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Free Guardianship Planning Workshops

Free Guardianship Planning Workshops


DeDe Soto of The Soto Law Group is hosting two free guardianship planning workshops next month at newly opened (and amazing) The Dailey Method Newport Beach barre studio.

Here three reasons why you should sign up today:

1. Choosing the right guardians for your kids is one of the most important decisions you can make as a parent. DeDe will teach you how to avoid making any of the six common mistakes families make when naming legal guardians for their minor children.

2. Have you ever wondered what exactly an estate plan is? Or if you need one? DeDe will tell you exactly what is entailed in putting one together and how to get started.

3. These two guardianship planning workshops are free to attend and offer free childcare! Essentially, you have nothing to lose by going and everything to gain.

Here’s the info!

Date Night for Parents

Friday, April 4th, 2014 at 6:30pm
Couples can attend together, enjoy some much deserved Friday night drinks and apps

Light Brunch

Thursday, April 10th at 10:30am
Light brunch will be served

Free childcare is available both events at The Dailey Method. Registration for attendance and childcare is required due to limited space.

There will also be raffles and other fun prizes.

Reserve your spot by calling 888-735-7686 or click here to sign up online.

Bringing Sexy Back To Parenting

Orange County Family Lawyer

I had a little chuckle when I saw our Sponsor, Orange County family lawyer, Darlynn Morgan‘s guest post title today and I was intrigued to find out how family estate planning could bring sexy back to parenting. But I have to say, she makes a very compelling argument. Make sure to read to the end of the post to get the info on her three free workshops this month.

Read on…

Bringing Sexy Back to Parenting 

“I’ll admit it. I was never a huge Ashton Kutcher fan until I watched his acceptance speech from the Nickelodeon Teen Choice Awards.

If you haven’t watched the clip yet, take the 4 minutes to do it. You won’t regret it. (This is Jen talking now – seriously – WATCH IT! I got the chills. Amazing message.)

Revealing that his real name is Chris, Ashton let his young fans in on the “secret sauce” to his success; namely that fame and fortune doesn’t just fall out of the sky, but is the result of a strong work ethic and opportunities that “look a lot like hard work.”

He also schools his ‘tween and teenage fans about the real meaning of “sexy”.

“Don’t buy it,” he said. “The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart, and being thoughtful, and being generous. Everything else is crap. I promise you.”

A powerful message for our kids indeed…but even more relevant for young, savvy parents who desire the very best for their kids.

Let’s face it. Every parent dreams of giving their children a beautiful home, nice clothes, top-of-the-line gear, luxurious vacations and even more opportunities than we may have enjoyed.

But living a truly fabulous and sexy lifestyle goes beyond just material things; it’s also about making SMART choices now to ensure your family is never robbed of those opportunities in the future.

No matter what your net worth or future goals are, every parent needs a crash course on how to protect their family from life’s risks such as lawsuits, divorce, financial problems or the death or incapacity of one or both parents.

These things can happen to anyone, but a there are a few easy, pro-active steps you can take to lessen the blow and enjoy the confidence knowing that your family would be prepared to ride out the storm.

Can confidently answer these questions about YOUR family?

~ I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that my kids would be raised by the people I WANT if something happens to me or my spouse.

~ If I’m temporarily incapacitated (…in a car accident, for example), I’ve created the legal documents necessary that would allow police or first responders to leave my kids with loved ones, and not place them in the care of social services until a judge shows up to make that decision (this is what they MUST do under the law!).

~ If something happens to me, I’ve put “speed bumps” around my children’s inheritance so they can’t blow their money at the vulnerable age of 18.

~ If I’m remarried, I know how to properly hold title to my house and “blend” our assets in a way that protects my kids from a previous relationship and my interests if I unexpectedly pass away or the marriage ends.

~ I have the RIGHT insurance and other financial protections in place to ensure my kids always enjoy the lifestyle I want for them if the unthinkable happens.

~ If you can’t confidently answer YES to any of these questions, NOW is the time to take back control of your financial future and learn how to get your legal house in order once and for all.

You may be scared to face your own mortality, or maybe you’ve never handled financial issues for your family… but learning how is empowering!

There is no greater peace of mind than knowing that you can take a romantic date with your spouse or head off on vacation without worrying about what would happen to your kids if something happened to you.

And the best part? You can learn how to implement these savvy legal protections for your family in a way that’s easy to understand, FREE and at a fun place here in Orange County (…or from the comfort of your own home!).

I’m talking about my Kids Protection Planning seminars, which are happening THIS MONTH at Xpecting, Granola Babies and via teleseminar.  Hundreds of smart OC parents have gone through our workshops and left feeling totally in control, empowered and equipped with an action plan to make great legal and financial decisions for the future.

What real OC parents have to say…

We recently had two children and knew we had to get our custody and financial distribution in order… Darlynn was so generous with her wisdom, time, and personal experiences. She gave honest opinions only when asked with no judgments given. Everything was very professional, timely, and easy to follow. Thank you! – Leane and Alex H., Glendale

My wife and I were ‘first timers’ and had a lot of estate planning questions, especially relating to protecting our two young boys. There is nothing scarier than the thought of what would happen to your children if you were gone. Darlynn truly cares, and it comes through. — Michael S., Irvine

We have been wanting to do it for awhile, but a trip out of the country propelled us to do it and stop procrastinating…. this was a great, easy process because of your sincerity, kindness and organization.  I loved how personable you are, and family friendly.  The process was very smooth and almost effortless on our part. — Jeff & Faith F., Santa Ana

We appreciated your thoroughness, professional presentation using visual aids, friendly atmosphere [and] the warmth of hospitality expressed. — Monte & Darleen H., Yorba Linda

Or, check out this post from Tiny Orange’s very own Susanne Henderson who blogged about her entire experience firsthand.

Three free workshops this month

So what are you waiting for?  Choose from one of the following dates and times and visit to register.

Attendance is free but seating is ALWAYS limited.  Bring your spouse, grab a girlfriend…you can even bring your kids, but RSVP now to ensure you have a space.

Xpecting Maternity

September 12th at 6 pm

Granola Babies

September 17th at 1 pm

Teleseminar (call in with your hubby in your jammies!)

September 18th at 8 pm

Come learn how building a fabulous lifestyle on a solid foundation and making SMART choices for the future can be fun after all!  Set the example of what is really SEXY for your family. They will thank you for it if the unthinkable happens.

[Disclosure: Morgan Law Group is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor]

How much sleep does my child need?

The moment I became a mom I instantly became obsessed with the question, “How much sleep does my child need?

Every time my child is cranky or going through a challenging phase, I always find myself wondering if they are getting enough sleep. Nice to have something to blame it on, right mamas?!

If kids don’t get the sleep they need, things can get ugly. That can go for moms too. Just sayin’!

In the course of working with Serta as a brand ambassador for their amazing mattresses, I learned of their partnership with the National Sleep Foundation. Serta’s Perfect Sleeper is the official mattress of the National Sleep Foundation.

Since this organization is an expert on all things sleep related, I poked around to see what they had to say about children and sleep, and came across this great article I wanted to share with you.

What do you think? Would love to hear your comments below.

How Much Sleep Does My Child Need?

Information courtesy of the National Sleep Foundation.
Full article can be found here 

Newborns (Birth to 2 months)

For newborns, sleep during the early months occurs around the clock and the sleep-wake cycle interacts with the cycle of needing to be fed, changed and nurtured.

Newborns sleep a total of 10.5 to 18 hours a day on an irregular schedule with periods of one to three hours spent awake.

Newborns express sleepiness in different ways. Some fuss, cry, or rub their eyes.

It is best to put babies to bed when they are sleepy, but not asleep. They are more likely to fall asleep quickly and eventually learn how to get themselves to sleep. Newborns can be encouraged to sleep less during the day by exposing them to light and noise, and playtime. As evening approaches, quiet the environment with dimmer lights and less activity.

Newborn Sleep Tips

~ Observe baby’s sleep patterns and identify their individual signs of sleepiness.
~ Put your baby in the crib when drowsy, not asleep.
~ Encourage nighttime sleep.

Infants (3 – 11 months)

By six months of age, nighttime feedings are usually not necessary and many infants sleep through the night with 70-80 percent sleeping through the night by nine months of age.

(But those nine months can feel like eternity – right moms?!)

Infants typically sleep 9-12 hours during the night and take 30 minute – 2-hour naps, one to four times a day – the quantity of naps decreasing by age one.

When infants are put to bed drowsy but not quite asleep, they are more likely to become “self- soothers” which enables them to fall asleep on their own at bedtime and also put themselves back to sleep during the night. Those who have become accustomed to assistance to fall asleep from mom and dad at bedtime often become “signalers” and cry for their parents to help them return to sleep during the night.

Infant Sleep Tips 

~ Develop regular daytime and bedtime schedules and routines.
~ Create a consistent and enjoyable wind down bedtime routine.
~ Establish a regular “sleep friendly” environment.
~ Encourage baby to fall asleep independently and to become a “self-soother.”

Toddlers (1 – 3 years)

Toddlers need about 12-14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. When they reach about 18 months of age their naptimes will decrease to once a day lasting about one to three hours. Naps should not occur too close to bedtime as they may delay sleep at night.

Many toddlers experience sleep problems including resisting going to bed and nighttime awakenings, fears and nightmares.

Many factors can lead to sleep problems at this age. Toddlers’ drive for independence and an increase in their motor, cognitive and social abilities can interfere with their sleep. In addition, their ability to get out of bed, separation anxiety, the need for autonomy and the development of the child’s imagination can lead to sleep problems. Daytime sleepiness and behavior problems may signal they are not getting enough sleep.

Toddler Sleep Tips

~ Maintain a daily sleep schedule and consistent bedtime routine.
~ Make the bedroom environment the same every night.
~ Set limits that are consistent, communicated and enforced.
~ Encourage use of a security object such as a blankie, lovey or stuffed animal.

Preschoolers (3-5 years)

Preschoolers typically sleep 11-13 hours each night and most do not nap after five years of age.

As with toddlers, difficulty falling asleep and nighttime wakings are common. With further development of imagination, preschoolers commonly experience nighttime fears and nightmares. In addition, sleepwalking and sleep terrors tend to peak during preschool years.

Preschooler Sleep Tips

~ Maintain a regular and consistent sleep schedule.
~ Have a relaxing bedtime routine that ends in the room where the child sleeps.
~ Child should sleep in the same sleeping environment every night, in a room that is cool, quiet and dark and without a TV.

Grade Schoolers (5 – 12 years)

Children aged five to 12 need 10-11 hours of sleep. At the same time, at this age there is an increasing demand on their time from school, sports and activities.

In addition, school-aged children become more interested in TV, computers, the media and Internet as well as caffeine products. All of which can lead to difficulty falling asleep, nightmares and disruptions to their sleep.

Watching TV close to bedtime has been associated with bedtime resistance, difficulty falling asleep, anxiety around sleep and sleeping fewer hours.

Sleep problems and disorders are common at this age. Poor or inadequate sleep can lead to mood swings, behavioral problems such as hyperactivity and cognitive problems that impact on their ability to learn in school.

School-Aged Children Sleep Tips

~ Teach school-aged children about healthy sleep habits.
~ Continue to emphasize need for regular and consistent sleep schedule and bedtime routine.
~ Make child’s bedroom conducive to sleep – dark, cool and quiet.
~ Keep TV and computers out of the bedroom.
~ Avoid caffeine.

So, I want to know, are your kids getting enough sleep? Comment below with your thoughts!

[Disclosure: I am a part of the Serta blogger program and have received complimentary products to facilitate my reviews. I am also compensated for my time and participation in the program. All opinions are 100% my own.]

How To Trim Your Daughter’s Growing Out Bangs

How to trim girl's growing out bangs

This post includes a how to video on how to cut your daughter’s bangs when you are trying to grow them out by OC hairstylist Tera Rae Stephens of Tek Salon in Costa Mesa.

Growing out a little girl’s bangs can be no easy feat!

If you are in the beginning phase, make sure to read this first post on How to Grow Out Your Little Girl’s Bangs to see four cute hairstyles you can do when they start getting in her eyes.

When they start to get longer, a little trim along the way, will make them easier to wear while growing out.

Here Tera teaches us how to cut your daughter’s bangs while growing them out by demonstrating on her own cutie patootie, Harper:

And here is step-by-step instructions you can follow to go along with the video:

1.   Using a flat brush, dry your little girl’s bangs to lay in the direction that you ultimately want them to lie.  Take into consideration any cowlicks that may fight you!

2.   Section out the bangs that you plan to reshape.  If they were cut by a stylist originally, they will most likely be a triangle shape when you comb it all forward.

3.   Clip back any hair that isn’t bangs and avoid cutting that.

4.   Comb the bangs into the position that they will lie and take a small (1 inch), diagonal section from the back of the bangs toward the hairline. (See head sheet)

5.   Holding your fingers parallel to the parting, cut just the corner off from short to long.  Be sure to only remove enough hair that the shortest piece will lay just above the eyebrow.

6.   Comb the section back to where it will lie and make sure the length is correct before continuing to the next section.

7.   Take the next parting and comb it down to the previously cut section.  Using the previous section as a guide, cut the second section.

8.   Work this way until all of the hair has been combed down and trimmed.  When you get to the final sections, there may not be any hair that will reach.  Don’t cut what doesn’t need to be cut!!!

9.   If the longer side of the bangs are heavy, carefully texturize the last section, holding the hair in the same place it was originally cut.

10. You just cut a very simple side swept bang!  Enjoy looking at that sweet little face!

And here is a visual to help.  Good LUCK! Let us know if you try it and how it works out for you!

Not a Fun Topic ~ But an Important One

This post was written by long time Tiny Oranges sponsor, Orange County estate planning lawyer, Darlynn Morgan, about the importance of taking the steps to protect your children legally if something were to happen to you. Not a fun topic, but an important one. Darlynn is hosting two free workshops for OC parents this month, details below. Here is what she wrote:

As parents, we know that bad things can happen to our family and that’s why we take steps to minimize our child’s risk or exposure.

We invest in the very best car seats, cabinet locks, helmets and other equipment—all in the name of keeping our children safe.   It feels like that’s all I ever think about, keeping my 3 year old son safe!

Yet when it comes to making sure our kids are protected in the event of mom or dad’s sudden death or incapacity, most parents find security by sticking their heads in the sand, doing nothing and thinking positive thoughts.

For some parents, they are in such denial that they don’t even let it cross their mind.  I understand; it’s very very hard to think about this stuff.

I’m a mom and an Orange County estate planning lawyer, so I talk with a lot of parents each week. Whether I’m giving a Kids Protection Workshop or just hanging at the park or with my moms club, I hear a ton of “reasons” (excuses?) as to why parents have not legally documented guardians for their kids and why there’s no plan for their money if the unthinkable happens.

Common Reasons Parents Have Not Legally Named Guardians for Their Children:

• The chances of my spouse and I dying together are slim
• I’ve told my family my wishes, I know they’ll honor them if I’m not around
• I don’t have a ton of assets to leave to my kids, everything is pretty straightforward
• I still have plenty of time to take care of this
• I thought about naming guardians, but I just couldn’t decide on the best person (or hubby and I don’t agree on who to choose)

Thanks to these reasons above, over 69% of parents in our area have not created a will or trust to protect their children if tragedy strikes!

They are gambling on odds, hoping they won’t die at the same time as their spouse or that a judge will just go along with a family member who says they know your wishes, but they have nothing legally documented to back it up. (And that also assumes there’s no fighting relatives, or multiple family members who come forward).

Real Families Who Were Unprepared For Tragedy

In the past 24 months, there were real life stories that captured national attention and reminded parents just how vulnerable their kids are if an unexpected tragedy strikes. I wanted to share just a couple because it is a vivid reminder of why getting your legal affairs in order is so critically important.

It was just two summers ago that parents Josh and Robin Berry were instantly killed when a vehicle entered their lane and totaled the family car.

Their 3 small children survived, with two suffering serious spinal cord injuries that left them paralyzed from the waist down and needing millions of dollars of treatment. Josh’s brother and wife were appointed guardians of the children by a court and are now relying on public donations to help provide the children with a lifetime of medical and financial care.

In March of 2012, Marty and Elisa Wilcox were beaming as they drove home from the hospital with their 3-year-old and newborn son. The joyful moment quickly turned tragic when a car entered their lane and killed everyone except for the newborn boy, who was found unharmed in the bushes nearby. The child’s grandmother was appointed to raise the child, but considering her age, who will look out for him when she’s gone?

Will YOUR Kids Be Protected If Tragedy Strikes?

These stories are sobering reminders that none of us have a crystal ball and we can’t accurately predict when serious illness, disability, death or other tragedies of life will strike.

What we can do as parents, however, is legally document the people we trust to raise our kids if the unthinkable happens.

These are the people who would raise our kids as closely to the way we would and provide them with the love, guidance and support they deserve. We can also put a solid financial plan in place to ensure our children’s inheritance is never squandered or mismanage, and that there are plenty of resources available to support them in our absence.

It’s an investment that is just as critical as a car seat, baby-proofing or any other measure designed to protect our kids. It’s bad enough for a child to face the pain and grief of losing a parent—let alone being forced to live with relatives they don’t like or have the wrong people controlling the money you’ve worked so hard to leave them behind.

It’s Time To Get Your Affairs In Order

Fortunately, getting your legal house in order is EASY and it starts by being informed!  I understand how confusing it can be to plan for your family’s future when you don’t know where to start, what questions to ask or who to turn to for help.  But it’s time to get proactive and learn how to protect your children if the unthinkable happens.

A great first step is attending an informational  workshop that is geared toward parents.

It’s the best hour you’ll ever spend when it comes to the future security and protection of your minor kids. Grab your hubby or a friend and learn how to put a fortress of protection around your family—no matter what happens!

Two Upcoming Free OC Workshops

Friday, July 19th at 11:30am at Granola Babies in Costa Mesa


Saturday, July 20th at 3:30pm at My Gym in Newport Beach  (Kids of all ages welcome! The kids will play under the supervision of the My Gym caretakers while you learn, what could be easier than that?)

These workshops fill up fast and you must reserve your family’s spot.  Register today at or call Amy in our office at 949.260.1400.

Disclosure: Morgan Law Group is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor.