Monday, November 13, 2017

New Vista-Based Online Shopping Site for Creating a Beautiful Home- Charming House Market

NEW AROUND THE TOWN GIVEAWAY! Charming House Market is a new online shopping startup based out of Vista that is a company run less like a business and more like a community. Maybe you saw them on my top 10 list of local businesses I want to support this holiday season with my shopping dollars. With its mission of “#creatinghome and helping others do it, too” they know using your life and home has to be a choice despite your circumstances. That’s why they offer quality, affordable home goods, handcrafted items and are launching an inspirational blog to help you do just that. Please take a few moments to breeze through their beautiful site and look them up on instagram at @charminghousemarket.

P.S. I hope you will along with me consider looking at this company to do some of your holiday shopping with. You will find many affordable options and you will be best of all supporting a new company and supporting local.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Solutions for Change is Successfully Addressing the Homelessness Problem in North County- Can You Help Too?

Solutions for Change is on a mission to solve family homelessness permanently-not contain it or manage the symptoms.  They differ from the traditional containment model that offers short-term shelter, food handouts, and other Band –Aids that perpetuate rather than solve the problem. They provide a hand up not a hand out. 

Lives are being rewritten as a result and they are breaking the cycle of homelessness for generations to come. They do this through a 1,000 day program that equips their participants with the skills, knowledge, and resources they need to gain and maintain physical, mental, and financial health.  Their work in our community is making a real impact. You might be amazed to know that of those who graduate from their program, there is a 93% success rate! They have solved family homelessness since 1999 in San Diego County for 850 families and 2,200 children. 

They also have a unique and innovative enterprise that uses their Aquaponics Farm to generate income for the programs by selling the lettuce to the local schools and restaurants and also provides job training. Teaching the parents in the program to get up, suit up, and show up.  These are just a few reasons my family has decided to partner with Solutions For Change! You can check them out at Solutions For Change and maybe you would like to partner with them too? 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Family Fun at New and Improved Belmont Park

When is the last time you played like you were a kid? Belmont Park invited me and some friends to come play with them this week and boy did we have fun! I can't even begin to list all the things that we did but here are a few: rock wall climbing, zip lining, riding rides, mini golf, laser tag and laser maze. It was my first time to the park in decades. They have really been working on improvements and adding more fun things to the park as well as all new restrooms. Parking is free which is fantastic. If it's been a while, maybe you should go check it out! If you have even half as much fun as we did it will be worth your time. Thank you Belmont Park for a wonderful day! We all slept well after our busy day of play.

Friday, August 25, 2017

iFLY Indoor Skydiving is Now Open in Oceanside

There's a new thrill in town and it's called iFLY Indoor Skydiving.  If you have ever wanted to know the feeling of flight without having to freefall out of an airplane, this is your chance!  I went to their grand opening on August 23rd and experienced flight for myself.  Let me tell you about it...

I watched with anticipation, as many of you did, the construction process in Oceanside, along the 78 freeway by the El Camino Real exit.  Viewing the magnitude of the tower from the road, it was hard to imagine anyone soaring to the heights of that structure.  I was impressed with the facility.  It is warm and comfortable. The flight tube is open for viewing in the center of the room so everyone can view the action.  I learned a few pointers while waiting my turn.  The first step after booking your flight is to take a short class with 10 to 12 classmates, where you will learn the basics of how to fly and also how read your guide's hand gestures.  Next you will get suited up in a jumpsuit (it goes right over your clothes), goggles and earplugs.  Wear closed-toe shoes, preferably with laces and leave your jewelry at home or remove before flight.

Now it's time to fly!  One by one, your group of 10-12 will be taken into the flight chamber, but don't worry, your certified flight instructor will be with you to help and guide you as you get used to the 90 mph winds blowing beneath you.  After 1 or 2 minutes of flight at about the 4-6 foot range, you will exit the chamber and go to the back of the line. I like to call this "getting your feet wet."  You will get another turn to do your thing (guided again), then if you desire, your instructor will grab the handles on the side of your suit and take you in circular motion to the top of the tower and down several times.  Flying high in the tower or doing tricks are advanced moves and require training, so the average novice will not be able to do these things. You can rest assured that there is someone there to guide you and look out for your safety while you do basic maneuvers.  Did I mention that the instructors are very kind, patient and even funny?  They really know how to set nervous flyers at ease.

The flight was exhilarating. It was a bit more athletic work than I imagined it would be.  Holding position while trying to relax into pose, while battling high winds takes a lot of muscle work and stamina.  People might balk at at the short 2-minute flight experience, but the truth is that it is tiring and the average person is exhausted after 2 minutes.  If flying really interests you they have classes you can take to advance your skills. Cool, right?

iFLY has you covered for birthday parties (how fun would that be), corporate events and group activities.  Please give them a lookover and don't hesitate to drop by the business and see how it is done. I can tell you that I saw all ages, sizes and fitness levels giving it a try, and almost anyone can do this.  Last week they had a 3 year old and an 85 year old fly!  This iFLY is one of the few franchised iFLY businesses and is run by a former Navy Seal and his wife. You can find iFLY at 3178 Vista Way in Oceanside or give them a call at 760-606-4359.  Reservations are recommended. Visit soon and tell them you read about them on Around The Town!

Monday, August 21, 2017

College Students get Amazon Prime for Half Off!

Prime Student - Did you know that COLLEGE STUDENTS can get half off the fee for Amazon Prime? 

It's a great way to get free shipping on their needs while in school! They also get FREE streaming of movies and shows, plus special deals just for students!  Check it out on the above link!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Free 2-Hour Personal Shopping Assistance from Stylist Jennifer Rosson at Fashion Valley Mall

If you've been with Around The Town long, you have heard me talk about stylist Jennifer Rosson and her website Style Your Life. I have had many opportunities over the years to glean valuable information and inspiration from Jennifer. This lady has a lot to offer. Twice I have hosted a mini style seminar (yes you can hire her to come to you one-on-one or you can invite friends over and have her speak).

Another FREE opportunity to use Jennifer is provided by Fashion Valley Mall. If you contact the mall and sign up for an appointment with Jennifer, you will get her exclusively for 2 hours to help you with your styling or shopping needs (the mall pays her fee). Sweet, right? Please check her out and "like" her page for lots of good info!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Get Air Vista Offers Summer Discounts through Groupon!

When summer boredom hits, bring the kids to Get Air Vista to put their energy to good use!  Right now they are pairing with Groupon to offer some great rates up to 39% off. To browse this offer or purchase, click this link.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Try Temecula Creek Inn for a Relaxing Getaway just Minutes from Home

- Sponsored Post -

Temecula Creek Inn invited me out to stay with them and share my experience with you. I want you to know that whatever I share with you is not influenced by this invitation, but that I am conveying my own thoughts and opinions on my stay.  I know that many of you have come to trust my recommendations and I want to continue to earn your trust.  I just wrapped up a wonderful stay on a Sunday/Monday in May, and can tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  

Even though it's known as a golf and wedding destination, when I think of Temecula Creek Inn, I think of relaxation and restoration.  It's set apart from the rest of town on a quiet stretch of I-15, with an abundance of rustic, natural beauty going on throughout the compound.  One of the features I enjoy the most is the roaring waterfall. There is nothing more chill than to grab a glass of wine and hang out in one of the seating areas in front of the water display. Even when it's busy on property, there is always a quiet hush at Temecula Creek Inn. Maybe it is the rush of the wind through the trees, or maybe it's the sound of cascading waters, but it really is peaceful. You truly do feel like you are someplace else and out of the ordinary.

Rooms are comfy, clean and nicely appointed, with decor touches that reflect the spirit of the inn.  Each room has a deck that invites the outdoors in. Blood orange scented toiletries by Tarocco smell divine and are provided for your stay.

If you are a foodie like I am, then you will also enjoy a top-notch dining experience at the on-site restaurant, Cork Fire Kitchen.  This place has it all: an inviting ambiance, golf course views, a creative farm-to-table menu with locally-sourced produce, fantastic tasting, five-star dishes and friendly and courteous waitstaff. I can honestly tell you this restaurant is in my top five. Every meal I have enjoyed here has been a total treat, far exceeding any expectations. 

Are you someone who likes to keep busy on your getaways? Temecula Creek Inn will work fabulously for you as well.  Activities you can expect to find on-site or in the immediate area include golf, wine tasting (you are close to the heart of Temecula wine country), shopping (try Old Town Temecula), and indulging in casino action (Pechanga Casino is just two miles away).    

Temecula Creek Inn offers a great opportunity for a quick getaway or staycation. You can relax like I like to do, or pack your stay full of exciting activities.  It's an easy 30 to 60 minutes from most points in San Diego County.  Bring your spouse or bring a friend, but just come!  I hope you enjoy this property as much as I do! Join their email list to keep abreast of special pricing, packages and happenings.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Lakehouse Hotel & Resort in San Marcos- A Fantastic Staycation or Girlfriend Getaway

-Sponsored Post-

Lakehouse Hotel & Resort in San Marcos, California, got it's name because it is reminiscent of a summer lake house. It is where comfortable and rustic are married with refined luxury. For those of us in North County, Lakehouse offers the perfect staycation or girlfriend getaway.  Only 10-30 minutes from most north county cities, you can pull up to the resort and feel like you are somewhere totally away from it all. In fact, it's hard to believe you are still in San Diego County. The beautifully updated compound boasts two pools and hot tubs, gorgeous xeriscaping, comfy seating around the pool, a full-size BBQ, seasonal bar, lake views, fishing, boating, kayaking and SUP on the marina, and has two golf courses just around the corner. When you check in, there is a schedule provided of weekly activities available to you around the resort like poolside movies, morning yoga and more.  Rooms (start at $159 a night), suites (start at $169 a night) and cottages that start at $359 a night.  Rooms are modernly outfitted, comfy, clean and crisp and have the amenities you want when you are away from home, like free WiFi.  I have stayed in a standard room which was fantastic, but I recently stayed in a Shore Cottage and that was simply amazing. When you go with the Cottage you are going to get all kinds of extras like private decks with fire pits, two bedrooms and baths, a kitchenette with fridge, dining table and family room and you will be right down on the water with full lake views and sounds of swans honking. You also get extras like bottled water daily, free use of non-motorized watercraft daily, and s'mores kits to cook up over your personal firepit. I highly recommend the extra splurge on the cottages for larger families or girlfriend getaways.

One of the treats about staying at Lakehouse Hotel & Resort is that there are two wonderful dining options on-site.  You have Decoy, offering an upscale option upstairs and a more casual floating bar/restaurant downstairs that goes by the name of Dockside Bar.  Upstairs you will enjoy a rustic but very upscale lodge feeling with plush blue velvet couches to relax on for some conversation and drinks, or you can pull a chair up to the bar or toasty fireplace.  The dining room boasts full views of the lake and is wall-to-wall windows for your viewing pleasure. You will find interesting foods on the menu such as bison, quail, foie gras, selections from the sea including octopus, and you can also find more traditional menu items like pasta, chicken, lamb, salads and lobster.  Breakfast is also available Monday through Friday 7-11am and weekends a brunch buffet is offered from 10am - 2:30pm.

Downstairs at the Dockside Bar, you will find more casual  menu items like: fish and chips, chicken wings, nachos, salads, pizzas, sandwiches and more, served up with an open-air, lakeside view in a colorful, vibrant atmosphere. Brunch is also available downstairs on weekends from 10am-2:30 pm.  Happy Hour is 4-6pm daily.

I hope I have painted a picture for you of a welcoming resort with plenty of beautiful scenery and interesting activities, because that's what Lakehouse Hotel & Resort is.  Whether you stop by for lunch or dinner or book a little getaway, I hope you will visit soon and tell them that you heard about them on Around The Town. 

P.S. Something to look forward to... Just recently the resort has added concerts on the lake, and the first one took place in March and kicked off with DSB, a fantastic Journey tribute band. I am looking forward to upcoming concerts on the lake, especially The Pettybreakers on September 30th. I hope you will plan to be there and hear some great music with a spectacular backdrop.  I will be sure to let you know when tickets go on sale.

Friday, April 21, 2017

BoomersGo-Karts, Mini Golf, and Other Attractions for 2, 4, or 6 or a Party for Up to Eight at Boomers! (Up to 56% Off)

Summer is just around the corner and Boomers is a great place to take the family. With this offer from Groupon you can get discounted entries for groups of 2, 4, 6 or 8 and save up to 56%.  Sweet!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Rebecca's Garden- A Carlsbad Treasure Trove!

YOU GUYS! did I ever find a treasure of a spot today! It's called Rebecca's Garden and I honestly was going to walk right past it when my friend noticed the sign and we doubled back and I'm sure glad we did! Do any of you know about this place? It's on State Street in Carlsbad. Sometimes when I go to Succulent Cafe I use the parking lot on State Street just a block away. I have walked past this treasure trove without even seeing it before. From the street it's just this little sign leading you down an alley into this outdoor wonderland of garden goodies. Becky, the owner is sweet and delightful and this place showcases her talents and passions. What I really love is that her prices are for everyone. She gets things at a savings and then she passes those savings along to us. Everything is very affordable. I can't wait to bring some friends and go back and do some shopping. When you come in, tell her that Barb from Around The Town sent you. Sorry, no Facebook page to reference. Word of mouth is what she uses. ❤️ Go soon! Shop local, shop small.  For more photos, please see my post on Around The Town's Facebook page.  She is open Monday through Saturday 11 AM to 5 PM. Rebecca's Garden can be found in the alley next to Leap of Faith Crafts and Fine Vintage Goods at 3087 State Street.

Friday, April 14, 2017

The VIP Experience at Outlets at San Clemente Could Be YOURS!

Checking out the VIP experience at Outlets at San Clemente with all kinds of complimentary goodies. WOW you guys! So how you can get the VIP experience yourself? You can check out the link in the comments to learn more about the VIP program, yes.

If you want to know the easiest way and definitely the funnest way to get the VIP treatment I can tell you how it works. You are not going to believe it and you're going to wonder if there is some sort of catch. I can tell you, there is not. All you have to do is get at least 10 of your friends together and contact the mall in advance and you will be set up with a complementary VIP experience.
You will be welcomed to the private VIP lounge with a glass of champagne and over the course of the day you are free to partake in any snacks and beverages including up to two beer or wine beverages. They will even customize your shopping and VIP experience and put together a special package of discounts and offers selected to accommodate your shopping likes and interests. If you want to shop and then order lunch in the VIP room, they will set that up for you through Ruby's Diner (this part you pay for). There are other ways to customize your special day as well. They also offer a complementary strollers and will hold your shopping bags for you. Isn't this FABULOUS? So start planning your day ladies and don't forget to mention that Barb from Around The Town referred you. To get started setting up your VIP day email them at:

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Annie's Trail and Mushroom Caves a Great North County Hike

Annie's Canyon Trail in Encinitas is a beautiful hike that leads you to some amazing views and sites like the famous Mushroom Caves.  There are many access points and ways to do this hike.  For a sneak peek, check out this video.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Check Out Parmenter Physical Therapy San Marcos

If you are in need of a gentle and effective physical therapist, or know someone who is, please check out Parmenter Physical Therapy in San Marcos (across from the high school). She's an amazing therapist whose praises I've heard sung in our community over and over. She has spent a lot of time keeping up on the latest therapies and techniques through continuing education and is now performing Active Release therapy that works with soft tissue management and injuries that often come with overuse, injury or repetition.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Diamond Valley Lake in Hemet for Beautiful Views and Blooms

If you are looking for an alternative to Anza Borrego, try Diamond Valley Lake in Hemet for gorgeous blooms. I saw my friend Nina's photos and knew I had to go. It took us an hour and 10 minutes to get there leaving from Oceanside. Will go faster on way home.

Be sure to bypass the large visitor center and museum and head up the hill to the marina. Also be sure to check hours before you head out and make sure it's not a Monday or Tuesday because they are closed. Parking is $9 and tickets to walk the trail are $2 each. Be sure to have sunscreen, water and sturdy shoes if you do the 2 mile circle. Path is rough, uneven and steep in places. I was shocked how many dressed up people were on the trail for photo opps.

Flowers on the trail included: California Poppy, Arroyo Lupine, California Goldfields, Brittlebush, Chia, Canterbury Bells, Caterpillar Phacelia, Owl's Clover, Baby Blue Eyes, Blue Dicks, Rancher's Fiddleneck, Bush Monkey Flower, Indian Paintbrush, Tidy Tips and Red Maids.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Catalina Up to 44% Off!

Don't miss this opportunity to go to Catalina R/T for up to 44% off regular pricing! These R/T Catalina Flyer tickets will sell out quickly. Please note this offer leaves from Newport Beach ONLY, and once purchased you have until November 1st to use it. Because of it's popularity, I do recommend that you book as much in advance as possible once you have your tickets. I use this offer from Groupon every time I visit the island. Such a great deal!  Click here to browse the offer and purchase.  

Monday, February 20, 2017

$15 for Online Course to Earn Certificate of Completion for Driver's Permit

If your teen is 15 (or soon to be), this is the first step in their process to get their driver's license. The price is right and the course is online so they can work at their own pace. Once they pass they can take their issued certificate of completion to the DMV to apply for their permit. We personally used this company and course with both kids.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Sea World (with Perks) for Less

How would you like to visit Sea World for the year for less and get other perks like "friend for free" and free parking included in the deal?  If interested, check it out here.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Beginners Guide to Fitness with Metahuman Fitness (Vista)

This time of year we could all use a little motivation and encouragement.  Metahuman Fitness in Vista is here to help you on your journey to better health and a better body with their unique and proven techniques and workouts.  Is this you?

You look in the mirror and wonder to yourself: How did I let myself go this far?

Whether you are brand new to fitness, or you’ve simply fallen out of shape recently, here is the quick beginner’s guide to get you back on track quickly. Change your in-front-of-the-mirror thought bubble to: Wow, I’m looking amazing! by reading on and taking the action steps below.

Start with Motivation: Why do you want to get fit again? There must be a reason that you desire to change your body at this time in your life. Think about it until you have a very clear, very specific reason.

There is no wrong answer here. We all have our own personal motivators for wanting to achieve our best selves. What’s ultimately important is that your reason is specific and powerful to you.

Once you’ve determined what your motivation is, write it down where you can see it every day. Think about it. Focus on it. Don’t ever let go of it.

Work on Education: You need to eat right and workout smart in order to quickly achieve your goal body. Do you know how to do this? Are you sure?

While there is more information on fitness available to us today than ever before, all of the information noise often gets in the way more than it helps. Don’t expect to know exactly how to get into shape by yourself.

A successful body transformation plan should be made by a fitness professional, like myself. I’ll take your personal information into account and will answer any and all questions to ensure your success.

Seek out Support: It’s time to have an honest and vulnerable conversation with the people in your life who matter the most. Let them know how far you’ve let yourself go. Let them know what your goal is. Let them know why this matters so much to you.

Your success rate depends heavily on the support system that you build around yourself as you begin to implement healthy lifestyle changes.

It’s very possible that you’ll find one or more people in your life who are threatened by your desire to improve your body. While this can be upsetting, try to approach it with understanding. The best scenario would be them joining you.

Please feel free to call or email Metahuman Fitness to help get you started in your Fitness journey to a better you!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Around The Town's New Restaurant Review Program for Restauranteurs


I'm trying something fun and new at Around The Town (ATT) and it is geared towards owners of North County dining establishments. This includes all types of restaurants including those that specialize in breakfast, lunch and dinner but also bakeries, sandwich shops and even pizza.

Are you a North County eatery and would you like a chance to showcase your delectables on Around The Town? If you would like to host a tasting event for between 6 and 8 people, including myself, this is your chance to do it. 

Guests at each tasting event will be randomly selected by contest entry on ATT. YOU select and provide the menu items and # of guests you would like to host and I will give an honest review and showcase the event through a blog post complete with photos and details about the food served. Remember, this is your opportunity to introduce new, fun and eclectic items to all Around The Town followers, so show us your best stuff . If you choose to throw your name in the hat please use my contact form and give a complete detailing of menu items to be served. If your establishment is chosen, I will contact you and set everything up.
This should be fun! Let's do it!