Category Archives: giveaways

2013 Taste of Downtown Giveaway


I have come out of blogging hibernation for YOU! So I could offer you a giveaway! I think that’s quite nice of me…

The Annual Taste of Downtown is coming up next week (Thursday, September 26, 2013) and it’s an event we’ve participated in a couple of times. There’s a lot of walking, a lot of tasting, and I think it’s a fun way to discover new restaurants or dishes. We’re always pleasantly surprised at least once when we stop at a restaurant we would normally pass up, only to find they have one of the tastiest samples of the night.

Continue reading


Winner, winner!

Congrats to Faye, winner of the San Diego Restaurant Week dinners to Del Mar Rendezvous!  I hope you enjoy your walnut shrimp!  Mmm… walnut shrimp…

I thought it was interesting that Mary and Kirbie tried the walnut shrimp and soup dumplings and kung pao pork, too.  But, I think they are dishes you kind of have to try.  Obviously, if someone in San Diego has xiao long bao on the menu, you have to find out if they’re good or forgettable.  Same with walnut shrimp.  I’ve had some pretty terrible walnut shrimp dishes, so I’d consider it a small measure of overall quality if I’m served a really good version.  I do admit that the walnut shrimp stuck in my head after reading that Mary’s was crispy and good.

In related news, Del Mar Rendezvous has provided a link if you’d like to sign up for their e-mail list.  You’ll get a 20% off coupon for your first visit.  It’s probably not valid during Restaurant Week, but you’re also getting a pretty good deal there, since their 3-course meal is only $30.

And now, we’re off to Portland for a mini trip.  I have no idea what we’re going to see or do, or where we’ll end up eating (I have a list, but you know how those things go), but I’m sure we’ll have a blast.  Also, our house is being looked after by friends, in case you were thinking of coming by and robbing us blind.  Also, also, we just gave a bunch of stuff to Salvation Army since I’ve been on a clean and purge kick, so we’re running out of things to steal, anyway.  If you’re going to steal a dog, please take the skinny white one.

Del Mar Rendezvous

Disclosure: Our meal was complimentary but I was not compensated for this review. As always, all opinions are my own.

Sooo… happy New Year?  I’m not really going to apologize for ignoring this blog for weeks on end.  Life got busy, but the fun kind of busy, and life in the sunshine takes precedent over internet musings any day.  Besides, I was just giving you plenty of time to go make your own tomato jam and candied jalapenos (which I have been enjoying with Brie and waffles as a lazy leftover lunch).

We’ve been doing a fair amount of eating out, thanks to hectic schedules, odd hot wing cravings, and restaurant coupon expiration dates (not all in the same visit).  But the visits have been about eating, ending my hunger, and not really about blogging.   But then Jennifer Jenkins at BAM Communications asked if I’d like to review the menu at Del Mar Rendezvous prior to San Diego Restaurant Week. I have to be honest, it’s been a couple of years since we’ve participated in SDRW.  And we probably won’t make it this month, what with a short weekend trip out of town, my birthday, and a pending baby arrival (not mine!) I was also considering whether or not I wanted to review a restaurant in Del Mar, since we don’t really get up there very often (although, now that I work up there, it’s more feasible).

Spoiler alert: I accepted, we dined, and I’m so glad we did. You’ll be glad, too, since I now have a fun giveaway for you!

Continue reading

And now, a giveaway of a different sort

So, the terms of the giveaway CSN Stores has offered me is a little different than before.  Because of that, I’m going to structure the giveaway in a slightly different manner.  Usually, I would pick something to review, review it, and then offer that item (new) as the giveaway prize.  This time, I’m just going to offer you the $60 shopping code they offered me, mainly because I can’t figure out what to pick, the terms of the shopping code make it hard to ship to two different places, and I’m kind of lazy and have let this sit for too long.

Not a requirement, but it would be nice if you wrote up a little review of your shopping spree finds.  You can either post it on your blog and send me a link, or send me an e-mail and I’ll post it here for you.

You can use the code on any of the CSN Stores:,, or

The actual terms (so you know what you’re getting into) are:

1.     Code expires after first use.
2.       Entire promotional amount must be used on first purchase.
3.       If the total cost of basket exceeds the amount of money from the promotional code, you are responsible for the difference
4.       Promotional code will be applied to all items in your basket
5.       Expires December 31, 2010

Now!  All you have to do is leave a comment on this post by 11:59 PM Friday, July 30, 2010 and tell me something on your before-summer-ends to-do list.  For example, I’d like to finally put up the laundry line we bought two years ago and figure out why twice the tomato plants are giving me half the amount of tomatoes from last summer.

Happy discoveries from my last work trip

First, updates: I was going to get all creative and have the kitties pick the winner of The Jensen Project giveaway, but I ran out of time, then went away on a work trip, and I figured if I was going to pick a winner before too much time went by I’d have to rely on good ol’ Random Number Generator. So, I did. It picked #4 and the winner has been contacted. Congrats to Carole!

So… I took a short trip to SF for work. I helped out SF office on a project, which was undergoing public review, and attended a City Council meeting in case someone asked a tough question. I flew up in the morning, went to the office, carpooled to the meeting, got dropped off at my hotel, and flew out the next morning. It was a whirlwind trip and reminded me that I hate traveling.

Don’t get me wrong – I love going places, love vacations and seeing new places, and I love doing things. I’m just not a fan of getting there, at least not airplane-wise. You have to guess when you need to be at the airport to get through security, predict which line of people actually know what they’re doing and can get their stuff on the x-ray belt efficiently, decide how far from the gate you’re going to sit (because there are no open seats AT the gate), cram into a tiny seat (and I’m actually lucky because I’m short enough to be able to cross my legs in coach), and then fly with the drone of babies crying and toddlers shrieking. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to sit next to someone who smokes and/or doesn’t use deodorant. In those instances, I lean away and try to point the little air-spigot so it blows air away from me.

I also don’t like packing, unpacking, repacking, unpacking, and then doing laundry.

But, when you have to fly you just have to deal. I discovered two things on this last trip that made everything much better. One, I’m guessing you don’t know about. The other, I’m guessing everyone in the world knew about it and neglected to tell me.

I stayed at the Travelodge Airport South (don’t get confused with the North location). It’s located on El Camino Real in Millbrae, but it’s just minutes away from the SFO airport. Yes, it’s a Travelodge. Yes, it’s by the airport. But, here’s why I think it’s an awesome find:

There’s a free shuttle to and from the airport; you just need to call and let them know you’re waiting. They’re the first drop off after the hotel and from the hotel they go straight to the airport (no riding around to other hotels).

There’s free parking at the hotel, in case you need a rental car for your stay.

It’s within easy walking distance to the Millbrae BART, which takes you into the city (only costs $4.25 to get to Embarcadero but does take about 35 minutes to do so). Easy walking distance means E.A.S.Y. because I’m not really a fan of walking too far for anything.

It’s across the street from Walgreens, CVS, and a grocery store in case you want to grab a bottle of water or candy or ice cream.

It’s within easy walking distance of a Japanese restaurant, Chinese (we actually ate dim sum there on a separate occasion), coffee car, café, and a Vietnamese place (that is open until 10:30pm)

It’s next to Wendy’s and across from Chipotle, in case you like to eat fast food when traveling.

There is free wi-fi and more cable channels that you’ll know what to do with.

The rooms have all been renovated with pillowtop beds, soft pillows, and pretty tile showers.

Their “expanded” continental breakfast has two coffee machines (one Maxwell and one fancy espresso/latte), juice, toast/waffles/cinnamon French toast that you toast in a toaster, yogurt, cold cereal, granola, juice, fruit, scones/bread pudding squares/cinnamon rolls, organic jam, and real maple syrup. Very nice.

It’s quiet. I’ve stayed on the third floor and the ground floor and neither night did I need to put in earplugs because of noise.

When I went up for work, the room rate ended up being $95 after all the taxes and whatever. To me, that’s a pretty sweet deal.

Unless there’s a reason for staying in the city, I can’t imagine staying anywhere else.

I flew Southwest because they go non-stop to SFO. Flying Southwest means no assigned seating. I always get stuck in the middle seat when I travel with Travis because he likes the lean against the window. I actually prefer the aisle, so I don’t have to climb over anyone to get to the bathroom. So, for some reason, when I fly Southwest I’m obsessed with getting the best boarding number I can. Before I leave, I always check in online the minute I’m 24 hours away from departure, but on the way back I usually don’t have access to a computer and/or printer. For some reason, I thought if you check in online it creates hassles to print out a boarding pass at the airport (maybe because United gives me a hassle when I try to do this). So, I just check in when I get to the airport and then deal with my lowly boarding priority and hope for an empty flight. Well, this last time I decided there must be an iPhone app for exactly this type of problem and there is. You can check in online through the app (you can probably do this through the browser, too) and get your nice “A” group priority and when you get to the airport all you need to do is “reprint” your boarding pass. This all assumes you’re not checking luggage. If you’re checking luggage you have to deal with all sorts of other hassles, like immensely huge lines.