Good news for MaryAnne and all our vegan / vegetarian friends out there: Del Taco launched their Beyond Meat menu! Have you guys tried Beyond Meat? It’s now offered at many burger places, and you can find them at your local grocery store. I have to admit that I do not discriminate against any meat. However, I do like the different meat substitute options. Growing up in a Thai household, we use tons of veggies in our cooking, as well as many soy and tofu products which are not considered a meat substitute, but rather just a food item in itself. So although I am not vegan or vegetarian, we are a heavily veggie centered household. Beyond Meat is a plant-based protein without gluten, soy, or GMOs: a welcome addition to our meal planning!

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Like many Orange County parents, MaryAnne and I are involved in many of our kids’ activities. Long hours volunteering at school (MaryAnne mentioned on Instagram that we just finished the school’s musical season-6 weeks of rehearsals!), shuttling our kiddos around from school (Marissa, MaryAnn’s oldest daughter goes to a performing arts school) to their different activities like music, acting lessons, softball practices and games. And of course the long-ass drives to LA for auditions and acting classes. But neither of us would change a thing! It is fulfilling for both of us to provide all these amazing opportunities to our kids. So needless to say, we live in our Ford Flexes. View Post

Sweetest bartenders in town!

Love is in the air with Valentine’s Day around the corner, so lets add a little sexy vibe in our step. What do you get when you put together a kickass local bar with a kitchen that puts out really good food? Well you get the best coupling ever: American Grub and The Swinging Door Saloon in Old Town Tustin. One of our all time favorite bars was a former bikini/dive bar, Swinging Door in the heart of Old Town Tustin. MaryAnne has been coming to this local favorite for years with her husband.

American Grub:

A little background to this love story. Kim Conway was a former bartender at The Swinging Door years ago until she took over and became the current badass owner. (Fun fact: She is also the owner of the Salty Dog Tavern in Anaheim!) When a retail space became available four years ago, she and her boyfriend, Gerard Montes, transformed the space into a hip, cozy burger joint. The vibe is definitely hip casual but in no way pretentious.

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Let’s do a little lead up to Valentine’s Day. Groupon is offering this awesome deal right now for a day of pampering at the spa at Fashion Island Hotel in Newport Beach. Go alone, go with your besties, or go with your honey. My girlfriends have enjoyed this package and they love it! It’s local, easy, and affordable. Buy this Groupon now and it’s good for another 60 days. Enjoy a massage and toast to love with your complimentary glass of bubbly.

You can go in the next several days and get out of the rain with a relaxing massage and snuggle up in their lounge for a hot toddy, or wait for the next warm day and hang out at the pool after your massage with a cocktail.

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Looking for a great restaurant in San Juan Capistrano? Have you explored the quaint Los Rios Historic District?  If you live in central or north Orange County, it is such a quick jaunt down the 5 freeway, or for a real treat, take the train a few stops from the Tustin or Irvine station, since it will drop you right in the heart of this town.  

So here is our favorite weekend itinerary: take the kids to Zoomars in the morning, Zoomars is the sweet little petting zoo filled with furry guinea pigs for them to pet and feed, goats to groom, and horses/ponies and a mini train to ride.  We have been taking them to Zoomars for years, and we even threw a birthday party for my son there, but it is still one of their favorite outings, even for my eleven-year-old!  For a successful family outing, we always try to have something for the kids, then also something for the adults.  Specifically, I like to end a kid’s activity with a good meal and a glass of wine.  Everyone is happy!

Quaint San Juan Capistrano Restaurant – The Ramos House Cafe
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