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Stories by Eve Kelly

A comparison of mosquito repellants, from homemade to DEET

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 ...

July 12, 2017
Stuff for summer that will last

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 ...

July 5, 2017
San Diego Reader 2017 Fun issue

Climb the California Tower in Balboa Park Balboa Park’s California Tower at the San Diego Museum of Man was closed to the public in 1935, but after extensive construction and safety renovations it reopened for ...

June 21, 2017
Free and not-free Fourth of July

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

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 ...

May 31, 2017
Frequent flyers offer air-travel suggestions

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 ...

May 17, 2017
Everything Mother’s Day

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

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 ...

April 19, 2017
Everything Easter

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 ...

April 5, 2017
Baby Vivian needs a stroller for her European vacation

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, ...

March 29, 2017
Celebrate Irish heritage, even though you’re not Irish

“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 ...

March 8, 2017
Boot up for snow-play

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 ...

February 22, 2017
San Diego Reader 2017 arts issue

If You’re Making Art and Getting Paid for It... “People used to say, ‘Oh, I love your music; I put it on when I go to sleep.’ At first, I was insulted: ‘Thanks a lot. ...

February 8, 2017
Forget the jewelry and chocolate — get creative on Valentine's Day

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, ...

February 8, 2017
In fair San Diego, we lay our scene

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,” ...

February 8, 2017
New year, new hairstyle

“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 ...

January 25, 2017
Mid-January gut check

“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 ...

January 11, 2017
Throw a party like it’s 2017

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 ...

December 26, 2016
San Diego spots for fancy hot cocoa

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 ...

December 14, 2016
San Diego Reader 2016 guide to Holiday Fun

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 ...

November 30, 2016
Christmas snow from Escondido to Chula Vista

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 ...

November 30, 2016
A caveman Thanksgiving

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

November 16, 2016
Worst election night ever cocktail bash

Cocktails that honor and shame your fave candidate.

November 2, 2016
Children of the corn maze

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 ...

October 19, 2016
Ways to waterproof your iPhone

The first step toward texting underwater.

October 5, 2016
At last, a cold-brew coffee with zing and no sting

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, ...

September 28, 2016
Birds on the brain, in the sky, and, thirdly, up close

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 ...

September 21, 2016
Date night suggestions

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 ...

September 7, 2016
Smart shopping for back to school

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 ...

August 31, 2016
Like learn to be alone, expect suffering

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 ...

August 31, 2016
Let’s talk about Limeade

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 ...

August 17, 2016
Even the kids like bowling

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 ...

July 27, 2016
Permanent makeup doesn’t last forever

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 ...

July 13, 2016
Bawk bawk! Chicken broth!

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 ...

July 6, 2016
Keeping cool in the inland suburbs

There's no gloom in June anymore.

June 29, 2016
Partially submerge with the sharks

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 ...

June 15, 2016
Flower choices for the low-water garden

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 ...

June 1, 2016
Now read this, Cookie Monster

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 ...

May 18, 2016
Hazelnut spreads square off

Which one comes out on top?

May 4, 2016
Volunteer opportunities for teens

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

April 20, 2016
Kid-friendly runs through mud and foam and for yogurt

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

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

March 23, 2016
Decorating ideas for Easter

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 ...

March 16, 2016
Coding is cool, kids!

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

February 24, 2016
What to do for Valentine’s Day

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 ...

February 10, 2016
Who makes the best hot chocolate?

Cocoas with chemicals and some that prompt squeals

January 27, 2016
Pick your chai

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

January 13, 2016
Fancy flights over San Diego

"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, ...

December 30, 2015
Wrapper’s delight

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

December 16, 2015
Airsoft gunplay around the county

Boys like to shoot guns. I like children to remain uninjured. Airsoft, which involves shooting one’s friends but also involves plastic BBs and full facemasks, sounded like it might be a way to meet halfway. ...

December 2, 2015

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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