Wednesday, December 8, 2010


On a daily basis, the employees of Live Nation are entered into a drawing for tickets to random events. Just recently a friend of ours/employee of Live Nation got an email notifying him that he was the lucky winner of 2 tickets to a Ducks game at the Anaheim Honda Center. He wasn’t able to attend; ironically, because it was a day game and he had to work. Fortunately enough for Ben and I, our wonderful friend forwarded us the offer and we cleared our schedule to attend our first NHL game!

We drove up a few minutes before the puck hit the ice and joined the masses through the crosswalk and into the chilly arena. Quickly, we were directed into a private elevator and we were escorted to a premium level lounge that offered service throughout the game. Ben and I were in hockey heaven!

Although our home team was not victorious, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Thanks Live Nation!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


While you’re out holiday shopping at South Coast Plaza you can come home with a coveted Tiffany & Co. crystal vase to keep, or give as an ideal holiday gift. It works like this: Simply present $850 or more in same-day receipts for purchases made Dec. 1-9 at any of South Coast Plaza’s boutiques or restaurants to receive a complimentary Tiffany & Co. crystal vase. You can redeem the gift at two designated South Coast Plaza locations.

 (*Offer excludes purchases made at department stores: Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Sears and Bloomingdale’s, The Orange County Performing Arts Center and The Westin South Coast Plaza. One gift per person, per day, while supplies last. The vase cannot be returned or exchanged at Tiffany & Co. Purchases of South Coast Plaza Gift Certificates are not eligible for this offer.)

3333 Bristol St. in Costa Mesa.     714.435.8571

****Post is courtesy of Greer's OC! Thanks Greer for this awesome tip.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Season for Giving

Liz Smith and I with Michaela Periera, KTLA
news anchor, and Nia Long
Yesterday I was lucky enough to share a heart-warming experience with my mom and dear friends, the Smith family. Herb is not only the patriarch of the Smith clan but the president of the Los Angeles Mission. With Herb's wife, mother and daughter, my mom and I drove up to Skid Row to work with a large team of volunteers serving Thanksgiving dinners to those less fortunate than ourselves. 

Before you sigh and give me credit for being such a philanthropic young woman, I have to give you some more details. As I was expecting to suit up with latex gloves and a hair net before dishing up green beans and mash potatoes in the buffet line, Liz (Herb's daughter) handed me a list of celebrities that we were going to be "in charge" of. Yep! I got to work with the Smith family and coordinate the special guests. 

Sarah Drew from Grey's Anatomy
My mom with Ally Walker
from Sons of Anarchy

On every traditional holiday, the LA Mission gathers some wonderful local talent to serve some of the less fortunate residents of the county. On an annual basis the Mission provides nearly 600,000 hot meals. They also give over 210,000 articles of clean clothing and more than 130,000 nights of safe lodging. In addition to the celebrities that volunteer their time, the Mission gathers more than 6,000 people throughout the year to donate over 23,000 hours of community service. 
Kathy Smith with
Brandon Molale
The Mission extends its welcome to anyone that wants to serve. Please click here if you are interested in getting involved in their inspiring endeavors. If you are so inclined to make a monetary donation instead, please click here

Liz Smith with Chad Rogers from Bravo TV's
Million Dollar Listing and Greek cast mates
Andrew West and Amber Stevens
With Blair Underwood

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Everything Richardson: Floating Parties

Everything Richardson: Floating Parties

Floating Parties

The Christmas season is upon us. I know this, because I got my first invite for a Boat Parade party today!!! 
The Boat Parade is an annual tradition for the city of Newport Beach and the main symbol of the season. All locals know about it and many non-locals drive from miles away to see it. It really is a spectacular sight. Dozens upon dozens of boats get dressed up with strands of lights, sparkley décor and festive natives joyous to celebrate the holiday season. Vessel owners are sure to realize how many friends they have around Boat Parade time, because anyone and everyone flock to the floating parties on the bay.
In high school and college I always got stuck working at my parents restaurant on Balboa Island, Amelia’s Restaurant. The 5 nights of the Boat Parade were always extremely busy for the Island businesses. Once I got married, my husband and I would sometimes watch the parade from the bayfront of Balboa Island. Surprisingly enough, I’ve never actually watched the parade from the water! This year I will have 2 events to attend. The first is at a house on Lido. (This is the invitation that I just received.) It should be a great party. I actually leased the house to a client and I’m very excited for him to take full advantage of his waterfront views! The second party will be pretty awesome, too. A dear friend of mine owns a boat and keeps it docked at Bay Island. This is where the Boat Parade route begins. He isn’t actually entering is boat in the parade, but we will invite a lucky selection of common acquaintances, stock the galley with appetizers, good wines and cheerful spirits. Without leaving the dock we will have front row seats of all the action.

First thing first, turkey day is upon us. Come Black Friday, I will start sending out invitations of my own. I am just giddy thinking about my first Christmas season with Parade parties!

Monday, November 22, 2010

To Reunion or Not to Reunion

10 years ago I proudly wore my navy cap and gown and received my diploma from Newport Harbor High School. What great memories! 
During the first couple years of college, my group of friends tried to stay in touch. We visited one another at our universities and partied together for the annual Jimmy Buffett concert at Irvine Meadows Amphitheater. Some of the girls and guys kept in closer contact than others, and I really didn't hold onto too many relationships. I embraced my new college friends and quickly started working and enjoyed spending time with people around the office. I guess by year 5 out of high school I had lost touch with the majority of my fellow Sailor alumni. In the last year I have reconnected with a good number of people through Facebook. It is fun to see pictures of babies, boyfriends and some of the unbelievable things that people have experienced since high school. 
My question about the upcoming reunion is this...Do I need/want to get back in touch with everybody from my graduating class? I feel like it is going to be a whole lot of fake smiles, "how are you?"s and "let's get together"s. C'mon...we probably lost touch for a reason and we both know we won't really get together. 
How horrible is this!?! I sound like such a scrooge and I'm typically the positive type. I guess Ben has swayed my decision a bit. He makes fun of people that go to high school reunions  and generally doesn't like doing social things very much. (We'd spend every night on the couch playing video games and drinking beer, if he had his choice. LOL. Such a guy.) His line of work doesn't require him to do much networking. Mine does...I guess that is my answer. For work alone, I should go to my reunion. I know, I know...
So the real question is if I decide to go, how can I convince Ben to go. More importantly how can I get him to enjoy the evening?!? Hmmm

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Gidget Turned One!

It may have been a dreary and drizzly day, but we were having a partay at our house! Miss Gidget turned one year old yesterday and we had lots of fun.
Friends and family gathered to celebrate the sweet 34 pound pup that has stolen our hearts. She raced in the rain, played catch with the kids and munched on every treat that she could get her sweet little paws on. Ben and I agreed that we were not going to say "no" on this special day. She didn't take advantage of us, but poor Ben nearly killed his arm from throwing the ball over and over and over again for nearly 4 hours straight! As for me, I let her snuggle really close in bed and nuzzle her furry little bottom onto my face basically suffocating me. What was I to do??? I couldn't push her off, because it was her day!
Anyways, Gidget looked bigger this morning. We were positive that she grew another few inches and put on a few more pounds, but it wasn't true. By breakfast we realized that she was the same little puppy and we were just love-struck parents. 
Now that we have professed our love to our pooch and spoiled her rotten, we realize that we might have taken it a bit too far. Oh well, she has yet to chew a pair of shoes or do anything too naughty so it was only fair to spoil her and reward her for making this past year a wonderful one for our little family. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tommy to a "T"

Tommy Bahama is spoiling Orange County! Out of 13 restaurants in the United States, we get a second TB location. Newport Beach offers the upscale Island Grille and now Laguna Beach has the Beach Bar & Grill. Both venues offer the tropical relaxed setting that Tommy is known for, but the new Beach Bar that sits on the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Laguna Avenue boasts a sneak peak of the surreal view of our lovely Pacific Ocean. On a day like yesterday when I enjoyed my 5:15 reservation for a "preview dinner", I watched the sun set and the sky turn red against the horizon of Catalina Island. WOW!!!! Maybe it was the crispy Ahi Tuna Taco sitting in front of me and the Baja Margarita made with scratch sour in my hand, but a piece of me felt like I was in paradise. 
As all evenings do, the night turned dark and the lights dimmed. Quickly this daytime site for families and tourists turned into the new local hot spot. The faint sounds of tropical music became dulled by conversation and laughter.
Our dinners were served and I scarfed down my Smokehouse burger and fries. The Prime Angus beef patty was moist, the bacon was thick and full of taste and the bun was prepared to perfection. Somehow, the Mahi Mahi was the star of the entrée course and stole my burgers thunder. The fish was grilled flawlessly and it was served over a bed of fruity quinoa with a dash of Dungeness crab to garnish the plate. Yum yum. As I looked around the restaurant, I noticed plates going back to the kitchen were completely clear. Obviously, we were not the only table that enjoyed the food!
Some of the other items that looked fascinating were the Lobster Corndogs and Shrimp Avalon appetizers. For the main, the Swordfish Sandwich caught my eye, as well as, the Steak Salad that was served with Maytag blue cheese and fresh watercress. To finish, the Root Beer Float sounded fun, but I saw a good number of Banana Cream Pies served throughout the restaurant.
We let our full stomachs settle as we meandered to the retail part of the venue. I picked up a dress that donned the TB spirit and captured the pure essence of Laguna Beach. How quickly this establishment was able to absorb the beauty of it’s new location with an artful yet lively menu and fun classy line of beachwear. I suppose TB does embody all of the key elements of Laguna Beach.
Without a doubt TB will flourish during the tourist season. Hopefully it will thrive in the off months, too. As a local, make sure you stop in, check it out and show your support. At the very least, indulge yourself with one of their signature cocktails and enjoy a few minutes at the bar.  
Good luck Tommy! Your staff was wonderful and I enjoyed a nice evening with you. I hope you have many years of success ahead. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Monday!!!

Monday Night Football, that is!
I'm a Colts girl. Not really sure why...maybe it is because the electric blue looks good on me, but most likely it is because I am a Peyton Manning fan. I follow football based on the mug shots and tight pants. What! I'm a girl!
Well, the Colts are playing tonight and Ben asked me out on a date. It is much needed, as we have both been so busy lately and not able to spend much time together. He said that I could pick any place that I wanted. After lots of searching online and asking around, I decided on Bluewater Grill in Newport Beach. They have a great happy hour during the weekdays that lasts from 3:30 - 6:30pm. During football season, they extend this happy hour for the entire Monday Night Football game!
I called ahead to hear what they were offering and my mouth is already watering. Between the $4, $5 and $6 appetizer menus, I can't decide! From oyster shooters and shrimp ceviche to sliders and tenderloin dippers, each item sounds delicious. I promise to extend this post after I have frequented the spot and gorged on as many cheap dishes as Ben will allow me to order! LOL
I can proudly say that the Colts won, despite the fact so many of their skilled players were out and Peyton had to work with a rookie team. 
We did some how work up a $55 bill and that was only for the first half of the game?!? I guess $5 here and $5 there adds up pretty quickly. Ben and I sampled each of their house wines by the glass. Our favorite was the Pinot Noir. It went surprisingly well the simple sourdough and butter that comes with every order. We tried the fish tacos and the shrimp ceviche. Both were good, but we'll definitely go back for the $2 oyster shooters. ($4 for a pair.) Yum yum! The crab and artichoke dip was supposed to be their most popular item, but we passed on that tonight.
Overall, it was a good night. The happy hour wasn't amazing, but the service was good, the atmosphere was warm and the sampling of food was complimentary to the Colts win against Houston. 
Sweet dreams to foodies everywhere.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pumpkins & Pancakes

Bundle up the kiddies this Sunday morning and head to South Coast Plaza for a Halloween breakfast party.
Pancakes will be provided by Plum's Cafe and there will be activities galore! Face painting, arts & crafts, balloon artists and skateboard demonstrations are just a few of the fun goings-on to enjoy.
There will also be a silent auction and opportunity drawing for the parents.
Tickets cost $30 each and proceeds benefit Court Appointed Special Advocates. CASA works against child abuse and creates healthy environments where kids can thrive.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The New Hot Spot???

So many parties and so little time! 
Well, this is probably a party that you might want to attend. Yes, it is on a Wednesday, but if you haven't stopped into the Newport Beach Commonwealth Lounge this is the time!
Let's give a friendly welcome to newest hot spot and show our support. The location is spectacular, the atmosphere has everything and the owners are good guys!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Free Concert!!!

Isn't it wonderful when a town comes together to show off it's charm and embrace the holiday spirit!?!?
Enter Balboa Island....
The merchants of Marine Avenue have come together and organized a free concert for the community. The classic surf rock band, "The Surfaris" will be performing and the 200 block will be completely shut down for pedestrians to dance, wander the street and shop as the sun sets.
Multiple sponsors are offering promotions that will enhance the evening fun.
Amelia's Restaurant will have "Grab-and Go" items to buy.
Barney's Barkery will have $10 Pumpkin Collars.
5 Seas will have 20% off Ella Moss and Splendid clothing.
Classic Kids Photography will have Halloween Snapshots in their studio.

HOM Real Estate will have appetizers and drinks.

And more...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Get Your Group On...

...or just click here and join Groupon.
Groupon is an amazing online tool that benefits customers and merchants. First Groupon negotiates huge discounts on popular local goods, services and cultural events. Second, these specials are offered online to subscribers via free daily emails. Once a minimum number of people agree to buy, the deal becomes activated. Members of Groupon get a great deal and businesses get tons of new customers. 
Some examples of deals that have been offered:

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Blog Log

I know, I know...I really need to be more religious about posting. I guess I'm still formalizing what direction I want to take this blog. Mostly, I want to tell people about things and places in the area that they might not have known about or really appreciated. Yet, I still want to weave in personal stories, but I haven't figured out how to do that yet.
Be patient...I'll figure it out. (I am always prepared for constructive criticism...if you have feedback, please give it to me.)
What I don't know how to figure out is ways to get more followers?!? I suppose that I have to put out consistent content, so somebody would want to keep checking back to my site. One thing at a work has to come first and the people will follow. LOL.
Have a great day everybody.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Gidget Goes Posh...Bosh Style

Noel at Bosh Images frequently offers her time and talent for charitable purposes. Recently, she scheduled family sittings for CHOC Glass Slipper Guild members and forwarded half of the proceeds back to CHOC. I asked to have photos taken of me and Gidget. Because this wasn't the typical photography session, we arranged a special "pet shoot" at the beach. 

You can check out Noel's Blog. She actually featured Gidget in her recent piece called Dog Days. I highly recommend you consider Bosh Images when it's time to schedule photography for your family or pet. She is a breath of fresh air with a talent catching warm personal moments on camera.

Macho Macho Man!

Thank's to my dear friend, Ash Mash, I can't stop thinking about the "Macho" salad from Bandera's Restaurant in Corona del Mar. This entrée makes my mouth water just thinking about it. It includes chunks of rotisserie chicken, tomato, avocado, goat cheese, toasted almonds, corn, dates and my favorite, cornbread croutons. 
Ash Mash lives down in San Diego and frequently drives up to Orange County for a dinner at this delectable restaurant. This week, she had mentioned driving up for dinner and now I can't get this upcoming date off my mind. I can't wait a week!!! In fact, I might just drag Ben there this evening, so I can indulge in a Banderas feast twice within 7 days!
Besides their fantabulous meals featuring their freshly roasted chicken on the spit in their kitchen, they have a few other items that have put them on the map. They have grilled artichokes, cornbread in the skillet and devilled eggs. 
And, for dessert they have a banana cream pie that is just scrumptious.
Something else that you should keep in mind before planning your dinner at Banderas....bring your own wine! They don't charge a corkage fee! For real!!!! Enjoy.

Friends of Gidget

Gidget is the littlest love of my life ad she has lots of friends. Abby 1 and Abbey 2, Chloe, Rocky, Mack, Fern and Caymen are just a few. 
Over the recent months, I've been blessed with a new person whom I befriended because of Gidget. Laurie, the owner of Barney's Barkery on Balboa Island, has grown very near and dear to my heart. She is the reason that Gidget is always dressed in the cutest of collars and pampered, as all puppy princesses should be. (Yes...Gidget has me wrapped around her little finger.)
Anyways, Laurie and her lab, Barney, recently asked me to help their store with some fresh marketing ideas. Of course, I was not only happy to help but excited to get involved. First we are creating a Facebook Page, second we will be creating a blog and third we will be updating the Barkery website on a more frequent basis. 
Barney's Barkery has SUCH cute stuff. I may be partial, but their collars and leashes are some of the cutest around and the prices are VERY reasonable. Any size, width and pattern all cost the same, $19.95. Laurie will create things to order, should you want a matching set that isn't in stock or even a harness. Feel free to check out a sampling of her things online and place an order! 
I hope you will support this local store and become a fan on Facebook!!!  

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A is for Absolutely Amazing!!!

Not just because my name starts with A, but more specifically, because I LOVE "A" RESTAURANT!
Everybody has their "place" and A has become mine. Over the past year, I have befriended the staff and sat along their comfortably dark bar way too many times to count. The back-story behind the iconic Newport Beach location aside, the restaurant has so much to offer. This establishment has slowly grown it's following over the years. With the collaboration of a group of creative and diverse owners, A caters to various crowds. The menu will satisfy foodies and the ambiance welcomes diners from the original Arches restaurant to young people of the workforce, like myself.
The happy hour is my heaven. From 3 to 7, everything is half price...everything!!! You can order a Belvedere martini with freshly stuffed blue cheese olives or a simple brew. All drinks are discounted. They even offer champagne by the glass! (Veuve to boot!)
If you are in the mood for a sampling of appetizers, here are just a few of the popular offerings: spicy tuna over crunchy eggplant slices, calamari drizzled with a sweet asian aioli, mixed cheese and charcuterie plates, fresh oysters and the failsafe, the A burger. (Recently voted one of Orange County's Top Ten Burgers.) 
Stop into A for any group that wants to nosh on delectable food, while enjoying a peaceful ambiance over good drinks.
Other notable happy hours include Caneletto Ristorante Veneto at Fashion Island, Tommy Bahama's Island Grille, The Bungalow and Rusty Pelican.

Sparkles for Less

I'm going to let you in on a little secret of diamond studs aren't real. 
I might have told you they were somewhere along the line, so I apologize for not telling the truth. On the same note, didn't your mother teach you it isn't nice to ask people questions like that! LOL
My earrings are unbelievably great quality for cubic zirconium stones. Unfortunately, the key to great looking "fake" jewelry is typically the setting...and gold can be expensive. By no means were my studs cheap. Believe it or not, they were upwards of $250! The good news is that I've had my earrings for 5+ years and they remain to look flawless. 
Over this past weekend, Ben and I went to Vegas. As we were walking through the Palazzo Shoppes at The Venetian hotel. I stumbled across the Erwin Pearl boutique. Erwin Pearl is the magnificent designer that created my earrings. His work offers deceivingly stunning costume jewelry set in quality metals for everlasting elegance. I begged and pleaded with Ben for a tennis bracelet that caught my eye as we were passing. It was only $165!!! I was in love! As vain as that sounds, I admit to loving fashionable things, especially when the price tag doesn't break the bank! 
This piece of jewelry wasn't set in white gold, like my first Erwin Pearl purchase, but the salesperson promised that the sterling silver would remain looking fabulous for many years to come. (She even gave me a secret cleaning tip: toothbrush, toothpaste and warm water.)
If I may advise one little thing about wearing cubic zirconium jewelry...mix it in with other things. Preferably diamonds would be the best, but nonetheless, any mixture of real stones can camouflage even the "fake" jewelry that might not be as convincing as Erwin Pearl. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Vegas, Baby!!!

The beauty of asking for something is that the worst thing that could happen is a simple "no."
Just recently, Ben said that he wanted to run away for a day and relish in the fact that we don't have kids yet. Where better to do this that sin city! Other than sitting on the beaches of Hawaii, our dream getaway would be laying by the pool with the intermittent gambling or visit to the sports book for fantasy football. 
We called Club Grazie at the Venetian Hotel and asked if they were offering any complimentary nights. A friendly lady answered the phone and said "Yes," they were! And, she gave us an additional $25 of free slot play with stay. 
Ben and I are rushing to pack our things, find a sitter for Gidget, our puppy, and hit the road! The goal is to drive over the desert horizon and see the strip silhouette by the second half of this mornings football games. Wish us luck!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Firemen, Fashion and Free Lunch

And did I mention that it was all for a good cause!?!
I've been involved with the Glass Slipper Guild for a few years now. The group is composed of women throughout the community who raise money for the Neuroscience Institute at the Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC). Our group definitely tries to put the "fun" into fundraising. In addition to sending mass mailers requesting donations, we plan events throughout the year to make giving money to our philanthropy more enjoyable than just cutting a check.
Bloomingdale's is generously hosting a luncheon and fashion show this Saturday, September 18th at noon. The hottest fall fashions will be modeled by local heroes of the Newport Beach Fire Department. After the event, a percentage of all purchases will be given back to the Glass Slipper Guild, so this type of shopping doesn't even need an excuse! (Ben, my husband, doesn't let me get away with this reasoning, but I still

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Promo Codes

Can we take a moment to appreciate Google? I mean really!!!
I try to refrain from online shopping, but it is truly hard to avoid when there are so many online deals. Besides the promotions that you receive via email or mailed catalogs, whenever you decide to buy something online you must google the purchase. 
Just now I was feeling inspired and checked Go Daddy for for availability. Who new blog could become famous and appreciated by all the major scholars of the world! Really! It could best be prepared. Well, was available and the cost was $11.99 for one year. I was excited, because that price seemed very reasonable for a website that starred my own last name, I would have gladly paid much more!
As I began the checkout process, I did the normal routine of opening another page and creating a google search for "godaddy promo codes." Wouldn't you know it, there were various options. Within moments, I learned that I could apply "PODFD412" in the promotion code section of checkout and receive a discounted price. is officially mine for the mere price of $7.49.
Everyone should google promo codes before any online purchase, because there are most often coupons or codes that allow for cheaper shopping. And, NOTHING is better than cheaper shopping.
Look forward to the full Everything Richardson website in the near future.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I do not profess to be an intellect or author of profound thoughts. In fact, I could be the exact opposite. I’m simply a girl trying to make it through each day with a smile on my face. In the quest for bigger smiles on a more frequent basis, I've tried to focus on the things that bring me happiness. I enjoy connecting people and I've realized that I love sharing information that benefits others. I think I have a knack for bringing people together and using that network to find out what is going on and spreading the word. Creating this blog is my way to reach a broader audience to share pieces of my life and link followers to events or things that might be of interest.
From real estate, restaurant hot spots, movie reviews and local events to charity, local government, fantasy sports and so much more...I have my fingers in every pot. Chances are likely that you could talk about a subject and I’d have some sort of input. (Yep, I can be that annoying person that always has their two cents to throw in the conversation…but I like to think I’m not obnoxious with my insight.)
At this very moment, I have decided to move forward with the inauguration of this site, because I have a lot to offer readers everywhere. (Just mostly to readers in Orange County, California...specifically Newport Beach.) Within my future posts, I plan to share some of the everyday occurrences that take place in my life. Within these unwritten vignettes, I promise to include the delectable details about my dining experiences, bargains that should not be missed, and many other sprinklings of glittering beauty throughout the local area. I plan to talk about anything and everything. Hence the name, “Everything Richardson.” My name is Alexandra Richardson and it is very nice to meet you!