Posts by jen:

It’s a Great Pumpkin Patch!

Irvine Park Railroad is located inside the Irvine Regional Park in the foothills of Orange, and this time of year, their Pumpkin Patch is a must visit!   Admission to the Pumpkin Patch is free (however, you do have to pay for parking to get into the park.)   There are thousands and thousands of pumpkins of all sizes, train rides, hay rides, a bounce house, haunted house and face painting on the weekends.  There are tons of cute photo ops, so don’t forget your camera!    

If you have time, walk over to the Orange County Zoo which is also located in the park and is about a 5 minute walk from the Pumpkin Patch.  It is only $2.00 per person to get in, and you can walk through the entire zoo in about 15 minutes.   There are a good number of animals and a little petting zoo area.  

The park also has lakes with ducks, so you can throw in your old bread to feed the ducks too! 

Have a great weekend everyone!   See you back on Monday with another fabulous giveaway and the winner of the B.Y.O.G. gown.  There is still time to enter!  Email me today by 5pm PST to and tell me your favorite print! 

Maternity Basis: Where to Save & When to Splurge!

I am so excited to introduce my first “Expert Advice” blog! I hope to do regular posts with advice from the experts in all areas related to mommyhood. Here are some great tips from Stephani Clymer, owner of Xpecting Maternity in Costa Mesa, she writes:

You are a stylish woman who is now a stylish mom-to-be and we know you are asking yourself what now? First, congratulations and second, get shopping with our expert tips below.

Tips to Remember

  • Look for classic pieces in your favorite colors that you can mix and match. For example, a great top that you can wear to work with black pants and out to dinner with jeans, or a dress that looks as stylish with flats as it does dressed up with heels.
  • Stick with the styles you love. Do not feel like you need to change the way you dress now that you are pregnant. If you never wear capri pants now is not the time to start. Plus, with all of the options available you can afford to be picky and spend on clothes you are excited to wear.
  • Remember you are pregnant NOT FAT, in fact just ban the “f” word from your vocabulary. Your body is guaranteed to grow so remember to shop for comfortable styles that will fit for at least 3 months.

Where to Save

  • Workout clothes. Good for you for staying active, but this is one area where you can make it work on a small budget. Non-maternity workout clothes stretch enough to get you through the first 3-5 months and as you grow out of those shop stores like Target and Old Navy, both offer maternity fashions on a budget.
  • Basic pants. Whether you work full time or are a stay at home mom you can buy 2-4 basic bottoms that are neutral and wear them many times. We like the moderately priced styles from brands like Olian with a price range of $50-$65. This leaves you money to purchase more tops to go with your basics.
  • On the subject of tops, splurge on a couple, but save on the basics. Brands like Michael Stars will last throughout your pregnancy and hold their shape after many washes. We know the $50 price tag might not feel like a save, but you will not have to get rid of these after just a few wears and they make a fabulous transitional piece.

When to Splurge

  • You are pregnant for 40 weeks. That is nearly 10 months with nothing that fits the way it used to, plus 8-16+ weeks post-pregnancy when you need time to get back into your old clothes. That said, splurge on your denim. You can find so many designers that have taken their best-selling non-maternity styles and created a maternity compliment. Take advantage and get 1-2 pairs. You will never regret it.
  • Think LBD for Little Black Dress, just do not limit it to black. While the old standby may be the best color, you can substitute any solid color that you can dress up for a wedding or holiday party with the right shoe and jewelry, but can also take you to work or out running errands in the day.
  • Your baby shower outfit. Your shower will likely come towards the end of your pregnancy when you are not feeling your best. Splurge on a dress or separates if you prefer, but just make sure you feel great, after all, you deserve it!
    • Nursing bras, we are talking a good fit with great support so do not skimp. Brands like Bravado, Bella Materna and Bela Bum Bum provide function for one of your most important jobs as a mother.

    Balboa Pier Playground

    We love the playground at the Balboa Pier, where you truly appreciate just how lucky we are to live close to playgrounds that are smack on the sand!   To get there, go to the end of the Peninsula and pass the Balboa Pier parking lot signs.   Turn right at the next street past the pier, A Street.  Metered parking is available, so bring your quarters.  I have gone on non-summer weekdays and there is usually plenty of parking.  There are restrooms right adjacent to the playground.  You can also plan your outing around lunch or dinner and then grab a bite to eat at Ruby’s on the Pier.  Even better, plan your outing for late afternoon on a Tuesday, and your kids will eat for free!  (Did you know kids eat free at Ruby’s on Tuesdays after 4pm?) 
    (Images from Beach California.)

    Giggles N’ Hugs

    I really love Orange County.  To get me to venture outside my Orange Bubble takes a lot.   But this place was worth the drive to LA!  One of my dearest girlfriends from college lives in LA, and we are lucky enough to have daughters 6 weeks apart, so we met them at Giggles N’Hugs for a play date and lunch.   We left at 10am on a Friday  from Costa Mesa and were there in just over 45 minutes.      

    This restaurant is a kid’s wonderland!  There is a HUGE gated play area filled with everything you could imagine for little ones…cars, trains, dolls, stage with costumes, climbing toys, riding toys, tables and coloring items, girly kitchens and doll houses, and it goes on and on and on.    As a bonus, it is actually a REALLY good restaurant too!    You order at the counter, and we were served really quickly.  The food was healthy, delicious and kid-oriented.  If the kids want to dine and dash, you can finish your lunch and still see them from your table in the play area.  It is a great concept, and takes “family friendly”  to a new level!  I wish they had one in OC!  Hopefully it will be on it’s way down south soon.    In my opinion, totally worth the trip, especially if you live in North OC.   Of course, make sure to travel at non-traffic prone times.   Click here for hours and directions.

    B.Y.O.G (Bring Your Own Gown!)

    B.Y.O.G, which stands for Bring Your Own Gown, is the hip alternative to the boring, used hospital gown!  These cute gowns come in lots of fun prints, have removable bows, snaps in the back for full coverage, and easy to unsnap sleeves for nursing.   Is anyone willing to admit they watched Tori & Dean (yes, that would be the Tori Spelling reality show on Oxygen)?  I will admit it,  I got sucked right in this past summer!  Tori was wearing a B.Y.O.G (just did my fact check on the B.Y.O.G. website) when she delivered her daughter.  She wore the Havana Rose print gown with a sassy hot pink bow,  so much cuter than those old faded hospital numbers!  And, isn’t this also a great, uinique idea for a baby shower gift?    

    Hooray!  It’s a Tiny Giveaway!  B.Y.O.G. is giving away a free gown (a $95 value) to one lucky winner!  If you can’t use it for yourself, enter anyway, because wouldn’t this make for a great gift?   To enter (one entry per person), send me an email to  In the email, put BYOG in the subject line, include your first name and last initial, and tell me which print is your fav!   Click here to see the cute fabrics.   You can enter all week, just make sure your email is in before 5pm PST on Friday, Oct. 10th.   Winner can select their favorite print (subject to availability!)    Good luck!

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