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Brunch at Lit Cafe OC

Posted by on Aug 15, 2019 in Dining | 0 comments

We dined at Lit Cafe as a guest One of my favorite things to do is going out for brunch. With all of my favorite dishes being breakfast foods, I am always looking for a fresh new place to dine out. Lit Cafe Chef Erica Tjangnaka The one thing that had me eager to dine at Lit Cafe was knowing that the talented chef, Erica Tjangnaka is the pastry chef. Chef Erica is one of the most well-known pastry chefs in the world. She is known for some of her incredibly talented work at ST Patisserie Chocolat, the St. Regis Hotel, and more. Lit Cafe David Fujimura Plus, there is chef David Fujimura, who is a culinary genius. He has been a significant part of the success of many Orange County restaurants including Marche Moderne, Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine, and...

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Hatch Chile Polenta Chips Recipe

Posted by on Aug 5, 2019 in Family, Melissa's Produce, Recipes | 0 comments

What is my favorite season? Hatch Chile season!! While I grow a lot of my produce in our small backyard farm, there are some rare fruits and vegetables I can’t grow like hatch chiles. There is only one place I go for produce outside of our backyard, and that is Melissa’s Produce. Hatch Chile Roastings Roasting chiles is a process. Melissa’s Produce takes the guesswork out of the process by hosting roastings at multiple locations throughout Southern California during the season. They make it so convenient by allowing families to attend a roasting, and bring home the chiles ready to eat. Hatch Chile Recipes There are so many options when it comes to cooking hatch chiles. Melissa’s Produce recently introduced a new item that I couldn’t wait to experiment within the kitchen. It is a Hatch chile polenta, which...

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Family-Friendly Dining at Farmer Boys

Posted by on Aug 5, 2019 in Dining, Family | 2 comments

We dined at Farmer Boys as a guest There are so many choices when it comes to selecting a place to dine out with your family. But, few are 100% family-friendly and offer a wide variety of food. Let’s be honest. When you have a family, everyone wants something different to eat for dinner. One of my family’s newest favorite places to eat is Farmer Boys. Family-Friendly Ambiance The restaurant has a relaxed environment, so the kids don’t have to stress about needing to sit quietly at the table. It feels like home when dining in their restaurant. Families can easily order from the front desk, and the staff will bring the food to your table when it is ready. Food Options When it comes to the menu, there is something for everyone. The menu features breakfast, salads, and...

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Celebrate National Avocado Day at Puesto

Posted by on Jul 30, 2019 in Dining, Events | 0 comments

In honor of National Avocado Day on Wednesday, July 31st, Puesto is offering up a free guacamole to any guest who orders a pitcher of its perfect margaritas. This offer is available all day at both Orange County Puesto locations. Puesto has three types of guacamoles to choose from: Classic, Puesto Perfect and Nogada. Puesto Perfect has the unexpected addition of Parmigiano-Reggiano, while Nogada features the Classic topped with pomegranate arils, mango, chile de arbol and candied walnuts. Puesto has SEVEN margarita varieties to choose from, starting with the Puesto Perfect (blue agave reposado, fresh squeezed lime juice, organic agave nectar) to the Cilantro (blue agave reposado, fresh cilantro, jalapeno and a touch of dry curacao) to the Fruit Cart (Don Julio Blanco, mango, pineapple, watermelon, cucumber, chamoy and Tajín). Find Puesto’s full menu, addresses and hours online at...

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Empower Your Teens at The KiP Conference

Posted by on Jul 29, 2019 in Events, Parenting | 0 comments

Mark your calendars because the KiP Conference is coming to Orange County this summer! The KiP (Knowledge is Power) Conference is a speaker symposium that serves to empower teenage girls over the age of 16 by offering tools and insight as for what to expect as they prepare for young adulthood. Taking place on Saturday, August 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., the KiP Conference will host guest speakers who will focus on topics including finance, relationships, personal safety, drugs and alcohol, wellness, and self-preservation. About KiP Conference All women are invited to attend no matter if they are venturing off to college or embarking on a different journey. Regardless of the path, all guests are guaranteed to leave with a plethora of valuable life knowledge along with an in-depth understanding of how to comfortably + confidently conquer...

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Y’OUR Skin Personalized Skincare

Posted by on Jul 27, 2019 in Beauty | 0 comments

Sponsored by Y’OUR Skin When it comes to caring for my skin, I only use high-quality products. Recently, I was introduced to a new skincare line. It has left my skin soft, clean, and looking years younger. Y’OUR Skin is a personalized skincare routine. Since everyone has different skin and needs a different kind of routine they have taken the guesswork out of finding the perfect product and customizes it for each client. How Y’OUR Skin works They take into consideration your age, skin type, living environment, stress, and other factors and use artificial intelligence to identify the best skincare regimen for you. Their formulas use ingredients that have gone through extensive testing and trials, ensuring the most natural and effective products for your unique skin. First, take their skin quiz Their skin quiz is designed to find the...

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Mexican Street Corn ‘Elote’ Avocado Toast

Posted by on Jul 22, 2019 in Family, Melissa's Produce, Recipes | 0 comments

Avocado toast is the key to my heart. I eat it almost every morning, and I love experimenting with different toppings. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about Mexico and have been craving authentic elote (aka Mexican street corn). I’ll never forget the time that I drove my kids from La Paz to Todos Santos for lunch. We were sitting at a cafe when my kids heard the bell from an elote cart. I blinked, and they were gone. Running after the elote cart to get a taste of delicious elote. The bell from an elote cart in Mexico is pure magic. I recently got some fresh and ripe avocados and serrano peppers from Melissa’s Produce. The minute that I opened the avocados, there was no bruising, and I couldn’t wait to sink my tastebuds into them. The...

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Ensalada con Nopales: Delicious Cactus Salad Recipe

Posted by on Jul 17, 2019 in Melissa's Produce, Recipes | 0 comments

I can’t stop having fun experimenting with fresh cactus (nopales) from Melissa’s Produce. After making nopales con huevos (cactus and eggs) for breakfast, I then made a fresh and delicious cactus salad for dinner. The salad was fresh, delicious, and packed full of nutrition to fuel my kids growing bodies. It was very simple to make and is perfect for your next summer barbecue or potluck. Plus, if you have a picky eaters like me, it is super easy to hide the nutritious cactus in this recipe – mine didn’t even know it was in the salad. Preparing the cactus (nopales) is super simple. There are three different ways to prepare the cactus, but I choose to grill the cactus for this recipe so that it would have a smoky flavor. Also, feel free to add more of your...

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Nopales Con Huevos Recipe: Cactus & Eggs

Posted by on Jul 16, 2019 in Melissa's Produce, Recipes | 0 comments

Have you ever had nopales (aka cactus)? Well, now is the time to try it. Nopales Con Huevos is one of my favorite breakfast dishes to enjoy while in Mexico, and after getting some fresh cactus leaves from Melissa’s Produce, I couldn’t wait to make it at home for my kids to enjoy. Nopales Con Huevos can be prepared many different ways. When in Mexico, it is usually offered at an omelet station where guests of the restaurant can add their favorite vegetables to the dish. Nopales can also be prepared three different ways, but pan-fried or grilled is my favorite way to enjoy it. While boiling is the most traditional way to prepare the cactus. Don’t be intimidated when it comes to preparing the cactus leaves. It is super simple, and only takes a couple of minutes. Once...

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How to Prepare and Cook Cactus ‘Nopales’

Posted by on Jul 15, 2019 in Melissa's Produce, Recipes | 0 comments

Guess what one of my favorite foods to eat in Mexico is? Cactus aka as nopales. Every morning, depending on what region I am visiting, I will either have machaca or nopales (cactus) in my eggs. This summer, I went to Puerto Peñasco and found myself in line at the grill to have eggs made with nopales three times. My daughter looked at my stack of plates at the end of breakfast and told me it was time to learn how to make nopales at home. I ordered some fresh cactus paddles from Melissa’s Produce, and the minute that I opened the box, I was slightly intimidated. My daughter grabbed one out of the box and let out a giant “ouch.” And then, she said, “It’s real cactus.” Everyone laughed. Thanks to our friends at Melissa’s Produce, they were...

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Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: Mary Poppins The Musical

Posted by on Jul 14, 2019 in Entertainment, Events, Giveaways, Theatre | 48 comments

Based on the stories of P.L. Travers and the classic Disney film, the hit Broadway musical adaptation of Mary Poppins lands in Orange County with a heartwarming score, a spoonful of imagination, a lovable jack-of-all-trades named Bert and a flying nanny who’s practically perfect in every way. Come be swept away by classic tunes like “Spoonful of Sugar,” “Chim Chim Cher-ee” and, of course, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, as young Jane and Michael learn many valuable life lessons from their unconventional nanny. Mary Poppins the Musical stars Catherine Dickens as Mary Poppins, Colson Barkley as Bert, Gil Garcia as George Banks, with Haylie Beckman as Winifred Banks, Ellie Lynch and Wyatt Goodbrand, as Jane and Michael Banks, with Laura Erath as Miss Brill, Robertson Ay (Zachary Smart) Miss Andrew (Kayla Agnew) Bird Woman (Jessica Ordaz) Mrs. Corry (Cassie Wise) and Park Keeper/Chairman (Ron Banks). This show is being reimagined...

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Critical Need of Donations for Homeless at the OC Rescue Mission

Posted by on Jul 2, 2019 in Events, Giving Back | 0 comments

Orange County Rescue Mission has announced a critical need for personal care items for the 268 men, women and children currently residing at various campuses and the Village of Hope, the Rescue Mission’s transitional living facility. Donated items will be shared during the Rescue Mission’s “Christmas in July” event on Friday, July 26. The organization hosts this event annually with a two-fold purpose: providing resident families a second chance at a holiday celebration; and reminding the community that there is a year-round need for donations. This year, the Rescue Mission is in urgent need of the following items to assist families in need: Canned food – tuna, meat, fruits vegetables and beans Hygiene items – bars of soap, shampoo, underwear for kids (all sizes), underwear for women (all sizes), toothpaste, razors, shaving cream, feminine hygiene products, laundry detergent, toilet...

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Five Crowns New Summer Menu

Posted by on Jun 28, 2019 in Dining, Events | 0 comments

Five Crowns welcomes a new summer menu courtesy of Executive Chef Alejandra Padilla. Experience the rich flavors of the season’s most inspiring ingredients to complement Five Crowns’ favorite classic dishes. The vibrant menu features sixteen new seasonal menu items including Ricotta Ravioli with tomato consommè, basil oil and heirloom tomato, Stone Fruit & Burrata with puffed quinoa and lavender & blueberry vinaigrette, and Soft Shell Crab with corn salad, diced mango and pickled fresno chili. Save room for decadent new dessert options like Coconut Pie with banana, pineapple sauce and caramelized Rice Krispies or Chocolate Cherry Cake with chocolate ganache, melted black cherries and chocolate crisp. SUMMER MENU HIGHLIGHTS: Small Plates Ricotta Ravioli tomato consommè, basil oil, heirloom tomato, 16 Grilled Colorado Lamb Ribs black cherry mustard, pickled cucumbers, 21 Fruits del Mar Soft Shell Crab corn salad, diced...

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Andrei’s Celebrates 10 Years of Giving with Month-Long Anniversary Fundraiser Benefiting Miracles for Kids

Posted by on Jun 25, 2019 in Dining, Events | 0 comments

Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails is celebrating its 10th Anniversary in July and in honor of this milestone, the Irvine restaurant will be donating 20% of all sales for the month to Miracles for Kids, with the mission to improve the lives of critically-ill children and their families in need. In addition to the month-long fundraiser, from July 1st through 13th guests will be able to partake in a special menu of 10 Andrei’s signature items, all priced at $10. The menu features gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian-friendly dishes, a shareable multi-dessert tasting, and the restaurant’s noted Bastille Day Cocktail, which commemorates Andrei’s opening on Bastille Day in 2009. Andrei’s Anniversary Menu EACH ITEM PRICED AT $10 Offered July 1st – 13th Calamari – Flash-Fried Calamari, Garlic, Shallots, White Wine-Lemon Reduction Double Dip Duo – Cilantro-Green Pea Hummus, Avocado Bacon...

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Cox’s GIGABLAST will be a Gamer’s Delight

Posted by on Jun 24, 2019 in Family, Tech | 0 comments

Sponsored by Cox Communications Do you have kids who like to game at your house? I sure do! As a Cox Communications customer for over 20 years, I am always excited when they offer something new, and this time it is my kids who are excited about their new product…GIGABLAST!! The best part about GIGABLAST is that it is available to all residential customers in the region. How will your teens react when they can download 100 songs in three seconds or stream more than 25 4K HD videos simultaneously? They will be in heaven! For parents like me who love to take a million pictures of their kids, I’ll now be able to upload 1,000 photos in about a minute with GIGABLAST! Gone are the days of turning off the auto-lock on your phone so that it can...

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Kick Off The Summer With Tasty Burgers + Brews at Tackle Box

Posted by on Jun 12, 2019 in Dining, Events | 0 comments

Join Tackle Box at SOCO the weekend of Thursday, June 13 – Sunday, June 16 and kick off the summer with tasty brews + delicious specials! Orange County’s favorite coastal pub will be a hotspot this season and Co-Owner, Executive Chef and Top Chef Alum, Brian Huskey is excited to offer a Karl Strauss Takeover, Friday Night Flights and tasty Father’s Day specials to get the summer started off right! Tackle Box Karl Strauss Takeover The festivities will begin with the Karl Strauss Takeover on Thursday, June 13th from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. In a partnership with award-winning Southern California brewery, Karl Strauss, Tackle Box will feature five of the brewery’s most popular beers for diners to enjoy. And, anyone who purchases a Karl Strauss beer will enjoy 25% off any Tackle Box burger. The beer fun doesn’t...

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2019 Lobsterfest at Newport Beach

Posted by on Jun 12, 2019 in Dining, Events | 1 comment

2019 is yet another milestone year in the Lobsterfest At Newport Beach legacy as we begin our second decade of celebrating summer. After celebrating its Ten-year Anniversary with last year’s Lobsterfest At Newport Beach at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort, the Board of Directors for the Lobsterfest Foundation has decided to relocate the event to the Newport Beach Civic Green for 2019 and beyond. The new venue will allow for the return of the $65.00 general admission ticket price, complimentary beer and wine for our VIP guests, free parking for all of our patrons, a return to seating on the grass, and a more prominent exposure for our vendors. The 11th Annual Lobsterfest at Newport Beach will be held at the Newport Beach Civic Green on Sunday, August 11, 2019, from 2 to 7 p.m. This annual celebration of...

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Portobello Mushroom Caprese Recipe

Posted by on May 30, 2019 in Melissa's Produce, Recipes | 0 comments

One thing that I have never cooked with before are portobello mushrooms. I have always been so intimidated by them, but after getting some from our friends at Melissa’s Produce, I decided to try making a recipe with them finally. I’ll be honest. I sat looking at the mushrooms for at least a solid hour before cooking with them. I don’t know why? But, they are super scary looking. I knew that I had to make something kid-friendly with them and find a way to disguise them from my picky eater. Since everyone in my family loves caprese, I decided to make portobello mushroom caprese. The result? Kids loved it, and so did I. The recipe is super simple, and now one of my favorite weeknight recipes. I was able to prepare dinner in less than 5 minutes, and...

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Laguna Playhouse Hamilton Themed Summer Camps

Posted by on May 29, 2019 in Camp | 0 comments

The Laguna Playhouse Youth Theatre will have an exceptionally creative two week experience this July at the Laguna Playhouse for kids 3- 10! Join us for two fun and educational two-week Musical Theatre Day Camps. HAMILTON AND FRIENDS Grades 3 – 5 (July 8 – 19th – Monday through Friday 9:30am – 12:30pm) will take campers on a time travel adventure with Alexander Hamilton and explore songs, scenes and choreography from history- based musicals. Final Showcase performed on the Laguna Playhouse mainstage, July 19 at 11:00am. Early-Bird Discount Rate $270 if you Register before May 15th. Enrollment is limited to 20 students. Final Showcase on the Laguna Playhouse Stage on July 19. HAMILTON AND HANSEN IN LA LA LAND Grades 6 – 10 (July 8 – 20th – Monday through Friday 12:30pm to 3:30pm) will be singing and dancing...

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Sweeping Ocean Views and Delicious Cuisine at Las Brisas

Posted by on May 28, 2019 in Dining | 0 comments

We dined as Las Brisas as a guest of the venue In celebration of their 40th anniversary, Las Brisas has unveiled an entirely refreshed culinary experience. Not only has the restaurant gone through some uplifting changes to their décor, but so has their menu. Michael Gaines, the new executive general manager, is collaborating with the Las Brisas team and has brought his vision of vibrancies to life. The minute that I walked into Las Brisas, I felt like I was transported to paradise. The restaurant features a bright, fresh, and calming surrounding on a cliff that overlooks the ocean. The changes in the décor are also reflected in the menu. Fresh ocean to table dishes, along with some of their most popular eats from the past makes your dining experience just that dining experience, add a little cocktail and...

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FREE Football Summer Camp

Posted by on May 23, 2019 in Camp, Events | 0 comments

NFL DE and member of 2003 and 2004 USC National Championship teams, Frostee Rucker will host The Camp of Champions, his second annual free youth football camp June 29 in his hometown of Tustin at Tustin High School. Frostee will be joined by his NFL friends and fellow USC alumni for this half-day camp open to football players, ages 9-14. All participants will receive a t-shirt, lunch and hands-on instruction. Official camp sponsors that align with giving back to the community include: Dick’s Sporting Goods, Subway, Dave & Buster’s, Stance, Aquarium of the Pacific, Access Wealth Management, and A-1 Quality Logistical Solutions. Registration for the free camp can be done online at www.usafootball.com/fun. When: Saturday, June 29, 2019 Registration: 8:00AM 9:00AM-12PM Where: Tustin High School 1171 El Camino Real Tustin, CA 92780 Who: Frostee Rucker, will be joined by...

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Sessions West Coast Deli to open at Macy’s Fashion Island

Posted by on May 20, 2019 in Dining | 0 comments

Known for its inspired, chef-crafted sandwiches, Sessions West Coast Deli has announced that its fourth location is set to open at Macy’s Fashion Island in September 2019. The new restaurant will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., serving breakfast, lunch and dinner with a menu that focuses on its signature sandwiches, burgers, breakfast, small plates and gourmet salads. Additionally, Sessions will feature full barista service, as well as kombucha, craft beer and wine on tap. Since opening its first location five years ago on the Newport Beach Peninsula, Sessions West Coast Deli has received national attention for its scratch kitchen, where housemade sauces, sides, salads and soups are prepared in-house daily. All sandwiches, salads, small plates and toasts are made to order with fresh, locally grown produce and carefully selected ingredients. The 1,200-square-foot restaurant will feature...

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Bell Pepper Pizza Recipe

Posted by on May 16, 2019 in Melissa's Produce, Recipes | 1 comment

Do you have a picky eater? I know that I sure do in my house. Getting my youngest to eat vegetables is always a challenge, and I have to be extra creative to get nutrition into his growing body. Melissa’s Produce provided me with some beautiful Enjoya peppers this week, and I decided to try making bell pepper pizzas out of them. Guess what? My picky eater ate every bite! What I love about this recipe is that it took me less than five minutes to prepare. Plus, there was hardly any mess in my kitchen after preparation. It is my new favorite weeknight meal! About Enjoya Peppers Enjoya peppers are my favorite probably because they are so pretty. But, really because they taste so good. They are slightly less sweet than yellow bell peppers, are crunchy and juicy...

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Caramelized Onion and Swiss Chard Pasta Recipe

Posted by on May 15, 2019 in Family, Melissa's Produce, Recipes | 0 comments

One of my favorite things to do in the kitchen is to caramelize onions. It is so relaxing, and it makes my home smell amazing. While at Melissa’s Produce this week, they sent me home with some beautiful organic onions and fresh swiss chard. I couldn’t wait to cook something with the fresh produce when I got home. Swiss Chard Nutrition Swiss chard is a great leafy green to incorporate into your kid’s diet. It is packed full of antioxidants, including beta-carotene and flavonoids. I always add some chopped swiss chard when making our salad mixture for the week. It’s beautiful colors make a salad bright and appealing. How to prepare Swiss Chard With my kids having a lot of late nights at school this week, I wanted to make something filling yet packed full of nutrition. I decided...

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Noble Folk Ice Cream and Pie Bar in Santa Rosa

Posted by on May 13, 2019 in Dining, Santa Rosa, Travel | 0 comments

Eat more pie. Because “Pie not”? When visiting Santa Rosa, we had an unforgettable dinner at Bollywood Bar & Clay Oven. After dinner we noticed that a new pie bar had just opened next door, so we went in to check it out before walking down to The Jade Room Wine Bar for a nightcap. The minute that we walked into the store, the aroma tantalized our tastebuds. They feature a select amount of freshly baked pies and ice cream. I couldn’t resist tasting almost every flavor of ice cream before making my dessert decision. All of the ice creams were rich, creamy and delicious. Noble Folk Ice Cream What makes their ice cream so delicious and unique? Because it is locally made and sourced. Everything made local is always better. It is made locally at their creamery in...

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3rd Annual CASA Pinwheel Project

Posted by on May 9, 2019 in Events, Giving Back | 0 comments

CASA-OC and Junior Kids for CASA will be displaying 3,100 pinwheels representing the number of children in the Orange County foster care system on Saturday, May 11th at Fashion Island in conjunction with Foster Care Awareness Month happening in May. YOU can sponsor a pinwheel for only $5 or with a donation of $25+ receive a benefit card to receive discounts at select stores at Fashion Island valid from May 9th – 16th. ‍ Junior Kids for CASA is a group of children between the ages of 8 and 13 who are learning philanthropy through volunteer work with CASA-OC. This year, Junior Kids for CASA will be leading the fundraising efforts for the 3rd annual Pinwheel Project happening at Fashion Island. The 2019 Pinwheel Project is being Chaired by Christy Flanagan and her daughter Bridget and Nicole Joseph and...

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Andrei’s New Seasonal Cocktails Make a Splash

Posted by on May 9, 2019 in Dining, Events | 0 comments

The bold, vibrant colors and fresh flavors of the season take center stage on Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails’ new Spring/Summer specialty cocktails. Guests will be able to partake in more than a dozen cocktails that are as visually appealing as they are pleasing to the palate. As with all menu items at Andrei’s, these new cocktails will benefit many charitable causes and organizations, as the restaurant donates 100% of its net profits through The Andrei Foundation. Among the new cocktails are: STRAIGHT UP The Good, the Bad and the Thirsty – Dickel Rye Whiskey, Rhubarb Liqueur, Strawberry Shrub, Cassis, Rosemary Napa Crush – Rain Organic Vodka, White Wine Syrup, White Grape, Champagne Chilean Spice – Spicy Citrus-Infused Vodka, Orange, House-Made Sweet & Sour, Lime Southern Lady – Elijah Craig Bourbon, Peach Liqueur, Peach Bitters, Champagne Cool as a...

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2019 CASA Celebration of Children Black & White Ball

Posted by on May 8, 2019 in Events, Giving Back | 0 comments

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Orange County, held their annual Celebration of Children Black & White Ball, on Saturday, April 27, 2019, at the Hotel Irvine in Irvine, CA. 405 guests were in attendance to support CASA’s mission of serving abused, abandoned, and neglected children in Orange County with a trained and supported volunteer advocate. This year’s Gala had a net of over $1,300,000 and serves as the fifth year in a row that CASA has exceeded in breaking the previous year’s net and becoming the organization’s highest netting fundraiser in their 34 year history. This beautiful and elegant evening was executed by eight longtime CASA supporters who served as this year’s Chairs: Barclay Butera, Dana Chou, Nancy Eaton, Bobbie Howe, Lourdes Nark, Urvashi Patel, Dana Strader and Wendy Tenebaum. Evening festivities were themed “Growing Organically” and guests...

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Bollywood Bar & Clay Oven in Santa Rosa

Posted by on May 6, 2019 in Dining, Santa Rosa, Travel | 0 comments

We dined at Bollywood Bar & Clay Oven as a guest of Santa Rosa One of my favorite restaurants that I visited while in Santa Rosa was the Bollywood Bar & Clay Oven. The restaurant is a short drive from The Sandman Hotel, and offers guests authentic Indian cuisine with an upscale ambiance. The minute that I walked into the restaurant I felt like I was in a restaurant located in Manhattan. The space blends rustic elements, like unfinished wood and exposed brick, with modern furniture. We took a seat at one of the tables on the second floor and got ready to dine on Indian classics paired with local wine. Bollywood Bar & Clay Oven Appetizers I love Indian food, and one of my favorite dishes is Pani Puri. It is traditional Indian street food, and it is...

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The Jade Room Wine Bar & Oysterette

Posted by on May 3, 2019 in Dining, Santa Rosa, Travel | 1 comment

We visited The Jade Room as a guest of Santa Rosa On our last night visiting Santa Rosa, we went on an epicurean adventure at Bollywood Bar & Clay Oven and then walked over to The Jade Room Wine Bar & Oysterette to have a nightcap before returning to our hotel, The Sandman. The chic wine bar is new to Downtown Santa Rosa and is a hot spot for locals and visitors. The minute that we walked into the wine bar, I felt a sense of relaxation come over me. When it comes to seating, you can take a seat at the long, and beautiful bar, at a small semi-private table or in the plush lounge area. Our group decided to enjoy a cocktail in the lounge area. We all took a seat on the comfortable seats and looked...

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Must-Have Pop-Up Disney! A Mickey Celebration Merchandise

Posted by on Apr 26, 2019 in Disney, Shopping | 0 comments

We visited Pop-Up Disney! A Mickey Celebration as a guest of Disney The all-new Pop-Up Disney! A Mickey Celebration at Downtown Disney is such a fun experience. When I went, I felt immersed into a magical world of Disney and was able to capture so many fun photos to share on my social media channels. After experiencing the all-new pop-up photo exhibit, guests have the opportunity to get some limited-time merchandise. The store is filled with many fun items that I couldn’t live without, and these are the must-have Pop-Up Disney! A Mickey Celebration themed merchandise that you’ll not want to leave without purchasing. Pop-Up Disney! A Mickey Celebration Jersey Every time a new Disney jersey is introduced, I have to get one for myself. The oversized shirts are so comfortable and perfect to wear at the Disneyland Resort...

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Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails New Spring Menu

Posted by on Apr 26, 2019 in Dining | 0 comments

Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails has welcomed Spring with new menu items that reflect that colors and flavors of the season. The restaurant, known for its commitment to donating 100% of its net profits to benefit many charitable causes and organizations through The Andrei Foundation, celebrates the cultural diversity of California cuisine, while incorporating the flavors and freshness of the Mediterranean. Among the new items added by Andrei’s Executive Chef Porfirio Gomez are: Double Dip Duo – Cilantro-Green Pea Hummus, Avocado Bacon Dip, Warm Pita, Seasonal Vegetables Summer Vegetable Platter – Grilled Artichoke, Eggplant, Portobello Mushrooms, Asparagus, Roasted Cauliflower, Feta Cheese, Micro Crudités, Mojo Sauce Herb Onion Fritters – Scallions, Greek Feta, Dill, Parsley, Tzatziki Grilled Halloumi & Watermelon – Grilled Halloumi Cheese, Watermelon, Chopped Mint, Fresh Basil, Drizzled Herb Olive Oil Main Street Wedge – Grilled Green Cabbage,...

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Best Restaurants in Orange County to Celebrate Mother’s Day

Posted by on Apr 25, 2019 in Dining, Events, Featured, Mother's Day | 0 comments

It’s time to treat mom like no other by spoiling her at one of the many special options Orange County’s leading hotels have created for this most exceptional lady. At the beach she can be wined and dined at Montage Laguna Beach’s annual Masterpiece Celebration Brunch, at Studio or The Loft. If she doesn’t want to get up too early, she can celebrate with afternoon tea in the Lobby Lounge. If Newport Beach is more her style, then Fashion Island Hotel is the place to go with two delicious dining options: a garden party or brunch at Oak Grill. And for moms who want to be in the center of it all, Hotel Irvine is hosting Mother’s Day in The Backyard with fun for the entire family. Montage Laguna Beach 30801 Coast Highway Laguna Beach, CA 92651 (949) 715-6420...

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Making Gluten-Free Weeknight Meals Easy with the Instant Pot

Posted by on Apr 25, 2019 in Family, Melissa's Produce, Recipes | 1 comment

Have you ever used an Instant Pot before? I remember getting one for Christmas a year ago when everyone was talking about the Instant Pot. However, after seeing kitchen horror stories as a child come to life in my mother’s kitchen with her pressure cooker, I never seemed to take it out of the box. When our friends at Melissa’s Produce invited me to learn more about The Gluten-Free Instant Pot cookbook, I was curious to learn more. I arrived at Melissa’s Produce ready to enjoy some delicious bites, and I quickly learned that I was going to savor more than just a few tasty bites. I first met with the authors of the cookbook, Jane Bonacci and Sara De Leeuw. They signed their cookbook for me, and then they welcomed everyone to take a seat while they went...

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Toast Kitchen + Bakery Donating May’s Proceeds to Bracken’s Kitchen

Posted by on Apr 18, 2019 in Dining, Family | 0 comments

Let’s Toast to giving back! It has always been John Park’s, Executive Chef and Owner of Toast Kitchen + Bakery, mission to utilize his culinary talents to serve the community. Toast donateHs 10% of all proceeds each month to a different charitable organization year-round, and this month Toast is benefitting Bracken’s Kitchen. Bracken’s Kitchen partners with various businesses, restaurants and food industry companies to provide food for the homeless. Toast Kitchen + Bakery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. – closed on Mondays. Visit Toast with your family and friends to enjoy breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and dessert while giving back to a worthy cause! For more information on Toast Kitchen + Bakery, visit: https://www.toastkitchenbakery.com; for more information on Bracken’s Kitchen, visit: https://www.brackenskitchen.com DATE: Wednesday, May...

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Farmhouse New Spring Menu and Seasonal Cocktails

Posted by on Apr 17, 2019 in Dining | 0 comments

Farmhouse is pleased to present a new spring menu courtesy of Owner and Executive Chef Rich Mead. Featuring the freshest seasonal flavors sourced during weekly trips to the Santa Monica Farmers Market, the menu welcomes twelve new main dishes, veggie sides and desserts. The full spring menu is also available in the Farmhouse bar which highlights exciting new spring cocktails hand-crafted by Anthony Laborin, head of Cocktail R&D, and his team. Developed to compliment Chef Mead’s ever-evolving menu, choose from thirteen new cocktails to enjoy al fresco in the beautiful, garden setting. New this season, sip on a selection of four non-alcoholic specialty beverages found on Laborin’s Counterfeit Cocktail menu. Ideal for any time of day, these healthy refreshments are the perfect addition to any occasion. Savor a delicious snack or indulge your sweet tooth between lunch and dinner...

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Disney’s Aladdin Far From Agrabah Book + Giveaway

Posted by on Apr 15, 2019 in Books, Disney, Entertainment, Film, Giveaways | 53 comments

In Partnership with the Disney Book Group One of my favorite things to do with my children before taking them to see a movie is to read a book about the film first. Aladdin is one of my children’s favorite animated films of all-time, and they can’t wait to see the live-action film in theaters May 24th. As the anticipation of the film release has been building in my household, I decided to surprise my kids by reading them the all-new book, “Far from Agrabah” by Aisha Saeed. I thought that it would take a couple of weeks of reading the book to them at bedtime, but we couldn’t stop reading it and finished the book within three nights. The book was magical, and my children had many dreams about Jasmine and Aladdin’s adventures. In the book, Princess Jasmine...

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Unleash Your Creativity with the Buddha Board

Posted by on Apr 14, 2019 in Crafts, Education, Family | 0 comments

Samples of the Buddha Board provided I go to school to study art, so I am always trying to find new and modern art supplies. With all the new advancements nowadays it is not very hard to find something that I really like. Luckily for me, I discovered the Buddha Board. Since a lot of times, my art can waste paper and supplies the Buddha Board is now one of my new favorite platforms for creativity. The reason why the Buddha Board is so helpful is that when you paint, you paint with water. After a little while, the water evaporates, and you can start all over again without having to waste supplies or canvas. It helps the environment and helps relax you. The Buddha Board is all about focusing on the present and what is happening right now....

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San Pedro Fish Market Grille

Posted by on Apr 14, 2019 in Dining | 0 comments

We visited the San Pedro Fish Market Grille as a guest One of my favorite things to do on the weekend is to take the kids to San Pedro to have lunch at the Fish Market. My kids love seeing all the fresh fish, and we all enjoy having lunch prepared with the freshest fish available. San Pedro isn’t always the easiest part of LA to get to in Los Angeles, but once we make the drive, it always ends up being worth it. Having family in San Pedro, we find ourselves in town a lot, and I can’t believe that I have not made it into the new San Pedro Fish Market Grille since it opened a year ago. When we got invited to attend their one-year celebration, I made a point to clear my calendar, and drive...

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What to Expect from CoolSculpting at CosmetiCare

Posted by on Apr 14, 2019 in Beauty, CosmetiCare | 0 comments

We received a complimentary CoolSculpting treatment from CosmetiCare After having Liposuction last year, I made a major commitment to taking better care of myself. In that process, I lost 70 pounds just by changing my lifestyle. I do intermittent fasting, eat a very clean diet, and exercise every day. I am thankful every day to the doctors at CosmetiCare who performed the liposuction procedure that got me on the path to healthy living and having the body of my dreams. Even though I eat very clean, have lost a lot of weight, and exercise every day, I have not been successful in toning my arms. Because I was a volleyball player in high school and college, I developed huge arms. Without doing that type of daily intensive exercise, I would never achieve the results that I wanted with my...

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16th Annual Pacific Islander Festival + Giveaway

Posted by on Apr 14, 2019 in Aquarium of the Pacific, Events, Giveaways | 14 comments

Experience dance, music, and cultural artifacts of the Pacific Islands on Saturday and Sunday, May 4 and 5, at the Aquarium of the Pacific Discover and explore the rich and diverse cultures of the Pacific Islands at the Aquarium’s 16th 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, May 4 and 5, 2019, 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 $17.95 child (3-11), and free for children under age three and Aquarium members GIVEAWAY:...

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Girls Inc. Summer Program

Posted by on Apr 13, 2019 in Camp | 0 comments

Girls Inc. is excited to bring back Smart-Ups – a summer program for young girls currently in grades 3rd through 5th (who will be entering 4th – 6th grades in Summer 2019) that is sure to be a memorable and impactful summer for all participants.  Smart-Ups is a place for young girls to learn leadership, economic literacy and business skills by creating their own mini-society and opening up their own business.  Participants will learn about marketing, advertising, budgeting, confidence building, body positivity and more and will enjoy presentations by a variety of influential female entrepreneurs!  The program is 4 weeks long, 5 days per week with hands-on field trips held every Friday.  The girls will gain exposure to a university setting as the program is hosted by Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business and Economics.  The program concludes with...

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A Passage to Little India: Orange County Walking Food Tour

Posted by on Apr 11, 2019 in Dining, Family, Featured, Melissa's Produce | 0 comments

Yesterday, I embarked on an epicurean adventure in Artesia with Melissa’s Produce and Farhana Sahibzada. Indian cuisine is one of my all-time favorites, so when I was invited to attend this special walking food tour, I cleared my calendar to learn more about Indian cuisine in Southern California. Melissa’s Produce has spiced up my family cooking by introducing me to unique and delicious produce, and this event turned it up a notch. As an Orange County native, I have never been to Artesia (gasp!). I really didn’t even know where it was until I searched it on my GPS. I quickly realized that I drive right past it 2-3 times a week on my way to attend events in LA, and could of been experiencing the best Indian food in SoCal for all these years. I had only done...

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Best Places in Orange County for Easter Brunch

Posted by on Apr 10, 2019 in Dining, Easter, Featured, Holiday | 0 comments

Orange County hotels are presenting egg-cellent egg-stravaganzas for Easter Day from glamourous dining by the sea to family-fun events that will have little ones hopping in delight with up close and personal visits with the Easter Bunny. Montage Laguna Beach offers three distinctly different, but all gourmet, scenarios in the Grand Ballroom, Studio and The Loft. And those who enjoy the Easter dining experiences, can join in the fun at the resort’s annual Easter Egg Hunt. Fashion Island Hotel is offering two fashionably delicious brunch options, and at Hotel Irvine, guests will not only dine on delicious food, but also participate in fun bunny-centric activities and games including Easter Egg hunts, a petting zoo and live music. MONTAGE LAGUNA BEACH 30801 Coast Highway Laguna Beach, CA 92651 (949) 715-6420 www.montagehotels.com/lagunabeach Masterpiece Easter Celebration in the Grand Ballroom Sunday, April...

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Moulin Opens in San Clemente

Posted by on Apr 1, 2019 in Dining, Events, Family | 0 comments

Moulin, the award-winning French bistro with locations in Newport Beach and Laguna Beach, will open its third location in San Clemente today, April 1. Proprietor Laurent Vrignaud, who was named Restaurateur of the Year by the Orange County Business Journal, has also expanded the Moulin brand to include a French antique store, which opened in January. Moulin’s third bistro is now open at the historic Casino San Clemente (120 W Avenida Pico). Built in 1937, this seaside landmark has long been a gathering place for celebration and revelry, serving as a beacon for San Clemente, drawing in Hollywood starlets and travelers from around the world. Within walking distance to San Clemente’s popular North Beach, much of Moulin’s menu is available to-go, modeled after cafes along coastal France. Much like Casino San Clemente, Vrignaud created Moulin as a central gathering...

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Spring Break Fun at Dana Point Harbor

Posted by on Apr 1, 2019 in Family | 0 comments

Dana Point Harbor invites locals and visiting destination seekers to explore the abundance of ocean activities, dockside dining options, and shopping experiences the Harbor has to offer during spring break. Whether you are looking for adventure, fun, or relaxation this season, Dana Point Harbor offers something unique for everyone. Popular spring activities in the Harbor include strolling along the water’s edge, sailing, kayaking, paddleboarding, ocean fishing, and whale watching trips. Activities abound both in and out of the water, so for those looking to enjoy the calm waters and wondrous sea creatures without getting wet, hop on one of the many whale watching excursions offered at the Harbor including Captain Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari, Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching, and Ocean Adventures. Add some relaxation to your spring break getaway by joining a class at I...

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Farmer Boys Debuts New Burgerless Burger

Posted by on Apr 1, 2019 in Dining, Family | 0 comments

Sponsored by Farmer Boys Farmer Boys, the farm fresh fast casual concept known for its award-winning burgers, will be rolling out an exciting new addition to their menu. The Burgerless Burger focuses on the quality and simplicity of Farmer Boys’ farm fresh food, and will feature just pickles, onions, and Thousand Island dressing on a sesame seed bun. In 2018, Farmer Boys refocused their marketing strategy on the quality and value of Farmer Boys’ everyday farm fresh menu. The introduction of the Burgerless Burger reflects a continuation of those efforts and focuses in more squarely on the natural simplicity of their farm fresh offerings. The Burgerless Burger goes back to basics with just four ingredients, and it is also a great option for vegetarian guests. “Farm fresh” was at the core of Farmer Boys when it started nearly four...

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Free Chronic Tacos at OC Beach Cleanup

Posted by on Mar 28, 2019 in Dining, Events | 0 comments

Free Chronic Tacos For All Volunteers Supporting Our Planet and Community Chronic Tacos is partnering with Eco Warrior to promote a healthier planet and stronger community in Laguna Beach. Free tacos will be offered to every volunteer participating in the beach clean-up in Aliso Beach. Volunteers can expect a wide variety of delicious tacos and the sweet taste of a job well done. Eco Warrior is proud to partner with a locally-loved restaurant to help make a change and spread the message of sustainable living. About Chronic Tacos The fast-casual franchise is known for its fresh Mexican cuisine that is customized for each volunteer’s distinctive taste. The Chronic Tacos experience consists of walking down the prep line and personally choosing everything that goes on your meal. Customers can choose from vegetarian and gluten-free options, as well as choices of:...

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Five Must-Have Foods at Knott’s Boysenberry Festival

Posted by on Mar 27, 2019 in Dining, Events, Knott's Berry Farm | 0 comments

We attended a preview of the Knott’s Boysenberry Festival It is the most delicious time of the year to visit Knott’s Berry Farm for their yearly Boysenberry Festival. The event is a favorite of my family, with the food being the best part. This year is better than ever with more delicious boysenberry food than ever, and these are our top picks! My absolute favorite food this year is the boysenberry elote. The tasty corn is located at the Ghost Town Bank Stand, and I guarantee that you can’t just eat one. I may or may not be guilty of coming back for seconds. For those who are looking to eat healthier at Knott’s while attending the boysenberry festival will want to dine at Spurs Chophouse. The highly-acclaimed restaurant is featuring a boysenberry glazed salmon over mixed greens. Also,...

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Roasted Garlic and Heirloom Tomato Flatbread Recipe

Posted by on Mar 27, 2019 in Melissa's Produce, Recipes | 0 comments

When roasted garlic and heirloom tomatoes come together, it is pure bliss. I have recently been kinda obsessed with Trader Joe’s pre-made flatbread lately. It is so fresh, light, and makes for an easy weeknight dinner. I’ve been having fun creating new recipes using their flatbread, and Melissa’s Produce brings the bread to life. Another one of my favorite foods is burrata cheese. I always have a container in my refrigerator at all times. When the kids came home late from school one-night last week, and I was faced with the question of, “What to cook?” I used some of my favorite staple ingredients to make this tasty flatbread recipe. The recipe only took minutes to make, and after cooking in the oven for 10 minutes, dinner was served. This entire recipe can be made within 15 minutes, making...

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The Best Bra for Breast Implants

Posted by on Mar 26, 2019 in Beauty, CosmetiCare | 1 comment

Sponsored by The Breast Whisperer One of the most important things to do after having breast augmentation is to invest in a good bra. Wearing a bra that offers good support will not only help you feel more comfortable after your surgery but will also help to protect the investment you made in having your breasts done. After having my breast augmentation, I struggled to find a bra that provided a good amount of support. While you don’t need to sleep in a bra, I want to make sure and keep my breasts high and tight for as long as possible, so I decided to sleep in a bra. Finding a bra that is comfortable to sleep in comfortably is very difficult. I purchased many different kinds of bras, and I was only able to find one, The Breast...

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Wagyu Week Returns to Sushi Roku Newport Beach

Posted by on Mar 26, 2019 in Dining, Events | 0 comments

Sushi Roku Newport Beach welcomes a special delivery of award-winning Bungo Wagyu from Monday, March 25th through Saturday, March 30th with a limited-time-only tasting menu. Bungo beef is considered the highest-quality Japanese grade beef, originating from the Oita prefecture in the Kyushu region of Japan. The award-winning meat, which has received accolades from the Tenno-sho (Emperor’s Prize) and Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, will be offered in six unique preparations to preserve its rich, delicious flavor. Each can be paired with refined spirits originating from Japan that delicately enhance each dishes’ overall profile. Bungo Wagyu Beef Tasting Menu Wagyu Sushi (2pcs; 0.6oz/each) Kizami Wasabi, Oscietra Caviar, Gold Flakes Wagyu Skewers (1.5 oz) Sweet Soy, Karashi Mustard Wagyu Carpaccio (2oz) Salt, Pepper, Garlic Chips, Red Yuzu Pepper, Tiny Veggies (carrot, white radish, red radish) Wagyu Katsu Sandwich (1oz/each)...

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Mercury Insurance Drive Safe Challenge: Immersive One-day Driving School

Posted by on Mar 25, 2019 in Autos, Events, Family | 1 comment

Sponsored by Mercury Insurance Did you know that car crashes are the leading cause of death for 15 to 19-year-olds nationwide? One thing that we have taken very seriously with our teenage son is driving education. When we were younger, we went to the DMV on our 16th birthday. Took the driving test, and then went out with our friends to celebrate. As parents, looking back, we were both not 100% ready to be driving independently on the road. As our son approached his 16th birthday, we didn’t feel that he was ready to take his driving test. We decided to extend his driving education and recently brought him to a one-day immersive driving school hosted by Mercury Insurance at the Honda Center. My son had attended the course last year, right after getting his permit. Now that we...

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The Best in Tech for Spring Breakers

Posted by on Mar 23, 2019 in Family, Tech | 0 comments

Sponsored by Verizon Spring Break is officially here. Whether you’re planning a family getaway with the kids or needing to keep the kids busy at home Verizon has all the top tech to keep your kids entertained. Have a problem keeping track of things, especially when on the go? Try using a smart tracker from Tile or the Samsung SmartThings Tracker. Place one of these devices in your suitcase or wallet to keep an eye on your belongings even when they’re not in sight. Both offer long-lasting battery life. And the Samsung SmartThings Tracker works standalone on the 4G LTE network, meaning you could track your luggage on its journey even when your phone isn’t anywhere near your suitcase. Spend more time taking in those special vacation moments with the Samsung Galaxy S10. With a best in class camera...

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America’s Family Pet Expo Returns to OC

Posted by on Mar 23, 2019 in Events, Giveaways | 18 comments

America’s Family Pet Expo returns to the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa Friday, April 26 – Sunday, April 28, 2019. The annual family-friendly event features all creatures cute and cuddly, furry, feathered and scaled of all sizes, shapes and colors. Animal entertainment, education, adoption innovative products and nutrition all at the OC Fair & Event Center. This year, the Pet Expo launches “The Lab” an interactive, hands-on “show within a show” where guests, exhibitors and pets can meet. “The Pet Expo is about connections, whether they be with fellow pet enthusiasts, or with the animals, says Courtney Harold, Vice President of Sales, Marketing & Business Development. “The Lab will be a central meet-up location for socializing, new product launches, demonstrations and pet education seminars.” The Pet Expo will also debut “Kids’ Pet Care Course.” Led by licensed...

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Seaside Baker: Decadent Fruit Desserts

Posted by on Mar 22, 2019 in Family, Melissa's Produce, Recipes | 2 comments

Dessert for lunch? Yes, please. I love going to Melissa’s Produce to have lunch with all my favorite foodies, celebrate a new cookbook author, and indulge in delicious cuisine. When I got an invitation to come to Melissa’s for a delicious day of desserts, I cleared my calendar to attend the event. Let’s just say that I have a little sweet tooth.. I love to celebrate bloggers who publish their first books. Jackie Bruchez is a well-known blogger (Seaside Baker) who is now a celebrated published author of the book Decadent Fruit Desserts. She is incredibly talented, and the minute that I walked into Melissa’s Kitchen, and saw all her desserts, I was in sugar heaven. Melissa’s Produce converted into a dessert version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for the day. The counter was filled with samples of...

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Best Wine Is The One Enjoyed With Friends

Posted by on Mar 20, 2019 in Dining | 0 comments

Samples of Ammunition Wine was provided When planning our recent girls getaway glamping trip to KOA in Ventura, I knew that I wanted to serve my friends my favorite wine. I recently discovered Ammunition Wine, and ever since it has been my favorite wine. I picked up a case of Chardonnay and Zinfandel and headed up to Ventura for an unforgettable girls getaway. The minute that I arrived with the wine, we opened a bottle. Poured each other glasses of wine, and made a toast to our friendship. We sat together on the balcony of our cabin and spent the afternoon laughing together about all the funny moments we’ve experienced together while friends. The Chardonnay from Ammunition Wine quickly became a favorite of my friends who love white wine as much as me. By the end of the trip,...

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Indian Cooking Classes at Adya in Anaheim

Posted by on Mar 20, 2019 in Dining, Family, Irvine, Melissa's Produce, Recipes | 0 comments

Adya is one of the best places to bring your family to get Indian food. Both locations in Irvine and Anaheim offer a relaxed family-friendly dining ambiance. Plus, they have delicious food that even the pickiest little eaters will love. During my recent visit to Adya, I attended a cooking class with Chef Shachi Mehra using fresh Melissa’s Produce. I have always been intimidated by the thought of making Indian food at home. During the interactive cooking class, Chef Shachi showed me how simple and easy cooking Indian food at home for my family can be. We learned how to make four simple family-friendly recipes using fresh Melissa’s Produce. The two favorite recipes that I learned how to make was the tangerine and radish salad with fresh mint and fennel. The salad was fresh, and when made with Melissa’s...

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Tangerine and Radish Salad with Fresh Mint and Fennel

Posted by on Mar 19, 2019 in Dining, Recipes | 0 comments

We all love Melissa’s Produce. It is the freshest produce available. If you can’t grow produce in your backyard Melissa’s is the best option to feed your children. Today was an exciting day as I was able to visit one of my favorite restaurants in Orange County, and one that uses Melissa’s Produce, Adya. I can’t believe that it has been five years since attending the media event for the grand opening of Adya at the Anaheim Packing House. Time has flown by. I first fell in love with Chef Shachi’s food when she was at Tamarind of London. It was my favorite Indian restaurant in OC, only because of the chef and her talents. Once Chef Shachi left, it closed its doors shortly after. Once Adya opened their location in Irvine, I always seem to find myself sneaking...

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Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Mar 19, 2019 in Cool Places, Events, Family, Featured | 0 comments

Sea animals and marine biology have been a huge part of my life growing up. Especially since I only live about 3 miles from the ocean. I have grown up walking around tide pools and learning all about the ocean. Just recently I discovered the centers and places in Laguna Beach that can help teach me more about marine biology. One of my new favorites is the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. One of my favorite things about this Center is that it is right off of Laguna Canyon Road which is right next to my house. Pacific Marine Mammal Center focuses on Seal Lions and Seals in the area. Due to malnourishment and dehydration, more sea lions are coming in, and the Center is right there to help with that. They take sick animals in and treat them until...

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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Family Craft

Posted by on Mar 19, 2019 in Entertainment, Film, Giveaways | 22 comments

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is one of our all-time favorite films of the year. My kids and I went to see it multiple times in the theater, and we couldn’t wait until it was released on DVD to add it to our home movie collection. The time has finally come, and we have been watching the movie over and over again using Movies Anywhere. When we are not watching the movie, we always find ourselves listening to the soundtrack with our home entertainment center. In celebration of getting to enjoy the movie at home for years to come, I planned a fun craft day with the kids. I got them some Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse t-shirts, fabric markers, and I let the kids unleash their creativity decorating the shirts. Together, we enjoy listening to the soundtrack, while the kids...

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Pretend City Kidstock Music & Arts Festival + Giveaway

Posted by on Mar 18, 2019 in Events, Giveaways | 49 comments

Pretend City Children’s Museum is kicking off their second annual Kidstock Music and Arts Family Festival on April 1st with music from local musicians and interactive art activities for the entire families. Families will want to experience 10 days of music, dancing and art at Kidstock Music and Arts Family Festival at Pretend City Children’s Museum April 1st – April 10th. Country, pop, rock, rap — it will all get you moving and grooving together as a family. Live performances will be featured every day, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., in the Traveling Exhibit as well as throughout the museum. One of the ‘headliners’ this year are “The Beat Buds” children’s musicians with a contemporary sound familiar to adults. Their songs entertain kids and resonate with the parents too. In addition, is the opportunity for children to paint...

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Knott’s Boysenberry Pie Frozen Yogurt at Yogurtland

Posted by on Mar 18, 2019 in Dining, Family, Knott's Berry Farm | 0 comments

For the first time ever, Knott’s Berry Farm and Yogurtland have teamed up to give fans a one-of-a-kind frozen yogurt experience inspired by Mrs. Cordelia Knott’s award-winning boysenberry pie. The new Yogurtland flavor was crafted alongside Knott’s and has arrived in stores nationwide, only a couple days away from the newly-expanded Knott’s Boysenberry Festival which runs daily from March 29 – April 28th. Each spoonful of Yogurtland’s Boysenberry Pie frozen yogurt flavor is bursting with the jammy richness and sweet and tart taste of fresh boysenberries followed by hints of a butter sweet pie crust. Inspired by the world-class award-winning pies, it’s creamy and delicious, and no doubt Mrs. Knott herself would approve. For an added boysenberry touch, Yogurtland will be serving mini boysenberry shortbread cookies as a topping option. While getting a sneak peek of the upcoming Boysenberry...

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Noche de Estrellas at The Aquarium of the Pacific + Giveaway

Posted by on Mar 18, 2019 in Aquarium of the Pacific, Events, Giveaways | 27 comments

Guests can party with the sea stars and learn about marine life and the environment at the Aquarium of the Pacific’s Latin-themed late night, Noche de Estrellas (Night of the Stars), on Friday, March 22, 2019, from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. The Aquarium will remain open late so guests can dance to the sounds of cumbia, rock en Español, salsa, and other Latin rhythms with the live bands and DJs. Noche de Estrellas will feature Aztec dance, crafts, and bilingual educational programs, including a scavenger hunt with prizes, ocean-related activities, and environmental activities—all offered in both English and Spanish. The event will also feature special programming highlighting the world’s smallest and most critically endangered whale, the vaquita—only 30 remain. Mexican cuisine, beer, wine, cocktails, and refreshments will also be available for guests to purchase. In addition to being...

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Kiwi Berries and Burrata Avocado Toast

Posted by on Mar 17, 2019 in Melissa's Produce, Recipes | 0 comments

When first introduced to Kiwi Berries from Melissa’s produce, I didn’t know what to make with them. I first experimented by making a smoothie so that I could fully experience their flavor. Next, I made a delicious tart for dessert, and the next morning make avocado toast with burrata and kiwi berries. It ended up being the best avocado toast I have ever made. Avocado toast is a healthy way to pack a lot of nutrition into your kid’s breakfast, and kids love it. There are so many creative ways to serve avocado toast to your kids, and this is guaranteed to become one of their all-time favorites quickly. What are Kiwi Berries? According to Melissa’s Produce, Kiwi Berries are a cousin of the Kiwi Fruit. They are luscious berries with smooth skin, delicate seeds and are similar in...

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Kiwi Berries and Heirloom Tomato Tart with Basil and Ricotta

Posted by on Mar 7, 2019 in Melissa's Produce, Recipes | 0 comments

What do you do when you receive beautiful Baby Heirloom Tomatoes from Melissa’s Produce? You make something delicious. Last night, dinner was a disaster. I attempted to make a recipe that failed and found myself digging through the freezer for food to feed the kids. That ended up being hot dogs. Ugh. I quickly learned what food snobs my kids have become after feeding them organic, fresh food every night of the week. I’ve never been that macaroni and cheese + hot dogs kinda mom. After all the dirty looks and complaining I got from the kids over dinner, I decided to surprise them with a delicious dessert. About Kiwi Berries Kiwi berries are very sweet, and I thought they would compliment the heirloom tomatoes, and the sweet cheese mixture perfectly. And, it was incredible. For the crust, if...

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Squash Blossom and Burrata Flatbread Recipe

Posted by on Mar 6, 2019 in Melissa's Produce, Recipes | 0 comments

After making stuffed squash blossoms with my daughter, we decided to make a squash blossom and burrata flatbread with the squash blossoms we received from Melissa’s Produce. The flatbread ended up coming out amazing, and my kids devoured every last bite. Plus, they requested that I make it again for them the next evening. Where to Find Squash Blossoms If you are not familiar with squash blossoms, they are delicious. When you purchase them online at Melissa’s Produce or from a local retailer, you’ll want to cook with them right away – they don’t hold long in the refrigerator. You can make your own bread. But, if you’re a busy mom like me, you probably don’t have time for that on a weeknight. Trader Joe’s has incredible flatbread (found in the bread section of the store). They also have...

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Minnie: Bow Be Mine + Giveaway

Posted by on Mar 5, 2019 in Disney, Entertainment, Film, Giveaways | 39 comments

The Happy Helpers Shine a Spotlight on Adventure! The all-new Disney DVD, Minnie: Bow Be Mine is currently available for purchase in stores nationwide. As the Happy Helpers from Mickey and the Roadster Racers, BFFs Minnie and Daisy take center stage as they tackle super-tough tasks and help friends who need a hand: judging a surfing contest in Hawaii, solving a doozy of a mystery, photographing a rare rainforest bird and much more! Then, watch Minnie rock out onstage at Hot Dog Hills Stadium! Featuring two bonus music videos, Minnie: Bow Be Mine amps up the fun to a whole new level of awesome. Voice Cast in Minnie: Bow Be Mine Russi Taylor as Minnie Mouse; Tress MacNeille as Daisy Duck; Bret Iwan as Mickey Mouse; Daniel Ross as Donald Duck; Bill Farmer as Goofy; Jim Cummings as Pete;...

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19th Annual Taste of Huntington Beach

Posted by on Mar 5, 2019 in Dining, Events | 0 comments

The Annual Taste of Huntington Beach will take place on Sunday, April 28, 2019, at the HB Sports Complex. The event is held from noon to 4 p.m. with an exclusive VIP reception from 11 a.m. to noon. The Taste of Huntington Beach showcases the best local culinary talents and the region’s top wineries and breweries. For one all-inclusive price, attendees enjoy unlimited samples and sips from some of the area’s finest establishments. All proceeds from the event go to the Children’s Department of the Huntington Beach Public Library. Since 2001, The Friends of the Children’s Library and the HB Restaurant Association have helped the Taste of Huntington Beach raise more than $600,000 for the HB Children’s Library! Taste of Huntington Beach Ticket Pricing General Admission tickets are $70 and includes: – Unlimited tastes of food from 50 of...

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A Little Book of Cheese at Melissa’s Produce

Posted by on Mar 5, 2019 in Family, Melissa's Produce, Recipes | 0 comments

Cheese? Yes, please! When I got an invite to attend a celebration of Chef Debbi Dubbs cookbook, A Little Book of Cheese, I immediately said, “Yes!” When I arrived at Melissa’s Produce, the kitchen smelled amazing. There were multiple dishes featuring cheese, and I quickly learned that the aromatic dish was the minestrone soup. I enjoyed a quick meet and greet with Chef Debbi. She signed a cookbook for me to bring home to my daughter, and also gave me a copy of her second cookbook. Next, it was time to taste some of her recipes. Lunch at Melissa’s Produce I started by trying her apple pecan salad with goat cheese. Then, I had a taste of the Italian chopped salad. Both of the salads were amazing, but I found myself going back for seconds of the Italian chopped...

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Lemon and Ricotta Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Posted by on Mar 1, 2019 in Melissa's Produce, Recipes | 0 comments

Squash blossoms are one of my favorite foods. During the summer, I grow squash blossoms in our backyard garden and enjoy cooking with them. One of my favorite things to do with squash blossoms is to stuff them with second favorite food – cheese. Where to Find Squash Blossoms Knowing how much I love squash blossoms, our friends at Melissa’s Produce, surprised me this week with a box of beautiful squash blossoms. When you purchase squash blossoms, you’ll want to prepare something with them right away – they do not hold long in the refrigerator. We were so lucky to get so many squash blossoms that my daughter and I made lemon and ricotta stuffed squash blossoms. Plus, we also made a squash blossom and burrata pizza to pair with it. It was the most delicious night ever in...

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Lunch Specials and Bottomless Mimosas at Sapphire Laguna

Posted by on Feb 25, 2019 in Dining | 0 comments

This month marks 12 years of culinary excellence at Sapphire Laguna, where comfort cuisine meets exotic innovation, and from February 25th through March 3rd, Chef Azmin Ghahreman will host a weeklong anniversary celebration! Sapphire Laguna Anniversary Lunch February 25th through March 1st $12 Lunch Entrées – Guests are invited to enjoy any entrée on the Sapphire Laguna Lunch Menu for $12. Not only is the weather perfect for dining al fresco, but lunch menu is filled with mouth-watering dishes like our Chicken & Kimchi Stir-Fry Noodle, Sautéed Shrimp Pasta, and signature Kobe Beef Havarti Cheeseburger! Lunch is offered Monday through Friday from 11am to 2:30pm. Sapphire Laguna Anniversary Brunch March 2nd and 3rd $12 Bottomless Mimosas – Just when you thought our Weekend Brunch couldn’t get any better… Sapphire Laguna offers $12 Bottomless Mimosas during Brunch service from 9am...

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Cherimoya Coconut and Chicken Chili Recipe

Posted by on Feb 25, 2019 in Family, Recipes | 1 comment

Have you ever heard of a Cherimoya before? Me either. The one thing that I love about Melissa’s Produce is that they offer exotic produce, and introduces families to new culinary possibilities. When I received a package from Melissa’s Produce containing Cherimoya, I didn’t know what to do with it. I did some research, and found that it is best paired with tropical fruits like coconut. When doing my research on Cherimoya, I learned that you need to be cautious with this type of produce. The skin and the seeds are toxic, but the fruit is delicious. I waited until my Cherimoya was ripe (a soft brown hue). Then, it was time to explore the amazing fruit. There was little online that talked about Cherimoya, and I was struggling with what to make with it. It was a cold,...

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Best First Electric Shaver for Teen Boys

Posted by on Feb 21, 2019 in Family, Health, Tech | 0 comments

This Philips Norelco electric shaver story is in partnership with Best Buy I was starting to think that my teenager would never develop facial hair, but as he past his 16th birthday, I suddenly started to notice a small shadow over his lip. The time had finally come for him to get his first shaver, and since I wanted to avoid him cutting up his face, I knew that he needed an electric shaver. During the holidays, I wanted to leave one for him under the tree. I knew that if Santa had given it to him, that he would use it more than if his mommy gave it to him. So, I went to our local Best Buy and started doing some research on shavers. The staff at Best Buy is the best. They are always so informative,...

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DreamWorks Dragons: Titan Uprising Interactive Game

Posted by on Feb 21, 2019 in Entertainment, Film, Tech | 1 comment

DreamWorks Dragons: Titan Uprising is brought to you in partnership with Universal Pictures After seeing How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World with my children, I fell in love with the heartfelt family film. Then, after talking about the film with America Ferrera and Jay Baruchel I loved the movie even more. In celebration of the release of the film in theaters this Friday, Universal Games and Digital Platforms has released a new interactive game inspired by the movie. Plus, players can get rewarded by earning an in-game exclusive scene from the film How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. In DreamWorksDragons: Titan Uprising, players can become the ultimate puzzle champion as they reunite with Toothless and Hiccup in their fight to save the island of Berk from the nefarious Dragonroot Company. Alongside other fearless trainers, fans...

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Romanesco and Bacon Quiche Recipe

Posted by on Feb 19, 2019 in Recipes | 0 comments

After roasting some fresh romanesco that I had received from Melissa’s Produce, I was excited to make something delicious for my family. With breakfast being one of our favorite meals of the day, I decided to make a romanesco and bacon quiche. And, it was delicious. If you’re not familiar with romanesco, it is a delicious vegetable. My kids are always fascinated with how it looks, and that makes them want to eat more of it. It is often served in pastas or as a side dish. You can find the freshest romanesco online or at a retailer that sells Melissa’s Produce. Romanesco and Bacon Quiche Recipe The dish is super simple to make. Plus, it is great to bring to your next girlfriend get together or to serve to your kids on a weekend morning. You can either...

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Best Breakfast in Mérida: Rosas & Xocolate

Posted by on Feb 19, 2019 in Dining, Featured, Mérida, Mexico, Travel | 0 comments

We dined at Rosas & Xocolate as a guest of Mérida After using the (CBX) Cross Border Xpress to catch a flight out of Tijuana with Volaris conveniently, Xperiencia Maya picked us up in Mérida to bring us to Rosas & Xocolate for breakfast. Decor of Rosas & Xocolate in Mérida The first thing that made with fall in love with Rosas & Xocolate was the beautiful pink building. The hotel and restaurant looked like something out of a movie, and I couldn’t wait to taste their food. We walked into the restaurant, and they led us to the perfect table on their outdoor patio. Our table was right next to a pond when I enjoyed the relaxing sounds of the small fountain. After sitting in the restaurant for a few minutes, all the stresses from traveling melted away....

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Indulgent Dinner with Daou and Black Angus

Posted by on Feb 15, 2019 in Dining, Family | 0 comments

We dined at Black Angus as a guest of the venue What a great evening we had when Black Angus and Daou Winery invited us to dine with them. Yes, these two have decided to partner and bring us a new menu complimented by the well known and delicious wines of Daou. Black Angus recently remodeled the Lakewood, Ca location; it has a bright, fresh, contemporary design; a brand new take on Black Angus for all of us yet still full of that familiar comfort. Introducing a new menu went hand in hand, and it has the “wow” factor! We were dining on Crab Cakes with Lemon Aioli on Baby Greens, as Chef David Bolosan teased us with the most delicious flavors. We were excited to discover what other dishes were going to be shared. One of our favorite...

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Kiwano Horned Melon Fruit Salsa Recipe

Posted by on Feb 12, 2019 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

In my family, when salsa is made it is eaten within the first couple of hours. Instead of going to the regular grocery store and buying salsa I decided to try to make some with the recent kiwano (horned melon) I got from Melissa’s Produce. I told my family that I was making kiwano fruit salsa and they were so excited! Before I tell you how to make the salsa I should give you a little bit of background about the kiwano horned melon. It is part of the cucumber family and could also be known as the African Horned Melon. A ripe kiwano melon has an orange outside with mini spikes. Be careful, they can tend to be pointy. The health benefits of kiwano melon are extraordinary. There are countless vitamins such as, Vitamin B, zinc, potassium, and...

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Irvine Park Railroad’s 23rd Anniversary Celebration

Posted by on Feb 12, 2019 in Events, Featured, Giveaways | 32 comments

Come celebrate Irvine Park Railroad’s 23rd anniversary on Saturday, February 23rd and Sunday, February 24th. We’re rolling back prices to our original 1996 prices… including $2.00 train rides! It’s our way of saying thank you to all of our loyal customers who have visited Irvine Park Railroad over the years. Irvine Park Railroad, which has become a favorite destination for families from across Southern California, takes passengers on a 12-minute ride through scenic Irvine Regional Park. The engineer narrates the ride pointing out all of the history inside of the park which is over 100 years old. The Anniversary Celebration will also feature other activities including carnival games, a bounce house, panning for gold, face painting, and more. Some activities require two (2) tickets. There are $2 concessions, too, including hot dogs, sodas, ice creams, and popcorn. The $2...

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Electrifying Harlem Globetrotters Return to SoCal

Posted by on Feb 11, 2019 in Events, Featured, Giveaways | 51 comments

Committed to bringing fans the best experience and most electrifying athletes on the planet, the Harlem Globetrotters will give their fans a chance to get closer than ever to the action and team’s stars with their brand-new Fan Powered World Tour, which is set to come to the Los Angeles area in February. Harlem Globetrotters Schedule *Walter Pyramid at Long Beach State University Friday, February 15 at 7pm. *Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario Saturday, February 16 at 2pm and 7pm. *STAPLES Center in Los Angeles Sunday, February 17 at 2pm. *Honda Center in Anaheim Saturday, February 23 at 2pm and 7pm. At each Globetrotters game, there will be more than 20 opportunities before, during, and after each event where fans will get a chance to directly interact with the team’s stars – that’s a 30-percent increase over any...

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In Melissa’s Kitchen with Nancie McDermott

Posted by on Feb 11, 2019 in Dining, Family, Recipes | 0 comments

Last week, I had the honor of visiting Melissa’s Produce for a cooking demo by the highly renowned author, Nancie McDermott. I was in for a treat. Not only did I get a chance to sample some of the foods from her cookbook, Fruit: a Savor the South, by I also got to learn so much from her. My favorite thing that they served from her cookbook was a Horchata de Melon cantaloupe seed drink. It was light, refreshing, and boasted with fresh flavors. It was so delicious that I ended up going back for seconds (and maybe thirds). Another highlight from the luncheon was her arugula salad with persimmon. Persimmon is a fruit that I don’t often serve to my children, and to be honest, I usually forget about it. Having the fresh Persimmon from Melissa’s Produce paired...

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Orange County Valentine’s Day Dining Guide

Posted by on Feb 6, 2019 in Dining, Events, Featured, Valentine's Day | 0 comments

Love is in the air in Orange County as sweethearts make dining arrangements to celebrate Valentine’s Day with the one they love. We have found the best restaurants to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Orange County. Montage Laguna Beach Montage Laguna Beach 30801 Coast Highway Laguna Beach, CA 92651 (949) 715-6000 www.montagehotels.com/lagunabeach Studio’s Six-Course Valentine’s Dinner Created for Gourmet Lovers Thursday, February 14 Chef Ben Martinek is serving heartfelt selections to delight couples who desire impeccably served, delicious food presented in a stunning Craftsman-style ocean view setting. The meal begins with an amuse-bouche of Shigoku Oyster on the Half Shell and next is Kampachi Crudo with romanesco, pearl onion, green strawberry, kaluga royal caviar and hearts of palm. Then Smoked Santa Barbara Red Abalone with forbidden black rice, cauliflower mushrooms and wasabi-english pea pearls is served. The third course is...

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How to Cut a Kiwano Horned Melon

Posted by on Feb 6, 2019 in Recipes | 0 comments

When I first read about Kiwano horned melons in the Melissa’s Great Book of Produce, I was a little bit confused on how to open and eat them. I eventually figured it out and I am here to now share that knowledge with you. If you do not know what a kiwano horned melon is, it is a orange melon (about the size of a mango) and it has little spiked on it. The fruit is a little intimidating, but cutting it open is really no that hard. All you need to do to begin is wash the fruit and cut it right down the middle. Make sure it is longways (like a hot dog) and straight down the middle. Once the melon is cut you might be a little confused about what is on the inside. Inside the...

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Valentine’s Day Date Night Giveaway

Posted by on Feb 6, 2019 in Dining, Entertainment, Events, Featured, Giveaways, Valentine's Day | 65 comments

Pamper your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day by spending the day at The District at Tustin Legacy. We have created a guide to having an unforgettable day with the love of your life. Start your day with a little bit of pampering and relaxation by getting a couples massage at Massage Envy. You’ll be able to connect with your mind, body, and soul making your love for each other stronger than ever. After a little zen, it’s time for some fun. Get on your bowling shoes and get ready for a game of bowling at Bowlmor Lanes. You’ll laugh. You’ll enjoy a friendly competition. Plus, you’ll get in a little work-out before lunch. Next, it’s time for lunch. There are multiple dining choices at The District at Tustin Legacy. There is a lot of love put into the sandwiches at...

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Pacific Marine Mammal Center: Camp Pinniped

Posted by on Feb 5, 2019 in Camp, Events, Featured | 0 comments

Pacific Marine Mammal Center offers a unique experience for children, ages 8 – 13, to witness a marine mammal hospital in action! A perfect experience for budding veterinarians, scientists and animal lovers! Campers learn how their animal care team rehabilitates their seal and sea lion patients through a series of mock activities including weighing fish, preparing fish smoothies, cleaning pens and learning the art of marine mammal rescue. Each day has a different theme in order to provide a well-rounded study of our ocean environment. Each theme is creatively reinforced through hands on activities, science labs and crafts. Campers leave empowered with ways they can help protect and preserve our oceans. Every summer has new content so campers who return keep on learning! Pacific Marine Mammal Center Camp Hours Camp is held Monday through Thursday at PMMC from 9:00...

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Lunar New Year 2019: South Coast Plaza Dining

Posted by on Feb 5, 2019 in Dining, Events | 0 comments

Select South Coast Plaza restaurants have created special dishes in honor of the Lunar New Year! Celebrate the year of the pig by enjoying delicious cuisine at one of these premier restaurants. AnQi by House of AN February 5-10, 2019 from 5 – 10 p.m. Join AnQi for a festive Lunar New Year. Start the Year of the Pig with beautiful décor, “Li Xi” Good Luck Red Envelope; and Heaven & Earth Good Luck Prosperity Menu of specials served at dinner only. Dishes include Quail Congee with Crispy Egg, Szechwan Stir Fry Egg Noodles with Tofu, Steamed Filet of Sea Bass in Sesame Shoyu, Crispy Skin Pork Belly with Harvest Root Vegetables and Gingerbread Pudding with Kumquat Ice Cream. Specials $12-$33; à la carte prices vary per selection (exclusive of tax and gratuity) 714.557.5679 Water Grill Now through February...

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Upscale Pizza at Pitfire Pizza in Costa Mesa

Posted by on Feb 4, 2019 in Dining, Family | 0 comments

We dined at Pitfire Pizza as a guest of the venue Pizza is the key to my heart. There can never be too much pizza in your life. So, when our family plans dinner out, we usually end up having pizza. There are so many choices when it comes to having pizza in Orange County, and I am always looking for somewhere new to try. Recently, we went to Pitfire Pizza in Costa Mesa, and it was love at first bite. Ambiance at Pitfire Pizza The downside to many pizza places is the ambiance. They are usually loud and have kids running everywhere. What I love the most about Pitfire Pizza is the ambiance. The restaurant has a beautiful bar in the center, multiple tables, and a beautiful outdoor patio. If you’re looking for a more upscale pizza place...

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How To Roast Romanesco

Posted by on Feb 4, 2019 in Recipes | 0 comments

Romanesco is one of my all-time favorite vegetables. While at Melissa’s Produce last month, I was able to bring home some to prepare a dish for my family. Melissa’s Produce Description of Romanesco Though Romanesco looks like a vegetable from another planet, it is a member of the Brassica family that includes cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage. The bright green symmetrical spirals of varying sizes are actually individual buds of the plants flower. It is believed that Italian farmers in the 16th developed the variety through cross-breeding. Romanesco tastes very similar to cauliflower, but with a slightly nuttier, earthier flavor. Regular-sized Romanesco is about the same size of a normal head of cauliflower; there is also a “teenage” Romanesco, which is about half the size. How to Eat Romanesco The vegetable can be enjoyed raw. I will often chop it...

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Roasted Fennel Pizza Made With Melissa’s Produce

Posted by on Jan 31, 2019 in Recipes | 0 comments

Making pizza has been an activity I have grown up doing. I love spreading the dough and putting all the toppings on top especially when it is with my family. Furthermore, I love finding fun, new ingredients to put on the pizza. When we received fresh fennels from Melissa’s Produce, my mom and I just knew that we had to make a roasted fennel pizza. Roasting Melissa’s Produce Fennel We started by roasting the Fennel the night before and they smelled so good! It got me excited to make the pizza the next night. I have never cooked with fennels before, so had excitement about adding something new to something that I love making…pizza. My mom helped me plan out the recipe and we began cooking. We set up the kitchen and began to cook. We started by making...

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Orange County Super Bowl Dining Guide

Posted by on Jan 31, 2019 in Deals, Events, Featured | 0 comments

The big game is this weekend, and some of the top restaurants in Orange County are hosting some tasty specials. Don’t watch the game alone at home. Enjoy it with the company of other foodies in OC at one of these top places to see the Super Bowl. Bad to the Bone 31738 Rancho Viejo Rd. San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675 The Super Bowl is next weekend, and with the Rams set to face off, Orange County is going to be buzzing with excitement. Everyone knows the best food to watch the big game with is BBQ… which is why fans should let Bad to the Bone BBQ handle the game day snacks! Bad to the Bone BBQ, is the perfect spot to catch the game or score big with a Super Bowl Take-Out package. With a dozen high...

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ScotsFestival & International Highland Games XXVI

Posted by on Jan 28, 2019 in Events, Giveaways | 8 comments

The Queen Mary welcomes back the annual ScotsFestival & International Highland Games XXVI on February 16-17, 2019. ScotsFestival & International Highland Games Celebrate the Queen Mary’s rich Scottish legacy first hand through a full schedule of authentic Scottish activities. Including, the new North American Professional Highland Games, dancing, entertainment, and cuisine. Plus, tastings all in honor of the Queen Mary’s Scottish heritage. Construction began on the Queen Mary eighty-eight years ago in the quaint seaside town of Clydebank, Scotland. The craftsmanship of the Queen Mary exemplifies the country’s finest work. Today its heritage is celebrated through the two-day ScotsFestival, honoring true Scottish culture. ScotsFestival and International Highland Games XXVI welcomes nearly fifty Scottish clans and vendors throughout the festival weekend with professional and amateur competitions in piping, drumming, massed bands, darts, Highland dancing, and the new North American Professional...

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Creating Memories at The Summit House

Posted by on Jan 28, 2019 in Dining, Family, Fullerton | 0 comments

We dined at The Summit House as a guest There are so many fantastic restaurants to create memories with your family in Orange County. But, few offer an intimate dining experience, delicious cuisine, and stunning views like The Summit House. During the holidays, we dined at The Summit House in Fullerton for the first time and decided to make it one of our new holiday traditions. Fairytale Restaurant The restaurant looks like it just came out of a fairytale. The minute that we pulled up to the valet, I was swept away and embarked on an epicurean adventure. After checking in with the hostess, our evening began with cocktails in the lounge. The Summit House Lounge It was a weeknight that we dined at the restaurant, but it was full of people laughing, enjoying each others company, and creating...

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From Mexico to Malibu: The Lula Cocina Cookbook

Posted by on Jan 25, 2019 in Dining, Family, Recipes | 1 comment

If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know how much love I have for Mexico. Last year, I traveled to the country over ten times, and currently working on purchasing a home in Mexico. I love the food. I love the people. I love everything about Mexico. Cookbook Event at Melissa’s Produce When my friends at Melissa’s Produce invited me to an event to learn about a Mexican food cookbook, I cleared my calendar to attend. There is nothing I love better than authentic Mexican food, and when doing some research on the author, I learned that she is also the owner of Lula’s Mexican Restaurant in Santa Monica. Plus, I used it as a great opportunity to wear the new belt that I just got in Mexico City. As usual, I arrived at Melissa’s...

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The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Dance Class

Posted by on Jan 25, 2019 in Disney, Entertainment, Film, Giveaways | 18 comments

We attended The Nutcracker and the Four Realms event as a guest of Disney One of the best things about Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is the music. While in Los Angeles a couple of months ago, I went to Pro Dance LA. At Pro Dance LA I got to experience a Nutcracker and the Four Realms Dance Class. The best part, is that it was taught by some of the cast from Dancing with the Stars/Dancing with the Stars Junior. Who you might ask? The amazing, and talented Brandon Armstrong, Alan Bersten & Gleb Savchenko. Not only are they talented, but so fun to dance with. Dancing at Pro Dance LA The studio is one of the most plush dance studios in Los Angeles. It features beautiful wood floors and head to toe windows. Plus, it...

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The 77’’ LG OLED TV From Best Buy Steals the Show

Posted by on Jan 24, 2019 in Entertainment, Family, Tech | 0 comments

Sponsored by Best Buy With endless rainy days, and chilly weather, our family ends up spending a lot of time indoors. While we love a good family game night, movie nights are our favorite. So, it is important to us to have the best in home entertainment technology. Thankfully, Best Buy always has cutting edge technology, and knowledgable staff. Electronic Selection at Best Buy Our family has been looking for a new television, and we went to Best Buy to start doing research. One television that caught our attention was the 77’’ class LG OLED C8 TV. Big Screen Having a large family room, a big television screen is a must. Families can have a premium cinematic experience with the 77” glass. It allows you to truly immerse yourself into movies, tv shows, sports, and more. Plus, an unmatched...

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Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Fennel Recipe

Posted by on Jan 23, 2019 in Recipes | 0 comments

One food that I have been dying to experiment with is fennel! When I received a box full of fresh produce from Melissa’s Produce, I was so excited to see fennel. I didn’t know how to prepare it, and after doing some research, I found out that most people roast the vegetable. So, I used two of my favorite ingredients to roast with: garlic and parmesan to create this recipe. I planned to roast the fennel one night, and then use it in a pizza recipe the next night. Little did I know that my kids wouldn’t be able to stop eating the fennel after I roasted it. I had to hide a couple of pieces from them to be able to use on top of the pizza the next night. Preparing the fennel was easier than I expected....

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Seasonal Fare at The Patio on 101 in Encinitas

Posted by on Jan 23, 2019 in Dining, San Diego | 0 comments

We dined at The Patio on 101 as a guest of the San Diego Restaurant Week San Diego is well-known for having some of the best restaurants in California. Every year during the San Diego Restaurant Week, I head down south to try a new restaurant. This year, I brought my daughter to try The Patio on 101 in Encinitas. San Diego Restaurant Week During San Diego Restaurant week, they have a 3-course dinner menu for $40. Plus, there is the option of adding two full glasses of wine for $20. Small Cheese and Charcuterie Board I started my dinner by having their small cheese and charcuterie board. The appetizer featured a chef’s choice of meats and cheese. Also, it came with an assortment of bread and accouterments. It was light, fresh and the perfect start to my meal....

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D23 10th Anniversary Collectable Pins

Posted by on Jan 23, 2019 in Disney, Events, Giveaways | 9 comments

Now, is the best time to become a D23 member. In honor of D23’s 10th anniversary, Disney created an exclusive box set of 10 pins. The set features characters, movies, television shows, and theme park attractions. Plus, D23 is also celebrating landmark anniversaries. These beautifully crafted pins—including such favorites as Donald Duck, Haunted Mansion, and The Little Mermaid. It comes in a D23 embossed tin. Also, it will be sent to all guests who join or renew their D23 Gold or Gold Family Membership in 2019. New & returning D23 offers and discounts ONLINE (Gold Members) such as 25% off all purchases at H2OPlus.com and 10% off purchases of $50 or more at shopDisney.com and in Disney store. ONLINE (General and Gold Members) such as 48% off Disney Magazines and 20% off ACME Archives artwork. AROUND THE COUNTRY (Gold...

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Persian Cucumber Yogurt: Maast-o Khiar Recipe

Posted by on Jan 22, 2019 in Family, Recipes | 0 comments

The one thing that I love about Melissa’s Produce is how they bring together people who share a love for food. Every month, we all come together. We celebrate a new cookbook author and enjoy great food together. Over the years that I have spent at Melissa’s Produce, there is one author who I adore, Faye Levy. She is kind, and so talented. Recently, my son was sick. She was presenting her recent cookbook at Melissa’s, and I couldn’t attend. I saw the pictures of the food, and everyone savoring her talents. I reached out to her, and she shared this special recipe with me. Also, she allowed me to share it with all of you! My kids love Maast-o Khiar. So, I asked her if she had a version of it. Of course, she did. The recipe comes...

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