Reformer Fit Pilates Studio in Dana Point

Reformer Fit Pilates Studio in Dana PointCan’t stop, won’t stop. As you know, I recently worked on a series of posts with ZICO Coconut Water on creating and completing items off my ‘life list.’  It has been amazing. I’m trying new things and making changes to my life that are really letting me live more purposefully. One of the things I recently completed was trying out a Pilates class. I had always wanted to try out a class, using a reformer, so I reached out to my friend, Dottie of Reformer Fit Pilates in Dana Point and headed in for a class!  Located down by the marina, the location is gorgeous and it got my mind right as I headed in to my class. 

A reformer machine for pilates. Reformer machines look a little bit like torture devices.  I was pretty nervous. 

Pilates at Reformer Fit Pilates Studio in Dana Point. Reformers work off of a series of springs that allow for various levels of resistance. Since I haven’t worked out in, like, forever, I hoped she would go easy on me. Pilates is designed to build strength and flexibility and is great for all types of people and fitness levels. She assured me I would be ok. 

Pilates class at Reformer Fit in Dana Point.We got started and Dottie walked me through some beginning stretches. I immediately knew that I would really like using the reformer. And I wouldn’t say that she went easy on me, but she recognized my limits but still had me push through. 

Trying out a reformer for my first time! It took a lot of focus and tightening and breathing. But I loved how it felt. It wasn’t long before I felt my muscles shaking…

My first pilates experience. Pilates is hard. Especially when you haven't worked out in years. Like here. Dottie had me doing leg circles.  Only my legs wouldn’t do it. So what you are seeing here is NOT good form. It is me dying. Muscles burning. And laughing because Dottie says, “five more!”

Private pilates lesson at Reformer Fit Pilates Studio in Dana Point.These cool pulleys and straps are used for arm and leg exercises and the exercises felt really good. You could feel your muscles working but there was no impact. I really fell in love with Pilates.

Plank on a pilates reformer.Until we did ab work. I watched Dottie do a plank first and wondered if I would be able to do it. I had visions of collapsing on to the reformer but I managed to do it! And then I managed to do the pike exercises where you use your ab muscles to draw the board back towards your feet, buns in the air. I was pleased with myself. 

I am so grateful that Dottie shared her gift with me and let me try out my first reformer class! I’m dying to start classes regularly! And thank you to Lauren for taking the photos!

Find out more about her studio: Reformer Fit – 24901 Dana Point Harbor Dr., Ste. A 110, Dana Point, CA  92629. (949) 614-3604. Email for more info info at reformerfit.com!

Organic Tree Juice in Dana Point. And when you are done, head right next door to Organic Tree Juice Bar. The staff is super awesome and, like the pilates studio, the space is bright and comfy. 

Organic Tree Juice in Dana Point. I tried the “Oz” green juice, with extra ginger, and it was awesome! I’m not a fan of most green juices, but I really enjoyed this one! Next time you are in Dana Point be sure to head here! I headed home with my juice feeling really great. And my muscles only stayed sore for a few days…

 

Fig and Olive Newport Beach

Fig and Olive is a fantastic restaurant in Newport Beach. // cupcakesandcutlery.com*This is not a sponsored post. Recently, while out and about in my fine county, I have been really wanting to share the amazing businesses with you.  So I’m going to be sharing local posts on Fridays. I mean, if someone wanted to give me a free meal, I wouldn’t say no, but you know I always disclose that to you.  Also these will mostly be iPhone photos as I don’t bring out my big camera when I am on a date, with my family, drinking or wearing high heels…

I had been hearing great things about Fig and Olive at Fashion Island, a luxurious mall in Newport Beach, CA and so for our anniversary, my husband and I decided to try it out. But let me stop really quickly right here for a minute.

On this night, so we both didn’t need to worry about driving, we used Uber.  Have you used it yet? I was SUPER skeptical of it. But I researched what it was all about and I stinking love it! Basically, it’s like getting a taxi but the drivers (fully vetted by Uber) drive their own cars. This keeps costs down for you. Also no money exchanges hands, and your payment info is hooked up to Uber, not the driver.  When any phone calls occur, it happens through a 3rd party number so no one is sharing personal info (or you can message the driver right through the app). And my fave part is that you can see the car and driver right on the app via GPS. You are on the grid at all times. I have used it 6 times now and it’s my new fave way to have a night out. We’ve never waited longer than 6 minutes for a car to arrive either and I have met some of the nicest people who happen to drive the cars!  If you have never used it, you can put in the code: SHARONG75 and your first trip is free up to $30. And just so you know, if you use that code, I get a free trip too.  Just wanted to share that with you.  It’s awesome!

But I digress…We headed out a smidge early for our reservation at Fig and Olive Newport Beach so we could get a drink at the bar.  The entire restaurant is designed perfectly.  The entire space is full of natural light and the decor is casual yet totally classy.  Their lounge and patio areas are simply stunning and the rest of the dining room doesn’t disappoint. The cocktail menu is craft cocktail heaven. The connoisseur would feel right at home with these beverages. It was really awesome to sit at the bar and watch the bartenders work their magic. I stuck with my glass of wine but my husband went with an Old Fashioned complete with a piece of lighter singed orange peel. For reals, I want to do this for every drink. The smell of fresh orange was unreal and added such a great flair to the drink.

The light is stunning in Fig and Olive, Newport Beach.  // cupcakesandcutlery.comThis photo doesn’t do the restaurant justice.  It’s glorious.  It’s modern, with a touch of a beachy vibe. It’s neutrals without feeling stark. 

Fig and Olive is a great date night spot in Orange County, CA // cupcakesandcutlery.comAnd any menu that has risotto is automatically a star in my book.  The menu was large without being overwhelming and featured a fair amount of seafood.  The entire front page of the menu is starters with tons of options to share and really create an enjoyable dining experience.  We did a crostini sampler and it was EVERYTHING! Simple, quality ingredients on toasted bread. Does it get better than that? Yes, yes it does. 

Olive Oil tasting at Fig and Olive at Fashion Island Newport Beach // cupcakesandcutlery.comI had no idea that the premise around the restaurant was that they don’t use butter in their cooking, they instead use only olive oil.  Over the last few months I have really been interested in olive oils and the flavors they take on from the different regions they are grown in, much like wine. I was also in the midst of working on my own olive oil challenge so our visit to the restaurant couldn’t have come at a better time. Before the main courses are served, they bring bread and a trio of olive oils to the table so you can conduct a little tasting.  So cool. 

Delicious mushroom risotto at Fig and Olive Newport Beach // cupcakesandcutlery.comAnd you KNOW I had to order the truffle risotto.  When I eat out, I like to order the things that I don’t want to make at home. And truffles…yes. Just yes.  And as expected, it was amazing.  My husband had the filet mignon and it looked sensational. I didn’t try it, you know, on account of stuffing my face with the risotto… Which also meant I was too full for dessert.  So I am pretty desperate to go back and fix that. You can tell a lot about a restaurant from their dessert menu and the one at Fig and Olive looks fantastic.

We loved the ambiance, the food and the service was top-notch! We will definitely be return customers and I can’t wait to take our friends back to try it.

Fig and Olive – Newport Beach

 

Blaze Pizza in Orange County

Blaze Pizza Irvine. www.cupcakesandcutlery.comMy family and I don’t eat out very often. I really like to cook our meals at home for diet and budget reasons. And my husband’s work hours mean that if we had to wait for him to get home and then go out to dinner, we would eat way late. Like, I’d be extra cranky kind of late. But sometimes my boys and I just want to get out of the house. And I’m finding the more I try to watch what I eat, the more I want to eat pizza. One of our favorite places to get pizza is Blaze Pizza in Irvine. 

Blaze Pizza is a great family dining option in Irvine and other Orange County cities! www.cupcakesandcutlery.comIt’s sort of a chose-your-own-adventure in pizza making and you can hand-pick what you want to have on your pizza. This works perfect for my family since we all like something different. I prefer a BBQ chicken or something similar.  My husband likes the meats and usually any vegetable I don’t like. And my kids would never be able to finish one of these pizzas by themselves so it’s super awesome that Blaze will do half one type of pizza and half a totally different kind so they can split one. 

Love the branding of Blaze Pizza. www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI’m in love with the branding and design of the restaurants. The industrial look of the restaurants are still warm and inviting while be totally cool. And the orange is one of my favorite colors so…While I’m partial to the iced tea, my kids are totally in to the lemonade.

Fast fired pizza from Blaze Pizza Irvine. // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI’ve tried several of the several of the Signature Pizzas (I adore you White Top) as well as created my own and they have all been absolutely scrumptious. There is something about the crust that I just love. It has a wonderful crunch while being tender and just the right thickness.  Mmmm, I wish they delivered… And if you have food allergies, they have a great, easy to use chart on their site to make your choices a little bit safer.

Blaze is set to open several more Orange County locations to add to the 3 already open in Mission Viejo, Irvine and La Habra. These restaurants are super kid friendly but I’d totally stop here for a casual date night as well. I’m a total dessert girl and that is the only thing that I think the restaurant could try to improve.  They do have a S’more Pie but when I go out to eat I want the dessert to wow me. Full disclosure, I have actually not tried the S’more pie yet. Looks like I’ll have to take another trip to Blaze to give it a try. ;)

Find out more about Blaze Pizza on their site!

*Blaze Pizza invited my family and I to try out one of their restaurants and provided us with dinner. All opinions are mine. And chances are if someone gives me pizza, it’s going to make me happy. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep me full of pizza.

 

Orange County Summer Events for Kids

Roller Coaster at Sunset at the Orange County Fair //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comSummer is slowly winding down.  The OC fair just ended so you may be looking for more Orange County summer events to do with your kids to keep them entertained before school starts.  By the way, that photo above was taken with my iPhone, no filter, at the fair the other night on a family roller coaster ride.  I’m kind of in love with it.  Especially because I know the squeals and joy that was in our roller coaster car, that resembled a mouse, that night.  It really made me want to make sure that I take the kids on fun outings and keep trying new things before we get back in to the grind of homework, sports and bed times.

Gardens and Villa at OC Parks Summer Concert Series //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI’m not sure if you have heard of the OC Parks Summer Concert Series cohosted by KROQ.  Every Thursday, the entire summer, there have been rad concerts at various parks around Orange County.  Last week we took the family to Miles Square Park, in Garden Grove, to see one of my fave bands, Gardens and Villa.  There was a food truck and Front Porch Pops and an awesome atmosphere for seeing live music.  We missed the opener (thanks rush hour traffic!) but got to see the band – whose frontman grew up locally, play for over an hour.  And the kids loved it.  My littlest danced his heart out.  My oldest just chilled.  There are still two more weeks of shows before the series winds down, both at Bluff Park in Dana Point.  Do not miss them! Moonsville Collective plays August 21 and Matt Costa (Do NOT miss him! And plan ahead, this one might have more of a crowd as he is a local favorite!) plays, August 28th.  All shows are from 6 – 8 pm.  Bring a picnic blanket and lawn chairs, bring your dinner or buy it there.  I wish we would have started this earlier in the summer!

Kid's events at Kaleidoscope Center in Mission Viejo //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAnd if you are looking for something to do during the day, Kaleidoscope Center in Mission Viejo has a ton of family friendly businesses open year round as well as fun special events for the summer.

Special kid events at Kaleidoscope Center in Mission Viejo // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThis past Tuesday, my boys and I checked out the percussion event.  It was loud and super fun. The shows begin at 11:30 am and run for an hour.  They are all interactive and engaging and the kids had a great time!

Tuesday, August 19th, is a free Magic Wizard show! I am sure the kids are going to love it!  And Tuesday, August 26th, the series ends with the Kids Carnival from 11:30 – 2:30 pm. Proceeds will benefit Make-A-Wish (so bring a new toy or backpack and you’ll get game tickets!) and will feature bounce houses, games, face painting and more!  The organizers assured me this will appeal to kids of all ages so be sure to come and check it out.

I had no idea that the Kaleidoscope center had SO many great activities all in one place!  I hadn’t been there in years so after the percussion event, my kids and I spent the rest of the afternoon there having a little adventure.

Buffalo Wild Wings at Kaleidoscope Center Mission Viejo // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comWe started off our afternoon with lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings.  Full disclosure, they comped our meal.  That was super nice of them and we totally appreciated it!  I had never been to a Buffalo Wild Wings before and didn’t know what to expect.  While the restaurant is pretty much sports-themed, the staff was crazy friendly and fantastic.  (If you go to the Kaleidoscope location, ask for Taylor! She was our server and she was awesome!) Each booth has a little touch-screen gaming system that kept my boys entertained.  $1 got them 4 credits, or about 4 games).  And the screen kept them entertained well after the money ran out.  The food was delicious and it was easy to find something for my son with food allergies to eat. We tried the fried pickles, because duh, you have to.  And my wrap was super yummy.  We will definitely be back! Thank you so much for having us, Buffalo Wild Wings!

There are ton of super fun family-friendly options at the Kaleidoscope Center in Mission Viejo // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comNext we headed to Jump N’ Jammin which the kids were super excited for!  Everyone MUST wear socks, including adults, so don’t be a loser like me and have to buy some there.  For about $25 the kids and I got a few hours of fun.  Cubbies are kept behind the counter to hold your shoes and bags.  Nick, the assistant manager, told me all about how safe the facility is and I loved knowing that my kids could run wild and I didn’t have to stay on top of them the whole time.  That is really good for me.  I tend to hover… There is one inflatable and then a number of obstacle style areas for the kids to play in.  They also have a horizontal climbing wall that is really fun.  For the moms, they offer a wi-fi password, a little vending machine area with plenty of tables and also a selection of magazines to keep you entertained.  The music they played was pretty good and I never once got bored as the boys played and made new friends.  They also have a drop off program which I will totally be using in the future! There are some limitations so check with Jump N’ Jammin first.

A fun obstacle at Jump N' Jammin' Mission Viejo // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comHe came in like a wrecking ball… Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

Laser Quest at Kaleidoscope Center Mission Viejo // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comOur last stop of the day was to Laser Quest.  Since we had never played before and I wasn’t sure how my youngest would handle being in the dark (and could he even carry the pack?!) so we opted to play one game. For two kids it was about $20 and one game was seriously plenty for my kids (ages 5 and 8).  The staff was really fun and friendly and even though we were the only people in the building, they really made us feel welcome and gave us all their energy. Because we were the only ones playing, they let me go in too which was awesome since I could be there in case my youngest freaked out but also, I’ve never played laser tag before so it was cool to see what it was all about.  The packs are pretty heavy and although my 5-year-old made it through the game, he struggled a bit and by the end was super tired.  The room is dark, although there is a lot of black lights so it is never pitch black, and it took him about two minutes to warm up to it then he was off on his own, running through the mazes trying to shoot his brother.  I think they had a lot of fun.  We will certainly be doing this again.

Aside from Jump N’ Jammin and Laser Quest, the center has a movie theater, Color Me Mine, Howie’s Game Shack and for tween girls, Bold Girlz.  One of my son’s told me that next time we would bring Dad with us so they could go play laser tag and I could go to Bold Girlz by myself. :)  So nice of him.  And there are several great restaurant options too.  Check out the Kaleidoscope center directory to see the center has to offer!

One thing I’m really excited about is the opening of a Union Market in the fall.  The Tustin location is about ready to open and I know that Mission Viejo residents will be glad that there will be some great dining options in their neck of the woods pretty soon!

My boys and I spent about 5 hours at the Kaleidoscope Center and had a blast.  I highly recommend it for family time!  We’ve already talked about going back to paint and play games at Howie’s Game Shack.  Maybe we’ll see you there.

PR and SEO Class for Orange County Bloggers

PR and SEO Class for Orange County Bloggers  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comYOU GUYS!  I’m hosting a fantastic class for bloggers and YOU should come! This is the second time I am partnering up with Lydnsey of Kismet PR to bring you everything you need to know about handling your own public relations.  It is a fantastic course that will teach you how to pitch ideas to brands and get mentions in the media, and so much more! Lyndsey knows her stuff and she is willing to share it all with you! And for this class, we are also bringing on Dinah Wulf to talk SEO! She’s amazing and will help you to fully understand what the best SEO practices are and why you need to do them to be successful in this crowded arena. I’ve gotten one on one time with her and I’m always amazed at the info I walk away with.  Both of these gals are awesome and I can’t wait to share them with you!

Aside from the crazy awesome info you’ll be getting at the PR and SEO class for Orange County bloggers, we will also have some yummy treats for you! Hannah’s Bananas will be on hand so we can make and devour our own chocolate covered bananas.  You will LOVE this! One Hope Wine will share sips of some of their wines (I’m a huge fan!) and Ritual Wellness will provide some healthy and delicious drink options for you to sample!

The class will be held at Great Over Good, which is this amazing creative space in Costa Mesa/Santa Ana that I just know you are going to love! I can’t wait for you to see it!

Find out more about the class over on the Kismet PR page.  We are keeping the class small so you can ask questions and really get help with what you need.  So don’t delay!  Purchase your ticket here:

PR & SEO for Bloggers – Orange County

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions! Cupcakesandcutlery at gmail.com.

Interested in providing something for the class or goodie bag?  Email me!