Posts by christy:

10 Gift Ideas for Her Under $30

Gift ideas for her under $30

The holiday season is now in full swing…holiday music is playing everywhere, Starbucks has their festive red cups, sweaters and boots are making an appearance, and beautiful trees and lights are going up everywhere!  That also means holiday planning and shopping is in full swing, too.  Here are some ideas we put together for the ladies in your life, our favorite gift ideas for her under $30.

Christy’s Picks 

1. Porcelain Typography Tray

I received this delicate initial tray for my birthday and LOVE it.  They have all different sorts of cute designs. I use it everyday on my dresser…my favorite earrings, ring, any little trinket…it’s the perfect size.  $10

2. Keep Calm and Caffeinate Mug

As a fellow, devoted coffee drinker, I saw this while I was shopping and fell in love. Sur La Table has several cute “Keep Calm” items…but this mug is my favorite!  Add your favorite small bag of coffee, K-cups or Starbucks gift card inside the coffee mug, wrap it in clear cellophane and add some jingle balls to top it off – voila! $9.95

3. ESSIE – Winter 2013 Nail Polish Cube Collection

I saw this idea floating around somewhere, and thought it was adorable.  Nab a cute Essie nail polish gift set…I like the winter color set at Ulta Beauty Then, add a cute little gift tag, with a free “For Your Mistle Toes” printable. $17 

4. Embroidered Purple Jewelry Box

This is a gorgeous jeweled paisley jewelry box from Pier One.  Perfect for little baubles and treasures. $15.96

Shea Butter Hand Cream

I love L’Occitane beauty products – they always feel very luxurious. And, their Shea Butter Hand Cream is hands down (hee hee) the best there is. Great buy for a quality gift. $12 – $28

Jen’s Picks 

6.Dry Divas – Designer Shower Caps

I am obsessed with these. High quality, super cute, and a gift every woman can use. Use Dry Divas promo code TINYORANGES for 10% off. $24 – $30

7. Capabunga – Reusable Wine Caps

I stumbled upon this find at Anne’s Boutique Wines in Costa Mesa and have snatched up a handful for gifts. Not only do they come in clever sayings, but you can literally turn the bottle of wine upside down and not one drop will escape. Perfect for storing open whites on its side in the fridge. $7.95

8. Wine Enthusiast – Wine Glass Writer Metallic Pens

While we are on the topic of wine, I also found these darling metallic wine glass writing pens at Anne’s on the the same day. They are AWESOME! No more forgetting what symbol you are, clanking of a wine tag, or accidentally stealing someone else’s “already been sipped from” glass! Simply write your name on your glass and then wipe it clean at the end of the party. $19.95 for 6-pack online. Anne’s sell them in a 3 pack for $10, or find here on Amazon.

9. Minted – Personalized Journals

Even in today’s high tech age, a notebook can still always come in handy. Minted’s premium journals can be customized with names, even photos. Pattern shown above is Pretty Poppies [affiliate links.]

10. We Olive – Artisan Olive Oils and Vinegars

My husband and I happened on We Olive on a date night at the OC Mart Mix awhile back and after a glass of wine and flight of oils and vinegars to taste, we were hooked. We came home with the Aged Basalmic, Garlic Olive Oil and Fresh Basil Olive Oil and they are all truly to die for. I mix the basalmic and one of the oils for a salad dressing, and it is the best I have ever had. So fresh and flavorful. Around $21 per bottle, take your bottle back and refills are $14. Eco-love.

Happy shopping!  And please comment below with any other great gift ideas for the special ladies on your list.  

Orange County Tree Lighting Ceremonies

orange county tree lighting ceremonies 2013

This is my absolute favorite time of year!  And, what better way to get in the holiday spirit than by taking your family to some beautiful Orange County tree lighting ceremonies and festivities!  

Here are the events I found online, mostly in OC, some a little outside the orange bubble. Please share in the comments any additional ones I might have missed!

November 29th
Riverside:  The Mission Inn
At sunset
3649 Mission Inn Ave.
Riverside, CA 92501

December 1st
Holiday Tree Lighting CeremonyKaleidoscope Courtyard, Mission Viejo
4:00 p.m.
27741 Crown Valley Pkwy.
Mission Viejo, CA 92691

December 2nd
Balboa Bay Club & Resort, Newport Beach
6:00 p.m.
1221 West Coast Hwy.
Newport Beach, CA 92663
(Open to the public)

December 3rd

Annual Tree Lighting O’Neill’s Bar & Grill at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club, Mission Viejo
6:00 p.m.
26772 Avery Pkwy.
Mission Viejo, CA 92692

December 4th 
Long Beach: Chill at The Queen Mary
3 – 7:30 p.m.
1126 Queen’s Highway
Long Beach, CA 90802

Friday, December 6 & Saturday, December 7
Friday, December 13 & Saturday, December 14

Annual Boat Parade of Lights
7:30pm by the Water’s Edge
Dana Point Harbor
34555 Golden Lantern
Call and make your reservations at (949) 496-5794.

December 6th

Dune’s Lighting of the Bay
6 p.m.
Newport Dunes
101 N. Bayside Dr.
Newport Beach, CA 92660

City of Tustin Christmas Tree Lighting
6:00 p.m.
Tustin City hall & Library outdoor courtyard

December 7th
Fountain Valley Tree Lighting Ceremony
4:30 p.m.
Fountain Valley Recreation Center and Sports Park
16400 Brookhurst St.
Fountain Valley, CA 92708

Nutcracker Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Village
10:00 a.m.
Center Street Promenade
160 West Center Street Promenade, Suite 100
Anaheim, CA 92805

Laguna Niguel Christmas Tree Lighting
5:00 p.m.
Laguna Niguel City Hall
30111 Crown Valley Pkwy.
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

17th Annual Holiday Crystal Cove Tree Lighting, Art Sale And Gift Bazaar
9:00 a.m.
Crystal Cove, Newport Beach

December 14th
Winter Festival and Tree Lighting
12:00 p.m.
La Plaza Park
Dana Point

December 18 – 22, 2013
Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade
Newport Beach/Newport Bay

Thank you, for being such a fantastic resource!  Please note:  All research was done online, so if you would like to attend one of these events, we would strongly recommend you call ahead of time and confirm times, entrance fees and/or parking questions.  Thank you!

Where do you take your family?  Do you know of any other Orange County tree lighting ceremonies?  
If so, please share below!

Sharing Gratitude with Our Kids

Raising grateful, generous children is important to our family.  So we incorporate (okay, try to incorporate) ways to share gratitude with our kids – and teach them about expressing their thanks.  With Thanksgiving approaching, I thought I’d share my favorite couple…and in return ask what your family does!

Talk about gratitude openly, everyday

Sometimes, family dinners just do NOT happen during the week with our school, activities and work schedules. Sigh.  So during at least one car ride a day (because I swear, we spend at least three hours in the car on any given day…), whoever is in the car talks about what they’re grateful for.  This morning, my three-year-old enthusiastically announced:

Mommy, I’m thankful for:

Grass and trees
All of my toy cars
Potties (yes, he actually said this!)
Our trash cans

Obviously, he had a lot on his little mind!  But since we try to do this exercise everyday, it’s getting easier and easier for my kids to share what they’re grateful for. And the sincerity that follows is pretty adorable!

Pick a family service project to do once a month

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a handful of my favorite service projects to do with kids.  We try to do one project a month. It’s fun, it’s fulfilling, and it’s hopefully teaching them to think about something bigger than themselves.

Oh…and those little magic words!

I keep seeing that cute little image floating around on social media that says, “Please and thank you are still magic words.”  I couldn’t agree more. Who’s with me?!

While we’re at it, I want to throw these also into the mix…

Excuse me.
I’m sorry.
I forgive you.
May I?  

Because I think teaching my kids to be grateful includes teaching them about respect.

So, we practice.  Everyday.  At home.  At Target.  At the park.  At meals.

We practice saying these little “magic” words while looking in someone’s eyes…and not at our feet.  Or the ceiling. Or our fingernails.  And, it’s hard.  Really hard sometimes.  Because my little ones don’t always have the patience (or desire) to use their manners.

But, we’re all a work in progress, right?!  And I think working with them a little everyday is (hopefully!) making a difference.  Fingers crossed, one day my three-year-old will say “Excuse me, please, AND thank you,” in the same breath.  Can you imagine?!

How do you share gratitude with your children?  Any favorite traditions or activities that work for you and your family?  Please share below!

Photo credit: Flickr, “Give Thanks”
LicenseCopyright All rights reserved by knitalatte11

2-for-1 Ticket Offer to The Christmas Company

christmas company ticket discount

Black Friday is coming one week early this year with the OC holiday shopping event you don’t want to miss, The Christmas Company is coming to town.

Mention the word “BLOG” at the door and get a special 2-for-1 ticket offer ($10 savings) on general admission boutique shopping tickets. If you chose to purchase your ticket online, simply mention BLOG when you arrive to get your free ticket.

The Christmas Company 2013

The Junior League of Orange County presents their 38th Annual The Christmas Company at the Hilton Orange County / Costa Mesa from Friday, Nov. 22 – Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013 – a fabulous boutique shopping experience featuring special events we know you’ll love.

With more than 100 unique vendors to shop from, there is literally something (or a handful of somethings!) for everyone.

I have personally shopped The Christmas Company in past years, it immediately puts me in the holiday spirit.

This is a great opportunity to invite some girlfriends, grab your mom, sneak out and leave the kids with your husband, or even bring your little shoppers with you.

Special Events

Girls Night Out
Friday, November 22
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
General Admission $50

Grab your girlfriends and join Tenley Molzahn, America’s Sweetheart from TV’s “The Bachelor” and “Bachelor Pad,” for the perfect combination of retail therapy and a fun personal care appointment.


Timree Paint Party
Saturday, November 23
Times vary – see website for details.
General Admission $45

World renowned artist and Orange County’s own Timree Gold throws quite the party and sets the perfect environment to bring out the artist in anyone. Enjoy a one-of-a-kind painting experience with Timree for the entire family! Each ticket holder gets to paint at this fantastic event, and you don’t want to be left out of the fun.


Fancy Nancy’s Fanciest First Tea Party
Sunday, November 24
Two seatings available – visit website for more info.
General Admission Child $50 | General Admission Adult $40
VIP Child Admission $65

Aly Bloom, Off-Broadway’s Fancy Nancy of “Fancy Nancy, the Musical,”  and Erika Miller, from Orange County’s The Chance Theater will entertain the little ones during their first real high tea.

Bring your child’s favorite doll and her best friends to enjoy a musical performance and a reading of one of the newest books in the series, Fancy Nancy: Fanciest Doll in the Universe. Buy your tickets early before the events sell out, and be sure to upgrade to VIP in order to request your seating.

(Almost) Guilt-free shopping

Funds raised from this event will benefit women and children in need in Orange County. Fifteen percent of all sales from shopping purchases will go directly back to support 
the JLOCC mission and their community projects.

Hours and Information

Friday 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sunday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Self-parking is FREE for all shoppers and Special Event attendees.
Valet is available for $8.00 per day.


You can purchase online tickets to any of the events at You cannot enter a promo code online, so you can purchase one general boutique shopping ticket online, and mention BLOG at the door to get your free ticket for a friend.

Happy shopping!

Favorite Children’s Books to Share With Early Readers

This blog is all about my favorite books for early readers. 

Reading with our babies is big deal in our house. Now my little girl is learning to read on her own, which means lots of phonics (our favorite phonics program is – and it’s free!), sight words, sounding words out and lots of proud moments for her daddy and me when she excitedly recites a page on her own.

Here are some of our favorite books, I would love to hear yours as we are always on the look out for new additions to our library.

Favorite Books for Early Readers 

The Giving Tree – written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein
Love this beautiful, classic story to share with my kids.

BOB Booksby Bobby Lynn Maslen (author), John R. Maslen (illustrator)
This is an amazing series of books that my little girl loves which has books for all levels of beginning readers.

Chica Chicka Boom Boomby Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, Lois Ehlert (illustrator)
What a fun story introduced to us in kindergarten – all about lower and upper case letters.  There’s also a catchy tune that goes with the book – my kids sing it on repeat.

Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss
Really, anything by Dr. Seuss is classic! Easy-to-read rhyming words that teach us through silly stories and masterful concepts. Love that Dr. Seuss!

The Little Engine That Couldby Watty Piper
Both of my kids adore this classic story, and my son (who is absolutely train obsessed) wants to read it every night.  An “oldie but goodie” lesson to teach my kiddos!

“The World of Biscut” stories (a collection of Biscut books) – by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
An adorable little pup who teaches my kids reading and life lessons through his many adventures – such an adorable series!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar – written and illustrated by Eric Carle
Hmmmm, this is one of my son’s favorites.  Learning to count…and food.  My daughter loves learning about butterflies.  Win-win!

The Rainbow Fish – written and drawn by Marcus Pfister (translated into English by J. Alison James
A wonderful story about sharing…with gorgeous illustrations to admire while you’re reading.

The Kissing Hand – by Audrey Penn, Ruth E. Harper (illustrator), Nancy M. Leak (illustrator)
I read this to my children every year on the eve before their first day of school. And yes, I cry.  If you haven’t read it, check it out…all about helping your kiddos feel more comfortable starting school.

What are your favorite children’s books?  
What helps your kids learn to read?
Share below!

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