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Paella Wine & Beer Festival + Giveaway

Posted by on Aug 21, 2017 in Dining, Events | 9 comments

  Orange County’s first ever Paella Wine & Beer Festival is coming to the Orange County Fair and Event Center on Saturday, August 26, 2017 from 4-9 p.m. Nearly 50 local chefs will compete with their own paella recipes for the chance to represent the United States at the World Paella Championship in Sueca, Valencia, Spain. Event entry includes unlimited wine, beer and paella and features an experience reflecting what one would find while strolling through a lively outdoor market in Spain. There will be live entertainment including Flamenco performances and Spanish rock, and local vendors will offer tapas, sangrias, cocktails, cultural art, and much more. With thousands expected to attend, the Paella Wine & Beer Festival is one of the most authentic Hispanic culinary events in the United States and presents a unique opportunity for local chefs to...

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The Luggage Room Pizzeria in Pasadena

Posted by on Aug 21, 2017 in Dining, Pasadena, Travel | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue While on our Pasadena staycation, we got a little taste of history while dining at The Luggage Room Pizzeria. The restaurant is located in the 1934 luggage room of the Del Mar Train Station and is a great place for families to enjoy a delicious meal together. When we arrived at the restaurant, we were greeted by the nicest staff who helped show us to a table for the evening. The restaurant is intimate, has a large bar in the center, and an open-air kitchen where guests can see pizzas being made in the wood-burning oven. After we got our drinks, we ordered some appetizers to start our meal. It is rare to see deviled eggs on a menu so I couldn’t resist giving them a try. The eggs burst with...

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Best Burger in Pasadena: Pie-n-Burger

Posted by on Aug 17, 2017 in Dining, Kia, Pasadena, Travel | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest Did you know that Pasadena is where the cheeseburger was invented? When I learned this fun fact, I knew that our first meal on a staycation in Pasadena had to be at the popular burger joint, Pie-n-Burger. Pie-n-Burger is located right in the heart of downtown Pasadena. We drove our Kia Sorento to the restaurant, parked on the street, and then went into the historic building for lunch. Inside the small building is a long bar where people were enjoying delicious burgers and creamy milkshakes. Because it is one of the most popular dining destinations in the area, there was a short wait for chairs at the bar when we first arrived. There is a giant menu on the wall of the restaurant, so my kids were able to decide what they wanted to...

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New Dining Hot Spot: Legado Bar + Kitchen

Posted by on Aug 17, 2017 in Dining, Family | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest After living in South Orange County for the past 15+ years, I am always in search of a new restaurant that serves fresh and creative culinary dishes. The only downside to South Orange County is that it is the chain restaurant capital of California with very few innovative family-owned restaurants. I always find myself driving to North Orange County to get a meal that is made with fresh, organic and GMO-free ingredients until now. I had heard a lot of buzz around the opening of Legado Bar + Kitchen, and I wanted to wait a couple of weeks after they opened before coming in to try their culinary creations so they could work out any kinks that go along with opening a new restaurant. I was thrilled that I happened to be in town...

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The Habit Strawberry Balsamic Chicken Salad

Posted by on Aug 13, 2017 in Dining | 1 comment

 We dined as a guest of the venue One of the best things about the summer is all the fresh produce, with strawberries being my kid’s ultimate favorite summer fruit. The Habit is one of my kid’s favorite restaurants to get a juicy burger and fries, but this summer they have a new favorite at The Habit, the Strawberry Balsamic Chicken Salad. Never in a million years would I think that my children would prefer a salad over a burger, but it finally happened. I first got one of the salads at the beginning of the summer and my younger son asked for a bite. Once my other kids saw his reaction to tasting the salad, they all asked for a taste. They were all hooked. The salad features a bed of fresh hand-cut lettuce topped with sliced strawberries,...

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Philly’s Best BBQ Summer Menu

Posted by on Aug 1, 2017 in Dining, Giveaways | 9 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue My daughter is a cheesesteak fanatic! Whenever we go out to eat, and there is a cheesesteak on the menu, that is what she will order every single time. Since she loves cheesesteak, Philly’s Best is one of her favorite fast casual restaurants. This summer, the popular dining destination is mixing things up by adding some summer BBQ items to their menu. Since there is a Philly’s Best next door to my daughter’s orthodontist, I surprised her with lunch after her recent doctors appointment. When we walked in the door, she was tempted to order her all-time favorite cheesesteak sandwich, but I convinced her to try the new dishes, and after one bite, she wasn’t disappointed. There are four new menu items, and we tried them all. Our favorite was the...

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Dinner & Live Entertainment at Maui’s Tiki Terrace

Posted by on Jul 26, 2017 in Dining, Hawaii, Maui, Travel | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the resort After our first day in Maui, we were in the mood for some delicious food. There are so many choices when it comes to dining in Maui, and especially in the Lahaina and Ka’anapali Beach area. When planning our trip, I had so many friends recommend Tiki Terrace at the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel, and since we were staying at the resort, it made it an easy choice to enjoy our first dinner on the island. The best part about the Tiki Terrace at the Ka’anapali Beach is the live entertainment. The resort offers free live entertainment every night for guests staying or dining at the resort starting at 6pm. We made our reservations for 6:30pm so that we could enjoy the live entertainment while dining on the restaurant patio. When we...

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Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues

Posted by on Jul 26, 2017 in Dining, Entertainment, Music | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the venue The Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues Anaheim is back! Yes, and it’s a toe tapping, let your spirit be free and enjoy the good vibes kind of Sunday morning Brunch! If you walk in feeling down, you’ll walk out feeling up! The show will bring warmth to your soul and a smile to your face. I had my sister join me in celebration of her recent birthday, and I certainly scored good sister points. Just seeing her dance, sing, clap, and smile during the show warmed my heart. The real fun came when the gospel singers invited those celebrating a birthday or an anniversary on to the stage. Everyone danced, the room was filled with enormous energy while the audience stood clapping, singing and capturing photos of friends and...

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Best Fish Tacos in Maui: Ono Tacos

Posted by on Jul 24, 2017 in Dining, Hawaii, Maui, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the resort If you’ve been following our blog for any length of time, then you know about my obsession with tacos. Everywhere that I travel, I have to try and find the best tacos in the area. The last place that I expected to find good tacos was while on our trip to Maui. It was our first day together as a family on the island, and we just finished paddle boarding with Hale Huakaʻi around black rock, and we were relaxing on the beach under a cabana at the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel when I received an Instagram message from one of our readers. She had noticed that we were in Maui and knew my love for tacos, and recommended that I try Ono Tacos. I immediately googled the taco shop and realized...

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Best Shave Ice in Maui: Gus’ Hawaiian Shave Ice

Posted by on Jul 20, 2017 in Dining, Hawaii, Maui, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the resort After checking into the beautiful Ka’anapali Beach Hotel in Maui, I went for a short drive up north to see the Nakalele Blowhole. While on my way to the blowhole, I was admiring the lush landscaping when I spotted the cutest VW bus I have ever seen on the side of the road. When I noticed that the sign on top of the bus said “shave ice,” I turned my car around to enjoy a sweet and refreshing treat at Gus’ Hawaiian Shave Ice. Little did I realize that I was about to sink my taste buds into the best shave ice I have ever had. Inside of the bus was the nicest man who helped to navigate me through their menu. There were so many delicious flavor choices and of...

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Coastal Wine, Arts & Music Festival

Posted by on Jul 20, 2017 in Dining, Events | 0 comments

  Wine aficionados will come together with music and art enthusiasts in Orange County for a unique experience that will excite both your senses and taste buds. During the Coastal Wine, Arts & Musicl Festival guests will sample premium varietals from wines around the world and enjoy small bites from local chefs plus indulge in a sushi and sake tasting, cupcake pairings and more all while music performers and local artists keep the party lively. Enjoy wine tasting, live music performances, small bites all while taking in beautiful works of art from various local artists. Where: Gray Matter Museum of Art 485 East 17th Street, #101 Costa Mesa, CA 92627 When: Saturday, July 22, 2017 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM Tickets: Available online and starting at $59 The Coastal Wine, Arts & Music Festival is a live music, food,...

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Las Brisas Sunset Celebration Menu

Posted by on Jul 20, 2017 in Dining | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue We have some exciting news about Las Brisas in Laguna Beach. The restaurant recently unveiled their new Seaside Cantina, and it’s a beautiful, sparkling gem! Our first impression had us feeling like we were on vacation as the airy, bright, modern and sleek decor enveloped us. Discovering a breathtaking new bar made of Koa wood surrounded by comfortable high back chairs and a beautiful back lit glass case filled with an impressive variety of tequilas. Chef Johannes has created a new “Sunset Celebration Menu,” and we love the beauty and playfulness of the dishes. His creativity in the kitchen is welcome; combining traditional flavors with new progressive ones, while continuing to surprise us. We enjoyed exploring the menu to find our favorites! A Mexican Shrimp Cocktail was up first with an...

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National Mai Tai Day Date Night at Islands Restaurant + Giveaway

Posted by on Jun 28, 2017 in Dining, Family, Giveaways | 12 comments

  Tiki drink lovers rejoice! Time to plan an unforgettable date night this week at Islands Restaurant. National Mai Tai Day is coming up on June 30! To celebrate, Islands Restaurants is holding an all-day mai tai happy hour, serving up the ice-cold drink for just $4.75 all day. A fixture of the Islands menu since its opening, the chain has served more than 840,000 of their signature Mai Tais over the last five years – that’s a whole lot of rum. At under $5, Islands Mai Tai will knock your flip-flops off without breaking the bank. This ice-cold drink pairs perfectly with other Islands grub, like Islands’ savory Hawaiian Burger and warm gooey cheddar fries. GIVEAWAY!! Enter to win a $25 gift card to Islands Restaurant by leaving a comment on our Facebook post or in the comments...

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Ninth Annual Lobsterfest at Newport Beach

Posted by on Jun 27, 2017 in Dining, Events | 0 comments

  Newport Beach Waterfront Resort welcomes the Ninth Annual Lobsterfest at Newport Beach on Sunday, August 6, 2017 from 3 to 8 p.m. This annual celebration of summer centers around a fresh, whole Maine lobster dinner with dancing to live music, opportunity drawings, prizes and fun on the beach for the entire family. Live, whole Maine lobster is flown in fresh on the morning of the event and prepared on-site alongside a buffet that includes New York strip steak, corn-on-the-cob, red potatoes, salads, fresh baked sourdough rolls and dessert. In addition to serving a whole Maine lobster dinner and all its complements, Lobsterfest at Newport Beach features a full bar with craft beer and premium wine, live music from “West Coast Party Crashers”, and special activities on-site for children provided by Camp James. Event proceeds support Make-A-Wish® – Orange...

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Tickets available for the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival

Posted by on Jun 24, 2017 in Dining, Events | 0 comments

  One of Southern California’s most exclusive and acclaimed wine and food events, the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival, presented by Land Rover, Jaguar, Aston Martin of Newport Beach, returns to the contemporary Newport Beach Civic Center on September 30th and October 1st. Tickets are now on sale for the weekend of festivities, kicking off on Friday, September 29th, which will include tastings from 40 top Orange County restaurants and their executive chefs, 250 varieties of world-class wine, spirits, and brews, celebrity chef cooking demos and dinners, Master Sommelier tasting panels, VIP events, live music, and a new “Havana Nights” after party. Weekend Schedule of Events: Friday, September 29th Bravo’s Top Chef Women All-Stars dinner at Waterline Newport Beach, Balboa Bay Resort: Winner, Brooke Williamson with All Stars, Shirley Chung, Casey Thomson and Rachel Haggstrom. French Connection dinner...

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Celebrating Spring at Farmhouse Restaurant

Posted by on Jun 21, 2017 in Dining, Uncategorized | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue I don’t know about you, but for me the luxury of living in an area with weather that permits year round outdoor dining is one of my favorite things about living in Orange County. And judging by the wait time to get a seat at the relatively new, Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden, I am not alone in this sentiment. Since its opening last year, I’ve had an increasingly difficult time getting in to this, one of my favorite new spots. With lines for bar seating and long lead times for reservations, I consider it a real treat when I do get to dine here. So, when invited to a preview of Chef Rich Mead’s new Spring Menu, there was no way I was not going. There’s a reason for this. Farmhouse,...

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Did Someone say Doughnut? Voodoo Doughnuts Opens in Los Angeles

Posted by on Jun 2, 2017 in Dining, Universal Studios Hollywood | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the venue Today, June 2nd is National Doughnut Day. But down at Universal City Walk, Doughnut Day is EVERYDAY!! Just adjacent to Universal Studios Hollywood, Voodoo Doughnuts has just opened and is filled with some of the most fabulous doughnuts you have ever tasted, and seen. This new little shop fits right on the walk with its vibrant colors, original doughnuts and its giant Voodoo doll doughnut statue standing nearly 12 feet tall in front. The statue, of course, was my girls’ favorite part, mostly because they have a matching doughnut that is a replica of the giant one standing outside the store. As guests of Voodoo Doughnuts, we were able to sneak some tastes of the amazing doughnuts that filled the store with its aroma. Elle grabbed the most colorful sprinkled cake...

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Fun and Funky Art at Tio’s Tacos

Posted by on Jun 1, 2017 in Autos, Cool Places, Dining, Kia | 0 comments

 Vehicle provided by Kia I’ve seen pictures of the funky artwork at Tio’s Tacos on Instagram for many years. When planning a day trip to visit the California Citrus State Historic Park with my daughter in Riverside, I made sure to add to our itinerary a stop at Tito’s Tacos for lunch. Many of my friends who have been to Tio’s recommended that we do not go during the lunch or dinner rush. It is a popular place, and there is often a line that wraps around the building to order food. Thanks to my friend’s recommendations, we arrived around two o’clock, and practically had the place all to ourselves. The restaurant is an Instagrammers dream! I parked our Kia Sorento right under a giant skeleton sculpture riding a bicycle, and then we spent over an hour walking around....

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

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

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

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A Healthy Twist on Mexican Food at Taco Mesa

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

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

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