Sunday, January 12, 2020

Shake and Muddle is a welcome mix to Downtown Chula Vista!

Shake and Muddle is a self-described cocktail fusion mixology bar with homestyle eats! It has been open for a little over a month and is certainly shaking things up in Chula Vista! We were looking for a place not too far from home and noticed that this place was new and received all five star reviews.

I'm also giving it 5 stars! Here's why!

Ambience and Parking - I hate wasting time looking for parking. I remove stars for this very factor. Fortunately this place is located in a building with a covered parking garage. And it is free parking! Score! Upon entering I was already impressed by the variety of seating. Open air outdoor tables available as well as outside seats at the bar.  Then ample large group seating around the square tables with the fire features in the middle in the patio area.  Third, lots of group and intimate seating inside as well.  The decor is what you would find in Banker's Hill or North Park, trendy yet sophisticated. Light fixtures, wall textures, the outside design, all made a great impression. Our seats were nice and cushioned.  I would love to eat in the booth area next time. TVs had the football game on and there was also music playing. Our party could still have a conversation with all of that going on. Check out their gallery of pictures to see what I mean.

Service - We were greeted and seated immediately.  Since it was a new place, we called ahead and the gal put our name down for a reservation. Our server easily told us her favorite dishes on the menu which included the ceviche, fried chicken and other dishes.  I let her know that I liked sweet cocktails and she recommended the Cortez Way made with coconut juice.  It was very yummy, perfect for my palate!   She checked on us often and I really appreciated that she asked if we wanted our food as it was ready or served all at once.  Since we were going to sample everyone's order, we went with "bring it out when each dish is ready".   Water was always refilled and even the general manager made his rounds to ask us about our experience so far.

Prices - Very reasonable for what you get! They have Happy Hour from 4  to 7 pm everyday except for Saturday. For now it is only a drink menu but our server said they are working on a HH food menu too.

Food - This is the most important category, right? EVERYTHING we ordered was delicious, there was nothing left to take home! I wanted to meet the chef that's how good the food was!  Here's what we had:
The Wedge with a jalapeno bleu cheese dressing! Pretty much the whole lettuce head!
Lamb chops! I didn't eat any, but my foodie friends say they were great!
New York Strip! Very tasty!
Ceviche! In a town where Mexican fare can be found on every corner,this was fantastic!
Octopus! Omg, so tender and ate like meat! 
Short rib "nachos" on thin potato slices, aka elevated Carne Asada Fries! Was very filling and not greasy!
We were so full, we didn't have any desserts, but now we have a reason to go back. All I can say is get over there soon before the word gets out and lines get long!
Follow Shake and Muddle on FB and Instagram for the latest updates!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Top Seven Ways to Enjoy Aulani, A Dream Disney Vacation Club Resort!

We recently spent a few days at Aulani in Ko Olina, Hawaii! It was amazing! I can't wait to go back! Here are seven ways to enjoy the resort!

1. Enjoy the room!
We are Disney Vacation Club members, so we booked a one-bedroom villa that sleeps five! You can also buy points to rent villas, but I am not too familiar with the process. The room is amazing, however the only downside was all of us sharing one bathroom.  That made it tricky getting back from pool time and getting ready to go back out.  Here are some pictures of the villa.
Living area with sofa bed and murphy bed under the TV
I love that the villas have a kitchen!
It was awesome that the kitchen had a rice cooker! I had my rice ready! I'm looking for an Instant Pot to show up next!
Not shown is the jet bathtub. We took turns in it!  Very lovely way to end a day!

2. Listen to live music!
Where we were located was near the nightly luau. So all we had to do is open our balcony sliding door to hear lovely Hawaiian tunes each night.  Lulled me to sleep!  They have live entertainment happening nightly throughout the resort and even ukelele lessons to get you started!

3. Go in the water!
The pools, lazy river, and the beach are first class.  We went into the water every day of our stay.  Here's my son paddleboarding on the beach.

4. Take a tour of the resort!

It was cool to hear the history of the construction of Aulani and how things were developed.  Uncle gave us a very educational and informational tour.

Uncle talked to us about the importance of the coconut tree to Hawaiians due to its many uses in Hawaiian life, to build shelter, for food, how the kukui is used for the oil, especially for torches like this!

He also told us about how water is life and the systems that were in place with the water flowing from the mountains into irrigation design when plantation life was abundant. Today, Hawaiians are fighting for the rights for water!

Uncle told us about this piko stone, the most important part of the resort. Local elders chose this specific location to be the "bellybutton" of the resort, where the connection is to Mother Nature, the center.  It is made of coral.

5. Special activities!
Aulani has a daily schedule of activities, some are included and some have a nominal fee.  We only took advantage of a couple, because of our limited stay. I would recommend at least a week!

DVDs to rent if you want to chill in the room
Materials to make customized Mickey Ears!

6. Character dining!

What would a stay at a Disney resort be without meeting some characters!  There are characters for scheduled Meet and Greets, but you can also have some interaction with characters if you book a Character Dining event at Mahaliki.

With Dale!

Don't forget the shave ice!

7. Aulani has so many beautiful spots, one way to capture your dream vacation is by having a photo session. The pictures will be worth every penny.

Like I said, we can't wait to be able to go back to Ko Olina and visit Aulani again!

Thanks for reading! Have a tip to share? Please leave a comment below.  

Saturday, October 26, 2019

San Diego Asian Film Festival celebrates its 20th Anniversary!

Filmmakers and film subjects who shape the way we see San Diego’s history will stud the exclusive red carpet kicking off the 20th anniversary celebration of Pacific Arts Movement’s San Diego Asian Film Festival on November 7, 2019. To commemorate this momentous occasion, Pacific Arts Movement will feature the premiere of The Paradise We Are Looking For, the documentary it commissioned to highlight Asian American stories from local neighborhoods in San Diego throughout the decades.

This festival, historically the largest platform of Asian cinema on the west coast, strives to represent the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community through storytelling. Through the decades, the festival has influenced how Asian and Asian American cinema evolved, and The Paradise We Are Looking For displays the AAPI community’s long-standing presence in San Diego. The documentary’s themes of identity, immigration, inclusion and military presence uncover the relationship between these elements and their lasting impact on AAPI communities.

“Throughout our 20 years, we've discovered thrilling new directors with relationships with San Diego, some of whom grew up here, others who have passed through, but all of whom have something to say about our neighborhoods and communities,” says Brian Hu, San Diego Asian Film Festival’s artistic director. “We wanted to challenge them to uncover buried histories and shed light on folks we might think of as ordinary -- precisely the everyday laborers, students, family members we pass by every day but who deserve the big-screen treatment because their stories embody the San Diego we are all looking for.”

ABOUT THE FILM: THE PARADISE WE ARE LOOKING FORSan Diego has been called many things—including a paradise. It’s also a refugee city, a cluster of neighborhoods, a militarized zone, a border town. And Asian American. This collection of four short documentaries, commissioned on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the San Diego Asian Film Festival, maps many such San Diegos— across ethnicity, geography and history.

At the helm are four emerging cinematic voices who have grown up in San Diego, studied there, or once called it home:
  • Norbert Shieh’s stirring film essay recalls a 2008 University City plane crash that cast a somber shadow over a military city.

  • Quyên Nguyen-Le introduces us to the City Heights mortuary workers who help refugee families grieve.

  • Joseph Mangat’s rousing observational piece thrusts us into the electric immigrant space of a karaoke-restaurant in National City.
  • R.J. Lozada interviews former classmates at his 20th high school reunion in the South Bay, and finds that memories, including his own, are not always reliable.

  • Pre-reception: 5:30 p.m.
  • The Paradise We Are Looking For screening: 7 p.m.
  • Post-reception and director Q&A: 9 p.m.
  • Location: The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center (7600 Fay Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037)
  • Tickets: Available at
Featured this year are blasts from the past with films selected by a poll of past viewers featured in "The Asian American Canon" category.  Also new this year is an Official Cosplay Gathering with the Saturday, November 9th Screening of  Brave Father Online: Our Story of Final Fantasy XIV. All attendees are invited to cosplay in any Final Fantasy costume. RSVP to the official event: HERE.

There are so many great films to choose from, hopefully you can get your fill with the Festival running from November 7 to November 16, 2019.  

All Free Screenings require a physical ticket.To receive a ticket, visit the venue’s box office during box office’s normal business hours starting November 1. 
  • FREE FILMS AT 4: All films at 4:00PM on weekdays of the festival are FREE.
  • VR: WATER MELTS (Sat, Nov. 9 & Sun, Nov, 10): on a first-come, first-served basis in the UltraStar Lobby.
  • SHORTS FOR SHORTIES (Sat, Nov. 9): A collection of international short films for kids, FREE for all ages.
  • REEL VOICES (Sun, Nov. 10): World premiere of our high school documentary program, FREE to the public.
    and staff with valid ID.
  • PAC ARTS MEMBER SCREENING (Tue, Nov. 12): The screening of WE ARE CHAMPIONS is FREE for Pac Arts members with membership card.
 Follow film festival happenings on Twitter and IG - @PacArtsMovement #SDAFF2019

Saturday, August 3, 2019

2019 Chula Vista Harborfest - August 17!

Dance Your Day Away with FREE Live Entertainment on the Bay Featuring Latin Beats and Local Artists on Three Stages at Chula Vista HarborFest!
Saturday, August 17, 2019 10 AM-6 PM 
Chula Vista Bayside Park

Chula  Vista,  CA- August  is  the  peak  of the  San Diego Summer Season and  Chula  Vista  is  keeping  the  sunny celebrations  going!  The  well-loved  HarborFest,  presented  by  the  Port  of  San  Diego,  returns  on  Saturday, August 17,  from  10  AM  to  6 PM  with even MORE  summertime  activities  for the  entire  family!  There  is  no better way to spend a beautiful Saturday than sipping on thirst quenching margaritas, listening to live music, and munching on the  best tacos north of the border while enjoying the charm of Chula  Vista Bayside Park! Whether it is a family affair, or an afternoon with friends, you are destined to have a day full of fun, laughter, sunshine, and of course, lots of dancing.

HarborFest offers three  stages of diverse music  showcasing incredible  talent  to satisfy every interest across the  board!  Salsa  your  way  to  the  Seven  Mile  Casino  Latin  Beats  Stage  for  the  spicy  mix  of  Samba  Music, Mariachis, Ballet Folklórico, and MORE. Head to the Port of San Diego Harbor Main Stage for a blast from the past, where tribute bands like Polly Vinyl will bring you your favorite hits from the present and past. The This is  Chula  Community  Stage  is  the  perfect  setting  to  celebrate  and  admire  our  local  talent    lineup  to  be announced  soon!  Vibe  your  way   through  this   FREE  festival  and  pay   tribute  to   HarborFest’s   amazing entertainers who will pour their heart and soul into mesmerizing performances all day long!

Latin Beats Stage:
   10:00 AM – Southwest Mariachi
   11:00 AM – DanzArts (Ballet Folklórico)
   11:30 AM – Charlie Chavez Afrotruko (Latin Swing)
   12:30 PM – DanzArts (Ballet Folklórico)
   1:00 PM – Los Duques (Latin Ska)
   2:00 PM – DanzArts (Ballet Folklórico)
   2:30 PM – Manny Cepeda Orchestra (Salsa)
   3:30 PM – DanzArts (Ballet Folklórico)
   4:00 PM – Santana Pa Ti (Samba)

Port of San Diego Harbor Main Stage:

   10:00 AM – Polly Vinyl (Cover Band)
   11:00 AM – HarborFest DJ
   11:30 AM – Captain J and the Jive Crew (Rock)
   12:30 AM – HarborFest DJ
   1:00 PM – Groove Kitty (80’s Rock and Pop)
   2:00 PM – HarborFest DJ
   2:30 PM – Coldplayed (Coldplay Cover Band)
   3:30 PM – HarborFest DJ
   4:00 PM – Kenny Metcalf as Elton John (Elton John Cover Artist)

With  amazing  FREE  interactive  activities  to  enjoy,  there  is  nothing  quite  like  the  boundless  opportunities offered throughout the day at Chula Vista HarborFest. You can enhance this beautiful day on the bay and go HarborFest VIP for just $25! Your VIP ticket includes parking, a two-street taco plate, two drinks, and exclusive lounge seating. Love tacos and spirit sips? Sip and savor the day away with UNLIMITED tastes at HarborFest’s Tacos,  Spirits  &  Craft Beer  Revolution  for  $25!  Tacos  only  tickets  go  for  $20  and  the  Champagne,  Rose  & Wine Tasting tickets go for just $10!
little tacos (1).jpg

HarborFest is brought to you by the City of Chula Vista and the Port of San Diego. For more information or to purchase VIP and tasting tickets, please visit

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