Dreams Do Come True in McFarland, USA!

Dreams Do Come True in McFarland, USA!

By Erin

It’s not very often a movie comes out that is as inspiring, touching, real, filled with as much heart and is as heartwarming as this one is. Be prepared to go on a very real and heartfelt adventure with this special group of boys in the most inspiring sports drama about a Mexican-American cross-country team from rural California.

Based on a true story, Kevin Costner stars as the team’s coach, Coach White, who’s determination to guide a bunch of farm workers’ kids into a team full of champions with big dreams and goals is evident from the start. Coach White isn’t perfect by any means but his heart is in the right place and he is passionately devoted to his runners. A couple of weeks ago I had the great privilege to attend a press junket with some of the film’s creators and actors to gain a little bit more insight into the film, its history, background and setting dreams and goals.


First off, there is a LOT of running in this movie. So, what kind of training did they have to go through to become cross country runners for the film? Carlos Pratts gave us a great description of what that was like.

Carlos Pratts:  I would say in the mornings, we went to Santa Clarita and I would run five or six miles with these guys, and I cried more than I cried when I saw Bambi. Then we would go to the studio and rehearse the film, and then after that I would make the fun drive in the Hyundai Elantra, which I’m very thankful for because my car was in a bad place; thank you, Disney and I would make the fun drive to Redondo Beach. In Redondo Beach, I would then go through a lot of pain from the great people at Brick Fitness – thank you, Brian Gwen –he would help with the strength, and then the nutrition and all that. So for about three months, I couldn’t have a carb and I didn’t wear a shirt in my apartment. So… I’m kidding about that part.

World Premiere Of "McFarland, USA" At The El Capitan Theatre The World Premier of McFarland, USA

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Stuff Yourself With Nancy’s Pizza and $50 Giveaway @NancysPizza

Stuff Yourself With Nancy’s Pizza

By Erin

*Disclosure: I received a gift card to make a trip to Nancy’s to try out some of this deliciousness. All thoughts and opinions remain my own. Gift card for giveaway to be fulfilled by sponsor.*

Pizza lovers everywhere are going to want to devour some of this greatness at the newest pizza joint that has landed itself in Southern California. Originating in Chicago, Illinois in 1971, Nancy’s Pizza is now serving up some piping hot and delicious pizza here in Alhambra, California. Nancy’s is a fast-casual type restaurant where you order your food at the register, then find a seat and they will bring your order to you. You can also order for take out, and enjoy your meal at home.

Nancys Pizza Boxes

Famous for their stuffed pizzas, that were inspired in Italy and perfected in America, Rocco and Nancy invented the stuffed pizza in 1971. Today, Nancy’s will have you wanting to stuff yourself full with some of this ooey, gooey, deliciousness. If you want something on the healthier side, they do have some great tasting salads as well.

 Stuffed Pizzas

Nancy's Pizza

Being that the stuffed pizza is their trademark pizza, I just had to try this. Weighing in at 5 pounds for a 12 inch pizza and 2 1/2 inches high, it truly is a sight to see (and smell and taste)!  Stuffed full of fresh ingredients. I tried mine with Pepperoni and Sausage.


*I must note that the service here was amazing. When one of the girls was coming to our table to bring us our pasta, she was apologizing profusely that she had dropped our pizza and was going to make us a new one, but she was making us a medium sized one instead of the small one we had ordered. As we still had our salad and pasta to enjoy, we were in no rush to get our pizza right away anyways, so it was no big deal to us at all. However she kept apologizing and the upgrade to a medium sized pizza was a nice gesture. Not that we even needed it or expected that, it would just mean more leftovers to take home and enjoy later we figured. The staff did not know that I was a blogger here to review their restaurant, and I did not announce that fact at any time when we were there as I prefer whenever possible to get a true feel and experience of what a place is like as a regular diner coming in.*


Nancy’s has quite a few different kinds of salads to choose from if you are looking for a healthier option, or just something to go with and compliment your pizza. They come in either a small size or large size. The large size is served in a bread bowl.

Nancy's Garbage Salad Pictured above is the ‘Garbage Salad,’ which consists of lettuce, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, mozzarella cheese, black and green olives, mushrooms, green peppers, red onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Pretty much it’s a little bit of this and a little bit of that, but I liked it. This is the small size. My friend and I split this, so it’s plenty for two if you are going to be getting a pizza to go along with your meal.


Nancy’s has a pretty decent selection of pastas to choose from if that’s more your thing. I love pasta, so we had to try one of the dishes.

Nancys Pasta

The Tuscan Rigatoni turned out to really hit the spot. Rigatoni pasta tossed in a pink cream sauce with fresh garlic, sautéed Italian sausage, fresh mushrooms and parsley. I’m really picky about my pasta, but I approve of this one. 🙂 The pasta dishes come in “For One” and “For Two” sizes. This is the “For One” size, and was more than enough for my friend and I (considering we also had the salad and the pizza).

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Flowers, And Candy And Hearts, Oh My

Flowers, And Candy And Hearts, Oh My

By Erin

Vaelntine’s Day can be a sticky subject for many. People either love it, hate it, or could just care less. Those that have someone to spend it with may love it. Those that are single may hate it and have Anti-Valentine’s Day Parties or refer to the day as “Single’s Awareness Day.”


Being single myself, I can’t really say the day has much meaning to me right now. I am my own Valentine.

The times I have been in a relationship though,  I haven’t minded it. It was nice to have someone to spend it with, but I would rather have my Valentine  365 days a year for the rest of my life. Not just on one very commercialized holiday to do something special to show my Valentine I care and to tell them that I love them. It should be something you do throughout the year because you want to and truly love and cherish the one you’re with. Not because some holiday tells you that you are supposed to do this.

In conjunction with the whole #putitintheuniverse idea, this is me putting it out there, on the things I’d love my future Valentine to do for me or with me any day of the year.

Until then, I’ll just be treating myself to a few of these things when I can.

Happy Valentines Day 2015

 1) Spa Day

What girl doesn’t love a good spa day? A day filled with relaxation, a facial, massage, manicure and pedicure sounds wonderful to me!

Burke Williams has a package that pretty much covers this. 😉

True Love

Indulge in a Spa Pedicure with a 50-minute Pure Relaxation massage with enhancement -and- a 50-minute Spa Style Facial with peel. Just $259 (regularly $328), $279 in San Francisco (regularly $360).

Glen Ivy Hot Springs is also a wonderful place to spend a spa day laying out by one of the pools, enjoying some spa treatments, and a healthy snack or lunch.

Spa Day


2) A Special Meal Together (Dinner, Brunch, Lunch)

Wether it’s dinner, brunch, lunch or breakfast; as long as you’re together to enjoy a great meal at a place you love or are curious to explore is sure to create a special moment. Here are a few of my favorite places (I have MANY favorites!!) that I have had the pleasure to be able to dine out at. From left to right: Club 33 at Disneyland, Darren’s in Manhattan Beach, and Dominique’s Kitchen in Redondo Beach.

Dinner Love

3) A Getaway Weekend

Taking a drive up the coast to one of the central California cities of Pismo Beach, Morro Bay, Cambria, Carmel or San Luis Obispo is always a special and romantic weekend in my book. The beach, amazing food, wine tasting, horseback riding, shopping, just exploring to see what new things you can find, whatever your hearts desire, you can probably find it somewhere around one of these places. Santa Barbara, San Diego, Mammoth, Big Bear, the river, and Vegas also make for some fun quick getaway weekends in California. No matter where you live though, each state has it’s own unique places and cities to check out. What are some locals you enjoy visiting?

A couple of my favorite places to stay at for a weekend away include:

The Madonna Inn: A very quirky and unique place, with an amazing steak house and spa complete with infinity pool. Each room is different, no two are alike.


Blue Dolphin Inn of Cambria Inns: For an amazing ocean view and for some equally amazing sunsets; stay at the Blue Dolphin Inn. With breakfast, fireplaces, and the ocean just outside your door, you won’t want to leave this beach paradise.



I’m always a sucker for a beautiful arrangement of flowers. I love nature and pretty things, I spend much time in my own garden, taking care of the roses, flowers, and fruit trees. It’s nice to be able to take some of this beauty and bring it indoors, even if it’s only for a short bit. My favorite place to ever have gotten flowers from is Disney Floral & Gifts. A little bit of magic and pixie dust just makes it that much more special.


5) Chocolates/Favorite Candies

A sweet treat can brighten up any day. One of my favorite kinds of Chocolates I’ve EVER had is from this place, called Pure Madness Chocolate. It’s heaven in a box…. seriously.


6) Wine/Beer Tasting

Wine or beer tasting always leads to a fun adventure. Find some new favorites or revisit  some old loves. No matter where you live, you should be able to find a winery or a tasting room not too far away. One of my favorite places to go around here is to Malibu for some wine tasting. It makes for a beautiful drive, and there are many wonderful wineries and eateries (since you’ll need something to go with all that wine or beer 😉 to choose from. A little bit farther away, but still doable for a day trip in Southern California, is in Temecula, there are many great places to choose from there as well. Cheers!

Wine Tasting

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