7.28.2014

Ghost the Musical comes to Costa Mesa, CA

by Pattie Cordova
I'm falling deeper in love with the arts, and the proximity of Segerstrom Center for the Arts to my home makes it so easy, fun and affordable to keep up with the hottest Broadway shows. Next on the calendar is Ghost the Musical. Opening night is July 29th and I am so excited to be attending opening night!

Ghost the Musical comes to Costa Mesa, CA

Tickets are still available for Ghost the Musical. With its limited time engagement, I highly recommend you plan out your date night to ensure that you secure your tickets.

Ghost the Musical at Segerstrom Center for the Arts

About Ghost the Musical

Relive the iconic and magical moments from the Oscar®-winning movie Ghost in a brand-new Broadway musical. Ghost The Musical breathes glorious new life into a timeless love story. The musical features an original pop score from multiple Grammy Award®-winners Dave Stewart, one half of the 80s pop duo the Eurythmics, and Glen Ballard, co-writer with Alanis Morissette on the multi-platinum album Jagged Little Pill, among many other notable credits and collaborations. The musical’s tale of everlasting love is thrilling entertainment for audiences of all ages.

Adapted from the hit film by its Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin, Ghost The Musical follows Sam and Molly, a young couple whose connection takes a shocking turn after Sam's untimely death. Trapped between two worlds, Sam refuses to leave Molly when he learns she is in grave danger. Desperate to communicate with her, he turns to a storefront psychic who helps him protect Molly and avenge his death. The Associated Press says Ghost The Musical is “eye-poppingly brilliant with glorious songs” and Newsday says the show is “unlike anything seen onstage before!”

Running time (approximate): 2 hours and 30 minutes. Ghost the Musical is recommended for ages 13+. Please be advised that there is mild violence, mature themes and dialogue that is true to the story and plot.

Ghost the Musical


Ghost the Musical


SHOW DATES AND TIMES

July 29-August 10, 2014
Tuesday-Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m.
Sunday at 1 and 6:30 p.m.

WHERE

Segerstrom Center for the Arts – Segerstrom Hall
600 Town Center Drive
Costa Mesa, CA

TICKET INFORMATION

Start at $25
In person - The Box Office
Open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily
Online - SCFTA.org
Phone - (714) 556-2787
Open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily
TTY number - (714) 556-2746
Group Sales - (714) 755-0236

15 Quick and Easy Back-to-School Meals

by Pattie Cordova
15 Quick and Easy Back-to-School Meals

The kids are going to be heading back to school soon and I'll be needing to load up on all kinds of quick and easy recipes so I can ensure that they eat well. I prefer to prep for school days during the weekend by cutting up any vegetables and storing them for easy access later. This compilation of 15 different vegetarian recipes is a great round-up to keep back-to-school meals interesting.

Check out Easy Back to School Meals
by Pattie Cordova at Foodie.com

Super Villains Come to Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition)

by Pattie Cordova
Disney Interactive officially announced that a trio of popular Super Villains will be entering the world of Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition) - Ronan the Accuser from Guardians of the Galaxy, Green Goblin from Spider-Man and the infamous Loki, God of Mischief from The Avengers. I can't wait for this set to come out later this year - I know it'll be at the top of my kids' list.

Super Villains Come to Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition)

New character highlights include: 

Ronan: Wielding the Universal Weapon, the ruthless Ronan the Accuser is an unstoppable force in both the Guardians of the Galaxy universe and in the Toy Box mode. Cloaking, energy blasts and super human strength are all part of the powerful arsenal at Ronan’s disposal as he vies to become the mightiest villain in the galaxy.


Green Goblin: Armed with Pumpkin Bombs, the brilliantly nefarious Goblin uses his Electro Shock Gauntlet to dispatch opponents handily in the world of Spider-Man. Super human strength, spectacular super jumps and the ability to charge his bombs into more powerful bolas all make him a villainous force to be reckoned with for both symbiotes and Super Heroes alike.

Loki: The God of Mischief is at your command when you play as Loki. Whether hassling Thor and Hulk in the Avengers Play Set or exploring the treasures found in the Toy Box mode, Loki’s sure to have a few tricks up his sleeve. From defeating his opponents with a powerful scepter to projecting decoy versions that bewilder even the cleverest of heroes, Loki is the villain you’ll love to hate.


With the new Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes characters - creating mischief has never been so fun!

7.24.2014

5 things you need to know about grapefruit

by Pattie Cordova
This is a sponsored post. 

There are few fruits that provide the benefits of healthy skin, weight loss and even a cleaner bathroom quite like the grapefruit. Grapefruit is full of benefits, it's affordable and definitely a multi-tasker. Learn the five things you need to know about grapefruit and pick up one (or more!) grapefruits and grapefruit products next time you're at the market.

5 things you need to know about grapefruit // LivingMiVidaLoca.com

Lowers cholesterol

Just one grapefruit a day will help your lower LDL cholesterol levels (the "bad" cholesterol) by 15.5 percent and triglycerides by 27 percent. Go for the deep red grapefruit varieties as they'll have higher levels of antioxidants.

Boost metabolism

Neutrogena products available at Sam's Club // livingmividaloca.comPeople who ate half of a grapefruit before each meal (without making any other dietary changes) shed an average of three and a half pounds over 12 weeks, found a study from the Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, California.

Grapefruit has unique chemical properties that, for the last 30 years of studies have shown, promotes weight loss. It's full of vitamin C and will reduce insulin levels which ultimately promotes weight loss.

Green household cleaner

Using grapefruit pulp and rind will do wonders for your home. Simply dip a juiced grapefruit half in a plate of sea salt, and then rub the grapefruit all over your household fixtures, squeezing any leftover juice out as you go. The citric acid in the fruit will dissolve dirt and grime. The salt will disinfect and scour. Once you scrub, just rinse the solution away.

Skin exfoliator

Cut a grapefruit in half, sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar and rub over your skin for an easy exfoliator. It'll do wonders on dark patches you may have on your knees and elbows.

Package a grapefruit exfoliator to-go by mixing some sugar, a little oil and fresh grapefruit juice. Use it in the shower to exfoliate the rest of your skin. The natural anti-bacterial properties will soften your skin and give them a healthy natural tone.

Great skin cleanser 

When ingested, grapefruit will help your body work efficiently so that it can flush out toxins and waste from all your cells, which leads to better skin. The vitamins and minerals in grapefruit will feed your cells and keep them healthy and strong, which will also show in your skin. The anti-oxidants in grapefruit fights free radicals in the skin that can cause lines, wrinkles, discolorations and other blemishes that can make you look older than you are.

When applied topically, the grapefruit will help fade spots by reducing excess production of skin pigment. Use a cleanser like Neutrogena® Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub that will both cleanse and smooth your skin. It powerfully clears blemishes and blackheads with maximum strength Salicylic Acid acne medicine plus an uplifting blast of grapefruit. With 100% naturally derived grapefruit extract and vitamin C, Neutrogena® Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub features gentle microbeads that smooth away roughness without over-drying or irritating your skin. Couple it with Neutrogena® Shine Control and take control over oily skin! Buy these products at Sam's Club and save money by purchasing in larger quantity.

Neutrogena products available at Sam's Club // livingmividaloca.com


This posting was sponsored by Neutrogena® and I was compensated by payment. Regardless, what I have written in my own opinion and experience and I hope you find it of use.

7.22.2014

Sofia Vergara & Joe Manganiello in Los Angeles

by Pattie Cordova
Me encanta Sofia Vergara. I don't care that she plays up her accent - it just makes her more hilarious. I adore that she dresses up everything that she wears, and she just owns her look. This past weekend she stepped out with her new novio, Joe Manganiello in L.A. and I gush at how casual they look together. The beginning of a new romance - and basically his dream come true. Believe in true love!

Sofia Vergara & Joe Manganiello in Los Angeles
Source


7.17.2014

Upgrading to the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini

by Justine Burgess
Those of you that know me well, know that my phone is not something I update often...or ever, unless I drop it in a toilet. In fact, my current phone looks like something out of Star Trek – the 60’s version. It’s a flip phone (you can laugh), it’s chipped, and the battery cover falls off a lot, and the only thing I can do is make calls…which, really, is the purpose of a phone, right? I don’t text, I don’t cruise the internet, I don’t play games, and when I want to check something online, I use a computer. Well, my simple, non-technologically advanced world came to a screeching halt a few weeks ago when Pattie asked me if I wanted to try out the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini she received for review and give my thoughts on it. It was like giving a Neanderthal a microwave. I was totally clueless.

Nokia flip phone

The first few days were tough. I had no idea what to do with it. The screen colors are gorgeous, the phone is a nice size, and it’s loaded with a ton of features, apps, and widgets- none of which I knew how to use, because my flip phone is the equivalent of an Atari 2600 loaded with Pong; in other words, my technological knowledge of smart phones is greatly limited. So I spent a lot of time just playing with it. I tried to just turn it on and go- which was probably not a good idea. Thank goodness for instruction manuals.  

Samsung Galaxy S4 mini

It’s a beautiful phone, very sleek and simple in design. I did notice immediately, though, that the phone did not seem (to me) particularly intuitive and the instruction manual is not as descriptive as it should be- something as simple as saving a text as a draft (when there is no “save as a draft” icon) is not explained, so it took me awhile to really figure out how to use the basics. It tried to lead me through several set-up screens, but they kept moving by very quickly. The “Easy Mode” that is supposed to make this phone simple for even an inexperienced user was really not so easy. Now that I've had time to get accustomed to it though, I can say that I now understand why people are always looking at their phones in public- it’s addicting.  So far, I've used Instagram, all the assorted Google items (Chrome, Play, +, etc.), the camera, texting (how did I live without this?), and navigation (I still got lost, but not AS lost).

On the plus side, this phone is very touch-sensitive, which is great if you put a protective screen over it (which I did not) - the heightened sensitivity pretty much guarantees that it will still register. Unfortunately, though, this sensitive screen can also be a drawback- more than once I wasn't even touching the phone and it suddenly flipped through several applications and/or pages back. It was like it was possessed…or maybe I breathed too hard. After a few weeks, this issue seemed to dissipate- in fact, now I sometimes have to swipe repeatedly, so the sensitivity of the screen has clearly diminished with use. Although, it did download Samsung Billing the other day on its own…and I wasn't even near it.

Samsung Galaxy S4 mini colors

Here are my pros and cons of this particular Android phone (4.4.2 OS), though never having used a smart phone before, I have nothing to really compare it to other than my ancient Nokia (which is, absolutely, like two cups and a string when compared with this Samsung).

Without any further ado, the pros:
  • compact size- perfect for pockets! For the fashionista, it will go nicely in your evening clutch bag.
  • 16GB internal memory, 1.5 GB RAM
  • decent web browsing speeds, with a  1.7 GHz Dual–Core processor. It’s actually faster than my computer…though I probably need to update that, too.
  • vibrant 4.3 inch AMOLED display. The colors on this phone are FANTASTIC and very clear.
  • Samsung Hub- access all of your content in a single app. Nothing like having your life and needs all at a single finger swipe.
  • good sound quality. Music, video, and phone calls are very clear. You can watch movies and play games on Samsung HUB and it’s like watching a really, really tiny HDTV with a good speaker system.
  • WatchOn- you can use this app to control your TV with your phone. My husband loves this. It even suggests shows he might like based on his current shows..
  • great camera, front or rear facing, plus a video recorder. 8MP Rear–facing camera, AP with LED Flash, full HD. It has tons of different modes, like Sports, Panorama, and Night, and you can edit right on the phone with on-board filters and editing tools. Did not take the place of my Canon, but gave it a run for its money. Also, it has a 1.9MP    Front– facing camera, 720p. Great for those selfies, though at my age I try to take them in soft lighting. Video is great for sports- the auto focus makes it easy to stay on your subject and the transitions are fairly smooth, while the picture stays crisp.
  • very lightweight. Comfortable to carry in one hand.
  • automatic updates (these can be a drawback, though- I was in the middle of something and BOOM, automatic updates came on and commandeered control of the phone, rebooting it. Not cool.).
  • reasonably priced. I've seen these Galaxy S4 minis as low as FREE with service agreements pretty much everywhere.

And now, the not-so-hot:
  • battery life. (Standard 1900 mAh Lithium Ion) Standby time on the specs says up to 8 days. Uh, no. More than 1 day and it needed a charge. Usage time states up to 18 hours. Not even close, for me at least. Spend more than an hour on this phone and the battery is ready for a recharge.
  • weirdly over- reactive (or a total lack of response) at times.
  • screen blacking out. Don’t touch the screen for about 4 seconds and it will fade to black, necessitating a click on the button and a swipe to get back to what ever you were doing.
  • when laid on a flat surface, at times it doesn't pick up pressure on the touch screen.
  • small screen makes keyboarding tough. If you keep the phone upright, the keyboard is quite tiny and can make typing a challenge. If you flip it lengthwise, typing is much easier, but then you can’t see what the screen says.
  • not super-rugged. It’s a pretty phone, but so lightweight I’m afraid it will break. Not sure how well it will hold up under heavy activity.
Upgrading to the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini

Overall, it was a really good phone. It was great to have access to everything I would normally do from a PC- facebook, email, twitter, etc., plus now that I've experienced Instagram, I’ll never give it up; I’ll be putting it on my husband's phone. I haven’t even come close to trying out the dozens of other features; it’s all new to me, so I’m taking them one at a time. For tech-savvy people looking for a lightweight mid-range phone that is a lower-priced alternative, this is a good choice. The Samsung S5 is already out, so the deals abound for this older model. I’m not quite ready to give up my old calls-only phone and head into the higher-priced land of data service, but once I am, I’ll definitely consider this one.


This is not a sponsored post. LivingMiVidaLoca was provided the phone for review purposes of the phone only.



Visiting Menchie's in Laguna Niguel

by Alma Pedroza
This is a sponsored post.

There is a new Menchie's in Orange County. If you are new to Menchie's Frozen Yogurt it is like no other froyo place. One of the things that distinguishes them from others is their waffles.


That is the first thing you notice as you walk in - the smell of fresh in-store made waffles. They have the waffle irons displayed in the front house and there is no escaping the smell. Frozen yogurt on top of a crispy waffle plus all your favorite toppings is only seen at Menchie's.


I took my four munchkins to the soft opening of Menchie's in Laguna Niguel... and they had a blast! They kept on noticing all the characters on the wall. Like the dog named Chip, and Mellow the marshmallow. The obvious favorite was Menchie, the frozen swirl yogurt. These characters bring a fun whimsical feel to Menchie's. It is not just about the yogurt - it's the experience at Menchie's. 


Menchie's offers " a little bit of everything." If you have dietary restrictions they have a flavor including nonfat, gluten-free, sugar free and vegan options. I loved what my daughter told me, "they have more flavors than other yogurt places." Some examples being Dole pineapple, Peachy Keen (the owners favorite), toasty marshmallow, cake batter, and strawberry banana. The yogurts are made with milk from hormone-free cows and a great source of probiotics.


Our family had a fun time coming up with our own creation using the S'more yogurt. We started with a waffle cup and added my daughter's favorite flavor - Toasty Marshmallow. Then moved on to the wall of toppings and sprinkled graham cracker crumbs and topped it with hot fudge. We were evil yogurt geniuses and the possibilities seemed endless.


The week long Grand Opening Extravaganza is still going on with great deals to beat the heat. Come out and create your own yogurt masterpiece at Menchie's in Laguna Niguel. The flavors are like no other and the atmosphere is so welcoming. Make sure to take home their main ingredient a "Smile." We sure did.

Follow Menchie’s Laguna Hills on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more froyo fun!

This is a sponsored post. I was invited to a pre-grand opening event to facilitate this post. All thoughts and ideas remain my own.