Ok ok, if you don’t know me well yet, you’ll come to learn through this story that I LOVE to relax! I will do just about anything for a good massage or spa treatment. I had heard a bit about “floating” from friends, so when True REST Float Spa gave me a chance to try it out, I agreed happily. Floating is a lot like a massage, or a yoga class, and here are my main reasons why:
Like any good spa treatment or meditation class, there is some preparation involved with floating. This treatment is nothing like anything else I have ever tried! As I arrived to True REST I was greeted by the friendly owner Mandy who walked me through the process and how things would go. I am not going to lie, the process was a bit confusing. Ear plugs, close the pod, turn on/off music, float. It all seemed like a bit much at first. I was a little scared to be honest, and as someone who can’t even float in a pool, I wasn’t even sure I would be able to do it. Thankfully, I was seated in a prep room and shown a 6 minute video that explained everything. That is when I really started to relax.
The video walked me through the ways to “float” in this pool of salt water. It showed different positions you could try, and explained what to do if your mind started to wander. I thought it was a lot like meditation, or yoga where you focus on your breath and not much else. As the video came to an end, I felt a lot more excited to get into the pod room and try it out.
Mental and Physical Benefits are Similar
Just like with yoga and massage, floating is so good for your mental and physical health. Taking care of and loving yourself takes time and dedication. Many people want to dismiss it and be selfless, never getting a massage or taking quiet moments for themselves. Floating gives you a full hour to be alone with yourself and your thoughts. No phones. No screens. Just you, and your breath. The amount of epsom salts, 1,000 lbs worth, incorporated into the float pod makes your body feel so lightweight, which in turns helps with inflammation and soreness. When I first slipped into the pod and closed the door, it was so dark, I almost started to panic. I turned on the lights so that I could get more comfortable with the process, and started to lay back and feel the saltwater take over. Immediately as I started to lay back, my body lifted off the bottom of the pod and I started floating effortlessly. I almost laughed out loud thinking about how I doubted whether I would be able to float in the pod. It seemed impossible NOT to float once I was floating. It was such a strange feeling at first, like you’re floating on a cloud. After 5-10 minutes I started to really relax, and unwind for the remainder of the time. I could see how you could get used to doing it consistently for mental clarity.
Although we can all probably agree that the effects of a massage or yoga session are not endless, they are prominent after the session for awhile. Floating is no different. For the few days after I left their Hillcrest location, I felt more relaxed, and a lot less sore! I loved the sensation of floating, and definitely think that everyone should try it! True REST is a wonderful location to visit if you’re looking for a place to try floating! They are a national franchise with over 23 locations across the country including locations in California such as Chico, Sacramento, and coming soon in Fountain Valley, Fresno, Napa, and San Francisco. I am so excited about this new relaxation technique, that I wanted to give one of you a FREE session to try it out! All you have to do is join our mailing list by entering your info below and one lucky winner will be chosen on May 1st!! Good luck, and if you have tried floating before, comment and let me know your thoughts!!
Ever since moving to San Diego in 2014, I have been hearing about the Flower Fields. I’ve seen so many great IG photos, and couldn’t wait to take my family out to see these gorgeous fields of flowers in Carlsbad. We finally went, and WOW, I can say that I am honestly sad I have been missing out the past several years. Here are all the details about the flower fields that you need for your visit:
Availability : March-May
These 50 acres (yes I said ACRES!!) of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers bloom for 6-8 weeks each year here in Southern California, so if you want to see them, make sure to get here while they are still open for the year! They are open this year from March 1st through May 13th, and let me tell you, this field trip (hehe) is well worth it!! I figured, what could be SO exciting about a field of flowers? Maybe I’ll spend 30 minutes there. No way, you can spend HOURS here, and still not get bored! Make sure to put a date on your calendar (between March 1 and May 13th) and make a trip to Carlsbad!
Parking : Free and Plenty of It
The flower fields have their own exit sign off the I-5 freeway. Exit Palomar Airport Rd, head East for about a half a mile, and you will see the large fields on your left. The parking lot is HUGE and free! For younger kids, be sure to bring the stroller, and for adventurous folks, leave the drone at home. (Seriously though, no drones allowed.) There is one main entrance, and a side, “weekend” entrance that we went through since we visited on Easter and it was pretty crowded.
Tickets : $8-$16
There is a ticket booth just before you go inside, and tickets are $16 for adults, and $8 for children age 3-10. If you’d like to go on the wagon ride (which I HIGHLY suggest) tickets for the wagon are $5 for adults and $3 for kids. Once you have your ticket you can head through the gates, but be sure to bring along the map they will give you with your ticket, as it is a very large space with many different activities.
Tractor Wagon Ride : $3-$5 (SO Worth It!)
As soon as you get inside, you’ll see the Ecke Poinsettia Barn filled with many colors of Poinsettias. Once you walk through that, you can walk through an “artist’s garden” of various flowers, or jump in line for your tractor ride. While I waited in line, my son stood in the ice cream line, and got his cone JUSTTT as we were about to board the wagon (I actually had to wait to board until he ran over). Once on the wagon, a tractor took us farther down the fields than I would ever have energy to walk myself. I became instantly grateful that we purchased the wagon ride, and we had a really great ride out to the end of the fields. These flowers love full sun, and lots of drainage, so it is kind of interesting to see all of the pipes and hoses that lead out everywhere, and the drainage ditches that are dug to keep these flowers in perfect condition. They are very spoiled flowers if you ask me! Once we were out on the other side of the field, the tractor stopped at an optional drop off point.
Photo Opportunities: Many!!
There are SO many great photo opportunities at the Flower Fields! Out in the field, they have various benches and platforms set up so you can easily see where the best spots are to walk and pose for photos. (Although, I really don’t think there is a bad place to take a photo here.) Whenever you are done with your photo session, you can head back to the drop-off/pickup location and the tractor will pick you back up, and wagon you back around to the beginning. On the way back, you get to see the American Flag field of Petunias, and some other great vantage points that you would never be able to see otherwise. Like I said before, I highly suggest this wagon ride!!
Other Activities : You Can Stay For Hours
I thought there were just flowers here at the Flower Fields, but I was very wrong. There are so many other activities to do here, it’s crazy! One of the most fun things we did was go through the sweet pea maze, which is similar to a corn maze, but a lot more gorgeous. We tried to go pretty fast, and it took us just over 9 minutes, so don’t start it if you have less than 20 minutes I would suggest! They also have a playground and a sand-panning station for kids to sift for treasures. If you’d like to see more flowers, there is a orchid greenhouse, and like I mentioned earlier, the Ecke Poinsettia barn. If you get tired you can always rest inside the barn back by the sweet pea make and watch a movie about the history of the flower fields. (They also provide an audio tour of the history on the wagon ride, but you’re so excited looking at flowers, it’s hard to hear and keep up with.)
Overall I would say this was one of the best experiences I have had in San Diego, and the photos turned out absolutely wonderful! We will be back again and again, hopefully a few more times before this season closes! Want to head out there? Let me know! I would love to come!! Have you been there? What was your favorite activity? I would love to know!
Every spring, thousands of marketing enthusiasts come from all over the world to the convention center in downtown San Diego for Social Media Marketing World. They come to network, and attend workshops and in-depth talks from the top social media marketing experts in their current field. These speakers are well versed in areas such as social platforms, e-mail marketing, content creation, and even obscure things like chatbots and software that allows you to stream live in the best quality from multiple accounts at once. Each year I attend for my media business Triple Peak Media, and my husband attends for his business QuestFusion, and each year, my mind is blown. (Here are Patrick’s top 10 takeaways from the conference.) I always learn so many new things. It is so tough to narrow down the things I have learned, but I will try. Here is my overview video of the entire conference this year. It lasted 3 days and was filled with selfies, video blogs, and meeting new people! Take a look:
Here are the top 5 things I learned from Social Media Marketing World conference this year:
1. Find your specific expertise. You do NOT have to be an expert at everything online.
In fact, it works to your disadvantage when you try to do everything you can possibly do. If you’re on every social platform and using every different software, you can get overwhelmed quick. What I found most interesting was in the session about how to become a speaker at SMMW, Phil Mershon and CEO of Social Examiner, Michael Stelzner, were explaining in great detail exactly what it takes to be a speaker in one of these sessions or workshops.
One of the biggest requirements is that the person is very enthusiastic about ONE aspect. They live and breathe that part of the overall picture, and they know more about it than almost anyone out there. The requirements were not that you made a certain amount of money, or had a certain amount of followers, but that you know what you were talking about when it came to ONE thing. Although this was specifically for getting on the speaker list for this conference, I think it actually showcases a HUGE point. If you want the most amount of people to relate to you and be interested in your message, products and services, you need to be very specific.
2. Become OBSESSED with providing value.
I think this point was apparent in almost every single session I was in. From Zach King to Marcus Sheridan and so many others, every speaker was pretty excited about their topic and how their talk could help people immediately. They had become obsessed with this specific topic over the past year, and they brought their absolute best to the conference. Do this with your audience, and work every single day to bring new value in your current market.
3. Start a LIVE show!
This point was brought up over and over again. Almost every speaker has a specific time of the week that they do a live broadcast, and they train their audience over time to be prepared for that live time. Many of the speakers called it a “show” but I quickly found out that even a 5 minute broadcast from your phone can be a “show” you simply have to pick a time, and be consistent. The people who have started a weekly broadcast have risen in popularity over the past few years dramatically, and with social media marketing on the rise, I do not see this plan as being out of date anytime soon. I plan to start a show…as soon as I can think of a good title. (I’m thinking “Be Bold” or “No Boundaries” something like that?!) I am sure many conference attendees walked away with the same thought. (So..you will be seeing lots of live shows popping up soon.)
4. Find a way to incorporate chat bots into your business. If not now, in the next 6-12 months.
Bots are coming. In a scary and yet exciting fashion. As marketers we get SO giddy about complicated things like bots that can turn our conversion into GOLD! I am not 100% sold on the fact that I NEED a bot for my business yet, but,..yes I guess I am and fear is what is holding me back. I did not attend the workshop of “How to Setup a Chat Bot in 45 Minutes” but since as an attendee I have access to every recording from every session, I can go back and listen to it and craft a bot for myself. If you haven’t thought about bots for your business, spend one day online interacting with brands and I guarantee you will interact with at least one bot throughout that day. They are everywhere, and they are actually quite helpful! Use them, or be swallowed alive by your competition who is using them.
5. Create SHAREABLE content.
This is the most important thing I took away from Social Media Marketing World this year. (Oh, by the way, I was also involved in the SMMW choir which is always a great time! If you like choir at all, I highly suggest it!!) If you wouldn’t share your content online, why should anyone else? This was by far my biggest takeaway, and made me think about everything I post. Does it have a clear message? Is it funny or over-the-top informative. Think about the things you share to your timeline. What makes them unique? Create content that everyone feels like they cannot live without telling their friends about.
I learned 281157293746 other things this year, but these 5 will stick in my head for the next year, until the next conference! (I already have my ticket!) Have you been to SMMW? Let me know how your experience was!!
Carmel Valley is a great location to live if you have kids. (Find out more about the community on our Carmel Valley page here.) There are a lot of families with kids of all ages who live there and the schools are great. If you live here, you’re not too far from the fun in the city, but there’s still so much to do all within a 10-15 minute drive.
Here are our top 5 local spots near Carmel Valley that our kids love! We hope you enjoy exploring these hidden gems with your family!
The local beach is probably one of the best family beaches along the coast! You’ll find it at Powerhouse Park. What kid wouldn’t want a swing with an ocean view?! There’s a playground, bathrooms & showers, easy beach access and frequent live entertainment. Street parking is tricky so plan on some extra time or you can use the pay lot or pay the meters.
The views alone, high atop the cliffs of Torrey Pines, are worth coming here for, but it’s also FREE! Free to park, free to picnic, free to watch the adrenalin junkies fly off the cliff with their brightly colored parachutes into the wind. The Cliffhanger Café serves up pretty good food (open daily 9-4). In the summer May-Sept they have local bands playing on the weekends. You can get down to the beach from there, but it’s a little steep and not recommended; especially if you have kids with you…avoid taking the trail on the right, so they don’t see folks at Black’s Beach sunbathing in their birthday suits. 😉
Kids and nature are the best combination! This place is a true hidden gem that some locals don’t even know about. It’s a 37 acre botanic wonderland that includes 2 large Children’s Gardens, plus a musical garden and an ABC Spell & Smell sensory garden with plants that kids love to touch and smell. You’ll find the largest, coolest treehouse that my kids have ever climbed in; as well as a sandbox big enough for a birthday party and a fun stream that kids can play in. They have regular children’s activities for kids ages 1-6. See their schedule online for stories, songs, planting, garden crafts and model train times. If you visit in the month of February, admission is half off with your Macy’s Museum Month pass.
Libraries & Rec Centers:
We love going to our local Libraries and Parks & Recreation Centers. That’s where we meet new people from the neighborhood, develop friendships and before you know it you’re making play dates and calling each other up to borrow some butter.
Most libraries have weekly or monthly events for FREE, that are even geared towards babies, toddlers and everyone else. Some even have a kids reading nook or designated play area and kids touch-screen computers. Oh, and you can keep your kids’ books on rotation without spending a dime by checking them out the old-fashioned way…just make sure to return them on time. 😉
Here are some kids’ programs at the Carmel Valley Library…and these are all FREE!! Story times for Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers; pre-K tinker labs; Robotics Lab for ages 11-14; Scientists/Engineers program for grades K-6; Parent/Child & Teen Book Clubs; Lego Builders Clubs; Arts & Crafts; Little Writer’s Workshop; Free Music Lessons for wind, strings and piano; and a monthly family music night.
You can view each library’s event’s calendar here.
This is where you’ll find lots of, well, Recreation Activities for the whole family! There are 2 playgrounds, tennis courts, horseshoe pits, outdoor fitness stations, basketball courts and picnic areas with barbeques. My favorite thing about Parks & Rec Centers are the activities that you can sign up for.
This location has classes for tiny tots: gymnastics/tumbling 1+, dance 2+, Tiny Chefs 2-5, Jr. Sports 2-5 and t-ball 3.5-5 years. They have numerous sports programs for kids as young as 4 years old that includes: skateboarding classes, martial arts, yoga, basketball, volleyball, arena/soccer, t-ball/baseball, and more. You can also sign up for art (5-12) and acting (4-11).
And if that’s not enough, there are some more special programs that this location features!
Kids with disabilities can call the Therapeutic Recreation Services for assistance with any class with at least 3 weeks notice.
Miss Kim hosts a part-time preschool through Hopscotch for kids 2.5-5 years old, Mon-Fri from 9am-12pm. She focuses on art, music, dance, movement and more while each month has a new theme.
Parents can take the night off and drop off the kids at their Kid’s Night Out once a month. Select Fridays from 5-9:30pm for kids ages 5-12.
You can find out all about these programs and more from their Program Guide here.
P.S. Here are some quick picks for local drinks & eats!:
This New Expansion Features All-Suite Accommodations Along With the Finest Adult-Only Amenities
Viejas Casino & Resort opened its new luxury tower, Willows Hotel & Spa, January 31, 2018, as the third phase of its latest development plans with a ribbon cutting ceremony, an exclusive VIP party, and a mesmerizing fireworks show. By maintaining the artistic theme of nature, the new tower embraces a relaxing atmosphere by customizing the guest’s stay. The 159 all-suite, adult-only tower features a lush new saltwater pool, an extravagant full-service spa, salon, and fitness center, plus three new restaurant concepts. The San Diego area’s premier gaming destination has been redefined to accommodate guests with an unparalleled experience.
Welcoming an invitation-only guest list to the grand opening celebration for Willows Hotel & Spa, General Manager Todd Simons praised the lush adults-only tower as “the first in this market” and the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, who now employs a growing team of 2,100.
In a speech at the ribbon cutting ceremony, Viejas Tribal Chairman Robert J. Welch, Jr. said, “We are proud to give back to our community in so many ways. We will continue to work tirelessly to be authentic and unwavering.”
Upon arrival to Willows Hotel & Spa, guests are greeted with a personalized check in experience that is tailored to their uniqueaccommodations and describes the array of luxurious built-in amenities therein. Each suite features an ultra-modern contemporary design and has the functionality of a smart room, which can find information, act as an alarm, play music, and more. A pillow preference program allows guests to choose from a selection of plush bedding options to ensure a restful night’s slumber and select rooms feature a Wellness Experienceincluding items such as Vitamin C-infused showers which add to the guests’ ability to reinvigorate. Each suite features products from Whish Beauty, whose trendsetting bath and beauty products are naturally sourced, organic, and made in the USA.
Those wishing to relax poolside can enjoy the all-new saltwater pool with amenities designed to nourish the mind and body. From outdoor meditation to poolside massage treatments, the adults-only pool is complimented by a brand-new spa, which offers full salon and spa services, ideal for anyone who seeks to be pampered, while a 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center allows guests to maintain their exercise regimens uninterrupted during their stay. Spa highlights include a salt sauna, private spa pool, steam room, and outdoor cabanas where treatments can be provided. This offers the perfect balance across the AAA 4 Diamond, Forbes Travel Guide 4 Star rated property and compliments Viejas’ other family-friendly and high-energy pool environments.
To satiate the refined tastes of the hotel’s visitors, three new restaurant concepts feature fresh, gourmet international food offerings. Locale Kitchen and Lounge, the signature eatery with farm-to-table California inspired cuisine, serves lunch and dinner in the sophisticated atmosphere.GingerNoodle Bar offers up classic and contemporary Asian fare in a comfortable and modern setting, while The Daily Roast features popular Starbucks products and serve the grab-and-go needs of guests 24 hours a day.
Viejas Casino & Resort is at the heart of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians’ entrepreneurial achievements and is recognized as one of the most respected and successful Indian gaming resorts in California. Since its beginnings as the Viejas Bingo Room in 1977 the property has undergone several expansions, constantly striving to provide guests more amenities, better services and more reasons to visit.
About Viejas Casino & Resort
Located at I-8 and Willows Road east of San Diego, the Forbes Travel Guide 4 Star and AAA Four Diamond Viejas Casino & Resort features world-class gaming with thousands of slot machines, exciting table games that include Blackjack, Baccarat, and Pai Gow, a modern and elegant bingo room, and an off-track betting facility. Viejas Casino & Resort also features a variety of restaurants including the AAA Four Diamond Grove Steakhouse, The Buffet, and The Café. The beautiful Viejas Outlets, located across the street from the casino, offers visitors a unique shopping experience with highly acclaimed stores, numerous eateries, Viejas Bowl, and during winter Southern California’s largest outdoor ice rink. Viejas Hotel features 203 luxury rooms and 34 VIP suites, including a lush, spacious pool and lounge area. The highly anticipated new tower, Willows Hotel & Spa is now open and offers an additional 159 VIP suites, luxury spa facilities, signature restaurants including Locale Kitchen & Lounge, Ginger Noodle Bar and The Daily Roast plus an expanded gaming space.
When I moved to San Diego back in 2014, I had NO idea this city was so incredible. (I know..my favorite word. *rolling eyes*) But, seriously. San Diego is freaking amazing and every day I learn something new! I remember googling “things to do in San Diego” before visiting the first time, only to find Sea World, Legoland, and the Sea Lions at La Jolla Cove. Nothing else, and I thought, “Hmmm, kind of boring.” HA! I had no idea the restaurant culture was so intense, and the adventures can pile on in layers. There is something exciting to do in every single neighborhood in this fine city, and I am SO blessed to have captured so much of it over the past few years! From hiking to golfing to horses and parties (like Opening Day in Del Mar), there is SO much fun to be had here, and I have been having so much fun not even realizing how much content I’ve created. There are now over 275 stories posted here on thesdlifestyle.com all about San Diego!! And this year, the blog has made it to FeedSpot’s list of Top 50 San Diego Blogs and Websites on the Web! I feel so honored and I cannot thank each and every one of you reading right now for mentioning the next best place to try out for lunch, or asking questions that lead me to more discoveries in search of answers! I can’t wait to see what this next four years, and more, has in store!!
The blogs listed are the Best San Diego blogs from thousands of top San Diego blogs in our index using search and social metrics. This is the most comprehensive list of best San Diego blogs on the internet. These blogs are ranked based on following criteria:
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Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review
Again, I thank all of our readers for checking out our blog and commenting! It really adds to the community! See you around San Diego!
If you’d like to have a video that highlights your business like the ones you see here on The San Diego Lifestyle, please contact Triple Peak Media, the marketing and media power behind The San Diego Lifestyle.