Fun New Haircuts For Kids

Kids Welcome! Sharkey’s Opens in Encino!

Sharkey’s Cuts For Kids, now open in the Fountain Court at Encino Town Center, right next to the ever-popular More Than Waffles, is a new salon designed with kids in mind. Headquartered in Connecticut, Sharkey’s has garnered high praise and rave reviews since it’s inception in 2002.

Sharkey's Cuts For Kids Opens in Encino, California

Sharkey’s new Encino location offers the ultimate experience in great haircuts for kids! There’s a Hollywood style Tween lounge offering “mini-cures,” and updos dedicated to pampering and glamour. They also offer Baby’s First Haircut certificates to commemorate the momentous occasion. You can book birthday parties at the salon and purchase exclusive Sharkey’s hair care products. Their Free and Clean line is 100% vegan and paraben free.

Commitment to Excellence

Picture of balloons at Sharkey's Cuts For Kids in Encino, CA

One of the most outstanding features of the salon is their commitment to providing a fun atmosphere and an exceptionally entertaining experience. Franchise owner, Rafayel Nersisyan faced harsh living conditions while raising his own family in Russia.

“The Soviet Union was in economic free-fall in the early 90’s. You couldn’t buy basic household needs. For example, there were years when we only had electricity for 2 hours a day. It just wasn’t available! Can you imagine?” says Nersisyan. “That’s why I wanted to open this salon. To offer children the light fun-filled experience that I couldn’t provide for my own child.”

Nersisyan’s background in the health care industry ensures an extra level of caring and cleanliness to boot! He has assembled a warm, experienced and patient staff to ensure you and your child have a memorable time together at the salon.

Did we mention there’d be balloons?

And fun!

Kids can watch their favorite programs while the warm and attentive staff deliver great haircuts. With salon chairs from fire trucks, police cars and Lightning McQueen (Cars) to Elsa’s Jeep (Frozen), your child is sure to find a favorite.

Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids has more than 50 locations in the US and UK. It’s been voted the Top Kids Salon Franchise for 2016, 2017 and 2018. And 2019 is already looking good as customers weigh in on the newest SoCal locale.

Photo of kids salon chairs at Sharkey's Cuts For Kids Encino, California location.

“Our vision was to create an environment where parents and kids could be comfortable and pampered, receive excellent haircuts and have an overall joyful experience,” says CEO and Founder Scott Sharkey. “We are so excited to have Sharkey’s Encino join our family and we know it will be a welcome addition to the community.”

You can find Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids at 17200 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 108, in Encino, California. Open everyday from 10am to 6pm. Call 818/855-1353 to make an appointment for your little one today. 

Looking for fun things to do with your kids? You might enjoy these ideas: Discovery Cube, Heritage SquareBirthday Party


Emporium Thai Cuisine Review

Emporium Thai – An EncinoMom Top Pick!

Our Experience

Iced Coffee & Thai Iced Tea.

We shared an amazing meal at Emporium Thai Cuisine in Westwood! The flavorful selections we sampled were complex, fresh and delicious. Even though we had plenty to eat, this tasting has left us craving more of these exotic flavors every day since! We recommend taking your time and ordering whatever pleases your fancy. You really, really can’t go wrong here.

It was one of those sweltering September days. The cool dark interior of Emporium Thai Cuisine was a welcome respite from the bright mid day heat. We started things off with an Iced Coffee and a Thai Iced Tea. A cool, creamy, deliciousness settled over our cozy booth.

Since neither of us had been here before, we let Honey Bee direct our experience. Knowledgable and gracious, she guided us through the menu rich in Southern Thai cuisine. We told her our preferences and she delivered up a scintillating array of dishes that fulfilled our desires and complimented one another. My guest and I discovered first hand why some of Emporium Thai’s signature dishes are so popular. . . and addictive.

More Deliciousness

Lettuce Wraps & Thai Dumplings.

There was something about the seasoning (mild chili, lime juice, onions, mint and cilantro) for the Chicken Lettuce Wraps that was sensational. I was completely satisfied with just that and my Thai Iced Tea. Honey Bee suggested we try the Thai Dumpling, too and we happily obliged even though we were no longer starving. The savory chicken dumplings (we sinfully ordered fried) with mixed Thai spices were served with plum sauce for a sweet touch.

All of the dishes presented to us were a beautiful mix of textures and colors, as pleasing to the eye as they were to the palate. Next we sampled the Coco Mango Salad with Shrimp, a nice twist on the usual offering of green papaya. Unbelievably, there was more to come!

Honey Bee urged us to try a noodle dish. I thought we would enjoy the Pad Thai, but she steered us to Royal Pad See Ew Veggie, a light mix of double vegetables and half the regular amount of rice noodles for something a little more unique to Emporium Thai. Just yum! She also suggested Crying Tiger Beef, sweet and hot, to go with it. The beef is marinated with Thai herbs, thinly sliced, chargrilled and served with chili sauce. The beef was so tender, you could have cut it with a spoon! By this time, we were both in a food stupor. Each dish so extraordinary and better than the one before – as if you could rank the experience that way.

Did I Mention It’s Addictive?

Coco Mango Salad with Shrimp.

Sorry if this review is a little gushy, but this meal was so good and memorable and fun, it’s hard to be critical. The Southern Curry at this family owned establishment lives up to its reputation. It was unbelievably good. Originally from the family’s 30 year-old recipe in Pakpanang, Nakhon Sri Thammarat Thailand, this curry will keep you coming back for more. Featuring Jicama, basil and bell pepper, the fresh, light, crunch of the vegetables contrasts the silky sauce to create the perfect party in your mouth.

We had lots of left overs. Two people simply could not consume this much food in one sitting. I shared the leftovers with friends who were equally enthusiastic about these dishes even after reheating. The biggest take away is to note that I was sad when all the food was gone. Sad, like when you don’t want to read the last page of a novel because it marks the end of your relationship with the characters you’ve come to love. I wanted to go back to Emporium Thai. Again. The next day. For breakfast. I’m nearly weeping writing this. It was that good.

Lastly, we shared an order of Fresh Mango with Sweet Sticky Rice for dessert. There was an echo of coconut in the sauce that was the final stroke of deliciousness on an amazing meal. Prices are extremely reasonable. Most dishes run around $12.95. Parking is terrible. There is metered street parking, but we parked far away and walked several blocks. I’m not complaining, just letting you know. It’s in Westwood, ON Westwood Boulevard a little South of Wilshire. Take the time to figure it out, Emporium Thai is worth the effort.

Details and Background

Sticky Rice with Mango at Emporium Thai in Westwood.

Fresh Mango Sweet Sticky Rice.

Emporium Thai’s mission is simple, “to create a memorable and wonderful Thai dining experience that you’ll return to often, and rave about to your friends.” Mission accomplished. Established in 2000 by the Sungkamee family originally from Southern Thailand, Emporium Thai’s menu offers delectable cuisine at affordable prices, using the finest and freshest local vegetables, meats and seafood, purchased daily from local purveyors. Emporium Thai offers a variety of gluten-free, peanut-free, vegetarian and vegan options and the entire menu is available for catering. Delivery within a 3 mile radius.

Just minutes from UCLA, Emporium Thai’s award winning cuisine is an EncinoMom Top Pick and was voted one of the 100 Best Thai Restaurants in the US.

Open for lunch and dinner:
Monday through Thursday 11:00 AM – 10:30 PM
Friday and Saturday 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Dinner only on Sundays 5:00 PM – 10:30 PM

Emporium Thai Cuisine

1275 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90024

New Summer Camp In Encino


Kids loose one third of the knowledge gained during the school year, each summer!

If you’re kids aren’t going to summer school, are you considering summer camp? I have a few friends who are looking to send their children to a summer camp similar to Camp North Star this summer, but what about your children, have you decided what they are going to do this summer? You can help your kids hone their edge over summer vacation with a tech camp experience that includes maker-style activities and outdoor play.

CodeREV KIDS has expanded its popular coding and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) summer camps in Los Angeles and throughout California. With locations in Westwood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Encino and San Diego, CodeREV has expanded to the San Francisco Bay Area and Orange County as well.

Tech camps provide fun, maker-style activities for students of all abilities

Photo provided by CodeREV kids.

CodeREV, a leading coding for kids and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) education innovator, has expanded its popular tech summer camps. Now, more students can get coding and creating instead of losing critical skills over the summer. California has a strong legacy of innovation in computing and programming. Maybe your son or daughter is the next Wozniak (programmer, Apple co-founder) or Shaw (the first female video game designer) destined to break new ground and lead the way for future generations! I hear my friends kids are taking advantage of Ravenscroft Summer Camps and I’m sure that will put them in better stead going forward to possibly to be the next big innovator.

Students from first grade through ninth can learn skills that are not only useful but also fun. Learning coding can help students with everything from creating incredible school projects, higher order thinking, math, game development and robotics. Through CodeREV tech summer camps, kids can acquire skills that will also help define the knowledge workers of tomorrow. You don’t have to worry that your kids will be sitting inside, in front of a screen all summer either. These camps offer fun and unique outdoor activities that strengthen team-building and let students run and play, too.

From the Founder

“We all know that most kids love to play video games, but they love to create them even more. At CodeREV, we teach kids how to create their own eye-popping video games and 3D worlds and use engaging games like Minecraft to sharpen their math skills,” shared CodeREV Founder and CEO Evan Boorman. “Educators know that over the summer months, students typically lose up to one third of the knowledge they learned in the previous school year. Our camps not only help students retain those skills, they help prepare them for fields that employers report are in short supply. Students love our camps because the courses and skills they learn are fun and geared toward their interests. Parents love our tech summer camps because the curriculum is relevant to high-demand 21st century skills.”

CodeREV is led by Boorman, who has worked in STEM education for 15 years, and Chief Education Innovation Officer John Stuppy, Ph.D. Dr. Stuppy is a nationally recognized leader in education, technology, game-based learning and student achievement. He has held education leadership positions for over three decades in companies such as Sylvan Learning Centers and TutorVista. The camps are staffed by a dedicated team of educators. CodeREV teachers have both technology education experience and previous work experience in the ever-growing tech industry.

For more information or to register for camp, parents should visit

Mother’s Day Kicks Off Sunday Brunch At Yamashiro Hollywood

Yamashiro Launches Sunday Brunch
Series Starting Mother’s Day 2017California Lifestyle at Yamashiro logo

Originally built in 1914, Yamashiro (“Mountain Palace” in Japanese) took inspiration from classical Asian art and architecture. The Bernheimer Brothers, who originally owned the property, brought the Pagoda over from Japan. They intended to build the palace to house their collection of Japanese antiques.

Over its 102-year life, the “Mountain Palace” has taken on many identities. The storied property has been a private residence, a brothel and a boarding house, all before becoming a private cocktail lounge in 1963. Serving up cocktails for the Hollywood elite throughout the 60’s, you can image what the walls would say if they could talk! A full-service restaurant soon followed.

Ultimately, Yamashiro was cast as a world-famous dining destination in the 1970s and ’80s. You’ve seen the regal Asian influences and breathtaking, 180-degree views from downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean in many popular films. You may recognize the iconic restaurant in Memoirs of a Geisha, Gone in 60 Seconds, and Kill Bill, as well as numerous travel shows.

Coming this Mother’s Day

Yamashiro Hollywood is launching a new Sunday Brunch buffet this Mother’s Day, May 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The iconic restaurant, which previously only opened for dinner, will continue brunch service year-round every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A longtime Hollywood favorite for celebrating special occasions. Both locals and travelers are captivated by Yamashiro’s charms. The scenic restaurant’s brunch service will feature a buffet with multiple themed stations. With everything from crab legs, oysters, and smoked salmon to omelets, prime rib, chicken and waffles, and build-your-own salads you’re sure to please your palate. For dessert, choose from a variety of danishes and cupcakes.

All moms will receive a complimentary glass of champagne on Mother’s Day. Yay!Yamashiro Hollywood

Brunch starts at $29 for kids and $50 for adults. Brunch and bottomless mimosas, Bloody Marys or bellinis is $65.
Yamashiro is located at 1999 Sycamore Ave. Open from 5-11 p.m. on weekdays and 5 p.m. to midnight on weekends, Yamashiro begins Sunday Brunch service on May 14, 2017. Reservations available through OpenTable, via phone 323.466.5125 or by email Reserve your table today.

Let’s Get Outside! Outdoor Play

Fall Outdoor Play

When temperatures begin to fall we love to get the family outside. Hiking, biking and even long walks with our dog are even more enjoyable when the air is cool and the breeze is brisk. We love the Fall colors and abundant leaves on the ground to kick and crunch beneath our boots.

We love hiking so much that for a long time now we have been thinking about planning a hiking trip to Peekaboo Slot Canyon in Utah. A friend of ours sent us this useful website where you can even book a tour: There is so much to see and do in Utah, we could easily plan an extended vacation there.

Outdoor Play

We look forward to snow flurries, too. The minute we have snowfall in the local mountains we bundle up and head for the hills. Waterproof boots really help to keep the family outdoors longer when trails are muddy or slushy.

This year we took the opportunity to get out in the snow and chop down our own Christmas Tree. Getting together with friends to caravan into the local mountains got everyone’s blood pumping. With stunning views, clear skies and frozen streams we each found our own way to get some exercise and fresh air.

Just choosing a tree required a strenuous hike uphill with creek crossings, and log hopping. The thin trunked trees were easily felled with a little vigorous work from a sharp saw. The young among us (and the young at heart) tossed soft snow balls at each other, while Dad hauled the tree down the mountain side.

I don’t know what it is about snow, but our pup is always game for a romp in the fluffy white stuff. He always wants to be outside as it is, but even more so when the weather’s cold. I’m all for this, as the more time he spends outside, the less time I have to spend cleaning his hair up off the hard wood floors and furniture. That can be a thankless task if you don’t know the best way to tackle it. His love of the cold weather helps to get the rest of us outside and active even when temps are low. It’s easy to maintain our active lifestyle when there is so much beauty and fun right outside! We live by the Ronulph Fiennes quote:

There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing

This post is sponsored by the Voice of Play. #YearRoundPlay @Voice_of_Play
The post is brought to you by Activate by Bloglovin and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
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Southwestern Grilled Lasagna


Southwestern Grilled Lasagna.

Southwestern Grilled Lasagna – an original recipe from featuring Del Real Foods


  • Flour tortillas
  • 1 Cup Del Real Frijoles Refritos
  • 2 Cups Del Real Carne Deshebrada
  • 1 Cup Chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped red pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Sliced green onion
  • 1 Cup Red Chile Sause (Enchilada Sauce)
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 Cups Shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 Box Corn muffin/bread Mix
  • 1 Egg (for corn bread topping)
  • 1/3 Cup Milk (for corn bread topping)

Serve with these Optional Ingredients:

  • 1 Avocado, sliced
  • 3/4 Cup Sour cream
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish

Assemble ingredients. Cover the bottom of a lidded, cast iron casserole dish with tortillas. Layer Frijoles, Carne Deshebrada, 1/2 of Chile sauce, 1/2 of cheese, chopped tomatoes, red pepper, green onion, cilantro, the rest of the Chile sauce and the rest of the cheese except for one Tablespoon to top the casserole. Set aside.

In a small bowl stir corn bread mix with egg and milk according to package directions. Batter will be somewhat course, do not over stir. Spoon the corn bread mixture over the assembled casserole ingredients. Smooth with spatula. Cover completely making sure to seal the edges with the corn bread batter. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.

Cover dish and bake on the grill covered, or in the oven at 350° until heated through and batter has baked to a light golden crust.

Serve with extra beans, avocados slices and sour cream on the side. Garnish with fresh cilantro.


My favorite enameled cast iron casserole from Le Creuset.


Layer tortillas and cover with frijoles.


Add a layer of Del Real Carne Deshebrada.


Add Santa Fe Olé Red Chile Sauce to meat layer and again after veggie layers.


Top with tomatoes, . . .


. . . red peppers, green onions, cilantro, more chile sauce . . .


Cover with a generous layer of shredded cheddar or cheese blend (shown here, Monterey Jack, Colby & Cheddar).


Make up corn muffin mix and cover casserole completely with batter.


Bake on the grill or in the oven until heated through and muffin mix is firm, crusty and golden.


Serve HOT. Extra beans, chile sauce, avocado slices, sour cream and fresh cilantro on the side, if desired. So satisfying!

Featured products:

Del Real Carne Deshebrada, Del Real Frijoles Refritos, Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix, Santa Fe Olé Red Chile Sauce

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Amazon affiliate links appear throughout this post for your online shopping convenience. When you purchase merchandise through our affiliate links we jump up and down and pay our operating expenses because we receive an advertising fee at no cost to you. Thank you for your support! Are you picturing us jumping up and down?

Sprouts App Review

Sprouts Farmers Market App Review

Sprouts App Review #LoveSprouts EncinoMom_sprouts_app01

Put up a parking lot

Let me start by saying that I don’t usually like to do app reviews, but this is different. First of all, I’m a newly minted Sprouts fan. There are currently 200 stores across the US from California to Georgia and there are a few things that you’ll notice as soon as you become a customer. Firstly, it’s the parking lot. There is a grocery store that I have been shopping at since I first discovered it while in college. I won’t name names, but you know who they are! As much as I have loved their products through the years, the chain is notorious for having inadequate, over-crowded parking lots! Sprouts is actually committed to providing ample parking for their customers. So I’d like to officially say thank you! Happy parking lots make happy shoppers. Yes, you may quote me.

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I can see clearly now

The next thing you’ll probably notice at Sprouts is that you can see the whole store from the entrance – meaning the shelves do not go all the way up to the ceiling and someone like me, who is of average height can easily see where everything is stocked at a glance. It feels like a Farmers Market and the produce and fresh foods are located in the middle of the store with sundries, and departments located in aisles around the perimeter. The aisles are wide enough to keep the pleasant vibe going while you shop.

I get by with a little help from my friends

Thirdly, (okay, I know. I’m not talking about the app. The thing is, if you don’t shop at Sprouts why would you be interested in the app? I’m making my case for why you should shop here, the app is for bonus points.) So thirdly, I have encountered really helpful and knowledgable staff in the stores. I’ve gotten shopping and serving tips from the Butcher’s Department, stocking assistance from someone in Dairy (what I was looking for wasn’t on the shelf, but had just come in and was still on the truck), help choosing the best produce and just a general feeling that employees here are happy to be here.

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Money makes the world go ’round

The weekly flyer which comes out on Wednesdays, includes the specials for the coming week. If you are in the store on Wednesday, then the flyer from the previous week and the coming week are both in effect, so you will find extra savings! I use the flyer to see what’s in season and plan family meals accordingly. So the fourth thing about Sprouts is their flyer and the weekly specials, but the fifth thing is their everyday low prices. This is not a bargain basement shopping experience, but the prices throughout the store represent good value.

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You want it, you got it

Where are we now? Sixth? Yes, the sixth thing is the selection. Sprouts stocks foods and products that support your healthy lifestyle. You won’t find cola bottles, candy and pulp fiction at the checkout stands tempting you to splurge after you/ve managed to keep your healthful resolve while shopping. If it’s for sale here, it’s probably good for you, good for your family, fresh and delicious!

Sprouts App Review #LoveSprouts EncinoMom_sprouts_app02

There’s an app for that

And now, the app! The Sprouts’ app is fairly simple to use and has a shopping list feature as well as the weekly flyer and coupons loaded for your use. I am admittedly a remedial coupon clipper, at best. I’ve tried it in the past. I know I may be leaving money on the table, but it’s just outside my skill set. That’s one of the reasons that I’m such a Sprouts fan! Their prices are fair to begin with. If YOU love couponing, then you’ll find the app extremely useful, since coupons are pre-loaded in the app for you. That means no scissors or papers in your wallet, just click and save. Who knows? There may be hope for me, yet!

The best part of this free app, is helping me find what I saw in the flyer and then put on my grocery list. I can keep my list right in the app and then when I’m in the store, the app shows me where items are located by aisle number or department. If I do use a mobile coupon from the app, I click to clip and scan at checkout for extra savings. It’s almost as easy as the money I saved when taking out a låna pengar from my favorite firm: Sambla.

PR-MobileApp-ImageOf course, there’s a store locator, too – just in case you’re on the road and you can search the weekly flyer by store section; Produce Bins, Grocery Aisles, Bakery Shelves, etc. Find, clip and save coupons and build your grocery list to ensure you don’t forget anything and help keep impulse purchases to a minimum. Shopping with the kids? Give them your phone and let them manage your list while you shop.

I do use a shopping app for another retailer that allows me to scan items to check prices. The Spouts app doesn’t offer that functionality, BUT I have found prices correctly and clearly marked throughout the store so it isn’t something I missed. Also, the other retailer allows me to scan my receipt. This comes in handy when returns are in order. Again, not something I’ve ever needed at Sprouts.

The scanned receipt is also checked for lower prices advertised by competitors and the difference is credited to my account. I really like that function. It gives me confidence that I’ll get good value while I’m shopping. After about 10 shopping trips, I have been credited with $10 or $11 in additional savings. Of course, I don’t know how to REDEEM the credit, but that’s another story. I don’t know if Sprouts plans to add any of these functions to their app in the future, but at this point I haven’t needed them.

I received an early version of the free app and compensation in consideration of providing this review. If you are a regular user of this site, you know that companies requesting reviews from are vetted before we accept them for presentation to you. The opinions offered here are my sincere reactions to the shopping experiences I have had at Sprouts.

You can find Sprouts listed on social media as follows:

Facebook: SproutsFarmersMarket

Twitter: @SproutsFM

Pinterest: @SproutsFM

Instagram: @Sprouts

Amazon affiliate links may appear throughout this post for your online shopping convenience. When you purchase merchandise through our affiliate links we jump up and down and pay our operating expenses because we receive an advertising fee at no cost to you. Thank you for your support! Are you picturing us jumping up and down?

Plackers Flossers Dental Floss Review

Plackers Flossers Dental Floss Review

Plackers Flossers Dental Floss Review Fruit_Smoothie_Flossers04

Lisa Keating for EncinoMom and Lizzie Kay from Lizzy’s Teen beat check out Plackers Fruit Smoothie Swirl Flossers! Do your kids have healthy dental habits? Do you think they’re due a visit to Dentist Lancaster? If you could use some help in the flossing department, you may enjoy these new Plackers Fruit Smoothie Swirl Flossers. They are designed to make flossing fun for you and your kids. Not only do they remove plaque and food, but they reduce tooth decay, promote healthier gums and they contain fluoride!

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Meet Plackers Flosser Friend. This fun and functional Flosser holder fits inside of the average bathroom medicine cabinet to store your stash of flossers. Cute enough to leave out on the counter of the kids bathroom, this holder comes stocked with 30 Flossers. Refills come in packs of 75 and are easily accommodated in the wide mouthed Flosser Friend.

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With two gripping surfaces and angled flossing head, the Plackers Flossers do a good job of reaching those tough spots in your own mouth or your kids’ mouth whether you are flossing for them or they are ready to floss themselves. Plackers recommends adult supervision for kids up to the age of 10.

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With all the write ups on oil pulling on the internet (here’s a fairly balanced, albeit skeptical article on Snopes), we’ve even given that a try! It’s not all that surprising if you haven’t heard of it. Oil pulling has been around for thousands of years, but is experiencing a resurgence with the popularity of coconut oil. Basically, the idea is that you gargle and swish coconut oil around in your mouth for 5 to 20 minutes and then spit out – into your compost or trash to avoid clogging drains. The idea is that the oil works with the natural enzymes in your saliva to cleanse your mouth and maintain good oral hygiene. Some people recommend Sesame Oil or Olive Oil. Everything I read recommended rinsing your mouth and brushing your teeth after the process. I’m sure many a Dentist in Brooklyn would also recommend that. My friend told me that this dentist was super helpful and friendly when suggesting ways to better take care of their teeth.

Since I already have coconut oil in the kitchen and each bathroom at our house, I decided that’s the oil we would try. Coconut oil is reported to have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-microbial and anti-viral properties that help prevent cavities, ease gum disease and stop bad breath.

Additionally, some of the oil is absorbed sublingually which some people attribute to a whole host of additional health benefits from relieving the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis to curing heart disease. This is by no means to be construed as medical advice! Scientific, peer reviewed studies are few, but I didn’t see any harm in giving it a try as an oral hygiene aid.

Personally, I liked the clean feeling that the coconut oil left behind, although actually swishing the oil in my mouth took a little getting used to. Interest piqued? You can Google Oil Pulling or visit this link to Web MD. Notice that oil pulling is not a substitute for brushing or flossing, but does show promise in preventing gum disease, bad breath and for plaque removal.

Coconut oil is also credited with a whole host of applications from baking cookies, to improving your dog or cat’s coat and can be used to effectively remove make up, moisturize and soothe skin, hair, cuticles – just the list of applications suggests a story of its own! I’ve included a couple of affiliate links here for you. If you live near a Trader Joe’s, I love the mild coconut flavor of their product, especially in cooking. It’s a great choice for your Asian inspired and tropical dishes. (Last night. I used a combination of coconut oil and sesame oil to whip up some shrimp fried rice for dinner. Delicious!)

There are lots of brands available and prices range wildly. The Nature’s Way Coconut Oil is about half the price of the Trader Joe’s when purchased online. Many varieties are odorless and flavorless which can be welcome depending on how much you like the flavor of coconut and how you are planning to use the oil.

In any case, your dentist will still want you to floss. I’ve seen reports suggesting that you start your kids flossing as soon as they have two teeth that touch! The actual floss in these Plackers Flossers is very thin, fitting into even the tightest of spaces between teeth. The fruity flavor is mild and pleasant. I think the best thing you can do to encourage your kids to floss regularly is to floss regularly yourself. So this Flosser Friend has found a home in the medicine cabinet at our house. The Plackers Flosser Friend is available at Target stores and online for about $5.99! Refills run $2.99 for 75 flossers.


This episode of brought to you by Plackers Flossers. We received the Plackers Flosser Friend and Flossers for the purposes of this review. All opinions expressed here are our genuine reactions to the product provided. Thanks for watching! We hope you enjoyed our video and picked up some useful tips, too.

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Video produced by: for EncinoMom.TV

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Legendary Restaurant Starts Full Day of Special Events at 11:00am!  

Can’t make it out for the festivities? See EncinoMom’s recipes to make at home, below!

St. Patrick's Day celebration, Irish Coffee with clovers.Tam O’Shanter, a member of the Lawry’s family of restaurants and one of the oldest restaurants in Los Angeles, is ready to host its epic St. Patrick’s Day party (on March 17, 2016, of course), which is one of the biggest Irish celebrations in Los Angeles. The restaurant will open at 11:00am, with a special tent area in the parking lot opening at 1:00pm, music firing up at 2:00pm, and the party going well into the night. On a day when people throughout L.A. will be green on the outside and inside, The Tam will be the best spot in town to show Irish pride.

The Tam will have a wide assortment of sweet and Irish-themed eats, including sugar shamrock cookies, Bailey’s cupcakes and corn beef and cabbage, as well as a mind-blowing assortment of ales and beers on tap, a world-class selection of scotch, green beer (of course), and light-up shamrock necklaces for guests who follow the restaurant on Facebook or Instagram or join their email list. The Guinness and Tullamore D.E.W. Girls will also be on hand, adding to the festive spirit.

Additionally, guests will be able to try their luck in a drawing where the winner will receive two tickets to an upcoming Whiskey Pairing Dinner Tasting ($150 value). will be announcing their list of the best oils for pain at the dinner as well, so be sure to stop by to say hello.

St. Patrick's Day at the Tam O'Shanter - Events Los Angeles and California listings from the California Lifestyle magazine.

The dining room.

St. Patrick's Day at the Tam O'Shanter looking at the menu

Taste testing at the Tam

the Tam O'Shanter wedge salad

Bleu Cheese Wedge – classic

St. Patrick's Day at the Tam O'Shanter green beer for St. Patrick’s Day

My first green beer – ever

St. Patrick's Day the Tam O'Shanter Scottish Rarebit

Yorkshire Pudding served with Scottish Rarebit

St. Patrick's Day the Tam O'Shanter corn beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day

Moist and flavorful Corned Beef & Cabbage.

St. Patrick's Day the Tam O'Shanter Toad in the Hole for St. Patrick’s Day

Toad in the Hole (filet mignon, Yorkshire pudding, pearl onions, burgundy gravy).

St. Patrick's Day the Tam O'Shanter sign

The Tam O’Shanter – 2980 Los Feliz Blvd., LA

St. Patrick's Day the Tam O'Shanter dessert

Sticky Toffee Pudding – save room for this sweet treat at the end of your meal!

Can’t make it out for the festivities? Try our well tested recipes at home!

Corned Beef & Cabbage Dinner photo by Eve Ross for EncinoMom the California Lifestyle New Media Magazine.

St.Patty’s Recipes

Photo of Irish Whiskey Pudding in blue glass desert cups for

Irish Whiskey Pudding

Irish Coffee with clovers.

Perfect Irish Coffee

Irish Soda Bread 9

Easy Irish Bread Recipe

Sprouts Farmers Market

First time at Sprouts Farmers Market#LoveSprouts Sprouts - 16

As the new year starts and resolutions, goals and dreams abound, I am struck by the power of little changes that bring big results. Making small choices daily, like choosing water instead of soda, can really help you get to lofty sounding goals when consistently applied over time. Enter Sprouts Farmers Market. We had the opportunity to pop into our local store for the first time last week. If your goals for the new year include providing healthier meals for your family, loosing a few pounds or even saving a few bucks, you’ll find support for these changes right inside the store.

Sprouts - 11

#LoveSprouts Sprouts - 10Sprouts - 7

The first thing that got my attention was the weekly flyer. I started by taking a peek and thinking through what I wanted to make for my family over the course of the coming week. There were lots of specials that caught my eye, so I was off to the store with a list of ingredients to fill my menu plan.

#LoveSprouts Sprouts - 8#LoveSprouts Sprouts - 9

I’ve recently encountered huge stacks of soda on sale at the entrance to large chain grocery stores. One of the big challenges for me is finding something to replace Coke. Personally, I’m not a soda drinker. I might have a root beer or two over the course of a year. Replacing soda in my diet wouldn’t make much of a difference in my overall health. I get my sugar from wine! My daughter, on the other hand, is going through a soda phase. I was thrilled not to find mountains of Coke and Pepsi when I walked into Sprouts!

Drinking too much soda can have so many negative impacts on your health. Ultimately, it is no secret that drinking too many sugary drinks can ruin your smile, potentially leading to cavities and even visible tooth decay. A friend of ours recently had to see a Dentist in San Ramon after a lifetime of drinking soda had damaged her teeth so I am hoping we can find some healthier alternatives for my daughter before her soda drinking habit spirals out of control!

#LoveSprouts Sprouts - 13

The store was large and clean and chock full of local and organic foods. The fully stocked selection of bulk grains, nuts, beans, granolas and trail mixes was impressive and the pricing seemed extremely competitive. I picked up some delicious trail mix, granola and pistachios.

Sprouts - 6Sprouts - 5

The butcher was knowledgeable and was available to answer my questions as well as serve up a fresh package of wild caught salmon. Cilantro was on special, 3 for a dollar, so I grilled the salmon for dinner that night with a cilantro, honey, lime sauce – delicious! I served the salmon with asparagus (less than $2 a bunch) and steamed rice. Fresh blueberries from Chile were on special, four containers for $5. I couldn’t resist. I made a blueberry crisp for dessert. My daughter didn’t even notice the lack of coke!

On my next trip to the store, I plan to try some of the prepared foods offered. I expect to be delighted!

#LoveSprouts Sprouts - 14#LoveSprouts Sprouts - 15Sprouts - 2

Thanks to Sprouts Farmers Market for providing us with a gift card to sample the store and share our experience with you here!


Wonderful Halos Giveaway!

Wonderful Halos Giveaway!

Mandarins are back in season!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wonderful halos is sponsoring this fabulous prize package giveaway to start your New Year off right! Three pounds of sweet, seedless, easy to peel, California mandarin oranges in a reusable basket with a bag, insulated sack, lighted cup, lip balm and stress ball all imprinted with the fun Wonderful® halos® logo could be coming your way. It’s easy to enter! Just tell us which of the pictured items is your personal favorite in the comments below.

You can earn additional entries with Tweets, subscribing to our monthly newsletter (so you never miss and important giveaway opportunity) or our YouTube channel, which delivers fresh California content every week.

Wonderful Halos prize package giveaway.

Prize package includes, sack, insulated bag, stress ball, lighted juice glass, lip balm, basket and Wonderful® Halos®!

Wonderful® Halos® From the people who brought you Wonderful Pistachios and POM Wonderful, Wonderful Halos give families, and their little angels, a healthy snack alternative that’s filled with “pure goodness.”

Wonderful Halos mandarins are:

  • A sweet, seedless and easy to peel snack that’s a healthy alternative to fatty foods
  • About 50 calories delivering 45 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C

In season November through April, Halos are easy to pack in lunches, great to share at kid’s activities and sporting events, and they make a healthy snack choice any time of the day. We love having them at the office and in a bowl within easy reach around the house, too!



FXP Hula Hoop

FXP Hula Hoop With Workout DVD For Fitness On The Go

Usually, when I work out from home, I don’t need much equipment. I have a few routines which I alternate every few days and I just use essential bits of equipment like stability balls and light dumbbells. This works really well for me and I am able to keep a good routine…. except whilst I am away during holiday season. You see, I can’t take any of the equipment that I have away with me because it is either too heavy or too big, so I end up with nothing to use and therefore don’t get any exercise done. Well, I think I have found a solution to that.

Stay fit while you travel this holiday season with the FXP’s Travel Hula Hoop. This hula hoop snaps together easily and feels substantial enough for a seriously fun workout. The included DVD featuring Niece Pecenka is clear and easy to follow and will have you hooping even if you haven’t twirled a hula hoop around your hips for decades.

I was delighted at how much I was able to do, in spite of thinking I wouldn’t be able to keep the hoop circling my girth. I wasn’t perfect, but was able to keep up with the workout right out of the box. There are additional workout DVD’s available, too.

The product is sturdy and reliable. The Fit in 15 workout is fun and challenging. This is a great gift for teens and travelers of all ages. I predict this will be the most stolen present at your gift exchange party this holiday season! You can purchase using our Amazon Affiliate link or at the website.

Punk Blue Tooth Portable Speaker

Punk Blue Tooth Portable Speaker

This is a great little speaker with big sound. This wireless Bluetooth Speaker from Sol Republic will have you tapping your toes in no time. 1/4 inch threaded mount lets you attach it to your bike or camera. Battery life up to 8 hours (depending on how loudly you play your music) works well up to 40 feet away.

We love using the speaker to bring music to our outdoor celebrations. It’s also great for powering a different playlist than the one in the Great Room. Especially handy for teens and tweens wanting to play their own music when the Grandpa commands the remote. Also works in reverse: Grandpa can listen to the game or get his Zen on in the guest room when the kids are in control!

Purchase using our Amazon Affiliate link for under $50, and enjoy free shipping.

Ai Weiwei Art Book

@Large Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz

See our story with video from the exhibit.@Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz - Events Los Angeles and California listings from the California Lifestyle magazine.

This art book is the perfect gift for Ai Weiwei fans and human rights activists around the world. Internationally renowned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei created this inspiring exhibit remotely from his studio in China. Although the masterful exhibition exploring incarceration and human rights was displayed at Alcatraz, the artist himself never set foot in the former penitentiary as he is not allowed to leave China. Irony and inspiration abound in this visually arresting book documenting the exhibition in California.

New or used, opt for the hardback edition, available using our Amazon affiliate link from $10.

Evian Facial Water Spray

Evian Facial Water Spray

Whether she drives up the coast with the top down, slides down the slopes in the snow or flies through the sky logging more frequent flyer miles than a pilot, this is a must have! You can pick up the two pack pictured, one for home and one for purse, backpack or pocket, for $17.99. A great gift for keeping skin feeling fresh throughout the holidays. The fine mist is great for a quick spritz to set makeup, too.

Comes is 10 oz., 5 oz. and 1.7 oz. sizes. Available from Amazon using our affiliate link. I have been personally using this product for more than 10 years. A perfect stocking stuffer,  the 1.7 oz travel size is TSA approved and retails for under $10.

Santa Monica Gets a Cheesecake Factory

I’m a die-hard foodie. I hunt out every local cart, truck, farmer’s market, pop-up, and Mom-and-Pop-hole-in-the-wall to sample their kimchi-marinated, locally-foraged truffle tacos with charred shiitake ash. So it is with some trepidation I admit my guilty pleasure…

I love chain restaurants. Always have. Always will.

Santa Monica Cheesecake Factory Exterior.

There it lies!

That’s why when I got the opportunity to go to the new Cheesecake Factory opening at Santa Monica Place, I didn’t blink. Though I’d never actually been to a Cheesecake Factory before, it was everything I expected, in the best way.

Something I’ve come to accept as a foodie in L.A, is that most of the time great food comes with terrible service. At some point “Hip” became synonymous with “Rude and apathetic.” As if great chefs treat service like a test; if the food is good enough we’ll keep coming back, even if the disgruntled hipster server gives us the finger. Luckily that is not the case at the Cheesecake Factory! We were warmly welcomed into the massive space by an army of hostesses who showed us to our seats.


A cheery atmosphere with lots of space!

Our friendly server flew in as we looked over the drink menu. There were certainly the silly-fun, sugary, neon slushies I’d expect at a chain, but as a welcome surprise, they had Venice Duck IPA, an often hard-to-find, delicious micro-brew made just a few blocks away.


Frosty Venice Duck IPA

There was also a variation of a Whiskey Smash, which is normally Whiskey, Lemon, Simple Syrup, Mint, and often some sort of muddled fruit. They ditch the mint and add passion fruit and Aperol, one of my favorite Italian Amari (Bittersweet Herbal Liqueurs.) It was quite refreshing. The drinks came out faster than if I’d poured them myself.

Whiskey Smash at The Cheesecake Factory in Santa Monica, California

Their “Whiskey Smash” Passion fruit, Lemon, Bourbon and Aperol.

The food menu options were bountiful, with something for every palate: Salads, pastas, sandwiches and burgers of every shade under the bun. My guest ordered the Cuban Sandwich.

Cheesecake Factory review by Mike Anderson for EncinoMom Magazine.

The Cuban Sandwich.

I ordered the Fried Mac-N-Cheese Burger, a choice soundly applauded by our server. Some blessed genius had decided to take their fried mac-n-cheese balls and plop one right on top of a cheeseburger. I took the first bite and gooey mac and cheese exploded into my mouth, which made the kid in me giggle. Needless to say, the food portions were positively gargantuan. We could easily have split one of the entrees and still left stuffed.


Whoever thought to put fried mac and cheese on a burger deserves two raises.

But of course we left room for CHEESECAKE!


Pecan Pumpkin Cheesecake

If you’re shopping in Santa Monica Place and looking for a filling, friendly, fun place to bring the kids, I’d recommend stopping by The Cheesecake Factory. You’re sure to get a warm smile, quick service, and a big plate of delicious!

Mikey and the Chocolate Factory

Mikey and the Chocolate Factory

Today I toured John Kelly chocolates in Hollywood, because sometimes life is really hard and you have to go sample delicious fine chocolates.

John (Left) and Kelly (Right)- The Wonkas themselves.

John (Left) and Kelly (Right)- The Wonkas themselves. And yes, turns out John Kelly is two different people.

The tour began several feet from the door, as the wonderful aroma of cooking chocolate wafted outside. Kelly (Of John Kelly) told me that’s what inspired the storefront. They started making their signature truffle fudge about eleven years ago. At first, they sold it wholesale, directly from the factory to businesses. However, as people walked by and sniffed that glorious scent, they couldn’t help but peek in and demand to buy whatever was making that delicious smell. The demand grew so quickly they realized they needed a full walk-in retail location. It worked like gangbusters, and since then they’ve opened another location in Santa Monica.

John Kelly Chocolates, Hollywood, California. Photo by Mike Anderson for

The fragrant storefront in Hollywood.

Their unique truffle fudge chocolate is based on an old family recipe. It has the creaminess of fudge, but a depth and richness of flavor far from the stuff you’d buy for five dollars a pound from a roadside tourist trap. Hence the term “Truffle fudge”, which still barely manages to do it justice. Surrounding it all is a thin coat of fine chocolate, giving a bit of texture as you bite into it. It makes for a truly singular dessert bite. From there they include flavors like Habanero-Jalapeno, Grey French sea salt, peanut butter, and pumpkin spice for the holidays.

Drooooooool. John Kelly Chocolates. Photo by Mike Anderson for California Lifestyle Magazine.


There’s that old saying about seeing how the sausage is made… well, it’s the opposite for chocolate. Despite the drool-worthy Henry Ford assembly line, they retain a small-batch, handcrafted integrity. John and Kelly insist on starting with the finest all-natural, non-GMO ingredients, and that goes for every step along the way: From a woman named Lisa lovingly sprinkling fine Hawaiian sea salt on each bar, to the end where another worker inspected each bar to meet their high standards. I watched her throw one onto the discard pile, which made me jealous of whoever gets to enjoy those delicious rejects.

John Kelly Chocolates in Hollywood, California. Factory tour with Mike Anderson for

Small batch belt.

John Kelly Chocolate factory tour with Mike Anderson for EncinoMom Magazine; the finest of California Lifestyle.

There are no words.

With the holiday season approaching, I’d highly recommend John Kelly Chocolate as an elegant gift for the chocoholic in your life. Which, if you’re like me, is just about everybody on my list. It’s a luxury, small-batch, handcrafted food item in beautiful packaging.  If you’re not in the Los Angeles area to stop by the storefronts (Which I heartily recommend), order online at

LA Beach Cities Modern Home Tour

LA Beach Cities Modern Home Tour

What do you think when you hear the term “modern home?” What do you feel? What visuals, temperature, textures, auditory senses are conjured? I’ll tell you what I used to think: bland, cold, stern, echoing, sharp, empty. Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong!

On the 2015 LA Beach Cities Modern Home Tour, I learned that modern homes are more about modern living than anything else. Modern living that encompasses a life of openness and togetherness. A life that can invite textures and vibrant colors and even a sense of humor – a life rich and minimalist all at once – a home where the people and interactions take center stage, set in a subdued background that is simply there for that function.

There is a zen quality to the modern homes I toured (most of them housed a Buddha figure somewhere), a peacefulness brought by simple surroundings—whether they were on a grand scale or smaller. The idea behind all the thought seems to have been, “How can people live in this space to the fullest?” Along with, “How can this home make the best use of the environment it’s set in?”

Let me tell you, this tour was a real eye opener for me, and I walked away as a fan of the modern home. Join me for a virtual tour through these photos I captured between my oohs and ahhs.

2015 LA Beach Cities Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine. 2015 L.A. Beach Cities Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine. 2015 L.A. Beach Cities Modern Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine. 2015 L.A. Beach Cities Modern Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine. 2015 L.A. Beach Cities Modern Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine. 2015 L.A. Beach Cities Modern Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine.

2015 L.A. Beach Cities Modern Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine.2015 L.A. Beach Cities Modern Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine.

2015 L.A. Beach Cities Modern Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine.







2015 LA Beach Cities Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine. 2015 LA Beach Cities Modern Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine.2015 LA Beach Cities Modern Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine.2015 LA Beach Cities Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine.2015 LA Beach Cities Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine. 2015 LA Beach Cities Modern Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine.















2015 L.A. Beach Cities Modern Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine.2015 LA Beach Cities Modern Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine.2015 Los Angeles Beach Cities Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine.2015 Los Angeles Beach Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine.


2015 LA Beach Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine.

2015 LA Beach Cities Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine. 2015 L.A. Beach Cities Modern Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine. 2015 L.A. Beach Cities Modern Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine. 2015 L.A. Beach Cities Modern Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine. 2015 L.A. Beach Cities Modern Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine. 2015 L.A. Beach Cities Modern Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine.

2015 L.A. Beach Cities Modern Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine.2015 L.A. Beach Cities Modern Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine. 2015 L.A. Beach Cities Modern Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine.







2015 LA Beach Cities Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine.

2015 L.A. Beach Cities Modern Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine.

2015 L.A. Beach Cities Modern Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine.2015 L.A. Beach Cities Modern Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine.

2015 L.A. Beach Cities Modern Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine.2015 L.A. Beach Cities Modern Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine.2015 L.A. Beach Cities Modern Home Tour. Photo by Laura Jarrard for EncinoMom Magazine.
You may also enjoy our coverage of the Alt Build Expo and Dwell On Design with Nate Berkus.

CPK’s New Menu Will Keep You Coming Back

Get your taste buds ready! California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) has a new menu that is sure to keep you coming back for more. The new cocktails, lunch, and dinner options are both tasty and affordable. The only hard part will be choosing from the wide selection of tasty options. Decisions, decisions.

So what’s new? Here’s the latest on the CPK new menu pages:

QUENCH YOUR THIRST:               

All of the new cocktails are delicious. (Adults, please drink responsibly). We were left crushing on the California Crush which is both refreshing and light with a hint of lime. It pairs well with any mood, occasion or meal.

California Crush on CPKs new menu in Encino, California. Photo by Melissa Lambarena for EncinoMom Magazine.

The California Crush with a hint of mint.

Quench your thirst with one of the new cocktails on the menu: The Honeybee Lemonade, Blueberry Ginger Smash, The Executive Decision, California Crush, Coconut Blossom, California Roots, or the Blood Orange Sangria.


The Maine Lobster Flatbread ($11.29) is a seasonal choice that is a flavorful starter perfect for sharing or snacking while sipping something tasty from the bar. Chunks of Maine Lobster are complemented by fresh herbs, arugula and red onions on crisp parmesan flatbread.

Maine lobster flatbread at CPK. Photo by Melissa Lambarena for EncinoMom California Lifestyle Magazine.

Maine Lobster Flatbread on CPKs new menu.


Treat yourself to a lunch-time duo Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pair a lunch size pizza or half sandwich with a soup or salad for under $11. We tried the oven-roasted turkey and brie with the baked potato soup. The sandwich was made with fresh ingredients and the baked potato soup makes for a creamy bowl of comfort that is sure to cheer you up if you have a case of the blahs or the blues. Be sure to try the Farmer’s Market soup which is healthier option that features seasonal ingredients – so satisfying and savory.

California Pizza Kitchen CPK new menu. Photo by Melissa Lambarena for EncinoMom Magazine.

Lunch special; pair two.

GO BIG OR GO HOME: These are my must tries!

The Fire-Grilled Ribeye ($25.99) is grilled with Pinot Noir sea salt and topped with creamy bleu cheese butter. Enjoy 12 ounces of tender and juicy bliss alongside fingerling potatoes and lemon-garlic wild arugula salad.

CPK Encino. Photo by Melissa Lambarena for EncinoMom Magazine.

Sizzlin’ Fire-Grilled Ribeye on CPK’s new menu.

The Hearth-Roasted Halibut ($23.79). This is a rich combination of wild caught Alaskan Halibut roasted on a cedar plank with grilled asparagus, butternut squash farro and baby kale.

CPK; new menu. Photo by Melissa Lambarena for EncinoMom Magazine.

The wild caught Hearth-Roasted Halibut.

The Roasted Garlic Chicken with Seasonal Veggies ($18.99) is sure to get your taste buds dancing for joy. The crispy-skin savory chicken breast in lemon-garlic sauce is absolutely mouthwatering.

CPK new menu, Encino. Photo by Melissa Lambarena for EncinoMom Magazine.

You can’t go wrong with the Roasted Garlic Chicken.

The new menu is absolutely yummy. Check back as we cover the makeover scheduled to update the decor at the Encino store, a part of the 30 year anniversary reimagining of the iconic California brand. The makeovers launched last year at the new flagship store in Woodland Hills, CA.

Now you are all caught up! We apologize if our pictures made you hungry, but making sure that your taste buds aren’t missing out is something that we take very seriously. Happy choosing! Bon appetit.

ViDi Video Camera Review

EncinoMom Unboxes the ViDi Action Camera For Review

Unboxing the ViDi camera at
Love the tiny size of the ViDi at the camera Unboxing for
Large touch screen on the back of the ViDi camera.
Unboxing the ViDi Action Camera for
The pretty ViDi and accessories Unboxed on
ViDi Action Camera review on
ViDi Action Camera comes with car charger, mounting hardware, waterproof casing and a selfie stick.
Excited to test out the ViDi camera's quality for the EncinoMom Magazine review.
The ViDi Action Camera lens is about the size of a quarter!
ViDi Action Camera Unboxed and reviewed by EncinoMom Magazine.
Still from ViDi video footage in low light conditions.
EncinoMom's Lisa Keating uses the ViDi Action Camera with selfie stick in Oatman, Arizona.
Western style shoot out in the streets of Oatman, Arizona.
Love this overhead shot captured by the ViDi Action Camera in Oatman, Arizona for EncinoMom TV.
Over the shoulder with Lizzy Kay in Oatman, Arizona for EncinoMom TV.
Watch the video review of the ViDi camera on
ViDi camera, it's just so darn cute!


We received the ViDi Action Camera to unbox, test and review for you here. We were immediately engaged in the fun when we saw the box! Priced at $99, the camera comes with everything you need;

  • ViDi Camera with rear touch screen- takes video or stills

  • 4GB Micro SD Card

  • Transparent Waterproof case

  • Extension Pole (we’ve been calling it a selfie stick)

  • HD 720, 31 FPS

  • Skeleton Case

  • Sticky Mount with Clip

  • Handlebar Mount

  • Car Charger and USB Cable

You can see the camera in action in this video we shot with the ViDi while visiting Oatman, Arizona on Route 66:

We didn’t get good sound on our video shoot, but this was the first time out with the camera. We weren’t speaking loudly enough for the distance we were from the camera. We usually shoot with boom mics and lavs, so we were speaking normally. When we use the GoPro on our shoots, we don’t usually use the sound from that camera either. The idea behind a camera like this is to be able to capture action! We were in pretty windy conditions, too, which is harsh for ANY microphone to capture cleanly.

ViDi sends camera to EncinoMom

Due to bright, bright sunlight conditions – high noon, in Oatman, Arizona – and limited time, we didn’t bother to monitor what we captured with the camera until we took the video off of the SD card back at the office. So there were no retakes or adjustments of any kind. I’m not apologizing for the camera, but am trying to give you a fair idea of what to expect.


You should know, I am not a fussy photographer. We have camera men and women who excel at sound and image capture. I leave the real camera work to the professionals. I’m more like you. If I have my phone in my hand, I’m likely to record the beauty I see around me with a video or quick pic and hope for the best. For every good shot I get, there are likely 30 more on my phone waiting to be deleted.

Palm sized ViDi in waterproof case.

With a modicum of effort, I think you could get some amazing footage with the ViDi. To be honest, I didn’t even look at the operation manual. This is starting to sound like they sent the ViDi to a monkey (no offense to monkeys). I think I’m probably an exact match for a large portion of ViDi’s customer base. I want to get the camera and go!

ViDi rearview in waterproofcase.

I love the results we got with the included extension pole, especially in the overhead shots, which would have been hard to get even if we’d had our camera crew with us! I also found the extension pole footage to be much more stable that I anticipated.

Unboxing the ViDi camera on

The ViDi camera is wicked cute, which shouldn’t be important, but, well, it just IS. Good looks make the camera more fun to use. At this price point, this camera is an ideal gift for teens, bloggers and active adults of all ages.

ViDi camera comes with selfie stick and car charger.

It’s important to note that no one was focusing the camera! Look at the clarity of the footage we got without ANY effort – literally NO EFFORT. We weren’t looking through the camera at all. We just stuck it on the end of the extension pole and turned the camera on. This is as idiot proof as it gets, people!

ViDi beauty shot in waterproof case.

Another feature that we love about the ViDi is that you can take still photos, too. The naked camera, without the waterproof case, is half the size of my phone, so it’s easy to slip into a pocket or tiny purse. We haven’t tested the camera underwater, yet. When we do, I’ll update this review.

The ViDi is photogenic, too. EncinoMom camera review.


The ViDi Action Camera is an affordably priced GoPro alternative. With everything you need to get started, including a car charger, the ViDi comes ready to go! A perfect gift for the action adventurer on your list at $99 we don’t think you’ll find this quality anywhere else for less.

Naked ViDi camera next to a quarter. camera review.

Available for purchase here, using our Amazon Affiliate link. Click here for more information from the manufacturer.
Rear view of ViDi camera without waterproof case. Photo by Lisa Keating for

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