LOCAL LOVE: Barefoot Bowls


Last Monday I packed up my stacks of papers and giddily headed over to the new Barefoot Bowls in Irvine. I love smoothies, granola, honey, fresh fruit, and all the toppings. I knew it was just the thing I needed for a boost in mood and energy. Good food does that. Thank you Barefoot Bowls for opening your doors to the community. I’m truly grateful.

Barefoot Bowls is a family owned business. Before the sneak peak last week, I only talked with the daughter of the owners via social media. She seemed nice enough but meeting her in person solidified my suspicions. She graciously waited for me to read over the menu at least 5 times, happily willing to answer any questions. In the end I settled on what’s expected to be the customer favorite: the barefoot bowl. I added shredded coconut because I heart coconut on an unhealthy level.


All of the bowls have a smoothie-like base made with all fresh fruit and fruit juices. Granola, fresh fruit, added toppings, and honey are layered on top. This is just for the barefoot bowl. There are unlimited options. Seriously. Take a look at the menu. They have smoothies and breakfast oatmeal as well.



This place is special. With the exception of the surfboard, all of the decor was handmade by the owners. It’s got an Americana meets beach town feel. The oldies tunes wrap up the feel like a perfectly tied bow.

The absolute quality and deliciousness of the food gives me a good feeling about this place.

The GRAND OPENING is this weekend, April 26th & 27th. Join us in spreading some local love. After you healthily indulge head back here and tell us what you ordered.

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Easter Eggs


“Don’t buy the Potato any of those plastic Easter Eggs, we’ll just end up throwing them away. They’re a total waste of money.”

Famous last words… from the woman known as Mom.

Thank goodness for Grandparents. And plastic eggs.

Turns out they’re the cheapest entertainment around. The oblong nature of the eggs is perfect for little hands… and those bright colors! The potato couldn’t get enough.

Those eggs went along to brunch with us…





And into the pool…


And I even had to pry them out of someone’s little hands before bed.

Easter Bunny, you win this round…


MTO Giveaway – Congratulations to our Winner!


Congratulations to comment number 3, Gabrielle! You’ve won the $40 MTO Gift Certificate!

We hope you enjoy the Avocado Skillet and Carrot Coconut Pancakes… Mmm…

Have a happy weekend all,




Just in case you missed it, we’re giving away a $40 Gift Certificate to MTO Cafe this afternoon!

You know, if you’re into the whole “eating a delicious breakfast in a relaxed and cool environment” kind of thing.

To Enter:

1. Check out MTO’s Menu HERE

2. Comment below THE ORIGINAL POST HERE and let us know what you would order off their menu if you win the gift certificate!


The Details:

- Giveaway open to all United States residents.

- The winner will receive one (1) – $40 Gift Certificate to MTO Cafe, located in Las Vegas, NV.

- One entry per reader is permitted.

- Entries will be accepted until 1:00 PM PST on Friday, April 18, 2014.

- The winner will be selected using and announced on Friday, April 18, 2014 shortly after 1:00 PM PST. Once announced, the winner will have 48 hours to email to confirm their shipping address (within the United States) so that the gift certificate may be delivered.

Good luck!





You know the over-the-top orderly closet you had a glimpse into the other day? You do not want to see it right now. Piles of shoes, overflowing dirty laundry, awkwardly hanging shirts…you get the idea.

While tripping over that mess I came to the conclusion that my organizational methods were not working. I immediately imagined replacing the boxes with baskets and the baskets with bins, convinced this would solve my problem. Yep, the same methods I just raved about had to go.

Let’s get real. The problem is me, my lack of discipline, my unwillingness to admit and believe I’m not perfect. The problem doesn’t reside in the baskets or boxes or bins.

Organization takes practice; it takes discipline. Practiced discipline. I can’t just put everything in its place once. I’ve tried. I have to repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Practice. Practice. Practice. Those shoes won’t put themselves back. And you know what else? Neither will I without some discipline.

I’m not an expert on organization. I’m just not. However, I am becoming well versed in the magic of discipline.

Practice doesn’t make perfect but it sure builds character, cleaner closets, and I’m currently learning, calmer classrooms.

Do you have a little room for some discipline in your life?



Hump Day!

I couldn’t resist.

As promised, we’re back with some very exciting news.

Do you visit Breakfast Banter for our Sunday Brunch posts? Are you constantly on the lookout for the perfect Brunch Spot? Great!

Not interested in scrolling through years of Brunch outings to find our favorites? We hear you. Loud and clear friend, loud and clear. So for those of you who are here for the meat and potatoes (specifically bacon and hash browns, as we’re talking brunch here) we’ve created a new page just for you: WHERE TO BRUNCH.

First things first, WHERE TO BRUNCH can be found under the “Sunday Brunch” Heading, smack dab in the middle of the menu bar. Yup… right up there.

On the WHERE TO BRUNCH page you’ll find our top five favorite spots in both Las Vegas (debuting today!) and Orange County (debuting next month!). They’ll be updated as we discover new spots, or return to old favorites. If we’re in a fancy brunch phase you’ll start to see some smart offerings… or if we’re in a casual frame of mind (Anyone else learning to brunch with your own version of The Potato?) you’ll see mostly neighborhood gems and family friendly spots.


In case you were wondering… all of the locations listed under the WHERE TO BRUNCH page are accurate representations of the places we really love. No one has paid, bribed or otherwise coerced us to be on the list. As always, in the nature of full disclosure, any “freebies” we receive during a brunch adventure (or any other type of adventure) will be clearly marked c/o.

As if this wasn’t enough to get you all giddy (just me? Okay then…) how about a giveaway?

Oh yeah! (Kool-Aid Man voice)

In honor of our new WHERE TO BRUNCH page we’re giving away a $40 gift certificate to MTO Cafe located in Las Vegas, Nevada!


To Enter:

1. Check out MTO’s Menu HERE

2. Comment below and let us know what you would order off their menu if you win the gift certificate!


The Details:

- Giveaway open to all United States residents.

- The winner will receive one (1) – $40 Gift Certificate to MTO Cafe, located in Las Vegas, NV.

- One entry per reader is permitted.

- Entries will be accepted until 1:00 PM PST on Friday, April 18, 2014.

- The winner will be selected using and announced on Friday, April 18, 2014 shortly after 1:00 PM PST. Once announced, the winner will have 48 hours to email to confirm their shipping address (within the United States) so that the gift certificate may be delivered.


Don’t worry California Friends, we’ll be back next month with a special goodie for you too. Or perhaps this is a good reason to head up to Vegas? After all, if you decide to visit you’ll all ready know where to Brunch! Think about it…



Work In Progress

It feels like everything this month is a work in progress and I’m just trying to hold onto each day for as long as possible.

Speaking of holding onto things…


Apparently not even my donuts are sacred.

Careful Baby, Mama knows how to use those elbows when it counts.

Back to my point… We’re knee deep in an exciting new element for the blog and preparing for an upcoming giveaway! So please excuse our virtual dust today. It’ll all be worth it. Can you say … “Free Brunch”… I know, such a tease.

What about you, itching to finally cross an item off your todo list? Is there fighting over pastries in your house? Would you believe me if I told you I organized my bookshelf by color in honor of Clear the Clutter April? It’s true, I love it, Can’t wait to share!



I took my first trip to Downtown Anaheim to have a taste of some Healthy Junk cuisine. The whole downtown was hoppin’. I had no idea I was missing out on such a hip scene. Seriously. What other environment would house such a place as Healthy Junk? I should have known.

Now I do and now I know to go back. Over and over.


Healthy Junk, inspired by Lynda’s home recipes offers vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options.   She is such a funny, down-to-earth, and beautiful individual. She looks like a woman who would be the owner of such a fine establishment.



With a multitude of pizzas, tacos, veggies, burgers, and desserts to choose from, it doesn’t feel like you’re eating healthy at all. Who knew vegetarian tasted so good. I can eat fries guilt free as long as I’m drinking water from a box (maybe it’s just a head game, but I think it did taste better). The guilt free feel might also come from catchphrases like “eat happy” and “first we eat then we do everything else.” The later being a perfect description of how we operate here at Breakfast Banter.


I know some parents aren’t too sure how their little ones will react to a place like Healthy Junk. Do not worry, I can assure you that two toddlers gave it a big thumbs up. My friend Grace and her daughter joined me for the simple fact that Grace tells her kids they don’t eat junk. She thought they’d get a kick out of being able to eat some junk. Food wise though, my niece devoured the extra vegan garlic aioli I brought home. It was a winner in her “dip” world.

It was a winner in my love-of-food world.

Lynda, thank you for sharing your passion for healthy food with the world…

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I was on Spring Break last week. That was a disaster. I accomplished close to nothing. I was unable to muster up any ounce of discipline to stick to my time management goals. BUT the moment I walked back into the classroom on Monday morning, I was a machine of motivation. Inspiration spewed from my pores. I got stuff done.

I give all credit for this miracle of time management to the bell schedule. It’s kind of like a Mad Libs for my life; I get to insert the details but the basic structure is given to me. It’s a system I work very well in. Obviously teaching is a great profession for me.

With the magic of the bell schedule, my days go a little something like this…

6AM- Wake up, let Moxie out, shower, eat breakfast, feed Moxie, gather my supplies for the day, post on the blog, pick up coffee, and check emails/social media while waiting for my order.

7:30AM- Get to work, organize my thoughts & lesson plans, write the agenda on the board, and take a deep breath.


8AM- Greet 40 sleepy teenagers and teach, teach, teach Shakespeare’s Othello.


9AM- Reflect on my lesson, make changes for the next period, grade papers, drink more coffee, battle the Xerox machine, and use the restroom.

10AM- Greet 40 slightly more awake teenagers and teach, teach, teach Shakespeare’s Othello.


11AM- Brush up on my second piece of literature for the day, drink more coffee, check emails/blog/social media, grade papers, and brainstorm with my master teacher.


NOON- Eat lunch, drink water, use the restroom, help students, and review lesson plans.


1PM- Greet 40 overloaded teenagers, teach, teach, teach The Great Gatsby, prepare for the next unit of study (The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), grade papers, drink more coffee, pray to miraculously think of ways to grasp students’ interest, and complete my own homework for grad school.


4:30PM- Tie up loose ends in the classroom, prepare/tweak lessons for the next day, go to the bank/grocery store/gas station…any urgent errands, and check emails/blog and social media while in lines.


5PM- Unload the car, give my pup some much needed attention, change my clothes, laundry, and prepare dinner.


6PM- Eat dinner, feed Moxie, pack lunch for the next day, and dishes.


630PM- Most nights I head to class, Pilates, a walk, mentoring, small group, or a meeting.


9PM- Pick up any essential supplies I wasn’t able to get earlier in the day (like yesterday when I promised I would bring in treats for my 11th graders), wash my face, brush my teeth, and set out my clothes for the next day.


10PM- Check emails/blog/social media, watch a recorded episode of Law & Order, write, read a bit of what I want to read, and fall asleep fairly easily.

There you have it, a glimpse into my life. A life I love. A life that makes me very tired in the best way possible. A life that doesn’t seem like a have to but like a get to. A life that would be entirely unmanageable without some form of schedule.

What do your days look like? Any tips you can share with us?

CREAM OR SUGAR: Clutter Free Closets

Cream or Sugar, This or That, To-may-to or To-mah-to… you get the idea. This week we’re each sharing our opinion on: How to keep your closet clutter free?


Lindsey says…

I’m presenting my closet at it’s best. Bad news? It doesn’t always look like this. Good news? It takes me under 10 minutes to whip it into shape. This is how I do it:

1. EVERYTHING has a place. If the item doesn’t fit, I can’t keep it. No exceptions.

2. I use organizational bins/baskets/cubbies that are easily accessible. The less steps the better. Scarves, belts, purses, shoes, and even dirty laundry are in containers without lids. Easy peasy.

3. It takes too much time pondering the “when was the last time I wore this?” question for each article of clothing. At the beginning of the year I turned all of my hangers the opposite way. After wearing an article of clothing the hanger gets put back the “right” way. I can figure out what I haven’t worn in a few seconds.

4. When life gets really busy I assemble my outfits ahead of time. Sometimes I plan an entire week. I use the days of the week tags to keep them all straight. I like to think of them as a grown up version of days of the week underwear. This keeps my brain clutter at a minimum too.

There you have it. That’s how I keep my closets clutter free. Well, at least most of the time.

Stesha says…

I’ll be honest, I have a really messy closet. I’m pretty sure it’s one of the top five things about me that drive my husband nuts. I try on a shirt, another shirt, a skirt, those pants, oh not those pants… and somehow five minutes later I have a giant pile of clothes and no time to hang them all back up.

If I’m feeling really guilty I’ll lay the discarded options in a nice pile on the edge of the bed so they aren’t wrinkled for next time I feel like having a what to wear meltdown.

The only two rules I have that I can really stick to regarding my closet are:

1. Purge frequently. I donate clothes on a monthly basis. I’m one of those people that stays within their comfort zone regarding clothes (at least for the most part). I know what I feel comfortable in and what I’ll probably wear again. Frivolous purchases and ill fitting items don’t last long in my space.

2. Organize by season and color. If you live anywhere besides Southern California (and other slices of the world gifted with gorgeous weather year round) you know that what you wear in winter is drastically different than your selections for summer, so save the room! When the weather hits ninety degrees, the sweaters are all folded up and stored until October. I love to store seasonal clothing in infrequently used suitcases, saves the room and money I would have spent buying more clear plastic boxes.

Do you sort your clothing in any special way? What about clothing piles? Most annoying thing ever or totally understandable?

Let us know!



I remember my life pre-baby/stay at home/blog… I never understood how someone could stay busy all day without “working” in the traditional sense. I’m a pretty motivated person and all, but what would I possibly do day in and day out without mandated tasks?

ha. ha. ha.

All of you stay at home Moms are shaking your heads at my stupidity, while all of you working professionals are still wondering what the heck I do all day.

So in honor of “clear the clutter” April we’re each sharing our daily schedule to provide a little peek into how we organize our time.

Before we start it is important to note that…

Now I get it.

Between raising a child, volunteering, completing freelance projects, and blogging (not a “hobby” blog, although those are great! but more of a content everyday, updating social media accounts, uncovering fun things to do in your community and don’t forget writing about them type of blog) I just can’t seem to get it all done.

What’s that, you don’t just work during nap time?

… Oh that’s sweet.

Here goes nothing…


6:00AM – “Wake up” to the Husband’s alarm, say Good Morning to Addie, roll over and go back to sleep.


7:00AM – Wake up for real (generally to the Potato “singing”), make bottle, say Good Morning to Potato, diaper change, feed bottle, scroll through emails to ensure I didn’t miss anything important.


8:00AM – Playtime in baby’s room, head downstairs and heat up some coffee, eat Cherrios, play/entertain the Potato and dogs.


9:00AM – Prepare baby food, feed the Potato, Put the potato down for a nap, pack bag for outing, shower, make bed, chores.


10:00AM – Check emails, update Social Media accounts, ensure the blog is functioning okay, get Potato once awake, change diaper, dress for the day.


11:00AM – Eat lunch (typically leftovers from the night before) head out for our class (music! swim!), errands, meetings, etc.


12:00 – Out and about!


 1:00PM – Return home, feed Potato, change diaper and clothes, put down for nap, start working!


2:00PM – Prepare blog post, process images, pay bills, respond to emails, start dinner prep, Potato wakes up.


3:00 – Playtime, try to keep sane while you’re climbed over, singing, crawling, etc. Run a quick errand, typically the grocery store, Target, UPS or the bank.


4:00 – Get desperate, turn on Mickey, prepare the Potato’s dinner.


5:00 – Feed Potato, change diaper, bath time, entertain, count down the minutes until…


6:00 – Dad-O comes home!, hand over child, pour drink, prepare dinner, breathe, make bottle, diaper change, Potato goes to bed.


7:00 Eat dinner, clean up, catch up with Husband, go for a run.


8:00PM Respond to emails, work on posts, read news, eat dessert (don’t judge), move laundry around.


9:00PM – Pour Beer, Watch Jimmy Fallon from the previous night on DVR, chat with the Husband, handle personal tasks (online shopping, pinterest, banking).

10:00PM – 1:00AMish – Get ready for bed, fold laundry, finish blog posts and site updates, work on freelance projects, catch up on volunteer responsibilities, respond to any lingering emails… Go to bed.

Rinse and Repeat.