Community Focal Point: CKO Kickboxing

CKO Kickboxing

7094 Miramar Road
San Diego CA 92121


Hate running? Bored of the gym? Looking to (literally) kick-start your workouts? Check out CKO Kickboxing. Not only is kickboxing fun, it burns tons of calories (up to 1200/hour) and tones you up fast.

Trisha and Joe Virga opened the first CKO Kickboxing location in Brooklyn, NY in 2008. Since relocating to San Diego, they opened another location last summer, the first on the West Coast. They have two young children and are soon to welcome a third.

Though the classes are intense, they’re still fun and open to athletes of any skill level. On your first session, you’ll be treated to orientation of the basic punches and kicks that will be used. The class is more focused on giving you an intense workout than on the martial arts. Punching bags are used, which are proven to be more effective than simply punching or kicking the air.

Sign up to see what all the buzz is about. Your first session is free! The only required equipment is a pair of protective gloves, which can be purchased on location. Open Monday-Saturday, classes are offered throughout the day.

Want to see your business featured here? Contact us!

Design Trends: Home Gardens

Design Trends: Home Gardens

In Southern California, gardening is remarkably easier than in other climates. Most plants grow well throughout the temperate seasons. What we tend to lack are two things: time and space.

Gardening can often seem like a quaint past-time of bygone days, the providence of the over-fifty set, little old ladies hunched over with gloves and spade, weeding before shuffling off to their weekly lunch with the girls in their Red Hat group.

No more. Gardening has come back into fashion as surely as the movements to “go organic” and “eat local” have gathered steam. You can’t go more organic or more local than your own backyard. Just make sure to choose plants that are environmentally viable in this area. has some great information on climate zones in our area, which can help you choose the best fruits and veggies to grow. Growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs can not only save you money at the grocery store, it’s a great way to educate children at a young age about how food is grown and where it comes from. Plus, most children are game to pull weeds and play around in the dirt.

Even if you don’t have space in your yard to devote to growing things, many plants and herbs can be grown in pots. You can also work with a raised garden bed, perfect for that empty corner of your patio. Vertical gardens are starting to catch on, too.

From the National Gardening Association
From the National Gardening Association

In the above infographic from the National Gardening Association, you can see a rundown of the most popular vegetables in the us, as well as an average return on investments for a home garden. While this information is few years outdated, we have seen a continued trend towards investments in home gardens, as our clients continue to not only sell homes with garden space, but to also seek out new homes with space for their green thumb.

This is a trend with staying power. Even if you’re more of a plant-killer than a green thumb, you can still get in on it. Herbs are among the most simple of plants to grow, requiring little more than occasional maintenance. And succulents can survive almost everything.

Gardening has additional health benefits, like providing moderate exercise and stress-relief.

The Master Gardeners of San Diego have a great guide to choosing the plants that are best for this region, when to plant them, and how to care for them.

Restaurant of the Moment: Blue Ribbon Pizzeria

Blue Ribbon Pizzeria

897 So. Coast Hwy 101
Suite F102
Encinitas CA 92024


We review a lot of nicer and gourmet restaurants on this blog—which isn’t to say we don’t appreciate the simpler fare, too. Like pizza.

Some of the best pizza we’ve ever tasted can be found at Blue Ribbon Pizzeria in Encinitas. Located not too far from 3rd Corner, there’s sure to be something on the menu you’ll love. Serving up more traditional flavors (Blue Ribbon) and experimental pies (Autumn, Signature), we haven’t had a bad one yet. Don’t miss their extensive list of craft beer and wine pairings, or their equally delicious appetizer list.

And certainly don’t skip dessert. Their butterscotch pudding is a personal favorite of Susan Meyers-Pyke.

Insider tip: Get there early or put your name in and take a walk around downtown Encinitas.

Community Focal Point: Lighting by Lucia

Lighting by Lucia

Business Owner: Danielle Lucia Schaffer

Danielle Lucia Schaffer, a lamp designer, recently relocated to the San Diego area. An avid designer, her lamps are sold at Blue Hand Home in Wilmington, North Carolina and Nube Green in Seattle, Washington. Her lamps have even been featured on the TV show, Revolution which is in its first season on NBC.

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Danielle describes herself as a “lamp-flipper”, a rather resonant description for those of us who deal in real estate. Where house flippers buy houses and fix them up to resell at (hopefully) a higher profit, Danielle does the same thing with lamps. She classifies them as “100% recycled”, preferring to take mid-century glass lamps and fix them up with new parts. She loves adding unexpected elements like old ash trays or flag pole stands. She scours vintage stores, the internet, and flea markets for just the right piece to add to each of her lamps. Because of this, each one is truly unique. It’s rare to get a matching pair. For a finishing touch, she adds gold or silver leaf to all the brass parts on the lamps for a shabby chic aesthetic.

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Anyone in the real estate or design business can tell you how important light is in a home. The ways the windows sit, how they catch the light, can have an entirely different effect on a home. Even when painting or picking out new furniture, it’s important to take into account how everything will look when the light hits. That cream color you loved in the can could look all wrong in your den when the afternoon light comes in. (See our post on using grey in your home). For those houses that are naturally darker, lamps are a necessity all day long. So, instead of having a couch or other bit of decor as your statement piece, why not utilize a lamp?

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You can read more about Danielle and her work on her website or connect with her on her Facebook page. And, if you’re a local San Diego business owner interested in selling any of her gorgeous lamps, be sure to get in touch with Danielle directly.

What to see your business featured here? Contact us!

Restaurant of the Moment: Poseidon Del Mar

Poseidon Del Mar

1670 Coast Blvd  Del Mar, CA 92014


San Diego is known for nothing if not its beautiful and romantic coastal restaurants. No matter what city you’re in, there’s sure to be a restaurant that will provide you with that unique dining experience you’re seeking. The Poseidon restaurant in Del Mar is no different.

Sporting gorgeous wood interiors with gold and glass fixtures, the true gem of the restaurant is its ocean-side porch seating. Even on a cold winter’s night, outdoor heat lamps keep the chill off. From the tables you can hear the soothing crash of the water upon the sand and watch couples and families strolling or cavorting on the beach.

Atmosphere aside, Poseidon boasts a robust, seafood-centered menu. For dinner, we enjoyed the Oven-Roasted Mahi Mahi and the Couscous and Vegetables tasting. The Mahi Mahi is a delightful dish featuring a slice of tender fish, coated in macadamia nut crust, served over a bed of coconut basmati rice. Vermicelli crisps and a ginger-soy beurre-blanc round out the exquisite tastes of this dish. Though primarily a seafood restaurant, they’re no slouch in the kitchen with the Couscous and Vegetables tasting. All of the vegetables in the dish were tender, the couscous perfectly done, and the tastes complimentary.

One of the more delightful aspects of our evening was the unexpected celebrity sightings. Greenbay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and Office star, Brian Baumgartner.

Event in Focus: Carlsbad Flower Fields

Carlsbad Flower Fields

5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92008


The first of March heralds the return of one of San Diego’s favorite attractions: the Carlsbad Flower Fields!

Colorful and fragrant blooms of Tecolote Giant Rununculus coat the hills of over fifty acres of land in North County San Diego. They have been growing and delighting visitors for more than sixty years. Pathways around and in between the beds allow visitors of all ages to experience and appreciate this unique San Diego attraction.

Some fresh cut flowers are available on site, along with some of the flower bulbs for planting at your own home.

Opportune viewing times are from mid-March to mid-April, depending on the weather. The fields are open even on rainy days, providing that the paths are still safe for visitors to walk on. A variety of special events take place over the weeks that the fields are open, some especially for kids.

Open daily from March 1st through May 12th, 9am-6pm.