Jumpstart Read for the Record 2012 [ + Giveaway]

see more by

Jumpstart, a national early education non-profit organization, annual Read for the Record event is coming up and I wanted to share the information with you!

This year, on Thursday, October 4th, 2012 Jumpstart will host nearly 250 Read for the Record events where people from all over pledge to read the same book on the same day in an attempt to set a new world record and raise awareness of the importance of early education.

This year’s book selection is Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad, by David Soman and Jacky Davis.  You can click here on how to get the book or you can even read the book online!

Do you want to join in the fun? Click here to take the pledge to read! I know I will be reading this Ladybug Girl book to my two ladybug girls on 10.4!

Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

[Disclosure: I was sent a free copy of this darling book!]

You Might Also Like

Whole Foods Market Newport Beach: A Shopping Wonderland

see more by

Jen and I just spent an entire morning perusing the new Whole Foods Market Newport Beach wonderland (the word market just doesn’t seem to do it justice) and WHOLEY MOLY, if it weren’t for a looming preschool pick-up, both of us could have spent the whole day there!

Upon entering the store we were greeted by an inviting rainbow of colorful, perfectly ripened produce, stands and stands of it.  This might sound silly but it felt like happy food: Heirloom tomatoes, Bartlett pears, Honeycrisp apples, golden beets, turnips, endive, swiss chard, cabbage.

The care they put into their produce was subliminally saying: Eat these beautiful whole foods and you will feel happy.

It was a little bit of sensory overload because we wanted to take it all in and enjoy but we weren’t sure where to begin (in a good way).

We worked our way through the produce and noticed some bins of sprouted grain trail mixes and porridges (ooooooohhh) next we found ourselves in front with large vats of different types of olive oils to taste and bottles you can fill yourself  to take home (aaaaaahhh), and behind that were a bunch of empty little honey bear bottles begging you to choose your flavor and fill (I chose a sage flavored selection).

Then the seafood department!  Beautiful selection, amazing whole fish in front packed on ice, the prepped and ready to grill lobster tails and the oysters! Only 99 cents each- what a fun family night, to shuck and eat oysters at home!

As we strolled a little further we encountered the friendliest of helpers in the meat department.  Everyone wanted to be sure we were helped and the employees in every department asked if they could answer any questions. Here’s our new BFF Ryan the butcher…

We were quite enamored by a find in the center cooler for a quick grab: a few different types of pre-packaged dinner kits.  Each prepped complete with the meat and vegetables in an oven proof container. All you have to do is unwrap, season and throw it in a 300 degree oven for about 3 hours for a delicious dinner! And a great deal- priced about $15.99 for about 5 lbs of food (before cooking).

Ryan shared that their meat department also boasts an in-store smoker and they will smoke smaller cuts as you shop or with 24 hours notice they will smoke a larger cut to order. We tasted one of their smoked Texas burgers- loads of flavor!

Our next stop was the cheese department. We were given a sample of this goat cheese called Mitica Capricho De Cabra (he simply called it Mitica) which put the other pre-crumbled stuff to shame.  It had the distinct goat cheese flavor, but was smoother and creamier, Jen and I were dying over it! We couldn’t leave the store without a round of this- and this high quality goat cheese was just $4.65 for about 5 ounces, about the same price you pay for the mediocre stuff.

Here’s another new BFF, George from the cheese section. The employees all made us feel like celebrities! Everyone had such a passion for the products. Their enthusiam was contagious.

Just behind the cheese is the Back Bay Tavern a gastro pub featuring a cozy atmosphere, 24 beers on tap, cocktails and a nice wine selection plus a playful menu of exciting comfort foods.  This could make for a fun “Oh Babe, I didn’t have time to run to the store so I’m just going to run to the market really quick…” and meet up with a girl friend for a bite, a glass of wine and some groceries!

We were rounding out our visit and headed back to the front of the store to The Tea Hive featuring frozen tea drinks, a mixologist’s version of an iced tea and a selection of hot teas.  They even have two kinds of iced tea on tap so you can grab one while you shop and swing back around for a free refill on your way out!

As we were shopping and chatting we made plans for Jen and her family to come over for dinner.  I’ll be preparing a classic slow cooked Beef Short Ribs paired with a Celery Root Puree.  Stay tuned for a post with the photos and recipes for this delicious and easy Fall-feeling feast!  I was inspired when I spotted this gorgeous celery root…

I think the next time my girls and I have an open afternoon I’d like to just take them over to Whole Foods Newport Beach to introduce them to new food items in a fun show & tell sort of way.  Such a great opportunity to talk to them about eating a rainbow of colors and tasting exciting new healthy whole foods.

As we headed out the doors with our shopping bags, we were greeted by a shuttle attendant that offered us a free ride to our car. She helped us with our bags and we rode off into the sunset…

Incidentally, they also offer free valet if you prefer. There is nothing they haven’t thought of! PLEASE do yourself a favor and make a visit to this stellar location. It is an experience you will never forget. But trust us and block out a nice amount of time to take it all in. Once you step foot into the doors, you too, will be taken away into the Whole Foods Wonderland!

www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/newport

Follow Whole Foods Market Newport Beach on Facebook ~ And @WholeFoodsNB on Twitter
Click here for the weekly sales flyer

[Disclosure: We participated in a sponsored campaign by Whole Foods Market to help spread the word about this new location and were provided with a gift card to shop and share. Opinions are 100% our own!]

You Might Also Like

Newport Cottages Design Services [+ Giveaway!]

see more by

HELLO mamas! I am very happy today because I have two amazing back-to-back giveaways this week. Just wait ’til you hear about this one!

Today’s giveaway is offered by Newport Cottages, a USA-made furniture manufacturer specializing in custom children’s pieces built to last a lifetime.  One very lucky reader will have the chance to win that Tiny Tots Table pictured above and a pair of Tiny Tots chairs! Not only that, the winner can choose their custom color finish from these 28 finishes! Did I tell you it was amazing? A $490 retail value amazing! Good luck, please enter below!

Every piece of furniture from Newport Cottages’ California coastal cool collection is made to order. This means your order is custom made for you, by real people, using Old World craftsmanship techniques. You can customize size, finish, style. The sky’s the limit.

If you happen to be in Fashion Island sometime, you should definitely check out their retail location in Atrium Court to see for yourself the QUALITY of their work.

I am sure many OC mamas are familiar with their gorgeous furniture, but did you know Newport Cottages also provides design services?

If you would like professional direction in creating your nursery or child’s room, they offer full-scale interior design services specializing in your family’s design needs.  From classical traditional to modern pop Newport Cottages is available to listen and meet your needs.  A list of sample services include:

~ Full custom design
~ Vendor referencing
~ Space planning
~ Furniture selection & layout
~ Color placement and theory
~ Custom bedding and draperies
~ Virtual room designs
~ Digital boards and  hand renderings
~ Selection of artwork, unique accessories, and decor
~ Help with developing your sense of style into your own home

Here are some photos of a recent Newport Cottages design project:

This design incorporated a custom conversion crib and a custom dresser. Don’t you just love the creamy ivory, pink and grey color combination? So sweet and feminine. 

This design included the Cape Cod bed with Rose Garland appliqué, Curved Drawer Nightstands, Taylor Three Drawer Nightstand with Hutch and the Tiny Tots Table and Chairs (like you could WIN!)

Jenette Di Fazio is the in-house Interior Designer for Newport Cottages and has a passion for bringing your vision for your child’s living space to life.

This is what Jenette shared about how she approaches design:

to me — it is the meeting place with my client, and an opportunity to transform an environment into a reflection of one’s own personality. A designer arranges and adorns a space, empowering an individual to express a relationship with an aesthetic, safe, well-balance environment. It is external insight and compassionate vision. The meeting between two persons to discuss and implement changes and improvements is the essence of the art and science of design. With education, experience and sensitivity, the designer introduces space into a palette of textures, colors and definition to create a domain from what was just place. In doing so one’s surroundings, become a living space that contributes to each who enters. This vision is my passion, and this is the experience you can redeem by building a relationship and project with me.

For more information on Newport Cottages Fashion Island design services or to inquire about any of their pieces you can call 949.644.4122 or visit www.NewportCottages.com. You can follow Newport Cottages on Facebook@NewportCottages on Twitter, share design inspiration on Pinterest and follow current trends and tales on their blog.

 Newport Cottages Tiny Tots Table & Chairs Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

[Disclosure: Newport Cottages is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor & we heart them big time!] 

You Might Also Like

Sandy Heit Photography [+ $500 Giveaway!]

see more by

As moms, is there anything you love more than a fabulous photo of your children or family? You know the ones that make you smile from the inside out because it is just so them?

I know I do! That’s why I am thrilled to share Sandy Heit Photography with you today. Sandy is an OC children and family photographer with a gift for capturing those exact moments. She recently took some newborn photos of my new nephew, Gavin. They made me tear up they were so beautiful! Keep reading to see them below! Proud Auntie had to share!!

Sandy is offering a $500 gift certificate giveaway to one of our lucky readers < – WHAT?! So make sure to read this post in its entirety because I don’t want to you to miss out on this giveaway!!

Sandy specializes in modern lifestyle portraiture of babies, children and families. With a fresh and vibrant approach to photography, she aims to makes a connection with each of her subjects to make sure she captures natural expressions, whether the belly laugh of a toddler or soulful glance of love between parent and child.

Although her sessions typically last between 1 1/2 – 2 hours, she has no time limit and will stay as long as needed to get the shots. This is especially important with newborns who, as we know, do not work around anyone’s schedule but their own!

With a tremendous amount of patience, she invests the time needed to devote to your photo session, even allowing for two or three clothing changes if desired.

At the end of the session, she loves to provide her clients with a great variety of photographs to chose from, so she will make sure to get in special photographs with mom and dad alone with the children along with the individual and family shots.

Moms – how often do you look at your photographs and realize that you are not in ANY of them?! Happens to me all of the time.

She also loves presenting her clients with unique ideas for the photo session. Sandy shared with me a fun option she has been sharing with her clients who want to do their photo shoot at the beach.

After getting all the beautiful beach shots with everyone all gussied up, she suggests throwing in the kid’s swimsuits and sand toys so they can play for awhile after the photo session is done.

Allowing Sandy to capture moments like this…

My sister absolutely loved working with Sandy, and especially loved the fact she didn’t feel stressed during the shoot. She said Sandy made everyone feel so comfortable and was so patient and wonderful ~ often reiterating there was no rush. She told me Sandy was great with her three-year-old and was so sweet when she had to stop and nurse baby.  Never making her feel like they were on a clock.

So, please let me share my nephew, the cutest little love bug you have EVER seen, and handsome older brother A.J….

For more information about Sandy, please visit her website at www.sandyheit.com. You can also see her latest work by following her on Facebook and by checking out her blog.

 Sandy Heit Photography Giveaway! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

[Disclosure: Sandy is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor ~ check out her cute front and center banner above!]

You Might Also Like

San Clemente Run Benefitting Hope 4 Hanna

see more by

On Sunday, October 21st, runners, walkers, families and volunteers will gather at San Clemente’s Plaza Pacifica shopping center, not for their morning coffee or grocery shopping, but to participate in the 4th annual TRACE 3 San Clemente 5k~ 10k~ 1/2k kids’ race benefitting San Clemente-based non-profit, Hope 4 Hanna.

Hope 4 Hanna was started by close friends and neighbors the Aldersons and Beldens, in 2008 in honor of the Belden’s daughter Johanna (“Hanna”), who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) shortly after her second birthday.

Hope 4 Hanna’s mission is to create a less challenging road for families dealing with autism, currently affecting one in every 88 children today, a staggering statistic.

Once diagnosed, every child and their family faces responsibilities like behavioral and biomedical interventions, occupational and speech therapies, dietary restrictions, education planning, specialized playdates and socialization classes. But the resources and therapies often come with a steep price tag, which many families can’t afford.

Since the inaugural race in 2009, Hope 4 Hanna has raised and donated more than $300,000 to leading autism care, treatment and advocacy organizations including Autism Speaks, Talk about Curing Autism (TACA), and ACT Today.

In addition, Hope 4 Hanna has also funded biomedical scholarships, socialization groups, Spanish language advocacy and marriage counseling for families in financial need.

This year’s event kicks off at 7am with the 5K & 10K, followed by the 1/2K kids’ fun run at 9am and welcomes serious runners to casual walkers and everyone in between to participate!

The race will also feature its Resource Fair, open from 7am – 12pm, offering a wealth of information for families seeking answers about anything from diagnosis to legal issues to different therapy options.

New for 2012 is the TACA Fallapalooza Festival for Families.  Open from 10am – noon, the sensory family-friendly activities will include a bounce house, pumpkin painting, face painting, mask creating and other fun fall activities for kids on the autism spectrum, their siblings and friends.

Cost for the Fallapalooza is $10 per family (up to 4), and +$5 for each additional child. Registration includes activities & snacks for the kids. Click HERE to register.

For complete event information and to register for the race, please visit www.hope4hanna.com. Register by September 28th to take advantage of lower early bird prices.

Hope 4 Hanna Fundraiser this Week! 

Grab some girlfriends and make it a moms’ night out this Thursday, September 27th from 6pm – 9pm where you can SHOP for a cause at the Hope 4 Hanna clothing party at Talega Village Center!

At the event, guests will have the opportunity to purchase everything from boutique clothing, to Stella & Dot jewelry, adorable flip flips and children’s goodies.  You can also sign up for the race that night!

Food and drinks will be provided by Sundried Tomato and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Hope 4 Hanna. What a great way to get some early holiday shopping done for a cause! 

www.hope4hanna.com

You Might Also Like
Show Mobile Version