Posts by christy:

Abracadabra, Alacazam…Meet Magic Matt Young

Today I am excited to share with you a fabulous Orange County magician for kid’s parties, Magic Matt Young. I for one am always on the lookout for fun new birthday party ideas and wouldn’t a magic themed kid’s birthday party be SO cute for both boys and girls? I’m thinking bunnies, hats, wands, cards…and then a special appearance by a live magician?!  Too fun!

Magic Matt Young is an experienced magician, performer, and all around fun guy who loves to make kids happy through magic. And who doesn’t love a cool magic trick?

I know my little ones eat up anything to do with rabbits in hats, coins pulled out of their ears and multi-colored hankies (okay, maybe I’ve watched Goofy’s Magic Trick show on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse one too many times…).

Meet Magic Matt Young

Lucky for us, Magic Matt has a little more up his sleeve (cue quick giggle – I couldn’t help it).

Magic has been a part of Matt’s life since he was seven, when his dad bought him his first magic kit, and the rest is history.

Now he performs regularly at the famous Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach, has made appearances at Zoomars in San Juan Capistrano, and of course, he loves performing at kid’s birthday parties!

How does he capture kids’ attention? By starting out his show with, “You guys are really going to make the magic happen!”

Because as all you mamas know, our kids want to be right in the middle of everything. I already know my five-and-a-half-year-old would be in the front row vigorously jumping up and down, raising her hand to be his first assistant.

Orange County Magician for Kid’s Parties!  

The details…

•   He performs all around Orange County and San Diego County.

•   The best ages for his shows are 4 and up (ages 7 and up will have more age appropriate, complicated tricks).

•   His birthday party shows are about a half hour.

•   You can count on fun tricks and illusions, lots of interaction, and chances for your kiddos to help make the magic happen.

•   In addition to birthday parties, Magic Matt also can perform at holiday parties, wedding receptions, company picnics and family reunions (he’s even putting on a show for a First Communion party!).

So consider magic as part of your next kiddo’s next birthday party (or whatever family-friendly event you may be planning this summer) and give Matt a call to talk about his show. And, voila! An easy peasey, fun way to entertain your munchkins and see their little eyes light up.

Disclosure: Magic Matt Young has been a Tiny Oranges Sponsor in our OC Biz Guide.  After chatting with him about his magic performances, I can’t wait to take my kids to see him live!

Singing Praises for Fancy Nancy the Musical Songs

Oh Fancy Nancy, how I adore thee. Your fancy words, your spunky personality, your fun way of teaching my kiddos new vocabulary….and now your songs on our favorite new Fancy Nancy the Musical CD we were recently sent for review. The CD features the original Off-Broadway cast recording and I was pleasantly surprised to find that even I sang along and enjoyed it.

So yes, I am singing praises for Fancy Nancy the Musical songs and anyone with their own little Fancy Nancy will say, “Oh la la!” to this collection too.

My daughter is just beginning to read this adorable series, created and written by Jane O’Connor, about a girl named Nancy who makes it her mission to make everything fancy. And, my little girl LOVES being fancy (see above picture for proof).

Boas, sparkles, tutus, tea parties, and of course, practicing the use of “fancy” words are her cup of tea.

In this super cute collection of tunes, it tells the story of Nancy and her best friend Bree, who want to be fancy mermaids in their upcoming dance recital…and Nancy ends up being cast as a…wait for it…a TREE.

Nancy bemoans…what is fancy about a TREE?  And thus, the musical comes alive and takes you on a sweet little storyline of how Nancy and Bree cope with being cast as “ordinary” parts (that’s a fancy word for simple!), versus fancy, glamorous stars.

The songs are upbeat, catchy, and pretty darn cute. Even my three-year-old son doesn’t seem to mind listening. (You can check out a preview of the songs on YouTube, and see for yourself how entertaining they are).

Each morning, my little princess asks me to put on Fancy Nancy in the car.  When I asked her why she likes it, this is what she said, “I like the under the sea music.  It makes me happy.  Oh, and I like her [Nancy’s] crown and fancy stuff.”  Well, folks…enough said!

And if Fancy Nancy the Musical ever visits Southern California, my little girl and I are going to have a girl date…starting with a fancy tea party, of course.

Disclosure:  I was given this CD to listen to by Danny Abosch (Composer, Arranger, Music Educator), which features his music…and I am SO excited that my little girl and I can finally sing along to Fancy Nancy songs, as well as read her books! Merci Danny!

Fun Family Date Ideas for Summer

I love family date nights…but when all of our schedules are so crazy busy during the school year, we typically have to end up bonding in the car on the way to soccer or talking about our day over dinner dishes.

But summer…ahhhh summer.  Summer means longer days, (more) relaxed mornings, play time at the pool and sandcastles at the beach. It also means more time to plan fun family dates.

Here are a few family date ideas for summer. Do you have some favorites? Please share below!

Beach Picnics

Pack up some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and fruit…or get as fancy as you want…bring a blanket, juice boxes, napkins, and a handful of cookies for a treat. Then, head on down to your favorite beach and enjoy a simple picnic with a beautiful view. My favorite beach we frequent is Aliso Creek in South Laguna Beach.  It has a fun playground that is manageable with little ones and is rarely overcrowded…plus a small grassy area if you prefer to eat on the grass versus the sand. (Note…the playground will be under renovations the next couple of weeks…right in time to be ready for summer!)

The Irvine Spectrum

There are SO many places to eat that are kid friendly at the Irvine Spectrum. Plus, let your kiddos take a spin on the carousel, ride the Giant Wheel for a great view of Orange County, or play at the splash pad. Lots to see, shop, wander, people watch and sometimes even listen to live music.  A fun way to enjoy the last hours of daylight with your family…because there’s something for everyone!

Pajama Day!

Snuggle up and wear your jammies ALL day for a day date!  Let your kiddos pick a favorite movie, spread a big blanket on the floor and have a lunch “picnic” inside, set up a make-your-own-popcorn bar for snack time (pop a bowl and everyone can mix in their favorite flavors and treats!), have a book reading party, a teddy bear picnic, tea parties, a family dance off…for a comfy day together!

Homemade Pizza Party

Put a spin on typical pizza Fridays, and instead of dialing your favorite pizza delivery joint, go to the store for some fresh pizza dough (Trader Joe’s has one I love) and some fresh sauce. Let your kids wear their dress-up aprons and chef hats, roll up your sleeves and roll out the pizza dough. Let the kids make shapes, pick their favorite toppings and then watch the pizza cook through the oven window.  Maybe throw in some homemade cookies to sweeten the deal…

Camp Out

Organize a family camp out – inside or outside – at home!  Camping is always so fun, but it can be hard to sneak away for an entire weekend as a family.  Break out the tents, the sleeping bags, extra sheets, flashlights, smores fixings, and settle in (or out!) for a technology-free evening together.  Tell stories, make-up silly games, make sticky smores, sing songs, and have some old-fashioned fun!

What is your favorite family date?
Share your ideas in the comments below so we can all enjoy some great family date ideas for this summer!

Adorable Birthday Keepsakes for Kids

I am one of those moms who absolutely loves birthday keepsakes for kids (you don’t even want to know how many “keepsake boxes” I have stacked in both of my kids’ closets).  And every birthday my babies celebrate, I let myself indulge in being extra sentimental by creating a handful of adorable birthday keepsakes to commemorate their special day.

Framed Birthday Picture with Personal Messages

Each year, I buy I large matted picture frame (with plenty of room for writing) and pick a recent picture of my birthday kid.  I decorate the matte with a few stickers from their party theme (so we can always remember what they loved at that age).  Then, I have each party guest write a little birthday message on the matte…once complete, I hang it in my munchkin’s room all year…so they will always know how loved they are.

Birthday Books

My daughter looks forward to this every year and now that she’s five, she’s really into it. I take all of their birthday party pictures and make a scrapbook…including the invitation, stickers, any important party “flair,” and of course, lots of pictures!  I have always made traditional scrapbooks, but I just recently made one on Shutterfly, and it turned out beautifully!

Both kids love looking at it all year-long, and know it’s one of their presents from mama.

More Cute Birthday Keepsakes I Want To Try

—  A hardback children’s book (of your choice) that your party guests can write in…little messages to the birthday kid.  Very practical and adorable!  One of my friends did this for her one-year-old’s birthday party, and I loved it.

—  A letter journal – buy a cute little (blank) journal for your child.  Each year, write them a letter – talk about their year, what they accomplished, favorite trips, cool memories, etc.  You can read your letter to your kiddo, or just quietly tuck it away.  Then, give it to them on their 18th birthday – tear!

—  “A year-in-the-life” – pick a handful of your favorite pictures from the year…preferably from holidays you celebrated, first/last days of school, vacations, and so forth.  Pictures that show how much they’ve grown.  I usually jump onto Costco or Shutterfly (but you could choose ANY online picture company!) and make a picture collage of your child, including their age…frame it and hang it!

—  One of my friends spends hours every year making a beautiful picture slideshow of her kiddo’s year, complete with music.  The videos are always absolutely precious!  I have yet to do this for my babies, but really am going to make an effort to do so this year.

I’m always on the lookout for great birthday keepsakes for kids. Please join the conversation in the comments below and let me know about
your traditions and favorite keepsakes!

Let Skincare by Victoria Pamper You…and Your Skin

Listen up mamas; I’m about to let you in on a little secret. One that I had pretty much filed away and forgotten about until I was invited to experience a custom facial by our lovely new sponsor, Skincare by Victoria a little “me time” goes a LONG way.

One word. Heavenly. Absolutely heavenly (okay, that’s two words.)

Taking some much-deserved time and enjoying a bit of primping and pampering for yourself can recharge you for weeks.

You can recharge too, with a chance to enter to win a 60-minute custom facial from Victoria below! Make sure to enter AND forward this post to your hubby with a Mother’s Day is coming up (wink wink) reminder.

This darling Orange County spa is located in the Cannery Village in Newport, a charming French Chateau’esque retreat.

When I walked in, I was greeted by the owner, Victoria, an experienced and gentle licensed esthetician who has been practicing for 13 years, and just celebrated her grand opening in this location in February.

A cozy fire was already lit (perfect for the chilly April morning), candles were burning, soft music was playing, fresh roses were set out…and I felt all of the stress of wrangling the kids to school, fade.

This delightful spa is a quiet and peaceful one-room sanctuary that has all of the feminine touches and subtle elegance of someone’s home. I changed into a fluffy white wrap, cuddled into the heated and cushy massage bed, and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of my custom one-hour facial.

I was exfoliated, soothed with lotions, gently scrubbed, moisturized, and massaged, complete with soft cucumber eye pads and warm towel wraps.

Victoria asked me about my skin care routine, if I had any concerns, answered some of my skin questions.Has anybody else’s skin changed after they’ve had babies? Well, mine has! She was very knowledgeable in addressing the reasons. Then she let me know that this was my “me time.” We could chat (which we did – so nice to make a new friend!) or I could relax and enjoy the quiet…whatever I wanted.

She explained that she is all about improving the quality of her client’s skin, while letting them unwind and relax and enjoy some pampering. And, I needed it!

Victoria offers a variety of custom and specialty facials for all skin types, ranging from her mini facial (if you can only squeeze in a half hour), to her brightening facial or back facial, microdermabrasion and more…plus waxing and tinting services. She uses top-of-the-line skin products by Epicuren, which are only sold by medical doctors and licensed estheticians.

Don’t know which treatment to indulge in? Just ask her! She can recommend the perfect spa service for you – and right in time for Mother’s Day! So, treat yourself…or your own mama, best friend or aunt…to the perfect pampering experience. And, tell her I said hello!

Oh, and make sure to arrive a few minutes early to nab a good parking spot (metered spots available and they take credit cards!), and maybe even walk around this fun little area – so much to see and enjoy.

Hooray! It’s a Tiny Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a 60-minute brightening facial

(a $125 value!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was graciously treated to this one-hour facial, complimentary – Skincare by Victoria is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor…and we are SO glad she is! We hope your spa experience is just as fabulous!)

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