Resolutions

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HELLO 2011! I wanted to wish all of you a VERY happy new year! I hope this next year is filled with lots of love & happiness.

The last two years I have posted some of my new year’s resolutions on New Year’s Eve. Before this blog, I used to hate making resolutions mostly because I would rarely keep them! But I have learned is that there is a lot of POWER in writing down your goals and putting it out there!! You will be surprised at what you can do once you define it on paper (or in a blog!)

Are you making any goals for the new year?

Since this is a time of reflection, here is my list I posted last new year’s eve of things I wanted to do in 2010…

1. Find a workout regimen I love and stick to it (so original, huh?!) I really want to get back into Pilates.

I started running in February (life changing experience) and got back into Pilates with Erica at Core Athletica, so yes, this one I can happily say was a successful goal! And one that will be on my list every year…

2. Continue my digital photo album projects

Not so good on this one! I got to month 6 of my baby’s life and she is now 18 months! Ugh! Oh well, onto the next one…

3. Take a little staycation this summer with our family

Yes! My family went to Rancho Las Palmas last summer and we had SO much fun. It taught me how important it is to take time away from the normal routine and do a vacation together. Best part is that it doesn’t have to be expensive, you can stay local and do a So Cal staycation and have just as much fun.

4. Do a charity project with the help of Tiny Oranges readers. I have been thinking about this one for a long time, and this WILL be the year to do it!

This is the one I am most proud of and most excited about!! As of today, my Tiny Oranges team for the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation Run/Walk on May 1st, 2011 has raised over $2,000 and we have 49 people on our team (and still recruiting!!) Doing this project has brought out a new passion in me. The feeling you get when doing something to help others is electrifying. I highly recommend it! Want to join us? I hope you might put this one on your list this next year too!

Now onto 2011! Ok, here is my list of things I would like to do this year…

1. Raise $10,000 through our Tiny Oranges team for Pediatric Cancer Research. There, I said it. Now it’s out there. Wish me luck.

2. Do a fundraising project with Emma (yes, my 4 1/2 year old is on our team and participating in the 1K Kids’ Fun Run!) Some sort of variation on the lemonade stand. I am thinking maybe an orange juice stand would be fitting?

3. Go on regular date nights with my husband. We were on a good roll for awhile, but then sort of flaked on making this a priority. In 2011 I want to make sure to carve out time each week to spend just with my hubby.

4. Take a photography class.

I am excited about these goals and I am excited about what the new year is going to bring. I have a good feeling it is going to be a great one! Anyone want to share your goals? Comment here! Then they too will be OUT THERE! What do you want to do in 2011?

Happy New Year mamas!

Have a fun night and see you back on Monday with an AMAZING giveaway to kick off the New Year (It involves THIS!) You won’t want to miss it!

XOXO

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How will you make a difference in 2011?

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Tomorrow is the last day of 2010. WOW.  For me this is always a time on reflecting on this past year and looking ahead to the things I want to accomplish in the new one.

If you are in the same mode and want to do something to give back next year – I urge you to consider putting getting involved in our Tiny Oranges PCRF Run/Walk team on your list!  There are several different ways to get involved. You can register anytime, but registration fees go up after 12/31, so if you are considering it, no need to wait, sign up today!

Here are some FAQs and questions I have been getting on our team I wanted to share:

1. I am considering participating in an event, what are the times and options?

The event will be held on Sunday morning, May 1st, 2011 at the Irvine Spectrum. Click HERE to see the courses. Here are the different events you can sign up for:

Half Marathon (my husband and I are running it – WOO HOO!)
10K or 5K Run (these and the above are chip-timed)
5K Walk
1K Kid’s Fun Run
35 Mile Bike Tour

Click HERE to see the times for all the above events.

2. How do I sign up?

Click THIS LINK to go to our team page.  At the top there will be another link for “Join Our Team” – click it – and it will walk you through adding all your information to sign up.

3. How do I sign up my whole family to participate?

Many people have mentioned they want to do the 1K Kids’ Fun Run with their kids because they are too small to run themselves. SO AWESOME!

The best way to register is for both parents to sign up for the 5K Walk and then sign the kids up for the 1K Kids’ Fun Run. The 5K walk starts at 9:30am so it will be great to take your strollers & joggers and walk a nice walk with the entire family.  Then, you can go watch/participate in the 1K Kids’ Fun run at 11:00am with your kids.

I am signing up both my girls (Emma & Morgan) to do the 1K Kids’ Fun run.  I think it will be such a positive experience for both of them to get a bib, a shirt and feel like they are really a part of something special. And to teach the lesson about helping other kids. This is SO powerful to me.

4. Can I bring my kid in a stroller?

Yes, strollers are permitted!

5. Can I sign up for one event and then change to another as it gets closer?

Once you register online for an event, it can’t be changed online.  When you pick up your registration and bib for the race, you CAN change your event at that time.  It just won’t be changed online.

6. I don’t like asking people for money, do I have do fundraise?

NO!

Of course, I would love you to give your friends and family the opportunity to give to this cause, but it is not required or mandatory.

7. My family is busy that weekend and can’t participate.  How can I help?

Donate!  Even $1, $5, $10 will help! You can click HERE to donate to my personal page (thank you SO much) or click on my daughter’s names above if you would like to help them (and I guarantee they will get a HUGE kick out of it!)

Two of my team members are doing fundraising events that you can participate in as well!  Erica from CoreAthletica.com is holding two pilates fundraising classes in the new year.  For a $35 donation to her personal page, 100% will be donated to our team.  And you will get a killer workout. Click HERE for upcoming dates.

TeraRaeStephens.com from Tek Salon will also be holding a fundraiser at Tek Salon in Costa Mesa in February called “Love is in the Hair” where you can get a Valentine’s weekend blowout for a $25 donation to her personal page, 100% donated to our team.  Stay tuned for details!

8. This is a mom blog – are just moms joining the team?

NO!

My husband is running and in fact would love more men out there representing on Team Tiny Oranges!  Both my parents are walking the 5K and so are my in-laws.  This is an event for the entire family!

9. I am going to run an event and my family is going to meet me at the finish line. What will be there for the kids?

A LOT!!!   Click here for ALL the finish line festivities for the kiddos! Bounce houses, music, puppet show, petting zoo, and on and on and on.  It truly is a FAMILY FRIENDLY SUPER FUN event!

10. What’s in it for me?

First and foremost, you will be helping to raise money and awareness for families affected by pediatric cancer. Not to mention if you want to run an event, it is a great motivator to get in shape in the new year.  And a positive lesson for your kids. And, and, and…I could go on and on.

And, are you ready for this?  The TOP FUNDRAISER (my family excluded) on the Tiny Oranges team will win a ONE NIGHT weekday stay at the Montage in Laguna Beach!!!!  A $700 value.  Is that enough incentive to sign up???

To those who want to purchase a team shirt, Running Divas is making us a SUPER CUTE team tee to wear for a bargain price.  Stay tuned for more details on this.

But most of all, sign up for KNOWING you are going to make a difference!

Go team go!!! I am soooooo excited to see what we can do!

If you have more questions, please comment below and I will respond or email me at jennifer@tinyoranges.com.   Thanks for your support!!! XOXOXOXO

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Wordless Wednesday – Baby Stella

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Santa brought my 1 1/2 year old daughter this Baby Stella doll for Christmas.

In the midst of all the craziness on Christmas morning, I looked over, and there she was by herself on our bottom step feeding Baby Stella quietly.

It was such a cute, peaceful moment.

For more Wordless Wednesday pictures, head on over to Angry Julie Monday!

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Erin Condren Jumbo Calendars

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Although I love my iPhone calendar I am still a fan of a super cute wall calendar to hang in my office.  I love to look up and see, right there, all of the events coming up for my family that month.

I have always loved wall calendars.  My mom would get me one for Christmas every single year because I am such a planner and love having my calendar.   So when I found the super cute Erin Condren Jumbo Calendar, it has been my choice three years running. I actually just placed my order for my 2011 cute wall calendar just last week!

Things I love…

This year I got to add this family photo to the bottom so I get to see our little family all the year through!

I love that it is big and has each page personalized with our family name.

It comes with 210 stickers with cute things  like “birthday!” or “hair appt.!” or “baby shower!”

You can opt to have it with plexiglass backing ($40) or without ($32). The plexiglass is great for propping on a cookbook holder and setting on your kitchen counter for easy family reference.  Or you can go without and hang it on the wall.

I also love the family reference page where you can write all sorts of important family info for babysitters or housesitters.

Erin has all sorts of darling personalized calendars to get you organized in the new year…from weekly schedule pads to life planners…you will smile all year round while doing your planning with her cute designs!

Now, go order yours and get ready for 2011 in style!

{Disclosure: I am an Erin Condren fanatic and affiliate, so if you do place an order, if you can click through here first, it helps support Tiny Oranges!}

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Intangible Estate Planning

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OK mamas, Christmas is now officially behind us (and I hope it was your best ever!) so now we can focus on the new year and all the things we want to do in 2011!

If you have not done an estate plan for your family and named legal guardians for your children, I hope it is one of things you will commit to accomplishing in the new year. Peter from South County Law Group is a local OC estate planning attorney and makes the process painless. I know from experience because he did our family’s plan a couple years ago. His firm made it so easy, he was NOT pushy, and genuinely cared about our family.

Incidentally, my husband and I took a vacation in November and flew together for the first time in a long time just the two of us. I was having some flying anxiety with all those “oh God what if the plane goes down” sort of thoughts and my husband reassured me, everything would be fine because we met with Peter and our kids would be taken care of. Then my husband also reminded me that flying is statistically safer than driving on a date night.

I sort of gulped. But it’s true. And knowing we have our paperwork in place and everything done the right way legally brings me so much peace of mind.

Not only that, but Peter KNOWS us, and if something should happen our family would have someone to call that knows our guardians, plans, wishes, accounts, etc. etc. etc. It would make it easy for them in a difficult time.

Peter also does something really special in addition to the traditional estate plan. He recorded us, my husband and I, discussing the “intangible” things we would want passed on to our kids. We have a copy of this recording, and I feel so blessed we do. It is an amazing thing to have, so I asked him to write a little more about it and why he does it.

Here is what he said…

“Intangible” Estate Planning – Thinking Beyond the Paperwork
by Peter Sahin, South County Law Group

When you finally make the decision to plan your estate, you’ll hear the same words over and over again…

Wills…Trusts…Revocable Trusts…Power of Attorney…

Those words are the stock and trade of estate planning specialists.

You take your material possessions and compartmentalize who should receive what and how much. And you’ll use those wills, trusts and powers of attorney to take care of the legalities of passing on what you’ve accumulated over the span of your life.

But what about the intangible things you accumulate during your lifetime? What documents or words do you use to pass those on?

Here are a few words we challenge you to think about when you sit down to plan your “intangible” estate:

Values

Most of us have values and principles that we hold dear and want to pass on to our children. If something happened to you and you were not around to see your children reach adulthood, what values would you want to ensure were passed on to your children, or even your grandchildren? For instance, which is more important to you – money or health? Who do you consider to be your hero or role model? Of all the things you accomplished in your lifetime, which gave you the deepest satisfaction? These are all things that should be written down or recorded and preserved for your loved ones.

Personality

Who are your children? Yes, they’re your offspring, but who are they as individuals? What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses? What type of person would be best suited to help raise them if you weren’t around? We recommend you think about the personalities and emotional needs of your children when deciding who would be best suited to raise them in your place.

Passion

What issue or issues are you most passionate about? Why do you care so deeply about these particular issues? How do you see your dedication to these issues furthering the greater good? Would you expect your children to pursue a career they were passionate about or choose one that paid them well regardless of their personal interest or commitment?

Community

Are you involved in your community? Do you foster a strong tradition of community involvement in your family? Is this something you would want or expect your children to carry on?

Education

Do you consider education a priority in raising your children? Do you have a strong family tradition of emphasizing education?

Wisdom

Are there any words of wisdom that you would want to share with your loved ones? Have you learned any important lessons? Do you live by any guiding principles your family should pass on?

Spirituality

You may or may not be a religious person but you probably have some spiritual beliefs or traditions that you want to preserve for future generations. Do you practice particular religious traditions that were passed to you from your parents? Are there specific tenets of your faith that you want to ensure your children follow?

Legacy

How much do you know about your family history? Do you know where your parents or grandparents came from originally? Have you taken the time to write this information down for your children so they have a sense of tradition and family history? What do you want your children to remember most about you? Have you thought about your legacy and what you want to leave behind for your loved ones and future generations, beyond the material things you’ve acquired?

When we think of estate planning, most of us never consider our “intangible” estate. We think of who should get what, where the money should go, how we want it to be used, but we never think of the things that we leave behind that are specific to us and our families.

Traditions, beliefs, stories…none of these are part of a will or a trust. But they are a part of your heritage and should be passed on as surely as your financial assets.

Give these items some thought and call us to schedule your Family Wealth Planning Session today.

As part of planning packages, we will sit down with you and ask you some of these questions and record your answers, in your voice, to add to your estate planning portfolio as a living legacy for your loved ones. Their ability to hear your voice after you are no longer here will be nothing short of priceless.

In January, I’ve made space for the next two people who mention this article to have a complete initial planning session with me at no charge. If during our session, we both feel that we can help you with your planning I will offer 20% off our normal planning fees. Just give us a call and mention this article!

www.southcountylg.com
949-940-8887

{Disclosure: South County Law Group is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor}

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