Taste of the Nation

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 Be a part of the 8th Annual Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation at Montage Laguna Beach Culinary Event on May 17, 2015!

Montage Taste of the Nation

Montage Laguna Beach will host the 8th annual Share Our Strength Taste of the Nation Laguna Beach event on May 17, 2015 at the oceanfront resort where the nation’s hottest chefs cook to fight childhood hunger.

My husband and I attended this event a few years ago, and let me tell you, it was one of the most memorable date nights, or rather date days, we have ever had.

First, it gives you a reason to get dressed up, which, for this mom is a real treat. Then, with one step onto the Montage Laguna Beach grounds you are immediately transported into a different world. Add in a glass of crisp Pinot Grigio or festive bubbly while gazing out to the Pacific and you might think life couldn’t get better, but wait, the fun has just begun

Imagine a number of celebrity chefs all in one place where you get to sample bites from each one (and make your husband go back to get you seconds.) Yes! You go from station to station and sample dishes from world renowned chefs who are cooking right in front of you. I was a little starstruck. So were my taste buds. It’s a sensory soiree from start to finish.

But dreamy date day and delicacies aside – the best part of this event has nothing to do with skipping around Montage Laguna Beach on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon tasting gourmet food from celebrity chefs (okay, well maybe a little…) but truly the BEST part of this event is the cause.

Ending Childhood Hunger 

Did you know one in five children in this country struggles with hunger, including more than 2,487,750 children in California?  That statistic makes me want to cry. No child should have to go hungry.

The No Kid Hungry campaign is ending childhood hunger in this nation by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day, by connecting them to nutrition programs like school breakfast and summer meals and by teaching families how to cook healthy, affordable meals at home.

In 2014, Taste of the Nation Laguna Beach raised over $200,000 which helped connect children in need with up to 2 million meals.

Taste of the Nation Laguna Beach

Ticket Information 

As contributors to the charity, guests can choose between the following event packages:

Celebrity Chef Tasting  |  3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $200 per person or at the door for $225 per person.

In addition to delicious food and drinks, the event will feature a silent and live auction and live entertainment by the local band The Kalama Brothers.

VIP “Meet the Chefs” Reception  |  6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Complete the night with VIP treatment and a sunset toast. Enjoy the Celebrity Chef Tasting followed by an after party to mingle with the chefs. Valet parking and post-event gifts are included. Tickets purchased in advance are $275 per person or $300 at the door.

To purchase tickets for Taste of the Nation Laguna Beach, visit www.ce.strength.org/events/taste-nation-laguna-beach.

 Celebrity Chef Line-Up 

Executive Chef Craig Strong of Studio, Montage Laguna Beach’s signature restaurant, will be joined by the following talented celebrity chefs:

Chef Shirley Chung, Twenty Eight Restaurant and Lounge, Irvine, CA

Chef David Coleman, Chianina Steakhouse, Long Beach, CA

Chef Ben Ford, Fords Filling Station, Los Angeles, CA

Chef Waylynn Lucas, (fōnuts), Los Angeles, CA

Chef Lee Smith, Executive Pastry Chef, Montage Laguna Beach, CA

Chef Ari Taymor, Alma, Los Angeles, CA

Chef Marcel Vigneron, Beefsteak, Los Angeles, CA

One hundred percent of ticket proceeds from Taste of the Nation benefit No Kid Hungry thanks to generous support from national sponsors Citi and Sysco®. Taste of the Nation Laguna Beach for No Kid Hungry is also supported by national sponsors Food Network, and OpenTable. Local sponsors include Montage Laguna Beach, S.Pellegrino Natural Sparkling Water, Celebrity Cruises, and Wahoos. Local beneficiaries include Second Harvest Orange County Food Bank, and Community Action Partnership of OC.

Again, to purchase tickets for Taste of the Nation Laguna Beach, visit www.ce.strength.org/events/taste-nation-laguna-beach or send link to your husband to purchase as a Mother’s Day Gift! Timing couldn’t be better!

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Balboa Village Fest and Taste of Balboa

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Balboa Village Fest

Balboa Village Fest and Taste of Balboa 

The 68th Annual Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race at the Balboa Village Fest is coming up this Sunday, April 19th from 11 am to 4 pm at Balboa Village on the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach and is sure to be a super fun event for the family.

One of the highlights of this year’s Fest is the second annual Taste of Balboa, which offers fun for the whole family, including signature dishes for purchase from various local restaurants and live music performed by famous U2 cover band, Hollywood U2.

Event entry is free, with a nominal fee for food and drink tickets – ranging from $1 -$10.

Kids can enjoy ExplorOcean’s engaging hands-on activities that celebrate and highlight the ocean from multiple perspectives for children of all ages.

Other activities include large-scale professional chalk works by famed chalk artists, tours of several boats that will be competing in this year’s Newport to Ensenada yacht race, and a formal ceremony unveiling a commissioned Newport to Ensenada painting at 1pm.



Balboa Village Fest and the Taste of Balboa will be located in the heart of Balboa Village – home of the Fun Zone – at the corner of Balboa Blvd. and Palm St. on the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach.

For more information, call (949) 644-1023 or visit www.balboavillage.com. This year’s Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race sponsors include Stella Artois and Hornblower Yachts.


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Good Things Are Happening at Los Cerritos Center!

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Los Cerritos Center [Sponsor]

Los Cerritos Center has become a favorite outing for our family, especially to visit the FREE Kids Club Events powered by National Geographic Kids which take place once a month. The events are for kids ages 3 – 12 and include all sorts of fun educational interactive activities, songs, arts and crafts.  If you haven’t been to one – put this outing on your list! Next one is coming up on May 9th.

Los Cerritos Center is Getting a Make-Over!

Los Cerritos Center announced a full interior makeover is now underway and will include updates to the 1.2 million-square-foot center including a brand-new The Cheesecake Factory. Makes me want a piece of cheesecake right about now to celebrate!

Enhancements are projected to be completed in winter 2015, along with the introduction of additional new retailers and restaurants.

The property’s extensive remodel will include the center’s interior façade and community spaces, new modern flooring and extensive updated lighting and paint throughout. Center entrances will be updated to match the design of the newest entrance located by California Pizza Kitchen.

Shopping for the Modern Era

New, comfortable and convenient seating vignettes will be placed throughout the common areas and will offer shoppers a chance to relax and recharge their smart devices.

Talk about smart!

Family-Friendly Dining and Entertainment 

In addition to The Cheesecake Factory, Harkins Theatres 16-secreen megaplex will also be part of the major renovation to give families a place to see the latest flick after some dining and shopping!

The Los Cerritos Center food court will be transformed into the new Dining Court, offering shoppers a ton of dining options to enjoy indoors or alfresco. Additional restroom facilities, including family accessible restrooms, will be added to the Dining Court and to other locations in the center.

Open for Business!

During renovations all stores are open for business and ample, convenient parking is available with easy access to all center entrances. Shoppers are encouraged to visit LCCRenovation.com to experience the remodel live via the Earth Cam and to receive the latest updates on the renovation process and exciting new retailers coming to Los Cerritos Center.



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Free Trust & Estate Planning Workshops for Parents

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Kids Protection Workshop


This Guest Post Written by Darlynn Morgan
of Morgan Law Group 

Orange County Trust and Estate Planning Attorney

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself, “What would happen to my minor kids if something happened to me and/or my spouse?”

It’s something I’ve talked about many times on this blog, but let’s be frank; most parents have a hard time imagining a scenario when they may unable to raise their own children, whether it’s due to a disability, sickness, incapacity… or worse.

As parents, we certainly have superpowers… but we’re not invincible.

A friend of mine recently made this same mistake. Just a few weeks before her death last month, a loved one was urging her to get serious about creating a will and a trust for the protection of her kids and assets.  Her response?

She told the friend, “I have some time to worry about all of that.  I’m not even sure where to start.  I’m too unorganized right now and just not ready yet.”

A few weeks later, she was unexpectedly killed in a car accident. She left behind a new spouse she married just six months prior and four children, one with autism and a host of other developmental delays.

Mom had no will or trust, and haphazardly named her two older boys as beneficiaries of her life insurance policy. She didn’t want to leave anything to her disabled son (out of fear it will jeopardize his ability to receive Medicaid and other benefits) and she hoped that they would all just evenly split their inheritance if something happened to her.

But now, the middle son is being stingy with the money. He’s into fast things and shiny objects.  Family members worry that he will spend all of his brother’s money on cars, trips and parties.  And legally, he doesn’t have to fork over a penny. A special needs trust, and a revocable trust for the other kids, would have made this a non-issue!

Oh, and new husband? Although he was the love of her life, mom never got around to updating her beneficiary designations to also include new hubby on her life insurance policy and retirement accounts should something happen to her.

He got stuck with all of the funeral costs and debt, but her kids from a previous marriage got everything else. He was completely disinherited and out of luck, all because of a blended family situation.

Here’s the lesson to be learned from this sad, but very true story: just because you talk about your wishes for your kids and your assets, doesn’t mean your family will honor them when you are gone!

When you leave behind assets, minor children, or you’re in a blended family, you MUST have a will or trust to ensure that your family is cared for exactly as you want if the unthinkable happens. When grief, emotions and money are involved, the honor system just doesn’t work!

So if you’ve been putting of your estate planning for any reason, please let this story inspire you to do the right thing for your family and those you would leave behind.

Here’s How To Take Action NOW, While It’s Fresh In Your Mind

Look, it’s vacation season. Chances are you’ll be traveling this spring or summer, either with or without the kids.  Now is the perfect time to think about estate planning for your own family to ensure you are protected, should something happen. Don’t put planning off for another month or year…make it your priority today!

To help you get the ball rolling, I’d like to invite you to join me for a FREE Kids Protection Workshop this month where you’ll learn step-by-step how to put a fortress of protection around the things and people you love:

Pretend City

April 23, 2015 - 6:30pm 

No childcare available for this event – recommended for adults only 

Once Upon a Storybook

April 25 - 11:00 am 

Children Welcome!  Bring the kids while you learn!

This is the perfect opportunity to learn EXACTLY how to get your legal and financial affairs in order, at no-charge!  Children are even welcome at our Once Upon a Storybook event so that they can have fun with adult supervision while you are in the same room, learning everything you need to know about estate planning and protecting the people you love.  What could be better or easier than that?

Here’s just a taste of what you’ll discover at our Workshops:

1. How to choose the RIGHT Guardians for your kids

2. How to keep your family out of probate (which is long, expensive, public and does not pass your assets in a responsible way!)

3. How to prevent a court from having to supervise your children’s inheritance and handing them money at 18!

4. How to leave your loved ones a gift far greater than all the money in the world if the unthinkable happens

5. Why naming guardians is just not enough to keep your children from spending time in foster care

It’s just one hour of your time and one of the best investments you’ll make into the protection and well-being of your family.  Plus, our workshops are engaging, empowering and fun!  If you have minor kids, you won’t want to miss it! To view all of the details and register now for FREE, simply visit  www.KidsProtectionWorkshop.com.

Don’t forget about your friends and loved ones…they have families they need to protect, too!  Share this information and help them out.

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Limeapple Active Wear Sets at Costco!

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Limeapple Costco

As a mom of two girls, I personally love the growing popularity of active wear lines. After all, “Strong is the new pretty” and I think that is a really powerful message for young girls. What I don’t love are some of the price tags that come along with some active wear lines which is why I am thrilled to share Limeapple active wear with you today AND a special Costco promotion they are running this month. For a steal.

See those four cute tank and capri sets above offered in girls’ sizes 6 – 14? In (Western U.S.) Costco stores now for a very limited time and also on Costco online they are selling for, are you ready…only $18.99! Ordering online? Shipping is free. Mommy like!

Limeapple Active Wear

Limeapple sent me a set for review and I tested it out on my SUPER active 3rd grader.

Give her a cute active wear set and a camera and she was on fire (below), and loves the pieces.

Note: She is a petite 8-year-old (51″ and 56 lbs) so the set she is wearing is actually a size 6. We also received a size 7, but it was too big on her.

Limeapple Costco

Limeapple also carries boutique pieces for school, active wear for weekends and afters school activities and also a darling swim line.

Mamas, if you have active girls stock up on these cute sets because I am telling you, the price is phenomenal for the quality and cute styles.

But you have to jump on this QUICK because they will only be available for this price at Costco through early May!

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