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Greer's OC: Discover Wild Strawberry Cafe

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Wild Strawberry Cafe in Newport Beach just celebrated its first anniversary, and we can't believe we didn't discover it sooner.

Owner Natasha Kazic, originally from Montenegro, created a charming eatery with truly good food in the Design Plaza at Newport Center. The European-style café specializes in health-conscious crepes, homemade soups, sandwiches, salads and homemade pastries and baked goods.

After fasting for 40 days and losing 100 pounds, Natasha says she found her purpose in life: to open a café to offer nutritious dishes made with less sugar, mostly gluten-free and other healthy options like almond milk and quinoa, without sacrificing flavors.

She didn't just dream up Wild Strawberry Cafe's health and nutrition concept on a whim. She's worked as a nutrition counselor and personal trainer at the St. Regis and the Montage Laguna Beach, and is also a fitness instructor at Ultra Fit Club.

At Wild Strawberry Cafe, we recommend the Black Forest ham sandwich with honey Dijon, Muenster cheese, spinach and roasted bell peppers; the turkey sandwich with Swiss cheese, avocado and pesto aioli on French baguette; or the vegetarian sandwich with tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers and sprouts served on a French baguette.

The cafe is off the beaten path and you're not going to discover it easily, unless a friend tells you, you work nearby, or you read about it here. Whether you stop by for a shot of espresso, a blueberry crepe (made with gluten-free buckwheat flour) or smoked salmon sandwich, you'll be happy Kazic made her dream come true.

Wild Strawberry Cafe, 240 Newport Center Drive No. 100, is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, go to wildstrawberrycafe.com.

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Fashion jewelry at near wholesale prices

At DKNY South Coast Plaza, fashion jewelry enthusiasts can choose from nine DKNY + BaubleBar designs in 22-karat gold clad chains with resin flowers and enamel stripes in vibrant colors and graphic silhouettes.

These pair perfectly with DKNY's Spring Collection featuring pops of color in its Americana red, white and blue pieces; Green Story with shades of green ideal for all year; Tan Story with geometric designs; Black & White Story, Pink Story and the Pure casual line.

Choose from rompers, ponchos, dresses, skirts and more. The limited-edition BaubleBar collection ranges from $40 to $320, and fuses high design with affordable luxury. It will be available in the store, or at BaubleBar.com through June 31.

BaubleBar offers values on high quality fashion jewelry at near wholesale prices, by taking out the middleman on the same designer network that sells to high-end stores through its private label.

DKNY South Coast Plaza is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays; and 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sundays. DKNY is on Level 1 in the Saks Fifth Avenue Wing at South Coast Plaza, 3333 S. Bristol St., Costa Mesa.

For more information, call (714) 557-4408.

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Forever 21 Girls opens new line

Forever21 Girls just launched its Hello Kitty collection, and it's available at Fashion Island.

Stop by to check out its chic offering of striped, burnout and ruffled tees, hoodies, racerback tanks, rhinestone rompers, dresses, and tote bags for girls sized 4 to 16.

Prices are affordable, as the new collection ranges from $8.90 to $19.90. The collection is available at Forever21 Girls at Fashion Island in Newport Beach.

Open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays; 11a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, call (949) 219-0435.

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Musical happenings

The place to be for incredible music this weekend is Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Whether you're a jazz fan or a classical music enthusiast, you are in for a treat.

At 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, SFJAZZ Collective, a group of accomplished jazz artists, will be performing the music of Stevie Wonder.

Come early to Samueli Theater for a free preview talk with Bubba Jackson of KKJZ, at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets start at $62.

At 4 p.m. Sunday, three renowned classical artists, David Finckel, Wu Han and Philip Setzer, will reunite for Mendelssohn's virtuosic Piano Trios.

Tickets start at $60. Arrive early for a preview talk at 3:15 p.m.

To order tickets, call (714) 556-2787, or go to http://www.scfta.org.

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

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Another year of follies

This year's smashing musical, the CHOC Follies "Christina and the Crystal Ball: A Cinderella Story for the Social Net Set," which raises funds for Children's Hospital of Orange County, will be running from March 29 till 31 at the Robert B. Moore Theatre at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa.

The original musical fundraiser brings together more than 100 volunteers who sing and dance to make a direct impact on the lives of children. Proceeds from this year's show will help bring The Voice — a Ryan Seacrest Foundation interactive broadcast multimedia center to the new CHOC patient tower.

For tickets to the show and sponsorship opportunities, visit http://www.chocfollies.org.

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 greersoc.com, a free daily email service that provides the latest in Orange County fashion, dining, music, events and trends. Her blog can be viewed http://www.greersoc.com and she can be contacted at greer@greersoc.com.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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