September 17, 2016

KAABOO

Have you heard of KAABOO
If not, you're missing out!
KAABOO is a three-day “mix-perience” curated as a fully immersive live music experience without the rough qualities of a traditional outdoor event. 
Ahem, I'm looking at you Coachella, Lolla and Burning Man. 
It combines a diverse mix of music, high quality culinary offerings, the very best craft libations,
visually inspiring art exhibitions, hilarious comedy, dancing and all of the indulgent amenities you could hope for, 
together in one place. 
KAABOO takes place at the historic Del Mar Racetrack + Fairgrounds, 
and it's going on NOW (October 16th-18th). 

 I was invited to kick the party off on Thursday,
at the Meet Me at the Spa Indulgences VIP event.
I got to enjoy complementary beauty spa services from some of the best brands in the beauty industry such as Pave Nails, Paul Mitchel, and Ritz Carlton Spas (just to name a few). 
It was a perfect way to relax and prepare for the festival.
After the event, I got to check out the grounds and even take in a  private performance by Chris Isaak and Macy Gray.
So fun!

The lineup of artists for this weekend is incredible, 
and I'm sure it's only going to get better each year. 
So if you didn't make it to KAABOO this year,
make sure you add it to your "must do" list for 2018!


natasha

September 14, 2016

In Love With.. Skin Care

I have always loved experimenting with beauty products, 
constantly on the hunt for something to make my skin look brighter, smoother, firmer. 
In fact, I've probably been doing it all wrong for the past couple of decades, 
since most professionals (which I am nowhere close to),
 recommend sticking to the same skin care regimen for at least two to three months for the products to adjust and behave to their full potential. 
But I get antsy, you see?
I want results, and I want them now!
Which is why if I don't see glowing skin after about a week or so, 
I tend to move on to the next "big thing".

That being said, I have found a few products that live up to the hype and deliver results.. QUICKLY.
These five products have done wonders for my skin,
so I wanted to share them with anyone that may be seeking that butterfly-crown snapchat filter effect in real life. 

Please keep in mind that we're all different, 
so just because these products worked for me, does not mean that you'll get the same results. 
But if you're willing to experiment, I would highly recommend for you to add these products to your skin care regimen.

One: Burt's Bees Cleansing Oil. I am pretty much the opposite of granola when it comes to skin care. If it doesn't burn, it's not working. At least that was my mentality for years! But after trying this natural cleansing oil, I'm that much closer to joining green peace. Kidding. But seriously, have you tried washing your face with oil before? It defies all logic, and sucks up all the grime and grease from your face in seconds. And call me crazy, but I feel like my skin has gotten LESS oily since I've started using this stuff? It must be magic. 

Two: Mario Badescu Super Collagen Mask. Collagen. Let's talk about it. As we age, our skin loses some of its elasticity and firmness. Some of this is due to the loss and breakdown of collagen in the dermal layer of your skin. Maybe it's the fact that I turned 30 this year, but for some reason, I have started paying extra attention to these features of my skin lately. Obviously, prevention is key, and this Mario Badescu collagen mask is money, honey. I use it once a week, leaving it on for about 40 minutes. I swear each time is like a mini at home facial. It smells like a high-end spa, and the best part is that my skin gets a little oomph after I wash it off.

Three: Sunday Riley Martian Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner. I'm not gonna lie, I had to use my expert google techniques to figure out how to use this product when I first bought it. The reviews are killer for this stuff! The instructions? Not so much. Is it a gel? A toner? Do I use it alone or under a moisturizer? Huh?! So here's what I do, and whether it's right or not, I don't really care because I feel like my skin stays grease-free for hours when I use this toner. After washing my face in the morning, simply pump a nickel sized amount into your hand and massage onto your face. This may take a little while to get used to, since this stuff is quite liquid-y, but you'll get the hang of it after a few tries. Let it dry and then apply moisturizer if needed. I go directly to a tinted moisturizer and then a light dust of powder to set it all in place, and voila! Shiny forehead be gone!

Four: Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra Clarifying Face Oil. Okaaayyyy so two things: 1) clearly I'm on an oil kick lately, but the hype is real!! This one in particular is seriously the best I have tried to date. It's a quick-absorbing, medicated dry oil that clears congested pores, treats and prevents acne, all while smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Um, yes please? I've been using it for about a month, and I am obsessed! 2) I am sucker for packaging, so while this stuff is not exactly cheap, it goes a long way and looks so chic on my vanity. A+ for boxed luxury.

Five: Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. Unfortunately, no matter how diligent I am with my skin care routine, every once in a while I still get those pesky blemishes. My go to cure has been this drying lotion. I swear by it! Spot treat with a q-tip before bed, and wake up with a clear face. I'm all about that overnight action, you know what I mean?

natasha

August 9, 2016

In Love With..


Who needs a bikini body when there are so many great restaurants to eat at? 

~Want to have a posh camping experience in the city? Then hike your way over to One Door North, a new American bar and eatery with decor and cuisine that pays homage to the outdoors and the spirit of adventure. Perfect for summer, which may I remind you, is all year round in San Diego. This is not your typical "camping food" though. No Chef Boyardee around here! I personally inhaled the Pan Seared Seabass that was served with the most buttery sweet corn succotash in less time than it would take to set up a tent. They even serve smores for dessert. I'm telling you, legit camping in heels. 

~Parc Bistro-Brasserie and the Corner Draft House are only two blocks apart, but the two restaurants couldn't be more different. Here's how I would depict the two: the first is Charlotte Gainsbourg eating oysters ($1 each during HH) and sipping rosé, while the latter is Jennifer Lawrence eating truffle fries and drinking an amber ale. Both are wonderful. 

~I have a crush on Madison. I feel like she's a lady on the streets but a freak in the sheets. At first glance, it seems like you're walking into a small neighborhood bar. But as you progress through the 3k square foot indoor/outdoor space, it turns into a dining room, complete with a sky-high vaulted ceiling made of wood joinery and cedar walls in colorful geometric patterns and shapes. And she knows that the way to my heart is through my stomach. She charms me with Mediterranean inspired dishes like the Belgian Salad with Ahi and the Gnocchi with Jumbo Shrimp. Trust me, you have to meet this girl.

~I know I'm throwing a lot of feminine references at you today, and I may have been listening to Beyonce for hours, but this next place I want to tell you about is my version of Baby from Dirty Dancing. Piacere Mio is the little sister to the wildly popular Buona Forchetta, but she sure lets loose once you give her a chance. I met Baby by accident, while on a hunt to try a new place on my lunch break. I fell in love quickly.. with each item that was set in front of me. From the steaming hot doughy bread served alongside an herbal infused olive oil, to the lightly fried calamari, and of course the freshly cooked Ravioli di Carne ai Fungi, everything was so delicious. I'm not even kidding, even my iced tea was on point. You know why? Because nobody puts baby in the corner!!! 
{Come ooooon. You knew that was coming.}

natasha

June 12, 2016

In Love With..

Smoked Trout, Pullman, Kewpie, Parsley & Caper Shallot Salad, Trout Roe at Herb & Wood

-We're well through my birthday month, and it has been the best one in decades. Three decades to be exact... Yes kids, I am officially thirty. How wild! With that being said, the past few weeks have been jam-packed with amazing activities, and if you're interesting in hearing about what I've been up to, please, read on..

-Kicked this month off by spending Memorial Day weekend relaxing in the desert. We stayed at the La Quinta Resort, which embodies every ounce of fabulousness that is associated with being a Waldorf property. It was absolutely relaxing. I indulged in a facial at the spa, noshed on some delicate scallops at Morgan's in the Desert, and kept cool with a few vodka lemonades by the adult pool. 

-After two days of soaking up the sunshine by the pool, I decided to liven it up a bit and drive two hours northwest to LA. The highlights of spending 24 hours in the city of Angels was definitely our stay at the posh Beverly Hilton, and brunch at Republique. Thank gawd for those yelp tips, because it urged us to get to the popular restaurant a little earlier and miss the outrageous line that circles around the corner after 9 am. 

-The following weekend the girls and I jetted off to Vancouver! What a stunning city. We got extremely lucky with the weather, so plenty of outdoorsy activities ensued. It's so lush and green up there that I just wanted to be outside. Always. Since it was everyone's first time to Canada, we willingly partook in all the touristy musts: conquered the Capilano Suspension Bridge, biked around Stanley Park, and wandered around Granville Island. Some of my recommendations? The Rosewood Hotel Georgia is just stunning! We loved the convenience of having a rooftop bar, a speakeasy and one of the best restaurants in the city right there on the property. I have nothing but great things to say about our dinner at Hawksworth, which exudes excellence in every criteria - ambiance, food and service. Also had great meals (and then some) at L'Abattoir and west OAK

-In between the weekend trips I've been trying to get caught up with the evolving restaurant scene right here in San Diego. Let's see.... here are the places that stand out in my mind: Coasterra offers some of the most stunning views of the downtown skyline with a side of guac. Jayne's Gastropub is my new favorite hidden gem, serving an eclectic menu full of traditional English favorites, in the confines of a charming cafe setting. I opted to have my actual birthday dinner at Herb & Wood, and it was honestly the most perfect way to celebrate. Malarkey's new place is breathtakingly beautiful. From the second I walked in, I was instantly transported back to 1903, circa Picasso's blue period.. feeling like I was joining him for a chilled glass of white wine in his house in Spain, while we munch on some freshly caught seafood, blissfully unaware that the hustle and bustle of Little Italy is just outside the door. 

-This latest weekend was spent with some of my best girlfriends that came into town for the birthday festivities. We decided to get a room at the Rancho Bernardo Inn, so we could catch up at a cabana by the pool, sneaking off only to enjoy some treatments at the spa, before getting ready for dinner at Avant. It is such a beautiful property that really made our staycation feel like we were far, far away from responsibilities of real life. 

natasha

April 9, 2016

Copenhagen, Denmark - Part III

Before coming to Copenhagen, I spent several days exploring around Stockholm and Riga. 
Both places were relatively small in comparison to the Danish capital,
so it was a nice change of pace to immerse myself in this busy metropolitan city.

On our last day there, we ventured outside the city centre and away from the mainstream attractions. 
We first headed towards the uber-hip district of Vesterbro,
passing through the red and green light districts on our way.  
I absolutely love the urban vibes in this underground part of the city. 
It's actually the way I've always pictured Scandinavia.. just really effin cool.
 Later that day, we decided to check out the self-declared free state of Christiania.
I'm not even sure how to begin telling you about it, because it kind of blows my mind.
First of all... what is it exactly?
Christiania is a neighborhood that spans about 84 acres, and houses nearly 850 residents. 
What started out as a "social experiment", is now considered by many as a giant hippie commune.
Known as the free town, Christiania is regulated by special law,
 which transfers parts of the supervision of the area from the municipality of Copenhagen to the state. 
I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I walked through the gates, but I quickly fell in love with the culture.
I highly respect the residents of Christiania for marching to the beat of their own drum.
They use their own currency, and wave their own flag.
They eat organic food, smoke weed, and love the arts in all forms.
And they are absolutely, positively worth a visit.
After walking for miles and miles on our last day in Copenhagen,
we worked up quite an appetite. 
In true form, we had to salute our Scandinavian adventure with an amazing meal. 
We selected Kødbyens Fiskebar as it has quickly build a reputation as one of the top ten seafood restaurants in Europe. 
Why else? Tuhhh.
They always say that looks can be deceiving, and the fish bar is no exception.
Hidden in the midst of the edgy former meatpacking district, 
the restaurant looks like a simple fish shop from the outside.
But true beauty exudes from the inside, 
where the former protégé of Noma's René Redzepi, Anders Selmer gives ordinarily hum-drum dishes 
a "New Nordic Cuisine"-style twist.
We managed to snag a seat around the dramatic cylinder-shaped aquarium in the centre that doubles as a raw bar, 
and proceeded to nosh on the most gorgeous dishes that protruded out of the minimalistic kitchen.
It was the perfect way to end our trip, and if you find yourself in Copenhagen anytime soon,
I highly recommend for you to stop by and try this place for yourself!

natasha