Greer's OC: Enjoy Bella Notte at Hilton

Join the 22nd annual SPIN gala, Bella Notte, a gourmet food and wine event at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Hilton Waterfront Hotel & Resort in Huntington Beach, 21100 Pacific Coast Hwy.

Two award-winning chefs, Executive Chef Jeff Littlefield of Shades Restaurant at the Hilton and Chef Alessandro Pirozzi of Cucina Alessi, will prepare a delicious Italian wine dinner. The evening starts with a cocktail reception and silent auction followed by dinner and dancing. Dress in your favorite black and white cocktail attire.

The evening benefits SPIN, which provides meals to the homeless and working poor living in Orange County. Tickets cost $175. For event information, call (888) 552.1900, or visit


Get half off at Nordstrom

When it comes to sales, nobody does it better than Nordstrom. Its famed Half-Yearly Sale for women and kids is back.

Ladies can stock up on fall merchandise reduced up to 50%. It's a great time to start shopping for holiday gifts. The prices are the lowest of the season, so take advantage of finding the right looks for holiday parties and seasonal gatherings.

Fashion favorite brands on sale include 3.1 Phillip Lim, Alexander Wang, Alice + Olivia, Cole Haan, Diane von Furstenberg, J Brand, Kate Spade New York, Marc by Marc Jacobs, M Missoni, Mini Boden, Nike, Steve Madden, Stuart Weitzman, Tory Burch and Vince. Brands will vary by store.

Orange County boasts seven Nordstrom stores. For more information, please contact Nordstrom South Coast Plaza at (714) 549-8300, Nordstrom Brea Mall at (714) 529-0123, Nordstrom Santa Ana at (714) 972-2020, Nordstrom Mission Viejo at (949) 347-2710, Nordstrom Irvine Spectrum at (949) 255-2800, Nordstrom Fashion Island at (949) 610-0700 or visit the online store at


CHOC Auditions

Here's your chance to perform live on stage while raising funds for Children's Hospital of Orange County. Auditions for CHOC Follies will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach.

CHOC Follies XV, an original musical that will raise money for CHOC, is called "Christina and the Crystal Ball, a Cinderella Story for the Social Net Set."

It's a comedic and modern spoof on the classic fairy tale. Since its inception in 1997, CHOC Follies has netted more than $5 million for the hospital.

Cast members don't have to have singing and dancing experience. The auditions follow a group format; however, if you feel like you would like to audition for singing or dancing roles, solo auditions will follow the group auditions — no more than a minute long. Just bring sheet music or a background tape.

Auditions will be held at The Island Hotel (free valet parking), at 690 Newport Center Drive. For more information, visit


Laguna locals get discount

Let's face it, Monday's can be overwhelming, but now you start your week off right by treating yourself to dinner and drinks while saving 50% off your bill, at Katsuya by S+ARCK in Laguna Beach.

Monday nights is Local's Night at the sleek, contemporary yet comfortable restaurant known for its indoor-outdoor, family-friendly dining and traditional Japanese robata selections prepared over an open flame, signature cocktails, and an incredible kid's menu.

The entire menu will be half-off from 5 to 10 p.m. every Monday through Dec. 31. It's your chance to enjoy Monday Night Football on Katsuya's flat-screen televisions in the bar, or relax and indulge in the dining room, sipping favorite cocktails such as the burning Mandarin and the Katsuya fresh; or ordering signature dishes like crispy rice with spicy tuna, yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño, and miso-marinated black cod; wine, sake, beer and dessert items.

Katsuya is at 858 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach. For more information, call (949) 793-4030, or visit


Walk for the diabetes cure

You can help find a cure for Type 1 diabetes.

On Sunday, join the Walk to Cure Diabetes at UC Irvine along with more than 5,000 people in Orange County and a half million nationwide to raise funding for research in the fight against Type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is not caused by obesity, overeating or a lack of exercise; it is an autoimmune disease that can strike anyone at any time — most frequently children. Insulin keeps people with Type 1 diabetes alive, but it is not a cure.

Fatal complications caused by the disease include kidney failure, blindness, amputation, heart attack and stroke. Children and adults with juvenile diabetes and their families are in a constant battle to manage blood-sugar levels with six or more daily finger pricks to test blood, multiple insulin injections each day, and careful monitoring of exercise and food intake.

My son Tristan was diagnosed six years ago at age 14. Just to stay alive, he has given himself more than 13,140 shots of insulin since he was diagnosed.

The good news is that a cure for Type 1 diabetes is within reach. Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is funding most major scientific breakthroughs in T1D research, and there have been many. JDRF funds a major portion of all Type 1 diabetes research worldwide, more than any other charity.

By making a tax-deductible donation, you can be a part of bringing about a cure. Each of us can make a real difference.

In addition to the amazing foods at the walk, you can continue support JDRF'S restaurant fundraiser. Seven local restaurants near UC Irvine, including Wahoo's Fish Tacos, Pei Wei, Cha for Tea, Five Guys, Daphne's, Freshii and California Pizza Kitchen, will donate a percentage of proceeds to JDRF between the hours of noon to 5 p.m. Fliers will be passed out at the walk.

For more information, visit


Get some wine education

Turn to UC Irvine to help with the holiday season. UCI's extension class in wine education, "Holiday Pairing of Food and Wine," can make your feast and holiday parties even more memorable.

The two-session course, from 7 to 10 p.m. Monday and Nov. 14, will teach you how to choose wines for your holiday meals. Learn about the options in pairing domestic, international and sparkling wines with foods normally served at home or at a party.

The course costs $200 and includes an $80-course material fee. For more information, contact Stephanie Fix at (949) 824-0325, 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 email 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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