Rockin Mama™ Motherhood, Giveaways and Product Reviews Thu, 18 Apr 2019 13:55:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Rockin Mama™ 32 32 111966601 Lazy Dog Spring Menu Mon, 15 Apr 2019 14:30:57 +0000 Finding that balance between kid-friendly and gourmet is challenging.  I am a total foodie, so I would opt to eat at home before sacrificing the taste and diversity we’ve come to expect at a nice restaurant.  Most restaurants that offer the type of food I enjoy, are not the least bit kid-friendly.  That’s not to say that I haven’t toted my kids to enjoy Japanese Teppan or Argentine cuisine.  I just sit in the back and rely heavily on distraction!

Consideration provided by Lazy Dog.

Lazy Dog Restaurant
Image: Lazy Dog

I remember the first time I walked into a Lazy Dog. We had just finished a day at Disneyland and everyone was a. hungry b. tired and c. cranky.  Lazy Dog had my son at the dog decor, and we’ve been frequenting our local restaurant regularly since then. I can honestly say that it’s become one of our favorite family-friendly restaurants here in the OC.

The first Lazy Dog Cafe opened in Huntington Beach, California in 2003, and the company continues to expand its locations.  The warm, rustic environment created by the decor, dimmed lighting, and dog-themed art and photography make it an ideal venue for families dining out together. The restaurant was designed to feel like a Rocky Mountain escape with its cozy fireplaces, ledge stone, chandelier crafted from Aspen logs, and artwork reminiscent of the Cowboy State. Their dog-friendly patio also offers a special menu for dogs which includes grilled meats and brown rice.

Lazy Dog is not all appearances.  The food is incredibly diverse and includes infusions of Italian, Chinese, Mediterranean, and South American cultures.  There are two dishes that I order every time I frequent the establishment…the Teriyaki Bowl with Shrimp or the Mac + Cheese.  

Heirloom Bean Salad

Lazy Dog just released their new Spring Menu, so I decided to be adventurous. Celebrating the legacy of American agriculture, the new menu features quality ingredients sourced from a diverse group of farmers, ranchers, and growers like heirloom beans, fresh goat cheese (Cypress Grove Cheese), local honey, and pork from a sixth-generation family ranch in Iowa.

 While I definitely wouldn’t judge a dish by it’s appearance, each of the meals we ordered looked beautiful and artistic.  How can the food not be flavorful when it looks this good?

Goat Cheese and Pepper Jelly

The portions are very generous…so much so that we enjoyed Lazy Dog again the next day at home.  And while we definitely did not need dessert, we opted to try the Peach-Raspberry Hand Pie which was absolutely delightful.

Peach Raspberry Hand Pie

On more than one occasion, I have been known to order my son a smaller dish off of the regular menu.  Many kid-friendly restaurants have very limited (and often unhealthy) food options.  My son did not grow up eating macaroni and cheese or chicken nuggets (although I know many children who did).  Thus we find it challenging to order off of the kid’s menu at many restaurants.  While the Lazy Dog Cafe does offer the above two options for children, there are so many other healthy choices including Chicken Teriyaki and Steamed Rice and Spaghetti Marinara.

Green Goddess Salad

Here are the new Spring Menu items:

  • Goat Cheese + Pepper Jelly: Cypress grove goat cheese topped with housemade pepper jelly + served with walnut flatbread crackers.
  • Heirloom Bean Salad: Zürsun idaho heirloom beans, sweet peas, red onion, sweety drop peppers, feta + fresh herbs, tossed in a lemon vinaigrette (served chilled)
  • Green Goddess Salad: Little gem lettuce, watermelon radish, candied almonds, a crispy squash blossom from fresh origin farms stuffed with goat cheese, fresh herbs + housemade green goddess dressing.
  • Asparagus Soup (April – June): Made from scratch with fresh asparagus.
  • Pork Belly BLT: Beeler’s family farm pork belly, candied bacon, little gem lettuce, tomato + black pepper.
  • Pork Belly N’ Beans: Beeler’s family farm pork belly slow-braised in bone broth, served with warm heirloom beans, topped with pickled mustard seeds, green onion crumble + grilled country toast.
  • Black Bean Jackfruit Tostada: Topped with charred corn, avocado, feta, pickled jalapeños, roasted tomatillo salsa, shredded cabbage, fresh radish, cilantro + spicy crema.
  • Vanilla Bean Custard: Fresh vanilla bean + cream, topped with local hive honey, candied almonds, bee pollen + fresh berries.
  • Smoked Orange Negroni (available for a limited time only): Featuring
    aviation old tom batch distilled American gin – rested in single malt whiskey barrels – cedar smoke, cointreau, aperol, sweet vermouth, bitters, orange peel.
  • Gin + Elderflower Tonic: Aviation gin, st-germain , flower petals from fresh origins farms, lime + soda.
  • Carrot + Cucumber Tonic: -Cucumber rain vodka, fresh carrot juice,
    housemade sweet + sour, turmeric + soda, topped with fresh cucumber ribbons.
  • Spiked Sweet Peach Tea: Stillhouse original whiskey, peaches, house-
    brewed tea, fresh tangerine lace + soda.

I love the ambience of the Lazy Dog Cafe, the fact that it welcomes children with open arms, and offers incredible adult dishes.  The service is impeccable and the staff genuinely look like they enjoy working at the establishment.  To learn more about the restaurant or to find a location in your area, please visit their website.

]]> 0 22691
Bumblebee Movie – Giveaway Tue, 09 Apr 2019 16:30:06 +0000 Even before my son knew the word “Transformers,” he was drawn to the toys the popular toys that “transform” from a vehicle or an animal to a robot. The toys have been around since I was a kid and the franchise has evolved into a comic book series, an animated TV series, a feature-length animated film, and a live-action film series. This Spring, families can relive the adventures of Bumblebee in the latest live-action film, now available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital. Be sure to enter our giveaway below!

Transformers Bumblebee

Consideration provided by Paramount.

Bumblebee Movie

Bumblebee and Dog

Bumblebee is the sixth installment in the live-action Transformers film series and is set in 1987. Cybertorn has fallen and Optimus Prime has sent Bumblee to defend Earth. Now on the run, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small California beach town. Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld) is turning 18 and attempting to find her place in the world. When she discovers Bumblebee scarred and broken, she revives him and quickly learns that this is no ordinary yellow VW bug. As the Decepticons hunt down the surviving Autobots, with the help of a secret agency led by Agent Burns (John Cena), Bumblee and Charlie team up to protect the world in an adventure that’s fun and action-packed!

Bumblebee VW Bug

Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Travis Knight brings his expertise in the world of stop-motion animation to Transformers with Bumblebee.  Travis combines his meticulous craft skills with cutting edge technology, demonstrating his ability to develop characters and inspire emotions through a unique storytelling vision that brings fan favorite Bumblebee to life.B

Bumblebee DVD

Transformers Bumblebee Giveaway

 Win It! One of you will win a Blu-ray combo pack. To enter, simply complete the Rafflecopter form and leave a comment with your favorite Transformers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

US Residents only. Duplicates and comments not including the above information will be disqualified. Comments are moderated. If you don’t see your comment in a reasonable amount of time, send me an email. Bloggers and non-bloggers may enter. If you don’t want to leave your email address, please be sure to check back for my announcement on the winner. Please note that winners must respond within 48 hours of being announced/contacted or another winner will be drawn.

Transformers Movie
]]> 14 73948
Cats The Musical at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts Mon, 08 Apr 2019 13:00:02 +0000 I was first introduced to Andrew Lloyd Weber’s work when I saw Phantom of the Opera for the first time in Los Angeles. The English composer’s work includes “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” from Jesus Christ Superstar, “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina” from Evita, “Any Dream Will Do” from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and “Memory” from Cats. Cats the Musical has been on my must-see list for some time, so I was excited when I found out the show will be performing at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts this Spring!

Consideration provided by the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

The Company of CATS on Broadway

Cats The Musical

Cats was inspired by T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats and tells the story of a tribe of cats called the Jellicles and the night they make what is known as the “Jellicle” choice where they decide which cat will ascend to the Heaviside Layer (a metaphor for heaven) and come back to a new life.

Composed by Andrew Lloyd webber, Cats’ latest North American tour will feature new sound design, direction, and choreography to introduce the musical to new audiences for the first time and to offer fans the opportunity to experience the show again in a fresh new way.

Cats first opened in the West End in 1981 and on Broadway one year later. The musical has won a number of awards including Best Musical at the Laurence Olivier Awards and the Tony Awards. Now the fourth-longest running Broadway show and the sixth-longest running West End show, Cats will continue its national tour at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts April 9th through 14th, 2019.

The first-ever, live-action film adaptation of CATS produced by Universal Pictures will open on December 20, 2019.

CATS on Broadway

Cats The Musical Tickets and Showtimes

Tickets for Cats the Musical start at $29 and can be purchased online at, via phone (714.556.2787), and in person at the box office. Showtimes are as follows:

April 9 – 14, 2019
Tuesday – Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday at 2:00 and 7:30 p.m.
Sunday at 1:00 and 6:30 p.m.

Mamie Parris as Grizabella in CATS

The Segerstrom Center for the Arts is located at 600 Town Center Drive Costa Mesa, CA 92626. For more information about Cats The Musical, visit

]]> 0 73916
Plant-Based Vegan Burritos In 30 Minutes or Less Mon, 08 Apr 2019 12:30:31 +0000 I always approach the new week with the best of intentions when it comes to from-scratch meals. But as life would have it, soccer practice runs late or that last minute project requires an unexpected trip to Michael’s. Rather than run through a fast-casual restaurant, I have been aspiring to serve my kids healthier, prepped meals made with clean ingredients. Convenient meals like the vegan burritos from Alpha Foods make getting dinner on the table essentially effortless.


Vegan Burritos

Alpha Foods

I have always been drawn to a plant-based diet, and nearly 7 years ago, I made the decision to follow a pescatarian diet. By default, my kids see and often try the incredible dishes I prepare and while they still eat some meat, they are more open than many kids when it comes to plant-based foods.

Recently, I was introduced to Alpha Foods,  a company that makes 100% plant-based meals. As someone who never really ate a lot of meat, I struggled with alternate sources of protein that were palatable and enjoyable. The brand’s lineup of prepared meals include Alpha Burgers, Meatless Meatballs, Alpha Dogs, Breakfast Burritos, and All-Day Burritos.

Consuming a plant-based diet is one of the steps I have taken to improve our family’s health. Recently, I also committed to eating a completely vegan meal at least once each day. Plant-based diets can contribute to an overall wellness approach while simultaneously improving the welfare of animals and supporting environmental sustainability.


Vegan Burritos

I have been consuming vegan burritos for years, but those burritos have always been simple…rice, beans, and veggies. Alpha Foods took a creative, gourmet spin on the traditional burrito and elevated it by introducing four original, plant-based flavors: Mexicali, Fajita Chick’n, Philly Sandwich, and Pizza. Each burrito is 100% plant based and made from clean ingredients. The burritos are also non-GMO and cholesterol-free. Here is a quick look at the nutritional profile of Alpha Foods’ All-Day Burritos:

  • 100% plant-based
  • Non-GMO
  • Free from cholesterol, corn syrup, artificial preservatives, hormones, and animal products
  • High in plant protein (11 grams)
  • Some varieties also meet the standard for vegan diets

Each burrito is made with plant-based protein, vegetables, and a blend of seasonings, then hand-rolled into a tortilla shell. I served these vegan burritos to my kids for dinner with fresh salsa, guacamole, and brown rice and they loved it. I failed to mention to my kids that these burritos were completely free from meat and neither of them knew the difference. My kids’ favorite variety was Pizza (of course!) and I felt like the Fajita Chick’n was comparable to meat-based varieties. While I have not consumed meat in many years, I still remember what it was like to enjoy Chicken Fajitas and Alpha Foods matched the flavors and textures well in this particular variety.

Alpha Burritos

At present, Alpha Vegan Burritos are available at select Walmart, Kroger (Ralphs), and Publix stores across the country. To find a retailer near you, visit


]]> 0 70406
How to Make Knott’s Calico Soda Sat, 06 Apr 2019 19:40:58 +0000 There are just a few days left to experience all of the delicious Boysenberry Goodness at Knott’s Berry Farm during their annual festival. But alas, all is not lost. All-year round, you can get your Boysenberry fix in with funnel cakes, soft serve, Icees, churros, and more. And if you love Knott’s Berry Farm’s Calico Soda, you’ll be happy to know that you can get it year-round at the Calico Saloon. During one of our visits to the park, the culinary team at Knott’s showed us how to make Knott’s Calico Soda!

Calico Soda

Knott’s Calico Soda

The only place you can get Knott’s Calico Soda is at Knott’s Berry Farm. As such, the recipe is exclusive and a proprietary blend of boysenberry, simple syrup, soda water, and more.

This Boysenberry Cream Soda is hand-crafted and served over ice in a plastic faux mason jar. Grab a soda then stay at the saloon to enjoy the show!


Saloon Girl

Calico Saloon Show

Located at the Calico Saloon in Ghost Town, the show includes a demonstration of the can-can and the musical mis-matchings of Cameo Kate and Dakota Dan. Don’t miss the Can-Can Dancers who join the show during the summer months.

Boysenberry Cookiewich

Knott’s Boysenberry Festival

Since Knott’s Berry Farm is the birthplace of the Boysenberry and all fruits can be traced back to the park, it seems only fitting to have a Spring celebration!  For 24 days, families can enjoy more than 75 boysenberry-inspired foods, live entertainment, the Wine and Craft Brew Tasting Garden and more. Don’t miss the limited-time Boysenberry Festival going on through April 8, 2018!

]]> 1 70146