My Thoughts on “Don’t Carpe Diem”

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My sister, a fellow mommy of a toddler in the trenches, forwarded an article on HuffPost Parents a couple months ago with two words: GOOD READ. In CAPS. She never forwards me articles so I was intrigued.

The article obviously struck a chord with mamas all over, as it has been shared and shared again, so I am sure many of you have read it already, and if you have, it is worth reading again.

But for those who haven’t, I wanted to write about this article today because her words have stayed with me.  And because the article stirred up so many emotions in me, I also felt compelled to share my thoughts on “Don’t Carpe Diem.”

At first I was intrigued by the title. I am sort of a “Carpe Diem~glass half full~positive” kind of gal, so I couldn’t see myself totally agreeing with whatever was going to come next.

But after I read it, through a mixture of emotions including laughter and tears, I immediately wanted to share with moms everywhere so I posted it to Facebook, where one of my friends so aptly commented, “AAAAAAAMMMMMMEN!”

Which is exactly how I felt.

One of my biggest challenges as a mother has been dealing with guilt. Now days, not only is there the pressure to be enjoying every moment, but we also have the pressure of  “being present.”

I know we have all heard we should ditch the dishes for the moment, forget the laundry, turn off the devices, and get down on the living room floor to play with our kids because, as we have been told over and over again, “IT GOES SO FAST.  ENJOY EVERY MOMENT.

But to those people I have often wanted to scream, then WHO is going to do my dishes and fold the laundry?? Many days I feel so much pressure I feel torn. When I am doing the dishes, I feel guilty I am not playing with my kids, and when I am playing with my kids, I often feel guilty that I should be doing the dishes. Sometimes I feel like I just can’t win! 

When I read her article, I didn’t feel alone. And I feel like us moms need to give ourselves one monumental break! 

Like my cousin once said to me about parenting little ones, “The years go by fast, but the days are long.

This week, I registered my youngest daughter for three mornings of preschool starting in September. Some have said, “Are you sentimental that your youngest is growing up and will be going to preschool?”

But, if I am being honest, after putting in 6 years of juggling the stay-at-home and also work-from-home gig, inside I feel ECSTATIC that she will start preschool in the fall and I am not feeling misty or sentimental in the least.  I feel READY.

Yes, she is growing up, but I am ready to graduate to the next phase. I have had to work on accepting the fact that feeling this way is OK without the guilt.  

I can’t end this post without talking about the author’s views on time. Please read it all the way through, because her words on time are such a great reminder at the end.

The Chronos time is REAL time. The “I am most certainly not enjoying this moment/phase/long afternoon of parenting time.” And can be hard, and exhausting. There is no way around it. A lot of days I am just doing the best I can, and if I make it through the day without completely losing it, that is a success.

The Kairos moments are “I AM ENJOYING THIS MOMENT” time.

If it weren’t for those, I honestly don’t know how parents could make it through.  Many days it’s like running a marathon, and the Kairos moments are the ones when you spot a friend or family member cheering you on from the sidelines, the Kairos moments of unparalleled joy and overwhelming love are what give me that burst of energy to push on.

The cute sayings, the small victories, the snuggles, the laughs, those magic moments that make you want to SCREAM “it is all SOOOOOOOOO worth it! Being a mom is the best thing in the entire universe.” I thank God for those moments, and in those moments, I can look parenting in the eye and say, I AM ENJOYING THIS TO THE FULLEST.

Thing is, it’s just not EVERY moment.

So, if you couldn’t tell, I loved this article. It was honest and raw and forgiving and real and I too wanted to jump through my screen and give Glennon a huge high five and say, “AMEN SISTER!”

You gotta read it. Click here if you haven’t already.

And I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!



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Bel Bambini Grand Opening Weekend

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If you are a mom and live in Orange County this Grand Opening event this weekend at Bel Bambini Newport Beach is not to be missed!

So Cal families are invited to join them this Saturday and Sunday, March 24th and 25th for two fun-filled days of food, music, kids’ entertainment, overflowing (ROCKIN’) raffle prizes, gifts with purchase and more. The event is free and open to the public.

Click HERE to see the itinerary of activities, including a special story time reading of Monster Removal Guide on Saturday by author Garett Gruber, which I just reviewed. Yay Garett!

At the event, you can save 10% off your baby registry for your friends and family when you make a registry appointment in person this weekend and you can save 10% off the ENTIRE STORE (with the exception of furniture, strollers and car seats.)

But speaking of furniture, car seats and strollers, they have RAFFLES of those items and others on the hour EVERY hour.  Seriously mamas, please CLICK HERE and scroll down to see the list of raffle items. I mean a stroller worth $1,100 and a $400 mini crib to only name two?! Unbelievable. Like I said, this event is a MUST!!

Give back and get a gift! Bel Bambini is a supporter of and customers are encouraged to bring in new or very gently used baby items (or a monetary donation) during their event and you’ll receive a free gift from Bel Bambini. Click HERE for a list of accepted donations.

Last month I got to attend a special preview of Bel Bambini’s newly opened second floor fashion boutique at a special blogger event co-hosted by Ciaran of Momfluential Media. There, amongst the yummy treats and fun activities for kids, we got the check out their couture baby and children’s lines and my daughter got to participate in the fashion show. Let me tell you, she was feeling like hot stuff in her delicious coral dress by Little Marc Jacobs. Swoon.

The boutique features pint-sized fashions by Baby Chloe, Baby Dior, Baby Fendi, Baby Hugo Boss, Baby Jean Paul Gaultier, Baby Stella McCartney, Baby Marc Jacobs, Baby Roberto Cavalli and more.

You might need to pack your own bib when you visit so you are prepared for your “mommy drool.”

Now between the lower level stroller park, beautiful gifts and chic nursery decor vignettes, there is now a FULL second level totally devoted to clothing and layette items. There is no other baby boutique quite like it in OC. Have I told you that you MUST go? Hope to see you there!

[Photo credit: Bel Bambini, with the exception of my iPhone shot of my model in the coral dress above collage lower left!

Disclosure: My daughter and I attended the event and were fed yummy treats and left with a fun swag bag with goodies. In addition, we will be receiving a gift card to Bel Bambini to thank us for our participation. This is not a compensated post and all words and opinions are my own.  Especially the enthusiasm regarding the RAFFLE.]


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Pure Fitness OC Personal Training

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I had to kick this week off with a post about getting in shape, because I know this mama had one too many sugar cookies over the last month. Boo. But it is a new month and a new year and there is no time like the present to get in shape and feel your very best.

Have you ever wished you could have a personal trainer to kick your boo-tay into shape, but has the price been out of budget?

Would you love to have the benefit of working with a personal trainer but NOT pay personal training prices?

If the answer to the above is YES! YES! YES! you are going to flip over what Pure Fitness OC in Lake Forest has to offer.

What they do at Pure Fitness OC is refreshingly different.

Here’s why: Each person is getting affordable personal training, it is just in a group setting.

How it works:


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Burke Williams Day Spa: A Suburban Retreat

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The car is too quiet.

No one is demanding a different song on the CD. No one is asking for a snack. What is going on?

I am in the Mission Viejo Kaleidoscope center parking structure. As I wind up, I automatically think, “Am I going to Jump N’ Jammin? Did I pack a change of clothes in case newly potty-trained Morgan needs them?”

But wait, no one is in the car except ME.

When I pull into the Level 5 parking lot, I see the lovely doors and the gold BW sign calling to me…whispering….no one needs you for a few hours…relax…unwind…breathe. I remember why I am there, I open the doors and exhale.

Welcome to Burke Williams Day Spa, an idyllic suburban retreat where OC moms can escape and enjoy some well-deserved time to do nothing but focus on yourself. Imagine that!

I had the pleasure of going last Friday afternoon and got four solid hours of relaxation to enjoy every aspect of the lovely Burke Williams Mission Viejo.

From the moment you enter the elegant foyer, the soft lighting and soothing music transport you to another world.

The facility is spacious and heavenly.

Prior to your treatment you can enjoy amazing amenities like the steam room, sauna, expansive jacquzzi and cool mist room.

[Photo credit: Burke Williams]

No cell phones, cameras or computers allowed. Turn ’em off and leave ’em in the locker. It is a time to unplug and reconnect in a different way.

What impressed me the most about Burke Williams were the details!

To me, it’s the little things that all add up to make a seriously phenomenal experience. It seems like Burke Williams is committed to making your stay as comfortable as possible.  Let me tell you my favorites…

My floor length locker, cozy hooded bath robe, full size bath sheets, hair ties, toothbrush & toothpaste available on request, geranium & mint infused washcloths, bathing suit bags, products galore, fresh water & lemonade…pretty much anything you would need to make your pampering day just all around delightful.


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Tiny Oranges Turns Two

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Today is the day I count as my “official” blog birthday! It was August 18th, 2008 that I first sent my blast email announcing the official launch of Tiny Oranges and what I hoped would become one of  the best blogs for OC moms.  I was sooo nervous that day.  I had poured my heart and soul into creating my blog, so to finally have it “out there” was completely exhilarating, but also terrifying.  I had no idea back then how Tiny Oranges would evolve but it has exceeded my wildest expectations, and that is because of YOU, my amazing readers!

So many things have changed in two years!  A new baby, a new hobby, the rise and influence of Facebook & Twitter…but one thing hasn’t changed…my love and passion for Tiny Oranges and being able to share the adventure of motherhood with Orange County moms {and moms all over!}

I would like to first thank you {the amazing readers!} for reading what I have to share.  Thank you for commenting. Thank you for emailing me. Thank you for being my inspiration to keep this going.

Thank you also for supporting my wonderful advertisers.   I seriously work with the greatest business owners in the world. EVERY SINGLE COMPANY represented on this site as a Sponsor is not only providing a valuable service to Orange County families, but are also just REALLY nice, good peeps!  I am lucky.

And also to the amazing mom blogger community – THANK YOU – for your friendship, links & support. I had no idea when I was getting into this that I would also meet so many amazing, generous women. I have learned so much from you.

A Blast from Posts Past!

In honor of our second birthday, I thought it would be fun to look back on some of my favorite posts over the past two years. Here they are and why…

1. i See Me.  This was the post on August 18th, 2008 on one of my favorite personalized children’s books {BTW, the free shipping code still exists & I still LOVE these books!}  To get 3 comments was the most fun ever!!! This was the day it all started!

2. Home Burglary: Don’t Let it Happen to You.  Our home was burglarized in November 08 and this post was so meaningful to me because I felt like I could take a terrible thing that happened and possibly share what I learned to keep it from happening to someone else.  It was a healing post for me.  {After you read this post – go look in your jewelry box and hide anything in there that would CRUSH if it was stolen. Hide it in a sock drawer, hollow out a book, just hide your most treasured items somewhere someone wouldn’t think to look.}  Okay, now on to more fun topics!

3. I’ve Got News… This one was a fun one to write as it was the post where I could share the news I was expecting baby #2!  And I realized I would have a lot of blog material to write about!

4. Little Miss Forgetful Baby arrived and the first 4 months were complete mayhem.  I loved sharing some of my CRAZY experiences in my world of sleep-deprived chaos.  It also make me realize I still had my sense of humor.  And I still can’t believe I walked out of the alterations shop wearing a grassy beach towel and flats.

5. Redefining Romance in Parenthood This was a love letter to my husband this past father’s day & a tribute to how far we have come in this crazy thing called parenthood!  Your comments really, really touched me.   Out of all my posts I was most nervous to post this one because it just felt SO personal.  But I am so glad I did. It still makes me cry!

Thanks for celebrating my birthday with me!  Now go out and have yourself a cupcake!

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