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Red Rock Canyon California State Park

Posted by on May 26, 2017 in Autos, California State Parks, Featured, Kia, Travel | 0 comments

 Vehicle provided by Kia One of my goals this summer is to take my kids to visit as many California State Parks as possible. One of the California State Parks that has been on my bucket list to visit for many years is the Red Rock Canyon California State Park – not to be mistaken with the Red Rock State Park in Nevada. Before packing up the Kia Sorento with everything that we needed for our weekend adventure, I tried to do some research about the park online. I could hardly find any information about it online, so we just jumped into the Sorento, and went exploring. The California State Park is only an hour and a half outside of Los Angeles, making it the perfect day trip. We left early in the morning, and within a couple of...

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10 Must-Have Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! Themed Food

Posted by on May 25, 2017 in Dining, Disney, Family, Theme Parks | 0 comments

 We attended a preview as a guest of Disney Once your family is done experiencing the all-new attraction at Disney California Adventure Park, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!, you’ll want to sink your tastebuds into the new themed foods. These are the must-have eats that your family will want to experience tasting when visiting Disney California Adventure Park this summer. Super Hero-Sized Sub Available at Studio Catering Truck The hero sandwich features a hoagie roll, creamy dressing, mortadella, salami, cappacola, provolone, shredded lettuce, tomato, pepperoncini, pickled onions, and a red wine vinaigrette. Quiver of Funnel Cake Fries Available at Award Wieners The dish features raspberry and mango coulis, and whipped cream. Infinity-Ade Available at Schmoozies The refreshing lavender lemonade with a light up glow cup. Maple Bacon Cream Filled pastry Available at Schmoozies The delectable dessert features...

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Four Fresh Summer Snack Ideas

Posted by on May 22, 2017 in Family, Giveaways, Health, Summer | 11 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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My Teen Invisalign Consultation

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

  “My mom is a member of the Invisalign Mom Advisory Board and I have received complimentary treatment.” My older brother has had Invisalign® clear aligners for about a year and a half and watching him wear them has made me want them so badly. I have been able to watch his smile transform over the past year without any pain or inconvenience from traditional braces. Since I wanted them so badly so that I can show my teeth when I smile, my mom scheduled me to have a consultation with Dr. Passamano in Irvine to see if my teeth are ready to begin treatment. When I walked into Dr. Passamano’s office, I was super excited to see if I was ready to start Invisalign. I sat in the waiting room as my mom checked me in for my...

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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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Aquarium’s 14th annual Pacific Islander Festival

Posted by on May 16, 2017 in Aquarium of the Pacific, Events, Giveaways | 10 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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Best Teen Summer Read – The Trials of Apollo: The Dark Prophecy

Posted by on May 15, 2017 in Books, Education, Entertainment, Family, Giveaways | 2 comments

 Sponsored The one thing that I love to do is read. With school ending within just a few short weeks, I have been busy planning my must-have summer reading calendar. One book that I couldn’t wait to read this summer is The Trials of Apollo: The Dark Prophecy. Imagine my surprise when I received a box on Friday that had a copy of the book I have been dying to read – I dropped everything and read the book within a couple of hours. Who doesn’t drop everything to get their hands on the newest Rick Riordan book? The man is a genius of an author who immerses his readers into another realm. The Trials of Apollo is one of my favorite book series by far! The book is complete with puns, backstabbing, poetry and so much more! The...

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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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A ‘Pure’ Escape!

Posted by on May 8, 2017 in Beauty, Family | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the venue Pure Escape the name says it all! I was lucky enough to get away for a few hours this past Saturday and indulge in some pampering. Pure Escape is not just your normal nail salon, it’s a beauty bar, and it’s beautiful, with the most comfortable chairs in the world. They have Mani’s, Pedi’s, 3D Nail Art, Waxing, Facials and a whole lot more. Plus, it’s all toxic free! I knew this place was different and right up my ally. I love the fact, which as I’m getting my nails done, I’m not breathing in chemicals that could potentially hurt me. A place where I’m truly getting pampered in a pure and safe way; while enjoying a glass of champagne, what more can a girl ask for? The Pure Escape Difference:...

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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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Give Mom the Gift of Zen on Mother’s Day

Posted by on May 4, 2017 in Beauty, Giveaways, Health, Mother's Day | 11 comments

 Sponsored The best gift that you can give a Mom on Mother’s Day is the gift of relaxation and zen. I celebrated Mother’s Day a little earlier this year by getting a relaxing spa treatment at my local Burke Williams Day Spa. Burke Williams is my go-to place for a relaxing treatment in a beautiful atmosphere. I normally have massages at least once a month to help with the stress of being a mom to three active children, but because of my recent breast surgery at CosmetiCare, it had been six months until I felt comfortable enough to have a relaxation massage. When I went into the room to have my treatment, the massage therapist took her time to use pillows around my chest to ensure that I was 110% comfortable laying on my stomach before starting the massage....

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Authentic Mexican Cuisine at Olamendi’s Dana Point

Posted by on May 3, 2017 in Dining, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the resort mentioned One of our favorite places to get quick and delicious Mexican food in Orange County is at Olamendi’s. Olamendi’s is located in Dana Point right across from the beach, and was once a favorite dining spot of Richard Nixon. While on a recent staycation at the DoubleTree Suites in Doheny Beach, our family went sailing in Dana Point Harbor and then walked from our resort to Olamendi’s for lunch. The kids love the festive vibe of Olamendi’s Dana Point and always play a game of ISpy while we are dining in the restaurant. There is so much for the kids to see in the restaurant that it keeps them entertained so my husband and I can enjoy some quality time talking without being interrupted by the kiddos. After a long...

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A New Pediatrician Joins Coastal Kids

Posted by on May 3, 2017 in Family, Health, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored Coastal Kids Pediatric Medical Group has provided my children with the best medical care possible since they were born. Over the years, I have seen many doctors in the practice, and all of the doctors at Coastal Kids are loving, caring, and have always made my children’s health a #1 priority. This week, they announced that new doctor has joined the practice, and comes highly recommended to be your children’s new pediatrician. The new doctor to join the practice is Kristina Nylander, M.D., FAAP. She is a Board Certified Pediatrician and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Nylander grew up locally in Laguna Hills and has been in private pediatric practice in South Orange County since 2004. She graduated cum laude from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. After moving...

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Sunset Cocktails at MoQUILA Agave Lounge

Posted by on May 2, 2017 in Dining, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the venue While staying at the DoubleTree Doheny Beach, my husband and I enjoyed some romantic time before taking the kids to dinner, watching the sunset at MoQUILA Agave Lounge. The lounge is one of the best-kept secrets in Orange County because it is not super busy on a Friday or Saturday night and offers couples beautiful views of the sunset over the crystalline waters of Doheny Beach. Both nights that we stayed at the DoubleTree Doheny Beach, my husband and I had cocktails at MoQUILA Agave Lounge during the sunset before taking the kids to dinner. The lounge features bar seating right along the edge of the roof, high top tables, couches and a large fire pit in the center. There was plenty of seating for couples, and it never felt crowded...

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Miguel’s Jr. Delivers Fresh & Delicious Mexican Food

Posted by on May 2, 2017 in Dining | 0 comments

 Sponsored Miguel’s Jr. is finally coming to Redlands in the new Mountain Grove shopping center! Judging by the happy faces and empty plates at the preview breakfast, it’s sure to be a hit. Founder Mary Vasquez and her son Javier, who is the CEO and President, were on hand to welcome everyone to what will be the 16th store in the beloved family business. Mike and Mary Vasquez opened the first Miguel’s Jr. in 1975 with recipes inspired by Mary’s childhood, and they have been fine tuning and improving the food ever since. Their commitment to delivering the freshest, best tasting Californian Mexican food in an inviting ambiance is evident in this newest location. The first thing you’ll notice when you enter is the bright and fresh design and the hearty welcome from the excellent staff. Walking past the...

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