Greer's OC: Special offer for fitness classes

If working out in a traditional gym is not your thing, consider Hidden Talents, an acclaimed studio in Huntington Beach that offers atypical fitness classes like hip-hop, go-go, burlesque, pole, pole fitness, cardio stretch, lap dance, chair, floor, hoop, yoga and more. Its expert instructors give students the skills they need for confidence-boosting, full-body workout routines. Dancer heels are recommended for all classes and required for most pole-dancing sessions.

A new special offer — sign up and pay for four consecutive classes and receive a price break. The studio is open for class registration 5:30 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday at 18514 Beach Blvd. in Huntington Beach. For more information, call (714) 964-2448 or visit


Feel out high-quality linens

Barbara Martin Custom Linens is a small but highly sought-after company on Balboa Island specializing in coordinating and designing high-quality bed, bath and table linens.

Barbara Martin started her career in 1978 with a prestigious linen company in Beverly Hills, where she designed linens for Hollywood's elite, Grammy recipients and the Reagan White House. After her experience at the company, she realized her passion was to work with clients on a more intimate basis, so she founded Barbara Martin Custom Linens.

Today, she imports linens from proprietary sources in Italy and works with prominent international designers, creating linens for homes, yachts and private planes, as well as easy-care linens for second homes and children's bedding in beach bungalows. Her linens are made of pure long-stem Egyptian cotton, grown free of pesticide or fertilizer, and come in more than 200 colors.

Initial consultations are complimentary and include measuring the bed to ensure a custom fit and finding key elements important for a good night's sleep. She can provide everything from the correct mattress pad to the perfect sleeping pillow at 118 Apolena Ave. in Newport Beach. For a private appointment, call (949) 723-1879 or visit


A new twist for fro-yo

We lost count a long time ago on the number of fro-yo shops in Orange County, but we still get excited when one offers something a little different. As is the case with Velvet Yogurt, which is new to Laguna Beach (opened six months ago) but has been in San Clemente for a few years.

It's a local favorite self-serve shop that's offering a dozen flavors and fresh fruit and toppings at 39 cents an ounce, biodegradable and compostable cups and spoons, and fun specials like Happy Hour Fridays from 3 to 5 p.m. Yogurt is 50% off, and if you can correctly guess the price of your yogurt before it's weighed, down to the penny, you'll receive it free.

Velvet Yogurt is open noon to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday at 610 N. Coast Hwy. in Laguna Beach. For more information, call (949) 715-9275. The other location is at 120 S. El Camino Real in San Clemente. For more information, call (949) 276-4625 or visit


Farm fun at festival fundraiser

Help celebrate the fifth annual Festival Fundraiser from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Levine Family Farm in Laguna Niguel. The event promises to be a fun afternoon for adults and children to visit with animals, create live music, enjoy games and make crafts to take home.

And you can dip locally grown fruit from South Coast Farms into a flowing chocolate fountain.

Silent auction items range from $5 to $250. A suggested entrance donation costs $10 per child, $20 per adult.

Earthroots Field School offers environmentally progressive classes and programs for children and adults throughout Orange County ranging from San Clemente to Huntington Beach and the Santa Ana Mountains. It's a great resource for budding naturalists to learn in outdoor classrooms that include local organic farms, gardens, wilderness parks, green kitchens, beaches and creeks.

Levine Family Farm is at 264222 Chaparral Place in Laguna Hills.


Calling all foodies for Italy trip

Looking for a dream trip for the foodie who has it all? How about a 10-day culinary adventure of a lifetime? Acclaimed chef Mark McDonald of Old Vine Café at the Camp in Costa Mesa (named 2009's Best Restaurant by OC Weekly), along with master chef John Nocita from the Italian Culinary Institutes, are hosting a gastronomic excursion to Italy, where guests will spend 10 days exploring and eating their way through the southern regions of Calabria and Sicily.

Activities include making 50 kinds of pasta alongside chefs from the Italian Culinary Institutes, dining in some of the region's best restaurants, touring wineries and sampling olive oil and cured meats produced on-site at local farms.

"Most, if not all culinary travels to Italy are centered on the region of Tuscany, so we're really excited to be able to show people a less-discovered region of Italian history, wines and cuisine," McDonald said. "It's also where I lived to broaden my culinary training, so this trip is nostalgic for me."

There are only a few spots left for the culinary tour of Southern Italy, which is slated for March 5 to 14.

For more information, call (714) 655-6142, e-mail or visit


Free preview of 'Hair'

Attend a free, live performance of "Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical" at South Coast Plaza at 1 p.m. Thursday. Following the production numbers, award-winning cast members will sign autographs. There will also be ticket giveaways for "Hair" at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts through Feb. 6. The performance is at Carousel Court on the ground floor level of South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa.

Tickets for "Hair" start at $20 and are available at

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa.


Greer's OC event to help Kenyans

The Bungalow Restaurant in Corona del Mar is generously throwing a guest bartending night for Greer's OC from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to benefit the college education of two young Kenyan students in Nairobi, Jack and Milly. Guest bartenders will be Greer Wylder of Greer's OC; Mona Shah of Moxxe PR; Julie Karges, producer of Karges Media; and Kimberly Daskas of Vestar Development.

Greer met Jack and Milly on a monthlong volunteer trip last year to their tiny village in western Kenya. A college education will allow them and their families to escape a life of poverty (they live on about $1 per day in a small village with no electricity or running water). Greer has already raised enough money ($4,000) to enroll them in a university in Nairobi. However, more funds are needed to allow them to continue their education.

Please consider changing the future of these two bright and caring Kenyans. All tips will go towards Jack and Milly's educational fund. Anyone who dines after the bartending event will receive 10% off the dining bill.

The Bungalow is one of our favorite local spots for steaks, seafood, and martinis — you have to try the to-die-for bone-in ribeye, lobster mac and cheese and miso Chilean sea bass.

The restaurant is at 2441 East Coast Hwy. in Corona Del Mar. For more information, call (949) 673-6585 or visit

GREER WYLDER writes Greer's OC for the Huntington Beach Independent each Thursday and the Daily Pilot and Coastline Pilot each Friday. She's the founder and president of, a free daily e-mail service that provides the latest in Orange County fashion, dining, music, events and trends. Her blog can be viewed and she can be contacted at

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