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Greer's OC: The scoop on N'iceCream

Judging by the long line and then the smiling faces of first tasters at N'iceCream, who enjoyed a free scoop when the new shop opened at the OC Mart Mix on March 23, this Venice-born ice creamery will make Costa Mesa even sweeter.

By way of Denmark, co-founders Laura Nielsen and Christian Toxboe set up their first organic gelato and sorbet store in Venice four years ago, and now boast three more Los Angeles-area locations.

They pride themselves on making small batches of gelato and sorbet daily (nothing is ever more than 12 hours old). They also use organic milk from Rockview Farms and less sugar than most ice cream shops; their sorbets are made with fresh, locally grown fruits as much as possible. The outcome is light, clean and addictive.

There's no guessing which flavors you'll be choosing from on any given day. N'iceCream even posts the time flavors were made on its website and fans flock to the locations serving their favorite flavor.

Go for salted caramel, if it's in. It's our favorite and hands down a fan favorite across the board.

Other delicious flavors to choose from include tangy lemon sorbet, coffee caramel, pistachio, chocolate hazelnut, vanilla bean and straciatella. You can also receive email alerts for when your favorite flavor is ready at any N'iceCream location; it's simple — just click on a flavor.

N'iceCream is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The OC Mart Mix is at 3313 Hyland Ave.

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Ballet fundraiser this weekend

Spend Saturday evening with the Maple Youth Ballet at its annual spring fundraiser, which will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. at Black, Starr & Frost Jewelers in Newport Beach.

"Diamonds and Dance" will feature fashions from Royal Underground, a line created by Kelly Gray, the former chief executive of St. John Knits, and Nikki Sixx of Motley Crew, and Suzan Paek's new Jessica Grant handbags. Enjoy delicious appetizers, beverages and wine, and a special appearance by Maple Youth Ballet dancers.

Incredible raffle giveaways will include a first-class experience to San Francisco to see "Don Quixote," dinner and tickets to "Pilobolus: Mixed Rep" performances at the Irvine Barclay Theatre in May, and premium tickets to a Lakers game and dinner at Staples Center's Lexus Club.

Black Starr & Frost will donate 10% off all purchases at the event to the Maple Youth Ballet. Each guest will receive a swag gift bag valued at more than $100, including women's perfume or men's cologne by Black Starr & Frost Jewelers and a ticket to see Maple Youth Ballet's "Coppelia" at the Irvine Barclay Theatre on April 14 and 15.

The Maple Conservatory in Irvine is a nationally recognized classical ballet studio that trains children of all ages. Many students go on to dance in major companies around the world.

All proceeds from "Diamonds and Dance" will go to the Maple Youth Ballet, Maple Conservatory's nonprofit arm, which funds the three pre-professional-level performances that the studio puts on each year, as well as to student scholarships.

Tickets cost $75 per person, or $125 per couple. For more information and to purchase tickets, call the Maple Youth Ballet at (949) 660-9930 ext. 24, or visit http://www.mapleconservatory.com.

Black, Starr & Frost Jewelers is at 341 Bayside Drive.

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Indulge in some urban decadence

When it comes to beauty with an edge, Orange County-based Urban Decay owns the market.

Urban Decay will be hosting a rare event for beauty junkies on Friday and Saturday at Macy's South Coast Plaza.

It will introduce its new blacker-than-black Perversion Eye Pencil (previously only available in gift sets) and two other sought-after shades: Demolition, a deep matte brown, and Woodstock, a bright sparkly pink. Also introduced is the highly anticipated Naked2 Palette with 12 taupe-centric, neutral shadows (five new shades), a custom double-ended, full-size brush and a mini Lip Junkie Lipgloss in Naked.

On Friday, Urban Decay's Eric Jimenez, a renowned makeup artist, will conduct private consultations and "get the look" makeovers, as well as divulge his trade secrets, while showing application techniques for the 24/7 Glide-On eye pencil ($19) and Naked2 Palette ($50). Make a $100 purchase, and you'll qualify for an Urban Decay on Tour gift bag filled with deluxe-sized cult favorites — while supplies last.

To book an appointment with Eric and/or his team of talented artists, call the Urban Decay counter at (714) 556-0611 x2347. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday at Macy's South Coast Plaza, 3333 S. Bristol St., Costa Mesa.

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Going the distance for a good cause

Looking for an extra-feel-good yoga experience?

Take the "All Day Yoga Challenge" on Friday at Bikram Yoga at The Camp in Costa Mesa. The event will be a fundraiser to help raise $25,000 in support of Michael Levin, who will be running the Boston Marathon.

All the money raised will benefit the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Simply sign up for a class, or take multiple classes, and ask someone to sponsor you. You'll be showing gratitude for your health and strength while benefiting those not as fortunate. All eight classes offered on Friday are donation-based.

Bikram Yoga will offer participants food, support, prizes and massages. The challenge starts with the 6 a.m. class and ends after the 8:30 p.m. class.

Bikram Yoga is at 2937 Bristol St. A-200 in Costa Mesa. For more information, call (714) 429-7900, or visit http://www.bikramyoganewportmesa.com.

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Feeling lucky?

Here's your chance to win $10,000 and support local charities.

Purchase an opportunity drawing for $50 (only 1,000 will be sold) from The Junior League of Orange County (JLOCC), and a lucky winner will be awarded $10,000 at a party, which will take place from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Nirvana Grille in Laguna Beach. More prizes will be awarded, and the winner doesn't need not be present.

Admission to the party costs $20 per person, which includes passed-around appetizers and one drink. The Nirvana Grille will also give 10% of sales to the JLOCC. To purchase tickets for the drawing or the party, go to http://www.jlocc.org or call (949) 261-0823.

If fewer than 400 drawing tickets have been sold by 7:45 p.m. Friday, the $10,000 will not be awarded. Instead, the cash prize will be 50% of the net proceeds of ticket sales.

Additional prizes include a private tea for six at Black, Starr & Frost Jewelers, where the winner will learn the colors and shapes of gemstones and jewelry and each guest will receive a complimentary gift bag.

Other prizes include a woman's Taylor-Made Fairway Wood golf club from Roger Dunn ($249), women's polarized Oakley sunglasses ($150), and a $50 gift certificate to the Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar at The District in Tustin.

Nirvana Grille is at 303 Broadway St.. For reservations, call (949) 497-0027, or visit http://www.nirvanagrille.com.

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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