Category Archives: Family Oriented

Where The West Is Fun: The San Diego Country Fair 2017

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The beginning of June also signals an annual family tradition: The San Diego County Fair!  This year’s theme is “Where The West Is Fun”, but isn’t a fair always fun?  The sights, the sounds, the smells of The San Diego County Fair all let you know the start of the summer is here and it all just takes me back to when I attended the fair with my sister and parents, known as The Del Mar Fair when I was younger.  Now, my husband and I take Dominic every year because I want him to also grow up with the same wonderful memories of The San Diego County Fair.  We attended The Fair recently, and you still have time to enjoy all that The Fair has to offer.  It runs from June 2 to July 4, and all ticket information can be found here.  A way to save and get the best “bang for your buck” at The Fair would be to buy the “Passport to Savings” coupon book (either at The Fair or online), sponsored by Albertsons and Vons.  It’s only $5 and comes with a free San Diego County Fair admission return ticket ($18 value), plus one of the coupons is for a free Souvenir Cup with purchase from one of the food vendors, Fresh Pretzels.  The cup is refillable throughout the time of the fair, which is only $2.60 each refill!  We buy it every year because it’s filled with amazing savings at vendors all over The Fair, but hang on to it because the savings can be extended to outside The Fair to places like 7-Eleven, Broken Yolk and California Sock Company!

Cheers and happy trails!

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THINGS TO DO & THINGS TO BUY

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The Garden Show

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The O’Brien Stage

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There is plenty of entertainment at The Fair at various stages throughout the fairgrounds.  A full schedule of the remaining entertainment can be found here:

Entertainment at The San Diego County Fair

Bing Crosby Hall

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The Bing Crosby Hall is one of several exhibition halls, perfect for shopping for those uncommon goods!

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I’ve always wanted a nesting doll, and now I have one thanks to Russian Souvenirs!

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My newest pin and Dominic’s newest spinner


THE FUN ZONE

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Dominic’s absolute favorite ride, hands down.  My husband and son ride it every year!

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THE FOOD!

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All Dominic wanted was the waffle from Chicken Charlie’s, but Deon and I opted to use the Fresh Pretzels coupon to get some fabulous food and a souvenir cup!

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Of course I would buy a dessert involving cheesecake dipped in batter and fried!

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The last bite of the day:  Bacon wrapped deep fried jalapeno poppers!


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Dominic ending the day with the frog he won at The Fun Zone and a final drink from our refillable Souvenir Cup 

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Thank you San Diego County Fair for another wonderful season!  Until next year!

FTC Disclosure:  I received complementary media passes to enjoy the San Diego County Fair.  Although I did receive complementary passes, the opinions in this post are strictly my own.

On Birthdays, We Wear Pink!

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Before the month ends, I wanted to put up pictures of when my sister and I went out for my birthday earlier this month.  We both have Monday’s off, and my birthday was on May 8th, which fell on a Monday this year.  Since my husband was working and our son was in school, my sister and I went on a mini-adventure in the Irvine area.  I’ll split our trip up into two parts, which was what I wore, and what we ate!


Birthday Adventure 2017:  THE OUTFIT

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I bought two things from the Victoria Beckham for Target line:  The Blush Floral Jacquard Bomber Jacket and the Black Collared Dress, which I’ll be wearing in another outfit post (pictured above).  It was fitting that we visited the Hello Kitty Cafe on our way home, because pink was the order of the day, and who wears it better than Hello Kitty!  I wore the jacket very casually with black jeans and a white t-shirt, but jazzed it up a bit with a pom-pom necklace, metallic sneakers, and of course…pink pins!

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Outfit:  Blush Jacquard Bomber Jacket by Victoria Beckham for Target (no longer available online); The Cotton Box-Cut Pocket Tee by Everlane; Michael Kors purse (older, no longer available); Jeans and Leather Eyes Bag Tag by Madewell

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Pom-Pom necklace purchased at Vocabulary Boutique; Chic” pin by Pin Drop; “Just Another Tweenage Dirtbag” pin by Pretty Nobody Co.; “George Michael” pin by Bang-Up Betty

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Breakpoint Metallic Canvas sneakers by Converse


Birthday Adventure 2017:  THE FOOD

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Our food adventure began at Burntzilla (menu here) and ended at Stax Cookie Bar (we didn’t actually eat at Hello Kitty Cafe).

Burntzilla is a brick & mortar cafe, combining two of Orange County’s popular food trucks: Burnt Truck and Dogzilla.  We originally had other plans to visit a place that served specialty tater tots, but unfortunately it was closed on Mondays.  Since I was in the mood for tater tots in any form, I searched “tater tots Anaheim”, and Burntzilla came up (although the location is in the Irvine area).  I love a good slider, so the menu was appealing because it had different variations on sliders and mini-hot dogs.

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The folks at Burntzilla generously gave me a complimentary Golden Combo for my birthday!  The Golden Combo is a great deal because you can get two Sliders or Zillas (or one of each), with a soda and naked side.  Along with the tots, I had the Yaki Zilla (hot dog) and the Sloppy Joe Slider.  Both were amazing and the tots made my meal perfect!

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My sister also had the Golden Combo, but had the Dogzilla, Cheeseburger Slider and fries, since I had the tots.

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For dessert, we wanted something out of the ordinary.  On the fly, my sister hit the dessert jackpot in her search while we were literally on the road, and found Stax Cookie Bar, right across the street from UC Irvine.  Based on the pictures below, you’ll see why!

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This is the Smookie.  Stax has a variety of filled cookies to choose from, and you can top it any way you desire.  Since it was my birthday, I had the Snickerdoodle cookie (filled with Nutella) topped with birthday cake ice cream and caramel sauce.  I can’t even begin to describe how decadent it was!

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On the left is the Bacon Chocolate Chip Creamrito, which my sister attempted to get through.  The Creamrito is rolled ice cream wrapped around more ice cream and other yummy fillings.  This truly is a two-person dessert, and we do plan on coming back up and doing it justice because it was quite delicious.  On the right, is the famous “Waffle Shot” by Zia Valentina.  I had my first one at The Grove, but the one I had at Stax was espresso with ice cream at the bottom of the shot.  Yes, it was as good as it sounds!

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I had a great time on this mini-food adventure with my sister, who gifted me with several new pins, because well, she’s my sister and knows what I love!  Thank you Rholnna for spending my birthday with me, and here’s to more foodie adventures to come.  Cheers!

Give Mom the Gift of Kipling!

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Kipling at Fashion Valley celebrates Mother’s Day with ways to show your appreciation for that extraordinary woman in your life!  Whether that special mom is adventurous, super, new or stylish, Kipling has what you need to find that perfect gift.  And in honor of Mother’s Day, select items will be 25% off!

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know Kipling is my mom’s favorite brand and she would probably adore anything we find for her, but I personally love the new Louna Vegan Leather Saddle Bag in black.

I’d like to wish all my fellow mums a wonderful and blessed Mother’s Day, cheers!

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(Photos c/o Kipling Fashion Valley)

The Latest From LEGOLAND® – The LEGO® STAR WARS™: THE FORCE AWAKENS Miniland Model Display

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I’m sure you’ve heard by now that the longest LEGO® STAR WARS™ Miniland model ever built was just unveiled last week at LEGOLAND® California.   LEGOLAND® bloggers got a sneak peek at the media preview a couple of weeks ago.  My sister and I brought the kids to partake in the fun!

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Sarah Michelle-Gellar, best known for Buffy the Vampire Slayer but is currently the voice of Seventh Sister in Star Wars Rebels, was on hand to help the young guests “power up” the display with their light sabers!

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The detail was simply amazing!

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Have I mentioned my love for themed food?  There was plenty of snacks on hand to feed the young Padawans!

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I think Mei-Lin and Dominic had fun, don’t you?

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KUSI’s Brandi Williams was on hand to interview Julie Estrada, Media Contact at LEGOLAND®

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We then got to meet Brandi and she was so sweet!  She took pictures with us and let the kids hold her KUSI microphone!

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Imagine my surprise to see myself and the kids as part of the media kit that went out to everyone after the preview night!

(This image courtesy of LEGOLAND®)

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Thank you LEGOLAND® for a wonderful night and for the gifts for the kids.  Congratulations on your new LEGO®Star Wars™: The Force Awakens Miniland Model Display!

(Most pictures taken by Rholnna Jiao, unless otherwise noted)

The Latest From LEGOLAND®: Dominic’s Birthday at The LEGO® Batman™ Movie Days!

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As you know, The LEGO® Batman Movie did extremely well at the theaters this year.  In conjunction with its release, LEGOLAND® California celebrated with The LEGO® Batman™ Movie Days during the last two weeks in February.  LEGOLAND® bloggers were invited to attend one of the weekends, so we decided to turn it into a birthday celebration for Dominic, who turned 8 on February 27th!  Being the amazing photographer that she is, my sister skillfully captured all of the festivities at LEGOLAND®.  The next day, we took Dominic out for breakfast at his favorite place, followed by The LEGO® Batman™ Movie.


The LEGO® Batman™ Movie Days at LEGOLAND® California

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My sister, Rholnna, in action!

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Mei-Lin & Dominic were ready to take on the Miniland Scavenger Hunt!

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Batman™ Mini-figures were hidden with letters throughout Miniland, which spelled out a word.  Once the word was unscrambled, participants could enter to win one of two LEGO® prize packs!

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Batman was present EVERYWHERE in places like The Big Shop.  Even yours truly got in on the fun!

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Mei-Lin & Dominic always have fun, and can find new things to do each time we go to LEGOLAND®.  This time, they tried their hands at panning for gold!

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Another big part of why we love LEGOLAND® is the amazing food.  I always go for the Bao Bun at the Ninja Kitchen in Ninjago® World.  The rest of the family feasted on desserts, like goodies from Castle Ice Cream and the Churro Stand at Castle Hill.  Here’s a tip: Get the churros with chocolate sauce, you won’t regret it!

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Dominic got an awesome XBOX gift card from Auntie Rholnna, Uncle Jeremy and Mei-Lin!

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Thanks again LEGOLAND®, Dominic said he had an awesome time!


Dominic’s Birthday

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My mom couldn’t make it to LEGOLAND®, so she opted to have breakfast with us at Breakfast Republic Dominic’s actual birthday.  I’ve been to the North Park location, and Dominic and I have eaten at the Liberty Station location.  Since we live near Downtown, we all ate at the East Village location for his birthday.

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Dominic’s favorite meal at Breakfast Republic are the Churro Pancakes!

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For his birthday, Dominic was also treated to coffee cake with his favorite fruit: strawberries!

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Dominic loved The LEGO® Batman™ Movie so much, this was actually round two for him!

The Latest From LEGOLAND®: LEGO® Batman™ Movie Days!

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In celebration of the new LEGO® Batman Movie,  LEGOLAND® California Resort is hosting LEGO® Batman™ Movie Days!  Check out all of the festivities below, and I’ll recap Dominic’s birthday weekend as we celebrate with LEGO® Batman™ in an upcoming post.  Cheers!


LEGO® Batman Movie Days: Feb 18-19 and Feb 25-26
Next to fighting crime and stopping bad guys like The Joker from taking over Gotham City, the one thing LEGO Batman loves to do most is meet his fans. Join us for some adventure filled fun!

Activities Include:

LEGO® Batman Character Meet & Greets*
– 10:00am, 10:45am, 11:30am, 12:15pm, 1:00pm, 1:45pm, 2:30pm, 3:15pm, 4:00pm, 4:45pm

Life Size LEGO® Character Build
– 
10:00am – 3:00pm

Build & Test Your Own Batmobile

Mystery Mosaic LEGO® Build*
– 10:00am – 3:00pm

Miniland Scavenger Hunt*: The Villians have escaped!
– 10:00am – 5:00pm

WB Family GameSpace featuring LEGO Batman Games* – Play all your favorite action-adventure packed LEGO Batman video games with these amazing Superheroes.
– 10:00am – 5:00pm

*Event times, length of activities and dates are subject to change without notice. While supplies last.

Don’t miss Batman in action starting February 10th when THE LEGO®BATMAN MOVIE comes to a movie theater near you!

THE LEGO® BATMAN MOVIE © & DC Comics, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., & The LEGO Group. All Rights Reserved. (s17)

The Latest From LEGOLAND®: The 14th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony!

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At the end of November, I took my sister, my niece and my son to celebrate the kick off of Holidays at LEGOLAND® California Resort with their 14th annual Tree Lighting Ceremony!   Along with General Manager of LEGOLAND® California, Peter Ronchetti, Santa Claus and Lego Brick Santa, Stana Katic from the hit TV series Castle and her niece, Sophia, joined in the festivities and pulled the switch to set off the amazing fireworks display right before lighting of the amazing Lego Brick tree.  To the delight of all of the children present, the ceremony concluded with snow falling over the crowd!

Holidays at LEGOLAND® California run from November 25, 2016 to January 1, 2017 and include events such as a holiday show at Heartlake City, special holiday treats (churros con chocolate, holiday cookies, peppermint milkshakes, apple cider and hot chocolate) and the opportunity to take your holiday photos with Lego Brick Santa and his reindeer.  Click here to get your tickets!

Legoland Holiday Tree lighting ceremony on Monday, November 28, 2016 in Calsbad, CA.(Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Legoland)

Official Legoland Picture (Legoland Holiday Tree lighting ceremony on Monday, November 28, 2016 in Calsbad, CA. Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Legoland)

Prior to the tree lighting, LEGOLAND® California Resort donated $10,000 on Stana Katic’s behalf to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.  

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“The LEGO Christmas tree stands 30-foot tall, is created out of more than 245,000 green DUPLO® bricks, features more than 400 LEGO ornaments and sparkles with more than 11,000 LED lights. In honor of the new Castle Hotel breaking ground in January, Master Model Builders created 15 new LEGO castle ornaments that hung from the enormous LEGO Christmas tree.”  – from the LEGOLAND® California Press Release

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Stana Katic with her niece Sophia

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Me with my sister, Rholnna, her daughter Mei-Lin and my son Dominic (taken by Suzanne Bartole).

(All photos by Rholnna Jiao except where otherwise noted)