Retail Therapy: Feeling the Veggie love

Healthy freebie: Veggie Grill restaurant chain aficionados who download and use the company's new Android and iPhone app will receive a free winter menu item if they install the app before Jan. 5. Look on the "Love" tab of the app for this special offer. Information:

Holiday stroll: The newly formed Pearl Street shopping district in Laguna Beach, which comprises about 35 local businesses, will hold a holiday open house from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday. Participating businesses will offer hors d'oeuvres, drinks, special events and deals. The approximate boundaries of the district are South Coast Highway between Pearl and Diamond streets, with some participating businesses located north of Pearl Street and south of Bluebird Canyon Drive.

Mix it up: South Coast Collection (SOCO), at 3303-3323 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa, will host a free mixer from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday. Included will be an outdoor showing of a holiday classic, carol singing, treats and beverages, and the receipt of coat donations to benefit One Warm Coat. Dress for the Best Ugly Christmas Sweater contest. From noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, bring the family by a free Santa photo booth and enjoy live piano music. Information:

Carols and sales: Corona del Mar Plaza is hosting a special shopping night from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday. Enjoy strolling Dickens carolers while receiving one-night-only deals at retailers including Chico's, Jack's Surfboards and Sur La Table. Spend $250 at three or more merchants to be entered to win a $500 Corona del Mar Plaza gift basket. Information and list of store discounts:

Campy fun: The CAMP and The LAB Antimall in Costa Mesa will offer several special decorations and events this holiday season, as well as free valet parking. Blackmarket Bakery at The CAMP will host an open house from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, with free tastings of seasonal favorites, while Santa Vespa will be on hand at Vitaly from noon to 1 p.m. Sunday. Live music will be performed from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 22. Over at the LAB, Seabirds Kitchen will host its first holiday party with an all-you-can-eat spread and two adult beverages from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Dec. 20; $24.95 tickets are available at For more information on both centers, visit and

Catwalks and cravings: Bloomingdale's Fashion Island is hosting a Shopping Works Wonders event from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, with 10% of purchase proceeds benefiting the Newport Harbor Educational Foundation. The high school's orchestra will play from noon to 2 p.m.; teachers and students will strut the runway at a 4 p.m. fashion show on Level 3; and student-designed dresses made from Bloomingdale's shopping bags will be on view on Level 2. For each $150 spent, shoppers will receive a $15 gift card. Information:

The gift of free food: Chain restaurants are offering shoppers a bonus with the purchase of gift card. Marie Callender's, Mimi's Café, Sizzler and the Counter are offering a $5 bonus card with the purchase of $25 in gift cards, while Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill is offering $10 with the purchase of $50. The Cheesecake Factory is giving shoppers a Slice of Joy card good for a slice of cheesecake with a $25 gift card purchase. King's Fish House will give a $20 bonus card to those who purchase $100 in gift cards.

A la Francais: The Fig & Olive restaurant has opened a flagship location at Fashion Island. Like its sister locations in New York City and on Melrose Place in Los Angeles, Fig & Olive Newport Beach, with its three dining rooms and garden lounge, offers the flavor and ambience of the French Riviera. Information:

Hair apparent: Stylist Jacquelyn at Carlton Hair, 1620 San Miguel Drive, Newport Beach, is offering $25 off a cut and color for first-time clients from Sunday through Thursday. Receive a blow-dry for $35 (regularly $48) from 2 to 5 p.m. Fridays. Mention the Retail Therapy column to receive this deal. Information: (949) 719-2805.

Celebrity chef: Chef Bradley Ogden will celebrate the debut of his new cookbook, "Holiday Dinners with Bradley Ogden," by signing copies (available for purchase for $30) from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at Lark Creek Newport Beach, at Fashion Island. The restaurant will serve items inspired by the cookbook both days, in addition to its full regular menu. Reservations are recommended. Information: (949) 640-6700 or

Prevent pounds: Want to get a jump on post-holiday fitness? The Defy Gravity studio in Corona del Mar, specializing in cycling and Pilates, is offering a 12 Days of Fitness promotion through Dec. 20. Series and monthly class attendees will have the opportunity to win prizes like a $100 Fashion Island gift certificate, $50 off membership, a one-day Ritual Wellness juice cleanse or three bottles of Ritual juice. Information:

New read: Local author Mary Castillo has made signed copies of her paranormal mystery, "Lost in the Light," available at New & Recycled Reads, 145 Broadway, Costa Mesa. The bookstore also is accepting donations of new, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots. Information: (949) 645-0529.

Have a hot sale tip, or know about a new local business that you think deserves a little attention? Contact CANDICE BAKER at

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