From Shopping

Uncorked Wine Walk and Concert at Westfield UTC highlights amazing meals, wine and music

by Andrea Verdin

Going to the mall isn’t just for kids anymore, especially if you live in Southern California. Westfield Malls have done a great job of making sure that each shopper not only finds ideal items to buy, but also can have a full day of leisure and luxury while shopping. A great example of this was the Uncorked Wine Walk and Concert, which happened on May 2 at La Jolla’s Westfield UTC.

The third annual Uncorked Wine Walk & Concert didn’t just feature award-winning Temecula Valley wineries — it helped guest pair them with some of the best Westfield UTC’s gourmet dining options. This year, participating wineries include award-winning Falkner WineryDanza Del Sol WineryCallaway Winery, Maurice Car’rie Winery, Robert Renzoni Vineyards and Lorimar Winery and unlimited bites will be crafted by PIRCH, Seasons 52, Eureka Discover American Craft and Tender Greens. Palm Plaza live music complemented the outdoor event. Ticket sale proceeds benefited non-profits Temecula Valley Winegrower’s Association and Bright Pink.

Guests were able to jam out to great music, snack on amazing food, and buy a few items as they meandered through the mall. After a great afternoon, my Mister and I decided to swing by Seasons 52 for more of their food; we weren’t satisfied with mere samples!

If you have a chance to visit Westfield UTC, I strongly recommend you check out one of these great restaurants during your purchasing.

For information about Westfield UTC, check out their website.

Port Angeles Kayak and Film Festival unites Film Lovers with the Great Outdoors This Weekend!

by Andrea Verdin

The weekend is nearly here, and for those of us who are scrounging for an adventure, it may be time to head to Port Angeles for a one of a kind experience: the Port Angeles Kayak and Film Festival.

This event will span two days, with a pre-party starting on Friday night, and continuing through Saturday, April 18 and Sunday, April 19 at Hollywood Beach in Port Angeles, WA. Throughout the entire weekend, there will be over 25 different events happening for anyone interested in paddle sports or film to join.

“We are so pleased to bring an event of this caliber to Port Angeles for a second year,” says Tammi Hinkle, owner of Adventures Through Kayaking, one of three local co-organizers of the Festival. “It’s truly a one-of-a-kind event; no other festival in the country highlights and promotes all classes of paddling. Participants can take an Eskimo rolling class, get educated on tides and currents, learn how to land their craft in surf, experience stand-up paddle boarding and much more.”

 “It’s a continuation of an event that used to happen in the area,” said Hinkle. “It’s really about community, being outside, sharing experiences, and being excited about outdoor recreation. It’s absolutely a family event.”

“The best part,” Hinkle continues, “is that almost anyone can participate. The Festival is open to all levels and all ages. It’s a community event that we hope anyone with an interest will come out and enjoy.”

There are 12 different short films that feature some sort of paddle sport. Keynote speaker will be professional kayaker and co-founder of the Ikkatsu Project, Ken Campbell.

Acccording to Campbell, the Ikkatsu Project is an initiative to raise awareness of the impact that toxic pollutants are having on beaches and shorelines through print, films and data-gathering expeditions. After his presentation, guests will have the opportunity to enjoy the world premiere of Message in a Plastic Bottle, a film by Ken Campbell that discusses the Ikkatsu Project’s third film, which chronicles his 150-mile journey from Olympia to Bellingham aboard the Hyas yiem, a kayak constructed of discarded single-use plastic bottles. The presentation will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 18 at Peninsula College’s Maier Performance Hall.

Since Port Angeles is a quaint portside town, it has all of the smalltime charm that allows for relaxing and enjoying yourself in between films. Hinkle recommends spending a little time enjoying the Olympic National Park after the festival, so you may want to bring a pair of hiking boots and a mountain bike as well.

During the Port Angeles Kayak and Film Festival, over 20 classes are available to guests, and they can create the itinerary that interests them. One novice might want to learn the basics of kayaking or stand up paddle boarding, while an experienced kayaker might want to focus on navigation or cold water immersion.

“Some of our instructors are very well known in the kayak world,” said Hinkle. “You can bring your own kayak, or you can rent. Gear is included with some of the classes. The festival itself is free, and the only cost is for class participation, with the cost ranging from $5 to $35.”

Don’t fret about being lost in class; each class allows for intimacy with the instructors.

“We have really small classes, with a maximum of eight people,” said Hinkle. “We always have at least two instructors, even in a class of eight for the quality of instruction. There is going to be a lot of learning from very highly acclaimed teachers.”

For more information, go to or call (360) 417-3015.

Tijuana Brewery Hop with Turista Libre

Even the graffiti near Mamut brewery reflects the area’s love for craft brew.

Written by and photos by Nadia Ibanez

Since moving to San Francisco, I crave SoCal sun, food and beer on a normal basis. Yes, SF has some of the best food and a never-ending calendar of things to do. But there’s absolutely nothing like the San Diego sun and local brews. I flew down to SD for another Tijuana tryst with Turista Libre to attend his Tijuana Brewery Hop.

I’d like to think I’m a Turista Libre veteran after going on a bunch of his Tijuana tours. I have a TJ waterpark, Lucha Libre fight and TJ baseball game under my belt so a beer tour seemed fitting. On the agenda was three craft brewery visits and a bite to eat at a food truck stop. (My memory and apparently my photos toward the end of the night are extremely blurry so I ask for your forgiveness now.)

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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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