Laguna Beach Taste of the Nation 2016

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Disclosure: Complimentary media tickets will be provided.

Laguna Beach Taste of the Nation 2016

Next month at Montage Laguna Beach celebrity chefs will come together for a a culinary event to end childhood hunger and 100% of the ticket proceeds would go to No Kid Hungry.

I wanted to share how you can be a part of it and make a difference in the lives of the nations’ hungry children.

Laguna-Beach-Taste-of-the-Nation-2016

The one-of-a-kind, right in our own backyard, spectacular Montage Laguna Beach, will host the 9th annual Share Our Strength Taste of the Nation® Laguna Beach event on May 15, 2016 and I would love to see you there.

What is it, you wonder?

Let me tell you because I have been lucky enough to attend in past years. It’s ahhhhhhhh-MAZING.

It’s an afternoon where you get to get a little dressed up and sneak away with your hubby for an event that is sure to become a highlight of your entire year. Guys, if you are married to a foodie, tickets to this event would make the perfect Mother’s Day gift.

Picture this…

On the outdoor lawn at Montage Laguna Beach, against a background of sparkling Pacific water, a number of celebrity chefs will  prepare fresh farm-to-table delicacies to further Share Our Strength’s mission to end childhood hunger in Orange County and across the nation.

You and your sweetie can stroll from station to station and enjoy delectable, knock your heels off, tastings, fine wines, signature cocktails, while enjoying picturesque panoramic views to the sounds of live entertainment.

Sound fun?

Here’s how to get tickets to Laguna Beach Taste of the Nation 2016…

As contributors to the charity, guests can choose between the following event packages:

Celebrity Chef Tasting  |  3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. 

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $200 per person or at the door for $225 per person. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.

VIP “Meet the Chefs” Reception  |  6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Finish the night with VIP treatment and a sunset toast. Enjoy the Celebrity Chef Tasting followed by an after party mingling with the chefs, sipping champagne and making s‘mores. Valet parking and a special VIP gift are included.

Tickets purchased in advance are $275 per person or $300 at the door. Once again, click here to get your tix.

What chefs will be there? 

Executive Chef Craig Strong of Studio, Montage Laguna Beach’s award-winning signature restaurant, will be joined by the following talented celebrity chefs:

Chef Nathan Beriau, Montage Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton, SC

Chef David Coleman, Chianina Steakhouse, Long Beach, CA

Chef Ben Ford, Ford’s Filling Station, Los Angeles, CA

Chef Ray Garcia, Broken Spanish, Los Angeles, CA

Chef Walter Manzke, République, Los Angeles, CA

Chef Flynn McGarry, EUREKA, New York, NY

Chef Kris Morningstar, Terrine, Los Angeles, CA

Chef Lee Smith, Executive Pastry Chef, Montage Laguna Beach, CA

Tell me more about No Kid Hungry 

One in five children in this country struggles with hunger, including more than 2,487,750 children in California.

Take a moment for that to sink in. We all know what it feels like to be hungry. We call it “h-angry” in our house because being hungry can also make you angry and grumpy. Yet, 1 in 5 children in this country struggle with hunger daily. Heart-breaking. 

The No Kid Hungry campaign is ending childhood hunger in this nation by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day, by connecting them to nutrition programs like school breakfast and summer meals and by teaching families how to cook healthy, affordable meals at home.

One hundred percent of ticket proceeds from Taste of the Nation benefit No Kid Hungry thanks to generous support from national sponsors Citi and Sysco®. Taste of the Nation Laguna Beach for No Kid Hungry is also supported by national sponsors Food Network, and OpenTable. Local sponsors include Montage Laguna Beach, and S.Pellegrino Natural Sparkling Water. Local beneficiaries include Second Harvest Orange County Food Bank, and Community Action Partnership of OC.

The 2015 Laguna Beach event raised $200,000 which was enough to fund $2 million meals for hungry children. Awesomeness.

Thank you No Kid Hungry for helping our nations’ children. Now, click on over and get your tickets! I hope to see you there! 

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Personalized Cards Mailed From Your Phone!

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inkcards

I love the Ink Cards app and think every mom should have it on their phone. Seriously.

Once you download the app, you can customize and then mail a personalized card or postcard from your phone for less than you can buy a greeting card in the store with postage!

Personalized Cards Mailed From Your Phone 

You can find Ink Cards in the Apple store here and Google Play here.

It’s SO easy! Your camera roll will populate at the bottom of the designs. Just scroll through, pick a cute design, select your photo(s) and then customize with your own text.

Many postcards are only $1.99 each with free shipping and custom cards with postage and envelopes were only $4.99 ea with free shipping!  You can barely find a generic greeting card in the stores these days for less than $4.99 for a good one, and that isn’t even personalized.  I can’t tell you the hours I have wasted reading greeting card after greeting card in the stores looking for the perfect cards for friends. Now I don’t even have to step foot in a store again!

I just personalized two cards to send to two different people and it took me less than five minutes., now go and download and tell me what you think!

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Kids Bowl Free

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KidsBowlFree

Kids Bowl Free, 2 games per day, all summer long with the Kids Bowl Free 2016 program and I will not SPARE you the details!

I signed up my family last week and we have already been twice because Irvine Lanes‘ program happens to run now through September 11th! Super fun. And you certainly can’t beat free. Here’s how to sign up.

Kids Bowl Free 2016

1. Click here to go to the KidsBowlFree.com website.

2. Click on your State and bowling center of choice. Every bowling center is different so select yours and you can find dates, hours and times to the right.

3. Enter your info to sign up. If you are feeling charitable, put in my email address in the gray referrer box, I think they draw prizes for referrals or something of the sort. I like prizes, thanks.  My email is jennifer @ tinyoranges.com.

4. You can enter up to 6 kids on your sign-up so I also added in some friends that will likely be hanging out with us this summer.

5. Consider purchasing the Unlimited Family Pass. For $26/total, I had the option to purchase unlimited bowling (same deal as for the kids) for FOUR adults. I did this because I happen to think bowling is fun and wouldn’t want to just sit and watch my kiddos all summer!  Again, check the fine print before you purchase.

6. Shoes not included. We did have to pay the shoe rental ($4pp) but the guy at Irvine Lanes told me I could purchase unlimited shoe rental to go with the program for $12pp total. I bought this because we have already been twice. By the time summer hits, it will be paid for and totally free. Minus the $2.75 I will likely shell out for some french fries after enduring begging from the kids.

7. Show up with your printed coupons or show your coupons on your smart phone, then BOWL your heart out!!!  Just make sure to check the hours and days before you go. We went on a rainy day during Spring Break and there was about a 20 minute wait.

www.kidsbowlfree.com

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Babysitting 101

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how to be a great babysitter

This post is for any young girl (or boy) looking for tips on how to be a great babysitter from a mom’s point of view.  It is actually pretty simple, but some things might not be obvious, that’s why I am giving you the scoop. For my moms reading this with girls coming into babysitting age, please share these tips with them. Moms everywhere will thank you.

How to be a Great Babysitter

(and get hired over and over again!)

1. Be Punctual

Always, always be on time, if not, a couple (not 10, a couple) minutes early. Most times parents have somewhere to be.

2. Put Your Phone Down

Once they are old enough to talk, kids will tell exactly what went down when you were there.  If you sit on the couch looking at your phone, we will know.  We don’t want to pay you to sit on your phone and ignore the kids.

3. Be Game

The most fun thing about a great babysitter is the opportunity for kids to be able to “play” with an older kid or young adult.  If the kids want to play beauty salon, be game and play along! As a bonus, the 50 small pigtails in your hair just might be your new favorite look.

4. Come Up with Something Novel to Play

Kids love new games. Whether you bring a new coloring book you picked up at the Dollar Store, teach them a new game, or how to build the best fort, novelty wins you big points with the kiddos.

5. Take the Bedtime Seriously

If I tell you to please have the kids in bed at 8:00pm, please do it. There’s nothing worse than walking into a house after an evening out to find your kids awake when they were supposed to be asleep long ago. You might not realize what a kid on one hour less sleep might look like the next day because you don’t have to deal with them but we do. We are paying good money to bypass the bedtime routine and antics for a night, please take this seriously.

6. Provide a Brief Food/Sleep Summary 

I appreciate a recap of anything regarding food or sleep.  When kids went down, how long they napped, what time they last ate, etc. Any info that might help us as far as sleep or food is concerned helpful to a mom. For example, if Johnny didn’t eat much of his lunch, tell me. That way I will know he might need a snack soon.  Moms rely on food and sleep to assess their kid’s moods a lot of time, help us fill in the blanks while we were gone.

7. Use Common Sense 

Safety is of course number one. If something is unsafe, please don’t let the kids do it. If a child tells you they usually get seconds on their ice cream, don’t give it to them. Just use your common sense and don’t hesitate to tell the kids NO when needed.

8. TIDY UP!

It is a mom’s dream to return to a home more tidy than when she left.  We are not talking deep cleaning. We are not talking about completely organized.  Just picked up and tidy. Put the dishes in the dishwasher, clean the pots you used to cook dinner, pick up the toys/art crap/books, whatever.  Even if it is “fake clean” and in a neat pile against the wall because you don’t know where it goes, we don’t care. The illusion is that the house is picked up is enough for us.

If the kids are old enough to help, make it a game 1/2 hour before the parent is due home. You can bring along stickers as incentive. It’s silly what kids will do for a sticker.  Have them show you where things go.  For a mom to return home to a picked up house is like a slice of HEAVEN. We might just shed a tear of gratitude.  It means that much, seriously.

Do these things girls (and boys) and you might just be the most sought-after sitter on the block! Your turn mamas, what do you look for in a great babysitter?

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Barn to Backyard

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Reclaimed Wood Orange County

Last summer my husband and I did a little project and renovated our backyard.  One of the things we added is a concrete bench and fire pit, my new happy place.

When designing how we wanted it to look, I didn’t want the back of the bench to also be concrete given we were already pretty concrete-heavy in our design.  I have fallen in love with the modern rustic farmhouse design elements as of late so I wanted to pull in some wood to warm up our space.

Reclaimed Wood Orange County

I told my husband I wished we could find reclaimed wood somewhere in Orange County, but where? After some Google searching, he found a company called U.S. Reclaimed in Laguna Niguel that sells just that – reclaimed wood! Yippee!

One step into the giant U.S. Reclaimed warehouse and I swear I got goosebumps when I gazed at the fabulous pieces of beat up, character-rich wood.

No one piece the same as the next.

wood

The company is owned by a guy named Ben and his darling wife. Ben asked us what we were doing and helped us pull different pieces to lay out together until we found the exact combination we wanted. Look at how GORGEOUS!

reclaimed wood bench

Ben shared that his company seeks out vintage structures, like barns, sawmills, etc. and will break them down carefully to reclaim the lumber for use in modern projects.  All of the lumber is at least 100 years old.

If those boards could talk…

reclaimed lumber

We found the perfect mix of 6 complementary boards and had them mounted on brackets to create a back for the bench. Every time I sit out there I notice new imperfections and marvel at the saw marks.

bench crop

We chose not to treat the wood because we wanted it to weather naturally and it has turned into a really pretty gray which blends in nicely with the concrete on the bench contrasts with the redwood on our back fence. Notice the saw marks…

reclaimed wood bench DIY

Reclaimed Wood Floating Shelves

As we continued to work on the backyard, my husband built a new garden against our back wall. And a LOT of stucco. I thought it might be cool to do some of the U.S. Reclaimed thicker pieces and do hanging selvesto break up the sea of stucco and give the wall a little interest.

That, and I wanted an excuse to go back to U.S. Reclaimed again! Of course, Ben had the perfect materials for us. Now how was I going to choose?

shelf

Once again, he helped us find the right piece with the right character and dimensions and this is how the shelves turned out above our garden. Note: the garden itself is not made of reclaimed wood, just the floating shelves above.

reclaimed wood floating shelves

Look at the beautiful marks on the edge…

floating garden shelf

Thank you for letting me share our projects and my love for U.S. Reclaimed – your go-to spot for reclaimed wood in Orange County.

www.usreclaimed.com

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