Carmen Varner // Travel Influencer, Blogging Coach, Social Media Consultant

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Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree in Balboa Park, San Diego

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

You might've already known about eucalyptus but have you heard of rainbow eucalyptus? The colorful eucalyptus deglupta species grows in places such as its native Papua New Guinea or Hawaii. The colors of the rainbow eucalyptus are striking, more colorful than a regular eucalyptus. These deglupta trees may be hard to locate. 

I answer important questions like: Can I grow a rainbow eucalyptus? Can it grow in California? Where are they native to? What causes rainbow eucalyptus trees? Keep reading!


As a local, I've been to Balboa Park dozens of times over the past 20+ years. It's a place I thought I knew pretty well but life always surprises you. Something about this visit was a bit different. I noticed a colorful tree. You don't find trees with rainbow bark very often. I looked at it & all of a sudden I recalled news video I've seen earlier in the week. I watched a two-minute news clip about the rainbow eucalyptus tree, which stated that you can see it various spots throughout San Diego County, including Balboa Park & the San Diego Zoo. There are tons of eucalyptus trees in San Diego but this was unique.


Just like most social media users, I absorb & consume a lot of content, so I thought it was cool but I never thought much of it. Fast forward to this one magical time I'm in the park. I saw the colorful rainbow eucalyptus tree & the video clip went through my mind. I took a couple pictures & moved on with my day exploring San Diego. That said, I cannot recall the exact geolocation but it was somewhere near the museum & building areas.

Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree in Balboa Park, San Diego California

What Causes Rainbow Eucalyptus?

The little rainbow tree grows up to be a big rainbow gum tree. No no, just kidding. The rainbow tree effect comes from the various layers of bark as they begin to oxidize & peel off. Rainbow eucalyptus trees lose their bark & thus, shades of their color, which causes the stunning rainbow look. It may take years for a tree to acquire enough layering. You'll often see shades of orange & bright green. The trunk of this magnificent eucalyptus rainbow tree is a rare, seasonal sight. The best time to witness it might be in the springtime, that's when I viewed it!

Rainbow Eucalyptus San Diego Tree in Balboa Park

Can Rainbow Eucalyptus Grow in California? 

These beautiful rainbow trees, called Eucalyptus deglupta, are native to tropical rainforest environments such as the Philippines, Indonesia, & Papua New Guinea with some rain. If you type in the phrase rainbow eucalyptus tree into Google, the image shown depicts the tree in some pretty wild colors. That is not at all the type of wild, natural version I saw in Balboa Park, San Diego area. I have to guess that many images online are heavily edited to include a range of colors. 

In Maui, Hawaii you'll find the Eucalyptus deglupta, also known as the Mindanao Gum or the Rainbow Gum tree. You'll find these remarkable painted eucalyptus trees on Hana Highway as well as Ke’anae Arboretum. Rainbow eucalyptus trees with rainbow bark aren't easy to search for. The Eucalyptus deglupta is quite a sight with shades bright green & orange! Hawaii is the perfect place for these trees since they thrive in a frost-free, tropical environment.

Can rainbow eucalyptus grow in California? Technically yes because they are growing in places like Balboa Park & the San Diego Zoo. However, it'll be harder to find rainbow eucalyptus seeds, bonsai, or seedling. One thing to remember: it's definitely not a house plant as eucalyptus can grow over 100 feet tall. You might be able to find the seeds online like on Amazon.

If you're in the San Diego area, here's a list of things to do in Oceanside, California: restaurants, coffee shops, what to see, & here's a list of things to do in Encinitas, California.
Where Can You See Rainbow Eucalyptus? Balboa Park San Diego California

Where Can You See Rainbow Eucalyptus?

You'll spot it on Maui, Hawaii, some places in Southern California & San Diego like the Zoo or Balboa Park. It can be found in the Philippines, Indonesia, & Papua New Guinea. It can take years for the colorful rainbow effect to develop. These are your best best for finding the trees!

Can I Grow a Rainbow Eucalyptus?

The bark is one of its most notable features & that's what makes it so popular. However, these aren't easy plants. If you can potentially find the seeds or a seedling, you can certainly try. It is possible to be planted. The trees don't grow everywhere so it might be easier said than done. It will be hard to grow the tree in a place where it is not naturally native. Conditions such as the soil & humidity may make a huge difference. They tend to thrive in a frost-free environment. You might be able to find the seeds online someplace like Amazon.

These are some pretty cool trees that can be found in various places in the world. They aren't new but they are somewhat rare. It's one of those things you have to see in real life order to appreciate & know its beauty. The way the bark peels is nature at its finest. Enjoy the sight if you see one in person! I can't believe I walked by one right when they were in season with its bark chipping off to slowly reveal the layers of colors underneath. As a gardening enthusiast, it was a joy to see one up close. 

Have you seen trees with rainbow bark before? Let me know in the comments if you know where to view these in your city? Maybe we can compile a list! :]

Small Business Shopping Gift Guide

Monday, June 22, 2020

We're all scratching our heads attempting to maneuver through life, work, & relationships post-pandemic.  Wait, we're still in the pandemic. Some of us handcrafted masks, some experimented with sourdough bread, some protested. No matter what - 2020 isn't a write-off year. It's a year of wandering around your city, looking out for every nook & cranny & trail & critter, rather than focusing on traveling the world. 2020 is the year instigating lifelong helpful change, making the world better than you found it. 

Gift ideas from hair care to makeup to hand sanitizer created by a 9-year-old

We can make a difference in the brands we support, including choosing small businesses, Black-owned businesses, minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses rather than huge corporations. These businesses could use a sprinkle of support. Send a link to your friend or roommate. Buy something for yourself or a loved one. Most of these gifts are low-cost & make a great gift as an act of love or self-care. 


Heathmade

Founded & created by a 9-year-old Heath, Heathmade offers products from hand sanitizer, lip balm, lotion bars, deodorant, & even travel set options. I'm utterly impressed with the lotion bar. The bay leaf + tobacco + lavender scent, Manly Lotion Bar, smells like a comforting embrace your great uncle would give you when you were a kid. Smells lovely, works wonderfully. Rub the lotion bar on dry parts - elbows, knees, hands, you get the drill. It feels rich on the skin & acts like a light perfume/cologne due to its scent. Products are very affordable. Everything is under $15 (except for the travel sets). Click here to check out the Heathmade lotion bars. Don't forget to browse the hand sanitizers because that's a must-have these days.


Ecoslay

Are you a curl haired queen? Try Ecoslay's line of cleansers, conditioners, stylers, as well as some bundles to pick & choose from. I used the Orange Marmalade curl definer for my 2b-2c waves & it created a more established wave than if I didn't use the product. It breathes life into my hair. I'm still figuring out how to manage my hair, as it changes its mind every day. The Ecoslay curl definer didn't leave my hair crispy as some other defining products might feel. The luxuriously thick Banana Cream deep conditioner smells delightful with avocado, okra, coconut cream, aloe vera, & banana as ingredients. Whether you have wavy or curly locks, Ecoslay has something for your hair type.


My Little Mascara Club

The Best Little Mascara Ever gift set comes with a pair of eco-friendly reusable mascara remover wipes, natural mascara, fresh micellar water remover, & a chic black & white bag. You can order once or pick a frequency that delivers a new shipment to that works for you. The convenient setup allows you to have consistent mascara access at your given pace. My Little Mascara Club products are vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, beeswax-free, & paraffin-free. 


Formula 10.0.6

Formula 10.0.6 has quite a range of face & body products with vibrant, modern packaging. Their face products range from a mattifying oil-free moisturizer to a skin-purifying bubble mask to an acne blemish treatment. It all started in 1933 with a family chemist & developed from there. They have a cool variety of face masks. If you can't decide which mask to get, opt for the Multi-Mask Kit. The brand is extremely affordable with most products around $7.

HUE For Every Man

HUE For Every Man creates hair care products for men with textured, curly, &/or coarse hair. In their shop, you'll find all nature pomade for all hair types to a charcoal face mask to a shave lotion. You can find them on their website as well as at select Target locations.


Evidence Skincare (ESK) 

The Australian made, cruelty-free brand, ESK, creates products formulated based on peer-reviewed scientific studies published in established medical journals. No hodgepodge or gimmicks here. You can even take their Skin Quiz to find out more about your skin's exact needs. You'll find an anti-aging kit, acne/oily skin kit, rosacea kit, & more in the ESK online shop.


Trophy Skin

The MiniMD is a nifty handheld microdermabrasion tool that kind of exfoliates & sucks on your skin like a tiny vacuum. Plug it in, add a filter, turn it on, & you're ready to buff n roll. This certainly helps slough off dead skin, perfect for dry times when your face needs a good scrub. The diamond head exfoliation makes your skin feel smoother. Trophy Skin not only has microdermabrasion products but also light therapy as well as ultrasonic options. 

What would you want from this list? What small businesses do you love? Leave a comment so we can check it out!

Is Pinterest Social Media? + a List of Pinterest Categories

Friday, May 22, 2020

What is Pinterest? 

In May 2020, I hit 1 million monthly viewers on Pinterest. In June, I hat 2.8 million monthly viewers. So I write this post based on my personal experience as well as the experience doing Pinterest work for clients. 

Is Pinterest social media? Is there a method on how to find friends on Pinterest? I delve into all these answers to help you understand a bit more about the platform - keep reading! So, what is Pinterest? Pinterest is an image-sharing social media platform. In order to use the service, users have to create an account. If you don't have an account, it'll prompt you to login before it'll allow you to use any of the features. You can use your Google account to log in or create an account with your email & password.


Is Pinterest Social Media? Categories Pinterest manager Carmen Varner San Diego lifestyle blogger



Pins & Boards

Photos, videos, & GIFs can be saved into what are called pinboards.  The user can create their own boards or participate in group boards. People can use the toolbar to search for what they are looking for. Click here to see my Pinterest boards & the groups I'm in as an example. Over the years I've created a range of pin boards due to my interests at the time; I've also joined many groups & been invited to participate in group boards.


Is Pinterest Social Media?

Technically, yes. Pinterest is classified as a social media platform. You can follow people, people can follow you, you can messages users. Is Pinterest social media? It allows you to be social with others. However, you can choose to use the platform in any way you wish. You don't have to follow people or feel stress to gain followers or page views. You can use it purely inspiration. It's mainly an image-based social media service. You can easily utilize the search feature by typing into it as you would Google.

Is Pinterest Social Media? Categories Pinterest manager Carmen Varner lifestyle blog San Diego
Here's what my Pinterest profile looks like. 

What are Pinterest Categories?

Once you have an account & you're all logged in you'll see a search bar on the top of the website. Type in anything here. It'll give you some top Pins as well as some potential other related terms. For example, if you're looking for recipe ideas you could type in anything from "easy dessert ideas" to "pancake recipes" to "quick and easy dinner recipes vegetarian Indian." There are literally millions of pins, so you'll most likely find exactly what you're looking for. 

Here's a breakdown of the Pinterest categories:
Popular 
Everything 
Gifts 
Videos 
Animals and pets 
Architecture 
Art 
Cars and motorcycles 
Celebrities 
DIY and crafts 
Design 
Education 
Entertainment 
Food and drink 
Gardening
Geek 
Hair and beauty
Health and fitness 
History 
Holidays and events 
Home decor 
Humor 
Illustrations and posters
Kids and parenting
Men's fashion 
Outdoors 
Photography 
Products 
Quotes 
Science and nature
Sports 
Tattoos 
Technology 
Travel 
Weddings 
Women's fashion

Each of the Pinterest categories comes with a bunch of other subcategories. For example, under the DIY and crafts section, you'll find related topics such as Hacks, Woodworking, Beadwork, Jewelry making, Quilting, among others. You can always search for other terms as well. How to tie-dye clothes with bleach. Black & white photography of Sweden. Chocolate & coffee oatmeal. 

Is Pinterest Social Media? List of Categories Pinterest manager Carmen Varner


How to Search for Images

If you don't know what you're searching for, start with something vague such as "travel tips" & then it'll prompt you if you want to be more specific. It might show Europe, Packing, Amtrak train, International, Japan, Hawaii, Solo, Iceland, etc. It helps refine the search to be more relevant for you. Now when we're talking about is Pinterest social media, this is where it's a bit different. 

You can use Pinterest solely for imagery, inspiration, or to access the search feature like you would for Google. Whereas people might use Facebook to post about their life or they might use Instagram to get followers their business, many people use Pinterest for its search capabilities & its wealth of information.

How to Find Friends on Pinterest & How to Follow People

Start by doing some initial searches. Then you might find some users whose content you really like or relate to. If you feel inclined, you can follow them so you'll see more of the things that they post. If you're trying to find out how to find friends on Pinterest, type in their name in the search bar, go to their profile, & follow them there. If you can't find them or perhaps they have a different name, just ask them for their username or their link. That's the easiest method on how to find friends of Pinterest.

Pinterest Manager

What in the world is Pinterest?! Is Pinterest social media? Is there such a thing as Pinterest training? How to find friends on Pinterest? So maybe you have read all this & you're still totally confused. That was me. I used to Pinterest for quite a long time before I figured out how it works so I totally understand the frustration. Now I've been using the social media platform for years & even work with my clients on their accounts. If you need a Pinterest manager, fill out my quickie questionnaireI'm not a Pinterest marketing agency but I'm a human being who specialized in Pinterest. As a Pinterest manager, I've used Pinterest marketing for clients such as a bohemian towel brand, a travel influencer, a fitness trainer, & even a therapy practice. See my blog post about How I Help People as a Blog Coach & Consultant.

For Pinterest manager & Pinterest training: go here.

Are you on Pinterest? Why do you use it? What's your tip for someone new to Pinterest? :]

Traveling to Paris: France Travel Tips

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Out of all the cities in the world, I've explored Paris the most. Traveling to Paris is magical. While I live many of my days in Southern California (Conejo ValleyEncinitas, Lompoc) but I've traveled to over 20 countries & I keep finding myself in Paris. Time & time again. I obviously don't consider myself a local, but I know more than the this-is-my-first-time-in-Paris site-seeing tourist or travel influencer. Understand how to not look like a tourist in Paris, because it can keep you safer, make you more knowledgeable, & make you a better traveler. Traveling to Paris is so fun. Consider these France travel tips.

Three facts about the writer, Carmen: I always have fresh eucalyptus hanging in the shower. I'm really into true crime podcasts. One time I spent the night at London Gatwick Airport.


Over the years I've spent several weeks in Paris. My cousin lives in Paris, so I spent some time staying with her in her cool but small studio in the 15th arrondissement. Some days are jam-packed with the most touristy best places to visit in Paris, while some days I sleep in, listen to true crime podcasts in Bibliothèque Vaugirard as I organize emails & submit invoices to my social media & blog clients. Now that I've been to Paris several times & have spent many weeks in the City of Lights, these are my biggest tips on how to not look like a tourist in Paris, France, consider these the do's & don'ts of visiting Paris! Read these France travel tips.



How to Not Look Like a Tourist in Paris, France: Do’s & Don’ts of Paris. Consider these France travel tips.



1. Don’t Speak Extremely Loud, Do Be Aware of Your Volume

One of the first France travel tips is to mind your voice volume. This is applicable wherever you travel. I’ll never forget the American male tourist practically yelling in the metro station that he couldn’t understand the map. His booming voice echoed through the metro, implying his tourist stats to the two hundred or more people through the station. While I completely understand the frustration, the metro can be overwhelming for even a Paris novice, but he created an easy target on his back to get pickpocketed. Travel tips for France: Not only is it courteous to be aware of your volume, but you might blend in more or be less noticeable to pickpockets, scammers, etc.

2. Don’t Dress Like a Tourist, Do Dress More Parisian

Traveling to Paris doesn't have to be scary. You can tell when someone is a tourist because French people are dressed nicely, probably commuting to work or heading to dinner with friends, but as a tourist, we’re dressed for comfort, you don’t have your entire wardrobe to choose from. Travel tips for France & anywhere: I’m a tourist, a traveler myself, but I try to blend in when I can. While this isn’t 100% here are some things to keep in mind: Parisians often wear neutrals. Parisians wear sneakers over the standard tennis shoe or running shoe. Think Stan Smith Adidas - here's a real photo from Paris of three types of white shoes. Look French, that's one of the easier France travel tips.


Sacré-Cœur (Sacre Coeur) has a lot of tourists

3. Don’t Walk Around Naked, Do Wear Headphones

Look around & you’ll see loads of people wearing their little white iPhone headphones or the occasional person with a wireless Bluetooth headphone, either way, many Parisians, especially the younger generation wear headphones while walking around town, commuting via metro or bus. Visiting Paris? Travel tips for France: You’ll blend right in if you listen to a downloaded podcast on Spotify or look at your phone's map to figure out the best places to visit in Paris, just do it with your headphones in. Sometimes I write notes on my phone, it helps me remember details & it looks like I’m a cool Parisian texting all my Parisian friends. Travel tips for France on how to not look like a tourist in Paris? Headphones or earbuds!

4. Don’t Always Speak English, Do Learn Some French words - Even a Word or Two

Traveling to Paris? Learn some French words if you're visiting Paris! I took three years of French in high school since my family lives in France. It was always my goal to communicate with my cousins, but alas, I’ve forgotten most of the verb conjugations & all the accents: accent ague? Sometimes Fred & I can have an entire interaction in our butchered French. Let go of any language shame - just try. I literally pointed to a baguette & said “un croissant, s'il vous plais.” twice while the cashier was like…. “uh…c’est un baguette.” Like I know what it is, my brain messed up. Don’t worry, you’re going to feel silly, but you can’t improve if you don’t try. If anything, you'll learn travel tips for France from this post.


Traveling to Paris: France Travel Tips Inside the Notre Dame Cathedral

5. Don’t Forget to Greet People, Do Say Your “Bonjours” and “Bon Soirees”

French culture means never not saying goodbye. In the USA, we often have “ghosting” culture where you leave without saying goodbye, you just kind of evaporate, disappear. Not when you're visiting Paris, honey. That’s seen as extremely rude. You’ll almost always be greeted when you enter and establishment & you’ll be wished a good day when you leave. For example, when you enter a boulangerie (a French bakery), the cashier will often say, “Bonjour Madame, Bonjour Monsieur.” You should always respond back. My travel tips for France: I usually just say exactly the same thing back to the person. After you order and are about to leave, they usually say “Bonne journée” if it’s day time - which means "Have a nice day." In the late afternoon & evening, many people will send you off with a “Bonne soirée” - basically "Have a good evening." Again, I simply say my pleases & thank you (si’l vous plait & merci) & then regurgitate what they say to me. At our flat in Paris, every time anyone walked passed you, you’d say “bonjour” or at least some acknowledgment or their presence. At my apartment in the USA, you can walk past your neighbor of 3 years without a hello, without even knowing their name. While walking the halls, this While I’m pretty introverted, it’s just different here & you have to push yourself out of the comfort zone. Traveling to Paris is an experience like no other.


6. Don’t Go Without Internet, Do Get a SIM Card

You can't go traveling to Paris without a SIM card. I've done the bulk of my travels without the internet, simply relying on public Wi-Fi whenever possible. Some cities are easier, but in Paris, unless you hop inside a McDonald’s or Starbucks, you’ll be hard-pressed to find free internet. Plus you risk someone stealing your information, passwords, and potentially hacking you. I know, I had no clue about any of this either. I was blissfully logging into every free Wi-Fi. You can easily find SIM cards in Paris at the little phone, gadget, internet kiosks throughout the city. We purchased a 20 gig SIM card for 25 Euro. It allowed us to view maps on our phone without busting out a huge I’m-a-tourist paper map.

Are you traveling to Paris soon? What are your France travel tips? Are you visiting Paris? Do you have travel tips for France?

Life in Quarantine as a San Diego Blogger + Social Media Manager

Friday, April 17, 2020

Hi. I'm Carmen, a San Diego blogger & a social media manager/consultant for small businesses, brands, & even influencers. I blog for fun & I do social media optimization services for work. Learn more about me here. I've lived here most of my days, making the San Diego lifestyle the only one I really know. San Diego County is huge; there's an ever-changing flow. There's always a new craft brewery or trendy dinner spot to check out. Oh, but those were the good old days before the quarantine. 

As with many people in the county (& world), we're quarantined. Even though we're used to sunny days, San Diego bloggers don't let the rain get them down. So what do San Diego lifestyle bloggers do when under quarantine? Is it business as usual or have things changed?


Life in Quarantine as a San Diego Blogger + Social Media Manager


Losing clients & work

I am a San Diego blogger, yes, but I also work remotely full-time as a social media manager for small brands & businesses in San Diego County & beyond. I perform social media optimization services, write blog posts, product descriptions, whatever people need. Two of my clients reduced my hours completely until further notice, leaving me out of the bulk of my work. Find out more about me (Carmen) & my blogging + career background. I even found a new client a few weeks into quarantine & then two weeks later they said they couldn't fit me in their budget.

And I understand, if a business is shut down altogether, they might not have the budget for social media optimization services. Other clients are impacted by closed offices, reduced work, closed restaurants, & probably a lot more! San Diego businesses & San Diego bloggers alike are reeling from the COVID-19, trying to pick up their life, earn some money, move forward. 




This impacts the entire community

I've worked from home for just about three years as a San Diego Blogger, social media manager, & travel writer. I talk about my 2-year anniversary in this post - the highs & lows in this post, the changes in blogging to influencer marketing, particularly Instagram influencers. And if you want to go way back, I delve into my one-year anniversary in this blog post. As someone self-employed, I've had my fair share of client losses over the years but this impacts more than just me. It impacts clients, friends, family, the whole community, state, the whole globe is united in how much we're impacted. 

Get creative when taking photos at home

Since we're self-isolating, you're not supposed to go out & about to the beach, having a full-on brand photoshoot. With that in mind, many San Diego bloggers out there can't shoot photos for content, unless it's at their home. San Diego bloggers & lifestyle bloggers might feel strained when it comes to creating content. Use simple backdrops to make your photos more interesting: your countertop, your wood table or floor, any kitchen tiles, a blanket. Get creative! If you're one of the San Diego travel blogs, look through older photos & start using storytelling to share your previous imagery. Shop some of my favorite blogger & influencer essentials on Amazon.

Things to Do in Encinitas, California: Don't Miss This North County San Diego Gem


Buy affordable props to jazz up your desk, room, apartment, house

What if you don't have a cute workspace or home for photos? I know the feeling; I live in an apartment so I can't change the brownish-beige carpet or the dark brown countertops, so I have to use props. Sometimes I use a chic faux sheepskin rug to style my photos as a San Diego blogger. If you're filming videos or need a larger backdrop, you can buy a large wallhanging for under $20. Stay home & buy some affordable photo props online. Check out this blog post for the full breakdown.

Restaurants, Coffee Shops, What to See: Things to Do in Oceanside, California

Need blog help, social media optimization services, content writing, etc?

It just so happens I'm open & looking for some new clients! Hey, if you need social media optimization services, blog help, please take a look at my client testimonials. If you're interested in potentially working together,  fill out this super quick form so I can find out what you need & how I can help & I'll email you within 48 hours.

San Diego bloggers and businesses are suffering, but they're trying to make the most of the situation in whatever way possible. Desperate for some blog post ideas?? Learn how to find blogging inspiration & blog ideas. Some companies have gotten creative on how to make sales & stay afloat during these trying times. I saw a pizza place offering do-it-yourself pizza kits to make at home with the kids. Lost Abbey, a San Marcos, California-based brewery offers free delivery in North County San Diego for orders over $50. Many of your favorite San Diego restaurants offered to go for pick up orders. Get the scoop on How to Get a Brand Collaboration + Instagram Collaboration.



San Diego brands and Businesses I Work With: 

I'm a freelance writer for Locale Magazine, check out my online article about the Best Places to Watch the Superbowl in San Diego. Locale Magazine is a lifestyle magazine with markets in Orange County, San Diego, and Los Angeles. I rode to feature articles that will be coming out in the June San Diego Locale Magazine issue. I haven't received word on if it will be in print or how the formatting will be because of the whole quarantine scenario.

I do social media consulting & management for clients such as Body by Drea. Drea is a Carlsbad-based trainer ready to teach you proper form & Interesting workouts to keep you motivated. She hired me for social media optimization services. With Drea, I worked on optimizing her YouTube: creating video titles, writing video descriptions, video tags, creating video cards and end screens. We worked on the growing following, her website traffic, her Instagram. I have quite a lot of experience working with local businesses as a San Diego blogger & social media manager.

And of course, there is Integrity Counseling Group, a therapy practice with offices in Carlsbad, San Marcos, & the Mission Valley, San Diego. They focus on working with people, teens, & couples in need of therapy. That includes therapy for depression, trauma, sexual addiction, drug addiction, etc. I've worked with them since 2018 on a social media consulting & management level, social media optimization services such as going over their newsletter to make improvements.


Here's a testimonial from my client!

"I have so much more clarity about the direction we are headed in--and we are already seeing results! I implemented her SEO strategy a few weeks ago and in the past week we have started to see more referrals through Google. Most importantly, these are quality referrals that have booked with us right away and been eager to pay our full fee. Carmen keeps me accountable to my goals and also provides feedback on my marketing. I send her 90% of our content before it goes out, and she always thinks of ways to make it better."

- Cory Anderson, Integrity Counseling Group.

Are you a San Diego blogger who needs help?

If you're a San Diego blogger that needs some general help (content creation, blog writing, captions, Pinterest, etc.) feel free to reach out & fill out this brief form. Tell me your goals, questions, fears, & your budget. Your budget is important. Depending on your finances, I'm available for either a 30-minute or 60-minute call (smaller budgets) to offer overall suggestions, tips, guidance. If you have a more steady budget, I'm available for management services where I execute the work myself, whether that's creating fully optimized Pinterest pins or posting Instagram Stories or writing blog posts or other content. Read my blog post about time management tips for freelancers, remote workers, & bloggers.

Hire me - San Diego locals & nonlocals

If you're interested in my services as a San Diego Blogger or for my social media optimization services, fill out my quickie questionnaire or shoot me an email with your answers. I work with local business & nonlocal businesses. Fun fact, I've never met Body by Drea even though we've worked together for almost a year. That's the nature of being a freelancer.

How are you doing? How have you been staying positive or creative during such a stressful time? Leave a comment!

Exploring El Cielo Winery Resort on Ruta del Vino Valle de Guadalupe, Ensenada, Mexico

Thursday, April 02, 2020

El Cielo winery resort on Ruta del Vino Valle de Guadalupe in Ensenada, Mexico looks like the scene from a movie. Green grass & flat terrain surround viñedo El Cielo with rolling mountains in the background. Kids run around the vineyard playing tag & laughing, their parents watching from a distance. A bachelor party sits around a table at restaurante El Cielo, Latitud32, sipping Mexican wine. Peacocks strut their stuff. The world feels happy, the evening air feels cool. This is a fraction of Ruta del Vino Valle de Guadalupe. It's not a far drive from the United States or San Diego.

Exploring El Cielo Winery Resort on Ruta del Vino Valle de Guadalupe, Ensenada, Mexico


* Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click &/or make a purchase through certain links on this site or my social media platforms, I may make a small commission from that click &/or purchase. Learn more about my disclosure.

If you're interested in tasting Mexican wine, make your way down the Ruta del Vino Valle de Guadalupe. What to do? Que hacer en Valle de Guadalupe? It's a splendid spot to explore a piece of Mexico. The Valle de Guadalupe wineries offer plenty of grape varietals. Get ready to learn more about vinos Baja California from El Cielo winery resort by Karisma. Searching for Valle de Guadalupe hotels? Check out this page of all the properties in the area!

Address: Carretera El Tigre-El Porvenir KM 7.5 Parcela 117 El Porvenir, 22755 Valle de Guadalupe, B.C., Mexico.

Exploring El Cielo Winery on Ruta del Vino Valle de Guadalupe, Ensenada, Mexico
El Cielo winery on Ruta del Vino Valle de Guadalupe in Ensenada, Mexico.


El Cielo Winery Resort by Karisma

We ventured to El Cielo Winery on Ruta del Vino Valle de Guadalupe, a hot spot for Mexican wine & definitely one of the popular Baja California wineries. We only stayed for the afternoon but you could make a week-long trip on Valle de Guadalupe wine tours & eating all the delicious fresh food & goods sold in the area. Restaurante El Cielo has fresh seafood & other unique dishes to keep your mouth watering.

El Cielo Winery & Resort feels like a sanctuary with rolling views & peacocks strutting around. The property even has two lakes. Viñedo El Cielo Valle de Guadalupe buzzes with people young & old. We visited in February & it was totally popping. People sipped wine, ate food, & enjoyed everything the resort has to offer. You can even shop for El Cielo vinos online! It's the perfect spot to stay if you want to go on a wine tasting.

Exploring El Cielo Winery on Ruta del Vino Valle de Guadalupe, Ensenada, Mexico
Exploring El Cielo Winery on Ruta del Vino Valle de Guadalupe.

Hotel El Cielo Valle de Guadalupe / Hoteles en Valle de Guadalupe Ensenada

El Cielo winery resort has more than wine & wine tasting. Located on the Wine Route of Ensenada, Mexico, the resort has a range of cool rooms such as the Junior Suite, Master Suite, Owners Suite, & the Residence Master Suite which is 2,669 sq. feet / 248 sq. meters. Smaller suites usually come either with a king-sized or two queen beds. Enjoy room service or head down to the restaurant.

Bigger suites have king-sized beds, maybe even a dining room, fireplace, terrace, & kitchen. Go to their website to check prices & availability. Wake up & take in the stunning views from your room, then get ready to explore more of what Ruta del Vino Valle de Guadalupe & restaurante El Cielo has to offer. I didn't get the chance to stay their or even see the rooms but the photos online look blissful. Stay in a remarkable room with cool architecture & awesome views paired with a Baja California wineries right at your doorstep. Take a look at the Karisma Hotels website for more information. Are you a room service fan or would you go outside to eat?

Exploring El Cielo Winery on Ruta del Vino Valle de Guadalupe, Ensenada, Mexico
Peacocks at El Cielo Winery in Ensenada, Mexico.


Go on a Tour of El Cielo Winery Resort

The tour was in Spanish so I didn't understand much - I'm studying Spanish but it's not the level of complexity where I can understand wine terminology. That said, you can do a tour of El Cielo winery resort. Learn all about the El Cielo vinos Mexican wine so you can figure out if you want to buy a bottle to go. The wine cellar is underground with minimal lighting, so keep that in mind if you have any sensitivities. The wine tasting is a unique experience!


Restaurante El Cielo Valle de Guadalupe: Latitud32 & Polaris

Ruta del Vino Valle de Guadalupe is known for its food, so whilst at El Cielo, eat at Latitud32, a fusion of Baja-Yucatán cuisine & Polaris, which they call baja-avantgarde cuisine. At Latitud32, you try their regional seafood dishes such as the Grilled Octopus or Black Mayan Ceviche. Don't eat seafood? They have vegan options as well.

We hung out at Latitud32 outside by the fire pits. Order a beer, wine, or beverage from restaurante El Cielo. We had some kids with us too so you can get juice, soda, water. Perfect place to get some grub after checking out El Cielo winery/viñedo El Cielo.



Gift Shop for El Cielo Vinos, Mexican wine

The gift shop has plenty of gift options. You can buy El Cielo vinos, handcrafted jewelry shaped like grapes, t-shirts, bottle openers, & other goodies. The gift shop is quite large with an assortment of options depending on your style. I was debating buying one of the grape shaped pieces of jewelry (there were bracelets, earrings, necklaces) & couldn't decide on anything, but wish I had bought one!

I tried the El Cielo vinos, browsed the gift shop, awed at the peacocks, & thoroughly enjoyed my brief encounter at El Cielo Valle de Guadalupe. It topics such a fresh experience. I've explored multiple cities in Mexico from the Tijuana craft beer taprooms to Queretaro in Central Mexico, & I always find something new-to-me to appreciate about the beautiful country of Mexico.



Exploring El Cielo Winery on Ruta del Vino Valle de Guadalupe, Ensenada, Mexico
Ruta del Vino Valle de Guadalupe, Ensenada, Mexico.


Valle de Guadalupe Wineries 

Que hacer en Valle de Guadalupe? All wine fans should consider a tour of the Mexican wine varieties at Valle de Guadalupe wineries. I mentioned El Cielo vinos but you can check out the other wineries in the area. Might as well, you're already there! There are plenty of spots to sip a glass of wine. Guadalupe Baja California has a lot of wine options.


Valle de Guadalupe Hotels

Some of the top Valle de Guadalupe hotels include Hacienda Guadalupe HotelEncuentro GuadalupeHotel Boutique Valle de Guadalupe, Oeno Wine Resort. Are you traveling with family, for a large bachelorette party, or just on a romantic weekend trip in Ensenada? Do a bit of research to find Valle de Guadalupe hotels that suit your needs. Savor boutique hotels with excellent vistas & amenities. Click here to take a look at the hotels in the area. If you prefer Airbnb, you can get up to $55 off your Airbnb stay if you sign up with this link.

Viñedo El Cielo Valle de Guadalupe: Mexican Wine, Food, & Good Views

When you picture top wine destinations did you picture Mexican wine? If not, add vinos Baja California to your list. El Cielo Valle de Guadalupe has everything you need for a vacation. Eat at restaurante El Cielo. Where do you see yourself visiting along Ensenada, Mexico's Ruta del Vino Valle de Guadalupe? Que hacer en Valle de Guadalupe? Would you order room service?

Head outside of the United States to enjoy a glass of wine. Add Guadalupe Baja California to your list.

Their address is: Carretera El Tigre-El Porvenir KM 7.5 Parcela 117 El Porvenir, 22755 Valle de Guadalupe, B.C., Mexico.

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