Help Me Grow Family Event at Zoomars

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Have you been to Zoomars Petting Zoo in San Juan Capistrano?  If you haven’t it is definitely worth a trip with your kiddos! It is the cutest place!  A couple years ago we even did a fun day trip and took the train from Santa Ana to San Juan and walked down to Zoomars.  Our kids went crazy for all the animals, rides and little train.

This Friday, there is a special family fun event at Zoomars, which includes discounted tickets sponsored by Help Me Grow Orange County, an organization that helps connect children and their families to developmental services to enhance the development, behavior and learning of children birth through five years.

The proceeds from this special event will go to Help Me Grow.  Here are the details!

Zoomars Petting Zoo
Friday, March 4th, 2011
2pm – 5pm

Click HERE to print and bring this flyer which gets you a Zoomars coupon for
$10 family admission and 1 fun pack!
The fun pack includes one pony ride, one train ride, and a basket of carrots to feed the animals {normally $32!}
Additional fun packs are $5 each.

Help Me Grow provides parents, caregivers, child care providers, early educators and health care providers a single point of access to developmental services for all young children who live in Orange County.  Call this toll free number 1.866.GROW.025, (1.866.476.9025) for more information.

{Disclosure: Help Me Grow Orange County is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor}

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fitbook fitness journal {& giveaway}

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I recently met Angela, the owner and founder of fitbook, a fabulous fitness + nutrition journal, through a networking group I joined.

Seeing that I am now officially training for my 3rd half marathon as part of Team Tiny Oranges to benefit pediatric cancer research this coming May 1st I thought it might be a great tool to use in my training.   So Angela kindly gave me one to try and it has been completely eye-opening.

Incidentally, Angela is also going to sign up to run her first half marathon with our team on May 1st! Go Angela! I love it!

fitbook helps you to track your goals, workouts, nutrition, water intake and so much more. And what makes it even more beneficial, it also gives you the space to journal how you felt AFTER each workout, meal or snack, so you can start to track patterns.  This is HUGE.

One of the most useful tools for me is the food pyramid tracker at the bottom of the page, which counts servings of the different food groups, glasses of water, vitamins, etc.

When I started journaling in my new fitbook I realized how balanced (or unbalanced) my diet was. As it turns out, I was having on average only about half of the servings of vegetables I should be on a daily basis.   Big “a ha” moment.

I was also not drinking as much water as I *thought* I was.  It seemed like I was drinking water all day long.  But when I actually tracked how many times I filled up my Intak water bottle and counted my ounces, I was not having the recommended 64.

I have also found the patterns interesting, because if I have a bad workout in the AM, I can then go look at the day and even week prior to look at the possibility that maybe I wasn’t hydrated enough, or other clues affecting how I felt that day. For me, getting enough water each day has made a big difference in my training.

Plus,WRITING down everything you eat and every time you workout makes you ACCOUNTABLE!  Did you know that writing down everything you eat can cut your daily intake by 500 – 1000 calories? Now that I have been journaling, I believe it!

Like do I really want to eat that Twix from my daughter’s Valentine candy stash if I HAVE to actually write it down and check off a sugar?  By the time I think about it, the urge has usually passed. I really don’t want to see a Twix in my little snack section!

This is an absolutely fabulous tool for anyone wanting to lose weight, get in better shape or train for an event.

The opening quote in the book is, “an idea is just a dream until you write it down…then it’s a goal. – anonymous”  Love this. So true.  I know fitbook will help you reach your goals too.

Click here to visit their store and buy it – cost is $22.95 for a 12 week journal.

On February 11th I was part of their Blog Your Heart Out campaign along with the Go Red for Women American Heart Association to raise awareness of heart disease and women.  As a result of my participation, I was chosen along with 5 other bloggers to give a fitbook away to one of my readers!

Hooray! It’s a Tiny Giveaway!

To enter to win a free fitbook, please leave a separate comment for each entry option. Contest runs through Mon., 2/28/11 at 8pm PST.  I will contact winner via email so please leave your email address is the email comment field. Good luck!

1. Simply comment below & tell me what you would use your fitbook for! – 1 ENTRY

2. Join the Go Red for Women campaign and email five friends to spread the word on heart disease.  Click HERE to sign up, then comment with the first names of the 5 friends you sent it to! – 1 ENTRY

3. Follow @fitbook on Twitter – 1 ENTRY

4. {Like} fitbook on Facebook – 1 ENTRY

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

6. Follow @TinyOrangesOC on Twitter – 1 ENTRY

7. Join the Tiny Oranges Team to participate with Angela & I in the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation Run/Walk on 5/1/11 and raise money for a great cause and have a ton of fun while doing it!  Click “Join Our Team” at the top of this LINK.  Then tell me you are on our team! – 1 ENTRY

Good luck and happy weekend everyone!

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OC Great Park Outing & Balloon Ride

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Last Thursday I found myself with an open morning with my girls so I went on over to Daytripping Mom for ideas on something fun to do.  Her first post that day was on the OC Great Park, and since riding the OC Great Park Balloon has been on my list to do for quite some time now I thought it would be the perfect outing.

My girls loved it.  And, it was all free! Gotta love a fun free OC outing for kids!

Something to note!  The Great Park is open just Thursday – Sunday. For hours and times the park is open click HERE.

We got there right around 10am on a Thursday.  You can park close (it’s convenient) and the parking lot was nearly empty.  First thing you will want to do is go into this visitor center building (pictured below) and get your balloon pager and hand stamp for the carousel.  Again, both rides are FREE.

It only took about 5 minutes until we were paged, which meant it was time for us to go on the balloon.  My girls were very excited and very intrigued.

It is a standing only ride and I was able to take Morgan in her stroller on the balloon.  The guy helped me lift it on.

It goes up VERY slowly = not scary. I was expecting that loud fire sound of a hot air balloon, but it was totally quiet because they told me it is HELIUM!  So cool – and I learned it is one of the largest and first of it’s kind in the US. Plus, it is environmentally safe, non-polluting and virtually silent.  Who knew?!

Neither girl was scared and in fact, I thought I might be, but I wasn’t!  It was SO cool!

We could see the ocean, Catalina, and the guy standing next to me said he could even see the Hollywood sign. I looked and looked but couldn’t make it out myself – but the guy was certainly excited about it!

Here was the view from up top to the ocean…

After the balloon ride the girls ran around on the huge grassy area for awhile and then we headed over to Kids Rock, which is a grouping of climbing rocks, tunnels, slides and structures.   Above there are also sphere-shaped shade structures and even misters.  I can imagine it gets pretty hot out there, so this would be key.

And then there was the carousel.

Again, it is FREE!  You can imagine how many times the girls wanted to keep riding. I had to put a stop to it after two rides.  Mommy was getting dizzy, but baby didn’t leave without putting up a good fight. So, just a warning, you might have to fib to the kids and tell them there is a two ride maximum!

All in all, the outing cost me a bag of chips I picked up at the gas station on the way into the park.

So, I can honestly say, this outing is ALL THAT AND A BAG OF CHIPS!

Click HERE to visit the OC Great Park visitor information page.  I have their Sunday Farmers’ Market on my list next! For more posts about this GREAT park, visit Fun Orange County Parks!

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Irvine Park Railroad Anniversary {& Giveaway!}

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Irvine Park Railroad is having it’s 15th anniversary this Saturday, February 26th and Sunday, February 27th and they want to celebrate with you!  In honor of this special event – they have given me tickets to giveaway – make sure to read and enter to win below.

For this weekend only, they are rolling back prices to the original 1996 prices…
including $2.00 train rides!

The anniversary celebration will also feature other $2.00 activities and concessions including carnival games, hot dogs, sodas, ice creams, popcorn, bounce house tickets and cotton candy. Face painting and panning for gold require two $2.00 tickets. FREE giveaways include Irvine Park Railroad balloons.

Coupons, discounts and/or any other promotions are not valid on the anniversary celebration dates.

While at Irvine Regional Park, be sure and visit the parks other activities including Wheel Fun Rentals® at Irvine Park bike and paddle boat rentals, pony rides and the Orange County Zoo.

The park entrance fee is $5.00 per vehicle. Irvine Park Railroad opens daily at 10:00 AM. The cost for train tickets on the anniversary celebrations dates only is $2.00 per person; children younger than 12 months ride free. Irvine Park Railroad is located inside of Irvine Regional Park at 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869.

For additional details, visit us

Hooray! It’s a Tiny Giveaway!

Irvine Park Railroad has the following prize for ONE lucky winner:

6 train tickets, 1 coupon for a Wheel Fun Rentals at Irvine Park bike or paddle boat rental &
4 passes to the Orange County Zoo!

To enter, please leave a separate comment for each entry.  Winner will be drawn on Sunday, February 27th, 2011 at 5pm PST so make sure your entries are in before then (and sorry these tickets cannot be applied to this weekend’s special event.)

1. Simply comment below & tell me why you want to win – 1 ENTRY

2. {Like} Irvine Park Railroad on Facebook – 1 ENTRY

3. Follow @IrvineParkRR on Twitter – 1 ENTRY

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

5. Follow @TinyOrangesOC on Twitter – 1 ENTRY

6. Join the Tiny Oranges Team to participate in the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation Run/Walk on 5/1/11 and raise money for a great cause and have a ton of fun while doing it!  Click “Join Our Team” at the top of this LINK.  Then tell me you are on our team! – 1 ENTRY

Good luck!

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How do I break this habit?

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My 4 and 3/4 year old has taken up biting her nails ALL OF THE TIME and it is seriously driving me crazy.

I am a self-confessed germ-phobe so the thought of her having her hands in her mouth all day just GROSSES me out!! I tell her to take her hands out of her mouth constantly, but it doesn’t help.  It is almost like she doesn’t know she is doing it.

Has anyone had any luck breaking this bad habit with their kids?  Any tips? Advice? Please!

Thanks for helping a mama out!

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