Now is the Time

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I have written about this topic for years now because I feel passionate about sharing information on what parents need to do to make sure their kids would be taken care of if the worst were to happen to them.

It’s an awful thought, but better to get it done so you can move on with your life  with peace of mind.  If you haven’t already done this for your family yet, I hope now is the time.

Here is a guest post Darlynn Morgan from Morgan Law Group in Newport Beach wrote about this topic. Darlynn holds free workshops to educate parents on the steps to take to get your legal stuff in order, how to legally name guardians for your kids, etc.

There are two local OC workshops coming up at the end of the month to learn more. Details at the end of the post. Here is what Darlynn had to share about what she speaks on…

Today I’m going to share the secret to FINALLY getting your financial house in order, and I’m going to tell you up front that it has nothing to do with budgets, selling everything on Ebay or working longer hours! This is information you’ve probably never heard before from your financial advisor or CPA, but it’s going to shift your thinking and give you incredible peace of mind.

Before I get into it, if you’re a parent with minor kids at home, the very first thing you should do is visit and register for one of our FREE fall Kids Protection Workshops happening on Saturday, September 29th, 2012.

We’re hosting one at Xpecting at 9:00 am and one at Granola Babies at 2 pm.  These workshops are fast, fun and will teach you everything you need to know about naming legal guardians for your minor kids, leaving a legacy for your loved ones and protecting your family’s wealth if the unthinkable happens.  I’ll touch on why this is so important in just a minute.

But in the meantime…

You’re young and smart —and working hard to build a solid financial foundation for the benefit of your family.  Financial freedom is starting to feel within reach and the future looks promising.

Or is it….?

The “typical” definition of financial freedom means no debt, 6 months savings in the bank, a paid off house and saving towards retirement so you can stop working. The pop culture “teachers” of personal finance tell us that this is when you’ll experience financial freedom …. and so we spend our lives working towards those goals.

But what if we look at it in a different way….

Because maybe you’re just starting out, and have lots of student loan debt, or bought a house that is now upside down. Or maybe you’re just starting a family and are overwhelmed by the reality of the costs of those little mouths to feed. Maybe you’ve even lost your job or your biggest client and you’re wondering where the money is going to come from.

Or, maybe you’ve got millions in the bank, but you’re afraid because you’ve just seen your accounts or your house lose a chunk of their value. Isn’t it funny to realize that sometimes financial freedom has nothing to do at all with the amount of money you have in the bank?

So how can you experience this financial freedom if you don’t have a big savings account, or you have loads of debt, or you’ve not saved enough for retirement, you don’t know how you’re going to pay for college, or if you feel fearful when you think about your financial situation? (Even though by the standards of most of the rest of the world you have plenty.) 

The first step is to get your financial house in order. Do you know with absolute and total certainty what would happen to all your stuff, your business, your kids ….if something happened to you? Or if something happened to your spouse? Do you have a plan in place to make sure that at the end of your life (whenever that may be) you leave the world a better place? That you improve the lot of your family not just financially but emotionally and that you don’t leave behind a big mess?

Now a lot of people think “oh that’s too scary to think about” but it’s not. It’s actually very empowering. Because right now, everything is just fine and you have a clear head and you can start to think about why are you here. How will you leave the world a better place?

You start by knowing that your financial house is in order and that your family, the people who love you and who you love are going to have an easy time of it when you’re gone.

So that is your first step to financial freedom! It’s not about 6 months of savings and getting out of debt and paying off your house, although all those things are great…. but you could do all of those things and still not experience the freedom you’re looking for.

If you’re always waiting to experience freedom until you “arrive” you’ll never get there.

Here’s the good news:

If you don’t have an action plan, then now is the time… you can learn how to create one by joining me for one of our upcoming Fall Kids Protection Workshops

These workshops are fast, fun and offer critical information in a way that’s easy to understand, empowering and broken down into action steps that you can implement right away.   Plus they are FREE to attend and filled with other young families…just like yours!

I know you’ll find it to be an hour well-spent and that you’ll leave with incredible peace of mind about your future.  Here is just a taste of what you’ll learn:

The 9 simple steps you can take immediately to ensure your children are cared for by the people you want, according to your values, should something happen to you.

~ The 9 simple steps you can take immediately to ensure your children are cared for by the people you want, according to your values, should something happen to you.

~ How to help your family by making sure your assets are passed down to the people you want—without interference from courts, creditors, relatives or the IRS.

~ The 6 common mistakes parents make when naming guardians for their young children…. And how to avoid them.

~ How to protect the assets you’ve worked so hard to acquire and how to make sure they are passed down to your children in a way that’s safe, secure and free from the financial dangers of divorce or bankruptcy.

~ Common mistakes parents make that may allow the police the to take their minor children out of the house and into the hands of foster care …even with family members ready and willing to help….if you were temporarily or permanently injured in an accident.

~ How to ensure your money is immediately and privately available to your chosen guardians so your children will have everything they’d need and would be prepared for a life without you in case something happened to you.

~ How to make smart financial choices about things like saving for college, keeping your money safe, and buying life insurance

After attending this workshop, you’ll know without a shadow of a doubt that your legal and financial house is in order—and that you have the tools and resources necessary to keep it that way!  You’ll also confirm that you are making smart financial choices about things like saving for college, keeping your money safe and buying life insurance.

So don’t wait to register for one of our upcoming Fall Kids Protection Seminars at 2 great locations in the OC (Granola Babies and Xpecting!).  Spaces are limited, so reserve your seat now for yourself or a friend at no-charge by visiting !

Darlynn Morgan is an estate planning lawyer at Morgan Law Group, a unique law firm that she created to truly make a difference in the lives of her clients. She’s really good at making it easy for your family to talk about and plan for tough subjects like money, death and taxes. 

[Darlynn is a Tiny Oranges sponsor and I am honored to get to spread the word about her valuable workshops and services!]
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I Have a First Grader

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Emma starts first grade today. Holy moly. We’re in the big leagues now with the longer days.

This summer she grew and changed so much, more than in any other time of her little life that I can remember thus far. She really is a different kid when I think of the difference between the first day today and the first day last year.

Starting Kindergarten was hard!!!!! It really took a good month for the entire family to adjust to the new groove.

This first day is so much better and I am so GRATEFUL.

I love that we both know what to expect. I love that I don’t have to stress about how drop off and pick up works. I love that I know so many more faces and families. I love that she is excited to see her friends from last year. I love that instead of being overwhelming, it is more exciting.

So mamas, please tell me, how did your back-to-school transition go??

I hope it was an easier one for you too!  And to you first time Kinder moms, you will get through it! Hang in there…



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The SquareSpot Card: You Gotta Get It!

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Recently I discovered a company called SquareSpot which launched in Orange County a few weeks back. As a SquareCard carrier, you can get special deals and discounts from participating local OC companies by simply showing your cute teal green SquareSpot Card when visiting your favorite businesses.

Even better, you can click HERE  to “Get Your SquareCard” for free with promo code TINYORANGES through May 10th, 2012.

Not only that, every person that signs up to receive the card with our TINYORANGES code will automatically be entered to win a $150 gift card to Burke Williams Day Spa! Can I hear a big  “WOO HOO!!”?

So when I heard about this company the first thing I did was check out the OC deals of course!

And I was so impressed I signed up immediately and was excited to start tracking my savings. I am telling you mamas, you gotta get it!

So far SquareSpot OC has 70 + partners on board (with more being added daily) to cater to the discerning mom that loves a great deal, but doesn’t want to sacrifice on quality.

One of the reasons I was so excited when I saw the list of benefits, was that a good number of Tiny Oranges Sponsors were on board already. And you all know by now, that Tiny Oranges only works with the best and brightest family-friendly companies!

Here are the deals from our Sponsors that caught my eye:

* Fashion Camp OC: 10% off all classes and camps. Not applicable to birthday parties or private events.

* Granola Babies: Free snack tray with stroller purchase with promo code “SQUARE” at checkout.

* Knocked Up Fitness: 10 small group reformer Pilates classes (Mon/Fri 6am) or 10 group prenatal Pilates classes (M/W/F at 10:30am) for $300.

* Milkalicious: 10% off purchase.

* Morgan Law Group: Complimentary family wealth planning session ($750 value), including optional legal documentation for naming guardians for your children.

* Precious Hand/Footprints: 15% off your purchase.

* Pretend City: Yes! A Pretend City coupon! Buy one regular priced ticket and receive one 50% off!

* SeekingSitters: $15 pay per request fee waived for up to 3 sitter bookings for new members only.

* Team OC: 20% off first month’s tuition for new members.

* Tiffany’s Dance Academy: Free Dancewear Kit for Twinkle Babies and Twinkle Stars participants.

* Totsie Boutique: 15% off your purchase.

* Xpecting Maternity: 20% off your purchase (excluding strollers.)

…and you can click HERE to sort by “Orange County” to see all of the amazing offers.

The Orange County representative told me that companies can change their deal or promo offer every two months if they want to, which means that companies have the flexibility to offer different promotions throughout the year.

They are also working on launching a Marketplace coming soon, which will be a series of weekly deals you can take advantage of in addition to the standing ones. And one of the advantages of signing up for this card now means that you will be on the mailing list when it goes live.

After the introductory free card offer, people that wish to purchase the SquareCard can do so at an annual membership price of $50/year. So, now is a great time to GET IT FOR FREE and track your savings!

SquareSpot has certainly cornered the market on the types of deals mamas want to see . Click there –> to get square!

[Disclosure: SquareSpot is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor – Check out their cute ad in our right column!]


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Rainy Day Activities for Kids

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As I am preparing this post, it is a windy, rainy Sunday so I felt inspired to share this awesome post from the gals over at on creative rainy day activities for kids!

Of course by the time this publishes tomorrow, I am sure it will be sunny again, but rainy day or not, Pier to Peer has come up with some really great ideas on ways to keep the kiddos entertained indoors. Personally I am going to use some of these with my older daughter when my little one is napping.

Pier to Peer is a local So Cal blog written by three mamas sharing their thoughts, opinions and adventures with their beach city friends.  Although focused on South Bay happenings, their blog covers topics that appeal to moms everywhere.

Fresh, real, and full of great ideas and articles, book mark it and add it to your list of mom blogs to follow! I am a Pier to Peer fan! * Follow on Facebook * Tweet with the @PiertoPeerGirls * Follow on Pinterest

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Granola Babies March Classes + Coupon Code!

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Hi ladies! Happy Friday! What a week, huh?! Busy one for me over here! Hopefully yours was great! I wanted to share some fun and informative classes offered this month at Granola Babies in Costa Mesa along with a coupon / discount code for 10% off March classes for Tiny Oranges readers!  Details below.

Here are the amazing classes you can find going on this month at one my favorite natural baby boutiques in OC…

Mommy Connections Saturdays (Saturdays March 10th – April 28th from 1:30 – 3:00pm)

Mommy Connections introduces you to programs and services in our community and provides a unique and fun way to bond with your baby and other moms. Learn from expert speakers on a wide range of topics for mom, baby and family such as: detoxifying your home, pediatric dentistry, estate planning, childproofing, infant and toddler meals, and MORE. Amazing topics, right?!

All moms get a swag bag full of discounts, coupons and samples. Babies are usually between 0 – 7 months, but up to age one is fine. Siblings also welcome. Cost is $120 for 8 Saturdays. Registration required, space is limited.

Click here to register and enter code “tinyoranges” for 10% off!

Babywearing and Strollers 101 (Saturday, March 10th at 11:00am)

In this one hour workshop you can learn everything about carrying your baby, whether it be in a comfortable baby carrier or long lasting stroller.  In the stroller part of the workshop you will cover how to choose a stroller, details you want to look for, and demo how to use them (even take a test drive!)

Cost is $25 per family and includes a $15 Gift Certificate redeemable same day as the class. Registration is required, space is limited.

Click here to register and enter code “tinyoranges” for 10% off!

Introduction to Solids: What Every Mom Should Know (Wednesday, March 14th at 10:30am)

Lead by registered dietician, Katie Bartels, in this class you will learn that feeding interactions between parent and child are just as important as proper nutrition.  Topics covered include recommendations by the AAP, timing for starting solids, which to give and how much, common feeding myths and more.

Cost is $15 and includes a handout on starting solids. Registration is required, space is limited.

Click here to register and enter code “tinyoranges” for 10% off!

Baby Tales – Storytime and Songs (Wednesdays at 10:30am starting March 21st)

Storytime, songs and music for babies and toddlers and their caregivers with play time and socialization to follow! This is FREE to participate and no registration is required – just show up!

New Baby Care Class (Sunday, March 25th at 2:30pm)

Learn how to care for your newborn baby. By the end of this comprehensive 2-hour class you will learn all about important topics such as cord care, newborn appearance, bathing, diapering, swaddling techniques, traveling with baby, newborn sleep, calming baby and understanding colic, feeding, carrying and resources. All parents will also receive a “Gentle Bathing” gift set.

$35 per family. Registration required, space is limited.

Click here to register and enter code “tinyoranges” for 10% off!

 All classes take place at:

Granola Babies
3315 Hyland Avenue, Suite B
Costa Mesa

Call 714.445.4948 for more information.

Like Granola Babies on Facebook * Tweet with @GranolaBabies on Twitter

[Disclosure: Granola Babies is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor. Photo credits: Granola Babies.] 

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