Nordstrom Rack Outlets at Orange Grand Opening Special Event

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Last night I got to go to a special event for bloggers to preview the new Nordstrom Rack opening at the Outlets at Orange tomorrow, March 1st. I wanted to share the fun Grand Opening festivities with you in hopes that some of you might get there early to take advantage of the special prizes!

First off, the store officially opens at 9am, however, if you get there early, you can partake in a 7am – 9am “tailgate” party outside the store with giveaways, DJ, contests and more.  I am told if you if you follow @Orange_Rack on Twitter during the tailgate event, you might get some fun clues on how to win prizes!

But, are you READY FOR THIS?

You can CLICK HERE to fill out this entry form to bring with to enter to win a $2000 “Race through the Racks” shopping spree! SQUEAL! Can you imagine getting $2000 to shop with?!  You must bring it with you to the event and drop it in the box BEFORE 8:45am.  Winner will be announced at 8:45am and must be present to win. Please enter and go you guys, I would love it if one of my Tiny Oranges peeps won this!

The store is fabulous! So many cute things, including a great kid’s section along with a huge assortment of DARLING kid’s shoes, all at incredible deals.

I scored a super cute orange tank (below) for $19, beige lightweight blazer for $49, Havaianas flip flops for $8 for my daughter, and um, some other stuff, but I better stop here in case my husband is reading this.

And! They have a new service called “On the Spot Checkout“, where if you are paying by credit card, debit card, or gift card, you can look for an associate wearing a tag and green shirt and using an iPhone-like mobile POS device, they can check you out ON THE SPOT and email you a receipt. High tech + no waiting in a long line! Love it!

The staff was super sweet and so helpful. It is a beautiful store, well organized, with a great selection and most importantly, GREAT prices! 

[Disclosure: Susanne and I were invited to a special media event to preview this store and given a gift card to shop with along with some yummy treats. Seriously the best job ever.]

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29 Fun Things to do with Kids in OC

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Happy February 29th! I couldn’t let the day pass without some sort of mention! I mean, days like this only come around, like what, every 4 years?! Hee hee…I was going to do a post on where leap day came from, but it actually isn’t that interesting, so I thought, hmmm…how about a post on 29 fun things to do with kids in OC? Got to get my 29 in there somehow!

So I got out a notebook and scribbled out 29 ideas off the top of my head in less than 5 minutes. Goes to show you there truly is no better place to live with kids than Orange County!

There are many more – would love your opinions – comment below!

Here are mine (in no particular order):

1. Disneyland – Given.

2. SoCo Farmers’ Market – Saturdays 9am – 2pm in Costa Mesa

3. Discovery Science Center – Hands on interactive children’s museum in Santa Ana

4. OC Great Park and Balloon Ride –  Irvine

5. Bluebird Park – Our favorite park in OC in Laguna Beach

6. Bowers Kidseum – Children’s cultural museum in Santa Ana

7. Irvine Park Railroad / Irvine Regional Park – Beautiful expansive park and train rides in the foothills of Orange

8. Balboa Island Fun Zone / Ferry – Balboa Peninsula and Balboa Island

9. Pretend City – Amazing children’s museum in Irvine

10. Frogg’s Bounce House – Open jump times every day in Fountain Valley

11. Bowlmor – Bowling at The District Tustin

12. Irvine Terrace Park – Second OC favorite in Corona del Mar

13. Zoomars Petting Zoo – San Juan Capistrano

14. Irvine Spectrum – Great shopping and fabulous carousel, train rides and ferris wheel rides for kids in Irvine

15. Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center – Amazing (FREE) nature center in Newport Back Bay

16. Duffy Boat Ride – Newport Beach

17. Strand Vista Park – Dana Point

18. Dana Point Ocean Institute

19. Centennial Farm – Costa Mesa Fairgrounds

20. Tanaka FarmsStrawberry tours start this weekend!!!

21. Old Towne Orange

22. Scooter’s Jungle – Aliso Viejo. Toddler Time Open Jump times for those 6 and under and other Open Jump times for all ages. Click here for schedule.

23. Santa Ana Zoo – Small + cute!

24. Crystal Cove Beach Cottages / Tide Pools – Crystal Cove State Park

25. Atlantis Play Center – Garden Grove

26. Kellogg House at Heritage Museum of Orange County – Santa Ana

27. Jump Sky High – Trampoline place in Costa Mesa

28. Huntington Beach Public Library  – Fabulous kids’ section + story times

29. Environmental Nature Center (ENC) – Newport Beach

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Monster Removal Guide Children’s Book

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How many of you have done a routine monster check before bedtime? I remember putting my mom through this drill (closet and under the bed monsters being my most feared species) many, many years ago so I guess the monster check must be a multi-generational ritual. So when I read the new children’s book, Monster Removal Guide, written by Garett Gruber I thought it was such a silly and clever way to combat kids’ monster fears!

The idea for the book came about when Garett and his son were going through a de-monstertizing effort one stormy night through the house. With each monster-removing technique they invented, he saw his son change from scared to empowered and thought, “I am onto something!” and thus the idea for Monster Removal Guide was born.

The book is a compilation of the 10 most effective techniques to safely remove monsters.

For example, did you know that monsters are incredibly frightened by any child performing any combination of kung fu moves?  Yep! So the “Kung Fu Kid” technique which involves any combination of mule-kick or double-cobra hand strike will do the trick.

My girls were particularly entertained by “The Little Stinker” technique.  This is where a baby brother or sister still in diapers can come in handy and if not, a smelly sock can suffice.

Parents everywhere will appreciate “The Cleaners” method – because as it turns out, vacuums horribly frighten monsters as they can easily be sucked into the bags, so keeping one’s room clean is a fail-safe method.  Who knew?!

Geared towards kids ages 6 – 11 and their parents (however my girls are 2 1/2 and 5 1/2 and loved it), this book will help magnify the silliness of monsters and has been selected to receive a Children’s Literacy Classics Seal of Approval.

This book would make a great gift for a boy or a girl, and at only $9.99 you can buy a handful to stash in your closet (monsters beware!!!) for last minute gifts!

Visit the incredibly entertaining and interactive site, for more information as well as to see the 12 species of identified monsters.

However, new species are being discovered by little ones around the globe every day, so if you have a new species you have found, you are welcome to submit it HERE using a Monster ID Form and new species just might make their way onto the website and future publications. Too cute.

Stay up to date with the latest monster IDs with MRG on Facebook and you can also tweet with the peeps at MRG Headquarters on Twitter.

Click HERE to buy online and as of right now, the Monster Removal Guide can also be found at Lido Village Books in Newport Beach or A Whale of a Tale in Irvine.

[Disclosure: I received a complimentary book for review. This is not a compensated post and all my opinions are my 100% honest ones. In the process of working with Garett, they became a right column tile sponsor, so look for the MLG tile on our home page!]

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How to Choose the Right Car Seat for Your Child

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Recently I found myself in a car seat conundrum.

My 5 3/4 year old daughter started looking big for her convertible car seat and many of her friends now ride in a booster.

I was confused on if it was safe to transition her to a booster, so I contacted Erin Malone from, a car seat expert to see if she could give me the scoop!

She wrote an article on How to Choose the Right Car Seat for Your Child at every stage (newborn through age 10 ish), so you can skip below to the age category that applies to you!

Here is what she wrote…

“Walking down the car seat aisle can be an overwhelming experience.

With so many options these days, it’s hard for parents to know what seat is most appropriate for their child. With a few tips, though, the decision can be a lot easier. Here are the main types of car seats and an explanation of who should ride in them.

Rear-facing is the safest way for anyone to ride in the car, but only the smallest among us are able to do that.

In a frontal collision (the most common kind of crash), the shell of the seat takes the brunt of the crash forces—not the child’s head or neck. Children should ride rear-facing until at least 2 years old, preferably longer.

There are two kinds of rear-facing seats: infant seats and convertibles.

Infant seats are the kind that can snap into a base that stays in the car, and they are meant to face the back of the car only.

Convertible seats can face backward or forward depending on the age and size of the child.

A baby can use an infant seat or a convertible, although many parents choose infant seats for convenience. Either option is safe as long as the baby fits well.

Keep in mind that for a rear-facing seat, the harness needs to be at or below the child’s shoulders. If you use a convertible car seat for a baby, make sure the baby’s shoulders are at least even with the lowest harness slots.

When babies outgrow the infant seat, it’s time to move to a rear-facing convertible.

Convertible seats typically have a rear-facing weight limit of at least 35 pounds, and many now go to 40 or 45 pounds.

Almost any convertible seat will keep most children rear-facing until at least 2 years old. If you have a very tall child, make sure you look for a seat that has a tall shell.

A rear-facing car seat is outgrown when the child reaches the maximum weight limit or when the child has less than an inch of shell over his or her head.

Many parents believe that they need to turn a child forward-facing when their feet touch the seatback. That is not true!

There is no safety concern with the child’s feet touching the back of the seat. In fact, leg injuries are almost unheard of for rear-facing children and are one of the most common injuries when forward-facing.

There are three kinds of forward-facing harnessed seats: convertible seats (can go backward or forward), combination seats (has a harness but also turns into a booster seat), and forward-facing-only seats (has a harness and only faces forward, but does not turn into a booster). As long as the child fits properly and the seat can be installed correctly, one type is not any safer than another.

Ideally, children shouldn’t move to a forward-facing seat until they are at least 2 years old.

With a forward-facing seat, the harness needs to come from at or above the child’s shoulders (the opposite of rear-facing).

A forward-facing seat is outgrown when the child reaches the weight limit, OR the child’s shoulders go over the top harness slot, OR the tops of the child’s ears go over the top of the seat’s shell.

It’s best to keep a child in a harnessed seat until he or she is at least 4 years old, although many seats on the market can keep a child harnessed well beyond that.

Booster seats help properly position an adult seatbelt on a child. A booster is a safe option if it allows the lap belt to sit low across the child’s hips (not the belly) and positions the shoulder belt across the middle of the child’s shoulder.

Just as important, a child needs to be able to sit properly without playing with the seatbelt or leaning out of position. Most children aren’t mature enough to sit properly until around age 5, though that will vary by child.

Different boosters fit kids and vehicles in different ways, so try them out to make sure they work well with each child and in each car. Sometimes the fit can even vary by seating positions within the same car.

Regardless of your state’s laws, children should ride in a booster seat until you can answer YES to all of these questions:


Does the child sit all the way back in the seat?
Do his/her knees bend naturally at the edge of the seat?
Does the lap belt sit low on my child’s hips, not across the belly?
Does the shoulder belt cross the middle of my child’s shoulder, not falling off and not rubbing his/her neck?
Can he/she sit properly for the entire ride?

Most children won’t fit properly in an adult seatbelt until at least 10 years old.

If the seatbelt doesn’t fit properly (or if the child doesn’t fit well in the seat, which leads to slouching), the seatbelt can actually cause injuries in a crash.


The safest seat is one that fits your child and your vehicle, and that you’ll use properly every time.

All car seats need to meet the same safety standards. Some seats have more padding or extra features that make them more comfortable or easier to use, but all seats on the market are safe for your child to use, as long as they fit properly.

Try seats before you buy. Make sure the seat fits your child and your car well. It’s rare for a child restraint to be incompatible with a car, but it does happen.

On rear-facing and forward-facing harnessed seats, make sure the harness is snug, and position the chest clip at armpit level.

Always read your car seat and vehicle manual, and don’t be afraid to call the manufacturer for clarification if you need to.

Never buy a used car seat at a garage sale, second-hand store, or from sites like craigslist. A used seat might be recalled, missing parts, could have been in a crash, or might have been mistreated. If you must get a used seat, make sure it’s from someone who you would trust with your child’s life, like a close friend or relative.

Even if you think you’ve done everything right, make an appointment to have a Child Passenger Safety Technician check your installation.

Almost everyone thinks they have done it right, but more than 80% of seats are used incorrectly. Don’t let your child be part of that statistic!

Erin Malone, MPH, is a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician and owner of Safety In Motion. She has a Master’s degree in Public Health and has been dedicated to child passenger safety for over 10 years. Erin offers at-home appointments and also monthly events in Newport Beach and San Clemente in addition to a free car seat safety class every other Friday night at Hoag Hospital.

Contact Erin for dates and details at:  / 714 264-2924 *

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Super Cute Greeting Card Tote

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I happened upon this SUPER CUTE Greeting Card Tote from a company called Pad & Paper at The Christmas Company last December and it was love at first glimpse for this stationery fanatic!

Boxed in a darling white tin container with black and white ribbon, this tote is organized by category with 21 DARLING greeting cards inside for every occasion.

I know you have all seen these sets before, and what I have found is that, while the idea is great, the cards are often not-so-cute.  Unless you are looking for a puffy, glittery rocking horse design to send to a friend with a new baby. No thanks.

The Pad & Paper cards are simple, tasteful and so very lovely. I looked through each design and didn’t see one that I wouldn’t actually use.

And, at $31 for the set, that makes each CUTE card much less than the ones you find in a store! Fabulous gift idea for a girlfriend as well.


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