Personal Stuff

The Power of a Compliment

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the power of a compliment

“You have really beautiful legs.”

The year was 1995 and I was a waitress at Ruby’s Diner in Santa Barbara while attending college. The compliment was not from some guy trying to pick me up, but rather, an old lady who was dining out with her husband. She said it in a way that was very matter-of-fact, and, genuine.  I will never forget where I was standing.

I was wearing a pinstriped dress, apron, suntan nylons and white tennies, the Ruby’s uniform, in which I didn’t feel particularly beautiful. Especially with the extra college pounds I had put on that year thanks to pizza, beer and bagels. It was a season of my life when my self-esteem was at its lowest.

She made me remember, I did have nice legs, even with the + 15 – 20 lbs and her genuine compliment lifted me up at a time when I needed it.

The rest of my shift, I had a bounce in my step and felt uplifted. And here we are, almost 20 years later, and I still remember it vividly, because of the way she made me feel.

The Power of a Compliment 

The power of a compliment is a beautiful thing, it’s a gift.  Not only that you give someone else, but it also is a gift to yourself too, because when you see the reaction when you give a genuine compliment, it makes you feel good too.

Since that time, I have made an effort, when I think something nice about someone, to tell them.

If we have really great service at a restaurant, I will tell the server, and have the manager come over so I can tell them too, just how awesome our server was.

If I think someone I know is smart, or talented, or looks particularly beautiful, or if I admire their parenting, or pretty much, whatever it is that I genuinely think that is positive to myself, I say it to them.

I am trying to teach this to my children too.

At my youngest’s soccer game last weekend, our awesome team mom had put together these amazing game treats for the kids.  My oldest daughter said to me, “Mrs. Wilson is a REALLY good team mom.” I told my daughter, “Yes, she IS! You should tell her that! It will make her feel good.”

I would encourage you to give it a try.  If a thought crosses your mind that is positive about someone else, if you are with them, say it right there out loud, or pick up the phone and call or text.  I guarantee you will make someone’s day.

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Happy Halloween!

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Elsa Drinking Game

Happy Halloween friends!

I saw this Elsa Drinking Game on Facebook and had to laugh out loud because my 5-year-old, along with millions of other little girls will be donning an ice princess dress tonight. There was no talking her out of it.

Yep, Elsa is coming to your door.

Again, and again, and again…


Have a fun and safe holiday!

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To Third.

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As I’ve just entered my 8th month of pregnancy, I guess it’s time to write my follow up post about how my husband and I decided to go for the third child.

Some of you might remember my first post on the subject, written years ago “To Third or Not To Third?“ where I layed out all of the reasons why we should and why we should not add another member to our family.

We talked about it and talked about it, and waited for the right time and talked about it some more and couldn’t come to a decision.

My husband was so sick of the topic.  

One night last Spring we were out on a date night (which included some tequila) and we decided to give ourselves a window.  A very short 3 week window, effective immediately and ending with a trip we had scheduled to Cabo for our friend’s 40th birthday celebration.

In this time frame we would not take precautions not to get pregnant.  (See what I did there with that double negative?)

Our thought process was, if we get pregnant in that time frame then it was meant to be, and if we didn’t we could feel good that we had left it up to Fate who had decided for us.

The next morning after that date night, when the tequila had worn off, we both woke up terrified and looked at each other (almost in a scene out of a movie) and said “yeah, that’s enough of that plan.”

We thought we had our answer.

Flash forward to the last night of our Cabo trip when we were having a SUPER fun time celebrating our friend’s birthday, and our friends who happened to be pregnant with their third started into a sales pitch about why we should have a third kiddo along with them.

Which got me thinking…something was a little late…

There will be a six year gap between our middle and our baby!  We will be going back to sleepless nights, and breastfeeding and bottles, and diapers and spit up, and strollers and carseat adaptors and high chairs and, and, and…

But after the initial freak out, the excitement set in:  we get to do this all over again!!

It will be the first time we are being surprised with the gender.  Our girls love to hug and kiss my pregnant belly, and get so excited to feel the baby kick and they love when s/he has the hiccups.  They are SO thrilled to have a little brother or sister. (Although Lyla swears she won’t change a poopy diaper.)

We can’t wait to meet this new member of our family who was SO meant to be.

Do you have a story to share on how you decided to go for the third? Share in the comments below! 

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(Photo Credit Top: Kristin Eldridge Photography)

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Meet Our Team

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The past several months I have seen a huge jump in traffic to our site (and if you are reading this now, I have YOU to thank for that!) so I thought it was a good time to make some introductions for any new readers of the women behind Tiny Oranges in an “Meet Our Team” post!

jen That’s me, Jennifer Scheumann, and I founded Tiny Oranges in the summer of 2008.

At the time, I was a new mom to a two-year-old daughter, contemplating going for another baby at the time and I was looking for a way to share ideas with other moms.

For the first three years I ran the blog myself, barely, especially with a 3-year-old and colicky infant with reflux. Sometimes I look back and wonder how the heck I did it.

My blog was also a business and I was doing all the writing along with all the sales. It had grown to a point where I really needed a sales person to take care of that part of the business so I could focus on blogging, which was and is my passion.

I knew I wanted it to be someone who already read (and hopefully liked) my blog, so I did a help wanted post looking for a sales person back in 2011.

Going in I had decided I didn’t want to hire someone I knew, because God forbid, it didn’t work out. I didn’t want to have to run into that person around town and have it be…awkward.

SUSANNE Susanne, a mom I knew (and really liked) from a former Mommy & Me class we took together, emailed me to “apply” and I wrote back and politely explained how I wanted to hire someone I didn’t know and the reason why.

But Susanne didn’t take “no” for an answer, so she politely wrote back to tell me she really thought she would be a great fit. She told me she was a “no drama mama” and would love the chance to meet and at least talk about it and if it didn’t work out,  no big deal.

I went on a run that morning, and out of all the emails I had received, I just had a gut feeling Susanne was the One. We met that week and my instinct was confirmed, she seemed like the perfect fit.

She was and has been for over three years now.

Susanne is Tiny Oranges’ Sales Director and works with all of our sponsors to put together marketing proposals, contracts and manages our ads. I can’t imagine doing Tiny Oranges without her.

Susanne also happens to have a culinary degree, so I often rope her into sharing her talent with easy recipes from time to time. I joke and call her SUS Chef! This recent garlic maple pork roast recipe was to-die-for and her “How to Properly Cut an Onion” video was also one of our most popular posts.

Friends of mine, even to this day talk about how she was the one who actually taught them the correct way (including me!) to cut an onion!

Susanne’s a mama of two girls, ages almost 8 and 5, and a third on the way (gender will be a surprise) in December. For those of you who read her “To Third or Not to Third?” post awhile back, well, there’s the answer. For the record, I have a gut feeling it’s girl #3, and their house will be full of little women. Can’t wait to find out!!!

You can read more about Susanne here.

christy It was always my goal to keep our site full of fresh content so I have consistently blogged five days a week since the beginning.

But that’s a LOT of blogging, and once again, as work got busier I realized I needed someone to come on as a contributing writer.

About a year and a half ago, I did another help wanted post and received a great response with many talented moms wrote in with a sample writing piece.

I met Christy when she submitted this post entitled “Babies, Crosses and Sprinklers” and I fell in love.

Christy has been writing for Tiny Oranges since that time and is the mastermind behind some of our most popular posts including Top Ten Trips for Visiting Disneyland with Toddlers, Disney California Adventure Tips for Little Ones, An Easy Way to Teach Your Kids Their Phone Number and Reward Charts for Kids.

Christy’s a mama of a girl and boy, ages 4 and almost 7 and a passionate advocate for The Moms in Training Program for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In fact, just this past weekend she ran a half marathon in San Francisco to raise money for the organization.

She is a huge inspiration to me, and just about the most energetic, on-the-ball person you will ever meet!  She often has things to me before I even realize I needed them.

You can read more about Christy here.

suzanne When I first started Tiny Oranges, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter did not exist or, if they did, were not mainstream.

In fact, the way I first spread the word to start my blog was to send a mass email to my contacts along with a POSTCARD in the mail to everyone I could think of.

Yes, my social marketing in 2008 included snail mail.

No one could have fathomed what would happen in the realm of social media at that time.

But in recent years, with the demands of so many emerging social media platforms, I found that trying to keep up with updating our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google + accounts was a job in itself.

Suzanne (yes, I work with TWO – one with an S and one with a Z!) is my younger sister who happened to leave her full time job to stay home with her kids a couple years ago.

When her youngest was out of the baby phase, one day she asked me if I needed any help and the answer was a resounding YES! I desperately needed someone to help with my social media accounts and she was the perfect person to do so.  It was once again, a match made in heaven.

Suzanne does our regular updates on our Facebook and Twitter pages, and is responsible for many of the amazing Facebook shares the last 6 months along with growing our following with her amazing social media content.

Recently she has also started pinning for me as well, which is fab for me, because she also has impeccable taste.

Suzanne is a mama to two boys, ages 2 and 5, and I am very lucky to have a sister that I absolutely love and also love to work with.  She has also contributed content as well including 5 Must Have Baby Items for a Second Time Mom and LEGO Organization Tips which were both extremely popular.

Being a major foodie, she recently wrote this Tamarind of London Review, which is hopefully the first of many OC restaurant reviews to come.

You can read more about Suzanne here.

So, those are the talented women that make up our team and make it happen here at Tiny Oranges. To say I am lucky is an understatement.  Running a blog is a ton of work. A ton. To have such a support system of women to help me has made all the difference. Blogging has always been fun, but they make it extra fun. I am one lucky mama in more ways than one!

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30 Days of Daily Charges

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Self-care for moms: Finding the things that bring us balance
Last month I challenged women everywhere to commit to join the Daily Charge Challenge and do one thing each day solely focused on self-care. or any activity that recharges the mind/body or spirit.

In my dreams I was envisioning massive amounts of moms participating in this fun challenge to take the time each day for a little self-care.  In reality I know of about 5 that did.

So to those 5 I say, many thanks for joining me. You know who you are :) .

And to those that might have been participating that I don’t know about – I hope it was a fun exercise for you that inspired more happiness.

The  experiment for me was a huge one of growth and self-discovery, and a lot of fun to boot.

When I looked back at my #DailyChargeChallenge photos in that collage, it is clear to see the things that relax me. Date nights, yoga, being outdoors, walks with friends, reading, time with my family, my work, and we can’t forget, wine.

All those things pictured above bring balance to my life.

So much so, I am going to put it on a canvas print and hang on my office wall as a reminder of just how important it is to dedicate time in our busy lives for the small things that make us happy.

It shouldn’t just be a 30 day challenge, but an ongoing challenge.

If you didn’t participate last month, you can start today or tomorrow. It doesn’t have to be a daily thing, but try to commit to doing a few things each week that recharge you.

Then, take a photo of it.

You don’t have to share on social media, it can just be kept on your phone.  Periodically go back and look at those things that inspire you.  Need ideas? We have a gazillion listed in my post here.

I guaranteed your spirit will feel just a little brighter.

Happy weekend mamas! Make it an AMAZING one!

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