State of Susan

My space beyond 140 – Purposeful and random thoughts

Aloha! August 21, 2010

Filed under: Children,Entertainment,Family,Luau,San Diego — susanpolizzotto @ 1:28 pm


No, we didn’t go to Hawaii a second time this summer (and my intentions of blogging about Kauai is still in draft state…I just need to find time to finish it!). But…we did attend a luau for the 2nd time this summer! I had never heard about the luau at the Kona Kai Resort till a friend mentioned it to me in July. With my brother-in-law and his wife were coming to San Diego to escape the oven in Phoenix, I thought what a great activity for them to enjoy!

San Diego’s Kona Kai Resort is on Shelter Island, and every Friday during the summer, they hold a traditional luau on the beach behind their hotel. For $42/adult and $19.95 for kids (under 5 free), you get a traditional luau buffet, drinks and a Polynesian dance show (including hula and fire dancers).

I was pleasantly surprised how delicious the food was. Typically you think buffets for the masses have average tasting dishes. The Kona Kai luau did an excellent job of providing an experience in food and entertainment you would find in Hawaii. My favorites – kalua pork and lomi lomi (normally, I don’t like this salmon dish, but this one here was yummy!). They also had beef, chicken and fish entrees to choose from.

As for the entertainment, they start the music and dancing right at the beginning of the evening. My girls love to watch the show, and kids can go to the front of the stage area and watch the dancers up close. They love to “hula” so when the opportunity came for the audience to volunteer themselves, my girls went up with the dancers to shake their hips.

So if you’re looking for something fun to do with the family or group of friends, I highly suggest checking this out as an option for a Friday night. But hurry, the last show for this summer is on September 3rd!

For a more detailed review check out this one from


Finally, another resource for kids birthday parties May 31, 2010

Filed under: birthday party,Children,San Diego — susanpolizzotto @ 6:32 pm

I am constantly looking for new venues to hold birthday parties as I’ve done the painting pottery and Pump It Up. My next idea was the bowling alley. But then I received an invitation the other day to an open house for a new kids fitness place – WayBeyond at the UTC mall across from 24 Hour Fitness. I decided to take a peek at it this weekend to see what it was about as I can’t make it to the open house. OMG, the place looks so cool! I dragged my girls to peek in the window to get their approval – they immediately asked me if they could have their next birthday party there. Ahhh, exactly what I wanted to hear.

via WayBeyond Facebook

Way Beyond is what I would describe as a cross between a JW Tumbles and a Pump It Up. According to the info on the WayBeyond website, they have “designed, engineered, and manufactured unique and original equipment focused on achieving specific health and fitness goals for children. Our equipment is so unique, that we had to give it a new name: Functional PlayArt. Each piece of Functional PlayArt has purpose, created for a clear and defined fitness goal. Under the close guidance of WayBeyond’s Sports Scientist, Functional PlayArt has been developed to provide structure and form for a variety of children’s therapies and needs.”

Beyond (initially this was an unintended pun, but it just clicked with me maybe this was the intention!) this place looking like a huge indoor Disneyland playground, it looks like they are focusing on motivating children to be healthy with their effective, fun exercise and nutrition programs.

You can checkout the pictures on their Facebook page to see the structures and what looks to be like a fun time for kids ages 3-11. I hear they are going to offer drop-offs while you even shop at the mall (big plus for holiday shopping time!).

You can also follow them on Twitter @WayBeyondSD. Good luck WayBeyond! I can’t wait to have my girls come play.


Small town USA parade in San Diego for the family

Filed under: Children,Kensington,Parades,San Diego — susanpolizzotto @ 4:34 pm

San Diego may be the seventh largest city in the country, but when you’re at the Kensington Memorial Day Parade you feel like you’re in Mayberry from The Andy Griffith Show. This is my family’s third year attending this fabulous event. Our friends have a home right on the parade route (palm tree lined Marlborough Dr.) so they invite their friends over for brunch and a BBQ. The girls sit on the curb with the rest of the community and watch woodie cars, clowns on unicycles, mariachi dancers, politicians and students go down the street. Of course their favorite aspect of the parade is that all the people in the parade pass out candy (and one passes out Krispy Kreme donuts) to all the spectators. But I especially like it when the dentist walks the parade and hands out toothbrushes to the kids! If you ever want that small town USA feel, give this parade a try. Parking is easy a few blocks from the parade route and it’s done in about an hour. It’s becoming a wonderful tradition for our family. Anyone else know of good small town parades?


3D e-Invitations May 17, 2010

Filed under: Children,invitations — susanpolizzotto @ 8:10 am

If you’re one that likes the look of a real invitation (but don’t have time to print them or the budget to buy those really cute ones you really want) AND bored with using Evite, here’s a great alternative that I think is a cross between receiving a real invitation and e-invitation. Thanks to my friend Cristen I’ve fallen in love with Paperless Post as a way to send nice looking invitations that look three dimensional on your computer.

They have enough variety that should suit your need (though I think they could design some more children’s birthday party invitations) for various occasions. Some designs allow you to choose from different colors of paper. You can choose from a variety of fonts, and choose your size and color of your text. You can even choose the inside lining of your envelope (extra cost, but minimal), if you want to take it that far.

I used it about a month ago for a new member reception and yesterday I just used it for my 2nd daughter’s birthday party. It has some neat features like being able to print out a nice list of the attendees and even export all the RSVPs and their information into a spreadsheet! (I’m sort of geeky so I found that feature really cool!) Now, it’s not completely free, but close to it. You get 20 e-stamps when you open your account, and then you can buy as few as 20 more for just $4 (the more “stamps” you buy, the cheaper they are). When I have gone to a store and bought invitations to have them printed on, I’m typically paying about $1-$2 per invitation and that doesn’t include the cost of postage.

And when your guest receives the invitation in their email inbox, they actually receive an “envelope” with their name on the front that they click on and the invitation then pops up out of it. I love animation, so I’m impressed with how Paperless Post thought through the experience of the guest receiving the invitation as if it was in their own hands.

You can also earn more postage for future use when your friends open accounts. Even though the cost to use this service is pretty minimal, I’m always looking to minimize the cost of throwing a party. So if you are so inclined to open your own Paperless Post account, I’d appreciate it if you would use my personal link so that I can earn more postage. 🙂 Have fun!


For the Children April 17, 2010

Filed under: Children,Fundraisers,Rady Children's Hospital Auxiliary — susanpolizzotto @ 8:26 pm

I think this will be one of my favorite posts as it’s about a cause that I’m passionate about – Rady Children’s Hospital here in San Diego.

It all started when I had to take my youngest daughter, who was 18 months at the time, to the ER of Rady’s Children Hospital, our first visit. She had a bad cold and her breathing had become short and rapid. The doctors and nurses weren’t able to improve her situation, and she had to admitted into the hospital. After three days of breathing treatments and antibiotics, she was released and diagnosed with reactive airway disease (aka “almost” asthma, but they don’t diagnose kids as having asthma at that age). I’ve discovered that this disease is common with a lot toddlers, and they can outgrow it…but at the time, we were so scared and worried. Seeing my little baby hooked up to tubes, being poked and prodded made me feel so helpless as a parent. Our experience with the outstanding attention and warm caring personality of the medical staff of the hospital helped us get through a worrisome situation. It’s a huge comfort to know that we have such a top notch resource for the children of San Diego.

After that experience, I wanted to find a way that I can help to enable the hospital to continue the excellent care it provides to San Diego children. That’s when I decided to join the Carmel Valley unit of Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary. Our annual signature event is called “Sounds of Hope” for Children, an event that San Diego Magazine has previously called one of the Top 10 Plus 10 parties of the year. It’s an evening of cocktails, dinner, and a private concert. Each year we designate the funds raised to a specific need for the hospital. This year we selected The Chadwick Center. The center renders such an important service to the most vulnerable in our society — abused and neglected children. With recent state budget cuts, unless we can make up the difference, they will have to shut down vital therapy and medical programs. Last year, we raised over $580,000 for the neonatal intensive care unit for much needed “giraffe” isolettes for premature babies. This year, we hope to raise just as much needed funds for The Chadwick Center. So, thus I’m spreading the word to my family and friends to help me and my unit members make a difference in the lives of these children.

For those that have not been to one of our events, Sounds of Hope is a benefit concert. Last year we had Maroon 5. This year we’re going to groove to the sounds of the disco divas, EVELYN “CHAMPAGNE” KING, ANITA WARD, GLORIA GAYNOR & CHAKA KHAN!

Where: Del Mar Fairgrounds Activity Center (we are TRANSFORMING the activity center into a very chic “Disco Lounge”it’s transformed into an amazing venue, and this year it’s a disco theme – I promise you will not think you are at the Del Mar Fairgrounds once you walk inside!)

When: Friday – April 23, 2010 6:30 PM – 11:30 PM

How: Tickets can be charged at 858 461-0206

Don’t miss seeing all of these great icons of disco and R&B battling it out on stage and performing all together for an amazing finale. This year we are also having an after party with food and dj at no extra cost. I guarantee you will have a fabulous time!

For more info check out our website where you can see a description of the fabulous auction items including a stay at a Villa on the water in Zihautanejo and tickets for 12 in a luxury box to see Lady Gaga (any of you want to go in with me to bid on this!!!!)

Thank you for reading my post. I care about this organization and I want my friends there!

P.S. If you are not able to attend, I hope that you’ll consider making a donation to the cause.

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My space, your space April 9, 2010

Filed under: Travel — susanpolizzotto @ 8:35 pm

This week I traveled to the east coast and encountered one of my biggest pet peeves while flying…strangers encroaching into my space. So, I’ve always had this thing about “my space” on the airplane. I imagine that there is an invisible wall that goes straight up from the middle of each arm rest, and I promise to stay within “my space” and as my seat mates, you stay in “your space”. I’ll even give up the arm rests on both sides so they can rest their elbows. My thought is: I’ve paid for my seat and you’ve paid for yours. Just because I’m smaller (I’m 5″ tall), does not mean that you have liberty to lean/hang/spill over into my space. Am I just over possessive on this? I (and most people who fly) just want to keep to myself when on a plane (unless of course I’m sitting next to family or friends).

I have to draw the line when they lean over into my space and brush their arm against mine and want to leave it there. Or to lift up the arm rest to give themselves more “butt” space. I too wish we weren’t crammed in airplanes sitting so close to strangers. You want more space, pay for first class. Otherwise, please respect your seat mates space (and bathe before you get on a crowded plane sitting inches from each other).

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Lemony Orzo Salad February 28, 2010

Filed under: Junior League of San Diego,Recipes — susanpolizzotto @ 1:36 pm

Well, I never thought that my first blog post would be a recipe, but I’ve recently asked for this recipe (and usually every single time I bring this dish to an event) and thought why not make this a tasty first blog post (and just direct people here vs sending it via email everytime)?

This easy and quick recipe comes from the Junior League of San Diego’s California sol food cookbook.  Every recipe I’ve made from this cookbook has been well received (at least that’s what my dinner guests tell me!).

Bon appetit, and let me know if you modify in your own way to make it taste even better! Or share with me any tasty, fast and easy recipes.

Lemony Orzo Salad
A great new take on the standard pasta salad and a star at the buffet table.

1 cup orzo
1/3 cup chopped zucchini
1/3 cup chopped red onion (note: I leave out the red onion or put in very little…too strong in my opinion)
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (note: I put in a an extra teaspoon as I like the stronger lemon flavor)
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil (note: try to use fresh, better flavor IMO)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons minced fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup chopped tomato
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese (note: leave out if you don’t like the taste of feta…like me!)
2 tablespoons chopped kalamata olives (note: I put in way more for taste as I love kalamata olives!)

Cook the pasta using the package directions, omitting the salt and butter; drain. Combine the pasta, zucchini and onion in a bowl and toss to mix. Whisk the parsley, lemon juice, basil, olive oil, mint, salt and pepper in a bowl until mixed. Add the pasta mixture to the olive oil mixture and toss to coat. Stir in the tomato, cheese, and olives. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Serves 6

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