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12
Dec, 2011

Fresh And Easy Does It Again!

I always like to eat, but eating during the holidays is one of my favorite things. I allow myself to let loose in the food department and the belt department and reflect on the year that has passed and the year to come whilst stuffing my face. 


And I like it all – savory, sweet, sugary, meaty, fruity, chocolatey, liquory and my most favorite of all… BUTTERY.

The fine folks of Fresh And Easy (my FAVORITE grocery store on the planet) invited me down to a Holiday face stuffing extravaganza last week which was awesome within itself, but the venue was amazing as well – The Queen Mary Verandah Grill. It was my first time on the QM and it was a beautiful night to gorge oneself on a ship.

I LOVE Fresh And Easy and their holiday specialities this year are amazing! Grab one of their Holiday Guides or view it online, and go to town. You can even order an entire fresh cooked holiday meal for 8 of turkey, ham or beef roast from between $45-$65!! Just be sure to order by December 18 if you would like to have it for Christmas.

The San Fernando Valley Ninja Moms – We are STEALTH! (BTW, I just made that name up. We’re not really ninjas.) 

There’s a lot to choose from and lots of it is seasonal so don’t wait or it will be gone. Some of the items we sampled were the…


Cheeses, meats, veggies, nuts and dried fruits, crackers, salad and shrimp cocktail…

Petite Quiche (come in 3-cheese and Florentine, frozen section), 


Sweet sausage and yam skewers (YAY Chef Cindy!!), 

mini beef en croutes and brie & cranberry pastry puffs


Pie bites (apple raspberry & chocolate caramel, frozen section) & mini eclairs, pumpkin cheesecake pie, holiday cookies…

And of course, we all left with a giant bag of holiday goodies to sample and share with friends:


Aubrey and Bob Barker are ready for the holidays!

Belgian Biscuits, Dark Chocolate Nut & cranberry Squares,  Pumpkin Bread Mix, Orange Spice Granola, Napa Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Organic Cinnamon Flavored Coffee, Peppermint Hot Cocoa Mix, Panettone, Peppermint Bark, Swiss Dark & Milk Chocolate Truffles, Vermont Maple Syrup With Vanilla Bean



Aubrey is in love with the peppermint hot cocoa and we munched some of those truffles in the movie theater over the weekend. Shhh… don’t tell. That’s what the “mom purse” is for after all. Tonight I’m going to bring the wine and biscuits over to a friend’s house to share and the rest is MINE!! ALL MINE!!!! Mwahahaha! I’ll be cracking open the rest over the holiday week at home with Aubrey. I especially can’t wait try the vanilla bean maple syrup on my homemade pancakes 🙂


Food makes a great holiday gift and I haven’t tired a single thing from Fresh And Easy that I haven’t liked yet. Great prices, amazing natural products with no corn syrup, no artificial colors or flavors and minimal use of preservatives. Stop by and pick up a gift – even if it’s just for you!


Happy Holiday Eating everyone and thank you, Fresh And Easy, for a fantastic kick off to the holiday party season!

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08
Dec, 2011

Bacon Jam at WEST Restaurant and Lounge
Bernadette & I downing shots of fresh corn soup (AMAZING!) and crispy quail egg on bacon jam – Thank you Chef Woolf!

Last week the Mom Bloggers of MomsLA and I hit the top floor of the beautiful Hotel Angeleno in Los Angeles for a holiday get together at their WEST Restaurant and Lounge. It was so much fun and a much needed break from the room I call my “OFFRY”(that’s a super lame combination of “office” and “laundry”. I think you know where I’m coming from.


If you haven’t been up to the Hotel Angeleno, you may not realize that it’s not the old Holiday Inn it once was, years ago. I’m talking about that cylindrical hotel off Sunset and the 405 southbound. It is now a chic, hip hotel with an awesome, grown up restaurant and lounge on the 17th floor, offering stunning view of the city lights… and there aren’t any more lights anywhere in the city than the 405.


WEST is a perfect gathering place as a pretty central location for most Los Angeles area folks and… I know I’m getting old, but I love that it’s truly sophisticated without being pretentious. There aren’t poser hipsters wearing clothes so ugly that they’re cool, no hip-hop music blaring, no Rosetta Stone language audios being piped into the bathroom (anyone get that reference?). It’s just a nice comfy place with great drinks, amazing food, perfect ambience, spectacular location. Prices are a little up there, but I have several friends who have had their birthday get togethers here and have had a great time. Oh, and there’s live music on 


So if you want to learn more AND help me to win a “staycation” there, check out their Facebook page and “LIKE” the link I post to this blog! I have absolutely nothing to give you in return other than my undying affection and gratitude. But come on… consider it a holiday gift. Just a click:


https://www.facebook.com/westrestaurantandlounge


In the meantime, do yourself a favor and get yourself a spoonful of crispy egg on bacon jam. That’s right bitches, BACON JAM. Chef Matthew Woolf is cooking up some mean dishes up there. 


Thanks and enjoy!! aa

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03
Dec, 2011

EA Games Got Game!

The awesome folks over at EA Games, the premiere name in video games, sent over some goodies a couple weeks ago and I’m finally getting around to trying some of them out.

They have some really fun family friendly games that would make great holiday gifts and several are apps so there’s no postage involved!

First off, they sent us some console games and we don’t have a gaming console, BUT the very kind and generous Nolan Gould (he plays Aubrey’s tv cousin, “Luke Dunphy” on Modern Family) has an extra Wii and is giving it to us. Aubrey will be SO SURPRISED AND EXCITED!! And I’m excited because I’ll have some new activities to keep the energetic Aubs busy and physically active indoors during these dark, blustery winter weeks. Yes, we do get coolish, windy weather here in SoCal.

First for gaming consoles or PC I’ll give you a quick list and links so you can check them out. I haven’t played these (remember, no console) but they look really fun:

The Sims 3 Pets – available for Xbox360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo 3DS, PC/Mac
Be a pet or have a pet – it’s up to you.
ESRB Rating: “T” for Teen

FAMILY GAME NIGHT 4: The Game Show – available for Xbox360 (with Kinect functionality), PlayStation 3 (with Move functionality), Nintendo Wii
Experience re-imagined versions of your favorite Hasbro family games – CONNECT 4 Basketball, YAHTZEE! Bowling and SCRABBLE Flash to name a few.
ESRB Rating: “E” for Everyone

MONOPOLY Collection – available for Nintendo Wii
Hasbro’s No 1 family game is packaged in this two games in one value priced collection. Play Classic Monopoly or Monopoly Streets. You can also check out EA Games’ Monopoly versions on Facebook, iPhone, Android and Pogo.com.
ESRB Rating: “E” for Everyone

TRIVIAL PURSUIT: Bet You Know It – available for Nintendo Wii
Two different game modes to choose from with more than 7000 questions based on current event, pop culture and more. Also check out EA Games’ TRIVIAL PURSUIT games on Pogo.com and iPhone, iPad and Android apps.
ESRB Rating: “E” for Everyone

And now for the app games! We tried 5 of these apps so far and we’re hooked:

The Moogies – iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Targeted for children 2-5, this isn’t really a game so much as it is a silly activity for kids. A crazy cast of animal characters that do stuff that kids will get a kick out of. Aubrey is ADDICTED! It keeps her happy in the car and at restaurants and really, isn’t that 98% of the reason for having an iItem when you have a kid? Worth every cent. Enough said.

Rope Rescue – iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Help Rupert the parrot save baby birds in cages by connecting ropes through a series of pulleys and obstacles. This is one of those games that your preschooler will somehow be better at than you. Aubrey loves the birds!

Roll In The Hole – iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Guide Popo the panda through physics based puzzles to collect popsicles on his way to the portal into the next world! This game is a little to hard for Aubrey – she is 4 yrs old – as it does take motor skill precision and quick reflexes – but my boyfriend and I had a lot of fun with it. It is challenging AND adorable. (Tip: Great drinking game at a bar. Somehow seems to get more and more challenging the more you drink.)

Tetris – iPhone, iPod Touch, Android
The classic addictive game with new modes and official Tetris Rank and Tetris Club… in case you’re competitive like that.

Bop It – iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
As annoyingly wonderful as it’s tangible counterpart, but not as easy to trip on in the dark. This is stupidly addictive and ALSO makes a great drinking game! No joke. I don’t know why they don’t market it as such. Invite some friends over, mix up the martinis and Bop It.

Some other fun family apps you may want to check out are Theme Park, Road Trippin’ and Fantasy Safari. I haven’t had a chance to check these out yet, but anything by EA Games is sure to be high quality and plenty of bang for your buck. I love theme parks, so I think I will check that one out next.

I hope you got some holiday shopping ideas for the game lovers in your life – or at least a new cocktail party theme.

You have 22 days left until Christmas and if you’re Jewish, better get crackin’. Happy Holidays and THANK YOU EA GAMES!!

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