Category: where to eat

Brunch.

The best meal of the day.

Not breakfast.

Not dinner.

Some beautiful place in between that offers you all the deliciousness of breakfast, the justification of a Bloody Mary, a reason to dress up and good company.  Who has ever said that they don’t like brunch?  No one.

I would take the opportunity to attend a brunch any day of the week, which is why I jumped at the opportunity to taste test the new Brunch menu at Fig & Olive in Newport Beach.  The added bonus?  They were also launching a children’s menu alongside the Brunch, which made for the perfect opportunity to turn this into a Girl’s Day with my daughter.  Dresses, delicious food and of course, a stop at Fashion Island after.

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There was a lot of anticipation prior to Fig & Olive first opening their doors.  It instantly became the perfect destination for Girl’s Nights, Date Nights and Happy Hour.  From day one, they have been delivering incredible food and service in Newport.  Brunch however, was not something I had anticipated.  When I received the invitation I instantly thought, “NEW BRUNCH SPOT!” as I would eat Brunch three times a day if I could but I was also questioning whether they would be able to deliver to the expectations of someone who has eaten Eggs Benedict at every restaurant in south Orange County.  I was also a tad bit concerned about bringing a four year old into a restaurant that I have consistently perceived as an “adults only” location.

The entire experience far surpassed my expectations.  First and foremost, let’s chat about the food.  They started out with chocolate croissants.  Need I say more?  Baby Girl ordered the chicken fingers from the children’s menu while I over-indulged in the Fig & Olive salad, one of the best Crab Cake Eggs Benedict I have ever had and I washed those both down with Baby Girl’s truffle fries.  Perhaps I could have stopped there but I have never been one to say no to dessert.  The Chocolate Pot de Creme was to die for.  If you have ever wondered why I work out, it is for meals like this.  We ate and ate and ate and I could not have enjoyed the entire meal more.

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Then there were the children.  The staff was perfection when it came to handling young ones who couldn’t quite sit still for the entire meal.  Whether it was delivering their chocolate milk, refreshing the bread basket or bringing their entrees out with our first course, they made dining with children easy. Believe me, that is a challenge unto itself.

Now regarding the details.  The pre-fixed brunch menu is $28/person and also provides you with one complimentary children’s meal for those 10 and under.  This not only makes for an extremely delicious morning out but also a reasonable one.  Brunch is offered Saturdays and Sundays at the Newport Beach location: 151 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, Ca.

You can book your reservation by calling the restaurant at 949-877-3005

Thank you Fig & Olive for hosting Baby Girl and I.  We will definitely be back.

 

We made it through our first week back from being out of town, the travel hangover is over and I think we are just now getting back to our regular schedule.  It was actually a pretty good transition and not too terrible but the kids were definitely a bit thrown off, waking up entirely too early some days and sleeping in later than normal others.  I even found myself extremely tired at night which is a little out of character for me.  There is a bit of sadness when your summer vacation comes to an end.  You look forward to it for so long and then when it is over, you realize that school is right around the corner and summer will surely be coming to an end soon.  We are going to make the most of these last 19 days!

As I mentioned in my New York post, we spent Sunday through Friday morning in New York and then headed on the train at Union Station for Washington D.C. to visit some of our dear friends.  For this West Coast family, it is entirely new to think that in a three hour train ride you can travel through 5 different states.  New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Delaware,  and Maryland.  It was a great way to see the country a bit. The last time we were in D.C. we had a tour of the White House and saw the Lincoln and Washington Memorials so this time we visited the Capitol building and Georgetown.  Georgetown was one of the cutest towns I have ever seen and I am really crossing my fingers that one of my children go to college there so I have a reason to visit.  It is not only home to some of the best shopping ever, but Baked & Wired might just have the best cupcakes I have ever tasted.  We also ate lunch in the city at Founding Farmers, a delish farm to table restaurant located a few blocks from the White House.  The weekend was spent in Virginia at our friends home and we did everything from completely relaxing in their backyard to floating down a river for two hours (this was the kids favorite) and wine tasting at Cana vineyards prior to catching our plane.  Every time we go to D.C. I am amazed at all there is to do in the area.  I feel that sometimes this city gets overlooked when compared to New York, Chicago or San Francisco, but it is one of our families favorite.  I am guessing we will want to be going back a third time soon.

Happy Weekend.

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“One cannot paint New York as it is, but rather as it is felt” – Georgia O’Keefe

When I travel, I really hate to over plan.  Part of my love for seeing the world is not having a set schedule and being able to walk the streets, grab a coffee and rest when you want and find hidden gems that you could perhaps overlook when you are quickly on to the next.  As our plane took off in LA, there were only two things that we had purchased tickets for; the 9/11 Museum and Memorial and a Yankees game.  Other than that, we were just going to figure it out as we go, understanding that this may limit how much of the city they see but making the entire trip more enjoyable for everyone.  What we didn’t realize is that this approach actually brought us through more of the city than I could have ever imagined. The children now love New York as much as I do and are asking when we can go back.  I must say, if you have thought about bringing your children to New York but have been a bit hesitant, GO FOR IT!  It is crazy how much there is to do with them.  I am going to share our day by day (apology in advance in how long this post is) with just a few photos on what we did and what they loved.

Here is our little adventure in New York…

Monday – The American Museum of Natural History, Central Park and The MET (for just a second)

We were staying right on Central Park South so it made sense that the first day there we would simply walk out the door and head toward the Upper West Side and the American Museum of Natural History.  The children love Natural History museums and we had heard this was one of the best.  It made complete sense to walk because it was gorgeous outside and it would give us a chance to see the park.  The museum was incredible and to make it even better, we grabbed Shake Shack for lunch right across the street.  On impulse we decided to walk across the park to the Upper East Side and the MET.  Though we did not decide to go in (there is only so much museum time a child has), we did decide to drive remote control sailboats in the park for a while, allowing us to soak up the sun and spend some peaceful time together.  The perfect first day.

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Tuesday – The 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Battery Park and the Statue of Liberty, SOHO, the Bowery

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum was a MUST when we first decided to go to New York.  Our Middle Man was born on September 11th and has always known his birthday was important but never has fully understood why.  Our Oldest has started to learn about 9/11 in school and it seemed like the perfect time to share with them this tragedy in American History.  We headed downtown early so that we could take them to Battery Park and show them the Statue of Liberty (no boats or Ellis Island for us today).  Then we spent some time at the Memorial, explaining a bit of what they were going to see inside and paying respect to those who were lost.  The museum absolutely blew us all away.  They did an incredible job and it brought back all the sadness and loss that I remember so vividly from that day in 2001.  For the boys, they experienced for the first time the planes hitting, the buildings falling and all the loss.  At one point I saw tears in my Oldest’s eyes.  They now understand the weight of that day.  The entire museum was incredible moving and I recommend everyone visit if they can.  We then headed to SOHO for lunch and a small bit of shopping at my favorite French boutique, Comptoir Des Cotonniers .  That night we met friends in the Bowery at Bacchanal.  This was our one “adult” dinner, the food was amazing and thanks to three iPads, we made it through.

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Wednesday – Chelsea Piers, the Highline, Little Italy, Time Square

Our dear friend Maritza of MilkShop NY and her husband live right outside the city and we had planned on getting together with them and their beautiful family.  They suggested the driving range at Chelsea Piers and this was right up the kids alley.  For an hour they were able to “golf” while we caught up on life and all that has been going on.  When leaving, they had mentioned they had never been to the High Line, which was only a block or two over, so we headed there next.  It is such a cool urban park with food, things to do with the kids and beautiful views of the city.  After that we headed to Little Italy where we completely over-indulged at La Mela and made a visit to the cutest children’s boutique, Piccolini NY.  At this point in our trip we had stayed clear of Times Square but we all figured the kids would love the lights and craziness so we headed over there, only to unload the car and have a major thunderstorm surprise us, drench us and give us an excuse to all head home.  I have not laughed that hard in a long time.

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Thursday – Yankee Game, 5th Avenue

A Yankee game is where all the chatter about visiting New York began.  We even picked the week we went because they had a day game that would be easier to bring the kids to.  So, the boys got their Yankee game (the only bummer for them is that Jeter didn’t play!) and then the girls got to do some shopping on 5th Avenue.  I introduced Baby Girl to the shoe floor at Saks and she anxiously helped me try on shoes though she was disappointed I did not walk out with the jelly sandals.

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It amazes me how much of the city were were able to see in juts a few days without ever feeling like we were trying to do too much.  Between walking, the subway and a cab here or there, everything seems extremely close, which was one of the great things about staying in Midtown with kids.  On Friday we jumped on the train at Union Station and headed to Washington D.C to visit our friends and enjoy the weekend there.   I will share our fun adventures there soon.  I am sure you have had enough photos for now.

 

It has been a while since we have had a day to do whatever we wanted as a family.  President’s Day gifted us with a day free of practices, school, work and games so we took advantage and headed down to one of our favorite spots, Laguna Beach.  Laguna has such a unique feel to it, unlike many of the beach cities here.  A little more laid back.  A little more eclectic.  It is definitely a place to recenter and enjoy some smiles with the kids.  We spent the day running on the beach, enjoying lunch at The Cliff and even though the clouds began to roll in, we weren’t going to miss shakes at the Ruby’s Shake Shack.

You can find some of our other Orange County favorites here.

Over a year ago I did a post on Los Rios but when I began showcasing some of my favorite places in Orange County, I just had to do another one.  The Los Rios Historic District is one of my absolute favorite places in Orange County.  It is really just a simple road, made up of extremely old homes that have been turned into small cafes and shops.  I can spend hours there enjoying a cup of coffee at Hidden House Coffee (hands down my favorite coffee), enjoying brunch at the Ramos House (there is not a better brunch) or simply perusing all the little shops and boutiques.  When the kids are with me it is mandatory that we visit the petting zoo and play at the park.  With how hectic life can get, a stroll around Los Rios provides the perfect calm.  

Also, I pulled together one of my favorite looks for Fall over at My Thirty Spot.  Come visit!


On Tuesday I mentioned that we spent the weekend on Balboa Island.  What I didn’t mention is that it was my birthday and with no sporting events that day (SHOCKING), the only place I want to go was Balboa Island.  It is one of my absolute most favorite places in Orange County.

Newport Beach is made up of the Pennisula and a number of small islands filled with incredible Cape-style homes, restaurants and shops.  Though I adore Lido Island and Bay Island, Balboa is one of the larger islands with an adorable main street and the most perfect boardwalk that surrounds the island.  You can spend hours there walking around, indulging in yummy treats and enjoying the beach.  You just can really never have a bad day on Balboa.

The best Cinnamon Rolls EVER.  But you better be there early.  When they are gone, they are gone!
Endless amounts of Salt Water Taffy can be purchased here.  A must stop for the kids.
A Balboa Bar is a must whenever you are on the island
I am having the best time showcasing some of my favorite places around Orange County.  It makes me appreciate all the little things that are right in my backyard.  We can so easily forget.  Another favorite to come soon!
What do you get when you combine one mom, three children, Rubio’s, a summer afternoon and a camera?

A crazy lunch date filled with yummy food, laughs and a lot of silly photos.

Their new Chimichurri salmon Tacos….AMAZING.
Superman, the Celtics, Minnie Mouse, Sports Center and USC
We are a branding mess

I don’t think Rubio’s knew what chaos they were inviting in when they asked us to come try the new Chimichurri Salmon tacos and kids meals but we greatly appreciated the invite!  Everyone enjoyed everything they ordered (like I mentioned before, the tacos were amazing) and I can now add Rubio’s to the list of places the entire family can eat something they enjoy, especially when a churro comes at the end.  We paid a visit to the Rancho Snta Margarita location but there are locations throughout California, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and Nevada (you can find all locations here.)

Also, the winners of the 3-day Burke Williams spa passes have been chosen!  Click here to see if you won.


* Juggling in Heels received complimentary meals from Rubio’s but these opinions are 100% my own.


I promise this is my last Santa Ynez post.  I just thought that since this truly is one of my favorites places ever, I would share some places that have made the trips there so amazing.  Perhaps this helps you plan a trip there or just gives you a little more insight into this little town.  Either way, it was fun to pull together and it makes me excited to go back.


Accommodations

Food
Breakfast and Coffee
Corner House Coffee 
Lunch
Dinner

Treats


Horseback Riding:

Bar and Line Dancing:
If you are interested in looking back at some of our previous trips to Santa Ynez this year, here is JanuaryFebruary and May 

A little over a week ago I was invited to attend a Trend Tribe dinner by Nicole, the Editor of Trend Tribe.  She told me that about 8 bloggers from Southern California were getting together at Five Crowns in Corona del Mar and asked if I would like to join them.  I am not going to lie.  I was more than a little intimidated.  For someone who considers herself an extrovert, the idea of having dinner with 7 people who did not know me BUT all knew each other sounded a bit overwhelming.

I went back and forth on whether I was going to attend and then realized I was being a baby about this whole thing and committed.  What was the problem with meeting new people who shared a passion for blogging like I did?  Absolutely nothing.  So last Friday I left the hubby at home with the kids and headed out for my first girl’s night that did not involve someone that I knew…plus, I got to dress up.

Talk about being an idiot.  The second I got there I knew I was going to like these girls.  They were fun, friendly and extremely easy to talk to.  Add our first round of drinks and it began to feel like I had known them all for a while.  

For those who are not familiar with Five Crowns, it has always been known to us Orange County locals as “your Dad’s restaurant”.  It was a place you went for formal celebrations with your family (Thanksgiving, 50th Birthday parties, there are a number of options here) and very rarely did you return with a date or group of friends.  Apparently since my last visit Five Crowns has decided to shake it up a bit and the look and feel was completely different from what I remembered.  It had a much hipper vibe and the menu seemed to follow.  We were there to try out the new Chef’s Supper and I had no idea what to expect. Little did I know it would surpass all expectations.

As the girls and I began chatting about EVERYTHING, cocktails and food began to arrive and continued to arrive for THREE HOURS.  It was out of control.  I believe there were 7 courses (all paired of course with a cocktail, wine, beer or champagne) but I hit a food coma around course #4 and everything that I inhaled from there on after was  blur.  This is just a small preview of what we enjoyed (or perhaps my empty plate because I ate it too fast and did not get a photo of the before).

I have never taken so many photos of food in my life.  It was beyond.  I did attempt to get one photo of the group but this is how bad it was.  I should have thought about this BEFORE 10pm…. 
When dinner was over the conversation did not end so we headed to their micropub, Side Door, which has a CHEESE BAR.  I repeat.  A CHEESE BAR.  Unfortunately I was too full to eat more but it is now on my list for a future date night.

When it was time to leave, I thought back to how anxious I was to go and how happy I was that I did. It truly was a fabulous night.  It was also a good lesson for me.  Just because I am comfortable with those that I know around me, it never hurts to step outside and meet new people.  It could not have been a more fun evening.  Thank you Trend TribeLetters for LucasWendy NielsenCupcakes and CutlerySan Diego Momma and Hip Mama B for having me and thank you Five Crowns for hosting us!
* Juggling in Heels did receive a complimentary dining experience from Five Crowns but the opinion is 100% my own.  The Chef’s Supper is offered on Friday night with only 1 table available.  Your party must have a minimum of 8 people and maximum of 10.  Reservations are required.  To learn more about this experience click here.  

When most people think of Orange County, they tend to think beaches and great weather.  I agree that our beach cities are pretty incredible, but there are also some little nooks around Orange County that many tourists never tend to see but if you are a local, you cannot stay away.  One of these areas is Old San Juan Capistrano (I am sure you have heard of it, thanks to the Mission) and the Los Rios Street historical district.  Restaurants, coffee houses and shops sit among old homes that you would never know existed if you didn’t look for them, which also are some of the best in Orange County.  I spent two days down here last week and had to take pictures to share.  My photos do not do it justice but it is nice to see parts of Orange County that are not “So Orange County”.