Alisa Newman

Alisa Newman




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Monster Jam coming to Anaheim Feb. 7th!

My husband Brandon and son Charlie went to Monster Jam an Angel’s Stadium over the weekend and had a blast! The trucks were awesome, and did so many cool tricks. Both of them were just in awe. They came home raving about the show and wondered when we could all go back- they loved it that much. It’s a show that is great for the whole family, but a little tip – might be good idea to bring some earplugs for the little ones (may not be necessary, but good to have just in case, as it can get a little loud depending on where you are sitting.)

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If you didn’t make it to Monster Jam over the weekend, you are in luck! Monster Jam is coming back to Angel’s Stadium of Anaheim on Saturday Feb. 7th! You don’t want to miss it!

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For ticket info, showtimes and dates please visit http://www.monsterjam.com

Coming Soon! The Harlem Globetrotters & GIVEAWAY!

Harlem Globetrotters

HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS “WASHINGTON GENERALS REVENGE TOUR” COMES TO THE SOUTHLAND!!

I’m super excited to announce that the Harlem Globetrotters are coming soon to the LA/OC area, and I have a great giveaway for the OC Family readers! I’m giving away 4 ticket vouchers to your choice in Harlem Globetrotter shows (see dates/times below). All you need to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment under this blog post telling me why you’d like to go. Winner will be chosen next Wednesday Jan. 28th after 9am, and notified via email. *PLEASE NOTE: The ticket vouchers will need to be exchanged for tickets at the venue box office ahead of time.

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The Globetrotters will face a great challenge this year, as the infamous Washington Generals are more determined than ever to beat the Globetrotters.  The Generals are on a mission and will do whatever it takes to win.  They plan to evoke a new strategy that is sure to give the Globetrotters a run for their money, despite the Globetrotters’ 98.7 winning percentage and over 25,000 wins since 1926.

 Harlem Globetrotters TIMES/DATES:

Citizens Business Bank Arena

909/ 244-5500

Friday, Feb. 6 at 7:00pm

4000 East Ontario Center Parkway, Ontario, CA 91764

Galen Center

213/ 740-4672

Saturday, Feb. 7 at 1:00pm

3400 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90089

Saddleback College Gym                                          

Monday, Feb. 9 at 7:00pm

28000 Marguerite Parkway, Mission Viejo, CA 92692

Santa Barbara UCSB Events Center                        

Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 7:00pm

UC Santa Barbara, Building 505

Honda Center

714/ 704-2500

Saturday, Feb. 14 at 1:00pm, 7:00pm and   Monday, Feb. 16 at 2:00pm

2695 East Katella Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92806

STAPLES Center

213/ 742-7300

Sunday, Feb. 15 at 12:30pm and 5:45pm

1111 East Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015

To purchase Harlem Globetrotters tickets please visit: http://www.harlemglobetrotters.com/tickets

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Photo Credit: The Harlem Globetrotters

We Olive and Wine Bar- The Olive Oil Experience

There is a great new little shop down in San Juan Capistrano (I LOVE San Juan Capistrano) called ‘We Olive and Wine Bar’- The Olive Oil Experience. And what an experience it is!

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I had the privilege of going down to the quaint shop off Camino Capistrano this past Saturday with my husband Brandon and and friend/fellow OC Family Mom Ambassador Jen Broas- if you know SJC at all, the shop is centrally located next to the antique shop and just a short walk away from the historic Los Rios Street. I was welcomed into the gorgeous shop with beautiful brick walls by Kim Middleton, Owner.

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We got to experience our very own tasting of all the wonderful extra virgin olive oils, vinegar and other yummy goodies they offer throughout the store. Let me tell ya, this shop will for sure have what you are looking for if you are in the market for some unique and flavorful olive oils and vinegar. Among my favorites I got to taste test were the lemon olive oil and the fresh garlic olive oil and the peach white balsamic vinegar- which by the way makes for a great ingredient in a unique cocktail. I’ll share the recipe with you a little bit later.

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We Olive has a quite large selection, and you want to know a fun little secret? You can head down to the shop yourself and have your own little tasting, any of the employees and even Kim herself would be happy to offer you samples of anything you may be interested in before purchasing. But just a warning: It’s going to be hard to leave empty handed, everything I tried was absolutely delicious, and if you are like me and want to incorporate a little more olive oil into your cooking and be a bit healthier (which means LESS butter) then this is the shop for you!

We Olive not only offers their California grown and made olive oils and vinegar, they offer olive oils from other regions, jams, spreads and appetizers.

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These two are just a taste of what I fell in love with. The sweet caramelized onion spread would be perfect with some nice cheese and a glass of wine. It would also be decadent on a homemade flat bread pizza in place of sauce, and topped with some creamy gruyere cheese. YUM.

The caramel can simply be eaten right out of the jar with a spoon, ha! It’s SO darn good. And made with simple ingredients that you can actually pronounce. This would be wonderful topped on some really good vanilla ice cream.

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And now for the spiced sour cherry spread. Oh the spiced sour cherry spread. Oh how I LOVE cherries. In fact I just made a homemade chocolate cake last week for a friends birthday, this would be absolute perfection in that cake as a filling.

Follow this recipe for THE perfect homemade chocolate cake:

Alisa's Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup butter, melted
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans.

2. In a large bowl or a stand mixer, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Then add the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla extract and beat until smooth, several minutes. Stir in the boiling water (NOTE: batter will be very runny).

3. Pour batter into the two prepared pans and bake in the preheated oven for approx 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

4. Allow cake to cool in pans before removing and icing.

Chocolate Buttercream Icing Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 ½ cups powdered sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 Tbsp. milk

1/2 jar Spiced Sour Cherry Spread

*PLEASE NOTE: For the filling, you’ll need a 1/2 jar of the spiced sour cherry spread and reserve approx 1/2 cup of the completed chocolate icing. Combine icing, and cherry spread and use as your cake filling.

Directions:

1. In a stand mixer or with an electric beater cream butter. Add sifted powdered sugar and cocoa powder.  Add the salt and vanilla and milk and beat on medium until smooth. Ice your cake and enjoy!

We Olive also offers a lovely selection of gifts:

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From ceramics and serving dishes, kitchen items to bath and body items, to wine inspired candles to beautiful wooden bowls, they even offer the artwork right off their very own walls!

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We Olive has something great in the works as well. They are soon to be opening their wine bar and small bites menu. They will offer wine tasting and wonderful menu items that will incorporate many of the ingredients from their very own shop. I think once that wine bar opens, it will make for the perfect date night out!

Stop by We Olive and tell them I sent you! It’ll be an unique experience you’ll be sure to love.

We Olive and Wine bar

31760 Camino Capistrano Suite B
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
949.441.7279

http://weolive.com/san-juan-capistrano/

You didn’t think I’d forget did you? Here’s a fun little cocktail that uses We Olive’s Peach White Balsamic Vinegar:

2 oz. Vodka

2 TSP.  Peach White Balsamic Vinegar

Shake the ingredients up, serve in a chilled glass, or over ice if you prefer. It may sound strange, I know. It really is yummy, and just different. Cheers!

Monster Jam is Coming! My Interview With Scott Liddycoat of Monster Jam.

Monster Jam

Friends, Monster Jam is coming to Anaheim THIS month, and I’m super excited to have had the chance to speak with monster truck driver Scott Liddycoat of Monster Jam. Scott drives the “Dragon’s Breath” truck, that literally blows fire, and is maybe one of the friendliest people I’ve spoken with.

Scott Liddycoat

Here’s a little of what he had to say:

Where are you from originally? Ontario, Canada. Now living in Virginia with my wife and 6 year old son.

How did you get started in this career? I grew up racing. Racing boats, hyrdoplanes (including racing them down in San Diego’s Mission Bay). This is my second year racing with Monster Jam. I have friends who race for Monster Jam, they got introduced me, I tried out for the show by driving/racing for them and now the rest is history.

What’s your favorite thing about being a monster truck driver? The fans, the smiles on kids faces, doing what you did as a kid- every little boy’s dream!

What’s your schedule like with the Monster Jam Tour? Where’s your favorite place you’ve visited on tour? We tour throughout the entire year. It’s great to do the American and Canadian shows. We did 5 shows last summer in Australia and I think that would have to be one of my favorite places.

Do you hope that your son follows in your footsteps by taking this career path? Yes! My son loves racing, and will most likely end up racing himself one day. He knows all the Monster Jam drivers by name and is constantly playing X-Box with them. I’m sure he will end up being a racer one day.

I’m a dessert blogger, and have to ask- what’s your favorite dessert? CHEESECAKE! No hesitation there. Specifically blueberry cheesecake.

Seriously this guy is awesome, and I cannot wait to see him race the Dragon’s Breath! So gather up all those monster truck loving boys and girls (and moms and dads) and head on over to Monster Jam!

Dragons Breath

Angel Stadium of Anaheim

2000 Gene Autry Way, Anaheim, CA 92806
Saturday, January, 10th at 7:00PM

Saturday, January 24th at 7:00PM

Saturday, February 7th at 7:00PM

TICKET INFO:

Exclusive VIP Early Access to Pit Party at 1:00PM for Total Access Pass holders
Event ticket and Pit Passes are required for entry; Pit Passes available to purchase for $10 each via
Ticketmaster.com or the Angel Stadium box officeTICKETS:

Prices start from $25 for Adults; Kids (age 2-12) tickets are only $10 (for select seating) Total Access Pass fan packages available for $75 each.

To Purchase Tickets: 

Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster
retail outlets, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or in-person at the Angel Stadium box office.

For more information on all Southern California dates and updates log onto http://www.MonsterJam.com
or visit us on Facebook and YouTube.

Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment/Monster Jam

It’s Been a While… Oh and Monkey Bread.

Oh hey there. I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve written one of these blogs. Especially one that includes a recipe. We’ve been swamped with holiday stuff, as I’m sure most of you have been.

Here’s a little glimpse into my December through photos:

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We attended my Hubby’s company Christmas party at the beautiful Surf and Sand hotel in Laguna Beach. It’s always fun to get all fancied up and drink free wine :) Wouldn’t you agree?

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The kids and I started a new way of celebrating the Advent season by reading the Jesse Tree devotional together every day. It was so special to do this (and complete it successfully) and learn about the birth of Jesus with a child-friendly way of explaining the Christmas story with scripture as well.

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I’ve made a not-so new years resolution to learn to play guitar again. In fact, it’s not going to be a ‘resolution’, but a priority of mine to learn to play in 2015. Anyone out there want to teach me? ;) ;) If not, You Tube here I come, ha!

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My boy won the hockey championship for his league. We are SO proud of him!

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We had a beautiful Christmas with family. It was really nice, quiet and low key. Just what I love…

I made Monkey Bread-

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Oh ooey gooey cinnamon sugary monkey bread. This may just become a new Christmas tradition for our family. I prepped this Christmas morning at home, then brought it over to my mom-in-law’s, popped it in their oven and by the time the kiddos were done opening gifts, it was ready. This bread makes the house smell heavenly, and it’s SO good eaten warm right out of the oven with a cup of coffee. Now don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t just have to be a breakfast thing. I served it last night for dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Although the one mistake I made was I didn’t serve it warm. It really needs to be warm!

Here’s the EASY easy recipe courtesy of Pilsbury!

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Ingredients:

1/2
cup granulated sugar
1
teaspoon cinnamon
2
cans (16.3 oz each) Pillsbury™ Grands!™ Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/2
cup chopped walnuts, if desired
1/2
cup raisins, if desired
1
cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4
cup butter or margarine, melted
Directions:
Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 12-cup fluted tube pan with  cooking spray. In large -storage plastic food bag, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon.
Separate dough into 16 biscuits; cut each into quarters. Shake in bag to coat. Arrange in pan, adding walnuts and raisins among the biscuit pieces.
In small bowl, mix brown sugar and butter; pour over biscuit pieces.
Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until golden brown and no longer doughy in center. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn upside down onto serving plate; pull apart to serve. Serve warm.
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I realize I’m posting this recipe about a week too late, but don’t just wait until Christmas to make this delicious bread. It’s definitely a special treat, but hey New Year’s Day is coming right up, Valentines Day or how about a regular ol Saturday? I promise EVERYONE will love you for it. Enjoy and Happy (almost) 2015!

Review: Disney On Ice

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We went to Disney On Ice- “Let’s Celebrate” last night for opening night at the Honda Center. It was FANTASTIC!!!

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My kids were SO SO excited, and Disney On Ice was pretty much the only thing they talked about (all day long) yesterday.

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We were able to meet up with a few of my daughter’s friends at the venue. Here’s the girls waiting patiently for the show to begin.

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The show of course had all the regulars including pretty much all the Disney princesses, characters from Toy Story, they had an AWESOME performance featuring Jack Skeleton along with all the Disney Villans dancing and skating away to “This is Halloween”, Goofy, Pluto, Donald, Daisy, Minnie and of course the big man- Mickey Mouse!

I think my fave of all the performances would be the Hawaiian segment featuring Lilo and Stitch.

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The music was wonderful, all the costumes were fantastic and colorful, and of course, Stitch is so darn cute :)

Charlie liked the Toy Story performance best, because there is a giant toy pig who skates around and is pretty cute himself. And Ciera LOVED anything that had to do with Minnie Mouse, and boy was she in for a treat, because Minnie is in a good portion of the show! I won’t tell you her favorite thing Minnie does, you’ll just have to go check out the show for yourself. I promise, you won’t be sorry! Disney On Ice may just be a new yearly tradition for me and my kiddos as it was just plain AWESOME! Merry Christmas Friends!

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Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment (Disney On Ice) and Myself.

Homemade Apple Butter- The Perfect Gift!

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My husband Brandon and I ditched all that Black Friday shopping this year, for a lovely, peaceful, STUNNING hike up in Big Bear. The weather was GORGEOUS! A crisp 60 degrees, but still sunny. I really think that is my ideal weather (most of the year anyways). We went on about a 5 mile hike up Cougar Canyon trail, stopped at the top, had a little snack and wine and then headed back down.

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It was about 3 in the afternoon when we completed our hike, and I knew I didn’t want to head back home to OC just yet. I knew that Oak Glen was just at the bottom of the mountain, so we ended up stopping there for a bit on the way back. Let me tell you, Oak Glen was a perfect FALL wonderland. I’m not exaggerating at all when I say that!

Lookie here:

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Isn’t it perfect? Ahhhhh. It made up for all that un-fall-like weather we got here in the OC.

We even stopped at a super cute old fashioned coffee shop and had coffees and a yummy apple bread sundae.

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It was picture perfect and I didn’t really want to leave. But we had to.

Brandon suggested we should pick up some apples on our way out of the quaint little town head back home and make some homemade apple pies.

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Which is exactly what we did. Except we didn’t just make one apple pie. Who knew that 9 pounds of apples would make 2 apple pies (a traditional, and a dutch apple) 4 large apple turnovers, and a ginormous crock pot full of apple butter.

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Brandon helped me peel, core and cut up all the apples. It was super fun being in the kitchen with him! And let me mention to you we have 5 different varieties of apples, handpicked for us by one of the employees at the little apple stand we stopped at. He knew exactly what apples would work perfectly in an apple pie! The apples included pippins, rome beauties, old fashioned, granny smiths and golden apples. Here is the wonderful recipe I used for my homemade crockpot apple butter and it was delish! I could eat it by the spoonful, yum.

Ingredients:

  • Apples, peeled, cored, and cut into large sections. (enough to fill your Crockpot to the top)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

Directions:

  • Fill Crockpot with prepared apples.
  • In separate bowl combine and stir, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
  • Pour sugar and spice mixture over apples.
  • Turn Crockpot onto low and cook apples for 10 hours. After first 1-2 hours gently stir in the sugar mixture to coat the apples.
  • After 10 hours take lid off and stir. Your mixture will be very dark and cooked down by about half the capacity of your Crockpot.
  • Stir in lemon juice, and vanilla.
  • Taste your apple butter for sweetness. You can adjust accordingly to your taste by adding more sugar if needed.
  • At the end of the cooking time, use an emulsion blender to smooth the apple butter.
  • Spoon into clean mason jars, and cover tightly with jar lid and ring. You should eventually hear that ‘pop’ (approx 1/2 hour after jarred) that tells you that the mason jars are sealed and airtight! Be sure to leave room at the top of the jar if you are planning on freezing.

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This recipe made about 7 (200 ml) mason jars full of apple butter.

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This makes for the cutest little gift. And if you know me, and you are super lucky, you may just be receiving one  :)

Cool Giftables For Kids!

Monkey Lights

I’ve got some super FUN gift ideas for you parents out there! These gifts will be under my tree for my kiddos and I thought I’d share with you these neat, different items that your kids are sure to love!

The first item (pictured above) is called M210 Monkey Lights by MonkeyLectric — The M210 Monkey Light is a rugged, practical, high performance bicycle light that keeps you visible in all weather conditions. The M210 bike light straps to your spokes and displays fun and colorful 8-bit graphics on your spinning bike wheel. Show your style with cutting edge themes designed by the company’s electronic artists. 10 full color, ultra-bright LEDs provide nearly 360 degree visibility. 19 themes and 16 colors with hundreds of combinations. Hub-mounted battery keeps wheel balanced. Lasts up to 40 hours on 3 x AA batteries. Made in the USA. $39.99;www.monkeylectric.com

Tic Stac Toe

Second we have Tic Stac Toe (a unique twist on Tic Tac Toe) — The world’s favorite game of X’s and O’s goes extreme in this exciting version where 4 in a row on any level wins! Place one of your pieces on the game base or on top of any piece that’s already been played. Stay alert for opportunities to get four-in-a-row. It can happen in ANY direction (vertically, horizontally or diagonally), and even across different levels. Features 66 high-quality 2″ playing pieces. For two players, ages 8 and up. $19.99;www.pressmantoy.com

 

Marshmallow Orbball

And lastly the Marshmallow Orbball — Marshmallow Orbball is a NEW twist on a classic game. The soft foam exterior of the Marshmallow Orbball offers a sure grip for increased spin, while the hollow core increases throwing distance with super speed. The Marshmallow Orbball is light, aerodynamic, and throws just like a football with extreme accuracy. Master the spiral. Unlike a football, the Marshmallow Orbball can be thrown to curve through the air. Something a football just can’t do. Learn and master the Orb curve ball. Marshmallow Orbball is designed for all weather and can even be played in water. $14.95; www.marshmallowville.com

I have to admit, I let my kiddos open this one early, and this Marshmallow Orbball provided hours of great outdoor entertainment for my kids (and most of the other kids on our street). Um, yes please! get them off those video games and outdoors again!

Hope this gives you a few different ideas for your kiddos this year! Happy December 1st!

Friday Favorite- Dr. Cocoa Products For Children

You may find it strange that I’m including children’s medicine in my Friday Favorites post. But I just LOVE these products made by Dr. Cocoa so much, that I knew I had to share. No better time then the current time to share about this too, as cold and flu season is unfortunately upon us. But rest assured Dr. Cocoa products can help. And they can help without the fuss and tears that usually come with giving my kids cold medicine. Can any mom’s out there relate?

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My boy woke up one day a few weeks ago feeling not-so-great. I gave him a dose of the Dr. Cocoa Cough+Cold  (trying it for the first time) and I was in absolute shock that he didn’t complain about the taste of it! Usually it is such a fight to get my kids to take medicine when they really need it, because they can’t stand the taste of it. But the most important thing is Charlie said Dr. Cocoa helped him feel A LOT better and it worked pretty fast.

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Charlie loved this stuff so much that he asked me that next time he needs to have it, if he can pour it over vanilla ice cream (they are not joking when they say that Dr. Cocoa has a true chocolaty taste that kids love, it’s made with 10% real cocoa for a REAL chocolate flavor). Of course, I don’t advise it, but it just shows you that even my 9 year old boy gave this stuff a great review!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m ALL for natural medicine, and I will continue to use natural medicine such as essential oils, but sometimes you just need a little something more and I truly believe that Dr. Cocoa is just that.

Also, GOOD NEWS to children who are  gluten-free so is Dr. Cocoa! Its also dye and alcohol free as well. Dr. Cocoa comes in three formulas: Long Acting Cough Relief, Daytime Cough+Cold Relief and Nighttime Cough+Cold Relief.

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You can find Dr. Cocoa products at http://www.drugstore.com. It’s also available on the shelves of all major food, drug and mass merchant retailers nationwide. For more info please visit http://www.drcocoa.com or to connect with the brand, visithttp://www.facebook.com/DrCocoaForChildren.

Disney On Ice- Interview With Skater Brittany Fullgrapp

Disney

Disney On Ice is coming soon to Orange County and we couldn’t be more excited! I remember going to Disney On Ice when I was a little girl and being absolutely fascinated with the lights, the sounds, the skaters. Oh the skaters. I swore to my parents that I would one day be a professional figure skater. I would watch Kristi Yamaguchi and Nancy Kerrigan in the Olympics over and over and over. Really, Ask my mom if you don’t believe me! I was crazy about ice skating. I’d beg her to take me pretty much every weekend. She did. And I even took a few lessons. And I realized it’s a lot harder then they make it look on tv!

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These skaters make it look effortless out there on the ice, wouldn’t you agree? I recently had the privilege of chatting with Brittany Fullgrapp of Disney On Ice. She’s one of the many talented skaters in the show. She plays the character of Alice from Alice and Wonderland.

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Isn’t she adorable?

Brittany’s been skating since she was a little girl- she’s been skating for 19 years now! WOW. She comes from a family of figure skaters and has known from a very young age that this is what she wanted to do with her life. She wanted to skate competitively and eventually that turned into a Disney career. Brittany skates in 12 Disney On Ice shows each week and loves the performing, traveling, people she meets along the road and the lifelong friendships she’s made with other fellow skaters who become family. Brittany says the most challenging aspects to her skating career are of course the falls, but this girl has a strict practice schedule to keep up on her game. Brittany is a hard worker, has drive and determination and if you go out to one of the Disney On Ice shows this season, you’ll be sure to notice that in all the skaters. They simply amaze me.

Disney On Ice and Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt have teamed up this year to bring us an awesome show and also to renew our focus on nutritious food choices and well-being. The ‘MAGIC’ of healthy living. Their hope is to promote active, healthier lifestyle choices for children and families everywhere. What a great example we have to follow by watching these athletic, graceful skaters. It inspires me, and I’m sure so many children out there!

Stonyfield hopes to help families stay active, eat well and have fun and that’s what the ‘magic’ of healthy living is all about! Hope to see you at the show friends!

PHOTO CREDIT: Feld Entertainment