Loving LUZIA! Cirque du Soleil’s LUZIA: A Waking Dream of Mexico

Recently my boys and I got a complimentary preview of Cirque du Soleil’s LUZIA: A Waking Dream of Mexico, at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa.

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Like all Cirque shows, LUZIA is a treat for the senses. There are multiple performers from trapeze artists to high climbers to a contortionist. This show is told with music, movement, and even, water!

LUZIA’s look and feel blends old-world Mexico with modern times, as well as some mythical animals and imagery. The music is lovely and varies throughout the show to match the different scenes.

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The colorful backdrop mirrors the show’s theme: a sensory treat as if you’re dreaming in Mexico, where the big stars are the “luz” meaning light and the “lluvia” or rain.

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As if stunning choreography and aerobatics weren’t enough, LUZIA ups the ante. That’s because throughout the show, water is integrated into the acts. It’s impressive to watch as an aerialist – suspended from a trapeze – twist and turn in the middle of this “rain.”

Water also plays a comical role, with the gimmick being the lead character is thirsty throughout the show. He never seems to have water and when he finds it, it’s elusive to catch. My kids and I, as well as everyone in attendance, giggled as the character struggled to get a sip throughout the show.

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LUZIA is consistently entertaining.

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There’s suspense and excitement in many acts showcasing balancing, hoop diving and even stunts while moving on treadmills. Check out the juggling…

Watch below for even more nerves and fun as performers jump from swing to swing!

The show runs through March 25. Check it out. It’s fun for the whole family.

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Staying Organized

I’m old school about keeping track of information. I handwrite notes, keep to-do lists and organize my life with a calendar.

Sure, I track things in my smartphone – from business meetings and appointments to events, date nights and family activities – but I also like having a hardcopy of my schedule.

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I was pretty excited to check out Day Designer, a strategic planner and daily agenda. They sent me a complimentary 2018 planner and I’m loving it.

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First of all, it’s a hardcover, spiral book – nothing flimsy about this calendar! Plus, it has a durable pocket in the front, which is ideal for stashing those post-it notes and do-lists I make.

Here’s what else I love about this planner – there’s a two-page calendar for every month, as well as individual pages for each day.

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On the daily pages, there are prompts to keep me focused: “Today’s Top Three,” “Notes,” and “Daily Gratitude,” as well as “To-Do” and “Don’t Forget.”

IMG_8002There are daily inspirational quotes too, like, Samuel Johnson’s, ”Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance,” and the proverb, “It is better to begin in the evening than not at all.”

Do you keep a hardcopy planner or calendar?

Must-Have Accessory: Fashionable & Functional Hairtie Bracelets

If you have long hair, you know the importance of having a ponytail holder at the ready. Often times that means keeping hair elastics in your pocket, your purse or on your wrist.

Wearing a ponytail holder on your wrist can pinch and that hurts, which is why I’m intrigued about an inventive product: hairband bracelets from Maria Shireen.

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The concept is simple and stylish – wear a bracelet that has a “channel” to hold the hair tie in place. The silver or gold bracelet is fashionable and functional. They even have plastic ones for kids and teens!

I was excited to try one out. Since I frequently write about weddings, Maria Shireen’s team sent me a bracelet from their wedding collection. It’s silver and comes with a baby blue hair tie. I can picture brides and bridesmaids wearing these bracelets throughout wedding planning and all the celebrations, including the reception and after parties.

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I’ve been enjoying wearing the bracelet which is cute and comfortable. Best of all, finding my hair tie to pull my hair back onto a ponytail is easier than ever!

Think about it: you’ll always have your ponytail holder nearby. No more searching the house, office or your bag for a hairtie because you’ll have one ready-to-go on your bracelet.

The bracelet looks pretty on its own and can be worn separate from the hairtie. When worn together, it’s hard to tell you’re rocking a ponytail with your bracelet.

Times of San Diego article sources Kristen Castillo, San Diego Press Club President

Thank you Times of San Diego​ for including me in your article about the recent sale of the The San Diego Union-Tribune​ and Los Angeles Times​.

Here’s an excerpt:

For Kristen Castillo, 2018 president of the San Diego Press Club, the sale represented another change in the local media landscape. “We are hopeful this sale protects the integrity of news while also supporting our fellow journalists,” she said.

I am honored to serve as President of the San Diego Press Club.

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Valentine’s Day Date Tips for Couples & Families

Valentine’s Day is coming up! Stumped on what to do? I’ve got some great ideas on how to spend Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart.

Since I’m a writer for San Diego Family Magazine, I had the opportunity today to share some Valentine’s Day date tips for couples and families with Renee Nelson at ABC 10News during a FacebookLive. We talked about specific places to go in San Diego; things to do on a budget and to splurge; ways to keep love sizzling, and more.

Get more Valentine’s Day ideas in the February issue of San Diego Family Magazine, which is available for free at Albertsons, Ralphs, Party City and local libraries, as well as online.

Here are some behind the scenes photos from the shoot.

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With Renee Nelson, 10News reporter
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L-R Michelle Hancock, Marketing Director for San Diego Family Magazine; San Diego Family Magazine writer Kristen Castillo, and 10News reporter Renee Nelson.
February issue of San Diego Family Magazine
February issue of San Diego Family Magazine
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With 10News reporter Renee Nelson

Feeling Glam in Fall

Fall is such a great season. Even in San Diego, the temps are cool(er) this time of year and it’s fun to wear cozy clothes and accessories in rich, autumn colors. I’ve been layering more and wearing knits and velvet.

Wearing Jane Iredale Fall Glam collection. Love this lipstick!

My accessories and makeup have taken on fall tones as well. I love burgundy, crimson and deep shades of brown.

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Jane Iredale sent me their Naturally Glam beauty collection to try out and I’m loving it.

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There’s a five-color eye shadow palette featuring shimmery neutrals, as well as a bubblegum pink blush which has delicate gold shimmer.

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They also sent this soft makeup mitt, which is so useful to wipe off the day’s makeup.

 

My favorite items? The gorgeous, seasonal lip colors: PureMoist lipstick in Gwen, an apple red and Just Kissed lip plumper in Paris, a sheer light port wine.

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These lipsticks have been the star of my fall. I’ll continue to wear them during the holidays.

 

 

Cheers to Thanksgiving!

Setting the table for Thanksgiving is always so much fun. On the table this holiday: these two sparkling wines from Alsatian winery, Dopff & Irion.

They’re made from different grapes, like Pinot Blanc and Pinot Auxerrois, in a traditional champagne method. These well-balanced sparkling wines have fine and lasting bubbles.

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The Brut Blanc de Blancs NV, is ideal for dinner and even dessert. It’s light and bubbly with green apple or lemon aromas. The Brut Rosé NV, suited for cocktails, has a red berry fruit taste.

Thanks to Dopff & Irion for sending me these wines to try! I’m looking forward to sharing them with my guests this holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!

Put a Ring On It!

As a wedding editor and writer, I’m always following wedding trends. One of those trends is wedding jewelry.

There’s nothing traditional about wedding rings these days.  Like never before, there are more colors, styles and metal choices for women and men.

According to The Knot, in 2016, couples said they spent over $6000 on engagement rings. There’s another jewelry expense – wedding rings for both spouses, which can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

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The next consideration is style. Gold, silver, titanium, tungsten and more metals, as well as colors and looks like simple bands, beveled designs and adding diamonds of other stones.

IMG_2157While brides often know what they want their wedding band to look like, men can be frustrated by the process. And even fashionable guys, can have a tough time finding a ring that fits their personal style.

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That’s why I was eager to check out Manly Bands, which promise to fit different personalities and budgets, all while being sophisticated.

Manly Bands sent me a few complimentary bands: The Gentleman, (below) a polished band made with tungsten carbide, 18K rose gold plated; and The Surfer, a modern ring made with tungsten carbide featuring dark Koa wood and genuine turquoise.

My husband tried both rings and modeled them. His fave? The Surfer (below) for its bold color and how it popped against his skin tone. This ring is very hip and a fit for his lifestyle. After all, my husband is a California native.

The rings, available in sizes five to 17, are all under $200. Wedding or not, some of these rings (like The Surfer my husband likes) can be worn as an everyday accessory.