Thursday, August 8, 2013

Hunger Games Themed Party

For my staff outing yesterday at work we went to the United States Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. We competed in archery and some low ropes team building course, so I thought it would be really fun and appropriate to make it Hunger Games themed. It got me thinking that you could really do this for any random event or birthday party, no matter what the age. Everyone at my work seemed to have a ton of fun with it! Below are a few ideas we came up with to tie in the Hunger Game theme that you could work with for your event or birthday: 

To start, we sent out an invitation to everyone letting them know which district they would be and what they had to dress up as on the day of the event. Here is a sample of the email we sent out that could also be perfect for a birthday invitation to your friends:  

"The Reaping Has Commenced...

….and you have been selected as tribute by the city of Panem.  

Please note: This year, no volunteers can go in your place. It can be only you.

You have both been selected from District 12 (Coal Mining) so please represent well, as the whole world will be watching.

Training for the Hunger Games will begin promptly at 10 AM at the United States Olympic Training Center of Chula Vista on August 7, 2013. More details to follow.

Won’t it be exciting to see what the gamemakers have in store for us this year?

May the odds be ever in your favor.


The Office of Seneca Crane,
Head Gamemaker of the Hunger Games"

My teammate and I were "Power" from District 5 so we wore an electrical cord as a belt, Christmas lights in our hair and an outlet switch plate cover as a necklace. It was really fun to see everyone get dressed up!

Next, I made snack bags for everyone to have at the event. Here are a few of the items we gave to everyone: 

"Mockingjay Juice" 

"Peeta Chips" 


We also had gold fish for "good luck," M&M's as coal, an apple for perfect aim and peanut butter cups for Buttercup the cat (you have to have seen the movie/ read the book to understand these.) 

Finally, I went online to the Team USA store and was able to find some pins and cool gifts to give to the winners of the event. Think you might want to host a Hunger Games party? Check out the Champagne Diaries store to find Mockingjay Pins for only $5 that you could give as party favors! 

Here are a few pics from the event: 

Team Building Course

Archery - I hit the yellow!

Lighting of the torch!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Craft Crawls of San Diego

With San Diego being known for all its craft beers, it only makes sense that there would be a "craft crawl." A craft crawl is where you hop from bar to bar sampling some of the best craft beer that San Diego has to offer. To make things safer on everyone, free buses are even provided so that no one has an excuse to drink and drive. Check out the list below for where to find these so called "craft crawls!" 

Pacific Beach: Finally PB has it's own craft crawl. This concept has been tweaked and came from the North Park and Point Loma craft crawls. Starting this Wednesday, August 7th, PB will have the PB Craft Crawl every first Wednesday of the month. Bare Back Grill, Ciros, Tap Room, Cali Kebob and High Dive are the bars involved. Don't want to walk from bar to bar? Take the free bus that rotates between all five bars, all night! This event goes from 7-11PM. 

Point Loma: Drink the Point occurs every second Wednesday of the month. (So you can hit up PB the first Wednesday of the month and try this one on the second Wednesday!) Bars include Slater's 50/50, The Pearl Hotel, Harbor Town Pub, Sessions Public, Raglan Public House, Newport Pizza & Ale House and Pizza Port. Free buses are also offered throughout the night. Buses will arrive at each location every 30 minutes. This event is from 7-11PM. 

North Park: The original craft crawl started here. SD DrinkAbout is every 3rd Wednesday of the month. Buses include Blind Lady, Small Bar, Live Wire, Toronado, Ritual Tavern, Sea Rocket, The Station, Hamilton's, Bar Eleven and Tiger!Tiger! Everyone rides free and buses come every 30 minutes. Download the bus schedule here! Most of these bars have even been voted "Best Beer Bars in America." 

Happy crawling! I think I might just try the PB Craft Crawl tomorrow night :)

*Be safe. Don't drink & drive - take advantage of the free bus! 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Shark Week: San Diego Edition

Shark week officially starts Monday, August 5th on the Discovery Channel. This is of course, one of the best things to look forward to during the summer! I mean really, who doesn't love Shark Week?! Want to get off the couch and experience shark week for yourself? Check out a few places below that will be honoring the famous shark week! 

"Deep Waters Sharktail"
(Shark) Bite Nights: The Pearl Hotel will have a 3-day homage to Shark Week by serving up "shark bites and nibbles," along with "sharktails." There will also be shark-themed decor, craft beer, and shark documentaries to watch poolside on the big screen. Make sure you try the "Deep Waters Sharktail" which is made of gin, lemon, simple syrup and egg white. This event will take place this Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 5-11pm each night. End the celebration with a viewing of Jaws on Wednesday, August 7th on the big screen. (The Pearl offers a ton of other great specials and happy hour deals so make sure to like them on Facebook!) 

Living Coast Discovery Center: Head down to Chula Vista to experience the shark and ray exhibits dedicated to Shark Week. Tickets are only $14 for adults and $9 for kids ages 4-17. Experience leopard sharks, grey smoothhound sharks, horn sharks, swell sharks and so much more!

Want to actually swim with sharks? Then head to La Jolla Shores and swim with the leopard sharks! From June to September they are out and about in knee deep waters. Grab your snorkel and fins and head into the water. Don't worry - these guys are harmless! These sharks are usually about 5 feet long and 20 lbs. Not up for swimming with them? Rent a kayak and stay above them! 

Here is the schedule for Shark Week on Discovery Channel if you need it!

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

All Things Beer

Not sure what to do this weekend? Why not get out of the house, enjoy this beautiful weather and check out some delicious food and craft beer. Whether you live North, East or South San Diego, I've got something for you. 

Brewfest Encinitas: Head to MiraCosta College (the San Elijo Campus) this Saturday from 4-7pm to sample some local breweries. There will also be food trucks and live music to go with it. $40 gets you admission, 10 tastings and a souvenir mug. Breweries include Stone, Aztec, green Flash, Ballast Point, Firestone Walker & Coronado Brewing Co. Enjoy food from Pretzel Madness, Tabe and Devilicious. There is also a home brew competition. Interested? Check it out here! Are you the designated driver? If so, it's free for you. This event also gives back to charity with your ticket admission. 

San Diego Craft Beer & Cocktail Showcase: Head downtown to El Dorado Lounge this Saturday from 4-8pm to enjoy local craft beer, delicious cocktails from places like Craft & Commerce and Noble Experiment, food, music and a celebrity dunk tank. Breweries include, but not limited to, Manzanita Brewing Co., The Lost Abbey, Helms & St. Archer. There will also be a mini-art walk and art exhibition for your entertainment. Tickets are only $20 and this gets you 10 tastings and 2 cocktails. Seriously, what a deal. 

From Farm to Bay Food & Wine Classic: Head to the Living Coast Discovery Center in Chula Vista this Saturday from 5-9pm and sample some of San Diego's finest food, wine and beer. Blind Tiger Cocktail Co., Stone Brewery, Sea Rocket Bistro, Brooklyn Girl and Chef Andrew Spurgin are just a few of the delicious food and drink options you can sample. You can also enjoy live music, animal encounters and an auction. Tickets start at $45. Tickets are selling out fast so get yours ASAP! 

Have a great weekend everyone and be safe! 

*You must be 21 to attend all these events. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Bridal Shower Inspiration

Hope everyone had a great weekend and happy Monday! I was at a bridal shower on Saturday for an upcoming wedding that I am in and I wanted to share some of the pictures with you for the decor. Maybe some of these ideas with inspire you for some of your own upcoming events! (I can't take credit for coming up with these adorable ideas, that was all on my girlfriend Bitty! I was just there to help set-up.) 

These M&M's had their faces on them, along with their wedding date and last name! Need to order some like this for your party? Do it here!

Every party needs a champagne bar of course! We had pink lemonade, cranberry juice and orange juice set out for everyone. We had big bottles of Korbel, along with individual bottles as well. Need some affordable carafes? Get them here! Trust me, you will use them all the time!

This was by far the cutest thing at the party! Bitty took fishing line and hung it from the trees and then placed the umbrellas on the string upside down! Need to order something like this? You can find them at the Champagne Diaries Store!

Rather than using flowers as a centerpiece why not get creative? We put black, white and hot pink floppy hats on all the tables with a string of pearls? Want to mimic this idea? Get the hats and pearls here!

I've mentioned making your own photo booth before. Here you can see it in action! She simply painted the frames to match her colors and hung them with string. Bitty even found a Polaroid camera so that all the pics we took that day were ready in 2 minutes! Find the camera and frames at the Champagne Diaries Store!

All the bridesmaids playing in the photo booth! 

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Free and Easy Wednesdays at the Races

My favorite season is here - race track season! Last week I talked about my love of half off wine bottles at most restaurants on Wednesdays. Know what else I love? Free and Easy Wednesdays at the Del Mar Race Track! What is that, you ask? Every Wednesday during the races you will receive free stretch run admission, a free program and a free seat, in addition to half-off on all domestic draft beer, sodas and hot dogs. 

There is just one catch to receiving all these wonderful & free items on Wednesdays. In order to get all the freebies you must be a member of the Diamond Club. Don't worry though - this is also FREE to sign up for! Seriously, it doesn't get much better (or cheaper) than that for a day at the races! When you sign up for the Diamond Club membership you will also get half-price admission on all other days at the track, along with special offers and giveaways throughout the year. Curious how much parking is? Surprise, surprise, it's FREE for all Diamond Club members! 

What a great concept. Not only do you get to avoid the crowds of people from the weekend goers, but it's free. Yes please. If you need me, I'll be at the races every Wednesday from now on! Will you be there too? 

Happy betting my friends!

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Strawberry Champagne Sangria

Over the weekend Jarod and I discovered the most delicious sangria recipe. Why was it so delicious? Because we added champagne to the mix! If you love champagne and you love sangria then you will for sure love this yummy concoction. Here is the recipe for you: 

What you will need: 

1/2 cup orange juice (no pulp)
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup triple sec and/or orange liqueur
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups slices strawberries, pureed
Strawberry and lime slices
1 bottle of Champagne 

How to make it: 

*Mix all the juices together, the liqueur and the sugar, until the sugar has dissolved.

*Place all the ingredients in a large pitcher and chill until you are ready to serve. 
It's best if you let it sit for a few hours at least. (Don't add the champagne yet!) 

*When you are ready to serve, add the champagne to the mix and stir.

*Serve over ice and garnish with the fruit slices.