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.