Over The Top Mommy

Let’s Eat!

Breakfast With Bob the Minion! {Make Your Own Minion Mug Too!}

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #The7thMinion #CollectiveBias

breakfast-with-bob-the-minionI would easily call our home a “Minion-loving” one. We can’t get enough of the Minions and are counting down the days until the release of the new Minions movie on July 10! Have you watched the trailer yet?

On a recent grocery shopping trip to Walmart, I was ecstatic when I saw a ton of specially marked boxes on the cereal aisle with exclusive Minion “toys” inside! As I walked up and down the aisle, I saw a few of my own childhood favorites featuring these toys inside the boxes

my-childhood-favsThere are 7 minions to collect in all and they’re shown on the back of the cereal box. The 7th Minion is the prehistoric one and is offered exclusively at Walmart in these specially marked Family Size boxes of cereal.

back-of-cereal-boxWalmart has teamed up with General Mills to offer the exclusive Minion toys inside these cereals:

  • Honey Nut Cheerios
  • Cinnamon Toast Crunch
  • Lucky Charms
  • Reese’s Puffs
  • Trix
  • Cocoa Puffs
  • Golden Grahams

my-full-shopping-cartAs I walked down the aisle, cereal boxes seemed to be flying off the shelves and into my grocery cart!  You may also notice that a couple of Minions ended up in the cart, too. I couldn’t resist. My daughter wasn’t even shopping with me, but I knew she’d love them. Walmart had so much “Minions” merchandise! I really wanted to buy all of it!

all-the-things-minionsI couldn’t wait to get home and show my daughter. I decided to plan a little “Minions breakfast” for the following morning. I wanted it to be a fun start to our summer and a kickoff for our quest to find for the 7th minion.  I think one of the luckiest parts about my daughter being an only child is that she doesn’t have to share the toy in the cereal box!  Seriously, I grew up fighting my younger brother for the toy!

We decided to make a special Minion mug that night as a special edition to our Minion breakfast. Since she loves Bob the Minion and also loves making personalized ceramic mugs, she made a Bob the Minion mug. It’s probably one of the easiest DIYs a kid can do. Have you ever made one?

supplies-for-mugsHere’s what you’ll need to make your own Minion mug:

  • 1 white ceramic coffee mug, prewashed
  • 1 set of permanent markers in a variety of colors
  • plain white paper (for practicing)
  • nail polish remover (for mistakes)
  • some Q-tips
  • 1 roll of paper towels
  • 1 cookie sheet
  • some Minions or pictures of Minions to look at for inspiration

practice drawingsInstructions for making your Minion mug

  1. Start with a clean, dry mug.
  2. Draw your design, using the permanent markers. If necessary, practice drawing your images first on white paper. Mistakes can be easily “erased” (prior to baking) using a baby wipe. Dry thoroughly with a paper towel prior to resuming the drawing with pens. 
  3. When you’re finished drawing and decorating, place your mug upside-down on a cookie sheet. (not pictured)
  4. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  5. Allow your mug to cool all the way down before washing or using. Your cup should always be handwashed and not placed in the dishwasher.

its-bobHow cute did her mug turn out? I can’t take credit for it. My daughter did it all on her own! It’s Bob! Can’t you tell?

practically-twinsWe set up the breakfast table, including the new mug, and Bob and joined my daughter for some Trix. You have to be careful when inviting a Minion to breakfast! Sometimes they misunderstand the invite! Oh Bob!

oh-bobbreakfast-with-bob-the-minion Before pouring milk into her cereal, my daughter was ready to open each box and hunt for the 7th Minion. She got 4 cute ones, including Bob (her favorite) but didn’t get the 7th Minion! It was a good start though.

We’re determined to collect all 7, especially that 7th Minion, so it looks like we’ll be making a couple more trips back to Walmart for more cereal. My daughter also added “Find the 7th Minion” to her summer bucket list!

its-bobDo you have a favorite Minion? If so, which one is it? We love all of the Minions!

Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour Restaurant’s 6th Annual Splendiferously Superific Summer Spectacular Ice Cream Eating Challenge, benefitting CHOC Children’s® and Make-A-Wish®


Farrell’s recently hosted a super duper fun event at their Brea location, featuring KTLA’s Henry DiCarlo, to kick off their 6th annual Splendiferously Superific Summer Spectacular Ice Cream Eating Challenge, benefitting CHOC Children’s® and Make-A-Wish®! Did I mention that they started filming at 4:45 a.m.? Yep! You can never get too early of a start, right?

henry-di-carloSome of the fun guests in attendance that I got to meet included Choco Bear from CHOC Children’s, Tooba from Goon Holler on Vine, the knights from Medevial Times, the pirates from Pirates Adventure Dinner, and last year’s champion and professional eater, Naadar “Freak8r” Reda!

farrells-collage Farrell’s was so generous to provide an abundance of coffee, served in mustache cups (of course) and a breakfast feast fit for a king! Farrell’s doesn’t do anything small! 

breakfast-at-farrellsWith the qualifying period for Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour Restaurant’s 6th annual Splendiferously Superific Summer Spectacular Ice Cream Eating Challenge under way, let’s talk a little bit more about the details. Since this event gives 100% of its proceeds to CHOC Children’s® and Make-A-Wish®, anyone can enter to win. You don’t even have to be competitive eater to enter. Farrell’s is rallying to get as many people to enter as possible, including those who simply want to donate. From June 19 through July 12, it’s everyone”s chance to come into any California Farrell’s location to shine like the ooey gooey whipped cream and sprinkle covered star they are and qualify! (or simply make a donation)

challengeHere are the 3 easy ways to enter to win:

DonateGive a minimum of $20 to Farrell’s event (don’t forget 100% of proceeds go to CHOC Children’s and Make-A-Wish) and receive a limited edition event T-shirt, $5 off your next vist to Farrell’s and a 3-scoop qualifying sundae to enjoy at your Leisure. Everyone that donates goes into a drawing to win a year of free Farrell’s ice cream. Each Farrell’s location will draw a winner! IMG_7289Qualify – Trying to qualify is fun and delicious! There are 6 different categories. In addition to receiving a limited edition event T-shirt and a $5 off coupon for your next vist to Farrell’s, you’ll receive a qualifying sundae to eat as fast as you can while being timed. The fastest in each category will be invited back to compete in the July 19, Championship event at Farrell’s in Brea, CA. Even if you don’t qualify, everyone that tries will still be entered into the drawing to win a year of free Farrell’s ice cream. Each Farrell’s location will draw a winner! qualifying-sundaesChampionship – Be a champion! The fastest qualifiers in each category get invited back to Farrell’s Championship event in Brea on July 19. Farrell’s shuts down the street, puts up a stage and all qualifiers battle spoon-to-spoon to see who are the fastest ice cream eaters. Every first place winner receives a year of free Farrell’s ice cream, a trophy and, the winner of the Solo Zoo Challenge, $750 in cold hard cash!

ice-cream-challengeIf you’re in it to win it, here are the categories and details:

Men’s Individual Pig’s Trough Challenge (Ages – 16+)
-Qualifying Cost- $20 per person
-Qualifying Sundae – 3-scoop sundae
-Championship Sundae – Farrell’s Famous Pig’s Trough, 6-scoop sundae
-Grand Prize – One Year of FREE Farrell’s Ice Cream

Women’s Individual Pig’s Trough Challenge (Ages -16+)
-Qualifying Cost – $20 per person
-Qualifying Sundae – 3-scoop sundae
-Championship Sundae – Farrell’s Famous Pig’s Trough, 6-scoop sundae
-Grand Prize – One Year of FREE Farrell’s Ice Cream

Kid’s Individual Jr. Pig’s Trough Challenge (Ages – 9 – 15)
-Qualifying Cost – $20 per person
-Qualifying Sundae – Jr. 3-scoop sundae
-Championship Sundae – Jr. Pig’s Trough, modified smaller 6-scoop sundae.
-Grand Prize – One Year of FREE Farrell’s Ice Cream

The Big and Small Pig’s Trough Challenge (2-persons, ages 16+ and 9 and under)
-Qualifying Cost – $20 per adult / child team
-Qualifying Sundae – 3-scoop sundae
-Championship Sundae – Farrell’s Famous Pig’s Trough, 6-scoop sundae
-Grand Prize – One Year of FREE Farrell’s Ice Cream

The 4-person Zoo Challenge (4-person team, ages 16+)
-Qualifying Cost – $20 per person ($80 total for the 4-person team)
-Qualifying Sundae – 3-scoop sundae
-Championship Sundae – Farrell’s Famous 30-scoop Zoo to eat as a team
-Grand Prize – One Year of FREE Farrell’s Ice Cream

Solo Zoo Challenge (Ages – 16+)
-Qualifying Cost – $40 per person
-Qualifying Sundae – A modified Farrell’s Famous Pig’s Trough, 6-scoop sundae
-Championship Sundae – Farrell’s Famous 30-scoop Zoo to eat individually against Professional Eater and past champion Naader “Freak8E” Reda.

Grand Prize – The 1st place winner at the Championship event will receive a year of free Farrell’s ice cream, a trophy and $750 BIG ONES!!!!

Championship Details – The main event at the Championship will be the Solo Zoo Challenge. This will be a true head-to-head event with the one (1) fastest qualifier racing Naader “Freak8r” Reda to see can finish a Farrell’s Famous Zoo Sundae first. The winner will walk away with a trophy, a year of free Farrell’s ice cream, AND $750!!!!

IMG_7327Those who would like to donate to the event but not compete in qualifying, will receive the 3-scoop sundae, the limited edition Ice Cream Eating Challenge t-shirt, and the $5 off coupon but will not be timed. Visit FarrellsUSA.com for complete details.

100% of the proceeds from this event benefits CHOC Children’s® (Children’s Hospital of Orange County) and Make-A-Wish®. The 6th Annual Splendiferously Superific Summer Spectacular Ice Cream Eating Challenge is sponsored by Service Champions Heating & Air Conditioning, Carnival Services, Studio Three Sixty Advertising, Man Eating Chicken, and Brea Downtown.

37th Annual Greek Festival Brings a Taste of Greece to Orange County – June 26-28, 2015 (Free Admission Inside, Too!)


2015_GreekFestival_WebsiteFreeAdmissionOrange County’s 37th annual “A Taste of Greece” festival will be held on June 26-28 at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church. The three-day festival, which will feature traditional Greek cuisine, wine tasting, live music, authentic Greek dancing with lessons and boutique booths reminiscent of the Plaka, a well-known picturesque historical neighborhood of Athens, and is expected to draw more than 12,000 guests.

greek-festival1Festival hours are as follows:

  • Friday, June 26-5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 27-noon to 10 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 28-noon to 9 p.m.

Festival admission is just $3 per person with free admission on Saturday, June 27 from noon – 4 p.m. for seniors older than 65 years. Children under the age of 10 are admitted free (with parents or an adult) throughout the three-day festival. Free festival parking will also be available, with complimentary shuttle buses transporting guests from public parking sites in Irvine.

greek-festivalGreek cuisine and hospitality will be the focal points as the festival will feature authentic recipes for traditional Greek dishes, delicious pastries and a variety of beverages, highlighted with a wine “Taverna,” offering Greek wine and beer. The traditional Greek menu will include Chicken, Lamb Chops, Greek French Fries, Gyros, Pastichio (Greek lasagna), Loucanico (Greek sausage), Spanakopita (spinach and feta pie), Dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves), Saganaki (Greek brandy-flamed cheese), Loukoumathes (Greek doughnut holes), Greek Salad, Calamari and more. There will also be a Greek coffeehouse set up by Portola Coffee Lab to serve Greek and American coffee drinks in a traditional Plaka setting. The Philoptochos, the church’s philanthropic group, will bake around the clock during the weeks leading up to the festival to prepare traditional Baklava and other exquisite pastries.

greek-festival-2A family-friendly affair, the festival will offer free Greek dance lessons throughout the weekend, and also feature boutique shops, a variety of games and a full-scale carnival. Event attendees can also enter an opportunity drawing for the chance to win one of three premiere prizes, with a Grand Prize of $1,000 and 2nd Prize of a 50” Flat Screen TV, 3rd Prize of a Dell Inspiron Laptop Computer, and 4th Prize of a GoPro Hero Camera.

To grab free admission, click here

St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church is located at 4949 Alton Pkwy, Irvine, CA 92604 (between Culver Dr & Jeffrey Rd)

Please visit http://www.IrvineGreekFest.com  for more information about the “A Taste of Greece” festival.

Have YOU Tried “Create Your Taste” at McDonald’s Yet?

When I heard that not one but TWO of the McDonald’s locations near my home in South Orange County were offering “Create Your Taste”, I hurried over to try it! If you aren’t familiar with Create Your Taste, it may be because it’s one of the company’s newest options and is currently only offered at select locations. Consider yourself lucky if any of those locations are near you!

create-your-tasteThe Create Your Taste option lets foodies create the flavors and meal they want using an innovative, touch screen kiosk to order. With 29 ingredient options, it’s about using flavors to create a meal as unique as you.

mcdonalds-ordering-kioskFor obvious reasons, my daughter insisted on ordering for BOTH of us! It looks so fun! I guess I’ll get to try it next time we go! Check her out on the kiosk!

The Create Your Taste option allows a guest to first choose between a 1/4 lb 100% pure beef patty or 100% chicken breast filet for their sandwich. From there they choose a bun, decide if they’d like to add Applewood Smoke Bacon to their sandwich, then cheese, and finally toppings and sauces! There’s also the option to “make it a meal” and add french fries or even new sweet potato fries, and a drink!

make-it-a-mealThere are so many different combinations to create, that it was kind of difficult to choose just one. I know we’ll be going back soon to try different ones. Look how delicious our burgers turned out!

my-burgermy-daughters-burgerWe were dying to try McDonald’s sweet potato fries as soon as we saw the sign hanging. They were so yummy!

sweet-potato-friesThere is also a Create Your Taste Option for desserts! Again, my daughter insisted on ordering for the both of us. She worked hard to create the perfect sundaes for each of us!


create-your-taste-sundaeAs you can see, McDonald’s has really nailed it with their Create Your Taste concept! If you haven’t had the opportunity to try it yet, it’s something I think you should look into doing soon. For a list of locations offering this option, click here.

create-your-taste-optionsDisclosure: I was invited by McDonald’s to a media tasting event in order to write my review. No othe compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Fresh Brothers Pizza Knows How to Throw a (Birthday) Party!

One of my favorite places to eat is Fresh Brothers Pizza! In addition to their delicious pizza, I always have to order some Fresh Knots and couple of Meatball Sliders while I’m there! Luckily, my family loves Fresh Brothers as much as I do so we never have a problem finishing all of it. Oh, I’m hungry now just typing about it and looking at the pictures!


meatball-slidersFresh Brothers offers healthy options made with fresh ingredients! When it comes to our kids and their nutrition, it’s important that we provide them with as many opportunities to eat healthy foods as possible. Did you know that Fresh Brothers has a Fresh Kids Special Sauce, which is a mix of finely ground veggies blended into their pizza sauce? They use it on the kids pizzas and kids can’t even taste the difference! The Fresh Kids Special Sauce is just one of the ways they cater to kids. They also offer several gluten-free options, including gluten-free pizza!

the-girlsWhen I was looking for somewhere to take my daughter and her friends to celebrate her birthday, I knew exactly where I wanted to go! Fresh Brothers! Our children are invited to a ton of birthday parties throughout their elementary school years and we’re all aware of the quality of typical “party pizza” being served at these parties. I can feel good taking the girls to Fresh Brothers for a party because the entire concept behind the restaurant is providing guests with the freshest ingredients. (Hence the name “Fresh Brothers”)

balloonIt was so easy to schedule a Fresh Brothers “Make Your Own Pizza Party”! We live close to the Newport Beach location and I had a choice of having our party outside on the front patio or inside. We opted for inside and when we arrived, there was an area “reserved” just for our party, with drinks for each guest (that I had pre-ordered) and some Fresh Brothers balloons.


reservedWe were greeted by our party hostess “Kylie”. She was really great with the girls and so patient. The girls were excited to start the party by getting to decorate their own pizza boxes first. Fresh Brothers provided the markers, crayons, and stickers to decorate them with. This was the perfect activity for these creative pre-tweens.




the-birthday-girlNext, each of the girls got to make her own pizza. They brought out dough and every imagineable ingredient the girls might ask for, to top their pizzas with.  After they finished making their individual pizzas, the pizzas were taken back to the kitchen to be cooked in the pizza oven.



their-own-pizzasWhile the girls waited for their pizzas to cook, they had fun playing with pizza dough! A huge pizza dough was brought out for all of them to break up and share. They loved creating different shapes and making things like mustaches with the pizza dough.

pizza-doughThe table got quiet when their pizzas were delivered fresh from the oven. Although they had the option to take home any leftover pizza in their decorated pizza boxes, there weren’t any leftovers. That’s just how great the pizza tasted! I ordered a Greek Town Special Salad for myself! I love their salads.




The week before our party, I stopped by Fresh Brothers and picked up an empty pizza box to use for the adorable matching cake I had made. (The cake was something we saw on a Nerdy Nummies video.) I also grabbed some of their adorable stickers to use on the favor bags. I just love their smiley face logo, don’t you?


favorsAt the end of our party, each girl received their very own Fresh Brothers t-shirt! So cute! And the back says “I made my own at Fresh Brothers“! Such a fun keepsake!

tshirtsA Fresh Brothers Pizza Party is perfect for guests of all ages. It was a lot of fun for my daughter and her friends and I got to enjoy the party too while our party hostess took extra special care of us!

thank-you-fresh-brothersTo read more about party options at Fresh Brothers, click here. Fresh Brothers currently has locations in Los Angeles and Orange County. To find a location, click here. Connect with Fresh Brothers Pizza on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

A very special thank you to Fresh Brothers for hosting my daughter and her friends for a “Make Your Own Pizza” birthday party. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.



Let’s Get This Summer Started With SNICKERS® Ice Cream Bars & Summer Bucket List Journals!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ShareFunshine #CollectiveBias

lets-get-this-summer-started-nowI am so ecstatic for the arrival of summer! A few of my most favorite things about summer include wearing flip flops every day, watching summer sunsets, and most of all, slowing down the pace of life to be able to focus on creating new family memories. We just have so much more time to do things that don’t have a place in our lives during the regular school year.

jumping-for-joyOur first stop on the way home after the first day of school was at the park. My daughter LOVES to go to the little park by our house. Since it was a pretty warm day, I surprised her by bringing some SNICKERS® Ice Cream Bars in the cooler for us to enjoy while we were there.

on-the-swingsWe spent about an hour there and enjoyed our ice cream on the swings. The frozen version of this delicious candy bar is yummy and a definite summer “must-have”!  Sitting there with my daughter, putting our feet in the sand, made me realize how important it is to enjoy this time together and try to hang onto these childhood years of hers for as long as possible. 

doesnt-get-much-betterMy daughter and I have this annual tradition of creating a “Summer Bucket List” together. It’s like our summer goal-setting session. Our time at the park got me thinking that this year, since she’s getting older, we should do something a little bit different for our “Summer Bucket List”. Instead of just making a list, I thought it would be more age-appropriate to have her keep a “Summer Bucket List” Journal instead. I also wanted to make the occasion more of a party and include some of her friends. What better reason to celebrate the beginning of summer, right?

walmart-cartI ran to Walmart and bought everything we needed for our little get-together, including more of the Snickers Ice Cream Bars (I told you we loved them!), M&M’s® (Plain and Peanut), Skittles®, and Starburst® Minis Unwrapped. I found them on the novelty ice cream and candy aisles, in the grocery section.



endcapThe M&M’s® were also on an endcap.  Right now you can also enter Walmart’s Share a Little Funshine Sweepstakes daily by clicking here. All of these party items are so easy to just set out on a tray so the girls can snack while they make their “Summer Bucket List” journals. 

ready-for-summerSince my daughter and her friends are going into 5th grade next year, I figured this would be a great way to document their summer in a more detailed way, with some writing and illustrations or even photos on each page. It’s always good to jot down a list of things you’re hoping to do in the summer, even trying to pick some that you haven’t done before. I took 9 of our bucket list items and made them into little printable flags that can be glued into the pages of the journal. (You’ll be able to download these a little further down, as well as a set of plain flags that can be written on.)

printable-flagssupplies needed

  • (1) Journal or composition book for each person (I found really cute ones with designs on the covers)
  • printable “Summer Bucket List” flags (I print on cardstock)
  • washi tape in a variety of colors and patterns
  • glue sticks and a hot glue gun (for use by an adult)
  • regular tape
  • colorful buttons and adhesive rhinestones
  • permanent markers in different colors
  • scissors




  1. This year I found journals with different prints on them. You can also cover a traditional composition book with scrapbook paper. (not shown)
  2. Cut out both printed and plain flags.
  3. Write a “Summer Bucket List” item on each plain flag.
  4. Using a glue stick, put on flag on each page of the journal. (You can either do this all up front or as you complete each item throughout summer)
  5. Write about each wonderful event in the journal to preserve the memory. You can also illustrate or insert a photo of the activity, on each page.
  6. For the cover of the journal, you can either leave it plain or decorate it. I set out washi tape, buttons, adhesive rhinestones, etc. for the girls to decorate their covers but it’s up to you.


documentAs I mentioned earlier, I’ve made the “Summer Bucket List” flags in both printed and plain versions that you can download to make your own journals. I highly recommend printing them on cardstock. It just holds up better.


This is where you can download the printedflags and the plainflags to use with your own journals!

journal-cover-titledLook how cute her cover turned out! I helped glue on the buttons with my hot glue gun. I also love her first journal entry of the summer. We just printed out a picture to go with it and glued it on the page. I cannot wait to read my daughter’s  journal at the end of summer. I just know it’s going to be filled with a lot of fun memories. For now, I’m ready to get this summer started though!


Do YOU have any special beginning-of-summer traditions with your child(ren)? What are YOUR big plans for the summer?

Share a Little Funshine Sweepstakeshttps://gleam.io/b02dt/share-a-little-funshine-swe…” rel=”nofollow”>Share a Little Funshine Sweepstakeshttps://js.gleam.io/e.js” async=”true”>

Don’t forget to go and enter the Share a Little Fun Sweepstakes above! Also, for more fun, download the Blippar app from your Apple or Android store to scan your package and receive exclusive content.

Say Hello to Rubio’s Coastal Grill…Formerly Known as Rubio’s Mexican Grill!

rubios-coastal-grillWhen I think about Rubio’s®, I always think of fish tacos! It was the first place I tried a fish taco back in the day and I’ve been hooked ever since!  In addition to its signature dish, The Original Fish Taco, this popular chain which has locations in California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and Colorado, is known for its uniquely delicious coastal cuisine. Have you seen their new name yet? It’s now called Rubio’s Coastal Grill! I love it! Inside the restaurant, you’ll still find the same great Mexican cuisine, but with a lot more delicious options added to the menu and a new look added to many of the stores.

drinksThroughout the month of May, several of Orange County’s locations re-opened to guests as Rubio’s Coastal Grill, after undergoing a redesigned transformation! The redesign of 45 of their California-based restaurants reflect the brand’s evolution and culinary progression. Some of the first locations to undergo this transformation already include:

  • Laguna Niguel
  • San Clemente
  • Rancho Santa Margarita
  • Foothill Ranch

Would you believe me if I told you that I frequent 4 out of 5 of the locations listed above? If the 5th location was closer to me, I’d go to that one too! Rubio’s has plans to expand to other areas within the county in the near future as well.

for-startersI recently had the opportunity to dine in one of the newly re-opened locations with Mr. Ralph Rubio.  We sipped on Sangria and munched on some of their delicious chips and guacamole during introductions. Their guacamole is amazing and I’m pretty sure it’s because they insist on only using Haas avocados in their restaurants.

chips-and-guacamoleMr. Rubio talked about the concept behind the new look. He also talked about how the restaurant design draws inspiration from the sea and features elements and aesthetics reminiscent of the brand’s beach heritage. There are hues of cobalt, green, indigo and sand sparkle throughout the restaurants and patios with shimmering blue tiles that guide guests to Rubio’s signature salsa bar. The salsa bar is one of the best parts because everything on it is always so fresh!


Mr. Rubio had the staff bring each of us attendees an order of Tostadas Frescas to start with. These are one of the limited time offerings on the new menu. I had one shrimp and one chicken and just looking at this picture of lime getting squeezed onto them, makes me want to go back and do it all over again. Limes just make everything taste even better.

tostadas-frescas-with-shrimpThe shells used for the Tostadas Frescas are freshly prepared and you can tell just by tasting them.  I couldn’t decide if the shrimp or the chicken were my favorite one? They were both delicious and I can’t wait to return to try a beef one, as well as one with grilled veggies.

regal-springs-tilapia-tacoDid you know that Rubio’s uses sustainable seafood in nearly all of its seafood dishes and continues to expand its menu with innovative recipes ranging from sustainable shrimp to Atlantic salmon? This Regal Springs Tilapia taco was so delicious and I could taste how fresh the fish was. I also got to try a Grilled Gourmet Taco with Shrimp! How have I never had one of those before? It’s seriously in a category of its own!

grilled-gourmet-taco-with-shrimpIn addition to seafood, Rubio’s also offers crisp fresh salads, grilled marinated chicken and steak, “no-fried” pinto beans, handmade guacamole, a variety of proprietary salsas, and craft beer and sangria to complement any meal. Now here comes another new feature at Rubio’s Coastal Grill….dessert! I know we’re all aware of the churros because we go there specifically for their Cinnamon Churros but now there are also a variety of more gourmet desserts being offered! And they’re featured a beautiful dessert case in the front of the store!

limon-coconut-barsMr. Rubio must’ve known my weakness for desserts because he had ALL of them brought to our table to sample! There were Caramel Chocolate Ganache Brownies, Limon Coconut Bars, and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies. They tasted as good as they look, too!


dessertsI’m really excited about the new look of Rubio’s Coastal Grill but I’m even MORE excited about the newest menu items. As a busy mom, who’s often on the go, I’m always grateful for take out options that are healthy both for myself and my daughter. Rubio’s is somewhere I can go and always feel good about getting quality food for us.


In honor of Rubio’s recent transformation, I’m hosting a giveaway. Rubio’s has provided me with 6 cards that are each valid for a complimentary entree. I’m going to pick one lucky reader to win all 6. Just enter below in the Rafflecopter and be sure to read the directions carefully. Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Stay up-to-date about Rubio’s happenings, events and more by visiting Rubio’s on Facebook  and  Twitter.

Disclosure: I was invited to attend a media dinner and provided with dinner in order to write my post. No other monetary compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.



Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour For Birthday Celebrations: A Family Tradition Passed Down From My Own Childhood

farrells-squareI have very fond memories of visiting Farrell’s as a child with my family. It was mostly on special occasions like mine or my brother’s birthdays, but we did get to go there on other occasions as well! Going to Farrell’s for our birthdays was something we’d look forward to every year.  It was the original Farrell’s children’s menu that’s responsible for my love of Peanut Butter and Banana sandwiches! Yep, the original Farrell’s had them on the kids menu and they were my fav! (I wish we had digital cameras back then so I would have pictures of it all to post now!)

all-about-the-stacheOver the past few decades, Farrell’s has gone through some restructuring. At one point, they only had one location anywhere near me. Imagine my excitement when I started to hear about new locations opening up in California over the past few years! I hopped on the chance to be able to create an annual Farrell’s birthday tradition with my own daughter that was similar to what I enjoyed doing as a little girl. Did I mention we have a Farrell’s location within 5 minutes of our home? How lucky is that?


our-farrellsAfter having a super 9th birthday celebration at our local Farrell’s last year, my daughter couldn’t wait to get there again this year for her 10th birthday celebration! I don’t think we ever get tired of the ambiance in there.

junior-zookeepers-menuThe kids keep pretty busy with the fun Junior Zookeepers menu. Even at 10 years old, they’re still into it. The offerings on their menu are items that they actually enjoy and want to order. They’re also generous portions. Nothing beats a good old-fashioned grilled cheese!

grilled-cheeseDid you know that Farrell’s offers gluten-free options for guests and also has a nut allergy menu? I think that’s really important. It allows guests who might not be able to dine out of their own home normally, because of food allergies, to have options and the freedom to eat out in a restaurant without worrying. Not only does Farrell’s have these menus, their servers are educated about the different items and know the menus really well.


farrells-nut-allergy-optionsThe kids always find it necessary to request an extra plate of pickles from our server to munch on. It’s all about the pickle for them! Bob Farrell’s Motto is “Give Them The Pickle and They’ll Come Back!” Well I know it keeps us coming back! That’s for sure!

pickle-buttonAlthough I love the food at Farrell’s, we all know that the BEST part comes last….the dessert! Their dessert menu can be overwhelming (in a good way) to look at because there are so many different sundaes to choose from. It just means that you need to go back and try different sundaes on other occasions! For my daughter’s birthday, we decided to ring in “double digits” properly….with The World Famous Farrell’s ZOO! This was in addition to the complimentary birthday sundae they already bring you!

zoo-and-sundaeIf you have never heard of The World Famous Farrell’s Zoo, pay attention to this because it’s a must-try for any and all Farrell’s go-ers!  It’s made up of 4 scoops of their famous ice cream, 3 fruit flavor sherbets, 4 delicious toppings, whipped cream, cherries, and bananas! Oh and I forgot to mention the animals! (Hence the name “Zoo”!)  Not only is it a ridonkulous sight too see but the crew at Farrell’s makes it an extra big deal by ringing the fire station siren to grab your attention when it’s time to deliver it to a table.


zooThis concoction is so huge that it takes 2 servers to deliver it to your table and they bring it out on a stretcher! It’s quite the way to celebrate and sure made my birthday girl feel like the center of attention! After all of the hoopla and the birthday song of Farrell’s choice, the server will help dish out the zoo to all of the guests. It’s beyond yummy in the tummy. My daughter chose to set all of the animals aside to take home with us.

zoo-animalsWe had the best time celebrating my daughter’s 10th birthday at Farrell’s and want to send a special thank you to our server Brooke, who really helped make it a special night! We’d also like to thank Chad and Steven who are always accommodating during our frequent visits to Farrell’s!

thank-you-brookeIt looks like my daughter has started a new collection of her yearly birthday stickers from Farrell’s on the inside of her closet! Well, until next year…..



10Have YOU been to Farrell’s to celebrate a birthday or special occasion? If not, what are you waiting for? Get there!

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Sweet and Savory “Boutique” Waffles at Newport Beach’s The Waffle Affair!

Disclosure: I was invited to a media tasting as a guest of The Waffle Affair in order to write my review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own. 
The-waffle-affairThe Waffle Affair is an adorable storefront, located in a shopping center off Bayside drive in Newport Beach. Situated extremely close to the water and Balboa Island, the area is known for residents who enjoy a leisurely and active outdoor lifestyle. The Waffle Affair is the perfect place to stop at to grab a hand-crafted coffee or tea and a waffle to go! If you’re thinking that the words “waffle” and “to go” don’t pair well, you must keep reading! (I suggest everyone keep reading anyway though)

waffles-to-goIt might seem “untraditional” to imagine grabbing waffles to go but these waffles are different. They don’t require any toppings or syrups and can easily be taken out to enjoy. (Don’t worry, they do also offer classic, traditional waffles with maple syrup & whipped butter, if that’s what you’re looking for!) You can choose from regular-sized waffles or waffle bites! Waffles are offered in both sweet and savory flavors, made from scratch and baked fresh to order. This means the waffles are very light and not greasy at all. There are some deliciously unique waffles on the menu at The Waffle Affair.

Here are just a few of the savory ones:

  • Cheddar & Cherry Hardwood Smoked Bacon
  • Prosciutto Di Parma & Gruyere Cheese
  • Oven Roasted Turkey & Havarti Cheese
  • Genoa Salami & Fontina Cheese genoa-salami-and-fontina-cheese-waffle
  • Waffle Bites with Hot Dogs or Breakfast Sausage (my daughter LOVED these) hot-dog-bits-and-dips

Here are just a few of the sweet waffle options:

  • Liege (Belgium-style)
  • Madagascar Vanilla Bean
  • Chocolate Chip

sweet-waffle-bitesOther waffle offerings include daily waffles and specialty & seasonal waffles. We had the pleasure of trying coconut waffle bites and carrot cake waffle bites that had a cream cheese frosting topping. They were both considered seasonal items, which are offered from time-to-time. They were amazing!


coconut-waffle-biteThe Waffle Affair also has its own coffee bar and proudly serves Illy’s sustainably grown Arabica beans, as well as a selection of Dammann Teas, and freshly squeezed orange juice.

the-waffle-affair-coffee-barTo view the full menu, click here.  The Waffle Affair is a truly adorable place to go for breakfast, lunch, or an early dinner. The people are friendly and you’ll fall in love with the decor…especially the chandelier! But you’ll mostly fall in love with the waffles! I know I did!

love-the-decor chandelierThe Waffle Affair is located at:

 1064 Bayside Drive Newport Beach, CA 92660


Connect with The Waffle Affair on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!