Welcome to the big beautiful NEW Blawnde site!!! Ahhhh I’m so excited about it! I wanted to incorporate some things that make it easier for you guys to find posts you want to read, shop items you like, and roam around a little quicker. As before, the BLAWNDE homepage is a pure space and always will be. I’m not interested in cluttering it up with ads and marketing or product promotions for brands I don’t even use. It may have gotten an extreme makeover, but BLAWNDE is still the same old G. I hope you love it as much as I do! 🙂
As obsessed as I am with my new site, I’m even more obsessed with San Diego! Since moving here 4 years ago, I’ve found so many favorite places and things to do. It’s such a magical place with great weather and so many fun areas to explore – there’s always something new and fun to do. Over the last few years, I’ve nailed down my ultimate faveys and can be found at any of these places at least several times a month. If you live in SD and haven’t checked them out yet DO IT! And if you’re visiting SD, these guys are not to be missed! Since I travel a lot, I’m going to do these posts for more cities I love to share my personal faves with you because whenever I go somewhere I ALWAYS wanna know what the cool stuff is. Currently home for a few more days before heading back out so I’ve been soaking up and savoring this dreamy dozen in San Diego…
TORREY PINES (La Jolla) – My all time favorite hiking spot in San Diego! Insanely gorgeous views and different trail options to keep it fresh. I do the beach trail at least 3x’s/week at a leisurely pace and it’s the most cathartic outdoor experience around.
RANCHO VALENCIA (Rancho Santa Fe) – It’s no secret I do EVERYTHING here because they do everything so damn well! I do yoga in their uber serene Balinese style yoga pavilion, I get my mani/pedis here because they have the yummiest reclining chair you can sink into and forget where you are, I get massages here to take advantage of their private outdoor shower option post-treatment, I go out for fun nights + live music with my girlfriends at their Pony Room Bar (always order my fave drink – the Hacienda – tequila, lime juice, basil), and I work for hours over breakfast in their restaurant, Veladora. Oh, I also play tennis here on one of their 18 courts. Yeah, I have a problem.
CEDROS DESIGN DISTRICT (Solana Beach) – The shops/restaurants on Cedros are SO cute, unique, and fun. There are tons of jewelry stores, art galleries, home decor, furniture, clothing shops, lunch spots, and cafes. Cedros is also home of a super fun intimate live music venue called the Belly Up and my favorite clothing store, Tucci (see below). This is a super fun avenue to spend an afternoon walking up and down. Do NOT miss SOLO, the chicest home “warehouse style” store that is like a cooler version of Anthropologie home goods/stationery/candles/random special finds.
IRONSIDE FISH & OYSTER (Little Italy) – This place wins for most interesting decor hands down! The inside is a mix of retro and hip, including a piranha heads wall and a Titanic era shipwreck vibe. The oysters and seafood are off the charts and the cocktails are crazy cool. Always a packed and energizing vibe and perfect for a fun Friday night out downtown.
TUCCI BOUTIQUE (Solana Beach and Del Mar) – This is my favorite boutique in San Diego and with good reason! All of my favorite designers (Rag & Bone, Helmut Lang, Alexander Wang, Cosabella, L’Agence, Isabel Marant, James Perse…I could go on forever…) can be found here and I am alway popping in and getting myself into trouble with new merch because everything that comes in is so good.
FASHION VALLEY MALL (Mission Valley) – On the flip side of boutiquey shops is San Diego’s biggest shopping mecca – Fashion Valley. Any store you can think is here. I always cruise here when I have a day to spend making the full rounds between all my faves like Neiman’s, Nordstrom, and Bloomingdales. I never leave without a meal from True Food Kitchen (see below).
TRUE FOOD KITCHEN (Mission Valley) – TF holds a special place in my heart because the first one was in AZ down the street from my house and was a major staple in my life throughout college. I almost hyperventilated when we got one in SD. The menu features healthy, anti-inflammatory foods developed by Dr. Weil but you don’t even think about it as a healthy restaurant because it’s so delicious. I love their green juice cocktails, bison burger, kale salad, salmon, and chia seed pudding. You can’t go wrong with anything here.
DRYBAR (Del Mar) – Any of you guys with long hair will appreciate this one. You know it’s not exactly the most fun and quick task to wash and style your hair. On the days I’m super busy, I duck into DryBar and go power mode on my emails and phone calls over a glass of champagne. By the time I’m done, my hair looks like Gisele’s (which isn’t quite how it looks when I do it :)) smells like heaven, and I didn’t have to lift a finger. If that’s not a good deal, I dunno what is.
LA JOLLA FARMER’S MARKET (La Jolla) – This is my favorite farmer’s market because I can walk to it from my house and spend a whole morning cruising every stand, tasting fresh fruits and veggies, and chat with vendors. It’s still small enough to be relaxing and leisurely and the flowers are to die.
VAN DE VORT (Del Mar) – This is Flower Hill’s coolest boutique addition! They carry more trendy, unique brands like Stone Cold Fox, Vanessa Mooney, Cleobella, Child of Wild and Maurie + Eve. They also carry my favorite swim brands like Mikoh and California Dreaming which are hard to find in San Diego stores. If you want some more bohemian chic, different things this is the place to go!
HAPIFISH (Encinitas) – Well, we know sushi runs through my veins, so this place has a special place in my heart. They make the most insanely delicious rolls, specialty sashimi (Salmon Sunrise – mmmm!), and poke (ahi and salmon are to die). I also love their jalapeno miso but it’s so spicy I go half regular half jalapeno. I could eat every meal here because it’s casual, easy, and always delicious. They also have tamari which this gluten free girl super appreciates.
BANG BANG (Gaslamp) – Any place with a Ryan Gosling bathroom is a favorite by default. Oh, there’s a Hello Kitty one too! This restaurant/club has super fun decor and great sushi. This is where I go when I want to go out for a girls night but not to a creepy bar or club. You can go at happy hour for a more mellow dining vibe or later to get crazy and dance. Make sure you have a table before you go!