Bubblefest 2011 Ticket Giveaway

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Bubblefest is back baby and I have a family 4 pack of tickets to give away to one lucky family so make sure to enter below!

If you have kids in Orange County, this show is something you have to experience because I have yet to meet a child that didn’t LOVE bubbles!  Even the adults will be sitting there with wide eyes saying, “how do they do that?!”

Bubblefest XV runs at Discovery Science Center April 2nd – 24th, 2011 with Daily Mega Bubble Showtimes. It is recommended you arrive and check in at least 30 minutes prior to your desired show.

Click here for all the show times and information.

Hooray!  It’s a Tiny Giveaway!

One lucky winner will win a Discovery Science Center Family 4-pack which include general admission + tickets to the Bubblefest show.

Please leave a separate comment for each entry.

1. Leave a comment and tell me:  If you have been before, what is your favorite thing to do at Discovery Science Center?  If you haven’t been, what are you looking forward to exploring with your kids?  – 1 ENTRY

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

3. Follow @discoverycube on Twitter – 1 ENTRY

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

5. Follow @TinyOrangesOC on Twitter – 1 ENTRY

Contest runs through 5pm PST on 04/05/11.  Please enter your email address in your entry so I can contact you if you are the lucky winner!

Good luck!

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I Hate to Cook Recipe: Parmesan Baked Alaska Cod

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Ok friends, here is recipe #4 in my I Hate to Cook series of easy recipes.

I actually served this at a dinner party recently and pulled it off as a semi-fancy dish! Well, dinner party might be an exaggeration, it was just for my sister and her husband, but I actually cooked something to serve to people other than my husband, which for me was a big accomplishment!

It was a SUPER easy meal to serve when guests are over because you can prep the fish ahead of time and put in the fridge until time to bake.  Same thing for a weeknight dinner, you can prep during baby’s nap time or when the kids are at school, and just pull out to bake.  Love recipes I can do ahead of time!  Here goes…

Recipe #4:

Parmesan Baked Alaska Cod
served on a bed of sauteed spinach and mashed potatoes

1 lb Alaska cod filets (thawed)
{we got ours fresh at Henry’s but my mom told me Trader Joe’s has them frozen which she loves too}

3 tbsp flour

3 tbsp cornmeal

1/4 tsp onion salt

1/8 tsp pepper

2 tbsp butter or margarine

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 Bags Washed Spinach
{Love the bags ready to go at Fresh & Easy}

2 tbsp olive oil

salt & pepper

Mashed Potatoes
{I used the already cooked and heat up kind – I am not that fancy of a cook yet!}


Alaska Cod Recipe found online HERE

1. Combine flour, cornmeal and seasonings.
2. Melt butter in shallow bakng dish.
3. Dredge cod in flour mixture, place in dish.
4. Turn cod to coat with butter; sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
5. Bake at 450 F 8 to 10 minutes or until cod flakes easily with a fork.

Makes 4 servings

Meanwhile, heat approximately 2 tbsp olive oil in large skillet.  Add spinach (we used 2 bags for 4 people, it cooks WAY down.) Turn using tongs so that the oil coats and spinach cooks evenly.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  This really only took maybe 5 – 7 minutes.

Heat up your potatoes in the micro (or make them yourself if you are a much better cook than me!)

When all is done, serve a dollop of mashed potatoes, serving of spinach and fresh piece of fish on top.  HUGE hit! I am not even a huge fan of seafood, but I loved this recipe!


If you have an EASY EASY EASY go-to weeknight dinner recipe – one you think even I could do – please send it to me at jennifer@tinyoranges.com and I will feature your blog / recipe on my site after I give it the dummy test (me being the dummy) to see if I can make it.  And to see if I can not only make it, but if it is edible.   Because if I can do it, anyone can.

Happy cooking (… and not hating it!)

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My Living Room Accessories Makeover with Jessica Bennett Interiors!

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I might as well warn you now, this is going to be what they call, a photo heavy post!  But I am so in love with my new living room designed by OC Interior Designer extraordinaire, Jessica of  Jessica Bennett Interiors, I have to show you each and every detail!

We moved into our house in Spring 2005 and my living room decor has not been updated since that time. I guess having two kids and trying to start a business hindered my decor updates these past few years!

Our living room is the first room you see when you walk in our house, and we have to walk through this room to get to the girls’ rooms and bathrooms, so it is the most FOCAL room in the house.   Every time I walked through it in recent months, I would sort of feel bummed out because I was so TIRED of my old decor and didn’t have the time to go shop and do a major update.

When I was decorating this room back when we moved in, I was really into the “tropical” look so there were quite a few palm trees.  Not that there is anything wrong with palm trees, just after 6 years, I was officially over them!

Here is a before pic so you can see what I am talking about.  I mean, it wasn’t terrible, but I just so desperately needed a FRESH update!

We had bad houseplants that looked half dead and I had cluttered my walls with every tropical picture I could pick up at the swamp meet, TJ Maxx or Target in 2005…

My living room and dining are are in the same room, so I essentially had the same decor in both spaces.

Here is my old dining area.  I never knew what to put on this table, so I went through many different bad centerpieces through the years consisting of  silk flowers and you guessed it, palm fronds!

Most recently I had stuck this WAY too small candle thing in the middle of the table for lack of knowing what else to put there…

So, what’s a girl to do? A makeover takes some time, and here’s the THING, I have NO TIME to shop!

Taking my 20 month old into a store these days is a nightmare.  She hates to ride in the cart and regardless of my endless snacks, I can get like 15 minutes out of her until it is a full on screamfest to get out and walk.  And it is never a good idea to let a 20 month old loose in TJ Maxx Home Goods with all those glass displays!

I never thought I could even AFFORD an interior designer and even if I wanted to entertain one, I would have no idea who to call.  More than that, I didn’t want a major redesign, I just needed an update.  I had no idea if there were even designers that could take on a project of this scale?

Enter FATE.

I told you I was a part of that networking group, SMARTY OC, and the leader ended up connecting @jbinteriorsinc and I on Twitter as Jessica is an OC interior designer specializing in young families & professionals. BINGO!

So we started chatting, and one thing led to another, and next thing I knew we had an appointment for a COMPLIMENTARY consultation and the rest is history.

I liked her from the moment she walked in my door. Jessica is really personable, the type of person you feel, excuse the pun, right at home with!

When she came in, she asked me to give her a tour of our house, I have to admit it is a little intimidating to have an interior designer walk through your house!  But she was so normal, and not pretentious that I quickly got over it.

Later she told me that the reason she does this is so she can get a FEEL for the family so she can get a really good idea of your personal style.

Her design philosophy is about embracing the family, not just the space. Sigh.

Luckily, my anchor pieces (big furniture, etc.) are still decent, so Jessica just suggested doing an Accessories Package for our project.   This would include things like new throw pillows, tabletop decor, wall hangings, etc.  We discussed a budget, she promptly sent me a contract, I paid my deposit and we were on our way.

I explained I wanted a beachy (not tropical) look and other than that, I told her I loved her work and style on her website, so I gave her pretty much free reign to take the budget and run with it!

From start to finish, she was ready to install a lot quicker than I thought.  The day finally arrived and I felt like I was 6 years old on Christmas morning!

She does the transformation “extreme home makeover” style where we were KICKED out and couldn’t peek when she was working her magic.


When I walked in and opened my eyes, I couldn’t believe what I saw.  My first thought was that it didn’t even look like the same room!  And, it looked like it had doubled in size!  Just having a professional move things around can totally change the look of a room in a dramatic way.   I am emotional, so I did yes, tear up because I was so happy.

So, allow me to introduce my new living room Jessica created for me!

Here is the BEFORE of this view…


My absolute favorite is the piece of art for the wall.  I never liked what I had on this wall before.   I could never have found or chosen this piece on my own.  Here’s the view from the other direction…

Here is my entry table before…


I already had this mirror hanging over my dining table, so she just reused it over the entry table.  It looks so much better hanging this way (would have NEVER thought of it) and fills the space so much nicer.

Again, here is my dining room before.  I really still love the table and chairs.  But again, it was the houseplant, palm trees and bad tabletop piece I didn’t love.


I love how she did a different look for this area, so that it feels like a different room, yet works so well with the other decor.

I never would have thought new chair covers would fit in the budget, our originals were quite pricey, but she found these at IKEA which allowed us to change the look without investing a lot. They are washable (key) and I love how crisp and clean the white looks. I would never have been brave enough to do it on my own!

Overall, she incorporated so many cute details to create a natural, beach chic sort of feel, from the sea-themed coffee table books to the use of shells and candles.  The theme definitely is carried through but it is SUBTLE.  I swoon over each and every piece.

She also found these great GLASS picture frames that I love because I can display a lot more photos without feeling like I am cluttering the space with big chunky frames. Love the glass.  It reminds me of the ocean again.   Here are some of my favorite details…

And a cute shell in a bird cage! Again, I would have NEVER thought of this!

And a view of my hutch close up…

My vintage inspired new tabletop decor…

The night of our redesign, my husband and I got a glass of wine, lit all the candles and just sat in our new room and talked.

It reminded me of when we first moved into our new house.  You know that excitement you feel the first night you move in when you have that giddy new house feeling??   We were falling in love with our house all over again 6 years later.

I could not be happier with what Jessica did for us.  I felt like she got into my head, understood the style and look I love, without me even having to explain it to her.

I also love her White T-Shirt Philosophy which is all about getting the most bang for your buck, and knowing which pieces are the ones to invest in, and which pieces you can pick up at discount stores but make your room look equally fabulous.

Like the mirrors in my dining room above for example.  They were from TJ Maxx Home Goods! Would you ever know?

After this project, it is easy for me to see the incredible value in using an interior designer. She took what I viewed as an insurmountable project and make it easy and FUN, not to mention she saved me hours and hours of shopping and returns.

I am a discount decor shopper, so Jessica saved me endless trips to Home Goods, Target and the like, looking for treasures.  More than that, I could never do it in one trip, so I would end up buying things randomly here and there, which is why I felt like my room never fully came together with one vision.

You also pay for the art of design and placement.

Jessica knew how to group things, how to arrange things, how to take my big chair and move it to open up our room and move the wine rack to make it a entry table, things I look at now and say, that makes so much more sense, but would have never thought on my own.  I guess that’s why she is the professional!

She can take ordinary things and twist them around to display them in a way that is extraordinary!

I couldn’t more highly recommend her.  From accessories makovers to full scale major interior design projects, she can do it all and has access to a variety of home decor sources and brands that we would never even know existed.

Sometimes you might think of creative designers as being a little flaky, but Jessica is the OPPOSITE, completely professional, on the ball, and delivered everything in a timely manner.

The problem is, now that my living room is done, I look at my great room and think of all Jessica could do in there…I have a feeling Jessica is going to slowly work her way through our house one room at a time!

Jessica Bennett Interiors
1931 Newport Blvd., Suite J
Costa Mesa, CA
Telephone: 949.706.0210
Follow Jessica’s latest projects on Facebook * Connect with Jessica on Twitter

{Disclosure: Jessica Bennett Interiors is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor but this project was
paid by me independently and not in conjunction with the sponsorship.
However I wanted to write about this project as I love interior design posts and thought you might too! }

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iStylize Stickers by Erin Condren

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I don’t have personally have an iPad, but I am hoping an iPad2 is in my near future! And when I get one, you better believe, I am going to be skipping on over to Erin Condren to order one of her new, customizable iStylize Stickers for the iPad and iPad2!  Such a cute idea! Seriously, what will Erin think of next?

The stickers allow you to upload a sticker to any design, and customize with your own personalization and color combos.  The stickers adhere directly to any iPad cover, even the new iPad Smart Cover.  They are made of high quality vinyl that makes them waterproof, durable & completely removable.

So if you are looking to CUTE UP your iPad in a fun way, I thought these were the most darling idea! Click here to browse her designs!

{Disclosure: Tiny Oranges is an Erin Condren Affiliate.}

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Core Athletica FUNdraiser TOMORROW!

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Join me tomorrow, Saturday, March 26th at 8am at Main Beach in Corona del Mar for a kick boo-tay bootcamp by Erica of Core Athletica benefiting Team Tiny Oranges and pediatric cancer research! Cost is $25, 100% donated. Click here for full details on how to sign up.

Erica has gathered a team of fitness experts to participate including Shay from The Biggest Loser, Angela from fitlosophy and Jeffrey from Norcross Fit!

And you will NOT believe the raffle prizes she has gotten donated!

I mean, truly, amazing (HIGH $$) prizes for only $2 a ticket!  Chances are winning are high.  You don’t want to miss this! Click here for full details on how to purchase tickets. You need not be present to win so buy away even if you can’t make the workout!

I think my husband and I are going to make it a “date morning” and workout together then go and grab breakfast afterwards and leave our kids with the in-laws.  It’s going to be a ton of fun!  Here are the deets again…

Saturday, March 26th, 2011
8am – 9am workout / Raffle drawing immediately following
Main Beach Corona del Mar

Click here to donate $25 to Erica’s personal fundraising page,
then click here to leave a comment on her post to RSVP.


She couldn’t stress this enough!
So be there or be square mamas.  Hope to see you tomorrow! XOXO

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