Monday, July 23, 2012

Sponsor Highlight: The Ribbon Retreat

We are so excited to welcome back The Ribbon Retreat as a 2012 Sponsor!

The Ribbon Retreat Logo

The Ribbon Retreat is an amazing online shop and resource for ribbons (of course, but also fabrics, notions, books, patterns and so much more!

One of my favorite things about their ribbon selection is the huge variety!

With everything from satin to rick rack to lace to wired - you're sure to find what you need!

The Ribbon Retreat is more than just darling ribbons though - they have a crazy awesome selection of fabrics - from your favorite designers - in all the latest designs!

They are also a great resource for How-To's, Books, and Patterns! For example, their Tricks of the Trade Hair Bow Instructions has everything you need to know to make headbands, hairbows, barrettes and more! It has 215 pages of instructions and over 1000 full color photos! Think of all the cuteness you could make - and all the gifts too!

They have so much more - we can't show you everything - but you'll want to spend time shopping around - I'm sure you'll be inspired to get creating!

You'll want to make sure and follow The Ribbon Retreat Blog as well - and you can find them on FacebookPinterest and Twitter too! They also have a great newsletter - with Big Buys everyweek - and you will LOVE those deals! You can sign up here!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Avila's El Ranchito Mexican Restaurant

Who's up for some amazing Mexican food!?
I am! I am!

We have found a seriously amazing location for our final event of the SoCal Social!
Dinner for the 2012 will be held at the fabulous Avila's El Ranchito Restaurant!

As you can see - the building is beautiful. It was built in 1891 as a Baptist Church! The gorgeous stained glass windows are the originals from the church - the minister's wife ordered them in the late 1800's. The restaurant has old, dark wooden floors and the sides or the booths are old pew sidings. The old altar is intact too!

Of course, the food has to be great too!

You had me at chips & salsa, but holy guacamole...

Check out their entire menu HERE, but this Botana Platter is their most popular item.

And how about drinks...?  If you care about this stuff (and we do!) they make a great margarita and have an impressive tequila selection.  We highly recommend the mojitos too!  (We have to make sure you all will like it, right?)

The history of the Avila family is amazing.  It truly is representative of the American dream. Here's an exerpt from their website - sharing a little bit about the family -

"When Salvador Avila came to the United States from Guanajuato, Mexico with his wife and children, he came with hope and the American dream in his heart. Four decades later, Avila and his children own and operate one of the most well known and highly successful groups of Mexican restaurants in Orange and Los Angeles Counties, Avila's El Ranchito restaurants.
It all started in the kitchen over 40 years ago. Mama brought with her recipes that have been in her family for generations, paying strict attention to freshness and quality.

It was Papa, though, who had the idea to involve the whole family and create a truly special restaurant. The entire Avila family pitched in and help at the first El Ranchito when it opened in Huntington Park in 1966 with only five picnic tables. Even Grandpa Poldo offered a helping hand by washing dishes.

Today, the 40-year tradition that has made their authentic Mexican cooking legendary continues to be served at the family's eleven restaurants. It is still a family business, family owned, family operated and family loved. Mama and Papa eventually shared the responsibility of running El Ranchito with their children and now their grandchildren. Each restaurant is under the personal care of a family member, guaranteeing the reputation the family has earned for treating the customers "like part of the family.""

We would love for you to visit Avila's - try them out before the event! You'll love them as much as we do!
If you're not in the Orange area, they have 11 locations - you can find one near you!

You can find out more info at Avila's El Ranchito Restaurant - they have menus, locations and lots more online!

You can also like the Avila's El Ranchito in Orange
Facebook page to stay updated! :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Registration Day is Coming!!

We are so excited about this year's SoCal Social! It is already shaping up to be a really fabulous event!

So are you ready to mark your calendars?

That's right! Registration will open on August 7! You don't want to wait to long - tickets will go FAST and there are only 55 spots available!

We will be bringing your more updates on details all the time, so make sure you're following the blog as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Our friend Mark Montano is joining us again!!!

Creative genius Mark Montano joined us at last year's SoCal Social and we felt like we had hit the Special Guest Jackpot!  We were so excited that he joined us and we loved every minute with him!  

Guess what?  Turns out he had a good time too and when we invited him back, he said yes!  You guys...?  We hit the Special Guest Jackpot twice in a row!
Vivienne, Mark Montano, Holly & Bev at the 2011 SoCal Social
photo courtesy of Shutter Nonsense
Mark joined us on The Swag Walk, hung out with us at lunch, and gave one of the most entertaining and hilarious Q&A sessions we've ever seen.
Last year, Mark brought a copy of his book, The Big-Ass Book of Crafts 2 for everyone.  We should probably mention at this point that Mark has a new book coming out this year as well: The Big-Ass Book of Bling.  (You all just might be in for another treat...  Have we mentioned how much we love that "Big-Ass" is in the titles of these fab books...?)

Mark is a bona fide crafting genius.  After earning his MFA at the Fashion Institute of Technology, he started his career in New York City as a fashion designer and was the youngest member to be inducted in to the CFDA, Council of Fashion Designers of America.  He eventually moved to television to become part of the design team for TLC’s While You Were Out and the host of TLC’s 10 Years Younger, as well as co-host of the Style Network’s My Celebrity Home, We TV’s She’s Moving In, and FOX’s My Home 2.0.   He was a contributing editor to CosmoGIRL!magazine at Hearst Publications for ten years—during which his Cool Room column became a reader favorite—and has also dished out décor advice as a contributing editor for The New York Post and to 70 newspapers through his syndicated column with Knight Ridder. He is currently writing and is in production for his own craft show called Let's Make It!  You can get a sneak peek of what his show will look like at:

Mark is the author of The Big-Ass Book of Crafts series which are the number 1 selling craft books in the US for 4 years. The Big Ass Book of Bling will launch in October 2012.  His books include The Big Ass Book of Crafts Vol. 1 and 2, The Big Ass Book of Home Decor, The Vision Box Idea Book, Super SuiteThe Ultimate Bedroom Makeover Guide for Girls, Dollar Store Décor, Pulp Fiction: Perfect Paper Projects, and Window Treatments & Slipcovers for Dummies. 

You can find Mark on:

You do NOT want to miss out on this chance to hang out with Mark Montano and your fellow SoCal bloggers!  To get up to date information and announcements, please make sure you follow the SoCal Social blog (there is also an option to subscribe via email) and follow us on Twitter and Facebook