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.

ChaukMuralCynthiaKostylo_REV-2

 

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.

 www.shoploscerritos.com

 

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Free Trust & Estate Planning Workshops for Parents

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Kids Protection Workshop

[Sponsor] 

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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It’s a…

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The Pregnancy Diaries…

Here it is, my BIG gender reveal! I know, I know. We weren’t going to find out. Really, we weren’t, but my Type A personality just couldn’t stand it. We just went in for our 21-week ultrasound and found out that we are having a… 

Its-a-girl

…girl! A little girl, another little princess, a sweet, delicate bundle of little girl joy. Our whole family is thrilled, and my husband and I cannot stop smiling and cooing over the fact that we are expecting a little “pink” one.

And this pint-sized angel was bouncing around happily, stretching her legs completely out and doing leg presses while on the ultrasound screen.  So far, she looks very healthy, praise God, and we were just mesmerized by her tiny little perfectly formed body, her powerful kicks and pokes, and her long stretches.

To be honest, we almost didn’t find out what we were having (and by almost, I mean we were 99.9999% sure we were on “team green”).  Team green – another new pregnancy term I learned this time around…meaning that the parents do not want to find out what they are having.

Actually, my hubby was 100% on team green, until a few days prior to the ultrasound.  What changed his mind?  Well, funny story…

My husband did not want to find out the baby’s sex with either of our big kids.

And each time, being the sweet, loving (and smart!) man that he is, he agreed to find out what we were having. And of course, it ended up being one girl and one boy.  So as the story goes (and I still maintain to this day that I don’t quite remember the exact moment I made this commitment), he made me promise that if we ever had a third child, we’d wait until the delivery room.

And I apparently promised. It was right after I had our son (I mean, right after), so I was pretty sure we were DONE.  I wasn’t planning on having a third, so sure, why not?!  And I promised.  And he promised I could name the kiddo (which was huge!).

Fast forward almost 5 years later, and that promise was still lingering.  Well not lingering, so much as a bright flashing neon light over this pregnancy.  I promised.  And I keep my promises.  But boy, was it bugging me.   You know how some people love surprises? You know how some people are motivated by the element of surprise?  I am not one of those people.

So my hubby, my family, and my friends had lots of fun “lovingly” teasing me over the course of the first trimester, and into my second.  And people loved, loved guessing what it was going to be – by the way I was carrying, to how big I am (Yes, I am baby huge this time.  No, it is not twins, I promise.  Yes, we had them triple check.), to pretty much every pregnancy symptom I was having.

I was told girl, boy, twins…you name it.

And I wanted a boy.  And I wanted a girl.  Truly, I didn’t care.  With each pregnancy, my husband and I are thrilled to be parents and to have a baby – the sex of the baby really doesn’t matter to us.  I just love to know.  So I can plan and nest and organize and prepare.  I know I’m crazy, but this actually relaxes me (yes, I know, I know – I’m nuts).  And, he’s always wanted that special, magical moment in the delivery room of , “It’s a ________!”

It became clearer and clearer that this Type-A mama was not getting out of her promise. I would wander around the Target baby section and just sniff over the ONE somewhat gender neutral onsie they seemed to have in stock. And my mid-point ultrasound was looming, getting closer, and starting to stress me out.

See, my hubs is waaaayyyy more patient and chill than I am (and thank God for that!).  So in his mind, this was totally not a big deal.  I believe he told me…grab a couple of white onesies, buy two sets of wall decals (one boy, one girl), drag all the newborn girl and boy stuff (we saved) upstairs to the baby’s room, and then wait.

Once the baby was born, slap on the few wall decals I want, wash a load of baby clothes, and put on the sheets I wanted.  Done, done and done.  What was the big deal?

To fellow Type-B’ers, this probably sounds very reasonable.  To my fellow Type-A’ers, can you back me up here?!?!  Our sweet little one is due one week before my son starts kindergarten and my daughter starts 2nd grade.  Not exactly the time I want to be nesting and decorating and “preparing” for baby – with the chaos of school, carpools, homework, activities, and little (to no) sleep.

So I asked my husband a very simple question – why was it so important for him to wait?

Did he really, really want to wait for a specific reason?  Or was it just fun to tease me…and fun to wait and see for the heck of it?  Did he want 40 people in the hospital waiting room for that Hollywood moment of “It’s a _____!!!!” (His answer was no).  Did he want a big gender reveal party (nope).  Because if it was that important to him, of course I would keep my promise.

And it was important to him for several very good reasons.  I’ll spare you the details of our 4 or 5 (or 10!) discussions about it.  But bottom line, he told me that as important as it was for him to be surprised, it wasn’t as important to him as it was important to me to find out.  

He wasn’t “giving in” for any other reason other than  he knew this pregnancy has been very difficult for me (it really has), and that he knew that finding out would bring me a lot of enjoyment and a lot of fulfillment – nesting and planning and preparing and such (very important to us Type-A’ers).

He is such a sweet man, truly he is.  And I so appreciate him, and him being extra supportive, especially when I was the one breaking our pact.

In my humble Type-A opinion, you can either be surprised at 20 weeks, or be surprised at 40 weeks.  Either is a surprise, and either will bring you joy, wonder and excitement.  My hubby and I just had different visions of when we wanted to be surprised.

And yes, both of our kids wanted to know asap.  And yes, both were thrilled.  Because both wanted a baby sister (even my little man – he was adamant about wanting a little sis to watch over and protect).  So everyone was as happy as could be.  And my husband and I were beyond thrilled that the baby was healthy.

So I’m curious – who else out there in our readership has been (or is!) “team green?”  Did you keep your commitment to wait?  Or did the suspense get to you???  Did both you and your partner want to wait, or was it a split household? Any Type-Aer’s out there like me who wanted to find out more than anything???

That’s all for now from my “Pregnancy Diaries.”  As always, thank you so much for your support and sweet comments – they make my day!!!

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