Archive | Special Event

The O.C. Fair is Here!

The Orange County Fair is rolling into town. Opening July 13, the fair will run until August 12, at 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. The Fair brings with it smells of fried foods, a wide range of rides and entertainment, and the chance to flex your green thumb or baking prowess. This year’s theme is “Free Your Inner Farmer,” which means that if you show up in your overalls any Wednesday, you get in free! The OC Fair is a time-honored tradition of summer fun. Nothing says summer like a county fair! Continue Reading →

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Family Holiday Volunteering in the OC

The holiday season is a time of gratitude and generosity– what better way to channel this than volunteering and giving back to those in your very own community. Volunteering is a great way to act as a role model, encourage good works, and build memories with your entire family.

Orange County offers a wide range of opportunity for volunteer work during the holidays. Get to know your neighbors, and truly give back to the community this year! Here are a few places to start:

Build Futures – Huntington Beach, CA – https://buildfutures.org/

Build Futures focuses on taking young adults age 18-24 off of the streets, and providing them with the tools to stay off the streets. This year, they are asking for hygiene kits and grocery bags of food. This is a good one to do from home, and even as a part of a holiday gathering. Make an assembly line, blast the Christmas music, and ask guests to contribute some of the following items:

Build Futures asks for: “hygiene items (full size not travel) for the homeless youth we serve. Items needed include deodorant (male or female), lip balm, disposable razors (male or female), comb/brush (male or female), shampoo, conditioner, tissue (small packs), toothpaste, toothbrush, Soap (bar or body wash, Male or female), Toothbrush holder or caps (optional)”.

And for grocery bags: “Non-perishable grocery items for newly housed individuals are needed so they have food when housed. Re-usable fabric bags are preferred but can be paper. Suggested items (please keep in mind nutritional needs, these are full sizes): 2 to 4 cans or packs of tuna or chicken, peanut butter, strawberry or raspberry jam, whole grain crackers, soups, protein or granola bars (box), oatmeal, whole grain cereal, nuts of some type, whole grain pasta, brown rice, can of black beans, 2 cans chili/ravioli type meals, fruit cups or applesauce (6 pack)”.

Friendly Center – Orange, CA – http://www.friendlycenter.org/

The Friendly Center helps keep children and their families safe, stable, and secure. In the holiday season, this means providing shelter, clothing, and gifts for the kids of families who are focusing solely on getting food on the table. Contribute to the turkey basket drive, give toys, host a craft table for kids at holiday events at the center– there are countless ways to help!

Christmas Toy Drive (Giving Children Hope Facility) – Buena Park, CA – http://gchope.org/

Giving Children Hope provides for the welfare, health and self-esteem of Orange County Unified School District students who the McKinney-Vento act identifies as homeless. Contribute toys, sponsor a child’s wishlist, or participate in the organization’s wrapping parties.

Orangewood Children’s Foundation – Santa Ana, CA – http://www.orangewoodfoundation.org/

As a 24 hour emergency shelter for children up to 18 years, the Orangewood Children’s Foundation is at work 24/7. Help them provide these children with a little holiday spirit. Sponsor their wishlist program, and pick an item or items requested specifically by a little one.

Adopt-a-Park – Santa Ana, CA – www.ocgov.com

Take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and get outdoors. Do park clean up, landscaping, greet visitors, or work in the office. Adopt-a-block can be a one time experience, or become a regular tradition in the family. Volunteers of all ages are welcome.

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Holiday Health Tips

Holiday festivities are always guaranteed to involve food, and lots of it. It’s no wonder that our New Year’s resolutions usually involve opening a gym membership and swearing off sugar. But not to fear, if you come to the feast prepared with a healthy mindset and a few strategies to avoid overindulgence, there is no reason for you to not thoroughly enjoy the holiday goodies. Continue Reading →

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What To Do With Thanksgiving Leftovers

You probably didn’t think you could ever make enough food for all of the Thanksgiving guests– but now you have two pans of mashed potatoes and more turkey than you know what to do with. Ah, Thanksgiving leftovers.

Instead of getting tired of the same turkey-stuffing-cranberry sauce combo or eating turkey sandwiches for days, combine your leftovers in new and simple ways. We’ve scrounged up a few of the more easy and creative options for your Turkey Day leftovers:

Cranberry Turnovers

We all know no one is going to be finishing off the cranberry sauce anytime soon. But turn it into a warm breakfast pastry and you’ll have people fighting over the crumbs. Beyond the cranberry, all you need is puff pastry, cream cheese, eggs, and sugar. Find the recipe here.

Sweet Potato Waffles

We know, it sounds a little strange. But just wait until you try them– you might like them even more than these spiced pumpkin waffles. It’s the perfect morning after Turkey Day meal, and will use up all of that sweet potato. Try this recipe.

Leftover Holiday Ham Pizza Rolls

Still working your way through 12 pounds of ham? Turn it into a scrumptious bite sized pizza roll with more puff pastry, provolone cheese, pizza sauce, and an egg.

Creamy Turkey and Noodles

Spice up the dry day-old turkey with some cream and pasta— it’s great both fresh out of the oven and reheated all week long!

Simple Shepherd’s Pie

But what to do with all that leftover potato? Make a dent in the leftovers with a simple shepherd’s pie. The ultimate comfort food, this recipe combines turkey, veggies, and plenty of mashed potato on top.

Let us know in the comments below how you creatively use up your Turkey Day leftovers! It’s a great way to kick off the holiday season and fuel your Black Friday shopping!

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Kids Can Help With Thanksgiving Dinner Too

Whether hosting a family of 5 or a gathering of 50, Thanksgiving dinner requires plenty of planning and a lot of time. It can be hard to do it all and enjoy the festivities yourself. One of the ways you can transform your Turkey Day dinner into a successful and enjoyable affair is to sign off tasks to your best little helpers: the kids.

Kids of any age can help out, and both you and they will find the holiday to be more memorable and meaningful. Continue Reading →

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How To Host the Best Fourth of July Barbecue

Summer is finally here, and so is that wonderful, patriotic holiday that we all love to celebrate. Yes, get out the red, white, and blue bunting, raise the stars and stripes, and clean the barbecue. That’s right–it’s the Fourth of July, and we’re getting ready to ‘cue.

Nervous about hosting an Independence Day feast for friends? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with six tips that will ensure you have a party free from failure and full of fun. Continue Reading →

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Why We Celebrate Memorial Day

American three-day weekend holidays can become a blur of celebrating this and that — but why do we really celebrate Memorial Day? When did it start and why is it always the last Monday in May? We’ve gathered up everything you need to truly celebrate properly, alongside the barbecues and beach days. Continue Reading →

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Tips for Tax Time

April and the spring season are seen as times of renewal, a fresh start — and with this comes the deadline to file your taxes, which is right around the corner! Hopefully you’ve taken advantage of the reductions available earlier on in the year, but we’ve gathered together some last minute tips to help you in the process. Whether veteran or amateur tax filer, it doesn’t hurt to have some extra tips for 2017 tax filing. Continue Reading →

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It’s Presidents’ Day!

honoring-our-presidents-on-washington-birthday-vector_g16qlru__lPresidents’ Day always comes as a sigh of relief– a well-deserved three day weekend after two busy months back at work after the holidays. But why is it “Presidents’ Day” instead of “President’s Day” as it used to be? And whose birthday (birthdays?) are we celebrating, anyway? As good citizens, we should all know what it is, exactly, that gives us that extra day to run some errands and spend time with family. Here’s a quick history lesson, so you can show some patriotism, and impress friends and family with an arsenal of Presidents’ Day knowledge. Continue Reading →

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Easy Tips for Holiday Entertaining

New Year's Eve Party

Every year, holiday entertaining brings along both old and new traditions. It might be difficult to find the balance, so this year might be the year to spruce up your decorations. Those Pinterest boards and DIY (do-it-yourself) miracles can be discouraging when they don’t quite turn out like the photos…but our easy tips are actually doable DIYs, and sure to add a new shine to your New Year’s holiday party. Continue Reading →

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