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Stories by Eve Kelly

Ideas for college care-packages

Bon appétit, dorm dwellers

All the kids coveted Steve’s care packages from his mom — homemade walnut–chocolate chip cookies, twice wrapped individually in plastic wrap and shipped by the dozens in freezer bags. Mouths watered as he sliced open ...

Go outdoors to hear music

“They have, like, 70 different bands. Last time, I went to see the Barb Wire Dolls and Creeper.”

“What’s the point of living in San Diego if all you kids do is sit inside and stare at screens?” It’s a frequent refrain in my house. I was dumb enough to buy all those ...

A comparison of mosquito repellants, from homemade to DEET

Essential oils, garlic, vinegar, and a mosquito repellant developed by a grandpa

Our son heads off into the Wind River Range of Wyoming on a three-week backpacking trek this August, the beginning of his school year at a liberal arts college with an outdoor leadership program. My ...

Stuff for summer that will last

Sandals, beach wagons, and Sport-Brellas

It seems like every year, I buy a new round of beach equipment: flip-flops, bags for carrying stuff, folding chairs — even new covers for the collapsible awning. This year, I’m looking for stuff that ...

Free and not-free Fourth of July

Coronado, of course, but Mission Hills, Escondido, Mira Mesa and maybe a cruise on the Hornblower

God bless, John Adams. You can thank him for all the firework displays around the Fourth of July. In Philadelphia, July 4, 1777, 13 fireworks were set off to commemorate the 13 colonies. The colors ...

What to give grads and dads

Pizza? Noise-canceling headphones? Let’s brainstorm...

Dads and grads, dads and grads, dads and grads. What to give them? Food, preferably pizza. Where to go? “Pieology,” said my friend Janice. Four locations in San Diego: Hillcrest (619-241-2881), Clairemont Mesa (858-565-0600), Sports ...

Frequent flyers offer air-travel suggestions

One thing you’ll want to leave at home is your expectations

Air travel has lost the glamour it embodied in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s. Gone are the days of smoked salmon, caviar, and champagne on Pan Am flights. These are the days of complimentary tiny ...

Everything Mother’s Day

Wine, beer, brunch, and tractor rides in San Diego

Mom is coming for Mother’s Day, so I need to find things we’ll both enjoy. The Rose Wine Bar and Bottle Shop in South Park (619-281-0718) will be offering a mother-daughter flower-crown workshop on May ...

A pen for every purpose

This one’s for all you ink-stained wretches out there.

It’s the little things. A freshly laundered bath towel, a muffin still warm from the oven, a handwritten note from a loved one — these add sweetness to life. I would file a decent writing ...

Everything Easter

Will it be brunch? A cruise? An egg hunt? Real live chicks?

The kids get Easter baskets every year. This year, I told them I want one, too, and I want it to be stuffed with chicks. Not the marshmallow kind, either. The real deal. Chick days ...

Baby Vivian needs a stroller for her European vacation

Consider baggage claims, diminutive European rental cars, cobblestones...

My friend Marie is headed to the Emerald Isle in May. “My husband’s brother is taking us,” she explained over brunch last week, “and we will be staying one week in Killarney. Passports are in, ...

Celebrate Irish heritage, even though you’re not Irish

Corned-beef taco time and green beer everywhere

“I like this new trend of Saint Patrick’s week instead of just one day,” says Patrick as he prepares to haul the Kelly clan to the 37th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Irish Festival ...

Boot up for snow-play

My California-born hubby has never even owned a pair of winter boots.

Snow fever, it comes regularly to this East Coast transplant. The relatives back there chuckle at me when I mention “going to the snow” — those poor folks don’t have the luxury of escaping it ...

Forget the jewelry and chocolate — get creative on Valentine's Day

Gift ideas for snookums

How to celebrate Valentine’s Day out beyond dinner and jewelry? Does your pudding like plays? Mystery Café dinner theater in Bankers Hill (619-460-2200) has a Valentine’s Day murder-mystery show on February 14 entitled I Do, ...

In fair San Diego, we lay our scene

Shakespeare Academy aims to bring the Bard to underserved communities

The great weather. The beaches. The Navy and Marines. The zoo and SeaWorld. Bad to mediocre (and exiting) sports teams. Comic-Con. Free associations on San Diego call up these images. But, “Oh me, the gods,” ...

New year, new hairstyle

“But what ’do should I do?”

“It’s a new year, I need a new ’do,” I told Patrick. “A new what?” He looked up from his book. “A new ’do, doofus. You know, a hairdo.” “Well,” his eyes got that sexy ...

Mid-January gut check

Work out, but not at the gym

“I feel like that Onion headline,” moaned Patrick. “Man who stopped dieting two weeks ago can already see results.” We were doing so well, and then the holidays came. Exercise time. “Fitness boot camps are ...

Throw a party like it’s 2017

Kissing comes later — concentrate on the party

A few new years have dawned since we had a New Year’s party in our own home. But 12 a.m., January 1, 2017, will be different. The bubbly will be bubbling, the streamers will be ...

San Diego spots for fancy hot cocoa

Chocolate bliss

My second daughter has one of those dreaded late-December birthdays, the kind that make both the birthday and Christmas feel a little less special because of their proximities. I confess that last year, budget and ...

San Diego Guide to Holiday Fun

Even if yuletide music burns your cochlea on contact ... something for you

I read somewhere that the reason you’re sad around Christmastime is because it’s a reminder of what you’ve lost since childhood: the belief that the world is a magical place that is interested in your ...

Christmas snow from Escondido to Chula Vista

Catch up with the big red-suited man himself

This year, I plan to add some snow fun into the holiday season. But waiting for snow to dump on a nearby mountain on a day that the family can get up there can get ...

A caveman Thanksgiving

Easy paleo options for Turkey Day

“We soak cashews, swell them, and cream them down so that they act like a kind of cream cheese.”

Worst election night ever cocktail bash

Pick your poison as the person is picked

Cocktails that honor and shame your fave candidate.

Children of the corn maze

Halloween can be more than candy and costumes

The largest corn maze in Southern California is in Temecula. The Big Horse Corn Maze (951-389-4621) covers a whopping 11 acres and takes one to two hours to navigate at an easy pace (45 minutes ...

Ways to waterproof your iPhone

Glub, glub, glub, your phone’s in a tub

The first step toward texting underwater.

At last, a cold-brew coffee with zing and no sting

“We recommend a proportion of two parts coffee to one part water.”

My kids love visiting Starbucks for their cold-coffee sweet treats, but I’ve found myself preferring the bitter side of things as I get older. When a friend praised local roaster Dark Horse Coffee’s cold brew, ...

Birds on the brain, in the sky, and, thirdly, up close

Where to see your fine-feathered friends

My ten-year-old has birds on the brain ever since she got a pet parakeet, and she’s eager to see some that don’t live in cages. Natalie at Free Flight Exotic Bird Sanctuary in Del Mar ...

Date night suggestions

Here are some cheap or free (but fun) options

Bills need to be paid, the kids need to eat, and the bank account is light after a round of expensive dentistry for the family. (If booze is the number-one curse of the Irish, bad ...

Smart shopping for back to school

Don’t be a wasteful first-worlder

Where did the summer go? I blinked and it was suddenly August. Another blink, and August was gone too. As I shared a cocktail last night with a couple friends at Polite Provisions — I ...

Like learn to be alone, expect suffering

Two poems by Katie Darby Mullins

Genesis 30:6, Rachel Gets Her Wish A man, a woman, another woman, and then the child who belongs to all three of them, come screaming and beautiful into the world… — John Darnielle The night ...

Let’s talk about Limeade

High hopes dashed

It’s hot: time to gather the family and taste limeade. We started with the straight stuff. Simply Limeade ($2.99 for 59 oz. at Sprouts) can be found in most grocery stores. “It smells like lime ...

Even the kids like bowling

One hammered two strikes in a row

The leisure days of summer make my mind wander to all the extras I can’t find time to do the rest of the year. One such activity is bowling. The whole family enjoys it but ...

Permanent makeup doesn’t last forever

“I cannot legally say that it is pain-free because sensitivity varies.”

My friend Sophie’s eyeliner is permanently perfect — because it’s permanent. “Permanent makeup is a tattoo,” explained Jeanee Lusby, owner of Natural Look of Permanent Cosmetics in La Jolla (866-550-LOOK), “but it isn’t really permanent ...

Bawk bawk! Chicken broth!

“Stock tends to pick up richness from the bones as it’s made.”

Sometimes, there’s no homemade chicken stock in the freezer. So I zipped around San Diego and gathered up a bunch of chicken juice — mostly broths, but also a few boxed stocks — from the ...

Keeping cool in the inland suburbs

The kids need some waterin' about now

There's no gloom in June anymore.

Partially submerge with the sharks

And then eat prime rib, lamb, and pasta

Uncle Max wants to go swimming with sharks when he visits this year. “It’s a metaphor made literal!” he marvels. Shark Diver (855-987-4275) runs several adventures, including a five-day trip to Guadalupe Island, about 175 ...

Flower choices for the low-water garden

Pretty, but not too thirsty

On the hottest day of last summer, we hosted a wedding reception in our backyard. The thermometer hit 103 degrees as the guests arrived at 2:30 in the afternoon. Our guests clustered in the shady ...

Now read this, Cookie Monster

There’s Cookies Tonight, the Cravory, Good Stuff Cookie...

My daughter likes to bake at home, so when her birthday comes along, she likes to make it special by bringing in professional confections. But this year, she has begged off cake — including cake ...

Hazelnut spreads square off

That one hazelnut-chocolate spread isn’t the only one

Which one comes out on top?

Volunteer opportunities for teens

A preemptive strike against the summer doldrums

“It is not mandatory to give or receive a hug, but we have not had any recipients deny one yet.”

Kid-friendly runs through mud and foam and for yogurt

Your little peeps could be running every month, sometimes twice

My teens participated in the Color in Motion 5K chalk run last month with a bunch of their friends. They returned triumphant after the jaunt around Qualcomm Stadium, looking as if they had returned from ...

Party with bunnies and chicks to pat

Let’s get out of the house on Easter

“Our big, gentle bunny will provide a great photo op and hand out small bubble bottles.”

Decorating ideas for Easter

Whimsical (and affordable) touches

Our backyard’s prima donna moment comes in late March and early April. The wild lilac’s violet blue flowers complement the rose bushes’ magenta blooms. Orange and lime tree blossoms compete with the tiny pink blooms ...

Coding is cool, kids!

Computer science education classes and camps for the young'uns

“Sometimes the kids have to solve a puzzle, and sometimes they have to take a quiz.”

What to do for Valentine’s Day

San Diego lovey-dovey stuff

Sitting in the sun, dreaming up Valentine’s Day for my man... Spoiled much, San Diego? I was thinking. Our problem here isn’t finding something to do, it’s choosing from so many options. Where I grew ...

Who makes the best hot chocolate?

Swiss Miss? Ghirardelli? Trader Joe’s?

Cocoas with chemicals and some that prompt squeals

Pick your chai

A chai tea should provide a cinnamon kick

“The temperature heat followed by the spice heat...I like it.”

Fancy flights over San Diego

A dramatic shift in perspective

"New Year, new perspective,” I told Patrick. “You’ve never seen your city from above, except through some scratched-up plastic window in coach. What about a hot-air balloon? No windows, scratched or otherwise. Just a balloon, ...

Wrapper’s delight

Wrap your present like you care

“I wrapped one with the Sunday comics, one in an old map, one in a beautiful silk scarf...”

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