Tagged shopping

Westfield UTC Uncasked brings on local flavor in San Diego

San Diego Brewers Guild has done a great job once again, bringing locals to Westfield UTC to try out fantastic foods, beer tastings, and allover summer fun. It really did feel like a neighborhood party, with couches set up for everyone to relax in between strolling the mall to various food and drink stations.

San Diego’s favorite craft breweries, including Karl Strauss Brewing Company, Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, Rough Draft Brewing Company, Groundswell Brewing Company, Stone Brewing Company & Mother Earth Brew Co., offered some of their newest and most popular tastes.

Of course, a huge bonus to the drinks were California cuisine from Lemonade, savory grill items from Seasons 52 and comfort food from Tender Greens. To round out the afternoon’s festivities, guests will enjoy live music from Casey Turner and Nathan and Jessie, plus play fun beach games while they sip their suds.

As an added bonus to this event, 100 percent of the proceeds from Uncasked benefited the San Diego Brewers Guild, the local nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting awareness and increasing visibility of fresh, locally brewed beer. The SDBG is responsible for maintaining San Diego’s reputation as the “Capital of Craft,” and does this through its core annual events and public educationThe proceeds from this tournament will help to sustain these initiatives, including San Diego Beer Week (SDBW), a weeklong celebration of all things San Diego craft beer held annually the first week of November, and the Rhythm & Brews Music and Craft Beer Festival.


Scarlet Sage Herb Co. in the Mission is a go-to for tinctures, crystals, herbs and more

Inside Scarlet Sage Herb Co. in the Mission.

Written by and photos by Nadia Ibanez

Since moving to San Francisco, my desire to take a homeopathic and natural approach to medicine and healing has grown enormously. I’ve dealt with chronic lower back pain for years because of my office job and my bum left shoulder has never healed since overdoing it at the gym a few years ago so the idea of utilizing natural herbs and techniques spurred into my growing love affair for herbs. I’ve since discovered Scarlet Sage Herb Co. in the Mission and all of its herbal offerings, nature-inspired gifts and metaphysical trinkets.

Crystals for days at Scarlet Sage Herb Co.

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Paxton Gate in the Mission offers beautiful curiosities for the home

Paxton Gate is quickly becoming one of my favorite shops in the Mission.

Written by and photos by Nadia Ibanez

The Mission District has quickly become one of my favorite neighborhoods to walk around, shop, dine and people watch. The weather up here has been unseasonably warm and I often find myself off Mission or Valencia to soak up the sun and get my shopping cardio on. There are a few shops off Valencia that I visit nearly every weekend and one of my favorites is Paxton Gate.

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Local shop spotlight: Salt Santa Barbara

Written by and photos by Nadia Ibanez

Salt Santa Barbara is just steps below the popular State Street

State St. in Santa Barbara has always been a favorite place of mine to wander the streets, talk to locals, and explore all of the curiosities within this lovely shopping and entertainment destination. I’ve walked these streets a few times with girlfriends and have always enjoyed this beautiful city. I had the opportunity to spend a couple days in Santa Barbara and while I enjoyed the local farmer’s market, urban wine trail and shopping, I absolutely fell in love with Salt Santa Barbara.

Inside the main salt cave at Salt Santa Barbara

After spending a full day wine tasting and walking State St., I needed a moment to unwind for a bit before driving the four hours home. While a massage could have sufficed, a visit to Santa Barbara’s own man-made Himalayan salt cave was just what I needed.

Located in the heart of State St. Santa Barbara, Salt is a man-made, underground salt cave that took over an abandoned storage area for the surrounding businesses. The caves are crafted from 45 tons of 250 million year old pure Himalayan salt and cost almost a half million dollars to create. Today, you can spend a session in one of the two salt caves, opt for a healing massage or salt scrub, or drop in for a sound healing, meditation, or yoga session in the cave.

Salt Santa Barbara has salt lamps in every size so that you can bring a bit of this shop home with you.

The air in the cave is saturated with the salt’s micro particles and can be absorbed into the skin and respiratory system. Sessions in the salt cave have been said to cure chronic ailments are heighten’s one’s overall mood and well-being. I had the pleasure of a spending some time in one of the two caves and definitely felt like I could take on the rest of the day afterward.

Inside Salt Santa Barbara

If you’re ever in the area and need a place to get away from the noise and movement on State St. Salt is definitely your destination. Even if you’re not in the mood for a salt cave or spa session, Salt offers a number of gifts like cooking salts, salt lamps, soaking salts, and so much more. Drop by, pick up some gifts and stay for a salt cave session. For more information, visit www.saltcavesb.com.

Day trip: Things to do in Ojai Valley

Oh, hi, Ojai!

Written by and photos by Nadia Ibanez

I had a few hours to kill in between leaving my trip to Oxnard to checking into my next hotel in Santa Barbara. I’ve been hearing a lot about Ojai lately and this sleepy town sounded right up my alley. Everything from the olive mills, picturesque hiking, boutique shopping and sustainable dining piqued my interest. Here’s a look at some of the places I stumbled upon while exploring the sights, smells and sounds of Ojai.


Scones, muffins and baked goods for days at Ojai Emporium Cafe

If you’re in a hurry and need your caffeine fix, Ojai Café Emporium is one of the shops you should try. The restaurant offers a full menu of breakfast and lunch offerings, but the bakery next door has some great coffee and homemade treats.


FiG Curated Living is a gardener’s heaven.

I originally found this adorable boutique on Instagram and the actual storefront absolutely exceeded my expectations. With a focus on fair trade and locally made gifts and baubles, FiG Curated Living offers a number of gifts for the home and kitchen. I’m a sucker for text art, handmade jewelry, succulents and home goods so it’s no wonder I spent almost an hour walking — and hopscotching — around. You MUST drop by this shop if you’re ever in the area.

You can’t miss the hopscotch upon entering FiG.
Just one of the many nooks inside FiG


How could you not love this set up at Summer Camp in Ojai?

Just a couple miles off the main drag is one of the cutest stores I’ve ever step foot in. Once an old gas station, Summer Camp recreated the space with its vintage camping gear, paper goods, soy candles, Boy Scout memorabilia, and custom framing store. If you’re the outdoorsy type or simply appreciate local and American-made accessories, you’ll absolutely fall in love with this store like I did.

I mean, really, how adorable?
Summer Camp in Ojai


After chatting it up with one of the locals, I was told to go directly to Farmer and The Cook for a real look at Ojai. This space, while small in size, does wonders for the Ojai community. From the smoothie and juice joint, to restaurant, grocery store, CSA provider, and local hangout, Farmer and The Cook is legit. Drop by and pick up some culinary goodies, or take a seat and enjoy a drink and baked good. (The Birdseed cookie was delish.) I was told that celebrities often inhabit the space and low and behold I had a run-in with a major star, whose name will remain a secret. The restaurant menu looks unbelievable and I definitely plan on returning on an empty stomach.

While the Ojai Valley may seem all hippie dippy with its locally-sourced food and shopping, this town is certainly doing something right. I’ll definitely be visiting again soon. For more information, visit www.ojaivisitors.com.