Peek Inside What’s #NewAtTheCube

In 1998 I worked in Santa Ana where on one cloudy morning the company’s CFO suggested we take a walking field trip to a museum ground breaking event happening near our office. We were up for anything that wasn’t work so we went. However, our walk was immediately cut short as soon as we crossed over the parking lot lines. VPOTUS Al Gore was the speaker at the event and the area had been secured by secret service and sharp shooters. Back to work we went.

We have been to Discovery Cube Orange County a ton of times since 1998 because my daughter loves the hands-on science exhibits. We’ve been anxiously awaiting the expansion of the museum and were lucky enough to get a sneak peek of the brand new exhibit earlier this week.

The remodel offers tons of new permanent exhibits including a virtual helicopter tour of Orange County’s Irvine Ranch, a water gallery, an inspector training course, an inventor’s workshop and more. The brand new 10,000 sq. ft. theater will hold visiting exhibits where the International Exhibit of Sherlock Holmes is now on display.

Discovery Cube OC

The museum also built a new Bean Sprouts for kid-friendly, healthy eating. They offer everything from sandwiches, pizza, salads and a coffee bar. They use allergy-free ingredients and work in a peanut-free kitchen.

Discovery Cube Orange County

Discovery Cube Orange County is giving away a family membership! Enter to win using the form below and good luck!

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Thanks to Discovery Cube Orange County for hosting a fun night!

In Defense of Lipo | BeautyLand Event!

I have been bothered by a protruding hump at the base of the back of my neck for some time now. I first noticed it when we received the photos from our wedding in 2001. I chalked it up to a lifetime of bad posture and vowed to put my shoulders back more often.

wedding photo

I started to realize that the hump was the reason necklaces wouldn’t lay properly and bathing suit strings that tied around my neck would feel incredibly uncomfortable.

I started working with a chiropractor to help realign my spine and hopefully reduce the growing size of the hump. He explained that it is caused by the misalignment of the head which then puts stress on the spine. The body produces extra tissue to protect that area of the spine and what results is a condition known as Upper Thoracic Hump.

He also informed me that it’s a prime area for fat accumulation. As successful as we’ve been at realigning my head and spine, I won’t ever be able to spot reduce the fat in that area. He said that a lot of patients will undergo minor liposuction to achieve the clean angles of the spine.

I’ve certainly reached the season of my life where Botox, fillers and laser treatments have become increasingly more intriguing. Yes, the fine lines on my forehead and around my eyes bug me and the sun spots on my arms and chest look darker everyday. But, I am most bothered by that damn hump. I feel like that is the one thing that ages me, but moreover, it makes me feel incredibly self-conscious.

I remember the day the picture below was taken. I asked the photographer to stand at a different angle because I didn’t want too much of my hump showing.

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The thought of liposuction feels scary. If I’m being honest, so does Botox and fillers and lasers. But, I also want to love what I see when I look in the mirror – or in photographs.

CosmetiCare’s BeautyLand event on May 7th might be the perfect time for me (and you!) to learn more about these kinds of preventative beauty procedures.

Orange County’s leading medspa is hosting an open house in Corona del Mar on Thursday, May 7th from 2pm- 5pm. Attendees will learn about the options available to them to get in front of the aging process. During this free and intimate experience, guests will have an opportunity to hear more about CosmetiCare’s instant aesthetic technology, fat melting TruSculpt, laser hair removal, techniques to freeze frown lines, consult with Dr. Niccole and his partners and learn about financing options.

All this while indulging in complimentary champagne and hor d’oeuvres. Plus, attendees will have a chance to win products and services valued at $600 and an opportunity to win a prize package worth $2000.

The BeautyLand event is extremely limited and a RSVP is required. Email inquiry@cosmeticare.com or call 949.273.2663 to reserve your spot.

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You can enter to win a $500 gift certificate to CosmetiCare before the May 7th BeautyLand event. The beauty of youthful, ageless skin is not only possible, it can be yours! Enter to win using the entry form below.

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This post is sponsored. All products, samples, giveaways, services or other materials have been provided by Reveille on behalf of their client. All opinions are my own.

Remembering on Giving Day

It will be 25 years this November since I lost a childhood friend to cancer. We were in 10th grade and she was days from turning 16 years old when she passed.

Mindy was beautiful. She was a ballet dancer and an honors student. She was so incredibly kind. Her family welcomed me in their home for consecutive weekend sleepovers where we would listen to Depeche Mode in heavy rotation on her CD player. We played with black eyeliner and red lipstick and talked about boys. She introduced me to her obsession with all things Esprit and Star Trek. We saw The Cure at Dodger Stadium together and cried when it was over.

Here’s one of the very few photos I have of the two of us. Big hair and smiles at our middle school graduation party. And by big hair (and forehead) I mean me.

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Her diagnosis was rare and advanced and her death was devastating to many.

I think of her often but especially when I see a Volkswagen Karmann Ghia and remember how badly she wanted one for her first car. Or, when I hear “Cherish” by Madonna and I’m taken back to the day we registered for 9th grade and how we danced to that song in an empty Lamppost Pizza. And though it has since been eliminated, I would think fondly of my sweet friend when I sent out holiday cards from the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.

That Christmas after Mindy died, I stumbled upon a set of brightly colored holiday cards created by young artists fighting cancer. Sales benefited the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation and in a very small way, I felt that sending these cards was a way to remember her and support an organization that was helping to improve the care, quality of life and survival rates in kids like my dear friend.

PCRF is one of 350 non-profit organizations hoping to benefit in today’s first-ever Orange County giving day. For 30 hours beginning April 21, 2015, secure, tax-deductible donations will be accepted on iheartOC.org. The Orange County Community Foundation and their Giving Day partners will super-charge local giving by funding bonus awards and prizes to these 350 deserving organizations.

The goal is to raise $2 million for OC non-profits and keep giving within our community.

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Click here to find an organization or please visit iheartOC.org to make a donation. I will be making a donation to PCRF in Mindy’s name.

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This post is sponsored by Orange County Community Foundation. All opinions are my own.

What It Feels Like To Receive: Giving Day in OC!

It feels good to give.

But, it also feels really good to receive.

I present you with the top seven classic reactions to when a person finds out they are the recipient of something awesome.

1. Head Lock Hug. Sure it starts out as a regular old celebratory hug but it quickly turns dangerous when you find yourself in the middle of someone’s forearm and bicep.

2. I’m So Happy I Could Cry. You’re so overwhelmed with emotion that your brain doesn’t know if it should respond with tears or laughter. So, you do both.

3. Uncontrollable Fan Hands. You’re not quite sure what happened or what to do with your hands, so you fan yourself, naturally.

4. The White Girl Dance. Guilty. You know you are too.

5. The Bro Hop-Hug. Guys often like to play it cool but these friends really know how to celebrate.

6. When No One’s Watching. We’ve all done this classic run twist combination when we’re home alone.

7. The Take Me to Church. #Blessed

April 21, 2015 is Orange County Community Foundation’s first-ever i♥OC Giving Day!

OCCF is super-charging local giving by hosting Orange County’s first-ever countywide giving day. Secure, tax-deductible donations will be accepted on iheartOC.org during a 30-hour period, and participating Orange County nonprofits will be eligible to receive funding through bonus awards and prizes provided by OCCF and our Giving Day partners.

April 21-22, 2015 is Giving Day! Support OC's 350 nonprofits with a donation through #iheartoc and Orange County Community Foundation.

By participating in i♥OC Giving Day, your donation stays local and your gift benefits the cause you choose. See the list of 350 OC charities to choose from. Join us from 6 a.m. on April 21st to noon on April 22nd and show Orange County how much you care!

Something else really exciting?

You can win $150 to grant to the nonprofit of your choice! OCCF is giving away three $150 grants. Enter to win using the Rafflecopter entry form below starting April 6 – 20, 2015.

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You’ll feel good giving to one of the 350 Orange County nonprofits and I’m certain they are likely to have one of those classic reactions!

GIF image source: Giphy.com

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This post is sponsored by Orange County Community Foundation. All opinions are my own.

I’m Co-Hosting Girls’ Lunch Out Orange County

I was introduced to Mirassou Winery last Spring while attending a conference in Arizona. A handful of us were treated to a lovely food and wine pairing hosted by owner, David Mirassou. We learned about the six generations of Mirassou wine making in between bites of triple chocolate cake and sips of Cabernet  Sauvignon. It was heavenly.

While Chardonnay is usually my jam, I fell in love with the Mirassou Sunset Red that night in the desert. Sunset Red is a new blend with flavors of pomegranate and dark cherry with spicy notes. The winery suggests pairing this wine with sweet potato fries or cherry bread pudding. I suggest pairing it with friends who like to sit around a tell stories!

On Sunday, May 4th, I will be co-hosting the west coast debut of Girls’ Lunch Out in Costa Mesa, California. Mirassou Winery is the official wine sponsor of this event! Come give the Sunset Red a try!

Join us for a Girls’ Lunch Out! See the details below!

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Girls Lunch Out is a place for socially savvy women to connect, learn and lunch. It’s your opportunity to network with other professional women from Orange County, a chance to mingle with local sponsors, great door prizes, courtesy professional head shots from Hanbee Photography (what blogger doesn’t need a new head shot?!), and the fabulous Rebecca Woolf from Girls Gone Child will speak on the art of storytelling.

This is an intimate luncheon and it will sell out. Grab your ticket HERE before they are gone!

Mirassou Winery is an official sponsor of Girls Lunch Out. I did not receive additional compensation to write this post. All opinions are my own.

Half-Dressed Hunky Dudes. Enough Said.

A few weeks ago, I teased this photo on Instagram to see if anyone knew where I was at. Within seconds, I got a resounding “Dinner and Tournament” from mostly everyone. I was on assignment that day for the Anaheim Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau as I was writing a behind-the-scenes piece about Medieval Times in Buena Park.

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I spent a good hour with their master horse trainer and learned about how a squire moves up the ranks to become a knight, I got an awesome rare tour of the horse stables, I watched half-dressed hunky dudes wash down the horses after a show, I got to step foot into the famous arena, I got to look in on the famous falcon while it slept, I listened to the cast of the show joke around with each other on their lunch break, and I got a super sneak peek at “the board” – the one that determines which knight is going to win the tournament during the next show. It was a really fun afternoon.

My piece is finally up and I would love for you to head over to AOCVCB to read it!  Behind The Scenes at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament

Marina Auto Body | Premier Collision Repair

It’s Thursday and I’m thrilled to feature yet another amazing contributor to the winner of the #iwillrockthis weight loss challenge!  Aren’t you kicking yourself for not signing up?  The winner is taking home a ton of cash and products galore from a group of generous people in and around Orange County!

This week, I am pleased to introduce you to Marina Auto Body!

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Most of my readers are mostly women and I’m guessing many have never stepped foot into an auto body repair shop, right?  Hey, maybe you’ve never had a fender bender or wrecked your car – that is a good thing!  But if you have…was it you who oversaw the repair process or even dealt with the insurance company?  Maybe you let your significant other handle it because, well…it was a wrecked car.  Truth is, auto body shops have a reputation of being ran by intimidating men gunning for an up sell.  I’m here to tell you otherwise.

Today, I’ll introduce you to what makes Marina Auto Body a premier automotive body shop.  Next week, I will walk you through the steps of what to do after having an accident.  I’m an expert, y’all, because:

  1. I worked at Marina Auto Body for many years before becoming a full-time mom, and
  2. I’ve wrecked my own car several times!

Marina Auto Body should be your number one choice for automotive collision repair services in Orange and Los Angeles Counties. They’ve been committed to excellence and dedicated to providing exceptional customer service since 1978. With two locations – Los Angeles and Huntington Beach – Marina Auto Body only uses state of the art equipment and every technician is I-CAR and A.S.E certified.  Marina Auto Body is an Authorized Repair Center for Toyota, Lexus, Scion, Ford, and Mercedes-Benz. In 2011, Automobile Club of Southern California chose Marina Auto Body as the winner of the Top Shop Award in Customer Service!

 Let’s take a closer look at Marina Auto Body.

  • The Los Angeles location is a 28,000 square foot, stage-of-the-art facility, complete with a fully computerized office and shop.
  • For expert paint refinishing, Marina Auto Body uses Spies Hecker paint to ensure a quality color match to your vehicle’s color.
  • They also utilize two downdraft spray booths with bake ovens and three downdraft prep stations for cleaner, more efficient service and a smooth, factory-like finish.
  • They have made a major investment in the finest paint system available and constantly upgrades its technology and equipment.
  • Marina Auto Body provides a written warranty on workmanship for as long as you own your vehicle.

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Marina Auto Body’s customer service representatives have pledged to provide top-notch customer service to every single customer.  Their team contributes their diverse specialties and experiences to resolve any problem that arises. Since Marina Auto Body is a direct repair facility for many major insurance companies, there really is no one more qualified to handle your total collision repair.

Marina Auto Body’s commitment to equipment, materials, training and customer service sets them apart from the rest. From computerized estimates to bodywork, no automotive collision repair shop is more qualified than Marina Auto Body.

Here’s a great tip: In case you’re in an accident, bookmark Marina Auto Body’s website on your mobile phone and you’ll have help at your fingertips!  They can arrange towing service from the scene of the accident to their facility.  Marina is also very active in social media!  Find them on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Marina Auto Body Los Angeles

4095 Redwood Avenue.
Los Angeles, CA 90066
Phone: (310) 822-6615
Hours:
Monday – Friday: 7:30am – 6:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 1:00pm

Marina Auto Body Huntington Beach

17911 Georgetown Lane,
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
Phone: (714) 848-3178
Hours:
Monday – Friday: 8:00am – 5:30pm

This is a non-sponsored post. Marina Auto Body has generously donated services to the winner of the #iwillrockthis weight loss challenge. Wendy Will Blog does not endorse any products mentioned. This post appears in exchange for the services donated. All opinions are of my own.

Tera Rae Stephens | The Stylist

Last week, you met Nicole Longstreath of The Wardrobe Code. That girl has some serious skills, right? Have you figured out your weekend go-to outfit formula yet? I’m still working on mine but you should see my closet — I’ve totally edited it down to three shirts and two pairs of pants. Who wants to go shopping?

I’m excited to feature another amazing contributor to the #iwillrockthis weight-loss challenge today. And keeping with the theme of looking and feeling fab, I am pleased to introduce you to the uber-talented Tera Rae Stephens.

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Tera works at Tek Salon in Costa Mesa, CA and has ten years of experience. She has taken advanced courses at Paul Mitchell The School, Rare Academy in NYC, Vidal Sassoon, and Schwartzkopf. She also has recently become an educator for Hotheads Hair Extensions. Tera prides herself by staying ahead of trends and is inspired by fashion, travel, her photographer husband and amusing kids.

I was recently able to talk to Tera about hair trends, Hotheads Hair Extensions, and her top tips for great summer hair. Here’s what she had to say:

What are your clients asking for these days?
I’m doing a ton of balyage which is hand painting highlights for a really natural sun kissed blonde that grows out beautifully. The Ombré trend is still going on but more clients are starting to transition into more natural blondes that show their natural color and require less maintenance. I think hair is becoming more natural looking. Less flat ironing, less drastic color. There is nothing more beautiful than shiny, healthy hair!

What is one hair trend you’d never like to see return?
The one where guys grew out the top really long but shaved the sides super short and then slicked the top back into a ponytail!

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Tera working her magic at Tek Salon

Which female celebrity hair are you loving? (long and short, respectively)
My fav is Jennifer Lopez because her hair is incredibly versatile. She goes from sleek and chic to big and curly to a playful pony like no one else can!  [For short hair] My fav is Emma Watson.  She is stunning, youthful and chic all at the same time!

Name a celebrity you’d love to get your hands on and why?
Ugggghhhh! Christina Aguilera has such potential to be gorgeous and her hair always ruins it for me! It’s too blonde, too stringy and just too over done!

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She REALLY wants to get her hands on Christina!

Let’s talk hair extensions. Are there more women wearing hair extensions that we realize?
Absolutely! A ton of celebrities are wearing them and they have become so accessible that your next door neighbor is likely wearing them! Extensions are a quick, easy way to add incredible length and volume. Most of us have to enhance what God gave us!

Tell me what’s great about Hotheads Hair Extensions as opposed to others? [Tera uses Hotheads exclusively and is an educator for the brand]
Hotheads are the newest technology in extensions. They are a tape in method that can be applied in about an hour, the hair lasts for 6 months, and you visit the salon every 8 weeks to have them serviced. They are made of great quality hair and are virtually undetectable in the hair!

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One of Tera's Hotheads Hair Extensions clients.

Are Hotheads made of human hair or synthetic hair?
Hotheads are 100% Remy hair. This means that great care is taken to ensure that all of the cuticles of the hair are facing the same direction so the hair doesn’t mat or tangle. Most comes from India and Europe.

Can you use a curling iron, blow dryer, hot rollers, flat iron on Hotheads?
Absolutely! It’s human hair!

Are they colored to match hair exactly or can they be highlighted?
Hotheads come in 22 colors and can be custom blended to match most hair! I rarely color them and it’s actually recommended that you don’t since they have already been colored.

Can you pull your hair up or back with them in?
Your hair can be worn in low ponytails or buns. No cheerleader ponytails!

Can Hotheads be used just to lengthen bangs?
Hotheads can’t be used to lengthen bangs but the newest product coming from Hot Heads, Tress Couture, offers clip in bangs. I’m sure I’ll be selling a ton of those!

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Perfect blending of Hotheads Hair Extensions

How much do Hotheads Hair Extensions cost and what is the maintenance?
Generally the cost is between $800 and $1200 depending on length, color, and amount of hair needed. That includes the hair, application, and cutting to blend them into your existing haircut. An hour maintenance every 8 weeks costs about $100.

Who is a good candidate for Hotheads Hair Extensions?
Anyone looking for length and volume! Some of my clients have hair that is so thin you could see right through it, those are my favorite afters because you can literally see the confidence growing right there in the chair.

Tera was recently featured on San Diego’s Fox 5 demonstrating how easy it is to have Hotheads Hair Extensions applied.  In the same interview, she also gives a sneak preview of the new Tress Couture clip-on hair fashions she mentioned earlier!

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Check out Tera Rae Stephens’ 5 quick summer hair tips:

  1. Use Aveda Sun Protective Hair Veil like its going out of style!
  2. Rinse chlorine out ASAP and see above for more protection!
  3. When it’s hot, air dry!  Rock your natural texture or amp it up with Oribe Après Beach spray for shine, volume, and texture.
  4. Spin pins by Goody are the best for holding up quick, messy buns.
  5. Use a great moisturizing mask once a week so you don’t look like the Straw Man in September!  I love Oribe’s Mask for Beautiful Color or Moroccan Oil’s Intense Hydrating Mask.
Appointments with Tera can be scheduled online through Schedulicity.  You can also find her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.  And definitely check out her awesome website – Tera Rae Stephens – where  in a video tutorial she demonstrates how to trim a friend’s bangs,  which tools and products she personally uses, and my absolute favorite new feature “The Style(ist)“!
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Have you had hair extensions?  Or would you considering getting some after what you read here today?  Me?  I would love to try out the Tress Couture clip-ons!

Photos courtesy of Tera Rae Stephens and Kathleen Enge of Sugar and Spice.

This is a non-sponsored post.  Tera Rae Stephens has generously donated her hairdressing services to the winner of the #iwillrockthis weight loss challenge.  Wendy Will Blog does not endorse any products mentioned.  This post appears in exchange for her services.

Laguna Beach Food Truck Festival | This Saturday!

Food trucks hardly ever disappoint, right?  The  First Annual Laguna Beach Food Truck Festival is this Saturday, May 12th from 11:30am – 3:00pm!  The event is presented by The Gorjana and Griffin Foundation and will benefit the CHOC Foundation.  Tickets are $35 which will get you FIVE tastings from any of the food trucks.  Have you tried the carnitas fries from The Lime Truck?  Holy deliciousness.

Don’t take my word for it though — Get your buns in the car and get to beautiful Laguna Beach this Saturday!  This is an event not to be missed!

This is a non-sponsored post.  I have not received any financial compensation to promote the Laguna Beach Food Truck Festival.  This post appears as a courtesy to my friends at Gorjana.  Plus, it’s for a good cause!

Laguna Beach Food Truck Festival | Gorjana

This event has been marked on my calendar for months now! If you need me on May 12th from 11:30 – 3:00pm I’ll be with the family down in Laguna Beach to support the Gorjana and Griffin Foundation as they host their First Annual Laguna Beach Food Truck Festival! The event will benefit CHOC Children’s Foundation which exists to generate community awareness and resources for CHOC Children’s Hospital of Orange County and CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital.

Who doesn’t love a food truck? A half-dozen of the very best will be in attendance serving up a special tasting menu for the day. Tickets cost $35 for five tastings from any truck.  Check out the official flyer for details!

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Food, entertainment, and a ton of fabulous prizes are to be raffled off!  What more is there to ask for?  Mark your calendars now for the Laguna Beach Food Truck Festival on May 12th from 11:30am – 3:00pm in the Laguna Culinary Arts parking lot (adjacent to the Sawdust Festival grounds).  Tickets can be pre-purchased at LBFTF.com today!  I’ll definitely see you there!

 

I was not compensated to promote the Laguna Beach Food Truck Festival hosted by the Gorjana and Griffin Foundation.  This post appears as a courtesy to my friends at Gorjana.