OC Blogger Ball 2010

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So I had a mom’s night out last Friday night, but it was not just any night out…it was a BLOGGING night out at the OC Blogger Ball!  It is an annual event (my first time attending – last year I was in loonyville with a newborn) organized by Marcy of The Glamorous Life and Suzanne of Alive in Wonderland at OC Family. Together they have formed BlogCrush {an organization of Orange County Bloggers} and put on this event to bring bloggers together to celebrate all things post-worthy, but most importantly each other!

I have to admit, I  really, really looked forward to the ball. After telling my 4 year old daughter I was going to go to a Blogger Ball, you should have seen the look and expression of dismay at my lack of appropriate “ball attire” when I was getting dressed! The poor thing was probably picturing mommy as Cinderella only to find me pulling out the same black tank I have worn before.

However, Tera Rae Stephens (photo – right) from Ty Alexander Salon in Newport Beach did happen to make me feel like Cinderella with a complimentary blowout in honor of the ball! Tera is my hair stylist (the best in all of OC!) and the one that did my Keratin Smoothing Treatment. I have actually never had a blowout for an event before and it was, quite simply, pure LUXURY.

So Shanna from My Favorite Everything and I were going to be carpooling, so we met at the salon and had the best time chatting while Tera was working her magic.  Shanna got the most gorgeous color and fabulous new cut.   That’s Shanna below to the left – gorgeous!

Then walks in Sarah from Whoorl & Hair Thursday and it was a “full circle” moment as we had never met before.

It was Sarah who saw my tweet last spring asking for referrals for OC hair stylists that did the Keratin Treatment, and she is the one that enthusiastically told me Tera is the BEST! Coming from a women with a fabulous blog dedicated to all things “hair chic” that said a lot!  I am so happy our Twitter worlds met that day because she is just a doll.  So enjoyed meeting her, I can’t even tell you!

After we were all styled, off we went to the ball!  The event was held at the lovely Embassy Suites Anaheim – South, an all-suite family-friendly resort located one mile from Disneyland in the Anaheim resort area.  The resort welcomed the bloggers with open arms, delicious bites and a bar featuring Twittertinis. Do you love it??

It was SO MUCH FUN to actually MEET people in person!  I feel like I already somewhat know people from their blogs and Twitter, so to actually put a face with a blog and avatar was really exciting.

Here are some of my cute bloggy peeps…

From left:  Tera Rae Stephens, Me, Shanna from My Favorite Everything, Kara-Noel from Eli’s Lids and Sarah from Whoorl & Hair Thursday.

And here are two more lovelies! Lindsey from The Modchik (left) & Kathleen from Sugar and Spice.  I had never met them before and was so excited I think I was a little giddy!

Once everyone was settled, Marcy welcomed everyone and announced some seriously amazing items that were going to be raffled off including an iPad from Atwater Collection!

Here is The Glam Life herself, Marcy the Alive in Wonderland Suzanne…

Photo courtesy of the talented Modchik!

They had amazing sponsors for the event, many of which offered raffle items… They were…

Snapfish, Broughton Hospitality, Fresh & Easy, Smith & Vandiver, Disneyland Marketing, Eli’s Lids, Pampered Chef, Lisa Merins Life Illustrated, Smartly, Discovery Science Center and Asics.

I am not going to lie, I wanted to win that Atwater Collection sponsored iPad SOOOOOO badly!

Fingers crossed, I might have even said a prayer (bad, I know) but seriously I could almost TASTE what it would be like to hear my number called and run to the stage to get my beloved prize.   I was 4 numbers away.  Darn it!

But that’s okay because the winner was the super nice & talented Tracey Clark.  Her raffle ticket was a meaningful lucky number plus it was her birthday the next day so I had no choice but to be happy for her!  Congratulations Tracey!

You lucky girl you!  Here she is admiring her new prize….again, SO lucky!


And you KNOW it’s a blogger ball when they had a screen showing the live feed of all the tweets with the Twitter event hashtag on it!

Love it!

I would like to extend a very special thanks to Marcy, Suzanne, Embassy Suites Anaheim-South and all the sponsors for making it a night to remember!  It was so inspiring to be in the same room with people sharing the same passion…writing, blogging and celebrating life in Orange County!   I am honored to be in your presence and it was an  an absolutely twitterific event!

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Citrus Ranch Park in Tustin

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I have had this park on my list to blog about since we visited last April and I don’t know why it has taken me so long to get the post up! Before I start my post about  Citrus Ranch Park in Tustin I wanted to remind you the Urban Kids Consignment Sale runs today through Sunday in Los Alamitos!  I went last night to the presale & it was awesome!  Tons of baby/kid stuff at super reasonable prices.  For $26 I scored a Little People riding toy & Stride Rite tennies {in great shape} for Morgan and a DARLING Hanna Andersson cardigan & the cutest hot pink rain jacket for Emma!  Click HERE for hours & info.

Now onto the park!

Citrus Ranch Park is a lovely new OC park and playground that just opened this past February.  It’s located on the corner of Jamboree and Portola Pkwy (past Tustin Marketplace if coming from the 5 fwy.)

You can click here to visit the fabulous Citrus Ranch feature on Fun Orange County Parks and get lots of great scoop, a map and info on this particular playground!  LOVE her site. The absolute best resource for Orange County parks and playgrounds!

We loved this  park!  First off, with having a site named Tiny Oranges, I have a soft spot in my heart for a park/playground with a CITRUS theme!  And what a cute theme it is!  Adorned with vintage California-type pictures, this park celebrates the “orange” in Orange County.

I also love new parks.  Everything feels so fresh and clean.  But maybe it’s those lemon image above that are also conjuring up images of the word “fresh” too!

There was great equipment for all ages, and my daughter loved “entering” the park over this big lemon-lined bridge.

I am also a big fan of the squishy material vs. sand at playgrounds. I love being able to let Morgan toddle around on it without tripping in the sand. Or eating it.

One warning, as with lots of new parks, there were no real shaded areas or grown trees to keep you cool, so this park probably has the tendency to get hot on warm days.

Up top there were lots of picnic tables & a clean restroom.  Clean potties = essential!

So, put this park on your “must visit” if you haven’t been already.  I know you and your kids will love it! Have a great weekend everyone! See you back on Monday!

Click HERE for more parks & playgrounds featured on Tiny Oranges!

{Disclosure: Urban Kids Consignment is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor}

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One Month of Slow Cooker Recipes

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I love Twitter.  Well, really, if I am being honest, it’s a love/hate sort of relationship because periodically throughout the day, I find myself going there with the intention to do a quick tweet, and end up SUCKED IN for much longer reading all the tweets of the people I am following!

I have a lot of mom bloggers I follow {which I love} because their tweets are filled with great tips & cool discoveries. One of which was posted by @MomAdvice this week of www.momadvice.com.

It was a tweet like this…”HUGE round-up of back-to-school tips, printables, recipes, and ideas!” and included this LINK.  I thought, I could use some back-to-school tips so I clicked.   Then I scrolled down and I saw it.  One Month of Slow Cooking Recipes. Oh. My. Gosh.

She seriously has 4 weeks of daily recipes for the slow cooker (look in the left column, under Meal Set 1, 2, 3, 4)  along with the nutritional info AND personal tips on preparing it!!!   It is like finding a busy mom’s recipe mecca!!

I am cooking-challenged, I am not going to lie. A total nightmare in the kitchen. Just ask my husband.

One of my goals for Fall is to get more organized by using the slow-cooker so I don’t have that mad, exhausted, scrounging through my fridge at 5:30pm with whiny kids trying to figure out what to make for dinner frenzy.  Because it usually ends up being noodles or quesadillas.   Again.

So, thank you Amy from Mom Advice for kick-starting my goal with these easy recipes!  I can’t wait to try them out!

And, click here for some more Easy Recipes on Tiny Oranges…

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Wordless Wednesday – Happy Dots

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With this heat we headed on over to Dippin’ Dots Fountain Valley this week for a cool little treat.

The dots were  SO colorful and happy, I had to snap a pic!

Emma loved them so much she would take a bite, then get up and do a little “I love Dippin’ Dots” dance.   Baby Sweet loved them too.   Since she has a milk allergy it was great to be able to take her for a sweet treat that has a dairy-free option too.  Love this.

Dippin’ Dots is doing a party cup giveaway coming up soon, you won’t want to miss, stay posted!

In the meantime, keep cool & if you are looking for a refreshing little treat, go see Debbie over at Dippin’ Dots.

Your kids will love you for it!  And for more fun Wordless Wednesday pics, dance on over to Angry Julie Monday!

{Disclosure: Dippin’ Dots Fountain Valley is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor}

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$30 for $60 of Food & Drink at The Bungalow!

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Had to do a post on the Screamin Daily Deal for todayget $60 worth of food & drink for only $30 at The Bungalow in Corona del Mar! This is a SCREAMIN deal! Love, love, love this restaurant! Snatch it up today and tuck it away for a romantic date night or evening out with girlfriends.   Plus, when you sign up for Screamin Daily Deals (it’s free), with EVERY coupon purchase, money goes back to local schools.  Love this site! Local companies helping local schools! Win-win all around!

Click HERE to buy it!

{Disclosure: Tiny Oranges is a Screamin Daily Deals affiliate}

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