Photos and List of Birth Month Freebies!

060314 Birthday Freebie 5Who doesn’t love free? I certainly do and when it’s your birthday you bet that you have ample opportunities to maximize special perks just for being born! Some items are date specific (meaning you have to redeem it on your birthday), but many can be redeemed anytime during your birth week or birth month. Check out my list!

Entertainment

Medieval Times: So here’s the catch, you cannot make a reservation online, you must do it in person. Also, I was told that you can redeem it anytime during your birth week/month? Though I did it on my birthday

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Food

Daphnes: You get $5 to spend! I got a BBQ Flatbread. Sign up here. ttp://www.daphnesgreekcafe.com/enroll-now.html

Denny’s: You get a free original grand slam or you can build your own!  No sign up necessary, just show up and tell them it’s your birthday. Valid on your birthday.

Del Taco: Just for signing up you will get two chicken soft tacos and on your birthday you will get a premium shake (choices of vanilla, strawberry, or chocolate). You will need to sign up at least 48 hours in advance since they tend to process their requests slowly. Sign up for their fan club here. http://www.deltaco.com/connect.html

Farrell’s Ice Cream: No sign up necessary! You just show up! The birthday boy or girl will get an ice cream sundae and a parade of servers tooting some variation of a birthday song for the special person.

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Godiva: Sign up at get $10 to spend during your birth month! I bought three bars of chocolate! Mmm… chocolate https://www.godiva.com/register

Red Robin: You can get any free burger (excludes premium burger) plus fries anytime during your birth month! Just show them your rewards club number and sign up here. https://royalty.redrobin.com/

Wienerschnitzel: Free chili dog!  Fan club sign up here http://wienerschnitzel.fbmta.com/members/UpdateProfile.aspx?Action=Subscribe&InputSource=W

Veggie Grill: Free Entrée for your birth week! I didn’t get the chance to use this one but their entrees are healthy and tasty. Sign up here! http://veggiegrill.fbmta.com/members/UpdateProfile.aspx?Action=Subscribe&InputSource=W

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Shopping

DSW: Sign up to get $5 to spend. Now you’re probably thinking what can you get for $5 at a shoe store. Well…. I bought a pair of socks and they are adorable. Booya!

Sephora: Sign up to be a Beauty Insider and you will get a free makeup sample during your birth month. This year I got a sample size lipstick and mascara from Make-Up-Forever

https://www.sephora.com/profile/beautyInsider/

Ulta: Sign up for a free makeup sample during your birth month. For my birth month they were giving out Calvin Klein mascara.

 

 

I will admit I spent like 3 days redeeming all these freebies and it’s actually a lot of work, but I’d have it no other way.  What birthday (week/month) freebies do you enjoy? Comment away!

 

 

XOXO,

Rockstar

 

 

Wonderful World of Comics (WonderCon) at Anaheim Convention Center – April 2014

I’m a cartoon enthusiast and while my interest for thoughtful storylines is nowhere near the obsession of the TV show characters from Big Bang Theory, I’ve always wondered what attending a Comic book convention would be like. I’ve heard horror stories from friends who had attended the world famous San Diego Comic Convention as tickets are near to impossible to attain and that the venue itself is overwhelming to say the least; however, its concept continued to peak my interest as its mysteriousness attracted me.

 

This past Easter weekend I was informed that there WonderCon, a sister comic book convention, was being hosted in Anaheim, CA – just a hop, skip, and a jump away! I took the initiative to investigate this event as it appeared less known, but was excited about getting my geek-on!

Here are some tid-bits about the event

  • -Started in SF and was called “The Wonderful World of Comics” but shortened to WonderCon
  • -Moved down to Anaheim due to SF venue remodeling
  • -3 day event is held annually during Easter Weekend
  • -Parking in the designated convention parking is $12 a car
  • -There were about 12 or so food trucks lined up outside
  • -Most participants come in costumes
  • -Hundreds of Vendors that sell comics, collectibles and clothes galore

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When I first stepped foot on the Anaheim property, I was blown away by some of the cosplayers (amateur costumed characters- though many could pass as the real deal!) and overwhelmed by the amount of vendors in attendance – easily over 100 booths. I dressed up as Misty, a water Pokemon trainer and friend of Ash Ketchum for my cosplay debut – all items that I already own, with the exception of the red suspenders. Dressing up is all part of the
fun! I was even able to buy a livesize Pikachu at the event – I choose you! Haha…

The energy at the event was intense and I definitely wanted to make the most of this first visit. This year marked the 75th anniversary for Batman. Rumors have it that Robin/Nightwing will celebrate next year. *swoons* Anyways there w042714 Wondercon 3ere various panels (discussions on comics, movies, the latest and greatest etc and of course the panels featuring people involved with Frozen or original Batman voice actors maxed out. So, to all you future Wondercon visitors, I would camp out at least an hour for popular panels. Gone are the days when you can walk in right at the start of a panel.

Nevertheless, I was able to catch a few and my favorite premier of “Son of Batman” an animated movie featuring Batman’s romance with villainess Talia and their son Damian (and future Robin). The voice actors came out afterwards to discuss their role and it really helped complete the VIP experience.

042714 Wondercon 2 I was exhausted after the full day, but I would definitely return next year! I purchased a one day pass for $25- which is ¼ of anime expo and substantially cheaper than SD Comic Con. It’s a great alternative to the mass chaos at Comic Con, but allows visitors to experience the wonderful world of comics.

 

Who’s your favorite comic book hero and villain?

Veggie Grill Lent Lunch in Irvine, CA

Meat-free healthy meals for the herbivore

I confess I didn’t give up anything for Lent this year, but if meat was your item of choice visiting Veggie Grill may help make the 40 day period more tolerable. A group of foodies met to provide insight on menu items and we were given the opportunity to sample 6 items ranging from appetizers to dessert. We began our tasting with the chill out wings.

I’ll admit I really detest fake meat. The spongy texture just cannot do the meal thing justice. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty and convincing these wings were. It was very tender and flavorful. 5 Stars! The next item we tried was the buffalo chicken. The base item was the same as the chill out wings, but the sauce is the star in this item.

Veggie Grill Lent Lunch in Irvine, CA

We then moved on to their entrees and sampled their quinoa and kale salad. This was an extremely healthy offering and very light, perfect for those days when you feel fat and bloated. The Harvest Bowl on the other-hand was dense and rich. This may be a seasonal item limited to the fall as it makes the consumer feel warm and fuzzy inside. The last entrée we sampled was the Bombay Bowl, a curry over quinoa. The flavor was solid; however, the whole almonds added a crunch that I was not use to.

We then finished up our meal with their carrot-cake. I usually never make it to dessert, but I would for theirs! Overall, it was a pleasant tasting event and among the offerings the chill out wings takes the cake. If you’re a first time visitor, try their “fish” tacos, they’re amazing!

April Fool’s Day Media Event at Rance’s Chicago Pizza in Costa Mesa, Ca

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On April 1st, I had the opportunity to revisit a local favorite for an intimate blogger’s party. Rance’s Chicago Pizza (Yelp Review) in Costa Mesa, CA spoiled us with a nice spread of appetizers and pies. Although it was April Fool’s Day, their food certainly was no joke and they were very generous with their offerings. We started off with a nice spring salad with 4 different homemade dressings. I enjoyed the assortment of veggies and while the dressings were nice, they were nothing to run home about. Next we moved on to hot appetizers. If you like heat, their artichoke dip certainly will clear your sinuses and the bruschetta was a nice start, but I was obviously holding out for the main dish- a deep dish. Mmm…

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Salad and Appetizers

As soon as we finished up the last of bite size apps, we were then given the opportunity to try two thin crust pizzas and 5 stuffed pies. Among my sampling the CSP (Chicken Spinach Pesto) was and still is my favorite- with the stuffed Margarita as a close second. Be sure to get their stuffed as opposed to thin crust as it makes all the difference!

I was beyond stuffed by the time we ended our meal and the owner came by to hand us each a small cup of honey. He stated that in other pizza parlors patrons dip their crust in honey to bring out the flavor. Cool, so I grabbed my crust and dunked it in. I was pleasantly surprised by this simple of great way to end the meal.

What do you like on your pies?

 

XOXO

Rockstar

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Festival of Colors – Norwalk, CA 2014

Holi Festival

Festival Goers enjoying the concert

As an older sister I’ve always been the reasonable and responsible one. But when I heard about an event dedicated to causing mischief and being a kid again, I was more than happy to jump on the band wagon and promote an annual Indian celebration called the Festival of Colors. I’d seen pictures of children and adults alike covered in an array of colors and on one Saturday, I decided that I would partake in the festivities as well.

I attended the Holi Festival Of Colors 2014 up in Norwalk and what a celebration! The event filled with non-stop live music from great bands, yoga, mantras, dance, cuisine, and of course the “throwing of dry colors festival goers.” Entrée fee was $5 and bags of colors were available for purchase. I picked up a bag of purple powder to throw at attendees and from my “before” and “after” shot you can see my lost battle. This is definitely a great event for everyone and they’re touring different states. Check out their schedule here.

 

 

Black, White, and Red all over – 2014 February Outfits and Events

Happy Lunar New Year everyone, albeit late, but better late than never! February has been crazy busy with events galore and all with red themes. So today’s post will feature a few of my favorite ways to wear this “not for the faint” color. Hope you enjoy the post!

Every girl should have a red dress in her closet and this little Betsey Johnson number is one of my favorites – purchased at a trunk show in New York for $20 new (crazy I know!!). It’s a showstopper number and I absolutely love the layered tiers and the crinkled texture of this dress. I paired with piece with pearls and nude heals, making it the ultimate girly ensemble (but with a classic twist). Photographer David Lin did a great job in capturing this dress in all its glory. Check out the rest of his work here.

Yet, a skirt can also be a stand-alone piece as well. I recently wore this beautiful Asian designed lucky skirt at Yelp’s Sweet Social event in downtown Buena Park, CA. I decided to wear it with tights and a slick black blazer to pull the entire look together and keep warm as the event was held outdoors in the Krikorian Metroplex courtyard. The Sweet Social featured local businesses from around the area and yelpers and guests had the privilege to sample various food and beverage items. My favorite items were the dole whip Berrysweet (yelp page) and the salted caramel ice cream made from liquid nitrogen from Poof Ice Cream (yelp page).  Mmm… yummy, delicious dessert indeed! Splendid photobooth was also present and we all enjoyed poising for the camera. It was a great event.

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The next day I attended a Matthew Morrison concert in Costa Mesa, CA. Name not ring a bell? Matthew Morrison is a broadway regular, but most people know him as the High School Choir Teacher – Will Schuester – on Glee. Ah, yes… it all makes sense now. He serenaded the audience with a range of show tunes and blue grass music that was to die for! Such a talented artist and you bet he gave us an incredible performance.

The concert was hosted at Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall (yelp review), so it was definitely a dress to impress type of soiree. As I looked into my closest to find the perfect dress, I pulled out this sparkly Cynthia Steffe number – it screamed “pick me!” so naturally I obliged. I paired it with a white tuxedo blazer from Aidan Mattox that I purchased for less than 1/7th of the original price (retail $350, Loehmanns $50) and my favorite red Revlon lip butter (in the color wild watermelon). I also accessorized my nails with my 1st high-end nail polish purchase from Deborah Lippman‘s glitter line (in the color Ruby Red Slippers) to help add a pop of color. Red is such a statement color and it could easily be one that completes an outfit.

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I love the color red as it symbolizes good fortune and can help anyone exude confidence.

How do you wear the color red?

XOXO

Rockstar

13 Moments in 2013

IMG_04142013 was a year of extremes – the highs were high and the lows were extremely low. It was a roller coaster this year, and while a lot of changes happened I felt that I’ve grown tremendously from them. Here are thirteen moments of 2013

1. Spotted celebrities in the Golden State! I attended KLG and Hoda’s (The Today Show’s 4th Hour) on location shoot in Hollywood, CA (blog post) – yes that’s Jaleel White otherwise known as Steve Urkel (!!!), Alton Brown during his “Edible Inevitable Tour,” Youtube make-up guru Ben Green (blog post) at the LA IMATS (blog post), and Giada De Laurentis at South Coast Plaza for her book tour (blog post). It was a star-studded year!  

2. Chopped off my hair and donated it “locks-of-love,” an organization that gives wigs to children with cancer (blog post).    

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3. Growing up I went to a language school on Saturdays, so this year I relieved my childhood memories by watching tons and tons of toons (not ashamed of it!) – including (in no particular order) 6 or 7 seasons of Pokemon, All Batman the Animated Series, Batman & Beyond, My Little Pony, and Justice League episodes.  I’m up to season 4 for Sailor Moon (I was Sailor Mars for Halloween) and currently… I am on Season 3 of the Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles! They don’t make cartoons like they use to.

4. A promise was broken. My heart shattered and I couldn’t comprehend the abandonment and betrayal. I felt helpless and naive for believing the best in people and while I was no saint in this marriage, the decision to have it end was already made for me. Divorce is a difficult process, but tackling it all while enduring tremendous health, financial, and family problems during the day and nightmares at night – I just couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t keep it all together and I honestly felt doomed. I’d never felt so hopeless than I did during that month.

I never like asking for help, but I extended my hand out – ashamed – but God was merciful and showered me with love and compassion. He knew that I couldn’t carry the burden myself and sent brothers and sisters to pray for me, hug me, spend time with me. I slowly regained my strength and confidence and while that extremely vulnerable moment could have easily consumed me, my God is good gave me light through the darkness.

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5. Visited the “Happiest Place on Earth” twice and attended the D23 Expo (A Tradeshow for Disney Enthusiasts.) There’s something magical about this theme park and while the tickets are outrageously priced, Disney sure knows how to create a moment.

6. Drove across the United States from Boston, MA down to Pensacola, FL all the way west to Orange County, CA.  My favorite spots included: Belgium Beer & Mussels from Monk’s in Philadelphia, PA, Coconut Cake from Peninsula Grill in Charleston, SC (Yelp Review), Red Royals from Joe Patti’s Seafood in Pensacola, FL (Yelp Review), Real Rootbeer from Tombstone Sarsaparilla  in Tombstone, AZ, (Yelp Review) just to name a few.

7. I’d been a dance teacher for 15+ years, but completely stopped all forms of this art. This year I took it upon myself to learn and teach the iconic Michael Jackson Thriller routine to my most difficult students – teachers, ahh!! But it was a success

8. I had the best meal of my life (and most expensive – blog post) at O Ya (Yelp Review) in Boston, MA. The food is out of this world and while my teacher’s salary can’t justify the bill, it certainly is a once in a lifetime place to appreciate amazing food.

IMG_1299 IMG_13049. Received two “Review of the Day” (ROTD) features on Yelp’s Homepage for my write-up for Deli-licious (Yelp Review) & IKneadLove (Yelp Review); completed “2013 Yelp 100 Reviews Challenge” – just barely; and reached an enormous milestone – 500 reviews!

10. After sending many resumes, cover letters, and enduring “thank you for applying” letters/emails – I finally secured a job as a school counselor. Thank you God for trusting me to help these students.

11. I lost my German Shepard, Boomer. He passed away in his sleep. I miss you!   photo (14)

12. I spent nearly every other day with my grandma who had two major surgeries. She’s getting older and spending time with her priceless. No one every said that they regretted spending time with loved ones.

13. I made the switch over to wordpress, achieved over 90+ “likes” on facebook (facebook page), and hosted my first blogger event at Deja New (Yelp Review).

No one every said that growing up was going to be easy, but I hope that I’ll be able to take on the new adventures in 2014 with more courage, confidence and savvyness. My goals for 2014 include: laughing more, worrying less, and taking every opportunity to enjoy the moment. Here’s to 2014!

What are you looking forward to in 2014?

XOXO

Rockstar