Thursday, November 5, 2009

You're Sweet Harts

...you guys and gals still reading my blog totally are sweet hearts! I apologize for my sporadic posting-I think i need to plan a more solid blogging schedule, with like a blog post every two days or so. That way I may feel like I am more accountable if I have a deadline-like school. Even you goody two-shoes out there have to admit that the creative juices really start flowing once we procrastinate and are down to the wire! But seriously, I do hope that anyone who does stumble upon this blog gets something from it!!!

Now, I do go to USC, so yes, I meant to misspell my post title. If you have been following my blog for a bit, you may remember my little teaser post about a star-studded froyo opening I attended. Again, I didn't intend to be suchhh a tease and leave you hanging for this long...oops! But better late than never, so here we go!

Drumrollllllll.........(although I wouldn't be surprised if you smart cookies already know where this is going...) and the celebrity founder is MELISSA JOAN HART, along with her mother, Paula Hart. Personally, I loveee the last name Hart-it's just too cute and there are so many ways to have fun with it. The Sweet Harts official website even said that Paula considered naming Melissa 'Sweet,' which I think is kinda cute together with the last name, but if you think about it, it would have been a little odd just being called Sweet, kind of like Apple or Kyd. But anyway, Sweet Harts is much more than a self-serve froyo establishment. In fact, froyo is only a small piecs of 'da puzzle! The other goodies include gelato, baked treats, and candy (both of the current and retro variety). Of course, I was there to sample the froyo! Disclaimer: *please keep in mind that the content of this review dates back to ummm, hehe, May 2009, and I do plan on returning to see if any recent updates have been made*

The opening was quite the affair-purple carpet and all! From 12-2 there were swarms of paps (aka paparazzi for you non LA locals) waiting to snap pics of Melissa and her various celebrity friends in attendance. Even the mayor was there to cut the ribbon! I arrived promptly at 2 since a) I am not a paparazzo (or paparazza?) and b) I didn't want to get trampled by the camera wielding phalanx-they are quite a rough crowd! But when I got there, the cute outdoor decorations were still in tact-balloons, a purple carpet, and a vintage T-bird.








Upon entering, I had to kindly wriggle my way through the throngs to the wall of yogurt...love the chandelier though!


Is it just me, or was that server giving me the stink eye? Hmmm......

There were five machines, each with two flavors, making for a grand total of 10 choices! The options when I visited were peanut butter, pistachio, peach, pomegranate energy (?), blueberry, vanilla tart, bubble gum, and birthday cake. For you math wizzes who noticed that I only listed eight froyo flavors-A plus! The chocolate and vanilla flavors on the first machine were actually not froyo, but low-fat soft serve-blasphemy!


I sampled the peach, pomegranate energy, birthday cake, bubble gum, vanilla tart, pistachio, and blueberry.

I'll start with the negatives-the bubble gum=blechyyyy, but in all fairness, I am just not a fan of any bubble gum flavored froyo, so Sweet Harts, it's not personal. The birthday cake could've fooled me-it just tasted like sweet and fruity candy, more like tutti frutti-esque. Onto the good-the peach, pistachio, pom energy, vanilla tart, and blueberry were all pretty good flavor wise-tasted like you would expect. My only issue with all the flavors in general is that they were veryyyyy saccharine, even the vanilla tart. Hence, I found the after effect to not really be all that refreshing, but more like how you would feel after eating really sugary candy. Hey, at least it wasn't sour! In terms of consistently, they all were exactly the same-a tad icey, yet melty. No comment here in regards to the soft serve-not froyo, peeps!

I documented the toppings for ya'll, but I didn't try any due to the tiny size of my froyo vesicle. I do believe Sweet Harts offers normal paper froyo cups, but for quantity purposes of this event patrons were provided with their smaller plastic gelato cups. They had a somewhat random array of dry sweets and cereals, such as fruit loops, pecans, and chocolate covered raisins.



In hiding were swedish fish, granola, and licorice.


The fruit seemed pretty decent, expect that the pineapple appeared to be canned and the raspberries frozen. The peaches looked good though, and it was nice to see more unusual fruit such as coconut and cantaloupe! Both the dry and fresh toppings were in quite the disarray, but I attribute that to the nature of a grand opening!

Ack, this post is getting a tad too long for my liking, so I'll try to wrap it up with a quick tour of the rest of Sweet Hearts' amenities.

View of Sweet Harts from the froyo wall.


Il gelato!


Mmmm, cupcakes+froyo=possibilities!


Can-dayyy


Self-serve pucker powder! (hmmm...as a froyo topping perhaps?)

Ok this is the view from Ventura Blvd, the main street Sweet Harts sits on (forgive the quality of this photo-it was taken from a moving car, creeper style):

The actual entrance (as visible in my first pic) is actually on a smaller side street with limited parking, so although Ventura is a great street for retailers, I find the layout a little odd, and possibly confusing to new patrons!

Nonetheless, Sweet Harts is an adorable place full of whimsy (haha yesssss, i have been waiting for the day to use that word!). They even have a great party room, for which they offer party packages with unique services, such as providing face painting or a caricature artist! While I don't see myself going there very often for the froyo alone, I definitely have plans to visit again, especially if I need some fun type of candy!

OK...DONE.....oh, wait, did you guys want to see a celeb? I saved my favorite picture for last! She was so sweet, and was sporting a fab baby blue Betsey Johnson number. She even offered to pose for my picture!

MELISSA JOAN HART!!! LOVEDDDD Clarissa Explains It All back in the day-fyi, you can rent the entire first season on Netflix!

Sweet Harts
13704 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, California
(818)-788-5004
www.sweethartssweets.com

Okey dokey, sweeties, that's it for now-but I will be back with more fabulous froyo fun in due time!

♥♥♥Kat♥♥♥

p.s. CHECK ME OUT ON YELP.COM!!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

QUICK UPDATE!!!!!

Free cup of PUMPKIN FROYO at Cefiore TODAY (10/23/09) from 5pm-7pm at select locations! FREE tote bag to the first 10 fans in line! YUMMMMMMMY!!! But scoot toot-again this offer is for TODAYYYY!!!!! 'Tis the season for all things pumpkin, and what better way to enjoy the classic treat-come on, I love pumpkin bread and such, but isn't that a little 'been there, done that'?!?

Plus, the tote is uber cute, and quite practical if you're a book-toting, laptop-lugging college student like myself!

Here are the deets:


Ok, I'm off to get my fix, and then to my sorority's Daddy-Daughter Dance!!!

♥♥♥Kat♥♥♥

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A New Leaf

Wowzers...I don't really know where to begin other than saying I'm SO SORRY for being MIA for sooo long. Yikes. Although my blog has been out of sight, it most definitely has not been out of mind. I have just been so busy with, well, life, that by the time I would get home at night I would crash-I've been reading so many others' blogs but just not working on my own. But I have been itching to get back to blogging, and here I am again*applause* These past few months have been filled with many adventures, from ballet

to butterflies

from critters

to cupcakes

from sunsets

to sororities (love you girls!)

and from face paint

to...froyo!!! (didn't see that one coming, did ya?)

Anywhooo, that was just a taste of my summer and first few months of fall-I can't believe it's almost Halloween! Speaking of which, I will end this comeback post with a spooktacular froyo deal from one of my favorite froyo haunts-Menchie's! It's so cute-all you got to do is go to their website, download and print out the Menchie's swirl in the size that fits your noggin, and wear it in the shop the next time you visit your local Menchie's in order to receive a free froyo!


You can get more details and download your swirl hat here
So hustle your bustle and don't miss this Hallowonderful treat! Seriously, Menchie's always comes through with the deals-just one of the many reasons they rock my socks! If you subscribe to Menchie's Mixed Media, you will receive mailers with news, and may even include print out coupons for discounts such as 15% off! You can use those to try their new thrilla-nilla, count-choculah, and limited-time pumpkin flavors!!! So if you are like myself and are, as Menchites (my term for Menchie's lovers) say, "crazy for the mix," click here to make Menchie's #1 for the third year in a row on Myfoxla HOTLIST-hurry scurry for voting ends November 6th!!!

Holy guacamole, that post was long, but so overdo. I have not even chipped away at the tower of froyo which constitutes the amount of material that I of gathered for this blog over the past few months. But thank you for being patient and still reading my blog, for good things come to those who wait ;) I think my next post will rewind to cover the Sweet Harts opening since that is where I left off, but you can look forward to more openings, reviews, insider tips, and blogger meet-ups (my fave!) to come!!!

♥♥♥Kat♥♥♥

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sweet Harts

This is uberuberuber short, as I am literally running out the door, but I've got some sweet news for ya! Go to Sweet Harts Sweets today until 5 pm for FREE froyo (or ice cream or gelato)!!!!!!!!! You may even have a star sighting or two *wink*wink* I'd write more, but I don't want you to read now-just get your froyo lovin' selves over there! But please do check out more TONIGHT for a more in depth review and many pictures-trust me, I've got a lot of goodies for you!!!!

Sweet Harts Sweets
13704 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA
(818)-788-5004

Check back soon!!!!!!!!!!! <3

Sunday, May 24, 2009

In The Pink

Other than writing for blogs, in m spare time I love reading them-which is perhaps the reason behind I have been a bit neglectful toward my own recently :/ In my defense I am waiting on some very special business cards to arrive, and once they do I will be able to go around and really get my reviewing started!


*disclaimer* this is just a made up person and personal info from the Colorful Images website!

I am getting some adorable pink 'Parisian Initial' business cards from Colorful Images. Props to my mom-she actually picked them out because they reminded her of a cutesy sweets shoppe! I have been waiting to get these made prior to getting really serious about my blog because honestly I will feel more professional and legit going in to and reviewing various froyo joints with them! So get excited!!!



On the subject of blogs and pink, I have some interesting news about Pinkberry. Naturally for the majority of us froyo fanatics one of the lures of this tasty treat is its general healthfulness. So for those who tend to be health conscious and are well versed in froyo nutritionals, you may have noticed a recent change in the official PB stats. I definitely did while scouting out the new PB on Sunset that I previously covered, so I did some recon and quickly stumbled upon a detailed explanation on one of my favorite food blogs-Hungry Girl! (she is a great writer and has unique yet yummo food tips-so be sure to check out her two cookbooks!) Here is the link to her 'Froyo Alert,' in which she not only gives us the change in numbers, but also some general froyo tips to keep us gals (and guys?) healthy!



My last tidbit of PB news is quite innovative, yet sadly only applies to those of us lucky enough to reside in Manhattan (ahhh, my inner Carrie Bradshaw is cravin' Tasti D-Lite now-I've actually never tried it, but that will change soon!!!). Moving on, PB has recently launched a new endeavor entitled 'Swirls on Wheels.' Here is the delivery menu-it isn't too explicit in terms of how to place an order, so I'm guessing you just call the nearest location, place your order, and then give them your desired delivery location. Pretty painless-although even if they did have this service in LA, I'm not sure if I'd utilize this feature, as I'd assume the froyo itself would be fresher and less melty straight from the machine. And I think I would enjoy the walk to the actual store to get some air and exercise! But that's just me speaking-my LA born and bred legs are probably pathetically underused compared to any given Manhattanite! Nonetheless, it is a cute idea that might really take off! Hmmm, I wonder if they deliver the PB on little pink bikes-coupled with the pastel uniforms, that would take quite a confident male hehe! If anyone in da Big Apple has already or has plans to utilize this luxury, I would loveee to hear feedback, and maybe even see some pics!

Okey dokey, that's it for the immediate hour, buttt lots more to come so please check back veryyy soon! And to my readers, thank you for taking the time to read my blog and for any comments-once I get all my shiz together I will be commenting on your blogs as well!!!!! Peace out loves!

P.S. If you go here to the official PB website and click 'click to continue,' a little window should pop up with the PB Remix by Lady Tigra-meow meow!!!

LINKS:

Colorfulimages.com

Hungry-girl.com

Pinkberry.com

Tastidlite.com

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Froyo for Your Moomoo

Hey y'all! I apologize in advance, but this is gonna be a quickie-I'm watching chick flicks with the chicas in my fam! I hope you are all pampering your mommies today-it's the least we can do for them! I know this is probably a tad late-ok like a lot late-but if at least one person reads this post by midnight then I've done my job! But I know for sure, if you love froyo as much as me, you'll take advantage of this post and get your mamacita a FREE FROYO, cone or cup, at TCBY!!!! LIKE NOW!!!!!! This freebie is only valid for like the next two hours (so sorry any east coasters!) so scurry! I just got back from Studio, so I'm gonna dig into my cuppy'o'froyo now and get back to my movie!!! Check back soon for mucho Menchie's news!!!



TCBY
www.tcby.com

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I've Got the Munchies for Menchies

Hello again fellow froyo addicts. I know I said to expect this post right after the previous one the other night, but a) I actually was tired and fell asleep (yaya!) and b) I have been busy with other business matters, including getting a summer job (a girl's gotta pay the bills until this darn blog takes off!). Moving on, this post is the first of a very exciting series concerning the froyo chain Menchies! For those of you unfamiliar with the establishment please check out their great website I have made a link to at the end of this post, but now I'll also give you a little background.

The first storefront, located on Laurel Canyon Blvd. in Valley Village, opened up in May 2007. That initial location boomed almost immediately-it was truly love at first brain freeze for all valley dwellers. As the company's 10 year projection plan was realized in less than a year, the Menchie's franchise empire was born. Now you can find a Menchie's not only in California, but also Nevada, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, and even Hawaii! A-loooooo-ha!!!

Now what makes Menchie's so darn lovable??? Well, the peeps over at Menchie's headquarters have found that perfect, balanced equation for a successful business-they serve up a great product at a decent price, but most of all they make the entire experience exactly that-an experience!!! Menchie's was started by an adorable, real life couple who had their first date in a frozen yogurt shop. It was then that she had the dream to start her own "frozen yogurt utopia" (quoted from the official website, which has more details so check it out!). I know one of the first things that caught my attention was the unique name. Menchie's, Munchies, what??? It may be a tad more difficult for older generations to grasp and say out loud (my parents alwayssss call it Munchies, but what can I expect? I'm used to it, as my mom also always asks me if I'm going to yogurt when I know she means yoga. Ah, the daily pleasures of aging-just playing, mom knows I love her for it!). My research from the website revealed that there is a method to the apparent madness. The name Menchie actually stemmed from an affectionate nickname that Adam gave to Danna (the founders). SO CUTE!!!!



Basically adorable just sums up the whole place. Every Menchie's is outfitted in the same bright color scheme of lime green, fuschia, violet, and a hint of pink. Everything from the bubbled glass tiles on the walls to the cartoonish signs create a laid back, welcoming atmosphere. This place is just FUN! and the employees couldn't be nicer-you can really tell that Menchie's puts a strong emphasis on family! The company even works to support local schools and businesses! And to put the cherry on top of the business is the star of the show-the froyo!!!!! Each store has an average of six machines, which equals TWELVE flavors, plus the ├╝ber cool twirl option. Oh, did I mention it was SELF-SERVE??? That really is the way to go these days-the public wants their freedom of froyo! Now, although I do love myself some self-serve, I can get easily peeved with the patron congestion. Between the people sampling every flavor and the rest shoving to fill their humongous cups, you can easily lose an eye (or at least break a nail!). This is why I greatly appreciate the layout of Menchie's. Each store space is designed as somewhat of a horseshoe. In the center of the store is a circular kiosk that serves as the home for the sample cups (free for all!), waffle maker, and registers. As you enter the store, you precede to the left of the kiosk to pick up your cup from hanging wall dispensers. Then you make your way around the kiosk to the wall of froyo machines. After you fill your cup up to your little heart's desire, you naturally find yourself as the abundant topping bar, which houses over 40 chilled and room temperature toppings. To put it bluntly, the range of toppings is bomb-by far the most vast selection i've seen. And after the toppings, tada-you're at the register! Genius!!! Of course when it's packed it's still packedddd, but this layout leads to a nice flow of traffic!

On to the goods! The yogurt itself is delish. Among the twelve or so flavors, there are always low fat, non fat, sorbet, lactose free, kosher, low carb, and no sugar added options! The mixes themselves are Menchie's own (i.e. not from YoCream, Wow Cow, etc.), and therefore the nutritional facts are more illusive, but they do list some of them on the website. Naturally, the NSA, sorbet, and tart flavors are a bit less creamy than the others, but that is expected. Overall, the flavors are consistent-consistently nummy!!! And there are so many flavor options that I can't imagine ever getting bored! And I have already gushed about the toppings, but they are an integral part to any final froyo creation!

Okkkk, let's see-history: check, locations: check, atmosphere: check, froyo and toppings: check. I feel as if I am missing somethingggggg-oh yeah, PICTURES! I will always post some sort of visual because, well, we do eat with our eyes! And otherwise my ramblings would bore all my readers to death-not good! As I continue this blog, I will make my way to all froyo shops, which hopefully will one day include every Menchie's location. To start us out, I will take you to the grand opening of the Redondo Beach location. Here we go!

The grand opening festivities included a live dj!

and....

FREE SHIRTS TO COLOR IN (calling all inner five year olds!)
The circular layout

Start at the cups...

The yogurt bar, complete with instructions...

*disclaimer, I do not know the man in the picture, so sorry if it's you*
Swirly swirl...

Chill...

Snackage...

I went back in February *coughcough* so i had to get lovely sprinkles...

Right 'round back to the registers!

Up close and personal-I got cake batter (more on that in the next post...!), cookies and cream, NSA devils food cake, and pomegranate tart! Everything, even the NSA, was so good and creamy!!!!!! Oh yeah, cookie dough made an appearance!!!

I think I hit prof today (on my non-review days I'm a mix master all the way baby!)

And to finish it off, more free loot-an awesome sticker, magnet, and tattoo (I was so bad-a** the two days it lasted)!!!


bfleuhfgliekhg-wow, I think I actually broke a sweat from all this typing! I feel I should treat you to a froyo if you made it though this post alive-or with eyeballs that still function! On that note, I'm out-but stay tuned for hot off the press Menchie's news (a grand opening in the veryyyy near future!!!) and an exclusive interview in relation to that news! It's all a part of the next Menchie's installment soon to come! P.S. I'd love any comments or e-mails about your Menchie's experiences!!! Thanks loves!!!

Menchie's
Redondo Beach - Artesia Plaza
2515 Artesia Blvd., Unit E.
Redondo Beach, CA 90278
(310) 370-4888
Sun - Thurs: 11am-11pm
Fri - Sat: 11am-Midnight!