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Four Fresh Summer Snack Ideas

Posted by on May 22, 2017 in Family, Giveaways, Health, Summer | 0 comments

 This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Rubbermaid® The weather has warmed up, and summer has finally arrived. Parents will be putting the backpacks away for the season and replacing it with a beach bag to spend summer days down at the beach. The biggest struggle that all parents have is with finding fresh new summer snacks to pack in the beach bag. The most important thing when packing summertime snacks is to use containers that are 100% leak-proof! We have all been there when we pack a snack in a cheap plastic food container, just to get to the beach to have our bag covered in food. The one product that I have found to keep my kid’s snacks airtight and leak-proof is the Rubbermaid BRILLIANCE containers. They have innovative latches that keep my kid’s snacks exactly where I...

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Tips for Successful Raised Bed Gardening

Posted by on May 22, 2017 in Autos, Gardening, Green Living, Kia | 0 comments

 Sponsored in partnership with Kia When my oldest son developed severe food allergies, I turned to food to help heal his overactive immune system. I found that by feeding him a plant-based diet with all organic produce that his allergies decreased, and he had fewer anaphylaxis reactions to food. The only downside was that feeding a family of five a diet rich with organic food was very costly, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I went to The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano and got information on how to start growing organic produce for my family in our backyard. I had my husband tear out most of our grass in the backyard, build raised beds, and we got started on what we now call “The Barone Farm.” Over the years, I have successfully been able...

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A Healthy Twist on Mexican Food at Taco Mesa

Posted by on May 22, 2017 in Dining, Family | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue I could eat Mexican food every night of the week. Unfortunately, most Mexican restaurants in Orange County do not offer a good selection of healthier menu options, until now. Taco Mesa is redefining Mexican food by opening a tortilla factory at Taco Mesa – Tortillería Orgánica & Café in Orange which makes GMO-free tortillas for all six of their restaurant locations in Orange County. When I learned about the innovative tortilla factory that founder and chef of Taco Mesa and Taco Rosa, Ivan Calderon, had created, I couldn’t wait to come in for dinner. My daughter and I went to the Orange location for dinner one night last week, and the restaurant was packed. The entire restaurant was filled with families enjoying healthy and authentic Mexican classic cuisine in the chic...

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MARVEL UNIVERSE LIVE! Age of Heroes

Posted by on May 22, 2017 in Events | 0 comments

  Super hero action, thrills and drama will soar, smash and burst into arenas across the country starting this summer with the debut of the all-new action-packed adventure Marvel Universe LIVE! Age of Heroes. The iconic Marvel Super Heroes Spider-Man and The Avengers are joined by the Guardians of the Galaxy, including Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot, Rocket and Drax, in a legendary battle to defend the universe from evil. The newest production from Feld Entertainment, the world’s leading producer of live touring family entertainment, will make it’s world premiere in Los Angeles at STAPLES Center on July 7, 2017. Called on by Doctor Strange, the Guardians of the Galaxy join Marvel Universe LIVE! Age of Heroes on a momentous crusade against the scheming Nebula who teams up with the conniving and loathsome villains Loki and Green Goblin. The incredible superhuman...

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An Auto Manufacturer Deeply Rooted in our Community

Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Autos, Family, Giving Back, Kia | 0 comments

 Kia has provided us with a Sorento to drive The reason that I started writing many years ago, was to give back to our community by helping families to learn about fun new ways to create magical memories with their children in Orange County. Along with sharing the best parks, beaches, and dining destinations, it has always been important for me to help support the incredible non-profits in our community that help to make Orange County the best place to live in California. I recently learned that Kia shares the same passion and is deeply rooted in our community by helping to support multiple Orange County non-profits. Kia is a Korean Company, but has their North American headquarters right here in Orange County. They have a beautiful building in Irvine that I’m sure all of you have admired when...

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Exploring Irvine with Pedego Electric Bikes

Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Biking Trails, Cool Places, Family, Featured, Fitness, Parks | 0 comments

 We went on a tour as a guest of the venue Growing up in Newport Beach, bike riding was one of my favorite things to do on the weekends. Then I grew up, got married, and moved to South Orange County where biking riding is nearly impossible with a massive hill around every corner. I often miss the days of riding my bike to a restaurant for lunch or to the store to pick-up a couple of groceries. A couple of my friends had been posting pictures of their families going on bike rides every weekend around Orange County, and when I asked one of my friends how she stays in such great shape to tackle riding a bike up and down the South OC hills, she told me that they have been riding Pedego electric bikes. I was...

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Spring Gardens Toddler Tuesdays at the Irvine Spectrum

Posted by on May 16, 2017 in Events | 0 comments

 Hosted in partnership with the Irvine Spectrum Center The rain didn’t stop families from coming to the Irvine Spectrum Center for the second Toddler Tuesdays event. It was a gloomy morning, but the smiles from all the children having endless fun at the free community event made the sun start to shine. The second of the four series event was a Spring Gardens theme with special Mother’s Day crafts. During the event, children could enjoy complimentary rides on the giant wheel, carousel, and train. Children were squealing with delight as the carousel would go around and around. The sounds of little ones saying, “choo-choo” could be heard from all around the Irvine Spectrum Center as the train took kids on a train ride adventure. For the crafts, there were mini pots for children to decorate, wind chimes to color...

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A Glimpse of the Past at the Remnants Vintage Show

Posted by on May 16, 2017 in Events | 0 comments

 Sponsored Multiple events were happening around Orange County over Mother’s Day weekend, and one of the most popular events was the Remnants of the Past Vintage show that happened at the OC Fair and Events Center. The popular vintage show tours across the country and families were eager to see the vintage collection during the event in Orange County. Remnants of the Past abounded with timeless treasures from more than 65 vendors, each carefully vetted by renowned collector and designer, Judy Watkins, producer of the show. The bi-annual Remnants of the Past Vintage Show is in its eleventh year. This past weekend marked the 20th show, and the first time it has been presented in Orange County! When we arrived at the show this past weekend, we fell in love with the collection of vintage items. My husband and...

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Aquarium’s 14th annual Pacific Islander Festival

Posted by on May 16, 2017 in Aquarium of the Pacific, Events, Giveaways | 9 comments

  Discover and explore the rich and diverse cultures of the Pacific Islands at the Aquarium’s 14th annual Pacific Islander Festival. The festival will include traditional craft demonstrations, educational programs, and an ocean of entertainment, including music and dance performances. Enjoy hula, Tahitian drumming, Hawaiian games, and the work of artisans. Hawaiian, Tahitian, Samoan, Fijian, Tongan, Chamoru, Marshallese, Kiribati, and Maori cultures will be featured. When: Saturday and Sunday, June 3 and 4, 2017, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Where: Aquarium of the Pacific 100 Aquarium Way Long Beach, CA 90802 Cost: Included with general admission: $29.95 adult (12+), $25.95 senior (62+), and $14.95 child (3-11), and free for children under age three and Aquarium members GIVEAWAY!! Enter to win (4) tickets to the festival at the Aquarium of the Pacific by leaving a comment on our Facebook post or...

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Dana Wharf Shark Searching Saturdays

Posted by on May 12, 2017 in Events | 0 comments

  The increase of sharks in our waters has been big news around Orange County. Families are warned to be cautious when swimming at our local beaches and there have been multiple shark attacks. With the increase of sharks in our waters, Dana Wharf is offering Shark Searching Saturdays. Instead of whale watching, families can take a boat out to check out the big great white sharks swimming off our shore. The first Shark Searching Saturday will happen this weekend, May 13th from 12:30 to 2:30 pm. They will take families out on a boat to explore the coast for sharks, teach children facts about sharks from local experts, and more. The tours will be limited to small groups for better viewing. Some of the sharks that your family might get an opportunity to see are Great White, Mako,...

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Best Summer Travel Deals at Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa

Posted by on May 11, 2017 in Palm Springs, Travel | 0 comments

  Cool pools, a sandy beach, waterfalls, cabanas, and amazing room packages are set to highlight summer 2017 at Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa. With an unparalleled selection of connecting and adjoining rooms for friends and family travelers, the award-winning resort has introduced two value-loaded weekday packages – as well as a special spa escape for the coming season. The three new offerings are as follows: DOUBLE YOUR FUN FOR AN EXTRA $50, priced from $209 USD per night Summer guests can stay in spacious style and book a second room for only $50 more per night. Only one resort fee applies when booking this two-room weekday package, adding further value for summer guests – and connecting rooms are an option based on availability. Book this special offer at bit.ly/2qU8b3K, corporate code P51. Valid Sunday through Thursday, June...

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4th Annual Bunnies & Books for Kids Festival

Posted by on May 11, 2017 in Events | 0 comments

  Your family is invited to the 4th Annual Bunnies & Books for Kids Festival at the Newport Beach Central Library. The event will feature a bunny-themed story time, face painting, arts & crafts, games and other outdoor activities are planned for this year’s festival. This is our biggest children’s event of the year so come prepared to read, create and move throughout the library and the beautiful Civic Green area. Meet live bunnies courtesy of Save-Some-Bunny Rabbit Rescue. Festival Schedule: 10:30-11:00 a.m. Storytime in the Friends Room (inside the Central Library) 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Activities on the Green Face Painting StoryWalk® (see below for details) Games Crafts on the Green Save-Some-Bunny Rabbits on the Green Bistro Express Café will have box lunches available for $5.00 Admission is FREE; reservations not required Location: Newport Beach Central Library & Civic...

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Mother’s Day at Mimi’s Cafe

Posted by on May 11, 2017 in Dining, Mother's Day | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue There are so many choices when it comes to dining out on Mother’s Day. This year, we celebrated Mother’s Day a little early by having a three-course meal at our local Mimi’s Cafe. I first fell in love with Mimi’s Cafe at a young age when my grandparents would take me out for dinner at Mimi’s to celebrate special occasions. As the years have passed, and my grandparents are no longer here to celebrate with me, it makes me feel closer to them by bringing my family to dine at their favorite restaurant. It makes my heart happy to know that I created so many special memories at Mimi’s Cafe, and I now get to create new memories with my children at this special dining destination. For Mother’s Day, Mimi’s Cafe...

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Irvine Spectrum Center Toddler Tuesdays Fiesta

Posted by on May 8, 2017 in Events, Featured, Shopping | 0 comments

 Hosted in partnership with the Irvine Spectrum Center The Irvine Spectrum Center Toddler Tuesdays kicked off last week with a festive fiesta. Families from all over Orange County came to the shopping community to create memories that will last a lifetime with their children. The event was located in Giant Wheel Court from 10 am to 12 pm. During the event, Wahoo’s and TLT Food offered delicious complimentary food to all the guests. Children were savoring every bite of Wahoo’s chicken tacos and TLT Food’s cheese quesadillas. Along with the food, was endless fun. Children had an opportunity to decorate mini maracas at the art table and Pretend City was on site to offer play advice for parents. On each side of the Giant Wheel Court were face painting, balloon making, and a super creative photo booth for parents...

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Celebrate Mother’s Day at Sea

Posted by on May 8, 2017 in Dining, Holiday, Mother's Day | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue One of my favorite ways to celebrate Mother’s Day is being close to the ocean. This year, my husband gave me the gift of taking me out for a romantic Hornblower dinner cruise in Newport Harbor, and it was one of the best Mother’s Day gifts I have ever received. We had recently gone on a Hornblower brunch cruise, and my husband knew how much I enjoyed that afternoon. Last weekend, he told me to get dressed up, and we were going out somewhere special to celebrate Mother’s Day. The minute that we arrived at the Hornblower dock in Newport Beach, I was overwhelmed with delight. I couldn’t wait to experience Hornblower at night. We walked up to the boat where the staff took a commemorative photo, and the captain welcomed...

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How to Enjoy Life with Seasonal Allergies

Posted by on May 8, 2017 in Family, Health, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

 I am participating in Influence Central’s Ambassador program on behalf of Claritin®. This program is paid for by the Makers of Claritin® and I have received compensation for my participation. All opinions expressed are my own. Once the big rains in Southern California stopped, the super bloom started, and my child’s seasonal allergies started to blossom. The sneezing, started to kick-in making it hard for my children to enjoy daily outdoor activities. Just last week, I took my white car to get a carwash, and within a few minutes of driving on the road, it was completely covered with yellow dust (aka pollen). The best thing that a parent can do to help children with seasonal allergies is to manage them, and one tool that I have been using for the past year to manage my children’s seasonal allergies...

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Three Reasons to go see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Posted by on May 5, 2017 in Disney, Entertainment, Film | 0 comments

 We attended a screening as a guest of Disney “I am Groot!” The time has finally come for families to be able to experience a whole new journey with everyone’s favorite Marvel characters in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The film takes families on an epic adventure with suspense, action, and awesome music. Along with the fun, there is also some great messaging that children will take away after seeing the film. The main reason to bring your kids to watch the film is that they will leave with an overwhelming sense of the power of family. Throughout the entire movie, the Guardians are put to the test, go through some hard times, but they are always there for each other. They never give up on each other, they stick together, and they care for one another –...

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Celebrate Mother’s Day in Dana Point Harbor

Posted by on May 5, 2017 in Events, Holiday, Mother's Day | 0 comments

 Sponsored The County of Orange, OC Parks, and Dana Point Harbor invite families to spend Mother’s Day weekend enjoying ocean activities, delicious dining and more at Dana Point Harbor. The weekend of May 13 – 14 will welcome a calendar of special activities including an art sale, trunk show, brunch menus and marine events. Known as the “Whale Capital of the West” Dana Point Harbor is home to many activities perfect for celebrating Mother’s Day, including whale watching, parasailing, sailing and more. Families can also enjoy shopping in Dana Point Harbor during the weekend-long Mother’s Day Fine Art Show from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. under the outdoor pergola. Celebrate Mother’s Day weekend at Dana Point Harbor and experience the ultimate springtime adventure. For more information visit...

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Exclusive Inside Look into Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!

Posted by on May 4, 2017 in Disney, Entertainment, Featured, Film, Theme Parks | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of Disney One of the best things about bringing your children to the Disneyland Resort and experiencing the different theme park attractions is that every attraction tells a story. Children become immersed into a magical world of storytelling around every corner while visiting the Disneyland Resort. One of the newest attractions coming to Disney California Adventure Park is Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! The theme park attraction is thrilling and rich with storytelling. While on a recent behind-the-scenes tour of the new ride, I was given an exclusive inside look into the story of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! The story is about Taneleer Tivan also known as The Collector. He goes around collecting floral, fauna and many great items of value from all over the universe. He has some...

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A ‘Suite’ Staycation at DoubleTree Doheny Beach

Posted by on May 4, 2017 in Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the resort Staycations are the best kind of vacations. Orange County is its own little paradise, and instead of traveling afar to find a beautiful paradise, we try to enjoy as much of the beauty of Orange County by having as many staycations as possible. Our favorite staycations are ones spent by the beach, and our recent staycation at the DoubeTree Doheny Beach was one we will remember forever. The weather was perfect the weekend of our staycation. We arrived on a Friday afternoon at the DoubleTree Doheny Beach and checked into our ocean view suite for the weekend. Within minutes of arriving at the resort, my children had changed into their swimsuits and were ready to go across the street to play at the beach. The beach is just steps away from...

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