U-Pick Sunflowers | Suzie’s Farms

Hello blog! It’s been some time, and while I have no excuse, I’m very sorry for the lack in blog love! But I’m here right now and I’m excited to share this belated post! On the blog today I’m writing about one of my favorite places in San Diego’s South Bay – Suzie’s Farm! This organic farm is my favorite because they’re also a U-Pick farm. Visitors can pick strawberries in the summer, pumpkins in the fall, and sunflowers in the spring! Yes, you read that right, U-PICK SUNFLOWERS! Don’t you love the seasons? I know I do.

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Suzie’s Farm

So while the harvest varies by season, the local community flocks to Suzie’s Farm for fresh, organic produce year-round. Suzie’s Farm is a 70-acre USDA-certified organic farm with over 80 of the nicest employees. The farm also boasts 100+ varieties of fruits, veggies and flowers. What makes this farm extra special, however, is the U-Pick opportunities. They dedicate a few of their fields for the U-Pickers. Below is the makings of the strawberry fields!

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U-Pick Sunflowers

The hours of Suzie’s Farm are pretty limited. At the time this post is being written, the farm is only open to the public on Saturdays. So you can best believe that when it was announced that the sunflowers were ready to be picked, everyone and their mothers were at the fields.

With shears in hand, my mom, sister and I walked into the field of sunflowers on the lookout for the biggest and brightest ones. I made the rookie mistake of wearing an overall dress, meaning my legs were bare and amongst the rows of flowers. Who knew sunflower stems and leaves were so itchy? However, I did make the right decision to wear high socks. Woo!

I know that I personally had so much fun being amongst the flowers. Of course there were bees and other insects, but the photo opportunities were just unreal. For $1 a stem, we walked away with 7 individual blooms.

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Support your local farms and businesses!



Cream Tea | Shakespeare’s Corner Shoppe and Afternoon Tea

Shakespeare’s Corner Shoppe and Afternoon Tea in La Mesa has been my go-to stop for all things British and afternoon tea. Now that San Diego has finally started to cool down, I’ve been aching for proper afternoon tea and a nice ‘cuppa. Years ago, my best friend was in town to celebrate her birthday and suggested we have high tea. That’s when we discovered Shakespeare’s. The last time I had afternoon tea was to celebrate her birthday, so a trip to the tearoom, for cream tea, was long overdue.

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To this day, Shakespeare’s is my favorite tea room. To be frank, I’ve only been to one but when you know, you know. The owners of the shop and tearoom, as well as the adjoining pub & grille, reign from England. Authenticity is something I always look for in everything, so learning that this place is the real thing thrilled me. And who wants English tea to not actually be English?

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My Cream Tea Experience

My sister and I arrived 10 minutes prior to our 12PM sitting. We were greeted by our server, the shoppe owner, and an empty tea room. We were directed to the tea sniffing bar where we’d choose our teas. My sister went for the White Coconut Crème, while I stuck to the classic Earl Grey.

We returned to the patio to our own teapot and tea set. Yes, you get a WHOLE TEAPOT to yourself! And word to the wise, empty your bladder before you decide to get stuck in rush hour traffic. They also provide milk and sugar cubes for the table.

As we started to enjoy our tea, our server then brought out our plates of scones. Cream tea traditionally consists of tea with a combination of scones, clotted cream, and jam. And for $9.95, that is exactly what Shakespeare’s does. We were both really impressed with the freshly baked scone! Oh, and that Double Devon Cream!

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I love a good tea party. Some of my fondest childhood memories are the tea parties that our Grandma Betty would host for me and my god-sisters. I remember walking out onto the patio to dainty tea sets and finger foods. It was always a great time and I’ll forever be grateful for those memories.

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Shakespeare’s Corner Shoppe

As I mentioned earlier, Shakespeare’s has been my go-to stop for British goodies. I’m a huge anglophile. As are pretty much all of the women in my life. I have mad love/respect for the British culture, and it’s been like this for as long as I can remember. Around the holidays, I like going there to get mince pies and a Dairy Milk Advent calendar. They ship in pretty much everything from the UK, including Peri Peri sauce, Crunchie bars, and mugs with the royals’ faces.

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Shakespeare’s also hosts themed tea parties, in addition to the more traditional Afternoon Tea. Just this past week, they hosted Harry Potter themed tea – sorting hat and all. Next month, they are hosting a Game of Thrones one!

There’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll be back to the tearoom again. It’s my favorite and my only recommendation for an authentic British tea experience in San Diego.



Apple Picking in Julian | Sentenac Ranch

What better way to spend a Sunday than apple picking?

Yesterday, my mom, sister and I hopped in the car to Julian for the first of many autumn festivities to come.

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Sentenac Ranch 

We arrived around 2PM, after a little over an hour drive from south San Diego.

Secluded in the Julian woods, Sentenac Ranch is a 170-acre property that is part-venue, part-orchard. Upon arrival, we were greeted by extremely warm temps and the friendly owner. He told us that his orchard produces three different types of apples (Red Delicious, Golden Delicious & Rome), and assured us that he doesn’t spray them with pesticides. Big kudos to them for being 100% organic!

For one bag of apples, it’s $14. For two bags, they are $12 each. Then for 3 or more, they are $10 each.

He quickly briefed us on how to pick and choose our apples, and encouraged us to eat the apples right off the tree. After all, you want to know what the apples you’re picking taste like! I learned that apples with wormholes are much sweeter than those without. The worm is long gone, don’t worry.

Needless to say, we each had our fair share of apples. That’s IN ADDITION to the 100 ones we ended up walking away with.

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Apple Picking in Julian

Apple picking season in Julian is from August to early October. It is recommended to get there at the start of the season, but there were still plenty of apples at Sentenac. And it’s already mid-September. Call ahead before you make the drive up if this is your kind of thing!

The cute little town is known for their apple pies, but why not take your Julian experience to the next level by picking some apples yourself? There’s something about being on a farm, picking the produce with your own hands. You’re also helping out your local farmers when you do!

I’ve always wanted to take part in apple picking, and after 23 years, it finally happened. Our household is now rich in apples, with enough to last us into the autumn season. We’ve already looked into some apple recipes, which I’m definitely sharing on the blog. So, stay tuned for those!

This has gotten me so pumped for fall, and I intend on making the most of it!!!



Ice Cream Flights | Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream

Summer in San Diego just wouldn’t be complete without an ice cream cone… or six! You’ve heard of beer flights, but have you heard of ICE CREAM FLIGHTS?! We can all thank Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream for the brilliant concept. With flight options of 3, 6, and 32, no ice cream enthusiast walks out of the shop unsatisfied. A statement I personally know to be true.

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I remember first wanting to visit (way back in 2014) when I saw a picture of a flight of 6 on Tumblr, and I thought “Wow. Where is this place? I NEED to try it out.” A quick Google search later, I learned it was in my city! Needless to say, I paid a visit the very next day.

Hammond’s is now my go-to ice cream shop when I’m feeling like treating myself. I always go for the sorbets because I can’t say “no” to POG*-flavored anything. Flavor favorites amongst my sister and I are green tea, pineapple coconut, and pitaya.

(*Passionfruit-orange-guava)

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Ice Cream Flights

With flavors such as toasted coconut, Kona coffee, and peanut butter guava jelly, it’s no secret that the ice creams are island-inspired. Hammond’s offers over 300 flavors of ice cream and sorbet made by Tropical Dreams in Hawaii. They specialize in super premium, meaning you’ll be partaking in super rich and creamy ice cream.

When I visit the shop, I always go for the flights. I commend myself on being able to making a sound decision, but sometimes you just don’t want to choose between chocolate and vanilla. That’s why these ice cream flights are simply amazing. I can get every flavor I want, and the flight itself is quite the aesthetic.

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Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream

The initial shop opened two years ago in my favorite SD neighborhood of North Park, and now Hammond’s boasts a total of 3 locations in the city.

North Park – 3077 University Avenue, San Diego, CA 92104

Point Loma – 3740 Sports Arena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110

Pacific Beach – 1418 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109

Please do yourself the favor of visiting one (or all three) of these locations when you’re in San Diego!



Empanadas, Pastries, and More | Liberty Public Market

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Last week, I had the chance to finally pay a visit to Liberty Station’s newest resident – Liberty Public Market. For those of you not aware, Liberty Public Market is a farmers market composed of local San Diego and southern California vendors. Inside you’ll find everything from food vendors to fresh produce and even wine tastings. There’s something for everyone – with plenty of vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free options as well. It is basically a foodie’s paradise.

I was mostly interested in trying the Argentine empanadas from Paraná. The empanadas are baked, made with all natural ingredients, and are to-die for. I ordered the Mushroom & Cheese, Margherita, and Beef (for my sister) empanadas – and they were delicious. I loved the crust of the empanadas, and the Mushroom filling was so flavorful! Definitely a must-try.

It’s also worth it to mention that we went to the market during its peak time around noon. This place was poppin’, which resulted in not enough photographs of the many vendors inside of Liberty Public Market. There are a total of 25 resident “artisans,” and you could very well spend half a day there trying everything.

There’s no shortage of great food and fun at Liberty Public Market. Enjoy something healthy and raw from Fishbone Kitchen, something fried and greasy from Cane Patch Kitchen, or something sweet from Crafted Baked Goods and Le Parfait Paris! I had a lot of fun looking at all the pastries – it’s a favorite past-time of mine.

I’m a huge proponent of shopping and eating local, so I’m glad that I have Liberty Public Market. I love going to farmers markets here in San Diego, but now I don’t have to wait until the weekend.

If you ever find yourself in San Diego, make sure you give yourself half a day to enjoy this amazing marketplace. You won’t regret it!



The Pinery Pumpkin Patch

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One of the must-do fall activities is the pumpkin patch. For those who don’t know, a pumpkin patch is where families and friends go to pick a pumpkin while also having the opportunity to walk through a corn maze, go for a hay ride, pet various farm animals, and just get into the fall spirit.

This weekend, my family and I checked out the Pinery Pumpkin Patch, alternatively known as Bonita Pumpkin Farm, in Bonita, California. This pumpkin farm had an 8′ tall corn maze, tractor hay ride, farm animals like goats and chickens, and a wonderful selection of pumpkins and gourds!

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I was personally fascinated by the pumpkin farm, where patch-goers could literally pick a pumpkin from the ground. They had orange and white pumpkins, and I took particular liking to the white ones. Though, we ended up with two of the most perfect orange pumpkins in the place. Or so we thought.

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If you’re in the San Diego area, I recommend this pumpkin patch for all your fall needs. Although dogs are not allowed, admission and parking is free! The pumpkins are individually marked with their prices, and there is no shortage of them. They are open from 9 am to 8 pm everyday until this Saturday, October 31.