La Costa Resort

Baby You're a Firework. #imagelogger 4th of July Weekend

Summer is in full effect in Southern California. This 4th of July found us beach side, at Omni La Costa Resort and Spa for fireworks and up to LA for some fun in the pool at my parents house. 

I've had tons of fun playing with the automatic features of my Samsung NX300 this week - action shots, fireworks and creative settings have helped capture some great moments this past weekend. Also loving the new 30mm "pancake" lens I'm trying out. It makes the camera much smaller, and I love the way it focuses on the subject while blurring the background. 

Also celebrated my Dad's birthday this weekend with some of my FAVORITE CUPCAKES EVER: Sprinkles!

Even little Daisy May got a special treat!

I couldn't get enough of the late afternoon light in parent's backyard... 


All images in this post were taken with the Samsung NX300 SMART camera. Samsung provided me with a camera to participate in the #Imagelogger program. All opinions and photographs are my own. Over the next few months I will be sharing images taken with the NX300 SMART camera on Twitter, Facebook and here on my blog. If you want to follow along and check out some of the images the other Imageloggers are taking - just follow the hashtag: #Imagelogger 

Get Ready For Valentine's Day: Hit the Spa or Plan a San Diego "Staycation"

We all know that Valentine's day is about bringing the love... and nothing says love better than a day at the spa or a weekend in a swanky, downtown hotel. If you are lucky enough to live in San Diego (or even Southern California) here are my two picks for getting reacquainted with your significant other.

La Costa Resort and Spa

If you follow me around on my various social networks, you know how much I LOVE La Costa. Yes, it's five minutes from my house but there is still something magical about spending the day at the spa there. I feel like I'm hundreds of miles away instead of just three. While a nice bamboo massage or aroma rain massage will also put you in a loosey goosey mood, for V-day you can always spice it up with one of these Valentine-inspired treatments:

Champagne Mimosa Massage Indulge in a champagne infused full body massage. Helps reduce muscle tension and increase circulation.  Relax afterwards by the spa dipping pool with a complimentary signature Spa Bellini. 

Sweet Red Rose Facial Revitalizing and nourishing, this Sweet Red Rose treatment will assist in toning and reducing visible signs of aging.  Rich in antioxidants and vitamins, this facial is sure to deliver a refreshing boost of firming hydration. 

Romantic Journey for Two Enjoy a 50-minute Suite Hearts Couples Massage followed by 45 minutes leisure time en-suite to enjoy after the massage.  You will enjoy your own private Jacuzzi and patio area while indulging in champagne and chocolate covered strawberries.


But maybe a night away is more up your alley? Downtown San Diego is always a great spot to spend the night and feel young again. 

W Hotel San Diego

Last year, the W San Diego in downtown San Diego completed a $5 million renovation that includes a new lobby, signature restaurant, rooftop bar, spacious indoor and outdoor meeting facilities and event spaces. Referred to as the “Living Room,” the lobby includes vibrant colors in a lounge-like atmosphere with a DJ some nights. They also have a new bar, "Rooftop" that combines cocktails, bonfires, private cabanas and views of the city and San Diego Bay. 

Two things to note: If you live in California, you get a 10% "locals only"rate. Also, take advantage of the "Acura Experience" - a free 5 mile ride. But book it early as it fills up quickly. 



The Kawasaki Disease Foundation Gala - Can you help?

Just going to be upfront on this - I'm going to tell you a little story that may pull at your heart, then I'm going to ask you for a favor…


My baby boy was 9 months old.

Sweet, little Lucas had just celebrated his first Thanksgiving, was starting to pull himself to a standing position and was about to celebrate his first Christmas. One evening, Jason and I took him to Balboa Park, to what used to be called "Christmas on the Prado" to see the lights. He was all bundled up and tucked in tight to his stroller when our friend looked down at him and said "Wow, I never realize how red his cute little lips were!" Jason and I stared at each other, both of us wondering why we had never noticed either. 

We were only 9 months into this parenting thing. Maybe the baby was cold? Maybe he ate something he shouldn't have? Thoughts raced through our minds. The next day our sweet boy had his very first fever. We called the nurse line and doled out the proper dosage of infant Motrin and gave him a lukewarm bath. Our normally happy baby was crying and sleeping and visibly uncomfortable. The next day the fever continued on. His lips grew redder and his eyes were a little bloodshot. Monday came with an early visit to our pediatrician. She made note that this looks "something like Kawasaki Disease" - but told us not to worry.. that was a very rare illness. She told me not to Google it and freak myself out. She put him on antibiotics and sent him in for a chest Xray to rule out pneumonia. 

This was before smartphones - with my day spent at doctors and caring for my little one, I didn't Google Kawasaki Disease...but when he was admitted to Rady Children's Hospital the next day, I wish I had.

Kawasaki Disease is the NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF ACQUIRED HEART DISEASE IN CHILDREN. And going on 8 years later, doctors and scientists STILL don't know exactly what causes it. 

We were lucky.

At the time, many pediatricians weren't trained to recognize and treat KD, and far too many parents were losing their kids to this disease. Our doctors diagnosed the disease in time for a successful treatment. Thus far Lucas has had no lasting heart damage. But as the research continues to grow and mature along with the little hearts affected by KD in the past, we are learning that things can always change.

That's why Jason and I are standing together to not only raise awareness for the disease, but help raise funds for the continued research of this disease.


Saturday, November 17th is the 4th Annual "To Save a Child's Heart" Kawasaki Disease Foundation Gala.

This is going to be an amazing culinary evening at La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, celebrating all we know and raising money to keep on answering the millions of questions still unanswered. 

At this event, 18 celebrity chefs will cook table side for intimate groups of 8 people. Some of the top chefs from around the country and coming in and donating their time for this cause. I'm proud to be on the committee helping with the gala. I'm happy that I can do anything to give back the community that was there for us when we needed them 8 years ago.

If you are interested in attending the event, you can find more information on the chefs at

But even if you can't be there - I would still love your help. 

To help raise money at the event, we are looking for donations for the silent auction portion of the evening. 

Anything from gift certificates to restaurants, bottles of wine, work-out memberships or a basket of products would be greatly appreciated. 

I'm going to be collecting items over the next few weeks. If you can help in anyway, please let me know. 

Yes, I'm begging. Because I'm still scarred from the experience and learning all we can about this disease is the only way I can help other parents not have to go through what we went through.