New MOMMYtoMOMMY.TV Show Launches!

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This is a very exciting post for me as I have a very fun announcement to share with you!

Whenever a fellow mom says she has an “announcement,” I know the first thing that can come to mind, so NO, I am NOT pregnant!  But I am excited to share the launch of a new online show for moms called MOMMYtoMOMMY.TV which I am sure will have webisodes dealing with pregnancy (just not mine) as it is a show exclusively for MOMS!  Here’s a little about this innovative new program…

The Internet is full of places where parents can go to find advice and ideas, but with so much information out there, it can be hard for mom’s to find one place that covers the hot topics that they actually want to hear about.

Kimberley Clayton Blaine, a popular mommy video-blogger and America’s favorite Go-To Mom (and founder of www.TheGoToMom.TV), announced yesterday a new series of unique online programming exclusively for moms called MOMMYtoMOMMY.TV!

Twice per month, Blaine (who produces and hosts the show) will team up with a different momblogger, mompreneur or celebrity guest to deliver info-tainment on the featured topic.  Now do you know why I am REALLY excited?

With its fast-paced style, the show is designed to entertain and inform moms about the things they care about most. The show will focus on relationships, health, child-rearing, social media, along with product highlights, services, and news to improve the quality of life for moms.  No topic will be left uncovered!

What’s more? Blaine has teamed up with Sony to inform moms of the latest and greatest technology so that they won’t miss one minute of those precious family moments.  With webisodes featuring great innovative new products like Sony® α (alpha) cameras, Bloggie™ HD MP4 cameras, Cyber-shot® cameras and Handycam® camcorders.

With celebrity guests, technology how-to’s, great advice, and a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how a show like this is made there’s something for everyone at this new online community that is created by Moms for Moms. Be sure to take a peak this month at www.MommytoMommy.TV!

And are you ready for this?

I was SO honored (and honestly a little shocked) to be asked to be one of the co-hosts of an upcoming show!  I even have my own “Jennifer” badge, so I guess this makes it official!

We get to tape my upcoming webisode at the gorgeous Montage Laguna Beach – not a bad place to spend the day – WOW! And Kimberley is so much fun to be around, I know we are going to have a blast.

So STAY TUNED and TUNE IN. I know you are going to love the shows!

Have a great weekend everyone!  See you back on Monday!

XOXO Jen

{Special thanks to www.kristineldridge.com for my badge photo!}

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My Personal Picks for Running Gear

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I am running the Long Beach Half Marathon this Sunday and as I have been suiting up for my long training runs the past month, it has sort of amused me how much GEAR I have acquired when I am in my full running uniform! More miles = more gear!

So I thought it might be fun to share some of my personal running fear, I mean running gear. I am cracking up at that unintentional typo, but I am going to leave it because it is making me laugh AND it is poignant.

Poignant because when I was training for my first half marathon last May, I WAS filled with lots of running fear. In fact, the fear is what motivated me.  13.1 looming over your head tends to be scary to a new runner.

But this half is going to be so much different I think.  Best part is that I am more excited than scared this time around!

I have trained for this one with one of my best friends Pam and we will be running together. Our long training runs on the weekends are more like therapy.  And we support each other during the tough spots.  Each of us has been known to say, “I don’t think I can do this” and no matter what the other is feeling, the other always says “yes we can!

Secondly, the last 6 weeks, I have been doing pilates twice a week and training with Erica from Core Athletica on the reformer and it has made a tremendous difference in making me stronger.  It has also made me less sore by strengthening the muscles that are neglected by just running.   Amazing results. LOVE it!  Another post on pilates to come!

Lastly, Pam and I are driving ourselves straight to Pure Blu Spa at the Newport Beach Marriott to spend the day after the race.  We are going to get massages, sit in the jacquzzi and then collapse on a lounge chair for the afternoon.  The thought of a rewarding spa afternoon in itself is motivation to get through those 13.1 miles!

So this is my uniform for Sunday, head to toe.  If there are other runners out there, please feel free to share some of your favorite gear too!  I love to hear other’s favorite picks!

1. Shoes – I did that Shoe Dog analysis at Roadrunner Sports to get my shoes. I ended up in this model from Brooks.  Been a good fit.

2. Who knew the type of sock mattered? I didn’t when I started but after a bout with bad blisters, I found out  it does.  These socks are my favorite, again from Roadrunner Sports.

3. Good ole’ fashioned Vaseline.

Since we are on the topic of blisters, I got horrendous blisters on my toes while training for my first half.

Ever since, I slather my entire foot and between each toe with Vaseline before long runs and I have not had a problem since.

4. Lululemon Tracker Short.  I dedicated a whole post on them here, total lovefest  and 5. Lululemon Cool Racerback Tank. Love these tanks because they are LONG, soft, seamless and wear really well.  Worth the money!  I wear them for both pilates and for running.

6. Champion Jog Bra, can’t find the exact one online. But a good fitting, supportive jog bra is key!

7. FuelBelt Helium 2 Bottle Belt – When you are running for longer than 45 minutes or an hour, good HYDRATION IS ESSENTIAL.   This has been a tough lesson for me and is not something to mess around with!  When I run over 6 miles, I always run with this water belt.  It takes a bit of getting used to, but I like it is handsfree.  Plus it has a little pouch for storing my Gu’s.   You should be drinking 6-8 oz of water for every 20 minutes when doing long runs.  I would get terrible post-run headaches from not being hydrated enough before I figured out it was dehydration.  As soon as I WAY upped my water intake, the headaches went away.

8. Gu Energy Gel – Again, keeping your body hydrated and fueled is important on longer runs.   I eat a Gu every 45 minutes on long runs.   They have some with and without caffeine.  My favorite flavors are vanilla bean and chocolate outrage.  The chocolate sort of tastes like frosting out of a tub!  Not great, but tolerable, and I always feel like I have more energy after I “Gu” on my runs!

9. iPod Shuffle – Having great “pump you up and inspire you music” is always important!

10. Garmin Forerunner 205

My neighbor who is a marathon runner has been nice enough to loan me her Garmin for my past two training sessions since she is not currently training.   Once you get used to training with one of these watches, it is hard to train without it!  It tells you your distance and your pace.

11. Roadrunner Visor – I like wearing something on my head to keep the sun out of my face and bangs out of my eyes. I love this visor because it is super lightweight & cool.  Temperature cool, not trendy cool. Hee hee… and it’s only $10.

12. SPF!!! I never leave on a run without my SPF.  My top picks are the Yes to Carrots Pomegranate Lip Butter with SPF 15 and Nature’s Gate Sport Block Sunscreen Lotion, Dry Finish, SPF 30, 4-Ounce Tubes (Pack of 3) which is fragrance-free, paraben-free & sweat resistant.  Not to mention I scored it at the 99 Cent Store for $1!

And that is it!

Lots of this stuff isn’t necessary until you are training for longer runs, so it was nice to be able to slowly acquire things as I needed them and figured out more what I was doing.  Running has been such a NEW experience for me.

One year ago I was sitting here with a 3 month old colicky newborn with reflux.  If you would have told me this time last year that in one year I would have run two half marathons I would have thought you were on crack.   I had never run in my entire life.

My point is not “yay me” (barf), the point is, if I can do it, ANYONE CAN. And it will change your life.

XOXO

{Disclosures…None really as I bought all the stuff myself but I WISH Lululemon WAS a Sponsor! I am signed up with the Amazon Affiliate program.   I won a gift certificate to Pure Blu Spa so I will use that (so nice) and Erica from Core Athletica is becoming a Sponsor and I will be writing more about her and her training in the future!}

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Hand Washing Song for Kids

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I am a germphobe.  I wrote about it here.  So I am big on hand washing. I wrote a post last year on “Proper Hand Washing Techniques”  and the number of Google searches using the keywords “hand washing” & ” proper hand washing techniques” landing on that post have really ramped up recently which is not surprising since we are now entering cold and flu season.   So seeing that I am not the only one interested in washing hands (WELL) I had to share this AWESOME hand washing song for kids my daughter learned at preschool (and it is not to “happy birthday” or the “ABC’s!)

I overheard her singing it one day and when I had her do it louder for me and she demonstrated her new hand washing skills, needless to say, I was thrilled!  Mostly because the words go with the actions and it sort of makes washing hands just a little more fun.

It’s not an original song, I mentioned it to some mommy friends, and they told me they had heard it on one of the preschool channels, but I have’t heard it on TV before.

It’s to the tune of “Frere Jacques” or in English, “Are you sleeping, are you sleeping Brother John.” I found this site where you can click and hear the tune.   Here it is….

Top and bottom
Top and bottom
In between
In between
Rub them all together
Rub them all together
Squeaky clean
Squeaky clean

So for the first line, the kids are rubbing the soap all over the tops and bottoms of their hands, then the next verse they are lacing their fingers together and rubbing them, then they are just rubbing the soap all over their hands for the last two versus. 

Have a squeaky clean sort of day!

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Bug Invasion at The Cube {Giveaway!}

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They’re coming to get you…at Discovery Science Center! No magnifying glass needed here; these bugs are larger than life! Transport yourself to a world where ants, praying mantises, and scorpions tower over you at 1,000 times their actual size in the new fall exhibit, Bug Invasion, now through October 31st at The Cube!

And I have a SUPER DUPER giveaway for one lucky winner who will receive 4 FREE tickets to Discovery Science Center & VIP wristbands to enjoy all the rides for free at the The Pumpkin Factory which is conveniently located across the street.  Read last paragraph on how to enter!

My daughter Emma and I  got to check out this creepy crawly exhibit where over two thousand square feet of exhibit space features giant bug animatronics, a world-class insect collection, and interactive educational stations including big robo-bugs and a 3-D maze (amongst lots of other things!)

Check the calendar for updates on special weekend events including Dr. Sue’s Traveling Insect & Arthropod Zoo, “It’s a Bug’s Life” story time, and bug demos from OC Vector Control and the So Cal Rat & Mouse Club of America.

Dr. Sue was there when we went and Emma and her friend loved the bugs! I was shocked at how fearless she was with petting the little critters!   Here the girls are inspecting Dr. Sue’s friends…

It is a great exhibit, fun and educational for all ages.  Here is a special Discovery Science Center coupon for you to use this month (through 10/31/10) to save $5 off Super tickets! Click HERE to download a bigger version.

Halloween Weekend Activities

AND Discovery Science Center is the place to be for Halloween! In October come for weekend costume parades, and on Halloween weekend, October 30th and 31st, dress in your Halloween costume for pumpkin painting, and trick-or-treating at your favorite exhibits! Click HERE for the full run-down for this weekend & all the fun deets!

Hooray! It’s a Tiny Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a family 4-pack of general admission tickets to Discovery Science Center and 4 VIP wristbands at The Pumpkin Factory which allows you to enjoy all the rides and attractions for free!

Contest runs through Thursday, 10/14/10 at 5pm PST (quick one!) and I will email the winner that night so I can get the mailing address and mail you the tickets the next day.

Please leave a separate comment for each entry option!

1. Simply comment below and tell me your favorite bug (laughing as I type this) – 1 ENTRY

2. {Like} Discovery Science Center on Facebook – 1 ENTRY

3. {Like} Tiny Oranges on Facebook – 1 ENTRY

4. Follow @DiscoveryCube on Twitter – 1 ENTRY

5. Follow @TinyOrangesOC on Twitter – 1 ENTRY

6. Leave a post or comment in our Forum – 1 ENTRY

7. Subscribe to my email updates – top right column – 1 ENTRY

GOOD LUCK!

{Disclosure: Discovery Science Center is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor and I received tickets to preview The Bug Invasion exhibit & The Pumpkin Factory to facilitate this post.}

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Moms Stay and Play at the Viceroy Palm Springs!

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A couple weeks ago I was invited to the Viceroy Palm Springs to experience their fabulous “Mom’s Stay and Play Getaway Package” and it was a trip I will never forget! I hope this post inspires you to get on email today and start passing around dates with your “besties” to make a plan for a getaway.  Time away with girlfriends just feeds your soul. And the Viceroy Palm Springs is just the perfect distance from OC to make you feel like you are in another world, yet you are still less than two hours  from home.  This property is a little sparkling gem in the desert.

With your accommodations this getaway package {<–click link for details!} includes…

$200 Estrella spa credit * $50 breakfast credit * Welcome goodie basket
* Two signature cocktails * Valet parking for 2 cars * Waived resort fee* Complimentary yoga class on Friday, Saturday or Sunday mornings * Membership to the “My Very Viceroy” program

After experiencing the charm of the Viceroy, I was lamenting to my friend about how I was going to possibly summarize my experience in a fairly succinct manner because the property was just BEYOND in every aspect! So she suggested, why don’t you break it down to five main points on what makes this property so special? That’s what friends are for – to help me focus!   So here are the things (only 5 out of a list of about 100!) that I loved most about this refuge in the desert…

Personalized service and a quaint, boutique hotel feel

The moment we walked in, we were greeted by name, and every single employee made you feel like a guest in their home. Every person we encountered at the Viceroy had a “what can I get you?” attitude.   I felt like my stay at the property mattered.  The amazingly wonderful guest services manager, Don, even walked by my friend at the pool and she told me he looked directly in her eyes and asked how she was enjoying her stay.  But more than that, she said what surprised her is that he really MEANT IT! Service and attention like this goes a long way.  It’s what makes you want to return to a hotel again, and again and again.

Here is one of the beautiful villas…

And this is one of the three pools flanked by the outdoor seating area of Citron, the restaurant. At night the trees and hanging lanterns lit up and you could lounge on the large daybeds and enjoy the desert evening under the stars…

Swank Factor

The interior design, done by the famous Kelly Wearstler, really captures the feel of  the 1930’s when the property was first built as a bungalow hotel.  It really does conjure up images of  the glamorous “Old Hollywood” days when stars flocked to Palm Springs for a desert getaway.   Keeping with that style, but with a modern touch, every single part of the property decor from the circular starburst mirrors to the stunning color palate was just so swanky and ultra-hip!   For those of you that enjoy the art of interior design, you will be in HEAVEN appreciating the black, white and lemon yellow details and modern glamour.

Here is one of the beautiful one bedroom villas we saw on the tour.  It felt like a little home complete with a beautifully designed living room with fireplace…

Crisp black and white bedroom…

Even a private patio to enjoy your breakfast coffee or hang out with friends and enjoy a martini and the sunset-colored sky over the mountains…

The villas also featured a dining area and kitchen.

Food: Citron you had me at first bite

One of the points I was going to bring up is this property is conveniently located only a block or so away from downtown Palm Springs, so it is walking-distance from restaurants where you could go out to eat.  Then my friend and I looked at each other I kid you not, said “but you wouldn’t want to” at the same time!  The food at the property’s restaurant was, and I am not just saying this, some of the finest cuisine I have had in a very LONG time. “Oh my GOD” sort of food, and we indulged, a lot. But isn’t that what you are supposed to do on vacation?

Here is the outdoor seating next to the pool at Citron…

and indoors…

Relaxation

When I am going on a girls’ getaway, I want to RELAX and not worry about ONE THING. This was the type of place where you can drive up, leave your keys and not step foot off the property the entire time because it has everything you would want. With three pools on property to enjoy, I found them to be quaint and comfortable, stocked with bright yellow floating rafts for lounging under the sun and comfy lounge chairs and umbrellas for reading.  The spa was conveniently located and home to a gorgeous jacuzzi looking out at the desert mountains.  And on the weekends, yoga is included and it was a phenomenal experience (another post to come on the spa.)  Want a drink? A server was never far away.  Want a pedicure in your room? No problem, the resort can set up an appointment.

Sooooo relaxing…this mama enjoyed her People magazine by this gorgeous pool…

Comfort

Let’s get real here, if I am going to be enjoying an evening away from my baby monitor, all I really want to be happy (other than a Citron cocktail) is a GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP.   When I sunk into this bed and drifted off to sleep to the sound of the desert rain I slept like a baby in their super cozy, Italian designer linen and down comforter bed. That is until my 4 year old woke me up with a “good morning” call the next morning…but I didn’t mind after how well I slept!

Here were the delightful beds…

And here is the “goodie basket” we were greeted with!

Brownies, wine AND People magazine?! Nothing could have made me happier!

When I was reflecting about the trip, I realized that the most priceless gift of all was to have time AWAY, to reflect and step off the crazy hamster wheel of our busy mommy lives.

It is such a blessing to get the opportunity to slow down. Time to talk and bond and connect with girlfriends. Time to LAUGH with friends.  Time to breathe. After my stay and some great conversations I definitely walked away with new outlooks on some things in my life and a recharged battery.

So when I stepped back on my hamster wheel when I returned, at least I was running with a little pep in my step!

And you can’t put a price tag on that! xoxox

{Disclosure: I was invited to attend this event to share about this package firsthand and accommodations and meals were provided. We also were treated to spa treatments from the fabulous Estrella Spa – another post to come!  My heartfelt thanks to the staff at Viceroy Palm Springs for the memories and for treating us like guests in your beautiful home!}

Here is our amazing group! Photo compliments of Shanna at My Favorite Everything. Click HERE for her post on this trip, she has some phenomenal photos.  She is so talented!

Front row seated left to right:  Hollywood Housewife, Don the delightful Guest Services Manager, Savvy Sassy Moms, Romy Raves, La Jolla Mom

Standing left to right: What Would Gwyneth Do, Harrison the Citron Server extraordinaire (I let him order for me from the preset menu and boy did he steer me right!), My Favorite Everything, Me and Diego the General Manager of this magical property

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