San Diego Zoo

The zoo! One of San Diego’s most famous attractions. If you’re in San Diego for the weekend or you live here and are looking for something to do the zoo is a great option. It’s a little pricey, however coupons can be found online and the entire month of October kids under 12 go for free. A day pass for those older than 12 is $48. There are other options as well that feature tours, shows, the Safari Park and more. http://zoo.sandiegozoo.org/tickets

 A few things you should know before going—wear comfortable shoes. The zoo is HUGE and very hilly. Be prepared for a lot of walking. Also bring lots of water and be prepared to be in the sun for most of the time. Also everything inside the zoo is expensive, which isn’t surprising. Therefore if you’re on a budget think about bringing some food of your own.

 Also be ready to see so many adorable animals! They have quite a spectacular range of exhibits, hence the price of admission. Big cats, elephants, monkeys, giraffes, polar bears, koalas, and reptiles just to name a few. They also have an impressive amount of exotic animals from Asia and cold climates. A new exhibit is coming soon as well—animals from Africa.

 The price is well worth it and parking isn’t too much of an issue. Going on a weekday is the best way to beat the crowds. My review of the San Diego Zoo is a high recommendation, but I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves!

Art Museums in Balboa Park

San Diego isn’t all about the beach and nightlife, it also offers a rich variety of culture and history. If you prefer museums to sunbathing, or want to channel your inner artsy side, Balboa Park is home to fifteen museums, IMAX films, tours, and interactive exhibits.  Recently I toured the Timken Museum of Art which was FREE and exhibited art from different periods, some dating back to the 1300s. Besides the multiple museums there are also several gardens to enjoy. My favorite was the Lilly Garden.

Many of the exhibits are inexpensive to visit and the gardens are free. Balboa Park also offers seasonal and weekend events. For example, they host a haunted maze for Halloween and a Christmas-inspired Winter fest. To check out upcoming events like these and get the know on San Diego’s best museums, visit http://www.balboapark.org

Review: Sushi in San Diego

I have now visited Sushi Kuchi twice, and while the name might cause smirking this restaurant is home to come to the best sushi in Pacific Beach. Sushi Kuchi is located walking distance from the beach and is next to a parking lot where customers receive two hours free parking (which is a lifesaver in PB). The prices are reasonable and they offer a half-off sushi menu, where you can get six rolls for as little as three dollars. My personal favorite is the salmon skin tempura roll with amazing Eel sauce; it also happens to be one of the cheapest rolls! The location is prime, the sushi excellent, and the beachy laid-back vibe makes your meal enjoyable. If you’re looking for a seafood fix less than five minutes from the sea, you have to stop by Sushi Kuchi in Pacific Beach.

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Surfing at Mission Beach

Mission Beach, located north of Ocean Beach and south of La Jolla and Pacific Beach, is a beautiful beach perfect for all kinds of water sports. There’s a boardwalk with an arcade, roller coaster, and games for everyone. Mission also has the ultimate food scene; sushi, Mexican, Italian, even a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich place. Every restaurant is a must-go, the only difficulty is deciding! (If you need help, the California Burrito and Mac-N-Cheese Grilled Cheese Sandwich are a safe bet).  There are tons of water sports to try, the best, however, is surfing. Mission is the best for surfing because the beach has great waves and if you go later in the day the water isn’t crowded. People generally start to clear out around five. Plus, if you go at this time and surf for a while, you’ll catch the sunset. If you go earlier in the day the beach and ocean are more crowded, which makes surfing a little harder. You don’t need to own a board to enjoy the fun. You can rent boards hourly or all day at the numerous rental shops walking distance form the beach. We rented boards all day for $10 at Ray’s Rentals. The water was extremely warm and we didn’t bother renting wetsuits. Surfing makes for a great day, and Mission Beach is one of the best spots!

How To Make the Most Out of Your Tiny Apartment

Getting your first apartment is exciting. You spend tons of time picking out your color palette, obsessively scrolling through Pinterest, and searching for the cutest (and cheapest) home décor online. Everything is great until you show up to your new abode and realize your room is barely big enough to hold a queen size bed, let alone the canopy-draped, furniture filled, heavenly paradise you’d envisioned. But never fear. While having a tiny apartment can be a challenge, there are tons of functional and gorgeous ways to maximize your space.

 1. The Walls Are Your New Best Friends

 Everything is going to go up on them. You may not have a lot of floor space, but wall space—you’ve got plenty! Shelves are the way to go for functional, stylish, and customized decoration. You can buy some and mount them on the wall, or you can create your own.

 To make these boho hanging shelve you will need trays, twine, and Command Hooks. You can purchase cheap trays from Target or Walmart, or go antique and use some retro metal trays. You can even use rectangular mirrors or picture frames, as long as you can drill a hole through them. Start with some sort of rectangular or square surface that either has small holes drilled on the sides or has handles.

Next, string the twine through the sides of the tray. You can keep the twine long if you want the tray to hang down low or keep the string short if you want the shelves to stay higher up. Make sure they are each the same length, cut the twine, and tie the ends in a knot or bow.

 Here’s where the Command Hooks come in. You can also use nails if your tray is too heavy and you’re allowed to put holes in your apartment’s walls. First decide where you want the shelf to be and how high on your wall you’d like to place it. Keep in mind the length of your string. Make sure the hooks aren’t crooked and secure them to your wall. Then suspend the twine on the Command Hooks and let your shelves hang. You can stick some thick double-sided tape to the back of the tray to your wall for more durability. These laid-back one-of-a-kind shelves can now decoratively display your most prized picture frames, plants, and knick knacks.

2. Vanity Corner

 No walk in closet? No problem! Yes, it would be great if your apartment came with a huge walk in closet full of never-ending shelves for your shoes. But if that isn’t the case you can still dress up a corner of your bedroom to create a little space of luxury.

 We’re going to utilize those walls again! Hang two full-size mirrors on two different walls in a corner of your room. You can hang them up with hooks, nails, or use thick Scotch double sided tape. Secure Command Hooks or nails to the wall where you will put your hangers, one on each side of the mirror. You can also hang up a jewelry holder or place a shoe rack on the floor—whatever you have room for. Mount a light on the wall or ceiling above the corner. And viola! You have a glamorous spot to hang up your outfits and check yourself out.

 3. Tapestries

 If you’re not fond of the off-white ambiguous shade of grey-yellow paint your apartment walls came with, invest in a tapestry. Giant wall art is the best way to hide a lot of ugly wall space quickly and easily. If you’re on a budget you can find some beautiful tapestries on Amazon and eBay, it’s also a good idea to use the tapestry as the color focal part of your room.

 If your tapestry is big enough and you want the bohemian floaty look, hang the top of the tapestry with push-pins or small nails. You want the top to be secured to the ceiling, not the wall. Then,  pin the next section of the tapestry to the wall so that the tapestry disguises the corner of the wall and ceiling meeting. Continue to attach the tapestry to the wall loosely so that the fabric hangs over the thumbtacks. The bigger the tapestry is the looser you can hang it and using more tacks will create more overlaps of fabric, which will give your room that dreamy look.

4. Cover those walls!

 You’ve got some shelves, some mirrors, and a tapestry. Now it’s time to cover the rest of that square footage! Use pictures, posters, any kind of hangable décor. Clumping four our five picture frames in one area looks put together, especially if the frames are different sizes. If you don’t have frames, you can also tape just the pictures to your walls and create a design with them, or string them across your wall with twine. If you’re allowed to, another way to dress up a wall is to paint it!

 With a little work you can transform a small space on a tight budget into a room that fulfills your interior design fantasies in a way you thought only Urban Outfitters could. Enjoy!