Greer's OC: Give pets a leg up at event

Join Pups N Pinot, a wine connoisseurs', foodies' and pet lovers' ideal afternoon event at the historic Newland House from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday in Huntington Beach. The wine and foods celebration is raising funds for A Leg Up Rescue that's saving lives of dogs and cats at risk of being euthanized, neglected or abused.

You can enjoy wines from Napa, Sonoma and Temecula wineries as well as local wine bars and sommeliers, and sample foods from restaurants, grocers and bakers. Silent auction items include a week's stay in a private home in Napa Valley, Cabo restaurant gift certificates, sporting events, theme parks and more.

And bring your pet for a Best of Show contest or a wiener dog race or let your dog participate in a commemorative work of art, a "Pawcasso" at The Gallery HB at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa. Tickets cost $30 per person in advance ($35 at the door based on availability).

The Newland House is located at 19822 Beach Blvd. in Huntington Beach. For more information, call (714)328-8661 or visit


Sawdust festival begins Friday

The Sawdust Art Festival is back — the 45th annual summer show starts Friday, featuring fine art and crafts from more than 200 local artists.

Stop by daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. to find unique treasures: hand-blown and fused glass, original art, jewelry, ceramics, wood and metal sculpture, photography and more. Many of the artists will be on hand offering live art demonstrations or art workshops.

The Sawdust Art Festival is at 935 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach. For more information, call (949) 494-3030 or visit


Paula Hanson sale

Paula Hanson, a fashionista's favorite boutique, is celebrating its opening and summer Tuesday with a fabulous sale. Nearly all merchandise is reduced 40% to 80%. You don't want to pass up on finding the latest looks at Paula Hanson for summer. Just in are amazing wrap bracelets, cargo shorts, great lightweight summer tops and hats, and all shoes are reduced 40%.

Paula Hanson is the toast of Westcliff Plaza in Newport Beach. It's the place to find avant-garde styles, unique accessories and designers from all over the world. Paula Hanson is at 1827 Westcliff Drive in Newport Beach, and it's open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call (949) 515-3811 or visit


Ann Taylor at South Coast

Need new inspiration for modern and sophisticated work wear as well as laidback styles? Check out the new Ann Taylor concept store that just opened at South Coast Plaza. And you can celebrate the new store opening from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. Ann Taylor's style experts will be offering fashion tips, and you can also enjoy music, raffles and more.

The new design is more shoppable; expect to find everything organized by looks.

Fashion decision making just got easier. Key styles for summer include laid-back print maxi dresses, a silky racerback tank, long dip dye cardigan and cotton cuffed walking shorts. Ann Taylor's new functional shops within shops (like closets) display favorite pieces like pants, dresses, shirts and even shoes.

The dressing rooms are sporting state-of-the-art touch screens where you can look up any needed information about apparel. Also, you can save an extra 40% on sale items, as well as 30% off on regular-priced dresses and 40% off on shoes and t-shirts.

Ann Taylor is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday on Level 2, near Carousel Court at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. For more information, call (714) 754-1915 or visit


Getaway in Laguna

Looking for a relaxed getaway in Laguna Beach? On a recent trip to the Inn at Laguna Beach, I experienced this oceanfront boutique hotel firsthand. The property is right on the bluffs, perched above Main Beach, Laguna Village and Heisler Park.

Now that it's summer, it's the perfect time to stay here and take advantage of its proximity to Laguna's famed Festival of Arts (July 3 to August 31), Pageant of the Masters (July 7 through Aug. 31) and Sawdust Art Festival (Friday through Aug. 28).

If you're fortunate enough to book an oceanview room at the Inn at Laguna Beach, you'll be in heaven; waves will be crashing right outside your balcony. Just relax and enjoy the spectacular views. However, you can also book a pool view room or village view room; both are ideal.

With the beach, shopping, Laguna Art Museum, more galleries and nearby restaurants such as Las Brisas, 230 Forest Ave., Lumberyard, Nirvana Grille, Sapphire Laguna and Watermarc within walking distance, you will be set for the perfect vacation.

Reserve a stay at the hotel 30 days in advance and you'll receive a special rate and save up to 30% on your stay. Or, if you're planning a romantic getaway, there's a Love in Laguna package that comes with champagne, chocolate strawberries and rose petals at turndown.

The Inn at Laguna Beach is at 211 N. Pacific Coast Hwy. in Laguna Beach. For more information, call (949) 497-9722 or visit


Light Italian dining

Summer warrants lighter fare dining, so Antonello Ristorante at South Coast Plaza Village is serving a light three-course menu for just $20 that's focusing on higher flavor profiles and more organic ingredients.

The new summer dishes will change weekly and can include paper-thin slices of octopus drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and lemon and topped with arugula; grilled wild sockeye salmon served with cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs; and for dessert, roasted pistachio and diced candied fruit.

Other menu dishes include grilled boneless free-range chicken marinated in fresh herbs and balsamic vinegar; orecchiette pasta sautéed with Pugliese sausage, Swiss chard and topped with pecorino romano; and cavatelli topped in a slowly cooked lamb ragu.

Antonello Ristorante is at 3800 Plaza Drive at South Coast Plaza Village in Santa Ana. For more information, call (714) 751-7153 or visit


Days of wine and oils

Orange County is home to the first We Olive & Wine Bar, now that husband-and-wife owners Debby and Phil Brooks expanded the We Olive concept at OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa. The opening represents a love story between Debby and Phil, who share a passion for foods and wine and met in Belmont Shore, where they opened their first We Olive two years ago. We Olive & Wine Bar not only serves more than 30 artisan California olive oils and aged Balsamic vinegars, but it also offers California boutique wines by the glass, including 2009 Raymond, Sauvignon Blanc from Napa, 2008 Edge, Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley and a 2007 Dunning Vineyards Meritage from Paso Robles, as well as craft beers.

Stop by for special pricing happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and all day Sunday and enjoy a cheese plate, crostini, olive tapenade, fig spread, fresh bruschetta and hummus with smoked olive oil. However, We Olive's best kept secret is the to-die-for fresh lemon olive oil gelato, finished with aged balsamic and extra virgin olive oil.

We Olive is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 12 to 5 p.m. Sunday at 3313 Hyland Ave. in Costa Mesa. For more information, call (949) 284-0609 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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