Over The Top Mommy

Getting Ready to Go ON THE ROAD for the Disney Social Media Moms Conference!

The day I got an email in my inbox inviting me to attend the Disney Social Media Moms on the Road Conference in Arizona was a Magical One!

OTR invite

I’d connected with so many other Disney-loving moms online who are also in the social media world and this was finally going to be my chance to connect with many of them in person! I was also excited about the location of the conference, The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort! The property looked like it had so much to offer when I checked out the website. Emi was excited for the pools and Sonoran Splash, which are the watersides. I just couldn’t wait for all of it!

As the conference date neared, I started to plan out which necessities I’d need. I made a list of road trip necessities, in-room necessities, and conference necessities! Since Emi was going to be traveling with me to Arizona, although she wouldn’t be attending the actual conference, I wanted to get some extra special things for our trip to maximize our dual Disney Side.

First of all, let’s talk EARS! I love wearing ears. I wear ears when I’m in the parks. I sometimes wear ears when I’m teaching. I wear ears when I’m cleaning the house, unless I’m already wearing a tiara to clean! I will find any excuse to wear ears. Emi and I both already have black and red ears but I was in search of new ones for this special occasion.  I came across an adorable local (to me) shop on Facebook called Popsikle Shop. She makes custom ears, so I decided to order a pair for both emi and I, matching of course!

popsikleNext we went shopping for warm weather necessities. Wait, I didn’t mean warm weather, I meant HOT weather! (Have you ever been to Arizona at the end of June?) Emi wanted to find some items that were matching and Disney-ish. We really lucked at Walmart! Their Juniors section had a ton of really cute bathing suits and swim shorts. Hot pink with white polka dots was VERY “Minnie”

twinsSo adorable, don’t you agree?

visorsDo you like our hot pink visors, too? 

matching dressesWe also found matching polka dotted coverups at Walmart that we wore as sundresses!

Walmart had everything we needed for our trip. We found sunglasses, water shoes, some other summer clothes, sunblock, and even snacks for the road trip! Not only did they have everything we needed, but it was also very affordable!

shirts

We also packed the personalized t-shirts we had made for Disney24 to wear in the room as part of our pajamas. I think this was the first trip we’d gone on where we had almost exact matching wardrobes. It was pretty cute!

I knew I needed to find something special to bring to this conference and hand out with my business cards. I racked my brain for something that I could make, but I truly had no extra time to really make anything by hand. Then I came across a post from a friend of mine, Xenia, who had recently hosted a Disney Junior Familia Party. It was on that post that I discovered alfajores! I KNEW immediately that they where what I needed to bring to the conference. Melo made me some AMAZING Mickey-shaped alfajores in both pink and white animal-cookie flavor and churro flavor! She was sweet enough to wrap them individually for me to pass out to friends. Needless to say, they were a hit!

mickey alfajore

eat alfajores stickerEmi and I picked out a road trippin’ buddy to take with us.  It only seemed appropriate that we chose Minnie Mouse. She sure loved to take pictures with us on our trip.

holding minnieWe even went to Michael’s to buy some chalk paint pens and the night before we left, we wrote on our car windows! We had to be the most prepared car driving through the desert! Emi even wrote “Honk if you love Disney” on my rear window!

chalk painted windwownI  DO think it’s weird that not one person honked though!

Oh well, more Disney for us, right?

 

I Got Powered with On Powered Refreshment Drinks

If you set up an enticing display that looks like a rainbow, it’s going to grab my attention! When I walked by the drink station at Fourth Annual Lifestyle Bloggers Conference, I noticed this beautiful display of ON Powered Refreshment drinks:
A rainbow of ON Beverages
Oh pretty…a rainbow! 
Honestly, I didn’t know which one to try first?! These weren’t just common flavors, they were flavors that made me want to try every single one.  My first instinct was to grab one of each and stick them in my pocket for later, but I didn’t think that would’ve gone over well with my peers, not to mention that I didn’t have pockets in my conference outfit! So, I tried the Dragonfruit Tangerine first and loved it. I loved it so much, I went back for another one. This time I chose Raspberry Limeade.
selfie with ONI was about to open it up but then paused….to first take a selfie with it! 
A couple of weeks after the conference, I had the opportunity to try ALL of them when this box arrived at my home!
my box of on beverages
The 5 flavors are Blueberry Lemonade, Tropical Citrus, Dragonfruit Tangerine, Peach Mango and Raspberry Limeade.
IMG_2065
They truly all have a wonderful & distinct flavor. I tend to get headaches from beverages that have artificial sweeteners added to them but ON Powered Refreshment drinks are naturally sweetened and also low-calorie, which makes me happy.
Here comes the interesting part….I had no idea prior to further researching ON Beverages a little more that they are the first and only U.S. beverage to feature ornithine. Combined with caffeine, ornithine offers a more sustainable boost over caffeine alone. What this means is you’ll experience an increase in concentration and stamina!
Now it makes sense…I KNEW I felt more focused AFTER I drank my first ON Powered Refreshment beverage! In all seriousness though, I love these beverages and the flavors and I think you should try them too! Here’s where you can find ON Powered Refreshment drinks.
So….which flavor do you think YOU would try first?
Disclosure: I was provided with products to review, but all opinions are my own. 

 

Celebrating Whole Foods Market Cherry Fest: Summertime Salad with Fresh Cherries Recipe & a Giveaway!

Cherries are one of those fruits that I could sit and eat for hours! Having a bowl full of cherries in my lap, literally makes me happy! I’d never considered doing much more with cherries than just eating them as is.  Whole Foods Market, is currently celebrating their 5th Annual Cherry Fest and I was invited to create a recipe for an in-store event they were having.

cherry fest sign Shopping in Whole Foods makes me feel like a kid in a candy store! I literally walk around with my mouth gaping open in awe! I LOVE that Whole Foods Market supports and promotes local farms and I feel content knowing that my produce is fresh from the farm to my table. They had such beautiful cherries in the produce section that I couldn’t wait to get them home and use them in my Summertime Salad with fresh Cherries recipe!

IMG_3960 Let me take a minute to talk about the dressing I used for the salad. It’s a recipe that’s been passed down among girlfriends for about 9 years now. Originally, one of my good friends served this dressing on a salad at my baby shower (my baby is currently 9 years old). I swear EVERYONE at that shower was asking her for the recipe! (including me) I cannot even count how many times I’ve made this dressing. I honestly think I serve it on almost every occasion possible AND everyone always loves it and asks for the recipe. My girlfriends and I call it “the dressing” and everyone in our circle of friends knows exactly what someone is talking about if you use those words! It’s just the kind of dressing you can use on most salads, so I’m using it on this one today. I think it’s going to become your new “secret weapon” too! Ok, here comes the recipe….

Ingredients for the Secret Weapon dressing:

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup good quality olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

Ingredients for the Salad:

  • 5 oz. of Baby Arugula
  • 1 lb. cherries, pitted and sliced
  • 4 ears of corn, cooked and cut off the cob (after it’s cooled)
  • 2 avocados, chopped
  • 1 cup of crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

For the dressing, finely chop the parsley and add to a dressing container of your choice, mixing in all of the other ingredients to the container. Dressing can be made a day ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator but will need to return to room temp prior to serving. Shake dressing well prior to serving. I usually double the recipe for the dressing when I make it, just so I have extra, in case I make more salad at the party. (Everyone will want more, trust me!)

For the salad, place baby arugula, corn, avocado, feta cheese crumbles, and fresh cherries in a bowl and toss with dressing. If desired, sprinkle some extra feta cheese crumbles on top. (I promise, no one will object to this)

summer salad

So…tell me what you think? Are you ready to go and make my Summertime Salad now or what?

Did I mention their cherries are going to be on sale tomorrow for $1.99 a pound?!!!

photo-237

You NEED to go buy some and make something yummy too! 

I just have ONE MORE thing to share…a giveaway! Everyone loves giveaways, right? In honor of Whole Foods Market and their Cherry Fest, they’ve given me one $50 Whole Foods gift card to give away to one of my lucky readers! Enter below on the Rafflecopter! Good Luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I was provided with a Whole Foods gift card as compensation for creating my recipe. All opinions are my own. Some images provided to me by Whole Foods.

So You Think You Want Eyelash Extensions?

As a mommy who also works full-time, I don’t leave a lot of time for myself these days. I often times leave the house in outfits that wouldn’t exactly be classified as “thoughtfully planned out”. I also don’t take much time to do my hair or makeup on most days. I could probably win a spot on one of those frumpy mom makeover shows!

I’d seen other women before with lash extensions, but never looked into getting them. A mom friend of mine actually does lash extensions, so I decided to be adventurous. After trying out a full set for the first time, I realized how amazing they were, especially for someone like me who takes no time to get ready in the morning. With lash extensions, you can literally have not an ounce of makeup on and still look like you do.

Here’s what my eyelashes look like before my appointment.

Here’s what it looks like during a lash fill!

And the finished product! BAM!

I’m going to share a little bit about my own experience on this post so that others who may have been curious about trying them, might have some of their questions answered. I’m not a professional nor am I affiliated with a lash company in any way. I’m going to address some of the most common questions I’ve been asked since I’ve worn lash extensions.

“Don’t lash extensions make your own eyelashes fall out?” 

I think people have a HUGE misconception about lash extensions. I’ve heard many women comment about how lash extensions make your own lashes actually fall out. This is actually untrue. What they do is make you more aware of your own natural lash cycle. Our natural eyelashes fall out all the time. I know this to be true because I’ve made many wishes upon lashes that have fallen out. When you place lash extensions on top of real lashes, it doesn’t cause that to happen any quicker, you just pay more attention to it when they fall out with extensions. Your own eyelashes also grow back. It’s all cyclical.

I’ve been wearing lash extensions for about a year now and I’ve gone a couple different times without any on to give my lashes a break. (yes, you need to do that a couple times a year when your lash person recommends it) I still had lashes, they were just short and seemed way less dramatic than when I had the extensions on.  At that point you can wear mascara on your own natural lashes. It takes a few weeks without any lash extensions on, for your own lashes to regrow and seem full again. Last Christmas I took a 3 week break and by the end of the 3 weeks, my lashes were really getting back to “normal” in a natural way.

“Can you still wear makeup when you have lash extensions, specifically mascara?”

You can still wear makeup, yes. What your lash technician will suggest to you is that you make sure the makeup you’re wearing is oil-free, especially the eye makeup you’re wearing. There are certain brands that are actually NOT good to wear with lash extensions because they’ve been known to make your extensions have a quicker rate of falling out. I won’t name any brand names, but you can ask your lash person which brands of makeup you should avoid.

As far as wearing mascara, you don’t really need to wear mascara. I think it’s possible to wear some, but again, I’d ask your lash person about the mascara.

Overall, I find that I don’t wear as much makeup now. Lash extensions can fall off and they do. This is normal. I only wear full makeup when I’m going somewhere important and that is because I want to avoid any extra fallout. When you wash your face and you take your makeup off, you will lose a lash or a few. Obviously, the more often you wear eye makeup, the more often this could happen . This is also something you can discuss with your lash person.

“What’s the best way to care for your eyelash extensions?”

First of all, you have to brush your lashes and you have to do it carefully. Your lash person will give you a lash brush, which is basically just a clean mascara wand. You can get extra ones at any makeup counter. It’s what they use when they’re doing your makeup in a store and they don’t want to use the regular mascara wand on you.  You need to brush them because they’ll get “wonky” on you. When I say wonky, I literally mean you will wake up sometimes with lashes going all different ways. You need to use the brush to redirect them.

You need to keep your lashes clean if you want them to last. Your lash person will tell you how important this is. If you wear makeup, especially eye makeup, make sure you take it all off properly. (I use Almay oil-free eye makeup remover pads)

Something that might also help your lashes last longer is to apply a sealant. This is something you can buy from your lash person, so ask. This is especially important in the hot months.

I also recommend sleeping on your back, if you can. I already did this, but the less you lay on your face and eyelashes, the better for them.

And most importantly….DO NOT PICK THEM! At first you might be curious but I’ve seen people do this and all that you’re going to do is pull them out quicker and have less. Your lash person will thank you for not picking at your lashes.

“How often do you need to get your lashes done?” 

Your lashes should last you about 3 weeks in between fills. During the hotter months, you may need to go in about every 2 weeks. If you find someone you love to do your lashes, like I have, then it’s actually a treat to go for your appointment because not only are you getting prettied up, but you’re having some fun, girl time to chit chat!

“What length is good to start out with when you get eyelash extensions?”

I think I’ll be stating the obvious here when I say “go long!” If you’re worried about not looking natural or looking fake, then maybe lash extensions aren’t for you. They are there to give you that BAM look and every time I go in for my fill and she asks me how long I want them to be, I simply reply with “BAM!”

“Can you recommend someone who does lashes?” 

If you live in Orange County and would like a referral to the person I go to, I’d be happy to refer you if you email me at [email protected]. If you don’t, I’d recommend asking people in the area you live. I would also NOT recommend getting lashes on a coupon deal of an unknown. It’s very important that you go to someone who is experienced and knows what they’re doing. As with anything you might do to your body, there’s always a risk of allergic reaction or infection and you want to be working with someone that can recognize those things if they happen to you.

I hope my post about lash extensions has been helpful.

photo.PNG-6

If you have any more questions, feel free to email me!

Get Ready for Some Family Fun at the 2014 OC Fair!

Summer Starts Here is the theme for this year’s OC Fair and it’s about to kick off with 23 days of family fun with their Opening Hour promotion. The OC Fair offers free admission and parking to Fairgoers during the first hour of the opening day on Friday, July 11 from Noon-1 p.m.

OC Fair 2014

The OC fair also offers several ways for families with children to enjoy the fair with other special discounts and promotions.

  •  Children 5 and younger are free every day
  • Kids Days – Every Thursday, children 12 and under receive free admission all day.
  • We Care Wednesday – Give back to the community together as a family every Wednesday from Noon to 3 p.m. in exchange for one free admission and carnival ride per person with appropriate donation. Donations are accepted Noon-3 p.m. on the following schedule: July 16 – 5 canned food items; July 23 – 1 new or 3 gently used children’s books; July 30 – 5 gently used or new items of clothing; and August 6 – school supplies worth at least $5.
  • Rise & Shine –Each Saturday and Sunday, admission is only $3 during the first hour, 10-11 a.m.
  • Super Pass – Get the exclusive Super Pass and enjoy admission to the 2014 OC Fair for all 23 days. The Super Pass may be purchased at the OC Fair and includes 23-day admission, express entry at all gates, 2-For-1 tickets for select events in the Pacific Amphitheatre, The Hangar and Action Sports Arena and a carnival savings book for the pass holder.
  • Read & Ride Program –The Read & Ride program encourages children (ages 5-11) to continue to read throughout their summer break, and in return, the OC Fair will award 3 carnival rides for every two books that are read. Parents can download the book report form at ocfair.com.
  • Carnival Promotions – Take advantage of the $30 wristband, which gives an unlimited access to carnival rides plus 2 free games each Wednesday and Thursday (sold until 5 p.m. and ride until 8 p.m.) or come on Fridays for $2 rides and games from Noon-4 p.m.
  • Taste of Fair Food – Families can taste the assorted Fair food for $2 per sample every Friday from Noon-4 p.m.

There are countless things for families with children to do at the OC Fair, many of which are free. Some of those include:

  • Daily Free Entertainment – Every day of the Fair, there will be family-friendly showcases for everyone to enjoy. Families can enjoy dance troupes, live bands, the Dragon Knights, fantasy-like creatures brought to life through the art of stilt walking, or cheer for their favorite racing pig.
  • OC Fair Foodies – They are bright, colorful and lovable and you can’t miss them. Join costumed characters Olivia (orange), Carl (cotton candy), Arturo (churro), Scoop (ice cream cone) and Cornelius (corn) as they stroll through the OC Fair.
  • Bakeology (Free Special Exhibit) – Learn the wondrous world of baking with demonstrations from Chef Rachel Klemek and other talented chefs from Blackmarket Bakery.
  • Explorium: Destination Kids – The perfect stop for youngsters to explore and wander through the eye-catching attractions including the new bug exhibit called The Good, The Bad & The Unbelievable plus other creative, hands-on exhibits.
  • Action Sports Arena – Adrenaline-junkies can grab a seat and hold tight for a wild ride with monster trucks, demolition derbies, extreme rodeo, martial arts and more. Reserved seats include free Fair admission and there is limited general seating available free with Fair admission on a first-come, first-seated basis.
  • Community Flag Salute – Come and honor Orange County cities with your family as local representatives sing the National Anthem on select weekdays at 12:30 p.m. at The Hangar. Orange County locals can also pick-up a $2 discount coupon from their local city halls and libraries to save on Fair admission.

We’re definitely ready for some family fun at the OC Fair! What about YOU?

The 2014 OC Fair, themed Summer Starts Here,is July 11 – August 10 and will bring 23 days of food, rides, exhibits, animals, music, action sports and fun, as well as the Super Pass, Toyota Summer Concert Series at the Pacific Amphitheatre and events in The Hangar and Action Sports Arena. The Fair is open Wednesday-Sunday. Concert tickets, action sports reserved seats, single-day general admission and the popular Super Pass are available for purchase online at ocfair.com or from the on-site Box Office. Free parking and shuttle service are available on Saturdays and Sundays from the Experian parking structure located off the Bristol St. exit of the 405 freeway.

The OC Fair & Event Center is located off the 405 and 55 freeways at 88 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa. For more information, please visit ocfair.com, become a fan at Facebook.com/OCFair, follow us at twitter.com/ocfair or call (714) 708-1500. Also, download the free OC Fair iPhone and Android apps available this summer.

Disclosure: Image and information provided to me by the OC Fair.

Who’s Ready for Opening Weekend of the OC Fair?

Opening weekend of the 2014 OC Fair is almost here!  During the first hour of the 2014 Fair, Fairgoers can take advantage of free admission and parking during Free Opening Hour (Friday, July 11, Noon-1 p.m.) The Fair is open July 11 from Noon-Midnight and features the following promotions opening day and each Friday:

Seniors Day: $2 off Senior (60+) admission plus free Ferris wheel and merry-go-round rides all day
$2 Taste of Fair Food: Enjoy Fair food samples for only $2 from Noon-4 p.m.
$2 Rides & Games: Sold until 4 p.m.

The OC Fair will kick off its summer of headline entertainment with The Offspring / Adolescents in the Toyota Summer Concert Series at the Pacific Amphitheatre, Journey Unauthorized – A Tribute to Journey in The Hangar and X-Treme Freestyle Moto-X in the Action Sports Arena. Pacific Amphitheatre and The Hangar concert tickets and Action Sports Arena reserved seats include with free Fair admission for the same day so ticketholders are encouraged to come early and stay late.

New this year, the OC Fair will be host to the first-ever OC Brew Hee Haw (July 11-13) with craft beer tastings, demonstrations and exhibits. There will be five sessions with more than 60 craft beer selections from local breweries each. Each session costs $55 per person and includes free Fair admission. Visit ocbrewheehaw.com for details and tickets.

Other events during opening weekend of the 2014 OC Fair (July 12-13) include:

Saturday, July 12 (Open 10 a.m.-Midnight)

Which One’s Pink? – A Tribute to the Music of Pink Floyd in the Pacific Amphitheatre (8:15 p.m.)
Zeppelin Live – A Live Rock Tribute to Led Zeppelin in The Hangar (8:30 p.m.)
40th Annual Speedway Fair Derby in the Action Sports Arena (8 p.m.)

Sunday, July 13 (Open 10 a.m.-Midnight)

Matisyahu / Tribal Seeds / The Lions in the Pacific Amphitheatre (6 p.m.)The English Beat / The Debonaires in The Hangar (8:30 p.m.)

SummerFist VII – Mixed Martial Arts in the Action Sports Arena (6 p.m.)

Every Saturday & Sunday

Rise & Shine: $3 general admission (10 a.m.-11 a.m.)
Free Parking & Shuttle Service from the Experian parking structure located off Anton Blvd. off the Bristol St. exit of the northbound 405 freeway. Shuttle operates 10 a.m.-1 a.m.
OC Fair Express: Receive a coupon for $3 general admission for that day when using special routes directly from 9 different OCTA transit locations ($2 for one-way and $4 for round-trip). Visit octa.net/ocfairexpress for transit locations and times. Plus, Metrolink riders can catch a free ride on the OC Fair Express from the Anaheim Canyon, Santa Ana or Irvine stations simply by showing their Metrolink ticket. Visit metrolinktrains.com/ocfair for transit times and locations.

Throughout the 2014 OC Fair (July 11-August 10), Fairgoers can also enjoy:

Military Get in Free: Free admission everyday for active U.S. military and veterans with appropriate I.D.
Read & Ride Program: Children (ages 5-11) who read at least two books and submit a completed OC Fair Read & Ride Book Report Form (available online at ocfair.com/readandride) will receive three free carnival rides.

Free Exhibits and Events: Culinary displays in the OC Promenade, All-Alaskan Racing Pigs, Russell Brothers Family Fun Circus, educational exhibits and contests children in Explorium, garden exhibits in the Centennial Farm and more.
Visit ocfair.com/2014 for a full listing of each day’s offerings.

Are you getting excited about the fair yet? I know I am!

Discounts and Deals at the 2014 OC Fair!

photo credit: OC Fair

Get ready, Fairgoers….the 2014 OC Fair is offering discounts and deals for a summer of fun that’s wallet-friendly!

Savings at the Gates

Super Pass – Season pass to OC Fair funValid for one admission each day of the 2014 OC Fair for the pass holder plus 2-for-1 discounts on select concerts and events and a carnival savings book.  Prices: General (ages 13-59) $35, Senior (60+) & Youth (6-12) $28 (Available for purchase through August 8.)

Military Get in Free – Daily
Free admission for all veterans and active duty military with ID all day, every day
Opening Day Free Hour – Friday July 11 (Noon-1 p.m.)
Free admission and parking through all gates

We Care Wednesday – Free admission and one carnival ride per person with donation:

  • Food Drive – Wednesday, July 16 (Noon-3 p.m.) 5 canned food items
  • Children’s Book Drive – Wednesday, July 23 (Noon-3 p.m.) 1 new or 3 gently used children’s books
  • Clothing Drive – Wednesday, July 30 (Noon-3 p.m.) 5 clothing items (new or gently used)
  • School Supply Drive – Wednesday, August 6 (Noon-3 p.m.) School supplies valued at $5 or more (receipt required)

Kids Day – Every Thursday
Guests 12 and younger are admitted free all day

Seniors Day – Every Friday
Guests 60 and older receive a $2 discount on senior admission and can enjoy free rides on the Ferris wheel and merry-go-round.

Rise & Shine – Every Saturday & Sunday (10 a.m.-11 a.m.)
Pay only $3 during the opening hour on weekends
Savings Before You Get to the Fair

Crush Grapefruit – Bring a Crush Grapefruit soda can with the appropriate OC Fair coupon and receive $2 off full-price general admission.

OC Cities – Orange County residents can pick up a coupon for $2 off full-price general admission at their local city hall or library.

Free Off-site Weekend Parking (Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.) – Free parking and shuttle service at the Experian parking structure off the Bristol St. exit of the I-405 freeway.

OC Fair Express (Friday-Sunday) – Enjoy direct bus service to the Fair from 8 convenient OCTA transit locations for only $2 each way ($4 round trip). Plus, riders receive a $3 general Fair admission coupon to use when they arrive at the Fair. Visit octa.net/ocfairexpress for more details.
Guests traveling from outside Orange County can jump on the Metrolink to Anaheim Canyon, Santa Ana or Irvine Metrolink stations to catch the OC Fair Express for free when they show their Metrolink ticket.
Savings Inside the Fair

Shop ‘Til You Drop – Every Thursday
Find special savings all day from select retail vendors. Look for the Olivia the Orange icon for savings.

$2 Taste of Fair Food – Every Friday, Noon-4 p.m.
Taste select Fair food for $2 each sample

$30 Unlimited Ride Wristband – Every Wednesday and Thursday, Sold until 5 p.m. and ride until 8 p.m. Unlimited rides in the Main Midway and Kiddie Carnival plus 2 free games

$2 Rides & $2 Games – Every Friday, Noon-4 p.m. All rides and games are $2 each

Read & Ride – Daily
Children (ages 5-11) who read 2 books and submit a completed book report form to the Centennial Farm Information Booth will receive three free carnival ride passes. Official book report form is available at ocfair.com.

With so many different discounts available, I think we’re going to be visiting the 2014 OC Fair several times this year!

I’m leaning towards the Super Pass! What about YOU?

(image courtesy of OC Fair)

 

What’s Cookin’ This Year at the OC Fair?

OC Fair 2014

The fair food is probably my MOST favorite part about the fair!  The OC Fair is, once again, cooking up a delicious summer for fairgoers. From July 11 to August 10, 2014, the OC Fair is serving summer fun, along with culinary events and new Fair food that are definitely worth the trip!  Each year, fairgoers look forward to new additions to the list of outrageous fair foods.

Stop by these booths to try the latest and greatest foods that join that list this year:

  • Chicken Charlie is introducing the new-for-2014 Deep-Fried Doritos and Deep-Fried Chicken Skin in addition to his classic favorite fried treats of Oreos, cookie dough and Twinkies.
  • Bacon A-Fair is introducing Bacon-Wrapped Jack Daniels, a unique churro concoction with a little whiskey kick at the end (non-alcoholic of course). Also, a deep-fried bacon-wrapped turkey leg!
  • Biggy’s Meat Market is bringing gluten-free options this summer with GF hamburger buns, fries & a newly gluten-free The Big Rib.
  • Texas Donuts is putting a twist on its popular giant donuts with new flavors like Cherry Pop Rocks, Banana Chocolate Cream and Peanut Butter Cup. Also new this year, a Latin twist with the new deep-fried Gansito.
Pop rocks donut
The Cherry Pop Rocks Donut from Texas Donuts!

Back at the fair this summer are the OC Fair Foodies! These are OC Fair’s food-themed costumed characters. Join Olivia Orange, Cotton Candy Carl, Arturo Churro, Cornelius Corn and Ice Cream Scoop as they delight Fairgoers. I know we’ll be seeking them out for photo opportunities! Selfies with the OC Fair Foodies seem like a fair necessity!

The culinary events calendar is jam-packed this year. Some of the events, demos and tastings include:

  • $2 Taste of Fair Food, held every Friday from Noon-4 p.m., offers Fairgoers the chance to taste Fair food for $2 per item. Fun-sized samples include funnel cake, tri-tip, lemonade, cinnamon rolls, corn dogs, tacos, gelato, cotton candy and more.
  • OC Brew Hee Haw, a craft beer roundup, is July 11-13 and will bring some of the best local craft beers to OC Fairgoers for five sessions of beer tastings, demonstrations and exhibits. Visit ocbrewheehaw.com for details and tickets.
  • Celebrity Chefs will bring their colorful cooking skills to The Hangar stage on three Thursdays. Scheduled appearances, include Carla Hall, co-host ABC’s lifestyle series “The Chew” (July 17, 4 p.m.); Roy Choi, founder of the famous Korean taco truck, Kogi BBQ (July 24, 4 p.m.); and Kelsey Nixon, host of her own show, “Kelsey’s Essentials” on the Cooking Channel (July 31, 4p.m.) Free with Fair admission and autograph sessions will follow each appearance. Presented by Vons.
  • Chef Challenge will put talented culinary professionals in competition against each other with a themed cook-off every Friday at 7 p.m.: July 18 (Earth), July 25 (Water), August 1 (Air) and August 8 (Fire). Free with Fair admission.
  • Special Culinary Contests include Eating Smart Starts Here (July 19), Hot! Hot! Hot! Chili, Wings or Salsa (July 26), OC Cupcake Classic (August 2) and Fairtastic Food (August 9). Registration is the Wednesday before each contest. For a complete list, visit ocfair.com/competitions.
  • Daily Culinary Demonstrations can be enjoyed for free in the OC Promenade throughout the run of Fair. The Bakeology exhibit will highlight the wondrous things a baker can create from just butter, flour, eggs and sugar with daily demonstrations by Blackmarket Bakery chefs. Chef Ray Duey will carve works of art out of fruits and vegetables. Master Food Preserver Ernest Miller will teach Fairgoers how to preserve their fresh vegetables, sauces and more. Artist Shaile Socher will create delicate edible sugar art and Cake Decorator Greggy Soriano (July 11-27 only) will make cake go from bland to grand live at the Fair.
  • Award-Winning Wines are available by the taste or the glass in the Wine Courtyard throughout Fair and on weekends wine-lovers can learn more about the various varietals of wine during the Orange County Wine Society’s Wine Seminars (most require an additional fee).

What are YOU most excited to eat at the OC Fair this year?

 

(images provided by OC Fair)

Summertime Happy Hour at Islands: a Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: this is a sponsored post in collaboration with Islands. All thoughts are my own. 

Islands is such a great family restaurant. Regardless of which location you visit, they always have a fun, kid-friendly environment with delicious food. My daughter loves to eat there and it’s one of the places we visit often, as a family.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend a Summertime Happy Hour media preview with some of my social media friends. I jumped at the chance to spend time with the girls and have adult conversation while sampling some of the drinks and food that are available this summer at a special price during happy hour!

Happy Hour menu

Spending some well-deserved girl time with @fieldtripmom to celebrate the beginning of summer! Cheers!
Spending some well-deserved girl time with @fieldtripmom to celebrate summer!

There were so many different delicious-looking drinks to sample. I just wasn’t sure where to start so I decided to try the Hapa Bourbon Tea first, which is made with Maker’s Mark, passion tea and fresh mint. Although I haven’t had many bourbon drinks before, this was really refreshing and didn’t *taste strong at all.

Hapa Bourbon Tea

Next, I sampled the Makaha Maggie, which was made with handcrafted, infused tequila. Anything with pineapple is my weakness. The drink, itself, was like a vacation in a glass!

makaha maggie

This is the pineapple infused tequila that Islands uses in the Makaha Maggie!
This is the pineapple infused tequila that Islands uses in the Makaha Maggie!

I munched on some chips, salsa and guacamole while trying a Spicy Mango Shandy, which is made with mango, Coors Light, and a dust of cayenne pepper for a kick. Fun fact: The Spicy Mango Shandy was created with the World Cup in mind!

Hanging out with @fieldtripmom, @cidstylefile, @mydisorganizedlife and @organizedisland. What a fun night!
Hanging out with @fieldtripmom, @cidstylefile, @mydisorganizedlife, @eatsukieat and @organizedisland. What a fun night!

All of the drinks from the Summertime Happy Hour that we tried, paired so well with the food. I decided to be brave and go straight for a Heat Wave burger! This is a seasonal menu item that’s been brought back by popular demand for the summer. The Heat Wave burger is topped with grilled Serrano and green chilies, pepper jack cheese, tomato, onion, lettuce and spicy mayo. If you love HOT, you’ll love this burger.

Don't let the glass of water fool you! The Heat Wave burger definitely earns its name!
Don’t let the glass of water fool you! The Heat Wave burger definitely earns its name!

We also got to sample the Beachside Sliders which are mini burgers topped with caramelized onions and ketchup, Island Reds and pickles, served on toasted buns. I am drawn towards things that are “mini” and these were no exception. I feel like you can eat more of something if it’s mini! Another “mini” option on their Summertime Happy Hour menu are the Hawaiian Sliders, which are a smaller version of the regular Hawaiian burger. These sliders are topped with fresh pineapple, teriyaki sauce, mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion, and swiss cheese. You can’t have a burger without some of Islands famous fresh-cut fries. I honestly can’t get enough of their fries, especially with ranch dressing to dip them in!

sliders

With so many great World Cup games to watch this summer and this awesome  Summertime Happy Hour menu , you need to head over to an Islands to enjoy some of the stress relief they’re offering Monday through Friday from 3-7 pm and Sunday through Thursday from 9 pm-close!

Shandy surfboard

Another reason to visit Islands this summer is so  you can also enter to win weekly giveaways at each location.  Weekly raffle winners will score a new beach towel, while each Islands location will end the summer by giving away a custom beach cruiser as the grand prize. Guests can enter to win a beach cruiser every time they visit an Islands location, and the winners will be selected during happy hour on Friday, Sept. 5.

win an islands bike

I have even more good new though…you have ONE MORE lucky chance to win some Islands goodies right here on my blog!

islands gift card

Islands has generously provided me with a package to give to one lucky reader, which includes an Islands beach towel, a set of Islands grilling tools, and a $50 gift card for Islands Restaurants! Just enter on the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway