I See Me!

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I still remember when I got my daughter’s “My Very Own Name” book in the mail a few weeks after she was born. It was wrapped in this cute, striped box, and the opening page was printed with, “This book was created especially for (her name)” and then it followed with a note from the family with the year. I thought “How cute!A book with her name printed on the opening page!”Then I turned the pages to read it, and the first page had an elephant carrying an “E” and the next page had a monkey carrying an “M” and then came the moose with another “M” and then an antelope carrying the “A” until Emma was spelled out! At thatpoint, the magnitude of the cute factorREALLYkicked in! Itwas aspecial bookwhere the story spells out her first and last name! She is the proud owner of both the “owl” book as she calls it, as well as the “fairy tale” book. She absolutely loves them.Such a fabulous gift to give and receive! Check out the I See Me! website for virtual tours of the books, along with an array of other darling personalized gifts.

Tiny Oranges readers can put in Coupon Code: FSD13785 when placing an order and receive free shipping. Makes these darling gifts just that more affordableby saving you between$6.95 – $13.90!

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Xpecting Maternity

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I LOVED this store when I was pregnant and think it is one of the greatest maternity boutiques in OC.  Stephani Clymer, owner of Xpecting Maternity on 17th Street in Costa Mesa, is a DOLL.   She helped me shop and  brought me things to try on that I never would have picked for myself, but ended up being really cute.  The best part about her boutique is that there are all price points, from affordable to splurge-worthy.  Xpecting definitely showcases being pregnant doesn’t mean sacrificing style!   

Personal tip for newly pregnant first time mamas:   In my opinion, it is better to pay a little more for a handful of good maternity pieces that you feel CUTE in, and just wear them all the time.  I wasted a lot of money on cheap maternity clothes that I subsquently felt so NOT cute in, and that feeling put me in such a bad mood when getting dressed!   Next time I will invest a little more in fewer items.

Xpecting is offering 15% off your ENTIRE purchase if you mention Tiny Oranges (excluding strollers) until 8/31/08!!  You can also redeem this savings online by entering coupon code ORANGE (case sensitive.) Only 2 weeks left so happy shopping hot mamas!

Stephani will be doing a guest blog soon on maternity basics, where to save and where to splurge, stay tuned…

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Back Bay Muth Interpretive Center

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The Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center in Newport Beach is a GEM of a find; best part is admission is FREE (but of course a small donation is always appreciated!)   My girlfriends and I take our joggers and walk the trail around the Back Bay and stop into the center for some exploration.    There are hands-on learning exhibits and an awesome kids’ room with puppets, books, crayons, nature activities and displays of small spiders and snakes.   They also offer fun kid programs for kids 2 – 7 for only $5/ class along with family nature walks and other organized events.  Check out the website for details and upcoming dates.  Note: The building is hard to see  and there are not a lot of signs.   When you turn onto University Drive, there is a large dirt parking lot.   The Nature Center is direcly adjacent to the parking lot (across from the YMCA.)  The entrance is on the lower level facing the bay.

Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center
2301 University Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660

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Let’s Have a Dwink!

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This is one of my FAVORITE mom inventions!  It is brilliant!   The universal “dwink” box holder fits most all juice boxes and EVEN Capri suns!   I love that my daughter can wander around with her Dwink and not squeeze the juice and get it all over her clothes and the floor!  Amazing product, kudos to Yvonne Huang for dreaming up this awesome product.  Visit www.mydwinkbox.com  to purchase. 

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Castle Park Irvine

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Castle Park in Irvine is # 2 on the list of the 10 best playgrounds in OC. Very cute park!

Plenty of parking, clean restroom, and lots of different play equipment for all ages.   The main feature is a large “castle” – thus the name Castle Park – which is a fun structure for running and climbing.

Surrounding the castle, there are two sand levels for castle making of their own, that is the sand type!   It is a large playground, and a good mix of that squishy ground cover, along with sand.  I happen to prefer the squishy ground cover (does anyone know what that is called??) Especially in flip flop weather.

Some of the equipment was covered, which I really like in the summer, and there were plenty of trees surrounding  the area to pull out your picnic blanket and have a snack.   Definitely worth checking out. Your own little knights and fair princesses will have great creative play opportunities at this park!

4351 Bryan Avenue, Irvine

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