Sandra

The Hip’Tique Shopping of Cedros Design District

Cedros Avenue Sign
Cedros Avenue Sign

One Stop Shopping along Cedros Avenue

Cedros Design District is a shopper’s Mecca when it comes to a variety of interests. This quaint, dog-friendly neighborhood with rows of boutiques, garden stores, galleries and cafes speak to the true artistic crowd. The multitude of fashion boutiques literally transforms everyday chic into a memorable stand-out style for anyone visiting. Here you can park and just walk to a treasure trove of shopping and cafe experiences.

Cedros Avenue Stores

  • The newest addition to the Cedros family is Gerhard, a women’s and men’s boutique. This is the second location with the original one located in the Del Mar Plaza. Gerhard is known for carrying exclusive luxe contemporary labels. Known for understated elegance with clean lines and wonderfully constructed clothing, this the place to invest in your smart, sophisticated, one-of-a-kind pieces and statement accessories of the season. The owner is a fashion wiz when it comes to being selective with his spot-on pieces and designers that he features throughout the year.
  • A few doors down is the newly renovated Cedros Soles offering an abundance of shoes, purses, jewelry, women’s clothing, and stationary, this is a great place to pick up pieces that can easily be added to your existing wardrobe. The new lay-out of the boutique is so easy to navigate through that it makes shopping here a breeze!
  • At Pink Lagoon Boutique, I always feel a little hipper once I step inside. I am never disappointed with their fabulous assortment of laidback-chic to uptown-smart pieces for women. I am always excited to see their case of carefully selected vintage jewelry pieces! This is also a great place to find the latest books on fashion.
  • Tucci Boutique features urban-polished pieces that will add pizzazz to your current wardrobe. This is a great place to find dynamite daywear to evening glam ensembles. The chic separates can easily transform any look!
  • The darling children’s and women’s boutique of Baby Mabel’s is a darling boutique to shop for children and yourself! Here you can pick up unique children’s clothes and accessories while selecting something for yourself. I love the initial locket necklaces!
  • HIS Men’s Store offers casual shopping just for men. This store is known for contemporary casual pieces with just a certain twist.

Cedros Avenue Stores

  • The jewelry studio CatherineMax showcases gorgeous handcrafted semi-precious jewelry. Everything from the statement pieces to the layering pieces easily transforms your look to a stand-out style.
  • Another favorite jewelry store of mine is, Sala Joya where you can find exclusive jewelry designers that are truly unique with their style and technique. There are some truly coveted pieces here!
  • When it comes to fabulous coffee table books, homegoods and jewelry options, Solo, is the place for you to find that perfect collectible, interesting coffee table book, hand-crafted jewelry, or vintage piece. This super-cool store is a must-see!
  • Leaping Lotus features 115 shops under one roof! The space is 21,000 square feet of furniture, accessories, homegoods, clothing, and jewelry options all under one roof!
  • Close by is the haute dog & cool cat boutique, Muttropolis. Yes, that is right, a dog-and-cat-chic boutique! Shop here for your fashionable furry friend offering a multitude of fun ensembles and accessories.
  • Cedros Gardens is a secret garden within itself. Shopping at this special nursery and garden store makes you feel like you are in someone’s unique personal garden.
  • With all of the easy walking but feverish shopping you will want to add in a stop at the Temecula Olive Oil Company for a tasting of the signature harvest-dated olive oils and vinegars.
  • After this experience your taste buds will be ready for a light lunch at Lockwood Table Cafe. I could go on and on with many more descriptions of Cedros Design District, but I think you might just have to come by and see for yourself!
Tell us in the comments below, where is your favorite place to shop along Cedros Avenue?
Aki

10 Reasons to Explore San Diego’s Mission Federal ArtWalk

Mission Federal Art Walk in Little Italy

Along with colorful blooms and warm winds, Springtime in San Diego brings a signature event that’s as vibrant and lively as the budding flowers of the region.

Mission Federal Art Walk in Little Italy

Each year, Mission Federal ArtWalk takes over San Diego’s Little Italy District for two days, to celebrate the talents of visual and performing artists from California and beyond. Now in its 28th Year, ArtWalk is the largest art event that takes place in San Diego. With over 350 renowned artists displaying their work for purchase, you just may find the next piece of art to covet in your collection. Plus, with musical and dance performances, art activities for the kids, and much more, there’s plenty of things to do, see, taste and experience.

When: Saturday, April 28 through Sunday, April 29. 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Where: 17 city blocks of San Diego’s Little Italy District

10 Reasons to Go:

1. It’s free!
Need I say more? Read on for the activities and festivities for you and your family to enjoy during the two-day festival, all without an admission fee.

2. Live Music
With five stages set up along India Street featuring local bands and musicians, lively tunes will fill the streets of Little Italy. Check the schedule to see who’s playing when and where.

Mission Federal Art Walk Music

3. Dance Performances
New this year, there will a stage devoted to celebrating the dance community in San Diego. “Dance on Edge” features a showcase by Peter Kalivas, Artistic Director of the PGK Dance Project, featuring San Diego’s talented dancers.

4. Art Activities for Kids
Collaborating with leading local arts organizations like The New Children’s Museum, Birch Aquarium and Coronado School of the Arts, ArtWalk presents KidsWalk, a free interactive arts area for kids. Enjoy 20 interactive arts activities with your family, including painting, performing arts, music and more.

5. Food
Situated in what some consider the culinary center of downtown San Diego, visitors have an opportunity to experience the delectable restaurants of Little Italy, as well as street food stands that will be set up at the Festival.

6. Meet the Artists
With over 350 exhibiting artists, the festival provides a great opportunity to meet and engage with working artists, including nationally renowned artists like photographer Chris Honeysett, or ceramicist Hasuyo Miller. For a full list of this year’s featured artists, click here.

7. Acquire an Original Work of Art
ArtWalk provides a rare opportunity to examine a work of art up close, in a casual and approachable setting. The artists are there to tell you about their inspiration and process, providing great insight in to a piece that may have drawn you in at first glance. This is my favorite part of ArtWalk, to see a gem, then have the opportunity to engage with the artist on the spot. With prices ranging from $50 to $15,000, this is a great venue to purchase an original. Whether you’re a novice or experienced art collector, you may find the next perfect piece to add to your collection.

8. Get Outdoors
Experiencing 17 city blocks worth of visual art, dance, music and cuisine with your family only gets better under clear blue skies, balmy temperatures and the legendary SoCal sunshine.

9. Interactive Printmaking Activity
Roll up your sleeves and tap into your inner artist! You’ll have a chance to work with noted artist Valentine Viannay to create an original silkscreen print of your own, or to contribute to a community collaboration piece of art.

10. Learn About Art Outreach in Schools
ArtWalk and ArtReach are committed to promoting the arts in San Diego schools. Representatives from both organizations, as well as from Mission Federal Credit Union, will engage with festival-goers about their commitment to fostering an interest, love and appreciation for art amongst younger generations.

Sandra

Spring Into San Diego Style!

Get Your Spring Wardrobe Ready with Pieces from Mog & Rue, Kyss and Robina Apparel & Accessories Boutiques.

So many people ask me, “What should I pack for my visit to San Diego during the Springtime?” My answer: It is all about the layering factor.

With the average high of 70.5° and low of 54º, layering is key when visiting this year-round sunshine city! I would recommend packing everything from t-shirts, shorts and sundresses to jeans, leggings and tunics. Be sure to add a light jacket or sweater and a lightweight scarf for the cool mornings and evenings. Your “sunnies” (sunglasses) are key for the entire day since this is a destination known for its sunshine!

The fashion, just like San Diego’s ambiance, is known for being everything from stimulating and energetic to laid-back and comfortable. I would plan on adding some San Diego chicness by purchasing a maxi dress with a fitted short jean jacket for women and some surf-chic board shorts with a relaxed soft hoodie for men. We are also a jean-inspired city so you might want to pick up the latest styles in addition to our fabulous lightweight scarves, sunglasses and go-to jewelry!

To help you out on where to find these fashion-relevant pieces here are just a few to mention while exploring our shop-till-you-drop city:

Get Your Spring Wardrobe Ready with Pieces from Mog & Rue, Kyss and Robina Apparel & Accessories Boutiques.

Get Your Spring Wardrobe Ready with Pieces from Mog & Rue, Kyss and Robina Apparel & Accessories Boutiques.

  • La Jolla’s Robina Apparel & Accessories offers an array of what I call generational-dressing. A mother and teenage daughter can easily pick up California-chic maxi dresses or laid-back-luxe t-shirt ensembles that captures the San Diego coolness factor. They are known for carrying unique and hard-to-find jeans, in addition to ultra-chic semi-precious long necklaces and leather cross-body bags!
  • When it comes to men the quaint pop-up boutique called Credible Thread, in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, offers go-to brands for men as well as luxe leather goods. Their own label called, Crfty, is sold exclusively through this boutique. The looks carried here are more simple with attention to detail and quality; think classic menswear with a twist at 20%-70% off of retail prices.
  • Mog & Rue Boutique, nestled in the quaint community of Encinitas, encompasses a multitude of choices for layering pieces and accessories for women. You will always find the latest on-point trends and go-to pieces that can be added to any wardrobe. Their soft flowy cotton tanks and tunics fit anyone’s style, in addition to the colorful flirty dresses, and chic accessories. I always leave with a shopping bag!
  • I love the selection of jeans, scarves and colorful comfy-cotton maxi’s at Carlsbad’s Kyss Boutique. The jewelry selection is heaven for any effortless-chic gal.  With the concept of “Our Store Is Your Closet,” shopping here is a breeze!

Tell us in the comments below, what is your go-to Spring wardrobe in San Diego?

Sandra

The Haute Shopping Hub of Downtown San Diego…Gaslamp Quarter!

Bubbles Boutique
Bubbles Boutique

Bubbles Boutique

San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter is an uber-popular destination within itself covering a 16-block historic district packed with restaurants, wine bars, nightclubs, coffee houses, theatres, and my favorite…shopping! Whether you consider yourself uptown-chic or downtown-cool, the versatile clothing of the Gaslamp Quarter boutiques will serve every purpose to make sure you have the San Diego standout style.

Here are a few of my top picks every time I head downtown:

  • One of my favorite places to stop by is Bubbles Boutique. Known for carrying local jewelry designers, novelty pj’s, and fun accessories it is a must to see.
  • If jeans are your vice then be sure to browse through G-Star Raw. Here you will experience a wide range of every jean style imaginable for both men and women.  The employees will educate you in the art of denim and find the best jean to suit your silhouette and lifestyle.
  • Carolyn’s Designer Resale Boutiquefeatures high-end designer clothing, accessories, and shoes at fabulous prices. They pride themselves in offering coveted designer labels that are in great condition.
Bettie Page Boutique

Bettie Page Boutique

  • Bettie Page Boutique takes you back to the timeless fashions of the 1950’s pinup girl of Betti Page herself. If you love indie-style, retro, or rockabilly clothing be sure to stop by and pick up the latest inspiration.
  • Goga Boutiqueis home of Project Runway’s alumni Gordana Gehlhausen. Since the boutique also features the designer’s studio, you truly feel like part of the design experience while shopping for custom-made clothing in addition to featuring other unique brands. Gordana is known for her evening dresses and gorgeous jewelry!
Eden Boutique

Eden Boutique

  • Eden Boutiqueoffers a wide variety of urban-cool styles. This boutique is easy to navigate through and offers ultra-fresh effortless combinations of great fashions for women and at great price points!
Dolcetti Boutique

Dolcetti Boutique

  • Dolcetti Boutique features fashions for both men and women. The uptown-smart styles for women and the downtown-cool styles for men makes this boutique a great option to shop together! Since they also feature a full salon upstairs you both could accomplish a one-stop-shop before your date night that evening!
Haven Boutique

Haven Boutique

  • Haven Boutique makes you feel like you might be shopping in an ultra-chic hipster’s closet! A very quaint location offering everything from “beach-chic to street-chic” looks that won’t break the bank. The jewelry is also a must-see to make sure you complete your entire ensemble.
  • I can’t forget to mention the specialty stores of Urban Outfitters and Lucky Brand offering boho-laid-back-chic looks for both men and women. These are my go-to stores for the comfortable laid-back coveted styles.
  • Make sure you keep your energy to explore the centrally located Horton Plaza Shopping Center. This shopping center offers 130 specialty stores with anchors such as Nordstrom and Macy’s.

You could plan on one day of shopping in the Gaslamp Quarter but as you can see, you just might want to make it two! Tell us, where do you head first when headed to the Gaslamp Quarter for an afternoon of shopping?

Sandra

A Stylist’s Love Affair with San Diego’s Fashion Valley Shopping Center!

Fashion Valley Shopping Center
Fashion Valley Shopping Center

Fashion Valley Shopping Center

What does a Personal Wardrobe Stylist love to do on her off time? Shop of course! Most stylists consider it an actual sport. As a Personal Stylist one of my favorite one-stop-shopping places to accomplish all goals related to fashion is Fashion Valley Shopping Center, located in the central Mission Valley area. Fashion Valley has been the hub of San Diego’s retail scene for over 40 years. With an abundance of store options and convenient complimentary parking, my goals are easily met.

This outdoor two-level super regional shopping center offers a superior tenant mix of over 200 specialty stores, including an abundance of luxury shopping. With anchor entities such as Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, and JCPenney, it truly is a shopping haven! Catering to 18 million annual shopper visits, more than three times higher than the national average, this shopping center will truly create a memorable shopping experience for all!

Fashion Valley Stores including Michael Kors, Kate Spade and Max Studio

Fashion Valley Stores including Michael Kors, Kate Spade and Max Studio

They’ve just completed a multi-million dollar renovation and I love the new contemporary and comfortable soft seating throughout the walkways. The seating areas now have a “living room” feel to them which is great to either rest your weary feet or, for me personally, to have an intimate place to sit with my clients and discuss their shopping needs. The sustainable new water features offer a zen-like atmosphere while enjoying either a Pinkberry yogurt or a personalized coffee drink. The newly designed food court has a polished updated look reflecting the fashion forward retailers. This is a great area to host larger groups or just to stop by for a quick bite to refuel for your next shopping stop. Did I mention the 18-Plex AMC Theatre right by the food court? This is a great outlet for those who may not consider shopping a sport or are traveling with the family in tow!

Fashion Valley Stores including Banana Republic, Emporio Armani and Forever 21

Fashion Valley Stores including Banana Republic, Emporio Armani and Forever 21

A typical shopping day for me would be to stop by the new two-story location of Forever 21 or the ever popular H&M store to check out the latest fashion trends at affordable prices. I make it a point to visit Michael Kors to see the latest statement purses and watches. To make sure I am on top of the classic fashions for the essential wardrobe pieces, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor and J. Crew have been spot on. When it comes to more whimsical fashions I love perusing in Kate Spade and Anthropologie. San Diego is known for dressing in layers so when visiting Max Studio and BCBGMAXAZRIA I always find new pieces to add to my wardrobe. I am absolutely loving some of the most recent additions like Emporio Armani, which is the first ever in San Diego! Here you will find the ever-classic, beautifully tailored ensembles for both men and women. Ted Baker is another first for our city and is known for its unique stand-out fashions for both men and women. Last, but certainly not least, I am super excited for the Spanish retailer, ZARA, to be heading our way in the Fall of 2012! Keep in mind that this is just one day for me since the next day would be another list of fabulous seasonal-solution stores to visit.

Hopefully, with all of this shopping intelligence I hope you take up the sport of shopping and experience Fashion Valley Shopping Center in the very near future!

Sandra

Top 10 Fashion Trends for Spring 2012 in San Diego

Neiman Marcus Top 10 Trends for Spring 2012
Neiman Marcus Top 10 Trends for Spring 2012

Neiman Marcus Top 10 Trends for Spring 2012

Is your wardrobe ready for Spring fashion? No worries if you are still preparing, you still have plenty of time.

I recently had the pleasure of attending Neiman Marcus’s Spring 2012 Trend Report that Ken Downing, Senior Vice President and Fashion Director, creates every year. Neiman Marcus, located in the Fashion Valley Shopping Center, is very fortunate to have a newly appointed Style Advisor, Alex Yanez. Mr. Yanez has been personally chosen by Ken Downing to be the style voice of Mr. Downing himself. With only eight Style Advisors throughout the 41 stores, San Diego is lucky to have one! Mr. Yanez presented on the following Top 10 Trends for Spring fashion in San Diego:

  1. Pink is the new black! All tones of the color pink from pale pink to “shocking” pink
  2. Yellow will be the new neutral
  3. Silver shoes; from sandals to wedges to heels
  4. Tribal revival for prints
  5. Sports Influences or another way to say it “Chic Athleticism.” Perfect for San Diego’s climate and lifestyle
  6. Prints from head-to-toe! From floral to graphics, anything goes
  7. Fancy Pants! Prints on pants to be showcased as the statement piece of your ensemble
  8. The dramatic earrings
  9. The clutch; carry a clutch for day or evening
  10. The Spring Face: A strong brow, soft lip and little rouge. Be sure to add retro sunglasses, like the Cat-Eye frame, for a picture perfect Spring face

The fashion show was so colorful and inspirational that it made me want to immediately purchase something bright and cheerful from some of the featured designers! San Diego’s Neiman Marcus is fortunate to currently have in stores the exclusive Resort/Spring collection for Nina Ricci, Erdem and Roland Mouret, just to name a few!

With Spring around the corner you will want to be sure to plan a shopping trip to Fashion Valley knowing that Neiman Marcus will be leading the way and heading you in the right direction for Spring Fashion!

Sandra

Sleek & Chic Shopping in San Diego’s La Jolla!

Pink Lagoon

Shopping in La Jolla is like no other. Known for a plethora of restaurants, breathtaking views of the coastline and inspiring sunsets; La Jolla offers a unique setting for shopping adventures. You can easily stroll throughout the village of La Jolla popping in and out of known retail stores such as Banana Republic, Francesca’s and Chico’s but also enjoy coveting the current fashion trends by shopping in some of the local boutiques.

Kerut Boutique

Kerut Boutique

Kerut Boutique

I found some of my favorite gems at Kerut Boutique. If you need to add apparel, jewelry, shoes or accessories to your wardrobe Kerut has it all from exclusive brands from all over the world. The owner has created a modern yet warm atmosphere so visitors feel welcomed and relaxed while they peruse thorough a multitude of choices of unique day-to-evening pieces. Offering “six-star service” with free overnight delivery, basic tailoring, personal shopping in-store or at hotels; this boutique is a must see!

Pink Lagoon

Pink Lagoon

Pink Lagoon

Pink Lagoon is a women’s boutique known by the locals as one of their trustworthy places to shop in Solana Beach where the original store is located. We are thrilled to have a second location in La Jolla with each location having distinctive “looks.” The La Jolla location is known for a more glamorous yet urban-chic look and carries the latest go-to essential items that transcends in to each season. This is one of my favorites!

Laura Gambucci Boutique

Laura Gambucci Boutique

Laura Gambucci

Laura Gambucci caters to the innovative fearless fashionista’s who want to stand out as their own label. The owner wants to be a step ahead of the trends and magazines on what is the current “It” ensemble for the season. From clothing to handbags, purses to shoes this is a women’s boutique with a certain “coolness factor” that you won’t want to miss.

More La Jolla Shopping Choices

I would not be of service if I did not mention my personal shopping haven of Studio 1220.  I am always indulged with choices when shopping at this boutique for the perfect urban-polish ensembles. Robina Apparel & Accessories carries a wide assortment of ultra-fresh styles that appeal to all ages! Tootsie’s Shoe Boutique is a family owned and operated shoe haven where I personally love to get my latest must-have shoe!

Some other noteworthy boutiques and specialty stores to mention is the LF store known for their innovative trends and variety on current fashions for women. Another one is Boutique La Donna carrying European brands for women. Lastly, Lululemon Athletica known by the “stylista’s” for yoga/workout wear.

As you can see La Jolla not only offers breathtaking views and fabulous restaurants to dine in but also offers a variety of easily accessible fashion relevant boutiques!

Sandra

12 Top San Diego Boutiques to Visit in 2012

Chillers Boutique

What motivates me to exercise in the new year? Shopping at some of my favorite go-to boutiques! I thought I would share 12 must-see boutiques, one to visit each month, in 2012!

LeBelAge Boutique

LeBelAge Boutique

LeBelAge Boutique

LeBelAge Boutique, located in the historic Mission Hills neighborhood, is a rare find when shopping for complete ensembles for any occasion making LeBelAge one of my favorite places to shop. Being a regular there I know that this boutique is always spot on with current trends while still being fashion forward for women. Just be sure to look in every case and corner for all of the treasures that you will find.

Cecilia Boutique

Cecilia Boutique, also in the historic Mission Hills neighborhood, is known for being a so-called “incubator” for rising local design stars. They feature ultra fresh brands for women evoking an overall contemporary feel with comfort. Their vintage inspired pieces and current trends of the season items can be easily mixed together for a fresh take on San Diego’s style.

Vocabulary Boutique

When hanging out in Little Italy, I like to stop by Vocabulary Boutique. Whether you are shopping for women or men this boutique has multiple options for daytime or evening clothing and accessories to personalize your style at great price points. There is even a baby section!

Be Beauty

Another must-shop in Little Italy is Be Beauty. This boutique not only offers current women’s fashions, many brought in from Brazil, but also specializes in beauty services. Get a facial along your nails and make-up done before selecting a chic outfit to go out in!

Goga Boutique

In the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter is Goga Boutique, owned by one of Project Runway’s alumni, Gordana Gehlhausen! This innovative designer not only offers her one-of-a-kind dresses but also features some unique brands that compliments her own pieces. Stop by for either an uptown-glam or urban-chic look.

Dolcetti Boutique

Just around the corner from Goga Boutique is Dolcetti Boutique. I love this boutique for effortless combinations of either daytime or casual evening looks. There is also a wonderful men’s section offering the latest in jean trends. This is another great option to beautify yourself while shopping since there is a full service salon upstairs. Be sure to check out their accessories too!

Studio 1220 Boutique

Out of the four locations of Studio 1220 Boutique, I like visiting the one in Point Loma located in Liberty Station. This boutique focuses on casual-chic looks with fun accessory pieces. I know I will always be able to find just the perfect blouse or scarf or jacket there! Their footwear selection is also very enticing.

Chillers Boutique

Chillers Boutique

Chillers Showroom

Another great shopping option is Chillers Showroom in Pacific Beach. Concentrating mainly on women, with a nice contemporary selection for the guys, the style here is a laid-back California-chic look offering effortless combinations. It is very easy to find some great layering pieces, tunic-style t-shirts and unique local jewelry designs.

Mimi & Red Boutique

Mimi & Red Boutique has a plethora of street-chic ensembles at fabulous price points. The selection of modern looks including jackets, accessories and blouses at affordable prices always seem to complete my shopping checklist. I never leave empty-handed when shopping at the North Park location.

Junc Boutique

Junc Boutique, a rustic-modern boutique for both men and women in the hip South Park neighborhood, offers some great finds conquering more of a bohemian-look. The boutique has an eclectic mix of clothing and accessories while showcasing some great local art. You can also pick up the perfect housewarming gifts!

Capricorn Boutique

The Parisian-inspired brick house where Capricorn Boutique resides is located in the Birdrock area of La Jolla. This boutique dedicates itself to carrying unique and special clothing lines and accessories for both women and men. The laid-back-luxe looks really inspire you to attempt to be a little bit more hip. The owners research unique and special lines to take on an effortless-chic approach.

Tucci Boutique

Tucci Boutique

Tucci Boutique

My last top 12 boutique to visit in 2012 is Tucci Boutique in the Cedros Design District. This boutique has a coolness factor where you can find the latest styles for women’s clothing, accessories, jewelry and shoes. You can find everything for those unique date night ensembles or work-chic pieces. They carry hard to find brands that truly fit San Diego’s uptown-smart style.

Where will you be shopping in San Diego this year?

Sandra

Winter Style…San Diego’s Version

Brandy Melville

Winter in most locations can be defined as cold and blustery sometimes stifling your dressing style. Cool, crisp mornings leading into warm and sunny afternoons define the typical winter day in San Diego; so our winter-style is usually the “art of layering.”

With average daily highs of 66 degrees and lows of 50, we start off with coverage and by afternoon, jackets are off! When visiting San Diego in the winter months, you might want to pack some t-shirts, tunics, sweaters, leggings, jeans and a jacket. Don’t forget to throw in a few fabulous scarves and sunglasses!

Brandy Melville

Brandy Melville

Most shopping in San Diego will offer you a variety of layering options. One of San Diego’s newest additions, Brandy Melville, offers a variety of loose-fitting tees, soft angora sweaters, jeans and maxi skirts. Women of every age will find something here to add to their wardrobe while not breaking the bank.

Max Studio

Max Studio

Another great place with great layering options is Max Studio in the Fashion Valley Shopping Center. This is a great location to find some versatile sleek-and-chic monochromatic layering pieces like tunics, leggings, sweaters, sunglasses and jackets. They also sell my go-to pant called the Ponti Boot-Cut Pant (great for travel)!

Mog & Rue

Mog & Rue

Make sure you stop by the seaside community of Encinitas to shop at Mog + Rue. This ultra-fab boutique carries both established and independent designers showcasing classic and casual yet fashion forward ensembles. The owner is a widely published fashion and beauty writer who has a keen eye on the definition of the San Diego laid-back-chic look.

With so many layering options to purchase, my top three items to pick up before you leave would be a pair of fabulous sunglasses, jeans (we have an abundance of choices) and an ultra-chic maxi skirt. All three will prepare you perfectly for Spring!

Suzzanne

12 Reasons to Visit San Diego in 2012

San Diego Skyline

San Diego Skyline

As we celebrate the start of 2012, I’ve put together my list of 12 reasons you should visit San Diego in 2012. In no particular order…

1. The Best: In Travel + Leisure’s recent America’s Favorite Cities Reader Poll, San Diego was voted the #1 Destination for Best Weather and Best Spring Break. We also scored #2 for Best Summer Vacation, Family Vacation, 4th of July Destination and Most Attractive People.

2. Fabulous Food: A slew of restaurants are slated to open or have recently opened to offer visitors amazing culinary choices. Hot on the radar is UnderBelly which recently opened in Little Italy, Saltbox inside the Palomar San Diego hotel, and Brian Malarkey’s latest venture, Gingham.

3. A Whale of a Time: Majestic California gray whales make their annual migration from the Arctic waters to the warm lagoons in the Gulf of California for breeding. These “peaceful giants of the sea” come within miles of San Diego’s coastline.

4. Worth the Money: Budget Travel Magazine came out with it’s Top 10 Budget Travel Destinations for 2012, and named San Diego among them. Be sure to check out our 25 free things to do in San Diego. One of my favorites…Mission Bay Park.

5. Attraction Action: This year, SeaWorld will debut their latest new coaster with sting ray interactive touch pool and observation windows called Manta. Swooping over sea and sky, Manta will not only inspire riders with amazing underwater animal habitats, but then take them on an exhilarating ride on a launch coaster shaped like a giant manta ray!

6. Craft Brew: San Diego is home to the nation’s best brew pubs including Pizza Port which just recently won Small Brewpub of the Year at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival.

7. The Beach…enough said: With over 70 miles of beaches, it’s no wonder that in June 2011, The Travel Channel’s famed “Dr. Beach” announced his annual picks for the Best Beaches in America and Coronado Beach was named No. 2.

8. San Diego Nightlife: San Diego’s nightlife scene has never been hotter. San Diego was among the top 10 hottest New Year’s Eve destinations according to a hotwire.com survey. Visitors can celebrate all year long in the Gaslamp Quarter with over 100 restaurants and clubs, it is the place to be any time of year.

9. Get Your Culture On: Be sure to visit Balboa Park and its 85 cultural and recreational organizations. My favorites are the San Diego Model Railroad Museum and The San Diego Museum of Art. Not to be missed this year is the new exhibit at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, Black Holes: Space Warps & Time Twists.

10. Surf Culture: San Diego is widely known for its laid back vibe with some of the best surfing spots in Southern California. To top it off, we are also home to the world’s first Center for Surf Research at San Diego State University (not a bad way to spend your college years!)

11. Walking with Art: Spend the days outside under the sun browsing local art at numerous sidewalk art shows including San Diego Artwalk, Artwalk on the Bay and the monthly Ray at Night and Kettner Nights.

12. The Great Outdoors: San Diego’s temperate weather allows for outdoor activities all year round. Go hiking along the water in Torrey Pines State Reserve or mountain biking through the natural landscapes of Mission Trails Regional Park. Here are a few more ideas to get outdoors. There is no reason you should stay inside while in San Diego!

What do you have planned for San Diego in 2012?