Category Archives: Home

20 Facts on Pet Ownership in the U.S.

We’re wacky for our pets; it can’t be denied. They may require tons of time and energy, lead to high hospital bills and even increase homeowners insurance rates, but they’re always worth it. Check out some of the crazy things we do for our pets — from including them in family portraits to giving them presents on their birthdays.


Pet Ownership in America
Via: Homeowners Insurance

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Filed under Animals, Family, General, Home, Resources

The Ground is Shaking. What to Do?

I’m not gonna lie, my disaster preparedness plan is flacid to say the least.  But the earth has been moving more than usual as of late, so it is high time to get a plan in place.

This article from the North County Times, offers an excellent refresher on proper earthquake safety protocol.


Drop, cover and hold on. Do not run outside. And forget about standing in a doorway.

The region’s been jiggling a lot recently —- including a 4.0 magnitude temblor on the Imperial County line Thursday morning, just one of hundreds of aftershocks from the large Easter quake centered near the U.S.-Mexico border.

Confused and potentially risky reactions to the recent quakes, especially the bigger ones, reveal that plenty of people still need to brush up on earthquake safety, said emergency services personnel and quake experts recently.

Full story here.


Filed under Community, Education, General, Home, Resources

Fiesta de los Penasquitos

We moved to the burbs about five months ago.  I was leery about this change, to say the least.  However, since being here I have felt an overwhelming sense of community and have quickly settled in.  Yesterday was the 15th annual Fiesta de los Penasquitos – a family oriented annual street faire for residents of the Rancho Penasquitos community.

This community festival exceeded my expectations.  It was jam-packed and it seemed like every single resident came out to enjoy the fun.  There were carnival rides, ponies, booths with community information, crafts for sale, food and entertainment.  It reminded me a lot of the annual community festival in my hometown – the Conejo Valley Days.

It is nice to have a sense of community in my adopted home town.  I’ve lived in San Diego for 12 years now and this is the first time I have really felt that sense of community involvement – aside from the overall San Diego County pride.

Here is a little more about the event from the website:

Approximately 15,000 people will set foot in Rancho Peñasquitos to attend the annual “Fiesta de los Penasquitos” community festival. The Fiesta de los Penasquitos is a family oriented annual street faire for residents of the Rancho Penasquitos community.

The festival has been an annual event since 1995 and is the largest event of the year for the Rancho Penasquitos Town Council. In keeping with the tradition of past events, all proceeds from the event are returned to the community in the form of individual and organizational grant awards. The 15th Annual Fiesta de los Penasquitos is being held on Sunday, May 2, from 11am to 5pm. The event is FREE to the public and is sponsored by the Rancho Penasquitos Town Council.

This year’s entertainment will feature four unique zones: the “family fun zone”, the “adventure zone”, the “community zone” and the “carnival zone”. With over 150 vendors providing arts & crafts, food, home improvement tips, a rock climbing wall and Fiesta Fun Tent for children of all ages as – there’s truly something for everyone!


Filed under Activities, Entertainment, Family, General, Home, Shopping, Sights, Tradition

Pennies on the Dollar

Living in San Diego affords residents with many shopping options.  I’m a world-class cheap skate and hate wasting time, so I have figured out how to be pretty successful shopper without ever having to go to the mall.

We all know that mother knows best and of course that rings true again.  We just moved into a new house a few months ago and we still working on decorating with window coverings, lamps and miscellaneous odds and ends.  Mom is in town this week and she has taken it upon herself to dress our windows. 

Cindy Crawford's line on sale at JC Penny's.

I am happy to let her take the reigns because I don’t even know where to begin when it comes to window coverings.  Her first destination: JC Penny

She’s been there three times in the past five days.  I went with her yesterday and I realize that the woman is on to something.  The housewares section in Penny’s is extensive and very high quality.  What’s more, every thing is marked down significantly … well, to ‘pennies’ on the dollar (had to go there). 

Don’t get me wrong, you’re not going to get dollar store prices, but they have very good sales – buy one, get one for $1, etc. – on many of their good-quality home wares.  Beautiful lamps, drapes, furniture, art, etc. 

If you are on the market for housewares, JC Penny’s may not be front-of-mind for you (as it wasn’t for me).  But I’m here to tell you that it is not a place to overlook.

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Filed under Home, Shopping

The Window Factory

Windows aren’t something you buy everyday.  In fact this was our first time buying them.  But I’m pleased to report we had a very pleasant experience. 

We had three guys over to give us estimates.  The first was from a big, orange powerhouse who didn’t really feel he had to work for our business or compete on pricing because of his company’s size.  The second was your typical “I’m not one of those sales guys who hard sells” sales guys; and of course he hard sold … but never followed up.  The third, Kevin from The Window Factory, was kind over the phone and in person, called before to confirm, called after to follow up and made us feel very comfortable.  Plus his prices blew the competition out of the water. 

Naturally, The Window Factory won our business.  Our windows were installed today.  We are so pleased.  Not only do they look great, but also the guys who installed them were polite, respectful, took the time to explain the job and worked fast.

From start-to-finish, The Window Factory made us very happy customers.  I doubt we’ll need new windows any time soon, but if you do, you should definitely keep them in mind.


Filed under Home, Resources, Shopping

Addicted to Golden Share

If you are a carry-over reader from The Trail Mix Trials or a friend of mine, you’ve likely seen/heard me talk about Golden Share Foods before.  If not, Golden Share is the largest food sharing co-op in Southern California. 

Each month, they put out a menu of grocery packages to order, and then at the end of the month you go to your pick-up location and get it.  The savings is knock-your-socks-off good.  We’re talking about enough meat to last an entire month or enough food to stock your pantry for less than $30, respectively.   The prices are so good, we can’t stop going back for more.

And yes, it’s legit stuff. They even offer organic produce.  We still haven’t finished our order from last month and this Friday it is already time to pick up the February order.  

If you’re looking to save a buck, Golden Share is the way to go.  It is open to any one that makes a difference in their community.


Filed under Cooking, Family, General, Home, Shopping

Shopping at Home without a Computer

Living Room Turned Boutique

With the day-to-day integration of the internet into our lives, shopping at home is no new revelation.  However, there are often unknown variables with online shopping, like the way something feels or fits, that can’t compete with going to the store.  I’ve found a perfect middle ground.

Lolly O'Dorisio

My friend Lolly is a consultant for the Etcetera clothing line and runs Shopping Therapy by Lolly out of her home for one week each quarter.  She invites people into her home for private shopping appointments, which is so out of the norm and just as fun as it sounds. 

 Last night I went to her house to check out the spring line.  Every time I go I want to buy at least 4-5 pieces, but have to restrain myself and stick to getting just one. 

Etcetera clothing is more expensive than what I typically buy, but the quality is second to none and every time I wear a piece from the line I get tons of compliments. 

This is a really cool way to catch up with friends and shop in a comfortable environment.  It is a very unique experience.  Lolly is always willing to show people what she’s got for the season, so if you want to check out the spring trunk show let me know and I’ll put you in touch.  The last day for this season is Thursday.

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Filed under Home, Shopping