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Free Personalized Coloring Pages – SO CUTE!

This find is too cute, I had to share. I have been a big fan of Frecklebox for years now and their darling personalized products and gifts.  Now they are offering free personalized coloring pages for kids that are just so cute! My daughter went crazy over them.

It’s so cute and easy, you just click on the one you want, then add in your child’s name, and click “preview” and then you can print it out yourself.

We are always looking for fun coloring projects and these have entertained my daughters for a long time! Oh, it is so fun to find cool free activities like this!

Also make sure to check out their cool products for back to school!  I personally love their lunchboxes and binders!

{Disclosure: Tiny Oranges is a Frecklebox Affiliate.}

Wish This Conference Newbie Luck at BlogHer ’11!

Today I am heading down to San Diego for BlogHer ’11 for my FIRST blogging conference EVER! Yes, I am a total conference newbie. It’s hard to believe I have been blogging for three years and haven’t hit the conference circuit yet. But the timing couldn’t be better with a new site design coming soon!

For those of you reading that are non-bloggers, you might be wondering, what does one do at a blogger conference!?

Well, seeing it’s my first one, I am not completely sure, but what I do know is there will be thousands of fellow women bloggers (and some brave men too!), lots of bloggy friends, cool brands, tons of educational sessions, parties galore and I am told a little swag. Love it.

Getting ready to go this week has been a tad stressful, some of which is due to the the fact, that although extremely convenient, I am also packing up my two kids to spend 3 days with my in-laws who happen to live in San Diego. It never ceases to amaze me the sheer amount of STUFF that is required to pack for two little humans ages 2 and 5.

But I am hoping that magically, I will find all of us packed and in the car driving to San Diego at some point today. Wish me luck on this, I need it!

I also think I got a tad stressed because of the unknown. In doing some research to prepare for what I should bring and wear, I started to get a little overwhelmed by the articles and buzz.

Then I forced myself to take a step back, relax, take a deep breath and focus on the three things I want to get out of BlogHer: education, networking and connecting with friends.

I think if I can focus on the community aspect and just enjoy myself, it will be an awesome experience.

And speaking of friends, I am rooming with Tera from Tera Rae Stephens, my fabulous blogging hairstylist and her friend Beckey from Hippo Brigade. Do you think rooming with a hair stylist means I am destined to have fabulous hair for the conference!?  Tera? Thoughts?

I won’t be posting tomorrow as I will be up to my ears in learning all kinds of new, fabulous stuff!  I can’t wait to come back and launch my sparkly new site with some fresh ideas.

And to the bloggers reading this…comment below if you are attending!  I hope to get to connect with you!

Have a  fabulous weekend everyone!  In the meantime, please wish me luck!

XO Jen

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Friends, could you spare 30 seconds to vote for Tiny Oranges?  You can vote 1 x a day through 8/11!  We are currently in 1st place THANKS TO YOU but competition is fierce with all these awesome mom blogs so I need your help to keep us there!! THANK YOU! Smooch!

 

School Zone Start to Read! Program

For me, watching my five year old start to read has been one of the most fascinating things I have witnessed thus far in parenting. It is truly amazing to see the wheels in her brain turning as she starts to recognize more sight words and master the different sounds.

It has also made me realize just how CRAZY the English language is!  I mean how many exceptions could we possibly have?  Just when she has her “c” sound down, she asks me how to spell “cereal.”  And then when an invitation comes to a “Princess and Knight” party arrives and she wants me to read it with her, I have to explain the “silent K.” Geesh! I digress…moving on…

So when a representative from www.SchoolZone.com, a company known for their educational workbooks, flash cards & software, contacted me to tell me about their Start to Read! program I was interested in learning more because I believe anything we can get our hands on to give her practice is worth checking out!

The Start to Read! Program uses a 3-step approach to reading: listen, read, review. The 6-book set for each level (there are 3) contains five beginning reader books, a read-along and songs CD, a comprehension workbook and a parent guide.

Level 1 books are designed for emergent readers, ages 4-6, and have limited vocabulary – each book introduces between 9 and 50 words. Utilizing short, one-line sentences, the titles in level 1 provide simple picture clues that significantly support the story.

The five titles in the Level 2 collection feature brief stories that introduce controlled vocabulary, simple sentence patterns and rhyming words and are designed for children ages 5-7. Picture clues provide considerable support for the test. Each book presents the reader with 50-70 new words.

Level 3 features stories with the most new words and vocabulary and are aimed at readers ages 6-7. Many of the words can be read by changing the initial sound (rumbled-tumbled) or by rhyming with a known word (before-roar). Children should learn approximately 45-150 new words with each book.

For my daughter, at her stage in learning to read, which is the beginning stage, repetition is key. All of the books we read in the Level 1 series combined a silly story using lots of simple, repeating words.  I have learned that word repetition is great because it builds their confidence and gives them the “I can read!” excitement when working their way through a book.

Her personal favorite story in this series is Jog Frog Jog, which features a jogging frog pounding water in running shoes on the cover, was such a silly story she laughed out loud. Especially to the song on the CD.

I am a believer in making education fun for kids! This is the perfect activity to pull out when little sister is napping and we can read the books together and have a ball while doing it!

Each of the three levels retails for $24.99; the deluxe kit, which includes all three levels, is available for the high-value price of $59.99. The 15 individual storybooks are available separately for $2.99 each. All products are available from www.schoolzone.com.

Completely awesome gift idea as well!

{Disclosure: I received the Level 1 Kit complimentary to facilitate this review but this is not a compensated post and all of my opinions are my honest ones!}

OC Prenatal & Postnatal Pilates with Knocked Up Fitness

Erica Ziel-Conklin is a certified personal trainer, pilates instructor and nutritionist specializing in fitness-infused pilates here in OC training out of Body Design in Newport Beach. With vast experience in and a passion for prenatal and postnatal fitness, Erica launched Knocked-UpFitness.com to educate and train sassy mamas-to-be.

It just so happened that shortly after launching Knocked Up Fitness, Erica found out she was “knocked up” herself (hee hee) and is currently expecting her third child this fall!  I have to say I don’t think there is anything cuter than taking a prenatal fitness class from an instructor that is ALSO pregnant!

I trained with Erica before my second half marathon to strengthen last year and her training is A-MAZING. Click here to read my experience.  Erica has also trained my fellow blogger friend, Shanna, from My Favorite Everything to get her into shape after having her third child.

Check out Shanna’s before and after pictures. Incredible!

Erica is currently offering special OC prenatal & postnatal pilates classes at the following times:

Mondays 2pm

Tuesdays 6pm

Wednesdays noon

Wednesdays at 5pm

Saturdays 10am

Her other regular (AWESOME) pilates classes (fit pregnant gals & postpartum welcome) occur on:

Mondays 7am

Wednesdays 7am

Fridays 6am

Saturday 8am

All classes taught at Body Design

300 Newport Center
Newport Beach

In-home training also available!

Special Summer Price* for new prenatal or postnatal clients!

12 classes $300 (save $120)

Private prenatal or postnatal Training Special 12 for $840 (save $240)

(*Must be currently pregnant or have had a baby within the last 12 months to qualify for this special series.)

Erica is also currently working on filming her very own  prenatal pilates VIDEOS so soon you will be also be able to workout with an amazing prenatal trainer in the comfort of your own home. I will do a post when the first one is released!

I am a complete believer in the benefits of pilates and how it can benefit your health and there is no better person to train with in Orange County than Erica! Make sure to tell her Tiny Oranges sent you to get this special pricing!

Email Erica at info@knocked-upfitness.com to sign up for a class
Stay up to date with Knocked Up Fitness on Facebook
Follow @KnockedUpFit on Twitter

Happy Tuesday Mamas!  Hope you have a great day!

{Disclosure: Knocked Up Fitness is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor}

CareRally Montage Laguna Beach Giveaway!

I am so excited about this giveaway it’s ridiculous. To date, it is my BIGGEST one ever. Huge. If you could see me typing I am also jumping up and down at the same time. Let me first begin with how this giveaway came to be.  A company called CareRally.com recently contacted me about doing a giveaway to promote their AWESOME new Facebook application, “Know a good doctor?

The idea behind “Know a good doctor?” is simple. And brilliant. But before I put my enthusiasm behind any company, I like to make sure that I would use it myself as a mom so I took it for a spin.

By logging onto this app through Facebook, you can easily search for any type of doctor, dentist or specialist and see which ones your friends refer.

I LOVE this because there have been countless times I have sat down to look at a list “approved” insurance providers (we have an HMO) and been at a loss because how am I supposed to know how GOOD they are?! I spent endless hours researching pediatricians and OB/GYNs before I had my first baby.  Same thing when it came time to pick a pediatric dentist in Orange County. This would have saved me a ton of time!

Using “Know a good doctor?” was SO EASY. If you are looking for a doctor in a specific area, it is very easy to search. It also takes less than one minute to add a favorite. First you search to see if they are in the database, if they are you can vote and comment.  If not, you can add them. It’s as simple as adding their name, city, quick thumbs up or thumbs down and an optional comment.  That’s it.

The beauty in this application is that it has taken the days of making phone calls or sending emails to find out which local doctors your friends refer to an end.

With our help, “Know a good doctor?” will quickly become THE resource for moms everywhere as they seek for the best care for their family.

Hooray! It’s a **HUGE** Tiny Giveaway!

This giveaway is a little different, but I am going to make it easy-easy-ocean-breezy!  Vote for any Doctor you know & trust & you can win a night* at Montage Laguna Beach in the gorgeous month of September 2011!

{By the way, I just stayed a glorious night at Montage Laguna Beach for the first time. In case you missed my post, this is what could be in store for you if you win…And that, my friends is the reason for the happy dance!}

Here’s how you can enter:

1. If you use Facebook, click here on Facebook’s “Know a good doctor?” or go to CareRally.com.

2. Search for your Doctors and submit your votes.

3. Add your favorite Doctors and submit your votes.

4. Ask your friends to so the same.

How to win a night at Montage Laguna Beach*…

It’s very easy to rack up entries in this exciting contest, you get an entry:

1.  For every Doctor you add and / or vote for

and

2. Every time a friend of yours votes for their Doctors you get an entry- so you definitely want to tell your friends about this!

So for example if you added a a doctor, voted for them and then had a friend add her doctor, vote for them and then another friend voted for her doctor who’s already in the database… you just got 5 entries.  The entries can add up fast, meaning a better chance of winning!

The fine print & details:

Contest runs through August 30th, 2011 at 11:59pm PST. CareRally will be able to track the votes and entries clicking through from Tiny Oranges. From the eligible entries, CareRally will select one winner at random to receive a one-night stay at Montage Laguna Beach valid from September 1st – September 30th, 2011. Prize includes tax + resort fees. Parking + incidentals not included. Room is subject to availability. CareRally will contact winner via email and the winner will have 48 hours to respond with their name, email, address and phone number before another winner is selected. CareRally will send Montage representative the winner’s information to coordinate reservation. Approximate value of prize is $750 – $1,000. Wowza!!!

I will announce the winner on my Tiny Oranges Facebook page that Friday, September 1st!!!

GOOD LUCK MAMAS!!!  Start searching, adding and voting for your favorites so we can build up this Orange County resource for all the mamas looking for the BEST doctors for their family!

{Disclosure: Montage Resorts is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor}

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