How will you be #Dogthanking this year?

*This is a Sponsored Post*
It’s the perfect time to reflect on the things in your life that you’re thankful for with Thanksgiving right around the corner.

I, for one, am thankful to have a supportive husband, and a loving group of friends and family, including my loyal Princess Maya.
As corny as it sounds, Maya is the sparkle and glue that add's warmth and energy to our home. She's our shadow, our companion, and fills both our home and heart with so much love that it just radiates outwards to others. 

Plain and simple, Maya makes us better people.
Do you feel the same about your furry companion?

This November, Purina is inviting dog lovers – such as us –  to share and show our social media communities how we thank our dogs in advance of Thanksgiving and the 15th annual National Dog Show Presented by Purina.

For every original post submitted on social media (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) through November 27, 2016 that includes @Purina and the hashtag, #DogThanking, Purina will donate one dollar to the Canine Health Foundation – up to $50,000 – to help further pet health research.

Submitted videos, photos and posts may be shown during the National Dog Show Presented by Purina, on Thanksgiving Day!

To continue in the #DogThanking tradition, enter to a Purina Gift Basket (Valued at approximately $150) to shower your dog with the love that he (or she) deserves this Holiday and always!

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Happy Holidays!
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Moby Dick reading at Venice Beach


*This post contains Affiliate Links*
For 20 years the Venice Oceanarium has hosted an annual Moby Dick Reading at Venice Beach! This year it's being held on the weekend of November 19th and 20th, 2016.

This family friendly event is perfect for anyone that wants to hear a few chapters of Moby Dick, by Herman Melville, or come to hear the whole book. You can even volunteer to read!

Whatever you choose to do, bring your chairs, beach towels and snacks and get ready to enjoy some family friendly fun!

See you there!

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Together


I have been obsessing over the news since Election Day...I can't imagine living like this for the next four years, when the last three days have already proven to be disastrous for so many.

While I'm proud of California, especially my overwhelmingly blue Westside community, I have driven through many other Southern California communities in the last few days that proudly display their love of Trump and his racist, bigoted, and divisive propaganda.

This hits too close to home.

I'm brown, Latina and a proud Mexican-American woman that grew-up in a white middle class neighborhood, and now lives in an upper middle class community that's mostly white.

I'm privileged - and I know it - by all intents and purposes. Yet I still have to code switch to make it easy on my white friends, coworkers and family.

I have never feared for my life or seen outright racism screamed to my face, but microaggressions are something I deal with - daily. 

From the simple compliment that really has no place in any conversation today ("You are not like other Mexicans; You don't look Mexican; You are too smart to be Mexican; You dress too nice to be Mexican,;You speak English without an accent; Who helped you start your business; How much help are you getting to return to school....?"); to saying- to my face - how much they dislike other Latinos, especially Mexicans - But that I am "OK."

Imagine being told that you are "OK" to be around. To stay in my own country. To be their neighbor. Their coworker. Their friend.

"I" am "OK."

I've stayed quiet to keep the peace. I've even told my Trump voting family that I will not discuss politics out of respect.

But THIS is my space.
My social media accounts? MY space.
MY time is MY time and mine alone.

And I have decided that I will NOT standby and let things just *happen.*
 I will NOT be OK with racism, 
bigotry, 
xenophobia and 
other divisive language or acts. 

I WILL call it out. 

It is MY RIGHT and it is MY RESPONSIBILITY.

My work, as an artist, creative and writer, WILL address this - more so than ever before; because I believe that as artists and creators, we have the power to shape what we see. Who we are, and where we will go as a country and as a people.

Our stories and images will shape future generations - and I don't want a Donald Trump future.

I want a future that's inclusive and welcoming to a diverse community. A future that embraces us and our stories as part of the great fabric of America.

No. I will NOT be quiet.

But I WILL continue to support and love my black sisters and brothers, my Muslims friends, my LGBTQIA community, and anyone else that's being marginalized and targeted by this dangerous rhetoric in a misguided effort to make "America great again."

I will SPEAK OUT...

Because together we are stronger and united we are invincible...and we will not late HATE win.
______

Thank you to Azu for giving me the wings I needed to redact a FB post and write this blog post.
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Angelina's Pizzeria Napoletana Dana Point

*This is a Sponsored Post*
On our recent getaway to Costa Mesa, we drove further south to Dana Point to spend our Sunday afternoon. We were looking forward to enjoying a light hike on the bluffs to see the view of the ocean from a higher elevation.

What we ended up doing was taking a light walk around the harbor, chatting-up with some locals and eventually driving five minutes out to enjoy a delicious lunch as a last hurrah to wrap-up our weekend away.
We had lunch at Angelina's Pizzeria Napoletana in Dana Point, which is a cozy locals spot that prides itself in their Italian artisanal menu and boutique wine list.

Besides the more traditional Neapolitan pizza combinations at Angelina's that use San Marzano tomatoes in the house-made tomato sauce, the pizza dough is made daily, and the toppings are either California-local and organic, or importanted from Italy. Whether traditional red, or my favorite, bianca, the flavors take a different twist after being baked in a 900 degree rustic almond wood-burning oven which adds an amazing aroma

For those looking for something other than pizza, Angelina's menu has a large, yet not overwhelming, selection of Italian favorites, including appetizers, pastas, desserts, and of course, their namesake Neapolitan pizzas made both with red sauce, and bianca-style (sauceless).
For our first course we ordered the "Scelta Di Salumi & Formaggi," a chef selection of imported Italian cured meats sliced when ordered, Italian cheeses served, pine nuts, artisanal honey, and other dried fruits, which was accompanied with freshly baked flat bread ($23).

We followed our tour through Italy with one of my hubby's favorite, Caesar salad, or as Angelina's likes to call theirs: Cesare salad. The salad was made with romaine hearts, homemade croutons, anchovy lemon dressing & shaved parmigiano reggiano ($12).
Of course, Angelina's has a large selection of various Italian favorites, but why order anything other than Pizza?

So we ordered two:

Hubby ordered the Diavola with spicy salami, Fior Di Latte mozzarella, San Marzano DOP Pomodoro Sauce & Fresh Basil, which was topped with pepperoncini oil. ($16)

I ordered the Boscaiola white pizza, which included the Napoletana-style sausage, mushrooms, Fior Di Latte mozzarella, fresh basil & extra virgin olive oil ($18).

Both were incredibly well seasoned, baked perfectly, and had the perfect amount of toppings that filled our mouth with every bite.
To end our wonderful lunch, we shared the Tartufo (Gelato Truffle), which was spumoni ice-cream covered with a dark chocolate hardshell dessert. ($8) I also added, of course, a cappuccino made with one of my favorite coffee brands, Lavazza.

While everything we ordered was made incredibly well and presented beautifully, it was the service that really made Angelina's special. 

From the local family with small children that was sitting next to us, to the younger patrons that were seated at the pizza bar, we were all treated as part of a large Italian family - making a delicious meal more so enjoyable and so worth the drive south.
Monarch Bay Plaza
(949) 429-1102
32860 Pacific Coast Highway
Dana Point CA 92629 
(Ample private lot parking)

Hours: 11:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. Daily

Website: http://www.angelinaspizzeria.com

Family-friendly restaurant with no reservations required.

ENJOY!
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