AMG Opens Their First U.S. All-You-Can-Eat Location in Lynwood!

Disclosure: We were invited to a complimentary media tasting in order to try out a variety of offerings from this restaurant. No other compensation was given in exchange for this post.

AMG recently opened their very first All-You-Can-Eat location in the United States. Located in Plaza Mexico in Lynwood, the new restaurant boasts a huge selection of 45 AYCE items. And their prices are affordable – $20.99 for an adult dinner, and $15.99 for an adult lunch. [Read more…]

How to Get the Most Fun for Your Money at the OC Fair! (Giveaway!)

The OC Fair is coming up in just a couple of weeks and it’s no secret that this is one of my absolute favorite things to do every Summer with my family. We haven’t missed a year since we started going when my oldest was little! I usually save up a little cash ahead of time so that we can thoroughly enjoy our visit without breaking the bank. You might be surprised at how much FREE and cheap fun the fair can offer! Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post for an awesome giveaway too!

How to Save Money at the OC Fair! [Read more…]

ShipKicker Festival Showcases Up & Coming Country Artists

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Over the weekend, we were invited to attend the second annual ShipKicker Music Festival. This 1-day festival took place just outside the Queen Mary in Long Beach, at the Waterfront Event Center.

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Headlined by Easton Corbin, ShipKicker also featured artists like Dylan Scott, Honey County, Dylan Uribe, and Daniel Bonte and the Bona Fide. Other country performers included Clare Dunn, the Scotty Mac Band, and Stephen Wesley.

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Between bands; country lovers played corn hole, learned line dances in the Saloon, checked out the food trucks, and hung out in the Beer Garden. Cowgirls and cowboys of all ages had the chance to wear giant cowboy hats and write on a community chalk wall. The VIP tent offered refuge from the sun and a private bar. Local radio station GoCountry brought hosts Graham and David out to entertain the crowd between sets. There were plenty of activities to keep the whole family busy!

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Where else can you go to get a cowboy hat made entirely of beer cans, learn to line dance like a pro, AND watch top country artists while you lounge under the California sun? The ShipKicker Festival was so much fun and we can’t wait to go back next year.

Find out more information about ShipKicker here.

Take It Back to the 80s & 90s at the Gen X Room!

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Looking like the 80s/90s with the acid wash jacket.

How many of you remember the 80s and the 90’s jams? I’m sure a lot of you do – and those that don’t may have been exposed to that music era of enjoyment. I was able to experience it at The Gen X Room in downtown Los Angeles on Friday May 13th. Get ready to read about all the fun. You will wish you were there by the end of this. Ha!

It was a Friday night free of children, time to dress myself for the theme and then ride in style with the loaned Kia Optima SX T-GDI sporty sedan. I brought along my parent friend April. Her friend, Ana, was going to join us as well. It was a packed car ride but we all were comfortable. Our outfits were on point. I actually had time to blow dry my hair. Yay!

April was dressed the part with her side ponytail.

April was dressed the part with her side ponytail.

The skyline is shining bright.

The skyline is shining bright.

Now when I drove in to downtown the skyline was dark and the lights of the buildings lit the night sky like a glow bracelet or wand. Downtown Los Angeles was all aglow with the interior office lights and more. The lights were bright, the night was clear and my pulse was getting faster and faster with anticipation. I had the 80s/90s satellite radio station going. It was prep time. Get into the spirit. Time to make the floor burn. We all sang along to a few of the tunes too.

 

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Photo booth time with props and the vinyl record backdrop.

So we arrived. We parked a block away from the venue. Just a hop by the famed Orpheum Theater, then a skip down a block and bam! We were at The Gen X Room 80’s & 90’s Dance Flashback Celebration hosted at the Biergarten Downtown LA on Broadway. Yes it was an uber retro building with brick and concrete exposure. A large sized space with ample everything.

What greeted us was a wall full of vinyl records. A photo booth backdrop. Some glow bracelets, necklaces, blinking glasses, feather boas, hats, hair clips and wands. Even a guitar cutout! Just all the swag props to create a fun moment. Here is a photo of what that looked like. None of us were conservative about our accessories. We piled them on.

 

I was there on behalf of Angela Bishop. Thank you darling. What a great chance to have some VIP treatment too. Myself and my guests had some complimentary appetizers and a delicious cocktail. Oh the bar counter was this cool clear broken looking glass. Wow! The VIP mezzanine was nice and had various seating options too. The food was delicious! Veggie or pepperoni flatbread pizzas, crispy chicken tenders and freshly made potato chips. I REALLY loved the fresh potato chips! It was a snackers delight dinner if you will. I ate it up! HA!

A nice green cocktail. I don't remember the name the bartender said it was.

A nice green cocktail. I don’t remember the name the bartender said it was.

Now the music got us going. We danced the night away. So much so that we needed to ask for ice water. It got sweaty. There was freestyle, recognizable 80s and 90s jams. Now my friend April did request a lot of songs. Plus she knew a lot of the words. If my sweat drenched clothes of the night didn’t tell you I burned the floor then you need to get your eyes checked. Teehee!

All in all it was a cool hip fun funky fresh night. I did enjoy seeing some other guys out there on the dance floor moving and shaking. There was even some breakdancing. Seriously good too! I mean man those guys moved! Awesome. I did enjoy being able to take some of the props home to my children. Laser rings and glowing rings. Sunglasses too! Well I had a lot to take. Remember I wore it all, the opening pic of this blog shows that.

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Wearing all the free swag

 

I highly recommend going to the next one which is on June 11th. It will be at the same place, same time and lets make some more fun memories. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/events/550534238461512/ . There will be great drinks specials, 80s/90s inspired cocktails, raffle prizes this time around and VIP tables available. So who’s coming and theme-dressed in their best!

A Regular Family Went to Au Fudge and This is What Happened

Earlier this week my family and I were invited to attend a special movie screening of the new Alvin and the Chipmunks movie in West Hollywood. Usually when someone invites me to drive to LA from South OC on weekday afternoon I have to give them a big nope. However, this screening was being held at the already infamous new Au Fudge restaurant. I had to go. (Disappointingly, we were not greeted at the door by chipmunks holding tiny muffins.)

Todd Williamson / Getty Images

What I knew about Au Fudge prior to going:
It is a restaurant.
It’s owned by Jessica Biel.
It may or may not serve fudge.
It is not for regular people like us.

Since this was a last-minute invite, my personal stylist was unavailable and I didn’t have time to book a driver. So, I dressed everyone in their one nice outfit, and we piled into the minivan. Luckily, it was recently cleaned inside and out, so when we pulled up to the (complimentary, thank god) valet, garbage didn’t fall out of the minivan when the doors were opened. (Yes that is a thing that actually happened to me once. Okay, more than once.)

We didn’t tell the kids where we were going, aside from the fact that it was in LA and it would be fun. So naturally, they thought of all kinds of way more fun places we could have been going. I just kept driving and let them set themselves up for eventual disappointment that was going to happen when we showed up at a restaurant and not a theme park.

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When we finally arrived, about 2 and a half hours from the time we left the house, my seven year old saw the sign out front and yelled “OH YEAH A FUDGE FACTORY.” Once again I had to lay down the disappointment and let him know that it was just a restaurant and that I wasn’t sure they even had any fudge.

The valet situation was a bit of a nightmare, and while we were stopped in the road, where the valet had signaled us to stop, two parking enforcement officers rushed over to ticket our crappy 2007 Dodge Grand Caravan, ignoring the rest of the cars that were also in the way. Thanks, WeHo Parking Enforcement, you’re real swell! Anyway, kudos to the valet who stepped in and took care of that.

Once we were inside, we pretended that we didn’t feel really out of place. We checked in for the event and the kids were herded into the “Creativity Room” which had been set up as a makeshift movie theater. Normally, for $15 an hour (less than most of the entrees on the menu) you can check your child in, and they can explore all kinds of creative outlets while you get a nice buzz going. Today, it was just a big room to watch a movie in.

Todd Williamson / Getty Images

Todd Williamson / Getty Images

I tried to get my kids settled down on the floor with their popcorn that was served in a fancy pink Au Fudge paper bag, but I was in the way as usual and one of the au pairs kindly suggested that I just leave the room and let her do her job. Okay, she didn’t say those exact words but I think it was implied. But, I wasn’t in the mood to argue, so I headed to the bar because I love free drinks.

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The bar menu is exactly what I expected. A lot of thought was put into the names and descriptions of each $14 drink. You can order the low-calorie, MILF cocktail, with the tagline, “This yummy mummy needs her juice.” Or grab a “Jessica Rabbit’s Rabbit,” or an “Old Fashioned Fawn.” I went for “Claude’s Tonic,” which is described only as “Beefeater Gin. Mixwell Dandelion Tonic. Magic.” I think the “magic” is the fact that it is so strong that you only need a couple of drinks to forget about how ridiculously out of place you feel.

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Two drinks in and I was feeling fantastic. I was brushing shoulders with some of the event’s celebrity guests. We talked about things like, where the bathroom was, and yes you can have that chair, and no I did not order that grilled cheese and soup, I’m not sure why the waiter placed it on the table next to me. I was fitting right in.

Whose grilled cheese is this anyway?!

Whose $16 grilled cheese is this anyway?!

Every so often, one of my kids would sneak out of the movie screening, or be walked out by an au pair when they wouldn’t sit still for five seconds. My kids not sitting still? Imagine that. Since the only way to get my kids to behave in public is to bribe them, we bought them all gum balls (they’re all natural!) and sent them back into the screening. I did peek in on them once or twice and it turns out they were getting talked to an awful lot.

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While the kids were getting scolded once again, the adults were enjoying passed apps. My expectations of the food were a bit low. I heard it was overpriced and mediocre. Perhaps they were just showing off for the event, but everything we tried was delicious. Tiny cheeseburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches cut into bars caprese salad on a toothpick, and the juiciest little chicken nuggets I’ve ever tasted. My husband said the sweet potato fries were the best he’s had in a long time. Suffice to say, we weren’t disappointed in the food we ate, but we also didn’t pay for it, so take that with a grain of salt.

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If you have older kids, they probably wouldn’t care about this place much at all. But, someone on the design team thought about that, and so they put some awesome arcade games in the back of the restaurant. In fact, my husband, the biggest kid of them all, spent most of the evening back there. There’s also a fortune telling game and a photo booth. Basically, if you are currently a teenager in the 1980’s, this is where you’d hang out when you visit Au Fudge.

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Au Fudge really loves itself. You’ll find the name of the restaurant all over the place. In the little market at the front of the restaurant, they sell Au Fudge tote bags, and even a book with the title.

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And guess what else I found in that little shop. A variety of actually reasonably priced treats including? Fudge. Now I had to tell my kid that I lied about them not even having it. Or, I could say nothing and hope he doesn’t notice. Spoiler alert: He didn’t notice.

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Aside from baked goods and refrigerated drinks, the little gift shop carried a random variety of other stuff. Products from celebrity BFF Jessica Alba’s Honest Company, candy, packaged snacks, Easter baskets, art kits, hats, dresses, and even jewelry that you can order off of the “Jewelry Menu.” That is a real thing that I did not make up.

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What is a “Dessert Necklace?”

Even the bathroom was thoughtfully decorated. Like a chic farmer’s market bathroom or something.

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Since we weren’t actual paying customers, I suppose we didn’t get the full Au Fudge experience. But here’s what I learned while we were there:

It is a restaurant.
It’s owned by Jessica Biel.
It does serve fudge.
It is not for regular people like us.

If you’re into having a whimsical restaurant experience where you can leave your kids unattended for a little while and escape the perils of being rich and slightly famous, OR you want to pay too much for lunch while possibly running into rich and slightly famous people, Au Fudge is the place to go. If you’re a regular mom like me, it’s a fun experience to try once. If you just want to drink and let your kids run around, go to Chuck-e-cheese. It’s cheaper.

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Atticus Creamery & Pies Opens New Location in Hollywood

Atticus Creamery + Pies Hollywood

Atticus Creamery & Pies recently opened their second location. Following-up on the success of their first location in West LA, Atticus Creamery & Pies has launched their second Los Angeles location near The Grove. The new Atticus location serves up hand made pies, ice cream, coffee drinks, and a few non-coffee drinks too.

Inside Atticus Creamery and Pies Hollywood

Their pies are baked daily at their Pico location and then delivered fresh to the Hollywood location. They feature creative and delicious flavor combinations such as Early Grey, Salted Caramel, Lemon Lavender, Strawberry Pistachio, Blackberry Cheesecake, and more. If you need help deciding what to get, just ask for a sample!

Atticus Hollywood Amazing Pies(L-R: Lemon Lavender, Blueberry Cheesecake, Strawberry Pistachio, Peanut Butter Chocolate.)

Their pies are made with only the freshest ingredients, and they do not use artificial colors or flavors. Their scratch-made crust is light and flaky, and pairs with each pie flavor beautifully.

Blackberry Cheesecake Atticus Hollywood(Front: Blackberry Cheesecake.)

Atticus Creamery & Pies in Hollywood also features a rotating selection of ice cream, also hand made in their Pico location. These ice creams also feature no artificial colors or flavors, and feature incredible flavor combinations such as Honey Honeycomb (one of their most popular), Milk and Cereal, Raspberry Champagne, Brown Sugar Apple Pie, Caramel Macchiato and more.

Atticus Hollywood Ice Cream Sampler

And of course what compliment pie and ice cream better than coffee? Atticus has a great selection of flavored lattes as well as espresso, brewed coffee, and cold brewed coffee. The stand out of their coffee selection is the “Atticus Cold Brew.”

Atticus Hollywood Coffee & Dessert

The Atticus Cold Brew takes cold brew coffee to the next level with a splash of whole milk and a hint of maple syrup. It’s the perfect refreshing drink on a warm day, and it pairs amazingly with a Lemon Lavender pie!

Atticus Hollywood Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie to go

Whether you’re eating in or taking it on the go, Atticus Creamery & Pie in Hollywood offers you a great atmosphere, friendly and knowledgeable staff, and most importantly, high-quality and delicious food and drink. If you find yourself the area, stop in and check it out.

Atticus Creamery & Pie Hollywood
6015 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90036
323 934 7890
Mon – Sun: 12pm – 10pm

Heirlooms & Hardware – New Costa Mesa Location!

H&H Lights

Have you heard of the eclectic Heirlooms and Hardware store yet? We were invited to attend the grand opening in Costa Mesa last month and it was amazing. The flagship store was originally in SOCO but this new space in Costa Mesa is double the size – which means you get more room to shop, design your own custom furniture from salvaged wood, and see the H&H team work their magic.

H&H is a family-owned business that opened in 2011. Joseph and Jessica D’Ambra, the founders, are a husband and wife team and Jennifer, a sibling, is the Director of Operations. “People come to us because we not only make quality furniture at affordable prices, but also because we invite them to experience the process of custom furniture design and construction, a nearly lost art,” says Jennifer D’Ambra. “Our new, larger location makes it easier for customers to browse through our store or to work closely with Joe to design furniture of their own imagination.”

H&H Store
H&H Hooks
The grand opening event was so much fun but the best part was that a portion of proceeds from the event benefited Orange-based nonprofit Inspire Artistic Minds, which is a community culture project offering experiences and scholarships in the arts of taste, sight, and sound. We love the idea of giving back to our OC community!
 H&H Flags
H&H Shelves
H&H Dice
For the past three years, Heirlooms and Hardware has fitted custom furniture for many a home in Southern California and you can also see their tables, clothing racks and jewelry displays at some amazing establishments including Gypsy Den (Costa Mesa and Anaheim), Stone Brewery at Petco Park (San Diego), Moulin Bistro (Newport Beach), BLK Burgrz (Ladera Ranch), The Shore Public House (Long Beach), As Issued and Cloth & Metal (Costa Mesa)!
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H&H Globe
H&H Jewelry
Heirlooms and Hardware prices range from $200 to $4,800 for custom furniture; $16 to $350 for vintage décor; and personal and gift items start at $6.75 to $175.
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Heirlooms and Hardware is a unique curation of one-of-a-kind items, rustic artifacts and found objects and the source of custom-designed, handcrafted furniture featuring reclaimed wood up to 100 years old. You can find them at The LAB in Costa Mesa or online at heirloomsandhardware.com.

The Burnt Truck: Creative Sliders and More

The Burnt Truck invited us to have lunch with them recently. We really enjoyed trying some of their tasty offerings and are excited to share our thoughts.

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Food trucks are plentiful in Southern California. Almost any day of the week you can find a truck – or gathering of trucks – to eat at. Some are okay and easily forgettable. Others stand out among the rest and are the kind of trucks that you seek out as often as possible. For me, The Burnt Truck is one of those.

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If you’ve never heard of The Burnt Truck, you might think, “Burnt? That doesn’t sound good.” Thankfully, their food is perfectly cooked and prepared every time. The Burnt Truck’s mission statement is to “bring distinctively upscale taste to the streets of Orange County without all the fuss and nonsense of a high-end restaurant.” They also leave off the big price tag too. For less than $10 you can get two sliders, a side and a drink.

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The Burnt Truck is known for their sliders. They have put together some amazing delicious creations on their rotating menu. While the classics like the Cheeseburger or Fried Chicken sliders are always a safe bet, you’ll really be wowed by some of their more interesting combinations like the Meatloaf Slider, (Baked Potato Spread, Meatloaf, Ketchup Glaze, Buttermilk Onion Rings) and the Vegetarian Slider (Fried Mozzarella Cheese, Basil Aioli, Tomato Jam.) And for the ultimate in slider awesomeness, just get yourself a PB&J made with their very own pretzel peanut butter.

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Whatever your taste, they have something you’ll love on The Burnt Truck.

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Check out their full menu and weekly schedule on The Burnt Truck website, and keep up with them on Twitter & Instagram. Can’t get enough of them? Stay tuned for the opening of their upcoming restaurant collab with the folks at Dogzilla – It’s called Burntzilla!

A Perfect Picnic – Sessions West Coast Deli in Newport Beach

Sessions counter

If you were just thinking, “I need a really amazing sandwich in my life right now,” then Sessions West Coast Deli is where you need to go. Tucked away in the Newport Beach Peninsula, just down the street from Balboa Pier, Sessions is a sandwich-lover’s heaven.

Featuring freshly baked bread, locally grown vegetables and top quality meats, Sessions bring a gourmet feel to the simplest, yet perfectly complete meal – the sandwich. Their menu features 20 hot and cold sandwiches, housemade sauces with a variety of mouthwatering sides, salads, and soups prepared daily. There’s also a weekly special posted inside, so there’s no way you can ever be bored with the offerings.

sessions menus

Each menu item has been carefully crafted to bring together amazing flavors. Although some combinations may sound weird, they come together in a beautiful way. Even the side dishes delight. The Shaka Spuds – fresh potato chips tossed with rosemary, sage, sea salt, and parmesan cheese – are a must-have with your meal.

Shaka Spuds

The cucumber salad is a salty-sweet medley of the freshest veggies and herbs.

cucumber salad

The Meddock Melee sandwich is named after owner Matt Meddock. It is kind of a grown-up version of a turkey and guacamole sandwich.

Meddock Melee

And while there are many places to get a Banh Mi in Orange County, none offer the kind of atmosphere that Sessions does.

banh mi

You can enjoy your meal inside while watching surfing videos and listening to a soundtrack of bands such as Phoenix and MGMT, or you can take it down to the beach and enjoy it with a great view of the waves.

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Right now, Sessions is offering a great end of Summer deal.

From Aug. 25 through Aug. 29, Sessions West Coast Deli will offer a “Last Week of Summer Sandwich Special” beach picnic basket for $35 (a retail value $75), to serve four people. Surfers as well as grab-and-go sunbathers have made Session Sandwiches a locals’ favorite, with the restaurant’s unique combinations of flavors, highest quality meats on the market, farm-fresh produce and preservative-free bread baked fresh and delivered daily.

The beach picnic basket features many fan favorites including:

  • Meddock Melee sandwich
  • Summer Zephyr sandwich
  • Greatfella sandwich
  • Pirate Coast sandwich
  • Cucumber Salad
  • Potato Salad
  • Pasta Salad
  • Shaka Spuds
  • Any four fountain drinks

Learn more about these menu items at http://sessionssandwiches.com/index.php/menu.

Sessions is located at:

2823 Newport Blvd., Newport Beach, CA 92663

Open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. Call 949-220-9001 to place your order!

GIVEAWAY

Enter to win a $25 gift certificate to use at Sessions West Coast Deli. Please use the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

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