I Heart Louis

One Direction: This Is Us – VIP Movie Screening

1D Premiere
Last night I accompanied 15 teen/tween “One Directioners” to the VIP screening of 1D’s new movie, ONE DIRECTION: THIS IS US. The film is a captivating and intimate all-access look at life on the road for the global music phenomenon. The movie is weaved with stunning live concert footage, while telling the remarkable story of Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry and Louis’ meteoric rise to fame, from their humble hometown beginnings and competing on the X-Factor, to conquering the world and performing at London’s famed O2 Arena. The girls LOVED hearing stories from the boys and seeing life through their own eyes as to what it’s really like to be part of One Direction. All the girls (and Moms) alike had a great time getting a behind the scenes glimpse at the 5 heartthrobs that are taking the world by storm.
1D Fans
BE FOREWARNED: This is definitely one of those movies where screaming and loud laughter is welcomed. ;)
1d fans
Personally I was a little surprised by the amount of tattoos these boys are sporting, (especially for members of a “clean-cut” boy band), but ink aside, I “get” why all the girls go crazy over these guys…each one has a distinctive personality and look that makes teenage girls simply swoon! The moms and I agreed that 2 of the members (I won’t say who…I will let you decide for yourselves) carry the group vocally, but the others definitely provide a necessary harmony and personality balance.
I couldn’t help but compare Justin Bieber’s movie with 1D’s, and if I am being brutally honest, I probably preferred JB’s story and film, but it seems that the girls were just as much in love with 1D’s movie as they were Justin’s. So that being said, I would say that the movie is certainly stand in line worthy. Not so much because of the movie quality, but because of the memories that are made when your teens/tweens go to shows like this with their friends. It’s PRICELESS to watch your girls faces as their favorite 1D member hits the screen. You get to see the groupie side of your kiddo in full form, LOL!

ONE DIRECTION: THIS IS US is Directed by Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) and produced by Simon Cowell, Adam Milano, Spurlock and Ben Winston.
For all of you excited fans, the official ‘This Is Us’ USA premiere will take place on Monday, August 26 in New York City! The best news is that you can follow the action on the red carpet live via online stream starting at 5:30pm ET! Join the chatter via #1DMoviePremiere and visit the website for all details day of!

If you haven’t seen it yet, you can check out the movie trailer here

Music bars

Who Needs Words When You’ve Got A Song?

I started to write a long ole blog post pondering my thoughts and views on WHY someone can be so mean, and then this song popped into my song rotation (Thanks to my daughter’s music selections, LOL). When I heard the lyrics to the song kick in, I stopped writing, quickly did a SELECT ALL DELETE, and decided to embed this video instead. It honestly says everything I’ve been feeling and in an upbeat kinda way. It’s nice to know that when you are hurting you can always turn to music as your therapy.
So, for all of us that have ever been pushed down over and over when we didn’t deserve it…this one is for us!

ps. Thank you Taylor Swift! (Never thought I would hear myself say THAT, haha)


Twogether Is Better

This past weekend I had the honor of joining some of the top Mommy and Daddy Bloggers from all over the LA/OC area at a special Knott’s Berry Farm VIP event in Buena Park, CA http://www.knotts.com/. The morning started off with a lovely character breakfast/mingle session and then was followed by the stage production “Love Is In The Air, Charlie Brown!” The show was absolutely ADORABLE and if I was to guess, it was likely geared toward kids between the ages of 0-9 years old. I say this because my teens weren’t as captivated by the performance as my 3rd grader was. I was actually very excited because my 8 year old, Chloe, was invited on stage to perform with Charlie Brown and friends in front of the crowd. It was fun to watch her light up in on stage and bust a move. Hmmm, a future drama queen, perhaps? ;)

Once the show concluded, the families were invited to experience all of the wonders of the amusement park at their own pace. Since my family has a diverse age span, we decided to divide and conquer to truly maximize the park experience. My teenage son and his best friend headed off to enjoy the likes of La Revolucion, Rip Tide,  Supreme Scream and WindSeeker (For a full list of THRILL RIDES Knott’s has to offer, check out http://www.knotts.com/things-to-do/thrill-rides). My middle daughter (age 12) took off with her Dad and rode Silver Bullet, Sierra Sidewinder, Montezooma’s Revenge & Jaguar! (For a complete list of Roller Coasters go to http://www.knotts.com/things-to-do/roller-coasters). My youngest daughter and myself, spent the day in Camp Snoopy http://www.knotts.com/things-to-do/children-s-rides enjoying the less “scary” rides and interacted with all of the fun activities that Knott’s put together for it’s special Valentines promotion. Chloe’s favorite attractions were the Hugging Booth, where the characters come out into the park and pose for pictures with the kids, and Cupid’s Craft Corner, where you can relax in the shade and make super cute crafts for your special “Valentine”. Chloe and I are less interested in all of the exciting rides that leave your tummy in knotts (Ha, pun intended), so we were definitely pleased to have a variety of activities to choose from to keep us entertained all morning and afternoon long.

Personally my favorite perks of the park were the Chocolate Dipping Station located in Ghost Town http://www.knotts.com/things-to-do/dining#Ghost_Town and the HEART HEALTHY MENU featuring Char Grilled Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos, Thai BBQ Salmon Salad and the Mediterranean Chicken Wrap. I have been watching what I eat lately and I always CRINGE when I head out to amusement parks because I fear I will only have fried, fatty foods to choose from. So needless to say these healthy menu items made my visit enjoyable without completely ruining my dietary goals. Thank you Knotts!

While I was admittedly a guest of the park during this event, I was pleased to learn how AFFORDABLE Knott’s Berry Farm actually is these days. In fact, during the month of FEBRUARY (1st-28th) you can purchase online admission to the park for only $34.99 per ticket! And for ONE DAY ONLY (2/29/12 aka “Leap Day”), everyone gets into the park for only $29.00! If you have older kids and want a season pass, I noticed that the special rate is only $64.99 and during the month of February, season pass holders can bring a friend for just $24.99. Not too shabby considering how expensive all of the other amusement parks in town tend to be. It’s tough when you have a large family to invest in season passes to parks like Disney or Magic Mountain, so having Knott’s as an option is actually really quite nice.

Last, but not least, I want to conclude with a quick shout out to some of the talented bloggers I have been following online for years and FINALLY got a chance to connect with face to face thanks to this wonderful event.


As ALWAYS, it was great to also see:

@SparklingLaLa & @Cyuskoff



So nice to meet those of you I met for the first time, and the rest of you (@GigaSavvy @JoelTanner @MikeUesugi @CandaceCendana @Jimmywendt)…it’s ALWAYS a pleasure! -xo

Thank you again to @Knotts for this wonderful experience, I know our family will definitely be back soon.

scrabble pillow

Poetry | Tiles Of Perfection

Saline streams soaked her pillow
Leaving trails of blackened paint
Scars from yesteryear
Left a heart beating, albeit distant & faint

Cries challenging the constant
Despair leading the way
Fragments of a picture imperfectly painted
Bound by an amaranthine ray

Getting back up, only to falter
Peering backwards, all the while moving ahead
Clip, clout, cuff
Wake up immortal, it’s time to get out of bed

The new dawn was dimly lit by LCD
Shuffling the tiles, as to choose a rally
When a snowman appeared majestically before her
In an instant, she knew she’d found her tally

Forlorn no longer
Passion’s incandescence illuminates
Laughter fills the empty corridors
A kindred spirit patiently awaits

“Fear not my child”, her heart whispered
It’s time to come out and play
I promise not to fool you
This time the puzzle pieces will remain

Now bliss fluffs her tear stained pillow
And the bête noire has finally been erased
Effervescence is all surrounding
At long last she’s found her place.



When Is Giving Really Taking?

I am one of those people that will give the shirt off their back for someone in need, especially if it is someone I care about. Regardless of the consequence, if someone I love needs me in some way, shape or form, I find a way to be there. Whether it’s to listen, to comfort, to provide support, or something more tangible, I drop everything, regardless of the consequence I may end up enduring, to find a way to be there. Perhaps I have a far too black and white view of the world, but I have always believed if you care, you do what you can. That being said, I do find that my acts of kindness often become a one way street whereby I end up being left hurt or rejected. Why is it that putting yourself out there and being vulnerable often leads to pain? Why would anyone want to hurt someone that is trying to be there for you? Why can’t there be a level of reciprocity that will negate any future strife? Why can’t a proven act of love override any mistakes you’ve made in the past? It only seems fair. But again, perhaps I am being too black and white about how the world works. I guess I need to take a look at my actions and dig deep.

Am I truly doing something for someone because I simply care? Or deep down, am I hoping for something in return?

If the secondary is my REAL truth, then of course I am going to be disappointed. I really should know better. Life has taught me that if you give to another with even the slightest hope of getting something in return, then maybe you truly aren’t giving. So that being said, I keep questioning myself and putting myself under the microscope. Maybe I should think twice before answering a call, or responding to a message. Even though I DO care and want to always “be there”, maybe that ISN’T the best way to be. Perhaps it is better to just ignore someone if deep down I know that nothing good will come of the communication. Or is that just negligent? I mean unless we can read minds, how can we REALLY ever KNOW what is going to come of a conversation. What if ignoring is turning your back on the essence of WHO you are? What if choosing to not respond leaves you even more clueless than you were to begin with? It’s all too confusing.
I look at my life path so far and I do realize I have taken many wrong turns, but at the end of each of those “dead ends” I have always paved a new path that led me to somewhere brighter and full of hope.

So maybe those dead ends weren’t dead ends after all.

Maybe they were purposeful destinations that opened my eyes to that which I would have never seen had I not journeyed. I don’t know? All I know, is that I really DON’T know.
At the end of the day, my biggest strength is also my biggest weakness.


What we do for love, what we sacrifice for love…what we need in love, I find it all to be a vicious cycle of confusion.  I guess if I am being honest with myself, I DO have expectations. In life and love, I do want back what I give. So if I give you love, I want love in return. If I give you kindness, I want kindness in return. If I speak to you with respect, I want respect in return. If I give you consideration, I want consideration in return.

Is that really too much to ask?

Maybe it is. All the books I have read about relationships, human condition and “self help” have indicated that it is OKAY to want these things in return, yet I keep finding that my wants end up in some form of rejection. Maybe these wants are really just selfish forms of unrealistic EXPECTATION and that is why I keep getting hurt.


I can admit it, it’s something that I don’t handle well. I don’t like to leave others feeling rejected, so I certainly don’t like to be on the receiving end of it either. Rejection when it comes to love, in my mind, is quite possibly the worst feeling in the world. It leaves me feeling unworthy and stupid. When you are rejected by someone you love it makes you question everything you did up until that point that led you to that moment. It makes you want to go back and do the exact opposite in the hopes that the outcome will turn out opposite as well.

But we can’t go back.

That’s like trying to put rain back into a cloud. It’s just not gonna happen. Yet through it all, deep in my heart, I am relentless at trying to find that which “makes sense” and I believe there IS a light at the end of the tunnel. There just HAS to be. I know down deep I am a really good person and that I deserve happiness. I deserve to be respected, loved, considered, and valued. I just do. We ALL do. Right? That being said, I can’t help but feel that if I am feeling this way, that I must have made others feel this way as well, because our realities are really just mirrors of ourselves. That being said, I wish I could undo the past pain I’ve ever caused and fix anything that I broke. I hate knowing that I have caused pain or suffering in anyone. Especially unknowingly. But, I suppose feeling this way goes back to that notion of everything happens for a reason. I know that I have manifested these situations, and mostly all because of my then unrealized expectations. I think it all goes back to that deciding moment of forgetting to ask myself WHY am I doing something?
So I guess my new mission in life is to stop and ask myself WHY I am doing what I am doing?
Maybe once I am honest with myself all of this nonsense will stop.
Maybe since I am writing this now, maybe I have already reached that point.
Who knows?

I know I am rambling, but mostly I am sharing my confusion with the hopes that I am not alone in this madness. I can’t help but feel like there are many others out there that go through these very same emotions and perhaps sharing them, (even in a silly blog), will create some sort of change for myself or for another. At the end of the day my goal is complex, but simple (oxymoron much Stacey?)
To love and BE loved.
Easy right?
It should be, but so far it really hasn’t been…not one bit.

I am still living and breathing, so I refuse to give up hope.
Wish me luck. ;)



When Is Enough Enough?

How often do you find yourself looking around your little world and thinking “I wish things were different?” When you catch yourself thinking these thoughts, what do you do to take action?

Do you do anything at all?

Personally I am split down the middle when it comes to this dilemma. I guess what it really comes down to, is the dissatisfaction just a fleeting thought that comes along with a tough day, or is it a true displeasure in the course of your life’s path? In my opinion, if you truly are unhappy, it is your duty to fix it. Regardless of how complex the issue is or how long it takes to resolve the factors, it is still within your power to make things right. We all are given a limited amount of time on this earth to live, breathe and experience life to it’s fullest. Doesn’t that in of itself make it our duty to maximize our living experience?

Or is that selfish?

Maybe for some it is better to let things lie, and wistfully dream away at the could be’s life flashes in front of our eyes. Maybe reaching for more causes pain and suffering for others and that in of itself is enough to hold you back from taking action. Who’s to say what is right and what is wrong?

It’s a toss up.

I know for me, I’ve faced this crossroads many o’times and I can’t say that I’ve necessarily found that my actions were always best. But, one thing I can attest to, regardless of the trials and tribulations, the one thing that has always remained a constant is personal growth. With each new step that I take into the great unknown, I am tested, rewarded, punished and challenged.

Would I change any of my actions had I known the outcome?

No, I can’t say that I would. Because with each new endeavor that I take on, the more and more I evolve as a human being. I learn what it means to have hope, to love, to laugh, to cry and to soar. Life without hope is like trying to breathe without air. Once you lose sight of the wonder that exists within each and every day, the more and more blinded you are to life’s beauty.

Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed to any of us.

So shouldn’t we make each day count as if it is the last one? Because one day it truly WILL be.
Or is it?
I guess it’s up to you to decide.

images (1)

The Rules Of Rejection

There’s nothing quite like spending time with those you care about most. The feelings you get walking down the hall as you straighten yourself up in any reflection that you pass by, the warmth you experience when you set your eyes upon them for the first time in months, The overall giddiness that comes with simply wanting to have that “moment”. It’s all part of the magic of love. I honestly think if you don’t experience those emotions, there really is no love, it’s just going through the motions. I think you SHOULD be excited to see those that you care about, whether it’s everyday at 6pm when you walk in the front door, or if it’s your first time seeing someone in months. All of it is part of the package. That being said, I guess that all plays into expectation. I suppose if you expect a certain reaction and you receive something totally opposite, what then? Does the entire experience change from that moment forward. Perhaps. Or maybe it just creates an opportunity. It really all depends on how you look at it right? But for me, love has tended to come with expectation, and I’ve learned the hard way that isn’t the best way to operate. You have to let life progress as it will without trying to manipulate the outcome. After all, who are we to think we are in control? But along this train of thought came my epiphany. The thought that rejection spurs rebellion and that rebellion unleashes anger and anger leads to miscommunication, which ultimately leads to resentment. Which brings me back to the starting point.

We all deal with it, we all are a victim of it, yet do we realize how much we contribute towards it? I think not. I think we are so busy thinking about how we feel, that we don’t realize just how much our actions or lack of actions can bring forth feelings of rejection towards those that we love.
For instance, when you walk through the front door after a long day, do you leave your stress at the front door, but down your bag and smile at the faces you see once the door opens? Or do you barrel in like a lunatic and start ranting and raving about everything that feels inherently out of place in front of you? Does it occur to you that those actions stir up rejection in the people that are just wanting to say hello. Does it occur to you that maybe after a while those hellos will stop coming because everyone knows the reaction they will receive anyways? Do you realize that this pattern will lead to YOU feeling rejected yourself in the long run? It’s a tricky beast that rejection. It sneaks up on all of us when we aren’t looking.

Take the time, the 5 minutes it takes to
That’s really all it takes. Regardless of how busy you are, if you make the time to do those three things, you will avoid the windfall that rejection brings about. Is that really too much for any of us to do? I don’t think so. I think it just takes discipline. If you train yourself to respond a certain way, you are paving a much clearer path to walk upon. Consider it your daily pruning or pulling of weeds. You take care of it little by little as they pop up and you avoid a huge disaster that feels impossible to clean up. While we certainly can’t control everything around us, we CAN control our own actions. As flawed as we all are, we still have room to improve, to grow, to learn without expectation.


@EgoSoleil Fashions Clearance Sale 50-75% Off!

I am very excited to learn that the gorgeous styles at www.egosoleil.com are on sale right now as the site prepares to launch their very OWN signature line in time for the new year! All of the designer fashions have been marked down 50-75%, just in time for holiday shopping. (Or for yourself ;)
Check out some of the great pieces I am personally eyeing…There are so many more styles to choose from (these are just a sampling of my personal favs) and the BEST part, right now www.egosoleil.com is providing FAST, FREE SHIPPING as well. Styles featured are by designers such as: TwentyclunyBouleeSchutzCharles JourdanHourglass LillyFrenziiMeghan Los AngelesMaggie WardBlack HaloEcliptica and many more.

So hurry up and check out the merchandise while your favorites are still in stock. The clearance sale ends soon.


Fall Into Fashion With Ego Soleil

Ego Soleil - Behind the vision of the brand ~ Sophistication, elegance and avant-garde fashion, inspired the vision of a STAR (aka Soleil), and this  symbolized the epitome of the modern woman with classic elegance & innocence.

Founded in 2010, EGO * Soleil personifies the essence of a woman with exuberant inner beauty and brings forth fashions that accentuates curves, caters to voluptuous body types and shows off charisma, indicative of a confident, yet egotistically balanced woman.
At EGO * Soleil, their dedication is to fashion excellence and their focus is their customers. They strive to bring the latest fashions to fashion forward women. Their fashions are hand selected boutique styles, and being unique is paramount to their business model.
At EGO * Soleil,
their customers are their Stars.  EGO Soleil products are designed with the highest standards in manufacturing and their vendors are the fashion industry elite.

Visit http://www.egosoleil.com to see their complete line of fall fashions.

Rakish Tricot Chic Fall 2011 Pictures-1 copy

The Latest Trends in Fall Fashion

I am very excited to share that the cutting edge boutique, Rakish, is now carrying the luxury Italian apparel line, Tricot Chic, in Orange County, and debuting the Fall/Winter Collection this September.
Bold hues of teal and pink, coupled with Jaguar prints and plaid embody this intricately detailed collection which is rich texture.  Vintage inspired silhouettes along with whimsical Folk accents dominate this daring feminine apparel line. As one of the very few stores to carry Tricot Chic in Orange County, Rakish anticipates
quickly selling through this unique Fall Collection. The Fall/Winter 2011-2012 Collection ranges in price from $500.00 -$1,500.00 USD per item, and the Tricot Chic Runway Show for the Fall/Winter 2011/2012 Collection can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NrkcAFGqf8.

About Tricot Chic: Tricot Chic was founded in Paderno d’Adda, Italy in 1972 by Carlo Nava and his wife Rosa Granata. Exclusively manufacturing women’s apparel, Tricot Chic’s line is based on a strong know- how in knitwear after a long experience on design teams for important fashion brands of their time such as Leonard, Celine and Lanvin. The company has considerably grown in the last few years passing from a very traditional style to an innovative collection full of new moods thanks to more sophisticated techniques of production. Tricot Chic is present in more than 1,800 boutiques all over the world with a brand which is constantly rising in demand from the luxury segment of the market. Tricot Chic distinguishes itself for producing collections always rich in details,
paying special attention to trimmings and to the quality of the items. The great experience in handcrafted knitwear joins an innovative spirit as their design team continually searches for new materials.  All processes (from the style creation to the production and the sales) take place in the Italian headquarters in Paderno d’Adda , Italy,  managed by the motivated and professional team of Tricot Chic collaborators.
About  Rakish:  Modern. Chic. Sophisticated. Rakish has established itself as the premier women’s boutique in
Orange County, CA. Located in the heart of Old Town Tustin, Rakish offers the latest fashions in both apparel and
accessories from the most coveted and hard to find designers. Always one step ahead of the fashion curve, Rakish
regularly hosts in-store trunk shows where customers get a chance to meet the designers of various fashion labels,
view next season’s collections and pre-order select items long before they ever appear in major department stores. Since everyone knows the secret to a great wardrobe is in the tailoring, Rakish has an on-site seamstress to customize each woman’s look. Proudly celebrating close to fifty years of fashion, Rakish has become a trendsetter in  the  Orange County marketplace, dressing celebrities, socialites, and business professionals alike.

Rakish is located in Lafayette Plaza at 13011 Newport Ave, Tustin, CA, 92780.







DISCLAIMER: I did NOT receive any compensation or gifts to post this blog. I just happen to think their clothes are smokin’ hot. ;)


Orange You Glad?

When trying to gain inspiration for today’s post I asked a friend to share with me the first word that popped into their mind…CHALLENGE. Then I asked for a color…ORANGE. And VOILA my inspiration for a CHALLENGE blog on ORANGES struck. I mean what better fruit to explore than the mighty citrus giant?
Let’s take a look shall we…


An orange—specifically, the sweet orange—is the citrus (Citrus Sinensis (L.) and its fruit.It is the most commonly grown tree fruit in the world.

The orange is a hybrid of ancient cultivated origin, possibly between pomelo (Citrus maxima) and mandarin (Citrus reticulata). It is an evergreenflowering tree generally growing to 9–10 m in height (although very old speciments have reached 15 m).The leaves are arranged alternately, are ovate in shape with crenulate margins and are 4–10 cm long. The orange fruit is a hesperidium, a type of berry.

Orange trees are widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical climates for the delicious sweet fruit, which is peeled or cut (to avoid the bitter rind) and eaten whole, or processed to extract orange juice, and also for the fragrant peel. In 2008, 68.5 million tons of oranges were grown worldwide, primarily in Brazil and the state of Florida in the US.

Oranges probably originated in Southeast Asiaand were cultivated in China by 2500 BC. The fruit of Citrus sinensis is called sweet orange to distinguish it from Citrus aurantium, the bitter orange. The name is thought to derive ultimately from the Sanskrit for the orange tree, with its final form developing after passing through numerous intermediate languages.

In a number of languages, it is known as a “Chinese apple” (e.g. Dutch Sinaasappel, “China’s apple”, or northern German Apfelsine). (In English, however, “Chinese apple” generally refers to the pomegranate).


WHEW…that was more than any of us probably needed to know, right?
Let’s move on to the fun stuff…

Symbolism and History of Oranges, Scientific Name Citrus Aurantium Dulcis

The word citrus means lemon in Greek while aurantium is the adjective of gold, golden, referring obviously to the color of orange fruit. Orange fruit is probably believed to be the legendary golden apple that Hercules had stolen from the Garden of the Hesperides.

Oranges are native to India and China. Since the ancient times, oranges have been used in Chinese medicine to treat colds, coughs, and anorexia. Due to oranges being scarce and expensive until the late 17th century, they were only used for their medical properties in Europe and not for human consumption.

Orange Oil Benefits

  • Orange oil for skin: Orange oil restores dry skin. Adding a droplet of orange oil to the cream or carrier oil helps in treatment of acne.
  • Orange oil for termites: Orange oil works against termites (but be sure to contact a qualified termite company offering traditional treatment of termites).
  • Orange oil for furniture: Orange oil is used in furniture cleaning due to its anti-grease properties and works better than lemon oil.
  • Orange oil for ants:  Pouring orange oil in ants’ mounds and holes around your home helps in getting rid of ants.
  • Orange oil for scabies: Orange oil contains d-limonene, which helps in killing scabies and works better than lemon juice or lemon oil. Orange oil is used as a home remedy for scabies. (Scabies? What are scabies? I thought that was what boys gave you when you were a little girl…LOL)
  • Orange oil for cooking: Orange oil is utilized in many homes for cooking and baking providing orange essence.
  • Orange oil for nervous system: Orange oil is beneficial in treatment of depression, irritability, anxiety, sadness, and insomnia with the help of essential orange oil massage, application before bath, and stove aromatherapy.
  • Orange oil for circulatory system: Its helps in treatment of edema and cellulite with help of orange oil massage.
  • Orange oil for digestive system: Treats dyspepsia, indigestion, flatulence, and gastric spasm with the help of massage and warm compresses.
  • Orange oil for excretory system: Relieves constipation, treats diarrhea, and eliminates toxins with orange oil massage and compresses.

REALLY?! Why didn’t I do this post when my kids were babies?! I had NO idea…

Now for some MORE orangey fun…DRINKS!!!

Thank you to

  • Jamba Juice Orange-A-Peel

    Ingredients: scoops non-fat, vanilla flavored, frozen yogurt (frozen keeps smooth consistency while/after blending), banana (sliced), strawberries, orange juice, ice cubes

  • Orange Pineapple Crush

    Ingredients: orange juice, orange juice PLUS, fresh pineapple slices, diet lemon-lime soda pop

  • Orange-Pineapple Slush

    Ingredients: ice cubes, orange juice, pineapple juice, lemon juice, sugar or sugar substitute

  • Orange Slush

    Ingredients: orange juice, bananas, maraschino cherries, ice

  • Creamsicle In A Glass

    Ingredients: milk, container (8 oz. size) low-fat vanilla yogurt, frozen orange juice concentrate, sugar, vanilla extract, ice cubes

  • Frosty Orange Cooler

    Ingredients: orange juice, generous scoops orange sherbet, chilled ginger ale

  • Creamsicle Frappe

    Ingredients: chilled plain or carbonated water, orange juice, vanilla ice cream or non-dairy frozen milk, orange liqueur or undiluted orange juice concentrate

Who knew the zesty orange balls could be so much fun?! Now I’m going to get a ginormous bag to experiment with this week!

My personal TIP:
Toss the peels in your garbage disposal to keep the “funk” out.
Or toss the peels in your bath tub to create a calming and aromatic soak.
OR svove them in your mouth to make a great big orangey smile to make everyone laugh.
Go ahead folks, “Go ORANGE, after all it’s the NEW PINK!” ~E. Harting ;)

Ta Bom

Best Gourmet Food Truck in LA

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the OCFoodiefest at Angels Stadium, and while the weather was ridiculously hot, one thing was even HOTTER…the food.
Please let me introduce you all to my newest favorite food truck in the greater Los Angeles area, Ta Bom!

(Which by the way I thought meant Da Bomb!) LOL

It turns out that Ta Bom is Portuguese for “It’s Good”, and the family chose that name because they were so confident  that their food would have you hooked first taste. I have to admit, it worked on me…AND I was wearing my discerning hat this particular day as it was a foodie fest (had to be SOMEWHAT snobby, right? ;)


The Ta Bom Truck is the first Brazilian lonchera to hit the streets of Los Angeles. They are a team of mother (Ilse) and twin daughters (Juliana and Jaqueline) who serve authentic homemade Brazilian goodies.

Their menu ranges from salgadinhos (appetizers) like coxinhas and pastels to satisfying meals including cachorro quente (Brazilian style hot dog), hamburgao and burritos. Their mission is to introduce the savory flavors of Brazil to the great people of Los Angeles.


Mom (Ilse) was born in Santa Catarina, Brazil.  In her early twenties, she was model and actress in Sao Paulo. After marriage and giving birth to three beautiful children, she found her new passion for cooking. All the items on the menu are her own recipes, each prepared with love and devotion. You can find her on a daily basis at the truck; she’s the blonde with the big smile taking your order.

P.S. She loves to be called mom.


Twin daughters (Juliana and Jaqueline) were born in Sao Paulo, Brazil; we immigrated to Los Angeles, California at a very young age of two. They are part Brazilian (mother) and part Korean (father). They take pride in both cultures and embrace everything each has to offer. They speak four languages, English, Portuguese, Korean, and Spanish. They’re very grateful to have grown up in such a diverse city and absolutely LOVE L.A. As for the truck, they do everything from their social media, the design, driving, and cooking everything on the menu. They are drop dead GORGEOUS and love meeting new people, so don’t be shy and stop by to say hi.

P.S. If you want to follow them on Twitter,  just call them Julie (@Ladysk5)  and Jackie (@Jaquesk3)


I can’t fake that face…that look means, “OMG, this food is FREAKING off the hook GOOOOOOD” ;) Oh and NO, I was NOT paid to write this recommendation, I just fell in love  with the food AND the family, and wanted to give a small business a much deserved boost.
So if you are ever in the LA area…YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST add this to your “To Do” list…I guarantee this food is WAY better than the cheesy places recommended in touristy pamphlets ;)

While I’m not an Elite Foodie by any means, I KNOW good food when I eat it (and so do my hips), so I give this eatery
~ 5 SOLEILS ☼☼☼☼☼ ~


Yoda Sings Sesame Street?

Thought you knew everything there was to know about all six Star Wars movies, didn’t you?

Come on, now, we all know George Lucas loves to pull a few surprises from his sleeve every time the saga is released or rereleased in theaters or on DVD. But did you know legendary composer John Williams had some surprises too?

SNAKKLE snagged a first look at Williams’s INTERVIEW about the inspiration behind the music he composed for the iconic character of Yoda. You’ll be surprised at how young our ancient Yoda really is…

Star Wars: The Complete Saga will be released on Blu-Ray on September 16, 2011.
To watch the sneak preview

interview with John Williams,
Yoda says “Click  not HERE if you don’t want insight.” ;)



OC Foodiefest ~ A Video Blog


Which Sense Soothes You?

It occurred to me today how each one of us is emotionally soothed by different senses. It’s amazing how deeply one can be affected by something that is seemingly so small. For each one of my children it’s different. My youngest is triggered by the scent of her favorite stuffed toy, as she cuddles with it in bed. It brings forth a sense of familiar comfort and consistency, and as a result she is able to peacefully drift away into a silent slumber. For my middle daughter it’s the sense of touch. When she is feeling even the slightest bit anxious, all she has to do is caress her right earlobe softly to instantly calm herself, and tackle what lies ahead of her. For my son it’s the taste of his favorite, familiar food that brings forth a sense of comfort and relief instantaneously. As for me, it’s the sound of a familiar song that soothes my aching soul. When I hear a song that played during a time I was happy, I am instantly transported back to that moment in time, and a smile magically appears.
How is it that such small triggers can cause such a great emotional effect?

According to a team at the York Neuroimaging Centre at the University of York, the use  of the MagnetoEncephaloGraphic, or MEG, equipment is able to study the electrical activity in the brain, showing that participants were most engaged when exposed to more than one sense stimulus, as opposed to either stimulus alone. Yet, as I clearly demonstrated above, the presence of only ONE sense for each one of my family members always generates immediate results.  It makes me wonder if with greater investigation, the information we gather from triggered stimuli may help us create better programs for those who have difficulty perceiving or identifying emotions in others. Being able to recognize emotional activity within others is one of the most important aspects of social interaction, and difficulties with such tasks most certainly has a negative impact on the lives of many people.

It certainly seems there are so many unanswered questions surrounding this topic, and yet innately we seem to find our own answers without even trying.
It simply fascinates me.

What about you? What sense brings forth sense and sensibility in your world?


Fifty Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me

  1. I was born in 1972, but I truly started living 2 decades later.
  2. My favorite toy when I was a kid was a plush lamb that I named “Lamby”.
  3. I learned how to spell using letter magnets on my fridge.
  4. When I was a kid I wanted to grow up to become a Solid Gold Dancer.
  5. I spent much of my youth growing up in England.
  6. My first trip away from home was to Amsterdam, Holland when I was a Girl Scout.
  7. I lost my “Lamby” in Amsterdam.
  8. I am a spelling bee champion.
  9. I fell in love with crossword puzzles as a kid thanks to my Granfather “JaJa”.
  10. I tried out for the Drill/Dance Team in 7th grade and didn’t make it.
  11. I wore braces for 10 years.
  12. I later made the Drill/Dance Team as an alternate when someone was kicked off for bad grades.
  13. My nicknames in Jr High were “Slope”, “Chicken Legs” & “Flatlantic Ocean”
  14. In 8th grade I helped the Drill/Dance Team win the title of State Champions as a front row performer.
  15. I was once beat up on the bus.
  16. My first kiss happened at a church camp.
  17. I moved 7 times before the age of 15.
  18. I once lived in Delaware.
  19. The first food I learned how to cook was French Toast.
  20. My freshman year in High School I ate lunch alone in the Science Lab.
  21. My sophomore year in High School I tried out for the cheer leading squad & made it.
  22. I no longer had to eat lunch in the Science Lab.
  23. My junior year in high school I was inspired to begin writing thanks to my English teacher Michael Dryden.
  24. The same year I was suspended for 3days for “Starting a fight” in the quad.
  25. 3 days later my record was ex-sponged once the truth came out that I was defending myself.
  26. I was always taller than the boys growing up.
  27. I pretty much STILL am.
  28. I was once a swimwear model.
  29. I hate wearing swimsuits.
  30. I was once scouted by NEXT Modeling Agency in Miami, Florida.
  31. I gave up the opportunity to become a professional model for a guy.
  32. That guy ended up becoming the Father of my 3 children.
  33. I never modeled again.
  34. I used to sell cosmetics at the mall.
  35. 5 years later I started my own freelance business, Soleil Makeup Artistry.
  36. That is how my online username Stacey Soleil was born.
  37. Soleil isn’t my REAL last name.
  38. I didn’t learn how to eat with chopsticks until my mid 20′s.
  39. I didn’t keep any of my swimwear modeling photos because I thought I looked fat.
  40. At the time I was 5’8″,  120 lbs & was apparently BLIND ;)
  41. I had my first child at age 23 & by the age of 28 I had my third.
  42. I have been married for 15 years, but spent 7 of those years as a single Mom.
  43. I bumped into my English teacher Mr. Dryden, many years later & he asked if I was still writing. I am.
  44. I worked in sales & marketing for  10 years before starting my own marketing firm.
  45. My first marketing contract was with a comedy startup.
  46. It wasn’t funny.
  47. My marketing career took off when I coordinated the theme song for 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist, Nastia Liukin.
  48. I am a Scrabble champion.
  49. I eat everything I can with chopsticks.
  50. I still miss “Lamby”.


Teaching Our Children About Love

Like most of you, I have experienced my fair share of  joy & laughter as well as pain & suffering when it comes to love. But when the joy & laughter stops and it all comes to an end I’ve often been left wondering, “What was I thinking?!” How did I miss the signs? I know we all do it (men and women alike), but that got me to thinking, would I want my kids to go through what I’ve been through? HELL NO. Not even close. So with that, I’ve decided to make a list of subtle cues we can share with our children as they enter the realm of relationships.

  • Does the person you’re interested in make eye contact with you when they speak? If they don’t, they’re hiding something. NOT a good sign.
  • Do they have outside interests & hobbies that they regularly participate in? How much time do they spend with that hobby? It’s IMPORTANT for each person to have hobbies in their life, but too much concentration on that hobby, or lack there of any hobbies at all is a definite red flag.
  • Does he open the door or pull out the chair for you? Sure it sounds old fashioned and silly, but a guy that does these things for you is SO hard to come by these days and it’s the best feeling ever. You feel valued and cared for. We need to teach our sons the lost art of chivalry.
  • How does he/she speak to their parents? A person that speaks respectfully & warmly to their parents is more likely to treat you in the same regard long term. A person that yells at their parents, curses, or hangs up on them is going to treat you the same way eventually.
  • What are their spending patterns? Do they charge everything to a credit card, or do they use their debit card? Someone that charges their whims away is likely to create debt for your family long term, so it’s definitely something worth paying attention to.
  • How often do they drink alcohol? Do they use recreational drugs? This is a BIG one. Oftentimes a person that drinks a lot or smokes weed will tell you that they don’t do it all the time, but 9 times out of 10, that isn’t true. Being in a relationship with someone with addictions (be it drugs, alcohol, gambling or sex) is BRUTAL and not something you would want your children to suffer through. A person with addictions is ALWAYS going to choose their drug of choice over you and will NEVER be a good partner in a relationship until they seek recovery.
  • Do they care what they look like when they know they are going to see  you? A person that takes the time to look their best when you’re around is a person that cares about what you think. They want to impress YOU. Someone that doesn’t, really doesn’t consider you a priority. It’s subtle, but something to think about.
  • Do they return your calls, texts, IM’s, or emails in a timely manner? Even if your message didn’t contain a question that required a response, a person that cares about you will respond to your communication just to let you know they’ve received it. A person that blows you off does NOT consider you a priority, and in a relationship, your partner should ALWAYS be a priority, not an after thought.
  • How does your partner speak to YOU? Do they call you mean names, curse at you, or use harsh words like STUPID, BLIND, CLUELESS, IDIOT, or IGNORANT? Trust me on this one, it doesn’t get any better. All that will happen is you will get SO fed up with the name calling that you will eventually start firing back, and nothing good ever comes of verbal wars.
  • Do they ask about YOUR day and pay attention as you respond? A simple practice, but a person that gives you 15 minutes of undivided attention and interaction is a person that loves and respects you.
  • Do they initiate contact or communication, or is it always you? An easy sign to overlook, but if you are ALWAYS the person planning your dates, or picking up the phone to say hello, the other person does NOT consider you a priority in their life.
  • Can they hold a job? It’s one thing when a person loses a job due to company cut backs, but another when a person is let go due to their interactions with others. It WILL carry over to the way they treat you as well.
  • Have they ever attempted to physically harm you? Sometimes it can be subtle, but if they throw things at you (or even just in your general direction), slam your laptop down on your hands, or squeeze your hands too tightly, you need to RUN. A person that is aggressive physically is likely to escalate their behaviors at some point, and you don’t want to be there when it does. A person like that needs anger management and no matter how much you love them, it won’t change their behaviors.

These are really just the tip of the iceberg, as there are so many nuances in relationships we need to educate our children about, but at least it’s a start. I would like to think that my journeys and lessons in love and life can serve as way to break the cycle for the next generation, rather than allowing it to rinse, lather, repeat. I know my choices in love have been in part due to my own dysfunctional patterns, but I do believe that recognizing them, voicing them and learning from them will serve as a road map for my own relationships, as well as for my children’s future relationships. Education is the key.


You Matter

No matter what anybody says to make you feel otherwise…always remember this


Back To School Macy’s Style

Macy’s and Levi’s College Lifestyle Shopping Party

Your Space. Your Way. Everything You’ll Need for Your Room!

Macy’s and Levi’s present a College Lifestyle Shopping Party. Purchase everything you’ll need for your dorm and have a great time while you do it! If you already shop Macy’s for clothes, why not shop Macy’s for your quilts and other dorm room essentials as well?!
While you’re out spending Mom and Dad’s cash (wait, did I just type that?), you will enjoy music, food & mocktails. (aka FAKE cocktails – NO alcohol…but still yummy ;)

Show your student ID or acceptance letter in the Home Department and receive 10% off your Sale and Clearance store purchase. Exclusions apply. Ask your sales associate for more details. Valid through September 30th, 2011.

Kick off College Style:
Buy two pairs of Levi’s Jeans and Receive a $10 Macy’s Gift Card. ** Simply show your receipt to the Levi’s Representative in the Home Department to receive your gift card.


July 27th from 4-7pm
Tigard, OR
The Washington Square Mall

July 29th from 12-2pm
Boston, MA
Macy’s Boston (Washington St.)

July 30th from 2-4pm
Madison, WI
The Hilldale Shopping Center

Towson, MD
The Towson Town Center Mall

Alpharetta, GA
The North Point Mall

Austin, TX
The Barton Creek Square Mall

Event subject to change or cancellation. While supplies last. **Offer valid at participating Macy’s stores during event hours only. While supplies last. Limit two (2) ten dollar ($10) Macy’s gift cards per household. Terms and conditions for Macy’s gift cards are listed on the back of gift cards and at Macys.com. 2011 Levi Strauss & Co. All rights reserved.

About Macy’s
Macy’s, the largest retail brand of Macy’s, Inc., delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at more than 800 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. Macy’s stores and macys.com offer distinctive assortments including the most desired family of exclusive and fashion brands for him, her and home. Macy’s is known for epic events like Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks® and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows and celebrity appearances. Building on a 150-year tradition, Macy’s helps strengthen communities by supporting local and national charities that make a difference in the lives of our customers.

Original info found here http://pitch.pe/159518
See DISCLAIMER for more info

Regina King Stars on Southland

Recently I had the opportunity to attend TNT’s private screening/Q&A/Meet and Greet with Regina King, discussing the new TNT show SOUTHLAND. I was excited to attend this event during the Esssence Music Festival in New Orleans because I have been following Regina’s career for quite some time now. Those of us that are Regina fans will remember her early days on the show “227″ (1985), followed by a role in Boyz n the Hood (1991). She began to be recognized by a mainstream audience after her role as Cuba Gooding Jr.‘s wife in Jerry Maguire (1996). She also appeared in Enemy of the State (1998) as Will Smith‘s wife. Regina is one of the most promising actresses on the rise as well as an inspiration to women of color with her determination to attain roles in Hollywood that showcase her spirit as an independent & strong woman. One of the things that struck me as “spot on” during Regina’s interview was her determination to chase after roles that highlight her abilities as an actress, not her color. Regina told the crowd that she is blessed to have an agent that goes after roles that weren’t necessarily written for a black woman, but are perfectly suited for her talents. Regina knocks down those doors and shows Hollywood WHY they need to cast her for the role regardless of what their initial vision of the role may have been. I am inspired by this boundary breaking woman and I encourage more actors and agents to do the same.
Regina’s latest role exemplifies this determination as she plays the role of  Detective Lydia Adams

Basic Facts
Age: mid to late 30s
Occupation: police detective (homicide)
Marital Status: single
Relationships with Others
Friends: Josie, her running buddy
Past Love(s)/Spouse(s): Terrel, Talib
Enemies: Cathleen Kerik, head of Media Relations

Familial Relations
Mother: Enid
Occupation of Mother: French literature teacher (retired)

Other Traits
Previous Work/Job: did two years in gangs before moving to homicide.
Clothes: skirt suit and modest heels from Kohl’s
Hobbies: runner (thinking about doing the Baker to Vegas)

About Southland

From Emmy Award winners John Wells, Ann Biderman and Chris Chulack comes a raw and authentic look at a police unit in Los Angeles. From the beaches of Malibu to the streets of East Los Angeles, “Southland” is a fast-moving drama that will take viewers inside the lives of cops, criminals, victims and their families.

Michael Cudlitz (“A River Runs Through It”) plays John Cooper a seasoned Los Angeles cop, assigned to train young rookie Ben Sherman (Ben McKenzie, “The O.C.”). Cooper’s honest, no-nonsense approach to the job leaves Sherman questioning whether or not he has what it takes to become a police officer.

Cudlitz and McKenzie are joined by other cast members, including Regina King (“Ray,” “Jerry Maguire”), who plays Detective Lydia Adams. Adams lives with and is the primary caregiver of her mother. Her partner, Detective Russell Clarke (Tom Everett Scott, “Boiler Room”) is an unhappily married father of three. Michael McGrady (“The Thin Red Line”) plays Detective Daniel “Sal” Salinger. Sal oversees fellow gang detectives Nate Moretta (Kevin Alejandro, “Drive,” “Ugly Betty”) and Sammy Bryant (Shawn Hatosy, “Alpha Dog”). Arija Bareikis (“Crossing Jordan”) plays patrol officer Chickie Brown, a single mom who dreams of being the first woman accepted into SWAT.

I have included down below the slideshow from Regina’s meet and greet. As you will see, she is a true beam of light in Hollywood and beyond!
Thank you Ms. King for just being YOU! You inspire me.

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