Best little Known places and faces in San Diego: Crunchtime Popcorn and Homemade Ice Cream Review

Ice cream has been ruined for me forever.

I love ice cream. It’s my one weakness, the weakness that even the best intentioned New Year’s diet resolution cannot touch.

Before stepping foot into the doors of San Diego’s Crunchtime Popcorn and Homemade Ice Cream, I could eat ANY type of ice cream:  Ben and Jerry’s, Dreyers, Baskin Robbins, even a Klondike bar would do.

But after having Crunchtime’s homemade Caramel Ice-Cream mixed Cold Stone style with freshly baked brownies and cookie dough rolled just that morning, no other ice cream will now do!

As soon as the spoon hit my tongue, the caramel flavor transported me back to my childhood standing at the grocery store candy section, which back then was a row of see-through plastic bins filled with Brach’s candy.

My favorite was the square caramels and the taste of that ice cream was exactly that heavenly flavor. I remember the crinkle of the empty cellophane bag as I greedily scooped in caramel candy and yellow candy wrapped in orange plastic.That was childhood heaven and that’s where that first bite led me to.

This kind of nostalgic feeling is exactly what the owner, Kim, is trying to accomplish. Head of this literal, mom & pop store, she works alongside her husband, the creative chef who comes up with all of the gourmet popcorn flavors including caramel bliss, white chocolate and cheddar cheese sensation. Even their son works the family business.

And as soon as you walk in the store and have a conversation with them, you’ll feel like part of the family too. They are the most genuinely kind and friendly people you’ll ever meet. I found out randomly that they were the first Americans to befriend one of the lonely international students I know who had just arrived in San Diego and didn’t have any friends yet. That student still remembers them years later.

When I shared with Kim the nostalgia that overwhelmed me and complimented her on such a delicious dessert, she smiled and said that she wanted her customers to feel like they are back in Grandma’s kitchen with the warmth and love that came with it. From the fresh-baked cookies to the thick squares of handmade fudge brownies, I think she’s succeeded.

She prides herself on the freshest, natural ingredients. They use only local dairies, incorporate real lemons for their sorbets and use real yogurt in their frozen yogurt. Her strawberry ice cream really tastes like strawberries because they use only fresh fruits. Her chocolate is imported from Switzerland. They hand-make their waffle cones from scratch. They get their corn for their gourmet popcorn straight from Iowa and air pop them using no oil.

I expected her to charge an arm and a leg for all of the extra work and for the superior  quality of the ingredients she uses but it was the cherry on top of the ice-cream to see the affordability of everything she serves.

The biggest secret I have to share is that they do catering! Kim mentioned the amazing catering service they offer where they bring several flavors of their delectable homemade ice cream, cold stone slab (like an iced table) and all their yummy toppings to your party, corporate event and even your wedding. They do Cold Stone type mixing that is the best thing you’ll ever taste. I had the Caramel with fudge brownie AND cookie dough in one of their white chocolate waffle cones with sprinkles. They mix it all up in front of you and it’s heavenly from start to finish.

I asked her the price of her catering, expecting it to be very expensive, but it’s a real steal starting out at just $5/person!! Their individual gourmet popcorn bags are another affordable deal that she says works great as party favors in lieu of boring old candy or mints at any party.

They are located on the west end of Petco Park, K St. across from the Marriott Hotel downtown. The actual store is nothing too fancy, just small, intimate and extremely cozy. But you aren’t there for the decor, you’re there to ruin ice cream forever for yourself like it did for me. Because once you’ve tasted what ice cream is really supposed to taste like- there’s no going back!

You can sample their delicious treats at the San Diego Bridal Bazaar on Jan. 29th. BFFbridesmaid is lucky enough to be in the booth next door to them. Booth #107. Come say hi and try some tasty treats next door…

http://www.crunchtimepopcorn.com

611 K. St.

How can you tell if she may become a Brideszilla?

Bridezillas, you know them… you love them…ON TV!

But what if they were in your own backyard?

With the holidays over and a shiny ring sparkling on many newly engaged brides, bridesmaids proposals are in full swing. After all, the Bridal Bazaar and other wedding expos are coming and the bride needs her full army, a.k.a. the bridesmaids, with her to navigate the treacherous waters of the bridal expo.So how do you know if that innocent question, “Will you be my bridesmaid” will be the most dangerous question ever asked?

Take this quick survey to find out if your friend or relative has the potential of becoming hell on heels once she puts on that wedding gown.

1. Can your friend go from 0 – Bitchy in less than 3.5 seconds?

2. Are other friends already warning you?

3. Is your friend a type A personality: super-organized borderline OCD, driven, dominating, out-spoken or brash?

4. Does your friend have expensive or very particular tastes?

5. Does your friend criticize your taste in clothing, men, everything….?

6. Overall, do they have princess syndrome or have a very high opinion of themselves?

7. Is your friend passive-agressive and manipulative?

8. Do they demand being the constant center of attention?

9. Does she have low self-esteem?

10. Is it difficult for her to make a decision or communicate?

Results

0-5   Yes answers: Proceed with care. She has some warning signs that she may be a difficult bride to work with. Stress can aggravate things that usually appear minor and it can lead to full-on drama.

6-10 Yes answers: Run for the hills! J/K.. but you do need to be warned and take necessary precautions to reign in the brides expectations. Be clear and direct on what you are and are not willing to do. Be wary of manipulation and “But It’s My Day!” syndrome.

                     http://www.weddingbycolor.com/princessd/milestones/16913 

Wedding Trends: Bridesmaids Proposals

Let’s face it. Proposals of any kind mean more to women than they do to men.

That’s why when you are asking a question as important as this, why wouldn’t you spend a little extra time in making it special and memorable.

After all, there are few times in your life when you can shine a spotlight on the female friends who’ve had your back through thick and thin and ups and downs.

Being a bridesmaid and especially a Maid of Honor takes a lot of extra work, time and money. And often people don’t really realize how much work it takes and it can often go unappreciated.

That’s why a bride should show her appreciation for her friendship from the very start and do it through a bridesmaid proposal.

A few ways to do it are:

1. Send a card:

http://pinterest.com/pin/132574782750322157/ Pinned by Catie Martinhttp://www.thesweetestoccasion.com/2010/02/diy-will-you-be-my-bridesmaid-cards/

2. Send your friends on a brief scavenger hunt. Involve champagne, food and fun!

3. Make a sweet treat!

http://www.simply southerngirl.com/2011/07/will-you-be-my-bridesmaid.html

4. Send her a special “Care” package

5. Send a decadent dessert..

6. Prepare them for their big “I Do”

7. “Pop” the question, then pop the champagne!

8. Send an edible bouquet

9. Make it public

Buy advertising space at a local movie theater. Invite your girlfriends to the movies with you and show up early enough to be sitting in the theater with all your popcorn and drinks already. Have the theater show your words onscreen before the movie starts.

                                http://www.screenvis.com/slideshow.htm

10. Have you seen Facebook Timeline?

Create something like this, only about your timeline as friends, complete with pictures of you and your friend, places you’ve been, funny stories or memories and even interviews of people who know you and your friend (2), end the short video with “Will you be my bridesmaid?”

Will you be my Bridesmaid?

Found a great Idea to propose to your bridesmaids on

Wedding Bee, a great site for all things wedding.

Personalized cards have a card highlighting why the bride chose her, what her expectations are, what the duties are and other useful info.

Materials you’ll need

Join two red envelopes end to end connecting at the flap. Cover the flap with the ornamental black and white paper. 

Find the full description at

http://diy.weddingbee.com/topic/will-you-be-my-bridesmaid-cards-1

The Bridesmaid Misunderstanding

While sitting around waiting for presents to be opened on Christmas day, the subject of weddings inevitably came up and as soon as I mentioned the word “Maid of Honor,” my cousin grimaced in the most tortured way.

When I asked her, she said that to this day, almost four years after the wedding, she was still not talking to the bride. She said that being her Maid of Honor had torn their relationship apart. As we discussed this, each person in the circle brought up the numerous instances that they knew about of friendships biting the dust in the wake of pre-marital event planning. Even my brother said that most of his female friends that were in the bridal party for various weddings said that they were still upset with someone in the bridal party or with the bride herself.

The next day at my in-laws home, I broached the same subject to a group that had in that year thrown three weddings for two family members and a friend. Everyone unanimously agreed that the stress of planning such a big event had put a strain on many of their friendships and relationships. Most of them said that they never wanted to be a bridesmaid or Maid of Honor again.

This is so sad. It should be a privilege and honor. Since when did being a bridesmaid become a divisive and drama-filled position? Why should something that should be pulling people together, be so successful at driving them apart?

I have collected their thoughts and now I’d like yours. What is making being a bridesmaid such a drag? Why are people hiding out, hoping that their friend will not ask them to be a bridesmaid?

Beautiful Picnic Bridesmaid Proposal

Blog “Make it Modern” had this beautiful picnic idea as a setting to ask “Will you be my bridesmaid…”

See all the beautiful photos at http://moderninthemaking.blogspot.com/search/label/bridesmaid

For the newly engaged bride- How to choose your Maid of Honor and Bridesmaids

You’re engaged! Congrats on experiencing one of the happiest moments in life! Now you ask… what now? How do I begin?

Weddings are a big project and you cannot do it alone. So it’s time to choose your Maid of Honor and Bridesmaids.

By following the tips below, you can minimize the drama, stress, miscommunication and outright chaos that can occur if you choose too casually your team for your bridal journey. The following will help you retain the friendships you have chosen to honor by asking them to be a part of your bridal party.

#1 Choose your Maid of Honor wisely

I know you’ve probably already had your Maid of Honor chosen in your mind before a ring was ever a twinkle in your boyfriends’ eye. But take a step back and really think about it. This is an important decision, as the Maid of Honor will be coordinating your largest pre-wedding events like your Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Party. Not to mention, she will be your point of contact for you and family members, the groom, vendors, the bridal party, etc.

Ultimately, people who have been in a bridal party before or have been a Maid of Honor before are good candidates. But as long as she is detail-oriented, organized and has the time and money to commit to this large project, experience may not be the most important factor.

There are websites, like BFFbridesmaid.com, that can help with organizing, tools, and guides but the Maid of Honor still has to sift through a lot of information and ultimately bears the largest burden financially over everyone else.

It will be better if the Maid of Honor lives in the same city or is willing to come and be with you for the numerous appointments, fittings, parties, etc. that come with being a Maid of Honor. Make sure she is flexible, patient, a good communicator, and is decisive and it will make your life a lot easier.

#2  Will you be my Maid of Honor?

Once you have chosen your lucky right-hand gal, do it right by making a memorable formal proposal to ask her to be your Maid of Honor. You can find a list of Maid of Honor and Bridesmaid proposals on this blog.

#3 Communicate

Communicate, communicate, COMMUNICATE!! I cannot stress this enough! Communication is the leading cause for friendship breakups through the bridal process. If you cared enough to make this girl your Maid of Honor, then you should care enough to want to keep this friendship afterwards. You need to communicate with her from the beginning to the end and a million times in between.

When you ask her to be your Maid of Honor, sit down with her for an hour and tell her directly and honestly what you expect of her. What is the timeline? What pre-wedding events do you plan to have? What events do you expect her or the bridesmaid to plan? What kind of event are you envisioning for the events you want her to plan. Large and extravagent, small and casual, something out of the ordinary? Are you hoping they’ll take you on a girlfriend getaway out of the city?

Be open and flexible if what you are expecting is deemed unpractical or undoable by your Maid of Honor. She is here to keep your expectations under control so that you will not be disappointed. Check if she has anything in her calendar already planned so you can avoid any conflicts.

#4  Money: Keep budgets in check!

Ask her what kind of budget she may be thinking about for each event and how much out of her paycheck, she can set aside to budget for the events, the dress, hair and makeup and whatever else she needs to save for. Be direct on what you expect her and the bridesmaids to pay for: the dress, the shoes, hair and makeup, bridal shower, bachelorette party, gifts for each event, favors, invitations, etc. Make sure she feels safe enough to tell you when you are being unreasonable or not keeping people’s budget’s in mind. It is your day, but everyone else still has their life, their bills and their limits on their disposable income. If you work as a team to meet together in the middle, there will be less disappointment and resentment in the end. The goal is to get as close to your expectations as possible without breaking their banks.

#5 Bridesmaid choices

Now that you have a general idea of timelines, events, and budgets, you are ready to choose your bridesmaids. This should also be done with care as haphazard choosing can lead to clashing personalities, drama and unsolicited stress.

Make sure you choose people who can dedicate some extra time and money to the events, whose personality works well with others and who won’t try to steal your spotlight through drama and fussiness.

Ideally, bridesmaids who live in the same city are optimal but if the Maid of Honor can be organized this is not mandatory. Make sure your Maid of Honor is a part of the bridesmaid choosing process since she will ultimately be the one working closely with the other bridesmaids.

When you ask your bridesmaids, be upfront about timelines, budgets and expectations and don’t be offended if they cannot accept your proposal. It is better for you to have people 100% on board and excited about being your bridesmaid, then to have bridesmaids who accepted out of obligation and didn’t really have the time and extra money to commit.

Just as you asked the Maid of Honor, make your proposal to the bridesmaids special, meaningful and unforgettable. You can find suggestions on this blog..

Which Celebrities Got Engaged over the Holidays?

Matthew McConaughey (42) and Camila Alves (29)

John Legend (33)  and Chrissy Teigen (26)

Michael Jordan (48) and Cuban model Yvette Prieto (32)