Labor Day Weekend in Orange County

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The last official summer weekend is here so I wanted to share some fun things you can do with the family this Labor Day weekend in Orange County!

What better way to send off summer than by spending it at one of OC’s best kid-friendly beaches?

Here are our readers’ favorites.

The Aliso Viejo Aquatic Center Pool is open to both residents & non. Took my girls there last week and they loved it! Great facility for all ages, including a splash pad and baby pool.

San Clemente Aquatics Center is also supposed to be fabulous; open 1pm – 5pm.

My girlfriend raves about Buccaneer Bay Water Park in La Mirada.  Meant to make it there this summer and never got around to it, but she said it is a ton of fun.

Here is a great list of OC Splash Parks by Just Spotted.  The post is over a year old, so make sure to check to make sure it is operational before you pack up the kids to go!

Here are 29 of my favorite things to do with my kids in OC!

Check out Plan a Day Out to seek and find fun activities for kids and families in Orange County. One of the best resources for fun outing ideas EVER. Gazillion ideas.

In the mood for a picnic?  Here are my family’s five favorite OC parks.

Ever been to the Orange International Street Fair?  It’s an OC tradition for over 30 years and SO much fun. But it will be toasty, dress cool and hydrate!

What’s a summer holiday weekend without a GREAT BBQ?

Kick yours off with a fun summer cocktail, Ranch Water. Yee haw!

Throw another shrimp on the bar-bee with these yummy sweet and smokey shrimp skewers.

Going to a neighborhood party? Bring this healthy, patriotic fruit flag, sure to be a hit with both the kids!

Chill out with this special homemade popsicle treat for the kiddos.

Have the best weekend everyone!  And make sure to check out the blue moon tonight – the next one won’t be until July 2015!

See you back next week!

xoxo Jen

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pure blu Spa Treatment Giveaway

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As moms, we often usually take care of everyone else before ourselves. To carve out time for a little pampering sometimes usually feels like a guilty pleasure, right? But really, it should be considered a necessity!

So, in honor of you deserving moms (and dads!) pure blu Spa in the Newport Beach Marriott is offering a giveaway of a FREE 50-minute treatment of choice to celebrate the back-to-school season (regardless if your kid is in school yet or not!!)

pure blu Spa is one of my favorite spas in Orange County. There are many, many reasons why I love it, but one of the things I love the most is that it is the perfect spa to meet girlfriends and spend the day.

Located across from Fashion Island, I love that pure blu is easy to get to. Simply pull up and valet your car (it’s complimentary with validation for spa visitors) and you will find the spa to the left off the main lobby when you enter the property.

Spacious and lovely, pure blu offers spa-goers its own saltwater private pool where you can relax on a chaise and munch on their delightful lunch menu.

Recently I met a small group of girlfriends at pure blu to take a BREAK from summer break!  I was so happy I almost started crying when I walked in and saw them. Guess that’s when you know you REALLY need a little time away to reconnect with friends!

But if you are the type of person who prefers to go to the spa alone and embrace total tranquility for the day, I have never seen the spa pool crowded, so it would be the perfect spot to curl up on a lounge chair and take a snooze or just BE.

Inside the spa you will find a Eucalyptus steam room, dry sauna, saltwater whirlpool Jacuzzi and refreshing cold foot plunge so you can indulge in various spa rituals before or after your treatment.

pure blu was nice enough to treat me to one of their new signature rituals, the Pure Bliss, while I was there. To me, ANY spa treatment is “pure bliss” but this particular Pure Bliss treatment was in another blissful category all its own!

Consisting of 80-minutes of pampering massage, scrub and wrap ~ this treatment was most appropriately named!

My therapist started out with an amazing massage. Focusing on my back, neck and shoulders, all of my cares melted away underneath her hands.

Then at some point in the abyss of bliss, she started with an exfoliating scrub.  I had never had a body scrub before and I loved it!

I was told that on many scrubs, you get up and actually shower at some point to rinse the exfoliants off, but in the Pure Bliss treatment, I stayed on the table the entire time, and the scrub was gently rubbed away with warm towels, which I was then wrapped in.

My therapist said the wrap helps the moisturizer seep in just that much deeper after the exfoliation. I walked out of the room feeling like a warm noodle with soft as a baby skin.

The 80-minute Pure Bliss treatment is being offered at the new introductory price of $150. Highly recommend.  Especially if you are having a hard time deciding on a treatment – you really get the best of two different types of services.

pure blu is also offering a special for our readers! Mention “Tiny Oranges” when booking your treatment now through 9/30/12 and receive a 50-minute massage or facial for $95 (offer good any day except the Saturday – Monday of Labor Day weekend).  Time to email your girlfriends and pick a date to meet up mamas!

Make sure to also “Like” pure blu Spa on Facebook as they always have a ton of special deals, offers and giveaways going on for their Facebook followers.

And if you have not done so already, sign up for the Spa Week newsletter, and keep an eye out for their Spa Week offer for a $50 treatment coming this October during west coast Spa Week.

Hooray! It’s a Tiny Giveaway! One lucky winner will receive a free 50-minute spa treatment! GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

[Disclosure: I received my treatment complimentary to help facilitate this review. Thank you for the blissful day pure blu!]

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Wordless Wednesday: Beyond Excited

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Emma’s second tooth fell out yesterday and she was beyond excited. I love to watch how something so simple like losing a tooth can be so monumental to a six-year-old!

What does the tooth fairy leave at your house? Inquiring minds want to know!

For more Wordless Wednesday pictures, head on over to www.AngryJulieMonday.com.

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Teacher Anxiety

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In parenting, I often ask myself, “Is this normal?!” probably more times than I would like to admit.

Whether it’s something my kids are doing that I find undesirable OR something I am feeling as a mom.

Emma starts 1st grade next Tuesday. We get to find out her classroom this weekend and I am having some major anxiety over which teacher she is going to get. 

We were so lucky with our Kindergarten class last year. Awesome teachers and great group of kids and group of moms.  I think I am afraid we got a little spoiled.

Now that I have gone through a year of elementary school, I have seen firsthand just how IMPORTANT it is to have a stellar teacher.  I mean, it is everything! For all you teachers out there – I can’t tell you how much I admire you!

For 1st grade with the longer days and harder curriculum, I just so badly want her to end up in a classroom that she loves (and I love – who am I kidding?!) and it is killing me at this point because I have absolutely no control!!

So, I ask you mamas with elementary school age kids – is this NORMAL?! Do you get the same anxiety before finding out the classroom and teacher? I thought it would be easier this year because I have been through it before, but I am actually stressing out more.

Tell me I am not alone.  And if I am, please talk me off the ledge.

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Sweet & Smokey Shrimp Skewers

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I’ve been having a bit of a shrimp craving lately so I decided to make these Sweet & Smokey Shrimp Skewers last night for some friends we had over for dinner.

It’s a super simple recipe and just felt fun & summery.

I paired with some orechiette pasta tossed in home made pesto and some tomatoes Mike and the girls have been having fun growing in our backyard.

My friend just shared a great tip with me:

Use 2 skewers for each kabob so it’s easier to flip on the grill.

Serves 4-6

What you need:

1.25 pounds shrimp (the ones I used were about 20 shrimp/lb)

1 tbsp adobo sauce (buy the canned Chipotle in Adobo sauce and just use the liquid the chipotles are in for some slightly spicy smokey flavor)

1/3 Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 garlic clove, minced

dash of brown sugar

about 1 tsp Salt

Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Ready, Set, Cook!

Marinate Shrimp for about 1 hour and place on skewers using two parallel sticks to keep the shrimp from spinning.

Grill the skewers over medium heat about 4 mins a side or until just cooked through.

Enjoy!

XO,

Your Sus Chef

 

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