Friday, December 28, 2018

Meet The Jacklins of Eclectic Vintage Design in Oceanside

Meet Kim and Rick Jacklin of Eclectic Vintage Design in Oceanside!  Three years ago they purchased a building on Mission that sold used furniture. Their intent was to paint the beautiful furniture there and offer workshops to customers to teach them how to paint their own furniture. Today, you can find them in their brand new, beautiful location at 4259 Oceanside Blvd where creative classes are offered and you can find the goods of dozens of local crafters and makers, as well as free-trade goods.
Rick, a San Diego native and SDSU graduate, wanted to return to North County after he retired from his CPA position in Northern Idaho. His wife Kim is a retired bank executive.  She has an extensive background in commercial and residential design. As an artist herself and with a large community of artists surrounding her, she understands the compelling artistic drive and passion to create. She also understands first-hand the frustration with the process of getting crafted goods to the marketplace. She believes that with so many cheap imports flooding our markets today, that our talented artisans and makers are often overlooked. Rick and Kim's goal is to help local vendors and the local community find each other! Their desire is to create a unique retail experience which is beneficial for both the artist and the shopper. Through various workshops and creative parties, they hope to help people enjoy their own  talents and learn new ones too.  Stop by soon and see what they are all about!  Tell them that you learned about them on Around The Town! Remember, when you shop at stores like Eclectic Vintage Design, you are doing the important and rewarding work of supporting local artisans and makers as well as local small business!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Setting Up a Household Emergency Kit

It's always good to be prepared for an emergency, so I just wanted to get everyone thinking about being prepared, just in case.  There are many situations that require an emergency kit for peace of mind and emergency preparedness ranging from big storms to wildfires. When an emergency situation strikes, time is of the essence. Find a sturdy, portable container or tote and assemble the following:

  • 3 days worth of food and water, and can opener if needed
  • first aid kit
  • battery powered or hand crank flashlights, radio and batteries if needed
  • duct tape and trash bags for sheltering (see for details)
  • regional maps
  • items for personal sanitation or specific family needs (hygiene, pet supplies, etc.)
  • medical masks to protect against air-quality issues and infections
  • small amount of cash in case ATM's are down (5 days worth is ideal)

Remember to keep your kit updated and fresh. Check twice a year or more if needed. Has your power gone out? not a bad idea to unplug appliances and electronics, turn off heating/cooling systems to avoid damages that come with power surges once the electricity is restored. Leave on one lamp so you will know when power has been restored. It is a good idea to make a family emergency plan that includes meeting places (one nearby and one further away). Keep a copy of this plan in your kit. Teach all family members to text. Even if phone lines are down or backed up, texting will usually go through. Being prepared = peace of mind.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Importance of Adding Local Theatre to Your Life

When I was a young girl growing up in the Bay Area, in order to get out of the neighborhoods and onto the freeway, you had to drive past this little old playhouse in the city of Lafayette. I remember the rustic wood shingled building and a sign that had masks on it much like this picture. I always wondered what went on behind those walls. I had no idea. I never met anyone that went to see a production there. I just knew that someday I wanted to find out what it was all about.

Flash forward, (I won’t say how many years 😉) and local theater has become a big part of my life. I’m very thankful that Moonlight Stage Productions, The Star Theatre, Vista's Broadway Theater, productions at local high schools and the former Avo Theatre have pulled me in. I can’t tell you what a treat it is that local theater has become a regular part of my life and something that I value and look forward to. I’ve seen some really amazing shows and I feel like I am greatly enriched because I have. I love that local theater gives local talent a chance to grow and bloom and we all get a first row seat. I also love that they provide so many opportunities to get our young ones involved, both on the stage and in the audience. I would like to encourage you to make local theater part of your life as well if you haven’t already.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Meet Carla and Linda of Carla and Linda's Walking Food Tours

1.  Tell us about yourselves:
Carla and I met 23 years ago in Victorville, CA. We have been a couple for 22 years. We have lived in North San Diego County for 16 years. We love food.

2.  What inspires you  about food in north county?
The young Chefs are not afraid to experiment with foods. Cheese does go with fish when done properly. I love that I met Chef Darryll (Masters) at Cyclops Farm. He was there because he wanted to feel the dirt from which his veggies were grown.  I love that a lot of the Chefs did other things before they found their calling; Chef Marc (Petite Madeline) was a nurse; Chef Willy (Mission Ave Bar & Grill) trained to be a mechanic.

3.  How did you get your start?
When we first moved here going out to the Olive Garden was something special. We now know what real good food tastes like and we will never go back. We want other people in our community to know what good food we have right here in our own back yards. We support local food, chefs and farms. Oceanside had a bad reputation for a long time so the food scene kinda surprised a lot of people. We are happy to be part of the explosion.

3. How does a walking food tour work and how much does it cost?
We charge $49 per person. The tours run on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 1:30 to 4:30pm in Oceanside and Saturdays from 1:30 to 4:30pm in Vista as well. We spend about 30 minutes or so at each place so you can get a feel for the restaurant. We do private tours during the week with certain minimums. We walk you around to 4 restaurants and provide all of the food, beverages are available for purchase at the restaurants. We have great relationships with the Chefs/Owners so we get off-menu dishes from most of our establishments. We also give fun facts about the area as well as telling you about the restaurants and Chefs.

4.  What are your favorite parts about running a walking food tour business?
The people. We love to share our experiences with others and this is the perfect stage. We are excited about food and love when we can share it with others. We have made many friends. It gives us joy when we have people return to take another one of our other tours.

5.  If someone wants to take a food tour, how they go about that?
They get on their computer or phone and sign up. or Linda's private cell number is: (760) 401 5968. They can use code: fun10 to get $10 off. If you want a private tour you will need at least 4 people and pay full price. You will get to choose what day and which tour...the times stay the same at 1:30 to 4:30pm.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

An Interview with and Tribute to Nancy aka "Farmer Jones" of Alta Vista Botanical Gardens

Nancy, tell me a little about yourself, your background and how you came to work with Alta Vista Botanical Gardens.

I was born in San Diego and raised in Lemon Grove, attended UCSB (with a year in Germany) and earned my teaching credential at SDSU.  I finished my MA in Special Education in 1979. Don and I have been married since 1974; our two sons grew up in North County and have graduated from UCSD and UCLA respectively.  After 28 years in the classroom, I retired from teaching elementary school in Vista Unified in 2006.  I was asked to come to AVBG to help start their Children’s Garden in 2008, I joined the AVBG Board, and “Farmer Jones” ended up as Chairman of the Committee.  We ran a contest to name the Children’s Garden and chose “Bugs, Birds, and Butterflies.” In addition to the existing small Earth Day Festival, we added the Fall Fun Festival in 2009 and are celebrating our TENTH FFF on October 20 this year.  It’s a great experience – creating scarecrows, bobbing for apples, decorating punkins, making crafts, and enjoying the ambience of the Gardens.  Vendors, food, and a plant sale are all part of the Fall Fun Festival experience.  Many student and adult volunteers – and our dedicated Board members – make it a super day!

About how many kids do you filter through your program each year and what brings you the biggest joy working with kids and in the gardens?

After our first FFF in 2009, we started monthly Kids in the Garden classes and still offer them on the second Saturday of the month from 10 am to noon for a low $5 fee; these classes are free for family members.  The schedule is listed on the AVBG website .  We also offer field trips for students in local elementary and middle schools, as well as homeschool groups.  We have served 4000 kids in ten years of Kids in the Garden and field trips.  My greatest joy is seeing kids relax, open up, hike to the bottom of the hill and back up, and make discoveries out in nature.

What are your hopes for the future with your program?
I hope that kids and their parents will become more familiar and comfortable in the outdoors, and appreciate the beauty and tranquility of nature.  There’s a BIG beautiful world out there and experiencing it first-hand is a million times better than on an electronic device!  We will continue to offer outdoor experiences and hope to expand programs as more teachers and families discover the Hidden Gem that is Alta Vista Botanical Gardens!

I see you also work with The Woman's Club of Vista. What does that program do in the community and how can someone become involved if they wish?

Membership in The Woman’s Club of Vista GFWC is open to all – women and men! I served as President from 2013-2017 and currently serve as Treasurer.  Our Club is 102 years old and we’re growing with active members who are ready to volunteer!  We work on projects with organizations in the community (such as AVBG, Operation HOPE-Vista, Women’s Resource Center, Gently Hugged, Rancho Buena Vista Adobe, Alabaster Jar, and many others), and we donate supplies and food. We celebrate our Donation Day every May when we donate to organizations suggested and supported by our members.  In June we award scholarships to students graduating from six Vista schools.  Our busy Club has won awards for our projects from our international Federation.  The Club’s website is .  Contact information is in the newsletter which is posted on the website.  All are welcome to visit and join!

What city do you reside in, and what do you love about it?

We have lived in rural Vista since 1987, and we love the open spaces and parks for hiking and nature experiences.  I love the people I am privileged to work with – curious kids, caring parents, and devoted volunteers.  It’s small-town Vista every day, with many opportunities to grow and serve – which is how I fill my days.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Rancho Buena Vista Adobe Tours

Rancho Buena Vista Adobe, located at 640 Alta Vista Drive (across from the Civic Center) is a beautiful, fascinating, historical adobe dating back to 1845 that has been preserved for your viewing pleasure by the city of Vista. In fact, if this adobe had not been built, the city of Vista as we know it would not be established today as the surrounding area was built around it to support its function!  Learn about the history of the adobe and the many families that lived in it, as well as what life looked like on this homestead. Also onsite are a lovely gift shop and art gallery with rotating presentations.

Tours are provided for a nominal fee on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays between the hours of 10am and 3pm (last tour starts at 2:15).  Guided tours are also available. Admission: Adults $4, Seniors $3, Students $1 and children 12 and under .50.  The adobe also has field trip opportunities for local schools as well as summer programs. Different events are held on the grounds throughout the year and it is also available for wedding and special occasion rentals.  What a beautiful backdrop it is!  If spooky is your thing, join in the Spirits of The Adobe tours ($25) that take place select evenings once a month. For more on that, call 760-643-5275.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Carla and Linda's Walking Food Tours (Both Vista and Oceanside Tours Available)

Boy did I have a fun afternoon on my first ever walking food tour! I recently went on the maiden voyage of Carla and Linda's Walking Food Tours NEW Vista tour with a group of wonderful food-loving people. We started our tour at Starbucks in the village where we all assembled and introduced ourselves. Our first stop was Belching Beaver Brewery Tavern & Grill, where after a brief walk we enjoyed crispy plantains topped with pit-roasted mojo pork and dressed with cilantro, citrus sauce and me so honey cream. Next visit was Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen for house-made pasta with veggies, sausage, micro greens and a carrot reduction sauce. Next we looped around to When Pigs Fly BBQ for a smoked rib with slaw. We finished our tour by walking back to Little Cakes Cupcake Kitchen to indulge in our choice of cupcake. I selected chocolate peanut butter and it was divine. 

All along the tour we were blessed to be able to chat with the chefs and owners/operators and find out more about them, their food and restaurants. While on the walking portion of the tour Linda told us great little facts about different pieces of art and businesses along the way. One of the fun things about these tours is that ahead of time we have no idea what we will be served. We just show up and enjoy!

I highly recommend this experience and you might want to know that they have an established Oceanside tour as well. I definitely plan to do this again in the future. Find out more at