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Balboa Island is a wonderful place for both tourists and locals alike. Located in Newport Beach, and adjacent to The Village of Corona Del Mar off of Jamboree, it is connected by bridge to the mainland and offers ferry rides to the Balboa Peninsula on the other side. There is a charming main street - Marine Avenue, with some pretty great foodie restaurants like Mr. G's Bistro and the Royal Hen, some seriously legitimate Mexican food at Picante Martine's and the quintessential breakfast spot - Wilma's Patio.

Don't forget to stop at Dad's Donut & Bakery Shop for a famous Balboa ice cream bar or frozen banana (and they have amazing donuts and cookies too! Try the hippo sugar cookies!). There is a footpath that circles around the island along the beaches

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How have I missed this staple after living in the OC for 6 years?! This Italian Restaurant is the real deal and was established in 1979! Located in Santa Ana it is just a stone's throw to South Coast Plaza and the 405 and 73 freeways. The ambiance is nostalgically old school with waiters and staff that have no doubt been working there for years and take enormous pride in their service.

The food is delicious, coming from "Grandma's recipes". The table side warm spinach salad is quite the show and a great way to start your meal. The homemade pastas are delicious and the risotto out of this world and their dessert souffle's are worth the splurge. A little tip- there is a very cool seating area near the bar called the library - you do not need a

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Aquazzura is an upscale shoe salon located at one of my favorite malls South Coast Plaza – located minutes from another world-class outdoor mall Fashion Island in Newport Beach. The name Aquazzura was inspired by the blue seas of Italy.  Columbian born designer, Edgardo Osorio, co-founded the shoe and accessory company at the age of 25. That’s quite an accomplishment.

After just seven years, Aquazzura is now available at over 300 of the World’s top retailers. The shoe salon features an impressive interior with luxurious, timeless, elegant designs and statement pieces from flats, sandals, boots and booties to sneakers. My personal favorites include the powder puff flat, featured in an array of colors and the downtown bootie. Whether you’re looking for a

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We moved to One Ford Road in Newport Beach, just above Fashion Island, close to one year ago. We chose the neighborhood because of the sense of community it has and the wonderful family-centric amenities. It has been a dream! Our girls ride their bikes to the park or pool (a short ride for all because the community was master planned in one big loop with the main amenities at the center).

The park was remodeled a few months ago and has something for all ages. The Olympic sized pool is awesome for swimming laps or recreational swimming and there is a huge wading pool for toddlers. The front lawn is an idyllic place to throw birthday parties. And then of course there is a comprehensive gym, additional pool, sports court, croquet court, rose gardens and

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My daughter introduced my wife and I to the Bone Adventure in Costa Mesa on Bristol. Our dog loves to socialize with other dogs his size and get a bath. This is the only groomer that he is comfortable with. They also have multiple night stays (your dog needs to pass a 2 hour temperament test and have up to date vaccinations) so you can lodge your dog there when you go on a trip and rest assured your furry family member is being well-loved and having a great time.

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Cold and Flu season is upon us and it’s hitting all parts of Orange County with a force. Here are some of my favorite natural herbs and products that are known for boosting the immune system and fighting infections. My number one go to is, oil of oregano. This herb is a powerhouse. It fights infection and has powerful antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties.

Secondly, you need a good probiotic. Probiotics are known to promote a healthy digestive tract and immune system. Another favorite, but not so pleasant, is garlic in it’s raw form. It contains natural antibiotics. And of course D3, vitamin C and plenty of homemade ginger, lemon, and honey tea. All products can be purchased at Whole Foods in Fashion Island/Newport Beach, Laguna Beach and

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Ready to jump into California, coastal living (but without getting wet)? Check out Voyager Rentals and spend a beautiful afternoon cruising around the Balboa Bay in Newport Beach on an electric boat, better known as a Duffy. You can book your reservation online for however many hours you would like, check in right at the Duffy (adjacent to the Balboa Ferry which takes you across to the Balboa Peninsula), and a Voyager employee will be there to show you the ropes.

They even have a little map that demonstrates a great route to put around the bay. When we go, it’s usually with friends, in the evenings. We’ll bring cheese and wine to watch the sunset, then dock at one of the local waterfront restaurants. It’s such a fun experience for anyone as it’s simple

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The Super Bowl has been set - Tom Brady's New England Patriots vs The Philadelphia Eagles. This will be the Patriots 3rd trip in 4 years to the Super Bowl as they aim for their 6th Super Bowl title, which would tie the Pittsburgh Steelers for most all-time. I understand rooting for David over Goliath as the thought of watching Tom hoist another Super Bowl is too harrowing to bare... But as we lament over the Patriots being in the big game once again - can we at least take a moment to appreciate the greatness that is these New England Patriots? Mind you - I don't have a horse in the race here. I am not from Boston, nor have any ties to the greater North East. This is purely appreciation of utter greatness.

 Yesterday the Patriots had 0 penalties in the

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I know a membership at Equinox can be on the pricey side but some of us need scheduled appointments and the perks of an awesome workout experience to meet our weekly fitness goals (ahem, me). The Newport Beach Equinox, right off of the 73 toll road and Jamboree is where you will find me 4 days a week. Great atmosphere, challenging classes with motivational instructors that really pump you up, and of course if you prefer a personal trainer, you have your pick.

The Pilates studio is where I work my toosh off (literally) - shout out to Emily! After my work out I find the locker room more spa-like than the standard gym locker room, and hit the smoothie bar for a healthy post-workout snack and can even grab a Cafe Gratitude salad to go if I'm headed

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Would you like fresher breath, whiter teeth and healthier gums? Coconut oil pulling is one of the best ways to remove bacteria and promote a healthy oral cavity. It literally sucks the toxins from your mouth. It's been known to treat tooth decay, kill bad breath, whiten teeth and prevent cavities. It's best to do first thing in the morning. Take one to two tablespoons of coconut oil and swish for 10-20 minutes, then brush your teeth as you normally would.

I do it upon waking, while I do my morning chores, like making the bed and emptying the dishwasher. When finished, be sure to spit it out in the trash because spitting in your sink will cause it to clog. You can pick up a jar of organic coconut oil at your local Whole Foods at the Fashion Island

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