Photographing Fido

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The lovely and talented Kristin Eldridge recently photographed our family for our holiday card in Long Beach.  When I asked her about business and the latest and greatest, she mentioned she was having fun recently photographing family dogs in her family photo shoots and I thought this was hilarious!

I don’t have a dog, but I have friends that do, and I have seen firsthand how their dogs are not really pets, they are actually family members.

I thought what a cute concept! And then I thought a lot of my readers would be interested in learning tips on how to include your family dog in your family photo. So I asked her to send me some thoughts on “photographing Fido!”   Here is what she writes…

“I was talking with a client over the phone, planning out the details for her family photo session.  We were just wrapping things up when she chuckled and added, “OH and we need a photo of us with Elvis…he was the experiment.

She went on to tell me how Elvis, the family dog, really was part of the family.  He was their first child, hence the whole experiment comment!  Apparently the experiment worked, because now the family includes Elvis AND two beautiful little girls.

Now that Elvis was in the picture, we talked about the kind of pictures she wanted.  Maria wanted a very natural feel and so this went perfectly with the idea of including Elvis in the photo shoot.

So Maria and I discussed several locations and ended up deciding on ‘Dog Beach,’ a strip of sand in Huntington Beach that is dog friendly. Elvis was used to going there and knows the drill.  We got some great photos with the girls and Elvis throwing the ball and playing in the water….something he’s used to doing.

So my first piece of advice would be to choose a location your dog is familiar with. If we would have chosen a location that Elvis hadn’t been before, he might not have been so cooperative!

Another important reminder is to be realistic about your type of dog and the type of photos you hope to get! It’s hard to have a very formal photo with everyone smiling at the camera when the dog is only concerned with someone throwing a frisbee on the other side of the park! Because sometimes dogs are like kids…THEY DON’T LISTEN!

Another great idea would be to start the photo shoot at your house, then drive to a second location for the second half of your photo shoot without the dog.

These are just a few tips for great family photos, including the family pet! “

If you are interested in being blessed by Kristin’s talent photographing YOUR family this year for your holiday photo (with your dog or without!) visit her at www.kristineldridge.com or call her at 562.980.6480.

{Disclosure: Kristin Eldridge Photography is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor}

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Frecklebox Chore Charts

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When I saw these Chore Charts on Frecklebox I thought it might be the perfect thing to motivate my 4-year-old to start pulling her weight around here a little!  Ha!  But seriously, I have been thinking lately that she is definitely old enough to start doing little things around the house to help.  And this is the perfect thing to provide direction.

They are 11.5″ x 11″, personalized and can be hung via velcro or a magnet and come with a dry erase marker.

Use Frecklebox Coupon Code “CHORE15” through October 22nd, 2010 and save 15% on your ENTIRE order!

www.frecklebox.com

{Disclosure: Tiny Oranges is a Frecklebox Affiliate}

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Abiding Savior Lutheran Preschool

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A couple months ago, Suzanne from Abiding Savior Lutheran Early Childhood Center, contacted me about sponsorship and we ended up chatting on the phone for a LONG time.  She was one of those people I felt like I have have known forever!  She had this great energy and passion for her school and it was contagious.   And after visiting Abiding Savior, I could see why she was so enthusiastic, as I really could feel the love present in their program!

Ironically one of my friends from high school that I have reconnected with on Facebook saw Abiding Savior on my blog and wrote me a note telling me that her daughter goes there and she loves, loves, loves it! So I asked  my friend what she loved most about the school and this is what she said…

“This is my daughter’s second year at Abiding Savior.  We originally chose this preschool over others in the area because not only were we impressed with the program and curriculum but mostly because we felt like they really cared about us from the very beginning.  As cliche as it sounds, it really felt like a family.  Even after our first brief visit, they remembered who I was when I called back the next day.

It feels like a small school and yet they have the programs I was looking for from bigger preschools. The school they have goes through 8th grade so that made me really comfortable with knowing that they have a good handle on the education system and what’s important for preschoolers to learn before they head into elementary school.

Additionally, I really appreciate how much the teachers have worked with me to help me with parenting my daughter.  It was so encouraging to know they were supportive of our efforts at home. – Kristin, mommy of 2 (soon to be 3!)”

Recently I met with Lorena Bradley, the school Director, and Suzanne Towles, the Director of Admissions so I could find out more about their program. Here were some of the things that stood out to me about their darling school!

Homey – The school has a very safe, nurturing feel.  They strive to make you and your children feel like they are at a home away from home. For little ones just starting their experience with going to school, to me, this is super important!

Flexibility – This is totally unique and very appealing! They offer 2, 3 and 5 day programs along with extended care. If you are a working parent, part time or full time, they are open from 7am – 6pm and are committed to meeting the needs of the community. They will work with you to tailor a school schedule to fit yours.

They also have a 3 day afternoon preschool program from 12:30 – 3:30pm.  Around my area, this is hard to find. So, let’s say you work afternoons part-time, you could have your child in afternoon program and stay until 5pm or 6pm, whenever needed.  Again, they are flexible and work with you!

Small class sizes

Developmental, Christian school

Fun enrichment programs – For additional fees, they offer classes like dance and sports programs you can enroll your children in.

Weekly music and chapel time.

Parenting classes.

Speaking of which, they are having a parenting class next week which is open to the public (and a great time to check out the school!) Here is the info!

“Parenting the Preschool Child”
A Christian Perspective
Dr. Buddy Mendez, Professor of Psychology at Concordia
Tuesday, October 26th, 2010
6:30-8:30pm

RSVP to the Preschool office at 949.837.4292

There were just so many special things about this school. From the individual hand-painted flags on each teacher’s door with a personalized Bible verse, to the community birds and vegetable garden, it really did feel like a home.

So if you are looking for a Christian-based, preschool home for your child in south Orange County, this might be the perfect fit for you.   They are located in Lake Forest and you are invited to call or  stop by anytime for a tour to get more information. Registration for Fall starts in January, but there are still spaces available now to accommodate your child.

For more information visit www.abidingsavior.com or call Suzanne at 949.837.4292.

{Disclosure: Abiding Savior is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor}

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Tieks Foldable Ballet Flats {Giveaway!}

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This is one giveaway you are not going to want to miss as I do not know ONE person who couldn’t use a super high-quality, stylish pair of ballet flats this fall (and year round!) Please allow me to introduce you to Tieks, a wonder company that might be a mom’s best friend. Designer flats you can wear all day, every day.

But they have a special twist. Are you ready for this? Say you have a special event where you are busting out killer heels. You can fold your Tieks and put them in a small purse for later in the evening when your footsies need a little relief. Brilliant!

My sister recently discovered these little leather miracles. She is a pharmaceutical sales rep and is on her feet all day in and out of doctor’s offices. But what she found is that they were SO comfortable, she was wearing them all day! She became a Tieks Freak, forwarding the site to everyone she knows, and went on and on about them, so I asked her to write me what she loves MOST. Here is what she said…

I can’t say enough good things about my Tieks! They are my favorite flats mostly because they feel like slippers that I’m wearing outside. I’m in sales and have to wear dress shoes that by the end of the day KILL my feet. No matter how low the heel is, my feet are aching!! So in the morning I can throw my Tieks (in their cute case) in my purse and change into them to drive or if I have to run errands during the day. It sure looks better than my ratty flip flops!! They are great for travel too since they pack up so small!! Love them!!!!!

They come with a bigger price tag that your typical flat, but special leather and high-quality design doesn’t come cheap. But Tieks is having a special Launch Promo going on right now (thru 10/31/10) that would allow you to save 30% with a special Tieks coupon code AND get free shipping, so when you look at the discount + free shipping, they are a super deal for the quality.

Hooray! It’s a Tiny Giveaway!

Tieks is giving away one pair of $135 Tieks to one lucky winner! Contest runs through Monday, October 25th, 2010 at 5pm PST. Please leave a SEPARATE comment for each entry and leave your email address in the comment (won’t be published) so I can contact you if you are the winner. To enter, please do the following!

Mandatory entry:

1. Click HERE to visit the “Launch Promo” page. Enter your name, email and friend’s emails. If you send to 10+ friends, you will receive an email with a coupon code for 30% off.

In the “message box” write: I found out about these awesome flats on https://www.tinyoranges.com!

Send the email at least to one friend (but to get the full 30% off coupon you have to send to 10+) – then leave me a comment that you did so!

Optional Additional Entries!

2. Like Tieks on Facebook – 1 Entry
3. Click HERE to shop their Boutiek
(get it!?) & tell me your favorite color – 1 Entry
4. Like Tiny Oranges on Facebook
– 1 Entry
5. Follow @TinyOrangesOC on Twitter
– 1 Entry
6. Sign up for Tiny Oranges email updates (top right column) – 1 Entry
7. Tweet about this giveaway with link to this post – 1 Entry

Good luck!

www.tieks.com

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Chic Mama Diaper Cakes & Every Little Bottom

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Chic Mama was fortunate enough to participate in a great cause recently and I asked her to write a little to share about her experience!  Here is what she wrote…

“Ellen Pompeo, star of Grey’s Anatomy, is partnering with Huggies to launch the nationwide “Every Little Bottomdiaper drive. Through a series of local drives, events and donations from Huggies, Pompeo hopes to generate 20 million diapers for babies in need.

Chic Mama had the privilege of providing two 5-tier diaper cakes to help encourage diaper donations for the launch event at Babies”R”Us Union Square in New York, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010.  It was very exciting to see how many people came out to support this inspiring initiative.

One in three American mothers struggle to provide their babies with a basic essential – diapers.

The statistics are staggering.  There are many ways you can help.

1)  Donate diapers online. Click this LINK and enter your zip code.

2) Attend a local diaper drive. Click this LINK and enter your zip for drives near you.

or

3) Launch your own diaper drive in your community.  Click this LINK for more info.”

Such an amazing campaign!  Thanks for sharing! xo

{Disclosure: Chic Mama is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor}

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