LOVE the Lululemon Tracker Short

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On February 6th I became a runner. Which sounds funny because rarely does a person become a runner in one day, but I specifically remember that was the first day I made it through 2 miles.  It was BIG for me as I had never ran before in my entire life and I did it!   One of my runner friends had told me, “if you can do 2, you can do 3.  If you can do 3, you can do 4.”    She was right, and after adding mile after mile, I ended up at 13.1 on May 2nd in the OC Half Marathon. Seriously one of the greatest experiences & accomplishments of my life. I wrote about it here and here and here.

I had never bought nice (translation more expensive) workout gear before.  I figured they would just get sweaty and I was not at the gym to pick up guys (HA!)  So who cares?  But with all this running, my cheaper stuff was not very comfortable AT ALL, and my sister and friends swore by all things “Lulu” so I decided to treat myself a good pair of running shorts.

I went to Lululemon Athletica in Fashion Island to see what all the buzz was about. I was skeptical. $54 for a pair of shorts seemed expensive.    But after one run in my new Lululemon Tracker Short, I was hooked. Then I had to go back and buy another pair.  And another.   However, when wearing them 4 times a week, it is easier to justify the expense! And I will scream, they are WORTH IT! Important note: some colors are sold out online, but I called Fashion Island today and they said they had them.

What I love so very, very much about the Lululemon Tracker Short

* There is a big, comfy waistband that is soft and rides low = no tight elastic to dig in to my post baby muffin top

* There are no seams so after running a gazillion miles in these I never had any chafing issues or any part of the short that rubbed me in the wrong way.

* They have built in panties.

* There is a mini side pocket for a car key or kleenex or energy gel like “Gu”

* They have been washed a lot and have not worn or faded at all.

My girlfriend and I just signed up to do the Long Beach Half Marathon in October so these shorts are going to be putting in even more and more miles with me in the months to come.  And yes, now I am also now goo-goo for Lulu!

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Urban Kids Consignment Sale in OC!

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As a mom, I am astounded by the amount of STUFF we have that our baby has quickly outgrown.  In our garage as I type this we have a bassinet, exersaucer, bouncy chair, bags of too small baby clothes, and numerous other things just sitting there cluttering our space as we plan a garage sale that never happens.   So when I heard about the Urban Kids Consignment sale in Orange County, I thought, BINGO, no need for the garage sale! (Phew – I dislike them.  A lot.)   Plus, we also are in NEED of some items, so how fun to possibly make some money by selling stuff we no longer use in order to shop for stuff we actually need (and for less!)

Here are some great things I learned from browsing their site!   First of all for those that want to shopadmission is FREE.  Yes, free. Yay.  If you sign up to volunteer you can have the opportunity to shop the pre-sale (= best deals). Saturday is 25% off and Sunday is 50% off.   If you want to sell stuff and be a consignor, you get to shop the consignor’s presale, and get this, can track your sales online & expect to receive a check 7 – 10 days after the event.  Very cool. So you can buy, sell, volunteer OR do all the above!

I asked the representative to write me and tell me a little more about their OC kids consignment sale, and here is what she wrote!

“Hey all you Moms and Caregivers out there, we have an exciting event coming that you will definitely want to be a part of!  Having children is a wonderful part of life, but what do you do with all the clothes, toys, and just plain ole stuff they accumulate that they’ve outgrown or no longer use? You could store it in your garage and let it accumulate dust or you could make money by selling it all at a yard sale, but that is a lot of work and you’d give up an entire weekend to do it.  Here’s where we come in.

We’re Urban Kids Consignment and we’re hosting a 3 day consignment event in Orange County, August 27 – 29, 2010 where we partner with you to help you sell your kid related and maternity items that are still in great condition for top dollar.  Don’t have anything to sell but are your kids in need of school clothes or other necessities?  Are you or someone you know expecting?  Perfect opportunity to do some shopping for less.  Also, get a head start on Halloween by checking out our costumes.  Or, how about shopping for holiday attire now to ease the stress of the holidays later?  This is the perfect one-stop shopping experience for you!

Check out our comprehensive website for all the details, tell your friends and join in the fun!  See you there!

www.urbankidsconsignment.com

{Disclosure: Urban Kids Consignment is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor.}

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Whiz Kids REALLY Does Make Learning Fun!

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My 4-year-old daughter Emma is in a Whiz Kids summer Zoo-phonics class in Corona del Mar and when she showed me what she was learning, I was so amazed, I thought I have GOT to do another post on this awesome program!  One day at home she started doing the letter sounds and actions and when I saw her galloping around the kitchen island (like a horse!) making a perfect “haa” sound like the letter “H” and being SO excited about it, I thought, WOW, not only was she learning the phonics of the letters, but she was having the BEST time doing it!

I always knew Whiz Kids was a very successful & popular program, but I didn’t really get what it was all about until Emma went to class.  One of the Whiz Kids Directors is my cousin, so I have known about Whiz Kids for years now. BUT my cousin is humble and I guess forgot to BRAG at Thanksgiving dinner about how seriously AMAZING their program is!    So I feel it is my obligation to share it with YOU!

Whiz Kids just started open enrollment now for the 2010-2011 school year, so if you are looking for a fun, and also extremely educational class to send your kiddos next year, you definitely have to check out this program.  They have classes for preschoolers through first grade… all small classes with personalized instruction in a very fun, enthusiastic, loving environment.

SO, what IS Zoo-phonics??

I didn’t know much about it other than it SOUNDED fun!  But now that I see how kids learn through Zoo-phonics, it is simply brilliant.  Simply, it is a way to teach kids to learn the SOUNDS the letters make by connecting them to letters via a symbol (an animal with a cute name), sound and action.  For example, B is for Bubba Bear, and the action is a bear reaching up grabbing honey, and tasting it.  So the kids see a “b” for Bubba and say “Buh, Buh, Buh” doing the action for Bubba reaching up for honey and tasting it.  So, anytime Emma sees a B, she will think of the sound.  Such a phenomenal foundation for remembering the letter sounds and starting the beginning stages of learning to read. Plus, I think by doing the action with the sound it activates different areas of the brain to reinforce the learning. It is really amazing.

Here are the kiddos practicing their alligator arms saying “ah!” for Allie Alligator…

Stress-free fine motor practice!

They also have fun activities for beginning writing and fine motor skills.  What I loved most is that it is TOTALLY stress-free, the teachers make it very relaxed and offer a lot of positive reinforcement.  So, after practicing the letters and sounds in a “circle time” sort of setting, they moved to the table to practice writing letters.

They had great little white boards with dry erase pens and erasers.  Miss Misty the teacher (LOVE HER!!) was so helpful and encouraging. She would go to each student and help direct them on how to write the letters.  They practice lower case, which is great, because I have been working with Emma at home on the upper case, but not lower case yet.  In fact, I didn’t even know the correct way to explain lower case, so as a parent I have also learned a lot of stuff we are practicing at home.  Here is one of the class cuties practicing her lower case “n”.

In addition to writing, they also use scissors to strengthen their fine motor skills. They cut little pieces of paper with letters, then match the letters on the paper with glue and practice writing the letter.  I didn’t realize until watching her 4-year-old tiny hands just how tricky learning to hold and work scissors can be!  This is great practice, and I have seen a bunch of improvement in just 4 classes.

Here are the kids practicing…

Each week, they get sent home with cute “homework” assignments of fun things to practice at home, in their own personalized little Whiz Kids bag.  It is just the cutest.  We have had fun doing the activities together.

This is the beginning!

What has impressed me the most is that this program really introduces kids to reading & writing in a fun, positive, interactive way.   I think if you can teach kids to LOVE learning now, and to associate learning to read and write with a FUN experience, it helps set the stage for their outlook on learning as they embark on their years of education.  I feel so blessed Emma has had the opportunity to experience this program.  Just seeing the twinkle in her eye as she practices the letter sounds to me is PRICELESS!

Whiz Kids Early Literacy Program Orange County
www.whizkidscdm.com


{Disclosure:  Emma received a family discount to attend the summer program.}

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Cinderella at South Coast Repertory Giveaway

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I love that we live so close to a beautiful theatre like South Coast Repertory where we can expose our kids to the art of live theatre in such a lovely location.   Isn’t there just something so special about the ritual of dressing up and going to a show?  I am taking Emma to this performance of Cinderella next weekend, it will be her first play, and I am so excited to see her face when the curtains are drawn!

I am also VERY excited to be able to GIVEAWAY a family pack of four tickets to see Cinderella at any of the performances on opening weekend, Aug. 7 and 8, 2010!  Make sure to read the last paragraph on how you can enter to win tickets AND for a special offer for exclusive pre-sale tickets to A Christmas Carol!

Here are some details about Cinderella…

South Coast Repertory’s Summer Players (acting students in 3rd through 12th grade) will present Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella on the weekends of August 7-8 and 14-15, 2010.  A handsome prince finds—and then loses—his own true love.  He’ll find her again (in spite of those mean stepsisters with feet too big for the glass slipper) in this song-filled version of the fairy tale about a servant girl who’s transformed into a princess.

For the first time, the Players will present their summer show on SCR’s Julianne Argyros Stage. SCR Theatre Conservatory Director Hisa Takakuwa will direct, with Erin McNally as musical director.

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella—the songwriting team’s only musical written for television—was seen by over 100 million people in 1957, subsequently remade for TV twice and adapted for the stage.  Takakuwa has retained the fairy tale aspect—with a 1950’s America setting.

Dates:  Saturday, August 7 and 14 and Sunday, August 8 and 15 at 1 and 4pm

Tickets: $12 (may be purchased through the SCR Box Office at (714) 708-5555 or online at www.scr.org)

I saw a performance in the Julianne Argyros Stage last year and it is a beautiful, intimate theatre with not a bad seat in the house.  Great to take your kids because of how every seat has prime viewing…but no kids under 4, everyone must sit in their own seat quietly, and no babes in arms!

Hooray! It’s a Tiny Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive 4 tickets to go to this performance on the weekend of August 7th or 8th at the time of your choosing. To enter, do the following, and please leave a separate comment for each & leave your email address so I can contact you if you win!

1. Simply leave a comment – 1 ENTRY

2. {Like} South Coast Repertory on Facebook – 1 ENTRY

3. Follow @SouthCoastRep on Twitter – 1 ENTRY

4. {Like} Tiny Oranges on Facebook – 1 ENTRY

4. Follow @TinyOrangesOC on Twitter – 1 ENTRY

5. Subscribe to Tiny Oranges email updates – top right column – 1 ENTRY

GOOD LUCK!
Contest runs through 12pm PST August 4th, 2010.  I will email the winner Wednesday afternoon & post to my Facebook page.

Special Offer for A Christmas Carol Tickets!

Most of this month, SCR has been holding an exclusive pre-sale on tickets to A Christmas Carol for their subscribers and friends, allowing them to get the best seats in the house before tickets go on sale to the general public. For the final two days of the sale, they are offering this special to readers of  Tiny Oranges. So, between now and July 31 (tomorrow at midnight!) you can click HERE and enter code 4727 to purchase tickets. SCR will also waive online ticket fees.

SCR’s A Christmas Carol is an Orange County tradition. This winter will mark its 31st anniversary, with Hal Landon, Jr. once again in the role of everyone’s favorite somersaulting Scrooge. If you need more information, you can also call the box office at 714-708-5555.

Happy weekend everyone! Have a great one and see you on Monday!

{Disclosure: I am receiving complimentary media tickets to see
Cinderella next weekend & I couldn’t be more excited! Thank you SCR!}

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Laguna Parent Participation Preschool Open House

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Hello mamas! If you have little ones approaching preschool age and are looking for the perfect school for your family, I wanted to share some information on a local preschool in Mission Viejo called the Laguna Parent Participation Preschool.  It is called a “parent participation school” or sometimes referred to as a “cooperative or co-op preschool” and is a  really great option for lots of families {and they have a few slots open for next year!}  If you are interested in this program,  they are having a Summer Open House next week where you can go meet the teachers, see the classroom and learn more about their organization. Here is a little more about their program and more details on the Open House…

Unique Preschool Finds a New Home in Mission Viejo

The Laguna Parent Participation Preschool is excited to find a new home this Fall in Mission Viejo.  This “hidden gem of a school” has remained a fixture in South Orange County since 1972 and has brought joy and love to hundreds of children and their families.

LPPP is a place where parents and children learn together.   As a non-profit preschool, the school is run by a board of elected parents.  A paid, professional teacher plans the curriculum and  engages the children in a multitude of age-appropriate activities.  Each day there are several “working parents” that assist the teachers in the classroom.

At LPPP we recognize that the work of children is play.

music painting cooking hands-on science experiments language arts crafts
imaginary play gardening puppetry early reading math skills
motor skill development multicultural experiences

This niche preschool appeals to families who are looking for a preschool where they can be involved in the early childhood education of their children.  The families at LPPP value “childhood” and the learning that is accomplished through play and imagination.  The typical family has one stay-at-home parent who is able to work in the classroom a couple of days a month and participate in the management of the preschool.

If you would like to learn more about the Laguna Parent Participation Preschool and it’s tradition of excellence please contact our membership chairperson at uscwatts@hotmail.com or call  949-235-0660.  Interested families are also invited to attend our informational Summer Park Days.  Visit our website at www.lagunapreschool.com.

Meet and Greet Open House
For Prospective Members

Tuesday, Aug 3rd, 2010 * 3:00-5:00pm

24701 San Doval Lane, Mission Viejo

Please RSVP to uscwatts@hotmail.com

(O’Neill Elementary School Kindergarten Room)

{This is a Sponsored Event Post…helping to spread the word on family-oriented local events near you!}

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