What is Your iComfort Direction?

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Take my advice and a few minutes out of your day to enter this iComfort Directions Sweepstakes because someone has to win!

And if you do, you will be on your way to the best night’s sleep you have ever experienced. I know firsthand, because I have an iComfort mattress that was given to me complimentary as a result of my participation in their blogger program in 2010. It’s amazing.

You can read my iComfort mattress review here.  Now here is more about their current sweepstakes. You just have to enter! The thought of one of my readers potentially winning one makes me so happy!

What is Your iComfort Direction?

Are you curious to know favorite sleeping position says about you?

Take Serta’s quick personality survey to find out. If you do, you will be entered to win a new iComfort Directions gel memory foam mattress with an adjustable base foundation. Grand prize value is $4,474!

To enter, visit the SertMattress Facebook page and fill out this questionnaire. Easy peasy!

Pin for more chances to win!

For FIVE extra entries, take an iComfort Rest Test and share a picture on Pinterest! Here’s how it works:

1. Visit a local Serta retailer
2. Take a photo showing your iComfort “direction” = your favorite sleep position on an iComfort mattress.
3. Upload photo to your Pinterest page.
4. Email link to your Pinterest post to marketing {at} serta.com. Emails must be received on or before 11:59pm CDT on June 28th, 2013.

The iComfort Directions Sweepstakes runs now through June 30, 2013.

GOOD LUCK!

[Disclosure: I am a part of the Serta Blogger Program which has included complimentary mattresses for my family and compensation for my time and participation in the program. All opinions on my Serta mattress are 100% my own. I love my bed. You will too.] 

 

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The best thing since sliced bread.

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Recently I discovered this organic sliced bread by Eureka! Baking Company when the representatives contacted me about a review.

I was happy to accept the breads for review because I am always on the look out for healthy vegan bread. Eureka! I found it!

My daughter’s allergies to milk and eggs have turned our household into avid label-readers. I often say it’s a blessing in disguise because you would be shocked at the junky ingredients found in every day foods, including sliced bread.

All Eureka! Breads are USDA organic, certified vegan (hooray!) and contain no high fructose corn syrup (you would be amazed how many breads contain it), artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.

There are three varieties, each with equally entertaining names: Grainiac, Seeds the Day, and Saaaa-Wheat! Gotta love a company with a sense of humor.

They are all made with whole grains and are good sources of fiber.

I had a slice every day with a little jam and it became my new favorite mid-morning snack. It is a hearty bread and you can really taste all the yummy grains and seeds. The Grainiac was my favorite with 5g of fiber per slice and it was more filling than a typical piece of bread.

My youngest, the one with the food allergies, loved the bread. My oldest thought it had “too many things in it” for her. But she is picky and that is not surprising. I have high hopes it will grow on her; I will keep trying!

Overall, this is a tasty, nutritious organic sliced bread. I am a fan and will put it on our regular shopping list.

Down the road, I would love to see a lower calorie option from Eureka!, as the slices have more calories per slice that I typically like to eat. One discovery at a time!

Visit www.eurekabakingcompany.com and plug in your zip at the top store locator to find a store that carries it near you.

[Disclosure: I was sent three loaves for review. All opinions are 100% my own authentic ones!]

 

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A Family Getaway to Catalina Island

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This post is all about fun things to do in Catalina with kids and as it turns out, there are a lot!  My family and I spent Mother’s Day weekend on this cute little island and we had the time of our lives.

The trip was hosted by Catalina Island Vacation Rentals as a result of a blogger contest I won, which included a two-night stay at one of their properties as well as a ride to and from on the Catalina Flyer for our family.  Happy Mother’s Day to ME!

Getting to Catalina Island

We took the morning ferry on Saturday to Catalina from Newport Beach on the Catalina Flyer. The ride over took about one hour and 15 minutes. The ferry ride was lots of fun and was right on time. You can visit their website for a $10 off coupon for an adult round-trip ticket through 12/8/13.

Where to Stay

Catalina Island Vacation Rentals has a large selection of privately owned cottages, houses and condos available for rent in Avalon. We stayed in Bahia Vista A10 and loved it. With two separate bedrooms, 2.5 baths and a kitchen, it was huge for our family of four.

Our favorite part about staying in our condo was our unit was directly across from the swimming pool which made it super convenient to run back and forth.

The unit is dated and had older decor, but was very clean and comfortable. We also enjoyed staying within walking distance to the little downtown, which was approximately 3 long blocks and a comfortable 10 minute walk.

Where to Eat in Catalina with Kids 

There were two favorite spots I wanted to mention that were great for dining with the kiddos. The first was Antonio’s Pizzeria & Cabaret. We scored with a waterfront table looking out at the docked boats and Casino. Pizza was good and service was even better.

The second one is Luau Larry’s where I had the best cheeseburger and onion rings of my entire life.  Now, beware, Luau Larry’s can be known to get rowdy due to their world famous drinks, therefore you have to be selective with the time you go. We went for lunch on Mother’s Day when it was very quiet. Cheeseburger in paradise.

Things to Do in Catalina with Kids 

1. Rent a golf cart and explore the island 

Renting a golf cart is a hands down a MUST!

You can rent them at a number of places in town and then take off on your own to explore. We had a buy two hours, get one free deal, and spent just about 3 hours total on our tour.

We packed our Beacon Audio wireless speaker, put on my daughter’s playlist of music and all of us were grinning from ear to ear as we rocked out on our golf cart adventure through the hills of Catalina. Loved it!


You can take your cart up to Wrigley Memorial & Botanical Garden and then check out the Zip Line Eco Tour on your route.  My girls loved pulling over to the side of the road to watch the zip liners. We just happened to get there right as the bus of zip liners was arriving for their first run.

My oldest, a total daredevil, wanted to go so badly. Maybe next trip I will build up the courage to go with her!

Towards the end of our tour we stopped off at Descanso Beach Club ~ amazing. For a fee you can rent these killer beach chairs and umbrellas and get service on the sand. “Waiter, another umbrella drink please!” Heaven!

There is also a great restaurant on the beach, with fun music and all outdoor seating.  We didn’t eat there, but I would suggest checking it out if you go. Very fun atmosphere.

 2. Go to the Beach 

There is a little beach for kids in the main town, to the left of the pier where swimming is allowed. My oldest REALLY wanted to try snorkeling, which she did, but didn’t see anything.

There is also another beach for kids at Descanso Beach.

One thing we did not realize is that the beaches are ROCKY, and it is not like visiting a beach in So Cal. Prepare your kiddos for this fact if they are expecting to run in and out of the water like they do at home.

3. Take in a Game of Miniature Golf 

This was our first time playing miniature golf as a family and it was SO MUCH FUN!  My oldest daughter, almost 7, said it was her favorite thing she did in Catalina. My youngest, almost 4, mostly ran round and dropped the balls in the hole by hand, but we all equally had a great time. The course is right in the middle of town.

Tips on Visiting Catalina Island with Kids 

Pack warm clothes for the ferry ride. If your kids want to ride up top on the open seas like mine did, it is very cold and windy.  Even on a hot day, once we got out on the ocean, it was really cold.

Bring crocs or some sort of water shoes if your kids like to go in the water for the rocky beaches.

Seriously consider renting a house or condo with a swimming pool and kitchen for the kids. Staying at the Catalina Island Vacation Rentals condo unit made it feel like a home away from home.  We were able to go to the market and stock up on snacks for the kids and having a swimming pool to me is a HUGE plus.

If you have little ones, bring your stroller or jogger with you! Even though my girls are older, they still doubled up and rode on the jogger when we went out to dinner. After a long day of swimming and sightseeing, their legs were tired. The jogger also came in handy for hauling our luggage from the ferry to our condo.

Any more tips for visiting Catalina Island with kids? Do share! Thanks Catalina Island Vacation Rentals for the amazing stay!

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Happy Campers, Happy Summer! [Giveaway!]

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Today’s post is all about Tiny Oranges’ Sponsor, Inside the Outdoors and their fabulous Orange County summer camps for kids.  And we have an awesome giveaway as well, make sure to read below to enter to win a FREE week of summer camp for your child!

After about five minutes of chatting about their camps and different summer themes, I started feeling nostalgic for my own camp days. What’s better than fresh air, crafts, hikes, learning about nature and animals, and singing camp songs in the summer?  Anyone else have a craving for a s’more right about now?

In our family, it’s T-minus two weeks until my older kiddo is out of school.  Staring at the calendar, this fills me with a small sense of freedom, excitement, and (a little) panic (three whole months with BOTH kids!).  My mission?  Happy campers, happy summer!

Good news, mamas. Inside the Outdoors has an entire schedule of week-long summer day camps for your kiddos, ages 6-11, this summer.

Better news?  All of the camp counselors are highly trained, college educated, AND first aid/CPR certified, fingerprinted, DOJ background checked/cleared, and TB tested.

Even better news?  This isn’t your any run-of-the-mill camp experience.

Inside the Outdoors is an education program administered BY the Orange County Department of Education…which means that the camps focus on science-themed activities that complement what kids are learning in elementary school.

Reinforcement of learning through super fun camp activities. Um, yes please!

2013 Summer Camp Schedule:

Summer Day Camp at Rancho Soñado

June 24 – June 28, 2013 – Survival of the Kiddest

Summer Day Camp at Shipley Nature Center

July 8 – July 12, 2013 – Survival of the Kiddest
July 15 – July 19, 2013 – “AMAZE”ing Scientists!
July 22 – July 26, 2013 – Eco-Avengers!
July 29 – August 2, 2013 – Mythbusters

Summer Day Camp at Irvine Regional Park

August 5 – August 9, 2013 – Tails and Trails

You can read about the camp themes in more detail, plus download a camp registration form here.

Camps are $195 per five-day session from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m, and $70 for extended camp from 2:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m.  Your little adventurer will get a camp T-shirt, a tree cookie name tag, and take home eco-crafts everyday (so cute!).

There are also opportunities for your entire family to get involved.  Inside the Outdoors hosts various summer family-friendly fun events like hikes, astronomy nights and craft sessions – just check their website for updated dates and times.

Finally, after we enjoy (ahem…make it through still happy and sane?) this lovely summer with our kiddos, check out Inside the Outdoors programs that they host during the school year…it’s likely that your fifth or sixth graders will participate in their educational camps or field trips at some point during the school year!

Hooray! It’s a Tiny Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive one free week for one camper at an Inside the Outdoors summer camp session! Winner may choose their choice of week (subject to availability) with advance reservations. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:  Inside the Outdoors is a new Tiny Oranges sponsor…and we are so thrilled they are!  Perfect timing for us to learn more about what they do, especially summer camps for kiddos!  Let’s keep ’em busy, happy, active, and occupied in the fresh air this summer!

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Two Great Postnatal Exercises

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Today Erica from Knocked-Up Fitness is sharing two effective full body postnatal exercises to help jumpstart your workout routine after baby arrives (of course with your doctor’s blessing!) In case you missed it, last week Erica shared easy tips on How to Get in Shape Quick After Baby.

Here are two of her favorite exercises, with instructions, directly from her Prenatal and After Baby DVD’s, written by Erica Ziel.

Squats with Rotation 

This is a great pregnancy exercise but I LOVE it for everyone, especially after baby. It’s a great way to turn on your glutes, core, plus a little arm work if you add some light weights or an exercise ball. I use this as a warm-up exercise for many of my clients.

1. Stand in a wider than shoulder stance with your legs with feet rotated slightly out.

2. Go into a deep squat.

3. As you stand up out of your squat, rotate to your right pivoting your leg foot. Think about lifting and rotating through your center, working your core muscles. Go back to your center deep squat then repeat on your other side.

Do 20-30 reps

Lunge with Arms

This is another one of my favorites because it works your entire body. Start slowly as you move through these lunges, and yes, even your abs will working to help with your balance.

1. Start standing on your left leg, keeping your knee softly bent the entire time, with arms behind your body, triceps squeezed.

2. Balance and hold your right leg up (if that’s too hard keep your right toe lightly touching the ground to help with your balance).

3. As you lunge back with your right leg reach your arms up to at least shoulder height and work your way up towards getting your arms to your ears.

Do 10-20 reps on one side, then switch.

Try even just doing these 2 exercises back to back 1-4 times a day and see how you feel.

Tips for doing squats and lunges more effectively:

1. Keep most of your weight in your heels.

2. Stick your butt back so you’re working your gluts and not overworking your quads.

3. Think about gently drawing your shoulders down away from your ears, even when you’re lifting your arms up.

4. Kegel it up the entire time, plus scoop your belly in and up when you exercise.

Thanks Erica for sharing these great postnatal exercises. If you have any questions for Erica, please feel free to comment below!

[Disclosure: Knocked-Up Fitness is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor.]

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