bit greasy for my taste but does hit the spot. Also a great place to take the family as it’s a more casual family-oriented type place.

La Grande Orange Pizzeria

I’ve been here several times. I’ve tried their Roasted Corn ($13) and Avocado Pizza ($14). I’ve also had their Shredded Kale Salad & Quinoa ($9) several times, it’s so good and filling. I love their grocery store that’s attached. They have the neatest trinkets. Their desserts are really good too. Pizza wise, it’s not one of my favorites.

Oregano’s Pizza Bistro

Let me just start off by saying yes, they offer a Chicago Style Stuffed Pizza and no, it’s nothing like an authentic deep dish you’d find in Chicago. In fact, it was quite disappointing. Their thin crust or deep dish pizza is tasty though. This is somewhere you’d bring the whole family.

Pizzeria Bianco

I’ve been here twice now, once at their Heritage Square location and the other at their newer location in Town & Country. The first time I went, I ordered their Biancoverde ($18) and their flourless chocolate cake for dessert. Honestly, I wasn’t very impressed. The service was really slow. While the pizza wasn’t horrible, it wasn’t worth the wait or the price tag. The second time I went, I had their Margherita ($15). The Margherita was much better. I also paid extra for a side of Parmesan cheese. The Parmesan cheese was so good, but I didn’t like that I had to pay extra for it. Personally, I don’t see why they’re on the best pizza lists nationwide. Over-priced and over-rated, sorry.



Pomo Margherita Pizza



Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana

They pride themselves on providing a truly authentic Neapolitan Pizza Experience. Their pizza is certified by the V.P.N. Verace Pizza Napoletana and the A.P.N. Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani, both associations based in Napoli, Italy. I had their Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina ($15.95) and their Regina Margherita ($12.95). The gnocchi came out unevenly heated and cold in some parts which was disappointing. They warn you that it’ll take longer to receive your food if you order the gnocchi. With that warning, you’d expect it to come out piping hot. The pizza however was delicious. They also provide you with a chili olive oil that is really good drizzled on top or for dipping your crust in. This one is definitely somewhere I’ll return.

Spinato’s Pizza

I used to go here almost every Friday for Pizza Friday at my last job. I’ve had their Margherita ($6.25 for a personal size), Nicole’s “New” Favorite ($6.75 for a personal size), and a few others. Don’t be fooled by the size of their personal 7″ pizza, it’ll definitely fill you up. It’s a different style than the others on this list but definitely one that needs to be mentioned.



Parlor Margherita Pizza



The Parlor

I’m always a little wary about places that have been on the Food Network. I’ve tried a few places listed on DDD and was disappointed more often than not. We happened to go during Happy Hour on a Saturday and ordered the Cauliflower Gratinata ($8.50 or $5 during Happy Hour) and their Margherita ($10 or $7 during Happy Hour). The cauliflower was quite tasty. It was described to us as an adult version of mac & cheese. Their Margherita pizza is the more traditional style where there’s no tomato sauce and there are tomato slices instead. While the crust was great, it felt like something was missing. I think some grated Parmesan would have been perfect, but we weren’t offered any. I’m not one to add salt to my food, but this is an instance where something salty felt missing. However, you can’t beat their prices and they have lots of other pizzas and items on their menu that are on my radar. While I may not order their Margherita again, I’ll definitely be back to try something else.

If I had to pick one “winner”, it’d have to be Federal Pizza. At the end of the day, it’s all about personal preference. Which is your favorite pizza place in the Valley? Is there one that I missed that I need to check out?

My boyfriend and I decided that we’re going to try to find our favorite tacos in the Valley next so stay tuned!

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Pine Bros Softish Throat Drops

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

I’m a huge fan of cough drops when I’m sick. I always seem to have what I call “cough attacks.” It’s where your throat is so itchy that you continually cough and it’s real awkward in public situations, especially if you don’t have water for when it happens. When I had the opportunity to try out Pine Bros Softish Throat Drops, I was excited to try them out.



Pine Bros Softish Throat Drops



Luckily for me, I haven’t been sick from the time I received them to now. However, I did try one out anyway just to see what it was like. While I’m not a huge fan of artificial cherry flavored things, the flavoring of the cough drop wasn’t terrible. It’s a pretty mild taste. The drop really is softish. It’s the strangest thing, it’s not hard but it’s not like a gummy candy. The closest thing I can think of is like a Swedish Fish, but harder. Pine Bros Softish Throat Drops aren’t too sweet or sugary. It’s also not a menthol cough drop like the ones I typically buy. I’m really interested to see how I’ll like it when I am sick. I typically purchase menthol cough drops as it helps to cool and soothe my throat.

You’re not supposed to chew on these cough drops but let it dissolve in your mouth naturally. They also come in two different packaging options. I personally like the round plastic containers as it’s easy to throw in your purse. They also have the more traditional packaging where it comes in a bag too. Currently, they have three different flavors: Licorice, Wild Cherry, and Honey. It looks like they’re coming out with a Lemon-Citrus flavor soon. All of their cough drops are gluten free and 5 calories.

I’m really interested to try them out when I am sick to see how effective they are. I’ll be sure to update my review then.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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My First Dishcrawl Experience

I went to my first Dishcrawl a few weeks ago and ate my way straight to a food coma. Since I heard of the concept, I’ve been intrigued to try one out. I’ve never been one for bar crawls, but a crawl for food? Sign me up! While I got the inside scoop of the three destinations ahead of time, only the first location was revealed to the Dishcrawlers. The first Dishcrawl took place in Old Town Scottsdale.



Mable's on Main Dishcrawl



The Dishcrawl started at Mable’s on Main. I’ve been meaning to try this place out for a few years now but never got around to it so I was really excited to find out that this was our first stop. The inside is dimly lit and furnished with dark wood, studded leather seating, and chandeliers. The speak-easy vibe makes Mable’s on Main unique to the other Scottsdale-like bars and clubs in the area. They even have a secret room hidden behind the bookshelves on one side of the room. There is also a fairly large room that is separate from the main lounge area behind theatre-like curtains where we were seated. Bubba was our host for the evening and told us about the history of Mable’s on Main. Did you know that Mable is the name of the goat on the wall? We sampled their three most popular items: Chicken “Lollipop”, Grilled Cheese Sandwich, and Mable’s Cheeseburger. The Grilled Cheese Sandwich was my favorite. You can’t go wrong with cheese and prosciutto! However, everything was delicious! This is definitely somewhere I would go back as it’s more up my alley.



Sip Coffee & Beer House Dishcrawl



Our next stop was the newly opened Sip Coffee & Beer House. The interior is very eclectic, kind of shabby-chic if you will. We were seated on their outdoor patio which is fairly large. Sip’s coffee beans are provided by Cartel Coffee Lab and they also feature 22 rotating craft beers on draft and over 100 bottled beers. They also have some cocktails as well. However, you have to order off of their set cocktail menu. The owner Travis along with Chef Payton Curry (Brat Haus and Taco Haus) were very hospitable. We learned that all of their pastries, breakfast, lunch, and dinner items are prepared next door at Brat Haus which features local products in order to support sustainability. We had their Kale Salad, Breakfast Frittata, and hummus with chips. They even surprised us with Chef Payton Curry’s homemade blueberry pie and coffee cake. The blueberry pie was so good. I’m not a huge fruit pie person but the pie was not overly sweet and perfect all around. Their food menu is limited but changes frequently. Personally, I don’t think this is somewhere I would go just for the food as I like to know the general idea of what I’ll be eating.



Gelato Spot Thin Mint Dishcrawl



At this point, I was already full. Good thing we had to walk again to our next stop which was Gelato Spot down the street. Gelato Spot is somewhere I used to frequent often. We sampled their Margherita Pizza, their Meatball, and of course, gelato. I’ve had their pizza before and unfortunately, couldn’t eat another bite by the time we sat down. However, there’s always room for dessert! After sampling a few different gelato options, I selected their Thin Mint flavor. I usually get their Baccio flavor which is very similar to a Ferrero Rocher. At this time, it was getting pretty late and I was in a full food coma.

Overall, my first Dishcrawl experience was great. I sampled lots of good food and met some interesting people. I went by myself and didn’t feel awkward at all. Everyone was bonded by their love of food and no one judged me when I had to take a picture of my food before I touched it (yes, I’m that girl). I would definitely check out another Dishcrawl event in a location that I’m not familiar with. Because I frequent the Old Town area often, Mable’s on Main was the only venue of the 3 that I have never been to before. If you love food, you’ll love Dishcrawl!

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