Where to take your Dad for Father’s Day? How about a Chocolate Bar?

I usually give a couple of recommendations for Father’s Day but I need you to understand how divine this place is so I am only talking about Eclipse Chocolat today.

Tucked away in North Park San Diego, is a cozy little hole in the wall looking place until you open the door to the chocolate bar and see how pretty it is inside. Specializing in chocolate desserts and pastries, drinks, truffles and caramel/vanilla or chocolate infused food, Eclipse Chocolat is a gem. They are a tiny shop with a small dedicated staff that takes chocolate to the level of art. I tried their Lavendar sea salt truffle and the minute that salty sweetness touched my tongue I became a lifelong fan.

On Sat. June 16th, they’ll have a Dad’s Day BBQ where everything is infused with either vanilla, chocolate or caramel. Here’s the menu for $30/person:

BBQ pulled pork nachos with sundried tomato guacamole

Heirloom tomato, basil & strawberry caprese with white chocolate balsamic drizzle

Cinnamon brown sugar braised beef short ribs or black bean eggplant burger served with cheesy twice baked potato and panko-vanilla bean crust

Frozen milk chocolate peanut butter mousse with salted brownie crumb crust.

If you want to go on the actual Father’s Day Sunday, they have a chocolate brunch every Sunday from 9am-2pm for $14 including two plates. Choices include Cocoa-glazed bacon, chocolate bacon waffle, strawberry rhubarb-stuffed french toast, dark chocolate salted croissant, Cheesy tamales with cocoa mole and many more.

This place has a good vegan offerings and also serve pastries, coffee, wine, cupcakes, etc. They have great options for party favors.

Related articles:
http://eclipsechocolat.blogspot.com/2008_07_01_archive.html

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/feast/2011/dec/07/up-too-early-on-sunday/

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Top 5 Outdoor Bachelorette Parties in San Diego

The sun is shining and the smell of summer is in the air..so why not do a non-traditional affair for the bride’s last hurrah?

Here are the top five Bachelorette Party ideas for a bride who likes the outdoors…

1.  A Day on the Waves

Don’t be fooled. The hottest guys are out on the waves.

Pictures by Beach Shoot San Diego

Imagine a day of bonding, laughing and mastering the surfboard. There’s a cool little Women’s Surf School in beautiful La Jolla, CA called Surf Diva that offers a day of surf or paddle board lessons, professional photos on picturesque La Jolla Shores, and a mouth-watering picnic right on the beach after your fun on the waves. All skill levels are welcome and you can request women surf instructors if you like.You can glam it up and also request private cabanas w/private cabana boy serving up delectable chocolates and chilled drinks.

This is a great idea for a co-ed bachelor/bachelorette activity too! Mention BFF and get free party favors for your group…

Afterwards, you can rent a room at the La Jolla Shores hotel right on the beach and jump right into their jacuzzi to rest up before a night on the town. Party bus anyone?

2. Sunset Kayaking

Photo by Beach Shoot San Diego

I would highly recommend the… (Bride’s don’t read this * Spoiler alert* )… ok now that it’s safe.. Message in a Bottle package through Beach Shoot San Diego. They take you out for an unforgettable sunset kayak ride (you don’t need to have experience kayaking.)

They take you through the sea caves (weather permitting) and you get to see amazing wildlife. Then the photographer will strategically toss a message in a bottle onto the waves for the bride to find. The message will be from you and the other bridesmaids, of course, full of tear evoking well wishes. The photographer captures it all on photo and video. It’s a pretty awesome keepsake which can be played at the wedding.

3.  Moonlight Horseback Riding and BBQ Dinner

A day of hiking, camping or moonlight horseback riding may just be up her alley if the bride is stressed out and really wants to get away. Check out Happy Trails San Diego

4. Sports, competitive or teambuilding games

How about a day playing Dodgeball, Sloshball or Kickball or renting tandem bikes? San Diego also has tons of charity events like the San Diego Mud Run or the ROC Race (Ridiculous Obstacle Course-Think WipeOut). Give back to the community while bonding and doing something healthy and fun!

5. Boating, Boating or more Boating

The best part of San Diego is the beautiful ocean. Renting a boat is relatively inexpensive and you don’t need any special license if it’s a small boat. Just a drivers license! We took a boat out on Fourth of July to get a 360 degree view of the fireworks in the San Diego Bay and it was the best fireworks show I have experienced in my life. We each paid about $30 and brought on board some pizza and drinks-the driver of course can’t have any alcohol ;) In Mission Bay you can also rent jet ski’s etc.

http://www.seaforthboatrental.com/

It’s a barbecue, a picnic table, and a boat all in one… it’s the BBQ Donut!

If you want to do it a bit more upscale you can rent a small yacht which includes a personal sushi chef from Sushi on a Roll who can cater or even give you a Sushi cooking class while you enjoy sake or wine. Or you can take a traditional dinner cruise.

The best of the boat experiences has to be renting a private Gondola. They can seat up to 16 passengers and a sunset cruise can include wine, cheese, chocolates and even massages :) Wow!

Mention BFFbridesmaid or contact us to see if we can get you any discounts for any of these bachelorette party ideas!

Weekday Wedding Workshops: Money Saving Tips and WeddingTax Deductions

Our first informational workshop was a night of delicious food, fun games, great info and of course, sushi rolling..

One of our great couples enjoying a sushi bonding experience!Sushi on a Roll graciously hosted our free event for a very small group of brides, grooms and members of the wedding party. It was intimate and we all enjoyed lots of conversation, advice, commiserating and games.

Our guest speaker, Wedding Planner Carmin from carmindesign.com, was her usual bubbly self and gave us awesome tips on how to save money and get tax deductions on wedding expenses. The brides really appreciated the one one one Q + A with her and all the free advice, tips and tricks she gave. She stayed well past our end time to answer all questions and to give one particular couple lots of design advice since she is not only a planner but a florist by trade.

Jeff from Sushi on a Roll and Andy from sdstreeteats.com served up some serious sushi, braised short ribs and more. Jeff offered our workshop attendents 15% off of his already affordable catering service or venue booking. Sushi on a Roll is not a restaurant, but a private event venue which is awesome because there aren’t any restrictions like at a normal restaurant. So, you can have your bachelorette party or rehearsal dinner here and it’s completely private with private parking even. You can customize your menu, bring in a cigar bar and even set up the Wii and/or karaoke for the kids so they can enjoy too.

Bachelor Party? They can even get the “Sushi Models” to serve sushi on.

My friend had her bridesmaid/groomsmen luncheon (a thank you to their bridal party) on their yacht which you can rent along with a sushi chef for a day out on the ocean. They can even do the sushi-cooking class on board for you.

SD Street Eats gourmet food truck gave us great ideas for bringing in a private food truck for bachelor parties, for the very end of weddings when everyone who liquored up needs some food in their bellies before going home. They will pretty much travel anywhere and come at all hours of the night. They customize your menu and can do as casual as street tacos to as gourmet as lobster.

Our big prize winner of the night, Khristina, won a beautiful necklace by our sponsor Cocoon Jewelry.Their Facebook contest ends tomorrow May 15th. The winner will receive a customized set of jewelry in the brides wedding colors for the bridal party and cufflinks for the groomsmen.

Enter at http://www.facebook.com/CocoonJewelry?sk=app_190322544333196

I’m so thankful to our wonderful sponsors and our guest speaker. I had a great time meeting each couple personally and being able to answer all of the questions that have been plaguing them. I cannot recommend Sushi on a Roll enough as a venue. They are such an unknown gem in San Diego.

I’m going to bring my husband there for a sushi rolling class for Father’s Day.. I heard there is a GroupOn for it. Shhh!You didn’t hear that!

Where to go for Easter Weekend- especially if you have little daughters!

Me, Kayla (9) and Kiana (5) having girl time

I’m going to let you in on my family’s go-to spot for Easter.

It’s Frosted Robin Cupcakes at Seaport Village SD, CA to have a special Cupcake Tea Party and have their pictures taken with the Easter Bunny.

My little ones love to bring their teddy bears and dolls along and have a true tea party with beautiful cups and place settings, fancy spring hats, necklaces and feather boas to wear and don’t forget, the beautiful fans they let you borrow.

Pair their Banana Dulce or Jasmine Blueberry hot teas or gourmet loose-leaf black, rooibos or green teas with their delicious selection of fun and exotic cupcakes. I love their Lavender Cupcake and especially their Cookies and Cream Cupcake with Oreo mixed right into the batter (Yum!)

My absolute favorite, though, is their Robin Eggs. It is Cupcake batter mixed with frosting and surrounded by a hard shell. IT is DIVINE.

Good Robins egg flavors to try: Red Velvet in Dark Chocolate, Strawberry in Milk Chocolate, Cayman Spice in Cinnamon White Chocolate, Lavender in White Chocolate, Peanut Butter in Milk Chocolate, Vanilla in Dark Chocolate, Cookies and Milk in Milk Chocolate and Champagne in White Chocolate.

The Easter Bunny will only be there from Wed 4/4/12- Sat 4/7/12 11am-4pm. Bring your videocamera!

http://www.frostedrobincupcakes.com/

Reviews: Pretty-Is? San Diego Boutique

Have you ever looked in your closet and thought, “All these clothes and I have nothing to wear?” Well, I’ve got the low down on the best kept secret in San Diego for extending your wardrobe without hurting your wallet …

Pretty-Is Boutique located in East Village, San Diego

What is awesome about them:
  • An entire room of clothing, dresses, accessories and yes… even an entire room of shoes built to look like your closet. Looks vary from professional to dressy, casual to nightclub attire.
  • Rent outfits for the weekend. Items start at $2. I rented an entire outfit and accessories for $25!
  • Free fashion stylist consultation. She helps you with outfits you never imagined would look good on you.
  • Makeup and Hair makeovers available onsite to complete your look and make you ready for a night out on the town.
  • If you don’t want to take advantage of their makeovers, they still allow you to bring your own makeup and hair equipment and get ready there at their makeup and hair stations.
  • Cute patio available in the back for parties: Sweet 16, birthdays, graduations, girls night out, Bachelorette party, etc. complete with two stripper poles!
  • Clothing items are professionally cleaned for only $5.

I came here for my best friends bachelorette party and I’ve been hooked ever since. I felt like a teenager again, giggling with my girlfriends trying on outfits, diva heels and amazing accessories. At the end of the night, I ended up in a Chanel dress, heels and accessories and the entire outfit cost me $25! They did an amazing job on the bride’s hair and makeup and we enjoyed a fun striptease class by Ebyresa and toy party compliments of Nikki Nites. Then we headed over to the Hard Rock hotel for her final fling before the ring!

A few months later, I had a crisis because I had nothing to wear for a huge business presentation. No problem! I went to Pretty-Is and they hooked me up with a professional outfit that left me full of confidence walking into the boardroom.

Pretty-Is Boutique
418 3rd Ave
(between Island Ave & J St)
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 702-2005

Romantic Date ideas

Still trying to figure out what to do for Valentines Day?

Here’s a list of the top 10 most romantic San Diego date ideas in no particular order

Photo: Beach Shoot San Diego (Daniel Woods)

1) Take a Kayak ride in a tandem kayak to the Sea Caves in La Jolla. See the amazing diversity of ocean life first-hand from dolphins, to tiger shark (they only eat plants!) to the amazing sea lions perched lazily on the nearby rocks.

2) Dive-in Theater: Watch a movie poolside at this boutique hotel. 2/15: The Notebook (2004 / 123 minutes)

3) Cinepolis Luxury Movie Theater- Enjoy your beer or wine right from your movie theater seat and enjoy personal service from the waiter who come right to you.

4) Dinner Cruises

5) Horseback riding

6) Ice-skating

7) Rent a bike, roller blades or skateboards around Coronado or Mission Beach

8) Rent a boat and cruise the bay. You only need your drivers license to rent!

9) Enjoy beautiful Mission Bay via the Bahia Belle Sternwheeler boat.

10) Have a bonfire at Moonlight beach

Romantic Date Places in San Diego

It’s Valentines Day tomorrow! Still looking for ideas for your Valentines date? Here’s a list of the top 12 most romantic places to visit in San Diego in no particular order:

#1 Coronado… by Gondola boat: The beautiful Italian style gondola rides take you through the canals of Coronado (did you even know they had canals?) You can enjoy a romantic sunset, a glass of wine and chocolate covered strawberries on the gondola. You can even get a massage on the boat if you want to! 

#2 San Diego Bay via the Coronado Ferry: The view especially coming back to San Diego from the Coronado side is stunning at night and at sunset.

#3 Seaport Village by carriage ride: Take a leisurely stroll by the waterfront or take a carriage ride by the harbor.

#4 Point Loma Tide Pools: The Cabrillo Monument and the surrounding area has breathtaking views of the ocean and when it’s low tide, it’s so much fun to explore the tide pools with a person you care about.

#5 Sunset Cliffs: They named this place because of the view. Best place to catch the sunset hands down.

#6 Torrey Pines Reserve: The hike is beautiful here, especially the path that leads you from the top of the mountain to the beach. It’s a leisurely 20 min hike each way. I did it with my newborn strapped on to my front. There is a fee for parking at the top of the mountain, if you park at the bottom, it’s free parking but you’ll have an upward hike. Not too difficult.

#7 Julian: This quaint little town is famous for its apple pie (my favorite is the Apple crumb-yummm..). It’s country charm is perfect for a short getaway from San Diego.

#8 Mt. Soledad: Beautiful 360 degree view of San Diego

#9 La Jolla Cove: No matter how old you are, the children’s pool and the beach views are absolutely amazing.

#10 The Prado/ Japanese Tea Garden: Sitting in the serene atmosphere transports you to a different world. Tucked away in Balboa Park, it’s a great place to snuggle with your sweetie and take some beautiful photos.

#11 Hotel Del Coronado. Have a picnic on the beach and take a walk through the historic hotel. Lots of great cafe’s and restaurants on Orange Ave just minutes away.

#12 Paradise Point: Barefoot Bar and Grill. The view of Mission Bay is amazing here.