Designing to Make a Difference

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I am a HUGE fan of Jessica from Jessica Bennett Interiors. Huge.  I wrote about her here.

Jessica Bennett Interiors is an Orange County interior design firm specializing in young families and professionals and she did the most amazing transformation of my living room in what I called my “Extreme Living Room Accessories Makeover” a few months back. Every day when I see that room that I love so much, I think of Jessica and I smile.

And now Jessica has made me smile again for another reason.

To me it is incredibly heartwarming to see people that use their talent for a good cause. Which is exactly what Jessica is doing in a very special design project benefiting the Good Shepherd Center for homeless women and children in Los Angeles.

The Good Shepherd Center gives refuge to women and children who are otherwise homeless, have a small income, and need a place to stay for up to two years while they find work and start getting back on their feet.

Just take a moment to let that sit with you.

Can you imagine having children and being homeless?   Being a mom is tough enough on it’s own but not being able to have a safe haven to call home is beyond comprehension.

Jessica Bennett Interiors is one of thirty other interior designers from Los Angeles and Orange County who have each pledged to design and completely furnish 30 different rooms for 30 different women, pro bono.

The designers are all donating their time and talent to design a new, beautiful room for the women residents so that they can have a fresh start as they work to rebuild their lives.

This amazing project is headed by two equally amazing women, Vanessa De Vargas and Vanessa Kogevinas. You can read more about the project here and read all about Jessica’s Good Shepherd designer interview here.

So now comes the easy part (designing the room!) and the hard part (paying for it…) so GUESS which part she needs your help with?

Since Jessica always dreams big, her goal is to raise $10,000 for the center.

She needs $4,000 to outfit her room from top to bottom and wants to raise another $6,000 to put directly in the center’s hands to help support the amazing work they are doing to help so many women.

Whether you can spare $5 or $1000, no amount is too small or large.  And she is getting the ball rolling with a $500 pledge in addition to her design service.

The list below shows you what your money can buy for her dream room:

Bulletin Board $20
Towel Bar $30
Picture Frames $40
Towels $40
Mirror $50
Lamp $90
Paint $100
Small Painting $100
Sconce $100
Light Pendant $130
Desk Chair $200
Large Painting $200
Area Rug $300
Chest of Drawers $300
Desk $300
Bedding $400
Painters $500
Window Treatments $500
Upholstered Headboard $600

Total $ 4,000

If you are moved to want to help Jessica with this project, you can click here to donate and send funds via PayPal or you can send a check to*:

Jessica Bennett Interiors
1931 Newport Blvd., Suite J
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

The project begins June 1st so she needs to have all donations collected by June 8th!

Thank you, thank you, thank you in advance!

*Due to logistical limitations at the shelter, all donations must be paid/made out to Jessica Bennett Interiors. Once all the donations are collected, we will then send the Good Shepherd Center a check, accompanied by a list of all our generous donors.

GOOD LUCK JESSICA!! I can’t wait to see the “after pics!”  I will do a post on the transformation Jessica does on this room!

{Disclosure: Jessica Bennett Interiors is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor}

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Father Son Haircut Special!

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There is a cool fundraiser going on in June to benefit  Help Me Grow at metro FOR MEN just in time for Father’s Day!

The special boys in your life can help support a great cause and enjoy a day of grooming at Metro FOR MEN, OC’s premier men’s only salon.   The salon is offering a father son duo haircut for only $50 if you mention “Help Me Grow.”

They will also be able to participate in a Father’s Day raffle for gift certificates, hair and skin products, sports tickets and more!!

The proceeds from this event benefit Help Me Grow Orange County, which connects children and their families to services to enhance the behavior, learning & development of children birth to 6 years of age.

Call 949-450-0150 and mention “Help Me Grow” to make an appointment! Walk-ins welcome.


Saturdays June 4, 11, & 18, 2011


metro FOR MEN
15382 Alton Parkway, Irvine, CA 92618

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

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iComfort Twit Pic Challenge {Super Fun Contest!}

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I have now slept for 2 BLISSFUL nights on my new iComfort® bed and believe me when I tell you that you want to enter this contest to win one because it is simply the GREATEST BED EVER!!!

Serta is encouraging you to experience the iComfort® for yourself with a super fun contest this Memorial Day weekend. And once you rest your sweet little head down on that bed believe me when I say – you will be sold!

Starting today, 5/26 through Monday, 5/30, you can enter the iComfort® Twit Pic Challenge and one very lucky Twitter follower will win their very own iComfort® bed with winner’s choice of base!

Here is how it works!

1. Click here to follow @SertaMattresses on Twitter

2. Sometime between 5/26/11 – 5/30/11 visit an iComfort® retailer for your own “iComfort® Rest Test” and try it out yourself.  Click here to find a store near you that carries these incredible beds.

3. Snap a mobile photo of you conducting your “iComfort® Rest Test” trying out the iComfort® bed.

4. Share the photo via Twitter making sure to use the @SertaMattresses address, the #iComfort hash tag, and also the name and location of the retailer.

Limit 1 entry per person.

The winner will be drawn at random on June 1st, 2011 and contacted via Twitter. Click here for the official contest rules.

Want to know more about this revolutionary memory foam bed?  I wrote a post here on Memory Foam 101 and what makes Serta’s iComfort® mattresses so spectacular!

And, good news, if you enter this contest but don’t win, no need to fret as I will have my own giveaway coming up soon where I will also be giving away one iComfort® mattress so make sure to subscribe to my blog (click here for RSS or enter your email top right column to subscribe via email) so you don’t miss my biggest giveaway EVER!

{Disclosure: I received a free iComfort bed and base compliments of Serta and they paid for my travel costs to attend the iComfort Blogger Experience. Serta will also provide me with a stipend for tax purposes. The opinions and reviews here are my own and have not been changed or altered by anyone else.}

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Wordless Wednesday – Field of Honor

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This past weekend at Castaways Park in Newport Beach, 1776 American Flags were on display in honor of all military, law enforcement, fire and first responder men and women.

It was hard to walk through it without getting a little emotional, especially given the event that transpired on May 1st, 2011.

It was a beautiful, touching display.  Click here to visit the Field of Honor website.

For more Wordless Wednesday pictures visit Angry Julie Monday.

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Guest Blog: A Very Merry Un-Birthday!

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We all know there are some years when you want to go ALL OUT for your kid’s birthday party, but then there are other years when you want to pull in the reigns and do something simple.

That’s why when Rebecca emailed me to tell me about her “un-birthday party” idea for her two-year-old I thought it would make for a great guest post!   It’s such a cute idea and I love that the focus was on the most important thing – what would be the most special way to celebrate for her child.

A Very Merry Birthday “Un-Party” for Gannon

My name is Rebecca and I’d like to share with you the amazing Birthday “Un-party” I recently planned to celebrate my son’s second birthday.

I’ve had my share of extravagant birthday parties.

You name the theme and I’ve done it. Winter Wonderland, Western, Blue’s Clues, Princess, Baseball, My Little Pony…the list goes on and on.

These weren’t little back yard parties either. I counted 37 children at my daughter’s puppy party this past December.

Don’t get me wrong. The party was amazing and the boys and girls had a blast, but at the end of the day, I was broke, exhausted and couldn’t remember spending five solid minutes with my daughter on the day we came together to celebrate this amazing blessing, the day of her birth.

As February came along, I realized I was already beginning to plan my son’s birthday party for mid-April. I was overwhelmed before I even started and considered scaling things back but was having guilt about depriving my little boy of his birthday spoils.

Then it hit me. This isn’t how it’s supposed to be! I stopped planning, took a breath, and asked myself a very important question: What would Gannon’s perfect day look like?

The answer was simple: Trains, cupcakes, animals and grandparents.

So I made it happen. Two days before his birthday, I booked eight tickets on the Amtrak for myself, my husband, our daughter and both sets of grandparents. I consulted with my mom – a retired Kindergarten teacher of 30 years – and found out about Zoomar’s petting zoo located near the train depot in San Juan Capistrano.

Two hours before his party I stopped by the bakery and picked up some gourmet cupcakes and we were done! No pricey invitations. No deposits on locations. No expensive decorations. No piles of gifts he doesn’t need. No goody bags. It felt so liberating!

The day was perfect. We left the Santa Ana Amtrak station around 3 p.m. just after his nap and indulged in cupcakes and snacks on the 30 minute train ride to San Juan Capistrano.

We took the short walk to Zoomar’s and I relaxed and let my children lead the way. It was all about them! They rode horses and visited with the beautifully kept guinea pigs, chickens, bunnies and goats. Gannon even rode the little train with Papa twice and learned how to gobble at the giant turkey and snort like a pig.

We ate dinner together in downtown San Juan and rode the train home just in time to get the little ones to bed. It was an amazing day filled with beautiful quality family time that I will never forget.

I’m so glad I made the decision to avoid another mega party and can’t recommend enough to other moms and dads this concept of a birthday “un-party”. As I’m writing this I just realized another benefit. I only have to write four thank you notes!

Rebecca is a part-time preschool gymnastics coach at CheerForce Orange County, freelance web designer, and most importantly, mother of two beautiful children, Payton, 7, and Gannon, 2.

Thanks Rebecca for sharing!  I love the idea of doing guest posts to share ideas on how you celebrated your child’s birthday because I looooovvveeeee party ideas!  If you have a party you would like me to feature (extravagant, simple or somewhere in between) please send me an email to jennifer {at}

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