Sippin’

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Are you finished with your Christmas shopping yet? (Or, if you’re like me, have you started your Christmas shopping yet?!) Whether you’re just getting inspired, or already have all of your gifts wrapped and under the tree, you’re going to want to get in another spree tomorrow (Friday.) Shop & Sip is taking place from 5-9 on and around 2nd Street in BS. Participating stores will be offering discounts, free gift wrapping, snacks and beverages, and more. Additionally, there will be strolling carolers, Christmas music, decorated store windows, and colorful lights. The Big Guy himself may actually be strolling along, too. You know, he still has a ton of shopping to do! Carolers will also be out & about on Saturday and Sunday, and Santa will be in front of Chase Bank on Sunday from 1-5. Some of the Shop & Sip participating stores include (but are not limited to) Fern’s Garden, Blue Windows, Born Free Boutique, The UPS Store, Luna, and Cityology. What could be better than enjoying a champagne toast or wine and cheese or hot mulled cider, or hot chocolate while shopping? Even if you’re not going to shop, it’s a fun way to get into the holiday spirit…

 

 

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Walkin’ In A…

 

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My brother (from Pittsburgh) texted me earlier today when I was on my walk on the Bluff. The text was a photo with no caption. It was his front yard, covered in a layer of snow. I promptly texted him back a photo of the ocean, sunshine, clear blue skies (and stuck one of those annoying little “75 degrees” stickers on it.) He replied, “Bah Humbug.” Yesterday, my cousin (in Florida) posted on Facebook that it was 40 degrees, and going down to 23 at night. It’s less than two weeks away from Christmas. It’s been in the 80’s. I’m still looking forward to Christmas, but I do not miss walking in a winter wonderland. I don’t miss snow at all. I’m thrilled to be Walkin’ In A Sandy Wonderland…

 

 

Lit

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Are you in the Christmas spirit yet? Well, if you’re not, the Naples Lighted Boat Parade is sure to get you in the mood! It’s tomorrow (Saturday) at 6:00 pm. You can head over to Naples Island, walk around and look at all of the decorated houses on the canals, listen to the carolers, and enjoy some hot chocolate. Or, if you’d prefer to stay in BS, you can just get your bike, pack up your blanket or beach chair and your hidden adult beverages, and head over to Bayshore. Park yourself somewhere near First Street at Horny Corner, where you’ll be able to see the small boats, and also the large boat turn-around. Just thinking about it is getting me in the mood to deck my halls…

 

 

Kick Off

 

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Guys, I can’t believe tomorrow is December 1st! I’m writing my weekend post a little early because I want you to be prepared. This Saturday, December 2nd is the Belmont Shore Christmas Parade! I feel like this is the official kick off to the Christmas Season here in BS. The reason I’m telling you about it early is because: #1, the streets will be closed. #2, The parade draws in something like 30,000 people. And #3, there will be no parking literally within a 3-mile radius of 2nd Street.  Seriously, a few years ago, a co-worker of mine who lives just over the 2nd Street bridge on Naples worked that Saturday until about 4:00. He had to park near Woodrow Wilson HS, and walk home. The parade goes from about 6 pm to 9 pm, and over 100 entrants will be participating in this year’s theme, “Christmas in Paradise.” Now, don’t get all freaked out about the crowds, or the parking. Free parking is available at the Ocean Boulevard beach lots after 3 pm, and at the Marine Stadium parking lot. You’ll be able to reserve your space on the sidewalk with your chairs or blankets at 5:00. Or, you can be like me, and just enjoy it from one of our drinking eating establishments that have sidewalk seating. It may not be the best view, but it is certainly the most enjoyable…

 

 

 

 

Big Box

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Black Friday? More like BLAH Friday. If you’re anything like me, you skipped the big box stores, the malls, the crowds, the general craziness today, and lounged on your sofa in your jammies. That doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on finding that perfect gift for someone. You can participate tomorrow in Small Business Saturday, which encourages shopping in local shops and supporting our local economy. We can’t have a strong economy unless our small businesses are doing well. Not only will you be able to find unique, usually handmade gifts that your loved ones will appreciate, but the owners of these boutiques will appreciate your patronage, as they often sacrifice family time to build a business out of their passion. I feel we are lucky that we have so many of these options on 2nd Street, right in Belmont Shore. In support of these neighborhood merchants, there will be FREE 2-hour parking at the meters tomorrow on and around 2nd Street. And, don’t forget about all of our independently owned bars, restaurants, gastropubs. You need sustenance to get through a day of shopping, and adult beverages always make everything more fun…

 

 

 

 

Row, Row, Row

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When I think of delivery, I don’t really think of soup, and seafood is not really the first thing that comes to mind. But, Mr. and I have ordered from Roe Xpress before, and it was yummy. Last night, we were in comfy zone, on the sofa, watching football. It was chilly, and I really wanted soup. Their clam chowder was so rich, hearty and satisfying. Full of juicy clams, accompanied with potatoes, leeks, and cream. As I mentioned, we’ve ordered from there before, and everything is always great. The hot things are hot. The crispy things are crispy. The portions are huge; we always have leftovers. So, if you were thinking about heading to their “fancy” restaurant, but don’t want to actually get off the couch get dressed and venture out, I highly recommend ordering online. And hey, you get to keep your stretchy pants on…

 

 

 

 

 

Hacker

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If you’re cooking for Friendsgiving this weekend, or Thanksgiving, or really just about any meal, I have a great tip for you! If you’re anything like me, and you put garlic in everything, then you hate peeling it as much as I do. Why is it so sticky? Why is it so difficult to get those skins off of the clove? I always end up with little flakes of it everywhere. I’ve tried hacks like shaking the cloves in two bowls, or in a cocktail shaker, but honestly that’s a lot of work (and noise!) And who wants to take the risk of their cocktail shaker smelling like garlic?! This hack is so simple, you won’t believe it. Hot water. I just ran hot tap water into a small ramekin, then placed a few cloves of garlic into the bowl. I let them sit in there for a couple of minutes (while I diced my onion.) When I pulled them out of the water, the skins just popped right off in one piece! BTW, if you don’t already have a microplane, get one! It’s the best tool for mincing garlic or ginger, zesting citrus fruits, or even grating cheese! Now, time to get cooking…

 

 

Everyday

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So, IDK if you’ve noticed, but my posts have grown few and far between. I feel like, it’s that time of the year – in between summer events and holidays – that has been kind of quiet. But then I realized, I’ve kinda’ gotten off track of why I began writing this blog. It states, right on the home page, “Everyday life in the Belmont Shore neighborhood of Long Beach, CA.” Well “everyday life” isn’t just about events and festivals, or shopping and dining. “Normal” stuff happens, too. Reading back on the early days, I can see how everyday life was portrayed (I wrote about not having TV for a week!) I initially intended to be more of a lifestyle blog, but I feel like this has morphed into more of an event blog. Sometimes, I feel obligated to write, and that’s not a positive feeling for a creative-type person. So, I just wanted to give y’all a heads-up that things might be sounding a little bit different around here. But, rest assured, there will still be food, festivals, shopping, dining, and probably still quite a few adult beverages. And, I’ll still be livingtheBS…

 

 

 

 

Ruff it Up

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Halloween isn’t until Tuesday, but festivities in BS start this weekend. Tomorrow (Sunday) is the 17th Annual Haute Dog Howl’oween Parade!  It takes place at Marina Vista Park (OK, maybe it’s not exactly in BS, but close enough to walk or ride your bike there.) But wait, it’s not just a dog parade. There’s a vendor fair, food trucks, and pet adoptions from 12:30 – 4:30. There’s a human costume parade/contest starting at 2:25; immediately preceding the dog parade at 2:30. There will be cash prizes for both humans and dogs; children are encouraged to participate too!  The parade expects 400+ dressed-up dogs and lasts about 45 minutes. Proceeds from the dog parade registration fees benefit Haute Dogs, which raises thousands of dollars for spay/neuter programs, adoption/rescue groups, Operation Santa Paws and other Long Beach service projects. You can dress up with your dog, dress up without your dog, not dress up but dress up your dog, or just bring a chair, and watch all of the festivities maybe with a discreetly hidden adult beverage, but you didn’t hear that from me