To Third.

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As I’ve just entered my 8th month of pregnancy, I guess it’s time to write my follow up post about how my husband and I decided to go for the third child.

Some of you might remember my first post on the subject, written years ago “To Third or Not To Third?“ where I layed out all of the reasons why we should and why we should not add another member to our family.

We talked about it and talked about it, and waited for the right time and talked about it some more and couldn’t come to a decision.

My husband was so sick of the topic.  

One night last Spring we were out on a date night (which included some tequila) and we decided to give ourselves a window.  A very short 3 week window, effective immediately and ending with a trip we had scheduled to Cabo for our friend’s 40th birthday celebration.

In this time frame we would not take precautions not to get pregnant.  (See what I did there with that double negative?)

Our thought process was, if we get pregnant in that time frame then it was meant to be, and if we didn’t we could feel good that we had left it up to Fate who had decided for us.

The next morning after that date night, when the tequila had worn off, we both woke up terrified and looked at each other (almost in a scene out of a movie) and said “yeah, that’s enough of that plan.”

We thought we had our answer.

Flash forward to the last night of our Cabo trip when we were having a SUPER fun time celebrating our friend’s birthday, and our friends who happened to be pregnant with their third started into a sales pitch about why we should have a third kiddo along with them.

Which got me thinking…something was a little late…

There will be a six year gap between our middle and our baby!  We will be going back to sleepless nights, and breastfeeding and bottles, and diapers and spit up, and strollers and carseat adaptors and high chairs and, and, and…

But after the initial freak out, the excitement set in:  we get to do this all over again!!

It will be the first time we are being surprised with the gender.  Our girls love to hug and kiss my pregnant belly, and get so excited to feel the baby kick and they love when s/he has the hiccups.  They are SO thrilled to have a little brother or sister. (Although Lyla swears she won’t change a poopy diaper.)

We can’t wait to meet this new member of our family who was SO meant to be.

Do you have a story to share on how you decided to go for the third? Share in the comments below! 

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(Photo Credit Top: Kristin Eldridge Photography)

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Thanksgiving Decor Ideas

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Thanksgiving Decor Ideas

Last year we had the opportunity to host Thanksgiving dinner at our home and the former wedding planner in me had just a tad bit of fun with the Thanksgiving decor – so I wanted to share some Thanksgiving decor ideas with you.

All the things I did were easy, and inexpensive, so if you are in the position to host Thanksgiving at your home this year, maybe some of these decor ideas might come in handy.

Free Printable Thanksgiving Banner 

If you search “Printable Thanksgiving Banner” on Pinterest, you will find a ton of cute ideas.  I found this free DIY printable Thanksgiving banner on

All you have to do is print the banner on white card stock, cut out the letters, and then I punched two holes in the top of each letter and strung them together with cooking twine.

My buffet in our dining room was a perfect place to hang.  On top of our buffet I used very cheap glass cylinders and alternated white pillar candles and stacked mini pumpkins.

Free Printable Thanksgiving Banner

Thanksgiving Tabletop Decor Ideas 

And then there comes the tabletop, which is my absolute favorite.  I opted not to use a tablecloth since my dining table is a very dark wood, and instead used a burlap runner I found at Michaels, along with fall-themed placemats I have had for a long time.

When cruising around Michaels, I got inspired when I saw these Wooden Plaques that looked like the real inside of a tree trunk! I am a fan of using multi-dimensional decor on tabletops, so I thought these would be the perfect way to add a bit of height and dimension.  In the store, there were a few different sizes, so I got a mix.

I also snatched up a pack of cute letter tiles that reminded me of Scrabble pieces to glue gun to the side of the wooden plaques with phrases like “Be Thankful” “Grateful” “Family”.

The rest of the Thanksgiving tabletop decor was a mix of gourds and mini pumpkins from our local grocery store, fall colored flowers and a collection of fall colored leaves my little ones helped me collect which I put in the bottom of the large votives.

I also picked up cheap mason jars from Michaels to use for vases because mason jars always remind me of fall.


Gourd Succulents 

And thanks to my handy hubby who loves to grow succulents, he hollowed out a selection of gourds and then planted mini succulents in them to all to the Thanksgiving tabletop.  It was also a great conversation piece!

Gourd Succulents

Pinecone Thanksgiving Place Cards 

And last but not least were the place cards.  When creating a tabletop design, I think it is really a thoughtful idea to make each person at the table feel special.  Each year I try to think of new ideas for Thanksgiving place cards and last year I decided to go with pinecones, because again, I was in love with the natural fall tabletop theme!

Have you heard of free photo editing site PicMonkey? [Affiliate links]

Well I am in LOVE and use it for most all of my graphics now. I use it all the time, so I have the Royale Membership, which is only $33 for the year, and gives you access to a ton of cool fonts, graphics and is ad-free.

But the main interface is FREE for anyone to use.

You can use it to edit photos or to create fun place cards like these for Thanksgiving….

pinecone place card Basically all you do is select “Create” and then 8 x 10, and it will give you a blank 8 x 10 canvas to work with.

The “T” to the left is for text -and you can chose from fun fonts.

I think it is cute to put “We are Thankful for…guest’s name” for the place card.

Then click on the Butterfly icon on the left, and scroll down to Nature to see all the fun graphics you can insert like leaves, twigs, trees, etc.

PicMonkey is really user friendly. I absolutely love it! And if you are a graphics lover or love playing around with photo editing, the Royale Membership is completely, totally worth every penny.

I printed my pinecone place cards out on card stock, cut out, and then glued to a natural color gift tag from Michaels, that I then tied to the pinecone with raffia ribbon.

I hope you found some fun Thanksgiving Decor Ideas here! Do you have any ideas to share? Please comment below!


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Meet Our Team

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The past several months I have seen a huge jump in traffic to our site (and if you are reading this now, I have YOU to thank for that!) so I thought it was a good time to make some introductions for any new readers of the women behind Tiny Oranges in an “Meet Our Team” post!

jen That’s me, Jennifer Scheumann, and I founded Tiny Oranges in the summer of 2008.

At the time, I was a new mom to a two-year-old daughter, contemplating going for another baby at the time and I was looking for a way to share ideas with other moms.

For the first three years I ran the blog myself, barely, especially with a 3-year-old and colicky infant with reflux. Sometimes I look back and wonder how the heck I did it.

My blog was also a business and I was doing all the writing along with all the sales. It had grown to a point where I really needed a sales person to take care of that part of the business so I could focus on blogging, which was and is my passion.

I knew I wanted it to be someone who already read (and hopefully liked) my blog, so I did a help wanted post looking for a sales person back in 2011.

Going in I had decided I didn’t want to hire someone I knew, because God forbid, it didn’t work out. I didn’t want to have to run into that person around town and have it be…awkward.

SUSANNE Susanne, a mom I knew (and really liked) from a former Mommy & Me class we took together, emailed me to “apply” and I wrote back and politely explained how I wanted to hire someone I didn’t know and the reason why.

But Susanne didn’t take “no” for an answer, so she politely wrote back to tell me she really thought she would be a great fit. She told me she was a “no drama mama” and would love the chance to meet and at least talk about it and if it didn’t work out,  no big deal.

I went on a run that morning, and out of all the emails I had received, I just had a gut feeling Susanne was the One. We met that week and my instinct was confirmed, she seemed like the perfect fit.

She was and has been for over three years now.

Susanne is Tiny Oranges’ Sales Director and works with all of our sponsors to put together marketing proposals, contracts and manages our ads. I can’t imagine doing Tiny Oranges without her.

Susanne also happens to have a culinary degree, so I often rope her into sharing her talent with easy recipes from time to time. I joke and call her SUS Chef! This recent garlic maple pork roast recipe was to-die-for and her “How to Properly Cut an Onion” video was also one of our most popular posts.

Friends of mine, even to this day talk about how she was the one who actually taught them the correct way (including me!) to cut an onion!

Susanne’s a mama of two girls, ages almost 8 and 5, and a third on the way (gender will be a surprise) in December. For those of you who read her “To Third or Not to Third?” post awhile back, well, there’s the answer. For the record, I have a gut feeling it’s girl #3, and their house will be full of little women. Can’t wait to find out!!!

You can read more about Susanne here.

christy It was always my goal to keep our site full of fresh content so I have consistently blogged five days a week since the beginning.

But that’s a LOT of blogging, and once again, as work got busier I realized I needed someone to come on as a contributing writer.

About a year and a half ago, I did another help wanted post and received a great response with many talented moms wrote in with a sample writing piece.

I met Christy when she submitted this post entitled “Babies, Crosses and Sprinklers” and I fell in love.

Christy has been writing for Tiny Oranges since that time and is the mastermind behind some of our most popular posts including Top Ten Trips for Visiting Disneyland with Toddlers, Disney California Adventure Tips for Little Ones, An Easy Way to Teach Your Kids Their Phone Number and Reward Charts for Kids.

Christy’s a mama of a girl and boy, ages 4 and almost 7 and a passionate advocate for The Moms in Training Program for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In fact, just this past weekend she ran a half marathon in San Francisco to raise money for the organization.

She is a huge inspiration to me, and just about the most energetic, on-the-ball person you will ever meet!  She often has things to me before I even realize I needed them.

You can read more about Christy here.

suzanne When I first started Tiny Oranges, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter did not exist or, if they did, were not mainstream.

In fact, the way I first spread the word to start my blog was to send a mass email to my contacts along with a POSTCARD in the mail to everyone I could think of.

Yes, my social marketing in 2008 included snail mail.

No one could have fathomed what would happen in the realm of social media at that time.

But in recent years, with the demands of so many emerging social media platforms, I found that trying to keep up with updating our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google + accounts was a job in itself.

Suzanne (yes, I work with TWO – one with an S and one with a Z!) is my younger sister who happened to leave her full time job to stay home with her kids a couple years ago.

When her youngest was out of the baby phase, one day she asked me if I needed any help and the answer was a resounding YES! I desperately needed someone to help with my social media accounts and she was the perfect person to do so.  It was once again, a match made in heaven.

Suzanne does our regular updates on our Facebook and Twitter pages, and is responsible for many of the amazing Facebook shares the last 6 months along with growing our following with her amazing social media content.

Recently she has also started pinning for me as well, which is fab for me, because she also has impeccable taste.

Suzanne is a mama to two boys, ages 2 and 5, and I am very lucky to have a sister that I absolutely love and also love to work with.  She has also contributed content as well including 5 Must Have Baby Items for a Second Time Mom and LEGO Organization Tips which were both extremely popular.

Being a major foodie, she recently wrote this Tamarind of London Review, which is hopefully the first of many OC restaurant reviews to come.

You can read more about Suzanne here.

So, those are the talented women that make up our team and make it happen here at Tiny Oranges. To say I am lucky is an understatement.  Running a blog is a ton of work. A ton. To have such a support system of women to help me has made all the difference. Blogging has always been fun, but they make it extra fun. I am one lucky mama in more ways than one!

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Fresh & Fab Designs from Minted [+ a HUGE Giveaway!]

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Disclosure: Minted is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor and Affiliate Links are Used in this Post. Thank you!  Best Holiday Photo Card Sites [I love Minted!]

For stationery aficionados like myself who get absolutely giddy come holiday card season, I have a particular obsession with one of the best holiday photo card sites to be found –  Minted.

What makes me even MORE giddy is I have a Minted giveaway today of a $300 credit for one lucky winner to use towards their holiday cards this year!

All you have to do is ——- >>>>> CLICK HERE TO ENTER!  One lucky winner will be selected at random on 10/27/14. Good luck!

Now, back to my love affair with Minted. In short, I find Minted to be one of the best holiday photo card sites for 3 reasons.

1. Quality Products

I appreciate quality stationery, and every Minted card is printed on high quality paper stock (with an option to upgrade to DoubleThick or even TripleThick paper!)

2. Unique Designs

One of the features that makes Minted one of the best holiday photo card sites in their vast selection of unique designs. Minted crowd-sources design and art from a global community of independent designers, then sells their best designs as a result of monthly design challenges. The Minted designers represent 43 companies. I love the variety and eclectic design options this gives the consumer. No cookie cutter products!

3. Customization Options  

I also love Minted for their endless options to customize. After you narrow down your favorite design, you can customize the shape, color, interior options, backer options, text or photo backer options, liners, paper stock and chose a flat, folded or minibook card. You start with a fab design, then tweak it to make it your own. Love.

These are a few of my favorite Minted designs…

Minted Foil Stamped Holiday Cards - Gorgeous!!

Minted Foil Stamped Holiday Cards 

The holidays to me are all about sparkle, and nothing shines quite as bright as Minted’s foil stamped holiday cards.

With the option to print signature greetings in gold, silver, and brand new this year, rose gold, the foil stamped print is absolutely stunning, with depth and elegance.


Minted Holiday Card Ornaments

Forget displaying your card on a mantle or in a basket, with Minted’s holiday card ornaments, your recipients can actually hang your sweet card on their tree or from their card display.

Coming in a variety of shapes and sizes, you can customize to make your very own ornament greeting, complete with accompanying luxe ribbon.

Minted's Minibook Holiday Cards

Minted’s Minibook Cards 

A lot happens in a year so it is fun to be able to share some of the highlights with your family and friends come the holidays.

Minted’s holiday minibook cards are the perfect way to share a little about your family and each of your children – on their own page!

Which make for a  very special keepsake for family and friends.

New matching envelopes from Minted

Matching Envelope Designs 

Seriously Minted, as if I didn’t already have to gush enough about you, you go and add in these beautiful FREE matching printed envelopes with the recipients address and return address?!

With a super cute “Deliver to”above the address?! DYING over these…

Minted Free Addressing for Photo Cards!

So, when starting to look online for the best holiday photo card sites, make sure a visit to Minted is on your list to check out.

You will be thrilled with the quality and options, and your recipients will swoon over your cards. Guaranteed.

Happy holiday card shopping friends!

Minted $300 Giveaway! 

Once again, CLICK HERE to enter your email and enter to win a $300 credit to shop on! WOOOOOO HOOOOOOOO!


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Reader Recommended Books You Can’t Put Down

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Disclosure: Links to Amazon in this post are affiliate links and help support my blog – thank you!  25 Reader Recommended Books You Can't Put Down

Back in August I made a personal list of 15 books so good you can’t put them down and it became my first official “viral” post with over 65,000 pins and enthusiastic readers commenting with their absolute favorite books.

I was thrilled people were sharing more and more book recommendations because I am always on the search to add books you can put down to my reading list.

Therefore, I am going to share their recommendations with you in a series of posts because there were so many comments!

And again, if you have books you have LOVED, books so good you haven’t been able to put them down, PLEASE comment below so I can keep adding to my list!

Here is Part I:

Reader Recommended Books You Can’t Put Down 

The Pact

Yes, My Darling Daughter

I read this one and loved it. Haunting. 

The Glass Castle: A Memoir

I read this years ago and adored it. I had forgotten about it for my last list, so I am glad readers reminded me. This is a must-read.

The Light Between Oceans

I also loved this book – great book club selection to answer “What would you do?”

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

My husband read this book and loved it.  I have been afraid of the disturbing aspects of the story, but it was recommended so many times by our readers, I think I will have to give it a go.

Fall of Giants: Book One of the Century Trilogy

This Book Will Save Your Life

I just started this book – so far so good.

The Night Circus

White Man’s Grave: A Novel

The Story Sisters: A Novel

The Book Thief

The Ladies’ Room

The Girl You Left Behind: A Novel

Just finished this one per a reader’s suggestion. Great read.

The Storyteller

By Wally Lamb: I Know This Much Is True

Read this many years ago and remember I loved it.

The Hour I First Believed

Big Little Lies

Love this author! The Husband’s Secret was one of my favorite reads of the year. On my list!

The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel

House of Daughters (House of Peine)

In the Castle of the Flynns: A Novel

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society


The Forgotten Garden: A Novel

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel

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