New Blog! I’m moving to

Not sure what I’ll do with yet. Maybe I’ll keep more random & personal stuff here. I decided to start posting to my new blog, where I’ll have more focused content like Green Smoothies, Eat, Drink, Play, Social Media. And of course, any purple sightings that I stumble upon. Haha! Thanks for following me on my posts. It’s a struggle to stay consistent with all the other things at home I juggle.

Hope you are having a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!

MaryAnne xoxo

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Time Does Fly. Really.


Marissa and Jessie. My little mermaids.

The past couple of weeks have been hectic! We’re on week 3 of a 3 week Spring Break. We’ve been swimming, hanging out with friends & I meet with my web client twice a week. The project is coming along. I also pulled travel quotes for a couple of families planning summer vacations. We had a fun Easter with the family too! The weeks have gone by so quickly. I can’t believe Marissa starts school on Monday. In less than 4 months she’ll be a 5th grader! Time really does fly. Really. It’s not just a saying. Time literally passes us by in a blink. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard it from other parents who have children that seem to have grown up & became teenagers in a flash. I just wish time would slow down right about now. The kids are so much fun. I’m enjoying Marissa at age 10 and Jessie at age 4. These are the moments that I’m treasuring. Of course, I cherish every moment before and I’ll love every moment in the future… but right now… I’m loving it.


MaryAnne xoxo

Categories: family, kids, mom, personal | 2 Comments

3 Reasons to Take Breaks from the Computer Screen

Jessie on the computerJessie turned 4 in December. She loves Mommy’s MacBook. Both our kids started using the computer at a very young age. They play games like Eye Spy Spooky Mansion, Care Bears and Nemo. Their favorite websites are Playhouse Disney, Nick Jr. and Club Penguin. And they love all the apps on the iPad. They can play for long periods of time… BUT, it’s good to take breaks from the computer screen.

3 Reasons to take breaks from the screen:

1. Eyes- Your eyes need a break to prevent eye strain. Kids need a break every 20 minutes from the screen. (Source: We like to play with blocks, marbles or board games as a fun indoor option.

2. Heart – Arteries in the back of eyes and heart risk – New studies show that kids with eyes glued to the TV, computer screens, video games, etc. have narrow retinal arteries. An anatomical “marker” for increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes down the road. (Source:

3. Body – Get out and play! The more time spend on the computer is less time spent outside. Everyone knows that modern technology is the leading reason there is so much obesity in this country.

Jessie's Marble Race

Jessie loves to play marble race!

So… even though I’m a huge fun of technology, it’s good for your kids (and grownups) to take a break. It’s good for your eyes, your heart and your body!

It’s Week 2 of Marissa’s 3 week Spring Break…
we’ll remember to take our breaks from the computer! 


-MaryAnne :-)

Categories: family, healthy, kids, Technology | Leave a comment

Baked Kale #healthy #snack

baked kale

Mist kale with an olive oil sprayer

I am so addicted to KALE these days! There are so many healthy benefits to kale as I mentioned in an earlier post

My favorite snack is Baked Kale. I found a recipe online and have been eating crunchy lightly salted kale by the bowl! I like to use a little garlic salt.

Here’s the recipe:

Break up pieces of kale and place them on a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Lightly mist the kale with olive oil. I love my Misto olive oil sprayer!

Sprinkle a small amount of sea salt or garlic salt

Bake 350 degrees for 11-13 minutes.

So yummy! And way better for you than potato chips. It’s great to cure that crunchy fix and you’re getting your greens in. High five! Just be sure to check your kale towards the end of the 11 minutes. 1 or 2 minutes over and they will burn and won’t taste very good at all. After a couple of batches you’ll have your technique mastered. :-)


Categories: food, healthy, nutrition | 3 Comments

Spring Break!

Jessie at the beach

Jessie at the beach.

Marissa was absent from school for 2 days this week because of her stomach flu. She’s much better now and returned to school today. Tomorrow is Friday and her school Jog-a-Thon fundraiser, and it’s her last day of school before Spring Break! 3 weeks off! Hopefully the weather will warm up so that we can spend time at our pool. The kids are like fish. They sure love to swim! Especially Jessie. She’s amazing in the water. And we also love to spend time at the beach. The kids spend hours digging in the sand and running with the waves on the shore. Jessie is really good about not going in the ocean. She knows the waves can get crazy. Marissa rides the little waves on her boogie board. Can’t wait to see her get up on a surfboard. In time. I’m sure she’ll be surfing with Jim in the near future. I love to relax and watch the kids be kids. Watching them giggle and have fun is the best. Every year we spend Easter at my parents house. The kids love getting Easter baskets from the Easter bunny and hunting for eggs in the backyard. Easter candy is like Halloween all over again. Oh, the sweets! If we can get away we’ll probably visit San Diego and stay downtown. My favorite hotel is the Hard Rock SD. Mary Jane’s Coffee Shop (my favorite diner) and Nobu (my favorite sushi place) are right there. All my favorites in one spot! Maybe we’ll go to Sea World. I think the kids would love that. Any escape with the family is a blast. We are overdue for a getaway.

What will you do for Spring Break with your family? What are your favorite things to do? Will you travel? Share with me in the comments below!

Categories: family, holidays | Leave a comment

#GreenSmoothie w/ Almond Coconut Milk

Almond Breeze Almond Coconut Milk

Almond Breeze: Almond Coconut Milk

This morning I made my green smoothie with Almond Breeze Almond Coconut Milk. Wow. Just wow. Holy mother of yummy! A friend recently suggested I try almond milk instead of soy milk for my green smoothies because it tastes great and has less calories. (Wait, that sounded like a familiar beer commercial. Hmmm.) Okay, back to my almond milk… I love soy milk. It’s all I drink. Not because I’m lactose intolerant, but because I enjoy it. Now I really love almond milk. While grocery shopping last night, I stumbled upon Almond Coconut Milk. Hmm. “That might taste really good in my green smoothies.” I thought. I experimented with coconut water and really liked it. Why not try this. Soooo.. I tried it this morning and like I said, Wow. Just wow.



My recipe:

Almond Breeze Almond Coconut Milk
Chia Seeds (benefits of chia seeds)
Sprig of cilantro (My latest add. Try it!)
Apple slices

Blend. Enjoy!

I just finished my 2nd tub of Big Train’s Vanilla Fit Frappe protein powder. Must order more! I usually have a scoop of Fit Frappe in my smoothies.

Categories: green smoothies | Leave a comment

Marissa is sick today.

Poor Marissa is sick today. She has been resting in bed. She didn’t make it to school, her piano lesson or dance class. Even though she’s only 10, she’s still my baby, especially when she’s sick. I don’t like seeing her like this.. laying around with no energy and not feeling well. She looks like she may not make it to school tomorrow either. I’m just glad I can be home for her on days like this. I’m so happy that I’m an at home mom. I love being here for the kids.

The challenging part is having a 10 year old that’s not feeling well, and a 4 year old cooped up at home when she should be running around playing at the park. My poor babies. One stuck at home sick, and the other one stuck at home because the other one is sick. Awwww. Jessie is so patient and adaptable to her big sister’s schedule. As soon as Marissa is better and back to school I am taking Jessie to the park for some fun.

For now we have to let Marissa rest and get through this yucky cold. Something is going around. And this cold OC weather isn’t helping. I thought it was Spring. Come on, warm weather. Show me your sunny face. I know you’re just around the corner.


Categories: jessie, kids, marissa, mom, personal | Leave a comment

Stein Mart Irvine!


Marcie, Lindsey & MaryAnne

Marcie, Lindsey and me!

Stein Mart is celebrating the opening of a new larger location at the The Market Place in Irvine off Jamboree and Bryan (next to 24 Hour Fitness). They used to be in Woodbridge off Barranca, but this new location is much more accessible. I attended a preview yesterday with other OC bloggers and had so much fun exploring the store! Stein Mart carries a little of everything. All great quality, name brands and affordable pricing. You’ll find clothes, housewares, home decor, shoes, accessories, sunglasses, hats, you name it. It’s a great store to shop for unique gifts too. They have cute items, like a banana coconut bubble bath or stationary gifts. Oh and awesome wine gifts too! I could go on and on about all the great finds. You’re just going to have to go in there yourself and check it out! Stein Mart is my new favorite place to shop!

I had so much fun previewing the store. (Thanks Jane - @JGPR for inviting me!) Shopping with my friend Marcie Taylor (@SuburbanMama) and meeting Lindsey Garrett (@ModChik) for the first time in IRL was great too! And it was nice to see Marisa O’Neil (@OCMarisa) at the Hello Kitty watch section!

I picked up a new purple POP phone which is an old school phone handset attachment for my iPhone. So cute and fun! I can use it to Skype on my iPad2 or MacBook Air too! And I found a pair of aviators for a great price! Can’t beat cute sunglasses for $9.99!

YOU COULD WIN A $500 GIFT CARD!! They’re big opening will be tomorrow, Thursday, March 15th at 10:00am. The first 250 guests will receive a rose upon entering the store. At 11:00am the store will do drawings for one $500 gift card, and five $50 gift cards! Throughout the day and into the weekend, there will be reps from vendors such as Democracy, Contrast and others with giveaways, informal modeling and more. Also, on Thursday from 5-7pm, Playlist 92.7 will be doing a radio remote and giving away more Stein Mart gift cards and tickets to Regal Cinema!

Stein Mart address:
13742 Jamboree Road (Off Bryan) in Irvine

Phone: (714) 832-0012

Monday though Saturday 10:00am to 9:00pm
Sunday 11:00am to 6:00pm

Stein Mart General Manager Diana Edwards

Diana Edwards, Stein Mart GM












Categories: events, Irvine, Social Media, The OC | 3 Comments

Green smoothie with kale

Instead of my usual green smoothie with spinach, this morning I used kale. I thought it would have a heavier leafy taste to it, but with the strawberries and banana it’s quite yummy! I have to say, I haven’t had a bad tasting smoothie yet. I am enjoying my green smoothies every morning for just over 2 weeks now! Kale is a dark green veggie which is the healthiest type of green you can have.

Benefits of kale:

  • Fiber – helps with digestion, prevents constipation, lowers blood sugar and cubs your appetite.
  • Antioxidants – carotenoids and flavonoids, two powerful antioxidants that protects our cells from free radicals. Key flavonoids kaempferol and quercitin have been shown to fight against the formation of cancerous cells. Also contains antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A and manganese.
  • Anti-Inflammatory – Omega-3 fatty acids can help regulate the body’s inflammatory process. Lots of vitamin K, which can fight against inflammatory related problems like arthritis, autoimmune disorders and asthma.
  • Cancer – kale also contains glucosinolates, which can be a fighter of colon, breast, bladder, prostate, ovarian and gastric cancer
  • Cardiovascular support – the high fiber content can lower cholesterol by binding with bile acids that the liver produces from cholesterol for digesting fat. This process causes the liver to produce more bile to digest fat, which requires more cholesterol, resulting in lowering of cholesterol. So put your liver to work with kale!
  • Detox – isothiocyanates (ITC) from glucosinolates help in the detox process due to the high sulfur content.
  • Vitamin K – TONS of vitamin K in Kale. 1327% of the RDA in one cup! Great for bone development, prevention of calcium build-up in tissue that can lead to atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Also good for the nervous system.
  • Vitamin A – over 192% of RDA of vitamin A, good for immunity, bones and teeth. Can prevent urinary stones and essential to our reproductive organs.
  • Vitamin C – a powerful antioxidant, great for lowering the blood pressure, gives you a healthy immune system and can fight against age-related ocular diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration.


Kale Smoothie with Vanilla Big Train Fit Frappe

Kale Smoothie with Vanilla Big Train Fit Frappe










My Kale Smoothie Recipe:

8 ounces apple juice

small handful of ice

2 teaspoons chia seeds

1 scoop Vanilla Big Train Fit Frappe protein powder

3 big leaves of washed kale leaves

1 banana (oops not pictured, but I did use a banana! LOL)

1 small handful of washed and sliced strawberries

Blend. Enjoy!


You will be amazed how yummy green smoothies are, especially when you add your favorite fruit. I wasn’t sure how this one would turn out with the kale. I think the strawberries really add a nice sweetness to it. Well, it’s the combination of everything. Vanilla Big Train Fit Frappe makes everything taste amazing too. And you get your boost of protein. I can’t tell you enough how amazing I feel every day. I used to rely on coffee and junk food for energy. What was I thinking. There are no benefits to those things at all. But start you day out with a glass packed with nutrients of fruits and vegetables… and you really start your day off right. If you haven’t tried a green smoothie yet, do yourself a favor and try it!!! So darn yummy. I’m in my 40′s and I’m only now discovering how fun it is to put healthy things in my body. It’s never too late.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!




Categories: food, green smoothies, nutrition | 4 Comments

Green Smoothie with nectarine

green smoothie nectarineThis morning I decided to experiment with nectarines in my green smoothie. Wow. Sweet and delicious! Nectarines look almost like a peach but has a firm skin. And they are packed with nutrients.

The 3 major goodies of a nectarine:

  • Beta-carotine — enables your body to produce vitamin A, which is essential for bone development
  • Vitamin C —  important antioxidant to protect your body from illness and disease.
  • Lutein — for healthy eyes and skin. Helps destroy the presence of free radicals in your body, which could reduce chances of chronic disease and cancer.





Here’s my Green Smoothie with Nectarine:

green smoothie with nectarine

spinach, celery, banana, pear & nectarine


8 ounces apple juice


2 tsp chia seeds

1 scoop Vanilla Big Train Fit Frappe protein powder

2 small handfuls of spinach

1 small stick of celery

1 pear

1 banana

1 nectarine

Blend. Enjoy! (Makes 2 servings.)

So so yummy. The nectarine really added a sweetness to it. My 4 year old Jessie has been staring at my green smoothies every morning for almost 2 weeks now. And every morning I would ask her if she wanted a sip. She’d look at the green drink and politely say, “No thanks Mom.” This morning was different. When Jessie overheard me talking about how delicious this morning’s smoothie was she asked me if she could try it. YES. Finally! I’ve been very patient… And.. and… she liked it! And we giggled about Dr. Seuss Green Eggs and Ham — “Say! I like green smoothies! I do! I like them, Sam-I-am!” It’s so great to see my new healthy habits are rubbing off on the kids.

Jessie loves to drink water

Healthy habits: Jessie loves to drink water!



Categories: food, green smoothies, nutrition | 2 Comments