Toast of Downtown – Sip, Savor and Shop

•January 9, 2016 • 1 Comment

I’d have to say this holiday season for me was one the most busiest, most festive and, last but not least, the most FUN! I was going to on average 3 to 4 holiday parties/charity fundraising events a week and boy that can get pretty exhausting (yes, having a blast with your friends and dancing on Tuesday night with a belly dancer can sure leave you pretty tired, lol). Out of all the holiday events that I attended this season I’d say one holiday event that was definitely in my top 3 favorite holiday events was the Toast of Downtown!

The Toast of Downtown is Holiday event in the Gaslamp Quarter and East Village which took place on Saturday, December 12, 2015. It is the ultimate foodie/cocktail/shopping crawl where 20 bars, restaurants and boutiques create 20 holiday cocktails, 20 small plates plus exclusive gifts & shopping discounts. What I love about this event is that it’s in the afternoon from 1-5pm, whereas most holiday parties are in the evening so it was a nice break from the norm πŸ˜‰ We first started off at Florent Restaurant & Lounge where their new Executive Chef Brad Hightow created a Foie gras bread pudding with strawberry black pepper jam and Chanatilly cream paired with their signature Sunset Mule (See photo). It was delicious! Here are a few of my notable favorites from the Toast of Downtown:

Whiskey Girl:
Winter Supper Slider: sliced turkey and stuffing topped with homemade gravy paired with a Blue Peppermint Candy cocktail

McFadden’s:
Mini Irish Tacos: shredded corned beef tacos served with lettuce, pico de gallo, homemade mayo, lime juice, cilantro and cayenne pepper sauce paired with a Cranberry Candy Cane cocktail (Wow, this was an amazing taco! $2 for this same taco on Taco Tuesdays!)

Blue Point Coastal Cuisine (My #1 favorite):
Crab and mango salad with a coconut lime emulsion paired with a Boardwalk margarita: pear and pineapple (The flavors in this combo was outstanding! Kudos to the Blue Point Coastal culinary team!)

Royal India: (See photo below)
Chicken tikka masala and basmati rice paired with Blue Heaven cocktail (an Indian classic and one of my favorite Indian dishes. Royal India gave nice large portions, too!)

So, this was my first Toast of Downtown and it was such an unforgettable experience! I can’t wait for next year! Thank you to SDCheers.com for having me attend and be your food blogger for this event! Check them out and LIKE them on Facebook and be sure to follow all of their yummy foodie posts on Instagram!

Cheers!
Inga

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

When home is not home anymore. It means you are growing :)

•November 21, 2015 • Leave a Comment

So, I considered Downtown San Diego (THEE Gaslamp District) my home for the past 6 years. I love my home. I love my friends and my surroundings. But, things are a changing!

I want more. Yes, I want more and there is more than this. Why? Because I am not 20 something out of college with a whole different agenda than the 35 year old me. I actually love who I am now. There is lots to look forward to πŸ™‚

And I know it’s time to move on from the Gaslamp. Time to move on to a new city in San Diego.

Time to travel to Europe. And Ecuador. Finally.  

Writing. Why I took a break.Β 

•October 28, 2015 • Leave a Comment

I love to write. I wrote more when I transitioned from Los Angeles to San Diego 6 years ago. You change a lot in 6 years. In other words, other things become more valuable. My happiness.

I am happy to say that I know now more than ever what true love is. Real love, what unconditional love feels like. My father passed without a warning and I had no preparation for that. I am blessed to say that my father would always be there and never leave his daughter. I am so very lucky and fortunate.

I also know what it’s like to end an unhealthy relationship (business and personal), grieve, learn from it, move on and never look back. No need to. Eww why would you want to go back to something that will always be unhealthy?

I also know what it feels like at 35 (and still getting older and a bit more obsessesed/wiser when it comes to my hobby: cars, lol) being next to the one you love and you can talk about ANYTHING! Watch anything together and want to be with that person more and more each day.

And nibble on them… πŸ˜‰

My Indian Bollywood shoot at the Imperial Sand Dunes

•January 21, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Over the weekend, I finally shot my Indian/Bollywood theme shoot with photographers Sean Selfridge and Todd Johnson. It was a HUGE success!! Gosh these images are amazing! I know why they are amazing…

3 years ago I came up with this concept. 3 years ago I told Sean that I wanted to shoot an Indian theme shoot with a beautiful sari and jewelry out in the Imperial Sand Dunes. Sean said, Inga, whenever you are ready. I knew this was going to be something very special. But I wasn’t completely ready.

3 years ago I was in a different place. I was a different person not entirely happy and fulfilled. This shoot deserved me at my best, happiest and fulfilled in everything. I can say now that I am so happy and I have moved on from everything that made me miserable in the last 3 years. I learned a whole lot.

So, I said to Sean and Todd a couple months ago, I’m ready! Let’s do this shoot! I think it was the best gift I could give to myself. My good friend Saira offered to lend me the clothing and jewelry for the shoot and everything she provided was just SO perfect! I am so grateful to her. And to Sean and Todd for being AWESOME photographers and helping me see my vision to the very end πŸ™‚ Also, a HUGE thanks to Rachel and Scott for helping out and having lots of fun with us on the sand.

Enjoy πŸ™‚

2015/01/img_2842.jpg

2015/01/img_2843.jpg

2015/01/img_2828.jpg

2015/01/img_2841.jpg

2015/01/img_2821.jpg

2015/01/img_2832.png

2015/01/img_2833.png

2015/01/img_2819.jpg

Fall Menu Tasting – Greystone Steakhouse in the Gaslamp

•December 12, 2014 • Leave a Comment

One question I get asked all the time is what I love most about living in the Gaslamp District. Of course, next to my awesome friends and my apartment being located right in the heart of all the madness, I get to see first-hand new restaurant openings/Grand re-openings.

Greystone Steakhouse in the Gaslamp recently went through a major renovation and recently debuted their NEW Fall menu! I belong to an AWESOME local community of foodies and travel enthusiasts called Gogobot San Diego. Gogobot is the go-to place for places to go, guide to the best activities, delicious restaurants, great hotels and bars based on personalized reviews. Greytone Steakhouse invited us to sample items from their new Fall menu on Wednesday, December 3rd. This is how our amazing and unforgettable night went…

When I first entered Greystone, I immediately fell in love with the decor and the ambiance. There is a beautiful seating area where our group was served cocktails while we waited for our table. When our table was ready, our gracious hostess Sara Arjmand, director of operations for Greystone, escorted us to our table. As soon as we were seated, the delicious culinary delights arrived right away! Here is what we indulged in:

Greystone salad with butter lettuce and candied pecan pears
Strawberry – HeirloomΒ  tomatoes with Burrata cheese (pictured)
Wild boar sausage
Australian wagyu beef skewers with shaves of seasonal black truffle (pictured)
Bacon-fig brussel sprouts (pictured)
Pancetta mac-n-cheese
Truffle french fries
Herbed butter corn with applewood bacon
Chef’s choice of NY Strip steak cooked to a perfect medium rare, YAY!! (pictured)
Assortment of desserts that included cheesecakes and tiramisu

What a FABULOUS night with an absolutely amazing and fun group of individuals! I highly recommend Greystone Steakhouse for a night out with friends, special events, date night, entertaining business clients and don’t forget their happy hour! One of the BEST happy hours in the Gaslamp. I would like to thank Sara Arjmand for having me and for being so sweet and gracious! I would also like to thank San Diego Gogobot ambassadors, Tiffany Melone and Becky Mahan, for inviting me to all of these awesome and unforgettable outings. It has been such a PLEASURE getting to know and spend time with you gorgeous ladies! Looking forward to many more fun Gogobot SD events!! Thank you so very much πŸ™‚ Muah!! ❀

IMG_2250-0.JPG

IMG_2255-0.JPG

IMG_2266-0.JPG

IMG_2269-0.JPG

IMG_2387-0.JPG

Mom and the text

•November 14, 2014 • Leave a Comment

So my mom recently discovered texting and I LOVE it!! Haha!! I absolutely love texting and I love that her and I can shoot a quick text to each other about anything, anytime.

It’s so funny because it’s like I can hear her voice and her laughs through her texts, lol! She’s a riot. Our favorite topics of discussion are celebrity gossip (We are OBSESSED with Halle Berry and we love Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie!), unforgettable funny moments and, of course, my dad.

Then, I realized something the other day and it made me pretty sad. It’s been SO long since I actually spoke to my mom on the phone. I thought to myself, I have to call my mom and hear her voice…

So, the next morning, I’m sitting at my desk at work and my phone rings and the caller ID says “Mommy.” I got so excited, jumped out of my chair and answered. She had already hung up. I called back just to make sure she was ok and she was like, “Inga, I just got this new stupid smart phone and I can’t figure anything out on this phone, lol! Sorry I dialed you by accident.” Then, we had such a GREAT conversation! We talked. We laughed. She’s doing great and has her wonderful group of friends in Palm Coast πŸ™‚

As we are saying our good-byes and just about to hang up she says to me “Inga, let’s talk more often. I just love talking to you and hearing your voice.”

Mom, I was thinking the same EXACT thing πŸ˜‰

10402753_782987805085260_7606438205301600054_n

I want to say thank you to my friends

•November 19, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I am so happy in my life. I have an amazing boyfriend, great career and an amazing network of friends.

I especially want to thank those wonderful, sweet, caring and dear friends that have always been so nice to me. Especially in the past year. The ones that have been supportive and have always, ALWAYS wanted the best for me and see me happy. These are the friends that are happy to see me in a better place now and want to do nice things for me because that is what friends do for each other.

I just want to say thank you. And to those who are evil and looking to harm others, what goes around, always comes around πŸ˜‰

20131118-201052.jpg