Caught on Camera: Day at the Races CSF Gala

Last night’s CSF Gala and Auction, “A Day at the Races,” goes down on the books as one of the most festive events of the year.  Not only did we raise money for Coronado Schools Foundation, but we laughed, played, feasted, and danced our hearts out in true small-town, dream-big fashion. (They don’t call it the “Mom’s Prom” for nothing. The fascinators flew high and the dance moves went way down low.)

The highlights? Drinks at a lovely pinky-orange sunset on the newly-remodeled Vista Walk at the Hotel Del, bright, candy-colored hats and fascinators, soul-wrenching rendition of “Shallows”’sung by Matt Heniecke and friends,  a horse-head ice luge, hysterical hermit crab racing, a super awesome band, some pretty radical dancing by the guests, and mega-watt smiles from ear to ear.

Here are some of the pics.

Shop this Holiday Pop-Up to Help End Breastcancer

It’s a win-win! Get jump-started on your holiday gift-buying and help win the fight against breast cancer at the Coronado shopping event of the season. It’s all happening at the Dollie Style & Accessories Breast Cancer Fundraiser Shopping Event this Saturday at 235 F Avenue from 10-4pm.

Shop high-end bags and accessories and grab-worthy gift baskets donated by local businesses while enjoying sips and light bites. 100% of the proceeds from the basket auction and 15% of all Dollie sales will be donated to the Susan G. Komen organization.

“I lost my mother-in-law, Donna Catlin, to this disease which is why this cause is near and dear to my heart,” says Dolly Catlin, event organizer. “I want to help Susan G. Komen save lives and end breast cancer forever.”

Gift baskets include wantables from Starbucks, goodies from Natalie Falletta Skincare (including a $150 gift certificate for a facial) loot from Seaside Papery, La Mer, Coronado Glow, Spiros Gyros, Domani Salon, Holland’s Bicycles, an organic wine basket, and more.

Guests can also shop loads of wrapped-and-ready gift items including enviable Hammitt leather handbags, jewelry, scarves, Coronado royalty nightshirts, and more.

Dolly says she feels lucky that she has not had to fight her own personal battle with breast cancer, but her heart goes out to the millions of women who struggle with the disease.

“Breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women during their lifetime,” says Dolly. “It was just time for me to do something to help.”

As the world’s largest and most impactful breast cancer organization, Susan G. Komen funds more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit, while providing real-time help to those facing the disease.

Dolly hopes that you can join Mayor Richard Bailey and all the local businesses who have stepped up to help at the pop up this weekend! See you there!  ????

Why Wild Horses Couldn’t Keep Me Away from the Coronado Schools Foundation’s “Day at the Races” at the Hotel Del!

The fine folks from Coronado Schools Foundation are on the home stretch, fine tuning all the fun details for the annual CSF Gala and Auction, “Day at the Races.” It’s all happening on Saturday, October 19th at the Hotel Del Coronado from 5-10:30pm. 

I caught up with Leanne Anderson, Director of Development for Coronado Schools Foundation to get the inside track on all the exciting party details.

All I can say, is I’m chomping at the bit to get to this party!  A Kentucky Derby theme? A horse head ice luge? Sign me up!

Upon arrival, all guests are invited to mingle and meander at the glamorous VIP reception on the newly-redone Vista Walk at the Hotel Del.

Haven’t been to this part of the hotel lately? It’s undergone a complete remodel: The Del’s famed signature turret and sparkling Pacific Ocean serve as the backdrop for this beautiful garden setting, and be sure to check out the historic Dragon Tree, which dates back to the Del’s opening in 1888. And, it’s flat! No more rolling ankles in heels.

Be sure to come dressed in your race-day finest, because you’ll have a chance to score some winning prizes.

“For the very first time, we’re doing a best-dressed contest, for guys and girls,” says Leanne. 

And as far as attire goes, so many great options! I’m still tweaking my ensemble a bit, but here’s some outfit inspiration if you haven’t gotten started. (Think, bright dresses and hats or fascinators for the ladies, and festive jackets and pants and hats for the men. Bowties and fedoras? Lady-like suits? Demure bun or big Southern hair? Really, the sky’s the limit: just give it your own fun spin. )

After the outdoor reception, guests will meander into the Grand Ball Room where they’ll enjoy a three course, Derby-inspired hearty Southern meal: French onion soup in a puff pastry, New York Strip, and a fun vegan option—the stuffed petite pumpkin with baby beets and leeks. (I’m so getting this…because, petite pumpkin!)  And for dessert, be sure to save room for the white chocolate mint mousse with bourbon cream and butter short bread. Yes, please! 

And by all means, don’t forget to check out all the red napkins on the tables, folded to look like red roses. Presenting sponsor Donna Salof folded all of these by hand. Seriously? Yes, she did. Ask her.

Feeling parched? 

“Guests will be treated to a bold, festive wines by the Boisset Collection,” says Leanne. “The wines are underwritten by the Clements Group, and chosen with the help of CSF Board Chair and Sommelier Mr. Kellen Gill.” 

Sommelier-selected wines? I’ll cheers to that!

If you’re more of a cocktail guy or gal, then you won’t want to miss the Secretariat’s Ice Bar, featuring the horse-head ice luge with the “Kinzel Kocktail, sponsored by Alan Kinzel. (Hello, photo opp!)

You’ll have lots of chances to win cool prizes like a jockey silk designed by Village Elementary students under the direction of VAPA teacher Cyndi Furhmann, and you’re invited to get your picture snapped at the Kentucky Derby-style photo booth.

As far as the live auction goes, funds from the Raise your Paddle Portion of the evening will be used to equip the new innovation labs at each school site. (Think: 3-D laser printers, interactive presentation boards, and kits with hands-on materials for engineering and robotics.)

Guests will bid on all kinds of indulgent items like a Napa Valley vacation with wine tastings, a progressive dinner/bike ride hosted by CUSD teachers, the coveted Del membership, orthodontics package from Dr. Mullins, Blue Bridge Hospitality Chef experiences with wine, a full Kentucky Derby package, and…wait for it….a Bourbon Trail experience in Kentucky! 

The 8-piece live band and dance party is destined to be a winner, and will give you plenty of chances to watch your friends whip and neigh-neigh the night away. (Or, if you’re more of a “ride it, my pony,” kinda person, that’s fine too.) 

And trust me when I say this…DO NOT forget to check out the TOP SECRET, EXTRA SPECIAL race game in the back. I’m dying to tell y’all more about it, but I am sworn to secrecy! (Let’s just stay you should crawl, scamper or claw your way to the secret race room right away to check it out.)

Well folks, I hope you’re as excited as I am. See you at the races! For more info, visit 


Little Frenchie, the Henry, and Poke 123 Join the Taste of Coronado Lineup this Thursday!

Fancy an Aloe Vera cucumber martini? How about some Hawaiian Poke? Perhaps some pizza and pasta? Or cheers to chicken Bahn Mi?

Well, you can have it all–and lots more– at the Taste of Coronado. The island’s beloved food and drink event is coming to town this Thursday, October 10th, from 5pm-8pm.

Featuring five new stops–Little Frenchie, the Henry, Clayton’s Bakery & Bistro, Poke 123 and Mindful Cafe (from Sharp hospital–setting up at the Ferry Landing)–you can sample the best bites and nibbles in the Village. This year almost thirty local business are opening their doors to the hungry, festive and thirsty among us.

So text your babysitters, and loosen your belt buckles…..You can eat and drink all you want, but there’s one thing you don’t have: time.

“We are selling 800 tickets, and every year we sell out,” said Jessica Settle Cunningham, chair of the event.  So buy your tickets now at   (or you might be messaging Uber Eats.)

In case you were wondering…its no accident the event is on 10/10. It’s the Taste of Coronado’s ten year anniversary! Put on by the Coronado Junior Women’s Club, every year a portion of the proceeds go to a different local charity.  This year, it’s Camp Able, which is a non-profit organization that focuses on empowering the disabled community through fun and safe aquatic camps. (Visit for more info.)

Ready to partake, but don’t feel like walking or driving around town? No problem. The trusty trolley (three of them, to be exact) will be running on a continuous loop with seven stops around the island from 5pm-9pm.

And there’s more to “Taste” than just food and drink!

“The Coronado Fitness Club will be running a hydration station,” says Jessica, “and Coronado Bliss is doing a scalp, neck/shoulder or hand massage with Aveda oils.” Oooh, la la.

Be sure to document your night with food shots, selfies, and group photos at the Coronado Junior Women Club’s step and repeat and tag #tasteturnsten.

I’ve attended every “taste” for the last six years, so it’s a major bummer I’m missing this one. (But don’t feel too bad…I’ll be with my husband at the Annapolis Boat Show so life could be worse.) But I’m sure I’ll get some FOMO. So take lots of pics for me! It’s sure to be worthy of its ten year celebration.

“Eating, drinking, giving back and making memories, it never gets old!” says Jessica.

I couldn’t agree more! Check out Tastes from years past on my blog here.


I Tried it: My Weekend Romp with a Moke. It’s Electrifying!

If someone asked you to drive around a sky-blue Moke electric car for the weekend, what would you say? 

I can tell you what you’d say….. yes!

I mean, is there a better way to get around Coronado than by an electric mini-car? I think not.

Sure, we are currently the proud owners of a Gem golf cart, and yes, its lots of fun.  But when the folks at Moke Coronado agreed to loan me one of their electric cars for the weekend, I just couldn’t resist!  (Much to my husband’s chagrin…he’s worried I’m going to want a Moke for real. He’s right.)

First off, this thing is so darn cute. It comes in an array of colors and we landed the sky blue, which is what I would totally choose.

Color options.

It just looks so peppy in my garage…plucky and festive and ready for me to drive it! 

When you hop in and hit the road, you can’t help but smile. The wind’s in your hair, the sun’s on your skin, and you feel happy and ALIVE.

My eight-year daughter, Holland, said it best.  “I don’t LIKE the Moke. I LOVE it!”

What exactly did I love about the Moke? First off, it’s so adorable and square and boxy and has sort of a retro jam going about it.

Turns out, the Moke has been turning heads since the 1960s.  It began as a military invention for the British army, but later gained popularity with celebs, royalty, and Caribbean travelers.  It was driven by everyone from Princess Margaret to Brigitte Bardot, from Emperor Rosko to the Beach Boys.

The Moke brand soon became synonymous with easy, breezy, island-chic. It gets all sorts of press…coverage in People Magazine, Vogue, and the New York Post to name a few.


So what else do I love about the Moke, aside from its delightful appearance?

Well, the Moke also handles really, really well. The Moke is spry and strong and boasts power-steering, (unlike my golf cart) and zips and turns on a dime. It feels heavy (it actually weighs about 2300 pounds) so you never feel like you are going to flip over. (Ever flipped over a golf cart? I have! And broke my leg no less.)

Also, the Moke doesn’t have a top, so you really feel like you are in a convertible. I loved feeling the warm sun on my face and the breeze in my hair. (But if you crave the shade, it totally comes with a Bimini!)

And there’s the intangible element of fun. Something about the Moke just oozes good vibes! You can’t help but smile when you’re driving it. Neither could my kids or my friends. It brought happiness everywhere it went. And I took it EVERYWHERE.

We drove the Moke to the Ferry Landing. I took it to my mom’s house. We took it to school pickup. We drove it to the all-schools carnival. We drove it to the beach. We took it to a friend’s house. We took it to OysterFest at Maretalia. We drove it to the Henry. We took it to Boneys. I took it to get coffee from Cafe Madrid . I took it to Little Frenchie.

You feel like a celebrity driving this car around town. Tons of people stopped me, saying everything from “Nice car!” And “Sweet” to “Where do I get one?”

Like my golf cart, it’s street legal, but it only goes about 25-30 miles an hour, which means no driving on the bridge or strand. 

The Moke is electric, so it’s carbon-free and efficient. You charge it with a 110 outlet…basically plugs into any household outlet. Eight hours gets a full charge, and this buys you 40 miles  of drive time.

The Moke is also absolutely silent when you drive it. All you hear is the sounds of the birds chirping, the waves crashing, or your tunes on the built-in stereo. 

So, I know you have this burning question…How much cooler is a Moke compared to a golf cart? I mean, is it that much better?

The short answer?  Yes. It handles much better, it feels better, it feels safer, and it’s just more FUN. I mean, come on…look at our faces!

Will I be driving my own Moke anytime soon? That’s up to my husband. And that’s the thing…the Moke ain’t cheap. But can you really put a price tag on fun? I THINK NOT.

To build your own Moke, visit or call the Moke local office at 858-452-6060 or 619-823-0830. And ask for the Islander Bonus Gift!

Thanks for reading.