I was invited to a media tasting at Islands. All opinions are my own.
Summer is still going strong and I can’t get enough of the days at the beach and the pool. I’ve gotta say that after a long summer day in the sun, there’s nothing better than a burger and an ice-cold brew at Islands Restaurant!Right now, Islands Restaurants is featuring two new limited-time menu items: their Waimea Burger and Islands Golden Ale! This combo represents a toast to summer! For Islands’ 35th anniversary year, they’ve brought back this fan-favorite Golden Ale, handcrafted exclusively by Karl Strauss Brewing Company. It’s a medium-bodied draft beer with roasted malt flavors, floral hop aromas and a crisp, clean finish. The refreshing ale was created to pair well with Islands’ signature burgers (and delicious Cheddar Fries).The Islands Waimea Burger is topped with Kalua pork, fresh grilled pineapple rings, Swiss cheese and caramelized onions smothered in a tangy teriyaki sauce. The sweet and savory flavors pair so well together. If you’re not a fan of beer, why not pair this delicious burger with one of Islands’ many tropical cocktails? There are so many to choose from. (and have you been in during their Happy Hour?)
Although it’s the middle of summer, I can’t resist a delicious bowl of Islands Tortilla Soup on every visit, as well as an order of their Spinach Artichoke dip, served with warm tortilla chips. So yummy! I’m also a HUGE fan of dessert and their Kona Pie out of this world! Our family has a tough time sharing it. I wonder why? In celebration of summer, I’m hosting a giveaway for one lucky winner to win a $25 Islands gift card. To enter the giveaway just go to the Rafflecopter below! Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway
This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
One of our new favorite local places to visit is Anaheim GardenWalk. Have you been there before? This outdoor dining, entertainment and shopping destination is situated in the heart of the Anaheim Resort District just steps from the Disneyland® Resort and Anaheim Convention Center, GardenWalk offers guests a variety of these popular restaurants:
The Cheesecake Factory
California Pizza Kitchen
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
McCormick & Schmick’s
Grasslands Meat Market
Fire + Ice Grill + Bar
McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon
McMormick & Schmick’s Grill
GardenWalk also offers a vibrant nightlife, an escape room, a magic store and cabaret, trendy shops and an upscale bowling lounge. Some of the newest tenants to join the property include House of Blues Anaheim, Mission Escape Games, Artists Republic Gallery, and Go VR Gaming.We were invited to spend a fun evening out at GardenWalk to experience “Rock the Walk”. a summer concert series. Rock the Walk, is a live music experience showcasing local artists and takes place on Thursdays from 5:30-7:30 p.m.through August 24. During Rock the Walk, guests can also enjoy free tastings from participating restaurants in the center, get free Henna, and enter giveaways. We listened to live music from Hoity Toity, an up and coming band that’s local.There’s also a DJ on hand during Rock the Walk. It’s a great way to spend time outdoors, with family and friends, on Southern California summer nights. There’s a great ambiance at GardenWalk with many great art pieces, galleries, and murals to check out too, including great backdrops for photos.We were also treated to a very special dinner that night at Fire + Ice Bar + Grill, which has got to be the coolest interactive grill I’ve ever experienced. The eatery welcomes diners of all ages and preferences, offering an incredible selection of fresh veggies, meats, pastas, seasonings and sauces. Their pro-grillers entertain the crowds as they sizzle up your culinary creation on an open grill. Here’s a fun video to give you an idea of what it’s like at Fire + Ice Bar + Grill:
It’s cool to be able to choose what you want to have for dinner, whether it be a noodle dish with an Asian flare or an Italian pasta or even a pizza cooked right there on the grill. You get to put together your creation and then watch the grillers prepare right in front of you!Fire + Ice is such a fun place to go, especially at night when it gets on the busier side because the grill gets full and it’s super cool to watch the grillers juggle all of it while still having fun with guests. The food was delicious and the staff went above and beyond. We had a great experience at Fire + Ice.
Rock the Walk will take place on Thursdays through August 24. Here is a schedule of featured artists for Rock the Walk in August:
This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
There’s a whole new reason to be excited about Wednesdays this August – CHOC Walk Wednesdays at Chick-fil-A! In honor of the upcoming CHOC Walk in the Park, being held this year on Sunday, August 27 at Disneyland Resort, Chick-fil-A has teamed up with CHOC Walk for CHOC Walk Wednesdays. Chick-fil-A cookie fans can stop by their closest Orange County Chick-fil-A for a cookie on CHOC Walk Wednesdays in August and 100% of the proceeds will go directly to CHOC Children’s Hospital.To join in and support this great cause, just stop by any Orange County Chick-fil-A location on the four Wednesdays leading up to the CHOC Walk and purchase a Chocolate Chunk Cookie, a six pack or a catering tray of 12 or 24 and 100% of the proceeds will go directly to CHOC Children’s Hospital.
Wednesday, August 2nd
Wednesday, August 9th
Wednesday, August 16th
Wednesday, August 23rd
I’m also hosting a great giveaway where one (1) of my lucky readers will win Free Chick-fil-A for a Year! Prize includes 52 Meal cards valued at $380.00! What a great prize to win!
The giveaway is sponsored by the Orange County Chick-fil-A locations, but redeemable at any Chick-fil-A location in Southern California. You can enter the giveaway on the Rafflecopter below. Good luck everyone! a Rafflecopter giveaway
To find a participating Chick-fil-A location near you, visit here. For more information about CHOC Walk in the Park or to register, go here.
Images are property of CHOC Children’s Hospital and used with permission.
I was invited to a media tasting. All opinions are my own.
Miguel’s Jr. is one of my favorite places to go when I’m looking for fresh, quick, homestyle Mexican food. I can’t get enough of their burritos and chicken taquitos, which are my two favorite menu items.Somehow, I guess I completely overlooked their breakfast menu. Breakfast burritos are like my love language! The breakfast menu includes these 7 different breakfast burritos, all made with farm fresh cracked eggs:
Chorizo – Mexican style sausage, eggs, refried beans & chile verde marinated potatoes. (add cheese for an additional charge.)
Machaca – Shredded beef seasoned with tomatoes, bell peppers and onions, eggs & refried beans (add cheese for an additional charge.)
The Green Pig (A House Favorite) – Marinated pork, eggs, cheddar cheese & chile verde marinated potatoes
Other breakfast entrees on the menu are these 3 plates:
Americano – Scrambled eggs, chile verde marinated potatoes, refried beans, tortillas & choice of meat (bacon, chile verde pork, or carne asada)
Chorizo,- Scrambled eggs served with Spanish rice, refried beans & tortillas
Machaca – Scrambled eggs served with Spanish rice, refried beans & tortillasI was invited to a special morning at the Miguel’s Jr.at their Costa Mesa location, to sample the items on the breakfast menu and I highly recommend the breakfast burrito they refer to as “The House Favorite”, aka The Green Pig. Everything on the breakfast menu was delicious though, in my opinion, even the freshly brewed coffee!Miguel’s Jr serves offers their breakfast menu daily until 11 a.m. and Saturdays and Sundays until 1 p.m. for those late risers. It’s delicious and something you’ll want to get in to our nearest location and try it ASAP!
More exciting Miguel’s Jr. news is the latest location opening soon in Huntington Beach! For the latest updates and more information visit Miguel’s Jr. here
You can also enter a giveaway to win 1 of 3 $10 Miguel’s Jr. giftcards on my Instagram page. Good luck everyone!
About Miguel’s Jr. The legend began in 1973 when Mike and Mary Vasquez took over an existing restaurant in Corona, CA and renamed it “Miguel’s” in honor of Mike’s grandfather. They struggled to make a go of it. Mike kept his day job and worked the restaurant at night while Mary developed dishes and recipes. Over the next 2 years, business improved to the point that they decided to lease a fast food restaurant just 2 miles down the road and named it “Miguel’s Jr. This became an instant favorite with locals and travelers along interstate 91 between Orange County and the Inland Empire.
I love all things Mickey Mouse! My daughter and I are constantly on the lookout for “Hidden Mickeys” everyone, even when we’re not at Disneyland. I’m a strong believer that anything shaped like Mickey tastes better! Don’t you agree? I thought It would be fun to make an easy snack in the kitchen, that my daughter could help with. This is a very easy Mickey Mouse Cookie recipe using store bought cookie dough, because I’m about saving time. Enjoy!
store bought sugar cookie mix or pre-made dough. (If you have more time you can make it from scratch too)
“Mickey” cookie cutter
light corn syrup
Prepare the sugar cookies as directed on package. I wrap my cookie dough in plastic and stick it in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes, just to chill it.
Cover a counter top area with some flour. Roll out sugar cookie dough with a rolling pin until the dough is the desired thickness. (between 1/4″ and 1/2 ” thick)
Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. I like to bake these on parchment paper so they are easier to transfer from the baking sheet to the cooling rack, with less chance of breaking.
Cut out Mickey heads and place each one on baking sheet, leaving plenty of distance between each one
Bake as directed on package.
After removing cookies from oven, transfer to cooling racks and allow them to completely cool down.
Baste a thin layer of light corn syrup on the tops of the sugar cookies and shake sprinkles on top, allowing them to dry and stick.
So, what’s your favorite simple snack recipe to make? Is it something Mickey-shaped, too?
This post was sponsored by Bounty. All opinions are 100% my own.
I absolutely adore all things Despicable Me and was overjoyed about the release of the latest film in the series, Despicable Me 3, now in theaters! Have you seen it yet? (It’s really cute.)In honor of the latest film release, Bounty has introduced limited-edition Bounty with new Despicable Me 3 prints paper towels and quilted napkins. They are so cute, you’ll want to stock up your cupboard with a plethora of them. Bounty paper towels and napkins make clean-up quick and fun!, especially now with the new Despicable Me 3 prints. My daughter and I tend to get a little messy in the kitchen together whenever we cook, bake, or make anything, so these durable paper towels really help us clean as we go. Making messes together is half the fun though, right? One of my (many) favorite parts about Despicable Me 3 is Agnes’ infatuation with unicorns. At the mere mention of the word “unicorn” she practically implodes! She’s beyond adorable when she talks about how they’re “just so fluffy”. We feel the exact same way about unicorns. I think people are drawn to unicorns because everything associated with them seems so happy and colorful. After seeing Despicable Me 3 in theaters, we were inspired to to spend an afternoon together, whipping up a batch of delicious “Unicorn Bait”. Bounty with new Despicable Me 3 prints are in stores just in time for Summer break with the kids and all the messy activities that come along with it! It was fairly simple to make this recipe and we only used 3 ingredients. (please see below for the exact recipe.)Since I love the color pink and my daughter loves the color blue, we used both colors in the popcorn coating, mixing together to even get bits that looked marbled. I was happy to have Bounty paper towels nearby to help with our sticky fingers after all of the mixing of colored candy melts and popcorn. To make this recipe, you only need these few ingredients:
2-3 bags Microwave popcorn, popped and cooled
1 bag pink candy melts
1 bag blue candy melts
1 bag brightly colored chocolate candies
Unicorn Bait Preparation
For the unicorn bait, we made one batch of “pink” popcorn, and one batch of “blue” popcorn before combining together in a big bowl. Lay wax paper on a flat surface ahead of time. Prepare the pink candy melts by placing in a microwave-safe bowl and cooking for 30 seconds. Remove and stir. Microwave for 30 more seconds, remove, add a tiny bit of vegetable oil, and stir until smooth. Spoon over (or just pour) the popcorn in a bowl and use your hands to mix together well. Place pink popcorn onto the wax paper to cool and prepare the blue candy melts, repeating the steps to coat the popcorn.
When you have both popcorn colors prepared, layer them in a large bowl, alternating pink popcorn and blue popcorn. Mix together while the melts are slightly wet still so you get the marbling effect.
Finally, add the brightly colored candies to the mixture. You can add extra ones to the top for a finishing touch.
Serve your unicorn bait in small snack cups or by the handful, on one of Bounty’s colorful napkins featuring the new Despicable Me 3 prints.Not only is unicorn bait scrumptious, but legend has it that you can also leave some out in a small pile, to capture your very own unicorn! You just have to believe! After you make this sweet treat, keep the celebration going and be sure to check out Despicable Me 3 in theaters now! It’s rated PG and fun for the whole family.
I was invited to dine at Angelina’s Pizzeria in order to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own.
We recently had the opportunity to dine at Angelina’s Pizzeria Napoletana in Dana Point (they also have a location in Irvine) and had such a wonderful experience as a family. The location we visited is across from the beach and is light & bright with windows all around.Angelina’s menu offers:
Le rosse pizza (red pizza)
Le bianche pizza (white pizza)
There are also offerings on the Happy Hour menu, which you can order from in the restaurant.
We started off with an order of Bruschetta Del Giorno. It was so fresh and light. We also ordered a Pizzetta Pancetta E Patate, which is a flatbread topped with pancetta potatoes and rosemary. Mmm!
Our salads were so colorful and delicious. The Golosa is made with chopped romaine hearts, red onion, tri-colored bell peppers, artichoke hearts, pumpkin seeds, fontina cheese and chef’s refreshing mustard lemon dressing. The Dall’orto is made with local organic greens, avocado, red onion, lemon vinaigrette and Grana Padana cheese. Both of these salads are a must-try, in my opinion.Penne Al Sugo Con Polpette, is a dish made with penne pasta, San Marzano DOP pomodoro sauce, Napoletana-style meatballs, fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil. This came highly recommended, specifically the meatballs, which are made with a “secret recipe” and we devoured the entire thing. It was amazing!For me, dessert time is my favorite part of any meal! If it were an acceptable custom in the U.S., I’d eat dessert first. We shared a Chocolate Tartufo which was beyond decadent. I also had my very own COCOAccino, which is Angelina’s signature dessert coffee. It’s cappuccino served in a Nutella rimmed coffee cup. It was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before and I was literally licking my cup! (which was acceptable in this case.)What stood out most to me the most about Angelina’s food were the fresh ingredients in each of the items. Just as important was the level of service, which was so tailored and personal. There is nothing better than finding a family dining destination where you can actually taste the passion behind the food. This is what you’ll find when you dine at Angelina’s. Whether you stop by the Irvine or the Dana Point location, you’re going to experience a wonderful meal that will have you visiting again soon. To learn more or view Angelina’s full menu, go here.
This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
This summer, yogurt lovers can pack up their picnic baskets and head to Yogurtland to enjoy five new scratch-made flavors that are reminiscent of family outings and warm summer nights.
These new promotional flavors, available from June 5 to August 6, explore the tastes of summer and are inspired by summer experiences, and the fresh fruits and desserts that are associated with them. These new flavors join Yogurtland’s more than 200 other handcrafted, gourmet flavors that are made at Yogurtland’s very own dairy with mastery and care, and with one thing in mind – delighting guests to the last spoonful.
The five mouth-watering flavors are:
Home Grown Watermelon Sorbet – Starting June 5, this delicious sorbet will have Yogurtland lovers quenching summer heat with the season’s favorite fruit. Combining everything there is to love about watermelon, sweet, fresh, and fruity, this flavor offers a refreshing experience on a hot summer day.Sun Kissed Strawberry Shortcake – Inspired by summer’s favorite dessert, this flavor blends the deliciousness of real California strawberries with real sweet shortbread cookie. In each spoonful, the fruity, juicy strawberry taste is followed by notes of cake and whipped cream for a complete dessert sensation.Sweet n’ Smooth Peaches and Cream Gelato– This combination of fruity tartness and creamy gelato makes for the perfect summer treat. Inspired by some of the delicious treats individuals crave on a summer day, this flavor fills each spoonful with real Freestone peach taste.Larger Than Life Mud Pie – Chocolate fanatics rejoice, this ‘larger than life’ flavor layers rich chocolate, tasty coffee, and delectable chocolate cookies. The perfect balance of each layer comes through to create a decadent mud pie taste for all to enjoy.Picnic Favorite Apricot Mango Tart– No picnic is complete without juicy summer fruits. The subtle balance between sweet and tart, this flavor combines two fruit favorites, sweet apricots and juicy mangos. This delicious flavor is available starting July 17.Yogurtland is also introducing two new collectible spoons, one featuring a red watermelon wedge and the other a slice of mud pie. Yogurtland is collaborating with the Watermelon Board to highlight the use of the juice of U.S-grown watermelons in this along-awaited flavor. To top off these delicious flavors, Yogurtland is introducing gummi butterflies as the perfect topping. So what are you waiting for? Get to your closest Yogurtland and try these new flavors while they’re around through August 6.
I received promotional products from Walt Disney Studios in order to facilitate this post. All opinions are 100% my own.
Summer is here and we decided to celebrate by throwing an outdoor movie night for a few friends and family. I couldn’t think of a better way to do so than by showing one of Disney’s all-time classic films, “Bambi”, which joined Walt Disney’s Signature Collection at the end of May, in honor of its 75th anniversary.I loved this movie as a child and was so excited to introduce my daughter and my nieces and nephews to it also.The Signature Collection release, now available at retailers, contains a variety of new bonus material including:
Recordings of Walt Disney discussing the challenges and triumphs during the production of “Bambi;”
Deleted scenes and characters;
Dtories and effects that “Bambi” had on the Studio, other films and artists;
and much, much more
Additionally, the Digital HD release includes an exclusive, heartfelt feature on the incredible artist, Tyrus Wong, who inspired the film’s soft watercolor backgrounds and beautiful palette. Here’s a sneak peek:
In our home, movies always call for snacks, which is why we whipped up a batch of “Bambi Snack Mix” for our guests to enjoy while watching “Bambi” at our outdoor movie. (Please see bottom of this post for snack recipe.)I was delighted to received an amazing bundle of goodies in the mail from Disney to host my outdoor movie night. My bundle contained an AAXA P300 Pico/Micro LED Projector, an Ion Audio Tailgater Portable Bluetooth PA Speaker System with Microphone, an Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter for iPhone, and a copy of Disney’s “Bambi” on Blu-Ray. I couldn’t wait to get started.Setting up your own outdoor isn’t difficult. I promise. You can choose to project your movie onto on a light colored wall or garage, use a white sheet as a makeshift screen, or even purchase an inexpensive, portable movie screen. We opted for a wall to project ours onto.
The projector we received to use for our movie was a P300 Pico mini projector. It’s small and pretty lightweight. It also produces the most clear, beautiful projections, with high resolution and vivid colors. This projector has the capability to show movies, as well as photos and videos and pairs up with your phone or mobile device or laptop. It’s tiny but mighty and can be set up almost anywhere.Although the mini projector already has sound coming out of it, pairing it with the Ion Tailgater speaker system really amplified the sound, to make it even louder for the outdoors. This portable sounds system includes speakers, an amplifier, audio inputs, and wireless Bluetooth technology, all in one durable cabinet that has handles for easy transport and allows you to enjoy your music whenever and wherever you want. . (It also works with iPad, iPhone, iPod, Android devices and more.)For our outdoor movie, I streamed the digital copy of “Bambi” on my phone by using the digital code inside the DVD on the Disney Movies Anytime app. (Do you have this app yet?) Since my laptop doesn’t have the capability to run an internal DVD, I just streamed the movie on my phone with Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter and my phonehooked directly up to the projector. It was much easier than setting up a laptop anyway. Whenever we have a party or a get-together, we like to do something thematic. Hosting an outdoor movie doesn’t have to be complicated and you can get away with just serving simple snacks like popcorn and drinks. We decided to whip up a batch of “Bambi’s Favorite Snack Mix” which is just a few goodies mixed in with popcorn and served in these adorable Bambi bags that my daughter created out of simple brown lunch bags we had in our cupboard.To make your own batch of “Bambi Snack Mix”, here are the ingredients you’ll need:
microwave popcorn, 4-6 bags, popped and cooled
pretzel sticks or small pretzels, 1 bag
chocolate chips or chocolate candies, 1 bag
small marshmallows, 1 bag
It’s so simple to make, you just combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. After ours was mixed together, I just filled up each Bambi snack bags with the mix and set out on a table for guests to grab before we started our outdoor movie.To recreate these Bambi snack bags, you’ll just need brown paper lunch bags, a black marker, scissors, a glue stick, and a cotton ball for each one. Here’s a short time-lapse video showing how my daughter made a Bambi snack bag.
We had so much fun hosting our very first “Movie Under the Stars” and watching Disney’s “Bambi”. I can’t wait to host our next outdoor movie party. Have you hosted an outdoor movie party before? Tell me what you watched and share some of the details of your outdoor movie party with me in the comments.
This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own.
Rubio’s Restaurants, the brand that has counted the ocean as a source of inspiration since its founding more than 30 years ago, is continuing its efforts to be a friend of the ocean with its 8th annual World Oceans Day reusable tote bag giveaway. On June 8 (World Oceans Day), Rubio’s is inviting fans, friends and ocean enthusiasts to help reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean by visiting a Rubio’s Coastal Grill location to receive a complimentary, specially designed reusable tote bag.Since its first official World Oceans Day celebration eight years ago, Rubio’s has given away more than 90,000 free reusable tote bags. Reusable bags are a great alternative to plastic bags, which persist in the ocean for decades and endanger fish, turtles and other marine life. To get your complimentary World Oceans Day tote bag, simply download the coupon here and bring it to any Rubio’s Coastal Grill location on June 8 (while supplies last).Rubio’s works to be a friend to the ocean year-round with a majority of its seafood being sourced from sustainable fisheries, recycling plastic and glass bottles in restaurants whenever possible, and using eco-friendly plates and to-go containers. These efforts help reduce the amounts of trash that can end up on beaches and the coastline. The company also supports several ocean-focused causes throughout the year, including coastal cleanups and river cleanups. For the first time, Rubio’s will also be holding a World Oceans Day social media contest where guests can share a picture of their World Oceans Day tote bag using hashtag #rubiosrollsdeep for a chance to win $250 in Rubio’s gift cards. I’m also having a giveaway over on my Instagram, so go check it out! Good luck everyone!